kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Did It!!!

I have FINALLY gotten together a website for my rug designs!

And the amazing thing is that I did it all myself! (with help from a very nice web building and hosting site called Homestead)

So please, if you have time, check it out and tell me what you think!
What can I improve or do differently to make it better or more user friendly?

I would love to have feedback (good or bad!)

I think this may link directly to the website!

And Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They're Everywhere!

Now that I'm home all the time the cats have taken over my life!
They are everywhere! And into every aspect of all the things we do.

When you come to our house there will probably be a cat looking
at you from inside the window.

And there could be one in the bathtub.

And on the woodstove! And they know to check in the winter to make sure it's not hot!

They are especially fond of the kitchen.
Getting a drink right from the faucet is the best!

A double cat centerpiece on the kitchen table is nicer than flowers.

And they can be part of a healthy breakfast. Everyone needs a little cat hair! Fiber in the diet!

But best of all they like creativity! In fact creatively keeping me from my work is one of their favorite activities.
Why would I want to sew when there's Sophie to pet and talk to?

And here's Deiter helping me draw Kathy's design to practice needle turned applique.

Best of all there's rugs to plan. It takes a whole crew to work on that! Now where's Mommy going to sit???
Joanne was writing in her blog about how much enjoyment her cats add to her life. I have to agree with all my heart! They may be small, but their personalities are larger than life.

In spite of the kitties best efforts, I did make a start on my rug.
OK, it's a very SMALL start!
I've been busy canning more pickled beets and now they are done.
Also did some of the last of the tomatoes.
Hope now I can do some serious hooking. Fall is coming! I can feel the difference in the air already. This year I'm looking forward to being home by the woodstove working on my

Enjoy the last days of summer!
Happy Hooking!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Busy Week

On Labor Day we had a small family picnic at Brad and Kami's.
Brad is the Grill Master! The ribs were delish! He made his own secret barbeque sauce.
There were only five of us but there was plenty of food and conversation.

My mother is the person you can barely see on the left. She made the deviled eggs and baked beans. I made the fried cabbage with spaetzle and the pineapple upside down cake for dessert.

On Wednesday I began designing my next rug which is based on
traditional Baltimore Album quilt blocks. In the picture I am transferring my rug from paper onto my transfer mesh.
I bought this mesh at the PA Fabric Outlet about a month ago, hoping that it would work better than the interfacing that I had been using. I like working with the new material and it's fine enough that I can see the design well and the marker goes through to the burlap easily.

Then I dyed some wool using one of the new dyebooks that I purchased. Surprise! The colors came out just right!
Maybe I should have been using dye formulas from a book all along??? Could have saved a lot of pain and suffering and wasted time, dye and wool. DUH!!!

These are the colors I plan to use in the rug. Not the most exciting, but then, album quilts are predominantly red and green.
I will be quilting my actual album quilt this winter so I am making this rug to go with it. Right now the quilt is with a friend who has a long arm quilting machine. She is basting the top to the batting and backing. Then during the cold months I will hand quilt it in a hoop.

Thursday was the hookin at Grant Street Woolworks. This is my official 'retirement' party. We no sooner arrived at the hookin when the Fedex truck arrived with my new floor stand for my hoop. I wonder if Linda planned that!??
Check the cake on the table. My favorite- chocolate with white icing!

Linda and Zip are chowing down on the pizza, snack mix and cake. Thank you sooo much, Linda, for the delightful party!

And here is Joanne hiding behind her latest project. She brought the most awesome bar cookies! She gave me a container of them to bring home. In fact I am sitting here typing with a few of them and a cup of tea. There aren't many left, Joanne!

Kathy is working on her project and ignoring the lure of the food.

Linda is doing the finishing.

And I bought !guess what! another dye book *with swatches*!!! LOL! Linda just got them in the shop a few days ago.

Here is a better view of the new floor stand. It has little wheels! And tote bags fit on the bottom so all your equipment can be rolled along.

