Sunday, January 31, 2010

We Lucked Out!

We sure did luck out around here with this storm....we didn't lose power! It is absolutely frigid out and the snow (not ice) we got yesterday won't be melting for a couple of days at least. Fortunately, it didn't stick to the trees and power lines.

I was prepared for the worst but was quite happy to be able to use my sewing machine all day and half the night. I didn't turn on the TV or my computer and had a nice, quiet and very relaxing day. I needed that in every way.

All my little critters took naps and I did too!Here is my Princess with Zoe close by. They love their doggie sofa that my daughter gave them last year!
I woke up Blair when I took her picture.
I woke up Smudge too...look at those sweet pink pads on his paws :)

The camera didn't phase Wendy and Topaz, who were all curled up with each other on my bed.

I haven't taken pics of the snow outside but will when I go out to feed the geese. I didn't open the barn yesterday so the chickens will be wanting out today. There is so much icey snow though, that they won't be able to do much other than get some Vitamin D as it is quite sunny out.

Here's the quilt I started yesterday and should have the top completed today. I fell in love with this fabric collection and bought it as soon as it came out last summer. I'm so glad I did!

And my special project is coming along nicely. Once it's received by a special somebody, I'll be able to post pictures of it. I'm quite proud of this one.

It's time to let those chickens out so I need to get away from the computer. I hope you all have a nice day. Tomorrow I start the job searching again.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ice Storm and Weekend Plans

Well folks, we will wake up to ice everywhere tomorrow. I may not be able to post due to expected power outages but I wanted to stop by and say hello.

I've had a tiring week. I had a couple of good interviews for two different jobs, a few doctor appointments (that time of year) and worked outside Wednesday and Thursday while it was relatively warm cutting some small trees down and clearing out some huge honeysuckle vines. Today was house cleaning day for my friend, so I am wiped out.

I've been blog hopping tonight and also printed out a few embroidery patterns just in case I can't sew on my machine tomorrow. At least I'll be able to do some hand stitching. After all the hard physical labor I've done this week, not to mention the emotional labor of job hunting, I have a nice, quiet weekend planned. I'm not going out for anything except to take care of my chickens and geese.

Since I can't post pictures of the very special project I'm sewing, I'll leave you with a picture of a painting I did for my oldest daughter and her husband a few years ago. I painted this from one of my gardening books. When I saw it, I thought it would be perfect for Erin to hang over her sofa.

I hope you all have a nice weekend. I'm staying in by the fireplace!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Poncho

This is a poncho I made two years ago out of polar fleece. The idea came from the book "Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle" which had the poncho for a child. I liked it so much that I made one for myself and added the beaded branches. I love wearing it. Not only is it warm but feels kinda like I'm sylin'!

I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sew In Show and Tell

Well, here's what I completed for my show and tell....a little late posting it but it was finished last night. I think I'll make it into a pillow like the one in the magazine that I got the pattern from. Tonight I made another little button tag.

Today I painted Alissa's bunk beds (what a job) and have to go back tomorrow to finish up.

I've got a busy week ahead with some appointments and an interview. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Morning Routine and an Award

My blog friend, Fern, has given me an award that suits me well. It's the "Show Me Some Love" award. What a sweet face to go with such a sweet award. I am certainly happy to accept this award, so thank you Fern!

I know we're supposed to share these with other bloggie friends, but I've tried giving awards before and gotten no response (I think they were a little perturbed), so won't pass it along. But here's mine!!

I wanted to share with everybody what my morning routine is like with the outside critters. I do this twice a day, every day. These days I can take my time b/c I'm not working, but hopefully that will change in the very near future (I hope, I hope, I hope). Ok, here we go....after taking care of the dogs and kitties inside I have to open the barn. First I go through the garage where Snow White sleeps in a dog crate. This came about b/c he and the two other roosters were getting into bloody fights and it was the best way to keep them separated.

