Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Heart is Sad Today

Today I received an update on the three little squirrels we rescued a few days ago.  The little male, the one who had fallen from the nest, passed away yesterday.  The folks at the refuge did all they could, but they suspect he was probably injured internally in the fall and he just couldn't hang on.  At least I know he was well cared for and felt safe and warm and loved for the few days he had on this earth.  I also know he was one brave little guy; for if not for him leaving the nest, his sisters would have surly died.  The "girls" are doing very well and have even been started on some solid food this week.  As I mentioned, the refuge has ask that I do a painting for their auction in October.  I'm going to call the painting "Brave Heart" and it will be of that sweet little male squirrel.  I'm also going to include the "story of Brave Heart" in a packet on the back.  Brave Heart may have been small and frail, but this heart was brave.......and he will be remember the hearts of animal lovers everywhere.......

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pity Party for One

It seems it has been months since I have been able to read the blogs I like to follow.  Normally, I have to go into "town" to have an internet connection and by the time I do that I have so many other things to attend to online that I just plain run out of time.  Well, the last couple of days I have actually been blessed with an internet connection at the fiver.  I took full advantage of that and did some catching up on my blog reading.  My connection is too slow to do any commenting, but it looks for the most part that everyone is having a great time.  Especially those of you that are heading to or are already at the Gypsy Rally in Elkhart Indiana.  After that rally, I know some of you will be heading to Goshen for the Escapees Event.  All I can say is, "WISH I WERE WITH YOU ALL!!!!"  Reading all those blogs has also given me a severe case of "hitch-itch".  I think I am a true "nomad" at heart.....I always enjoy my time with family and friends, but I also enjoy exploring these United States.  There is so much we have not seen yet......(pitiful sigh)......

All right, enough of the 'pity party' I'm throwing for myself and on to better things.  Remember the baby squirrels we rescued?  Well, the Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center is having their annual fundraiser auction.  I have been asked if I would like to contribute a wildlife painting to the event.  I have contributed in the past.....below is the photo of a painting I donated.
Red Tailed Hawk

I have decided to do a painting guessed I just happen to have some really cute photos to use as reference!  I will keep you posted on the progress and the auction itself.   As to the Roman Shades, I'm afraid I have not had much time to work on them these past few days.  I'm in town today doing laundry......hopefully, I can get back to the sewing table tomorrow.  Till then.......have fun everyone and be safe!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moving and More

The move is done.......and all is well.  My Grandson and his Mom are settling in nicely to their new surroundings.  School starts for them both on Monday.  We went down to southern Indiana last Tuesday with a u-haul trailer.  She had everything ready to load and we were back on the road by 2pm and back in Lafayette by 6pm.  It was a long day for us all.

Now back to those roman shades.  Here is what I have accomplished so far.  I decided to add a layer of quilting to my shades.  I figured a little more insulation couldn't hurt.  I did not want to quilt every leaf so I just randomly picked about 5 leaf shapes out and did a little free motion quilting around them.  I used a variegated thread.  It was my first time doing the free motion thing so there was a bit of a learning curve.  I know not all my stitches are perfect, but pretty fair for a first attempt.
I know it is hard to see, but the leaf in the upper left is quilted.  You can click on the photo for a larger view.

So, can see by the above photo that I have sandwiched the batting in between the face fabric and the lining.  The lines of stitching you see on the lining are the small "pockets" I sewed in for the fiberglass rods.  Those rods will come into play when lifting and lowering the shade.  It helps to keep the folds neat and in place.  It will make more since when you see the photos of the shade actually attached to the mechanism.  That will hopefully be in my next post.

