Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saw The Doc

Saw the doc today and we went over the x-ray results.  I have a curvature in the spine and a small one in the neck.  I also have a vertebre twisted funny in my neck. come no one has picked that up over the years?  It's really obvious from the x-ray. However; I went for 23 years not knowing I was having seizures so anything is possible.  If you aren't looking for it, you won't find it.

Now I'm kind of lost as this chiropractor said this has happened over the past 8-10 years.  I've been working with one chiropractor since April and he never said anything about it.  He just keeps adjusting my hips.  A week later, I'm in pain again.  I've given him so much money.  When I've seen a regular doc, I'm just given muscle relaxers and told to come back if I'm still in pain.  When I do physical therapy it seems like they check my lower back (where the pain is) and I'm given the same set of exercises that I did the last time I was there.

I went to a chiropractor out of frustration with regular doctors.  I went to this one to get a second opinion since nothing has worked since April.  He's the first doc ever to even do x-rays.  He wants to see me twice a week for the next month to see if he can help and then go from there.  I'm not sure I want too.  I'm tired of forking out 20 bucks a visit and getting nothing in return.

From reading on the web, it sounds like there's nothing you can do and if it's happened in adulthood, there's an underlying cause.  All I know is that I'm tired of hurting and my lower back muscles locking up every week.  I've made it a week and a half without having any problems but I figure my back will go out again soon.

I hate doctors.  And "specialists" are even worse.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I decided to get brave and start my log cabin quilt I starteded almost a year ago before I hurt my back.  I got a couple of blocks done to finish up the pattern and decided to call it quits.  My back is aching again.  I shouldn't have laid this out on the floor to arrange the design or try to cut too many strips.

I've decided to get a second opinion on my back.  I have an appt. with another doc tomorrow and hopefully get some answers.

I finally got out my Go! cutter to do some strips instead of bending over but to no avail.  I like that my strips are straight but it's slow going this way.  Anyone want to make a bet on how long it will take before I "push the limitations" of this cutter?  If this one Go!es out, I'm done with it forever.

Off to ice my back and take some Aleve.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rinsing My Mouth Out

Blech (still rinsing out my mouth a day later)  The casino buffet was disgusting and they wanted an absolute fortune for it.  Even school cafeteria food is better.  People eat this stuff while gambling?  The entire building looked like it would collapse at any moment.  My friend lied when she said it was good food.

I have no desire to go to a casino ever again.  Why people give these places their money is beyond my comprehension.  I think I need another shower.

On the positive side, I got two new toys for Christmas; a portable hard drive and a real copy of Snow Leopard.

I didn't realize my brother pirated a copy when he let me borrow it.  I don't believe in shareware, but I lowered my standards for this one and I'm guessing this "copy" completely messed with my computer.  Don't bother doing shareware.  Just buy it.  It will save you a huge headache and at least you have a warranty if something blows up in your face.  

I'm not sure if I should do a clean install or downgrade back to Leopard.  I backed up all my files on my hard drive just in case I do something crazy like that.  I'm just sick of my computer freezing up.  It's been pretty good the two days so maybe it's working.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas.  I really forgot the whole reason we celebrate thanks to being manic and didn't truly appreciate this time of year.  Hopefully next year it will be better.  


Friday, December 24, 2010

It's A DVR'd Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and what am I doing?  Watching DVR recordings of the "The Walking Dead".  It's like watching a train wreck. You want to look away but you can't.  The story keeps getting worse and worse.  Who wrote this series?

I couldn't take it anymore, grabbed my son and started wrapping presents in the bedroom.  They aren't very pretty, but they are done.  It was just fun spending time with my son.  I should just give up, tie the Wally World bags shut and call it done.

Later tonight DH and will wrap the other presents. we get to watch "Decoded" as "Warehouse 13" is done.

Yup.  We need a better Christmas tradition other than catching up on DVR'd shows.

