Final Quilt of 2009

>> Thursday, December 31, 2009

While I've got a few projects in the works, this is my last finished quilt of 2009. Made entirely from my stash, and with several large scraps at that, I think it serves as a nice quilting culmination of the year.

I made the blue and green zig-zags using Amanda Jean's no triangle tutorial. I made a couple modifications -- I used 2.5 inch strips since that's what I had and cut 4.5 inch squares from the sewn-together strips.

I also reoriented the zig-zags vertically, with some white on either side, in part because I wasn't sure how long the zig-zag lines would be when finished. I had intended to place the zig-zags off-center, but they stretched out wider than I realized they would, so I added just a bit of white to both sides.

This quilt started with the backing. I had a little under a yard of these monkeys in my stash and I wanted to use it as a quilt back. I then looked through the rest of my fabric to decide what would coordinate well with it for the front. After collecting the blues and greens -- which are more pale than my usual bright color choices -- I thought I'd go with simple strips. But as I was falling asleep, I remembered the zig-zag tutorial I'd bookmarked several months ago. Upon waking in the morning, I settled on the zig-zags and went to work.

The binding presented another puzzle and another set of switched decisions. I initially thought of using purple or yellow to complement the back and add another color to the front. But I couldn't find a tone of either color in my stash that looked good. So I opted for the one zig-zag fabric for which I had more fabric -- the blue flowers with tiny orange dots. In terms of quilting, I followed the zig-zags, 1/4" off of the seams. As an experiment in zig-zaggery, this quilt performed quite well and I'll certainly use the no-triangle zig-zag method again. This quilt is now on its way to Kentucky, as a donation to the Mountain Baby Blankets, a project collecting and distributing blankets in poverty-stricken Appalachia.

And with that, Happy 2010!


A Riot of Color

>> Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This quilt should be arriving at its recipient's door today or tomorrow. I must say that stuffing it into a priority flat-rate envelope took some skillz, but I persevered and succeeded. It's for a baby who arrived a few weeks early -- all within the healthy realm -- but too quickly for me to have started the gift. I did sneak in a little cutting and piecing while I was finishing the semester, on quick breaks from paper-writing and grading. But it didn't come together until this weekend.

It's much brighter than this photo indicates, so apologies for the dimness of it here. This was all improv pieced, "designed" with the intent of cutting into many fabrics in my stash that I had been too hesitant to chop. This forced me to cut, although only smaller pieces so it wasn't too terrifying. It was inspired by a quilt I saw while perusing all the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day blogs. I wish I had bookmarked it so I could give credit where credit is due...anyone recall a giveaway for one of 2 quilts, both of which looked to me to contain all sorts of delightful fabric in no discernable pattern? Well, the image is seared in my brain, but the blog was not captured by my bookmarks.

I started by cutting out small, medium, and large pieces of each fabric I wanted to use and then sewing them together. I tried to mix large and small and build up to larger rectangles that could be put together to form the larger quilt. My design wall floor came in quite handy for this process. I fussy-cut a few of the fabrics -- such as the birdcages (Michael Miller, "Tweet Tweet") pictured above -- but mostly grabbed from the pile and waited to see what would emerge.

This quilt might have more pink in it than ever before, but I offset that with a fair amount of blue. One can never have enough blue in one's life.

I knew I wanted to use this bright brown (how often do you say "bright brown"?!) floral fabric from my stash for the back, and I added the orange squares to make it a touch larger. But not large enough, as it turns out. I let the pieced back sit overnight while I thought about how to make it bigger.

And by the next morning had settled on another orange strip and some of the pink and orange fabric. I must say that bubble gum pink, into which that pink fabric falls, is not my favorite. But I like the design on it and think it works well in this quilt. Both the pink and the brown fabrics serve as lessons in "colors on your computer screen are not necessarily accurate"; however, after being a tad disappointed when they first arrived, I realized that I do actually like them, just not in the ways that I had anticipated liking them.

As soon as I selected the brown backing, I knew that I would use the turquoise pebbly fabric for the binding. Love it. Also, I especially love the sprockets print down at the bottom in the picture above and the huge flower on the bottom right (it's an Alexander Henry print, though I can't recall its name). I stipple quilted the whole thing -- my largest free motion quilting experience to date. All in all, a very satisfying improv quilt that was a little hard to let go of (I love color, especially in the winter), but it'll be in good hands in Manhattan.


