Saturday, October 15, 2011

Jay McCarrol Habitat challenge

I really don't know much about the fabric world. I like fabric, but I like music more. I mean I could spend hours listening and talking about the newest albums of the week, but get lost in the world of fabric names and designers. That being said....I think some fabric printsnare beautiful.
So for part of my quilt guild, Houston modern quilt guild, they participated in a Jay MCCarrol habitat fabric challenge. We all got some fabric from the new fabric line and were asked to make something. I planned on stepping outside my comfort zone to make a little clutch but have yet to piece it all together. So, I then decided to make a patchy wine bottle cover. I like it, it turned out quite whimsical.

Jay McCarrol challenge

It was fun to do and hopefully I can finish the little purse also.

On a side note- awesome new CD's
- Feist 'Metals'
- The Jayhawks
- My Brightest Diamond
- St. Vincent

I should write about some of these sometimes, but I never am good at explaining music. It just is and I love it!

Also-- for anyone who reads this and is interested. The guild is having a meetup for the quilt festival.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A halt in creativity

I have been in this waiting pattern to start a new project. I recently finished a scarf I need to block, a tank top I need to sew all loose ends in, and a quilt that needs to be basted and quilted. Then i have been working on picking out fabrics for a new project. This has been an adventure in fabric shopping all it's own. Basically I have come to the conclusion that Houston lacks the modern fabric store I desire and I end up shopping all on-line (thanks etsy!).

On the otherhand, I have been creative in the science part of my life. I successfully gave a talk at AASP, judged a poster competition, networked, and served on the board. I am putting a link for my abstract if anyone is interested.

This generated a wide rangeof conversations regarding palynofacies and their utility. This is a topic where more research needs to be completed, especially in modern turbidite systems. How can we fully understand the fossil record without a very thorough understanding of the depositional processes. I am hoping some young academics out there will get to the research portion of these questions.

Anyway-- here are some pictures from my conference trip.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work and play

Unfortunately this is a word post. Hopefully fololowed by some pics. I am about to get on a plane a take a quick skip across the pond to the UK for an AASP ( American association of stratigraphic palynology) meeting. I will be giving a talk, taking a field trip to the Isle of Wight, and hobnobbing with other palynologists. Should be fun! Afterwards, Matt will be joining me from Home so that we may explore a little bit of Scotland. I hope to post some up-dates along the way.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog win!

I am so excited. I have never won a blog give away until today! I follow a whole slew fo blogs in order to get ideas about new quilt patterns, fabric, yarn, crafting in general. I love spending a few minutes a day checking all these cool things out. Sometimes I even leave comments for blog giveaways. I won one free yard of fabric from the web-site. I was excited abou their highlighting of orange fabrics because I am trying to collect a bunch for my next project-- a twin size coin quilt made out of orange fabrics. So I got to pick out a free yard!  I chose a made for Robert Kaufman print.

I love it. Let the collection continue!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer tank

After about a year of knitting on and off in-between my sewing distractions I have been working on a summer tank top. I finally finished it! Luckily I used a late summer color, burnt orange, so I am all ready for my Houston fall tank top sweater. The pattern is an Interweave Knits pattern called 'summertime tunic' by Katie Himmelberg.

Yeah for nice, simple and cute patterns.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


People don't seem to like Houston. This is something I discover more and more with people I work with and people in the industry overall. Yes, geologists love the outdoors, we love rocks, we love mountains. Houston lacks a lot of these things. I thought this might be a reason why almost everyone who moves here doesn't like it. Over time, however, I have found that people don't like it because they don't like the heat. The heat and the humidity. So a city with some of the best art museums, incredible theatre companies, and opprotunities, diverse demographics, and some of the most wonderful food around has a bunch of people who live here and don't know how great they've got it.

The saddest part is that this decision to dislike the place they live come mostly from the fact that most people live in shitty suburbs outside of Houston and never go anywhere to experience everything the city has to offer. Houston is young (like most of the US cities). It has a lot of growing pains to go through. Pretty soon this adolescent city will find out that concreted strip malls and freeways are not the best growing pains. People are moving into the city, coming to the realization that there are ways to take advantage of the limited/no zoning laws. I can currently walk and/or bike to dozens of stores and restaurants.  This is amazing and a wonderful way to grow pride and love in your community.

Why, you may ask, did I start thinking about this? Well it has always been something that bugs me. I am almost tired of defending this city to people. The saddest part is that most people don't even know about the things I am defending. I am constantly making statements related to the abundant free art museums, prolific film community, great experimental restaurants, and vibrant music opportunities. Not only that but the city of full of communities and groups for just about any hobby you might have- sewing, quilting, knitting, wine, kayaking, art, biking, etc.  Just recently I joined a monthly quilting guild. We meet in a meeting hall in Central Market. Share ideas and crafts, trade fabric and books, and get to know one another. I like having this type of group to get together with and build community. It also has great demos. This month they did a hexagon demo. I think this is gonna be a great new traveling hobby.

