Thursday, October 31, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 10/31/13

Remember last week when I did a little research on Flickr's Explore gallery? Afterwards I posted the pictures our daughter-in-law, Christa, took of my entry to Bloggers Quilt Festival, Marcelle Goes to the Circus.
So I followed Flickr's suggestions, uploaded only five pictures, and uploaded this one at the end. was picked up for the Explore gallery on 10/26/13, according to stats, chances of 1 in 17,000!  Since then, it has received 9,609 views! Undoubtedly a coincidence, and  the chances are slim that this will happen again, but it was pretty exciting.

I'm only disappointed that this picture was not posted via Christa's photostream so that all the attention would be going to her photography skills.

My neighbor texted me this picture last night with the question: "Would you want to live at this intersection??" Um, no.

Another friend who lives in Kansas sent me this picture--a photo of something Mark and I used to create called Glassy Quilts. He would make the fused glass frame and I would make the 3" quilt which was hung on a silver wire with beads on each end.
We still have some available. Just in case anyone is interested...

In the next couple of weeks you will find me in these two places. More details to follow.
And that's it for this week.

Your turn.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Name Game: The Bored Zombie

And after a long absence....we're back. Since this is Halloween week, I thought it more than appropriate to feature Susan from The Bored Zombie.

(Susan's daughter's costume this year--so cute. And check out this post--the house on her bag lights up!)
How did you choose the name for your blog?

Some time ago I was learning Flash development to build websites and casual games. I love B-roll horror flicks and I love casual web games (think diner dash). I thought I loved web development too. I had grand plans marrying the three and creating a flash web site The site featured a zombie that attempted to entertain himself by visiting old haunts from his human days and terrorizing the living. I had a vision of a cartoony zombie world full of goofy mayhem and competitive high scores. I then wrote lots of design docs, back stories for the characters, and thought hard about what my zombie’s world would be. I really came to love the little guy and his cast of characters even though I never gave him a name! Life happens. I got a job, found myself crazy busy then less and less interested in my bored zombie. 

When I started my blog, it didn’t have a custom URL. I used my nickname Suedre (pronounced sue-DRAY) and called it suedrescreations.blogspot. I didn’t love it right from the start, but I was still feeling out the blogosphere and trying to find my voice. It wasn’t too long and I was hooked. I love creating, I love writing, I love sharing, and I love this community. I decided to go ahead and switch to a custom URL and tinkered with a big long list of them. 
 No matter how hard I tried to squash him, my bored zombie kept creeping into my head. After a lot of reflection, I realized he was me. I had spent so much time and creative energy into crafting him and his world that he started to melt into my own world. What he really craved was to be a valuable part of his community and reach out to others like him and learn from those that weren't (and maybe chomp a brain or two).  


Were there other names you considered, and can you share any of them with us?
I tinkered with a ton of other names. I won’t even list them because I don’t remember most of them and you wouldn't have either! TheBoredZombie just kept calling to me so I jotted down why I shouldn't use it.  Every single reason came back to fear of what people might think. I want to be part of this community and don’t want to turn people off because of a name they don’t understand. 
I went back to one of my only two blogging rules – Be myself, even when it doesn’t fit neatly into a polka-dot box. is part of my personal narrative. It tells a story in itself and it reminds me, at just the right times, that my voice is my own and it is OK to go my own way. I believe I have something to say and even people that don't love the name will value the content of the blog enough they will overlook it. 
Now that you are recognized by The Bored Zombie, are you happy with it, or do you wish you could change it to something else?

Yes! I’m completely happy with it and absolutely would not change it. I have already received a sweet, well intentioned email suggesting I should change it to something more appropriate. I ask you – what is more appropriate for a total nerd girl that loves independent horror flicks,  art in all mediums, television, video games, 80’s pop culture, sci-fi cons, and technology? Come on by the blog and see from time to time. I promise you'll get a taste of all my passions and I hope, discover some new things along the way!
Susan, thanks so much for sharing with the Name Game this week.

Please stop by and say hi to Susan. You won't be bored, I promise.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friendship x and + Swap

When I read what fellow Mid Century Modern members Carla and Susan had up their sleeves, I was ready to sign up. Granted, the holidays are around the corner. Granted, I already can't keep up with obligations. But there was no way I could turn down this opportunity.

The guidelines:

Friendship x and + Swap Guidelines:
1. Pick a friend to swap with: An invisible one (blogging friend that you have never met in real life)  even!
2. Pick a palette for your blocks (we used Design Seeds to find ours). Or decide to just go scrappy.
3. Check out Amy Badskirt's tutorial to learn how to make the block.
4. Add the Friendship x and + button to your blog sidebar.
5. Decide how many total blocks you want for your quilts. Suz and I are going with 64 blocks and will be dividing them out for 8 months, making 8 each month.
6. Every month you will make a set of blocks for yourself and an identical set for your swap partner. She will do the same for you. In my case, then, I will make 4 different  xand+ blocks and an identical set of 4 to mail to Suz. With the 4 she sends me that month, I will have 8 blocks for that month.
7. Blog about your blocks on the last Friday of each month. Also, feel free to use Instagram with the hashtag #friendshipxplusswap to show off your block and color palette.
I had barely finished reading this post when I sent an email to Carla, another MCM friend, to see if she would be my swap partner.  She agreed and we went to work on a color palette. Using the suggestion of Design Seeds, we quickly agreed on a color scheme. Now I would love to share the photo that actually inspired this color palette,
but it involved a creature of undetermined nature that neither of us really wanted to spend time trying to figure out (if you are curious, it was posted on 10/4/13).

