Saturday, February 16, 2013

Laptop Withdrawls - oh no! (Patagonia, AZ)

I finally did it...I fried my laptop...darn, talk about feeling like a fish out of water.  Dan was able to save my hard drive, so all my work is not lost, thank goodness!  Dan also researched laptops for me.  Dan knows I love my graphics, photos, and that I do a lot of multi-tasking between a lot of different softwares.  He found a great laptop, but he had to order it online.  It will not be shipped for another week...deeeeeep breath....stay calm!  I will survive.....I'm sure!   In the meantime, Dan is letting me borrow his laptop so I can keep up with my emails.

This will be my last blog until I get my new laptop.  Fingers are crossed that it will be shipped ontime and on a speedy route.  I will try to visit your blogs soon!

National Embroidery Month
Who knew?  I know I did not know.  I'm glad I found out.   I'm a big fan of embellished quilts especially crazy quilts.

Embroidery has really changed and it has become quite popular again.  There are quite a few websites that offer free redwork patterns like Dearie Dolls Digis.  She does some wonderful work and probably covers all seasons.

I'm thinking of adding more embroidering embellishment to my quilts.  Of course, I'll keep working on my other embroidery projects like All Creatures Great and Small by Natalie Bird.


Tuesday Treasury
I know this is early, but we are moving on Tuesday, 19 Feb to Benson and I'm not sure when I'll post again.  So, here's a treasure filled with embroidered projects...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Patagonia, AZ)

Eh? What can I is definitely winter in Arizona this year.  I'm beginning to wish I kept more of my winter clothes.   We woke up to about a half an inch of snow yesterday morning.  I had to defrost the hummingbird feeder before our little buddy woke up.  As a matter of fact, there wasn't a single bird around.  I searched all the surrounding trees.  Not a single bird in any of them...hmmmm, I wonder where they all go on such a cold night...
fluffed up Housefinch
Once the sun came over the mountains, the chirping started and the feeding frenzy began.  Some of the little guys looked like they were having a hard time getting started.  Maybe we should serve coffee with their seeds then we can watch them ping off the branches!  Just kidding.  I don't want them to have caffeine headaches after we leave the area.
Pine Siskins and Lesser Goldfinch
It was our day off, so we went for a walk before breakfast. So here's some photos of our walk with lots of blue sky, sunshine, and snow....not too many birds...they were the smart ones...they stayed in their warm beds.
sunrays through snow covered branches
Dan wanted to look for tracks in the snow to see how active the area had been the night before.
We saw lots of little tracks - deer, coyote, bobcat, skunk or fox or both, and something so tiny that it only left two little lines in the snow.  Oh, no mountain lion tracks this time, but he is still around.
a misty morning on the Sonoita Creek
The green watercress in the creek added a lot of contrast to the white snow and blue sky.
Sonoita Creek
Sonoita Creek
Okay, so I'm posting too many photos of the creek.  I can't help it.  I just love the way the snow changed the creek's area.
Sonoita Creek
The Railroad trail had a mystical feel to it....very enchanting and so quiet.  We saw only one deer and no javalina.
snow covered path
very inviting
Last photo....
the end of our walk
On The Cutting Board
Another quilt top ready for layering!  This one is fitting for today's theme - A walk in the woods quilt.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Have Tweet Will Twitter (Patagonia, AZ)

These are my favorite Twittering buddies. Which ones?  ...all the ones with feathers, of course!
Have you heard the latest tweet?

The 50 Megaton Tweet by R. C. Wade

The 50 Megaton Tweet
This is a quick read of 68 pages.  The author mixes documentary facts on the fast-growing social media with a "what if" scenario that causes a devastating chain reaction.  This isn't one of my usual reads.  I like reading books that takes me away from daily problems, but this book is worth reading.  I think anyone that spends a lot of time using the social media should read this book.  I have learned a lot about the impact social media has had on our daily lives.

What if a tweet and a video were sent out showing our President had been shot with no confirmation from anyone in the White House?  What if another senator tweets that the President has been shot and another tweet spreads there is a government conspiracy?  We know from the past that leaked information can spread like wildfire, but how would we react if we received this news?  

