Sunday, December 31, 2017

Finishes for 2017

This year's finished projects may not initially hit me with the wow factor like last year.  Still, I did a lot of sewing.

Top row:  A Season of Change, glittery flower, Songbirds
Bottom row:  three charity quilt tops and Confetti
A Season of Change was my stretch project:  in design, applique, trapunto, and using the glittery string fabric.  It took forever to do.  Love the result.  The mini flower quilt was just for fun to use up the extra glittery leaves I had cut out.  Songbirds was one of those inspired-obsession projects I seem to hit upon at least once a year.  At least it was a heck of a lot smaller than my mother's quilt!  Confetti was a fun baby quilt.  I got to use a bunch of fabric from my stash and try out a wavy quilting pattern (that I will definitely try again!).

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Time to Bind

I brought the unfinished quilt to Christmas to show my progress.  I think Mom had a hard time letting me bring it back home.  My sister pointed out that the back looks as cool as the front, so it could be reversible.  And as desperately as I wanted it done today (I met up with Mom again), there was no time to finish it.  Too many interruptions I couldn't ignore, plus burying threads is really time consuming!

Left star - long wobbly design to be ripped out.  Right star - newer design with smaller sections.
I spent a lot of time pulling out the quilting.  Many of my designs didn't make it past the first engagement.  I pulled out some of wavy border (took four triangles to get the hang of the motion).  I had to readjust the bunting on the border as well.  I tried two different designs before I found one that looked good.  I discovered that drawing with dry-erase markers on plastic is not quite the same as quilting it; what looked good with marker did not look right when stitched.  Lastly was quilting the white around the stars:  I had picked a design that included a long pointed oval - not a good choice.  It was shaky and uneven.  My smaller pattern was better and I stuck with that.  In the end, a lot of ripping and requilting.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Blogiversary #7

Some of my favorite things in 2017

When I find something I enjoy, I stick with it.  There's a lot of them:  reading, guinea pigs, chick events, sewing, Sculpey, contra dancing, cooking.  My newest "thing" has been blogging, and I've even stuck with that for more than a handful of years.  I spent a holiday break porting/setting up this blog, then published my first post shortly after.  I've written nearly 1000 posts so far!  I had no idea I'd write that much.

And people read what I write.  Thank you!  I appreciate the comments and feedback I get from all of you.  I've learned a lot through my blogging contacts.  Good stuff!

To celebrate my seventh blogiversary I'm giving away a box of goodies - seven items that have to do with the things I like and do. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Cold Cereal

My nephew's ornament for this year is based on the Cold Cereal saga by Adam Rex.  I was unfamiliar with the series, so I pulled the first and third book from the library.  It's a mashup of classic brand cereal, King Arthur's legend, Freemasons, corporate greed, alternate universes and magic-gone-wrong.  I was amused that the rabbit pooka is named Harvey (and can only be seen by certain other characters).

There were a ton of characters I could pick for the ornament.  I wanted to jam them all in.  Originally I planned to put them all in a big cereal bowl (with a spoon and sickle symbol on the bottom of the bowl), but making the bowl itself was too unwieldy.  Having them standing changed the whole design.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas - What's in Your Stocking?

Merry Christmas!

Wedgwood hopes that you got good things in your stockings (and if you did, that you'd be willing to share with a hungry guinea pig like her).

She was not interested in sticking around for photos... until she discovered the stocking.  Even then I had to be quick snapping pictures before she bailed.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Blue Borders

I am all done quilting with the blue thread.  This is the swirls and the drippy zig-zags on the border.  I need to pull and restitch a little of the edge (my first few triangles were really shaky).  Then I need to snip and bury threads. 

Brown is next - for the stars and more of the border.  Maybe another 10 hours for that?  We'll see how it goes after doing the first few stars. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

A New Name Tag

I am not feeling well tonight (Thursday).  So if I am forced to sit on the couch and not do any sewing (I don't even trust myself to rip a few seams), I guess I will write.

First up - my new name tag I use at contra dances.  I lost my round one somewhere between my car and the Peterborough Fall Ball in October.  Serious sadness.  It was a favorite - everyone commented on it.  I even left the dance to go searching for it.  But this loss gave me an excuse to be creative.

