Saturday's immersion in another Mississippi Quilt Association quilting "orgy" has me starting to collect the list of supplies needed for the Ruth B. McDowell Designing from Nature Workshop coming up in late February, 2008.
That is less than FOUR months away! YIKES!
If you are one of the folks signed up for this retreat in East Texas, I'd love to hear from you and follow your progress in preparations!
The Supply List instructs me to make some projects to familiarize myself with Ruth's techniques:
To familiarize yourself with my piecing process, make one or more of the projects from Pieced Flowers, Pieced Vegetables or When Quilters Gather. Read the directions and then follow them carefully. If you are planning to use curved seams in your own project, it is especially helpful to make one of the curved seam projects from the books.
Oooookkaaayy... Now I'm nervous! Thankfully, there are at least two other Mississippi quilters also going to the workshop, February 24 - 29, 2008!
If you have taken one of Ruth's workshops, please let me know. I may need some help to get these projects finished.
If you have made some quilts inspired by Ruth's technique, please share a photo. I need inspiration and help getting over my "newbie fears".
Remember that piecing does not come naturally to me. Applique and I sing in harmony, but piecing has proven to be challenging for me. It must be a right brain/ left brain thing.
Soon after the workshop was announced earlier this year by Stitchin' Heaven in Quitman, TX, all the places sold out.
I now see on the website that two places are available! A couple of folks must have had to regrettably change their plans.
That invariably happens with any event... but it opens up a couple of spots that might be filled by some of my new quilting friends! If you grab one of those spots, please let me know!
In the months since signing up, I've been collecting Ruth's books. I'm still trying to find some of her out-of-print books.
It is going to be VERY difficult to decide on "one or more" of her projects to get started!
THEN, I have to decide on which fabrics to take for the class! (Well, darn, I guess I will have to buy some more fabric! That's a bummer! *wicked grin*)
I played with and petted more of my fabric stash today, but not enough to take a photograph to share with you. Two freshly-washed Westies and some soft pillows lured me into a delicious afternoon nap.
May I bounce ideas off of you from time to time? Your input would be greatly appreciated!
Too jazzed because of another invigorating, exciting, energizing Mississippi Quilt Association Gathering. This was the Fall Gathering held in Oxford, MS, this year.
We have really logged the miles this week, and I have oodles to share with you!
Gordon shot the second "slice of life" picture during the program he and I gave to the Mississippi Quilt Association gathering.
That room was filled to the balcony with beautiful quilts!
He took still photos until the battery died, and then he took video... all of which we will be sharing!
Wish I could start stitching this morning, but I guess I'd better log some more sleep hours.
It has been a long, full, but fulfilling week!
To tickle your brain before I drift into delicious dreams of delightful sewing, here is a picture of one of the collection of seven or eight vintage quilts found at a garbage dump in North Mississippi!
We were treated to a show-and-tell of this astonishing quilt find.
All the quilts had been lovingly handmade, well used, but their colors were vibrant, and one could just feel that there was a story these quilts were straining to tell!
How could someone throw away such a charming cache of vintage quilts?
More to come..... z.z.z.zzzzzzzzzz
3. Savor the smell of a clean little dog and the feel of soft clean dog hair. With each puppy snore or deep sigh of contentment, release the stress of listening to Hubby as he coaches the game and discusses calls with the referees.
I can't remember where I first heard that phase, "petting fabric", but it sure fits.
My stash building this year has been in fits and sputters, and I have not taken time to put like colors together... organize it.
What soothing fun it was to refold some pieces and group similar colors together!
Yes, there were a few pieces I wondered what I was possibly thinking when I bought them.
I enjoyed revisiting the pretty fabrics, smoothing them as I put a them in their appropriate stack... in other words, petting the fabric! *grin*
Next time the Dallas Cowboys play, I'll be perched on The Bed petting fabric and petting dogs.
Therapy comes in many textures and shapes! Maybe I am getting easier to entertain as I get older? *laugh*
(The Cowboys won 24 to 14 over the Minnesota Vikings, so Hubby is happy this week.)
