Friday, September 30, 2011

Sewing

"Sewing is soooo boring!"


She hates it when I lock myself in my sewing room for hours at a time. When I come out, she acts like I've been gone for weeks. Well, maybe not weeks. If it were weeks, cats tend to shun you for a while when you first get back. But anyway, she needs lots of attention when I come out. :) Wispy hates it, too, but she's not quite so obvious about it. She usually just sleeps.


Here's a little peek at what I'm working on. This was so fun!



No, it's not done. Lots to do yet. So I'd better get going..........

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why didn't I think of this before?

Inspired by a friend's blog post about purchasing a basket for carrying sewing supplies up and down stairs, I realized that a basket was just what I needed for the same purpose! My "cutting table" is actually our kitchen/dining table, but my sewing room is in the basement. I always just carried things up and down in my arms and occasionally dropped a thing or three. But after reading about my friend's basket and then later seeing these on sale in a local store, bought one for myself. Great decision! I love it!

Ummm... turns out somebody else loves it, too. I turned my back for a couple seconds the other day, and when I turned back around, this is what I saw:



"Uh oh! Busted!"



"Please can I stay?"



"Maybe if I just play, she'll forget about me."



"This'll be soooo great for a nap!"


Did you notice she was on WHITE fabric?! Aargh. But, I dumped her out, and no harm was done. And she hasn't been back. So far.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

THIS is why I like fall best

We've been having the most stupendous weather lately! Sunny warm days, gentle dry breezes, cool nights great for sleeping... and the air just smells like 'fall', with the corn having been hit by frost. It's awesome. It's peaceful. It's beautiful!

It was so nice yesterday (got up to 76°!) that Courtney and I decided to have a little "picnic" for snack time in the afternoon. We sneaked out the back door so as to avoid having the cats join us (heheh... it worked... for a while) and ate our snacks in the shade of our maple tree.


We sat right on the grass, so it didn't even matter if we spilled.



We watched the leaves falling around us.



We had quite a busy day. I took lots of pics, which I will show you later. But first I must get back to my latest sewing project, which I hope to have done by Friday, because I joined a little online sew-along, and that's when this month's project is due (although we do have a week's grace period for slow-pokes like me). Seeya later..... !

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Non-stop

How I love the non-stop begonias! They've sure been living up to their name, all summer long.


That other begonia off to the left above has been doing really nicely, too.


And then there are these:



Love, love, love 'em!



Monday, September 26, 2011

'Nuther surprise

The day Courtney's daddy came over on his coffee break to see our little surprises (or whatever it was he really came over for... heifers, I think), he and Grandpa brought along a surprise of their own!

On their way over, they'd seen a goose in the ditch. It was obviously wounded (by a hunter, as it's now goose season here), so they put it out of its misery and stuck it in the back of the pickup. They got it out to show to Courtney and me.


It's a Canada goose. It had quite a wing span:



They tried to get Courtney to touch it and see how soft the feathers were, but she wouldn't do it. So they plucked one for her, and she was okay with that. She was quite impressed with it, in fact.



I was asked if I wanted to clean and cook it. I nixxed the cleaning idea right quickly! I suppose it would cook up pretty good in the crockpot. I never did hear if somebody else cleaned it or not.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zzzzzzz......

You've heard of taking a catnap, right? Well, here's one (or 3) in action:


That's Hairry on the bottom with his brother, Snuggles (pretty aptly named, huh?), on top... and their Mama in the background.


*yawn*

Friday, September 23, 2011

Surprise, surprise!

Yep, that's two surprises! Two more kittens to add to the herd. Okay, so they were here before, but subtracted because I thought they hadn't made it. They belong to Patches... part of the family she had Labor Day weekend. I don't know where she had them hidden, but they showed up in the machine shed Monday evening. She was apparently in the process of moving them... in or out, I don't know. But here they are!


One is fun to hold. (Blurry pic... hard to focus because it was so dark back there.)



Two is a bit much. Especially when one of them gets its teeny razor-sharp claws on bare skin.



They're better on the ground.



The third one in the pic above is Oreo. He belongs to Scoot. But he also nurses on Patches with the babies. That's okay... she seems to have enough milk for him, too, and he's pretty scrawny.


Even Daddy came over on his coffee break to see the surprises! Okay, so he was here for a different reason, but his timing was good, since Courtney and I happened to be outside when he arrived. And he came up with the name "Snowball" for the white kitten. The other one hasn't been named yet.



I was lucky to get the pics of the two little surprises when I did, because now they're hidden away somewhere again. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The PROJECT... a family affair

Here's what we worked on last weekend when Jess and Alex were home. They had acquired a couple of office chairs from a thrift store, and Jess wanted to re-cover them. So that's what we did. Everyone got involved. Everyone except Wispy, that is... she stayed safely in the cube.

Saturday morning... Alex is at the ready with the staple gun. (Hmmm... it was only the take-apart stage, but he was ready!):


Inspector Josie at the ready:



Miss Courtney getting ready to play nicely by herself:



Jess at the ready with camera, and Grandpa doing.... something:



Inspector Alex... um.... overseeing... as Grandpa removes arms of chair #2. You can see the old chair covers, although for some reason they look very different colors in this pic. The one kind of under Grandpa is more the actual color:



Discussing the possibilities... with Courtney playing nicely:



Sunday... new covers all made, sewn by me... time to figure out how to get them properly fastened onto the chairs:



Thinking:



Stapling:



Ahh... new cover on! But why is this 'putting back together' not going quite right? Thinking:



Discussing:



Maybe if we try this:



Farmer and Kraftologist making a good team. Jess being silly:



TA DA!!!



