Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bruises, Shoeses, and Other Newses

Thank you, everyone, for all the "poor babies" and encouraging words! My arms still look rather hideous today, but are much less sore. As a reward for putting up with all that yesterday, I've made a lunch date with my sister for today and she's even managing to take a long enough lunch that we can have a little sisterly shoe shopping time. Stay tuned... Speaking of shoes, I found SUCH a cute pair on Tuesday and would have bought them in a heartbeat, but they fit weird. I don't know what was up with that. We are nearly all slightly hand a little larger, one foot a little larger, etc....and for me my left foot is the "big" one, but it's so slight that 95% of the time it isn't enough to even notice. But on these shoes, every pair I tried (and I tried 5 different pairs in 2 different sizes!) was sloppy-big on my right side and too tight across the instep on the left. It made me paranoid that my left foot was swollen or something, but no. I tried on another style just to see and they fit fine. (Didn't like them well enough to take them home though.) So the problem was definitely the shoes, not my feet. If my right foot were the larger one, they probably would have fit perfectly! Oh well, it wasn't meant to be. And speaking of weird (aren't my smoooooth segues from subject to subject impressive?!), I got my first "recruiting" letter from AARP yesterday. What a lovely capper to a lovely day, yes? Right. It said that according to their records I was eligible to sign up and they wondered why I hadn't. Um, sorry guys, but your intel is flawed. Get back to me in 2012. My dearest darling, however, WILL be turning 50 in about 3 months and he hasn't heard a peep from them. Go figure. Ok, time to get off this thing and go talk to Sandy, eat Indian food, try on shoes, and perhaps sip a frappuccino. Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Big Ol' GrumpyHead

We are not having a good day. (We being me, myself, and I.) Long-time readers of RSR may remember I was scheduled to have some bloodwork done last month, about the same time I had my mammogram. But I ended up rescheduling and went today instead. I was supposed to have blood drawn for a CA-125 test, a lipid profile, and glucose tolerance and insulin levels, with that last one to be repeated two hours later. The lipid profile and glucose thingy are both fasting tests, which meant no breakfast this morning, which I can deal with, and no COFFEE this morning, which, well I had to deal with too, but I wasn't happy about it. So here was the plan. I would roll out of bed, throw some clothes on my unwashed-but-not-overtly-dirty bod, run a comb through my hair, and run pretty much straight from the bed to the car, ignoring the smell of the coffee my dearest darling was so cruelly drinking in front of me. I would drive to the hospital (about 10 miles away) in all my grunginess, and let them draw the first batch of blood, drink the vile, disgusting, putrid potion they make you drink in preparation for the second part of the test, then scurry back to the car to drive home and use the time in between tests to shower, wash and dry my hair, put in my contacts, put on better clothes, etc., and maybe even get to look over email, before driving back to the hospital for Round Two. Good plan, yes? I certainly thought so. The lab staff? Not so much. Turns out that in the year since I last had this stuff done they've instituted a new policy that if you're having the glucose tolerance thing done, you aren't allowed to leave the hospital during the wait time. If you do, they won't finish the test and you have to start over another day. Thank GOD I rarely go anywhere without a book in my purse!!! So there I sat, for two LONG hours, in an noisy waiting room with uncomfortable chairs and bad lighting, and me with stringy hair, no contacts, no shower, no breakfast, and NO DAMN COFFEE, trying to read. We were not amused. And to make it even more fun, the little girl drawing the blood, while very nice, was all-too-obviously new at it and I don't have easy-access veins. So she dribbled a few drops into the vial with the first stick and then couldn't get any more. She called for help. The other girl stuck the other arm and got enough for what they needed for Round One, but left a half-dollar sized bruise that has turned a lovely eggplant shade. When I went back in after two hours, they drew more from the bruised arm, told me I could go, then chased me out into the parking lot to tell me they had "used the wrong type of vial" and had to do it again. Oh. My. God. So, yeah...I now have a total of 4 stick-marks, 2 on each arm, all sore. I am feeling whiny and put upon and I'm going to eat a piece of chocolate now. Hmph.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Comments on Comments

Regarding yesterday's post, Gerrie wrote: "You could post a picture and let us help you decide!" But no. As I told Gerrie in an email, I'm just really so heartily sick of looking at that stupid quilt that I don't want to deal with it right now even if y'all had some great ideas. I'm beyond ready to move onto something new! So I threw it back into the UFO pile, where it will no doubt emerge to torture me at some future date. It's perverse like that. Logan wrote: "...hope that the Inner Victorian Grandma is so pleased by pastel flowers that she goes into hiding for a few years, allowing you to change the decor of that room ..." Ah, but believe it or not, I don't want to! As long as I can confine her to JUST that one room and she doesn't spread like a plague throughout the house, I rather enjoy letting her have her way in there. That isn't a room where I spend much time and yet when I look in there it's somehow comforting to me because it reminds me of Grandma's house when I was a child. And if guests don't like the antique-y-ness of it all, well, they don't HAVE to come see me, now do they? (evil grins) I like the idea of a shoe-themed room though. Wonder if Johnny would go for it? Debra wrote: "Your quote: Moonstruck?? Maybe not... " Good guess, but no. In case anyone else was wondering, the pop culture reference was a slightly modified version of a quote from the TV series "Angel", Season Five, Episode 20, when Angel and Spike went to Italy to save Buffy from The Immortal (or so they thought). It was a line spoken a couple of different times by the head of the Italian branch of Wolfram and Hart. Please give me my Joss Whedon Fan Club Geek Certificate now. My sister, Sandy, just got back from a week in the sun and gave her seal of approval to the sisters quilt. She said "I love, love, love the quilt!! We look like us!" So there we go. Thanks Sandy! :-) She loved the Dara-inspired title too.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Movin' On

Despite the Julie-inspired shoe-buying interlude, I've spent big chunks of the past few days fusing frowsy pastel flowers onto that stupid pastel quilt. Why? Because it was there. Because I didn't have a concrete idea of what else I want to do next art-wise. Because the fusible was already on the floral fabric and I hated to waste it. Because some optimistic-to-the-point-of-madness part of me kept thinking it would eventually look good. HA! Last night I threw it down in disgust, shouting "It is a feelthy peeg! I spit on it! (ptooey! ptooey!) We will speak of it no more!" (bonus points if you can name the slightly mangled pop culture reference) I was fully expecting to get up this morning and rant here about how it's the ugliest thing I've ever made and to solicit ideas for an extreme makeover, quiltstyle. I confess I was rather looking forward to chopping it into little pieces, pouring paint over it, etc. But this morning, before I signed the death warrant, I decided to take one last look. I asked J to hold it over the deck railing so I could take a pic and see an overall view. And in the end I decided it is not, in fact, the ugliest thing I've ever made. It's merely the second-ugliest thing I've ever made. And I decided that it still might, believe it or not, have possibilities as a bed quilt in the guest room. Hard to fathom, I know, but the guest room is where I channel my Inner Victorian Grandma. It's all white cotton-and-lace, scrappy quilts, pale yellow walls, vintage-to-antique furniture. Frowsy pastel flowers actually fit pretty well in there. So it got a reprieve and may yet be quilted and finished someday. But not today. I really, REALLY can't stand to look at it anymore right now. So I folded it up and put it back in the stack of "maybe someday" bed quilt tops. Now it's time to move on to something else. And whatever that something else is, I promise you it will not involve pastel flowers. Bleah.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Studio View and Linky Stuff

