Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cabin Fever

I live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  We've had lots of snow this year, and a few ice storms.  February alone brought more than 3 feet of snow in different storms.  And, at the end of January, I had a cornea transplant, so lifting and bending from the waist are restricted until further notice, probably another 3 weeks.  I should not be shoveling snow!  But, I've had to do some.  I just do it in layers.  A friend promised to plow my driveway, but his truck broke down.  The storm that left almost 2 feet ended by Saturday, and I was stuck, not even able to get to the street, until Tuesday evening.  Talk about cabin fever!  Knowing I couldn't get out was very frustrating.  Knowing it was someone else's fault was even worse.   I can't even open the front door because of snow and icicles.  I had to let Hazel out through the garage, which is under the deck, covered in snow by the front door Since I work from home, I'm usually fine staying in for days. I love my home, and enjoy working here.

So, how do I cure cabin fever?  I spent some time on Facebook, and texting/calling friends.  I started a new quilt (when I should have been finishing others).  I took pictures.  I played catch with Hazel, and baked cookies.  And I got a little frustrated.  But he came, and I can get out.  And it snowed again, and we'll have more snow this week.  Lots has melted already, so I can deal with a little more.  Sections of the driveway are clear, and most of the icicles are gone at the door, but the snow is still fairly deep, and I can't open the door yet.  Anyone want to shovel that off for me?

My views:
This was Valentine's Day, the Snow Moon, reflecting through the icicles at my door.

This was Saturday, February 15.  Eventually the large icicle on the left would meet the snow.  I'm making sure the water has a path away from the door, though.  I don't need it coming in. 

That's the table on my deck.  The snow was almost as high as the table. 

This is the left side of my car, going towards the street.  Yes, deep enough to almost hide a full size recycling trash can.  My car is a  Dodge Magnum, about the same size as a sedan.  

Thank goodness for friends and my creativity, and DVD player.  I was starting to feel so isolated, but phone calls saved me.  You can see more recent posts to see the creativity part of coping.  

I'm linking up with Lilypadquilting's Cabin Fever Party.  Go see who else has cabin fever, and what they did.
I think I'll go for a drive today.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Taking the EPP-PLunge

Okay, okay!! You convinced me!  It's on my bucket list of quilting for this year, and I had little kits from Blank Quilting, had the knowledge (thanks to blogs and a lesson with Christine).  So, while I was waiting for the fabric for the 2 pirate shirts to dry, I got out the kits and needle and thread, and tried making my very first Hexi flower.

 (Side note about the fabrics:  I got Moda Bella solids for these shirts, and wanted to preshrink the fabric before making clothes.  That makes the customer's care of the shirts easier, as he's assured it won't shrink or bleed colors.  I am HOOKED on Bella!  The color catchers added to the wash were still white.  No bleeding, and very few wrinkles. I had 5 yards of Christmas Green, and 5 yards of Admiral blue.  I"m sure these shirts will be great.  I'm going to make sure I use Moda as often as possible from now on.  So much better than the stuff I got at JoAnn's.)

I don't enjoy hand sewing that much.  My fingers get numb holding the needle, plus my vision is not that wonderful yet, so detail sewing is not something I do often.  But this was fun and cute.

And yes, I have a second kit ready to sew, and 2 more planned.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these yet, but I'll let you know when I figure that out.  I do have the Accuquilt GO! hexagon die, so I've used the shape with machine sewing.  I do prefer that, but these little flowers are cute.

Check one more thing off the Quilting Bucket list.
Linking up with Life Under Quilts

If you do EPP, you may want to check out Jessica's blog and her book.  She's a sweetheart!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Seeing things seems to be new for me.  There's a good reason for that, though.

About 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with keratoconus.  It's an eye disease of the cornea.  It's usually genetic and mostly male, but my case was stress related. It's usually correctable with hard contact lenses. Basically, the collagen layer under the cornea fails, and the cornea bumps out in a cone shape.  This affects how the eye works, and causes double vision, light halos, and difficulties with depth perception, among other things. It doesn't hurt, but you do need to adapt to a new reality on your vision.   Last August, I developed a hydrops, and have basically had no vision in my left eye.  A hydrops is almost like a mini volcano in your eye.  A fissure forms, and fluid from the back of the eye goes to the front.  In my case, the fluid filled the bump in the cornea, which made it seem like I was looking through a thick sheer curtain.  I could see colors, but nothing else.  It was recommended that I have a cornea transplant, which would "fix" the keratoconus, as well as remove any scar tissue from the hydrops.  That transplant happened on January 31, and was performed by Dr. Thomas Boland, from the Northeast Eye Institute, in Scranton, PA.  I've been a patient there since I developed the keratoconus.

If you want some idea of how I've been seeing things, visit this website and scroll down to the pictures that change.  Reading street signs, driving at night, and other challenges have really affected my life.  The cornea transplant has changed most of that, to a considerable degree, and the healing has just begun.  I never realized how I had limited myself until I could actually see the moon without a halo.  I haven't been to a movie in years, because I had challenges seeing the screen.  I can't wait until the healing is more complete and I get either glasses or a new contact lens, that will give me 20/20 correction.  It had been about 20/140 before with contact lens,and worse than 20/400 before, but at the first post surgery visit, was 20/70 without correction.  To me, that's amazing.  Yes, I'm seeing things in a whole new way.  I bless and thank the family of the person who donated his or her eyes, that enabled my vision to be restored.

So, as I'm recovering, I'm playing with a new Accuquilt GO! die, the Hunter's Star, and a package of Island Batiks fat quarters in shades of purple.

But LOOK!!  See??  I made a mistake!!  I actually laughed when I realized what I had done.  Can you SEE it??

This is 16 smaller 6" blocks sewn together.  4 are wrong.  

I had hoped just sewing the wrong triangles correctly would work, but it didn't.  I had to take the 4 squares apart and rotate them, anyway.  Here's the corrected blocks, along with one I made today, and parts of the next block.  This will have 15 different purple fabrics in it.  The light fabric is spray painted in pastels, so each section has some different colors.  I wanted something that had some interest to it, and I love how this LOOKS so far!  

But Hazel has shown me it's also time to play with her.  She's either in most pictures, or leaving her toys in them.  See that little brown nose in the bottom right corner?  

This is the guest bed.  I know I need to make new quilts for here.  These were purchased, and although I love them, they were not really hand made.  My guests deserve a quilt made with love.  I may even do double wedding rings.  I'll let you know.  In the meantime, this purple Hunter's Star will be my project.  And playing with Hazel.  

To see what others are doing, please visit the Quiltsy Team Blog.

SEE you soon!