Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Walking My Dog

I meet the strangest people, um lizards,  when I walk my dog.

The day started out nicely enough when I decided to take a short drive to a local conservation area to check out the savanna and get some exercise. I was all excited - Hey, a savanna, and they allow dogs! Who knew what glorious adventures awaited us. "You up for an adventure?" I asked. She seemed pumped. And eager to get there.

DOG is my Co-pilot. (She keeps her eyes on the road for me if I have to send a text . . . JUST KIDDING! I'm not stupid. )

It turned out to be a very quiet, beautiful place to take a walk. 

This particular area contains "600 precious acres of tallgrass savanna, a rare ecosystem. The preserve also includes wetlands, woodlands, prairie and open field ecosystems offering a variety of habitats that attract a diverse bird population." Yeah, birds. No mention of exotic lizards. But they have a Wildlife Discovery Center there too and I guess the "Wildlife" gets antsy if they can't walk around a little now and then.

She can sense something's coming.

This thing was HUGE. Five feet long.

Ugly as sin, too.

At least it was on a leash. But I'm telling you, the thing scared the heck out of me. Upon further inquiry it was determined that this was not your ordinary large lizard - No, it was a celebrity lizard! Imagine! An Asian water monitor generously donated by actor Nicolas Cage. Poor Nick had to travel a little too often for work and  was not able to take proper care of his beloved pet.  So he dumped it here to be with us devoted dog walkers. 

After I got home I looked up Asian water monitors:

"Captive juvenile water monitors will do well on a diet that consists of fish, frogs and an occasional newborn rodent. As adults, water monitor diets can include more rodents and other small mammals, insects, mollusks and fish."  

And what about little black poodles?? Huh? Do they eat them too?  Tomorrow I think we'll stick to the park.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Let Your Creativity Take Over

Have you ever created a design for a quilt or made a certain plan for one and then after you played around with fabrics and settings it turned into something completely different?  This happens to me all the time and I'm guessing I'm not alone. It truly does seem like the quilts always take on a life of their own and turn out the way they want to, not necessarily the way I plan them. What looks good on paper or in my head doesn't always work when I begin to sew the pieces together. This is one of the things I really love about quilting: if you trust your instincts and let your creativity speak to you, you'll almost always be pleasantly surprised at what you can make. 

Using prints that don't match made this simple block a little more interesting. Worked in the rest of the quilt too - I opted for mismatching the setting squares and triangles.

I never know how a quilt will turn out when I begin and I've been known to start over from scratch if I take the wrong road and ignore my instincts (much easier to do if you're making small quilts!)

This month my small quilt groups (Yes! There are 2 groups - Yahoo and Facebook. Take your pick. ) are making small quilts with Double Pinwheel blocks for the September challenge.          

I thought this would be a perfect project to display for fall and since I do not have many quilts in this color range it seemed like a nice challenge for me to work on something a little different. I designed it in nice, warm colors. It looked cute on paper. I poked through all of my brown and green and rust prints and tried to put something together. Here's what I came up with -

Yep. Sorry to disapoint. I really tried. But, no -  this quilt of mine does not not want to be made in fall colors. Indigo kept leaping up out of the scrap box and mixing it up with my pink prints. I guess my mind (or the quilt) was telling me something . . . . Stick with what you like and the creativity will surely follow.  If you're making one of these this month, don't listen to me - make it your own way. Hope I can stay on track and finish this one.  I think it'll be cute.