Thursday, June 07, 2007

Now For Something Completely Different

Three guesses where I went today. Or what this is.
No, it's not Tinkertoys, nor is it Lincoln Logs. It isn't even an Erector Set, although it sorta does look like one of those creations, doesn't it?
Actually, it's the dome of this:

Atrium at the Brea Mall.
Quite a lovely shopping venue, one I'd never ventured out to before.
It was a Girls Day Out with my SIL/Roomie and D3, aka the Fashionista. A certain upscale department store is having its Half-Yearly Sale for Women and of course that's always a big draw.
Well, for a Fashionista and her mummy and auntie, at least. Besides, the Grandcarrot needed a new pair of shoes.
White shoes. For a certain event on Saturday, starring the boy.
News at 11. Or maybe on the 11th. We'll see.
This is another view of that ceiling. I love exposed beams and trusses like this. Architecture snoop, that's me.
My shopping companions protected me from passersby while I snapped these. Getting knocked over while I'm looking up up up and trying to get a skylight in focus is not in the plan. In addition to the protection, I also took quite a bit of teasing. Oh well. One must suffer for one's art, such as it is!
Today was one of those days that start out with a snail's pace and move on into frustration as the day goes on. I had an early-ish doctor's appt. in the depths of Monterey Park, which is a lovely community just a few miles away. I left home at 8:15, pretty confident of making my 8:45 date.
Hah. Double Hah! I arrived at 9:15, after circling the block a couple of times looking for a place to abandon the vehicle. Never mind parking; just some place to leave it. No wonder the ol' blood pressure was up. (The weight too, but that's another whole blog post. Not today.)
However, the day did get better after that. I left the doctor with a few centiliters of blood and took off for shopping. You know the old truism:
When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.
There are no yarn or fabric shops at the Brea Mall. This is A Good Thing for my budget.
So on to something more cheerful: quilts!
French quilts, for sale at the artists' street fair in Uzes. This artist uses silks and ribbons to construct her gorgeous pieces, then mounts them like the art they are so that they can be hung on the wall.
They are basically log cabins constructed in the classic Courthouse Steps layout. She folds the narrow pieces of silk/ribbon/satin/brocade and then stitches them carefully to a backing.
Her work is exquisite. The detailing, when you look closely at them, is precise and her stitching is meticulous. No wavering seams or mismatched corners. Those strips in the larger quilt finish at about 1/2 inch wide. Most of the smaller pieces have the same strip widths, although the smallest ones with the scenes in the center have slightly wider strips.
Nifty, huh?
No, I am not planning on making any of these myself any time soon. I have a rather large-ish backlog of quilt WIPs and UFOs which I have not listed on the sidebar, for the simple reason that I can't find them all. But that will change, I hope. My summer projects include organizing my quilting as well as my knitting life. (Yeah, the rubber stamps and scrapbook supplies too. But there are only so many hours in the day, and only so many spots in this house to spread things out.)
Now I am going to take my weary feet to bed. For a little while today, they thought maybe we were back in France. Then they realized, nah, no cobblestones!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Project Spectrum and...

First, just cause I thought it was so cute to see a Harry Potter poster in French. This was in the post office (La poste) and translates to, Long live the magic of the stamp and the written word. The scroll says: With the Post Office, you don't have to be a wizard to write!

Now on to this month's series of Project Spectrum colors. First, the metallic: the Statue of Liberty's torch, full size, is mounted on the Alma Bridge. It's gilded with real gold leaf, as are many of the monuments in Paris.

For red, how about a field of blooming poppies? This was a pretty spectacular one, found by our good friend and bus driver Jean-Luc. The man is good-looking and can really drive that thing. He also spends his days off driving around, looking for places he can take "his" tourists. His wife rides along and helps him figure out if the lanes can take the bus.

For black, this little cat with books. I was going to post another picture of Simon, the Black Cat in Residence, changed my mind, dithered around a bit.
Here he is. Underwhelmed by the attention, as usual.
Ah, the problem of the paparazzi--always snapping your picture when you really just want to sleep!
I know, I know--I need to get out some of my red and black and metallic yarns. No problem with the reds--just check back to my Black Sheep treasures; black is a little more iffy, but I know there is some around here somewhere. Metallic? Well, not something I generally knit with. Or wear. Guess I'll have to really dig to see what I can come up with! There's certainly no dearth of yarn around here...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Resolutions, and Goals, and Such-Like

What is it about a new month, especially one that will contain a season change, that makes us want to take stock of where we are and where we want to go? (Or is it just that, back from a long break from my daily life, I'm ready to take another look at that life?) Whatever it is, I'm falling for it, and ready to muse about what's ahead for this coming season.
But first, a semi-gratuitous cat photo. I wanted to take a picture of this afghan for Ellen, anyway, and last night Simon was posed just too fetchingly in the chair. (It always amuses me that he photographs so grey. I guess the flash lights up the white undercoat and shows through, cause in person he is definitely a black cat. A tuxedo cat!) Anyway, the story on this afghan is that I found it on the upper level, wayyy in the back, of an antique mall in Monrovia, one of those days when I'd taken Himself out for a bit of an airing and his favorite activity, Depression glass hunting. The afghan was in a heap on the floor, smelled funny, and has a couple of spots where it looks as if there might have been some heat damage. I rescued it--hey, $10 was a great price! Once it got run through the washer and dryer, it smelled great and was nice and soft. It's wool, nicely crocheted at a smallish gauge, and a good sub for the one I had made many long years ago which is now in some unknown location--may have been moved on, or else it's in the back of a closet.

Carrot says hi. He's on the cusp of learning to walk, and at that really busy 1-year-old stage. No more cuddly baby! Now he's on the go and might, if you're lucky, sit still for a momentary cuddle.

None of this, now, has anything to do with my new goal-setting-stock-taking mood, does it?
I'm so distractible these days!
But here goes. By summer's end, I'd like to:
*finish most of my WIPs
*lose 15 pounds (that's the compromise between the do-able 10 and the desired 20) by eating healthy and walking/exercising more
*have the house in much better shape, maybe even ready for new carpeting
*have the garage door replaced and the garage semi-emptied, and the storage unit gone (this means moving A LOT of things out!)
*get my yarns organized
*get my fabric organized
*find my sewing machine table, get that set up, and work on some of my quilting WIPs and UFOs. Hey, there's a quilt that has needed quilting on it--it's got a few blocks hand-quilted, but I'll finish it by machine--for the last 20-mumble-years. UFO or WIP? Plus, there's a couple of projects that would make good classes if they were finished quilts instead of tops. And there's a giant stack of boxes of my "charity quilt" stuff, too. Time to get back to that!
Well, that's enough for now. I think I'll print out this list and post it at the top of my computer to remind me of what I need to be doing instead of sitting here... And yes, I will be honest and report my successes as well as my failures!