Thursday, March 28, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 3/28/13

Are you on spring break this week? I'm not. (insert *sigh* here...)

I just bought this t-shirt (from here).
Mark is getting this one:
This little guy celebrated a birthday this week. We all walked to the local Baskin and Robbins the other night.
Why is she growing up so quickly?
Mark read about a girl band called the Accordion Babes Revue so we went downtown to check out their concert. They all played multiple instruments, but there were a few times when all five of them were playing accordions.But I couldn't get a good picture of them on the stage.
 Happy mail. When you place an order with Oakshotts, they arrive all the way from England in two days! (And once in a while they offer free shipping.) I love the label on that blue fabric--it says "handmade by master weavers".

Our daughter-in-law's photography skills are amazing. I thought of her when I saw this t-shirt.
I jumped on the Bloglovin' bandwagon in anticipation of Google Reader's demise.

And no... I don't have 256011 followers.

But I do have the button on my sidebar for your convenience. You know, just in case you are totally addicted to weekly randomness...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mid-Century Modern

I have been meaning to write about the fabulous group of women in the Mid-Century Modern Bee for the longest time.

Sometime last year, the idea popped into my head about gathering a group of women of a certain age and forming an online quilting bee. I have participated in several bees, usually composed of a wide variety of ages. I learned a lot and the experience has been for the most part very positive. But I thought it would be fun to form a group where the women were roughly the same age, as well as leaning toward the modern quilting aesthetic. Then the name "Mid-Century Modern" popped into my head. And really, how could I not form a bee when the name so perfectly described the women in it?

It was kind of weird to send out emails and then tiptoe around the fact that one of the main criteria was to be at least, um, mid century in age. I didn't want to offend anyone by thinking they were older than they were. You know how we women are about our ages...

Fortunately, no one was offended. In fact, they were all interested. And I kept thinking of more and more women I would love to have in a group like this. (Maybe we should start Mid-Century Modern 2?)

I spent a weekend with Elizabeth and she designed our logo, while I sat nearby and drank a diet coke offered words of encouragement.
She knew just where to go for mid-century color ideas for the logo. It was fascinating to watch her at work.

We are now in our third month and I hope think everyone is enjoying it so far. First up was Carla and she chose some really fun colors to keep us out of the post-holiday winter doldrums--pink, orange and red. 
 Churn dash blocks make up her quilt, already named Juicy Fruit. Carla said we could go wild with the colors, so I didn't hesitate. Turns out I already had a large stack of pink and orange fabric so the main problem was narrowing down my choices.  I solved that problem by making two blocks.
Each month we are making signature blocks:
I was happy to take the month of February. I loved the block that Amy chose when she was in the Stash Trad Bee, Winged Square, so that was my choice. Look at all these gorgeous blocks on my design wall! I want to make a few more. I just know this is going to be one of my most favorite quilts.

Debbie has the month of March and she went low-volume. I think this is going to be a stunning quilt and I really enjoyed working with these quieter fabrics.

I have met nearly half of the women in the group in person. The others have blogs I follow, some for quite a long time. My biggest hope is that during this year we get to know each other better, share more of our lives and maybe even keep the group going....and going...

The other members of the group include Carla, Susan, Linda, Deborah, Mary, Anne, Rene', Mary and Linda. The amount of talent in this group is just amazing.

Thanks, ladies. I'm glad I had the courage to ask that question we would all rather not answer: " old are you anyway?"

Linking up with Lee this week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Name Game: Millions of Thoughts

I'm so happy to have Andrea here from Millions of Thoughts. I started reading her blog originally when the complete name was Millions of Thoughts Trapped in My Head--I just knew there would be interesting things to read and see, and have never been disappointed!

Hi there!  I'm Andrea and I blog at Millions of Thoughts.   I'm a wife of one, mom of two boys, alpha master of a dog and cat...and a quilter.   I am currently addicted to chocolate, jicama, sushi, and smoked oysters.  I love reading trashy romance novels and I watch my soap opera every day (usually in fast forward, but still...)  
I love to quilt.  When I quilt,  I can only work on one project at a time, and need to completely finish it before I start another quilt.  I love to work in solid colours.  When I design a quilt,  I design the pattern first in black and white, and then add the colour.   I used to be a closet quilter until the world of blogging opened my eyes to the world of others who share the same passion as me. 

How did you choose the name for your blog?
Millions of Thoughts (trapped in my head)  came about years ago in 2006 when we had moved to Alberta from coastal BC.   It was my musings of prairie life vs coastal life.   I had just started a teaching job in a rural school, and my previous experience was at the poorest inner city school in the Vancouver region.  I had so many random thoughts about my new life on the prairies, and wanted to remember it all - so I started  an online journal.  Back then in 2006, blogging was so new and not as public as it is now.      Once I started quilting, my blog became more of a way to document my quilting progress and a way to connect to others in the online quilting community.  I had no idea what an amazing experience it would be for me.   
 Were there other name you considered, and can you share any of them with us? 
I had not considered any other names at the time.  I really just had all of these thoughts that I needed to write out.    I sat at the computer and when blogger asked me for a name - I chose Millions of Thoughts Trapped in My Head -  without realizing how long I would keep up my blogging and how the process would evolve over the years! 

Now that you are recognized by Millions of Thoughts, are you happy with it, or do you wish you could change it to something else?
I am not sure that I am recognized by my blog name - but, it will be hard to transition to a new name.  Millions of Thoughts has been with me for so long!  
 (Andrea's Moda Bake Shop pattern for Urban Shades is here, along with two other patterns)

Now that my blog is more quilting focussed I would like to rename it eventually.  I still love to dabble in quilt design and construction of simple, graphic quilts.    But, I have this gnawing part of me that always needs to learn more.  Recently, I've purchased a longarm quilting machine and am training to become a pro at it so that I can quilt for others.   My new longarm quilting business will be called Urban QuiltWorks, so I'm sure that over time, I will transition my blog slowly to that name.  
Andrea and Millie--I think they are both cute, don't you?
Thanks, Andrea! I hope you will all head over to her blog and say hi.

Coming up:
Fiona from Celtic Thistle
Elizabeth from Occasional Piece-Quilt
Kelli from Seriously, I think it needs stitches

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Modern Madness (aka how a nonquilter chooses a winner...)

As I mentioned, it is that time of year, March Madness. This year, like every year, there have already been major upsets, when lower seeds beat the higher ranked teams, upsetting everyone's pick for the NCAA basketball champion.

As a joke, not even knowing whether he would read my blog or not, I mentioned that it would be funny if our son, Aaron, played along with the 2013 edition of Fat Quarterly's Modern Madness, you know, choosing a winning fabric line. I sweetened the pot by bribing him offering him some baseball cards.

Well, he took the bait, and stopped by on his way home from work the other day with his bracket completely filled out! Of course he doesn't have a clue what any of these fabric lines look like, nor does he really care. He based his choices solely on their names.

Here are his choices for the Final Four (in the interest of education, so he will know what he chose, I have attached pictures):

2twenty Thr3ee by Cosmo Cricket:

Heaven and Helsinki by Patty Young for Michael Miller:

PB&J by Basic Grey for Moda:

and Mixteca by Eleanor Grosch for Cloud 9 Fabrics (and he will probably be happy to know that this choice is certified organic...)
This morning I received this picture (and along with a text saying that this would be a good option for bracket filling payments). Haha. I made sure he knew that receiving said "payment" also implied his permission granting me blog posting rights.

His scientific method of choosing the two fabric lines going into the finals? 2wenty Thr3e (because he was a huge Michael Jordan fan growing up and that was Michael's jersey number) and PB&J (because that was what he had for lunch on the day he filled out the bracket), with 2wenty Thr3e advancing all the way to the winner's slot.

I'll be posting updates on both his progress and mine. But really, just having him fill out the brackets was so unexpected and fun that the rest of it doesn't really matter to me. And buying the baseball cards? Well, like Mastercard always says...priceless.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Really Random Thursday: 3/21/13

Oh, randomness....where does it come from? I keep a little list of possible things to share. After I write my post each week, I think to myself, "What am I going to post next week? Will there be anything random in the next week? Will I just be saying, 'This week I've got about you?'" And yet by the time Thursday rolls around again, lo and behold, there are things to share. So let's get started.

Color me red
Last week I branched out a bit when getting the color of my hair touched up. I had seen Ali post the picture of her hair on Instagram and fell in love with it. I have never had foil in my hair and I wanted the highlights and lowlights. I'm pretty happy with it. But next time I'll go bolder.
A bit of O'Family
Our niece (Becky) has a daughter (Norah) who was born on St. Patrick's Day. She turned 5 this year; they live in the Chicago area. St. Paul, MN, has a St. Patrick's Day parade every year, and now it is an annual event for Norah to participate in the parade. Mark's brother (Leon--the grandfather) decorated a rocking chair throne for her to sit on. Last year it was 80 degrees. This year it was 21 degrees. Brrrrr.
Leon, Norah and Becky
Flea Market Fancy
I want this table. The quest for parts has begun...

Don't take away my spoon
The charms of a blue Yogurtland spoon. Apparently he even sleeps with it...
The face on the right is the one he always gives me when he knows he is posing...
Just because...
This arrived in the mail, an exquisitely handmade journal made by Mark's brother, Leon, the same brother who made the birthday throne. He is SO talented. (I'll be posting process pictures at a later date, along with some vintage Singer sewing machines that he is changing from trash to treasure). I love this journal. And I love him too.
It's that time of year...
...for Peeps in a rainbow of colors.
It's weird...
...when you see your last name, which is not all that common, on an advertisement during a basketball game. Yes, we googled it: complete auto service in Las Vegas since 1948.

It's also this time of year
Yes, folks, it's March Madness. I don't now what things are like at your house, but in our house, when Aaron was still around in the days before college, he and Mark would fill out the March Madness bracket. Every year. Aaron always filled his out in ink. One year I decided to join in the fun. But since I don't really follow college basketball, and consequently don't have a clue as to the players, strength of schedule, stats, etc., I took a slightly different approach. I filled mine out entirely based on what the mascot was. I researched. I knew what a Syracuse Orangeman was. I knew what a Saluki was. Would an Auburn Tiger be triumphant over the Stanford Cardinal, which is the color, not the bird, by the way. I had a dilemma when it came to the Duke Blue Devils and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons--that seemed like kind of an even match to me. It was fun. And I actually paid attention to the games that year. And my Auburn Tigers actually advanced much further than anyone thought. See? Not such a stupid method after all...

It's nice to see Aaron has continued the tradition. Last night, Charlotte and Levi both filled out a bracket, Charlotte by herself and Levi with a little help.  And who wouldn't give herself an advantage by filling out her bracket with a pink feather pen??
Apparently, according to Aaron, both Charlotte and Levi have Butler and Bucknell advancing pretty far. He suspects it is because both schools sound like "butt." Seems about right for that age group...

However, I think Charlotte should help me fill out this bracket, the Modern Madness bracket (you can find it here at the Fat Quarterly blog), to determine which fabric line will be the 2013 champion. It's all in fun. I mean, all fabric lines are champions, right? I really think Aaron should fill one out too, being completely out of his element like I am with basketball.

I wonder if he would do it if I bribe him with some baseball cards...

My favorite picture of the week

if you are a music lover and like the song by Gotye, "Somebody that I used to know," you might really like this cover by Walk Off the Earth. One guitar, five people. Wow. (the guy on the right kind of cracks me up...)

Edit: Mark reminded me that he can't pull up the video on his iPad or iPhone. If you are having the same problem, you can find the video on Youtube if you search "Walk Off the Earth, somebody that I used to know." Click on the one that says "5 peeps 1 guitar."
So what about you? A little or a lot of random in your life? Do share.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The Name Game: Needled Mom

This week, Mary is here from Needled Mom. She lives in southern California and once in a while, especially when Mark and I are spending a week at the coast of central California, we talk about how we should get together for a quilting weekend. At the very least, we should get together and meet each other! 
Mary, how did you choose the name for your blog?
Okay....let's see.  How did I choose a name for my blog?  I didn't even know what blogging was six years ago when a friend of mine mentioned her blog and told me I should start one so that we could "keep up with each other".  She lives in Maine and called herself "Midlife Mom".   We joked about me calling myself "Needled Mom" since I loved to sew and had worked my career as a nurse - think shots here!!!  Anyway, it stuck and she helped me start my blog.  Talk about clueless!  I had to learn all of those cute little phrases such as HSTs, FQ, SIL, LOL, etc., etc., etc., but what a wonderful experience it has been.  I have met some of the most talented, friendly and helpful people through blogging and been inspired beyond my wildest dreams. 
 Now that you are known by Needled Mom, are you happy with it, or do you wish you could change it to something else?

I can't imagine changing my name now that I am known by it, but maybe I should be "Needled Grandma" since we have 26 grandchildren.   Seriously, I am happy with what I am as it IS what I am - a mom and a lover of anything that has to do with needles.
 My mother started my love of sewing when I was about 4 years old.  I was hyperactive and loved machines.  She sat me in front of her sewing machine and let me play.  I made a skirt all by myself when I was five and have not stopped sewing since.  I made all of my own clothing, including my wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses and then discovered quilting.   While I spend more time quilting now, I still love sewing clothing for the grandchildren. 

Easter is just around the corner. Isn't this one of the most amazing things you have ever seen?

Thanks for playing along this week, Mary. We must get together sometime soon. 
I hope everyone will stop by and say hi to Mary at Needled Mom.

Coming up:
3/25, Andrea from Millions of Thoughts
4/1, Fiona from Celtic Thistle Stitches
4/8, Elizabeth from Occasional Piece-Quilt