Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Brand New Dye

Here are my new fabric dyes for this year. The Procion dye has a limited shelf life in unused form, so I get all new each spring.

These are the colors I picked this year. It's the same yellow and same blue I bought last year, but I picked a new black and blue and red and purple.

Purple is the only secondary color I bought. Orange and green are easy to make, but when I've made purple, its been dull. Last year I bought purple already made and it was better. I can adjust it by adding blue or red, but I find that I have to start with purple dye.

I'll try mixing red and blue this year too. Maybe these versions of red and blue will work better.

I dyed it so parts of the fabric would dye lighter and I could get a better feel for the color. I like the brown better than last year's. Last year's was too red and I had to adjust it a lot.

This black is good too. Last years black had a green tinge that I didn't like.

I also made green and orange by adding each seperately to the dye bath in different places so I could get a good picture of how they blended.

My first project will be floor cloths. I have some 10oz cotton duck. I cut two pieces about 2x3 and preshrunk them on big plastc pipes. I'm just waiting for them to dry.

I guess the 10oz duck will be my new thing for June.

On Sunday, I fired up the Juki LZ and got it threaded with some 40wt poly thread. This was the first time I used the new bobbin case and the thread I got from ThreadArt.

I quilted a saddlepad panel. It was fun. I was afraid at first because the machine is so powerfull. But I got used to it.

Mary Shelley and Whiskers are not used to me being in the garage, but the machine is set up there. They argued about which one of them got to sit next closest to me.

Dave and Joseph helped me a lot yesterday, Monday. Both had the day off. They came to the barn and cleaned out the water trough that Janow shares with Mucha. They saved the mosquito fish and scooped about two gallons of black goop out of the bottom after they siphoned out the water. Janow drops mouthfulls of food in it.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

World War II Bombers

There was an airshow at Moffet Field. The Bs were there from WWII. Joseph HAD to go and Dave wanted to go too.
So they went, and had a great time, and took a lot of pictures!

I mean a lot! Like a hundred.

Here are a few.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


These are the quit blocks for the Guilds Block of the Month.
Each month they, the BOM committee, picks a block design and publishes it in the newsletter. The following month at the general meeting, everybody who wants to participate brings one or two or three to the meeting, pins it on a board and enters their name in a drawing. At the end of the meeting, someobdy wins them all.

Lately, BOM has had poor participation. So I made three, but I didnt really want to win them back. Instead, I entered Community Quilts in the drawing. I was a little bit hoping that other people would be inspired to make a few, even if they don't want to win them. The Community Quilts committee was happy to hear from the BOM committee that "someone" had done that. And they WON! Happy Community Quilts!

Community Quilts is a program run by our guild. We make quilts for charity, for shelters, for the fire dept and police dept, for victims of fire and domestic violence, etc. We make over 200 quilts each year. The best ones get donated of organizations that auction them off at fund raising events. So whatever happens to my blocks, somebody will be happy AND warm.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Squeeze it to see if it's ripe.

Whiskers still loves her post.

We are working toward equal affinity for the litter box. There have been accidents.

There is nothing in the world like cold cat poo oozing up between your toes at four am. I bought a cat repellent at the feed store to put on cloths in the areas of the transgressions. The directions on the bottle say it is to be used only if gentle training methods fail. This was written by someone who has either never failed to train a cat, or has never stepped in cold cat poo with bare feet at four am.

It would help if the litter box were a little more hygienic. It is not my job to clean it. If I clean it one time out of poo-fear or exasperation, it will become my job ever after. The same thing goes for a lot of other chores. I have to stick to the task of gentle reminding, then arguing that it really does have to be done, it is NOT "clean enough" even if a person can see a blank space in the sand where a cat might squeeze in one more poo. Not all cats like to squeeze in poo, the vast open space of the living room rug is much more inviting.

Trivia like this is unimportant. There are far more important things in life and the world than unsqueezed cat poo. Just because it's not very important does not mean you can continue on as if it isn't there. It adds to the complexity of dealing with what IS important, it adds to the style with which the important things are handled.

What is important here, is that in spite of some problems with our new cat from the shelter, overall, she is a wonderful cat. She always greets us at the door when we come home. She loves to play, and, while not exactly a lap cat at this point, she likes affection as long as it is not restraining. She is always in the room with someone and follows if they move to another room. She loves attention and replies politely when addressed by name.

It is not an instant adjustment for us, we still miss Ferm. We don't know what Whiskers' life was before her three weeks in a steel cage at the shelter. Everybody needs a little patience. I think we can squeeze that in.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scoping Out Techno Geeks

Dave got a bunch of these scopes. Eight, I think. He brought them home, most worked. He parted one out to repair the ones that didn't work. Now they all work except for one.

They are in my family room. They are not doing anything for the decor.

Actually, they are doing a lot for the decor, it's just not positive. But he is happy, he likes to be surrounded by electronics, he feels safe. This scoping is as close as he gets to scoping out chicks, I guess I can live with it.

They are all for sale.

I think Joseph took this picture. It wasn't Whiskers or Mary Shelley. Pretty good!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Donut Madness

I don't buy boxes of donuts. The "boys" fight over them, and count, and put dibs on, and accuse the other of eating more than his share. I blame it on the older one. By 42, he should be able to handle the situation.

But he's the one who bought this box. They were on sale.

So when the donuts were discovered hidden in the kitchen by one of them, I took a bite out of each one and returned them to their hiding place. The one guilty at the hiding would find them and be outraged at the other for taking the bites.

Sure enough................"Ah! Dad took a bite out of every donut!"



I fessed up.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Butt Mom!

