Monday, October 24, 2011

Mama Hen and Chicks

First Mama hen we've ever had successfully hatch a batch of chickies!
We are totally tickled about it.

"Mama Hen" is in the vocabulary but how often do we get a chance to see one? An ordinary fluffy bird turns into an overprotective war machine. Most of the time you can't even see the little fluffballs because they're under her wings.
When I went out to fill up the feeder she tried to go for my legs-- neither of us were too sure what she was going to do, but by gum, she was gonna do it fiercely :-)

Ha! Score one for the big lady!!!

Started New QAYG Project

Yesterday being Sunday, I felt I couldn't sew on my Favorite Fabrics quilt-- since now that my bed desperately needs it since all the other quilts have fallen apart-- it falls under WORK!
So I started something new for fun :-)

I had a pile of 4" squares I've been accumulating. Some time previous I arranged some of them in groups of 4 and 5 coordinating to make blocks, and made them into a QAYG project using lighter tones for the backing and sashing... but then I ended up hating it and picked out the couple blocks I had made. Lighter color strips between blocks just didn't work. It'll have to be black or some strong tone.

I had this largish Mary Engelbreit piece that a friend gave me, with moons, sunflowers etc. It's a bit busy but dark enough to serve as the framing. I carved up the whole piece into backing pieces and got twenty of them. The last two had to be patched together, but I thought a 4 x 5 block quilt would be better than 3 x 6.

The 4" squares when sewn into nine-patch blocks come out 10-3/4", so I cut the backing 12-3/4"

I asked Andrea to sort the squares into groups of 4 and 5 that go together harmoniously. Now I have all the sets together in little piles ready to go together.

I'm eager to get started on this!

The pics here show the blocks I had used last time and picked out. You can still see where the quilting was.

PS, I'm not having fun with Blogger right now. They wanted me to try the new interface, so I did, but it's obviously not optimized for those poor losers who still have dialup, so I switched back. But they switched me back to a version older than I'd had before, where I can't even resize the pictures.
So I updated again, hoping to just live with it...
But with the new version, I hit "Publish" and nothing happens! (And it doesn't publish)
I tried "Save" and finally "Close" and it told me I had unsaved changes...
I tried reporting the problem, filled out the feedback form and it says "Oops! Something went wrong!" So even the feedback form to report my error is malfunctioning!
Well, I'm back in the ancient version, let's see if this at least publishes. The pics aren't the way I wanted them and I can't figure out how to make them larger in the code. Phooey.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Link to a Dollz Making Site

Check out Doll Divine,
Some really cool flash dollz there, and they're savable for playing offline!
Here's examples from the Princess Maker and Pegasus Maker.
Some are lame; check out the "Most Popular" list to find the good ones.
The Marie Antoinette one is very detailed, beautiful and adorable! And, apparently, historically accurate too :-)

I made the princess with the greeny-blue dress and the tree.

Here's one from the Angel Maker

And I don't know which maker this was. I found them in Karen's folder :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why I ditched Bluehost and went to Dreamhost

I've been slightly miffed at Bluehost ever since I started with them.  I was having some kind of casual day when I signed up and I gave them my real phone number.  And they CALLED it-- why?  Just to verify that it was the right one!  That was so irritating.  What does my hosting need my real phone number for?  It was just more of this verification (read denial of privacy) that's so fashionable these days.

And what if it hadn't been my real number?  It usually isn't.  And what if it wasn't?  Would the money they got off my Visa card not be green any more and I'm gonna have to do without the privilege of being their customer?

Earlier this year I even renewed my hosting with them for another three years, more out of laziness than anything else.

I got a free domain with the Bluehost hosting.  I wasn't doing anything with it, it was just floating along above my other domains.  At some point I noticed they had changed the Whois records on it from the sketchy yet true information I had put, to something about Bluehost privacy service.

I figured maybe they were taking a page from Dreamhost's book.  Dreamhost adds privacy to domains at no charge, and says, "Why should we charge customers for something that doesn't cost us anything?"

Although I can't say I was thrilled that Bluehost applied it without asking me.  That's my domain, not theirs!  They don't have the right to changed the registration info without my approval.  What if I hadn't wanted privacy?

Then I get this delightful email from Bluehost:  "DOMAIN PRIVACY HAS EXPIRED"  It was seven in the evening, I was in a hurry, and I only glanced quickly down the email, to: "This information will then be viewable to the public in the WHOIS database and may put your personal privacy at risk. The following is your private information which is currently masked," and they had my name, address and phone number AS IT APPEARS ON MY BILL.  Which was a LOT more information than I had previously had in the WHOIS database!

