Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lazy Days of Spring

It's a beautiful morning.  The dogs and cats are quiet, hubby off to work and its the start of a nice week.  It couldn't get much better!  Nothing exciting planned today.  Doing some research for the business on the benefits of social media then I hope to head to the Quilt Store!!!  atouchofamish.com  Need to make TWO baby quilts for a friend that just had twin boys.  Then, need to think of a wedding quilt for my son and his new wife to be!

I'm not sure why I don't quilt more often in the little room in the basement designed as my quilt retreat.  I see quilting, not as a solitary activity, but one that I share with family and friends.  It's hard to sit down there by myself and quilt away.  Besides that, I am not the best quilter in the world.  I need someone with a bit more expertise than I have to work me through all my questions and snags!!!

I find it hard to sit in the basement when it is so beautiful outside.  Here are some pictures of the backyard - an oasis to sit in and listen to the birds, watch the fish and keep an eye on playful animals.  We are just ending a bout with the roving heron.  He (or she) has helped herself to six of my koi and during the pond water change we lost another two.  All is fixed, rope is strung up, fake owl is in place and the pond is again filled with koi.

Enjoying the good life and trying to keep a positive attitude!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Civil War

I have been working on a small quilt using some of the Civil War fabrics that I have been collecting. These fabrics are beautiful deep reds, greens and browns. As you know, I am not a real blue person but there are some lovely civil war blues as well. The Civil War period covers the years 1850 to 1880 and is represented by many fabric lines. I have found a local quilt shop that specializes in Civil War era fabrics - Pieceful Gatherings Quilt Shop. This shop is located in Fox River Grove, Illinois. It's a great place to stop in and browse or go for classes.

I love to quilt with fabrics that have a storyline. As a youngster, I lived not far from the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA. Of course, all things Civil War can be found in Gettysburg - including ghosts! While we were there in November, my son bought me a book about the Spirits of Gettsyburg - very interesting! The gal that wrote it was a tour guide in Gettysburg! Anyway, back to the quilt I am working on.....

The pattern is Baskets for Betsy, a Carol Hopkins Design. She makes beautiful patterns for Reproduction Fabrics. I have several of her patterns that I will be working on. The quilts are small and will make good wall hangings or table toppers. I thought small would be easier, but that is NOT the case! Those little blocks are harder to work on then the bigger ones!

This has been a long time in the works. I started on it when I lived in Las Vegas and had my friends at the Christmas Goose to sit and sew with! I am a social sewer, so it is hard to sit in the craft room in my basement, by myself, and sew. I love it when Abby comes to visit - she will sit and sew with me.

I'll post again when I have the finished quilt! It could be a week - it might be next year this time!! Who knows :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Whine and did I mention, more wine!


At the end of September, Heather and I took a field trip to one of our favorite hangouts - NAPA, California. I went for a Western Aerosol Conference (of which I am a Board member) and Heather came along for the ride.

We started our journey visiting the Mendocino County Fair - the object was to go to the Wool and Sheep Festival being held at the Fair. As you all know, my Heather is a weaver and spinner and her eyes were set on the wool judging contest. Of course, she had just spent money on fleeces, so she was going for the experience - not to buy! (HAHAHA). The wool judging was an eye opener for me....I didn't know there were so many different varieties of sheep or so many variations in the wool. If you follow Heather's blog - you will see all the different fleeces she is experimenting with. Amazing! She is also selling her homespun in her Etsy store....check it out!

We stayed in the little town of Ukiah and found a fabulous bistro and wine bar called Patronas. www.patronarestaurant.com It was so good, we went there twice!

While we were at the Fair, I bought Heather an old fashioned spinning wheel...it was lovely and looked just like an old spinning wheel should! It has joined her other spinning wheels in her small house in Redwood City, CA. This picture is the wheel's restorer showing Heather how to thread it. What fun we had!!!

Found a new favorite winery. www.robertsinskey.com The wines are fabulous, the tasting the best we have come across and the winery is also organically grown. It's an exclusive and lovely winery....do make it a point to stop there on your next trip to Napa. I know we will!

What can I say except that the wine and the company were extraordinary. The whole town of Napa smells like grapes during the harvest. It truly is an amazing experience - and lots of fun sharing it with someone who enjoys it as much as I do! Pictured are some tame koi that grace the entrance to the the Sinskey Winery.

We also went to our last year's favorite winery - Rubicon - for their harvest party. This is a lovely old winery and a must to stop at and sip some delicious Cabs. www.rubiconestate.com The party was fun - even those pigs rotating on spits were awesome!!! It's a little pricey, but well worth it - great ambiance and excellent wines.

Finally, I attended the Convention and had a very educational full day. Heather stayed in the room and spinned (or spun)??? She also got in a days work as well - she can work from her laptop or in the office. That evening we went to a local winery for dinner! It was a beautiful Winery - with tasting, art and a wonderful meal in the caves. Quite enjoyable, but those caves do reverberate with noise when there are alot of people enjoying themselves all talking at one time! www.clospegase.com

All in all, a good time was had by all - and we can't wait to head to Napa again next year. Hopefully we will have a girl's weekend and Abby will be able to join us. Of course, the new mother Shari, will be home with her hands full with her son-to-be, Logan Ryan Musselman!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Christmas Time in August!

