Saturday, December 03, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Blue passed away on the Monday before Thanksgiving. It's taken me a week to be able to write about her. It's always hard to lose a pet, but it's been especially hard losing Blue. She was with me for almost a quarter of my life and was a connection with so many of my other dogs - she came to live with me soon after I lost Tuffy, a New Boston Terrier. She was a wee puppy who immediatly fit in with the pack led by Shady, Shady's son Shep, and Ben the Dog Who Came to School. Shep and Shady lived to 16 and 17, and Spot the Puppy Who Came to School for Show and Tell, joined us. Spot did everything he could to try to get rid of Blue - one time he took her off on a 20 mile run and then left her. Another time, he took her behind the store into the woods and dumped her in a frozen pond. Both of those times it was a miracle that she ever came home. Blue had a litter of puppies before I knew she'd had her first heat cycle. Ben fathered some, Spot others. Ben and Spot both met their demise as free-running farm dogs. Then our vet arranged an adoption and George came to us. I had sold all of Blue's puppies and she seemed pretty lonely, so I gave her the puppy and told her she could raise him - and she did. She set rules for George and bullied him into following them - they were inseperable. Then one of Blue's puppies, Patches, came back to us. She'd lived the life of an abandoned wild dog for a year and had been trapped when she was killing a farmer's chickens. Blue tried to make Patches behave, but Patches wasn't easily cowed and is still a little worried about being "caught" - eventually they became very close friends and Patches became Blue's guide dog when Blue's sight was limited. Blue and I had a special bond. Even when she was blind she could read my mind. Like a true Cattle Dog, she was happiest when she was with me or close enough to watch me.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The 15th Annual Sauder Village Rug Show was a collection of fascinating smaller rug shows: The Circus Train collection of mats made by the Green Mountain chapter of ATHA, a collection of rugs hooked by Patty Yoder, rugs hooked by Jenny Ruup, rugs hooked by Magdalena Briner and Evelyn Lawrence, the rugs in this year's Celebrations, etc. Each Sauder show is wonderful, and this one is no exception, plus it offers a unique educational experience by displaying new ideas (Nola Heidbrieder's pond rug hooked on dyed hookable foundation} and rugs hooked using embellishments, etc. I've never seen a better or more interesting show - so I'm going back to look again tomorrow.
Friday, August 12, 2011
I reopened my store a few weeks ago. It's taking up a humungus amount of time, so I have my hooking set up so I can get some done while I wait for customers. I took photos today and put them together in a slide show. With a nod to Gene and Marsha Shepherd, the slide show ends with a picture of my garden.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
It took all morning on Saturday to get the first two rows done, then I had to go to a meeting in Ann Arbor. When I came home, I drew a couple more rows. Then today, I've so far finished seven rows. I've decided to add a ninth row, so I have row number 8 to draw and row number 9 to select and draw - then I have to make a decision about wool. I was planning to do the outlining in antique black, but saw some lovely suiting wool at the JoAnn store today - it was a charcoal color with a lot of flashes of other colors in it. That wool reminded me of some dark blue I bought at Sauder last summer. I'm going to try to guesstimate how much wool I'll need and see if I have enough of the Sauder wool - it could be more interesting than antique black.
Friday, March 04, 2011
At my quilting group today I said I was making them for the rummage sale in the fall and I already have one sold! I think they're pretty cute and it's nice to know someone else thinks so, too.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Thursday, February 24, 2011
It took a while to clear a walkway through to the window - in the process I found the typewriter my dad gave me when I turned sixteen, the framed illustrations from Kahlil Gibran my grandmother gave me to decorate my college room, and jars of dried-up poster paint from my first teaching job when I had to buy all of my own supplies. The window glass was very old, very thin glass with little bubbles in it that I'm sorry to lose. It was knocked to the outside, so maybe there was a cat stuck in that room who finally burst his way out. I took the measurements to replace the glass, but I went into town so late that it was dark before I got home and there's no electricity in that room, so I left the door tied shut (with the electric cord from an old tv antennae tied to the frame of the bed) since the latch doesn't hold, and let the cats have the room for one more night. What's a little more outside air coming into this house? I'll fix the window with plexiglass and put a hook and eye to hold the door closed tomorrow.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I divided the blocks into five types. The first type is animals, and there will be one animal block in each row - I haven't yet decided if they will all be upright, the way they are in the photo, or if they will be turned in several different directions so the rug doesn't have a top and bottom.
The other types are rounds, triangles, straights, and stars. Each block falls into one of those categories and my plan is to scatter the different types throughout the rug, with no two blocks of the same type next to each other. The photo shows two blocks that should be moved - at the far right (if you're standing to the right of the photo) the last blocks in the second and third rows are two rounds next to each other. Photos can be very helpful.
Now, I have to start working on color. I'm thinking antique black sashing with mostly red and a light gold for the block colors - the light gold taking the place of the white in the original quilt.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I've copied some of the pattern squares, 4.5"x4.5", onto tracing paper and have laid them down in a possible arrangement. The arrangement in the photo is probably about half of the final pattern and doesn't include the sashing that will run between all of the squares. I'm thinking right now that the sashing will probably be a half inch wide in the interior with wider sashing around the outside. The animal patterns will be scattered wider apart than they are in this first photo. I need to copy about 30 more geometric patterns and will also probably create a few more animal patterns that aren't in the patchwork book - for sure, I will add a sheep that will look like the sheep pin for the Rughookers Merit Program.
