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!

Monday, December 28, 2015
Ray (my husband) and I have had many spiritual discussions over the past four years. He is amazing at answering spiritual questions. I've frequently said that I should get his wisdom online, so that people other than myself can benefit. I'm finally beginning the process. I added a things Spiritual link to my main Table of Contents. There isn't too much there yet, but I hope to search my computer and scrapbooks and find previous gems; and I hope to add future discussions on a regular basis.

Sunday, December 27, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for Trying to ‘Undo’ Trigonometric Functions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I'm now very close to being done with the concept discussion for Trying to ‘Undo’ Trigonometric Functions.

Monday, December 21, 2015
I've (finally!) uploaded a preliminary version of Trying to ‘Undo’ Trigonometric Functions.
It's not done, but it's a start.

Thursday, December 17, 2015
I am working on a new Precalculus section, I just don't have enough that I'm pleased with to upload yet. This is what happens when I take a break from writing (this time, due to my trip to Massachusetts)—it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things!

I've also resumed my ASL study, and I'm starting to learn Spanish. Living in Arizona, I really need to know it—when I (say) shop at Walmart, I hear more Spanish than English. These sites are being very useful to me:
• www.babbel.com
I started my free lesson; next day, I got an email offering me three months free with a three-month paid subscription. Thus, only about \$26 for six months—definitely worth it. • www.duolingo.com All free; very professional site. • memrise.com Vocabulary practice. You can choose from user-submitted flash cards to help you remember the words. They must offer them based on most popular user selection; I usually end up using one of the first cards offered. Thursday, December 10, 2015 I'm late in updating my monthly stats and website income for November. I'm in Massachusetts until early January, giving my sister a much-deserved break in caring for our Mom. I took a bus—oh why, oh why do I do that? I think it's a bit like childbirth; you forget how painful it is over time. My feet and ankles swell, even though I drink lots of water and take every rest-stop opportunity to walk. Just too much sitting—left on a Tuesday afternoon, and arrived in Lenox on Friday afternoon. I'll be flying back (for less than what I paid for my bus ticket coming out)! The one-way bus ticket was \$221.50, and the one-way plane ticket was \$206.60. Much different routine here, so I haven't gotten any web work done, but hopefully I will get back to it before I return to Arizona. It's so wonderful to spend time with my Mom! I want to keep track of this: in the days leading up to my Tucson departure, I walked 13.27 miles (as computed by geodistance.com); from Stepping Stone to Pebble! I take long walks when I need lots of thinking time. Thursday, November 26, 2015 I was hit with a bad nausea/vomiting bug a couple days ago, so decided it best if I not expose family at Thanksgiving—so I'll get a dinner brought home to me tonight! I want to keep track of Thredup.com. They have a bunch of lightly-used Hanna Andersson clothes, which I love, but are really expensive new. And I know (from personal experience) how well made they are, and how long they last! I haven't been pleased with the slow-cooker recipes I got online the other day, so I want to try some of these from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. If I like them, she has a freezer-to-crock-to-table e-book (I'm currently interested in crock pot recipes I can freeze.) I also came across this article, which seems like a great set of strategies for someone having to deal with (say) hormones! Monday, November 22, 2015 We get the most amazing treats after choir practice! I learned that the recipe for the last one was from thepioneerwoman.com; I want to keep track of this site and do some perusing of her recipes. (I think the recent treat was blackberry cobbler #1. It was so delicious!) Saturday, November 21, 2015 I finished the web exercises for Double Angle Formulas for Sine and Cosine. I'm particularly pleased with cases 21 and 22; they took me a long time to code. Tuesday, November 17, 2015 I finished the concept discussion for Double Angle Formulas for Sine and Cosine. I've really enjoyed the HASFIT exercise videos, so I'm up for this 30-day Challenge to Get in Shape. Monday, November 16, 2015 More progress on the concept discussion for Double Angle Formulas for Sine and Cosine. I decided some review was in order before the example of using the double angle formulas. Thursday, November 12, 2015 I've got a good start to the concept discussion for Double Angle Formulas for Sine and Cosine. Again, the graphic for the geometric proof took a long time to get just right. I want to keep track of this link: geodistance.com