Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Newport, OR)

The weather has been very cooperative so we have been spending more time outside taking long walks.  Here are some more photos from our walk on Ona State Park Beach.
Many of the small streams were now large creeks.  I'm glad I had on my boots!
Where the creek meets the sea
Pals - Black Oystercatcher and Seagull
We can only walk a little over 2 miles before we come to cliffs blocking our way.  The big rock to the left is the beginning of a bird nesting sanctuary with Seal Rock Beach on the other side.  The last time we were here, we had a seagull challenging us as we walked near his territory.  We did not stay long since he was looking very agitated and neither one of us wanted to be dive-bombed by a seagull.
Backside of the Seal Rock Beach
What a gorgeous day!  I hope to see a few more like this before we leave this area.  

When I have some spare time, I have been working on my new projects, but none have made much progress.  Probably because I'm trying to do too many at the same time.  Plus, I'm reading another good book by Susanna Kearsley that I am finding very hard to put down.  I'll have to look for this author on so I can enjoy her books while working on my too many projects.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sea, Sand, Sun (Newport, OR)

We had a great first couple of days back in Newport.  The sun has been out with just a light breeze.  The best part - it wasn't too chilly for a walk on the beach.  
Ona Beach State Park 
We walked almost five miles yesterday and I am certainly feeling it today, but it was so nice to be outside with the sun warming our faces.  I hope we have blue skies for the next couple of days.
It is certainly nice to be on the move again even if it is back to a place we have been to several times before.  I'm looking forward to our travels to South Dakota.  It has been quite awhile since our last visit....five years to be exact.  Amazing how time flies.  In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this gorgeous weather.
On The Cutting Board
We have full power....yipee!.... so I have been working my iron extra hard.  Lots of fabric to get ready for my new projects.  So far, I have cut out about 10 new Happy Camper mug rugss.  I'm transferring patterns for embroidery now.
I finished embroidering the last block for the All Creatures Great and Small quilt.  I started cutting the fat quarters and I am finding that quite a few of my fat quarters are so crooked that I am having a problem getting the exact amount of required pieces.  According to the instructions, each quarter would have given me 8 large pieces with 12 smaller ones with very little left over.  I will need to add a ninth fat quarter to make up for the lost pieces.
Well, I need to go hunt through my stash or maybe go shop for some matching fabric.....
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

No Cabin Fever (Florence, OR)

With almost three weeks of rain, I'm working on keeping cabin fever away with lots of projects, reading, and walks.  It has rained so much that there are new springs popping up in the campgrounds dirt roads.  Makes for an interesting walk to look for new springs and small creeks.  Our walking has become a  fast-paced walk between the downpours so I haven't taken the time for photos.  We move on Thursday.  I'm hoping for better photo ops once we are settled in our new site.

I finished the second book by Gil McNeil.  Not as much swearing in this one.  Jo has many new challenges to face with her two boys, being in two weddings, a fire in her wool shop, and to top it off - she is pregnant.  Jo receives comforting support from family and friends making this a warm and cozy story. 
I don't know what it is about Gil's story about knitters that has me wanting to learn how to knit.  Maybe she added subliminal messages to take up knitting and buy yarn...lots of yarn.  I have read other books with knitters and crocheters -- never ever had a problem, but there is something about the way she describes all the knitting Jo does along with her friends that it sounds so productive and relaxing. While they are knitting tea cozies, elephants, shawls, and of course sweaters, I am dreaming of the wool and silk yarns being described in the story.  I need to read a non-yarn book next.  Maybe a sci-fi or a horror story by Dean Koontz with no hobbies involved.
MARY POPPINS Tea Cosy - Crochet PATTERN  Sami would LOVE!  Could I stuff her instead of putting over teapot?
Can you blame me?  Isn't this adorable?
and it is knitted!
photo source:  Pinterest and Etsy

Anyway, I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.  Sometime later, I will read the third one in this series...after the urge to buy yarn and knitting needles has gone away...far, far away.  I was going to start reading another knitting story with the character is living in the Florida Keys by Terri DuLong.  Oh no!  Talk about a double whammy!  Florida!  I want it bad.....especially right now with knitting needles and yarn!  Okay, that one will sit on the shelf a little longer.

Do you wonder why I talk about books?  I do it because I love reading and sharing.  I'm not trying to give a review.  I just like talking about what I am reading and I love to hear what others are reading.  I don't always read what they have read, but I like to read the book's description online and maybe add it to my loooong reading list.