I did get an update email on the baby squirrels.  Looks like they had been without food for a couple of days.  There is one male and two females.  The male was the one that fell out of the nest.  All are taking well to the bottle feeding and hopefully all of them will make it.....time will tell.  At least I know I did all I could to help the little guys survive.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Squirrels

Had a very interesting day on Saturday.  I was doing some cleaning in the stick house and Bill was out mowing the yard.  He came in and said he needed my help with something.  Well, he had found a baby squirrel in the yard.  Seems it had fallen from it's nest in the tree.  I immediately called a local wildlife rescue organization.  They told me to place the baby into a shoebox with a towel for it to snuggle into and then place the box near the tree.  Then we wait.....from a see if Mama Squirrel is coming back.  So, we waited, and waited, and waited some more.......about 2 hours worth.....and I'm sad to say no Mama Squirrel.  I did notice that there was at least one more squirrel in the nest above.....the wildlife refuge folks had hoped it would see the other squirrel in the box and go down to it.  Unfortunately, no such luck.  I again spoke with the wildlife refuge folks and they felt the babies were probably orphaned at this point.  They told me they would take the baby in and care for it.  I asked about the other one still in the nest and they didn't seem to have a plan.  I was not about to just let the other squirrel starved to death up in that tree....sooooo, I turned to my most wonderful husband......pushed out my bottom lip.....and begged him to save the other baby still in the nest.  My super hero husband borrowed a 16 foot extension ladder, but he still had to climb about another 4 feet up into the tree.  There he found not one more, but two more babies snuggled in the nest.  We reunited all the babies into the shoebox and my most wonderful, superhero husband headed off to meet with the wildlife refuge folks and deliver the babies.
Now, it that too cute for words.  That little guy was so tired from his adventures outside the nest, that he immediately snuggle down and was fast asleep in no time!
And here are the other two.....all the babies looked healthy and wiggled around so I know they have a good chance of growing up big and strong.  It was a very good day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Oops! Forget to download my pics!

I did have some more photos and an update on the roman shades, but wouldn't you know it!  I went off and forgot to download the photos into my computer.  The camera is at the fiver and me and the computer are at the house......oh, time!

We have been busy at the "stick" house the last couple of days.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, my grandson and his mom will be moving into our house for a little while.  So, that meant we had to make the final effort to finish purging the house of our belongings.  The remaining furniture will be staying, but we still had some odds and ends that need to find a new home.  We have rented a u-haul and will be moving them in on Tuesday.  Since the house has not sold, at least this way it will not stand empty another winter.  Come spring we will try again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Roman Shades Part 2

Thanks, we love the faucet too!  It is made by Delta.  It also has the under counter soap dispenser, but we have yet to install it.

Back to the Roman Shades......I did make a small mistake in my measurements the other day.  In regards to the need to add two inches to the length.

Ok, this is what a clutch system looks like without the fabric attached to it.  The little squares hanging down are the strings which would attach to your shade and run the full length.  When you pull the cord to the left, it winds the string onto the rod and thus pulls up the shade.

Here is a close up of the actual clutch system.  All these components are available on the web Rowley Company.  They will provide instructions on how to assemble the hardware. 

Once you have your fabric cut to size you need to press your side hems and bottom hem into place and sandwich your lining in between.  It should look something like this.......
Your hems are double.  In other words, the side hem folds 1 1/2 inches turn another 1 1/  The bottom is a 1 inch turn, press, then another inch, and press.  Your lining slides in behind the hems.  The top of the blind remains raw edges with your lining being even with your fabric.  As shown below.........
This is a photo of the top of the blind.  At this point, you need to make sure everything has remained square and true to your final measurements.  Sometimes during the pressing process things can recheck your measurements.  A note about fabric, I would recommend using a drapery fabric for your shades.  Drapery fabrics generally come in a 55 to 60 inch width.....which is helpful when doing larger windows.  Also, Drapery fabric will generally handle and hang better than quilting or clothing weight fabric.  If you are wanting your shades to be flame resistant....check the label on the fabric....some drapery fabric has already been treated for it.  If not, their are products you can purchase and treat the fabric yourself. 

