Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Art of Slouching

Mabel has been with us for two months.  She's made herself at home.  She does not like to be patted in the cage (traditional morning scritches is a problem because Mama perseveres), but is perfectly relaxed if picked up and snuggled.  And if there's anyone who knows how to hang out, it's Mabel.  I think she even has Boadicea beat.  I mean, just look at her.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I Like Thursday: Work Vacation

I went to the Cape for a few days.  So much fun.  I came down on Friday afternoon before the rush and stayed until Wednesday.  Even though I worked most of the weekdays, it gave me the mornings and evenings to spend with family.  I even briefly plopped myself and the laptop in the backyard. So relaxing!  I will need to try this again!

I like that my guinea pigs are good travelers.  Wedgwood and Mabel came with me (since I wanted to keep an eye on Wedgwood).  I have to pack more for them than I do myself, but once they were set up, they made themselves instantly at home.

I was amazed to see town water (and a fire hydrant) down to the very end of Campground Road.  It's an odd shot to have the fire hydrant so close to the beach.

I love walking the beach.  I didn't get to do enough of it, but even just being close enough to smell the air and hear the people and the waves was wonderful.

I like misty mornings, which are typical for humid summer days on the Cape.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

An Unfortunate Twist

Wedgwood's weight has been low for a while with no apparent reason.  It had coincided with losing Boadicea and adopting Mabel, which I figured were both stressful events.  But it hasn't bounced back like I expected once Mabel settled in.  I dragged my feet in calling the vet - until Wedg blew up like a balloon on the 4th of July.  This had to be bloat.

The word "bloat" can strike terror into any guinea pig owner.  It's painful and can be fatal - no one ever wants to deal with it.  The weird thing was that Wedgwood moved around like nothing was wrong, eating and drinking.  Even when I picked her up, she protested in being manhandled, not wheeking or grunting in pain.  She didn't act sick.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Like Thursday: Lounging

This week's likes has links, but I finished writing it and there were no photos.  Sorry.  So I'll start with this, just to give you something cute:  Wedgwood and Mabel hanging out.  Gotta like that foot sticking out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

So Close!

I need to bury threads and attach binding.  Ooh, and a label.  But I am so close to being done with the Homebase quilt.  I finished the quilting last night.

I found the design on Cluck Cluck Sew.  This certainly would have been easier to quilt on a long arm machine, but I really liked how it looked.  I tried doing it all freehand, but ended up needing a template to see what I was doing.

I broke up the quilting to two parts.  The first step was to quilt wavy lines on the diagonal with a walking foot.  Once the waves were in place, I echoed them and added in circles with free motion quilting.

Isn't it neat?  I'm only showing off the back of the quilt because it's to be gifted.  (Besides, quilting shows up better on the back.)  No more photos of the whole thing until after the recipients get it.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Maintenance Costs

I'm nerdy.  I track lots of stuff in spreadsheets, including the maintenance cost of my car and vet expenses of guinea pigs.  I was surprised the other day when I discovered the numbers weren't too far apart.

I bought my car in December 2003, then adopted Athena and Victoria four days later.  (I was more excited about the guinea pigs than the new car... surprised?)  Anyway, nearly 15 years and 10 guinea pigs later, I was curious how the pigs and the car stacked up.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

I Like Thursday: It's Cooking

Whew, it's been hot!

I like that our air conditioner works!  And I like that we had an extra one to loan to my sister so she wouldn't cook this week. 

When I had made the banana cream pie last week, I made three mini pie shells with the extra dough.  So what did I do for my first hot day?  I slaved over a hot stove making a small batch of banana cream pie custard.  Well, maybe not slaved.  But this time it set!  I had almost enough to fill two of the mini pies.  The second was a little skimpy, so I added a layer of chocolate.  I liked that a lot (and the other is in the freezer, to enjoy another day).

That evening I was back at the stove to make this one pot macaroni and cheese.  No boiling water.  Takes less than 20 minutes to make.  It may be cheater (without a real roux), but it's delicious.  So easy.  Gotta like that!  And not hot work, which was good when the outside thermometer was reading 90℉.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Wibbly Wobbly

Now that I've started quilting the Homebase quilt, I'm glad I didn't pick the straight line design.  I started to freehand quilting the curves.  I had practiced on a small piece, no problem.  But when I tried the wavy lines on the whole quilt it was a mess.  Ripped it out, created a template, pinned and sewed against that.  So. much. better. 

I first attempted to sew against the template, which was awkward and jerky.  I switched to pinning the hills and valleys of the curve as a guide, then stitch from pin to pin.  I've done this before, and it works great (other than the occasional bad words when I jab my fingers with unseen pins).

It's slow work, because I pin only two lines at a time, then stitch, then back down to pin two more lines.  Lots of back and forth.  But the longest lines are first!  So it should speed up as I make my way to the corners.   Once I finish this, there's a second pass with a freemotion design.  Progress!

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.


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