Friday, April 29, 2011

Holidays

Since the last blog post we have had a week of days off or so it seems. Most of the time between posts I don’t think I have much to tell and then it sort of explodes and there are lots of small topics… So I’ll start with the days off or South African holidays. From the Friday April 22, before Easter to Monday May 2, if you took 3 days off work you get something like 11 days off.

The first one was Good Friday, we all got to stay home from work and since my Dear Husband, (DH) is away again. He is currently in Wichita, Kansas and was there for Good Friday (he had to work) and Easter Sunday. I didn’t do anything special for Good Friday. I did do some quilting until I ran out of thread, (see previous post and as luck would have it -its just below this one).

On Saturday evening I went to the local BIG mall to see a movie with a coworker. We opted for ‘Water for Elephants’, but that is because I’d read the book and it was a good story. The movie was good too. After the movie we grabbed a bite.

Sunday (Easter), a bunch of us made plans for a late breakfast / early lunch and to see a local music review. The theme was ‘Rough Diamonds and Divas’ and some of it was really rough….  It was fun. I left the house at 10:30 and didn’t get home until a bit after 4. It was only $25 for breakfast and the entertainment. Not bad. I think we are making plans to do the next one too, ‘Super Troopers’ featuring the tunes from Abba and the Bee Gees.

The Monday (April 25) following Easter is also a Holiday here, it’s called Family Day and I had a very relaxing day at home.cr-freedom-fly-by

And just when you think we have to go back to work we had Wednesday off (April 27), for Freedom Day. Very similar to our Independence Day. Marks the end of Apartheid and open and free elections. On Sunday and Monday the Air Force and several other pilots were practicing some air displays, right over my house. I did get a couple of shots… cr-more-freedom-prac

Now just when you think we are out of holidays… nope we have one more on Monday May 2- Workers Day or the equivalent of our Labor Day. It will be very difficult to go back to a 5 day work week.

cr-prac-freedom-day

cr-e-bfly--daisy

The last few days we have been experiencing coolercr-e-Bfly-w-daisy weather…, mostly the nights, but definitely cooler. I have a daisy plant that is full of flowers  and the other day a small butterfly came by for a visit. The sun was shining in such a way that the blue was showing all sparkly. This little guy is about the size of a quarter, not really big. The one on the flower is cool… but I think I like the one with him in the air better.

Well that’s all for now… more later-

Beth

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Flowers and Sewing

Of course I have to start with a couple of pictures. I keep trying to get a some that say Winter!!! but so far no luck, so I will show you these… that are just nice.
cr-bfly-and-bbrush
One of the ornamental garden trees is the ‘Bottlebrush’. Also called Callistemon salignus, a member of the Willow family. It is a familiar plant for me because growing up we had a Bottle Brush Shrub in our yard. I really liked the yellow butterfly and the red blossoms on the tree. Aside from the butterfly, bees and birds really like the nectar and the tree usually has lots of company.



Back in September I took a picture of the Coral Tree which is a surprising thing to seecr-Coral-tree-5889. The bright orange flowers cling to bare branches, then the leaves come, but I don’t think they are as interesting as the flowers. But the other day I noticed the seed pods.  You can see a few in this picture…. but nothing but seed pods in the next picture.






The look a little alien… don’t they.
cr-Coral-seeds
I can reveal the “Happy House” block that I made for the Sparkly ChickenSandys-block Swap, because Sandy got hers in the mail the other day. I had so much fun putting this together…  I can just picture the happy family that lives in this house… Mom, Dad and a puppy named Mozart… Can’t you?




I have been working diligently on my April Challenge…Judy Laquidaras 2011 UFO Challenge but alas it’s gone as far as I can… so I don’t think it will be done on time. I have once again been thwarted by the inability to run down to the local shop for what I need. It takes me 2 to 3 weeks to receive any items I order. Since I really didn’t know how I was going to quilt it… I didn’t know what thread or how much I was going to need when I started, (you see that I don’t have much left… on the spool). 
cr-Apr-chall-thrd-bind
So since I will now have some more time (I have ordered a spool)… I may change my mind about the binding.  The picture is showing it much more red than it is… but I think I would really like a pinker maroon to finish it off. I wish I knew what the next number was... I'd get started on that with the extra time I have.









