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This is how I'm feeling this morning.  105 degree temp yesterday and the A/C went out early evening, temp today predicted to be 103. This house gets no shade so it heats up. The A/C went out within the first month after we bought this house last summer but we had a one year home warranty compliments of our realtor so it was fixed - dual compacitor needed to be replaced.....that happened when the temps were well over 100 also.  Well here we go again. We did have the option to pay for another year of the home warranty so we did since the A/C and furnace are original to the house. Right now we're waiting for a call back to schedule a repairman. It would be great if it was the entire unit that needed replacing rather than just one more part. 

On the computer/lost data front - we did have a ghost image of my old computer in the safe deposit box from August 2017.  So, I have everything up until that date, I think...... The hard drive is still being analyzed to see if we can recover everything which would include the past two years.  Yep, going to have back up drives to my back up drives in the future......since the back up external hard drive failed in addition to the one in the computer. When did life get so complicated???

This is a picture I took recently when we took family to Wildlife Safari. This guy was just inches from my camera. 






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I've been absent from my blog as life has gotten in the way and I don't have too much to share.  We did have family visiting and had a great time with them doing some fun activities like jet boat rides on the river, going to Wildlife Safari, the coast and just catching up. Sunday I made 2 batches of strawberry jam and one of strawberry/blueberry jam. This is the only photo I have to share at the moment.....you'll see why below.

I have been working here and there on my gingko quilted wallhanging - only snippets of time but as of yesterday I've finally got the entire thing free motion quilted. Now I need to trim it up and add a facing onto it as I don't want a traditional quilt binding....then the hanging sleeve.

Disaster struck (why life sucks at times) Friday morning when my desktop computer wouldn't boot up - the computer that has my life on it. Long story short the hard drive failed...….automatic external  back-up drive also recently failed....and the power supply was going. So, I guess backing up my files on the external hard drive wasn't enough, I should have had a back up to that. This affects everything - personal files, business files & artwork, artwork, photographs, everything...….well, almost everything, I've got my weaving software files and embroidery machine files on the laptop that I back up on thumb drives. When something pops into my head that I may have lost tears come to my eyes, like all my photos of Bailey. So, new desktop computer bought but no files on it yet. IT guy at Sam's office worked on it but can't retrieve them off my old hard drive or back-up drive so they're now at a local computer store but no guarantee. We did have a ghost of the computer made 2 years ago in the safety deposit box so that's with Sam at work now with hopes he can pull files off that so then I will have only lost the last 2 years worth of files. Not good but way better than losing 25+ years worth. (No, my computer wasn't 25 years old, just files transferred from computer to computer over the years)

I did have some other pictures to share but they have been downloaded to the new desktop and that's at the office at the moment so I don't have access to them.

Maybe I'll get more time soon to create more that I'd like to share here but alas, more family coming to visit soon (a good thing) so it will be a while...….
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The kitchen remodel is almost finished.  I've got some before and after photos.....


BEFORE - Looking at the kitchen from the kitchen nook (computer nook). It's not evident in the photos but these cabinets were below builder grade quality, many of the drawers falling apart, shelves bowing and very short uppers. Countertops were granite tile - I hate grout in kitchens. The sink was scarred. We had already removed one light fixture - it was a sight to behold - a huge ornate dining room chandelier which we replaced with the fan - that light over the sink came down later. There's my sweet Bailey in this picture taken right before kitchen demo - brings tears to my eyes.

AFTER - Here's the after from the same angle.  The faucet isn't in yet as the epoxy or whatever it is needs to cure on the under mount sink - faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher hookup be finished today by Sam. The new lighting over the sink is up. We kept all the same appliances as they are practically new. That horrible carpet will be going eventually - it's nasty.

BEFORE - Here's looking toward the fridge.


AFTER - So much better - the fridge now looks like it belongs. We haven't decided on a backsplash yet - I have a feeling it will take a while to figure that one out. I just know I want something relatively simple and not busy/fussy. Our new granite is mostly black with white running through it like a reverse marble - just a tiny bit of sparkle. What a pleasure to have knobs and drawer pulls - the old cabinets had none and were a pain to open.


BEFORE - Looking toward the sink.


AFTER: Now looking toward the sink - so much nicer. This house has high ceilings throughout except the kitchen nook where there's a dropped coffered ceiling - see it to the left in the photo. It's a monstrosity - it's horrible - it's going......it might be the next project, there's also the gas fireplace reno before next winter, it's very old and puts out no heat plus the mantle is weird made out of drywall - it's far in the background.

BEFORE - And here's the stove wall. So, why in the world didn't they extend those cabinets all the way to the top???  The builder was being cheap is my thought. And look at that cord coming from the back of the gas stove to plug it in. Why in the world wasn't there a plug behind the stove??? There is now.

