Category Archives: General Geekery

Tardis Top Time

This weekend I tackled the 3 spots on the Tardis quilt that were NOT 2.5″ squares. Math, ugh. I much prefer the liberal arts to the sciences…

The windows on the left, the roof-top light on the right. Annie was adamant that we use a very dark fabric for the window panes rather than a lighter one. She wanted it to look like space. So I dug out this lovely Lizzy House Natural History constellation fabric that I bought specifically with my girl in mind, and I made window panes.

IMG_3215TERRIBLE photo. Fun fabric. I personally prefer the look of the Tardis with lighter window panes, but this is Annie’s quilt, and her fabric choices. I did realize later that I had some much older, awesome Lizzy House Constellation fabric left that I might have been able to convince her to use…

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But, I didn’t think of it until AFTER the entire top was pieced. Oh, did I mention? That the ENTIRE top is pieced?

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I just did the math. 34×22. 748 squares. Of course, there are those very few spots that aren’t simply one square. But still, 748 is close enough. Oi vey. I am NOT doing the math on the number of seams I sewed. All of them. All the seams in the world.

And I LOVE it! I can’t wait to get started on the back. We have a giant pile of licensed Doctor Who fabrics that we have been slowly buying up from JoAnns…

SO much fun. There are actually 2 more, but Annie rejected the Weeping Angels as too scary for a bed quilt. (Seems fair- if you’re not familiar- they look like statues of angels BUT when you take your eyes off of them- they attack. Not so great for sleepy time,) And there was another Dalek fabric that was deemed “too red”. I have multiple different ideas about how I’m going to piece the back- but I know for certain that I want to feature that very large scale comic panel print.  And that Tardis print with words up near the top? That’s for pillowcases. The colors are just right…

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, and Let’s Be Social.

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Darn near bigger on the inside…

I tried to spend all day Sunday sewing, but somehow my charming kiddos managed to flood the bathroom and my afternoon was spent on damage control. Sigh. That’s right- while everyone else was partying at Quilt Con, I was home mopping up toilet water. But before the water started dripping through the ceiling, for real, Annie and I got this far.

We have continued with our system: she does the layout and I do the piecing*. I am so proud of myself- I have barely rearranged any of her squares. It’s kind of liberating to just not worry about what print is next to what, and are there too many polka dots here or too many dark purples there. The blank spots are where the few non 2.5″ squares go. I have to do some- gasp- math to get those bits right, so they’re waiting till I piece the rest.

*so much piecing. I have refrained from actually doing the math the would tell me exactly how many 2.5″ squares are in this thing- but- it’s a LOT.

This is what my sewing life has looked like for the last few weeks. 9 patch after 9 patch after 9 patch. But truly, I find them SO satisfying to work on. I have a system, and it’s been working.

I stole a little extra time tonight and got some more done- SO close now!

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I’m having the worst time getting decent photos at night in my sewing room. The purple squares are really NOT this pink.I can’t wait to get this sucker together and get it into daylight for some decent photos…

Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see my other helper. I was going through my stash of licensed Doctor Who fabrics (from the oh-so-glamorous JoAnns) to see what we might use for the back… And George wanted to offer his opinion. This was AFTER we busted him on the dining room table- he waited until we finished eating and were clearing the table, and climbed up to devour the ranch dressing. I’ve never had a cat as obsessed with people food as this guy…

But, but, look at that face. He’s innocent, he swears.

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I’m linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Story Tuesday, and Let’s Bee Social. Here’s hoping YOUR helpers were more useful to you than mine were to me this week!

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Gratuitous Cat Photos, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Not Really Wordless Wednesday

(I’m not dead- yet- and I haven’t abandoned blogging- yet- but with the advent of nicer weather it seems I haven’t sat down for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a nearly-done shawl that I will hopefully be binding off tonight, and I DID finish sewing all 100 buttons onto my modern cross quilt, but we’ve have over 3 weeks straight of rainy days, and I have no idea how to photograph the king sized monstrosity to show it to you… That said, I thought I’d give you a peek at what kept me away from my sewing machine this past weekend.)

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Denver is home to the 3rd biggest Comic Con in the nation, and the only one that focuses on kids and families. For xmas, we gave our nerdy little people 3-day passes. Below is just a sampling of our Memorial Day weekend…

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I won the Iron Throne– but how long will I keep it?

