Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A day of feasting and enjoying family!
Gotta go,
Much to do!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November blahs!

When my children were small we had a few of the volumes of a Sesame Street book set.
  I have no idea at this point what they were called and this is WAY before Elmo! 
 In the "D" book there was  a story called Darling Dora and the Dazzling Diamond D which my children LOVED!
The jist of it is that Dora's Daddy, the King, gave her a Dazzling Diamond D necklace which was stolen by a Dragon.  After the Dragon was captured and the necklace returned the Dragon was sent to the Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary Dungeon.
That phrase-Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary, Dungeon-became part of our family language.

I am currently living in a November that feels like that dungeon!

Projects of any kind are moving at a snails pace.
I have a deadline next week.
Well, two really.
A mailing deadline 
and Thanksgiving.
I'm getting somewhat tense.
That isn't helped by the Deep, Dark, Damp, Dreary weather.
BIG SIGH!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Fabric Expeditions



This is the current state of Brayden's Trip around the world.
I was so thrilled last week to find the piece of fabric I knew I was seriously short of!
Then when I finished Part 3 and began laying out Part 4 I realized I had three other colors I wasn't going to have enough of! URGH!
(I have to say that using up my stash requires the purchasing of so much more fabric!)
So.
I headed east to a quilt shop about 30 minutes east of here as I knew they carried
Stonehenge fabrics.
No luck.
I did buy some green for another project and some dark that I could  use if I had to.

On the way home I stopped of at Cockrell Mercantile.
I had read about the shops in that "I'll have to go there one day, it's close" sort of way.
Anyway, I decided that the time had come!
Such a fun place.
Much kitchen stuff.
A whole shop of fiesta ware! (Bri you should check it out!)
While there I happened across this fellow!


Adding him to my Santa Collection-he's rather unique.

After wandering about 4 cottages FILLED with lovely things I headed home.
MY mind was occupied with what I was going to do about the quilt.
Then I remembered!
I had cut the selvages off and kept them. 
I'm not planning any projects out of them but I've needed some in the past and had to cut them off stash pieces!
I wondered if the selvages had the numbers for the design on them.
After the usual- Hey Quinn I'm home!
I headed to the studio to look.
I found two of them.
Googled Stonehenge Gradients Bright and one of the numbers and 
found a shop called
1000's of bolts and 1 Nut!
They had ALL 3 fabrics I needed!
Ordered.
They've been shipped so I'll soon be ready to work on that one again!

In the meantime, I'm cutting Ethan's (guess what I need more red fabric!), quilting Kolby's and working on Secrets

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mini-shop Hop!

No not for miniatures- though that would be fun!
So your second guess would be for fabric and that would be correct!

After dropping Miss Quinn off at camp for the day I headed north for an hour and a half-give or take some minutes!  (Missed having Quinn next to me in the truck!)

First I went to Crossroads Quilting in Cameron, MO.  I have been there before and its a nice little shop but nothing fell off the shelves and into my hands there!  

Then if was off to - wait for it. . . 


Yep, Quiltown USA!
They have several buildings-one for wools, one for batiks, one for brights, 
you get the picture.
So I wandered about and bought these:


Two fat quarter bundles and a piece of blue.
The bundles for projects that will be gifts.
The blue is an alternative for the blue I have now run out of for Brayden's Trip!
Oh, NO!


A closer look at the fabric in the fall bundle.


And here are the holiday ones.

I bought some bits and bobs as well-they have really cute things!
It's fun to go there but I don't go often as it's a bit overwhelming as well.
There's the "Which shop did I see that print in again?" thing going on.

After lunch, where I had a nice chat with some folks from Grand Prairie, Texas.
(I really must be a Hickam as I will chat with most anyone-as will most any other Hickam!)

Then I was off to Chillicothe!
The shop there is called Cuts and Bolts, fun name.


These also fell into my hands and also have projects they are needed for!
Then, I nearly did cartwheels!
I went on this little jaunt looking for a specific blue stonehenge fabric,
They had it!


Why was I so excited?


This is the last square of this fabric in Brayden's Trip-which is almost 2/3 complete.
I really didn't think I'd find it so I was thrilled!

I had another shop on the list for today, but with the late start and all the fun I had shopping and chatting plus driving on back roads the store would have closed before I could get there.
Oh well, another trip!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Succulents have taken over!


