Wednesday, February 29, 2012

face off

Being entertained is always on my list of things to do. Have you been watching Face Off? What a fun show this is. One of those challenge "reality" shows, this time competing make-up artists. We're almost through the second season all ready, and enjoying every episode.

This week, the challenge was to create something Burtonesque. Several of the artists did a wonderful job on this challenge I think my favorite was from RJ, who created a bell hop, with a chest of drawers, in which he kept ladies drawers... lol. Royce (I hope that i got his name right) won with his creation of a musician and her base fiddle lover. Beautifully crafted and painted. I'm betting that RJ is likely to win it all this season.

At the bottom of the pile was Sue. Again. With too much on her plate, and nothing to pull everything together. She threw gears on it and seemed to think that would take care of everything. Nope. Still she hung on for one. more. week. Beki went home after creating a huge cupcake, and not much else. Again, nothing to really explain why her creation looked like it did... what tied it together.

The challenges are fun, and time is definitely a factor. Very creative.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

critical eye

So, here is something I've been mulling over, and thinking about. Yeah, I do tend to over-think things. I know I do. Sometimes, like now, I'd like a little input from others to moderate my own over-thinking.

Its about photographs. Of me. I make stuff, and I like to show what I've made, which means if I make it for me, its likely to be a photograph of me. Not that I'm so photogenic, or should have become a supermodel because... well... look at that bone structure. No. I'm fat. And no spring chicken. My best days for being photographed probably happened in the 60's. Yeah, that would be the 1960's. When I was a kid. So, I'm not asking which photo makes me look fat. The fat makes me look fat, and the photo just gives you a medium to see it.

Still, that being said, some photos seem to me to be more flattering than others. I just want to know if I'm being hypersensitive/critical or if I'm actually learning something about photography. Let's take this photograph first:
photo by Ron, while standing
I was standing, Ron was standing. Since he is taller, its taken slightly from above.  Next, there is this one taken the other day by Roxanne, who was seated at the time, so it is taken from a slightly lower perspective:
photo by Roxane, while seated (my new shirt, yay)
Differences in lighting aside, this second one really seems to emphasize my mid-section. Not an area that NEEDS to be emphasized, I might add. Is it the angle of the photograph? The cut of the clothing? Both tops have a similar fit around that mid-section... Or, is it just me? Are both of these photos just 'pictures of Dina?' Hmmmm??

Monday, February 27, 2012

1000 posts later...

Is that some sort of landmark? Probably. I guess. I didn't plan anything special. No parties, no give-aways, nothing. In fact, I just really realized that the 999 posts I already had meant that this one was number 1000. Well woo hoo! and yippie!

The thing I'm truly celebrating today is getting back on that stationary bike. Of course I slacked while I was not feeling well. But, though I still have a couple more days of antibiotic, I'm really feeling pretty good. I had a turning point of realization that made it more important to me to get back on, besides the exercise, which I really, really need, too. I realized that my hips - which can bother me with arthritis, are more flexible and happier than they have been in a while. I'm saying the bike has helped them. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm sticking to riding, too. Nothing like a little positive feedback for encouragement, is there. So I was on it yesterday, and again today.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Lets see... what did I accomplish today. Besides laundry. Oh, yeah.

I made pizza. Home made dough from scratch. Its been a while since I made some, so I was kind of rusty, but it came out OK, so I think I remembered all the ingredients. Might need to make the oven hotter next time. Used to make these pizzas all the time, easy peasy in a food processor. When I spent time without one, though, well, I didn't make them so much. I think they may be back in the rotation.
curvy snowflake mug rug

I finished a couple of sewing projects today. I'll probably blog about them more tomorrow, for Creatlivity, but I'm really proud of how they came out, so I just have to show you. Heck, I could practically go door to door around the neighborhood to show off the drunkards path piece. You can relax, though. I won't. I'll just post it everywhere I can think of. And wonder if I should be more of a grown up about it.
drunkard's path mini quilt

Then, I went and joined Pinterest. I've been avoiding it, realizing what a time sink it could be for me, on top of all those other computer related time sinks I have. I guess the moment was right, though, and now I've done it.

Now that I'm feeling a lot better, I have a goal for this weekend. Get back on that exercise bike. Raine and I walked on Thursday and it felt pretty good. Don't want to loose what good I've done. (Keep talking yourself into it, Dina!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

around the block again

Raine and I had a lovely evening together, just the two of us. We went and had chicken tacos with salad on the side (yes! even "I won't eat dishes that have salad in the name of them because somewhere, there MIGHT be lettuce in them" girl). When we got home, Raine suggested a trip around the block. She practiced riding her bike - she's gotten MUCH better at it - and I walked. I think we're going to have to raise the seat on the bike before we get to take off the training wheels.

