Thursday, February 11, 2016


As I mentioned in my last post, my blogging buddy, Soma, is doing a monthly series on photography.  If you have ever viewed her photos you would know how much I love seeing her posts.  This month her challenge was about lighting.  I decided to give it a try with my sewing projects this week.

First off is my word for the Spelling Bee that I have joined this year.  I am the bee queen for March and the words I am going for are sewing related.  First off is my "scissors" photographed in a bright, but shady area.

The next one is the same shot, but taken in bright sunlight at about 2 p.m.  The colors are much truer in the second photo.

Next up are a couple of mug rugs that I made for some friends who joined me for some sewing yesterday.  Both of the photos were taken in the morning light - one in bright sunshine...

....and the other in the filtered light from a patio cover.  The colors in the second one are much truer, but the quilting shows up better in the bright light.

Lastly, it is that time of the year for the kid's school auction.  As I have done for many years, I made a school uniform.  This photo was taken in filtered light....

....and this one was taken inside with a flash.  The detail is much better with the flash as are the colors.

Of course, I am using a point and shoot camera.  I am sure that the results would be much better with a better camera.  Then again....I am so grateful to have a camera where the results can be seen immediately.  Does anyone else remember when we used to have to wait a week for our film to be developed?

I am thoroughly looking forward to the year ahead with all of Soma's great hints.

In other happenings this week... I made a batch of my favorite OATMEAL cookies for the Super Bowl party.  They would have been great had I remembered to put the oatmeal in them!!!  Talk about a big mess.  Trying to clean that cookie sheet was a nightmare.  Would one not think if you were making oatmeal cookies you would remember to add the oatmeal??  Sometimes I worry about myself.

January's Block Lotto block was Birds in the Air and guess who was one of the winners.  These are the blocks that have arrived so far and I cannot tell you how beautifully made these have been.  I think I am going to have to become a BLUE person.  This month the block is Snail's Trail with browns - a color more in my comfort zone.

We've been enjoying summer here for the last week and forecast for another 4-5 days.  Of course I am loving the temps in the upper 80s each day, but it would be so nice to get some of that El Nino rain that they promised us this year.  Now they are saying that they will come in March.  After being told they would be here in January, then February I am beginning to wonder.

Friday, February 5, 2016

An Unscheduled Getaway

Have you ever wished that you could just get away?  Just imagine all that you could accomplish.  lol  Well.....I had my chance this week for an unscheduled getaway.

Last week was our annual family trip to the Sierras.  We always love watching the little ones enjoying the snow and this was no exception.  We were scheduled to come home on Sunday.  The big storm, Kayla, hit on Saturday, dumping feet of snow where we were.  It was beautiful, but when we went to get in the car we discovered that we had a ruptured brake line.  ;-(  The rest of the gang headed home while we were towed down the mountain for repairs.  Parts had to be ordered so we got a hotel.  After two days, more parts were needed that also had to be ordered.  Meanwhile, we were holed up in a hotel room and I was thankful that I had thought to grab my iPad and cross stitching from the vehicle before leaving it.  It was a long couple of days with temps in the teens, snow and ice everywhere and NO transportation.  But....that was earlier this week!  Life is now good again and we are home and back to the crazy and wonderful normal routine.

This was the view looking out of the hotel window.  Those chairs by the creek look a bit chilly to me.

Along the sewing front....I am participating in several bees this year.  One that I am really enjoying is the Spelling Bee.  These are my blocks for this month.  These should make a super cute quilt with all of the bugs.

The next bee is the Mid-Century Modern Bee.  I love that you have to be Mid century or above to belong.  These blocks are for Cindy.  These little books  (#booksforbabyquilt) are really fun.

There is a great new monthly series going on in blogland.  Soma of Whims and Fancies is doing a camera series.  Her photos are amazing and she is sharing some tips with us and allowing us to link up some of our photos as well.  Be sure to check it out.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Bits and Pieces

Sewing time here has been in bits and pieces as have the results.  We've had so many sick little ones around us with high fevers, strep throats, nasty coughs and all else.  I feel like germs are hiding on everything I touch.  I think my sewing space is the only "germ free" zone around here - only because the little ones seldom venture in there.  lol

Having completed all of the blocks needed for Allietare, I was able to find a space big enough to lay them out.

I always like to photograph them before sewing as the pictures seem to pick up any errors made.  Sure enough, right in the top row I had stitched a little four patch in upside down.  It is now fixed and ready to sew together.

See that little oops???
I must say that I am not really a "blue" type of person.  This month the Block Lotto was Birds in the Air using blues and purples.  I made some to donate, but I have been looking at them on my design wall for the last few weeks, liking the way they looked and decided to make a few more to enter into the draw.

