1. Flashing Light
You probably know how to assign ringtones and get your phone to vibrate, but did you know you can make it flash a bright light with every incoming call too? Go to Settings –> General –> Accessibility, and then scroll down to HEARING. Turn on LED Flash for Alerts.
In the video below you’ll hear my phone barking (that’s my “normal” ringtone) and you’ll see it flashing too. Fun, huh?
As far as I can tell it only flashes for incoming calls and alarms I set through the Clock feature. (That flash is pretty bright in a dark room. That’ll get you up in the morning!)
2. Silence Telemarketers
Yes, by all means call the “Do Not Call Registry” from your cell phone (888-382-1222). For those calls that get through, however, I created a contact called Dirty Filthy Telemarketers. Next, I created a SILENT ringtone using and a Ringtone Recorder. I put the volume all the way down and let it record NOTHING for 30 seconds. Then, following the prompts from the app, I downloaded the ringtone and emailed it to myself. On my desktop computer I opened the email and downloaded the attachment. To apply the ringtone I had to drag it into iTunes (I’d rather rip a 3 foot seam), click the Ringtones Tab, select “Sync ringtones,” and then click “Synch/Apply.”
Then, all I had to do was edit the Dirty Filthy Telemarketer contact on my iPhone and select my silent ringer under Ringtone. Whenever a telemarketer gets through, I add their phone number to the Dirty Filthy Telemarketer contact. When they call again (and they will) I hear total silence. My light might go off, and my phone might vibrate, but I know a silent ringer and the words Dirty Filthy Telemarketer on my welcome screen means it’s someone I don’t want to talk to. At last count I have 60 numbers under that contact.
3. Auto-text (Keyboard Shortcuts)
At any one time there can be four volunteers working on the AAQI website. Before anyone publishes the site we have to ask everyone else if it’s OK to publish. It’s no fun getting dumped off the page (and losing your work) during a page publish. So we text. It gets pretty annoying to type, “OK to publish now?” to three people several times a day. I did discover Group Texting. (Start with New Message and hit the + sign for all the people you want to receive the text.) “Auto-text” is even more fun! Yup, you can set up keyboard shortcuts. Now when I type PTP, my iPhone offers, “OK to publish now?” If I want to indeed type that, I hit the space bar and there it is. Poof! Send. Done.
To set up all your favorite phrases like “Are you bringing home dinner tonight?” go to Settings –> Keyboard and click Shortcuts. Then click the + sign in the upper right corner and type in the phrase you want a shortcut for. Hint: You should pick a Shortcut (a name for the phrase). It’s marked as optional. Pick a sequence of letters you don’t ordinarily type, otherwise you’ll get that particular phrase a bit more often than you might want.
Try this: Set up a few auto-text phrases on someone else’s phone. Every time Steve types “Ami,” the phone completes the phrase with “the woman I love and adore.” I wonder how that happened…
4. Take Charge of UFO’s
There’s an app for that! Seriously, you can spin the wheel to decide which UFO (Un-Finished Object) you should sew. The app is called Decide Now! and the paid version lets you input the names of all your unfinished quilts. Or a good number of them at least. I didn’t put in too many for fear of overloading my iPhone’s memory.
5. Other Uses for Earbuds
Ever want to take a picture of your hand doing something? It’s pretty hard. Sure you can hold the iPhone and press the up or down volume button to take the picture with your left thumb, but here’s another way.
Plug in your earbuds and hold the volume up/down bar between your lips. When you’re ready to snap the shutter press either end with your lips. Click! (Try not to drool.)
If all your pictures are blurry because tapping the screen to take the picture makes it move, you could also just use your free hand to push the volume up/down on the earbuds. It also works to turn video on and off.
6. Screen Shots
Wonder how I took the pictures in tip #2, #3, and #4? The pictures show exactly what was on my iPhone screen. Simple. I took a screen shot by holding down the Home Button at the bottom of the phone and clicking the on/off button on top of the phone. Click! What you see is what you get.
