Friday, November 17, 2017

More from Estero Llano Grande

Hello, everyone.

As promised, some more pictures from our visit to Estero Llano Grande this week.

There were a number of butterflies. This one was willing to pose:

We walked back to the alligator pond, passed the first part, and went to the viewing platform at the end. No gator in sight that day!

Silhouetted against the cloud, part of the flock of pelicans. (More are above them, but they blend in with the sky.) They were wheeling around in an updraft before settling down for a late-morning rest.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Estero Llano Grande, second visit

Hello, everyone.

Today we went back to Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco. We got there early, as the day was promised to be warm. ("Warm" in this context means "over 80F.") The forecast was not wrong.

There were a few birders there, but not whole flocks like can happen sometimes after Winter Texas season really revs up. No wind to speak of, a lovely blue sky with white puffy clouds here-n-there, a humid day but not a miserable one. Lovely walking conditions overall!

We saw, but couldn't get a photo of, a vermilion flycatcher and assorted other small birdies that we didn't even get a good look at. There were a number of waterfowl too, in the park proper and in the canal behind the park. (If you follow the trails you can walk along on top of the levee and view the canal.)

Today some of the most interesting birds were at the canal: a large-ish flock of white pelicans that we first saw swimming in the water by the tens and fifteens, then later flying in an updraft overhead, and finally in a clump on the far bank of the canal.

Also, and less to be expected, a pair of kites in a tree overlooking the canal.

There were other interesting sights also; hopefully there will be another post tomorrow with more photos.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Just catching up

Hello, everyone.

It's been quite a while--well, considering that I'm at home and not out of pocket--since the last post. It's been just one thing after another around here.

We did stroll down to the polling place on election day, even though there weren't any huge races to vote in, because there were issues that needed to be voted on.

On the way over, we saw the ducks having a little rest in the park:

These are domestic ducks, provenance unknown, that arrived at the park after the pond was constructed and filled. There are also some geese...not combative geese, thank heavens, possibly because the park is always dotted with walkers and runners and assorted other folks.

During the last several days, besides our little stroll last Tuesday, there were a few things finished off: a rosary with white perle Hail Mary beads and clear heart Our Father beads. An apron that had been originally sewn with its ties off center was repaired. Some more of the quilting on the Tech quilt has been done, too, in between days when the dining room table is used for actual, you know, eating.

Another rosary has been started, too: purple 20-gauge wire, purple lentil shaped beads for the Our Father beads, little purple perles for the spacers at the ends of the decades (useful if one adds the Fatima Prayer to the end of the decades) and assorted heathery colored glass beads for the Our
Father beads. It sits on the computer desk and I try to do a bead or two every time.

There is also some scrap-busting going on in the form of trivets or mug rug sets. Y'all may remember some color play a little while back which was developing ideas for these mug rug sets. The first one has turned itself into a trivet, oddly enough, but that's okay. It's still something that has a use and gets scraps out of the studio.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

A glorious walk today

Hello, everyone.

This morning we got going and walked at Bentsen RGV State Park. At a moderate-slow pace, we strolled three to four miles: from the entrance to the hawk tower and then around the loop back to the entrance, with stops at various bird blinds and feeders.

If anyone is wondering about what can be seen now, the feeder stocking season has begun.

The chachalacas:
An entire flock gathered to eat the seeds. It's fun watching
their social interactions.
Taken at the feeders near the entrance.

And the green jays:
"You got something to say?"
Taken at the blind. They are not fooled by the blind, but they don't seem to care either. These are two of about four or five that were eating seeds. They were loaded with that typical jay-bird attitude.

We are so happy to be back onto a longer walk distance.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fall is falling

Hello, everyone.

We've been having cooler days now--had windows open for a couple, then actually closed them. Car thermometer claimed 43F when we drove to church this morning.

