Monday, December 31, 2018

Finishes for 2018

This year got away from me.  I still haven't made the New York Beauties quilt I had planned to do two years ago (although it looks like I will be doing a different NYB quilt in 2019!).  Along with the two quilts I anticipated this year, I squeezed in two more throw quilts and several other projects.  Not bad.

Sunshine, Tidal Pool
Stepping Stones, Shiplapped and #AdoretheSchwarz

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Color Wheel Sweatshirt

I decorated two sweatshirts nearly eight years ago.  There's a third one a few years older.  They're all getting rather worn around the edges.  I'm certainly not the neatest person, so there's some... um... additional color added in spots down the front.  They're long overdue to be replaced.  Even though they're really not fit to wear in public, it's hard to part with them.  I love them.

On the other hand, new sweatshirts!  Two chances to play.  I discovered a really neat paper pieced swirly dresden pattern months ago, but hadn't had an excuse to use it.  I thought it would look great on the navy sweatshirt.  I shrunk it down to roughly a six-inch circle and printed it to freezer paper.  Because I wanted the jersey to show through like the glory boxes shirt, I numbered the slices and cut it into pieces. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

I Like Thursday: Blogiversary #8

Look at that... I Like Thursday and a blogiversary on the same day.

Another year.  Where did it go?  Gained a pig.  Lost a car (and, omg, as of yesterday afternoon, have a replacement).  Did lots of sewing and reading.  Had fun with my new years resolution of trying out new recipes on the Game Day group.  Danced my tootsies off.  Kayaked with my sister.  Herded guinea pigs and clipped lots of piggy nails.  Enjoyed time with my friends.

Lots to like.

Then I blog about it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Baking Mishaps and Successes

I did a little last-minute Christmas baking.  First was a chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake for Christmas dinner.  This has been bookmarked for some time - originally earmarked as a Game Day experiment before I decided to bring it to my family's Christmas.  The recipe is for a massive cheesecake, so I made it half sized.  According to various sites for pan conversions, half of a 10" springform pan should fit into an 8" round cake pan that was 2" deep.  Well... not quite.  I had to add sides to it to make sure it didn't overflow, because I clearly had more than two inches of batter.

I successfully halved the recipe but the rest was a comedy of errors.  Reconstructing the pan required redoing the crust.  Then I mixed sour cream and cream cheese in the wrong order, over-beating the batter.  Recipe clearly stated that will cause a crack.  Which it did.  Made for anxiety-free baking knowing it was going to crack regardless!  Then I layered it wrong, mixed in the chocolate chips too early.  Seriously? 

I ended up with extra balls of cookie dough because I made a section that was dough-free (anticipating family preferences).  I used the extra cookie dough as decoration.  It also identified the cookie dough-free section of the cheesecake - thus the uneven placement.

Good news is, it popped right out of the pan once it was chilled.  Made a  nice presentation, too.  Only one tiny wedge came home with us - the rest disappeared.  So it's a hit!  I will certainly make this again (and hopefully do a better job following the instructions).

Monday, December 24, 2018

Will Treaty - Ranger's Apprentice

It's Christmas!  Time to show off this year's ornament, based on the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan.  I read The Ruins of Gorlan to get a feel for what to make.  Not a bad book.  Definitely up my alley - knights, rangers, castles.  It's a big series (plus there's a spin-off set of books with Vikings, too).

This is Will, the apprentice.  He's a classic ranger.  I haven't created a D&D/fantasy ornament in many years.  Ah, this was a lovely project and so much fun to make.  Originally I had planned to do Will's horse, Tug, as well.  But as I worked the clothing and wondered how to assemble a cloak, I decided Will would be enough.

I enjoy the research.  I wanted to add the details of his saxe and throwing knives, but the blades turned out to be difficult to shape (and who would wear a bare blade on their belt?).  Instead I focused on his oak leaf pendant (I made it as a cloak pin) and his arm brace.  I needed something to put in his right hand, so decided he could carry his quiver.  The arrows were a fun addition: toothpicks and tissue paper.  I stuffed as many as I could into the quiver once it was baked.  The bow was also baked separately (it's actually burnt, which added more color and shine), then strung before I glued it in place.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I Like Thursday: Cards, Cookies and Cheer

I like that I'm just about done with all my Christmas prep.  As long as work doesn't get any more insane, I should be able to coast to the new year (and by saying that, I've probably sealed my doom).