is a great tool for calculating the length of walking/running/biking routes. This one, too: playback.fm; you put in your birthdate, and it tells you the #1 radio song on that day! This incredibox.com is fun! You can create your own ‘beatboxing’ music! Just drag the icons onto the little people to create different effects. Sunday, November 8, 2015 Here are the nutrition labeling guidelines for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In particular, foods less than 50 calories are rounded to the nearest 5-calorie increment. Thus, a food with 2.4 calories would be listed as 0 calories. Above 50 calories, it can be rounded to the nearest 10-calorie increment. Saturday, November 7, 2015 I've finished the exercises for Addition and Subtraction Formulas for Sine and Cosine. Wednesday, November 4, 2015 Hooray! We're doing Mary, Did You Know? at church for Christmas! We'll lose the beatboxing to make it suitable for church. Emily Allen is soprano, I'm alto, Ray Burns is tenor, Robb Hays is baritone, and Doug Mason is bass. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to sing this! Monday, November 2, 2015 I've finished the concept discussion for Addition and Subtraction Formulas for Sine and Cosine. The diagram to explain the geometric proof took me about six hours, but I'm pleased with the result! I updated my monthly stats and website income for October. Here are some knots needed for the planter I'm making for Christmas: Thursday, October 29, 2015 Beanies and leg warmers from old sweaters! I love it! And so easy—I've got to try this! Wednesday, October 28, 2015 I need to get some resistance workouts into my weight-loss regime, to help prevent my metabolism from slowing down. I've lost ten pounds in just over two weeks, so I'm pleased. And—as I suspected—as my leg weight is coming off, my legs are feeling springier and more responsive. Hooray! This is a good 15-minute Beginner Workout for Weight Loss and Strength. I've finally finished the exercises for Verifying Trigonometric Identities. This one took a long time, but I'm pleased with the questions. Monday, October 26, 2015 My sister in Massachusetts is selling her home: 52 Hubbard St., Lenox, MA 01240. Macrame tutorials I want to keep track of: And, here are crocheted picture frames. Wednesday, October 21, 2015 I've finished the concept discussion for Verifying Trigonometric Identities. Sunday, October 18, 2015 Tony posted this for Julia on her birthday: Unchained Melody Pan flute and guitar version Arranged by Inka Gold. So beautiful! I'm posting it here so I can keep track of it. Friday, October 16, 2015 Back from Massachusetts, so I can now get back to Precalculus. I want to keep track of this youtube video for changing the belt on my Hoover Windtunnel Rewind T-series vacuum. So clear, so easy! I love YouTube! Ray's birthday was yesterday, and I made chicken enchiladas, cauliflower and zucchini with paprika and chives, homemade bread, and a strawberry/peach cobbler for dessert. He got twelve packages of unsweetened puffed wheat cereal (special ordered) as a gift. Ray hurt his arm (perhaps climbing in/out of the well, perhaps working on Pebble) so he's in pain, and it is in a sling. I've put on weight—I think it snuck up on me when I was so sick and could barely move for a year in 2014. We don't have a scale—but I had a suspicion I had put on weight (either that, or things were shrinking in my dryer)! People back East brought to my attention that, indeed, I had put on a significant amount of weight. So, I'm returning to the mantra that Julia was raised on: if you're eating good healthful food, not eating too much junk food, and exercising regularly, then you're the weight you're meant to be. I need improvement in all three of these areas. I've cut out the snacks, reduced my portions at meals, and doubled my walking time. In just a week, I've lost weight and am feeling better. When people ask me if I'm fully recovered, I answer yes—but my legs just don't feel as responsive—as springy—as they used to be. I now believe it's because my legs are bigger than they used to be! So, I'm anxious to see if the responsiveness returns as I slim down. Friday, October 9, 2015 Busy, busy, busy days! After all these years (4), I've gotten all my belongings from the Hill Cottage. I flew out to Massachusetts with Ray, and Julia met us here. We sorted and packed and repaired and made decisions about what to take and leave, and Ray was masterful in packing up the trailer. He was so efficient that we only used 5 linear feet instead of the 7 we had expected to use (so he saved us about \$500)! Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were 11-12 hour physical work days (lots of lifting and carrying of heavy boxes) so I was SORE. But, it's done and I'll be really excited to have my own things again. I'm going to miss my porch swing and outside swings and woodstove—it wasn't practical to move them. We also left behind Julia's childhood LLBean sled—it wasn't in great shape, and Arizona doesn't get snow!

