Monday, July 30, 2012

An interesting sight

Grandpa, Nate, Suzi, Courtney and I went on a road trip over the weekend. We attended a wedding in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, for those of you who might not know) and had some good family time, too, with Jess and Alex being there from Chicago also. As I was riding in the car with Jess 'n Alex, we happened to come upon this most interesting and somewhat hilarious sight! Thankfully, I had my camera handy. Turn up your volume so you can catch what's going on.

Quite a vehicle, huh?!

Did you catch what Alex said at the end? "I want that seat." Ha!

I have much more to "show & tell" you, but have some catching up to do first. Suffice it to say for now that we had a great time!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Yep, this is Friday's post, as in tomorrow. But I'm posting it today because Jess is posting it, too, and she was in a hurry to get the adorableness up. So if you want to actually read a post here tomorrow, you'd better stop reading right now and come back then. ;)

This is my latest sewing project. It's very tiny, but tiny doesn't necessarily mean quick, I found out. It wasn't bad, but "it took longer than I thought it would". (Ha! Yeah, I know... you've heard that a time or twenty before.) It was putzy and had some pretty thick seams in places, but I like how it turned out. 

It's a zippered card pouch made from a tutorial by Joanne at Craft Passion. See how tiny it is?!

It even has an itty-bitty gusset on one side!

It's just the right size to carry your credit cards, or some cash....

.... or, what I intend to use it for, some wallet-size photos. The plastic sleeve thingy in my wallet has been broken for a long time, and I thought this would make the perfect replacement. I still need to add something stiff to make sure the photos don't get bent, but I'll figure that out later. Oh! I know what I'll do! What you can't see in the pictures is that there's a little divider strip on the inside. I'll put a really stiff piece of cardboard on one side of the divider. That should do it!

I believe this still qualifies me as a bag lady. :) Of course the fabric was designed by Jess.

Linking up to Amylouwho's Sew & Tell. If you're coming from Amy's and want to see another sewing completion from July, check this post.

Photo bomb?

Nah, not a bomb. Just a cute little girl who wanted to be included in the photo of her creations. I love that eye in there!

Remember the box of craft supplies Courtney got last week? The little dolls above are what we made out of more of the wooden goodies this past Tuesday. She loved them! I think they're pretty cute myself. 

Courtney was a little disappointed that she hadn't left enough room for the face when she was coloring the hair on the doll on the right. So I decided a hat would help distract people's attention from the face. See? You didn't even notice that narrow face until I mentioned it, did you? ;)

Here's our little doll-creator herself... both eyes included. I like how the dolls' outfits just happened to coordinate with the dress Courtney was wearing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Too Cool for School Satchel

Welllll.... the suspense is over! Drumroll, please! Here, finally, is my last (as opposed to "latest", which I'm currently working on) sewing project, which you got a sneak peek at here (and you've been breathlessly waiting to see ever since - ha!). It's called the Too Cool for School Satchel, and the pattern is from the new book, A Bag for All Reasons, by Lisa Lam. The print fabric is "Skiff", from the Dawn colorway of the Outside Oslo collection, designed by none other than Jessica Jones!

I wrote a review of the pattern, so if you're interested in the details, you can read it on Jess's blog. I particularly enjoyed making it, because I knew it was going to be a gift for my California friend, Cindy.

Yes, the very same Cindy who made me the awesome quilt! It was a surprise for her, along with the lunch bucket I'd made earlier. It was so fun making and exchanging gifts.

I cannot leave out our fabulous photographer. Here he is, busy multi-tasking. He had also been holding one more camera, but I couldn't resist grabbing it from him to get this shot. Always such a busy guy!

Yep, it's Cindy's husband, Mark. You may remember having seen him before. He's an all-around super guy, and I'm sure (hoping) also a good sport for goofy photos of himself! At least I know he's a good sport about paying up on the bets he loses. Heheh.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Surprise in the mail

Last Monday a surprise came in the mail! It wasn't a surprise to me... I knew it was coming. But it was a surprise to Courtney... and it was a surprise FOR Courtney!

It was a box of craft supplies (and a few sewing supplies for a pattern I'll be testing soon), which couldn't have pleased Courtney more! Let's have a look:

She was very eager to get started, and went right to work.

She painted very carefully with the fabric markers.

Here's her first project:

Very colorful, huh? Colors are GOOD!

Here are some more. At Courtney's insistence, one of them was done by me... kinda hard to tell which one, though, isn't it?