Yesterday, Julie posted a photo of the view out her studio window and asked the question, "What does yours look like? I'd be interested to see what other art quilters are staring at while they muse on their work.". Good question, Julie! So here we go.... I have two windows in my studio, but one is over by the 'puter desk. The other, however, is right above my sewing work table. So this morning, about 10 AM, I took a couple of photos out my window, screen and all. (Adds texture!) This one is if I'm actually sitting at the sewing machine and look up. Obviously it looks toward the driveway and garage. There's a really pretty flower bed beside the driveway. It currently has several varieties of daylilies in bloom. This photo was originally going to show you that, but before I could take the picture EvilDemonKitty Sky jumped up and stuck his 18 lb. body in the way. But that is so typical of him that I decided to just take the pic and leave him in it. He so often IS a part of my view out the studio window! This second photo is out the same window, but taken if I roll my chair left, away from the sewing machine and toward my cutting table and general work area. You can *just* see the edge of the daylily bed at the far left of the photo. And of course you can still see EDK Sky taking up a big hunk of the right side. And here is a bonus photo of a smartass husband jumping around and making faces as he sees his moderately crazed wife taking pictures out the window. Now here are some links you might enjoy. A couple of months ago, I wrote a little review of a book called "Drive Like Hell" and Friday I got a note from the author's publicist that included a link to author Dallas Hudgen's blog. Fun! Last weekend I went to Cincinnati and blogged about the cool Mushroom House I saw. Well it turns out there's another house called The Mushroom House, this one in Canada, and it is equally cool! There's a website with photos of both the interior and exterior. I LOVE it. I want to live there. Except....well...isn't Canada kind of cold in the winter? So, yeah....don't think so after all. (ducking and running before that Logan Chick hits me [grins]) And finally, here is a link to a recent art review that was in the Lexington (KY) Herald Leader, wherein the critic comes to the startling conclusion that sometimes quilts can be ART! (gasp!) Who'da thunk it? Beauty of quilts is in meaning, not stitching This is a link to a little write-up about the exhibit she was reviewing and has photos of a couple of the quilts. I inquired about if the Fiber Optics group had a website, but haven't gotten a response, so this'll have to do. 'Fiber Optics: Kentucky Art Quilts' on display June 4-July 29 I haven't been to the exhibit myself yet because I didn't know about it until reading the article, but I'll try to go sometime before it closes. Morehead is only about 40 miles away. Guess I'll go wrestle with some more thrice-damned fabric flowers now. Bleah.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Because You Know I Can't Resist A Quiz

I've seen this on a few blogs in the past couple of days, but the first place I saw it was on Jenny's blog
You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative















What is Your World View? (updated) created with

Friday, June 24, 2005

Five Foto Friday

It's been a few weeks since I did a Foto Friday, so last night I took the camera for a walk and here is the result. First of all, since it has been at LEAST a week since I've posted a picture of any of my flowers (snort!) here is the shade bed at the edge of the woods in my back yard. It was the inspiration for my June journal quilt in 2003. The hydrangea is "Annabelle" and the large-leaved chartreuse-y hosta is "Sum and Substance". I don't remember the name of the blue-leaved hosta. The daylilies are just plain wild ditch lilies. They were here when we bought the place and I planted stuff around them. Next I had some fun with some weird imagery that caught my eye. As I was getting ready to take a close-up of the branches of my curly willow tree, I noticed that I could see my shadow creeping up the ground and onto the leaves I was about to photograph and I thought "Oooh! Weird Self-Portrait Opportunity!" So here's the photo. Look in the very center, both on the ground and on the leaves and you'll see ShadowDebR. Wish I was as tall and thin as the shadow makes it look like I am! :-) I snapped this next one when I noticed EvilDemonKitty Sky sitting in the dining room window watching me. I wondered if he would show up if I took a photo or if all I would see was the reflections of the outside in the window. Turned out to be a little of each and I thought it made kind of a neat composition. Kitty In A Window And finally, here is some old rusty wheel thingamabob that my dearest darling threw into a corner of the raised bed at the end of the house. I have no idea what it is or why it's there, but I haven't objected or moved it because I actually find it rather interesting looking. Here is photo number one of "The Rusty Wheel Thing and Hosta Leaves". Here is "The Rusty Wheel Thing and Hosta Leaves" after I've had Fun In Potoshop. Hope you enjoyed Five Foto Friday. Now I guess I'll go say bad words at some fabric again.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Review Revisited

Back in May I wrote a review of a book I'd just finished reading called "Dies The Fire". People who have been reading RSR for a while may remember it was the post where I ranted about what I call "Hidden Trilogy Syndrome". (Although I liked the book!) This morning I got a comment from the author, S.M. Stirling, telling me the title of the upcoming sequel and giving a link to his website. He has some sample chapters posted there and I read a few this morning and liked what I read. I'll definitely be reading the sequels now that I KNOW it's a trilogy and can calm down about that. Mr. Stirling apologized for the Hidden Trilogy thing and told me it's the publisher's choice, not his, which doesn't surprise me at all. Maybe I should rant at the publisher about the Hidden Trilogy Syndrome! Anyway, if anyone else is interested in reading more about the book or the sequels, you can click on the link above. I recently bought another of Mr. Stirling's books, "Conquistador", but haven't read it yet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

When Julie Talks

In response to my "Once Upon a Time" post, Julie said, "My advice is: Forget it and Go buy some shoes!" Julie is clearly a visionary genius who should be running the world. Seriously, think about it! Can't decide who should own that piece of land you're killing each other over? Forget it and go buy some shoes! Arguing about religion? Forget it and go buy some shoes! I'm telling you, the world would be a better place. It was certainly a WAY better idea than anything else I had planned, so...I went and bought some shoes! (I also bought some groceries, but the hell with that. It's all about the SHOES, baby!) So here they are. (The shoes, not the groceries.) What do you think? J is out of town today and hasn't seen them yet. I think he'll say I'm insane. But I think they're so ugly they're cute. Sort of like a SharPei puppy! And they're pretty much the antithesis of pastel floral anything. They make me smile. Beats therapy! :-)

