11 December 2011

Almost done...

Stars Over Bali Skies BOM complete quilt top
Yippie! Hurrah! Hallalejer! My BOM quilt is almost done! I finished the November block and added the border for December. Next, I need to purchase/prep backing, then send it out to be quilted together. Add binding, and DONE! An aside from last month, that troublesome block was really no trouble at all. Maybe I still have the luck of a novice and didn't have the sense to be scared of it! Gonna lay off BOM's for awhile (this one lasted 10 months) and see whatever sewing mischief I can find for myself! I am thinking about taking a class on making fabric bowls; finding projects using a few dozen of those hundreds of fat quarters (which I've recently reorganized! [see below]) I've collected; and dabble in this-n-that.

From Simple Gifts Artists Sale
I've been having quite a time with the Zipper Bracelets I made for the Simple Gifts Market last month. In addition to selling quite a few to friends and customers, I sold over 30 to Blue Seven, a specialty gift and clothing store. That was pretty exciting. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue making them or change 'em up a bit. I've got all sorts of tools and supplies so think I'll be playing 'jewelry' in the future, too.

I finally got tired of my fat quarters collection being only 'kinda' organized. I dumped out each of the boxes, re-color-coded them, organized them as images on my iPad, then refilled the boxes. Ahh, Fabric Peace. Yes, this is how my brain works. Scary, I know.
Mostly fat quarters—three boxes plus batiks!
Eloise, aka Ellie
Checked out the Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar today down at the fairgrounds. I pretty much got what I went for, an adorable sock monkey from Fried Okra, aka Adrian Mix. I was especially tickled to find a 'just perfect' little sock monkey for a little one coming into the world in a few short weeks. But this one is mine. She is Eloise, but I'm gonna call her Ellie. I absolutely love her dots and stripes (dashes?). Maybe her last name is Morse. And that big, cheesy grin—what a girl! She's already got a built-in sock monkey family here and they welcomed her with open arms. I'll get a picture of the whole gang posted next time. I also picked up some wonderfully fragrant handmade soaps. I'm a sucker for a good scent!

I've almost completed my first year of quilting. It's been a fun and productive time—new sewing machine, lots of fabric. And while the BOM is my magnum opus, I've enjoyed all the other smaller projects, mostly for other, especially the baby quilts.

C'mon 2012! Whatcha got for me?

08 November 2011

Time's a wastin'...

It's only been a couple of weeks, but it seems like ages since I updated. Okay, first things first—you're invited to the Sinple Gifts Artists Market at Gwen's house THIS Saturday! I do hope you'll come. Several artists will be selling a variety of studio-made specialties. I'll have a few items for sale (hooded towels, zipper bracelets [as seen on Pinterest and in my last post], and lanyards), but you really need to come see and buy some of the treasures Gwen's got—aperns, wallies, dollies, and more!

I picked up my last BOM block the other day. As suspected, I don't get the outer border pieces until December, rounding out the whole 10-month experience. Toni, the lady who assembles the packets, mentioned a few weeks ago that one of the blocks in the November packet was quite trying. I've only done the preliminary prep for the block so don't know whether or not it will give me headaches.

A few updates...

Sock Monkey is all knitted. He even has a special little hat I improvised—kind of an upside down flower pot with a pom-pom. Don't know what else I'm going to add, but he looks like he could use something. Here he is watching Rocky sleep.

The Halloween costume came together so well. Tom went to the Epic youth night on October 26 at church where some of the kids also dressed up. He practically got treated like a celebrity. The teens got excited about seeing Mermaidman (from Spngebob Squarepants) like the little ones do when they see the Toy Story or Sesame Street characters. He even had some candy Crabby Patties to pass out early on. I can honestly say I never thought I'd ever be teaching my husband how to put on tights!

This is a little something I finally got around to making. It's a new take on my Scrabble® wall hangings. I thought a pillow would be a nice option because this friend is doing a bit of traveling these days.

Well, have got to get some things ready, worked on, and organized for the sale this weekend. Please stop by if you can! You'll see a wide variety of gifts for yourself and others! We'll love seeing you!

One more thing (okay, maybe a couple of things)...
I love feedback. I'm an artist and, well, we crave validation. Please feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or make suggestions. Thanks in advance! Although I'm not posting as consistently as I'd like, make sure you know when there's a new post by entering your email address above at Follow by eMail.

20 October 2011

Busy October...

Where HAS the time gone?! I got a late start on the September BOM, so October's fell fast on its heels. Instead of knocking it out in the first couple of days, I saved it for Quilt Camp!