Miracle Foundation Quilt #3

>> Sunday, December 27, 2009

This quilt top lay draped over my ironing board for several months. For some reason, I couldn't find the motivation to finish it. But I wanted to send all the quilts to Jade to give them to the Miracle Foundation so last night I dug deep, found my motivation (which was lacking principally because the fabric I thought I would use to back the quilt wasn't big enough and I was unhappy with the other options I considered. But yesterday, I realized I had a piece of fabric that would be perfect, and it was, for the most part), and finished the quilt.

The border, inspired by AmandaJean's scrappy 9-patch border, is my favorite part of this quilt. I backed the quilt with a piece of striped jersey cotton buried deep in my stash. I like the stripes of the cotton, but it's a pain to quilt. Puckers galore. Lesson learned.

I experimented with some fancy free-motion flower quilting which was fun and I liked a lot. However, it pretty much mandated that I would not be unpicking the quilting to fix the puckers.

This is the fabric off of which I based the quilting. It's a beautiful linen (or linen-like) fabric that was generously donated for these quilts, and it struck me that it would be a good model for the flower quilting I've wanted to try for a while now.

And here's a free-form version elsewhere in the quilt. The sun popped in for a bit late morning which helped me get some light for pictures. Winter makes the picture-taking tricky both because of the limited light and because I haven't figured out a way to take the quilts outside for pictures without messing them up. I'm perusing the internet for ideas about snow-laden quilt photography.

Tomorrow will be a big day at the post office, as I mail all of these Miracle Foundation quilts, a baby quilt (pictures forthcoming), and gifts out to the giveaway winners.


Sneak Peek

>> Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas a dreary Christmas Day, with slush and rain decimating the snow on the ground. Gloomy weather and nothing else to do (finally!) made a perfect day for cooking and quilting. Bright colors seemed best, so I played with lots of them, probably more than I ever have before in one quilt.

Perhaps I should have spent the day learning how to use my new camera (thanks Mom and Dad!) since my current dying one produced this image, which is, I suppose, "artistic" in some way. But I really need to take out the manual to the Canon G10 and learn how to use it so I can take nice pictures of the things I'm making.

More to come soon!


Winners, the Dog, and Happy Holidays

>> Thursday, December 24, 2009

Apologies for disappearing. I'm still buried under a paper-writing mountain, but hoping to see the summit soon. In any event, it is past the deadline for announcing a few winners, so....

Fabric Winner: hands_of_gold
Scarf Winner: Vickie

In other news...a little story.

On Sunday, a few minutes after talking to my parents, the phone rang. I looked to see who it was and the screen said "Home." I couldn't figure out what my parents had forgotten to tell me or why they were calling me again so soon. "I see that my good dog made it on to your blog," said my dad (an irregular blog reader who has knighted the dog who is never delinquent but merely does "dog things" as Sir Seagrams). "But no one commented on him." After fumbling for an acceptable explanation (people don't comment on everything, this isn't a dog blog, etc), I said I'd post his concern for him. So here, Dad, is another picture of your dog. Maybe someone will make a remark. Or perhaps you'll have to comment yourself :)

And finally, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!


Fabric Odds and Ends for the Last Night of Chanukah Giveaway

>> Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm going to post this a little early since I have an early Shabbat dinner to attend and Chanukah does start early, given the short days and early nights of winter. I'm going to keep this giveaway and the scarf (click here or scroll down) giveaway open until Monday because a) I should be writing a paper all weekend and not paying attention to anything else and b) I figure this opens the giveaways to more people.

This last giveaway consists of an assortment of fabric odds and ends from the quilts I've made over the past few months. Most of them are less than a fat quarter but some are almost a quarter yard of fabric, or a decently thick strip. This package might include some of the following, plus some smaller scraps:

Some, like the top 2 pictured, were used in Beth and Harley's chuppah. Others, like the bottom, found their way into several aprons I made last spring and summer.

I realized that I bought, at different times, months and years apart, three fabrics of similarly colored stripiness -- shades of blue, yellow, and white, with either a dark brown or black. sometimes the stripes are sharp and straight, other times wavy and watercolory.

Some other fun fabrics from my collection will find their way into the winner's package.

To win, these fabrics below, comment with an idea or link to a quilt (pattern) you really like. I'm going to be making loads of baby quilts soon (lots! But none for me, lest you have any silly ideas about the current trajectory of my life. But many, for several wonderful friends and their already-here or sort-of-soon-to-arrive children), so I'd love some inspiration and fun ideas. You can point me to a blog, a pattern maker, a flickr image....whatever you think might be cool to make. extra entry if you blog about the giveaway and link to it.

