Friday, September 28, 2007

A couple of cubs having a snack . . .

The bear cubs - yes, there are two of them - have been visiting our neighbors a couple times a day all week. Yesterday I went over to get a picture. Only "Poly" was there - they have been named "Roly" and "Poly" by their host. Our local Fish and Game folk are going to come pick them up as they have determined they are not old enough to make it through the winter without their mother and she is nowhere to be found. Maybe she ran off with the mailman. So here is Poly having an afternoon snack of apples.

And . . . here is our "little cub" having an afternoon snack with his "B-Bop" on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Snow in the Rockies . . .

Wednesday - wonderful Wednesday! Weston and I were coming back from his house and saw the Spanish Peaks with snow so I stopped to take a picture. Then when I pulled into the yard, the reds around the house were so pretty that I had to share another picture. (You can click on any picture to view it larger.)

Weston loves the backyard so we always head there first and guess who was there to greet us. A mother deer and her two young ones. One of them is standing behind her. He was amazed!

And, I added one of Weston on the yard tractor as he always has to visit that as well.

And then - just to let you all know that I do still have a longarm and I am still quilting when I am home. I am finishing up a "first quilt" for a young quilter who just loves quilting. She wanted varigated greens thread - it is bright green and darker green. Nothing fancy, but I am so proud of her and enjoying finishing it for her in the evenings. I have a couple baby quilts to do before I head back to Laramie.

I am learning to use my new little digital camera. I love my older one and have had it for 5 years, but it is pretty big and I decided I needed a smaller new one. I am not good at the closeups with it yet - or else it is not going to have the quality of my older one. Of course, I could read the instructions - novel idea, huh?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who is painting these trees?

Yesterday morning they had just barely started to turn yellow and today there are even some reds. We don't have the hardwood trees like you do in other parts of the country, but we have beautiful colors anyway. Here is one tree just off our road. Our house is just to the right and off the road about 200 yards.

Last evening our neighbors called to run over (about a quarter mile) to see a little black bear in their back yard. So we went - quietly. And there he was - up in the apple tree eating his supper. Then he came down and wandered toward the creek. His tummy was full and I suspect he was going to get a drink. I couldn't get a picture as it was just beyond dusk.

Love this time of year!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday night at home . . .

Whew! It is good to be home. I taught in Casper this morning to finish a wonderful week-end with 17 grad students. What a great group! I have confidence that the schools of tomorrow are going to be in good hands if these students are an example of the new principals coming up. They are smart, courageous and totally committed to what is best for each and every child. Very impressive!

I then drove home today, leaving Casper about 1 p.m. and got here about 7:30. It rained most of the last 2 hours. I stopped to get us some soup from Safeway. I usually don't shop our Safeway store here in Bozeman, but I do in Laramie and they have the best soup in their deli. I brought home the Jambalaya - it is s0-0-0-0 good.

As I was leaving the store, I walked by the magazines as I am always up for a new quilt mag - and there was a 2008 Quilt Calendar from our Montana Historical Society. And the "January" quilt belongs to Mom. It is called "Railroad Through The Rockies" and came into Montana about 1860 by wagon with a family from Texas. She has a collection of over 50 antique quilts. Here is a picture again. It will be one of the quilts in the book our Historical Society is publishing in a few months. Exciting!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Getting ready . . .

Ready for what? I am teaching this week-end in Casper. The students in the course are teachers who are getting Masters degrees and hoping to become principals. Then on Sunday afternoon, after I am finished, I am heading home to Bozeman and I will work out of there for a couple weeks as we are having 2 week-ends of friends coming for visits.

Tonight we went to a dinner event. The speaker was the Dean of Education from the "other UW" - that is the University of Washington. She was very inspirational about the value of all kids and how we need to work harder using what we know to help each of them learn. We need to make sure they have dignity and ownership in their learning and that we are honest with them. She shared great stories about kids and learning. In an era when all seems focused on testing, testing, testing - it is refreshing to step back and revisit the joy of why we are in this business of education.

This blog may be representing my life. . . moving further and further from my quilting. My job is to just enjoy the journey and that I am doing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday - always a good day . . .

Normally when I am here in Laramie, I work in The Cottage and come on campus when I have meetings or such. In other "jobs", I have gotten used to working out of a home office and I love it! You can wear your pajamas the whole day. Unless of course you have a video conference, then you at least have to put on a "non-pj" looking top with hair combed and makeup. And, you can take a break and sew a few seams and let your mind be cleansed with a creative walk.

