Fitzy's blocks for the Diva RR arrived... They are an excellent example of why I love RRs... They force me to try and explore outside my comfort zone... She lives in Arizona and each of her blocks has an image of a vintage motel sign as the focus..  The sign "No-Tel Motel" appealed to my  sense of whimsy and had lots of risqué possibilities.

But in the end I chose the Tucson Motel.. I loved the colors and the lines in the sign....    
Fitzy specifically mentioned cactus and so include those....especially one in bloom... I will study some turquoise and coral vintage jewelry for inspiration for seam treatments... and of course a bird when possible.  Since Fitzy is a runner (even with a broken toe), what could be more perfect than a roadrunner... And of course a motel key.... Claudia included keys also and I thought that was a ideal icon to repeat through the blocks.

I will post the block on a bulletin board and think about it for several days before I actually start..  The thinking and making decisions is the most delicious part...


Progress, my plan and Morris

I can see the end of  critters in sight and hope to have the majority of them  done next week and I do have a plan...  All the critters are done with single thread DMC floss.  I always have two critters going at once.. I just love the woodpecker.    All get their feet and beaks when appliqued.  When I started using single threads it seemed like it would take forever but now I love it...  In fact when I use two threads for seams it feels so bulky...
Plan:  I will start in earnest on the seams on the beck panel..  and it has a LOT of seams and will probably take most of September to finish...  Then I will have most of October to do the beading, extra stitching, and assembly...  I will probably be stitching right up until I leave.
No matter where I'm working Morris is beside me...  He barely raises his head when I go to get coffee or food, but if I pick up my little jambox speaker (for Pandora) he hops right up because he knows we are changing work sites.  I adore my dog...


Two Useful Tips!!

I know I blogged earlier this summer about the Berol R-77 Ellipse Master but if you want to add a most useful and versatile tool to your arsenal of seam templates, this should be at the TOP of the list.  I started Lisa's blocks this morning and am using it.  It is so much fun. By combining different sizes ellipses and changing the direction, the possibilities are endless.  The cheapest place to find one is on E-Bay.

When I am stitching my little birds I like to outline their eyes with a white ring...  Now we are talking REALLY small.  The eye is the size of a #15 bead or about 1/16 of an inch.  Trying to use an outline stitch was impossible that tiny but I found if I stitched a thread at a time AND alternate  from side to side on the circle, I could get a very tidy tiny circle.... I love it when I find a solution for a irritating problem and this is one I'll use all the time...

DH is out of town for 3 days and this is the first time I've been alone that long since the shooting.  Since he is gone often I'll have to get used to it...  BUT I am locked in and except to go bathe my mother tomorrow I'm keeping it that way...

We are adding an alarm system but since we are so isolated  it is pretty much useless..and there only one patrol car for our whole part of the county...burglers realize that they can do whatever and be long gone before anyone can arrive.  But at least if the alarm is ringing when we come home, we won't go into the house.


Jacket and Aftermath Update

The two latest additions ready for this side of jacket are DH in disguise as a my prince charming and a delightful butterfly stitched by Lisa Boni from Colorado..

The butterfly is not only perfect in size and color but came when I needed a gift of caring most.  It will always be a remembrance of a longtime CQ friend.

DH is not too sure if he likes being represented as a toad...but glad to be that if it means he is on my jacket with all else I love.  I assure him that he is indeed my prince charming..

I still haven't found the missing house finch but hopefully it will turn up soon...it will go near the bottom where the turquoise stripes are..   I'm just about finished with a magpie....but I will start appliqueing what I have and finishing the seam treatments.

I have about 20 birds, etc drawn and ready to stitch for the back section..  Then I can start filling in the floral motifs which I will stitch directly on the jacket...

I am truly grateful for   the comments and concern from all of you who responded recently...  Although the house is back in order, we are both still reeling from the violence...  We have given it all much thought and have had lots of advice and are working on how we can better respond in such a situation which is more important that other precautions.  We can and will add extra alarms, lights, gate locks, etc. that would slow intruders down, but the bottom line is if someone is intent on invading your property or doing you harm, you are very vulnerable no matter what precautions you take....   Left is a photo of the knife he was also carrying..