Tomorrow we are cheating and going up to a casino to eat.  We don't gamble but with my back we just decided that would be the easiest way.

Whatever your Christmas traditions are, enjoy your evening!
I'm getting to know the head manager at the Apple place very well.  He very kindly spent another 45 minutes going through my computer to figure out why it freezes.  Part of it is the "finder" program and that it wants to go to sleep/wake up and then sleep but freezes instead.

Right now to get it to work I have to manually make the "force quit" window come up and click on "finder" when it freezes.  I've been keeping an eye on the "console" to see what shows up and it appears there are other issues when I did a google search.  Apparently Snow Leopard doesn't always play nicely.

The question is do I uninstall Snow Leopard and reinstall the old program.  I don't even know if I could do that w/o totally wrecking my warranties or the computer.  At least it works.

If any of you are Mac geniuses let me know.  I love my iMac.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I spent the first part of this week reorganizing all my sewing crap into bins and drawers.  In the process I lost my diamond ring.  I've been sick looking for it.  With my back being funky I had several teenage boys move out all the bins and and help look under the couches to no avail.

I finally said "Screw my back" and made an appt. for Wednesday since I knew it would go out and I didn't want to spend the entire weekend hunched over in pain.

I cleaned out under my bed.  I moved furniture.  I went through trash cans.  I went through bins for three days and finally found it in an empty bin that had held fabric.

I even built a bookcase to clean up the clutter around my computer desk:

The only damage?

I crushed my thumb with  my hammer while building the bookcase.  My back has been fine the entire time.

I did see the doc yesterday and everything was fine.  He adjusted a couple of things and I'm hoping to make it through the weekend w/o issues.

Go figure.

Computer Problems

My iMac is possessed.  And not by the stupid Ghosts of Christmas.  Apple Care is worth every expensive penny despite them not finding out the problem yet.  One tech spent 45 minutes going through several troubleshooting issues and then it went to his boss who tried several things to no avail as I found out today when it froze up.  Before you think, "Well they didn't fix your problem so why aren't you upset?" the techs speak ENGLISH and know what they are doing.  No 1-800-CALL-INDIA crap with some idiot reading off a card.

I think it's because I installed Snow Leopard and it's messed up my system.  From talking with the Apple techs, my hard drive is just fine and some other troubleshooting problems with the hard drive and programs are working.  I'm up to date on my software.  

The tech had me set up a new user account and to see what happens.  

We thought it might be my stupid Bamboo tablet and updated the driver.  Apparently the tablets have had issues working with Mac computers.  The tablet did work better but this morning while not using the tablet my computer froze.

I wonder if my cat has messed up some settings as he stomps all over my keyboard.  It froze when he stomped on it this morning but I wasn't on the test user.

I'd really like to uninstall and go back to the old program but that would be a huge nightmare of backing up files (yeah, you should do that anyway) and installing everything over.  Add in that I've partitioned my hard drive to run Windows because ahem..the quilting/embroidery software idiots refuse to make their products work with a Mac.   Some of those programs are fixed to only be installed a couple of times (jerks) before you have to buy it again.  I don't shareware, but I'm not about to spend a fortune replacing programs as I've had to fix my computer. gripe gripe gripe

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pug Quilt Is On It's Way!

The pug quilt is on it's way to it's new home.  I wish I could be there to see her face when she opens it.

I discovered a neato tool for cutting wrapping paper!  It's a gift wrap cutter and it saved so much time.  I still can't wrap gifts to save my life and tape is my nemesis, but it should work.

I am officially an invalid.  I bought a chair that sits in your tub.  Sigh.  Just like quilting, put a "home health care" label on and you can charge twice as much for it.  I've learned to swallow more pride this past year with this stupid back.  Maybe I should put a bow on and sit it under the tree.

Now to put two teenagers to work dragging bins downstairs to the basement.  I can't take my living room looking like a storage unit with furniture.  DH probably won't be happy with his precious Blu-rays downstairs, but he'll have to live with it.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That Note To Self..

