Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Dress Debacle

Enough time has passed that I can at least laugh at how much this smarts.

I got the dress finished to the point I could try it on.  First word I thought of was dowdy.  Then frumpy.  Then I showed Rob.  He said I looked like a substitute teacher.  The substitute!  And then, just so he could tweak my mother in the retelling of the tale, he said I looked like a children's librarian.

Yeah, I doubt my mom has ever dressed like this.

So.  The thoughts of finishing this two weeks ago went right out the window.  But it can't stay wadded up in a ball in the corner forever (although one or two people said it could).  Something needs to be done.

It looks worse on the hanger than it does on me.  It needs hemming, the sleeves done and top-stitching.  I am miffed that I picked a pattern that should have flattered my body shape, looked stylish and yet ended up like this.  I plan to bring it to my mother, assess it, and either fix it so I can wear it or finish it to give away.

A learning experience, that's for sure!

Some positive/fun things from this:  I recalled a lot of my training (Mom taught me to sew by making clothes).  I remembered how to read the pattern, what steps could be skipped if you pinned like crazy, how to mark with needle and thread.  I also discovered that the pattern tissue sounds exactly like crinkling plastic bags... at least to a pair of hungry guinea pigs.  I had lots of demands for food while I was working with the pattern pieces.

Once I figure out how to finish the dress, the next project will be to get rid of the scrap.  I think there's some more rope bowls in my near future!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Like Thursday: Fun and Family

Today's the day to share the things I like and link up with Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday

I like arranging quilt blocks.  As you can see, I don't have a design wall, I have a design floor.

Random blocks are never truly random and take a while to get them looking the way I want them to.  I initially tried to put the shirt blocks in some kind of color pattern, but hated it, so random it was.  (And I like how it came out!)

I like my sister.  (Yeah, that's such a complete understatement... but let's just go with that for now.)  She's creative.  She paints things.  Years ago, she painted the family Dodge Omni with geometric patterns.  I inherited the car soon after graduating college and enjoyed it's uniqueness.

She's recently gotten around to decorating her current car.  Looks like ginko leaves blown in the wind.  I like that, too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sewing Shirts

This is the third charity quilt I've promised.  I've ripped apart five shirts, cut them all into squares and stitched them into a bunch of 9-patches.  If you look at the bottom row, you can see these blocks aren't exactly whole.  That's because I'm making disappearing 9-patch blocks, and when I ran out of fabric to cut 7" squares I cut 7x3.5" rectangles (or 3.5" squares) instead.

Turns out I had way more blocks than I needed for a throw quilt, but not enough to stretch it to a twin sized quilt.  Right now I'm in the process of scrapping together four more cut-apart blocks so that I can do a full 6x8 block layout.  There's a ton of smaller scrap, so the plan is to randomly piece that together, then see how much of a border it would make.  I'm thinking of filling the rest of the border with a cream fabric, or possibly sash the blocks.  Either would be enough to twin-size the whole shebang.

Not really the color scheme I go for, but this has been fun.  I'm liking how it looks, the fabric is so soft and I'm sure someone is going to love it.

Sharing with Linky Tuesday.

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm Hiding

Poor Wedgwood.  She gets picked up every day, either because she's harassing Boadicea, or she's being whiny, or she's just too darned cute for her own good.  I put her up on my shoulder and go looking for Rob, so Wedgie can plead her case why she shouldn't have been picked up.  This time Rob had a camera.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bacon Cheddar Whatever Quiche

We intermittently visit Seven Stars Bakery on Saturday mornings as part of our weekly grocery shopping routine.  I'm a sucker for their ginger biscuits; we both like the little mini quiches, too.

It kind of blends in with the counter top
They've recently swapped out the ham and cheddar quiche for bacon and potato.  Rob didn't find it as satisfying, and on Sunday morning he was hankering for bacon cheddar quiche.  Could I make one?

Sure, why not?

I've never made a quiche before.  I read through three or four recipes online for bacon-cheddar quiche and cobbled a recipe together.  As recipes go, it's kind of like pizza:  start with the crust and a base, then throw whatever you want in it.  I found some mushrooms in the fridge, so we added those, too.

