Friday, November 30, 2012

Nov. NewFo

Wow, my posts are getting few and far between. We had, I think, two days off for the whole month of October and I honestly have no clue where November went. Is tomorrow really the first of December? It just can't be. I mean, I know everyone is playing Christmas music and I see lights up already, albeit, not at my house, but I just can't get a handle on it being December yet. 

I wanted to be sure I didn't miss out on the November NewFo party!

Here are a few items I started  this month.  I actually started and finished 3 Christmas gifts this month! I know, they are simple pillowcases, but with all that's been going on here, that's still an accomplishment for me.

First are the pillowcases, for my two nephews and my niece (who don't read this blog). The oldest, Blake, is a senior in High School, but has a love affair with wolves. A boy after my own heart.

The other two are both University of Florida Gators fans (even though they were born and live in Tennessee). So I made them each a Gator pillowcase. 

This one is for Luke.

And this one is for Holly.

It's a little hard to see, but there is a blue trim piece and a green border.

This next one is a denim and flannel blanket I'm making for Bruce. I made one for my Brother and for a friend a few years back, and Bruce has been wanting one of his very own. It is made from old jeans, rather than bought denim and I had to break down and buy the flannel. The one I made for my brother was from old flannel shirts and pajamas.  I have to count the pieces, but I think I am still short of having all of what I need to make the blanket.  I know I have the denim. I have TONS of jeans from friends and family. It is just time consuming cutting them all.  It's called the Lazy Denim Quilt by Bonnie B Buttons.

It's a super easy (after the cutting) blanket to make. No batting needed and no quilting. It is also, quite heavy.  I would highly recommend a pair of these for snipping all the fringed parts.
 I did the first one with regular scissors and it was a painful and unpleasant experience.
 Here is the one I made for my brother. 

Here's the one I made for my friend, fellow Dal lover, and dog rescuer. 
Did you notice the green paint? those are his actual jeans he gave me to use, so I thought using some with the stains and paint gave it more character.  Now you may resume your oohing an ahhing over the dogs.

 On a sad note, my cat, Bob,f is missing since Monday night. He is the only indoor/outdoor cat of my bunch. That's how he came to me and despite my best efforts to convert him to indoor only, he refuses to use the litter box and will scream and claw at the doorknob to be let out. Or he will wait until he hears someone coming and and bolt out like a flash. I've posted signs, ads online, and done all the other things one should do to try and reclaim their beloved furry friends in a well populated area.  I'm still hoping he'll come home. I imagine he's charmed some other sucker into feeding him and maybe they took him in, assuming he's homeless, rather than the roaming rat killer that he truly is. I have never been fond of his non-returnable, and less than romantic offerings, but I would be a happy girl to find a decapitated rat in the yard in the morning.

 Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Foto Finish: Orange

 This week's theme for Foto Finish by Cat Patches was Orange. I guess I have to finally admit that I'm a crazy cat lady after all. The first thing I thought of were my two orange cats, Oliver and Lilly.  So here they are!
 First is a picture I absolutely love of Oliver as a kitten. He just looks like the definition of bliss to me!

This picture is of Lilly on top and Oliver when he was a baby. 

 I can't help it, I'm crazy about my cats. And my dogs too for that matter.  I'll be posting about Dal-loween and Diamond's award winning costume as soon as I get a chance.

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Foto Finish: Leaves

 Thanks again for Cat Patches for her Foto Finish theme making me dig back through the digital archives.

 This photo was taken in Philadelphia in 2005, when I visited my friend Stella. I got up early one morning and walked around her neighborhood taking pictures. I loved the changing foliage. Being from central Florida, we don't have the privilege of visual season changes.

Yikes, It's been another couple of weeks since I've updated.  One of these days, I am going to sit here and update like I need to. It probably won't be until December at the rate I'm going. We're super busy at work and the rescue event season has started.  Most days I am too tired to do much more than scroll through the blogs I like to read and check on my Facebook friends. 
  I just got home from a rescue event with Diamond and I'm beat. I need to work on her Dal-loween costume for next Saturday's picnic.  If I get it done, I will post pictures. With that being said, I'm outta here for now.

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where did September go?

Holy smokes! I just looked at my last post and it was on September 1st. Today is October 1st. I went a whole month without posting anything. I've meant to post. I've had stuff to post. I've read other people's posts. The month just flew by.  I gave my niece, Noelani her quilt. I have some pictures of that to post. We went scalloping a few times, so of course, there are pictures of that. I have seven cats and two dogs, so of course I have critter pics. 

