Friday, December 26, 2008
For her present this year, I made a lap quilt with wool batting. This is the first time I've used a wool batting so of course, I asked on the quiltart list for advice on using it. I got the usual expert advice and proceeded to make what appears to be a quite cozy quilt. Allie is sensitive to the cold, and Bellingham gets colder winters than we do here in Bellevue, so I thought a nice wool lap quilt to cuddle up under would be just the thing. I also had bought the Betty Boop on motorcycles fabric intending to make something cute for her. I decided to pick up the black and white check motif from the Boops and used an asymetrical log cabin style block. I think the Boop side came out nice.
For the back, I had intended to run to the quilt store and buy some stylish retro black and chartreuse fabric as she loves those colors. The snow kept me from going shopping so I had to fall back on my stash. Looking at the black and white cat fabric (visible in the closeup photo),
I decided to use the Burch cats, and the green polka dot fabric that went with it. I wanted something quick as I was running out of time and didn't want a complicated quilt. The big strips of fabric (5.5" wide) worked well and gave me a good idea for some quick quilting.
I didn't quite get the quilting finished before she arrived, so I wrapped it up, put it under the tree, and included a note promising to finish Christmas Day while we did our traditional lounge around & watch videos marathon. I got it finished by dinner time and she slept with it last night. A great finish to a wonderful day.
Here's hoping your winter holiday was as satisfying!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I took the hummingbird feeder in the night before last, and overslept so it wasn't out there when Bob, our backyard hummingbird, came looking for breakfast yesterday. He didn't show up all day so I was worried about him. Fortunately, I was up early today and refilled it with the sweeter wintertime solution and got it hung outside in plenty of time. He's pretty much sitting on the feeder most of the time today giving me an excellent opportunity for pictures. These are taken through the glass in the french door leading to the deck so I am amazed at the clarity of them.
This is the corner of our deck where the feeder hangs, mostly in the shade so the solution doesn't go bad when it's warm. Not that we have to worry about that right now...
And this is Bob, being so kind as to pose for a nice snapshot. The light is overcast and dim enough that it's not easy to see the colors on his head but the darker head part is the iridescent part of his coloring and it changes colors in the light when he turns his head.
I'll probably be snapping lots more pictures over the next few days as I have a quilt design bubbling in my brain about all of this. Not sure just what form it will take so better to take more pictures than I'll need rather than not enough.
Hope you're warmer than we are!
Friday, December 19, 2008
This shot of the backyard is taken from our deck which is on top of the garage. The yard also slopes downhill from the house so it really is as down as it looks from the photo. I particularly like the look of the ferns and the oat grass covered with snow. I'm going to have to go out and check how the hardy fuschias have done once the snow clears but I don't hold out much hope for them as the forecast is for more snow and icy rain on Sunday with unusually cold temperatures through the next week. (We're spoiled and used to it being in the 40's or 50's this time of year.)
We have year round hummingbirds here but it's clear they treasure the feeders in the neighborhood when we get the serious cold spells in late December and early January. Here are 2 shots of our bird, sitting in the plum tree in the backyard. He's seriously fluffed up so he'll stay warmer. I wish I'd been able to get a shot of him when he buzzed me this morning. I forgot to bring the feeder in last night, so it froze up and I had to bring it in and microwave it to thaw it out this morning. He was not amused. This one was taken through the greenhouse window in the kitchen.
This one was taken from the deck at more of an angle.
We'll be celebrating Solstice tomorrow and then Christmas later in the week. I'm looking forward to happy time spent with my family and I'm wishing you the same. Happy Winter Holiday of your choice!
