Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vacation Snaps

We just returned from our spring break camping vacation. Here are some highlights, mostly by sunset as you'll see.

Hole Digging was a big preoccupation.
Bike jumping also was attempted in the campground.
Dog Sleeping, oh was she ever tired out from running all day at the beach.

A very nice house on the cliff.
Dead trees look better when lit by sunset.
Setting up the tent a.k.a. fencing with tent poles until dad yells at you because you've hit him one time too many in the backside.
Getting buried up to the neck in the sand, mom promised not to post the ahem embellished body version of this photo.

Another sunset.
Closeup of sunset with cliffside plants.
Aren't those clouds beautiful?
Love that corona.
This looks like a sunrise, but that would have required a whole lot of traveling, so yes, it is yet another sunset.
The last skimboarding of the trip, in the light of the sunset.
This is what a liberal looks like when she is reading.
Light captured.
Lizard not giving an inch on the cliffside.
Manresa beach.

Alex reading.
The cliffs of Manresa.
Birds hunting in the surf.
The long view.
A happy camper (by sunset of course).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Very Colorful Eggs

As it is Spring Break, I've been away camping for a while, I'll promise to share those pictures tomorrow. But I wanted to put something colorful up here today.
How about some pics of our eggs that we dyed?
We used the usual Paas colortabs, in vinegar and a bit of water. Very intense colors if you are patient and don't yank the egg out right away. My brother and sister-in-law helped son Alex and I do them up right. And we remembered to make name eggs for everyone who came to Easter dinner, yay us!
All that leftover dye was soooo tempting as it has been quite a while since I did any dyeing. They almost talked me into dying the dog in colorful spots, but I thought it might rub off on the furniture and carpets, so down the drain it went.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bee Story

A very strange bee story,

ripped from the headlines by yours truly:
(the picture above is gorgeous isn't it? I wish I'd taken it, but it is from an internet stock photo outfit called pdphoto.)


Big rig full of bees flips over; swarm closes highway

Associated Press
Millions of swarming honey bees are on the loose after a truck carrying crates of the insects flipped over on a California highway.The California Highway Patrol says 8-to-12 million bees escaped Sunday from the crates in which they were stored and swarmed over an area of Highway 99 and stung officers, firefighters and tow truck drivers trying to clear the accident.CHP Officer Michael Bradley says a tractor trailer flipped over while entering the highway on its way to Yakima, Wash. The flatbed was carrying bee crates each filled with up to 30,000 bees.Bradley says several beekeepers driving by the accident stopped to assist in the bee wrangling.The bees had been used in the San Joaquin Valley to pollinate crops.

That bit that I highlighted there seemed, well, a tad unlikely. Thanks to the fabulous internets...a better version of the story fleshes this part of the tale a little more fully for those curious to know exactly how many beekeepers are driving up and down highway 99.

Were they in formation?

Just happened to be following a truck carrying beehives? hmmmmbzzzzhmmmmm.

Anyways, I hope the people who are stung are ok, and that the bees are happy in Sacramento instead of back in Yakima. It sounds like they were going back there, after their gig pollinating in the Joaquin Valley. Now, what will the farmers in Yakima do for replacement bees? I know that supplies of bee colonies are quite scarce due to the colony collapse disorder...This may affect the early fruit harvest people, serious business!
I think I noticed this story because bees interest me quite a bit. Not just because I'm a gardener, it goes beyond that really. I know I've mentioned this here before, that I'm fascinated with the idea of beekeeping, and always say "someday I'll be a beekeeper." My favorite beekeeper (and only one I've met in person) is Jim from our local CSA farm, Camp Joy, and I love reading about the exploits of Neil Gaiman's bee wrangler BirdChick.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stretching for the Answers

I call this photo "downward facing Rexie". He is one of the stretchiest cats we've ever had. And this is on the second story deck railing, so he has to have good balance too.

The remaining movie quote answers are:
#5 The Manchurian Candidate the original version, character: Raymond Shaw
#6 The Fountain, Terminal case Izzi says it to her husbandTom Verde about her book.
#7 Serenity, Captain Malcolm Reynolds says this to the assembled crew of his spaceship.
#8 V for Vendetta, main character "V" says to Evey Hammond when they first meet.
#9 Toy Story, Buzz Lightyear says this to Woody.
#10 The Matrix, Morpheus to Neo
#11 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Jade Fox says this to Li Mu Bai
#15 Donnie Darko, Donnie Darko says this to Kitty Farmer

And some fuschia pods, just in case anyone wants to pop them!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

At the Movies and on the Sunny Deck

Some sun-filled flower pictures for fun. I'm having better luck with the macro function on my new camera, see....

With mille grazie to DebR (who loves movies as much as books just like me!).

Hey why doncha Play The Movie Quote Game with me!
If you want to play here are, the rules:
* Pick fifteen of your favorite movies.

* Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.

* Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.

