Taffy in a box

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.

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August 2014
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June 23, 2014

Cat Bullet

Life continues

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 4:33 pm

Irish stud mare and foal

Mare and foal at the Irish National Stud

Well, I’m tired of the “bad week” post that was up for so long.

How about some good news?

My thumb is nearly completely healed! Yay!

Our weather continues to be cooler and wetter than normal! Yay!!

Which hopefully means not as many forest fires this summer!!

My lace shawl has met with a setback (Boo!), but I should be able to fix it!! Yay!

My Rockies team continues to lose (Boo!), but think of all of the excitement they bring to the young players that they bring up to “the show” for experience!!! Yay! And we don’t have to worry about that pesky “Will we or won’t we make it to the playoffs” issue. Um… Yay??

And the kitties both passed their annual vet visit with flying colors (and freshly trimmed claws). Yay!

So, all in all, it has turned into a pretty normal summer.

Fuscia growing at the Irish National Stud

What is new and exciting with your world??

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June 9, 2014

Cat Bullet

Letting go…

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 11:46 am

Last week wasn’t my most perfect week ever.

I only had about 20 hours (total) where I wasn’t fighting a weather-induced migraine. Which led to me not eating very much or very well, and to not drinking enough water and to way too much caffeine. And to watching too many movies. Well, listening to too many movies, as I mostly had my eyes closed.

My beloved Colorado Rockies are in the depths of a terrible slump to the point where I’ve hated to even have the games on the radio (even the radio announcers seemed to be affected by my bad week – maybe they had headaches too).

I’ve been trying to kill some weeds in my backyard and they seem to be growing stronger with each dose of Round Up that I use. Which is upsetting for me because I really had to overcome my usual “I hate to expose myself and my property to harsh chemicals” instincts. To spray that stuff all over and then find that it didn’t work very well was disappointing.

What does this have to do with crafting? This is a crafting blog, after all. Well, I guess that I shouldn’t have forced myself to work on a project when I couldn’t focus very well. I got really frustrated. Nothing seemed to be working. My blocks were suddenly all twisted or not big enough. My ruler wouldn’t stay still and I kept having to re-trim the blocks. And then I lost a stack of them for a while, which made me doubt my math ability. And then I cut my finger (badly) on Saturday. Yep… those rotary cutters really are sharp! I’m fine now, and it doesn’t really hurt unless I bump it, but it is going to be a couple weeks before I can really use my thumb again.

I will go on record as stating that I’ve never had to get a tetanus shot because of a knitting accident...

Sunday I went to a lovely “Sit and Stitch” event down at Wooden Spools. I had a good time and really enjoyed the company, but I was (again) frustrated to find out that I misinterpreted directions with regards to “loose thread removal” and was being overly critical with regards to block size. Apparently, I am now at the time where I should just sew all of the blocks together. I’m really trying to accept that, but I’m still wondering if I’m going to be able to make it work. My inner “Tim Gunn” has apparently gone on vacation.

I think I might put this project into a time out for a while. Maybe if I work on something that is a little more free form, then I can get my focus back. Maybe if I do something with some different colors, it will help.

I’m also tired of blog posts without pictures, so here are some random ones to make you smile.

Sea lions in Alaska. Hangin’ out on a buoy.
Sea Lions on Bouy

Bald Eagle in Alaska, flying over some lucky person’s house!
Eagle over house

My (as yet unfinished) Stupendous Stitching class project. Pretty Colors!
Stupendous Stitching

My jelly roll top, made over Christmas break. Can’t wait to do something with this!
Jelly Roll in batiks

So, this week is a new week. I’m going to focus on positive interactions with, well, everything, and see how that goes. Our weather is supposed to be much calmer, which will help. I’ve got yummy food prepped in the fridge and I remembered my water bottle.

It is going to be a good week.

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May 27, 2014

Cat Bullet

I’m still here

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:27 am

Well, I’m still around. I need to come up with some more topics for the blog so that it doesn’t disappear when I’m working on the same project for eternity…

Speaking of eternity, well…

I’VE FINISHED ALL OF THE BLOCKS FOR THE BONNIE HUNTER MYSTERY QUILT!!