Friday, December 12, 2008
We live within 4-6 miles of Jeff's job, the grocery stores, the drugstore, and a small shopping center so the thought of trying out a neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV in the trade lingo) was just too tempting to pass up. So, this last weekend, jeff and I trotted off to the Green Car Company (now in downtown Bellevue) and test drove the Zap Zebra. It's a three wheeled vehicle, with a back seat, fully electric and recharged by plugging into a regular outlet. If I were even 15 years younger, I'd probably have bought it right then and there. Pro's: It's cute, zippy, fun to drive, all electric, and can go just fine in regular traffic around town. Cons: It's small, doesn't heat up the interior very well on a cold, wet day, can't handle really steep hills without upgrading some of the equipment, and the pedals are a little to the left of where both of us expected them to be. Jeff found it uncomfortable to turn enough to use the pedals. I was fine with it, but I'm shorter and that may have been a factor. Jeff was also concerned about the safety factor as it hasn't passed vehicle crash tests. Well, technically, it's a motorcycle so it doesn't have to. I do have to say, though, if we lived in a warmer climate, and we weren't living on an extremely steep hill, I'd have been tempted because the list price is $12,000.
If you've been thinking about it, go give it a test drive. For half a car, it's a good idea. And just think, no more gasoline, ever...
Monday, December 1, 2008
Part of recovering from surgery is reading a lot. One of the blogs I follow (Relocalizing Vermont by Carl Etnier), posted a request for books to put on a reference list and gave a short list to start. I've read several of the books he mentions and thought the list was worth sharing. Click here to see it.
Monday, November 24, 2008
“Climate change says we should change, whereas peak oil says we will be forced to change.”
-- Rob Hoskins, author of The Transition Town
I also thought I'd share this link about health care myths. I firmly believe we should be copying the French or Canadian systems where the health care systems are designed to keep people healthy rather than make the insurance companies profitable. This is an article from the Washington Post, a very center of the road, fact-based paper. I found this very worth my time.
Read about the myths here.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Read the full article here.
I particularly liked the quote I've copied below because I'm a firm believer in doing what I can in my little corner of the world:
In Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia, people started readying themselves in June. Their two-year low-carbon diet is under way, they have met state Anna Bligh, the state premier, and are consulting on a Queensland Government report entitled Towards Oil Resilience. Bush tucker trees are to be planted around the city.
Maggie Johns, a Hervey Bay Transitioner, signed off her e-mail to me thus: “Before, it all seemed so futile. What was the good in changing a few light bulbs? There are ice-shelves breaking off, for goodness sake! But when you know that more and more towns are coming online with Transition, and each has an army of dedicated volunteers, it seems much more do-able.”
Monday, November 17, 2008
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett
Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Defense Energy Working Group and Congressional Peak Oil Caucus
DIAGNOSIS: American transportation is more than 95% dependent upon oil, a proportion virtually unchanged since the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Americans will have spent $700 billion on oil imports in the last two years. That is more than we spend annually on defense. If that money stayed here, it would generate $7 trillion in economic activity. Clearly, lower oil prices are better for Americans and worse for the governments of OPEC countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela as well as Russia's military resurgence.
If we reduce our dependence upon oil imports, we eliminate our greatest self-imposed threat to Americans' future economic prosperity and national security. Especially in the absence of price signals, we need leadership at all levels to inspire Americans to continue conserving oil and to innovate to shift our transportation and manufacturing sectors off oil.
Friday, November 14, 2008
On a more personal front, I'm scheduled for surgery for the kidney stones on November 25, just in time to make sure I don't bake pies this year. Here's hoping this surgery resolves my medical problems.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
We Hold Its Value to Be Self-Evident
Ecuador approves new constitution granting inalienable rights to nature
Ecuador approved a new constitution this weekend that, among other things, grants inalienable rights to nature, the first such inclusion in a nation's constitution, according to Ecuadorian officials. "Nature ... where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions, and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community, or nationality will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before the public bodies," the document says. The specific mention of evolution isn't accidental; besides being an activity nature arguably likes to do anyway, evolution as we know it has close ties to Ecuador's territory of the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin formed his famous theory. Ecuador's constitution grants nature the right to "integral restoration" and says that the state "will promote respect toward all the elements that form an ecosystem" and that the state "will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems, or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles."
sources: Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I'm almost a month late in shipping Quantum Lake off for its exhibit. The holdup was getting the label done and printed. I got the label(s) done today so I'm sharing my process as I've always gotten good comments about how nice my labels are. If you want to see a picture of Quantum Lake, I posted one on June 9 here on my blog.
