Monday, February 28, 2011

Anxiety to get something done.

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 7 comments
Have you ever felt creatively stumped? Last summer I had this need to get something done. I needed to get something finished. Something I could see done so that I could once again feel creative. I'm feeling that way lately.

I have a few projects going. That alone is a red flag. I'm a start one, finish one type of gal and for me to have several projects in the works tells me that I cannot focus. Like when you are in an accident, incident, where you panic and you cannot function properly. I'm letting the anxiety kick in.

I am actively working on my Bali Wedding Star, Opening Day and my new Applique project. I also have my Two Piece Puzzle that is on the sidelines.

Well yesterday, instead of working on any of these projects, I started on something else.

A few weeks ago I was at my local quilt store and they were having a Fig Tree & Co trunk show. On the wall was this quilt:

I had seen the quilt online both on Johanna's website (picture above was hijacked from her site) and also at Sherri's site (I believe she actually pieced this beauty). But I was not very intrigued. I have basket issues that have left me scarred. So, I was very surprised when I saw this quilt on the wall and fell in love.

I immediately bought the pattern.
I had to have it.
I already had a Fat Eighth of Breakfast at Tiffany's that was calling to be used in a project.

On Saturday, I went back to my local quilt shop to pick up some of this yumminess for my Applique project (I sooo love this line. I can't believe I didn't buy a FE or FQ bundle - now I can only pick up bits and pieces of it. I feel like crying!) and while I was there I found some Fig Tree yardage that screamed to be used in the border of Petit Fours.

Well, if I already HAD the borders, might as well start up on the blocks.

This small blocks come together sooo quick! I had 7 done in no time. A little something extra... the handle is appliqued on. I kept telling myself that I was practicing for the BIG applique project!

I think they are coming out okay.

Anyway. I started on this project now. I feel guilty as hell. I just need to get something done. Something finished. Then I can relax a bit, but until then, the lack of finished projects will drive me crazy!!

Have you ever felt like this?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Posted by Strlady at 5:36 AM 1 comments
I am an avid reader and for a several years I had been posting reviews on my other blog but since I have stopped reviewing as often I decided to just post my thoughts here.

I have been reading alot of Young Adult books recently and since I love me some good Sci Fi, this book just screamed to be read. I had seen the previews for the movie many months ago but I did not know that it had been adapted from a book. As soon as I found out I went in search of the book.

The book is penned by Pittacus Lore who is suppose to be an elder from the planet Lorien. In actuality, it's a pseudonym for James Frey who has written many Sci Fi pieces in the past. I found that little nugget of information added to the mystery of this book so I pass it along.

John Smith is one among nine alien children that were sent to Earth when their planet was taken over by the Mogadorian race. They were each sent with a warrior protector that is pledged to their safety. The Mogadorians are tracking them down as a means to wrapup loose ends since their next target is this planet.

The Loric children must be killed in order. If attacked out of order the harm that is inflicted on the child will kick back to the attacker. So the Mogadorians must track each one in it's own time.

We catch up with John as he realizes that he must move AGAIN because his enemies have just found Number Three and he knows that they will be tracking him down next. Moving to the small town of Paradise, Ohio seemed perfect except that he goes and falls for the wrong girl. The girl that the school bully (son of the local sheriff) has his eye on. Oh well!

The book is rich in detail of the world where John and Henri (John's protector/father figure) come from. John starts developing his legacy gifts - powers that are inherent to Loriens but don't manifest until puberty and we get a glimpse of how he has felt detached from his past until these gifts make him look back on his connection to this planet he barely remembers but is destined to die for.

Yes. There is a huge battle in the book that reminded me of the movie War of the Worlds. It was scary and tense and made me think, "Dang, This is good". If I'm on the edge of my seat and stopping the book (I listen to my books) because I'm too stressed out. The book is a winner.
Hey, some people ride roller-coasters. I read a good book!

Last Friday the movie version of the book was released and I went to see it on the first day. I will say that, like most movie adaptations, the book was much better, but.. The movie was very good too. I think they did a fantastic job at twisting things a bit here and there so we could get the excitement of the book within the 2 hour span the movie allows.

The book goes much more in depth as to the conflict within John and his relationship with his planet and protector. It also develops the secondary characters much more. We get to understand Henri as a person and not just as a protector. We see what was sacrificed on Lorien to give these kids a chance at survival. I think that even if you see the movie first, you can still benefit from reading the book. Like watching the Extended edition (or director's cut) on a great movie.

Anyway. I definitely recommend this one to all you Sci Fi junkies.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Applique? Anyone?

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 6 comments
My sister over at the Pumpkin Patch is an applique goddess. She works on all those fancy wool projects and spits out her completed pieces without breaking a sweat. Me? I have some issues. I have not found the right project for me.

Karen over at Log Cabin Quilter is also a queen at her applique. I'm always drooling over her work and I'm just plain jealous that I cannot find the patience and commitment to follow through on an applique project. To my dismay my January Guild retreat was full of wondrous applique projects.

I finally broke down and decided I needed to find the right project. I searched through all my books and patterns and even bought a new pattern, but in the end I decided to tackle one from the gals over at Blackbird Designs.

I bought this book over the holidays because I am in love with the Holly Leaf quilt I saw at the Houston Quilt Festival a couple of years ago. But, the book has several gorgeous quilts to chose from.