This giveaway is open until Monday and open to international commenters. The random number generator will probably pick the winner unless one of your comments mesmerizes me so I have to pick you. Mesmerization techniques will remain undisclosed, though creativity is always appreciated.


A Seventh Night of Chanukah Scarf Giveaway

>> Thursday, December 17, 2009

...and I have a scarf to give to one of you.

It's reversible, with red/oranges/purples and a bit of blue on one side.

And has fun blue/yellow/brown stripes on the back.

You can wear it as a scarf, or as a sash, or any way you please.

To win:
Post a comment below with movie suggestions for me to watch when the semester is over, my work is complete, and I have time to relax. The movie can be in the theaters or on video. Dramas, comedies, documentaries, indie films...just no horror or sci-fi.

And, before I forget, the winner of the mystery giveaway is Erin,
who requested some scraps, a wish I can certainly fulfill.

Happy Friday!

p.s. some other giveaways to check out:
pretty jewelry over at Missie Krissie
lovely fabric over at buttercuppity
 and a copy of sew liberated over at grograin


Chanukah Disruption/Giveaway

>> Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You might wonder what happened to the 5th Night of Chanukah.
The short answer: Comcast ate it.

The long answer is that the internet disappeared on Monday night and, upon calling Comcast, my roommate learned that they had no idea what the problem is but that they couldn't send anyone until Thursday. So I have no internet at home until tomorrow, assuming a) the Comcast technician comes and b) said technician fixes things.

Because the pictures for the giveaway are at home where the internet is not, I'm going to combine the fifth and sixth night giveaways into 1 surprise giveaway: a mystery package for crafters of either fabric-related supplies or scrapbook-related supplies (you choose).

To enter:
Comment below, telling me something you'd like to get in the surprise package (no guarantees, but if I can make it happen, I'll try).

Giveaway open until Thursday evening when, hopefully, the internet will have returned.

Nights 3 & 4 Winners

Of the Cats on Quilts book: Tricia
Of Le Petit Elephant soaps: Sew It Up


Labels, Soaps, and the Fourth Night of Chanukah Giveaway

>> Monday, December 14, 2009

In case you haven't read the comments on some of the previous posts, I want to share the lovely story an Anonymous poster left here:

My grandmother was a big time sewer, knitter, and crocheter, and she made things for her children, grandchildren, and who knows who else. Everything she made, she sewed a small label on the back that said "Made Especially for You by [her name]." When some family came to visit me in October, people I've knitted and/or crocheted hats and scarves for (between the two of them, they have at least 2 scarves and 6 hats made by me), as a hostess gift, they gave me 40 labels that said "Made Especially for You by [my name]." My grandmother died when I was 11. When I opened up the gift, I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't even speak to thank them. I make items for my family all the time, so I'm really excited to have these tags.

Since so many crafters (especially those who do needlework of some sort) read your blog, I thought it would be nice to share this idea. Looking at a quilt will forever remind the recipient who made it for him/her; putting a label on it will ramp up the level sentimentality even more, I think. I have no idea where to find such labels or where to get them custom-made, but probably a good internet search engine could help with that.
What a sweet and thoughtful gift! It's so wonderful that your guests came up with a gift so perfect for you. I try to label the quilts I make, but I would love to get some of those labels to put on smaller items like scarves and bags that I generally don't label. Indeed, some internet searching is in order. Thank you so much the reminder!

Speaking of labels, some of my friends have been in the soap business for about 4 years now and have molds that label their soap for them. How cool!

In their own words, Mark and Anna described their soaps as Hand-milled by others, but crafted from glycerin base and the finest of the earth's ingredients by Le Petit Éléphant. LPE Soaps are soft, creamy, and gentle, and can be made to order. Each soap is between 4 and 6oz, and has wonky marks and bubbles that we find endearing and add to their handmade charm.

Even more cool, they're generously donating tonight's giveaway -- 2 bars of handmade soap of your choice from their shop, Le Petit Elephant.

Head over to their shop and then come back here and tell me about your favorites from their shop. Suggesting a new flavor of soap will net you a second entry. I'll select the winner randomly tomorrow night.