And he said to me:
"Mom, stop that. That's annoying."

And I busted up, which was even more annoying.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Liz the Lizard

We have lost Liz. She was out getting sun in her cage and Dave found her dead.

We don't know why. It was not especially hot and she was not seeking the available shade. Part of her tail had been pulled off. We don't know how, since she was alone. We see alligator lizards in our yard that are re-growing tails, but they start at the base, not the middle.

I took it hardest. Partly because I feel responsible. Could I have looked after her better? There are so many things to do in a day, and people try to add to them all the time. Should I be more resistant? There are too many things.

I fell apart at the news of Liz. That bothered Joseph. Is it bad for him to see me cry? Is it good that he knows I valued Liz's life? I don't know.

I thought I liked having a lot of animals. I don't like the frequency at which they pass. This gets faster when you have more.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

this was fun.

Joseph and I played Scrabble. He is a pretty good player, so it was fun. We used almost all the tiles that were in the box. He was so excited that I took a picture of the board. That made it even more exciting. It's cool to take time away from the usual life to do something like this. This should be the usual life.

Life in Silicon Valley today is pretty fast paced. There is so much available in the area, and so many things to do, that you feel you must go like nuts to take advantage of it all. Why? Why should I take advantage of all those things?

The local quilt shop merged with a sewing machine store in San Jose. I told the owner I was sad, I wouldnt be able to go as often, it was too far. She thought that was silly, only 12 minutes away from the old location. But the old location was so close to home, many paths took me past it and I could just stop on the way to something else. Now I have to make a special trip, 24 mintues total. So I can't just stop by casually, buy a couple fat quarters or magazine and whatever. I have to need enough to make it worth the trip and I have to plan it into my week. Not gonna go as often.

Grandaddy may recognize this Scrabble set. So will Auntie Mo. Auntie Mo and I used this set when we were growing up. It is the same set Grandaddy and his brothers and sisters used. It still works. If you mouse click on the picture, it will get bigger. We had some pretty good words.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

old enough to buy glue

Here are the finished chickens I made using water soluble resist. They are "primitive" and so they are supposed to look old and grungy.

They are also a bit crusty with polyurethane(SO old fashioned!) so the bottoms have been firmly flattened and they stay upright very easily.

The Museum Project for Ms. Maultsby's class is moving along. I won a model of a Klingon Battle Cruiser on ebay to go in the Klingon exhibit. It came, factory sealed, from the 80s. Of course, we broke the seal, decreasing it's value, and began assembly. We had to go to Michael's and get glue and paint for it. I got carded buying airplane glue. I've been old enough to buy my own airplane glue for 28 years.

There is a tack swap/craft sale at the barn today. I am taking my saddlepads(did I say that already? blame it on the airplane glue, or being old enough to buy my own)I am also taking some sweatshirts, stuffed animals and used horse stuff. The thing most people don't realize before they buy a horse is how much 'stuff' they will need to go with it. The accessories will kill you!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

another day

It has been just another day. Those happen. It can be pretty good. One thing it can mean is that nobody dumped a huge responsibilty in your lap. It's not just the absence of an opportunity to save the day, it's a surpise opportunity to read a book.

Right now I'm reading Tunnel Vision by Sara Peretsky. It features my favorite detective, V.I Warshawski. She gets into all kinds of hot water in and around Chicago, mostly because she has an old fashioned sense of honor. Also because she doesn't know when to go home and just read a book. Detective fiction is not my bag of tea, (bag of tea, "that's messed") especially not the kind with so many characters and plot twists that I have to take notes-which I do for Peretsky. The first V.I. novel that I read, Guardian Angel, was the one that hooked me. It was at a coffee shop, where you take a book and leave a book. I read it 'cause it was free.....then I read another.....then I bid on a lot of seven of them on ebay. I won.

Joseph and I have been reading the My Teacher is an Alien series by Bruce Coville. We are having a good time. So far, they have been in the library. I finally checked out the library on line to put a hold on the ones I have not been able to find. Lo and behold, Santa Clara County Library does not have them ANYWHERE! Not Mountain View, not Sunnyvale, not Cupertino..... So I bid on a lot of five on ebay and won. One of them is one we have read, but that's OK.

We also read Jennifer Murdley's Toad by Bruce Coville. It's one of the Magic Shop books, I think it's the best one.

Milpitas Unified School Ditrict gets Cinco de Mayo off. That's Saturday, but you can't give Saturday off for a real holiday, so they are getting Friday instead. That's the same as if you can't count to five in Spanish. Many people are celebrating already, and I think most of them can count to five in Spanish. They just want to have fun, nothing against France. I can't count to five in French, but I don't have to. The French lost and this is Califronia. Don't tell Dave. (that I can't count to five in French--I think he knows he's in California)

The new Half Price Books has opened, in Fremont, I think. Somewhere near Auto Maul Parkway that used to be called Durham. Maybe we will go there. I have a big stack of books to trade in.

Right now, Pomeroy School is having the standardized testing. Joseph was explaining to me that when you get done with a test section in class, you are to work on an assignment quietly and not bother anybody. The "not bother anybody" part would be the hardest for him. He doesn't want to do any extra and he was explaining how he made the testing "as time consuming as possible" to avoid it. I couldn't help laughing! That was so funny! I told him he was very good at making something time consuming. He is the only person I know who can spend 40 minutes brushing his teeth and still not get it done!

Judi Danes came to the guild meeting last night with a trunk show of fantastic things. I was going to take her workshop on Saturday, but not enough people signed up. Instead I will go to the tack swap at Indian Hill Ranch. Maybe I will get some brush boots. I will take my embellished saddle pads to see if people want them.