Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exciting news: group of 4 quilts may be published

The past two years, I have taken a week long design workshop with Jean Wells. In 2010, I took her Intuitive Quilting class then in 2011, Intuitive Quilting II. Jean is an amazing teacher. She has a gift of knowing which question to ask or just the right moment to check on your progress. I feel that I started to grasp quilt composition and enjoyed every minute. The workshops are offered at the Stitchin' Post in Sisters. A week devoted to quilting is, for me, an ultimate luxury. It's enough time to sink your teeth into a fairly complex project and make enough progress that you have some optimism that you can finish when you get home.

Here is a group of 4 pieces I started in the 2010 Intuitive Quilting workshop. I am pleased with the composition and am particularly happy with the quilting. I wanted the quilting lines to amplify and complement the piecing lines without overwhelming the small quilts mounted on the larger background quilts.

The exciting news is twofold:  first, Jean is writing a new book! Second, Jean asked me if she could include photos of this group of pieces in the book. I am thrilled and honored to be asked. There are no guarantees as the publisher, C&T Publishing, has the final say. So keep your fingers crossed for me!

4th of July with Dear Friends

Traditionally, we barbecue on July 4th with our cherished friends and neighbors:  Glenna, Peter, Acacia and Ezra. They have three dogs:  Reuben, Mia and Lizzie. Reuben and Mia are brother and sister bull mastiffs. Reuben weighs over 137 pounds (solid muscle!), Mia weighs about 90 pounds and Lizzie, the pug, weighs maybe 25 pounds. Nickel's first 4th of July holiday began by meeting Reuben, Mia and Lizzie.

Meet Reuben, a giant (literally) sweetheart. He loves to sit in deck chairs so he can observe the goings on in the back yard as well as be close to his peeps.

Nickel meets Reuben nose to nose.
Hi Reuben ... you're kinda big ...

 Struttin' with the BIG dog

Mia readily adopted Nickel. She's a great mom and is entirely willing to do her part in raising this pup.

 Yea! Mia runs really fast

And after all that running, you've just got to cool off. And isn't this the best bird bath ever? It's just the right size!

 Made for me

Well, I splashed out nearly all the water so Peter needs to refill the birdbath.

 Helpin' Uncle Peter

Gulp Gulp Gulp

 Ahhhhhhh ...

 My best friend Acacia

Harry with three tired goldens:  Frankie on the left, Nickel in the middle, Benny to the right. Benny is still doing well, thankfully. In his most recent lung x-ray, the mass was smaller and less opaque so the chemo drug is at least slowing the cancer down. We are grateful.

Family portrait

Nickel Discovers a Water Bottle

On a whim, I tossed a plastic water bottle in the yard. Nickel thinks it's an awesome toy ... if only he could get a hold of it. It took him many tries before he discovered that he could grab the cap.

 Found the cap

 Can I roll on it?

 This is fun!

And a rose in our yard ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nickel's First Swim

We took Nickel for his first swim on July 1. Frankie came too because he's an expert swimmer/splasher. There were no theatrics. Nickel calmly walked into the shallow end of the lake, kept walking and simply started swimming. What could be easier?

Nickel's very first swim

Frankie is impossible when we go swimming and has been that way from his very first swim. For the most part, Frankie is cooperative and eager to please but not so when he hits the water. He swims well away from shore, then swims and splashes, splashes and swims, bites the splash, swims and splashes ... as long as he wants. No amount of calling, toys or food bribes convince Frankie to leave the water he so adores. 

So, when Nickel actually came when Harry called, he got lots of praise and treats.

 Nickel gets a treat from Harry

 No time to chat ... gotta swim more

You do know there is only one toy, one stick, one treat. And the dog who has it is the envy of all. Frankie is happy to give up the stick to Nickel since he'd rather be swimming anyway.

I want Frankie's stick