Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Endeavourer's Improv Challenge

When the November prompt for the Endeavourer's Group was revealed to be IMPROV, I went to the dictionary to see just what the word meant.  Well, of course there was nothing related to quilting so I began to searching around blogs and books to get the idea of what I wanted to work with.  I saw a lot of scrappy blocks that I really liked.  I especially like the Vortex block that seems to be trending right now. I admit I want to try it.  But what I found to be more appealing was a tutorial that I found at Mary and Patch Blog.  If you visit the link, you can find the tutorial on the link. The picture above is taken from the tutorial.  I liked it because the math involved in stitching with her technique is easy elementary.  I admit it's simple, but hey, I need simple.

  Anyway, as my life usually goes, I did not have the time to focus on stitching this project. The month for making this challenge started in August.  If you follow here, you may remember that August was not a good month for me and it led right into September when Terry was in and out of the hospital.  Then there were several doc appointments.  Then in October Corey surprised us by traveling home from Oregon for a visit.  They came in their 27' travel trailer where they sleep, except Nic pretty much stays at our house all the time.  So you can see I didn't have much time to focus on sewing.

I volunteered for my Senator a little as I worked to get him elected and he is running now in a very close race.  Senator may have heard of him.  I admit to being preoccupied with a lot of political things and I just could not get an idea out of my mind which has been festering for the last two years.  A simple version started with stripes representing the flag and the tears are falling.

I have not had time to complete this piece.  I could have rushed through it to get it done, but I no longer do that kind of thing.  The tears are done with hand stitched reverse applique which I have wanted to try.  I am enjoying it and I'm pretty sure I'll try a more elaborate piece using the technique in the future.  On this piece, I plan to embroider words that the flag represents.  I am feeling that the true meaning of what the flag represents is getting lost somewhere in a demagogue's rhetoric.

Nic will be here for a couple of more weeks.  I tell him when he leaves my ears will get a rest.  He thinks that's funny, lol.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that we have had a visit with the kids.  You really do miss them when they are gone.

XX, Carol

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A Project Start and Doggie Entertainment

Just so you know there IS something going on in my sewing room, here are the fabrics I am using for the next Endeavorer's Challenge.

I moved my sewing machine to the dining room table which has been helpful in focusing on stitching.

We have been busing outside trying to get things put away for winter.  Also we have had septic/drywell issues.  A service comes today to give it a look.  I am hoping it's only roots blocking the path and that will be a relief.  In the Spring we had an estimate  for a new system system.  I almost threw up when they said $8,000 to $10,000.  Anyway, we'll see how things go today.

So, I'll leave you with a story about Harley, who is our critter catcher and has a new name...Clown Dog.

 One day I looked outside and actually saw Harley climb this tree higher than my head.  He dug his nails in and up he went until he fell.  Since then I have been trying to catch him on video climbing that tree.  He has 4 squirrel friends that live in the tree.

He will literally sit there for hours looking up that tree waiting for the squirrels to come out of their nest.  They are probably already in the front yard collecting acorns.

Nope.  Here is one of them.  He is up there chattering at Harley.  I know he is saying Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha...You can't get me!

But Still He Waits...for hours.  He'll be laying down in a minute.  When the squirrels get bored, they jump to the tree in the pond area that is fenced and off they go, leaving Harley to bark at them.

 I let him in.  After a long drink of water he is sacked out on the couch.

But let me tell you, some times all four of those baby squirrels come to the front patio door and look in.  I KNOW they are saying
"Can Harley come out and play?"

Grateful:  Oh, just everything.  As life gets shorter...I'm 67 now, I concentrate on finding the silver lining.

How about you?  Do you think animals talk to each other?
xx, Carol

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Is it a Blog or a Journal?

First, thank you to everyone that inquired if I am OK since I have not posted in almost a month!!  More on that later.

This wonderfully huge Petunia basket sits on my front deck in front of a patio window where we can see it when we look out from our recliners.  In the spring, my youngest grandson Ky asked me if I wanted to buy flowers from the fundraiser his church had going on.  Of course I said yes.  At $3 each I took 10.  What I got was 10 small petunia starts in the most amazing colors I have ever seen.  I quickly planted them in an appropriate size pot.  After a bit I thought they didn't look as healthy as they should.  Off I went to Walmart to look for a larger pot.  I came back with one of those tubs that we use to put ice and pop in for parties.  I wanted to drill drain holes in the bottom but ended up cracking it.  Well, that WAS a great water drain.  I had a birdbath in the back yard that had a leak so I brought it around to the deck and placed the flower bucket in the bowl.  Perfect height, and the perfect drain.  Each Monday I watered it with Miracle Grow.  Even in late September this plant is healthy and happy and measures 40" across. I have a couple of other birdbaths, so I think I'll put more of these on the deck next year.  The birds use the pond to bathe and get water from anyway.  Also, the humming birds chose this plant to feed from and ignored the feeders.

