Monday, May 30, 2011

Here's how it's done

Some of you were wondering how it works when 2 cats have their kittens in the same place. Here ya go:

Whether the babies were each with their own birth mother, I have no idea. Possibly neither have the mothers.

I love how those 2 white ones are turning out to be not-so-white. Click on the pic to enlarge it, and look at their markings. Soooo interesting! Several years ago I had one who started out all white, then got grayish ears and tail, and when he matured, he developed lots of darker hair and was strikingly beautiful! He also had the Siamese blue eyes. So we'll see how these 2 turn out.

Here are some action shots for your enjoyment. Be sure to turn up the volume in the second one and listen to how Courtney talks to them. ADORABLE!!

Little photographer in action:

Those shots are all from last Tuesday. No doubt they've grown a lot since then. And no doubt we'll have to do this all over again tomorrow. ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grandma's little protégée

Courtney brought her camera along Tuesday so she could take pictures of the new kittens. The grass was very wet in the morning, so we had to postpone the kitten visit till later. Meanwhile, she went out on the deck by herself for a photo shoot. I stayed inside and unbeknownst to her took pictures of her taking pictures. She shot everything that caught her eye, including the sky and even the outlet on the wall of the house. She was very thorough, even zooming in for some closeups. I joined her then for the bike shots. Do click on the collage to get a better view of the soon-to-be-professional at work!

Don't you like how she's eyeing that oriole feeder? Probably judging the best angle or something.

I love her little capris, too.... so cool!

She did eventually see me inside the window.

And we took pictures of each other taking pictures of each other. :)

Smile! You may be HER next subject! She actually does a very good job... she has some really neat pics on that little camera of hers! Wish I could show them to you.

Kitten pics another day..... do come back!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You can row it, Mark!

Click any photo to enlarge.

Not too bad, considering the spring we've had, huh?

For you non-farmers.... it's a field of corn just coming up. :)

And lest you feel left out, here are a couple for you, Cindy:

The lilacs are just beginning to open.

Wish I could send you some fragrance! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag

It. Is. FINISHED! Ahhhhh! And indeed it is the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag. It is made from Jess's new fabric from the Dusk colorway of her Outside Oslo collection. Tulip.

Here are some very hastily-taken photos (like in 5 minutes!) that I snapped (using the flash on a dark, dreary morning) just before shipping it off to Jess yesterday. They probably don't do it justice, and she'll have much nicer pics of it on her blog as soon as she receives it and can get her own photos taken (tomorrow or Thursday).

I love this bag! It was a challenge to make, to say the least... definitely the hardest thing I've ever sewn. It took many hours and tested my sewing skills, my patience and my temper. But I learned some things, and I'm soooo glad I made it!

There were 50 pieces to cut out! That wasn't difficult, but it took several hours to do. The rest took many more hours. I didn't keep track of how many (and Jess is probably glad of that).

I'd never done piping before, so that was a new experience. By itself, that wasn't difficult, either, but when it came to sewing all those pieces together, including the piping and very thick interfacing (not to mention the curves)... that was a challenge! I broke 2 sewing machine needles... and punctured my hands/fingers with pins many times.

Those are pockets on each of the 4 sides. Per Jess's request, there are no pockets inside. It is lined with the Dusk colorway's Skiff pattern.

There was a lot of hand sewing to hold the lining in place... not difficult, but just kind of painstaking (literally at times... more pin pricks) and slow.

BUT IT'S DONE!! And I am so relieved! I hope Jess likes it. ;)

If any of you were to consider making this yourself, I suggest doing a Google search for the bag. There are many blogs with tips for making it, and I found them very useful. I'll leave you with that advice and won't take the time for adding any of my own.

Now on to the next sewing project.... after doing some mighty catching up of neglected chores!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just more birds

Sorry, my sewing project STILL isn't done! I missed my deadline. But I haven't given up on it, even though parts of it have made me want to. ;) At least the worst is over (I hope!), so it should be downhill from here.

I've been so focused on the sewing that I haven't even been taking any pictures lately! Sad, isn't it? So these are from nearly a week ago. Yeah, they're back. Right on our front lawn.

At least the flock is getting smaller. This is all that's left of the flock of 20+ a few years ago. I'm NOT sad about that.

You can see the fresh grass lying on the driveway. I had just mowed the day before. I mowed again yesterday. And it rained a bunch again last night. I fear its gonna be another one of those years for mowing again. I'd much rather sew.

