Monday, September 29, 2014

Scrappy String Pillow

Yay!  Finally it's done.  I hope the next pillow I make goes a lot quicker than this one.  I simply stitched the edges together, without cord or other trim.  I wasn't sure how the two patterns would look when it was all put together.  The edges match up nicely, though.  The points on the front and the back lined up and the colors all went together.

It's like having two pillows in one.  It certainly brightens up my sofa!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Freemotion Practice

Look!  Look!  Many mistakes and a few puckers later, I've successfully freemotion quilted my pillow tops.  I practiced several different patterns on the first one, which was the roughest.  I've never tried anything but stippling before.  The shadowed lines weren't too bad.  Pebbles were a lot harder than the video I watched.  I'm not thrilled with them, but they actually don't look bad.  Stitching on patterned fabric with a similar colored thread was hard to see.  I learned so much!  The back looked really cool (but I forgot to take a photo of it).

It was much easier to stitch the white on white on the second piece - I could see what I was sewing.  I'm really happy with the whole effect on this side of the pillow.  I was much more comfortable with the quilting; the stitching was even and I didn't pull the bobbin thread too tight.  I felt like a little kid that successfully colored inside the lines.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sneaky Probiotics

Banana-and-Probiotic Sandwich
Giving medications to a guinea pig can be difficult, especially if they're pills or powders.  It's been a while since I've tried to give Pinniped powdered probiotic and I had forgotten how I normally gave it to her.  I tried sprinkling it on some green pepper.  That was a mistake!  She ate around the edges and kept pawing at it, clearly unhappy with it.  I'm sure she'd have made faces if she could.  I eventually washed off the probiotic, and she wolfed down what was left of the pepper.

Rob reminded me that I usually hid the probiotic in a bit of banana.  Banana should only be fed sparingly to guinea pigs, but it is a wonderful medium for hiding pills and powders.  It worked great for Willow's shilintong... until she realized that banana shouldn't be crunchy.  She was very deft at eating all the banana and spitting out the shilintong.  Bad pig!

However, Pinni isn't so discerning.  Probiotic powder wedged between two thin slices of banana quickly disappears.  I'm not sure if the banana flavor overwhelms the probiotic, or if it's because she eats it too quickly to notice.  Doesn't matter - it works for me!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Silly me - I waited until my sewing machine was back from the shop before I started work on my sculpey projects.  I feel like I'm behind on everything.  So, instead of switching back to quilting, I've found myself making more earrings.

I made some sets of ginger piggies.  To give them their typical floppy ears, I attach them inside-out and straight-up.  Usually I'm so intent on the work, I don't stop and look at the progress.  But I did with this one and it made me laugh.  Doesn't he look ridiculous?!  Or maybe he's excited.  Ooh!  Veggies!

I had hoped to test drive the sewing machine this weekend - but was distracted by Coastal Cleanup (my sister and I picked up close to 10 lbs of trash in two hours) on Saturday, and sidetracked by the Patriots game on Sunday.  Hmmm... maybe I'll find some time during the week?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

They're Back!

I put up the small window feeders this week.  The birds must have been watching and waiting.  Chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers arrived within a day.  Huzzah!  Such a difference from last year.  It makes me so happy to see them return.

And goodness!  this is my 500th post.  I started this blog to share guinea pig goofiness and whatever projects I was working on.  I hope it has entertained you, at least a little.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Cannoli

Cannoli has become such a round little rodent over the last year.  Just look at how she fills that basket!  She occasionally tries to throw her weight at Pinniped, but Pinni still rules the roost.  Noli doesn't have a problem with that.  She loves being near Pinni; they are so very compatible together.  We discovered earlier this year how bonded they were when I separated Pinni to go to the vet.  We returned with an unhappy Pinni to a freaked out Cannoli.

Cannoli learned to be a good traveler in the last year.  Such a difference from our move, when she and Pinni bickered throughout the 30 minute trip.  She has accompanied Pinni on multiple vet visits as well as trips to the Cape and pignics.  The lack of fussing makes a less stressful trip for everyone.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Boston Fall Pignic 2014

The morning of the pignic dawned beautifully sunny, but rather chilly.  The forecast had been for a clear day with a high of 70F, but as we packed the car, the temperature was hovering around 50F.  I had warned people to prepare for the cool weather, but I still worried.

It was still very cool when we arrived, but the sunny spots in the grass were wonderful.  I wandered around in bare feet to make sure the pigs would be comfortable on the ground.  I just wanted to lay down in a sunny spot and nap - so I figured we were good to go.  It never got above 66F in the shade, but the breeze died down in the afternoon, and people brought plenty of cozies and houses to share. It turned out to be a good day for a pignic.

We had a good showing.  People arrived early, despite the cool weather.  We had nearly 60 people and close to 50 guinea pigs.  The guinea pigs spent the afternoon chasing each other and eating grass.  The boars got rather rowdy, and a few ended up in the time-out pens.  Most pigs, though, interacted peacefully and many seemed happy to spend the afternoon with other piggy friends.

Clockwise from upper left: Pignic in full swing; Pigachu; disapproving guinea pig (being with Mom was better than participating in the contest); goofy rodent being inspected; gray guinea pig that completely filled the weigh-in bowl; a boar that was bigger than the tissue box (he broke it!); peeking boar - do you see me?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cape Chick Weekend VIII

Plenty of reasons to smile at PB Boulangerie
As I packed my car, fretting if I had all the food, supplies, guinea pig stuff, I wondered why I bothered with the stress for a long weekend away.  Would be easier to take a few days off and stay at home.  Or sneak off to Cape Cod by myself.  Friday was so hot and humid.  I was a puddle by the time I had everything brought in to the cottage and the guinea pig cage set up on the porch.  Whew.

Then my friends started to arrive, full of smiles and laughter.  This.  This is why I organize Chick Weekends and stuff this cottage full of babbling women.  I had a blast.  I'm pretty sure they did, too.

Most of the gals arrived on Friday afternoon.  We walked the beach.  Made dinner.  Had chocolate cashew coconut tart for dessert.  This weekend is all about conversation, food and relaxing.  My morning stress was forgotten.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Love Rocks

I discovered Love Rocks through a friend of mine that lives in Washington state.  She had made some and posted photos on Facebook.  They were cute, simple and I liked the idea of spreading some love on the East Coast.

I brought Mod Podge and fabric scraps to the Cape, figuring I'd collect rocks and make some during Chick Weekend.  The idea was to leave a few behind at the beach before I returned home.  However, I didn't get a chance to coat them until my final day at the Cape.  They were still pretty tacky on Wednesday morning, so I left two around the cottages and the rest came home with me.

I had expected to use lighter colored rocks.  All the ones that caught my eye were medium-to-dark gray.  I like the results.  I also failed to bring down a paint brush, so I ended up coating the rocks with my fingers.  Sticky business!  Next time I need to remember a brush and to allow plenty of time to dry.

I never have an offering to leave that the Kripalu shrines I visit each spring.  Next year I plan on bringing a handful of these to leave at the shrine and wherever else the spirit moves me.  Should be fun!

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

X Marks the Spot

I'm doing the nerd thing again and showing off my latest guinea pig weight chart.  Last year's tracked a fairly stable Pinniped and a growing Cannoli.  What a difference to this year's chart:  X marks when Pinni and Noli traded weights, just before the new year.  Not really what I forecasted last year.