Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I have been saying for a very long time that I would not make quilts. Then I took up sewing. But I still swore I would not make a quilt, no matter how pretty they are, because, seriously, how much more can I realistically take on? But, you know, I have all these scraps and I can't just throw them away. So, a scrap quilt. That's ok, right?

In this post, I said you could slap me if I ever bought fabric specifically for a quilt.

A quilt, why not?

Well. Go ahead. I can take it.

I came across Oh, Fransson just as she was starting a very detailed quilt tutorial and it was just too much temptation. And I am weak. I had lunch with my sister on Sunday and used the excuse of being in Ann Arbor and having plenty of time to pick fabrics to indulge my weakness. It was quite fun, shuffling fabric bolts around until I had a combination that I liked (even more fun was how impressed the ladies/experts were). The composition ended up hinging on the piece in the middle of the top row, it took quite a balancing act to get it to fit in, but I think it works.

This way lies madness

I really hope I hate every stinking minute of this.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

100 Movies

Earlier today, Pajiba posted Yahoo's list of 100 Movies You Should See Before You Die.

12 Angry Men (1957)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) -- My mother claims to have fallen asleep while 8 months pregnant when she saw this one. I don't think she needed pregnancy as an excuse.
The 400 Blows (1959)
8 ½ (1963)
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) -- I thought I'd seen this one, but no. It was Help! Bugger.
The African Queen (1952)
-- Bogart and Kate. What more could you ask for?
Alien (1979)
All About Eve (1950)
Annie Hall (1977)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Battle of Algiers (1967)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Blade Runner (1982)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blow Up (1966)
Blue Velvet (1986) -- A great movie I will never see again.
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Breathless (1960)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Casablanca (1942)
Chinatown (1974)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Die Hard (1988)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Duck Soup (1933)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The Exorcist (1973)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
The French Connection (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
Goodfellas (1990)
The Graduate (1967)
Grand Illusion (1938)
Groundhog Day (1993)
In the Mood For Love (2001)
It Happened One Night (1934)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Jaws (1975)
King Kong (1933)
The Lady Eve (1941)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Lord of the Rings (2001,2002,2003)
M (1931)
M*A*S*H (1970)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Matrix (1999)
Modern Times (1936)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Network (1976)
Nosferatu (1922)
On the Waterfront (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Paths of Glory (1958)
Princess Mononoke (1999) -- ?????
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Raging Bull (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
-- I might even have the poster for this (I worked at a movie theater when it came out).
Rashomon (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Rocky (1976)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
-- Aside from a pretty spectacular (and realistic) opening scene, I thought this was a standard Hollywood war movie.
Schindler’s List (1993)
The Searchers (1956)
Seven Samurai (1954)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) -- I know I am in the minority, but while it is entertaining, this one seems more like a very good TV movie to me.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) -- and I never really got the fuss over this one either.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) -- Really????
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Star Wars (1977)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Third Man (1949)
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Titanic (1997)
-- 2+ hours of my life I will never get back.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Toy Story (1995)
-- Really?
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Vertigo (1958)
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
Wings of Desire (1988) -- I can't count this: every time it has come on, I've fallen asleep.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
The World of Apu (1959) -- ?????

I've seen 54 of these. I don't agree with them all, or even very many. Some movies I think are missing: His Girl Friday, The Apartment, 28 Weeks (switch Silence of the Lambs with this one), Say Anything, The Unforgiven, The Incredibles, Harold and Maude. And so on.

What say you?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pool Disaster

Pool Disaster

There is a long story about why we aren't exactly crying over this. The pool was not at all what attracted us to the house, since neither of us are swimmers (and I won't even put my face in the water when swimming), but even so, we opened it the summer we moved in. We discovered two fun things: between our inspection and closing, it had become a swamp due to a storm blowing a branch into the pool and puncturing the cover (the branch also put a hole in the liner) and the liner was already about 5 years over its limit and was cracking in some places. Every summer Len has patched the liner and we have debated spending $5,000 to get it replaced.

Usually we pay the $100 or so to have it professionally closed, mainly because the water lines need to be blown out and Len never felt comfortable doing that, but this year we needed to buy a new cover, which would have added a couple hundred bucks. Len decided that, rather than spending $300-$400 on something we aren't even sure we want to keep, he would try closing the pool himself this year. He did fine, but obviously neglected a crucial step. A couple of weeks ago the liner finally failed completely. Which finally forced a decision.

