Sunday, May 26, 2013

More dog beds.

The grand-dogs Penny and Veto need new beds, someone (we won't mention her name) has taken to chewing dogs' and Shannon's bed when she is unsupervised and bored.
Most of the sewing was done on the Bernina Record.  All the seams were serged.
Their kennels are 30" by 40", the beds are about 35" by 45" to allow for lots of stuffing, and repairing easily if the edges or corners get chewed.
On this upholstery fabric, it is difficult to see the invisible zipper.
The denim one was pieced, a great opportunity to practice top stitching.
The light blue is recycled jeans, the striped blue is scrap left over from the first bed I made for Penny.
My Pfaff Creative 2 stitched the top stitching.  The finer line was sewn with the Bernina when I put the zipper in. 
One of my goals is to not buy new fabric for projects until a large portion of my stash is used up.  All fabric, zippers and thread for these two beds came out of my magic closet.  This was a quick and fun project.
Off to the post office to mail these.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Deck chair repair - back to sewing. Yippee!

In spring 2011, we bought six identical chairs for our deck.
They are light weight and very comfortable to sit in. 
Unfortunately, the fabric was starting to tear along the side of the seat on some of them.  Last summer my neighbour sat down and the seat tore open dropping his butt in the middle of the chair.  Thank goodness he wasn't hurt.
 The frame is fine, so I decided to replace the fabric to fix the chair.
 After careful examination, it was time to take it apart.
Outside tools included a butter knife, kitchen scissors, needle nose and regular pliers.
Using the butter knife, I popped the plastic caps off the top and bottom of the seat frame.  The fabric is held into the frame with plastic welting cord.  From the top, I pushed the cord out the bottom side with the needle nose pliers.

Next I pulled the welting cord out the bottom side with the regular pliers.  Once the cord was removed the fabric easily slipped out of the frame.
This outdoor fabric is 100% polyester. The regular price was $24 per metre.  I bought two metres on sale for only $9.80 per metre,  it is 154 cm wide.
 The old fabric was used for a pattern.
 After about eight straight seams, it was ready to install.
The first side went in the frame without difficulty, by putting the fold in the frame then threading the welting cord through the casing.  The second side was much more difficult, because of the tension on the fabric I couldn't hold the fold in the frame and thread the welting cord at the same time.  I needed more hands.
This is my dear friend and next door neighbour Debbie.  Together with her holding the fold in place we got the second side in.  The welting cord is brittle it broke about four times, we just kept feeding the broken pieces into the frame until the entire chair was on the frame.  Then we snapped the plastic end pieces back into the top and bottom of the seat frame.
 Behold.. a lovely new deck chair.
I'm thrilled with the results.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) - Punalu'u, Oahu, Hawaii

On April 21st, it was raining, I was sitting on the futon in my long Hawaiian dress contemplating cocktail hour. I looked out the patio doors to the ocean and thought I saw a sea turtle really close to the shore. I hiked up the skirt in one hand, camera in the other and rushed to the sea!
It wasn't a sea turtle at all.  It was a Hawaiian monk seal, Monachus schauinslandi, an endangered species of earless seal in the Phocidae family that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.  This seal posed for me like a seasoned professional model.
These photos were taken with my Canon PowerShot D20 waterproof camera.  I used the 20X optical zoom.
The seal was not afraid of me, but I kept my distance as I was  afraid of it.
It was hanging around the rocky sea wall about twenty yards from our beach house, where lots of sand crabs live. 
I was so thrilled this seal stuck around for photos before swimming away. 

The very next morning a seal was resting on the beach where I took my morning walks.  I got these amazing photos again using the 20x optical zoom. 
The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Part of the "true seal" family (Phocidae), they are one of only two remaining monk seal species. The other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third monk seal species--the Caribbean monk seal--is extinct.
Isolated from their closest relative 15 million years ago, Hawaiian monk seals are considered a "living fossil" because of their distinct evolutionary lineage.
Monk seals are named for the folds of skin on their head that look like a monk's hood and because they spend most of their time alone or in small groups.
The ancient Hawaiian name is "llio holo I ka uaua" meaning "dog that runs in rough water."
These photos were taken during low tide.
Then I went back to our beach house, ate breakfast and returned about an hour later.
 As the tide was coming in the seal swam back into the ocean.
Holy smokes, two encounters with an endangered species in two days!  Memories I will cherish, the rest of my life.

According to Wikipedia:  "The Hawaiian monk seal is critically endangered,[21] although its cousin species the Mediterranean monk seal (M. monachus) is even rarer, and the Caribbean monk seal (M. tropicalis), last sighted in the 1950s, was officially declared extinct in June 2008.[22] The population of Hawaiian monk seals is in decline. In 2010, it was estimated that only 1100 individuals remained. The larger population that inhabits the northwest islands is declining.[23][24]
Seals nearly disappeared from the main Hawaiian Islands, but the population has begun to recover. The growing population there was approximately 150 as of 2004.[20] Individuals have been sighted in surf breaks and on beaches in Kauaʻi, Niʻihau and Maui. In early June 2010, two seals hauled out on Oʻahu's popular Waikiki beach. Seals have hauled out at O'ahu's Turtle Bay,[25] and again beached at Waikiki on March 4, 2011, by the Moana Hotel. Yet another adult came ashore for a rest next to the breakwater in Kapiolani Park Waikiki on the morning of 11 December 2012, after first being spotted traveling west along the reef break from the Aquarium side of the Park. In 2006, twelve pups were born in the main Hawaiian Islands, rising to thirteen in 2007, and eighteen in 2008. As of 2008 43 pups had been counted in the main Hawaiian islands.[26]
The Hawaiian monk seal was officially designated as an endangered species on November 23, 1976, and is now protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is illegal to kill, capture or harass a Hawaiian monk seal. Even with these protections, human activity along Hawaii's fragile coastlines (and in the world at large) still provides many stressors.[27]"

Dear Readers, have you ever seen a Hawaii monk seal?  Have you ever seen a seal in real life?