What follows in this story is a chain reaction from news media to government to Joe Public to the World.  It is an interesting and scary concept.  I would like to think that we the public would not react in such a devastating way without getting confirmation from either the news media or our government despite our feelings of distrust for both.

I actually found the age of instant information and social media history more interesting than the story.  Such as the impact it has on today's TV news media and how our government uses it.  Anyone can become famous with a cell phone  and internet access by being Joe-on-the-spot reporter.  As we are finding out - absolutely nothing is safe from the public. Social Media's impact on our society has truly taken over the way we share and process news.  One thing that is prominent in this book is our lack of responsibility for not double-checking the facts before forwarding, retweeting, or re-posting online information.

Two more notes:  This book is written by an independent writer which means he published this book on his own (no publisher) through  Kindle and it is the only version available for now.  If you are interested in reading his book, you should be able to download the Kindle version to your computer or cell phone by installing Amazon's free app Cloud.
Also, checking information is easy with - excellent source for rumors and facts.

More Tweeters!
Here are some new photos of my feathered friends.  Mr. Cardinal has been hanging around quite a bit this winter.   He seems to enjoy the free meals that Dan provides for all the birds.
Northern Cardinal
Doesn't this guy look like a black Cardinal?  I cannot pronounce his real name so that is his nickname: Black Cardinal.  His chirp is quite distinct.  It sounds like a short dog whistle.  I keep expecting to hear his whistle and "here boy!".  I saw this guy a couple of times last year, but never got a good picture.  This year, the Phainopepla has been sighted quite a few times around the Center and on the trails.  Gotcha!!
The Preserve is starting to get busy with Birders and birds.  We have one unusual sighting of a Rusty Blackbird...sorry, no photo.  It has brought out quite a few Birders looking for that one bird to check off their life list.  I was sort of hoping we would not go through this again...oh well.
Eastern Bluebird
We have one more week here and we are off to Benson, AZ for a month.  I'm ready for a break and a change of scenery!
On The Cutting Board
I finished all the faces and now I have started appliqueing the Cuddly Critters quilt top.  Here's the Dog!  He came out better than I had hoped.  
One more paw and then on to the next face.....  Happy Quilting!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It Ain't Hog Heaven (Patagonia, AZ)

That's for sure!  LOL!  Dan and I ran into a group of Javalina during one of our walks.  For the first time, we had one javalina confront us.  
He or she trotted down the trail pass the others while snorting at us.  We believe the javalina was not sure what it was confronting since their eyesight is not the best, but they can smell us.  I almost pulled out the air horn I have been carrying in case of a confrontation with our mountain lion.
We were at the end of the trail's loop and did not want to backtrack to a crossing trail.  So, we stood very calmly and watched the snorting javalina.  Luckily, the javalina was a little confused.  He stopped on the trail, snorted a couple of more times, turned around and trotted back down the path.....
meanwhile, the other one on the trail just sort of ignored us so I got some good profile photos while he watched the other one going up and down the trail.
I like watching their noses - down....
and up!

On The Cutting Board
You are probably beginning to think I have gone over the deep end with starting so many different projects.  There is a method to my madness.  It is hard to start a new project without making huge messes and spending a lot of time digging through my supplies.  But....once a project is put together and stored in a baggy, I can pull it out wherever and whenever I want without stress of looking for certain supplies during our travels.  I might be overdoing the preparations of too many projects, but I have so many ideas that I want to get them packaged into kits before I forget!
New Mug Rugs Hog and Lamb
The Pig and Lamb are clipart designed by Fayette Terlouw from "Born in a Barn" collection.  I think the design will make for some cute mug rugs.
Just Chillin'
 I just love this penguin designed by Laurie Furnell. This is from her clipart collect called "Penguin's Pastime". I blew up the penguin to make it into a mug rug.  I'm trying to decide if I want to make the smaller Just Chillin' into a mug rug or a small wall hanging.

So, I have put together quite a few small projects for some handwork that will keep me out of trouble during our travels this year.
Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Half-Stitched Post (Patagonia, AZ)

We are down to our last two weeks here.  As usual, time just flies by.  Four months gone...gosh, where does it go?  I started doing some spring cleaning for our upcoming travels.  Today, I tackled the windows on the outside.  I plan to wait to do the insides after we move to Benson, AZ.  That way I can clean out all the Mesquite leaves and twigs from the window's rims for good.

