Friday, November 29, 2013

I really don't want to know . . .

The kitties on the deck, otherwise known as The Ferals, come and go. I lose track of the generations, sometimes even unable to remember which kittens came from which mom and which litter. I try not to get attached. I'm an advocate of the Trap-Neuter-Release programs which limits the growth of feral cat colonies which tend to keep out non-colony members, thus placing a limit on the cat populations in a territory. Problem is, I'm not organized enough to Trap. It takes patience.

My attempt to remain detached wavers from time to time. This guy (or girl) in front is a beautiful and unique cat, appearing here with Nina's Little Kitten. He is missing. I saw him the day after I got back from my niece's wedding. That would be November 12 or 13. Kitties can disappear for a few days, because they visit other people, too, but my Kitty Sitter didn't see him while I was away at quilt camp either.

Mama Kitty is the one I call Barefoot, because she's the only striped kitty around that has no Socks or other white markings. She was intensely interested in my room addition project. She hung around watching the guys work. They had to be careful not to lock her in when they left at night once construction was closed in. While the addition was still in the framing stage, she'd scale up the 2"x 6"s and walk around on the floor joists.

Then one day in May I spotted three little fluff balls scampering around on the driveway near the tarp-covered wood pile. Two were light-colored, one with pure Siamese markings and the other with subtle body markings all over. The third was black. I can guess that the perennial Black Kitty, who was abandoned in the neighborhood many years ago when his people left, was the Papa.

But I've never seen a Siamese running in the neighborhood.

Lower right corner, see the "points" on the little Siamese up in the shadow
These Three Little Kittens mainly treat my deck as Home, although they have been seen eating across the street. (Does she feed them canned food, instead of the cheap dry stuff?)

I worry about the vulnerability of the light-colored kittens in the wild. They stand out like a beacon when they romp in the leaves in the woods.

I talked to the Kitty Sitter and we each expressed the hope (or wishful thinking) that someone thought he was a beautiful kitty and adopted him.

I hadn't seen Sister-in-Law since she got back from Niece's wedding and I returned from Quilt Camp, so I dropped in to see her the other day as I went by the office where she works. She asked me about the cats, both my indoor Hothouse Flowers and the little band outside and I told her I was worried about Stripey Siamese.

She blanched. "I wasn't going to tell you this, because I wish he hadn't told me... Your next door neighbor told me the other day that he and his son were sitting on their deck when a huge owl came swooping down and picked up a cat and carried it off, screaming." She never cries, but her eyes welled up.

I didn't ask her whether he described the cat taken. I don't want to know. I wasn't going to tell anyone this story, but it's been haunting me. I want to believe that Stripey Siamese will wander up one of these days after being on a romp somewhere, looking for some of my cheap dry cat food. 

See you . . .


Monday, November 25, 2013

Did I hear someone mention shoes?

Paris, Tuesday, Sept 24

It was on a Chocolate Tour in Paris, toward the end of our trip. Our guide, Iris, was leading the ladies and one gentleman (my son) on Jeanne Mills' tour on the Pleasures of the South of France, to a selection of chocolate makers to look at and taste samples of their chocolates.

The first shop was crammed with customers. Iris had pre-ordered samples but they weren't ready yet. We peered in the windows at the varieties of colorful goodies while Iris waited in line. She came out after awhile with a couple of boxes and proposed we walk to a park to enjoy them. En route we took a shortcut through one of Paris' covered passages, a sort of mini-mall opened nearly 200 years ago named the Galerie Véro-Dodat.

Part way through, Iris pulled up short, realizing she'd left behind one of her boxes of chocolates at the shop. She told us to wait in the passage while she ran back to get the missing box. I was left holding a box or two, so I didn't really look around much at first, but Iris was gone quite awhile and I finally began to walk around, noticing the old signage on the stores, often a historic proprietor rather than the current business. A renovation has been underway.

I saw shoes. I'm not a major shoe fan. Shoes have always been instruments of torture for me, so I might look, but don't truly covet them. But I think of the women who do. Imelda Marcos comes to mind. Kelly Ripa likes her shoes. Kelly adores shoes. Friends and acquaintances mention their love of shoes. These were wild shoes, so I began to take pictures. This is what I notice first. Legs with shoes.

And then, all the shoes I could photograph before Iris returned:

This top shoe looks dangerous.

These look really dangerous. I love 'em. I wish shoes loved me.

It wasn't til I started cropping these photos and looking at them close up that I began to see and read the labels in them. Took a bit of serious magnifying and a little Internet research to figure out who made them. It's the French luxury shoemaker Christian Louboutin, The Shoes with the Red Soles!

 Come on into the passage. You're allowed!

This Chaussure Stiletto, which I saw later in the day, is more reasonably priced at 58€, made by Jean Paul Hevin.  CHOCOLATIER.

Be seeing you!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mission Accomplished . . . Leopard Revival Worldwide

Thursday, Day 2 of Quilt Camp

The weather is better today.

Once upon a time, the leopard motif had been popular in clothing and decor, but at the time the Leopard Ladies started their collection nine+ years ago, leopard artifacts had fallen to the status of kitsch . That story may be found at here. With new leopard designs appearing world-over now, in style instead of tacky, their job is over.

So, I heard the rumor yesterday that this year's room tour might be a little different from the leopard tour of their rooms. In fact, the new theme might lead to their rooms being differently decorated. They challenged people to guess, but I had no clue. In retrospect, I should have, because I know them well enough to guess this passion they share besides quilts, quilting and leopard.

