Friday, August 30, 2013

Rain Brings Out The Killers (Pacific City, OR)

In books, of course.

Ever since we settled in Pacific City, the days have been filled with lots of rain.  My walks have been short and the cats are not getting out....boy, are they telling us about it too.  No new photos of the outdoors, so I will talk about some of my favorite summer reads instead.  Nothing is more cozy than a hot cup of tea and a murder mystery on a stormy night....or an all day of dark skies and rain.

Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
I have read all of Monica's Needlecraft Mystery series.  Her series is one of the few paperbacks that I made room for in our motorhome.

One of these days, I will read them all again.  I have followed Crewel World's owner Betsy Devonshire as she accidentally becomes the owner of her sister's shop and a sleuth with a knack for solving mysteries by talking to people.  Her friends can be quirky as well as talented and helpful.  The best part is that each book covers a different needlecraft theme, so I learn something new each time.  Betsy's favorite handwork is her knitting.  It helps her to think better while solving mysteries, but she does try other needlecrafts such as cross-stitch, needlepoint, blackwork, and you name it, she has probably tried it.

In "Buttons and Bones", Jill and her husband buy an old cabin on one of the many lakes in Minnesota.  They invite Betsy to join them to help with their two little ones while they spend the weekend starting on renovating the cabin.  Soon, Betsy's quiet weekend is changed with the discovery of a hidden cellar and a skeleton with only buttons from WWII for identification.  Crocheting is the theme this time...just like in Grandma's house with doilies covering the back of chairs and tables.  The clues were great and I actually figured out the mystery before I got to the "here's what happened" disclosure.

The Quilt Before the Storm Arlene Sachitano

This story did not have as much quilting as it had more to do with the homeless and rescued dogs while dealing with a huge NW storm that has cutoff the small town of Foggy Point.  With most of the police force on the wrong side of the flooded river, it is up to Harriet and her house-full of friends to solve the multiple homeless murders while helping out the storm victims.  I admit with all the clues, I was surprised by the "who-done-it".

I saw this site and thought I would share it with other readers...
17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand
17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand

On The Cutting Board
My needles have been on fire with all the handwork I have been getting done lately.  I finished three mug rugs so far:  the Witches Brew/frog and 2 of the 3 witches.  I got a little tired of working on dark backgrounds and decided to work on the two hogs instead.  I'm quilting them now.  I'm trying to finish all my unfinished mug rugs before starting new ones.
The only problem with that is how many I have sitting around.  I have at least another ten UFOs to finish with most of them being seasonal themed like turkeys and reindeer.  If I don't finish them soon, they will probably wait until next season and that is not good. 

I should make some more Santas, but I'm going to wait until I see how long I can keep up this pace.  If I don't burn out, I should have quite a stack of new mug rugs to list by the time we move back to Seaside on 9 Sept.
I hope to start working on some new trailers soon.  See, they are all cut out.  I just need to decide how I am going to embellish them.
I also have quite a few unfinished wall-hangings that I would like to list before the end of this year.  I worked on this one in-between working on the mug rugs.  
I bought this stack of teacups with a mouse design from Urban Threads.  I added the quote from "Alice in Wonderland" along with the wonky squares for the borders.
Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Time To Move South (Seaside, OR)

Where did the time go?  Our two week stay in Seaside just flew by.  Between visiting family, taking care of some motorhome problems, shopping, and finishing two more custom orders...well, I can say we did not sit around twirling our thumbs.
Travel day - time to move back to Pacific City for the next two weeks.  Then we will come back here for another two weeks before heading farther south along Oregon's coast.  Which reminds me....I have updated our travel map page.  The last place I logged in was back in Idaho.  Yea, I was a little behind on keeping that up-to-date.

On The Cutting Board
I will be mailing six mug rugs to three different customers today.  This will be a first for me!  I finished the two "Travels with Emma" on Friday night and I was able to finish another custom order for a red/aqua Happy Camper over the weekend.  Having a pattern and a plan makes the work go a lot faster.
 I also sold the last maroon/tan Happy Camper with the two Sheepish Lamb mug rugs.
I was so excited over selling so many this month that I pulled out some half done mug rugs and I plan to finish them within the next two weeks.
I will be making more Happy Campers.  I have some more trailers all cut out, but I want to get these four mug rugs done first.  Once I start adding embellishments..well, let me just say I might working on one for a while.  I really enjoy creating and designing the trailers.
Frog design from PC Crafter - no name
Halloween will be here soon...and Thanksgiving....and Christmas....okay....breathe

