Thursday, September 22, 2016

I "Like" Thursday, #1

Lee Anna over at Not Afraid of Color has started a new kind of posting entitled  "I Like Thursdays". So I thought I would join in.  

Why do I like Thursdays?  Well first off I get to put out yard waste on a Thursday.  This is a big thing to a gardener.  Very few municipalities collect yard waste and I figure if I have to pay really high taxes, I should get something out of it.  So I put out at least 4 cans of yard waste a week (there is no limit!!!).

Thursday is also the day the Farmer's Market opens.  Only a few blocks from my house, it's where I get all my meats and vegies each week.  It's indoors so the climate there is always comfortable.  We are lucky with this market.  It's open from Thursday through Saturday so if the kids suddenly come home or I forgot something, I can still run out and get it.

This past week, I finished a great book.  It's called The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts and I highly recommend it.  I don't know anything about horses and still found it gripping and enjoyable.  

I hope your Thursday is going wonderfully.  I'm off to do some hand sewing now.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hello September!

September means back to school--although many of the schools here are closing early because of the current heat wave.  It also means lecturing on a more regular basis and preparing for winter.  Today I will replace the batteries in all our smoke/carbon monoxide sensors as part of the winter prep.

Seamus is holding his own.  There are now doctors from three different veterinarian practices working on his diagnosis (still unknown) but it appears he doesn't have cancer anywhere. Here is a happy picture of Seamus from this morning, he gets a massage from our neighbor every morning and he loves it!

A while ago, I had fallen in love with a  free quilt pattern called "Trellis" designed by Lauren and Jessi Jung ;  instructions are here.  I had a layer cake from Moda called Farmhouse and decided to tackle this pattern the past two weeks.  As I worked on it, I decided to make it into a queen sized quilt and put it on the other side of Peter and Jessica's quilt (remember this---here).  They will have a two sided quilt then.  Here is the finished top:

Jessica loves aqua so I chose this border for this quilt.  The blocks are hard to see (it's cloudy here today) but they have a lot of patterns she loves, like polka dots:
and something that resembles houndstooth plaid.
Plus it has various other motifs (like cherries) and a few printed blocks that have the kind of things she likes on it (like mason jars, cooking and gardening things, etc.).  I hope she likes it!  

So that is all the news here.  Seamus had a slew of tests this week and we should begin to get results next week.  Keep him in your prayers if you could!  Hugs, Mickie

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another UFO Top Completed

A few years ago I made a bunch of Ami Simm's dog blocks.   These are the last 12 and I found them yesterday in the bottom of one of my UFO boxes.   I framed and sashed them.  I forgot how cute this pattern is!  Ami called it "Dog Yeared".  I don't see it on her website anymore so the pattern may be retired now.  Did I mention I made this years ago?  Anyway, it is a cute top and I'll have Terri quilt it.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Sewathon

It's the worse reason for having a summer sewathon.  My boy Seamus is still unwell and nothing has made him better so far. He has had an ultrasound, a liver biopsy, and a variety of blood work.  Each time he has bloodwork done, the tests show that his ALT liver enzyme has elevated more.  Doctors from two different practices are working together but the diagnosis has remained elusive.  Seamus is now on two antibiotics, in addition to the rest of the medication he is on.  In fact, some of his medication no longer fits into his pill organizer.
He spends most of days sleeping in front of his fans.
I don't go out much because of his medication schedule.  I'm just hoping something will soon work and I will have a recovering baby soon.  But with each option not working, it is hard to keep a postive spirit.  The truth is no one knows what will work for him.  So we medicate and wait and hope the sleep helps him.

And I sew to abate the anxiety.

I just make tops.  Some will go to my friend Terri to be quilted, others I will quilt later when it is cooler. I've hit the UFO boxes pretty hard and done some samples for upcoming programs that I am working on.  Here are a few I've done:

The last top is a lap quilt for our groomer.  Seamus isn't well enough to be groomed but there is some maintenance that poodles always need (because they don't shed).  Jessa came to our house last week and groomed while he layed down.  It was no easy task for her but she did a beautiful job and he is more comfortable now.  Yes, we even took the fan outside to keep him comfortable while she worked on him.
I know this is a long post but I don't often feel like posting these days.  Hopefully, I'll have better news about Seamus soon.  Hugs, Mickie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Hippy Hippy Shake Quilt

My neighbor Carol and I found a photo of a quilt online that we fell in love with but can't seem to find anymore.  All I can tell you is that the quilter said she used 2.5 inch strips and thin border of 1.5 inches.   We call it the Hippy Hippy Shake Quilts because every time I see Amy Butler fabrics I hear the old "hippy hippy shake" song from the 1960s.   The kids today call these kinds of fabric "boho chic."  So I did the one above and decided to do a thicker border between the blocks.  

Carol did two of them:

And the log cabin version which is already completed:

We are both working on different projects now.  I am completing some UFOs and Carol is making two quilts for a gift.  But we really had fun doing the same pattern with our own tastes in fabric.  We've already picked out the next pattern we will tackle when we are done with the current projects.
Keep you posted on the next quilts!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

News from the Home Front.....

