Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Post for 2012 (Patagonia, AZ)

Happy New Year!
So, another year has zipped by.  The older I get, the faster they seem to gooooooo! has been a good year filled with memories of family, friends, and adventures.  I would not change a single moment.  Well, okay, maybe a few those "hay-fever" days or that "darn-headache-won't-go-away" day.
Enjoy photos of Lesser Goldfinches while you read. :0)
New Year's Resolutions?  I don't have any new ones for 2013, but I do plan to continue the ones I started last summer.  Yea, I was a little late getting started.  It only took me six months to really get motivated.
My first resolution was to cut back on computer time.  I was beginning to feel like I spent a good 7 hours on my laptop.  My neck and shoulders were telling me all about it every morning. I realized that I wasn't spending any time doing what I enjoy the most - quilting and photography.  This 2012 resolution is going well and I'm getting a lot more projects done.
Also mid-summer, I changed my eating habits to healthier lighter choices.  So far, I have lost 7 pounds.  I hope to lose another 10 pounds before the end of 2013.  Slow and easy.  This is one resolution I will keep for the rest of my life.  I certainly do feel better.
We already have plans for 2013.  We plan to meet my brother at Zion National Park.  Dan and I have been there twice, but we have never walked the Narrows.  Hopefully, we will be able to walk the Narrows while we are there.  If not, it'll still be a great time visiting with my brother and seeing the sights.
General plans include heading back to the NW coast.  We did not get enough of it last time.  We also plan to visit our families again.
This next one is for  my sister-in-law and me:  We are going to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!  WhooHoo!  washing-machine dance....washing-machine dance....oh sorry...I get a little excited over the idea that I will finally get to see the town of Sisters covered in QUILTS!  Ever since I saw Sisters on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson many, many years ago, I have wanted to go.  Sigh!  This is going to be such a wonderful year!

On The Cutting Board
True to my resolution, I have been working on several projects and I am finally finishing a few of them. This is my second Bear Hugs quilt for children.  I hope to get it quilted during our next two days off.  This will be another Project Linus quilt.
Wishing everyone a safe and healthy new year.  So, what are your plans for this year?  hmmmm?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Cat's Greeting (Patagonia, AZ)

Our son, Shaun visited us for a second time this year during his Christmas break.  We kept it very low key just enjoying each others company.  Even the cats were happy to see him again...well, except for Hitch.  He is a little anti-social unless you have something he wants.  He did let Shaun walk him around on the leash for a little while.
Squirrel looking for attention or some food.
He's happy with both.
I managed to capture some great moments between our cats and Shaun.
Dusty comes running when Shaun calls his name.
Pet my head
Yep, that's the spot
Mad Max loves to greet all of us in his own way.
Okay, hold your hand right there
Perfect!  I can reach your hand
Okay, a little harder
Oh yea, right down my back
keep going..
Right to my tail!  purrr
I hope everyone had a pleasant holiday with family and friends.

On The Cutting Board
I found some time to finish the binding on my scrappy squared quilt.  Hmm, I should find a better name for this one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone! (Patagonia, AZ)

Merry Christmas·Feliz Navidad·Joyeux Noel·Froehliche Weihnachten·Mele Kalikimaka·Merry Keshmish·Gesëende Kersfees·Een Plesierige Kerfees·Rehus-Beal-Ledeats·Gezur Krislinjden·Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah·Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand·Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun·Selamat Hari Natal·Zorionak eta Urte Berri On·Shuvo Naba Barsha·Vesele Vanoce·Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo·Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat·Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo·Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!·Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun·Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan·Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito·Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo·Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth·Pace e salute·Rot Yikji Dol La Roo·Mitho Makosi Kesikansi·Sretan Bozic·Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok·Glædelig Jul·Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak·Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast·Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!·Gajan Kristnaskon·Ruumsaid juulup|hi·Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!·Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad·Hyvaa joulua·Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar·Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!·Bo Nada·Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!·Kala Christouyenna!·Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!·Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova·Shub Naya Baras·Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!·Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket·Gledileg Jol·Selamat Hari Natal·Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah·Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat·Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut·Ojenyunyat osrasay·Buone Feste Natalizie·Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto·Mithag Crithagsigathmithags·Sung Tan Chuk Ha·Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!·Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!·Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto·Priecigus Ziemassvetkus·Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar·Sreken Bozhik·IL-Milied It-tajjeb·Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa·Meri Kirihimete·Shub Naya Varsh·God Jul or Gledelig Jul·Pulit nadal e bona annado·Bon Pasco·Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu·En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!·Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo·Maligayan Pasko!·Boze Narodzenie·Feliz Natal·Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha·Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua·Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn·Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!·Sarbatori vesele·Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom·Buorrit Juovllat·La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou·Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou·Hristos se rodi·Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce·Buorrit Juovllat·La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga FouNollaig chridheil huibh·Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina·Hristos se rodi·Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa·Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok·Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto·God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År·Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon·Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal·Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!·Sawadee Pee Mai·Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun·Srozhdestvom Kristovym·Naya Saal Mubarak Ho·Chung Mung Giang Sinh·Nadolig Llawen·Cestitamo Bozic·E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!·Счастливого Рождества и с Новым Годом! Yangi Yil Bilan!·Meri-kurisumasu·······Happy Winter Solstice·Happy Hanukkah
Have a wonderful Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just Another Day (Patagonia, AZ)

