Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Like Thursday: Food Stuff

I like food.  It's good stuff.  And it seems to pop up a lot in this week's I Like Thursday.

I like cherry tomatoes.  I especially like these little gold ones; they're so sweet, it's almost like eating candy.  My sister gave me these when I met up with her on Sunday.  What a great surprise!

My sister also surprised me with a belated birthday gift (well - is it really belated when this is the first time we've seen each other since my birthday?).  I like Japanese rice bowls and have a few of them.  They're the perfect size for so many things (like ice cream!) and I love the blue.  My sister got this one because the dragon flies reminded her of when we kayak together (we did that on Sunday).  How cool is that?  I'll think of our kayaking trips whenever I use the bowl.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Well, That Wasn't Fun

Nobody wanted to be at the vet, especially Boadicea
Boadicea has continued to very slowly lose weight.  Then she took a plunge well under 900g last week.  I stuffed her with Critical Care, gave her some extra attention, and hoped it was like the other dips that she'd bounce back in a day or two.  When that didn't work, I called the vet.

Not the way I wanted to spend my Saturday afternoon (especially since I had to navigate Gillette Stadium traffic on the way home).  It was a fruitful visit - this time there was definitely something wrong.  Poor Boadicea got manhandled, then x-rayed, then manhandled some more.  But we discovered a yeast infection and a small stone.  No wonder she was losing weight.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Not Quite There Yet

62 finished blocks vs 62 fabric bases
I have been working on a pile of string triangles over the last two years.  The majority of them are selvedges sewn to a fabric base.  I finished stitching up the last one a month or two ago.  Or so I thought.  A few days ago I grabbed the stack of them to make a throw quilt.  Not even close - I have about half of what I'd need.  Well, that's a bummer.

So I've cut another 62 triangle bases.  The good news is, I have a quart bag stuffed with selvedges just looking for a project.  At this rate I'll be ready to make the throw quilt in another two years.  Ha!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I Like Thursday: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

The word like doesn't work so well as the word enjoy for some of today's topics.  But I think they'll be fine for I Like Thursday.

I enjoy meditating, or at least I like the after effects.  I don't do it nearly as often as I should.  I am grateful whenever I get a chance and think afterward:  I need to do more of this!

I discovered last week that meditating on the back deck is good stuff.  I don't know what motivated me to try it.  Between the breeze and the birds, it's a great way to drop into the here-and-now.  The deck has been mosquito-free this summer (I like that, too!), which makes it possible to sit still and not be eaten.

I like my mala beads.  I'm one of those people who has a hard time settling and doing nothing, which is what meditation is all about.  Mala beads give my fingers something to do while the rest of me tries to let go.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Border Lines

The shirt fabric played nice once I cut the squares; everything looks relatively straight.  One of the easiest pieced quilt I've had.  Once I completed those last four blocks, everything just lined up - no easing or stretching to get corners to match.  Huzzah!  The back of it frays something awful and my living room was covered with dark threads.  That's the worst I have to say about this quilt.  The fabric is so soft and I'm pleased with the way it looks.

In order to make this a twin quilt, it needs a 9" border.  There's still a bunch of shirt pieces, but not enough to make any more disappearing 9-patch blocks.  So I randomly sewed what was left to incorporate this hodge-podge into the border.  I did something like that on my Key West quilt.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Dress Debacle

Enough time has passed that I can at least laugh at how much this smarts.

I got the dress finished to the point I could try it on.  First word I thought of was dowdy.  Then frumpy.  Then I showed Rob.  He said I looked like a substitute teacher.  The substitute!  And then, just so he could tweak my mother in the retelling of the tale, he said I looked like a children's librarian.

Yeah, I doubt my mom has ever dressed like this.

So.  The thoughts of finishing this two weeks ago went right out the window.  But it can't stay wadded up in a ball in the corner forever (although one or two people said it could).  Something needs to be done.

It looks worse on the hanger than it does on me.  It needs hemming, the sleeves done and top-stitching.  I am miffed that I picked a pattern that should have flattered my body shape, looked stylish and yet ended up like this.  I plan to bring it to my mother, assess it, and either fix it so I can wear it or finish it to give away.

A learning experience, that's for sure!

Some positive/fun things from this:  I recalled a lot of my training (Mom taught me to sew by making clothes).  I remembered how to read the pattern, what steps could be skipped if you pinned like crazy, how to mark with needle and thread.  I also discovered that the pattern tissue sounds exactly like crinkling plastic bags... at least to a pair of hungry guinea pigs.  I had lots of demands for food while I was working with the pattern pieces.

Once I figure out how to finish the dress, the next project will be to get rid of the scrap.  I think there's some more rope bowls in my near future!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I Like Thursday: Fun and Family

Today's the day to share the things I like and link up with Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday

I like arranging quilt blocks.  As you can see, I don't have a design wall, I have a design floor.

Random blocks are never truly random and take a while to get them looking the way I want them to.  I initially tried to put the shirt blocks in some kind of color pattern, but hated it, so random it was.  (And I like how it came out!)