I’m sorry for shouting, but I’m really excited. I took three days off work last week and just buckled down to finish them all. It took a long time and a lot of movies played while I was working. I visited Middle Earth, Hogwarts, A Galaxy Far, Far, Away, The Final Frontier and Narnia, just to name a few… Three days off work, combined with the long holiday weekend will result in a LOT of quilting time. I’ll have to remember that for next year…

What is next? Well, I’ve got to get the blocks all pressed and squared up. I don’t normally quilt with water in my iron, mainly because I’m known for distorting cut fabric with improper iron use. But steam really is the best for getting seams set and the blocks completely flat. So, I started steaming/pressing the blocks. While I’m doing that, I’ve been taking the time to make sure all of the seam allowances are lined up properly and that all loose threads are trimmed/removed. I’m about half way done with that. It is going pretty quickly, actually, but I did find a few blocks that I want to redo because they aren’t very straight (and, in one case, one third is completely reversed from where it should be…).

Each finished block should be about 9.5 inches square, and I’m extremely pleased with how well I’ve done with that. I won’t have to trim very much at all. This means that my seam allowances are mostly good and that I’m not causing too much distortion by the use of steam.

So, that is where I stand. I’m pleased with my progress so far, because the end is most definitely in sight. Which is a good thing, because if I ignore my back yard any longer, I’m going to be overrun by Triffids…

Everybody have a happy Tuesday!

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April 18, 2014

Cat Bullet

Where did that week go?

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 3:11 pm

Well, that was a week that flew by in a flash. Wow… I can’t believe that it is Friday already.

Not that I’m complaining…

So, there was a contest last week. The contest was to guess how many quilt blocks that I would be able to assemble last weekend.

You all seem to have a much more impressive view of how fast I can actually quilt… I only got 25 blocks done. I finished all of the “54-40 or fight” blocks. Now, the astute reader will notice that I had 38 of those done and I needed 61. The mathematically inclined reader will realize that I now have 63 out of 61 required. I did mention that I thought I was going to be short one block. But, in order to cut the pieces needed for one more block, it was easiest to just make three more instead. Quilter’s math can be crazy some times…

So… Who won???

Tami gave two educated guesses that involved math and logical thinking. I was impressed. And a little scared.
Ginger gave a silly answer that made me laugh.
Mom gave me an answer, and she is my mom.

Luckily it is my blog and I get to make the rules. I declare that Everyone is A Winner!!

Mom and Dad will get a yummy dinner at some point in the near future.
Everyone else will get a little something in the mail, soon.

How do you like that???

I should note, for the record, that if you left a guess and it isn’t recorded above, you might have gotten caught up in the nearly 300 spam messages that the last post generated. That was really weird. I tried to skim them all before I deleted them, but I might have missed them… just let me know. Because you’re a winner too!

So that is it for last weekend, just in time to end the week. I’ve made uncharacteristic “week-night” progress this past week, in that I have already sorted out all of the pieces to make the 36 “Block Bs”. I’ve even got four of them made already!! Hopefully, more progress will be made over this weekend.

And some pictures. Pictures are always nice.

Have a great weekend, everybody! What are your plans?

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April 11, 2014

Cat Bullet

Weekend plans??

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:19 am

Well, there is a “One Stop Quilt Shop Hop” up in Loveland Colorado this weekend. A whole bunch of quilt shop owners all setting up displays in a big convention center. I’m going to stay home, sadly. Well, happily for my bank account, I guess.**

** I’m not as virtuous as it sounds. The Denver National Quilt show is going to be held the first weekend of May and I am definitely going to that one!!!

The weather is supposed to degrade a little bit this weekend, so I think it will be a good time to huddle in my basement and work on my Bonnie Hunter quilt project. I’ve been working on housecleaning/tidying/laundry chores during the evenings this week, so hopefully, I won’t have to do too much of those.

Let’s have a contest, shall we? How many quilt blocks do you think I will get made this weekend?

To help make your guesses more “educated”, I’ll provide the following information.

1. I have all of the individual units made that will be used to make the blocks.
I think. I keep getting weird counts on the units I am using to make “block A”, so I may have to back track a bit.

2. So far, I have made 38 out of 60 Block A (the “54-40 or fight” blocks I talked about earlier). I need to make 36 of what I’m currently calling “Block B” and 25 of what I’m currently calling “Block C”. All of the A, B and C blocks are made by sewing together nine premade units – all straight seams, no angles. The units are “sorted” for all of the remaining Block As (i.e. no two units with the same fabrics); they are not sorted for the Blocks B and C. Those who are aware of my um, “nit picky” nature will be aware that the sorting process can be quite time consuming.