Of course, now that I actually have a few minutes to post, it's 11:30 and I need to get to bed, because October is one of our busiest months of the year at work. What do I do that could be so busy for one month in particular, you ask? Who am I kidding? Nobody reads this stuff. Well, for the few who may, for whatever, weird reason, find my life interesting enough to read about, that is, when I take the time to write about it, I work for a tent rental company. Holy moly, run-on sentence!!  I work for a small, family-owned, tent rental company. Here in Florida, the weather tends to get nice in October and then in the Spring, March and April. October and March (St. Patrick's Day!!) are our two busiest months of the year for us. Everyone and their brother has to have a festival or Octoberfest or some sort of gathering that they want a tent for in October. I'm not complaining. It's just one of those feast or famine things. All summer it's too hot to be outside, even under a tent, so we have barely enough business to pay the bills and then WHAM! It's October and there's almost more business than we can handle. It tends to get a little crazy and stressful. 

I also volunteer with Dalmatian Rescue of Tampa Bay and rescue event season is kicking off this weekend. I have an event to work both days this weekend. While I enjoy volunteering and helping out, sometimes, it can wear on you too. I won't have much time to do my crafty stuff on the weekends, so I have to try to do more at night after work. I am going to post tomorrow night with the pictures of Noelani and her quilt and maybe a few other things, if I get inspired. 

Just so there's at least one picture, here's one from last year's Jeeptoberfest. One of my other, larger hobby interests is Jeeps. I have a Cherokee that we lifted, painted bright green and refurbished the interior in a utilitarian style. This picture was taken by Bruce, from the passenger seat, as I drove through the off-road course. This was the beginning of the course. It was my first time and I had fun. My Dad was in the back seat, so I had two experienced guys to give me driving advice along the way. I hope to go again this year!

This was heading into the water near the end of the course.

Below is a better picture of my Jeep, taken at a job site.  Her name is Xtreme Green. Not only is she my off road toy and tool, but she is my Dalmatian (and any other critter) hauler. I use my Jeep for bringing dogs and equipment to our local rescue events too.
Barring any unforeseen distractions, I will post a proper update tomorrow after work. 

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rainy Rocks

The theme suggested by Barbara at Cat Patches this week is "Wet".  Since my mind is on our three day, Labor Day weekend, I was going to use a picture from our last scalloping trip, but you seen plenty of boating and swimming pictures already from me, so as I was perusing my extensive photo collection, I came across these shots from our trip to Massachusetts in September of 2004. Bruce is from western Mass. and this is Balance Rock near Pittsfield. It was raining all day, but that didn't stop us from venturing out to see new stuff (new to me anyway). I'm from the west coast of Florida, where it rains nearly every afternoon in the summer, so what's a little rain? 

It was sad to see all the graffiti on it, but it was neat, none the less. Here are a few more shots of the rocks and the area immediately around them.  If it hadn't been so wet, I would've insisted on trekking off down one of the paths, but we were between rain showers as it was.

 I will never understand why people feel the need to desecrate everything with paint and their names.

 That blurry guy is Bruce, just for some scale on the size of the rocks.

 The balance point. And more graffiti.

A Fire Newt, or salamander. I thought he was neat and it was nice to see something vaguely familiar. Florida is home to billions of lizards and not seeing one every where you go is kind of weird, when you've seen them all your life. 

 Thanks to Barbara for this trip down memory lane. She is always inspiring me to take new pictures and re-live some of the past ones.

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Friday, August 31, 2012

Counting Sheep

Every month I hope to take part in the NewFO Challenge, but I either miss it or haven't started anything new, because I'm trying to finish up all the UFO's of my various hobbies. This time I actually remembered and have something to share! It's in the early stages, but I have washed, cut and pieced most of the squares for my "Counting Sheep" quilt.  

I saw the cutest quilt at Country Quilts and Bears. It was quilted up with numbers for use as a child's quilt. As I figure I'm a child (Well, aren't we all someones children?), I would like to have one for my bed.  I simply love the colors. I will have mine quilted with something other than numbers though. I haven't figured out what yet, perhaps Sheep, or clouds, or Zzzz's,  or some such thing. I had to ask Becky (the lady who made up the patterns and kits) to make me a kit to fit a full size bed. The pattern and kits they had already made up were only  48" x 64". She had the fabric ready for me, but I only got the instructions for the smaller size. I added one row and one column of squares so far, but I am not 100% sure that is all she added. I still have quite a bit of the fabric left, so I suspect, I have not made enough squares yet.

I thought I took a picture of the sample quilt, but apparently, after searching my photos, I didn't. Here are the fabrics.

The sheep were irresistible.