AFTER - This picture is pretty dramatic. So much better........and no cord coming up from behind the stove. After we do all the other work involving drywall, the drop ceiling and fireplace, and walls will be painted a light gray, baseboards white. I hate painting anymore so not looking forward to that.

We generally do all reno work ourselves to save money but the kitchen was a place we had to rely on others like KA Designs for our locally made cabinets and Umpqua Stone for our granite. But Sam did do all the drywall repair work from where the old backsplash was removed and tore up the walls, he also did electrical and plumbing work and built up the floors to match the wood floor height underneath the cabinets as that wasn't done before which makes it impossible to remove/replace appliances. We'll do the backsplash ourselves once we have time to explore tile options and audition them.



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 My garden is doing great - we've been eating lettuce out of it for a few weeks now, I think I can pick kale and swiss chard this week - everything else is growing gangbusters but not ready to pick other than a few strawberries here and there.


 I think this is a lilac, does anyone know for sure?  it doesn't look like the lilacs I'm used to but does look like a variety of them. There were two scrawny bushes that I didn't want to get rid of last fall since the birds liked to sit in them while resting from feeding at the birdfeeders.  I'm so glad we didn't pull them up - two lilacs...or something similar to a lilac.


And does anyone know, is this a honeysuckle?  The flower looks like one but the honeysuckles I grew up with back east didn't have a cluster of flowers like this, they were just individual flowers on the vines. This was also a scrawny looking bush on the side yard, I cut it back this spring and it's doing incredible now, nice and full and loaded with flowers.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there whether it's to two legged or four legged critters.

Update - friends Teresa & Jon from the coast said that is a lilac and a lonicera honeysuckle - I'll be marking them with metal tags....many thanks


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 I decided to start knitting an asymmetrical shawl using the Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas fiber that I spun. You can check out the progress of the spinning starting Christmas day 2018 here on the blog. I'm now into knitting color #3, soon I'll be knitting color #4. The progression will be moving to golds, greens and even black. This ball will just get into the gold, then I have another huge ball that continues with the golds and others.


My roses are covered with hundreds & hundreds of buds, some blooming. Yesterday I cut a vase full to bring inside. I am so excited to have roses - never could have them at past homes as the deer loved to eat them. I snapped a few outside pix this morning......enjoy.









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I've been sampling with free motion quilting for the gingko wall hanging. I got pretty discouraged the other day thinking I bit off more than I can chew, not just thinking, knowing that it's beyond me without a lot of time spent getting over the learning curve. I'm not sure what I was thinking as everything takes time to learn.


So here are some samples (not the actual fabric) of free motion quilting, it's easier using small pieces and still looks bad. The wall hanging will be 38"x53" - not as easy to maneuver at the machine.  I've gotten a lot of advise from friends & quilters and think I'm going with quilter/spinner/weavers friend Diane from Idaho's advise......


.....I'm going to hand quilt it. Here's a sample where I did just a bit of hand quilting and I already like it better. I may go with gray thread in the gingko instead of gold like I was originally thinking - will stitch a few lines with gold thread before deciding. I'm going to quilt gingko silhouettes in the background - I started on one on the right hand side although it difficult to see in this photo. If I had ever thought I'd hand quilt this I wouldn't have fused down the gingkoes but too late now, will just be a bit harder to stitch on the leaves. So, this is now turning into a time consuming project but in the end I'll be happier......and now I need to go out and get myself a quilting frame, not a big expensive one, just one of those hoops on a stand. Next up I need to check if I have a piece of batting big enough, get to the fabric store for backing fabric and buy a thimble - I have a small thimble collection but they aren't the kind I'd actually use.

But first I'm going to put things away in my new upper kitchen cabinets. They've finally been installed and we're now awaiting granite installation on the 15th. I can load up the uppers but will wait on the lowers as granite dust may get into the lower cabinets during install day. We've been living many more weeks than anticipated without a kitchen. Before and after pictures once it's done.

The garden is growing - I picked my first lettuce yesterday, so exciting.  The rose bushes are covered with hundreds of buds, there are many very close to opening up. I've never had roses before so this is also exciting.

It's a beautiful day here in SW Oregon - hoping for many more before 'smoke season' aka fire season arrives. Keeping fingers crossed that it's not as bad this year and we aren't socked in by smoke all summer.

Now it's time to put on my current audio book and work on the kitchen - A Breath of Snow & Ashes - book #6 in the Outlander series.  It's a big commitment at something like 38 discs.....I had been away from it for almost 2 weeks until yesterday when I listened to 4 discs while stitching.
 






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It's been a lovely day - 70's with a stiff breeze...perfect for working outside and never feeling hot.  A lot of weeding happened today along the rose bushes, grapes, fruit trees and all the abundance of gravel we have in the side yards. We also hung old plates in the rose garden, and outside art on the house at the deck. Below is the garden as of this afternoon. Sam built the pvc structure recently to hold bird netting since I watched the birds eat every single seed and starter plant I put out there. Now they can't get them. We've got lettuces, strawberries and the tiny starts of radishes, beets, kale, spinach and green beans. There's space for tomato & pepper plants which I may pick up this week, maybe a cucumber, maybe not.......



