Facebook Arguments

31 10 2009

I’ve been invited to join Facebook.

I can’t decide if I should or not.

So, all you Facebook-ers out there, what do you say? Is it worth it? Will I waste too much time on it? Will I feel bad rejecting someone (virtually) if I really don’t want to be their friend?

I already spend a lot of time online, what with blogging and Merriam-Webster’s word games. Not to mention library stuff, Goodreads stuff, and research stuff. Oh, and email (although someone sent me an article [via email] that said email is on its way out).

How much time do you spend on Facebook? Will my blog wither and die–if not from neglect, then from jealousy?

Please advise.

Journal Dive: 30 January 2003

30 10 2009

(At the very top of this page, seemingly unconnected with, well, anything, is this:)

There’s just something about bias plaid.

(Food for thought today. Then there’s a “Visitor” sticker/nametag stuck on the page. Now, the actual entry.)

30 January 2003

I’m sitting by Angelie, again, but this time it’s for Relief Society. She’s so hilarious. I hope she doesn’t make me be irreverent. It’s a concert sort of thing. The nice thing is, you can’t read a book in a concert without seeming rude. But if you write, everyone just thinks “Oh, she’s taking notes. She must be really spiritual.”

[Six pictures are drawn in right here, of a shoe, two people, a chapel light fixture, and a couple of other things.]

their last song was the best. that’s how it should be.

Beware the Blender

25 10 2009

I was pureeing the stock for some chicken noodle soup this evening (we’re feeling sickly ’round here), and overfilled the blender.

Bad bit of judgement on my part, especially considering the recently boiling temperature.


You’d think after using a blender for 20 years, I’d know how to do it without injuring myself.

Journal Dive: June 28, 1990 (or 1989)

23 10 2009

In my first journal, I wasn’t very consistent (meaning I never did it) in writing down the year when I dated my entries. Apparently, I thought I would never forget the great year 1990 (or 1989) . It’s kind of a shame that I’m typing this out, since the handwriting is one of the best parts. I even used upside-down triangles with dots underneath for exclamation points; as you’ll soon see, I was quite fond of using them. Here’s a peek into my 13 (or 12) year-old brain:


June 28

I missed a couple of days [writing] because I was at Sarah’s.

We went to the sand dunes a couple of days ago. It was fun. We rode 4 wheelers. They brought 6 of them. The dunes were HUGE! It was a blast.

That night I stayed at Sarah and Emily’s house. So did Kathleen, Jeanette, Jennifer, and Kim. It was fun.

Then Kathleen and Jeanette went to their other grandma’s to stay.

We rode in the hayfeilds on the 4 wheelers turning bails. If the bail was turned wrong, we’d turn it so it was sitting up straight.

The next day (today) we turned bails again. I burned my leg on the muffler or radiator or something. It’s in 3 stripes like this on my knee:

[expertly drawn picture of three diagonal stripes]

It hurt dang bad. Then I rode back with Uncle Carl because he had to go to court for something.

Heidi’s back early! I was SO happy! Now she can meet Kathleen and Jeanette! Well, we went to a camp meeting. I’m president of the log decorating contest. We have a mtg. Sat. at 3.

Heidi came home with us and she stayed ’til about 9:30. It was fun. We played on the swings with Elizabeth when she came. Then Heidi left, and we made a play about a girl who falls in a hole and comes out and makes friends with elves. Then the wicked witch comes and gets mad. Then the good fairy gives Alison magic gloves that help the elves and herself turn the witch into stone. Then Alison goes home. It was pretty good. I love doing plays! They’re so fun!


 I kept all the original spellings, just in case you were wondering if I know how to spell “hayfield” and “bales” correctly. I do. (Now.) I don’t even know if I should comment about how ‘fun’ my life was, how much being the log decorating president changed my life, and how the favored name ‘Traci’ got replaced with ‘Alison’. I will resist, and let the journal speak for itself.

Wasn’t this fun?

A long-winded, parentheses-filled post about sewing

21 10 2009

Once upon a time, I was in 4-H to learn how to sew. (A special 4-H post has been brewing for awhile. Stay tuned!)