See #7 above. So I'm a day late, which is actually pretty good for me.

I think this is going to be a fun swap.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival, Fall 2013: Marcelle Goes to the Circus

Welcome to the fall 2013 edition of Bloggers Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis.

I'm pleased to introduce Marcelle Goes to the Circus.

In spring, having just finished a large quilt for an upcoming charity auction, I had a lot of leftover scraps of gorgeous Oakshott cottons. And then on Instagram I started seeing a lot of quilters making Alexia Marcelle Abegg's lovely Marcelle Medallion from her book, Liberty Love.

As is often the case, I did not NEED a new project, but was unable to resist this one. It seemed the perfect project to use up some scraps of precious and beautiful fabric.There is something about this fabric that just seems to make it glow from the inside out.

I don't know if you every do this, but along the way I made little challenges for myself: each non-pieced border had to be woven stripes by Kaffe Fassett, and each of the corner stones had to be from the "dots" line by Kaffe Fassett. For some reason, the combination of the stripes and dots made made me start thinking of a circus, and thus the name, "Marcelle Goes to the Circus."

The very amazing Krista Withers did all the quilting, which turned Marcelle into a true work of art.

And my equally amazing daughter-in-law, Christa, took all the photos.

The timing was just right to use the backdrop of the circus rides at the local pumpkin patch. Fun, right?

Size: 56" square
Pattern: Marcelle Medallion by Alexia Abegg
Fabric: Shot cottons by Oakshott and Kaffe Fassett, dots and woven stripes by Kaffe Fassett
Made by: Cindy Wiens
Machine quilted by: Krista Withers
Photographed by: Christa Wiens
Category: scrappy quilt

Thanks so very much for stopping by. Enjoy the rest of the show.

And because I have that rare (for me) thing called a "finish," I'm also linking up to Finish It Friday at  crazy mom quilts and TGIFFF at quilter in the closet.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 10/24/13: Doing a little exploring...

 Are you familiar with the "Explore" section of Flickr? Every day 500 photos are chosen to be included in this gallery. My friend, Deborah, had a photo chosen a couple of days ago. She noticed that she had an exciting amount of views (at last count, 5500+ views!) of her very beautiful quilt made with Denyse Schmidt's Shelburne Falls fabric. It is most definitely very "view" worthy, and I suspected that it had been chosen for the Explore gallery as well.

You don't get notified by anyone if your photo is chosen, and I usually forget about that gallery. Sometimes some kind person will email you that you have had a photo included. That happened to me once when Lynne let me know that a picture of my "pop beads" had been included.

So I did a bit of sleuthing today. Like how are pictures chosen in the first place? And how do you know your picture has been chosen unless you consistently scroll through the gallery each and every day?

I found some interesting information here, as well as suggestions how to increase your chances.

Here are the basic stats:

Flickr receives about 6,000 uploads every minute -- That's about 8.6 million photos a day! From this huge group of images, the Flickr Interestingness algorithm chooses only 500 images to showcase for each 24-hour period. That's only one image in every 17,000!

Isn't that crazy??

How to find out if your photo was Explored by Flickr: Big Huge Labs has a web-based app for that, called "Scout":

So I went to Big Huge Labs and typed in the info. Look what I found!

Four of my pictures have been included in Explore over the years--and I didn't even know it other than the one on the far right. The cool thing is that they will make this little banner for you and you can save it as a jpeg.

There are also some pointers on increasing your chances, such as making sure that the last picture you upload is your very best picture of the day. Fascinating, huh?

I saw our son, the optometrist, the other day. Routine eye exam. One of my eyes has been really dry so he put temporary plugs in my tear ducts. Sounds unpleasant--didn't hurt even a little bit. My eyes DO feel a lot better so maybe the next step is permanent plugs.

Our daughter-in-law, Christa, is taking an online photography course. She came over the other day to take pictures in my sewing room. I'm anxious to see what she came up with. However, she did share one that she took of me--the best picture of me taken by anyone. Ever. It is now my new profile picture. She also took pictures of Marcelle Goes to the Circus, which will be debuting at Bloggers Quilt Festival tomorrow.
(disclosure: this is NOT one of Christa's pictures....)
At Target the other day, I made two discoveries. I'm not sure I think this is a good idea. I love fabric, but I'm not sure I want a fuzzy "fabric effect" on my fingernails.
This, however, is a GREAT idea. Orla Keily has such great designs. I think I want that orange one for a portable sewing kit.

