23 December 2008

Mr. Falcon

He came back. Or she. Whatev'. It's the merlin. And this time, I took pictures. Mainly because Quickdraw McGraw (daughter of mine) said "get the camera". So, this is the merlin that came looking for more sparrows to eat in our neighbor's yard. You can see the bird perched on the trellis, eyeing our neighbor's suet feeder. What you don't see are sparrows. Hmmmm. This is the merlin closer up. I apologize for the poor quality, but at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and not wanting to risk scaring the bird away, I took these through a double door. With rain/snow spots.
I just had to share that I was not delusional about seeing this bird in our yard! It flew to the tree by our bird seed feeder, then flew down toward the ground and vanished.
In other news, we were looking at the tracks in the snow, and what looked like this scenario. Please note that it is entirely fictional and supposition, but entirely, mostly, sort of plausible:

A rabbit was running around, making tracks. A hawk or owl (I think a merlin is too small) swooped out of the evergreens and picked up the rabbit, who was screaming its tiny rabbit scream by now, and took off in the early morning light.

I drew a picture to help you. I love scanners.

If I had any skills in MS Paint, I could have made this much more believable, but you just have to use your imagination. If that is limited, then I can't help you. Sorry. I have never held myself out as a drawing artist. Note the absence of tracks to the right of the miniature snow angel. For a long ways. At least going in the correct direction. You can draw your own conclusions if you like. I'm sticking with the raptor story.

16 December 2008


Well, we made it to the big 3-0. Hero hubby and I were married December 16, 1978. And it was almost as cold that day as it is today. I would upload a whole bunch of wedding pics from that day, but I can't find the wedding album. Aw shucks. That's what happens when the honeymoon's over. Today also just happens to be the day that I was able to get my wedding ring back on, and actually take it off again without taking half of my finger off with it!
We went to Chicago for a short weekend away. Stayed in the honeymoon suite (Saturday night) at the...Lombard Hampton Inn! It was sooooo cheesy. Greek columns in formica and sad pink bunting hanging from the mirrored bed canopy. But it was fun to be cheesy. Then we moved to a real room for the next night.
After visiting Lombard Gospel Chapel on Sunday we drove downtown. Jerry had to drive down Lower Wacker Drive just because it's cool. We walked the Magnificent Mile. Michigan Avenue. Only 2 wrong ways on one-way streets before finding a parking spot. Sweet. There was a Kristkindlmart at the Daley Plaza where they had all sorts of German crafts and artwork for sale, as well as the ubiquitous brats and beer. I went into Filene's Basement just to see what the hubbub was about. Reminded me of the stores we were in while I was in Japan. Sort of. Only American. Hmmm. The thing is, I only barely got in the door, because of the aforementioned hero hubby and his prediliction for staying out of stores he doesn't want to go into.
And, for the pi├Ęce de resistance, I introduced hero hubby to Bao, or Nikkoman as they are called in Japan. There is a "fast food" place called WOWBao, and they have amazing tasting ones. And homemade gingerale that really packs a punch. Pun sort of intended. I was soooo excited.
Monday we visited a customer just to make the trip legit, and had a long scary trip home in the ice. I think over the weekend everyone in the country got hit by ice. Now it's snowing today. Yee haw.

14 December 2008

These are some of the kitschy items that sold at my "sale". Two woven placemats that were in horrible condition on the reverse color scheme side, and the fringed edges were all falling apart.
This is the inside.

These are some snowman hangers that sold. They are the least artistic items that I had for display/sale. They are the first that sold. Gag me.


13 December 2008

Sashiko Handbag

My sashiko purse. The first of (I hope) many. I have one piece of fabric embroidered, but as usual, I don't know exactly what I will do with it.
This side is the Arrow Feather pattern. Don't be hypercritical. I have in no way perfected sashiko but I'm workin' on it!

This is the Diamond Blue Wave side.

12 December 2008

One Bag that Sold

This is a strip quilted log cabin-ish messenger bag that I made out of new fabrics. This is one item that did sell. This is the front.

This is the back.

This is the reverse side front.

This is the reverse side back. That's a log cabin patch pocket, which is the lining pocket when everted. Or inverted. I thought it was clever. So did the person who bought it. YAY.

11 December 2008

Unexpected Thanksgiving Visitor

Thanksgiving day we saw this bird sitting in the tree above our bird feeder:
Not this exact bird. This is a Google Image. But the great thinking person who thought to capture a photo got it right. It's a merlin. A prairie falcon. Falco combarius. It sat in our tree for a good half hour, then just took off. We were so excited. We see kestrels and red-tail hawks and other hawks around our neighborhood, but never a merlin. Wish I'd thought to get a picture of it. We almost thought it was a mourning dove, except mourning doves don't swivel their heads almost 360 degrees. That's when the binocs came out. Then Peterson's Field Guide. Made me late for getting the prime rib in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner, I'll have you know I was that excited.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Something

Sorry, dear readers, for being absent for so long! I was chided by one of my staunchest readers that it's time to update. I will try to do so with a minimum of italics, bold and exclamations. I'm not promising anything, just that I will try. I've been sewing up a storm since I last posted. Here are some results. Since it takes so dang long to upload pics in blogspot, I will save some more for later posts.

This purse is made from obi fabric given to me by a lady in Japan. I can't remember if it was Takenaka-san or Makata-san. The strap is removable. I used black/gold cotton fabric for the lining.
Remember the orange wedge monstrosity? Under the advisement of my muse, I changed it into this

Remember the strip quilt block I did that I couldn't figure out what to do with? I just mangled that English all over. But I'm stickin' by it.

This is the back side of what I came up with: This is the front:
That's all I had the patience for uploading today. I had a "show and sell" at an Independent Living retirement community place yesterday. I sold a couple of things. Mostly kitschy stuff. I heard a lot about so-and-so's granddaughter or daughter who started a business sewing purses and now has three people working for her yada yada yada...translated: "you're a loser, my 'whatever' isn't. Take that. " I absolutely do not want to make the same thing 30 times over, nor do I want other people sewing something with my name on it. Note how I held back from bold, italics, caps and exclamations. Note my self-control. One woman droned on about how her granddaughter sells so much of her beautiful things at church bazaars and Adventureland craft fairs. After she droned for about 10 minutes, I asked what the g-daughter makes. Rice filled heat packs. Rice filled heat packs. You can take a sock and fill it with rice and tie it, and you have a rice filled heat pack. Phyllis said that "old woman" is a bore. Phyllis is 85. The "old woman" is probably only 80 or so. But Phyllis was right. That "old woman" is old and a bore. Back to the gist of this whole thing:
I believe I am going to try to sell these beautiful works of art to some boutiques in town. Maybe on the web. Who knows? More later, friends. I have 11 other purses to share with you. That you haven't seen yet. And then, I have the kitschy stuff that sold that I need to share with you.
Some people just don't get it. (bold, italics, capslock, exclamation point x 2.)