The last few name tags I have made for others had something personal on them.  The flowers on mine were nice, but it needed something to do with quilting.  I am terrible at caning Sculpey and creating a square quilt block was going to be dreadfully difficult.  I started to think about sewing supplies - and the ideas took off.  At some point, I thought this was a chance to create a mixed-media button.  So I added a needle to my embroidered-like name.  And all those buttons I won -  I used a few of them (and discovered the tin doesn't have any duplicates!).  I still wanted some quilting stuff, so I managed to do HST around the edge.

I wasn't sure if the buttons would melt in the oven, so they were glued on after baking.  Superglued - there's no moving them.  Unfortunately, they're crowding my name a little more than I'd like, but that's where they stay!

I'm hoping it's not too heavy.  I'll get to try it out next week!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I Like Thursday: Working on Stuff

I've been a bad girl and skipped going to the gym the last couple of weeks.  Days off, distractions, the weather (and a great excuse that the Y has been fixing the pool... which I have conveniently failed to check if it's reopened).  I'm going to regret all this my first day back lifting weights or swimming... but I probably won't face that until the new year.

So let's share likes, instead of regrets.

I like my new table.  It's made from old cranberry crates - an upcycled little piece of New England history.  Plus, they're made locally.  I had seen the table at a craft fair last month.  When I couldn't get it out of my mind, I decided I needed to purchase it.  I'm very happy with it!  A place to keep my mittens and scarves right by the door.

I like cooking.  I made Mexican Stew this week.  It's a lot of work (which is why I only make it once every couple of years) but worth the effort.  I had roasted some pumpkin last week and felt the urge to make my favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mexican Beef Stew

A dinner recipe with chocolate in it:  sounds like my kind of meal, doesn't it?  Mexican beef stew has an interesting gravy that contains tomato, cinnamon, clove, chocolate, onion and garlic. 

This stew is a lot of work;  I only make it every couple of years or so.  I had red peppers on hand and stew beef was on sale so this recipe came to mind.  All the chopping and prep work is worth it.  It may look like regular stew, but it has way more flavor.  (The frozen - and now wilted - cilantro doesn't look the greatest, but I liked how it tasted in this, too.)

Yay for leftovers!  I'll get to enjoy it again without all the work.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Borders and Swirls

Progress is slow, but it's progress.  As of this morning I have finished the walking-foot stitching and the inner border.  Can you see the leaves?  Took me a while to get the hang of it.  I tried spacing them further apart, but it took a life of it's own.  So I just stitched with the flow.

I moved my sewing machine over to my cutting table, which gives me a large surface to work with.  It has helped a lot, especially as I worked with the walking foot.  I didn't need to wrestle with the quilt hanging over the back of my sewing table.

Next up is stitching the checkerboard squares.  I've seen several loose spirals on quilting blogs lately and liked how they looked.  Well.... not on this quilt.  I finished a short string and hated them.  Out they came!  Just as well - the stitch length and bobbin tension were off.  I tried a few ideas with plastic and a dry erase pen before I settled on a tighter spiral.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Like Thursday: Some Time Off

Time to share some likes with Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  I always take some time off in December to enjoy myself and get things done.  Sometimes we travel - this year we did day trips.

I like that we spent a gray, rainy afternoon enjoying lunch while catching up with some friends.  It has probably been a year since the last time we got together.

I like White's Bakery.  We swung by on our way home Tuesday afternoon to pick up a slice of German chocolate cake and slice of peanut butter chocolate mouse cake (which didn't last long enough to photograph).  Yum!

I like fixed stuff.  Rob has been busy with his time off:  he wrapped the AC as well as fixed two light fixtures.  Let there be light!

I like that the holiday cards are all done and in the mail.  Always an accomplishment.  I have to admit I cheated this year - we didn't have a holiday pig shoot.  I used the lovely single shots of Wedgwood from last year as this year's card photos.  I'm happy to use them! although I'm sad for the reason.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Portuguese-Style Chicken Bean Bacon Soup

I googled chicken and bean soup recipes the other night.  I had 10 ounces of defrosted chicken left over from another recipe and a couple of cups of cooked navy beans.  They needed to be used in something soon.

