Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This was actually taken yesterday morning...

Now Nim is slightly favoring his rear foot again (darn pad). But gosh what a beautiful morning. We were up so early I had to fight not going to bed by 2pm that afternoon.

I got invited to a party today which should be fun. Normally I am a bit of a homebody on Thanksgiving and that works just fine, but this sounds like an easy group.

I made PPK Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies for the party. I subbed chocolate chips for raisins and other than that I don't think I changed the recipe at all. They are a bit light on the sugar because I ran out and I refused to go to the store yesterday afternoon. Although the hummingbird protest outside my window right now may necessitate a trip today.   

I needed to bake them about 2 minutes less than the recipe called for and they are really much better after completely cooling or the second day.

I am also bringing Kite Hill White Alder Cheese. Vegan cheese that is. I don't even know where to begin about this stuff. Let's just say I am stunned. This is a rare party in which I am not the only vegan but I also plan on trying to get the non-vegans to eat it and give me their opinions. I was never a cheese connoisseur when I ate the real stuff, so I am hardly one to judge, but I found the White Alder really good!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and Whiskey Dick Mountain

I woke up this morning and decided that today was a "get out of town day." It was a ridiculously poorly planned last minute decision and with a late start (which turned out to work in my favor because we froze last night and I needed to go over Snoqualmie Pass), but around 10am we hit the road for Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Vantage, WA.

A couple of months ago I had filled out the online permit information, got a book on desert hikes for the area, and had started to actually plan a full day of exploring. The week I was going to go the area was experiencing thunder and lightning storms (when you see the photos you will see why I wouldn't be there for that), then it got into the hot of summer, then it was wildfire season, then...

Which bring us to today, November 20th, about a week before the facility closes for the winter. I was desperate for a little adventure and it seemed like a good idea.

Generally it was a good idea and I am so glad for the steady sun or we probably would have immediately left. It was icy, icy cold. My camera often didn't want to work it was so cold. My water froze in my pack. Nim's spit froze to the side of his mouth.

But we did the best we could considering how unprepared I was.

Eventually I figured out the "trail" to Whiskey Dick Mountain which actually was on my list to hike when I was actually planning this area a few months back. In this area there really aren't much in the way of trails. You are sometimes hopping old roads and sometimes just doing your own thing.

Suffice to say, the worst part of Whiskey Dick is not the hike itself, it is the wind. And based on the winds they are reported to get, I would say we got lucky. The Ridgeline Solar Trail (which is the route we took) even has a warning in the description of "at your own risk" and winds of 116 mph having been clocked there.

Basically the wind as it was just burned my ears and my cheeks and I suspect it wasn't particularly fun for Nim. It wasn't until I got home and looked at the GPS (because I wasn't going to take the time to consult it while I was up there) that I confirmed we actually reached the top.

What I am more excited about is that there was another peak in the distance that I now know is called Chinamans Hat Mountain. I will try for that one on another day.

After we reached the "summit" I made executive decision that we were going straight down the mountain to the main road rather than take the "trail" and then the road back. They were spraying something on a large section of the road that I really didn't want to walk by again anyway.

I think Nim had mixed feelings about this but down we went.

I hardly touched a fraction of this area. It was confusing to me at times where I could and could not actually walk. But even doing what we did, we walked a solid 3+ hours and didn't come close to seeing all the territory.

I loaded us up in the car with all these ambitious ideas of hiking another area on the Pass and visiting this new state park, but as my thighs and face started to prickle from the car heat I knew I wasn't getting out of the car again until I got home.

Nim is so funny. He did some thinking as we drove the rest of the main road and headed home (maybe his ears were prickling). I caught him watching the turbines quite a bit from the car.

By the time we were back on Vantage Highway he was sound asleep.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Fun Stuff

It is miserable raining outside right now but fortunately there has been some sunny stuff this week.

If you are following Panda Cam you probably got as excited as I did on Wednesday when you noticed both cubs are now in at the same time (the cubs were being swapped out up to this point).

