Tuesday, January 27, 2015


This was my view Friday morning.

We've been having such lovely "spring" weather. It got into the mid-40's yesterday! Much of the snow in these pics is gone!

Did you notice in that first photo that the oriole nest is still hanging up there? Here it is again:

It's going to seem more like winter again by the weekend. That's okay, I guess. This has been a most pleasant mid-winter break that has helped to shorten the winter considerably!

Speaking of the coming weekend, Miss C is going to be turning EIGHT on Sunday! Her party is Saturday... so I'd better get back to my sewing! Of course I can't show you till after the party. We don't want any surprises spoiled. ;)

Friday, January 23, 2015

More decisions

This is what I was staring at yesterday, trying to decide what combinations to go with. The colors aren't very accurate... the solid is more pink than it looks here, for example... but you get the idea. Such fun possibilities!

The GOOD NEWS is... my internet connection is finally back to normal! HURRAY!! It turns out that it (at least recently) was not the fault of our Internet Service Provider. My computer had a rootkit (google it) infection - aargh. It was using up our bandwidth so much sending data to/from my computer that it nearly ground things to a halt. Thanks to my sister who is a computer tech and recognized the symptoms that I emailed her about, I was able to download (albeit very slooowly) a removal tool and got rid of the rootkit. WHEW! Then I had to clean up my computer. Believe it or not, the rootkit had put 55 GB (yes, gigabytes!) of TEMP files on my computer. Yikes! But, all is cleaned up and well now, and things are back to normal. What.A.Relief!!

So that's what I've spent considerable time on this week, as well as having everything go so slowly online before it got fixed, and I'm running behind on everything else. Must get to sewing on that pretty stuff above!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Date Night

I made a Date Night bag (not that I have many any date nights these days)! It's not for me. I don't know where it's going yet. I just wanted to make one, and I thought it would be cute in this fabric.

(It bugs me just a wee bit that the print isn't lined up as well as I intended it on those front seams. Oh, well.)

The pattern is by my favorite pattern writer, Erin Erickson (does that surprise you?).

The fabric is by my favorite fabric designer, Jessica Jones (now I KNOW that surprises you). :) It's from her newest collection, "Time Warp", that she designed for Cloud9 Fabrics. It was supposed to be released for sale in November, but because of a damaged shipment, it had to be reprinted, and now hopefully it'll be released yet this month.

The fabric is barkcloth, and it's a dream to sew with. I love it! It drapes beautifully, and it has such a lovely texture. See?

It's a somewhat smallish bag, 11.5” wide x 3.75” deep x 7” tall in the middle, 8” at the top corners. My little assistant wasn't here to model it for you, so here it is with a couple of my other recent bags for some size comparison.

The bag was easy enough to sew... except for at the very end when my sewing machine grumbled a bit (and so did I), due to the very thick seam at each end of the zipper. But we made it through! Much to my surprise, when I turned the bag right side out at the end, I found both pockets on the same side of the bag, which they are not supposed to be. AND the zipper goes the opposite way that the pattern has it. I think I had gremlins in my sewing room when I wasn't looking. ;) No, actually I think it's because I do a lot of things backwards from what Erin says because my old machine doesn't have a free arm, so I end up turning things inside out to topstitch, etc., and I think in the turning at some point is where I got messed up, because I KNOW I had the pockets right at one point. Oh, well... not a biggie.

Anyway, it's done, and now I must hurry on to the next project, because it has a deadline! And I have another project lined up for after that. It has a deadline, too... but it's rather flexible. Ha.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January thaw

We've had a touch of "spring" the last few days! It got up to 44° yesterday! And it ended with a beautiful sunset.

The snow's been melting, and I even found a bit of standing water, proof of how warm it had gotten:

Yes, I finished my sewing project... but by the time I did, it was dark, so photo-taking was not to be. Tomorrow.....

Monday, January 19, 2015

The wonder of Wonder Clips

This is what I'm currently working on:

Yeah, that's a lot of Wonder Clips! But they work sooo well on seams that would probably just make pins bend if you tried to use them.

It's almost done. Maybe I can show you tomorrow. Maybe.

I thought our internet connection problem was fixed. Till I tried writing this post. Things are barely moving. *sigh*

Friday, January 16, 2015

Whoooo? A long shot...

Grandpa noticed this great horned owl at the top of our cattle shed a couple of mornings ago and gave me a call before he left the yard. I headed outside in my bathrobe and slippers and got these shots from the corner of our garage, which is quite a long ways off.

We've seen the owl up there again, so maybe if I happen to notice him at a more convenient time (like when I'm dressed!), I can sneak up a little closer for a better shot.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ups and downs

It was a much nicer morning today, and the follow up repeated....

.... and then it started down!

Look at this next shot... Haily hanging on by that last toe! :)

"Oh, those kids!!"

Cottonball was the last one out. Can you see her below?

How about now?

She needed a demo on climbing fences:

But she was a quick learner!

Some snow's hard....

.... and some not so much!

But they sure had a blast! They were back inside eating when I left, but I bet that didn't last long!

I thought these pics would take forever to upload... so I started them and was prepared to walk away and do something else. But they zoomed right through! Can our lousy connection actually be fixed?!?! I doubt it. It's been ups and downs with that all morning again, too. I probably just got really lucky for a change. We'll see......

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


A followup to yesterday's post. The kittens followed Mama Rainbow up to the hole. Follow up. Get it? Ha.ha.ha.

This morning I brought the camera (+ zoom lens) out with me. After I stepped out the door, I thought it was probably a wasted effort, since it was about 0° with a south breeze making the wind chill about -20°. The 'hole' faces south. I really didn't expect to see any kittens in the hole.

