December 26, 2010
November 30, 2010
September 5, 2010
Yet twenty minutes later they will be bellied up to the beverage bar sleek and glossy, all blue/green/purple iridescent. How do they get so clean so fast? There must be a room at the chicken spa I'm not privy to.
The working wall of my mind has been kicking in, mulling over ideas for my next quilt top as my Boston Strippy winds down. I think the root seed will be the Lily Rosenberry pattern a really stunning quilt by Sue Garman. Mentally I'm already a long way from the original though...I love to mess with the recipe, quilting or cooking either one.
Chicken song MyTunes
Nero Wolf TV series
Shovels for every task
July 17, 2010
I wrote a few posts back that quilt books have gotten so expensive as to be entirely outside my budget. I think it's been years since I bought any new quilt books, I don't take any quilt magazines...and although I do have a budget I also think we need to remember to savor the good things of life and treat ourself with the respect and care we treat others with. So with all that obfuscation blurring my good intentions, I ordered four new quilt books. They came yesterday so now I'm off to the porch swing with a fresh cuppa and mind candy to savor.
That the weed spraying is finished for the year
That we have tractors and equipment to make the job easier
That my (Y) doesn't have to spend six hours on the tractor seat every day.
June 29, 2010
I need to test drive the workability of quilt blocks that use wool as part of the appliqué. I ran across this charming quilt (pdf file, takes a minute to load) by Sheri Howard named Ruby Red Dots this morning. Way cute.
Our weekend sale went great, got to meet many of our new neighbors, had plenty of good laughs, made great money, got rid of a ton of stuff, including quilt books and wall quilts. Goodbye space takers, hello fresh new ideas.
A multitude of things to love
The smell of a good quilt store
The smell of a good book store
June 6, 2010
These hives boxes are in bad shape, so once all the extras (58 by actual count) are cleaned and refurbished we'll be gently lifting out each frame of bee babies (10 per box) and place them gently in their new home. Bee suits optional...but recommended! Rob fixed up a beautiful protected space for them and I hope they will be happy here.
I was asked how much honey does a bee make in a day. Less than you would think. In it's approximately six week lifetime a honey bee produces less than a teaspoon. So if I got 4-1/2 gallons from these two hives last fall, you tell me how many working bees there are here. And you'll better understand why drones are kicked to the curb once the queen is fertlized.
On the quilting front I got a big stack of 3" yo-yo's finished last night while watching Apocalypse Redux. I wonder how many times since this movie came out I've paraphrased Duvall's classic "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning"? We were down to the Veteran's Administration a few weeks ago and they want Rob to come in for a physical, they are testing everyone from that war zone for Agent Orange. Loverly. Back to the quilt, I've had a brain bomb about the border. Details to follow~
On the bread front I monkeyed a lot with this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins from my King Arthur cookbook and they turned out simply divine. Fortunately I kept notes so I can do it again, but knowing me I'll probably mess with the recipe in a new way...
A really funny potential gig
May 31, 2010
The hard part? Take a look at this frame for comb. And this is a good one... Remember December before last we had big flooding in Chehalis? Most of FIL's hives were flooded, only two survived. He indicated he'd taken care of the empty hive boxes. Ermmm, No. He'd stacked them out of sight out of mind. So it falls to me to clean up musty moldy boxes. Yick. I still have at least 25 boxes left to do and it seems like I've already done a million. On the other hand, with all the beeswax I've ground into my blue pair of diva gloves they will be water proof into the next millennium.
Another chicken toy here on the right. You've heard of soap-on-a-rope? How about cabbage on a chain? They are loving this game, for the second cabbage I had to shorten the chain up :)
On the bread front, yesterday I made Bob's Red Mill Basic white bread recipe from the side of their flour bag, except I substituted 1/2 cup teff flour for 1/2 cup of the white. Beautiful results and extra yummy this morning for breakfast with my hot Kamut. Teff grain is from Ethopia.
A world of ingredients
April 29, 2010
I got to wondering this morning if the bamboo needs fertilizer, or if that wouldn't be a good idea because the plant needs to remain on the small side. Here is a good site for info on care of Lucky Bamboo which is officially Dracaena Sanderia. This plant is poisonous to pets so keep that in mind if you have a leaf chewing cat... Seeing uncared for plants in every store in the world is like seeing abandoned animals, I feel the need to save them all. I'm trying to get over that particular urge...
The hospice staff, one and all
The kindness of Rob's employer
It isn't grey and pouring.
April 11, 2010
There is no good way to talk about death to the dying.
The dying can and do refuse food and water. It's ok...it is the only thing in what remains of their life they have any control over.
Someone should have told us about mouth swabs before this.
Pop-up wipes are far better than tray wipes, speed is often of the essence.
People who can't stand on their own are Very heavy.
What to do with soiled security underwear is a big problem, before you know it you have a lot to deal with.
