Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Today is our 36th wedding anniversary - proof that time does go fast! We celebrated by eating lunch out yesterday on our way home from Portland. Tidal Raves in Depot Bay. Excellent grilled wild salmon! This morning we took a 3 mile walk on the beach looking for rocks and keeping our eyes out for sneaker waves. We got a rock polisher for Christmas - So I guess it's official - we're retired and living on the coast!

Here are Christmas gifts I made: tote bags for L and J2. This was a free pattern 5-6-7 on the Windham Fabrics website. It took me all day to make two - but I'll be faster from now on. And next is the fish quilt for Miss P - she was so cute. Had to bring over her new 'Momo' - Elmo from Sesame Street! And when I clicked the shutter she was saying, "Smile for Nana, Momo!!"

We survived the Portland roads - did a 360 once - but never got stuck! They don't believe in salt on the roads - boy, I never appreciated Nebraska's snow handling ability so much! Of course, 14 inches is a lot in a metro area ... however, we couldn't believe that they seemed to only plow the interstate at 5 pm each day! Gigantic traffic snarls resulted. I could see doing it once, but twice???

Hoping to get an UFO finished before the new year - need an official finish for this quarter. Time to list 2008's accomplishments and the 'to do' list for 2009 also! But it's going to be rainy all week - so hope to get it all done! - of course!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa's Workshop closed @ 11:30 PM

Santa's Workshop was busy today ... by the way - in a condo - I destroy the entire residence 'power sewing'!!! Project pictures will be coming - but for obvious reasons I can't show anything yet! My DD doesn't usually read my blog ... but if I count on that ... she'll be sneaking around!

So - I'll just have to show you pictures of Miss P and Mr M!!!

L's laptop is showing signs of getting ready to die - so we transferred ALL her pictures to my computer last week. It put me at the dreaded 'low disk space' so I couldn't even download the new pictures from my camera! I transferred all her pix to the other computer today so I can put them on cds tomorrow! There HAS to be a simpler way than a thumb-drive! That takes so long ... but it's one way I know how to do it!!!

Photos: Miss P and Beach Papa out in the snow that trapped us up there last week! Mr M - from head to toe! Don't you love that mischevious look in his eye! And THAT HAIR!!! Just one more - "maybe if I ignore mom - she'll stop taking pictures!"

Hopefully we'll be able to hop the coastal range and get up to Portland for Christmas. DH thinks it's hilarious that we managed to get here from Nebraska for the past 2 Christmases but now that we actually live here - it's iffy!

My "to do" list is long for tomorrow - wrap, wash and pack - okay, it sounds easier than it will be! And we hope to leave Tuesday morning. So-o just in case I don't have time to be on the computer:

Merry Christmas to all! And here's hoping for lots of quilting time in '09!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Report from Santa's Workshop!

YIKES! A week from today is Chirstmas Eve! HOLY MOLY! Here I thought I was still just on summer vacation! Well - an extended one! We skated home from Portland yesterday, it actually wasn't as bad as we thought it would be - only took twice as long as usual - and today more snow is coming. We're just going to have to take our best guess as to which day it will be easiest to hop the mountains to go back up to Portland. The main reason I HAD to get back home - Christmas presents that weren't finished! So Santa's workshop is set up - just wondering when the heck those elves are going to show up!

Today I sewed our new grandson's Christmas stocking - he's a month old tomorrow! But now he has a stocking ... so he must be official! I also sewed the sleeves for his baby quilt [Yellow brick road pattern - kind-of! It's pictured on this blog back in November] When I gave it to my DD she wanted to hang it in his room - darn, I didn't plan on that! So the sleeves are ready to sew on by hand.

Also sewed the corners of Miss P's big girl quilt. I designed a scrappy FISH quilt because this kid LOVES the aquarium! She can pronounce 'Octopus' perfectly and she's only 2! - used coloring pages for the applique designs. The colors had to be pink and orange - so the fish look kind of alien!!! Got the layout idea from "Fast Patch Kid's Quilts" a really great book by an author here in Oregon! Of course, I changed it 'a little'! Alright, ladies - I can hear you laughing!!! [I know that I often do that!] Anyway, I made starfish for the corners. I use a Janome 4800 and there was a perfect 'round' stitch to sew eyes on all the fish and a crescent stitch that made a great mouth!!! And perfect for enquiring little minds and fingers - nothing to pull off! I have to dig around and find the pink stripe for the border - washed the back so ready to frame it tomorrow!

Then I'll be able to relax just a little! Ho, Ho, Ho indeed!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Letters - for or against!?!

Happy Holidays from Oregon!

There were many changes this year for us. I retired from the University in May, by June our house had sold in Lincoln and we moved to a condo on the Oregon Coast. Although we miss family and friends back in Nebraska, we love retirement - walks on the beach, exploring Oregon, and seeing our kids more often. I’ve found water aerobics classes, stitchery club and quilting groups out here. DH golfs every afternoon he can.

“Beach Nana” and “Beach Papa” [that’s us!] steal Miss P away every chance we get. She loves the beach and we love watching her play here. And we’d like to introduce her new brother, Mr M, born November 18. He has lots of black hair and is a night owl so far.

Other news: A asked J2 to marry him and we’re thrilled that she said “Yes.” Wedding date to be announced after A’s graduation in 2010!

Wishing you the best in 2009
So - that's my Christmas letter - I try to keep it to a half page with picture and this year was really hard to write. You know that commercial where the blond asks everyone what deductible she should have??? That was me! Finally - I gave up!! This letter was not going to be an UFO!

Of course, in the real letter there are names of family members! I just like to keep you guessing!

We receive ridiculous and sublime Christmas letters. [Doesn't everyone?] Lovely handwritten personal notes; one friend prints his own cards every year with caricatures of family members; a brief synopsis of their year and still adds personal notes each year. [I love getting their cards!] Then we receive the 2 page, size 8 type, single spaced letter ... DH always relies on me for the "executive summary"of that one!!!

Which of your letters so you love? hate? love to hate???

PS we've had Miss P since Monday and I have been derailed in my Christmas 'to do' list. We're also busy singing our new song here "Yes, I love to say 'no' - I am a 2 year old!"
She's adorable-ly aggravating!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Crunch time!!!

Announcing the winner of the extra fabric postcard ... Cheryl in Nebraska. Hip hip hooray!

I have no cute pets so I put names on a paper and have my DH draw one. The first time I had him do this - he was afraid it was a "honey-do" list!!! Thanks to everyone for their comments.

I finished my wall quilt for my mom Friday! Two projects down, 3 to go ... This is a Thimbleberries panel - isn't it cute! I hand quilted it - I know - what was I thinking??? Perhaps that I had more time than I did ... But it turned out very nice and it goes in the mail tomorrow. It will look nice with my mom's snowmen collection.

Yesterday I was able to buy the only tricycle in town! And I'm not kidding - it wasn't the only type of trike - it was physically the ONLY TRIKE for under $159 for sale in Newport. Sometimes small towns are a little TOO small! And now that we're looking at it - it looks a little too small itself! We're having a debate - I think Miss P is little enough (27 months) that we can put her on it for size and she won't remember on Christmas day that she's seen it before ... DH doesn't think so. What do you think?

Last night we went to the lighted boat parade in the harbor. It was really cute - but unfortunately during the Big 12 playoff game ... So we watched the first circle around and then picked up fish and chips for dinner and home to football. I burned the '11 o'clock' oil last night on Miss P's big girl quilt - I can tell today!
Don't hyperventilate when you look at your 'to do' list!!! BREATHE!

Monday, December 1, 2008

First Item on Christmas To-Do List finished!

Yesterday and today I made the fabric Christmas cards - they are ready to mail tomorrow! Hooray!!! The stripes are the chair it's sitting on!

Now here is the part where you come in - I have an extra card. Anyone who comments this week will be entered in a 'give-away' for the card - if you'd like to receive a fabric Christmas card - let me know! Next on the list is quilt Thimbleberries winter panel for mom. Started that last night in front of the TV.
Who needs to sleep!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Take a deep breath - here comes the rush!

Miss P holding Mr M - love that expression. "This is what we've been waiting for???" I have a picture like that of A holding L for the first time too!

How on earth did it get to be November 30?? It seems like we just moved here -not that we've been here 5 months!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 8 adults, 2 kids and 2 dogs! More food than we could eat and everyone enjoying the kids.

J2 was playing with Miss P and Miss P's new stuffed dog. J2 posed the dog head back and howled like a coyote and Miss P loved it. Well, soon all 8 adults (?) were giggling and howling too. It may be a new Thanksgiving tradition!!

