Monday, July 28, 2014

Rough Week (Hot Springs, SD)

I wish I could be more like Hitch and just sleep this week away.  Dan and I had a rough week between the two of us.  First, Dan had an infection from a broken tooth that started last week.  After clearing up the infection with antibiotics, he had oral surgery in Rapid City.  He is doing a lot better now.

In the meantime, I am having a bad reaction to Deer Fly bites.  It's weird that I have bites on both arms and on my ankles with just the usual swelling and itch.  If they bite my left arm, I have a problem.  I had one bite me near my left elbow and my elbow swelled to the size of a tennis ball.  
Finally, that one went down.  Now, I'm fighting another one on my left wrist.  Now, my arm is swollen from my elbow all the way to my knuckles on the back of my hand.  I'm taking Benadryl and using Cortisone cream, hopefully the swelling will go down soon.  I need to start wearing repellent.  I just hate spraying chemicals on me, but it is either that or suffer more bad bites.  

On The Cutting Board
With all the swelling, I'm having a hard time working on my projects.
Progress has been slow, but I have managed to quilt and add binding to the Sweet Dreams quilt.
I got all the Happy Campers layered and ready for quilting.  I just need to wait for the swelling to go down in my hand.  I'm having a hard time holding things right now.
So, I guess I will spend my time reading books and bugging cats.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Where Did Summer Go? (Hot Springs, SD)

I can't believe July is almost over and summer is starting its second half.  Where did it go?
Water fall in downtown Hot Springs
I know I don't have a whole lot to show for my time.  I know I have been spending a great deal of time reading or listening to books lately.  I do spend more time sitting outside watching the cats.  Other than helping Dan clean up the lake area and the campground....well, I'm just not too sure.
Side view of the water falls,
Hot Springs in the background
We have done a little sightseeing plus we are driving to Rapid City once a week for groceries.  It is hard to find good hummus and almond milk here.  Not to mention, it is nice to getaway from here for the day.
VA building
Dan drove to the VA hill so I could see their unusual buildings.  The VA has facilities on top of two hills in town.  One hill has a VA retirement home and the other has a hospital, some housing, a National Park Cemetery,  and other medical buildings.  We drove around the medical facilities hill.
We are not sure what this building is used for, but I find the architecture very interesting especially the dome.
On The Cutting Board
Here are four more Happy Campers ready for layering and quilting.  I have been taking my time with my latest projects  to give them a little more detail.
I embroidered lace to the curves to match the curtains on the pink polka dot top.
I made the heart into a windsock with beads and attached it to Happy's 'P'.
And...I added bullion stitches and beaded fringe to the awning below.
I should start sewing some of these up soon.  I have about eight of them ready to sew and layer.  I guess it is time to pull out the ol' sewing machine and get busy!
Happy Quilting!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sunny Days, Lazy Days (Hot Springs, SD)

We have been enjoying some wonderful weather.  I'm loving the blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  
We had one afternoon rain storm that lasted through most of the night.  It left everything feeling fresh and green.
Mad Max on alert
The cats are loving their new home.  They have been going out at least once a day.  Since it is quiet most days, we are letting them drag their leashes around without us holding them.  We can always grab a leash if they look like they are about to get into trouble.  So far, that has been rare.

Max likes the area because it is quiet most of the time.  He is exploring more and not hiding next to the motorhome's closed door.  With all the open space, he can see people coming from a long enough distance so he can beat them to the door.
Squirrel and Max exploring
Squirrel loves soaking up the sunshine while laying in the cool grass.  He has been exploring the other side of the road a little more often than we would like him to do.  As long as he knows we are watching him, he will not go too far.  Otherwise, he will be on the other side of the park.
Time for sunning
Dusty is extremely happy with our new home.  He has been running from one end of our area to the other end.  If he could talk, he would probably be saying, "Look at me!  I'm free!  I can run fast!"  He often runs back to us looking for approval and a pat on the head.  He is one happy cat right now.
Dusty contemplating whether he should attack the tall grass
Dusty has been begging to go out at least twice a day.  I don't mind sitting outside with him while he explores our big side area away from the road.  He wanders around and I spend time sewing or reading.
Wait for me!
I did not get a single photo of Hitch this time.  He isn't as enthused with our new home.  He never did like a lot of open space.  He prefers climbing trees or exploring woods with narrow pathways.  I did take him over to the play area and he climbed the wooded posts a couple of times before sulking under the motorhome....cats!...can't please them all, right?

On The Cutting Board
We went to town for ice cream and guess what was next door.  Yep, you guessed right...a quilt shop.   HeartSong Quilt Shop was a lot of fun to explore.  The staff was very friendly and helpful.  She even showed me "The Country Register" with all the other local quilt shops within a one hour drive from here.  Hmm, looks like we need to spend a couple of days driving around.
I like to buy something from each store that I visit.  I could not make up my mind of what I wanted this time.  Too many choices with very little space available in the motorhome.  They have a large selection of Australian fabric.  I know it is quite popular right now, but I have never seen it in a shop before this.
I finally decided on three fat-quarters.  For some reason, I have been wanting to do more projects with sea turtles so I think this will make for an interesting wall hanging.  Doesn't the green fabric look like the sun reflecting on the sea?  I can use some of my fabrics as fillers.  I have no idea what kind of pattern or design to use for this fabric.  I'm sure some idea will pop up.....hopefully soon.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Hot Springs, SD)

I'm so glad the 4th of July weekend is over.  It was a little crazy here.  The campground was full and the lake area was filled with people for four days.  On top of all that, the WiFi was so slow that nothing would load.  Oh no!....no internet!....withdrawals....

