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Some things you just cannot plan for [Dec. 29th, 2010|11:13 pm]
[Current Mood |hopefulhopeful]

A couple of weeks ago, my father's health took a nose dive, due to him falling into cardiac arrest. Luckily my mother was with him, and got him help immediately. A week in the ICU was followed by transfer to another hospital, triple bypass heart surgery, and now he's waiting for a defibrillator implant. After that he'll be heading home, but will be facing a long recovery.
On the third day of his hospital stay, I was at home, trying to relax via sewing after a turn at the hospital. I was working on a quilt for my daughter, and thinking about the things I could do to help my dad, and my mom, and the things I could not do. And then it hit me. My dad was going to be in bed for a while; I'd donated quilts to hospitals before; I'd make a quilt for my dad to use at the hospital. This was a way I could use my hobby to make things a bit nicer for my father, regardless of prognosis.
I left my daughter's quilt, and went to the fabric store. Luckily, I know my father well enough so that the rumination part of the creative process didn't need to take long. My dad's a life-long lover of horses. He loves westerns, and has a great fondness for the myth of the west and of the cowboy. I would make him a horse and cowboy quilt. I also knew I wanted the quilt to have movement, and a sense of the outdoors. I bought fabric of horses running free and 4 other fabrics in blue, green, and brown. Out of them, I made this:


More picturesCollapse )

The quilt is knotted with reddish brown embroidery floss, intentionally used to recall to mind the quilts of the 1800s. The quilt is Single size, and will, I hope, be useful to my dad as he convalesces in front of the tv or computer.
It turns out the unit he's in at the hospital will not let him keep a personal blanket, so this will have to wait till he gets home. I will however, print him a picture of the quilt and take the print out to him. He can keep it with the rest of the cards, photos and pictures his grandkids have made for him.
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Getting close [Sep. 20th, 2010|11:27 am]
5 days to go!
We took a chunk of the weekend off from wedding planning. We attended a friend's wedding and my nephew's 4th Birthday Party. Lots of fun with kids, babies, laughing with new friends and old.

Then we came back and back to it we went.

First house guests arrive tomorrow!

This afternoon I am driving an hour plus to pick up my corset! SO excited. A friend is making it for me as a gift and it turned out more complicated than we thought. Which accounts for the delay. But now it's ready and I am going to get it, right after work!

This means my outfit for Wedding Event I is complete.

So, of course, I have to start second guessing. Do I want to wear the boots I bought for the wedding, which are really (really) pretty, but also higher heels and thus less comfortable (even though I've been practicing), or wear my kick ass platform stompy boots, which are comfy and kick ass, but not special for the wedding?

These are the things occupying my mind this morning, instead of the work I should be doing...
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Two should be enough [Aug. 19th, 2010|10:12 pm]
[Current Mood |sadsad]

You know how they say things come in threes, including bad things? This time I'd like it to be just two. Two should be enough.

One friend is in the hospital recovering from a surgery.

Another friend just passed away tonight in a different hospital.

No more hospital news-ok world?

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Finished project [Aug. 4th, 2010|06:44 pm]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I started this nearly two years ago, and finally finished it this past weekend. I had the house to myself and was able to spread the quilt on the floor only by moving furniture out of the way. I'd been waiting till the house was empty so I wouldn't have to roll the quilt back up every time I took a break.
The quilt is double-sided, because you get two blankets that way! It is a light blanket for our bed.

One side (sorry for the blurry):

and the other:

On to the next project!
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Yay!! [Aug. 4th, 2010|03:32 pm]

A US federal judge has overturned California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

The judge found it unconstitutionally discriminated against same-sex couples who sought to wed.

The state measure, known as Proposition 8, was passed by voters in 2008. It banned same-sex marriage, although the state offered same-sex civil unions.

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Progress [Jul. 29th, 2010|05:02 pm]
[Current Mood |melancholysick]

On this, my third day of food poisoning, I have been able to move from eating only white bread and water, to eating baked potato and apple sauce.

Food poisoning sucks. Laying on the couch watching tv is getting boring too...

I feel a bit better and have to keep reminding myself not to do too much.


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(no subject) [Jul. 25th, 2010|06:54 pm]
[Current Mood |pleasedpleased]

As some of you know, I quilt. I love to quilt. I quilt quite often.
I've made quilts from crib to king size ones, table runners, one big gigantic 3 yard square quilt. I've made them for weddings, babies, birthdays, Bat Mitzvas and just for fun. I've given them away to loved ones, sold a couple, and given more to charities. I made my first one when my eldest was a baby (14 years ago) and have easily made 40 since then.
I have decided to make a Chuppah for my wedding this fall). This, for those who may not know, is a canopy under which the couple gets married. It is a traditional element in Jewish weddings (and others?). We are not having a religious wedding, but I am part of the Jewish culture, and it is part of me. Making a Chuppah is a way to incorporate a traditional element that has meaning to me, and gives me a great excuse to make a quilt (well, technically it only has two layers...)!
I just finished it yesterday, and so here it is:


and a close up:

It is a faux crazy quilt, made almost entirely from scraps from my (way too extensive) fabric stash. The only fabric I bought specifically for this project is the silver fabric.
The quilt measures 65 inches squared and is held up by beaded tassles:

I made the tassels from ribbon and beads I already had at the house (we are a crafty household; there are bits and pieces everywhere...)

