Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous


These past couple of weeks, I've been into my PRN (as needed) lab tech job in earnest.  Training is over and the real work began. I'm currently recovering from working 8 out of 9 days, which included my first weekend of being on-call.  (7PM Friday to 6AM Monday).  Interestingly enough, I was not needed for 9 hours during the day Saturday, but Saturday night I got 2 1/2 hours of sleep.  Looks like I need to learn to sleep during the day.  Hmmmm.

But you'll get no complaints from me.  I'm one of those fortunate people who likes my work.  Additionally, I have an excellent manager, which makes it possible to concentrate only on the work itself.  No drama.

New York Beauties:

You're looking at near the last of the blocks I need to make for this project.  It appears that I was on a blue-purple-green kick.  No doubt they will play nicely with the brighter blocks I've made.  Two more blocks (if I've counted correctly) and all of them will be done.  Yay!

Music from the Renaissance Festival:

In April my cousins and I visited the Renaissance Festival is Waxahachie, Texas.  One of the highlights of the festival was seeing Wine and Alchemy:

Their music is one of my new favorites.  We bought all three of their CD's.

Happy Memorial Day!

On this lazy Memorial Day Monday, I'm going to try to catch up once again on my blog reading.  Hope you are all enjoying the long holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gnomes on Parade

My cousin's creativity never ceases to amaze me.  I present to you, The Gnomes:

We enjoyed a Supernatural marathon on DVD after our return from Wichita.  As we watched throughout the better part of a day, the gnome family came to be.   There are three male and three female gnomes.  Just like Lori's owls, each of these is unique. 

Aren't they adorable?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous

A Quick Trip:

My cousin and I made a quick run to Kansas last week--6 hours one way.  We were in Wichita from Tuesday through Friday morning.  Our grandfather was hospitalized.  Fortunately, he is now home.


For great teamwork and a job well done, when we got home, Lori and I were rewarded with cheap wine.  Yay!

Owls Revisited:

Shay from Quilting in My Pyjamas asked Lori for a tutorial on how to make these adorable little owls.  She came across the directions online and provided the pdf to me to share.

Coming Soon:

Lori's gnomes.  (It's a good thing she's being so creative or I'd have nothing to blog about!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Personality Test: I'm an INTJ

In keeping with Elizabeth's of Such a Sew and Sew recent theme of tests and quizzes, I offer you the Briggs-Myer Personality Inventory test.  When you receive the result of your test, you can get a detailed profile at either of these two websites:  Typelogic or

So who are you?

Me?  INTJ, the Mastermind (1-2% of the population)

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs "do" tends to be what they "know". Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete', paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Owls on Parade

I've mentioned my cousin and her creative crafting on this blog several times.  Today, it's finally time for show and tell.

Earlier this week she began making felt owls.  When I saw Lori cutting out the different colors of felt, sorting through the scrap bag, and choosing beads and buttons, I asked if she would make an owl for me.  Knowing that turquoise and purple are among my favorite colors, she made mine first.  Let me introduce, Turkle:

Turkle is attached to my computer, so I can enjoy him where I spend a lot of my time.  He was followed by Serge:

Serge was followed by Jane and Daisy.  (Don't you love Jane's googly eyes?)

Along came Moonbeam with the fussy cut eyes:

And the flock just keeps growing:

She's not done yet!

Friday, May 6, 2011

House of Blues, Dallas

Sometimes, it is who you know. 

My clone (long story), Eric, works with Andrew, who is the bass player in an alternative band, Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs.  On Wednesday May 4th, The House of Blues in Dallas featured four local alternative bands--including Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs.  How cool is that?  Andrew gave Eric three free tickets to the event.  Woo-hoo!  Unfortunately, we used only two the tickets.  Eric and Lori could not go because it was a school night for the kids, so I went with a friend, Tony.

Tony and I were there for four hours.  It was interesting to see the local talent perform a variety of their own songs interspersed with a few cover tunes.  My only complaint was that the vocals on all the bands were drowned out by the instruments.  This is a sound mix issue.  A little inquiry revealed that the sound mix was being run by The House of Blues and not the bands.  I bet that caused more than a little consternation amongst the performers.

Scary Cherry was the last band to perform, getting on stage about 11PM.  Andrew did an awesome job on the bass.  Very high energy and powerful. 

