Monday, February 25, 2008


Willard is a rather dim old dog whose idea of heaven is to be successful stealing used kleenex. Yet somehow today he seems to have the right idea.

Spring is indeed on its do I know? Because I am allergic to Spring and am feeling the effects. It doesn't help that Jeff and I stayed up way too late watching Top Gear clips on YouTube--good grief I'm tired!

Thankfully I have discovered a new favorite snack that should help get me through the morning. Granted, cardboard slices would probably taste pretty decent if covered in sugar, butter, honey and salt, but these little sunflower nuts are delicious! And mail-orderable!

I also have a pair of awesome roomates to keep me company...wish I'd had the camera aimed when Presley was washing Melvin (I prefer to view it as "washing", tho "tasting" may have been more accurate, who knows).

Finally, I've got lots of wonderful new fabric! Anne has already shown bits of her fabric on her blog, and now I can show bits of her fabric on mine. It's absolutely adorable. Anne is a wonderful and generous designer who has also tagged me, which I'll have to handle on a day that isn't Monday.
Did you notice the bits of fabric under my snack? That's from the new April Cornell line.
I'll also be collecting an additional bit of red from Pam who picked it up from
the Silver Star winner herself!

Gosh, I'm feeling more energized already. Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Had a nice little treat yesterday--Pam and I went out to Sandy's for a visit and to do a bit of antiquing.

Naturally, Sandy lives in a darling house and you should see her studio...I know she's posted some pics but I tell you, you could spend hours in there. Seriously. She's got so much lovely stuff! And she'll have a new quilt pattern soon that everyone is going to want to make.

We went to a couple of local shops...hadn't been there since probably last summer, and I mentioned that there was an item I'd really wanted then but didn't buy. Sandy suggested that it might still be there. Hmmm...since I really didn't remember what it actually WAS, I found that doubtful, but within moments, I spotted it. Pam was skeptical, but Sandy felt I should buy it. I've decided Sandy is a really cool person to shop with. Don't know what I'll do with it (and yes, Pam, most of the staining came off) but it's so darn pretty.

I got to wear my sweet bracelet I ordered from really need to go over and see her etsy site--her things are wonderful! I want to show you the amazing little box my bracelet came in--it's on my ribbon shelf in the studio where I can enjoy it while sewing.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Looking for a hobby

Don't get me wrong--I LOVE quilting. Really, it's great. But it's no longer a hobby, it's more of a job. So lately I've been on a quest to find some new things to do--things that are just for fun. Where someone else has written the instructions.

Crocheting is fun; I'm enjoying learning that, and it's been great checking out yarn shops. I had no idea there were so many cool yarns! It seems that most shops, at least around here, tend to focus on knitting. So that seemed like a good thing to try as well. I picked up a kit to make a garter stitch scarf--it had little balls of lots of different fancy yarns. While it was easy to knit, I was having tension issues; I think due to the difference in weight of the various yarns and that caused other tension issues. It's at its best in a pile as shown.

But the knitting part was fun! I've seen so many people blogging about knitting socks. Seems like an impossible task, but there they all are creating beautiful and practical socks. So why not give it a try, right?
So I picked up this book and some really cheap yarn to start with. I have to say--it's a good book. I now have a sock. One sock. And it really kind of does look like a sock. Wanna see it? Promise not to laugh? Oh, go ahead. Laugh. My sock and I deserve it.

I was following the instructions for the super large size sock based on my super large size feet. This was not a good idea because only the foot part needed to be longer. Oh, well, no big deal, it's practice. Double pointed needles are NOT fun, but once Pam
showed me how to hold them, that became easier. Making the heel was so cool! I was spurred on to continue as I saw my sock becoming quite sock-like. By the time I got to the foot part I was finally used to those 4 needles and got into a zen-like state of knitting. Completely forgetting about stopping when the sock reached a certain length.
Oh well again. So here's my sock. I don't have a camera lens that can quite take it all in...and it certainly won't fit even me. Jeff thinks his friend "Big Ryan" could possibly wear it, but I'm not making a second one.
But oddly enough I had a great time doing it so may try to make a real pair. With sock yarn. Anyone out there have any advice?? I'd really appreciate it.

Maybe I need a more active hobby. Our family plus some assorted additional teens went to this fancy go-kart place yesterday. For Family Day. Anyone who has been in my car when I'm driving would naturally assume this would be right up my alley. That assumption couldn't be more wrong. There were 8 of us and I came in 7th. The only reason I beat my husband was because he became so dizzy he had to stop.

I was pleased that Jeff beat everyone else by a considerable amount--especially since he's the only person of the group who does not have a driver's license.
He also does not have a quilt. And how horrible is that?