I can't seem to stay away from the tables holding succulents at my garden nursery!
These two arrangements are residing on my desk.



There are several others in individual pots near the window.
Then there's this beauty.


It does seem a bit confused though~it is a Christmas Cactus!

All but one plant seem happy as can be sitting where the morning sun hits them.
I didn't realize that succulents would bend to follow the sun but I have to give the pots a quarter turn now and then.

Fall has finally come,
At my last house the neighborhood was full of trees, oak trees.
They just turn brown in the fall.
This neighborhood is full of maples.
There are some oaks as well but there are several varieties of maple.
Some are VERY red.
Mine are yellow.
I never noticed before but the trees turn color from the top down.

There are also lots of these laying on the ground around the neighborhood
~ Hedge apples, fruit of the Osage Orange 

The things you see and learn while walking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quilting, reading and other stuff


First up Quilting.
I thought I'd show you my set up for sewing rows without messing up the order of the blocks.
Beginning on the back left.
 The clipboard holds the design.
Each fabric has a number and that number is entered on the design sheet in it's proper place.
I use the pick highlighter to mark off the rows I've finished.
The sheet leaning against the clipboard has samples of each fabric beside it's number (also the number of squares I cut in this color.)
Then there are the five piles of squares waiting for me to lay them out.
To the very far right are strips cut for binding.
 (Forgot to do that for Kolby's Trip! Had to buy fabric.)
In the front are the square sets for the next blocks.
Three are already sewn together.
Just above the first set is a sticky with an arrow on it.
That tells me which way to press the seams so that they "lock" when they are sewn.
That's really important because even though I PIN like a fool they can shift and I want all of those four corners to meet perfectly~ I don't always get perfection but it has to be close.
Also shown are the oh so necessary tools of the craft.
Scissors, seam ripper, thread.  Other tools not shown-sewing machine, OTT light, and iron.
Using all that I get this!


Only seven more strips to attach before heading onto the next row.
See the orange sicky note?
Another reminder of how that row's seams need to be pressed in order to lock.
Tonight this row will be finished, tomorrow it will be on to the next.
I still have to unsew sometimes~ not nearly as much as on Kolby's.
Last night I attached the group I'd finished and found I'd left two strips out!
 Had to fix that.

Most of you have likely noticed that I read a great deal.
That's probably an understatement!
I finished this one a couple of days ago.
It's about the Mann Gulch fire.
 I wrote a bit about it August 27, 2016 (in spite of my best efforts I can't seem to link to that post.)
The Mann Gulch fire was  the greatest single loss of life in Smokejumper history-13.
It's a hard book to read.
Well, the subject makes it hard.
The writing is exquisite.
Lyrical.
Which is totally explained by the fact that the author taught English at the University of Chicago.
Romance poets and Shakespeare to be exact-guess that rubs off on you.
You might recognize the author-Norman MacLean.
He also wrote A River Runs Through It And Other Stories.
Yes, the one the movie was made from.
I've added it to my reading list.


This fire year has been so horrible.
It seems it will never end.
I learn quite a bit about fire behavior from this book.
Things they didn't know at the time of the Mann Gulch fire.
Scary stuff forest fires.

Other things on my "To Do" list-some of which I actually do!
Prepping the trim and walls in my bedroom for paint.
 (a project made more complicated by the fact that the previous owners painted over a wall-paper border. Thank goodness it was only a border!)
Walking most days.
Stretching most days.
Practicing Piano and Guitar.
I'll never be truly capable on either but I am happy with my progress and I love doing it.
Practicing taking pictures.
Much harder on manuel but even if it takes multiple attempts I'm still trying.
Again, I may never be truly capable.

I've even done some cooking.
And managed to keep the kitchen fairly orderly along the way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall and finish!



Fall came!
It won't last just yet but. . .
I'm enjoying hot tea with honey 
and oatmeal.
Maybe even soup, who knows.
I'm even wearing a sweater.
I love FALL! 

And in other news~
"H" is finished!
I am so glad!
It looks okay and will keep me warm
BUT. . .
I'm not really very happy with it.
I will not let flaws keep me from a finish though!