I’ve been doing a few other things… and will of course tell you MUCH more later 
-Beth

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hodge-Podge Post

Last week was sort of hurry up and wait… with the impending and threatened Government shut down. Of course my job is not ‘essential’ so I won’t have to report to work if they don’t come to a resolution.

I have been busy again in the sewing space to kill some time. I have another Swap Block ready to go… so no pictures yet -the recipient has to get it first. However I can show you the last Sparkly Chicken Swap Block, because the recipient has received hers. Her theme was beach, so I did a very typical beach scene.  Does it say beach to you?

Beach

Sights-in-the-Sky-preI have also been working out the quilting I am going to do on the April UFO, from Judy Laquidaras UFO Challenge. I have a plan and I hope it goes as well as I think… and do what I want it to do. I made the top back in the early 1990’s, when I was a member of the Annie's Star Quilt Guild in Chico, CA. It is the second of two. The first I hand quilted and I don’t want to do THAT again… I have an idea of what I want to do… so now I am working out the details… and then I will begin.  I have changed out the poly batting to a cotton and spray basted. With DH on the road again, I will be able to quilt as needed.

I have, also-- finally gotten caught up on an International FQ Swap I am a member of. I was waiting for some fabric I ordered to arrive. I waited and waited and waited (from a US store that does online as well, I am just about fed up with them… and the backorders), and finally all but one piece is here, but I have time to get that one still. I have received some great pieces of fabric from all over the world since being involved with this group.

On Thursday last week, I had a short massage on my left shoulder and neck. I wanted to try Shiatsu and see if helped. Oh YES!!! I am thinking I may set up a regular massage appointment to see if I can get my neck and shoulder to relax long enough to get past the tension. I was a little reluctant to try massage again, as the Chiropractors massage therapists… did not ever get deep enough to do much good… I have been managing my neck and shoulder issues… without a chiropractor for more than 2 years with very little pain or discomfort, and few headaches.

A little about South Africa- It is fall here. Not that there has been a real noticeable change in the weather, at least not that you could say… it’s fall. A few trees are showing some color change or leaf loss - the poinsettia trees are beginning to get the red bracts that we see on the small shrubs at Christmas (in the US). I keep trying to get a good photograph, but so far no luck. Maybe a trip to the Botanical Gardens is in order, possibly next weekend. But I think the slight chill in the morning and evening air is the biggest change.  Enough that if you were going to be outside for a bit, you might want a sweater. The day time temps are still upper 60’s or lower 70’s so it’s still nice in the sun.

Well the Government did not shut down, so I must go to work.  Until later, and as always… there will be more later!

Beth

Sunday, April 3, 2011

From Rwanda

My DH is home from Rwanda, but unfortunately it’s really only a stop over!! He has to go back to Rwanda and then from there to the US. He will be gone again for several weeks… but I am hoping to join him sometime at the end of June.

He of course brought me a few things from Rwanda. A basket with a set of coasters in it, another basket that has a top or could be 2 baskets, a small purse of very bright fabrics, and of course some fabrics.

The fabrics are REALLY cool!

The first is a batik, with some simple giraffes printed on a green background. It’s about 4 yards and about 40 inches wide.

green-batik-giraffes

blu-gold-TanzaniaThe second is very interesting! It is from Tanzania. It will be more of table topper… rather than a quilt I think, also about 4 yards (2 panels) and again about 40 inches wide.

Remember you can click on an image for a larger view.

The third and fourth are from Cote d’Ivoire and is a ‘veritable’ Wax Prints. There are 6 yards, but the really neat part is there is a positive and a negative part. It is supposed to be used as a dress, the largest piece is the skirt and the smaller piece is to be a top. The light part is the smaller piece, about a yard and a half, and the dark piece is about 4 1/2 yards and about 47 inches wide. They both have the makers labels attached. The brown one had to be photographed from the side, it was reflecting too much and the green one I managed to line up as if it was just one piece of fabric!

brwn-waz

green-wax

The fifth and sixth are also really cool. They are also Wax Prints, but don’t have the 2 different pieces. These are both 6 yards long and 47 inches wide. The brown one is very sophisticated in the print and color choices and the yellow, green and red one is so right there!!!

Brown-dot-wax

bright-wax

All together he brought me back about 30 yards of fabrics from different areas of Africa! I have a very good guy, (don’t I?).

I don’t have a plan for any of them yet. Anyone have any ideas?

As always-

More Later-

Beth