Thursday, July 26, 2018

I Like #76

Things to like this week:

1.  I like my new puppy!  He's not really a puppy at all, he's about 4 years old.  He's a generic mutt (my favorite kind) with some pit bull leanings.  He's bigger than Bentley, and though we had some initial anxiety, he seems to be fitting in well.  My friend Trish went with me to the OKC animal shelter and I adopted him.  He's super friendly with all people so far, even ones he doesn't know, and loves to snuggle and play.  He's currently chewing/scratching up the door frame when I go to work, so I have solve that problem, but otherwise he's just a big lovable dork.


2.  I like Becky!  She came up this weekend and we got to do some fun grown up stuff- including going sailing.  It was really a blast.

3. I like cool bugs!  This really nifty giant cicada landed on Becky's hat and I took a bunch of pictures of it.  She was aggravated, mostly because she wanted to brush him off but I made her wait....

Thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I like #75

Thanks so much to everyone who shared kind comments on the loss of Bullett.  He really was the best of dogs.  On that note and starting off this weeks I likes is a wonderful condolence note my niece sent me.  I'm so privileged to have such wonderful family, they are so caring.  I love you Anna!!

I like learning new things!  I took a felt hat making workshop this past week with Dawn Edwards.  She makes great sculptural felt hats and was a very good teacher.  I've never done any felting before except for the wonderful but short introduction my friend Kathy gave me, so it was really an informative class.  I made one and a half hats during the two day class and really learned a lot.  I hope to be able to write some more in depth posts about it in future, but here are a few pics.

 I like sailing!  Last night was the first time all year we've had enough crew to fly the spinnaker and I remembered how much I love it, and how much I miss it when we don't get to fly it. 

I like finishes!  Elsewhere on the blog this week I talked about my finished neon crochet shawl and my latest finished smocked quilt.  So check those out if you haven't seen them!

I hope you're all having a good week, and thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us positive.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Neon Shawl

You may remember I've shared a couple of in progress pictures of my neon shawl, and I spent quite a bit of time a couple weekends ago finishing it up.  I was working from the Hotel of Bees Shawl Pattern

From Ravelry- Hotel of Bees Shawl
 I used this great neon sock weight yarn from Tricked Out Ewe, and after gauging, went up a hook size.

After finishing, I blocked it on my guest bed where I could pin it out flat.  Usually I block quilts on my big design wall, but the shawl was very light and airy and I didn't want it to pull weirdly when wet and hung vertically.  After blocking, I quickly pinned it to the design wall so you can see it against the white background.

One of the downsides to going up a hook size and down a yarn size is that the whole thing has a more open structure.  That's good in the sense that it's a summer shawl, but it does make parts of the pattern a bit hard to see (like the small hexagons in the multi-color part below).

Overall the pattern was well written and easy to follow.  I enjoyed working on it, it was varied enough not to be boring, but not so complicated to be stressful.  And it was really nice that you start on the wide end and crochet towards the narrow end so it gets quicker as you go!  I really really love the yarn, and have enough left to make something else, but I'm not sure what.  Possibly leg warmers or crochet scrunchy socks?  That would be pretty 80s....

Friday, July 13, 2018

Third Smocked Quilt Finished: High Desert Garden

On Monday I blogged about the early stages of my third smocked quilt and today I wanted to share the smocking part.  After finishing/facing the large fabric I marked it for smocking.  I started out with a vertical smocking pattern I found, but the written diagram did not match the picture.

It made these vertical channels (which I wanted), but they were extremely close together.  I didn't get a picture of it fully smocked, but the 84" wide quilt was ~24" when smocked and the pattern felt way too dense.  I tried just taking out two middle rows (the picture below), but the spacing wasn't really right.  I took out the rest of the smocking and sighed.

Next I tried a more organic-feeling pattern.  I really liked the crumpled look in the middle of the quilt, but it didn't fit evenly into the grid I had marked, (which I didn't realize until after smocking) so there was no way to get both side edges to look right.  It was really aggravating since I liked the pattern, but unlike a pillow or something in which the smocked edges will be enclosed, the edges on these pieces are loose, so they have to look reasonably presentable.  Alas, I took out all the smocking a second time (!!!).

Finally I went with this more linear pattern,  I wanted something that still felt like it had organic shapes but that would allow the edges to line up properly.  I made my grid a little bigger which gives it a bit more depth and fewer repeats.  In general the depth is good, but it seems to be a tradeoff between depth (good) and fabric floppiness (bad).

