Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Bittle Uses a Package as a Pillow

Here's Bittle lying on the couch using a package as a pillow.

I'd wanted to have another cute rat photo for Wordless Wednesday but my photostream is not functioning properly which means the cute photo of Peter will have to be posted on a different day.

And, Bittle doesn't get as many photos on the blog as the rats anyways, so it's her turn.

Yes, she has blue eyes.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Penny's Luxurious Hammock

This is Penny, the Diva, stretching out on her new hammock that her mother hired me to make for her.

Boy, was this a challenging project.  Penny has an enormous personality and making her a hammock to match her personality was a challenge.  But, the challenge is why I sew.

I used a crazy quilt technique that greatly reduced the work on this hammock.
I modified the technique used in this bag for Penny's hammock.  I might have to make the bag someday.  heehee.

Anyways, to just add complexity.  Penny not only needs her hammock to match her personality, but she developed a nasty chewing habit while I was designing her new furniture.  Geez.  After lengthy discussions with her human mother, I endeavored to make a hammock that wouldn't entice Penny to nibble.  This meant encasing the fleece in woven cotton.  So, it has the beautiful pieced side made of cotton and the backing is zebra printed cotton.  Simple, eh.  

Well, it would have been simple if I hadn't mucked up a few times.  I wanted the binding to be purty, so I spent extra time on it.  Next time, I'm going to use my bleeping binding foot.  Grumble.  Anyways, I made a test hammock for the binding because I needed to practice the binding.  That hammock went together perfectly.
This is the test hammock in the midst of being bound.

So, when I was ready to bind the fancy rainbow version, I just jumped to it, thinking oh this will be a breeze because the test hammock went together so easily.  

Eeek.  I don't have a picture of my oops.  Anyways, I forgot to attach the backing before I quilted the hammock.  Did I mention that the zebra cotton fabric although pretty was absolutely essential because of Penny's chewing?  Fortunately, I caught it in the nick of time, if you call catching it as the binding was starting to be sewn on.  LOL.  At that point, the hammock got a day of rest as I scrambled to figure out what I was going to do.  Luckily, I just cut the backing to fit and then, quilted the hammock again.  Yes, that hammock has a lot of quilting.  I shall claim its a design feature.... Extra quilting to reduce its chewability.  Yip.  That's my story except that I told the truth here.  EEK.  

So, after I quickly affixed the backing, I just finished the binding that I'd already started and Tadaa!

Here, the troublesome rainbow hammock is almost done, and just needs the final bit of the binding finished.  LOL.  I think this picture was taken after unpicking some of the binding stitches, but it was only a couple of inches.  Nothing like realizing that I forgot to attach the backing.
And, here's the test hammock and rainbow hammock finished except for grommets.

Oh, and I'm just skipping all of the trials and tribulations behind the brocade fabric that I used in the test hammock.  Penny's mom had wanted the brocade in the hammock, but I couldn't honestly make up the hammock when I found that its durability wasn't up to my standard.  That's why the brocade ended up in the test hammock.  If the brocade wears out fast, that's okay because it's just the test hammock.

There was a lot of testing for this hammock which I've previously posted including detail step by step of the crazy quilt piecing.

Here's Daryl testing durability of the brocade in the first test hammock (this hammock stayed with my rats, Daryl loves it)  The test hammock that you see in the other pictures in this post is a different hammock from the hammock that Daryl is sprawled within.  Yes, I made 3 hammocks to make one hammock for the little diva of a Penny.  Grins.  I loved every minute.  And, I was thrilled to see how much Penny enjoys her hammocks.  It was worth it.

Oh, and, here's Penny's hammocks in her cage.  Please check out Hammy Happenings, the blog for Penny and her hamster and gerbil friends.

The photos of Penny on her hammock and Penny's cage, of course, are from Hammy Happenings.  The photo of the quilted bag is from Sewn Up by Teresa Down Under.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stuff on a Rat 3 - Lens Cap

Using my fancy camera for this photo shoot, yet Phillip's face remains a bit fuzzy.  But, I found a good place to store my lens cap.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Taste Testing the Dog's Homemade Cookies - Phillip


This is the first time I've hopped onto a blog hop.  It is so exciting.  We are joining Blog Paws for Wordless Wednesday.  Woohoo!