And from a walk this past week:

Walking east at 8 am (Central Daylight Time) along the flood control channel, saw the tule fog (mist among the weeds) that had formed. Taken with cell phone.
(Technically, tule is a local word for cattail, but tule fog can form in any weeds. This particular ditch doesn't really have any cattails.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt: quilting in progress

Hello everyone.
The Tech quilt is slowly approaching completion.  I'm hoping to finish in time to present it at Christmas.

The center has been quilted. There are a couple of spots that will need to be "unsewn" but it's a good start.

I added some interior quilting to the elephant's blanket and ear.

Now that the center is quilted there needs to be some planning and marking before the sides and top and bottom get quilted.  There are just too large of spaces without natural landmarks to wing it there.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Color Play for Mug Rugs

Hello, everyone.

These are a few color samples--all from stash--that are being considered as mug rug schemes. The plan is to make at least two, possibly four, of each, so the design has to be simple and easily replicated. There might be an applique added if there is a large mock-solid square. Or they might be simple stripes, or even a quarter log cabin. The shapes are still up in the air.

Lots of folks like peafowl and feather prints. This color scheme is
all-season, too.

This looks a little too bland. Possibly an applique in the burnt orange color family would help.
The machine decorative stitches would go well, too.
The yellow is a 4 inch square.

Very springlike! A green binding and maybe some bits of green
lace or rickrack to give it a little pop?

Also springlike. As I don't think there are any 4 inch squares in
these fabrics, maybe this set calls for being a quarter-log cabin?

This set seems blah to me--needs an accent color. Perhaps if they're pieced as stripes
and a contrasting applique is added? Or maybe if there is a black with
teal feathers print in the house, that could be added.

I do like this combination. The flowers are the center of attention, and
the darker reds play support very nicely.
The mug rug sets would be donated for inclusion in prizes for bingo games, so they need to be somewhat less idiosyncratic than some patchwork designs work out to be. It's possible that embellishments might be added--such embellishments as are compatible with being on, essentially, a coaster with a coffee cup sitting on it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Updating on the spin mop

Hello, everyone.

A year or two back, I mentioned that we'd acquired a spin mop. (The Salad Spinner of floor cleaning!)

Well, it got its feelings hurt that I went out of town for a week and when I got home, DH told me that the fool gadget was failing to spin properly. It's hard to mop floors--or shower walls for that matter--if the mop head doesn't drain properly.

I had recently had no luck at all with a similar mop at a relative's house, so several of the ideas that would have been tried were already eliminated. I decided to fall back on one of the more tried-and-true fixes for sticky devices.

Liquid Wrench, next to the mop head. (Strands removed for the moment.)
 Below, photos of parts that were sticking and needed lubrication.

Friday, October 6, 2017

An experiment with a spool

Hello, everyone.

As most people who sew know, thread spools get emptied. I just can't bear to toss them without trying to find a use for the cylinder shaped cores.

Beginning the weave. You can see that the pattern was for
odd count flat peyote. 1 row less would have been a better idea.
Below, a picture of the weaving on the spool:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

The Tech quilt, as first considered for pin-basting, turned out to have too small of a backing. I added a row of 6 inch blocks with some blue sashing between them, and a blue 2 inch strip along the bottom. This made it big enough that the top can be laid out on the batting and backing without a lot of warping problems popping up.

The area of layout was moved to the tile-floored hallway instead of the carpeted room it had been in. This necessitated creating ways to prevent critters from waltzing through the basting area and tracking dirt on the quilt. There is a door controlling access on one side, but the hallway is open in the other direction. A piece of dog-crate was deployed.

The crate/gate is supported by a chair and the doorway. Note the piece of selvage
wrapped around the blue metal. Wish we'd thought of that when there was a litter of puppies being confined by this method! There were some unfortunate blue marks on doorways after that experience.
 The quilt layers *just* fit into the space by the front door. If I hold onto the stair banister while going around the fabric!
The quilt layers. The backing is being held steady by pieces of
blue painter's tape.

