Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quilty as Promised!

The Kwetterkwilters are exchanging birthday blocks this year. The first birthday up was Lynette, in the first part of April. The pictures aren’t the best, because I used my phone… but once again… I didn’t have a better camera with me.  The first picture is all the blocks. She received. Can you guess which one I made?


Lynette chose birds as her theme. She did not even restrict if the birds had to be realistic or comic, just birds. There were no other restrictions on her block theme, not size, background or colors. Just it had to be a bird. Her plans are to make a wall hanging. I  think she has a great start.


If this is the block you thought I made, you are right. I chose a stylized peacock, so I could use lots of green and purple fabrics. Both are Lynettes favored colors. The little chicks block is my favorite though.

quilting-022Lynette was not the only one to receive a ‘quilty’ gift. I received one too. The other Kwetterkwilters presented me with Twinchies back in late October, after I shared my small stash of postcards, Twinchies and 4x4’s. But one was outstanding. Isn’t it just wonderful? Definitely worth waiting for!!!

…. the last quilty project for today.


I have organized a small International Postcard Swap. Total of 21 players. We are just now moving into the last round of the swap. The photo above was my postcard for round one. We have a theme, for those that need/want to produce on a theme. I actually knew what I was going to do… before the theme…. and would have done this anyway. The theme was “Where You Are”. I put a little Swarovski Crystal to represent …Pretoria, South Africa.


These are the postcards I received in Round 1. There are only 5 displayed because one refuses to arrive. The maker has made 2 and mailed them both. They only have to come across town… but…. they don’t get here! She has said that the 3rd one will NOT be mailed. For many of the participants of this swap, it is their first try at postcards. I say WoW!


And if you are still with me. This is my 2nd Round postcard. The theme was ‘Plant’.  A native plant here is the Aloe. There are so many different varieties.  Mostly red or yellow flowers, long stiff leaves with a serrated edge. I also entered this postcard for the ‘Teeny Tiny “Bling Your Thing” Challenge’ over at IHAN there are 4 or 5 pages of entries, use the Archive to find all the pages (1/2 way down on the left side of the page).

Tonight we unveil our next 12” x 12” challenge. PASSION. I can’t wait to see what we have all come up with for that!

More Later- Beth

PS- Thanks everyone for all the comments on my Sad Post, they really helped! The void isn’t nearly as big and I am thinking of making a fabric portrait… from the posted photo.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Sad Post

My cat, Spaz, is at the Rainbow Bridge. He’s been a part of many moves and ventured 1/2 way around the world with us. I didn’t want to bring him with us (to South Africa), because he was already an old cat, and I felt the flight would cause too much stress  for him. I don’t think he was bothered by the flight as much as the 10 days at the kennel waiting- while our house was readied. He was accustomed to moving, since we move frequently!
Spaz, came along in 1995. I was working for a national retail Pet Supply chain at the time. While visiting a store in Chula Vista CA, I saw Spaz, at 6 weeks old. The manager had rescued a litter of kittens that had been abandoned and said they would be ready in 2 weeks. He was the only part Tabby part Siamese in the litter. I came back 2 weeks later and took him home. DH wasn’t happy but I worked for the chain and could get supplies at cost and some vet care done as well for next to nothing. Of course the work relationship ended shortly after that… but that is another story, really not worth telling.
When I brought Spaz home, we had a 4 year old Yorkie “Juju” and we had adopted an adult Rottweiler, Shayna a few months earlier. Our neighborhood was a little ‘iffy’ at the time, DH worked nights then -so we thought a big dog would be a good thing. . The yorkie wasn’t really interested in Spaz, but Shayna loved the attention and would let Spaz hang on her face! Climb, run, jump and attack…. from every angle. It was so funny to watch those to play… that little light colored kitten and that huge dark Rottweiler making hugely ferocious noises. Juju on the other hand… was your typical grouchy yorkie. Spaz out lived both of those dogs and was really happiest when we didn’t have any dogs….. but then we got Axel. Axel just never “got” that the cat wasn’t a toy! Spaz was too old to want to play with a dog, so he decided to not have anything to do with dogs. And because he thought Axel was too much, Linzi was classified the same. Although Linzi seemed to have the same level of interest in a cat as the cat in a dog.
Spaz’s only job, from the beginning, was to purr, decorate the furniture and to look good from the beginning. His only real responsibility was to take care of any mice that made it into the house. He must have done a good job, because we haven’t had any mice in the house since bringing him home. Just like the dog thing, he wasn’t much into people either. Just me, (maybe the DH by default if I wasn’t home).  He was happiest when I climbed into bed each night and he got to settle down next to me.
There is a huge hole in my daily life now that he is gone. He was an extremely easy keeper; but it’s the little things … like a fresh sip of water every time we used the bathroom tap, adding food to the bowl because the bottom was visible, making the bed with a cat on it and a greeting at bedtime.
Spaz is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge now, along with all my other furry friends…  and someday we will ALL be reunited.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Few More Pictures

