Friday, August 27, 2010

Odds and Ends...

Soon I'll have an amazing finish for you, but in the meantime, I do have a few odds and ends to report! When we returned from Shepp Ranch earlier this week, one of the first things I did after loving Ms. Sophie and telling her how much we missed her was run outside to the garden and see how things were doing! What did I find, but my three pumpkins beginning to show signs of orange! I can't tell you how excited I was to see this!
Mr. Squash has had a project this summer. He bought an old, oak, captain's chair to refinish. It is in the Mission Style that we love and pretty old as a lot of it was put together with peg and tenon. When we brought it home it was stained in a very dark color and not in the best of shape. The cushion on it was covered in a fly fishing motif, but the cushion itself was tied together with some sort of electrical cord and in need of replacement! Mr. Squash stripped and re-stained the chair to a gorgeous honey color. We found some great upholstery fabric 40% off and JoAnns, then took it to an upholsterer to re-make the cushion. Here it is - looking like new! Mr. Squash does the best refinishing work! The chair will go with his antique desk for fly tying - a desk that we have yet to find!Kimberly and the gals at Fat Quarter Shop have to stop sending around such great newsletters - LOL! Their last one had this Maison Bleue pattern that I had to have! I plan to use Sweetwater's Pure line as soon as the yardage arrives in stores!

That same newsletter had Luna Notte by 3 Sisters for Moda - I don't know what I will do with this gorgeous charm pack, but I do know there will be some more pattern testing in my future....always helps to have fabric on hand for that!

That's all I have for now. Our former neighbor from the old house, her sister and friend are arriving in town tomorrow. I'll be tour guide for the weekend!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fishing, Stitching...and a Bear!

Thanks to all of you on your good wishes for Mr. Squash and I on our 9th wedding anniversary! I'm sorry I didn't respond to each and every one of you, but we were away on our anniversary adventure! We returned home on Sunday after five great days in the wilderness at Shepp Ranch in Idaho! We took a lot of pictures and I've attempted to post some of the best. As always, you can click on a photo for a better look. Mike and Lynn, our hosts, took us fishing the first day at one of our favorite spots on the Salmon River. This was the first time in four trips that Lynn was able to join us! Why, you ask? We were the only guests for the week! Talk about being treated like royalty! Here I am with my big catch of the day!
Another day, Mike took us up Crooked Creek --- I caught this really nice Rainbow trout in one of the great holes on the creek!
Here Mike is explaining where to cast so that I might catch "Mo" - the legendary trout that lives in this spot! Unfortunately, Mo was not interested in anything I presented to him.
Mr. Squash really outdid himself this trip - he caught several, large Cutthroat trout! Here is just one of them!
Here he is with Connie, one of the ranch dogs, on Crooked Creek, casting into a sunbeam!
I also had time for some stitching out on our deck! The weather was gorgeous - hot days and cool nights!
This will be a pillow --- a fun little stitchery from Buttermilk Basin!
Here is Lynn on her tractor. She came down to the river to haul our stuff up to the cabin! What a woman - tractor lady, fisherwoman, great chef, gardener, horsewoman and wonderful friend! Sorry if I left any of your great attributes out, Lynn!
Mr. Squash had some issues with his back on this trip. Turns out Mike also has the same issue! Here they are discussing their aches and pains before dinner one evening!
Connie on the left has been our fishing buddy for the last three trips to the ranch! She was joined this year by Coot - the most wonderful, two year old black lab! She has incredible, expressive eyes and was eager to fetch anything in sight - including little scraps of grass she would find in the jet boat and place on my lap!
Oh yeah - the bear! There were several on this trip! Charles, the chef, was telling us about a family of four that lived up on Crooked Creek this year. We saw lots of evidence of them while fishing up there, and on the last outing, we actually saw one of them across the river! That was enough to pack it in for the day! This bear we spotted on the road out at the end of our trip. We were able to get right up to him (in the car, of course). All he was interested in were the berries on the side of the road - and thankfully not us!
The Hummingbirds at the ranch are numerous and quite tame! This was the first time I ever saw one sit on a feeder without flapping its wings!
Then there are the pigs....they were trying to stay cool here in their little house. I tried to get a picture of Florence the cow, but she was hiding in her little barn out of the heat as well. She's responsible for all the fresh milk and butter at each meal! Other animals on the ranch are donkeys, horses and cats! One evening Mike and Lynn had to chase Itchy the donkey back to his paddock. Charles explained he's a jumper and that night he decided the apples in the orchard looked really good to him!
Mike is very organized around the ranch. I'm always impressed at how nicely he cuts and stacks the firewood!
Here is part of the vegetable garden - and who might that lovely lady be in there guarding all the fresh veggies from predators?
This is the strawberry patch - surrounded by a tall, wire fence to keep out deer (also in the vegetable garden)! There are also grapes growing up the other end of the fence!

