Sunday, February 25, 2018

Afternoon of the Arts

Recently I organized "The Afternoon of the Arts". This was the culminating show for the Paint Chip Challenge projects. It was a lot of fun for viewers and participants alike. We had only 12 15 projects. Yes, I was disappointed. But I was surprised by the variety of projects and by the artists. People I had never met and who were not a member of our Creations Guild also participated.


Inspired by a quilted jacket my mom made, I put together a wall hanging using many of her techniques. My wall hanging also included some of Mom's fabrics. The Challenge colors were perfect for a project with flowers... lots of pink, lots of yellow and a soft blue/green. Here is a sneak peek.... it isn't quite finished in this shot.


The night before the projects were due I decided to try my hand at pastels to have one more thing to display at the show. I wasn't all that displeased.


Several of the Guild members came to help put up the show. I was in awe of how artfully they arranged the entries. We had ceramics, needle point, a beaded bracelet, flowers and stained glass. We had a two full size quilts and two quilted wall hangings. We had painted metal, painted pine cones and even a painted coconut!

What thrilled me most was that people came! Our show ran from 4 - 6 PM. The club bar opened early and offered Happy Hour prices. We had slips where folks could vote for "Viewers Favorites". Almost 60 slips were turned in! We also sold tickets for a quilt raffle. We sold $270 dollars worth of tickets at the show, and another $170 the next morning before the show was taken down. 

Here are some shots from the show:







And the viewers favorites:





 Yes, that would be my hanging with the first place ribbon. I felt a bit chagrinned.





                                                                                         

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Under the Presser Foot

I have been sewing with other women at the crafts building, and I do some sewing on the motorhome.  This week I completed two projects. Hooray! Completed projects are always nice.

First, I finished a small quilt top with a pattern I bought over 2 years ago! Whenever I stop by a quilt shop I feel I must buy something. I like to support the small guy. So when we were in Ozark, AL on our way to or from Red Bay, AL for service on our coach I stopped by the Front Porch Quilt Shoppe. I picked up the Fancy Forest quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman and tucked it away. While packing for the move I came across the pattern and decided it would be a great gift for one or the other of my grand children. The pattern is deceiving. It was much easier to construct than I thought it would be. (Apologies for the lousy color. The lights in the craft building do funny things to colors.)

 In progress:


Completed:


I will be taking the quilt top to California when we go back so I can quilt it there. I'll have to do some thinking about how I want to quilt it!

I led a "Mystery Quilt" for ladies at our resort. For three weeks I gave out instructions for part of the quilt, which could be used to make two pillows or a table topper. This is my finished version:


As I completed the plans for the quilt I had reservations about the color of the sashing I was suggesting the ladies use. The sashing cuts the pillows into quarters, meeting at the middle. I used the same background color as I had used in the blocks. Once I assembled my pieces I rather liked the way it turned out. However, one of the ladies used a dark background and sashing and the effect was totally different.  I'm not so much of a fan of the way her pieces look. We decided that her design could be called the Dollar Sign pattern!! If I ever do this pattern again I will reconsider the colors for the sashing pieces!



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Energizer Bunny

It took a few weeks for me to recover from the "gift" I received from my wonderful grandchildren - like the little Drummer Boy they had nothing to give... so they gave us their colds! Recovery was slow; it came day by day. My ears continue to be clogged. They snap and crackle and I feel like I have water in my ears from swimming. But, most importantly, I have my energy back!! Hooray!


My days are very, very busy! A typical day goes something like this:

7:45-ish: Walk the dogs. If I walk the perimeter of the RV resort it is just over 1.1 miles. Some days I don't have the wherewithal do go all the way around, but other days I take twists and turns to add steps to my walk. Gypsy is thriving on our new regimen. She has lost a few pounds and is keeping them off. Wish I could do the same! I know that Tucker has had enough of a walk when he stops pulling on the leash!



9:00-ish: Ride my bike down to the Nature Center (our craft center) to participate in some sort of craft class. I am either the student or the teacher. I have already taught the "Mystery Quilt" classes, and a cloth basket class. When no class is scheduled I might be working on one of my quilting projects.

This is the beginning of Week 3 of the Mystery Quilt.
No one knows why the "Nature Center" was originally constructed,  but over the years it has become the crafting area. Sadly, it has screen windows covered in plastic and no heat or A/C. Some days this winter it has been darn right cold!
11:00-ish: Head to the Pickleball courts and teach a beginner class. I have experienced twinges of tennis elbow, so I am taking it easy. I have only played a few games since before Christmas, and those that I have played, I have played with my off hand. Sometimes after pickle ball I head back to the motorhome; I squeeze into my bathing suit and head to the pool for a few laps... and a shower.

Afterwards, I head to the motorhome to take the dogs out. Some days I tie them outside, which they dearly love, and enjoy my lunch while reading a magazine or a book.


