Monday, February 28, 2011


Misleading title on this post.  Blackberry-pie is my dog, Blackberry.  Berry for short.  I have purposely avoided blogging about this dog, my dog.  There's too much too say.  So much in fact, that if I would really get going and give it the detail it deserves, I would end up writing a small book.  And no one is that into this dog; except me.

When I started writing this post, she was at the vet's getting some testing done to figure out a course of treatment for her Cushing's disease.  I hate that she's not here.  You see, we've always been together.  One job I've had only, a job at a bank, have I not had her "on-site."

At our Wedding
 Best as I can figure, she's probably about 12 or 13 years old.  I got her when I was in college, when I was 18.  I'm 30, now.

Here are some high and low points of our journey; thus far, together:

  • After being approved to "adopt" her, I picked her up from the pound in between pizza deliveries (I worked until 2 AM and couldn't get her, otherwise.  I had already visited the pound looking for something big and bad, or specifically a stalwart blue heeler, but she, a foxy, black mutt, was the dog for me).  From then on, she always rode with me while I delivered pizza.  My boss would say, "I can't see her, but I know she's there..."

  • She had a foxy build and could run like the wind.  She'd take corners at top speed in "tuck" position, and I could see the whites of her eyes.
  • During the time period that I guided horse-pack trips, I taught her to leap up into my arms, and that led to her learning to jump up onto my horse. "Load up!" I'd say.
(We only had 1 horse buck us off for doing wasn't the horse's
  • I taught her to "heel", by making her heel at my horse's hips for the several-day- horse-trips that I guided.

  • Customers often did not remember my name, but would send pictures they had taken, from their trip, of me with my dog, back to the outfitter's office.  They would request the guide-who-had-the-little-black-dog for repeat trips.  I've had my picture taken more times than I know, just because of my dog.
  • Lunch on the Left Frying Pan Trail

  • I would pack her lunch in a sandwich baggy in my saddlebags.  Everyday.
  • I refer to her wallowing in a cold stream while we're out riding as "her spa treatment."
  • I would often go out to eat after a trip, with some "regular" customers-turned-friends, and I was speechless when they ordered my dog a stuffed ham dinner "to-go", and then asked the waitress to keep it warm for her! (It still makes me laugh.)
  • She liked riding beside me in the wagon I drove with a team of horses. (Do you like her red scarf? And yeah, the black horse is my horse Pete. He's old now too. Oh, and that's my Mom too, but she isn't so old...)

  • I remember thoughtlessly leaving my unwrapped sandwich on the dash of the farm pickup to go into Agway, and when I came back out, Berry had not touched it.  Good girl.

  • Berry, originally, was found thieving on the streets by a policeman, when she was brought into the pound.  She still battled those roots when we'd lay out a lunch spread for customers to pack lunch for their boss once found her on her way out of the barn, after having already hawked down all the ham, with the cheese in her mouth, making her getaway.  My boss yelled at her, and she dropped the cheese....(PS Ham was, and still is, her first choice, by the way)
  • When I lived in MO to trickride out there awhile, I had a padlock on my bedroom door so that the house dog would not mistakenly get into my room with my dog.  The house dog was an ex-fighter and wanted to kill Berry. (It would sit and wait outside our bedroom door.  We didn't live there for long..can't imagine why..)  I still have a scar on my shoulder from coming in between the two dogs, to protect Berry when they first met.

  • When I worked at the bank and still lived with my parents, said parents sent me an email with a picture of Berry next to a political sign that they borrowed, and they made her a little badge.  The sign? "Elect Berry for Senate." (Does anyone remember when Berry was running for Senate?) Yes, you may call her "Senator-Elect", lol... And yeah, that's what my parents were up to when I was at work...
  • When I came home to my parents' house for Christmas one time, when I was living in FL, my Mom put a sign above Berry's water bowl that said, "Welcome home, Cheri'-Cheri'!" (one of her nicknames)
  • I opted to be the Schlupp to drive an Equine Show's (I was trickriding for) horses out to AZ from Fl, instead of flying out like the other performers did. Just so Berry could go along.
  • Blackberry at the Grand Canyon, AZ

  • An ex has threatened to kill Berry. (We, of course, didn't stick around.)

