Monday, January 30, 2012

Joining the APP craze....

My Fitness APP

Fun little gadget I came across this weekend. For those of you who are number geeks and APP geeks and an organized geek...and a fitness geek...and a food-tracker geek (or geekess, I suppose).....this may be a fun APP to check out. FREE download this past weekend; not sure if it's still free. And hey! If you have the APP, or choose to download, let me know!!! There's a fun lil' feature where you can "add a Friend" and keep track of each others' successes. It'd be SWELL to keep tabs on each other. Besides, it keeps me honest :0)

I worked out's only been SEVENTEEN DAYS since my last workout! e-gah! Bad me, bad me, bad me. So, I TRIED to push myself a bit; besides I was in a pretty schnazzy mood after school today; smiling, happy, all-in-all, a great day today!

But....HA.....without having the consistency of working out, my running form was something to be desired. Twenty-six (26) minutes into my treadmill jog, with the monitor reading "Only 4 minutes left" to me....I started chanting....{{in my HEAD, because otherwise I'm sure I would have gotten a few strange looks, and a good amount of chuckling....}}

That which doesn't kill will only make me stronger.

And now, add the stress to the following parts and see if you can hear the cadence I had going on.....

(1)THAT - (2)WHICH- (3)DOESnt - (4)KILL will - (5)ONLY - (6)MAKE me - (7)STRONG-(8)ER
Each "beat" hit when my left foot struck the tread; must be all that HS Marching Band training I had growing up; the measure always starts with the left foot.

Anyway, with a good hearted sense of humor, I finished my 4 minutes with a pat on the back.

Then I figured....I hadn't had enough punishment yet, so.......SURE!!! Let's do some Tris/Bis and ABS!!!!!!! Again I say.....e-gah! My abs had a few choice words for me.....something along the line of "um, lady! Excuse me! You haven't been our friend for the past few years and you just NOW want to kick-it-in-gear as if you haven't sat on your duff for a few months!?!?!?"

Oh Abs....we have such a history! I thought it'd be like riding a bike; ya don't forget how to ride and you can get right back on....

Hmmm.....I think tomorrow they'll remind me JUST how long it's been since I've "ridden that bike."

In closing......I heard this quote today and I thought I'd pass it along...
Here’s an example of child abuse: Love without discipline.

It's fun to ponder things sometimes, huh?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Year's Eve Mystery - top done; Orca Bay almost with a correct layout

2011 New Year's Eve Mystery
(73" x 87")
On-point setting; bonus triangles used in a pieced inner border
This will be set aside and be added to the Must-Quilt list

While relaxing with Cassie and the movie "Yes Man," I finished up ripping out my orange string placement errors on Orca Bay. The orange "sashing" rows are now completely pieced CORRECTLY! I did not rip out the four Ohio Star rows I sewed oh so long ago now.....

when I look back at this layout (with the light Ohio Stars in the "center" of the green strings),
I still like it better.

Therefore, tonight, I'll sit and rip those last few rows.

I will ALWAYS judge layouts with pictures in the future BEFORE actually sewing rows together :0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pictures on my desktop

There was a time when my desktop (computer desktop, that is) was a DISASTER!!!! Files scattered all over; clustered together in similar categories in SOME attempt for organization. Now-a-days, I keep my desktop rather neat-n-tidy; files being placed into appropriate folders.

Tonight, I decided to give you a viewing of the random ".jpg" files that currently are on my desktop, in need to being either deleted or filed into appropriate folders... Just cuz.
{{I only have SEVEN image files on my desktop right now. Seven! See......I'm getting much better at keeping my files organized :0) }}

A little math-joke humor that I wanted to share with my students. I really don't have a folder yet for "school jokes" or for "jokes" in general. I guess I simply don't save them all that often.....

Ah! THIS was a coupon I created for Linda; we teach at the same school, and she is on my "list of 5" for 2012 to receive something homemade. Being the quilter she is, I thought I'd offer a free quilting service. When Carol did this for me (2009?), I LOVED the offer!!!! I didn't have my quilt frame/machine yet at that time, so I was SO VERY appreciative of the offer.

Mmm.....I haven't forgotten about this image, but can't seem to file it anywhere OTHER than my desktop. If there EVER was a picture worth a thousand words, huh? It breaks my heart, but is an EXCELLENT reminder of the power we all have in our words towards youth. I can't seem to remove it from my desktop; it's too powerful to "hide away."