I do my labels in Word using ClickArt from Broderbund to create the art around the label. Here's the 2 different labels I came up with for Quantum Lake so you can see what the end product is before I start talking about the details of the process. The backing fabric is various blue stars, so one version of the label is done on light blue fabric with stars around the text.
Quantum Lake itself has a combination of nature photos printed on fabric and a batik fabric that has spirals on it. So the second label echoes those design elements.
How did I create them? It's actually quite easy if you have some clipart borders available. The key thing to remember is that I create the text first in a Word document. Then I add the art that goes around it. I've never been able to edit the text once I add the art, so it's important to get the text done first. I often use a sans serif font because that's easier to read once it's been printed on fabric. I center the text, have the top line down about 2 inches from the top of the document so as to leave room for the surrounding border, and I generally size it at 18 or 20 for the font size. Once I've typed in the label text, I save the document so I can delete any art I add and get back to the basic text.
Next, I browse my clipart disk. Once I select a border or other art that I want to use, I insert the art by clicking on Insert on the top menu bar. I select Picture, and From File, then click on the image I want. (Side note: I got ClickArt 125,000 as a Christmas present years ago and have never felt the need to upgrade. There are several versions reviewed on Amazon and available for quite reasonable prices. ) Once I've inserted the art, I click on it and select Format, then select Picture. The options I always use are Behind Text, and Center because I center my text. Invariably, the art is the wrong size, so at this point I click on the lower right corner and drag it the right size. Then I reposition it if needed. If I like the result, I save the file and I'm done. Otherwise, I delete the added art and go look for something I like better.
This time, I did 2 versions and I'm still deciding which will actually go out on the quilt. Total time today to create the 2 label files, fuse the fabric to wonderunder and print, then blog about it: 2 hours 45 minutes.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"We've reached this critical point where we're seeing the deployment of these technologies accelerate," said John Nielsen, an energy analyst with the nonprofit environmental group Western Resource Advocates. "There was slow progress over the last decade, and you're now seeing this tipping point."
To read the full article, go here.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
As Jeff is fond of saying, the Hugo Awards are one of the 3 officially required things done at a WorldCon. (The other two are holding the business meeting and the site selection balloting for the convention to be held in 2 years.) So there's a big ceremony on Saturday night for presenting the awards. And a practice run through for the volunteers doing the work on Saturday afternoon. And a large group of volunteers carrying the awards from Mary Kay's room through the convention center to the theatre somewhere in there. Basically, it took all of Saturday for us but the people attending the con got a nice show on Saturday night.
Here’s a picture of the artist who designed the base for this year, Lee Kuruganti, and Mary Kay (to her right facing the camera) in the Green Room at the reception before the ceremony. The other people in the picture are some of the nominees, socializing and sharing their nervousness.
I worked backstage with Mary Kay, handing out awards and escorting nominees on and off stage, so I missed the speeches mostly but got to see the workings of the process. This was interesting to me as the first time we administered the Hugos, for the Atlanta WorldCon in 1986, the process was less elaborate.
Here’s a link to a close-up photo of this year’s Hugo award along with the list of awards.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Today we head to Denver and the World Science Fiction Convention, Denvention 3. Jeff, my husband, and I are 2/3rds of the Hugo Subcommittee responsible for running the Hugo awards. This makes the convention partly business for us, but the rest will be socializing with friends and enjoying a weekend without children. I hope your weekend is also fun!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Later in the day, Mary (my sister-in-law) and I went for a walk on the Bobolink Trail. It goes along a creek that's pretty full right now so there's lots of cover. We were there just before lunch time so the only birds visible were swallows and flickers. I'm thinking I'll go back tomorrow morning and see what else is around because it's a wonderful bird habitat.