One of my users located a typo in one of my online pdf files (average.pdf). These had been created with $\,\TeX\,$ many years ago (on an earlier computer), and I didn't even realize I had the means to edit them on my MAC. But, I discovered that I did indeed have TeXShop, and it took about an hour (with Julia's help) to remember how to work with things (and move some files around and change file addresses), but I got it corrected and re-uploaded. Notes to myself: after typesetting, the pdf file is automatically made and placed in the same directory as the original tex file. Of course, soon I'm changing back to a PC, and then everything will change again!

Friday, October 2, 2015
I updated my monthly stats and website income for September.
My Horizontal and Vertical Stretching/Shrinking was really popular this month, with 8819 views (more than any other of my pages)!

I've finished the web exercises for Summary: Solving Triangles (all types). LOADS of practice! Pretty much every type of triangle imaginable!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
At primary on Sunday, for a treat after the big program (Carol played the piano), the Hoenes girls (mother and daughters) sang Hilary Weeks' song ‘He Hears Me’. So beautiful!

I added a fourth ‘potential solution’ to Revisiting ‘Equal’ Versus ‘Approximately Equal’.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for Summary: Solving Triangles (all types).
I've been spending quite a bit of time looking at responsive web designs and thinking about my website re-design.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
I finished the web exercises for Using the Law of Cosines in the SSS Case (& Introduction to the Arccosine Function).

I came across this beautiful triangle solver, which I'll link to in my next section.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Today is our fourth wedding anniversary!
Ray and I had our first dance lesson together, since I was so sick with the CIDP in 2014. Hooray!

I finished the concept discussion for Using the Law of Cosines in the SSS Case (& Introduction to the Arccosine Function).

There was only a teeny bit of interest in an OpenStudy Algebra Pinball competition, so I've dropped that idea. Also, I probably won't do much helping out there anymore. The questions scroll by so fast and are so quickly ‘snatched up’ by the multitude of anxious helpers! I feel like trying to get someone to help is like trying to catch the brass ring on a merry-go-round!
I'm disappointed, because I really liked the idea of helping out on a regular basis with a wide variety of questions at a wide variety of levels. I miss my students! But—it's just too stressful for me.

While thinking about how Algebra Pinball might have been run there, though, I stumbled across this site: LCMS Algebra Pinball. So, someone is trying out the Algebra Pinball idea! Cool! There's no contact info on the page, so I've contacted a couple Middle Schools with the initials LCMS, to see if I can find the creator!

Monday, September 21, 2015
I've finished Law of Cosines. I ended up adding a lot of caution about using the Law of Sines.

I've finished an optional section, Revisiting ‘Equal’ versus ‘Approximately Equal’. It discusses the display of problems that use lots of decimal approximations.

Also, I'm seeing if the OpenStudy community is interested in an Algebra Pinball competition just for them. I'm thinking about how this could be run.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for the Law of Cosines.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
I've almost finished the concept discussion for the Law of Cosines.

Monday, September 14, 2015
I've finished Given Two Sides and a Non-Included Angle, How Many Triangles?. I have two interactive JSXGraph explorations. Processing the MathJax in the div caused an unpleasant delay after pressing the button, so I used text rendering instead of MathJax in several places. I'm pleased with my selection of exercises. This section took me a long time!

