08 October 2016

Double gauze baby quilt

by Cecily
I tried really hard to think of a double dactyl to write about quilts, or quilting, or fabric, but it didn't happen. I'm sorry.





21 August 2016

Tiny Circus

by Cecily
The giraffe is about an inch tall.

05 August 2016

I finished making some things.

by Cecily
1. That quilt I just made the fancy gif about:

2. Some ridiculous(ly) fancy soft blocks:

Baby presents!

31 July 2016

More circles

by Cecily
It's not done yet. Also I don't really know how to make gifs.


via GIPHY

13 July 2016

Hearing people are such crybabies

by Cecily
"It's too loud! Tell me later!" Yeah, trying to have a conversation using spoken language when you can barely hear anything is a lot of work. Suck it up, whiners. Pay closer attention! Use more of your energy trying to figure out what words might make sense there! Think harder about cues like facial expressions and prosody! WORK HARDER, you spoiled, lazy brats! Oh, I'm sorry, are you tired? Does the baby need a nap?

I swear I'm a nice person most of the time.

27 June 2016

The cathedrals of our time

by Cecily
Texas is real serious about its highways and interchanges. I knew this, of course, from having studied the very informative documentary David Byrne made about this state years ago. However, as is the case with other sorts of cathedrals from other times, actually visiting the highways in person is a very different experience than just looking at pictures.


Not that the pictures are anything to be sneezed at, either.


I will admit that driving under and/or over them has its own brand of numinosity.


The system of frontage roads is also at a highly advanced level. There's a learning curve. I'm on it.

"Well, I suppose these freeways made this town and a lot of others like it possible.  'They're the cathedrals of our time,' someone said.  Not me."

15 June 2016

Lies the children tell us

by Cecily
Seven: "That's not what I said!" (alternate version: "You didn't let me finish!") On being told that she said something mistaken, incomplete, or incorrect.

Five: "It was an accident!" Response to being reprimanded for kicking, hitting, punching, biting, or throwing whatever object or sibling got in his way.

Three: "I already did!" About whatever you have just asked her to do, with doe-like eyes and a blatant disregard for colorability.

One: "All done!"  Every single night, at dinner, right before angrily demanding more food. How dare we try to take away his plate! It is an outrageous insult, and he cannot fathom why it keeps happening.

13 June 2016

Placeholding

by Cecily
I've been starting a bunch of projects and thinking about another bunch of different projects, but I haven't actually completed anything in a while, or taken any interesting pictures of anything, or thought about any interesting ideas that I feel like sharing.

Instead of completing things I've just been sort of reading and making dinner and petting the cats and mending/altering things.  And swimming in the river. And sleeping. My life is very hard.

Here's what I've been reading:
1. Detective stories. As usual. Margery Allingham, currently, and before that Edmund Crispin.
2. The Count of Monte Cristo. This is such a great story if you sort of let your eyes glaze over during the long boring descriptions of things and skip forward to where the revenge starts up again. I am constantly forgetting about it and then remembering it and binge reading the whole thing.
3. Bring Up the Bodies. I've been reading this (the sequel to Wolf Hall) for 8 or 9 months now. For some reason I cannot keep it up for more than an hour or so every... well, month, I guess. Then I have to re-read a bunch because I forgot what was happening before.
4. Kelly Link.  (this one.) The creepiest story, Catskin, is where Small got her name.

Here's what I've been mending/altering:
1. shirts
2. Batman outfits
3. disintigrating flaxseed pillows
4. paper boxes
5. Abe's quilt

Here's what I've been making for dinner: Rice noodles and roast pork. Even the 7-year-old eats it! Highly recommended.

23 May 2016

Quilts of Recent Years: an incomplete catalogue

by Cecily
Remember those prism quilts I was making before?

I made some more of those.


Then I made some baby quilts out of a lot of squares:

 

And some bigger quilts with squares and rectangles and birds*:


