Thursday, January 29, 2009

Catch these birds

We were eating breakfast and looked up to see George looking through the sliding glass doors.  George visits several of the restaurants in the morning searching for hand outs.  

Here he is in all his glory.  The second day, George got lucky because people at an adjacent table left some food out for him.  He rather turned his beak up at the eggs but chowed down on the toast.  Can't blame him re - eggs.... he probably isn't much of a cannibal!  

When we were at the Mayan ruins of Tolum we noticed this bird up in the trees.

  Didn't get exact name of him but he is some type of jay.  

While wandering the streets of Key West we found 

They were just hanging out.  Should have taken more pics of them but did get this showy guy. 

When we got home our birds had eaten through the seed in the feeder and were very happy when we refilled it.  Of course, I don't think they like this bird seed as much as the stuff we had been buying.  They seem to pick out the sunflower seeds and leave the rest.  

I am working on a postcard swap for one of the groups I am in.  I hope to have it done today.  I've done the back, put on a base fabric so just need to decorate.  I might even try a bead or two -- I bought some.  It may make it difficult to mail though.  I'll keep you posted.  

I've also been knitting like crazy.  I am working on a new pair of socks while listening to a book on my mp3. But, I should be watching Mama Mia from Netflicks.  Maybe this morning.  

Happy quilting all!  Bonnie

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ruler Control

One of my Christmas presents this year was a fantastic hanging ruler holder.  Pat does a bit of  woodworking and made this for me.  I showed him several different ruler hangers and he came up with this one.  It is fabulous!  I've held off sharing it with you all because Jenny got one for Christmas... had to keep it a secret.  (Of course, she complained that she didn't have enough rulers to use it!)  

Anyway, this hangs near my cutting table so it is very convenient.  I try to put smaller rulers into it.  It isn't so good for my 12.5" square ruler which is stored in a desktop ruler holder.  But the 6 x 24" works fine as do a bunch of smaller rulers.  (I admit, I am a ruler junkie! I have ones I haven't even used hanging around!) 

Jen made this Weaver Fever quilt for a friend's baby recently.  Little did she know it was going to turn out huge!  It is shown here on a queen-size bed here!  It turned out so well.  I know that Ashley (the mom) and Alana (one of the babies) love it.
She did a great job with the colors.  (And, I begged scraps which she generously shared with me!) 

Snow is coming down and is suppose to change to sleet so i will be staying home today.  Good chance to clean up the studio and do some sewing!  I haven't really sewn since before my vacation.  

Happy Quilting All.  Bonnie 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Something For Every One

Here's a few pictures for all the family.  At the beach in Clearwater Beach there were a series of turtles romping around.  So, Jenny, FEAR THE TURTLE!  Right. How can anyone fear these cute little guys.  They cavorted over a beautiful white, sandy beach.  But, a picture of that will have to wait for another post. 

When we got to our hotel I couldn't help taking the following pictures for Brian. (gag, cough, sputter... yuk!) 
So, Brian, against my better judgement I add the ultimate Ohio State car.  

No one could doubt this guy's allegiance.  I'm glad it didn't break my camera. 

And, Kevin, here's a place for you to visit when you get to Key West: Sorry, we didn't go in for a drink.  

We were aimlessly walking around Key West wondering if the clouds were going to open up and drench us.  Luckily they didn't -- only a few sprinkles.  And, honestly, the weather was cool at best.  What else could we do but go get a delicious piece of Key Lime pie.  YUM! 

Aimee -- I was hard pressed to find anything to show you.  But, wait, I found the perfect thing.  Hand prints on a temple in the Mayan ruins of Tolum.  The guide said this building was probably brightly painted during the time of the Mayans.  The civilization melted into the area around 1000 AD, although the surrounding Mayan culture seemed to fade around 1400 to 1500.  So, check out these hand prints! Hum, not that visible.  It's the two red blobs to the left of the doorway.  And, they really do look like handprints.  

I'll be adding some more pictures over the next few posts.  It was so great to get away from the cold and the snow. So just to put it all in perspective,  this is our local lake, Lake Wallenpaupack.  I stopped to take some pictures on my way home from my hair cut. Temperature was about 18.  So, honestly, clouds and temps in the 60s were great.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back Home

We made it home last night around 9 pm.  It was a long day.  We were off the cruise ship, through customs and had our bags in hand by about 9:15 am.  Wow.  I was so impressed with Royal Carribean's embarkation and de-embarkation. I can remember long lines and waiting from previous trips so this was a nice surprise.  The sad part of the whole trip is it was basically cooler in Tampa, Key West and Cozumel than what is normal.  We didn't try swimming although there were some who were on the ship.  Evidently  there were freeze warnings in Tampa while we were on the ship.  Of course, 60º was a whole lot better than the 10 to 20º back in PA!  