Yesterday I was invited to ride up to the Umpqua Valley Quilt Show with 3 other fiber fans.  It's a much bigger quilt show than those down here - lovely exhibit, more vendors and they've even got full fledged classes over the 3 days.

Yes, this pic is turned sideways - not sure why when I take pictures with my camera if I don't hold it right the photos are sideways and there's nothing I can do about it.  I work on them in a photo editing program, they look correct but when they load onto the blog they're still sideways. Still kicking myself for not taking my camera. Always love a good Dresden plate...........



....and here's another......


....loved this, photo doesn't do it justice.....


....this was impressive, not sure how many pieces there are but they're teeny tiny......


....wool applique, something I want to learn......on a small scale......

Today I was sampling free motion quilting of gingkos for my wall quilt......very discouraged thinking I bit off more than I can chew since the only free motion quilting I've ever done was in a 1 1/2 hour beginner class. I'll do more sampling but I'm not sure if I'll be able to pull off the project - I may have to come up with a Plan B......


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 New toddlers behind us and are they ever vocal looking for their moms. We were on the coast for a few days and came back to find them yesterday. Older cows are being very patient and trying to show them the ropes but I did see what looked like a look of disgust from one at the constant moo'ing. One of the older cows did shoo away a tom turkey that was causing the toddlers distress - they haven't figured out yet that they're much bigger than the turkeys. I need to think up names for them - right now I just call them sweet boys when I talk to them - they are very interested in me talking to them but it only last for a minute or so before they're back to crying for momma.


 The gingko tree we planted last fall has leaves emerging - they're only around 1/4" right now, all over the tree, so glad it's doing so well, was worried about it during the winter.


I spotted this bleeding heart with thanks to another weaving for identifying it even without a photo. Around 2 weeks ago I almost pulled the plant out of the ground - it looked like a weed, only a few inches tall. I'm so glad I didn't pull it up, now it's around a foot tall and has many of these heart shaped blooms. From reading about them it sounds like it will go dormant come the heat of summer so I need to enjoy it now. I'll mark where it is so I don't accidently plant over top it.


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Bailey
1/27/07 - 4/12/19


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 I finished the table runners from the ASG Make-It-Take-It day. The purple one was quilted stitch in the ditch and then binding sewn on - wasn't as happy with the odd angle mitered corners on my binding as I wanted.  When I got to the gray/teal runners (buffet & table) I was using different directions for the mitered corners and I'm much more pleased.........still not perfect but much better. These runners were also quilted by stitching in the ditch.  I had some 4 patch squares left so I made 6 quick and easy quilted mug rugs/coasters.


Now I'm back to working on the wall quilt for over the couch. It doesn't quite fit on my work table but not too much hanging over the front & back for the photo. Yesterday morning I just decided I had to quit designing and re-designing and just go for it so I started cutting out 8" squares. I  laid them on the floor and played with moving them around, some I never used. So now the background is sewn and is around 45" x 52", give or take. I had Sam hold it up over the couch to see if this size is good and it's perfect. Of course this is over the old couch - we're still waiting for the new sectional in a charcoal gray - looks to be another 2 months. 

Yesterday afternoon I drew out gingko leaves, some using stencils. This morning I scanned them in the computer to make larger patterns, printed and cut them out. Here the paper pieces are sitting on top of the pieced background - When I'm happy with the layout I'll use these paper pieces as patterns to cut out the gold fabric for the gingkoes. A couple posts ago you can see the gold fabric that will be the gingko leaves. I'm thinking I'll fuse them to the background and then do a narrow zig-zag around the edges, or maybe even just straight stitching - I haven't decided. I'll be doing some sampling before I get to that stage.

Originally I thought I might also do some stenciling with shiva paintstiks but I'm thinking not, I don't want it to be too busy, it's already got a lot going on with all the different fabric squares. I have no clue what type of quilting I'll do - maybe free motion???  I'll need to practice that if I go that way. Maybe in the free motion some gingko shapes???  I definitely need to get some feedback before I go any further.

In the midst of the sewing the kitchen was torn out on Monday. The fridge, stove and a folding table are sitting in it at the moment, dishwasher is in the garage. Much work by Sam this week replacing drywall where the old backsplash was removed and most of the wall came with it. Plywood to bring the floor up to the wood floor height under the cabinets as that was never done when the house was originally built, electrical work and plumbing work. There's still a little bit of texturing to be done on the walls, then we're ready for the new cabinets which we're hoping will be finished this week. After that the granite guy will be out to do a final measurement to cut the granite. We still need to pick out backsplash but we'll do that once cabinets & granite are installed - will bring home samples to audition when the time comes. In the meantime we're eating very simple meals, take-out or going out.


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