Friday, December 31, 2010

My List of UFOs, WIPs & PHDs for the 2011 Challenge

I had planned to participate in Judy Laquidaras UFO Challenge .... in 2011. So in preparation I procrastinated until today to make my list. I have several small projects that I might be able to complete...

Here is my 12 for this .... next year, but my real (personal) goal is to get them to the next step, IF I finish one or more, that will be a bonus.

1. Christies Quilt (1988) - hand quilt*1/2 quilted
(edit 3/28/2011- drawn for March-completed except for the label)

2. Music-Proud Mary (1989) - complete top and add borders
(edit 7-3-11 drawn for July)
3. Presidents Quilt (1990) blocks -arranged and set (enough for 2 quilts?)
4. Sights in the Sky (1990) -machine quilt
(edit 4/29/2011 -Drawn  for April. 1/2 machine quilted ran out of thread. More ordered but not in time to complete in April. Binding is also cut and ready)

5. Japanese Ladies Quilt (2004)- machine quilt

6. Red/Black Japanese Quilt (2004)-machine quilt
(edit Drawn for January. Complete.)

7. Endo (2005)-machine quilt

8. GI Progressive "Coots N Cranes" (2007)- complete top
(edit 7-3-11 top complete)

9. PR Round Robin (2008)- machine quilt
(edit 7-3-11 top complete)

10. Sparkly Chickens- Chicken Blocks (2009) - arrange & set blocks
(edit, Drawn for February. Not complete for Feb. but top assembled in March)
11. Sparkly Chickens- Fall (2009) set blocks

 12.Cupcakes x2 (2010)- machine quilt

I didn't think I had that many... projects underway, (I actually have 17) I have left the ones that need to be hand quilted off, but as you can see some have been waiting a LONG time.

More later-


Sunday, December 26, 2010

After Christmas

Widowbird.... has an amazingly long tail. (170-500 lens)

Happy Day after Christmas to everyone. Tomorrow is another holiday here, The Day of Goodwill, otherwise known as Boxing Day in the rest of the world.

I was suffering the few days before Christmas with neck pain… not sure where it came from --but I have a good idea. So I was nowhere near ready for the big day. Really glad we didn’t have any company or major dinner plans. The weather here was bright and sunny and quite warm. We were supposed to have a T-storm or two, but they really haven’t materialized.
Brothers- White Lions


Our décor… for Christmas was simple. From the states I brought several strings of battery operated LED lights. Here they have an invasive plant, and a craft has sprung up around the abundance… the limbs/branches are fashioned into yard screens, furniture, and lawn ornaments… and reindeer, stars, wreaths and Christmas trees. I have a tree that stands about28 inches tall with the LED lights woven through. No ornaments… just the lights. It’s just perfect a will do nicely for the next few years.

Big male (Nikkor)

Santa (read that to be DH) was very extravagant this year. Originally we weren’t going to do gifts, but I think DH took pity on my photo gear after our trip to Kurger…. Across the street from the Embassy is a camera shop. We all go there for the various pictures we need for ID’s. Anyway DH visited the shop and picked out some new lenses and ordered a new camera from the states. To say that I am now loaded and my camera gear… will now comprise a fair section of the back seat of the car would be true!!! DH presented me first with a new lens- a really big one… that will really bring me much closer to the subject. It weighs a ton and I will have to get a monopod to help hold it steady. It’s a Sigma 170-500m and takes some awesome pictures.

Wild dog
Next was another lens. A Nikkor (Nikon glass) 70-300m, that will really improve my photos, because it has vibration reduction. The motor is so quiet… and fast for auto focus… that it surprises me. The lens I was using… before Christmas, was also a 70-300, but it is a Tamron… and the difference is noticeable!

Large Male White Lion
And lastly…. A new camera to go will all of the lenses. I now have a Nikon D90. Originally we were going to upgrade my camera body and get a new lens or two… and DH would inherit my old camera. Somewhere in the last year he decided that he didn’t want to carry a huge camera and that I should have 2 bodies with lenses ready to go all the time. What a generous guy!!! Now I just need a pack mule to carry it all.


Today we went to the ‘Lion Park’. I don’t think I will ever go back, unless someone really wants to play with the cubs. It’s nearly guaranteed there that you can play with cubs! There are several adult lion enclosures that you can drive through. At noon on Sundays you can watch them feed the lions. We did not do that. But we did drive through. The rest of the park is not worth the comment on. The cubs were not as much fun as the other park we did last year and this one will be the second choice.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas, and that you got all the things that make you happy, wheather it's time with family, friends or alone. The photos above are all from the visit to the Lion Park.

