Monday, February 20, 2017

ROBOT BEE

Do you know what this is?

It's a tiny drone created by Japanese researchers to "help pick up the slack from insect pollinators". 
This is just a photo of the prototype.

I feel so old.

Evidently, the world's bee population is decreasing dramatically to the point one species is endangered.  This match book sized drone is covered in a sticky gel that doesn't dry out.  It would transport pollen among the flowers.

Science is amazing . So sad for the bees tho.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Things I like Feb 16

These Thursday posts are such fun. Thank you Lee Ann.

These are things I like right now:

1. Lemon pound cake at Starbucks. I try to stay away but succumb about once a month.



2. Freebies at  MODA.  The  website is :blog.modafabrics.com...Just click on Fun and Free.  Great patterns, printable tags or labels, etc.

3.Freebie Friday at Craftsy. If you go to their blog section: craftsy.com/blog and subscribe (it's free), they will send you newsletters . On Friday, they have all kinds of  ideas and free patterns.


Do you see a "pattern" here?  hee hee. This brings me to my next favorite:

4. Quilting websites and bloggers who provide free patterns and tutorials to us quilting infants.
I was surprised when I started quilting 4 years ago what an expensive hobby this is for me. I am retired (so far) and living on a fixed income. Luckily, my first quilting teacher convinced me to purchase high quality fabric.  Since that time 4 years ago, I admit I did try once or twice to use inexpensive fabric which bled in the wash or stretched out of shape when pressed. Unfortunately, this was discovered after the quilt was completed.  I only pre-wash  larger than half yard cuts of fabric.
I learned my lessen to only purchase high quality fabric, then I don't have to worry about the end result.  It does however, come at a price and like other purchases in real life, you need to know your brand and distributor.
But, I digress. To take a class at a quilt shop is around $40 (plus materials) or if you purchase a pattern it costs anywhere from $6-$20!  Creativity shouldn't be so costly or sometime  not a possibility for some folks.   It's so much easier and fun  to watch a fellow sewist complete a project if it's free.
Thank you to all of you who have provided these choices for us.


I hope you will,link up with Lee Ann today.:lapaylor.blogspot.com  for more "things I like posts.
Have a great day!
mary

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

VALENTINES DAY 2017



Today is a "lovely day". I received this gift from my  pumpkin, exceptional young man, comedian, grandson, Thomas.

I'm sure you can see the envelope says "Gramma". On the inside he wrote, " I love to play cars with you". SOOOO CUTE.



He is 12 and special. We have such fun together. Our family is truly blessed.

Hope you all have a lovely day.
mary


Monday, February 13, 2017

DONATED QUILTS



Since I first started quilting, I have tried to quilt for charity at least several times a year. I donated 3 in 2015 but only one in 2016. I just got so busy making quilts and stuff for family members, I forgot last year to make more. This year I hope to do better.
.
One of my favorite quilt blocks is the Scrap Strip block. I use 10 inch foundation papers from MSQC and just sit with my color designated  containers of scrap leftovers from my projects and a jelly roll of one inch black or white and start making blocks.  It is the most relaxing (while creating) form of sewing I can do.  I use the black or white strips for the center.  The black roll  is used with all my dark scraps and the white roll  is used with lighter color strips.   I sew the roll strip on the center diagonal of the 10 inch paper and then attach scraps to either side. When I think I have enough blocks for a quilt, I sit and tear off the paper, sew the blocks together, attach batting (usually left over pieces stitched together), backing and binding.  You must try it because it is fun! And, pretty much free.

Here's a photo of a quilt done this way (about 50 x 50 inches) that I donated to Project Linus in 2016.


It has dancing monkeys in it. Just sayin. It's a little dark but a boy would like it.

Here are 3 I donated in 2015 to Az Blankets for Kids. They provide blankets to kids going thru fires, Air Evac, Phoenix Children's Hospital, etc.etc.




