Monday, November 28, 2016

Winter Wonderland Piggies

For the first time in years, we didn't have the holiday photo shoot on Black Friday.  Joey from Salem Pet Photo took pictures in October, so we had the day off instead of wrangling rodents.

I spent the afternoon quilting instead of setting up scenery, wrangling pigs and editing photos.  What a nice change.

There were so many great pictures of Boadicea and Wedgwood.  I have a few prints for the holiday cards.  But then there were all of these single shots that I couldn't use.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Little Love

My little practice quilt is done.  It went together quite nicely and gave me the confidence to tackle my main project.  I've already appliqued most of the hearts - sandwiching and quilting is next.

This was my first time using the Singer 15-91 for free motion quilting.  All I can say is wow.  Just wow.  I didn't have to muck with the tension.  No broken threads, no skipped stitches.  How nice.  And what fun.  I can't wait to quilt some more.

So this little quilt is 10½ inches square.  I put pockets in the back to insert a dowel for hanging.  Not that I bothered cutting a dowel to length for the pictures - I was too excited to catch the sunlight and show this off.  None of my photos capture how it shines.  Oh, well, you'll have to imagine the sparkle.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let It All Hang Out

The hammock is back in the cage this week.  I've been getting a kick watching Boadicea sleep in it.  In the past I've noted that Boadi has some similarities to Bertie.  This time she's channeling Pinniped.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

All That Glitters

Front on top; back on the bottom (with little bits of tissue paper)
Cutting that nifty shiny thread fabric has resulted in lots of glitter:  all over my clothes, the cutting mat, the floor and in my laptop keyboard.  Damn.  At least it's pretty.

I pulled threads from the leftover cuttings and made another piece of thread fabric.  Using a fabric backing had pros and cons.  It's stable and opaque, but bulky, can't be easily appended together, it's not reversible and some of the fabric edges fray when cut).  I understand why some tutorials instruct using water soluble stabilizer on both sides.  I will do that next time.

I didn't have much left stabilizer left, so I tried a tissue paper backing.  The tissue didn't all disintegrate or pull out, but I like this result better that the fabric backing.  It's a bit thinner.  I can easily sew small pieces together to make a bigger piece.  This was a dense chunk, but I considered what a looser "weave" would look like.  You'd be able to see the fabric it's appliqued to through the gaps.  Oh!  So many ways to play with this!

I have laid out my main project - have the colors picked, the hearts all cut, it's ready to piece.  Raw edge applique seemed the way to go with this.  I've never done that before - I don't like how messy it looks.  But these pieces are messy!  I felt a clean edge would clash with the rest of the hearts.  As I pondered how to applique it, I also thought about how to quilt it on the new machine.  So many things new things I've not attempted before - did I want to risk trying them out on this quilt?

I stopped my work to make a smaller version with the extra pieces.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Six Month Update

Wedgwood has been with us half a year.  The time flies by!  She's changed a lot from the scared pig we brought home from the Potter League for Animals.  Mind you, she still has some of the pee-face attitude she arrived with.  Her latest thing:  she gets her nose out of joint if Boadicea wheeks for treats.  Seriously.  Like Wedgie is afraid Boadi will get all the food if she makes all the noise. 

Speaking of wheeking - I'm convinced it's something that Wedgwood will never do.  She is a master whiner.  I've never had a guinea pig whine so much.  I recall my mother threatening me I'd have kids that whined as much as I did.  I swear I wasn't this bad....

Friday, November 18, 2016

Not So Bodacious

What guinea pig doesn't work hard making beans?
I called the vet to make an appointment for Boadicea.  The receptionist misread Boadicea's name and thought it was Bodacious.  Excellent!  We had considered that as her name at one point.

Unfortunately, Boadi is not feeling so bodacious.  There's been occasional blood and crying.  No stones were seen on either xrays or ultrasound.  A week of antibiotics hasn't seemed to do anything.  She has good days and bad days, and otherwise appears to be her usual loafy self.

Some of what has me concerned is that Wedgwood has upped her butt-headedness.  She appears to be picking on Boadi far more often.  So something's not right, but we're not sure what.

I brought the vet a poo sample yesterday for more tests.  I hoping this gives us a diagnosis, otherwise, there will be more tests in our future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trunk Full of Quilts

Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies Whims and Fancies is hosting a trunk show.  I found out about it through some quilt blogs I follow and decided to join in.