I have FINALLY sat down to do some quilting. My goal is to get this small Christmas quilt done and quilted before the holiday. I had started this quilt in Las Vegas - but once I moved to Chicago all quilting came to an abrupt halt! I don't have any of my quilting buddies to prod me on - so nothing at all got done. I have a small room in the apartment that houses my office and I have sat it up to be a hobby room as well. Hopefully I will get to Joann's today so I can get some additional lighting, it is dark in this room. With my old eyes - I need lots of light. I do have a peeping Tom watching what I am doing.....

These are some pictures of the craft/hobby/office room. You will see that there isn't much space, but room enough to do some serious quilting. Lots of projects and lots of stuff....but it is so much more fun when you have someone (other than the Peeping Tom) working with you. I miss my friend Mary - especially when I come across something I don't know how to handle!!!

Abby will have her hands full getting the quilting done on all these projects so I think I will send some of the work out to Mary so she can make lots of money! She'll need it to go to all of the art exhibits her husband Richard is going to this year!!!!

I still have a quilt to make for my daughter-in-law Angel, lots for me and lots of wall hangings so I have quilts to give to all my kids. There's enough work here for me to quilt until I'm 100 years old. And ... I want more. Heather, I think that this might be where you got your love of lots of "stuff".... never enough wool - never enough quilt projects.

Hopefully - now that I'm back in the groove, there will be more posts. By the way - today is my sister Regina's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY REGINA, LOVE YOU!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Audrey and Jigalo

Several weeks ago, Jamie, Shari and Audrey (plus Granny) went to watch Abby at a Regional Horse Show in Waukesha. Thatch was also there being the "husband/groom" - a position in which he excels!

When we got to the show, Audrey was a little nervous around the horses. The last time we took her to see Jigalo, she was quite frightened. She is a little girl and he is a BIG horse! In the grand scheme of things, Jigalo is an average sized horse, but to a three year old - a GIANT.

We encouraged her to go into Jiggy's stall and brush him while he was tied up and tired from his dressage class. Audrey took a brush and very gently gave him a quick swipe on his side. When he turned to look at her, she dashed out of his stall. A little later, she wanted to go back into Jigala's stall (she calls him Jigala - his name is Jigalo)! She braved feeding him a carrot - of course Abby's hand was close by in case the big teeth crunched fingers instead of carrots. He really does love his carrots.

Finally she said she wanted to ride Jigala. We couldn't believe she was brave enough to get on his back but she had been watching the other people ride all day - and her confidence in Jigalo's quiet nature was high. Abby put her on Jiggy's back in his stall and she sat on there for a few minutes. You had to see the big smile on her face. She was scared to death, but quite proud of herself.

Later, we took her outside and let Jigalo walk around with her on his back. She had her "spotters" on each side to keep her safe. If she got a little off balance, Jigalo would stop in his tracks. That's how you can tell when you have a good horse, if he knows his rider is uncomfortable or off balance, he stops instead of runs away.

Abby and I are ready for her to go to horse shows....but her mother and father are not quite as anxious. They see dollar bills flying out the window! But Abby and I will persevere - we'll have her in a leadline class in no time!!!

By the way - Abby and Jigalo won a Regional Championship in a Training Level 4 dressage test. We were all proud of that team! However, they couldn't have done it without the husband/groom and his support.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Abby's Stamp Camp

My daughter Abby is a Stampin' Up demonstrator! She took over the realm when I moved out to Las Vegas. Several weeks ago, I went up to WI to help her out with her first stamp camp! What fun we had getting ready. Of course, having a stamp camp is supposed to be all about creativity - but in our case, it was all about cleaning the house beforehand. Not only did we clean, we planted flowers too! But it was worth it as everything looked very nice when we were done. Also, Abby made snacks using her Tastefully Simple supplies and veggies (the best beer bread)!

Abby had four friends come for an afternoon of stamping and laughing. That's what stamping is all about - the camaradarie (sp?) of friends having fun and going home with beautiful handmade items for their use. Everything was laid out and ready when her guests arrived. We really enjoyed ourselves! We made six cards which we decided was two cards to many. We ran out of steam before all the projects were done.

Thatch came home that weekend and I spent the night with them. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to do it again. Next time though - we will have the projects done well before the night before the Camp!

Thanks girls for coming - lets do it again soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Josh's Day

Can you imagine, the baby of the family has graduated! He looked sharp in his cap and gown - we were all SO proud of him! The graduation was from Northern Illinois University and he graduated with honors. From there, he will head to Houston for his job at a software company based there. We will miss him, but we are quite excited for him as well!

Audrey and Shari spent the weekend with us. We had dinner Saturday night at Olive Garden in McHenry, IL will Abby, Thatch, Shari, Audrey, Josh, Angel, Mike and myself. A good time was had by all - it was a joint mother's day and graduation celebration! Audrey is quite the pistol. She is so sweet one minute and meaner than a rattlesnake another!

We didn't get a chance to do any of our crafts this weekend - but we did watch Twilight and thoroughly enjoyed it! Last night, Mike and I watched Nights in Rodanthe.....a good move, but a real tear jerker! Oh well, cleaned out the old tear ducts - you need to do that every once in a while.