homepage: Dr. Carol JVF Burns

# CAROL'S BLOG

Blog is short for weblog (weBLOG).
Check here to see the latest information about my site (and, occasionally, about my life in general).
It isn't a conventional blog—it just lets you know what I'm currently working on!

Thursday, March 26, 2015
We've been working on Pebble (our ‘little house’) a lot this week!

Here's a good floral wire taping technique. The hint about having the tape on a diagonal to the wire made it go much better for me. Plus, the way the right hand can scrunch/press it in place as you go helps get a firm attachment.

Here's another floral wire taping technique. Her orientation of the wire/hands doesn't work as well for me as the prior video. But, at about 2:40 she shows how to finish the top of the wire to get a clean look. She only does it once, and it's fast, so you'll probably have to watch it several times (stopping the video at critical moments). Wow—these people who know how to do things can make it look so easy! If I made my own videos of my first attempts at all these things (and the disastrous finished products) it would be hysterical!!

Monday, March 23, 2015
I added some negative value of $\,k\,$ problem types to Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines. Now, I've got a complete sampling of graphing problems.

I found a place to get professional-quality floral tape: SPI Supplies. I've ordered both Parafilm and Floratape. The cheap stuff is way too hard to work with. This was pretty pricey with shipping (they're not really geared to individual buyers), but now I should have enough tape for Julia's wedding, and also potential future weddings!

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Well, I couldn't leave it alone! I added two more problem types to Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines, so now I've got four-step graphing problems for sines and cosines for both argument types. (No negative $\,k\,$ values, though.)

Went to a Phoenix dance competition that Ray was competing in yesterday. (I love to dance with him, but I'm not so fond of competing, so he has other competition partners.) He did great!

Thursday, March 19, 2015
I'm calling Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines finished (at least for now).
I don't have the graphing variety I ultimately want, but I've been working on this section since the end of February, and I need to move on!

I got a Brother ScanNCut from Craigslist for \$250. It's amazing! I've been playing with it for hours. Here are a couple good tutorials: I've found that the Brother-recommended cutting depths are too deep, and cut into the tack sheet. • For copy paper, they recommended 3: I used 1, and it cut fine. • For thin construction paper, they recommended 3.5: I used 2, and it cut perfectly. Here's a series of 7 ScanNCut Feature Videos by Brother Crafter. Loading crossword puzzle. One moment please. Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Crepe paper flower videos from the place we'll probably order the crepe paper for Julia's wedding flowers. Crepe paper is hard to find! Monday, March 16, 2015 I did more work on the concept discussion for Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines. I put graphics in the tabular example, and added four-step examples at the end. I've finished my second (of three) CAMT talk preparations! Making good progress! Saturday, March 14, 2015 Wow. I haven't put anything new up since February 26th. I've been working on this section for weeks: Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines, like$\,y = a\sin k(x\pm b)\,$and$\,y = a\cos (kx\pm B)\,$. I worked on it for more than a week, then ended up throwing it all away and taking a totally different approach. I don't want students to just memorize lots of different formulas—unfortunately, given the opportunity, they often will. I'm fairly pleased with the results (no exercises yet, just the concept discussion). Thursday, March 5, 2015 I've been sick for almost a week. I'm sick of being sick! Tuesday, March 3, 2015 I adjusted Reference Angles based on excellent suggestions from my husband, Ray. When I talked about only needing to know a reference angle and a quadrant to find trigonometric values, he reminded me that some angles don't end up in a quadrant—they end up on an axis. I clarified that point. I'm ‘stitching in the ditch’ of my first apple core quilt today! It was going to be for Ray and me, but Bethany likes it so much that I'm giving it to her. • First quilt on my new Janome sewing machine! • First project using the special curve sewing foot! (Curves still require a lot of patience. Think my next few quilts will have nice straight seams...) • First project using 505 Spray Fabric Adhesive! (I used it, instead of pins, to hold the cover/batting/backing together. It's amazing!) • First project using the even feed foot (it works FANTASTIC on the cover/batting/backing sandwich)! This will be a very special quilt for me, since it has so many ‘firsts’! I need a weekly fall-back plan, for when I'm just at a loss for what to have for dinner: • Meatball Monday (pasta) • Taco Tuesday (or burritos) • Wok Wednesday (stir-fry, usually with chicken) • Tater Thursday (super potatoes; shepard's pie) • Fishy Friday • Soupy Saturday (homemade soup; canned soup and grilled cheese) • Scrambly Sunday (eggs, quiche) Monday, March 2, 2015 I updated my monthly stats and website income for February. Oops—I had never updated my auxiliary files to correctly reflect January's earnings. It wasn't too far off—it was saying \$49.55 when the actual January income was \$51.06. I've got February correctly displayed! Saturday, February 28, 2015 It's Joshua's 20th birthday! Happy birthday, Joshua! Here's a nice introduction to free-motion sewing. When attaching the free-motion needle, the bar on the attachment must go over the needle bar on your machine as shown in this video. (I didn't do this initially, and the foot wouldn't lower onto my fabric!) I didn't need to do any of the adjustments she talked about (I'm using the Distinctive generic foot on a Janome 2212)—it worked great right out of the package. The feed dog must be dropped for free-motion sewing. To drop the feed dog on the Janome 2212 (see video link below): Remove the front cover and expose the bobbin. On the right, there are two sets of three triangles: one set is higher (on the left) and the other lower (on the right). Push the metal “L” down and slide to the desired position. In the process, I stumbled across this excellent introduction to the Janome 2212. Lowering the feed dog: about minute 21. Cleaning out the bobbin area: about minute 24. Friday, February 27, 2015 Some new flower dies: Here's a good snap fastener video. I've bought a Dritz Snap Fastener Kit with Tool for$2.78 (it's an add-on item) that has the metal tool I need, so I can use the hundreds of 7/16" gripper snaps that I ‘inherited’!

