Thursday, August 30, 2012

Herb Heaven


The last Sunday, my friend delivered me LOTS of herbs and eggplants, tomatos from her garden.







Especially, there were a LOT of BASIL! - I love basil! She REALLY gave me a lot, so I chopped the basil to make pestos. I didn't know basil roots when its stem was kept in a vase or glass of water - she told me.

Anyway, it's been 4 days since the last Sunday. I enjoyed most of eggplants and all basil exclude the pesto!

Also, dill! (below)


I hadn't used hard dills. Dills I see at grocery stores are like a horse tail, took a little what I want to use it for. I ended up cutting them into small pieces and boiled them for a while. It became dill soup with chicken + eggplant + tomatos. It was good :D

That Sunday night, I visited R's friend. His sister had a cooking magazine. I found a good recipe for the fat eggplant. It was eggplant's roll - slice fat eggplant, boil it in a pot for a while until it become soft enough to be able to roll; spread ground meat on the sliced eggplant, roll it and bake it. I had ground turkey in the refrigerator, so it was a perfect timing.

I haven't tried this herb yet (below). My garden friend told me that it's good with chicken. So, I will cook them with chicken tomorrow! - it's still good in the refrigerator :)


Thank you very much :D :D :D

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Japanese alphabet table runner - from Sara


I received a picture of this great work from my customer who purchased my Japanese alphabet - Hiragana - quilt pattern!

(ありがとう = Thank you)

She said she wanted to do some practice before making a Hiragana quilt, and this is what she made! What a nice idea :D I have also made a "Ganbare" (Do your best) version for a gift long time ago. I think it's an excellent idea to practice Japanese words like this! Additionally, it's easier to make than a quilt.

She also shared her idea of making cloth blocks for a child's toy. I think that is a good idea, too. How about making cloth cards which is like coasters?- I actually planned to make fish shape cards and have already made a big circle pond quilt, which go with the fishes, long time ago. I thought children can play with the fishes on the pond quilt. Since I wasn't patient enough to make the small fish shape cards, I gave the circle quilt to my friend. - The same alphabet are often needed to make a word. So, you can duplicate the same alphabet as many as you like, also.

Once you get the alphabet pattern, you can make learning toys for children! I might want to make Katakana, another basic Japanese alphabet set, pattern as well, then! :)

Thank you very much for sharing, Sara! Also, thank you for checking my blog such a long time~~! ;D

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Japanese Indigo x Batik Table runner


While I was arranging my room some time ago, I found some UFOs and this is one of them. I think I was trying to make a small bag or something. Since I forgot what I was trying to make, the UFO turned to be a table runner.














I hope this will find a good home :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Exciting day!


Today was so exciting :D
It started with a meeting of the quilting group; the meeting was great as usual.
I had a lot to carry to the meeting today. Quilts for 3 customers, give away fabrics, donation quilts, and my work to do there.

I had the "Introduction to Communication" class this afternoon, which gives me opportunities to speak in public, which I don't like. Many people get nervous when they speak in front of many people, so do I. It's much better than when I was younger, though.

I usually keep myself quiet. It's not because I have nothing to say or I am not thinking about anything. I have things that I want to say, that is why I have written this blog for years. I feel like that not many people would be interested what I say because I feel people have better things to say. I don't want to waste their time by listening to my stories. And, I teel like that keeping that attitude for years made me forget how to approach to get in conversations. Blog is a good way for me to express myself because I can let people choose to read it or not. When I talk to people, it's kind of I am forcing them to listen to me, they have almost no choice. And, I don't like that "control."

R said to me "You are making yourself useless and not important to other people by having that attitude. JUST SPEAK UP!" I think he is right. We talk about all kinds of things. I don't mind talking to him. I want him to listen to me whatever the topics are. We seldom have arguments, and he always have answers to my questions. He is my problem solver :-p

Anyway, I had to give a speech in the class this afternoon. So, I thought I would practice by standing up the Show & Tell in the quilting group before the class, and showed 4 donation quilts.


I couldn't speak well as usual. Thanks to our leader and other members' help, I could say something. Especially, I was so happy to receive their "Congratulations" on my divorce by personal messages and clap.

Here is one special card from my friend :)


After the meeting, I went to the class. I think I did the speech better than I expected. I have to see the video recorded while I was speaking to evaluate myself. That is an assignment of this week. I really don't want to see the video though...

One boy, a student, gave me this small Origami flower after the class. I was very moved.




According to his self-introduction, one of his hobbies is Origami. He knew I am a Japanese, and probably thought I would like it. I will look for an smaller bottle for his flower. He has a big body. I wonder how he folded a small piece of paper to make this tiny flower!

