Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good News, Good News and ... not so good news

Handpiecing at LunchYou can probably look at the photo and guess what the good news is . . . yesterday, I started work.  It's a contract, but it is real, meaningful work and I'm thrilled to be there.  Here's my desk at lunch today–I brought in this little bit of appliqué in an effort to distract my brain during lunch. With so much new information flooding in as I work to learn as much as I can as fast as I can, it's been really hard to force myself to take a break or . . . go to sleep at night.

If I can get organized enough in my sleep-deprived state to keep bringing hand-work along and force myself to take a mid-day break, I will also make some quilting progress, which is definitely more good news.

Autumn in AustinLayer this week, when cooler temperatures are forecast, I may even venture outside . . . for lunch and stitching (it will be so much harder to be pulled back in to working when the computer beeps to tell me I have a new meeting or the idea to look up something pops into my head and jump back into my working mind completely on my own.

On the not so good news front, my poor old Explorer is still in the shop.

As a friend pointed out, the longer they keep it, the more likely I am to have my first paycheck in hand . . .

Monday, October 18, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well

Ugh!Anyone that clicked over from the FNSI group might be wondering what happened to me Friday night . . .  well, my plan for Friday kind of fell apart when this happened to me.

After a meeting with a staffing company in the morning, I was on my way to Nancie's house to meet her bee and join them for some quilting when I stopped to run a quick errand and my car stopped and wouldn't start again.

I called AAA for a tow truck and giving them all the details of where I was and to which mechanic I needed to be towed . . . then, I waited for the estimated half hour in a hot car until a man showed up with jumper cables.  Huh?  He told me I needed a tow and that he would make the call and it would be at least another half hour of waiting in the hot car.
Quilting by Lake AustinAfter dealing with the logistics of dropping the car off and borrowing a friend's car for the weekend, I did catch up with the bee and, at least, got to meet everyone, but I was wiped out and I ended up scratching my Friday Night Sew-In.

But, as the title suggests, my weekend did improve and even included some quilting.  A friend was traveling from Dallas to San Antonio and planned a stop-over in Austin at a city park not far from me.

On Saturday night, we chatted while her sweet husband cooked for us and on Sunday, we quilted and chatted some more ... while the men cooked–it was pretty much a quilter's dream ;-)

Mr Guy atop Linda's fabricsI finally got back to hand-piecing Bonnie's wonderful blocks–I am still hopeful that I will finish the year on time . . .  if Bonnie will forgive my tardiness and send the rest of block patterns.  Linda worked on a pile of wonderfully scrappy 9-patch units for her next quilt. One her cats, Mr Guy, helped by holding down her fabrics.

I finished my block just as the first batch of shrimp were ready.  It's not exactly a design wall, but here's my work in progress for Design Wall Monday–something both Linda and I decided we want to get back in the habit of doing.

Picnic Table as Design Wall?

Yesterday, was exactly the kind of day I needed. Thank you Linda and my regards to the chefs.  Thank you for taken such good care of me and reminding me how I need to get off the beaten path more often.

Mmmm ... MarshmallowsI can't remember the last time I drove down on a road without street lights, watched the sun set over the water or enjoyed a perfectly toasted marshmallow.

Check out the actual design walls of other quilters on Judy Laquidera's blog, Patchwork Times.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Subtle Signs of Autumn in Austin Texas

Signs of AutumnFall has arrived, but the changes are far more subtle than in more northern locations.

The days are still sunny and warm, with temperatures in the 80's and sometimes higher, but the nights are cooler and the humidity has, for the most part, moved on.

Although things are still really quite green, an occasional tree, like this one shows a little color.

The job market feels like it is picking up after summer and I keep hearing from recruiters in a way that finally feels like a normal job search. I continue to be hopeful that my move to Austin was the right thing to do.

I want to pull my yarn stash out of storage and knit things.  I want to pull out some quilting UFO's and unquilted tops and finish and use them.

I am planning to join Heidi and more than a hundred of her friends tonight for the October Friday Night Sew-in.  I will likely work on some scrappy liberated stars for the Block Lotto or play catch-up with Bonnie's hand-pieced blocks–she recently posted October.  Either way, it feels great to get back to doing creative things.
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