Today, I have some paint prep work to do.
One more doll outfit for Nora to sew.
(To anyone thinking of sewing American Girl doll clothes just let me say this~
it's like sewing an outfit for the 8yo girl in miniature! Painful!)
Then I can mail that off for her birthday on Friday.
Will also make the backing and batt for Kolby's Trip
to sandwich tomorrow!

I'm on a roll!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quilting Catch-up


After last week this one has been blissfully quiet!
I have reworked my daily chores to where most all are on Mondays.
Leaving me more time for 
Stitching
Knitting
Quilting
Photography
Research
Which was the goal of the upheaval!

So the photo above is the beginning of Brayden's Trip.
I love the colors!
(Hint-my favorite color-blue!)
It looks blurry in the photo but when I looked at the strip again it really looks like that!

The other quilting catch up?
The "H" quilt.
Which now only needs binding!
Thank goodness.
It's the biggest quilt I've done on Bella the Bernina and I think I would have been okay if I hadn't decided to stitch in the ditch and then about 3/4" outside that "H".
Much twisting, and turning of a whole lot of fabric.
Add in the fact that the calendar may say it's October and time for the cool but the thermostat has said nearly 90F and thus the air conditioning has come on, makes holding all of that on your lap kinda HOT! 
Anyway, I should get a completed quilt photo on here soon.

I need to finish the doll clothes I have cut out and get them in the mail to Miss Nora as her birthday is on the 14th, so that's next.
I continue to make blocks for Brayden's quilt.
Cut fabric for Ethan's.
And Sandwich Kolby's quilt.

Still stretching, doing some exercises I learned in Physical Therapy and walking.
Practicing both the piano and guitar as well.
I'm managing to stay busy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crazy week!


This is a crazy week for me!
I mostly stay at home, especially in the evenings, working on projects and reading.
This week has only two evenings free!

Kolby

First, on Sunday I watched this guy play soccer!
Such intensity.
Then he and I went to a Sporting Kansas City game-that's professional soccer!
Sporting KC wins a lot of games and won the game on Sunday against the LA Galaxy 2-1.
It was loud.
It was hot.
It was a bit boring what with all that ball passing going on!
I try and take each boy to something just for them-this was for Kolby.
I tell them that we will stay as long as they want and leave when they are ready.
These are long games-45 minute halves-and about 20 minutes before the end of the second half he said he was ready to go.
We went.
He's 8, I figured we'd leave early.
Parking, while free is across the road at the race track but they provide a free shuttle back and forth.
Leaving early meant we didn't have to wait for a shuttle!

Tuesday, Rob, Tanya and I went to the Kansas City Symphony after dinner.
The first time I'd been in the symphony hall at the Performing arts center and it is just as nice as the ballet hall.
An intimate setting for a performance of contemporary composers which we all enjoyed!
So much so that we're doing it again in 2018.

Today, I had my usual Wednesday volunteer day at the National Frontier Trails Center
followed by errands in Independence.
Joann's, Barnes and Noble and Costco.
Quinn was very glad to see me!

Tomorrow night I have photography class.
My homework is already done and printed!

Friday night Brayden and I are going to one of the final Royals games (baseball) of this season.
Unfortunately, there is no chance of us winning the pennant this time!
Last time he and I went they won the American League West-it was exciting.

In between all of that I've been quilting "H" -really do not like this quilt! 
And sewing on Brayden's Trip.

Whew.



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Busy Bee here!


I'm taking a photography class at the Community College (Continuing Education)!
Expect more photos!
I have a nice (although older) Canon digital camera-think 35 mm style without film-which I've been using like a point and shoot!
While the photos are nice I decided I wanted to learn how to really use the camera.
The first class was all about light, ISO, Shutter speed and F stops-aperture. 
For the first time someone explained all that in a way I could understand.
Homework is 24 printed photos experimenting with light only.
I think I have 5 photos for each one I will have printed!
I consider my living room to be SO LIGHT-it took 5 attempts to even SEE anything in the photos!
I'm learning a lot but it will be an ongoing thing.

Besides Photos I have been sewing!
Doll clothes for Miss Nora's birthday next month.

 



Finished the top for Kolby's Trip Around the World!
That has to have batting and backing made and
Has to wait for


The "H" quilt to be out from under the needle!
(I don't have enough safety pins to sandwich it yet!-thought I had a million but this is a biggish quilt!)

I hope to have  "H" quilted by the first of next week.
Brayden's first Trip blocks are laid out-should get started on them tonight.


