Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Hot Time in Palm Springs (Cottonwood, AZ)

I have been enjoying this gorgeous weather during our stay in Desert Palms.  Lots of sunshine and blues skies!  It did get a little warm a couple of days.  Like into the 90 to 100 degrees...yep, even the cats said they were ready to go inside.  Coming from cats who love spending hours baking themselves on the dash....that is hot!  šŸ˜„
Palm trees lining the campsites
We got a little shade from the palm trees, but we had to time it just right to have the 2' wide shade in our site.  I was tempted to line up the chairs facing forward like we were sitting on a bus.  I wonder what our neighbors would have thought about that.

During one of my walks, I noticed one of the cactus was in full bloom.  I had to take a photo, of course.  It's too bad we missed the blooming season in the desert.
We spent some time exploring the area.  One morning was spent at the College of the Desert's Street Fair.  It's quite large, so we did a lot of walking.  I'm glad we got there early before it became too crowded.  I saw lots of things that I did not need.  With extra restraint, I only bought one new pair of reading glasses.
Came across these cute guys in Blair Station RV
On our way home, we stopped by the Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve.  We could see the oasis long before we got there (upper left).  The totem pole is made from one of the California Fan Palms that cover the area.  On the far right, is the inside of a house built from the palm trees.  It turns out that the inside of the palm trees are porous and lighter than wood, but durable.  It was amazing how cool it was inside the house with the doors and windows sitting wide open.  The history of the house and the preserve is in the website.
This was our first time to the Joshua Tree National Park.  We started from the south gate near I-10 and made our way to the northwest gate.  I was a little disappointed that the cactus were not in bloom.  Oh well..  I noticed that the Cholla Cactus isn't looking too good with all the black fungus growing on the lower stems, but the Joshua Trees seems to be doing quite well.
 Below are two rock formations that caught my attention and imagination.  Okay, so tell me that you see a whale breaching the sand in the top photo and an elephant with no ears in the bottom photo.
We had to spend one day walking the main street of Palm Springs.  I'm pretty sure the palm trees are the same ones from the preserve with a good trimming.
The views of the mountains were beautiful from the downtown area.
A few more photos of interesting views from our walk.  
I'm in love with a polka dotted bike!  I would like one in Aqua or Teal, please!
On The Cutting Board
I added three more Happy Camper mug rugs to my Etsy shop.
Lavender Vintage Trailer 

Pink and Aqua
I did find the Ocotillo blooming.  Usually, there are dark green leaves covering the Ocotillo.

I love this desert bush.  It has such a delicate look to it until you get up close and get a view of the long thorns on it.  They are definitely part of the southwest and add a lot of character to my SW campers.  I also added a couple of more of my favorites - a roadrunner and a ristra as well.
Peach and Teal
I'm getting ready to bind four quilts.  I'll post photos of them next time.  I saw one cute pattern called Lovely Giraffes in Craftsy.  I thought this pattern was perfect for this material.  But....
I wasn't so sure about appliquƩing the ten small giraffes and I was right.
By the time I had finished appliquĆ©ing the fifth giraffe, it was starting to feel monotonous.  The pattern was really made for fusible webbing and machine appliquĆ©.  If and that is a big IF....I decide to make this quilt again, I plan to embroider the mane and tail instead of trying to get all those tiny curves just right.
I'm happy to say this one is about done.  Whew!
Well, I hear the quilts are calling to me.  Got some binding to do.  Let's get it done!
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Traveling Through California (Desert Palms, CA)

Okay, it has been a month since my last post.  Time to get everyone caught up.  We are happy to be back on the road again.  After leaving Sutherlin, we spent 10 days in Valley of the Rogue State Park.  Weather was starting to cooperate with warmer days and less rain.
So nice to be able to sit outside and go for walks without spending 15 minutes layering up!  
Walking path inside state park
Dusty was in grass heaven!  Wandering around, meowing "so much grass, so little time!".
Dusty and Hitch (front)
Our neighbor did not know he was hosting a squirrel.  This little guy spent most of the day sitting on the tire.  A perfect spot to watch the cats, eat lunch with a view, and cool enough for naps.
After having perfect weather during our state park stay, a cold front had to show up just in time for our travel day with wind and rain.  Northern California was already giving flood warnings.  Fingers crossed, we hoped for the best and kept going.
Siskiyou Pass
As we moved further south the storm front had move on and the weather cleared.  I couldn't get my usual photo of Mt Shasta this time, so I opted for Lake Shasta instead.
Lake Shasta
Yes!  It finally looks like we have found Spring!  I actually blew the dust off of my t-shirts!  I rarely wore them last summer.