Hood to Coast Relay
On Saturday, we walked downtown to watch the runners for the Hood to Coast Relay cross the finish line.  
In 1982, they started with 8 teams.  Today, there were 1,050 teams of 12 runners running a relay for 198 miles.   They started on Friday and finished on Saturday.  It was very inspiring to see so many people take on this challenge.
Each team was able to follow their finishing team member across the finishing line.  I thought that was a nice touch.
Each runner had to run 3 legs of the race.  The relay started on Mt. Hood and finished on Seaside's beach.
Lots of support
 They had live music, food, and fireworks that night.  Seaside was booming with life and energy.  I like the running shoes on top of this team support van.

Time to pack up and head on down the road...
Happy Trails!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Carousels Go Round and Round (Seaside, OR)

We had a great time visiting with Dan's aunt in Astoria.  We swapped lots of travel stories.  Dan's aunt and uncle have been to Thailand several times.  A place we would love to see someday, so we really enjoyed hearing about their experiences.
Dan's cousin also came for a visit so we could meet his family and get caught up.  We only had some 30+ years of catching up to do.  It was wonderful and talk about a "Traveler", his cousin's work as a camera man has taken him all over the world. 
We spent a second day with Dan's cousin and family in Seaside.  We met at the carousel while their son enjoyed a few rides on the carousel.  Afterwards, we enjoyed walking around Seaside's downtown and beach area.  Hopefully, we will get together again in the future especially if we decide to lease a lot in Sutherlin, OR.
Guess which one is my favorite...
Dan and I have been enjoying the blue skies and warmer weather with long walks around Seaside.  
We have been walking to the downtown area which is about 2 miles away from the campground.  I never tire of looking at the beach style homes with their gardens along the way and the boardwalk along the beach. 
 The downtown area also has a wide variety of flowers.  I don't recognize most of the flowers, but would love to have a garden filled with them.
I love these poppies with the black spots against the purple.
On The Cutting Board
The "Travels with Emma" order is almost done.  I have one quilted and I am working on the second one today.  I need to add my patch to the back and a button for a door handle.....
 and they will be ready to mail by Monday!  Yea!
So, back to work.  I really like saying that.  It is probably the only time that I have ever looked forward to working...but it doesn't feel like work..more like....
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Cosmos and The Great Blue Heron (Seaside, OR)

The Thousands Trails campground in Seaside has a wonderful gardener.  Minda does a lovely job of giving us a wide selection of colorful flowers throughout the campground.  I took only a couple of photos while talking to her about the different flowers she had planted.  
Cosmos are everywhere!  They are one of my favorites with their big blossoms and fern-like leaves.  They look so delicate and yet they get so tall.  They are also an invasive plant. I use to grow them in Albuquerque and they spread out all over the yard.  Saved me from buying more each year.  I miss my gardens.  It is so nice to have Minda's gardens to view while we are here.
pink cosmos
While walking into town, we came across a Great Blue Heron doing some fishing near the road.  I'm so glad I had my camera!
He did not feel so happy about me taking his picture.  We certainly heard about it too as he flew away squawking the whole time!
On The Cutting Board
I'm slowly getting "Travels with Emma" to the finish line.  I did some more adjustments on the wording and on Emma.  This is the old photo before the changes.
I changed Emma's tongue to a darker pink.  I added her paw out the window and I thought it would be cute to add a "Welcome" sign in the shape of a dog's bone.  What dog doesn't like to greet new people and to have a dog's bone?
I did not like the way the 's' looked in Travels when it was embroidered.  So a little ripping out and redesigning....
   Yea, I like this 's' a lot better.
This photo was taken this morning.  I finished the embroidery on one and I am halfway through the second one.
Well, I still have lots to do and I really need to get back to work.  I'm hoping to have both done by Tuesday at the latest.  But, they will have to wait until tonight, we are getting ready to go to Astoria today to visit with Dan's aunt and her family.  We are off to have a great visit.  We have lots of catching up to do since I can't remember the last time we saw them.  
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Can See Clearly Now (Seaside, OR)

On The Cutting Board
I had a few false starts on this custom order.  The request included a black dog and two birds using the pretty grey fabric.  Choosing the clipart of dogs wasn't a problem since I have some wonderful clipart designed by Laurie Furnell.  Birds were a little harder because I could go in any direction.  I thought about using a hummingbird and a Great Blue Heron, but no of the clipart appealed to me. 

