Saturday, November 18, 2017

Poppies

In several areas around town the Kentucky Department of Transportation plants some different flowers. I am not sure if they have a plan or rotate areas or crops.... but the first year here where I found these poppies, there were safflowers/sunflowers. I think I like the poppies better, but the season is so short for the flowers....







I found a site with Cosmos and on the Interstate Sunflowers. I didn't get out to either of those sites this year, I will try and do better next summer!

More Later - Beth

Thursday, November 9, 2017

K9 update

If you read the I Have a Notion blog, you already know where this post is going.






Life with Bandit made a left turn last weekend. He now lives with the breeder for some re-education and lessons in manners and will be rehomed to someone that can make him respect a human.

We tried. When we knew things were not going well we reached out to the breeder for some help. We did everything that was asked of us, unfortunately Bandit didn't. The difficulties in one area got so much better, but where it counted it was getting worse. In September I got an accurate weight on Bandit, he weighed in at 90 pounds and still has lots of growing to do weight-wise, not so much in the overall size.

Last weekend things came to a head. Bandit was not having any human bosses... and snapped at me, nearly getting my face and he did connect with my right wrist. It hurt! It was scary.

On Monday he was delivered to the breeder and on Tuesday I was missing him and his energy something terrible. I was also feeling so bad about letting this happen. What signals did we miss? Could we have corrected any of this sooner? Is he doing ok... without us? Was he adjusting? On Wednesday I sent the breeder an email. He called me in the evening... He reassured me that Bandit was responding, but he did not think he would be able to send him back to us. Bandit needs a much stronger hand and we are not capable of controlling or making him behave due to his size and our age. I was crushed. In the next breath he said he still  had a couple of puppies from their last litter available and offered one to us.

I accepted so we will going down this weekend to see it... and maybe bring her home.

More later- Beth



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Last of late Summer!

We are finally in winter here... a few stray days that may reach the upper 60's (17-19 C) and nights at the freezing mark or just above. So no more flowers in nature, but I still have a few from warmer days to share.

A few more from my visit to our local Arboretum. A strange marigold, a Monarch butterfly and  a bright zinnia.




Want to know what else is going on ....? Check out the I Have A Notion blogs!

More Later- Beth


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Summer is winding down. This week the temperatures are supposed to start the downward drop from tolerable to cool. With that comes the color of fall, we still have about a week before it arrives here. But I don't want to talk about that yet.

I found some of the last vestiges of summer and I will post a few here... and a few more a bit later and so on, until I run out... and then we can maybe look at fall and winter!!!




More Later-Beth

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Few More

Lilies from the Chicago Botanical Garden ponds.






The greenhouse was the second most interesting place, due to the drizzle and grey skies outside... but very crowded with lots of families and strollers. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Promised...

to share more.... about Chicago... but I have not had an abundance of time...

Our second day in Chicago found us with some drizzle and cloudy skies. We chose to spend the day at the Chicago Botanical Garden. It was a place I visited shortly before moving to South Africa and as it turned out a great place to spend the day.

For me the best thing were the water features where about 20 or 30 different waterlilies were in bloom. I could have probably spent all day trying for the best shot.... of every different one of  them. I would have loved to see a warm sunny day that would have encouraged a few bugs to visit them too.

I will post a few of my favorites here....  and the rest over the next couple of days.





and a lily pad... doesn't the texture and spikes on the rolled side look cool?

Do you have a favorite lily.... here?

More Later-Beth

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. Quiltfabric.com, 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 -

Beth

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

SURPRISE!

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

Samples

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.