That is it for next post will probably on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Roman Shades

In the fifth wheel came with the same day/night accordion style shades  that you see in most rvs.  They didn’t last long.  Even though we took extreme care.....strings were breaking right and left.  I had my own window treatment business for over 10 years and I just felt these shades were the wrong choice for my rv.  I know some folks get along with them fine, but I can tell you they were never meant to be installed they way I saw them installed in my rv......and that is why string breakage occurs.  Most of my readers know I replaced all but the bedroom shades with a new style of  ‘roller shade’......which we love.  In the bedroom I decided to go with Roman shades which I can make myself.  The only drawback to a roman style shade is either ‘open’ or ‘closed’.  There are no louvers to adjust as on traditional blinds and there is no way to do a ‘day/night’ option like the accordion style shades.  You certainly can control how much of the window is exposed when raising the shade, but that is it. 

Roman shades, as with most window treatments, need to be lined.  Since my shades are going into the bedroom, I choose to use black out lining.  I am usually an early riser, but I can’t tell you how many times we have been in an rv park and had a street light pouring into one of the bedroom windows.  Black out lining will put an end to that, as well as give us a little extra insulation value.  Speaking of can sandwich a layer of thin quilt batting between the fabric and the lining if you feel you need it.  Also I will be making a ‘flat’ style of roman shades.  There are also ‘balloon’ and ‘hobbled’ style roman shades.  A flat shade is just that....when it is fully extended the fabric lies flat against the pleats and no puffiness.

Step 1:  Measure your window.  My window measures 13 inches wide by 23 inches long.  Now, I need to figure out my finished blind width and length.  I know I want my blind to extend past my window 2 inches on either side and I’m going to mount my blind at the ceiling and extend it 2 inches below the bottom of my window.  That gives me a finished blind measurement of 17 inches across by 28 inches long.  To figure yardage I need to add a bottom hem of 2 inches, side hems of 3 inches, and add about 2 inches at the top for mounting.  I’m looking at cutting a piece of fabric 23 inches wide by 32 inches long.  The lining (and optional quilt batting) can be cut to the finished blind my case that is 17 by 28.  Are you following me so far?  Please ask any questions in the comment section and I’ll post the answer in the next day’s blog. 

I have probably rambled on enough for today.  Tomorrow I’ll be in the construction phase of my blinds.  Look for my next post to appear on Sunday with detailed instructions and photos.  And.....little Belle is doing better....thanks for asking!

Here is a photo of our new faucet......ain't it pretty!!

And here is a photo of Bill....squeeezzzing under the sink.....ain't he pretty!!!  LOL!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I had hope to have the first stage of the Roman Shades up for today's blog......BUT....Murphy's law had other plans.  My first issue arose at 1am, my little furball Belle woke me to go outside.  That is very unusual for her.  Once out, she went and then tried to go several more times.  She just came off antibiotics for a bladder infection, obviously we aren't done with that yet.  Off to the vet we went to get an x-ray to make sure she did not have stones.  Good news....all clear.....bad news, not sure why the infection came back.  Vet gave us something stronger and back to the fiver we go.  Once at the fiver, Billy informs me the water is off.  We have been having issues with our facet in the kitchen.  Apparently it decided today was the day to end it's life and spew water everywhere.  Back to town I go, we need a new facet and something Billy called a Basin Wrench.  I found a nice young man at the hardware store that helped find just the right facet and the Basin Wrench.  Back to the fiver I go.  The next hour or so was spent with me under the sink and Billy atop the sink trying to get the washer holding the facet to the counter loose.  If you have ever tried to wedge your body under the sink of a fifth wheel.....well, you know how tight and how difficult that process can be.  The basin wrench turned out to be useless.  Someone should have had a I'm sure we were quite the sight.  We debated about taking the sink out or removing the counter, but neither was going to be easy and might cause more damage.  In the end, me with a good old pair of channel locks holding the washer from the underside and Billy a top with another pair......success.....finally pulled the facet free.  Now, we just spent the next 30 minutes or so deciphering the instructions for the new facet.  Finally decided it was time for dinner.......and a break......back to town we go.......And that my friends is where this story ends for now. Hopefully after dinner we will be able to finish the installation of the new facet and have water restored to the fiver.  Sure hate to have to use the 'out house' tonight!  I'll post the 'rest of the story' tomorrow........