Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Grandparents raising grandkids. Do you know any?

http://www.aaans.org/napa-solano/ This is my local area on aging resource.  Do a google search to find your local resource.  From there, search the website to find the resource that helps Grandparents who are raising grandkids.  You might be surprised to learn just how many there are out there.  You may have friends or neighbors or maybe even you are finding yourself taking a second turn at raising kids.  There is some help out there for you if you need it.

My friend, Jean, of Layers of hope is raising her grandkids and has pointed me to this resource and asked that I take a look at this article from my own local paper and see if there is a way my quilting can help these kids.  Once I get some more quilts together, I will contact my local agency to see if they would like some quilts to hand out to their clients.  Now I need to work quicker.  Less sleep, more days off, more workers.  That's the plan for the new year :)

Charities for 2014

Can you help me add to this list?  Where do you donate your quilts?

Binky Patrol's motto is Comforting Covers for Kids.  Well, unless you came from outer space, you are a kid, you just may not be under 18 anymore, so to me making quilts that bring comfort to kids of all ages really fits the bill for Binky Patrol and that's what I love about the group.

If you've been with me for very long, you know I'm always making quilts and giving them away.  My criteria...you need a hug and to feel loved.  I have several local charities I've been working with in the past 10 years since I started my local Binky Patrol chapter.  Can you believe we are turning 10 this year?  I surely can't!  I started my chapter February 26, 2004, when I was still pregnant with my 9 year old.  I was crazy at the time, must have been all the hormones or something.  My mom encouraged me to do something with all the crochet afghans I was making and I tried giving them to the local hospital.  They thought I was crazy and told me they didn't want to buy them from me.  I couldn't just give them away as a private individual, so I started a Binky Patrol chapter.  From that little beginnings, I had my first meeting in August and didn't figure anyone would show up.  We met at the library and about 50 people showed up to drop off blankets they had been making and couldn't find homes for.  I had over 100 blankets and once I had a big nonprofit behind me, had no troubles finding places to donate.

I still deliver to the hospital when I can and soon other places heard I was giving away great, high quality hand made blankets and quilts.  I couldn't crochet fast enough so learned how to quilt about 7 years ago.  Well, soon the fabric took over and I couldn't quilt fast enough.  My parents got me a quilting machine in 2008 and the rest is history.  I still can't keep up with all the fabric, but I'm not complaining.  As long as it shows up, I will accept it and cut it and sew it back together to make more quilts for kids needing hugs.

So, here's where my focus will be for 2014.  Let me know if you can think of other places you donate to.

*My local hospital for the preemie babies
*Nurse Family Partnership-they meet with new, low income mothers and educate them on child issues-I love the education part :)
*Project PEARLS helping low income and orphaned children in the Philippines
*Rwanda-my friend goes every summer
*my high school
*Safe Families-an alternative to foster care-local churches host kids so the parents can get back on their feet or take a 'time out' to deal with medical issues, drug rehab, or job search
*Local Foster Care/Child Protective Services-I have two friends who have adopted several children and who deliver for me-Love that the kids help deliver the quilts and talk to the kids waiting for their forever homes.
*Local Homeless shelter
*Margaret's Hope Chest-donates quilts to kids whose parents are in prison.  The parent picks a quilt to give the child also A Mother's Hope program for mothers with Post Partum Depression (depression SUCKS!) check out their Facebook page, blog and website
*Layers of Hope Quilting 911-quilts for emergency dispatchers and first responders
*Quilts of Valor-sort of, I quilt and donate locally for our returning wounded soldiers coming through Travis Air Force Base and David Grant Medical Center

NEW: Grandparents raising Grandkids

Help me out...what am I missing?  Where else do you donate?

Memory quilt finished

Finished this up and am hoping to give it to my friend today.  I still need to make the embroidered name plate for the back, but that won't take long.  It will probably be my final finish for the year.  I will be quilting more today, that's for sure, but I don't think I will be binding.  I worked in the sewing room and cleared out a ton of buckets of scraps.  They only got moved into the garage, but a plan is in place to work through them this year.  Hopefully I can stick with it so that there are less scraps next year and more quilts.  I have lots of people to help, if I can get the scraps cut into kits and I can cut while the machine does the quilting, I just need the energy to keep with the plan.  Here's to New Year's Resolutions, sticking with a plan and good health in the New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2013

quilting again-Quilt-A-Thon and Give Away

I will finish this up tomorrow morning and then have a quilting marathon to finish out the year.  Anyone want to join me?