When the rain rolled in (while the sun was still shining, welcome to Colorado...) we headed home and after lunch, a group of us went to Barnes and Noble, and my teenage niece Amy and I hit JoAnne's for some fabric and other sewing needs. She's really into making purses and bags right now and I have promised her some help with a sewing problem she's experienced. I also worked out a quick pattern for her to use a leftover quilt block as the center of a triangle shaped pillow. It was fun to be the family expert on this stuff and I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow doing sewing stuff with her.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
It made me think of how many friends I have kept over the years, and how much I value the people who have known me so long. It's easy to forget how much change there's been over a lifetime. These friends help me get the perspective I need to see the change and the continuity.
We're going to be visiting with other long time friends later in the week. Not to mention the number of people we'll see at the WorldCon. It's going to be an interesting trip down memory lane in some ways.
When we work out the cable connection to my husband's phone, I'll have a photo of the 4 of us outside the cafe we ate brunch at.
And we fixed the sending email problem. Turns out that connecting through the household comcast connection required a different port number... Technology, you gotta love it.
Friday, August 1, 2008
As for Colorado, things have changed a lot in the 10 years since we lived here. There are more houses, more roads, and more people. Other things I noticed: people riding motorcycles without helmets. That was a shocker, at least the first one I saw. Then I realized he wasn't wearing leathers either, and on a highway with a 70 mph speed limit. But, given that it was about 90 F at the airport when we landed, I can understand why someone would rather not.
Here's a view from the second story deck at my sister-in-law's house. They live near Baseline Reservoir so there's water nearby and mountains in the distance. Seems ideal to me at this point, but then I live in the PNW, with ocean and lakes nearby and mountains to the east.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Here's a couple of pictures of the small boats we learned to sail in. The model is called a Clancy and it was designed to be a boat someone could build in their garage over the winter then use to teach their child to sail. A great size to learn the basics in. These boats were built at an alternative school in Seattle and then donated to the organization that teaches the classes.
Here's a closeup view of the boats which are really only about 8 feet long.
The people in the class were all newbies, except for aspen, and I was pleased that we all focused on learning things well enough to be certified on Thursday. This meant we went out just as a group of friends on the instructors' boats on Friday. We spent time just sailing around, changing crew from boat to boat while out on the water (a fun but tricky experience) and had a glorious end to a wonderful week.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I have 3 wire basket holders (17" wide, 22" deep and 7 runners high which is about 30", I think). This makes a nice size desk surface on which I've put The Big Board ironing board. It's meant to be put on a regular ironing board but I found that a tad unstable and awkward for my left handedness. Not to mention I had to have a separate bit of floor space for it. I had a flash of brilliance and realized it fit perfectly on top of the wire basket ensemble so I moved it there. Then I noticed that my big cutting board could go on top of the wire baskets too, if I didn't mind a bit of overhang at the back. Since I rarely cut the full width of fabric, I generally don't need the full cutting surface so that worked too. So my cutting board can slide under the Big Board and I pull it out when it's needed. Then I realized I was just one step away from having a giant flippable board with a cutting surface on one side, and an ironing surface on the other. I've always liked the smaller version of that and used it when taking classes so I've asked my son James to cut some plywood for me and we'll be fixing that up after we finish our sailing class this next week. I have this setup at right angles to my sewing table so I just pivot and depending on what I'm doing I can iron, cut, fuse or try various layouts, all on the same work surface. So far, it's also had the excellent side benefit of forcing me to keep the surface cleared off so I can get other work done. Since I have a problem with not putting things away when I'm in a creative flow, this has been a benefit.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Relocalize.net is working to be a central info and networking center for people working to build sustainability in their communities. This newsletter focuses on solar power, where we are with it, what needs to happen to make it grow, and there's even a link to a solar oven. I personally think we need to switch to decentralized solar, wind or wave power as those are completely renewable resources and decentralizing means we don't have companies like Enron deciding to manipulate prices by squeezing the production of energy. But that would be my hippy roots showing again...
Have a great week. I know I plan to!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Germany shattered the theory that renewable energy is a niche player by achieving a 14% share of renewables in its electricity market in 2007. Germany’s vision for renewable energy reinvigorated rural communities throughout the country through the creation of 249,000 jobs and generated $38.8 billion USD in associated economic activity in 2007 alone. After achieving its target 12.5% renewable share of total electricity three years early, the country revised its future targets to 27% renewables by 2020 and 45% renewables by 2030, according to its Federal Ministry for the Environment.
