Envelope Project

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mind Wanderings

I imagine a different life when I lay my head on the pillow. Last night I worked on designing a dress or rather a couple of dresses for the weddings I have to go to this summer. It's nice to dream in designs. In reality I haven't sewn any clothes in a very long time. I'm preoccupied right now with quilts and for a short time I made purses. But, sometime this year, I may actually sew a dress or two or at least a jacket. It'll be fun.

Today's task at hand was to trim up my couch quilt and make binding. My cutting table, however, was a mess so I changed my strategy and decided that I would trim the quilt once I got all of the leftover scraps off the table. I decided that instead of piling them up somewhere, I would work on a scrap quilt. So here's today's project in progress. I think it's turning out nicely. Tomorrow I will hopefully get to the trimming and binding.

Tomorrow is the last day of February and so I decided that today I would do my 3 mile run. I made it, but I didn't improve any on my time. Oh, well. I will try to do better on my March run which will be at Reliant Stadium. I'm looking forward to it. I keep thinking that three miles really isn't that far, but when you're running it alone, it's a long way!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini Vacation

Yesterday was my 9-80 and Monday we celebrate President's Day holiday. I don't think that I've ever had President's day off in my entire career, but I'm not complaining. It's nice to have a little mini vacation. Unfortunately, B. is sick. He woke up in the early morning hours with a sore throat and he's pretty much down for the count. Poor guy. It's Valentine's day also and he's so sweet. I, of course, am not a romantic and so I failed to even get B. a card. Wow, when I write it down, I sound totally pathetic. I better work on that.

I finished piecing the couch quilt today and then I loaded it on the longarm and voila, I'm quilting it. It's a rather large quilt: 110" x 70. The quilting is turning out nicely and knock on wood, it will continue to quilt tomorrow without any thread breakages or thread bird's nesting. Right now, it's doing really well.

When I lived in Boston, there used to be a chocolate place in Faneuil Hall that sold chocolate covered potato chips. Most people say "yuck" when I tell them how good they are, but seriously they are delicious. It's the whole sweet and salty combination that gets the taste buds going. Anyway, this morning I set about replicating my experience with chocolate covered potato chips. Granted they need work in the presentation, but overall, they are very tasty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quilt Progress

The quilt is almost complete. I have one more set of borders to sew on and then I'll load it on the longarm machine and work my magic. Woo hoo! I think I'll like the quilt a lot when it's finished, but the pictures indicate a bit too much yellow for me. I was hoping for a darker look, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Doggie's contemplating the color also! Hmm . . .

Work was a bit slow today so I took some time to clean off my desk and then I wrote instructions to a pattern I made. Writing instructions is hard. I can see why people produce dvd's instead. Oh, well, it was fun. I need to scrub it now as the instructions are pretty rough. I'm going to use B. as my guinea pig and make him try it. If he succeeds at the project, then I'll know the instructions are good!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scone Time

Getting ready for the oven.

Adding the blueberries. Next comes the chocolate. Everything tastes better with chocolate, right?!

Fresh out of the oven.

First attempt at scones . . . not bad.

I've been contemplating scones for awhile now. They have a nice texture to them and they don't taste like they are packed full of calories. So I did a search on the Cooking Light website and found a recipe for them. Of course, since it was a "recipe", what are the odds that I followed all of the rules. Slim to none. When it came time to add the egg white, I discovered that we were out of eggs . . . completely out. Yikes. I started to put everything in the refrigerator so we could go get eggs when B. went out and started pounding on doors. He tried three of our neighbors to no avail. We saw the 3rd neighbor drive out of her driveway right after B. knocked on her door and didn't answer. She's great about asking us for favors, but couldn't manage to open the door when we needed something . . . hmm. B. thought he heard our next door neighbor outside with her dogs and so he went to our fence and yelled for her. Luckily she was home and we "borrowed" the requisite egg. I added blueberries and chocolate to the recipe, popped them into the oven and 15 minutes later viola! They're not bad. I'll keep working on perfecting them. The blueberries are totally tasty! Yummy!

Last night I colored in the lips, eyes and shoes on the "I Am Woman" quilt. Now I need to bury the threads and sew on the binding.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sweat Shop

I spent yesterday downtown at the Four Seasons hotel attending TEI school. I really don't enjoy the classes so much, but it's an easy way to get CPE. Yesterday was no different than the prior years in that the room where the classes were held was freezing!!! At the last minute I grabbed a coat before I left to go downtown. Thank goodness. I did not take the coat off all day. It was miserable.

The afternoon classes were rather boring so I was able to design two quilts. I've made the rough draft and now I've assigned B. the task of figuring out how large to make the blocks to do the quilt. Yippee! Today I did more CPE on line as I realized that this is the year I need my four hours of ethics class. I could attend TEI tomorrow and take ethics, but I opted to just do it online. I scored 100% . . . does this mean I'm ethical???!!!