True colors and true hearts are all that remain.
Applesauce is a blessing.
Crystal Light is great for diabetics.
Always have a stitchers busy-bag at hand
When you run out of everything else, place head on bed and close eyes. Rest is where you find it.
My little hens have been coming up to the house looking for me (((hugs chickens)))
Sunshine creating a walking opportunity for MIL
Lambs fleece and zinc salves
This spot, my last resort in ordering my thoughts
April 6, 2010
I'm going to change this out for a big clear one I've got with a screw on lid, will be way more convenient than the dreaded duct tape. The blur at the end of the leg above is the kicking can effect...
back later to add: because I forgot the China Quilts part :) MIL bought a quilt made in China that she just loves but it is way too wide for her bed. So because I'm a quilter I'm going to trim four or five inches off each side, rebind it with the binding that came with the quilt. Any quilt in a storm, right? A quilter will always find a way to ply her needle.
Here at hospice manor things are changing rapidly, FIL can no longer stand or get up on his own, and has lost interest in food. Last Friday he forgot how to write his name, that was a sad day. The disconnect is what I've been expecting of course, just weird to have it be here 'already' although I've been here for two years now.
March 27, 2010
I have nine black sex-link hens I inherited from my father-in-law and if you've read my blog you watched them grow from babies to ladies and you know I just love 'em to pieces. All this time I've been thinking about an egg basket and using cottage cheese and Cool Whip plastic cartons. Efficient but no soul at all, none, nada.
Finally my brain kicked in; it's Easter basket time, what better time to find a perfect egg basket for nine eggs a day. Eureka! Now if you were one of my little girls wouldn't you be thrilled to have your eggs gathered in a shiny silver basket loaded with color and bling? I swear the eggs even taste better. They know when they are appreciated :)
How hard my dementia plagued FIL laughed when I showed him the basket
That my MIL bought me pink Easter grass to cushion the eggs
How out of character each action was and is treasured in my heart
March 21, 2010
Not much to report on the quilt front, I'm not happy with the cornerstones of the below mentioned quilt so am rethinking that plan.
FIL gets a little weaker each week and is eating less as we wind down toward the end. Some nights he sleeps pretty well, others he is up and down three or four times an hour. "Well, I gotta get up." "How come?" "I don't know, I gotta get up."
On the other hand my little girls (hens) are eating for an army I swear. But the nine of them have laid straight through fall and winter which is quite unusual if the chicken forum group are to be believed. This is the cutest picture I've seen in awhile, click on it to see full size.
I've been asked to show what I am doing when I thumb/finger quilt, as they say a photo is worth a 1000 words. I don't use a thimble, I push the needle with my thumb or fingernail depending on which direction I'm going. The example is just on a piece of fabric, the quilt I'm working on is next door. #1 pushing away with thumb nail, #2 pushing back with finger nail. My other hand would be under the quilt letting me know each time the needle comes through. Hope the visual helps.
I started quilting with a floor frame built from instructions in a Foxfire book, 2 short side rails, 2 long top and bottom rails, sitting on chair seats. Then I used a vintage card table with the sidebars wrapped in pillow-ticking to pin to. This works beautifully because you can just work your way around the table. Then about 15 years ago I switched to strictly hoop quilting. I did buy a Grace frame in there at one point but hated it so it's gone to a friend in Canada. Back when postage was affordable. I can't imagine what it would cost to mail something like that now.
Big grey squirrels
March 9, 2010
I also got to wondering if I've been alone too much, after I said earlier when I'm feeling blue I go down and listen to the chickens tell stories. So, info junkie that I am I looked around and found this as the first post of a looong thread on a chicken forum...names have been changed to protect the Innocent of course..."I have a house chicken named Babby. I love her dearly. I have come to realize that there are "others" out there too. I was thinking that we needed a place to chat. A place that is safe, where we won't be judged that our chickens are sitting on the couch with us eating grapes..." I laughed 'till my eyes squirted. It never crossed my mind, but now that it has...
March 3, 2010
I believe this is quite common with quilters, strolling between projects. I wish I had the admirable tenacity to stick with one thing start to finish, but that isn't very exciting. Sometimes I'm in the mood for lots of machine work, and others, like now, I can't get enough of hand appliqué. As to cost today...some patterns alone are $60-80.00 if the quilter likes Block Of The Month programs. And I've done a couple of self designed whole cloth quilts that have more than 600 hours of quilting each.
In the night I've been quilting on the Raggedy Hearts quilt, another 30's self designed quilt based on the Bull's Eye technique. This quilt dates back to 2005. It took about a month to machine piece and appliqué and each year I think this is the February it will take pride of place on the bed...as long as my hand holds out 2011 might be the hallelujah February. Note that my corner stars are also raggedy, too cute.
