Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cicada Are Coming

Okay, I heard my first little squawks from the cicada this morning...I have seen a few in the trees but the population is not big enough yet for them to all start making a lot of noise...but I know it is coming.

Last year, there were so many in the trees in my backyard that you couldn't hear the TV in my house with the windows and doors closed. I actually went out and hosed down the trees to force them out to just get some peace for a few minutes.

Don't get me wrong, I love the sound of them and it will forever remind of this place and the fact that summer is here, but last year was unbelievably loud and I am not sure I want that again. Even Chase couldn't stand the decibels in the backyard.


One Year Ago on In My Words...Solar Eclipse Shrouds Asia

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fabric For Quilt

As you know from my previous posts on this subject, I am not a quilter. I did get involved with a group of women that were making a friendship applique quilt, and have been trying to work on it when I have time. I have made several different squares for this quilt and then I had those that we were each given by the other participants. I have made a paranko drum, a koi, a set of fans, a wave, and one with the word Okinawa on it in kanji. Thing is, I will be moving soon, so one of the things I needed to do before leaving was to get the rest of the fabric for the square borders, the field, the back, and the edging. I am no where near ready to start assembling this thing but I wanted to have the fabric before I moved somewhere, where the ability to buy the type of fabric I wanted, would be gone.

So the other day, in an attempt to knock a few odds and ends off my to do list, I managed to get over to Sanzo's and buy the rest of the fabric for my quilt. I was in the store for over an hour looking at different fabric that would be so cool to use and slowly working my way towards something that would go nicely with the busy front of this quilt, while still being very cool and unique.

So this is what I came up with. The geisha material is sage green, grey, green, black, and red compliments. I purchased the black fabric to border my squares, the green for the field and the red for the edging. The geisha material is for the entire back. I am pretty pleased with how cool they all look together and am even more excited to see this project complete (someday).

On another note, I decided to finally get some fabric to make one last square that I want this quilt to have that is very Okinawan, a shisa dog. So if, and I say this loosely, if I have time to get the shisa dog square done before I leave, I will post pics...otherwise, you'll just have to wait until after we move. I think it is going to look very cool...and that is part of what makes me want to work on it right now, even though my plate is very full with "have to"s.


Previously on In My Words...Thursday Thanks

Just for my dad since this is his birthday month and today is Father's Day. I hope he knows how much I love him.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ikebana Lesson #3 Basic Slanting

So this one is similar to the Basic Upright but there are some marked differences...

First off, the frog goes in the back right corner to adjust for the slanting of the flowers across the vase. There is no seasonal change on this one at all. On the frog itself the heaven, earth and mankind are on the front and right leaving only the back left quadrant as negative space.

The heaven is placed left shoulder forward by 45 degrees instead of 20 degrees, and the earth is placed at right shoulder back (which is the first time we have seen any go towards the back) at 20 degrees. Lastly, mankind is place right shoulder forward but at 60 degrees.

In the case of slanting arrangements, using a shallow walled container (suiban) is recommended since these arrangements are much wider but less upright than the previous ones.

The length of heaven (and hence all the other elements in comparison) is shorter. Instead of using the width of the suiban plus depth times 2, you are using the width of the suiban plus depth times 1.5.

In this arrangement, we used dark purple Chinese bellflower, peacock flower (aka aster) and pink peonies.

Unexpectedly, we used the asters as the main heaven, earth and mankind, with the peonies as the supplement and the bellflowers as filler.

I really liked the final can't see the bellflowers very well in here but they really did all compliment each other quite nicely.


Three Years Ago on In My Words...Really, Who Gives a F*ck?"

Ikebana Lesson #2 Basic Upright

In this class we did the basic upright configuration for a second time so we would get some practice at this style (since a lot of the other styles we would be learning would build on this one's principles). It was a fun class, and the sensei expected us to be able to work a bit more on our own.

I had finally gotten an actual suiban and was excited to use it for the first time. The flowers we used were iris', carnations, and purple statice and a little bit of greenery (which I didn't get the name of).

In this arrangement, I had the iris' as my heaven, and earth but used the green leaves as my mankind. The carnations were supplement and the statice were filler.

We discovered that smaller stems might need to be grouped together and taped (in this case we used scotch tape) using flower tape.

Another tip, if you didn't cut all your flowers before placing (which you rarely do), is to turn the flower upside down to measure it against a flower that is already placed in the frog and arrangement...this way the excess stem is not in the way and you get a more accurate measurement.


Five Years Ago on In My Words...A. Retentive, That's What I Am

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

PC Rebuild Part Two

Okay, so my newly rebuilt PC is up and running these days...and very well, I might add.

Once I started on the software side of it, it was just a matter of having the time to tweak everything as I loaded it and confirm that it was complete.

I finished installing the firewire card.

I reloaded from my CDs:

Office 2007 Pro
Quicken Home and Business
Macromedia Suite 8
Drivers for my printer, and webcam

I downloaded from the Internet:

Avast (virus protection)
Windows 7 update
Office 2007 SP2
Sandboxie (tool I use for my volunteer job w/Google)
Yahoo Messenger
Notepad ++ (tool I use for my volunteer job w/Google)

I was concerned that iTunes was going to be a nightmare but it really ended up being mostly okay. I was able to import the music from my old harddrive to my new harddrive and iTunes library pretty easily. I did have to do some reorganizing of things for it to be the way I wanted it but it seems to be nice and neat now.

I have a gazillion pictures to organize. Soon, I should be able to completely wipe the old harddrive to use as a clean external for storing backup of the data on this PC...I will have to keep pics and video back up on another external as well since none of them have enough room to be a complete back up.

Box is now shut, and system seems to run smoothly and quickly, which is fabulous. I am getting accustomed to Windows 7 and all its features, which will help me in the future with any tech support I do for others.

Overall this has been a great research and learning experience as well as a basic hardware refresher.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Flowers Galore