Saturday, December 31, 2022

Finishes for 2022

Lots of completed quilts this year.  I participated in all of the Project Quilting challenges.  I also had four sandwiched quilts at the end of last year that I finished this year.  Whew!

Tablet cover, Storm at Sea heart, zig-zag mug rugs
black cat, flying geese circle, tea pot and cups and more flying geese

Thursday, December 29, 2022

I Like Thursday: End of the Year

I always have a bunch of posts at the end of the year with finished Christmas projects, my blogiversary and year-in-review.  Whew!  It's hard to find the time to write them all; I never think to do them earlier.  So the last week of the year is always chockablock full of happy things.  I have plenty to share with LeeAnna's I Like Thursday.

Even with all the rain on Friday we had a white Christmas.  Our sump filled from all the rain runoff, froze, then was covered with sparkly snow.  It was really quite pretty, and I liked the patterns around the edges (the water level must have gone down as it froze).

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Leafy Sweatshirt


Years ago I raw-edge appliqued a sweatshirt with colorful leaves.  The sweatshirt is now well worn and most of the leaves are falling off.  It's heading for the recycle bin one of these days.

I happened to mention to my mom I might attempt to re-make the sweatshirt.  She said she'd love one. I started on the leaves while she found a sweatshirt her size (you can see the original sweatshirt and my first leaves here.)

The new leaves are slightly larger than my original design.  When I first pinned on the new leaves onto my mother's petite sweatshirt, they dominated the entire sweatshirt.  The colors popped but it was overwhelming!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Blogiversary #12

A dozen years of blogging.  I had no idea when I started a blog I'd still be at it this long.  I'm still enjoying writing and sharing some of the fun things in life. 

I did a bunch of quilting early in the year (which will show up in its own post on Saturday).  Only a handful of foster guinea pigs - far less than last year!  We took the summer off from fostering while the kitchen was remodeled.  But one of our fosters, Mark, was a TV star!  

The kitchen and the pandemic interfered with my cooking portion of this blog as well.  I'm still figuring out where everything belongs in the kitchen, but it has been nice to bake again.  I'm looking forward to trying out some of the oh-so-many recipes I have bookmarked.

Dancing started up this summer and it's been wonderful to see old familiar faces and share the joy of kicking up our heels.  I've slowly been getting together again with friends. 

Fingers crossed for 2023:  I'd love to blog about lots of quilting projects, my garden, Chick Events, fun fosters and cooking in the new kitchen.  Thank you all who read and comment on my blog.  

Sunday, December 25, 2022

A Kobold Thief

My Christmas ornaments have varied a lot over the years.  This guy may not be in the holiday spirit, but he's a handsome devil.

I recently found out my nephew plays D&D.  Cool!  I asked him about his character:  a kobold thief.  Kobolds are small reptilian humanoids.  I decided his character would be a fun ornament to make.  It was!

I had ideas for weeks before I started.  It took me a few false starts to get the right colors and re-hydrate my old clay.  (Every year I wonder if I'm going to have to get a whole new set of Sculpey.)  He was simply legs and body for a while, until I figured out what his proportions should be.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

I Like Thursday: It's Really Winter

The solstice was on Wednesday, so it's officially winter.  Just in time for some wintry likes with LeeAnna and friends at I Like Thursday.

We got in the holiday spirit by attending Winterlights at Naumkeag.  It was a cold and blustery night.  Rob thought the cold might keep people away.  I figured people would dress for it.  

The shuttle bus was packed!  Lots of excited kids.  Everyone was bundled up (the person who checked us in was plugged in with electric heat under her coat).

Thursday, December 15, 2022

I Like Thursday: Giving and Getting Goodies

Wow, I am such a sucker for alliteration.  

Lots of good stuff this week.  Our guinea pig foster, Mark, was adopted after his TV spot (see more about that here).  When we dropped Mark off at Dakin, we picked up two more guinea pigs.  It was also an excuse to stop at Ceratto's.  Rob had bemoaned that he didn't pick up any marzipan on his last trip.  Just look at them!  Yes, even that mini cannoli is marzipan.  Check out the glitter on that plum.  Crazy.

Our newest fosters, the Cheeses (Bleu and Provolone), have been settling in.  We have zoomies at night and they've just started to wheek when I'm in the kitchen.  They're still terribly shy, but it's progress.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Finally Binding

This quilt has taken months to get quilted, which is frustrating for a project that should have been no more than a couple of hours.  It was a mixture of life getting in the way, along with technical difficulties and a lack of motivation (that said difficulties made worse).  I had a block of time this weekend to doggedly apply myself to the problem.  Yay!  Breakthrough!

It took hours to get the first two thirds of this quilted.  I'd quilt a foot or two, then the machine would start skipping stitches.  The more I quilted, the more times I'd need to stop, pick stitches, bury threads and start again.  Checked needle, thread, tension, traded bobbins.  Trading bobbins seemed to work briefly before failing again.  That seemed to indicate the problem was somewhere down there.  I pulled apart the entire bobbin mechanism and found two tiny pieces of packed lint (I love the instructions that come with these old machine!).  I cleaned it, reassembled, and suddenly was in business again.  The last third was quilted in well less than an hour.  Sheesh - the first part took hours of work.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Another Pig Swap

Foster Mark has left the building.  A quick recap:  my write up of Mark's holiday photos made drew the attention of Dakin's media relations person.  Rob stepped into his guinea pig taxi role and delivered Mark to star on WWLP Mass Appeal's pet of the week on Thursday afternoon.  Door-to-door service and his own personal handler - what a star!

I had no idea Mark would be quite that active.  Or talkative.  And 24 hours later I got the call that he was adopted.  It was sad to see Mark go; he was a fun piggy.  I hope his new owners love him as much as I did!

The morning routine with Mark was so much fun.  I tried to capture it (I'm getting a second light for the cage, which should make future videos a bit more clear).  Mark would pretty much do this the entire time I cleaned the fleece. 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

I Like Thursday: A Busy Season

Time to link up with LeeAnna's I Like Thursday for my weekly likes.  I need to focus on some good stuff, since the short days, rainy weather and being pulled in a dozen directions is fraying my calm.

I put up our Christmas candles in the sunroom.  I had to work around a tomato plant and some kale that just keep right on going!  I've never had a tomato last this long - there's at least five of them still on the plant (although I may need to bring them in for any hopes of them ripening).  Ha!  Maybe I should put Christmas lights on the tomato plant?  Wouldn't that be festive!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Fostering Mark

Our foster guinea pig, Mark, is still hanging out with us.  He's become very familiar with our routine - when I get up in the morning, when we go to the kitchen.  His most interesting time to wheek at us is just as a show that we're watching has ended.  I'm not sure if it's the end credits, or the sounds of the TV or how we move, but he'll start wheeking for treats before we even get up from the couch!

However, his longish stay with us landed him as our subject for the annual holiday photo shoot.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

I Like Thursday: December


I liked having a few days off after Thanksgiving.  Baked a lot of cookies.  Finished some yard work.  Attended a cookie party!  Aunts, cousins and second cousins got together for the first time in two years.  Yay!  We swapped cookies and decorated gingerbread houses.   

Quite the collection, wouldn't you say?