Gwen hosted her First Annual Quilt Camp! From the sixth through the ninth of this month, I enjoyed a delightful little getaway—three nights away from home! Along with two sisters and and a sister-in-law, there I was! We had lots of sewing, laughter, conversation, challenges, creativity, wine-o'clock (what happens at quilt camp stays at quilt camp!), and poignant insights (personal, relational, artistic, and spiritual).

Here is a composite image of some of the quilts that were worked on or brought for show and tell. Julie, the seester-in-law from Arizona, prepared a couple of 'breakout sessions.' She showed us a couple of tricks with 9-patch and 4-patch blocks. A couple of the girls used the 'Disappearing 9-patch' (click here for blogger Susan Wood's technique) to start new quilts.

Julie also brought a nifty little tool with her. In the 'real' world, it's a wide-angle viewer (under $5) one might use for a front door. In quilt world (over $12), it serves as a scope enabling the viewer to see the whole quilt at one time. Even better, Julie picked up some while we were on a mini road trip and gave each of us one! Thank you, Julie!
Another hit of the weekend was a belated birthday gift I had for GweNaomi. Again, in the real world ($8), it's a suction cup grab bar that could also be used for gripping/moving glass and mirrors. In sewing/quilt world ($20), it's a sturdy and stable way to hold onto one's rotary cutter guide template. I think I first saw one in use about a year ago but found the less expensive substitute at Harbor Freight on sale for a dollar less than normal.

This is also evident in something as simple as pens. The big buzz in sewing/quilting community is about Pilot FRIXION pens—at Staples (plenty of stock), three for under $6; quilt store (if they can keep them in stock) only two for the same price. On paper, they are erasable—cool enough. On fabric—just iron over the mark and it disappears! Lesson: If you see a sewing/quilting tool you like, try finding its counterpart in the real world—you'll save lots of money!

One of the projects I took to quilt camp was my October BOM. I ran into a little trouble when I mis-cut one piece of fabric and had to substitute it with a batik I'd bought on sale earlier that morning. Sewing has always been a solitary activity for me and I suspect all the social distraction took its toll. But all was well—I finished the block and moved on to another project. Even better—I am only one month away from having all of the BOMs and border!

Update on the hooded towels project. Sadly, none were bought. I was hoping Autumn would embroider one with the OU logo so they'd more quickly sale/invite orders, but there were too many personalization orders to get that done that weekend. So now they're going into a consignment shop—we'll see what happens there. It's disappointing but hopefully they'll find a clientele with a different marketing strategy. Or EVERYBODY gets hooded towels for gifts this/next year! I'm not kidding! Lucky you!

Sock Monkey! Years ago, in college, I think, I bought a pair of the traditional Rockport Red Heel Socks and made one. I don't think I had one as a child, but remember seeing them around. Maybe my Aunt Velma had one, along with those wonderful yo-yo dolls (made of puffy fabric discs strung together [I've got some patterns to make a cat, dog, and monkey yo-yo critters]) and chenille bedspreads. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Paton yarns sent me an email describing their new book of Sock Monkeys to Knit or Crochet. Oooh, aaah! I downloaded the book and was able to get started right away. This is what I have done of him/her so far. I've also done (and customized) the ears and muzzle, but they get sewn on later. I still have the arms and tail to knit. I'm looking forward to finishing it!

Zipper Bracelet. I first came across this a few weeks ago on Pinterest. Once I read the instructions, I knew I wanted to make some. Hmm...now where to get the zippers? As it happens, a friend was starting a jeans quilt a couple of weekends ago and has a stack of jeans zippers to spare! I expect to have those in a few days. Yippie! So far I've experimented with a couple of metal zippers out of Tom's retired khaki slacks.

Zentangles®. It was just over a year ago that Gwen had her Zentangle workshop. I was an instant fan and had plans to get down to drawing. Enter sewing. And quilting. And every other distraction. I got back to sketching some of the patterns again by using a quadrille rule composition book to practice eight designs per page. I'm still having that little battle within—do I have to practice ALL of the tangles and not just the ones I like? There are some I just find unappealing or don't like drawing. Should I feel compelled to draw them, too? Silliness, I know.

Tonight was paper bead night at Jana's! A few of us who have not seen each other for awhile got together to chat, catch up, dine (luscious!), and make paper beads. I think everyone had  lots of fun!