Right when I finished the assignment I was working on today I heard the mail truck. My fat quarters from Web Fabrics arrived as well as more vitamins and supplements for Nim.

I ordered three packs with the themes "ocean" "hot and warm" and "earthy" and I love what I got.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt, "Daughter of the Forest," and 11-12-13...How Could I Not Know?

The Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt final clue ended up not releasing until Monday later in the day. I haven't been able to get back to sewing (more on that later), but Cindy has done a beautiful job finishing hers!

I love the bright colors of hers, and in this close up you can see the little pockets for the gift cards. Cindy and I will have to mail ours to Oregon as that is the closest Operation Homefront office. I am excited to try and get mine finished soon. I think it is very cute and I love the gift card pocket idea.

On Monday Nim and I went to the vet twice in one day. In between the two vet visits I got a little homework and not much else done. Most of the day was spent trying to watch him and get him comfortable. The diarrhea was finally getting under control, but he woke up early Monday with a swelled muzzle from some sort of allergic reaction. So we were off to the vet during 6am rush hour traffic. We then went back in the evening (during the evening rush hour...go ahead and laugh) for cortisone because he broke out in more hives.

So today has been blissfully drama-free. His face is normal. His poop is normal. And for me it was a day of homework.

Random things on this Tuesday night:

"Daughter of the Forest." This book is not in my normal reading genre (whatever that is for me). You might think that because I have lately been reading books about witches, vampires, and a magical circus that medieval fantasy should fit right in, but this book was very different. At times the suffering was so painful in this book it was overwhelming to read however I truly enjoyed the book and will be reading the next books in the trilogy.

11-12-13. I wish I had known this was some special lucky day today. Darn it. Nothing amazing happened to me, but since nothing terrible did either I will be content. My attention was called to this lucky date because of a special at Web Fabrics that expires tonight. Sorry for the late notice. Yes, I ordered. Told you it was going to be an impulsive month.

In the remaining hours of this day...I hope it is a lucky one for you. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt - Clues #4-8

Good evening! This will be my last post of the night. :) I am lagging on the mystery quilt and there is still instructions to come, but I am tired.

Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt - Clues #4-8 involved putting piles together that would represent each row (again I found myself missing blocks...I think I didn't quite follow an instruction correct). So actually the pile process was useful because by the time I put the rows together, everything was definitely ready.

Below is Cindy's quilt (not to be confused with the Cindy that wrote the pattern or Millie and Walter's Cindy in New York!). I love her bold colors! She actually is going to try and keep sewing tonight so perhaps we will have another update on hers tomorrow. :)

She did the blue border version and I did the red border version:

As you can see, I am giving up without even finishing the top yet. I love getting to see these versions next to each other.

Have a good night. :) 

2013 Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt - Clue #2 & #3

I believe I am now caught up with the clues released so far.

Leela and Emile have been rearranging my work every time my back is turned.

Nim thankfully is improving by the hour and is more interactive and busy. I will take it.

These are some of my clue #2 work:

I really like the white and the blue together.

Below are the results of clue #3. Somehow I think I might have done too many units of clue #2 and ended up having to pull some seams to rearrange squares for the design in the upper right hand corner of the photo.

But otherwise so far so good!

2013 Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt - Clue #1

Good morning!

Nim and I only had to go outside once last night so I consider that a good night. And he wants to eat today so clearly he is feeling better.

I woke up to 3 clues released for the mystery quilt. So with Leela by my side, sewing has begun.

Below is all my units for clue #1 of the Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt. I have never made a Cindy Carter pattern, but I am liking her instructions and so far no issues in the quilting. 

Not naming any names, but I seemed to be short a few white 2.5 * 2.5 squares.

I am doing the red fabric border version and my friend Cindy is doing the blue fabric border version so hopefully I will get a photo of her quilt so you can see the different options. The blog for this mystery quilt seems to be pretty quiet comment-wise so it is nice that Cindy and I can talk progress.

Hopefully more to come!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Block Party Quilters Quilt Show 2013

On Friday, Misha and I went to the Block Party Quilters Quilt Show in Issaquah. It has been so long since I last went that I forgot there were so many vendors at it!

