Making a catio on my porch

A few years ago I made a catio on my porch.  My cats just love being able to be out of the house and almost outside.   Even during our Maine winter they still go out and usually don’t stay very long but enjoy the change of scenery.

Below is the entrance from the living room window.  We call this the lobster trap.  It now is connected to a cat window and then if you look to the right is open into the larger cage.  I will add more photos later.

IMG_1991 (1)

IMG_1978 (3)

IMG_2002

I added a cat walk along the front edge and they like to climb through the cage.  I also added a litter box in the right front corner.  That was a great addition.  I can access it through the opening in the cage.

The base is a piece of plywood that spans the entire width of the porch.  The entire size of the cage is 8X4 feet.  The cages I used were dog cages and I could take apart the connector pieces between panels and make any size I wanted.  The lobeter trap is made of the small cube pieces that people use to make small cubes to store shoes or toys.  I used zip ties to connect pieces or reinforce areas that I wanted to be sure they stayed closed since my main goal was to be sure the cats could not escape the porch.

It came together quite easily once I had the main points together and adding the cat walk was an after thought but gave them more access to corner roosting areas.

I used puzzle pieces to pad the plywood.  I also used small rugs to pad the roosting and climbing areas.IMG_1992 (3)

The catwalk is included in this photo.  It is a little difficult to see but in the foreground you can see the rug pad and then another wooden walkway takes them to the back left corner.

Making the unsponge and lovin it

IMG_2958Yes you read that right.  I am making unsponges.   I found it on you tube or pinterest just search unsponge.  Not sure what I was searching when it came up but I am sure that is a whole story in itself.   And the story continues.

Take any old cloth.  It was suggested to use cotton, flannel, and I chose a canvas material.  I do not recall what they used for the rough side of the unsponge.  So you cut them 4.5 inches by 6 inches.  But like in my photo I made them smaller because well I had some really cute material and wanted to get some more life out of it so I used it for this project.  If you don’t have old cloth then I would suggest asking a quilter for some scrap pieces.  The whole idea is to use something already in the house and use it for another purpose.  I cut up some flannel pj pants that had seen better days.  They became the flannel portion.  I used canvas that was leftover from another project of making reuseable shopping bags from a canvas drop cloth…another story!

So cut the pieces and then I made mine by using two pieces of flannel, one piece of cotton and one piece of canvas.  Next make a sandwich with the flannel on the outside.  The right sides of the inner pieces together so that when you flip it inside out the right side is the outside.  Once your flannel sandwich is made it is time to sew.  Begin along the long side and start halfway along the side.  Sew all the way around leaving a portion unsewn so that you can turn it inside out.  Leave more than you expect at least two inches or it will be hard to turn.  If you want a thicker unsponge then use more layers of flannel.  My first one (the one made of the brown rock material) was the correct size and it was four layers of flannel.  I found it took forever to dry so I reduced the number of layers by two.  Before turning it inside out it is good to clip the corners so that it makes it look nicer once you turn it.  After turning take your scissors and poke out the corners they look nice.  Then you are ready to sew along the edge of the unsponge.

After using it for a few days just toss it in your next laundry load and you have an unsponge for as long as it lasts.  Also if you want to make one side for scrubbing pots and pans more of a scrubbing surface like in the photo.  I used the protectors for wine bottles I am not sure what they are made of or if they will wash very well but they were free and I liked the price!   Enjoy!

Below shows the middle unsponge with the canvas side up.  I found it works as a great surface to scrub as clean.  I plan on making a couple different unsponges for use in the bathroom and of course keeping them separate from my kitchen use.

IMG_2959

Forget-me-not

Every spring I am reminded of a little game my late husband Dick used to play with me when my gardens began blooming.  He would ask me the question most every spring while I was busy weeding and distracted.  What is the name of this flower?IMG_2923

Since I was preoccupied with my weeding I would say oh that is a forget-me-not.  Now it brings a little sadness when I think about it because I will never forget him but this flower reminds me of him and spring!

IMG_2922

It has been good to work in my gardens and expand some of them while being restricted on movement in Maine do to the virus outbreak.  Being an introvert staying home is not an issue and I find plenty to keep me busy while I enjoy life.

IMG_2925

IMG_2924

Intoxicating smells this spring from the lilac and from the ocean air one foggy morning this past week.  Lilac’s are my favorite and they are so precious since they come and go in a flash.

IMG_2916

In loving memory of a well loved man named Richard E. Lee that lived life full and really enjoyed making people smile.  So blessed to have had 23 years with him.