I replied to it:

Thanks a BUNCH you buttheads. You changed what I had up there before, took it upon YOURSELF to privatize it without even asking me and now you put my PHYSICAL HOME ADDRESS on the INTERNET all this without my permission. I officially hate you and I'll be cancelling as soon as I can transfer all my stuff off. For pity's sake you could have at least WARNED ME!!!!!!!! That the "free privacy" you put on there without asking me was going to expire! You SUCK!

Yes, a little stronger than usual from me  :-)

I was already busy and had to run, but that stayed on my mind, as just another annoying item added to my to-do list when I really don't need any more items added.

Oh yes, of course I read the fine print more slowly the next day. They were only threatening to turn privacy off in the next 14 days if I didn't ante up for another years' worth of this "service", and it did say "your domain name will return to showing the information you previously entered," rather than the billing address they put at the top of the email.

So, is that my fault for skimming my email too fast?   I think not.  Someone in marketing sent it that way on purpose.  It was designed to make people pay the $15 rather than fuss with another item on their to-do list, and phooey on THAT.

Being ticked off about a small matter that is within my power to change is a great motivator. I was over at Dreamhost instantly. I already have some domains there, attracted by the free privacy and the overall coolth. Dreamhost is laid back. They tolerate privacy freaks, even cater to them. Their TOS say they'll wait for an actual court order before they delete your stuff, not just some scary-looking letter from a lawyer. Last April 1st they sent a newsletter around saying they were outsourcing their tech support to India. I was alarmed about that for a few minutes too, though nothing to the above extent-- April Fools!

Dreamhost is $10 a month, an unfortunate $3 more a month than I was paying with Bluehost. I emailed Dreamhost asking when they were going to do the fantastic one-year hosting sale again (and explained my problem by name) and was told that the sale is on most major holidays-- and right now! That's right, he gave me the huge discount, just to be nice. With the discount applied, I'm set up for the next three years at the same price Bluehost would have been for three years. Starting year four it'll be more expensive, but if TEOTWAWKI hasn't happened by then, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, despite being a cheapskate I'm often willing to pay to support something or someone admirable, and Dreamhost deserves to live long and prosper.

But now I had to switch all my domains to new hosting and on dialup that's no small or laughing matter!  I've been connected all night just letting it all crank away.  It's all done by now and I take a moment to tell you about it :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Leaf Glass

Got it at the thrift shop, and I just love it! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Unsupervised Cake Decorating

She asked for fondant, that stuff you can roll or mold. It's basically Play-Doh for cakes. I bought a package at the nearest retailer, Wilton brand, as it happened; then, when I went looking online for instructions, I found everybody saying DO NOT BUY WILTON. And they were right, the stuff tastes awful! I wouldn't taste it, the smell was bad enough. I think at least a few of the kids had a nibble before spitting it out. It wasn't gone rancid or anything, it was just yucky and had intense chemicals.
So they had fun playing with the cake-Play-Doh, then they scraped it all off before cutting.
Don't you think we could have just used Play-Doh?

Here's the actual cream cheese frosting. It was delicious!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Barbie Modelmuse Pattern Progress

I love this picture, it's so dramatic  :-)
Here's the progress on the next strapless Barbie bodice pattern!

Garb Progress, Sept-Oct

Okay, here's what I'm working on.  Here's another old sheet testing the shape of the sleeves.  They're not very flattering, but they're about what I had in mind as far as the narrow fit, so I'm gonna go with this.  I don't like the wrinkles at the top, but I like sleeves that are built to be mobile.  Since childhood I've disliked sleeves that are fitted for having one's arms down at the side and there's a pulling sensation when the arms are lifted.  This sleeve's the opposite! 

Another picture of me in my nightie, for the internet :-)
I've got some actual LINEN, and it's such a gorgeous shade! I washed and dried it, and it came out just wonderful. Now I'm too scared to cut into it.

(How about that dramatic-looking wound on the arm? That's only a bit of primer where I reached past a painted corner, and it was already dry when I noticed. I tried scraping it off with my fingernail. Just a bit more and I'd've made myself bleed, yet the paint was still there. They were right about the stuff bonding to the surface, eh?)

So I made my first real test out of some content-unknown fabric I picked up on the clearance table.
But I like how this came out-- I like this A LOT. I think it looks medieval and it feels medieval. I've just got to decorate it, sleeve and neck trim, and it'll look really cool.
(It's poufy because I'm wearing the patchwork dress under it!) 
Maybe it FEELS so medieval because of the great amount of extra fabric "puddled" on the floor! In the old statues the noble ladies always have their extra skirt fabric piled artistically over their shoes. But mine's because I cut the gores much too long, and that will be trimmed.