Thursday, July 31, 2014

Annual Blueberry Pilgrimage

Sunday was my annual pilgrimage to Newbury to pick blueberries from my parent's HUGE blueberry bush.  One of these years I will remember to take photos of the bush itself; no one ever believes how big it is, nor how many blueberries are on it.  My mother and I picked over only half the bush and I brought home 10-14 cups of blueberries.  I considered picking more when it started to pour rain.  I had brought rain gear, just in case.  But I decided I had enough berries.  Silly me - one can never have too many Newbury blueberries!

I didn't have time to wash, dry and freeze them until Tuesday.  My stash dwindled in those two days.  This year's crop is the sweetest I remember.  Normally I freeze all the berries I bring home, but this time I'm leaving 3-4 cups in the fridge for snacking.  The frozen ones will end up in muffins and my blueberry cake.  Yum!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Namast-hay! Shirt Giveaway

Click on photo to enlarge
This shirt was supposed to be my birthday present.  I was so excited... until it arrived and I tried it on.  It's a fitted T and I double checked the sizing guide before ordering it.  I don't think fitted is supposed to mean can't breathe

I contacted the site about returning it the shirt.  They kindly refunded the money without requiring a return.  So now I have this really cute shirt I can't wear.  What can I do with that?  Well, I'm sure some small yogini in the guinea pig community would love  it.

So I am giving this Namast-hay! light weight, fitted woman's T-shirt designed by When Guinea Pigs Fly.  It's marked as a large, which is silly.  The website said it was for a 36-38" bust, but my guess is it would better suit a 34" (or roughly a size 8), or a 36"/size 10 you prefer a snug shirt. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

More Strings

When I first learned to quilt, I made a few throw pillows.  A decade later, they're faded, worn, dingy.  I've been meaning to make new ones for a while, and they finally made it to the top of my to-do list.  Yay!

I have bookmarked so many neat block patterns I've wanted to try.  Now's my chance to try a few of them out.  The first pillow will consist of two string patterns: double diagonal and spiderweb.  These two will probably exhaust what's left of my scrappy strings.  I have been loving these project, but I need to do some non-scrappy projects!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tea Dye

They started out the same color
I don't tend to buy a lot of light-colored clothing because... well... I'm a slob.  And sure enough, within two weeks of purchasing a pair of beige capris, I managed to stain it with rust from the ice cream maker.  Right smack-dab on the front of the leg.  Cripes.

I decided to dye the capris a few shades darker with tea, to see if it would hide the stain.  Goodness knows I'm aware that tea stains, but I was amazed at how few tea bags can change color on a whole piece of clothing.  The shorts and the capris were originally the same color.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lots of Little Pigs

My guinea pig earrings were a big hit at the Spring Pignic.  After I finished this year's ornament, I created four more pairs of guinea pig earrings with my remaining studs.  I plan to offer them on CavyMadness.

Experimenting with colors was fun.  I enjoyed mixing different colors, adding spots and creating mismatched feet and ears.  My attempts at creating Willow's orange fur or Teddi's lilac color resulted in some very non-guinea pig colors.  I'll need to work on that.  But I managed to blend several usable shades.  My earrings seem so plain by comparison.  Now that I've created a few more, I can see my basic light colored pigs may be easier to identify at a distance than the darker ones.  The Pippin-looking pair on the far left is my favorite so far.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Status Quo

Pinniped has been stable.  She's still on the hydrochlorothiazide (which I can now spell and pronounce without looking at the bottle).  Unfortunately, she continues to receive daily subcues.  I've weaned her to a daily injection instead of the twice-daily routine.  After six months of getting jabbed, she's not taking it well.  I can no longer give the injections by myself because she's too wriggly.

I stopped at the vet last week to stock up on another month's worth of meds, fluids and needles.  I spoke briefly with the vet.  She was thrilled that Pinni has had a few weeks of 850-900g weight and that she'd been clean and dry for several days in a row.  It's a far cry from the state Pinni was in this winter.  I explained how I've modified the regimen and the problems we've had with subcues.  The vet suggested that if I'm down to 30ml of fluids a day to try syringe feeding Pinni that amount.  I could use the lactated ringers' solution orally, which would help keep Pinni's electrolytes in balance.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MFA Quilts and Color

Each block center was embroidered
After recommendations from my mother and several friends, I made it to the Quilts and Color display at the MFA.  I attended with a few of my friends from a variety of quilting backgrounds.