Like the one before,  I made a frame for the back of this quilt.  For the last one, I just stitched the quilt to the frame, but I didn't really like that approach.  For one thing, there's no easy way to remove the quilt from the frame, and for another if the thread wears against the wooden edge of the frame, it breaks.  So this time I hand stitched a bunch of pieces of velcro (the soft side) to the back of the quilt (you could see them in the last picture I shared Monday), and stapled the rough side of the velcro to the frame.  I like this better- you can make fine adjustments to the placement and easily remove the quilt from the frame if needed.

Here's what it looked like mounted to the frame, but after looking at it, I thought it needed a tiny bit more color, so I added some flicked spots of strong green, gold, red, and pink.  It doesn't change a lot, but adds a bit of depth I think.

And final pics.  I've had fun doing this series of smocked quilts, but I think this will be the last one for a while.

High Desert Garden, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

High Desert Garden-Detail, c. Shannon Conley, 2018, 41" x 34" x 6"
Photo: Mike Cox

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I Like #74

First, some good things this week. 

Last weekend I got to go visit Fort Smith, AR, attend my friend's wedding in Searcy, AR, and then visit Hot Springs National Park, in Hot Springs AR. 

I was just in Fort Smith for this morning, but I visited Fort Smith Historical Site which was very interesting.  There was a lot there on Native American history, particularly the conflicts that occurred during the forced relocation/Trail of Tears of so many tribes out of the eastern US in the 19th century.  Not a shining historical period, but one that was interesting to learn about. 

View of the Arkansas river from the Fort Smith Historical Site

Downtown Fort Smith also has lots of fun murals/painted buildings.  It was fun to look at them, though I didn't get pictures of nearly all of them.

My friend Lauren's wedding was lovely; they had a ceremony at the Searcy Church of Christ, and then had the reception at her grandparent's farm.  It was pretty hot, but there was a tent and the farm was lovely.  I didn't know anyone else there, but I sat with three ladies, best friends, who were friends of the bride's grandparents and I had a great time visiting with them.

Hot Springs was a cute town, lots of fun Victorian and Art Deco style buildings.  Being used to the volcanic/sulfurous be careful these could kill you hot springs of the Yellowstone variety, it was quite interesting to realize that not only do people bathe in the hot springs, but the water is drinkable!  There are fountains all over town to fill up water bottles and stuff and the spring water is quite tasty.  I looked through the bathhouses, some have beautiful stained glass, weird little bathtub stalls, and strange contraptions.  I also arrived just in time for a ranger hike, so was pleased to go on that.  I love ranger hikes and programs. 

Public fountain providing spring water.

Crazy steam contraption in one of the old bath houses.  Like an individual sauna, you sat inside there with your head sticking out the top and they steamed you.  

Beautiful stained glass ceiling in one of the bath houses.

One of the old bath houses had been turned into an art gallery, and showcased work about the hot springs.  Much of it was done by NP artists-in-residences, and I was pleased to see two pieces by fiber artist Susan Lenz, of whom I am a great fan.  Of course I didn't manage to get pictures of her pieces.  These were a couple of paintings that caught my eye though.

Unfortunately, not much more to like after Sunday.  I got home Sunday night and all was ok, but I woke up Monday morning to find my precious Bullett dog dead on my back sidewalk.  Mike was there with him over the weekend and he was ok Sunday night, but I think his little heart must have just given out.  I was a basketcase Monday, and have been pretty sad all week.  He's been with me since I first moved here in 2006 and was such a precious dog.  I nursed him through many years of puppy-eating furniture, through Parvo, through 2 knee replacements, and loved him through thousands of walks and hikes and cuddles.  He hated being picked up, and had the worst squeal if you tried, but he loved being petted and scratched and he had the best little twitchy place-  you could scratch a spot on his side and his leg would go crazy.  He loved belly rubs and snacks.  It's so hard to have lost him so suddenly (though I knew he was ill), and doubly hard to have lost him and Missy so close together.  I miss my Bullett!!

The summer I got him.

With Angel

With Pumpkin

In deep snow.

With Missy

On a Hike

At Christmas

Howling at the storm siren

With Everyone

Hoping for belly rubs

with Daddy

"graciously" sharing the pouf.

And the dog bed.

And the chair.

"helping" baste.

"contributing" to the batting.