Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I've started work on some New York Beauty blocks (there's a series of free patterns here).  I printed the first blocks too small.  It's so difficult to print PDFs without shrinking!  The pattern looked alright, but I had problems assembling the whole block.  The edges didn't match.

Eventually I figured out how to print them properly.  So much bigger!  These two have become practice blocks, since they won't match any of the others.  Maybe I'll make a pair of mug rugs?

Turns out, sewing curves wasn't so bad.  I stitched the outer curve without pinning, but the inner ones needed several pins.

I was humming along when BAM! the needle struck the bottom of the hook plate.  The feeds and needle moved, but the hook was frozen.  What?!?  I opened the bottom of the case and out dropped the hook gear and a screw.  Well, that put a damper on the evening.  I couldn't figure out how to reassemble and restore the timing.  It's going back to the shop.  <sigh>

Luckily, I have my nifty little 99, so I can keep sewing.  The new blocks are looking quite nice.  Two done, two more in progress.

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Going in Circles

It's funny.  I had created the free-range ramp in an effort to keep Boadicea from getting bored.  But it was Cannoli that used the ramp constantly when the gate was opened.  Boadi only came out if she thought she was missing out.

Then, when she was by herself, she had little reason to come to the floor.

Nowadays, she mostly comes down for the treats.  As she and Wedgwood continue to get along better, there have been forays to the floor just to explore.  But Boadi knows -  floor time is best when there's goodies.  She can clear the Teach'N'Treat in record time, often before Wedgie even gets near it.  They both take turns with the Egg-cersizer.  Neither of them developed Cannoli's knack of reaching out and dragging it back to the fleece.  Wedg is the only one to go after it if it rolls on the hardwood floor.  I got a laugh the other day when Boadi managed to roll it in a circle.  She had made several laps before I thought to grab the camera.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Frame and Colors

I think I'm still recovering from a stressful spring.  I'm certainly a lot happier and calmer, but my motivation is nowhere to be found.  I've been busy with guinea pigs and catching up writing blog posts.  My sewing backlog, however, is piling up and my sewing machine is starting to gather dust.  Oh, no!

I may not have any active quilting projects, but it is on my mind.  Two weeks ago I stopped off at my aunt's house to pick up a quilting frame.  She's been cleaning out the attic and her hand-made queen-sized frame was in need of a home.  I offered to take it. 

It's big!  Look at how it towered over my desk when we first brought in the pieces.  We set it up over the weekend to make sure I have all the parts.  I don't know if I want to keep the frame or not.  I've wondered about hand-quilting a quilt - and goodness knows I could tackle any size quilt with this!  On the other hand, I may just keep an eye out for someone who'd give it a loving (and well used) home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


The piggy politics continue to diminish with Boadicea and Wedgwood.  There's less chasing and snapping and food hording.  There's a marked improvement since the pignic.  Nothing like shared adversity to bring guinea pigs together.

Boadi and Wedgie traveled together in a carrier for the first time to the Boston Pignic.  It was Boadi's first time outside in nearly a year, and likely Wedgie's first time outside ever.  A lot of new stuff, in a new place - they reacted by jamming themselves in a cozy and refusing to come out at the start of the pignic.  Eventually they convinced themselves they weren't going to die and enjoyed they day.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Evil Bars

Yes, that's the name.  Originally they had some name like chocolate raspberry shortbread bars.  Descriptive, but long.  Then I brought a batch into work.  A coworker stopped by my desk with a big smile on her face and said, "These bars are evil!"

The name stuck.

Chocolate.  Pecans.  Raspberry jam.  All on a shortbread crust.  Hard to go wrong with that.  Rob tells me I should should add more jam.  Maybe.  I wonder how they'd taste if I mixed the jam right in with the chocolate ganache?

I have no idea where I got the recipe, I've had it for years.  It's a tried and true favorite:  easy to make, looks nice and most everyone loves them.

Evil can be good.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Yoguineas Mini Prints Giveaway

I met Leslie (and her cute guinea pig Billy) from When Guinea Pigs Fly at the Boston Pignic on Sunday.  She was handing out these really cute yogini mini prints.  They're 2.5" x 3.5" and depicted adorable piggies in a variety of yoga poses.  (They're a lot more flexible than I am!)

I am giving away two pairs of prints: chair & pigeon poses and compass & chair poses.  One to keep and another to share!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kripalu Hidden Gems

There's so much to see and do at Kripalu, sometimes it takes more than one post to share it all.

I've been returning to Kripalu for nearly 15 years.  It has changed a lot over that time.  (So have I.)  I had forgotten how much, until I started chatting with an instructor that's been there for 20 years.  Some changes are big, like when the built the Annex.  But a lot of what I find each year are small.  Some of them aren't really new, either, it's just that I haven't stumbled across them in the past.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Boston Spring Pignic 2016

Sunday was a beautiful day; plenty of sunshine and the grass had dried out from the prior day's rain.  The Boston Spring Pignic had good attendance - over 50 people came, along with 21 boars and 26 sows.  It was blustery!  Several of us had to chase paper and blankets across the lawn and upright blown-down chairs.  However, the guinea pigs didn't appear bothered at all.  They played with other and ate grass and veggie treats.  The humans coped as best they could.

I got to meet The Ginge and Max from The Wheekly.  The Ginge is tiny!  (He's so much bigger on the internet!)  He was our lightest weight boar at the pignic, at only 636g.  A big difference from the biggest pig, Teddy, who weighed in at a whopping 1660g.  Over a 2 pound difference!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chick Yoga Weekend XIV

The first weekend in June was my annual Chick Yoga Weekend at Kripalu.  It was fantastic.  The problem is, I really needed a whole week there.  The fact that I'm writing my blog post a week later is testament to that.  Life is a little out of control at the moment.

But for three solid days, life was wonderfully in control.  I headed out for Lee, MA, early on Friday morning to meet with five early-birds for lunch.  It was a great start our trip, as we excitedly shared what we hoped to do (or not do) over the weekend.  We arrived at Kripalu early enough to check in, but before our room was ready.  That was fine.  We wandered the grounds and generally hung out.

So many flowers and green

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pretty Colors

One of the things I love about local egg is that you never know what colors you'll get.  We always get at least one big white egg.  More common is dark brown, beige; speckled brown like it has freckles.  There's almost always a couple of blue.  This time we even got one green egg!

Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Shades of Bertie

In the weeks before adopting Wedgwood, there had been strange goings on with Boadicea.  First, she took up running laps in the cage in the morning (and occasionally the evening).  It happened most often when the cage was covered - so there's no videos.  But when I caught Boadi doing it, she was very similar to when Bertie bounced around.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Key West Memories

Bound and labeled.  Key West Memories is done.  It's smooth and flat on the table - I think I can live without the freemotion quilting I had planned.  I really wanted the practice, but I did not like how the single layer of flannel and fabric looked when it was quilted.  Well, there will be other projects to quilt!  Something with a real batted sandwich.

I'm not fond table cloths that barely cover the top of the table (which, unfortunately, is most of the ones I own).  This one has lots of drape!  There's over a foot of overhang on the ends of the table.  Even when I add the leaf, there's still an extra 8-10" on the ends.