He made an appointment with the pool people (who we really highly recommend by the way, if you live around Jackson, MI) for an estimate on replacing the liner and talked to our neighbor who is a contractor. It turns out the neighbor can use most of the concrete (I don't know what for), which saves us having to cart it to where ever one takes concrete. Len has canceled the estimate for the liner and he and Dick (the neighbor) will be doing in the pool.

The only disadvantage is that Len was looking forward to perfecting his pool heater.

Pool Disaster

Oh, and the frogs will have to find a new home.

Sure Signs of Spring


More Spring

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lumpy Lace


This, when it is finished and not lumpy, will be the Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark (and the only reason I have Wrap Style, which is a bit annoying). The yarn is Alpaca with a Twist Fino, which I am pretty sure is my favorite lace yarn. So shiny!

Go with the Flow

And Go With the Flow socks by, um, Evelyn Clark (a coincidence I did not notice until now because I am dim). These are in Favorite Socks (and a 2005 issue of Interweave). The yarn is Louet Gems, which seems to be my go-to sock yarn.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dead Tree

Here is a pretty (dead) tree from this fall, to try and make up for the terrible pictures of the last post:


Sewing and Very Bad Pictures

I finally got around to taking pictures of some of my recent sewing. The pictures are terrible, but, well, there you are.

Rose Skirt

This is another AB Barcelona skirt from a rose print I found very cheap at Big Box Craft Store (BBCS). This time I put half inch darts in the waist, which helps it fit in the waist better. My next edit will be to change the angle a bit so it comes away from my hips a little sooner.

Polka Dots

This one is Simplicity 3688, a reprint of a 1940's pattern. The woman in the drawing is an Amazon, the skirt is much longer on me. The fabric is black corduroy with white dots and is quite elegant with a pair of heels (as opposed to the sneakers, which do not work at all).

Wrap Skirt

A wrap skirt (McCalls 5430), also corduroy.

And finally, the best pair of pajama pants ever:

Noah's Pants

Yes, that is Noah's Ark in the worst 1970's color palette. For some reason, I have held onto this sheet from my childhood for all these years, schlepping it from place to place. Why?

Two by Two

And why, I would like to know, is Noah's Ark a children's story? God was so pissed off at humans that He killed all but a select few, and all of the animals, except those few who managed to make it on a boat. That's a kid's story, cute enough to be made into sheets? Yeah. Jonah and the big fish (or whale) isn't very cute either.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Statistics are fun!

The 2009 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States arrived at my library yesterday. Since I still have not managed to take my camera out of my purse -- and what is the point of telling you about skirt trouble without pictures of the stupid thing -- I will subject you to some fun statistics.

Per Capita Consumption of Beverages. The obvious statistic here is bottled water: in 1980 Americans drank 2.7 gallons of bottled water; in 2006, 27.6. The big jump in consumption happened around 1995. Alcohol consumption has dropped a bit, from 28.3 gallons in 1980 to 25.3 in 2006; wine consumption went up from 2.1 gallons to 2.3 (in 1983, "wine" includes "wine coolers", a disgusting invention, but that inclusion doesn't explain anything, since consumption was down in the 1990s). Beer and distilled spirit consumption went down, beer by 2.7 gallons to 21.6 and distilled spirits by .6 gallon (1.4 gallons per person in 2006). We have consumed a steady half gallon of vegetable juice per person per year since 2000 (no data before that), someone has been drinking my share since I'd rather have a wine cooler.

Per Capita Consumption of Meat and Eggs: The amount of red meat (beef, lamb, veal and pork) went down from 126.4 pounds per capita in 1980 to 109.9 pounds in 2006. The amount of poultry (chicken and turkey, boneless, trimmed weight) went up significantly, from 40.8 pounds in 1980 to 74.7 pounds in 2006. Neither is surprising, but it is interesting to me that red meat consumption didn't go down as much as poultry consumption went up -- we aren't replacing red meat with chicken. Fish and shellfish consumption went up by 4 pounds. The one that really blow me away though, is egg consumption: the number of shell eggs consumed per year dropped from 236 in 1980 to 177, but processed egg consumption grew from 35 to 73. People eat more Egg Beaters? Yuck.

And there you are, just a small snippet of the interesting information to be found in the Statistical Abstract. Until I worked here, I had no idea a table of numbers could suck me in so completely.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Fluevog, Ho!

I really cannot explain my love for Fluevog. I would snort at any other shoes this expensive, yet in face of these fabulous, funky shoes, I am helpless.

I did hold off on ordering another pair, since they are not quite in my size, but it was very, very hard. I will probably get a dressform instead.