Of course, there HAD to be a "dream of someday" quilt picture!!!!!!

OH! Hello Mrs. Skattebo. {{yeah.... "official" school picture}}.

Last night, I was working on our school's website. It's that time of year when scholarships are piling into the Guidance office. As the school's webmaster, I created an image "quick-link" from the District's "For Parents and Students" webpage for our Seniors to find the scholarships easier. This is a good reminder that I can now delete that clipart.

Tee-heee!!!! Some humor is always fun! I sent this to our 7-12 secretary a few weeks ago. I send her "good vibes" as often as I can because without her....oh BOY! Our 7-12 wing would be a completely different place to work!!!! She's amazing and needs to hear it :)

That's all folks. What about your desktop? :D Any goodies? Too MANY goodies?!?!?! :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Attitude :0)

Seriously.....WHERE does the time go day-to-day??? It's January 23rd?!?!? What happen to the other 22 days of January so far? It seems like I blink and the day is over; time at school Fah-LIES by....**insert ZOOM sound affect** and then by the time I tidy my classroom, try to keep things neat and organized for my next day, pick up the girls, get home to make dinner (or HUG Paul when HE makes dinner!!!), shoosh Cassie off to basketball or Destination Imagination, help Caitlyn with her homework, keep Candace out of the other sisters' hair, send them off to bed and put my feet up to breathe..... It's 10:00 WAY too soon most evenings......and I KNOW I need to get my lil' tooshie to bed otherwise I'll pay for it the next day when it all repeats itself......**pant-pant** {{of course, I failed to mention all my evening school work that also gets fit in there}} :D

And lately the weekends have been just as crazy-busy **enter car horn sound**'s almost like a new voice has taken over control"COME ON!!! We've got things to do! Gotta get there, gotta be here, gotta prep for next week's classes"

Oh my word.....



I keep smiling!

Afterall, it's ALLLLLLLL about attitude!

Oh, lil' are SO RIGHT! You are my new buddy!

Are you still smiling?????

Oh, and nope :( Not a whole lotta quiltin' going on.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Basketball and quilting (NYE mystery)

No sleeping in for us yesterday - nope, nope, nope. It was a Saturday morning full of basketball; the first non-sleep-in-Saturday of five coming up over the next handful of weeks.
Caitlyn had Little Lakers basketball practice and inter-school scrimmage from 8:00 - 10:00. This is her first year playing the game; she says she's enjoying it, but I would put a million dollars on it if our school were to offer gymnastics, she'd dropped basketball in a heart-beat and join gymnastics. However, we're a small school and gymnastics is not an option. (I foresee cheerleading in her future though).

Cassie's first game started at 9:00 in a different school, so we missed it but heard she played well despite a 10-12 loss. I was told she made the last three baskets and almost made a game-tieing shot with a few seconds left on the clock. She's really finding her love for the game.

Her second game was at 11:00, so we all were able to watch. The coaches do an excellent job making sure all fourteen girls (YIKES!!!!) get an opportunity to play. The periods are 6 minutes in duration, and they (coaches) switch out a full 5-person squad every three minutes. Cassie again made some good plays and landed a couple of buckets. She's improving on her dribbling skills and I THINK she's growing into her height nicely, finding her coordination. WHEW!

I didn't do ANY quilting yesterday, unless you call ripping out my 8 rows of Orca Bay while sitting at the games quilting. I suppose it could be considered UN-quilting :0) Then, the rest of the day, I totalllllly relaxed in the glider with my feet up, reading on my Kindle App and reading the back of my eyes from time-to-time too.

However, today, once the morning got started; coffee brewed; laundry well underway....

I spent an hour piecing four more blocks for the NYE mystery quilt's setting triangles. I simply cut them in half diagonally. I KNOW I will lose the points once a border is attached, but it was the price I accepted in order to have the half-blocks as setting triangles. I literally only had 2" of my background fabric left (aside from some crumbs) once finished, so I couldn't do the setting triangles like they needed to be done. {{I still think it'll be great, even though there won't be any pretty points along the center's edge}}

Naturally, all those bonus triangles needed to be pressed and pieced to be put into use. Once completed, I'll have 77 bonus pinwheels that will find their way into the outer border. Somewhere I must have another HST "lost" because I SHOULD have enough for 78 pinwheels. I looked for a bit and then gave up; no biggy. I'll make 'em work :0)

So, now... I have my feet up once again, waiting for the Packer game to start. GO PACK!!!!!
I also have to spend SOME time on my school work; I have yet to do that this weekend. BUT, the upcoming week marks the end of the term, so Pre-Calc will be wrapping up. Two days of review and a final and then....DONE with PC for the year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

What we all need - A quilt along!

