Thursday, May 25, 2017

#WhyIRead - May 2017 Contest

#WhyIRead is a contest this month celebrating the 200th anniversary of Harper Collins Publishing. I read fiction for the fun of it - the escape - the downtime. I can shut off my mind (ok, I heard you snickering!) and go where the author takes me. So much of life is reading to get information. Reading for enjoyment is a whole different world!

I love "adult Nancy Drew" books. A mystery, a feisty heroine and good story is a great way to spend time. But wait there's more!! I love Science Fiction, I love our Book Club selections, I love discovering new books from favorite authors. AND I really love having a friend hand me a book or tell me about a book I H*A*V*E to read!!

I read every night before bed. And most days,for a little while, I read out on the deck, or in the armchair cozy with a quilt. I love reading to my grandkids and hearing them read to me.

I read ebooks on my computer but I still love that feeling of the book in my hand. Like the weight of a quilt, it comforts!

So - go read something! It's good for the soul.

PS  Yes, my bookshelf picture is of a shelf of non-fiction!! But it was taken this morning - just to point out that books can be your decorating theme too!! They go very well with a 'beachy' theme!(tee-hee)

PPS And - having trouble with blogspot formatting today! Must go read and find out what I'm doing wrong!  This will not be reading for entertainment!!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Shhhh!! It's acting like summer ... finally!

I thought I was going to get so-o-o-o much done today!  I had plans, darn it!! Well, I got caught in a "Spring Cleaning Your Studio" Blog Hop.  Does that count??

If you have hours to waste, I mean, if you are looking for ideas on studios - this is the place!!

Each blog is more enticing than the last!  You can get seriously hooked!  Thanks Cheryl for introducing yourself and your studio-links!   But when will we have time to work on our own studios????

It's T-minus 6 days to the Annual Azalea Festival here on the Southern-most Oregon coast.  Seriously, it's 7 miles to California!!  I hear it's an awesome festival - it's also the Quilt Show for us, so I haven't seen much of anything else that is going on.

But if you're looking for lovely weather (check!) Some awesome quilts (check!) and a great place to kick back alittle - come see us at Brookings Oregon over Memorial Day weekend.

Our (my) first Quilt of Valor Presentation Ceremony is Sunday, May 28, 2017 at the Kaliopsis Elementary School gym.  That's where we hold the show every year.  It will be at 2 pm.  We are presenting quilts to 17 veterans.  We're so excited and nervous!

I had a quilt to present today - the Korean War Veteran 'doesn't get out much'.  It was my first presentation and I have been driving myself crazy.  But I was so glad to 'get it under my belt.'   The presentation doesn't have to be perfect, moving or even about the quilters.  I found that if I can help the veteran to relax, and not be nervous too - it's all good!  I think, if I can just remember that, the big presentation will go well. Fingers crossed.

I'll be back tomorrow with how much I'm getting done!!!?  Promise!



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

Happy Mother's Day to those who not only raised their own children, but to those who have mothered others - related or not, full grown or tiny.  For those who have mothered me and have had such an influence in my life.  All who mother their fur coated and 4 legged babies... Male or female, for all who have mothered, this day is for you!  Have a wonderful day, everyone!!  -Bonnie Hunter





We decided to take advantage of a low tide and walk our beach.  Lo and behold - there is no beach!  It's all rocks, more than we have ever seen!


 

 

  

 
  
And lots of "O" rocks.  DE told me "That Oprah, she's copyrighting everything now!!"

Today my computer updated and now - when it 'goes to sleep' I get to see pictures stored on my computer.  There are a lot of quilt pictures - you guessed that, right?  But I've also seen my children, all 4 grandchildren, my mom, my mother-in-law, loads of family.  Happy times!  It's mesmerizing!!  I had to actually force myself to stop it to blog!!  It's been fun to watch it, especially on Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig!

We were on a babysitting gig for 8 days!!!  Two locations, four adorable grandchildren, one tired (and cranky) Nana and Papa team!!  But what fun to connect with our grandchildren!