Over the next two days I hope you can find some time to quilt something and then  during the day Jan 1, stop by and link up to enter the giveaway.  I will be drawing a name Jan 2 around noon after I get back from my acupuncture appointment.

I will be giving away precut fabrics for a quilt top.  I will decide the pattern over the next two days as I'm quilting and organizing the sewing room and cutting quilt kits for my friend's mom who has offered to sew some more for us.  It will be somewhere in the lap to twin size and I will post a picture of the design and fabric once I decide.  I hope you like it and want to play along.  Even if you are busy and can only squeeze in 15 minutes of quilting time, it still counts.

I've found I always feel better with a little 'me' time every day.   Of course, my 'me' time is often spent on projects for others, but that's ok.  I like making quilts that make other people happy.

getting close to a finish

The end is near for this quilt.  I printed the pictures last night and had to iron them this morning to set the ink.  The printer gave me some troubles with the last picture and it took several tries to get it to print.  I have no idea what the trouble was, just didn't seem to want to print that 7th picture.  I was using June Taylor Colorfast sheets from JoAnn's.  You can get them here http://www.joann.com/june-tailor-colorfast-sew-in-inkjet-fabric-sheets-8-1-2in-x-11in-25-pkg/2359131.html#q=june+taylor+colorfast&start=2 on sale for 50% off now.  I got the 25 sheet pack since I have two more quilts to make in the next week.

They say they are ok to wash and I'm hoping they last a long time.  My mom made a quilt with my son's picture in the middle when he was 2 and the picture lasted about ten years with lots of washings.  That poor quilt is about gone now, but he still loves it to death.  You can't see the picture anymore, but technology has changed so much that I'm sure the photo fabric is much better.  I'm also sure my friend won't be washing her quilt as often as I washed his, especially when he was much younger.  I doubt she will be throwing up on it or peeing on it, though you never know :)

I am just hopeful I can get it done soon so I can play with some other fabrics and quilts.  I really want to get back to the smaller kid quilts.  They are so much quicker and I don't have to have such a long attention span.  This is why I don't quilt for hire.  You have to stick with a project until it is finished, not until you lose interest and move onto the next fun thing to do.  Maybe if I stuck with a project until it was done, I'd have lots more finished things.  Maybe after a short rest, I will have energy to get the quilt top finished and loaded onto the quilting machine.  I hope those pictures are easy to quilt through.  The fabric is stiff and seems unforgiving if you make a mistake.  I'm just a bit nervous to quilt it.  I guess the worse that could happen is I have to redo a block.  It's only fabric!

learning to use EQ7

I'm having fun playing around with EQ7 and designing quilts.  I haven't come up with anything earth shattering yet, but I'm really having fun with it.  I'll be trying out the quilts too, not just designing on paper hopefully.  I plan to make simple quilts that can be finished quickly for our Binky Patrol meetings and that also use the Accuquilt dies I have.  The Accuquilt dies really do cut down on the time it takes to make a quilt.  I'm hoping to show that to my Binky Patrol members this year as I invite new quilt shop members to the meetings and hope they join me in working through my stash.  I've bought buckets, built shelves in the shed and garage and finally decided the only way to truly organize is to actually use up the fabric stash.  The idea of no buy doesn't work for me because I may buy five or ten yards a year, but I'm given thousands of yards at a time when someone's mother or grandmother passes away.  I have no way of measuring that amount, unless it is in pounds and no way of working through it unless it is with the help of friends.  I need to be able to focus on quilting more and faster.  If I can get others to help me cut and sew the quilt tops and I can get both my quilting machines working at the same time and get all my binding buddies going, I can really get some quilting done in 2014.  500 quilts wouldn't be too big of a stretch, although the batting might be expensive for that endeavor :)  But I have faith that God will provide the people, the batting and the energy this coming year to get through some of this and get these quilts made and into the hands of kids who need them.