Added to that Quinn and I have been walking and I've been stretching and exercising, I'd like to say everyday but am happy with 5 out of 7!

I'm also back at the piano every day.

With my regular housework and the fact that the computer is now in the upstairs office I just haven't been blogging.
Now that I'm taking photos I'll try and do better!


Friday, September 1, 2017

Another Finish


Or mostly finished anyway!
This is my new dedicated office space.
My massive desk above-just great for spreading out the research.



Looking out from the desk-this old TV cabinet (ok not that old from the 1990's)
holds my printer and office supplies.


Also from behind the desk looking towards the hall and the closet.
The previous owners painted the doors to match the walls-ugh.
I haven't decided if I'll them using the cream on the walls or return them to white.
They also painted all the outlets (6) and switches (2) to match the walls-you really aren't supposed to do that!  They will be getting changed out.  I already have the replacements.
You'll notice the closet door is without a knob.
For some unknown and idiotic reason that door had a KEYED lock on it!
Somehow, in all the trips to bring seasonal boxes to that lovely walk in closet the inside lock got twisted and then I shut the door.
Yep, locked, no key.
After checking the internet and trying all the suggestions there I finally took the last-all else has failed  suggestion and used a hammer on it.
Replacing it will be simple I just have to go buy one.

I don't know any longer what to be the most upset about.
The way my country is falling apart,
The situation in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,
or the fact that Montana is burning.

My heart hurts for the people of Texas-even the thought of losing everything is terrifying. Cleanup is beginning but it seems we didn't really learn anything from Katrina.

Montana is one of my favorite places on earth.
40 new fires began over the weekend.
Many of the places I visited last year now have serious, on-going fires with the associated smoke, highway closings and evacuations.
People have lost homes, livestock, fences, everything.
Glacier National Park lost a historic chalet,
The smoke is so bad you can't see the mountains.
Evacuations are everywhere.
The governor has called out the National Guard.
So far as I know ALL of these fires have been started by lightening.
It will take some serious snowfall to put them all out.

So Texas and Montana-two examples of the effect climate change has on the land.
But, wait, it doesn't exist!
To which I say Bullsh*t!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finally Finished!


The studio that is!
The Room is an "L" shape and I'm standing at the corner looking towards the Exercise end.
When it's too cold, too hot or too allergy ridden I tote my bike (Annie) down the stars and put her in a trainer.  It's boring but works.  There's also a rowing machine and a TV.  Enough rug on the floor to do my stretches and exercises learned from therapy as well as a small tv to do exercise videos with.
I haven't used it lately, must get back to that!

Quinn's enjoying the rugs in the toy area!
She also likes to play down here as there's quite a bit of open space.
Most of all she loves that it is cooler down there.


Looking the other way is the doll house and all the stuff I've accumulated for finishing it off.
Boy, that yellow is really bright!
I need to get a book on making windows and doors next.
You can also see Grace the treadle machine, the design wall and my rocker-currently the only place to sit that isn't in front of a sewing machine!


Then looking back towards the door you can see the other leg of the "L"
This area is dedicated to sewing!
I know I could fix an ironing area closer to the machines but I need the steps and sitting too long isn't healthy. 
 The small blue tote on the floor holds fabric pieces to cut into strips.


These two IKEA cabinets hold all but two small boxes of my fabric.
The one on the right has fat quarters and panels in it organized by color and strips I've cut from leftover pieces.  Much easier to store that way and easier to use.
The cabinet on the left has larger pieces of fabric and serves as my cutting area.
That's Brayden's Trip being cut. (Only two more colors!)


The two electric machines I use.
Jaley the Janome is used for piecing those quarter inch seams.
Bella the Bernina is for doll clothes and other non-quilting sewing and for quilting.
(Still need to try that stitch regulator out!)

Each 4 foot table has a small cabinet next to it that holds the flotsam and jetsome of sewing.
There is a small antique sewing table between the two-currently holding the board I use for the next block but I expect to set Jaley off on it so I can cross-stitch there.
Above the table is a piece of muslin covered insulation board to hold stuff-there's currently A block for Kolby's trip on it and I use it to hold the doll clothes pattern pieces once they've been ironed.
Both machines have Ott lights next to them-I love those things!

