Friday, July 31, 2009

I'll Be Away...

Yes, we're going on a road trip!  We'll be spending a long weekend at the lake.  And the dogs will be coming with us.  Here are some pic's of Prince the last time we went, a couple of years ago.  He loved the car ride, as you can see.  But the funniest thing was how he reacted to the lake.  Prince does not like baths, by the way - CAN'T STAND THEM!  But he walked right into the lake, stuck his head under water, and retrieved rocks, one at time.  Then he took each rock and deposited it on the shore.  It seemed he made it his responsibility to rid the lake bed of rocks.

Isn't this odd?  It certainly entertained him for hours, though.  Mickey has never been to the lake, so we'll see if he copies Prince.  And big Oliver (the Dalmation mix) hasn't been since he was a puppy.  I hope you all have a great weekend, too, and I'll be back next week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Little Bouquet Update

I'm having so much fun making this little quilt.  Here are my first five flowers; they are just pinned to the background at this point.  I took this photo yesterday.  This morning I made several additional flowers and cut some leaves (while I waited for the girls to wake up).  I'll take some more pic's later.

The flowers can be attached simply by free motion stitching, giving the edges a chance to fray a bit.  I'm thinking I'll layer the top onto the batting and backing first, and then free motion stitch the flowers and leaves in place.  That way I can take care of much of the quilting at the same time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Gifty for Me!

Whew!!  We've gotten both girls moved back home.  Yay!  We have lots to do while they're home.  Shopping.  Haircuts.  Eye appointments.  Laundry.  And fun, of course!!!

Meanwhile, look at the fun stuff I got in the mail from Wendy!  Wendy lives in Alaska where both blueberries and poppies are plentiful.  She sent these beautiful fabric squares depicting both!
She also sent some cool info about her state.
And YES!!!  She sent me Alaskan beer bottle caps!!!  She read in one of my earlier posts that I collect bottle caps.  I drill holes in them and sew them to funky art quilts.
These are certainly different than anything I have.  The colors and graphics are WONDERFUL! Thank you, Wendy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Low-Down Dirty Snake in the Grass

Or:  Why We Have Snakes in Our Yard

According to what I've learned in the last two weeks (since our Mickey snakebite trauma), there are two main reasons we have snakes here at Chez Wood.

Reason 1:  Plethora of chipmunks

Reason 2:  Plethora of drainpipes

This little guy in munching on a fallen tomato in the backyard.
I didn't know chipmunks liked tomatoes.
But they obviously do.  And apparently, many snakes like chipmunks.  And chipmunks like to hide in drainpipes.  The solution?  There are vented caps available which fit on the end of the black drain pipes, keeping chipmunks out, but allowing water to flow through.  Hubby will go to the hardware store soon and cap off all the drainpipes.

We're hoping the chipmunks will then find another yard in which to hide, and then the snakes will follow.  It's certainly not a foolproof solution, but maybe it will help a bit.  Meanwhile, Mickey seems to be totally back to normal.  He eats well, drinks well, and is perky again.  Yesterday he accompanied us to move Daughter 2 home from college.  Tomorrow we move Daughter 1 home from college.  In two weeks we move them both back again.  Lots of MOVING going on around here!

But I've had a bit time to sew, too.  I'm still working on my Little Bouquet quilt.  Plus I've been playing with some yo-yo's.  Don't you just LOVE yo-yo's?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sewing Again

I'm sewing again!  YAY!  I still need to sort a pile of fabric in my studio and go through some magazines, but the rest of the work is done.  Above are the background blocks I made for the Little Bouquet Sew Along at Cherry House Quilts.
And I've made a few more Winding Ways blocks.
Mickey seems so much better.  He woke me up at 5:30 this morning and led me to the kitchen. He wanted his chicken!  He'd finished the last of it yesterday though, so now he'll have to make do with dog food.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finding Lost Stuff

One of the benefits of thoroughly cleaning out my studio has been finding important things that have been missing for some time.  The TV remote turned up yesterday.
Today I found my container of yo-yo's that I've made from Cherrywood scraps.  I also found a missing electrical cord to a sewing machine.  Yay!  I'm almost done, too.  I can move around the room easily, no tripping, no stepping on fabric and pins.  And I know where everything is!  How nice is that!

Mickey Update:
He's drinking on his own now.  I can get him to eat, but not just anything.  He won't eat his dog food, but he'll eat chicken.  So, chicken he gets, until he's better.  His energy level is improving slowly.   His confidence is slow to come back; he's a bit skittish now, but hopefully that will pass over time.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Mickey TV, that is.  The local CBS station wanted to do a story about the abundance of snakes this summer.  Our vet clinic told them our story.  So last night a reporter and camera man came by to interview Mickey.  Hubby did most of the talking for him.

The guy in the green shirt is with a reptile relocation society.  He poked around the yard, hoping to find a snake to relocate.  He said if we see one to give him a call so he can come take it away.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Day at a Time

This photo is from happier, healthier times.  We hope Mickey will get back to this exuberant state soon.  Though the vet dismissed him yesterday, he's got a long way to go.  I haven't been able to get him to eat anything today, despite offering all kinds of yummies.  He won't drink either.  Finally this afternoon I bought a child's medicine syringe and have been forcing water so he won't get dehydrated.