So in a hobby-ish fashion, I've begun making a version of At Home for him, in the fabrics he's chosen. Gotta love those roses--the rest? Uh...not so much. I'll let you know how it looks as it progresses. Maybe.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bloomin' good stuff

Maybe a shrub along the back fence doesn't really count, but it's in bloom so into the house it goes. Spring really will be coming soon!

I'm so glad Pam posted those shots of the quilt shop in Pismo Beach. Not sure how
anyone can get much done down there what with the OCEAN right down the street and all.

I did pick up a few pieces of red/white for an idea that was brewing but when then I had the opportunity to get ahold of some of Alex's new fabrics so I'm busy with those. I've always loved all of her "Romance" lines and this new one is no exception.

Anyway...I did pick up a super cool book down there and wanted to share it with you just in case you haven't grabbed a copy yourself. Doesn't this sound like fun? I can't wait for warmer weather so I can make a bunch of floorcloths for various rooms around here. While I am partial to C&T books (hmmm...) I have to say the instructions look very thorough and you aren't limited to the author's designs. I can't wait to make a custom floorcloth for my kitchen!

When Pam and I went to the Quilter's Inn yesterday I picked up a few 1/4s of some lovely pastels...including a darling piece from Urban Chik's "Swell" line. Pam isn't the only one who knows the Urban Chiks!
I'm in love with Sandy Klop's pattern called "Merry-Go-Round Quilt" and have this fantasy that I'll find the time to make one for my bed...that probably won't happen, but it's so much fun to pick up pretty 1/4 yards for it anyway.

Hope everyone's having a great week!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blurry travelog (part 2)

And so we continue the saga of two friends, delicious food, great shops and pathetic photography.

After leaving Cambria we headed to Morro Bay. There is something about that rock that makes me take picture after picture...even when we're miles away.

Somehow, and we're not sure just how,(but you can bet a blog is involved) Pam
found out about a "ribbon place" in Morro Bay. That's all she knew and it was my job to get the details.

So here we are at Lina G...not sure what we were expecting, but it wasn't this completely overwhelming experience. Every square inch of that shop is full of lace, trimmings, yarn, flowers, etc, etc and etc--much of it vintage.

I now wish I'd taken more pictures from the other end of the shop--I seem to have been rooted to the floor of the yarn area.

There were also many incredible hats...I tend to not notice those as much because I'm sensitive about my oversized dome (that matches my oversized feet) but here you can see the lovely Pam showing off a charming wool model.

Here's my pile...had to bring those little German paper children home. Several of the trim pieces are French. Does that make them better? I do believe it does!

So down to the Apple Farm we went to check into our room and of course eat again.

Our room was massive, plus I was overcome with emotion over the idea that I'd be spending the night in what appeared to be a model home, so I couldn't really get a good picture. That's my bed...Pam's bed was seemingly miles away...over near the immaculate bathroom.

Here I am, attempting to knit a sock while being warmed by the fire. Pure heaven! And add some dessert items brought back with us from dinner...throw in having Pam advise me on knitting needle placement--since turns out I don't even know how to hold needles the right way...and you've got a perfect evening!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blurry travelog (part 1)

Last Thursday marked the beginning of a much deserved and wildly anticipated trip south for Pam and me. We'd both had enough of cold, gray and WET days and needed to get away so we could recharge and, well, charge...stuff.

There was blue sky! A need for sunglasses! So far, so good.

It's roughly a 4 hour drive from where we are to the central coast. We've made that trip before and have come home the same day, but this time we'd have 2 whole days...

Stopped off first in Cambria, which is a darling little town. We had a delicious lunch
and while we normally pull out our cameras to document our food, it didn't seem appropriate as we were at a tiny table smack dab in the middle of several large tables
where ladies were having what were clearly sophisticated luncheons. Probably just as well, since it would be embarrassing to have to admit to the sheer quantity of pie I consumed...

On our way out of town we saw a shop called "Dirty Laundry" and I tell you, Pam practically did an FBI slide to the curb so we could check the place out.

Need some bacon flavored breath mints? Wildly inappropriate greeting cards? Interesting gift items? Dirty Laundry does not disappoint.

I made many, many purchases...most of them gifts for my sons...and it would probably be best if I didn't describe any of them.

On our way back to the car we noticed another shop...and that would be Birds of a Feather. Almost didn't go in--the shop looked so charming from the outside and our bags of fresh tackiness seemed out of place.
I'm so glad we decided to chance it.


Seriously. A wonderful combination of vintage and new...and the displays are amazing.

While you may wish to "frolic", I'd advise against it--you might miss something and there are beautiful goodies throughout. The very top photo of this post? Doesn't it make you want to rush right over there? Look at all the ribbons!

See that little cream colored shelf with the scallops? Over there on the left? That's at my house now.

So that's the first bit of our I have to get upstairs to the studio and start creating! New fabrics have been arriving and it's time to turn them into new there will be more pics from our trip and then some sneak peeks of new projects!

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