Monday, July 30, 2012

Finally getting something accomplished!

 Aren't these beautiful?   My boss gave them to me as a birthday gift.  She knows me pretty well, don't you think?
 I haven't had much time in the sewing room lately due to a number of--roadblocks is the best word I can think of.
But this week I managed to spend enough time to get the August quilt ready!   I used some orphan blocks in the outer border instead of the applique blocks the pattern called for.  I also used some fabrics I made when I played with paints for the flowers. 
Four more to go.  I may never do satin stitching again....
 What's going on here, you may ask?

Stay tuned.....
Same project.  It needed a lot of help.  I hope to be able to reveal it soon. Depends on there being good tv or a movie to watch (so it may be years!)

My green tip this time is a silly thing, but every little bit helps, right?  Did you know the average person opens the refrigerator 22 times a day?  This wastes a lot of energy as every time you open the door, the cold comes out and the fridge has to cool it back down.  So before you open the door, ask yourself what you need.  I take out all the ingredients for my dinner at once and make a pile of stuff to go back in when I'm done.  So I only have to open the door twice if I'm organized!

I am thankful for:
Bacon Cheeseburger and onion rings at Tom Wahl's
A nice chat with Guy
Kitten therapy (who could be in a bad mood in a room full of purring kittens?)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dreaming of Feathers, and making do!

I brought my sock bag with me on the airplane when we went on vacation.  No one ever said a word about the (bamboo) knitting needles in my carry on bag!  As we sat on the runway, I cast on the stitches for a sock and started the ribbing.  We took off and I was still knitting- you don't have to put them away or turn them off or anything like you do the electronics!  So I got quite a lot done even on the short first leg (no pun intended) of our trip.  On the second leg, I was on the aisle and wasn't even distracted by the view out the window.  Soon it was time to start the cables in this pattern, from "Socks a la Carte 2 ".  But it was at that point that panic struck and I realized I had forgotten to pack my cable needle.   I could have continued on with the ribbing, but decided to rummage around in my bag since I had a LOT of stuff in there!

Ta-Da!  I found a paperclip!  Unbent the one end and it worked like a charm!  I'm still using the paperclip- mostly because I'm not sure where my cable needle is and I'm too lazy to look.

This is a quilt I pieced not long after beginning to use the "Scrap Therapy" system for dealing with my scraps. (in 2008 maybe?) I had cut so many scraps into the squares that when I found this pattern called  Squares in Squares, by Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs  (although I didn't see it at her site the last time I checked), it seemed perfect! 
 I am trying to learn the "Dream Feathers" technique from the book of the same name by Peggy Holt.  (I really have no affiliation with Amazon, but when the authors have no website, it's the easiest place to get information!)

It's a pretty easy- and fun!- technique, but the artistry she has achieved will take some time!
This quilt will be donated along with some others I am working on.  I like using my scraps and helping someone who will appreciate it at the same time!

With the heat many of us are suffering this year, I thought my "Green tip" should be about beating the heat without increasing the electric bill- and the demand for energy!
The easiest way is one  I learned from my Grandmother:  Open every window you can at night and let the natural cooling over night cool your home, then close it up to keep it cool.  The first thing I do every morning is close all the windows and curtains to keep the hot air out.  It was 94 degrees today and my house only warmed up to 79.  With only the ceiling fan running, I am comfortable!  The cost savings alone is a good reason not to use AC!!  If you can manage with a room air conditioner- like I have in my bedroom- do!  You'll save  money there, too. Turn it on 15 minutes or so before bed and you have a comfortable room to sleep in.  ( my biggest issue in this kind of heat)  There are a lot of "green" ways to beat the heat , some are things to do when you do repairs.  On my wish list is a whole house fan, especially if I can get the one that runs on solar power!

I am grateful for:
Surviving that nasty summer cold!
"Boo" purrs when I pet her now.
The "garage raising" crew!
When things could have been much worse but weren't.
A cold washcloth on the back of my neck.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Newest Project


Last week I finally got the call from the Batavia Animal Shelter, that they had some kittens in need of foster  care until they are old enough to be put up for adoption.  I had signed up a couple of months ago, but had to wait until after our trip to be put on the calendar.  I have six "bitties"- three each from two litters.  This happens when someone discovers a stray who has had kittens under a porch or in a barn.  Most times the mother cannot be caught, but when  the kittens can, they wind up at the shelter.

Simon- yellow- and Doug
Three of them were very afraid of me the first couple of days- the little black one even hissed at me.  But we are making friends and I'm sure they will be sweet kitties when they find their "forever" home.  Their personalities gave them names before I could get close enough to examine their gender!  Above is "Boo"- the black- because (s)he would only peek at me around boxes and siblings, and  "George"- who I believe now to be a girl- is very curious and was the first 'fraidy cat to come out to play.

Simon (Legree)- hogs the food dishes. (a mini Garfield?)

 There is also Bob- the escape artist- who I can't get a picture of since he never stops moving.  Bob and Doug are named for the McKenzie brothers of Second City. They both have a sort of M on their foreheads- and my mind wandered since the two of them are always together.

Simon, Boo and George peering at me on the deck- below their room.

 Tim, the shyest of them all, still prefers to stay in the corners.  But when I sneak up on her and pet her, she purrs immediately!  Since I was calling her Tom, for timid, before I decided she's a she, I decided her full name is Timid Tina.

Please keep these sweet faces in mind next time you decide you need a new friend in your life.  The shelter is full of them!  And- as Bob Barker says- Please have your own pets spayed or neutered.  The results of letting them breed are staggering, and tragic!  (even if you don't believe the numbers here)

I'll hold off on a green tip, since I've "preached" on a different topic already.

I am grateful for:
Relief from last week's heat ( I hope all are enjoying it!)
Family time
a little rain
enjoying the process

Monday, July 2, 2012

July already?

I'd say welcome July, but since it has been beastly hot the last few days and I don't tolerate the heat well, I'm not sure I'm happy to see July arrive.
I got the July calendar quilt finished early since we were going on vacation.  That's where I've been the last few weeks- first getting things done ahead of the trip, then gone and now getting caught up...  Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it.

But of course, it was!

A wall of gorgeous color at the Dulles airport!
 I am happy to say I had no major trouble flying.  I like taking off and looking out the window.  I don't like it when the plane is hot and I feel like I can't breathe or when I am so bored I think I'll go out of my mind, but I can't sleep because there's no way I can get that comfortable!

Portland, OR is a wonderful city!  If I didn't think my son would promptly move if I did it, I'd move there myself.
The view from the Portland aerial tram at OHSU

The Japanese Garden in Washington Park
The International Rose Test Garden, and Mt Hood in the background
My husband likes to get me in all the pictures.

Of course, we enjoyed getting out of town , too....

Crater Lake looked so different when there wasn't 8 feet of snow on the ground!

The Pacific Ocean- at Bob Creek lookout I think.

Multnomah Falls along the Columbia River Gorge.

The only sewing I've done since I got back was the thread painting class project.  I decided just to do something and call it done to get it off the table.  I added some stems to hint at Lily of the Valley, and used some variegated threads to make a sort of a bow on my bouquet.  I also tried the binding with tulle technique Mary Diamond told us about.  I still don't love this piece, but I don't hate it anymore, either.