I like receiving holiday cards.  My sister's card is so wonderfully simple.  It's a print of her own watercolor.  Pretty, isn't it?

I also received a pair of guinea pig cards:  loafy pigs around a snowman and a two Christmas elves (complete with pointed little ears!).

Monday, December 17, 2018


This is Joyful - a wedding gift to another cousin (three wedding quilts this year!).  There's so much to tell, I'm not sure where to start.  Isn't it pretty?  I rushed to take the outdoor photos literally 10 minutes after I finished stitching the binding, dragging Rob out there to hold it up.  I hadn't even had time to bury the threads so I could catch the last of the fading daylight (and I notice now it's technically upside-down).

The flange binding was a great choice.  I forgot, though, that the seams need to be lined up when joining the ends.  I didn't see it until I had stitched it all together.  Oops.  Had to pull that out and put it all back together.

I said I was doing graffiti quilting - it's not that dense.  I guess this might be called improv quilting.  It's basically a jumble of whatever free-motion patterns came to mind.  Regardless of what it's called, this was a fun way to quilt.  I will certainly do this again.  I tried some new stuff, played with some designs I haven't done in a while, refined some favorites.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

I Like Thursday: Lots of Work

You know the Harry Potter flying keys that I admired at the library?  The librarians hated to take them down, so they hung them as ornaments on the library's Christmas tree.  I commented  how much I loved them and asked if I could have a key when they took down the tree.  Sure!  In fact, grab one now so we don't forget.  So now I have my very own golden flying key.  Love it!  It currently hangs on my advent wreath.

Okay, so here's a weird like - I've been enjoying car shopping with Rob.  Car shopping itself - not so great.  We rode in a few gawd-awful cars and laughed the entire test drive.  I loved the make of one of the cars, it was fun to drive, but the car itself was worn around the edges, had rips in the upholstery, smelled of cigarettes and I had to guess how to put it in reverse, since the stick was missing its diagram.  Ha!  But tooling around, commenting on what we liked and didn't like about each car was fun.

Still no car, but I have a better idea of what I want to get.  Now if I could just find it at a reasonable price....

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Strip Twist Backing

I had this quilt all planned out and it still took on a life of its own.  I was all set with a nice, simple, single seamed backing.  But nope!  When I purchased this gold fabric I knew some of it would end up in the quilt.  I had looked forward to hanging onto a yard or two.  Turns out the whole piece was destined for this quilt; it complements the rust backing perfectly.  I shall have to be satisfied with a few tiny scraps.

That backing is well worth my loss.

The front of the strip twist is done with borders and the binding is ready.  I have until I finish clipping threads and sandwiching the quilt to pick one of three quilting designs I like.  I hope to be quilting by Monday.

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

I Like Thursday: Quilts and Architecture

I mentioned that I saw the Melrose History Quilt over the weekend.  Beside the artwork there were several quilted/knitted items for sale.  One woman created these beautiful quilted cards.  Each one had been paper pieced; there had to be over one hundred of them.  I limited myself to purchasing three - I wanted more!  Aren't they beautiful?  She had some great Christmas ones, too... but I have my own Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Melrose History Quilt

I heard about the Melrose History Quilt several months ago from a friend and went to see it on Sunday.  It's a neat piece of history (learn more about it here).  They think it was a fundraising quilt made in the late 1800s - I chucked when I realized that's an old concept.  I enjoyed learning about the quilt, how it had been restored and seeing all the names in such nice handwriting.  I even got a peek of the backing.

In addition viewing the the quilt, I talked to people involved in the restoration and viewed some contemporary fabric artwork from a few local artists.  Their pieces were amazing (and humbling to look at).