Except for it being somewhat of a parking nightmare, the show itself is a lot of fun. I am hoping this photo shows the lower floor well. The quilts are well displayed and in most areas I could step back to look at them better. I personally like the ones that have a little story or history with them.

I am not sure if the above photo shows it well, but the vendors are on the perimeter on the lower floor with quilts on display in the center. One of my favorite parts about the vendors is just learning about local quilt shops I didn't know existed. I usually will try and remember them later for visiting.

Gossypium was there so I got to see the Downton Abbey collection (Andover Fabrics I think) which I was kind of excited about. I liked some of the prints for it and they look better in person than some of the swatches I was seeing online.

I am not entire sure how this works but there is also a themed section of the quilt show. This year's theme was red and white.

Today was all about the vet day. Not a lot of homework got done, but at least I think finally Nim is going to feel better.

I will spare you the details, but thanks to Nim it occurred to me this morning that it was time for new comforter and maybe some sheets.

Everyone was in a rush to break them in.

Ah Leela. Who knows what you are thinking?

The first Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt instructions should release tonight, but I am too tired. I will get going on it tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt - Cutting and Pre-Mystery Sewing

Today I did all of my cutting and most of my pre-sewing on the Quilted In Honor Mystery Quilt that starts this Sunday.

I did all the half square triangles. All I have to sew is the 12 pockets that will be built into the quilt for gift cards.

It is rainy and windy and so once again Nim has pretty bad diarrhea. I know it is worse on him, but it has been pretty miserable for both of us.

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

2013 Superbowl Mystery Quilt and Snarknado

I have been trying to get a little sewing done every night so I can clear some of the fabric clutter and start cutting pieces for the mystery quilt that starts this Sunday.

I finally finished the 2013 Superbowl Mystery Quilt top. And that is far as it will go for awhile. I will try and get a better photo next summer when we have sun again. :) I like it though.

While sewing the quilt top tonight I watched Sharknado. I don't have words for that movie, or the song at the end. I laughed at some parts that I probably shouldn't have. Even more entertaining than the movie itself is some of the online content generated in response.

PS. Yes, I did a search on Quiltnado. I will try not to over use it. Not as funny as sharks. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Work On the Superbowl Mystery Quilt (Finally)

Saturday we were hit with a pretty strong wind and rain storm. It was really dark most of the day. I figured I had two choices: homework or sewing.

Facing two mystery quilts in my near future I opted to sew (not a particularly hard choice since I didn't lose power either). I had promised myself not to have so many projects going at once again. My house is too small for the clutter.

I have two outstanding quilts right now. One being the 2013 Super Bowl Sunday Mystery quilt. This quilt lost steam when I realized I had a serious fabric issue with my focal fabric.

So my first order of business was finding a new focal fabric and doing all those blocks again. I do love that red fabric.

After redoing all the focal fabric blocks I was stuck trying to remember what I had and had not done yet on the rest of the quilt. Turned out I had a lot of pieces to finish involving scrap 2x2 squares. And I mean a lot. I remember now why I skipped that step.

But as of last night I have completed all the required 12-patch blocks. That took most of the day.

Today was a gentle weather day and we even had some sun. Nim had training in the morning and the I got him a dog bagel at Einstein Bros Bagels (formally Noah's). I used to get dog bagels all the time for Rusty so it was nice to see them available again.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday, Fish, and Fabric

Today was supposed to be just a trip to the fabric store (by the way, the third color is white even though it didn't photograph white)...

I ended up getting some fish too.

Considering I have both a "no new fish" policy and a "no more fabric" policy this could be signs of a very impulsive month. I know, contain yourself.

For my quilting readers we have 2 Mystery Quilts coming up:

November 10th:
(This was the reason I broke my no new fabric rule. I am not doing the Island Batiks challenge so the fabric shown are not from that line, but I will be donating it to Operation Homefront).

New Years Day
(VERY beginning stages - but I am excited to try this one again).