Thursday, April 9, 2015

a little detour

While wandering the aisles of Lowe's last night, pondering what perfect paint color to purchase, which light fixtures would work and the proper wood putty that I need, I took a turn around the plants and gardening area.  Not the outside, since it's nowhere near time for that area.  But the indoor plants, in case they had a succulent or 2 for my house.  Succulents are a pretty safe bet because they tolerate neglect.  And if they do die, they take awhile to die, so they still look OK on the shelf!
So, I found this amazing looking specimen called the coral cactus.  I have never seen it before.  Really exotic looking, tinted with a little purplish red on the edge, curling around like a jellyfish floating in the water.  At least that's what I see!  Of course, it had to come home with me!

Friday, April 3, 2015

little bits

Hello once again!  I am so excited!  I've opened windows this week!  Not very far, but officially open and left open for hours.  This says winter is over, now we are in limbo during the period of weather instability until we get consecutive days of window opening.  Then it is summer!

I have been scratching around in the dirt of the flower beds to see if anything is brave enough to start sprouting up new leaves.  Not much happening, which is just as well because it would get nipped with frost at night.  There's still some time to pass until the real growing starts.

And while passing the time, it's good to keep up on some sewing and quilting.  I have an update for you from a post from 2/12.  I have had some re-work to do on this little candle mat.  For such a little thing, it has really consumed more of my time than it should.  I took the photograph and then wrote that blog post on 2/12.  The time it takes me to write the information, format it as well as possible, edit the photos and place them on the page is not brief.  It can take me quite awhile, depending on how many corrections, how many links to insert, size and order of pictures, etc.  While I wrote that blog post, I completely forgot that the candle was burning.  Eventually, I realized it needed to be blown out, but it was too late.  The melted wax had pooled in the bottom of the little basket for awhile, but found its way through the cracks and out onto the fabric.  I was so not happy!  At least the damage was confined to only part of the star, so I could remove 3 of the diamonds and still make it come out OK.  The wax had soaked into some of the layers, but didn't show on the back.  Then it took me awhile to find the fabrics I needed to match, sometimes my fabric filing system fails.  Eventually, I made the 3 diamonds and very carefully sewed them into place so it hardly looked like anything had happened.  And then, for the finishing touch, I pressed it all very nicely.  And instantly realized that was a very dumb idea, because the wax warmed up and showed up again on one of those diamonds!  Aaargh!  (or something like that)  Once again, I had to rip out my little stitches and replace just one of those diamonds.  And the fabric was much easier to pull out of the stash this time!  And now I finally have a completed candle mat for our English Paper Piecing class next week, and it will always have a lovely scent embedded in it!  And battery candles from here on out!

I had an impulse sew this week, too.  At the store, we have an upcoming shop hop event and there will be demonstrations of a little ruler called the Mini Hex 'n More.  I volunteered to make one of the sample patterns.  My thought process was that it wouldn't take much time because it's mini, right?  Wrong!  The seams might be shorter, but there are just as many points and intersections to match as when making an actual reasonable-human-size!  Lots of pinning and matching later, I got all the blocks together!  It does look nice, I have to admit.  I got it all quilted (simple straight lines) on Tuesday and attached the binding on Wednesday and hand sewed most of the binding last night.  Those little zig zag edges also take some extra attention to get them looking right.  I refreshed my memory on that process by referring back to another blog with good instructions.

One of the things that I did on the retreat in March was assembling some new pincushions.  Yesterday I decided it was high time to finish those up, and here's how they turned out.

The directions for the long skinny one can be found on the Green Bee website.  The square ones are a free pattern from Poorhouse Quilt Designs.  I put some of my prettiest pins in them for their Kodak moment.

And now, just because we all need more happiness in our lives, I will share the latest Happy Jack picture!  I can hear his giggles!  Hope you all have a good day just like little Jack!