Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birds. Show all posts

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decorating Yooper Style and My First On-line Tut!

I read several blogs by Mommy bloggers.  They make a little money blogging, which is cool, and they write ebooks, which is also cool.  I love reading the Mormon Mommy blogs.  It's nice to know that there are still folks out there living their faith, no matter which one it is. Journaling has always been a part of the LDS tradition, and it's cool that the younger kids have adapted by blogging.  But come on, how many sweet stories, fabulous quilt projects, and to-die-for desserts can I read about?

I read nature blogs.  Mostly by birders and travelers, with some cool botany sites thrown in for good measure.  Most of these are quiet, thoughtful, and serene.  Which is nice.  (But one of my fav's is  Bourbon, Bastards, and Birds.   Yeah, you heard me.  Steve, the ranking self-proclaimed #7  Birder in the world, throws in a healthy dose of total disrespect of all sorts of crap.  I, by the way, am the self-proclaimed World's Laziest Birder.)

I also read lots of quilting blogs.  I really enjoy the ones by people who are just plain ol' folks like me who aren't promoting their latest book or fabric line. Just folks who like to make stuff when they can.

I love my fellow Ranger blogs the bestest.  But we tend to get yelled at about blogging. Go figure.

So bring on the Wacky Moms-who-are-not-the-Mormon-Mommy Bloggers. Like many, they are well educated and for whatever reason, staying home for the child-rearing duration.  And nuts as hell.  Instead of having the 4:00 Betty Ford cocktail to try to stay sane, they are blogging.  Are they ever. Kinda why I do it, but I've also developed a taste for the 4:00 BF cocktail. One of these days, I'll add a few of these folks to my side-bar reading list, if I can remember how to do that.  But you might check out the Under-achievers Guide and People I Want to Punch in the Throat for a taste of what I'm taking about.  They know where you can stick that Elf on the Shelf.  And it ain't the shelf.

So in honor of these nutty women, I present to you my First Tut.  (For those of you reading a blog for the first time, a Tut is a Tutorial.  Please pronounce it Toot in your head.)

Instead of reading something worthwhile, or making delicious and nutritious food for my family, I've been screwing around, trying to give our loverly home that Yooper look. (You do know that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is called the U.P., eh?  Say that out loud. . . . Yoop, residents of which are called Yoopers.  Everyone who lives in the lower Peninsula is referred to as a Troll, since they live below The Bridge.  Sadly, we are trolls and Yooper-wannabes.)

Da Bridge, eh.

Anywho, this year I'm going with the PoorWhiteTrash look for our winter outdoor decorations.  Okay, not quite true, I'm refining the Yooper look--which includes as much black and red buffalo check as I can find.

A Tut by Ranger Anna

Here's how you, too, can have this great, festive look for your home! Just 5 easy, peasy steps!

Step 1. Say to yourself,  "The front porch looks like shit this year.  Especially the ugly couch thing."

Step 2.  Go to a store and find some buffalo check ribbon. (My heart nearly lept with joy when I saw it!  How pathetic is that?  Or is it more pathetic that someone thought it up?  I bought a ton of it, and didn't even look for coupons.)  Post on Pinterest about your fabulous find!

Blatant shout out to the company that makes this stuff!  God Bless 'em.

Step 3.  Dig your HoAnne's coupons out the the recycle bin and carefully read thru them.

Step 3.  Drive 15 miles to your nearest store only to find that they haven't had any checked polar fleece in the store since August. Buy a whole bolt of red polar fleece and half a bolt of black instead. Use those half-off coupons! Drive home, enjoying a bunch of the festive candy that was staring you in the face in the check-out aisle.  Oh, those devilish merchandisers!

Step 4. Carefully cut the fabric, measuring accurately in your beautiful crafty corner.  Or just slap it on your kid's bed and slice it up.  Carefully fold the fabric and take it to the porch.  Wrap the cushions with the red fleece and create delightful stripes with the black strips.

Step 5.  Voila!  A guaranteed to be fabulous, jaw-dropping Christmas display!  All 15 of the cars that drive down your street each day will love it!  (And check your supply of explanation marks to be sure you have enough to finish!!!)

And don't forget to feed your snowman!  He looks tired after being all inflated and proud of himself for several hours last night...poor little guy...maybe the Elf on the Shelf could give him a little something to make the days more bearable!

How's your holiday decorating going?  Mine goes on until Valentine's Day!  I'd have a linky party if I knew what the hell that is! How adorable is that?  Leave me a comment and I'll read it or not!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birdies, Quilts, and a Couple of Parties

A new birdie season has begun here in the Midwest.  I don't think we'll have many more Snowy Owl reports from here (I missed them all, drat), but the spring migration has begun.  The Woodcocks are back putting on their awesome Sky Dance. Buzzards are all over again, though sadly the roost just up the road from us is no longer used as it once was.  For a good many years, we would have upwards of 300 Buzzies roosting for several days.  Somewhere I have my 35mm prints of them sitting all over the neighbor's house, holding their wings out to dry off, before continuing north.  Awesome sight.

