Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ride 'Em, Kitty!

I just have to share this video of a cat riding the Roomba (robot vaccum) that I found. I think this is just hilarious, and it makes me laugh every time I watch it. I hope you enjoy it too! Since I can't figure out how to embed the video into the blog post (me? computer literate?), I'm just gonna put in the link. So click here to go see this one. And I have to admit, I've spent waaayyyy too much time on the LOL Cats web site. They're just really tickling my funny bone right now.

I'm not getting much done. I have a killer headache - 3 days now - and I think I have to admit that it's gotten to be a sinus infection. So, I guess I'll go see the doctor in the morning. This is really putting a crimp in my productivity, quilting or otherwise.

I did get that whole stack of fabrics ironed on Tuesday. That took some time! I've been working on sewing down some bindings on two little Priority Alzheimer's quilts. Not quite done, but almost. Why do the bindings seem to be endless?? Last night I went to a local quilting "Stitch & *itch". It was nice to get out and mingle with other quilters!

Still working on my wonky jars. It's slow going with the headache. Ugh.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Time to Get Busy

Do you realize that it's a mere 38 days until Christmas?? Oh my! I need to Get Busy!! And try not to panic!
Last week, the store where I buy most of my quilting fabrics was having a 20% Off Sale, so I went and bought the above stack of fabrics. DH even helped me pick these out! We spent at least two hours doing this, which was a marathon for poor DH. I had fun, but I'm not too sure he'll be volunteering to help me do this again anytime soon! These are my projects for Christmas presents. I can't say more than that without giving away the secret. But it does look like I will be busy! Really, I'm looking forward to it. New fabrics to play with! Yummy!

This is Shade. He came into the sewing room to "help" today. He wanted my attention and purposely laid down right in the middle of what I was doing. That made me so happy! You see, we almost lost poor Shade.

My DH was very sweet and brought me flowers about 10 days ago. I was a Bad Cat Mommy and left the flowers out overnight where Shade could get to them. I know better than that. He's always been a plant chewer. I now only have silk plants in the house, because he'll eat the live ones. Every time. Well, these flowers weren't super toxic, but they sure made him a sick kitty. He didn't even eat them, just chewed on them a little bit. No vomiting, just lethargic and he wouldn't eat or drink. He slept a lot, and often would just stare off into space with no response to us. He lost about 2 pounds. (That's on top of the 2 pounds he lost while being boarded during our trip to Nevada last month.) He didn't interact with Dunkel and barely interacted with us. Every night he curled up on our bed, right in between our pillows, and slept there all night. He rarely sleeps all night with us. That told me, as much as anything else, that he was really sick.

He's been better the last 5 days or so, but very fearful of everything. He wouldn't come downstairs if he heard DH down there. He usually only does this when there's people visiting. He's much better the last 2 days, and even came downstairs to see our friend K when she was here last night, and even let her pet him! I was amazed at that! He's usually the world's biggest scaredy cat. Anyway, I'm very happy and relieved that he's better now.

Here is a picture of the flowers that Shade got sick on. They're Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily.

I hope those of you who have cats will make a note of this, and keep the cats and the flowers separate. I'd hate for anyone else's kitty to get sick. Fortunately, Shade is better now and starting to act like his old self. I sure hope he doesn't have any lasting ill effects from this episode. I'm pretty sure he lost one of his 9 lives on this one!

We had a really busy week last week, galivanting around some days and too much housework on other days. So I didn't have much time for sewing. I did manage to get a few "witch's pantry" jars sewn one day last week and today I got the lids on them.

I'm not real sure about the top on that middle jar. I might take that off and try it again. DH suggested that I lop off some of the point on the bottom of that 'square on point' (lid) before I sew it to the jar. I think I agree - it looks too much like it's floating in space.

These jars have little pieces of paper pinned to them, with the name of the "ingredient" on each of them. I'll be putting permanent labels with a more "witch-y" font on the jars before I'm done. I got the list of ingredients for spells from a Harry Potter web site.

Here's another picture of Shade. Some people have an Alpha cat - I have an Olfa cat! *giggle!*

And here's Shade at his post in the quilt studio. He's back on the job, supervising! All's right with the world.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Quick Visit

My sister came to visit overnight this week, as my local quilt guild had a speaker she was dying to hear: Jane Sassaman. We had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed Jane's talk, seeing her quilts and even speaking with her during the break. I had to get this pattern, which is the "short" version of Jane's famous quilt "Willow", which you can see here. I love that quilt! This pattern is done with a fusible, and finishes at 18 inches. That sounds pretty do-able.

