Thursday, May 31, 2018

I like Thursday: Brookie, Metalwork and Pigs in a Bowl

The one New Year's resolution I have been enjoying is trying out new recipes to bring to Game Day.  The latest was Chocolate Chip Skillet Brookie.  I don't have a cast iron skillet, so this was baked in a 9" pan.  Ooh, I liked this - so did everyone.  I think it would be best as the original recipe suggested and eaten warm, with ice cream.  But it was hot on Game Day, and I didn't want to have to fire up their oven.  So I came with it ice cold... which was also delicious.  Which was obvious by the empty plate I brought home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Last Tryouts

I spent nearly all Monday trying out different color layouts.  I'm sticking with the random arrangement, rather than trying to move the shades across the quilt.  I did a couple variations with these colors.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Dreaded Road Trip

Since Mabel has come to live with us, I've occasionally heard very faint wheezing from the cage.  It usually stops when I come over.  Once or twice I saw her right eye was a little goopy.  Her weight is stable, she looks fine.  But I caught her heaving slightly with the wheezing and that decided me.  Given my track record of sick guinea pigs over a holiday weekend, we headed to the vet on Thursday.

Road trip!  It was a chance to see how well they travel together in a single carry case.  They did very well:  some whining, but no tussling, no biting.  They simply chilled together on the ride.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Shuffling Shades

You know, it takes a long time to put down 120 pieces of fabric, just to pick them all up and rearrange them.  Again.  And again.  They make pretty patterns:

I just wish one of them would shout:  Yes!  I'm what you're looking for!

I'm close.  I tried out the suggestion of placing the colors randomly.  The most recent arrangement is on the lower right, which I'm liking.  I also decided to swap those two pairs of dark grey, which do look better from a distance.  My plans on Sunday have been canceled, so I suddenly have time.  I would do a serious happy dance if I could sew this weekend.  Here's hoping!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Like Thursday: Busy, Busy

I missed I Like Thursday last week - had to much to do.  The new guinea pig kept me busy as I refereed between Wedgwood and Mabel.  I know it doesn't look like much, but I have been diligently working on the Homebase quilt.  My weekends have been packed, which has been cutting into my creative time.  Fun, yet frustrating.  Gotta roll with it.

I went to Newburyport on Saturday.  My mom treated me to a chocolate tour.  We spent the day walking from shop to shop, collecting chocolates and baked goods.  The local Starbucks was offering mini mocha lattes.  Some places offered goodies from local chocolatiers (oh, Sweet Sloops!) and bakeries.

I liked this sign (where we stopped to pick up chocolate ice cream).

This shop had these neat polymer clay bug (called YIPES! lol).  I mean, I wouldn't want a bug pin, but they were amazingly intricate and colorful.  What fun.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Are You Ready to Rumble?

I cleaned the guinea pig cage on Thursday.  Based on the floor show, one of the sows was in heat.  Highly entertaining.  They chased each other back and forth as Wedgwood whined the whole time.  Then Mabel would suddenly turn and either bite or hump Wedgwood.  There may have been a pang of guilt as I cheered:  Go Mabel!  You can do it!  Bite Wedgwood!  Bite her!

Am I a bad mama?

I didn't catch the best of it (because of the laughing and cheering), but here's a little of what was going on:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Introduction Update - Two Weeks Later

Introductions with Wedgwood and Mabel has gone really well.  No whirling balls of fur, a minimum of screaming and chasing.  Mabel is the most laid-back newbie I've adopted since Boadicea.  She doesn't constantly run and hide, she's not tense.  She's made herself at home. 

That nose was way over the edge - she's so curious about everything.

It took Mabel a full three days to attempt leaping to the second level (most other pigs tried it out within minutes).  Now that she has, I see her upstairs and downstairs all the time.  Her favorite places to hang out are in the bottom corner on the first level and in the tunnel on the second level.  Wedgwood no longer guards Mabel constantly, although Wedgie doesn't like Mabel sleeping in her favorite corner.  I often find Wedgwood sleeping near Mabel on the first floor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Adding Some Color

Still working on the grey layout, but I am much happier with the blocks I replaced.  Now I need to add some color.  I like the fabric I've selected for the diamonds - but where to put them?  I started laying them out from blues and greens in one color to orange and red in the other.

Now with a few pieces in place, I'm not so sure.  I'm thinking maybe I should place them randomly.  Or maybe radiating color from the center?  I guess I'll be moving around fabric for a while.

Sharing with:
Freemotion by the River: Linky Tuesday

Monday, May 14, 2018

Meet Jewel... um... Mabel!

I liked Jewel's name and figured at five years old, she deserves to keep it.  But I kept tripping over saying it, for whatever reason.  We chuckled that as an old lady, she needed an old lady name.  Mabel was one of the first names we tried on (along with Bossy, from her black and white cow markings, and Bessie).  Mabel seems to be sticking.  So say hello to Mabel.