I found a few recipes that looked promising.  This Portuguese-style soup had the most ingredients I had on hand: onion, celery, bacon, broth, cheese (along with the chicken and beans, of course).  I had to skip the shallots and I threw in a bit of carrot.  Not a whole lot of spice, mostly onion and garlic for flavor.  The addition of cayenne caught my attention.

I had to modify the recipe a bit, since my beans were already cooked and the chicken was raw. Then I misread the last bit of the recipe and stirred the cheese into the pot rather than garnishing each bowl.  Worked fine as far as I'm concerned, although I had to scrape some off the bottom of the pot when putting away the leftovers.

The soup was quite tasty.  Of course, it's hard to go wrong with bacon.  This recipe will go on my keeper list.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Quilt sandwich, doodled ideas and thread
I'm in the homestretch of this quilt.  It's like getting to the last hundred pages of a cliffhanger novel:  I can't put it down.  After a doodling attack on Thursday afternoon, I found myself sandwiching the quilt that evening.  Because ideas!  Inspiration!  I need to see if my drawings will translate well to sewing.

I really did not want to get out my walking foot, but I decided the quilt needs some stitch-in-the-ditch.  At least that means I'll have everything properly tacked down before I start the freemotion quilting.

So many things I need to be doing, including Christmas cards and an ornament.  But inspiration is telling me this is first in line; it's difficult to fight it.

I have tons of navy thread for the initial quilting.  I'm still auditioning thread for the rest of it.  There's spools of chocolate brown and inky indigo that would certainly work.  But I may need to make a thread run on Sunday to get whatever else I'll need.  

Let's get quilting!  Whee!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I Like Thursday: Seasonal Good Stuff

It's Thursday and time again for Not Afraid of Color to host things we like.  I ran into a lot of little likes this week.

The best part of making all those cookies is giving them away.  Well, not entirely - I like eating them, too.  But I really enjoy the looks on people's faces when I drop off cookies:  oohs and aahs and smiles and hugs.  I simply left the box for my vet with her receptionist, not wanting to interrupt her day (Thursday is surgery day).  Before I even pulled out of the parking space, she burst through the front door to say thanks.  Yeah - that made both of our days!

I am amused by Miss Havisham's insulting tea cups (scroll down to For the lady who speaks her mind...).

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Pair of Borders

I tried to move on to other projects, but Mom's quilt sucked me back in.  I calculated the yardage and bought the fabric I need for my next quilt.  So there's that.  And I baked.  A lot.  However, I spent a good chunk of Thanksgiving cutting and playing with the border.  It was fun - just not what I had intended to do.

But look:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Baltimore Berger Cookies

Years ago, one of my coworkers lived in Baltimore.  Every Christmas she'd send a care package that included boxes of Berger cookies.  Our whole team got excited when that package arrived.  I swear the sole purpose of that cake-like cookie was to transport the thick layer of fudgy frosting.  Sweet, rich and absurd looking.  They're delicious.

It's been several years since the office closed (we moved to home offices) and the care packages stopped.  Yet our team still reminisces about Berger cookies.  So when I came across a recipe for Baltimore Berger Cookies I knew I had to give it a try.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I Like Thursday: Nearly Six Pounds

I have SO MUCH TO DO.  Simply not enough time.  My long Thanksgiving weekend flew by before I knew what hit me.

On the other hand - I liked a lot!

I like the fabric I bought Sunday.  The bag felt heavy - I threw it on the scale when I got home:  five pounds ten ounces.  Excellent.

I like the backing I got for my Mom's quilt.  It's extra wide, so there will be no seams in the back.  Woot!

I also like that I finished the border for Mom's quilt.  I had to redo part of it because it didn't look right when I sewed it together.  But I'm happy with it now!  It just needs to be attached.

And I like the quilt I have on the drawing board.   I can't wait to start working on it.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Past Pignics: Pigs and People

The Boston Pignic existed years before I started blogging.  I recently dredged up a bunch of old photos and thought they'd be fun to share.  This is the third post in the series (you can view the other posts at Several Pretty Pigs and Pig Piles).

Guinea pigs are so photogenic - but I like the photos of pigs with people, too.  Many of these are from the 2008 spring and fall pignics.  Evidently that was a great year for people and pigs.

