Thursday, September 21, 2017

Friends Visiting

It has been a fun and busy start to September... and here we are looking at the first day of fall. Where has the summer gone?

I had a friend, Laetitia, from South Africa visiting and she brought along one of her friends, Ilette, as
well. Laetitia and I were in the Jacaranda Quilt Guild together and were members of a home group (bee) that met just about every week in the evenings. I collected them at O'Hare on Saturday and from there we visited a Quilt Shop., one of my favorites when I lived there, and I always try to stop in for a visit when in town. I love the huge selection of batiks!! We made a stop at a retailer for some necessities and then dinner at Portillos, burgers and beer long what could be better after a long flight? Does Laetitia look happy and excited?

The following day we did Chicago. We did a lot of walking. Navy Pier, caught a lake tour boat, and we saw one of the tall ships sailing about as well.

We then took a friends suggestion and made our way to the Chicago Cultural Center, which had escaped my notice ... when I lived here. There are 2 dome rooms, one on the north end of the building and the one we wanted to see the Preston Bradley Hall with the Tiffany Dome is on the south end. The Mosaic is absolutely stunning and worth the few minutes it takes to visit it. My photos are not the best. I had the zoom lens and it does not do so well in low light, but this will give you an idea....  those tiles are about 1/2 inch square, so there are millions of them.... and many of them glitter too.

We next walked across the street and spent a few minutes under the trees listening to the Jazz Festival music and viewing some of the artists on our way to 'Cloudgate' otherwise known as the BEAN. I have never seen so many people at the bean. I have even  been there when, the only reflection has been us, no other people on the square!!! It was very very busy... and I forgot to mention HOT in Chicago.

Our next stop was the Buckingham Fountain, which was under renovation when I came in the past and you would think I would take a picture of it.... nope... We continued our walking tour... on down to the Field Museum and then along the waterfront back to the car.

It was a long day, and we packed a lot into it.

I will share more in the next few days.... More for sure Beth

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dog Days!

Its August, already!!! Life has been busy!!! 

Bandit has proven to be a very willful and headstrong teenager and has forced us to reevaluate his training... and behaviour. Most of the difficulties were caused by us, not being firm and consistent in our response to his unwelcomed and at times very dangerous reactions to our reprimands.  We got lazy... and he took advantage of loose humans.

He is now in active training... every day... an hour(ish) in the morning and an hour(ish) in the evening, along with behaviour modification all day.

We noticed a huge difference in one day and it has improved all week. Everyone is happier. He loves to work... and do well, and eat. Yep. He gets both meals while training, which is where the hour(ish) comes in. Some days we feed him slower and other days... a bit faster, so all the sessions are different and he does not get to rush to the end and be done.

This is yesterday... while training in the backyard. 

He is 10 months old. Best guess weight is about 70 pounds. He is fully grown and will begin to build his muscles and fill out. He looks very impressive in this picture, but when walking or running you can still see his adolescent physic...  

He will be a good dog!!! 

More Later!!!  Beth

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Exciting and NEWS!!!

Well kinda.... please go to

I Have A Notion

for all the scoop!!!

More Later -


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Quilting Spaces

I have not been idle in the sewing departments.... Just not able to show too much of what I was working on. But I can share now.

In April a friend dropped in and brought along a Charity Quilt top I offered to quilt. I did and it is done!!! I should have rotated the picture.... This quilt is Kaffe Fasset fabrics and a blue batik. It is really quite colorful and bright. And it goes along with the Challenge (below)... as it is also a 'String Pieced Quilt'!

One of the the guilds I belong to issued a challenge in February. "Strings" and I immediately thought of a Zebra. The rules were 50% of the quilt had to be strings, the strings had to be less than 2.5 inches in width, and it did not have to be quilted. Due in June.

I had so much fun making the Zebra that I had to do another one. The Giraffe.

I hope to do a few more of these.... because they were fun and as I was doing them they made me remember some of the things from daily living in South Africa that I had not thought about in a long while. I created a label on the reverse of the zebra that talks about many of the things I remembered about wildlife in South Africa. The Giraffe label will talk about shopping in South Africa.

Still More Later!!!  Beth

Monday, May 29, 2017


Wow it has been a little while since a post has been posted. There has been lots going on... but nothing worth posting about or there has been just more going and no opportunity to post with pictures. The other component... to posting is the computer and editing the photos!! Bandit is now 7 months old, he passed his Level 1 obedience class, and we are looking at Level 2 which should be starting soon. That is the loss of about 9 hours a week plus his walks to help us burn some excess energy. I have been to Paducah for the show, taught a class, created a challenge quilt, (can't post that yet), working on 2 other pieces, almost done with one on the longarm and have a special project or 2 that also need my attention! I will share those pictures soon too. I have had guest come and am expecting more later in the season and hopefully soon I will have an announcement too!!! Um.... maybe I should entertains some guesses... do you have one?

I did finally get the computer and editing software all working together on the same day that I had a few minutes to spare. So I will work with those those pictures and post.... in order...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Spring finally arrived about mid April, but the temperatures have bounced around... warm then cold, then cool then HOT, then cool.... you get the picture. Right up to yesterday, the day before Memorial day, cool. You will have to look closely to see one of the harbingers of spring in this picture.
A baby bunny. Mom lives under our deck and provides the yard with several litters every year. This little guy and his brother are about the size of a toddlers shoe. They are nestled next to the raised garden box.

Our lawn is growing, so that means the clover is too. On one of the warm days I spotted a few of the Blue Hairstreak butterflies and had to get the camera. These are very small butterflies as you can tell by his wings fully open on a clover bloom.
And all folded up. The same butterfly, and when all folded up is slightly larger than a dime.

