Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hair Today...

So I showed you the picture of Miss Kitty a month ago.  She hung around for a week, we took her to the vet, had her spayed, and two days later, she disappeared.  All gone, no road kill to be found, just *poof*, disappeared.
The next to arrive was the pit bull.  He hung around, we took him to the vet, removed his ticks, started introducing him to friends, and yesterday, he disappeared.  All gone, no road kill to be found, just *poof*, disappeared.
I'm starting to wonder if someone is dropping off their pets (both animals were obviously well-loved by people before we met them), hoping that we will see to their veterinary needs.  If so, I guess they were right.
Yes, things are disappearing around here.
Meet Adam Lockless.  :)
He's been growing his hair for two years, with the intent to donate to Locks of Love.  Yesterday was Hair Day.  And *poof* it was gone.
 ooh!  Be careful of that neck.  The sun is going to be mighty toasty on that unsheltered skin.  It's been two years since the two have crossed paths.  But with the weather pushing 100 (right now it is 99), gone is good!  :)
I'm also happy to report that I started embellishing yesterday's block, and pieced a second block this morning.  I think this idea just might get me going!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stumbling Forward

Thank you for the encouragement regarding my creative block.  I've decided that to move forward, I have to move.  And so I did.
This is what remains in my "purple & grey scraps box."  It's a Rubbermaid shoe box.  If you know what that is, you know that it's not very big.
 I knew I had amazing packing skills.  When I unpacked the purples (I left the greys and the solids and the less than 50% purples in the box), the scraps covered my sewing table.  holy moly, that's a lot of scraps.
 I went back to the drawing board.  Then I went to Thimble Towne, and bought some muslin, for a foundation.  After dinner, I snipped and stitched.  Thirty minutes later I had this base.  I probably shouldn't have trimmed it to size (6.5" square), as I have more trimming to do.  But wow.  This felt good. 
hmmm.  I might just have something by mid-July after all.  Goals are good!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spinning My Wheels

Despite all of the creative input over the past several months and all of the quilt shows and all of the quilt show purchases, my well of creativity seems to be nonexistent.  I don't know what it is, but I don't "feel" like doing anything.
I WANT to be doing something, but I don't FEEL like it.  It's the blahs or doldrums or something.  For these times, I grab stacks of Komforters for Kids, to sew my way into creativity.  Over the past week, I finished 7.  I'm still in the doldrums.
 Maybe if I wash more lace, doilies, and hankies?   ooh!  aah!  These things are beautiful!  (And I thought they were already beautiful when they were yellowed with age!)
 The crocheted laces (probably cut from doilies) were purchased at an estate sale last year.  The doily was my grandmother's.
 I pulled out paper and pencil to work on my 2012 Hoffman Challenge.  This is as far as I got.
I have a box of triangles, cut from making binding.  Yeah, I know.  It's a lot of triangles.  I do a lot of binding.  :)  I guess that means I've made a lot of quilts?  ;)  This is the box after I sewed together triangle sets for several hours yesterday.
 I sewed my way through "Much Ado About Nothing," and "Good Will Hunting."  These blocks are the result.  I have no use for them as yet.  They will move from the triangle box to the UFO box.  I remember I thought I was clever a few years back, when I renamed it The Box of Possibilities.  It's back to being UFO's, as I can't even remember the last time I pulled anything out of there.  oh well.
And that's my weekend in a nut shell.  Busy, busy, busy work.  And not a lot to show for it.  Perhaps this week will be more productive?  One can certainly hope so!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I Spy!

Thank you to Sara, for letting me know that one of my quilts is on The Quilt Show radar. 

If you'd like to see it, go to this link, and hit "play."  I believe mine is the second quilt shown...


Friday, May 25, 2012

A Few Cards

I should have spent yesterday working/cleaning/being responsible.  Instead, I made cards.
This one is for my son.  He asked me to make a card to thank some folks he stayed with over New Year's.  ummm, yeah.  Better late than never?
 This one is for a friend who graduated from COS yesterday.  (the local community college.)  I don't know if she'll catch the "school of fish" I added...but I thought it was fun.  :)
 Of the three, this is my favorite.  It's the first finished piece from the vest I chopped up last week.  It makes me smile.  :)
And that's what I've got for you today.  It's so good to be playing with needles and thread again!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Solar Tubes

For years I've said, "I live in a cave."  Most people have a hard time believing me.  But once they've seen my house, they've understood.  I've tolerated it for almost 19 years, but now that the kids are past school and I am home a lot, I can't take it any more.  Too dark, too depressing.  You don't believe me?  These pictures were taken, without flash, in the middle of the day.