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a painter who wasn't doing much of anything creative because she got burned out on painting. She didn't know anything about the world of art quilts because, although she had a sewing machine, she really didn't sew. So she did an occasional sketch and not much else. Then one day she decided she wanted a new bedspread on her bed, but she couldn't find anything she liked in the stores. So she decided, lack of experience notwithstanding, "Hey! I know! I'll make a quilt!" She checked a book out of the library, skimmed it, tossed it in a corner and drew a design on graph paper. She went and bought some fabric and thread. She drew a bunch of squares and triangles on the back of the fabric using a yard stick and a blue ball point pen and cut them out with paper scissors. (I know, scary!) Then she started sewing them together and Oooohhhh....Aaaahhhhh....Magic! Look at how the pattern changes where the squares and triangles meet! Cool! She was hooked. She spent the next few years making fairly traditional machine-pieced, hand-quilted bed quilts. Not many of them though, because that hand-quilting thing is slooooooow, at least for our heroine. I'm pleased to report that she DID at least have sense enough to buy a rotary cutter before making the next one. Then one day, no one is quite sure how, after years of looking at quilting magazines and books, the neurons in her brain made a little leap sideways and thought "Hhmmm. People are using this cutting and sewing thing to make stuff for the walls too, aren't they? I bet I could do that." And not long after that, another set of firing neurons sparked the thought "Y'know I could finish more stuff if I'd learn to do that machine quilting thing." And thus did our Painter turned Traditional Quilter turned Art Quilter set off on her current adventure. The End. Sort of. Except.... I (Yes, OF COURSE, the person in the story was me. You knew that!) have a shrinking stack of more-or-less traditional bed quilt tops around here from where they piled up in the days when I finished tops exponentially faster than I could quilt them. And now and then I get this inexplicable urge to finish one of them. At the moment, I have an idea for an art quilt rattling around in my brain, but I can't yet SEE it clearly enough to do much about it. So rather than do something like, oh you know...clean the house or something, I decided to pull down one of those bed quilt tops and work on it. The one I chose is a Boston Commons quilt that I made when I got this idea that I wanted a pastel floral quilt. I have NO IDEA why I wanted a pastel floral quilt because I am SO not a pastel floral sort of person. But I did. So I made this, although when I show it to most people I get the reaction "THAT'S pastel???" But for me, yes, that's pastel. And when the top was finished it was...nice. (yawn) But it didn't look finished to me. It needed something. What was it?? Oh yeah! I decided it needed some applique in some portions of the border areas. Did I mention I don't DO traditional-y floral applique?? Even in my fully traditional quilting era, I was most definitely a piecer, not an appliquer. And now I fuse. So, I decided to fuse some broderie perse flowers. What the hell, it's my quilt, right? And that should be simple and fast enough. Iron on some fusible, cut out some flowers, press 'em to the quilt. Easy peasy, done in no time, right? HA!! I'd forgotten what a PAIN IN THE ASS it is working on something this big!!!! It's too big for my design wall. So instead I throw it on the floor or on a bed, pin on some flowers, leaves, stems, etc., stand back, look, no, that's not quite right, unpin, shift, repin, stand back, look, better...but not IT, repeat a couple more times, THEN go fuse one small section, then start the whole process again. It's pretty much making me insane. What was supposed to be a relaxing- but-productive interlude between one creative project and another is turning into something of a nightmare. So this may or may not get done before I go back to working on something else. The shoes were WAY more fun! At this point, I'm wondering if CLEANING THE HOUSE would be way more fun!! Naaahhhh.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

In Praise of Jennifer Crusie

Am I the last person in the US to discover the books of Jennifer Crusie? Just in case I'm not, I have to tell you how much I love them so like-minded people can enjoy them too. Last night I finished "Faking It", a sort of sequel to "Welcome to Temptation". ("Sort of" in the sense that she's turned a couple of secondary characters from WtT into main characters in FI.) I've been reading every JC novel I could find over the past few months and unfortunately that was the last one I could find in print until she has something new published. (sob) Now that I've found her books, she's going to be one of those authors that I'll be watching for every new book so I can read it as soon as possible! Ms. Crusie writes screwball romantic comedies. There's quite often a touch of mystery to the stories too, but that's almost negligible. The point of the stories is the oddball cast of characters and their interactions with each other. The dialogue is witty and there are usually pop culture references throughout that can be fun to watch for if you're into books, movies, and/or music. They contain some pretty explicit sex and language, so they probably aren't going to appeal to those who are easily offended by those things. But since I'm offended by things like bigotry, cruelty, and willful stupidity, not sex and cussing, that doesn't bother me at all. So if you a) haven't read a Jennifer Crusie novel, and you b) enjoy writers like Janet Evanovich, and movies like "The Philadelphia Story", "A Fish Called Wanda", or "American Dreamer", RUN, don't walk, to your nearest library or book store and check her out! If you are a deeply serious individual who considers "War and Peace" to be a light novel, then a) don't bother, and b) why the heck are you reading THIS blog??

Monday, June 20, 2005

For Elle

Elle asked to see a close-up of one of the faces on the sisters quilt, so here are close-up photos of both. HA! I also posted a shot of what seems to be everyone's favorite shoe, the pink wedgie ankle strap. (That shoe was inspired by a pair Joshilyn bought for herself as a Virtue Reward.) The Pink Wedgie Ankle Strap Sandy DebR You know, I have to ramble for a minute here. People who know me face to face tell me this portrait really looks like me, and I suppose it does. But when I see it, I see hints of some of my relatives in there...hints that I don't normally notice when I'm just looking in the mirror and seeing the same old me. Somehow that fascinates me. I look at this portrait and can see my Grandma Keeton in my cheekbones and the set of my eyes. There's something about my face in this portrait that reminds me of my Great-Aunt Maxine too, but I haven't been able to quite put my finger on what it is. And that's interesting to me, because I've never thought I looked like her. Aunt Maxine was a self-trained artist. She contracted polio when she was nine and she lived through it, but was paralyzed from the waist down and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She never had formal art training, but she taught herself to paint and I loved to watch her when I was a child. I was pretty much drawing on every available surface from the time I could clutch a crayon in my chubby little fist (including, unfortunately, the time I drew purple cats all over my mom's ironing board cover and she didn't notice them until she'd already started to iron one of Dad's work shirts....oops). But it fascinated me to see a grown-up artist at work. She's also the person who gave me my very first sewing machine. So I feel like she had a big influence on me doing what I do today. I find myself pleased to see a hint of her staring back at me from my own image. I'll be curious to see what Sandy thinks, since I know she reads this blog (Hi Sandy!) but it'll be a few more days because she's currently lolling around on a beach somewhere. (mildly envious sigh) It will be interesting to hear what she thinks of her own portrait too! She knew I was doing this, but hasn't seen the faces yet. She really liked the pink wedgie shoe though. :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Of Fancy Coffee and Seussian Houses

Thank you to those who commented on the sisters quilt, either here or via email. I've answered those I could privately and to the ones who have comment replies blocked, I'll just say thanks here. It's always encouraging to hear a little feedback. My day trip to Cincinnati yesterday was a lot of fun. The older I get, the more traveling takes out of me, so I'm feeling a little draggy today, but it was well worth it. I had a great time visiting with Sally Anne, Jim, Ron, and Becky. The promised trip to The Coffee Emporium was lovely and I was every bit as UNvirtuous as I said I would be. I had a medium Glacial coffee (I think that's what they called it...a blended iced coffee drink) called an Ohio River Mudslide, which involved adding chocolate and caramel to the coffee and milk and ice. Yum! The girl who made it was very artistic with the chocolate squiggles too. It was PRETTY. AND...I ate a lemon cupcake. That cupcake and drink probably made up about a week's worth of calories, but it was worth it. One of my favorite things about the trip to the coffee shop was that I got to see what Sally Anne calls The Mushroom House, which is across the street from the shop. And for once I actually had my camera at the right moment. Yay me! Take a look --- The Mushroom House After we got our coffee, Sally Anne drove around the block so we could get a closer look and I, acting every bit the tacky tourist, hung out the windows to snap some close-ups. Here's the FABULOUS window toward the back of the house. This shows the staircase and front door. Here is the amazing little sunroom that juts from the top of the "mushroom" in the front of the house. Isn't it wonderful?? Did you notice how the pair of window in the "mushroom" part looks like a pair of sunglasses? I love all the stained glass and I love the weirdly organic way the shingle siding has been applied. I love the strange angles and the mosaic covering on the chimney. I would SO love to see inside this place!! Just think how much more interesting the world would look if more houses had this sort of unique personality. The world would look kind of like a Dr. Seuss book. And in DebWorld, that is a Good Thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

