Monday, April 21, 2014

New Beginnings

This week has been crazy! Besides trips to eye doctor, dentist and Apple store for a new iPad, I made a trip to Shepherd's Bush and Needlepoint Joint in Ogden with friends from Common Threads. 
Shepherd's Bush has an entry way full of projects.
The store itself is also full. One of the two women on the job there helped me figure out how to convert my poodle project pattern (say that three items fast) to the colors I wanted to use. I plan on making one black poodle and one brown one, facing each other, instead of the single apricot poodle in the design.

At Needlepoint Joint, I picked up some beads for the bolos on my Yei figures and some buttons for the latest Baby Surprise Jacket for BS2, due in August.

We had breakfast at the Spring Chicken in Morgan and lunch after shopping at the Union Grill at the train station in Ogden. It was Peggy and the four Jays: Julie, Jean, Joanie and Janet. Delightful day!

Common Threads met on Thursday. Julie brought her embroidery:
It was from a mystery embroidery class she took.
Margareth had finished her sweater and brought it to show.
I didn't finish any UFOs this week, unless you count adding he beads to the Yei Figures Bag (designed by Nicky Epstein). I went to Joanie's after Silver Sneakers on Friday. We went through her beads and selected some to use. She wouldn't take any money for the beads. She still has three Yei figures to finish, but now she has the beads picked out to use.
She had a nice selection, including some turquoise beads, so they made a nice necklace for each of the figures. I sewed them on on Saturday.

Soren's I-spy quilt is ready to go to Julie for quilting. I made a run down to Sandy, to Quilts, Etc., on Thursday afternoon to get backing and binding fabric for it. I found a nice farm landscape to use. The motifs are big, so I got extra fabric to match up the motifs.
The arrow shows the vertical seam where I pieced the backing. The yellow check is the binding fabric.

The new Baby Surprise Jacket is progressing.
As you can see, it moves along very fast.
It will be done soon. In case this is the first time you're reading about this project, I'm using two Crazy Zauberballs in fingering weight (kleiner Fuchs colorway), held together. I got the idea from one I had seen last summer in Knit on Pearl in Jackson, Wyoming. (It pays to stop in at yarn, quilt and other craft shops on your travels. You never know what you'll find!)
My old iPad and I said goodbye to each other on Wednesday, when it was erased and put in the mail to DD and her family. It's soul now resides in my new iPad Air. It has been a great four years. (Today would have been our fourth anniversary.) Now I'm looking forward to a few years with the new one, while my old friend entertains my grandkids.

What's on my needles: BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother, moving along.

What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, another inch done.

What's on my Featherweight: Waiting for Delectable Pathways to be ready to put together.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished another novel by Georgette Heyer, Regency Buck, from Audible. Now I'm listening to Lightning by Dean Koontz, also from Audible. Still watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.

What's my app of the week: USPS Mobile, great for tracking packages, like my old iPad.

What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel 2012. Very nice!

What's my tip of the week: Precise cutting is the key to precise piecing. Instead of lining up your fabric with the lines on the cutting mat, line it up with the ruler, using an extra ruler for cutting. Be careful not to let the ruler slip while cutting. If you have two folds in your fabric, make sure they are even, and use the center fold as your guide for the ruler. A spray starch or sizing is good for making the fabric lie flat after pressing.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Skies of Roswell