Here's Snow White ready to go outside.
He spends his days in a makeshift pen next to the pasture. It isn't large, but there's plenty of room for him to scratch around and knock over his waterer daily (I think it's a game for him).
Of course, Hansel and Gretel (both males) have to immediately give him his morning harassment before going on their way. It is defintely their favorite game. I actually took this picture after all the chickens were out of the barn, so you can see Woodstock in the background.
I give Hansel and Gretel a dish of cracked corn each morning; there isn't a lot of grass for them to eat now even though I sewed some winter rye seed in the fall.

Next task is to open the barn to let the chickens out. They are eagerly waiting for me! I've already opened the solid door, now I need to open the screen door to let them out.
...and here they come. They can't get out of there fast enough to look for bugs! The small guy in the center is my little Woodstock. He is one sweet rooster!
Here are Hansel and Gretel waiting to chase Woodstock, my tiny rooster. Why they target him, I don't know. He broke his leg years ago and is quite gimpy, so I keep the geese away from him till he can put some distance between them. Woodstock isn't in this picture; he's lagging behind letting his girls go first...such a little gentleman!

Back inside the barn, I need to let Big Rooster and Beauty out to their pen. I have too many roosters and can't let them all with the hens for obvious reasons.

Here goes Big Rooster (he's huge) out the little pop door to the pen.
Next is Beauty - he is one mean little guy. The only reason he is still around is because he found his way back home after I took him for a very long walk down the road. It may sound cruel, but I'd rather feed the foxes than people. And trust me, Beauty is a mean little sucker and will stalk you and jump at you with his spurs. Since his "walk" and being gone for four days, he has never attempted to attack me again. But he and Big Rooster certainly get into it occasionally.

Next on the list is to feed the two pharoa qual. The male was given to me b/c he was hurting his roomies. I felt sorry for him living a solitary life so got him a girlfried so I could have some beautiful eggs to decorate with. He's never hurt his little girlfriend. Here is Warble, the male....and here is his friend, who I've never given a name to. This year she is old enough to be laying some pretty speckeled eggs :) I had built them a cute little shelter to sleep in but they wouldn't use it. Now they are quite happy sleeping behind the board that is propped against the back wall of their little pen.

Now that I'm back near the garage, I need to take care of an injured hen. I ran out of places to put her, so she's been staying in my wire garden wagon. She's been on anti-biotics for a couple of weeks to treat a condition called bumblefoot - a type of infection. I'll be letting her back out with all her friends in a few more days.

Well, it is late into the morning and they are all waiting for me. Today the weather will be beautiful so I'll be sanitizing all the pools and waterers and do some general cleaning up after these messy little critters.

Have a great day everybody!

(Edited to note the obvious: All the critters are taken care of in reverse at the end of the day and put in their appropriate sleeping places.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fabric Reorganized

I have been cleaning and reorganizing all weekend. I was in that mode anyway, but after visiting my friend and seeing how neat and tidy her fabric was, it just put me over the edge.

Now my friends can tell you I enjoy cleaning and do a lot of it - mostly b/c of the dogs...they do create dirt! But if it weren't for them, I'd still be cleaning a lot. Don't get the idea my house is spotless; it isn't. You probably couldn't tell I spend as much time cleaning as I do, but I'm off track of this post. I mentioned Friday night, I decided to put my fabric into the room I sew in. I went to Wal-Mart first thing Saturday morning (only to see yet another truck with a sign "free puppies" (makes me so sick)) to get a set of inexpensive shelves. I'd love for my closets to look pretty with matching shelves but I can't spend that much money now, so I opted for a nice set of wire shelves. I won't go into all the boring details, but long story short, my fabrics are now housed in the closet of the room I sew in and I cleaned out half the closet in the room where my craft stuff is. I sorted my fabrics by color groups and seasons. I started out that way before but things got a little crowded and I ended up digging around to find what I was looking for. Enough gab - here are some pictures. Nothing fancy, mind you, but I'm happy with the results.

Except for the bottom shelf, this cabinet was full of fabric.