Friday, September 11, 2015
Well—sometimes I only think I'm done! I put in a summary graphic and some interactive JSXGraph in Given Two Sides and a Non-Included Angle, How Many Triangles?. I had to put
MathJax.Hub.Typeset('boxSummary');

at the end of the JSXGraph-creating function in order to get the math to process. I'm really pleased with this section!

Thursday, September 10, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for Given Two Sides and a Non-Included Angle, How Many Triangles?.

I removed all the AddThis stuff from my web pages. I clicked the AddThis Facebook button that (quite annoyingly) appeared at the upper right of the page, and it gave me a section title with garbage beneath (part of my Javascript code)—and I certainly don't want that shared! I know that, at some historical point, I thought AddThis was good for my pages, but I've changed my mind.

I also put up a new donation request header, with pretty lead letters and a ‘DBLS’ theme (Donate, Buy, Link, Share). I hope to periodically DBL (double) my users (and income) with this strategy. I keep trying! I keep trying!
I've devoted 10,000+ hours to this site.
Honor System Donation
 onate $1/person/year uy Anything! Just enter here ↝ Amazon ink to any of my pages hare Facebook, Twitter, any social media Wednesday, September 9, 2015 I've almost finished the concept discussion on Given Two Sides and a Non-Included Angle, How Many Triangles?. Just one complete example to go! My reading speed is horrible—I seem to read everything the way I read mathematics (slow slow slow). Spreeder sounds like an interesting site! This animated iphone history video is great! In my opinion, it's worth waiting through the initial 30-second advertisement to see it. Saturday, September 5, 2015 I finished the web exercises for Law of Sines. Friday, September 4, 2015 I finished the concept discussion for Law of Sines. Wednesday, September 2, 2015 I updated my monthly stats and website income for August. I always love the beginning of a new school year! I'm almost done with the concept discussion for Law of Sines. Monday, August 31, 2015 I've finished the web exercises for Area of a Triangle. These recent sections have been going quickly. Hooray! Sunday, August 30, 2015 Our new choir piece! Psalm 148 (Gustav Holst). Fortunately, we've got until mid-November to learn it! Friday, August 28, 2015 It's my birthday! I was born in 1958 (you do the math). I've finished the concept discussion for Area of a Triangle. I'm pleased with my graphics at the bottom of the concept discussion—I worked hard at getting them just right. Thursday, August 27, 2015 Only one more graphic, to finish the concept discussion for Area of a Triangle. Wednesday, August 26, 2015 I've gotten a good start to the concept discussion for Area of a Triangle, Given Two Sides and an Included Angle. Creating the graphics takes a lot of time; I do a lot of tweaking to get spacing just right. Tuesday, August 25, 2015 I've been stressed for days trying to figure out how to move my stuff from the Hill Cottage (Monterey, MA) to Tucson, Arizona. My head was swimming with all the options: rent a truck and drive ourselves; moving pods; full movers? Everything (including the drive ourselves) was coming back in the upper \$3,000 to \$5,000 range. Sticker shock!!! Egads!!! We only have less than 500 cubic feet of stuff. But then Ray found a place where you only pay for the space you use (great for us, since there is some uncertainty in what we'll be moving). They deliver the truck, we load, they pick up. It is far less than all the other costs—even what it would have cost us to drive ourselves!! And, they are able to drop off the trailer for loading on the exact date we want! I don't want to lose this link: we're using the U-Pack Moving Trailer. There is a \$1958 minimum charge for five linear feet in an 8' by 9' trailer; each additional linear foot is \$259. We got a \$50 off coupon from retailmenot.com, and a \$25 discount for booking online (even though we ended up calling to ask a question and actually booked through a person). Seven linear feet will give us 504 cubic feet of storage space; with our discounts, it's costing us \$2401. If we pack efficiently, we'll pay even less. We were going to have to pay much more than this to drive ourselves in a rented truck, 600 miles/day for five days (yuck). I'll post an update after the move to see if things went well, but right now, I'm thrilled!!