Just another lovely day on the Preserve.  No feelings of doom or the end of the world.  I had forgotten all about it until I opened up Facebook.  Well, I'm not going to sit around and wait for it.  I have things to do, places to go, and birds to see.

This Great Blue Heron has been spending quite a bit of time in the Sonoita Creek lately.  He was so busy catching his lunch that he came within 20 ft of me.  
My legs started to cramp up and I had to move before they fell asleep which would have caused me to fall into the cold water.  That would have been a miserable walk home.
I stood up as slow as possible and to my surprise, he just walked down the creek away from me.
Says Phoebe was sitting near the center when I came back.  He had nothing to say about today....
but Marvin the Martian did...
On The Cutting Board
I changed my mind on making a scrappy binding.  Most my pastel scraps are smaller than 5 inches.  That would have taken forever to sew together 192 inches of binding.  Not to mention all the seams in the binding would not have looked so good.  I found some long-forgotten peach marbled fabric in one of my containers.  An exact match and more than enough to make the binding.  I'll spend the weekend finishing up this quilt.
I finished Ms. Belle Cow.  The coloring in this photo is not the best.  I'll have to take this over again before I add her to my Esty shop.
This is my first mug rug.  Now that I know I can design my own with clipart, I will be making more. 
If you are wondering about her spots, I used the crayon technique.  I outlined her spots with permanent fabric marker.  Colored in the spots with a black crayon.  Covered the area with muslin and placed a hot iron on top to melt the crayon into the fabric.  I had to wash some pencil markings out and the crayon did not bleed or fade.  Pretty cool technique! 
 Oh, I also finished the snowmen's scarfs with fringes.  I'm off to look for a matching border and backing...
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bluebird on My Shoulder (Patagonia, AZ)

We did not get the snow that was in the forecast for last weekend.  Instead we got some much needed rain and yet, it was still too cold to go for walks.  I kept myself busy with projects instead of walking.
Monday turned into a gorgeous day plus the Preserve was closed so Dan and I went for a walk.  When we left, the House Finches were busy eating up all the birdseed...
 The Western Bluebirds showed up for a little while near the office...
 A good sign that the winter birds are finally returning.

Oh, and our new neighbor was resting near a game trail near the Preserve's Railroad trail.  How Dan spotted him..I have no idea.  I often look along this trail for deer, but I did not see the mountain lion.  We are suppose to haze him, but he probably did not realize that ol' eagle-eye Dan had spotted him.  We took some photos and decided to leave the sleepy cat alone since he looked like he just wanted to take a catnap.
One visitor told me that it wasn't unusual for a mountain lion to be sitting near trails and watching unsuspecting humans.  They blend in so well with the background.  Now, I give myself whiplash on my walks while looking for the lion and I still did not see him.
 I need to work on my "eagle-eye"!  I spy a big kitty!

On the Cutting Board
I have been spending quite a bit of time in the evening working on my granddaughter's quilt.  I would really like to finish it soon.  I have been hand-quilting this one for too many years.  It's time to get it done!

And in between hand-quilting, I got the machine-quilting done on this quilt.  I still need to make the binding.  I might use some pastel scraps for a multi-colored binding.

