Saturday, March 31, 2018

Not So Bright

Wedgwood enjoys a little floor time. However, she gets rather adamant about returning to the cage.  On cage-cleaning day, she often finds the way blocked and this is fully unacceptable.  She's been getting more insistent and persistent on this point.  Thursday night was no exception:  she chewed on the bars and rattled the grids.  I don't mind the racket she creates - I just don't want her to break her teeth.

I rushed to get the cage fleeced so she could return.  As soon as I was done, I folded back one of the grids blocking the ramp.  Wedgie had thoroughly checked all the grids for a way in earlier.  She then ignored all the grids except for the one directly at the bottom of the ramp.  So she spent several minutes working hard at moving that grid, oblivious to the opening 6" to her right.  Typical guinea pig.  I tried to shoo her around the corner, but she thought I was trying to stop the chewing, and would duck, running the other direction.

I finally swung out that grid, too, until she realized the ramp was open.  Zoom!  up she went.  What took you so long, Mama?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Like Thursday: Turkey Tracks

I spent Saturday with my sister and some friends hiking, eating, playing games and talking.  I have lots to like from that day.  Most of these are from our hike.

I like that I discovered the first skunk cabbage of the season.  It's one of my friends' favorite plants.  I also like that I've learned what clubmoss is - I always just called them mini pine trees.  Now I know better.

I liked the turkey tracks we found in the woods.  They were all over the place.  Some of them looked huge because of the way the snow melted.  When I saw the first set I thought:  there's an emu in the woods?  Right.  Like emus live wild in central Massachusetts.  But the tracks looked too darned big to be turkeys.  (Now who's the turkey?)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Another Quilt I Can't Show You

Squares, background, diamonds and binding
This will be the second wedding quilt, and I still haven't been able to show off the first one (soon, I promise!).  I will show my initial work until it starts to take shape.  Right now all I have is fabric, anyway. 

I'm doing a pattern called Homebase.  There's not a ton of photos out there of finished quilts; I like this version with two colored squares.

When I requested color ideas for this quilt I received a bunch, including black, greys, greens, creams and some blue.  I brought a handful of them to Ryco to help chose the rest of the fabric.  Whenever I fabric shop, my quilts have their own ideas about color and design.  It's amazing how many plans go out the window once I lay out the colors together.  This quilt told me I'm making all grey squares on an oyster background.  Definitely not the two-toned squares on a pale green or putty background I had planned.  The diamonds - which were to be based on greens, a rusty orange and possibly a blue - have exploded and now include a red, a bright orange and lots more warm green.  Brighter than my original ideas.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I Like Thursday: It's Spring!

Really?  Is it really Spring?  The snow on the ground makes me think otherwise.  This latest storm seems to be blowing out, but as I'm writing this they still can't decide if we'll get 3-5" or 5-8".  We'll see what it looks like in the morning (update: just a dusting!  Whew.).  Propane tank was filled yesterday, so we'll have heat if the power goes again.

My favorite fabric place, Ryco, had a St. Patrick's Day sale.  I like what I got!  And that it's washed and pressed and ready to use.  The top photo is the fabric for my next quilt.

The bottom fabrics were just for me.  Too pretty to pass up (and the two left-side fabrics were less than $3 a yard!).

I like that we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday - a nice dinner out with the whole family.  We managed to find a place midway for all of us.  Dad had a great time.  Yay!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Post Project Cleanup

As I hit the tail end of a project (bound, just needs a label), I straighten up the sewing room and continue work on my long-term projects.  The bag of selvedges yielded another dozen or so triangles (I’m less than ten away from having enough to piece that quilt).  I backed a few more crumb hexies; I've just cut fabric for another two dozen.  My crumb bag is pretty full, too.  I may piece together some more hexie fronts with lots of blue and brown.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Like Thursday: Some Color

We were buried in snow again on Tuesday. Knocked out the power at 11am. Since the sump pump wasn't running non-stop, the neighbor was kind enough to lend us some of the generator power.  So we chose to run internet and the freezer.  Power came on at 5am the next day.

As much as the storm was a drag, I liked that I could do my work most of the day.  I liked that the fireplace kept us warm (although I need to order more propane soon!).  And I do really like the snow plastered to the trees.  I got out for a brief walk on Wednesday and it was so pretty on the heavily wooded road.  (I didn't think to grab my camera!)