Here's a great video showing what the inside of the truck looks like, how to separate your load from other loads, and how to use the ramp. (Click on ‘Packing and Loading’; then click on ‘How do I use straps or rope to secure my items’. The URL is the same for all these different pages—so I'm not able to get a more direct link. Weird! Watch the top video.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015
I expanded the concept discussion in Sine and Cosine as Scaling Factors of Hypotenuse to show how the scaling factors also naturally arise from the unit circle approach.

Saturday, August 22, 2015
I decided to insert a quick section on Sine and Cosine as Scaling Factors of Hypotenuse. Both concept discussion and exercises done in one day! Woo hoo!

Thursday, August 20, 2015
I've finished the web exercises for The Area of a Circular Sector. If I could do all the sections this quickly, then I'd be done with Precalculus in no time at all!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for The Area of a Circular Sector. Finally, a really, really, really quick one!

Monday, August 17, 2015
Hooray! I've finished the exercises for The Angle Subtended by a Geometric Object at an External Point. I've been working on three sections for an entire month, and I'm happy to finally move on!

Friday, August 14, 2015
I've finished the exercises for Length of a Circular Arc (and related concepts). I'm really pleased with the variety of problems.

Thursday, August 13, 2015
I've got a good start to the exercises for Length of a Circular Arc (and related concepts).
I embedded my YouTube video in my homepage (at the bottom). Maybe I can get some more people to watch it here!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I've finished the exercises for Review of Circles (and related concepts).
I'm working my way through all the W3School tutorials.
Here's a fantastic color chart!

Saturday, August 8, 2015
I've finished the concept discussion for Length of a Circular Arc (and related concepts).
Now (finally) I can get to work on the exercises for these last three sections!

Friday, August 7, 2015
Will it never end? (Sigh.) I've added an equivalent definition to the optional section The Angle Subtended by a Geometric Object at an External Point. This alternate definition doesn't rely on the concept of least upper bound. Instead, it uses the fact that the intervals $\,(a,b)\,$, $\,[a,b)\,$, $\,(a,b]\,$, and $\,[a,b]\,$ all have the same length.

Monday, August 3, 2015
First day of sixth grade for Bethany!
I updated my monthly stats and website income for July.
I finished the examples for the optional section The Angle Subtended by a Geometric Object at an External Point.

Friday, July 27, 2015
I'm finally pleased with the concept discussion on the optional section The Angle Subtended by a Geometric Object at an External Point. I've spent days on this section. I love my illustrations! Still needs examples at the end (and perhaps a short discussion of why we require path-connectedness), but I'm getting close!

Wednesday, July 27, 2015
Hooray! I can upload again! There had been a problem ‘upstream’ from my server that prevented me from uploading anything for over a week.

I've gotten a lot done during this time. I've discovered processingJS, a free programming language for drawing on the web that uses web standards and does not require any plug-ins. It makes animations really easy. There seem to be a ‘competitor’—Paper. I'm not sure which I'll actually end up using.

Very-well-done processingJS computer tutorials for beginners are available at Khan Academy (Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation). I'm going through them all.

A teeny-tiny review of circles (before talking about the length of a circular arc) ended up turning into three sections (yes, this happens).

Saturday, July 18, 2015
I've started the concept discussion for The Length of a Circular Arc (and Related Concepts).
I don't have much on circles (as geometric objects) in prior lessons, so I've decided to put quite a bit of information in this section.

Monday, July 13, 2015
I finished the web exercises for Graph of the Secant Function.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I finished the concept discussion for Graph of the Secant Function.