The other two dogs are very interested but sense that he'd rather them leave him alone for now, so they do.

This afternoon, I'll take his little doggy bed up to my studio with me and try to work while he rests close by.  

Now, to more quilty stuff:
In accidently deleting my blog bookmarks, you have all helped me find new sites to visit.  One of the sites I happened on is Cherry House Quilts.  She has made the most adorable quilt that I have fallen in love with.  And she's going to teach a tutorial on making it.  I don't usually participate in "sew alongs" since I like to design my own quilts.  But this one is too tempting, so I'm joining the fun.  Check it out for yourself.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Patient

Poor baby!  We brought him home for the night.  We were hoping he'd be feeling a bit more perky, but he's still pretty pitiful.  Being less than 2 years old, he's usually the life of the house. But now he wants to be held constantly and he whimpers in your arms.  So sad.

This picture was taken last night, the swelling very apparent.

But look at the difference this morning!  The swelling has gone down dramatically!

We took him back to the vet this morning to get another day of IV fluids.  He has a way to go until he's feeling well again, but we feel sure he'll get there.

Some of you have asked about the snake, did we kill it, did we see it, do we live in a rural area. We live in a very populated suburb.  Our yard is divided by fencing into an area for the dogs, and a grassy, landscaped area that has areas of big azaleas, hydrangeas, etc. along the back. Hubby was in the backyard when the incident happened.  Ironically, he had put the dogs on the landscaped side for an hour or so while he used the weed eater on the dogs' side.  He was trimming back undergrowth with the sole purpose of eliminating hiding places for snakes.  He had killed a copperhead in our backyard about two weeks ago, and we've been concerned since then.

He was aware of the dogs barking, but that was not uncommon.  When he turned off the weed eater and walked toward the house, he found Mickey lying in the grass, motionless and whimpering.  He never saw the snake, but we're pretty certain it was a copperhead since he killed one so recently.  The vet seems to agree.

So the snake is still there, probably along with some friends and relatives.  For now, Prince and Oliver only go out there for a few minutes to take care of business.  We are researching ways to get rid of the snakes, but it won't be easy.

Thanks so much for all your thoughts, wishes, prayers, and comments!  You will never know how touched we have been by your concerns!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mickey Update

For all of you new visitors who dropped by yesterday from Blackberry Creek, welcome.  I promise this IS a quilting blog; my life has just been on a brief doggy detour this week.  I should be back to quilty chat in another day or so.

Mickey is recovering from his snake bite.  YAY!  I took this picture of him this morning as we transported him from the overnight emergency clinic back to his regular vet.  The IV catheter is under the green bandage.  The other front leg is the swollen one, though the swelling has decreased since last night.  (Click on the picture to see close up the difference in the size of his two front paws!)  Doesn't he look SO pitiful!  We hope to be able to bring him home soon.

3:45 pm Update:  The vet says Mickey seems to have turned the corner, so to speak.  He even took a few steps today.  He doesn't think he needs to go to the critical care unit tonight, so we will pick him up in  a little while and keep him with us tonight.  Then in the morning, he will need to return to the vet for the day to continue getting IV fluids.  Hopefully the vet will then remove the catheter and we'll bring him home tomorrow evening for good.  He will be on oral antibiotics, steroids, and also pain medicine as needed.  It will take 2-3 weeks for the swelling to go away and for him to be back to normal.  But, he survived!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We're Having A Rough Week

Our poor little Mickey was bitten by a snake (Copperhead) this morning in our backyard.  The vet is doing everything he can to save him.  We're not sure yet how this will turn out.  I'll update later.

3:30 pm Update:  Bloodwork just came back showing a significant amount of venom in his bloodstream.  The vet has located some anti-venom locally and sent for it.  I didn't realize that since the anti-venom is so expensive, most clinics do not keep it on hand.  The vet is worried since Mickey only weights 8 pounds.

7:30 pm Update:  His blood pressure dropped this afternoon, but once the anti-venom drip started, he seemed to improve a bit.  The vet wanted him transferred to our local Emergency Vet Clinic tonight so he could be monitored closely, so we picked him up and took him there.  I was pleased because he can hold his head up, which he couldn't do this morning.  His front leg is swollen to triple its normal size.   In the morning, we'll take him back to his regular vet for the day.  Hopefully, he'll have a good night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friends are Blessings

Here is a portion of another QuiltFest quilt, a one block wonder by Judy Cloe.  Have you noticed I always love her quilts?  The focus fabric (from which all the blocks are made) is on the left side.  Today we had our last  Guild meeting for the 2008-2009 year.  So many friends there greeted me with kind words or a hug after reading my last blog entry about Patches.  I've decided that this quilt reminds me of my many quilter friends.  We are all made from the same fabric, yet we're all unique in our own ways.  We fit together like a puzzle, supporting each other in times of joy and sorrow.  And if any one were missing, it just wouldn't be the same.

