Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NIN: Sacramento December 12, 2008

I went to the NIN show in Sacramento at Arco Arena recently. My concert buddy and I went together and this is the third time we have gone. He actually bought the tickets in October so we have been looking forward to it for a while! Then I started getting a group of migraines all together- I had 4 in less than three weeks. And we are talking about multi-day migraines! I was so over it and was very concerned that I would miss the concert- but I was fortunate. The Thursday before I was migraine free and Friday, the day of the show, I remained migraine free. Jason had a job interview at Google that same day so I left immediately afterwards and got stuck in some traffic on the way but I managed to get there with time to spare!

I wanted to get a camera in but decided not to since I also really didn't want to lose a camera or have to walk back to the car and stand in line again. But then they didn't even search me and TONS of people had cameras! I wish I had. but I did manage to get this one picture on my camera phone.

The show was WONDERFUL! I have been a Nine Inch Nails fan for a very long time. I love how he does a layered effect for the visuals in his shows. I would love to know how that front screen works- he did some amazing things with it this time and I am fascinated with it- being the techy geek that I am!

I stayed overnight in Sacramento then my friend and I went to breakfast and did a little shopping. We had to stop at Dimple and I picked up The Slip by Nine Inch Nails and Indestructible by Disturbed another band I LOVE. I have never seen them in concert but would love to.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Project Professional Tote

I just finished my Professional Tote by Creative Thimble. I read a review of this on Pattern Review and had to have it! So I got the pattern and started making it.

You can read more about it on my review for Pattern Review here and on my website, CamoFish.

My goal in making this was to make a bag that I could take with me when I go into San Francisco and have everything I need in it- so I didn't have to carry my laptop bag and my purse- and pull my dog in his rolling carrier. So this will fit either of my laptops and everything I need/want for the day (I think) and has a travel strap so I can slip it over the handles of Toby's rolling carrier. I have not yet tried it but I will on Thurs and will post an update then on how it went.

Close up of my dragonflies.

I embellished the front with some dragonfly beads I had in two different sizes. I am very pleased with the way it came out. I am also VERY proud that this tote was made from 100% properly aged stash fabric and I only purchased notions for it (zippers, thread, etc.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Fun

I love Halloween. It has always been my favorite holiday.

This was aired a few years ago during the Super Bowl. I just love this commercial- I think it is hilarious. It is probably my favorite Halloween commercial.

Yesterday Saw V opened. I love the first three. Four really was not great- they should have stopped at 3. I have seen all of the Saw movies in the theater with a friend of mine. I will be going next week to see this one as well. Hopefully it is better than four.

And I have just discovered a new show that I am fast becoming addicted to: Fringe. I LOVE THIS SHOW! I was an X-files fan for a long time and I was depressed when it ended. This show is a new X-files! Very creepy! I will be following it and hopefully this show has a long lifespan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Project Quilt Repair

So Jason has this quilt. I am not sure where it came from and am researching that now. But where ever it came from it was in need of repair. Many of the ties had come undone and so while I was house sitting in Mokelumne Hill, I took advantage of the expertise of some ladies that meet and craft in West Point (close to Mokelumne Hill). We retied the quilt and cut out the old ties. Here it is- with the new ties.

I am pretty happy with it- except for this small problem: Burn holes- two of them. I am not quite sure how to fix this. The suggestion I got from the ladies at the quilt/craft group was to put small patches on it- and I might do that and add some to make it look like it was supposed to be like that. Here are the burn holes:

I am not a quilter (yet) so all the help was greatly appreciated. So after repairing the burn holes- I will need to clean it. I got tips for that too but have to wait until I get home to tackle that project.

Update: I heard from Jason's mother and this quilt was apparently made by a church group that his Aunt was involved in and it was purchased for Jason by his parents. She is happy that I am repairing it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Embird Help: Yamada Taro

I got Embird- I LOVE it- but I am still learning! I am trying to make a patch now that has Yamada Taro in Kanji (Japanese Characters) for part of a costume for Jason. But I am having problems getting it to work right. I knew that Embird would not be compatible with my IME (Input Method Editor) so I used PhotoShop to create an image that I later imported into Embird and used the AutoTrace tool. Sounds good so far, right?

Here is the image:

The Problem: I import and everything is fine except for the following problems:
1. on the first character (Yama) the last vertical stroke is not rendering.
2. on the second character (da) the ONLY line that renders is the first vertical stroke.

Does anyone know how to fix this?

Problem FIXED!!!! I ended up breaking the two kanji that the AutoTrace tool could not render into parts and that worked. I now have my embroidery ready to go. Too tired now to test it- so will do so tomorrow (it is almost 2am!!!) :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

OMG- I am still alive!!!!

