Monday, December 26, 2011

Crazy Quilt Journal Project

I've been neglecting my crazy quilting work for quite a while, now, and need a kick start to get going again. I've found just the thing: The Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP). The plan is to create a 6x6 inch (minimum size) CQ block each month during 2012. Many other CQ enthusiasts are also joining in and there will be a CQJP blog which will foster discussion and allow links to each participant's own blog.

It sounds like great fun and the kick start I need. Now, to start pulling out all the CQ stash...........

Winter Thoughts and Acorns

I can't believe that we are nearing the end of December and we don't have any snow. There was the "Halloween Blizzard" but all of that snow is long gone. Now, don't get me wrong -- I'm not wanting snow. I'm just considering how odd it is to look out of the studio window and see green grass with all the bare trees and not a white wilderness. All in all, I rather prefer walking out to the studio without having to shovel, or slip and slide.

The other really odd thing about this year has been the absolute lack of acorns. Usually they carpet the driveway and at the edge of the forest, they are inches thick. Walking there is like walking on a pile of marbles -- dangerous! But not this year. There were virtually none on the driveway and only one here and there at the forest edge. I worry for the critters that depend on them for food...especially my favorite wild turkeys.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Will I get everything done?

Maybe next year I won't procrastinate so much. Maybe....

Long time favorite

Okay, the Holidays are fast approaching and it is time for me to remember my favorite "Christmas carol" .....and some great Holiday lighting. Turn up the sound, make the image go full screen, and enjoy.

Friday, July 29, 2011

No Wonder I'm so Tired

I have mono. Yes, it can happen when one is "older" and it has happened to me. I have been really tired for a week or so, and have had a case of strep throat that has been resistant to antibiotics. Now, I know why. Ah, well, sleeping 20 hours a day gets me away from housework....and, unfortunately, away from my art studio. Blah!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eddie's Quilt

I started this 60 x 100 inch long twin sized quilt on June 28th and finished it on July 23rd. I'll be mailing it to my grandson, Eddie, for him to take to college and use in the dorm. His favorite color is orange, and this is full of eye-popping orange batiks. It will be in the mail this week, he moves into the dorm in late August.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Halfway Point

Today is June 30. Halfway through the year 2011. Are you halfway through the goals you've set for this year?

Treackle is Back!

Late last summer, we noticed a feral cat hanging around. She was a tortoise-shell color, and very small, almost a kitten. Fall came, then winter, and she still hung around, but we could not catch her. Several other feral cats appeared. We began leaving dry cat food out on the front porch, and put out a small shelter for her to use in the cold. The food disappeared; the shelter was unused. Snow fell, the temperatures dropped and I worried for her survival. New England winters can be harsh.

Late in the winter, we found that the trash in the garage had been disturbed. We put out cat food, and it was eaten. The next day, we put out a litter box. It was used. But no sign of a cat. A month passed, then six weeks, food gone, litter used. One night as I went out to put the trash in the bin, I heard a tiny "meow!" Soon, the meow was followed by a tiny cat -- the tortoise-shell. After a time, she would let me pet her.

Eventually, I caught her, got her into a cat carrier and to the vet for the works...shots, worming, neutering, a microchip, full health check. Home again, and into a separate room so that she could recover and then grow accustomed to the resident cat, Dempsey, and he to her. We named her "Treackle" as her color was reminiscent of a syrup, treacle, that we loved in England. After a few weeks, she began to explore the rest of the house, and the inevitable conflicts between the resident and newcomer began. We expected them, and were prepared for the growling, hissing and posturing.

My mom, however, was not. She decided she did not like the cats and chased both of them out while trying to get only Dempsey to leave (in her words, "that old, mean, nasty thing"). She has Alzheimer's and could not realize that both cats would go when she yelled at them. Treackle was not fully integrated into the house yet, and headed for the woods, where she stayed, becoming more feral every day. Dempsey, of course, spent a few hours out and came home in time for his dinner.

