Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Updates

Finally finished the outdoors top and loaded onto quilting frame.  The practice was going smoothly on my muslin piece so decided to try the top using same thread and settings. Ha ha, it was not smooth sailing like I hoped.  Barely started the basting stitches across the top and it was skipping stitches, thread broke twice.......  I gave up (was already drained from two hours of practice) and have not tried again for several weeks now.  Must get back to it.
 After checking what could be wrong, the table seems to be not level (I guess it settled) but could not find anything else that could be the matter.  Frustrating. I'll change to a new larger needle, re-thread, clean out bobbin case and try a different thread.  

When choosing fabrics for the top, my husband saw the beer mugs and insisted that fabric would be used for the backing.  I agreed but added a Michael Miller kona solid black to break it up a bit.
 Ha, ha never let your hubby help choose companion fabrics after choosing the focus fabric.  He saw the dismay on my face and just commented that it's a guy thing.  The quilt is for his friend so.... oh well.

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HUMMINGBIRD REPORT

The baby humming birds grew and grew until they were squished in that tiny nest.  Finally one day there was only one baby, next day no baby and I was in "empty nest syndrome".  Where oh where did they go and would they survive the rainy windy weather ? 
 
 Very quickly we realized all was well.  The babies stayed close by, we saw them buzzing back and forth in the trumpet vine, then resting in their Mulberry tree.  You could mistake them for bumble bees if not looking closely but they fly much faster!  Mom was right there, chasing off any other hummers that dared to come around the vines.

So, for now the little family is right here, some days they are seen buzzing back and forth across the horse lane to mesquites in the wash.  Hummingbirds do have a distinctive call we have come to recognize. As they grow it's louder so we hear it around in the backyard too.   
 For now it's a happy little hummingbird world out there.  We hope they will come back next year and make our yard their permanent home.

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Here is my motto for this week :  
Take care and thank you for visiting *:x lovestruck.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quilting Progress and Local "Wildlife"

Ha, ha, in reality there isn't much progress on quilting the top... Unless you count getting the frame unburried, then digging for a very easy first pantograph and a piece to practice on.  Meanwhile am I gonna loose my nerve to even start this baby ?  (((sigh)))  
 The quilt top is finished but i pulled it down before getting a photo. My bad, oops.  Will share next time, it turned out really nice.

 Cutting to piece a backing, I found there was a bad nick on my scissors making them chew the fabric.  Figured I had nothing to loose so used a knife sharpener.  It worked !  Nick is gone and scissors are very sharp.  LOL, who knew it would work ?

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Wildlife just out the front door, a resident lady tarantula lives in a hole at edge of walk.  This will be her third summer with us.  Female stays in her little hiding place whilst the males come looking for her.  The male taps his feet along the edge and if she is interested then Mr. Tarantula is invited in for a short visit.  Sadly, after mating the male dies.
Look close and you will see a bit of web and her front legs.  I don't know how she survives with her home being just adjacent to a rain downspout. 

My daily trip to the barn and here was this creepy fellow.  He was on the ground when i pulled up on my ATV, ugh almost stepped on him.   When I crept out with  arms full of hay he ran for it and I got out of his way!  Danged if he didn't crawl up the barn wall.  By this time my toes were curling in my boots.  
 After living almost 14 years in Arizona I'll never get used to these "big ass spiders" !

Now for the best part- Humming Bird report !  
Side view of nest. She attached the bottom to a low skinny branch and wove it into a leaf. The lighter color bits are tiny leaf parts from mesquite trees.  If I put my reading glasses on then my eyes make out faint wispy tendrils of spiderwebs (?) or is it poodle hair ?
 Have to wait until the nest is vacated for a closer inspection. In a way I cannot wait for them to be gone cuz I worry about those delicate tiny baby birds.  Mom doesn't sit on them during the day, sometimes we don't see her all day.  But with the heat I guess they stay warm.  Didn't see her on the nest until about 2 am this morning.  (Yes, I got up to check, cannot help it). LOL


Warming up outside, the babies have their heads up waiting to be fed.  Wish I could watch mom feed them but we don't want to scare her off. 

We feel very lucky being able to watch a little bit of this miracle.  

