Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gardening Season has Arrived

 Spring is in full bloom and the gardens are desperately in need of attention, so that is the priority lately, unless it's cold and rainy.  We had rather a LOT of rain last week, so it was nice to have a dry weekend to get out and clean up, and enjoy some of the early flowers.

There's something both lonely and exciting about a patch of freshly cleaned garden.  I know before long it will be beautiful!!  (this picture is a couple of weeks old.  The tulip above is the plant just behind the shepherd's hook here.)

 I love it when I can bring the first bouquet inside to enjoy.  This is tete-a-tete daffodils and scilla.

  The front walkway has some nice color right now!  I'm going to have to thin my Hellebore soon.

I have to grow the tulips near the house or the deer eat them.  I don't mind at all. 

The cherry tree outside the screen porch is just loaded with blossoms this year.  Taking this picture, I was amazed how loud the sound of happy honeybees was!

 So I'm not doing much sewing this week.  I don't mind at all.

Last Saturday I took a short drive (for me) to the Arts Council of Wyoming County in Perry.  A local fiber artist I am acquainted with, Mary Ann Fritz, is exhibiting her work there this month.  I was very glad I went.  Her work is bright and nature inspired.  Now that I've visited the gallery, I've decided I'll have to make it a habit.  There's plenty of local talent to enjoy there!

If you enjoy nature as I do, it is frightening to think the protection afforded to some of the most beautiful places in America may be removed in favor of those short-sighted people who only see dollar signs.  It's too late to "wait and see".  Make  a phone call, send an email.  "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."- Dr Seuss, the Lorax

I am grateful for:
The sounds of spring.
My kittens are healthy and growing 
Macaroni and cheese
Al wasn't seriously damaged
Inspiring fiber art

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sorry this is Boring

 Remember last week when I said my cold was getting better?  Yeah, it got worse again last weekend.  I went home early not long after that post was finished, and collapsed into bed.  The next day was Good Friday, which is a flex day for the full time folks.  I had planned to work since I don't get paid if I don't- funny how that works!- but I stayed home and slept all day instead.  Good choice. They frown on me being in my jammies, wrapped in two or three blankets, in the office.
On Saturday, I felt well enough to be upright for a few minutes.  So I did a load of laundry.  When I didn't pass out from that, I watered the plants.  And so the day went- I survived one job and moved on to the next.  I did take short breaks, but never needed a lie down. I even went outside to enjoy the fresh air and pluck a few weeds!
By Sunday I decided I would live, although I still wasn't enjoying it very much.  We took some gifts over to the kids for Easter.  I got the greatest gift!  Jonathan has reached the age where, when I arrive, he runs to me shouting "Ama!" (his word for Oma, my preferred appellation) and gives me a big hug!  Is there a better feeling in all the world?

So I was three days slow again.  It's a good thing the kittens had gotten their appetites back.  If I had been this sick a week ago, the poor babies wouldn't have made it, I fear.  But they are growing and frolicking around the nursery just like nothing ever happened, thank goodness! There are still four, but one was running an errand when I had the camera out.

I think I have made enough "Lil Birdies" for now.  I wasn't making them for Easter, but they would be cute for that, I guess.  I plan to take them to the kids down the street where I buy my eggs.  I know, they should probably all be the same.  I was trying to use up scraps of yarn.

And I finally got my UFO #11 layered and got the quilting started.  I ended up doing a simpler poinsettia thing in the star blocks and will do a variety of fillers in the sashing and borders. If the weather is bad this weekend, I might even get it done this month.  That would make one finished object a month so far this year!!

The People's Climate March is next week.  I'm not sure why it isn't on Earth Day- that's when they're doing the Science March.  I'd love to do both, but am unable to do either for a variety of reasons.  I am showing my support by sending postcards to relevant offices in Washington, DC.  One voice may not make much of a sound, but many voices must be heard.  If nothing else, this divisive time has created a surge in activism. It's about time the complacency came to and end!

I am grateful for:
Finally feeling better!
Comfort food
Sitting outside enjoying sunshine and fresh air
A few minutes of meditation

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Design Wall Wednesday

I've had very little sewing time the past few weeks, so not much is getting done. Every so often I throw something in the design wall just to ponder for a few days, or until I need the space. This is what it looks like today- yesterday, since I tried doing this from my phone while waiting. 
Kind of a mess, right? The one on the left is random bits from a couple of projects I sewed together.  Every so often I look at it and try to decide if it's worth hanging on to. 
In the center is blocks I made for a swap that flopped.  I'm thinking of making them into a curtain for the sewing room.  The one I have in there is pretty faded.
On the right is wonky disappearing 4 patch blocks I do when I want to sew but don't have time to get involved in a project.  Below them is fabric waiting to become blocks, the fabrics I might frame them with to unify them into a quilt, and some random crap. 

