Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back In The Day

It is a really beautiful Saturday morning here in the northwest corner of the states. And yes, I am UP in the morning!! Most who know me at all, know that my sleeping schedule is not the traditional. But as the spring months arrive and the sun earlier in the day, it does inspire me to enjoy more of the daylight hours. I actually went to bed pretty early last night and when I awoke at 7:30 (In know it's not early for SOME of you) I was up and ready to plan my day.

After my morning shake, and first cuppa coffee I pulled this new cookbook out to have a good look at it. One of the things to do today is make some banana bread. It's always a race around here to let the bananas become ripe enough to use for bread, or have them disappear by someone who thinks they are too ripe for eating. Today I got lucky!

Anyway, this is a really nicely written book. It was suggested by someone on Pinterest, and since I had some Amazon credits I had pre-ordered it and then kind of forgotten about it, so when it arrived in the mail, it really was like a nice present!!

The authors have a sweet bakery in Savannah Georgia. I do love movies and books set in the south. Picture the community from Steel Magnolias. I could live there. Picture the town from Fried Green Tomatoes, I think I could have lived there during that time period. Even the south of Driving Miss Daisy.

When Jeff graduated from boot camp at Fort Benning, Lynn and I went to the ceremony and rented a car and drove around many of the back roads of that area of Georgia and I loved it. He got a little freaked out when we stopped by a very small overgrown cemetery and I wandered back to the car with an interesting rock as a keepsake. "You don't ever TAKE anything from a cemetery!!!"

It does make me wonder how my life might have been different if I had grown up in a different part of the country. Would my religious, political views be different? Most likely.

My almost 60 years on this planet have been spent in a very small pocket of the country. I know there are no "do overs", but I would love to experience some other areas with my remaining decades. And yes, I plan to have decades yet to go!

As for today, banana bread to bake, fabric to be cut, quilts to be refolded, beds with linens to change, and a closet to empty and reorganize. I imagine all these things are happening all over the world today. I wonder if any of the women performing these tasks wish they had spent sometime up here in my little corner of the country.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Wednesday Adventure

During our visit over at Semiahmoo, we were under the careful eyes of a pair of bald eagles!

A bit of beach art under way.

Lovely shot of Miss Jillian with an amazing background. This really is a beautiful public beach area.

Posing on a beach log. Great reminder of the many miles of log walking I used to do over in West Seattle.

Not many things better than throwing rocks.

And a nice view of White Rock, BC in the background.

And one more great beach photo. This is me and my Mom. Maybe this is why I'm drawn to the beach, and sharing it with my grandkids.

As talk of a possible move to a different state goes on within our household, we also look back and reminisce about the beautiful nature of this state we live in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another one Ready