It smelled delicious as it was baking.  Looked pretty when it came out of the oven, too.  And it was as tasty as it looked and smelled.  The recipe made about 5-6 servings.  I bet I could adjust it to make a couple of mini-quiches instead (although the leftovers reheated nicely).  I know I'll be asked to make this again!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Like Thursday: Mostly Mailboxes

It's Thursday!  Time to join Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday lineup.

When I rode my bike last week, I remembered to bring the camera.  Captured some of the fun stuff around that I've mentioned in previous posts.

I like the mailboxes.  These ones I pass regularly when I bike to the library or the farmer's market.  The house is my favorite - look at those dormer windows!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Who's Missing?

Nothing quite like walking by the guinea pigs' cage and finding only Wedgwood.  Wait, what?  The gate was closed, the cozies were empty.  There should have been two rodents.  Where's Boadicea?

That paper bag wasn't quite as empty as it looked at first glance.  There's a butt back there.

Friday, August 4, 2017

What a Day

I had quite a day earlier this week:  running around, some highs, some lows, a bit of stress, lots of love and success.  Oh, and it was my birthday.

I took the day off for myself, then spent the morning cleaning house.  Crazy, right?  Good thing I did that early, because the plumber came unexpectedly to put in a filter for the well water.  So no water for a hour or two.  But yay!  it will be much cleaner water!

I biked to the library at lunchtime.  They had a fundraiser in which people purchased flamingos to bring home and decorate.  They held a contest last Saturday to award the favorites.  Get a load of the creativity:  a rhinestone Elvis, some kind of plesiosaurus-looking creature, Harry Potter, a clown, and one covered in print that makes me think of a secretary bird. Maybe it's a Librarian Bird?

Aren't they fun?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Like Thursday: Veggies, Berries and Dopes

I like to visit the Farmer's Market during the summer.  We biked up there this Sunday.  So much to choose from!  I limited my selection to what I could eat this week and that would fit in my little string backpack.  I need to get a back rack for my bike so I can haul more home!

I bought the zucchini to make zucchini fritters for a Tea later that day.  I've made these fritters several times before; tasty, easy recipe.  Replacing the cornmeal with gluten free flour?  Does.  Not.  Work.  I tossed the first four fritters out when they failed to become anything other than lumps of wet dough (even after the edges burned).  I gave up on fritters, poured the rest of the batter into the pan all at once and attempted some kind of zucchini frittata instead.  Came out the consistency of pudding - tasted delicious.  It all disappeared.  What's there to like?  That it wasn't a total failure.  If I try gluten free again, I'd probably do better swapping with corn starch, or find gluten free cornmeal.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Careful Cutting

I spent a lot of Saturday measuring and cutting.

First - I finished my stacks of shirt blocks!  All 90 or so of them.  Some fabrics were easier to deal with than others, so I finished all the difficult shirts first.  I'm thinking about how I want to arrange the blocks as I moved to the next project:  the dress.

Oh, it's been years since I've made clothing.  I forgot how tedious it is to pin the pattern.  Then there's the cutting - I triple checked the pieces because if I cut one of the big pieces wrong, there's not enough fabric left to fix it!  I left it pinned on the floor for about an hour before I was ready to take the scissors to it.

The pattern has long sleeved and sleeveless options.  I want short sleeves.  I had just enough fabric to cut some sleeves.  I'll sew them together to see how they look - I suspect they're really short!

I dropped off the charity quilt tops on Thursday evening.  Yay!  I got a tour where the group meets on Mondays and a peek at their supplies.  They've got quite a setup, including fabric swapping with other charity groups all going to good causes.  Very cool.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fussy Plaid

Plaid shirt fabric is difficult to cut.  Well... it's difficult to cut squares that are aligned with the plaid.  I considered starching the fabric first, but that still requires squaring it before ironing with starch.  So I'm just slowly, carefully cutting squares.

I had hoped to have this quilt done by the time I dropped off the other two charity quilts.  Ha!  No chance of that.  I barely started cutting squares by Thursday.  Besides, I must switch gears next week to sew my dress, so this project keeps getting pushed out.  I plan to make disappearing nine patch blocks.  I'm excited to see what it will look like.