After coming home, I talked with S and R how the class was. S offered us a pizza to celebrate my achievment for today :)



Life is wonderful, isn't it :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Quilting Pattern


First of all, my camera, Nikon Coolpix S8100, is now under repairing. It was sent to Nikon a few days ago. I am now strongly, seriously thinking to get a SLR, and I think this is an excellent timing, but don't have time to research of it. I actually had a local camera repair shop to estimate how much the repairing cost is, and what was the problem. For some reason, I didn't ask the shop for repairing, but I thought it's good to hear what Nikon says because the problem, according the local camera shop, is kind of "Nikon sells a defective camera" thing. Nikon is a big company. I think I was just unlucky, and this could be happened with another big camera companies such as Cannon or Fuji. So, I am thinking to get a Nikon SLR, but not sure yet. I will see what Nikon says. The customer service of Nikon is NOT good so far.

Anyway, I wanted to state that things above because I don't like the pictures taken with another camera. This camera seems easy to deal with, but there is not many functions I can control, it's too modern for me. So, that was an excuse that I am not posting good pictures here :-p

So!
This quilt was made by C.S. She makes "museum quality" quilts by hand. I always wonder why she doesn't mind to get machine quilting on beautifully hand made quilts! The all autumn leaves were hand appliqued by hand....

I this time tried new quilting pattern and I think it went well. Sometimes, it takes time to come up with an idea how I want to quilt it since most of my customers always say "whatever you think the best." I think it's kind of the same as "What do you want for dinner, dear?", "I don't care."







I am happy with the result. I hope she feels the same :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The last day of my summer break


Today was the last day of my summer break. There was nothing special today, which is appreciated, yesterday was very special, which is also appreciated.

Our quilting group had a field trip to Webfabrics yesterday instead of a regular meeting. This quilt shop seemed like carrying everything of quilting. I understand why people make a trip there. It's an hour drive one way, kind of far from our area.

I was supposed to enjoy "window shopping and just looking", though, these are what I got...





The 2 pieces of FQ have Japanese taste.
The solid bundle is made with 10 FQs. It's from moda. We don't have many quilt shops around here, our favorite one doesn't carry a lot of solids. And, Jo-ann don't carry solids in variety of colors.

When I took this in my hand, one simple quilt like rail-fence was on my mind, but I will wait until a better idea comes up.

After the quilt shop, we had a nice lunch at Magnolias. I had a tuna sandwich, it was very good.

After come home, I went to pick up eggplants following my friend's generous offer. I expected to leave her home soon, but we unexpectedly had a lot of fun thanks to her wine offer, and stayed there almost 4 hours :-p I'm so excited to find commonality between us and to get to know better about her. It was just FUN and happy!

I think this summer was kind of special. I feel like I did a lot of something, but at the same time, I feel I did nothing. Everyday goes by peacefully. I enjoyed eating, drinking, chatting, and sewing. I was able to set my first goal after talking with college people (professors, counselors, advisors). It was a rich summer. So, now I am ready for fall (maybe..., I hope...) :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rosemary


Nice breezy Saturday, I caught my neighbor was killing her nice gorgeous herbs growing in her front yard when I came home from outing. I simply couldn't believe what she was doing. I was thinking "What a gorgeous rosemaries... Fragrance is so gorgeous as well!" every time I pass her house.

I screamed to her, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! ARE YOU GOING TO THROW THE ROSEMARY AWAY?!"

She explained that her renter has been taking care of her garden for years and actually didn't know what he was doing until she came out of her house to see what's going on. "I was shocked, too!" she said. He said "I planted the herbs 3 years ago. I thought they are too big. I will plant something else." She continued "I will have my little herb garden in the back yard, then."

So, here is what I got from her. I said to her, "I was thinking the rosemary is so gorgeous every time I pass here." She said, "well, it's all yours now !"


It was grown as tree! (above)



I cut them in little branches, cleaned, rinsed and froze each separately. I thought I would share with quilting ladies, but the next meeting (tomorrow) is not a regular meeting. We have a field trip to Webfabrics; it's not a good time to bring herbs, and it won't last for a week in this condition. So, now our freezer has tons of plastic bags of rosemaris (and sages).

If I was a soap maker, it was very nice to have such a lot of quantities, but all I can think of with rosemary is for cooking. I think we will be tired of rosemary a month later...