 

Second quilting session for 2020

Once I had completed my daughter’s quilt I began working on two quilts for sons.

They would be a little different with only a few tee shirts and more sports theme as my husband and both of my sons follow a large variety of sports.

IMG_2831

Again my whole quilt began with figuring out size and planning out which squares would go in which areas of the topper.  This quilt was much smaller.  The finished size was only about five feet by a little under six feet.

IMG_2829

The center piece I wanted to be a little different.  It took on many forms before I finally got an idea that I feel pulled it all together.  Below is the transition of the center square until finally I placed the initials of all my children around the center with the baseball bats.  Also I added LEE on the “red sox”.  My husband was a fan of the Boston Red Sox before they won the world series and he always believed in them.

IMG_2833

IMG_2840

IMG_2832

So above is the topper for the quilt I made for my youngest son.  There is a square with a Maine black bear for the college that he attended in Maine.   There is a heart on the Boston Red Sox tee shirt and that represents me since I did not have a tee shirt added to the quilt.  I added the Boston Celtics emblem to remember the game we went to on the train out of Portland.

The Toronto blue jays was a team that they went to see play the Red Sox when they were at their home field which is in the vicinity of a summer cottage in NY.

IMG_2846

The topper for both quilts was connected to a polar fleece Patriot’s themed blanket.  I also tied the topper to the fleece so it would stay together after being washed.

 

Below is the quilt I made for my older son.

 

IMG_2841

IMG_2838

This is the topper before I finished the center square.  These two quilts went together much quicker and did not require as much sewing.  I enjoyed the entire process and was glad to give them to the boys in March.

 

First quilt for the crafter

IMG_2797In January 2020 I began the adventure of making my first quilt.   I had stashed away many tee shirts from my daughter’s days of sports and wanted to pull them together along with a few of my late husband’s shirts.  My plan was to put this all together and then in March which would be the tenth year anniversary of his death I would surprise her with it as a gift.  Well as we all know 2020 started out normal but quickly turned into each month adding restrictions.  By March I could not meet my daughter to give her the quilt but I recently mailed it to her so I could begin posting the process to built a tee shirt quilt.

My first step began with making choices of which tee shirts to use.  I also had to order some pelon to fix the tee shirts so they would not stretch while being cut and sown together.  I next had to plan out how large the quilt would be and how it would be pieced together.  My co worker had recently made a quilt and gave me the idea of buying a summer quilt that was already padded and attach the topper (the tee shirts sown together) directly to the quilt.  It seemed like a quick and easy way to proceed.IMG_2802

This is the plan I came up with after getting my measurements figured out.  I would cut the tee shirts and label them with each row and piece.  So the first piece in row one would be 1-1.  The second would be 1-2.  I would label them until I had them sown together.   I placed some rows of material to separate the tee shirts also.  This plan at first had me thinking it might add too much additional color and design but after I completed it I was happy with the results.

IMG_2786 (1)

The above two photos are some of the tee shirts being cut out.

To get to this point I had to sew each of the shirts in the correct order together in panels.  Then I sewed them together in sections of two or three.

Next the above three panels need to be sown together.  Starting with the left piece being the top of the topper.  The right top photo being the middle of the topper.  This panel had the two extra panels of other material than tee shirt.  The bottom right piece being the bottom of the quilt.

IMG_2792 (1)

I liked this panel.  I needed to add the black panel due to this shirt being worn so much by my husband that there were some discoloration near the volleyball.  Since their colors were gold and black I finished off the square and was pleased with the result.  The rock material on either side was in memory of what a rock my husband was through my daughter’s college years.  He would encourage her and look up stats on teams that they were going to compete with.  We also made many long trips to PA leaving Maine on a Friday evening and traveling all night to meet our daughter at 6 AM or at the college where she was playing a tournament and then following the matches we would travel back to Maine.  I cannot remember if we did it five weekends one fall but though we were weary it was a great way to spend quality time.  We did not know at the time how precious that time would be once he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

IMG_2794

The MDI high school is another favorite square.  The high school is on an island and I made the tee shirt bordered by water material.  Another piece further up in the center of the quilts also is a swimming tee shirt that is bordered by the same material.  The tee shirts on either side of the Cedar Crest Volleyball piece are tee shirts that my daughter designed in high school.

IMG_2803

This photo shows the summer quilt I used for the backing.  I wasn’t crazy about the color but my daughter loves the color!  The most difficult part was getting the large queen size topper of the quilt attached to the back.  I tacked it in many places with thread before I could sew it around the perimeter.  I then tied the quilts as seen in the below photo.  The tying allows the quilts to stay aligned after washing.