Once again, the weather had us worried about traveling with a forecast of high winds.  We decided to leave a day early and get to Lancaster, CA a day early.  The reason for being in a hurry to settle in Lancaster was because I was signed up for RV School.  Yep, I took a driving course with our motorcoach that is 40' long, 8.5' wide, 11.7' tall, over 34,000 pounds with a beam steering axle, max turn cut is 38 degrees plus with tow car attached (car and tow bar) we are near 60' long.

We had a great instructor from RVSchool.com.  He showed up at our site and immediately put me at ease as he explained how we would start the day and what I would accomplish by the time we were finished.  With Dan riding along as an observer and also as my spotter for parking/backing the coach, we learned quite a bit about our coach's ability.

2 days of 4 hours per day instruction for $495 (plus a tip)was more than worth it. I can now safely maneuver in tight spaces, on narrow roads, city traffic, ascents, and descents.  With our aging, and possibility of illness or medical issues, we felt it was imperative for me to be able to safely drive the coach. I'm tired, but feeling a lot more confident about driving down road!
To celebrate my completion, we found an excellent little restaurant called Don Gus Mexican & Seafood.  The veggie burrito was delicious, but it was the cherry filled Chimichanga that I really loved!
On our way home, we stopped for a few groceries at a store we had never visited or seen before.  We were pleasantly surprised at how cheerful and colorful the store's presentation was to shoppers.  If we had not been so tired after our long day, we probably would have spent more time looking around.
Vallarta Supermarket
We are now settled in Desert Palms, CA near Palm Springs.  This is our first time visiting the area, so we will be busy exploring the surrounding area.  BTW, I did the parking while Dan directed.  We did it once without pulling forward!šŸ‘šŸ‘
Tight site
The cats were impressed....šŸ˜Ž
Max and Dusty
On The Cutting Board
I have been working on my quilt tops.  I finished appliquĆ©ing this quilt with clipart paw prints and a dog from P.S. I Love You Two! A Sequel by Nancy J. Smith & Linda S. Milligan.  
I did not like the quilt in the book, but I do love this little guy.  I think I will call him Cosmos.
 I'm almost done with the Zoo panel.
 I just need to finish the embroidery and I can move on to the next top.
 I sort of goofed on the elephant.  I did not realize the mistake I had made until I was ready to embroidery the face.  If you haven't noticed, the face is a little lopsided.
 Oh well.. I think he still looks cute.  Okay, so I'm sort of caught up, but I am going to wait to show you photos from the Palm Springs area.  Back to the cutting board!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Equinox (Sutherlin, OR)

Spring is here!....or almost here.  Either way, I'm ready to start celebrating spring by getting back on the road and doing some traveling.  We leave on Monday!  We will start with Eugene first before heading south.  Oh, did I mention that we have changed our travel plans?  Yep, the weather is not cooperating.  Instead of heading due east to Bend, we will head south.
On The Cutting Board
I decided to celebrate the beginning of Spring by making new Happy Campers with little gardens.  Only three designs so far.  I'm hoping they will be a big hit so I can make more.  I miss gardening and this is as close as I will be getting to having my own garden for quite a long time.  Best part with this kind of gardening - no backache or bruised knees.šŸ˜Ž  I made a total of 13 Happy Campers, but only four have the garden theme.  I'm adding one a day to stretch out my new items in my Etsy shop
Since we were spending quite a bit of time at home while Dan was healing, I managed to make several quilt tops.  Below are six more quilt tops ready for their appliquĆ© add-ons. 
I made two Sweet Pea's Garden tops in different colored sashings and borders.   A sweet pea vine will go up the side and across the top.
Below:  the one on the right is just a panel with a border added.  I have had this fabric for a long time because I could not cut it up.  I decided to just leave it whole with a border and add a couple of appliquĆ©d animals.  The one on the left is a scrappy star quilt with dog printed fabric, so I'm adding a puppy appliquĆ© design from "P.S. I Love You Two, A Sequel".   I'm think I will call this quilt Cosmos, The Star Puppy.  I might add some paw prints across the quilt as well.
The last two are fabric leftovers from the ABCs and the Sweet Pea's quilts using the Crazy 8 pattern.  I have two more tops still being sewed together.  I hope to have them done before we leave next week.  Including the Peek-a-boo Bear quilt that I showed in a previous post, the total comes to nine quilt tops since November.  That's if I finish the last two before Monday.
Sewing in the bedroom has definitely made a difference on my sewing time.  I'm amazed I was able to get so many done in such a short time.  Less distractions?  Maybe I should go figure it out...
Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 26, 2018