A lady from my quilt guild was given a bag of old quilt pieces and blocks.  She passed them on to me because she didn't want them.  I found this top in the bag!  Isn't it a delight?  My daughter-in-law has fallen in love with it too, she thinks it is "bright and cheerful!" I'm going to have it quilted for her and my son and hope to give it to them at Christmas.  It will look really nice in their bedroom and give the boring apartment beige walls a real, POP!
Seamus likes it too!
This was also in the bag.  I'm not sure what I will do with it, the yoyos are appliqued on a light gauzy type of fabric.  I might cut apart the blocks, baste the blocks onto a plain piece of fabric (to strenthen it) and do some kind of alternating block.  For now, it is just going into the UFO bin.  Here are the yo-yos up close:

Seamus is holding his own.  I had to take him to the vet last Saturday because he was having a really bad day.  He is stable now and we hope that the medication is finally working.  He still sleeps a lot and my whole day is structured around his medication times.  

While at the vet, he was diagnosed with entropion in his left eye; the eyelid is curling inwards and now he is also on medication for that.  Normally this would be corrected with surgery but until he is stable, the ointment will have to suffice.

The garden is the usual mess that it is in August.  I never garden during heatwaves and we had many during the last few weeks.  This past week we had two good days and I filled 4 garbage cans with yard waste.  I expect to do even more after this weekend when the cooler temperatures arrive.

I hope you and yours are all doing well!  Take care and stay cool!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More news on the boy!

Well we got some good news!  The last of the biopsy results are in and Seamus' copper level is improved and some of the other metal levels are too.  It's just a small amount of good news but we will take it!  Seamus will remain on the drugs and we'll see how his levels are in 4, no 3 weeks!  Thank you for all your support and love during this tough time!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Seamus' Biopsy Report

Shayme in 2012
Seamus' results are in for the biopsy and the good news is that he does not have a second disease.  The bad news is that a really aggressive approach to the disease has to be taken.  Most of his meds are now doubled and we have to keep an eye on him to see if he develops jaundice or bloating.  

Shayme is very weak at this point.  The boy that never wanted to stop playing ball catches it twice and goes in the house to rest.  Walks are brief with resting breaks along the way.  The prednisone makes him hungry all the time.  But I am holding on to what the vets are all saying:  Treatable, not curable.  If the meds can get this inflammation under control, Seamus could live a normal life with medication and monitoring.  

Thanks to all of you who have kept Seamus (and me) in your prayers.  We greatly appreciate all the love and support that has been sent our way.
Hugs, Mickie

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Our Garden: Home of the Chirps!

First off, Thank to all my friends who have been so supportive to me and praying for Seaums.  Thank you so much!  It means the world to me.  I've been emotional these last weeks and more so since Seamus' test results.  I've one diversion though.. the birds!
We were delighted when a pair of cardinals built a nest in our viburnum!  We've been seeing them both go in and out of the bush for a few weeks.  It seemed like a perfect nesting space, the bush is alongside the house, the garden has plenty of food and fresh water.   We even named them: the Chirps :)
Occasionally we would see a little head in the nest, we assumed it was the Mama deep in her nest.

Then...on Wednesday, I heard a weird bird call while I was sitting outside with my friend Linda.   Linda has chickens and she identified it as a baby call.  I thought the eggs hatched!  Yippee!

Thursday was a tough day.  I was taking Seamus to get his biopsy (we get the results next week).  Early on Thursday I noticed that both cardinals were at the nest, they seemed upset and I thought perhaps the sparrows had tried to attack their nest.  There was even a little bird standing on the edge of the nest.  I've been researching cardinals and know that a cardinal can take on a sparrow.  Is it possible the eggs hatched a while ago and that little head in the nest was one of the babies pearing up?   Why yes... and...Turns out there was only one baby.  Best to leave them to their job, and left to take Seamus to the animal hospital.

I was even more emotional after I dropped Seamus off.  I came home and decided to peek around the house and see how the cardinals were doing.  Ma and Pa Chirp were clearly upset and kept hoping around the ground and chirping.  And then I decided to go out and look...and sure enough, the baby had fallen down the window well at the base of viburnum.  He was struggling to fly out.   I burst into tears, and went to my neighbors.  

My neighbors calmed me and created a strategy to get the baby bird out.  I returned home, determined to help.  The window well was empty!!!  Ma, Pa, and Baby were sitting together a few feet away in the elderberry bush.  I'm taking this as a good omen for all of us, especially Seamus.

Since then, I've been privileged to be able to view the training of a fledgling.  It is AWESOME! I still have to water the garden (we've only had one brief shower once in three weeks) but I've been as respectful to the birds as I can.  Here is baby resting on the patio chair (or IN the patio chair).  We call him Fuzzy Wuzzy.
I said to the baby,  "Where is your mother?" and the male cardinal landed aside of him.  Now they have taken up the training in the upper bed of our garden, predominately in the rhododendron.  
You can see Fuzzy above the right chain.  He's the brown blob :).  I'm using my long lense on the camera to be respectful.  

The parents are always nearby and often sit with him wherever he is.  Here is Mama guarding above him..
I cannot tell you how what a joy it is to watch them do their job.  It's truly impressive to see how strong their instincts are and how well they take care of their baby.  

Seamus is doing well and on pain medication for a few days.  He sleeps a lot.  His recent bloodwork (just last Monday) shows he is now anemic.  We are praying for a treatable diagnosis.
His front paws were shaved for the IV.  On a lighter note, my neighbor said he looks like he is sporting UGG boots :)
Stay well and please keep Seamus in your prayers!
Hugs, Mickie