A bunch of foam pieces that were in the closet where the fabric was moved to.

Now my glass and wood pieces are housed in the cabinet, which held fabric before. I was tired of organizing so just put it all in there any which way.

Before I could put the glass away, I had stuff all over the place. Two closets and rooms were torn up to make this small change!!

This is the new wire shelf unit I purchased, which holds the seasonal fabrics, some of the other fabrics, and the batting and polyfill. I don't have a light in the closet so purchased a cheap clip-on lamp to hang from the closet shelf (hence the lovely white wire you see).

Here is the smaller plastic shelf unit I moved from the other closet, which had all the glass bottles and stuff on it. Now it has the bulk of my fabrics. Gee, I found some that I don't even remember buying! It's so nice to be able to see what I have :)

The green tree you see in back of the shelves is a Christmas Advent Tree I made for Alissa several years ago from a Laurel Burch Christmas book - that was quite the project!

Now that I've got most of my stuff in order, I can relax a little and work on some embroidery. Tomorrow I'll start cleaning all over again for my friend - whew!

I hope you all had a nice weekend :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What I'm Working On

Well, here is my WIP for the Friday Night Sew In. I started it a week or so ago and didn't actually get to stitch on it last night. Two rooms/closets were torn apart (that's another post).

I'm not sure what I'll turn this into when it's finished, but I thought the design was so cute, that I just had to stitch it.

Tomorrow I'll show you the reorg project...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blair's Home and a Visit With a Friend

I was able to bring Blair home yesterday afternoon and she was very happy to be back. She has some anti-biotics to take for a couple of weeks and then back to the vet for a follow-up and then she's done.

Here's where they gave her the two shots, 24 hours apart. They are intramuscular shots and must hurt, b/c I've got some pain meds for her.
I don't think she was feeling so hot...

After heading for the treat jar, she went straight to the big dog bed.

Dingbat Zoe seemed to be happy to have Blair home too.

Today I went to visit a friend and fellow quilter. Candy is a quilter from way back and has made more quilts than I ever will. I think she's made most of them as gifts but she has several of her own.

We haven't seen each other in a year - she doesn't really live that far away but you know how time gets away from us. I told her if I didn't get over there today, I was afraid it would be another year before I made the hour long trip.

Candy moved into a new condo and I hadn't seen it yet. Her home is perfect for her. We talked so much that I didn't remember to take many pictures but did take a few.

She is currently working on a quilt pattern called Lover's Knot by Elanor Burns. It's so pretty and she told me it was very simple to piece. I don't looks kind of involved to me. Take a look at the pretty free motion design she is doing all over it...

Here is a small quilt she made for a friend's little simple but so pretty!

Here's a blurry picture of Candy while she was putting a quilt away...Candy, don't shoot me.

As if I need another project to tackle around here, I was so inspired by Candy's organized sewing room that I've decided to reorganize my sewing and craft supplies. I currently keep my fabrics in a tall cabinet and craft supplies in my closet. Since the fabric cabinet has gotten pretty full, I think it's time for them to move into the closet and the craft supplies can go into the cabinet. Sounds pretty simple, don't you think? I just know I'll have the entire room torn up by tomorrow morning....stay tuned....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Look What I Got

Look what the mailmain brought me yesterday....a Christmas present from my sister, Susan. We are all notoriously late sending gifts and cards, but that's ok with me b/c when they finally come, they're really great gifts.

She made me a sewing mate... I've been wanting one for the longest time but just haven't gotten around to making one for myself. My grandmother used to keep a little paper bag taped to her sewing machine table for her scraps; she'd have loved one of these. As a little extra, my DS put some wonderful lavender inside the pincushion. Boy does it smell delightful while I'm sewing!!

She also made me a pair of microwave mitts...I've been wanting some ever since I saw hers at Thanksgiving.

And check this out...a sewing calendar! There is a project for every day of the year! I probably won't get all of them made, and surely not one a day, but there are so many cute ideas in this box. What a great gift for somebody who sews, huh?

