Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I finished the blue-green blocks this weekend.  Huzzah!  Turns out I did buy enough of the green and counted my pieces correctly.  I'm so glad.

I'm loving the blocks.  But now that they're together, I'm really not liking the tan for the setting blocks.  It had been a spur of the moment decision to swap out the original design of light blue and tan.  I like the pebbly/sandy texture, but I didn't realized it would become the predominant color on the quilt (which is pretty silly, considering how many yards I bought). 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cuddled Up

Boadicea loves her cuddle cups.  Plus she is so good at striking poses.  There's feetsies hanging out!  And there's a nose that's hiding.

Yup.  She's pretty cute.  She knows it, too.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Blue-Green Blocks

While I am still wishy-washy over some of my quilt colors, I figured I could at least start on the pieces that I'm sure of.  My points aren't perfect, but I think these blocks look great.

I finished cutting all the green pieces.  In classic Sally style, I managed to buy just enough material.  I had a 2.5" strip left plus a few odd scraps as I cut the very last piece.  I really need to learn to pad my numbers more.  I hope I counted all of the pieces correctly, or I am in big trouble!  At least I know I have plenty of blues and the cream.  I plan to stitch up the rest of these blocks this weekend and proceed from there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Same Vet, New Clinic

top: pre-checkup jitters
bottom:  traumatized pigs want to go home!
Cannoli has been a bit on the porky side, having gained a lot when Pinniped was really sick.  She also occasionally sneezes, which tends to be rare with guinea pigs, but not for Noli.  Recently she lost some weight and then began wheezing every so often.  Given her history, I wasn't too alarmed, but it was time for a professional opinion.  So I scheduled a trip to the vet.  Either we could address what was wrong or confirm Noli was okay.  Boadicea got an appointment as well, mostly for a baseline checkup and a quick feel for ovarian cysts.

My vet has moved.  She now has her own practice at Holmes Family Veterinary Clinic.  I'm so happy Dr. Holmes is still in the area.  I had been by the clinic before, but this was our first official visit.  Both pigs were well behaved.  I was amazed.  I had braced myself for Boadi to "apply teeth" in response to a lot of manhandling.  She doesn't bite - but she'll touch you with her teeth when she's had enough.  Turns out Boadicea was a charmer and was pleasant to everyone (being wrapped up like a burrito helped).  Noli wasn't bad, but she struggled.  She wanted none of this!  Cannoli is surprisingly strong for a little rodent.

Both pigs got a clean bill of health.  Cannoli's lungs were clear and her heart sounded good.  She's a little under the weight she was in early 2014, which is a good weight for her.  If she manages to drop another 50g, I'm to bring her in again.  As for the random wheezing, we discussed allergens and the dry, dusty spring we've had.  Maybe it will improve once I start using the A/C on a regular basis (or maybe after we have some more rain). 

Turns out Noli is more of a candidate for cysts than Boadi is.  Yay me - I can look forward to two hormonal pigs in my future.  Meanwhile, Noli and Boadi are happy to be home and hope there will be no more road trips for a while.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Caught in Irons

This is how my living room floor has looked for nearly two weeks.  Granted - there was a pignic and other interruptions.  But it's mostly been sitting there because I can't make up my mind on the pattern and if I like the colors.  Once I decide, I'm sure things will progress quickly.  But for now, I'm caught in irons.

This quilt is coming out much more green and beige than I envisioned.  A lighter beige would be fine, but I really wanted more blue.  Yesterday I threw the fabrics on the bed, to get a better feel for what it would really look like.

In an effort go regain some momentum, I've decided to start sewing together the medallions.  I keep coming back to my original design of mostly blue, with the four cream squares on the sides.  So I'm going with that and sewing at least three of them together.  If I have those done, I'll have less of the overall quilt that I have to imagine, and it should help with my decisions.  I want to be working on this.  At this rate my summer quilt will be done in the fall!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cavy Sticker Giveaway

At the end of the Boston Spring Pignic, there were two extra cavy bumper stickers left over.  So a couple of non-pignic goers can enjoy a prize!  I am giving away these two cavy bumper stickers as seen on CavyMadness

To enter:  leave a comment here (if you're a no-reply blogger, please include your email address in the comment) or on the CavyMadness Facebook post.  I will pick two winners at random - one from the blog, the other from the CavyMadness page.  Commenting here and on Facebook will increases your chance to win.

