Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another Vehicle At Our House

Kerry finally found what he wanted. It's a 1976 John Deere tractor with a front loader. He already has all the stuff that goes on the back (brush hog, etc.) but he wanted the front loader.

So here is the list of vehicles that run that are on our five acres:

Honda Element
Volkswagen Jetta turbo diesel
Volkswagen Van (old)
Porsche 911 (old but classic)
Victory motorcycle
Chevy farm truck (old)
Two riding lawn mowers
Rokon off-road bike (used by hunters but he doesn't hunt)
1956 Ford Tractor
1976 John Deere Tractor with front loader


My 2007 Prius.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween, Snow And A Brave Cat

My daughter-in-law Julia loves Halloween; it's her favorite holiday. She sent photos this morning of their first Halloween party in St. Louis.

It turned out to be an afternoon affair complete with homemade goodies and pumpkin carving. They had the party early, because Julia and most of their friends will be playing in the symphony Saturday night.

Another photo came this morning from my brother who lives in Evergreen, CO. It was taken at 4:45 a.m. when the snow was falling on their deck. Just reminds me why I don't want to live in snow country. He loves it, however. Supposed to have three feet in Evergreen today. Schools are closed. He, however, has to work.

As you may remember, we have three Labrador retrievers and two cats here this week. Harry and Darlan are here because their puppy raiser Lia had to go to Vancouver Island for the birth of her first grandchild.

It was even crazier when our friends Steve and Janet were here for two nights earlier this week with their young lab. The cats have kept a pretty low profile during all of this dog chaos.

That is until this morning when Nora, she's the cat on the left in the photo, decided to come into my sewing room where three dogs were sleeping. They chased after her but she was undaunted; she found a place on a soft blanket where she was unreachable by wet noses and settled in.

The dogs sniffed and tried to nuzzled her; she didn't budge. When SHE decided she'd spent enough time in the room, she left with the dogs in hot pursuit, but they didn't outrun a very swift cat.

So that's life at our house. Kerry is having his surgery right now to remove the basil cell carcinoma from his face. I'll keep you posted on that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quilt Show Purchases

Mostly I bought colorful silks to go in my next Rose Hughes piece. The photo of what I'm making is shown in the lower center of the photo. To the right is my new rotary cutter that will make scalloped edges. The purple fabric under the rotary cutter has the scalloped edges. I also got to other blades to use to make different edges. The yarn came from a wonderful booth that had yarn for knitters and yarn for fabric artist.

The other big news I hinted at the other day is that I sent the fabric art I made for Rose Hughes to her; she featured it in her blog on Oct. 15, 2009.

She referred her readers to my blog; I've had many new visitors that way. The fabric art she posted today is just plain amazing. Hope you enjoy it all.

Having friends for lunch today. I made a curried butternut squash soup. Fresh tomatoes and a chunk of great bread will round out the meal.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

The Quilt Show

My friends Mary Jane, Patricia and I had a great time at the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA. I have never seen so many outstanding quilts in one large area. "Outstanding" really doesn't do them justice. The show made me realize just how many amazingly creative art quilters there are in the world. My friend Marylee won third place for her wearable art. I'll try to find a picture to show it to you in another post.

This show specialized in art quilts, fabric art and wearable art, which is what I specialize in now; well, for the last two weeks ;>))

The top quilt is from a woman in South Africa. I'm not quite sure how she did it, but I suspect there is a lot of folded fabric in it The second one is an applique quilt done in a very different way. I think if you click on the photos you can see an enlargement.

There were literally thousands of quilters attending this event and hundreds of vendors. Luckily we went to the preview on Wednesday night when there weren't many people there. I could get a sense of the show without the shoulder-to-shoulder people who appeared the next day. And, of course, during the preview I bought something I needed. Well, okay, wanted.

We stayed across the street from the Convention Center at the Hilton Hotel , which was a real treat. Since I retired, I haven't stayed in many of these. In fact,
my Hilton Honors card had expired. The desk clerk was nice enough to fix that.