Then.....there were the cute little reindeer in Quilt Doodles BOM for 2016.  I don't think I want to make the whole quilt, but I thought a nice long sofa pillow would be fun with these blocks.

He'll be much cuter with eyes and nose.

Lastly, I managed to get my mini top quilted and bound.  I quilted it with a pantograph in a very pale pink.  This is for our monthly Minis and More projects.


So.....that is what I have been up to this past week.  How about you?

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Year's Journey

After the hectic holidays we decided to slip away for a few days of quiet and relaxation.  DH booked a winter trip to Chicago via Amtrak.  I must admit that I was a bit concerned about a snow disaster heading into Chicago in January, but it was a delightful trip.  

We flew up to Oakland to take the California Zephyr out of Emeryville.  We've done that trip several times as it passes through both the Sierras and the Rockies.  The scenery was spectacular with all of the snow this year.

View of San Francisco on departure.

Icy Mississippi

Frozen waterfalls.

Tracks in the snow everywhere.  We saw several large herds of elk and antelope.

I always love the sight of the train around the curves.

Majestic sunsets.

Nightlights of the city.

The beautiful lobby of the Palmer House in Chicago.

The Peacock doors in the entrance of the hotel.
We flew home on Friday and I enjoyed some fun sewing over the weekend in between laundry loads.  I have completed the block assembly for Allietare.

Beth's Neighborhood Block Party continues with Irene and Ida picking it up this year.  It has always been such a fun event and I knew that I wanted to participate again this year.  This is my block for the party.

There is still time to sign up to join.  Just go here and join the fun.

Now.....I am off to see what button I clicked on my camera to get the date stamp added.....hmmm.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Good Washing

We've had two delightful days of heavy rains and I cannot tell you how beautiful everything looks today.  Trees and plants that have not seen a good washing in months are simply sparkling.  The mountains surrounding us are covered with snow as it was a cold storm.  The dry riverbed has flowing water in it - such a wonderful sight.  I hope this is our start of El Nino that they have been promising.

Of course, a rainy day means you should stay home ;-) and sew....right?  Other than a couple of power outages, it was a fun day to sit tight and listen to the rain coming down.  This was the first time I have been able to get into my creative space this year so I made the most of it.

I wasn't able to work on the December mini for the Minis and More event so I was excited to get into January's project.  This month it is Sherri McConnell's Hope Chest Mini.  I have mine to the flimsy stage so far.

This year I have become a member of the MCM - Mid Century Modern - bee.  This is such a fun group of super talented women and this month we made blocks for Elizabeth.  The blocks are from an upcoming pattern that she has designed so I cannot show a picture of the full block, but it is going to make a spectacular quilt.  I can't wait to see them all together.

Another bee that I am in this year is the Spelling Bee Quilts (IG #spellingbeequilt).  I've always enjoyed seeing the word quilts and these are my first word blocks.  Again....these go to Elizabeth.  She is going to have her work cut out for her getting two quilts done, but if anyone can do it, she can.  She has a beautiful saying that she has chosen and I am sure it will make a spectacular l-o-v-e quilt.

I've been pruning roses so my hours have been busy with gardening as well.  I think this poor iris is a bit confused as to the proper season, but it was surely pretty.

Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Farewell to 2015 it really the end of the year?  It's time for all of those New Years resolutions.....NOT!  I learned long ago to not do those.

The last few weeks have quickly slipped away, but not before leaving us with a lot of fabulous memories.  It was a great Christmas here.  Everyone was well and able to be here for Christmas eve.  There was lots of laughter, food and chaos with such a large crowd, but it was grand.

The days leading up to Christmas are always so busy, but we were able to take an evening and drive to San Simeon to visit the Hearst Castle all decorated for Christmas.  It was a great evening with period participants strolling about.  The photos are a wee bit dark due to the museum lighting, but I hope you can imagine some of the beauty.

This is the size of dining room table that I need!

Indoor pool

Gold tiles around the pool
With company and entertaining happening here I haven't had much time to slip away for sewing.  In between cleaning up this week I was able to work a bit on the Allietare Mystery quilt.  I really love the colors of this project so I am looking forward to seeing it come together.

While everyplace else seems to be having exceptionally warm winter weather, we have had some really chilly temperatures.  I would hate to count the number of times I have had to go out and cover my tropical plants this month.  Brr.  I'm just glad that I don't have to be marching in the Rose Parade Friday morning!!  ;-)

One last photo.....of the newest member to our daughter's family.....Lady.

As I sign off I want to wish everyone a beautiful 2016.  Thank you so much for following me throughout the year, leaving comments and keeping in touch.