"Sisters - Shared Soles"

I didn't think I'd get it finished before I left for Cincinnati, but I did. Yay me! And Yay Dara for giving me the idea for the name. (I modified her idea ever so slightly because I liked having all "s" words.) So here 'tis, my portrait of my sister and me, daydreaming about summer shoes. You can click on it if you want to see a larger version. "Sisters - Shared Soles"

Friday, June 17, 2005

A Rant and A Quilt Progress Report

This was one of the headlines in the Yahoo news section today: "Runaway Bride Says 'I Do' to TV". According to the story, the Georgia woman who faked her own kidnapping a couple of months ago is now getting paid $500,000.00 to tell her story. So, ok then, if I could use a cool half-mill in the bank (and who couldn't?!) all I have to do is lie to everyone who knows and loves me, cause those same loved ones unimaginable fear and grief as they believe I'm hurt or possibly killed, and cause law enforcement agencies all over the country to waste untold dollars and man hours solving a "crime" I made up because I didn't have the courage to admit to having second thoughts about a decision I'd made. Then I just say "never mind", come home, pay a few fines, do some community service, and collect the big bucks for telling my story to the media. Have I got that about right? AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! Does anyone but me think there's something seriously wrong with this picture??? Duluth, Georgia, Mayor Shirley Lasseter summed up my feelings perfectly when she said, "I think every cent she makes needs to be given to organizations for missing children and adults so it can be used to help someone in a situation which she created falsely." Quilt Progress On to quilty news.... I finished about half the quilting on the newest piece yesterday. Thanks for all the comments, y'all. And, Dara, I LOVE your title idea!! I think you've nailed it! Ta, ever so! (smooch, smooch) More quilting is in the plan for today, then I have some embellishment to do and some more shading, which I'm doing with colored pencils, a la Gabrielle. I won't be able to work on it tomorrow, as that's my Field Trip Day to visit Sally Anne in Cincinnati, but still, I hope to have finished pics to post by early next week. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Ok, the plan isn't quite together yet, but I like what's happening so far. Remember the Plan B pic I posted yesterday? Well here's another progress pic showing what I accomplished today. Keep in mind that I have a lot more shading to do, so when I'm done the hair should look softer and the faces should look less blobby and more defined. We'll have eyelashes!! The figures are loosely (very loosely!) based on a photo of my sister, Sandy, and me taken this past March in Key West. She has as much of a shoe jones as I do, if not more, and we've been known to each buy the same thing --- shoes, shirts, books, greeting cards --- independently of each other, only to find out about it the next time we get together. So although I don't have a title yet (gee, THAT'S real surprising....NOT!), I'm doing a sort of "sisters shared shoe daydream" kind of idea.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rock Suckage, New Shoes, Progress, and Virtue

Rock Suckage In commenting on my post from this morning, Debra asked, "Now I understand the suckage part... but what is that rock part???" After I stopped giggling, I thought maybe I'd better explain because it probably IS confusing for those who don't hear me talk all the time. It's a DebRism. If I love something, it "makes angels sing"; if I hate something it "sucks rocks". So "the distinct sound of rock suckage" is an off-shoot of the thing I say when I don't like something. Make sense? Sort of??? LOL! And if anyone wants to know why bad things "suck rocks", I have absolutely no idea. They just do. Bad Things are like that. And New Shoes Hey speaking of things that DON'T suck rocks, take a look at what JUMPED into my cart today and came home with me. Aren't they pretty? Even Johnny said yes! And they look super-fantastic with the top I'm wearing today. And they're comfy. And they were so inexpensive that if I only wear them one summer I've still gotten my money's worth, so I refuse to feel guilty, even if I AM trying to be virtuous regarding money as well as food. Actually I HAVE been pretty virtuous about shoes. These are the first pair I've bought in weeks and weeks. I should've waited a while to take the photo though. You can still see the strap marks from the also-super-fantastic sandals I was wearing earlier. Oops. And the Quilt In Progress Since a couple of you have asked, here is an in-progress shot of what I'm currently working on, but don't blame me if it makes no sense whatsoever! I still plan to add some stronger lines and shading to the shoes to give them more contrast and this is only one part of the whole thing, so you'll just have to wait and see what else is happening in what is obviously the next quilt in my Shoe Quilt series. If you want to see a larger pic in a new window, click on this one: And a Virtue Report Back to the whole virtue thing, I haven't posted a virtue update in a day or two because there's really nothing to report. I'm still trying to follow improved habits. (And doing pretty well at it too!) However I'm still seeing no visible change, either in the number on the scale OR in how my clothes fit. But I'm sticking with it and telling myself how much good it's doing me on the inside. It IS, right?? I'm planning a cheating event on Saturday, though. I'm driving up to see my friend Sally Anne and she lives right down the street from what she assures me is the best coffee shop in Cincinnati. We're going to go there and I plan to buy something completely decadent and enjoy every minute of it. HA!

Monday, June 13, 2005

On to Plan B

Remember a couple of days ago, when I said I had a quilt idea but wasn't quite sure how to get it to look in fabric like it looked in my head? Well, I had an idea. It seemed like a pretty interesting idea, so I spent several hours in the studio yesterday afternoon working on it. Then I pinned the result to the design wall. Then I blew chunks. Ok, ok, not really, and besides that was a disgusting thing to say. But let's just say there was a distinct sound of rock suckage in the room when I saw what I'd accomplished. In all fairness to Plan A, the result wasn't entirely horrendous in and of itself, it just wasn't right for what I'm working on. But I actually may throw it into the scrap bin and see if it works for some other idea later. But that still left me topless. QUILT topless! Sheesh! So I spent most of today working on Plan B. I can't say the result is exactly what I was picturing in my mind, but I think it works. Only about half a top done at this point, but I like what I see so far. I hope to have enough done to justify pics by the end of the week. Check in soon, same BatTime, same BatChannel.