 Could you live in this?

Yesterday I did something about it.  I hired my walnut contractor to install some solar tubes in my ceiling. 
"Let there be light!"
 Again I took photos, without a flash.  The difference is INCREDIBLE!! 

 The only drawback is that now that I can actually see what the room holds, I might just have to be more diligent about keeping it clean!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SAQA Auction Donation Quilt

The deadline is almost here for the submission of quilts for the annual SAQA fundraising online auction.  The quilts need to be there by 6/1/12, which is right around the corner.  I could ask, "What happened to May?!" but that's a whole other topic.  :)
Anyhoo, I've been trying to come up with something/anything to donate.  Yesterday, I finally made a decision/commitment.  It's supposed to be an Art Quilt, and I struggle with Art.  Design, no problem.  But Art?  It's a stumbling block.
Back in 2011, I went to Asilomar, and took a class with Jeannette DeNicolis Meyer.  This woven piece was one of our assignments.
 Some time last year, I quilted the weaving, and added some accents.  It's been hanging on my design wall every since, looking/waiting for inspiration.  Inspiration hit when I realized it was more than 12" square, and I could cut it down for a SAQA donation.  Chop, chop!  I pulled out the rotary cutter.
 This is the result:  a 12" square, with a splash of color.
Try as I might, I just can't seem to bring myself to collage with abandon.  I am too straight-laced, too uptight, and too set in my ways.  I wanted to be "organic," I've got raw edges all over the place, but my favorite part?  It's the smooth finished ribbon and lace.

The funny thing is that, if someone else had done this, I'd probably love it without qualifiers.  But to say that I made it?  Well, it just doesn't feel right.  Then again, it IS finished, and it IS something.  Let's hope that it speaks to someone else in sweeter tones than it does to me.

And that's all I've got, folks.  'Til the next time.

P.S.  Sorry about the margins and jumping back and forth from centered to left justification.  Blogger seems to make its own choices as to how to arrange my text.  I'm just lucky I can get it in there at all!!  mutter, mutter, "improvements"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Great Stuff

Have you heard about this amazing stuff called Retro Clean?  I first heard about it at Houston.  It's supposed to rejuvenate your old linens, or something to that effect.  Oh my, does it ever!  This little doily was the same color as the ironing board.  The drape with the embroidery had been even darker.  They soaked for an afternoon, and came out sparkling.  I am a believer.  :)
 I've been stumped when it comes to the Hoffman Challenge.  I'm not a fan of the fabric, but then I say that every year.  I had an idea that I thought would work, but when I pulled the things out of the box, they weren't what I thought they were.  Back to the drawing board.  I had another idea yesterday.  This is what I've got to show for  a few hours of fiddling.  Don't ask.  I may not finish it.
I've been very pleasantly surprised with the new walk-on dog. 

I'm not much of a dog person - I tend to attract cats - but I do have a soft spot for abandoned critters.  Being a pit bull, and intact, he has two massive strikes against him.  Yesterday we took him to the vet.  The doctor pulled off another 2 dozen ticks (to add to the 8 my son pulled off last week), and declared him to be a beautiful young dog.  "Keep him!" 

When a vet tells you he'd much rather work with a pit bull than a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Chow, or Doberman, I listen.  Frankly, they all scare me.  But today was the selling point.  I was out at the walnuts (without my camera) and watched young Rocky sparring with Chupa.  It was the most gentle dog wrestling, playing I've ever seen.  He seems to know that she's fragile, even if she doesn't.  He gives what he gets (she's trying to gum him to oblivion) and she doesn't seem to be in any danger.   I think he's found a home, unless his owners show up to claim him.

oh, and the ticks?  Apparently they are beginning to invade the valley.  The vet said he never used to see them, but now he sees them more and more.  bummer.  One more thing to be aware of...