The five shirts are yielding more 7" squares than I had anticipated.  I will easily get a throw-sized quilt from this; maybe a twin?  That could be fun!  I'm also generating a ton of smaller scraps; more than I want to throw away.  I wonder what kind of crazy quilt design I could do with them.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Like Thursday: A Few Days Away

We spent a few days in Maine this week.  Most of my likes come from there.

Before we left my volunteer sunflower bloomed.  I doubt I'll harvest any usable seeds from it, but I like the cheerful, bright yellow flower.  I love that it looks the same several days later.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Little Quiet

We headed north over the weekend; spent a few days at Thompson Lake in Maine.  Friends had rented a cabin and invited us to stay.  Sunday was beautiful sunny weather.  I'm glad I brought my suit - I splashed around in the shallows and swam out to the boat.  It's been ages since I've swum in a lake.  It was fun to paddle under the trees.  I had a curious fish nibble my toes.

Later in the afternoon I read.  This was my view from the hammock.

There was some traffic on the lake during the day.  The evening and the next morning it was so wonderfully still.  The light rain just added to the beauty.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Strawberry Treat Balls

My first attempt with the cardboard treat balls were met with mild interest.  Both pigs got bored quickly and failed to remove all of the treats.  I kept trying.  Lo and behold, strawberries did the trick.

Boadicea had the biggest learning curve.  She kept rolling the cardboard balls around expecting the treats to pop out, just like the egg-cersizer.  The strawberries were enough incentive enough to keep trying.  Her favorite move was to grab a flap and shake it up and down.  Wedgwood preferred to chew the flaps until she could reach in and pull out the strawberry top.

Hey - whatever works!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I Like Thursday: Yard Art

There's some interesting yard art in the neighborhood.  I finally got a chance to photograph a few of my favorites.

I really like this saxophone playing ant.  He's gotta be five feet tall.  It's hard to tell in this photo, but he's smiling, too.  Happy, musical ant!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Zag and Weave

The idea was to make a few quilt tops for charity from the vintage fabric I brought home in March.  It took forever to get this project off the ground.  Then suddenly, I have two completed tops!

The first is this zig-zag diamond quilt (which is what I'm calling it, since I can't find a name for the image I copied).  I ended up using black for the setting triangles.  I wishy-washed so many times over the blocks and the color and the design and the setting triangles.  Now that it's done?  Love it.

I picked a strip pattern because the fabric had a few discolored spots - it was either in sunlight or had gotten wet while in storage.  So cutting it in strips seemed the best way to cut around the bad spots and hide the variegation in the solid colors.  The blocks went together really easily and all the points lined up without much work!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Getting Comfortable

Most guinea pigs excel at being loafy; Boadicea is a master of chill.  We caught her several times over the last two weeks.  This pig seriously knows how to veg.

First Rob caught Boadicea trying to bury herself under the hay.  This was probably her most unsuccessful attempt of getting comfortable.  The bundled hay didn't really allow her to hide under it, which I suspect was her end game.

But later attempts were far more successful. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Like Thursday: Progress

It's funny - there are many weeks that I get to Tuesday or Wednesday and think:  I have nothing for my Thursday post!  Then like magic, all sorts of things pop into my head.

After a dry spell of sewing, I've started to make progress.  Then inspiration hit and I've got three different things in the works.

I like the points on my latest blocks.  There are just so many corners that are supposed to line up.  Turns out, they way the blocks are ironed, stacked, then sewn came out perfectly, with almost no effort on my part.  Woot!

I like crayons.  Makes me feel like a little kid any time I use them.  I pulled out the box that has been gathering dust for years so I could get a feel for the design of my next quilt. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Lots of guinea pig stories, but not so much sewing.  I hope that will change soon.  I have finally made progress on the pastel strip quilt.  These are the vintage fabrics I picked up in March.  I changed my mind on what block to make; changed my mind on what colors to use before going back to the original block and color combo.  I've put together and pulled apart a few test blocks.  It's ridiculous.


I've got blocks.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Boadi Birthday Number Four

Today we celebrate Boadicea's fourth birthday.  This pig continues to be Ms. Mellow and lives for nose scritches and dried corn husks.  Plus she's still the master of the dubious look.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I Like Thursday: Color

Last week's Thursday post was supposed to be about color; the wedding was certainly colorful.  I found more color this week.