This was the view from the little Chalet we stayed in over the Easter weekend. We were up on a ridge and we had a deck out over the little canyon. You can nearly see down to Cape Town in this picture!!!! (not really we are a long way from Cape Town). The little house you see in the picture is another place to stay. It really looks charming up close.


These little birds were really small, about the size of a pair of rolled socks. As I was driving up to our Chalet one morning…. They were in some really long grass.  Not in the least worried about me…. didn’t see mom anywhere, but I’m sure she was around somewhere in the long grass.


One of my favorite places to visit was a little pond that formed next to the road. Lots of bugs and a few flowers…. butterflies, dragonflies and this fly with HUGE red eyes getting a drink…


And lastly, a bird in flight. This is a European Bee Eater. These birds are very colorful. They soar, turn and dive for insects and are fast! Very difficult to get a picture. I was also trying to get one of the underside, but alas none of those turned out.


These are the last of the Easter pictures- next up some Quilty ones.

As Always….. More Later,


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The sky….

One of the most spectacular things we saw on our Easter trip to the Hunting Lodge was the moon rise and the sun rises/sets!!! Just spectacular. While there we had a full moon. I missed the most exciting blood orange moon rise because I didn’t see it coming up behind the trees, which were behind me while I was watching the fire…. Oh well, maybe next time!

The moon rise while the sun was setting…. so I have a little pink in the picture too.


And a bunch of Sun ups or downs…. does it really matter? The sky was very orange.




And lastly a photo of a Rhinoceros. This is the male, and as you can see he is a little deformed. The defamation is man-made. Here, in Africa, not just South Africa, the Rhino is in a dangerous place. The Oriental medicines think that the Rhino horn contains special characteristics and is a very highly prized ingredient. So to help protect the Rhinos life the horn is surgically removed. The horn is like a fingernail, it will regrow, but then it will have to be removed again. It’s a sad sight, but much better than dead!


More Later!  Beth

Friday, April 13, 2012

What Season?

If you saw a bunch of these trees what season would you think it was?


We went north of Pretoria by about 100 miles for a long (Easter-here it is a 4 day holiday, Good Friday and Family Day on Monday) weekend of hunting and relaxation. These trees are blooming everywhere, but this one had lots of green around it which really shows off the pink, (sorry about the road)… I don’t know the name of the tree. The flowers resemble a Lily…. 5 long petals, white and yellow throat and long stamens.


Where we stayed I saw several wild flowers too. This purple one, which reminds me of Statice. The flower is less than 1/4 inch across -closer to 1/8 of an inch, and as you can see there are lots of little flowers waiting to bloom.


I also found these little orange flowers, and like the ones above the flower is very small, these are closer to 1/4 inch and also similar to the one above bloom in stages.

One of the things I have noticed in the flower world since I started taking flower portraits… is the number that resemble puffs. They come in lots of different sizes… from very small like this pink one -less than a half inch across.


To this white one which was about an inch across.


And lastly the grass- which was seeding. This grass is tall, around 5 feet… maybe a bit more.


So have you figured out which season it is in the Southern Hemisphere? If you have said fall you would be right. The temperatures are cooling… 15 Celsius at night (mid 50’s) and the days are not getting quite as warm 20 Celsius (lower 70’s). Really quite comfortable!

More Later!  Beth