Something I rarely talk about are our children.  I'm so proud of them. I want to wish them all the best on their new adventures. They have done wonders to beat the odds and build a good life for themselves.  Our daughter has been working part-time and on her college degree while taking care of her two daughters.  She recently announced she has been accepted for Grad school and she will start working full-time as an EA for the President of Cameron University!  In the meantime, her oldest daughter, our granddaughter has been accepted into the Upward Bound at Cameron University!  Only 70 high school students are accepted each year.  They both deserve this after all the years of struggling to make ends meet.

I have mentioned our son moving from Albuquerque, NM to Everett, WA.  His friends offered to share their home with him if he would move to Everett, WA.  He did just that.  He quit his job, packed his belongs, and moved in with them with no job lined up.  Very adventurous!  Well, he announced he found his dream job with an IT consultant company.  The pay and benefits are far better than anything he would have received from his old job.

On The Cutting Board
Since we are in a limited power site (which means: I cannot use the iron while running 2 electric heaters or the instant hot), I have been keeping myself busy with hand quilting the Cat's Welcome wall hanging. 
 I might have gone a bit overboard with the quilting, but it kept me happy.
I have been working on the Hawaiian sea turtle block.  I'm doing better than I thought with this applique technique.  I'm turning under only 1/8 of an inch.  It took me awhile to figure out not to turn under more than 1/2 inch in advance.  At first, I was losing the curves in the center holes.  By the time I got to the turtles tails and fins, I was getting a little more comfortable with this technique.  

I'm also finding this work a little hard on my eyes.  I thought using a white background with the blue-green would be easy on my eyes, but using such tiny stitches has me blurry-eyed after an hour of work.  
I have three of the four turtles backsides done and then I have all the seaweed and the turtles' heads to applique.  The seaweed makes me a little nervous.  I must make sure I take my time so the curves look good.  I probably should have picked an easier design with a brighter color.  I'm quite happy with my choices.  Plus, I know in the end I'll be a lot happier with the finished project.  Of course, I have not decided what it will be...a pillow?  a wall-hanging?  the center for a small quilt?  eh,  I'll decide later.

I have been daydreaming about making some little house mug rugs, so I spent some time looking at houses online along with some photos I have taken of some quaint houses during our travels.  I did not get very far along on this project.  I keep changing my mind.  So many options to think about, but I did some sketches of my little dream cottages on pencil in case I want to change something.  Seeing them take shape is starting to get my imagination going.
Oh, and I am working on some new Happy Camper mug rugs too.  I have a pile of patterns and fabric ready to go once we are in a better site with more power or the weather warms up so I can use the iron without freezing us in our motorhome.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Quiet Days, Lazy Ways (Florence, OR)

Happy Valentine's Day!  Today, I'm feeling very lazy.  I know there are projects I want to get done before we leave here, but motivation seems be running on empty.  I am certainly aware that the days are flying by.  Hard to believe we have been here for ten days. 

I thought I would share this for Valentine's Day from LOLCats - A purrfect spot for a cat to wear his heart...
I Can't Escape it
We are enjoying a break in the rain, but no sunshine.  I haven't taken a single new photo.  So, here are a couple of old photos from our sunny day in Florence....
And one more of the duck enjoying the weather while swimming around the docks....
On The Cutting Board
I know I should be thinking of heart-filled items to make to celebrate today, but I really want to get some UFO's done.  

I decided to take apart the heart on the gingerbread man.  You can't see the heart with all those beads.  I knew that I wanted to do something to accent the heart instead of hiding it.
After, viewing some online photos of other quilters crazy quilts, I decided to do something similar by embellishing the heart with beads, lace, and ribbons.
It isn't very Christmas-y, but I can see the heart now.  I did try to add the look of mistletoe hanging below the heart.  Next time, if there is a next time, I will try to stitch in some mistletoe before assembling.
The top looked a little too plain, so I added more buttons with lace and ribbons.
This time I am happy with the results.

Off to get some more stitching done.  I'm not sure what to work on next...hmm, I have turtles to applique, a cat to quilt....I should clean out my scrap!...time for a walk.  Get that heart pumping and some oxygen to the brain...yawn!
Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunshine and Christmas Stockings (Florence, OR)

We had a full day of sunshine after the much needed rain moved inland.  We took advantage of the sunshine and drove into town for a walk through downtown Florence.  We were not the only ones enjoying the sunshine.  People were out walking their dogs, hummingbirds were zipping around in and out of flowering bushes.
 We stopped at a sweet shop on the main street for a sugar fix.  I had the best pumpkin ice cream ever!  Okay, so I have never had pumpkin ice cream, but it was very good and it was not so rich that by the end I was still enjoying the flavor.