Eventually, I may decide to do something to the floor but for now I think I'll just collect some more cheap pieces of carpeting!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A weekend for the Memory Books-Part 3

Monday, going home day but before that ECLIPSE DAY !

I loaded up the truck (I can't get into to Ceili once I leave her at storage so if it goes home it has to go into the truck) and hitched up to the trailer so I would have only a few things to do when we came back from watching the eclipse.

Merrimack State Park was in the 100% totality path and it was a beautiful blue sky day-hot but clear. Everyone's worst nightmare was clouds or rain!  We left the campground around 10 and headed to the Parks event site-which was already full so they sent us up on top of the ridge to another site.   We unloaded lawn chairs, cooler, camera, etc and found a lovely shady site from which to await the moon.  We all tried out our glasses by taking looks at the sun, relaxed, and drank tons of water as we were sweating buckets!

When Lucas declared it was time for the moon to make it's appearance we all ran out into the sunshine to take a look-the moon was late!  It took several minutes for the edge of the moon to appear.  We would go out into the sun look for a bit, then back into the shade for 5 minutes etc, it was hard leaning back to look up-some folks moved their chairs out into the road and I wish I'd thought of that!  As the sun got smaller and smaller in the last minutes before totality you could feel the excitement rise!  The parking lot lights came on.  The excitement rose some more and when the last bit of the sun disappeared behind the moon shouts, cheers, clapping and exclamations of "Oh my God" were heard all around.  Still gives me chills.  For 2 1/2 minutes we stood without the glasses and looked at the darkened sun.  Seeing only a halo of white light leaking from the edges.  It was amazing!  Then the moon began to move on and the glasses went back on, it seemed that it took less time for the move to leave than it did to come.  I heard someone tell it to come back we weren't done watching it!  I think I'm going to have to make a try at another one, just such a magical moment.

The rest of the day seems boring in comparison.

We drove back to the campground, finished all the leave taking at the campground and started for home.  Still excited.  This time we had studied the map and plotted our path so Google was not allowed to lead anyone astray!  The trip home was made without mishaps, traveling together until I turned north to take Ceili to storage.

The further I went north and west the more lightening etc there was and I worried I'd be caught in a torrential downpour but I made it there, unhooked, moved Annie to the truck and made it all the way home and unloaded before the rains started!  The only fatality was my leaving my flashlight where I put Annie on the truck.  I'll buy another.

The weather while we were gone was apparently quite rainy.  We knew that flash flood watches and warnings had been issued but it was very dry where we were.  That first night home parts of the metro received 9 1/2 inches of rain-lots of flooding in the area.  Took out the bike paths, closed the swimming beaches and the marinas at the county parks for the third time in a month.  Crazy weather!

So now that we're home and somewhat rested, I'm trying to finish in the office and studio as well as work on a couple of other projects.  One thing about me I always have projects going!

Two days in the sun on the water -no sunburn, not even pink. One eclipse day in the shade-light sunburn!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Weekend For the Memory Books-Part 2

Saturday morning came much earlier than I would have liked!  Quinn had had enough of this lazing about sleeping and wanted up and out!

After breakfast I set about all the chores relating to unhooking and unloaded the bins for Ceili out of the back of the truck.  Set about unpacking, organizing.

At 10 we had reservations for a float trip on the Merrimac river so off we headed.  I really did not prepare at all well for this weekend nor for the float trip.  I'd never been on one!  The six of us (dogs stayed in the air conditioned trailers) climbed onto a school bus for the ride upstream where we loaded into a rubber raft (think Zodiac only not sea worthy and without the motor!) shoved off and headed down river.

The river is mostly shallow- we scraped bottom several times and sometimes had to get out and push off again-and in places quite still-hence the need for the paddles they gave us.  Brayden and Kolby where in and out of the raft swimming, fish that they are!  Riding the current with their life jackets at times.  We beached several times, had sandwiches (thank you Beth and Lucas), waded in the COLD water, sat in the water to cool off (90'sF and quite sunny!), Ethan tried and tried to catch one of the tiny fish at the edge of the water, managing to stay mostly dry!