After exhibiting at the fair (I got a blue ribbon!), I used the rest of my skirt fabric–a geometric print with hot pink, turquoise, and black shapes and slashes on a white background–to make a bag.

I’m thinking I was in 4th or 5th grade at the time. Everyone had a bag like this:


Except for me. (Whatever happened to Esprit, anyway? And Guess?? [I put two question marks in there because one of them is part of the title.] Gone the way of Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, I suppose.)

I thought to myself, “I can sew. I can make a cool bag that will almost be as good as Esprit.”

Well, let’s just say that began a long line of sewing visualizations falling short of the actual reality. (The bag was, however, the only thing I made that ever caused me physical harm. I’ve already used parentheses too often in this post, though, so I’ll save it for the future with 4-H.)

Bags are so handy that I can’t seem to get away from them. Twenty some-odd years later, I’m still making bags. Here are two I made for a raffle tonight at my kids’ school:



(Psst. They’ve also got books inside! Please buy a ticket!) (Actually, I don’t know if I’ll even get this post finished before tonight, and I don’t think anyone who is going to be there also reads my blog. Apparently, I’m just going for the most-parenthetical-statements-in-a-single-blog-post record.)

My visions are more closely aligned with the finished products nowadays. Not always, but more often.

This next is probably my favorite bag, though. From this shirt:


(that I wore for my sophomore school picture),

I made this bag for Eden’s piano books:


I am amazed at how gigantic those denim shirts are. Anyway, its second life is a happy one.

I’d been happily sewing, making aprons and bags and Halloween costumes, when one day I saw a show.

I don’t watch much tv. There isn’t really time for it in my schedule, and when there is time I’d rather be reading a book. That’s just the way I am.

But one morning, early, my walking partner bailed on me (see–she does it sometimes, too! Just not nearly as much as I do . . .), so I thought I’d see if they had any Pilates workouts “On Demand” (which is something the cable company does for those of us who don’t have Tivo or DVRs) because I’ve always wondered what Pilates is. I found the fitness section (where there was no Pilates to be found) and while trying to decide between a 3 minute ab workout and a 12 minute ab workout, a preview came on.


For this:




Three minutes later, I watched my first Project Runway Episode.

Ten minutes later, I was completely hooked.


Probably only my mom knows this, but I used to want to be a fashion designer.


I had a Kimberly doll (I really wanted a picture of her in her red-and-white roller skates, but I couldn’t find one) that I would dress up for hours on end, using fabric scraps to make new clothes for her. Of course, I actually stuck the fabric into her body by pulling her arms out of their sockets and tucking it in instead of sewing the clothes, but it was still designing! I swear it was!


So Me + Project Runway = an insane obsession that has brought up a lot of my childhood aspirations.


I have watched (and waited, impatiently, for Thursdays) every episode this season. I have ordered past seasons and have watched three of them already on Netflix. Some of it is a little creepy, and a lot of the designers are full of drama and bad language. Still, I love it.

I love it for many reasons.

Especially when I started noticing this Heidi:


Looks a lot like my Heidi:


(Note the similarities, despite one being a professional picture I stole off a search engine and one being a picture of a picture taken in high school: the lovely brown eyes, the beautiful high cheek bones, the beguiling triangle smile. Heidi, you’re a dead ringer!)

So, where am I going with this? Well.

After 20 + years of making bags, I’m starting to make clothes.

And not just for my kids, either.


For myself.


That’s huge, especially if you are me and have an irrational fear of looking like you are wearing something homemade. I’m making a dress right now. If it isn’t too embarrassing, I’ll post a photo when it’s done. (If it is too embarrassing, I’ll give it to Goodwill and no one will ever know I made it. Deal?)

I think I’ll ask for a dress form for Christmas.

Journal Dive: 6 July 2004

16 10 2009

I’ve decided to add a new “feature” on Fridays. I’ve kept a journal for years, so I thought it would be kind of fun to share a few select entries. It’s interesting to me how I seem to continually come back to the same themes in my journals. Either certain subjects fascinate me, or God is trying to teach me something and I haven’t gotten it yet.

