28 May 2012

No Time to Sweep

Put the broom away, there's no time for sweeping and no time for sleeping...

I'm in the groove and on the move......

27 May 2012

Got Flies?

Jack has been waiting for the mail to arrive so he could finish a cabinet he is making for Danette. He was given the wrong hinges the last time we went to town so rather than driving back in to exchange them, (45 miles round trip), he called and requested they mail him the correct ones.
He waited... and waited ...and waited some more....
When the weather is too rotten or he is nurturing a bad back, etc., he goes downstairs to the garage and ties flies. So that's where he spent his time waiting.

He tied all of these and more as he awaited the mail.

In the meantime, I mailed a package 300 miles away. The package arrived in just two days.
Jack's hinges finally arrived six days later! 6 days to travel 22½ miles in the year 2012. Go figure.

and by the way, we've got flies .....

23 May 2012

Just What I Need

To quote my husband, "Oh, great, that's just what you need..... another project!"
That is after I dug out my only ball of yarn, (meant to go on art quilts), and my only crochet hook.

Recently, I attended a baby shower and saw an adorable crocheted blanket with the popcorn stitch in it. It took me back to the 1970's when I crocheted my own purses using the popcorn stitch. OMG!
I wanted to crochet again.

Of course, following Attic 24's blog and Amy's blog don't help me much. They are always creating something new with their hooks and yarn. So I can't be the only one left behind.
Then there is my Aunt Alma who just died three months after her 100th birthday... the crochet queen of the universe. Her work was so intricate and lovely. And there is Mom who used to crochet just about anything you could ever want. She "says" she cannot crochet any more because her hands hurt. (Personally, I think she just wants to dig in her garden instead.)

So it's up to me to carry on the tradition.
As you can tell, it is going to take a LOT of work to get me up to speed.
My first project is going to be a poncho. I love crocheted ponchos. Then I want to crochet a 1970's version of that popcorn stitch bag I used to make.... along with my macrame too. Oh dear, I need another lifetime to do all of this.
Jack says the KING size quilt HAS to be completed first. (Okay, Honey. Whatever you say!)

Uh huh! Sure.

Practice. Practice. Practice!!!!!

18 May 2012

A Bad Day Fishing Beats a Good Day at the Office!

No matter if you catch a fish or not, how bad can this be?

(Osprey flying low.)

and sometimes you do catch a few.... but Jack and his buddies usually just Catch and Release.

15 May 2012

The Things We Do For Love

I'm not a music fan, but every now and again a song will start rolling around in my head.
I have no clue how I get into doing some of the things I do, but once examined, my reasons seem to go to "love". I'm not speaking of the "in love" kind of love, but the love of family and friends.
So as I have been recently called to do sewing alterations, this song is in my head. I didn't even remember the name of the group who sings it so why do I know the tune and words to the song?

My son-in-law, Joseph, is in the process of having a stem cell transplant (or bone marrow transplant). He is in need of some altered shirts so the catheter can be accessed by his medical staff. He doesn't want to spend his time in the isolation room wearing a hospital gown. Who could blame him? So I got some shirts at the Good Will and have been cutting them up.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I figure, "what the heck?!"
"Mikey" will try anything so so can I.

Then my BFF, Eileen, is the Mother of the Bride come next Monday. She has a stunning gown to wear but it needed altering. Of course, "Mikey" will do it! So I marked and pinned and ripped and sewed. Now this is true love because I even had to sew straps onto her strapless bra! Hey, what are friends for, right?

I told her if I would have seen the price tag BEFORE I started cutting up her dress, I would have said NO WAY! It turned out perfect so we are still friends!

14 May 2012

How Long Does it Take to Make a Quilt?

I think the answer to this question is somewhere between a day and a life time!

I thought for sure I was working towards that "life-time" span for one quilt. I started it back in 2002. I actually took six months to find the pattern after seeing it at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in 2001.
It is paper pieced. The pattern pieces are on paper. The method, (well, my method), is you have to cut your fabric 3 times the size that would normally fit and then put it together on the back side of the paper so when you turn it over, it is totally backwards from the way you set it up. (uh huh..... confusing)
Then once you have ripped out the little 3" square that has 2-5 pieces in it, you do it again. Don't be surprised if you have to rip it out again... only now the paper pattern is all screwed up and you have to start with a fresh piece of paper.
Then after working with that square, you go on to make 8 others for your 8" block. If it doesn't measure up square, you have to rip it apart because your entire quilt isn't going to be square. I know this because I was about 1/4 of the way done and had to rip everything out and square up my blocks. I figured with the paper on the back, it would be square. Nope.

Oh, don't forget to rip out all the paper you sewed into the quilt.
And if a pattern piece looks like it is going to fit, you are most likely wrong. The pattern does not tell you what piece to use, you have to refer to a drawing and the squares are the size of graph paper squares and .....yes, I have gone crazy more than once over this quilt.
SoooOooo, once again, I've picked it up.
I have over 200 hours into it so far and I'm just over half way finished.