I have not been quilting enough and now I have a list of projects to finish before Christmas! Darn-it! A Thimbleberries panel to quilt for my mom; a big girl quilt for Miss P and a Christmas stocking for Mr M. Oh, and a bunch of Christmas post cards, and some small presents for quilting friends ... oops - this is bad - even for me! Gotta run and get to sewing!!

Remember that old joke where the man is walking around a store with a crying baby - he's saying, "That's okay, Jim, we're almost done here. It's be alright, Jim. Just a little while longer, Jim" A lady came up and complimented him - "how calm you are. You're very good with baby Jim." He said, "Lady, I'm Jim!!!"

Don't panic, doni - remember to breathe!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Introducing Mr M!

Or Mr Megaphone as we like to call him! He was born Tuesday, Nov 18, at 5:19 pm. Weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 20 inches long. Everyone is doing great - especially in the middle of the night when Mr M prefers to party!

Did you know they send them home when they are 24 hours old!! By the next generation - it's going to be outpatient birth! Mr M has two speeds - asleep and content and awake and 'not so content'. Great lungs - I think he could have awakened the whole neighborhood last night!

Here's what this morning brought - our PJ picture. PS - Miss P hasn't cuddled during her 'hot baba' for ages - it felt great. We're here til the weekend and then back up early next week to help get ready for Thanksgiving. I always forget they come this little!!! Oh, yes - Nana's having fun!

note to self - don't forget to brush hair first thing in the morning!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Woo Hoo!!! It's done!

Blogger is doing weird things with the photos today - but at least they're showing up!

Here is the baby quilt for grandbaby coming this month. It's the Yellow Brick Road pattern by Atkinson Designs. Hmmm - I'll have to put my quilt holder thru more training to get him to hold it straight!!! In the close-up I tried to show the patriot print I used on the back.

I quilted 5 pointed stars in each block - that's a recurring theme for my daughter's quilts and used my favorite border treatment. It will be labeled when we know the name and the date - I'm so relieved! I can actually take it with me when we get the 'baby call'!

Next up - big girl bed quilt for Miss P. She was a pirate for Halloween - she wore her eyepatch like a necklace because we were NOT putting it over her eye! And here's a picture of her zooming by on her train the day after Halloween. Who can resist that smile!

Resting on my laurels til tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm binding the baby quilt!!!

Well, Friday the doctor said there was a 33% chance our new grandbaby could come this week. Now my DD doesn't agree but I think that 9 months went really FAST! The winning pattern is: Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs! I couldn't decide what to make this baby - my daughter wanted baby blue and brown. I love blue and brown together [smile] but not baby blue! Once I 'lightened' up the brown I could see a glimmer of hope that this wouldn't be the ugliest quilt I've ever made! [and I've made some doozies!!] Quiet, you friends back in NE!! I can hear you!

The Yellow Brick Road quilt uses 9 FQs. Well, I don't buy many FQs! I usually buy 1/3s - first thing I had to do is readjust the number of fabrics to use and what on earth I was supposed to cut! Oh heck - if the kid's coming this week you'd better start sewing!!! I laid out many blues, lights and light browns and whenever I didn't have the correct configurations - I cut more strips! By the way - I may have enough cut to make another kid's quilt for charity quilts!?!

Our condo was turned into a sweat shop! There was fabric, threads and working stations EVERYWHERE. My husband gamely kept adjusting the tv sound to keep ahead of the sewing noises! I watched more football this weekend than I had my whole life! I couldn't get away from it. Wouldn't you know it - too rainy for golf this weekend!

But I got into it and I like the quilt. I had an old patriotic 'beige-ing' - Stars and Stripes by Moda. Remember D? I threw it in, since this is election month!!! Even had enough for the back. This is a total stash quilt! No billfold was opened - batting, backing and binding included. I'm hand sewing the binding on tonight and as soon as it's out of the washer and dryer tomorrow - I'll post a picture.

Hip hip hooray!!! Get'er done! indeed!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Soup Follow-up

Well, the soup was wonderful, but I'm using store-bought stock next time! I drained almost 2 cups of grease off the stock and ended up with less than I needed. PS - I didn't throw away the beef and veggies in the stock - I added them to the soup later!

Still raining!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Catch Up Day

Oops - I've been - hmmm, how can I say this? ---Lazy?? And of course, busy doing mostly nothing! Laying about reading, watching tivo, looking thru the catalogs that come everyday! We were up in Portland for 3 days last week babysitting Miss P off and on. She was an adorable pirate for Halloween and apparently got into the 'dress-up' mode because she had on quite the outfit the next day!!! Wings, hat, sunglasses and sock monkey apron! Cute as a button - 'nuff said!

I worked on the dreaded pink quilt yesterday. I think I calmed it down by adding alternate squares of pink - it doesn't look nearly as RABID to me - but I don't think I'm ever going to like it! Good thing I'm giving it away and it's going all the way to NY! But I just get the feeling that this one is going to haunt me! It will probably end up in a collection as an example of my work - ICK! Hmm, could I label it with someone else's name???

Today I'm making soup. As you know - I'm not really a cook-type person. Yes, I make dinner when forced to! LOL! DH is a much better cook than I am - and I'm always telling him that - hoping he will continue to cook for me! I DO have 5 or 10 really good dishes that I make. We both love soup and bought 2 new soup cookbooks for our first Oregon Winter. We hear there is alot of rain - more about weather later! SO-O-O, the cookbook I was looking thru had a "meaty minestrone" recipe that sounded good. It suggested that you make your own beef stock - doesn't that sound innocent!!! Well, this will be a WHOLE lot more expensive than Swanson's Beef Broth! 4 1/2 lbs of beef bones [$12] - who knew! 5 spices that I really didn't use before so left them in NE - [$20 - really!!! who knew that cloves were $12 a bottle!!! Weren't they cheap enough that you could cover an orange with them to make a Christmas decoration???] 1 lb of stew meat [$4] and assorted veggies - the stuff cooks for 3-4 hours. You take out the bones, strain it keep the liquid and then THROW AWAY the rest!!! Really??? I'm only at 2 hours of simmering now - then the soup takes another 2 hours of cooking. Boy, that cookbook that starts with Campbell's soups is looking a whole lot better about now!!! LOL! I'll let you know if we deem it worthy of all this! BUT I am ridiculously proud of the fact that I'm making my own stock! Who knew I could do this??

If we have started 'winter' here, things are looking up! It seems to be less grey than it was over the summer - a higher ceiling, maybe?? The skies are just spectacular and there is blue sky sometime during the day. Being retired - I can usually take advantage the break in the weather.

At water aerobics here - we are in a wonderful pool with 25 foot window walls. Excellent to keep an eye on the weather during class! We were there a little over an hour yesterday - here's what we saw: grey overcast skies; hmmm, it's clearing; awesome bright white towering clouds going by; flocks of seagulls soaring around; grey overcast skies; pouring rain mixed with a little sleet(!); oops - clearing again, rain stops. And I thought the weather changed fast in NE!

Time to go stir the stock!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Post Card time!

We've talked about this before Postcards vs quilting time. Postcards are instant gratification; an easy way to play with different techniques but when all is said and done ... that's a day you could have been quilting! I go back and forth on this issue but one thing about it - I don't have postcard UFOs! :> What's your vote?

Here are the "Summer at the beach" postcards; the "Fall leaves" [May your blessings be as abundant as fall leaves.]; and my weird imaginary pet postcards - "The Stash Monster"! [You don't really own a stash monster - for like a cat - it owns you!] I always make one of each postcards for my own collection.

I'm reading a book by Peter Walsh - "It's All Too Much" about simplifying your possessions - but I'm really hoping to find his second book, "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat!" LOL! It all started with the subject of flinging unused items that came up on Stashbusters last week and it really rang a bell with me.

In June, I moved from a large house - that we had lived in for 22 years in Nebraska to a small Oregon condo and we've stuffed the sewing room and our stuff into the condo with certain style! It doesn't look like it's going to explode - at least not when I'm not quilting on something!!! BUT I'm constantly shifting something from here to there to fit something else in ... not my idea of fun. So reading the book really helped me start to change my mind-set.

I have an old dresser that we were using for 'overflow' - but L remarked how she'd love that dresser for the baby's room ... and that was the catalyst - because, darn-it! - it would look nice with the floor they put in.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When exactly does the flu shot kick in????

I've been sick so much this fall - now it's bronchitis. I got my flu shot - how do I get out of this chicken outfit??? I'm really careful about going out and about - don't want to give anything to anyone else. But it's wearing me down!