I like spring flowers. I bought the daffodils over the weekend. The scent on these are so strong they’re giving us both headaches. Not fond of that. But the color! Yellow! Green! It was so nice to see them unfold.

And I like the tomatoes and tea, too.

Did you know yesterday was Pi Day?  I observed the day by having a little Table Talk apple pie for elevenses.  A celebration for having a warm house and hot tea.

I've been enjoying Half a King.  Not sure how this book got on my reading list.  Easy prose, underdog protagonist, twists and turns, Viking-like world.  I've just reserved the other two books in the series.  I hope the weather doesn't delay them arriving too much.  I can't wait to read more.

I like the stuff I've been working on!  Unfortunately lack of power has been upsetting my sewing and blogging.  I hope to share stuff soon.

I'm sure there's far more interesting likes over at Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  Be sure to check them out.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

I Like Thursday: Creature Comforts

I like electricity.  And heat.  And running water.  And internet.  The storm on Friday was more than I had anticipated.  I was surprised when the Friday night dance was canceled.  Then the electricity went out at 5pm.  We were very lucky to have lost power for a little less than a day.  I was unprepared.

I like that the tree that went SNAP in the middle of the afternoon was well away from the house.

I like that my neighbor on the other side of the duplex had a generator and kept the sump pump running... which it did all night.  Whew! There would have been a lot of water in our basement otherwise.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Quilting Progress

I don't know why I thought an all-over quilting pattern would magically take less thread to quilt than quilting in each area.  I knew how much thread went into Sunshine.  And yet I bought so much less thread for this quilt.  So silly.  I'm taking notes:  it takes lots of thread to quilt a throw quilt.

Of course I ran out of the thread the day before the storm (more on that on Thursday).  I knew it was wild weather when I picked my car up from the shop, but didn't realize how bad it was until after I picked up the thread.  It was a harrowing drive home, with skewed traffic lights, getting detoured from closed streets, downed wires with branches or whole trees across the road.  But one must have thread to quilt!  (Well, except when one loses power.)  May this be a lesson - buy the correct amount the first time!

This video is for curious non-quilting friends and my mother, who wanted to know how I free motion quilted Sunshine on my domestic machine.  First is a close up of the basic swirl and petals of the repeating design I'm doing.  You'll see me point or move my fingers around during this video - I'm doing the design free-hand, and I point to help visualize where I'm going next.  It also helps to ensure I don't quilt myself into a dead-end.  The second bit of the video you can see I stop and start quite a bit:  straightening the quilt, moving my hands so the needle stays between them, and clipping basting thread (because my foot tends to get tangled if I sew over it.  Hmm...I wonder if I'd have better luck basting from the back side so I'd have less exposed thread on the front?

Monday, March 5, 2018

So Much to Say

Two Wedgwood videos in two weeks!  Who would have expected that?

Wedgwood was in a strange mood last week.  Wednesday morning she kept begging and whining for food and attention.  I finally picked her up.  She chatted non-stop for about five minutes.

I put her on the floor.  She meandered back to the cage.  Ten minutes later she was back on the floor poking her nose all around and burbling away.  Then zoom!  back to the cage.  She must have yakked herself out - she was quiet most of the week. 

It was a chilly Friday and Saturday with no power (it came back Saturday afternoon).  I packed Wedgie's cage with extra cozies on Friday night.  Saturday morning she was up at the usual time, begging for breakfast.  A cold house wasn't going to slow her down!  I hope the rest of you East Coast piggies are warm and dry.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I Like Thursday: Baking, Reading, Sewing

I had another bake-a-thon last weekend.  Some of it was my New Year's resolution:  trying out new recipes.  I bought some ricotta and the skillet lasagna only needed half of it.  So I made ricotta cheese cookies with the rest.  I liked them, although they were a little doughy.

I also tried a recipe for caramel brownies.  Years ago I'd make something called Death Bars (yes, I have a plethora of oddly named recipes).  They required cake mix and caramels, which I rarely have on hand.  I've been looking for a version from scratch.  This wasn't bad, although a little dense and the caramels need some work.  But they're delicious.  I will play with it and see if I can get close to the original bars.