Guinea pigs spend much of the pignic eating grass, but we always find reasons to pick them up.  Whether it's for inspections, bringing them to and from the common pens, to show off or simply to snuggle them.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I Like Thursday: Thanksgiving

It's easy to like Thursday when it's Thanksgiving!  I have a lot to be thankful for - comfort, love, health, family, friends, laughter, creativity.  I truly have a charmed life.  (And although I have lots to be thankful for, I have no accompanying photographs.)

I like Thanksgiving.  It's often my favorite holiday:  a day of food and family.  This year, we're laying low and not visiting with anyone.  Not my usual way of celebrating - but I'm really happy to have a day to ourselves, with no pressure to be anywhere or do anything.

I am amused that every guinea pig person correctly guessed the number of poos.  I should have posted the original uncropped photo, which had a few more hard-to-find ones.

The Celtic Solstice top is done.  I like that it's done, I like how it looks.  Wouldn't it be neat if I got it completed by the winter solstice?  We'll see....

I like baking.  This is a good thing, since I plan on spending part of the day cooking up toffee and Christmas cookies.  Have you ever heard of Berger Cookies?  A coworker used to send some every Christmas.  They're addictive.  I found a recipe for them.

May you enjoy the holiday.  If you're not in the US, then happy Thursday!  Be sure to see what others are thankful for over at I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Celtic Solstice Top

The top is done!  Look at it!  I'm thrilled.  It's flat.  The squares are all 9".  That never happens - my blocks always shrink.

The photo doesn't show it, but there's tons of loose threads all over.  I need to take some time to clean this up before moving on.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Self Cleaning Fleece and Giveaway

Around April Fool's day I often see posts on guinea pig forums about miraculous self-cleaning fleece.  Any guinea pig owner will tell you they are constantly sweeping hay and guinea pig poo out of the cage.  If someone ever invented fleece that could self-clean, they'd be rich!

I don't have magical poo-eating fleece, but the gecko fleece I have is amazing at camouflaging it.  The fleece doesn't hide the hay so much, but overall it looks cleaner than it actually is.  Can you find all the poos in the picture?

How about a contest?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I Like Thursday: Shiny

The week just flew by.  Maybe it was from all the dancing last week.  Perhaps the flurry of craziness at work (I solved a big problem with a fix that should. not. work.  But it does!  Go me!).  Regardless, it's Thursday - and I've liked a variety of things this week.

I like and am amused that my Christmas cactus has started to bloom, but only the ends that are under the lampshade (its hard to see there's five buds and a bloom under the lamp and not one bud elsewhere).  I'm not sure if it's the light they get every night, or because it shades the light on them during the day.  Maybe the combination?  So weird. 

I'm liking Cold Cereal, even though I've only finished the first chapter.  I'm reading it for ideas for this year's ornament for my nephew (I make him storybook characters).  Oh, I suspect I'm going to have fun with this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Point. Set. Match... Maybe.

I should have realized when I picked this pattern that it has so many bulky points!  Added bonus - anything I did wrong with the small pieces is compounded as I use them in the larger blocks I've created.  I can see I improved as I went along; the chevron pieces are giving me the most problems.  On the plus side - the X blocks went together quite nicely.

The second block in Celtic Solstice is supposed to be diamond-shape. I've seen several quilts where chevrons were pointed in, so the blocks appeared star-shaped.  There's a part of me that wanted to follow the pattern like I'm supposed to, but Mom likes the stars with these colors.  I have to agree.  So star-shaped it is!  As it turns out, I accidentally ironed the seams on the pinwheel block backwards, but since my chevrons are going the other way all the seams line up nicely.  Whew! 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Trying Something New

We all are adjusting to a single pig household.

I hung the hammock in the cage last week, even though I have never seen Wedgwood use it.  When I placed her into it she immediately jumped out.  But look what I saw a day later - a pig in a hammock.  She's tried it out once or twice since then.  I wonder why she never used it while Boadicea was around.  I figured she was afraid or didn't know how to jump in.  Obviously she can!