PS - It doesn't surprise me that the spell checker doesn't like the word "suckage" since I sort of made that up, but what the hell is the problem with "topless"? IMHO, the writer of the spell checker needs to get out more.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Perfect Meme

Joshilyn, over at Faster than Kudzu, inspired by Pam McNew, proposed the question, what would you write if you could write your dream bio --- uncensored and totally untrue? I'm not an author, but we visual artist types have to write those blasted artist bios sometimes too, so here is my Bio ala Joshilyn:
Deb Richardson was born, an undisclosed number of years ago, in a cross-fire hurricane. It is rumored that she howled at her ma in the driving rain. A few years later, after receiving advanced degrees in Astrophysics and Cookie Bakeology, Ms. Richardson embarked on a whirlwind world-wide tour with Heart, as the lead singer and adopted third Wilson Sister. The tour ended in Sweden so that Ms. Richardson could accept the Nobel Peace Prize for her invention of a television that automatically mutes annoying commercials, televangelists, and Jerry Springer. After leaving Sweden, Ms. Richardson spent 5 years exploring the galaxy aboard the Starship Enterprise. Having recently left a heartbroken Captain Picard crying into his tea (Earl Grey, hot), she has returned to earth to make a splash in the competitive world of art quilting. Here is what a recent exhibit juror, who asked to remain anonymous, had to say about viewing Ms. Richardson's work: "I laughed, I cried, I did cartwheels. It was a mind-blowing, life-altering experience. Or was that life-blowing and mind-altering? Um...never mind...." Ms. Richardson's shoe collection is said to currently number 3,497 pairs.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Quick Update on Quilts and 20 DoV

Today was One of Those Days in the studio. I don't know if this happens to anyone else or not, but now and then I'll have an idea in my head for a quilt and the vision of how I want it to look when it's finished will be very clear to me. The vision of how I get from the pile of fabrics on my cutting table to that finished quilt? Not so much. That's where I spent most of today. I know what I want to do...sort of. But the actual structural part of it --- how to construct this thing so it looks more-or-less like it does in my head and doesn't drive me completely insane in the process? That's trickier on this one. If I construct it the very simplest way I can think of, I'm going to have places where I have about 6 layers of fusible web to quilt through in the end. NOT fun! So I'm trying to think of alternatives. I have a working sketch. I have a pile of fabrics. I have some stuff drawn out on fusible web. I guess the next couple of days are just going to have to be about cutting and playing and figuring it out as I go along. Stay tuned.... Virtue Update Reading Dara's blog reminded me it's been a couple of days since I posted an update on the 20 Days of Virtue. Let's see, what day was today? 12 maybe? I've lost track! Anyway, whatever day it is, here's what's up. As far as sticking with my plan, I feel like I'm doing quite well, overall. I'm walking every day. Well, ok, I missed one day this past week, but that was the day I ran errands all over Lexington, so it wasn't like I sat around on my butt all day, and it's the only day I haven't gone walking in weeks. I'm still drinking many big, tall glasses of water a day. I'm being reasonably "good" about my eating plan. Not like I haven't slipped in a treat here and there, but really...ranking it the way Dara did, I'd call my success rate for sticking with my eating plan about 90%. I have not had ONE BITE of chocolate in nearly 2 weeks! Surely that has to count for something?? So I'm a wee bit frustrated to report that as best I can tell on my piece o' crap bathroom scales, I haven't lost a single pound in the past 12 days. I'm not giving up. I'm sticking with it. But really...I don't think one itty-bitty little pound as a "you go girl!" from the Virtue Gods is asking too much, is it? Sigh. Ok, enough whining. I'm going to go drink some more water and obsess about quilt structure.

Friday, June 10, 2005

From One Mermaid to Another

Those of you who have read RSR for a while know that I have kind of a Thing for mermaids, despite the fact that they have a fish tail instead of feet and cannot, therefore, wear SHOES, poor things. This morning I fired up the 'puter to find a really nice email from artist Kim Leaman, which included a link to her website, The Mermaid Queen. I spent some time looking around there this morning and while I hate websites with frames (sorry, Kim!) the frames were worth it to get to see her gorgeous sea glass jewelry (listed under Mermaid Jewelry) and some cards from a mermaid Tarot deck she has created (which I like MUCH better than the "Mermaid Tarot" commercially available from Llewellyn). If you get a chance, take a look! I bet you'll be glad you did. Back to work for me now. I'm in the designing stages of my next quilt, which is NOT the quilt I thought it was going to be, but this idea has grabbed me and won't let go. So the original idea is just going to have to back off and wait its turn.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Lovin' Middle Age

I'm still thinking about yesterday's topic --- about things I'd do differently if I could go back in time and live my life over. I'll probably always be curious about what things would be like if I'd made some different choices. The theories of quantum mechanics (a topic that fascinates me, even though I understand only the smallest fraction of it!) say that there may be other realities where I DID make other choices and things changed for better, or worse, or some of each. That sort of speculation is why I love books like "Replay" or "From the Corner of His Eye" and movies like "The Butterfly Effect" or "Groundhog Day". But in this reality, my choices have made me who I am and I like myself, so even the choices I think were less than ideal can't have been all bad, yes? One of the things that I love about being in my 40s is how much more ME I feel compared to when I was in my 20s, or even my 30s (although the 30s were better than the 20s). I really like who I am now. In my 20s I'm not sure I understood who I was well enough to really like myself all that much. It makes me wonder, what will my 50s be like? My 60s? Beyond? It'll be interesting to find out. Assuming I don't get hit by a bus tomorrow or something, I plan to be a truly FABULOUS crone. Ok, yeah, I don't love that my boobs and my jawline have both headed south. (Gravity can be a real bitch.) I don't love needing bifocals, or reading glasses in combination with my contacts, to read in dim light. I don't love it that my joints feel more stiff and achy in bad weather than they used to. But that's all surface stuff...not that important, really, just annoying. The fact is that although society's standards would have me believe I was more attractive 20 years ago, when I was younger, and thinner, and firmer, I FEEL more attractive now. I feel strong and sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I carry myself taller. I move with more confidence. I smile more. And I think attitude counts. If I can stroke my own vanity for a minute (like anyone could stop me...HA!), I had a frivolously fun experience yesterday when I was out shopping that I just have to share. I went to the liquor store (for something to cook with, not something to drink...I haven't had an adult beverage to drink since staring the Virtue Kick...sigh) and this was the conversation at the checkout counter: Youngish Male Employee: You're 21, right? Me (laughing my ass off): Of course! Well, actually, no. I WISH I was still 21! But, yes, I am OVER 21! (actually I don't wish I was still 21, but that's what came out of my mouth) YME: Well, you can't be much past that. What are you....28? Me (still giggling): I'm 43. YME (looking shocked): NO WAY! You're 43? No WAY! Me: Born 1962...that makes me 43. YME: Your husband is a very lucky man. You tell him I said that. Me (grinning maniacally, but NOT jumping over the counter to give him a sloppy kiss): Ok, I will. And I did. He thought it was hilarious too. And whether the YME was serious or just being a big flirt, it kinda made my day, since even if he didn't really think I looked 28, he must have thought I looked flirtable. I see that as an affirmation that confidence and attitude are more important than perky boobs and a tight jawline. That's something I'd tell my 20-something self if I could talk to her too.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

What Would You Do Differently?