Until the next time, enjoy your life to the fullest!
Happy Hooking!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Domestic Life

In my younger days when I was between jobs, one of my favorite things was baking bread.

I got up early and decided to make a batch of bread using some whole wheat flour that was in the freezer and needed using up.
I make bread using several different methods: bread maching (least favorite), used to do it by hand but it's hard on the wrists as you get older, in the Kitchen Aid mixer with the bread hook, and my favorite- in the food processor.

About 1/3 of the flour I used was whole wheat and the rest was plain bread flour. You can see the yeast proofing in the measuring cup.

The dough has been kneaded in the processor. I then take it out and knead a few times by hand.

The dough is now ready for it's first rising. When I got my yeast out of the fridge, I was dismayed to see that it had outdated three years ago. But I stirred it into the warm water to proof with a little bit of sugar and it worked just fine.

It was nice and sunny in the kitchen. The first rise only took about an hour.

The loaves are now shaped and ready for their second rising.

They were nice and plump in about half an hour.

Into the oven they go!

I use a pizza peel to slide them onto the baking stone.
It took about 25 minutes for the baking. Bread is done at 190 degrees which I check with an instant read thermometer.

And here are the finished loaves! Just in time for a mid-morning breakfast of turkey bacon and eggs over easy.

Here's the reality check! The big sink full of dirty equipment!

Why does having fun have to make such a mess???

While I am in the kitchen, Zip was not slacking. I found these charis along the street in Chambersburg for bulk trash pickup. They were just plain wood with grungy upholstered seats. I brought them home and Zip took the seats off and painted the frames. Then I recovered the seats and this morning he put them all back together.

The ones we have in the kitchen now matched the off whte legs of the table, but they were too wide to fit well under the table at the ends. These fit nicely. We will paint the table legs to match.

My gameboard table runner is finished! And doesn't the bowl of GOURDS look good on it? Gourds like these and many other wonderful gourd creations for Christmas, Halloweed, etc. can be seen and purchased at Grant Street Woolworks.
Now on to the next project. I wonder what it shall be!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Forgot to mention

I forgot to mention that Robbie is almost back to his normal health. He must have severely twisted his spine when he fell of the windowsill. The Doc gave me steroids to give him and they worked wonders.

He occasionally has a painful moment when he jumps down off of a table or chair, but he is much improved.

We are so thankful our boy is back to his usual loving self!

Busy Day, but lots accomplished

Yesterday was my first official day of retirement. Yes, it's true! I'm no longer working in the sewing room at Great War Militaria. Linda found a very capable replacement for me. So now I am a woman of leisure...well, kinda!

Yesterday I celebrated by finishing the hooking on my gameboard. And I got up with all good intentions of taking it to the hook-in at Grantstreet Woolworks. But...I got so involved in working around the house that I decided to just stay home. It's not often that I get the urge to do housework!

Zip got into the spirit also and here he is fixing the faucet in the bathtub with assistance from Deiter! What a good little helper he is!!!

And here he is helping Mommy, too! I'm getting ready to slice peaches for a dessert I'm making. He loved rubbing his head against the fuzzy skin of the peach. And look at the size of the peach! We got these giants at the Round Barn down near Cashtown.

We pulled about a half bushel of beets to pickle. A few years ago I took a fit and decided to sell my pressure canner at a yard sale. I had decided NEVER to can again! I had spent 30 years of summers canning and I was sick of it!!! Now I wish I hadn't been so rash. But I have plenty of big pots that will do the trick.

The first batch of jars is out of the water bath. I just love to see the finished canned goods lined up on the countertop!

I haven't done so many constructive things in a day since I was...well...lots younger. Now I'm sitting down having a quiet cup of tea and working on whipping the edge of the gameboard.
Over the past two weeks I have purchased several dye formula books. I don't know what my next project will be, but I know I want to dye some interesting colors for it. Right now I feel really inspired and invigorated, but that probably won't last long! LOL! I just need to make the most of my energy while it lasts.
Happy hooking!