Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The End is Near (Patagonia, AZ)

It is the end of January...so soon?  If we were leaving on schedule, we would only have 2 weeks left on the Preserve.  Yep, we have been here 2 1/2 months, but we decided to spend one more month here (leaving 11 Mar).  I have to admit that I will be ready to move on.
Water Cress growing in the creek
With 6 more weeks, I should be able to get a lot more wildlife and nature photos.  I hope you are not getting tired of them.  The Preserve should be getting new feathered visitors as the weather warms up.  We are certainly seeing more Coatimundi and Javalina around the creek.
I feel like my photo taking has improved this winter since I was able to go out almost every day.  Of course, the wildlife subjects have been quite a challenge and I do believe I have learned a lot on how to be sneaky and sit still.  For the last couple of weeks, I have been taking photos in RAW format instead of JPEG.

My camera can take both formats at the same time.  Can you see a difference? Or is it just me?
I finally got a photo of the Belted Kingfisher, but I am not happy with them.  I will keep chasing that bird up and down the creek until I am happy with my photo or I run out of time.  If you look closer at the top photo, you will see 2 fish in its bill.  Pretty good catch out of a shallow stream and on one swoop.
a 2 for 1 swoop

Dan has uploaded a few videos of the wildlife on the Preserve.  They are fun to watch!  If you would like to see them, click on the link above.

Tuesday Treasury
This treasury is dedicated to wolves.  I hope to see one in the wild someday.

Color My World with water colors!

Freebie Page
I added a new My Memories Scrapbook freebie and a tutorial for making your own Valentine's Day cards on the Freebie Page.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lunch with Javalinas (Patagonia, AZ)

During my daily walk on the creek trail, I surprised a family of Javalinas out of the thicket.  I'm not sure who had the bigger heart attack....me or them!

They were running across the path in front and behind me.  Squealing and grunting as they ran by.  I, in the meantime, was trying to just breathe and not join them in squealing.
After all that excitement, the Javalina did not run far.  They stopped at the creek.  Oh look!   Water Cress!  Let's eat!  I'm still standing there on the path and we can still see each other.  Did they care?  Not at all.

Talk about a short attention span.  Which gave me a chance to get some great photos of the babies.  So adorable!  At a distance, of course.
This one is a little bit older.
Ma!  I'm stuck!
Wait for us!
Nom! Nom! Nom!  Mama is one little piggy...
....and one bird photo.  This one was catching bugs over the creek and stop on the log to see what I was doing.

Friday, January 27, 2012

All In A Day's Work (Patagonia, AZ)

I'm feeling very productive this week.  Last night, I finished crocheting the baby blanket.  Yea!  It only took me a year to finish, but I had fun doing it!

Once in awhile, I like to read my horoscope.  I don't see me reminiscing about my past unless it is about my sewing room, but I do like the last part (in bold).  Oh Yes!  So True!
  • If you listen to someone reminisce about the past today, don't be surprised if you get an urge to follow suit. Your mind will wander back to the person you used to be, and you will naturally compare that person to who you are now. The rose-colored lens of nostalgia might make you miss the life you used to have, but after closer inspection you should come to the conclusion that there is no other place where you would rather be than right here. It's a good feeling. 

 I got some great photos of Western Bluebirds and a Cedar Waxwing.

Getting some sun
Honey, who is that masked bird??
Never fear!  I will protect you from that crazy lady with the camera! 
I finished another murder mystery book....

Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canedeo

Knit, Purl, Die   [KNIT PURL DIE] [Paperback]
I finished the second book in the Black Sheep Knitters’ series.  Once again, the Black Sheep Knitters pick up on dropped clues and slowly knits them together to solve the mystery.

I had a harder time getting into this story.  The knitting group is still the same.   Their support for each other had a great feeling of camaraderie.  I love this group of ladies and I would learn to knit just to spend time with them.

So, why did I have a harder time with the beginning of this book compared to the first one?  I finally realized that I was having a problem liking the new member – Gloria.  Gloria is in her fifties and one of those flamboyant rich women who insist on fighting natural aging with chemicals and surgery.  I have a very strong dislike towards women like Gloria.  I’m not jealous.  I just happen to respect older women who age gracefully with healthy living and with a mature attitude towards aging.  Women like Helen Mirren who starred in “Calendar Girls”.   Which is also #1 in my favorite movie list…….. and I digress….

Once I realized it was me and not the story, I was able to enjoy the second mystery.  Gloria is the murder victim and her untimely demise leaves the Black Sheep Knitters in shock.  During one of their knitting sessions, their friendship deepens as they talk about life being cut short and living to fulfill their dreams.  I see some subtle changes in Maggie the shop owner and widow.  I also see Lucy deepening her relationship with her boyfriend.  A message to all of us is to live life to the fullest.