First Snowfall (Sutherlin, OR)

Two weeks ago I thought Spring was on its way with the flowers popping up and my allergies suddenly going out of control.
Our days were sunny and the temperatures were starting to rise.
Max soaking up the sun.
Then Winter decided it wasn't quite ready to leave us with a mild winter.  
We are finally getting much needed rain and snow.  
 Well, the snow isn't lasting, but it is nice to see it change the landscape around us for a short time.
The cats have not been too happy with the change in weather, but I'm sure this cold front will not last long.  It would be nice to have more rain before summer gets here.
Hitch is tired from being up all night.
Dan's foot is healing and he is back to walking on his own two feet without support.  Below is Dan's  itinerary for this year's travel plans:

  We have rough plans for the coming year. We will stay in the Sutherlin OR until 26 March for medical and dental appointments, then buy eight new motorhome tires locally (no sales tax in Oregon), and add one more 180 watt solar panel in Springfield OR.
  Weather over the Cascade passes permitting, we will move over to Bend OR on the east side of the Cascade mountains for a month or two.
  After that we will drift south through Nevada on back roads, into AZ spending around one month in Benson AZ near Tucson.
  After that into New Mexico to Texas. Several months in various places in east TX and motorhome work in Nacogdoches TX where our motorhome was built.
  After that towards FL, staying at several military bases in FL, perhaps Disney or Thousand Trails parks, and eventually to Key West FL for fall and winter.
  While this is somewhat backwards by moving towards hot weather for the summer months, it also puts us into low season in campgrounds for less crowding and more space/availability.

On The Cutting Board
While Dan was on crutches and space being limited in our motorhome, I decided to try sewing in our bedroom instead of using my 6x3 foot folding table in the living room which left no space for Dan to move around.  He had a hard enough time moving around without me hogging all the space.
There is no place to sit, but I do have a desk with enough floor space for my foot pedal and for me to turn around to the bed.  The desk has enough room for the sewing machine and the small cutting board if I am doing paper foundations.  The bed makes for an excellent place to lay out my quilt blocks...
....as long as the cats are not spread out across while sleeping.  The desk with the sewing machine is the perfect height for me to stand and sew.  I'm actually enjoying my new setup and the standing is easier on my back and neck.  I can move quickly from sewing to ironing in the kitchen.  Plus, I can leave my sewing sitting out while I eat lunch or take cats outside without worrying that my stuff is in Dan's way.

So, what have I been working on?  I have finished four quilt tops.  They are waiting to be appliquĆ©d. For now, I'll show you my most recent project and will wait to show the others after they are appliquĆ©d.  I found a cute baby pattern called Zoey's Quilt in one of my old Quiltmaker magazines.  I like it so much that I decided to make two of them.
Quiltmaker's All-Time Favorites Winter 2005 Zoey's Quilt
I thought this pattern would be perfect for the leftover fabrics I used in Sweet Pea's Garden quilt since the pattern has an appliquĆ©d sweet pea vine growing up the side.  The appliquĆ© will be a big project between the long vine with the leaves and sweet peas, not to mention, I will be doing this appliquĆ© design twice.
Below is a photo of the first top.  In the second quilt, I will replace the dark blue sashings with dark pink and the yellow borders with aqua blue (in photo above).
 I also liked the way the top and side borders are wider than the other two borders.  It looks lopsided now, but when the vine is added it will be very cute.  

 I have also been working on more mug rugs for my Etsy shop.  I have not listed them yet since I am still working on the photos.
It has been a quiet month, but very productive for me and a well deserved rest for Dan.  Time for some more sewing!  
Happy Quilting!

Popular Posts