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The entire family took a trip to Tatooine.

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We listened to Alan Tudyk interact with the audience in amazing ways, and splurged on a photo op with him. Browncoats unite!

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Captain Annie-merica met her nemesis…

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We attended a panel with nearly all of season 3 of the King of the Nerds cast- including host Curtis Armstrong, who just happened to star in a show written by some of my high school friends!!

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And we ended the night with another photo op, with Sean Astin of Goonies and LoTR fame. “It’s our time down here!” “Goonies never say die!” Note our specially selected Ts (2 LoTR, 1 goonie…)

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3 of us came back for another day, all done up as Daleks and Doctors.

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We even went to space…

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We saw amazing cosplay- this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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We went to a panel with Sean Astin, where at the end, he swore us all in as official Goonies!

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And then it was time for Day 3.

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Annie had a quick check up/

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Henry checked out some career options.

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And we all got our silly on.

And then we slept.

Then end.

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Filed under General Geekery, Kids

Geeks on Ice

By now you’ve probably noticed that we’re a “little” bit geeky, as families go. Yesterday we geeked out in a major, public way.

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It was Star Wars Night at the Colorado Avalanche, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. My favorite sport, with geekiness added? Who could resist? Well, Rich might have been able to, but, for the sake of his wife and kids, he came along to the sport ball event. He told me it was okay to share this story- we were waiting in line to take a photo, and he asked me, “What time does the show start?” After much confusion, I realized he meant the GAME. He may never live that down…

The event was 2 fold: in the afternoon, there was an hour where ticket holders could go on the actual NHL ice, and meet and take photos with members of the 501st Legion, as well as the good guys. The email said costumes were encouraged- so costumes we wore. I actually do own a Han Solo dress. I know, I know. But when I was a kid, I was going to grow up to marry either Han or Indiana Jones. So, that didn’t work out, but at least on occasions where a costume is required, I can dress up like Han, right? Rich has a Chewbaca T-shirt that he busts out for halloween, etc., and I also have an R2D2 dress that I wore one halloween that Annie borrowed. Henry used to have an entire wardrobe of star wars costumes, but he’s outgrown them all, so we picked up a new Xwing fighter pilot shirt for him… Hey, we’re going to Comic Con in May, so we’ll get some more use out pf these outfits.

The photo ops were truly awesome. We actually got to go into the penalty boxes:

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And into the goals:

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And onto the benches:

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And we even admired center ice:

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The ice was less slippery than I expected- but the kids still couldn’t resist sliding on it.

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This was such an awesome, crazy, once in a lifetime experience. And it was only part of it- there was still the game. There was a gap between the end of photos and the start of the “show”, so we walked downtown to have dinner. Yup, we walked through one of the trendiest, most touristy parts of downtown Denver (Larimer Square) in our costumes. I was embarrassed, I admit, but I got schooled by my daughter. “Mom, don’t be embarrassed. You like this and this is who you are. Be proud.” So, clearly I’m raising her right. At least somewhat…

So then we went back for the actual game- and thank goodness the Avs won! Poor Rich was forced to high-five jubilant strangers at the end of the night- but he survived. The game was full of fun moments- the mascot Bernie the Saint Bernard was dressed as a Jedi and had a light saber. Snow troopers rode on the zambonis. The 501st was around the arena for photo ops with the regular ticket holders. My fave part of the evening was when they kicked off the kiss cam with Han and Leia- but I didn’t get a pic of that 😦

I was bummed that they didn’t seat all the Star Wars ticket holders together- we were scattered al over. It would have been fun to have geeky bonding time- rather than odd looks from regular fans. But oh well. Aside from that, it was a truly awesome night.

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Filed under General Geekery, Hockey

To Infinity and Beyond

I’ve been off the blog for a while, because after finishing my Tula top, I was beat. Oh, yeah, I finished that sucker! And I’m struggling to take some decent photos to show you- a 90×90 queen sized top is hard to shoot.

Meanwhile, I’ve been busy. Finished a shawl, a hat, and some socks. Started a new afghan. Had one of my busiest work weeks of the year. And also threw a little party.