In the end, I found myself enjoying this story.  What I really like about Anne Canedeo’s writing is the mystery clues actually fit, but she doesn’t overdo it to the point that I have solved the mystery before the ”Poirot Conclusion”.   Well, okay, I usually have a general idea as to who did it, but she has managed to surprise me both times….and yet the clues were there.  I’ll have to do better on her next book “A Stitch Before Dying”.

Last, but not least....the cats got some outdoor time.
Did I hear a tweet?
I'll be your friend.
And that's my work week so far......

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (Patagonia, AZ)

 Our feathered friends came for a visit...
White-breasted Nuthatch
Lesser Goldfinch (male)
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch (female)
Bridle Titmouse

Monday, January 23, 2012

Projects Be Done! (Patagonia, AZ)

 I am crocheting the edging now!  Two more sides and this blanket will be done.  Of course, there are six more skeins waiting in the closet to be made into a second blanket...sigh, maybe I will learn someday...
#9 on my 2012 Project list I have Valentine Angel.  It is a mug rug for - well, you guessed it for Valentine's Day.  I have a feeling this one is going to be late.  I just picked out some fabric and got most of the pieces ironed on.  As soon as I finish the blanket I plan to spend most of my time working on the mug rug.

Featured Treasury!

Rose Ann from NutmegCottage featured my Star Baby quilt in her "Cozy Warm on a Cold Winter Day" Treasury.  Thank you Rose Ann for adding my quilt to your beautiful collection!

Valentine Rose Heart Crochet Bookmark, Sweet, Feminine, Ruffled, Book Marker, Women and Girls
One of Rose Ann's beautiful items
You can click on the picture to go to NutmegCottage to view more of Rose Ann's items.

...and now,  some more nature photos...
A very hazy morning
Captain Jack Sparrow move over!
I AM the Captain of this Ship!
Yea?  I don't see no ship!
I might be in the Crow's Nest, but I ain't no Crow! (Cedar WaxWing)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Delightfully Dizzy! (Patagonia, AZ)

I finished making the Delightfully Dizzy quilt top.  Every time I thought I was done making blocks...I decided to add more. This challenge turned into a lot of fun!  I finally ran out of squares to make more blocks and the quilt is only lap size.
This is going to be a fantastic springtime quilt.  I can't wait to finish it now.
I had so much fun, I could not resist adding appliqué to the top.  I did manage to control myself and I only added one flower to the top corner.
appliqué flower
Close-up of stitching
More Photos from Our Walks
Sonoita Creek
Western Screech Owl's soaking up some rays during his nap
Don't give me the Doe Eyes!  I'm not going to give in!
Spotted Towhee - talk about having "Red-Eye"
Mama and Baby Javalina  Time to go Bye!-Bye!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

12 Projects of 2012 (Patagonia, AZ)

A Facebook group called Crafty Mavens invited me to join their 12 Projects for 2012.  Each person makes out a list of projects to finish.

Here's my PhD (Projects half Done) list:
  1. Small Stockings
  2. Mug Rugs – Seasonal
  3. Crochet Blanket
  4. Teddy Bear Quilt
  5. Dresden Quilt
  6.  Traveler Mug Rug
  7. Frog – Witches Brew
  8. Cat Quilt
  9. Valentine Angel
  10. Cake Mix Quilt
  11. X-stitch Cat Sign
  12. Granddaughter’s quilt
I'm looking at this list and thinking it doesn't look all that bad, does it?  I could finish a few of these in one month, right?  This list is a Breeze!  Yep, famous last words...

Since I'm more visual, I decided to add photos from the list.
1. Stockings
2. Mug Rugs
3. Crochet blanket
4. Teddy Bear Quilt
and or
4. Teddy Bear Quilt
5. Dresden Plate Quilt
6. Traveler Mug Rug & Rabbit for another quilt

7. Frog and Mummy Mug Rugs
8. Cat Quilt  (I stashed so well that I can't find it right now)
9. Valentine Angel (No Photo)  The patterns and material are packed in the basement right now.
10. Cake Layer Quilt
11. X-stitch kit
12. Garden Quilt
Then I piled them all together.  Oh yea, the list feels a lot bigger now....

My order of yarn finally showed up.  It only took two weeks to get here.  I think it took the scenic route.  :0)

I will leave you with a couple of photos of birds.  Both of these birds are hard to photograph.  They like hiding in thickets and bushes.  The Albert's Towhee was playing peek-a-boo with me.  I finally got one good photo when he ducked down to see if I was still there.  Gotcha!
Albert's Towhee
Townsend Solitaire
Well, I better get back to my projects, because I've already got another list going of new projects that are floating around in my head.

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