Monday, December 18, 2006

Checking It Twice

No, this isn't a post about Santa. It is about checking for basic errors, like spelling, addition and counting, before doing something.

You would think after over 40 years of silly spelling mistakes and loosing marks on math tests for addition errors at the end of a properly done calculus questions, I would know to check things. But I don't seem to ever remember that lesson.

Today's case in point was a web site I'm taking over. I tried to do some editing last week and couldn't get it to work. I phoned for technical help today and discovered I was doing things correctly, so then I checked the file name, and lo and behold, a spelling error. Once corrected, everything worked. If I had just checked the spelling last week, I could have save myself days of worry, guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

There is a relation to needlework in all of this. I made over a dozen Christmas ornaments (see above) this year for various family members from several different patterns. Most were quite simple and straight forward. I did a quilt pattern from The Prairie Schooler and it was easy to see when I was making a counting error and I could correct things easily. But, when I was working on the adorable Hope dragon(the blue dragon ornament) - a free cross-stitch pattern from Jennifer Aikman-Smith on her Dragon Dreams web site- I discovered that I was a whole row out in both directions and I was totally unwilling to frog all the work I had done, so I fudged it, and it looks okay - although the designer may disagree.

I am determined to try to remember to take the time to check things over - we'll see if I can actually do that. Usually I am so excited or rushed that I forget, but I can always hope. (I did do a spell check before publishing this!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Naming my blog

I guess my second post should be about the name of my blog. When 'The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy' movie came out this year I realized that despite knowing about the books and radio shows, I had somehow never read any of Adams' books. I'm not sure how I missed them because I have always loved science fiction and fantasy books, but there you have it. My daughter wanted to see the movie too so off we went. I loved it and then of course, being a reader, I had to read the book and compare. I enjoyed the book too, but somehow things happened and I never got to the other books. Recently, I was reading a book by Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and he mentions Douglas Adams several times, especially the posthumous book 'The Salmon of Doubt'. On my next trip to the public library I took it out. And I loved it. It made me so sad that he had died without writing any more of the wonderful stories and commentaries that I was reading. I loved the comments about Bach and Mozart, P.G. Wodehouse and Jane Austen, conservation and computers. It was great to read about somebody with so many, varied interests who seems to have been as much of a procrastinator as I am. So when I finally stopped procrastinating and set up this blog, it seemed fitting to make reference to Douglas Adams. It also gives me great leeway in what I write about!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Putting my toe in

I've decided to test the waters as a blogger. I wrote a few posts for the Stitching Post blog, which I enjoyed very much, but I didn't want to hog the blog. Then I decided I really wanted to participate in the upcoming Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge from sharon b's in a minute ago textile blog starting in January and you need a blog to fully particpate. So here I am.

I love all kinds of needlework. At one time I did many cross stitch reproduction samplers, then I moved on to other stitches, threads and even needlepoint pillows. Now I'm in love with stumpwork and silk threads and I'm moving away from kits to try my own designs. But, as much as I love needlework, I also want to be able to write about all the other things I enjoy and hopefully find people who will share their ideas and when I am stumped, their helpful hints.

So as well as stitching posts, you'll see book reviews, concerns about conservation, bird watching observations, thoughts on learning to play classical guitar and soon the lute, gardening plans and maybe successes, my attempts to draw and paint, a little sewing, and maybe even a few hints from a horse show mom.

As a picture for my first post I chose my biggest and I think best work to date. This is a needlework picture of Chawton Cottage in England, Jane Austen's last home. We visited in 2005 and I took lots of photos. When we came home I did a watercolour paining of the gardens and house and then decided to convert the painting to stitching for an exhibit our EGA chapter was putting up at the local botanical garden. It was so much fun to try all the different threads and ribbons I used for this piece. I usually had a stitch book open to try new stitches for the flowers and leaves.