With Halloween upcoming, Tom is finally ready to costume himself as a superhero! Yes, he's already MY superhero, but who he wants to be is Mermaid Man (the elder), as seen on Spongebob Squarepants. He's 'threatened' to do this for a few years. THIS year he's gathered all the clothing and props necessary so I can't wait to see it all pulled together!

There are still 11 more days left to the month. Hopefully I can keep up this pace or things slow down! It's all good!

29 September 2011

BOM Seven...

12 September Here's how the newest Block of the Month should go together. I am putting off cutting/piecing this until I get another time-sensitive sewing project done—hooded towels—several. In addition to making larger hooded towels (for larger child or small adult), my friend Autumn suggested I could make infant-size ones—three* per beach towel. I bought four beach towels on clearance this late time we were at the BX and have a dozen small made.

After a hiatus of almost two months, I've bought a couple dozen fat quarters, and some other yardages—
mostly coordinating patterns/colors for binding the hooded towels. But I found this incredible border print that absolutely took my breath away!
I Present to You: Effervescence by Amelia Caruso for Robert Kaufman fabrics. The artist, Amelia Caruso has some great paintings that just bubble off their industrial surfaces. I bought two yards of this, one yard of the stripes, and only a fat quarter of the green (it's all they had). Here's the whole line. Sigh.

Fast forward—it's 17 days later
I got all the towels sewn. There were 26 altogether, but I think a dozen of them might be practically given away. *I misread Autumn's instructions and made the hooded towels from beach towels quite a bit smaller than useful—three from one towel instead of three from TWO towels. Am hoping she could sell them cheaply for baby dolls or something.
For the solid color towels, I attached a print binding. For the white ones with color stripes, I simply sewed the hood into the towel's hem, and usually put some solid binding (taken from the solid towel's end hem) along the hood edge. I made extra ones in red or red/white in hopes shoppers will buy/order them on which to have the OU logo machine embroidered. I've already heard from my OSU friends and the reason I'm not making extra orange ones is that Autumn has only purchased the license to use the OU logo and not the OSU logo. In any case, GO COWBOYS!

And I jumped back on (or fell off?) the fat quarter wagon. I've made up for lost time and recently bought 40. I find myself amused with what colors/patterns may catch my fancy any given days. And do I think with a plan in mind? Yes, and no. "It's pretty" is usually good enough for me. I am thinking a little downstream that I'd like to do an art quilt in batiks, and find myself buying batik colors for that someday project. Speaking of someday, someday I'll have to show you how I document my fabric inventory!

Pinterest! This is my new online time-gobbler. You look around the Web and find photos, videos, and pages you like and 'pin' (kind of like tagging) them to your personal 'boards.' Here are mine—click the link and see all my boards and pins. I think this is great for the middle age brain—fleeting glimpses can be saved and revisited, often! I think one can create as many boards, and pin as many items as they wish. Shown is a screen shot of the index page of my boards. For example, I've got a board called "Zentangles® and More Drawing." I want to get back to Zentangling (quilting displaced my initial interest last winter).

Last weekend, I finally got around to my September BOM. As I was cutting the pieces from the month's fabric allotment, I came up short (again) on one of the pieces supplied. I know they're getting tired of me coming up there showing them where they went wrong, but ya gotta know I'm kinda tired of being shorted. It makes me hesitant to subscribe to another BOM there.

But here it is. Month number seven's BOM! I'm looking forward to finishing it in a couple of months, then choose its binding and backing, and get it quilted. There's a guest room bed on which it might fit, but am thinking, especially due to the fact our pets have free run of almost every space, it will become a wall hanging.

Can't believe tomorrow is already the last of September! My minds has been stuck in April or May, so SWOOSH went all those other months. I've got that speeding ticket to pay off regardless of the fact the officer wrote in the wrong time, by 12 hours! Alas. Shut up, pay it, and be glad they happen only every 30 years!

Here's how the newest Block of the Month should go together. I am putting off cutting and piecing this until I get another time-sensitive sewing project done—hooded towels—several. In addition to making the larger hooded towels (for larger child or small adult), my friend Autumn suggested I could make infant-size ones—three* per beach towel. I bought four beach towels on clearance this late time we were at the BX and have a dozen small made.

October is already starting out as a busy month. Sunday, October 2nd is Baptismal Bash at our church. It's not unusual to baptize dozens of people, and with the new campus open, they'll have lots of folks to baptize in Midwest City as well. It always so heartening to witness.

And I get to attend a quilt retreat next weekend. It's my first and I expect it to be lots of fun. Who knows, I may actually get something done out of it!

