2012 Goals Check-in

Time to check in with my 2012 goals:

Cook 1 new recipe each week
So far, so good.  I didn’t think I’d get a new recipe in this week because we weren’t planning on eating dinner at home this week.  Staying home on Sunday instead of going out to San Francisco worked to my advantage.  I made split pea soup with yellow peas that I found at the Indian market by my house.  Pretty yummy.  I didn’t follow the directions 100% though…  I dumped everything in the pot and let it cook instead of adding the carrots and celery in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Eat real food
This one I’m falling down a bit on.  Most bread in the supermarket has some kind of weird preservative in it.  I’m also trying to use up my peanut butter and salad dressings before I buy more (budgets, ya know).  And of course the cookies and candy at work don’t really work so well for this.  I just need to focus more and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth and what I’m buying.  I can do that.  It might be difficult at Disneyland next week, but I’ll do my best.

No white grains
Do onion bagels count as white grain?  Or the rice at lunch yesterday?  Or the flour that’s used to make those delicious cookies in the lunch room?  I’m pretty sure they do.  *sigh*  FOCUS Danie!  I’ve been doing good except for those three slip-ups.  And my sister was super sweet to buy pizza with whole wheat crust for my nephew’s birthday.  Thanks Sis! Yay me – I’m almost succeeding with this one!

Finish one quilt or sewing project each month
All I have to do is attach a border to this hot pink quilted throw I made and the project for month #1 is done!  I also have the stuff I need to complete at least on project for month #2!  This goal is going well.

Buy a house, not a condo
I showed DH some McMansions around our neighborhood that we almost have 10% down on.  I think we’ll probably end up buying something a little more manageable payment and upkeep wise (read: smaller and cheaper).  We have 20% down on bank-owned prices for smaller homes, but we need to save more for closing costs and any repairs/upgrades the houses might need.

Learn basic web development technologies
I haven’t even started on this one.  DH showed me a series of videos I can watch to get the basics down and then take tests to get certified on this stuff.  I’m just not super motivated on this, though.  Got any tips to get me motivated?

Get Project+ certified
This is a direct response to some project management training work sent me to awhile back.  I have all of the training materials I need sitting in the 2nd bedroom upstairs.  Have I watched one refresher video?  No.  Read one chapter of one book?  No.  Maybe I need some prizes to motivate me, what do you think?

Run a 5k without stopping; complete three 5k races; complete two 10k races; complete at least one half marathon; wear a bikini comfortably in public
I decided to lump all of these goals together because they each build on one another.  I signed up for a 5k, I joined a gym, and my rib is healed so I can focus on these goals more.  My weight went up in response to the gym-going though.  Just a pound, but I know that is water retention from the upper body workout I did yesterday.  Seriously, my arm muscles are so sore that it’s a miracle I could turn on the shower this morning.  I also jogged on the treadmill twice this week, which felt really good.  I’ll keep doing that until I’m jogging for the whole 30 minutes the gym allows.

 

Christmas Present Update – with Pictures!

OK, I’m not going to be so secretive about what these Christmas presents look like.  I want to show you all what I’ve been working on!  So, if you’re family or a friend who normally gets Christmas present from me, DON’T LOOK!

 

So…  here’s the twisty quilt.  I’ll probably give it to DH’s grandma.  It’s decent sized and has pretty colors.

Twisty Quilt

Twisty Quilt

 

And I made lunch bags for my nieces and nephew.  You can see the progression as I gained skill.  In other words the lopsided dolphin one was the first one, and the brown one that looks pretty darn good is the 3rd one.

3 lunch bags

 

Closed Bag

 

And they're lined!

 

So that’s what I’ve been up to.

On Hold: Superman Quilt

I was so excited to find my Superman fabric back in March during a Shop Hop.  I had even received a FREE pattern from a previous store that I thought would be perfect with it.  I carefully selected all of my fabrics and brought the treasures home.

This weekend I finally had time to cut and sew the top.  I followed the cutting directions, which said to fussy cut 12 blocks from the focus fabric and 12 blocks from the accent block fabric measuring 5.5 inches.  Then I cut the strips and squares for the “frames” around the blocks.  I learned how to make half-square triangles, and got those all together.