I don't know why or when I started running a deep introspective "diagnostic program" each Fall. (Gordon has infected me with all of his Geeky words and phrases. LOL)
Since Gordon and I married Dec. 31, 2003, my Fall Introspective has become a "Where are we and where do we/I want us to be."
Last week, I took Mama to the funeral of a family friend, in his 90's. He was born the same year as my father, 1914; thus, thoughts of how life has changed and how I have changed since Daddy's death in 1991.
The man and his wife had married later in life, and they did not have any children. They had lived a full life, giving of themselves and their resources to many, many people.
They lived a life of good choices, and I hope Gordon and I will make similar good choices in our life.
It has been such a full year... a year filled with many
problems struggles challenges opportunities for personal growth.
I've examined the projects on which we have invested many, many hours, only to have one person derail that project for whatever reason. How can we read the situation/ people and avoid a similar scenario in the future.
I've examined the ideas and projects that have been pushed aside for more pressing deadlines.
How can Gordon and I carve out more time for each other? Where is that healthy balance between giving of oneself to others and saving energy and time to spend together and keep our marriage strong?
We've survived the scorching Mississippi summer and a scorching year of deadlines.
When the leaves begin to change color and the temperatures cool in Mississippi, I have a sense of being able to take a full, deep breath of air again.
Colors register in my brain as being more intense... as if relief from the blinding summer sun has again allowed me to see. I can step back and look at the year and its events as a whole.
Maybe this season of introspection is like preserving the fruits of the lessons I have learned this year?
When I lived away from the farm, I lost the four seasons of the year. By that, I mean that life ran at such a break-neck pace that the seasons blended together in an exhausting parade of sameness.
Now, living on the farm has restored the rhythm of the seasons. Planting new ideas, tending our projects, harvesting from all the hard work, evaluating and setting aside time to rest and restore and plan for the next season of new beginnings.
I love the colors of this time of year. Sumac (photo 3) is such a modest little plant with such a brilliant red finish!
Goldenrod (photo 1 and 6) is a favorite wildflower with more of my favorite sunny, happy yellow!
Thanks to friend Mary Lynn in Baton Rouge, these little late yellow wildflowers in photo #2 are called Helianthos. Thanks Mary Lynn!
What are the late yellow wildflowers (photo 2) called? They are not Black-Eyed Susans, nor are they Maximilian Sunflowers. They are not Coreopsis either. If you know, please email me!
This year, I discovered that Poison Ivy (photo 4) turns some beautiful colors this time of year! That little discovery has me thinking about the poisonous people who are in our lives.
I should look harder to find the beauty in these poisonous people... beauty that I can honestly admire and praise.
Likewise, I had not noticed before this year that Saw vine (photo 5) displays a wealth of gold in the Fall.
Those people who rip us apart and choke the life out of the best intentions have a golden side for which I need to search.
Enough introspection for tonight. We have a busy, busy week ahead.
It has been a marvelous Monday, and Gordon is looking forward to Monday Night Football that is about to start. Three of the Westies are already asleep on the bed. Life is good. Very good.
Continuing the saga of the Eight Rescued Westies from that
puppy mill large-scale breeder somewhere in Mississippi, I'd like to tell you about the new home for Happy, Melody and Emily!
Rocky lives near Jackson on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, on the Madison/ Ridgeland side. He was a rescue who was fostered by my friend Martha Beck of Bessemer, AL. (Martha fostered our first adopted rescued Westie, Molly.)
Rocky had a rough beginning in life... tormented and tortured by children in his first home... kept caged constantly in his second home... terrified by exuberant children in his third home (who meant well, but triggered flashbacks of the early abuse by children).
Rocky came to his forever home with Carol and Hank Stern with some emotional baggage.
Martha, the foster home, helped get Rocky healthy and helped identify many of his emotional triggers. It is hard to be a foster home because one can't help but fall in love with the little dogs that come with such a huge need to be loved.
Martha cried when we drove away with Molly, and she cried with us when we discovered Molly had advanced cancer. She was the first person I called when Molly died in my arms on the way to the vet's office.
