A View of My Quilt Life

Monday, October 16, 2017

Serious Rainfall Saturday

Okay, so I can be oblivious at times.  I knew it was going to rain on Saturday. I watched the weather forecast. I saw the radar images.

But I failed to comprehend just how heavy this rain was going to be.  From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, we got 5 inches of rain! 

So, I'm sure you are thinking - So What? You were warm & dry, quilting away and sipping tea, right?

Yeah, not so much. Although, that was the original plan.

I got a text alert reminding me that it was time to leave (RIGHT NOW!) to go meet other dog people.  What?  A little fast digging revealed an AKC puppy match taking place about 75 miles away.  The problem was, I was not showered, dressed and ready to go at the time I needed to leave. ACK!!

I jumped up, dashed around, grabbed the puppy and headed out - into the rainstorm.  Destination - the middle of the area that ended up getting 7+ inches of rain. We arrived 30 minutes after they started but since they hadn't finished our group yet, we were allowed to enter.

I scribbled the info on the entry form, dashed back out into the rain, grabbed Odie and some dog treats and dashed back to into the community center and right into the show ring.

Odie was wild!  Not unexpected, given he had no time to absorb the surroundings or adjust to the sensory overload of over 25 other dogs.  He had the best time ever!!  He loved everyone there. He zoomed around the ring, showing absolutely no style and control.  I laughed, the judge laughed and the audience laughed!  I'm quite sure most of them thought I had never done this before. I have but usually with puppies more than 3 days over the minimum age requirement and some show ring training under their collar.
Looking good, standing in the yard on Sunday.
I just wanted it to be a positive experience for Odie, to meet other dogs and other dog people.  The key to a good Shar-Pei is socialization! Doesn't matter if it's a family pet, a therapy dog, or a show dog. This is a guardian breed that needs to be exposed to everything under the sun at an early age to be accepting of any perceived threat. Odie already knows the vet office as a place to get lots of yummy treats and special attention.

As a bonus, we brought home his first dog show ribbons. 
Group 3 (out of 3 puppies)!
It was a thoroughly long day, lots of driving - some with slow speeds and limited visibility, dashing in and out of rain, getting soaked, and finally getting home to a pile of dog treats and a cuppa. 

The stitching waited until Sunday.

Friday, October 13, 2017

New, Non-Painting Project!

Finally, I have something to post besides painting & driving!

This week was broken up by yet another round trip drive from Michigan to Wisconsin to take Odie to the vet, but it was a routine, planned visit for his 3rd set of puppy shots. No drama, no problems! He weighed in at just under 20 lbs. (9 kgs.).  We returned to the Michigan House late Wednesday night for what should be a week long stay! Very excited to have some time to not only finish the last of the painting (only the trim left to do on the house, garage & shed) but to have some stitching time, too.

I have a new challenge project to whip out this week, using a precut pack. I chose a 10 inch square pack of Wilmington Batiks named Jean Pool. It's the same collection I used on Odie's puppy blanket.

My first attempt at layout was altered by a curious puppy having puppy zoomies.

All part of his learning to be a studio dog - going to take some time to learn about fabric on the floor.  No harm done as that layout wasn't working anyway. After some contemplation and a long puppy walk, I rearranged the squares to this layout which (maybe) I will be going with. 
Odie photo bombing like a big dog!

The squares will all be sub-cut and pieces will be swapped about. I took a quick picture of the layout the minute I had the last square in place, just in case I had some more 'help'.  But I shouldn't have worried because by then someone had crashed on the couch.

He's so cute when he's asleep! The snoring cracks me up.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Week = New Plan

Last Friday night, DH & I were out with friends for dinner (at a Fabulous Italian Restaurant) and we all were comparing notes on how it had been the longest week ever. There were a lot of ups & downs and back & forths.  

Thankfully, Odie is doing great, all better from his abscess, so while that started as a down - it's all an up now!