Felines, Quilts, and Books Wrapped Into One: A Third Night of Chanukah Giveaway

>> Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little housekeeping:
Night 1 (Fabric) winner: Katie, who wrote, "I grew up in Virginia Beach, about 20 minutes away from the beach and was very much a beach bum in the summers. I went to college in middle Virginia, about 3 hours away from the ocean. For christmas my freshman year my mom got me a beach-in-a-box, which is a little plastic tray with sand, a mini umbrella, mini chair, mini beachball, mini flip flops, and mini seashells. It was a great gift cause I would always be by the beach. And now 8 years later I still have it on a shelf to remind me of the beach."

Night 2 (Rugelach) winner: Sarah, who wrote, "Two years ago, my refrigerator died on Thanksgiving day. Luckily, I live in Minnesota, where it is cold. We put everything for the meal outside and hoped for the best. Luckily, we were able to eat and no one got sick." Sarah, please email me as I don't have any contact info for you.

Night 3: Cats on Quilts Giveaway
My siblings and I always received at least a few books for Chanukah. I continue to love books -- reading them, cradling them, paging through them, looking at them on my shelves, and relaxing on the couch with them....which is good since much of my daily live revolves around reading books.

If you're looking for books to give friends or family this year, here are a few suggestions. If someone on your gift-giving list loves reading history (or non-fiction in general), Kevin Boyle's Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age is a rich, rewarding, and important read about a murder trial in Detroit in the 1920s.

If someone on your gift-giving list is more interested in fictitious crime or, like me, consumes good thrillers like candy, then Barry Eisler's John Rain series is fast-paced, suspenseful, and, from what I understand, contains accurate descriptions of Tokyo's cityscape (minus the actual crime part). Start with Rain Fall and proceed in the series from there.

And for kids, there is of course The Goat-Faced Girl, which I reviewed here.

There were quite a few cat lovers among the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway commenters. I have an extra copy of Cats on Quilts that I'd like to offer to one of my readers. This is more of a mini-coffee table book than a novel, but it contains some great images, neat quilts, and reflections of cats over a long period of time. I'm happy to send the book to you or as a gift to the person of your choice, so if you know someone who would like it, you can enter on their behalf.

To enter:
  • Offer a book suggestion of your own in the comment section. 
  • Winner will be selected randomly tomorrow night.
  • Please make sure to leave contact info -- through your blogger account or an email address in your comment


Latkes, Sufganiyot, and a Second Night of Chanukah Giveaway

>> Saturday, December 12, 2009

Apologies if I confused a few people about latkes and sufganiyot in my last post. They are indeed distinct food items.

image found here

Latkes are potato pancakes (most frequently made with regular white potatoes, but sometimes with the addition of sweet potatoes, zucchinis, or even beets, according to Joan Nathan's Chanukah recipe round-up in this past Wednesday's New York Times).

image found here

In contrast, sufganiyot are doughnuts, usually of the stuffed variety. In America, red jelly of some unknown berry origin usually protrudes. Israel offers a more extensive variety with all sorts of chocolates, creams, and other flavors (scroll to the end of this post for a list of 8 options).

And oil -- lots of it -- connects the savory latkes and the sweet sufganiyot.

Speaking of food, the Second Night of Chanukah Giveaway:
  • Home-baked (from my vegetarian kitchen) rugelach
  • (If you are already stuffed full of holiday food, these are freezable.)
  • I will be baking them Sunday night and will mail (or deliver, if someone local wins) them on Monday, provided the winner emails me an address to which to send them in time.
  • To enter, comment and tell me a cooking or baking story (successes and disasters both welcome)
  • Winner will be selected by me, either randomly or by some other undecided selection mechanism


Chanukah 5770/2009, Presented by Seagrams

>> Friday, December 11, 2009

8 Days of Chanukah Giveaway

...brought to you by Seagrams (the dog, not the whiskey)

Admittedly, Seagrams likes any holiday with food, so that really only excludes the fast days, such as Yom Kippur. But the chanukiah (chanukah menorah/candelabra) chewish toy has replaced gefilte (a fish) as his toy of choice. And latkes (or doughnuts) are pleasing to his palate as well.

Chanukah, or the Festival of Lights, starts tonight. Chanukah is actually a minor Jewish holiday but in America, given its proximity to Christmas, it's taken on a larger role culturally. And while the December holiday season has amplified the gift part of Chanukah (see: proximity to Christmas, above), lighting chanukah candles comprises the important part of the holiday. So on the first night, we light 1 candle, on the second night, 2 candles and so on and so forth.