It won't get done done but I got the two motifs done on each side.  Close enough.  I hate this project.  It's cost me a fortune and I should have just bought a cheap tree skirt.  I had such grand plans for it as well.  Decorative stitching and embroidery motifs all around the skirt.  I even bought navy blue rope to finish it off.

I finally said "Screw it" and spray basted the backing and velvet together.  I won't be wearing it and it will have a backing.

You can see the curve around the bottom.  The tree skirt has a diameter of 44 inches.  I have two more blue birds sitting on a branch on each side and then roses going around.  If I get that far.

No.  It's not Christmas themed but I loved the design so much that I had to use it.  It looked so luxerious with the velvet.

Now I need to get embroidery needles since size 75 shreds this thread.  Those have to be specially ordered via the net since my stores don't carry them.  Told you I hate having to special order simple things.  Gripe. Gripe.  No wonder quilt store owners duck when I come in..LOL.

I bought black Kona Cotton fabric for the Fiesta quilt today.  I'll go through my stash and see what I have for the other colors.  I love Kona fabric.

Ditch this project or keep going?

Note To Self

I'll post this note so I can't walk away and toss it out.  This project has been so frustrating but I plan on getting it done today if it kills me.

Will show pictures later.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blog Readers

*Bangs Head*  All I want is a way to read my blogs in a simple easy step.  Bloglines went out and then came back.  Then they changed their format leaving me stranded with over 100 blogs that didn't make it.  I have to manually move them over.  The last time I lost several blogs that I read and now I'll lose more.  Now they've made take several steps to read the blog instead of just clicking on it.  Now I have mark as "unread" or face scrolling down all 1200 posts of one blog.  The old Bloglines you just clicked on the blog and if I didn't want to read all the way down, I didn't have to make an extra click or scroll.

I hate Google reader and now I hate Bloglines.

The Quilterblogs rock.

I'll add a splitting headache to my nasty cold now.

If you have a better reader site, let me know.  


Went back to the doc yesterday about my back.  He adjusted the rotated hip and we talked about what's causing it.  It's been almost a year and the answer is, we don't know.

It's not chronic since I can go for a couple of weeks without the hip rotating.  There doesn't seem to be an exact movement that rotates the hip other than I know when it's happened.  It can be as simple as rolling over in bed to another position.  Bending down to get something.  Lifting a gallon of milk off the counter to put it back in the fridge.  Walking a couple of blocks.  Getting in/out of the car.  Standing and talking to a friend.  Coughing/sneezing.  

What doesn't help is that all the muscles around the hip and back are connected so if the hip rotates, it takes several muscles with it causing a domino reaction.

I wonder if I need some deep physical therapy that my crappy county hospital can't give to strengthen the muscles.

Now that I have a cold, I know I'll have to be back in a couple of days to fix the hip.

It just sucks having to pay 20 bucks to put my hip back to where it should every couple of weeks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Independent Quilt Shops

If you are a store owner, please note that I admire what you do.  I've worked retail as a manager for a couple of years.  I know it's hard.  It's grueling.  The overhead costs are obscene.  Keeping track of everything means having 4 brains.  I know you don't make a huge profit over all your products and if you decide to carry a line of something, it's a huge risk.

You have to buy in bulk or meet minimum items for an order.  Shipping costs alone, even for me, the average shopper, is outrageous.  I paid 13 dollars for UPS shipping for a 12.50 thread case.  I ordered two just to make it worthwile.  DH spends a fortune in shipping for his books/blu-rays.  It makes you sick.  Running a small business shouldn't be this hard.  You are the ones that fuel our economy.

I know you can't cater my every desire and just to my needs alone.  What is frustrating to me is going into a local store down the block and having to leave because the owner doesn't carry a basic need. It's the same thing every time I go in and I get the same dirty look of "you aren't buying anything, leave now". I came to you first hoping you'd have it and now I have to "cheat" on you.