Mabel is a sweet, loafy pig.  She's curious and not afraid to strike out and explore.  But she tires easily and is a very sound sleeper.  I can't tell how much of that is just her age, or how much was from her previous living situation.  Her tendency to stay in one spot and some old wounds speak of small living quarters with another pig.  Her nails and leanness suggest she wasn't well cared for before she was surrendered.  She sucks down hay with abandon, so her teeth are in wonderful condition.  Her fur is soft and thick, so I'm thinking any neglect was recent.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

On the Design Floor

Homebase is on the floor.  This is exciting, because once I make a few more decisions I can focus on assembling the top (which should go pretty quickly).

When I went to buy fabric, the plan was to do two different color squares.  But as I started gathering fabric I nixed that idea - couldn't decide on a pair of colors that worked.  I love quilts that shade from dark to light across the quilt but have never tried one myself.  So here we go:

Friday, May 11, 2018

Introduction Stress

Have I mentioned I hate guinea pig introductions?  I do.  Passionately.  Wedgwood being a neurotic butthead doesn't help.  If things don't work out, we've threatened to bring Wedgwood back to the shelter and keep Jewel.  We've also threatened to make sausage out of Wedgie (we're skipping Bad Pig Stew entirely).  Wedg!  Be nice!

Big pen to little pen to the cage (or being a good-sized pig, Jewel is good at hiding!).

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I Like Thursday: Chocolate, Mint Green, and Grey

What a week.  Last week was quiet.  This week was not.

Friday's contra dance featured a silent auction for baked goods.  I tried a new recipe:  Chocolate Salted Caramel Tart.  It's intended for a deep tart pan, which I do not have, so I ended up with extra crust and ganache.  I made myself a mini version, although it was missing the caramel layer.  I salted the caramel layer instead of adding it to the top because I thought it would dissolve and look ugly (which was the case with my mini tart).  I liked the recipe.  Needs a bit of tweaking, to fit my tart pan if nothing else.  I suspect that instead of salting the caramel, I could add some pretzels to the caramel layer, which would add some nice texture to the whole thing.  Maybe next time.  I missed what price it fetched, but the winner stopped by to tell me he won it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Rough Start

This Homebase quilt has been more of a struggle than I anticipated, even before a stitch was sewn.  Pattern picked, fabric purchased in March (March!) and I started cutting pieces weeks ago.  But as I took a closer look (and feel) to some of my stash, I realized it wasn't the quality of the rest of the fabric I purchased.  I swapped them out; that's when I started to falter.  I liked the replacement grey fabric, even cutting it all to length, and then wasn't happy how it looked together.  This is a first for me - cut a bunch of fabric I won't use in the quilt and then going out to purchase replacements.  Usually I make corrections before I cut.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Return to the Potter League

One pig enters... two come home
Petfinder popped up with a single sow at the Potter League for Animals.  I called on Saturday and discovered five-year-old Jewel was still there.  Sunday morning we packed up Wedgwood, some treats, the extra carry case, and headed to the shelter.

Jewel is a pretty black-and-white Abyssinian.  She came to the shelter two weeks ago with her cage mate.  From what I've been told, they were brought in because they could no longer be cared for.  Jewel had curled toenails, a sliced ear, a large old wound on her back; gut issues and slightly underweight.  That's a first for me - every pig I've adopted before have been "slightly overweight" on their charts.  She's gained a little since being at the shelter.  Her cagemate wasn't as lucky:  her necropsy revealed a large cyst in her abdomen they believe was cancerous.

Sunday, May 6, 2018


The last bit of hay in the 20 pound box is crumbly and doesn't stay in the hay rack.  I hate to just throw it out.  Instead I stuff the short strands into a brown bag and toss it into the guinea pig cage.  Most of my sows have loved this, eating hay and destroying the bag in a number of hours.  I think Wedgwood is equally enamored with a paper bag filled with hay, but she takes a less destructive approach.  Everyone else focuses on chewing a hole in the corners, or carefully snipping down the sides or peeing until the bag simply disintegrates.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I Like Thursday: A Light Week

Last week was busy, this week has been quiet.

I like the trees!  They're changing color:  greens and pinks and whites.  Oh, lovely. 

I like that Rob mixed me up a batch of permethrin.  I sprayed down a pair of jeans, my hiking boots and a pair of socks.  It makes tick check a little easier after hiking in the woods.

Have you ever played Forbidden Island?  I really like this game.  Discovered it during one of the monthly Game Days I go to.  Up to four players, played as a team to collect treasure and get off the island before it sinks.  Doesn't hurt that the cover reminds me of Myst.  (I loved that game.)  Played Forbidden Island over the weekend and we survived!