To keep myself busy Sunday afternoon, I finished getting ready for my quilters' garage sale in our living room.  I ended up having it this afternoon after the Guild meeting.  It was extremely successful.  Tons of stuff sold and the rest will be donated to charity.

Tomorrow I'll be up in my studio try to put my remaining treasures into some sort of orderly arrangement.  I hope to be sewing again by the end of the week in a clean, clutter free, orderly, happy studio.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Patches, Rest in Peace

You were a good dog, the best, and we will miss you.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Another Quiltfest Favorite

I wanted to share another one of my favorite quilts from our recent quilt show.  This was made by my friend, Tammie Black, and I LOVE IT!  This is a wavy cracker design.  Sorry for cutting off part of the border and all of the binding.  It was tight quarters to take photos!

Not only are the gradations of colors wonderful in this little quilt, but when you get closer...'ll see that she has hand stitched a different little item on every single cracker block.  Each item matches the color of that block.
Click on the pictures to see the baubles closer.
Isn't this so creative?  Tammy finished the quilt part and took it on trips with her searching for the perfect little baubles.

Now, for what I've been up to:
I'm getting ready for a Studio Clean-Out Quilters' Garage Sale!  Which means I've been going through my studio, item by item.  I'm so tired of cleaning and organizing the space when I know deep down that I simply have TOO MUCH STUFF!

I have so many things that I know I'll never use.  And it's time to let them go.  I'm selling tons of quilting books, upholstery fabric, storage units, a bookcase, trims, ribbons, and on and on.

My goal is to have the sale late next week.  I hope I make it!

Thanks to all of you for giving me new blogs to visit!  I've visited them all and I love them, too!  I'm slowly rebuilding my list.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i've Been Playing

This is a very subtle piece- can you see Prince?  The fabric looks hand dyed, but it's actually a commercial cotton I had in my stash.  I traced my Prince pattern onto the fabric, coloring it with colored pencils.  Click to see closer.  I like the effect of the fabric variations showing through the pencil; it gives it a transparent effect.

During the last year, one of my favorite past times has been reading quilting blogs.  Last night I realized that my quilting blog bookmarks went on for pages.  I began the process of deleting a few and organizing the rest.  While deleting one of them. somehow I ended up deleting them ALL.  Oh my!

So today I'm beginning the process of started a new quilting bookmark list.  So, a favor, if you please.  Do you know of a really cool quilting blog?  Comment here, and help me out!  Thanks.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

I hope everyone in the US has very happy day today!  Here's a little patriotic quilt top I made several years ago - it's only about 8 inches across by about 6 inches tall.  This is the very first piece I paper pieced.  Looking at it now, I'm very impressed with myself for attempting this as my first try!  So many pieces!  All that work and I never quilted it.  So sad.

I think for my next self imposed challenge, I may have to quilt some of the many tops, big and little, that have been patiently awaiting my attention.  Maybe this should be the first?
Now let me show you my new goodies.  I had a quilt bee meeting Thursday which included a field trip to a quilt shop in Tuscaloosa.  Since I'm not buying fabric, I don't even go to quilt shops lately - too tempting!!!  But I didn't want to miss bee, so off I went.  Beforehand, my parents gave me an early birthday present - money!  My mother knows I haven't been buying fabric, and she thought I might want to buy some for my birthday present.  I happily did so!  Even though it is a gift, I felt guilty!  Isn't that strange?
When I got home I found this lovely batik in my car.  I knew I hadn't bought it, so I let the friend who drove that day know that I had inadvertently gotten some of her fabric mixed up with mine.  Turns out she'd bought it for me after I admired it at the store!  I have such nice friends!  I feel rich with fabric!!!!  And love!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best of Show and Patient Updates

I wanted to share with you the Best of Show winner from our Guild's recent QuiltFest.  Unfortunately, my photo doesn't do it justice.  This is "Schizo Rose" by my good friend, Judy Robinson.  It is her original design based on a photo she took of a rose blossom.  I do wish I'd taken a close up of her quilting - it takes the quilt to a whole new level - phenomenal!!!  But click on the picture and you'll be able to see a bit of that machine quilting.

Judy is in my small art group.  I knew when I saw this quilt a month ago that it was something special.  I'm so proud for her.  And it was thrilling to see a true art quilt win Best of Show!  I don't think that's ever happened before at one of our quilt shows.

Update on my dad:
Blood work came back normal.  The doctor put him on an antibiotic in case there is a hidden infection.  His blood sugar has been a bit wacky lately (he has Type 2 diabetes), so he now has a blood sugar meter and is testing it daily to make sure we keep it under control.  I think he's suffering from a bit of old age.  I know it's not easy being 85 and slowing down.  

Update on Patches:
He didn't get good news.  The tumor is malignant.  The vet sent a biopsy to Auburn University to find out exactly how aggressive the cancer is.  Amputation is not an option because two of his "good" legs are not strong enough.  The vet said surgically removing the tumor is not an option either; it's really massive and it is involved with the bones, nerves, muscles.  The good thing is that he is not in pain.  So for now we will keep the leg wrapped and keep him happy.