Also, I found several fields of these yellow flowers, Ranunculus bulbosus, otherwise known as a Buttercup. 

Sorry I've been away, someday, when Bandit has grown up, much more of my time will be disposable!!! I don't know what possessed me to think that I needed another dog! 

More, much more --- Later!  Beth

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pupdate #2

Up until Thursday we were enjoying several days of spring!!! A high temperature in the upper 70's (21 C) we plunged almost 50 degrees, between the high and the low in a 24 hour time frame. From warm sun to frost this morning. The poor plants are totally confused... some in mid bloom!

Aside from the weather changing Bandit has under gone some changes too. From little ball of fur to a big gangly fellow that weighs in a little over 40 pounds (20 kg). Although it feels to us humans that lots of time has passed since bringing him home, he has only been in our house 10 weeks. Really some days it seems like a lifetime!

Somewhere in the last couple of weeks we did achieve dog integration. Linzi was on dog Prozac, to help her get over having another dog in the  house. She has only ever liked one other dog, and that was Axel. She scared us with her vehement dislike of the little guy, so we opted to change her attitude chemically. It worked but made us sad to see her glassy eyed. Although she did like eating during her medicated phase. Something that she is often not too interested in.

I took this one a week or so after the ones in the yard above. Most mornings they lay near each other for about 2 minutes and then one picks up a toy and the daily battles begin. It never fails that one of them wants the toy the other has, regardless of the number of other toys available!

And our last visit to the vet for another year (unless he finds some other trouble). Here he is at 16 weeks waiting to get his rabies shot. And you can just about hear him asking 'Where is that Doctor?'

We started our obedience training and nearly failed on the first day for the very same reasons that Axel failed his obedience classes (2, yes 2. He thought he was the social director and was always trying to tell the other dogs where to go). Both, Axel and Bandit have been bred to bark. Ever watch cops or other police show with a police dog at a scene? Doesn't their barking about drive you crazy? It is bred into them.... that nonstop barking. Trust me on this, it can drive you crazy!!!!

Not that it will last, but both dogs are currently taking a nap and it is calm and quiet!!!

More later- Beth

Sunday, January 22, 2017


I was asked if I would share some Thread Play again this year. A few years ago I threw this Hibiscus Flower together for a class I would be taking, "The Open Threadbar" with Cindy Needham. In the class we were going to have the opportunity to play with all the Superior threads that were available at the time. I had not had my 
Janome 6600 for long and there was lots of talk about many of the newer machines did not like many of the new threads. I thought it was a great way to try all the Superior threads without having to purchase any. As it turns out the Janome.... liked them all! Most of the class played on a white/muslin sandwich... and did the stitch outs using the fancy stitches on their machines. I wanted to see how the thread would behave on an actual project.
The fabrics are batiks and backed with fusible, so there were some rather thick areas where the fabric stacked up. But I didn't have time to cut away fusible as I really did throw this together in the last hour....

I had to create a patter for the hibiscus since the original was
supposed to be a one off. I spent December working on that and then thought that after painting a hibiscus last year at the guild, we might want a different flower, and created the Echinacea. This yellow one is a test... for the pattern and is small. I will leave it unfinished for now. Although it just needs a little more quilting and the binding. I did add some beads tho. If you click on the photo you should be able to see the details.

Once I had the test all worked out, I made one that is full size, too.  The first picture is the detail, I added a few beads to give it some sparkle and dimension. The yellow and the orange are the same pattern just oriented differently on the background.

The instructions for both of them are the same, so the fabric choices and the number of pieces are different, I will let participants choose the one they want to do.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wishes and PUP date #1

Happy New Year!!! I'm just a little late ..... with this... but I'm sure you'll understand.

My hope is that 2017 brings you creativity and time to pursue it, and that it brings you both joy and happiness!

We have our own little ball of joy and happiness to take us into 2017. Sure hope I am saying this as we go through the equivalence of the terrible 2's of Puppyhood!!!

Meet Bandit. 

The breeder named him.... and it was what was put on his registration.... so we kept it. 

This is his sire             and      this is his dam

This him at 7 weeks, when we brought him home. Both of his ears were erect, but the stress of rehoming... caused one to flop. It only took 3 days for both to be back up. He probably weighed 12 pounds when we brought him home and yesterday at the vet (first picture) he weighed in about 20 pounds.

At 10 weeks he is nearly house broken....  He asks to go out.... but we don't trust him yet of course. 

We both were missing our big 'bigger than life' dog, Axel since July and the hole in our daily lives just didn't want to close. So in November I said I thought I was ready for a new dog. The DH started looking for a breeder that bred dogs like Axel. I considered a white rescue shepherd that I helped rescue, but he was just to laid back. DH asked if I wouldn't consider an all Black Shepherd, but no I really wanted another flat coated dog. DH made some inquires... and showed me a page with a beautiful dog, we Googled it and, and, and, they had a litter of puppies. 2 females and 2 males. One of the girls was spoken for, but neither of the males were. So we made an appointment to see them. This is a picture of the males at 4 weeks. Bandit is the pup on the right.

He has been with us for a full 3 weeks now and he has matured and grown tremendously. Its been fun watching him learn to leap, jump and manage his body this week. He is practicing his bark too. He doesn't manage the whole night yet and the frigid weather of the last few days has us questioning our sanity!

and Bandit at 8 weeks.

Linzi is not happy about this at all! He is too small yet to allow them together... and it is evident that he will be the dominate dog. Hopefully they will eventually find a balance and we can all be together in the same room.

If this post is a disjointed... sorry. My attention span has been shorted dramatically over the last few weeks. Wonder Why?

More later... about me, quilting and Bandit!