The approximate density of pinning needed to hold all the layers stable while
machine quilting the layers together. 
The quilting has begun but there are no pictures really of the progress. I have learned that using the sewing machine's blanket stitch on the elephant is a complete failure. (Too smart by half.) Had to rip all of those stitches out! Like they say, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Update on the machine applique project

Hello, everyone.

The machine applique project is done.

This is a partial picture of it, showing the stitching around the edges of various pieces. I didn't put up a complete photo because, with the prints and such, the file size would have been pretty big. This is enough to get the idea, anyway.

This is made from the pillowcase instructions at (Unfortunately, it has disappeared from their site. Here is a Youtube video about the project.) There is an accent strip above the hem part. The hem was created first, then sewn taco-fashion onto the body of the case and after it was all turned right-side out the raw edges on the one side were sewn with a French seam. This means that all the raw edges were covered.

The letters were from Shiny Happy World. Y'all can see that the letter curves are rather sharp. This is why I elected to use a simpler stitch than the snowflakes on the letters. I'm not sure how I feel abous such narrow, tight curves for machine applique. It's a little fussier to do than needle turn applique by hand.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Learning something new (machine applique)

Hello, everyone.

At the monthly meeting of Sewing Club (so called here) we learned about machine applique--one of the members had requested it--and carried nascent projects home to complete.

In the process, I learned more about my older sewing machine, a computerized Kenmore that is actually made by Janome.  There was a sampler of stitches made:

View of the front of the stitch sampler, with the stitch numbers written by the rows

The reverse side, with both sets of sample stitches showing.
The sampler's orange-plus-white rows were done first, and the orange bobbin thread pulled up to the top of the fabric. (Also the zigzag row tunnelled a lot because there wasn't enough stabilizer underneath.) Thinking it over, I realized that I'd used shiny embroidery thread on top, with dull regular thread on the bottom, and they just aren't the same weight and stiffness of thread. I switched out to a bobbin loaded with the blue shiny embroidery thread and the stitches were a lot better.

They did still pull through a bit--even though the thread tension on the top thread was loosened.

I settled on the "star" or "snowflake" stitch for most of the work, and one of the "buttonhole" stitches for the part of it that just wouldn't work out well with the stars.

The top side, stars around the ironed-on heart. Note the basting stitches holding the two layers of stabilizer to the underside.

This is how the stars came out on the underside.
 The button hole stitching, apparently, missed its date with the camera. It was put on the edges of the ironed-on letters spelling a name. There were just too many and too sharp of curves on those letters to use the stars.

The actual project, for which I shopped the stash, is a pillowcase. I used quilting cottons. The red in the picture above is a Kona cotton solid. The heart is one of the many, many fabrics in the printed cottons stash.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New hiking socks!

Hello, everyone.

The old hiking socks, both the 4 pairs of gray liner socks that walked through Portugal and the new 3 pairs of "original weight" socks that started to walk the Camino del Norte, were feeling confining on my toes lately. Maybe they shrank--well the gray ones had been subjected to the automatic dryer at least once and probably have. Certainly the original weight new ones were making my toes noticeably wider inside the boots.

And I'd gotten some toenail stuff going on the first day of the walk from Irun. (They're growing out but they're still a wee bit weird.) I got to thinking about toes and toe boxes and socks, and realized that this pair of boots is at the upper bleeding-edge limit of the old socks' size. That number is not at the very edge of the next size up, however. This seemed like a thing to try out.

Behold the new, size Medium, Injinji socks: one liner (gray) and one "lightweight".

They have each gone for one neighborhood walk. (That's pretty much all that's happening until DH gets his foot cleared for action.) They've also gone through the washer and then been drip dried. *Always drip dry hiking socks!* The darned things shrink.

They were comfortable and didn't get all bunched up inside the boot. More information may come later, after they get more use and longer rambles under their belts.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A neck chain for the shell pendant

Hello, everyone.

As mentioned a few days ago, there has been a project to get the bead-woven shell element back into use.