This is a familiar trail for us, first on the tricycle, then on the scooter. Now, we'll go around and around on the bike. I don't mind. In fact, I enjoy it, and it's good exercise, which we all know I can use. I like walking through the neighborhood, saying hello to the neighbors, seeing the improving - or deteriorating - state of this or that house. I feel like it keeps me connected to a neighborhood that I appreciate.

Then, Raine suggested a movie, and we put in Big Trouble in Little China. Yeah, its an entertaining romp, and we both enjoyed it. I even took a spin or two at the sewing machine, and finished up a couple new cards.
the sun and the tree
These cards are based on a project for the Curves Class I'm taking online. Wow, I'm so glad I did that class, and it's not over yet! These are pretty much practice for a mini quilt that I probably won't get to until later this year. I'm a card-making maniac now, so watch out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

is it the sun?

The antibiotics are kicking in, and I'm feeling better. Definitely better. Good enough to be working on some more of those curves projects that I didn't work on Monday because I didn't feel better then.

On of the projects involves a pieced sun shining on a tree. I've decided not to make the whole thing yet. It would be a mini-quilt, and I'm not up for it yet. I love those two elements, though, and practice making them will improve the final product when I DO make the whole thing.

I've been seeing people making these wonky stars, and I've been wanting, wanting to make one in yellow for the sun. Here it is! Actually, yeah, I think I need more practice.
feeling the sunshine?
 Anyway, its a start, and I was glad to even feel like working on it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

nasal whiney mode

I have an annual tradition that I would really rather not have. A February sinus infection. Often, President's Day weekend is the significant time, especially back in the days when I would head for Estrella War every year, with the hot days and the cold nights. If I didn't have one before I left, I had one when I got home. If I'd had one before I left, it was worse (again) when I got home.

So, Sunday, I could tell my sinuses were unhappy, and yesterday I felt mopey and feverish. Today I went to the Dr. and got antibiotics. Didn't sleep well last night, rather feverish still, I think. I dreamt that I drank water from a water bottle several times. It was quite refreshing. I did have a water bottle by me, but not the one I dreamed of, and by the time I woke up enough to look at it and realize that, I also realized that it was still full. But that water in my dream had tasted and felt so good!

Hoping that I'll be able to sleep better tonight, and make it through work tomorrow and the antibiotics will kick in.... And the whiney-ness will kick off.

Friday, February 17, 2012

president's weekend

A lovely three-day weekend in store. I'll be on my own for much of it. Ron is working, and Raine is birthday partying. I'll be doing some cooking and laundry and sewing!

This week in the curves class is improv curves. There are three projects, for various skill levels. I want to do them all. It's not that I'm an over-achiever. They all look great, though, and fun to make. I got started this evening and made a couple of pieced note cards. Well, you make pieced blocks and then sew them onto the note cards. It was my first attempt at the improvised curves, and I think it went pretty well. The advice to sew with the concave side on top really helped out, I think. Anyway, I got two cards put together, and uncovered some smallish pieces in the box, so I will probably put together a few more.

Tomorrow's project is a mini-quilt. I got the pieces cut out this evening, and will do the sewing on it tomorrow. The third project is a tree on a hill mini quilt. The example is a Christmas-y tree. I think it looks awesome, and I want one, too. If I work it out right, I'll also get my tops finished up and be able to wear one or the other to work next week. Excellent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine time

Working in a high school on Valentine's day is alternately charming and alarming. One of my students came into class saying she had just gotten engaged. Others were busy playing with stuffed animals that they'd given to one another. The chorus class came by and delivered song o grams. None of them were there to get anything accomplished. For their grade, that is. Maybe the dance was well attended. The cooking class was selling chocolate dipped strawberries, and those tempted me. I saw some at one point during the day, and they looked fabulous.

I managed NOT to succumb to red and pink balloons, roses, kitch-y baubles, fancy jewelry or sugary sweets. I like the idea of Valentine's Day much more than the commercialization of it. Then again, I think that is more and more true of EVERY holiday. I do appreciate my family and loved ones, and the fact that we've actually put work into our relationship that has done much good. We celebrated that the other day. We beat the crowd and enjoyed ourselves.

I still got a present though. The best card ever. Made by Raine. Then, she even outdid herself and thought to call her grandparents and wish them Happy Valentine's Day, and made their day, too.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

sew sunday

Roxanne wasn't up for sewing today. She had too much work to take care of. I sewed anyway, and caught up on projects from the Curves class. I blogged about them here, and even have (don't faint) pictures. Well, at least two of the projects. The third I saved for a separate post, which will happen later this week. Wanna see else what I made?
It's a pillow cover, with no pillow yet.

