Thursday, February 1, 2018

February? Already??

The rainy days seem so long - how on earth does the month speed by??

Today I hung a show of last year's Mod Squad projects  in the library display cases.  And it's fabulous!

To recap ... I met Deborah Boschert in Houston 2016 and bought her book Art Quilt Collage.  Brought it home and talked a few friends into forming a group to study the layout designs.  Each month one of us led the discussion on the new design that we all made before the next meeting.  We gently critiqued each piece and tried to guess who made it.  That was harder than we expected!!

I started it off in February - with a 'Design to Quilt' exercise of "Line".  We each picked from precut magazine pictures and ads to look at the elements within.  It was eye opening to notice there was purple in the yellow beak of the Toucan!

The next two months were Landscape and Grid, easy choices.  Everyone is familiar with landscapes in photos or art.  And of course, quilting blocks are the ultimate grid for us!

One of my favorites was "Magic Threes"  M - the leader that day - brought Oreo cookies - 3 parts!!

We went on to One Amazing Line; Symmetry; Modular and others.  P and I were lucky enough to go to #CraftNapa in January and take a class with Deborah.

The library cases are enormous!  61 x 38 x 20!!  and there are TWO of them!




So let's talk about my favorite books last year!  I'm a library girl so most of these I'm sure you can find in your lovely local library.  I do have some books on Kindle, but still enjoy actually holding a book and turning the pages.

Funny story - my DH buys the new Stephen King book for me every year.  I devour it and then pass it onto my son who is also a big fan.  This year, I started reading his latest in bed and the next morning my shoulder was killing me.  Oh NO!  Can it be true that I no longer can handle reading Stephen King??  Not the content - the weight!!??  So next year, even though it goes against the grain, DH will buy it on kindle for me!!!

Breakthrough Series by Michael Grumley  Fascinating Science Fiction in the 'near future'

A Spool of Blue Thread by Ann Tyler  Who does family and ordinary life better??

The Old Man by Thomas Perry   I loved his Jane Whitefield series.  I hope to see more with this character too.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney  Who wouldn't want an opportunity to live in a quirky house in the middle of the city? But you might think twice after reading this!

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer  Better known now for the Twilight Vampires, I really love her 'other' books.  The Host was an all time favorite of mine.

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor  An oceanographer revisits home even though she feels more at home with sharks!

The 37th Hour by Jodi Compton  Has her husband disappeared or is she losing her mind?

Piano Tide by Kathleen Dean Moore  I really couldn't put this book down.  Even though it is placed in Alaska - it was so-o Oregonian!!

Mr Penumbra's Twenty-Four Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan  I got caught away from home without a book !!  Gasp!  So I borrowed this one from my DDIL. So glad I did!

I also dived back into Faye Kellerman's Rina series.  I had a few to catch up with.

I love that I keep track of the books I read.  When I'm bored and between great books, I can look back and see what authors I loved back when.  THEN I can go look them up and see if I've missed anything new.  Try it - you'll like it!!!



Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Storms are here!

And the ocean is H*U*G*E!  We saw waves coming over Rainbow Rock a few times yesterday - and that is over 100 feet above the water level!  It's hard to decide where to look - so many sea stacks, so much ocean!!  Tee-hee!

DH is healing, walking over 2 miles a day - 20 minutes at a time.  We're both struggling a little with a healthy diet.  I'm not an adventurist cook!  And that is an understatement!  Rick and I used to tag team groceries and meals.  I've been on my own and I don't like it!!  Grocery shopping 2=3 times a week is NOT my idea of a good time!  But, life will get back to normal, or a new usual soon.

I can't believe I have left the Year's Review til now - but here we go!

There was a new addition last June!  Miss E made her appearance!


The boys came to the beach two times.  With their parents and their first "Camp Nana/Papa".  I love this tidepool picture!! Brothers do come in handy!!

                             

But it wasn't all fun and games - the Chetco Bar Fire roared down the mountains and we were evacuated!  Luckily for us, the wind changed at just the right moment to send it back on itself. 

 

The BigKids' Camp Nana/Papa was great fun and ended with a cousins sleep-over where they got to meet Miss E! We also got to share the Eclipse Event with with them!

Let's move onto Projects!!!

A&J's crew is designing their own stuffies - so besides my usual animal repair work, I learned to manufacture animals to very exacting supervision!! Here's our Saber-toothed tiger and some Anti-Hero who's name I can't remember!



I was active in MailArt fabric postcards.  I was in seven exchanges, creating over 30 postcards.


Valentine's Day fun with rubber stamps, "Love" stamps and my fancy machine embroidery stitches!

 Lighthouses.  Done by CY's method. Crayons and markers for details. Black lines are added by machine!