In this particular instance, I had woken up before my alarm and thought, “I need to write that down!” Anyway, I stumbled across it several weeks ago and thought how it fit with my Enough post and a lot of other things I’ve been thinking lately.



6 July 2004, 5:51 am

What drives human beings?

The need to be loved for the real person inside–with no pretending you’re someone or something else. The need to say, “This is me.” And for the answer to be, “I love you.”

So often we do things to look good, hope for some form of acceptance from others to validate us–to tell us that because we look good, we are good. Or maybe not even that. We think that maybe by looking good people will like us or will think we’re good inside. It’s such a basic, aching need: to be accepted. And though we’d like to be accepted for who we really are, we’re often plagued by thoughts of inadequacy. Ironically, we change ourselves in order to be accepted, when, in fact, that really means the only acceptance we receive is for this fake self. So we keep up the facade–being someone else in order for that someone else to be accepted and loved by others.

I suppose it’s the ultimate in self-actualization to be able to finally say, “God loves me, and that is enough.”

But you have to truly mean it, of course. Just saying it doesn’t make it true in your heart.

Along with that, being able to accept others–faults and all–can help them in their own self-actualization process. When other people love and accept us, it’s easier for us to believe that God does, too. It shouldn’t be based on that, though. A lot of problems in relationships can be breached by simple honestly. Too often we cloak our meaning in subtlety or even politeness or convention. Honesty need not always be brutal, however. If we could figure out how to be tactful but truthful at the same time, well, then we’d be getting somewhere. “Wow, there really are a lot of different tastes in this world. I don’t like that painting at all.”

Hmm. Even in writing imaginary scenarios I’m having a tough time. But there’s got to be a way.



A couple of things I find funny now: self-actualization? Was I reading some pop-psychology book or did I come up with that on my own? Either way, I’ve never spoken the words ‘self-actualization’ in my life. Funny how easy it is to be like that in a journal.

Writing a scenario? (and why is it I like the word ‘scenario’ so much?) I don’t do that often in my journals anymore.

What I like most about this is that second paragraph.

“This is me.”

“I love you.”

I think I’m finally starting to get it.


Not So Spectacular

13 10 2009

So . . .

Rainbow did something good today at school and brought home a sticker.

It was red and white striped and smelled like peppermint.

It said, “Spectacular!” in exciting writing across it.

And somehow it ended up on my bum.

Mini Tutorial

12 10 2009

I think it was my cousin who asked for instructions on making the birthday flags. I didn’t take any pictures while I was making it, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

First, pick some fabric or use scraps. Felt would work great because it doesn’t fray. I used flannel, but if you do that you’ll want to cut it with some sort of pinking shears. I found two prints that had the same color palette, then bought four solids that coordinated with those.

I think I bought 1/4 yard of each of the solids, and 1/2 yard each of the prints. Or maybe it was a yard. Anyway, I used my killer math skills to figure out how to get the most triangles out of each piece of fabric, then used a rotary cutter (with a pinking blade) and a drawing triangle to cut them out.

I used white, extra-wide, double fold bias tape to bind them together. I set the triangles out in a pattern (using two triangles back-to-back for the prints) then stuck them to the top of the bias tape. I folded it back over, then sewed along the edge, stopping to add another triangle after each.

There you go: an easy-sew birthday pennant.


Coming soon: my recent sewing obsession and from whence it stems. (Does that sentence make you laugh? It does me. Seriously, though, how often does a person get to use the word “whence”?)

We Have a Weiner!

8 10 2009

I realized last night that it had been about a week, and I needed to draw a number for my pennant give away.

[Insert drumroll here]

And the winner is . . .




General Conference Art

7 10 2009


Eden and I made some General Conference Trading Cards. (Name those General Authorities!)


 Zack was kind enough to label his.


And lastly, just a random photo of Colby and Stinky the “binky”.

I’m off to northern Washington tomorrow for a couple of days to attend a writers’ retreat. I can’t wait!