Sew.... I'd better get back to it! My next post WILL show you what I've been working on. Completed. I hope.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A sneak peek

In case you've missed me (I hope you have), I've been busily working on my latest project. It's a biggie, time-wise. Lots of hours into it already. It needs to be in the mail to Jess tomorrow (today would've been better, but it ain't gonna happen, I'm afraid)... but I'm not sure if I'm gonna make it or not... long ways to go yet. But I don't have my little pin-helper today, so despite not having pins handed to me, I just might be able to make a little better progress than if she were here. I MISS HER, THOUGH! Doesn't seem like a Tuesday at all!

Here's part of the early stages of the project:

That's one of two types of interfacing going into it... some really heavy stuff. Not a very exciting "peek", is it? Well, Josie, my ever-present helper, thought it was a good place to sneak in and peek out from. Silly kitty. She gets very sad and lonely, though, when I spend hours in my sewing room and she's shut out of there. Poor kitty.

Sorry, but that's all the peeks you get.... mainly due to lack of time, but also due to not wanting to give away the surprise.

You can peek at what we've been eating lately, though. This is the first picking, which I enjoyed all by myself (sorry, Grandpa, there wasn't enough for two). We've both had a couple meals since, though.


Bye for now... I must get back at it!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Congratulations, Miss Courtney!

Last night Courtney graduated from her first year of Kindergarten Connection. Yes, graduation already, at 4 years old! :)

Lighting was poor, and photographing was difficult, so this is the best shot I could get of her with her class. She sort of shines out from the rest for some reason. ;)

Why is she not wearing her mortar board, you ask? It slipped off, of course. lol Here's another (somewhat blurry) pic of her with it on:

Afterwards she went for a sleepover at her other grandma and grandpa's house. Hopefully it wasn't too challenging getting her to bed after all the festivities. Heheh....

A note: If you've had trouble viewing my blog or leaving comments in the past day or so.... it's not my fault!! Blogger has not been working properly. I couldn't even add a new post until just now. I know it's not ALL fixed yet, so if you continue to have trouble, just be patient and try again later.

Now back to my sewing machine. My latest project is proceeding nicely. Hopefully in just a few days I can show you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More arrivals

Yesterday while out visiting the kittens, I thought I heard an oriole. I saw it fly, but against the sun I couldn't tell for sure what it was. This morning I definitely heard one, so I quickly filled the feeder with grape jelly and hung it out. Within 5 minutes, this guy was there!

Then some competition showed up. This next is a lousy photo (it's a very cloudy, dark morning... not good for photos... and my flash thought it should go off even though I told it not to), but I thought it was interesting.

"Go AWAY! I was here first!"

Josie found the new arrivals very interesting, too. In fact, she's still upstairs watching now, whereas she's usually down here with me trying to sit in front of the monitor or something equally as pesty. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our morning so far.....

Courtney arrived around 7:00 a.m., and we've already been quite busy. First off, she knew the "little thing" was finished, so she wanted to see it and try it out. Here it is. Can you tell what it is?

Maybe if you see it in use, it'll help:

Baby got to hop into it and go for a ride, first thing!

The next 2 pics just happened to turn out kinda funny. Take note of the facial expressions on both Courtney and the baby:


And then of course we had to go check out the new kittens! Here are a couple of samples:

Aren't they cute?! The pile of babies is getting bigger... not because there are more kittens, but because these are growing fast! Later when the grass is dry, maybe we can get shots of a few more. We were kind of in a hurry this morning, 'cause Grandma hadn't had her coffee yet. ;)

I think this next shot is so cute, even if I did cut off the top of Courtney's head. So typical.

It also gives you a view of the back of the baby carrier.

Now hopefully I can get some fabric cutting done, with the aid of my little pin-helper, of course. Hard telling when I'll be back, but I WILL be back! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Josie!

"Yes, I'm on the table. I'm waiting for my treat. Now will you just put that camera down and get to the important stuff?!"

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

Handmade card by watercolor artist Courtney (assisted by Grandma):

(Card template by the super-talented Larissa of mmmcrafts.)

Inside the card, it says:

(She intended to change colors with every letter, but quickly forgot. :) )

I hope she remembered to give Mommy the card this morning so this isn't where she sees it first. ;)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Arrived yesterday

Goldfinches! Much later this year than last. Maybe they thought spring wasn't really coming, since there are absolutely no leaves on the trees or anything yet.

Euww... I see a window-washing job in my near future.