There was quite a bit of documentation done on the quilt.  Names and addresses tied several names to Melrose.  I know at least some of the addresses have yarnstormed (yarnbombed?) markers to mark them as part of the event.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Strip Twist Borders

The strip twists are all sewn together.  I'm working on borders and backing.  Of course the quilt is telling me to change my plans.  I'm thinking two inches for the inner border, three inches for the outer.  Always planned to bind in the green and now I'm thinking of doing a flange binding with a little yellow?  That idea came out of nowhere but it's stuck in my head.  I've only done flange bindings on wall quilts. 

I plan on cutting the green borders in one piece along the grain (so no center seams).  But that makes for short crossgrain binding pieces.  Looks like I can make binding along the grain - I've not done that before. Or cut binding pieces on the bias? 

Then there's the backing!  I had planned a solid back and now I'm considering piecing some of it together.  Wonder what this quilt will tell me to do next?

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Fun Photo Shoot

We had a long-awaited photo shoot two weeks ago with Salem Pet Photo.  Working with Joey is always a blast.  I had been worried if Wedgwood would be up for it, but she was perky and happy on that Monday (and she's still doing well!).

Are we wrapping or unwrapping?

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Are We Comfy?

I caught Wedgwood nesting.  She pulled all the hay out of the holder then settled in the middle of it.  It's so nice to see her relaxed and enjoying herself.  She's off of most of the pain meds and is maintaining her weight.  She even did an extra lap around the living room with Mabel after breakfast on Tuesday.  Wedg is not the pig she was six months ago, but she's still doing better than I hoped.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

I Like Thursday: Holiday Prep and Sewing

I love, love, love the photos of last week's session with Joey from Salem Pet Photo.  So much cuteness!  I'll be sharing more of them soon.  I got the photos in time to order Christmas cards with some of the prints.  Perfect!

Doesn't it look like Mabel is ready to catch snowflakes on her tongue? 

I liked having a week off.  Got lots done.  Still have too much to do!  Damn - can I retire yet?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Strip Twist Colors

The strip twist quilt is coming together.  I finished buying fabric and was pretty sure I had all the right colors.  I changed my mind about a few fabrics after I cut all my strips (why does that happen after I cut everything?!?).  I took out two; added three more.  At this point, I wasn't too sure how they'd all go together.  Would the quilt be too red?  Too yellow?  Oh, that orange!

I forged ahead and stitched the strips together.  At this point, they're beginning to look like the blocks they'll become.  And you know what?  I'm seriously liking the color.  At one point I was going to skip adding the whites - I'm really glad I put them back in.  I knew the colors felt right individually; it's nice to see they all go together, too.  I hope the recipients (if they're reading this) are liking it, too.

This is most of the paired square strips thrown on the floor my design wall to get a feel for how the blocks will look.  I'm hoping to have finished blocks in the next couple of days - those diagonal seams are going slower than anticipated.  I can't wait to start laying out the whole quilt.  Soon!

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Mooch

Miss Mabel has been with us a good six months.  Some guinea pigs take that long to settle into a new household.  Not Mabel.  She made herself at home from day one.  Boadicea was the only other pig to pull that off.

Mabel is amazingly laid back, has no fear of people (although does not want to be touched and only tolerates being held and snuggled).  She expects all treats to come to her and is confused when I dare suggest she leaves the hammock or cozy for morning pepper.  I joke about the food flying into her mouth.  See?  It appears to be so, even when the lettuce is on the floor!

Mabel is very quiet; I've heard one or two wheeks when she's upset or if she is forced to demand something.  She randomly burbles happily to herself as she trots around the living room.  She spends most of the day sleeping curled up in a cozy, cuddle cup or hammock.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Cleanup Bowl

This coil bowl is my last cleanup project before I move onto my next quilt.  This used up the last of the blue stretch fabric as well as some thin strips of white that were too sheer to work well in the string blocks I made.

I had trouble with the last few bowls I made where the fabric bunched or fought with me.  Not this one; it went together so smoothly.  Even the sewing machine behaved (other than running out of bobbin thread only two rows from the top).

I love the colors.  It's a nice size, too:  about four inches tall and eight inches across at the widest point.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I Like Thursday: Another Thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving - a great day to like things. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed a few days off.  I still have a few more to go before returning to work.  Woot!