On the far left is fabric I'll probably use as a border for something else.  On top are pincushions I received in swaps, as gifts, or made extras of.

I've been pondering quilting designs for my UFO #11. I printed a couple of copies of the picture in black and white to doodle on.  I think I know what I want to do for the most part.  I need to doodle some more before I get it under the needle.

My first batch of foster kittens for the year were only about 4 weeks old when we got them- far too young to be away from mom.  But they went right to the mush for the first 3 days.  I knew it was too easy.  For the next 3 they refused to eat, and had developed diarrhea- which can be fatal to tiny kittens.  I called on everything I know to help them and might have gotten us back to where I started a week ago.  I hope.  Now they have some catching up to do!

Sorry, coal miners- your jobs are gone forever.  Here's a sure sign- the Coal museum in Kentucky is going solar to save money!

I am grateful for:
The kind words of a person who had no idea how bad my day had been going.
I worked in the garden Monday!
My cold is already clearing up. (shh)
Knowing most of what I needed to do
Sleeping with the windows open.

Friday, April 7, 2017

April UFOs

I've had NO creative time in the past week or so.  No, I guess I have had creative time...

I went to a quilt show last weekend and found some inspiration.  I hesitated to post these, since I didn't get the makers' names.  They are members of the Riverlea quilt guild in North Tonawanda, NY

LOVE the quilting on this one!

Great use of quilting to continue the star design into the blank space.

The quilting in the center of this one uses threads matching the colors in the blocks!

 I have done some knitting.  I've moved a few things around in the sewing room.  I've auditioned fabrics.  I just don't have much to show for my time, and I haven't sewed at all.

I did get out the projects whose numbers came up in the UFO challenge this month.
Number 11 is this Scrap Therapy quilt top I have been hoping to finish for several years.  As usual, the issue is I don't know how I want to quilt it.  But I am just going to layer it this weekend- if time allows- and figure it out when I put it under the needle.   A few years ago, I made a wall hanging with an extra block, and did a poinsettia in the star.  I don't think I'll do that again.  I did buy some dark red thread to use. 

UFO number 16 is another one begun as a teaching sample way back when.  The pattern is called Four Patch Stacked Posies.  It's kind of a stack and whack, obviously.  And, like most of this type of pattern, it can be addictive. 
 These are the blocks I got from the fabric.  It's a small repeat, however. That means the blocks are small (about 5 inches square)...

...and you don't get very many from one set. I have 28 blocks.  I need more to make it a decent sized baby quilt, unless I use the original in between.  So there may not be any progress on this one. Again. 

I got this fabulous sock yarn from the yarn truck vending at the quilt show.  It's like a mobile yarn shop!  What a great idea.  So I also need to finish some knitting projects so I can start this pair of socks.  

I admit it- I'm a water waster.  I have a pretty reliable well, not public water.  It has a funny taste that I am used to, and tends to turn white clothes orange if I'm not careful in the laundry.  So if I'm in the mood for a nice long, hot shower, I take it- just standing there letting the water warm me through to my bones.  Or if it's really hot in the summer, I can go for a few laps in the shower to cool off.  I'm lucky. 
Clean water may become the next commodity nations will go to war over, should climate change continue unabated.  I became more aware of this when the power was out for a few days after a storm.  I keep jugs of water on hand in case of power outages, because the pump won't run.  But the supply of drinking water was a concern after the first couple of days. (It never occurred to me that we might be without electricity for more 70 hours) The water I save is just tap water in old milk jugs, so bacteria growth is a concern.  I'll use it for coffee or tea since I have to boil that first.  Can you imagine a world where the water supply might all be contaminated by flood water? Or where it has to be trucked across the country due to droughts?  And even the Great lakes water might not be usable if the EPA is dismantled.  Just food for thought.

I am grateful for:
I finally got to see Wicked!
It's a quiet week at work, since I have cold.
Time spent with my BFF
I have foster kittens to cuddle!
Sleeping well, when it happens