Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Welcome Home!

It's like I never left.  But I did.  And I'll leave again, soon.  :)

But for now, chores await.  Number one priority has been to "Pixel-proof" the front yard at the walnuts.  How to do it has been the question.  How, indeed.

My sister is a Master Dog Whisperer, and cares for them deeply.  Her house is dog-centric.  When I visited back in May, I saw what she had done, to keep a 4 lb Yorkie enclosed.  She welded expanded metal to her wrought iron gate, then painted it to match.

 You probably have to click on the photo, to see the expanded metal addition.  We have 10 panels to go, we still need to weld the bar across the top, and we still need to paint.  But by the end of the week, the front yard might just be Pixel-proof.

Another thing happening out at the walnuts is the latest pair of strays.  They showed up last week, looking quite ragged.  Their tails wag constantly, they are thrilled to see us, but they are skittish.  I've dubbed them "Hansel and Gretel."

They absolutely would not hold still for a picture.  Their tails wagged constantly, and they were jumping all over each other.  My guess is that they are litter mates, and they were dumped.

I was able to catch Gretel - the one with the rasta hair - and take her to the vet yesterday, hoping that she had a chip.  She does not.  He said she is a young dog, definitely under a year.  She's covered in ticks and has tapeworms, but we vaccinated her and dosed her for the ticks/fleas/worms, etc., with Trifexis and Droncit.  Same with her brother.  (He's intact, she does not appear to be pregnant.  yet.)

The plan is to take her to the groomer next week, once the ticks are dead, and shave her down.  Hopefully Hansel will be tame enough by then for the same treatment, or at least a good bath.  Then we'll take their pictures and post them with the Clinic. Perhaps there is someone out there looking for a pair of dogs.  She is 15 lbs, he's a bit smaller, maybe 12?

We're keeping them outside the fence, but giving them water and some food.  They're loving little dogs.  Want them?  They'd love a happy home.  Pixel is quite jealous of the attention they are receiving.

Back at the house house, I've basted two quilts, trimmed 4 of the 12 strips that I pieced last week, and finished the hand applique on my Thimble Towne Challenge.  I have two more quilts to baste and 8 strips to trim...and two quilts that really need to be quilted NOW.  It's hard to do only one thing at a time, and keep the momentum going.  But the fence has been waiting for months upon months, so this is the week we are focusing on getting it up.

I got home around 3pm.  When I dragged the garbage can to the back of the house, I discovered that one of my Naked Ladies is blooming!
Elaine B gave them to me at least 3 years ago.  This is the first time any of them have bloomed.  woohoo!  I can't wait to see what she looks like!  ;)

 I also found this gorgeous box waiting on my doorstep:
Elaine S., you are an angel!  Thank you!!!

It's good to be back.  :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jiggety Jog

Home again, home again...oh.  my.  I left a moist overcast 65 degrees - complete with a threat of rain - in La Jolla, and arrived 12 hours later to a moist, heavily muggy 87 degrees at 10:45pm in Visalia.  I really had to ask myself why I came back.  Really?  I drove 12 hours for this?

Good thing home has more to offer than weather, even though this summer has kept weather awareness on the forefront.  I think part of it is that I'm a lot older than I was even 10 years ago, so I don't bounce back the way I used to.  I feel it more.  Boy, do I feel it!

When I set out for LaJolla, I had four goals:
1)  Completely construct green tree-ish art quilt top, for Sew Eclectic Design Board Challenge.
2)  Completely construct 25 backgrounds for surfboards, and begin writing pattern.
3)  Finish hand applique for Thimble Towne Color Challenge.
4)  Finish cutting and constructing 12 strips of background for this year's (hopeful) show quilt.

Three outta four ain't bad.
1)  Green top:  DONE
2)  Surfboard Backgrounds:  DONE
4)  12 pieced strips for background:  DONE
3)  Hand Applique for Thimble Towne Color Challenge:  not quite done.

I'll give you a sneak peek, on what I'm up to, first the inspiration, then the interpretation:

I am thrilled with the productivity allowed by relief from the weather. 

Yesterday, I hoped to baste 3 quilts, and trim the 12 pieced background strips from Goal #4.

I basted 1 baby quilt, and trimmed 2 strips.  It was almost 100, and quite humid.  That made it tough to get motivated, even though I have very little time for quilting in August.  I have to make the most of the remainder of July.

I'll leave you with pictures of one of my stops on my trip back north.  I was driving through Oceanside, in search of thrift shops as a source of Hawaiian shirts for the surfboard quilt.  I stopped at AmVets, but didn't find any to my liking.  On my way to AmVets, I spotted a banner that said, "Vintage Marketplace - today!"  I turned around and went back.

What looked like an abandoned building, had been transformed for the weekend.  Apparently they do this a couple of times each month.  My timing was excellent!

Various vendors had set up throughout the space, and there was a communal checkout desk in the back.  Simply delightful.  I found a few treasures, that were irresistible:
  I've been fascinated by Franki's succulent wall, as seen on her blog, here.  I've wanted to try it, but hesitated to make the commitment, because of our harsh weather.  The basket was the perfect way to experiment, and see if the plants can survive.

