Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Things I can't live without. at the moment

I got hit hard and fast with a summer cold yesterday.  It just seems so wrong to be laid up and sick during the summer.  I'm just grateful that I don't have to try and work today or tomorrow.  Meanwhile, Lewis has given me strict orders to remain in bed except for food and bathroom breaks.  Here are some of the things that I can't live without today.
Puffs Plus with Lotion... I won't allow anything else to touch my nose, they make a huge difference when you're using one every other minute or more.

This stuff is great, it tastes good and works.  If you like, add a splash of brandy before bed and you'll sleep like a baby.
When I'm not drinking my medicine, this is my go to.  My trusty electric kettle has been around for years but will boil water for me in moments, the tea, well, it's PG Tips, what more can I say, and the honey is quite simply the best I've ever had, a local raw honey that I picked up at the farmers market.
I'll be honest, I've never been a thimble wearer.  My mother always used one for hand sewing but I've never done a lot of hand sewing so had no occasion to do so.  Yesterday though, while waiting in the Dr.'s office I was working on a hand sewing project... when I came home I spent the next hour or so hunting down my thimble.  This one I picked up at an estate sale in California and it fits perfectly.  It's my new best friend.
And finally, a project to work on.  This is my Florentine Fancy quilt that I am finally binding.  I've got two edges done and two more to go.  I hope I don't regret it later but I couldn't find any red cotton thread  and I'm not going out sick, so I'm using Rayon.  Good thing it's a wall hanging. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Gift of the Night.

From the darkness of her room on a night where the clap of thunder and flash of lightning have brought her to a state of half awake, half asleep I hear the voice that has been absent for many years. 
It's the voice of my little girl, before this young woman made her appearance.  I hover over her bed listening to the sweet mumblings that only her dreams can decipher until I hear "I love you momma."  That I understand most clearly. 
This night, as I lean over to kiss my little girl goodnight, I forget for a moment that I've only two years until she's an adult and graduating.  For now her face is soft and relaxed in sleep and so childlike in the shadows of the night.  Come morning she will begin her junior year of high school and be one more step closer to adult hood, but tonight, tonight she is my baby and as the memories flood through my mind, I catch a tear before it can land on her cheek and wake her fully, then kiss her softly and whisper "I love you too baby."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Playing Catch Up on August

I'm pooped.  I know this is so not whine worthy  to those of you that regularly work eight hours a day Monday-Friday, but I signed up for a part time gig and my little tootsies aren't used to that.   The week before last was a nine day work week with 8-9 hour days, last week was a four day work week of the same hours of but I also started school full time.This week I have to work 5 days of "long" hours but still have my school.  *Sigh* 
The great news is that all this extra time hit right when the Jeep broke down so yay, it will help pay for that, and who doesn't like a little extra cash in the pockets?  I know I do.

So last week, I walk in the door after work to a horrendous crash in my sewing/craft room. Open the door...my big 7 foot shelf that's been up for years and is where I keep books, fabric & craft supplies has fallen, pretty sure there's broken glass from the lamps and other stuff under the shelf, not an inch of floor space to be seen, just a massive mess.  I didn't cry, but between school and work I couldn't deal with it right then, so I turned around and pulled the door closed.  I haven't used my sewing room since...  Hopefully this week despite the same time sucking issues I can get that cleaned up and back into my sewing room.  I'm running out of time on my Carpenters Star and really don't want to use another machine since using multiple machines can give you a wobbly flimsy.  

I know, this has been a picturless and rather boring post, so to fix that here's a little something to brighten it up.  I'll be working on it more today and hopefully finishing it tomorrow.  (Thank goodness it's small)
 Of course I've already got some spots that need some reverse sewing but for the most part I think it's pretty good for a first timer.  And my friend who gets it will love it because she knows what goes into the making and finishing of a quilt...and she loves me.
Here's a closeup of some of the stippling or meandering that I'm doing.  I've got two more quilts to go on later so hopefully this will help me learn control and flow.  I tend to want to hover right over the needle so it isn't doing my back any favors, but it's just so much fun!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Iron Smith

My Florentine Fancy went on the long arm quilter today.  I've never used one and haven't a lot of faith in my capabilities so we'll see how that works out, Send me luck, talent and a steady hand.  Heck, while you're at it, send someone to do the quilting for me...PLEASE!!  Anyway, in the meanwhile, you get another County Fair entry.  