I wish I could show you all the pictures! This gives you just a little idea of what a delightful place Shepp Ranch is! We plan to return next year for a little Steelhead fishing!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anniversary Adventure!

This morning finds Mr. Squash and I headed to the remote back country of Idaho to Shepp Ranch, one of our favorite places! Tomorrow we will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary! What better way to celebrate than to be in a place we both love?

We'll be there through Sunday, relaxing in the shade, doing a lot of fly fishing, jet boating up and down the Salmon River and perhaps even taking a dip or two in the river to cool off! Lynn and Mike, our hosts, always find fun things for us to do - and the food is fantastic!

Here is Mr. Squash on one of our daily fishing jaunts at the ranch, summer before last! Here I am after a very nice catch that same day!
Stay tuned for lots of pictures and fun stories when we return! I'll even have a little stitchery to show you and some peeks of another recent finish!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hello Darkling My New Friend!

Recently my computer has been giving me starts and fits. Many of us have been there and understand! Just so happens, Mr. Squash is into building computers as a hobby. Oh, what a lucky gal am I! He decided a while back to build what they call a small-form factor computer. I asked him what he was going to do with another computer and he said I could have it if I so desired! And I desired! So here she is -- her name is Darkling!

Why Darkling, you ask? Well, Mr. Squash gives most of his computers pretty interesting names - Soul Crusher, Dark Side and now Darkling. She is very small - sitting here on the top of my 2-drawer filing cabinet she measures just 12"D x 8"W x 7"H. She has everything I need - a DVD drive, a wireless stick, Office 2010, Windows 7 and a few other software programs! Yesterday I transferred over all the files and photos from my old Gateway, and I'm now back in fine form for computing! I can't believe the difference in speed and performance - thanks to Mr. Squash!!

On Monday we took a drive down to Baker City and LaGrande, Oregon. It was a beautiful day for a drive, we packed a picnic lunch and off we went! We stopped in Baker City at Traditions Quilt Shop. Cyndy is there all week working for her sister who owns the shop while her sister is on vacation. We had a nice time chatting and then did a little shopping!

I purchased another Schnibbles pattern, some wonderful, buttery-feeling wool felt pieces, another of Cyndy's patterns (Mr. Squash wants me to make the pillow for him!) and some fun fat quarters that I will use to make fabric baskets for gifts!

I've also been busy machine quilting a project and I made the bias binding for it - all ready to go! I'lI surprise you with the finish later. I must say after this last machine quilting project that I am really ready for the longarm! I find stuffing anything larger than a small table runner through my Bernina is just too hard on my hands, shoulders and neck and the viewing area is so small! I just get going, then I have to stop and start to remove pins which does not make me a happy camper! I'm planning to get a Hinterberg Voyager 17 with their Summit table. I've looked at and tried a lot of longarms at various shows and so far this is the one I like best. If anyone reading this has one, I would love to hear your feedback!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Crazy 8 Strip Teaser Table Topper!

No...that's not me in the title - but I got you going, didn't I! Yesterday I finished my second of two classes at my LQS on this fun project by the gals that call themselves "The 3/4 Crazies" out of Lake Havasu City, AZ! During class we were trying to figure out how they came up with this idea - we figured they might have had one glass of wine too many one evening! Whatever the case, this is one crazy pattern that comes together so surprisingly well! Here you see my flimsy below - I used Gobble Gobble by Sandy Gervais - it fits perfectly on our round kitchen table!

Now I just need to cut the bias binding and get it quilted for fall decorating! I think one of my Magic Lantern pumpkins will look great on it - providing they mature in time! I sprayed too much liquid fertilizer on them the other day and managed to kill the smaller ones, but there are four that are quite large and I think will make it!

Speaking of the garden, check out my sunflowers! They are finally opening - albeit to the alley - I guess that's the way they want to follow the sun from the east to the west. Mr. Squash said he thinks they're snubbing us - lol!!

I harvested all but a few smaller carrots the other day! Look at the bounty combined with that days green bean harvest! Beans are harvested almost daily right now! I plan to make carrot cake, lots of pot roast (our favorite) and use the rest for just plain munching!
This was my first tomato harvest about a week ago. Since then I've gotten two more large tomatoes and quite a few more cherry tomatoes. Everyone in town has remarked that it hasn't been the best year for tomatoes. But most of my bushes are loaded - I think we just need to be patient for them to ripen!
I also cleaned out the lettuce bed - we couldn't eat or give it away fast enough before a lot of it bolted. I re-planted four more rows for a later summer harvest. While I was pulling the bolted plants, this cute little while Petunia emerged hidden in the lettuce leaves! What a brave little soul! I left her in hopes that she will produce babies and keep the Marigolds company while the new lettuce sprouts!