So-o I'm going to think "well" thoughts and act normal - at least at home. Need to get back my mojo. More on that thought later!

This picture is L - 7 1/2 months PG and adorable Miss P. Yep, it looks like L could shelter a 2 yr old from an Oregon rainstorm under "the BUMP"!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Busy Week!

Busy week - It started last sunday - I got a call from my daughter. Her FIL was babysitting Miss P for 6 hours on Sunday - first time he 'solo-ed'. Well, he blew it! He called her --
FIL: "Miss P has gotten markers all over her face, hands, furniture and wall and I can't get it off!"
DD: "well, we don't give her markers, but they should be washable - what does the marker say on the side?"
FIL: "Sharpie!"
DD: "WHAT! How did she get the Sharpie markers?"
FIL: "She pointed to a drawer and I lifted her up, she opened it and took them out!!!!!"
DD: "You can never babysit by yourself again!"
FIL: "Fine, I don't want to!!!!"

Now I had to keep a straight face while hearing this - at least you can laugh and not get into trouble! Ends up that he was exaggerating [a habit of his] but there was marker on Miss P's hands, the whiteboard and the easel. NOTE: To get permanent marker off of hard surfaces, spray with "Pam" vegetable oil and rub!!! It works!!!

I visited the next day and Miss P rats him out! She holds out her very colorful palms and says,"Papa!"

But FIL has made it so easy for the rest of us babysitters now. If anything happens all we have to do is start out, "Well, permanent markers were not involved but ..."

When I go up to babysit I don't know exactly how it happens but I end up cooking more in 3 days than I did the two weeks before!!! My SIL is looking forward to me coming to help with the baby - poor guy doesn't know that he's eaten everything I can cook - there will be a lot of repeated dishes in his future!

I'm almost finished repairing my DD's HS quilt. For some reason there was A LOT of thread breakage in the seams. It was only made in 1997 - and shouldn't be this damaged ... but there are autographs on the back and DD wanted to keep it. I only have to replace [slipcover] two fabrics that have ripped. A friend here said that when repairing a quilt you should put a safety pin everywhere you repair. It's always more work than you think it will be and if you mark it with pins, both you and the quilt owner will be impressed with how much work it was! I didn't hear about this soon enough for this project - but next time I'll do that.

The weekends are free cell phone minutes for me and I spent them well today. I called G in Nebraska and she was traveling with 5 other quilters in our small group so they passed me around and I got to talk to everyone! They went to AQS in Des Moines Iowa and said it was a fabulous show! That worked so well, next I called J - who was also on the way home from the same show. Next weekend is the fall retreat for them ... so I'm going to call again so I can continue to live vicariously!

Well, it's a gorgeous day here - I'm going to walk the beach AGAIN! Later!!!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Sewing! What's better than that?

Some stashbusters are having a mini retreat today - the official retreat is in two weeks. After a walk along the beach this am I've been nose to the grindstone today. It feels great - and I got two sets of fabric postcards done. An online post card group I belong to kind of derailed this summer and we're trying to get back on track. So we still had the summer cards to exchange and the fall ones - I got both done-done today! Hooray - I'm ready for the partners to be assigned and then I can mail them - I usually mail by the deadline but I'm not usually ready before partners are assigned! Yay for me!

On to the guild BOMs due this thursday. This month the applique block and the pieced block go together in the same wall quilt - very cute. I don't always participate but this was really cute. You can see the blocks if you go to the guild website. Pick "Blocks" on the menu on the left.

This guild has a great method for hostesses too. I'm now co-chair of the Hostess committee - but it's easy. Whoever has a birthday during the month brings a snack - so nobody has to pitch in more than once a year. If you miss your month you might be asked to fill in during the next month we need someone - but if you brought snacks - you're not asked again til your birthday again!

A friend came over this afternoon to learn how to bind. Thankfully I was able to find my 'binding square' that I made in a binding class 'oh-so-many-years-ago'. A great quilter in Lincoln - who won many, many ribbons at the state fair, taught us a revolutionary way to bind! No pins! Of course, it's the standard binding method now - but I remember being amazed. I totally recommend making a binding square example of what ever method you use. I honestly don't remember all the tips from finish to finish so it's good to pull the example out and read my tips.

Here's some tips on my square:
No seams on binding at corners.
Best width is 2 - 2 1/4" depending on thickness of batt.
Start 4" from beginning of binding - leaving space to tuck in other end.
Stop 1/4" from corner; fold 45 degrees up and fold straight down next side; sew from edge.

Well, off to make the blocks - and to wash the charm squares fabric! Almost forgot that!

doni @ Oregon coast

Monday, September 29, 2008

All better!

I was down for about a week, but back to feeling like me again. We even went up and got Miss P for another round of fun!!

We've built a fort and got to go play!

doni @ Oregon coast

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bored and sick!

I got the crud that Miss P was passing out ... bummer ... there was cool things to do this weekend too! But I'm just laying here - moaning on occasion!!! I have been surfing the web all day - my brain is just well enough that I can do that - symptoms are BIG headache, icky throat and nose drips! [Just in case you catch it by reading my blog!!!] I've been staying home - just so I don't pass it around to an innocent bystander!

I realized today that I listed my Fab5 in June of 2007. Granted, I got three of them done-done but seriously - 15 months ago???? It's been a busy year - retiring and moving, getting settled in, seeing Miss P twice a month ... and there were a lot of 'non-fab5' projects finished. FOUR great nieces and nephews graduating from college in one May created a backlog of quilts owed. Now that those are finished, how to get serious? Dedicate time every day to quilting? Dedicate one day a week to UFOs? What about all these other projects nagging at me??? [Do your projects nag you? I can hear them whining from the sewing bins! Even closing the bedroom door doesn't help!!!] Time for a list!

  • New baby quilt for grandson coming in November - decide on pattern - baby blue and brown are the colors - I love blue and brown together - but that baby blue is difficult
  • Miss P's 'big girl bed' quilt - decide on pattern - could finish an UFO for it - but I'm not thrilled with how it will go in her room - mishmash of styles!
  • Library book bag for L - she gave me the fabrics - would I be more excited about this if she actually used the library???? LOL!
  • Repair L's graduation quilt from 1997 - you know how I feel about repairing!
  • New quilt for our bedroom - king sized - I'm afraid
  • Little presents for friends for Christmas (shhhhh - don't tell!!!!)
  • Pink [I hate pink] wedding quilt for DH's nephew - not thrilled with the way scrap "disappearing 9patch" is coming out - I think I used my favorite blocks on the graduation quilt I gave to N! - wedding's in January - reception in April????
  • TWO BOMs that were frightfully expensive to just languish!
  • TWO kits that were frightfully expensive to not even start!!! It wasn't even like me to buy kits - darn that favorite store in Gretna!!! - I miss them!!!!

So - I'm not feeling well - and feeling guilty about quilt projects ... I'm entertaining comments on how to get going ... Please let me know what you would do!!!

Well, hope your weekend is going better than mine!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Birthday Party was a Hoot!

Miss P and her dad, J were just getting over bad colds and as a party favor - DH brought it home with us! Miss P is also here for the week and we're having alot of fun with her. My house, of course, is destroyed - but it's small - should be able to get it back up to speed this weekend. Today is Miss P's actual 2nd birthday - tomorrow is DH's official birthday - making a marionberry pie to celebrate. Here are some pictures of the celebration - a great time was had by all!

In reverse time order ... blogger always does this to me - a favorite gift from Uncle Z - a soccer ball; J2, A and DH; Miss P feeding dad a 'bite' of her cake; and a sweet smile while we were singing 'Happy Birthday to you!'

DD requested that I make a 'replacement' blue Sesame Street blankie - the pink one was wearing out. There was no pink fabric in the store but Miss P liked the blue fabric in the store; she fell asleep under the blue fabric in the car on the way home; she smiled when she opened it at the party ... why oh why did I have to 'remove it from the crib AND the room' during naptime yesterday??? Hoping it becomes acceptable SOON! Thank goodness we brought the pink one with us too.

Oh - naptime has ended - must run - the princess awakes!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do you document your finished quilts?

A stashbuster asked today how you document your quilts - looking for different methods to present to her guild. It got me thinking - of course, blogging is a good way to journal your finished projects. Almost everyone posts pictures when they finish something. But there are other ways too. Old-fashioned ways! Of course, there is the always popular "I'll do something about that when I get around to it!"

Back in the late '90s I thought I was losing my mind (okay, partially right!) and I wanted to document the quilts I'd made and could still remember. I started quilting in 1974 and never looked back! There was a pile of quilts! The little journals they were just starting to sell didn't thrill me. So I developed my own system.

