Sunday, March 30, 2014

Motorhome Or A Boathouse? (Seaside, OR)

Seriously, it has been raining here....a lot!  The news said March had over 7 inches of rain.  The campground now has small ponds with ducks where sites use to be.  The campground is surrounded by wetlands so the water has no place to go, but the wild life is loving it.  
We saw a Great Blue Heron and some sort of a striped mammal swimming near the park, not to mention, there are a lot of geese and ducks.

humans!!  fly away!
This is a permanent site.  The owner had to park his car in the road and looks like he needs to wear galoshes to get out of his rig.  He even has a mallard duck floating around and munching nearby.
....or maybe this is the mallard's camp site....
The best part about the rain is the flowers.  They are blooming everywhere.
The sun came out today.  So nice!  The campground became very active with kids riding bikes, people walking along with their pets.  I was very distracted with all the sunshine coming through the windows.  I'm hoping it'll stay a little dryer for the rest of our stay.  When we took the cats outside today, they had a few visitors come up to talk to them.  Dusty and Squirrel were extra friendly to the visitors.  They acted like they never get attention from us!
Later, we got outside for a walk and took some photos of the area.  All of the following are inside the campground.  This is a very nice place and one of my favorite campgrounds.  Below is the area where we saw the heron.  Of course, he was unavailable for photos.  

The last three photos are taken across the road from the flooded campsites inside the park.
Dan has been busy lining up work for us.  He has the rest of this year all planned out.  We will visit family in Spokane in late April.  From there, we will head to South Dakota to renew our licenses.  In May, we will be working as camp hosts in Gearhart, WY.  Not too bad of a job working 20 hours each with another couple and the owners.  That will last through September.
In mid September, we have lined up a job with Amazon for seasonal work in their Kansas warehouse.  Yep, I might be the one packing up your order this year.  That will be a tough job with 4/10 hour days and later 5/10 hour days.  So, we won't be making it to Minnesota, Oklahoma, or Texas this year.  I'll be closing the Etsy shop from September to January because I am going to be one tired puppy.  I know the cats will not be happy campers during this time, but it is only for a short while.
Hmm, should have this canoe outside the rig
....just in case...
Well, it looks like we are going to have a very busy year.  I better get back to my projects and get them done.  As soon as we are in a dry enough area with sunshine, I will get photos taken of all my finished projects and get them all listed.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not Much Going On (Seaside, OR)

I know today is Not So Wordless Wednesday, but I haven't been out taking photos since my last post.  This is Oregon's Spring Break week.  Seaside is bustling with families enjoying the nice weather we had earlier this week.  Because the area is so busy, we decided to hang out around the campground until next week.  I'll certainly be ready to get out and do some exploring next week.  Hopefully, I'll have some outdoor photos some time next week.
Seaside beach
On The Cutting Board
In the meantime, I have been spending more time on my projects.  I finished the Welcome Kitty wall hanging last night.
I made my first fabric flower along with a bud.  I left the edges raw and picked at the edges some more for a more frayed look.
 I'm almost done with this Happy Camper's embroidery.  I plan to add handles to the tea cups and I might add something to the door's window.  I'm just not sure what....
 I have also been changing some of the older mug rugs.  I'm adding more embellishments to see if that will help them to sell sometime soon.
added a flower and ribbon
Some of them need some more quilting like the white rabbit above.  He looks like he needs lots of quilting.
added a flower and ribbon
 So far, I have only embellished three rabbits.  I have a few more that I have pulled out that I would like to see them sell soon.

added two roses to this rabbit
 I'm more tired than usual thanks to our cats having little parties in the middle of the night or their sunrise wake-up calls.  It could be the weather too making me feel tired while it is causing the cats to be more restless than usual...
Dusty:  What?  I do nothing......I am innocent
......yea!...right!............I am needing another cup of tea to make it through the rest of the day....yawn
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm a Happy Camper! (Seaside, OR)

Small signs of Spring!  It has been some crazy weather with rain, wind, freezing cold, and sunshine.....that is in a 24-hour time frame.  Yesterday afternoon, a cold wind blew away the rain clouds and gave us a little sunshine.  This morning, we woke to frozen water pipes, but now the sun is out and it is suppose to get around 60 degrees.  I'm surprised the cats are not begging to go outside.  Shhh!  We'll let them out soon.
Hounds of Autumn by Heather Blackwood
You don't have to be a Steampunk fan to enjoy this murder mystery.