The 75 or so Pine Siskins that ate us out of house and feeder this winter are gone, so our resident Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Downies have the run of the feeders now.  But for excitement, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are back. DH spotted the Missus carrying new sticks in her beak, while the Mister sat and preened.  Yesterday, the Mister was back, just hanging around waiting for who-knows-what.  Oddly, the little birds didn't seem to mind his presence.  Usually, when the hawks are around, the woods go still and silent.  Not so yesterday.

Mr. Cooper, greatly cropped.
The fun part about seeing Mr. Coop yesterday was that FTD spotted him first. Last week, DD saw the Pileated and went berserk.  He could not believe how big it was!  We might make a birder out of him yet.

Party Stuff
Speaking of DD, we had his party on Sunday.  The weather was phenomenal~~70 degrees, sunny, and no wind.  Holy cow, we could get used to that! ('Course last night we were hammered with fierce thunderstorms... a small home nearby was hit by lightening and burned the whole roof off.)  Today is fabulous again!

I cannot begin to fathom the generosity of our friends and family.  They showered DD with gift cards and cash, and several really thoughtful, just-for-him gifts.  Before the party, he kept telling us that he was going to sit in the basement and watch the race.  We said fine. (Also meant we got soooo much work done down there.)  We went with an open house idea, so every time someone new arrived or someone left, he was right there. He isn't often speechless these days, but every time he opened a card or gift, he was just.... speechless.  By the time it dawned on him to start adding up the numbers, he was completely bowled over. And so are we.  We told him he can't spend any of it, until the thank you notes are out, and we need for him to settle down before blowing it all.  He has so much that he wants... When we had FTD's Eagle Scout party, he had a tough time trying to figure what to do with his take.  Not so DD.  Any who, the party was grand and fun and I'm sure glad we did it for him.  Later on, in another post, I'll run down how last week's IEP meetings at FTD's school have left us laying on the floor, once again, as the rug has been pulled out from under our feet.

Quilty Stuff
Next up, I did get some sewing done last week, but haven't had a minute to post, so here 'tis!

First, I participated in my first quilt swap.  It was called New Beginnings, and it was for mini-quilts.  I figured I might be able to do this.  My partner, Marsha, is from Mississippi and suffered through Katrina, so her quilt for me is called Three Waves, and it's a beauty!  It arrived yesterday, along with some swag, and I'm giddy! Check out Marsha's Blog, Anything with a Needle.

It was sunny and dry enough to hang it on the back deck for a picture!  And the cool part for me is that this is a pattern I decided I should try last week. I'm taking the free BoM Craftsy class and this month shows how to do this.  Win win for me!!!!!  Now I have a real one that I can look at, while trying to figure out how to do it!  Woot!

And since I'm running a little slow on sewing projects (like I still have one of Feb's BoM blocks to do, in addition to both of March's), I'll be mailing Marsha's quilt tomorrow morning.  So here 'tis:

It's a Thimbleberry pattern (for a bigger quilt) that I found at one of my LQSs, The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio.  I didn't care for the colors used in the pattern, so I really switched them up, much brighter.  And I can tell you now that I either need to spend hours and hours of quality time making triangles, or give up on them!  On the bottom row, below the bird house, they aren't too bad, the ones at the top really suck.  I also realized, after I got my beautiful quilt from Marsha that I didn't add a way to hang it.  I read just a last week about a way to put corner deals on a quilt, and presto!  Marsha did that for mine!  Now I know what that should look like. Next time, I'll do better, I promise.  Anywho, I'll get it in the mail tomorrow.  

Also last week before the party-cleaning-blitz, I finished the mini-quilts for the West Yellowstone Whack-a-doodles silent auction.  The W-a-D's are a Relay for Life team, and each of the gals is fun, so when you put them together, look out!  My special peep on the team, Miss Molly put out a note on FB that for $20 the W-a-Ds will put a purple toilet in your yard!  Or better yet, the yard of one of your friends. Why do you ask would you want a purple toilet in your front yard?  To show folks that you want to FLUSH cancer!  Both of my parents succumbed to different cancers, so I'm all for this.

Or you can bid on a purple quilted toilet!  I sized it to fit right over your current toidy, which I guessing isn't purple.  (If it is, I soooooo want to see pics of it!)

