Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stuck in a time warp?

 This week went by in a blur!  I know I was busy every day, but I have absolutely nothing to show for it.  I seriously think I'm in some kind of time warp.  I get up in the morning, then suddenly it's dinner time, or bedtime. 

Fortunately, Mother Nature put on a nice show yesterday morning.  The fog was lovely, and lasted deep into the morning. 

The mist in the air allowed me to take some great pictures of the orb weaver spider web I found.  I never saw the spider.  I think she must have gotten a tasty bug and gone off to eat in peace.

These are a few of the kittens I am fostering.  They came from a barn, and have been battling respiratory infections, which is why some of their eyes look the way they do.  But aren't they pretty?  And such sweet little kittens. 
That being said, if their mom had been spayed, we wouldn't have to treat them for the illness that most feral cats have.  Not to mention that as soon as they were weaned these babies would have been left to fend for themselves.  (The barn owners were providing them food and shelter.  I don't wish to make it sound worse than it was)   Many feral cats die of simple diseases. A respiratory infection in a young cat can be fatal because they stop eating.  And their mom will go out to produce more kittens.

My green thought this week is a reminder about buying in bulk when possible.  Every time you buy a single serve package; or buy three of the little ones because they are on sale you are also buying the packaging.  Remember there is energy required to produce the packaging, and additional amount of garbage produced each time you throw out a smaller package.  So buy the biggest package you can and separate into smaller reusable containers at home.  If you check shelf tags for unit prices, you may be surprised how much money you are saving while also reducing the burden on resources. (And often the larger package costs close to the same as the smaller ones even on sale!)

I am grateful for:
Cat therapy (try it- there's nothing better than a room full of purrs and cuddles!)
Frosty cool nights sleeping with the windows open.
My very patient and undemanding hubby.
Baking weather
Fresh apples (the Macs are in now!)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mandala exhibit

 A few months ago- as I have no doubt mentioned at some point-  the ArtCGirlz were challenged to do a mandala exhibit by Karen Reisdorf of Blue Pearl Yoga.  Karen has a great space for her studio and is hoping to add an art gallery to the space.    On Friday, the exhibit opened.

The husbands in attendance had a wonderful time

There were some glitches along the way, of course.  With anything new, there are bound to be, right? Speaking of new- if you love Command hooks, as I do, take some time before you try the new clear ones.  They aren't as good as the others- yet.  (at least I hope 3M will soon be making improvements!)

Fortunately, the gorgeous quilts more than made up for the aggravation!
Apologies to my fellow ArtCGirlz, as I did not get the names of the quilts.  ( I assumed it was on the information packet I picked up)

By Chris Kuehl
by Mary Ellen Casey

by Lori Anderson
by Elaine Ross

by Kathi Everett

by Susan Rathbun

by Elaine Ross (not a good picture of this piece)

by Beth Anderson

by Bethany Anderson

by Bethany Anderson

 "Zendala Mandala" (mine)

There will be a post on the ArtCGirlz blog, which I hope will have names and stories of the quilts.

Keeping it simple this time, I am grateful for:
The end of a busy week
Gramma time with Kiara
No cooking two nights in a row
Having extra cuddly kitties in the house for a while
The raffle quilt top is nearly complete!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

But we just got here.

Carly Simon once sang a song about the end of summer, called "We Just Got Here".  It's how I'm feeling lately.  I'm not sad to see the end of the heat- or the end of the weed pulling season!  But the rest of what summer brings- long hours of daylight, eating on the deck, naps in the hammock.  It seems like it just got here.

Rather than lament the end of all of that, I have found something to look forward.  The "wild" part of the field turns gold and purple this time of year with the goldenrod and purple asters in bloom (those same flowers which are unwanted guests to my gardens, I might add!)  Someday I will find the right way to interpret this in a quilt- or a series of quilts! (maybe that will be the theme for my work in 2014!)

 I have found some other interesting things in the garden.  The seed pods on the wisteria are velvety, and make an interesting visual statement the way they hang among the leaves.

 I have always loved the visual texture of the Obedient Plant.  The blossom stalks stand so straight at the top.  I have never tried bending  them as I have read you can.  The plant is not obedient, though- it is quite invasive. ( I have plenty if you want some!)

On Monday I visited the Bully Hill Vineyards in Hammondsport, NY.   I stopped at the beach on my way up since I had never visited Keuka Lake before. 
 You go straight up a hill to get to the vineyards.  The view of the lake from above is very pretty, but I bet it will be stunning in a few weeks when the leaves are in full color!

The gardens at Bully Hill are lovely, and well tended!  I was glad I had a few extra minutes to walk around and enjoy them.

Outside the gift shop was this plant, which looks like Angel's Trumpet.  I had never seen one this big, or with yellow flowers before.

I picked up two new litters of kittens to foster a week ago.  They were living in a barn and some were pretty sick.  I have carefully nursed them and they are improving.  Some of them are beautiful babies and will make some lucky person a wonderful pet.  But the sad fact is that without care, some of them would have died from simple respiratory infections. 

We hear all the time at the shelter "It's not my cat.  It lives in my barn so I feed it"  If you feed it, you are accepting responsibility. So PLEASE spay and neuter them!  Stop the cycle of disease and overpopulation!  Please!

I am grateful for:
The time of year when I can enjoy the warmth of the sunshine rather than hiding from it.
Nights cool enough to throw a quilt on the bed again
Not having to scrape the frost off the car window the other morning!
A visit with a good friend!
The kittens purring as soon as I walk in the door of the "nursery"

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to the sewing room soon!

I've been trying to get this post written for days!  The sad part is, for as busy as I have been, I have nothing to show for my time at all!                                                                                                              Meanwhile, look what was at the shelter the other day!   Poor babies had come in to see the vet.  But I got to cuddle them a bit.

I was asked last week to do a demo at the next quilt guild meeting.  I had my choice of free motion quilting or the Ann Brauer technique.  I decided it would be easier to do the Ann Brauer in 15 minutes, so I've been playing with some fabrics I had already set out to use the next time I got back to this fun technique.    These first ones are the gradations I used in my George Sicilano piece.  I couldn't decide exactly what to do with them.  I think things like this are why digital cameras were invented. 

So, what do you think?  Simple gradation?

Blended? (I'm not sure I like the striped effect, plus the green gets kind of washed out)

Wrapped around a neutral palette?

This one is my least favorite.

I'm leaning toward the first one.  It's not FOR anything- just playing so I have samples for the demo.

I got most of my mandala quilted over the weekend, in spite of not being home two of the three days!

 It's hard to see, I know.  This is the back since the quilting doesn't show up much on the front.  Maybe I should have used the heavier thread in the bobbin, too.

The mandalas will be on display through the middle of November.  Hours vary, so call ahead!

My friend "Footie" asked me to make some little mug huggers for a yarn shop her shop is doing at the end of the month.  I had an awful time with it at first.  ( I personally thought the pattern was poorly written, but the designer assures me no one else had trouble with it)  I was going to give the link, but she has removed the pattern.  hmmm.
Anyway, I don't get the point of a mug sweater, but it is kind of cute.

The end of the gardening season is fast approaching.  So hopefully I'll soon have more to show for my time!

Speaking if the end of gardening season- it's time for my annual reminder that leaves are excellent mulch and the best source of organic material for your soil.  So mow over them and leave them on the ground! (no pun intended) Don't bother raking them and putting them in plastic bags to go to the landfill.  If you must rake, be sure to use the paper lawn waste bags most municipalities use, so they can be turned into mulch!

I am grateful for:
Cooler weather
Good sleep
zucchini casserole
People who acknowledge that you did something nice for them.