* Fill in the film title once it’s guessed.

This part is for the reader (that's you bub!):
* No Googling or using IMDB search functions.

* Leave your answer(s) in the comments.

So here are 15 of my favorite movies that weren't on DebR's list already. Not in any particular order, and certainly not my very top of all time. Just the ones I came up with in the few minutes this took to do...

Movie Quote Number 1: Check!

" I assure you, Mrs. Buttle, the Ministry is very scrupulous about following up and eradicating any error. If you have any complaints which you'd like to make, I'd be more than happy to send you the appropriate forms. "

Yes, Dorothy, this is indeed from the fabulous Terry Gilliam masterpiece, Brazil!
Sam Lowry says it to the unfortunate Mrs. Buttle (whose husband has just been erroneously scooped up by the authorities.)

Movie Quote Number 2: Check!
" Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. "

Yup, DebR this is from the first Lord of the Rings movie, Fellowship of the Rings, except Galadriel says it to Frodo.

Movie Quote Number 3: "When *you* was my age? When my old man was my age, when my brother was my age... You was never my age, none of ya! And the sooner you creeps get hip to that, the sooner you'll dig us! "

Movie Quote Number 4: Check!
"Take car. Go to mum's. Kill Phil - "Sorry." - grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. How's that for a slice of fried gold? "

Way to go Carol, you got Shaun of the Dead correct. My all time favorite zombie movie, so hilarious you forget about the zombies. Shaun says this to Ed as they are figuring out what to do next, of course they end up at the pub.

Movie Quote Number 5: "There are two kinds of people in this world: Those that enter a room and turn the television set on, and those that enter a room and turn the television set off. "

Movie Quote Number 6: "It's all done except the last chapter. I want you to help me. Finish it... "

Movie Quote Number 7: "Y'all got on this boat for different reasons, but y'all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave. "

Movie Quote Number 8: "VoilĂ ! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. "

Movie Quote Number 9: "One minute you're defending the whole galaxy, and, suddenly, you find yourself sucking down Darjeeling with... Marie Antoinette and her little sister. "

Movie Quote Number 10: "I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about? "

Movie Quote Number 11: "Your master underestimated women! I was good enough to sleep with, but not to teach. What better punishment than to die by a woman's hand?"

Movie Quote Number 12: Check!
"Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But, I chickened out and said the first name that came to mind. "

Oooh, Dorothy got another one! Yes, this is indeed grown-up Ralphie reminiscing about dear old dad.

Movie Quote Number 13: Check!
" I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long... "

DebR gets number two correct, yes it is from It's A Wonderful Life. George Bailey holds forth with his immediately thwarted plans for the future.

Movie Quote Number 14: Check!
"Darling. Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. You didn't let me finish my sentence. I said, I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just gonna bash your brains in. I'm gonna bash 'em right the fuck in. Ha, ha. "
Janet got this one, creepy one isn't it? From The Shining, crazy Jack Torrance says it to his poor wife Wendy.

Movie Quote Number 15: "Okay. But you're not listening to me. There are other things that need to be taken into account here. Like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can't just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else! "

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not Big Enough

Not Big Enough! Yet! The 4" square moster quilt isn't big enough for our bed quite yet. I've been adding rows to it though. And it is almost there. Nothing more annoying than a quilt that isn't long enough or wide enough...
The bullseye, (from the QuiltMavs BullsBalls Swamp) is also destined for the bed, but it isn't big enough either. Long enough, but not wide enough. So I'm making 14 more blocks to add on. In two long rows of 7.
Then these blocks will be added as part of a border. (From the Quilt Mavs Wonky Romans swamp).
And since there are scraps I have to make something out of them don't I?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Three More, Finally

Sheesh! This took a while, a long while to get these pictures up. Not sure what is going on with Blogger, I haven't had a picture loading problem since, well, I don't remember when, it has been a while. So I shouldn't complain too much about a free service, eh?!
So these closer up pictures will show you some of the quilting that I did on "Black Hole Sun". Also, you can see in the yellow/pink fabric some stamped images, those are from Sherrill Kahn's ImpressMeNow. Her rubber stamps are super high quality and aimed towards stamping on fabric. I stamped my batiked fabric with purple fabric ink. It dries really quickly and heat sets easily. Doesn't change the hand of the fabric like paint does either (ie, you can quilt through it with no problem!).

These black pieces were stitched onto the quilt top with gold metallic thread. Then the quilt was layered and quilted with rayon thread.