After spending last Tuesday at home, watching him like a hawk and letting the meds do their job, we packed up & headed back to Michigan on Wednesday.  Back to painting! Thursday was all about painting - or more accurately prepping & painting.  I swear the scrubbing and scraping takes longer than the actual painting.

On Friday, I packed up our laundry and necessities & headed back home.  The dinner out was in honor of P's birthday, followed by the Annual Pumpkin Hunting on Saturday.

Guess what I did on Sunday?  

Yes - headed back to Michigan to continue the painting project!  The weather forecast is for good weather Sunday, Monday & Tuesday of this week, with rain Tuesday night & Wednesday. That works well because Odie has a regularly scheduled vet appointment on Wednesday morning, so we'll be heading back late Tuesday.

So between last Monday and yesterday, I have driven over 675 miles - going in circles! Kind like quilting...

On Saturday morning, I did manage to FINALLY finish the quilting on the Construction Equipment quilt!! 
Here's the Construction Equipment quilt top
It was handed off on Saturday afternoon to make it's way to a little boy, who just got a new baby brother last week.  I need to get that baby quilt done ASAP!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Best of Intentions and Plans Go Awry

So last week's Painting Adventure got off to a great start! I arrived shortly after noon on Tuesday, using the remainder of the afternoon to get unpacked, settled in & introduce Odie to our Home away from Home.  There was scrubbing and scraping that happened.  Then the painting commenced!

My Mom was concerned about what I used to clean the 'green' off the north side of the garage.  Between having the pup with me and so as not to harm the environment, I didn't use the outdoor bleach she had there. I used Dawn dish soap, hot water & a long handled brush - came off quick as a wink!

Before long, I moved on to painting.  Here's the north side of the garage with racing stripes of new paint, applied by brush.

 I followed up with filling in the center using a painting pad.  Best thing ever invented - so much easier & faster than using a roller! 

Unfortunately, no quilting got done.  I was bummed about that but I figured it was no big deal as I was going to be back up there all of this week.

The best laid plans! As usual, the wheels came flying off that bus faster than lightening! 

The PLAN was to head back up to Michigan early Monday morning. Good Plan!  The weekend was great - had a riding clinic at the barn, did laundry, paid bills, hung out with the DH & friends, and even had a puppy play date.

Odie & I were up early on Monday. There wasn't much to load up as I only brought my clothes bag home & his travel bag.  Traffic wasn't horrible so it looked like all systems were good to go.
Dawn  - Monday, 2nd October 
Except when we arrived in Michigan, Odie wasn't himself.  Thinking he needed to be out of the car and rest awhile, I crated him in the cool living room, with his water bowl at hand, to rest while I went out to tackle some more scrubbing & scraping. 

An hour later, I chucked our bags back in the truck, called the vet & we embarked on a 3.5 hour trip back towards home, right to the animal hospital. Odie was definitely not well! He wasn't walking right, had a fever (104.4!), was achy, sore to the touch on some body parts and was lethargic. Crapith!  

While we could figure out the symptoms he was showing and how to treat them, it took three of us putting our heads together on the specifics of the Shar Pei breed, knowledge of the family lines, a careful examination and a bit of luck to uncover the root cause.  Odie had an abscess! Located on the left side of his face, just under the ear, it was bad enough to be causing a systemic / lymphatic reaction. No, it wasn't huge and it quickly ruptured & drained without any surgical intervention.  It was caused by a dog bite, most likely his sister's sharp little puppy teeth when they were playing.  Add into the mix, the fact Odie is growing and cutting molars, his little body was fairly well taxed.

He was feeling much better by yesterday. 
Tuesday - Playing with the fallen leaves
He is on 3 different meds, and getting some wound care, along with some special food and treats. We have the all clear from the vet to head back up to Michigan House.  Between all the back & forth driving (we covered 312 miles on Monday), the expected weather for the rest of the week & the plans for this weekend back at home, the painting project will definitely extend into next week.