So, for over a month, we did not see Treackle at all. Her small size, at 5.5 pounds, made her a target for the local owls and coyotes. We worried. Then, after 6 weeks, we spotted her! She would not come when called, but we put food out on the porch and she ate it every day. So did several other feral cats and even, one night, a small raccoon. We could hear her yowling at other cats sometimes. We hoped.

Two nights ago, she got into the garage again. Maybe she just wanted to come home after all. From the garage, she waltzed into the house and into her special room. And, once again, we will have to go through the growling, hissing, and adjustment period. Treackle seems more contented this time around. So does Dempsey, so the fighting may not be so bad.

Now, if I can ONLY keep my mother away from the door.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back to the Studio

Lately, most of my studio time has been in dealing with the overwhelming stash issue. But, fear not, I have had a bit of time to sew. I've forced the issue a bit by signing up for some on-line classes, which are always fun.

My first class, from Quilt University, is on-going and is called "More Machine Quilting" with Carol Miller. Along with countless exercise pieces, I have done these three pillows:

The first one is free-form seashells with very tiny stippling in between the shells. The stitching was done with Superior Threads Rainbows in a pale pastel combo.

The second is four free-form leaves with close stitching on two of the quadrangles. The thread in this one is a taupe variegation.

The free-form tulips and leaves of the third one just looked too blah without some color, so I added some color with Shiva art sticks. The thread for this one is Superior Threads Masterpiece in an olive green. I must confess that I found free motion stitching all those straight lines really diffifult! There is a lot of wobbling going on there....

I'm partway through another Quilt University class, "Bargello Seasons" with Ruth Blanchet. As you can see, I really enjoy taking classes from QuiltU! Over the course of the class, we will make four small bargello quilts, each one more complex than the one before it. I've turned my first effort into a pillow:

My DGS will be entering college this fall, majoring in Professional Photography. He'll be living in a dorm, so I've pieced a quilt for him in his favorite color: orange. As soon as the rain stops, I'll get a photo of that up and on the blog. As rainy as it has been lately, I may actually have it quilted and bound before the weather clears!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moulting Parker

My peach-faced conure, Parker, is moulting. Every year, he loses feathers and grows new ones over the course of a month or so. When he has pinfeathers on his neck and head, he really gets cranky...they must itch. Here is a photo of him, looking disheveled and cross on his version of a bad-hair day.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Stained Glass Quilt

A few weeks ago I signed up for a stained glass class at Quilt University. The on-line class was great fun and this easy-as-pie little quilt was my result.

Keep in Step!

I just love this brief video of geese in a marching band.

They are so well organized!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Stash Reductions

I'm at it again. Clearing away "stash" and trying to find sanity at the bottom. I've been taking apart old kits from when I owned the PPPatch, and there is so much "stuff" that some days I can't help but feel overwhelmed. I've pulled together 20 or so big plastic bins and marked the items with real bargain basement prices. YLI silk ribbon lengths, by the yard, at 6 yards for $1.00. Tons of laces, from 10 to 25 cents per half yard. Beads, 25 cents for mixes that have at least 1/2 hank of beads, but a charm or two, or buttons, whatever. Some of the packs have a whole hank of bead soup. Two HUGE bins of fabrics, almost all silks, for free. Even with all the bins that I've done, there is so far to go. I'm hoping a huge garage sale will help. That and a dumpster. Anyone out there want a squishy? Ten? Pay the postage and I will build your stash fast!

Friday, May 27, 2011

BERT ???? - 2011

May the Creator shelter you in his hand. May the last embrace of the mother welcome you home. Fly high, little one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update to Challenge of the Day

Both cards have been misplaced. She has created a third one. All is well.

