Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter And All That Stuff

Yesterday I went to my brother's house to help his kids decorate Easter Eggs. I think Easter Egg decorating is becoming my thing- I like to find different and unusual ways to decorate them. (Remember the silk tie dying of 2006? I'm still collecting ties to do that one again.) Somewhere I read about layering color on the egg by adding and removing rubber bands. So that's what we did and they turned out tres chic. The funny thing is that I never hear about these inventive ways of decorating eggs until the day of or the day after. For example, on my way to my brother's house my mother calls me to see if I'm watching Martha Stewart. She's showing how to color eggs using lace. I guess I'll plan on trying that next year.

In case you were wondering, yes, that is snow under the Fiestaware bowl. Fresh from last night.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Grocery Store Has a Sense of Humor

I hate grocery shopping. I hate it so much that I have gotten into the habit of making a very specific shopping list according to the layout of the store, that way there is no backtracking and I am in and out as quickly and efficiently as possible. I think my hatred for grocery shopping stems from the days when I wouldn't bring a list and I'd walk out of the store with $100+ worth of condiments. I definitely need a list. Oh, and a meal plan. Like I said if I didn't do these things I'd come home with a whole lot of nothing to eat for the next two weeks. For some reason in preparing for my grocery trip this weekend a few things my store did made me laugh out loud. What?? A grocery store that has a sense of humor? I kind of like that....

In preparing for my grocery shopping extravagandza, I always look at the sale ads online. A lot of times I'll plan my meals according to what's on sale. This week I noticed something odd with the ads. Oh, snap! It's St. Patrick's Day this week, isn't it? That must be why EVERY PRODUCE ITEM ON SALE LAST WEEK WAS GREEN. (See picture above.) I took this screen shot late last night before they removed it from their site today. Sorry for the bad pic, but I had no idea how to show this to you otherwise.

The other thing that made me laugh out loud was when I was standing in the Mexican aisle. (I really need to get back in the habit of taking my digital camera with me EVERYWHERE so I can show you how truly funny this was.) You know how they have little add-on's in front of the shelves? You know, little items you forgot you need so they handily put some at eye level in a completely different aisle? So I'm looking for some enchilada sauce and corn tortillas (my husband makes some killer enchiladas) when what do I spy in mass quantities hanging off the Mexican food shelves? Antacids. Tons and tons of antacids. There must have been 50 bottles completely framing the Mexican food shelves. I laughed my ass off at that one.

I know. These are small little trival things but anything that makes my grocery shopping trip better gets kudos in my book.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Latest Celebrity Crush

A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend was in town from Las Vegas. We were spending some time catching up when I told her about an episode of "Ace of Cakes" that I couldn't get out of my head. (It was the episode where the housekeeper at the hotel stole their cakes and ate them right before they were suposed to be delivered to the U.N. for Roger Moore's UNICEF birthday party.) That episode stuck in my head for a really long time because my mother was a professional cake decorator when I was growing up and I COULDN'T IMAGINE having that happen to her. So my peep from Vegas and I were talking and funny, but we both have huge crushes on guys at Charm City Cakes- my personal fave is Duff while her hottie of the moment is Geoff. It was quite the realization actually. Of course she would like the skinny, quiet, deep guy while she "should have guessed" I'd like the Duff type. Funny how our crushes still fall that way 20 years later.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back to Being a Loser

I was officially "let go" from my crappy part time job yesterday. I knew it wasn't going to work out from my second week there, but I never saw it coming this week. The job wouldn't have been all that bad except for the passive-aggresive control freak boss. Oh well. Life goes on.

Anybody know of any place hiring? Yeah, right, this is Michigan......

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm Not a Loser After All

Yesterday I received a voice mail from the historical museum my quilt is at. The voice mail said I had actually placed and that my prize is a book that they will mail to me this week. So there. I guess I'm not such a loser after all.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I Got Nothing

Yup, I called the museum and I didn't even place. That's OK, it was my first quilt show and I'm glad to have it over with. The more I told people about my approach to the "Great Lake Nautical" theme the more people thought it was probably a bunch of 80-something year old "old school" quilters who couldn't grasp the concept of something new. So that's what I'm going with. I've already started on my next one......

Monday, March 03, 2008

"3 1/2 Order Fresnel Lens"

The quilt is finished and waiting to be judged at the Midland County Historical Society Museum in Midland, Michigan. You have no idea what it took for me to get it there. Besides the fact that it was snowing really hard all day and I was stopped on the highway for over an hour due to a major accident, oh, and a detour later's a miracle it got there.

While I was registering the quilt I found out I was only the fifth entry. Wow. I might stand a chance of winning something. Probably nothing for workmanship but execution of theme would be nice. Oh yeah, there was a theme. And size restrictions. Here, let me explain....

The historical museum in Midland is having an exhibit this summer about Great Lakes Shipwrecks. To go with the theme, the local quilting guild set up an quilt contest with a similar theme- "Great Lakes Nautical". "Nautical" would be easy peasy, but "Great Lakes Nautical"? Now I'm intrigued......another stipulation is that the quilt can be no bigger than 30 inches by 40 inches, which is basically a wall hanging. So, a wall hanging with a Great Lakes Nautical theme. Hmmm....I love a good theme. And because I'm a history geek, I may have gone overboard. Here's what I came up with-

I found these pictures of a fresnel lens. (Fresnel lenses are the prismatic lenses used in lighthouses to project the light out and across the water.) The picture on the left is of the Bonita Lighthouse in California. The picture on the right is a 3 1/2 order fresnal lens which was made specifically for the Great Lakes.

So I combined the two to create this-
fresnel lens quilt

Here's an upclose view of the quilted lens-
close up of fresnel lens quilt

I know, I know, they are crappy pictures but they are the best I could do considering I finished the quilt that morning. I took a prismatic, sheer fabric and sewed it on top of a light yellow fabric to create a kind of 2D prismatic effect. I'd like to say it worked but you couldn't tell from this picture. It's suposed to look like a framed picture, the brown border around the quilt is wood grain fabric. I have the same fabric for the back, too. Here's another "Great Lakes" touch I added for bonus points-
copper close up
I ran some shiny copper fabric throught the rock cliff in the background. ;-) (For those out-of-staters, copper is found all over upper Michigan and Lake Superior.)

Here is the text from the label I made for it-

“3 ½ Order Fresnel Lens”
by vintage lilac 2008
This “portrait” quilt is an up close view of a 3 ½ order Fresnel lens. Fresnel lenses are the prismatic lenses used in lighthouses to project the light out and across the water. They range in size from 1st order (used in rivers and canals) to the 12th order (for use in large ocean harbors and bays) with the 3 ½ order designed specifically for the Great Lakes.

So there you have it. My first entry in a quilt show. Judging takes place on Thursday night and all quilts will be exhibited through the end of August. I plan on going back over the summer to get better pictures of it. I'll let you know if I win anything.