Judy is at it again! She's trying to motivate us all with a quilt-along to help fill some QOV requests from Alycia.

You can never have too many projects going at one time :D, and it's ALWAYS nice to make quilts along-side a bunch of other awesome ladies all over the nation (and WORLD for that matter), all at the same time!

So....jump on over, link her "quilt-along to your blog (I know I have to!!! She posts like a MAD-WOMAN and I have a hard time keeping up with her during my work week), and join in the fun!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some fabric sanity...subtle Orca Bay differences and NYE Mystery layouts

Without time to sew lately, I at least played around with the Orca Bay layouts.

You may recall my post last week where I was panicking that my orange strings (Bonnie's blue strings) were going the wrong way. Here are the 8 rows I had pieced, with strings going the WRONG way, that will SOON be ripped apart and fixed. At least only 8 rows were completed and NOT the whole top! Whew.

Pictured: Orange strings going RIGHT way, mimicking Bonnie's 100%. For those of you who say "Ah, Amy, your 'wrong' layout works." I disagree. If you "relax your eyes" with both pictures, you simply MUST agree that a diagonal pattern is CLEARLY visible when the orange string blocks are placed in the CORRECT arrangement as opposed to my WRONG placement pictured at the top of this post. The strings accompany the diagonal pattern created by the Birds in the Air triangular blocks made with the green strings.

However, as I have been watching more and more quilt tops being completed, a few ladies chose to switch around the Dark/Light Ohio stars. So...pictured: Orange strings going RIGHT way with LIGHT Ohio Stars in the center of the green strings. thinks me realllllly likey it!

This project has been an excellent reminder of TAKING A PICTURE and looking at it before making final decisions. Just seeing it in print (on screen) gives such a different perspective than just standing in front of it.

Therefore, since I was downstairs with my camera, I decided to layout my New Year's Eve mystery blocks as well.

Pictured: layout as suggested.

But then came some playtime with an on-point layout. Ooooo.....THIS is a fun a layout! BUT, those green setting triangles just don't work.

Grabbing my extra blocks, and folding them diagonally in half......v'iola! Oh yes. Quite lovely and most likely what I will end up doing in the end PENDING I have enough background fabric to make a few more blocks to create the setting triangles. sewing, but ideas ideas ideas galore rambling in the mind.

I hope your Tuesday was glorious!

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's back :| grrrrr.....

Around 1:00 today, the acute twinge of pain returned, and has been growing and building ever since to an [almost] intolerable pain.
It has been MONTHS since I've had this sharp pain, and it frustrates me that it has returned. Ibuprofin hasn't helped much...a bath hasn't helped much...I guess it's time for me to just call it a night, cross my fingers that sleep will come quickly, and catch up with school work tomorrow.

On a quilting note: I hope to get some time in this upcoming weekend, but I am not planning for much of anything during this week's evenings.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A belated Christmas

Since my sister and her husband were celebrating Christmas in Florida with BIL's family this year (err...last year...), we all got together this weekend to have the family Christmas with my family. As always, lots of fun and thoughtful gifts, lots of games, lots of laughs, lots of food, lots of relaxation.....a whole lot of "lots." ;0)
Riley is the latest addition to our extended family; and was pampered and pampered and pampered all day long.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the NERF WAR that ensued after everyone opened up their Christmas stockings. "Santa Grandma" gifted everyone a small 3-dart Nerf gun, so with 12 guns out-n-about, the darts were flying like crazy!
Now that Zach has surpasses just about everyone on the growth chart, only "Uncle Paul" and "Uncle Derek" (BIL) were able to reek havoc with him. AND, at one point, Zach brought out the heavy artillery (see the last picture with his head chopped off?). This "war" went on for about a solid hour before a few minor war-wounds were inflicted.

We closed up last night with some birthday celebrations. Candace's birthday was this past Wednesday, and Lindsay's is coming up on Thursday.

So, no sewing/quilting for me this weekend. BUT that didn't mean it wasn't on my mind. Pictured here is the basket of goodies I received as one of my gifts....such FUN and BRIGHT colors. I think I see a "jewel" quilt in my future.

