Monday, May 12, 2008

These shoes are made for walkin'

I have to admit that these are my first pair of walkin' shoes...let me start at the beginning, okay?

A couple of months ago, Jeff started a lifestyle program called the Coronary Health Improvement Project
that is geared toward helping you change your eating habits and get you moving, so you can drop some weight and hopefully alter the amount of cholesterol, hypertension and type 2 diabetes meds that you are taking. Some participants have even gone completely off these meds.

Since he started on the program, he's lost 15 pounds and will be presenting his graduation papers with exciting new lipid, glucose and b/p readings to his doctor this week. We're hoping that the doc will be happy AND encouraging for once. If not, we'll be shopping for a new physician.

I, too, went on the program without going to the classes, and have lost 12 pounds. Finding clothes that I haven't worn in awhile (or never) feels good. It's also funny to watch people's facial expressions when they see you, but can't quite figure out what's changed about you. I just let them wonder, unless they ask...

Jason is embracing these changes too - he understands that what he eats at home is what we're eating. He can choose to eat other stuff when he's with his friends, but even this long-legged dancing machine noticed that he feels better and stronger when he's with the program. He started running a couple of weeks ago, and is getting ready for an audition with the Rockford Dance Company.

Those endorphins do come out of hiding, believe it or not, so if I don't go out walking every day now, I feel it. I haven't joined the early morning crowd yet, so I usually go out late in the afternoon, or in the early evening.

What you eat: lots of veggies and fruit, lots of beans, lots of whole grain products. The program recommends no meat, but we're doing the carnivore thing once or twice a week with fish, chicken, or turkey - no red meat at all. It's amazing how we're not missing or craving it. I've also stopped eating most chocolate because I realized that it was making me irritable, and it takes 3 days to get it out of my system. I do still make my home-made iced mochas with Nestle's chocolate syrup (no added corn syrup) and french roast coffee, however I have been cutting back on those, too...

Now, finally, for the shoes: I've have Chuck Taylor tennies and Ked's basic tennies, but never a pair of honest to goodness athletic shoes. My heels were starting to bother me, so my men gave me these shoes for Mother's Day. I'll be trying them out later today, after finishing the Trinity Banner.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Top Chef Producers

Give me a break, you producers of Top Chef! You know, if you really wanted to surprise us, and be nice at the same time, you could get rid of the Dale chefs on the program. We're used to you keeping the 'pain in the *#s' people around, but c'mon...

Let's see - tantrum after the quick-fire because another chef beat him out with that ugly monkfish fileting and it was clear that a team player he was not during the wedding feast prep. Best of luck Dale running a five-star restaurant on your own, buddy.

So...I've put up with seeing alot of other wonderful chefs having to leave, but this one made me mad!!! I'm done watching this season. Don't care who wins. Nikki, I'll be rooting for you...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Trinity Banner update

I've stitched down the crescent moon shapes, hand, and dove of the banner now, using just a straight stitch. This worked out so well, appliqueing the elements separately before stitching onto the background. It's really adding some wonderful dimension to the piece...and the anxiety level was diminished because I didn't have to satin stitch through all the layers.

I will need to stitch 2 more crosses though - when placing the banner up on the design wall, I realized that 9 was not going to be enough.

So often on work this size (30x45) or larger (read: not always in my comfort zone), I tend to freak just a little. I also get visits from the intuitive muse, where the outcome is usually so much better than my original design. Maybe it's because of the time I allow for these pieces. Maybe it's coming from a deeper spiritual place inside of me. I'm not at the point of gathering beads and other possible embellishments yet, but today I felt that bubble of glee rise up too.

I am bringing it in next Tuesday for a preview with Phyllis from church, who is head of the Altar Guild and commissioned it. It will be in memory of three women who were members of that committee. Nice...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Elements of the Banner

The new banner that I am creating is for Trinity Sunday, May 18th.

The background is a brocade home dec fabric and all the appliques are silk dupioni. I am doing something different this time as far as the appliqueing goes. To start with, I did all the quilting on the 30x45 inch banner first. For the elements, I wanted to add more dimension, so I appliqued them onto batting with muslin underneath, basically stitching them separate from the base of the banner. When I finished doing the stitching, I put some fusing on the back, and then carefully cut around the edges leaving some of the batting showing. This made the appliques "pop" out very nicely, and on some of the elements, like a dove and the hand, I'll be embroidering design lines on them. The other elements are 9 purple crosses. I know where everything is going, but I'm still working out how I'll secure them to the banner after I fuse them down...

There will also be words: "In the Name of the Creator - In the Name of the Redeemer - In the Name of the Holy Spirit."

After chatting with art-friend Bobbie today, I have realized now that the copper silk for the hand is a bit dark, so I have since painted it with gold Lumiere paint, but left the copper threads along the edges alone.

I'll keep you posted as the deadline approaches...

Note: I tried the bamboo/cotton batting for the first time on this project, and I like it. When doing any hand stitching, it doesn't beard as much as other all cotton batting.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Sue V...congratulations!

Hey, Sue V. - you were my 10,000th visitor - CONGRATULATIONS!!! Just let me know how to contact you by e-mail -

Thanks to everyone who stopped by - let's do it again when there's another milestone...