At Portland - starring Mr M (8) and Miss P (10) it's all about the schedule! Both are on a Baseball or Softball team.  That Saturday we had two games and a birthday party at the Trampoline center!!  Thank goodness for the other Nana, we were given a ride home from Miss P's game, she was able to get ready for the party, and rejoined Papa and Mr M for the second game.  It dripped, drizzled on us all day.  But no game was cancelled - they've already missed too many with soggy fields.

The party was still going strong when I came to pick up Miss P.  I had to hunt her down and watch the bouncing antics of fourth graders!!  It's amazing - what we would have given for that type of facility when we were growing up!

We played Pictionary one evening - had a few discussions about "that doesn't look like a (insert assignment here)  This is what (insert same assignment here) looks like = another indecipherable drawing here!! LOL!

Mr M drew "Grave".  He drew a gravestone with a rounded top, R.I.P. written on it, Threw his pencil down (mike drop??) as he declared "DONE!" No one had guessed yet!  But he was right, it was easy!

We had Monday to ourselves.  It was finally a nice day - I sent DH to the golf range after he dropped me at the MAX station.  He practiced and I spent hours at Powells!  Win-win!!

Tuesday, off to Medford (5 hours).  It seemed like a good idea to link these gigs - but at this point, not so much!!  Starring Mr D (6) and Mr K (4) - the challenge here is energy!  As in, they've got a lot left when we've run out!!

Wednesday was the challenge day! They go to school 20 minutes away from where they live.  Mr K got out of Montessori at 1.  Mr D got out of kindergarten at 1:45.  Mr D has karate at 4!!  We spent some time at ScienceWorks - the children's science museum between. Nana was tired by the time we were headed home.

Mr K thought his backpack was too heavy (lunchbox and water bottle!)  I carried it just to get him to the car.  As I was strapping him in he whispered, "You're the best Nana ever!"  Who can resist that??

They don't usually have tv in their schedule but mom and dad said, "do what you have to!"  The good thing about that - it makes an awesome reward!!  So Wednesday night we watched the first part of "The Secret Life of Pets" and the 2nd part on Thursday night.  We absolutely loved the happy peals of laughter from the boys during the movie!!

We came home yesterday - good thing!!

There was quite the rockslide on 199 today.


As this article remarked, not our usual basketball sized rocks!!  They cleared it pretty fast, but going down a mountain beside a river, there are no alternate roads to detour on!  I shudder to think of sitting on the road waiting for it to clear, or even worse - mom and dad trapped at the coast and Nana and Papa still babysitting!!!!  LOL!

As I got caught up on all things 'normal life'  I was able to check my email.  There was a notice that MY postcard for the Sister's contest "Wish upon a Card" was chosen to be framed and be in the auction!!!  Woo-hoo!!  Only 11 cards were chosen ... the charity raises money for scholarships for the local high school students.  I'm pumped!

You may remember this project - but here it is again.  In all it's glory!!



YAY! Can't wait to see how they frame it!!  More to come...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Love Lazy Crazy Weekends!

Last night two friends and I watched The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey.  It was great, of course!  We had read the book in book club and I have to admit, it was a struggle to get thru it for me.  I fell asleep everytime I read it.  So, I figured I just had to read it in the day, not at night and had the best mid-morning nap of my life!!  I did get thru it.

One of the book club members has a daughter in the medical field.  She was visiting when we had our meeting about the book.  She made a fruit pizza depicting the HELA cell!  That did not happen last night!  But we all enjoyed the movie, it followed the book quite well.

I had the most wonderful Sunday today.  I got a little spring cleaning done and went on an adventure too!

We have really low tides this weekend.  This morning at a very civilized time (9:45 am) it was -1.4. A friend decided that we could see if we could go onto "Secret Cove".

I'm not sure how secret it is - it IS on the map!!  See this description!!  But certainly more secret than I thought.  DH and I had been there before.  Thought we were standing on 'Secret Beach/Cove' and we'd missed it by 2 beaches!!



The trail is rugged and extremely muddy this spring.  We stomped up and down hills and valleys.  Passing very full waterfalls



We started off at Thunder Rock Viewpoint.  The trail to Secret Beach is extremely steep and downhill all the way.  So we decided to take a portion of the Coastal Trail.  Well, we didn't follow it so well and ended up looking down steep cliffs a few times!  Finally we backtracked and ended up at the rock that you have to scramble down just to get to beach level.  Not for the faint of heart.  Unsurprisingly, dogs and children race up and down this obstacle, passing anyone hesitating with just a whiff of a breeze.