Vickie Claflin (who now lives in Maryland) cried when we picked up Annie and Rebel from her. She cried when we adopted Mackie from her as well. Vickie was the first person I contacted when Rebel died this past Christmas Day.
Pat Ozburn of Vicksburg, who pulled Annie and Rebel out of the kill shelter, has really been there through tears as well as through the giggly times. Pat, Vickie and Martha are so generous in sharing their experiences and advice, and I consider them friends.
Westie Rescue (as with all rescue organizations) is very, very careful in screening potential homes for their rescued dogs. That is as it should be.
These little tykes have had enough heartaches. They deserve to have a good, stable home where they will be loved and protected and kept healthy.
Carol and Hank had passed the stringent Westie Rescue screening process when they adopted Rocky. Rocky has been a handful, but he has blossomed in their home. So when Westie Rescue said to let them adopt from this group of eight rescued Westies, I had full confidence these little white dogs would be in the best hands.
With advice from Martha and Pat, I picked out the three healthiest, most balanced females who might make a good match with Rocky's strong personality. Gordon and I met Rocky, Carol and Hank on "neutral ground", a little picnic area on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. That let the dogs focus on getting to know each other without the extra pressure of territorial behavior.
Well, we've stayed in touch in the subsequent weeks. The three girls have adjusted fabulously. Happy and Rocky have closely bonded. He lets the girls "attack" him and roll him over for a play fight.
Emily has chosen as her job to watch v-e-r-y closely the painting crew working in the pup's new home... she is the project manager. Their personalities are emerging and developing. It is a perfect match!
Yes, I cried when we loaded the three into Carol's car for their short drive to their new home. In fact, I cried enough that Carol called the cell phone about 30 minutes after we parted to see if I had pulled myself together yet. *sheepish grin*
Boo Hoo'ing might be a better description of me as our cars turned separate directions from the little picnic area by the Reservoir.
When it is time for Elvis and Lara to go to their new homes, I will probably cry even more. A part of my heart will always be with Melody, Happy and Emily... and Elvis and Lara.
Charlotte, Daddles and Lillibeth will be staying with us forever here on the farm. Charlotte was the little one that all the other dogs picked on. The breeder did not know why. She only knew Charlotte by the tatoo number in her ear, and she was not sure whether Charlotte was the one that had never had puppies.
Daddles was the little dog with feces smeared over her injured left eye. It took repeated soaks with a cloth and salt water to dissolve the matted hair and fecal matter so that she could open that eye and allow us to see the big ulcer in her eye.
She immediately had eye surgery and has just now overcome a nasty skin condition. Daddles and I have bonded very, very closely.
Lillibeth adopted Gordon immediately. She is the little one who tested slightly positive for heart worms. I'll blog another time on the funnies that have come from that special bond. We are treating her heart worms herbally at present. We will be having her tested for heart worms frequently to be sure the herbal method is getting all the worms.
That leaves Elvis who has broken hearts from Eupora to Vicksburg. He has a magical way with human women!!! While we wait for one of his conquests to go through the adoption process, Gordon and I are working on Elvis's love of shoes, and we're training him with a belly band.
Elvis deserves a blog post all of his own. He is such a sweet, loving, comical little fella!
And Lara... Beautiful, Regal Lara. Lara came with an unappealing dominant personality. Once part of the pack on the farm, that dominant tendency quickly left, and Lara has been the first of the pack to learn anything new.
She is presently snuggling and sleeping with my mother. Lara may have made a place for herself here on the farm, which would be fine with me because I adore Lara! *wink*
We never intended to get into Westie Rescue.
We never intended to adopt more than one of these eight rescued puppy mill Westies.
We never intended to adopt the three little rescues with the worst health issues.
Now, just 45 days into this journey, we cannot remember how bland life must have been before these rescues came to live with us September 2nd. (Is my math right?)
First thing I did upon returning to our quarters was to start changing sheets! Poor Gordon... he drove the entire eight hour trip, but knowing his wife's weird ways, he helped with the sheet ritual without complaining! The sweetie!