As always.... a bit more later.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Things of NOTE

Since we returned from Kruger and I was done posting about it… I slacked off. Mostly because … taking pictures of things other than the landscape, animals or flowers is really a challenge for me…. And I hate taking them, because when I look at them I see where I could have done better … MUCH Better!!!

So what have we done in the last 5 weeks… Not too much exciting stuff and in no importance of order….

 Axel became and IT! With Linzy maturing, we didn’t want to have an accident. Axel, while beautiful, has too many genetic issues we did not want to procreate. He is allergic to both his environment and foods. We were hoping Africa would be good place for him, and so far, much better than the states, environmentally.

 I started my job. My security clearance came through, so I could begin work. I started on November 15th. I work in a Classified area -so no electronics or phones are allowed in the area. We have to leave them in a lock box outside the door; I don’t know how I am going to get along without a SMARTphone, which is the repository for all important information!!! I am a Logistician; and that big title, basically means that I shift inventory –either from here to there or -from there to here or –into the warehouse here. I also am charged with keeping track of where it all is!!! So far there hasn’t been too much to do in regard to shifting.

 We cracked my iPhone! It’s not perfect but it’s better than using the Blackberry Pearl that I had been using; and for the record, I hate multifunction keyboards!!! It’s a shame that you can own a product and then be restricted from using it the way you want to use it. And the government and environmentalists wonder why the landfills are filling up. Instead of making things more compatible, we make things more restrictive and less functional for the life of a product. I would be happy to use this phone on any network for a year or three or even longer if nothing better was produced down the road. Speaking of iPhone…. The pictures are from the iPhone today. Too lazy to do the big camera.

4 dyed fish skins

 Also, I got some very interesting leather. When we were here last year and took the ‘tannery tour’ I was shown a fish skin that had been tanned, (there was also a purse made from one, but I didn’t like the purse). It was so supple and soft, and at the time I didn’t ask if I could buy it… and left. Well since then I have been asking if they had any more… Well I now have 4 fish skins. I don’t think they are from the same fish that I saw before; but I do have some and they are cool. These are from Nile Perch caught in the Zambezi River and have been dyed… (you can

Scale side of fish
have animal skins with the fur dyed here too). Any way on the reverse it looks just like any other leather but on the front you can see the scale ridges. Makes for a very cool texture. So what am I going to do with them? Not sure yet.

 We also went to a wedding. One of my husbands colleagues met a South African lady here and now they are a legal couple. The wedding was a combination of South African and American rituals. Part of it was conducted in English and the other part in Afrikaans. But if you have been to one wedding … well you had a good idea of what was being said.

Downed Tree
 The weather here has been the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. Warm and rainy. Not the usual for South Africa in December. Generally it is nice in the mornings and then an afternoon rain Thunder shower, but not recently. We have had huge very powerful and loud Thunderstorms that make the summer storms in the Midwest seem very tame by comparison. The good thing is tornado like activity is minimal here. On Wednesday overnight to Thursday morning, last week we had 8-10 inches of rain. Not something the infrastructure in South Africa can handle… almost. Thankfully we had the house repaired where -water was seeping under the wall along the foundation in the downstairs bathroom, before the big rain came! Not that we didn’t have a problem from the rain… one of the trees in the backyard came down. It's really 2 trees that the root system had become one...It will be like this until after the 10th of January.

 Another part of the ‘Festive Season’ is its prime Holiday Time here. Most people take 2 weeks and go on Holiday. Its summer, sunny and warm –school is out for the year. December 16 is a holiday here, The Day of Reconciliation. In the old days, it was the commemoration of ‘The Battle of Blood River’, for more on this… see But has been changed to a day to recognize the new South Africa and the differences in Culture. So from mid December to mid January most of the country is away from work. This year also due to the South African Holiday, known as The Day of Goodwill (known as Boxing Day elsewhere), which falls on Dec. 26 but will be observed on Monday Dec 27, we will have a 4 day weekend and then there is New Years…

It is close to Christmas, and I just am not really into the whole Christmas frenzy this year. I have lived in California, where cold is maybe 32F, and that is overnight… not during the day –so I am comfortable without snow and freezing temps. So our house is done in minimal Christmas. Yep, this is the extent of the decorating. I have 3 strings of LED battery operated lights…. Red and White (they are also the total extent of the Christmas décor I shipped over. That’s it. We have decided that rather than do gifts (to each other)…. We would see Africa while we are here.

 And last but not least I got a fabric postcard in the mail today from my friend Karen, who blogs here. The postcard is a replica of a quilt she was making and blogged about it here A Creative Kick . I would just love to see the quilt in person… but this little gem will have to do!!!

Until later...