Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall has Fallen

Ok, that's a stupid title - but "Spring has Sprung" is equally stupid. It was COLD this morning. I kept having to leap back into the covers to get warm because I left the windows open in the bedrooms and the hall. One can only take SO long of a hot shower before even the greatest new water-heater is depleted.

For once, however, I've not encountered as many hordes of yellow-jackets as usual. This is a Good Thing©.

If you didn't read yesterday's post about Mattel - please do. Your kids' lives may depend on it.

Our dear Babzy has taken to using the word "georgebush" in replacement for "Fuck". Much too long for me to type, and in my not-so-humble opinion, FAR more offensive than a simple euphenism for coitus. Babzy, you little potty-mouth. *grin*

495 days

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Boycott Mattel this Christmas

Folks, I know I've sent out a few "this is bad for the world" shouts for not supporting various "artists" or companies, but this time I am asking that you think of the safety of your family.

This week, Mattel has announced yet another toy recall. More lead paint and other dangerous things in their toys. Did you know that Fischer Price is owned by Mattel? You remember Fischer Price - those toys for tots with the fat little people and things, that kids are forever putting in their mouths?

The Chairman and CEO of Mattel doesn't think this is a problem. Poisoning your children or grandchildren is too bad - but he has a bottom line to manage, and regardless of what the law says, his bottom line is more important than your kids' health. Don't believe me? Would you believe the man's own words from the Wall Street Journal?

"Mattel Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Eckert said in an interview that the company discloses problems on its own timetable because it believes both the law and the commission’s enforcement practices are unreasonable. Mattel said it should be able to evaluate hazards internally before alerting any outsiders, regardless of what the law says." Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2007

Nope. That man is not at ALL concerned about your kids.

So here is the deal. I'm not asking you to boycott Mattel in order to get them to change their practices or their suppliers - not asking you to try and force them to make their toys HERE where there is oversight and they are held responsible. I'm asking you not to buy anything from Mattel for your kids so that they aren't poisoned.

Because unlike Robert Eckert, I care about your kids, even if I've never seen or met them. And I'd rather see them playing with something that won't kill them.

Leandra has already decided not to purchase any toys for her granddaughter this christmas. She is going to make toys from patterns I'm sending her that I bought from Annie's Attic many years ago. Stuffed animal dogs that actually LOOK like the breeds, a tote-bag barn full of small stuffed barnyard animals. A travel pillow with a pouch shaped like a lilypad that holds a stuffed frog toy. Knit sweaters and vests. "Pretend" food and drinks made from yarn and plastic canvas.

I have no personal connection with Annie's Attic other than as a satisfied customer. Their patterns are adorable and many of them make up very quickly and easily. If you make it yourself, you KNOW what is going into it.

Think about it, please. Please take care of your children. You know Mattel has already stocked up on whatever it is they plan to sell for Christmas. Their warehouses are full, and with the constant, continuing "oops, made in China, got lead in it" recalls, I am fearful for the fate of the kids who get these poisoned toys this christmas.

496 days

Monday, September 10, 2007

When I was young it seemed that life was so wonderful

I lived in the greatest country in the world. We had rights, and our government was answerable to US. We had privacy, we had ownership, we had all we needed, and much of what we "wanted".

Far away, on another continent, there was a land where people were spied upon by their government. Where they could be arrested for speaking their minds, and where they were held without lawyers, without bail, without trials - for years.

In that far-away country, people didn't live well, they wore sad, patched, broken-down clothing, stood in lines for food, and didn't even have any toilet paper. People were not allowed to travel without permission from the government. They did not have the right to vote.

Corrupt and evil politicians grew fat and wealthy on the backs of the oppressed "masses".

Abraham Lincoln was held up as an example of all that was good for us - "Government OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people".

Today I feel like crying, after reading the usual blogs.

Please, Dear Deity - let it only be
497 days

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Mystery Quilt 2007 - Part 5

Just starting out? Here's what you missed:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

This week we are going to sew together some of our squares. Grab all of your triangle-made squares and 50 of the 1/2 and 1/2 horizontal squares. Take 2 "triangle" and 1 "horizontal at a time.

What we want to do here now is attach one of the triangle-type squares to each side of the horizontal square. Make sure the pieces are the same size (if there is a tiny tiny difference, you can just "center" the offending smaller piece and adjust your seam-allowance to the larger piece) and sew the "B" side of one of the triangle pieces to each of the sides with a seam on the horizontal bar piece.

For the sake of example, my drawings will use yellow for "Color A", white for "Color B" and green for "Color C". Here is the drawing:

When you're sewing them together, try to keep the piece with the most seams along the sewing edge on top. In this case, the horizontal piece will have the most seams (one) along the edge that you are sewing with the "B" sides. The reason for this is so that you will be able to keep the seam allowances on the back side from twisting around and going the opposite direction from what they were ironed. The "Feed Dogs" - those spikey dealies coming out of the bottom part of your sewing machine - will catch on the seam as it goes through and if it is not already going their direction, will pull it the wrong way.

Watch your seam allowances here carefully - this is where the whole "matching points" bit comes into play.

Ok, yes, this photo blows. However. in the dimness there, you should be able to see where 2 of my pink triangle squares have been sewn to my brown/green horizontal square. Notice those ugly arrows again - they point to the place where the seams are. The arrow on the left shows a "GOOD" seam - notice that there is some brown touching the other brown, the "point" of the pink triangle is down 1/4 inch from the top of the piece. THIS IS GOOD. The right arrow shows the point of the triangle directly at the edge of the piece. THIS IS BAD. Here's why.

When you sew the next seam, across the top of these current pieces, you need a seam allowance. If you have the point of the triangle right at the edge of your piece, once you sew the next seam, you will have blunted your triangles, cutting off the tips, as it were. Sort of a Triangle Bris.

So now I'll go pull out the seam on that one on the right (Oh the things I do to make picture examples for y'all... *wink*) and re-sew it so that it too will have a nice "pointy" look for when we use it again. Iron your new-made seams OUTWARD - toward the "B" pieces. Both seams.

Ok! That's it for now - you should have 50 of these nifty strips - put them aside until later, that's it for this week!