Thursday, June 30, 2011

The joys of country living- and a sewing day!

Welcome to July! Not that the flip flops aren't cute, but I wonder why no one can think of interesting motifs for the summer months???

 I have been asked for updates on the critter story.  The raccoon has not been sighted since there was a very loud noise aimed in his direction last week around this time.  (actually I think it was a momma and babies).  I didn't do it, but it seems to have worked.  The red squirrel is going to meet a similar sound very soon.

The robins are trying to build a new nest for the second hatch of the season, and think my front porch is a prime location.  The ledges above the doors and windows are all of 2 1/2 inches wide and the darned birds keep hauling in dry grass mixed with mud and leaving a mess.  So I started by employing my dress form, who I call Ethyl, to stand guard.  That worked,but Ethyl is not made for rain.  Once she came inside the robins came back.  Plan B- used cd's and plan C wires sticking up to prevent them building were not effective at all. (In fact , the wire seems to have made nice "rebar" for the foundation of the nest).

So I pondered a way to make the ledge smaller and hit on a solution that is working so far.  Yup, Cheerios boxes cut to bow out and block the ledge. It's a lovely decoration as well, don't you think?
There are bunnies everywhere, but I haven't found any babies so far.  I hope we don't find them with the mower!!!
I hope no one gets the impression I don't like sharing my habitat with the wildlife!!   I love watching the bunnies frolic, having the occasional frog in my rain barrel (which is sunk into the ground), and especially things like the Yellow Warbler's nest we discovered last weekend!
The destructive ones just have to be shown their boundaries.  :-)

OOPS- forgot to rotate. 

Meanwhile, during the week of rain we had, I found time to sew!!!  I had an actual sewing day, where I wandered from one project to the next with merry abandon.
This is the project I worked on at the Guild UFO day- my first One Block Wonder.  I never got around to putting the top together once I got the block laid out.  This is a long skinny quilt that will either dress up my new office or warm my side only of the bed when it is needed.  The borders are a nice purple that I would not have chosen but for some friends who made me see how perfect it was!

Just some random bits made from scraps and strips.  Not sure what they'll be yet.

I learned to make "Kanzashi" flowers last week. The first one matched this bag I made last year, so I moved into the bag to show it off.

"Posey Tote" with Kanzashi flower

This is from a "Liberated Quiltmaking class I took with Janet Root a year ago April.  I made my blocks into a cover for the little shelves in the studio.  The Patchwork looked so nice there I have never had the incentive to quilt them, but decided it was time!  I'm playing with fillers and straight line quilting for now.

I just remembered a looming deadline, so I will have to put this aside and do that in my next sewing session.

I am grateful for:
How much Jake loved his quilt!
Lunch with some friends and a nice break in my road trip.
Magnum ice cream bars (double chocolate!)
Cool nights.
My deep blue funk has passed for the moment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Critters and UFO's and wearable art!

 A jacket by Paula Schultz, Inspired by Matisse.
I haven't had much sewing time myself lately, so I really enjoyed a day of sewing with friends and being inspired at the meeting of the Museum Quilt Guild last weekend.

Paula from Cottons, etc in Oneida brought a great selection of her award winning work.  The "runway addicts" projects are LOTS of fun, and you'll never look at a fishing lure the same way again!

Those aren't beads, they are swivels for fishing lures!

After the jacket I made which gave me such headaches, I shouldn't be thinking of trying another garment anytime soon.  But I sure got a lot of great ideas that are wanting to come out and play!

Can this garden be saved????
It has been a tough year in the garden so far.  First it was so wet I couldn't work the soil.  The weeds got a giant head start and are laughing at my attempts to catch up.   Now I am also battling the critters!
As you know, I couldn't work the one bed because of the baby robins, who flew away last week.  I hope they're ok out in the big bad world!
Then a varmint of some sort decided to start digging up the plants in my flower pots on my porches.  (The same flowers I grew FROM SEED on a table in my dining room last winter!)  I have been patient, filling in the holes, spraying tabasco in an effort to deter them.  But today I found some of my zinnias tossed out of the pots and left to die. This means all out war. ( and I know where there are some varmint guns!)

Add to that a raccoon who decided to go swimming in the grease trap on my grill.

Maybe living out in the boonies with the critters isn't as charming as I've been led to believe.

After the Guild meeting a few of us stayed to work on UFO's.  This weekend, some of my internet quilting buddies will be working on them, too.  Maybe I can get SOMETHING done??? (if it rains so I can stay inside for a while)

I did manage to get the quilt I made for my step grandson's High School graduation done a whole week early!! It's a pattern called "The Big EZ" by Bloom Creek.  The fabrics are all football themed since we have so enjoyed watching him play the past few years.  Coincidentally, his school colors were black and orange.

I am grateful for:
A nice boss who is keeping me so busy at work she has to remind me it's time to go home.
My sons who are both thoughtful men.
Ice Cream with hot fudge sauce.
A few hours in my hammock.
Cool nights so I can sleep.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spending all my time in the garden

  I have lots of frogs and toads in the gardens- little resin and pottery statues.  None of them hop around and scare me half to death, though.

I was watering the baby plants and found a squatter in the flower pots!   I guess I don't have to worry about bugs eating that one.

This  Clematis is right off the screen porch at the back of my house

I had planned to trim the clematis when I was first able to get out to the gardens, but look what I found.  The robins squawking in the tree confirmed who this belonged to.  It had one egg in it the day I found it- somewhere around May 18. I haven't worked in this flower bed since making this discovery, except to peek in the nest when I knew the momma wasn't there.  I kept hoping every day to hear the tweeting of baby birds through the open window.  Finally, on June 3, I peeked in and saw babies!
Judging by their color I think they were fresh from the shell!  Only three of the four hatched, apparently.

I go out every day and annoy the parents by peeking in the nest and taking a picture.  I'm amazed at how fast they are growing!
Day 3

Day 4

Today, June 9
I won't dare to keep doing this much longer for fear of scaring them out of the nest prematurely.

Other than gardening, I enjoyed going to the "Diamond Jubilee" quilt show held by the Genesee Valley Quilt Club last week. We went to cheer on Kathi, who took part in the "Iron Quilter" event- and WON first place- a new Bernina sewing machine!  I am also proud (and jealous as heck!) of my BFF, Mary, who won a third place ribbon at the show! (See her picture here)

I am grateful for:
Being able to be outside to enjoy the "neighbors".
Air conditioning in my bedroom last night!
Talented friends to inspire me.
Not needing to watch the clock at work anymore.
Ice cream with peanut butter sauce