I will be posting some of our pictures during the next few days.  But, for now I need to get to bed. Tomorrow will be a quilt day ... the first sewing day for over 10 days.  I did think about quilting while gone but didn't take anything to sew on.  I got about 3" of one sock done.  

Take care all.  Happy quilting. Bonnie 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Vacation Time

Yes, we finally made it out of the 0 degrees into the sunny climes of Florida. Although, it wasn't really warm yesterday ... we still had out long sleeves turtlenecks and sweaters on. Today it is glorious. I'll be going outside to read at the pool soon... but probably no bathing suit!
Here's yesterday's sunset! We were enjoying it at the bar with wine and shrimp.
I've been taking some pictures to share with all when I have lots of time to upload and edit. Tomorrow we board our cruise ship.
No quilting .... but I did hit Rainbow's End. It was an amazing quilt shop!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vacation Time Is Close

A note from the chilly northeast. Tomorrow night we leave for vacation!  Yahoo!  We're driving 3 hours to the airport but will stay overnight.  In the almost wee hours of the morning we are catching a flight to Tampa, Fla.  (I'm old fashioned hence the old 3 letter abbreviation!)  We will be staying for two nights in Tampa with a car.  Pat seems to think we should eventually winter in Florida somewhere and this would be a good chance to see some places.  I'm not so sure about that although I think he is right that wintering in the Poconos may be a bit too much! 
Then we are getting on this ridiculously large ship and cruising for 5 days or so.  Actually, it isn't as bad as some of the big ships -- only 2400+.  Some of the newest ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet are 5400 if two people are in each of the 2700 cabins.  Good grief.  No thank you.  Back to our cruise.  We will be visiting Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.  We have signed up for an excursion to view some ruins in Cozumel so hopefully I'll be well versed on them when I get home.  

Today's goals are to get all the "to go" laundry done, in other words, anything that might possibly go with us.  I also need to make a photo cd of pictures we took on a fabulous cruise/tour in Alaska. I've owed this to Barb for years. Barb and Bob were great traveling companions. (Where are we going next guys?)  How's this for a change of pace ship?  Only 84 passengers.  We cruised the inner passages of Alaska and spent time at an inn in Denali.  I would go with this cruise line again in a heart beat and lots of money.  But every penny was worth it! Cruise West started in Alaska but now has quite a few small ships in the Orient and around Belize also.  (Darn that stock market!!) 

I don't know if I will spend any time looking at quilt stores in Tampa.  Maybe.  I know I will skip the yarn shops for sure though!  I have enough projects for the time being.  I am planning to return some yarn I got Monday.  I just don't think it makes sense to knit something as a gift that needs to be hand washed and laid flat to dry.  Too much work for the gift recipient.  

Darn... I thought the snow had stopped for the day.  I can see a bit of blue sky.  But I also see huge (quarter-sized) flakes coming down.  Some is being blown off the trees but not all of it. STOP snow.  Isn't it bad enough that the predicted low is -9º?  We aren't getting out of here quite fast enough!  

I will try to post next week as I can get my fingers on a computer.  I'm not taking the lap top. But I have two good size memory cards for the camera!  

Happy Quilting All    Bonnie 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Musings on Snow and Crocheting

Here's a pic on the drive home on Sunday.  Looks pretty bleak to me.  Although at least in the country the snow is clean.  Yesterday I hit the "big" city and noticed the snow is just yucky to look at around the various shops I was at.  I'm really thrilled -- Kevin gave me a new iPod shuffle for Christmas (my old one had died.) While shopping yesterday I found a car charger and wall charger to use with it.  Yippee. I need to load it up soon! I went wild shopping although not much will be reported here.  I did get a cool bottle of heart sprinkles!  And some beads to try to add to a quilt or something like that.  And more batting to have on hand. 

I am going to venture out to my Wednesday Quilting group.  We haven't met for a month mostly due to crummy weather.  It is so cold today that I wonder how warm it will be there -- even  with the heat turned on.  My home thermometer says 7º while my computer weather report says 6º. Either way it is cold!  I'm going to bring the Carousel Horse and baste it so it will be ready for quilting whenever I am.  

I'm not sure what else I'll bring ... possibly an old ripple afghan to crochet.  I found it in a box of yarn and decided I needed to add enough to make it kid sized and then give to Project Linus.  It was burgundy and beige, obviously using yarn that was left over as I am out of the beige.  I got two skeins of navy blue and will put some blue on each side.  It is really funny looking over this piece.  The strips aren't the same width.  The sides flare out because evidently I added stitches.  But, it will be fine by the time I finish it and someone will love it.  