The other new thing is learning to speak up.  Breakfast is pretty regular and she's good at demanding morning pepper.  But she hasn't quite got the hang of reminding us about dinner.  Boadicea would be sure to tell us it was dinner time if someone was in the kitchen after 5pm.  I didn't realize how much I keyed into that reminder.  Without it, Wedgwood sometimes doesn't get dinner until 8pm.  Speak up, pig!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Like Thursday: Tea and Treats

It's Thursday - time to like some stuff!

I like that I got together with some crafting friends on Sunday.  We drank tea, gabbed and showed off our latest creations.  There was so many good things.

I loved the purple and teal carpenter blocks.  And isn't that sashiko (the navy blue with white stitching) pretty?  One friend brought a black, white and red quilt top.  She'll be quilting it soon.  It will look fantastic when it's finished!  And so many delicious treats.  I had lovely leftovers for two days.  Yum.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Birds of the Air

Well, these were more of an adventure than I anticipated.  First was the fun of trimming 124 HST down to 2".  I am so sick of trimming!!

These guys had another set of interesting instructions that assembled two blocks at once.  I had to read through it a few times before I got the hang of what I needed to do.  (Apple Pie Patchwork had the easier-to-understand of the instructions I found.)

I completed the first four Birds of the Air blocks with no problem, so I went into mass production.  Out of the next 28 I sewed together, 15 of them would not square to 3½".  Serious unhappiness.  I salvaged some of them by restitching the final diagonal seam a little narrower, but I wasn't thrilled with the results.  I had already cut the seams to ¼".  Hmph.

At least I discovered this before I sewed up the 124 pieces I need.  I'm not sure where I went wrong, but I was far more careful assembling the rest.  Which took time.  But my next batch of 32 came out with only one that needed to be restitched.  Yay!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I Like Thursday: Some Silliness

It's Thursday!  Time to share things I like with Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.

I like Game Day - friends, food and games for an afternoon.  One of the games I really enjoyed is called Wild Man.  For some reason I remembered the name as Crazy Brother (because that's the way my brain works).  No one knew what I was asking to play at first!  It's a bidding game, taking tricks with a trump, like playing Hearts or Spades - but you don't play with a full deck.  That makes bidding a little tricky, and hilarity ensued.

The weather was so nice, the group decided to go on an extended hike first.  There was this rotted tree that fell across the path and I liked how the branch had rotted out.  My friend wanted me to take a photo of my boot in it (which was difficult to do - balanced on one foot while taking a picture of my other foot).  She decided she needed to take a photograph, so I shot a picture of her taking a picture of my boot.  I think I got the more entertaining photo.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Remebering Boadicea

Boadicea (originally named Goldie) was our Boxing Day gift for 2014.  It was one of the more entertaining meet-and-greets as I was closed in a kennel with Cannoli and Boadicea.  Boadi had been in the system for months; I had seen her pop up on Petfinder in at least two different shelters while pondering a friend for Cannoli.  I was rather excited to adopt her after falling in love with her photo.

The many loaves of Boadicea
She came with a bad habit of biting.  I discovered a cage-mate of hers (they'd been split up in another shelter) had the same issue.  But Boadi soon learned biting wasn't necessary here.  I've never had a guinea pig make herself at home as fast as Boadi did.  Within a week she was far more relaxed than Cannoli was.  She quickly took advantage of her new digs and established herself as the head pig.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Although there were a ton of checkerboard squares to do (160), they assembled pretty quickly.  I had a big pile of them all chain stitched together.  They required less trimming everything else I've done so far.  I'm sick of trimming and still have a ways to go!

The most interesting thing for these pieces was the ironing.  Instructions were to snip (I just pulled apart) the middle of the four-way joined seam so that all seams could be pressed towards the right.  I liked how it turned out.

Birds of the Air mini-block is next - then I get to start assembling the quilt.  I can't wait!

Sharing with Linky Tuesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Past Pignics: Pig Piles

This oatmeal box is just so fascinating.
This is the second post in a series of past Boston Pignics.  Today's focus is the cuteness of pig piles.

Guinea pigs are herd animals, and we get to see the dynamics at pignics.  If one pig finds something interesting, then it must be good.  And if it's good, then everyone wants it.  I will often hear squeals of indignation or discomfort as too many pigs try to stuff themselves into a cozy or a pigloo.  As you can see, oatmeal boxes are popular - there's already two pigs in there.  The other four pigs look like they're awaiting their turn, or maybe taking bets who will get ousted first.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I Like Thursday: Dancing and Day Off

This is what I looked like for most of Sunday,
which is why I took Monday off
I had an up and down week last week (and didn't get a chance to do my I Like post).  But this week has been going better.

