Sunday, January 29, 2012

Forest Fantasy

Yes, Scout, we all think you are cute.  
More pretty.
Background and backing.
It will be awhile before I get around to cutting into all this pretty, but I wanted to share some of the nice fabrics I'll be using for CF's quilt.  Do your best to look around the adorable cat in the picture and be very impressed with how pretty these colors are.  Also, isn't it great that my quilts come pre-loaded with cat hair?  It saves you the time and effort to get your own cat hair in them.  I'm nothing if not considerate.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Well, that just sucked.

The Korean War Memorial
The walk to work. 
The aftermath.
Last week, we were told that a huge snowstorm was blowing in and that we were due to have between 6 and 15 inches of snow.  The whole idea seemed a little preposterous, as we usually only get one or two inches of snow at a time and that usually melts right away.  However, all the forecasters were saying it and it concerned me because we have to go to work no matter what at this time of the year.  I woke up at 3 am Wednesday morning, looked out the window and saw no snow.  When I woke up two hours later, I found that five inches of snow had thudded down from the sky and more was coming.  I got ready for work and headed out the door at 6 am.  The drive wasn't too bad, a little slippery and with little visibility at times, but overall I made it to work.

During the day, we received a total of about 14 inches of snow. It was beautiful, but made for a horrible drive home.  I actually had to stop and ask a friend to come and get me because my car couldn't get any traction.  It was embarrassing, but I have very good friends.

The Capitol Campus 
The World War II memorial
As if no car and 14 inches of snow on the ground weren't bad enough, nature turned the screws by producing .5 inches of freezing rain Thursday morning.  The roads iced over and my friend who picked me up drove me to work late in the morning after things had opened up a bit.  But, here's the problem when you have a massive amount of snow and freezing rain and live in a city that really appreciates its trees:  the branches get weighed down and break.  And break they did.  I walked out of my development a couple of miles to meet my ride.  It was like walking through gun fire.  The branches cracked and crashed to the earth, and, unfortunately, taking many power lines down with them.  Our ride to work consisted of avoiding downed branches, trees, and power lines.  Power went out at my house on Thursday and didn't return for six days.  Yes, six days.  I slept one night at work, mostly to ensure that I would be there the next day and the remaining nights sleeping in my sleeping bag with three cats permanently attached to me.  It got down to 40 degrees inside, but I actually kind of enjoyed curling up with the cats and watching tv shows on my laptop.  Now, the only thing left to do is clean up.
The front yard 
I may just have to replace the fence this time.  
More fence damage 
More damage.  Sigh.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Orchid Update

I'm spending more time at work these days, but luckily for me I have my orchids to keep me company.  My father tells me only eccentric people keep orchids, but I think he is basing that theory on an extensive history of watching BBC mysteries. 

This one is a lady slipper and hasn't re-bloomed in two years.  I'm very excited and nervous about this bud.  I'm hoping that one day I'll get to work and she will be opening.

This pretty girl was a Christmas present from my parents.  She's very large and striking and has two branches full of blooms.  I think she will be with me throughout the legislative session.

And, finally, it snowed last night.  We got just a dusting, but my miniature evergreens really show it off well.  

In case anyone is wondering.  The recruit to the cat army hasn't been here in a couple of days - until just now when he showed up, well-fed and fluffy.  My guess is that the neighbor is taking him in.  I'm going to have a talk with her about neutering him (which needs to be done right away), but for now he is doing okay.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So many blocks, so little time.

 I'm continuing the Sew Mama Sew Modern Block of the Month project even though I'm not really feeling the love for it anymore.  Maybe it's because I have five projects going right now.  Yes, five, I've added one.  Details to come when I am far more organized.  :)
Friendship Star
My friend CF has a September birthday.  I've decided to make this block for her and since September's birthstone is the sapphire, I made it this lovely blue.  I actually got to show her this in person and she was very appreciative of it.  This fabric is from Patricia Bravo's Nature Elements line and I'm making a quilt for her from neutrals from that line (CF, not Patricia Bravo) (Also, see the "details to come" line above to put together this mystery).  I like it.  No.  I love it.

Fruit Basket
Yummy, yummy, easy to peel and good for you Satsumas are in season.  I eat about three a day at this time of year.  A basket full of them seemed appropriate.

I'm sorry, who are you?
From time to time, the cat army gets recruits.  While we are not accepting recruits at this time, we are most grateful for their applications.  This guy has been hanging out on my porch for the last week and generally freaking out the other cats.  Of course, I've been feeding him so it is no surprise why he keeps coming back.  Other than putting the word out to my friends to ask them to take him in, there's not a lot more I can do. He is really nice, but he gets a trip to a cat shelter on the weekend.  I'm hoping the local no-kill shelter has space.  So, if you live in Olympia and want this hunk of burning love, please let me know.  Please.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Smitten 6 & 7

Smitten Block #6

Smitten Block #7
I really thought that I would get more than two blocks done this week.  We are starting our busy period at work on Monday.  This week hasn't been bad, but has been full of feeling the reality that things will be very different come Monday.  As for today, I'm heading into work to straighten up my office and get things ready.  I like to start organized and then let it wither away as time goes on.  I also hope there will be time to do some piecing this afternoon.

On Sunday, I hope to head out to pick out fabric with CF for her quilt.  Got that CF?  We should probably stop and get a pastry also.  Pastry always helps me when I pick out fabric.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spinster Quilt - Flowers, Winds, and Friendship

Four Winds
The North Wind doth blow and we shall have snow.  At this time of the year, I love talking to my family in Wisconsin and finding out how bad the weather is there.  It's cold and frozen and they are likely to have snow. Here it is mild(ish) and raining, but I will take rain over snow any day.  My Four Winds block is made of icy colors to represent the snow.  I also did my own version of this block.  I didn't like the secondary repeating pattern in the "official" block - that pattern was too random and off kilter and a little distracting so I removed it.  Instead, I have five windmills of light blue and one windmill of an even lighter blue.  So light that it doesn't show up on camera. Jack Frost would be so proud.

 I made the Friendship block pink because when I was in Brownies as a little girl I was awarded the title of Best Friendmaker.  A title to this day that I think was meant to be ironic because of my introverted ways.  Still, I liked pink back then and this reminds of little girls being friends.

Flower Garden Path

Flower Pot
Here are a couple of literal blocks for you.  I cleverly used flowers to represent the path and the pot.  Also, the Flower Pot block literally drove me to drink.  As you can see, it required Y-seams which I did for the first time on this block.  It also required me to add a bit of a border to the top so that I wouldn't lose the points of my pot.  By the way, there has been a lot of concern about the size of these blocks on the Yahoo group.  My blocks basically measure 6.25 inches instead of 6.5.  I'm okay with this.  I figure that's why we add sashing strips.  I'm not entirely (at all) happy with the extra border I added on the Flower Pot so I might remake it at the end if I haven't grown to accept it.