Monday, July 6, 2015
I (finally!) finished the web exercises for Graph of the Tangent Function.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
I updated my monthly stats and website income for June.
I put ‘Suggested donation: \$1/person/year’ in my header material. Worth a try! Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Back from CAMT 2015! I was pleased with all my talks, and it was a great experience. Ray and I also got to see Space Center Houston and Battleship Texas. So much fun! We've hired a very experienced person to help us with Pebble's construction, and it's going along great! The framing of the first level is almost complete in just two days of work! I added a new entry to my testimonials page. Sunday, June 21, 2015 I put my three CAMT 2015 talks on my homepage in preparation for my talks on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They're designed as ‘self-guided’ talks, even though I'll be leading people through them—60 morsels in 60 minutes! Wednesday, June 16, 2015 I finished the concept discussion for Graph of the Tangent Function. Tuesday, June 16, 2015 I'm almost finished with the concept discussion for Graph of the Tangent Function. Saturday, June 13, 2015 Bethany had a fantastic sleepover birthday party! The girls slept on the floor of Pebble, under the stars. Corn dogs, yummy watermelon/grape/strawberry fruit salad, and chips for dinner. Some-mores with marshmallows roasted over an open fire. Lots of fun playing in the ‘sand pit’ and the ‘warrior camp’. Scrumptious oreo ice-cream cake. Beautiful gifts. What a great bunch of girls! Wednesday, June 10, 2015 I've finished the exercises for Given Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift, Write an Equation. Monday, June 8, 2015 I've finished the concept discussion for Given Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift, Write an Equation. I also made some edits to Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift. Tuesday, June 2, 2015 I changed my TeX Commands Available in MathJax document to load from the copy of MathJax on my own server instead of the CDN; it had stopped rendering correctly in Safari. Things didn't display correctly, and the page repeatedly ‘froze’ and required a force-quit. I've finished practicing my three CAMT talks myself; I think I've located and corrected all the typos! Now, all that remains is to practice with Ray, and then I'm ready to go! The floor on Pebble is done, and we're moving on to the sides! Monday, June 1, 2015 I updated my monthly stats and website income for May. Long time no updates! We've all been extremely busy with Julia and Tony's wedding: preparations, the event itself, clean-up, guests. Mary Ann (my sister) and Karl (my former husbandnot) both stayed with us for about a week. Ray, Mary Ann and I finally made it to Biosphere 2! We also went to the Desert Museum. Just today, I've started (almost) a month of ‘kitty duty’ while Julia and Tony are on their honeymoon. I'll get work done here, if I can keep the kitties off my keyboard ☺ ☺ ☺! We also resumed work on Pebble today, after a two-week hiatus. We're hoping to have the floor on before Bethany's birthday slumber party (so kids can sleep under the stars, but off the ground). Saturday, May 16, 2015 Julia's Oriental Trading Post order arrived, so I'm finishing the 45 table decorations (15 tables, 3 for each table). We're using gold 4.5" mini paper lanterns. Here's the system that is working well: • I bought a 100-lb bag of washed, screened, and kiln-dried sand from Lowe's for about \$10.00. (Walmart was charging almost \$15.00 for what looked like about a 30-lb bag!) • wrap each collection of flowers loosely with floral tape; extend the stem with a small piece of pipe cleaner, as needed • assemble the paper lantern by putting the metal bracket piece inside; this youtube video How To Set Up a Paper Lantern (1:45) was helpful to me to do it in a way that doesn't tear the lantern (they're quite fragile) • insert the flower stems through the bottom of the lantern (the part without the hook on the bracket); attach to the top of the bracket by twirling around a couple times • carefully hold the lantern between your legs, with the flowers hanging down (toward the floor); be careful not to crush the flowers • push two gallon plastic bags (the cheap twistie-tie type) inside the lantern, one on each side of the bracket • pour a heaping cup of sand into each side • twist the tops of the two bags together, seal with a twistie-tie, and tuck the excess plastic and tie inside the lantern This looks great! They have a good