I forgot my pillow, which was a bummer. The bed was good, but the pillows were way to hard for me. But after walking miles in the convention hall I managed to sleep amazingly well both nights. One thing that helped me with the walking was my Sprongs. It's a shoe with a spring (literally) in the sole and the heel. My hips and knees did not bother me at all. I had brought along pain patches (love them) and Tylenol but didn't need either.

I do love staying in this type of hotel because you can drop your towels on the floor and someone else picks them up, there is room service and a bar and restaurant where you just sign for stuff.

Mary Jane and Patricia had different plans for dinner so I dined in the hotel both nights. The first night I had a rather unacceptable seafood pesto tortellini (not enough garlic or basil) but the second night I struck pay dirt with a spinach salad with feta cheese, walnuts and pear. The pear turned out to be from a can so I didn't eat it.

This morning I had room service. Divine. One thing that was a shock was the quality of the in-room coffee maker. It was a Cuisinart, which made one or two the cups. It was good coffee and they had real half and half. Well that's all for tonight.

Tomorrow I'll show you what I bought and something else very exciting.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Harleen Resting

She was spayed today so is home resting under a blanket because she was shivering. Pretty dopey from the meds. Our vet said that some people don't want to pay for post-op pain meds. She considers that cruel so gives them something even though no one pays for it. We paid for Harleen to get the full dose.

Vet also found a foxtail in her nose. I thought she had one from yesterday when she spent a good part of the afternoon searching for cat and turkey poop on the property. This involved a lot of sniffing. One of those sniffs brought the offending foxtail into her nose. I saw it; not a pretty sight.

She also had her nails trimmed so she is ready for a date and no need for condoms.

That's all; 1.4 inches of rain so far today. Going to my bookgroup tonight. Discussing Thrity Umrigar's book, "The Space Between Us." Great book.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fabric Art: The Learning Process

I had so much fun creating this artwork; it's 18" x 24". I've always had trouble following directions so this is a perfect form of fabric art for me. There really are no directions. I started this piece in Rose Hughes class a couple of weeks ago. See for my inspiration. She is amazing.

I left her class with the fabric part put together and lots of ideas on how to embellish it. I was really stymied at first. Couldn't let go of the idea that there must be something I should do. I would wake up during the night thinking about the piece. Then I realized I could do anything I wanted.

I started very hesitantly on the outer fabrics. I learned to love beads; I own a lot more now that I did before the class. Plus I made several of the little puff balls from wool roving that I talked about in my last blog. They are decorated with beads too. One has a bright purple button; looks like an eyeball.

But the center was staring blankly back at me. Then I got the idea for the backwards "C" in the middle. I think of it as the Milky Way. The best part of all of this is if you don't like it you can take it out and start over.

I kept wondering when I would be done; somehow I knew just a few minutes ago. Click on it to bigify so you can see some of the smaller details.

I'm absolutely in love with this type of quilting. No rules and lots of bling.

Next on my sewing table is a pattern from Rose Hughes; it's a landscape that measures 35 x 35. This one is going to take a bit longer. It's called a "New Pathway." Thank you Rose Hughes.
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Sunday, October 04, 2009

A New Use For Knee High Nylons

This is what my work table looks like these days ever since I took the Rose Hughes class. It's all about using your imagination with fabric and embellishments. The term "embellishments" is a very broad one.
In the foreground by the scissors you see five little puff balls of color. They came from the funny looking nearly sausage-like thing right above them. Above all of this is wool roving that I bought on line. It's one pound of 12 different colors. You use the roving plus 3 layers of batting to form little colorful balls, which you place in the knee high nylons; you tie a knot after the ball and then go on to placing the next colorful ball in the nylon. I got 13 balls in one sock. Then you put the whole thing in the wash with your clothes; once it's done washing then you put it in the dryer. The best part is when you open the sock and find the little colorful puff balls you've created.Posted by Picasa
I've sewn beads on some of the puff balls and used them on the abstract art piece I'm creating. You will see it eventually. It is so much fun to create art this way. More on all of this later.