Among them is this piece. I have noticed that some quilt shops are actually making this as a block of the month. I loved this colorway and thought that I could try and tackle it.

This is the first block.

And this is the mess I made getting ready. LOL!

I use freezer paper to get the templates. The gals at blackbird designs suggested we stack and cut instead of tracing each individual piece. I admit, I never even thought of that. duh!

I then use my handy dandy glue stick and glue the edges over.
Here is a close up of some of the circles I got done on Monday. I've used a regular Elmers glue stick in the past but since I had to buy the Sewline Glue Pen for the Bali Wedding Star project, I just grabbed that.

I use this method instead of the traditional needle turn because I am not coordinated enough to get the pieces folded over in the right spot. Also, this allows me to do a bit on machine if I want.

After I have the pieces made, my next step will be to place on the background and using a few dots of Roxanne Glue Baste-it, set it in place.

So, to those that have done it before.. any suggestions? Shortcuts?

I'll post on my progress, but would love to hear your thoughts. Maybe I can try another method for the next block. In the meantime, you should check out Thelma's applique project over at her blog. She is also working on a Blackbird Design but from another of their titles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bali Wedding Star update

Posted by Strlady at 10:15 AM 6 comments
A few weeks ago I participated in the Word Up Sewing Party. I was so busy sewing, that I never gave an update.

I started with 4 sets out of the 11 that need to be completed

Progress was excruciatingly slow. The process itself is so easy, but it is also very slow.

I actually started making them two at a time because the pace was killing me.

I am still struggling with the Arcs, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. 9 out of the 11 arcs are completed (when I took the pic the last two arc were missing one color - thus the tail).

Last weekend I went to the last class in the series and we discussed putting the pieces together.

Going from this...

To this.

Everyone at the class wanted to walk out with a block made. I personally had no intentions on rushing through the pieces just to see one made. I told the instructor that since I am so controlling I would need to finish up all my components first before I put together one single block. That way I would know I had all the background colors I wanted and didn't cluster any particular color. She then confided that she had done the exact same thing! I wonder if she said that so I wouldn't feel like a control freak? Hmmm..

I got a lot more of the taupe backgrounds cut (bought some more of these to calm that yellowish undertone that quilt was having). The instructor was nice enough to open the door to another "finish it day" around April - May, which will allow us to work on the quilt and then come in to wrap things up.

It's a long haul but I am really loving the colors and now that the tedious arcs are almost done I think things will move a little faster.

We hope.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gifts to Cherish...

Posted by Strlady at 11:34 AM 3 comments
A few weeks ago I got a little somthing in the mail from my favorite Pumpkin Patch.

Isnt it gorgeous?

I am a huge fan of most anything star related, so this was right up my alley. The fact that the piece is handmade (that star is paper pieced!!) and signed by the artist / quilter made it extra special.

This is truely a treasure and I immediately had to wear it. It's about an inch and a half which I found perfectly sized. I am not too into swapping out my jewelery but I have made the exception for this one on a couple of occasions already. I love that they also come as Fobs for my scissors! I think I need to buy me one of those. Check out the other designs that are being carried by Pumpkin Patch Primitives!!

With this cutie came a little bracelet from my favorite store (Brighton)...

I'm told that this design has been retired and the fact that both of my sisters have one, made me feel quite a special trooper.

Thanks Sis! I loved them both!

Hope your day is full of surprises too!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PW is in the house!!!

Posted by Strlady at 10:23 AM 3 comments
Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to see The Pioneer Woman and her entourage as they passed by Dallas for the Black Heels to Tractor Wheels book tour.

If you don't know who she is... well... you're missing out. She is the queen of blogging in my book. She blogs about her life as a ranchers wife, about homeschooling her 4 kids, about cooking for Marlboro Man (she calls her hubby that), and about Photography. She doesn't presume to know everything but shares what she has learned along the way. If you subscribe to her site for anything, do it for the cooking and the photography. You will find yourself hooked on her crazy personality and her talents in both of these areas.

Her kids were there. It was a bit surreal to see these kids who you feel you actually know because you have seen them as they grow up through her eyes. You have gone to their soccer games and watched them freak out when their horse galloped away, you watched them ride in their first rodeo, and rope their first calf. Surreal.

and Mr. MM himself was there. He was minding his own business when someone must have approached him to sign the Black Heels book and before he knew it, there was a line to get his siggy on the book and photo ops. He was such a trooper!!

Yes... I had no pity for him and was there to harass him too.
LOL! He is just such a nice guy!
He is very shy but if you mention anything ranch related, he will chat you up.

You see that Green bracelet? It says that I was among the 500s. By the end of the evening they had given out over 600 bracelets to identify the order in which you would get your books signed. We were the Cinderella crowd. We approached Ree for the signing at midnight. I was determined to get my whole 60 seconds with her, so we chatted a bit. LOL! Thanks to my sister, I have a whole series of pics of the conversation. I was a bit animated.

It was definitely an experience. If you have a chance to meet her, don't hesitate.
Just make sure you get there EARLY and bring proper entertainment. It could be a long wait.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Guess Who is Coming To Dallas...

Posted by Strlady at 5:00 AM 6 comments

And guess Who is going to see her??? 
I'm a bit excited! 


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