You get to the point where you don't bother and find another store that does 50-80 miles away.  Now that I can drive, I feel bad that can't support the two local stores in town a half mile away in either direction.

I know you can't compete prices with JoAnn Fabric and other chain stores.  By the time I drive 80 miles up to a JoAnn Fabric store or paid shipping from another site, I would have paid that much for the item.  I'd rather give that money to you upfront.

The hard part is knowing that I want the color pallette of the quilt shown for the Fiesta BOM and the two stores in town don't have them.  Once again, I have to scour the internet or drive 50+ miles to get those colors instead of supporting my two LQS.  And truthfully; I dont' think any of the stores that far don't carry those colors either.

It's also frustrating when I go to a website hoping to order a product and being told to shop your local independent quilt shop for this item but all the LQS in a 80 mile radius don't carry it.  I have to scour the internet for the product hoping another store does.

We need our independent quilt shops and we are loyal and faithful shoppers.  You fuel our addiction and  our lusts for fabric and other items.  You give us complete and instant gratification when we buy from you.  Please know you are needed and cherished.  I hate "cheating" on my LQS for something as simple as a decent pair of scissors, several packages of needles, pins, and some thread or in one case some basic brown flannel backing for my pug quilt.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Am An Addict

CJ over at Created By CJ  had an interesting post about the costs of fabric and where the industry is headed and the responses posted had me thinking.  Check out her blog.

I don't think quilters will ever stop quilting or stop paying for good quality fabric.  We are addicts and nothing will change that.  We may slow down but we can't stop.  It's not in our nature.  Fabric/notions call to us.  Most of us can find a quilt store in any town just by scent.

I do think LQS will have change how they do business.  They have to compete with the internet and with the decrease in some spending.  You now have to "sell" your fabric and notions you buy instead of letting sit on the shelf for years.  One of LQS has fabric that I bought 8 years ago and still hasn't moved off of the shelf.

Here's what I would like to see in LQS:

1.  The ability for you to order supplies for me if you can't carry them and not wait 3 weeks for when you put your large order in.  As much I want to support your store, I need that item in a couple of days.  I'll pay for my shipping/handling and guard your store until it gets here.

2.  I know it takes time to cut up kits, but they are a lifesaver to people.  If I can grab it and go, even better for some projects.  It's a great way to sell books, speciality notions and your fabric.  I don't have a problem buying the book/specific notion if you have a kit to go with it.  Having a set of rulers that I have no clue how to use hanging up will just sit there forever unless you have a project ready to go with them.

3.  Please have lots of notions and not just the fad ones.  I don't care about an XYZ celebrity notion. I also don't want cheap pins/scissors/needles that don't work.  I'll pay for quality.  If I want cheap, I'll go to a Hobby Lobby type place.  So many stores don't have a variety of thread, needles, scissors, and other notions that are necessary. I hate having to order something simple like needles via the internet because a local store doesn't carry it.

4.  Show how something works.  If you have a fad notion that is actually worth it, show me how it works.  Have one on hand for demo purposes.  If I know you are willing to teach me, that beats an internet deal anytime.

5.  Classes for more experienced quilters.  I haven't taken a class in eons because I can do most of the simple things.  I see more classes for experienced via all of your blogs then I've ever seen in a store.  I recognize space is a premium, but if we can do mystery quilts and other sew-ins via the net, surely a store could do something similar.

6.  I despise BOM quilts.  If you can sell me the entire pattern, I'll buy all my fabric right then and there.  I'm not about to pay 20 bucks a month for 12 mos.  The only BOM I'm looking forward too is "Fiesta"   by Fat Cat Patterns.  I'd still rather buy the pattern up front despite it being free every month.  I'm going to go bonkers waiting each month.

7.  Order Matchbox car plastic cases.  You won't be able to keep them in stock if you can do it under 10 bucks.
There are other things, but those are basics.

