Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Art of Giving

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the family.  Then I decided that since I was home and didn't have that much I needed to do I would start working on some Christmas projects.  I ended up creating 8 Christmas ornaments that I will take back to school with me and give out to 8 lucky individuals.

First four of the 8.  The top right is like my four seasons quilt except in just winter.

For the backs I ended up using a fabric that had snowflakes and made sure each one had a large snowflake. I then put my name and the year on each back.  Sometimes I had to get creative about where I put it so it could be seen.

Last four of the 8.

Back of the last four.

These all came out very well.  For all those who are wondering about how long these took me I think I spent 18 or so hours working on all 8 of these.  In all it doesn't take me that long to make one.  The length of time varies depending on how detailed I want to be and how involved the design I have in mind is.

These ornaments will be given out during one of my regular 'drops.'  Throughout the semester I have given some of the girls I know, who live in the dorms cookies with encouraging notes.  It all started last semester with a couple girls who lived on my floor.  They were in East Meets West, which is the honors program I did, and had papers to write on the weekends.  Knowing what they were going through I anonymously made goodies and left them outside their doors with notes.  Eventually they found out it was me and I have been doing it ever since.  Fridays have become cookie days and I have expanded the number of people I give cookies and notes to.  At the end of December though, I will be graduating so I won't be around to give them goodies anymore.  For the last 'drop' of the year I have cooked up something special and hope they all will like it.  I have enjoyed giving to these girls and encouraging them throughout the semesters.

My next project will be caramel corn.  However, there isn't much room in the car that is going back to school so I will just end up making it there.  I have a lot to make this year.  I have a request to provide some for "The Biggest Bestest Christmas Party Ever" that is taking place at my house hosted by two of my housemates.  Every year they have one and it just keeps getting bigger.  I then have lots of other people I want to make caramel corn for.  When I am done making it at school I get to go home and make even more.  Although I get tired of making it, I enjoy seeing the people I give it to enjoy it and that is what makes it worth going to so much effort to make it.

Just three weeks of classes and finals left before I am done with my undergrad years.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Who's That Doctor?

Before I came back to school I had mentioned I might get to spay a cat.  Well I actually did.  This cat was a stray that the hospital had.  A doctor was in the room with me the whole time but was just observing and explaining while I did the surgery.  Although I was nervous it ended up being a lot of fun.  Other than explaining the doctor also took pictures while the surgery was going.  I think she was just as excited as I was to have me be in surgery.

The surgery went well and the patient did fine.  She was adopted three weeks ago and is named Nellie.  After the surgery I was told that if I want to I can have more cats lined up for me when I get home from school.  Sounds like I am going to have a fun semester off in the spring.

We are now almost halfway through my last semester and it is going fast.  A couple of weeks ago I went to a conference in Pennsylvania about propionic acidemia.  During Mayterm I had done a research project among the Amish focusing on this disease so it was interesting to go to this.  I am also doing an independent study that is following up the Mayterm by doing a literature review.  This weekend is homecoming and Saturday night will end with me being in SPOT.  It is going to be really fun.  TTFN.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

...Go, Going, (Almost) Gone

Here is the progress I have made since the last post.  My mom has allowed me to use the fusible webbing that she has so I have made significant progress.  Anytime I have stopped I have taken a picture of the quilt.  I had originally thought I might give this away as a gift but I have since grown too attached to it.  Not only did I have the idea for several years before I actually started to make it but I have spent a lot of time on creating this quilt.  I think it will look very good as a bedroom quilt.  Just means I need to make a smaller traditional gift sized quilted picture for a gift.

This is after I had finished the sky.  I really liked the way it turned out.  I was trying to think how I could do it like the Ecuador Sunrise but then I found I could offset each color and it turned out much better.

After the sky I added the mountains.  What is the interesting thing about this quilt is it is one mountain range spanning across the four seasons.

The lake was then added next.  The lake consists of several layers of wavy water color fabrics.

Hills were then added between the mountains and the lake.  It is just two hills but like the mountain range the hills span through the four seasons currently making then seem like more than two hills.  Also added were evergreen trees between the mountains and the hills.

A reflection was added in the lake along with the near side bank of the lake.

After I had fused all the pieces on I then added 1/2" strips of brown to create the window.  However, I found that the mid line would cut through the trees so I moved the mid line up and cut a small strip from the bottom so that the top and the bottom would be equal in length.

This is how it looks without the strip hanging out near the bottom.  I also added a shear white piece over the winter portion of the lake to act as ice.  My brother is the one who asked if I was going to have the lake iced over for the winter.  At first I thought no but then decided it looked good with it.