On The Cutting Board
I have been looking through my Etsy inventory and wondering why some items have not sold by now.  I decided it was time to modify or transform a few of the items to see if that will make a difference.  Plus, some of my old photos need to be taken again.  
So, I'm starting with the Christmas stockings.  Above, it the old photo of the stocking and below.  Quite a difference from my old photo.
I added a ribbon rosette with some metallic red thread.  I also added some clear glass seed beads to the rose for a dew drop look.
The gingerbread man was a little harder to add to without blocking the little guy...
So, I added a doubled red bow with green thread and white glass seed beads giving him a more festive look.
With the second gingerbread man, I decided to spruce up his little heart....
with some seed beads and threads.  Hmmm, this one might go back for more changes.  The heart has disappeared behind all the beads.
I got a little more creative with the elf's hat on this one.
I added purple and red metallic threads with more gold seed beads.

I don't have the old photo for the reindeer.  I added a green bow with gold metallic and blue threads.
The ribbon and threads were not enough this time.  I added a blue star and some clear seed beads to give the reindeer a more winter look.

Well, I am off to my Etsy shop to change photos and renew the listings.  
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Heathers and Angel (Florence, Or)

We moved back to the coast just before another cold front hit Oregon.  So today, we are sitting inside while watching the snow fall.  It's too bad it is not sticking to the foliage for me to get photos this time. 
I did get some photos yesterday of Heather soaking up the sun's rays.  They are blooming every where in the Florence area.
They are so delicate looking.  I love the colors of lavender and sage combined.   I have thought of making a quilt in those two colors, but I have never found the right fabric.
One more of some bright red berries.  So nice to see some color blooming in February.  I bet March will be an explosion of colors along the coast.
On The Cutting Board
I finished the custom order and mailed her out yesterday.  I set a new record on finishing this mug rug.
I definitely like the straight eyes better.  I'm thinking of making Uncle Sam and Santa with straight eyes.
Now, I can finish up my other projects.  I have been thinking about some new mug rug and wall hanging designs.  I hope to post about them soon.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Six More Weeks? (Sutherlin, OR)

I bet some people are not happy hearing that news from Punxsutawney Phil.  I wonder if he ever consults the Farmer's Almanac?  I really feel for those dealing with another snow and ice storm.  Our weather has been looking a lot better.  A little more sunshine less fog and a few degrees higher.  We are seeing more people outside enjoying a little walk or getting a few outdoor chores done.  Time for a change of scenery for us, we are moving back to the coast on Tuesday.

I have been spending most of my winter getting a few projects done and getting in some reading time.  I recently finished this book by Gil McNeil....
A.K.A. “Divas Don’t Knit” (don't make the mistake and buy the same book twice!)
I found these two books in a book warehouse in Seaside, OR last summer.  As soon as I read the description of this story being set in a small village on England’s coast, I was pretty sure I would enjoy reading them.  It sounded so quaint.  I immediately thought of my friend Maggie traveling to a seaside village in her Harvey J, shopping for wool and spending cozy evenings knitting.   Plus, I always enjoy reading about knitting groups as much as I do quilting or crocheting or any other kind of women’s social gathering.  I have often thought of taking up knitting as well.  Just what I need to do - add another hobby to my list.

And I did enjoy the first book despite all the swearing in it which I found rather irrelevant to most of the story.  I really did not understand the need for the f-word unless the writer is trying to attract a younger crowd.  I’m not sure how that works for a book.  It isn't like books get ratings like movies do for language, sex, and violence.  I had to look up quite a few the British slang words and swearing.  I definitely learned quite a bit about British slang while reading the book.

So, if you can forgive and overlook the swearing, the story about Jo - a recently widowed mother of two young boys whose husband had announced just before his car accident that he wanted a divorce.  If that wasn't bad enough for Jo, she finds out they are broke and she has been a stay-at-home mom all this time. 

No job and no house, she decides to move out of London when Gran (grandma) offers Jo full-ownership of the family’s rundown wool and yarn shop.  Jo’s journey to start a new life for herself and her sons while surrounded by quirky yet lovable family and friends is filled with funny and heart-warming moments.
I plan to start reading the next book "Needles and Pearls" soon.

On The Cutting Board
It took me three evenings to finish the basting on my Hawaiian turtles.  I usually find basting boring especially when it is a large quilt and I need to do long stretches of basting from one end to the other.  This was more of a challenge to baste only a quarter of an inch from the edge...around all the edges....actually this made it more interesting and I finished a lot faster than I thought I would.  So, that's done and I did start appliqueing the center, but I had to stop.
I also got the binding sewed onto all the quilts, but I did not get the chance to finish the binding or any of my other projects..
...because I got my first custom order for the year.  It is sort of a rush job, so I had to drop everything....big thump!!  It took a couple of days of emailing to get the order right.  I finally got started on the mug rug yesterday.  The customer would like it for St. Valentine's day.
As soon as I'm done with this order, I'll be back on track with my other projects.  
Happy Quilting!

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