Look at all those dogs and cats in the blog hop.  Nestled in there stealing their cookies is PHILLIP.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stuff on a Rat 2 - Bobbin

Here, Philip models a lovely Singer 66 vintage bobbin.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - A Blast from the Past - Pumpkin Carving in 2010

This is old school Pumpkin Festival.  Here's Gwyn from 2010, our very first pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 8 - Happy Halloween

Peter wishes you a Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 7 - Rat Inside the Pumpkin

Here's Smaug showing off the interior of his pumpkin.  Yes, they are just working on the final bits of removing the pumpkin guts.  And, all of my guys with white noses have pumpkin stains.  Then, again, Philip probably has pumpkin stains but his black fur keeps you from seeing the stains.

I have a pretty good video of Smaug working on the interior, but the video needs editing.  Hopefully, I will post the video later today.

By the way, they can now fit at least two rats inside the pumpkin simultaneously.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 6 - Getting to the Meat of Things

There's been slow progress, so today, we went ahead and gave them a starter hole.

Of course, the rats decide to focus on the skylight hole that they chose for themselves.  Now, the skylight hole reaches into pumpkin guts.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 5 - Diving for Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds.... Pumpkin Seeds....  Pumpkin Seeds

And, the mess begins....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 4 - Big Pumpkin is Being Carved

 It took them awhile to pick a spot for excavation, but it looks like they will be entering the pumpkin through the top.  This is Walter nibbling and Carl trying to photobomb.
These photos are from less than 24 hours of carving of the Big Pumpkin.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 3 - The Big Pumpkin


 Peter is grabbing some pumpkin vine, and Butters is intently observing.
Butters successfully scooped up the vine and tugged it into his hammock.  Peter is nibbling on the pumpkin stalk.  

Stay tuned for additional Pumpkin Fiesta 2013 Updates.

Pumpkin Festival 2013 - Update 2 - Practice Pumpkin's Carving Completed

 In less than 24 hours, my sweet little rats completely carved their wee pumpkin.  There is no evidence of pumpkin seeds or guts.
 Here's Walternate showing off his hard work.
And, a few hours later, we removed the pumpkin and I tried to get a pretty picture outside.  The pumpkin walls are mostly paper thin in this photo.

Our full size pumpkin is going to be cleaned up, and it looks like we are going to try it without a starter hole as our little ratties seem to know what to do with a pumpkin.  So, don't worry Pumpkin Festival 2013 is not over.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin 2013 First Update

Here's a video of the practice pumpkin.

It's Pumpkin Festival 2013 Time

Welcome to our annual Pumpkin Festival.  Over the years we have learned that pumpkins bought at pumpkin farms last longer than store bought.  So, here are two pumpkins on their way home from Harris Hill Farm.

This is our first year picking pumpkins at Harris Hill Farm.  I was thrilled.  Lots of farm animals, and the pumpkins were actually in a pumpkin patch not hauled to a decorative "pumpkin patch".  The scenery was amazing.
 This year we decided to start with a little bit of pumpkin training.
I'm thrilled to see such enthusiasm for pumpkin carving.

Don't worry, Pumpkin fiesta isn't just about little pumpkins.  They will get their full sized pumpkin.  And, I hope that we will have another year in which the rats carve a pumpkin to the point that they can actually hang out inside the pumpkin.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stuff on My Rat 2 - Monopoly House

Today, Philip is pretending to be a snail and carrying around his house (hotel) on his back.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Stuff on My Rat 1

Here's Philip with a Monopoly house on his head. 

Goosemoose currently has a thread with photos of stuff on my rat's head, so I decided to have Philip join the fun.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Something different - Corn bread using corn flour instead of cornmeal.

 Recently, we'd bought some corn flour instead of corn meal because our store lacked corn meal.  After making some corn dogs with it, I really wanted to make corn bread.  I found this lovely recipe at Chow.   I usually keep my recipes on Pinterest, but the recipe lacked a pinnable photo.  So, here are my very own photos that I can pin.
  As you can see in the first photo, I forgot to get a photo of the cornbread uncut.  OOPS.  My cast iron skillet created that scrumptious and lovely crust.  I'd always wanted to do that, and the corn bread is just amazing.  The second photo shows how I served the cornbread with some leftover stew.  It was perfect.  Oh, I also added a small can of green chiles.  I may have to add more next time because the chile flavor was subtle.  I might daringly try an evil jalapeno.  I'm NOT a fan of jalapenos.  They are too stringent.  It's not their heat.  I just prefer the green chile flavor (Anaheim pepper) but I might try a fresh jalapeno.  Hmmmm.