Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long Beach Festival Shopping

Think I bought enough perle cotton?

In Absentia

Yes, folks, I was gone.  Off to Long Beach, for the Quilt Festival.  I'd been looking forward to it for months, hoping to find just the elements necessary for some crazy quilts percolating in my brain.  But if I'm off to Long Beach, should I confine myself to Long Beach?  Or should I visit relatives in the area?

I left abruptly on Thursday morning, when my dad verified that indeed he was in town and game for dinner.  I spent the day driving to Escondido, and spent the evening with him.  The only picture I thought to take was one of a succulent, growing from one of my mom's pots.  She was a prolific potter, and her work is spread around the property.  Can you tell that this one was put out before she died, and tipped over sometime in the past 12 years?  Time marches, that's for sure!  The plant is twice the size that it appears in the photo.  The pot is the only pot holding it.
From Esco, I traveled to Long Beach, arriving at the Festival around noon.  We had a lingering breakfast at A Touch of France, Daddy's favorite breakfast place.  The only picture I took in Long Beach was taken as I arrived.  I've always come in from the north, and usually on a bus.  This time I drove in from the south, through Westminster, and caught sight of the Queen Mary.
Can you see her?  Ahead of the cruise ship and behind the people?  It's not so easy to frame a photo when in the middle of traffic!

I spent about 4.5 hours at the show.  Is it bad to say I was disappointed?  Maybe I've become jaded after both Houston and Paducah within a 6 month span.  The vendors weren't vending what I was looking for - but don't worry, that doesn't mean I didn't buy, it just means I didn't buy what I had on my list.  Many of the quilts were repeats from Houston.  As I walked through the show, I thought, "I've seen that, I've seen that, I've seen that..."  Ordinarily I would have taken the time to savor and read about every one, but I knew that I had to get on the road by 4:30, if I wasn't going to sit in traffic for hours on end.  By the time I left, I'd visited every vendor, had lunch, and glanced at the majority of the quilts.  A strange quilt show experience for me.  It still has me scratching my head.

I drove to "the valley" (notice the small v) to visit my sister.  Her place is STUNNING.  It sits in a residential neighborhood, and from the outside looks like any other place.  But the inside?  I've never seen anything like it.  Well, I've seen pictures of the Getty museum, that might be something like it.  She has an eye for abstract art, and has been going nuts on Etsy.  I didn't realize they were a source of  original art as well as crafty things.  I'm going to have to shop more.  :)

She is a professional dog walker.  On Saturday, I went to work with her, hiking in the hills.  It was a light hike.  I'm not sure I could keep up with her on a tough one!
 The dogs love her, and come when she calls.  Except for Daisy and Monkey, who are both on leashes.  Daisy tends to eat rocks, Monkey runs away. 
 Let's see, can I name them all?  Timmy, Priscilla, Lucy, Bella, Clayton, Daisy, Monkey, Sneetches, Duke and Baci.  You remember Baci?  Here he is, trying out his camouflage.
And when it's time to go home?  Well, they were all tuckered out!  (That's Clayton, winking at you, and Bella giving the stare down.  Monkey is at her hip, and Daisy is staring out the window.  Sneetches blends in with the back, and Duke's ear shows in the bottom right corner.  The others had already been returned to their respective homes.  What a morning!
Before I left, I snapped a picture of one of her new fiber acquisitions.  Isn't this clever?  It's pieces of felted wool, cut into strips, and sewn down the center.  It's spectacular.  The full view doesn't give you the correct color - the close-up is more accurate.

The textures made me want to touch it, but I didn't have any white gloves.  ;)

I'm hoping to take a picture of my purchases before I unpack them.  Stay tuned 'til next time!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Bit of an Update

As I've talked to various dog people, they all ask the same thing.  "Are you going to/why haven't you put her down?"  I cringe, and think that conversation is premature.  She's had a couple of very bad weeks, with the infection, but now that the infection is gone, she's out of pain.  She's weak, she tires easily, she hasn't wanted to eat...but her tail wags fiercely, and she continues to accompany the boy as he goes about irrigating.  Yesterday we gave her half a bag of fluids, and today I was greeted at the fence!
 Does she look like she wants to be put down?  I don't think so, not today.  (Look at the ham, trying to jump into the bottom of the frame.)
She hadn't eaten in a week, but today, she gobbled a dozen French fries.  She's not allowed protein, but rice and potatoes are encouraged, along with her Rx kibble.  When it was time to close the valves, she felt good enough to soak her feet.
 Tastes good, too!
 Ross Perro needs to check in on her, to make sure she's feeling okay.   "You doin' okay?"  "I'm fine."  "Okay.  S'long as you're okay!"
"You sure you're fine?"
 yep.  So fine, that she even laid herself down in the water.  I was too slow with the camera - she got up faster than I turned it on.
And there you have it.  Thank you for everyone's kind thoughts and prayers.  We gave her another round of fluids today, and she has another visit with the vet on Friday.  She's been starved before - she weighed less when we got her - so this is nothing new.  And eating French fries?  I'm hoping that a showing of appetite is a good thing...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Face Lift

Not for me, for the house!