Even with the days off, it's been a busy week.  I spent lots of time sewing on my days off.  I finished up the wavy strings blocks.  I had a bunch of short skinny strings that I cobbled together into a pair of mug rugs.  I'm finishing up a coil bowl with the very, very last of the Italian fabric.  Today, I start working on the next wedding quilt.  Yay!

I like that I spent some time this morning talking to my sister.  Gotta call Mom this afternoon.

I like that Rob fixed the thermostat this morning.  The heat had been a little flaky this week then waited for the coldest day so far to fritz out.  But we have heat now.  Love that. 

I like/enjoy/am thankful for the family and friends I have in my life.  I know a lot of good people.  How lucky am I?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Colorful Curves

I'm finishing up this round of curvy string blocks.  I made thirteen of them (last black-and-white one not in photo) before I ran out of strings big enough to do curves on finished 8-inch block.

Every block went together differently.  Some I started with the longest strings and worked to the points.  Others I started with one edge and moved to the other.  I started one crazy block at both corners and met in the middle - that took some work to even out.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Clean Hay?

I'm allergic to Timothy hay, which is why I have orchard grass for the guinea pigs.  Even that can give me a runny nose or headaches if I breath it in too deeply.  It's the dust that bothers me - I can handle the hay without problem.  But the hay breaks apart in the box and the little pieces are easily airborne as I grab a handful for the hay rack.  So every week or so (usually between flakes) I take my dustbuster to the hay.  It's strong enough to vacuum up the crumbs (without sucking up the actual hay).

It seems kind of silly, but it appears to work.  I often don't react to dumping the dust.  At worst, it bothers me once every week or two instead of every day.  So Wedgwood and Mabel get freshly vacuumed hay.  Such spoiled guinea pigs.  But it keeps us all happy.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

I Like Thursday: A Lot to Focus On

I'm looking forward to some time off because I suddenly have too much going at home.  Some fun, some not so fun.  I'll be busy!

It's hard to see in the photo, but these are the flying keys from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  They caught my eye on Friday's dance and I had to come back on Saturday to photograph.  The library had a Harry Potter event three weeks ago, and the librarians liked them so much they're still there.  Love that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Squiggly Strings

My string bag was overflowing like my scrap bag.  I decided to try something new, so I'm making curved string blocks.  They'll be 8" finished.  The first one came out better than I hoped, so I kept going.  I'm trying to make each block go dark to light from corner to corner so that they're not entirely random.  I'm not sure if I'll stick with that design, but that's the plan for now.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Small Step Downhill

Wedgwood had a really, really good October:  eating, comfort, mobility were all great.  She had no problems digesting veggies, there were no painful days or dealing with really weird bloat.  It has been a lovely respite and an unexpected result of August's surgery.

November hasn't started so well.  There's already been a day or two of not feeling well.  She's had worrisome weight gain - Wedgwood's shoulders remain a thin as her backside gets bigger.  That makes me think the tumor is gaining size and weight.  She's often very bulgy on one side.

Wedg abruptly stopped using the upper levels of the cage last week.  The only exception was Tuesday afternoon, when I was clearly ignoring her demands for lunch, and she leapt up to chew the bars knowing that would get my attention.  I literally heard her go "oof" when she made it to the second level.  (Such an effort had to be rewarded, of course!)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

More Cleanup

My bag of small scrap fabric was overflowing.  I usually work on crumb hexies after finishing a quilt but I hadn't made any since March.  I spent last week piecing a lot of browns, blues, neutrals plus a few brights.  I have 20 new finished hexies with another dozen ready for batting and backing.

I also have another 50 or so 1½ inch HTS.  Turns out, these were great to work on alongside the crumb quilting.  Squaring the crumb fabric resulted in little pieces that were hard to add back in, but were perfect to stitch to the off-white triangles.  I look forward to working on both of these the next time my crumb bag is full - I have plenty more little triangles!