It's Like the Skies of Roswell! Except this is a different kind of UFO.
My Yei Figures Bag is finished except for adding the beads to the necklaces and bolos.
I decided to line it with some nice quilting fabric. The lining has some pockets for knitting or quilting supplies. 
The bag is big enough to hold a fairly large quilting or knitting project: 23" wide and 16" deep. (It's hanging on my front door in this photo.) This project was started in 2008, and I'm glad to have it done! This isn't the last of the UFOs. No, I have a nice supply!
The bedding for Daphne's dolly bunk beds isn't really a UFO, but it needed to get finished in time for her birthday next month. I finished one of the quilts during Vintage Stitchers this week and the other the next day. Here's one:
And the other:
I used '30s reproduction fabrics for the quilt tops, and some fabric my friend Ellen gave me for the backing. (It's cute fabric with little baby sleepers all over it.) Instead of batting, I used a layer of white flannel.
Some Peter Rabbit fabric left over from Daphne's baby quilt made great contour sheets, pillowcases and trim on the top sheets. I made the pillows out of the same ticking I used for the mattresses.
DH is going to help me recover the mattress boards, which are currently topped with a layer of foam and then some Con-Tact paper, which has become torn in places. I found some shelf liner that's more substantial and might last longer. It also looks like the kind of material that might be at the bottom of baby beds or play pens.
You might remember that I picked these dolly bunk beds up at the antique fair in Ogden. The whole thing comes apart for shipping, which is a good thing. This would be pretty expensive to ship set up. 
Vintage Stitchers met at Janet's this week. Joanie is almost finished with her James Bond baby sweater. She has promised to let me get a photo before she sends it off.
Carol was sewing the binding on her Planet Quilt:
I really like my minigroups, Vintage Stitchers (mostly quilting) and Common Threads (mostly knitting). The members of these groups are so excited about what they are doing, and they share this enthusiasm, but they also are learning different things, which they share with everyone, and their efforts are a real inspiration to all of us.
I bought some Palette yarn this week from a friend who was destashing, and in the batch of yarn was two of the colors I need for the for Mary Tudor cardigan. I was talking about the sweater at Vintage Stitchers, so Janet did some stash diving and came up with two other colors I needed, which she donated to me. She can come and "shop" in my stash of Palette any time she likes! Here's what I have now for the Mary Tudor:
Clockwise, from top right: Toffee, Brindle Heather (MC), Suede, Regal, Marine Heather, Blue Note Heather, Clematis Heather. I have more than one ball of several of these. The Regal is not as red as it appears in the photo. Not in photo and still to be purchased: Indigo Heather and Abyss Heather. (Waiting for the Abyss to come in before I place my order.)
Finally, having finished the Yei Figures bag, I allowed myself to CO for a new Baby Surprise Jacket  (BSJ) for Soren's baby brother, due in August. I'm using two Crazy Zauberballs (fingering weight) the way the BSJ I saw in Knit on Pearl in Jackson, Wyoming, was made.
I have the two balls in bowls to keep them from rolling around, but zip bags will work for travel.
Tuesday was Zachary's birthday, and we had a great Skype session with the family. His I-spy quilt had arrived, and and enjoyed setting his trains up on it. He has another big present coming.
Some of you may not think the dolly bunk beds and Zachary's birthday Skype session are enough cuteness, so here's a new photo of Soren:
They're growing up so fast!
Well, I don't see any more UFOs hovering over me, but then it's snowing again!

What's on my needles: BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, no progress this week, but it should be warming up soon, so it will be nice to work downstairs. 
What's on my Featherweight: Back to the Delectable Pathways.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished another novel by Georgette Heyer, Sylvester, then read The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotsen. Now I'm listening to Regency Buck, another Georgette Heyer novel. (I seem to be on a Heyer binge lately.) All of these were from Audible. The Knit Wits Podcast is back, yaaaay! I'm watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: The Podcast app. Now that my favorite podcast has returned.
What's in my wine glass: Concannon merlot 2011. The big bottle. It will last several days because we're still in Lent, and I've given up my second glass of wine for Lent. :-( 
But Lent will be over the end of the week. :-)
What's my tip of the week: When casting on a large number of stitches, I like to put a stitch marker every 20 sts, so I don't have to count over again from the beginning if I lose my place.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, April 7, 2014