Then we cross two streams, pausing at the waterfalls to the beach.  Hmmm, we've seen this stream before!  And we bypass a cave tunnel because the low tide is NOT low enough to walk thru the tunnel.  There is a great deal of wading and rock scrambling - but don't worry, it's worth it!



Finally you are at a point where it looks like the beach must end - rock all the way into the ocean.  BUT -is that light coming around the rock structure?

Yes, and it is -finally- Secret Cove.  And lovely it is!!



I, for one, will be keeping an eye on the tide chart and training for the next trip to Secret Cove.

Dear DH is golfing today, when I sent him the picture he thought it was beautiful.  I sent it to my DD too - she was amazed her almost 65 year old mom made it down and back, and lived to tell the tale.  To tell the truth - umm, I'm a little amazed myself!!

One more story.  You can see by the photos that it was grey/misty/moisty this morning.  The weather was kind enough to not drip/rain on us until we were all the way up the hill on our way to the car. So the rocks were not slick -Thank you.

However, after we got home, within 30 minutes, the sun was out and we had blue ocean the rest of the day!!!  Ahem, let's get the tide and the weather to coordinate a little bit better, please!!!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Life Suddenly Sped UP!!

I've got some catching up to do!!  I have been working on deadlines - all quilts were to be photographed last Monday if we were entering them in the May show.  Let's just say social media was quiet all weekend!!  We were all nose to the grindstone.

Miss P was making "Logos" last week.  Our 10 year old entrepreneur!

  

I think we have a Graphic Artist on our hands.  Pretty darn cute at any rate!

April is our guild's Challenge Reveal.  I love challenges but we need to spell out just what a challenge is!  The winner was a commercial pattern done in the quilter's favorite method. But most challenge leaders are scared to add more rules - afraid no one will enter.

Although most of my challenges are based on something I've seen - dare I say it?  Pinterest Rules!!  I usually change it enough that I make it mine.  Hmm, I tend to do that with ALL my projects.  Nebraska's Gretna quilt store - The Quilted Moose - has a rallying cry for that:  "Moose it Up!"

I tend to do 'kindergarten' work rather than elegant.  But I truly love to figure it out, work my way out of a corner, practice new or 'not my favorite' techniques! It's even a good excuse to burrow into all my fabrics finding the perfect one(s)! When I was clearing out quilts and wall quilts last year, half of the ones I couldn't part with were challenges!!

The theme was "Spring at the Coast."  Most of the 13 entries were floral.  There was one Sunbonnet Sue in the rain that was pretty cute.  And here is mine.  

It's called View from the Deck.  In the spring we have rabbits and flowers, whales and pelicans, crabs and the sky clears enough that we can see St George lighthouse on the horizon.  I 'faced' it instead of using a binding.  I practiced free motion quilting and experimented drawing and quilting a sky filled with cloud shapes. It certainly doesn't stand up to a kit or even a pattern!!  But I'm happy with it - and that's what matters!  Right??? Never mind the gift certificate prize!!


Another big (mini) UFO finish for the show!  Anne Shaw taught her pieced flower class here last fall.  Ta-Da!  "Just a Little Pop!" is the name of it.  



One of my favorite parts of this pattern is the very pieced back!  My 'Beige-ings' scrap box was exploding!  And I was very excited to use some of the water color paint-box print for the border.  I loved to work this out - most of the time!!  DH told me all my quilts looked alike (?) So I thought this was a major 'fork in the road'.  He was under-whelmed!!  Oh well! Must keep quilting!! Maybe next time!

My condo is small with very little wall space and even less angles you can stand far away enough to view a large quilt.  So I reduced the pattern ti fit between the sliding glass door and the window in the living space.  You can see it from the door as you walk in.

If you find yourself reducing a very large pattern, listen and learn!!  After getting permission from the teacher, I took the very large pieces and reduced them on a copier at the local Print Shop. It was a pain!  The pieces were too large to fit on the printer, so I printed each page multiple times, taped it all together and copied it onto another sheet big enough to hold it.  Tedious!  At class, Ms Shaw asked me if I just enlarged the placement guide? It didn't even occur to me - but that would have been the way to go. So- act accordingly!