Be sure that I can contact you!  CavyMadness cannot send a direct private message to Facebook comments.  Check back after 12pm on June 26th - I will reply to the winner's comments if I cannot email them directly.  If a winner does not respond within 24 hours, I will randomly draw another name.

This drawing closes on Friday, June 26th at 12pm DST.  Congrats to Jessica and Brooke! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bigger Basket

I made a second, larger, fabric basket.  This one was based on 3" squares (my prior one was 2" squares). The handles are a single piece of fabric (which I liked better)  It's one square longer than the original design.  Between the bigger squares and the extra length, it's much larger than my first one.  At 12" x 5.5" x 5.5", it could easily hold 30 CD cases lined up in there.

I decided increase the length based on some examples I saw on line.  If I were to make it again, I think I'd keep with the original 6-square length.  The basket tends to be a bit floppy standing on it's own.  If I made this size again I would add interfacing to help keep it's shape.

I was just about done when I remembered to add one of my little seam labels in the inside.  Then, as I finished whip-stitching the inside seam, I discovered a pin buried in the bottom I had put in to mark the center line.  Bah!  I had to pull out my stitching and do it again.

I like how it looks with all the blues and greens.  

Linking up with Freemotion on the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Boston Spring Pignic 2015

Sunday was wonderful pignic weather.  The Pig Patrol showed up in force.  We even had a volunteer photographer set up a booth for formal photos.  And yet, we had the smallest group of pignic people in years.  Just over 30 guinea pigs that attended along with 40 people.  We were amazed that the boars outnumbered the sows for the first couple of hours of the pignic.  What a topsy-turvy day!

It made for a quiet, very laid back pignic.  Most of the guinea pigs behaved.  We didn't have any newbie guinea pig caretakers.  Except for some nail clipping and initial check-ins, the Pig Patrol had nothing to do.  We had been prepared for a lot more attendees.  I'm not complaining!  It gave us time to catch up with each other and enjoy the day.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Quilt Fabric

I picked a pattern, calculated yardage, bought my material and then changed my mind on what I want to do and how to do it.  Oh, just shoot me now!

I fell in love with this (I saw on this Dreamworthy Quilts post).  I decided it would be a great pattern for a summer quilt.  I even liked the colors, but eventually went with a bit more blue and green.  I also decided to use multiple fat quarters for the blue, rather than having a single fabric throughout the quilt.  (Hmm... this is starting to sound like my cooking recipe adaptations.)  I wanted a chance to incorporate the beautiful blue fat quarters my sister gave me for Christmas.  Fat quarters, picture and calculations in hand, I went fabric shopping.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

What the Hay?

The weekly hay progress
Anyone who has guinea pigs can tell you that hay gets everywhere.  I've found strands of hay in almost every corner of my home at some time or another.  I've read several discussions on the best vacuum to deal with it.  I've also seen some amusing stories of the weirdest place hay has turned up.

Cannoli and Boadicea's hay is kept in a box (enclosed with flaps) under the cage.  And no matter how careful I am handling it, I always manage to sprinkle a few blades onto the floor.  I can tell what day of the week it is by the amount of hay that surrounds their cage.  I vacuum on Monday and the floor is spotless for all of 10 minutes.  By the weekend, after I clean the cage, it looks like I purposely dumped the hay on the floor.  Ugh!  Out comes the vacuum, and I start the whole process again.

So, piggy people - can you tell what day of the week by the hay on your floor?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Chick Yoga Weekend XIII

Bold baby bunny
I had a much smaller group at Kripalu this year than other years.  After picking a date that most everyone agreed on, half the group was unable to make it because life got in the way.  But the five of us that attended this year had a wonderful time.  It was a quiet weekend, with plenty of room in all of our classes.  The weather cooperated as well.

Bunnies!  We arrived and were greeted by the very tame bunny rabbits that hang out on the front lawn.  They were cute and so blase about humans walking right up to them, even the young ones.