To read the article, go to this webpage.
I hope you're having some summer fun too...
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I'll list here the part of the article giving the sustainable factors the author thinks are important. If they can do it, so can we, so this might be a good list to work from for those interested in doing so. I'll only point out that several of these require government action.
Sustainable Factors (some more sustainable than others)
- People using mass transit and high speed rail
- People buying more fuel-efficient cars and driving slower on the Autobahn
- Government incentives for using renewables, insulating homes, subsidies for commuting reduced, road pricing for trucks introduced.
- High take rate up for wind and solar due to feed in tariffs
- Heating fuel switching to solar & wood/pellets
- Heating technology switching to CHP (Combined Heat & Power or cogeneration) and heat pumps
- Stable and aging population, less consumption growth and less growth in commuting
- Mindset to save costs, people heating and lighting their homes less and desire to help environment
- Sadly, warmer than average winters due to global warming
- Expertise in producing energy efficient technologies and bringing them available to market
And yes, the sailing was wonderful. We're finally into summer weather here in the Pacific NorthWest and being out on the water, with sun and warmth was fabulous.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Unfortunately for my interest in these things, I already have plans to go sailing. *smile*
Saturday, June 21, 2008
He's been getting his degree while working full-time so this is a long awaited achievement and I wanted to celebrate it with him. The trees on the sides are aspens, as are the golden leaves. He wrote the words printed in the middle so this is a very personal piece of art. I hand dyed the fabric the words are printed on as well as the green and yellow that I used for the leaves above and below it. I'm pleased with how well those fabrics coordinated with the aspen pictures I got from wikipedia.
In addition to all the running around to get everyone ready for graduation, and get the house ready, James and I went into Seattle and bought his graduation present, an electric bicycle. We got him a folding bike version which has much smaller wheels than a regular bike. And it's lower powered than the other electric bikes available from the dealer. The advantage is that he can fold it up and take it on a bus with him. (We overheard talk about the bike racks filling up on the buses in Seattle. ) He's enjoying riding it around, and having his own wheels rather than having to negotiate with us for the use of the car. Not to mention no money spent for gas. :-) Here's a picture of James with his new bike.
We bought it at Electric Bikes NW. They also do a whole selection of folding bikes in addition to the electric bikes. Part of why we got the folding one is that it's the only one they had in stock. Everything else is on order, and there are waiting lists for the bikes they've ordered. So, if you're thinking about doing this, I'd do it soon if I were you...
Monday, June 9, 2008
Part of the motivation for posting this piece is that I wanted to talk about another personal victory that I experienced on Saturday. During my morning walk at the greenbelt referred to by Quantum Lake, I met a nature photographer who does mostly birds. In order to continue in the new direction, I need more detailed shots of birds to use. So, I got my nerve up and asked him if he was interested in collaborating. I gave him my webpage address and went home to await his response. Not only did he agree to let me use his photos, but he was very complimentary about my work.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I'll have to work on getting the spirals smaller which is not surprising. Due to my medical issues, I haven't done serious FM quilting in several years so there's lots of rust on these skills. But another couple of practice runs, and I'll be ready to step up the real piece. I'm still trying to decide which thread to go with when I start the quilting on the piece today. The rayon is prettier, but I don't want the background quilting to pop out too much as there's already some quilting elements on the quilt. And those elements are done using rayon so there's one part that says match the thread and the other side that says, use the less obtrusive thread to highlight the other figures. Decisions, decisions...
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The 2 beads in the foreground were made by the instructor as demos during the class. My earliest beads are the little misshapen blue ones at the top with the rest mostly in order by when I made them in the class. As you can see, my bead making progressed quite quickly. I was applying the principal that we learn by doing so I made as many beads as possible. And by the end of the class, I was balancing and shaping the bead without having to think about it. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to afford to buy the bigger torch setup like the teacher had us working on... She had us working on a 2 tank setup which burns much hotter than my little one tanker at home. And of course, it uses a different torch head. The total cost for the new tanks and torch would be about $500.
