Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lucky's Rose

Back in the fall of 1991, I was a young newlywed, living away from home for the first time. We'd had cats at my parents' house since I was in grade school, and I really wanted to get a kitten. Being the logical, anal-retentive that I am, I started calling local vet's offices, trying to get an idea how much the "start-up fees" would be for a kitten (shots, spay/neuter, etc).

I called one vet's office and they said they had a young cat who was already spayed and had her shots. She was free to a good home, if we wanted to come see her. We decided to go see if we all got along. We got to the vet's office and saw this little face.



They opened the cage and she rubbed her little head against our hands. I think we slept on it, and decided to adopt her. When I went to pick her up, they asked if I was aware of her story. It seems the guy who brought her in to be fixed was a real piece of work. He called just after they put her under for the surgery and asked them not to do the surgery. Instead, he wanted them to put her to sleep and then tell his family she died during surgery. Nice guy, huh? Didn't even have the spine to tell his family he didn't want the cat. Of course the vet refused on both counts. She finished the surgery and kept the cat till she could find a home for her. We named her Lucky.

Lucky quickly made herself at home.



She had some unusual tastes in food (for a cat). She liked green peas, but her favorite was corn. But only fresh or frozen corn. Canned wasn't acceptable.



After a few months we decided she needed a playmate, so we adopted another kitten.



After they got used to each other, she and Ripley became good friends.



A couple of years after that, the marriage broke up and I got custody of the furry kids.

Lucky was a great cat. She and Ripley would both sleep with me at night, one on each side, pretty much ensuring that I couldn't move. After we moved to the house, Lucky would sit on the table in the front window and wait for me to come home.

She wasn't a terribly healthy cat, though. In 2001, I was traveling a lot and she stopped eating. She got really sick and spent a couple of days in the emergency animal hospital. They said she probably had liver cancer, but they wouldn't know for sure without doing surgery. If she did have cancer, they said they could give her chemotherapy, which might give her an extra 3-4 months. I decided against putting her through all that and said I'd just take her home.

She lived up to her name and bounced back after that. She did really well for another year and half, but in the spring of 2003 it became obvious that she wasn't enjoying life anymore. I let her go on April 1. I brought her home, buried her in the back yard and planted a little rose bush over her grave.

Today is Ripley's 17th birthday, and today.....



Lucky's rose bloomed. Miss you, kitty girl.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What can you get done on a 3-day weekend?

If you're me, you can assemble a couple of small knitting gadget kits.



The larger one was gift card box from Michael's. The smaller one was Hershey's truffle tin. I covered the top with fabric and wrapped a ribbon around the sides of the top. Each kit contains a tape measure, folding scissors, mini crochet hook, row counter, needle gauge, yarn needles and my handmade stitch markers.

You can make 7 more fabric grocery bags.



Not without a new paws-on supervisor, of course.



And don't forget the $3 project bag.



That's a 97-cents-on-clearance quilted placemat, plus a $2 zipper. It's just the right size for a 100g ball of sock yarn, needles and a printed pattern. And maybe a fancy gadget kit. ;-)

Speaking of sock yarn, you can make a bit of progress on your toe-up sock.



Okay, part of that was done Thursday night during a women's club meeting at work. But I also worked on the as yet unblogged boring charcoal mistake rib scarf, so it all evens out, right?

And since the weekend isn't over yet, I think I'm going to go baste a quilt top. Maybe two.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Check it out...

I figured out how to add video! Yeah, it was the little icon next to the photo icon. You know, the one that looks like a filmstrip. Duh.

Anyway, here is a crappy cell phone video of Blue done of of his favorite things - talking.

video

He does that. A lot.

Friday, May 22, 2009

TGIF

Yay, it's Friday! And a long weekend coming up, no less. We have no plans to speak of, aside from some yard work. I'd like to do a bit of cleaning catch-up, but I'm only giving one day to that. I hope to spend some time in my sewing room, adding to these:



Yep, that's the second batch of grocery bags. I finished them last night. As usual, I was well supervised.


Stupid, stinky kittens make a pretty good bed....


I'll just sit here by this paper and watch you, Mama.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to everyone in the good old USA!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nothing finished but I have lots of help

I started the next batch of fabric grocery bags. Here are the outside/inside pairs.



And the pockets for them, in no particular order.



They still aren't done, but Blue has been helping me with them.



Blue has helped a lot...



A whole lot.



Not to be outdone, Emma had to help, too.



Max made sure the novelty fabric didn't get away.



I actually used my fabric bags on my last visit to the grocery store. The only plastic bag I took with me was the one I put my meat package into. I know my bags are washable, but still didn't want to risk leaking meat juice into them.

In knitting news, I was supposed to take a Magic Loop sock class starting last Thursday. Unfortunately, I was the only one who signed up, so they postponed the start for 2 weeks. I really wish they'd called to tell me that beforehand, since the shop isn't exactly close to home. All wasn't lost, though. They were doing a sit and stitch that night out on the deck. It was a nice night, so I stayed and worked on my striped sock. I've turned the heel again.



I'm still not truly happy with the short row heel and the hole I have where I joined it back in the round. But I really, really don't want to frog it again, so I'll just have to deal with it. Maybe the second sock will go better.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5 down, 12 to go

This is what I've been working on this weekend.