First I took photos of all of the quilts I could get my hands on. With film - not digital! We always got double prints so I thought it would be a good idea to make a quilt journal for each of my two kids. I also dug out past pictures and had reprints made if I didn't have two prints. I got 3 ring binders.

I bought a ream of heavy stock paper and set up a word document. I put one quilt per page and after I got all the information typed in I printed it twice - once with the 1 inch margin and once with a 4 1/2 inch margin. Then I added the photos either below or above the write up. When I put the books together I staggered the pages so every other page had the photo on top. It made the book "thinner" too.

I wanted the book to remind me of the quilt and things happening while I made it. What discussions I had about it ... the fun stuff. Here's what I wrote:

Name of quilt - year finished
Size W x L
A paragraph telling about it. Silly things that happened. my thoughts, who helped me, what was happening ...

EXAMPLE - I made a small square spring wall quilt for my MIL and she nailed it to the outside door of her apartment! That door faced west - the little quilt fell apart from sun damage in very little time. She gave it back and asked me to 'fix it'! I was complaining to my mom about it and she went off on a tangent complaining about renters who nail things to the door!!!! "Mom, we're upset about the quilt NOT the door!" LOL!

Those were the type of memories that I was afraid of losing!

I enjoyed making the books, my kids and friends even enjoyed reading them! Now I'm behind in keeping them up - by about 8 years!!! However, I do keep a list of finished projects each year - so I could catch up during my retirement - if I actually get around to doing it!!!

I have a Excel spreadsheet of all my projects and project ideas. Every year I update the list - adding new ones and deleting old ones I've lost interest in. There are UFOs - Unfinished Objects; PIGS - Projects in Grocery Sacks; WHIMMS - what exists only in my mind-ish! The list is legend! How do you keep quilt records??

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hooray! - Finally finished!!

Here are a few pictures to share. The three projects that I finished - relief - this weekend, my view from the 'Fairlift' at the Oregon State Fair and a sunset last week from our deck.

Hooray! - today I mail back to Nebraska the denim quilt, the I Spy quilt [with poem] and the Christmas stocking for my great niece's dog!!! The hardest part of the stocking was to find a picture of a boxer! Dogs can't read - so I always put a picture on them!!! LOL! All worthy projects - but for some reason I had a hard time getting them done. Guess I'm still finding my way around the new sewing space. I haul my machine out to the dining room table to sew. Not much room in the 'sewing room' with the computer set up in there. AND I love the view from the dining room too!

This week I need to tie the replacement Sesame Street flannel quilt for Miss P - the big birthday bash is next weekend - so none too soon to get it done! And I may have found a pattern that excites me for the baby quilt I need to make for 'baby boy' who's due at Thanksgiving! Work, work, work!

Last visit L gave me her high school graduation quilt to repair - It was made in 1996 and has been well used - but I can't really figure out what the heck happened to it! It appears to be mostly the alternate block seams - but they aren't particularly shredded - so why did they separate? I have older well-used quilts that have held together well - I hate repair work - so hope the word doesn't get out that I'll do this! LOL! There are signatures on the back of this one - so she'd really like to keep it usable. DRAT!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In a funk! Could you tell?

You probably could - I haven't written for more than a week! I hate deadlines - even the ones I've made. My to do list is long and mostly for other people. The denim quilt is done. The I spy quilt has been giving my fits! Either I can't tie a square knot any more - with the directions right in front of me - or acrylic yarn simply refuses to hold knots!!! I estimated that one nap was all you needed to untie every knot on the quilt! So rather than retie it - I used the crappy ties as basting for machine quilting. The machine quilting will probably help the quilt hold together better. Got the inner squares quilted today - tomorrow I'll quilt the border. Maybe by the end of the week everything will be ready to mail. I still have the dog Christmas stocking to make - but I did find a picture of a boxer so - hopefully, that was the hard part!

THEN next week is Miss P and R's birthday party. We bought the "big girl bed" for Miss P for her birthday - but need something to open too ... have a new Sesame Street flannel to make a small quilt because the original is wearing out too fast. Doesn't thrill! Also need a new "big girl bed" quilt.

And of course, baby boy is coming around Thanksgiving ... he'll need a quilt! Haven't even thought about that yet. And Christmas won't be too far behind!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of Summer - how is it possible?

Rainy Sunday afternoons just seem perfect for thinking, blogging and reading! So, today you get a potpourri of thoughts.

How is it possible that next weekend is Labor Day weekend? Where on earth did the summer go? I was looking at a picture of a friend's DD and DGD at the Nebraska State Fair - they were in shorts, camisole tops and sandals - and my first thought was "My, they must be cold!" I'm sitting here in jeans, socks and sweatshirt - how quickly I can forget the dog days of summer in Nebraska. It's been alittle TOO cool here - I never thought I'd miss hot flashes!!!

I just finished reading a friend's copy of "A Year by the Sea" by Joan Anderson. I really loved it - it's a quick read. It's out in paperback with reading group questions in the back. I'd be interested in what you think. Do I love it because I'm starting a year by the sea? Do I love it because she describes me so well?? Read it and tell me "What do you think?"

My second week of the Olympics didn't accomplish much. We were babysitting 2 of the nights - and all those late nights were making me cranky!?! So we didn't watch it as much. I did finish the Prairie Schooler Santa from 2006 (!) and started the Santa for 2007. I'm pretty excited - I'm caught up more than usual! I found the 2008 Santa up by L's house and he's standing by at the ready! I've been known to marathon finish the Santas into little hanging pillows on New Year's Eve - one year - I finished 7 at a time! I do have everyone of them - and boy - I'm already trying to figure out where to put 23 of them in this space!

I finally bound the denim quilt owed to my Nephew in Nebraska. He graduated from college last May. I had tied it a month ago and there it was - sitting there - sucking all the joy out of my sewing room!!! Do you have projects like that?? LOL!! Well, I joined this GREAT quilting group here. They meet every Friday - for the day! 10 - 4! In the morning you bring your own project. You also bring your own lunch. And then after lunch we quilt on frames! I'd forgotten how much I enjoy quilting on a frame. The room we are in is big enough to have THREE quilts on frames. I love this group! So last Friday I took the denim quilt. I had the binding made - so in the morning I sewed the binding on and then, turned it and sewed the binding down with a decorative stitch - and I was done in 2 1/2 hours!!!! WOW - what a relief!

My goal this week is to border, tie and bind the 'I spy' quilt for my great Nephew in Nebraska; sew a Christmas stocking for a niece's dog(I know!) and have them all ready to mail to Nebraska the day after Labor day. There's a jazz festival here this weekend - we're kind of excited about it. It's the end of summer push!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

First Week of Olympics done and large quilt bound!

It's been exciting watching the Olympics and I'm happy to report that my queen-sized bedspread is bound!!! This is the first quilt I made - 34 years ago! A baby blocks built in a pyramid! The back is a sheet!!! Ignorance is bliss - and this wasn't using the cheater's method of baby blocks - any seam on this quilt only goes straight for 4 inches!!! My MIL and her friends quilted it and she did a knife-edge binding on it. The whole quilt isn't holding up very well - but the binding really was bad! So I trimmed it and rebound it and it will look great on our new bed - if it ever comes!!! [whine, whine, whine] The bed has side rails so the sides are okay that short! We haven't had a queen size bed for at least 30 years! The quilt will be glad to get out of the closet!

Note the wonderful "bedside tables" in place - a suitcase on one side and a pile of boxes on the other!!! Martha Stewart, eat your heart out! Note it's also another foggy day on the coast - but still light enough not to use the flash!

Next week won't be as productive - we get to babysit Miss P in Portland tomorrow and probably won't be back til Tuesday evening. Next up for binding is an antique Grandmother's Flower Garden I had quilted last spring ... I'll need to research how to bind that! Rats! This is exactly why it's not bound yet - the need to research. Research and borders always slow me down!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Almost perfect morning on the beach!

Woke up late - darn those Olympics! And the wind had already come up - that's the reason it wasn't 'perfect' out there. Walked south and there were alot a rocks washed up - always fun to look for agates.

And there were hundreds of sea birds for company today - sometimes there are hardly any - other times, like today there were flocks and flocks of them hanging around

So R and I walked a mile and a half south and then he turned around to get back to the market - I meandered alittle further and looked for rocks all the way home. Ended up with 2 agates, no beach glass and 72 rocks for 'my outdoor rocks' collection!

