23 December 2012

2013: i'm coming for you

Since 2012 has been rather hellish for me, I've decided to kick 2013's ass before it starts.  There are going to be big changes in short periods of time; I may not even be living in the same state by the end of January.  I resolve to do a bunch of stuff, and I have hope that a few of my resolutions will be achieved.

I do know that I can go all out when I put my mind to it.  See for proof all the Christmas presents I've churned out in the past two weeks.  That's right, just two weeks.  And even though it's December 23, I'm going to get a whole quilt top done for Christmas day (granted it won't be quilted or bound yet, but having a quilt top to unwrap is better than nothing).
2013 is going to be my year, and I refuse to acknowledge otherwise.  It can't get worse than 2012, so it's already off to an amazing start.  Just eight more days and about half an hour, and I will be off...

27 August 2012

quilting and procrastination

I have always been a procrastinator, and now it has even shown up in my creative life.  During school I would always write papers at the last minute (I mean seriously--I’d be writing a paper at 7AM for an 11AM class).  The thing was that I loved doing the research for the paper and would do it ahead of time, but I never liked to actually write it.  Cue to this quilt:

I put together the fabrics about three years ago.  I knew my mom would adore the red Asian print and went from there.  Eventually I created the blocks and put the quilt top together.  I basted it probably around twenty or so months ago and then started the straight-line quilting about fifteen months ago.  Then I didn’t touch it again until last week.  There’s nothing like a deadline to get me to actually finish something, and I wanted to get this to my mom for her birthday.  Success!

Just like my school papers, I love the process of putting things together (gathering research/piecing the blocks).  But I must have that deadline to actually get it done.  I’m not even sure how to improve on this as there’s always a new quilt to begin, but unless I’m planning it for someone it rarely gets finished.  I'm always amazed at the quilters who seem to whip up a new one every week; I've been quilting for going on four years and have only completed about ten large quilts (and various wall hangings/table runners).

I guess I'm just going to keep enjoying the process.

13 June 2012

impulse shopping for the poor reader

I currently have 63 items checked out from two different libraries (33 from one, 30 from the other).

I went to the library after work with two items in mind, and after an hour I came out with the above stack (if you're wondering--the two items I actually planned on checking out are at the top).

This is the poor reader equivalent of grocery shopping when you're hungry...and the sample lady is hanging around.

30 November 2011

glossy vs. matte

Reason #34 why I'm a little weird:  I like a book more if it has a matte cover rather than a glossy cover (this applies to both hardcover and paperback books).

I read a lot of books from the library, and they're all in their protective plastic covers.  But you can always get a little feel of the actual dustjacket when you open the book, and I tend to lose a little respect for the book if it has a glossy cover.

I have no explainable justification for this prejudice.

Yes, I'm an odd duck.
(I'm also hoping someone randomly searches "glossy vs. matte" and finds this post thinking that it's going to be about lipstick...)

14 November 2011

oh the places i've lived...

Here's a chronological list of all the places I've lived from birth until this moment:

  • Hemlock, Michigan
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Antioch, Tennessee
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Bath, Michigan
  • Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Pittsford, New York
  • Swannanoa, North Carolina
  • Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • Clifton Park, New York
  • North Chili, New York
  • La Quinta, California
  • Rochester Hills, Michigan

It's so easy to think of memories from some of these places, but there are some others that feel like a mist creeping around my mind.  My goal is to pull out a memory for myself of each place.

Here's one moment I can remember from Antioch, Tennessee:  I was in first grade, and our neighbors took me (along with their kids) to pick strawberries.  They had an old VW Beetle which I thought was the coolest/strangest thing ever, and that is the only time in my life that I've ever ridden in one.

Another one (it's all coming back to me now, my little miss six-year-old self):  I had a pair of black gerbils who I named Becky and Cindy (no explanation whatsoever for the names).  They had this amazing plexiglass habitat that we got at a garage sale that had cool twisty places for the girls to crawl around.  One night we came back from dinner at Shoney's (I don't know why I remember the specific restaurant), and Becky (or Cindy) had chewed a hole in the plexi that was almost big enough for them to escape from.  I don't know if this was the last straw for my mom or what, but we drove them out to a field and my stepdad let them go (i.e. be free little gerbils!).  Now looking back on this with my 34-year-old brain--a bird probably got them if they didn't pass away from exposure.  Not cool.

01 November 2011

old blog/new blog

So I had/have a blog on Typepad with the same name.  I don't have very many posts there, but I wanted them to be able to be accessed for the 6 weeks that I'll still have it (i.e. until I stop paying in December):  vegan spinster studio at Typepad.

I'm still trying on this whole blogging thing, so I feel as though my posts there are very stiff and I'm attempting to be more myself here.  Not sure how that's going to be honest...

vegan boy scout dinner = yummy!

It's getting to be the cold weather that longs for filling comfort food, so I decided to attempt a vegan version of a favorite childhood meal, the boy scout dinner.  The basis for this meal (also known as a hobo dinner according to my brother-in-law) is meat and veggies cooked in tinfoil over a fire.  My stepdad always made it for us with potatoes, onions, carrots, and polish sausage (a lot of online recipes call for ground beef) all mixed together in the tinfoil and cooked in the oven when we weren't camping.

So for my meal I chopped up some Yukon Gold potatoes, a small onion, and a couple of carrots and piled them on top of a Field Roast Smoke Apple Sage sausage (awesomely vegan).  I drizzled on a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and wrapped up the tinfoil into a pouch and threw it in the oven at 375.  After the potatoes were still pretty hard after 45 minutes, I called my mom and asked her what temp I should set the oven at and she recommended 400.  So they were at 375 for about 1 hr 15 minutes and then at 400 for another 20.  Next time I think I'll just start at 400 and try for a little over an hour.

But they turned out so yummy!  I ate them with some sauteed kale with garlic and feasted.  Such a comforting meal on a cold night which reminded me of being a kid.

Took this pic when I'd already started eating, so it's not the prettiest but the food was going fast!  I like the sausage dipped in a little dijon mustard, so that's what the smear on the top of the plate is.  I made two packets of this, so I'll have tasty leftovers for tomorrow.