UFO Sightings

It's another week for UFOs. Janet's Sipalu Bag is finished!
Janet started this bag in 2008. She thinks of herself as a quilter, not a knitter, but she has the talent, learns new techniques quickly and has a great sense of color. She changed some of the colors for this bag, which she bought as a kit. On to her Dogwood Blossoms sweater!
My Yei Figures bag has come along a bit this week.
Common Threads met at my house this week, requiring some time spent with the H-word beforehand. It's always nice to get the house clean, though.
Bernadette is crocheting an afghan:
We have several crocheters in our group. It makes me want to do some more crocheting. Maybe another granny square afghan to bust my stash so I can buy more yarn.
Julie brought Zachary's I-spy quilt, which she machine-quilted for me. She wanted to get it to me in time for me to bind it and send it off for his birthday. Here's the front.
The back will be good for him to play with his trains and cars on. The quilt is on its way to the birthday boy. Zachary will be two on Tuesday.
I may not have enough of the backing fabric to use for backing for Soren's I-spy quilt, but if not, I'll find something just as fun. I finished piecing the top for it on Saturday.
As you can see, it's almost identical to Zachary's. Some of the I-spy patches are different.
You may remember the bunk beds I found at the antique fair for Daphne's dolls. I've been working on making bedding for them, so I can send them off in time for her birthday next month. So far, I've finished the mattresses and the blankets.
There are plans for sheets and quilts, then some repair on the base that supports each mattress. Foam rubber is covered with torn Con-Tact paper. I want to replace the Con-Tact paper, if I can find a suitable pattern.
In the meantime, I'm getting ideas for a quilt for Soren's baby brother, due in August. It's the Chinese "Year of the Horse." I'm looking for a cute horse image to use for designing an appliqué. I'm also ready to CO for another BSJ for the new baby. Even though he will have several BSJ hand-me-downs already from Soren, each child should have at least one knit just for him or her, I think.
The I-spy quilts and doll bedding don't count as UFOs, so I can't start a new knitting project or quilt until I finish one of the true UFOs in my pipeline. The Delectable Pathways definitely qualifies as a UFO, and I'm coming down the home stretch with that. I managed to get a few more leaves appliquéd on this week, and I keep reminding myself that this is the last panel. All the blocks are done, so when this panel is done, I can put the whole thing together and finish it. In the meantime, I have two quilts I'm hand-quilting, and they have been languishing, and another one partly pieced. There is also a Wedding-ring quilt partly pieced.
While finishing up my UFOs, I'm dreaming about the new projects I want to make. I have two kits and several patterns, all ready to go. One new one is the kit for CT's Lincoln's Log Cabin. And then there's the Clara's Journey quilt pattern.
These add to my collection of planned but unstarted projects, including the Treasure Chest quilt. The kit is in reds, blues and tans. There is also the Pine Burr quilt from McCall's Quilting, May/June 2012, only I plan on a different palette.
I have also picked out some Palette yarn for the Mary Tudor Cardigan in Alice Starmore's new Tudor Roses book. (Knitters, this book looks great on the coffee table!) I already have some of the yarn I need:
I'm going to use Palette in Brindle Heather (MC), Indigo Heather, Abyss Heather, Blue Note Heather, Toffee, Marine, Suede, Clematis Heather and Mulberry, listed in order of how much will be used. The photo shows what I already have on my stash. Missing from the photo are Abyss Heather, Indigo Heather, Toffee and Mulberry, and I will need more of the Brindle Heather and Marine Heather. 
I'm looking forward to seeing what I can finish this week. Stay tuned!
What's on my needles: The Yei Figures Bag, finishing up the embroidery and the duplicate stitch on the front. BSJ for BS2, Soren's little brother, due in August ready to CO. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, no progress this week, but it's warming up, so it will be nice to work downstairs. 
What's on my Featherweight: Bedding for Daphne's dolly bunk beds. Mattresses and blankets done, sheets and two quilts still to go.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen was pretty good. I just finished The Girl in the Gatehouse, by Julie Klassen and have started another novel by Georgette Heyer, Sylvester. I'm watching "Stranded Colorwork, Basics and Beyond" from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: KSL Weather, which I like better than the weather app that came with my iPhone. Our weather in Summit Park can vary a lot from that of Park City because of the difference in elevation and the location of the mountains. We have weather measuring equipment right here. KSL is a local TV station in Salt Lake City, but you can choose locations anywhere.
What's in my wine glass: Lelanau Cellars Autumn Harvest Premium Dry Red Table Wine, a Michigan wine. Dry and fruity. Surprising treat!
What's my tip of the week: When measuring for quilt borders, measure across the middle, vertically and horizontally, and cut the borders to that measurement, sewing one pair of borders on before measuring for the the other pair. Ease the fabric if needed when sewing them on. This usually ensures that your quilt will be square and doesn't resemble a potato chip, as the edges are more likely to be either larger or smaller than the middle of the quilt, and the edges may not match.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Few Happy Endings