  • Berry was, of course, with me when I jack-knifed my tractor trailer and had a wreck.  I remember that my bag of gummy bears got tossed.  I just remember the gummy bears everywhere and my shook-up-dog. 

  • Sometimes I'd load (with cattle) my tractor trailer without barn help, and I would get Berry out and put her at a strategic location to bark.  But between you and me, she doesn't have any cow sense.  She did learn when to bark when I'd use certain lingo and shooing sounds working the cows ...
  • Berry has as many miles as I do, cattle hauling and driving to performances. 

  • One time, Berry was tied to my horse trailer (kind of like your house on the road) at a rodeo, and snarled and barked at one man she didn't like.  Said man came up to me and told me that he was going to kick my dog if she barked at him again.  I told him, "If you kick my dog, I'll kick you.  And how about you just stay away from my trailer." (Just don't mess with my dog.)

  • In the past year, she has had mange, worms, and pneumonia.

  • I have a photo album, of just her.  It has roses on it.

  • Shortly after Hubby and I married, I parked the car in the garage, not realizing that Hubby was in there working.  Berry was riding shotgun, like always, and I, thinking that I was alone, uninhibitedly belted out an oozy, schmoozy love song for my dog, while I proceeded to smchooze all over her.  When I was done, I looked up as I was getting out of the car, to see Hubby standing there, just taking it all in, and grinning from ear to ear. (SO embarrassed! I pretended that he was the weird one and stalked into the house with my dog.)

  • Berry has no time for little kids or anyone else except me really, but she has accepted the presence of more people in my life, with grace.
  • I've named my Ebay and Etsy stores after her (Blackberry's Shed).

  • She is my shadow.  I like that she isn't needy; she doesn't really want petted.  She just goes where I go.  And that's that.

  We used to blow where the wind blew..and now it looks like (if we're lucky) we'll have a medication regime and routine, schedule and daily details to deal with, just like everyone else.  Doesn't matter, I hope to have  a little more time together.

I used to say, and have been saying, for, oh, about eleven or twelve years now, that Berry is a direct gift right from God specifically for me. I don't know if that's true...if God specifically purposed it to be this way, but I'm glad how it turned out.

Little black mutt.
And so much more.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pinwheel Quilt

I cannot believe that I've never done a pinwheel quilt before...because I love "the pinwheel" and I don't know why I've never made one...

At any rate, these are for Baby Girl's bed-sized quilt.  The blocks are all flannel...flannel is hard to find especially in fabrics with these colorways (turquoise, greens, greys, yellows).  It's also hard to find flannels that do not have bears, princesses, or frogs all over it, which is NOT what I'm going for in this quilt.

My point here is that, though I'm a rabid "finisher" (of projects), I'm learning to allow projects to gracefully pause until I stumble upon the "right" fabrics/materials to complete it (as opposed to spending hours hunching at the computer looking for the right fabrics. Ugh.).  So this quilt is officially paused until I happen upon some more fabric to add variety.

Meanwhile, I edited out this cute birdie fabric...the colors are great, but the birdies didn't seem to fit in with the other fabric selections and the overall style for the quilt. 

But I'd already cut some of it up, so I made Baby Girl a pillow case.

That's what's new.

Aside from that, when Strapping Young Lad got up this morning and I asked him what he wanted for breakfast...he requested "string beans."  I was  mildly surprised, but who am I to deny him string beans for breakfast? (For the record, I had cereal, and he had string beans...)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fabric Giveaway Results

Congratulations, Kim, on your very fabulous fabric win!

(My only regret is that I didn't snag the same fabric in "lilac" while it was available. ;) )

So, Kim, if you feel like sharing a picture of your project when it's, and I'll post it.  I'm curious to see what you'll "upcycle" with it. :-)

Your package will be in the mail Monday.  Enjoy...and thanks for commenting and reading my blog. xoxo

(And thanks to everyone else who commented.  I liked your ideas for the fabric...)
Have a lovely weekend, All!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Little Red Gingham Hood

This is Baby Girl's finished cape.  Complete with a handmade gingham ruffle, which I pleated rather than gathered.

