Monday, June 12, 2017

Staying in the Cascade Mountains (Leavenworth, WA)

We had a great time visiting with family.  Some of them we haven't seen since 1980.  Long, long time ago!  We wrapped up our visits with family in this area and plan to move to Mt. Vernon on Tuesday.  We will be staying in the Puget Sound area for at least a month.  Maybe more.
I have a lot of photos to share, but I think I will split them between two different posts.  So, here are some photos from Central Washington.  The photo above and below were taken at the Chelan Gorge.
Below are photos from Icicle Creek Road.  I know!  It doesn't look like a creek right now.  The snow melt has been extensive this year.  We keep getting flood alerts on our phones for a couple of the rivers even though the locations are not even close to the flooding rivers.
We have never seen the rivers so high and running so furious as they were for the last couple of weeks.
Trying to get how high the rivers are into the photos hasn't been easy since there is nothing for me to relate it to from the past.  I just know that we enjoyed seeing the rivers high for once instead of low and worrying about the upcoming fire season during the summer.
It had rained the night before our visit and there were puddles in the parking lot.  I think this is a Swallowtail butterfly.  
Anyway, the Swallowtails were taking advantage of getting water from the mud ...........

and I took advantage of an unusual photo op!  Below is another photo that I did in Photoshop.  I'm having a lot of fun playing with my new software.
This guy was stuck inside the Men's restroom for two days.  Dan felt sorry for the moth and brought him out on a paper towel.  He stayed long enough for me to get a photo of him with my phone.
Tulip Tree Silkmoth
If you happen to be near Leavenworth and love to visit quilt shops, I highly recommend Leavenworth Quilt Company.  She has a great selection of fabrics, threads, and all the notions you can dream of wanting.  While I had a great time visiting with a customer and the shop owner, Dan was next door in Prey's Fruit Barn trying samples.  He found a few things he liked as well.  There's also a nice sitting area under a big shady tree for those who do not want to shop at all.  
On The Cutting Board
Okay, here's all 12 Happy Campers!  Done and listed in my Etsy shop!
I already sold three of the new ones and one of my older ones with a horse.
I'm appliqueing a couple of quilt tops now along with more mug rugs that I hope to have finished soon.

Tomorrow's a travel day so this will be short.  I want to get a few more things done tonight and be ready to move before bedtime.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Back In Washington (Spokane, WA)

💗Thank you for your kind words.

After leaving Colorado and Squirrel behind, we stopped in Wyoming at Terry Bison RV Ranch for a couple of days.  This time I was able to see the camels.  Last time they had been in a larger field and were not cooperating by grazing near the fence.  This guy looks like he is trying to push the fence down so he can get to that greener grass on the other side.
I just love the converted chicken house.  Doesn't Mr. Rooster look quite proud of his home?
This is the first time Dusty has climbed a tree.  I think he had so much energy stored up from our long days of travel that he super power to run and leap into a tree.  I told him good job and he should do that more often....never mind that he is only two feet off the ground....he was quite proud of himself.
Hardin, MT
Weather was very iffy from day to day.  We monitored weather apps on our phones and watched the local weather as well as national weather.  We must have waited out 4 different cold fronts during our travels from Texas and Washington State.  Except for some high winds one day where we saw a semi-truck jack-knifed and landed on its side, this was the worse part of our winter drive near Bozeman, MT.
We made it to Spokane in time for Dan to say good-bye to his ailing 90 year old father.  He spent the last couple of weeks helping his sister make arrangements and to clean out their parent's apartment.
During the long hours Dan was gone, I spent my time spring cleaning, sewing, and getting the cats out for walks.
Spring as usual for this area could not make up its mind to warm up or let winter stay a little longer, but the flowers were blooming despite the cold windy days.
I'm still learning about what all my new laptop has to offer along with the latest software I recently downloaded.  I just discovered this new editing process in my Photoshop.  This is all one photo.  I thought I would share my first try.
Here is the original:
Which one looks better?

On The Cutting Board
I am back to sewing and I managed to finish a few UFOs.  Okay, more than a few...I finished 12 Happy Campers.  I will try to list them soon and share some better photos.
I decided to tackle the quilt that refused to go together and won the battle.  Well, sort of...I sewed the blocks that did come out.  Because I ran out of three fabrics due to bad measuring instructions, I decided to finish the quilt with a large border. I plan to start appliqueing birds and a flower on the top border.
 This was a good opportunity to try my new 'Round The Corner' ruler.  I had tried making round corners once before using a bowl.  The quilt's corners came out very lopsided.  Needless to say, the border had to be redone.  I was a little nervous trying this ruler, but it worked quite well.  I had no problem centering the curve on the corners.
Tomorrow is a travel day.  We are moving to Crescent Bar, WA near Wenatchee.  I better get started on my applique project before I have to start packing things up for our move.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Good-Bye To An Old Friend (Lathrop State Park, CO)

