Thursday, August 4, 2022

I like #266

 It's been a rough few days here, but very excitingly this morning started with a something definitely wonderful to like!  I got to have breakfast with my dear friend Linda and catch up with her.  Such a privilege and always so restoring.  Really just what I needed this week.  Yay for long-term forever friends!!!

Our prompt from LeeAnna this week is what sunscreen do you like!  I'm sorry to say that I forgot to take a picture of my sunscreen before I left the house and I can't even remember what brand it is, so I'll just say I like sunscreen in general and leave it at that.  Counterintuitively, even though it's summer, I haven't been sunscreening much lately because it's just been too hot to be outside.  

Other things to like this week though:

I finished a long-term knitting project I've been working on.  This is the Ribosome sweater, and I knit it using mostly alpaca yarn my friend Melody and I dyed as well as that skein of hand dyed teal wool.  I loved all the skeins of yarn together but I didn't really have enough of any of them to put them together in a well-balanced way, and I'm very thrilled with the way it came out.  I like the cabling pattern, but I don't care for the color blocking at all (not the fault of the pattern, all me).  In addition it's too big (lots of extra width in the yoke and body) and the sleeves fit strangely because of the depth of the yoke.  Anyway, I'd been knitting on it forever and was so tired of it I just wanted to finish it.  And finishing it is a positive!  It's extremely dense and warm, so I'm obviously not going to wear it now.  I'll wear it in the winter and maybe it will grow on me.

The pups are all good- giving me lots of comfort and snuggles.  They're not too helpful when it comes to knitting, but how can you turn down a dog snuggle!

After weeks of over 100 degree days, we had a short break with two days of rain.  It perked up the flowers nicely, though now we're back to dry and up in the 100s again, so the heat continues.

Cash and Brett came over and I got some really good Cash snuggles. His fur is longer than my pups' so there's quite a bit more up-the-nose.

I hope there are things to like in your week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more goodness!

Thursday, July 28, 2022

I like #265

 Welcome to another week of things to like!

Our prompt from LeeAnna this week was to share our summer uniform!  I mostly wear knit dresses with pockets and capri length leggings in the summer,  my current favorite is this dinos in space dress from Svaha.  They come in all kinds of comfy sizes and great prints.

It was another very very hot week here,  no garden pictures because everything is crispy and dying.  But the pups are all good and Spooky is being his typical elastidog!

One exciting thing that happened this week is that my first PhD student defended her dissertation!  It's a huge milestone for her and we had a lovely party at my house afterwards (complete with lots and lots of fans). 

Brett and Cash came over and all three dogs managed to share the couch peacefully!  The spot Cash is in is the favorite spot and they all try to sit in it as soon as one moves out.

Captured a beautiful sunset this week

And a small excitement for me-  they just released a new edition of our core Cell Biology textbook and it's metallic pink!  How fun!

Click on over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Friday, July 22, 2022

Birthday Present for Brett!

 My good friend Brett (who belongs to Spooky's best friend Cash) turned 40 this year, so I wanted to make him a present suitable for a milestone birthday.  My mom had made a wonderful quilt featuring silkscreens from all her dogs, so I figured making some sort of wall hanging with a Cash silkscreen would be great.  

Alas, I didn't take very many pictures in-process, but I have a few.  I started with a cute picture of Cash and Spooky, cut out Cash, and then processed it in one of my mom's iPad apps to generate a binary (black and white image).  My mom has a thermofax machine which will make silkscreens from any black and white printout which you can see here (the printout of the binary image is on that piece of top paper and the silk screen is hanging below.

I silkscreened cash onto four different colors of fabric and then pieced them together and quilted them. 

After finishing it, I decided I wanted to wrap it around a frame, so I cut off the black border and followed Susan Carlson's great tutorial for making a gallery wrapped quilt.  

I couldn't find stretcher bars locally that were the right size (it's 18x21) and I refuse to pay the shipping for them, so I made a frame out of 1x2 and then wrapped the piece around it.  I love the clean look and it hangs from a picture wire.

It turned out cute and wasn't too involved.  Brett really liked it and has hung it up in his house.  Interestingly, his step-mother also gave him a quilt she made for his milestone birthday, it's a traditional pieced quilt in the colors of his favorite football team, so he was definitely fibered-up for this birthday!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

I Like #264

 Welcome to another week of things to like!  It's been a extraordinarily hot week here, but I have the privilege of good air conditioning (though the one in the studio is weak) and so I'm surviving.  

It was a sad day on Tuesday, my mom called to tell me she and my dad were going to have to put their beloved dog Shooter down.  I rescued her (and her mother) from the Oklahoma City Gun range when she was just a puppy (they were both strays, covered in ticks and living off of whatever handouts gun club members shared).  She lived with me and Mike for her first couple of years (I got her through the destructive puppy phase) and then my mom and dad took her to live with them (they'd adopted her mama from the beginning).  

Shooter was only ten, and still excited to walk and hike and sit in the sun, but she had a complete blockage of her urethra (most likely due to a bad cancer), and after exploratory surgery the vet said there was no real way to remove it or reconstruct around it and it would be very painful, so my parents made the decision to put her down.  It was heartbreaking for all of us, she was such a fantastic sweet little dog.  After her destructive puppy years she was never a problem for anyone, always sweet with other dogs and other people and calm and easy going.  

Here she is as a puppy, so little and fun.

And on the dog bed with the others.  Part of the reason my parents adopted her from me after a couple of years because they thought she'd love it at their house (duh, all dogs love their place), but also because four dogs really was too many for me.  Sadly, all four in this picture have passed away now, she was the last.  That's Bullett, Bentley and Missy there with her.

And her she is on her dog bed with her mama (Swatch) at my folks. She was such a good dog.  And well-traveled!  She (and my parents' other dogs) travel with them on all their camping trips, hiking their way around the country and staying with them in their truck camper.  