I could not resist the giant S.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I couldn't walk past it without appropriating it.
My third and final purchase was this chunk of antique coral.  I'd been looking for a piece, to put with the large conch from San Carlos, and the watercolor from Monterey.  Now I should probably think about framing the watercolor.

And that's about the end of my week away.  It was glorious, but it's already fading into a distant memory.
Until next time...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Keeping On Track

So. Day #5 of my escape from the heat.  go, go, go!  That's been the order of business.  Sure, I've got my sewing goals, but oh my.  There are SO many distractions!

First, I will show you proof that I have knocked Goal #2 off of the list:
There you go.  What had earlier looked like this:
Has been cut, stitched, pressed, and turned into 25 background blocks for a surfboard quilt.  For those of you asking for a pattern, it is finally in the works.  yay!

Today's project is to transform this:

into 6" strips that will be cut and cut and cut again, and mixed and matched and pieced and pressed and...well, I have great plans for Goal #4.  Perhaps, by the end of tomorrow, I will have completed the background of this organic quilt.  :)

Goal #3 is progressing quite nicely.  It's to get the top for the Thimble Towne Color Challenge ready for quilting.  Two of the four applique are secure.  Two down, two to go.  And two more evenings of hand-stitching and movie-watching are on the docket.

In the meantime, it's SO easy to get distracted. 

 Last night's distractions included dinner with my sister and my dad.  They seem to be VERY interested in the progress of the Dodgers.  :)
It's a good week.

Back to production!  :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yesterday, I Saw the Sun

I spent much more time wandering around town with my friend Jan, than I did sewing.

Okay, enough of the distraction.  It's 9am, "quiet hours" are at an end, and I can rev up the sewing machine.  I'm past the halfway mark on Goal #2, I should be finished by noon, at the latest.  woohoo!  More pictures tomorrow, maybe even pictures of Goal #2!  Goals are good!  (Especially in the midst of such distractions!)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Goals vs. Dreams

Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey?  He a financial counselor with a radio show.  His primary goal is to help people achieve financial freedom by getting out of debt.  completely.  Even the house.  I love to listen to him talk to people.  Doesn't matter the amount of debt, the steps are always the same.

Anyway, I was listening to him as I drove south on Friday, and he was having a fascinating discussion with a guy who wrote a book called Rich Habits.  (Remind me to check on that when I'm done here.)  Part of the conversation broke down the difference between goals and dreams.

"I want to lose weight," without a plan, is simply a dream.  Goals are concrete.  They are set, they are written down on paper, and you determine the steps it takes to reach the end.  Wow.  I knew that stuff, but merely on an intuitive level.  I may tell myself "I want to...whatever," but unless I start making a plan and moving forward, I can be pretty sure it's never going to happen.

Like, "I want to travel/vacation/get away for a while."  Over this past year, I made plans, and followed through on them.  I think I've been gone more in the past 9 months than the previous 5 years combined!  I stopped dreaming, and started doing.

If you've ever stopped by this blog, you know that my favorite phrase is "Goals are good!"  They can be little goals or big, they can be short term or lifetime, but without setting the goals in the first place, for me, it's never going to happen.

When I packed to come down here, I thought about the week.  What, exactly, did I want to accomplish?  I brought five projects with me.  I'd love to finish three of them, and make a lot of progress on the fourth.  The fifth came along, just in case I blew it and forgot something more than my hairbrush and my socks.  (I think they're still on the bed.)

So far, I have conquered Goal #1, which was to "sew out the quilt that has been in my brain since I first saw Barbara Daniel's design board in March."  whew!  Do you even know what I am talking about?  It our Sew Eclectic Design Board Challenge.  I was so wrapped up in the quilt show and the Calico Mermaid Challenge that I filed away "Inspired by Barbara D," sewing date TBD.  Yesterday was the day.

I'll have to admit that I had a tough time achieving my goal.  I finished it at noon today, rather than bedtime last night.  I spent too much time walking around town, looking at everything.  This place is amazing.

This is Barbara D's board.  (There are two Barbaras in the group, just to make it fun.)
I dreamt about it the night I got it.  Funny, because in looking back, it now says "wood."  When I first got it, it said "trees" and "overgrown greenery, with a few flowers thrown in for good measure."

I imagined a foundation pieced quilt, of radiating rays of green, reaching down like the branches of pine trees.  Bear with me.  I'm trying to sound like an Artist.  ;)

Anyhoo, I drew the pattern months ago, and cut and sewed the thing during the past 26 hours.  I'm not sure if I'll add anything besides quilting.  My goal was to get this far, and now I'm done. 
Check #1 off the list.

Stay tuned for Goal #2.  It's a doozy!

In the meantime, here is some LaJolla eye candy to satisfy those left behind.

Okay, I'm getting carried away.  I'll leave you with one reason to be happy you are NOT here.
I don't know if you can see the bottom board, but the price for regular "full serve" is $5.69!  And you can see that there is actually a car at the pump, paying these prices!  Wow.  They must have a company gas card, or be totally on "E"!  (It's 30 cents cheaper at Chevron, 2 blocks away.)