Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kolby's Trip


A stitching update!
Kolby's Trip around the World is coming along.
The last full row marks the halfway point.
Every evening I stitch one block and then lay out the next in the pattern.
There's been some unsewing on this one, sigh. 
So easy to get the pieces sewn together in the wrong order.
Once I even sewed the next strip to the WRONG side of the growing block!
Geezz.
I'm liking it though!
I hope I still like making these when I've done four.

The set up of the studio is moving along.
I'm folding fabric.
And
folding
fabric.
I think tomorrow I may be able to take photos of it,
crossing my finger for that!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Busy and tired!


Last week's 7 inches of rain in the night left us with flooding in the area, although not for me.
Somehow, the storms have messed with my sleep cycle and I am now getting up several times a week at 5:30am (or maybe a bit earlier).  I am NOT a real morning person.
On the plus side I got to watch the sun come up! I hardly ever do that.
The other thing the big rain storms brought was really cool temperatures.
Cool enough to enjoy being outside for an entire day.


So I took this guy (Ethan) to the Kansas City Zoo on Friday.
Besides seeing some animals-he really likes things in the water: Fish, otters, penguins, sea lions-we rode the little train, the carousel and the tram to Africa and back.
Then we had ice cream!
He was a trooper, very careful not to lose his Granna who is known to wander off! 


Then yesterday the rain came again.
All day.
I think we got about 5 inches this time.
I went to the Farmer's Market for sweet corn in the rain!
Then I came home and changed out of wet clothes.

The local kids and grands came for dinner so the biggest boys (Rob and Lucas) could move the big furniture around for me.
I'm glad to have the big pieces in place (and yes I did repair one of the IKEA cabinets with no trouble.)
So I can now unload boxes in the studio and get ready to paint the walls in the office.
Photos when I'm finished-maybe Wednesday for the studio.

I've been getting at least one block on Kolby's Trip around the word quilt every day and it is nearly half finished !  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wolves


I've nearly finished this book.
I picked it up in Yellowstone last year and it just made the top of the pile!
Wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 after being killed off 70 years before that.
It's very interesting the impact they have had and not at all what one would expect.
There has been a trophic cascade.
That's were the presence of a top predator in an area creates a richer environment.
In this case the wolves, who in Yellowstone eat primarily elk, have caused the elk to change their habits-you know so they won't get eaten by a wolf!
That has given aspen, willow and cottonwood trees the chance to grow as well as other plants and grasses.
Trees attract birds (from songbirds to bald eagles), and small mammals, like the red fox.
Most important to the landscape is that trees allowed the beaver to return which filters the streams and helps the fish, and otters.
The new plant growth has stopped the bank erosion the elk caused, and the beaver's dam's create ponds so the channel is more reliable and less likely to flood.
  It has become a richer environment for grizzly bears as well.
This doesn't even count the insects or the added fertility of the land itself from the carcasses of wolf kills.
Oh, by the way, wolves only kill an elk once in five attempts and are in great danger when they do so.
I found it interesting and now must return to Yellowstone and become a wolf watcher!

This trophic cascade thing is a new idea to me but is backed up by the current situation on Isle Royale National Park, Michigan.
They have been studying the wolves there for a VERY long time -apparently the wolves crossed ice bridges from Canada to settle there-anyway they eat Moose there.
There are currently only 2 wolves on Isle Royale and while they can still take down a moose they cannot make a large enough impact on the moose population to stop the herds from growing.  That has already caused damage to both water and land plants.
They are seriously considering relocating wolves here as well.  
Wolves that already know how to hunt moose!

Just a reminder that top predators, even when they have a very bad rap (like sharks) are very necessary to a healthy ecosystem.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another one begins!


This one is for Kolby who loves bright greens!
It seems BIG after the last one!
2.5 inch squares this time.


I fixed this board covered with batting to lay out the blocks for a Trip Around the World.
I know people do the strip set and cut them apart but I can never get the strip set sewn evenly.
I prefer to cut the squares and sew them together.
It does make for a LOT of cutting before beginning.
I've finished the first row on my homemade chart and begun the second, being extra careful of all those corners meeting!
 I'm stitching the blocks together as 
each one is finished, otherwise I'd have them all in a jumble.