Of course, there is still the urgent quilting, that has now become Very Urgent. Fingers crossed for getting The Plan back on track!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

When the Going Gets Tough...

This Girl hits the road for an adventure!

(Un)employment paperwork, supply shopping & bill paying was handled on Monday, along with an eye doctor appointment for the DH that I tagged along for.  Then, it was time to pack the bags (and sewing machines, and quilt supplies).

The Road called to me!  Well, that and some much needed  chores and some urgent quilting and....you get the picture.
Destination - where else? - the Michigan House!

It has officially been 10 years since the garage & shed got a coat of paint.  I'm up here to see to that.  I won't get it all done this week, as I need to be back home Friday afternoon for some weekend commitments.  That means I get to come back all of next week too!  If I'm really sloooooow, the week after that as well.

I had some company come along for this road trip.  It's Odie's very first time coming up to the 'Home away from Home', as the DH calls it.  It was a little weird at first - pulling out Drake's old crate once we arrived.
Odie in Drake's old Michigan crate, trying it on for size.
But it's really good to have a traveling dog at my side again!  I had to relearn how to pack the truck with a dog crate in it. The drive takes 2.5-3 hours, depending on traffic. Odie did well!  He even let me know, loudly & in no uncertain terms, exactly when he needed a potty stop - 2 hours into the trip. So glad he rides as good as he does, no sicking up at all, and mostly silent.

There is some urgent quilting that needs to get done. Did you catch that up above?  More on that topic later.  For now, we are enjoying Tuesday evening and the coming break in the unseasonably hot temps (90's!) we've had for the past week. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

September Crossroad

While Odie was a welcome addition and a distraction for the first few weeks of this month, his arrival didn't stop the inevitable march of time towards last Friday, the 22nd.

I'm at a new crossroad. 

Back in June, right after Father's Day, my entire department at work was informed of how a companywide initiative would effect us. Over the course of the next 18 months, the company will reduce their presence in our state to nothing at all.  Our team would be one of the first to face the decision - relocate to the East Coast or take the severance package.

While I did enjoy my visit out there last Fall, relocating there is an entirely different proposition. The area is congested, very expensive and subject to cold, snowy winters.  The opportunity with the company was interesting, challenging and with additional room for growth.

A giant chart was made, along with a huge pro/con list. Discussions with DH were numerous. Different scenarios, living arrangements, research topics were the stuff of my days and evenings.

In the end, the relocation was out of the picture - not going to work for DH & I.  As it turned out, not one of my 8 team members took the relocation package. So, on Friday, after collecting all the equipment and badges, out processing everyone, and turning over everything to IT and security, I was the last person on the team to walk out the door.  It was bittersweet and a relief.

Now, it's time to move forward - not sure which direction the path will lead.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

New Addition!

There is a new addition to our family!


Odie arrived home very late on Saturday, 2 September after a very long drive home from my Minnesota road trip and is settling into our routine. The cats aren't entirely thrilled with the addition to the household - it's a two steps forward, one step up the cat tree to safety.  

The details:
Call Name: Odie
Registered Name*:  Magik's Redfyre Son of a Preacher Man
Breed: Chinese Shar Pei
Color: Black or Silver Sable - too soon to tell
Age: 9 1/2 weeks as of this post date 

Or is it just a patio statue of a Shar-Pei?

No, Odie is quite real and Cherry Quilts has a new Studio Dog! This is Odie on his first Tuesday with us, asleep under my sewing table.

I was very fortunate to be able to be off & then work from home for the first few days to help the transition.  We have swapped some things around, including putting small chunks of 2x4 under the legs on this table, so that we could put a larger crate (Boxer size or 24" x 36" x 26") under it.  For safety sake, all activity in my studio is either very closely monitored or he is confined (and asleep).  Since my studio opens right out to the yard, we can easily take frequent breaks.   Things will take a bit before I can resume a more normal sewing schedule, but I'm loving the interruption!