I like the woven box I got as a party gift at the wedding.  I forgot to mention it last week.  Orange and pink.  So festive!

I liked the sweets it was filled with - interesting flavors and spices.  They went great with a cup of tea.  Now that it's empty, I'm trying to figure out what needs to go in it next.  I'm sure I'll find a good use for it.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why Would You Do That?

A few days ago I wrote about Boadicea and Wedgwood enjoying a pile of freshly dried corn husks on the floor.

What I didn't share was the badness that occurred soon after.

Both guinea pigs decided that it was the perfect day to do some exploring on the floor upon eating their fill.  There was a pig train through the living room, to my desk, then back to the couch.  At this point Wedgwood returned to their cage.  I made the foolish mistake of walking into the next room to talk to Rob.  I returned to the living room just in time to see a spark of light.  Right next to that spark was my computer power cable and a naughty Boadicea rodent.

Just look what she did!  There are four nicks in the jacket before the big chomp that clipped through several of the wires.  I hope that pig got a bit of a jolt for her trouble.  She high-tailed it back to the cage as I came running into the room.

Why, why! does she always go for the power cables?  Why not something a little less expensive, like the electric cord for the lamp?  It had been years since she's taste tested a power cord, and I had become less vigilant.  I spent the next several minutes checking every power cord and cable in the living room (there's a lot of them and some are really long).  Thankfully this was the only one she decided to taste test.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Windy Day Husks

It's corn husk drying season - the time of year I get strange looks for "dumpster diving" the bin next to the corn at Stop & Shop.  I feed my guinea pigs fresh husks and silks.  I shred and dry the extra husks (link to my how-to post) to use them well into the winter.  Drying works best on calm sunny days.  On windy days the corn husks can end up all over the deck.  It's a mess and I lose husks!

I normally dry them on a sheet.  On breezy days, I've taken to spreading the husks on half the sheet, folding it over, then placing something heavy on three or four of the corners (potted plants are great!).  The husks don't dry as quickly, require good strong sun, and need to be uncovered and stirred a few times to dry.  But it works, and is a lot better than chasing bits of husk across my deck.

When I brought in the latest batch, I plopped Boadicea and Wedgwood in the middle of the sheet.  Wedgwood was such a dope - she took off for home as soon as she oriented her self.  Boadicea paused for a bit, then decided it would be silly to run off when surrounded by her favorite food.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

All the Toys

I recently posted about the cardboard treat balls I made up for Boadicea and Wedgwood.  It included a video of Boadicea opening one of the balls.  What I didn't show you was Wedgwood being an unmitigated pee-face. 

Several times Boadi contemplated going elsewhere, but obviously really wanted to play wit the new toys.  Equally apparent - Wedgie wanted all of the treat balls to herself, even if she couldn't get into them.  She actually abandons two of them to chase Boadi away from a third.  Really?  You're that greedy??

What a rotten little rodent.

On a side note - who knew guinea pigs could move that fast in reverse?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Like Thursday: Wedding

My godson got married this weekend.  It was a Hindu ceremony, which was interesting.  At one point they took seven steps together with seven vows for their marriage.  I liked it:
   To respect an honor each other
   To strengthen and prosper together
   To help and serve others together
   To share our joys and sorrows
   To care for our children and parents
   To fulfill our spiritual duties
   To remain true lifelong partners

I've become familiar with the deity Ganesh from my many trips to Kripalu.  I like him, he's pretty cool - the god of wisdom and learning and the remover of obstacles.  He's also god of beginnings and thus was represented at the wedding.

I like the jasmine flowers we were given to wear in our hair.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dark Mug Rugs

I have a bunch of sewing projects I want to get to, but have been lacking motivation lately.  Bummer.  There's been lots of distractions with guinea pig stuff, social events, work and plain ol' daily life.  But I did finish a set of requested mug rugs this week.  Progress!