weight, and won't blow over in the wind. The flowers are secure, so they don't jiggle around or come out. And, they're easy to dis-assemble after the wedding for re-purposing. Plus, the lanterns, sand, and plastic bags are not expensive. As of this writing, I'm about 2/3 done with the 45 table decorations. Thursday, May 14, 2015 I've finished the concept discussion and exercises for Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift. Wednesday, May 13, 2015 I've almost finished the concept discussion on Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift. Monday, May 11, 2015 Finally, back to Precalculus! With my CAMT talks and Julia's wedding flowers finished, I've gained back time in my days. When I've been away for so long, it takes a while to get going again. (My last real work on a Precalculus lesson was March 23.) Upon re-reading (after such a long hiatus) I made some minor edits to my two most recent sections, Graphing Generalized Sines and Cosines and Graphs of Sine and Cosine. And, I've begun the concept discussion for a new section: Amplitude, Period, and Phase Shift. I also ordered one pound of dried rose petals for Bethany to sprinkle at Julia's wedding! Saturday, May 9, 2015 Julia, Bethany and I spent over six hours arranging the 600 paper flowers into bouquets and table decorations for Julia and Tony's wedding on May 23. Such fun!!!! Julia did an incredible job choosing the flower types and colors. Bethany has a real natural ability at flower arranging! Thursday, May 7, 2015 I FINISHED THE WEDDING FLOWERS!!!!! Just about 600 of them!!!!!!! Julia and I will start creating the table decorations and bouquets on Saturday. I'll keep adding new flowers to my ‘repertoire’ over the years. I hope to make beautiful flowers for gifts, to make my home beautiful, fun crafts with kids (perhaps grand-kids!), and on and on! Felting should add some wonderful textures to my mini-landscape quilts. Here's an introduction to felting and felting tools. So far, I have a: • piece of felting foam • Clover fine-tip felting tool I'm getting an assortment of wool roving, a raking tool (for mixing colors), and some spare needles. Monday, May 4, 2015 I updated my monthly stats and website income for April. My quilling tools arrived! • circle template board • circle sizer • mini mold (this video uses the mini mold and the curling coach; she makes a cute little flower pot) • quilling comb Over 500 flowers done! I'm on the final stretch! Julia's wedding is this month—the count-down is on! I've got all three CAMT talks cut-and-pasted onto index cards (so I can stay coordinated with Ray, who will be manning the computer). I put morsel titles into my first talk; I'll test with Ray before doing the same with my other two talks. Wednesday, April 29, 2015 WOO HOO!! I've finished all$\,180\,$‘morsels’ for my three CAMT talks! I've been working on them for months. I'll spend the next few days ‘giving’ the talks to myself, to fine-tune the length; then, I'll try them out on my family. Then—I can get back to my Precalculus lessons! I've been away from them for far too long. I plan to use these Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pens for my next big project—the mini-landscape wall quilt to capture Julia's wedding! My hope is that I can print out a photo in the desired size; put it on my lightbox and use the pens to mark the lines I want on the wrong side of the photo; then transfer to my fabric for cutting/embellishing. Here's another video. Important hints: • shake markers first • draw with marker on wrong side of image • the cheaper the paper, the more transfer images per drawing • pre-heat the fabric with iron before transferring • protect ironing board with non-stick pad • use temporary spray adhesive to prevent shifting • will smudge if you iron too long • cut away transfer line if it isn't going to be covered with thread or such • after cutting out a little piece that requires machine embellishment, can sandwich between two layers of water-soluble solvy and press lightly; this will hold it in place (use a machine embroidery hoop; see below) and prevent shifting for sewing detail I've also learned that there are four kinds of stabilizer sheets: • tear away • cut away • water away (water-soluble) • heat away I'm thinking the tear-away will likely be best for most of my projects. I've searched for about 1.5 hours for an embroidery hoop that is low enough to fit under my presser foot; think I finally found it through a link at this video: How to Do Free-hand Machine Embroidery. Hooray! It's a Darice Spring Tension Hoop, and a