3. The only activity that I currently have planned this weekend is my usual Saturday morning physical training session at the gym. So that gives me Friday night, most of Saturday and all day Sunday to work.

Leave a comment and let me know how many blocks that you think I will make over the weekend. The person who guesses the closest to the actual number will win a small prize (to be determined by the identity of the winner).

Everybody have a super great weekend!!

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April 3, 2014

Cat Bullet

ipad fun!

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 4:30 am

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not really played with all of the functions of my ipad. Therefore, I present for your enjoyment… “Kalidocat!”

Kalidocat

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March 31, 2014

Cat Bullet

Spring Break Progress

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:26 am

Last week was my Spring Break. I had a nice visit with a Bermuda friend to start out the week. I took her up to the mountains so she could practice her skiing, and we also went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary! What a really neat place (with lions, and tigers and bears and wolves…)

After Rachel left, though, I buckled down and really worked hard on my Bonnie Hunter Celtic Solstice quilt.

It took me about 2 and a half days to finish the dastardly “Clue 5″ blocks. They were really frustrating… Then it was time to start making the big blocks.

The first big block is called “54-40 or Fight”, according to Bonnie. I know that is a history reference, but I can’t remember what it is. I’ll have to go google it…

I think that the blocks are coming out really well…
54-40 or fight

This is the time when all of my care and redoing of the blocks to make them as perfect as possible is going to pay off. So far, every block has gone together with relatively few problems (once I got the hang of lining up the white points…).

So far, I have 38 done (out of a required 61).
38 done!
Note: This is not what the quilt is going to look like – this is just the collection of one of the three types of blocks that I’m going to make. They do show kind of an interesting secondary pattern, though, don’t they?

Putting them all up on the design wall is starting to show me how big this quilt is going to be – the 61 blocks will be approximately one half of the quilt…

this sucker is going to cover the WORLD!!

ETA: Information from my Mom about 54-40 or Fight…

I grew up with the 54 -40 or fight statement because of living in Washington State.

The slogan, ’54/40 or fight’ originated during a dispute between the United States and Great Britain over the Oregon country.

Great Britain wanted the Oregon territories and so did we. The 54/40 is the latitude we almost went to war over.

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March 17, 2014

Cat Bullet

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:01 am

Celtic Cross

Happy St. Patrick’s day!

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March 10, 2014

Cat Bullet

150 (ish)

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:23 am

Shetland ponies in Ireland
Random image from Ireland… Shetland Ponies at the Irish National Stud

Well here we are, and I feel like I’m already running late. I really don’t like time changes…

I’m up to 150 (ish) of the Clue 5 blocks. I need 244 done. They are very slow, but I seem to finish them up in big batches (it is a production line thing). Slow and steady, I guess. The prewashed section was starched and ironed and then mixed in to the general population. I think it looked pretty good after its adventures, so if I can’t pick it out at a later time, then I was successful in my cleaning attempts. I gues we will just have to see.

We had a pleasant outing yesterday – we went to Golden for a nice lunch and then we tried to see a quilt show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Unfortunately, they were conducting a special event that afternoon, so we didn’t get to see the quilts. The poster was nice… I think we will have to try again some time. We visited the local quilt store, with mostly “Meh” results. I did find a really pretty red batik (with a pattern of poppies and birds) but there was a fair amount of mud/dirt on it. I’m going to have to wash it before I can use it. I also found a neat blue print. I’m pretty proud of myself that I limited myself to two 1/2 yard cuts!

Ah well, I hope everyone had a good weekend.

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March 7, 2014

Cat Bullet

Update

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 11:07 am

Well, once the quilt piece was completely dried and taken off of the linen/grey towel it was drying on…. it became bright white again. I still haven’t taken it downstairs to measure it to see if it stretched during the washing process, but one little step at a time.

Last night, when I could have been sewing, I was tracking down every electronic item in my house to figure out what was beeping. Three fire alarms and four alarm clocks later it was located…

Can someone explain to me why a carbon monoxide detector that plugs into an electrical outlet needs a 9Volt battery also? Very annoying.

Ah well, the batteries are all replaced and Purrcy can come out from under the bed now. He hated that beeping sound.

So did I, but I don’t fit under the bed so well anymore…

Everybody have a great weekend and remember the (absurdly early) time change!

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