I'm also experimenting with designing some new mug rugs using different royal free cliparts.  I'm getting a lot of ideas on paper, but nothing in fabric.  I finally took the leap and here's my first try - a sneak peek of Ms. Belle Cow...
Clipart designed by Fayette Terlouw
She's almost done, so I should have a photo of a finished project for the next posting.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Patagonia, AZ)

I look forward to posting my Not So Wordless Wednesday.  I get to share recent photos and I don't have to talk a lot...although I do end up chattering quite a bit before I post most of them.

All of the following photos were taken in November just before we lost the last of our fall colors.  
Our weather temperatures have been above normal for fall, but I have a feeling that our warm days are coming to an end.
More birds are starting to show up.  Some are passing through.....
while others will spend their winter here.
We are also seeing more deer, but the javalina and coatimundi have been scarce.  I would like to see coatimundi at least one more time before we leave in February.
Mama and her little one thought I was following them down the trail and yet they did not seem too nervous about me.  They were very slow walkers..blocking the trail...looking back at me once in a while.
 Finally, I made enough noise to get them moving a little faster...okay, from a snail's pace to a sauntering cat's pace.  Since being polite wasn't working, I called out "Excuse me!  Can I get through?".
That worked.  They jumped off the path and into the creek pretending they had been there all along. 
Humans!  They can be so annoying!  Happy Trails!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Winter of The Lion, The Quilt, and The Snowmen (Patagonia, AZ)

The Saga of Our Mountain Lion Continues
We have not seen our lion since Thanksgiving, but on 4 December, two lions together were spotted at Patagonia Lake State Park 6 miles south of us.  The creek on the preserve dumps into that lake with ranches in between. It is unknown if these 2 cats were siblings, mother and offspring, or mates.  Hmm, maybe ours went for a visit.
I'd Enjoy it a Lot More Without You Here
Apparently in other areas of the nation a few cats are also near humanity.
 On 6 December at 5:15 pm, a lion was in the backyard of a house 1 mile north of us on the outer edge of Patagonia.  The caller's wife saw the lion checking out their rabbits.  She banged on the window and the lion left.  So, now we are wondering - are there two or three full-grown mountain lions living here.

The hills are dry, so the deer, javelina, lions, and other critters are staying near the water source and food supply.  I have a feeling there will be more sightings before we leave here.
Motion sensor activated wildlife camera shot across the creek, 
about 100 - 150 yards from the motor home.  
The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel | [Jennifer Chiaverini]The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini
When I finished this book, I felt sad and depressed.  I did not get my usual warm-fuzzy feeling from listening to each newcomer's life story sprinkled with moments of quilting.  I feel like Jennifer has lost her quilting muse.  Instead of quilting, I got Jennifer's views on our bad economy, uninformed government/taxpayers, and misguided social values.  I agree with some of her opinions, but that is not why I bought this book.

According to part of the description from Amazon:  featuring not only well-loved characters but also intriguing newcomers, The Giving Quilt will remind us all: Giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the recipient, and while giving may not always be easy, it is always worthwhile.

I thought there would be at least one quilter sharing a Project Linus experience as a donor or as a founder for their region or even as a receiver.  Instead, each quilter mulled over their own problems - a little too lengthy at times.  What about the problems of the "giving quilt" receivers?  Where were their stories?   Am I wrong to think a child battling a life-threatening illness has bigger problems than a woman in a guild battling a member's bad attitude and short funding the guild?

I bought this book to enjoy some special moments with quilters and making quilts for children in need.  I was very disappointed.  My suggestion is that you read some of the reviews - good and bad before you decide to buy " The Giving Quilt".

On the Cutting Board
While listening to "The Giving Quilt", I have been keeping myself busy with different quilt projects.  My latest quilt project has been layered and pinned.  I will sew this one on the machine.  I am hoping to have a couple of quilts ready for Project Linus by the time I leave here.
I recently discovered that the Project Linus website has a list of drop-off locations as well as contact and chapter information.  I found several drop-off locations in Tucson.
This is a mini quilt or wall hanging by Nancy Halvorsen.  I just love her designs!  This is one of those projects that I hate to finish because I am enjoying the process as well as the outcome.  I think I am going to add some fringe to the scarfs....and maybe a little puff ball to the end of the pink hat.  Oh!  and hand-stitch quilting!  That'll take a little more time.
I wonder what it is about making snowmen that I find so enchanting.  I know I don't like being in the snow to make a real snowman.  Brrr!
Happy Quilting!

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