Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?
Trick-or-treat! Happy Halloween from me and my little Mouseketeer.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Indian Summer is now over and fall has returned in all its glory. Here's a peek out of the dining room window.
This morning found us raking leaves. Raking and raking and raking. The bed of our pickup was filled four times for a trip over to the town drop-off spot. Our work-out is done for the day. By morning, you will not be able to tell what we had done.
Darling Daisy is getting ready for the changes in season, too. Here she sports her new Gentle Leader.
No, it is not a muzzle. It works like a horse halter and gives easy control to the human holding the leash. Daisy is a great walker but she is still a puppy at heart. Remember this photo? Daisy is ever on squirrel patrol. When we are outdoors, she is quick to bolt into action. Wet leaves are slicker than sn*t. Once the leaves are gone, ice will be right behind. To protect life and limb all while assuring Daisy daily walks, we made the decision to add the Gentle Leader to our arsenal.
She is trying her very best to look miserable and pitiful. Yet she is not restricted in any way. Quickly, she learned that she could still eats treats just fine. All is well.
The stocking that The Quilter knitted for me has been felted. Truth be told, I was a little nervous about the procedure. And from the looks of this -
with good reason. The red dye let go as soon as the sock hit the water. *yikes* I watched carefully to make sure that the color was not being picked up in the white stripes.
After about 15-20 minutes of agitating by hand in the sink, I was ready to enjoy the result.
In person, it looks more felt-y than the photo. The individual stitches are not as evident to the naked eye. Thanks again to Paula for her beautiful and generous work.
On the quilting front, I assembled the top for Soot and Ashes yesterday.
I took the 'liberty' of starting to place some of the applique though the instructions are not yet given. Even I can manage a vine and some berries without a pattern.
Dinner is in the crock pot. We'll get a nice fire rolling in the fireplace and pop in a movie or watch something stored on the dvr and I'll happily stitch away on the applique. My kinda Saturday night.

Monday, October 25, 2010

We are getting ready to enjoy a day or so of Indian Summer here in New England. In California, I always thought of Indian Summer as the warm sunny days that come every September, October and November. I had no idea there was an exact definition. No matter - I plan to enjoy it when it arrives.
In my neighborhood, we are at about 50% color right now.
I think sunset hour is the most beautiful time of day. Everything just takes on a golden glow. No description in word or film can express just how beautiful it is.
This is also the time of year when the wildlife is getting ready for the winter months. This brings on a high form of entertainment in our house -
Squirrel Watch 2010. The critters must be monitored. Daisy has appointed herself 'Captain of the Watch.' She brings Hubby along as her wing man. They both take their assignment very seriously.
Today felt like a 'kitchen day' to me. I fixed Shepherd's Pie for dinner tonight. Doesn't it feel great to have your day's meals made and the mess all cleared long before lunch? I'll just pop it in the oven to heat through and crisp up the topping.
It's also apple season in these parts. I picked up a bag at the market and made up some apple coffee cake with about half of the bag.
The house smells great and we have breakfasts for days to come.
On the quilting front, I got those Folkart Gathering baskets all assembled and handles appliqued in place. Now on to the remaining applique for the rest of Block 2.
Even though I have the pattern for Block 3 on hand, I can hardly wait for Block 4 to come out. Better get stitchin', I want to be ready when it happens.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Holy Slacker, Batman! It's been a long time since we've seen a post here. But now that I look around, I see that I do have some things to share and talk about. First and most exciting - check out what was in my mailbox yesterday!
You may have seen a photo of this dandy stocking over on The Quilter. While she might be The Quilter, she is also The Knitter in my book. I recently asked if she thought my rudimentary knitting skills would be sufficient to make a stocking suitable for felting. In response, Paula sweetly offered to do the knitting for me! Can you imagine? Such a generous offer and a very special treat. I quickly sent off the wool and in a blink of an eye a beauty of a stocking arrived at my door. Now to felt it up. Quilting friends are the best! I can't thank you enough.
On the quilting front here at home, I sat myself down at the sewing machine to finish piecing the Soot and Ashes blocks.
And not a moment too soon either. Cheri posted the instructions for assembly of the top today. It's going to be a darling quilt. I knew it would be.
I'm also working on Folk Art Gathering. Our little group will be getting together soon and I would love to have some progress to share.
So I set to work on the pieced baskets from Block 2. Let me just say that template piecing is the bane of my quilting existence. I struggle with the concept and usually give up and paper piece the blocks. (paper piecing is no picnic for me either, but it does eventually result in a completed block) I decided that it was time to conquer my fear and take on the templates. Deep breath. Chocolate.
Basket blocks. Before you get too excited, know that there were some bad words thrown around, there was a lot of stitching removed, but I finished the afternoon with completed piecing. How thankful am I that this is folk art? These blocks would not win any sort of precision piecing awards. But that is not what we are going for in the first place.
In the world outside my door, fall is really starting to happen. The colors are becoming more vivid each day. There are times of the day when the world around me seems to glow. This is just a little peek through my backdoor.
This is what I see from my little sewing spot on the couch. These might be my most favorite colors. If only photos could do them true justice.
I'll close for now with a picture of Daisy.
Doesn't it look like she's laughing? Oh Daisy - you are a funny, funny puppy!

