Laying out the Week/Transit of Venus

One of the advantages of summer is a sense that there is All Possibility.  Because the children are sprung from their desks for their summer break, there’s an exhalation of free-dom! We look forward to the Fourth of July, travel plans, a summer to-do list, laying around, getting bored, as well as getting those things done that had put off until there was more time.  Of course, there never is more time–it’s just our perception.

One challenge of this unstructured time–much like when the husband shows up at the breakfast table on his first day of retirement and you think, now what?–is figuring out how to lay out the week.  I remember reading an article about presidents, and one thing that a new president asked a former president was that very question–how to arrange a daily/weekly schedule of events?

Mondays always seem to have a bit more of that quality–that What Do I Do Today sort of feeling, although on Fridays we start laying on the tasks for the next Monday, thinking–I’ll do it later. Friday, I had cut 500 squares for my daughter’s church charity project (making folded flowers for headbands for pediatric chemo patients) and my arm was sore.  After taking the packet to the post office, I knocked off and did other things.  So here I am, cleaning up those loose ends.

Like getting the binding on my mini Gingham Quilt.  Giveaway in two days!  Check back here on Wednesday.

I used that folded-triangle method for hanging it up; I’ll cut a dowel to the length and suspend it over a push pin on my wall.

Still cleaning out the corners, I refolded all my solids.  That pack from Purl Soho is too pretty to undo, just now, so I placed it up on a shelf to enjoy.  Most of these solids are from when we quilters did solids the first time around–in the 1980s.  Roberta Horton had launched it with her Amish quilt books, and we were all mad for Amish quilts where I lived in Texas.  I taught a class on making Amish mini-quilts in the local quilt shop, and you’ll notice that there are very few yellows and oranges in that bin of solids, for the Amish didn’t use those types of colors.  I started organizing them so I can finish up my Summer Treat quilt.

Which led me to an expression of Pained Horror! on my face when I realized that the first cutting diagram I’d put up had two numbers inverted. Gee Whiz, how embarrassing.  This morning I quickly made a new, correct version, which is shown above. . . and is on the post with the tutorial.  Chalk it up to that novel I was listening to last week when I did this; The Shadow of the Wind, with all of its convoluted plot and character lines scrambled my brain. My deepest apologies if you already started cutting.

Sigh. I hate being fallible.

While you’re laying out your week, don’t forget to watch the Transit of Venus tomorrow.  The picture above it NOT of a naval orange (our home town is famous for them), but of the planet Venus moving across the face of the sun.  It’s a Big Deal, astronomically speaking, and the next one will occur after we’re all dead and gone and our grandchildren are enjoying our quilts.  Here in Southern California, it begins at 3:00 p.m-ish and continues until the sun sets.

Don’t look at the sun directly!  There are special glasses available to look through and some astronomy clubs will set up sun-filtered telescopes.  According to one website I checked, ” ‘looking directly at the sun can cause severe eye damage, and explained that a simple projector can be made by poking a hole in a paper plate, and shining the image on a flat surface such as a wall.’  Venus will appear as a small black dot gliding across the disk of the sun.”  Some say that if you cut out a square from that paper plate, tape a square of tin foil over the hole, then pierce it with a toothpick, it will give a much cleaner hole.

Here’s much more info:

More info (from Hub City Stargazers):

Unlike eclipses, Venus transits are truly rare. They come in pairs, separated by more than 100 years. The last one occurred in 2004 and next pair in 2117 and 2125.  Since the German astronomer Johannes Kepler first predicted it in the 17th century, only six have been observed. The upcoming one will be the seventh.

Only two people were said to have seen the transit of 1639. The 1882 transit was a bigger deal — people jammed the sidewalks of New York City and paid 10 cents to peek through a telescope. John Philip Sousa even composed a score called “Transit of Venus March.”  The one in 2004 was viewed by millions — in person and online.

Space.com has put up a Transit of Venus FAQ, including about how to see it online.  They include a world map that shows where it can be seen.

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3 thoughts on “Laying out the Week/Transit of Venus

  1. the mini looks great, giant “oops” grin to the mixed up tutorial instructions, i’m so glad you mentioned this venus business otherwise im sure i’d have missed it and i sure would like to see those headbands you speak of :D

  2. great mini elizabeth – looks so fresh in gingham….and your headbands sound great – i wore twisted wooly headbands to cover my noggin when i went out – the rest of the time i just went ‘nekkid’ (just my head you understand!!!!) but a gingham headband sounds very glam :)

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