I like having a day off, which I did this Monday.  Slept in late, had a leisurely breakfast, am writing this post.  I will get to putter and sew and write some more and walk.  I took the day off because I lost the weekend to my next like...

I like contra dancing (as I've said before).  I really like the Fall Ball, which is a 12 hour dance, running from noon to midnight.  Four bands and callers, each play most of a 3-hour set.  I made it until 9pm before calling it quits.  I think I missed only two dances out of the three sets I attended, and my fitbit says I did more than 17 miles.  I'd believe it!  My calves are still hurting.  And that's why a good portion of Sunday was spent on the couch.  Totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


I only need 31 pinwheels in this quilt.  It's the smallest number of pieces I've had to make.

I tried another new method to create all of the half square triangles (HST).  I needed four 1½" HSTs to make each pinwheel.  So rather than cutting a bunch of small triangles or even squares, I started with a 4¾" square.  I layered the square of contrasting colors right-sides together,  then sewed four seams a quarter inch from the diagonals.  (It's hard to see in the photo below, but there's a pink X across the back of the blue piece.)  Once it's stitched, I cut the whole thing into eight pieces.  I now had eight HSTs to make two pinwheels.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Past Pignics: Several Pretty Pigs

<gasp> It's a pignic!
The Boston Pignics have been around since 2003.  (Gads - really has it been that long?)  Which is several years before I started blogging.  While digging through old photos, I thought it might be fun to post some from the early years.

These are some of my favorite pigs pictures prior to 2010.  A few photos had the pig's name on it - I've named those and any others I can remember.  It's funny how many pigs I can still match with their human (but don't ask me to remember their human's name!).

Guinea pigs come in so many colors and fur types.  I recall the Fabio orange pig (alas, no name) belonged to a large herd of pigs.  The short haired sleepy pig in the grass was Wheatie; she came to several pignics.  I love the colors of her coat.

The grey and white one is Simon.  He came for a few years, as did the pair in the next picture.  The creamsicle colored one's head tilt never slowed her down.  The handsome long-haired pig was named Wally.  What a face!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I really like oatmeal cookies and bars - I think it's the texture.  I first made these bars late last year.  I was drawn to them because the chocolate layer wasn't made with sweetened condensed milk.  And yet, look at that fudgey center!  The original recipe had more chocolate than oatmeal and they were really thick.  So my version uses a different pan and <gasp!> reduces some of the chocolate layer.  I know!  How could I even contemplate doing that?!?!  So feel free to ignore my recipe and head right over to the original.

But I wasn't done with my tinkering.  Since I cut out some sugar, I wanted to boost the flavor.  I added some cinnamon and coffee to it.  I used salted butter, so I skipped adding any to the recipe and opted for sprinkling a little sea salt on top just before baking.  My bars ended up with a soft mocha center and a crisp crumbly cinnamon-y crust and topping.  Not bad.  I like it.  Maybe you will, too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I Wasn't Ready

I knew with the diagnosis of kidney issues that Boadicea's days were numbered.  She had gained some weight last week, had been annoyingly cranky, and although she looked uncomfortable and ate slowly, she had mostly been herself.  On Saturday we refilled her pain medication and brought home a second one to keep her comfortable.  Sunday morning Boadi woke as her hungry cranky self, but after breakfast she started to fade.  By Sunday evening she was too weak to do anything.  We lost her on Monday morning.

I wasn't ready.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Next part of Mom's quilt:  chevron pieces.  Yeah, these took a bit longer than I anticipated.  Once again I got the dimensions all mixed up.  Luckily I caught it before I cut my first piece.  But I was so confused I had to cut it out on paper pieces before I got it straightened out.  Whew!