Challenge of the Day

Today, my mom, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, faced a challenge and did pretty good. She wanted to send a card to my grandson for his upcoming high school graduation. This, in itself, was a big step. She spent a long time in her room, searching for just the right thing. When she was done, she signed the card and brought it to me for my "approval." It was a Christmas card. When I asked her if she was sure that she wanted to send this card, and pointed out that it was more directed for a holiday greeting than a graduation, she thought about it for a while and said she did. So, okay. That was her choice and my grandson would be okay with it, knowing she was sending her best wishes. Later, she came back and asked me to help her find a different card. Upon consideration, she had changed her mind about the card and was again looking through the hundreds of cards she has stockpiled away during the years. We finally found one that was "right" for the occasion and she beamed with happiness. It was a picture of a beautiful sailboat and blank inside. She could write her own short message. Mission accomplished.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oh, Well

It is snowing. Again. That, plus freezing rain. So I'm indoors, you know. Again.

As long as there has been snow and ice outside, my orthopedic surgeon has made me keep my broken ankle/leg in safer places. The bones have healed, but my leg is not strong, yet. For the last couple of days, there has been a tiny path that I could follow from door to car. I was free! I had a pedicure...went grocery shopping...checked the mail at the post office...made it to the pharmacy. Small stuff, but it seemed like an incredible luxury. Now, I'm back inside, no driving, no freedom, for a while. Until this batch of slippery, slid-ey stuff...or the next...or the gone.

This is the very first year I've ever gotten cabin fever and it stinks. Who would think I could get so very frustrated at chilling out with my leg elevated? Thank goodness I got my little Nook color for Christmas!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring for a Day

It is 60 degrees outside! Spring is here, but just for one day. The four feet of snow on the deck is slowly melting. Drips off the roof are as thick as a heavy rainstorm. It is wonderful! Even if it does get cold and snow again, the promise of spring is enough to recharge my spirits. For the last two mornings, a cardinal has been singing under my bedroom window. I spotted a robin. All is well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Just a Valentine Curmudgeon

$472.25. According to one web site, this is what the AVERAGE person spends on Valentine's Day. I cannot believe that a pseudo-holiday merits this much attention or expenditure.

Some of you may think that I'm not romantic if I think spending so much is foolish. Think again. My DH and I have been together more than 45 years and are still very much in love. We don't seem to need a mandated day to give each other commercial cards, flowers, and other gifts to cement our relationship. Doing something nice for one another on an everyday basis -- not just once a year when the calendar says it is the right day -- seems to work very well indeed. Which would you prefer: 1 day or 365?

I wonder what someone else is spending to make up for the $944.50 we are not?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stash, Stash, Stash

I confess. I have a ton of quilting "stash." Another ton of weaving stash. Knitting yarns. Threads. Buttons. Silks. Enough to last for several lifetimes. I keep giving it away, and more seems to appear. I don't buy new (or used, for that matter) stash. I put things on Craigslist, Ebay, Freecycle... There must be stash gremlins hiding things in another dimension and as soon as I rid myself of a bunch of totes full, those totes are full again. In the last year, I've given away more than 50 huge Rubbermaid totes (the ones that measure about 22" x 16" x 15") FULL of stash. I've even given away the containers so that they could not mysteriously refill...but I am STILL finding myself with a ton of stuff that I no longer want or need. I'm making things as quickly as I can. Giving them away to all who will use them. Ah, well, back to stitching and off the computer.

Falling Flat

What is it with me and falling down?

Have you ever fallen FLAT on your face because your leg suddenly was NOT there? I was able to emulate Jack Palance and do a fast-catch push-up to save my nose, but the rest of me is pretty badly bruised, battered, and downright sore! I fell on Thursday, and now it is Monday and I still ache. Blah!

Pay It Forward in 2011

I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment HERE. The rules of the game: they must in turn post this, and then send something they make to the first 5 people who comment on their status. It must be handmade by you, and it must be sent to your 5 people sometime in 2011.
Okay, I'm counting to 5.... Who's in?