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the cow jumped over the moon

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good things

Hello everyone:  I had to take a little break from some social media. And I'm back, with a few good things as of late:

Denise and I went to see Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks at the Cleveland Museum of Art two Sundays ago.  It was absolutely fantastic. I never got to see his work in person back in the '80s.  Gosh he was (we were) so young then!


I stopped by the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse on the way - what a serene and sweet place:


A few years ago, I promised myself that I would either use up a bunch of fabric I have sitting around, or donate it. So I started my first scrap quilt.  I am going to make a few minor changes to the layout, and I am a bit nervous about sewing it - I am not at all precise so we'll see how it turns out. I also promised myself that I wouldn't buy any new fabric, and I did keep that promise.  All I bought was spray basting and batting.  Once it's done, I'll post the finished quilt.  It's quite small - only 9 - 5" blocks by 10 - 5" blocks - it (will hopefully) fit on a piece of fabric I have had for years that I'm using as backing:




Another thing I have wanted to learn for a long time was fair isle/color work/stranded knitting. So I am knitting this hat - the pattern is here and yarn by Candice at The Farmers Daughter Fibers who I happen to follow on Instagram. It's quite fun and I'm happy how it's turning out!  Since it's my first time, I am really twisting my yarn a lot so I'm knitting very slow. Between the quilt and the knitting, I am checking the news less often, which is good for my mental health. (I'm still making phone calls, writing letter, etc, though)


And last but not least!! Happy Valentine's Day (early) to us!! A darling new flock of chicks!!!  It's so good to have chicks again - been too long (I think it's been over two years since we have had chickens   Robert reminded me that it has been three and a half years since we have had chickens! Wow).  We named them (and this is not in the order of the photo) Bettie, Hettie, Lettie, Nettie -  and Myrtle!  (I cannot stop laughing when I say "...and Myrtle!").  Beware that I'll be boring the pants off of you all by posting lots of photos of them in upcoming blog entries :)


EDIT:  If you have never seen a baby chick fall over falling asleep - well, you have to!! When we first had chickens, and saw that happening, I thought the chick had died.  Now I am laughing all the time when I see them do it.  Ahhh good things :)

procrastinating

What to do when you have too many tiny yo-yos and you are waiting for the rain so there is a reason for not going out in the yard to weed?  You glue them on the $1.00 straw hat you just bought:

procrastinating
fabric yo-yos
procrastinating

Robert and I are actually going to the movies today!  The theater in town is showing Mad Max AND San Andreas.  We'll see Mad Max early this afternoon, and maybe the other tomorrow.  It's almost as if we are on vacation! Having a full weekend off is wonderful. 

homemade truck bed cargo net

I deliver Meals on Wheels every other Tuesday.  I was inspired by my Mom, who at 83 years old is still delivering M.o.W. to the 'elderly' in her neighborhood.  She's been doing this for fifteen years.  Since I'm currently unemployed, I figured if she could do it, I sure could.  My Mom is such an inspiration to me!

I truly enjoy it and wish I could do it more often.  One think I don't like about it is that I have a pick-up truck.  It's a new-to-us 1997 Toyota T-100.  I love this truck, but I don't love that the two coolers that contain the hot food and the cold food end up at the front of the cab so I have to crawl into it every time I get to a new house, and pull the coolers up to the tailgate.

homemade truck bed cargo net

So today, after I got back from my gig, I decided to do something about it.  (I'll get to washing the truck one of these days - all the snow melted and we have a lot of mud.)

Remembering that I have a bunch of upholstery fabric, I cut off a 12" strip of  fabric that matches the truck perfectly, serged the top and bottom edges (the sides were selvaged already), then added grommets. Of course, I'm never precise especially with a pair of scissors so the fabric kind of arches up in the top middle. Oh well.