You might have heard, at least if you are in the US, that this past Saturday was the Pi Day of the Century. 3/14/15. To take it further, the exact moment of 9:26am and 53 seconds on March 14, 2015 is the longest date representation of the mathematical abstract Pi this century. At least, if you record dates the American way… Pi Day is always a fabulous reason to eat pie- but the Pi Day of the Century calls for more than just a pie. So we invited some equally geeky friends over and we ate all the pies.

And I do mean all of them.

pies savoryTo start, we had shepherd’s pie, quiche, and PI-zza. Rich made the shepherd’s pie from scratch. I married well. The quiche and pizza came from Costco- and we personalized the pizza with some extra pizza sauce.

Of course, we couldn’t stop there. Savory pies are great, but we needed sweet ones as well.

pies sweetOur guest Becky made not one but 2 of the most amazing apple pies ever- and she had a cute helper.

IMG_4819There’s honey on the crust. Oh it was good. And because she made two, we got leftovers!!

My mom contributed…

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…her amazing chocolate cream pie- a Thanksgiving tradition in our family since I learned about the pie as a grade schooler.

Rich made a meta-pie.

10300077_10205998036292885_2048191328246467106_nHe started with a chocolate chip cookie dough crust, and filled it with ice cream. But that wasn’t all. The ice cream was Lazy Sunday by Ben & Jerry’s– ice cream that contains pieces of cake, and frosting. So, it was a cookie-cake-ice cream-pie.

I even baked. This is a very big deal. I am afraid of my kitchen*, and truly hate preparing food. Eating it? Whole ‘nother story.

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I made butterscotch whoopee pies. I found a recipe online that was easy enough even for me… These were delicious, but very very very sweet. I think eating one all by yourself would give you insta-diabetes.

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Thank goodness this day only comes around once a century, because we might not survive another one!

*I have a whole huge list of kitchen mishaps that have contributed to this actual fear, including second degree burns from ramen noodles, a minor explosion trying to light a pilot light- when my hands were still in the stove, and a stove with electric burners that ended up having an exposed element and dramatically exploding our first day in a new apt when a pot boiled over. Plus, I just HATE cooking.  

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Filed under Food, General Geekery

All of Time and Space

You ever have one of those super quick knits that is oh-so-satisfying, and also makes the recipient very very happy? Today I’m going to show you one of those… because even though I knit as much as I quilt- and sometimes even more- you’d never know it by looking at this blog! So let’s look at yarn. And then stay tuned, because boy do I have a proud mom moment to share.

You may know that I am part of a family of geeky nerds. In fact, hard as it may be to believe, I may be the most mainstream of us all.

Chew on that for a few.

You still there?

This is Annie. My sometimes enchanting, other times maddening 13 year old daughter (is there any other kind?)

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Astute readers might notice the Tardis hat on her head. No, that’s not my handiwork- but it is a good example of her daily wardrobe. If it relates to a time lord or a Marvel character (especially Captain America), she’s probably wearing it.

In late 2014, I learned that KnitPicks had temporarily re-released some of their Felici self striping yarns in some very particular and sought after color ways, including this one.

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It’s called “Time Traveler”, and it references the 4th Doctor‘s trademark scarf. I immediately ordered 8 skeins- enough to make a pair of socks for each member of the family. So glad I did; it sold out very quickly! When it arrived, I remembered that my kids don’t like socks.

D’oh. But Annie DOES like arm warmers. So, with this easy and free pattern by Susan B. Anderson, I whipped her up a pair, in just about a week. They were done and being worn everywhere even before xmas. And they actually only took one skein plus a few yards, so I think I have enough left to make her a matching hat!

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Super cool, eh? She loves em. I love that I made her so happy. And that they are machine washable.

And she was even happier this week- last Friday, we went to see Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Don’t know who he is? Even if you don’t, you probably know one of his most famous moments- he was instrumental in the demotion of Pluto from full planet status.

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The next slide said, “GET OVER IT.” Maybe you had to be there, but it brought the house down.

Last week, he gave 2 sold out lectures here in Denver (2,900 seats in the venue!). My mom bought us the tickets last August- the kids didn’t know until xmas- this was their big gift. (As an aside, can I tell you how happy it makes me that my kids were thrilled to receive tickets to a lecture on astrophysics for xmas??) The man was even more awesome in person than you would think, and after talking for 3 hours with no break, he took questions from the audience.