Everything is back to normal once again.  Dan and I decided it was time to go for a walk along the river walk in downtown Hot Springs.  I love the medieval designed buildings carved from sandstone.  There are several so I will start with The Evans - a hotel turned into a home for the elderly.
  
Isn't it magnificent?  It looks like a wonderful place to live.  
I wonder if it has a grand lobby with a huge chandelier?  
We have seen this one resident out walking her dog (small spot in grass) on the river walk two different times.  We stopped to say hello and to greet her cute companion.  She talked about living in The Evans and she is quite happy with her home in the old building.  It sounds like they keep the building up-to-date.
I'm not sure what this building is.  It looks like a castle on the hill from the main street.
I know these photos are not as exciting as the buffalo, but a person can only take so many pictures of the big beasts standing around while chewing on grass.  I'm sure I will take more photos of them before we leave here.
On The Cutting Board
I put my embroidered quilt "Sweet Dreams" on hold due to needing extra floor space to make a wider backing.  I could have bought the 108" wide fabric, but I could not find a single bolt of fabric that came close to matching the top.  And to tell you the truth, I really wanted to use the sage green polka dots for the backing.  When I was with Project Linus in Albuquerque, a friend told me about John Flynn's diagonally cutting 42" wide fabric to make the backing wider.  Because I don't have the space, I haven't done this technique in a long time.  I am happy to say John still has this technique online with a Diagonal Backing calculator.
diagonal cut done
If we were staying at an Escapee's RV park, it would not have been a problem.  They always have a nice community center with lots of open space, but it might be another year before we stay with them again.  I did not want to wait that long to finish this quilt, so I have been looking around as we traveled with no luck.  I finally gave up looking for a building with a large enough floor space for me to lay out my fabric.
time to make it wider by pulling one side down
So, on a less windy day, I pulled out our two outdoor carpets and laid them end-to-end.  Pinned them down and cleaned them.  I had plenty of room to lay out 3 yards of fabric, fold it diagonally, and cut it.  You will notice that I still had to use some odds and ends to pin down the fabric as I worked on the it.
Ta-da!  Sage green backing is now wide enough for my top
I did a quick pinning and took it inside before a gust blew all my work away.  Sewing the two pieces back together was no problem.  Ironing was interesting using a small table top ironing board.  Talk about doing some wrestling while trying not to wrinkle the ironed fabric.
Finally!  Layered and pinning - done!   Now, to find time to get out the sewing machine.  I still need to make the binding too.  I can tell you one thing....it'll be a looooong time before I do another quilt with a width that is larger than 40 inches!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July (Hot Springs, SD)

Happy 4th of July!  Our little campground has been busy most of the week.  
With July 4th falling on a Thursday, who all gets a four day weekend?
Hot Springs does something different for the 4th.  The city allows people to bring their own fireworks to the public parks.  Sounds like double the fun for celebrating - watch your own and your neighbors, but we will probably be needed here to keep an eye on this area.
The lake has been even more busy with lots of people enjoying the perfect weather for swimming, picnics, and fishing.  I got this photo around 7:30 pm just before the sun disappeared behind the hills.
A serene moment on Cold Brook Lake
On The Cutting Board
Okay!  Two more Happy Campers ready to have doors and windows fused onto them.  I have a few more mug rugs that I would like to finish embroidering before I start layering them.
I have also been working on a new Welcome sign - A Macaw's Welcome.  I found a cute photo of a Macaw online and turned it into a pattern.
Now, I need to think about a border....hmm, maybe some wonky squares in bold colors?  Well, back to the cutting board or drawing board...
Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 30, 2014

39th Anniversary (Hot Springs, SD)

We celebrated our 39th anniversary today by eating out at a Mexican restaurant.  Good food and good service.....and then we spent some time picking up trash around the park(part of our job).  It's a shame that people don't feel a need to pick up after themselves.  I would hate to see how their home looks.  Do they drop a soda can in the middle of the living room and just leave it there?  Overall, this area stays clean..thanks to the rangers and camp hosts.
Well, enough about that subject.  Here are some more photos from our drive through Custer State Park.  All the animals look like they are still trying to shed their winter coats. There were quite a few buffalo calves running around.  
They did not seem worried at all about the people or cars stopping to watch them.  Of course, the people outside their cars had more to worry about than this calf.  The buffalo were very close to the road, so I took all my pictures from the car.
This big guy was getting too close to the car.  I'm not sure if he was curious about us or if the grass just looked tastier than the rest of the plains.
We also came across a couple of antelope near the road.  I have never been so close to them.  Usually, they are just a tan and white spot on the plains.  We did see one running down the road while we were driving to Casper one day, but she took off into the fields as our car got closer.
Interesting looking fellows.  Maybe we will get to see them up close again.
On The Cutting Board
I'm slowly getting back into my sewing routine.  I have four Happy Camper tops ready to sew together, but I might do a few more before I sew the layers together.
My window box flowers came out well.  When I started the flowers I had no plan of what I would do except that I wanted to have a rose or two in the window box.  I bought some new lace to use for the curtains.  I'm glad I bought a lot of this lace.  It really gives the Happy Camper a cozy yet romantic look.
Well, it is a windy day and the cats are not liking the 25+ mph gusts, so I think I will get some more sewing done if I can find a seat since all the cats are in the living room.
Happy Quilting!

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