We had to say good-bye to our oldest cat - Squirrel.  He wasn't doing too well this last year.
Squirrel 1999 -2017
As a matter of fact, it was this time last year in almost the same location that we started noticing the changes.  He wasn't ready to give up the fight to live though.  He was always a fighter.  He fought to move into our home by running away from our next door neighbor's house several times until we asked to keep him.  He knew what he wanted and there usually was no compromise once he made up his mind by telling us he wanted it 'Now Mister!'.  He argued with us every day to go outside and explore the area whether it was rain or shine.  He never allowed us to close the blinds because he needed to see outside at all times.  Despite his arthritic hips, he would still chase after birds or one of the other cats.
riding with Dusty through Wyoming to Montana 2016
Last week, we saw the fight leave Squirrel.  He was tired and ready to go.  I wasn't ready to say good-bye, but I knew he needed to rest.  I hope he is enjoying his new home chasing butterflies in catnip fields.   I will miss our little fighter.
Hitch
Tomorrow is a travel day.  We spent four days in Lathrop State Park, CO while waiting for the latest cold front to move away from our northern route through Wyoming.  While we waited, we spent quality time with our cats especially with Max.  He was Squirrel's shadow from the moment Max joined our family.  Squirrel wasn't too thrilled with the little punk, but he tolerated him....most of the time.  :)
Max
If the mountains look familiar, it is because I posted different pictures of them last year when we stayed for two nights to give us all a break from our long travels from Florida.
View from our dining room
We walked around one of the park's trails yesterday.  We didn't not see any wildlife, but the views were fantastic.
I am happy to see snow-capped mountains again.  The cold weather....I would have been happy to miss until next winter.  I'm sure it will start warming up soon.
I haven't been sewing as much lately.  I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for the moment.  The Black Cat quilt sold as soon as I let the interested customer know it was ready.  She sounded quite happy with the quilt.
Maybe I will find my muse again along the highway going north.  With all the scenic views, how can I not find it again?
Hugs to all

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Time In Texas (Bridgeport, TX)

Between the heavy rains and warm almost hot days, everything is turning green and blooming!  
 
My nose is itchy and my eyes are watering...it is definitely springtime in Texas!  😄
We had visitors last week.  My brother came down from Illinois with his dog, Frodo.  Frodo is such a sweetie for being a puppy.  No chewing, barking, or accidents.  He tried to be friends with the cats, but they were stubborn and just hissed at him.  Dusty did spend more time watching Frodo and they even got nose to nose a couple of times.  They might have been friends in a couple of more weeks.  Oh well.  We had a great time with both.  Yes, I did spend time with my brother too.  
We had lunch at the Down the Alley Cafe in Decatur.  Dan and I had lunch here in December and I wanted to go back again.  
Sitting outside
 I love the way they decorated the outdoor sitting areas.   We decided to eat outside and enjoy the peaceful afternoon while watching birds and cats in the gardens.
A watering can tree?
The food was delicious, but we were told that they were turning their cafe into a beer garden and this would be the last lunch served.  Darn!  It is so hard to find a place that serves a variety of flavorful vegetarian meals.
After lunch, we walked around the downtown Decatur square.  I have to say that the Wise County courthouse is the most unique one I have seen so far.
I probably took too many photos of this building, but I could not help it.  The good news is that I did cut down on the ones I was going to post here.  Lucky you!

Each side had a different look.  Giving me the feel that I was looking at a different building when viewing each side.
I read that you can take a tour of the clock tower.  Visitors get a view of the 2,000 lb bell hanging in the tower on their way to the top.
Two more photos of what looks like a stairwell...... 
...and the details in the stonework....amazing!
Okay, I had to share a few more photos of Frodo.  I took these while he was waiting for my brother to come back to the couch.  He is so cute!
Looking for a fun easy read? Try this cozy Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. 
Oxford Tearoom Mysteries (5 Book Series) by  H.Y. Hanna
  Oxford Tearoom Mysteries
I just finished #4 with only two more to go. I love the descriptions of village living. The food served in Gemma's tearoom along with the local restaurants sounds scrumptous. Of course, being a cat lover - Gemma's mischievous cat, Muesli has me laughing and going 'yep that sounds like something our cats would do' except they do not point us in the right direction to solve a mystery.
 
There's quite a selection of colorful characters like Gemma's overbearing matchmaking mother, her artist friend/co-worker, and the four "old Biddies" (Gemma's reference not mine) who consider themselves the real Miss Marples of Oxfordshire, England. I also like the fact that it is written with British English spelling and usage making the story feel more authentic. So far, I have only had to refer to the Glossary of British Terms a couple of times at the end of the book. 
Remarkable Creatures Audiobook

I'm so happy a friend recommended this book to me. I really enjoyed listening to this audio version with two narrators.

Based on true facts and science records, this is a story about Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot living in early 19th century England in Lyme Regis along the coast known for its fossils. Through their love of fossil hunting these two women became friends despite the differences in their age and social status. 
Meet Mary Anning - The Greatest Fossil Hunter Ever Known (sadly, of course, she rec'd very little credit for it in her own lifetime).:
Mary Anning with her dog Tray source: Pinterest
Mary's father taught her how to look for special shells and fossils to sell in the family's store to the tourists.  She grew up knowing how to hunt after storms and often showed others how to look during low tides.  Elizabeth Philpot came from a higher social status.  She and her two sisters are unmarried and supported by their one brother in London.  When their brother decides to marry, the three spinsters move into a small cottage in Lyme Regis.  They are still supported by their now married brother, but have a limited lifestyle since there is no man in their home.  Elizabeth finds solitude in her painting and in hunting for fossils along the beach when she becomes friends with Mary.