Thanks to this entry on Pinterest, and a careful study of the beads available in-house (that means stash usage) a neck chain was woven and put onto the shell.

The lobster-claw catches are on the front, not in the back. It means adjusting the routine when adding it to an outfit, but that way the chain can be completely detached if there should be a reason to do so.

Beads used: silver bugle beads from the craft store, silver-lined 15-count rocailles and blue 11-count Delicas from Fire Mountain Gems. Strung on 6 pound Fireline. (I love working with the Fireline!)

Monday, September 4, 2017

So I tried another Pinterest idea

Hello, everyone.

It's been purging season around here. (For non-US readers, purging means throwing away a lot of stuff.)  And purging includes trying to pretty up a bathroom.

This also counts as stash usage! The tray was lying around the house, and the cotton ball cup and toothbrush holder were already there, but not well displayed.

The swab-jar used to hold olives. I used a bit of steel wool to roughen up the paint on the lid and applied two coats of gold spray paint. The knob was floating around in my toolbox.

It really holds the swabs nicely, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Beading, re-using a piece and using up stash

Hello, everyone.

Y’all may remember the peyote-stitched shell image that I had made and hung on a purse in 2014…the purse was just the right size (too small for a lot of junk) and I liked it a lot. Unfortunately, it became dilapidated over time, and I had to get a new purse. The new one has no place to hang the blue shell dangle.

So the shell, after being cut off of the old purse, has been sitting around in the assortment of bead things that need to be dealt with. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Starting another fidget mat

Hello, everyone.

Fidget mats are supposed to be very useful (at least for people who were fidgety before they became ill) to assist dementia patients. There are lots of them on Pinterest.

The mats are also great ways to use up stash! This time, the base fabric is cushion cover fabric, a poly-rayon chenille design of assorted circles and squares. Very modern! The color tones are browns and creams.  The zipper element thus got a contrasting color for its flanges.

While applying the zipper to the mat, I noticed that the pins were difficult to remove.

It's good to have a tweezer around! It worked really well to just nip those tips in and pull the pin out, and even to then insert the pin into the pincushion on the machine.

The zipper element, a fairly common part of fidget mats, is there for the sole purpose of being opened and closed. This one got a small blue heart added behind the zipper--three cheers for bead stash!--so the person can find something under there besides the base fabric of the mat.

The mat is presently ready for binding.

As y'all can see, there are a lot of neutral colors in this one. The flowered circle is a re-used piece of embroidery, which has been backed with muslin and made into a pocket, with a little bit of lace added to ground the circle a bit. The ribbons sticking up from it hold a cheerful button that can be slid back and forth along the ribbon. The animal print at top left is faux-fur, and it's really soft! The chenille pattern gives texture all by itself, and some of the design elements were outline quilted to increase their prominence. There are buttons to the right of the pocket, some with beads on top of the button, and a dangle loop from the red rosette holds an enamel cross (removable for laundry.) There is also a sprinkle of beads in the circle next to the fur, and the green dangle can be moved around, as well as allowing a person to slide the silver-colored tube bead up and down a little bit. The zipper tape is left over from one of the Fabulous Pack Duffels made last spring, with an extra pull added so it's a usable zip.  ( has directions on how to do this.) Also the red-ribbon rosette, which sits around the shiny gold button but is't sewn down, can be spun.

All the mat needs now is bias tape around the four sides and it can be given to the person. (There are two more chunks of this chenille fabric waiting in the wings to become mats also!) I'm thinking that if there is enough red bias that would be perfect.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sharing the fun (embroidery)

Hello, everyone.

Recently there arose an opportunity to share the fun of embroidery with DGD--who is just about kindergarten age.

This Pin had been saved with the hope of future use--and the source site talked about using the method with children about the same age. So we were off to the races!