Friday, May 18, 2012

One Man's Trash

What is it about my pictures that causes Blogger to flip them?  They are taken straight on, they are loaded onto my computer in proper orientation, but when I upload them on Blogger?  Kapow!  Flipped that!  grrr.  Makes me mighty annoyed!
As I was saying, "One man's trash...another man's treasure.
My neighbors are having an estate sale.  I can never resist, so I wandered over and did not come home empty handed.
 I LOVE embroidered pillow cases.  I have a stack of them that I've purchased here and there.  I'm going to try out a product called "Retro Clean," to see if it works as advertised, to restore vintage linens and remove discoloration.  I bought the stuff, now I just need to use it.
 The ironstone cream pitcher was $1.  The cloisonne dragon vase (my son-in-law is a Year of the Dragon baby) was $2.  Can't beat those bargains, can you?
I bought the shell necklace with the intent to dismantle it for beading/shelling a small quilt.  And the small, stuffed silk-screened butterfly?  I thought I recognized the work.  I turned it over to find "KA TA" on the back.  I know Kata.  I'm guessing this did not originally sell for $.75, but it did today.  And it is now mine.

Not bad for $7 and a walk across the street, no?

I left behind the GORGEOUS oak dining table with 6 chairs for $600.  If it's still there tomorrow, I may play "Let's Make a Deal."  It's not like I NEED a table, but it's well made with sturdy chairs.  And there you go.

I'd best get to work.  Have a good one!

P.S.  I will call the pound today, to see if anyone is looking for the pit bull.  But I won't bring him in or drop him off.  He's a very nice dog, and not deserving of death. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Animal Update

This has been a busy week for animals at the walnuts.  Remember Miss Kitty?  After hanging out for a week, I scooped her up, took her to the vet, and had her spayed and given shots.  She disappeared two days later.  Hopefully she found her way back to where she came from, and was welcomed with open arms because of her recent surgery.  I hate to consider the alternative.

A second cat (wee kitten) also appeared, but had to be put down because of disease.

Today, it is a dog.  *sigh*
 He is very friendly, and Chupa LOVES him.  Then again, Chupa seems to love all male dogs.  She hates female dogs, and will try to run them off quite aggressively.  Not this guy.  She wants to keep him.  *sigh*
 We started irrigating last night.  Chupa must be part Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the way she LOVES the water.  The stray seems to like it too.  "Come on in, the water's fine!"
Chupacabra likes the dog, but Mr. Cat does not.  He has been quite put out by the appearance of other animals.  This is HIS pad, he found it first, and he hates to share.
 The dog and the cat face off.  This is as close as they got.
 Our guess is that the dog comes from a home where he is well-loved.  He doesn't have a collar, but he has two bite-marks on his neck.  My guess is that someone is looking for him, but I have no idea how to track them down.  Anyone know someone missing their Pit Bull?  He's young, friendly, and intact.  And I can't take him to the pound, because if I do, I will probably walk out with more animals than I bring in.  I've stopped by 4 times, looking for Miss Kitty, and there are two cats (one adult, one kitten) that have my attention big time.  As everyone knows, the last thing I need is another cat.  or two.  So I will stay home, and supply the dog with food, until its owner comes looking.  Let's hope he/she comes soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today's Tasks

I've once again pulled this UFO out from the depths of the closet.  I started it in the mid-90's (early 90's?), finishing the top around 1998 or '99.  It's my on-again off-again (mostly off-again) hand quilting project.  Perhaps this will be the year I will finish it.  Goals are good.

And during the day?  I'm working on a quilt-for-hire, and trying to prepare for a yard sale in 2 weeks.  Once again, goals are good.  The ultimate goal?  To clear out enough for new carpet.  Stop laughing.  Okay, so I KNOW it's like moving, and I KNOW it's not fun.  But the carpet was installed in of the few things older than this UFO.

Goals are good!  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Happy Girl

For Mother's Day, we traveled.  Grampa wanted to see Penny, and actually found time to do it.  He couldn't get enough of the little girl.
She is more than willing to stand independently, but won't walk.  She doesn't crawl either.  After watching her, we know it is by choice, not because she can't.  Here she's telling him all about the toys on the other side of the room.
And then there was the cape.  She kept draping it over her shoulders.  Perhaps it is the source of her super power?  She can get Grampa to do anything she wants.
 Uncle has some cool shades.  She was fascinated by them.
We went to the park, and she sat on the slide.
 You don't think I want to slip down this thing do you?  That would be crazy!
Grampa was determined to teach her to walk. 
Oh, Penelope.  You're supposed to test everything, not taste everything!
 Here you go Mama.  YOU taste it!  :)
And that's what we did on Sunday.  Hope your Mother's Day was filled with good memories!

Sunday, May 13, 2012