Sunday, August 21, 2016

Full Circle

An interesting thing happened recently ~~ I was contacted via email a couple weeks ago by one of my best friends from high school.  After our 25th reunion in 1992, I decided to disappear, so I ended up on the "missing" list of classmates.  Our 50th is next year and my friend sleuthed me out online, albeit with trepidation because she sensed I still might not want to be found.

What happened next could only have happened at this particular point in my life, now that I'm newly open to it ~~ I responded right away and we rekindled our friendship.  We're in regular touch via Facebook and email, and we talked on the phone for two hours the other day.

In the same vein, I've rekindled my friendship with another best friend from high school.  And have gotten myself back on the list of a group of gals who touch base by email a few times a year.  And Facebook friended a couple old friends. 

Although at first I was dead certain I'd never go to another reunion (and the 25th is the only one I attended)...I changed my mind this week, and I will definitely go to our 50th, next May in Los Angeles.

Thanks to a comment from dear online pal Leslie,  I decided that I will go the smartphone route for image taking and uploading.  She brought up the issue of the safety factor in having a smartphone.  And that pushed a button that's been on in the back of my mind for a couple years ~~ what if I trip and fall at home and can't get to my landline-phone?  It's conceivable that I could die here and nobody would know, because I'm such a recluse and I don't talk regularly to anybody on the phone, and sometimes don't even see my neighbors for a few days.  Or what if I have car trouble in some out of the way spot?  Which is unlikely given how little I drive, but still possible. 

So okay, I got it.  It's time for me to have a smartphone.  Plus now that I'm in contact with out-of-the-area friends, I can call them instead of them having to call me.

Fortunately, the cost of these things, which you all probably already know, has really come down in the last few years.  So this will be manageable for me.  The last time I had a cellphone was before smartphones, and that little phone cost $75 a month for voice only with no texting.  It'll cost me less than half that now and I'll have everything I need.  Including a great camera.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Technology

I'm posting these images of Winter Woods yet again, because I'm still experimenting with both posting and images...posting via my tablet vs. my computer (today's missive is from my computer), and images taken with the tablet and uploaded directly, vs. images taken with my Canon camera, cleaned up in PhotoShop Elements, and then uploaded.

The colors are more true to life here than yesterday's images.  That's just a function of my not yet being competent manipulating images on the tablet.  But I just tinkered with yesterday's images on my tablet and got them to match the colors of today's images.

I'm still confused about images in the Gallery on the tablet and Google Photos, images that have been uploaded, images that have been downloaded, albums and folders.  And then there's the Album Archive, which now houses all the old blog images formerly housed at Picasa, which Google did away with recently.  The more recent blog images are in Google Photos, along with stuff I posted in class communities housed at Google, and some stuff from eons ago that I'm not sure where they came from, to be honest.  I'll work it out eventually.   

I've been having a conversation with myself for a few days, because it's really difficult taking photos with my 9.7" tablet ~~ too difficult to hold that large screen steady enough in both hands and push the photo button at the same time.  Then there's the protective case, which folds back so you can see the screen to operate the camera, but then the flaps flop around and get in the way.  The conversation is: should I buy a smaller tablet just to take photos with?  There's nothing wrong with my now-old Canon PowerShot camera, but the ability to shoot a photo, manipulate it on the device, and upload to Instagram, Facebook or wherever without having to go from one device to another is a real advantage. 

About this time, y'all are probably saying, Why don't you just use your smartphone?  Well, I don't have or need a smartphone.  I've been thinking about that too these last few days.  Thing is, I hardly make any phone calls with my landline, let alone get a cellphone.

But a smaller tablet...well, I'm thinking about it.  The reality is, I don't shoot nearly as many photos as I used to when I had several blogs and posted to most of them every single day.  So I'm not yet convinced to buy another device.  Also because, I can upload photos from my Canon camera to my computer to my Google Drive, and download them to my tablet so I can upload them to Instagram from there.  Sounds horrifically complicated, but it's not, really. 

I think I just need to go out and start shooting photos again with my camera first.  If I'm not up for doing even that, then I clearly don't need another device.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Winter Woods redo

Reposting this from Blogger on my tablet, not the Blogger app.  I think this is the way to post in the future if I'm going to do it from my tablet.


Winter Woods

I just finished Winter Woods.  It doesn't look a whole lot different from the earlier image I posted, except it has been backed with a single layer of fabric and quilted.

I'm posting from my tablet so this will be an experiment.  This app I'm using, called Blogaway,  doesn't allow changes to image size, as Blogger on the computer does.  I tried the Blogger app but couldn't get it to post anything.

Hope you're having a great week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Lease on Life

Following my recent big AHA, I've begun doing things for and taking care of myself in new-to-me ways.  Simple things that are no-brainers for other women, but things that I wasn't brought up to believe were meant for me.  Like getting pedicures and having my toenails painted turquoise, for one.

Yesterday I bought a Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet at Costco, and I'm already in love with it.  Took me long enough to get an android device.

