Tuesday, April 21, 2015

a new toy!

I was searching for craft projects I might do with Kiara when she is over.  I feel it is up to me to foster her creativity. (I have my own dear grandmother to thank for teaching me all the "womanly arts"- knitting, crocheting and sewing, etc.)

So in my wandering around I found this project called a "flextangle".  I don't know if Kiara will be interested in it, but I just HAD to try it!

This is the template all decorated with zentangle. 

After folding and gluing it looks like this.
  You rotate the sides to get a different kaleidoscope on each side!

 Isn't that fun???

The zentangle one was my first impulse but to make it look like something she would want t try, I also did one with colored sharpies

If you have a child who might be interested, it doesn't take that long.  And I just used a glue stick, so you don't need the glue they show.
Have fun!!

Earth day is tomorrow.  In the 45 years since it began a lot has changed.  But there is still more to do.  Never forget that every little bit helps!

I am grateful for:
A cornstalk sword fight with Kiara
Crockpot cooking
Getting the serger to work passably well again
Giving up  perfection in favor of finishing
Color in the world again!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Finally- Spring!

Spring has finally arrived for real here in Western NY.  We have had a rather glorious run of weather since Easter. (when it snowed, by the way)               
I am very happy to see my crocuses create their carpet of color right outside the door.  I also love how happy the honeybees are!

The mini irises also put on a nice early season show of color!

Of course, the spring also bring with it a long cleaning list.  But at least I get to do THIS kind of housework outside where I can listen to the birds and frog singing, watch the birds squabble over nesting sites and soak up the sun's bright energy after a long grey winter. 

Inside, I am still plugging away on baby stuff.  It is almost down to "any minute" and I couldn't be more excited. 

I just love these tiny socks I knitted for him. 

And, even though the diapers have given me many frustrating moments- and may result in me buying a new serger- I can't wait to see them wrapped around a tiny little behind.  Aren't they adorable?

I spent a few minutes playing with the lino block stamps we cut in ArtCGirlz, using the versatex inks I just got.  Someday when I can play with fabric again, I'll find a good home for these.

Now for the editorials--

1- I placed an order with CT Publishing when Kathi alerted us all to a great sale.  Yup, great prices.  However, their service blows!  I got a confirmation of the order, then a notice that it had shipped, but when I clicked to get tracking information, the website said my order was "awaiting fulfillment". So I sent in a message asking for confirmation and tracking information.  I finally got a response 5 days AFTER my order arrived; having been delivered to me by a neighbor since the mail service is the absolute worst lately!

2- I switched to the digital edition of the American Quilter magazine when I renewed my membership this year.  I don't have to recycle paper waste I don't create, plus I can store infinite issues digitally (in theory).  However, they don't let me know when the new issue is available- usually 2 weeks after it hits newsstands.  And this month the pictures are so blurry I might as well not even bother looking at them!  In a magazine touting pictures of winners in one of their shows. 

3- speaking of the postal service, if you have been having as much trouble as those of us in the Rochester- Buffalo area have, please contact your representatives to demand better service!  At the very least use the contact us link at the post office website EVERY time you have an issue.  I filled out this form for mail left unsecured on my porch and the postmaster called me back the next day!

Remember, the number one threat to our society is complacency!!

I am grateful for:
Friends I can laugh with until my sides hurt.
Daffodils on my desk
someone to commiserate with
really awful old horror movies,like this one, on dvd .

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bittersweet reunion

 This is Tim/ Tina.  She was brought in to the shelter a couple of weeks ago- about three years after she was adopted from us.  There were at first conflicting reports of what had befallen this cat and lead to her being returned to our care.  One of the issues was supposed to be littler box issues.  ( I believe this is used as an excuse when people have no good reason to get rid of a cat they no longer want- second only to someone developing allergies)
Anyway,  I wasn't there when she was turned in.  But when I got there on my regular Wednesday at the shelter, I went to meet her and noticed the tiny stub of a tail and immediately knew she was part of my very first group of foster kittens!  I was so sure because I adopted my cat from that litter.  That's right- Tim (because she was and still is a very timid cat) is George's sister!!!

So, after a few days of keeping Tim in the "nursery" to make sure there weren't really any litter box issues, I decided to let her play with her sissy.  I don't know if cats have this kind of long term memory, but after an initial sniffing and watching each other phase, they are playing like they have never been apart!   
I tried to get a picture of the two of them together, but this was as close as I could get to that.  They lay in separate spots, watching each other very intently. As soon as one of them moves, they both run like hell.  It's hilarious but very hard to photograph.  I wish they could stay together, but I am allowed one cat and only one cat.  (sigh)

My grandson, who I hear will be named Jonathan, is a mere 7 weeks from making his appearance into the world.  I am still trudging along trying to get diapers made.  But I also finished his second, larger, quilt.  I call it "Snips and Snails". 

I ended up drawing the faces on with pigma markers. 

The quilting is m ore minimal than I usually do to keep it soft for him. It has a flannel back and Grampa Al wanted to keep it for himself!

I was thinking this morning that the first Earth Day was 45 years ago.  In 45 years it seems like nothing has changed.  The planet is in more trouble than ever (just ask the people in California!).  I will admit that the concern has become more widespread and at least there have been some steps taken.  I doubt it will be enough to prevent the damage from becoming much worse before it gets better. 
But there are folks out there trying to create big changes.Check this out!  Solar highways- can you imagine!  The video is amazing- they want to use garbage as a raw material!!!  This is the kind of innovative and sustainable technology the planet needs.  I pray every day that someday the folks in charge will wake up and support these ideas.  I fear it will not happen in my lifetime.

I am grateful for:
A real go-outside-with-no-coat-and-enjoy-the-sunshine Spring day!
Watching George and Tim play
The very nice people who work with the elderly where my aunt lives
Sewing room time
Passing on precious family mementos- and the love they carry-  from one generation to the next