That's the question Gabrielle asks on her blog. While I normally a) try hard not to regret things and b) prefer to think about FUN things, like "what kind of coffee would I be", I decided to give this question some thought. Also, like Gabrielle said about her list, some of the items on my list will be shallow because for one thing I am shallow in some ways (what can I's true!), but more importantly because the biggest things I would do differently are too personal to be shared in this public a forum. But here are a few I'll share:
  1. I'm going to start in a similar place as Gabrielle did: I would learn better eating and exercise habits at a young age so that I never gained so much weight in the first place and wouldn't have such a struggle to keep it in bounds now. I wish I didn't crave sugar so much. I wish I thought exercise --- any exercise! --- was fun and something I looked forward to rather than being a chore I need to accomplish. In all the years I've tried, I've never yet managed that shift in my thinking.
  2. I would start using both sunscreen and moisturizer earlier and more often.
  3. I would have tried harder in school, particularly in college. School was always easy for me, and I got good grades without trying very hard, so I didn't...try very hard, that is. I skated by on the minimum I needed to get A's and B's and didn't push myself to do more. If I were doing it again now, I would make the profs give me every single bit of info on the topic that was in their heads and then dig for more. I would LEARN the topics instead of being such a lazy smartass and just bullshitting my way to the score on the test and the GPA on my record.
  4. I would have said yes when D.S. asked me out in high school. It's not like I think he would have been the love of my life or anything, but I bet it would have been fun. In fact, I wish that in my teens and early 20's I hadn't been so hung up in general on who was and wasn't "my type" and would've given more people a chance, both in terms of dating and friendships. I look back on those years and I feel like I was very guarded and closed off emotionally.
  5. Related to that, I just wish I would have taken more risks in non-stupid areas when I was younger. When I look back on my 20's I remember taking a lot of stupid, "nothing bad could ever happen to me" types of chances. (I must've had a team of guardian angels putting in overtime.) But in a lot of areas, I just see missed opportunities from those years --- things I didn't try because I was afraid of failure, or success, or not being liked, or not being right, or perfect. I want to go back and see my younger self and slap myself in the face and say "Snap out of it! Stop being such a wuss! The world won't end if you don't do everything perfectly!" It took me way too many years to learn that.
  6. I would've bought the electric blue leather jacket. :-)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tuesday Trek Update

Slide mission accomplished. I haven't projected them, but I've looked them over in my little light-up viewer thingy and they look pretty good. Not angel-choir-inspiring perhaps, but I also didn't see any rock suckage in the immediate vicinity, so I think they'll do. No shoes, fabric, or beads purchased. No innocent bystanders attacked in pursuit of a sugar high. Whew! I had a really light and delish lunch, which allowed me to feel not-too-terribly unvirtuous when I had a small frappuccino light, (no whipped cream) later in the afternoon. (My guilty pleasure, remember?) I also bought two books from the bargain table. Hard to resist those hardcover books at less-than-paperback prices! One is by an author I've never read but have been wanting to try (Karin Slaughter) and the other is by Mary Higgins Clark, who I used to just LOVE back in her first-published days, then her style seemed to change and I started to not like her books so very much, so I haven't read one in quite a while. But I decided to try again. If I don't like it, I can always either list it on or donate it to the library. And I bought the extended-cut DVD of "Stripes", because after all these years that movie still makes me laugh. Not a bad day at all.

Tuesday Trek

This past weekend I took some photos of a couple of my quilts (including the sun quilt) so today I'm off to Lexington, about an hour away, to have the slides developed, because I've never been happy with the results from the place that does them closer to home. My goals for today: 1. To get some fabulicious killer slides that will make angels sing and jurors weep with joy. Or at least some that don't suck rocks. 2. To NOT: a) buy shoes b) buy fabric c) buy beads d) blow my Virtue by making a total FoodSlut of myself at a restaurant, tossing people aside in a hormonal frenzy and burying my face in whatever hot, sexy dessert catches my eye So, how to kill the time it takes to accomplish Goal the First without blowing Goal the Second? Good question. I don't have an actual answer yet. But I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 06, 2005

In Which I Blather About An Assortment Of Things I Find Interesting

This past weekend was the yearly "400 Mile Yard Sale" in this area, when people hold yard sales all up and down Hwy 68, which is a few miles from here. J and I didn't go to many of them, but we did stop at a couple. Plus we stopped at Blue Licks State Park where there was a small craft fair/flea market area set up. Despite trying to be virtuous regarding money, I couldn't resist this hand-made glass pendant: I have no idea whatsoever what I'll do with it, but isn't it pretty? And it was pretty darn inexpensive for hand-made art glass. I don't know how well it shows up in the photo, but the fish-y shapes are silver. Even if all I do is hang it in a window, it makes me smile. It's about an inch and a half across. My artistic output for the weekend was to finish a couple of small collage pieces I'd committed to making for some art-swaps. One is for a swap called "Anonymous Secrets" and is inspired by the PostSecret website. I'm not going to post a photo of that one here because, you know....not so SECRET if I post a photo on my blog, yes? The other one is called "Famous Quotes". Here is the piece I did for that swap. You should be able to read the text, but if not (it is a bit reduced in size so it'll fit better on the page), it says "In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems." --- "Book of Counted Sorrows", Dean Koontz. It's all digital collage, as I'm TRYING, with somewhat mixed success, to learn to become marginally competent at Photoshop!! Speaking of Mr. Koontz, I haven't done any book reviews lately and I don't think I'm up for doing any full reviews now, but I wanted to mention the three books I've finished in the past week or two and tell you briefly what I thought of them. "Monday Mourning" by Kathy Reichs --- I didn't love it, but I liked it. I've been thinking back over her books in this series and find that, for some reason, I don't like the ones that take place in Montreal as much as the other ones. And that's odd, because I'd like to visit Montreal sometime. But it just seems to me that her stories set there move at a slower pace than the ones set in North Carolina. Maybe it's just me. So, yeah...not my favorite of hers, but not bad. I'd give it a B-. "Velocity" by Dean Koontz --- I adore Dean Koontz's books. I think his worst books are still better than many writers' best books. That being said, this one also wasn't one of my favorites. It's pretty dark and the ones I like best are where he has darkness mixed with humor. I love the contrast of the two. I'd give this one a B- too. "Dead as a Doornail" by Charlaine Harris --- the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series. Fun! I liked this one a lot. I'm a teensy bit tired of the thing where it seems like every hunky supernatural male Sookie runs across is lusting after her, and I would've liked to have seen a bit more of Eric, but read. This one gets an A- from me. Virtue Report I'll get the confession out of the way right up front. I ate a small piece of cake for dessert at lunch yesterday. It was cinnamon coffee cake and it was delish. I was ragingly PMS-y and I'm sorry, but no one, no matter how virtuous, should have to go through perimenopausal PMS without sugar. So I ate cake at a restaurant so I could have just one small piece and walk away and there would be no more of it at home to call my name. I walked. I drank lots of water. I ate healthy the rest of the day. Other than the Incident Of the Fabulously Sugar-Flour-and-Fat-Laden Nearly-Orgasmic Cinnamon Cake I was virtuous as all get out. Now if I can just get through today. Today I am still ragingly hormonal and I would gladly, CHEERFULLY, hit someone over the head with a stick to get another piece of cake. Bugger.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dreaming Art

