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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blue Jersey:: Ed Reform 101 Starts Tomorrow

This will be a very informative series to follow. Education reform is an emotional issue with the governor.  He is "passionate" about reforming all of the schools in New Jersey, not just the few under performing schools.  The education system in New Jersey is one of the best. This series will present facts to counter the governor's emotional arguments.

Blue Jersey:: Ed Reform 101 Starts Tomorrow

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Flood Before and After

Hurricane Irene

Irene reached the area this morning.  I was surprised that it was so quiet, just a steady downpour and raging Third River. The river has crept higher by about three feet since I began taking pictures of it around 7:15 a.m.
Here it is at 9:30 a.m.   The Memorial Park pathway is next to the row of young trees and streetlight.  It is underwater.  The Mudhole pond is indistinguishable from the river overflow.

Power is still on in my neighborhood although I saw a FB post earlier from a friend in town whose home is without power.  If it goes out during the day, I am prepared for an evening of audiobooks and lantern light.  I even purchased a few flowers to sit next to my candle to soften the mood.

My emergency supplies and more pictures from my windows and doors.  Check this video. The good part begins around 1:01.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Waste not...

 My sewing room is a little cluttered with fabric leftover from recent projects.  So, I was inspired to make a few small gift items last night! Here is a crochet hook folder for Linda.  It matches the tote I made to give to her for Christmas.
 These are small purses that are great for carrying ID, a bank card, and a few dollars in a pocket when going for a walk or a quick trip to the grocery store.  They are nice holders for gift cards as well.

I have to get a storage bin for all of the gift projects I have completed so far.  Perhaps there is room in the garage.  Hmmm....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Linda's Bag

My friend Linda Fisher is an avid crochet crafter. When she is not grading papers for her high school English students, her hands are busy crocheting.

Her family traditions include gifting her with sock monkeys.  When I saw this whimsical sock monkey print with a coordinating brown banana leaf print and a banana yellow banana print, her Christmas present was "in the bag." There was even enough fabric for a little wallet and purse tissue cover.

The pattern for this bag is "Cindy's Bag aka The Monster Tote" by Marlous Designs, The Cross Town Carry Collection.

Now, I need to make one for myself! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

When things go wrong, don't go with them - The Debt Ceiling Quilt part 2

I first wrote about this quilt on August 2, 2011. I had been working on it and watching the debt ceiling controversy unfold on TV (hence the quilt name).  I went back to this quilt after I got lost about how to put it together, put it up on my design wall and figured out how to make it into something.  Surprise, an original design was the result.

My quilting buddies loved it when we got together. So, I spent the next two weeks quilting it.  When Grace saw it draped over a chair in my sewing room she matter-of-factly informed me that it was her quilt and asked if I were going to put a princess on it! So, now, it is most certainly her Christmas gift.  The jury is still out on the princess. Maybe I can work one into the label :-)

The moral to this quilt project came from a fortune cookie munched earlier this month: "When things go wrong, don't go with them."  It worked for this quilt and works well in life generally.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When things go wrong....The Debt Crisis Quilt part 1

This quilt-in-progress is the unveiled "mystery" quilt from the workshop with Janice Jamieson last Friday.  She put it up on the flannel wall to show us how to lay out the blocks.  This is a very interesting quilt to build.  We all took pictures, notes and asked questions.  Laying out blocks that are not square or rectangular was going to be a challenge.  I was ready. With this picture, the layout diagram that Janice provided and all of my blocks completed, I went home for a weekend of sewing and watching the debt crisis coverage on MSNBC and other networks.

At some point in the crisis, I lost my way laying out this quilt.  I sewed half of my blocks into rows on the diagonal at home on Friday night.  After the Republicans passed John Boehner's bill that night, I put the rows away for more work on Saturday. Rising early, I sewed the rows together with a plan to fill in the other half of the blocks to create the layout in the picture. Legislators were still haggling in Washington and analysts were still prognosticating on TV.  I learned that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was working on a plan.  Later, I heard that Senate Minority Leader McConnell refused to meet with Reid and went directly to the President to negotiate a plan.  Mr. Reid prepared to introduce his bill in the Senate.  Meanwhile, the House voted down his bill before it even reached the House.  With all of this going on, I discovered too late that my plan for sewing the blocks into rows was flawed.  I went for a walk.

To be continued....