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Archive for March, 2010

Missing!

I think he went missing during his flash forward.

Seriously Channel 12, you’re killing me.

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Last night at EQ Club, Linda brought a challenge to the table and what a challenge it was.

Her guild uses the “Pentagon Star” block as its “logo” or whatever you call it. She needed to make a name badge for some event coming up this weekend and she got the idea to use this block as the basis for her badge.

She found this block in the EQ library:

She wanted to draw a sashing-like border around the outside of the pentagon shape (not around the outside of the square outline) but didn’t know how to go about it. Darlene, our fearless leader, who is absolutely amazing when it comes to using EQ6, didn’t hesitate to tackle the challenge and we all pitched in with ideas and opinions of how to go about it. One of the problems we had last night was, for some reason, the snapping tool didn’t want to snap correctly, so the end product didn’t have perfect angles, but it was very close.

This is what Linda is striving for, although she doesn’t want a square outer edge, she wants it to be a pentagon shape:

BUT, and this is a big but, EQ doesn’t like it. I modified the existing block in Easy Draw and was able to save it to my sketchbook, but in this form I can’t color it because EQ doesn’t recognize all the lines in the center as being patches that can be colored. And that’s because EQ is looking for designs that are sewable. In this form, it can’t be pieced. I tried saving “all” and copying to Patch Draw, but it wouldn’t copy. What I need are lines connecting the star points to the outside points, like miters. I did that, but when I tried to save to sketchbook, I got the “saving polygons” message and EQ6 hung up. So much so that the cancel button didn’t work, clicking the X to close the window didn’t work, I had to go to the task manager and kill EQ6 altogether.

If you were going to tackle this challenge, how would you go about it?

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March madness batik swap

My March batik swap fabrics arrived this week.

However, as you can see by this photo (if you’ve been paying attention), 2 of the 6 fat quarters are my own (the ones at the top), ones I sent in to be swapped. I got 2 different FQs from the same lady. According to the swap forum, another lady got one of her FQs back and one lady was shorted by 2 FQs.

Now, I’ve never hosted a swap, so I don’t know what it entails. This particular swap allows for people to send in any number of sets of 3 fat quarters. I sent in 2 sets, as did most of the others, and I think 2 ladies sent in 3 sets. Without overthinking this, shouldn’t each participant receive the same number of FQs as she sent in and shouldn’t they be from different swappers? (ok, I guess they don’t have to be from different swappers, just be different fabrics, right?) Or does the fact that some sent in 6 and some sent in 9 make a difference?

The hostess hasn’t been back to the forum to read the messages, so I don’t know what she’ll have to say and if this can be rectified. I’m surprised by the outcome of this month’s swap because it’s my understanding that she has hosted these batik swaps several times before. This one almost looks like she let the neighbor kids do it.

I’d be interested in your comments, I don’t want to condemn the hostess out of hand since I haven’t walked in her shoes. But how she responds will determine if I continue with this swap.

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Wicked!

John and I went to see Wicked! on Saturday night. I have been wanting to see this for a long time because so many people were telling me how great it is.

I was underwhelmed.

I wish I’d read the book before seeing it on stage. All I knew of the story is that it is about the witches before Dorothy dropped in on Oz. What about them?

I think mine was a special circumstance, because all of the reviews I’ve read are very glowing, even from people who saw the same performance we did. I say “special” because we had been up later than usual the night before, I had gotten up early that morning as I always do. I had a busy day with laundry, housework, a bridal shower in the afternoon, and by the time the curtains opened on stage, I was pooped. It’s not unusual for me to sleep through a movie at the theater if we go at night and I always sleep in front of the TV in the evenings, so I should have had a strong cup of coffee with my dinner. I’m not a daytime napper, but that would have helped, too.

So I was fighting to stay awake during the first act. It didn’t help that it was warm in the theater, they didn’t turn on the air until after the intermission. I wouldn’t say that I actually slept through any of it, but I was constantly nodding and jerking to attention. Enough so that I couldn’t follow the story line. Why was the goat-professor dragged away by the soldiers? What was that lion cub thing all about? So John explained it to me (more or less) during the intermission and the second act was easier to follow. But I still didn’t have a good grasp of the entire story.

And my shoes were too tight. I had to take them off. I was hoping that my feet wouldn’t smell 🙂

During the second act, now that John knew I was having sleep issues, he kept poking me when he thought I was nodding off again. Boy was that annoying. I was ready to poke him right back.

But what bothered the both of us was that we couldn’t understand the lyrics in the songs. That’s a problem with the venue. The newspaper review acknowledged that it was only a problem on the choruses, but I couldn’t understand the soloists, either.

Another minus in our book is that the music was just not memorable. We aren’t the most experienced live theater-goers, but I’ve seen Godspell (wow that was a long time ago), Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line (or so John says, I don’t remember this), Cats (or so I say, John says we saw it on DVD), Mamma Mia, and the music of Wicked! just doesn’t measure up. My brother-in-law, Ken, who’s been telling me for years that I’ve got to see this, sent me a text message today with a link to a YouTube video of one of the songs, “For Good,” and asked me didn’t I think it was beautiful? I had to respond, no, it’s just ok.

