Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Together Again

This was Weasley last week.

Cute, but kind of sad. But now, Ginny has started doing more of this.

So, the two of them are able to spend middle-of-the-day time together again.

Much better. We are still keeping Ginny separate at prime eating times, so we can monitor her. She needs to gain back a lot of weight.  But, they both are much happier now. And no, I don't make them stay on that little blue rug all afternoon. It's just what they like to do. I guess they can supervise all household activities from there, without needing to move much!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday In The Garden

It has been a week since I have touched the computer. I am almost afraid to check my e-mail and reader! Second Daughter and I came back late Tuesday from visiting colleges in Maine (don't think she's any closer to narrowing that search down yet), and the rest of the week has been spent playing catch-up. The dental work seems to be helping Ginny, and she is slowly starting to eat again. She has even shown some interest in Weasley the past two days, which has made him happier.

As for the garden, this week has been mostly about the blackberries.

They look so innocent, don't they?

When we returned from our travels. we found that First Daughter had picked some, and made a very tasty pie. She is the pie lady in this house.

But there were more berries left, and in the next twenty four hours, we picked even more.

So I made some jam.

And then I made our favorite blackberry cheesecake, with blackberry sauce.

You can click this link for the Very Berry Cheesecake recipe. I use blackberry brandy instead of the cherry that is called for in the ingredients list. I also use lite vanilla wafers, lite cream cheese, and lite cottage cheese, and pretend that this makes it a healthy recipe!  By the way, this is one of those foods that is better the second day, if it lasts that long!

I also made a fruit salad with mostly blackberries, and froze three quarts of berries.This is our first year with a freezer, and I am very happy to not be canning quarts of blackberries this year!

Have a very happy weekend everybun, and I hope your gardens are also being fruitful. I promise to answer e-mail tomorrow, and start catching up with what everyone out there in blogland has been doing this week.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Another Late Friday In The Garden

Yesterday was crazy. Ginny had her dental work done, and came through it OK. She is eating some greens now, and I was told she has eaten some hay (haven't seen it myself). Unfortunately, this vet decided she couldn't do anything about the lump on her lip. She does, however, think that the Boston vet may be able to. First we have to fatten her back up, though (Ginny, not the vet).

Then I took First Daughter to her riding lesson, where this guy, named Dart, tried to eat my sketch book. It now has horse slobber on it. 

Then we went to Sturbridge Village to pick up a friend of First Daughter for a weekend visit, back home for a quick walk in the garden, off across town to pick up another friend arriving on a bus, home to feed them veggies from the farm that Second Daughter is working at, and watch some spectacular lightening. The lightening storm caused them to abandon plans for walking to the ice cream store, so I took them to the grocery to buy ice cream. I left them arguing about who could be Jo, Amy, Meg (but not Beth), and since they are not awake yet, I assume that went on for awhile. Today we will visit Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott.

On that quick walk in the garden, I saw that the pears are getting bigger.

The blackberries are starting to need picking.

The Laura Phlox is in full bloom. Love that color!

And it is in front of the Rose Of Sharon that is starting to blossom. This is a white, double-flowered variety.

Around here we also call it the "Dirty Handkerchief Shrub", because on the second day those beautiful, white flowers look more like dirty, crumpled tissues! Very unfortunate, but the shrub is happy here, so it stays, at least for now.

Tomorrow I am off to Maine, with Second Daughter. We are spending several days visiting colleges. See you when we get back. Have a happy weekend, everybun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Couple Of Works In Progress And Ginny

Here are a couple of new pieces that I am working on. They both use a sketch of a seedling, printed on fabric from my computer, and one uses some of the stamps that I have been making.

 I'm wondering if the one below needs something more in the upper right. My family is in favor of leaving negative space there, but I have difficulty not filling every spot! What do you think?

As for Miss Ginny, she goes back to the new vet again on Friday. The lump on her face has been making it hard to eat, and so now her teeth need work. They will put her out to do this, and while she is out, they will check the lump more closely. The vet thinks she may be able to do something about this one on her lip, to make things easier for Ginny.  We will see how it goes. Please send some prayers and happy thoughts Ginny's way tomorrow morning. She's a little toughie, but she needs all the help she can get.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pets On Quilts Show

There is an interesting event in the works over at  sewcalgal. She is calling it her Pets On Quilts Show, and it will happen in August. Everyone is welcome to join in. You can post a picture of a quilt with an animal in the design, or an actual animal on your quilt (dangerous around here). You can also participate by making beds or blankets for shelters, or by volunteering at a shelter. Check out the link for more information, and have fun browsing her blog, also. It's got a lot going on.

I plan to participate, but I'm going to have to buckle down and get organized. The show starts about the time we take First Daughter off to Pittsburgh for a couple of years. Its probable just going to keep getting crazier around here for the next couple of weeks.

By the way, Ginny is still holding her own. We are going to a new vet today, to see if she has anything more to offer us. I'll let you know what happens.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Briefly Caught Up On The Creative Cues

I took advantage of the hot weather to stay in the air-conditioned room and carve stamps. Creative Cue Number 21 was speak. I had a lot of difficulty with this one. I finally decided on a girl's head with lines coming out of the mouth indicating speech. When I finally sat down to do it, the words insisted on adding themselves. Of course I carved them backwards the first time....