They're all made from charm packs which are my favorite precuts. I try to make them about 40 inch square. The first quilt was made from charms with 1 inch sashing all around. I think the blue quilt was a disappearing 9 patch and the "wild" green one was full of animals, forests and wild things  charms randomly sewn together.

 If you haven't made donated quilts, I recommend trying this. It feels good to give back to the community doing something you love.
Not to say it isn't difficult (for a few minutes) parting with such lovely quilts.

I hope you enjoyed this post.
mary


Friday, February 10, 2017

FEBRUARY PLANTS


My very first post here was from our local nursery and I'm happy to say my new plants are doing well considering we had a freeze 2 days after I potted my new plants! The early morning freeze lasted 3 days so all the plants were covered in sheets.  I was thrilled when I removed the covers to see it had kept them almost in a hothouse atmosphere.


This first lovely is the Bellis plant, a vibrant red blooming plant. It has doubled in size since I planted it a week ago. The instructions didn't state whether to keep the blooms cut but I probably will remove a few in a couple days. It is, however, in full sun as the card suggests. I should call it my Button plant.


This is my Snow Princess Alyssum which is such a perfect name. Delicate, sweet aroma and pure.
Alyssum has always been one of my favorites but this is the first time I have had a trailing or hanging type. LOVE IT.



I saved the best for last. This is one of three Lavender plants I have around my home. Love the smell and the plant. My nursery guide informed me last summer to not trim the lavender for the first year and boy, was he correct. The blooms do not stop. I believe this is the Italian Lavender plant. I don't think you can see the hummingbird EATING WHILE I WAS FLASHING PHOTOS (top left corner), so i enlarged that portion below:


He was so cute and the same purple tones as the blooms. Just sayin.
All of my plants are in pots because many times during the year I need to move them to a different sun exposure or I just need to redecorate. And since I have rock yards all around this house, I wouldn't dream of trying to dig a hole in the ground.  It's just too difficult to penetrate the ground.

Hope you enjoyed pieces of my patio garden and have a great day!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

THINGS I LIKE FEBRUARY 9

Here are my "things I like" for today:

1. Flowers I grow that can be cut for my kitchen table. The sweet smell of Stock or Carnations is a nice start for the day.  They last longer than store bought and I don't have to wait till I'm shopping for more. Of course, here in Az, the growing season  only lasts for short periods in the spring and fall.

2. A refill on my prescription even tho "there are no refills" printed on the medicine bottle! How kind the pharmacist is to go the extra mile for me to have the medicine I need. Forget the fact I should have followed up with my doctor for a new refill.

3. Speaking of old prescription bottles, I save them to store old needles and rotary blades for the trash so those sharp tools do not hurt someone.




4. My spring loaded rotary cutter instead of the "click-on" types.
As long as I hold the bottom black piece to the handle, the blade extends and I can cut.  I would not remember to "click off" the other type. I have had this cutter since I first started quilting 4 years ago. 

5. Peoria Az. It's about 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix, smaller in population and very community oriented. We have great parks and a theater minutes from my home. There is a nice Community Center which provides services and activities for everyone. I am only about a mile from Sun City, so my neighborhood is  quieter  than I have ever lived in before. 

6. The TV  drama," This Is Us". It's on NBC  Tuesday evenings. It is the most realistic display of  families in our American society. The cast makes me feel as if I personally know the characters. The story line switches back and forth from the 70's/80's to current day which is fantastic because you see the raising of the kids to adults and the relationship of the parents. We look forward to watching it every week.

That's my quick list for today. Go to lapaylor.blogspot.com for more fun likeable lists and have a great day.
Mary




Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WILDLIFE SOS

Did anyone see this photo on CRAFTSY?  It's so cool.(pun intended)



The Wildlife SOS Elephant Conservatory and Care Center staff makes oversize coats for the elephants due to the freezing temperatures in India. Who knew it got so cold in India?  With so much unpleasantness going on this world, here are wonderful people giving their time and energy to make sure these beautiful creatures are safe and comfortable. I wonder how much yardage this must have taken to make these "shirts". 
I just had to share this.
Happy "Hump" day.