Thursday, January 31, 2013


Goodness I hope not.  Yesterday evening I finished knitting the dishcloth that I just had to make and this morning we discovered the dishwasher had died in the night....again....and leaked on the floor this time too.  Sigh.  I had even started on a second cloth.  Maybe I'm jinxing myself.   Heh.  The pink kitchen scrubby in the photo is the one I keep in The Sandbox to clean off my teflon pressing sheet.  More bad dishwashing juju?  lol

I washed and dried The Viking's quilt.  The soft colors don't photograph well in here, but ED assured me she really liked the vintage look.  Now to get it up to New Jersey.  Oops.  After I make a label!

The weather forecast is finally settling down.  Last night, what someone called "the 1000 mile super-storm" blew through.  We were very fortunate to just loose a few small branches, there were tornadoes elsewhere.  :-(

Comfort food has been the rule this week.  The Tramp really likes the chili from The Pioneer Woman's cookbook.

But we disagree on the amount of "heat" in the chili.  So this time I made it as usual, with the wussy McCormick stuff, took out my share of chili and tossed in some "real" chili powder for him.

Worked like a charm.  :-)

At least it looks like January in this photo, doesn't it.  This was the warm and strange calm before the storm.  Daffodils are blooming and pretty pink trees (redbud?) are blooming everywhere.   Even the turtles were out of the pond sunning themselves today.  In January?  It's all very odd.

Some dog TV this morning after the storm.

It was still very breezy.

The geese wouldn't pose nicely for me but I thought the colors in the water were a nice effect.

Between Ngaire and I this is what my kitchen counter looks like lately.  Chocolate milk to wash all my pills down and peanut butter for hers.  I hate swallowing big pills, but what are you going to do?  That's the way they make 'em.

While I'm at the counter working my way through the pills, Charlie, the rascal, is over there in his cage making pill-swallowing noises.  I never knew I was such a noisy swallower!

It's too funny.  He also sneezes, coughs and blows his nose.   Less clearly than the swallowing but he's consistent, so I know he's "parroting" me.  :-)

Here they are watching me vacuum the living room.  Yep.  That's why the stairs are always black.  Sigh.

Oh excuse me.  Is my vacuuming boring you?

That's Maisy's stair.  She especially likes it in the morning when the sun shines on that spot.

After a quickie stair vacuuming, I put the machines away.....and they're back!  (grumble)

Tuesday at doll club I worked a bit on Soledad.  Selena offered to repaint her eyes for me.  It's a little more glam than I'd do myself,  but she did a wonderful job and I wouldn't change a thing.   Selena loves to make over American Girl dolls and has quite a following.  I learn a lot from all my doll club friends.

The next step was to wrap the wires with fabric.

With a bead on the tip.

I decided Soledad was going to be dull, especially with the glamour makeover, so I'm going to use this brighter fabric for her "skirt" and tail flukes.

And of course bought and borrowed (thanks Mom!) some bright red and yellow beads to add to the effect.

Yesterday I prepped 68 t-shirts and tomorrow I have to start on another set.  In between t-shirt quilts I really want to go play with those beads!!  :-)

Monday, January 28, 2013


Yep.  It is.  I had to look up the word embarrassing so I could spell it.  Sheesh.

We have had an embarrassment of interesting weather recently.  Day before yesterday it looked like this.

Yesterday morning was like this.

And for goodness sakes look at this!  What season is it???

Today was dark and gloomy but definitely a bit warmer.  The Tramp and I had a slow start to the day, partly because it was supposed to be icy this morning.  Safer for him to work from home.  So at noon we decided to go for a walk and blow the cobwebs out.

They don't care how dull the weather is.  :-)

We have been very worried about our Ngaire.  She had been limping a bit (which we had seen the vet for a while ago) but over the holiday weekend it suddenly became very bad.  (always on a holiday of course....just like kids)   After a week of steroids, pain killers and muscle relaxants we are on the next phase of rehabilitation, which is slow walks around the pond.   As we slowly walked around behind the mail truck I observed that the interesting waterfowl are back again after the nasty weather.  Never on a Project Feederwatch day of course.  :-)

A pair of hooded mergansers.

The belted kingfisher flew round and round chattering loudly all the time.  I am amazed I managed to catch him briefly settled in a tree.  I certainly couldn't see him (or her) on the small screen of the camera!  One of these days I'd like to spot him diving for fish.

The great blue heron was fishing.  Better in the pond than messing up our roof!  :-)

As we and the mail truck advanced around the pond, the geese, ducks, kingfisher and heron kept moving to the other side of the pond.  :-)  It was funny watching the little kingfisher swooping along above the heron.  (not in these pictures unfortunately)

Back at the house again I filled the bird feeders.  The little birds are often so busy I can almost get close enough to touch them.