But better even than the finches... THIS also arrived yesterday:

.... along with various other necessities for sewing up some special things. Woohoo! Can't wait to get started! Unfortunately, the pattern has not arrived yet. Hopefully SOON.... like TODAY! I have a deadline for my first item, and it's going to take considerable hours to make.

And on a very related note, if I disappear from my blog for a while, the above is why. But I'll be around. Just take a peek in my sewing room window, and you're very likely to find me (but beware... I'll have my camera down there with me!). I'll try to take some "clue" pics along the way, to see if you can figure out what I'm making, though.

P.S. I did finished the "little thing" I was working on (yesterday, actually). But I had to wait till Courtney was here Tuesday for a fitting before I could finish it, and then we had other things to do, plus it was just too nice outside (gotta take advantage of those RARE days when we can) to stay in and finish sewing. So now I can't show it to you until I see her again and she can model it. Sorry. ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One in every color!

Look what I just found!

I figured Patches and Miss Purrkins had had their babies, because I hadn't seen them since yesterday morning or maybe the night before. Then this evening when I fed all the cats, Miss Purrkins was there, and yup, no big belly anymore.

I thought they would most likely be in the hay bales. But just on the off chance, I lifted up the turned-over stock tank where Mama kitty had hers last year. I'd already looked there for Mama's this year, with no luck. But much to my surprise, there was Patches... and TEN (I think) kittens! So the sisters had their babies at the same time and in the same place!

Of course I had to run for the camera!

What a cute pile, huh? And what variety!!

Here are the slim-again mamas:

They were pretty concerned about my disturbing their nest, though, and Miss Purrkins decided to grab one and run.

I put it back, and when I left, everyone was settled back in again. I hope they don't decide to move them all when I'm not looking.

Miss Courtney will be soooo delighted!!

(Lori, you're a "grandma"! LOL)

I still haven't found Mama's babies.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

View from the sewing room window

When will I ever learn to never go down to the sewing room without the camera?! I'd just gotten down there and sat at the sewing machine, when all of a sudden there was a deer head right outside the window! I quickly sneaked away and ran for the camera, but alas, this was all I managed to catch:

I watched for a while, hoping it'd come back. I could barely see it up against the house to my right. Then it almost looked like it was going under the deck! So I ran to the other basement window, and sure enough, there it was, under the deck!!

The camera flashed, and that didn't even scare it away. Josie happened to follow me to the basement, and she got very interested in our visitor, too!

Yep, under the deck!

Then it wandered off, and I got to my sewing.

But lo and behold, it came back!!

Poor skinny thing... did you notice that hip bone jutting out? This is the sickly one. The other one wasn't along this time.

But such a gentle, pretty face.... up close and personal:

It was weird. That deer had to have seen me in the window. I went outside later and looked in the window, and everything inside was very plain to see! And what's more, I had my iPad on the window sill playing music. Surely it had to have heard.

I even managed to get a video. Turn up the volume and listen to the music I had on, thanks to Pandora.

As you can imagine, there's not much left of my tulips. I hadn't resprayed them after it rained. There are only 3 buds left. But what would you have done... chased the deer away, or taken the rare opportunity to get pics and video of a deer up this close? ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Little things to sew

Hmmm... little things to sew.... sounds like a great book title! Wouldn't it be neat if there were a book of all kinds of little things to sew, complete with patterns and instructions?

Well, guess what? There is! It's pretty new... just came out last winter.

And guess what else? I have my very own copy of it, thanks to a gift certificate I got for Christmas! (My thanks to you, J&A!)

Here's what the front cover looks like:

And the back cover:

Lots of fun-looking things to make, huh? I like how they're pictured... like clothes and things to put on paper dolls (remember paper dolls???). No, the items to sew aren't for paper dolls... they're real things for kids.

But guess what? The book's paper jacket IS exactly that! Each little thing is made to cut out and put on paper dolls!

And inside the book, on one of the nice, heavy-weight pages, are two paper dolls! Sweet! (Just don't tell Courtney. I haven't let her in on that one yet. ;) )

Sew... anyone want to guess what I'm working on? It's pictured above. Hopefully I'll get it finished so I can show you pictures tomorrow or the next day.

And for after I finish that, I have it on good authority that some of Jess's new fabrics are being shipped to me today, plus a couple of patterns and other necessary sewing notions, etc. So I will be VERY busy later this week! I hope I'm up to the task my "boss" has set before me! ;)

I would have had the shipments sooner, except that Jess and Alex took a trip to Sweden before she had time to get things lined up! How cool is that?! If you'd like to hear a little about their trip and see some photos, go check out her blog post about it.