There was a stack of foam plates in the pantry. There was a large assortment of DMC thread wound on cardboard bobbins. And there was a packet of size 22 tapestry needles. (Big enough for the whole 6-strand thread, not super-sharp, and easy for her to hold.)

First she tried a couple of random stitches to get the feel of sewing with the needle. (Which isn't all that different from the cardboard sewing cards in her toybox at home.) Then she traced the outlines of  a heart, to practice following the line, and then her initial. After that, she moved on to a more-complex piece: a flower with 4 front petals, 4 back petals, and a center.

The reverse. Freezer tape used in lieu of knots.

The front.
With this age, even if they can thread the needle themselves once in a while, it's still just at the edge of their coordination abilities, so an older person needs to help with that, and with keeping the floss from making a knot on the back.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Something new on the saguaro cactus

Hello, everyone.

There is something new on the lower part of one of the saguaro cacti. I'm not sure whether it is a branch trying to form, or a flower bud.

This is forming on the east side of a cactus with full sun and an uninterrupted west exposure.

I want to say it's a little baby branch, but who knows? The whole plant is about 12 feet tall (?) and this is only about 2 or 3 feet up from the bottom. Do they branch out that low?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

A photo from our last day of walking on this year's pilgrimage

Hello, everyone.

Things have been busy around here--not in an interesting way, just busy--and there just hasn't been much time for the blog this week.

This photo was taken, after DH injured his leg, at the parish church in Deba:

The only thing that was done to this photo was to use the color correction thingie in Photoshop...the medieval carvings are all inside the narthex (covered entryway) of the church and there is just a whole lot of color left on the stone.

I think you're supposed to read it from the bottom up: bottom row, from the left, the Annunciation with an angel, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation in the Temple (these four are all part of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary) and at the right the homage of the Wise Men. Middle row, from the right, the Dormition of Mary (when she died, or "fell asleep" in the term of St. Paul in his epistles) and apparently the whole rest of the row is about the Assumption of Mary, with the heavenly court as witnesses (?) The top is the Coronation of Mary, with the Holy Trinity represented (Jesus and the Father on thrones and the Dove of the Holy Spirit placing the crown) and accompanying angels. These last two are part of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

The figures next to the flat portion appear to be the heavenly orchestra with instruments. Outward from that, a floral row (the red part) and some other figures that I don't know.

We noticed that it was really neat when we saw it, but the distraction of the injury kept us from seeing just how neat it is until we looked back at pictures later. I have noticed that a lot of the Camino pictures have more in them than we realized when we took them--one benefit of using them for computer screen background!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

This is just a small update on the Tech quilt progress. The top is finished, and the next step is to lay the backing (not chosen or made yet) and the batting and then the top down somewhere flat and pin-baste the whole thing together for quilting.

This photo is cropped a bit, but y'all can get the idea. It has been a good stash-busting project, even though there were a few new fabrics bought to  balance out the ones in-house already.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More Valley birds

Hello, everyone.

The corn crop grew, and dried off, and was combined (harvested with the machine that cuts and prepares the cobs,) and then the farmer began to disk the stalks into the dirt.  I had seen a pair of the Karakara (Mexican eagles)  on the disked field the other morning, but my photo didn't come out well.

The Karakara is said to be mostly a scavenger, but it is beautiful and not bare-skinned on the head and neck like many vulture-type birds. Lately we have seen a few around the neighborhood. Possibly it is the existence of more established neighborhoods with their yard trees getting tall now that draws them. This has been a very busy year for birds.

There is a small bird photo, though: the whistling tree ducks are scavenging the dropped corn kernels (maize kernels) that were knocked off during the harvesting process. They are coming around in the morning just after sunup and in the evening before sundown.

You can see their pink beaks. The one in front seems to have something to say!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Body pillows

Hello, everyone.

With DH being laid up with Da Boot, we’re learning new things without getting out as much.