Which reminds me—I'll close on this photo I found online. I used to be this person. Now, I LOVE the feeling of finishing projects!

07 September 2011

A Few Good Reads...

A few months ago, I was invited to join a book club. Ah, ladies who read! How neat is that!? I had no idea what to expect. I've never been in a book club before. (In case you didn't know, I tend to approach new experiences with much contemplative caution.) So, I guess ya gotta read—I was doing more of that. Check. I guess you talk about books—I can talk, lots! Check. This is at your sister's house? (Sisters [a concept this only child had not yet grasped*]. Hmm. Asked Tom [also an only]—"What if they're mean to me?" His answer: "Just punch 'em in the nose and come on home.") Check! So, off I went.

As everyone else would expect, the ladies were very kind, funny, candid, intelligent, and welcoming. And they enjoyed the 'punch 'em in the nose' story. And there was wine. And food. And no one's told me about this kind of thing before?! Tah dah and thank you!—IAM IN!

That first month I joined, we were supposed to be reading "The Help." I just couldn't get into it. Yeah, sounds like sacrilege now, especially due to the book's and movie's popularity. I just couldn't get into the written dialect. I am now in the process of listening to the audio book (which I am enjoying) so I can go see the movie.

Yep, I've taken to listening to some of the club selections. Knowing me, I am more likely to listen to an audio book while sewing and crafting, than sitting down with a book. (It's hard to multi-task with my nose in a book, well, other than laundry or running the dishwasher. I'm sorry, it just looks like I'm doing nuthin'.) Once I knew which titles were upcoming, I'd check with the library for books on CD, check them out, and listen to them.

Fast forward to recent reads. Last month was "Water for Elephants." I started listening to this one, which was good. I listened to the first 2/3 of the book and book read the last third. By that time, I liked the story well enough to sit with it alone. For September, we're reading "The Housekeeper and the Professor." This was not available as an audio book, and I've read a few pages into it. And for October, we're doing "The Art of Racing in the Rain." I took a peek into the pages, hey it had a dog's picture on it, I couldn't resist. Oh, my stars and garters—I loved it from the beginning, and wound up finishing it before anything else. I cannot wait to hear the discussion on this one! And after finishing reading it, I'm now listening to its audio version while sewing. It's like having someone read aloud a letter from a friend. I like it all over again."The car goes where the eyes go."

Another twist in recent weeks is the addition of using my iPad to read eBooks! I checked out three titles from our Metropolitan Library System. Titles may be available immediately or put on reserve. And once I've downloaded my book, I have to read fast because they're available for only seven days at a time. And while the library (free) versions read via OverDrive, they are not searchable. I downloaded a couple of freebies from iBooks (public domain/classics), and like the search feature. I haven't purchased any through Kindle or Nook accounts, but that's always an option. I would buy "The Art of Racing in the Rain" to enjoy again. Another lady in our group and I were showing the others our iPads/eBooks and the 'Seesters' bought iPads the very next day! (I'm so proud of them!)

Gwen had just finished reading "Olive Kitteridge," and spoke very highly of it. So, what's it about? Uh, depression and suicide. Oh, uh…joy! But I trust her judgement. After all, she loved "The Art of Racing in the Rain" as much as I. After checking out the eBook, I first started reading it on my iPad. I also reserved the print book because I suspected I would not finish it in seven days. Gwen would ask periodically, how was I liking Olive (did she mean the book or the character?). At the beginning, I was drawn in by the book's writing style and tone much more than by the character, Olive. She'd ask again several days later when I was finding Olive more interesting. As of yesterday, I was more able to identify with Olive because she found small brownies just too tiny to serve. Oh, this woman knows my soul! I finished the book a little earlier today and liked it. I'm reflecting a bit on some of the ideas and characters and wonder if my thoughts will change. One thread running through these recent reads are observations about aging/mortality, or I'm just noticing/identifying them more.

I want to get another post uploaded soon about my current sewing undertaking, as well as the current BOM—maybe even something about my birthday, or getting my first speeding ticket in 30 years!

*Seesters: A clue about families—their members are each like a spin art picture. You can drip and drizzle the same colors on many different canvases and after they're spun, they'll all turn out a little differently. (Observation from an 'only' and an 'adopted only,' at that.)

22 August 2011

Only three more panels...

I finished the BOM Month Six panel several days ago. We were busy getting house spruced up because a re-fi home appraisal. I finished the three main blocks relatively quickly, but needed to get other chores done before filling in around them. As suspected, cutting the crooked pink fabric took a little extra time but turned out fine.