It seems like all I do is sew at the moment-oh well, I am working setting up the
new studio a bit each day and pulling up nasty carpet a bit each day.
It's too hot to do much of anything and even though I miss it 
I am glad I do not have gardens at this house!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Finishes!


First, I finished sewing down the binding on Suzie's Sparkling Nines!
The color was better in the next picture, guess the sun washed it out!


Above was a closeup of the front and here's the back!


I got creative and used up all the blocks I had left over, save one which I made into a mug rug.
Don't know how I managed but I got the nine patches on the back lined up with the ones on the front and the quilting was where it should be!


 Closeup of the center back.
Used up quite a bit of the stash on this one.

The next one is cut and I started on it tonight, perhaps I'll show that tomorrow!

The second finish is the painting in the basement!
WHO HOO!
Should anyone be considering this I highly recommend having it sprayed!
My shoulders, wrist and hand have been very sore.

Quinn is trying to stay cool-as am I and it isn't easy!
Her best friend, Zoe, has come for a couple of weeks while her family is on vacation.
Usually, Zoe is a nervous wreak when they leave her but this time she's been very, very calm!
Hoping it stays that way!



Saturday, July 15, 2017

They Paint Too!

Left to right:  Brayden, Kolby and Ethan

I told you about my oh so cute mowing crew, 
well, did you know they also paint?
(Kolby thought we were painting pictures-he was shocked that we were painting walls!)
They are just getting started but they painted the whole wall they are working on here, plus another short wall on Thursday.  
Before we ran out of paint!
Then a short wall plus on Friday-they were tired.
I know how they feel.
They all used a roller as well as a brush, even Ethan!
Paint got on the floor.
So what!
I'll be painting the cement floor later anyway.
During one of their breaks Brayden asked what the I-beam was.
I told him it held up the weight of the house.
So, he wanted to know if it was okay to swing from it!
I asked if he thought his weight would bring the house down on us!
Little monkeys played at hanging from it for a bit, 
then went back to paint.

Their Daddy said I had more patience than him-I just knew they needed
something to do while at my house and paint on the wall is paint on the wall no matter how it gets there!
I'm putting the second coat on now.
Will need to more paint yet.
That masonry just slurps it up.
First step of new studio will be done this week.
Then it's on to painting the floor (after first etching and priming it.)

I'm also bringing empty totes and holiday boxes up to the garage.
Don't want to move things around more than necessary!

I'm off now to sew the binding on Sparkling Nines-it's really quite hot to have a quilt on your lap!



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Brilliant Idea--NOT!

I've been in this house now for about seven months.
I've mostly found everything, mostly.
I've hauled away a lot of "Stuff" as donations.
(More to come-I have a goal of reducing my "Stuff" by 50%.)
I've figured out that in spite of a wonderful walk-in closet my studio 
just doesn't work.
Plus, I really miss having a dedicated office space.
Having all the flotsam and jetsam of life 
plus all the research stuff scattered about the house
leaves me scattered as well.
So.
I have an unfinished basement
of about 800 square feet.
Moving the studio into that space and the office into the current studio is underway.
First, I need to make the basement more habitable without spending 
a small fortune!
Paint is always the go to for me so I decided to paint the walls and the ceiling.
Complete with pipes, wires and HVAC vents.
Yeah, well, NO!
I spent several hours priming pipes, vents, etc so they would hold paint on Sunday.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day painting this!
Not even a quarter of the ceiling done.


That's as far as I got before my shoulder (and other body parts) just gave up.
Apparently, in my 6th decade I cannot do what I did in my 3rd decade!
I knew that.
Sort of.
I forget though.
New plan for the ceiling is needed.
I have an idea but I want to see if its possible first!
First now, comes paint on the walls.
Paint on the floor.
Possibly an electrician to add outlets.
Then the ceiling.
I want to cover the ceiling but still be able to access everything mechanical.
While a drop ceiling would be lovely it's too many dollars!

On other fronts,
I've finished the quilting on Sparkling Nines-only binding to go!
I've done a bit of yard work,
and nearly have the garage clean!

Suffering through 95F (35C) with heat indices of 105 F (40C).
Breathing water it's so humid.
I really can not wait for fall.