My crumb bag may be empty, but my bags of strings, selvedges and 2-inch squares are filling up.  Googled some ideas - there will be some side projects in the works soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I Like Thursday: Marriage, Colors, Chocolate

Another cousin married this weekend.  It poured and blustered before and after the ceremony, but I love that the sun streamed through the stained glass windows of the church for their vows.

I like the table centerpiece I brought home.  It was so pretty and has added some color in the house.

And the fabric all around it?  Colors for their wedding quilt.  I like that they match the flowers and foliage so well!  I need some more greens, maybe a bit more red.  I think I want green borders.  Now I have a better feel for the last bits of color for the quilt.  Off to the shop for borders and backing!  Then I can start piecing.  Goal is to have this done right after Thanksgiving.  We'll see....

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Too Small Cozy and Wedgwood and Mabel

Have you seen Maru and his love of boxes?  (If not, check out the videos.)  He stuffs himself into all sizes of boxes. 

I made this cozy several years ago from scraps of fabric that weren't quite big enough.  Boadicea never had any problem getting into it.  Maybe it has shrunk over the years from use and washing?  No one could quite fit into it this week.

Wedgwood attempted it first.  She managed to get her nose well into it, but that rear end is certainly hanging out. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

I'm Nuts

When I made my pair of Homebase quilts, I cut off a lot of corners.  Those corners were just big enough that I couldn't throw them out.  So when I pulled out my scrap bag to work on crumb hexies, I started adding color to these little pieces.  The result so far:  over one hundred 1½ inch half triangle squares.  I'm only about halfway through the bag of off-white corners.

Eek!  Why did I save them??

I chucked any rejects (those that couldn't be squared to 1½ inches) into the crumb fabric I'm making, so no waste there.  Now that I have a pile of these little squares, I certainly can't throw them out.  It will become some future project.  What am I going to do with all those little squares?

Thursday, November 1, 2018

I Like Thursday: Lots of Gold

I like the loot I got from the quilt show I went to last weekend.  I enjoyed the quilts and brought home nearly nine yards of fabric for forty bucks.  Some is earmarked for my latest quilt, some is just for stash.  It was an afternoon well spent!

I like that I got my voting out of the way on Saturday.  Huzzah for early voting!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Quilt Show: Small Quilts

I went to a quilt show over the weekend.  The quilts were displayed in two galleries.  The first was all large quilts (posted here).  The second area had smaller quilts and wall hangings.

This village quilt was matted and framed.  It made a pretty picture.  Lots of little detail.

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Quilt Show: Large Quilts

Saturday was a rainy blustery day - perfect for spending indoors at a quilt show.  Too many photos to stuff in one post, so today is the large quilts.

These quilts were presented over pews.  It was wonderful to see so many, but  bummer that I couldn't photograph better.  But look!  There's some really neat stuff.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

So Small

I took the photos for this post nearly two months ago and just haven't gotten around to writing about it.

Any good guinea pig guide will tell you that guinea pigs need room to run around.  This means a big cage and better yet, floor time.  It is a delight to watch guinea pigs race around or popcorn all over the place.  One of my favorite memories is Teddi and Eclair racing across the living room floor.  It's been years since I've witnessed a good set of zoomies.  There's plenty of room and traction in my living room, but I think I adopted my girls too late for them to feel the need bolt and leap across the floor.

Why can't we go upstairs?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

I Like Thursday: Finishes

I got lots of stuff done this week.

I like that I finally put up the window feeders.  One or two titmice watched me as I washed the window and hung the first feeder.  I had just stepped in the door when the first one landed.  They started flying by the second window, awaiting that feeder to be hung as well.  By the time I started to work that window, the chickadees were watching me.  I didn't have a chance to step away from the window before the first chickadee alighted.  In the hour that followed, word got out to the nuthatches and house finches.  It was quite the party all afternoon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tidal Pool

After I finished Stepping Stones, there were lots of extra Homebase pieces left over.  Since I had enough to assemble half a small quilt, I decided to sew them together.  This was an opportunity to use the bright fabrics that I loved but didn't work with Stepping Stones.

