'Tis the Season

Our Department Holiday Luncheon this year was a good time!
(All photos by Haidee Tieng...I decided to leave my camera at home this time!)

Olivia and I

Yolanda, Vivian and Darlene

Leticia, Tracy, Angela and Casandra
Happy Holidays from the Administrative Staff
of the Biochemistry Department at UT Southwestern!


DMA, Fashion and Art

Met friends at the Dallas Museum of Art yesterday - and we had a blast!
Mary, Dot and Lu
(I need to work with Dot on having her picture made...)
The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit is FABULOUS!  What an out-there creative genius -
There was an amazing collection of his fashion - including the following (all fashion pictures from the Internet - no pics in the museum, of course...):
one of my two favorite - this looks simple at first glance,
but the more you look, the more complex it becomes
never has tape-lace looked so astounding -
another one of my favorites (it is floor-length)
-also a great example of how much thought he puts
into the headgear as well as the outfit...
my choice for oddest...mostly because I just didn't get it...
and there was plenty of strange to choose among...
at the DMA show the mannequin also had a cane...
my personal overall favorite -
to take such a classic prom dress style and to tweak it!
The workmanship on the boudoir pieces were amazing - most of which aren't suitable for showing on a family-friendly blog...
and yes, this is the man who worked with Madonna and brought you those famous cone-shapes!

The show was extremely well done and very over-stimulating, but a pleasure to see and it was great to share it with friends who are into fiber and fashion.

We went out the side entrance to the museum so we could stop at the Nasher gift shop, and to our delight, the trees had been lace-bombed!

What a good day.

As for my art:  Today I finished the piece for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative - I'm proud of it and hope it brings in money for Alzheimer's research...

Now it's time to go see what's next on the list...who knows?  It might be nap!


Department Retreat...

I had a great time at the Biochemistry's Department Retreat in New Braunfels, TX - it's held every year at the T Bar M Ranch  As usual, I got lots of flora pictures - except for the grass, these blooms are all very small (less than a couple of inches)...



While the other admins work the registration table...
I spent a lot of time on the phone
working out issues with the local transportation for our invited undergraduates from all over the country (15 this year, competing for the Frank & Sara McKnight Award in Molecular Sciences...)

After a great barbeque dinner, we held the poster session for current students, postdoctoral fellows and the invited undergraduates - I always enjoy that part of the day - I take pictures of the undergraduates and their posters (here's two of them mugging for the photo op)
and I get to hang out with them and learn a little more about them
All 15 were very personable and EXTREMELY bright...such a pleasure to work with them!

The next day, Darlene, Angela, Andrea & I went to the Wimberly TX Market Days, which is a fabulous once-a-month flea market -

We spent several hours there and didn't even come close to seeing it all!

Then we stopped at the San Marcos outlet malls before heading toward San Antonio - where we did even more shopping at the SAS Factory outlet
where I really enjoyed their collection of old vehicles

After that we went on into San Antonio to eat at the Tip Top Cafe - as seen on Food Network's Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives... and, I will admit, I had my doubts, but OMG what GREAT food!!  And a great time!

Amazing Onion Rings and not greasy!
Andrea's Chicken Fried Steak was almost as big as the plate and delicious!

Darlene's Fried Chicken was crispy and scrumptious!

And the Fried Fish (Angela and I both had that) was classic wonderful diner food!
Darlene & Andrea

Jo & Angela
After getting back to the ranch, we stayed up until 1 a.m. playing UNO...I laughed so hard it hurt!

The next day, Darlene and I treated ourselves to Collins Street Bakery in Corsicana for lunch and got home in the late afternoon.

All in all:  good shopping+good food+good friends = Great Time!


Dave as Flag Bearer...

While I was off at the Department retreat this past weekend, Dave had the opportunity to be one of the flag bearers from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War at the dedication of the memorial to Union vesterans at the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetery on 11/6/11...


She's not as calm as she looks.
And she doesn't like the new back door...
she can't see through it,
it opens the wrong way (on the right now & not the left),
and it beeps (every time it opens) - doors aren't supposed to beep.


An open letter

To the jackwagons who kicked in our back door and took our stuff:

Thank you for not harming our dog.
Thank you for rampaging and looting, but not being destructive.
Thank you for the opportunity to upgrade our security system.
Thank you for only taking stuff that can be replaced.

Of course, God will have to forgive you (it is His job...), but I'm not sure I can...I do feel great sorrow: 

I'm sorry you are forced to make such bad choices.
I'm sorry that your life probably sucks.
I'm sorry that your life will (statistically speaking) be so short.
I'm sorry you took away our peace of mind and that of my neighbors.


p.s.  I hope you herniated yourselves lugging out that flat screen.
p.p.s.  I have great faith that the Universe will give you what you deserve.


Good things -

Well...it finally rained enough that SOMETHING bloomed in the yard - not sure what it is (probably a weed), but we didn't care!

Have worked at getting a clear space to work in my studio...it went from this:

I know! Didn't help that the contents of one of
the shelves came tumblin' down!
to this:

So, while I still don't have enough storage space (had to get a couple of new bins), at least I can get to my machines now (I use both my Bernina and my Singer Futura).

Bought this little charmer for $100 a few weeks ago -
(yes, it's a Hello Kitty Janome...) - it is designated as my "workshop" machine, so now I'll have to find a couple of workshops I can afford to attend!  The best, of course, will be at the Houston Quilt Show, but I'll be at the department retreat that weekend...sigh....I wish the HQS would go back to being in October.

I have taken an initial leap into textile design by ordering my own fabric from Spoonflower.  If you will remember from my 8/5 post, I was working on some of my photos with this goal in mind.  I took one of the "dirt" pictures, an abstract of a picture from Vegas (I can't identify the original), and a slightly abstracted photo I took of a Dallas building and ordered yardage.  A little expensive, but very unique!
While Spoonflower recommends "warm setting, gentle cycle", I decided that's not very practical for quilts or baby blankets, so I threw them into "hot, normal" and "cotton setting" on the dryer.  Saw no dye transfer and little shrinkage!  I think I really am on to something.  Spent several hours working on several of my other photos - will show you those when I can afford to order some!

This weekend was great - cooked up a batch of "No Alarm" chili -
- that means a miniscule amount of chili powder...whatever was in the two packets of taco seasoning...and no peppers of any kind - but I more than made up for those missing ingredients with onions and garlic!  We invited a few friends over for movie viewing (and the baseball game on their iPhones) and we had the tabasco, jalapeños, and chili powder available on the side and they could make their individual servings as hot as they wanted!  It was popular and I thought it was pretty good (especially since I haven't made chili in the last 20 years!  Dave did not marry me because he thought I could cook...I can, he just didn't know it!).

Sunday, I was back up in the studio and got things ready to finish off the Challenge quilt and laid out the next crib blanket on the design wall. 
Also worked a little on the 2-b-auctioned mini-quilt for the Spring Dallas Quilt Show and re-located the base (it was hiding under something) for the mini-quilt I'm making to go in the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative display at that same show (they'll be shown and then they go to the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative for auction.)  If I can get really ambitious, I'll complete a small quilt to actually go into the show...but there is only so much time and the University insists I show up to work 8-5 if I expect them to pay me.  There will be pictures of those when they happen.
And, as you can see, I tried to take a picture of Miss Roxie for her adoring fans, but she will not stay still for that to happen...
She thinks the camera is evil and will steal her soul...