Beth and Lucas have a waterproof camera so photos were being taken and Ethan dropped it in the water.  Fairly deep water-chest high on over 6' Lucas!  Lucas hit the water quick, took off his sandals and threw them into the boat.  To begin feeling for it with his feet, Kolby and Brayden did the same while Beth and I kept the raft from floating off without them, finally grounding it.   Whether it was pure luck or above average skill coupled with determination Lucas actually FOUND it!  Unharmed.  Ethan didn't get it back!

After about 4 hours we landed where we'd begun.  I think I want a kayak!

Sunday, it was hot again so we went down to the river to wade, swim, ride the current etc.  Me, I just sat and felt the water change temperatures.  Sometimes warmish and then a really cold spot would hit and go back to warmish.

Two days on the water-no sunscreen for me (Dummy)-no sunburn, not even pink!

Also on Saturday and Sunday I began sorting out Ceili and beginning to take out the bunk beds to create a more useable space.  Fact is I don't need bunk beds!  I have some adaptations I want to make and removing the bunk beds was the beginning.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring the right tool to cut the metal frames and get them out.  Going to need to take a few days at a campground once the weather cools off!  Took stuff out, made a list of things I need.  Made a list of stuff in there so I don't bring extras I don't need next time.  Also noted that I needed a new battery and new tires!

A Weekend for the Memory Books!--Part 1

And Not a picture to show you!  In fact I didn't even take my camera out of the bag.

Way back in January or February Beth, Lucas and I decided we would go camping within the path of totality for the eclipse and Lucas made us reservations at Merrimac State Park.  Less than 300 miles which ended up requiring 10 hours of driving for me!

Quinn and I left home about 2 in the afternoon to hit the bank and pick up Zoe for the ride down (she gets the whole back seat in my truck as opposed to the floorboard in theirs) then went off to pick up Ceili.  More of a chore than usual as I brought Annie (my bicycle) along and had to move her and her bike rack onto Ceili before I could hook up-so maybe 5 more minutes than usual.  Also, Ceili's battery was dead (again) and it takes longer to raise and lower the tongue by hand-I'm spoiled by that electric jack!  Hooked up and on the road, we went by the KOA to get propane but they had a long line of rigs checking in so we just went on.  I really don't require propane at this time of the year as long as I have an electric hookup-although it would be nice to start the frig cooling down while I drive.  I can't use the stove itself but I have an electric skillet, a charcoal grill, an electric coffeepot and a microwave (which is ridiculous -I hardly use the one at home.) With temperatures in the 90'sF I wasn't going to need the heat so it was all good!  (I will get propane soon, though.  The problem is that Ceili has BIG canisters which do not fit under the cover of my truck and which I cannot lift when full. That means I can't just take them with me when Ceili goes to storage and bring them back full-working on a solution to that.)  We hit the road south to 50 highway and turned east.  At Jefferson City a helpful fellow driver told me I had a flat on the trailer!  I needed gas so pulled off the highway, it wasn't just flat but totaled, sigh.  Last summer a service station fellow told me it had a bubble on it,  they often say such things hoping to frighten the little old lady into replacing/repairing something that doesn't really need it.  I could never find this bubble so I just kept driving.  Fortunately, Beth and Lucas were behind me several miles and got off to help me-Lucas had to go get the proper tool at the auto store as my lug wrench didn't fit the tires.  I broke out the cookies and the dogs had a walk and a long drink.  By this time it was getting dark, the road was two lane, twisty, up and down.  Things went fine after that until I let Google direct me to the park-I missed the first turn from HWY T to Blue house Road (I swear to you it looked like a dirt road to me!)  Then Google lost service.  No place to stop, no place to turn around but I knew if I kept on I'd hit an innerstate sooner or later.  Google came back and the route took me on some 5 0r maybe 6 backroads, some of which were dirt or gravel roads-I'm sure it would have been quite lovely if it had been daytime!  Finally, got to where Google said I'd arrived -ah NO another country lane but no campground, at least I could turn around there.  I'd decided that I'd go back to the hwy and turn left if I didn't find the park really soon I was going back into town and finding a hotel room for the night!  Fortunately, even though I drove past it and had to turn around (no one can really understand how hard it is to turn around with a trailer).  Lucas finally got through on the phone and met me at the entrance!  Yeah Lucas!  After filling with water and me trying twice to back the trailer into the spot while avoiding two HUGE trees, I just let Lucas do it.  It was midnight, I was exhausted, I didn't unhook from the truck just plugged in (even that wasn't right as the 30 amp plug didn't work and I had to use my 50amp adaptor to get the A/C and frig working.)  I just crashed about 1:30am!