The box of goodies was a gift from my blogger friend, LiEr, maker of all sorts of patterns, including chickens, pigs, mushrooms, tarts, dolls and bags (see her left sidebar for details). She is incredibly talented in many areas! Just check out her blog and see her marvelous creations! She has also become a good friend, and I guess she accepts my pattern critiquing (of the Lunch Bucket) okay, because she's asked me to do another. And of course you'll be seeing the results of that here in the future.

LiEr also made a set of these peg dolls, to which Courtney's have a vague similarity. ;) Take a look at LiEr's dolls, and don't miss the awesome costumes she made for her own girls!!

Courtney has more crafting to do tomorrow, since she's barely begun to use up the supplies LiEr sent. Can't wait to see what she does next! We may have to incorporate some fabric into the next project(s)! I'll surely show you what she makes!

One more thing I'm excited to tell you.... if all goes as planned, I will get to meet LiEr in person in the very near future! Hurray!

And just one more thing... I think I'll finally be showing you my last sewing project tomorrow. I hope. If all goes as planned. This week for sure, but probably tomorrow. I hope. I hope.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

When it's SO hot for SO long....

....everybody gets a little testy.....

How 'bout you?

No, that wasn't an earthquake at the end. I was leaning on the cat tower by the window, and Josie decided she needed to see what was going on, too. Silly cat(s).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beauty in the desert

Okay, it isn't exactly a desert here, but it's beginning to seem like it. We had 99° on Monday, 101° yesterday, and on it continues, with not much relief in the forecast. Barely any chance of rain, either. The crops are really showing the effects, although they're better than one would think at this point, considering how little moisture they've had.

It's too humid to feel like a desert, though. The humidity just adds miserableness to the heat. Ack. It's getting so tiring. But who am I to complain? I get to spend most of my day in the air conditioning every day. I'd rather enjoy some time outdoors, though!

I've digressed. I just came to show you that the weeds are thriving, despite the awful conditions. How do they manage to do that, anyway?! The grass in our lawn is totally brown and crispy. All that's green is weeds. As I was looking across the ugliness a couple days ago, I spotted a circle about a foot across of bright yellow:

It's birdsfoot trefoil. The flowers are very tiny, but they sure stand out. Pretty, huh?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pretty kittens

Mama kitty decided to move her kittens back home a few days ago, after spending several weeks across the road at the neighbor's place. Well, she moved 3 of them anyway. There were 5 when they left. She brought the 2 black ones and Rusty. Look at how pretty he's gotten, with such distinct stripes!

This next one (unnamed as yet) belongs to Patches. You might remember her climbing in the lilac bushes awhile back. She's been pretty elusive, but she's getting braver, and she was out in front of the garage a couple nights ago, so I managed to get a few good shots of her. She's very pretty, too!

Her one remaining (I think) sister (also unnamed) was along. She's pretty, too, although she has one sticky eye yet.

As of today, my total kitten count is only 6... as far as I know... the only ones I've seen lately. But there could be more, for all I know. Their mothers keep them coming and going. I give one up for gone, and a few days later it appears again! So who knows?! Crazy cats!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pizza 'n ice cream!

'Most every Sunday night, Grandpa and I have pizza 'n ice cream for supper while watching a movie. It's been a "tradition" for many years. We did last night, too. But this post is not about that. :) It's about "Crafting With Courtney"! She made her own pizza 'n ice cream when she was here last week!

I somehow came across the Making Friends website. It's chock full of stuff for kids to do! They sell craft supplies, but they also offer tons of free printables and fun ideas. I haven't begun to check out everything they have, but I did find these printables before Courtney came last Tuesday. I printed them ahead of time, hoping she'd enjoy them. She LOVED them! (She looks a little bored or something here, but it was the "Grandma's picture-taking" she didn't want to wait for. She wanted to get back to cutting!)

She went right to work cutting everything out very carefully.

When I printed them, I was hoping I had some double-sided restickable tape on hand, and sure enough, I did (thank goodness!). So with a little piece of tape on the back of each item, here's what she made:

And since the tape is restickable, of course the pieces are interchangeable, and there are any number of yummy combinations!

There was also a color-it-yourself pizza-and-toppings page, so I printed that, too.

Here's her very own "homemade pizza":

I gave her sheets of wax paper to stick the pieces to when they weren't in use, so they wouldn't all get stuck together.

The pizza was yummy!

So was the ice cream... and it didn't even drip on her fingers!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friends, fun, felines, and a first

Long story short, I've had company this week... some very special friends from California. We met online, and then we actually met in person when they visited me here three years ago. So it was great fun to have them come again this week! You may have noticed their comments on here from time to time... Mark and "Live a Colorful Life" (a.k.a. Cindy). Mark takes great pride in having grown up in Minnesota!