And, R's green (below) are growing and growing :)


The fall semester of school will begin this Wednesday. I cannot believe my summer vacation is almost over. I don't remember what I was doing during the vacation, but I was busy with something. I feel like there were some dramas, but don't remember. My eyes are always looking forward. ha ha ha.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Life!


It's so strange, but I feel I now have a new life.
My loooooong divorce process finally got final on August 16; I am totally happy! - I am anyway happy most of the time though :-p I am lucky to be born this way. I am thankful for my parents to inherit me this genes.

My marriage life existed only on paper, not real, my situation physically won't change at all after this process. But, it's so nice to feel that my ex is not part of my life anymore. I miss his rabbits, but him. My name was restored to my maiden name, I haven't received any financil support and won't receive any, which I chose, from him; so, I won't see his family name anywhere anymore. There is nothing to recall him :D :D :D :D I am confidence to forget about him very soon :D :D :D I don't carry unhappy things on. I think it's from my personality. I am again thankful for my parents to give me a birth this way.

Anyway, I would like to show the divorce process I went through. Nothing messy though, it was done ALL free - someone may be interested.

2009 Dec - separation
2010 Mar - saw a free lawyer for protective order at the Legal service office. The lawyer told me to come back after 6 months separation to begin my divorce process, also suggested me to make the Property Settlement Agreement.
2010 July - made an appointment with the lawyer, but the PSA wasn't done yet, so I was told to make a new appointment after it's done.
2010 Aug - tried to make an appointment with the lawyer again, but I was told that my case was closed. So, tried to make all confusing clear, and I was suggested to make an appointment with Divorce Clinic which is to register Pro Bono Attorney service. Reservation was booked until the end of Jan 2011. So, I took the earierst possible date that I could take; it was Jan 22nd.

I started to think about filing divorce by myself. I thought I wouldn't need a laywer because I didn't have any property issues, I didn't ask him even a penny, the PSA was already done; I downloaded sample of PSA and modified it for my case. I checked online, the county website had a pdf file explained how to file divorce without an attorney. There were some books "Do yourself" at libralies, but all of them also say "You can do it by yourself, BUT hiring an attorney is strongly recommended." People around me also told me "well..., you better have a lawyer."

2011 Jan - Divorce Clinic - I was qualified to obtain a Pro Bono Laywer. They said they will get me a laywer, also added "it may take a year."
I started to go to community college to learn English because I didn't want to waste my time while waiting. Grant (free money for education from federal) convinced me to go to the college.

2012 Feb - I waited a year - I was anyway busy with school. I didn't hear anything from the Legal Service office. I started to wonder where my case is. I contacted them and found they forgot to process my case whole year.
If you have a opportunity to use this kind of office, you better contact them very often. Their telephone usually busy all the time, so better to appear in the office in person.

The assistant of legal service office admitted "I forgot. Your file was on a wrong pile. It's my fault. I apologize." I thought I like her. Many people don't mind to make excuses or don't even realize making excuses. Excuses make things difficult. Why they don't mind to be an obstacle to move forward? But, she didn't.

2012 April - I was introduced to my Pro Bono attorney. She was quick! Thanks to her filing "Waiver of court fee", all fees were waived :D

2012 August - Hearing at the court. I practiced the questions to be asked with my lawyer prior, there was not any problems. Hearing in front of the judge including my witness's testimony (thanks, S!) was done in 7 min. The judge singed on my divorce decree right after the testimony :D

My lawyer could do the hearing at her office, but she chose to do at the court because I can get the decree very quick. When the hearing was done at attorney's office, I might have had to wait a month or more to get the decree. I appreciate her taking her extra time for my benefit, which she really didn't have to.

I think I really learned a lot about life during the past few years. Also, it's a guilt to skip thanking my friends. Their supports, concerns about me, attentions to me, letting me be myself, etc, which is impossible to buy by money, everything is my treasure. And, especially, very special thanks to S and R who is my landlord and my housemate. I am very lucky to have them in my life.

Also, appreciate all tax payers. All kinds of free services I have been getting from the government are paid from your taxes. I won't hesitate to pay taxes when I get a decent job in future.

Thank you very much :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Green Mug rugs


Green Mug rugs made with natural and green colors fabric :)
They were actually leftovers from one quilt that I gifted to my friend. I finally made "something" with them.













There were total 9 blocks, so I made 9 coasters. Since US standard number of a set goes by multiplication of 4, I would keep the one leftover for something.

For your information, Japanese standard number of a set goes by odd numbers, 3, 5, 7... It's interesting to learn those small differences between US culture and Japanese culture, which SO MANY of them are opposite as I feel like they were purposely made.

Anyway, I enjoyed quilting on this coaster as well :)