06 February 2017

It's not Monster Mash

by Cecily
I've been making a lot more of these ridiculous monsters.
I'm learning a lot of things about which kinds of fake fur are the most annoying to sew with, and which kinds of eyes are the cutest, and how to make teeth. Et cetera. Also I am fiddling around with some different patterns, trying to figure out a few that work consistently and don't make me too crazy.

It took me a while to realize that I have been singing this blast from the past to myself regularly for a few weeks. Pretty much since I started working on the patterns, actually.

Huh. That's weird. I wonder why?

02 February 2017

Metaphorical interpretation is left as an exercise for the reader

by Cecily
Here's what I've learned from having a [mysterious, undiagnosed] debilitating chronic illness: When you have a system that's in failure, and you don't know what's wrong with it, you have to keep going. You have to keep trying to fix it, even though you lose hope, each time, that a new remedy will have any effect. You have to keep making plans for next week even though you might be too sick to show up. You have to pretend, to everyone else and to yourself, that there is a possibility that things will get better. You have to pretend to believe that someday soon somebody is going to identify the source of the problem and they will know how to fix it and your insurance will pay for the fixing and everything will go back to normal. You have to keep behaving like you believe this, even when you're sure it's just going to get worse and worse. You have to say to yourself "if there WERE a possibility that things would get better, what would I need to be doing with my time?" And then you keep going to see more doctors, and you keep trying new cures, and you keep alleviating the symptoms as much as you can, and you keep behaving as though you believe there is a chance  that it will get better soon. You have to, because no matter how doomed and hopeless you think the situation is, what if you're wrong?

13 January 2017

Happy New Year!

by Cecily
I waited two weeks before posting a Happy New Year post because I didn't want MY post to get lost in the ocean of Happy New Year posts I know everyone nearly drowned in. That and also I didn't think of it until just now. Here we are anyway! Good job surviving the holidays, everyone.

New year, new state: Montana. Which isn't actually a new state, or even new to me. Gently used, though. In far better shape than your average state. I'll take it!

I tried to go to Portland this week, but, having neglected to sufficiently appease the weather gods with burnt (or other) offerings, I only made it halfway. I lazed around my aunt and uncle's house in Kennewick and read all their books and drank all their wine, all week, and then finally gave up and drove back to Missoula today. I'll try again in February.

Meanwhile, I arrived home to an even larger pile of fake fur and glitter than I left behind me, so I have some work to do.

08 October 2016

Double gauze baby quilt

by Cecily
I tried really hard to think of a double dactyl to write about quilts, or quilting, or fabric, but it didn't happen. I'm sorry.

21 August 2016

Tiny Circus

by Cecily
The giraffe is about an inch tall.

05 August 2016

I finished making some things.

by Cecily
1. That quilt I just made the fancy gif about:

2. Some ridiculous(ly) fancy soft blocks:

Baby presents!

31 July 2016

More circles

by Cecily
It's not done yet. Also I don't really know how to make gifs.


13 July 2016

Hearing people are such crybabies

by Cecily
"It's too loud! Tell me later!" Yeah, trying to have a conversation using spoken language when you can barely hear anything is a lot of work. Suck it up, whiners. Pay closer attention! Use more of your energy trying to figure out what words might make sense there! Think harder about cues like facial expressions and prosody! WORK HARDER, you spoiled, lazy brats! Oh, I'm sorry, are you tired? Does the baby need a nap?

I swear I'm a nice person most of the time.

27 June 2016

The cathedrals of our time

by Cecily
Texas is real serious about its highways and interchanges. I knew this, of course, from having studied the very informative documentary David Byrne made about this state years ago. However, as is the case with other sorts of cathedrals from other times, actually visiting the highways in person is a very different experience than just looking at pictures.

Not that the pictures are anything to be sneezed at, either.

I will admit that driving under and/or over them has its own brand of numinosity.

The system of frontage roads is also at a highly advanced level. There's a learning curve. I'm on it.

"Well, I suppose these freeways made this town and a lot of others like it possible.  'They're the cathedrals of our time,' someone said.  Not me."

15 June 2016

Lies the children tell us

by Cecily
Seven: "That's not what I said!" (alternate version: "You didn't let me finish!") On being told that she said something mistaken, incomplete, or incorrect.