Cindy and I have sewing in common, although where I am a "bag lady", she is a quilter... a FABULOUS quilter. And she made me a quilt, which she brought along with her this trip!!

Here's the back of it, along with Cindy's and my arms/fingers. :)

And here's the front. And the 'first'... an actual photo of me (with face included) on my own blog. Ack! I'll let you figure out which one of us is which. :)

This quilt is so cool!  Cindy put a lot of thought and planning into it, choosing fabrics that she just knew were 'me'. You can click on the photos above for a larger view, and here are some closer shots of the fabric. Just look at those CATS! You couldn't get fabric any more 'me' than that! Add the bare branches of a Minnesota winter and some snowflakes... how right on!

There are also a lot of paw prints:

And some "Kitty Chronical" articles. (It was Japanese fabric, so the spelling and translation is pretty interesting in places.) The back has more newsprint fabric (with better spelling this time), and lots of very "catty" articles to read. So fun!!

Here's a closer shot of one article:

The quilt means so much to me, because it was made entirely with me in mind, by a terrific friend! I love it! Thank you soooo much, Cindy!!

Oh... umm... Josie loves it, too. I had it on the table to read some of the articles yesterday, and before I got it put away, she discovered it.

I think she thinks it was made specially for her! Obviously it's quite comfy!

So, a cat quilt with real cat hair on it. How authentic, huh? But that's it. She's done. The quilt is MINE!!

Okay, I know I told you yesterday that I'd be showing you my latest sewing project. But for reasons I won't go into right now, I've decided not to show it yet... and probably not for a week or so. Nothing's wrong... it's been photographed, gifted, and received (by Cindy, incidentally). But it's gotta wait for a bit. Sorry. But don'tcha just love secrets (when you know them, at least)? Ahhh.... the suspense!!! ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lurkers in the backyard

Ever had the feeling you're being watched? Yeah, me too!

Tomorrow (maybe later today?) I get to show you my latest completed sewing project! It's been done since Sunday night, but since it was a gift for someone, I couldn't show you till it was received, so I wouldn't spoil the surprise.

I've been having some fun company. Maybe I'll show you more than just my sewing project! ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stinkers of another sort

Nope, these weren't literally stink-ers. These were just little feathered "friends", who are no longer my friends! 

I'd been thinking recently that since my gerbera daisies had so many new buds coming, I'd soon have to take another picture to show you all the lovely new blooms. Well, some of the flowers aren't quite as pretty as they once were. Look:

I happened to glance out the window and saw a little bird chase another bird off my daisies and land on them itself. I watched it for a bit to see what it was doing there. And then I got mad and went out and chased it away! Look what it did!

It just hopped around picking petals off!

Now what was the point of that?! I didn't get a very good look, but I think it was a female goldfinch. Stupid bird.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Ever seen a video of fireflies? Ever tried to take a video of fireflies?! It's not easy!! LOL 

Sunday evening I happened to notice a bunch of fireflies out in our yard so, as if I had nothing else to do, I grabbed the camera and gave it a try. Ha! It didn't work very well. I was never aiming in the right direction. I did manage to catch a couple, but you'll have to watch VERY closely. Don't blink, or you might miss them. (And yeah, I'm crazy.)

Did you see them? Just be glad I edited out all the other long seconds of blankness! :)

It was soooo quiet out there. The only thing I could hear was the air conditioner running on the other side of the house. There wasn't even a single mosquito to 'bug' me, where in a normal year they'd be swarming at that time of evening. I guess the drought is good for something, anyway.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Morning not-so-loveliness!

Looking out the bedroom window this morning, I saw these two little stinkers! (Click on the photo to enlarge for a better look.)

Sorry about the effects from taking the pics through a screen. I guess these are called "screen shots". Haha!

They were young ones, just having a great time running around and digging everywhere.

Or maybe they were very hungry and hurriedly looking for food.

Better not tell Courtney about this next photo!

Cuddles had noticed them, too, and she went on top of the sandbox shortly afterwards. If you look closely, you can see what she thought about the guests!

The skunks disappeared from sight, so I proceeded to get dressed and headed outside to feed my cats. Oops! Had to run back in to get the camera again!

I got braver and opened the door farther.

Hmmm.... not a good angle:

No, it wasn't aiming at me, thank goodness! It heard me and scurried off. Hopefully never to be seen again!

I wonder where their mama was. Maybe she decided they were old enough and sent them out to hunt for their own food. Or maybe she got hit by a car or something. I hope. Phew! At least these young'uns didn't leave any lingering odor.