Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not good sewing weather

Billy- my favorite
We had a gorgeous weekend, weather wise.  That means I spent almost no time in the sewing room.  It will now be a rainy day activity, which is sad because:
a) I didn't get near as much done over the winter as I had hoped.
b) I will be hoping for more and more rainy days as time to register for the quilt show gets closer.

There wasn't much to take pictures of out there yet, so here are the kittens, instead.  They are growing so fast!
Angela, Andy and Edmond


No, I can't tell them apart- without comparing them to each other and looking under their tails.  (how rude)

I did whip up a couple of skirts for Kiara.  I have been told she wants skirts that cover her shoes.  So I lengthened a pattern I had.  I wasn't sure how much to add, though.....

It looks like I went a little too far.
I love this one, and wish I had made it in my size!

(Isn't she a pretty little thing?)

I have the raffle quilt again, so I can mark the quilting on the last border!!!  (you will hear the celebration when this thing is finally FINISHED, I assure you!)

 I got out the high tech tools, I have used to design this quilt from the beginning....
(the dry erase marker was to mark on a large sheet of clear vinyl I use for this purpose.  Do not ever get this ink on your quilt!)

So here is a sneak preview of the final border design.  I keep thinking I would like to make another one of these quilts for myself, since I just love it.  But I would never be able to get it to come out the same since so much of it has been done this way.  I have shared my "pattern" previously.
I want to post a picture of the whole quilt, but haven't been able to get one since I have no way to suspend myself from the ceiling.

Today is Earth Day, so people are talking about being more earth friendly and sharing save the planet posts on facebook, etc.  This needs to be part of our lives, not one day a year but every day.  As the UN report said, it's now or never.  It should have been done 40 years ago.
The effects of the inaction of the world leaders  are already changing our world.  In the Midwestern and Western US, there are already battles heating up over water usage as farms demand more and more of it for crops that should probably not even be grown in these areas.    And we are all aware of the changes to our weather patterns in the past few years.
There is, nor will there be, an easy answer.  One thing is for sure; if we don't demand it, nothing will change.  Don't tell your friends you wish you could do something, get involved any way you can.  Join your voice to others and make yourself heard.

I am grateful for:
Being outside
Macaroni and cheese
Sleeping with the windows open
Random interactions

Monday, April 14, 2014

Observations in the garden

We have had a wonderful spring ( actually summer-like) weekend, weather-wise.  So, I have been out in the gardens.  I can't work in the big bed out back yet  (and really that one just needs to be plowed under, but I digress)  because the back yard is still a swamp.  Have you ever walked in a bog?  That's my back yard.                                                
So, what have I found in the gardens?  Obviously, the early flowers are blooming.   The crocus will be past their prime in another day or two.  They come and go so quickly!  But I am grateful every year for the gift of their color after months of grey.  The rabbits or deer have been nibbling on the foliage a bit from the look of these.

  The first of my tiny irises was there to greet me this morning!  They also come and go very quickly.   Sadly, I have also discovered the results of the winter we have endured will linger in my garden all summer.  There were spots where the perennials were getting quite overgrown.  I hadn't done much about it because I don't know where to put the extras and I hate throwing them in the scrap pile.  I won't have to worry about that, I fear.  The candytuft and creeping phlox are mostly dry and brown.  The bergenia is black.   
 Other observations, in no particular order:
  • Rabbits poop a lot, assuming that is who has been spending time in the front beds.  (Free fertilizer!)
  • Teabags are not good candidates for "composting in place"- the lazy way.  You dump scraps in the garden under the top layer of soil, or your mulch, and the "bugs" break it down for you.  Slower, but less work.  Anyway, over the winter I have dumped the bucket of kitchen waste here and there in the gardens, figuring it would get stirred in when I rake and plant  this spring.  There are teabags everywhere out there.
  • I am going to have to learn to love dandelions in order to save myself both heartache and backache.
  • My cat is just as happy chasing dry leaves in the wind as she is chasing mice!     

 I did spend a little time in the sewing room this weekend and finally finished the banner for the EZ-up tent the guild uses for selling raffle tickets at summer events.  I had discovered already pieced strip sets from the brightly colored raffle quilt I designed for the 2012 quilt show and thought this would be a good use for them.  People will sure see it.

I have a new summer indulgence, assuming it wasn't a fluke that Tops had these.  If you like dark chocolate, you must try them!

My green thought for today will be to share other "lazy" gardening tips.  Some of them will allow you to use less chemicals, fuel in mowers, and put less into the waste stream.

I am grateful for:
A nice long chat with Guy.
Lucas' finger feels better.
The kittens' diarrhea seems to be gone!
Eating dinner on the screen porch.
Cooking on the grill.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wait! Where did March go??

I had a very busy month of March this year.  It started with the guild retreat.  Two weeks after that Kathi, Tracy and I went to Lancaster.  Two weeks after that I went to visit my BFF in Cincinnati, Ohio.  and before I knew it a month had vanished!
I had a great time, but if I was home I was trying to catch up on what didn't get done while I was away!  Hubby said I am now grounded.  He doesn't know I am glad to have nothing more scheduled until October.

Fortunately I am back in kitten fostering mode.  So that means these sweet babies (and their mom) rely on me to be there every day.  There are five of them- nearly identical.  No, I can't tell them apart!

While at Mary Lee's house, I had kitties to keep me company too.  She inherited her son's cats when he decided he could no longer care for them.  They had names, but Mary simply calls them Black Kitty ...

and Not Black Kitty.  Both big sweet loveable boys, who sort of took turns sleeping with me in the guest room.

( I had brought the quilt I always travel with,  and somehow they knew there was something in the house they hadn't slept on yet)

Mary's back yard is the total opposite of mine.  She was apologetic that is was so brown, but I enjoyed looking out her windows.  I even went out and did some bird-watching!

There are wildflowers coming up everywhere in her yard.  I had fun trying to identify them based only on leaves peeking up.  But the Dog Toothed Violets were easy since they were already in bloom!  I had never seen white ones before.

Following the cat theme of this post, I am also including a picture of the cat dolls I made from a pattern I got at the Lancaster show.  The designer, at Gold Star Stitchery,  is also a "crazy cat lady" at the shelter near her- volunteering one day a week and donating proceeds from her patterns to the shelter!
The pattern is called "Chessie". You can see her other patterns- and dolls she has for sale here.
One of these cats is male.  I made him that way for one of my fellow CCL's at the shelter.  Her daughter suggests I make more of them with Velcro- sort of a neutering demo! 

My green though is based on the fact that with the snow melting you can see all the garbage which has collected along the roads.  Pretty ugly. It is so easy to see when you are traveling what a difference the bottle deposit laws have made in New York.  I don't know why it isn't a national law!

I am grateful for:
Time with Mary after months and months!
Baby kitties to cuddle and improve my mood. (you can't spend time in "the nursery" and still be in a bad mood!)
The great blessing of working part-time.
The crocuses are blossoming at my house.
My fellow cat ladies.