I have a TON of news- but first- I promised my sister that I would post a widget for her so she can help promote Amy Ray, who apparently looks a lot like me. LOL! :)

If you are interested in the Indigo Girls or Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls- check it out! Unfortunately for me and my sister- they seem to play mostly on the East Coast.


Ok- now for news. My sewing room is clean and organized though I must admit that it is VERY HARD to keep it that way! I keep noticing piles of stuff I need to go through before it gets out of hand again! I have been very good about NOT BUYING fabric- except I did get some for Jason's costume. He wants a ninja costume and needed a lot of black and I have some but not enough so I got some.

I will post pictures soon.

I got Embird- and I LOVE IT! I actually got the basic program, digitizing program, Font Engine, Cross-stitch and Iconizer.

I got a short term job watching an 11 year old until school started and I was teaching her to sew. It was great fun and I loved hanging out with her! She finished two projects- a drawstring bag and an elastic waist skirt and they both turned out great! I will continue to teach her to sew.

I went on a trip to Tahoe with my sister. We had a wonderful time and neither of us wanted to come back. Toby had a great time hiking with us too. Unfortunately when we got back, not even 5 minutes after we got the last load out of the car, the phone rang. It was our mother's neighbor telling us that she had another heart attack and was on her way to the hospital in an ambulance. So that ended our vacation quite abruptly. She was in ICU for 3 days then in the standard room for another 2. She is home now and has a heart surgery planned. She has a leaky valve they have to repair and they will work on two more blocked arteries.

And I was not even done with that and my tooth started hurting. I had to get it pulled and ended up going to UCSF in San Francisco. It was very inexpensive but they took very good care of me. They were definitely students but that didn't bother me. If you don't like a lot of different people looking at you- then you probably would not like it- but I don't mind that. The worst part of it was that while waiting at the dental clinic- I got a migraine. So that sucked- I had my tooth extracted WHILE I had a migraine. Ick. :( And then later- when I got back to my friend's place I lay down. I still had Novocain on board so I was ok. Not great but ok. Then later when I woke up- the Novocain had worn off and my migraine had doubled in intensity. I almost went to ER I hurt so bad. But I managed to eat a mashed avocado and took a vicodin and that kept me from ER. It helped enough for me to be able to rest again. I hope I don't have to do that again though!

ok- that is the short story of what has been going on!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Great Blue Heron!

Today I walked Toby up to the Starbucks near where we live. I then walk back right by this entire block that is empty- it is currently a haven for wildlife in Fremont. But I NEVER thought I would see a Great Blue Heron there! I did today and here is the picture to prove it!

I was so surprised to see this bird in this location. I think I saw one over by the creek where I often walk Toby- but I would expect to see them there, if they are here at all. I often see egrets, Canadian Geese, ducks, and some bird I have not yet identified over there. I also saw a deer once and a California Kingsnake. unfortunately both of those days I had forgotten my camera. :( I even thought I saw a Great Blue Heron over by the creek once- but it was flying - away from me and my eyesight is just not what it used to be. But now I am certain I had seen one- maybe even this same one.

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on! I have actually been very busy! My sewing room is about ready for me to actually sew in it! I have my yarn all in bins and using Space Bags, I have squished all of it to fit in the bins I got for the yarn. I am very impressed with the space bags. I should have some pictures of my newly organized sewing room soon!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Watching Cement Dry!

That's want I did on Fri! No really! I did! Here is the picture to prove it!

Ok- Seriously- my sister needed to have her driveway widened to fit two cars. They were having problems with vandalism with the car parked on the street. So- the work was done. If you own a house and have done this, I don't need to tell you how expensive it is. So I guarded the fresh driveway to prevent anyone from writing in it! I was assisted by Toby- who, as you can see in the photo, really took the job seriously.

Here is the "before" photo:

I didn't get a really good "after" photo- but will next time I am there. Here is an ok one.

I didn't have great net access while on this trip. I did manage to find a hotspot up in Pollack Pines while visiting my mother on the weekend. Then I found a hot spot at a public library near my sister's place.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ravelry Invite!

I got my Ravelry invite last night! I am so excited! What is Ravelry? Well it is to spinners, crocheters and knitters, what Pattern Review is to sewers! I have been waiting a week for my invite and it finally came!

On Ravelry you can post patterns, projects you are working on, log your stash- yarn, needles, books, etc, and connect with others who spin, knit and/or crochet! Right now it is in Beta so that is why you have to wait for an invite- they don't want to overload the system. But, trust me, it is worth the wait!

