Saturday, December 20, 2008

As the magical time approaches

Everybody's occupied with Christmas shopping and celebrations and the phone hasn't been ringing. The silence has been a blessing! This weekend I'm blissfully sewing new samples for upcoming classes.

Beginning in January, I'll offer two sessions (take your choice of Tuesday or Thursday afternoons) in Beginning Quiltmaking. Last year's newbies were a great bunch and here's one happy camper with her quilt. I hear that Madeline McCabe has gotten this beauty done in time to give to her son this Christmas-congratulations! Madeline hand-quilted her quilt using perle cotton in the Big Stitch style.

Here's the link to my website and you click on it for upcoming class information particulars. .

The house is also getting it's holiday spiff on and even the dark under-beds are getting cleaned out. Bamboo, the elderly lady cat who lives with us, loves cleaning. She adores dust bunnies made mostly of her own fur and carries them off to play with them. I find the dust bunnies lurking in corners where Boo's stashed them along with her other "toys"--an acorn and one of my dirty socks. You'd think from her choice of playthings that Boo was a deprived cat. But no, she's always turned her nose up at catnip mice and preferred to find her own amusement. She does look rather queenly in this photo!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter at the Studio

While it's December now and there's no classes scheduled this month at the Quilt Studio, it's a great time to push through personal projects and clean up the place. I'll post next time about the upcoming January 2009 classes. A kindly friend helped me file and sort and the scrap bin has been replenished as each large tub of fabric gets gone through and the little stuff pitched or given away. December is kind of a reflective time for me. Rod and I rarely exchange large gifts and this year more than ever we're having a low-key holiday.

But that doesn't mean depressing or sad. Far from it. We're spending time with friends and I'm doing some baking. This year the goal is loaves of traditional German stollen (fancy sweet bread) filled with almonds and candied fruit. Here's an excellent recipe for stollen at this link and the photo is used with the permission of Aimee, the blog's writer.

I bought a huge ham to bake for a church Christmas party. Come Monday I will be at home most of the day, basting the enormous haunch with a blend of coffee, brown sugar, lemon juice, and spices. After the feast, we'll take home the ham bone and plan a slow-cooked pot of beans. The picture is last year's Thanksgiving feast but take my word, this year's ham is twice as large.

Not to post without a quilt reference, the moon's been spectacular as it hit perigee last night-lovely and large. Here's a little wall hanging I made called Sol y Luna (Sun and Moon) for a charity auction. The work is reverse applique and different than anything I've made so far.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Cats With Jobs

It's amazing how versatile felines are. Here are some more pictures as proof that our furry friends have figured out how to survive beautifully in the modern world. The tabby is obviously a crease checker--every one of these pairs of pants will have a nice crease up each a little decorative cat fur embellishment.

And then there's Sheba, my own cat friend, in her early days as a home cleaning consultant as she helped me find threads on the rug.

My niece Julia Marshall has a new helper. Meet Apple Blossom (obviously her Indian name) a ginger longhair who's a guidance counselor for Julia and her friend Olivia. As in the plaintive plea seen here: "Take this job and bring home the dough so you can buy me a better grade of cat food."

My friend Mike Galyon runs a home for wayward Maine Coon
cats. Before they go into the big wide world, each masters a trade. Here are some of the graduates.

Zoomer is a professional escort, seen here kissing a lady's hand.

Pookie is a florist, putting lot of himself into every arrangement.

Autumn is a personal trainer who demonstrates new equipment at the gym.

And Anna is a Christmas gift-or a meatloaf-you decide.

But this guy is a lesson for all of us. During the holidays we may have a tendency to over-indulge. Unless you want to feel as awful as this guy does, be careful about the bubbly! This kitty actually owns a quilt store in Moscow, Idaho. Notice: no after-New Year's sales are planned as he recovers from the party...too funny.
PS-I tried to find the site where I snitched this photo...if the shop owners sees this blog, I'd be happy to put the link here.