I must admit that I don't always GET how my mind works, but sometimes my quirky brain can be pretty darn fun. Like last night --- I had such fun dreams! I can just hear some of you out there groaning "Oh no...nooooo, my gawd, the woman is telling us her dreams now. She must be desperate for subject matter." Well no, Smartypants, as a matter of fact I'm NOT. Not today anyway. I just think this dream was really interesting and even kind of relevant! the dream I was taking a walk on my usual path. Only, in the way of dreams, the path wasn't exactly like it is in real life. Parts were the same, but it was greatly expanded....longer, more twists and turns, and included some features that aren't really there like a truly SPECTACULAR small lake with a waterfall on one end. I wish that WAS really on my property. It was gorgeous. However this was no ordinary walk. The whole route had been turned into a juried and judged art exhibit. There was art hanging from the trees. There was art set up in clearings. There were installations where some of the trees and rocks became part of the artwork itself. One of my favorites was a piece that had somehow been arranged to hang directly inside the small waterfall, with the water washing over it and changing it. I somehow had a copy of the judge's worksheets in my hand, so that I was able to read their notes as I looked at each piece. (The judges were one of my former art profs and the Korean man from "Lost". Um, yeah.) Their comments were often snarky, and even occasionally cruel, but also pretty dead-on accurate. It had moments of comedy, like when I was looking at a "sculpture" that was simply a half-grown cedar tree. No embellishments, no creative pruning a la bonsai.....just a tree, as it was growing in nature. Which, ok, yeah...could be perceived as a work of art by the Divine, but that wasn't the name on the artists' list! I kept looking around me and protesting "'s a tree...just a tree, not a sculpture...a TREE, people..." But no one would listen. People around me kept doing pretentious ArtSpeak about it instead. It felt very Emperor'sNewClothes-ish. I don't remember a specific ending to the dream. It just sort of faded away into other dreams, as they tend to do. I DO remember that the next one involved me riding a many-stories-tall wrecking ball and laughing gleefully as it smashed into whatever it was it was smashing, while not injuring me at all. But I digress. I woke up feeling very inspired from the art-walk dream, and keep thinking about some ideas I took away from it --- ideas about finding art and/or inspiration in unexpected places and incorporating unexpected things. Maybe I can work some of those ideas into my real-life work in the coming months. Hhmmm.... Virtue Report Those of you who have been following my Virtue progress the last couple of days will understand perfectly why I thought today's "Cathy" comic strip was hilarious. Yesterday went fine. I don't think I was quite so glowingly virtuous as the day before, but I stuck with the plan. I still haven't had the nerve to try on the too-tight pants again though. Joshilyn and Mir have both talked about their pants feeling looser already, but I really, really don't think I'm there yet! But that's ok. It's a lifestyle change, not a race.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Creative Frenzy and Glowy Virtue

Inspired by the "Creative Self-Portrait Challenge" issued by Quilting Arts Magazine, here is what I did yesterday: Click here if you want to see a close-up of the top half, with the feet, and here if you want to see a close-up of the bottom half, with the eyes. (Will open in a new window.) The shoes are inspired by a real pair I saw and coveted, but didn't buy because I'm currently trying to be virtuous regarding money as well as food. (yawn) My little self-portrait has no title yet. Aside from the rare lightbulb moment when the Perfect Title hits me between the eyes, I really hate coming up with names for my quilts! I've been threatening to buy one of those baby names books and just start giving them all human names, chosen at random from the book. That would confuse the hell outta some people, yes? :-) Virtue Update Yesterday went well! No major backsliding in the food area --- unlike the day before when I was tired and grumpy and didn't feel like cooking and ended up ordering Chinese food for supper. I was craving Shrimp Egg Foo Young and I gave in to it. And it was SO good. It has to take some effort to take shrimp, veggies, and eggs and turn it into something bad for you, but I'm pretty sure they managed it. I didn't have a total blow-out though. I only ate a tiny part of the rice and the sauce and only about one and two-thirds of the Foos. I fed the rest to my dogs, unless Dr. Greg-the-vet is reading this, in which case I'm only kidding and I swear they only ate the expensive vet-approved kibble for supper. I didn't order an egg roll or shrimp toast. I didn't eat any of the crunchy noodles. I got some hot-n-sour soup, but saved it for lunch the next day. So...I consider it a not-very-virtuous meal, but not entirely terrible. And the next day...yesterday....I was so virtuous I probably glowed with the light of all that virtue and goodness. It probably would have made a lot of people want to slap me, but only J was around to see it and he's used to me by now. I think. We'll see what today brings. I'm not sure I can be so VERY virtuous two days in a row, but I'm trying.

Friday, June 03, 2005

20 Days of Questionable Virtue

I mentioned in the Sunny Names post that I was on Day 4 of 20 Days of Virtue, so I figured I'd better explain. It's all Joshilyn's fault. She issued a 20 Days of Virtue challenge on her blog and I, always the sucker, joined in. First you need a little background here. Yes, really, you do, so hang in there. About three years ago, I'd started walking every day and trying to be more careful about my eating habits in order to try to lose weight. Only it didn't work. For a year I did this and I lost one...count ' (wasn't that quick?) lousy stinkin' pound. So I talked to my doctor, who did some blood tests and informed me that my blood sugar was all over the charts....sometimes high, sometimes didn't know where the heck it was supposed to be. So she diagnosed insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic condition...sigh) and put me on some meds and told me to watch my carbs. She didn't specify what I should watch them do. Heh. I got home and did some research of my own and discovered the world of the Glycemic Index. It hasn't gotten as much press in the US as it has in some other countries, like Australia and New Zealand, but basically the GI ranks foods (the reputed-to-be-evil carbs in particular) according to how high and fast they cause your blood sugar to spike and how long it stays that way. The goal, naturally, is to eat mostly foods with low-to-moderate GI numbers and save the high-GI stuff for an occasional special treat. This made more sense to me than the "carbs are the root of all evil"-type plans, like Atkins, because with the GI plan, you're eating from all the food groups, but you are -- hopefully! -- making healthier choices from each group. So, I started doing that and continued to walk and drink a lot of water (two things I'd already been doing). And between the meds and the lower-GI eating style I gradually, over the course of about a year, lost 40 pounds. Yay me! But then I started getting a little lazy about some of my food choices and not always going for healthy if not-so-healthy was faster and easier, which...let's face nearly always is. I didn't gain weight, but I stopped losing. But really, I was fine with that. I'm not thin by today's society's standards (which I find a bit ridiculous anyway!) but I felt good and was pretty happy with how I looked. Then, earlier this year, in late February/early March I went on a cruise. Those of you who have read RSR for a while will remember the cruise thing. I had a blast. I told fun stories about it, with photos, including an entire post of Vacation Shoe Self-Portraits. I also drank copious amounts of fruity booze drinks, when I normally seldom drink alcohol at all, and I ate dessert twice a day, every day. Yep. TWICE A DAY....EVERY DAY. Guess what. Surprise!....I gained weight. Ok, yeah, I walked a lot in the ports and I avoided the elevators and walked up and down flight after flight after FLIGHT of stairs every day on this big ship, but evidently when you have my metabolism, that isn't enough to counteract the effect of two desserts a day and many, many fruity booze drinks. Go figure. I must mention here that I consider this totally unfair. It's not like it's the same for everyone. I could deal with it better if EVERYONE gained weight when they did that sort of thing. But my darling spouse is 6' 4" tall and weighs less than I do and has the metabolism of a hummingbird. He could eat dessert three times a day, and take the elevator everywhere, and he'd still never gain weight. It's a good thing I love him because thinking about it makes me kind of want to jab him in the stomach with a fondue fork, just a teensy little bit. So I mostly try not to think about it. "Not thinking about it" is something I happen to be very good at. My middle name is Denial. Deborah AnDenialn Richardson...that's me. So I managed to put the fact that the scale made a post-cruise jump of about 8 pounds out of my mind easier than you might think. Eight pounds? That's nuttin', I thought. No one's gonna notice 8 measly little pounds. It's not like it's TEN pounds. And meanwhile my previously-improved eating habits continued their downward spiral. And the scale crept upward another couple of pounds. Which I ignored. Lalalalalaaaaaa....... Then last weekend I went to put on a pair of pants that fit perfectly immediately pre-cruise and oh my. I could still get into them but it was SO Not Pretty. They were obscenely snug in the glutious butticus region. I felt a twinge of awareness at that point, like maybe...just maybe I should be taking some action. So I did. I changed to bigger pants and shoved the offensive ones into the back of the closet and ate a bite-sized Reese's Cup. Ahem. Then....THEN....a day or two later I made my daily visit to Joshilyn's blog and what do I find? I find Joss talking about coming back from a book signing tour to find her pants feeling a wee bit snug in the assets. Furthermore, I find her not ignoring this fact, but actually planning to Take Action, in the form of making a concentrated effort to improve her habits in the next three weeks...a plan she refers to as "20 Days of Virtue". And then....Then....THEN!...I see that it's not enough for her to get healthier and thinner her very own self. Noooooo...she has to challenge the rest of us to join her. Talk about a Denial BuzzKill! What a bitch. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. Sigh. But really, I'm not stupid. As much as I love food (gawd, do I love food!!!) I also really, really loved feeling healthier and fitting into smaller new clothes. And I don't want to lose that. You don't have to hit me over the head with a brick more than a half-dozen times or so before I say "Hey, is that hail? Should I go inside now?" Or something like that. So I signed the pledge. I'm still walking every day. I'm still drinking lots of water. I never stopped either of those things. But starting 3 1/2 days ago, I also started making a concentrated effort to re-think my food choices and get away from the white bread, white 'taters, and white refined sugar that had made their way so prominently back into my world. It's all about COLOR in the food of DebWorld, just like in my quilts! I'm filling my plate with Green and Red and Orange and Yellow stuff! I'm pretending I don't know there's a bag of bite-sized Reese's Cups in the pantry. (Denial, remember?) I can't say I won't slip and it's certainly way too soon to try on the too-tight pants again yet, but so far I'm hanging in there and I'm feeling pretty virtuous. I have to admit it isn't a bad feeling.