Especially since my sleep habits have changed so radically in the last six months, and I'm very often awake for hours in the middle of the night, my new toy already made itself useful last night.

The sleep problems came with the sinus problem that I'm still dealing with.  The antibiotics I took a few weeks ago did nothing, except put me on probiotics for the month to ward off potential bad juju to my system from the antibiotics.  I went back to the doctor and requested a referral to an ear/nose/throat specialist (the ENT in Humboldt County), but first she wanted me to have a CT scan of my sinuses.  So I had that last Friday.  Now I can't get in to see my doctor again until next Tuesday and then it could be a month to six weeks after that before I get to see the ENT.

The last time I saw the doc, she gave me a script for Flonase.  I HATE taking pharmaceuticals, but I thought I'd be a good sport and try it.  The first spritz in my nostrils made my congestion worse than it was, and the second spritz early the next morning gave me the shakes, an anxiety attack that lasted most of the day, and a bad headache.  I threw that shit out.  That was two weeks ago.  The last few days I've been having minor anxiety attacks and am now using Bach's Rescue Remedy and some homeopathic pellets several times a day to deal with that.  Plus I'm living on Sudafed twice a day, but at least that helps some with the congestion which comes and goes.  Ooh boy.  I'm weary.

My head hasn't been much into my white and brown stitched piece, which I'm calling Winter Woods, although I did quilt just a little bit of it late last week.  Hoping to get back to it soon.

Meanwhile, I keep trying to get myself back to some other time in the recent past, when things didn't seem to be so marginally out of control as they seem to be these days.  But I'm afraid that ain't happening...because life doesn't move in that direction.  So onward I go.

Hope you're having a great week.  Blessings.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Progress Report

I finished stitching this together about an hour ago.  It's 28 inches square -- and it's actually pretty square considering I stitched different panels together and then assembled the parts.  Any wonkiness just gives it that handmade look and feel.  This is the biggest piece I've done, handmade or machine pieced.

Now I'm going to take a break from stitching for a few days.  Meanwhile, the piece (still unnamed) is right above where I'm sitting so I can admire it and decide what's next.

I'm having a 20% OFF sale on paintings in my Etsy Shop, through August 28.  Check it out.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Some Assembly Required

I have just two nine-patch blocks to stitch up, and then I'll be ready to begin assembling this piece, as yet unnamed.  I've used mostly-hand dyed, discharged, shiboried fabrics as complements to the white.  These two horizontal panels take the place of two nine-patch blocks each, as alternative ways to fill the same amount of space.

These are three ways I've made tiny, one-inch nine-patch blocks into 4-1/2 inch blocks.

Following assembly, I'll quilt the piece to a backing fabric ~ still undecided at this point whether there'll be an inner layer.  Then I've got some applique in mind.

I've really enjoyed working on this so far.  I've got an idea or two in mind for what's next.  But there's still a lot to do on this piece before then.

Perhaps I'll call this, "I know what I did this summer."  Probably I won't.

Thanks for your wonderful, heartfelt comments on my last post.  I really do feel your love, truly for the first time.  I no longer have that faux-belief about my unlovability in the way. 


Friday, July 22, 2016

Patch Works

I've made a few nine-patches on my new white piece this week.  I'm using a bit of color as well.  Planning something that could be as big as 27 x 27 inches, more of a cloth than a quilt although I'll likely quilt the top to a single-thickness backing fabric.  I actually don't know yet.  Just taking it one step at a time.

I also haven't yet decided whether I'll gather 36 nine-patches and then piece them together, or perhaps put a few together at the outset and build outward from there.  I'm just making patches at this point.

I continue to battle that allergy sinusitis I wrote about months back.  I suspect it became a sinus infection some weeks ago although I haven't had much in the way of typical infection symptoms.  I did get antibiotics for it earlier this week.  No significant change yet.  I'm taking amoxicillin but may have to go to something stronger if this doesn't knock out the infection.  It's been maybe 30 years since I've taken antibiotics for anything.  I'm also taking probiotics.

Some excellent recent reads ~~

Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 15, 2016

French Vanilla

I spent the last few days working away on this piece.  And then decided last night that as much as I do like it, what I'm after right now is something that's more white than this is with its off-white fabrics. So this morning I stitched the nine blocks together and stuck this on my design wall for use later on in something else.  Or I might take it apart and use the 9-patch blocks in other pieces.

The color white...there are as many whites as there are versions of every other hue.  What I don't want right now are colors like ivory, buff, vanilla, French vanilla, old lace, eggshell, cream, etc.  I'm looking for something that I would consider real white, something perhaps like coconut white.

I went through all my "white" fabrics again last night, many of which I just purchased recently, and separated them into stacks by how white they are.  It's amazing how all those vintage linens I have are so many different shades of white.  No two are exactly the same.  Fortunately there are some really white ones in my stash, and so I'll start my project over again.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed working on this so it wasn't a loss by any means.