BUT... Haily was there! Realizing how cold it was facing the wind, though, she quickly left before I could get the camera out of my jacket. BUT... then Mia popped into the window... and stayed just long enough for this:

That's kind of a grumpy look on her face, isn't it? I don't blame her... it was COLD! She quickly left, too, after just enough time for the shot above.

And nobody reappeared, which was fine with me, because my fingers were about frozen by then.

Gee, I thought for a minute this morning that our internet connection was fixed. Everything seemed to move along quite quickly... till I came here to do this post. Then it was back to the snail's pace. Ugh. But maybe they're working on it? Maybe there's hope???

Monday, January 12, 2015

The hole to freedom

Last Friday when I took the sun dogs photo, I happened to notice this:

Want a closer look?

This is how Rainbow gets in and out of the old hog barn where she and her babies live. The holes are where fans used to be. I guess she was debating whether or not it was worth  going out in the cold. Or maybe she was just soaking up a little sunshine. Or wishing for spring.

I've wondered how long it would be before the little ones could get up to that hole. Grandpa asked just the other day, too, if they'd made it up there yet. I didn't think they had.

Well, they have now! This morning when I went down to feed them, there were two little faces watching me from that hole! Ha! Too bad I didn't have the camera... they were so cute perched up there. I don't know if they've hopped down to the ground yet, but I doubt it. I looked out from the inside to see if they'd be able to get back in if they did venture to the ground. I'm quite sure they can. That siding is pretty rough and would be easy for little claws to catch in. Thank goodness. I'd sure hate to have them get out and not be able to get back in again, especially in this cold. It's not supposed to get much above zero again today (after a brief respite of 20°+ over the weekend), so if they do hop down, they won't be going far. I'm sure with the warmup later in the week, though, the temptation to explore will get the best of them. I hope they don't get lost!

P.S. No, our internet connection still isn't fixed. Grrr!

Friday, January 9, 2015


It blizzarded yesterday. No school, no travel advised, etc., etc. This morning it's cold but much calmer, and school was on but 2 hours late. Best of all, the sun is out! Although it's not providing much warmth (it's still just barely above zero), it's been kind of pretty. Here was the sunrise:

Later when I was out to feed the cats, I actually had to go back to the house for the camera for this shot. (Can you tell I have a bit of cabin fever, to willingly head back out into the cold with a camera?!)

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

It "only" took 10 minutes to upload those 3 photos on our still-sick connection. *sigh*

Thursday, January 8, 2015


What combo(s) do YOU like???

(I'd like faster internet, please. This little dab took FOREVER.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting, waiting, waiting....

.... for photos to upload on our wretched internet connection. Here's my partner-in-waiting:

I almost gave up, but then these seemed to slip through a hole........

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quick Christmas sewing

I noticed when at Jess and Alex's house over Thanksgiving that they had to walk with dripping hands about 6 feet(?), from their sink to where their hand towels hung on their stove handle, to dry their hands, because there was no good place to hang a towel near the sink. That would never do. So as part of their stocking stuffers, I whipped up a hand towel for each of them that they could hang from a drawer handle. I did this the afternoon before Christmas Eve, which was the day before they got mailed with some other stuff. Nothing like waiting till the last minute, huh? (But I was kind of busy with other things!) 

The photos were also taken quickly, and the colors are WAY off, especially on the one above. The red is really a deep red-orange, kind of a cross between these first 2 pics. The fabrics are the same, believe it or not!

(Yes, it's crooked. That really bugs me!)

I used a tutorial I found here, mainly to get the template for the top, since I didn't have time to make one up myself. I didn't cut the towels in half, like the tutorial said, because they weren't that thick, so I just folded them in half and tucked the center folded area into the hanger part. The towels are microfiber, so hopefully they'll hold a lot of moisture, even though they're not very thick.

The colors in the photo below are more accurate. Weird how the camera does that, isn't it?

The package arrived right on time, too, and it was waiting for J&A when they arrived home from Virginia where they spent Christmas visiting Alex's sister and family.

Our internet connection is still agonizingly slow at times, so blog posts may be hit and miss until it gets fixed. Uploading photos just doesn't work well. So if I don't show up here... hopefully I'll be sewing! I have a new project started - yay!

Courtney was here yesterday. School let out at 12:45, just as our Winter Storm was starting. We got several inches of new snow that (as of this writing Mon. night) was just waiting for the wind to come up, which it was forecast to do. And the temperature is supposed to plunge down to minus 15° tonight and a high of minus 7° on Wednesday. Ugh! It still works for sewing, though! ;)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Crafting with Courtney (sort of)

Courtney was here for the whole day last Monday, since there was no school because of Christmas vacation. She brought along Cecile, the new American Girl doll that she got for a gift. That's her in the center below, in between my Kit (left) and Courtney's Marie Grace.

Cecile is Marie Grace's friend in the American Girl stories, so of course they needed to be together. :) Look at the hair this doll has! Let's hope it doesn't get messed up!

Courtney also got Argos, Marie Grace's dog:

And Olaf... who is not an AG item, but a Frozen one. :)

Aside: Annabelle watches from above:

Courtney thought we should do an American Girl craft that day... so we did a Google image search, and she picked one she liked. It also happened to be a very quick craft. Here's what we ended up with, little clipboards for each of her dolls:

Since the cardboard base was pretty stiff, I ended up cutting it. Then I used the paper cutter to get the little sheets evenly sized (and to cut them quickly). I think I was even the one who put on the binder clips. Hmm... crafting 'with' Courtney? Ha! Well, she watched... a little. And she wrote the names on them. :)

Anyway, here are Courtney and the happy recipients of the little crafts: