Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Waves are Getting Higher

It seems like I have been stitching on my antique ocean waves blocks forever.  I finally laid them out.

It looks like the waves are getting closer to the beach.  23 more blocks to go.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Wind in the Willows

The story The Wind in the Willows is a delightful children's story written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.  Do you remember?

It has the character of Mole, Ratty, Mr. Badger and the wild and eccentric Mr. Toad.

All winter the wind has been blowing through our willow tree.  It's a beautiful tree, especially in the summer with it's long and willowy green leaves.

But it is also a very messy tree.  It sheds its branches easily, leaving them all over the backyard.  When the wind blows from the northwest they are placed on the ground like compass needles, all facing in a perfect northwest/southeast direction.

This weekend is a special day. 
It's the 3rd Annual Raking Day.

This is our interpretation of "American Gothic"

Today I have to check out the rakes, make sure there are plenty of work gloves, and plan the treats for afterward.  I don't know if my kids have as much fun as we do, but all their work is sure appreciated!

Just as Mole emerged from his home in the spring and began an adventure with his friends, we'll be emerging Saturday to have fun, as long as the wind doesn't blow too much through the willow.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window:We have had several pairs of geese enjoying our yard this spring, along with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.  Wish the springtime would bring babies, goslings and ducklings that is.

I’m Hearing: My favorite radio station in Michigan when I was a teenage was whatever one Dick Purtan was the DJ. on, WKNR or WXYZ or CKLW from Canada. Don't you love the internet where you can listen to any radio station from anywhere. Today is his last day as a DJ at WOMC 

My Weekend Plans Include: Maybe I should try and do a bit of spring cleaning. That may be the option unless something better comes along.  Hey, Ed just suggested that we go to Boulder on Saturday so he can look at new running shoes.  What good luck!

I’m Reading: I just started First Family by David Baldacci

Movie Marquee:  The Informant with Matt Damon.

Something Quiltie:  When I start  a new project I like to wind 4 to 5 bobbins, put in a new needle, and clean and oil my machine.  It's just the routine I have.

I’m Thinking About: Jessica and Kate will be reunited tomorrow.  Jessica begins her spring break and she and Martin are heading to Florida.

One of My Favorite Things: Is coming home from work and Ed having dinner ready.  I do the planning and do as much prep before I have to leave in the morning. When I walk in the door at 6:15 pm and dinner is just about ready, that's truly wonderful.  I love that guy! We do the opposite when I'm home. I'm sure he says "What a gal"

What I’m Planning For: Easter will be here next weekend along with the 3rd annual raking day.  

What’s For Dinner: It's a E.M. F. H. Dinner.  Every man for himself dinner.   There are plenty of leftovers from the week. 

A Favorite Photo: 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Knew Better

I have been listening to the audio book, Highest Duty, by Chesley Sullenburger.  It has been a good reminder for me of the importance of striving to always do your best no matter the situation.  It is very easy to become complacent and do a half way job in life, in work, in relationships or in many other ways.

I have always thought of  myself as always trying to go the extra mile.  But I also know there are many times that I don't.

There are big things that some times catch us and cause us to come to a rude awakening or sometimes it's the little things that will gnaw at you until you do something about it..

I had been making a baby quilt and realized that I had sewn a whole row, plus a couple of other blocks into the quilt backwards.  It didn't look bad.  It kind of went with the pattern.  Most people didn't see it when I showed them.  It would probably be OK to send that little quilt out into the world with a slightly askewed design.  In the whole scheme of life, what did it matter?  I really didn't want to rip the blocks out and fix it.  I had too many other things to do.  I even went so far as to baste the whole quilt together and get ready to quilt it.   I guess I was in denial.

I had time today to start quilting it, but when I picked it up to work on it, I just couldn't do it.  I knew it wasn't right.

I got the seam ripper and did what I needed to do.  It probably only took me about 45 minutes to make the corrections.  I feel so much better.  I know it's right now.

I may be only using this little quilt as an example, but I can sure apply it to all the areas of my life.  Striving to do my best, going the extra mile, making corrections along the way, and knowing that each day I have the ability to reach for higher goals is important to me.

The baby quilt is re-basted, marked and ready to be quilted.  Now when I send it out into the world to snuggle with a little one, it will convey only my good work.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where's the Stash?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted a picture of her "stash."  It was neatly folded and on shelves in a closet. Everything was in order and easy to find.  She hasn't been quilting too long, but her stash has been growing and she has been using it.  The term stash, it refers to fabric that has been collected.

I have been quilting since 1973.  My stash has swayed like the tides, in and out.  When we moved almost 5 years ago I did some pretty heavy duty purging. It was a good thing.  The space I have to store my treasures is much smaller than before.

At the quilt shop where I work, this is the 4th year we have offered a year long class called "Stashbusters". Anyone who has quilted for any length of time, has accumulated a "Stash".  The premise of the class is to motivate, encourage, give practical ideas and solutions to keep that "Stash" under control.  Our customers have loved it.

Want to see where I keep my stash? I have fabric stashed in about 5 different places. . . And generally, I know where everything is.

an unused closet in another bedroom

Reproduction fabrics and flannels and wool

More Reproduction, lots of double pinks
The closet and pie safe in my sewing room

Under my work table, wools and Holiday

Vintage picnic baskets hold batiks and kid stuff

I was feeling a bit frustrated with my clutter so I have faced the challenge.
I set my timer and said " GO"  I will tidy up .... and then be ready to start again.
Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window:Spring has temporarily left.  It's gray, snowy, cold, and basically very disagreeable.  Although the snow is beautiful to watch.

I’m Hearing: My girls introduced me to Pandora Radio. So this morning I have it on to brighten up the day.

My Weekend Plans Include: I have to work on Saturday morning and then, I think I will tuck myself inside.

I’m Reading: Highest Duty by Chesley Sullenburger.  Captain Sullenburger is the US Air pilot who landed his plane safely in the Hudson River, Jan 15, 2009.  It is his reflection of his life and character.  It's a wonderful book.

Movie Marquee: The Netflix Queue shows, Goodnight, Mr. Tom and The Code.

Something Quiltie: This week I made a little purse from the pattern "Snap Happy".  Fun.  The top of the bag has a piece of metal measuring tape encased and this snaps the bag shut.  Very clever. My advise is get a "good" tape measure.  If the metal is too thin, it doesn't allow the bag to "snap" shut.  I speak from experience.

I’m Thinking About: I wish I was staying home today.  

One of My Favorite Things: I love seeing a UPS truck come down the street and stop in front of my house!  Is it something for me?

What I’m Planning For: I was planning to go to Denver this weekend, but we decided it might be better to go another weekend instead.

What’s For Dinner: One of my families favorites, homemade Macaroni and Cheese.

A Favorite Photo: 
 March, 1985

Until Next Time- Kyle

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Frustration

I'm glad spring is on it's way, but these season transitions just throw me. 

I stood in my closet, looking, looking, looking
There's nothing to wear that looks like spring, nothing that
can keep me warm in the morning
cooler in the daytime
and back to warm later on.

I don't really wear pastels.
Everything is just too dark
too heavy
too wintery.

Daylight savings has thrown my poor old body into confusion.
I was getting up earlier, with the sun.
Now I'm getting up later, barely with the sun.

Yes, I do like the day light sticking around longer in the evening, but
for a week or more I'll be suffering in the mornings.

But I do like the fact that I don't have to wear a coat.
I did open the patio door yesterday and the fresh air made the house smell good.
The grass has a hint of green.

falling snow
The weather is predicting snow tonight and tomorrow.
In fact, Colorado is in a winter storm advisory.
Denver could get 10 inches of snow.
Guess I'll get that coat back out!

I am having pizza and wine at my favorite pizza place tonight.
The day is saved.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ingredients for a Perfect Retreat

What's needed for a perfect weekend?

The Perfect Place:

The Perfect Weather:

The Perfect Friends:

The Perfect Snacks:

The Perfect Foods:

The Perfect Quilt Projects:

The Perfect Recreation:
We tried to untangle the mysteries of life.
Would we do it again?
You Bet!
Gather some friends and you can do it too!

Until Next Time- Kyle

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jane

Birthday Bunny
Happy Birthday, Jane
Today is your special day.

Jane is my sister and was born on the Ide's of March, March 15th, in Detroit, Michigan.  She is a bit younger than I am, just by a mere 3 years.

Isn't she a cutie?

Jane was quite the tomboy.

I would have added other pictures in between, but those were the years Dad took slides. Some day I'll learn how to scan those!

Jane was and is very athletic.

Here we all are recently.

Happy birthday to a wonderful sister!

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today:

Looking Out My Window: All of the snow has melted, but it has revealed something.  Zillions and zillions of sticks from the willow tree.  Good thing I have the 3rd Annual Raking Day planned with my family!

      I’m Hearing: Nothing. The house is perfectly quiet.  Sounds good.

My Weekend Plans Include:  Heading up to Estes Park and the YMCA camp for a much needed mini retreat. I'll be gone Friday through Monday.  I can't wait.

      I’m Reading: I just started the book  Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  It's a moving story about the devastating effect  Alzheimer's Disease can have on a family.

Movie Marquee: I have the movie "Enchanted" and Ed has "Rambo, the Fight Continues"  I don't have to say  more.

      Something Quiltie: You can't live without "Jack the Ripper".  I have been unsewing a lot lately.  I'm still taking apart my antique ocean wave blocks and I had to do some unsewing on a baby quilt this week. It's good to have a sharp seam ripper handy.

I’m Thinking About: If I have gathered up everything that I will need for the weekend.  I always have grandiose plans about what I can accomplish if I am gone for a few days, away from the usual routine.

      One of My Favorite Things:  Audio books.  Most of the books  that I read are an audio book.  It works out great for me.  My hands are free to be doing something else, yet I can be listening and thinking about a story. My local library has a wonderful audio library and we are able to request books from all the libraries along the front range as well.  You can't beat that.

What I’m Planning OnA lot of R and R

      What’s For Dinner: A friend has planned to serve something wonderful  tonight.  It will be a welcomed surprise once I get up the mountain.

A Favorite Photo
 Here we are on top of Mount Vesuvius with the Bay of Naples in the background.
We hiked up the volcano, enjoyed the view and even had lunch. 2007

Until Next Time-Kyle

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bliss Is a Moment With A Cupcake!

I have found that baking is good therapy.  Recently I have really been enjoying exploring the world of cupcakes.  It is so fun to bake these pretty, delicious and appetizing little cakes.  Baking cupcakes is a creative experience, looking through cookbooks, mixing the batter, and then decorating. The whole process inspires me from beginning to end.  It makes me feel good!

I certainly don't need to be eating many cupcakes, so I'm always looking for opportunities to bake and share.

This week I made " Irish Eyes are Smiling" cupcakes. I have changed the name of the cupcakes and you can find the recipe at Annie's Eats.  I do make changes for altitude baking.  We have a class at the store tomorrow and it is the perfect place to share my baking bliss.

Didn't they turn out cute.  Wish you had taste-a-vision.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, March 8, 2010

March Is the Color Green

Of course, March is the color green.  Spring is approaching and St. Patrick's day is nothing but green.  I thought I would share a few of my quilts that could be used to celebrate the month.

I searched through one pile, no, nothing green.

There's more in this closet.  None here.

What about upstairs in the linen closet?  Oh, I found one!

Well, I discovered something about my quilt collection, both old and new, green is not one of my favorite color pallets.  After looking in all the quilt hideaways, I have 3 quilts that I can share that would be considered green. I actually like the color, I wear it, I eat it, I grow it, I spend it and I recycle.  It's restful, it fresh, it's a beautiful natural color in all shades.  I guess I just don't think about it as a whole quilt.

Historically, green was generally an overdye process of yellow and blue which proved to be fugitive  It was the common green in American quilts through at least 1890.

"Harvest Home"

I started this quilt in 2004 and finally finished it in 2007.  It was a store sample for awhile.

