5.31.2012

Nose Work Class

Just like you might with other kids, I send my fur babies to school.  Katie and I have taken all sorts of classes together from obedience, to agility, and recently we have been doing nose work.  Nose work is the same training or concept used to train bomb or narcotics sniffing dogs.  Neat right?


Last night, Katie graduated from Nose Work II.  I am so darn proud of her!  As a thank you to our trainer I tied a few peonies with a pretty ribbon and had Katie give them to her.

(Side note:  I also realized that I officially have three colors of peonies!  You can see the light pink with the stripes, the hot pink, and the white one below.  What a fun surprise to have them all in bloom at once.)


It's a fun class because when we're not sniffing for things, we are hanging out in a back room bonding.  I have also learned how to give Katie tiny massages through this class as a way of calming and focusing her.


Did you know that the reason dogs have such a long face is so that they have room to store all those sniffing sensors?  We also learned that smells travel much like a breeze of warm air or the fog from dry ice might through a room.  The scent falls and then spreads over the floor. 


It's an odd sort of training from all the other things we have done.  In this class, I actually ask Katie to find the 'hide' or object (usually a plastic egg filled with stinky dog treats) and then I follow her around the room as she sniffs for it.  As she picks up the scent she usually moves a bit faster and then gives an adore subtle wiggle.  We are to the point now that once she is pretty sure she knows where the scent is she cues me by sitting down.  All in all we have a blast and I love the time we spend together doing it!


And, since Katie wasn't feeling too camera shy last night, I had our instructor take a quick video so you could all she Katie in action.

Sorry, the video doesn't seem to be working at the moment... I'll have to reload it a little later on.

video

There is a Nose Work III class starting up in July and I am really tempted to enroll Katie in it.  Like I said, she really seems to enjoy doing the work and she is actually pretty darn good at it too.  The third class takes things up a notch by expanding the work space from one to several rooms and to include the outdoors.  And the size of the finding object gets smaller too. 

Between now and then our trainer suggested that we practice taking a few boxes and an easy hide to a parking lot or place with distractions to prep for the next class.  So, if you see me out there at the Tractor Supply parking lot with my pup and a bunch of boxes... we might look weird, but we are just prepping for a nose work class.  A nice wave and hello will suffice.  Say nothing more about the crazy box lady ;)

5.30.2012

WIP {Starting Prism and Veggies!}


As promised, here is a better look at the rainbow all put together.  And that's Katie there under the quilt.  I just couldn't resist a photo with her cute little fluffy tail there and wee little bum!  Next steps with this one include basting, quilting, and binding.  You can read more about this one in yesterday's post.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This Week's Work in Progress (WiP) Stats:
Last WiP Wednesday Total: 8
New Projects: 1 (the hand sewing ribbons)
Finished Projects: 0
Total WiP's: 9

With the rainbow blocks off the design wall I didn't leave the space empty for long.  The triangles for my very own Patchwork Prism jumped right up on the wall. 
I am still fussing around with placement and loving it!  I'm also happy that this is going to be a nice and big quilt!  I'm following the quilt along found at Sweet Diesel Designs if you are interested. 


This little stitchy was started in a power outage and really came together all on it's own.  Is it done yet, should it be an art quilt mini, a pillow?  I'm not sure yet. 
But I have the piece right in my workspace so that it can tell me what it wants next.  It's one of those go-with-the-flow kind of projects and I'm excited to see where it takes me. 

And for the sake of sharing all sorts of progress, I wanted to share that my garden is growing!!  I'm smitten that a lot of these plants are coming up from seeds I have sown.  Makes it extra special. 

In the bottom of the photo you can see green bean plants and peppermint.  That's the pea trellis toward the back. 


And I couldn't resist a sunny photo of the rock pathway.  I have such a sweet spot for rocks and the Mister really hit a home run when he put this garden together for me.  I love that I can bounce through the garden and fuss over a plant or pull a weed without worrying about where my footing is. 

In this one, you can see a bell pepper plant and tiny butternut squash in the lower left.  The tall plant about midway up on the left is a rouge peony that's going to be moved.  On the right, you can see a tomato plant and the tiny leave line to the left of the tomatoes is arugula.  I'll be sharing this over at Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer too!


I'm looking forward to more work on both the sewing and gardening fronts!  They both have a way of calming me and making me smile!! 

Wishing you a lovely day!

5.29.2012

Rainbows Almost Done

So, one thing about being home and nursing my allergic reaction was that I found a lot of time for movies and sewing.  And yes, thank you, I am feeling much better -- nearly 100% now.

I am also happy to report that all of my bottled rainbow blocks are sewn!  Aren't they pretty?  I really had a hard time pulling them off the design wall to put them all together, but I am also quite giddy to see what a washing does to the edges of the scraps!  Come on soft fraying!


I have had a lot of time take in the beauty around me too and realized that my red rose bush is blooming!  Last year I had one rose late in the summer, this year since the deer seem to really have left my flowers alone, I see a ton of buds coming!


I also am seeing this pink rose bush bloom for the first time.  Again, this was a plant that the deer ate regularly and once the buds were eaten it took a year to nurse the rose bush back to life again.  I had no idea these were pink (it was here when we moved in), and they smell divine!


Our mountain laurel is also starting to open up.  I only have one bunch of these flowers on the whole bush, but I removed a vine that must have been choking it as well as some dead branches.  I bet this one makes a nice come back next year.  And in the meantime, I just love this one!


I couldn't resist bringing flowers into the house.  Here is that pink rose.  Really smells so good.  And it doesn't get much cuter than a rose in a tiny mason jar.  I'm also joining the Cottage Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage!


