Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's HOT!

Record high temps around here and tomorrow and Saturday they are speculating if we will hit an all time high of 105. Ouch! So gardening and walking are out of the question.  I think it's even too hot for the mosquitoes.  I actually made it to the mailbox and back without a bite.  :-)

We've been hibernating inside in the air conditioning, away from the heat and unhealthy air quality.  I think it's been dragging me down.  I've been so tired!  The good news is that yesterday The Tramp and I joined the local Y.  Today I went to swim laps.  It was so nice to be back in the water again!  30 laps.  :-)  Slow laps (very), but I made it to 30.  And I'm sure I'll feel it later.  I know it probably sounds silly, but I'm enjoying sitting here smelling a bit like sunshine and pool. (I did take a shower!)  Tomorrow morning I have an appointment to learn about and sign up for Mobile Fit.  Now I've found the website I think I'd better read up on it this evening.  :-)

While in hibernation I've been able to get quite a bit done up in The Sandbox.  To begin with, we rearranged the room.  This is after we bought some bookcases on Craigslist and set them up along the wall in our bedroom so we could finally (it's only been 10 months) get the books out of boxes and onto shelves.  That required moving all but one piece of furniture in the bedroom, to say nothing of lugging the boxes.  Also wiping down the bookshelves out in the pouring rain and hauling them upstairs.  But I like it!  The books give a nice and cozy feeling to the room. 

Now all the rearranging is done, The Tramp has been following the announcements of neat new stuff from Apple, fixing my dad's iMac, and wrestling with the new OS X Lion.  I get to listen to him muttering away about what's different and what doesn't work as expected.  He doesn't dare put Lion on my machine yet because he knows it will make me crazy, therefore make him crazy.  :-)  I think he'll wait until they get the bugs out first.

I've finished three t-shirt quilts and have a couple more waiting.  One of them was 36 shirts!  Huge!  And heavy.  I can only wonder how heavy it will be after layering and quilting.

I finished the Swartz Creek Scrap Quilt top from Pepper Cory's class at Symposium this year.  It's majorly random and scrappy and I love it!  It's a lap quilt for me. I bought a nice soft flannel for the backing.

Love it, love it, love it.  Most of the fabrics are thrifted clothing and some the fabrics Pepper Cory gave me during class in exchange for letting her pick through my shirtings.  Pepper picked a Kaffe scrap out of my stash as the inspirational fabric so I've used it for the border.  And the inner border is a Kaffe shot cotton.  Weird fabric.  It came out of the dryer limp and totally crumpled, and it frays like nobody's business.  But it's pretty!

I also finished this top from Kim Deihl's class at the 2010 Symposium in Charlotte.  The buttonhole stitching took a while!  I love how bright it is.  Now I have to think about how to quilt it.

Nothing much disturbs Maisy while she's in her sunbeam.  :-)

Stardust has had her three-month photo shoot.  She's getting big!  And is starting to look like her daddy too.  Mommy's eyes in the first picture and a very Daddy expression in the third one. 

Mom has finished the flying geese row on her mystery quilt.  I still have to do mine.

And at bee, Nancy revealed her gorgeous retreat quilt from 2009.  The back is so pretty too!  Sigh.  I need to start working on mine again.

Can't you just hear Maisy, letting out a big sigh and saying, "Oh all right.  I'll be your pillow....again.  Just tell Ivy to stop kicking me in the head!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Do I need a 12 step program?

Some habits are good and some habits are bad.  My upstairs vacuum cleaner is definitely suffering from my bad habits.  Not only do we have three exceptionally hairy dogs, but I'm a confirmed thread tosser.  This is really bad!!!  Lots of long threads holding the dog hair in there.  I think I may need an intervention.

I love these vacuums.  We have a whole family of them.  :-)  Possibly I shouldn't be abusing them so!

Once I cleaned out the vacuum I got down to some sewing.  I finished another row on the Whistle Stop mystery quilt.  Yay! I have to do the flying geese row and then I'll be caught up and ready for the August row. 

And today I finished quilting and binding this long overdue wedding gift.  The Tramp will deliver it tomorrow and I hope the couple enjoy it.  I used a Spumoni Bali Pop and a matching Bali for the backing.  My Juki was having fits sewing the batiks and kept skipping stitches.  I was ready to throw the whole lot out of the window!  Nothing I tried as far as needle sizes, adjusting, oiling, or cleaning helped.  So I went to the TL98Q Yahoo Group and searched the messages until I came up with a hint that it might be the presser foot!  I changed my non-hopping foot for the regular hopping foot and worked!  Gotta love them Yahoo Groups.  :-)

The bride wanted fall colors so I thought some loops, leaves, and ribbons would be appropriate.  