But gifts do play a role in this holiday, and I'll be doing some giveaways during Chanukah as a result. The offerings will vary between crafting supplies (mostly fabric) and finished products, as I want to make sure my readers who don't spend their free time at a sewing machine can also get a treat. Growing up, we received small Chanukah gifts, like socks. But small can be fun, such as funky smartwools such as these, or:

Gelt (Yiddish for money) for the fabric lovers:
2 pieces (fat quarters or close to it) of fabric --
the brown flowers peeking out from above and the Alexander Henry Egypt print below

To win this fabric:
Tell me the best small gift someone has given you (define small as you wish!).
One entry per person.
Make sure I can reach you.
Giveaway open until I post tomorrow night's gift.


A Spirograph Quilt

>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I finally finished the primary quilt for the Miracle Foundation. After deliberating the layout, the actual quilt came together pretty easily.

This is what it looks like altogether. Perceptive eyes might notice that one block got reoriented from the initial version. Good thing I noticed my error before sewing. I'm good enough friends with my seam ripper scissors and don't really need to spend any more developing that relationship. As it is, we're quite close.

This is one of my favorite blocks, and I'm not even a fan of pink. But I'm becoming more tolerant of the color, albeit generally in its more magenta-like hues. Nevertheless, the partial flower at the center plus the other fabrics work well for me here. As for the quilting of this quilt, I quilted all the non-red areas with zig-zaggy lines. Basically, I sewed a straight line until it hit a border with red and then let the line "bounce" off that "wall" between the colors and head off in a new direction. It's not my favorite, but it was fun to do. It reminded me of those straight-line spirograph toys -- I've surveyed my office and while my officemates know what I'm talking about, none of us could name this toy. Any of you know what I'm talking about?

Inspired by Red Pepper Quilts' gorgeous quilts and backs (see here and here, for example), I pieced together big squares. The little yellow square lists all the people who generously contributed fabric: Michelle, Jen, Jocelyn, Lise, Grace, and Sandi.

I went with an orange binding, machine-sewn as usual. I tried a new technique that I'm not totally happy with, but experimenting has value unto itself. I still need to finish the third quilt for the Miracle Foundation so I can send them off to Jade who will deliver them. I had hoped to squeeze that in this past weekend, but it was not meant to be. It may be a couple weeks before I have time for that.



>> Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Image borrowed from here.

It's amazing what I find trolling the internet while I should be working. I love the aesthetic of much of the art produced by the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA). In fact, I have a framed collection of many of the National Park drawings from the period. For example,

Image borrowed from here.

Designed by Alexander Dux, this See America poster promoted domestic tourism to National Parks in the 1930s. It turns out that many of these images are available online, through the Library of Congress' website, courtesy the prints & photographs division. Most of the posters were made during the late 1930s through the Federal Art Project; many, if not all, of the National Parks still sell postcard and poster-sized reproduction.


Winner of the Scrap Bag

>> Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wow, 335 entries in the giveaway!

Lots of cat and dog lovers, as well as some votes for manatees, whales, deer, pigs, lemurs, llamas, otters, giraffes, elephants, porcupines, bears, moose, hedgehogs, sheep, pandas, monkeys, seals, turtles....quite an animal kingdom. A few of you even like squirrels -- as they've been a menace to my ears for the past year, they're on my dislike list along with snakes. As for me, while I do love hippos, my favorite animal is probably the polar bear.

In any event, I'm sure you really want to know who the winner is...

#206 is carriegirl. I'll be in touch to get your address and send you some scrappy goodness.

Check back starting Friday for some Chanukah giveaways!


A Few Disappearing 9-Patch Blocks

>> Friday, December 4, 2009

[Scroll down two posts or click here for the SMS/scrap bag giveaway]

Two nights ago I had to watch Goodbye Columbus for class (or rather for the class I'm teaching for, so I could effectively meet with my students about their papers on it). This offered me a nice opportunity to spend 1.5 hours doing something crafty as well. My best multi-tasking occurs while I sew and watch things. Given the short amount of time (and the tiny amount of crafting time I have in the next 3 weeks), I wanted to start and finish something during this period.

Therefore I decided to make some disappearing 9-patch blocks to send to Rachel for her Irish Flood Quilt efforts. I've got other donation quilts to finish, but a few blocks was a do-able thing, so I grabbed some remnant fabric, made some 9-patches, and chopped them into disappearing 9-patches. I used mostly medium primary colors so that they will hopefully blend more easily with the blocks other people make. I really love the turquoise/brown/red/yellow combination, and I need to remember that for future projects. The blocks off in the mail today, and I'm back to work for the near future.