The first couple of quilts are at least a few years old, but the rest were completed in the last year or so.

Summer Day
This was my first Storm at Sea quilt.  It was my first wall hanging as well as my first gift quilt.  Perhaps an odd choice for a wedding present.  But I really wanted to try the pattern and loved my choice in colors.  It remains one of my favorite quilts.

Northern Lights
Northern Lights was a crazy stretch project.  So many pieces.  So much work.  Loved the pattern the first time I saw it.  Loved the colors.  Added bonus?  I got to keep it.

Monday, November 14, 2016


I am not into politics.  My attitude towards it, for better or for worse is:  I don't really want to know, don't have a strong enough opinion to discuss, and largely in my day-to-day life don't care.  Although this whole 2016 campaign and election has made me unhappy and discouraged, I am holding off predictions of doom-and-gloom while I wait to see what happens.  On top of that, I do not view myself as a white privileged person - which I realize is probably the very definition of white privilege.  Like it or not, this is me.

But the uptick in hate crimes from all of this?  I have a real problem with that.

I read several articles about wearing a safety pin.  It began with Brexit to show that the wearer is an ally against anyone who feels targeted by hate.  Soon after I saw several posts about how wearing a safety pin is just an empty gesture (like so many Facebook "click Like to show you're against such-and-such" posts), or a show of white privilege, or whatever.  So I sat on the fence for several days.  Last night I spoke to an acquaintance of mine who was wearing one and asked him what spurred him to add a safety pin to his attire.  I can't recall all of the details of what he said, but what sticks with me was his conviction.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Color and Layout Auditions

I cut my first piece of the shiny threads.  So many applique patterns to choose from.  I decided to go with hearts.  I'm thinking about how I want to stitch it together, what kind of overall pattern to do, how big to make it.  The weather was overcast when I snapped the pictures, so they don't look like much.  In sunlight it really sparkles.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Messy Shiny Threads

I was given a bag full of shiny threads.  Lots of gold and silver, a variety of bright colors.  It was a tangled mess.  As I started to pull them apart I discovered a lot of short scraps.  So I gave up trying to salvage them individually and decided to use the whole mess.

I've seen tutorials on making fabric out of thread and scraps of cloth using water soluble stabilizer.  I decided to give it a try.  I dumped the thread on a few pieces of scrap fabric, covered them with the stabilizer, then randomly stitched all over it.  The two light-colored pieces still have the stabilizer on them, the darker square has it washed off.  They all ended up as vibrant as the square piece when washed.

The stabilizer melted away under warm running water.  Goopy, sticky stuff as it melted.  Kinda gross.  But the end result looks pretty awesome.

Now I have to figure out what to make with them.  I've been looking at applique patterns.  Should be fun.

Sharing with Linky Tuesday and Scraptastic Tuesday.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Great Timing

My Celtic knot project is slow going.  I had a couple of false starts before making any progress.  I managed to lay out the basic shape, but wasn't able to press it all flat.  There were too many pins and too big of an iron.

As I pondered how to tackle this, I was gifted a mini iron.  Oh, what a difference!  I can only work on it in short bursts, but I'm making progress.  I keep screwing up the over/under - I had to pull out one side twice before it lined up correctly.

I planned to machine sew this, but I'm not confident I can catch the finished edges properly.  Now the plan is to hand stitch.  I may start stitching the one side before completing the pinning of the other just to get a better feel for how it will look when it's done.

Along with the mini iron, I received a bag of scrappy metallic thread.  Very pretty stuff - not something I usually use.  But it's inspiring me.  Suddenly I have a new project at the top of my list.  Then I really need to start focusing on Christmas stuff.  Is it really November already?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Goodies All Around

I hosted a Tea on Sunday.  Such fun having a bunch of friends over for an afternoon of good food and conversation.  I always love using my vintage tea cups.  Plus I got the chance to show off my Key West Memories table cloth.  Doesn't it all look lovely?

I had the window bird feeders up in time for company.  Everyone loved the birds flitting around.  I was asked how many kinds I get.  Oh, so many!  Right now it's mainly chickadees and titmice.  But wow, if I think of it, my window feeders get downy woodpeckers, Carolina wrens, nuthatches, juncos, house finches and goldfinches.  Occasionally a cardinal or a flicker can stuff itself onto the front feeder.  There's a big feeder in the back - they have an easier time with that, and we get blue jays there, too.