And, I also had to buy a packet of her fabrics! These are half-yard cuts of big, bold fabrics and I don't have a clue how I'm going to use them yet! But they just had to come home with me. There's only one quilt store in WA that carries her fabric, and it's about an hour or so away from me. I think that's pretty good justification!
If you're interested is seeing some of Jane's work, you can visit her web site by clicking here. You can view Jane's quilts, her fabric collections and even get some free patterns. I love her work, it's so bright and uninhibited. She's very influenced by nature, which is a big factor for me.
My sister wasn't here even 24 hours, but we had a good time. Lots of talking and laughing going on. A nice break for both of us!
I haven't been in the quilt studio all week. No excuse, just been doing "fun" stuff like laundry and grocery shopping and bill-paying. I did get 8 boxes of quilt studio stuff unpacked and sorted. Now I have 2 boxes of stuff to find places for! I don't want to put it away, I just want to sew! Maybe tomorrow. I think I'm done with urgent chores for the moment.
I found some interesting quilt sites on the internet:
* If you weren't lucky enough to go this year, you can see a virtual tour of the Houston Quilt Festival on-line, with the winning quilts and photos from the floor. Click here.
* At The International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Nebraska, you can search the Collections database and view the exhibitions . You can also see their Quilt of the Month, where they feature one of the quilts in their collection. You can also subscribe to the Quilt of the Month and they will email you with a link to see each month's quilt. Check it out here.
* The Smithsonian Museum has a page devoted to Quilts, Counterpanes and Throws, where you can view selected items from their collection.
* The Library of Congress has "Quilts and Quiltmaking in America 1978-1996", which showcases materials from two American Folklife Center collections, the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (1978) and the "All-American Quilt Contest" sponsored by Coming Home, a division of Lands' End, and Good Housekeeping.
* Are you interested in making a Mystery Quilt? Judy Hopkins has 3 FREE downloadable mystery patterns on Marsha McCloskey's website. Take a look!
* And lastly, another silly but fun computer game to waste your time on: Penguin baseball. To play, you swat the penguin with a baseball bat and see how far you can get him to fly/slide. You're trying to beat your best score. It's all a matter of timing, like so much in life.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Back At Home

We've returned home after a week in Nevada, visiting our daughter and son-in-law. It was a good visit and we had lots of fun, good food to eat, and fun seeing all the animals at her ranch. We went to one casino, and I'll just say this: If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all! Fortunately, I know that going in, so I'm a very cautious gambler! I think I bet a whole $2! Last of the big spenders, huh? All 4 of us had a good time playing the slot machines, for under $10 total!

This picture up above is the aspen trees in the eastern Sierras in Nevada. The picture just doesn't do them justice - the trees were stunning, at the peak of their color and glowing in the sunlight. The weather was warm and dry and sunny and both DH and I enjoyed it!

Since we got home, it has been raining almost all of the time. The kitties are very glad to be home after a week at the kennel. They can't get enough love and attention at the moment, although I'm sure that won't last much longer! Now it's back to laundry, paying bills and the "catch-up" after a week away.

I've included some pictures from our trip, mostly of the animals at the ranch.

This is the bantam rooster, who was practicing his soprano crowing almost all of the time. You can see a little bit of the side of the strawberry roan horse on the right side of the picture. DD has 3 horses in her corral, but they actually belong to a neighbor. She gets to enjoy the horses, but doesn't have to support them. Best of both worlds, she says!

These are some of the (14?) chickens that DD has. These are two roosters in the back: on the left is the Frizzle and on the right is the Barred Rock, who looks just like Bob at Front Porch Indiana. DD and I both kept calling him Bob, although that's not his name. The Leghorn hen is in the front. (I hope I have all this correct!) You can see all the leaves from the cottonwood trees had fallen, without even turning color. They were everywhere on the property, and it was kind of like surfing to walk on them.

Here is Hazel, the Nubian goat. She's a real sweetie. Very tame and gentle. I got to hand-feed her. I've never "met" a goat before. I'm sorry this isn't a better picture. She didn't want to look at the camera. She thought all those cottonwood leaves were yummy, just like potato chips!

These are the 2 billy goats (or bucks). They're not as sweet as the doe, but still very tame and well-mannered for boy goats.

Here are some of the chickens in the driveway. They were following DH as he was taking photos.

This is Zany, the turkey that DD raised from a baby. Unfortunately, she is no longer with us. She suffered a dog bite on Sunday and succumbed to the injury by Wednesday. It was very sad. I'll miss the stories DD told me about her. Zany was quite a character. She survived her first Thanksgiving by befriending a pregnant horse next door. The neighbor bought DD an organic turkey for the big day so that she wouldn't kill the turkey. He didn't want his horse upset. We thought she was a pretty smart turkey!

These are the eastern Sierras in California. This was taken about 20 minutes from DD's house and at about 9,000 foot elevation. That means these peaks are probably about 12,000 to 15,000 foot elevation. And that's not very much snow on them for this time of year. They've been having a drought for 3 years now.
And, I actually did get a little quilting/sewing in while visiting. I ended up sewing down the bindings on two little wallhangings I had sent to DD about 2 years ago. I'd sewn the binding on the front, but not on the back. Well, DD never got around to sewing them down either, so I worked on them while I was there. You'll recognize this one. It was the 2nd Boo! wallhanging I made. It's a slightly different version than the one I own (see previous post).

I just did a crazy wandering quilting in the border, with a variegated thread. I'm not entirely pleased with it, but it's finished, and that's good!

I'll show the other wallhanging later, as it's a Christmas one.
Now, I just have to catch up on my blog reading and commenting. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone's been doing while I was away!