12:45: If it is a Monday, Wednesday or Friday I hop on my bike and head to the club house to play Mahjong. I am just learning but I love the game. This week I won three games in a row; it had nothing to do with skill and everything to do with luck!

4:00: Take the dogs to "Yappy Hour" at the dog park. Sometimes most days Tucker gets in trouble for chasing the other dogs. Or, Gypsy gets in trouble for defending her "little" brother. We have begun to take the dogs before everyone arrives, or later, after most of the dogs are tired. Tucker's herding instincts just can't be curbed!

One of the puppy dads had treats to give out at Yappy Hour.
It was amazing how well behaved the dogs were as they waited a turn to get their treats.
Other days bring other activities:
  • The Bocce ball courts have just been redone. Bocce is on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
  • I have played water volley ball. That's on Thursday afternoons.
  • Line dancing is on Tuesday mornings. We also have the opportunity to do yoga or Zumba in the mornings. 
  • Mr. Dreamy races RC (Radio Controlled) cars on an amazing race track. He also participates in a garden railroad club.
  • Tuesday nights are movie nights.
  • We often have entertainment on Friday or Saturday evenings. 
  • Ping-Pong will begin next week on Monday and Wednesday at 10:00 AM
  • BINGO is played every Monday evening. I am probably not going to participate this year. I get too tense as I'm waiting for someone to yell out "BINGO"! and I didn't win once last year.
  • Bunco is played every other week on Thursday evenings.
  • Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings mean pizza, burgers or wings, respectively.
  • .... and the list goes on!
This year Mr. Dreamy decided to get a boat. The resort is on the Caloosahatchee River and has slips for mooring boats. The boat was purchased before Christmas but because of a monumental goof-up by the dealer we didn't get it registered until this week. Now we can enjoy going out on the river,... but we will have to find the time to do that!






Saturday, December 30, 2017

Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me:
an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

View from the bedroom upon arising at our CA home.
On the second day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: two grandkids to snuggle, 
and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We all got to snuggle with Alexis and Kellan.
On the third day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: three trips to the park, 
two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

This day was perfect kite-flying weather!
On the fourth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: four hours at the zoo, 
three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Alexis and her Nonna Holly pretend to have lunch at a café.
On the fifth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: five pounds I gained, 
four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We all enjoyed the Pavlova Yule Log that the kids made.
On the sixth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: six projects to finish,
five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Alexis models the bathrobe I made. It matches PJ's both grands received.
On the seventh day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me: seven pounds of roast beef, 
six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

Grandpa snuggles with Kellan while dinner preparations are completed.
On the eighth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, eight trips to the grocery store
seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

We babysat the little ones so Mom and Dad could have a date at the movies.
It wasn't a hard task and our visit wasn't all about shopping!
On the ninth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, nine packages to wrap, 
eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

On the tenth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, ten loads of laundry,
nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

I dressed Kellan (on right) in the outfit his dad wore at Christmas 32 years previously.
On the eleventh day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, eleven bottles of wine, 
ten loads of laundry, nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

On the twelfth day of Christmas dear Santa gave to me, twelve coughs and sneezes, eleven bottles of wine, ten loads of laundry, nine packages to wrap, eight trips to the grocery store, seven pounds of roast beef, six projects to finish, five pounds I gained, four hours at the zoo, three trips to the park, two grandkids to snuggle, and an airplane flight from sea to shining sea.

This is only part of the arsenal of drugs we are using to ease our cold symptoms!

So now we are back in sunny Florida, nursing head colds we received from the grandkids. Despite how terrible I feel at the moment, I wouldn't have given up our Christmas for anything!








Saturday, December 9, 2017

Take A Hike

Stepping back in time a bit.... I flew into Denver to pick up my car, visit with my dad and then get a few odds and ends taken care of. Then I was heading to the airport to pick up my friend, a very good friend, who had agreed to meet me in Denver and accompany me on my drive to California. So you see why she is a very good friend? We had all kinds of adventures planned - most having to do with potty breaks near quilt shops!

Friend had a change of planes in Chicago. Chicago was fogged in and her flight was diverted to Cincinnati to wait. Other planes bound for Chicago were diverted to Cincinnati and other eastern airports. When it came time to leave for Chicago it seems that a few passengers had not made it back on the flight. They waited. After a roll call just like in elementary school where passengers raised their hands when their names were read, the plane was on its way. Far too late to make her connecting flight.

On my end, I had completed all of my errands and started toward the airport to meet the flight arriving around noon, plus “T”, an unknown amount of time. I knew about the stop in Cincinnati and knew that if, by any chance, the airline held her flight in Chicago, I might need to be nearby. In hindsight, I should have stayed on the other side of town as Murphy’s Law might come into play which would mean that her plane came in close to her scheduled time and I’d be late in picking her up! As it happened, after standing in line for ages, she was able to get a confirmed seat arriving at 10:05 PM that night. (I did look online to see if I could find anything but everything I saw said “sold out”.) We both figured arriving 11 hours late was a better outcome than what she heard from other passengers trying to get to other destinations, whose only option was arriving 36 hours later!

