Thursday, January 31, 2008

More "Baby Blocks"

That's what John calls them anyway. Nothing much exciting is going on here this week, so I'll just post some more blocks today. I'm posting 12, which is roughly half of what's left, not counting this week's block and triangle of the week. The last one today is my first attempt at hand piecing these little babies. Only the center part is done by hand. The rest I did on the machine, but I just couldn't bear to think about setting in such tiny pieces on the machine. If I'd been thinking, I probably could have re-drafted the block slightly to adapt it to paper piecing, but hand-piecing builds character, if not sanity (for me anyway).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not completely quilt related...

Update #1: I found the "Mother" my Holiday swap block. The sticky note she had on it fell off during the Sorting. Hooray!
Update #2: That was Creepy Guy who nearly stole the neighbor's car a week ago Sunday. He's apparently no stranger to the city or county court system. On-line court records are a wonderful thing. Well, except when they still show a couple of speeding tickets you had years ago. :)
Update #3: I found the post I started about my cat, so here it is, slightly edited to account for the date change.

This is Emma, also known as EmmaCat, Princess Emma, Fat Girl or Crabby Pants, depending on our mood and hers. She is seen here on top of a ~6 foot tall bookcase, trying in vain to escape "the Evil Kittens". You'll get to meet them (and the 2 other adult cats) later. I have 5 felines total, and am in grave danger of becoming a crazy cat lady! No more cats, though. I draw the line at 5. Really!

Emma is 4.5 years old and was diagnosed with Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) last March, around the time of the big pet food scare. Emma was not a victim of poisoned food, which eased some potential guilt on my part. She was apparently born with one kidney that's too small to work well.

Since then, we've been giving her a phosphorous binder (aluminum hydroxide) in or with her food every day, and have been trying to give her sub-cutaneous fluid injections at home twice a week. She doesn't like being stuck in the back with a needle, and we don't like doing it, but she's such a lovable little cat, we couldn't give up without a fight. Our vets were very positive about her prognosis and we truly appreciate them and everyone on their staff.

We switched from a liquid version of the aluminum hydroxide to a powdered gel version a month ago, and she needed to have her blood work checked, since I was making a best guess about the dosage. We'd been lax in the "sub-q" fluids department because it's so stressful for all involved and she seemed to be feeling find. When we took her a week ago Saturday, she hadn't had fluids for 2 weeks. Well, we got good news last week!! Her blood numbers looked good, despite the fact that we were bad/lazy parents! Her phosphorous level was a bit low, so we're adjusting the dosage of the powder, and we'll check her again in a month. But the best news is, we don't have to give her the fluids till we go back!! I've tried to tell her this, and you'd think she'd be happy, but she's till crabbing at the kittens whenever they come around. There's just no pleasing some cats. :)

Some nice someone left me a comment that the reason my pictures are failing to load is because the files are too big. I guess I won't try to attach so many at once. At some point I'll go back and change the file sizes, but tonight is not the night.

Here is the next set of blocks:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Would you steal this car??

Last week, someone tried to do just that, and we had a front row seat.

First, a little background: The house behind the car is a rental directly across the street from us. Last year, there was a guy living there who we referred to as Creepy Guy. We called him that because he appeared to not have job or a car, and never seemed to sleep. He was always home, usually hanging around outside and there were lights on all the time. He also has a habit of playing his stereo loud enough in the summer that we had to close our doors and windows to hear our TV. In the winter, his driveway and sidewalks were cleared by 7am, even though he seemingly had nowhere to go. For a while there was a woman living there, who we called Mrs. Creepy Guy, but we didn't see her much, and have no idea who she actually was.

The cops showed up to Creepy Guy's house on more than one occasion while he was living there, but we never knew why (no we never called them for the loud music, though we were tempted). When he left suddenly this past summer, a neighbor told us that he had a drug problem and had been stealing people's mail, presumably for credit card applications, etc. Needless to say, I put a fraud alert on my accounts just to be safe.

Back to last week. I was in the kitchen Sunday afternoon and noticed the gate across the street was open. I thought that was strange, since the house is currently vacant. Then I noticed a guy in a hooded coat standing outside the house to left in the picture (which is where the car belongs). That was even stranger, because it was *really* cold last weekend. But the guy who lives there has a shop in his garage, and it's not completely uncommon to have people over there. And the hooded guy kept looking in the front window, almost like he was waiting for someone inside.

A few minutes later, John said "Creepy Guy moved out, why are the cops over there?" As I came to the front window, the red car was backing out of the driveway and there was a police car in front of the house across the street. When the 2nd and 3rd police cars pulled up, the red car stopped and pulled forward again. The officers pulled the guy with the hood out of the car, frisked and handcuffed him and put in the back of a cruiser. The people who own the car were apparently home the whole time, because they were outside while the thief was being 'cuffed. We could be wrong, but it looked an awful lot like Creepy Guy. I'm glad we were never too chummy with Creepy Guy, and that we keep our cars in the garage!

That was last week's excitement. Now back to our regularly scheduled quilt blocks. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Winter Holiday Swap

Yesterday was not a good day. I woke up in "one of those moods". You know the ones - where everything and everyone seems to get on your nerves. I started to feel better in the afternoon, then the sleep wellness center called and canceled my sleep evaluation because of computer problems. They'll call back on Monday to re-schedule.

I got home from work and tried to send out some email, but Firefox kept crashing. Then I un-installed a program on my PC, and when it rebooted, there was an error about my hard drive. I got scared and backed up the files I cared about (my pictures, documents and embroidery files) and de-fragmented the hard drive. I decided it would be foolish to push my luck and patience by trying to post something to my blog after all that. :)

Today I *should* be going out to get new tires for my car, but I don't think that's going to happen. I'm too busy playing with my new blocks. I got my Dear Jane Winter Holiday Swap blocks today! I made these 5 blocks:

And was supposed to get 25 blocks in return, but I actually got 26. That doesn't seem right. I did get two blocks from one of the ladies who organized the swap. One of those had a "Thank you for participating" label on it. Maybe that was a bonus? I'll have to double check.

Here are 25 of the blocks. They have not been trimmed to size, and some have labels on the front which have been folded over so you can see the blocks better.

Hmm... I really need a better camera, better lighting and/or a better photographer!

"Are you my mother?"

This is the 26th block. It's hand stitched, but didn't have a label on it. If you made it, please let me know who you are!

And no, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these little gems. Maybe I'll save them for next year's swap, so I'll have more to work with.

We'll get back to "Jinny Jane" catch-up tomorrow. Jinny Jane is the working name of my Baby Jane quilt, if I haven't mentioned that already. I might change the name later, if I come up with something more clever. The name is based on the Jinny Beyer prints I'm using for the focus fabric. The Holiday Swap blocks were made with Jinny Beyer prints, too.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Okay, I had a really nice long post about my cat Emma, with 15 Dear Jane blocks at the end, then Firefox crashed (again). Despite Blogger claiming it saved my draft, it didn't. It's all gone.

And that was after I tried at least 6 times to get the blasted blocks uploaded. I kept getting errors. I'm getting them again/still, so I'm going to cut my losses at only 5 blocks and hit the sack. Hopefully my technology will behave better tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Next 10

Just a quick post today, as I was out stitching at the library and need to get to the sewing room before bedtime. Here are the next 10 Dear Jane blocks, including my first triangle. A good bit of newbie applique here, so please don't judge too harshly. :)

The blocks finish 4.5", and the triangle actually finishes at 5" x 8". Not sure why it looks so small here.

This block has 49 pieces in it: