Saturday, January 21, 2017

Favorite books of 2016 and Life in General

We've been having another winter storm here on the Oregon coast.  Four and a half inches of rain in 2 days! Today is one of those BIG OCEAN days!  In between downpours that we can't see anything through .. the waves are crazy huge - slamming over the sea stacks we see out our window.  The waves have even gone over the top of Rainbow Rock Island several times.  DH and I are glued to the windows, calling out where to look quick!!  I won't be getting much done today, just saying!!

You know those women that only enjoy a certain type of book?  A mystery lover, only romance or only historic fiction.  Me neither!!  And I am certainly not one of them!!f Although I notice I enjoyed a lot of Science Fiction this year.

I have an old fashioned Ledger book that I write down and rate the books I read. The current Ledger was started in 2003.  It's full and falling apart!!  I also have an Access spreadsheet that goes back to 1985!

I rate them because - when you're in the doldrums, can't find anything good to read, you can go back and find the ones you really liked (4 stars) and then see if that author has written anything new!

In 2016 the **** books were:

Flying Changes by Sara Gruen
About a Jr Equestrian Star now that she is grown up.  Sara Gruen always tackles the issues that we think about how to handle.

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz
Fascinating story of a SciFi spy who helps people.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Imagine you have a pen pal from another country.  You've been invited to come for a visit, but once you get there, your penpal has passed on.  But she's made arrangements for you to stay ...

Dies The Fire by S M Stirling
SciFi, but near future end of the world story that takes place in the Great Northwest!  I enjoyed this book which is the first of a series by the author.

Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein
I love John Sandford - all 3 series he's written.  This is different!  SciFi - 2066 and an alien  space ship has entered our solar system.  The race is on to capture the new technology.

This Is Not A Game by Walter J Williams
When online games and real life interact.

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth (5*!)
A 38 year old woman is slipping into early dementia. What is left when your mind is gone?

Extreme Prey by John Sandford
In this, his 26th Lucas Davenport series, well the legend lives on.  I love his series (plural) I've read every one and most of them several times!!  If you haven't discovered John Sandford yet - start now!! Rules of Prey is the beginning.

I'm finally feeling like myself after my l*o*n*g bout of the Respiratory Flu I got before Christmas.  I still am fighting a little cough - but at least I have my energy back most days.  And all that laying around, when I wasn't just vegging, I was planning quilts!!  So I have been on a mission to work on some ongoing projects that have been in "time-out" too long!

Our guild quilt show is over Memorial Day weekend.  We've had less and less hand quilted quilts to show.  We eliminated the size restriction so I finished a 'bunk bed' size UFO with the aim of hand quilting it.  DH is gone for a week in two weeks and I plan to frame it and quilt on the frame as far as I can get.  If I'm not done before he gets back, I'll baste it and continue quilting in a hoop.  I'm hoping my hands hold up!

I sent out the "Christmas Leftovers" fabric post cards.  I think they went by Pony Express - but they have finally arrived.  I always collect the debris left Christmas morning - and fashion a thank you note out of it for each of my children's families.  Dumpster diving at it's best!?!

Here's a great picture my daughter took during all those snow days in Portland this month.  The new game in Portland was "Where's Meg the Dalmatian??"

The cul de sac we usually play ball and ride bikes in!

That's it for now.  Go read some good books, get going on quilt projects you have figured out something for.  Or sit in front of the window and watch nature where ever you are!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A little bit of this ... a little bit of that ...

The storms are over for a few days, the sun is out, the seals are back on the rocks, all is well.  I'm finally feeling more like me - that respiratory flu I got was a bugger to get rid of (knock on wood!)

This year was a very busy year.  We took the older Grandkids to Disneyland; I went to Road to CA at the beginning of that trip.  Then, in the fall, I went to the Houston Quilt Show and on a Sew Many Places Quilting cruise ... it was a crazy, crazy year.

Note on links:  Some links have more than one quilt discussed.  I linked all the quilts to that same page.  So read the entire entry you're linked to - you may hear about more than one quilt on this list ... then you can skip the links to that same page.

In 2016 I managed to finish 5 bed quilts; 3 throw sized quilts, and 4 various sized wall hangings!  Plus, 15-20 pillowcases; 8 receiving blankets; 8 pj pants for kids; 6 Christmas stockings and 23 fabric postcards!!

Bed quilts:  Plaid Double 9 Patch QOV
                   My son's College Graduation quilt
                   Yipes Stripes KINGsize quilt for DH for Christmas (see below)
                   Mr K's Big Boy Bed quilt - very well received!! (next time)
                   Mr D's Kindergarten SuperHero quilt

Throws:      Baby quilt for new Great-great nephew
                   Two Disney throws for the Gkids who went to Disneyland

Wall Quilts: Mini Fragmented quilt (see below)
                    Guild Traditional Block Challenge
                     Bayshore Red and White Bento Box challenge (kids quilt)
                     Say Uncle Wool on Cotton Class Project (ribbon winner!!)
                     Dancing in the Moonlight - Barbara Shapel class project
                     and a Woolies Stitch Along Totebag

I got 2 ribbons at quilt shows!! But only read 50 books this year!! More on favorites next time.  I was apparently too busy to read(?) or at least too busy to keep track!  AND I lost weight!  Not as much as hoped, (as if!) but a move in the right direction - I'll claim it!!

Here is the Double 9patch QOV 19 fabric pieced back! Bless my QOV quilter - she said it was fine, she didn't mind at all!


Somehow I didn't blog about the Mini Group Fragmented challenge.  We each took a design and fragmented it - handing the project off to the other members to make a part of it.  I'd seen a wall quilt of SF with a line of buildings on you know where (Pinterest!) and I loved it.  I adapted the idea to our condo units sitting on the point above the ocean.  It was a challenge in many ways! It took a village!!