And now I'm working on some circles.


~~~~~
*I've been using a lot of shot cottons**, which are super fantastically nice to look at and super fantastically difficult to photograph. Light quality and postproduction aside, even. The two bird quilts use almost exclusively the same fabric palette but you'd never know from the pictures.

Here's a 9-square piece of an unfinished project.


That's four photos of the same piece, which is made out of 9 squares of the same fabric. (Galvenized Sandstone is the name of it. I'm going to make myself a duvet cover out of this eventually.)

**Mainly these. Also now I have a notebook full of carefully curated shot cotton scraps, with warps and wefts exposed, because I kept accidentally ordering more of the wrong thing.


So if you need help selecting exactly the right shot cotton for whatever you're doing today, I'm your man.

17 May 2016

Witchcraftle

by Cecily
The three-year-old has a bunch of little Disney princess dolls with weird rigid snap-on dresses. (Actually I think most of them are actually the seven-year-old's dolls, but Three is the one who plays with them.) They're about three inches high and all have the same identical creepy Disney/Barbie bodies and poses, but whatever. The kids like them.

So, I made a castle for the princesses to live in, for a birthday present for the three-year-old. It started out a relatively low-key papier-mache thing and turned into a big elaborate production, but I'm not sorry.

I made balconies out of toothpicks and hot glue and nail polish, and turrets out of oatmeal containers. There are assorted types of paint and wallpaper and tapestry on all the walls. There is a lot of glitter and pearlizing medium and sparkle tape and swirly decorative border action.



It's tougher than it looks, thanks to millions of layers of glue, and it's getting a decent amount of play time.  The princesses have to share it with some ninjas (turtle and other) and Star Wars guys, but they seem to be coexisting peacefully so far.


I'm pretty pleased with myself, overall, and Jamaal only rolled his eyes and groaned a little bit about how much space it is taking up in the back room. Whatever. At least I didn't make a kid-sized one like last time.


11 May 2016

Platonic salience

by Cecily
Here's an art project of which I approve: Guy got random people to draw bikes. Just, like, a sketch on a bar napkin or what-have-you. It turns out people don't really think about what things look like, so they are pretty bad at this task, and the drawings are amusing.  They mostly include handlebars and seats and wheels and pedals, but they mostly aren't connected up in a very functional way.

THEN, the guy built the bikes.



It's so pretty! And not right at all! Like so many things in my life.

09 May 2016

Update

by Cecily
Well, it's been a while! Let's see if I can ease back in to the ol' blogosphere without injuring myself.

 Plus ça change
I got diagnosed with some real weird stuff, and quit working, and gave my fancy truck to my brother, and moved to Texas, and cut off all my hair.

Plus c'est la même chose
I made some quilts, and some felt animals, and some terrible jokes, and a few huge messes. And drank some whiskey and ate some chocolate and played with some babies.

Plus demain, probablement
I'll try to think of something nice to tell you about. Xoxoxo!

08 July 2013

by Cecily
I'm in London. It's pretty nice here! The weather is beautiful and all the British people are in good moods because their team won the Super Bowl for tennis.

I'm here for the next instalment of this conference, which happens every three years, in a new and exciting place each time. I got here early (the conference starts Wednesday) to hang out in the living room and drink beer with all my favorite Brits and associated hangers-on. Which is going really well so far, well done me. Later today I will probably go look at something historical or buy some snow globes or something, to fulfil my tourism obligations. Then back to work/beer.

01 June 2013

Adjectival

by Cecily
I've been reading a lot of historical fiction (of varying degrees of historicity, but whatever) lately. All based in English-speaking places, but other than that without a real pattern: Reformation London, Civil War New York;  Old West Kansas; Tudor England; Jacobite Scotland; Revolutionary War Maryland; Gold Rush Australia. I just this week noticed I was doing it. Normally (previously?) I prefer my history to be actual-factual and my fiction to be all modern and hip.

Anyway one of the things I keep putting books down for is to look up information about dialects and vocabulary, particularly the parts related to profanity, to see if I can figure out whether the author is doing a good job or not. (So far, they mostly seem to be, at least as much as I can tell.)

My favorite is Pretend Ned Kelly, who kind of has a potty mouth but never actually swears. There are lots of b----rs and c--ts and effing and ess and also, the best, adjectival. As in
She cried I would kill the b-----ds if I were a man God help me. She used many rough expressions I will not write them here. It were eff this and ess that and she would blow their adjectival brains out.
I'm very charmed by this use of adjectival*, even though I can't quite figure out what its position on the euphemism/metonym/expletive scale is.  Did Australians in the olden days actually say "adjectival" out loud? Does adjectival stand in for a particular adjective, or could it be one of many? So far my attempts to ask the internet these questions have failed, but maybe I'll think of the right phrasing tomorrow.

Otherwise, I have been drinking a lot of cold-brewed coffee and eating a lot of popsicles and avocados. Summer!



*I also like it when WWII era novels refer to swearing as "using language". For example, Miss Silver is constantly telling people she doesn't approve of language. Usually after a slight hortatory cough.