Here is the finished UFO 'Girlie' Magic Numbers.  I came across this technique online.  I had some leftover parts of "Yellow Brick Road" from Mr M's baby quilt. (He's 8!!!) But not enough to do something with.  So I messed about with 2.5", 4.5" and 6.5" units. It was so much fun.  There's a close up pic too - I had lots of fun with the walking-foot quilting. Stars, flying geese shapes, square in a square and variations on a theme!

 

Tuesday morning I got into the water aerobics car pool and said, "I'm having the worst week."  My dear friend C mentioned that it was only Tuesday!  After we laughed, I realized she was right! "Buck up Buttercup" and "Sucks to be you" rang out in my head!

So I started dragging myself out of the blues (and rain) and started revamping my attitude! It helped that Wednesday I headed to Bandon to meet the Bayshore Babes on their retreat.  I usually get to go to the retreat, but this year they filled it up with 'real' members that actually come to the weekly meetings.  Good news - the group is alive and strong; bad news - you know who can't go for the week!

There are friends and there are friends, I know you know what I mean.  I drove the two hours (with a Brookings friend that was meeting her own friends in Bandon) through the RAIN. And the minute I parked my car next to where we retreat ... it was like changing into my oldest favorite sweater and settling in for nice long visit.  Some friends (I hadn't seen these gals since August last summer!) you walk in and you just step in where you left off.  Nothing awkward, no silences to fill.  Just comfortable times with friends!

It was so-o very much fun. Just what I needed. And these gals had awesome quilt projects they were working on!  Inspiration in every corner! It was fun getting hugs from all, catching up and looking at all the eye candy!  I'm not even going to mention the food - quilters make the very best comfort food!  Chicken salad pitas; chips, brownies, carrot cake and L's famous chocolate chip cookies!!!  Heaven on earth!

The group takes over both sides of a duplex right on the ocean.  There are two design boards; two fully stocked kitchens; two tvs.  I remember there were two distinct factions on Monday night.  Those who love "Dancing With the Stars" and those who shut the door, stay on the other side and wonder what we see in that!!  Here's an UFO auditioning on a design board.


There is hand stitching by the window


And there is machine stitching.  Some even bring their own machine tables to set up.  The dining tables are only so big, even with all the extra leaves in!


One inch squares finished into 25patch!!!


And when I got home, I was ready to face the world again!!  YAY!
Note to self:  must visit more often!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring - 1 nice day in 2 week period!! We'll take it!!

We spent Easter weekend up in Portland.  Raining up there too!  Except ... it did finally get nice Saturday afternoon with no rain on Sunday!!  Monday driving home? - rain all the way!!  2017 - the year of the monsoon that wouldn't stop!!

Saturday morning looked so nice out.  Fluffy clouds in a blue sky ... but only 40 degrees!!   I was in a long sleeve shirt; a zip-neck sweatshirt; a hoodie and a waterproof rain coat.  Good thing we brought along chairs and 2 quilts (which we fought over!!)  The boys played a good game.  And it did warm up as it went along! Victory lunch at Panera Bread.


The afternoon game was much more 'spectator friendly'!  I had a short sleeve shirt and the hoodie on.  No quilts needed - we were very comfortable.



Meg and Mr M watching Miss P at bat!


Sassy little Miss P getting ready to run like the wind!


7th inning braids???  It was a hairdo malfunction and mom had stood it as long as she could!!  It's hard to wear hair up when you are in and out of batting helmets!  Just saying!



Photo opp of First Games of 2017!  Papa and Mr M went home and practiced ground balls.  It's hard to practice those when you can't get any field practice time!



Sitting here with the sliding glass door open, the sun shining in.  My toe is healed and went for a walk this afternoon with DH.  Flowers blooming, blue oceans!  Storing it up - the one day in 8 that no rain is expected!!  Grilling salmon out on the deck tonight for dinner!  YUM!


View from the lower path


Ahhh, now I remember why we live here!!  If we get 2 days in a row of sun, we're cleaning all the storms off our windows and cars!!!  But we'll worry about that when it happens!!