My Annie wants to be an astronomer. And she really wanted to ask him a question- but she ended up fairly far back in the line. I was worried she’d be so let down if she didn’t get to talk to him- but I needn’t have been. When he announced he could only take a few more questions, the audience and the people ahead of my girl asked them to let the kids go! (There were 2 behind her.) And they did! So, thanks to generous and kind strangers, Annie was able to ask her mentor a question.

I totally broke all the rules, which, if you know me, is a huge deal, and used my phone to record her Q&A. But here’s the thing- how often do you get a chance to ask your living idol a question, in person? (Her dead idol is Alan Turing…) So the video quality is crap as I was dodging and weaving to avoid the very, very conscientious usher who was bent on busting every single camera wielding rule breaker in the room. Want to relive the moment? You can, if so inclined… It is pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. (And if you saw the video on my FB, this is actually the full version with 45 extra seconds…)

PS Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday

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Filed under Annie, Brushes with Greatness, General Geekery, Gift, Kids, Knitting

WIP Wednesday: The Skull is Surrounded (mostly)

The Skull Quilt is growing!

Last week, it looked like this:

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Now, it looks like THIS:

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I got 3 of the 4 surrounding rows done. That would have been ALL of the surrounding rows, except that I ran out of the solid greens, and had to go shopping. And by the time I got home, I was out of time to sew 😦

I am SO happy with how this is turning out! I love this quilt already, even before that final row. Hopefully, I can finish the top this week, and baste it over the weekend. Except for the minor problem that I have NO idea what to use for backing. My budget doesn’t really support more shopping, so, time to get creative.

Do you prefer your backs to be all one fabric, or to piece them out of multiple- or to create blocks and design the back completely?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

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Filed under Baby quilts, General Geekery, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

A Giant Creep(er)

Somehow, I forgot to tell you all about my biggest finish of 2013- actually, the biggest knitted finish of my life to date! What?!

Pinterest made me do it.

Last year I was poking around, and I saw this blanket by Own Two Hands. And I fell in love. So simple and graphic, and sure to make my Henry the happiest kid in the world. He loves Minecraft and would play it all day every day, if only his pesky mom (hi!) didn’t set limits on his computer time… Cuddling with a Creeper blanket would make him so happy.

In September, I went to Michaels and bought a giant batch of their Loops and Threads Impeccable solid yarn. Washable and inexpensive to boot. The best kind of yarn for a project for a smelly 10 year old boy…

And I started knitting. I knit rows instead of individual squares (because the pattern is made up of 100 squares, and that amount of sewing up would have killed me), and I seamed them up as I finished them. (I was afraid otherwise I would end up spending all of Xmas eve seaming like mad…) I made my squares slightly bigger than called for in the original pattern because, um, I can’t remember why.

Slowly, the blanket grew. I only worked on it at home, because it was just too big and too much yarn to carry around with me.

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And a few days before Xmas, I was done.

And so I wrapped it up, and put it under the tree.

I think he liked it.

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Now, it lives on his bed in place of a quilt. When we changed sheets last week, we left of the crazy pile of stuffed animals long enough to get an action shot of the blankie. Here’s the Ravelry link to my project, if you are interested…

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But you know what this means, right?

In the interest of fairness, it’s time to make a new giant project for Annie. Pinterest to the rescue- I’m thinking, a Tardis quilt (bed sized) adapted from THIS beauty.

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Filed under General Geekery, Gift, Henry, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!

Wordless Wednesday: Mythbusters Exhibit

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Henry, Kids, Wordless Wednesday

My Kids are Creep(er)s!

I finished the second hat!

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I made this one downright huge, after the first one turned out so small. I cast on 112 stitches instead of the 90 called for in the pattern, and changed up the decreases and numbers of stripes as well. Annie got a black pompom, as I had significantly more black yarn left.

To prevent another exploding pompom like on the first hat, I splurged on a Clover  pompom maker. It worked quite well, and for the $7 investment, I am totally satisfied.

Hopefully by sharing this next photo, I can discourage Annie from her current favorite photo pose:

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I’m afraid we’re only one small step away from her going full Miley…ugh. Well, not really. She’d never be that bad. But I am getting sick of photos of her sticking out her tongue… Ah, the tweenage years.

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Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Gift, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!