Turns out the cut brights alone didn't look right, so I raided my stash for other primary colors.  This is the end result.  I had to purchase more background fabric to finish and the new stuff is from a different bolt.  The slight shade difference shows in bright sunlight, but given the scrappy nature of the quilt, it works.

I really like the wavy quilting I did on Stepping Stones.  I played with a few different designs for this quilt before simply quilting wiggly lines with my walking foot.  That was more of an adventure than I anticipated; I'm pleased with the final results.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Quilted Name Tag

Yeah, I've made yet another contra dance name tag for for myself.  I love the one I made last year.  However, it's large, heavy and is held on by magnets, so I can't wear it on a strappy tank top.  I wanted one that was smaller, lighter weight, not as breakable as sculpey and that could be pinned on a tank top.  I had seen some really cool name tag badges people had made for quilt shows, and decided to try something in that direction.

I dithered over a bunch of designs that were too big or boring.  I found this interesting paper pieced design.  I shrunk it down a ton, then badly transcribed it to freezer paper.  Not my best work but I wanted the name tag done for the Fall Ball, so I ran with it.  It took a couple of hours to make, so if I really hate it, I'll take what I learned from this and create another.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dinner Out

When Wedgwood was on a hay/pellet/water diet prior to her surgery, Mabel ate breakfast lettuce on the floor.  Now that Wedgwood is eating veggies again, they have breakfast together on the floor (although Mabel gets a few minute head start while Wedgie gets medicated).  It's a fun way to start the day, with Mabel creeping towards the fridge hoping she'll receive lettuce faster.  Occasionally breakfast ends with a lap around the living room

Dinner is still served in the cage... except last Tuesday night.  I failed to specify where the greens should be delivered, so they were placed onto the floor.  There was much wheeking and confusion.  I decided it was fast to put two guinea pigs on the floor rather than pick up the multiple pieces of lettuce.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

I Like Thursday: Slow Stitching

Not a whole lot of photos this week.

I like that I caught Mabel trying to hide under the hay.  I would have loved to see how she did it, since the hay had to be dragged over there.  So was it moved for this purpose? or did she just take advantage of hay being there?

I found myself hand stitching a binding, tacking down the front of a vest and hemming a dress this week.  There is something so soothing about working with thread and needle by hand.  My eyes aren't always thrilled with it, but not enough to stop me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

Wavy Quilting

I fought so hard to quilt the first seven lines on this quilt.  Took me hours between ripping out the first two lines and dealing with snapped thread.  The next 10 were a little easier and faster.  At that point I wasn't sold on the design, but forged ahead with the last set of lines.  I whipped through those in less than 30 minutes.  Wonderful!  I didn't snap the thread once even though I was cruising along with the walking foot.

I based the quilting on this tutorial.  I wanted to do the criss-crossed lines they described because it looks so cool.  However, now that this quilt has been resting on my design floor for a couple of days, I'm not so sure.  I suspect another set of wavy lines would be too dense.  I don't see a place where a criss-crossed pair of lines would look right.  At this point I should just bind it and be done with the quilt.  I risk ruining it if I try to add any more to it.  It's so hard to know when to stop.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Cotton Twirly Skirt

I finished the skirt in plenty of time to wear to Friday's dance.  Hemming it was so much easier than I expected.  The stretch fabric eased so nicely.  I had to do a little extra work on the pocket (I forgot to sew the top of it down).  I love it!  I wish I had thought to do this with the other two skirts I made (they have a little pocket tacked on the inside of the waistband).  I'm so happy to have used this fabric to make something I will enjoy, as it was intended.  

It got several compliments last night from people who recognized it from my blog (thanks for reading!).  And doesn't it go nicely with that top?  It's certainly not too short, so I will make notes on the pattern for the amount of fabric required for this length.  The skirt is a good color to mix and match, so I am hoping it will get lots of use dancing. 

Huzzah for a finish.  On to the next project!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I Like Thursday: Gratitude

A few days ago I was in the middle of a mundane task when it hit me what a lucky life I lead.  That I have the time and the luxury to be making a bed, topped with a quilt I created, in a warm and comfortable house, looking forward to a weekend of dancing with friends and time with my partner. 