Hippos! Birds! Fish! Monkeys!

>> Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If you're here for the SMS Giveaway, scroll down or click here.

Michelle brought another giveaway to my attention. 

First Step Photo is offering a $50 gift card for their wall decals through Grosgrain. Vinyl may not be the most environmnetally friendly material, but I think wall decals are probably not the worst thing in the world. And they're cute and fun.  And they even make hippos! And loads of other fun animals and designs.


SMS Giveaway Day

Happy Giveaway Day! And welcome to everyone, but especially to any new visitors -- I know you're probably scurrying through all the links and opportunities to win, but I hope you'll return and look around on a day with fewer giveaways to enter.

I've done a fair amount of quilting this fall and have a fair number of scraps to show for my efforts. 

My offering is this bag full of scraps, to which I'll add a few larger remnants from my fabric collection.

A few of you may recognize some of these fabrics as some of the scraps come from making the Miracle Foundation quilts for which some of you so generously contributed fabric. If you win the giveaway, I'll make a special bag for you from the rest of my fabric stash.

This bag o' scraps includes a variety of fabrics -- in color, design, and manufacturer. You'll find some Amy Butler, Alexander Henry, Michael Miller, and Heather Ross alongside some Timeless Treasures, Benartex, Joanns, and who-knows-what-provenance scavenged at thrift stores and garage sales. There's a range and I've made stuff from all of it, but some meets the "quilt shop quality" standard and some doesn't.

The Fine Print: 
Since I know there are plenty of giveaways to keep you busy for the next few days, I'll keep this one simple: leave a comment telling me your favorite animal.

This giveaway is open until Dec 6, at which point I will select a winner randomly.

Make sure your post provides a way for me to contact you.

One entry per person.

Open to those with US and Canadian addresses.

Coming Soon!
The Festival of Lights, aka Chanukah, starts next Friday, December 11. Check back here for some giveaways over the 8 nights of the holiday.



>> Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wowzers was the first (not) word to come to mind as I unexpectedly learned that I won Keyka Lou's scrap bag giveaway!

I was standing at one of the computer clusters on campus, browsing my Google Reader after checking email before class and, lo and behold, there is Two Hippos listed as the winner of a 1/2 pound of beautiful scraps. I love scraps!

You can buy scrap bags from the supplies section of Keyka Lou's etsy shop. She also makes beautiful clutches, wallets, and bags and sells her patterns as well.

Check back here tomorrow for a giveaway from me!


A Little Rake Debacle

Rake image from charm4you's etsy shop.

Before I went to bed last night, I made myself a list of all the things I need to do to day. I love making lists, but more than making the lists, I love crossing things off the list. To scratch items off the list alas requires actually doing them. And here it is, at about half past noon, and I have very little to show for my morning. Not for lack of trying, however.

First, there was the burnt oatmeal. Don't start making oatmeal and forget about it. The scorched pot, the acrid smell, and the lack of breakfast are not good things. That's what I get for becoming distracted and trying to take care of some other things while making breakfast. In other words, it's what I get for attempting to multitask in the morning.

And then there was the rake. Tomorrow is the final leaf pick-up day for my town and, in an attempt to be a good citizen, I waited to move the leaves from the curb to the street until today. Also I'm lazy and procrastinate, so all that good citizen stuff is cover for just not dealing with the final step of leaf removal until the last possible moment.

Because I waited for the last minute and did not check on the supplies necessary (or the one tool necessary, a rake), I didn't realize that the better rake had disappeared from the shared garage. I pulled out the less-good rake, which is less good for a reason. Or was less good until it died. Yep, midway through transferring the leaves from the grass to the street, the rake handle split in half. leaving me with about 1.5 feet of handle attached to the rake. I did the best I could with what I had -- and used the snow shovel as a plow of sorts -- and am content to have a not totally leaf-free yard. Ehh, so it goes. At least trash pick-up is today and the trash truck came by after the rake debacle, so the rake is no more.

Despite all this, the day will move on. The sun has come out, which makes any day a better day, I've cleaned the scorched pot, and I just had a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream. As for the errands and work that need to be done, there are still some hours left in the day. I can cross off leaf duty from that list and maybe I'll be able to cross off another item or two by nightfall. Or not, who knows.


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