I will say that the character Glinda (Guh-linda) had the best lines. She was funny.

So now I’ve seen it and I don’t have to see it again. I might read the book and see if I feel differently about that.

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Weekend at the Boar’s Head Inn

Boar's Head logo

Every year, the women at my church go away for a weekend retreat. This year it was originally scheduled for the first weekend in February at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, but a huge snowstorm put a stop to those plans. The planning committee was able to reschedule it for this past weekend, although it meant that about 15  women weren’t able to attend due to spring break and other prior commitments. We still had a good crowd but did miss those not in attendance.

Our leader this year was LoAnn Fairman who presented a study of women in the Bible. We had a “clutter auction” Saturday night, i.e. we each brought something from home that we didn’t need anymore or wanted to re-gift, “clutter,” and auctioned off the items with play money. There was a wide variety of items to choose from and the cement bunny garden statue was the object of a frenzied bidding war. I won a votive candelabra that is designed to fit around a patio table umbrella. I actually bid on it as a joke, because if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I broke our glass patio table last year trying to get the umbrella out of it to put away for the season.

We had a few hours free time on Saturday after lunch and most of the women went into town to shop. I had already planned to go to the Ivy Creek Natural Area to hike and take pictures and I’m glad I did, it was a beautiful spring day. The trails had not been cleared of storm damage, but for the most part they were navigable. There were only a couple of places where we had to blaze a trail around a downed tree. Janet H. went with me and carried my tripod, we joked that she was my sherpa.

I set up the tripod and took a series of shots for a technique I’ve been wanting to try, sometimes called “cloning” or “multiplicity.”

And then Janet manned the camera and captured me:

I was hoping for some bird shots, but didn’t get any opportunities. The birds must have been there, but I didn’t see them. There was still a lot of snow on the ground and it was too early in the season to look like spring.

It’s a beaver habitat, as evidenced by a lot of this:

I like this shot, I just hope you’ll be able to see the colors as I see them on my computer.

Well, maybe not. Everybody’s monitors are calibrated differently and right now I’m looking at this on my work computer and the colors look pretty drab. Darn, I hate that I can’t control that!

Janet spotted this field full of crocuses and we stopped to take pictures as we left Charlottesville to head home:

As always, it was a spiritually fulfilling, fun-filled time with a lot of amazing women. I’m so appreciative of their friendship!

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Good friends

Darryl and Alice M., John K.

When we were in California for my brother-in-law’s funeral, we had the opportunity to spend time with good friends who were not in town when we were there last September.

Darryl and Alice are really a neat couple, very special to us. We met them years ago when their friend Ken Salter came to First Presbyterian, Downey, to lead the choir. They came and sang with us and we got to be very close. Now retired, they were elementary school teachers in the L.A. Unified school district. Alice is very creative and quite musical. We would go to their house and Alice would pass out the kazoos and she’d play the piano while we accompanied. A lot of fun.

They have a weekend home in Idyllwild, in the San Jacinto mountains above Palm Springs (up for sale, anyone interested?), and they invited us to spend a weekend with them once. What a great time that was. They introduced us to what we call “Darryl and Alice” soup: take one can of cream of chicken soup, put it in a saucepan, add a same-size can of chicken broth (or use the c of c can to measure) instead of water. Stir it real good to get the lumps out and bring it to a boil. Take it off the heat, add a cup of instant rice, put a lid on it and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. That’s some good stuff and couldn’t be any easier.

They bought a home in Oregon and are in the process of moving up there permanently, but for now they divide their time between the two houses. They invited us for lunch that day before the funeral and we stayed all afternoon, comparing iPhone apps and teaching each other how to do things with it, had lots of laughs and took a trip down memory lane and got caught up on mutual friends. They didn’t know George, but they came to his service. See how special they are? We are truly blessed.

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George Conrad Kaspar, 60, of South Gate, California, died unexpectedly Monday, February 22, 2010 at home.

Services were held Saturday, February 27 at Messiah Lutheran Church, Downey, California, with the Rev. Michael Hayes officiating. Burial was at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Cypress, California.

George was born May 14, 1949 in Long Beach, California, the son of H. George and Joan Elizabeth (Hess) Kaspar. He married Christine Frerichs on April 22, 1972.  George retired from the J.C. Penney company after 38 years.

George enjoyed his retirement, honing his cooking skills, playing golf, and spending time with his granddaughters, the “Lu-Lu Cousins,” the loves of his life. Sadly, he passed away before the births of another granddaughter and a grandson. He also was the patriarch of a group of family and friends who went camping every summer at Devil’s Postpile in the Sierras. He was an elder at Messiah Lutheran and active in his faith. He led Bible studies and accompanied Pastor Mike on visitations.

George is survived by his wife of 37 years, Chris; a son, Michael (Sabrina) of Upland, California; a daughter, Amy Silva (Jon) of Irvine, California; a sister, Sue Welker (Ken) of South Gate, California; a brother, John (Robin) of Richmond, Virginia; several nieces and nephews; and three grandchildren, Emily, Lauren and Makayla.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to Messiah Lutheran Church, 10711 Paramount  Blvd., Downey, CA 90241.

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We lost a good man that day. We love you, George.

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