I did some cooking, and some (very little bit) cleaning this weekend as well. I even exercised. Yay me. We got Raine ready for her Valentine's party at school. I used to LOVE the Valentine's party. We each decorated a box, and then put the valentines cards in. It was like getting mail. I loved getting mail, even then. Doesn't seem like they do it that way any more. Ah, well.

I got to sleep late, and didn't even have to go anywhere today. It was a nice day. A nice weekend.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm so glad it's Friday. We had a rally on Wednesday. Our new principal has held several, whereas the previous couple only had maybe two a year. And ALWAYS on Friday, last thing before the kids went home. So, Wednesday should have been Friday, and we still had to go back TWO MORE DAYS!

Ah well. It's Friday now. Ron and I tried out a new to us restaurant this evening, for our early Valentine's date (we are both happy to beat the crowds). We debated whether to go to our treat stand-by, Japanese Kitchen. Yum. Then I recalled that we had discussed the other places in town that served sushi that we hadn't tried yet. Ron looked up the reviews, and we decided to head for El Paseo. It was a good choice. We ordered 3 rolls each and shared. Our conversation turned into a series of yummy noises that lasted as long as the rolls did. Man they were good! We even got a little dessert sample for being first timers. We'll go back there, for sure!

I also got notice that the packages that we FINALLY mailed out were received. YAY! Happy Christmas! WOooo!

Now, I'm looking forward to sleeping late, working on Curves Class projects, getting some stationary bike riding done... and laundry... and grading... and... happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

happy flags

prepare your ingredients
I completed the first project for the Curves Class I'm taking. It started of easy, both in terms of the curves and the sewing. The project is to create a line of decorative bunting. Some of the finished products were for a child's room, or a party. I just decided to make one that would be happy. I looked through my piles of leftover fabrics and found some I thought looked good together, and were cheerful.I had pretty much the perfect amount of bias tape that I'd made for Christmas projects (all mailed, now, yay!)

The project is not long or drawn out, but evening is not my best time of the day to accomplish things and do a good job. Last night I did the cutting. My first time cutting intentional curves with the rotary cutter. This evening I sewed them up. It really didn't take long, either. Ran out of bobbin sewing the arcs into the bias tape and didn't notice until I was through them all. Pretty much had to do them twice. Sigh. Still, I think it turned out all right, and I'm happy with it. I'm wondering whether, with a bit of size adjustment, it would make a cute garland for a Christmas tree.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

mom fail

One day last week, Raine came home complaining that her shoes were rubbing her heels. "Well," I suggested, as moms will, "wear different socks?" No. Mom fail.

On Friday, when I picked her up from the babysitter, she was wearing a pair of sandals. "Where did you get those shoes?" I asked.

"The ladies in the office gave them to me because my shoes were rubbing my heels and it hurt."

"Oh." I said. Nodding with understanding. Finally. My shoes rubbing my heels actually translates to, these shoes have gotten too small. She's grown almost 2 inches in the past 2 or 3 months. I've been waiting for her shoes to get too small. I just expected a more easily translatable message when they finally did. Silly me.

We found some replacements this evening (size 5's, thank you) so she can wear them to school tomorrow, and return the spare pair to the school office for the next needy child.

Friday, February 3, 2012

one big goal

I have a very big goal tomorrow. Big in terms of THIS. IS. WHAT. I. WANT. TO. ACCOMPLISH. Not so big in terms of it being such a difficult job, per se.

I have some packages to prepare and mail. They've been waiting, and waited for. They're long overdue. I really, really, really want to GET THEM IN THE MAIL!!!

Yeah, I'm shouting. At myself. MAIL!

Smaller goals? Work on my happy tops. Take Raine to the pool maybe even. Do some cooking (maybe even some cooking ahead...). Prepare for Curves class. Ride stationary bike. That just about covers the weekend, I think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

starts and finishes and in between

The sewing class I signed up for starts today. At least the blog posting for it does. The projects will start on Monday, and go for 4 weeks. I'm pretty excited about doing this class, thinking it may be the first of many. I wrote more about the class on Createlivity, if you're interested.

I finally finished the wimple/scarf I've been knitting on. It's a gift for my sister in law and I sure hope she likes it. I know, I keep saying that, but it is true. I will be extremely happy if she loves it. Of course I haven't taken pictures of it. Remember who you are dealing with here?

And, in between, I just need to pat myself on the back for keeping up on the stationary bike. I can tell the difference. I'm still working on 20 minutes instead of 25, but I'm still climbing on and going for that ride, so I don't feel too bad about it. In fact I feel pretty proud of myself for accomplishing what I have (many exercise programs have fallen by the wayside long before this one). The positive changes that I feel are good positive feedback for me as well. There will be no pictures of me riding, though. Just sayin.