26 May 2013

A New Diet.

Diet. Every time you hear the word diet, you think of all the joy being sucked out of your life.  Which is odd. Because diet is defined as:

a : food and drink regularly provided or consumed
b : habitual nourishment
c : the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason
d : a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one's weight <going on a diet>

(Thanks, merriam-webster.com)

So, as you can see, diet means quite a few different things. And it doesn't all mean the same thing. So, when I say I have a new diet, I'm using definition a. 

I'm going on a Soy Free diet. And it's challenging. Not because I love to eat soy, but because it's in EVERYTHING. 

Some of you are asking why? Why am I doing this? Why am I giving up delicious things like Reese's and soy sauce? In the name of SCIENCE!!! (What other good reason is there?) As I mentioned in some of my very first blog posts, I have hypothyroidism, and I'm educating myself about how I can take better care of myself. (Mainly, I'd like my hair to stop falling out and to be less fatigued.)

Various websites say that soy actually can effect our medicine that we take. Some say we shouldn't eat it at all, while others say we should wait at least four hours to eat things with soy in them. (I'm not linking the sites, nor did I quote stuff; go do your own research) So I'm putting it to the test. Will eating soy free actually make me possibly feel better?

I went to our local health food mart, Sprouts (I guess that's what it is.) and actually found quite a bit of soy free things. Now, mind you, I had to look. But, Udi's I was able to get a bit of. I got bread, bagels, buns, granola, and muffins. They're actually pretty tasty and gluten free for you people that have that issue. I found quite a bit of breakfast food, along with some snacks. Mostly, sweet potato chips. I don't snack often, but sometimes at work, you just need that bite of something to keep you from falling asleep. I also picked up some Odwalla juices. But, some of those have soy in them, so read the label!

And so far, it hasn't been too bad of a challenge. Yes, it is annoying to read every label, and sigh sadly as you put back the container of cookies, but know in the long run, that it might be worth it. We shall see. 

Another thing I'm doing is cutting fast food out of my life. Well, maybe once a month I order a pizza or grab some Taco Bell, but honestly? It's not the same. I ordered a pizza a couple of weeks ago, and after eating on it for a couple of days, I just felt like a fatass; bloated. None of my pants fit. Curious. 

So, in honor of World Thyroid Day, which was apparently yesterday, I shall see if going soy free is actually worth it!

*Note: The food reviews are my honest opinions. Not being paid to kiss ass.

25 May 2013

Quilt Blocks, Week Five and Six

This Friday for the quilt blocks, I did two of them!

There they are in all their crooked glory. And yes, they're supposed to be two different sizes. There's three blocks of each size.   Hopefully, when I sew all the blocks together, they shouldn't turn out too crooked.

I'm seriously pleased with my progress. I'm learning a lot I wouldn't have if I didn't decide to take this challenge. I've mostly learned that quilting is a whole lot more than just sewing pieces of fabric together.

There's the planning stage. What quilt are you going to make? How big will it be? What fabric will you use? Do your colors match? Do you have enough fabric?

Then there's the cutting.  Measure twice, cut once, is a hard thing for me to learn. I get in such a hurry, that some of my pieces are a smidgeon of an inch off. And that actually can be pretty disastrous. Which is why a lot of my blocks are uneven in places. Also, making sure you're using the right line on the ruler for the measurement you think you're using. I have to slow down and pay attention to what I'm doing.

The sewing stage isn't that hard for me. That I've been doing for quite a while. You just have to make sure everything's lined up, and that you really are sewing that quarter inch, and not letting the sewing machine "wander off track." And yes. I'm blaming the sewing machine and not me. ;)

And ripping. I need to buy more seam rippers. I keep loosing mine. For me, the seam ripper is an important tool. I screw up a lot, and while I'm not a perfectionist, I am a good enough-ist. Some things bother me, some things don't. Things not lining up to where it's completely off? Yeah, that bothers me. A fraction of an inch? Keep on truckin', baby.

But, as frustrating as it can be, I love quilting. I love the challenge it provides me, I love that it keeps my ADD in check by switching it up and presenting me with something new to focus on, instead of something repetitive. Though, don't get me wrong, repetitive patterns has their uses.

Three more blocks until I'm done with the top! Then, onto learning how to properly make the quilt sandwich, basting, the actual quilting process and binding!

18 May 2013

Quilt Blocks, week three!

So, yesterday was another quilt block day. I may or may not have spent four hours trying to build this masterpiece.

A HOUSE. Complete with tree and the evening star. Okay, it's probably a sun, but I'm calling it a star.  Apparently, someone's home....the light is on.