If you don't have a collage-making software, or if you're on the lookout for a different one, these collages were made courtesy of Photovisi. It offers some cute background selections and was quite simple to use.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 Running Log wrapup

With the 2012 new year almost a week gone already, I realized I needed to wrap up my 2011 running log. (specially since I did my FIRST RUN of 2012 TODAY!!!!! Off to a great start!)

So, after a two-year hiatus from running, my 2011 numbers are acceptable. They aren't setting any records, and still not quite where I'd like to be, but it certainly is/was an improvement from '10 and '09.

2011 Running Log
Totals: 219.39 miles

1/26: 1.25 miles
2/7: 1.0 miles
2/13: 1.8 miles
2/14: 2.07 miles
3/8: 1.83 miles
3/14: 2.32 miles
4/12: 1.31 miles
6/7: 1.83 miles
6/18: 3.24 miles (I)
6/19: 3.46 miles (I)
6/21: 2.50 miles (H)
6/24: 3.00 miles (EZ)
6/26: 4.76 miles (L)
6/27: 3.2 miles (W*)
6/28: 3.2 miles (W*)
6/29: 3.2 miles (W*)
6/30: 3.2 miles (W*)
Starting to keep track of weekly miles from this point on.

7/1: 3.12 miles (EZ)
7/3: Ella Smetana 5K
7/4: 3.29 miles (I)
TOTAL: 9.51 miles

7/9: 3.18 miles (EZ)
7/12: 5.93 miles (L)
7/13: 4.00 miles (PW)
TOTAL: 13.11 miles

7/15: 5.87 miles (S)
7/16: 4.76 miles (EZ)
7/21: 8.03 miles (L)
TOTAL: 18.66 miles

7/24: 1.00 miles
TOTAL: 1.00 miles Oh, yuk!

7/29: 3.25 miles (EZ)
7/30: 3.25 miles (EZ)
8/1: 9.9 miles (L)
8/4: 4.0 miles (AI)
TOTAL: 20.4 miles

8/6: 6.18 miles (EZ)
8/7: 3.26 miles (EZ)
8/8: 4.01 miles (T)
8/9: 3.00 miles (W*)
8/11: 4.76 miles (RP)
TOTAL: 21.21 miles (18.21 minus the walk)

8/13: Paavo Nurmi
8/15: 3.26 miles (EZ)
8/16: Strength XT: Squats; Bi-curls; Bench-press; 30-min Billy Blanks Abs/Glutes
8/17: 5.18 miles (T) (11:05/mile pace -- 57:26 total)
8/18: 3.00 miles (EZ & 5xGPUs)
TOTAL: 24.54 miles

8/20: 8.94 miles (L) (11:43/mile pace -- 1:44:44 total)
8/21: 1.83 miles (EZ w/Cassie) (12:00/mile pace -- 21:57 total)
8/22: 3.25 miles (RP) (10:01/mile pace -- 32:33 total)
8/23: Strength XT: wide squats, lunges, bi-curls, incline bench, lateral raises, tricep extentions
8/24: :( Canning corn; no time to run
8/25: :( Canning corn; {{Can I use this excuse reason again?}}
TOTAL: 14.02 miles

8/27: Spanky's 5K (9:38/mile pace -- 29:37 total)
8/28: 3.25 miles (RP) (10:46/mile pace -- 35:00 total)
8/28: 3.25 miles (EZ w/Cassie) (12:38/mile pace -- 41:10)
8/29: 3.02 miles (EZ) (10:52/mile pace -- 32:48 total)
9/1: 2.0 miles (Treadmill -- no watch)
TOTAL: 14.62 miles

9/3: Lake Run 5K w/Cassie (10:56/mile pace -- 33:40)
9/4: 7.96 miles (L) (12:01/mile pace -- 1:35:46)
9/6: 2.5 miles (Treadmill -- no watch)
9/8: 3.84 miles (T & 4x continuous 400's)
TOTAL: 17.4 miles

9/13: 3.29 miles (EZ) (11:05/mile pace -- 36:25)
TOTAL: 3.29 miles OH NO! REALLY!?!?!?!

9/19: 2.45 miles (EZ) (10:03/mile pace -- 24:40)
TOTAL: 2.45 miles OH NO again!!