I did finish something today.  I put the binding on The Viking's quilt.  I opted to try sewing it on from the back then flipping it over and machine sewing it to the front.  It certainly is faster than sewing the whole thing by hand, but let me tell you, it sure isn't easier.  It's very tricky to do it neatly and I confess I need some more practice.  :-)

And finally this afternoon I turned my attention to my doll.  The bead cabinet is open!

That's an embarrassing amount of bead choices out on the table.   Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I'm embarrassingly out of practice too.  I won't tell you how many tiny beads I dropped on the floor either.  Heh.  I was trying to follow the sometimes very frustrating directions in Patti Culea's book.  I've met her and I adore her work.  It really would have been nice to have had some personal instruction this evening!

So after an embarrassing number of false starts I think I may possibly have a direction now.  The start of some branched coral like thingys.

And what are supposed to be starfish.  Hmmmmm.  I don't know about them yet.

And lastly, a gratuitous dog photo.  Do you think there might be food in the offing?  LOL

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tweet tweet? Not!

No photos of birds today, though I could scrounge some up if you like.  No?  Well gee.  ;-)

Today was an at home day too.  Sunny and cold.  Neither of us felt the need to actually go out and experience it.  After spending a chunk of the morning wrestling with our budget (somebody please buy our house!) we determined that we can indeed eat this week, but not much else.  Sigh.

After all that it seemed best to get out of my chair and do some cleaning and sorting.  Clear the air, so to speak.  :-)  A year or two (or more) ago I joined a Yahoo Group called Your Sewing Room, the main idea being to share photos and descriptions of your sewing and craft space.   Today we were asked by the moderator to add the state we live in to the name of our photo album in the group.  I'm a good soldier so I went to do as asked and what do you know!  I never created an album.  Ooooooops!  I'm guessing through all the iterations of The Sandbox over the past few years I just never thought it was "done" enough to share any photos.   My bad.

So after neatening up (read...finishing taking Christmas stuff up to the attic) and vacuuming, I ran around taking photos.   And I figured they would make good weblog fodder at some point.  Well!  Much to our amazement we received a call from New Zealand this evening to say The Tramp's parents now have Skype!  So now we are all video capable, wireless and together in the 21st century, we'll be able to take them on a video tour of the premises.   Cool.

So anyway, here is the still version.  From the doorway of The Sandbox.  Crowded, but not nearly so crowded as it has been.

First on the right is my desk.  Very neat....for me!

Charlie in his niche in the dormer.  One of our "wishes" is to dormer the whole space between the little dormers.  What a wonderful view of the pond we would have!

Right hand corner is the sewing "nest."  

The Juki and all my quilting books and patterns.

Gadgets in the drawers, more gadgets and projects on the shelves.  My african violets are blooming!

The Bernina in it's lovely new table.  The recent painting and waxing project was a success.  I had no problem machine appliqueing all those leaves on Lilly Pilly.

Thread is in the plastic drawers, scrap bins underneath and a pile of UFOs in the laundry basket.  Well at least it's neater than it was.  :-)

Ironing station.  Invariably, when I need to iron something big there's a dog stretched out asleep right in front of it.

The entertainment corner is working out very well.  I have to keep up with Downton Abbey don't cha know.

The cutting table is amazingly clear!  Oh yeah.  I cleaned it for the photo session.

Everything looks good from the sewing nest.  :-)  My only gripe is the green walls.  Oh well.  One day when we're ready to redo the floor I'll get to paint it again.

Now I've taken the last of the Christmas stuff up to the attic (stairs in this bedroom) I have not excuse not to get back to working on my doll.  In fact I'll do that tomorrow!  Tomorrow's doll club has been canceled due to the next round of ice expected tonight.  I promise to have some progress to show tomorrow night.

Doll books, patterns, paints, beads, glues, color pencils, stuff!  The Tramp has been heard to say he will make some custom wall shelves for my paint bottles and stuff.   Yay!

The fabric stash is still neatly put away in the other guest room.   Look Ma!  No stacks of stuff on the floor.  LOL  (She knows me well.)

The attic is still full of craft stuff, fabric, UFOs, batting, ribbon, etc etc etc.  At one point I said to The Tramp if I worked hard enough I could use a lot of this stuff up.   I'll bet they heard him laughing all the way in New Zealand.

I did use a few small scraps this week.  :-)

And because I don't have anything else to do, I just had to knit up a dishcloth per Susan Brubaker Knapp's directions.   The dishwasher is fixed (finally), so I probably won't have a need to use it, but I just had to knit it.

Anybody else have this problem?