The applique stitching doesn't show up very well in this pic, but it's there, honest.
I mentioned in my title 'a couple of parties.' The other party will be this Friday, my place (or hopefully yours if you're not here in my local patch) and it's a Cocktail Party Girls' Night Out!  DH is in South Carolina this week, playing golf or something, the boys are in school, and the house is clean.  That can only mean one thing~~another party!!!!!!  With DH gone, and me hounding the boys, the house will stay clean.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day in my bedroom chair, enjoying the clean-ness, and today I'm in the family room, enjoying the clean-ness of it and the kitchen.  (Yes, the kitchen is clean... the boys and I will be eating out a lot this week, heh heh heh.)

So that's only a partial wrap up of the past couple of weeks.  The business with the boys is actually taking lots and lots of time.  More on that later. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget:

Friday, March 16, after work till whenever
Girls' Night Out Cocktails!!!!!
Be here!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Little Birds and Big Fabric

The past couple of days I've been messing with the little birds, primarily pine siskins, and big fabric.  I also spent hours on the phone and found out that I do in fact have a little unemployment compensation coming, which translates to a trip to the long arm quilter (LAQ).  Yea!

Sneaking up on the siskins out my bedroom door.

Just a few of 'em.

A little chicka dee dee dee stops in to visit, but he was kinda camera shy.

And a Tufted Titmouse, posing for Bird Butz Bob and Loopy Dave.

See, he does have eyes.  Love the black black black eyes of titmooses.

In honor of this week's Squirrel Appreciation Day, here's one of ours.  Damn pesky squirrels.

The Pine Siskins are a Big Deal for some folks.  Around here, they're just another winter visitor.  They breed up north, and come down south here for the winter.  Lots of folks get all excited about the 3 siskins at the Window on Wildlife or at their feeders.  We had 65 of the buggers on our CBC count day!  We haven't seen numbers like that since that day, but we do run 20 to 30 anytime there's thistle seed out. And dang those buggers can eat a lot of thistle.  And given that they show up right outside my bedroom windows, I can retain my title of World's Laziest Birder.

Since I got the word that I'd have a small infusion of cash, I've been busting my hump to get some backings lined up for UFOs.  I'm not really fond of working with big stuff, which is why FTD's log cabin quilt is still over there on the sofa, not on his bed.  Arg.

So sit back, get a cuppa and enjoy my little tour of current/UFO projects and other stuff.

This is the fabric I'm using for DD's bed skirt. He wanted plain black, but I wasn't up for that.  Late late late one night I remember that I bought this at a shop hop, not knowing what I'd use it for.  Ta daaaa!!  But, as you have figured out, I didn't have enough.  A frantic web search turned up 2 vendors with some in the shop.  I chose the cheaper one, and of course, she didn't have quite enough either, but I said send what you've got.  I also picked up some Lionel train fabric, a bison panel, and the most adorkable Moda Christmas panel.  Check out NUTS AND BOLTS Fabric shop in Edgemont, South Dakota!!  I ended up piecing some pieces for the bedskirt, and cut and sewed the muslin for the part that goes between the mattresses. Got it done late tonight, and DD is sleeping on it even as I type. I hate sewing big stuff.

Random pic out my window.  No snow.  Sigh.

The ages old Badlands Quilt in front, FTD's log cabin quilt in the back.  I got the backing cut for BL quilt and will take that over to the LAQ as soon as the check clears.  I have no idea how to have this one quilted...... I'm leaning towards over all stippling.  Whatdoyathink?  Honestly, I need your opinion!  I hate cutting big fabric.

Lessee... these are for which project?  ...oh, yeah, the stripy quilt. That will to to the LAQ, also. That will get what ever stitch is cheapest done for the quilting. I hate ironing big fabric.
 And now for a cute surprise!!
BadAmy and I hit the antique shop a few weeks ago, because I needed a small table for FTD's room, so I could move the one from his room to DD's.  BadAmy was looking for..... I don't even remember what.  But look what jumped into my basket!!

It's so freakin' cute!!!! Seriously, it's called Thread-a-matic!

And it works! So if Mr. Ritis (you know, Arther?) ever deems my old hands worthy of hand sewing again, at least I'll be able to thread the needles.  And it was sooooo cheap!  Score!  I did find a table and also scored a hat box from the store where DH used to work.   I have a few hat boxes, all from stores in the Toledo area.

What is this for?  Dang, I can't remember a thing lately. . . I'm sure it's for something big, and I hate sewing big bindings. Oh, yeah, FTD's quilt.  At least I finally picked out the fabric and got it cut and sewed.

Next, I love the bags bird seed comes in, and wanna make grocery bags from them.  Any idea what type of needle and thread I should use?  They're so purty. I've seen them on etsy, but really have no clue what to use.  I did think about colored duct tape....
So there's my life this week.  I wish it were really this simple, but in fact we have a couple of extended family things we're working on.  The good news, I have a wonderful extended family.  The bad news, we all suffer from illness, bad fortunes, and general malaise that comes under the heading "Shit Happens."   The good news, we have birds that sing and warm, wonderful quilts to snuggle up in. Life is good.