I am quite pleased with the way it came out, and very very pleased about its use: AJ and I will be married under it, two months from today!
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Back in the saddle [Jul. 1st, 2010|11:20 am]
[Current Mood |pleasedproud of myself]

When I was a kid I was short and skinny. Very short and very skinny. My dad decided that my body type makes me ideal for riding a horse and, since he's got a deep love for horses, but could not ride anymore himself (due to various injuries), I would be the horse rider in the family. At that time he owned a horse, a beautiful mare called Noor (light or flame in Arabic), and on Saturday mornings we would go to the stable and I had lessons. I don't know how many lessons I had; I blocked them out.

I blocked them out because one Saturday morning, while little me is on the back of this huge animal, something spooked Noor. We were in the rink, walking around, and she got spooked. She started galloping, at full speed, with little me clinging to the reins and stirrups. I was trying to get her to slow down, using words and my body, yelling in my fear. Nothing. I think I was as much of an influence as a fly would have been. She tore up the hill, which I remember as rocky, and I could do nothing.

That was the end of my horse riding career. I stopped the lessons and, while maintaining a strong appreciation for horses, their beauty and strength, I refused to get back on one of them.

As some people know I have quite the fascination with the "Old West", especially the Gold Rush. I have read and studied about it, I have a thing for memorabilia and artifacts of cow boy/girls, pioneers, prospectors. I've tried panning for gold (Ow, back pain) and eating acorns (ugh, bitter unless prepared right). I've studied and learned a lot of the California Native American history and culture (especially those of the sierra Nevada). I'm writing a novel set in the 1850s. You'd think all this would make me want to ride horses, right? It does, but the experience with Noor has made it too difficult.

Until this week.  That's right. It took me 32 years, but I finally got back on the horse.

While we were at Yosemite, the girls and I went for a horse-back trail ride. I figured the horses at the Yosemite stables would be just about the tamest, most mellow horses on the planet; they'd have to be to do this job. And I was right.  My horse did not do anything unexpected or unpredictable, did not start running for reasons I couldn't fathom, let me control her when I needed to (though I didn't need to much, she knew the trail way better than I did). My girls were great, asking if I'm ok every once in a while.  I admit to nervousness a few times, when we first started, when the horse moved for the first time, and when we were going some steep parts of the trail, but overall I was fine. I enjoyed it! I'd be willing to try another ride, though i don't know how adventurous I can be just yet,

Getting past traumas CAN happen. Whew!

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Wedding finery [Jun. 25th, 2010|04:47 pm]
Just wanted to share this with the world:

Last night I finished my hair jewelry!

It is a silver filigree brooch with an onyx in the middle. The brooch is nestled into black lace and has 3 circles of blue tulle behind the lace. The whole thing is sewn on to a small hair comb.
Since our colors for the wedding are blue, silver and black, this fits in well.

The brooch in the middle belonged to my grandmother, who died a few years ago. She was the wisest, most accepting person I've ever met, and I miss her nearly every day. I always wear something of hers on special
occasions; this way I get to have her with me.

I knew I wanted to incorporate this brooch into my wedding outfit, but didn't know how. I'd had a couple of ideas before this one, and once I'd conceived of the hair toy idea, I knew I had it.

I am so pleased I'll be able to wear her brooch in my hair.

In other news, my elder daughter has started making the beaded necklaces she, her sister and I will wear. They are looking VERY pretty. I shall have to post pictures of them when they are done.
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High Waters [Jun. 25th, 2010|10:41 am]
[Current Mood |cheerfulYay]

Apparently, I've read, and been told, the waters in Yosemite are at record high levels this season. A combination of late snows and a few couple of unseasonably warm days have led to snow melt rushing down from the tops of the cliffs. The Merced river is higher than it's been in 30 years and there are many little unnamed falls spilling over the granite sides of the valley all over the place.

This makes me happy.

I lucked out and found a cabin open for two nights and so the girls and I are heading to the mountains!

Besides Yosemite being a place I love dearly (really, I love it. A lot), this will also serve as time alone for me and my girls. So much of our time recently has been spent on wedding related stuff, It'll be good to do something fun together that has nothing at all to do with the wedding. Also, it'll be just the three of us so some girl bonding time will be had.

I am very excited.

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