What was especially cool today though, was the birds flying along side of me. I'd be walking along and here they would come - winging by. So close - and no - I didn't get any bird doo dropped on me! :> the other cool thing was - I had absolutely nothing pressing to do. I could stay out there as long as I wanted! So I enjoyed it for over two hours!!! For what seems like the first time in my life I don't have a schedule dictating my actions. Even when on vacation I was always aware of how long I had until it was back to 'regular life'. Isn't retirement wonderful???

This isn't my photo - but it had the feeling of today - definitely a day to remember on the beach!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back from babysitting gig!

We drove into Newport last night and didn't know the place! It was sunny and warm! I couldn't believe it either! LOL! To say we've had a few cool, foggy days would be an understatement! But it was gorgeous last night. We walked the beach at 7:30 pm - without jackets! Today was supposed to be partly sunny - since when does that mean sunshine reflecting off the fog??

Last week was my birthday and we got to spend time with both our kids - who could ask for more? Cards and presents and emails from friends - oh, my!! Hence, starts the 5 weeks of bad jokes about being the older woman - yep, 5 weeks until DH turns the same age and things settle down for another 47 weeks!

Here is my latest finished UFO - a scrap green disappearing 9patch. I used 5" squares and the finished block size is 12". I love this pattern - you make a 9 patch - then you slice it down the middle "north and south" and "east and west". AND you make the number of blocks you need in the finished quilt - easy to figure out.

The quilt is a delayed graduation gift for J2 who got her masters in education in June. Just as she had a summer course to take - I had to take the blocks back and finish the quilt - but it's done now - woohoo!! A and J2 are holding it. They announced their engagement this week - what great news! A wants to finish school before the wedding so ---- wedding in a year or two.

The other picture is Miss P the dynamo listening to A read a story. She loves books - but you have to be quick!! Things to do - places to run!

Hoping to have another UFO finish this week - the last of the denim quilts needs to be bound. What are you sewing on during olympics? I love to watch the olympics, winter and summer - but like to have binding and handwork to do so I don't feel like such a couch potato!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Favorite tips or tools - tell me yours

TOOL: I just got this tool before I moved. [Thanks secret pal!] Fons & Porter have one - which means those 40% coupons at JoAnn's can come in handy. I also have one from "Bohn" It's the best marker I've ever used! Yea, yea - I know you've heard that before and ran out and bought ... a piece of crap!!! [We all have!] But seriously! I live on the coast now - humidity is one of the biggest enemies of marking on quilts. This stays on - since I've marked it - a few days at this point - which is at least long enough for me to quilt it! And it's a mechanical pencil - no awkward grips to use it - and it's a THIN line! Try it - you'll like it!

TIP: I was just showing a new friend here the joys of fusible web. AND if you can plan enough ahead ... draw the shape, iron in on the fabric, cut it out and let it sit overnight! The paper comes off like a dream the next day! Okay - so you can't possibly wait that long [GRIN] - take the fused fabric and 'tear' it gently down from a edge. That movement usually tears the paper and doesn't really distort the fabric too much. Then you have an edge to work with.

If you are tearing - see above - make the tear at 7:00 on the applique piece! No - I don't mean 7 pm - I mean at the 7:00 position when you're looking at it. Your eyes normally don't focus on that point. Also a good tip for when you've got a clunker of a block - but have to use it!

Okay, quilters! What great tips and tools do you recommend?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Anyone else get locked out of blog-dom?

I got locked out of my blog - they were checking for spam blogs - I had to email back saying I was legit! Well, that's never happened before! Just when I had lots to say - and of course, I've forgotten it all now!

The Newport Quilt Show is on this weekend. It's very nice - they've organized it really well with the same size and technique quilts hanging together - you can vote for your choice in many categories. Six of us went over Friday morning and a few really enjoyed the vendors around the edges! I stayed legal, Stashbusters! I go back to work again on Sunday and take photos.

We walked the beach this morning and saw an otter in the water. That's a first here. R says I never see anything because I'm too busy looking for agates - but I spotted the otter first! And still managed to find 5 agates on my walk!

We're headed to Lincoln City today to see the sand castle building contest. Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Miss P on her way home - [sigh]

We had a GREAT time with L and Miss P here for two fun packed days. Miss P loved going to the beach with her grandpop. She loved running, drawing with a stick and filling her sand bucket with rocks! And splashing in the buckets of water Grandpop brought up to her. Wore both of us out! Here's a picture of R and Miss P running - don't you just love those little tiny footprints! And mommy and Miss P sitting in front of the bookcases. The blue glass holds cheerios [chee chees!] Since I no longer have a cedar closet for my quilts ... I had to fold quilts and wall quilts and find a place for them! The bookcases kind of work out. I put wall quilts stacked and folded together so I don't have to unfold everything to find a particular one. I have an idea where it will be - I hope!

We went to the Newport Aquarium yesterday and had a blast. Taught her what fish say - making that 'o' with your mouth and the sound that goes with it. It apparently is what the 'kissing fish' say because if you're holding her you get a sloppy kiss at the end! Yea! Grand kids are so much fun!
Next weekend is the Newport Guild quilt show. My first time so it should be fun. I have a few things for the guild "consignment" shop. I hear FQs are running $1 each - I'll need to avoid that!
So what are you reading lately? I read a few good books since we got here. Two that come to mind immediately are: Run by Ann Patchette and Third Degree by Grey Iles. Yes, my tastes are varied! What do you recommend?
The inflatable mattress worked well this week. We gave our bedroom to L and Miss P. R slept on the couch - which gives him the tv and I slept on the inflatable mattress in the sewing room. It fit! That's very good and it was popular. L slept on it yesterday afternoon while Miss P was in the bedroom napping. R slept on it in the evening while we were gabbing in front of DVDs and apparently Miss P was in there sometime too. When I went to bed last night it was "all sand and chee chees"!!! Quickly stripped it and shook the sheet outside, remade it and all was well! LOL!
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rolling along!

Two beautiful sunny days in a row! Three this week! It's amazing! R redid the windows this am - I must have waited too long yesterday, the sun dried them too fast - because they were a mess! In honor of clean windows - great weather and a blue ocean! Woohoo!

I've never had a chair on wheels at home! Wow! It really comes in handy! Today I decided that I was going to quit avoiding it - and tie the last denim quilt for a great nephew that graduated from college in May. And I mean the LAST denim quilt - even though I love them. They are just too hard on my hands nowadays. Anyway - I used my new chair to scoot around it and man - slick as a whistle!

Staples is the only 'big box' store in our town of Newport - and they are having a special this week. An office chair - black leather, adjustable, arms, wheels, assembled ... $47! Really! Although it does involve a $25 rebate that comes later - check it out at your Staples. R was even impressed - he liked how long it spun around! My table for my sewing machine is alittle too high - so I bought the chair to raise myself up to the right level. Hoping it will encourage me to sew more! And it did! Kind of - I'm tying that quilt!

I'm officially an Oregonian today! Yep, got my driver's license test done. Truly, the hardest part was finding the marriage certificate! You practically have to bring your mother to prove ID! And I don't know if that would be good enough! I needed my official birth certificate, my official social security card, my official marriage license and the valid Nebraska license AND a utility bill proving my address here. AND you have to bring them EACH time! hope I can find them all again in 8 years!

L and Miss P come down tomorrow for 2 days. It's so exciting! They haven't been here since they took pictures of the condo for us before we moved! L will be surprised at how we've fit everything in. They arrive around lunch and then Miss P takes a long nap in the afternoon - but then - playtime! R is looking forward to taking her down to the beach. Friday morning we'll probably go to the aquarium. I made slush, pasta salad and we're having Pepsi chicken & sweet potatoes tomorrow night! Oh, oh - better '2 year old proof!' We recorded Sesame Street this morning for her! Later!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And the winners are ...

The trouble with retired people is that they never know what date it is! Then I - errrr - they go babysit and really lose track of time. So, just to create more suspense ... [okay, I really thought the 18th was Saturday] we had the drawing. My pet - DH - did the drawing and he was very suspicious - thought it was a "honey, do" list! [Now that's an idea!!!]

And the winners are:

Glenda in Nebraska!



and Kay in NJ

Congratulations gals! Your FQs will be mailed as soon as you email me with your snail mail.

Hmmm, maybe next year I'll offer two FQs each!!

Thanks for participating - it's always fun to get comments. Happy weekend, everyone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back from babysitting!

First things first - here are some pictures from Sisters - In reverse order (?) Here is my daughter's DH, DD, Miss P, Me and DH! Sunday at Sahalie Falls near Sisters. MB from Lincoln and me at lunch on Saturday and my favorite street scene at Sisters. This is The Stitching Post bldg and the fire dept gets out the ladders to put up the quilts! It was a fun, fun time - again!

My daughter is just the cutest thing! She has Miss P - who will be 2 in September, but seems to be much older than that in actions! She's a pistol - on the run, talking a mile a minute to some imaginary creature who must be able to understand her!!!! Gibberish is a good descriptive word! And Miss P can put a whole sentence in her inflection. "Momma?" Means "is that my mother whom I hear coming in the door?" Of course, I do feel like second class when the first word out of Miss P's mouth when she sees me is "Bompop?" "What do you mean it's only you??? Where oh where is Grandpa?"

Anyway - back to my daughter. She's also PG - due around November. She told me a month ago that she did not want to know the sex of this baby - they knew with Miss P and they wanted to do it the other way this time. I agreed - but thinking - who is this child??? DD is a planner and definitely wants to know EVERYTHING! Well, she lasted almost a week! She had the ultrasound a week ago Thursday. "Nope - we do NOT want to know." Went to the doctors on Monday and the nurse almost told them ... it wasn't noted on the chart that they didn't want to know... "NO, we don't want to know." But L called the nurse yesterday ... "okay, I can't stand it - I want to know!"
And it's going to be - are you sure you want to know???? Oh - well, then, it's going to be a b*o*y!! Let the name discussions begin!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Blog-aversary" coming up!

Time sure does fly! A year ago on July 17 - I started this blog while on vacation in Oregon. It was just after the Sisters quilt show and I met a few Stashbusters at the Sisters library. Cher didn't let me get away with saying "when I have some time I'll set up a blog"! Nope! She said, "just do it - it's like emailing all your buddies with just one email!" Thanks, Cher! I had no idea how easy it was and how easy it continues to be!

I've been without "my favorites list" since the move. They got transfered to the computer that isn't set up yet. :< and I miss surfing thru the quilt blogs I love. Some were so familiar that I knew their address - others I'll be catching up on when I'm set up again. Note to self: set up the computer!

In honor of my blog-aversary I'll send FQs to names I draw from anyone who leaves a comment this week. I've got no cute pets to pull the names - and I'm not exactly sure how many prizes will be offered ... I'm still going thru quilt stuff and will cull some FQs out as I organize. But what the heck! It will be quilt related and free - so leave a comment and enter! My anniversary is July 17 - so all comments thru that day will be in the drawing and July 18 I'll draw names. Sounds like a plan!

Sisters was wonderful again this year. The weather was a little warm but basically just right. I was walking across a street and thought - DH is right, all quilters can look alike ... I swear that's someone from Lincoln. And she looked up and said, "Doni!!" MB from Lincoln was here for the Sisters show with other friends from Nebraska. What a hoot to see a familiar face. We exchanged cell phone numbers and met up for lunch later. After lunch, the Stashbusters die-hards (Cher, Michele and me) met at the library and wandered the show the rest of the afternoon together. What fun! I'll try to post some pictures yet today.

The boys had fun golfing and L and Miss P enjoyed the art fair in Bend ... so a good time was had by all. I felt so relaxed there this year - must be because I haven't just arrived for a few weeks in paradise - I live here now! Although 'paradise' can still surprise you! We came down the mountains where it was clear skies and 98 to the coast where it was getting foggy and 61!!! Hmmm, where did I stash that sweatshirt?? Chowder for dinner, anyone??

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The grand tour of the sewing space!

Okay - I took some pictures - although the sewing room isn't totally done yet - [insert dining room whining here]

#1 is looking into the sewing room from the doorway. The table for computer and sewing machine will be to the right of the tv - about where those baskets are sitting on the floor. IF our dining room table EVER arrives! [insert more whining here!]
#2 is the 3 bookcases [upright] in the sewing room. In there are the kits, UFOs, books, knickknacks and tools. It was kind of organized - then I had to stuff more into the cubbies. That's DH's hairy leg kicking in from the doorway - who knows why! - no extra charge!!!
#4 is the stash storage - which is actually out in the dining room area. The bins are clear and this shows what you can see without the handy dandy inserts we designed, cut and installed all by ourselves!We need one more blue mat from the frame shop to cut up and insert them into these 4 bins.
#5 is 3 of the Expedit bookcases sitting horizontally from Ikea with plastic bins covered. It also shows you our elegant dining area with the computer table and 2 folding chairs!
Tada - that's the tour! I'm almost afraid to get out anything to sew - it's gonna make a mess sure as the world! [Don't worry - I'll get over it!]
Thursday we leave for Portland to babysit Miss P in the evening. Friday, all of us go to Sisters for the big show. The boys golf and us girls shop. At least until Miss P's nap. Saturday I go to the Quilt show when the guys head for the golf course AGAIN. Evenings we walk about in Bend during the art/music festival. Oh, and we eat delicious food again and again!!! Yummm!
I'll check in when we get back! Have a great week!

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's all in! It's a miracle!

That's right - all the sewing room stuff is put away! Who knew there was a floor in the sewing room! And, for goodness sakes - DON'T open the closet door!!! LOL! All it took was a closet and 6 Ikea bookcases - 48 cubbies in all. My DH seems to think that's all that should be needed! My whole stash is in there too! The projects, the books, the patterns, the kits, the knick knacks, and everything! It's in tight - and I kept putting stuff in the baskets so it's not really sorted correctly - but it's in! Pictures will follow - when I figure out where I put the camera!

Whoo hoo! It's done! Now, maybe I'll get some sewing done!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

I know you've seen "Starry starry nights" - the quilt on the left - but it's such a good quilt for the 4th of July - I just had to repeat it! It's an UFO that I finished this spring.
Good Morning, here's a secret! When we go to bed and turn out the lights at night we raise the bedroom shade on the window that faces the ocean. That way when we wake up in the middle of the night there's something to look at! There's usually boat lights out there and shimmer off the waves. It can soothe you back to sleep. This morning I happened to be awake at dawn and there must have been a break in the clouds right when I was looking! Because the foam on the waves was relecting the light - so bright that they looked like neon! I even poked R awake so he could see! [He looked, smiled and went back to snoring immediately!]

I'm about to go for a walk on the beach. We have 'below sea level' low tides this week and it's exciting to walk down to the jetty and see the tide pools. In general, this is the cleanest beach we've ever seen! Unlike Brookings which is ALL tidepools, shells and rocks all the time. This is a great beach to walk - but it's usually clear of any obstacle! So to see starfish and baby crabs and other stuff it's the 1 1/2 mile walk down to the jetty. 3 mile round trip and I do it most days! Not a bad fitness plan for a retired person! LOL! Oh, and I gather rocks when I can find them - I get so excited when I see them - and I know I'm gathering rocks that I would ignore down in Brookings! The rocks are then added to the rocks around the patio. There's about 5' x 6' area that isn't rocked. My mission is to fill that this year - one pocket full at a time!!!

We're still without the furniture we ordered! [Are you tired of me whining?? Sorry but living in limbo is NOT my thing!] But the dining room set is apparently shipping right now. Once we get that [if ever!] I can move my computer/sewing table into 'the mess I like to call the sewing room'! Hopefully, I'll get my sewing machine and computer set up then and feel more like doing what I like to do! I've done very little quilting or photographs or blogging since we've arrived. I'm sure you've noticed the blogging lags! It could all change - or I could continue with my new hobby of rearranging all my sewing stuff - trying to fit one more thing into limited space!
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life at the Beach!

You know - it just dawned on me that we live here now! Isn't that amazing! We've been here a month and it took me that long to figure it out!!! But, since we came to Oregon for a month every summer, and we'd visit the kids, spend time in a condo ... sound familiar?? Yep - just what we've been doing so far! LOL! I guess retirement is supposed to feel like a vacation! Good job!

We're still going to the grocery store more than 3 times a week. It's so funny not to have those basics around ... I was going to make corn bread this week to go with corn chowder I made - hmmm, "R? Didn't we buy eggs yet???" "We sure did - up at L's house!!" Oh, add them to the list!

I went back up to Portland Thursday to babysit Miss P thursday night. Yes, she's cute, but the real reason was a repeat visit to Ikea on Friday. Anyway - she was down for her nap when I got there - L said they'd been talking about Nana coming all day - so they left and I went up at the appointed hour to wake the kid. The first word out of her mouth was "Bom pop???" When I said, no he didn't come with me - I got a dirty look! But we did fine. She's turned into a kid - riding on a toy outside and talking up a storm!