I have several friends that use their blog to document what is going on in their life so they can reference back to it later.  I hadn't really thought of my blog like that but I guess it is.

The last time I posted, Terry was having some health issues that we thought were caused by some virus.  By Sept 2 I took him to the ER.  The tests showed he had a kidney stone.  Neither of us has ever had one so we had no idea that's what it could be, but there was added worry because he has Stage III kidney disease so we have to be really careful about what drugs etc he takes.  So they sent him home with meds and instructions to call a recommended Urologist.  We did that an a few days later surgery was scheduled in a out patient clinic owned by the Urologists and was attached to the Hospital via a hallway.  The nurse got him all prepped but when the anesthetist came in to talk to him, she had a concerned look on her face.  She came in and out a few times.  When I told her he said he is dizzy, they laid him back and hooked him up to H2O.  I heard her ask if the ER had called back yet.  When I asked what was going on she explained his BP had dropped to 45/70 (I had been looking at the wrong numbers on the moniter).  They came from the hospital and took him to the ER. After tests the answer was that one of the meds they had prescribed for him the last time he was there can cause low BP.  Also he had been sleeping a lot and had not drank as much water as he should have the day before and that had caused him to be a bit dehydrated.  They sent him home with instructions to discontinue the med and drink at least 1/2 gallon of water every day.  The next day I got a call from the doc and surgery was scheduled again for the next day but at the Hospital this time.  The stone was removed and would not have passed on it's own.  It was 3 weeks from the time the pain began to when Terry felt he could continue his normal activities.  Between all this going on, family visits and other disruptions to our routines, I feel like life has been on hold.

My Go To craft for hospital stays is crochet so of course I started a new project.  I'll be back to show you that in a few days.

Grateful:  Of course I am especially grateful for the great docs we have. Terry's 45/70 BP scared the H*ll out of me. I LOVE that guy!
xx, Carol

Sunday, August 26, 2018

And Still August Drags On

The Good Part:
You might ask me what is Terry holding in his hand on that leaf.  Well, here's the story.  A few weeks ago we went to visit the kids...that's what we call Corey, Alyssa and Nic.  Nic had a cute little plastic box with holes on the top.  There were a few sections in it and what I would call a ferris wheel.  It's a worm house.  He had two fall bag worms in it and an Army least that is what he told me they were.  So when Terry was pruning bushes, he found this neat worm. I say he has a Mohawk hair cut.  So we took it to Nic.  He called a few days later all excited because the new worm had cocooned himself on the side of the box.  I was excited because he can see what happens next.  It's pretty cool.  This week he added a spider to the box.

So Now Comes The Get Done With It August Part:

On the 23rd, Nic came to spend the night.  Most of their house was packed and ready to move and he wanted to spend time with us before they left.  The dogs are always excited when Nic is here and sometimes Harley gets a little out of control.  Nic is a small kid and it's easy for even Harley to knock him over. So as I was scolding Harley for jumping all over Nic, I got caught up in the little Devil Dog and Bosco in the dining room and pitched myself into the hutch. I slammed my face on the bridge of my nose into the ledge of the hutch.  Talk about seeing stars!  I really actually DID see a huge one like you see in the comics.  I laid on the floor calling Terry who looked at me asking What Can I Do.  Still a comfort that he was there as I looked at the puddle of blood on the floor. It was a LOT.  Luckily it was coming from my nose.  My head was not clear at all and he drove me to the ER just in case I needed to talk to a doc.  The ER was packed.  We sat there for an hour and still did not see the triage nurse.  Another hour went by.  By then I could at least raise my head so we went home...without being seen. I wanted to lay down and I felt nauseous.  The next morning I woke up and it's pretty apparent that I broke my nose.  There is swelling over my right eye and blood on the white of my eye.  Also a big cut on the side of my nose possibly from my glasses that are strangely crooked.  The lenses look cloudy and cannot be cleaned.  They don't look like they are scratched, but I am not going to have them looked at until the bruise on my nose is healed.  I'm pretty sure I broke my left thumb too.  Just another episode in this all too "crappy" August.  I use that word because we just had the septic tank emptied, lol.  See, I still have my sense of humor.

We did go to Walmart last night and I asked at the optometrist store if my glasses could be cleaned.  Nope...they are scuffed so it's new glasses for me.  These are not that old.  Yet another August expense.  Needless to say I am taking it easy as I still have a dull headache and swelled eye.

We have a list of 7 things to do for the kids that they couldn't complete before they left.  They texted last night that they are eating crab in Chicago.  Alyssa will have an ultrasound today to find out the baby's gender.  

Grateful:  Today I am grateful...really I am...that there are only 5 more days in August, lol.

xx, Carol

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Will August EVER End

The best thing about August is it is our wedding anniversary month.  We have been married 47 years.  Terry always says he raised me, and I guess he is right because I was only 19 when we got married.  For me, it was new found freedom.  We have been very happily married.