I attended a few workshops: an evening class of yin yoga and qigong, one on food and inflammation, another on writing haiku, and lastly a class on Mitahar (moderation in eating).  The last one was not at all what we expected, and was very interesting.  The Haiku Stew was entertaining (and I found out that haiku doesn't have to fit the 5-7-5 syllable format).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Key West Prints

My mother handed me a bag of fabric last week.  This was on top of all the fabric I just bought for my new quilt.  Well... and some extra yardage of material that caught my eye.  I came home that weekend with 20 yards of fabric!  I bet I doubled my stash size.  Oh, boy, now I have even more projects on my to-do list!

About half the bag was filled with scraps of Key West Hand Prints.  It's hand silk-screened fabric.  Incredibly vibrant colors!  The camera just doesn't capture it.  I am fully in love with the dark teal blue and the soft pinks.

My family lived on Key West, many years ago.  Some of the fabric was from back then.  I'm pretty sure I recognize other pieces from subsequent trips back to Key West, before the place closed.  A few of the scraps are Lilly Pulitzer prints.  I spent some time looking for "lilly" while ironing them.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Google Photos

The other day I uploaded the wrong photo to my blog.  I went to delete it and discovered that the user interface in Google Photos has changed once again.  Ugh.  Every time it's improved, I find it more difficult to use.  In trying to locate the photo I wanted to delete, I stumbled into the new search option that attempts to be helpful by automatically categorizing my photos.  I snagged this picture, because I found it so amusing.

It had correctly identified biscotti as Food, along with accurate thumbnails for Beaches, Boats and Sledding.  One could argue that a pignic is a Picnic.  Green corn husks are Flowers?  That's a stretch.  And the identification software was clearly confused with the minion to lump it in with the Cars behind it.  But look what Google did to my poor guinea pigs!  They got labeled as Cooking, Dogs, Birds and Rabbits.  Cooking?!?  Really?  I would have understood if it was the photo of Bad Pig Stew.  Cannoli may chirp like a bird, but any similarity ends there.  I chuckled when I clicked on the Dogs category and found nearly every pignic photo I have.  My sewing didn't even manage to land its own category.  I found most of my quilting photos split between Cooking and Food.  Obviously Google had no idea how to classify them.

After all that, I was unable to locate the photo I needed to remove.  Luckily, I still had a link to the old Picasa Web URL and deleted it.  It would have been easier if Google wasn't trying to be so helpful!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First Day Out

Cannoli and Boadicea finally had a chance to get outside on Memorial Day.  Cannoli arrived on the scene like a seasoned veteran - she hit the ground eating.  Meanwhile, this was Boadicea's first time out.  It took a few moments to come out of the cozy.  I wasn't sure what she'd make of the grass and clover.  Boadicea continues to act like I'm poisoning her each time I give her something new to eat.  But this?  Hey!  This is good stuff!  Boadi didn't even bother to verify with Cannoli before she began to dig in.

Watching Boadi eat grass was pretty funny.  All my other pigs just snip it and chew.  Boadicea was determined to get the whole blade of grass, right to the roots.  She'd grab hold and pull.  Grass can be tough - Boadi had to give up a few times when the blade of grass failed to pull loose.

First outings can be frightening.  I've had some pigs scared stiff.  Boadicea was a little cautious at first, but within a few minutes she seemed perfectly at home.  Typical Boadicea!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tea Happy Dance

I get excited over the darndest things.  I came back from the gym on Friday to find a box on my doorstep.  It was my order from Virtuous Teas.  Luckily the delivery person was not around to hear my squeal of delight and witness my spontaneous happy dance on the porch. 

I first visited Virtuous Teas many years ago, with a gift certificate I received at Christmas.  Best gift ever.  Unfortunately, both the tea shop and myself have moved further away from each other over the years.  However, about the time it was no longer a quick jaunt to the next town, they created an online store.  I miss visiting the tiny shop with its wall of tea and pretty tea pots.  The proprietor and her staff are so nice.  But I'm happy that my cupboard is still filled with Virtuous Teas tea.