7. Decorate Your iPhone
My iPhone is wearing a “skin.” It’s a plastic stick-on image I created by uploading one of my pictures. There are also stock photos available, but wouldn’t your phone, tablet, laptop look terrific wearing a quilt? Check out Skinit.com or Schtickers.com for all sorts of fun.
SOMETHING TO WIN
Keep Your Cords Sew Organized!
Aren’t these adorable? The manufacturer gave me 12 soft silicone spools to give away! (Earbuds not included.)
Comment on this blog post and tell me why you would like to be be wound for sound. I will pick the winners from among those who comment. This is limited to people with a shipping address in the USA. One comment per person, please. Keep in mind that I have to moderate your comments before they appear here. Deadline is 9pm Wednesday, October 23 (Eastern time). I was going to say midnight, but I can’t stay up that late.
If you’re not a winner or the deadline has passed; don’t despair, you can buy them online.
First I discovered my new favorite chocolate. It was part of a goodie bag prepared for me by the Program Chair at the East Cobb Quilting Guild in Marietta, GA two weeks ago. Hotel Snackage. It was so delicious I took a picture of the wrapper, the chocolate having been most enthusiastically consumed earlier. Rapidly consumed. All in one sitting.
I love dark chocolate. Ghirardelli Intense Dark (Twilight Delight) is delicious. That dark chocolate might even be good for me is an added bonus. It’s loaded with antioxidants, improves blood flow, is high in vitamins and minerals, and might even harden my tooth enamel! That’s pretty wonderful, isn’t it? I feel healthier and so much less guilty already.
Happy Day! I found the very same chocolate at my grocery store when I got back home. I wolfed down another whole bar in one sitting. I can feel my tooth enamel getting as hard as concrete. I think my quarter inch seams are looking straighter too…
But wait. I just got back from Rite-Aid. I was shopping for knee-high’s and little bottles of hair spray for my upcoming trip to visit with the Cabin Fever Quilters’ Guild in Fairbanks (still a few spaces in the workshops). Rite Aid moved the little bottles of overpriced travel cosmetics again and as I wandered around looking for them (their plan all along) I bumped into the Ghirardelli chocolate section!
They had bars and individually wrapped squares of my Twilight Delight right there on the shelf! And the individually wrapped squares were ON SALE! I snagged two bags for $6.00 (the sign told me to) which was actually less per ounce than the big bar! (I did the math.) My thought here was that if I got the individually wrapped squares not only would it be less expensive, but it might slow down my rate of chocolate consumption. I would be spending several extra seconds opening up the little wrappers. (That was before I thought of opening them up with my applique scissors.)
Hang on. It gets even better. When I paid I used my Wellness Card (Rite-Aid’s loyalty program) and I got $2 for buying the knee-high’s (no idea why) and another $2 for the buying the chocolate (no idea why). So, what does this mean? The chocolate will still be on sale until the end of the month and I’ve got $4 in free money. I can get two more bags of Twilight Delight tomorrow for only $2. At that price I might even be willing so share. Would anyone like some knee-high’s? Hair spray?
Chocolate? What chocolate? I don’t see any chocolate.
Mom’s packing for her trip to Atlanta so I have a few minutes.
I just became an uncle. My sister Jennie (head cut off in photo) and her husband have a new dog named Maizie. They live in Ann Arbor so she’s named after University of Michigan colors, but she is not any of those colors. She is the same color as me. Must be a people thing.
Maizie is part chihuahua and part German shepherd and lots of other parts. She likes to run very fast and dig holes. Not at the same time.
She was afraid of me at first, but then she showed me who is the boss. Maizie is the boss. Here is a movie of Maizie and me.
But more about me. Remember how I like small places, like behind the toilet? My other favorite spot to relax is in the living room behind the couch. I like to squeaze in there while nobody is looking and then I watch TV with Mom and Dad from the opening underneath. I can only get to the behind the couch place by going around behind Mom’s chair. The other side is blocked off with a big stereo speaker.
I don’t like to back up because it’s hard for me to see around my large behind. So I have figured out my own unique way to exit the couch area.