And yes, I realize that I don't have an overall picture of "Black Hole Sun", that will have to wait until I get the quilt back from the EBHQ show.
By the way, the title comes from a song title, a song that has been stuck in my head for oh, about 14 years. It is from Soundgarden on their album Superunknown. You can see the super freaky scary video here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Only One at a Time

Apparently I am allowed to post only this one measly picture today. According to blogger anyways.
So this is a big picture detail shot of my most recently completed quilt "Black Hole Sun". It will be on display in the California Fiber Artist's exhibit at the EBHQ (East Bay Heritage Quilters) bi-annual show in Oakland in April.
All of this fabric is dyed or painted or stamped or batiked or etc... by me. My favorite fabric is the one on the bottom left, it started out as a linen/hemp woven check (I believe it was an olive and cream) which was dyed and re-dyed several times. The bits of this yardage that I have left are diminishing rapidly, so I'll have to do some more dyeing to create a new favorite.
I'm proud of myself for using the favorite sacred fabric, instead of saving it until the "perfect" project comes along. It is harder to do than one would imagine, and I've had to work at actually following through and using the "good stuff."

I really wanted to show you the other details, but will have to wait until the blogging gods and goddesses are in a more cooperative mood.

Friday, March 07, 2008

News Eyes

For my first political self portrait for this month's SelfPortraitChallenge I'm trying to illustrate my angst and worry about Hillary Clinton getting the nomination or not getting the nomination. I am showing the furrowed brow, the long distance eyes, and the bags and dark circles, all part of the package. I could show my fingers on the keyboard as I go from political blog to political blog, soaking in all the news. Or my ears listening to NPR as all the posturing and analyzing goes on. On Tuesday the headline in the San Jose Mercury News read: "Is this Clinton's Last Day?" and then on Wednesday after the Ohio and Texas primaries it read: "Still Alive".

I'll be honest. I go back and forth several times a day. These two candidates are virtually identical on the issues (neither is progressive enough for me, but I'm over that) and one of them must win if our country is to start turning away from the edge of the cliff we're hurtling towards.

First I'm wanting so badly to have someone of my generation to be president, with newer ideas, less entanglements with the past and some actual inspiration and vision for the future.

Then I think (perhaps too much, perhaps wrongly) that this might be the last time in my lifetime there is a chance for a woman to become president. I want that so badly, it is a clutching raw visceral reaction, I experience it as a racing heart and sinking stomach. This might be it. If she doesn't win, there might not be another chance for a very long time (think of how long ago Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as VP!)

I admire Hillary Clinton and despise her in equal amounts. Intellectually I know she would be a great president and knows how to play the game to get things done, but that is exactly what makes me despise her. Weird huh? But I don't see how she can actually get there, back to the White House, sitting in the big chair of power. There are so many on the other side who hate her, just plain hate her. I don't think that she could overcome that and be a president for our whole country. And that is what we need. Someone that can get more than 51% of the public on the team, pulling for the success of our country all together.

The primary season can't end soon enough for me.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

All Free!

I love free fabric, don't you? That is the situation every month, a couple committed to recycling takes all the discards from the home dec industry locally and distributes to anyone interested in using them. Luckily for me, some of my fellow CQFA members went to this month's free-for-all and grabbed extras. Which I subsequently snagged at our meeting on Saturday. There were a lot of tote bags, grocery bags, and bag bags that were part of show and tell. So I got inspired and decided to try and sew some up for myself. I'm really trying hard to not get bags at the grocery store. And maybe having some that I actually like to look at will make it easier to remember to bring them into the store with me, every time. Some of these have nice brass grommets already installed, so I think I'll try and incorporate the use of those into the design of the bag I make.
This is a handful of silk remnants from a tie manufacturer that some of the members went to visit a couple years ago. This was up for grabs and I just couldn't resist, look at those gorgeous colors, different colorways on either side. I can see this being used in a wearable, coat of many colors perhaps?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Book Lover's Meme

I've probably done this meme before, but it is always a fun one to do, Lunaea tagged me, thanks Lunaea! You know I love doing these memes..

I will admit that I had to get up and go find a book, because my computer desk is not in the book zone of the house (which is really everywhere else!) All there is around here at hand is user manuals to software, and the newspaper. The closest books are the cookbooks and I didn't even bother with that.

So I found my library bag across the room, and a book I recently finished reading was in there, just waiting to be tapped for this exercise:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

From "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan:
She was twelve years old, lying still like this, waiting, shivering in the narrow bunk with polished mahogany sides. Her mind was a blank, she felt she was in disgrace. After a two-day crossing, they were once more in the calm of Carteret harbor, south of Cherbourg.

Hmmm, not too terribly exciting! But there it is.

The other book that was closest at hand was the biography of Albert Einstein, "Einstein" by Walter Isaacson, which was much more forthcoming with some wisdom....
"Time cannot be absolutely defined, and there is an inseparable relation between time and signal velocity." More specifically, the key insight was that two events that appear to be simultaneous to one observer will not appear to be simultaneous ot another observer who is moving rapidly. And there is no way to declare that one of the observers is really correct.

See, now that is something worth reading isn't it?! The key observation out of all of his observations. Good to re-read that one over and once more again.

So, to tag someone or five someones....
How about Jaye, Laume, Kristen, DebR, and Lutra.