Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Feline Friday - nicknames

Do you have nicknames for your kids? Furry or not? A certain person I am related to doesn't understand why I have (so many) nicknames for the kids and insists that they can't possibly recognize their nicknames. She also insists they don't understand when I talk to them in Spanish. I think it's all about repetition - say a word enough and while the cat may not know what the hell I am saying, they will eventually recognize that the word refers to them or a specific activity. That got me started on a list of all the nicknames I have for my kids. The lists are in the order of use over the last week, with the first nickname the most often used instead of their real names :)

This is Pepper and his gotcha day was August 12, 2002.
I found him and his mother outside my office at the University of Miami when he was about 1 month old.
His mother, Tula AKA Mommy or Tulabird, died May 2010.
Poppy - which is used in Latin communities as a term of endearment for a male child
Pepito - another Latin endearment for 'little Pepper'
Chunky Monkey  - do I really need to explain this one?
Baby Butt or Buttski
Pimiento - bastardized Spanish for Pepper
Wussy Pussy - he will run and hide at the slightest thing, even when I just need to walk past him
Loverboy - he really does like attention, especially belly rubs

This is Smokey and her gotcha day was July 3, 2010.
She was my brother's cat who came to stay at my house while they went to Disney and ... she's still here!
We think she is about 11 or 12 years old now.
Midgie or Miss Midgie - short for Midget because she's so tiny, just skin & bones
Midgie-mator - rhymes with Tow-mator from the movie Cars - don't even ask how this one evolved
Motormouth - she never stops whining for more food
Prancy Pants - from the way her nails click on the laminate floors when she prances about the house
Skinny Mini

This is Cali and her gotcha day was November 23, 2010.
Cali used to live behind the liquor store next to my office. I think she is probably 2 or 3 years old.
Squeaky - based on her squeaky meow
The Squeakinator
The Squeakster
The Enforcer - she chases after the other kitties when they get in trouble, as if she is going to discipline them
Squeaky Wheel - you know...the squeaky wheel gets attention and she always wants to be front and center
Hossefina - she reminds me a lot of Hoss from "Bonanza" with that faraway "dumb" stare

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Batiks fabrics

I've been playing with Batiks...check back next week to see the doll quilt I am donating to the American Girl Tea Party, a fundraiser for Cordelia Greene Library. This event is so popular and so many generations of ladies who attended as kids now take their own kids that tickets were almost sold out before the flyers were even posted!!

I'm not sure I'll be able to attend this year but I will take photos if all works out...

No, this is NOT a family bonding moment. It's just that the two bleep-ing squirrels in the bird feeder didn't seem to mind 3 furry faces drooling over them through an open window/screen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Garden Tour

As Cali and I sat on the porch this morning, enjoying the sunshine and dew still shimmering on the lawn, I thought it was the perfect time to take a garden tour. Won't you join me?!

Pansies have to be one of my favorite plants and there is a little pot right there on the porch that I can see every day as I come and go from the house. I want to paint the porch decks purple - what do you think of this shade?

The Bleeding Heart is huge and I noticed lots of buds this morning. To the left is my new purple garden phlox.

The Black Jack and (unknown name) Sedums are coming nicely. When I bought the Black Jack last summer it only had 3 stems - I'm thrilled to see it has at least 4 times as many this year.

The hosta are coming up. Biggie size it to see the dew drops! These are some of my smaller hosta - I don't think I took a photo of the Sum and Substance which will eventually be 4 or 5 feet wide when full grown. It has a much larger/darker stem poking up thru the mulch but it doesn't look like much so far.

The Clematis are making gains. While I planted them 2 summers ago, I am still watching them to learn how best to trim them back each year. The tags for both called for "moderate" trimming which doesn't fit into the usual garden magazine nomenclature. One seems to only sprout new growth from the bottom of the old plant (= I can trim a lot) and the other sprouts from the very bottom and the very top (= I don't think I should trim much of anything).

More pansies around the pear tree. Any one know where I can get a (plastic) partridge for my Xmas decorations?

I am 99% sure this is my Delphinium - doesn't that lime green just shout spring? I just bought 2 more Delphinium and need to decide where to plant them. Part of the decision making process is remembering where I (last minute) planted some things last year and some changes I want to make to this particular bed. I am hoping for a tall cutting garden so some things will have to be moved out.

And last but not least on today's tour is the ever elusive and positively rare Hershey's day lily!
(Yesterday was trash day and I noticed several candy wrappers in the yard today - I'm downwind)

How's your garden coming this spring?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Project Snippets

I've got a few things slapped up on the design wall...

... on the left: tumbler blocks cut from charm squares with my new ruler
...on the bottom: several in-progress rug mugs (they are addictive but that is the last of the veggie fabric!)
...on the middle/right: I now have two of four sections of the hexie BathroomQuilt completed. (Above are hexie diamonds for another project) They are not actually joined yet until I do one of the side sections to see how much "white space" I need between the four sections. I'll be at a conference next week so this will be a good travel project.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 4/25/11

One of my goals for the long weekend was to pull all the extra boxes and piles out of the quilt room to sort and organize. I got most everything pulled out by lunch time Friday but then found two pieces of "difficult-to-match" fabric I had stored with a runner pattern. Instead of making that runner again, I had previously decided to make a disappearing 4 patch and since I came across the fabric while "cleaning" I decided to just go ahead and cut out the 6" strips I would need.

