Sunday, April 29, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge April

April's Free Motion Quilting Challenge over at SewCalGals was from Don Linn who had a very easy and interesting way to transfer a quilt design to your quilt. 

I think the biggest problem I had with this one, other than the fact that I have no patience and sew really fast, was I kept trying to find the perfect design for a quilt I was working on. I figured I can do both at the same time, it didn't work. The quilt wouldn't talk to me and didn't like any of the designs I drew on it. I ended up printing out the design Don so generously supplied and used that. 

The transfer was amazingly easy and worked with no trouble. I did play a little more with it until I ran out of bobbin thread and it started to look like something I would rip out of my garden.

I'm still having a lot of fun with the free motion, I've gone back and I'm working on past projects, really making them my own. 

By the way, as soon as I finished this, the quilt I was working on really started shouting to me, it wanted big swirls all over it, so it's done and beautiful.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Foto Finish - Warm

The optional theme for Cat Patches Foto Finish is Warm. So here we go, these are for you Barbara (Mrs. Cat Patches), enjoy.

It seems a little backwards since these visitors show in the winter, but they come down looking for our warm water.

This is a manatee, she's beautiful isn't she? Can you see how old time sailors thought they were mermaids? The marks on her back are from boat propellers, signs are posted everywhere to slow down in manatee areas, but.... well you know, people. I know that's a she because this is her baby.

In the old days, anyone who saw a manatee would throw a hose into the water, they come right over to drink the fresh water. Most people kept lettuce for them too, boy do they love lettuce. Now the powers that be have passed a law that you're not allowed to interact with the manatees, so of course no one does this anymore ;)

I'm honored to say I've been in the water with them, they are huge, gentle, beautiful and very playful. I was literally dragged into the water when one grabbed my foot and pulled me in, I think they thought it was hilarious. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Conch Republic Day

 "Dedicated to the fundamentally American spirit of a people unafraid to stand up to 'government gone mad with power' that embodied the founding of the Conch Republic in 1982. As the world's first fifth world nation, a sovereign state of mind seeking only to bring more humor, warmth, and respect to a world in sore need of all three, the Conch Republic remains the country who seceded where others failed."

In 1982 the U.S. Border Patrol set up a road block at the top of "The Stretch", which is the one lane in each direction road that connects us to the mainland. Every car was stopped and searched for illegal aliens, which caused traffic to back up sometimes as far as 20 miles. You can imagine how our tourism dropped when word got out. 

Our little government asked the federal government to lift the roadblock, but they basically ignored us. Since the U.S. had set up a border blocking the Keys from the rest of the world, we must be in a different country.

So on April 23, 1982 the Florida Keys seceded from the United States, declared war on the U.S. (the war lasted about a minute), surrendered to the U.S. and asked for 1 billion dollars in foreign aid. We're still waiting on the aid, but the road block was lifted.

If you've ever been here, you know that we are a little relaxed and will celebrate anything. My mother, who loves it here, says we are all a little odd or different. We celebrated The Conch (pronounced Konk, don't make us snicker at you) Republic this past weekend. Symbolic blowing up of bridges, pirates which have nothing to do with Conch Republic, but we love our history, and lots of parties. In Key West they had drag races, no cars, just drag queens in stilleto heels. 

Great fun was had by all and I wish you all a day of "humor, warmth and respect".

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Foto Finish - Blooming Trees

The optional theme for Foto Finish at Cat Patches this week is Blooming Trees.  We have some gorgeous trees down here but, I don't have any pictures, T
that's what happens when you take things for granted. It's been thundering and pouring all morning which means I've literally had a 70 pound German Shepard in my lap, so no walk around the neighborhood looking for trees.

This looks like the tree is covered in flowers, but that's a coral vine which made itself at home up there.

Funny story about this vine, my next door neighbor didn't have a lot of success with plants and was always asking why mine did so well. She planted this vine right in the middle of her back fence hoping that it would cover her fence. That vine grew straight up to the top of her fence, traveled across the top till it hit my yard and back fence, then covered my fence beautifully. She said she was giving up since it was obvious that any plant that would actually grow for her would run away from home.

I'm off to check out what I expect will be some beautiful pictures this week.  Join me at Cat Patches.

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Foto Finish - Blue

Today's optional theme for Foto Finish at Cat Patches is Blue, my favorite color. Going through my pictures I found this guy, too cool, he's a poisonous frog, but you have to love his color.

He and his other colorful friends are at the zoo. My family goes to the zoo every New Year's Day. Perfect weather and it was never crowded when we started the tradition. I've heard that the way you spend New Year's Day sets the tone for the year, I don't want our year to be a zoo (David says my life is a circus and I'm the ringleader), but I think of it as family, friends and fun. I'll take a year of that.

I hope you'll go check out Cat Patches for the other blue offerings. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Foto Finish - Animals

This weeks optional theme for Foto Finish at Cat Patches is animals. I could fill the page with pictures of Maya and Brady or show you more strange critters that live here. Instead I'm going to follow Barbara's lead, her picture made me laugh, so I'm going to show you a big old smile :)

I bet there will be a lot of pictures this week, who can resist animals?
Thanks for stopping by,