Monday, June 12, 2017

MOSQUITO!!!!!!!!!

Sorry.  Just had to get that out of my system.  I'm just sitting here at the keyboard MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS and a mosquito was working it's way up my arm.  Grrrrrrr.

Anyway.....   I will type in spite of the intense itching.  ARRRGGGGHHHH   (What did we do before Benadryl Spray??)

The Viking and I have been spending most of our time together out of the house it seems.  Finally we've been able to relax and enjoy a few days at home.  He's getting quite good with scissors.  We dig through the paper recycle bin and my fabric scrap bin and he cuts and cuts.


He's getting quite creative with the shapes that appear.  This day turned out to be all about horns.  He wouldn't rest until I taped horns on his head.


Then he taped horns, beak, wings and tail to his sippy cup and proceeded to give it "horn cuts" instead of a haircut.  Too funny.


A fun photo of Stardust ready for a field day at school.


And a first photo of grand #8, as yet ungendered and unnamed.  :-)


In my last post I complained a bit about my selection of quilting presser feet and had just altered one to be non-hopping.  With fingers crossed, I ordered another Janome foot in hopes it would fit my Juki.  Some do and some don't.
 

Also that day, came the forget-me-not fabric.  Now I have several fabrics from the same line for the Quilting Babes challenge quilt.


Much to my relief and excitement....it fits!!!


The needle is perfectly centered.  Yay!  It works like a dream.  Yesssssss.


So I finished the quilting and then constructed the second tote bag.  This one is for the guild swap.  My partner likes blue and green so I hope she likes it.


 I came so close to running out of the quilting thread.  (King Tut, Mint Julep)  I just squeaked in some stitching on the handles.  Phew.


I also finished another rosette for La Passacaglia.  I'm trying to get away from the purple stars I started with.  I decided it would be much more fun to just go crazy with color.  We shall see.



 Last Wednesday The Tramp and I went to a concert.  Yep.  That's Paul Simon!!  The show was fabulous.  I consider it a testament to his greatness that he and his sound people realize you don't have to make peoples' ears bleed with the volume.  I didn't even have to put on my ear plugs.  It was a joy to listen quietly, sing along with the crowd, and even dance a bit.  Almost 2 1/2 hours.  Wow.


Everyone was prepared for rain, but it didn't happen.  Instead we were treated to a sideshow of the almost full moon dancing with the fast moving clouds.  Pretty neat.


Along with all the usual weekend errands, on both Saturday and Sunday morning, before the days heated up too much, we did some heavy gardening.  At least these days I find it heavy going.  ;-)  I've been wanting to plant something on this bare slope beside the driveway.  In the backyard there is a patch of mondo grass which the dogs haven't managed to kill.  I figure if it's that hardy, it might survive in this somewhat shady spot.  The "soil" is rock hard clay.  Like cement!  We planted plugs until our backs gave out, mulched, and installed a soaker hose above them on the slope.  We shall see.  If it works, maybe I'll try some hostas and possibly a shrub or two.  Living in hope.  :-)



We picked up some rosebushes, blueberry bushes and a nandina from the clearance racks at the back of Lowes' garden section.  We planted three roses bushes in the spot I tried to grow tomatoes last year.  Fingers crossed they are more successful.  Amazingly, buried up against the garden border was this enormous goose egg!  I suppose the thief who raided the first nest buried it here for safekeeping.  What a surprise!  I wondered why we didn't see broken shells all over the place when the nest was raided.  Now I know.  The eggs were cached.


In the backyard we planted the blueberry bushes and pegged down and mulched over soaker hoses in the three gardens.


No more eggs I'm afraid, though I did run across this interesting spider with an unusual web, settled in the clump of daylilies up against the deck.  A little research tells me it's most probably a female banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata.

"Females are large, silvery spiders with legs banded in black and yellow. Look for this species in late summer and fall in fields, prairies, gardens, and meadows. The circular webs are built close to the ground amid tall grasses and weeds, often with a zigzag band of silk running through the center."
After such a busy weekend I think we earned a little rest time on the porch.  :-)


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday

Dagnabbit, my new computer mouse has gone all funny on me.  Guess I'll have to struggle with the trackpad for the time being.  Maybe I should learn to like it.  Sigh.  Send The Tramp another sympathy card.  ;-)

Anyway.....  yesterday and today we did some work outside before it got too hot.  As far as I'm concerned, by 10 am it was way too hot already, but we perservered.  Among other chores we added soaker hoses to the gardens.  Tomorrow I have to hide them under the mulch.