In short, to everyone out there who bitches and complains about Houston. I just wanted for one last time to say. Houston is a good city. Maybe if you explored the opportunities here you would discover a part of Houston you might love. A city is only as good as the people who live in it. I want people full of energy and love of life. Not people who want to bitch and complain about the bad traffic (yes, it is), and the hot weather (yes, but think of the 6-7 months of awesome weather). I miss Louisiana-- I miss the humidity, the festival-like atmosphere, the friendly people, the delicious food, the southern flora, but this doesn't make me hate Houston. Embrace life where you are living it! That way it makes life for everyone a little more enjoyable. The city has a pulse an energy and I want that pulse to be lively and the energy to be warm and positive. Thanks and Happy exploring!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shelley's quilt-o-whirl

Next in line is Shelley's baby quilt. I got to meet her little girl last summer and am happy to see she has another.her little one on the way. This quilt has been a little more challenging. I have constructed pinwheels. I don't have perfect points or alignments but I am working on it. I am also still looking for one more fabric to put in- between the white shushing separating my rows. Suggestions.

The pattern I got from 'quilting for peace'. A great book full of inspiring projects.

Here is an example of one of my rows.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brandon's graduation

A couple of weeks ago. Matt and I traveled to the great Smoky Mountains with the sole purpose to see his brother graduate from Richlands High School in Richland, Virginia. In order for Matt and I to get to Richlands we had to fly into Knoxville, TN and then drive to Virginia. Since we were in Knoxville we decided to take a little detour through the Smokies and Asheville, NC. The Smokies were beautiful and did nt disappoint in the 'smokiness' aspect. It was great to see a whole new ecosystem.

I fell in love with all the rhododendrons, which just happened to be in bloom. I always loved the azaleas in Louisiana, but these rhododendrons are indigenous to the US and the plant itself (without the flowers) has a lovely shape. My favorite ones were the orange flowers. Great color. How often do you see such abundance of orange in nature!

One of the projects I was working on was a college quilt for Brandon. He got accepted to Virgina Tech. I was a little hesitant about making this quilt since the colors were orange and maroon. It was definately a challenge identifying good fabrics. I worried about making it too Virginia tech and also too picnic table cover. In the end I think it turned out alright (even if Matt's brother finds it kinda cheesy).

Finally!!! Congrats Brandon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Baby number 3

This is the next (and last) baby quilt I have in the plans. Next in line-- Matt's brothers graduation quilt (Virginia tech).

This quilt is for my dearest, Brooke and Brandon. Brooke was one of my roommates and great friends while I was doing my Master's in Madison, WI. She is such a wonderful and beautiful lady. She provided me such support and love during my rough time in Madison. Her husband is an avid mushroom hunter and grower so I thought I would do a bright little quilt that highlighted mushrooms. I am not sure what the sex of the baby is, but I thought that this was gender neutral enough (a little to the girlie side, but mostly playful).

I need to also complete the quilting and binding process.  I see a trend here.
the finished product!

Quilt top #2-- Cottey baby

 This is my latest baby quilt. For all of you who didn't know, I went to an all woman's college for two years called Cottey College. It was in a little, middle-of-nowhere town in Missouri called Nevada. It was filled with traditions, silly songs, and female bonding rituals. One thing common was the iconography of ducks and daisies. We had duck jackets, duck passdowns, and a daisy ceremony. This needs more explaining than I willing to do right now, but it was like an huge college sorority.

Anyway, my roommate and suitemate, Betsy is having a baby at the beginnning of this month so I decided to make her a little ducks and daisies Cottey quilt. I just need to finish the quilting and binding-- easy enough- right :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quilt top-- halfway there!

I decided to take a lesson from my mother and learn some quilting skills (plus I seem to have a lot of pregnant friends). I have taken one class on rotary cutting and am signed up for the 1/4 inch seam class. On my own I tried to do a quilt top following the tutorial on Cluck Cluck Sew, Road trip quilt.

I  just finished the quilt top last night and will try to get the backing and batting done this weekend.  Then I will be on my way!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I have been randomly reading blogs only to realize how self-indulgent they can be. Oh well, I suppose I knew that, it just has become so apparent on Jan. 1st. 

So I may just play along, and write my accomplishments from 2010 and how I am going to top them in 2011.  Or I may just write a short list of things I am hoping to get done for 2011. In all actuality I was never a fan of making resolutions, not because I don't think I have things I need to improve about myself just a new calendar year never seemed like to time to think about these things-- the spring equinox seemed a more appropriate time for contemplation and rebirth.  Believe me I have tons of things I need to resolve.

List of 2011 resolutions
1. Make a resolution-- not sure why, but maybe I will shake my sarcasm, dry humor, and overall under-achievement to rise to higher and higher levels of betterment. Maybe I can fill out this form that evaluates my year and then set goals for the next year (ok- I am obviously not gonna succeed in this bullshit cynicism gets the better of me).

2. Visit Meredith and Julie. It has been way too long since I have seen these two lovely ladies and we need some quality time with each other.

3. Get a paper submitted. I have several potential papers from my dissertation or work-related research. I need to get something out there.

4. Practice my harp 30-45 minutes a day. Matt and I have discussed the possibility of a performance sometime this year.  That would be super fun.

5. Get back into a good cooking schedule. I was quite lazy this year.

6.  Continue sewing and knitting-- I have no specific goals except to enjoy myself.

7. Give back to the community more- be it through handouts on the streets, volunteering at food banks, plant some trees, knitting hats, supporting the arts, etc.

Ok-- well I guess I am done. Off to making some black eyed peas and cabbage.