The Justin Kipker Show, the third band of the night to perform, was rather unique.  Original songs played against the backdrop of old black and white movies, like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  Very enjoyable.

I wish I could have taken some pictures, but the lighting that made each performance atmospheric, made getting a good photograph impossible. 

I had a terrific time.  Thanks Andrew!  Thanks Tony!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wall-hanging: How Love Grows

How Love Grows

My cousin asked me to make this wall-hanging for her.  I was so flattered and thrilled to do it.  The piece measures 16" square, and was made completely by hand right down to the binding. 

Laurel chose the fabrics.  I love her selections.  I must admit I was a little daunted by the beige textured fabric she chose for the hearts.  It was a thicker than I would normally use for applique, but it worked just fine and adds so much interest.

In regard to quilting the green background, the design on the fabric itself showed me exactly where I should quilt.  No marking.  I just followed the designs.  It was so cool!

Interestingly enough, it would never have occurred to me to use a patterned fabric for the background.  I have always used patterned fabric for the centerpiece and plain fabric for the background in my previous works.  I've learned something!  I so love how the patterned fabric inspired the quilting, I will definitely do this again.  Thanks Laurel!

(And thanks to Eric for the picture that shows the quilting.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Laurel and Michelle
My family and I made the three hour jaunt over to Texarkana this past weekend to partake in the Beltane festivities being held at Wright-Patman Lake.  As you can see from the picture of Laurel and me, the hosts chose a beautiful spot for the weekend-long event.  Spring was flaunting her most vibrant shades of green. 

The Druids opened the festival Friday evening at sundown by lighting the sacred fire, which was to be tended and kept burning throughout the Beltane celebration.  The weekend was marked with several ritual events.  One of the highlights was the May Pole celebration.  My young cousins both enjoyed participating:

May Pole participation
Of course, you can't visit a town that sits halfway in Texas and halfway in Arkansas and not visit the tourist spot showing the actual dividing line:

My young cousins

Eric and Laurel

Interesting factoid about Texarkana:  The Texas side of the town resides in a dry county; the Arkansas side does not.  After spending the last eight years in Nevada, the whole concept of a "dry county" was very odd to me.  You can imagine my dismay when we went to buy some wine on the Texas side where we were staying, and found that we could not.  Fortunately, Miller County, Arkansas did not hold to that archaic idea, and my consternation was short-lived.

The Gypsy Quilter

On my Monday Miscellaneous blog post, I asked for suggestions for re-naming my blog (again).  The ever talented Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict, suggested The Gypsy Quilter.  Given my recent adventures in moving, and the conviction that my quilting is about to head in a different direction from my standard traditionalism, it seems appropriate.  Thank you so much for the awesome suggestion, Sarah.  My blog now wears the new title proudly.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Miscellaneous--I'm Back!

After such a long absence, some of you may have forgotten who I am or what I do.  I wouldn't blame you.  I've been horribly negligent in both my blog-posting and blog-reading.  It's taken two moves (from Nevada to Kansas, and then Kansas to Texas) and some significant adjustment to regain my equilibrium.

New Job:

On April 10th, I began a new job--laboratory technologist, PRN.  (PRN: a Latin abbreviation meaning "as needed.")  I have been out of the lab for ten years.  Going back caused me a little trepidation.  Would I remember how to read a slide?  Draw blood?  I've found out that some things really are like riding a bike. 

My Enabler:

My cousin and I share a love of fabric.  She is a gifted crafter.  I have my love of quilting.  We're both hoping to learn to become experienced seamstresses.  A trip to the fabric store constitutes a barely controlled extravaganza of drooling admiring the wares.  Each of our stashes is more than adequate, and yet the normal desire to add to them is magnified when we're together.  A beautiful piece of fabric sets up an energetic imagining of all the creative possibilities.  We're both hoping to abide by the rule that we actually finish something before buying any more fabric or patterns, but it's going to be tough.  I'm predicting a creative month.

Need a New Blog Title:

When I moved from Nevada to Kansas and changed the title of my blog from The Desert Quilter to the Prairie Quilter, one of you (I can't remember who) suggested that I not include a geographic reference in the title of my blog in case I moved again.  I thought to myself, "Yeah right.  Moving is such a special kind of hell that I won't be doing that again soon."  Ironic, huh?  So now I'm mulling.  I'm also open to suggestions.