Then it came time to assemble the blocks with the focus and accent fabrics.  I discovered late Saturday night that the pattern really meant that I should cut 12 blocks from the focus fabric for each frame fabric that I will be using.  So, it really should have said 36 blocks.  I didn’t have enough Superman fabric to cut another 24 squares.

I was sooooo mad!  I looked back at the fabric requirements to make sure that I didn’t mis-read what I was supposed to buy.  Nope.  It said “enough focus fabric for 12 fussy cut squares”.  The cutting directions truly said “fussy cut 12 squares measuring 5.5 inches”.  ARGH!  And the quilt store I bought the fabric from doesn’t have any more!

I found the same fabric on eBay for $11/yard.  I don’t have another $100 to spend on special fabric, so I thought I’d look around for something that would blend with the rest of it.  Then I found fabric.com – they had the fabric I needed for $8/yard AND they had other Superman fabrics that would coordinate with it!  Plus, the coordinating fabric is printed in such a way that I could order less yardage and still get the right number of squares.  Score!  So I ordered 3 yards of 2 different coordinating fabrics and got free shipping because my order was over $35.  Double score!

So, the Superman quilt is on hold until I receive and wash the new fabric.  In the mean time I’m working on a stash-buster twister quilt.  If it turns out really nice, I’ll probably give it to someone as a Christmas gift.  The colors keep making me think of DH’s grandma, but I’ll have to see if I still think of her once it’s finished.

Quilter’s March Madness Shop Hop

It’s been a few days since I last posted, mostly because I’ve been on the road!  I know I could have scheduled posts to magically show up, and you folks wouldn’t have been the wiser…  but it felt like cheating, ya know?  What was I doing that was so important that I couldn’t blog?  Shop Hopping!

For those of you who aren’t in the know, a shop hop is this thing that crazy people do.  Well not crazy, exactly.  Just people who want an excuse to go to multiple quilt stores over the course of a few days and hang out with fellow quilters.  There are chances to win prizes along the way too!  I love shop hops.  They’re something my sister and I can do together while reinforcing creativity and creation.  But shop hops are not all fun and games.  They require lots of planning, timing, and dedication.  After all, you only have a few days to visit a lot of shops!  This particular shop hop had 22 stores spread across northern California.  We visited Antioch, Brentwood, Ceres, Concord, Danville, Fairfield, Fremont (2 stores), Gilroy, Hollister (my favorite!), Livermore, Manteca, Martinez, Morgan Hill (2 stores), Oakdale, San Carlos, San Mateo, Tracy, Turlock, Vacaville, and Winters.  I’ll write another post later to tell you about the stores individually.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know what I bought.  I’m so excited to show you!

Us Quilt

Us Quilt

The fabric above is for something called an “us quilt.”  A lot of people make quilts that are about a specific person.  They typically include things that the person collects, does for a living, hobbies, etc.  This one is an us quilt, so it includes things that DH and I enjoy, do, work at and value.  They’re along the outside and are full of crazy colors.  For DH there’s rain, Pez, conversation hearts, a computer, coffee and bbq.  For me there’s books, ice cream, sewing, cocktails, pinup girl and family values.  What usually ends up happening is that all the crazy colors/fabrics end up working together to form one cohesive style/color value.  With ours… not so much.  It was actually pretty challenging to find five fabrics that worked with everything (those are in the middle).  I know it looks a bit insane, but it’ll work.  I’ll show you when I’m done!  I didn’t buy any backing because I think I’m going to use Minkee fabric and make it cozy instead.  It would be nice for cuddling under that way.

Superman!

Superman!

I also found some of the most awesome fabric ever – Superman!  I was so excited that I was dancing in the quilt store.  You see: Superman is my boyfriend and has been since I was 5 years old.  DH and I have an understanding 😉

The plan for this fabric is to “fussy cut” squares around the Superman figures on the bottom left fabric, use the logo fabric as a wide border and the comic book fabric as the backing.  The other fabrics will be used as borders around the fussy cut Superman figures.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this quilt!

Oh yeah!  And I also got the backing for my African/giraffe quilt that’s almost done.  All I have to do with that one is piece the backing, make sure I have the right amount of batting, and then get it quilted.  I’m tempted to try the quilting myself, but I’m scared I’ll wreck my awesome quilt top.  What do you think I should do?  Get it quilted or try to machine quilt it myself?  My attention span won’t allow for hand quilting.

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