I'm just now adding it to the right side of panel five and joining four-five-six to the main body of the quilt top. I'm very excited to have two-thirds of the top's field finished. I like thinking my piecing skills have improved since the first panel.

As we close in on cooler months (please!!!), I need to consider what I want to use for binding and backing, and where I want it quilted together. For a piece THIS big, size-wise and investment-wise, I want the pros to do it. I'm not even sure what I want to do with it once it's done. I've got a few months and some more hundred-plus-degree days to think about it. (On Saturday, we tied a 1980 record of 50 days at 100˚ or more. Upon seeing a still hot forecast for several more days, I mentioned to a friend that this stopped being funny a long time ago. Understatement!)

Okay, I'm a little projectless right now. I suspect I'll come across something I've been meaning to do so don't think there will be too much of a lull in the action.

20 August 2011


Got Chicken Raising Sister's bags done earlier this week. Happily dropped them off Wednesday night. Tah dah! Now I need to brainstorm how I want to use that great typecase.  :-)

Have been thinking about these since a friend mentioned her older son still enjoyed his hoodie towel from when he was a baby, but grew out of it quite a while ago. I could make a bigger one. And one for his little brother, too. (I hear that's what you do when there are multiples in a family.) It took a few weeks for the idea to gel; buy the supplies; find out what colors to use; find some online instructions; and such. Supplies needed: One bath towel; one matching or coordinating hand towel (you'll only use half of it); straight or bias binding.

I decided I wanted to use bias binding, mostly because I chose stripes—the same for both. Ten-plus yards later, I had enough for the hood portion and all around each towel. They went together pretty easily. Here are some basic instructions (she did not bind hers). From here, you can customize the details.

I gave them to the boys' Nana tonight and hope they enjoy them! I'm happy to have another skill set and a relatively quick, easy-make gift option. Win–win!

* * * * *

UPDATE! Here are two very cute boys modeling their hooded towels!

14 August 2011

Just my type...

Several months ago I started making tote bags from pet food bags. From the moment Gwen's Chicken Raising Seester saw them, she wanted some and starting saving some feed bags. I've told her all along I'd sew up some for her. CRS is a self-described junker who finds/buys and sells different items she comes across. The other night she posted a photo (above) of a wooden lead typecase I've wanted one since the 70s, just never had the means and the passion at the same time. So I asked if she was selling it and we came around to a barter arrangement—sewn pet food bags for typecase! Yippie!

A little history
Decades ago, when I was in college learning graphic/commercial art, we had a class, Typography, which wound up being one of my favorites. Keep in mind, along the publishing arts timeline, my education took place somewhere between the Gutenberg Bible and the exponential growth of technology into today's digital layout and design. At that time, photo typesetting was largely used in the industry. One of its predecessors was hot metal, such as Linotype, and before that, handset movable lead type. Handset type was sorted into typecases like this. There were capital letters in the 'upper case,' and the rest were in the 'lower case.' Tah dah! In order to fully appreciate how our field had evolved, one of our assignments had us handset some type and print it on a small proofing press. (That's where I first came across these typecases and is a fond remembrance.

Oh, and a real flash from the past (please keep in mind, I was 18), I just Googled a phrase or two and have found the little love poem I set:

I waited for you to fall in love with someone else; 
to get tired of my difficult ways; to tell me finally,
I’m leaving you, you’re hopeless.
But you didn’t. Now I’m faced with the biggest terror of my life,
knowing I am enough even at my worst for you to love me all my life.
Joseph Pintauo - The Rabbit Box

Fast forward
Up until yesterday, CRS and I had never met. We're Facebook friends and have always communicated that way. I had the chance to make a trip out to the country yesterday and finally met her! What a sweet, sweet lady! I met a yard full of chickens, one daughter, two cats and a dog. I had to get back to town for an appointment so was soon on my way with a bagful of feed bags, a typecase, and a carton of FRESH eggs! How cool is that!?

Tonight, I filled up the bathtub with hot, soapy water for a bag wash! Once I removed the string that opened each bag into becoming a tube, into the drink they went. I swoshed each bag around with my feet to remove any feed residue/oils, then plucked out each one and stood them up to dry. I enjoy making a task into an assembly line. Yeah, that is kinda weird.

So here we go, both parts of a great little arrangement. I plan to get the bags sewn this week and will post more photos later. . I'm so glad this opportunity and love a win–win deal!