I like my sister.  (Yeah, that's such a complete understatement... but let's just go with that for now.)  She's creative.  She paints things.  Years ago, she painted the family Dodge Omni with geometric patterns.  I inherited the car soon after graduating college and enjoyed it's uniqueness.

She's recently gotten around to decorating her current car.  Looks like ginko leaves blown in the wind.  I like that, too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sewing Shirts

This is the third charity quilt I've promised.  I've ripped apart five shirts, cut them all into squares and stitched them into a bunch of 9-patches.  If you look at the bottom row, you can see these blocks aren't exactly whole.  That's because I'm making disappearing 9-patch blocks, and when I ran out of fabric to cut 7" squares I cut 7x3.5" rectangles (or 3.5" squares) instead.

Turns out I had way more blocks than I needed for a throw quilt, but not enough to stretch it to a twin sized quilt.  Right now I'm in the process of scrapping together four more cut-apart blocks so that I can do a full 6x8 block layout.  There's a ton of smaller scrap, so the plan is to randomly piece that together, then see how much of a border it would make.  I'm thinking of filling the rest of the border with a cream fabric, or possibly sash the blocks.  Either would be enough to twin-size the whole shebang.

Not really the color scheme I go for, but this has been fun.  I'm liking how it looks, the fabric is so soft and I'm sure someone is going to love it.

Sharing with Linky Tuesday.

Monday, August 14, 2017

I'm Hiding

Poor Wedgwood.  She gets picked up every day, either because she's harassing Boadicea, or she's being whiny, or she's just too darned cute for her own good.  I put her up on my shoulder and go looking for Rob, so Wedgie can plead her case why she shouldn't have been picked up.  This time Rob had a camera.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bacon Cheddar Whatever Quiche

We intermittently visit Seven Stars Bakery on Saturday mornings as part of our weekly grocery shopping routine.  I'm a sucker for their ginger biscuits; we both like the little mini quiches, too.

It kind of blends in with the counter top
They've recently swapped out the ham and cheddar quiche for bacon and potato.  Rob didn't find it as satisfying, and on Sunday morning he was hankering for bacon cheddar quiche.  Could I make one?

Sure, why not?

I've never made a quiche before.  I read through three or four recipes online for bacon-cheddar quiche and cobbled a recipe together.  As recipes go, it's kind of like pizza:  start with the crust and a base, then throw whatever you want in it.  I found some mushrooms in the fridge, so we added those, too.

It smelled delicious as it was baking.  Looked pretty when it came out of the oven, too.  And it was as tasty as it looked and smelled.  The recipe made about 5-6 servings.  I bet I could adjust it to make a couple of mini-quiches instead (although the leftovers reheated nicely).  I know I'll be asked to make this again!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Like Thursday: Mostly Mailboxes

It's Thursday!  Time to join Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday lineup.

When I rode my bike last week, I remembered to bring the camera.  Captured some of the fun stuff around that I've mentioned in previous posts.

I like the mailboxes.  These ones I pass regularly when I bike to the library or the farmer's market.  The house is my favorite - look at those dormer windows!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Who's Missing?

Nothing quite like walking by the guinea pigs' cage and finding only Wedgwood.  Wait, what?  The gate was closed, the cozies were empty.  There should have been two rodents.  Where's Boadicea?

That paper bag wasn't quite as empty as it looked at first glance.  There's a butt back there.

Friday, August 4, 2017

What a Day

I had quite a day earlier this week:  running around, some highs, some lows, a bit of stress, lots of love and success.  Oh, and it was my birthday.

I took the day off for myself, then spent the morning cleaning house.  Crazy, right?  Good thing I did that early, because the plumber came unexpectedly to put in a filter for the well water.  So no water for a hour or two.  But yay!  it will be much cleaner water!

I biked to the library at lunchtime.  They had a fundraiser in which people purchased flamingos to bring home and decorate.  They held a contest last Saturday to award the favorites.  Get a load of the creativity:  a rhinestone Elvis, some kind of plesiosaurus-looking creature, Harry Potter, a clown, and one covered in print that makes me think of a secretary bird. Maybe it's a Librarian Bird?

Aren't they fun?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Like Thursday: Veggies, Berries and Dopes

I like to visit the Farmer's Market during the summer.  We biked up there this Sunday.  So much to choose from!  I limited my selection to what I could eat this week and that would fit in my little string backpack.  I need to get a back rack for my bike so I can haul more home!

I bought the zucchini to make zucchini fritters for a Tea later that day.  I've made these fritters several times before; tasty, easy recipe.  Replacing the cornmeal with gluten free flour?  Does.  Not.  Work.  I tossed the first four fritters out when they failed to become anything other than lumps of wet dough (even after the edges burned).  I gave up on fritters, poured the rest of the batter into the pan all at once and attempted some kind of zucchini frittata instead.  Came out the consistency of pudding - tasted delicious.  It all disappeared.  What's there to like?  That it wasn't a total failure.  If I try gluten free again, I'd probably do better swapping with corn starch, or find gluten free cornmeal.