Five: "It was an accident!" Response to being reprimanded for kicking, hitting, punching, biting, or throwing whatever object or sibling got in his way.

Three: "I already did!" About whatever you have just asked her to do, with doe-like eyes and a blatant disregard for colorability.

One: "All done!"  Every single night, at dinner, right before angrily demanding more food. How dare we try to take away his plate! It is an outrageous insult, and he cannot fathom why it keeps happening.

13 June 2016


by Cecily
I've been starting a bunch of projects and thinking about another bunch of different projects, but I haven't actually completed anything in a while, or taken any interesting pictures of anything, or thought about any interesting ideas that I feel like sharing.

Instead of completing things I've just been sort of reading and making dinner and petting the cats and mending/altering things.  And swimming in the river. And sleeping. My life is very hard.

Here's what I've been reading:
1. Detective stories. As usual. Margery Allingham, currently, and before that Edmund Crispin.
2. The Count of Monte Cristo. This is such a great story if you sort of let your eyes glaze over during the long boring descriptions of things and skip forward to where the revenge starts up again. I am constantly forgetting about it and then remembering it and binge reading the whole thing.
3. Bring Up the Bodies. I've been reading this (the sequel to Wolf Hall) for 8 or 9 months now. For some reason I cannot keep it up for more than an hour or so every... well, month, I guess. Then I have to re-read a bunch because I forgot what was happening before.
4. Kelly Link.  (this one.) The creepiest story, Catskin, is where Small got her name.

Here's what I've been mending/altering:
1. shirts
2. Batman outfits
3. disintigrating flaxseed pillows
4. paper boxes
5. Abe's quilt

Here's what I've been making for dinner: Rice noodles and roast pork. Even the 7-year-old eats it! Highly recommended.

23 May 2016

Quilts of Recent Years: an incomplete catalogue

by Cecily
Remember those prism quilts I was making before?

I made some more of those.

Then I made some baby quilts out of a lot of squares:


And some bigger quilts with squares and rectangles and birds*:

And now I'm working on some circles.

*I've been using a lot of shot cottons**, which are super fantastically nice to look at and super fantastically difficult to photograph. Light quality and postproduction aside, even. The two bird quilts use almost exclusively the same fabric palette but you'd never know from the pictures.

Here's a 9-square piece of an unfinished project.

That's four photos of the same piece, which is made out of 9 squares of the same fabric. (Galvenized Sandstone is the name of it. I'm going to make myself a duvet cover out of this eventually.)

**Mainly these. Also now I have a notebook full of carefully curated shot cotton scraps, with warps and wefts exposed, because I kept accidentally ordering more of the wrong thing.

So if you need help selecting exactly the right shot cotton for whatever you're doing today, I'm your man.

17 May 2016


by Cecily
The three-year-old has a bunch of little Disney princess dolls with weird rigid snap-on dresses. (Actually I think most of them are actually the seven-year-old's dolls, but Three is the one who plays with them.) They're about three inches high and all have the same identical creepy Disney/Barbie bodies and poses, but whatever. The kids like them.

So, I made a castle for the princesses to live in, for a birthday present for the three-year-old. It started out a relatively low-key papier-mache thing and turned into a big elaborate production, but I'm not sorry.

I made balconies out of toothpicks and hot glue and nail polish, and turrets out of oatmeal containers. There are assorted types of paint and wallpaper and tapestry on all the walls. There is a lot of glitter and pearlizing medium and sparkle tape and swirly decorative border action.

It's tougher than it looks, thanks to millions of layers of glue, and it's getting a decent amount of play time.  The princesses have to share it with some ninjas (turtle and other) and Star Wars guys, but they seem to be coexisting peacefully so far.

I'm pretty pleased with myself, overall, and Jamaal only rolled his eyes and groaned a little bit about how much space it is taking up in the back room. Whatever. At least I didn't make a kid-sized one like last time.

11 May 2016

Platonic salience

by Cecily
Here's an art project of which I approve: Guy got random people to draw bikes. Just, like, a sketch on a bar napkin or what-have-you. It turns out people don't really think about what things look like, so they are pretty bad at this task, and the drawings are amusing.  They mostly include handlebars and seats and wheels and pedals, but they mostly aren't connected up in a very functional way.

THEN, the guy built the bikes.

It's so pretty! And not right at all! Like so many things in my life.