I had to drill holes at the bottom side of the plastic truck bed liner as there was no way to tie anything down on the bottom edge (but there was on the top - weird, huh?) and added screw eye hooks thing-a-ma-jigs.  I don't think I did the screw eye hooks thing-a-ma-jigs correctly; but they are holding, for now.

homemade truck bed cargo net

I wanted the fabric to stretch as close to the side of the truck bed as possible, so of course that meant that no bungee cord was short enough.  And of course because I'm really weird, I'm annoyed that the rope doesn't match the fabric!

homemade truck bed cargo net

I have no idea if this is going to work or not, or if things like grocery bags will slide underneath, but we'll see. It's a good start, and I know it will keep the coolers in place!

a very warm Friday

I needed to get some of our cucumbers into vinegar, so although it is nearly 95 degrees today, I made three pints of April's wonderful Sweet and Hot Curry Refrigerator pickles.

a very warm Friday

We do have a window a/c unit in our living room, and our house is quite tiny, so the kitchen didn't get too warm.  We have a bunch of Hungarian yellow peppers that need canning. I think I have found a good recipe! I'll post the photos and recipe once they are done.

I'm also working on more pennant strings:

a very warm Friday

I'm hoping everyone stays cool today!

working on some more pennant strings, and finding Michele

I'm working a few more pennant strings - these are the 9 inch ones, made mostly from Goodwill fabric (linens, etc).

working on some more pennant strings, and finding Michele
I was thinking about the TV show B Original yesterday as I really enjoyed that show, and I was wondering if Michele Beschen was out there, creating and showing what she is currently involved with.  And yes!  She is!  Check out her blog here http://www.borganic.net/blog/ .  Ahh that makes me happy!


our chicken coop

We have had laying hens for three years now.  Our original flock consisted of Hyacinth (an Easter Egger), Daisy (Buff Orpington), Rose (Speckled Sussex), Violet (Blue Cochin) and Bucket (Buckeye).

Poor Daisy died early on - I was a newbie hen owner and didn't take care of mites as I should have, and she succumbed to them.  She's buried in our little pet cemetery in the way back of our yard.  Rose we had to trade this year because she was SOOO loud that she was waking up our neighbor in the morning. (We traded her for a Coronation Sussex but that bird is so addle-brained - doesn't know how to roost and hasn't layed an egg yet and we have had her for two months - she's going back to the family that traded her to us.)

A little over a year ago, we got two bantam hens - Guinevere (Old English Game) and Morgana (Sebright).

We built (or should I say my husband) built our coop and run from scratch, and with nearly all free materials.  The only cost was the chicken wire.  As you can see in the photo below, I'm a big fan of cribs.  I collect cribs from the tree lawns all the time - they're great for fencing purposes too!  (The main door to the chicken coop/run area is the headboard of a crib)

We have since built another tiny coop in the back run area for new chicks, which isn't there in this photograph.

our chicken coop
(The fence was all hand-made, too - we bought a bunch of wood - various lengths and widths - and cut them all down to size.  Since my husband wanted to make sure that the fence lined up on the top, every single picket had to be cut to length as our yard is not totally level.  It was a HUGE project.  But we're so glad to have it so we can let the chickens, and our dog, in the yard without worry that they'll escape into the neighborhood.  The inside fence still isn't totally painted yet.  Sigh!)

After the above photo was taken, I made a little pennant string for the coop and took this picture:
our chicken coop

You can spy Patsy and Eddie (the ducks) in this photo - we had them for a couple of months, then were told by our hen-trading friend that they are both boys.  Sigh!  They now live with a family down the road who have a very large pond.  BTW, I will never own ducks again as we do not have a pond in our yard and they are very very very messy.  But darned adorable.

Garden veg and pennant string

Here's some of the harvest from yesterday - our allotment/community garden plot also gave us some English cukes. I'll be making spicy Bread and Butter pickles SOON. I also will be making some zucchini pickles but I need to find another zucchini (I'm sure someone around here will want to unload some! ;)

Garden veg and pennant string

Here's another pennant string - now I made this awhile back but am giving it to my friend P who helped me re-home a naughty kitten.

Garden veg and pennant string

Better get off the computer - our spare room/office has no A/C and I'm a bit warm! Plus I have too much to do!

Pennant string (garland) completed

My serger is wonky - I'm sure if I spend some time really trying to figure it out, I would get it.  See, some of the stitches are loose.  Usually instead of pinking the edges, I serge them.  But in this set, I used pinking shears for the edges and then just serged the string on.

Pennant string (garland) completed

Pennant string (garland) completed

These are traveling to the UK - my friend's sister's birthday is coming up.  Hope she likes them.  
good thingsprocrastinatinghomemade truck bed cargo neta very warm Fridayworking on some more pennant strings, and finding Micheleour chicken coopGarden veg and pennant stringPennant string (garland) completedGoodwill fabrics for pennant strings

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