The next word on my to-do list was Creative Cue Number 23, road. For this, I made a version of our favorite hairpin turn, on Rte. 2 out in North Adams. This is one of my favorites.

Next up was bulb, Creative Cue Number 24.

When I did this one on fabric, I had it on top of a paper towel, and the texture of the towel came through, creating an interesting effect.

When I started work on  Creative Cue Number 25, egg,  I ran into more difficulties. I really didn't like the finished product. Not wanting to waste the block, I flipped it over, and carved the negative of the image I had already carved. It was much nicer this way, and I learned that I can get two stamps on one block, if I'm careful. Here is the one I like.

And finally, this weeks word, Creative Cue Number 27, nail I was thinking about the roofing nails that I've been finding in our yard. I made this one so that it can be tiled, if I'm very careful about placement. I put some lines around the edge to help with this, but I will still have to curb my tendency to daydream when using this this way.

Whew! What a relief to be caught up! Sorry for the glare in some of the pictures. They would have been better if I had waited till morning, and taken them in daylight. But of course, a new word will be out in the morning, and I will not be caught up any longer!

Check out the links to the cues, or The Three Creative Studios Forum for other interpretations of these words.

Friday In The Garden

OK. I know it's Saturday, and I did take these pictures yesterday. I just couldn't get near the computer for long enough to post them. The daylilies are still going strong. Here are some of the Prairie Moonlight, with some Frankly Scarlet and some native grasses (mostly Big Bluestem, which has gotten out of control to the point where I am about to call it a weed).

Outback, the Siloam variety is especially gorgeous.

The liatris (aka Kansas Gay Feather) is blossoming. The goldfinches love the seeds from these. Peeking out from behind is a little bit of phlox, called Laura.

The Russian Sage is at its best, and some pink Bee Balm and liatris look nice with it. Please ignore the fact that my bird bath needs cleaning.

Most importantly to Ginny and Weasley, the parsley is blossoming, getting ready to make a lot of nice, new parsley plants.

The Black-Eyed Susan's are telling the story of the week. There is just not enough water to go around. Our city has a water ban in effect. We are on a private well, not city water, but I still don't like to overuse it. Having a well go dry is no fun.

The most important part of the garden this week.

I live in New England. The temperature on my deck should never read 103°F! Hope you have a wonderful, and cool, rainy weekend (at least that is what I am hoping for!).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Small Blessings

When you look at this picture, don't see the fact that her face is all weepy. See that she is back at work eating the brown chair after two really bad days where all she did is hide in small spaces. My girl is a tough one!

And a little art, this time on Second Daughter's leg. She just applied some of last years birthday present (henna) and is waiting for the color to stain her skin.

Have a happy day, everybun!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Return To Some Creative Cues

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours doing some creative work. I decided to carve some stamps for Three Creative Studios Creative Cue project. For this week, the word was drink. I was thinking iced tea, but this showed up instead.

I had some difficulty with the bubbles. I couldn't get a very round shape, and after I tried for awhile, cracks appeared, running from bubble to bubble. If anyone knows of a tool or technique to make small circles more easily and cleanly, could you give me a hint?

After this, I went back to a couple of older words that were stewing around in my head. First was market, from way back on May 30th. I should probably clean this up a little around the edges, but I actually like the way it prints, so it may stay this way.

And then, from way back on May 16th  was the word arm. I finally decided to do an arm chair. This may look like a couch to you, as it did to one of my daughters, but it really is a chair. It is based on my memory of an old chair at my parents house when I was growing up. It was wide, with these low, wide arms. It was just perfect for sitting sideways on while reading (doesn't every teenager sit like this?). I've never found another chair that was as good for this purpose.

And finally, a picture of Ginny. She isn't having the greatest day today, but she still managed to glare at me when I disturbed her examination of her evening feast. There's power in rabbit disapproval! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday In The Garden

There are some daylilies blossoming this week, that were not in bloom last week. Out front we have several clumps of Prairies Moonlight planted among mostly native plants. Even though this is not a rebloomer, I love the color, and the huge size of the blossoms.

Closer to the house is this gorgeous creamsicle colored daylily called Serengeti. (The spell check just suggested that I change creamsicle for either crepuscular, or grotesquely. What on earth is it thinking???)

And, out back is this beauty. It is from the Siloam line, but I have lost track of exactly which variety. It used to be planted out front, where it did nothing. I moved it behind the house, and it blossoms like mad!

The most fun this week was not in my garden however, but in my parent's yard. My youngest brother came north with his wife and kids, and I was able to make a quick overnight visit to see them. It's  always so much fun when we can get the cousins together. And, I'm also lucky that all of my brothers married wonderful women (I'm not quite sure how they managed that...). I don't get to see any of them nearly enough. 

During my short visit, we managed a concert in the park, a playground trip, lots of good food, and some rousing games of kickball, complete with cardboard bases. It was just like when we were growing up!

Here is my youngest brother trying to get an out against The Sister of The Girl Who Is Never Out.

And here he is again, showing off his legs kicking skills.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) there was no picture of me tripping while running back to first base when the little person on second base decided not to move. I actually managed to tuck my shoulder and roll, and somehow not hurt myself! Like I said, it was just like when we were growing up.