So, when I can't quilt, like in the mornings when all the kids are sleeping, or at night, when hubby wants me to watch TV with him, I can now design my own quilts.  It's pretty fun and pretty addictive.  I can tell I'm going to need to get a binder to put all these things in and maybe a new tab on my blog to hellp me stay organized :)  Here's to a new year full of anticipation.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Button, Button, who has a Button? I do :)

North Hills Quilter

Look what my son made for me today!  A Blogger Button.  Now I feel special.  I've been trying to figure out the whole button world for a long time and just can't understand HTML code.  He sat down for over an hour this morning and played around with things and took my picture (with the typo and all) and made me a functioning blogger button.  You can grab it and put it on your blog if you want.  I'm just happy it works and can link back to my blog.  Now, I'm a 'real' blogger.  SO, when my book gets published people will be able to find me and say, I knew her when she first got her blog button :)  Silly me.  It's the little things in life that make me happy.

Now if only he could figure out the HTML code that is written wrong in my brain that keeps giving me migraines.  My daughter took a neuroscience class at UCLA and they spent part of a class talking about migraines.  They said, yeah, people get them and yeah, we don't understand why.  That's it?  Thanks for nothing guys!  Maybe in 4 years she will take a few more classes that spend a bit more time on the subject.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

memory quilt, finished with the clothing blocks

I cut all the centers 9 1/2 inches and made star blocks out of them.  I am going to print out some pictures tomorrow onto fabric and make those blocks.  I have 7 pictures, so there will be 20 blocks total.  This is going to be a big quilt.  I didn't really have a plan going into this, just cut and sew and see what happened.  I'm making a second quilt for my friend's dad, using the same clothes and pictures, but it will end up looking very different.  He likes different colors and I plan to make his with a log cabin type block instead.  We will see how that one turns out.  Just cut and sew.  It's always worked for me in the past.  Then on to the next quilt in the que.  There is always one more to do.

The girls and I had a great time at the thrift stores today, I got lots of new shirts and even found some rolls of cotton fabric with pirate theme prints.  They are 60 inches wide and will make great backings.  The rolls are 12 yards long and I got them for $9.99 each.  Can't pass that up.  My girls thought I was crazy buying more fabric when I have so much, but I did leave the girl prints behind and they had HUGE rolls of knit fabrics, must have been 25 yards or more for only $20.  If I was really crazy, I would have bought that too.  It would make great baby clothes and hats and in the olden days, I used to make those as well.  But now I have buckets of knit fabric waiting to be used up and haven't touched my serger in a long time.  Too busy quilting these days.

you up for a mystery?


Here's a New Year's Day mystery quilt in case you feel like joining in.  I'm not sure I will be able to play along, but I might.  I always have too many things on my plate, but it's nice to have options.

Trying something new, Mr. Linky

2014 will see some changes to the blog, including encouraging you all to try out some new things and hopefully introduce you to some of the charities I'm actively involved with.  I'm hoping to share some patterns I've created, write some quilt-alongs and feature lots of Accuquilt products.  This year in Binky Patrol, I will be featuring a different Accuquilt die each meeting and inviting quilt shop members to join our group and see how quickly you can make a quilt using the cutter to make really great quilts to give to people needing hugs.  I'm hoping to recruit new members this year to help me bust my stash.  I've decided there is no way I can work through all the stash I've been gifted with in my lifetime, so I need help.  Many hands make light work.  I will be making a quilt and hanging it in the shop and hoping that I can convince others to join me in my madness :) to spread love and joy through handmade quilts.

So, hang on, grab your rotary cutter, a bit of fabric you can't wait to make into something special and think about someone you want to bless in the coming year.  I will share some of my favorite patterns with you and perhaps you will be inspired to share your love of quilting too.

I've added a Mr. Linky as well and look forward to seeing what You've made each week.  Maybe you can play along with me, or have something new you've tried.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

a few more blocks

most days I find my migraines a mere annoyance, but today I got really frustrated and my migraine was really bad.  I wanted to go to the store to get an external CD drive for my new laptop so I could load EQ 7 on my computer since it doesn't have a CD drive.  What's up with the new laptops these days?  No floppy disc drives?  No CD drives?  How are you supposed to get things on your computers?  Download everything from the internet?  And I keep accidentally doing something that switches the window to a different internet button and I have no idea how I am doing that.  Technology really needs to slow down for me!