And so I waited. (Oh, and waited some more as her flight was delayed!) 

What to do for the next 10 hours? 

I could drive back to the other side of town and see Dad some more... 
Or, 
I could go to a mall and shop...
Or,
I could go find a friend and enjoy a coffee...
Or...

I could go take a hike!


There was a park fairly close to the airport and the park connected to open space trails. Off I went. 



It was a beautiful sunny day with the crispness of a Colorado fall day. The trail ran along a plateau with side trails looping down to the river and back. 


While walking along the river I noticed that the water was like a mirror. There didn’t seem to be any movement. I couldn’t even tell which way the water flowed. Then I noticed some trees where beavers had industriously worked at bringing the trees down. 




The beavers had tackled some huge trees. Finally I came across the beaver dam. That explained the lack of movement in the water!



 My walk was an enjoyable way to spend some of the hours waiting for my friend. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Thelma & Louise (Without any bloodshed)

We left California in mid October (a few weeks early) to escape the smoke of the Napa fires.


After just a few days in Florida, I flew back to Denver to visit my father, pick up my car and drive it to California to visit and provide some help for new grandson, Kellan.  Oh, and to unpack a bit more at our new house!

My BFF, Marjie, flew into Denver to travel with me.

Our adventure began with a delayed flight. Marjie was due in around noon. She called me to let me know she had landed in Cincinnati.
"Great!" I said.
"Not so great," Marjie said.
Her first stop was supposed to be Chicago!
Almost 12 hours later she landed in Denver. So, the start of our adventure was delayed a bit....
No big deal.
We had already decided that our trip would include stops at quilt shops along the way. Oh, no! It was Monday and the shop in Ft. Collins was closed! But... "QuiltEssentials" in Laramie, WY welcomed us.


We bought a bit of this and a bit of that. As we left a few snowflakes were falling. Not a big deal. Just part of our adventure! And, to be an adventure, we needed more than a few snowflakes. We had a bit of a blizzard... only a small one... and since temperatures had been warm most of the snow melted. However, we did get an inch or two of slush as we drove further in the snow.


We arrived in Rock Springs, WY, had a quick dinner, and fell into bed..... only to wake at 4:30 AM since we were both on Eastern Standard Time. What the heck... we hit the road. This early morning wake-up call meant we missed a few quilt shops - it was only 8 AM when we arrived in the next largest city, Salt Lake City! Nope! No stores were open at that time.

We shared the driving responsibilities and Marjie enjoyed Whinny's "get up and go"! She was also in awe of the acres and acres of open territory we drove through.

Marjie loves drama!!
 I had tried to prepare Marjie for the salt flats. The flats extend about 50 miles from Salt Lake City to West Wendover, Nevada. The road is flat. The road is straight. And there is nothing to see (well, almost nothing) for miles.


As we buzzed along in eastern Nevada the "Low Fuel" indicator beeped and lit up. What? We just had a half tank of fuel. How could we be low? The indicator said that we had 49 miles to go. Wells, NV, the next stop, was over 50 miles away. Oh crap! We motored on. I reduced our speed to 55 mph. We motored on. Later I remembered that the car had a "green" mode that uses less fuel. We motored on. All the while I'm looking at the "Miles to go" numbers as they creep lower and lower. What's the worse that could happen? We motored on. Finally signs appeared for Wells, NV... and FUEL! Hooray! We coasted into the first gas station and filled up, heaving a HUGE sigh of relief.

According to the manual we had 6 tenths of a gallon of fuel left. And according to the display on the dash we had 3 miles of fuel left.


An online resource lists the fuel tank capacity at 11.6 gallons.


That was cutting it waaaayyy too close! But... it was an adventure that we will both remember for years!

So, on with our mission! We enjoyed visiting The Quilt Parlor in Battle Mountain, NV. And, of course, we added more to our stashes.


Then is was on to Citrus Heights, California and a stop at "Runs with Scissors". (Don't you love the name of the quilt shop?!)


And then we were "there". Our first stop was at my son and daughter-in-law's house in Oakland to meet Kellan. Kellan was born on October 27. In this picture he is just under two weeks old. 


Our granddaughter was not immediately thrilled with her baby brother! But she is growing to love tolerate him!

Photo courtesy of Bella Photographs
Then it was on to our new house in California where the adventure continued as we unpacked boxes. The most important "find" was the track for my long arm sewing machine. I packed it with some paintings.... but which ones?


With Marjie's help we had the long arm machine assembled and running in about 4 hours. 


And "sew" the adventure came to an end, as all good things must. I took Marjie to the airport, where her flight home went without a hitch this time. I stayed on for a few more days of family and unpacking, and then returned to my new Florida home.

Afternoon of the Arts

Recently I organized "The Afternoon of the Arts". This was the culminating show for the Paint Chip Challenge projects. It was a l...