ASTROSCOPUS's SparkPeople Blog ASTROSCOPUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Cat's Cradle Cat's Cradle is today's block. I really enjoyed making it, and it took less time than I had anticipated. Ran across these fabrics while looking for something to match with a different set. These are scraps from a Super Bowl quilt made a few years ago. Seems I avoid watching the game every year. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:13:11 EST Comfort Quilt All in all, today was kind of stressful - and I don't do stress. I do make bad decisions and then compound them by "fixing" the consequences. Like choosing to read 12 chapters of a new book after going to bed. Then you know that feeling you get when you wake up and realize you have to leave for work in 10 minutes...that was how today started. Followed by the Internet going out when I really needed it. Nothing got better until I got home and realized no one was here to make demands on me, ... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 21:19:15 EST Hanging Onto Nope, didn't watch the Super Bowl, but I did watch the Kitten Bowl - those players are a LOT cuter. <em>240</em> Not sure what happened in the evening - I wasn't doing anything that would stop me from posting...maybe I was just tired of dealing with the block. I had to make 24 one-inch half square triangle blocks just to start. I like the Hanging Basket block, but definitely don't want to make an entire quilt of them. Just not that ambitious. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 22:02:14 EST Hayes Corner Another really nice block, and I finally used some of my leftover Doctor Who fabric. Of course I got the whole thing put together and realized the last 3 seams were wrong. It wasn't a bad look but it also wasn't RIGHT! After a brief debate with myself, a ripped out the seams and redid them. It does look better done right. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 6 Feb 2016 17:36:54 EST The Letter X Very late night since I spent time with friends after work, so I didn't finish Friday's block until just after midnight. Finally got my thread issues fixed after they got worse - that also contributed to my late sewing. Not sure what the problem was, at least it's not there anymore. <BR> <BR> I was happy to use more batik scraps in this block. I also got to practice a new (to me) technique in putting together the quarter square triangles - they turned out much better than my usual. <B... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 02:17:32 EST Old Favorite Still having to use my old (NOT favorite) machine - it sews sideways, and not in a good way. I've had to resew almost half of the seams. <em>39</em> My mom came over to work on my machine, so hopefully it'll work better now. If not, I'm going to switch to my great-grandmother's Domestic. <BR> <BR> With all the issues, today's block - Old Favorite - is not my favorite to make. I think that it's pretty, and with a properly working sewing machine I would like it. Have to try again ... Thu, 4 Feb 2016 20:26:32 EST Philadelphia Pavement Cool weather at last, and a simple block, meant I had time to make a big batch of veggie soup. Yummy and full of fiber. <em>4</em> Might take part of the batch to Friday's potluck. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Philadelphia Pavement - used up more of my older fabric. Still with my old machine. <em>24</em> I used that machine for ten years and don't remember it being this annoying, loud, and inaccurate. Guess the last year has spoiled me. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 3 Feb 2016 21:30:48 EST Feeling Prickly Yeah! No migraine today - I was grateful for a low-throb headache all day. Then I started working on today's block (Prickly Pear). Fairly easy, no problems cutting or piecing. Right up until the last 5 seams. <em>39</em> Then my machine started eating my thread and fabric! <em>46</em> This machine is less than a year old and shouldn't be doing this so soon. I think I'll try to take it in to be serviced tomorrow; there goes my savings, but I didn't realize how much harder my ol... Tue, 2 Feb 2016 21:44:19 EST Baby Bunting Woke up with a migraine. Finally got past it this afternoon, but am still foggy. Fogginess meant I sewed one row into the block backwards - fixed that. Now I'm wondering if there's a block named Bye-Bye. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 1 Feb 2016 21:41:21 EST Ribbon Quilt Another beautiful, sunny day in Texas - what else is January for? Got a visit from my mom, in between her time staying with a friend in the hospital. She's staying at the hospital but showering at my house. (Partly) Because of that I didn't get down to the parks, but I'm sure they would have been wonderful. I did get to enjoy the sun <em>67</em> in my own back yard. <BR> <BR> Today's block is a very simple, very attractive pattern. I think I should have swapped the green and yello... Sun, 31 Jan 2016 21:35:08 EST Hawaiian Nine Patch Today I made Mrs. Keller's Nine Patch - it wound up looking a lot more like Hawaii than I had planned, but I like it. Seems like this isn't a new block for me. Don't know what I used it for, but it looks so familiar. I spent an awful lot of time trying to figure out which fabric to use, found more fabric scraps that I had lost, then decided to use those fabrics in tomorrow's block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 30 Jan 2016 23:55:47 EST Kansas Troubles It's finally Friday! This weekend may be a wonderful time to go see one of the downtown parks since the weather is going to be so beautiful. The Japanese garden should be open, and there are the museums. In any case, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend and spending time with family, friends, and - of course - my sewing machine. <BR> <BR> The block I made today is called Kansas Troubles, but wasn't much trouble to make. Okay, maybe a little bit; working with those very small tria... Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:46:33 EST Dotty Back and forth, back and forth, all day long. I really felt like I was going in circles - maybe because I was. Circling the halls, circling the room, it did get me to my steps goal. Then half way through the day at work, my room looked like a craft store had exploded. The kids were designing and building birds for an adaptation lesson; feathers and pom-poms were everywhere! I was amazed at the end of the day when the last of the kids cleaned the entire place up (and it was their own idea)... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 22:45:10 EST Rocky Mountain Chain Today I almost met my steps goal, and lots of active minutes. Now I'm debating staying up and working out or getting sleep. Pretty sure that sleep is going to win out. Didn't I read that skimping on sleep is worse than skipping a workout? Or is that rationalization? Rest is going to be important because tomorrow unexpected guests will be coming in to town and a couple chores will have to be done early to get ready for them. There is a possibility that they'll stay somewhere else, but I'... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 22:10:46 EST Trust What a day! What a day! What a stair climbing day! I don't even remember all those stairs, but according to the Fitbit I was up and down all day long. It almost makes me want to use a stair climbing machine at the gym, but that really sounds amazingly boring. Real stairs are an excellent workout, though. Walking the Inca Trail several years back proved that - the guides kept telling me "It's all down hill from here." They lied about that for 4 days! Wish I'd had my Fitbit back then. ... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 21:55:29 EST Odd Fellows Today was a fairly good day. I enjoyed a calm work day with lots of cooperative people, A friend introduced me to Icelandic yogurt - good, but I'm not sure I'll buy more. Didn't move as much as I wanted. Still a good day. <BR> <BR> Today's block gave me lots of opportunities to walk from the sewing room to the sewing machine (a surprisingly large number of steps since I don't sew in my sewing room). Having to rip out 3 seams put in backwards and one seam to resize a square made me go bac... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:42:13 EST Rest Day - Lost Day Not winning the Weekend Warrior challenge doesn't bother me. Having a third of the steps of the winner kind of does. I started out strong yesterday, but wound up not moving much today. Allergies hit today, so naps and sewing were the order of the day. At least I did manage to eat healthy instead of gorging on junk food. I need to keep that in mind since I won't be able to walk after work tomorrow. Lots of movement during work should help. <BR> <BR> Today's block is called Our Editor; I... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 22:25:01 EST I'm Back! I'm back online and back in a Challenge. Still no idea what happened to my Internet service since the technician couldn't figure it out; he just ran new line. A friend from work Challenged four of us to a Weekend Warrior. He just got his Fitbit and is amazingly excited about it. He's also winning the Challenge, running after small children will do that. <em>20</em> I'm middle of the pack right now, which surprises me. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - Mosaic #8 - was not anyone's favo... Sat, 23 Jan 2016 23:49:40 EST Where's My Internet? I don't know, and it's still not working. Luckily I have a spare, but it's slow and annoying to use (because the fast stuff I'm paying for isn't here). If it isn't back by tomorrow afternoon I will have a hissy fit in someone's direction. <em>101</em> And I did discover that I can't update this blog using my phone. <BR> <BR> The Flying Birds block was fun; I got to use more of my pretty, saved fabrics. Went with friends to the theatre Tuesday night after completing my block. It was... Thu, 21 Jan 2016 21:50:35 EST Busy Bee So the weekend wasn't as productive as I had hoped. Some accomplishments were made, and some that weren't expected. Along with today's block I managed to prep for tomorrow's block (tomorrow will be amazingly busy!), attended a Make and Take at my local quilt shop, and made a pair of Socktopusses (Socktoppi?). After a couple more tasks, I am going to bed early - last night's sleep wasn't what it should be on a holiday. <BR> <BR> The Make and Take was to make a Catch All. Not sure what I'm... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 21:54:17 EST Crown of Stars Quite a relaxing day; my mom's friend brought my forgotten things and I'm happy to have them back. Relaxing, but not very productive. I did finish some of my chores, but not all, and not all of my walking done. Plans are to do better tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Today's block is named Crown. I chose some leftover star fabric to put together a Crown of stars. <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 17 Jan 2016 22:32:54 EST One Way, or the Other Couldn't get out in the park today, so I worked out at home. Couldn't figure out how to explain the process to a friend, so I sent her a link to someone else's tutorial. Messed up sewing together blocks for a quilt, so I rearranged and made do. Things happen, mistakes occur, so I will adapt, improvise, and fix as I can. <BR> <BR> I was originally introduced to today's block - Counterchange Cross - as a Disappearing Four Patch at a quilt store. I'm in the process of making an entire quilt... Sat, 16 Jan 2016 22:08:51 EST Good day, good times, good friends. Yesterday's wonderful work day - complete with cooperative weather - was followed by today's amazingly relaxing work day. Unusual, unexpected, but definitely welcome! Then I got to spend time with several friends after work instead of working out - but laughter is a workout, right? And now the start of a long weekend that will (hopefully) be VERY productive. Christmas still needs to be completely packed up at my house. <em>2</em> Next week will be exceptionally busy, so I need to get... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 23:54:54 EST More Movement... For the first time in a long time I managed to get all of my steps in today by the end of work. That was an accomplishment, so I'm excited about that. I keep seeing commercials and articles saying that exercise is so much less important to weight control than diet. It's throwing me off. When I lived without a car, and had to walk everywhere, the weight dropped off effortlessly. Now that I'm back in an area where I can't walk as much, my weight is back up. I know I need to eat better and... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 22:21:08 EST Beginner's Delight Beginners at healthy living delight in success. Every time I begin a new task, a new venture, a new year, or begin again, I delight in the newness of it all. The delight is in the plan and the vision of how much better the future will be when it's completed or in practice. All the instant gratification of beginning, but it doesn't last. Maybe the secret is to keep beginning. Forget the New Year's resolutions, begin each month with a new resolution. <BR> <BR> I am still delighting in m... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 21:59:16 EST Fireflies are MUCH better than Ducks Today was a beautiful day out, I wish I could have spent more time out in the sunshine. It was also much more relaxing all the way around. Maybe tomorrow there will be time for a walk in the local park. My step count isn't where it should be this week - not bed, just lower than I like. Last week's Fitbit challenge taught me that I get more exercise than I think ( <em>224</em> ), but I really need to get better nutrition in. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block looks much better now that the b... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 21:06:04 EST Duck it All Many years ago I was putting together a quilt and managed to put two strips in backwards. After carefully ripping them out, I sewed them back together - backwards. That quilt now has a 3 word name that means I can't ever give it to a home with children, and has the word Duck in the name. That should have taught me that it's very important to focus and double check all the little, fiddly details. <BR> <BR> Today's block (Duck and Ducklings, of all the names) has many little pieces and I ... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:41:22 EST Happy Birthday to Me! It's been a wonderful day of doing not much of anything. Very relaxing. This morning I redid yesterday's block - it's still not perfect, but so much better! I spent the afternoon sewing and trying not to step on my cats in the sewing room - Pugs did like the sunlight. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This evening a friend and her husband gave me steak and cake - very yummy! Back to healthy eating and my workouts tomorrow... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 22:28:41 EST Live and Learn After getting plenty of sleep Friday night (finally!) I wasted time and learned to make my block BEFORE going to a 7pm play - I finished it right as the clock struck midnight. That is an important lesson to learn before the next two weeks. The block for January 9th - Acrobats - also taught me I DON'T use an accurate 1/4 inch seam. I only had to rip out one seam put in wrong; that's an improvement. Since the pattern makes two blocks, I'm going to redo the second one and try to get the bloc... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 01:28:42 EST Wishing and Winning It's exciting! With 40 minutes left to go I'm in the lead on the Fitbit challenge. Too tired (again) for a real workout, I did a couple mini workouts earlier today. I can live with it until tomorrow, this has been a very long week. <BR> <BR> At least the Wishing Ring block was amazingly easy to complete. Maybe I'll use the block to wish my way into a lottery winning. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 00:43:46 EST Sleep is Important! Getting to sleep late last night, having to get up early for work this morning, and now I am wiped out! Tired enough that I'm not going to work out tonight - at least I got 15 minutes in during work today. I do want to workout, but sleep sounds much better. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block had the fewest problems and I was impressed with my progress. Too soon, it seems; today's Union block had all kinds of seam issues. It's not a hard block, but I kept messing up the seam allowance and had to... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 22:18:59 EST Surprise! Package Choices and decisions. Everyday I come home from work, make a block, eat dinner, then workout. Today I decided to reverse the order and wound up choosing to work out longer than usual - I enjoyed it and feel great, but now I'm going to bed later and will get less sleep. Results and consequences. <BR> <BR> Today's block is called Surprise Package and the name fits today's sewing. I decided to use a couple old fabrics, a light with butterflies and a dark with pins and needles, and (Surpr... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 23:07:41 EST Wheeling Around Still hanging in on the Fitbit challenge, not bad since one of the other challengees is a nurse (on her feet all day long). I even pull in to first place every once in a while. <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block is called Star and Pinwheel probably because it's a star made up of pinwheels - go figure. <em>20</em> The pattern calls for a dark star with light background, but I only had 4 small rectangles of the light fabric I liked - not nearly enough! So, instead of following the... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 21:59:46 EST Back to Work... but happy to be moving. One of my work friends joined me as a Fitbit friend and then challenged me to walk during the week. I've gotten back to walking more, partly because of these blocks I'm making every day. Today I was excited to find a desired iron on sale at a new store and I had a coupon - a $50 iron for $20! Today's block - The Sickle - is made from scrap fabric that came from my very first quilt. That Texas flag quilt still isn't finished, but The Sickle is. <em>244</em> <B... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 22:09:28 EST Hitting the Ozark Trail It's not a hike, just another quilt block, but with all those little squares I was back and forth to the ironing board a lot. Because of a friend's birthday party my block was a late happening; we went to Top Golf and hit golf balls at targets this afternoon. Fun stuff, but I'll probably have a sore arm tomorrow - never hit a real golf ball before (except at Putt-Putt). <em>278</em> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 3 Jan 2016 22:04:23 EST Block Party I've had problems meeting New Year's goals in the past, so this year I set a goal of making at least one quilt block a week in 2016. It's a small goal, but I think it's something I can succeed at. This way I'll have at least one quilt out of the year, probably more, and walking back and forth from the sewing machine to the ironing board and cutting table will get me lots of steps (they're in different rooms). The patterns are coming from The Best of Judy Hopkins 365 Quilt-Block Patterns pe... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 20:19:03 EST Happy New Year! The first day of 2015 and I'm happy to be starting on a good note. I've been working out consistently since getting home from the family visit, eating fairly healthy meals with only a couple slip ups, and have developed a pretty good attitude. Crossing my fingers that I keep up the pattern. Christmas decorations are even put away for the year, which is AMAZING! Now if I could finish the Christmas projects from last year... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 23:59:09 EST Proud of me! Today I tracked all my food and exercise AND was within all my nutrient ranges for EVERYTHING!!! Okay, I was a bit low on calories...but I'm willing to overlook that because it's not by much and it's still a healthy level. Small victories are still victories. <em>244</em> Tue, 5 Aug 2014 22:22:04 EST Hamster wheel brain Things that are bad for me and things that are good for me...can't seem to get them straight. <BR> <BR> My dentist gave me a night guard so I would quit biting the inside of my cheeks at night, now I'm doing it during the day. What's with that? <BR> <BR> I got two new Wii games to workout with, played one for 3 minutes, the other isn't actually active. Took me 15 minutes to figure that out, though. <BR> <BR> Healthy lunches followed by happy hour dinners. Margaritas are made with lime... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 01:10:30 EST I'm sweating and I like it (sorta) Middle of a heat wave, middle of a drought, and my A/C decides to go out. Loverly! Not just go out, the whole thing decides to shatter and splinter so it all has to be replaced. But not until tomorrow. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> So last night I took my frozen hot water bottle to bed, slept okay - the house actually only got up to about 90 last night. Today it was up to 95. Honestly, it's cooler outside! And the windows are open! <BR> <BR> Odd choice ... I decided to work out tonight, in... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 00:10:04 EST Something's not right here. For health reasons my cats are on a canned food diet. Yes, my cats and I are all on a new healthy lifestyle kick. But, wait! Tonight I noticed that something is off. I'm having a lovely peanut butter half sandwich for dinner - and my cat is having shrimp. <BR> <BR> What??? Where did my grocery shopping go wrong? To be fair, she's an old lady and has decided (after 3 food changes) to be picky. At least she'll eat the shrimp cold, because she only eats about 1/2 what she should and I ... Fri, 19 Aug 2011 23:07:18 EST Good plans laid, Bad choices made Plan: eat a good, nutritious salad with smoked turkey. <BR> <BR> Thought: leftover pizza. No! Salad! Piiiizza. No! Salad!! <BR> <BR> Doorbell rang, and there was a pizza delivery guy offering me two deep dish pizzas. I was good and sent him away (hope he found who really ordered them). <BR> <BR> Choice: Took delivery guy as a sign and ate my leftover pizza, no salad. Then I had a cookie. Another cookie. Another... Now I want candy. <BR> <BR> Good news: I'm not going to have th... Tue, 16 Aug 2011 22:22:34 EST Preparation and Anticipation Since I'm going to be teaching Astronomy (again) this year, I decided to go out and watch the Perseid meteor shower last night. Full moon (I was warned) and cloud cover meant that didn't work out, so I went in after about an hour of seeing nothing. Set my alarm and woke up - and actually got up!!! - at 3:30. In about an hour's time I saw 5 shooting stars. Going to take that as a good omen for the school year, especially since the moon was still full and I have a LOT of light pollution ar... Sat, 13 Aug 2011 22:52:07 EST Where's the drama? After all the mental drama about missing my workout routine while visiting the family, I got everything in today without too many problems. Hmmm, this is only day one, and a LOT can still go wrong. How's that for positivity? <BR> <BR> Managed my morning cardio before I left home, all normal. Then there was the four hour drive with a nasty side track to Dairy Queen - I said MINI blizzard, she heard and made MEDIUM blizzard, and I was too distracted to notice until too late. Ah, well, I on... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 00:57:25 EST Wandering priorities. The last few days I've realized all I'm doing is worrying about my brother's family coming in state. Keep thinking that I'll be gone for a week - away from my exercise routine and equipment. Then it's possible they may come back and stay at my house for a couple days. They're welcome, but the house is a serious mess. And instead of fixing that, I'm working out, reading, and playing on the computer. I know house cleaning can be a workout but I'm not using it. It's like I'm living a week ... Tue, 26 Jul 2011 22:14:25 EST Rollercoaster Progress I hate complaining in public ... but I'm going to do it anyway. <BR> The last week I've been following the program, doing good, and feeling proud of myself (more or less). Yesterday I was working hard on the Wii for almost an hour without noticing how much time had passed. Then, last night, I felt fine but had the hardest time getting to sleep. Woke up this morning feeling worse than I have in months, and it kept getting worse. Plus, my cat bit me (okay, he wanted food, but that's no ex... Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:36:48 EST Weird reaction for me After several days of working out and eating well, I managed to blow my nutrition goals after one night out with the girls. I was still on track until my appetite hit on the way home. Weirdness set in when I realized I wasn't upset with myself. My main thoughts turned into, "Okay, so tomorrow I can exercise a little longer, then I'll be in the pool and making better food choices. The positive thinking is new for me; think it'll be good to keep up with. Thu, 14 Jul 2011 23:24:48 EST