I have now gotten the window frame added to the quilt and am ready to quilt parts of the inside.  After that I will put a backing on it and it will be ready to be a wall quilt.  I may or may not add some trees or something to the different seasons but it depends on how much time I have left to spend on it.  It might just be done as it is.

I will visit Tuft's on Tuesday, have my last day of work on Friday, and then leave Saturday to go back to Houghton.  I may or may not get to spay a cat before I leave.  I was supposed to last Thursday but the cat had escaped the trap.  It seems like Dr. Tighe really wants me to spay a cat before I leave.  If I don't then I can probably look forward to doing one when I am done with my undergrad years in December.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

3, 2, 1...

Progress!  I have finally cut a piece of white muslin to the size I want it with a 1/4" seam allowance.  On it I drew approximately what will be on it so I have some idea of how far certain fabrics need to go.  Seen around it are the various pieces of fabric I have bought from the sale room of Keepsake Quilters on my way home from the orthodontist in North Conway.  Missing are some of the whites I got as well as the many fabrics I have access to from my school collection and my mom's collection.  Hopefully I have enough fusible webbing to start putting it together tonight but if not I will just have to wait.  I just have to have it done by August 31st before I head back to school on September 1st.  This will be my last semester of undergrad.  I also plan to submit my applications before heading back as well.  Back to the grind I go.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Vet Quilts?

Well, I am not a vet yet but I am starting the application process.  I have one application fits most and every school has their own supplemental so it is a lot to fill out.  I have until October though.  While I gradually fill the applications out I have my usual summer job at Hannaford keeping me busy as well as spending time at Plymouth Animal Hospital.  Not only do I see what goes on in surgeries and office visits but I also go out in the truck on the farm calls.  It is a lot of fun and I look forward to veterinary school and learning even more about the workings of a veterinarian.  Today I saw a spay (I feel like I could do one I see so many), a bandage change on a large dog that had had surgery to correct its patella, an ultrasound on a large dog, vaccinations for four horses and a mule, trying to help a goat give birth (but having to put her down because it just wasn't going to happen), ultrasound on two horses, and taking a look at a filly that was just a few days old.  As you can see I get a lot out of a day and am enjoying every bit of it just like I did last summer and the summer before.

In my spare time between work and the animal hospital I do other things like keep up with quilting.  Recently I did this small piece (5" x 7") for Ashley and Stephen (I worked with them during Mayterm) who are getting married this Saturday.  Both of them had gone to Ecuador so I took a picture that they had taken and imagined it during a sunrise.  This is the final product that I stuck in a picture frame for them to decorate their living space with.
The Original Photo

The Re-imagined Ecuador Sunrise

I have another project in the works.  I have had the idea for this newer project for at least the past two years and am just now getting around to starting (and hopefully finishing) this summer.  I think it has helped that every time I go to the orthodontist I stop by a quilt shop and get some sale fabrics specifically for this project.  If you want to know what this project is you'll just have to wait until I have some progress to show. I will say this the Ecuador Sunrise piece gave me a little practice for part of this project I have in mind. Until then TTFN.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Research and Summer

Well it's been a while.  I just got home from Houghton on Friday and have already been back to work.

Mayterm Research
I spent an extra month in Houghton doing research with Dr. Pelletier and some other students during Mayterm.  Jon and I started out doing research on adult stem cells.  Adult stem cells are not the stem cells that have controversial debates surrounding them but are the stem cells most people wish scientists would use.  Dr. Pelletier had worked with Corning during the spring semester while on sabbatical to try and get these stem cells to differentiate on a specialty surface.  Normally to get stem cells to differentiate you have to grow them in the growth media for the type of cell you want.  What we were trying to do was use a stem cell growth media while the surface that the cells adhered to decided what kind of cell they would become.  However, Corning did not send the supplies we needed until the very last week of Mayterm so during the third week of Mayterm I ended up switching research projects.  Jon however, stayed on the stem cell project as he is continuing the research with the summer research institute.

The last two weeks of Mayterm I spent with Ashley and Stephen doing a genetic study with the Amish in the area.  This was an interesting project and I was able to get to know some of the Amish in the area and learn about their ways.  Propionic acidemia (PA) is a inherited recessive metabolic disorder.  It is caused by an enzyme (propionyl-CoA carboxylase) not working properly and can lead to a build up of propionic acid in the brain and heart.  This can cause seizures and serious heart problems.  In the state of NY newborn screening for PA did happen until 10 years ago.  This means that there can be people with PA who don't know they have it.  It was our hope that we would be able to identify some individuals who did not know they had PA.  We spent lots of hours in the lab after we had DNA samples donated but it was still a good time.

I am now home working at Hannaford like I have every summer.  I will also end up going to the animal hospital whenever I can.  I have many little projects that I want to do this summer.  Some even include quilting so keep an eye out for what is going on here this summer.