So, when my son finally woke up this morning we went out and he had a half flat tire.  I had him roll the car back and found a giant staple in his tire.  Off to Sam's Club to get it fixed.  I could not wander around the store and be tempted to spend another dollar.  I am so burned out on spending from all the before Christmas shopping I did that we waited and watched them fix the tire.  Standing there with all the new tires and the smell is what triggered the migraine I'm pretty sure.  I guess I should have walked around the store.  Oh, well.  When the car was finished and we headed to Best Buy, they didn't have the external drive I wanted.  They had one for $90.  Yikes!  They also didn't have the ink for my son's printer.  I guess his printer is too old now.  Had to order that online too.  Crazy.

I really want to get this quilt finished so I can get on to other things.  I will be printing the pictures for the centers of the blocks tomorrow.   I'm making another memory quilt for my sister in law's friend whose son passed away about a month ago.  Just died in his sleep.

Count your blessings, hug your kids and parents and be happy you don't have migraines.  They suck.  Jan 2 is my acupuncture day.  I hope it does something.  Daily migraines can be depressing.  I'm happy for a couple hours pain free.  Mindless sewing helps sometimes, but having to think and measure and count isn't fun.

memory quilts

memory quilts are hard for me to make.  Even if it is from someone I don't personally know.  This one is for a friend that helps me run the local freecycle group.  I don't even know her very well, but her mom passed away about a month ago and she has asked me to make her and her dad memory quilts.  The centers of these blocks are from her mom's clothes.  Nothing special about the shirts, just regular tshirts, no graphics, nothing you would pick out and say, hey, mom wore those, but to her, they are special.  She told me her favorite colors and I picked out some fabric from my stash.  I think I have enough so I won't have to go out shopping.  I'm all shopped out from before Christmas. 

I will be working on this for a few days.  She wants some pictures in there too and I think by making this star quilt pattern, I can print out the pictures and have those as the centers of the stars too.  It is evolving as I work.  I have no idea what it's going to look like when it is finished, but I will be happy to get it done and into her hands.  She's been waiting a while to get it.  I feel pressure to make it perfect because it will help her remember her mom.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

my silly husband

 I got a new laptop for Christmas and my husband was being silly.  We took about 50 pictures today.  He made fun of me for posting a goofy one of him on Facebook so I figured I'd share a couple of me here with you all.  What a good day today was.  I have to get an external CD drive so I can load my EQ 7 on it.  I got that for my birthday.  I plan to write a quilt book by this time next year.  I've been writing it in my head for the past two years.  I didn't want to start writing it until my daughter wrote her book.  She gave us a copy of it today so now I can actually write my book and submit it for publishing.  I'm excited to get started on it.  Tomorrow I will begin :)

How was your Christmas?

 my new best friend and I had a great day.
 I got all but one of my presents finished.  Bows for my son's girlfriend.  She loves purple and wears these hair bows almost every day.  I bought a pack of 50 hair clips so I'm set for the next few holidays.  I hear she loved them.
 She is a dancer and loved her blanket.  A $5 fleece blanket from WalMart and a little embroidery and this made a quick present.  I LOVE my embroidery machine.
 A Sharks blanket for hubby, an elephant for my daughter, a trombone for my son and the still to be finished dog blanket for my oldest daughter.  That will get done tomorrow after I can get on my son's computer.  It is currently hooked to the TV in the front room which has been taken over by the new Wii U the kids got.  I may get a chance tomorrow morning when everyone is asleep.  It's my favorite time of day.
 We all got a lot of things we wanted this year.  My best present was having everyone home.  I'm not sure how many more years that will happen.  I love that the kids are all growing up, but do realize that once they all start their own families, I won't get to keep them all together anymore.  I'm enjoying every second I can with them together.  Even the occasional fight.
And this little guy doesn't seem to understand he is a little guy.  He kept stealing everyone else's presents.  This bone is bigger than he is.  He's currently making quick work of it.  He's also taking over everyone's blanket too. He loves to make a nest out of it and go to sleep.  I tried taking a nap and he would have nothing of that.  He took my blanket off me and made a nest for himself out of it.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and took time to reflect on the reason we celebrate the day. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Can you stand some puppy love?