I took a ton of pictures of the green squares, but the green always looks much darker than it really is. It's a bright, lime green (my favorite color).

 The blue is only slightly brighter than in the picture and the outer edges of the squares are a pale green that barely shows up at all.

This is where I'm at tonight. I've finished piecing the squares together and am ironing them for the next step. I will have to wait to put them together with the stripes in between until I re-calculate the size or until next Wednesday, when the lady who figured it out for me at the store is in.

 I need to go and snuggle my little buddy, Riley for a bit. He's looking rather annoyed that I stopped Ironing to come in here and post this. Well, that and having to eat dinner and move some laundry around.  He knows I'm addicted to his cute, little, bratty self.  Who could blame me? He'll have to be patient a few minutes more, since a certain speckled princess is currently barking at my knee to be let outside. 

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Catching up part 2 - Noelani's quilt

 I'm trying to get caught up on the things I have been wanting to post. July seemed to get away from me with some family health issues, a funeral and the unexpected house guest. Bruce's cousin, Erik is staying with us. He's a little down on his luck, so we're trying to give him some support and a place to stay while he looks for a job and gets back on his feet.

 I finished my quilt for my niece. This is my first attempt at free motion quilting. I'm pretty pleased with it, for my first try. Upon reflection, I could have done a simpler pattern to start with. Such is not my nature. I always tend to go for the hard stuff right away.  Silly me. The colors are much brighter in person. This was a free pattern that came from Keepsake Quilting when I ordered the 10" fabric squares. (on a side note, they weren't all exactly 10", which was a little disappointing and I had to trim them all to the same size).

You can see the colors a little better here and the binding and back.
It is easier to see the quilting on the back. It was stippling with butterflies.

And bees in the borders, with loops. I was a little ambitious, for a first timer.

Here's my label. I'm always curious as to how much info some people put on their quilts. Mine are considerably basic.

I can't wait to give Noelani her quilt! I hope it's soon. And I have to remember to get pictures! I am looking into making quilts for my other niece and my two nephews as well.  They are in their teens and tweens, so I have asked their mother for their color/theme preferences. I'm hoping I can get them done for Christmas.

In the meantime, I have started something for myself. I saw a quilt displayed at Country Quilts and Bears that had the most adorable fabric. It was intended for children and quilted with numbers, but I asked and the lovely ladies, re-figured the pattern for me and made me a kit for my full size bed! I mean, really, how could I resist these sheep?

Here are the fabrics that were in my "kit".  I have all ready started and am quite far along in the piecing. I just keep forgetting to take pictures. I will try to remember tomorrow after work. 

I'm almost caught up with things that I wanted to post. I think. Tomorrow I may remember something else. I need to stop worrying about being on the computer while Erik is here, since it may be for a little while. Besides, Bruce sits in his recliner and uses his laptop while Erik is sitting in the living room with him. Maybe I'll just take mine to the front room, where I sew, so I won't feel quite so rude.

 I will leave you with two photos of my cute sewing supervisors. They were waiting for me to get to a stopping point, so they could check my progress.....

 After a while of keeping guard at the window, (he will growl if someone walks by) Oliver decided that the denim scrap basket looked comfy too. Baby brother, Riley didn't seem to mind sharing his comfy spot.

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting caught up

Foto Finish: Show Us Where You Live

As many pictures as I take, apparently I need to take more, so I can be better prepared for future Foto Finishes!  Here's my entry for "Show us where you live".  I took this photo several years ago from behind our shop. There was a small canal, and thankfully this big boy stayed on the other bank. Alligators are quite common in our lakes.

With our house guest here, I haven't been able to get on my computer much, so I'm really behind in my posting.  My brother came down to visit my Dad, who had a mild stroke back in July. Dad's doing ok and seeing lots of doctors to try and figure out the cause.  We took Todd out on the boat for the afternoon. We went out to Egmont Key, just off the coast from Fort Desoto. Here's a few pics from the the trip to island. 
The lighthouse was built in 1858 and is still in use today.

 An Opsrey in it's nest. The pillar is what remains of an old building on the island.
This is one of the Sea Turtle nests that were on the East side of the island. They are endangered and protected. It was good to see so many out there, since the oil spill hit many of the northern nesting sites. The tracks on the sand are from a Gopher Tortoise that live on the island. They are also protected. 
Some kind of hermit crab hole. I liked the way the tracks left a pattern on the sand.

One of the brick roads that still remains.
A Gopher Tortoise. We came across two that day. Both were more interested in eating than having their pictures taken.

My big brother, Todd. In true big brother fashion.  

Thanks for stopping in! ~Amy