During one of our walks, I stopped to wait for Dan to change out the wildlife camera.  While standing on Railroad trail, I noticed strange bumps on the bottom side of a limb.  I got closer to see the bumps were shells of bugs.  I thought it was pretty interesting the way they were lined up on the bottom side with none scattered along the top.
Mr. Screech Owl has been spending more time outside enjoying the sunshine when it is available.  Not too many photos of wildlife today.  I have been spending more time around the motorhome and office. 

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E Brunstetter
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club
This was a quick and easy read...well, except for the times I could not see because I needed tissues and none were available in the office.  I sure hope the visitors thought I had allergies, so keep a box of tissues handy towards the end of the story.  I'm not going to say much because I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I can say I enjoyed reading this book.

What's more scarier than offering a beginner's quilting class and having no one show up?  Having the most mismatched group of people sign up for your class!  That's what Amish widow Emma Yoder faces on her first day teaching a quilting class in her home.  Walking into her sewing room, she is greeted by a troubled young woman dressed all in black, a marriage-in-trouble couple, a young widowed father with his nine month old baby girl, a tattooed on-probation biker and a preacher's troubled wife.  So begins a very interesting human story with hopes that friendship and quilting will bind together this diverse group of people with a lot of Bible quotes and discussions of/about God.  Not as much quilting as I had hoped for, but it was a good read.  No sex or swearing.

On The Cutting Board
The raccoon and kitty's faces are done.  The bear is almost done and that will leave the dog.  I'm trying a different way to applique the faces to the quilt.  I usually applique the pieces to the top so the picture comes together on the quilt.
This time, I appliqued as much of the critter's face before I add them to the quilt top.  I haven't decided if one technique is easier than the other.

I finally blew the dust off of two pre-cut fabric packs.  I had cut them up last summer for Project Linus quilts.  One top done and one to goooooo.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, February 1, 2013

In Pecking Order (Patagonia, AZ)

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker keeps its distance from me most of the times.  At least far enough away that I cannot get a good photo of one.  I usually see or hear them in the higher branches.  Some have even dropped bark on my head...I think they laugh at me afterwards.
Ladder-backed Woodpecker - female
This female surprised me by landing in a branch hanging over the trail and a big plus - in the sun.  Yea!  I finally got a few good shots of her while she looked for food.
......and I stayed out of range of the flying bark too.
I like watching the different woodpeckers, but there are times when they can be very annoying especially the Gila Woodpecker.  Recently, I had to replace my hummingbird feeder because a Gila decided the plastic flowers were in his way, soooo he pecked them off which lead to drowning several honey bees as they climbed inside to get more sugar water.  I was an unhappy camper about the drown bees, so I found a metal feeder.  NOW, the Gila can peck all he wants!  That flower is not coming off.
same photo from last post - Gila Woodpecker
What got me started on the woodpeckers?  Well, yesterday our gate sensor that announces the arrival of visitors started going crazy.  ding-dong! ding-dong!  We looked out - no person....hmmm......Dan walked out to the gate to see if there were birds or an animal hanging around the sensor.  Yep, you guessed it.  The Gila was pecking away at the lens of the sensor and poked a couple of holes into it!  Goodness, Mother Nature can be a challenge and entertaining at times!  LOL!

On The Cutting Board
When I'm not chasing woodpeckers through the woods, I am busy getting some needlework done on the Cuddly Critters quilt.

The paws and ears are ready to applique, but I need to applique the raccoon's mask and add three muzzles to faces before I add them to the quilt top.

Embroidering the eyes was quite a job!  I should have ignored the instructions and appliqued the eyes.  Oh well, they are all done now.
When I need a break from the applique, I have been getting quite a bit done on the embroidery squares.  The designs are very tiny.  If I decide to make another set, I am going to enlarge them!
I have eight blocks done....
....and...okay, I don't think I'll count the ones I have left to do.  There seems to be quite a few left, but I don't mind.  It is a nice change of pace to sit and embroider these cuties.
Happy Quilting!

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