Friday, August 29, 2008

Predictably Irrational

When I took my first economics class, one of the first things they taught us the laws of supply and demand. I just didn't get it. I didn't really believe that that is how economics worked. I was willing to accept it as a theory for purposes of the rest of the lessons, and over time, I just let it go without actually trying to delve into a better theory. I eventually switched my major from business to psychology. Even classes such as organizational behavior rubbed me the wrong way.

Now I learn that there is a new (to me) field of research called behavioral economics, and it makes so much sense. People don't analyze the costs and benefits of doing things, and don't always pick the things that would yield the best results if they did.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely tells us about "the hidden forces that shape our decisions". This book, which I have finished reading, explains that people do things that are irrational, and that those irrational acts are predictable. It is written for the common person and my cover says that this book is a New York Times Best Seller. He is a professor who has conducted many experiments to see how people act in different situations, and come up with conclusions that you would not normally expect. This is the kind of stuff I imaged doing when I was a college student.

I highly recommend this book. I should make a list of these lessons so I remember them when the appropriate time comes, so I can act a little less irrationally.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Done and Done

You will be astounded when I announce that I am finished with the cleaning. It was much easier than I expected. Apparently I did a good job of keeping my cleaning projects small and manageable. The party went very well.

I am also finished with the birthday quilt. I am very happy with it. I was able to free motion quilt a swirly design in the center, and some wavy lines on the border. The recipient really likes batiks, so I added quarter circles in each corner, along with some beads to keep them down. I also added lots of beads all around the flange. I sewed the binding diagonally - I usually sew straight across - and was very happy with that decision because the seam was very close to the mitered corner. I'll have to do them diagonally from now on.

Here's the whole thing on my clean dining table.




Friday, August 22, 2008

Volunteering on the High Road

I told you I was fall cleaning. This means I am digging things out of corners and under things and in closets and refrigerators, and putting them on any flat surface out of those hiding spaces, hoping to find good homes for everything - either in my house, in the trash can, or in my donation boxes. Some places look better, but some things look worse, at least in a temporary state.

Remember that birthday party I was invited to? The one on Sunday? Guess who volunteered to have it at her house! And then realized that Sunday would be the day after tomorrow.

The hostess called me and said "I heard you volunteered to clean your house." Yikes! I volunteered to have a party, not clean! LOL

Now I have to work doubletime to get this place looking like someone can actually live here. If people aren't impressed at my speed cleaning skills on Sunday, they aren't worthy.

The picture is a year old but it is timeless.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Introduction

It has come to my attention that I just jumped into this blog, and didn't take the time to introduce myself. That's how I am in real life - I'm really not good with hellos and goodbyes. Besides, I feel like I have known you forever.

What do you want to know?

I've been reading many blogs, maybe even yours, on a regular basis for a couple of years, so I feel like I walked into a group of friends. I was writing in another blog, so you may already know me from there.

I've been sewing and quilting forever, and I have dabbled in a few other crafts as well.

I work on several projects at a time, and have to struggle to finish a project, just because there are so many beautiful new projects I can start.

I have a medium size stash, although it is scattered in several different places, so it looks small. I am trying to reduce this amount by shopping the stash whenever I start a new project, and by avoiding quilt and fabric stores as much as possible. Fabric does tend to walk into my house though, especially this year. It's lovely fabric, and I just didn't have the heart to reject it.

I don't know how to define my quilting style. I just do whatever tickles my fancy at the moment. I've made very traditional quilts, and some things that might fit into the art quilt category. Sometimes I follow patterns, sometimes I adapt them, and sometimes I come up with my own.

I enjoy reading blogs and I get lots of inspiration from them. I also enjoy writing posts and reading your comments.

Feel free to drop in anytime!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Productive Sewing

I have been watching the Olympics, and feeling very lazy. All these athletes have dedicated so much time training and are working so hard to compete, and I am sitting here watching them. And then the announcers keep saying the word "finish" over and over again. Like they are taunting me to finish a project or two. I haven't ever finished a project during the Olympics, but it seems like a pretty good goal to me. There is no way I am getting on a high bar or in a swimming pool without risking serious injury.

This morning, I decided that the athletes can compete without me, and I will work on my own goal.

Paula said she had a productive day of sewing, and so have I. As promised, I started with some blue and white star blocks. I took out a project that has been patiently waiting a few weeks. I hadn't pressed them, and even though the weather is cooler now, it still seems too hot to be pressing blocks. What I have done on them looks wonderful so far.

Then I got an invite to a birthday party, and that changed the priorities around a bit.

I set aside my freshly pressed blue and white blocks and am instead working on something in a completely different colorway. The top was already made, and I wanted to quilt and embellish it. I have random success with free motion quilting, and today it worked. The stitches went where they were supposed to, and the ideas about what to stitch came easily. The quilting is now finished. I will embellish and bind it, and show you when I am finished.

Right now, my blog looks like a sitting room, where you have to sit carefully on the sofa and tuck your legs under daintily and worry about needing a coaster for your drink. I think the picture I will show you this week will add a sort of homey touch to the blog. You'll feel more comfortable, more able to put your feet on the coffee table and relax a bit.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blue and White

This blog looks so clean and clutter free that I am hesitant to clutter it up with fabric scraps and clashing colors!

I have decided to work with blue and white fabric to keep the theme going for at least a little while. Dot has made some blue and white stars, and I thought I would start with that. I also want to make some nautical type blocks - boats, lighthouse, fish, etc.

I haven't done any of that, mind you, but I think that having a plan might actually help get some quilting action on this blog.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Things That Make Me Happy


I am really enjoying living on the high road. Thank you for visiting me here.






Sunshine

Green grass

Blue skies

Clean house (parts are clean)

Potential

Freedom

Blogging friends

Health

Library

The urge to move on and move forward

Appliances

Stores

Transportation

Pursuit of Happiness

While the Olympians complain about their second place finishes, I will wallow in my process and progress, no matter where I place.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fall Cleaning

The weather is getting cooler, and school is about to begin. This is causing a change in my interests. My priority system has changed - things I wanted to do before are not things I want to do now.

I am doing some fall cleaning, and trying to get rid of things I no longer need. I haven't felt much like quilting lately, and I suppose my house will be better now for the cleaning, and a clean house will give me more time for quilting when I do get in that mood.

Don't worry, this mood never lasts long, and before long I will be showing you more cut up pieces of fabric, and hopefully a finished quilt or two.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome to the High Road


I received this the Four Season Quilt Swap from my partner Tracey. It is bright and cheerful and a very happy quilt, and I was grateful to receive this drop of sunshine at this time in my life. She also sent cards that she made herself. If you follow her blog, she shows you how she made them, and I am honored to be a recipient of the cards and therefore a part of the story. Thank you very much Tracey!