These were an interesting quilting challenge.  I've worked with dark colors before, but blacks with brights.  The quilting on those projects were either stitch-in-the-ditch or intended to really stand out.  These are dark on dark.  I quilted one the same way I did my first wonky mug rug:  each side with thread of the other side's fabric color.  Even though the fabrics contrast enough, the wine/black thread combination didn't stand out.

I tried high contrast thread, but discovered if the wonky square overlapped a lot from front-to-back, light thread looked really messy.  I did a lot of try, rip and try again.

I really liked the grey on black, so I kept that.  The other ended up with an inky blue and dark red that looks quite nice, but doesn't pick up on the photos. 

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cardboard Treat Balls

We saw a home-made toy demonstration at the Pig-a-Palooza in May.  I liked the toilet paper tubes filled with treats.  They look like a smaller version of the egg-cersizer.  I gave them a try last week.

Making them was easy.  First, you need a piece of toilet paper tube, cut to about thee inches long.  Then you cut four evenly-spaced slots on one end.  The other end also gets four slots, but staggered from the first four (so they don't line up across the tube).  Fold in the one end, tucking the flaps under/over each other.  Flip it over, fill it with something good to eat, then fold the flaps on the other end.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Terrifying Orange Ice Pack

On most warm days I put an ice pack in the guinea pig cage.  I wrap it in a cozy to keep the hay off it and to soak up some of the moisture when it sweats.  Usually the guinea pigs will ignore it - occasionally I've seen a pig snuggle up to it or sit on top.  But last Monday, there was panic. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I Like Thursday: Events

I enjoyed the Contra Prom a lot last week.  It's always fun to wow people; the dress impressed and I never come to that dance.  So I was a surprise.  What fun.  The only thing I'm bummed out about is I didn't get a good photo - I ducked out during the break because...

I was moving drapes out of my trunk.  I can't even express how happy I am to have the Drapes of Doom out of the house.  They had been stacked in a neat pile in the living room for weeks, so they weren't that obtrusive.  It wasn't until I drove home in an empty car and walked in the door (not needing to walk around the drapes) that I realized how wonderful it was to have them gone.

I like what I see when I go walking.  I still need to photograph the saxophone-playing ant, but I did capture a giant rooster and a giraffe?!?  They're fun, aren't they?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Boston Spring Pignic 2017

The pignic had been postponed due to heat, and the alternate date dawned with a slight chance of rain and the prospect of being too hot as well.  But there was a breeze, bits of sunshine and the temperature hung just low enough to still be comfortable.

We had one of our smallest gathering of guinea pigs yet:  15 sows and 12 boars.  They came with lots of people.  There were several first-timers to the pignic, along with a handful of regulars.  A good time was had by all.

Blobby pig, chilling pig
Looking to bail, trying to avoid the grass, and the cutie I wanted to bring home

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The First Warm Day of June

We've had our first warm weather this week - a few days in the 90s and 100s.  I turned on the fans.

This is what I got.

Melting pigs.

Oh, so hot.

So I turned on the air conditioning.  How could I not?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I Like Thursday: Sunny Times

I like the rumble of thunder.  And sun showers.  We've had plenty of rain this spring.  Thunder-bumpers are fun.  I've been surprised by two sun showers in just over a week.  I managed to photograph the latest one.  Big HUGE drops.  The way the sun was hitting it, it looked like it was raining only on one side of the deck, and tons of blue sky overhead.  What fun!

I like my hair braided in pigtails.  I get this done every time I get my hair cut.  Makes me feel like a little kid.  Whee!  This is what they looked like the next morning - still pretty good

I got these done in time for a contra dance, and had a number of people comment the braids and pigtails made me look like a kid.  Just ignore that gray - mission accomplished.

Rob liked the way it looked the next day when I pulled out the braids - lots of curly hair (I updated my avatar with that picture).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Squares and Strips

There's been a lot of distractions that kept me from starting my next projects.  I got a chance last weekend to change that.  I cleaned out my sewing machine from the Drapes of Doom (I deliver them on Thursday - yay!).  I cut strips and wonky blocks and actually sat down to sew last night.  How nice!

I'm working on a set of dark wonky block rug mugs.  They're layered up and ready to quilt.  I'm trying to figure out what thread I want to stitch with:  something that will show up, but neither leap off the fabric or get lost.  I'm still learning what works best for that.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Uphill Battle

I walked into the living room to find Boadicea perched on the ramp obviously wanting to partake of the third-level hay, but not wanting to run the gauntlet past Wedgwood.

