My best friend!

Sunday mid-morning I found my dog in the tall grass unable to get up. I immediately rushed him to the vet and they started an IV and kept him. Vet said he had a severe case of food poisoning. He is home now and I am just able to start him on soft food ...2 Tablespoons at a time and still giving him an antibiotic. He is VERY weak.

It's driving us crazy to know what caused it and have searched the property. This is a dog that is not only extremely particular about his food, he wants it cut up in small pieces to boot. Our female dog will eat anything yukky but NOT Fritz... We do have one neighbor I suspect of putting out poisoned bait for the coyotes (which are my friends) but can't imagine how it could get to our farm... Big mystery. His first night home he slept against my back with his nose tucked under the small of my neck. He couldn't get any closer if he tried. He's on the mend now because today he barked at the vacuum cleaner....


Black- Intense, quick and cheap!

I was the last person to work on Simona's block in the Beaded RR. She had used black in the block foundation and I felt some black motif butterflies would tie the block together. My experience with trying to dye something black had been disappointing so I experimented with an ordinary permanent black Sharpie marker. The lace butterflies soaked up the ink and I was thrilled with the intensity of the black...


Recycled Table

I found a octagonal table at a thrift store perfect for a game/card table that a friend was anxious to have. The table had seen better days but she sanded and primed it. Over the last 2 days she had me paint a large joker (about 2' tall) in the center of the table. Not quite done as there's still gold detailing to do. Now she's going to do an elaborate border with decoupaged antique playing cards. Should be a great OOAK conversation piece when done...


Magic moment for Cobi!!!

I'm almost done with this tree of life on one of Cobi's Magic Moments RR blocks.. A couple seams and maybe a stylized cat sleeping at the base of the tree! I was able to use a face from a push mold and also some tiny MOP birds that I have had FOREVER, The gold cording was a special buy from the CO retreat. Everytime I use something I bought on that trip it brings back fun memories!


Fan RR

When I joined the Fabulous Fans RR everyone came up with unique interpetation of fan blocks except me. I was the ONLY person who did boring traditional, sane-quilt fan blocks. Doing something different never even occurred to me. It's this creative approach by others that continues to amaze and excite me. Below is Jo Newsham's solution to a series of fan blocks. Jo requested the random fan shapes be the focus and embellished and any work on the background remain neutral .

Cathy and Bonnie worked their magic on these fans. Beautiful seams and ribbonwork.... These are only 6" blocks so the fans are really quite small...

Then along came Leslie Erhlich who always thinks outside the box. I LOVE following her as everything she does inspires me. When the blocks arrived at my house I couldn't stop looking at it. I still love looking at it. Traditional fans often had landscape scenes painted on them but it never occurred to me to do it with embroidery. Bravo Leslie!!!

Following Leslie

I didn't want to copy Leslie but she certainly inspired me. I wanted to challenge myself by creating a competely different approach. This block is a beading exercise gone crazy. I had painted the cottage button for Jo and wanted to put it on her fan surrounded by a FEW beads and then do the neutral cottage on the background. I added a few rows of beads around the button and then a few more, and then a few more until I ran out of fan.
The MOP cottage button is only about 1 1/4" so you can see this fan is quite small. It's different than anything I've done. Do you like it?


The block that talked!!

Before and after

I had so much fun on this block and added two butterflies, two fans, a rose spray,a heart and a dove.
Felt like I should say and partridge in a pear tree.... Well just a little bit motif crazy....

The photo is shortened just so Jo knows that I left a large portion for her to do her magic..... Cathy put the silkie on and it is my all-time favorite silkie.... You might notice I very cleverly positioned a rose to conceal my dove's perky breast!!! As I look at it on screen I believe I'll add a few more random beads to the upper right...... AND Rita did say she really liked encrusted!


Milking Sheep

The best way to get up close and personal to a sheep is to milk it by hand. They have to trust you completely . First I spend time talking sweetly to them.. The softer I speak the more they lean in to hear me. Next I begin to train them to go on a milking stand to get some sweet grain as a treat. Then I eventually start closing the neck bar and massaging their udder. All this is done before they lamb and are still quite calm..

After the lambs are weaned around 3 months old, I can begin milking and the ewes are comfortable with the whole procedure. I talk to them while I milk and if the stream of milk slows or they tense up, I massage their udder and start singing a few bars of "Ewe are my Sunshine, my only sunshine........."

BTW: Goat and cow's milk is only around 4 % butterfat and sheep's milk is 9%. Sheep's milk makes the most wonderful creamy cheese ever.....


DYB Xmas Blocks

It was fun to do some whimsey on these blocks. The blue and white one will go to Debbie Smith and the other is for Sossity. Sherry's is next and the last one in this RR. I have something special in mind for it....


Libidinous Behavior

Remind me next breeding season that if I still have two rams that I need to stick my head in a gas oven. Not only do they need to be in separate pastures, they can't even be in adjoining pastures. They can't even be where they can see each other at a distance.

I'm busy draping tarps over fences to block their line of sight so they can't covet each other's ewes and start banging heads against the fences. To make matters worse Dolly, who is with Randy Andy, has been flirting over the fences with the younger ram, DJ. She has been making salacious cooing noises and flicking her tongue in and out. Of course this libidinous behavior on her part is driving both rams crazy .

My sheep are Tunis, a relatively rare heritage breed that were first imported to the US by Thomas Jefferson. They were the dominant breed in the South until the Civil War when Union troops killed almost all of them. Since I have long been involved in collecting and propagating hertitage roses, the challenge of helping to preserve this heritage breed of sheep had great appeal to me.... I'm trying to keep meticulous records and make sure I don't inbreed. But I'm beginning to entertain the idea of diversifying their gene pool and maybe next season calling "Rent-A-Ram" .......

The dove with a perky breast!

I just love doing birds and especially doves as there is so much symbolism connected with them. But now I'm ROFLOL as I looked at the picture. As I was working on the dove I was not even really aware of the embroidery on the fabric behind the dove. But now as I look at the photo the embroidery on the fabric not only gives my dove a perky little breast but also a halo. But I guess we all would be happy with perky breasts and halos. I'm still in love with this block and now for the SRE....


Blocks That Talk!!!

Both Cobi and Cathy have already worked on Rita's block and it is sooooooooo elegant. The silkie that Cathy chose is perfect for cream on cream. The minute I looked at it today it spoke loud and clear to me. I can see in my mind's eye almost every stitch I intend to make. Luckily I had heard from Rita and she loves encrusted. Am I lucky or what????? I love it when this happens.... Stay tuned..........

Wildlife for Cobi

Finished my part of Cobi's block and knowing we share a love of animals, I added a bunny, kitty, dragonfly, butterfly, spider and a little mouse for Jose (Cobi's daughter). Now the block is off to Jo in NZ....


I love it when I see a picture of a block posted at the beginning of an RR and it immediately sparked an idea . Lovebirds and pink roses just popped into my brain. This is Maire's block for an encrusted RR and went to Cobi and Ati before it arrived at my house and they had made a spectacular start on it. The pink roses in my visions were immediately replaced with yellow ones when I saw Ati's roses and Cobi's pale yellow catkins. Maire asked for no more blue but the block screamed for more forget-me-knots which I did with silk ribbons and highlighted with fabric paints. They surrounded a small poem and grounded the pair of love birds...

Leslie Ehrilich was the final embellisher and, as usual, she picked up the theme and completely brought this block together. It's a joy work on a project when the needlework of four women creates a wonderful harmony.....

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