The "Madison Romance" cardigan is finished:
I worked on the button loops at Diane's during Vintage Stitchers. Here is the link to my Ravelry page for the project.
Julie has been making progress on her Ladybug pullover for her granddaughter. She worked on it at Vintage Stitchers.
Rebecca picked up a new quilt idea from a friend who had seen it and showed her how. It's from a book called Quick and Easy Hexie Quilts by Peggy Rhodes and Julia C. Wood.

The Hexigons are made by folding the fabric, sort of like origami. It takes a lot of fabric, but you don't need to stuff and quilt it if you don't want to, making a nice coverlet or counterpane.
Brenda had come back from a quilt retreat in Idaho and showed us this quilt top she made:
Diane has started a new wall hanging to replace the one in her entry that she feels is too Christmassy.:
The blocks represent signs of the zodiac and were from a sampler class she took with some friends. 
Friday we had a UFO session at Joanie's. There were four of us, and Kasha enjoyed the company and extra attention.
Joanie and I were going to work on our Yei Figures Bag
I worked on mine, but Joanie worked on her James Bond baby sweater. (I found out that "James Bond" is just the name she gave the sweater.) It's from this book. I think the real name of the pattern is "'50s Lounge Jacket."
Joanie brought out some pf her finished and almost-finished baby projects. There was this baby hat:
And a matching baby sweater:
The photo was before Julie crocheted around the neck for Joanie. (Joanie doesn't crochet. I think she should learn. Don't you?)
Also this white baby sweater with a hat to match, somewhat redundant with e hood:
Here's a closeup of the felted flower detail on white sweater:
Joanie is known for her creative embellishments.
Janet has almost finished her Sipalu Bag. Here it is, blocking:

She's working on a strap for it using the same pattern as the top border, which is what I did with mine, instead of the I-cord handle. She changed some of the colors for her bag from the colorway she bought, one of the nice things about having a stash of Palette.
My Yei Figures Bag will be done soon, and I'm working on my "Delectable Pathways" quilt. When these are done and I have time, I plan to bring out some really old UFOs! (But the Mary Tudor Cardigan is calling, calling….)
What's on my needles: "Green Tea" socks, a few rounds done this week. The Yei Figures Bag, just more I-cord to do for the handles. Soon I plan to start the BSJ for BS2, a little brother or sister for Soren, due in August. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, not much progress this week, 
What's on my Featherweight: Soren's I-spy quilt, sashing cut and ready to piece.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Georgette Heyer's The Nonesuch and now reading Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen. I'm still watching "Top-Down Icelandic Sweater" with Ragga Eiriksdótir and Joe Cunningham's "Pattern-Free Quiltmaking," both classes from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: I'm getting a lot of use out of the Craftsy app. You can watch the lessons right in the app and do most of the same things you can do with the platform on your computer.   
What's in my wine glass: Two-buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) Shiraz. One of my favorites.
What's my tip of the week: If you don't already have health insurance, you can still sign up by midnight today here and be covered for 2014. (I have heard that anyone who has attempted to log on by the midnight deadline will have a chance to finish signing up in the following days.) I have several friends with pre-existing conditions who have been able to sign up for plans that are reasonably priced, including my friend Julie, who is a cancer survivor and not yet old enough for Medicare.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