I cut a few pieces, sewed them together and got a feel for the assembly before I started cutting fabric in bulk.  Even then, I only cut the blue and brown, sewed all them together before cutting the straw colored fabric.  Again, a few test pieces and viola!  Looked like good chevrons.  I went to town churning out the rest of the 124 pieces.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Like Thursday: Art

A busy weekend, not feeling well, dealing with Boadicea's ailments (she seemed a little better yesterday) and making more tomato sauce has pretty much sucked up all my free time.  I have stuff I want to blog about - just not enough time to sit down and write!

But it's Thursday - and I'm looking forward to joining Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  It's a bright spot of the week, focusing on some of the simple things that make life worthwhile.

I like my pumpkin lights.  Went to hang them up lights didn't work.  Sadness.  But Rob got a new string and they look good as new!

(I also like that I have birdies at my window feeders.)

I liked the Paradise City Art Festival.  This is where I lost a good chunk of my weekend.  I spent time with my mom and sister gawking at all the beautiful art.  I wanted to take so much of it home with me.  So much bling.  Crazy needle-felted clothing that was gorgeous (it was technically called "wearable art" - which it really was).  Lots of neat ceramics and outdoor art.  We managed to cover all the booths in three hours.  I'm sure if we'd gone back through it we'd have seen all sorts of stuff we missed.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Like Thursday: October Already?

I like the cooler weather.  Unfortunately I haven't been out walking much - work, cooking, errands have been getting in the way.

But the cool, dry weather means my Singer Graduate shouldn't lock up and jump the feed dog gears.  Yay.  So in between piecing Mom's quilt I'm making coil bowls from the leftover dress fabric.  It requires a machine that does zig-zag - thus pulling the Graduate out of mothballs.  Turns out the dress fabric is heavier than the rayon I've used on past bowls, so it's proving difficult to work with.  Why am I not surprised?  But this is the last of that fabric - so happy dance! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Sluggish Start

It's only the third of October and my free time this month is rapidly dwindling.  How can that be?!?  I may need to take some time off from work just to do all I want.

I'm excited to have started Mom's quilt.  I have 128 blue and cream triangles.  Goodness.  Next weekend's objective is to have 128 chevron pieces done.  I need to stop getting distracted (cooking, dancing, other sewing projects) and start cutting the next pieces if I want to hit that goal!

Sharing with Freemotin by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Making Rounds

Boadicea continues not to feel well.  Her attitude remains fairly bright, but her weight is low.

Sometimes I put Boadi on the floor after giving her the morning medication.  Usually she heads straight home.  Lately she spends several minutes checking out the nooks and crannies of the living room, ranging far wider than usual.  This last time she spent several minutes checking out the door to the deck.  She's also been attracted to my desk.  I have to shoo her away from all the wiring in the area.  Too much temptation for her!

She also follows me around the room.  It's pretty charming.  This day I had to herd her back to the ramp - I needed to get back to work.

Boadicea was rechecked at the vet last week.  There was more sludge, which made everyone unhappy.  Wedgwood was inspected by the vet, too.  The silly pig took a flying leap off the couch; we suspected she landed badly.  Wedge had been randomly crying and I wanted to make sure we weren't overlooking something serious.  The vet determined Wedg's right shoulder was sore and was told no more high jumps for her.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

No Man's Land

When I clean the guinea pig cage I need to block off the ramp so Boadicea and Wedgwood won't try to get in before it's done.  This frustrates them, because they know where the ramp is and where it should go and they can't understand why they're not allowed to go up.  Any other time they're on the floor they have access.  Besides, a clean cage is so fun to check out.  Aren't you done yet?!?

This cage cleaning I happened to have set the grids up with a triangle dead zone.  I had thought the hay rack would distract Boadi and Wedg from trying to get to the ramp.  Nope.  They wanted to be as close as possible and managed to squeeze themselves between a gap in the grids, and then get stuck in this little triangle of space.

They were very determined.  They'd stuff themselves into the small area then try to move the grids or chew them.  Too bad for them, they got nowhere until the cage was all clean and set up.  Silly pigs.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Like Thursday: Some Quality Time

Last week was hectic.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks with not quite so much scheduled, to try and focus on the stuff that's gotten swept to the side. 

I like that I'm starting on Mom's quilt.  Not far, but it's progress.  I'm only cutting a single row of pieces first, then sew these few pieces.  I want to confirm they look right before I start some serious cutting.  I'm glad I did!  I already found one miscalculation.  Sheesh!