Da Boot has rigid plastic on the bottom, and metal splints along the sides. It weighs a bit. And when DH would move in his sleep, his other ankle would get clobbered by Da Boot. Sometimes it got hit so hard that a scab resulted. This is suboptimal sleeping, to say the least. I thought of all the ladies I know who have used a Body Pillow (about 5 feet long) to support their legs and hips during pregnancy. They all love the things.

So I bought one, and also a washable cover for it. Then I was faced with getting the cover onto the (long, long) pillow. After trying a couple of ways, this was what I came up with.

1       With the end zipper open, crumple up the pillow cover sides into a donut, trying not to twist the cover. This will be a little bit like getting ready to put on one leg of a pair of pantyhose. 

2      Insert the end of the pillow into the bottom of the cover, which is next to the top because of the crumpling.


3       Pull the sides up over the pillow, switching from side to side as needed. 
4      When you have it up to the top, zip the cover and place it into the ready position for use. (pic of pillow on end of bed)

The Body Pillow is much more popular now than it was when it came home. It protects the other ankle very well and supports the injured leg into the bargain.

If any interested readers have found another way to get that long bag onto the long pillow, please feel free to chime in with a comment. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Playing with decor

Hello, everyone.

I tried out a new look for the foyer of the may still change but this is the current draft.

Yes that vase had a prior life holding wine. What was that trendy saying? Oh, yes: "Reduce, reuse, recycle. "

Photo is of the Portuguese historical site at Valenca. (Please excuse slight misspelling!) This fort sits at the border with  Spain. We passed through there on the Camino Portuguese in 2015. The river there is the actual border.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

More Valley birds

Hello, everyone.

It's been busy around the place. As a result, the dog walking has been missed for a few days. Today, however, the dogs got their walk. We just wandered the neighborhood--with DH still in the Boot we don't want to get too lost in the woods--but we did see this bird at the drainage "pond" (looks like a ditch to me) and after we got past him so the sun wouldn't be against us, got this photo:

I thought he was really tall but maybe he's just another one of these:

Yellow-crowned heron? This is another part of the same ditch.

Both of these were taken about the same time of day. (The dogs need to go out early, or else it's just too hot for them to be out walking. We've been getting up near 100F for days and days.) And, as y'all can easily see, there are limits to the amount of camera gear that can go along on a walk with two leashed doggies! These were both taken with the cell phone.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Returning to our days of Camino walking this year: leaving San Sebastian

Hello, everyone.

While it's obvious that there are not a lot of days to talk about, it occurred to me that we did learn some useful things in the days we did walk, which others would possibly want to know about. Thus these periodic posts about our walk this year.

The last post on this brought us to the city of San Sebastian. This is a good-sized city, a beach town, with a bridge over a river in the midst of it. Once you hit the beach area on the way into town the shells seem to vanish. Apparently the folks in S. Sebastian feel like it's not that hard to find your way through their city. (They do give out maps at the tourist office.) Turning left and going along the beach, there are some really gorgeous flower beds to pass, and as you go along you will find occasional signs for the Turismo office. Obviously, those are something to follow. The short version is: go along the beach and cross the bridge, then go a ways farther. The Turismo is past the McDonald's and in the midst of some other tourist agencies. There are some public benches for resting outside and some ornamental trees. The ladies at the Turismo are very helpful. After staying in a pension in the area, and having some pintxos and wine for dinner with a fellow that was also walking the trail, we got up in the morning (not quite as early as the sun!) and started walking in the lowering, dribbly clouds. We passed the harbor area and then passed the lovely manicured garden/park with the stone statue of the Infanta, and then found a hotel bar that was open and serving coffee. They also had little bocadillos and pastries. The rain came down for real for a few minutes while we were having our bit of breakfast. By the time we left, the rain had pretty much stopped. We continued along the beach, looking at the map and wondering where we were supposed to go next. (No shells yet! Nor yellow arrows.) We came to the end and found ourselves at a tee junction.