So, I'm off to select more patterns...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
George had a bit of an accident in the car while we were away, so when we got into the house I just wanted to have a quiet time with him. However, there was no quiet to be found. There were scritchy scratchy sounds in the walls, small kabooms that made Gibby jump, and then quiet little meows. I went upstairs and searched for cats - no luck. Back in the living room, the noises started all over again - it sounded just like a cat was stuck inside the wall, but the wall is only a single layer of plywood - there is no inside. Back in the living room again - scritchy scratchy, Gibby jumping - so I went out into the new room, and there, up by the top of the chimney, three quarters of a cat was hanging down from the ceiling. He wiggled and squiggled and pulled himself back up into the ceiling. I moved a big stepladder over to where he was hanging, if he drops down again and swings out a little, his feet should land on the top of the ladder. I don't know if he was trapped up there when Joe did his repair or if he is an explorer who found a new way to break through from the roof. I don't even know if he's the only one, but I'm hearing more meowing and Gibby is back on the alert.
I have a sign at my back door that says, "Welcome...come on in and hang around" with a little cat hanging from the sign - I guess it was prophetic.
The cat came down while I was writing this. I went out to check, scared him, and he raced right back up that stepladder and disappeared into the ceiling. A few minutes later, there was another big kaboom. Part of the ceiling fell down again. uurrrggghhhh!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I didn't learn until today that removing the tin let the cats go deeper into the tunnel created by the shingles covering the gap. When Joe insulated the roof, he couldn't figure out how to deal with that section, so he put some 2x4s across the length of it and tacked some insulation board to it. Apparently the weight of the too many cats brought the temporary fix down. Yesterday's noise was that ceiling section crashing to the floor with some cats - and more cats fell during the night. I woke up several times thinking I was hearing the dogs making a lot of noise going out the doggy door - but it was cats. This morning, when I was in the bathroom, I heard a crash that sounded like it was right next to the bathroom wall - so, I finally went into the new room - and it was full of cats. Now, much as I care about and care for these cats, they are still barn cats and most of them are basically feral cats. Very few of them will come to me and even fewer will let me pick them up - and none of them will respond to me when they are already terrified. So, cats here, there, and everywhere, and no way to get them outside. I finally blocked the outside door open, put the dogs in the car, and left for a while. When I returned, the cats were out of the room, but the roosters were going in!
I thought the problem was probably solved and Joe said he would come out tomorrow to do some repairs - but then I started hearing booms and bangs and little meows. Upstairs. Over the dining room. Over the living room. Up where I don't go. UGH.
The open space created by the wall that melted away while the house was deserted had worked it's way up the wall to the second story. The dining room ceiling is barely six feet high, so the second story isn't very high up and part of it falls into the new room. There is a giant hole through the old board and batten and plaster going into that room. It's a funny little under-the-eaves kind of room that I never use - in fact, I piled stuff in there when I moved into this house in 1972 and I've never looked at the stuff since. I took a flashlight upstairs, found the door to that room open, (it opens into the "master bedroom") and the rooms were full of cats. I don't know how many because they all scrambled away and hid into, under, and behind all the stuff I haven't looked at in decades. I have no idea how to get them out of there.
Years ago, I expanded my bathroom to include the hallway that used to lead to the upstairs. So, I have now closed off the bathroom, opened the door at the bottom of the stairs, and opened the window into the pool room. If I was a self-respecting cat, I'd go down the stairs, see that open window and jump up, walk down the board I placed against the window sill, and get into the pool room. I haven't yet decided whether or not to leave the outside door open since I don't want to let more cats in...
I hear cats moving around, but no more ka-booms like they're raining through the roof...
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
It's only temporary and it isn't pretty, but it holds in the heat. Yahooooooo!
After living with a completely open wall since mid-December, I called my builder friend and told him I feel like I'm a homeless person living in my home, that the cold is unbearable. Poor guy, it never occurred to him that the floor for the old pool room was a deck with spaces between the boards, definitely not built to hold out a Michigan winter - he came right out and used my chicken coop plywood to board up the wall - after measuring for the french doors I'm going to buy at Lowe's tomorrow. Now I can get the temperature in the living room above 60 degrees. Nice to be able to sit without being covered by blankets - maybe now I'll be able to get back to hooking.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
The clogs are then washed in hot water in a washing machine with a little soap - the felting usually shows up after about ten minutes of washing. Then the gift recipient takes the funny, slippery, soapy blobs of yarn out of the machine and sees for the first time that they might have received a real gift. Then, the clogs are checked every few minutes to see if they have reached the perfect custom fit.
The washing machine shouldn't be allowed to go into a spin cycle or the shape might be stretched out. The soap can be rinsed out of the clogs in cold water - something you wouldn't do if you weren't felting.
The clogs can be rolled in a towel to help with drying.
Then the clogs should be carefully shaped - when they are left to dry, they will retain the dried shape. I found that the yarn I used tended to become fuzzy and the fuzz could be patted down at this point.
Plastic bags inserted in the toes help to retain the "cloggy" shape while the clogs dry.