Archive for the ‘Other Stuff’ Category

I’m an artist!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I received word this afternoon that my spirit dolls Snowflake and Not Quite Pink were accepted for the “Little Things” show at the State Street Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. They’re all packed up and ready to be taken to the post office tomorrow.

I wish I could go out there to see the show. But I’ll assign the Madison crackpot to attend and take some pictures. See the November 10 post for photos of the dolls.

Walking: All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Does learning a new skill count as a Crackpot Project? Why the heck not!

Yes we did!

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Can I just say how overjoyed I am to be able to post this picture?
Newspaper headlines from November 5

Oh hey, and there’s also this:

(Note the time stamp in the upper right corner!)

To answer Ann’s question about posting about politics on a quilting blog: heck yeah! After all, when I think back to what Obama’s candidacy seemed like when it began, “crackpot project” pretty well describes it, don’t you think?

There are some terrific photos and stories out there, but if you want to get all goose-bumpy, I highly recommend these two videos from the campaign:
Signs of Hope and Change
We Have a Lot Of Work To Do

And if you haven’t seen this series of four photos from the crowd at Grant Park on Tuesday night, you really should take a look.

Last but not least, photojournalist Callie Shell has a page of photos she took of the campaign for Time Magazine. Keep clicking the link at the bottom of the page for “more photos.” My favorite is the one in the ice cream shop.

Holy Upgrades, Batman!

Friday, September 26th, 2008


That was just slightly nerve-wracking, but in the end, very manageable! I think everything is working now, but send me a quick note if you see something amiss.

I was correct about one thing: the interface you use to post entries to the blog is very different. But I think y’all will find it pretty easy to use. The only tricky part is finding the link to upload a photo. There’s a blue bar just below the box where you type the title of the post, and in that blue bar, it says “Add media”. The first little icon there — it looks like a rectangle, very intuitive (not) — is for uploading a photo. Just click on it and follow the instructions. I’ll try to get one or more screen shots posted soon.

Welcome to WordPress 2.6.2!

Impending Blog Implosion

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Okay folks, I’ve backed up the blog software (WordPress) – at least, I think I backed up everything, this was my first experience with phpMyAdmin – and I’m about to try the upgrade. I’ve no idea what will happen to the blog in the mean time, but with any luck, we’ll be back up and running shortly!

Hang on for a wild ride!

Roadtrip #1

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

The Renegade Militant Seamstresses went on a roadtrip! Four of us, anyway. It was to Chicago for the American Sewing Guild annual conference in mid-July. It was fun, fun, fun!

We stopped at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston on the way. That’s quite a large store with much fashion fabric (as compared to quilt fabric)–silks, fine wools, rayons, etc. I bought a couple of pieces of silk to use for my dyeing experiments. The price was so good I wished I bought more.

At the conference, we took classes every day. I had determined that I would take “fun” classes as opposed to “educational” classes. That was a great idea. It’s lots easier to pay attention and stay awake in a hands-on class than in a lecture, especially when you’re tired.

My first class was “Wrapped and Embellished Necklace” with Judy Stinton. Here are two pictures of her samples:



Mine is not quite finished yet and it doesn’t look quite that good… This class was lots of fun and Judy was a great teacher.

I also took a silk dyeing class from Judy Stinton. More fun and more mess! More on that in a later post.

Another favorite class was “Sashiko Coin Purse” with Nancy Shriber. She was another excellent teacher, and I would like to take another class from her. Her sashiko garments are gorgeous. I finished the sashiko part but I have to put the purse together.

Whoever thought that four women couldn’t share a room were WRONG! Thanks to my companions, Nancy, Juanita, and Kris!

Possible Crackpot Hiatus March 24

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Fellow Crackpots:

I write with potentially unfortunate news. The fabulous company that hosts the Crackpot Quilters’ Blog, Laughing Squid web hosting, has announced that on March 24, they will be upgrading one of the pieces of software on which this blog runs (PHP, for anyone who’s interested). This is a necessary upgrade, as the old version isn’t secure and needs to be replaced.

Unfortunately, this means that another piece of software on which this blog runs (WordPress, the actual blog program) will need to be upgraded as well, and this is something that I’m responsible for doing, not the hosting company. I actually should have done it a year ago or more, but I’ve had a few other projects in the hopper (as it were) and never got around to it.