I didn't get a chance to go do another orphan quest in WoW so I will have to wait until next year to do it again. Right now I am trying to make money (WoW money) and get my lvl 60 mount (which is faster than the one I have now). And I am working on my mining. So that is what I have been doing in WoW the past few nights.

The sewing room project is moving right along! I just ordered Space Bags to store my fleece, fake fur and some of my yarn in. I think I can squish my stash in half! LOL
I won't be squishing the wool- am too worried about it not coming back to shape afterwards. But I have a lot of acrylic so I think I can save a ton of space. I am picking up some more wire storage cubes today at Costco- to redo the side of the closet that has Jason's clothes in it. It is weird but Jason's clothes are in my sewing room. That actually was my idea as originally his work space was in our bedroom. So I suggested he use the closet there for computer parts instead of clothes and put his clothes in my sewing room. So that is what we did. We have since moved his work space downstairs to the living room but his clothes remain in my sewing room and the computer parts closet is in the bedroom.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sewing Room Organization: The Plan 2008

So where have I been and why have I not been posting? Well last week - last Saturday to be exact, I decided to start organizing my sewing/craft room. Well it was a mess. No, really. In fact a friend of mine, who had not even seen it had a great description of it. He said most estate sales he has been to, if there was a women who was crafty or sewed, the "sewing room" looked like the aftermath of a mudslide made of fabric, yarn and other crafty tools and supplies. Well that about covered it! I laughed because he has never even been to my house!

I DID take a 'before' picture but I won't post it until I get the 'after' pictures. I almost don't want to at all! But I am SURE that there are a lot of ladies that have the same problem- and I want to inspire you to clean up too! So I decided to post my plan here for now.

Phase 1: Remove the 'pile' of fabric into our bedroom. Go through the closet and consolidate all craft and art supplies. Sort and conquer is my basic plan here. Unfortunately my room, though I call it my Sewing Room, is used for traditional art, card making, jewelry making,spinning and MANY other crafts! So I need to be able to organize lots of different things and be able to access them when I need them. to make it even more challenging- there are tools I use for many things, like my glue guns and dremel tool.

Sort fabric into cardboard file boxes.
Move all sewing books to hall bookcase. (no real sorting yet- just sewing books together, etc)

Phase 2: Go through my patterns and get rid of some! I have way too many. LOL! Make sure the ones I want to keep are in my database and in my book I use for looking at them when planning what I want to make.

Phase 3: Go through the fabric boxes, cut swatches for my swatch book

Phase 4: Go through the bookcase and organize the books and patterns. Make sure the "free flyer" projects I pick up all over the place are in the binder for that, so I can actually find them!

That's it! Currently I am about 75% through Phase 1, which is the phase that will take the longest. I will be posting pictures and describing my organization system in more detail.

I got a Willy!

If you play World of Warcraft you already know what I am talking about. If not here is a picture.

Cute, huh? I think he is hilarious! For those that don't play- I will explain a bit. this is Children's Week, one of the many holidays in WoW. During Children's week you can take an orphan around on an adventure and when you bring them back to the orphanage, they reward you by giving you a special pet. You get the choose from three different pets (yes I CHOSE Willy!).

I wanted to get a Willy last year- but at that time I had only been playing WoW for a few months- so I didn't have a high enough character to do this orphan quest. There are two orphan quests- one for lower level characters and one for higher level characters. I did the lower level character quest. It was fun!

So why do I like Willy? I think he is hilarious. He floats around after me. He drools (you can't see that very well in the picture, but trust me, he does). He looks around. And sometimes he will get bored and fall asleep.

I have heard that if you are standing around or pass close to one of the many level 1 critters that populate WoW, Willy will zap them and go eat them too. But I have not yet seen this behavior.

Children's week only lasts one week- usually May 1 thru May 7 so I want to try something else I heard that you can do. I heard that if you do the orphan quest and don't turn in the orphan- you can call the orphan and keep them! I want to try this so I will go back and do the lower level quest and try it with the orc boy! Will post results.

Friday, April 25, 2008

PhotoShop: Camouflage Plug In

I just found this awesome plug in for Photo Shop that creates camouflage patterns! I was looking for it to fill in pants for a wardrobe storyboard. Since I also use camouflage for many other things (scrapbooking, my blog (obviously) and my website) this plug in will be *very* useful to me.

You can get it here:
Camouflage Plug In

I have tried it out and it works wonderfully!

What I love about this plug in:
It's FREE! (how can you beat that??)
You can create your own colors (for instance I can create pink or purple camouflage patterns too)
If you know how to use PhotoShop already, this is really easy to figure out how to use.
You can change the scale so it is really easy to make 'small' camouflage prints for use in wardrobe storyboards.