"Would you not like to share, Wedgwood?  There's room for both of us on the third floor."

"No," says Wedgie.  "Can't you see?  I'm comfortable here and the hay is blocking your way."

"I'm sure I could squeeze by.  There's lots and lots of hay; we could both eat it."

"There's not that much.  I've nested in a bunch of it, so you can't eat that.  The rest is all mine.  I don't want you up here."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

I Like Thursday: Kripalu

I spent a long weekend at Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA.  A weekend of yoga, hiking, friendship and generally chilling.  I liked that a lot... and there was a lot to like.

I like that we got a dorm room just for the eight of us that chose dorm accommodations.  One of the girls likened it to being at camp.  It made for a gab-fest up until lights out.  I liked the camaraderie.  

I like the food.  Nope.  I love the food.  We laughed that we seemed to go from one meal to another.  I ate strictly vegetarian the whole weekend; it was delicious.  I took photos of a few ingredient lists in the buffet line, hoping to make them myself.  There was chai every morning.  What a treat!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Chick Yoga Weekend XV

Fifteen years of Chick Yoga Weekend.  I don't know where the time goes.  We had a large number of gals this year, most were new to the group.  I spent time telling the story how Chick Weekend started, how we got where we are now.  I thought of those who couldn't make it - people were asking about you!  We've had some fun times.

Kripalu has been a lot of things to me over the years.  The place itself has changed a lot, too.  But it is always a haven of love and tranquility.  For that I am very grateful.  In the beginning, it was a lot about taking classes and learning about myself.  Now I tend to spend more time simply reflecting and enjoying the company of others.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

I Like Thursday: Keeping Busy

It's been a busy week (and I'll be repeating some of what I've already written about).

I like the hay field across the street.  The seed heads are purple, which looks great against the green.  It was hard to capture the color, but trust me - they're purple.  There's a few purple clover blossoms in that photo, too.  The whole field is quite pretty.

I really, really like my Singer 15-91.  It handily took on the Drapes of Doom.  I had no problem sewing with heavy thread through layers of velvet, jute and denim.

I like that I have my sewing room back.  The floor is no longer covered with piles of drapes.  I'm so excited every time I walk through the room.  Ah!

I like the Molly Murphy mysteries.  I tried the Tea Shop Mysteries, and it wasn't my cup of tea.  But I've really been enjoying Molly Murphy (her Royal Spyness is pretty good, too).  I've just started Hush Now, Don't You Cry.  Thanks Lee Anna for the suggestions!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Circus and When Guinea Pigs Fly Giveaway

Believe it or not, there was more to Saturday's Pig-a-Palooza than nail clipping.  Really!  Some guinea pigs were lucky enough join the circus.  Salem Pet Photo was there snapping pictures of guinea pigs who had aspirations to be clowns or lion tamers.  Be sure to check out the photos over at The Wheekly.  So much fun!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Stashes, Holes and Headers

Ryco had a sale this weekend on precuts.  I went to pick up a few reds and darks.  Technically I succeeded; I got a few of each... plus a lot of colors I didn't need.  But I just kept picking them up and couldn't put them down.  Especially in the bargain bin area.  Those peacock feathers were so pretty!  I loved the watercolor greens.  The gold had bits of shiny specs.  So they all came home with me.

Monday was a cool, cloudy, rainy day - perfect for sewing.  I rolled up my sleeves and attacked the last of the sound drapes.  I recognized my handiwork on two of the drapes.  Some fixes had held better than others, so I adjusted how to patch holes/rips this time around.

I went through a lot of denim iron-on patches for the big holes and menders tape for little holes that hadn't quite frayed.  One tear was 30 inches long!  I patched over a dozen holes on another drape.  And I finally found a use for the Fray Block that has been sitting in my sewing box for decades.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pig-a-Palooza 2017

I spent Saturday at Nevins Farm's Pig-a-Palooza in Methuen, MA.  I went to the first Pig-a-Palooza two years ago.  (I missed last year's since it conflicted with candy making.)   Wow - what a difference two years makes.  The first Pig-a-Palooza was well attended, but this one was packed.