I've set it aside because I no longer liked the colors and feared we would need sunglasses at night in order to crawl under it to sleep. Then I've come back to liking the bright colors.
Now I see I have some blocks that are too light and might have to replace them with brighter fabric.

I don't feel any rush since I've already been at it for 10 years.... what's 10 more?!

Actually, I made the mistake of putting this on my list of things to complete this year so I really do have to push a bit more. I cannot have Jack in the house as I work on this because I tend to shout at myself and call myself all sorts of names as I'm ripping seams apart. My new best friend is my seam ripper!

So here's my pattern colored in. The paper with the hole cut out is how I see where I am. I work on one block at a time and that hole exposes one block!

And yes, that's Elvis next to my To Do list! When I get too frustrated, I just look at his picture and sigh.... 

12 May 2012

A Peacock on our Deck ... Say What?

Say "True Story"!!

I thought for certain that Jack was pulling another of his silly tricks on me and as usual, I was walking right into his charms. He said, "Hey, there's a peacock on our deck."
(Uh huh... sure, Jack.)
He says, "I'm serious."
So I get up off the couch (I'd been walking the halls again last night and crashed on the couch about 5:00 a.m.)
So I mosie on over and for once, it was NOT April Fools at our house.

Poor thing just needed a safe place to sleep and chose our deck behind our picnic table which is turned up on its side until the weather gets nice.
Now... what to feed a peacock.

10 May 2012

I'm Into Zen (Tangles, that is ...)

Zentangles - a fancy word for doodles.
And I'm hooked.

P.S. These are my drawings. My sister called one evening and told me to go to YouTube and we were on the phone looking up videos together for a long time. Since then, we both have been drawing Zentangles! She even taught her classroom of kids to do them.
You just start doodling and add on and on to your sketch. Or you draw a shape and doodle inside that shape. Using fine, fine tipped pens is the best for me.
Check out YouTube for other ideas... you might get hooked!
(This link shows how to do some patterns using a large Sharpie.)

07 May 2012

13 Little Bags

It all started when one sweet little 7 year old at school was saving her good behavior tickets to purchase a tiny pink camoflage bag. I told her to spend her tickets on something else because I could make her an even nicer bag. Then I got sick and didn't return to that school.

I did make the bag once I was off the couch. I had someone take it up to her.
About a month or so later, I went to visit the kids and teachers. (Big mistake!) This little sweetie had told all her classmates I made her a bag. So all the girls wanted one.
I decided to make them all the same bag with different handles. There were 12 girls in the class so they all got one.

Now all the little boys are mad at me because I "like the girls best"!!
Oh boy.

06 May 2012

Hairy Nest

A little Chickadee is busy gathering materials to make a nest. S/he has decided to line it with cat hair. To be more specific, my cat's hair. I keep a mat by the kitchen door and Hook grooms himself upon it, leaving clumps of cat hair for me to clean up. Well, lucky me... the Chickadee is doing it for me!

05 May 2012

Great Idea (Hopefully)

When we leave home, the cat is one concern for me. I don't want anyone to have to come up to the house to feed Hook and lock him up every night. Our dog door to the garage was made smaller after our dog died. The raccoons kept getting in so Jack made the opening even smaller yet. It is covered by a stiff plastic that is cut down the middle so it is basically the size of my shoe. (Looks bigger in the photo.) Hook barely squeezes in.

As I had mentioned before, when we got home from our December trip to CA, Hook had tangled with a raccoon and ended up with stitches, etc. I've been locking him in every night with a litter box at hand for him. On our most recent trip, we locked him in the garage for four days. I know he must have been going crazy, but he was healthy and still had plenty of food and water when we got home.

This time, I thought of an idea where we might avoid the raccoons at least. Two shelves for Hook to jump up on and then hop through the window into the garage. We have tall shelves and one of his cat beds right by the window inside so he likes this set up.

I have managed to remember to closed the window every night so I am hoping no rogue cats will come and visit him through his new entry way.

Pets. We love them but they do need a lot of creative thought and planning when we leave. And leave we do. The horse is easy. She needs feeding once a day and my neighbors pass right by the horse barn every day. I pre-measure the hay and they feed and leave. But getting to the cat means through the gate, up the hill and into the locked house.

I haven't found a kennel near by. That seems like a need a lot of people would have so why not more kennels? Noise pollution, I suppose. Not to mention a lot of hard work.

01 May 2012

May Day

I almost forgot it is May Day! I love May Day!
Here is a link for an awesome show of flowers from my friend, Janice. Thanks, Jan!! I love it.

Happy May Day!

A Peek at my Next Quilt

You have already had one peek at this quilt in progress. Now all my colored blocks are done and I need to cut the background blocks then start sewing it all together. I'm in love with it already!
I want to keep you hanging.
Stay tuned.......