Life is happening...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wow, so it's been awhile since I blogged. I always forget just how crazy busy life gets around back to school time. Did I ever mention that I am in school as well? Well I am. I'm working on my Bachelor's in Art/Design. Anyway, can I just scream out how absolutely over the moon excited I am that it is fall! The weather is so much cooler here...around 80* which feels like 50* compared to the blazing summer. I got out all my fall decor and finished a fall chevron quilt that I started last year. I love it. It's bright and I incorporated some blue, which I think works perfectly.

I've been doing a little embroidery at night. It's the sweetest Christmas Tree pattern, but the pattern is in French, so I am having to do a little improvising on color and technique. Also, this past weekend I cut out a quilt that I can't wait to start sewing, I'll share more about this later. And I started a couple of books recently. The one that I will try to finish first is The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais. So far I am completely loving it. I feels like I've stepped into another world, the details are enchanting. I'm also excited to continue reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout. It's a bunch of small interwoven stories, very endearing so far. Here's to savoring every moment of this short-lived magical season!

A little bit of everything

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So it's been a few weeks since I posted, there is just so much going on. I know every one of us can say that about our lives. So full. Too full sometimes. Summer is wrapping up, I can kind of even feel it in the air a little. We have had a rather mild summer here in the desert, as far as desert summers are concerned, a warm average of the 90's. I'll take it, at least I can sleep at night this year. So anyway, I have been dying to talk about the book The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It's fairly new, it was written in 2011. I had seen it for sale at Target, and loved the cover but never bought it. Then a couple of weeks ago I was at my local library browsing the used 'for sale' books and there it was for $1.00 (yay!). I love when I find a really good book that I didn't pay very much for. So I dug right in and it captivated me from the first page. I read through it pretty fast, which is unusual for me. It's about a girl named Victoria that is brought up in the Foster Care system, and gets pasted from home to home. She is hard and abrasive and very dysfunctional, yet I found myself routing for her and feeling somehow connected to her character. Throughout the book there is a lot of talk about flowers and their meanings, hence the name. One of her Foster moms teaches her to love and cherish plants and their language. The characters are quirky and imperfect, yet endearing. I loved this book. I recommend this book. 

Let's see, I made the most delicious chocolate zucchini bread  from a recipe I got off of Pinterest the other day. Wow, so moist, so chocolaty. You should definitely try it. I also made my mom some spider/strip pieced pillows for her birthday. They were super easy to make and turned out adorable...she loved them by the way. My garden is still growing strong, I've been picking tomatoes, squash and peppers. I'm still waiting for my first crop of eggplant, that should be any day now. We had a couple of days of wonderful rain here, actually flash flooding all around us, but it was so nice. The air was cool, I opened up all the windows and inhaled the wonderful smell of  rain in the desert. My plants really loved the soak. Last little thing is that I finished that quilt top in those soothing colors of aqua, cream and red, can't wait to machine quilt it and use it.

Oh ya, this happened....

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We recently got back from our annual camping trip to the central coast of California, Pismo Beach to be exact. This is one of my favorite places on the entire earth and basically I didn't want to leave...ever. My family including my sister and her husband, my nephew, my parents and then the four of us all go beach camping together every year. We so look forward to it and count the days until we can go back.

My brother-in-law is our resident outdoor camping chef, and he cooked up something amazing for us every night. This particular night it was chicken legs with chilies, onion and cilantro grilled over an open fire. Yum!

This night he had smoked a pork shoulder all day long and we had BBQ pork sandwiches on a pretzel roll with coleslaw and baked beans. I mean it people we do not mess around when it comes to camp dining!

We drove up the coast to Avila Beach one of the days. This little beach town is so typical California beach town. It is full of surfers, surf shops, bicycles, and colorful beach houses. It was really overcast and I think we even got sprinkled on a little bit.

 These are my two beautiful daughters, Courtney and Lindsey. I love this photo!

One of my favorite parts of this annual trip is getting to stop into all the little local quilt shops up and down the coast. One of my favorites is right in Pismo Beach called 'Quiltin Cousins.' I always find something special there. Look at all the fabulous fabrics that I found. Some are older but new to me. I had my eye out for typography/text fabrics for a quilt that I want to make and I found quite a few. The best thing about buying fabric while traveling is that you can make something with it and always remember your trip by it.