In an effort to get some stuff cleaned up and finished, I took a few days and got 5 quilt tops that are ready to be quilted and put together the backs for them, and bought 10 yards of warm and natural batting for them. This one is a quilt I started at a retreat in Sequim Washington about 3 or 4 years ago. I remember finding the floral fabric at Sewer's Dream in Burlington and really being drawn to it. Not my usual palette. And it was using a set of rulers that were new to me at the time. It is kind of a modified Storm at Sea pattern.
And so I will send it off to my friend who does the long armed quilting. Along with the other 4...and they will come back to me all quilted and pretty and ready for binding.....and then what? I'll get binding on, eventually. I'm famous for using and actually even washing quilts that don't yet have binding! But then what? I really do have probably about 30 quilts here that are done. Most are NOT true bedsized quilts but good couch, lap, throw sizes. Now I have 5 more to be quilted by Carol, and 3 that I am quilting myself at the next 2 retreats I'm attending. And I have 6 more tops done, and about 8 more close to done, and maybe 10 more in some stage of the process. In my inventory, I must have enough fabric to make what seems like an infinite number of future quilts. When is it enough?
I have gifted probably between 20 - 30 quilts, plus donated another 20 to auctions or other fundraisers. Three of the 5 going to the quilter I am planning to gift to particular people. So what keeps driving me to continue to make more? And why can't I easily part with them when they are done? I rarely have a quilt that I start and finish all in one project. So it will often take me a couple of years from start to finish. I get attached. I like them all. But am I becoming a quilt hoarder? Someone suggested selling some. But truthfully I can't imagine anyone really wanting to buy one. However the actual cost involved is significant enough that just giving them out seems a bit prohibitive. There is most likely between $150 - $250 in each one, once you add up all the materials and then the cost of the quilting. No one who is a crafter ever expects to be paid for their time. An artist is a different thing all together.
It makes me happy to be working with my fabrics. I love the cutting, the sewing, the pressing. I enjoy sharing my quilts with quilting groups when I am asked to come and speak. People tell me my work inspires them to work on their own. I work in bright colors and prints. I've learned a lot about technique and style. So why do I feel like there is something incomplete? I want to just feel a sense of joy and accomplishment. Maybe a sense of guilt that I could have accomplished something of importance with all the time and $$ I have spent on this hobby? Or maybe I just need to have a nice glass of wine and lighten up!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finding While Searching

The power cable to charge the notebook computer I have, has been missing for a while. I don't think about it until Jillian is over and asks if she can use it. And so the search begins again. For some reason I have a picture in my mind of the cord being in a bag, that I used for travel with some crafting project in it as well as the notebook. So I got into the main coat closet where I have several assorted containers filled with different yarns. One box had some great treasures, but no power cord.

If you can believe it....when Jillian was just a baby, I thought it would be "fun" and grandmotherly of me to knit her a sweater. And so I started one! The above photo is the back of the sweater completed and the start of one side of the front. That was it. As far as I got.
And now....I can't bear to rip it out!~! I must be sick....

And a HUGE surprise was finding these two adorable newborn hats!! I had made them for a friend at work who was having twin boys. Two years ago.....Nice to see that at least I finished them. I made them from sock yarn that does the pattern on it's own. I had bought quite a few sock yarns intending to make more of these sweet hats....yep, they are in the box.

This is some of the stuff I took out of this box. On the left on the floor is the beginnings of what is supposed to be , or going to be, a felted bag. I made several of these a few years ago. Gifted several. I have a few here, and I sure wish I liked carrying bags more. Whenever I do carry one, I always get nice comments. I did have one friend ask me if she could buy one from me.....I just might let it go.

Another great FIND today was something new with my Kindle Fire. Turns out I can indeed stream movies and tv shows right to it!!! And because I'm an Amazon Prime member, I get tons of them for free. So I started watching a BBC series that another friend had recommended. Very cool.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Strolling in the Yard

After being trapped in the house and hacking like a crazy person for a week, I took a little stroll outside today just to get some air. It felt pretty good out there, though still a bit chilly.
Love these day lilies and the beautiful poppy that lives in this spot. I have a few more poppies that I've moved around the yard, thanks to this mother plant.

It was so great so see a couple of primroses that somehow made it over the winter to give me a kiss of color.

This is an iris patch. I think maybe I need to thin it out after they bloom this summer. And I wonder if I need to throw some dirt on there?

These purple crocus are about 8 years old. The windmill was made by my SIL's Dad and they gifted it to us long ago.

another patch of day lilies. Every year they bloom, I think I want to get a few more varieties to add, and then I forget to do it.

And my wonderful rhubarb. There is a teeny tiny little third one. I keep thinking it is dead the last couple of years, and then it surprises me! These two beauties that are there were sent to me by my friend Bea, so they are very special.

I saw lots of weeds, lots of yard work to be done. The grass needs some fertilizer, there is pruning to be done. I'll look forward to a bit warmer weather and a bit healthier lungs so I can get out there.