What cool chairs, huh? All that work (and thinking) was worth it! Now if you want a little better explanation of the how-to and to see the chairs in their new home, head on over to Jess's blog!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cupcake project

We had a busy weekend! We had "guests" (are family considered guests? nah. hence the quotation marks). One of them is a Kraftologist, the other is a designer and does lots of crafts. Courtney was lucky enough to be involved in a 'project' with the world-famous "Agent Orange"! They designed cupcakes. LOTS of cupcakes! Fun!!!


Later, Courtney was very helpful by playing ever-so-nicely by herself while the grown-ups worked on a much bigger project. It was kind of complicated and a lot of work, but the results were fantastic! Details on that later.......


We ate lots of yummy food, slept too little, and just plain enjoyed each other's company. And the long weekend flew by waaaay too fast. Back to "normal" here (boo hiss). Then again, that next sewing project awaits!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Interesting

I happened to find this unusual dandelion stem the other day:

Great. As if we needed extra dandelion production. I hope it's not the going trend. Double trouble.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hard water

Yikes! What is this creature I found IN the birdbath this morning?!


Oh, it's only Cuddles!



But IN the birdbath?! Cats don't like to be IN water!


She wasn't. She was ON it. Trying to get a drink. Yep, frozen nearly solid. Brrrrrr!!!


There was no damage in the garden, though. I'm sure wishing I hadn't picked all those green peppers yesterday in anticipation of the frost! Wish I could glue 'em back on the plants! Dealing with peppers was not exactly in my plans for today.


Speaking of the birdbath, here's a first... I saw a flicker getting a drink yesterday.



All those spots must mean it's a young one? Note the red on the back of its neck. Do not note the grunginess of the birdbath.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

She's baaaack!!

Wow, can it really be THREE WEEKS since Miss Courtney's made an appearance on my blog??? Whatever's happened here?! I think my life's been overrun by cats! ;)


Well, without further ado, here is Grandma's favorite star (plus one cat) giving a massage:



video


She seems to have been waiting for me to take a picture. Did you hear the quiet little "cheese" in there? ;) And right at the end, Josie must've touched the iPad enough to start something going on the game Courtney had been playing. I think I heard a can of spray hair color going off. Heheh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A bag for me!

Yep, I'm still a bag lady. This time I actually made a bag for myself. I don't have to part with it! ;)

I think I searched the Internet and saw practically every bag pattern there was, before I finally decided on this one. Its style is similar to a couple of bags I've had in the past that have been favorites.

It didn't look too hard.

Famous last words.

I'll never say that about a pattern again!!!

This time, it wasn't the bag itself that was so hard. It was the pattern and the way the instructions were written up. I bought the pattern from an Etsy shop. I'm not even going to say which one (but if you happen to be looking for a similar pattern, email me and I'll tell you which one not to buy!). The author's writing skills left a LOT to be desired, and made for a lot of confusion. I had to 'think' so long and hard over this pattern, that my brain is about worn out. I had to always keep looking ahead in my mind to figure out "now if I do it this way, how will that work out?".

The pattern itself was sloppy. A couple of the pattern pieces that were meant to fit together, didn't! Seam allowances were marked on the pattern pieces, and they varied from ¼" to over ½"! Plus the instructions said to sew ¼" to 3/8" seams. Ummm... okay, which?! Crazy! There were lots of photos, which helped, but some of them weren't very clear, like you couldn't tell which side of a zipper was 'up' as it laid on the fabric.

There were other things, but you get the idea. I relied very heavily on what I learned from making the Weekender bag. So I'm finally thankful for how difficult that one was to make, and what I learned from its very clear, concise directions!

Anyway, here's my new bag, made from the Dawn Picket print from Jess's latest fabric line, Outside Oslo:


I altered the pattern in that I made the bag 1½" taller, plus I added a magnetic snap to the outside pocket:



There are lots of inside pockets, which I require in a bag. :) There's a cell phone pocket, too, but since I don't have a cell phone, I still made the pocket and decided it'd be a good place for my car keys:



More pockets on the other side:



And here's a little size perspective for you. Do you know that it's very hard to take a photo of yourself modeling a bag? LOL



So that's my latest project. DONE! Hurray! Now for some furious housecleaning before a long, fun weekend of "guests". And then a couple more sewing projects already in the queue.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Can you see me NOW?"


That's the mat I keep on the couch for them (mainly Wispy) to sleep on. It definitely protects the couch from cat hair. 'Somehow' it managed to end up on the floor. Of course, Josie had "nothing" to do with it.



"How 'bout NOW?!"



She was just about to do a surprise attack on Wispy. ;-)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yum!

My cantaloupe (muskmelons?) are finally ripening. They're wonderful... big, juicy and sweet! Here are the 2nd and 3rd ones I've picked. Grandpa and I are eating the first one, which was even bigger... we'll be getting our 3rd meal from it!


I put the tomatoes next to them for a little size perspective, but I guess that wasn't necessary. Here's some more perspective, thanks to my "helpers".




There are 5 more (cantaloupe, not cats) that should ripen, plus some smaller ones, still on the vine. Not bad, for only getting one plant that grew! (I guess my 2003 seeds aren't the best anymore.)