This is my first Steampunk cozy murder mystery and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I don’t know a lot about Steampunk except that I enjoy viewing their costumes and artwork online.  This story is perfect for a beginner.  It has just enough Victorian advanced technology to give it an interesting spin to the story but it is not overwhelming with “techno talk”.

The main character is a female inventor – Chloe.  She and her husband Ambrose are traveling from London to the moors to spend a month with his sister's family while Chloe visits with their neighbor who happens to be Chloe’s inventor/friend by correspondence.  But, Chloe never gets to meet her friend because it is her body that is discovered on the moors and the leading suspect is the victim’s mechanical dog.  Chloe and Ambrose are soon searching for the answers only to end up with more questions. 

My favorite character is Chloe’s invention – a mechanical cat named Giles.  He is made by a human and has gears for his insides, but he also has a lot of ‘Catitude’ that had me laughing out loud a couple of times.  There is one scene when he attacks a lady’s hat and feathers are flying causing chaos between the hat’s owner, Giles, and Chloe that had me thinking this sounds so familiar….doesn't it, Hitch?  Yep, Giles reminded me a lot of Hitch with his little, I mean adventures.
Who me?
What I loved the most about this book was how Ambrose and Chloe interacted with each other.  Their comfortable love is filled with respect and admiration for each other.  A look across the table, the touching of hands, and knowing what each other is thinking makes for a nice change from most authors who feel their characters need to get a little too physical to show their love.

Another thing is how Ms. Blackwood addresses the Victorian attitude towards women through their love for each other.  Chloe is not one for being the typical Victorian lady by spending her days reading poems and doing needlework.  Ambrose is a widower and a long-time friend to Chloe’s family.  After watching Chloe’s family struggle with their finances for several years, Ambrose suggests a marriage agreement.  Being very independent, Chloe adds her own terms to the agreement:  to be able to read whatever she wants and to keep working on her inventions.  Ambrose especially feels a need to be be a buffer by protecting Chloe’s more independent thinking from the stifling Victorian society’s attitudes.  Lots of twists and surprises…oh, and I would keep a box of tissues nearby too.

I looked online for other books with a similar theme, but so far nothing jumps out except for a time travel series by the same author.  I have them on my wish list.  In the meantime, I downloaded “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “The Hound of Baskervilles”.

On The Cutting Board
Here's a sneak peek of my new Happy Campers.  I'm having fun designing some new embroidery designs and different color combinations.
All right!  Enough chit-chat.....back to the cutting board.  I just thought of a different design.
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sand Dunes In My Backyard (Nehalem Bay State Park, OR)

ahhh, do you have to leave?
We said good-bye to our sea-loving friends...the sea lions and got back on the road driving north.
Newport, OR
Next stop - four hours later, only 100 miles north on a winding road and very bumpy, we finally made it to Nehalem Bay State Park.  By the time we had the motorhome parked in its new site, the cats were practically climbing over each other trying to get out the door.  They are usually good about staying near the motorhome when we let all four out on their leashes, but not this time.    They scattered as if they had planned it so we could not get them all back inside so we could move again.
Dusty ran for the tall grass, Squirrel immediately took off to other sites, and Hitch went up a tree.  Even our skittish Max was exploring outside his usual 20-foot radius from the safety of the motorhome's door.  After herding them back into our site, we finally decided we could only handle two at a time.
Behind our site was a trail that lead us across dunes to the beach.  What a view!  Wouldn't this be a wonderful spot for a home.  To step out onto your porch and see this every day.