Like most of the world, it seems, we have had very hot and humid weather with way too much rain at times, and not enough at others.  Our outside well went dry.  It is what we use to water the grass.  More importantly we use it to refresh the water in our fish pond.  For some reason, a hose from our house city water just does not flood the pond out the same way the well does.  I'm fighting a chemical battle that just is not doing the trick, probably due to the continual heat.  The fish are thriving even in the green water.

Our home is cooled nicely by a couple of window air conditioners.  One is in my sewing room.  Without it, it just gets too hot to use the room for very long, even though there is a ceiling fan in it.  Since my room has no outside window, the air conditioner is built into the wall.  Since Terry is not able to lift even the small unit in and out of the space, my grandson did the task.  For me that involved moving a few things out of the way.  Not such a big deal, but if you know me, you know that one thing leads to another and suddenly I had the whole room cluttered up while I organized that side of the room.  I found several things to donate and more to move to another area of the house to store them.  Clearing the created clutter is a major task.  Today I'll work at clearing off my sewing table.  I'm contemplating moving my favorite Viking machine to the dining room table so I won't be leaving Terry alone while I sew.  Now I try to catch time while he naps and that is not working too well.  I hate to leave him alone on days that he is not feeling well and vegges out in his recliner.

While all this craziness is going on, I have been working on my patched jacket.  I'd like to wear it this fall.  It makes nice slow stitching.

Nic (6 year old great grandson) has also had once a week sleep overs with us.  He is a lot of fun, but totally disrupts any sewing!  His mom and dad (Corey and Alyssa) will be taking an extended vacation in a week.  We probably won't see the three of them for months while they travel west to find a new homestead and then to Florida to see her parents (Corey has not met them yet) then back home to pick up items they have in storage.  Luckily they have a friend that will rent their home here.  Their baby is due in January.  That seems like tomorrow with all they have planned for the next few months!  It will be a very difficult time for us when they move.

Grateful:  Just every single thing.  And my Crows who are still visiting and bring their babies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Some Days Are Diamonds

This is not the spiral I envisioned I wanted to make.  How do you draw a spiral that you can create in patches?  I admit, after some research it was still a mystery to me.  So I plodded along...with difficulty.  I will never divulge my pitiful process.

I can't make anything in these challenges, whether it was the Bead Journal Project, The Endevourers or any other group, that does not involve my deepest thoughts about the challenge and how it depicts me personally.

When the Spiral theme was selected, I was thinking of a spiral as being our path in life.  Each patch being a step, intentionally a little crooked and not uniform at all.  We learn as we go and as our knowledge expands, so does the spiral.  The stars in the background depict eternity and our life is just a moment in time.  There are little silver lined crystal beads sewn along the path.  I have a friend that absolutely loved John Denver.  Though I am not a fan, my friend repeated to me once a line from one of his songs that has always stuck with me.  "Some Days Are Diamonds".  So I have taken that phrase and over the years a good day is a Diamond.  The beads are only scattered close to the path, leaving room for future Diamond Days until we reach the end of our path.  I admit I ended this part of my path with a Cubs patch because I was born a Cub fan and will die a Cub fan...Die Hard they say were I was born in Chicago.

I have given some thought about how I could have achieved the piece my brain envisioned. Maybe I should have used a hoop when I added the diamonds, but in reality I should have used less tension on the thread.  Each bead is knotted after being sewn on.  I am so glad to be a member of this group.  I wonder what the NEXT challenge will be?  I'm pretty sure that I am going to explore another spiral piece, perhaps using hexies.

Have a Diamond Day!

Grateful:  Today, for an unexplained reason here, I am grateful my grandson and his family are safe.  Yesterday and today are not diamond days.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

When Mother Nature Gives You Rain--Sew

 Here is a sneak peek at the spiral piece that I am working on for The Endeavourers group.  You can see the spiral lurking on the edges.  The star fabric is the background.  If you can see them, I am hand stitching silver lined crystal beads among the stars.  If you want to know more, you'll have to come back on August 1, or visit the Endeavourers blog to read my Spiral Story.

I received the fabric I ordered for the purse I will make.  It is the top one in this picture.  It's "Black, White, and Bright" by Henry Glass. It picks up the black  and brights in the bottom fabric nicely. I just love these fabrics together.  I won't start the purse until I finish the Spiral, which I don't want to rush.  The pattern I selected was the Barbados bag by Pink Sands and Beach Designs.  I want to give the pattern my full undivided attention because I want to add to the pocket design inside and possibly outside and the size.

I leave you with a picture of my dog friends who are BFFs.  They make me miss my own best friends who have left this earth and I miss so so much.

Grateful:  Today I am grateful that I can watch these two interact with each other and that Harley is becoming such a good friend to Terry and I, just like Bosco is.   AND I am grateful for the friends I have made through my blog.

Tell me.  Did you ever "redesign" a pattern?  How did that work out?
xx, Carol