IMG_2804 (1)

IMG_2808 (1)

I am very happy with the final product and glad I tackled it.  Though the seams don’t always line up I feel that for a first time attempting a quilt it came out fabulous.

I was super glad that it finally got to my daughter and that she liked the merging of all her sports and education.IMG_2809

I also made two pillow cases.  Though they really don’t go with the quilt they again are a favorite color of my daughter’s with her favorite island shape.  My cat stayed with me through the entire project though she wasn’t much help she worked well weighting down the material!

 

 

 

 

Second annual Bob Ross paint

This is the first photo from my daughter and I painting a Bob Ross from season 14 episode 1.

image2 (1)

My daughter’s painting at lunch time.  I did not take a photo of mine at the same time.

The next photos at about one and a half  hours of painting.

image1

My painting at the time my daughter was done with her painting at about two hours.

I painted about another half hour.

image1 (5)

I think this year was much easier though still very difficult.   We watched the entire half hour painting show before beginning to apply paint to canvas.  It made it easier to

follow the process.  I think both paintings are unique and look pretty amazing.

IMG_2769

This photo is after about  another half hour.   I needed to work on the path and bushes a little.  I also needed to take out the cloud and redo portions of the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure on my Rad power bike

IMG_2603

A bridge on the road to Otter cove in Acadia NP.

It was a grey day but I did get to see a seal near shore as I sat and watched the waves.

img_2601.jpg

There is a tiny grey spec near the far shore and that was another sighting of the seal.  The waves made it so he was pointing his nose up high as he surfaced the water.

IMG_2595IMG_2597

A neat bridge I want to draw sometime soon.

IMG_2600

So I rode twelve miles on my bike.  Saw only a few people because it was early.  Enjoyed the little cove alone which is nice after a long summer of so many people visiting my beautiful island.  It was a nice ride and with the ebike the hills are a breeze!

Tri water bike ride two weekends in a row

IMG_2572

Eagle lake in her beautiful state as usual.  First part of the leg.

Jordan pond from a favorite overlook area that I always stop for a snack

IMG_2579

I usually sit on the bridge until a carriage ride comes by but today I did a sketch for half an hour.  I still only saw one carriage and one group of riders but it was a pretty day.

IMG_2566

The end of Bubble pond with a friend the other day that we road together.  It was a little cooler last week.

IMG_2570

Another amazing sunset with a friend on her last evening on the island.  Spectacular!

 

It was a great ride.  It still amazes me how many people just zoom along not stopping to soak in the beauty but I guess when you have time there is more opportunity to just gaze.

 

 

Knowing the tide but not being watchful

Yesterday I went on a little adventure with my kayak.   It was a familiar place to kayak but not familiar to me at low tide.IMG_2551

I kayaked from Hadley’s  Point to the Twinnies.   The Twinnies are two islands that are connected by a sand bar at low tide.  I had not been there in a long time and not sure I had ever been there at this low of a tide so I landed my kayak to proceed to walk to both islands.  The far island past my boat is South Twinnie.

IMG_2553

This is the sand bar side of North Twinnie.  As I kayaked around the side of it I realized it had a building on it.  I will have to find out what that is all about from a park friend.

 

A neat rock and blooming plant on North Twinnie.

So as I took photos of rocks and looked around and ate a snack only a few minutes had passed but the tide was rising and my boat began to drift.

 

If you look past the kayak you will see in the right photo there is a sand bar and in the left photo there is no sand bar.  I realize now from my photos just as I walked to the island the tide was almost taking my boat.  I had pulled it further up the beach than what I see in the photo.  The transition only took a few minutes.  The photo on the left the boat is pulled up further on the beach after my rescue and realizing the tidal flow was rapid.   I had to run across the beach and into the water up to my thighs to grab the kayak.  It was surreal when I first saw it drifting away.

IMG_2557
Notes in journal stated that it is better to take photo than take rock

A neat rock at the bottom of photo for both of my rock hound friends.  Also a really neat

plant at the top of the photo that lives underwater at higher tide.

 

First hike of 2019 and one of my favorites

I hiked up Homan’s path to Emery and back down Kurt Dietrich.  It was fun to share the hike with my sister and her husband.  It was good to get out again after patiently waiting for my ankle to heal twice and my heel to heal finally!

IMG_2534

Just so much fun to show them the highlights of the hike!  It was good to see the repairs being done to the last trail and soon it will be all pieced back together.