Hwy 101 is just below the clouds on the side of  the mountain.  It is quite a scenic view when it is clear.
We walked from the state park into Manzanita's downtown area.  We like the warm and friendly atmosphere of the town's locals.  My kind of town with many restaurants offering interesting vegetarian meals and shops offering creative artistic items.  We moved today to Seaside.  It is only 22 miles away, so we might try to go back for a visit.
The sun made it out for one day before the rain came back.  Seems to be our running record for the coast - one sunny day with rain for the rest of the week.  We were lucky today to have just a heavy mist while traveling to Seaside.  We will stay here for the next three weeks.  Hopefully, the rain will slack off because this campground is very soggy.  They have mini ponds where camp sites use to be.  The ducks seem to like the new change.  Funny to see them swimming where rigs are usually parked.

On The Cutting Board
I finished sewing together the All Creatures Great and Small quilt.  It needs a good ironing.....and I can do that now.  We have full-hookups, so I can iron and get some projects done.
I'm thinking of adding a small border of sage before I set it up for quilting.  Sorry I wasn't able to get a full photo of the quilt top.  Once we are in a dry area and it is a calm sunny day, I will get some photos of the whole top.
Well, the cats are begging to go outside and explore their new home.  I guess we better take them out and get in a walk as well.
Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Little Sewing Here, A Little Quilting There (Newport, OR)

Here are a couple of more photos of our last outing to Depoe Bay and Boiler Bay.  The sun is peeking out from behind the clouds today.  We hear we will be seeing more of our sunny friend this week.  Which is good since Thursday is our travel day.  
We are moving north to Nehalem Bay State Park.  We stayed there for five days in the fall, but we did not get a chance to walk around Nehalem's downtown area that was nearby.  We were there when a large storm system came through making it hard to walk around the town.
I can't remember how our WiFi was during our stay.  It might be a little too weak for posting, so there's a chance I won't be posting for about a week.

On The Cutting Board
So, I have been all over the place with my projects since we have full-hookups with plenty of power.  The sewing machine and iron are getting a lot of use.

I finished appliqueing the Hawaiian Sea Turtles.  It is all setup for quilting.  I plan to do the traditional echo quilting...Oh! and I decided to turn this into a wall hanging.  It's too big and way too white to be a pillow.  It would have to be washed too often to keep it clean.
I also finished the quilting on the Cat's Welcome wall hanging.  I went a little quilt-happy on this one.  I love hand-quilting!  Now, I need to decide how to finish it.  I have the binding.  I think I'll add loops for hanging with a dowel.  eh!  I'll work on this one.
Since I have finished the embroidery blocks for "All Creatures Great and Small" quilt, I have been washing, ironing, and cutting fabric for the blocks.  I have most of the blocks done.  I have never setup quilt rows vertically.  I'm finding it a little harder to do since I lack the room for arranging the blocks.  The couch has been my best spot for laying out two rows at a time, but to do the whole quilt....well, that is going to be a challenge to get the cats to stay off our bed long enough for me to arrange the quilt to my liking.  As I sew the blocks together, I can see this is going to be a very colorful quilt with these colors.
I'm also working on my Happy Campers, but I am not ready to show them yet.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Visit To A Winter Sea (Newport, OR)

Boiler Bay, OR
The Winter Sea  Another great story by Susanna Kearsley.  Susanna is one of those extraordinary talented writers who is able to pull the reader into a different world of reality while bringing characters to life.  She also has an amazing gift of weaving, in a supernatural way, two different stories from the past and the present seamlessly together while giving the reader a history lesson.  I have learned quite a bit about Scotland's supporters of King James Stewart - the Jacobites.  At the end of this book, Susanna explains about her research and the liberties she took for the story.  I was able to find many of her 'past' characters' history online.
If she had a white dress on,
she would look like the book cover.
Depoe Bay

There are two main characters this time.  In the present is a historical fiction writer - Carolyn (Carrie) McClelland and in the past - Sophia is Carrie's main character based on her ancestor.  Carrie soon finds herself so caught up in Sophia's story that she has a hard time telling what is real and what she is making up for the story.  Sophia is living at the Slains Castle north of Edinburgh during the Jacobite uprisings to return their king to his throne in 1708.  There is intrigue, spies, and romance with a little supernatural to keep me turning the pages.  The characters are strong and in depth.  I like the way the women are portrayed as being thoughtful, strong, and aware of the political conditions they are living in at the time.  