Mom’s cousin Niki, who you know from buying quilts in the AAQI booth at International Quilt Festival in Houston, has a dog and a bird and two cats. (She told me to tell you that if you want to help in the booth this year, you should sign up here. Otherwise she’ll scratch you behind the ears if you just want to come and buy a quilt. Wait, that last part about the ear-scratching was for me.)
Anyway, one of Niki’s cats is named Beijing and he is starring in a TV commercial with someone called Robert Downey Jr. I’ve watched it several times and I don’t know what they are selling, but in the Hold That Cat part, the cat is Beijing. You should watch it and hit paws so you can see the cat part better.
I hope you have a nice day tomorrow. I will be moping by the door waiting for Mom to come home.
Faithfully yours (with tail wags),
Here are three opportunities to do a “good thing.”
1. As you may have heard, Libby Lehman suffered a ruptured aneurysm on April 30th. Following surgery to repair the aneurysm, she had a stroke. She is improving, but this will be a very long recovery. Follow her recovery at CaringBridge where her family is journaling her progress.
There will be a benefit auction for Libby Lehman on Friday, August 16th at the AQS Show in Grand Rapids, MI. If you can’t attend but would like to help, send Libby a card:
Houston, TX 77002
If you want to do a little more, please enclose a check with your card made out to “Libby Lehman Medical Fund.” Any amount will be appreciated even a few dollars. Or, click on the Guestbook at CaringBridge to leave an encouraging comment. Libby has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. She has a very long road ahead of her.
2. John Flynn is the patron saint of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. He has supported us financially at International Quit Festival for the last 8 years and he has participated as a celebrity quiltmaker since the beginning of our November auctions.
John is biking to fight MS this Saturday.
John is the kind of guy who will give you the shirt off his back. Literally. He sent me his shirt! (I asked for it because I had this great idea of making a Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt out of it.) Embarrassingly, I ran out of time.
If you donate to John’s cause your name will go into a hat for a chance to win a quilt by John Flynn. After John pulls the ticket for the quilt, he’ll pick the lucky winner who gets the shirt of his back.
Go John, GO!
3. The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is gearing up for Houston and it’s time to ask for volunteers to work the booth. We need six people for each time slot and more “in reserve” on our Text Brigade when we get slammed with customers. If you can help, read more on the AAQI Update Blog.
AmiSimms.com has been updated and re-designed! I’m very excited for you to see it.
Since it’s always hard to proof your own work, I need YOUR eyes. Here’s the deal. I’ll give you $1.00 store credit on orders this month for every error you find first. Click around and tell me if I’ve got typos, spellos, parts of pages that just look strange, glaring errors, or links that don’t go where they should.
Here are the rules:
- Report errors in a comment to this blog post only. (Click the word comment to comment).
- Be the first one to report it. (Read previous comments first.)
- Tell me how to find the error. The web page has a nifty thing at the top of every page that tells you where you are in the site, or just copy and paste the URL (http://www.amisimms.com/_____ ) in your browser window in your comment.
- Errors in grammatical style don’t count and neither do the pages in the Gallery section showing student/reader quilts and projects or “Amy & Jack in Kazakhstan,” or anything in the blog.
- You’ve got until Friday midnight to find the errors. After that you’re just being nice.
- I am the final judge as to what is an actual error and what is a cute Ami-ism.
I’ll moderate the comments as fast as I can, as I pack for 4 guilds in Houston next week, help the AAQI volunteers upstairs, and try to make sure Steve doesn’t throw away any good stuff during his garage/backyard clean-up.
Not into proofreading? How about a 15% discount on purchases that total more than $35 in the new STORE? Discounted/clearance items don’t count, nor does my hand-dyed clothesline. Use the coupon code FACELIFT (not case sensitive) until the end of July. Yes, you can combine “typo money” with the discount. I’ll revise the invoice when I process your order.
Thank you for your help! Suggestions are always welcome. Put those in the comment section too!
Thank you for your help! Your eagle eyes found a bunch of errors for me and I am grateful. I will tally the “finder’s fees” and email the proofreaders so they can go shopping.