It was heavenly to see four English Shepherds and seven little white dogs bound out the front door to greet me on our return (while Gordon parked the van). My mother and uncle had been puppysitting while we were gone, so they stayed up until we returned.
Tomorrow, I'll have to show you the new ornament that we unveiled yesterday, and the new brooch that debuted October 6th. The deadlines have been fast and furious lately. Lots of work ahead, and two new designs to finish before the end of the year, but we have survived the highest-pressure deadlines!
As soon as I deliver a can of tuna to Rosalie (the cat) as a peace offering for not asking her permission before we left the farm today, I'm headed for those pillows!
(Last photo: The other morning, Gordon caught recent rescue Daddles sleeping with her precious head on my neck, softly snoring into my hair. She is SUCH a good snuggler.)
What can I say about Pat Ozborn and her marvelous husband Henry? They donated their time, grooming studio, supplies, equipment and skill to this group of eight Westies rescued from that large-scale breeder somewhere in Mississippi.
Pat took a picture of Annie last year with a huge smile on her face after she was clean and groomed for the first time in probably over a year. I wish you could have seen Annie and Pat kissing when they saw each other on this recent trip to take the recent rescues to Vicksburg for Pat to work her miracles.
We took Mackie and Annie to be groomed at the same time, knowing that Pat and Annie would enjoy a reunion.
I think Annie truly understood when I kept telling her that we were going to see Aunt Pat. She was extra excited and happy that whole trip. (She is a Go-Go girl anyway who loves her rides in the van.) I will forever cherish the visual memory of Pat and Annie kissing when they saw each other again! Annie was just as excited to see Henry when he arrived a little while later.
In the week or 10 days that Pat and Henry fostered Annie and Rebel, they gave her a nickname of "Little Annie Bright Eyes". It is one I use when Annie and I have some private time, and Annie's face was just priceless when Henry and Pat called her that pet name!
Since Pat and Henry rescued Annie and Rebel from the local shelter a bit over a year ago, Pat has opened her own grooming shop in Vicksburg (see the top picture for address and phone number).
They have been involved in rescue for a good long while...something like 30 years I think. I learned so much from Pat that day, asking her a zillion questions. You will be reading a lot of Pat's wisdom and experience on this blog in the months ahead. She is passionate about rescue (read this).
Remember these are not house-trained rescues, so there was plenty of Potty Patrol. Gordon was in charge of taking the dogs outside one by one on a leash. They were too excited by the new smells to do anything outside, so Gordon, Henry and I took Potty Patrol inside.
Can you imagine almost six hours of straight, uninterrupted Westie Grooming? It took all four humans to keep the process rolling. Pat and Henry are my heroes!
Elvis kept us in giggles as he quickly bored with his little cage in the corner. He learned how to push it around, so he just traveled around the building, pushing his cage with him.
As the rest of the dogs were washed and dried and brushed out, awaiting their grooming, Elvis could not figure out why he was still in his little mobile cage while his girls were exploring the room. We were enjoying watching him take his housing with him like a turtle, but we did let him out after his bath to explore without his mobile cage.
Gordon has a little some video posted here , featuring Elvis, Happy and Mackie.
Even after two (and for some, three) baths with that miracle Apple Cider rinse, those sweet dogs still had a kennel stench when we took them to Pat's grooming salon. Pat said the stench and the stained fur might have to just grow off! When I wash the dogs now, I can still smell the kennel smell when the dogs are wet.
It was obvious to us that the dogs had never been properly groomed or even brushed. The large-scale breeder told me about one of the Westies being "slung up against the fence" when it nipped the "groomer". She did not know which dog had been abused thus. Several of the little dogs showed enough stress from the process to indicate past physical abuse.
Pat and I also feel the dogs were just hosed down with a water hose in their cages at that puppy mill because they were so afraid of the gentle grooming water sprayer.
Slowly, their fur is growing whiter as Westies should be. Lots to tell you about their personalities emerging, but I must return to work.