A little stitching and a little reading.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Some crafty little things going on around here. I bought these cute little paper embroidery kits by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts, a few weeks ago and gave them a whirl.  I love the patterns and how easy they are to use. I've been a scrapbooker for many years and I love to sew on my pages and this just adds a little extra handsewn look to titles and embellishments. I highly recommend them!

A couple of days ago I got an urge to make a super simple, super fast quilt out of this book. I grabbed a stack of fresh, calming, bright summery colors and started cutting strips. I love how it's coming along, I have a few rows finished and plan to work on it some more today. Scrap quilts are my favorite and any excuse to use lots and lots of different prints is a win win for me.

 I've also been finding little gems of time to quietly read. On a recent trip to Las Vegas with some girl friends I finished reading Gone Girl. Let me preface what I am about to say with....this is my opinion only and I know that some people will totally disagree with me. I was very intrigued throughout the book and it is definitely a page turner. It kept my attention with plenty of suspense and twists and turns, but.....I didn't love it. I kind of knew that I wouldn't, it's not really my type of book, but I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I found it hard to connect with the characters and found them to be flat, hard and cold. I hated the ending, I found myself wanting revenge and it just never came. I felt like the book just dropped off and never gave me closure and I am a person that needs closure (mind you, books don't have to end happily for me to enjoy them, but I do want answers and resolve). This book left me feeling morally void.

On the other hand, other books that I have been reading are the Inspector Gamache Series. I've read books #1 and #2 and thoroughly enjoyed them. They felt light and endearing even though the subject matter is a murder mystery. They take place in a quaint little village called Three Pines in Canada and the characters are warm, lovable and inviting. Chief Gamache is a very likable guy that seems to read minds and have a keen intuition. The books even made me giggle a little. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

Yesterday while sewing I watched an hour long special on the making of Diagon Alley, the Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando that had it's Grand Opening yesterday. I want to go so bad I can't stand it! I am such a fan and this attraction looks out of this world amazing. The attention to detail is mind blowing and who wouldn't want to ride the Hogwarts Express?! Watching that sure made me want to go back and reread the series again....maybe when the weather starts to get a little cooler.

Creative Splurge

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm right in the middle of a creative splurge, and my head is about to pop. Ideas, ideas, ideas. Summertime always provides me with time, time to brainstorm, time to think. The kids are out of school and my classes are over for awhile and I sort of feel a creative freedom. I always make a list at the beginning of summer of all my summer goals, and I'm OK if I don't accomplish them all, it just helps me to have a plan and because I am a list freak. I've been dreaming up all kinds of projects from sewing, to painting, to drawing. As you can see by the stacks of books, I've been reserving/checking out all kinds of books from my local library.
         Side Note: Libraries are awesome! We have no guarantees that they will be around forever, but while they are here, use them! They are such a great source of inspiration and new ideas. And it's free.
This is usually how it works for me. I hear about a book that interests me (quilt book, painting book, drawing book, surface pattern book or novel) and then I put it immediately on my Amazon wishlist, just to keep track of it. Then when I get an urge, I just look it up on my local library site and order it if it is available. This is awesome because you can preview it for 'free' and decide if it is something that you want to purchase.

I started reading 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn about a week ago (I know I'm a little late to the party) but anyway it is delightfully suspenseful and I am quite enjoying it.

My birthday was last Friday, shhhh, I turned 38. Anyway, we headed off to Lake Tahoe for a couple of nights because my 15 year old daughter, Courtney, had a soccer tournament there. It was completely lovely and beautiful of course! The weather was amazing at a perfect 75 degrees. We celebrated my birthday up there and enjoyed the lake and Tahoe culture. I would move there if I could...sigh.

This was on the long drive through the desert....sorry about the dirty windshield. Blush.

This is the amazing 'must stop' Erick Schat's Bakery in Bishop, CA. Yum.

My daughter is on the left and her friend/teammate is on the right. Good times.

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