I'm off to hit the shower, get the backing ironed, cut a piece of batting and gather the supplies. 

Happy Quilting All.   Tomorrow I'll be at home quilting away as another snow storm is predicted... only 1 to 3".

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Fabric Wow!

While on our weekend in Maryland I hit a quilt store and a yarn store.  Today I'll share the fabric purchases I made at Cotton Seed Glory.  The pinks are an attempt at Double Pink as described by Bonnie Hunter at  I want to make her mystery quilt Double Delight.  Of course, I'm not doing it as a mystery.  I want to make it a bit smaller -- like wallhanging size.  So I figured I could wait til the end and then figure out what I needed from there.  So this is the beginning.  Bonnie used cheddar, indigos and shirting.  I'm going to be making some changes but I do like that cheddar. Do I have any cheddar?  Probably not but I'll look before I shop!  The burgundy in the background is the sashing for the million brick quilt. (So named by me!)  I haven't decided how big to make that but at least I have enough of the sashing to make it huge should I want to.  (Probably don't want to!) 

I also bought some darker batiks to go with a group I am working with.  These will blend right in with my planned quilt.  It is basically a big nine patch gone funky.  I am using a pattern from McCall's Quilting Feb. 2009.  It has beading on it and is suppose to look "beachy." I don't need the beads but I may actually put some embellishments on after I get the quilt done. That is my priority for February.  

Here are all the fabrics I plan to use on this quilt.  Yummy.  I haven't made a whole quilt from batiks yet but I'm looking forward to working with these.  They will be a joy to work on as winter continues. 

I have been so frustrated uploading my pictures today.  Maybe some of you bloggers would know the answer to this question.  I uploaded the picture of the 4 turquoise fabrics at least three times today because as I manipulated all the photos I lost that one.  My question is there a way to get this photo back without reloading it?  I know they go somewhere.  The question is where and how can I get it back.  

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Kevin!

We drove down to Maryland to celebrate Kevin's birthday and our family Christmas.  As Kevin said, Sticky Rice is Asian fusion.  Ok, it was sushi to me!  Here we are: Aimee, Brian, Jenny, Bonnie, Kevin and Pat.  

We started with a pail of tater tots.  Yep, you read correctly, tater tots. They were fabulous.  We had a spicey dipping sauce.  After the six of us dove in (with chop sticks) this is all that was left. Yummy! 

Isn't the presentation beautiful.  This was Shrimp and Crab with rice and cucumber ... wrapped in seaweed.  (Seaweed?)  Actually it was pretty good.  

What I liked best was the Sticky Ball ... don't remember what was in it but it too was yummy.  

We were seated upstairs next to a window looking down on H St. in Washington, DC.  It was the best entertainment I've had in weeks!  Tow trucks were towing cars in the parking lot across the street.  People would drive up and double park to run into the various little restaurants and take out places.  The street was teeming with people.  A lot of fun to watch all the goings on.  

Before we got to Kevin's house I did go shopping at Cotton Seed Glory a great quilt shop in Annapolis.  If you are in the area this is well worth the trip.  I'll post my purchases over the next few days.  

Happy Quilting all!  I won't be back to the sewing machine until Monday morning.  Tomorrow we have our drive home.  We'll be wondering how much snow has fallen in the Poconos as we drive home.  Bonnie 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Trespasser! Stop Thief!

I heard something while I was up in the studio... not sure what it was but came downstairs to investigate and noticed this trespasser on a chair on the balcony off the great room.

He was a pretty cool character.  He scampered off and on the chair a few times and then decided to make for the food. (aka, bird feeder.)  We've lived here for 8 months and the squirrels had not come on the balcony.  There are no stairs to the ground so this intrepid explorer had to go straight up a metal pole.  Yikes. 

You have to look carefully to find him in this picture.  Check out the upper right corner... a bit of leg and tail is showing as he goes over the hanger.  He was on top of the feeder for a moment or two but finally figured out I was inside taking photos of him. 
Here he is back in the safety of his tree.  Notice that nice red spot on his back?  That's the only way I can tell him from the others.  He's a brave guy but finally I yelled at all the squirrels hanging around.  I really don't want to be feeding them too.  I watched them scamper back to the tree and because I was out on the balcony creating a fuss they bounded in to the forest. One even went across the street.  Hum, an interloper!  

Of course if you go to the bay window and look out to see what is under the bird feeder.... 

My guess is the noisy one who looks like he is bossing the other squirrels is the explorer. (Upper left corner.) Hopefully he won't explore up on the balcony any more. HAH! Surely I jest!  

The last two days
have brought squishies to the house!  Yee Haw. I won a drawing at Roberta's blog and the fabrics arrived today.  One has already been added to the current scrap quilt pile.  The others are being tucked away for future Project Linus quilts.  Isn't that a neat light ... looks like a granite counter top.  