And to be fair, within those four hours, there was fabric decisions, ironing, gabbing, measuring, cutting, more gabbing, eating,  more ironing, sewing, giving fists bumps to cute little boys,  ripping, cussing, and much, much learning. I seriously don't know how Kathie tolerates me some days.

And then I came home. I tidied up a bit, and then while talking to my parents (Hi Mom.) I started cutting 2.5" x 2.5" squares for my next project. Because I am insane. And I like squares. Anywho, when I got off the phone with my parents, I decided to clean off my DVR and watch all my Jack Lemmon movies. And I wanted to sit on the couch. And I had no table. So, I improvised.

Yep. That would be me (and my white knee) using the ironing board as a table. What? It worked perfectly! And I cut out 200+ of those squares. I don't regret it one bit. This is a top secret project, so it'll be the last of it you'll see for a while...

And we've reached a milestone point in the deployment. That's right friends, oh, we're halfway there!

10 May 2013

Learning to Quilt.

So, on one of my glorious days I get off from work, I attend a little group here simply known as "Stitchers." We're apart of the OCSA, but if we like you, you can become ONE OF US.

Anywho, our head honcho, Kathie, (mainly because she has a pretty sweet craft room.) has decided that she's going to start giving quilt lessons! FOR FREE. Do you know how exciting that is? Quilting lessons are EXPENSIVE. And not to mention, Kathie has incredible patience with my slow stitching abilities.

So the four of us, (or is it five now?...Possibly six.) are creating the sampler quilt from the book Basic Guide to Rotary Cut Quilts. While the fabrics in the book are straight up from the 90s, the information in this book isn't. It's got lots of pictures, too, for you visual learners.
And we all started last week. My most favorite part was picking out fabric. My friend, Nancy, found some spectacular polka dot fat quarters from Joann's, and I'm using that, along with some other fat quarters to fit the rest of the theme.

Here's last week's quilt block:

Yes, there's three (five) of them up there. Kathie's is the first one, mine is the second one, and Nancy's is the last one. I'm so darn pleased with myself, I want to hang it on the fridge. Just look how FABULOUS it is.

For today's block, Kathie had us practice our "sun" in larger form, since it's easier to mess up in actual size. She even had everything cut out for us!

Okay, so it's not as (kinda) perfect as the other one, but, still, it's pretty impressive, right? Next to it, you see a tree. I'm pretty darn pleased with this tree. I mean, come on. It's a TREE. Exciting, no?

So, at the end of week two, while there's still no "improvement" I'm learning lots and looking forward to the next class each week! We should be done sometime in July.

On the other quilting front, remember that red and black quilt I've been working on forever? (i.e. my sewing machine hates me?) I finished the top last night!

BAM. Now, all I have to do is sammich it and bind it. That'll take another, oh, four months? Let's hope not. ;)

02 May 2013

Last bits.

So, I don't remember much of what happened after that Friday. It's all really blurring together now.

I do remember the 13th was my mother's birthday, and she wanted to go hang out at the Dogwood Festival in Perry, GA. So we went! Small little festival with lots off goodies to spy. Even wrangled my brother and my sister-in-law to come hang out with us! And then a little later, Maisy and my Aunt Sandra! So, we all browsed around together. I FINALLY bought a printer's tray that I've been looking for forever. It's in great condition, and wasn't $90 like I've seen before. Sadly, it wouldn't fit into my suitcase, so now I either have to wait until I go back, or bribe my parents into shipping it. After that, we went to eat at the Swanson House. Oh, jeez. Delicious, delicious Southern cooking. The fried green tomatoes are to die for. If you're ever in the area, go eat there.

The next day, we went to go visit my Aunt Sally and check up on her and her two dogs, Thelma and Louise. They're hilarious. Two crazy Shih-tzus.

That's Louise. She gets her tongue stuck like my Scout does. It's hilarious to me.

And then, after a little bit of catching up, Aunt Sally announces she has a birthday cake for Mom! YAY CAKE. Nothing fancy, but you can't go wrong with cake.

Then, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all a blur. I know I went and bought delicious cupcakes from Doodle's and visited all my teacher friends. And I think I did some more sitting around. OH. I went fabric shopping in fabric heaven. It's called Ohco, Inc. And it's in Covingtion, GA. Seriously, amazing. I think I left with 28 yards for around $50? Don't remember. But look. SEERSUCKER. And cotton...and lace.


Anywho, I am now back in El Paso, where I am currently battling Windy Season. And this stupid sewing machine.