Sammy approved.  And she is a hoot as she had to smell each and every rose or peony I cut and brought in.  This one has such a curiosity for all things, makes me laugh sometimes!


Once I finally mustered the energy, I took the bottled rainbow blocks down one by one and started to put them together.  It's funny piecing with batting already in place. 


And yes, I am just loving my sewing table.  The extra table arm on the left there was so handy to hold and prop up the weight as the quilt grew in size. 


Once the last seam was sewn, I dashed outside to put it on the laundry line to take all that rainbow-y goodness in.  I'm a horrible tease... aren't I?


It's everything bright and cheery as I hoped!  I adore seeing all those scraps in a place where they can be enjoyed and the colors are so much fun that you can't help but smile when you see them. 

I am also sharing my progress at Quilt Story for Fabric Tuesday.  I haven't had much to share there lately, but it's nice to be back!


We'll have a closer look at my works in progress tomorrow.  And I've nearly figured out the backing and binding, but haven't started the basting or quilting yet.  Maybe this week.

Thanks for popping in and hope you are easing into the week nicely!

5.27.2012

Creating, Remembering... and Thankful!

Did you ever just have the need to create something.  Like you can't get the thought out of your head and your fingers are just itching to make. to do. to be alive?



The power was out yesterday for a few hours and in the quiet my fingers led me to needle and ribbon.  Which quieted my mind in a way that hasn't happened in sometime and I reflected.  


I feel like serving as a soldier could be a similar type of calling.  Just something inside that screams out that they need to protect, to serve, to stand for freedom. 

I admit, I'm a military brat.  Dad, Mom, Step-Dad, and both Grandfathers served in the military.  Army and Navy represented here.  I still cry and get weak when I hear the national anthem.  I still beam with pride when I see a soldier in uniform or the American flag rippling in the wind. 


And today, this weekend, everyday really... as we are enjoying our sunshine, bbq's, time with family, our simple happiness... let's reflect on the men and women who have secured that freedom for us and the friends and family that support them, and thank them for all they have done! 

5.25.2012

And Like That...

...the last bottled rainbow block is designed, pinned, and ready for sewing.  I'm in the homestretch!


Are You Listed as a Quilting Blogger?

Have you heard about the Quilting Bloggers website?  No?  Well, it's a cool place that gets quilters (who blog) together from all around the world.


You can check out their Learning Center that is chock full of tips and tricks.  They have free patterns if you are looking for your next project.  And they even have weekly quilting contests for the competitive prize loving type!

Quilting Bloggers Logo

***AND***  You can get your blog listed in their directory so others can find you.  And as a recent upgrade the directory even shows your latest posts and it can be searched geographically.  So get over there, add your blog, connect with a few other quilters, and spread the word for your chance to win a few goodies.

And if you have heard of them and already have your site listed ... fantastic! you already get to take advantage of the new features!!  Isn't it a cool place to get a quick quilty fix? 

And because I can't resist sharing a bit of puppy love this Friday! 



Katie and Sammy wish you a happy long weekend (for those in the US) and hope you find lots of sewing time!

5.23.2012

Making Over A Sewing Table!

Way way back in October I started a project to make over a sewing table that came from a fabulous sewer in my family. 


It's a very sturdy table that had seen better days.  So it got primed and painted a dazzling apple green to bring it back to life.  Then with a touch of hand painting and new knobs, she was looking fantastic!


I had some fun painting on part the flips open.  The dandelion wishing flower has always been one of my favorite symbols of being free or blowing with the wind. 


And I chose the "Sew Free...like no one's watching!" saying to remind me to always follow what's in my heart; not a trend or fad.


I was even able to sink my sewing machine into the table like the original design intended!

The Mister used brackets to create a platform in the table at just the right height for my sewing machine.  It's brilliant and I feel like it's going to take my sewing up a few notches!  I do have to take the sewing machine out if I want to close the extra table on the left, but I'm in love!


And here she is in action for the first time!


If you need me I'm sure you can find me by the beautiful green sewing table.  I'm home recouping from head to toe poison ivy these next few days... ugg!  I'm hoping sewing provides a nice distraction from the itching. 

5.21.2012

Getting Back to Blogging


I've been missing, but I'm back now. 


These pictures just about sum up what's been going on. 

When we're not all snuggled up and sleeping.  We are doing other things... like taking hikes.

Wearing bandanas and in general being too busy to stop.

Looking forward to showing more of what I've been up to!! 

And I still can't stop gushing about how cute these two are together.  Nearly inseparable.  And almost the same size now.  Sammy is on the left in this last one.  Katie is on the right. 

We'll talk soon!

5.14.2012

Living up to the Challenge


I worked diligently on the one challenge I set for myself this week which was to finish up my remaining bottled rainbows blocks.  Let's take a look at the progress I made.

Amy's creative side

You can read more about Amy's One Thing, One Week Challenge here.

This blue block got filled in and pinned (will be sewn today).


Same with the yellow block.  Just love the diagonal lines in this one!


The red one is almost filled in.  Looks like I have a lot of red fabrics with dots.  Too funny!


And I believe the lime green is also one you haven't seen yet.


Did I finish up the challenge as I set it for myself?  Not exactly.  But, in a way it worked, because I have a renewed motivation to get this one to the finish line.  So much so, that I cleared my design wall and put the whole thing up as a reminder of how darn cool it's going to be all finished!


Neat looking, isn't it?  I am getting more and more excited about this one for sure!

I also signed up for the upcoming Friday Night Sew In.  Clearing some time for myself to sew, sew, sew!  If you are interested you can read more and join in here.


Handmade by Heidi


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