 I will be so sad when this little guy goes home.  He is just so much fun.  My two little dogs have taught him a thing or two about being a dog, like it isn't polite to smell your butt every two seconds and you must ask permission to sit on the back of the couch and you can't play every second of the day, sometimes you have to take a nap.  But, he is learning and they are getting along pretty well.  He loves to sit on someone's lap and gets upset if he can't be in the same room as a person, any person.  Yes, I would say he is spoiled.
 And he loves to give kisses.  My son was able to get him to look at the camera, that's why I have this weird look on my face, he was licking me and I was trying not to get dog slobber in my mouth.
 I'm loving the idea of an Italian Cypress in a pot.  It took all of 3 minutes to decorate, two stands of lights, 7 ornaments and I was done.  No, not your typical tree.  You would think with all the extra time, I could have cleaned up a bit, but instead I quilted.
This one is from the pieces I mis-cut from the last quilt.  I couldn't measure correctly and cut a bunch of 4 1/2 inch squares that didn't work with the last quilt which needed 5 inch squares.  So, I had these pieces ready when I found out my principal's husband had to have a pacemaker put in on Friday.  Although I don't like her and don't respect her as a boss, I do like her as a person.  I would never wish bad things on any person and can't imagine the stress she felt when they found out he had to have emergency surgery last week.  So, I figured since I had these pieces ready to go and the quilt only takes about 3 hours to piece the top, I'd get this done quickly and will be delivering it tomorrow.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

finished my favorite quilt

 LOVE, love, LOVE what else is there to say?
 I will be delivering it tomorrow to my student who is really going through a rough time.  Every person needs to know they were created with a purpose and to are special.  I hope she loves this quilt as much as I do and I hope that she realizes that she is a special person.  I also pray that she realizes she has a special purpose on this earth and will be able to pass that message on to others.  I hope it makes a difference in her life.
 If you ever have a chance to make a quilt and donate it to your high school, you will make a difference for a kid too.
 This is my oldest daughter's puppy.  His name is Louie.  He's a doxie mix and he's awfully cute.  He makes me want another dog.  I need another dog like I need, well, I don't need another dog, but he sure is cute :)
Isn't it nice when the kids all enjoy the same things?  Even if it is video games :)

Oh, Christmas tree

 We waited until all the kids were home to get the tree this year and waiting got us this.  The stores were clean out of trees!  Lowe's had cut them up into this pile, while the other stores had either just thrown them away or sold out completely.
So we settled for a 6 foot Italian cypress that will get planted in the backyard after Christmas.  At least it is Christmas tree shaped.  We almost got a Kumquat.  It came predecorated with really pretty orange 'balls' on it :)  My son asks if I knew what to do with kumquats.  Of course, you eat the skins.  At least that's what we did when I was a kid.  The flesh is really bitter and sour, but the skin tasted like candy.  I think we might have just stared a new family tradition.

Friday, December 20, 2013

I love it more

I love this quilt more than the last one I made, how is that possible?  I have to make one just like it for me :)  Red and black seem to be my favorite color combo right now.

This is for another of my students who is struggling with depression and suicide.  She just got out of the mental hospital.  I was hoping to have it finished today to give to her sister, but didn't get it done in time.  Santa's elves will have to deliver it over the break.  I will have to quilt it tomorrow.

Can I say one more time that I really love it?  I know I am going to make one for me.  It is so pretty.  I just love this pattern too because it is pretty, easy and makes a great size quilt.

I ordered the 4 1/2 inch finished triangle for my Studio cutter from Accuquilt and then didn't realize that wasn't the same size as the 4 inch finished triangle.  I am not good with numbers.  So, I cut 4 1/2 inch squares and the triangles didn't fit.  You need 5 inch squares to go with the bigger triangles, in case you were wondering.  The quilt comes out bigger, which is great.  I'm going to make this is red, white and blue for a QOV for February's quilt raffle and the bigger size will be perfect.  I love the black background for making the color pop.