At the tee junction, not being sure what to do, we went right. We found ourselves looking at the Funicular building a few minutes later. Just as we were about to do the absolutely wrong thing (climb the stairs next to that building) DH noticed a lady in a third story window waving and pointing back the way we came. We took her advice. And as we approached the tee junction again from the side direction, a gentleman  came up along side of us and told us that we needed to go straight for a little while. He also accompanied us up to the corner we needed to turn at and pointed out the shell sign on the pole. (God bless both of these kind folks!) We turned right at the corner and followed 3" square blue shell stickers on sign poles until we found the path across the headland.

The Camino path over the headland. Note the yellow arrow on the pole.

The map of walking trails in the province (?) next to the trail cutoff.
This trail is a mostly-gently sloping set of switchbacks that climbs steadily until the pilgrim is looking down at multi-story apartments, and then comes down again. There are no scary moments and the main difficulty for me was simply that I had not gained my climbing legs yet. (It takes several days to get one's fitness up at the beginning of the walk, and especially so if one hasn't done much hill climbing before the trip.)

The remainder of the day was a lot of walking past beautiful farms, villages, views of the ocean, and so on. Much of it was on bitty little trails. I really felt for the bike riders who were pushing their bikes past us on the one-butt-wide rocky trails to reach a place they could actually climb aboard and pedal again. The trail does not go past any facilities to speak of, rather like the day before, but near the end of the stage one does enter a lovely fishing town that has bars and possibly also places to stay. We elected to cross over and stayed in Zarautz, as it was only another few kilometers uphill and down past some pretty farms.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Progress on the Tech quilt

Hello, everyone.

Y'all may remember a little while back a red and black elephant square. This is being turned into a quilt for DD2, who requested one.

One of the gray and red
filler bits for around the elephant is this one:

Top right corner of the quilt, with ray of sunshine in one corner.
Sharp eyes will note that some of the Texas Tech print has made its way into the corners. (Goes with the blanket on the elephant's back.)

Much, but not all, of this quilt is being done out of stash fabric. The many grays are mostly left over from the pink and gray whale quilt that was done last year.

The large piece above is a 6" square. The four patch squares in this part include one where the red squares were pieced from red and white strips. There were a lot of those squares made.
Making them went along swimmingly--and all of the squares had the red squares in the same corners. The red squares with a white strip along one side. Oops. These four patches can't just be rolled 90 degrees to get a flipped square with the red corners in the next corner around. I had to make some more to get the needed mirrorwise ones. (There may be some gray-and-red mug rugs in the works down the road a bit.) But things are working out.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Returning to our first day of walking in Spain

Hello, everyone.

The last post left off at lunchtime. One would think that lunchtime was only half or maybe three-quarters of a walk day. But if the pilgrim doesn't elect to stay the night at Pasajes/San Juan--some do, and after the difficulty of the first half, it's probably far from a bad idea--the route carries on into San Sebastian. (Sorry, the Basque name of the city escapes from me at the moment. Anybody who knows and wants to put it into the comments, feel free.)

There are a couple of marked ways out of the little port town of Pasajes-San Juan. At least, that's what the guide books say. One is said to be easier (meaning less steep) and the other is said to be scenic.

We followed our noses and didn't look around to find the easier way--even though we'd talked about not wanting to climb the very steep stairs to the lighthouse, that was what we ended up doing. There are some pictures we took, early on, on the stairs. Later on there were more decrepit steps, some with rebar poles to steady the risers...and some of the steadied risers and even treads had disappeared over time. This is not a staircase to run up!

Before the stairs began: the water is so clear, the rocks are so neat!

Near the bottom of the endless stairsteps

You can almost tell here that the size of the treads and risers varies. It varies more later on. At the very top of the steps, there was a picnic table. I'm not ashamed to say that we lay down on the benches to rest a minute before continuing on.

There were some really pretty views. There was a bit of paved road, and then the trail went off pavement and continued on along the sides of the hills.

Looking down at San Sebastian, just before the trail began its steep descent into the city