I mentioned before that I was pleased with shopping with a new-to-me online store that I found, and bought this quality red flannel for Baby Girl's Cape.  Fashion Fabrics Club

Very reasonable prices for high quality fabrics.  AND when I went through the checkout process, the form asked if I would like matching thread for each item of my purchase.  That impressed me; it took some of the angst out of my project because I did not have to search for or spend any more time shopping for a thread that would match.  So there you have it.  Check it out if you have any fabric needs...

PS Will Post the Fabric Giveaway Winner On Saturday...
Have enjoyed the comments thus far.
Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Get Your Fortune Now...

Hubby brought home two fortune cookies from the Chinese restaurant where he had lunch at, during work: One for him, and One for me. (I thought that this was a very thoughful gesture.  He knows that I like to read the fortunes and try to say the "learn Chinese" words on the back...)

Mine was rather appropriate...

"Night people:  'Anybody who goes to bed the same day they got up is a quitter.'"

It made me laugh, and interestingly, I have not heard this quote before.  I'm still trying to moderate this approach. 

Anybody else relate?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fabric Giveaway

Time for a little giveaway. I've been raving about the infamous blue cubicle fabric, and now I'm going to give a yard of it away to one of you who reads this blog. :-)

All you have to do is: leave a comment on this post, by Friday, telling me what you think you'd do with it (the fabric) and pick a number between 1 and 50.

That's it.

Now go on, leave a comment, and you'll be glad you did, especially if you win a yard of this amazing (stain-resistant, rustic, textured), multi-purpose fabric. lol

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Invincible Cubicle Fabric

If you've been following this'll know that I've referenced the heather blue fabric in my Ebay store, which was manufactured specifically to cover office cubicle covers, several times.  I am determined to personally use this fabric for every purpose imagineable, other than for cubicles (because I don't have any of those).

Because I have alot of it.  And because I can.

So far, I've made a great cowboy vest for Strapping Young Lad with it.
And backed a pillow with it.

And now I wished to make a cape for Baby Girl with it (Think Little-Red-Riding-Hood); however, I did not want it to be heather blue, anymore.  I decided to dye it scarlet red to match the lining for the cape, which is a flannel with blue and green floral and a little note of red coming from a small flower accent. 

This picture is my test of various fabrics and how well they would accept dye.
You can see here that my blue-cubicle-fabric flunks the dye-ability test.  However, I do feel that it would be safe to say in my Ebay store listing that this fabric is, if nothing else, certainly stain resistant. Which is, in my opinion, commendable.

Oh and Baby Girl did score a flower headband from the fabric strips for the dye test.

What happens to Baby Girl's cape plans, you may ask.  I regrouped, found a new-to-me discount fabric store online, and ordered a very nice heavy red fabric.  It's not here yet.  Thus far, I have been very loyal to due to their reasonable prices, but this online store I stumbled upon now, has high quality cuts for Walmart prices (ie $3 or so a yard).  Even Italian wool.  More on that another day. :-)

For now, announcing on Monday another giveaway.  I bet you can't guess what it might be...I keep mentioning it...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Upcycling Repurposing Framed Embroidery

This is an embroidered picture that my Mom made for my grandparents as a Christmas gift, along time ago.

It's whimsical and I really like it.  It just needs some freshening up.

It was stapled and glued to the cardboard backing, so I trimmed the frayed edges. 

Then I gave it a bath with a small blurb of dish detergent...this picture is approximately the sixth rinsing (hey, it is more than 40 years old).

I decided to make a pillow out of it (one cannot have too many pillows).  So..Enter: the oh-so-versatile cubicle-fabric I sell in my Ebay store, Blackberry's Shed.  Yes, after this fabric's successful run being used for apparel, in making Strapping Young Lad's cowboy vest, it will now debut as "home decor."  Conveniently, the color also goes well with my Mom's embroidered piece. And it's textured and rustic.

I lined the embroidery fabric with my blue fabric to reinforce it, and it is also the back of the pillow.  Also sewed in a blue-grey crochet trim.

There it is.