Sunday, June 26, 2011

At the Lake

Wilf and I are in Bigfork, MT visiting my parents. We came in search of summer, and thought we’d found it. There has been some backsliding into spring, though, with rain and cool temperatures. Sorta like at home.

We’re settling into the lake routine – baseball games and barbeque dinners, shopping, walking by the river, reading. My brother Bill will arrive next week, at which point we’ll get the boat launched. Bill’s arrival will also help us get our quota of electronics closer to usual. My brother Mike and sister-in-law Christine won’t be joining us this year, so we won’t achieve our full gadget complement.

Why the fixation on gadgets? Well, for one thing, it leads to scenes like this:

wilf and mom laugh

Mom never met a PowerPoint presentation full of super cute animals that she didn’t love. Wilf is showing her the latest to arrive – looks like it was a good one.

Rumor has it that summer will return tomorrow – Wilf has the fishing gear all ready and says he’s heading out.He won’t be fishing in any of the local rivers, though. There was a record snow pack in the mountains above us this year – the cool spring has kept it all from coming down at once. The rivers are very high, though and totally blown out. On the way to town we cross the Flathead River – the water level is almost to the bottom of the docks along the banks and the water hardly appears to be moving – the lake it full up and the water is backed up into the river. Apparently the gates at the Kerr Dam at the south end  of the lake are all wide open, but there is still too much water everywhere. And lots more to come, given the way the mountains look. We thought we might take a trip up to the Big Mountain to take a ride up the chair lift. But from down here we can see that there is still snow on the upper runs, so perhaps not…

So – greetings from Montana, with hopes for a sunnier time to come soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Season Finales – good and bad

Last night we watched the end of season episodes for two series we’ve been hooked on this spring - ‘The Killing’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. Be warned – lots of spoilers (and ranting) to follow, so if you haven’t seem them, and care, be warned.

Firstly – the Bad. The Killing. &%$#@! I mean really. *&$#@@! What a disappointment. Whoever was in charge really blew that one. The opening episode was riveting. The premise – that each episode was one day in the investigation of a young girl’s murder – proved to be a challenge for the writers to sustain. And throughout the series the implication was that at the end of the 13 weeks the murderer would be revealed. The acting throughout was superb, but the plot wandered all over, and last week when it appeared that the murder was revealed we were - ‘No way! That’s too easy. You can’t have it be him after all this’ And then came last night. What a nonsensical mishmash that turned out to be. And after telling us season that the murder would be solved – nope. And a major character is revealed to be working for sinister forces and oh it was just bad bad bad. I was distracted from my foot stamping and teeth gnashing by the fact that ‘Game of Thrones’ was on immediately after. But when I checked the Internet later I saw that I was no alone in my disappointment. My guys Tom and Lorenzo cover it all here, if you’re interested.

But then there was the Good. Have you been watching Game of Thrones? It was another series that had a fantastic opener and it has just got better. I’m not at all familiar with the books and have no preconceived notions about what is going to happen. Which has allowed me to be surprised as the plot twists and turns. Last night really delivered and I’m looking forward to the next season.

When the series opened it appeared to be about King Robert, his chief advisor Ned Stark and the deposed Targaryen siblings. But by the end of the first season several of the top billed and central characters have been killed off and it appears that the story will actually center on the next generation. King Robert, Ned Stark, and Khal Drogo are dead. Winter is coming, something baleful is stirring in the outlands and now there are dragons. Woohoo!

I was thinking of reading the books to find out what happens, but then again, maybe not. Lets see how season two goes. I don’t expect to be watching The Killing, after all.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Project review – Yoga Mat Bag

My blog header says that ‘I like to make things. I like to travel. I like to talk about what I'm up to’ I haven’t really kept on the ‘I like to make things part’, so I thought I’d toss in some project reviews.

Last year I bought a copy of One Yard Wonders, a book with lots of cute patterns that I figured would help me use up some of my fabric collection. Of course, these things only work if you use them and the book languished on my work table.

Earlier this year Pink Chalk Fabrics, a really nice online quilting store, started working their way through One Yard Wonders – every week they do two projects, first showing the project picture from the book along with their fabric choices and later following up with a post showing the finished projects and their construction notes. I’ve been following along, reading the blog, thinking ‘I should do that’. When they got to the yoga mat carry bag I decided it was time. Here is their version.

And here is mine:

2011 Jun 16 006


I used 1/2 yard of Kaffe Fasset stripe for the exterior and 1/2 yard Kona Cotton for the interior. As I was determined to sew this one from what was in my sewing room I didn’t buy webbing for the strap – I used a coordinating Kaffe Fasset stripe.

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Rather than an elastic top I made a casing and put in a drawstring. The white cordlock doesn’t really match, but it was to hand. I’ll have to dig deeper in the stash to see if I have another colour.

2011 Jun 16 008

See- I really do have a yoga mat in there!

I made a few changes to the pattern as written. I left off the pocket. The lighter weight fabric strap/handle is fine for light usage, but if I was carrying this bag around a lot I’d go for a sturdier handle and reinforce the attachment points for durability. As stated I used a drawstring rather than elastic for the top.

So – quick and easy. Now I just have to take the mat out of the bag and use it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It is not the lost continent of Atlantis.

It’s not Brigadoon. But it is a rarely seen phenomenon, worthy of a photo, perhaps. Behold – the bottom of the laundry basket:


Nature, of course, abhors a vacuum, which meant that as soon as the picture was taken a disturbance was felt in the force. Laundry immediately appeared to fill the void…

And so it goes.