Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On temporary leave

I'll probably be absent for a while. My PC won't start this morning. I HOPE it's nothing more serious than the power supply or some such thing. So I can't access any of my photos, nor can I do any of that from my iPad. I'll be back ASAP, but I have no idea how long it'll take.

At least I can still use my sewing machine, and I do have a project in progress. ;)

Meanwhile, feel free to browse the archives!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are you hungry?

I mean REALLY hungry. Are you? Probably not. Or if you are hungry, it's probably not like literally starving. And not something that you couldn't fix by going to the refrigerator, or making a quick trip to a grocery store, convenience store, restaurant, etc.

Many people in the world ARE hungry. The STARVING kind of hungry. Have you heard about the famine in Africa that's going on right now? People are so hungry that they're dying.

Do you want to help?

There's an awesome website that I've been visiting daily for years. It costs me nothing, but it helps feed hungry people. All I have to do is click on the big "Click Here" button, and it donates 1.1 cups of food to someone in need. Every day.

The funds come from their sponsors, of whom there are many. Of course, if you buy something from the sponsors, it helps even more, but you don't have to buy anything.

It's called The Hunger Site. Right now they're focusing on feeding those affected by the famine in Africa. Click this link if you want to help, too.

I'm also including a button in my left sidebar that you can click on every day to get to the site, or you can simply bookmark it on your computer.

Also on the site, there are tabs at the top of the page for helping other causes: Breast Cancer, Animal Rescue, Veterans, Autism, Child Health, Literacy, and Rainforest. I click on them all every day. It takes me about 30 seconds total. I figure I can afford 30 seconds out of every day to help others. I hope you will, too.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Well... finished business

The well digger guy came back a couple weeks ago and finished up the job, so the top of our well is no longer in a temporary less-than-sanitary state like it was here. I mistakenly said it was going to have a concrete top on it like our old well, but that was an augered well, and the new one was drilled, so it's much narrower and has a smaller cap on it.

This is our new well:

I just like that photo for some reason. :) Here's a closer view:

Mama kitty was standing behind me, and I asked her to go over by it for a little size perspective. Much to my surprise, she did it!

So the job is done, and the old well filled in. Now all that's left is to pay the bill (which we haven't gotten yet but oughta be "pretty")... and to hope the sand someday finishes washing out of our pipes. Yep, still getting some. Aargh.

Oh, BTW, did you know that this is what a well is like?

Now you know... and I do, too. I happened to find that picture online and thought it was interesting. (I don't know who to give credit to... Michigan, I guess. ;) )

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Evening view(s)

I happened to look out the kitchen window last night just before supper, and this is what I saw (note the top of the light):

It's a hawk. Here's a closer look:

I'd had to sneak quietly out the back garage door, because I knew a picture through the window screen wouldn't look too great. I was lucky to get those two shots. It didn't take long for it to notice me and do this:

The night before, I had a different view... in the house. I always lock Wispy and Josie in the entry for the overnight, and after doing that Tuesday night, I remembered something I had to do in the basement before going to bed. I opened the entry door and turned on the light, and this is what I saw:

Each has her own bed, and this is Wispy's. They go to their own beds when I put them out there [and sometimes... albeit rarely (usually they make me carry them)... they even go on their own if it's getting late]. But that was how I found them "after hours". They looked so guilty it cracked me up and I had to grab the camera.

Aww, it's really pretty sweet. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Butterfly food

When I was at Courtney's house for the butterfly release, I couldn't resist taking pictures of Mommy's flower garden:

Here are closeups of some of the prettiest currently blooming. Be sure to click on the collage to enlarge it!

Aren't they beautiful? That butterfly should have plenty to choose from! I also had a couple of hummingbirds zoom past my head while I was out there. I'm sure this is a happy spot for them, too. No doubt Mommy gets her flowering green thumb from her mom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Little square things, Part 2

Okay, now that we've gotten all the exciting butterfly news out of the way, let us return to our regularly scheduled programming. Back to little square things!

Last Tuesday, Courtney and I made a second project. Can you guess what we did with some of these paint swatches?

We made BOXES!!

Very PRETTY little boxes!

Aren't they adorable?

And yes, they're very LITTLE. Here's just how little:

I came across a fun, easy little tutorial here. (Heheh... imagine me reading that blog.) When I showed the pics to Courtney, she loved the boxes, and she hoped her Auntie Jess would send her some.

Since the boxes themselves would be a little awkward to mail, Jess instead was kind enough to send us those lovely big paint swatches, because all our local stores have are the very narrow kind. And it was very fun to make the boxes ourselves.

We had to trim off the edges of the swatches to make them square, so Courtney had a good idea for using up the scraps. She made letters!

She glued them together herself. Aren't they pretty?