Friday, L and I got more bookcases for the sewing room stuff - so THIS week - I'm going to get set up. We SHOULD even get our dining room furniture this week - so I'll have the table to set up my computer and sewing machine on. It's amazing to me the difference having a machine set up vs setting up the machine when you need it. I needed a larger sleeve on my lighthouse quilt - and without the cutting board, iron and sewing machine set up - I actually ripped off the old sleeve, opened it up and sewed in back on BY HAND - cause that felt faster! I did take it to "Stitching Circle" to do the handwork and they REALLY liked it! So it's a "Go" for the Newport Quilt Guild Show in August.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Guess what! I found the missing iron!! Woohoo!

We babysat Miss P Friday thru Sun. She's SO-O cute right now. She sounds like a little Amish woman - she says "thank yee"!! But Sunday I drug us away from her and we went to IKEA. R complained all the way there - how he hated them - and then we got there and bought 2 'Expedit' bookcases for the sewing room! They are like cubes - and we thought they would do well with the stash! They do - but we need about 4 more!!! - for a start!!! Lord - forgive me!

Brought home the bookcases and a few boxes from L's last night -- "another load of crap" in R's words! Our garage is about 30 feet and 10 stair steps away from our front door. So to make it easier to carry everything in, we propped our front door open - never noticing there were two birds sitting on top of the outside light RIGHT BY THE DOOR! Thank goodness they just sat there and pooped - they didn't fly into the condo. Our condo was empty for a few months before we came - I assumed the bird poop was from that time - didn't know the stupid little things were still living there! This morning I removed bird poop (ick) and we fashioned a bird repellent doo-hickie from a milk jug. I'll let you know if it works.

We put together the 2 bookcases this morning and this afternoon I unloaded ALOT of sewing room boxes into them. It felt good to see "my favorite things" again. And just as I was afraid of - the fabric in the boxes felt a little damp. It's so humid here - I'll have to double check everything to be sure there's no pins in anything to rust.

In the 200th box (LOL!) I found a magazine holder that I had tucked the iron and the spray bottle in. When we were searching the boxes - we didn't look inside magazine boxes! Yeah! Now all I have to do is find the receipt for the cheap Walmart iron! Wish me luck!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Oops - that week went fast!

Life by Yaquina Head lighthouse - This is one of the lighthouses we can see from our beach. Yaquina Head has 2 short light bursts and a long pause. I love seeing it send me it's signal at dusk. I am still unpacking and moving things around. We still don't have the furniture we ordered ... maybe next week. We've had really cool weather on the coast last week. Looks like the same this next week. Should be good weather for setting up a sewing room! I finally have the rest of the house pretty squared away. The spare bedroom here is so cut up - 5 walls with odd angles involved. The one long straight wall has the closet and a door to a bathroom on it. And the one piece of furniture I wanted to keep - it's an entertainment center - is really too big for the room. Don't know how I'll even be able to watch the tv in it! Moving - it's an adventure!

I joined the Newport Quilt Guild last week. Went to the June meeting and it seems to be a good group. They have an annual quilt show every August ... I just left the Lincoln Guild right after their Memorial Day weekend show. So-o, it already seems familiar! Looking forward to picking my favorite quilts to enter in the show.
Last weekend we went down to Ashland for J2's graduation. She received her Masters in Education and her mom got her Bachelor's! It was a gorgeous day, upper 80s and it was quite a celebration. When we came back to the coast it was only 55 and we were glad we had soup in the fridge to warm up for dinner!
Next weekend we'll be up in Portland to babysit Miss P during the neighborhood garage sales. I'll let you know how the sewing room goes! Could someone send me a 6 foot shoe horn, please!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Unpacking in Paradise!

I've been back at the coast for 24 hours now - and there are still too many boxes to unpack! I hate them sitting around. Once in an earlier move, DH actually hid some boxes from me so I would relax!! Sewing room is still boxed in the garage ... of course, I'm anxious to get that set up.

The Newport Quilt guild meets year round and the June meeting is next thursday! So I'm excited that I'll be able to jump right in. I stopped in at the quilt store and got some local quilters to contact too. Looks like they have sewing days at least every month - kind of like Lincoln's workshop maybe? I'll let you know. Last August they had their quilt show - I don't know if they have it every year or every other year. There was an article in the paper's web archive - 900 visitors and 199 quilts. Not too shabby!

The condo is at the south entrance of the harbor - so we get to see at lots of boat traffic going in. The warning horn is alittle annoying - but I'm sure we won't even hear that after a week or so.

After days of rain, rain, rain - we had sunny skies today - walked the beach twice and drove into town for lunch. Walked around, found the library - it's pretty good! and then went to the grocery store AGAIN. It's impossible to restock all those things you don't think about ... like baggies, 3way lightbulbs and olive oil are already on the list for ?tomorrow?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We're HERE!

Well - almost. We're in Portland today and tomorrow - got our half of the truck emptied yesterday and now going to unload L's half. We turn in the truck tomorrow up here in Portland.

We'll get cable and internet connection Friday back in Newport - then we'll feel like we're in business. So far it feels more like a vacation that I really packed way too much for!!!

The ordered furniture is delayed! :< We found that out before we left so kept 3 folding chairs for diningroom furniture! The blow up bed isn't too bad - but the ceilings are so high - 10 - 12 feet! I have to convince R to turn up the heat alittle more than we are used to. I think it's all up at the ceiling level and the temp we kept it in Nebraska is freezing us out in Newport.

The trip went really smooth. Thanks for all your prayers and positive thoughts - I could feel them! Just a little advice for anyone following a rental truck across the nation - tie a piece of fabric around the handle on the back! There's not many Penske trucks in the midwest - but out here ... once I had THREE of them in front of me and they ALL look the same from the back!

An accident happened right in front of us the second day. Guy pulling a trailer lost it and we were numbers 3&4 in the pack. No one else hit him - not even the semi that was passing me at the time! Just the one car/trailer involved - he jack knifed and wheels were flying thru the air! One tire ended up at least 1/4 mile down the road! The middle guard rail seemed to help him not flip. As we edged by - he was dazed but conscious, the first two cars were stopping and the I80 rescue guy was in the east bound lane, he saw it happen and had already stopped. So that got our adrendeline going!

Third day of driving was long - 11 hours to Portland, but beautiful scenery, etc -so it seemed to go smoothly. Newport is just a little longer than 2 hours from L's - even with the truck. We'll be glad to get that brute emptied and out of our hair! R is an awesome driver - but he's tired of manhandling it too. I was the truck groupie! Always right in the middle of the semis. R said he thought of it as more of a stalker! Really!!! What did he expect - my sewing room was in there!!! LOL!

The condo is filled with boxes. The kitchen's not as big as it looked - and the living room is a little bigger than we thought. That's good - still working with the closets, etc! the sewing room boxes are out in the garage - so I'll be working hard to get them inside! There's a method to R's madness!

R and Miss P just came back from a walk - she's so cute and loves her "bom-pop"! I'll write more after we get connected. We'll be in Newport after friday for a week - then down to Ashland for J2's graduation the middle of June. Ain't no way I'll get her quilt done - hope I can even find it by then!!!

Woo hoo! The unpacking's going to feel like a breeze after all the packing and driving! Especially with motivation to get the sewing room set up! Later!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WOOHOO - it all fit on the truck

Now my house is empty! A card table - a blow up mattress ... we're going to a sports bar for dinner just to hear a tv! Tomorrow's closing, cleaning and local errands.

It's all in the truck ... Okay - most of it! We've got a few things here and there that will have to fit in the two cars ... but it really looks pretty good!

Send prayers/positive thoughts for us this weekend. We leave early Friday morning and should arrive in Newport Monday morning.

It's such a relief to get it into the truck. The sewing room made it into the truck!!! What a relief!! woohoo!

Monday, May 26, 2008

T minus 4 days and counting

Help! I'm stuck in a box warehouse and it's driving me crazy! Okay, not really - it's just that my house is filled with boxes and piles here and there for City Mission, my sister, my friend .... I'm sure you get the picture. Two days until the company comes to pack the truck, 4 days until we hit the road and you can't even imagine the MESS!

My friend, C came up from Arkansas to help pack. The first few days didn't work because of family obligations she had in town, but Saturday night we were a smooth packing duo in the kitchen and livingroom! Two friends, J and G, came over today to help and we attacked the sewing room - I couldn't have done it without them. Thanks, gals. Now all I need is some of those Japanese subway "pushers" to get it all in the truck!

I did get some sewing done this weekend too! It had been a week and a half (and 12 hours!) and it's surprising how your life doesn't feel like your own when you can't sew. I finished 2 of 4 graduation quilts owed. Glory Haleluia! The others will have to be mailed from Oregon. The sweat shop is officially closed.

