ASTROSCOPUS's SparkPeople Blog ASTROSCOPUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Been a While! Wow! Almost a month since I last posted...I am ashamed. Back to school got busy, my phone got stolen (AGAIN!!!), then my house lost A/C (odd and annoying, since the unit was only replaced about 3 years ago), and wound up sick for no apparent reason. Still managed to get all my blocks made, but I've been off my eating plan for a couple weeks. Going back on after this weekend - I will be dedicated! <BR> <BR> Okay, blocks... <BR> <BR> August 26 - Cut the Corners <BR> <img src="http://phot... Thu, 22 Sep 2016 21:15:14 EST Around the Corner <img src=""> Another surprisingly quick and easy block. Don't usually like black and brown together, but this appealed to me. Thu, 25 Aug 2016 23:03:02 EST Year's Favorite <img src=""> Don't know if this is my favorite. Actually, I know it's not. Like it, but not my favorite. They do like their names for these blocks. I'm off to get real sleep. Wed, 24 Aug 2016 21:55:48 EST The Wnged Nine Patch <img src=""> The first week of school is always so exhausting. I am determined, however, to meet all of my goals for fitness and nutrition! Hopefully, next week will have settled down a little. Today's blog-The Winged Nine Patch- is way more detailed, and more work intensive. And so, of course, it took way more time. That means my workout is pushed later, And I will be going to bed late. That's OK. The block is... Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:54:01 EST Double X First day back with kids is always exhausting. I made today my rest day, and still managed 10 minutes. Didn't even give in to the "back to school" candy that good intention-ed friends and supervisors always hand out. They are in my desk drawer. Maybe I should give or throw them away, but there will be a day of cravings in the future. At least this way I'll be able to give in to one or 2 pieces without having to go buy a whole bag. Nothing wrong with chocolate in moderation. <BR> <BR> T... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 21:16:50 EST Triangles Opened my door to start my walk this morning and a delivery guy walked up. I think I scared him. Oops. <em>246</em> It was a nice walk. From now on walks will have to be in the afternoon - hotter, and more likely to be rainy. <BR> <BR> Took measurements today and I'm down about 1/2 inch on each. That's in a month, so there's hope. Airline flights at this weight won't be fun but I've got 9 months to drop inches. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Triangles - has more complex piecing. ... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 21:10:43 EST Square and Star I need to figure out something to do with my feet. They're aching, and that always saps my energy. Tonight, maybe Advil. Did get in my workout, all my steps, and met fitness goals. Took a nap instead of eating lunch, so I'm low on calories today. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Square and Star - took a bit more effort and concentration than recent blocks. I like the block. The order to put the pieces together was a bit more difficult for me to figure out. Of course, I love the batiks. <BR> ... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 22:34:48 EST Ruins of Jericho I am so amazingly talented. Managed to injure myself by making a salad. How? Here's a hint: I was cutting lettuce. <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> Celebration: down 12 pounds in 3 weeks on my eating plan! <em>224</em> I'm excited. And how did I celebrate? By breaking my eating plan. <em>20</em> Not a big deal, I'm still within all my ranges and just added a couple things that haven't been on my plan. The first was Chick-fil-a mini chicken biscuits. It's a treat I've never had very... Fri, 19 Aug 2016 23:44:19 EST Red Cross II Today is day 21 after the start of my 21 day eating program. I feel good about how I've been doing, but there were those 3 days I was off the plan. Because of that break I'm not sure if I should really end it today. Not ending the program, but modifying it to add back a few foods that I haven't been eating. I'll decide in the morning after my monitoring. I am loving my new, healthier meals. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 18 Aug 2016 22:42:31 EST Harmony Square It's interesting that I'm enjoying my food so much more now that I'm eating healthier, home cooked meals. And roasted vegetables are AMAZING! I think I could make a meal just of those, but they're also really good with baked salmon. <em>492</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Harmony Square - went together surprisingly easily. I often have trouble joining triangles to the sides of squares without getting the angles or sizes off. This block lined up well and lays flat. There are a lot of... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 22:24:07 EST Forest Path <img src=""> I keep saying that I'm going to bed early, But it keeps being 11 or 1130 before I get in bed. Sunday night I was finishing up the wall hanging, last night I was making a craft for convocation, and tonight I'm making a shirt. It's not reading in bed anymore, since I'm not doing that late into the night. Instead I'm sewing late into the night. Got to quit with the late into the night. Today's block-f... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:06:43 EST Card Basket First day back to work was pretty good. Got all my steps, stair climbs, and was active all day. Didn't get to work in my room more than a couple minutes, but we weren't stuck in meetings all day. And we only had to be in the freezing auditorium for about five minutes! That's highly unusual. <BR> <BR> I am a bit more tired than I should be, but that's my own fault. I finished quilting the Just Keep Swimming wall hanging and couldn't make myself stop attaching the binding. I like how w... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 21:48:21 EST Cross and Crown <img src=""> I usually like the rain, but not today. Today the rain just stopped me from seeing the goldfish or going out at all. Today's block - Cross and Crown - actually looks like it's name. Kind of surprising, all the lettering in the light fabric is going the same way. I really wasn't paying attention, maybe that should be my strategy from now on. Early to bed. Sun, 14 Aug 2016 22:13:53 EST Sarah's Choice Massive thunder/lightning storm this evening. The pond overflowed, and it was hilarious watching the goldfish hide from the rain in the goldfish bowl! <em>175</em> <BR> <BR> Today's workout was hard to get through. Not sure what the problem was, just wasn't feeling the energy I have been. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Sarah's Choice - has another pinwheel in the center of a star. I did make this in LSU colors. Not on purpose, just liked the colors during selection. Maybe I should con... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 23:23:53 EST Right Hand of Friendship Today was the last day of vacation; Monday it's back to work and collaboration with friends and co-workers. Haven't spent time with most of my friends all summer, and felt a bit like a hermit. Instead of contacting and interacting I've made gifts for people and their (hopefully) new babies. I suppose it's not very friendly to stay away sewing for months on end, but I just haven't felt like reaching out much. What do you think? Should my friends and buddies be annoyed with me? Should I e... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 23:45:23 EST Home Again, Again! Last summer visit is over, and now work starts. Boo! Not that I've been productive since getting home a couple days ago. Instead, I (finally) set up my goldfish pond. It's a very relaxing sight outside the dining room window. The goldfish are enjoying the extra space (110 gallons instead of 15!) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The cats are liking the pond, too. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Thu, 11 Aug 2016 23:38:00 EST Basket II <img src=""> All these basket blocks are making me feel like a basket case! Didn't get to exercise today because of all the time it took to travel to my friend's house. I did keep (mostly) to my eating program. While driving it wasn't hard, since I had packed nuts, fruit, and a leftover lunch. Dinner with my friend was slightly challenging. The fish restaurant was wonderful, and I stuck it out with blackened fis... Fri, 5 Aug 2016 22:32:31 EST Milky Way Today my neighbor told me I'm skinny (he meant I've lost weight, and in a nice way). So, why did I tell him, "Not me!" I'm not skinny, but I have lost some weight since the last time he saw me. Just don't want to jinx my progress, somehow. <BR> <BR> Did better today than yesterday - that's a good thing. I managed to eat healthy foods and stick to my eating plan, got steps in all day (even with having to sit in a workshop), and exercised as I planned. All good things. At lunch I walke... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 21:34:12 EST Spool and Bobbin Had a hard time making myself get up today, and absolutely no success in accomplishing my goals. I didn't mess up my eating plan too badly, but made some very strange choices for lunch. Tomorrow will have to be better. <BR> <BR> I did make today's block - Spool and Bobbin - using some of my beautiful, green batik. It went together quickly, but I kept making another block at the same time...that one was extremely time consuming. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 3 Aug 2016 22:21:04 EST Lady of the Lake Not being able to get to sleep, followed by an early morning alarm, means an exhausting day. Actually, the day wasn't too bad but I really want to go to be before the sun has gone down. The workshop I had to go to was productive, lots of shared ideas and friends to interact with. I was concerned that lunch with my team mates would throw me off my eating plan; however, they were surprising supportive and I made some good choices. Couldn't deal with the avocado, but I didn't even want the d... Tue, 2 Aug 2016 21:41:28 EST Best Friend Still doing well on the eating program, only ten days left before I take another look and decide what to do next. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Best Friend - was fun. Took a bit longer than I really wanted, but I also got more of the fabric organized and cleared part of the clutter. I'm way too easily distracted today! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Mon, 1 Aug 2016 22:00:22 EST Flower Pot Halfway through the eating program, and now I'm adding in a goal to increase my exercise each day. Unfortunately, I start going back to work this week and will be out of town next weekend. It's going to make finishing this part of the program more difficult, but not impossible. Today I even ate tomatoes and bell peppers, on purpose. The bell peppers were cooked so that I actually didn't notice them much, but the tomatoes were still somewhat yerk! Turkey Burger with Onions and Peppers is ... Sun, 31 Jul 2016 21:41:48 EST Electric Fan Yesterday's block looks so much better when it's done correctly! I did have to take out a lot of seams to fix it. Worth it though. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Finally finished the binding on my latest long term project. I think it looks good now, but one corner of the binding gave me more problems than the rest of the quilt combined. Don't know what I did wrong the first time, but I wound up having to cu... Sat, 30 Jul 2016 23:22:37 EST Arrow Crown Didn't finish the quilt today, ran out of time before my friend's party. Fun hanging out with people I haven't seen in a long time. Several conversations about the eating plan - because after 7 days I'm down 7 pounds. <em>244</em> I even resisted all the goodies at the party; no cake or crackers and I didn't feel deprived at all. Good feeling. <BR> <BR> New recipe: Blueberry-Walnut Pancakes. They taste good, but the texture is definitely off. I followed the recipe, but the batter is... Sat, 30 Jul 2016 00:23:10 EST Aunt Addie's Album Turkey wraps are just as wonderful reheated! For dinner I roasted some vegetables and found a way to eat celery that's not in soup. Now the rest of the stalks won't be wasted when I only use 3 stalks in a pot of stew. <em>41</em> I should have cut the Brussels sprouts in half, though. Live and learn. <BR> <BR> Found out why my cats have been yowling (and leaping) at the back door. An orange tabby boy (very much a boy!) came wandering through the back yard this afternoon. He's a... Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:13:45 EST Pine Burr Been putting off making the Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Cashew Lime Sauce (it's a recipe from Dr. Hyman's "Eat Fat, Get Thin"). Finally got my act together and cooked it for lunch today. It's AMAZINGLY good. Messy, the way I eat it, but so delicious. Looking forward to this being a work day lunch on a regular basis. Need to find more recipes like this. <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> I was finishing the quilting on a quilt when the bobbin ran out. Boo! So, I wound another bobbin, and r... Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:53:49 EST Rambler I didn't use any of the diet plan recipes today, but stuck with foods allowed. I hope I kept the nutrient balance right, anyway. The food is real food, it's filling and enjoyable, so it should be maintainable. I admit to having to turn off some of the food commercials - no sugar allowed right now. The Alton Brown episode on donuts didn't do much for me, though. Guess I really don't like donuts that much. <em>20</em> Tonight I'm making almond milk. Didn't even know I could do that.... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 22:26:53 EST Corn and Beans Corn and beans - two foods not on my diet plan, yet. I managed to skip breakfast this morning (slept through it), and there's no way I'm going to be able to eat all my calories for the day. Still happy with the meals for today. Salsa Scrambled Eggs are amazingly good for dinner. <em>4</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - also called Corn and Beans - turned out very pretty. It was a little odd to put together, but once I figured out the order it was much easier. No odd angles on the seams... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 22:49:49 EST Salt Lake City Day 3 of the diet plan. It was difficult to keep going, not go get the foods that I love to over-indulge in. I resisted. Silly really, it's only 3 weeks and I'm having difficulty at 1/7 the way through. Never mind, I'll just need to pull it together. <BR> <BR> Spent the rest of the day working on projects - finished the Quilt School pillow. It's made of left over fish patches from one of last year's Rows, with borders to make up a 16" pillow cover. <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeo... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 00:13:43 EST Double X #4 Still not crazy about avocados - taste and texture are awful - but today's smoothie made me feel like throwing up slightly less than yesterday's. Disgusting image, I know. I'll either get used to it or will stop using this recipe. The Salmon Frittata is good, but has an odd texture that I'm still getting used to. It is better cold than hot. Really have to find more recipes to go along with this program. <BR> <BR> Today's block is Double X #4. Another odd name, but it turned out much m... Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:39:17 EST Basket of Triangles Started working my plan to reorganize my fabrics today. I also found more fabric - and the fabric mom sent me arrived. <em>20</em> At least I'm not freaked out about it any more. Having a plan helps so much - a lesson to be learned and lived by. The reorganization isn't finished, and won't be any time soon, but that's because I'm a natural procrastinator. Hmmm...slow and steady? That works, but I admit to working at a fraction of a snail's pace. <BR> <BR> I've also started a new ea... Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:29:56 EST Herm's Shirt My mom's friend is clearing out her house - stuff she doesn't want to keep in her life. Good for her...and good for me, mostly. She keeps giving me fabric! <img src=""> A lot of's a bit insane how much she's giving me (this isn't all of it!). Unfortunately, I now have to figure out where to put it. Today I had an honest-to-goodness, hyperventilating panic reaction to storing all this fabric. My ... Thu, 21 Jul 2016 23:59:28 EST Thrifty I'm pretty sure I picked the wrong fabric for the dark on today's block (Thrifty). It blends a bit too well with the medium tone, but is also not being changed. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last year's Row-By-Row Experience was a water theme, so I had to have most of those rows. I'm finally getting around to putting them together (I procrastinate a little bit). One of the rows had extra fish that I put i... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 23:18:38 EST Sugar Bowl Slept late this morning, and now I'm tired again and want to go to bed early...this might be a problem. Didn't even get around to the yoga - maybe tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Today's block is Sugar Bowl. The name lies, it's just another basket block! I'm really tired of baskets, although I do like this block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:22:09 EST Stiles and Paths What a nice bike ride this morning! Finished that and got today's block, a quilt row, and more sewing done. Yippee! Looking forward to tomorrow's yoga. <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Stiles and Paths - is a nice enough block. I was going to strip piece and subcut, but got distracted and cut the strips the wrong size. Wound up being easier to cut the individual pieces and actually follow directions - I never do that. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 17 Jul 2016 22:44:31 EST 3 Weeks Later (or a Month) Finally home and resettled after a fun visit with family. Got to see my best friend and her family, a lovely July 4 (well, it was on the 3rd) with family at the lake, and productive sewing adventures. I managed to make my block everyday, just couldn't post with spotty internet access. Country living is great...up to a point. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> The trip home wasn't as much fun - my cat decided to object to travel by expressing herself on my lap. A friend always tells me "It's bette... Sat, 16 Jul 2016 23:17:12 EST Summer Starts Pleasant couple of days. I've gotten to enjoy swimming, have started quilting one quilt, and pin basted another. Tomorrow and Thursday I'll get to spend time with friends, and Friday will visit with family. Just have to find time to finish my best friend's present and pack...somewhere. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - appropriately - was Summer Solstice. I love these batiks; it's the same pattern in two different colors. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:55:39 EST Ladies' Aid Album I've got to get back to sleeping at night. The staying up until 3 and waking up at 10 or 11 is not a good thing. This week I'll work on that goal. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - New England Block - was completed with dots and fantail fish. It was a whim that I like, but it is a seriously eye-popping block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After finishing the New England Block, I finally completed the Four-Pat... Sun, 19 Jun 2016 23:00:26 EST Peace and Plenty What a productive sewing day. I completed my best friend's birthday present (well, the top to it), made a tissue box cozy, made today's block, and got within two borders of completing the top to a UFO. I'll post a picture of the bff's birthday present after I give it to her. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just don't ask me what I've done with the rest of my life. <em>30</em> And now I'm ending my night ... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 01:14:22 EST The Hen and Her Chicks Finally got the top of the table runner done. I'm not a fan of applique, mostly because I'm not very good at it...because I don't practice...because I'm not good at it... It's a viscous cycle of inactivity. This runner is a simple pinwheel pattern - that I made correctly for once - edged with flag blocks. And I think the whole thing, including applique, took less time than today's block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:37:55 EST Double Sawtooth Four days in a row getting all my steps for the day! I actually love how I feel with exercise; wish I could always remember that. What's up with this Eat Fat, Get Thin program on PBS? I need to research. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Double Sawtooth - went together well. I was afraid there would be problems since it's so simple, but managed to not mess it up. <em>20</em> Got to use the fish fabric that I love. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 14 Jun 2016 23:56:58 EST Broken Star Found some beautiful Alaskan art fish fabric today. Don't know what I'm going to do with it, but it'll be pretty. Maybe another bag. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Broken Star - was fun. Even followed the cutting directions properly for once. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 21:32:50 EST King's Crown II Finally got back into my full workout program the last 2 days. It's been hard to get out with all the fabulous (rainy) weather we've been having. The sun finally came out today for about 20 minutes before setting. <BR> <BR> Today's block - King's Crown II - turned out well. And then I started the table runner. Didn't finish it - power kept going out, makes it hard to sew. I'll probably finish piecing the table runner tomorrow, but then it has applique to put on. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Sun, 12 Jun 2016 23:10:24 EST Hopscotch Went to an aquarium fancier's meeting this morning, and it just encouraged me to put in a goldfish pond. Now I just have to find some kind of container to set up for it - can't really dig a giant hole in the rental property yard. <em>20</em> Saw an old canoe made into a pond online somewhere, it would be interesting, but where to find one? <BR> <BR> Today's block - Hopscotch - is a wonderfully simple set of sixteen HST. I carefully cut out the pieces - the wrong size - then carefully ... Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:41:24 EST Does Double Duty Second day of napping, just can't seem to stay awake in the early afternoon. Need much more activity... <BR> <BR> Finally finished the Astronomy quilt top today. <em>244</em> Borders are on, and everything. Now I just have to find the right fabric for the back, and find out if mom will let me use her longarm to quilt it. The student blocks are a bit stiff - not sure if she'll want her needle to go through those. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 11 Jun 2016 00:04:26 EST 3 Days Later What have I accomplished in the last 3 days? Not much. Went back to the school to feed fish, got the interior top of the Astronomy quilt put together (just need the borders now), and finished all the laundry. Really not much. <BR> <BR> Tuesday's block was Denali - following Monday's Juneau. Denali has some incorrect cutting instructions, and I didn't catch it until more than halfway through the block. So, the 12" block is actually 11" and full of pleats that are NOT supposed to be there... Thu, 9 Jun 2016 23:22:23 EST Juneau I shouldn't have said anything about yesterday's sunny day. Right after that, I went to visit a friend in the hospital and drove into a sideways storm. At least it only lasted about 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Juneau - is a bit more detailed than some of the recent blocks. I do like this block. Only made one mistake in cutting and piecing...why do I insist on using stripes? Easy enough to fix, though. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 6 Jun 2016 21:00:22 EST Father's Choice Sunny day! And my backyard is a swamp. Hopefully it will dry out soon, and my fruit tree won't drown. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Father's Choice - used up some of the mistaken cuts that I've made recently. Using up scraps of scraps is fun. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun, 5 Jun 2016 14:45:48 EST Diagonal Square I like rain and storms, but this is getting a bit beyond. It would be nice to be able to hang out with friends by the pool or at the beach for a day. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block was Ladies' Wreath. The block pattern is nice, but the snake skin fabric pattern is not my favorite. Don't know why I ever bought it. Think the lilac should have been a much brighter color, like red or a turquoise. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 4 Jun 2016 20:33:52 EST A Busy Week of Blocks The last week of school is always busy, even with a holiday Monday in it. The seniors graduated, one of my favorite high school teachers from high school passed away, my friends have a Memorial Day pool party, and yet another theatre night all happened within 4 days. After tomorrow morning, I finally get to relax and sleep! <BR> <BR> May 28 was Mosaic #12, a fun block full of flying geese. It went together quickly and well. Good thing, since we had to be at graduation from early until l... Thu, 2 Jun 2016 21:37:10 EST