user comment specifically says: slides under the presser foot okay. This is a very detailed video: Free Motion Machine Embroidery, Part 1, with Christopher Nejman. Monday, April 27, 2015 Here's the fringe and looper foot. I plan to use this (the ‘fringe’ version, which gets cut) for ‘grass’ in my mini-landscape quilts! Wednesday, April 22, 2015 I've just about finished 250 of the 600 flowers for Julia's wedding! I'm adding some quilled flowers to my repertoire: Basic Quilling Techniques Thursday, April 16, 2015 I'll probably buy this Embroidex Flower-Stitching Presser Foot. I'm getting an amazing collection of presser feet for my Janome sewing machine! Update: I did get it, and it works well, even with the limited specialty stitches on the Janome 2212. This has been a crazy-busy week, with morsels (my CAMT talks), flowers, and working on Pebble. Busy, busy, busy days! Friday, April 10, 2015 Hooray! I'm finally finished with my ‘flower prototypes’, and ready to have Julia ‘place her wedding flower order’! I've got a collection of almost 40 flowers that I can make, covering a wide variety of styles, techniques, and materials. Over the next couple years, I'll probably add most of the remaining flowers in the Paper to Petals book to my collection of ‘flower cards’ (which include a sample and instructions). For now, though, I think we've got plenty to create lovely flowers for Julia's wedding! Sunday, April 5, 2015 Saturday, April 4, 2015 Yet another rose! I'll call this the Wrapped Rose. Basic technique: cut three different-width strips, roll them around different-diameter cylinders, cut to form petals, then gather-and-wrap around a stem. It works well in light crepe paper. I'm calling this flower Spikey. I use 3" and 3.4" strips (instead of 4" and 4.5"). It works okay in light crepe paper. Here's what I'm calling a sunflower. The origami method shown here takes a long time, so I've created ScanNCut templates to cut all the pieces for me! Friday, April 3, 2015 Here's a beautiful origami flower. It works great with heavy construction paper. Susan's Garden Lily also uses heavy construction paper. Wednesday, April 1, 2015 I updated my monthly stats and website income for March. Here's another crepe paper supplier: Carte Fini (fine Italian papers). I've been working on my flower-making almost full-time. I've got 13 different ‘cards’ (with instructions and samples) done! Sunday, March 29, 2015 Here's the Susan's Garden Rose tutorial. I created two ScanNCut files for the complete flower (petals, leaves/calyx) to eliminate the multiple passes through the BigShot for all the pieces needed. It's a lot of work! I've done this in both felt and heavy crepe paper (180g), and they're both cute! Die-namics Rolled Rose youtube video I just got the Distinctive Shirring Gathering Foot (video, 4:05) and it works fantastic for gathering crepe! By using the top slot, you can sew two crepe strips together, with one gathered and the other smooth. For crepe rolls, I use the longest straight stitch, tension 4, on the Janome 2212 sewing machine. Saturday, March 28, 2015 I stumbled across this flower-shaped treat box and think it will be a great ScanNCut project. I don't have time to make it now, but I don't want to lose it. I've decided on a way to document/showcase the flowers I'm making. I'm laminating a piece of heavy cardstock, then cutting the 8.5"x11" paper into four pieces (down the middle each direction). A sample flower (titled) gets hot-glued on one side. I can show different versions of the same flower: e.g., different materials (crepe/tissue); cutting the petals different ways on the crepe grain. Instructions (or where they're located) with tips (e.g., easy/hard, uses Big Shot, uses ScanNCut, uses crepe/tissue etc.) goes on the other side. A bit of velcro to hang them. Then, you can see the flower type at-a-glance, and re-arrange to see how different ones look together. 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.

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.

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! • Janome Needle Threader 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: Nancy Prince Thread Painting (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. • 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 She talks about making a stem first; the flower instructions start at about 2:20. This is easy and inexpensive to make; perhaps wrap around napkins. If using cheap tissue paper, be careful not to tear the paper as you're scrunching up the petals. 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