We did have good things this week though.

I'll start with the prompt-of-the week from LeeAnna!  This week we're sharing a favorite small kitchen tool, one that does what it's supposed to or maybe even something more!

I have two favorites to share maybe both are a maybe a little weird.  The first is my 1 qt vintage pyrex casserole dish with lid.  My mom gave it to me from her kitchen when I moved into my first apartment over 20 years ago, and I use it all the time.  It's the perfect size for ramen or a can of soup or vegetables- really all kinds of things you want to heat up in the microwave.  Definitely one of the hardest workers in my kitchen.  I have no idea when my mom got it, but that pattern (old orchard) was manufactured from 1974 to 1978 so that gives a range at least.

My other favorite kitchen gadget is the food mill attachment for my kitchenaid mixer.  It enables me to make crabapple butter and crababbple fruit leather with my wonderful crabapples.  Sadly none on my tree this year, but hopefully next year.

Other good things this week include the dogs and flowers.  Spooky and Blue are fine, lots of snuggles.

I saw this delightful pale toad (frog?) on the door of my studio this week!  We often have them in the backyard but they're usually bigger and never whitish pale like this.  My Seek app couldn't tell me exactly what species he was but he was super cute.

Dahlias and Zinnias!

I hope you guys are having a good week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

I Like #263

 Welcome to another week of things to like!  I've realized I have several fabric/sewing projects to blog about, hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks I can get some posts written.  This was mostly a being-at-home week which was great.  Small pleasures, hanging out with the dogs, doing some sewing, and desperately trying to keep my garden alive in the the debilitating heat.

We celebrated my friend Brett's 40th birthday this weekend, I made him an angel food cake with strawberries and cream, and also made him this silkscreened quilt featuring his dog Cash.  Hopefully I can share more about it in a separate post.

Spooky did not like how much time I was spending quilting this weekend, he really wanted me to stop and play with him.

Lately we've had lots of bees in the garden flowers which makes me happy!  They are quite calm and don't bother people at all.

Spooky and Blue!!!  They're doing very well and sharing lots of snuggles.

It's been so so hot the last couple of weeks, everything in the garden is looking a little wilted (if not a lot wilted) but I'm just trying to keep watering and hope I can limp most things through this hottest part of the summer.

I hope you're having a good week! Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

I Like #262

 Welcome to another week of things to like!

I spent the 4th of July weekend with my family in New Mexico and it was really lovely to see them all.  We did lots of outdoors things and played lots of games.  The weather was lovely.

we picked all the remaining pie cherries that were on my parents' pie cherry trees and had enough for six more pies.  I brought a few home, nothing beats cherry pie made from pie cherries.  Sticky messy work, picking, washing, and pitting, but so worth it.

Lots of outdoor games, culminating in an all hands water balloon fight.

We drove even further in the mountains to drop my niece Anna off at Camp Mary White, the rustic camp my sister and I went to as kids.  It was beautiful and very moving to visit; we hadn't been back since we were kids and it's the site of many happy memories.

And of course hikes with the pups, they love going to NM.

Hope you all had a good 4th of July weekend!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

I Like #261

 Welcome to another week of things to like!

This was a hard hard week society wise, the news about Roe v. Wade being overturned dinged at me when I got off the airplane in Bismarck.  I was so sad and angry I started crying in the parking lot when my sister picked me up at the airport.    I just don't know what to do.  I'm so scared for the future of our democracy and women's rights.  It's horrifying.

On the upside though, Lisa Walton graciously interviewed my for her Quilt Stories YouTube Channel.  We talk about my dimensional work and my liturgical pieces.  It was really fun and I'd love for you guys to watch it if you have some free time!

I'm never sure if the video embeds work, so if you can't get it to work, just click here.  I'd also encourage you to watch some of her other interviews, she's talked to tons of wonderful creative people.  You can find her channel here.

The other wonderful thing this week was a trip to the International Peace Garden in North Dakota (on the Canadian border) for a wedding for a very close family friend.  It was a moving and special wedding.  Northern North Dakota is very rural and farmland-y.  It was fun for me and my mom and sister- we're from rural New Mexico, so the miles and miles between anything felt familiar, but the environment was so different. So so green, with tons of farms and ranch land and verdant open space.  No shareable pictures from the wedding, but here are a few from the trip.

Our AirBnb was on this farm, it was a very pretty location

We enjoyed watching these two sheep who just wander around the property.  In case anyone wonders where Fisher Price got the inspiration for its barnyard set, it's totally northern North Dakota.  We past dozes of very traditional looking bright red barns.  We have lots of barns on farm/ranchland in New Mexico but they aren't usually this traditional red color.

The Peace garden was lovely in itself, we didn't have a ton of time to explore it, but we did wander around a little.

The giant lupines were just gorgeous.

We drove to Art Alley in Bismarck on our way back to the airport.  It's fun alley in downtown that's covered with tons of murals.  The cow was super fun.

I also really loved these two.

The dahlias are still going strong, here's a cut cluster from this week.

These are the cactus karma pink I mentioned last week.  Not enough stems to cut but they're pretty in the garden.

This week's winner though are the penhill watermelon.  They were starting to bloom last week, but I had a few come to full potential this week.  You can't tell from this picture but they're very big.  The flowers are about 7" across and the plant is as tall as I am. I had to hold the phone way up high to get the picture.

And, my little baby cacti are starting to grow again after not doing anything for several months!  They're about an inch tall mostly, and it's fun that some have sprouted arms?

The dogs are fine, and I also got to visit the Guinea Pigs since I drove to Dallas for the flight (my brother-in-law kindly agreed to watch the dogs).

Click over to LeeAnna's for more folks sharing positive things!