Thursday, February 23, 2017

I Like Thursday: The Neighborhood

I've lived in suburbia most of my life.  Some places have been a bit more citified, Rehoboth is a lot more rural.  I like walking and biking in this area, although I miss sidewalks from time to time.  There's a lot of crazy drivers on these winding roads.  But this is supposed to be about what I like....

I like the big sky.  At least that's what I call it.  Previous neighborhoods I've lived in were hemmed in with trees or houses.  Our current residence is on the edge of a large wooded lot, but as I head west, I'm greeted with a big wide open area.  And I get hit with the sky.  It's awesome. 

I like the horses.  And goats.  And cows.  And the occasional chicken.  Have I mentioned it's a somewhat rural area?  Rehoboth is a Right to Farm community - and a lot of people do.  The cows live not even a quarter mile down the road.  They watch me intently as I walk by.  A half mile further there's a pair of horses and a trio of goats I see several times a week.  I say "hi" as I pass by.  I know of a half dozen locals that have chickens (fresh eggs!).  There's a horse farm and riding stables nearby, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Dry erase designs
It was a learning weekend.  Did I accomplish anything?  Hard to say, since I spent way more time undoing or fixing my work than actually working.  Frustrating.  Discouraging.  But there's no permanent damage; I think I have a new and better plan of how quilt.

First was my really stupid mistake.  I've been reading about using dry erase markers on plastic/acrylic to work out quilting designs.  Many articles described taping the edge of the plastic with a dark or bright color, so you know where to stop drawing.  Why would I do that?  I can clearly see where the plastic stops.  That worked so well... right until I was so focused on the feel of the design that whoops!  there went the pen right off the edge.  At least I had been smart enough to buy a washable dry erase marker.  Plus the color wasn't too different than the fabric I a marked.  So I've learned my lesson - all of my plastic will be edged in hot pink duct tape before I put it near any fabric again!  Ugh.

I also learned that washable dry erase markers aren't that washable.  I roughed up the fabric a bit getting it all out.  But unless I point out where I wrote on the fabric, it's not noticeable.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Two Loafy Loaves

This is what Monday afternoon looked like.  I was pretty amazed to see the two of them sleeping so close to each other.  Of course there was a hay buffer.

Boadicea's tilt towards the ramp is pretty impressive, too.

Such loafiness!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

An Unexpected Bloom

The tree is coming along.  All the leaves are sewn on and the background cut it to size.  I am thinking about how to quilt it and trying out bindings.  I had a binding fabric all picked out until I discovered it's a stretch fabric.  I was so surprised!  This was some of the beautiful fabric my mother gave me.  Turns out they both are stretch, even though they initially felt like a weave.  I'm hesitant to use it, since I don't know how it will wear.  So I'm playing with other fabrics for the edge.

I picked a dark grey (upper right), an interesting blue-green-grey mosaic (middle right) and a medium dark blue (left).  The mosaic has a tight repeating pattern, which you can't really see in this photo, in part because I folded it on the diagonal in an effort to make it not stand out so much.  I don't like it close up, but when I step away (or in this photo), it's my favorite of the three.  Looks better from a distance.

The 3D leaf idea from my last post stuck in my head.  The tree  has one falling leaf - the new plan is to tack on the leaf after I finish the quilting.  The leaf itself is really cool looking and it's surprisingly poseable.  I'm guessing all of the individual threads allow it to hold it's shape.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What a Racket!

Wedgwood has a habit of rattling the water bottle as it starts to get low.  Which is perfect if I've forgotten to refill it.  She rattles it a certain way; the mostly empty bottle has a distinct sound.

But on Wednesday morning I heard another kind of clunk.  I came over to find Wedgwood worrying a full water bottle.  I had filled it just the night before.  The end of the water bottle was flat against the side of the cage, so I thought she was trying to get to the water.  I turned the water bottle, walked away.  Five minutes later I hear <rattle> <rattle> <rattle>.