As to how long? My stock answer for the last quarter century has been "If I were in a hurry, I'd buy a blanket".
Needles and thread
Ready to use batting
Wonderland of fabric...all out of reach to me, I've been on the fabric wagon since 2001
February 19, 2010
A few weeks ago I was blessed with the gift of four scissor bobs from a young woman from Australia I don't even know. They are so beautiful and I'm very grateful for her kindness. Live Long and Prosper Hayley.
February 14, 2010
I didn't do any block stitching while I was home for three weeks, but I did get all the blocks prepped, and each night since I've been back at the funny farm I've gotten two blocks finished.
I've added some blocks which was easy to do because many of the shapes are repeated throughout the top. I've monkeyed with others just because I can...
And I'm adding the sequins and beads as I go along now. Sequins on a quilt is a new one for me; I'm triple stitching them and all independent of the appliqué stitching so if one comes off nothing else will fall apart.
As I type I'm sipping a fresh cuppa and nibbling a little box full of Necco Sweethearts candies. My second favorite holiday treat. I guess I could just go buy a roll of Necco's any time of the year, but it really wouldn't be the same thing~
Some Valentine day trivia from a book by Nigel Pennick: A combination of Norse and Roman traditions dedicated to Vali the archer, son of Odin and to Juno Februa, goddess of maternal and married love. Rob and I will be married forty years this month. I asked him yesterday if I could have another serving of forty years please...he said he'd think about it. Probably makes him tired just to think about it. I wouldn't take another forty years with me if I could get out of it :)
Time to visit my favorite blogs
Hatching a surprise with my FIL
The sight of my hens enjoying yogurt this morning
January 17, 2010
A wonderful treat this weekend, my BIL showed up out of the blue and we talked well into the night and again for a long time this afternoon. He'd dropped off the radar and I was very fearful we were being shunned, which is a wicked and shameful practice in my book. Apparently not, and I'm so thankful he was here to see his dad for the last time. And that FIL recognized him. Although as the night progressed he would sit up in bed and say "who is he talking to?" I'd pull my ears out and say Me!
Lost little hen was found
January 11, 2010
All fine and well, nothing remarkable in any of that except last week I went to Office Max to get some more staples and none were to be had. None at the downtown local office supply. I went on-line in my quest and found to my dismay the Tot50 has been discontinued by Swingline. Oh yes, you can buy small staplers...but they take the big honkin' staples, not my fine sharp mini-staples. I found a distributor on Ebay and ordered enough staples to last the next half century and hoo-hiss on Swingline for breaking with the past. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
Little cheerful blocks keep appearing on the working wall (or a RV version thereof) I can usually get two a night done while FIL gears down from sundowning and into patchy sleep mode. When my eyes are too sleepy to stitch I've been working my way through ancient Egypt mysteries with Lieutenant Bak and his Medjay police force for the second time, penned by Lauren Haney. If you like mystery stories you'll love Stop You're Killing Me. You can search out titles by author, trade, sexual persuasion, genre, and much more.
January 7, 2010
I'm having a blast with my current quilt project, and it is coming together ever so well. Don't know if 30's reproductions are the right fabric for this but they are cheerful and I have them here and that is enough reason to use them for me. I've been on the fabric wagon since 2001...and I doubt I ever run out of fabric. I wish I'd never 'stocked stash'.
These will finish at six inches and every block is different. I need to get clever about some sashing or border or create more blocks because the 50 patterns from the book won't be enough. I decided long ago big borders just look like the maker ran out of steam. But I have some off-the-wall ideas perking...as usual. These are from the 2001 edition of Faye Anderson's Appliqué Designs My Mother Taught Me To Sew, an awkward title if there ever was one but nothing surprises me with an AQS publication.
These patterns are not original to the author but are based on a 1870's wool felt quilt credited to Hannah Riddle of Woolrich Maine. I'm wondering about the book information, there is no Woolrich Maine, but there is a Woolrich Woolen Mills, and there is a listing of intentions of marriage listed on a geneology site for Henry Tuckerman & Hannah Riddle July 4, 1761 of Woolwich Maine.
Whatever, a number of the shapes are used multiblock, so it will be easy to add more blocks. One unusual thing the author did with her blocks is add sequins with a seed bead which really makes the blocks pop in the cover photo. The blocks also include embroidery which bores me to death and also explains why I'm the worst embroiderer on the face of the earth. I'll do my vines with penwork which I've used on a number of my quilts with good success.
On the home hospice front, I've decided FIL's dementia symptoms are a worse punishment than congestive heart failure, acute renal failure, diabetes, or pulmonary disease. Dementia runs the show here now and the afflicted has no defense against this ghastly disorder of the brain. He knows he can't remember but can't remember that he know that. Try living with that concept 24 hours a day and you will have a window into FIL's life.
The ability to reason
The ability to make choices
The ability to think