Speaking of quilts - I like that I won a raffle prize at the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year.  Yes!  I totally did a happy dance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trial Separation

Guinea pigs are hard wired to drive out sick members from the herd.  In the wild that makes a lot of sense, especially if the illness is contagious.  With a caretaker it's not necessary, but it's hard to tell a guinea pig that.  Occasionally you'll find a guinea pig that will protect or care for a sick cagemate.  Wedgwood is not that pig.

I allowed Wedgie to oust Boadicea from hay or a the choice sleeping spot knowing there was more hay and cozies.  But when Wedgie harassed Boadi just for the sake of moving her along, I knew I needed to pull out the backup cage (amusingly called the pigeon cage).

I feared once separated, I'd never get them back together again.  Turned out not to be the case.  A day or two later, when I cleaned the main cage, I let them on the floor together.  They both returned to the clean cage and were happy. 

I've left the second cage set up, because it's only a matter of time before Wedg becomes a bully again.  For now, there's peace in this house.  I am content.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Like Thursday: Lots of Links

Yeah, I'm kind of cheating with this post.  It's been a crazy, busy week, with tons going on, so I'm going to post some of what I've already posted about.  But there was lots to like!

I like this shed/playhouse that was raffled at Windmill Weekend.  It somehow missed last week's post.  Isn't the squid neat?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Songbirds - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Songbirds is my second entry to this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This quilt was an insanely inspired weekend project.  I plotted and planned for a day or two, but the whole quilt was cut and stitched in slightly more than 24 hours.  Sometimes the creativity just takes over.  Whew.

This also happens to be my second quilt from Anna Maria Horner's feather quilt pattern.  I discovered the pattern goes together a lot easier when printed at 100%.  (Why is it so hard to PDFs at full size?)

My first feathers were based on macaw and African Grey feathers.  This pair was influenced by backyard songbirds:  cardinal and blue jay.  I had plenty of the reds and blues on hand.  I particularly liked the look of blue jay feathers when I googled for feathers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Season of Change - Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  It's an online quilt show with beautiful quilts from all over the world.  There's no categories nor voting this year, but we're still allowed to enter two quilts.  My first entry is A Season of Change.

This quilt came about from a small bag full of shiny metallic thread I had been given.  Each piece was no longer than 12 inches, most were only a few inches long.  Too pretty to throw away, but what was I going do with it?  I ended up making fabric from it.  Then I imaged a tree full of these stringy metallic leaves.  But as I started planning, I decided I wanted yellow, green and red leaves with just a few of these shiny leaves.

This tree kept evolving!  I cut the red, green and yellow, then decided there weren't enough leaves and that I needed more colors.  I added purple, peach, orange and different greens.  There's one or two blue ones, but many of my blue fabrics blended in with the background.  In a way, it's a ROYGBIV quilt in reverse (ORVIGY?).

Monday, September 18, 2017

Boston Fall Pignic 2017

The day of the pignic started foggy and cool.  But we trusted the weather forecast and headed out with Boadicea and Wedgwood.  Turned out to be a great day for a pignic.  A little humid, but comfortable. 

I had strongly considered leaving Boadi at home since she's not feeling well.  But she and Wedg had been traveling well, I thought an afternoon of fresh air and grass wouldn't do her any harm.  That little pig hit the ground eating; I think she enjoyed the day thoroughly.  Boadi would come over every time I approached the cage and I saw her flirting with other attendees. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wedgwood's Fourth

According to Wedgwood's adoption paperwork, she turns four today.  She's officially a mature adult guinea pig.


I'm not sure any pig who regularly gets called "Pee-Face" can be classified as a grownup.

She's good and she's bad.  She's healthy and chubby.  She whines more often than she wheeks.  We love that pointy nose.  I can't say she's mellowed at all; however she has most definitely adapted to life in this household.  She uses everything in the cage, and even goes off exploring down to the floor via the ramp.  The only thing she avoids is the hammock - and I'm not sure why.  Wedgie has the unfortunate habit of thinking the last of any food belongs solely to her, and will bite Boadicea if she thinks Boadi's begging will result in Boadi getting treats before her.  As I said - I'd hardly label her as mature.