See you on the west coast!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Greetings from the Land of Boxes

I retired last Monday - is it too late to go back to work?? Just as I suspected - I miss sitting at my desk! Gremlins are coming in during the middle of the night and expanding my sewing room. Yes, the same sewing room that I whittled down by a good third for the garage sale ... I had one little bookcase - it took me FIVE boxes to pack it!!! Okay - I did put other stuff in around the edges! But Seriously - FIVE boxes??? I just have to approach it as a 3D puzzle. Fill each box as fully as possible. Unfortunately, that really looks like doni sitting in chaos. eyeballing stuff and doing nothing!!

T minus 12 days to moving day! The buyer wants the final walk through tomorrow?? Something about her going out of town. So we have to rein in all this chaos called packing - oh boy!

Next weekend is the Lincoln Guild quilt show. My aim is to be "all but done" with this packing so I can go and enjoy the show with friends. I'll let you know!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Quilters Production

I'm trying to get back to my twice a week posting. :> It may be a whole lot easier after tomorrow - my last day at work!

My friend J and I went to "Quilters" the musical production Friday night. We had a wonderful time. We went out to dinner first at Crabby Billy's and got their seafood chowder and split the bourbon glazed salmon. Hmmm, delicious! Walked around the corner, got a latte and hot chocolate to go and went to the play. No rush, no fuss - perfect timing all the way around! It was great just chatting and enjoying it together. Thanks for a great time, J!

Quilters was wonderful. You laugh, you tear up. Very moving. Convinces me I was born in the correct century - I wouldn't have made it back then - life was hard for women. I had seen it performed at the University when we first moved back to Lincoln - so probably in the late 80s. I loved it then too. Of course, one of my favorites is the monologue about Sunbonnet Sue quilts ... I feel the same way about them!!

The Loft is a small theatre in the round - so there really aren't any bad seats. I know one of the actresses in the production - it's always so much fun seeing her on stage - she's in her element there. What talented women are in it. Wonderful voices, great acting. It was hard to believe there isn't a quilter in the cast! They said they looked up quilting on the Internet! Can you imagine the amount of information they got! But they even mimicked the motions of quilting or piecing in the correct manner.

This week is the major packing push - 19 days until we move to Oregon!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Old Fashioned Thunder Storm

We just had an old fashioned thunderstorm! The wind shifted and even though I was having trouble with allergies - EVERYTHING is in bloom - our windows were open. So I padded around closing them. We had left one livingroom window open - protected by a 4 ft porch - but I had a feeling and YEP - damp carpet! So, got my second wind and here I am.

Less than a week left at work ... this has been my favorite of all jobs and I've worked many - since I was 16!. It's hard to leave a job you love and friends at work. We even have a small but determined quilt group that meets on Thursdays at lunch. Hope they keep going without me.

Scrap Happens met last night and it had been awhile since all 9 members were together. Four went to Paducah this year and the rest of us got to live vicariously thru their show and tell. If we all love the same fabrics - is that a bad thing???

This weekend a friend and I are going to "Quilters - the muscial" on opening night. I saw a production of it many years ago at the Temple Theatre at UNL. And I'm looking forward to seeing it again with a friend. We're going to Crabby Billy's for seafood chowder and maybe we'll split a sandwich with it - should be a fun night. For some odd reason our DHs weren't upset about missing this!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

UFO Finished!!!

It's a miracle! In the midst of all the "moving" activity - I found the backing fabric for "Spring Strippie" and was able to make the sleeves and finish this UFO. AND just in the nick of time too. I was the second lady in waiting for coronation of Stashbusters' "Queen of the UFOs". I used OLD Mountain Mist batting and it was everywhere! I was finding tufts of it on my clothes, the quilt and anywhere I looked. I was worried about how it was going to look finished - but it has a great drape and is hanging straight! So I entered it in our Lincoln Quilt Guild's show too. [Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend at Wesleyan University - if you're in the area.] I've pictured the front and the back for you.
Evening Stars Workshop had a block exchange of the churn dash blocks. Then I was in a "strip of the month" club led by a good friend of mine. I'm sure I drove her nuts! But she never said a word!. [Thanks, M!] The first month's assignment was "half-square triangles" - that's churn dash! The next was "square in the block" - ha! churn dash!!! Well, you get the picture - if churn dash fit the description - there it was! [I had alot of the blocks!] I even had a row of churn dashes left over - [they ended up on the back!] I thought the extra row made the quilt too long for the width and didn't want to deal with redesigning it. That's probably why it had a l-o-o-n-g incubation period as UFO.
"Moving activities" aren't all productive - you can just lay about and avoid the whole mess for awhile! A friend leaving town loaned me her library books that she knew I'd love. Yep, sure did, JA Jance has another series out. "Edge of Evil" is the first of 3 - (so far). The character is a news anchor dismissed for being "too old" and the story rushes on from there. I recommend them to any mystery fans out there or anyone avoiding big jobs!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mom's 90th was celebrated in style!

That’s a picture of mom with 2 of her 3 bouquets for her birthday! My sister and nieces sent her 90 flowers for 90 birthdays. Three bouquets of 30 flowers each – it was great. Mom lives in Independent Living at the Legacy Terrace. Mom was at the beauty parlor when the flowers were delivered so they carried them into there. No one could see who was carrying the flowers! Everyone sang Happy Birthday and it was such a hit!

The next week, another Great Granddaughter brought a giant bunch of balloons. Seriously, they were at least 5 feet tall. Mom said she startled every time she walked into the room – it looked like a person standing there!!! Another friend at the Legacy had a birthday 3 days later – we seriously considered ‘ring and run’ leaving the balloons! Of course, neither of us can run very fast … so we’d probably get caught! LOL!
Well, things are getting back to more like normal! Got these checked off my list!
  1. Mom’s 90th birthday party
  2. Annual meeting run by the office
  3. House inspection before closing

This weekend hoping to have time to go thru boxes in the basement AND quilt a little! I know – I’m a dreamer!
In Stashbusters I’m only 3 away from being the Queen of UFOs – that group is seriously too fast. I had a finish in February – there’s 100 on the list and I’m already at the top???? I’ve decided I’m going to be a benevolent ruler – lots of chocolate will be the rule!
I have a wall quilt UFO, got it bound but it needs a sleeve and a label – I haven’t been able to locate the backing fabric – but I WILL find it this weekend. That's a royal edit!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Take it Further Challenge: Change

This month the challenge is so about me!! It’s a hoot to have “Change” be the topic the month we’re making all the plans to retire and move from the prairie of Nebraska to the coast of Oregon. So far this month, we’ve had a gigantic garage sale and our house sold quickly. Looking ahead is just the endless sorting and packing … and packing and sorting … oh, and praying it all fits on the truck! Then driving for 3 days, sorting and unpacking… At 55 this doesn’t thrill like it used to!

My sewing room is kind-of packed so I’m working in a different medium this month – paper collage. I remember doing this when I was in school oh so many years ago and then again when my kids were in school. The new copiers are great tools for this. I laid my pieces down and scanned it and Voila! A jpg! Okay – laid it down several times, fiddled and cropped and then Voila!

I chose a picture of the prairie and the picture of the coast taken from my condo living room window. How convenient that a bridge to the beach was able to reach into the prairie and lead me into my new life, making the transition easy for me!

The transition isn’t seamless – the edges don’t line up. But there is sky in both – the vegetation changes but is still wheat and grasses. The bridge goes both ways – so I’m able to cross back and forth in my mind.

It’s hard leaving “home” even though we’ve been dreaming of this for years. Good friends, family, my favorite job, quilting groups, water aerobics friends, even my personal rut(!) are all hard to leave. Heading off into the unknown isn’t what it used to be. We have cheap or free minutes of long distance; we have email and blogs with pictures; we have frequent flyer miles to spend on trips and visits … it’s not like covered wagons following the Oregon Trail … but it can feel like it.

But I can also admit – just between you and me [giggle] it’s also exciting . I have a granddaughter to get to know and babysit and teach all those grandmother things to!! The importance of watching clouds, making cookies, playing with fabric and giggling!

I’ll be retired and I’ve got enough quilting projects in mind to last me until my 90s and beyond. We’ve visited/driven through Newport for the last 9 years so – a slightly familiar area to explore further – an indoor pool in the complex for water workouts for my knees, 8 miles of beach to walk any time, any tide! There’s a great quilt shop in town with a guild ready for me to join and I hope a small group of scrappy quilters – ‘scrappy’ in more ways than one. I wonder if I need to take references from my quilt group here! LOL!

Change – here it comes, ready or not!!!