It has been another crazy week. Besides my spring cleaning, Ellen and I got together to watch Mary Sorensen's hand-appliqué DVD.
I got out my almost-finished block. This is the cardinal design she uses in this wonderful instructional DVD. I took her class a few years ago, and had already finished this one, so now I'm making a female cardinal facing the other way. We don't get cardinals here, and I miss seeing their bright plumage. Ellen will be going back to Florida soon, and I'll miss her, so it was fun to get together to work on appliqué. 
Of course, Common Threads met on Thursday. Susan is back in town. She was working on some boot toppers.
Karan is also finishing up some boot toppers, almost the same pattern. 
Kay is working on one of those ruffled scarves. 
Georgette, our needlepoint queen, was working on her needlepoint. 
Julie has been making progress on the ladybug sweater for her granddaughter. (More pattern details are in my blog from two weeks ago.)
Karan brought her finished shawlette to show. She has made two of these.
Joanie was continuing to work on her James Bond Baby Sweater. (I couldn't find this patten online. I'll try to get information next time I see her.)
Susan always has a new kind of project to show us. This is a scarf made with Hot Spots
You iron on the little glue dots, using a stencil to get the shape you want. Then you rub on colored foil, and it comes off as little dots on the fabric.
Susan has also been experimenting with Eco-colour
You place plants and flowers on special fabric already prepared for dyeing, fold the fabric over and hammer it until the juices color the fabric. I think I've seen something similar on Simply Quilts a few years ago.
My Madison cardigan is coming along. The body is finished and one sleeve is done. While working on the sleeves, I blocked the body. I don't have enough blocking mats to do the whole thing at once, but it will take some time for the sleeves anyway.
The yarn is Knit Picks' City Tweed HW in "Romance." It's lovely, soft yarn, with merino and alpaca. When I took the pieces out of the wash water, I realized they had grown quite a bit, as sometimes happens with certain yarns and knitted patterns. After rolling them up in a towel to get rid of the excess moisture, I put the pieces down on my blocking mats and pinned them to the size and shape in the diagram that came with the pattern, patting the knitted fabric in place to fit. The pieces went right back into size and shape.
We had more snow, but between storms, we found time to hike with the pups. There isn't enough snow on the ground to snowshoe without walking or driving a long way, but our local trails have only a little snow, and not much mud, and the weather has been warm in the daytime. 
On Sunday we went to the opera in Salt Lake City. We saw Turandot. It was good, as usual.
I've been lamenting the lack of a good photo of Zachary. His parents finally found a way to "hamper" his constant motion to get this photo.
What's on my needles: Madison cardigan, working on the second sleeve. "Green Tea" socks, no progress this week, because the Madison is so portable. When I finish the Madison, I plan to start the BSJ for BS2, a little brother or sister for Soren, due in August. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, no progress this week, but I'll have to get on it so I can get the warp off and make some rugs. I'm inspired to weave again.
What's on my Featherweight: Soren's I-spy quilt, no progress this week. I also want to get this finished, so I can start another quilt. I have several planned and one to finish that's already started. I have the Lincoln's Log Cabin quilt kit from Connecting Threads, recently added to my pipeline, but I have others to finish first.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listening to Debbie Macomber's 1105 Yakima Street. It has a lot of characters and is more like a soap opera than her "Blossom Street" series, not my favorite kind of book, and having to learn all the characters after not reading the previous books has been a challenge, but I'll finish it. I have to find out how it comes out. I'm still watching "Top-Down Icelandic Sweater" with Ragga Eiriksdótir and Joe Cunningham's "Pattern-Free Quiltmaking," both classes from Craftsy. I also picked up the weaving video download from Interweave, "Weave a Good Rug" by Tom Knisely. (The link goes to the DVD, but I got the downloaded version.) The Interweave downloaded videos are good. You can't ask questions or make notes in the video, as with the Craftsy classes, but you can stop and go back or repeat something, and you have lifetime access to them.
What's my app of the week: Public Radio Player from Public Radio Exchange.   
What's in my wine glass: Alice White Shiraz 2012. Good value 
What's my tip of the week: As described above, when you block knitted garments that need to fit, don't just block to shape. You have to block to size as well. The Christmas Waffle sweater could have fit a tall man with a 50" chest when it came out of the water, but it blocked to a perfect fit for my DH' more petite 40" chest. 