The dogs were amazing, the best trip companions around!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kolby's Trip


A stitching update!
Kolby's Trip around the World is coming along.
The last full row marks the halfway point.
Every evening I stitch one block and then lay out the next in the pattern.
There's been some unsewing on this one, sigh. 
So easy to get the pieces sewn together in the wrong order.
Once I even sewed the next strip to the WRONG side of the growing block!
Geezz.
I'm liking it though!
I hope I still like making these when I've done four.

The set up of the studio is moving along.
I'm folding fabric.
And
folding
fabric.
I think tomorrow I may be able to take photos of it,
crossing my finger for that!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Busy and tired!


Last week's 7 inches of rain in the night left us with flooding in the area, although not for me.
Somehow, the storms have messed with my sleep cycle and I am now getting up several times a week at 5:30am (or maybe a bit earlier).  I am NOT a real morning person.
On the plus side I got to watch the sun come up! I hardly ever do that.
The other thing the big rain storms brought was really cool temperatures.
Cool enough to enjoy being outside for an entire day.


So I took this guy (Ethan) to the Kansas City Zoo on Friday.
Besides seeing some animals-he really likes things in the water: Fish, otters, penguins, sea lions-we rode the little train, the carousel and the tram to Africa and back.
Then we had ice cream!
He was a trooper, very careful not to lose his Granna who is known to wander off! 


Then yesterday the rain came again.
All day.
I think we got about 5 inches this time.
I went to the Farmer's Market for sweet corn in the rain!
Then I came home and changed out of wet clothes.

The local kids and grands came for dinner so the biggest boys (Rob and Lucas) could move the big furniture around for me.
I'm glad to have the big pieces in place (and yes I did repair one of the IKEA cabinets with no trouble.)
So I can now unload boxes in the studio and get ready to paint the walls in the office.
Photos when I'm finished-maybe Wednesday for the studio.

I've been getting at least one block on Kolby's Trip around the word quilt every day and it is nearly half finished !  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wolves


I've nearly finished this book.
I picked it up in Yellowstone last year and it just made the top of the pile!
Wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 after being killed off 70 years before that.
It's very interesting the impact they have had and not at all what one would expect.
There has been a trophic cascade.
That's were the presence of a top predator in an area creates a richer environment.
In this case the wolves, who in Yellowstone eat primarily elk, have caused the elk to change their habits-you know so they won't get eaten by a wolf!
That has given aspen, willow and cottonwood trees the chance to grow as well as other plants and grasses.
Trees attract birds (from songbirds to bald eagles), and small mammals, like the red fox.
Most important to the landscape is that trees allowed the beaver to return which filters the streams and helps the fish, and otters.
The new plant growth has stopped the bank erosion the elk caused, and the beaver's dam's create ponds so the channel is more reliable and less likely to flood.
  It has become a richer environment for grizzly bears as well.
This doesn't even count the insects or the added fertility of the land itself from the carcasses of wolf kills.
Oh, by the way, wolves only kill an elk once in five attempts and are in great danger when they do so.
I found it interesting and now must return to Yellowstone and become a wolf watcher!

This trophic cascade thing is a new idea to me but is backed up by the current situation on Isle Royale National Park, Michigan.
They have been studying the wolves there for a VERY long time -apparently the wolves crossed ice bridges from Canada to settle there-anyway they eat Moose there.
There are currently only 2 wolves on Isle Royale and while they can still take down a moose they cannot make a large enough impact on the moose population to stop the herds from growing.  That has already caused damage to both water and land plants.
They are seriously considering relocating wolves here as well.  
Wolves that already know how to hunt moose!

Just a reminder that top predators, even when they have a very bad rap (like sharks) are very necessary to a healthy ecosystem.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another one begins!


This one is for Kolby who loves bright greens!
It seems BIG after the last one!
2.5 inch squares this time.


I fixed this board covered with batting to lay out the blocks for a Trip Around the World.
I know people do the strip set and cut them apart but I can never get the strip set sewn evenly.
I prefer to cut the squares and sew them together.
It does make for a LOT of cutting before beginning.
I've finished the first row on my homemade chart and begun the second, being extra careful of all those corners meeting!
 I'm stitching the blocks together as 
each one is finished, otherwise I'd have them all in a jumble.