PUTTING TWO & TWO TOGETHER (MAYBE)
On the way home from Ann Arbor where our daughter lives, we pass a small open area just after an overpass and before the train station. It’s on the right hand side of the road. There’s really nothing there except some busted up concrete and a bench. It may not even be a real bench, just something you could sit on.
Instead of sitting there, somebody started stacking pieces of concrete. When I first saw it, I kind of noticed it and kind of not. Things flit in and out of my head so fast I hardly notice. The first time we drove by there were only one or two pieces on top of each other. On the way home the next time a few more. “Odd” registered on my radar, and that’s about all.
When I taught for the Thimble & Thread Quilt Guild in St. Louis, MO last month, Program Chair Cindy Neville shared a favorite website of hers called GravityGlue.com.
The website, along with a blog and FaceBook fan page belong to Michael Grab and the art of stone balancing. Click the ABOUT section of the web page and watch the video. It’s a slow start, but the sound of the rushing water is very pleasant. Read about how and why he does this and then scroll back up to the video to see how the stack of rocks is progressing. The photography of Micheal’s “installations” are amazing, powerful and serene all at the same time. (Yeah, I’m hooked.)
As soon as I saw GravityGlue.com the image of the rock piles in Ann Arbor popped into my head. Click!
Tell me if you don’t think these are somehow related. I think there is someone in Ann Arbor who is Gravity Gluing! Am I right?
So what? I love these little gems of fellowship. Imagine you’re out in the real world, not at a quilt show or anything. You look up and you see someone wearing a patchwork vest or carrying a quilted tote bag. Doesn’t your heart beat a little faster? You may not know them from Adam, but you’re kindred spirits just the same. There’s a thread (literally, sometimes) of common interest and shared experience that draws us to one another. We are social animals after all. You may not run right up the the person and ask, “Do you quilt?!” but you might, depending on how many non-quilting family members are around to roll their eyes at you.
Now I’m hoping I see somebody stacking concrete chunks the next time we drive home from Ann Arbor. I’m going to roll down the window, wave, and shout “NICE ROCKS!”
WAIT, WAIT, DON’T TELL ME!
I rarely remember to listen to this National Public Radio news quiz when it airs on Saturday morning, but I download the podcast every week. It’s my favorite. If you’ve never had the pleasure, take a listen for yourself. This was the show that aired on June 22 I think. It was particularly entertaining.
I usually listen to the podcasts in bed with ear buds. This is both good and bad. Either I laugh out loud or fall asleep. I’m just hoping that I don’t laugh in my sleep as that would be very odd. And no, I’ve never turned over and strangled myself with the cord from the ear buds, nor have I had any trouble sleeping with them in my ears.
I have had trouble listening to podcasts while sewing . I just stop sewing and sit there, entranced.
I’ve been wanting to update AmiSimms.com for almost two years. The editor is so old it is no longer supported. Tech support just laughs when I call. Well, I just took the plunge, somewhat accidentally. Very Helpful Dan walked me through it and before I realized what I had done, I was upgraded. No turning back now. Sink or swim.
Tweaking it has taken days. I’m not ready for the “reveal” just yet, but in a few days I’ll be asking you to head on over with a red pen to the NEW version and help me find all the busted links, misspellings, and other embarrassments. If you can’t ask your friends, who can you ask?
Meanwhile, in the comment section below, please share whatever you hated about the OLD site (above), still up and running until I finish the re-design. That way I can make it disappear with the update. Or, tell me what you liked so I won’t get rid of it.
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
One of the things I want to add to my newly designed website are links for “social media.” So here’s today’s poll. If I missed one, please write it in a comment below.
Thanks for reading, voting, and commenting!
Have a great weekend,
PS: Here’s the photo Uncle Bud sent of the New Mexico landscape in 1958.
Seen “Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide?” Then you might remember this image and the story about the pink toilet paper I brought back from France. Twenty-four rolls, if I remember correctly. A fun time coming through customs in the US plus a memorable souvenir of a great trip.
Why is it stored in the window?! The addition to our house added a hallway behind what used to be an outside wall of the house. No sense paying good money to drywall over the window and try to match 12-year-old wall-paper, so I gained another storage area instead! If you’re not with me, don’t worry. Just keep going.