The other squishy is for a group I am in.  I'll post photos and explain it in a future post.  
 Happy quilting all... and stay warm!  Bonnie 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Skating Rink?

No that's just the driveway after more snow, sleet and rain.  Yikes. I don't think I'll be getting the mail today! Most of that is ice!  And now at 3:00 pm it is grey and bleak looking.  Yuck. I don't hear rain/sleet/snow hitting the roof so maybe it is done for the time being.  But, I think it is suppose to snow again tomorrow. The good thing is I do hear snow plows around.  We'll see if Pat can get the car up the driveway.  Fun.  

Here is the Carousel Horse quilt top -- all sewn together.  It is 40" wide so I doubt I'll put any borders on it.  The fabric I have for the backing is about 42" wide so this is going to be tight.  I may bind it with the green. (The backing is the stripe.)  Although I may decide to use bias on the binding and use some of the stripe.  It would look cool.  

Now I am focusing on getting some other tops further along.  Specifically a mystery quilt with a million pieces.  Marge says no but .... I know better than that.  Specially since I'll probably make it bigger than what I originally thought.  

I have one more day to get all the ornaments off the tree.  We will be down in Maryland to celebrate Kevin's birthday and Christmas.  Lucky thing is the weather reports that both Friday and Sunday should be dry.  Of course, Sunday is a long time away so who knows what it will do on those days!  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sweatshirt Done!

Here's the picture of the When Pigs Fly sweatshirt I finished the other day.  This will be very cozy during these cold winter months.  And most of my decorated sweatshirts have been worn so many times they look thread bare!  But, it is hard to retire those old ones... but may be I will as I make a few new ones.  

Saturday I got quite a bit of quilting done.  I am working on one of Mysteries for Relay mystery quilts.  It has a million 1 x 1.5" blocks in it.  The blocks are strip pieced so it is taking less time then I thought it would.  I am still making blocks for the Carousel Horse quilt.  I've decided I need only 5 more blocks and then it is getting sewn together, bordered and basted.  I'm hoping to have it done some time this month.  This is a Project Linus quilt and I need to have it done before the next blanket day. 

This little bird visited the feeder on New Year's Eve day.  It was cold and really windy outside. He came and sat in the feeder for quite a while.  He looks wedged in there.  We will be traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks and I know the birds are going to be upset with us.  We fill the feeder every day so they will be hungry when we're gone for three day weekends and our one week vacation that is coming up in two weeks.  And, below the feeder the squirrels gather to eat what the birds drop.  This is one of the few places we've put our feeders that the squirrels haven't been able to get to it. 

Tomorrow laundry will be calling my name and some vacuuming (ugh.) But I hope to get all the carousel blocks finished.  And, perhaps some of the mystery quilt blocks too.  

Happy quilting all! Bonnie

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Day Out

Pat and I decided to go out today.  We drove to Wilkes Barrie (which is farther than our normal shopping area.) I was searching for a Bed, Bath and Beyond because I wanted to buy some more reed diffusers. Have you tried them yet?  I have one that is made by Yankee Candle.  Used it for more than 8 months and it still smells great.  I bought another brand to put in our walk in closet and after a month or two I can't even smell it.  Anyway I bought two more of the Yankee Candle variety.  I'm taking the lilac one to the studio and haven't decided where to put the other.  Maybe the closet.  

We also visited Staples to have a pattern printed at 200%.  I'll share more info about this possible quilt once I decide if I can make it or not.  Last thing I picked up was a cable to connect my mp3 to my mini speakers.  I used the one that came with the speakers in my car.  How cool is it to hook up my mp3 directly to the car?? Very cool.  With the new cable I can also hook it up to my speakers and listen to audio books from Net Library.  (hey, maybe I'll finish the book I started 2 months ago.) 
Then we had a great burrito somewhere... I can't remember the restaurant's name.  Did a bit more shopping before we went to a movie. If I haven't mentioned it I was a school librarian for 15 years or so.  And, I love kid's books.  Don't read them as much as I did but wanted to see The Tale of Despereaux, the movie adaption of Kate DeCamillo's Newbury award winning book.  It was a nice picture.  Come on, how exciting could it be with a G rating!  But we both enjoyed it and got a few laughs.  The book is great for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, especially as a read aloud.  Pat's a trooper to go these shows with me.  

I've got a finish to share but no photos until tomorrow.  I completed the sweatshirt and it turned out great.  I was happy to use some buttons from my button collection.  I'm also stitching down the binding on a lap quilt.  

Today's photo is from the town of Milford, Pa.  We visited this summer and had to get a picture of the trash can with the quilt design.  Pretty cool.