Tomorrow is doll club.  Then I have to get back to the t-shirt quilts.    And finish cleaning the house.....water the garden......clean the bird cage.....walk a dog.....get my nails done.....cook email and blogs......and sleep.   Dang.  Maybe I should at least get started on the sleep part now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My fingers hurt!

Too much gardening!  We took advantage of the cooler (relatively) weather this weekend to do some heavy gardening and yard work.  At two houses.  I am soooo tired, but it feels good (except for the hands).  :-)

I've been taking advantage of the plant sales everywhere.  I guess there has to be some perks to starting a garden so late in the season.  Especially as it means working in the North Carolina summer heat.  Urgh.  I'm very glad for all our trees and the shade they provide!  I've added some colorful annuals to the mailbox garden.   I think (hope) it will fill in nicely.

And finally got plants into the raised garden.  Mostly perennials, but some 50 cent petunias and verbena around the edges and a nice big pot of nicotiana.

Yes there is still a big pile of extra dirt next to the garden, and yes the lawn (sparse as it is) desperately needs mowing.  After all the compost adding, planting and mulching I just didn't have the strength to think about the dirt.  And the lawnmower won't start.  Darn it.

But I'm loving my new plants.  I had better like them.  Since we haven't had much rain I'm going to be out there watering them....lots!   The first time The Tramp told me I looked as happy as a kid in a sandbox I was sitting in the dirt in the middle of a new garden.  :-D 





The wildlife kept me company too.  This tiger swallowtail (thank you Nancy) was busy doing something and let me take lots of pictures. 

There are dragonflies of every description but they don't normally sit still long enough for a photo.

And this cicada was resting after busting out of it's larval shell (also hanging on the plant).  When my girls were small we had several big years for cicadas and they would collect all the brown shells they could find.  So we've always called cicadas "shell bugs."  (click if you want to see detail)

And of course, the bees were busy.

My SIL (LZF) was visiting again last week, still looking for jobs down here.   He brought down a few belongings on his trailer.  He is very proud of his do-over of a small boat trailer, but he was concerned about not being able to see the trailer in his rear view mirror without a load on it.  So we visited a few stores looking for something to add to the back of the trailer.  And the cheap fix turned out to be........

Yardsticks!  You can't beat it for 60 cents each.  So four yardsticks, some neon orange duct tape and a few screws and he was good to go.

So now the gardening is over for the time being (except for the watering...sigh) I will return to the sewing room.  I added another row to the Whistle Stop mystery quilt (on the design wall in the background) and I ordered some fabric for curtain valences and background for my Dear Jane.  I am finally going to start a Dear Jane.  Yippee!  Thank goodness this box only contained fabric.  It looks like UPS tried to make an accordion out of it.  :-)

I have four t-shirt quilts in the works too.  Argh.  No rest for the weary!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stormy weather

Forth of July was pretty quiet here.  The rains came so there weren't even any fireworks.  Earlier in the day we did go to a pig pickin' birthday party, on a farm, in the equipment shed.  Sounds odd, but it was very pleasant.  On such a hot day it was nice to be in the shade and there was a strong breeze too.  The Tramp was very interested in the combine harvester we were sharing the shed with but there didn't seem to be any chance he would get to drive it.  LOL 

We were treated to a photo of Stardust in her holiday outfit.  Love those chubby cheeks!

Charlie has been enjoying his new play stand.

Learning how to climb all over it and of course picking the least comfortable places to balance himself.

Apparently the swing is for grabbing and swinging wildly around....not actually for swinging on.

I can hang here if I want to!  (click to see those pretty blue feathers he's showing off)

Get too close and I'm gonna peck that camera!

Today I added a skewer of fresh fruits and veg.  He loved it, but I haven't a clue why it's more appetizing while hanging upside down.  LOL

Yesterday I made another one of these PreTea Mouse Pin Keeps.  Lousy photos, but you get the idea.

I just love that face!

Yesterday evening after the rain, I watched the mist roll across the pond.

And watch the stormy weather blow away.

This morning I took Maisy for a walk through the Greenway.  It was cool, though quite humid.  Very pleasant nonetheless, with the birds and peepers, and the rain-swollen creek making nice watery noises.  A refreshing way to start the long as I have enough bug repellent sprayed on!  I'm a mosquito's dream come true.  Sigh.

I'm just thrilled we're finally getting some rain!

I worked in The Sandbox much of the day while thunder rumbled, and I have nothing photo-worthy to show for it.   :-)  I spent some hours prepping t-shirts and clothing for Patchwork Memories.  After Julianne decides how the quilts are to be laid out, I'll get the pieces back for sewing.

Sigh.  There are just too many projects and not enough hours in the day.