Friday, October 30, 2009

Natue's Paintbrush - block #9

Nature's Paintbrush was far more detailed than my experience with the previous block. The bees were for me the hardest part. They were somewhat unclear in the tracing instructions and then I ended up doing things a little different to match the illustration.

Fortunately Hulu is currently running "The Pirates of Penzance" which is funny enough to get one through the most tedious task. :)

I did more adhesive-as-you-go as you can see with this red flowering. I don't like doing that before everything is laid out in case I make a mistake but it was the only way to manage the pieces.

As you can see there was a lot of small pieces to trace...less satisfying than the first time...

The right butterfly is hard to see. The pink really is that light.

But still it is a pretty block.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Calvary Cemetery, Santa Barbara

My Great Grandparents (mother's side) and my Grand father (mother's side) are all buried in Calvary Cemetery and I always include a visit when I go to Santa Barbara.

Interesting history on Calvary Cemetery Santa Barbara.

It is an absolutely beautiful and peaceful place. This visit we placed a variety of tulips for all our relatives.

Arroyo Burro Beach (Hendry beach), Santa Barbara

I generally visit the same beach in Santa Barbara which prior to this trip I thought was Henry's only I this trip I have now learned it isn't Henry it is Hendry with a "d."

I wanted to know the history behind the local name:

Taken from Stan's Favorites: Top 10 Beaches: "Still called 'Hendry's Beach' by the locals, after the family who used to own the ranch surrounding this wonderful beach (the original ranch house still exists just up the street)."

I usually don't visit on the weekends and apparently never during surfing season (or there are more surfers on the weekends). The beach was crowded.

And now on to my next happy topic - the California Ground Squirrel. So naturally I loved them and it would totally figure that from what I have been reading they are pretty much a nuisance creature.

For supposedly being relatively tame they were disagreeable to photograph and wouldn't stop going into their caves.

I generally don't quote Wikipedia because of some questionable accuracy at times, but I did love the description on how this cute little nuisance deals with its main predators: rattlesnakes.

They are more substantial in size than our non-native gray squirrels and with their little ears and white spots; considerably more attractive.

Santa Barbara Visit

I got a break from the rapidly approaching Washington winter when I went to visit family in California this week.

The Santa Barbara airport is under construction so it was pretty loud out there. Air travel is so much more lame now with the removing of the shoes and your pathetic one zip lock of toiletries (yes, I had two zip locks on the way down with my liquids and Q-tips mixed - sigh) for everyone else in line to see or hear about.

Fortunately Santa Barbara security was so clogged for the return flight that there was no waiting in their very sad boarding (holding) area. Hopefully that will eventually be under construction as well.

Just some of the garden...

It was roughly 70 and sunny in California. When I returned home to Washington yesterday it naturally snowed that night.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Sharing the Solitude" block #8

So after about 15 minutes of trying to figure out the partial block and all the random huckleberries (but no bear snout) I gave up and decided to return to that block later. I realized I might understand this better if I tried to do one completely from beginning to end.

The tracing was surprisingly satisfying:

Trying to understand how the paper worked and what cut-outs went to which color was a bit more challenging. Fortunately there is a final product photo, but in the end I still had one completely unused color.

The layout was chaos. :) Hard to keep all the pieces behaving and in their place. Finally there was nothing left to do but just adhere it.

As you can see in the top photo it seemed to come together well. There is a small frog missing that will be in the left bottom corner and will overlap another block with a cute frog leg.

At Home in the Woods

So I have recently inherited my friend's block of the month "At Home in the Woods" kit. Her mom got it for her years ago and she never completed it and doesn't think she will.

I have actually seen part of this kit before. Another friend of mine got just one panel of it and did a wall hanging. It is way out of my range of experience or even something I would generally buy so I am enjoying the challenge of it. I have only done needle-turn applique, this is some tracing and adhesive style and then I have to free motion quilt around all the applique...there will be no witnesses for that part.

First I had to start by just trying to familiarize myself with the kit and try and figure out what she had already done. These photos are of the blocks that she had completed.

I have identified the block she was part way into and that is the one I will complete first I think before I start a new one. It seems to be this "Huckle-Bearies" one. I noticed for example the younger bear doesn't have his nose and when I opened the kit more fabric berries fell out:

Cold weather has come and the battle for the pellet stove has begun. Unfortunately rescue kitten (Emile) has about twice the weight (amazing when you consider the barely surviving waif he was in the beginning). The other day I came in and both Emile and younger kitty (Leela) were sitting on the pellet stove in a show down. Sadly no camera for that one. Fall is here!