There were a lot of shops at the county fair but not a lot of demonstrations.  My favorite by far was the iron smith right outside the door. 
 The gentleman in blue is Paul DiFrancesco (awesome name) of Lightning Forge
 Here he is building up his fire to the perfect temperature, the round item you see part of on his left is the "bellows which provides the oxygen to the flame.
 You get a demonstration full of information and humor while you wait for the iron to reach the proper temperature to work with.
 Here he had one of the viewers assist him by holding the iron rod while he split a section of it down the center.
 More waiting.
  it's actually quite amazing how quickly the iron heats up and cools down. Can you tell what it is yet? 
Between the heat and the muscle the iron bends in a seemingly easy fashion.
 Now can you tell what it is?  I'll give you a hint, Think hot dogs.  :) 
 You guessed it, it's a fork!  A few more touches and it was done.  All from a single rod of iron.  He tells you exactly what you need to do to care for it.  

 On another day that I had been there, only without my camera, he demonstrated how he used a dye to make one of these, isn't it lovely. 
Then he gifted it to me. 
I'll admit it made me cry a little for a craftsman to just give me such a lovely example of his trade.  I'll cherish it always.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More From the County Fair

So, as mentioned in my last post, our County Fair was last week/weekend.  Although I went three out of the four nights, I only remembered to take my camera on one of those days.  Brilliant I know. 
Small livestock is in my top three places to visit.  I have a weakness for chickens and bunnies.  Some of the pictures turned out a bit blurry but I beg you humor me.
I can't recall the breed of this duck (did I even look?) but my daughter wants one so we can name him Einstein. 

My favorite breed of chicken, a Silkie.  This one in particular was my favorite, it looked like a big fluffy chick, and those dark eyes... soooo cute!

Look at this handsome fellow with his pale colored cheeks.  He's a Bantam which means he's about half the size of standard chickens.  I can't recall the specifics on his breed though,

Another Silkie... Careful, he can smell fear.  Just kidding, it would make a rather good muppet don't you think?

This beautiful Bantam hen would not keep still for pictures, hence the blur, she was just so curious and cute.   I love love this color though, isn't it lovely?

Another Bantam hen but not sure of the breed.  I love her cute  round tummy. 

This Bantam cock could fit in the palms of my hands he was so small, and he was so very white.

Another Bantam Cock, I wanted to get a full shot of him but he'd have nothing of it, he wanted to see what my camera was all about and came right up to investigate.  Another case of curiosity making the picture blur.

A Rex bunny I believe, I'm worse at bunny breeds than I am chickens. 

Did you know that bunnies could give you baleful stares?  The sign on this guys cage said "I'm grumpy and I bite!"  I believe it. 

Another Rex.  We got to pet one just like this and it was sooooo soft!

Bunny love, how cute are these little Netherland Dwarves?

A shy little floppy eared bunny.

And finally this little guy, soft, spotted and ears that didn't know which way to go.  :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

County Fair Textiles (pic heavy)

In the distance I can hear the rumble of the fireworks that signal the end of our county fair.  This year we went all but one night to see the sights and had lots of fun.  I don't have a lot to say, but thought I'd let you see some of the textile arts that were on display.  Some of the pictures came out a bit blurry, but you get the idea.

For your viewing pleasure.
This quilt was HUGE!

I loved this dress, it had a very medieval feel to it.

This quilt was made by one of the customers of my store for a contest we had, she won that, then entered it in the fair.  Look at those ribbons!

Love this quilt block!

Sad this turned out so blurry, but I love the colors in this quilt.

A cute puzzle quilt. 

Love this quilt, and the colors.

Another blurry picture

A close up (and clearer) view of the quilt above.

A beautiful embroidered suit with matching satchel. 


This beautiful shawl was knit by an acquaintance of mine.  She does amazing work. 

Two very different quilts, my favorite is the one on the wall.


Close up view of a big scrap quilt.

A beautiful cross stitch design.

Close up.

Hope you enjoyed.  . 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Almost done

Sorry for the bad picture quality I took it while rushing to get ready for work.
My title has a double meaning, I'm finally almost finished with my Florentine Fancy, just two more boarders to go, and my daughter and I are almost done with summer vacation.  I'm back to school on the 16th and she's back later this month.  Ug, time has just flown by!  To be perfectly honest, I'd much rather not go back to school, it's been so nice not having a deadline looming over my head every week.  Oh well.

I've also started a new quilt, It's called a Carpenters Star.  I'm making it for an old supervisor.  We've not been in the same unit for years but we are still very close and she told me that she's retiring in September.  Sad as it is, she's the only supervisor in my 11 year career that has taken a personal interest in me and been a true mentor.  So this is the least I can do. 
Four more rows to go
 I'm really liking this pattern and may end up making one to keep.  We'll see how much I get done in the next while, I'm supposed to work 9 days straight between my regular job and AF Reserves.  Less than thrilled about that I can tell you.  And to top it off, my Jeep died yesterday and at this point I'm not sure if it can be fixed.  I guess the extra money from the work will either be helping to pay for repairs or a new car.  :(
As my dad always used to say, "Such is the life in the far, far West and the further the West, the sucher."