My motivation for taking the course was to duplicate some earrings I bought at a craft fair in the early 80's and have been unable to find anything like since. These earring have a large flat disk on them so I was wanting to make the disks from glass and do some interesting things with frit or stringers to give the disks some surface design. Unfortunately, what I learned is that the disks I want are too thin to do in glass. So, now I'm left with the desire to do even bigger things in glass. Either as sculpture, or as a major design element in one of my fiber art pieces. Only time will tell what happens... One of the other members of the quiltart list recommended taking a beginner class in a different medium to spark creativity. I have to second the suggestion. I got a lot out of the class besides learning to make beads. Talking to the instructor about design, marketing and the local craft markets were among the highlights.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
As part of my family’s ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprint, I’ve been investigating alternatives to having a second car. It has always seemed silly to me to pay for a car for my husband to drive to work where it sits all day in the garage on campus and then drive home where the car sits in the driveway. A whole 4 miles each way. But there isn’t convenient bus service where we live. (Perhaps someone at the Metro Bus management can explain to me the point of doing park & ride bus terminals without feeder routes that basically require you to have a car so you can get to the bus… But I digress.) So, we’ve had 2 cars that between them go 13000 miles a year.
A friend building his own 3wheeled motorcycle started me thinking about alternatives. And a search through the library yielded a very useful and interesting book: How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish. While giving good reasons to not own a car (from finances to health to environmental), mostly this book covers how to make the mental transitions necessary to not need a car. Or at least to not need a second car. If you’ve ever felt trapped by your car, or hated spending the $8000 a year that the AAA says is the average, well, you will find this book full of solutions. With real-life examples on almost every page, Chris gives tips for every aspect of life and how to do it car free. But this isn't a one size fits all book. The author gives a good way to evaluate the true cost of owning a car, along with a way to go car-lite, using only as much car as you really need. This is probably the route we'll be going, at least as long as we live over a mile (up and down some very steep hills) from the nearest bus stop for a bus going the way we need to go. This weekend, we'll be taking a second look at some alternatives to the second car, and possibly making a decision on which way to go. I'll keep you posted on what we decide.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
There are some national organizations that looked really interesting: www.1sky.org for one. They're focused on getting national legislation moving by 2010 with the intent of fighting climate change, and improving our energy independence. And I was very heartened to see what great strides local groups in the Bellingham area are making. www.sconnect.org was the most notable of these.
I've organized the links into several categories which seemed like a good way to split things up to me. If you like going through lists of links, give this one a look and I'd appreciate feedback. Or some suggestions too. We do have a regional focus, but particularly noteworthy national or international links would be welcome too. And if your organization wants to link to us, feel free. The more the merrier...
Friday, May 16, 2008
on what individuals can do right now to help move their cities into a more sustainable and climate friendly zone. Two of the ten quotes say to use your car less, or not at all so I guess that post is a good idea.
Other ideas basically boil down to get informed and get involved. I'm working on helping others with the first one (hey, I got a haircut this week and even my hairdresser was asking what she could do) and doing the second. This is definitely something where we all need to work together.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
I went down to the Columbia River this last weekend, to help a friend re-assemble his custom 3-wheel motorcycle. I guess it’s officially a motorcycle, even though it’s made using a diesel engine from a Mercedes car. We had a lot of fun bolting all the pieces together, and when it’s finally finished, he’ll have an efficient, fun vehicle that gets 75+ miles to the gallon and can run on biofuel.
This is a picture of the work in progress. There are still some pieces that need painting and then should be added on to what’s here. Aspen, the friend in question, is planning on using this as his primary form of transportation. The back platform is 9 square feet and will haul a substantial amount of stuff. He’s also put a trailer hitch on the back so he can pull even more. And with the MB220D engine, he’s got the power to do it, too.