Quotes!  I had so much fun designing this card. Tracing a couch and then stitching in details.  Finding just the right font!  I may have been  my favorite!!


My favorite selvedges card.  I made a bunch of these - and I'm using them for the Birthday Fabric Post Card exchange in 2018!  Who wouldn't be cheered up by these!  And I draw a birthday cake on the other side!  Fun!

I used Riel's selvedge Mummies for my Halloween cards!  Love them!


Patti and I both have Italian penpals through The Quilt Show's Intl Miniature Exchange.  We turned the leftover lighthouses into Christmas cards!  I never heard whether my Penpal got hers - Rats!

My favorite postcard was the one I entered in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show's Make a Card contest.  My little heart was picked to be framed and sold in their auction!  It was beautifully finished.  AND it sold for the maximum bid just the second day of the Silent Auction!  $250!!  Way above my budget to buy it back!


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Favorite quilt projects were:

QOV mystery quilt.  We had several of these in the QOV presentation we held at the quilt show in May!  It was the first time we presented and it was so moving.  I ended up being the MC - and I was so nervous.  It was well attended, ran out of chairs twice!!  All those people ... too late to back out now!  So I simply focused on the front rows where the veterans were seated and talked to them.  We presented 17 quilts and it was so-o awesome!



L wanted some things in her etsy shop, we decided on baby quilts.  So I made/finished six of them.  Also gathered antique tops to "release into the wild!"



I found "Kelsey's quilt" on Pinterest.  Yep, I'm still addicted!  It uses charm squares, I love this one.

  







Girlie By the Numbers.  Great fun to put all sorts of squares and shapes together.  By cutting only certain sizes, they generally all fit together without much angst!









Baby Rainbow - one of my favorites.  Just love the colors and the scrappiness!  AND that it's asymmetrical!







Beach Baby was a design I came up with after making "Pies and Tarts"  I thought the circles looked like beach balls!  What do you think??














It's a Jungle out there! was an idea after seeing a fellow Stashbusters' baby quilt setting.  I saw lots of possibilities with this one.  I was on the lookout for some of my favorite kid prints!  The sharks! The monkeys!











Baby Checkerboard - another idea from Pinterest.  I look at the picture, Try to figure out what size blocks I need to make it the size I want.  Then follow their design.

This one turned out too small, so I had to add checkerboards too - trying to keep the pattern in sync was picky!!


The antique tops sold, but the baby quilts have just aged!  So - don't have to try that again!  I loved some of them and was counting my chickens before they hatched!!  Oh, well.

My favorite quilt I made was "Shhhh, It's low volume"  A quilt I started at Finishing School (I get the irony!) and entered into the Newport show.  I love it - it's on my side of the bed as I type!!

 



Last weekend a Brookings quilting friend and I went down to Napa for #CraftNapa.  What fun!  It was DH's first solo weekend and I'm not sure who was more excited about it!!  It rained the first 5 hours of the trip :( so we consoled ourselves with  lunch at Schat's Bakery in Ukiah.  We may have even bought some of their Chocolate Chip Cookies for the rest of our road trip! But not enough!!!  Never enough! For some reason I picture a LOT of trips now planned to go through Ukiah around noon!

But more about that later!!  And perhaps some links to the stories behind these pictures??  We'll see.  Definitely some "Book Talk" too!


Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 - so far, so good!!!!


Happy New Year from the Boyds @ Oregon coast

Last year, I was fighting the flu and my DH went down to our beach and drew out 2017 for me to photo.  This year, neither of us are going down to the beach!

DH had Quadruple Bypass in December and we ARE walking around the level complex 3 times a day.  But neither of us is up to the 'goat path' that leads to the beach!

Yay, Google images!!

I'm going to play the "Minimalist Game" in January - where you give/donate/trash/(ring and run???) clutter out of your house.  As many items as the date!  Who wants to play???

So today you would give away one thing ... tomorrow 2! You end up giving up almost 500 items in the month!  But, hey! even if you don't make it to the end of the month, you'll be resetting your mind; and be rid of at least 1 thing!!!  But - it averages around 17 items a day.  That seems doable!

I took 7 cookie tins to our Sew-Day Merry Mayhem today.  So I'm ahead of the (1 today) game!!  Tomorrow I have a grocery sack of too-much-sodium foods from our pantry for the food bank.  I made a little excel spreadsheet (of course I did!!) to keep my count.  I should really do this backwards - but I got little sleep last night and it's too late today to find 23 more items!!  I'll catch up later.

And so it begins!!!  LOL! I'm not very good at that 'catch up' game.  Maybe this year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 - It's a wrap!