I like the apple sauce and strawberry jam my friend just gave me.  I look forward to her apple sauce every year.  She gave me several more jars to deliver to various friends.  I enjoy how they light up when they get her apple sauce.  It's fun to be the delivery person.

I like that I've wrapped up some small stuff:  a new skirt I will dance in on Friday, some knot bags.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

All over the Place

Once again I'm stalled with quilting.  The thread kept snapping at the needle while quilting the little Homebase.  I've swapped out the needle, the bobbin, re-threaded everything multiple times, and I concluded it's the walking foot.  The foot works fine as long as I stay in a straight line.  But if I try to turn a curve too sharply, either the foot or the feeds rub against the needle and snips the thread.  (I've never been happy with this foot - my other walker is much sturdier, but I am hesitant to try buying another walking foot online without seeing it first.)

In troubleshooting the problem, I discovered the spool of thread I was using shouldn't be on top of the sewing machine but on a thread stand.  Fancy that!  I don't have one of those, but discovered a great work around.  I have had this ornament holder stuffed in a cupboard, unloved and unused for years.  Works pretty well, too!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Bath Time

Various stages of unhappiness
Guinea pigs are generally self cleaning - like cats.  I've had to do the occasional rump-dunk for a sick or arthritic pig that couldn't groom all their fur.  I've been lucky enough not to deal with long-haired guinea pigs.  In all the years I've had guinea pigs, I've given only a full bath to a pair of pigs (before I discovered permethrin shampoo is not a good way to treat for mites).  My bath-avoiding streak has come to an end with Mabel as my unwilling victim.

Mabel's fur hasn't felt quite right since she came home with us.  It felt a little dirty or greasy.  I dug up the bottle of bunny bath a few weeks ago and decided I couldn't ignore it any longer.  Mabel needed a bath.

None of my pigs have wanted to be near running water.  Eclair and Teddi nearly hurt themselves trying to leap out of the kitchen sink.  So I decided to bathe Mabel in the shower, since it would give her room to move, have better traction than the stainless steel basin and there was no risk of her leaping any distance to hurt herself.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

I Like Thursday: Remnants

It was a packed weekend of running errands, last minute changes and long drives.  But I've found time to play around with photos, edit videos, cut some fabric.

I snapped these late last week.  One wouldn't usually describe decay as beautiful.  But I love the colors, the textures.  I've not seen anything like those little yellow cones before.  They're really tiny.  They died back the very next day, so I was lucky to have caught them at all.  They've started to peek out again with the rain this week.

I really, really like those shots.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Out Cold

I walked by the cage on Friday afternoon and found Mabel and Wedgwood out cold.  Just look at those sacked out pigs.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yup - I found another recipe that has a name that's bigger than the food itself.  It's about time to make my candy corn bark and I always have extra pretzels.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give them a try.

The pretzels are salty enough - I'd probably skip adding any salt on top when making these again.  I had just run out of chunky peanut butter, so I added peanuts to the batter to help make up for that.

Not bad!  They are reminiscent of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, which I love.  I'd certainly make these again.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

I Like Thursday: Getting Things Done

I have been a bad girl and have not gotten out walking or swimming all week (although I did have a wonderful evening of dancing).  But as shmoo-ish as I've been feeling (the dark and the rain aren't helping), I've gotten a lot done.

I like that it's time for boxes of tomatoes.  We've been enjoying our homemade tomato sauce the last couple of years, so we've started on this year's batch.  This whole box boiled down to five pints of sauce.  Hardly seems worth it - but it is.  This makes me happy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Stormy Weather

I love stormy weather.  So I'm a little bummed we live in a spot that the worst weather skirts around.  A line of squalls passed to the north of us a few weeks ago.  There was a spatter of rain, a bit of bluster and some distant rumbling.  But I loved the chunky clouds and the shades of silvery grey.

The camera picked up the colors I hadn't noticed - to me it was all washed out.  It was really dark when this rolled through.

I attempted to video how the clouds slowly roiled around.  Kind of hard to capture.  The whole sky was like this; you can hear the constant rustling of leaves in the trees.