The Reveal

I could have guessed. If there is one thing we know about them, it's that Donna is a San Francisco 49er fan and Penny, as Wisconsin girl, is a Green Bay Packers devotee. Donna greeted us with pom poms and pretzels. Penny welcomed us with cupcakes. And both with a major collection of team memorabilia and clothing. (And if they couldn't buy it, they made it.)

We're not through here yet. Donna's collection is larger at this point, since she lives in 49er Country where items are readily available. Penny must send away to the team store for her stuff, so it's harder and more expensive to acquire.

Donna & Penny at 2013 season opener between Green Bay (28) and
San Francisco (34) at San Francisco

More random shots around the work room . . .

"Pose," I urged her.

Tall manzanita

More later.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome to Quilt Camp

Wednesday, November 20

I almost didn't make it. Sorry, going a little medical here, but I'm having a problem with acid reflux, trying to be very careful with what I eat toward bedtime. I felt fine when I went to bed Monday evening and when I feel fine, I forget. I should not lie flat in bed when I go to sleep.

That's all I'll say except that I ended up sleeping nearly all day Tuesday in the aftermath, the day I should have been packing for quilt camp. I missed my big Soroptimist fundraiser at noon, but I dragged myself out of bed to go to the computer club in the evening, because I'd arranged for our celebrity guest speaker, a former townie who defected to Wisconsin, speaking for us on almost her last night in town and my only opportunity to see her.

She won't mind if I reveal her identity, since her topic was using social media in promoting one's business. It's Lynn Upthagrove, former proprietress of the Hotel Charlotte, who, with her husband Victor, chef extraordinaire, "retired," or so they thought, only to buy a lodge in Wisconsin, the Cedaroma Lodge. (Good thing she spoke to us -- I've been mentally calling it the CedarAma. "Aroma" gives the correct ambiance to Cedar.) If I ever go near Wisconsin again, I'll be sure to stop over for awhile.

I sat up all night Tuesday, hoping to be in good enough shape to do all the packing . . . believe me, my Escape SUV is filled from stem to stern with quilting stuff . . . and I hadn't even chosen what I'd take to do until I started packing. (Clothing is trivial. I barely unpack my suitcase between trips so that all the staples stay in there.)

You could tell it was a chilly day by the cuddle of kittens on the deck. There had even been rain overnight.

My usual target for departure is 8 AM, 9 at the latest. I emailed the camp coordinator that I was aiming at 11. My actual departure was 12:30. The drive is about an hour-and-a-quarter. First I go down about 2000' in elevation, then up 3000'. I arrived to the fog, dense among the trees. Later it turned into full-fledged rain. We've been in a drought and the rain is so welcome, but we have to temper our enthusiasm and wish for gentle rains that will soak into all our fire-damaged mountains and avoid mud- and rock-slides that threaten.

The gals were well underway but not yet at completion levels by the time I settled in. Here's a few random shots around the workroom.

Someone said what happens at quilt camp remains at quilt camp. Except for blabber-mouth Lee, of course. There is a rumor that the Leopard Ladies, after having spurred the World-Wide Revival of Leopard Clothing, Accessories and Everything Else, will have a Reveal at this camp. We await with bated breath.

One snack table shut down for the night



Friday, November 15, 2013

Non-Chicken Photos from the Rest of the Quilt Show

My, but time flies.

It's been over a year since I blogged on "A Taste of Chicken for Dinner," a focus on a whimsical quilt made by Wina Helm and shown in the bi-annual quilt show put on by the Free Church Women's Ministries of the Groveland Evangelical Free Church. At that time I noted that I had 51 other photos of the quilts displayed in the show. I planned to present a selection from those in a blog to follow. I didn't plan to let a year pass. But indeed it did.

I'm always amazed at the shear volume, in addition to the quality, of quilts produced by the women in this little community. The walls of the church are completely lined and the pews draped with quilts.

I've had pieces in the show in the past, but haven't entered anything in the last two or three. The Double Wedding Ring I did for my parents' 60th anniversary enjoyed the center front position in its year. Gosh, that must have been in 1996. Again, time flies! It was quite a thrill to enjoy that prominent location.

I'd love to do a portrait of every quilt in a show, but have to recognize that this blog is not a museum program for the quilts. I'm primarily giving you a glimpse around the two rooms that house the show, starting here with the church's lobby and a hostess welcome. I move around the room generally clockwise.

The quilts seem to be arranged in seasonal and topical groupings.

Hand quilting on a frame . . . .  I like to hand quilt, although stiff fingers are making tiny stitches more difficult, but I've never been able to manage it on a stationary frame, preferring to use various lap-type frames.

I look into the main part of the church from the back of the center aisle, to see the three large quilts up front and the plethora of quilts spread across the pews.

Looking left as I walk forward . . .

Up front left . . . a pianist entertains.

Up front and center, the largest quilt in the show . . .

Front right . . .

From the front of the church I look back along the left-side pews and walls.

Closer-ups . . .

Along the back left wall . . . . You can see that interesting maze quilt out in the lobby.

Quilts mounted along the front of the technical booth (sound and light) at the back of the church . . .

Close-up . . . I love the colors and the quilting.

Another close-up . . .

Along the hallway past the technical booth . . .

Continuing clockwise around the room . . .

It's not just quilts at the quilt show. There are homemade soups and breads and pastries, hot coffee and tea, . . .

. . . and crafts for sale, although they were in scant supply by the time I arrived.

In alternate years, the Pine Needlers Quilt Guild puts on an outdoor show throughout the little town of Groveland. I "covered" the show this year here and here, and in 2011 here. I sure hope with my new workspace in the room addition that I'll have something to hang in these shows next time and in the show put on by the Sierra Quilt Guild which I belong to in another town.

Quilt camp is coming up soon. An opportunity for more great quilt pictures!