What I don't like about this plug in:
Well- what's not to like? I can't think of anything I don't like about it. I DO wish that they had included a "digital camo" version- even just one so it would be easy to create that pattern in any color scheme. But hey- it's FREE! :)

Here, on the left, is my image for my common woodland camouflage pants. This is Simplicity 3763 View A for my wardrobe plan storyboard. On the right I created the same pants pattern with the same view- and created a purple version of the woodland camouflage. I actually don't have this fabric so it is not in my wardrobe plan- but I wanted to make it and post it here to show you that it can be done!

If I get a lot of requests for it, I can post a tutorial on how to make your own wardrobe storyboard, including how to use this plug in to create camouflage patterns to include in your storyboards.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What's for Dinner April 23, 2008

I love baking and I love homemade bread. I always make my own bread and I use the bread machine. But I don't like the square loaf and the hole in the bottom that the bread machine makes. So I use the bread machine on dough cycle and then bake in the oven. I get beautiful loaves this way! And yes, you can make fine sandwiches with it! :)

  • Pot Roast with Vegetables (Crockpot)
  • Herb Bread (homemade!)
  • Dessert: Fresh Honeydew Melon
Herb Bread Recipe (1 1/2#)
(the way I make homemade bread)

1 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbs sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 egg
3/4 cup warm milk
2 Tbs butter
2 oz. warm water

Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's directions. I place the wet ingredients in first then place the dry on top and make a hole for the yeast which I place on top.
I run the machine on dough cycle. When the cycle is done- I turn the dough out on a board and punch it down. Then I place it in a 9x5 bread pan that is lightly greased.
I place it on the stove to rise for 30 minutes. Rising time will vary depending on temperature and weather. If it is cold I will preheat the oven now to warm the area and make the yeast happy. When it has risen enough, I place it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In Memory of: Robert L. Finley (1918-2008)

I needed to post some entries to help me with my formatting. And I wanted to post something significant- not just anything. Well I can't think of anything more significant than this. Bob was my step-dad though my sister and I both called him "Dad". He was in my life more than my biological father was and was a huge influence on me during my teens and 20s. So I decided that my first post would be in memory of him. In November 2007, right before Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was close to 90 and the doctors didn't feel they could do anything given his condition and age. He died on January 21, 2008, just a few days after my sister got out of a special training program for her work. I had been up in Sacramento, and went to my sister's ceremony, as well as returned her cats so I was fortunate to be in that area. We both decided to go up to see him on Sunday, January 20 and we were very fortunate to see him before he died. I live in the Bay Area so it meant a lot to me to be there.

I remember drafting him a shirt pattern (which I will post about at a later time). This was the first pattern draft I had done and I am still very pleased with it. I made him all his shirts after that. He loved the pattern I made for him! For the first time his shirts fit! He had a bit of a belly, but was shorter than a lot of guys. So his fitting issue was that if he bought shirts that fit around his middle, the arms were WAAAAY too long. So he would always roll them up. So one day he said that he would love to have shirts that fit him properly and one of his birthdays I drafted him a pattern for his gift. I used that pattern to make him many shirts- which he wore right up until he died.

I am very thankful that I got to see him one last time before he died. I am very thankful that he was able to die at home rather than in a hospital (Hospice was GREAT!). I am thankful that he didn't spend a lot of time in the 'helpless' stage. He was able to talk to me at Christmas and I am so glad that I got to talk to him then. But I was (and am) not ready for him to be gone. I guess we are never ready for someone we care about to be gone though, yet death is part of life. One cannot exist without the other.

I picked the picture for his obituary and my sister wrote it.

Robert Lee Finley, born March 20, 1918, departed on January 21, 2008 at his home in Camino, California.

He served 4 years in the U.S. Army during WWII with the 18th Coast Artillery, 2nd Battalion, where he received an American Defense Service Ribbon, a WWII Victory Ribbon, an American Theater Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal, as well as letters of commendation. He worked for 24 years as a Civil Servant with the U.S. Government at the Presidio in San Francisco and was a member of the American Legion and Teamster’s.

Bob was known for his gentle spirit and practical outlook on life. He loved to drive, fish, and watch television and movies. He was preceded in death by his parents, Archie and Carolyn and his first wife, Betty.

Much loved and deeply missed, he is survived by his wife of 25 years, Barbara, sons, Larry and Eddy, stepson, Butch, stepdaughters, Jo and Nicola, six grand-children, and 10 great-grandchildren.

At the request of the deceased, no services will be held. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Snowline Hospice, 6520 Pleasant Valley Road, Diamond Springs, CA 95619. Interment will be at the Westwood Hills Memorial Park in Placerville.