We've been here since 1993, and still I struggle with this place.  I've always assumed I had no sense of style, yet I've had two places that were perfect.  The first was a house we built in 1989.  Unfortunately we outgrew it.  The second is the remodel at the walnuts.  I love every bit of it, and wouldn't change a thing.

But our house?  Where we live?  My daughter summed it up perfectly.  "Mom, you bought a size 16 dress, and what you really need is a blouse.  You can't remake the thing perfectly."  You know, she's right.

That very day, I looked around the living room.  I don't like the drapes.  I chose the fabric a few years after we moved in, but I replicated the pink drapes that had hung there previously, since they had been routinely complimented.  The "new" drapes are lovely, but they're not me.  Taking them down improved the feel of the room.  Now I simply have wooden blinds, and I like it.

We remodeled one bathroom about 10 years ago, and when we did so, we replaced the floor in the second bathroom.  But the pool bathroom still has the original floor.  I am not a fan of pink, or dusty rose.  It's time to do something about it.  I went to the floor coverings store, and came home with samples.

 This is the floor as it is now.  The floor leading into the bathroom is "oak" pergo.
 I think I'd like to get something that looks like wet sand.  This is a bit too light, and looks yellow during various times of the day.
 I'm told this one is very popular.  I love the old tile floors from the early 20th century, but I think it's too light in color.  The transition from the pergo and to the outdoors is too dramatic.  And too similar to what is currently there.
This one might be the winner.  It looks exactly like wet beach sand, and transitions nicely from the pergo.  I'll go back and look at more vinyl before I decide, but I do like this one. 

I'm also fantasizing about painting some aqua waves around the room, but it might be too corny.  We'll have to see.  I grabbed some paintchips today at Lowe's, but apparently I left them behind.  I can't find them anywhere.  *sigh*  oh well.  It's not like I'm going to be starting this any time soon.  I'm still in the dream stage.  :)

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Number of Days

...teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

The Chupa news is not good.  She has a malignancy.  Today we did bloodwork, to check her kidney function.  It's just about shot.  The kidneys are going to get her, not the cancer.  We're kind of keeping vigil, as she lost another 1.5 lbs over the weekend.  :(

The pit bull now has a name that he responds to.  That would be Ross.  As in Ross Perro.  Funny, that he wouldn't come to "Rocky," but when you say, "Ross!" his ears perk up.  He continues to try to chew his way through the entire contents of the property.  He's making good headway - or bad headway, depending upon whether or not you're a fan of his chewing.

On a lighter note, when we walked out of a breakfast place over the weekend, we saw a little bird town.  Apparently the strip mall does not mind their presence.

The nests are not empty.  Count the birdies, 1, 2...  And the cycle begins anew.

The only quilting news is that when I went into my Studio today, to look for some specific items, I discovered that one of my cats left a gift in a basket full of crazy quilt accessories.  Count it all joy, 1, 2, 3.  I have three suspects, but there's nothing I can do about it, as this obviously took place quite a while ago, and I am just now making the discovery.  I'm currently washing my way through the silk velvets.  groan.

Animals.  You just gotta love 'em!

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Like Dogs

Now that is something I never thought I'd hear myself say.  "I like dogs."  ?  Really?  I used to like dogs, until I was 10 or 12.  Then my neighbor's dog, a German Shepherd that I'd known for years, came rushing out from under their house and bit the back of my leg as I was walking to their pool to swim.  The dog had had puppies.  Apparently I was a threat, even though I had no idea.  
Another neighbor had a boxer and a Saint Bernard.  One day the Saint Bernard latched onto my upper arm and wouldn't let go.  The only reason I don't have a mark is because I was wearing a sweat shirt.  From that time on, I've steered clear of dogs.  Sure.  I know that people love them, but they are aggressive.  Even in their friendliness, they jump on you and slobber all over you, and generally invade one's space.
Cats are more refined.  Cats respect my space.  They only scratch if I come after them, it's never been vice versa.
And then I met the Chupacabra.
 She was the most pathetic dog I'd ever come close to.  I've seen ugly unloved dogs before, but I'd never been inclined to touch one.  I have to say I was horrified when the menfolk put her in the car and brought her home.  Really?  Really?!!
 Life at the walnuts has been good for her.  When she came to live with us, she was over 10, missing the majority of her teeth, and in heat.  Good gravy!  How many pups has this dog given birth to?!!  We had her spayed, and in the process found out she was in kidney failure.  She eats special kidney diet dog food, to the tune of $75/bag (at cost!).  I never thought she'd last more than 6 months.
 And yet she did.  She thrived.
Until a week ago, when something went wrong.  One of her mammaries swelled up, to the point where she was having trouble walking.  It came up suddenly.  We called hubby, the cow vet, to come and see.  He gave her some medication, but it didn't seem to be helping.  Yesterday, we took her to the dog vet.  She's now on high-powered antibiotics, and doggie motrin.  Poor girl.  Her tail still wags, but she's lost a LOT of weight, and she doesn't like to move much.  The vet thinks it's a massive infection, so we're in wait and see.  He wants to see her again on Monday, so we're hopeful that she'll pull through.  In the meantime, she is confined to quarters (something she's not happy about) and being watched like a hawk.  If her kidneys crash, it won't be good.

