Second Base (or bust)

Pun intended!

My sister sent me the link to this top in the Joker's T Shirts Cafe Press store. Do your part for players everywhere ;-)

And yes, I realize I've just written three posts in the span of about an hour... when it rains it pours!

Me, alias Gaz-fen-conda-peacock

from the New York Zoos

Are you feeling a little wild today?! What fun to create your own wild self. I've got gazelle horns, some kind of ears that I can't remember, an anaconda tongue and a fabulous peacock tail (of course!). Who do you want to be?

First seen at Shirley Goodwin's blog, via Planet Textile Threads. (A true must read -- thanks for the tip, Sophie!)
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School's Out, School's Out...

I know, I know -- it's October, and school is definitely NOT out for pretty much anyone I know -- except for me ;) Tonight was the last meeting of the class I teach each fall. Yeah, I know, it's a totally crazy idea -- I can't figure out why they keep asking me back either!

So, I teach a class in public/media relations for students at the Eastman School of Music. It's just seven weeks long, for one night a week, and it can be stressful on top of my "real" job. That said, it's kind of fun to work with these talented students and help them understand how to work with the media to promote themselves and their work. The final project is a complete media kit, with a bio, press release, pitch letter and photographs.

Speaking of photographs, you've GOT to see some of them. My fabulous friend Tammy (IdeaGirl) shot all 13 of my students (plus four others)... and has about 4,800 images to prove it! There's other work on her professional site too, but you should definitely visit and take a look here, here and here. (Scroll away, it's totally worth it!) Amazingly, many of the kids chose photos other than these, although I noticed a couple of my faves were theirs too. They loved the experience and their photos (and each others photos!). Thanks, Tam!


Quilting or Cleaning...

As if there's any question of which I'd rather do! Someone at the about.com quilting forum posted this little poem today, and I had to share it with you:

My neighbor is washing her windows,
And scrubbing and mopping her floors,
But my house is all topsy and turvy,
And dust is behind all the doors.

My neighbor, she keeps her house spotless,
And she goes all day on a trot,
But no one would know in a fortnight,
If she swept today or not.

The task I am at is enticing-
My neighbor is worn to a rag-
I am making a quilt out of pieces
I saved in a pretty chintz bag.

And the quilt, I know my descendants
Will exhibit with credit to me-
"So lovely-my grandmother made it
Long ago in 1933."

But will her grandchildren remember
Her struggles with dirt and decay?
They will not-they will wish she had made them
The quilt I am making today.

-- Cynicky Phin

Clipping from newspaper found on page 99, column 3 "Patchwork Quilts" Carrie Hall collection, Spencer museum, Lawrence, KS


I guess it's fall...

I bit the bullet today and took the window air conditioning units out. Even though I was using the one in my bedroom last week when it was 90*, it was time -- after all, it's getting cooler and it won't be too long before it snows.

Putting these beasts in was a trial -- a comedy of errors combined with a drama of physical pain. A little more complicated than I had thought. Oh well -- it was worth it!

Taking them out should be easy, right? Unscrew the little accordion pleated things, remove the window stop, unscrew the sill bracket, push up the window a smidge and yank the sucker inside, right? Yeah, I wish. I couldn't get the window sash to move at all on the first one. I hammered, I pried, I pushed, I pulled, I swore, I even called my dad.

I finally got the unit out without moving the sash... and STILL couldn't close the window. I grabbed the storm and popped it in, so at least George couldn't fall out, and ended up on the step stool with a hammer and a block, really whacking down on the sash until it finally moved. I'm sure THAT was good for these 80-year old windows. Nonetheless, it had to be done!

The second one came out more easily (the window didn't stick), but I caught my finger between the AC and the storm frame, and ripped off about a half pound of flesh. Yuk.

But I survived -- again -- and now I know I can do this myself. Think how much easier it will be next year!


Finally -- Some Sewing!

October Lotto - #1 October Lotto - #2 October Lotto - #3

Today was the first day I've touched my sewing machine since I finished that quilt for my dad. Work has been crazier than usual (who knew that was possible?!), and I've been too tired to do much of anything but plop down in front of the TV at night.

I decided today I was going to sew SOMETHING, no matter if it was just a single seam! Luckily, I was more prolific than that, and stitched these three 8" batik Sawtooth Star blocks instead. They're for Sophie's monthly block lotto on the forum at quilting.about.com. Each block is an entry into a drawing to win a bunch of blocks... wouldn't you love a quilt made of beauties like these?

I also made a new block for October's birthday girl, Christine, in the birthday block swap Kate organized on the forum. The first one was so ugly that I had to make a replacement (it's on the left below)... it was a real lesson in choosing the right scale fabrics for blocks with small pieces, and in developing contrast. With a different focus fabric, I also chose a different block, this time Chinese Puzzle. (She asked for 12" blocks in black and Oriental fabrics.) It's on the right below, and appears to be a little overexposed. Oh well -- I never claimed to be a photographer!

12" Rising Star Block for Christine 12" Chinese Puzzle Block for Christine