I believe this will be our last spring/summer in this house, so it sure changes my view. With Todd's help, I think we can have the yard looking showplace perfect with about 2-3 days of work. I'll still plant my pots on the porch and get a few hanging baskets, but most likely not be making as much of an annual investment in annuals....

So now I'm refreshed and pooped! Back inside for a cuppa tea and my kindle.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Finished is so nice

One of my Circle sisters shared a pattern with me so I could make some placemats. Long ago, when I first started quilting I made several table runners, all with a holiday theme. So I thought why not do holiday placemats....

You can see that these are for February. In an effort to work smarter, not harder, I thought, why not make them reversible???

And so I did!

It was sweet when I noticed that Lynn was actually the one who turned them over on March 1st. Not too surprising, since he is kind of the keeper of the calendars around here.

It was a nice way to practice doing my free motion quilting too. So now I'll be working on some for April/May.

I know I have some Easter fabric tucked away in there somewhere. And I'll have no problem getting some florals from my inventory for May.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Dilemma of Unders

I have no photos for this post, and you should be thankful!!

I've never been a "pretty underwear" person. Even when I had a body that would have been worthy, which is almost so long ago I can barely remember. I have given long lectures on the evils of underwire bras, after my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Not the purpose of this blog however.

This is about panties. Underpants. Underwear. Why does it have to be so hard? Besides the types of materials they use, overall or even just in 'sensitive' areas, there are things to consider in the finishing. Elastic? Covered? Banded?

Yes, I did have the requisite Days of The Week unders when I was in elementary school. The only other memorable panties was the package I bought that had smiley faces all over them, right when the Happy Face craze happened! One pair was quit interesting as it had one frowning face in an interesting area.....

Remember when the 'edible' underwear was a rage? No, I never had any.

The worst for me is the style. Hi Cut, French Cut, Boy Leg, Briefs, Hipster, Hikini, String Bikini, Thong. I don't get the thong at all, what is the point?

I've asked on Facebook how many of my friends have multiple sizes of underwear in their drawer. A HUGE number of them have assorted sizes. As do I. When I was doing a purging of dresser drawers last month I discovered I have 4 different sizes. Unfortunately the smallest size is the least how long do I hold on to them, dreaming?

I'm at a point that the best fitting unders are getting to the point that they seem like they are giving up the ship! It's like they just decide they have had enough and let all their life go...know what I mean? I've heard that the ones that are close to "done" I should save and take those with me on my cruise this fall, then when I'm done with them each day, I can just throw them away - LOL!!! A 14 night cruise, yes it would leave some good space in my luggage to bring new treasures home.

In the meantime, I'll continue to dream, to purge, and watch for my favorite plain old COTTON BRIEFS, in the appropriate size, to be on sale.

A Wednesday Adventure

Now that Jillian and Ethan are all settled into their new home, new school and new routine I don't see them enough! So we are having Wednesday Adventures. On this particular Wednesday we went out on the pier in Blaine. This first photo of Ethan is with White Rock BC in the background. It really is special to live this close to another country.

And here is Jillian posing with Canada!

We had a cool moment driving along the water, and looking at all the boats in the marina there. A seagull was working on getting into a clam! Ethan thought it was very cool to watch the gull raising up and dropping the clam onto a rock several times.

After our time out there we headed back to their house where they had a lovely Valentines gift for Lynn and I.

Here is a close up of our flower vase that is filled with long stem sweets!! Several are sugar free so that Geepa can have his share.

I think I am on the down side of a lousy several days of hacking, racking cough. I shouldn't have been bragging about not getting the crud so many others have been battling. Unfortunately it come on full blown while I was down at Carols for a weekend visit, and it was so bad I was unable to go and have my play day with Carter and Henry as I had planned. On Monday, I did stop and have a non hugging or kissing visit with them and Genie. My next time south will be at the end of the month, when I get to go to my first quilting retreat of the year.

Will be back soon, with our next Wednesday adventure photos.