Here's the finished Bento Box Red and White Challenge. Newport has a very active charity project and this quilt went to the Child quilts portion.

Oh the fun I had collecting stripe fabrics with white backgrounds.  Years and years of visiting different areas of the country and shopping with quilting friends ... let's just say it was a million dollar project!!  I saw a stripe quilt on Red Pepper Quilts - I think I started collecting stripe fabrics the very next day!  My DH loved it when he saw the top.  I asked a Long Armer friend to baste it for me and she talked me into just letting her quilt it.  I was going to quilt it with my walking foot.  It was big - 110 x 110 and I think my harp is 10"!!  Thanks C for the great quilting on it. Below is the top on the bed - checking for size.  The color is better in this photo than the ones of it done.  Cheerful - and reminds me of a lawn chair!

Below - finished and on the bed - look, a pillow tuck.  That maybe be pretty 'retro' these days, but is anyone else tired of stacking pillows in shams every night and putting them back up every morning??  Yes, I know it doesn't sound like a hard life ... but I'm glad this one is big enough for a pillow tuck!

Folded back so you can see the simple curved quilting and the surprise stripe on the back.  You'd think I would have used extra squares - but there weren't enough!!  So I had to actually cut more stripes from the leftover fabrics to get more to make one row 110" long!  Totally worth it though, it makes me smile every time I see it!

I have to find my favorite pictures of Mr K's big boy bed quilt.  AND I have to get back to the sewing room.  I'm a woman on a mission this weekend! I'll be back with more tantalizing details of Life in General!! (tee-hee)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy Belated New Year!!

Welcome 2017 - Rainbow Rock Beach style

I'm back among the living ... barely!!  I was sick over the holidays.  Sorry kids! I was at their houses before it really hit.  It all started with a 3 day headache - which is most often a sign that I have been exposed to cats without knowing it! (Yeah, welcome to my world!!)  So I didn't think much of it.

Then a hacky cough added itself to the mix.  And then we were off and running (nose too!)  We came limping home early on the 27th, whereupon I went to bed and didn't do much of anything until yesterday??? The 28th was our 44th wedding anniversary.  We sat in our jammies and watched two DVRs that we like! Not the celebration we had planned! During the week as I tried to get over this, I watched alot of West Wing - Season 5 and 6; and read 5 library books!

My DH and DD had a clue when after dinner on CHRISTMAS I disappeared into the guest room and went to bed!  But, moving on, getting over it!!  (I heard you laugh - you're right, that's not my strong point!!)

We have not had the weather tantrums here that the rest of the nation is not enjoying!  It came close - below freezing and snow up the mountains ... but supposedly a week of rain is coming and we'll feel just as put upon as all of you.

I love lists at the end of the year.  I met Deborah Boschert at the Houston show.  She's a modern quilter with a few books out.  I really like her style, she's easy to talk to and very knowledgeable!  And she likes lists too!

She sends out a email newsletter that's interesting and fun to read.  This a link to the latest edition (I hope!) Because she doesn't just email what's on her blog.  There should be a 'join this list' somewhere within that email.

Here's some of the lists Deborah posted: Atlantic Magazine's Best Podcasts of 2016. I followed a few podcasts a couple of years back.  Serial and Jillian Michaels and of course, TED.  But I got out of the habit of listening ... There are lots of possibilities on this list that might just put me back in the habit.  Anyone out there have a favorite Podcast they recommend?

Here is the National Geographic's Best Photos of the Year.  Definitely worth scrolling through! It's always good to see the best of the best!

And last AND the longest!!  Vulture's List of Lists Worth Reading!!  I hadn't heard of Vulture:  Devouring Culture!  Website lists TV, Movies and Music.

You'll have to wait til next post for my list!  I love to look back over the year, projects, books, and Life in General!

Resolutions - I've always been a big fan and like many can usually use last years for this years!!  My favorite received from a friend "Gain 15 lbs and read trashy novels!!"

While recouping, I've been looking over past years' blogs, diaries, to do lists!!  Last year I wanted to lose 44 pounds.  Well, I lost 10 altogether.  That's progress, I don't feel like a total failure.

Everyone in blogdom seems to be on the "word or phrase" of the year for 2017.

So my phrase for this year is:  Enjoy my life with steady progress!  I tend to be a "all or none" type A personality!  Driving myself and all around me nuts!!  Part of that is living with things that I don't have time to do or complete now, so I don't do them at all!  Or over-eating restricted foods all day because of one bite earlier??

Well, this last month I decided I didn't need the entire condo in perfect condition.  I did have the time to fix those things that were really bothering me. And it worked!!  I didn't have the time or the weather to clean all the windows but I COULD clean out the window tracks.  I didn't have time to do all the woodwork, but I could clean the louver door in front of the washer/dryer alcove. (And a pox on the person that decided louvers were the way to hide washer and dryers! Lint and louvers = not good!)

I don't have time to sew all the 35 pillowcase kits I cut for the Million Pillowcase Challenge.  But I might be able to sew 5 at a time??  I cut kits last fall when I was clearing out stash. Then missed the Work Day at Guild where I was going to be Tom Sawyer-ish!

This new way of looking at things seems to be working well. Especially as I recoup from that flu.  Not enough energy to do much, but I can walk two laps around the parking lot. (about a 1/2 mile).  I'll keep you informed as to how it's going.  What are your hopes and plans for the new year??

Here's a behind the scene picture of the fabulous DH writing 2017 on the beach for me.  I took a 1/2 mile walk earlier as well as some cleaning.  There was no way I was going to be able to get back up our 'goat path' to the beach if I went!  So DH to the rescue!!  Thanks baby!