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kiss Me, I'm a Quilter and a Knitter, and….

Vintage Stitchers met at Ellen's on Thursday. Rebecca is working on a new appliqué, of course. 
Carol brought her finished quilt to sew on binding. Here's the front.
The back is as lovely as the front:
Two weeks ago, I called the top a version of the "1600" quilt. It is, sort of. I have more information on it now. It came from the Missouri Star Block magazine, winter Vol. 1, Issue 1. 
This is an incredible deal. The "magazine" is book-quality, with fantastic photos and sturdy pages. It comes out every other month for $6 an issue. If you subscribe, the shipping is free. You pay only for the current issue each time and can skip an issue if you need to.
Barbara's appliqué, inherited from a friend who passed away a few months ago. The background and leaves are cotton flannel, and the flowers and berries are cotton corduroy. The pattern is Apricot Preserves by Ann Danzig's Granny's Attic. I was unable to find this pattern online, but the designer is (or was) with Mormon Handicraft

Since I couldn't find a link that showed a photo of the finished quilt, here's a photo of the pattern. This will give you an idea. 
Brenda is working on the orange slice for the cover quilt from Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner. 
Janet brought some books she wanted to remove from her quilt/fiber studio to make room for more books. We all looked though them and picked what we wanted. Rebecca selected Vintage Blooms by Pat Sloan. Remember this appliqué of hers?
She had purchased it as a kit. It was originally a set of seasonal pieces. This one and the rest of the quilts are in this book. Now she can make them all, thanks to Janet. 
Joanie, Georgette and I got together for a UFO-finishing session. Georgette is making another pair of booties. I finished half of the third Yei figure on the Yei Figures Bag, then went on to the fourth. I'm not sure I have enough of the orange color (Jamieson's DK "Amber"), so I'm going to wait until I've used it in the border to find out if I need to substitute another color. Or maybe I'll see if I can find it online somewhere.
The Madison is coming along famously, and I got another leaf appliquéd onto the last panel of my "Delectable Pathways" quilt. 
What's on my needles: Madison cardigan, back and most of the front done. "Green Tea" socks, no progress this week. 
What's on my loom: Waffle scarf, inching along. 
What's on my Featherweight: Soren's I-spy quilt, working on the sashing and cornerstones. The blocks are done. 
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished listening to Georgette Heyer's The Foundling from Audible. It had me in stitches at times. One of her funniest. Now watching "Top-Down Icelandic Sweater" with Ragga Eiriksdótir and Joe Cunningham's "Pattern-Free Quiltmaking," both classes from Craftsy.
What's my app of the week: Craftsy. I love that I can watch the videos and download the materials, even away from home or lying on the couch.  
What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel, 2012 vintage. Nice! (It had better be, since I have up my second glass of wine each evening for Lent! If I can only have one glass, I want it to be nice.) 
What's my tip of the week: Whether it's quilting or knitting, don't let anyone tell you there's only one way to do something. What works for one person may not be as comfortable or as much fun…or even as successful…for you as another method. It's good to try new methods, though, so you can find out what suits you.
Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.