"Timeless Reflections"
This quilt is a reproduction of a 1840's applique quilt.

It's hand appliqued and hand quilted.  I started it in 1998 and finished in 2001.

"Chubby Chick"
This could be spring and green.  It's a Black Mountain pattern.  
 I hand appliqued the chicks and machine quilted it.
These chick are just so cute!
Enjoy the month of March with leprechauns, Guinness, day light savings time changes, spring and green quilts.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fabulous Friday

For today::

Looking Out My Window: A lot of snow has melted in the past couple of days.  I'm looking out  my dining room window, which face north, I can almost see the grass and patio.

     I’m Hearing: Ed is taking the day off, he asked his boss! and is happily grinding coffee beans.  In fact, that is all I can hear!

My Weekend Plans Include: Jessica is coming up from Denver and I have all kinds of fun things planned for a Mom and Daughter weekend.

     I am Reading: Cookbooks,  The Oprah Magazine Cookbook and Morgan Freeman and Friends

Movie Marquee: We are finishing up the BBC series we have been watching, Monarch of the Glen. Check it out. It's delightful. I've been getting it from the public library. Now, that's a good thing!

     Something Quiltie: One of my favorite notions is the "needle dome".  I thread that needle holder up and can sew for a long time before I have to re-thread. It saves so much time.  I'm working on some binding projects.

I Love: My digital camera.  I sure wish I had had one when the girls were little.  Families today can take such phenomenal pictures and keep shooting until they get the perfect picture.  I was always pretty stingy with a film camera. 

     What I’m Planning For: Next weekend I am going on a mini retreat.  So all next week I'm be prepping or is it primping?  In my case prepping.

What’s For Dinner: A second go round of homemade minestrone soup. 

     I Am Thinking About: the fun I had last night with my quilt group.  They are a wonderful group of women.  The goal is to focus only on the positive and let your creative self come to the surface.  Did you know that if your toe nails are painted blue it allows your creative side to blossom?

A Favorite Photo:

A Winter Sunset

Until Next Time-Kyle

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Olympics Are Over

The Winter Olympics are now sports history. 
There was lots of drama and thrills and spills

 the USA four man bobsled team
gold metal winners

Remember when Wide World of Sports opened it show with the words and  video  "the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition…"  Remember the agony of defeat video of  the ski jumper, Vinko Bogataj, who had a dreadful misjump and crashed on March 21, 1970.  I think every time we watched that,  we always groaned.

My Winter Olympics are over as well.  I was competing in three events.   And the gold metal goes to....ME!

1.The Tisket a Tasket Basket Quilt.  DONE!

I had fun adding the ric rac to the edge.

2. 35 miles on the treadmill.  Shapely calves for spring!  DONE!

3.I resewed 14 antique ocean wave blocks.  DONE!

I think I need a break.

Until Next Time-Kyle

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

the Tattle Tale Bird

I heard it yesterday.  I couldn't see it, but I knew it was near, Poecile atricapillus, a black-capped chickadee.  Actually, they stay around here all winter but I hadn't heard one yet.


We have another name for this little bird.  
We call it the tattle tail bird.  

One of it's calls says" Kate, did it!  Kate, did it"  
So we always knew who was the culprit when something had gone wrong when the girls were little.
When I heard it yesterday I  knew Kate was up to some mischief.

Love you, Kate

Until Next Time-Kyle

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Don!

Aren't birthdays great. Especially when you are young.  Today is my son-in-law's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Don!

The Simpson are one of Don's favorite characters.  I haven't watched the show before, but it did take a bit of searching for a picture that I thought I should have on my blog!  

 Don is a great guy and we are so happy to have him as part of our family.  He is my computer whiz. I appreciate his patience when he comes to visit and tackles another one of my computer questions. Don is a great cook and loves to make his favorite Greek dishes.  He's extremely creative in computer animation geared toward science.

He continues to work on his PHD at  CU's Health and Science Center and the end is in sight.  There might even be a job opportunity!  He is such a balance for Elizabeth and they make the perfect couple.

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Don.
Until Next Time-Kyle