It seems like all I do is sew at the moment-oh well, I am working setting up the
new studio a bit each day and pulling up nasty carpet a bit each day.
It's too hot to do much of anything and even though I miss it 
I am glad I do not have gardens at this house!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Finishes!


First, I finished sewing down the binding on Suzie's Sparkling Nines!
The color was better in the next picture, guess the sun washed it out!


Above was a closeup of the front and here's the back!


I got creative and used up all the blocks I had left over, save one which I made into a mug rug.
Don't know how I managed but I got the nine patches on the back lined up with the ones on the front and the quilting was where it should be!


 Closeup of the center back.
Used up quite a bit of the stash on this one.

The next one is cut and I started on it tonight, perhaps I'll show that tomorrow!

The second finish is the painting in the basement!
WHO HOO!
Should anyone be considering this I highly recommend having it sprayed!
My shoulders, wrist and hand have been very sore.

Quinn is trying to stay cool-as am I and it isn't easy!
Her best friend, Zoe, has come for a couple of weeks while her family is on vacation.
Usually, Zoe is a nervous wreak when they leave her but this time she's been very, very calm!
Hoping it stays that way!



Saturday, July 15, 2017

They Paint Too!

Left to right:  Brayden, Kolby and Ethan

I told you about my oh so cute mowing crew, 
well, did you know they also paint?
(Kolby thought we were painting pictures-he was shocked that we were painting walls!)
They are just getting started but they painted the whole wall they are working on here, plus another short wall on Thursday.  
Before we ran out of paint!
Then a short wall plus on Friday-they were tired.
I know how they feel.
They all used a roller as well as a brush, even Ethan!
Paint got on the floor.
So what!
I'll be painting the cement floor later anyway.
During one of their breaks Brayden asked what the I-beam was.
I told him it held up the weight of the house.
So, he wanted to know if it was okay to swing from it!
I asked if he thought his weight would bring the house down on us!
Little monkeys played at hanging from it for a bit, 
then went back to paint.

Their Daddy said I had more patience than him-I just knew they needed
something to do while at my house and paint on the wall is paint on the wall no matter how it gets there!
I'm putting the second coat on now.
Will need to more paint yet.
That masonry just slurps it up.
First step of new studio will be done this week.
Then it's on to painting the floor (after first etching and priming it.)

I'm also bringing empty totes and holiday boxes up to the garage.
Don't want to move things around more than necessary!

I'm off now to sew the binding on Sparkling Nines-it's really quite hot to have a quilt on your lap!



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Brilliant Idea--NOT!

I've been in this house now for about seven months.
I've mostly found everything, mostly.
I've hauled away a lot of "Stuff" as donations.
(More to come-I have a goal of reducing my "Stuff" by 50%.)
I've figured out that in spite of a wonderful walk-in closet my studio 
just doesn't work.
Plus, I really miss having a dedicated office space.
Having all the flotsam and jetsam of life 
plus all the research stuff scattered about the house
leaves me scattered as well.
So.
I have an unfinished basement
of about 800 square feet.
Moving the studio into that space and the office into the current studio is underway.
First, I need to make the basement more habitable without spending 
a small fortune!
Paint is always the go to for me so I decided to paint the walls and the ceiling.
Complete with pipes, wires and HVAC vents.
Yeah, well, NO!
I spent several hours priming pipes, vents, etc so they would hold paint on Sunday.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day painting this!
Not even a quarter of the ceiling done.


That's as far as I got before my shoulder (and other body parts) just gave up.
Apparently, in my 6th decade I cannot do what I did in my 3rd decade!
I knew that.
Sort of.
I forget though.
New plan for the ceiling is needed.
I have an idea but I want to see if its possible first!
First now, comes paint on the walls.
Paint on the floor.
Possibly an electrician to add outlets.
Then the ceiling.
I want to cover the ceiling but still be able to access everything mechanical.
While a drop ceiling would be lovely it's too many dollars!

On other fronts,
I've finished the quilting on Sparkling Nines-only binding to go!
I've done a bit of yard work,
and nearly have the garage clean!

Suffering through 95F (35C) with heat indices of 105 F (40C).
Breathing water it's so humid.
I really can not wait for fall.