What a great stashbusting project this is too.  But you would't know it from my fabric.  I busted a bunch of reds and there are still a ton waiting to be cut and used.  Which is good because I cut a bunch of 4 1/2 inch squares and wouldn't you know I need a second quilt with red as the main color.  My principal's husband had a pacemaker put in today.  I think he could use a quilty hug.  It was an all of a sudden operation and quite a shock to her.  So, I should have his quilt finished this weekend too.  Then, I have about 6 other quilts waiting their turn.  A couple memory quilts that really need attention.  Those are the hardest to do.  I feel such pressure to make them perfect, when really they just need to be finished and quickly.

Oh, and my oldest daughter came home today.  She will be here 2 1/2 weeks and brought her puppy.  He's mighty cute and gets along well with my dogs.  Nice to have all the kids home and a full house again.  But I do have to squeeze my quilting time in when I can. :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

My friend Sandy's quilts

 I quilted up three of my friend Sandy's quilts this weekend.  I love that she trusts me enough to give me her quilts to quilt.  I love trying out new quilting designs on them too.  Of course, Rebecca the Robot does all the work.  I just push the buttons and babysit her when she needs help moving to the next row or runs out of bobbin thread, but I will take the credit when the quilt is finished :)

This last quilt was one I tried out the giraffe quilting design on before I used it for the quilt for my student who needed a hug.  Turns out she was in the hospital and still is waiting for her quilt.  I have another student who just went into the mental hospital for suicidal thoughts.  I am hoping to get her quilt finished before Christmas break.  If you have time to make a quilt and donate it to your local high school, there are so many hurting kids that could really use a hug.  Just drop it off and tell the front office to give it to the school psychologist.  They will know exactly who to give it to.  Many of these kids don't have parents who are parenting right now.  Our school is in a middle class neighborhood and we have had our homeless population triple this year alone.   These kids are under tremendous stress and really don't know how to process things.  When you hear about the school shootings, people are always asking why?  As a high school teacher, we see the why every day.  Kids need to feel like they belong and that someone cares about them.  If they can't find that at home, they will look for it in a gang, in drugs or alcohol or in the media through violence like the school shootings.  At least someone will notice them for a few minutes.  I don't pretend to understand them all, but many of them have the same needs of acceptance and feeling like they fit in somewhere.

Ok, off the soap box and on to happier thoughts.  Only five days and then break time :)  Which means family time and quilting time!  And time to clean out the sewing room.  Yippee!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A busy day

 My older son had a robotics tournament today.  He is a judge for the younger kids.  Yes, he is weird as he seems.  This is his girlfriend.  They have been going out since 7th grade and are now in 11th grade.  She used to have purple hair.  :)
 My daughter just came home this morning around 4am.  She got about 3 hours sleep this morning, but wanted to see her brother at the robotics event, so we went out thrift store shopping and ran some other errands and then stopped by. You can see he was excited to see her too.  They really do like each other.  It's nice to have kids who are friends.
 This is the big banner she won for getting the Scholar Athlete of the year award.  It's a pretty big deal.  She was pretty proud of the award and didn't realize it was such a big deal until she saw just how big the banner was.  They are going to put her name on it one day too.  She thought it was pretty cool to have it hanging in the gym.  Some of the banners are really old and dusty.  I told her that hers would be dusty one day too as long as the gym doesn't burn down or fall down in an earthquake.
 Here's my son working hard, counting the points the robots earn during the round.  They have to move the balls into and across barriers.
 He takes his job seriously.  The tournament director messed up and did something very wrong.  He corrected her, but her dad is the teacher of the class.  It's hard to correct the teacher's kid, because who is the teacher going to back, the one who is right or his own kid?  You guessed correctly, he backed his kid, the one who messed up the whole tournament.  My son was pretty upset that the rules weren't being followed.  I could see myself in him as he tried to process allowing the tournament to go on even though the rules were right there in front of them saying they had to have 12 teams instead of 8.  The other kid said it would be too much trouble to re-do everything.  Her dad (the teacher) agreed that it would just be easier to keep things the same and since nobody else knew the rules, just leave things the way they were.  My son said, that they should do things the right way, even though it would require changing things and take more time, but it was the right thing to do.  He was over-ruled and had to just let things go.  He was frustrated, but I was proud of him for stepping up and speaking his mind and being calm about it.

