Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Vacation

Today, I'm taking a break from painting the shed, after working on it every day last week. I got all three sides primed (one side is inaccessible because it butts up against our neighbor's garage) and one side painted. We picked a light blue, which looks especially nice in sunlight.

 It used to be gray, like the house.

Eventually the house will be blue as well. It remains to be seen whether we decide to have housepainters do it next year. Right now, I'd say the odds are about 50-50.

Besides painting the shed, I have a laundry list of other projects to tackle. Among them:
• work on my next Craftsy pattern
• do production work on an art book for a designer friend
• learn Flash
• finish knitting Tim's mitts (all that is left is one thumb)

And that's just the top four.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Finally . . . a New Pattern

I *finally* uploaded a new pattern to my Craftsy store. What with classes and all, it was challenging to find time to work on it. When summer quarter ended last a week and a half ago, however, I suddenly had time to make a big push to finish it up and publish it.

I call it "Spinners." It's sort of a cross between a Pinwheel and a Spinning Star. And it has a bit of a retro, '30s look to it.

Its genesis began with a Jelly Roll someone gave me several years ago. I started sketching and playing around with the design. After three or four rounds, it evolved into what you see here. I wanted to use as much of each strip as possible; hence, the secondary design at the block intersections.

Even so, I had enough left over to make a scrappy binding from the remnants of the strips.

I originally planned to come up with a design that used *only* the Jelly Roll strips — no additional fabric purchase required. It didn't work out that way, at least not for this quilt.

My next pattern, however, will.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunflowers, The Second Year

This morning when I looked out in the back yard, I could see three sunflowers blooms.

This group of sunflowers were planted in 2011. They are wild sunflowers from seeds I gathered at my sister's house in Omaha, Nebraska, in the fall of 2010. Last year, the tallest grew to three feet or so. This year, there are two that are around six feet tall.

These sunflowers look more like yellow daisies than the huge sunflowers I see in people's yards.

There are a number of blooms that are just beginning to show yellow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3-D Final Project

This morning we presented our team final project in the Strata class.

It's a scene from an underwater FPS game. I contributed the giant clamshell, the trident and the whelks in the upper right.

I got some props from the teacher for the figuring out how to construct the clamshell. It was challenging and there were some false starts, but I eventually pinned it down.

Yay me!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Busy Weekend

With my six-week-long break between summer and fall quarters coming up fast (last day of class: next Wednesday!), I did some work to get ready for doing some house painting. I'm going to start with the converted garage, but I needed to cut away some vegetation (daisies and lavender, mostly) and scrape away dirt and pebbles that have collected on the west side where the ground is higher.

Our inspector pointed this out to us three years ago, that there was some ground-to-earth contact there. Not a good thing. When I was out there yesterday, I could see where the lowest row of siding looked kind of chewed up. :-(

Tim and I went to Lowe's to look at some paint colors. We're leaning toward a light blue with white trim.

This morning, I finished up the latest in my continuing series of hand pillows.

This one is a little different than usual, in that it has a four-patch background, instead of the customary large square. I've done one or two of these, and they're a nice change. Sometimes, I don't have enough of a particular fabric for an entire large 17" square.

I also picked out the fabric for the next hand pillow, and fused the hands to the background.

This afternoon, after spending a couple of hours in the computer lab at school, I came home and made some banana-walnut-chocolate chip bread. (It's baking as I type!)

Just one of the many reasons why I *love* the interwebs! Whenever I want to find a recipe with a particular set of major ingredients — presto! Found this recipe, and this one. I only had two bananas, and the second recipe gave me the idea that I could substitute some buttermilk for one of the bananas.
(I usually have some in the refrigerator, because I use it to make my grandmother's cornmeal muffin recipe.)

It's still in the oven, but it sure does smell good, and that is always a good sign!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orcas Island

This weekend, Tim and I took a short trip up to Orcas Island. We walked around Cascade Lake and drove to the top of Mount Constitution. Awesome view!

We also walked through saw really cool collection of wind-powered kinetic sculptures.

Here is a Youtube video from a couple years ago. Some of these are the same as we saw yesterday, others are not. But it gives you an idea of what's there, and the musical soundtrack fits the theme.