So thanks, Auntie Jess, for all the fun!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A critter, Part 2

In yesterday's post, I showed you the little caterpillar that Courtney and I had found. It made its chrysalis, but it was too hard to get a good photo of it in the cage, so here's an old pic of a couple of chrysalises before hatching, and even one that a butterfly had already hatched from. You can't see it much from the pic, but they are even decorated with pretty gold trim, and it stays on the chrysalis after the hatch. What remains is like a thin cellophane. Amazing.

After it hatched on Saturday, I brought it over to Courtney's place to show her... the monarch butterfly!

It was reluctant to come out of the cage, but with Mommy's help, we got it out.

Courtney, though she found it fascinating, was just as reluctant to hold it. Notice those little hands are not reaching out for it. :)

Isn't it beautiful?

Maybe you noticed, though, that it had a damaged wing (upper right... click photo above to enlarge and see it better). That was because, for some reason, the chrysalis cracked in a couple of places a few days after it was formed. I've never had that happen before, in all the dozens of them I've had in captivity. I was afraid it wasn't going to hatch at all, but I was pleasantly surprised when it did.

Courtney agreed (sort of) to let it sit on her hair:

Then Mommy got the great idea to get a flower for it to sit on so Courtney could hold it. That worked out much better.

Sometimes it didn't cooperate and spread its wings for the photo shoot. Then it got a funny look.

Mommy was also taking pictures. Courtney offered her a VERY close up closeup!

After we all observed the butterfly for a while and got all the photos we wanted, it was time to release it. Since it probably wouldn't be able to fly very well, the decision was made to put it on a mum plant where it could get plenty of nectar. Courtney made the transfer smoothly.

This was the last I saw of it... so lovely!

Courtney checked early the next morning (before Daddy was even up!) and it was still there, but I heard from Mommy this morning that by last evening it was gone. I'll just imagine a happy ending.

For a photo series of the chrysalis making and hatch processes, see this post.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A critter, Part 1

Once upon a time, 20-25 years ago, my kids' Uncle Dale (who is a very creative, inventive sort of person... you may have noticed some of his "creative" comments), built a "critter cage" for each of them. The kids loved the cages and had fun collecting critters (mostly monarch caterpillars) to put in them.

I came across one of the cages not long ago, and I decided Courtney would also enjoy using it, so I brought it out for her. Here it is:

Notice that there was still an empty "vintage" monarch chrysalis in it!

It was labeled on the door....

.... and on the other end. Yep, this was Courtney's daddy's cage... perfect!

About 3 weeks ago we went hunting for a "critter" to put in the cage. We were in luck! I found one on, of course, their favorite food plant, which was a milkweed.

Courtney was thrilled.... but this is all the closer she would get to it:


Here's our little caterpiller, munching away:

And here it is in its new (albeit temporary) home:

Yesterday something exciting happened! Do come back for Part 2 and see the pics!

(And no, I haven't forgotten about the Part 2 of the "Little square things". I'll get to that later. More exciting things first!) ;)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Little square things, Part 1

Courtney and I had a busy day this past Tuesday. When she arrived, she had her baby along in a carrier. She was using a folded towel for a pillow. Well, Grandma had a better idea! We could make a real pillow for that baby!

Quick and easy... a couple of 6" squares, a little stuffing... and voila!

The pillow even matches Courtney's own daycare pillow!

Just right for the little carrier:

See? Baby Ava likes it:

She must be tucked in 'just right'!

There! Ahhh.... so comfy!

Later in the day we made some more square things. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photo of the day

This is one of my gorgeous non-stop begonias. It just looked so stunning this morning that I couldn't resist. I'm sure Jess will approve of the color!

That's not the only pic I took this morning. I took lots. In fact, I have so many pics to show you right now that I don't know when I'll ever get 'em all up here! Everything takes time, and there are other things I must do right now. Maybe later today I'll do another post. If only they just had one photo each, it'd be easier. Maybe that's what I should do? Just put up a photo at a time... no write-up... just let you guess? Haha.

Right now Josie's sitting in front of my monitor with her paw on my finger. I think she's trying to tell me something. 'K... gotta go before she decides to start typing! Catcha later!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zipper + ribbon =

If you saw yesterday's post, you may still be wondering what this...

... could possibly turn into.

Well, what do you do with a zipper?

You ZIP it, of course! So let's zip this one and see what happens!

Okay, it's turning into something. Let's keep zipping......


It makes a little coin purse!

Sweet, huh?

And yes, VERY little:

Just about the right size to, say, hold your parking meter coins in your car. ;)

Or whatever else you might have in mind!

I made two of them. I sent them both to Jess. Why did I do that?! Oh, yeah... so she could blog about them to show off the ribbons. In case you didn't guess, she's the designer. You knew that, right? ;) She's designed a bunch of different ribbons. You can see them all here.

I didn't come up with this idea. I found a tutorial featured on one of the blogs I follow. You can see how to make one yourself at the Craft Passion blog here. There are other cute tutorials there, too, and I have it on good authority that the blog author, Joanne, has been experimenting with bigger ribbons and zippers! Keep an eye on her blog this week or next to see what she makes!