I walk over to investigate.  Sure enough, the bottle is all turned around and Wedgie is chewing on the side of the tube.  What's up little pig?  I turn the bottle around and walk away.  <clunk> <clunk> <clunk>

At this point, I'm suspicious.  So now I grab the camera and start filming.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Like Thursday: Dancing

Dancing a hambo with Cliff (photo by Carol M. Ansel)
I like dancing.  There's something awesome that happens when you mix movement with music.  I learned square dancing as a kid.  I've taken ballroom and tango lessons, attended English and Cajun dances, and have been to a cotillion or two.  I'm not afraid to boogie at weddings, have dabbled with belly dancing, and love when they have the drummers at Kripalu.

My regular dancing fix comes from contra dancing.  It's one of my favorite kinds of dancing - so I'm using it as examples of what I like about dancing.

I like the music.  Contra dancing has live music, which can often be worth the price of admission by itself.  There's a lot of traditional songs, but there's many bands that have developed their own sound (or even use popular meme music - see video).  Often there's a fiddle, a guitar, a piano.  But some have drums, bass, button boxes, a didgeridoo, sound effects.  It's amazing how much sound can come from as little as two to three people jamming on stage.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Leafy Progress

I'm sewing.  I can't tell you how happy that makes me.  It's been over a month since I've sat at my sewing machine.

There was a bit of a delay this weekend.  I fussed over my machine:  cleaned and oiled it, then repainted the stitch length numbers on the plate.  I was tired of looking for the flashlight every time I needed to adjust the stitches.  See those numbers?  Now I can, too.  What a wondrous thing!

I also spent a bit time cleaning out and refilling a little old oil dropper.  Much more precise than the bottle my Singer oil came in.  I actually oiled what I was supposed to.  What a concept!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Everyone's Favorite

Cage cleaning day!  That's always such a good time.  Boadicea and Wedgwood get weighed, then are let out on the floor.  It doesn't take them long to start exploring the living room, hiding under the couch where they don't belong.  Half my cage cleaning time is spent herding them back into the kitchen.

Then, when the cage is all re-fleeced, it must be thoroughly inspected.  All that running around on the floor and the cage takes a lot of energy.  I end up with two very weary pigs.

The green sack was a popular spot to rest up.  Boadicea claimed it first and was out cold for a while.  Wedgie eventually got her turn; she slept on it for the late afternoon then in it for the evening.

Whew!  Cage cleaning day is a lot of hard work.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bark, Bark!

Yeah, I know.  This looks exactly like a photo I posted nearly a month ago.  But I promise it's not.  There's more leaves.  But more importantly, I finally picked a tree color and cut the tree.  My big dilemma is whether to stitch witchery the bark edges down first (which means going and buying some first), or just pin the hell out of it and get going.

I'm also now considering adding trapunto - maybe to the tree itself, or the leaves?  I guess I need to get the stuff stitched down first before I start adding complications.

My weekend is free; I'm excited to sew again.  In addition to this project, I've picked a pattern for a baby quilt - I'm starting to pick colors for that.  It's been too long since I've sat at my sewing machine and created. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Snowy Respite

It was snowing as I started writing this.  It makes everything quieter - in part because the snow muffles, and in part because there's less traffic on the road.  The birds are busy.  They've descended on all my feeders.  I just topped off my window feeders to keep them happy.  Nuthatches are being goofy.  Cardinals are quarrelsome, attempting to keep the big feeder to themselves.

But there is peace, even if it's just here, in my back yard, for the afternoon.  I need this so much.

Why?  I am generally not a sensitive person (heck, I'm known to be blunt and occasionally tactless).  I enjoy my diverse set of Facebook friends:  young and old, conservative and liberal, from school, childhood, dancing, guinea pigs, work, from different parts of the country.  I read their differing opinions, noting what they find funny or important.  It lets me think and consider different points of view.