Favorite photos and memories day!!  Today is our 45th wedding anniversary!  We had other plans - but we're hanging out here on the coast - it's varying between sunny and cloudy.  That's the coast in December!

This is my 'card' that I woke up to - Rick said he couldn't go shopping for a card!  So true!



Before Rick had his 'episode' I was in a Bonnie Hunter Pineapple Blossom class.  We had low lighting in our space, mood lighting, but we made the best of it! 


  
Finished blocks at the end of the day - there were two sizes.  My pink ones were on the left in the left photo!!  But I loved the pink and grey ones in the right photo too.  They were all gorgeous!


Here's A's crew come to visit Papa in the Hospital


Here's Mr M showing Papa a video game.


Here's our breakfast before the Portland contingent headed for home.  Don't you love Black Bear Diner!!  Those are "Get Well, Papa" signs they are holding up. The waitress came up, tapped me on the back and told me to get in the shot! and took our picture for us!  Thanks!!


They say it's important to let hospital personnel know about your life - that you are a person, not just a patient.  I think Rogue Regional knows this well, but it never hurts to be sure!  J2 gathered and organized this for us. It was a great conversation starter with staff.


Surgery's done, and we're moving back to the ward!



The night before we were dismissed and headed for home, I made 2 large buckets of chocolate covered pretzels for the two heart units.  Everyone was so wonderful - we wanted to do something.  I wondered about ordering fruit plates ... but Adam - the pediatrics nurse at the same hospital said, "Everyone loves homemade cookies when they come in!"  He's the expert! - and these are favorites of ours too!


After a whole lot of knots in the rewinding of the embroidery floss, I learned a trick!  So I'm going to tell you!!  Take the bands off, and separate the 'circle' - as you can see - there's one loop not cooperating. 
  
But I persuaded it to circle out.


Now for the simplest way to rewind it onto the plastic card ... put the loop around
your wrist!  Be sure to start winding with the 'outside' end and off you go.


Sometimes it tries to get tangled, but just give it a shake and it will sort itself out.  But don't wear a watch when doing this!!  Murphy's Law taught me that when I was showing the trick to my small group!!!



 Miss E is in the Holiday spirit!  On Dasher, on Dancer ... oops lost the rest of them!!






Wishing all a HaPpY NeW YeAr! With health, happiness and quilts for all!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A December full of Surprises!! But all is well at the end!

Hi! Wishing everyone an uneventful Holiday season.

That's not happening here!  December 7th, my DH failed a stress test spectacularly!  Three ambulance rides and a Life-Flight took us from his visit at our Medical offices here in Brookings - to Curry Hospital in Crescent City to Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.  On Friday he had a very revealing Angioplasty test and Monday he had Quadruple Bypass surgery!

We were lucky - the only pain he had was during the stress test and again during the Angioplasty. His heart was not damaged.  In fact, when one artery was blocked it made it's own capillary into the heart to keep it's blood supply going!  It's true - my DH has a good heart!!

When telling anyone that DH had heart surgery, the most popular answer is "Him?  Seriously??"  A total surprise to all of us - even DH thought it was GERD!

Rogue Regional is a top 100 US hospital and you can tell.  The facilities are great, the doctors are top-notch; the nurses are patient; the CVAs are awesome. Even the housekeepers were friendly.  It was so reassuring to be there and be 'coddled' as we learned about this procedure.

The best thing about being a 'younger' Baby Boomer is that they have it all worked out by the time we have it!!  We came home Saturday!(Just 5 days after open heart surgery!!) And he's doing great!

I must admit I missed a step walking out of the Medford Walmart last week - where the big sign said "Only X days until Christmas"!!  WHAT?  The whole world isn't in limbo with me - time is still moving??  Oh dear!

So we're going to see if Doni can do 'low-key' Christmas!  No more cookies; I am decorated - did that the weekend before! We won't be traveling to the kids or having them come here - we hope to open presents with them all later next year.

A quiet Christmas - that will be a new experience, but oh-so-much-better than it could have been - if that episode would have happened outside a medical facility!

I'm putting a giant bow on his head - that's my present this year!!

Many thanks to our kids who made everything as easy as possible for us.  From B&Bs services to hand-holding during the hard parts!  We couldn't have asked for any better support.

Everyone should be thankful I'm not doing our letter this December - I have some really interesting photo possibilities ... that I'm absolutely not using!!

We discovered my DD is quite squeamish!  She turned a little green just seeing the Black Marker lines on DH's legs marking the veins!

Here's to a new healthy (and quilty) New Year for all!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hope your football team won - cuz ours did NOT!

Happy Thanksgiving!  It's truly amazing how fast this month went.  I know, I'm sounding like Grandma Grant again!  But when you are not feeling well for weeks - it seems like it all happens in a blink!

We were supposed to go to Medford to see the boys and A&J2 last weekend.  But Mr D came down with Strep.  The way I'm catching every single little thing that comes along, and hurting myself in inexplicable ways ... we stayed home!

Worked on projects now over-due but mainly, avoided them with reading and watching movies ... isn't that what everyone does when it's getting overwhelming?? Don't tell me.  I can't face that I'm the only one!! PS  I'm now hooked on Netflix series "Longmire".  Love me a good cowboy!!  AND Passengers on HBO was really good too!

But we were all well Thanksgiving and we did our mini-world tour.  Headed up to Portland first, with 3 dogs in the house, and still recovering from my knee, I didn't load up the time with gadding about!  No fun sales for the likes of me!!

I did need to work on DD's Christmas present with her adorable children!  So we took my car on this trip - I was going to drive in Portland, but not in Papa's new car! 

Wednesday morning we were off at the stroke of 10 to Michael's.  This year's present is embroidery threads for DD's new hobby.  I let the kids each pick out 12 DMC skeins and then we retired to the city library to wrap the threads around the plastic 'bobbins' that fit in the clear plastic box.


First we got tired ...

Then we got silly!

And then we got back to work! (see the knot!!) And headed out to lunch at Mr M's favorite place to eat these days - wait for it - Taco Bell?????

Hmmm, there's a trick to wrapping those skeins!  We had several with serious knotting problems.  Oh well, think about that tomorrow!!  We got a lot of them unknotted, but some I had to cut!  Life's too short!! By Thanksgiving dinner we got all the threads wrapped and that part of the present is ready to wrap!

Thanksgiving continued to rain - the whole time we were in Portland! So there was no going outside to play or explore.

My DD and I did get to go see "Lady Bird" and it was great!  We laughed, we elbowed each other - did you get that???  We teared up!  AND the audience clapped at the end!  That's pretty rare these days. I highly recommend it!

Then Friday at the break of dawn we were off to A&J2's house.  I had bought Lego Advent Calendars for all the big kids.  The Portland 2 and the Medford older 2.  We had to deliver them before Dec 1st! or it would be just too confusing!  Last year J2 made the boys Lego Advent calendars!!  But with the arrival of Miss E - well, she doesn't have time for that this year! So, Nana to the rescue!

J2's family was at their house.  Would you believe we hadn't seen most of them since the wedding 7 years ago??  Time flies ... we shared a quick lunch together and then Miss E woke up.  I got to get in and get her, change her and then she sat on my lap, happy as a clam for a lo-o-ng time!  Last time she didn't want anything to do with me - so this was really special!  Yay!

Not smiling at Papa - but she did when not being photographed! And she's reaching for everything, bringing it back to her mouth!  Good girl!

I'm finishing up small group presents; gearing up for my annual Christmas PJ pants factory, and doing a long over-due computer project too!  You'll have to wait to see any of that til next time!!  

30 days til Christmas!  Ladies start your engines ... errr ... sewing machines!




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Oye Vay - too much 'not fun' the last few weeks

It all started when I went to the PA for my blood test results.  They were great!  But then she said, "You're a healthy 65 year old.  Keep doing what you are doing!"  Yep, she jinxed me!!

I got the 2nd pneumonia shot and asked the nurse why she was putting it in my shoulder joint.  My son (nurse in another town!) later told me it needed to be down 2-3 inches.  So follow your instincts.  That shot caused me to feel like a sick 94 yr old by evening.

The next time I went to water aerobics, I was lifting the rope divider to get to the Deep Water class and I pulled a right side muscle!  Now, there is something wrong, very wrong, getting hurt doing something good for you!

I finally got that worked out to be bearable, got back from our fun Santa Clara trip and BAMM!  I got the respiratory flu.  I even had the shot - you heard about me wanting my money back last post.  6 days I won't get back!

10 days ago I woke up and thought, "I feel like I slept on my knee wrong!" How old do you have to be to get hurt sleeping??!  It got worse, and worse until I was on crutches!

Went back to my PA and told her it was all her fault - she jinxed me.  She smiled and said she would take the blame.  But I think there is a new notation in my chart about my 'attitude'!!

One thing about the knee problem - it's not catchy!  My good friend said, "There it is ... the glass half full ... that's what I expect from you!!!

I'm back toward normal - still waiting for a Orthopedist referral call back.  But, back in the sewing room today.  There was a lot of "Squirrel Syndrome" happening!  I haven't been sewing at all and you know things start to pile up in an unused room.  I'd be cutting, oh, look at that, ironing and oh!  There is that new catalog. Sewing and "should I donate this book or keep it?"  Better look thru it to be sure ...