The story also covers the constant battle of gender inequality and social power that both faced with the scientific community especially with the Geological Society of London.  A time when women could not vote or go to a university for an education.  

 Mary's discovery of the Ichthyosaurs would have made her famous and her family wealthier if not for the men of the time taking advantage of her being a woman. This did not slow Mary down. She spent her whole life looking and categorizing fossils. Even endangering her life by hunting along the cliffs after major storms. She lost her dog, Tray in one landslide while looking for fossils.  **The death of her dog was not covered in the book.
Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis, UK. Must visit there to look for fossils!:
source: Pinterest
I looked up Lyme Regis and I was quite surprised to see recent photos of so many fossils on the beach.  I wonder if visitors are allowed to leave with their finds or if they are asked to leave them like they do here in the states?  Wouldn't that be an interesting place to visit?

On The Cutting Board
I finished another black cat quilt.  I wasn't so sure about how I was going to tie together the different colored cat themed fat quarters.  I think keeping the colors together worked out better.  I hope the customer interested in this quilt will like it too.  I plan to send photos this afternoon.  If not, I'll be listing it in Etsy!
Well, I just got a new computer.  I have been busy uploading new software, working out problems with old software and I still have so much to do on it.......but I am ready for a break.  Time for a little relaxing and sewing.........must sew now........
Happy Quilting!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Almost A Full Circle (Whitney, TX)

We are back in Whitney, TX.  Travel day was very dreary with some very nasty accidents on the highway.  I wish people would learn to slow down during rain storms.
The weather has been crazy this winter.  A couple of days of hot humid weather followed by a cold front that plummets the temps a good 20 to 30 degrees.  I had so many different clothes hanging up in the closet that I would wear for a couple of hours before changing into something cooler/warmer that the poor closet door would not close anymore! 
I'm not complaining!  I prefer this weather over the heavy snowfalls many of our friends and family have been dealing with this winter.  I actually find it funny that we need to consult our weather apps before going out for the day or before going to bed or before going for a walk.
We did a big circle through Texas while staying in the Thousand Trails RV Resorts except for the last two weeks.  They were spent in Nacogdoches to get some work done on our coach.  We started by parking overnight in the Old Town Motorcoach's lot.  We had another lucky breakdown.  This time it was our slide's air bladder.  It had a leak.  Making it impossible for us to get the slide-out back in.  It took Dan a good hour of working on the bladder to finally get it to slide back in.  Oh, and did I mention, we had some good downpours during the night?  Yep, I had water leaking into our dining area after the slide-out came in.  

Our luck was still with us when the Old Town staff said they would be able to replace it for us.  They thought they could have it done in one day, but it turned out the new air bladder was about 7 inches too long!  They were sorry for the delay and offered to let us stay inside their garage with our cats instead of having us spend the night in a hotel.  We were also happy that the coach was inside the garage since there was a good 2 inch gap around the slide out and a good downpour going on outside the garage!
Old Town Motorcoach
Old Town was able to finish up their work late the next day, so after spending one more night in their lot, we moved over to Foretravel of Texas camping area for two free nights offered to members.  We spent some time walking through all the coaches for sale on the lot and we toured the Foretravel factory as well.
Foretravel
From Foretravel, we moved to Motorhomes of Texas to have our dinette seat cushions fixed.  We spent a week in their parking lot.  They offer full hook-ups for their customers, so we and the cats were quite happy with our quiet spot in the back.  
Motorhomesof Texas
We were able to walk to the upholsterer's office to watch the progress on our benches.  It was also a lot easier for Trina to get hold of us if she had questions for us.
Dinette in pieces parts
I should have taken another picture of the seats before they pulled them out.  I'm not sure if you can see the difference.
 Before - old dining booth
The original dinette booth was great, but we were finding the cushions too thick and uneven which would push us to far forward and up, not to mention, leaving us seating crooked.  We were relieved to hear that Trina was able to use the same fabric with our new firmer cushions.  I like this fabric and the rich chocolate brown.  The best part - the cats are not using the fabric for claw sharpening!
We are quite happy with the finished product.  They are a lot more comfortable and the fabric looks great.
One last photo of Max enjoying himself behind MOT.  He liked exploring the parking lot.....
.....and rolling in the dirt.  yuk!
On The Cutting Board
With all the work being done on the motorhome, I could only spend time doing hand needlework.
I got a little bit further along on my A to Zzz Snowman Quilt....
and I got quite a few Happy Camper tops embroidered.  Now that we are settled in a campground for the next few week and the motorhome is back together, it is time to do some sewing!
I've got 3 quilts and 7 mug rugs to sew together.  I guess I better get to them...
Happy Quilting!

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