10/1: 4.31 miles (EZ) (11:24/mile pace -- 49:09)
10/2: 1.34 miles (EZ) (10:55/mile pace -- 14:35)
10/4: 3.15 miles (EZ) (11:11/mile pace -- 35:11)
TOTAL: 8.80 miles

10/15: Whistlestop Half-Marathon 13.1 miles (11:46/mile pace -- 2:34:55)
11/1: 1.26 miles (10:00/mile pace) -- 12:33)
11/7: 2.25 miles (no watch = no numbers)
11/8: 1.75 cross training elliptical miles
11/10: 1.85 miles (I) (treadmill -- 20:00)
11/14: 1.00 miles (treadmill)
11/15: 2.50 miles (H) (treadmill "hill" workout 30:00)

I = Intervals
H = Hills
GPU = General Pick Up
EZ = easy run
L = long run
PW = power walk
RP = Race pace
S = Speed workout
T = Tempo run
XT = Cross Training
W = walk
* = not included in overall total

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - January (Red)

Angela is motivating us once again this year with her Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I lost time and ambition last year :\ **shrug** I guess I allowed it to happen by letting school suck up all my extra energy and time at the start of this school year. I don't want that to happen anymore. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE my job; LOVE my students; LOVE the subjects I teach...... but I miss "ME" time in the evenings and weekends.

SO.....I'm off to a great start so far!

Orca Bay's layout had me UN-motivated after two hours!!! Then, after two hours of final prepping for the upcoming school week (ONLY TWO, that's not tooooo bad)....
I thought digging into my bins for reds would be a nice FUN way to burn up a couple of hours.

1.5" bin; 2" bin; 2.5" bin; 3.5" bin; 4.5+" bin .... dug, dug, dug and pulled out ALLL my red fabrics. NO MORE RED in any of those bins.

I liked the idea of Angela's from last year to create a block of each color and create a "rainbow" quilt at the end of the year. So, I pulled out my Quiltmaker magazines to see if a Bonnie Scrap block would fit the trick. IF I had any doubt!!!! :-)

Her "Jack in the Box" block had already been folded open for my "someday" list. Seems like a perfect perfect pattern!

Her 2.5" "flip" method lead to bonus triangles as well, and rather than make the typical pinwheels from them, I decide to make these "diamond squares" that will most likely make their way into a pieced border of the final quilt 12 months from now :0)

Sadly, I haven't touched my 2" or 1.5" strips (OR my STRING BIN for that matter) OR really tackled lots of 2.5" strips (neatly stacked at the right of the pic)... I may also decide to make some string blocks for a second Rainbow Scrap quilt in 12 months. I need to find some inspirational layouts....anyone know of any?

Orca Bay - Step 8 layout

Wow---two hours = eight rows pieced. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but this is a slow process to make sure the seams are meeting. And---after my 12 years of quilting, I'm STILL making (and LEARNING from my) mistakes. .... Earlier this week, I was thinking how nice it would be to have my Ohio Star units all tidy and trimmed up to 6.5".

Oh Bonnie, Bonnie, Bonnie.......I'm slappin' my forehead big time!!!!! I've lost the points :\ AND, had I not trimmed up, I think all my pieces would be fitting nicer; come to find out, those stretchy string units realllllly are out-sizing the nicely trimmed up Ohio Star units. :| and learn.

In the end......It'll still be an AMAZING quilt, with hours and hours and hours of inspiration devoted to it. Those orange strings certainly "SING" though, huh

I haven't revealed a name for my rendition yet; Orca Bay certainly doesn't fit it. I have a few names floating around in my head; playing games with combinations of words that come to mind from this entire process. It actually makes me think about how we name(d) our children; that until you actually see that adorable lil' face in front of you, a name just doesn't "hit home" until that very final moment.

1/2/12 update
Oh No! Self-talk:

I was just looking at Jo's quilt on her blog, and I kinda make a "hmm...her strings appear to be going the wrong way...."
And then I looked at my 8 rows sewn together already.....

!!!!!! Mine also are going the "wrong way"; they are going against the grain of the "light diagonals"

So sure enough-----I looked at my printouts from Sunday :\
I used Bonnie' EQ drawing to layout out my blocks, but then used her quilt photo to lay out the direction for the strings....
I didn't realize they were two different layouts (with no rotational symmetry), therefore, the string blocks are going in the wrong direction. SO----IF YOU HAVEN"T GOTTEN TO THIS PART YET!!! TAKE CARE! The pics on her blog directions have been fixed, but the PDF file still has the two "rotated" pics of each other. I don't know if/when she has plans to fix the PDF file.

A set back, but I'm still keeping the smile on my face. I WILL be doing some ripping in the near future of the 8 rows completed so far. This is an amazing pattern an heirloom.