Once the strips were cut I might as well sew them together...
Once the strips were sewn together I might as well subcut...
Can you guess where this was going?

Here it is Monday morning - the boxes and piles are in the middle of the living room, the center of my dissapearing 4 patch is done and the borders are half done until I can buy more fabric this weekend.

(Yeh, Smokey is still jumping up for treats, and a well placed treat means she will hold the quilt long enough for a photo op)

As for the rest of the weekend, I spent Friday afternoon sewing, the girls came over Saturday for a couple hours of sewing, I played outside in the dirt with some new plants Saturday evening, had brunch at my brother's for Easter and fired up the grill for Sunday dinner at my house. It was a good weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Feline Friday - new "tricks"

You've heard me say before that Smokey is always looking for more food or treats. I call her Midgie (short for Midget) because she is just the tiniest skin and bones thing. At some point this week she decided to jump up onto my cutting table and meow for a treat. Silly me, I rewarded her ingenuity and she is now constantly jumping up looking for a treat.

Then Pepper wanted in on the scheme and he jumped up. Whereas Midgie will stay hoping for more treats, Pepper eats and runs, altho he will come back for more later.

I've pretty much convinced Midgie to stay away from the ironing board and hot iron but she doesn't mind sitting on fabric and such on the cutting mat. Actually using the mat with her there is a "treat" in itself!

And for some unknown reason both Midgie and Cali rediscovered the cat chair. No one has sat in the chair for so long that I threw all the kid's toys there. Someone discovered I had also put some catnip on the chair and now it's the hottest "new" toy in the house.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

UFO Thursday

I agree - it IS a horrible picture but as I was walking out the door this morning to realize I had no picture to post today...this is the best I can offer. It's snowing and gray AGAIN so I just don't have the energy to try for a better shot.

Hexies are a great travel project and, yes, I did bring two with me to work. The larger orange/ purple "Bathroom Quilt" works best for me when I pull out enough squares to complete one row at a time. That row is almost done so I've also brought a diamond to work on. These are more mindless and I am enjoying playing with the striped fabric.

I have tomorrow off for Good Friday so I am "scheduling" a Feline Friday post...let's hope it posts on its own since the last 2 scheduled posts needed a push... Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Need I say much more? The book just came out, I put my name on the waiting list adt the library and it's here already!!!! I have 3 CDs to finish in my current book and then I can get my Elm Creek fix!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Civil War Quilt

Ever sew slowly I am catching up on my Civil War blocks. I've added a page to my blog that shows all my blocks in one place...at some point I hope to edit the photos to look more like a "quilt."

This weekend I completed the 3 blocks below ... that means I only have 9 more blocks to catch up on! I still think the hardest part of these blocks is deciding what fabric to use in which blocks. I'm also adjusting some of the cutting instructions to use "Bonnie" construction methods. I' not 100% sure this is worth the effort but I do hope the left over pieces will be more usable in other blocks.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 4/18/11

I am 90% done with the "Delicious" quilt top - I just need to add the sashing & cornerstones to 2 sides. It's a lot brighter than I had expected so I'm glad I used the brown for the sashing to tone it down a bit.

Mexican Standoff

I knew the kids would have fun if I laid this out for a picture and left it for a while...didn't expect Smokey to be afraid of the folded bits tho...

I have very little left overs (by design!), but they made for a very neat mug rug. It's a gift so I can't say much more...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feline Friday

Some days the models just aren't cooperative around here! I wanted some pictures of Smokey - she's least likely to be photographed because she just won't hold still. If you are near her there is the possibility of food so she is moving and meowing and angling for a scritch just in case the food thing doesn't pan out. I feel bad because she is the least documented cat I have ever owned.

I had no pictures for the week (how do the cat bloggers do this on a daily basis?) so I was almost following Smokey around trying for something, anything. This motion shot was the best I could get:

BUT...as I was angling the camera around, Smokey's little sissy showed up to play because the camera cord was swinging back and forth. Again, not 100% in focus, but that's what happens when there is fun to be had.

In the end, it must have been a boring game so I just gave up ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Loss in the name of Progress

It's always sad when historic buildings are torn down. It's even sadder when the building was so far beyond repair due to neglect of an owner that there was no other choice. And so ends the era of the Castile Sanitarium. 
The very front has been removed - it was originally a (wooden) tavern
 The Sanitarium, or "Water Cure," was founded by Jabez Greene in 1849 as a hydropathic institution. His daughter, Dr. Cordelia Greene, took over after his death. Cordelia was one of the early women doctors, an active member of Women's Suffrage and the founder of our local library. On Cordelia's death, her niece Dr. Mary Greene took over. In all, the Greene family ran the facility for 108 years.

