Nice, huh? There are shelves on four levels and a little platform where they can sit together or take a nap. The catnip had been relocated under the platform, and I'm going to give them some kitty greens to nibble on as well. We're going to switch out that chair to an Adirondack style, and we've also ordered a small shelter. I think they'll be more comfortable at times if they have a little place where they can hide away. Kitties do not like being exposed. Mike did such a great job on this, and I know he's happy to have the construction part finished.
Pausing at times to help hold things, I spent most of the day sewing. When I went down into the sewing room, I found my three rows of blocks all askew. Now what do you suppose is going on here?
Don't look at me. I didn't do it. I got nothing.
Well, I just straightened it all out again, and then went to work finishing the fourth row and sewing the whole thing together. I've sent an image to my cousins, and they both liked it. This morning, I'll get to work piecing a back together for it.
So I left it laid out on the floor last night, and when I went downstairs this morning, I found this.
When I picked it up, I found this. A mischievous toy mouse! The culprit is busted.
Somehow I think he has a partner in crime, but this will require further investigation. I'll keep you posted on the Mystery of the Mischievous Marauding Mouse.
Also yesterday, I started working on Lesson 4 of the free motion quilting sampler I'm doing for the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters Facebook group. Lesson 4 is feathers. The video showed several ways to approach feathers. I first checked my tension and tried making a row trying out different methods. I did some just free form with no spine...just making the tear drop shape. Then I sewed a spine up and back and make some feathers along a spine. Also, I tried using the tear drops themselves as the spine for the feathers that came after.
Since our goal in this lesson is to fill a block (rather than a border), we are learning to take them in a direction and fill in a space. This was a small practice space I had, and I first gave it a try there. Not good at all, and I got lost in the space I had.
Then I tried a larger piece, but I still got lost in it about halfway around. Part of my difficulty is remembering to make the tear drops by swinging out from the bottom first and bringing them around to the top. Others may do it differently, but that seems a more natural movement for my hands.
Below was my second try, and it turned out a little better. At least I kept them moving pretty much in the right direction.
I want to practice at least a few more times before committing this to my sampler.
This being Sunday, I should probably report on my slow stitching.
I made some more progress on the Gingerbread Square block. Most of the bottom half is finished now.
I set it aside for a few days to make Blocks 6 and 7 for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. Yesterday, I traced out Block 6.
I worked on it yesterday and this morning, and now it's finished. This one is called "Bee Sweet".
Block 7 is out now, and mine is ready for stitching. This one is called "Bee Charming". The hat is fusible applique. I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch the red onto the hat. The rest will be done by hand, and this one should go pretty quickly.
Finally, I wanted to tell you about our dinner last night. We went to one of our favorite restaurants (don't we always?), The Charthouse. They have one of the best views of the city, and we just happened to be sitting at the best seat in the house...literally. It's a corner table with windows all around. Mike used his phone to shoot this pano.
As usual, we took our own bottle of wine, and I couldn't resist showing you that the tacky wine bag is still in the picture. I swear I'm going to make a new one this month!
We enjoyed the view with our cocktails. So nice.
Each of us ordered the gazpacho, and I think this might have been the best gazpacho I've ever eaten. It motivated me to work on discovering my own version.
Mike ordered the Mac Nut Mahi, and I ordered the Tour de Shrimp.
Mike's was supposed to come with a mashed purple sweet potato, but it came with Yukon gold, which was more to his liking. That's a little balsamic syrup drizzle. Looks like chocolate, doesn't it?
My shrimp were wonderful. The coconut crunchy shrimp on the right of the image are my favorites at this restaurant, but I branched out and tried some of the other offerings with this "tour".
We had a stunning view of Mt. Hood straight ahead.
We watched the city lights come on as the mountain took on a pinkish cast at sunset.
For dessert, we each chose a little cobbler of apples and dried cherries. Yum.
And that was our 300 Days-to-Retirement Celebration. And I'm happy to say that as I'm writing this, there are 299 days left.
So there's plenty to do today, mainly in the kitchen. I'll be cooking up a few things to take to our Fourth of July get-together down by the river. It's one of my favorite family outings of the year.