I am a quilt addict.  There is no hope for me and I know it.  I may slow down my spending, but I can't resist the perfect kit and the bread/butter notions I need.  I don't want any LQS to go out of business, but if everything I need is online via another quilt store/warehouse, that's where I go.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I must be coming back down from being manic.  Bah Humbug.  I'm crawling back into bed until spring. I'm even sick of eggnog and I down that stuff by the gallons come this time of year.  I hurt my back on Friday and so much for trying to make the perfect tree skirt.  

My tree has been decimated by a cat.  I can't put lights up around my windows because my back hurts and I don't need a fried cat because he tried to eat the lights.

I have two bins full of Christmas crap that I don't even want to mess with downstairs.

My house is being overrun with Blu-rays in bins and yes, behind the tree there are Blu-rays in shelves.  Hardback comic books are the next thing to take over.

And yes, that's the front door to the right.

I no longer have a house.  It's a storage unit with a bent tree and furniture.  See you in the Spring.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ohhh Nooo!

Oh Noooo!  Somehow I lowered the design on my tree skirt!!  Sniff.  It stitched out beautifully but too close to the edge.  It took me three hours to stitch this out and I'm desperately trying to figure out how to fix the designs around it to work.  There is a rope trim that will take out nearly an inch making the design sit awkardly at the bottom.

This has been such a disaster.  I thought it would be easy to just buy the fabric and stitch out the pattern instead of buying a cheap tree skirt.  Then I realized the ribbon tree is too small and I spent all that money on the thread for it.  The roses on either side of the center are too big and it would cost me more to buy the smaller set.  The flannel I bought for the back fits the ribbon tree and not this design.  

Yes, I know birds aren't exactly Christmas motifs but it was going to look so elegantly done with the plans I had in mind.

It will get done and fixed soon.  It has just been a long day and now I can't sleep.  I keep planning designs in my head instead of sleeping.

If any of you have some ideas let me know!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Storing Mini King Cones

The whole mini king spool storage has driven me crazy.  I don't want a peg stand and I don't want to buy tons of little boxes.  I did another google search and found this: Thread Organizer  idea.  WOW!!!  That's IT.  Exactly what I want!!!

So I pulled apart my wooden peg stand and put the peg rows in my drawer.  My only problem is that the wooden rows are at an angle and they fall over.  Will fix that problem later.  But here is the prototype:

Oh yeah.  Once I get this set up and working, it will be perfect!

Thank you Brighterfusion!  You are my hero!

Madeira And Matchbox Cases are the Same

My box with my thread cases came!  My excitement ended when I realized there was no difference between the 12.50 an the 6 dollar matchbox car case.  Another site had the same box for 19.99.  Add in 14 bucks for UPS ground shipping and I feel sort of duped.   (I can't get the pictures to rotate..sorry)

Just get the Matchbox car case and save yourselves a lot of money.  It really peeves me when those of us with hobbies get ripped off just with the word "quilting" on it.

At least I have boxes to put my thread in.  Now to figure out the mini king spool issue.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tree Skirts

My embroidery bug hit in and I decided I wanted to make a tree skirt.  I figured it can't be that hard.  Cut out a circle and a slit and then embroider on it.

I went out looking for fabric.  I wanted something that draped nicely and would be easy to embroider on.  Somehow I ended up coming home with two yards of navy blue velvet.  It's soft, luxerious and the owner gave me a 50% discount since it had a hole in the fabric.

Little did I know that you can't machine wash velvet and you can't really iron it.  You aren't supposed to hoop it or you'll leave imprints that don't come out..aka hoop burn.  Also my tree is white with blueish green ornaments.  I'm not sure how navy fits in, but I didn't think about that when I bought the fabric.

The designs are trees that look like ribbons.  They are beautiful but the reds/greens don't work with navy.  And the colors I have aren't the same as the design making it look more off.  I figured I'd see how silver/white worked.