Demolition started in the center section.
The front building (left) was originally 2 stories but a third was later added.
You can see the various bricks and sections to the building.
Within my own lifetime, I can remember senior apartments and a restaurant in this great old building where the ladies were cured by sitting on the front porch and eating onions in the freezing cold. (Ok, there was more to the "cure" but that's all I remember). It's second to last owner lived there with her animals. Use your imagination: the place was a mess and not safe to be in.

It was originally hoped that the gymnasium could be saved and a kitchen added for dinner functions.
It is now slated for demolition as well.

Most recently the Castile Community Club bought the 5 acre parcel with plans to remove the remaining buildings and build a new community center. The graceful old pool has already been backfilled, old architectural elements were salvaged, the asbestos was removed and the demolition finally began this week. Rumor has it that the site will be cleared in only 2 weeks and some kind of new building will be constructed by summer's end.

Cordelia's legacy lives on in the Cordelia A Greene Library, despite the demolition across Main Street.

Goodbye dear lady - you are gone but not forgotten...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Almost Wordless Civil War Wednesday

I'm still playing catch up on Civil War blocks...How are your blocks coming?

<-- #2 - North Star

#4 - Tears for Texas -->

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chalk Fest Bags

Kim cuts thru piles of donated jeans
This July is the 5th Annual Perry Chalk Art Festival in downtown Perry. For the three years that I have been involved with the planning committee, I have been working with Kim and Felisa to make denim bags out of discarded blue jeans. Their daughters help with the bag painting but they were at college this year so Kim also lent her painting skills to the mix.

For the last 2 Saturdays the girls have met at my house to work on the bags. Remember that I said these are discarded jeans - some have stains and others have holes in various places but then there are also the frayed seams that lend a "rustic" touch.
wouldn't they also make neat catchalls?

We cut strips from the legs, make a box seam at the bottom, add a cuff or use the frayed seam and had a ribbon or cord for a handle. Our chalk dude logo and "Chalk Perry" is added with fabric paint. Later we will stuff these with chalk and other supplies for our artists to use during the festival. Leftover denim parts are being saved this year so we can create some other items for sale.

I have no idea what my giggles were about here...

It's hard to be serious when you're having fun: we broke out a bottle of dry Riesling and there were frosted brownies and rhubarb upside down cake for later!

phooey - Felisa smeared it

Monday, April 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 4/11/11

We are making great progress on Delicious...

I have the first 7 rows together and that leaves 8 more. Even tho I had done the math and wanted to use up this fabric, I just hadn't realized how big it would be. Wow! There will be another sashing/cornerstone row along the left and bottom with no additional borders. I only had enough to do 4 red apples so those will be in the four corners.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Feline Friday

The girls were pleased as punch that I could open the windows last night after work.
It's still a little chilly out but warm enough to open the window for a few minutes to make them happy.
We ALL have spring fever.

This morning Pepper surprised me and jumped up onto the sewing table while I was experimenting with dresden plates. He inspected everything (he's an efficient and thorough Quality Control Officer) and then cleaned up while holding down quilt parts.

BTW - I did get more brown fabric so I should make a lot of progress on the Delicious quilt this weekend.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

UFO Thursday

This was one of my first quilts (I've sewn for 30+ years but only quilted for 6 or 7). I had cut the orange and black fabrics into strips and was making the log cabins until I noticed how wonky they were. That was before I found wonkiness on the internet and knew it had it's place.

Then I found a mini paperpiecing template that I could use. I cut down each original strip into ~1" strips and "designed" this in Excel - Yup, I can find the file if you don't believe me! Can you see the flying geese?

I only have to pull the paper (vellum really - my absolute fav but hard to find lately) off 11 more blocks. I already have the backing fabric - It's black and orange and the inspiration for the whole project.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Civil War Wednesday

As most of you hopefully know, this year is the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War here in the USA.

About a month ago I found http://civilwarquilts.blogspot.com/ by Barbara Brackman. Each Saturday of this anniversary year a new blog post will be added with a quilt block and Civil War history. Directions for the 8" finished blocks are included and womens' diaries or historical accounts are quoted to explain the name for the block or why it's included as a Civil War block. There are lots of references if you want to learn more.

I did have a great-great-grandfather who was saved by his canteen in Gettysburg. Unfortunately, another relative later threw out the "rusty thing" from their attic, thinking it had no historical value. Arghghghgh! There is an annual family reunion of this regiment and they are planning to go to Gettysburg next year for the re-dedication of their monument. Hopefully I can go as I haven't been to Gettysburg since I was a kid.

Back to the quilt...I was already behind when I found the blog but then I wasn't sure what fabric to use. Should I use Civil War repros (which I didn't own)? Or something I already had? I immediatley thought of a FQ bundle I had but on inpsection, it just didn't "feel" right for these blocks. Last weekend the LQS had a sale on Civil War fabrics so I bought some FQs to get me started. Sorry, but I forgot to photograh the stack of pretty fabrics this morning...maybe when I post my progress next week. I'll be using neutrals that I already own, even tho they aren't Civil War fabrics in the least.

Anyways, last night I completed block #1 Catch me if you can. Only 13 more blocks to go to get caught up! Luckily they are relatively small and only take a few hours to decide on fabric and make them.