Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lime Booties

My third pair. Jason saw a solid teal fleece in my remnant pile, and I couldn't convince him that one color would be boring. Boring to make, no imagination whatsoever, no photos. He loves them anyway.

This wild lime pair will be a gift for a dear friend...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fleece Booties

for me...

I couldn't believe the amount of fleece that I cut for guests at the Jo-Ann's that I work at...tie blankets, ad nauseum...I think I was the only person in Rockford not making them for Christmas gifts! Nevertheless, I was drawn to a few remnants of the fuzzy-poly stuff...

I had received a pair of booties last year, so I decided to take one apart and make a pattern. Had to put my own spin on it, of course - floral for the sock and polka dots for the rosettes added for that all important embellishment ~

An early birthday gift for myself, or I needed something new for the tootsies.'s just that I needed a diversion from the "hurry up and wait" syndrome that has been my life- I haven't heard the results from my CT scan. I've had a couple more episodes that could be related to more TIAs and I refuse to go to the ER again. The cardiologist's nurse told me, "next time get to the hospital asap." But unless you're gushing blood (well, I'm sure you can fill in the blanks).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quilting Arts Blog

My notebook is on the...
Quilting Arts Blog
What a nice surprise at 2:oo in the morning! Thanks, Pokey...

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

3. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

4. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

5. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

6. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

7. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

7. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

9. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!!!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Notebook no.2 and update

This is no.2 in the series of notebook covers that I have been working on, using the embellisher machine. Starting with a pink printed cotton, I layered strips of hand-dyed velveteen, small pieces of floss, eyelash yarn, bits of silk roving, thread and fabric. To hold all of this together, I laid down some black sparkle tulle on top and placed a few pins on it before putting it under the needles. I added some embroidery stitches, beads and charms for added texture and interest, then fused a pink iridescent silk to the back. I'm pleased...

Update: My appointment this past Friday with the good Icelandic cardiologist proved to be a good thing - I finally feel as though someone has a grasp of what's going on AND what needs to be done to get me feeling better. He took control, listened and responded...we'll schedule a transesophogeal echo to get a more precise picture of what my heart is doing, then a special CT scan of my chest and abdomen (looking for clots) and a carotid ultrasound to rule out blockages there. I'm nervous about the echo because it involves passing a tube down my esophogus and in the past, anything that might interfere with breathing freaks me out. But, I did hear that magic word - sedation...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Encouragement and Creativity

A week or so ago, one of the team members at Jo-Ann's listened as I was talking about wanting a felting machine. She had recently purchased quite a few sewing machines from a local dealer, so he threw in a Babylock Embellisher machine for free. She already had one, so she gave it to me to use as long as I would like. Wow...

Since I've been ill, it's been difficult to go into the studio and work on anything, let alone play with a new toy...
The knitting that I finished has been done on the sofa, or in bed.

Yesterday, I felt a change in my mood...this is due in no small way to the encouragement that I have received from friends, both close by and far away.
Since I haven't worked with one of these machines since IQF-Chicago '07 during my Make It U! gig, I decided to start by playing with a few fabrics and fibers just to see what felts and looks interesting. It was then time for a project. This notebook is attached to a small legal pad, and if you're interested in how to make it, check out Marilyn Scott-Waters' page of downloadable instructions: GIFTS TO MAKE!
Her site also has so many fun paper toys to make -

Since the pattern is for paper, you'll need to think in terms of FABRIC...I started with this beautiful brocade, added some wool felt from the wrong side, and embellished some silk threads and a strip of copper silk on the right side. Did some beading and embroidery, then came the face that I made from a mold and Fimo clay.

Here's what it looks like inside. Since I didn't want the back side of the brocade to show, I just fused some cotton on it and painted some dots on with copper Lumiere. To finish, I added a strip of the brocade inside the back cover on the cardboard and on the opposite end of the strip, added a small piece of velcro so I could close it up. Since the back is just the cardboard from the legal pad, it's so boring, so I'll probably fuse another piece of the brocade on it...

Monday, December 03, 2007

St.Nicholas and other Life Adventures

Yesterday at Emmanuel, St. Nicholas paid a visit to our brunch and had with him a bag of treats for the children. The good bishop (Jason) arrived just in time and thankfully Mom found his beard and wig just in time, too...
Jeff had the honor last year!

Life adventure - illness: back in October, I first posted about being ill and having pneumonia. I surely didn't expect to be on a roller coaster of continued illness almost 2 months later. A few days after finishing an antibiotic, my symptoms of extreme fatigue, night sweats and intermittent chills returned. I was told that the med was still working and that I needed to wait. There's that word - wait - not good when heard from the medical community. Since I have a congenital heart valve defect that only needs to be evaluated every year, they sent me for an echocardiogram to check for endocarditis. No changes from my last one. It's two weeks later now, and it's time for some blood cultures. No bacteria found, but it's difficult to detect after finishing an antibiotic. Elevated white count, still feeling like crap, so let's do another antibiotic. Again, symptoms returned after finishing that med. Let's send her to an infectious diseases specialist. Quick exam, another set of blood cultures taken and no bacteria found. I was angry because of instead speaking with their staff, they left a message that I should follow up with my primary physician. Assertive Julaine now - I called my cardiologist's office and after going through everything that has happened, they said that I need to be evaluated. Appointment this Friday. It can't come too soon for me, as I went to the ER last Thursday with symptoms of a transient ischemic attack. The whole right side of my body suddenly became weak and felt heavy. I had to catch myself from falling. Since whatever causes the blockage is temporary, they won't always see evidence on a CT scan. Probably a pinched nerve in my lower back. I have now written down everything that has been wrong with me. I am counting on getting some answers at my appointment. This has been going on way too long, and I just want my life back and a little energy to go with it - I don't think that's too much to ask ~

While I have been down, the most therapeutic and creative thing I have been working on involved knitting these "showercloths." I know they look like potholders, but teamed up with small bottles of shower gels, they'll be great for quick Christmas gifts this year. I used the Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarns and found that mixing a solid and a variegated yarn looked the best. The first ones were for Jeff, Jason and I - we have been using them and love how they feel on the skin, altough the men would prefer a larger size. I've wrapped the cloths around the shower gels, and tied them up with more yarn. I've made 18 of them and they're ready to go in case I hear, "Mom (or Dear), do you have anything that I could give for a gift?"

The whole experience has made me feel depressed. I used to think that only seniors had problems with not being listened to. Since I haven't been caught up in the medical system that much since my aneurysm surgery 6 years ago, I sure can see the differences in the time they take listening to you and responding.