Thursday, February 26, 2015
I've finished the web exercises for Graphs of Sine and Cosine.

I got some more accessories for quilting and flower-making:
• Janome Even Feed (Walking) Foot
Use the tiny screwdriver than comes with the Janome!
Be sure to put the bar above the needle screw!

This next video shows how to attach the quilting guide.
(You have to push down a bit.)

I tried sewing through a cover/batting/backing ‘sandwich’ both with and without the even feed foot. The even feed foot certainly helps eliminate the puckering problem!

Monday, February 23, 2015
I'm right on (my self-imposed) schedule for my CAMT talks. This is a lot of work!
I bought two Janome special presser feet for a ‘horizontal rotary hook model’ by mistake—my machine (Janome 2212) is an oscillating hook model. I'm trying to sell them (at about half price) on Craigslist. Silly me!

Update: No Craigslist bites (too special an item, I guess). But I've discovered how easy it is to do Amazon returns! I even gave the package to the UPS driver as he delivered something else for me. Wonderful!

Saturday, February 21, 2015
All my sewing and craft stuff was getting out of control, since I'm getting so many new things to make Julia's wedding flowers. Ray has a ‘boxes system’ that I adore—he has hundreds of boxes—all the same size, all labeled, all neatly stacked—holding tools, household items, holiday items, more. Now, I've got my own mini-box system! I'm using 94¢ plastic shoe boxes from Walmart (with lids)—they're inexpensive, sturdy, stackable, see-through, and the lids work really well, clicking on and coming off easily. I tested a few for months to see if they'd continue opening/closing well, and so far, so good. So, all my sewing/crafts are now organized, and I LOVE IT!!! (Of course, I gave my label maker a good work-out in the process...)

Friday, February 20, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for Graphs of Sine and Cosine.

I got this Dash yogurt maker at a garage sale (without instructions). I love the web!!
Customer service was nice enough to send me these Dash Yogurt Maker instructions (pdf).
Here's a yogurt recipe. (It's delicious! After refrigerating, I added sliced strawberries to some, and shredded fresh coconut to others. Yum!!!)

I got this Crop-A-Dile at the same garage sale. I ‘inherited’ many gripper-snapper snaps and eyelets, but had no tool to use them with. It does eyelets beautifully, but I'm at a loss for how (or if) it does snaps (but it says it does)!

Thursday, February 19, 2015
I'm making good progress on Graphs of Sine and Cosine.
The graphics are taking me a long time to create, but I'm pleased with the results.

I got my new Janome 2212 (pronounced ja-KNOW-me) sewing machine today! It's a dream!!! After decades, I'm finally (mostly) retiring my Singer Touch and Sew. I'll still use it for some of the fancier stitches; and now we'll be a two-sewing-machine family, so Bethany and I (or Ray and I) can sew side-by-side!

In searching for information about dropping the feed dog, I chanced across this gem:
(This is a good discussion about the fabric stabilizers that are required.)
I think this will be FANTASTIC for my mini-landscape quilts!!

Here are some Janome youtube tutorials:
• a great little introduction to the Janome 2212
Pay attention to how he uses the thead cutter!
My thread kept coming unthreaded when I started to sew again—I think I wasn't stopping the needle at the highest position. Now, it's working great!
• the four-step buttonhole Who needs a one-step buttonholer when it's this simple?
• Janome binder foot (2:10) The point-with-pull-thread is a very helpful hint. The proper width is CRITICAL. One inch is TOO WIDE, and it doesn't work. I've found that 7/8" is perfect. It didn't work well for my quilt binding: the three layers (top/padding/backing) was too thick, and it didn't work well on the curves. But, for straight binding, it works beautifully.
• Making Your Own Bias Binding Strips Great, efficient technique for sewing the bias strips together. At the end (starting about 7:30) there's a double-bind quilt binding tutorial.
• Another good tutorial on making your own bias tape. I might get the bias-making tool she uses (ironing method) for when I need a wider binding than the Janome gives me. (The video is partway down the page.)
• the Curve Master Presser Foot
Make sure the fabrics are positioned so that they separate—top fabric curving to the left, bottom fabric curving to the right.
another Curve Master video
This makes my apple core quilt sewing MUCH easier! It took me about a half dozen tries to actually get it to work smoothly, but once I got the hang of it, it really helps.