Ya know, as I think about it, it's a nice little love poem after all. It was something I wanted; spent year pursuing; and now enjoy. Tah dah!

07 August 2011

August, end of second BOM trimester...

Hallelujah! I've got Month Six of ten BOM packets in hand! As I am remember, the first nine months are the 'field' of the quilt and month ten is simply a pieced 4" wide border. This month's packet was small—three distinct blocks surrounded by dark squares.

The first is Star on Star. This 12" x 12" block is pretty straight-forward. I like the 'bonus' of the second start on top (or below) the first. When I was starting to cut out the pieces, I discovered that there was not enough to cut the four 4.5" x 4.5" squares for the corners. And the fabric provided for the dark purple little pieces at the centers was not provided as the instructions indicated but there was ample to individually cut out the pieces.

The next is called Margaret's Choice. This is made up of many (32) pieces that start out as 2.875" squares and are then cut diagonally in half. I like all the contrast. And the pink fabric was unlike other batiks I've seen—it has a grid-like design in it. But there is trouble here, too. The pink piece I received was neither cut with the grain nor the pattern. From the 3-inch width, I am supposed to cut out four 2.875" squares, then split them diagonally. I cannot fathom cutting visually crooked pieces so wound up carefully cutting out each of the eight triangles all squared up. They seemed to think I was being too picky but I pretty much bet none of the ladies there would want crooked patterns in their quilts. I did my best to disagree without being disagreeable.

Lastly, there's the Friendship Star. Again, a pretty straight-forward piecing job. Cutting...cutting...now, wait! There's not enough for THIS block either. Dang! Got the triangles cut and then needed four 2.5" squares. Only enough fabric for three. Really?!

I'm gonna blame it on the heat. In Oklahoma City, we are swiftly closing in on a 1980 record of 50 days over 100 degrees. We're now at day 44, according to KFOR's weather page. People aren't thinking as clearly as they should. And others are more irritable. (Moi?)

I've got plenty of time to get this block done. Once I do, I'll join it to July's and June's blocks and have well over half of the main body of the quilt top complete. Exciting!!!

Other projects going on? I've been baking and making more Oreo Truffles (aka Oreo Balls, both regular Oreos and Golden Vanilla ones). The baking has been two batches of lime and vanilla biscotti, and a loaf of banana bread (from a mix).

I've been indulging a food memory for Sara Lee Banana Cake. It was a small, frozen sheet cake with incredibly delicious frosting. I'd pry off that cardboard and foil top, get past the lining paper and would dig into a 'still-a-bit-frozen' hunk of cake. Thinking about it makes me want to sigh. After a little research, it seems it is not longer available to the consumer in North America. Australia has it! Go figure.

My banana bread with a schmeer of tub cream cheese frosting with  drop or two of banana extract mixed in came pretty close. I've looked for a recipe to replicate my desire. This is the recipe I am going to try soon. I'll let you know how it turns out!

I've also done another Scrabble® wall hanging. Because Scrabble® Gwen's 'family game,' I knew she'd be a perfect caretaker of her very own 'board.' Family game, huh? Now, would that be the Hussey family, the Haikin family, or the Peacock family? Hmmm. It was a fun project. Getting the layout of the letters is the only hard part. I'm pleased with how it turned out and loved giving it!

Last week, we pet sat for some friends' kids' cat. Ducky was with us for eight days and was very sweet. He is used to being an 'only cat' so the cacophony of chaos around our multi-fur (and one being canine) family had to be a little off-putting. He stayed clear of most of the other cats, but I caught this scene of him (l) and Rocky (r) up on the window ledge. I wouldn't exactly call it friendship, but maybe a little respect? (Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?) So, I thought Ducky would be all cuddly happy for his mom and dad to return. Not quite so quick—I guess he decided he was gonna make his parents pay and hold off affection for several minutes. Hmm. Eventually he came around and all was forgiven. And they lived happily ever-after! And I was thrilled to get a $5 chip (I have two chips from the two cruises I've made) from their cruise, plus some dining gift cards!

Yesterday I baked a dessert bar treat I'd first tried last year at a Labor Day party. I can't believe it took me this long to get around to it, but the Premiere Cheesecake Cranberry Bars were luscious! Okay, they've got a half pound of butter in 'em, but I did use fat free cream cheese and condensed milk. Little victories.

So, it's been a busy span of time. On the immediate plate right now is trying to spruce up the house for an appraisal on Tuesday afternoon. And as much as this is a pain, we will benefit from tidying up the place, AND we DON'T have to PACK or MOVE!!! Whew.