Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Well Blogger is finally back. I've been here the whole time. ;-)  The weather has been pretty yuck so I figure I might as well turn on all the lights and get on with this quilt.

I'm hoping to have the rest of the quilting done this weekend as the weather is supposed to continue gloomy and stormy.  We were out at Walmart late this afternoon and as we drove up it was like driving from day into night.  And then the lightning and thunder and rain started.  The parking lot was ankle deep in only a few minutes!  The Tramp dropped me off by the door and I still got soaked.  As he walked from the parked car there was such a bang of thunder he said it compressed his chest.  Scary!  And the water was up over his feet.  It was almost like a party in Walmart as crowds of shoppers waited in and around the McDonalds and the exit doors waiting for the rain to let up.  We dried off and watched the goings on while I ate my Big Mac dinner.  Managers came and went trying to get people to stand clear of the doorways but it was mostly a loosing battle.  Then suddenly the rain slacked off and there was a mass exodus.

We also stopped at KMart so I could by a second T-Fal iron.  It has auto shut-off, good for my absent-minded middle age, and a really nice soleplate with small holes, for not catching on small pieces of fabric.
 I like to keep a cheap light iron next to my sewing machine to press seams etc.  The Proctor Silex does the job but the steam vent holes are large and catch on and wrinkle up my pieces.  Kind of messes up the whole accurate quilt piecing karma.  I had bought the solid soleplate iron from The Vermont Country Store, thinking that would be the answer.  It took two tries for them to ship me one that wasn't damaged.  But now I'm sending this one back too because it makes black marks on my fabrics.  I am not impressed.  Sigh.

I spent the whole day yesterday quilting "paisley" around the baskets.  That fabric my needle is in in the photo is a thrifted cotton blouse.  The fabric is so densely woven it always sounds like a machine gun when I'm quilting through it! 

But I persevered...with the help of chocolate of course!

And I'm pretty pleased with it.  Just don't look too close.  :-)

I haven't mentioned dog training lately.  I was pointed to this book recently.  I think everyone should read it.  It should be required reading in high school!  It's not just about dogs, but dolphins, cats, people and more.  It has chapters on reinforcement (positive, negative, etc), shaping behavior, stimulus control (cooperation without coercion), untraining, reinforcement in the real world, and clicker training.  I can't help but think how my life and the lives of those around me might have been different if I'd read and understood this when I was 17 years old. After I finished reading the copy from the library I went out to buy my own!
Our recent effort in dog training has proven to be difficult and non-effective.  I am still dreading dog walks.  :-(  So I've watched the videos and read as much as I can on Karen Pryor's website and bought a couple of clickers.  Pink, of course!  LOL

A few clicks and I think we've opened a new and exciting chapter in our lives with the say nothing of how excited the dogs seem to be.  I've also discovered what a wonderful training treat hotdogs are.  Slice and dice one up and you've got about 80 pieces.  Wow, talk about positive reinforcement for a dog!  So far I've been working on getting them to look me in the eye (real easy for Ivy, harder for the others), down, and targeting my hand.  As soon as the weather improves we'll start some loose leash exercises outside.  It certainly brings out the dog's personalities.  Maisy acts as dumb as a post but I know she's smart.  I think it's the basset hound in her.  It's going to take some time before it all makes sense to her.  Ngaire is very intelligent, but as The Tramp puts it, somewhat bloody minded.  Ivy though, is border collie through and through.  Smart and quick and fun to work with.  So more on that later.  :-)

Oops.  Ivy is clawing my arm.  It's thundering again......

1 comment:

Tine said...

I ahve heard really great things about the clicker training. Some of my co-workers are using it with their dogs, and they love it.
Good luck!