I’ve shared (in the aforementioned presentation) that we only use the pink toilet paper on special days, like the first of each month because that’s newsletter day. As the pink toilet paper became more scarce, I only brought it out in the afternoon on newsletter days. Then only between 2 and 3 pm on newsletter days.
Alas, I have run out entirely, so I’ve decided that the newsletter no longer needs to come out on the first of the month. It shall come out “periodically.” I know the logic isn’t totally there, but neither am I. Besides, as you may have noticed, I seem to be writing newsletters more frequently instead of less. I hope we’re all happy with that.
Last time I wrote, (scroll down), I was whining about the cottonwood trees and their seeds getting all over my freshly dyed clothesline. I have created a solution. This video has my voice on it, which can be startling if the volume on your speakers is turned up too high.
I will be sewing bowls with members of the Lighthouse Quilters Guild in Racine, WI on Monday, so getting rid of the cottonwood seeds was pretty critical. Who wants to de-lint their “rope” as they coil and zig-zag? Want to sew with us in your own parallel universe? Links to my hand-dyed clothesline, a BOWLing tutorial, plus tools and supplies you might need are here.
I’ve recommended the little red suction cups for hanging on to small rotary templates like my Twisted Sisters for safer cutting. Well, I just found a 4.25″ version that is terrific for large acrylic rulers that need to be tamed. I tried the suction cup “grab bars” and just didn’t like them—too heavy, too expensive, and I like to keep my wrist turned the “other” way.
This MONSTER large suction cup does the trick. Plus it’s on sale now because I got a “deal” and I’m passing the savings on to you.
THE THINGS WE LEARN!
Thanks for taking my little survey last time. I thought for sure most of you would have signed up for the newsletter because you attended a lecture. That accounted for 25% of sign-ups. A squeak more than 30% just found me on the Internet. Almost 20% found out about the newsletter some “other” way. I’m clueless about what other ways that might have been, but I can live with the mystery.
This time I want to know how you’re reading this newsletter. (I am SO nosy!)
My hobby is diving down rabbit holes. I get an idea and I’m off! Most of the time it’s a wild goose chase. But, from time to time my harebrained ideas pay off like the PowerWrapper, Sticky Template Plastic, or the Quilters Portable Workstation. The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (only 38 days to get your quilts in) had to have been the best idea I’ve ever had, and it sounded pretty crazy when I first came up with it.
Ever optimistic, I dove in again. My latest great idea? Making paracord bracelets out of, wait for it….dyed clothesline! Brilliant!
If you’re not familiar with paracord bracelets, here’s one Chris Stewart made for me during a workshop lunch break. Paracord is used in parachutes, and should you ever need 12 feet of really strong cord (possibly to tow your car out of the mud or lower yourself out of a burning building) all you have to do is un-knot your bracelet. (This would take about an hour and a half.)
Naturally, hip deep in dyed clothesline, I hopped on the Internet and learned how to make one!
Clunky doesn’t even come close to describing this particular fiasco. Although there was some satisfaction in learning how to tie the “lanyard” knot for the closure and how to make the “cobra stitch” for the rest of it, the resulting bracelet was not at all what I had in mind. It felt kind of like the time I bought 13 yards of orange fabric for a quilt, used it all, and was surprised that the quilt was so….ORANGE!
So what’s the point here? Don’t stop having great ideas. Celebrate when they work out, and move on when they don’t. (I still have one more idea on the bracelet thing.) Don’t cheat yourself out of the thrill of what “could be.” Percolating on the clothesline bracelet was great fun. Bracelets, quilts, it’s all the same. Don’t be afraid to take a risk and try something new.
Do you have any questions for me? Anything at all. Quilt related or not. Now’s your time to ask. (Well, actually, you can always ask. I’m just trying to encourage you.) Pop your questions in a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and I’m hitting the road at 0′dark:30 tomorrow morning so I might not be able to respond right away.
Thanks for reading this, on whatever device you are staring at! (I’m staring right back at you!)