Just thought you'd like to know.

I suddenly discover that I like dogs.  Who woulda thunk?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An Inspirational Equation

Yard Art from Mildenberg, Germany (2008)

 Plus going off assignment (bottom center) in class (bad quilter!)
Class with Cynthia Corbin, Empty Spools, 2009
 Plus the 2012 Hoffman Challenge Fabric

"Crazy For Tradition"
24 x 30"
machine pieced, hand appliqued, hand quilted, hand embellished, beaded
Suzanne Kistler, 2012

*The "new" (a few months old) Blogger seems to have its own way of combining text and pictures.  Try as I might, I am unable to figure it out.  what a mess!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

30 Years Ago

She rocked my world.  (Picture taken when she was about 16 hours old.)

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Couple of Cards

Tomorrow is my daughter's 30th birthday.  The card is in the mail.  Tomorrow is my brother's 19th wedding anniversary.  The card is in my head.  :)
 Blogger may be "new and improved," but it's still flipping pictures willy nilly. 
 This came in the mail for me a couple of days ago.  I liked the wrapping, a lot.
 The contents were even better.  The vase is similar to some glassware that my mom had when we were growing up.  This is one level taller than hers.
Finally, I finished the quilting and beading of my Hoffman.  It is currently drying.  I'm trying to get it to lie somewhat flat.   I'm scared to get it very wet, as most of the silk ribbons and embellishments state that they are not colorfast. 
Tomorrow I bind, sleeve, label and ship.  My label and sleeve are ready, and I've picked out the binding fabric.  Perhaps, if all goes well, I will be done by noon.  Goals are good!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guild Meeting

Yesterday's guest speaker at guild was Andi Perejda.  I've been a fan for years.  She does wonderful handwork, which is for the most part original.  (She showed a Hawaiian quilt from a pattern.)  Click on the above link, to find out more.
I took this picture, because it made me smile.  She matches her quilt.  When I showed her, she assured me it was unintentional.  :) 
 This quilt was made from purchased antique blocks.  What a clever idea!
 I liked this fabric.  She told me where to get it.  I'm going to have to look into that...
 Betsy showed this quilt during show & tell.  I love the way the white pops the color of the "dark" logs.  It makes me feel cooler.  :)
Inspiration can be found in the strangest places.  I like the stripy colors of this tank top, and the way the narrow bands of white both break them up and tie them together.
 And finally, how hot is it?

It is so hot that the Bird of Paradise now looks like Malificient as the Dragon, in Disney's Sleeping Beauty.  Does anyone else see the resemblance?
And on that, it's time to get back to that Hoffman.  It needs to be in Colorado one week from today.  Goals are good!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm Melting...

Some things enjoy the heat more than others.  The amaranth (red) and the quinoa (green) are those that enjoy it.
 The amaranth is lovely.  Maybe I should plant some along my east fence.  If it can handle the heat/sun, I would be delighted!
 Look at that determination!  I don't know if you can see the stem, but it is literally hanging by a thread.  It lost when it collided with the pit bull.
 yoo hoo, Horticulturists!  Does anyone know what this is?  It popped up in the middle of the quinoa, and seems to be happy.  Because it is thriving, I think it's a weed.  We're in watch, wait, and see mode.

Apparently it's so hot, even birdies are busting out of their shells.  I found this on the orchard floor yesterday.  The day before, I found a blue shell.  Unfortunately I did not have my camera in tow.
 It's so hot, it makes a fellow want to bite something.
 Hey!  Don't give her ALL the attention!
 There, now.  That's what I'm saying.  It is so hot that us older folks need to soak our ankles.  It takes down the swelling, doncha know?
Thank you to Tammie, for the suggestion of vinegar to remove odors.  I'd done it with the sheets I'd dried the Log Cabin quilt on, and it worked.  Yesterday I soaked the quilt in a cool vinegar bath in the tub for over an hour.  More of the color came out, but so did 90% of the odor.  It now has a subtle fragrance of "age," rather than "you'll die if you sniff me."  :)  Thank you so much!  I would have emailed my thanks, but didn't find an address link.

Now I'm back to work on my Hoffman.  I shouldn't have procrastinated.  Seriously.  It's too hot to quilt.  bleah!  Someone get the mop, I'm melting!  I'm melting!