Sunny Names

Thanks for the nice comments that have been coming in about the sun quilt, both here and by email. To answer Logan's question about size, it's 54" x 54". That range --- from around 40" to around 60" on a side --- tends to be one of my favorite working sizes. Now, about the name suggestions...I'm really liking some of the things y'all have come up with, but I haven't made a final decision yet. QuiltMav KC suggested "Solar Flare" and I like that. QuiltMav Nina mentioned the song "Heat Wave". I like that too. (And Teri's suggestion of "Hot Fun" reminds me of it.) Dara's suggestion of "Hot Salsa with Guacamole and Blue Corn Chips" totally cracks me up and would actually fit right in with one of my recent quilts being named "Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese". But it's awfully long to write and it also makes me hungry. I'm currently on Day 4 of 20 Days of Virtue (yeah, I know...huh?....but it's a long story, so I'll tell ya about it in a separate post) and I'm alternately obsessing about food and trying not to think of food, so I'm thinking maybe now would be a good time to steer clear of food-related quilt titles. Sigh. Gerrie's suggestion of "Sol de Luminoso" is really pretty, but since I don't speak Spanish, I'd be constantly thinking "now what the heck is that name again??"...probably not such a good thing for the maker of the piece, yes? Logan's suggestion of "Didn't your mom tell you not to stare directly into the sun?" has sparked an idea in my head, but I'm not sure anyone would "get it" except me. Well, or those of you who are about to read about it here, of course. Do y'all remember that song, "Blinded By The Light" by ELO? One line says "Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But, Mama, that's where the fun is." That makes me think of the possible quilt titles "Blinded By The Light" or "Eyes of the Sun" or "Where the Fun Is". I kinda like all of those. Decisions, decisions!! Oh well, I'll decide SOMETHING before I have to write it on any show entry blanks. Oh, and Caitlin...I'm kinda an orange gal too. :-)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Suns Unveiled

I put the last stitch into the sleeve of the sun quilt last night. Yeah, baby! It seems almost anti-climactic to post pics because the finished photo doesn't really look much different than the photo of the unquilted top. But because I said I would post some when I finished, here are the pictures. (I will have to wait for some better weather to take it out on the deck and set up a backdrop and take it's "official" portrait for slides and so on....this is just pinned up in the stoooodio, so it isn't hanging as straight as it will be in "Real Life".) If you want to see larger, slightly higher-res photos, click on the ones below. Here it is....all done! I think I need to come up with a better name than its working title of "Bright Suns", but I have no idea what that might be. The suns are "scribble-quilted" in orange thread. The background is quilted in roughly parallel horizontal lines, starting with lime green thread at the top of the quilt and then moving to blue thread in the center..... ....then finally to purple thread toward the bottom. I like it. It isn't perfect. Nothing ever is. But I like it. It turned out very much like I was picturing in my head. Now I'm going to get offa here and back to work. I have three different quilt ideas fighting over which one gets to pop out of my brain first, not to mention I committed to do a couple of paper collages soon. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Birthday Thang

Ok, ok...since all the cool kids are doing it, I had to do it too. Plus you all know I can't resist this sort of's like internet junk food and, unfortunately, I adore junk food. :-)
Your Birthdate: March 15
With a birthday on the 15th of any month, you are apt to have really strong attachments to home, family and domestic scene. The 1 and 5 equaling 6, provide the sort of energy that makes you an excellent parent or teacher. You are very responsible and capable. This is an attractive and an attracting influence. You like harmony in your environment and strive to maintain it. You tend to learn by observation rather than study and research. You may like to cook, but you probably don't follow recipes. This number shows artistic leanings and would certainly support any talents that may be otherwise in your makeup. You're a very generous and giving person, but perhaps a bit stubborn in ways.
How'd they do? Well... I'd say yes, I'm attached to home and family. I've never been a parent, so no idea about that, but I've been told I'm a good teacher. Responsible and capable? Yeah, I'll give 'em that one. An attractive and attracting influence? What does that even mean? I do like harmony in my environment. So don't go causing disharmony in my environment, Dude, or I may have to kick your ass. (snort!) I learn best by DOING, more so than either observation or study and research. I don't love to cook, but I like it ok and they are SO right about me never following a recipe exactly. I'm nearly constitutionally incapable of cooking something without changing the recipe. Artistic leanings? Duh. Generous and giving? Not as much as I'd like, but I hope I'm not entirely selfish. A bit stubborn? that like saying the ocean is a bit wet? I'm just saying. So, ok, overall I'll give them about a 75% accuracy rate. Not too bad for a one-size-fits-all bit of internet junk food. :-)