Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our New Family Project!

Here she is, our latest addition! She is a 9-week-old golden retriever. I never thought I would ever get a dog, but knew if I did, it would be a golden retriever, and luckily, all family members agreed, especially our middle girl who has really been campaigning for a puppy for a long time. Hey, you only live once, right? She has a wonderful temperament, calm, friendly, and quiet yet also playful, and not too nippy. Of course, they do not come house broken the way cats do (have I mentioned I'm really a cat person at heart?), and we are now doing the arduous task of training her to let us know when she needs to go. Luckily, she will not mess in several key locations in the house and we are crate training her at night and when we are out, but when she is inside and not sleeping, a family member needs to be assigned to following her around and making sure she does not have an accident. This is our first full week of puppy care and my husband is away on business (have I mentioned he's the dog person?), making me the primary puppy trainer. This is exhausting and time consuming, but I am hoping it will be gratifying in the end, when we can take her for walks on the bike trail and hiking nearby. She will surely (eventually) be a fun and reliable companion for all of us.
Meanwhile, between chauffering the girls to and from camp, my busy summer work schedule, and my husband traveling, there has not been a lot of excess time or energy for creativity. Earlier this month I made three more charm bracelets using real metal chains instead of macrame`, but unfortuately I gave two of them away as gifts before I photographed them! I hope to post pictures of them at a later date. I am also continuing to produce the little 4x4 swap pieces. I am about halfway through that project (we need to make about 30 - hope I can get the rest done next month! My schedule should be a lot lighter in August...)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where have I been?

May and June seem to be almost as busy for me as November and December, with many end-of-school activities, ceremonies, field trips, and commitments. I continued to work on those little 4x4 pieces, but cannot post more due to swap rules! They are fun to do and can be squeezed in whenever I find myself with a few free minutes in the afternoon or evening. I now have 12 completed - the original paper-fabric is all cut up and I am gearing up to make a new piece. Last time I had made my quilt sandwich and done some preliminary quilting before I realized I wanted to try adding texture by rubbing Shiva paintstiks over a textured surface, but of course I couldn't because of the layers, so this time, I may try adding that additional step.
Despite a busy spring, we were able to get away for a few days at the end of June to our family "country house" in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to canoe on the lake there with my Dad - it was a beautiful morning and so uplifting to be gliding over the water, with only the swish of the paddles and the singing of birds to accompany us.

While I was there, I also took some photos for a possible larger wall hanging (requested by my mother-in-law - how can I refuse?), similar to the "lakeside irises" piece shown on a previous entry. I would be setting myself up for comparisons to Monet and his waterlilies, but who can compare to Monet? I haven't the foggiest idea how I would approach this...I am considering using the torn paper technique I explored last month or even painting something on a whole piece of cloth and using stitching and embellishments for detail work. I'll have to think about it some more...