p.s. I have received some comments recently in the form of questions but they arrive as No-Reply. PLEASE - everyone check your settings. I love to respond to comments and questions. But it is impossible when you are set to 'No-Reply'.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Confessions of a bad blogger . . . . I just can't seem to hit my rhythm after our return from vacation. Oh, I unpacked the suitcases and made my way through the mounds of laundry that was in them. I got the cupboards and fridge stocked again. Even managed to run the vacuum a time or two. Beyond that I just seem to be spinning my wheels. Partly due to the days-on-end rains that passed our way. While it's true that I was born under a fog bank, I do not cope well with the deluge of water that falls from the skies here.
So I have just sort of been spinning my wheels for the last two weeks, accomplishing little beyond the daily required tasks that keep a home running. Hubby and I put a big bow on our anniversary celebration with a lovely dinner at a new-to-us eatery in a neighboring town. Thanks to all that left congratulatory comments. We enjoyed each and every one of them. With that said, I come to the confession portion of this post -
I mentioned previously that there were a few hundred entries on my Google Reader. Oh my, I almost felt like I was drowning in them. I read a lot, commented on a few and still the number of posts was not going down. Yesterday, I just hit 'mark all as read' and cleared the board. I began today with a clear slate, the sun is shining. Things are looking up.
I did pull out a hand quilting project from the deep, dark recesses of the basement.
So enjoyable to sit next to the fireplace and stitch in the afternoon.
There has been a little progress on Folkart Gathering, also*.
Our group is having two 'gatherings' this month so everyone has a chance to get to the quilt shop. Saturday I met with Suz (no blog) and started working on part of Block 2. Each of those applique ovals are the background for an applique star.
Hoping to pull out the machine and work on some of the pieced portions of that section soon. Also I need to get busy with the last of the Soot and Ashes blocks from Cheri's blog.
These are blocks 7, 8 and 9. If you haven't started this project, go take a look. They are really fun blocks to piece and take no time at all to put together. I've no idea what the finished quilt will look like, but that's half the fun.
Last but not least, take a look at this happy face.
Our little (little?) Daisy finished her obedience classes this week. The last class was the test to become a 'Canine Good Citizen' She passed with flying colors. We are so proud and from her happy face, I think she is too!

*this photo looks a little odd because it's actually a collage of two photos. The piece was too long to get in one picture.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Thirty one-derful years!
In that time we've gained some wrinkles, added some gray hair, and put on some extra pounds - but no matter where life takes us, we find a way to have fun . What is better than living your life with your best friend?
Happy Anniversary! Love you, Hubby!