I also spread more pine straw.  Since this morning, a little research tells me according to best practices I've spread it too close to the house.  That's ok.  It's easy to move some of it to the other side of the yard.


The dogs don't care one way or the other.  :-)


This evening I fired up the Juki for more denim quilting.  Better thread in a new color.  King Tut isn't nearly so linty as the previous stuff.  Thank goodness!


The hard part was getting comfortable with one of the quilting presser feet.   Some days nothing feels right.  The left one is a hopping foot and it sounds like a machine gun.  I hate it.  The center one is a hopping foot, but I've "broken" it (per Leah Day) to stop the hopping.  Better, but also a better chance of skipped stitches.  The third one is similar to this one sold by Sharon Schamber and works very well, but I was having a visibility issue.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.  :-)


Recently I tried taking the Juki hopping foot apart to defeat the hop.  It didn't work very well with the open toe foot.  Hence the messing with the other feet.  So just now I took the hopping bit off of the closed toe foot and have high hopes for success when I sit down at the machine tomorrow.


My test piece looked pretty good so fingers crossed.  Ugh!  Look at those lint fuzzies!  And this is the less linty thread.  I think I'd better do a quick cleaning tomorrow too!


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oh murder

The weather has been glorious.  I think this photo says it all.


What you can't see in the above photo are the feathers strewn in clumps on the road and all around the pond.  The Canada geese are molting.  It always gives me a start when I spot the first pile of feathers.  It looks like someone who is fed up with the goose poop has resorted to murder.


Of course no one would do that, though we might turn the air blue as we clean off our shoes....again.  Sigh.  There are two adult geese with no goslings.


Yep.  Poop and feathers everywhere.


And the two with goslings.  Seven eating machines.  With no flight feathers, all they can do all day is eat and poop.  Which they do with gusto.  Sigh.


Of course the dogs find it all very interesting.  :-)


On Wednesday The Viking was in rare form.  This is his lunch, which he insisted on eating for breakfast.  Peanut butter and strawberry jam.  "It's JELLY Nini!"  Oh.  He made sure I knew exactly how he feels about jelly.  I got a lecture.  This is the gist....  "I don't like jelly.  I don't like any kind of jelly.  It makes me feel awake.  The funny kind of awake.  The pretend awake.  The kind of awake from coffee.  That kind of pretend awake."  Amazing child!  Now we are all trying to figure out where in the world he learned about caffeine!!


He cheered up after he ate the sandwich he "doesn't like" and played happily ("Nini!  Come look at my house!")  until we went off to the hospital to pick up Mom and Dad.


Dad had a few hours in emergency with a painful knee.  Tests didn't show anything dangerous going on, so after a day or so of being cautious and using the rollator, he is back to his normal cheerful self.


In my free time I got on with quilting the denim, and this evening put the tote bag together.  Not bad for my first try.  Looking forward to working on the next one.  :-)




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Learning curve

Some days the learning curve is steeper than others.  Today I learned not to leave random paper napkins laying about on my sewing tables.  


 At least it's pretty easy to rip out.


The bag back is done.  Lots of fun and some frustration.  Mostly with the linty thread.  Time to experiment with other threads!  Not bad for a first try though.  I think I've finally conquered pebbles.  Feathers I have no problem with, or paisley.  Bear claws not so much.  Also the flowers.  I have to study the books more.  This is also helping me get a better idea of scale and how designs can work together....or not.


Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are regular visitors now.  They waddle up the yard when they see the car pull in, hoping for a handout of cracked corn, which The Viking is very keen to provide.  This evening The Tramp and I were outside replacing a windshield wiper on my car, and when we turned around we found we had not only ducks, but a rabbit too.  All very nonchalant about our presence and the dogs barking behind the front door.  The four adult geese and three goslings are always very much present as well these days.  Our own little wild kingdom.  Heh.