Well, back to working on my special project. I can't show pictures till it's been received by somebody extra special. I hope you're having a good day. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

Good morning.

I've just taken Blair to the vet for her heartworm treatment; she'll be there for two days. Princess is happy to have Miss Blair out of the house but I'll miss her.

Thank you again for donating to her treatment!!

I just joined the Friday Night Sew In hosted by Heidi and Bobbi. I don't like to go anywhere on Friday evenings anyway, so this is perfect for me. I'm working on a few projects and this will be a good source of motivation for me to stay on track.

Here is a peek at the fabrics I'm using for a special project...

Hop on over to Heidi's and check out her blog and join in the fun!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Piece of Artwork

Hi Everybody,

Boy is it coooooooold here! It forces me to stay inside and work on more projects and some re-organization of my "stuff".

I wanted to share a picture of the piece I made for my sister as a Christmas gift. It's another project inspired by the book I mentioned in an earlier post. She likes black, white and yellow so I knew I'd be painting her a goldfinch. This all sets inside a deep shadow box that is also black.

After I cut out the painted bird, it was missing something so I painted a bunch of leaves and glued them here and there. To me, everything looks better with a little green on it (my favorite color, btw).

I took the little verse right out of the book. I had a super hard time finding anything I liked better for her.

Now I need to make a couple of these for myself!

Oh....keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm in stage II of the screening/interview process for a great job. I just know I'll be getting a job in the next two or three months....I feel it in my heart!!!!

Stay warm!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blair Update

Great news - enough money has been raised to proceed with Blair's heartworm treatment. She goes in next Tuesday for her shots and will stay at the vet's for a couple of days for observation. Then I can bring her home to stay quiet for two months and she'll be home free!! Thank you to those of you who donated to help with this!!

She is just the sweetest dog and asks for nothing from me but a few pats from time to time. She's smart too and has already learned where the treat jar is and knows everybody gets two right before we go to bed.

Today I worked at Gail's store and it's the first time I've been gone all day since getting her. When I came home, she greeted me and gave me a hug! I've never had a dog do that to me before. She didn't jump all over me...just stood up and put her paws on my waist and stood there wagging her tail. What a sweetheart....just look at that face!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting the Year Out Right

Well, it's a new year and I'm ready to make some changes for the better.

I spent the weekend cleaning up Christmas and putting things away (mostly) and doing some organizing in my sewing room. I had a pretty good stack of fabrics that I've purchased over the year, all of which were laying on my cutting table. Well, they got put away and will be brought out as I begin projects that require them.

There is a very special project I'll be starting soon, but while staightening up my fabrics, I uncovered a really cool magazine I bought months and months and months ago (I think it was in the spring). Oh my gosh, now I remember why I had put it on my table....b/c there are so many things in it that I want to make!!

So today, I sat at my kitchen table with the bright sun coming through the sliding glass door and stitched two of these cute little tags up.

I have to put a little silk rosette on them and the ribbon to hang them with, but isn't it cute!?! And I already traced the bird cage embroidery project onto a piece of muslin to start on tomorrow. I love this magazine!!

I did take a break to do more cleaning and I even rode my exercise bicycle for 30 minutes! I really need to take better care of myself and lose about 20 pounds, although I'd be happy losing 15 (or 5 for that matter!).

I've also applied for three governmental positions and have my fingers crossed that I get interviews scheduled for them. I've decided to look in that direction, since the government supposedly is hiring lots of people. And the Ft. Bragg area is booming due to a reorganization within the military and it isn't any further a commute than me traveling north to Durham, so I feel optimistic about landing a decent job within the next couple of months. That's the plan anyway! And I've got a couple of fun things planned for Feb and March so have those to look forward to.

It is absolutely freezing here (actually below freezing) but I splurged a couple of weeks ago and had my propane tank filled so I could burn my gas logs. I'm headed back in the den now to do a little more needlework by the fireplace.

I hope you all had a nice weekend!