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Miracle In the Side Yard

Hummingbird nest in our Mulberry tree!  Hard to see the tiny nest and if I stepped outside mom bird zipped away. I ended up sticking my camera out the sliding door and snapped a few blind shots.  The nest is so tiny..... to picture it, think about a short bit of hollowed-out dried corncob.   
Can you find mom on the nest ?  Look down low, along top edge of the old chicken box.


 The first day we found one egg.  Second day there were two.  Size of my photo is deceiving, eggs are so small, smaller than a JellyBelly jelly bean.  Bottom diameter of nest is maybe dime size or a smidge larger.


We avoided going outside for several days but could carefully peak thru a window to make sure mom bird was ok.  This area was hit by two heavy rain storms and high wind.  I feared the nest would be destroyed but it held together.

This morning when I saw mom bird leave to feed, look at the miracle I found ! Bits of egg shell and two itty-bitty hatchlings.  Oh. My. Goodess.  
If I sound tickled and excited......................... well I am.

Moms feeding area,  Trumpet vines around side yard.  

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Beginnings of a quilt, started last week.  Mountain Majesty panels by Benartex.  Husband chose the fabric, it's an old line and was a long search to find companion fabrics.
                                                     
Not having a pattern really threw me. Benartex does not archive older free patterns, (most other fabric companies do). Anyways Pinterest was a great help for ideas.   Next blog entry I'll (hopefully) share a photo of completed top.
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Saw this on FB, it gave me a chuckle.
Some days it feels like I'm doing this quite often !

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Not Trying to Play Catch-Up

Wishing everyone a safe July 4 Holiday.


The high desert rains were on time this year.  First rain June 14 or was it the 15th ?  Anyway, it was awesome with all the good rain smell.  Another heavy drenching a few days ago, everything living was again rejoicing.

We lost our little Smudgie kitty a few months ago.  She is so missed.  It was a long time after she was gone I expected to look up and see her.  Now there are no more kitties in our home.


Little Poppet had a birthday in April.  He was about five months old when we adopted him.  So we decided tax day would be his birthday.  Such a joy this little guy is.




Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentines Day


Dragging out the old Valentine Kitty top for today.
Hope you have a good one.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Projects, Snakes & Puppies- Oh My !


 This pattern I just love, gonna be my next project. Dug around in my stash and pulled out suitable plaids, no fabric shopping needed.  Once started I want to get it finished.  Too many UFO's in my closet.

Found a beautiful print to use as a quilt back for a kit I have stashed.  Colors are more of a gold, camera flash washed it out.
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  Weather is so warm this week, it will be nice to sit out for a little while.  I enjoy watching Moose and Dreamer munch hay.  They grab wisps of the bermuda with muscular lips, amazing how they can grasp just what they want from a hay pile. It's like a kid picking at his brussels sprouts, Moose and Dreamer would rather eat alfalfa every meal.

My peaceful scene was disrupted when I spotted a strange object next to my chair. Right under the mesquite tree that would provide shade later in the afternoon.  Ick, it was a snake, a Coach Whip !  Better than a rattler, but still a snake. Something didn't look right, I poked at him with my walking stick and realized he was dead.
  Poor DH had the task of digging out Mr. Coach Whip.  He said the snake didn't have a mark on him, perhaps he died of starvation and cold because his body was stuck tight.
There must be another entrance to that snake hole, or was it a mouse hole? Did the snake go inside and find a chamber to turn around in? Maybe he caught a mouse, ate it and was too fat to escape. Oh my goodness, so many questions about the death of a snake. (((sigh)))
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Poppet is running, running. His black ears are flapping. Moose has his ears back, showing a little consternation over this flying puppy.  Dreamer is wondering when I'm going to feed him some hay.


Little Poppet is always talking to the horses.  Little does he know.... a bath and grooming session is in store for him.  Hope it's not a wrestling match. His poodle coat is still in the puppy stage, very soft, wavy with no matting.  But he will soon "blow coat" for adult hair to grow in.  I may as well clip him down before matting starts.  Plus, it's so warm now he's always panting.

No resting today, it's too hot now.  Have to wait for later when the sun crosses over and starts to tuck down behind Mustang Mountain.