First thing is a test sample.  I cut up a section, put two layers of stabilizer, placed the velvet on top of the hoop and put WSS over that.  Surprise!  Velvet is easy to embroider on and my Topaz did it with ease.   The colors..well, it makes you want to gag: hoop burn, no puckering and I managed to get the WSS off cutting very close to the design with small sharp scissors and carefully patting with warm water.  If you get sticky, it peels right off the velvet.

Now to get some templates printed out and marked on the skirt to embroider.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Thread Organization Part Two

wqqqqSomeone was kind enough to mention getting Matchbox car cases from Wally World.  I have heard of getting them, but have never found one until tonight.  Five bucks.  I should have picked up a couple but wasn't sure if they would fit my spools.

They fit my Madeira spools!  Too bad I already ordered "official" ones the other night.  Would have saved me a few bucks plus outrageous UPS shipping costs.

I fit in all my Mettler embroidery spools, my DMC quilting threads, and my Aurifil small spools.  Wow!

Even better, they fit in my drawer!

If they only made snap cases to fit the mini king spools.

You know what kills me?  The fact that JoAnn Fabric stores want an absolute fortune for plastic bins. Twenty dollars plus for crappy bins. They had a bin set for 72 bucks on sale.  I did a scan of it to see what Amazon wants and came up with 60 bucks.  Still outrageous.  Five bucks work just fine for me.

I also found a straight silverware box (no outlines) for organizing my pens/pencils/rotary cutters and other notions:

It may still look like a disaster, but it was far worse with 4 plastic skinny bins that never really fit in and made a huge mess.  I got this idea from the log cabin quilt book as the author said to get one for keeping the strips together.

My OCD part of being manic has been soothed and I feel tons better.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thread Organization

Oh man.  I knew I had A LOT of thread, but didn't realize I had so much until I tried to organize it.   I'm one that wants all my brands kept together and then by the thread color chart.  Having them tossed into a drawer drives me insane.  They come undone, you can't find the exact number you need, and it makes a huge mess.

Here's my stash that I've dumped out all over:

And this:
Yes (gulp) I have tossed some into the bin.  Some of it is 8 years old and some I've only needed for a particular project and will never use it again.  It breaks my heart to toss out stuff.

And this:

I don't have space to put up the wooden racks like the one in the picture.  The one here has fallen apart on me.

What I want is a set of drawers/bins that I can put thread in horizontally w/adjustable slots for various brands.  Madeira does make a thread chest with drawers, but I have no room for it.  I just want it on wheels, adjustable slots and bin sizes and priced right.  I'm not really asking for much right?  LOL.

The closest I found was that Madeira does make a case for 48 spools like the slimline Sulky ones.  I ordered two since the company only ships UPS and it cost almost as much as one case to ship it.

Believe me, I've looked at all the options out there like bead cases, Matchbox car cases, cases made for thread and nothing has fit my needs.  I don't want to have to stack bins that only open from the top either.      I had a couple of those and went bonkers.

Fingers crossed that cases I bought work.

And, I don't want the wooden holders with the pegs.  They aren't Bandit proof and take up way to much space.  Those seem to be the most popular when I do a check.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Organizing Patterns

Since I haven't been quilting, I got my patterns all organized.  I found some floating around my bins and decided to do a full inventory.  I had no idea I'd end up with SIX 2 inch binders.

Two of them are QuiltUniversity classes that I've taken over the years.

Two and 1/4 of a 3rd are full of embroidery design templates giving thread lists.

And one is for quilt patterns.

Now to figure out where to put them all.  You think you have everything organized until you realize you have to find a place to put all the stuff you've organized.

My house is exploding with Blu-rays/hardback comic books and quilting supplies.  Between bookshelves and plastic drawers/bins is a living area.  Now that would be one heck of a picture if I was brave enough to put one up.

I've heard IKEA is the place for organizing stuff but there isn't one nearby.  Oh well.

I need to organize my threads, but there isn't room on my walls for hanging thread racks or for setting them up.  Yeah, I have that much thread.