Raffle table (there was some great stuff!)
Happy sows and happy people.  It was a packed room.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

I Like Thursday: Nothing to See Here

So much happened this weekend and I liked so much about it.  But I forgot the camera.


So you'll have to imagine a lot of my likes.

I liked the Escape from Boston battle reenactment at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, MA.  My mom and I stopped by on Saturday afternoon, just in time to see the redcoats get routed (although we missed my poor Uncle Redcoat get shot down like the dog he was).  Amazing how loud those muskets were!  And a cannon.  And the smoke!  And how damned close you need to be to see the whites of their eyes!  I got history lessons from some of the bystanders.  Very cool.  And we got caught up with my aunt and uncle.  Nice.

I liked the Chocolate Tour in Newburyport.  Chocolate!  We gave them our tickets, got a bag and a map, then wandered around for two hours to at least twenty different stores.  Happy people!  Happy shopkeepers!  Beautiful weather!  And did I mention chocolate?  Some was run-of-the-mill.  But Lindt chocolates are always good.  Plus there were some wonderful handmade chocolates, brownies, lava cake (to bring home and microwave), even gelato.  Oh, yeah, I liked this a lot.

I like that proceeds went to charities like Nevins Farm (MSPCA) and Habitat for Humanity.

Ooh.  I do have something to show - I liked the paper quilling art I found in one shop.  She had some beautiful framed pieces - I bought a little card.

Monday, May 22, 2017


But why can't we go in the living room?
Did not feel well last week, so nothing much was done.  No sewing.  No writing.  Very little of anything was accomplished around the house. 

But stinky guinea pigs ensured there was cage cleaning on Friday.

I was not up to cleaning the cage as well as chasing pigs all over the living room, so I put up the grids to keep them in the kitchen.  I was quickly told this was unacceptable.  First I was chattered at.  Later, when Wedgwood determined they couldn't sneak around the edges, Boadicea attacked the grids.  I haven't had a pig so determined to breach grids since Pinniped.

Cage cleaning was easier without chasing them.  Still, their antics were so distractingly funny I kept stopping to watch and photograph them.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wedgwood's Gotcha Day

Photo by Salem Pet Photo
It was one year ago today that stormy little(?) Wedgwood blew into our lives.  On the surface she was just what I was looking for:  a mature sow to keep Boadicea from getting bored.  The added bonus -  she was my favorite color of agouti grey and white.  She's ridiculously cute with her long pointed nose.

Wedgwood was not quite what we expected, as we've discovered over the last year.  She doesn't wheek, she whines.  She's relaxed when being held but OMG, don't pick her up!  She wants all of the food and none of the affection.  She's one of the meaner butt-headed pigs I've had in dealing with other pigs.  Yet she's the absolutely the gentlest pig I've had when handled by humans.  She wants to be near Boadicea all the time and doesn't like to be separated for long (even when she's picking on Boadi).  I suspect a lot of her quirks is from living years in two different households without guinea pig company.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I Like Thursday: Fun and Games

I like my new kitchen scale.  My previous scale got dunked - I wasn't thinking.  Water is never a good thing with electronics.  The old scale eventually turned on, after I jab the button a dozen times.  I told Rob how bummed I was, and to please keep his eye out for a new one.  This arrived on our doorstep two days later (the guinea pig was an add-on).  Love that.  I may have to wish for things more often....

Monday, May 8, 2017

Doomed Again

Three years ago I took on a project to split three large acoustical curtains in half.  They are (fondly?) referred to as the Drapes of Doom.  They were heavy and massive.  Unfortunately, my Singer Graduate never recovered from the experience.  Sadness.

But I did... and somehow agreed to work on another eleven drapes.  How did I manage that??  When we hauled them into the house, Rob swears there were thirteen of them.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Like Thursday: Spring and Scraps

Spring has sprung.  Huzzah.  The green and flowers are making me happy.  A little warmth, lots of new growth.  I'll even deal with the pollen.

I like the little purple flowers that are growing up between the stones in my front yard.  I've never noticed them in prior years.  They're really pretty.