Monday, February 16, 2015
Ray and I are going to build a tiny house!
Here are links I don't want to lose track of:
This Group Organizing online service works great: SignUp Genius. Just used it for Bethany's Friday morning potluck breakfast. Effortless! Cool!

Sunday, February 15, 2015
Some videos I don't want to lose track of (for products I've purchased):

Friday, February 13, 2015
I've started the concept discussion for Graphs of Sine and Cosine.
I made this Mug Rug. It came out very pretty!

Thursday, February 12, 2015
In the past few weeks, I've made lots of jam: pineapple, cantaloupe, apple, apple core, lime, and mandarin/lime. Having fun!
I finished the web exercises for The Period of a Periodic Function.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
I finished the concept discussion for The Period of a Periodic Function.
Ray came up with a great example of a non-constant periodic function with no least positive period.

Monday, February 9, 2015
Yes! Finally back to Precalculus (after just about a month)!
I've just about finished the concept discussion on The Period of a Periodic Function.

Also, I've been trying to find some practical uses for all my tiny fabric scraps.
Here are some things I've found:
Here's a FANTASTIC collection of fabric flowers, with links to how-to-make tutorials: 40+ Charming Flowers to Make

Friday, February 6, 2015
Get ready! PI day (3/14) will be extra-special this year:

3/14/15 at 9:26:53 AM

gives the first nine decimal places of $\,\pi\,$:

3.141592653
Pretty cool!

These are paper flower tutorials that Julia found and likes: Wednesday, February 4, 2015
I'll use quilt self-binding technique (part 1) and quilt self-binding technique (part 2) for finishing my paper-pieced quilt wall hangings. (Decided to make my squares into two small wall hangings, instead of a bed quilt.) Ray and Bethany each made a square, too!

Monday, February 2, 2015
I updated my monthly stats and website income for January, and archived 2014.

I like to print my monthly calendars (for keeping track of family activities) from here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I'm almost done with my first CAMT talk (56 of 60 morsels).
I've finished sewing Ray's shirt.

I've been playing with flower ideas for Julia's wedding. Real flowers are very expensive, so I recommended fabric flowers that could then be taken home by guests as a remembrance of the day. Here are some prototypes:
• tissue paper flowers (easy and inexpensive to make; perhaps wrap around napkins)
basic technique: pleat a rectangular piece of fabric/paper; wrap wire around middle; fluff/shape
• a fluffy tulle or organza flower (requires a glue gun)
basic technique for each layer: repeatedly fold a long strip of fabric; cut petal shape and unfold; singe edges to curl petals; baste along long edge; gather; shape into circle and secure
• one-piece Kanzashi flower Cool idea; I love the folding and gathering idea. I've tried two, and they haven't come out very well. I was trying to use fabric instead of ribbon; that may be the problem.
basic technique: do a special folding of a long strip of fabric (or ribbon); baste along (special) folded edges and gather; singe edges; shape into circle and secure
• shabby chic flower This one is great for using up little pieces of fabric and miscellaneous buttons (for the middles). I went out and bought a small hot glue gun.
basic technique: fold small individual fabric squares in a special way (for each petal); glue onto a circular (felt) base; if desired, repeat for more layers; glue on center adornments (stamen, buttons, etc.)
• individual petal Kanzashi flower $\,7\text{ cm}\approx 2.75 \text{ in}\,$;   $\,4\text{ cm}\approx 1.5 \text{ in}\,$
This is beautiful, but ribbon is expensive, and I wasn't able to get even one petal to look ‘right’ with three tries—I don't think I'd be able to make 150-200 of these for a wedding!
• Japanese hair flower These are similar to the petal style above, but are a much smaller flower. I like the use of the common pins to hold them together until sewing. I recommend starting considerably bigger than $\,5\text{ cm}\times 5 \text{ cm}\,$ for your first one! The finished flower can be glued to a circular felt base.

Friday, January 13, 2015
I finished the web exercises for Periodic Functions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I finished the concept discussion for Periodic Functions.
I thought this one was going to be quick-and-easy, but it actually took me a long time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
I've been working on my CAMT 2015 talks, where I'm a featured speaker.
I've finished 22 (of 60) morsels on my first talk (of three).
I'm also making good progress on my paper-pieced sampler quilt;
I've finished all the traditional blocks, and am starting the travel blocks.
Also, Ray's shirt (that I'm sewing) is coming along well.

Thursday, January 1, 2015
Happy New Year, everyone!
I updated my monthly stats and website income for December.
Next month, I'll archive the year 2014.

Blog Archive, 2014
Blog Archive, 2013
Blog Archive, 2012
Blog Archive, 2011
Blog Archive, 2010
Blog Archive, 2009
Blog Archive, 2008
Blog Archive, 2007
Blog Archive, 2006
Blog Archive, 2005