But, today is different. I do have a small office on campus, but it is not conducive for me to really think and work as my mind wanders to faint conversations I hear in the halls or in other offices. I am a great "eves-dropper" which is another story for later. Today, I came up early. You have to do that if you want a parking space. And, I will be here all day as there are meetings throughout the day and this evening is a video conference with students throughout the state who are preparing to be school principals. I even brought my comb and lipstick so I could look fresh for the camera tonight.

But, I didn't wear my pajamas.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Long drive - lots of time to imagine. . .

I drove back to Laramie today. It is a long 9 hour drive and my mind wanted to wander around so I let it rather than listen to music or talk shows. I enjoyed reliving the wonderful weekend.

And then I started thinking about "pin weaving". It is a class I took a couple years ago from a local fiber artist friend and we each made a vest. I could hardly wait to get here so I could look in my digital pictures to see if I had taken photos. And I had. The vest fronts were cut out of a tricot iron-on interfacing. With the glue side up, we attached the piece to foam board with glass headed pins and then placed pins, evenly spaced, all around the piece. We then wove with ribbon and or string up and down. The side to side weaving was done with ribbon, yarn, strips of fabric, ultrasuede or whatever we wanted.

Once the weaving was complete, we ironed the weaving onto the interfacing, sewed around the edge and then trimmed it to the shape of the vest piece. We then secured it by sewing in patterns all over. This is the only piece I ever made and I gave the vest to Mom. I must need to try it again. You can click to enlarge the photos for more detail.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fun Football Week-end . . .

We went to the big gala/dinner/dance for our Montana State University Bobcats last night. It is an annual fund raiser and I ended up buying a one item I really didn't want at the silent auction. It was a great meal and wonderful dance music. And then today we went to the football game and enjoyed watching the team win the first home game. Bob and I both went to college here as undergrads many, many years ago and it is always fun to go and see lots of folks we don't see anyother time. It was a fun "football" day with gorgeous weather.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thrilled . . .

I came home today. I took a different route through Wyoming than my normal "Interstate quick trip" and drove through Grand Teton National Park and then through Yellowstone National Park. I love the Grand Tetons. Everytime I see them, I have to stop the car and take an extra breath because it always "takes my breath away". Today it was kind of smokey so I couldn't get a good picture so here is one I have permission to share from the National Park Service.

Now for the most exciting news - when I got home, in the mail was the news that the quilt my friend Gail and I made (Tumbling Through Time) was juried into the Pacific International Quilt Festival next month in Santa Clara, CA. I called her as soon as I pulled myself from the ceiling. Gail lives in Denver and we pieced it together (she did all of the little, precise piecing in all of those blocks and half square triangles) and then I quilted it. It is an original design based on blocks from the 20th century. We are "over the moon". I think it does look better after I did the extra quilting in the blocks as suggested by another wonderful quilting friend who is a master quilter and quilt judge. Here is another pic just because we are so excited! (You can click to enlarge.)

And one more story - speaking of Park Service - I pulled up to the entry at Grand Teton National Park and the ranger on duty said "$25.00, please". He must have noticed the look on my face so he then said, "But it is for both parks for 7 days." So I said, "Do you have something for old people?" "Yes, we have a Golden Pass for seniors, but you would have to be 62." I wanted to jump out of the car and kiss him - but I just pulled out my drivers license and said, "I qualify". It was $10.00 and it lasts for a lifetime for entry into all National Parks. I felt pretty smug as I drove on through the park. This is the best time to go - the traffic is light and there are more often animals that can be seen. It was a great trip.

It is good to be home for a few days. We have a big Bobcat Gala and Auction tomorrow night to go to with friends. The "Bobcat" is the mascot for the athletic teams for our Montana State University and Bob and I are both "loyal alums".

Also - I get to see my Weston this week-end. A perfect day and a perfect weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doing some stuff . . .

I did spend a little time this week-end on my fabric projects. This first picture shows what I ended up doing with the ottoman and the chair. I decided the fabric was worth way more than the chair and the ottoman put together, so I decided to keep the fabric as intact as possible and make something that would work for a short period of time. For the ottoman, I cut a large rectangle of the fabric and tied it with some cord that I was able to find here. I then folded the remaining fabric and put it in the chair almost like a throw, but tucked it in at the seat. It works fine, looks better, didn't require any sewing - but it is a temporary solution.