This is my latest project. I'll let you know how it turns out. I've been out jogging 1.5 miles three times since Monday so I'm doing okay. I'm working on the shape now. Three weddings, a baby and an 80th birthday party are all on the agenda in May and June this year. Yikes!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Healthy Living and Chocolate!

Here's the Super Bowl Sunday lasagna meal. I forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven . . . it looks the same only not so raw! Since I make up my own recipes most of the time, I wasn't sure if I should put raw vegetables into my lasagna or saute them. I opted to saute them. They turned out nicely. Since my oven is not a high end oven, it doesn't cook evenly and therefore I was concerned that raw vegetables might still have some "crunch" to them after the cooking. I didn't want to be in the kitchen all night long waiting on vegetables to cook so I just expedited the process. It turned out tasty!

Last night was Day 2 of the Jillian "shred". (In reality I've done the program 3 times now, but I'm only counting my consecutive days now!) I came home from work and jogged the dog. It was a very nice run and after we finished I felt like I could have gone for another mile or so. That was encouraging.

Even with the exercising and the diet changes, I'm still loving my chocolate. Although it's few and far between these days. Heavy sigh!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Add Another One to the Pile

I finished my "I Am Woman" quilt this morning and took it off the longarm. I still need to color in the lips and shoes, trim it up and add the binding, but for the most part, it is completed. As B. would say "you can add it to the pile". I told him I wanted to sell it, but again he says "no". We'll see. Maybe I'll look for a show that I can enter it into. It's not my best work, but it was fun.
I think I'll take a short break soon and take the dog for a short jog just to see how the legs work. I'm excited and motivated about everything right now. Since tonight is Super Bowl Sunday and I don't really care about that (shame on me!), I think I'll continue on with my quilting agenda. I will try to finish piecing the new couch quilt tonight.

I'm going to make scones and lasagne rollups tonight. I guess I better get started on my projects. So, alrighty then, I'm off.

Mission Accomplished!!

Yesterday was the day. The last day of January 2009 and I still had not run my 5k. That all changed at approximately 8:08 a.m. There were 3,000 of us gathered in the cold (yes, for Houston it was COLD) waiting for the gun to go off or whatever the trigger mechanism was. The P.A. system was so bad we never heard the instructions or the gun. I was excited and nervous and I just wanted it to be over. So we took off and for the first mile it was like a pinball game, dodging people and going around walkers in the middle of the street. That part I really didn't get. Why would you start at the front if you were planning on walking from the get go? Once we started running the weather was actually perfect. I was chasing a girl in a turquoise sweatshirt with her name on the back of it. She was my rabbit. We were running approximately the same time. There was a marker at mile one with our time and when I saw it, I could not believe my eyes. It was something ridiculous like 13:50 and I said no way. Then I remembered my chip time and I looked at my watch and it was 10:40 or 10:50. Yay! I was doing fine. I kept looking for the mile two marker and it never appeared. I thought, Man, we had to have gone at least two miles already hadn't we? And then my rabbit stopped and started walking. I looked at my watch and we were at 22:00 minutes. I can't believe I did this, but I stopped and started walking. It was just a short distance. Maybe the length of a house, but I broke down and walked. B. was waiting for me at one spot and I was walking. I asked him to jog with me and he did for a couple blocks. My rabbit was still in front of me the same distance as before, so I was okay. We passed the Toyota Center and went a couple more blocks and then a few more blocks the other way. We entered the parking garage and went down hill. Not fun for a person with bad knees. It wasn't too bad, though. Then we turned the corner and it was another long downhill. Yikes, when am I going to see the stadium. And then there it was. The "Finish" line right there at Center Court. I sprinted past the runner in front of me and managed to eek out a 35:45 time. I forgot to stop my watch until a few seconds later, but I was happy. They were telling the runners who had finished to sit in the seats so naturally I thought the awards ceremony would be inside. It wasn't until the stadium was almost empty that I realized I was supposed to go outside. Oops. B and I checked the times posted outside and man was I happy to see my name second from the top in my age category. I didn't see the page break and was a bit disheartened to realize that they had me posted as finishing second to last in my age category. Yikesers!!! My chip time was faster than the lady in third to last so I gave myself credit for third to last place. Yay me! I kept checking the times on-line yesterday and nothing was posted. This morning, however, the times were posted and lo and behold, I finished 14th out of 21 runners. They list me as finishing 15th, but my chip time is better than the person in front of me, so I'm cutting in line. Sorry lady. My goal now is to shave a minute off my time each race. I think my February race will be the Conoco Rodeo 5k on February 28.

Since yesterday was the last day of January and I hadn't fired up my longarm machine at all in January, I loaded a quilt on there and started the quilting process. I should have it finished today and I'll take it off the machine and it'll be ready for some binding. That was also fun. Overall, Saturday, January 31, 2009 was a very good day!!!