I’m quite sure that I don’t have the time or mental energy right now to upgrade WordPress, much less to have it done by March 24, and I honestly don’t know when I will have the time. (Sometime after our taxes are done, we’ve found daycare for James, and the semester’s over, is my guess.)

I have no idea what will happen to the blog when the upgrade takes place in a week and a bit. It’s possible that it will still function just fine, though I think that’s unlikely. I doubt highly that it will vanish into the aether, though I will try to find time to make a backup just in case. My guess is that posting, commenting, etc. won’t work, but that whatever’s here will still be accessible. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My apologies for this: the blog has been far more successful than I dared hope when I started it, and nearly all of the credit goes to the rest of you, for posting and commenting and keeping it going. I really don’t want to let it slide into obscurity, so I’ll see what I can do once I clear a few things off my plate. Thanks for your patience!

pssst, Rebecca: wanna mess around with a WordPress installation? I think I can set you up a user account on the hosting plan if you want…

Nothing whatsoever crafty here

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Jason and Betsy, who are friends of mine, just had a baby girl! Her name is Eliza, and she is almost as cute as James:


Congratulations, Jason and Betsy! Well done.

Fat Quarter Exchange

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

With all the Christmas lists floating around in cyberspace, it’s time to consider the Annual Fat Quarter Exchange. Do we want to do it again?

For those who don’t know, the Annual Fat Quarter Exchange occurs at sort of Christmas. Each of us brings several fat quarters. They are all put into a bag, and we take turns grabbing one out. The idea is that we each will take home as many fat quarters as we bring. Or something like that.

After that, the guidelines are a little loose. Some of us use this opportunity to create some temporary open space in the stash. Others give up leftovers from a completed project. Someone may contribute a sample of “I loved it once, but I can’t remember why.” There have occasionally been rumors of shopping for fat quarters to go in the exchange.

As far as wrapping goes, that varies, too. Some of the fat quarters are wrapped; others are not. After much pondering, I have concluded that the wrapping (or not wrapping) depends on whether the wrapper (or not wrapper) (not the rapper) has a very young child or has to bring the fat quarters on a commercial airline.

When we are not all together for Christmas (as opposed to not altogether there), a surrogate usually grabs for the absentee. The traditional way of conveying these fat quarters is in the tastefully decorated round oatmeal box, via USPS.

It’s a tradition, sorta… So what’s the plan for this year? And who has the oatmeal box?

Shopping Day Report

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Our better natures prevailed, and we did not venture out at an uncivilized hour this morning. Nancy and I got to JoAnn’s by about 9:30 a.m. Folks were still lined up for the cutting table three-quarters of the way to the back of the store. Nearly all of them had their arms full of bolts of the sale flannel. The line moved surprisingly quickly. It’s hard to imagine how much flannel there must have been at 6:00 a.m. for so many bolts to be in line with their prospective owners three and a half hours later.

We did note that everyone seemed to be in a good mood–not nearly as determined and intense as the shoppers we saw last year at 6:15 a.m. I guess the more laid-back crowd doesn’t get up at the crack of dawn to shop.

We didn’t by anything but notions (half off, of course). Nancy got a silicone mold for little gingerbread cookies. My splurge was a book–Quilting by Improvisation by Vickki Pignatelli. Ok, so I used my 50% off coupon. So far, I’m quite pleased. There’s lots of design information that will be helpful to those of us whose most recent art classes were (ahem) 40 or 50 years ago.

Then after lunch Ann joined us for a trip to our locally-owned favorite fabric shop. She was the only one who purchased anything. But Nancy and I spent a long time looking.

And what would Thanksgiving with four of the five crackpots have been without a quilt activity? Ann’s friend had given her some old copies of Foundation Piecing/Quilts With Style. Our job was to go through them and see if we wanted any. My goodness, they have some amazing quilts! Foundation piecing with a bazillion pieces! The only reason the mind did not boggle was that it had been fortified with pumpkin pie.

And for the one crackpot who could not attend–running a 5K and having to work. Some excuse! We’ll catch up with you on Christmas. And send your mom your Christmas list–soon…