The principal said she had watched him earlier and he was being a ref, but also a teacher throughout the morning and was always helping the younger kids learn how to get better.  She is so impressed by him.  Makes me proud.
And as we left the school, there were a few turkeys along the side of the road.  They must have escaped someone's dinner recently.

Monday, December 9, 2013

While I grade lab books

 I was so far behind in my grading this semester.  With three new tachers and one that had only been in our department a year, I became the 'go to' person.  Everyone comes to me to ask where things are and how to do things.  Even the teacher who has been there one year less than me asks how to do things.  I'm not sure if she really doesn't know how to do things or just doesn't want to have to do them.  For example, we have a HUGE lab this week and everyone had a job to do to set it up.  Her job was to make the foul water we are all to purify.  She volunteered to make the water because when a teacher retired a couple years ago, he passed along a recipe list to her.  She says last week at the meeting that she has the recipe box on her desk and if anyone wants to use it, it is right on her desk.  Well, since she has the recipe, why not make the water.  I've made it in the past many times, it isn't hard, I've never used a recipe, just mix a bunch of nasty stuff together, garlic salt, coffee grounds, stuff like that, and the kids have to clean it well enough to make it drinkable.

So, the day comes to make everything ready for the lab and she asks me how to make the water.  I told her she had the recipe box on her desk.  She looks at me and asks where it is.  WITH A STRAIGHT FACE!  I have no idea if she really had a mental problem or she really hates working that much. 

So, me being the dumb one says I will just make the water.  I really don't want her making it anyways because she set up the previous lab for her class and did it wrong and her poor kids didn't get the right results.  I feel bad for her students because they aren't learning, so I often set things up for her, but man is it wearing on me to set up for 6 teachers.

 I'm pretty sure that's what is causing many of my physical and mental problems.  When I talked to the therapist and psychiastrist they both told me I have to stop doing everything for everyone else and start taking care of me.  Grading lab books for 16 hours this weekend was a sure sign of me doing too much for everyone else.  I didn' see the 5 other teachers at my house helping me when I needed it, that's for sure. 

I do have three TA's, students who get credit for helping grade and set up labs, but even with their help, I still can't keep up.  The other teachers are jealous and keep making comments to me about my student helpers.  They keep asking me to borrow my students, but I keep them all to myself.  If it wasn't for those kids, I'd be drowning in papers to grade too.  I have 3 or 4 other kids who come in to help out too.  I tried to get TA's for all the other teachers, but they didn't sign up for TA's and now they are regretting it.  Maybe next time they will listen :)  I'm not as dumb as I look.

So, while I was grading lab books and eating chocolate, Rebecca the Robotic quilting machine was stitching away on these three beauties.  They are for a friend's grandkids for Christmas.  Speaking of, I can't believe it is so close.  I haven't even started shopping yet and no decorating.  My daughters will both be home this year :) and we will have to clean and move things around to make room.  I'm excited to have the whole family home and to go thrift shopping with the girls.  It's much more fun with them around.  They are great bargain hunters.  I'll be rearraging things in the sewing room and moving things around in the shed.

10 more days of school until break. My little guy only has 5.  He gets a three week break, but has to go two weeks longer into summer.  I'd rather have a longer summer.  Let the countdown begin!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

4 quilt tops in a day

 and graded 2 boxes of lab books.  I even got this one quilted.  It's a cute jumping dolphin quilt design.  These four are for a friend's grandkids for Christmas.  I'm using up most of my pink/purple/yellow scraps and with the tumbler die from Accuquilt these go together very quickly.  I hope to get them quilted up tomorrow and finished up this week.  I have lots of things on my to do list and more keeps getting added each day.  I didn't even bother to get dressed today.  Everyone needs a day like that I think.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finished Giraffe quilt

This is for a special student who loves giraffes and burgundy and needs a hug right now.  I hope it fits the bill.  I love the quilting pattern

 This is as close to snow as we get around here.  Our family snowmen, made out of fence boards.  We made these 6 years ago, when my youngest was 3.  See the three buttons on his belly?  He was just a baby back then.  One for each family member and the boards were cut to height for the kids.  Not so much anymore.  I should make some new ones to show how they have all grown.  Of course, I would keep them all as skinny :)  When I showed my daughter that the snowmen were back up, she asked if I had left them up all year.  I'm not that lazy :)  Well, almost.