Fabric grocery bags. I went through my stash of novelty fabrics and pulled out a whole bunch of pieces big enough to make the bags from. Then I grabbed other fabrics out of the stash that went with them to use as liners. These are the first five. I have twelve more pairs in my sewing room waiting to be cut out and sewn up. They take a bit of time both to cut out and sew together. And getting the gussets at the sides/bottom right is kind of fiddly. But it will be worth it. Assuming I remember to take them to the grocery store, that is. Keeping them in the car is only half the battle. Then I have to remember to take them *inside* with me.

In case you're wondering, I used this tutorial to make them. And they fold up into the pockets like so.



Well these three do, anyway. The pool bag doesn't have a pocket (not enough fabric) and the other fruit bag's pocket isn't really big enough.

Requisite cat pictures


I love my mama!


The view is pretty good from up here!

And people wonder why I always have scratches.....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another triangle done

Tonight was Dear Jane night and I finished the do-over triangle I started over the weekend (LS-7) .



This it the second time I've done this triangle. The first time I don't know what I was thinking, since I clearly used the wrong fabric when I made it. Some people (Hi, Beth!) think I'm crazy for doing it over, but since I intend to keep this project, I'm the one who has to live with it. It would make me crazy to leave it, so I re-did it.

That brings my total to 69 blocks, 22 triangles, 1 corner kite and 2096 pieces. I'm not sure when I'll get back to Dear Jane. I started a stash-busting project this week that I'm not ready to blog about just yet. That should keep me busy for the weekend, at least. Next Wednesday is quilt night with the girls from work, so maybe I'll do a block then. I should start thinking about which corner kite to do next, since I'm getting close to my triangle goal now. I suppose if I picked one of the nasty applique corners, I could do that at quilt night, since I don't like lugging my machine around, despite the rolling case I have for it. It would also get it out of the way. I might pick some of the nastier blocks to do next. I'm definitely saving Uncle Homer for last - it's just a simple 9-patch.

Next Thursday I start my Magic Loop sock class, so I should have some knitting progress to show you. I still haven't taken a picture of the charcoal scarf, mostly because it's so dark and not very exciting. I promise to take a lousy picture of it when it's done. :)

And because Kathryn complained that I don't post enough cat pictures.....



I must please the few readers I have. Luckily, most of you like cats. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quilt camp wrap-up

The rest of quilt camp got better. I got the machine-pieced part of my re-do triangle done. It needs 3 pieces appliqued onto it, so I'll post a picture of it when it's done. Hopefully I'll get it finished at my Dear Jane meeting Thursday night. Once I do, I'll update my block/triangle/corner/number of pieces count over there on the right.

I made this triangle, which is LS-1, which has 32 pieces in it.



This is D-10, with 42 pieces.



Sometime this week, I hope to get the Big Blue blocks pressed and trimmed to a uniform size. Then I can lay it out and try to get things to match up. Also, I have a couple of quilt tops, besides The Ugly, that I'd like to baste with those smaller pieces of batting. No idea when I'll get them quilted. I need to quilt that tree skirt I mentioned, too.

I did a little knitting on the ride down to camp, but I didn't get a picture of it. It's a simple mistake rib scarf, in charcoal grey yarn, so it wouldn't have been a great picture anyway. I'll probably wait to take a picture of it when it's done.

In other knitting news, I signed up for a class to knit socks on the Magic Loop. I haven't made any progress on the other 3 socks I have on needles at the moment, but I want to try all the methods and see which one I like best.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quilt camp, Saturday afternoon report

I'm at quilt camp this weekend. I wish I could say I was having a better time than I actually am. I spent last night, this morning and early afternoon truly annoyed at what I was working on. But I can finally say.....



All of the Big Blue blocks are done and I never have to make another Y-seam again! Are the blocks square? Nope. Are they flat? Unpuckered? All the same size? Nope. Nope. Nope. But are they done? YES!! I didn't bring the big ruler I need to square them up, or the gallon of starch I'll need to get them pressed flat enough to trim them, so that fun will await me at home. Maybe before too long, it will join it's "brother", which is officially hanging in the living room hallway at home now.



Blends pretty well with the paint on the wall, doesn't it?

After my "Snoopy dance" upon finishing the Big Blue blocks, the afternoon went downhill. I was going to take a walk and get some nice pictures of the beautiful, sunny spring day, but my camera batteries (and the spares I brought with me) were dead. I know I'm not above cell phone pictures, but it's the principle of the thing.

Next I was going to pin-baste The Ugly. I got the back pressed and taped down to the floor and pulled out my "king size" batting.....only to discover that I'd apparently taken a piece of it at some point for something else so it's no longer big enough. I have some vague memory of doing that, but can't for the life of me remember which project it was for. Maybe the Christmas tree skirt I made a year and a half ago that still isn't quilted?

At that point, I decided to take a nap. It didn't really improve my outlook, though. Maybe after dinner I'll be in the right frame of mind to start working on Dear Jane. There's a triangle I made with the "wrong" fabric, so I'd like to get that re-done so my block/piece counts will be correct again. Wish me luck.