I got a set of the cutest Star Wars finger puppets here. I bought the entire set and I'm not kidding when I say that these are extremely well made, with incredible detail.
Someone is having a really good time with them. Thanks, Julie!
Your turn.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 10/17/13: This one's for you, Hadley

Last week Hadley remarked on the US obsession with pumpkins. Being pumpkin-obsessed myself this time of year, my first thought was , "Um, yeah, and your point is.....?"

And that very same day the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer arrived in the mail. So I pondered this supposed-obsession as I drank my Samuel Adams harvest pumpkin ale and paged through the mailer. These were the items available:

pumpkin bread mix
nonfat Greek yoguft flavored with pumpkin
organic pumpkin toaster pastries
pumpkin waffles
pumpkin soup
honey roasted pumpkin ravioli
mini pumpkin pies
pumpkin cream cheese muffins
organic canned pumpkin
pumpkin cream cheese
pumpkin pie spice
pumpkin bar baking mix
pumpkin cranberry scone mix
pecan pumpkin instant oatmeal
pumpkin ale
pumpkin on a stick
pumpkin body butter
pumpkin flavored dog treats
this pumpkin walks into a bar (the yummiest cereal bar with the best name)
pumpkin cranberry crisps
pumpkin biscotti
pumpkin cheesecake
pumpkin spice granola
pumpkin spice rooibos tea
pumpkin spice chai
pita crisps with cranberries and pumpkin seeds
pumpkin bread pudding
pumpkin croissants
pumpkin ice cream
pumpkin macarons
pumpkin butter
pumpkin spice coffee
pumpkin pancake and waffle mix

And plain old pumpkins.

I have no clue why the thought of pumpkin obsession even crossed Hadley's mind...

Oh, and this arrived in the mail. Thanks, Rene'!! It's getting a lot of use as I drink my pumpkin spiced coffee.
Your turn.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Modern Bee: My Quilt is in a Book!!

When I received an email from Elizabeth a couple of years ago, inviting me to join an online bee, who could have predicted that it would ultimately result in a book?!

Lindsay Conner was one of my bee mates (she blogs here at Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds). She suggested submitting a book proposal. And here is the result.

Lindsay did a wonderful job with this book. Whether you have wondered what bees are all about, would like to organize a bee, or just want to be a better bee member, the information is in this book.

I'm so happy to have been included in this group, and my quilt even made the cover--the second one from the bottom--it's called Neon Ninja Stars.

I might like the back nearly as much as the front.

Besides all the information on bees, there are beautiful quilts in this book, with something for every skill level.

If you want to pick up your own copy, here are the details:
Book Title: Modern Bee—13 Quilts to Make with Friends 
Lindsay Conner (Lindsay Sews and Craft Buds)
Amazon short URL:
Book website:

Want to see a cool video about the book? Go here.

Be sure to check out all the stops on the Modern Bee blog tour. Not only will you see some of the other quilts, you have a chance to win prizes at each stop!
Modern Bee Blog Tour
Monday, 10/7:  Sew Mama Sew + Stash Books
Tuesday, 10/8: SewCraftyJess + Sew Sweetness
Wednesday, 10/9: Ellison Lane + Diary of a Quilter
Thursday, 10/11: Katie's Korner + Pat Sloan
Friday, 10/12: Fat Quarter Shop + imagine gnats
Saturday, 10/12: Quilting is My Therapy + Hot Pink Stitches
Monday, 10/14: Live a Colorful Life + Craft Gossip
Tuesday, 10/15: SewCanShe + Maureen Cracknell Handmade
Wednesday, 10/16: Craftsy + Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Would you like to win a copy of Modern Bee? To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling us about your quilting bee, what you're currently sewing, or something you learned about the book!

We'll choose one random winner to receive a hard copy of the book! If winner lives outside the U.S., they'll receive a copy of the e-book. Giveaway ends October 18, 2013. Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 10/10/13

Snapshots from The Big Fresno Fair:
Bacon-wrapped corndog. So-so...
We are certainly the nation's fruit basket:
Cool art work. There have to be instructions somewhere, right? Pinterest maybe?
 Gorgeous sunset the other night:
I posted a couple pictures last week of Mark in his reffing uniform. Some interesting items that he wears, with funny labels, include his compression shorts,

and his socks.
Someone suggested after posting the picture of these ingredients,
that I should also include the recipe. So here you go:

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 cube real butter, melted
1 egg
1 cup chopped nuts (I always leave these out because Mark doesn't like them)

Mix and spread on bottom of greased 9x13 pan.

2 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar

Whip until fluffy. Spread on top of cake mix mixture.

Bake 30-40 minutes at 325. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


No explanation necessary if you are paying attention to baseball.

Let's end with some pumpkin-y goodness, in honor of my favorite season.
I haven't tried this yet.
Toasted whole wheat, pumpkin cream cheese. Oh yeah!
My very favorite pumpkin spice coffee--I bought a pound of beans.
We'll close with these pictures from Dallas, courtesy of our friends, George and Cheri:
  Your turn.