Stash giveaway

I had said that I would draw Wednesday evening but as all that flew from my mind with all that happened Wednesday... but the winners are
Cindy Rogers
Roxanne Pelt
Ruth (Englishrose)

If you three would send  your address to me at olderrose@yahoo.com I will get your new stash off in the mail... 

I walked in the woods alone this morning for the first time since the shooting and was hyper  alert to everything but know that will pass.. Many asked about the dogs and they were okay but he must have had an issue with them as he had thrown their beds outside... They were also very anxious and quiet for a couple days...they are certainly not used to somebody yelling or being cross with them.


Being shot at trumps being hit by lightening!

We came home yesterday to find a strange car in front of the garage.  DH went into the house and saw that it had been trashed.  He was standing by the strange car calling 911 and a guy stood up on the other side of our car, raised his gun and shot at DH and then took off running across a field into the woods..  Luckily he missed.. Every drawer had been dumped and cupboards had been ransacked and all our suitcases were loaded with what they were going to steal.

The county sheriffs were immediate and wonderful.  They used dogs and were able to track the one with the gun. The second one got away even though the police had a helicopter looking and they are coming back this morning with the dogs. The thieves had planned to steal our truck also as they had started to load it with stuff.  Even this morning I shudder thinking of it and I couldn't sleep last night thinking of another out there.  It turns out the strange car was also stolen and the captured guy was high on drugs.

It was a pitiful effort on their part as we have little of any real value... The two most valuable things I own are my two featherweights and they are untouched.....but the fact that the guy was willing to shoot at DH was and is still terrifying.  Even though I'm sure the second guy is long gone I am hesitant to walk in my forest this morning.  If we'd come 1/2 hour later they would have been gone with our truck and everything else...

being shot


RR and Critter Production

Lest you think I have just been sitting and twiddling my thumbs, I have been busy producing critters for the jacket.  Unfortunately I have misplaced the house finch I finished and hope it turns up before I finished the jacket.

But here is a robin, swallows, Morris, hen and chicks, bluebird like the one I did for Cathy and another hummer in progress. I need only 3 more to finish the left side..  The thing I REALLY like the most about doing these appliques "off-block" is the freedom they give me in moving them about before I stitch them down..

Now I'm going to have all the critters I love on the jacket and the critter I love the most really needs to be there...  So here is how DH will be on the jacket...

I did finish the Cathy's wool block and there is a first for me on it... The bluebird is done with bamboo thread.  I really like the texture of it...


Leave your name for a giveaway of fancies....

It was a busy summer weekend and there was only 4 of us tackling the bins but we were able to reduce my 8 bins to 6 bins.  Here they are cutting velvets.

It was ALL fancies....silks, satins, velvets, etc. and we ended up with bags and bags of it cut into 8-10" squares.  I will have large bags to give to new stitchers who join our group, packets of fancies for new classes and I'm going to have a give away of three bundles so leave your name and a comment and I will choose on Wednesday evening.

Afterwards we had a nice lunch in the gazebo and each cutter took home all the fabric she wanted.


Bird's eye view

I should have added this photo to yesterday's post as this is the view that birds had from the top of that old snag...  You can see why there was ALWAYS a bird there.  But now it will rot, attract insects and the woodpeckers will love it...


I will mourn the loss of this tree...

At the back edge of my forest there was a huge old dead tree about 40' tall and it overlooked the valley behind us...  It was a favorite with the ravens, wood peckers, and hawks and at dusk I've seen the occasional great-horned owl there.  One day I even captured a shot of an eagle on it.   Every day as I walk  in the forest I check  it as I turned this corner...  This morning I was about 100' past the corner when I realized I missed it and walked back... Sure enough it was down... 

We had horrific winds Tuesday with gusts up to 65 mph and my lovely old snag was a casualty..  I have been watching it for over 30 years so I had expected it to happen long ago, but just the same, I shall dearly miss this landmark on my daily walks.

I blogged about my day in 2011 when I was looking for a cougar siting and saw the eagle..   olderrose: It's so great when you have a camera at the right moment!!
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