Many of the quilts were from the mid to late 1800s.  The colors on them were astounding.  I hope my quilts look this good a century later.  All that hand stitching and quilting was terrific.  

We all enjoyed the collection, although the quilters among us had a few complaints.  No one was there with white gloves to show us the back of the quilts.  Only one quilt's information plaque included a photo of the back.  Items were obviously hand quilted, but there was no indication if it was hand pieced, too, or if any of it was machine stitched.  The blocks were named in some quilts, but not others.  I had to go home and google the difference between back-to-front and knife-edge finished edge.  (For those as ignorant as I - back-to-front is as it sounds:  the back and front of the quilt are sewn together.  Knife edge, from what I can find, is an additional piece of fabric, sewn to the top edge of the quilt similar to a modern binding, then pulled around and stitched to the back of the quilt.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Polite Pig

Have you ever heard a guinea pig say "Thank you" when they've been handed a treat?  Pinniped has been making a quick little purr when I hand over certain green veggies or corn husks.  Usually it occurs just as she bites into it and hauls it away.  Realistically Pinni is probably saying "Hand the food over faster" or "Yay!  Food!" but it sounds like thanks to me.

She's not the first - I've had other guinea pigs do this.  Granted, I only get a thank you when I'm doling out the really good stuff.   Cannoli has yet to express any gratitude.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Sacking

Summer is really here.  We've had several warm days over the last few weeks.  It has left me with a pair of very blobby pigs.  Indoors, outdoors, or on the floor, I often saw a pair of fuzzy puddles when I'd check in on them.

Cannoli has learned the art of sticking her feet out over the edge of the hammock in new and interesting ways.  (I think she may have outdone Pinni.)  Sadly, she leaps out of the hammock when I walk by.  The only photos I've gotten of her in the hammock or out in the open is if she's deeply asleep.  She was out cold when I snapped the photo of her under the hay rack.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Guilty Party?

We came home from grocery shopping and found a broken hammock.  It was fine when we went out. 

I'd been anticipating this since Cannoli took an interest in the hammock cords and seams.  Upon close examination, it doesn't appear that the cord was cut; it looks like the seam gave way.  I guess it's possible after several years of use and washing, it just fell apart.

So - was it simply a matter of circumstance?  Or did one of these two pigs snip the seams?

And who do you think was the unfortunate pig that got dumped out of the hammock when the cord came loose?  I wish I had been home to witness that.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sneak Peek

I've pulled out the Sculpey again.  Time to start working on this year's ornament.  I'm still figuring out the arrangement.  Here's a sneak peek at how it looks at this point.  (This way, if my sister does happen to read my blog, she'll still not know what the whole thing looks like.)  I love to show my progress, but you'll have to wait until Christmas to see the final result.

Any guesses as to what I have so far?

I'm linking up with Linky Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Bunch of Baking

Cheddar Onion Scones, Chocolate Chip Biscuits
Oatmeal Bread, GF Banana Bread
My friends and I had a Tea on Sunday.  Last Friday I had not yet decided on what I was making.  As I flipped through my recipe books I came across a number of Breakfast Club recipes.  Ah.  I haven't made many of these since our office closed.  I enjoyed baking for my coworkers.  I didn't realize how much I missed cooking for Breakfast Club.  So I dusted off a few favorites to make.

We had also polished off our last loaf of oatmeal bread and I had a few overripe bananas.  Altogether, that spells Baking Frenzy!

I baked some old favorites for the Tea:  cheddar onion scones and chocolate chip biscuits.  I also made some gluten/dairy free banana bread (since the scones and biscuits had loads of both).  The GF banana bread came out great.  I liked it better than the GF date bread I made earlier in the year.  This had good texture and everyone agreed it was delicious.  Alas, one of the mini loaves fell into a spot of flour on the counter when I removed it from the pan.  Oops.  I had to keep that one all to myself (you can see my big fat taste-test in the photo).