BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Summer Job One is Done

Today was the last day of our writing camp. Each summer for the past several years I’ve been an instructor at a writing camp affiliated with our local university and the National Writing Project. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also work.

This time around we had ten kids in our section (there are three sites and several sections). Our group ranged from kids entering third grade to kids entering eighth grade. People always wonder how that works, but writing is a marvelous thing… we each approach it from where we are. A third grader and an eighth grader and an adult can all respond to writing challenges, albeit on different levels. Actually, we had an eighth grader whose writing is extremely mature and complex, so you can’t necessarily decide that age limits people.

Today we invited parents in to our end of the session showcase, and each young writer took the microphone and shared a piece they had written, revised, edited, and practiced. The kids were poised, confident, and proud of their writing. I was proud of them, too. Several parents commented that their kids loved the program and that it was helpful to them as writers. I couldn’t ask for higher praise than that.

Now I’m preparing for my next summer job tomorrow, proctoring a high-stakes professional exam. This one is only for a day, but what a LONG day it will be. Then next week I’m off to the east coast for a week-long professional conference on teaching – wait for it – writing. What a busy month June is. And that doesn’t include last week’s visit to Texas or the trip to my niece’s high school graduation at the end of the month. I need a vacation from my vacation!

People who say teachers have the summer off probably don’t know any real teachers. Just saying. Enjoy any time off you may have, I know I will.

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It all sounds so simple.


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It’s Travel Season Again

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Look at all that room! Ah, the good old days of air travel.

I’m packing up to hit the road again, and I’m kind of dreading it. Maybe because I’m not hitting the road at all, I’m hitting the skies. Hello seatbelt extender, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you, but we’re going to get cozy over the next couple of weeks. Six flights in all. Yuck. At least two of them feature my sweetheart, and two feature my son, and the final two feature a colleague, so I won’t be shoehorned between total strangers, but still…

Time to grin and bear it. If I have a good attitude, it will make it so much less unpleasant. Here’s to a positive attitude, and safe travels for all. Buckle up!


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Time for Some New Feet

Feet? What feet? Well the ones at the ends of my legs, of course. Particularly the one at the end of my left leg. That sucker has been causing quite a bit of annoyance lately. A little thing called plantar fasciitis has decided to take up residency there and let me tell you, it’s no fun. Long story short, it causes pain in the foot, but it’s not constant (thank goodness), at least not for me. It does mean that my fashion options, when it comes to shoes, have become quite limited. Either that, or suffer the consequences. Black Nikes it is, then!all black nike shoes womens-450bhl.jpg

These aren’t the only feet that have been on my mind lately. I’ve also been messing around with my sewing machine feet. I’ve dusted off the old gal (what a weird phrase, even if my machine is approaching its 25th birthday in a few days) and pulled out a few sample quilt sandwiches (if you don’t quilt, it’s just a few layers of quilty stuff put together) to do some practicing.

I have to thank Angela Walters for my renewed enthusiasm. I found her YouTube series The Midnight Quilt Show and became sort of hooked. Then, when bopping around on YouTube I found a tutorial from a quilt shop that showed a machine binding using an edge joining foot. It was beautiful. It was simple. It was fast. I wanted one. I needed one. Stat!

So, off to the quilt shop and sewing machine dealer I went. And lo and behold, there’s an edge joining foot for my machine, but it looks nothing like the one in the tutorial, and I’m pretty sure it won’t work. This left me feeling a little sad, but not totally discouraged. Maybe the other shop will have something that works.

Off I went to the other shop, the one that actually sells my brand of sewing machines, and I explain what I’m looking for. Cristy is on the case. She is bound and determined to find the correct foot for me. She brings one out and we pop it on a machine and give it a whirl. Nope, not quite. I need to get the needle over to the left position and this one only allows a straight stitch down the middle.

She’s not giving up, though. Out comes another foot. This one looks promising. Pop it on the machine, and… yes! This is going to work! Maybe not as cleanly as the one in the tutorial, but it will work. SOLD!

Of course I have to allow Mr. Google to have a crack at this quest, too. He comes up with three other options, the cost of all three, plus shipping, is less than the one I just bought. Well, what the hell, why not? SOLD!21wXYHysBIL._SX90_.jpg

One of them is gold. Not literally, but it works great. Just not for the purpose I intended, but no worries, I will use it plenty. It’s a quarter inch foot with an edge guide on it so no matter how sloppy I get I won’t stray from that sacred quarter inch.

The other foot has been sitting in my UPS box for the past couple of days. I’m looking forward to picking it up later and seeing what it can do.

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This renewed interest in quilting is fun! I managed to get the center section of a spider web quilt put together (finally, I’m calling this one “Decades”), and I finished up the binding on a little quilt that’s been hanging around for a long time. It feels good to sew, and it feels good to see myself improving my machine quilting skills.

If only human feet were as easy to replace as sewing machine feet, I would pop this one off and put on one that works a little more easily. A girl can dream, but in the meantime I think I’ll sew instead.