 Back to my stash of clipart.  Laurie to the rescue again!  In her "Autumn Thyme", I found some birds that were perfect.  I wish PC Hugs would reopen their website.  They had the best selection of royalty-free clipart for sale.
You might say the mug rug was out of focus for awhile.  I knew what I wanted to do, but the overall picture just wasn't coming together.  Finally, I decided that the mug rug could not be long and slim like the motorhome.  I kept adding to the roof to make it taller.  It became short and quite plump.  Now it looks more like a mug rug.

Once I got the size, I realized that "Travels with Emma" and the birds were not going to show up too well with a grey background.  Back to the drawing, I decided to embroider the title and birds inside the cream color design which means more adjusting.  I made the cream design more plump with lots of area for the embroidery.
 Ta Da!  I think Emma (dog) in the window and the cream design worked out quite well.....and....
"I can see clearly now!".... the design that is....
Emma's tongue barely shows in this photo.  I might re-do her tongue in a darker pink.  Her paw is going to hang out the window once I have added it to the background.
This is all I have done for now.  We moved on Monday to Seaside, OR.  Back to civilization and shopping.  Speaking of shopping. We went shopping yesterday in Hillsboro which is about an hour and a half from here.  I did not get much done, but it was so nice to be near stores and restaurants.

Cape Lookout Photos
We walked to Cape Lookout near Pacific City before we left the area.  This trail is only 2.4 miles or 4.8 miles round trip with a 400 ft elevation gain.  The biggest problem is the deep mud on the trails.
 It was foggy and very wet, but it was worth the walk.  I like walking in the fog.   It changes everything around me.  
Colors are more vibrant and the smell of damp wood fills the air.  Not to mention, the imagination can really get going at times.
I have to wonder just how Cape Lookout got its name.  During the time we were staying in the area, the cape was constantly covered in low clouds.  The state park mentions a lighthouse, but I did not see one.
I would spend more time researching the history, but I hear some mug rugs calling my name.
 Happy Trails!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I'm Actually Busy! (Pacific City, OR)

On Th Cutting Board
All Right!  I finished my second custom order and within a week's time.  Of course, it helped that I already had the templates from the first one.  So, here's the finished Harvey J.
I like the deeper colors of the new one.  If you are wondering what I am going to do with the blotchy first one, I'm going to mail it with the other one.  It was almost done, so why let it go to waste?  Now the customer can hang one up and use the other one.
I have a new custom order for two new mug rugs.  This one is for "Travels with Emma".  Emma is the dog in the left-hand corner.  The blue is for the windows because Emma is going to be looking out the window.  This will be a new challenge for me.  So far, I have found some good samples of royalty-free cliparts of dogs that look similar to Emma and matching fabric.  I hope to get started on the mug rugs today.
 Today, I was on Facebook and there was another one of my mug rugs being advertised by Etsy!  This time I clicked on "Quilts on Etsy" and I was surprised it took me straight to my Vintage Trailer!  That is so cool!
Of course, this one sold already, but at least it is taking customers to my shop.  Thank you Etsy for the free advertisement!  All four of my Vintage Trailers have sold!  Which means I better get busy with making more mug rugs.

The following photos were taken at the Yaquina Lighthouse and the rocky beach area from Newport.  I'm glad I uploaded the following photos earlier this month.  I don't know if I could have done them while we are here in Pacific City.  I can't even get the link to the state park's website to share with you.  Oh well.
Anyway, we had a great time watching the harbor seals sunning on the rocks..
listening to the birds...and smelling them too...
exploring the tide pools....
and getting some great close-ups of sea life...

Even though I have seen this lighthouse a couple of times, I never tire of looking at it again or any of the other lighthouses that we have visited in the past.  They are so fascinating.
As much as I enjoy the rustic lifestyle, I'll be so happy to move next Monday to Seaside....back to civilization...back to cell phone service....back to WiFi....back to some kind of TV signal...Yes!  We are only spending two weeks at Seaside.  Before we head back to Pacific City, I do hope to get caught up with everything online.

Well, time to get back to work.  I have mug rugs to wrap up for mailing and a new custom order to get started.  Pinch me!  I can't believe I am this busy!  
Happy Quilting!

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