I found photos of Slains Castle in Scotland.  I can see why this place is the center for this book.  I bet this castle has many stories.  If only the walls could talk, right?  I wish I had known about the castle when we were traveling through the U.K., I would have enjoyed exploring this area.
The Winter Sea's Slains Castle, Cruden Bay, Scotland
Slains Castle
source:  Pinterest
I had a hard time putting this book down.  When I did put the book down, I found myself thinking about the characters especially since we are on the coast right now.  
With all the descriptions of a winter sea, I could imagine Sophia or Carrie walking along the beaches.  Where there is sand for walking, of course.  When I took these photos, we had a storm coming in and as you can see....the waves were huge!  I can imagine instead of this modern day build, I can see a castle there....sitting a little closer to the cliff...
In the book, there is one story passed down through the family about finding a stone with a hole in it and wearing it around your neck to protect you from harm.  I found that story interesting and decided to see if I could find a stone with a hole in it.  Being in an area known for lava flow, they were not hard to find.  Finding a small enough one to put around a neck was a little harder.  I like the one on the left.  It is not smooth or round like the ones described in the book, but I think I'll keep that one.  I might hang it up on the wall with some ribbon.  It sort of looks like a turtle's head with a gaping mouth.  
I know that whenever I look at this stone I will remember Sophia and Carrie.  And it will remind me to be on the lookout for another book by Susanna Kearsley.  May she have many more books to write!
C.S. Lewis
Oh, I agree!  The bad part being that I don't get a single stitch done while I'm reading.  The good news being that I just found two of Susanna Kearsley's book on sale in  Yea!
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Miles of Walking and Photos (Newport, OR)

We were seeing more of the sun since we moved to Newport and we took full advantage of the warmer, not to mention, dryer weather.  Even the cats came out of the back to start soaking up some rays.  
Squirrel:  my sunshine
 Dusty kept telling us if it's sunny outside, it is time to for cats to go for a walk!  Of course today, the weather is cold with rain and heavy winds.  A good day for staying indoors.
Our first walk was to go see the sea lions in Newport's Historic Bayfront area.  Not as many sea lions as there had been in the fall, but they were just as entertaining to watch.
Looks a little cold
warmth in numbers
We also went back to Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  This time we climbed the Communications hill behind the lighthouse for a different view and what a view!
 We could see for miles up and down the coast with blue skies and not a single rain cloud in sight.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Below is a view to the north of the lighthouse.  Can you see the cave in the rock on the left? It goes all the way through.  If the rocks were closer together, I could imagine it to be a great hiding spot....a smuggler's cove....arrrgh!
We watched a sea lion fishing in the water below us.  He ate quite a few not so small fish and then he caught what looked like a small shark.  It was too far away to tell what kind of fish it had been but I can tell you that sea lions have a big appetite!
This is a view to the south of the natural preserve area.

And below in a tidal pool:  Looks like the starfish like to keep each other company with the way they are all huddled together.  I can spend a lot of time watching tidal pools.
 Okay, one more of the lighthouse from below....
On another gorgeous day, we went for a walk around Nye Beach.  After walking the beach, we wandered through the downtown area checking out shop windows and reading some of the restaurants' posted menus. 
Pastries seem to be a very popular item here.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try something different so I got a strawberry with lavender scone.  I have had lavender cake in the past, so I was a little disappointed because I had a hard time tasting the lavender in the scone.  It was still delicious and I enjoyed every bite.
We walked up the hill to take a closer look at this piece of artwork called "Absence of Emptiness" with this sign below.
It is interesting to see what inspired the artist and what he did with his inspiration.
I'm not quite sure what the artist is saying.  Maybe someone can explain it to me.

One more photo of a lovely recycled angel and the last of our beautiful weather.
The angel is just like a quilt....Very scrappy!
Happy Quilting!

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