His father, John Price, built the first one pictured above. I got a ride on his and it was as much fun as a motorcycle without being nearly as scary in the turns. He's got close to 10,000 miles on it so he considers the design well proven. If you’re interested in learning more, check out John’s webpage, http://www.warhorsetractorco.com/.
To add the obligatory art interest to this post, I'll just mention that I made 2 patches for them featuring the art John has used on his webpage. This was an interesting challenge, using heavier materials than I usually work with (canvas rather than quilting cotton, or silks) and I learned some things about stitching on leather. My brain is now scheming for ways to use the rest of the leather needles I bought...
Here's the patch on the back of aspen's vest. It's 9 inches square, roughly. Canvas fused to canvas, edge stitched with polyester thread in a satin stitch, and then fused to the leather with heavy duty wonder under and then stitched down around the edges with polyester top stitching thread using the leather needles with my big Bernina. The only trouble spot was the seam in the leather vest down the middle behind the patch which caused my machine to hesitate on a couple of stitches. Otherwise, it was a fun and fairly quick project.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
This article covers the history of the deliberate creation of the Consumer Culture which is, in my absolutely not at all humble opinion, destroying us here in the States. I particularly like that the author gives the example of the Kellogg company which gave employees a shorter workweek in the 30s mostly in response to the Depression. It didn't last company wide after WWII and the great push to turn us all into busy little consumers, but it did persist in some departments at Kellogg until the mid 80's. My own experience (30 years worth) as an employee is that 30 hours a week is a very livable pace leaving room for connecting with family and friends, pursuing other interests and having a full and better quality of life.
While I look to Yes! for things that people are doing and ways to create the changes I'd like to see, Orion gives me the broader perspective which helps with seeing how all the pieces fit. Check it out, see if it would be helpful for you. They have back issues and some of the current issue online so it's easy to do.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Check them out at www.YesMagazine.org.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic. I took a glass bead making class last weekend and spent 2 days creating over 20 beads. the first few were pathetic, and the last few were pretty darn nice. But more about that later...
The last week has been spent taking care of our cat Cloudy (unofficially called FluffyButt). She had what appeared to be yet another bladder infection so off to the vet we went. Yes, there was an infection but there were also lots and lots and lots of teeny tiny stones in her bladder. Which required surgery. She came home today and will be on special food from now on so we don't do this again. The picture above is of the stones which are about the size of large grains of sand. Well, okay, a couple of grains of sand clumped together. She has my sympathies for the pain she must have had.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One of the things I'm looking for is what others have already figured out about how to cut fossil fuel dependency and to relocalize without moving to a farm and homesteading. (Not that I would mind that, but my technology oriented husband might have a few objections.) This looks like a good tool for figuring out what needs to be changed. If you know of others, please post a comment and tell me about them.
Check out http://www.permacultureactivist.net/articles/urbnzonsectr.htm
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Below are 2 images of pieces done each way. The top fabric in each picture was ironed to freezer paper. The bottom fabric was printed using the full size label.
This is the fabric straight out of the printer with the stabilizers still attached. Notice the darker edges on the freezer paper one which is where the fabric crumbled somewhat.
This second shot is after removing the stabilizers. Notice the curling on the one done with the full size label. I fixed this problem somewhat with some ironing but you should keep in mind that ironing too soon after printing can degrade the image.
Next time, I'll be trying printing on fabric with wonder-under as a stabilizer as I usually fuse it anyway...
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Have I mentioned grist.org lately? I get an environmental news email from them regularly and I love them. They’re amusing, informative and local to Seattle. So, the last week of February, when I was getting ready to do some baking, and wanted to use honey instead of sugar, I ended up writing a letter to their advice columnist. It got published the next week, so I share the link with you.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
And I'm having to focus on getting ready for running a fundraising auction at a science fiction convention this weekend. It's a great convention, and a good cause, but it's the first time I've done it so, of course, everything is taking longer than expected to get ready. Check out www.potlatch-sf.org to see what I'm doing this weekend instead of working on my art.
Friday, February 22, 2008
This next week, I'll be trying out some inkjet transfers to fabric, and some digital printing on fabric. Look for some pictures to show how it goes.