I also worked on the wallhanging with the koi center that I started for the Innovations challenge and, of course, I didn't get it finished for the challenge. I like the idea so I will finish it up here. I am piecing the log cabin blocks using some silk ties mixed in with other fabric. I also brought several projects in the plastic boxes that you see here. The boxes are the ones I get cherries and grapes in at Costco. I like to cut the tops off at the hinged part. They are great storage.

And the last thing I wanted to share is a challenge between myself and a very talented, good friend and wonderful fiber artist from Montana. We found this unusual fabric at our local outdoor quilt show and we had both purchased the new book from Vicki Pignatelli a couple weeks before. We were talking about how we buy these wonderful books and then never have the focus to really go through them and learn the techniques presented. So - it hit us - why not use this fabric to complete a sample piece for each chapter. We are starting on chapter 3 and we can do whatever we want that represents the learning from each chapter. We are going to try to do one chapter a month and take off December to pick up again in January. I am thinking I will have several small sampler type quilts with this fabric part of each. Then somehow I am going to put it all together - not sure how this is going to work at all!

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you want.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

First haircut for my little angel. . .

Oh - just thinking about getting those beautiful curls cut off hurt Grandma more than Meagan I am sure! She hasn't ever had her hair cut and she is 3 and a half. But, here are the pictures of the process and it all turned out great!

In the first picture she is waiting and not too sure this is such a good idea.

And now the actual cutting process is well on the way. I wasn't there, but I am so glad I wasn't. I would have grabbed her and run right out of there just to keep from seeing that look on her face.

After it is all over - a certificate, a hand full of curls and a little chocolate makes it all better - for both of us. Of course her hair is still beautiful just like she is!

This being a grandma is not easy work when it comes to cutting off those beautiful curls that we have enjoyed for the last couple years. Just another one of those milestones that come our way.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And here is the team . . .

I just had to share this picture of our Ed Leadership team here at the University of Wyoming. I am so thrilled to be part of this group for this school year. If you don't know me, I am the short one standing second from the right. We teach courses in research, leadership, management, evaluation, assessment, change, personnel issues, instruction, supervision, physical structures, transportion, communication, and current issues as it relates to the needs of school principals, district-level administrators and superintendents. We also work with those who are involved in required internships to receive professional endorsement in those fields which requires that we visit them throughout the state at their schools and districts. Some of the courses are here on campus, some are week-end sessions out in the state and some are online. I am teaching some of each. It is such a wonderful team and I am so honored to be here for the year. And - if you want to see us "up close" - you can just click on the picture.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Moved in and settled . . .

It doesn't take long when the cottage is all furnished. But, I did have a full SUV on my way down yesterday. It was mostly fiber and quilting projects, some clothes, my good sewing chair and I brought an old ottoman that had seen better days, but I thought if it would fit, I would cover it. I love to have something to put my feet on, to put my coffee on, to use like a soft table - and this one will work. Here is a picture of it with the fabric I brought to cover it. You can click on the pic to enlarge it. The fabric has dragon flies on it in cream color. I got the fabric - yards and yards of it - for $3 at a local architect/designer sale. In the picture it doesn't look too bad, but believe me it is too dirty to get clean as I have used it without concern in my studio. I am anxious to get the cover made and hope to be able to work on it tonight.

In the background, you can see the bed. Please note that it is queen size and I have to brag about my good finds. I bought 2 queen size sets (with pillowcases) of very nice sheets and some curtains to make the "frilly" duvet for my down comforter - all for the whopping price of $16 total. That even includes the a queen flat sheet that I used for the backing side of the duvet. I had fun for a couple hours on Saturday hitting our thrift stores and then another hour or so washing everything. It took me about an hour to make the duvet. I measured the one I had and realized that the flat queen sheet was that size. So I seamed the curtains and then sewing them right on top of the flat sheet leaving an opening at the top. It went together so easily that I am sure it was meant to be.

Well - I am off to a meeting and to get my parking permit for campus. Those who know me are not surprised at my love of being on campus. When I started "college" the first time, right out of high school, I quit in the middle of the year. But, once I started back, I have always loved "going to college". My family and friends wonder if I will ever "finish". Probably not.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Here it is September - my favorite month!

I love September. Just the name soothes my soul.

I am heading off to Laramie tomorrow morning with lots of fiber and quilting projects in tow. It is going to be a wonderful school year.

Here is a cute picture of our Weston from last Friday when he visited. I couldn't find the cable to connect the camera to my computer. So I went out and purchased a new cable - and then - you guessed it - when I came home it was "right there" and I had looked "there" before - several times. How do those things happen?

Have a great week - and love my September.