Friday, May 30, 2014

Is It Spring or Summer? (Glenrock, WY)

  APART AT THE SEAMS by Marie Bostwick Apart at the Seams by Marie Bostwick
I just finished listening to another great story by Marie Bostwick.  We are back to Cobble Court in New Bern, CT visiting with Ivy and a new arrival - Gayla.  While both Ivy and Gayla learn to trust again, the quilt group decides to follow Gayla's example by doing something outside their own comfort zone.  Each one takes on a task they always dreamed of doing but for whatever reason, never checked it off their dream list.
Both Ivy and Gayla get plenty of support and quilt therapy from the Cobble Court Quilters while their lives have been turned upside down by unexpected family news.  I like the way everyone decides to take a sabbatical away from their daily life to try something new and to share it with the others.  For Gayla, it is gardening and quilting...of course.  For Ivy.....well, you'll just have to read the book.  Virginia's challenge is my favorite adventure, but not one I am willing to try!

Spring is here!  Actually, it feels like summer has dropped in with a big hot thump!  It got up to 95 degrees this week.
We went from wearing layers of clothes to t-shirts/shorts and "turn on the air conditioner, the cats are wilting!" weather in one week.  I spent yesterday packing up my winter clothes.  (yes, I'm being very optimistic.)  I had to wash my summer clothes to get rid of the permanent wrinkles and the plastic space-bag smell that they were packed away in since last July.  Yep, I have been wearing sweatshirts for 10 months.  I am so ready for summer!
We have been getting out for some walks on our days off.  I took some photos of a few wild flowers that have sprung up this week.  They certainly add some color to the area.  We are still getting thunderstorm threats in the afternoon, but very little rain as you can see how dry the ground looks.  The Platte river looks a little low, but not too bad.  At least, we are not worrying about it flooding like other parts of Wyoming.
On The Cutting Board
I'm working on three new Happy Campers.  I did another horse design.  I'll probably add tea cups to the window.
I'm doing another puppy in the window on a maroon and tan camper.
And one new design with two birds writing out Happy Camper in teal thread.  I found the bird design on a website for royalty-free tattoos.  I might have overdone the different colors on the birds.  I wanted them to be very colorful.
I love the scalloped edging on the lace.  I'm going to scallop the pink top to match the lace.  I'm not sure what I'll add to this window.  I'll have to give it some thought.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Under the Rainbow (Glenrock, WY)

We have been getting a thunderstorm every afternoon.  Most of them pass by us along the mountain ridge, but not on this day.  The storm came through with high winds, hail, rain, and two rainbows.  For some reason, my camera did not pick up the second rainbow.  It was an interesting sight to see with the black sky, the sunshine, and the rainbows.  Maybe we will see more rainbows.
On The Cutting Board
I'm starting on some new projects.  The Welcome wall hanging has been waiting for me to work on it.
Actually, I have three ready to work on, but I have been too busy with the mug rugs.  I love this yellow checkered background.  It has a very sunny feeling to it.
I have also started working on two new mug rugs.  For some reason, I am in a maroon and tan color mood.  I'm still deciding what kind of flowers and stitches I want to use so I started working on the second one while I give it some thought.

I have five of the seven Happy Campers left in my Etsy shop.  The names are linked to my shop if you are interested in one of them.
Happy Camper 21 Mug RugHappy Camper 21
Happy Camper 22 Mug RugHappy Camper 22
I can't say which one I like best.  I like the petite french knot flowers and the crooked windows in both of the ones above.
Happy Camper 23 Mug Rug Happy Camper 23
I was going for more of a zen feel on the pink one above by adding bamboo, wisteria, and a wind chime.
Happy Camper 24 Mug RugHappy Camper 24
Happy Camper 25 Mug RugHappy Camper 25
The last two are just fun with their whimsical flowers and colors.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Daydreamer (Glenrock, WY)

Huge thunder storm going over at the moment.  Well, at least we had a nice morning.  No new outdoor photos for this post.  Maybe next time.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

 Product DetailsHave you seen this movie?  I love it!  It is a remake.  Danny Kaye starred in the original and I can picture him with his faraway dreamy look.  Gosh, I feel old!  Anyway, Ben Stiller did a great job of recreating the dreamer becomes a doer character.   I can't say much because it would end up being a spoiler.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - delightful, life-affirming, travel-inspiring movie!
The message is strong:  Don't dream your life away, live your dreams and experience life.  The scenic views are fantastic.  They filmed in some beautiful locations.  I could watch this movie again...and again.
The secret life of Walter Mitty.
I'm not too bad about daydreaming, but I could read my life away if given the chance.  My nose is always in a book the second I have some free time.

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

I finished "The Firebird".  I enjoyed it, but not as much as I did the first three.  I think part of the reason was the way the author was merging the past and present.  Plus, the main character seemed to say "I can't" a little too often instead of just trying.  It was still a good story.  If you have read "The Shadowy Horses" and "The Winter Sea", you will want to read this one too.  This one ties some of the characters from both books together even though there were no cliffhangers at the end of either book.  It was nice to know what happened to them later.

I have two more books by Susanna Kearsley to read before her new one comes out in the fall.  The only problem with that is.....well, I started reading "The Game of Thrones" series.  I blame my son for getting me interested in the series.  Talk about some thick books!

On The Cutting Board
Okay, so I haven't been just reading and watching movies.  I have been working on finishing the Happy Campers.  I just need to add some buttons and finish some small details for them to be ready for listing in Etsy.
I'm going to keep this short today because I did some unscheduled training in the office and I need to catch up on a few things I had planned to do around the motorhome.  I would prefer to drop everything and get back to my mug rugs....
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sewing Sweet Sewing (Glenrock, WY)

We drove to Douglas yesterday to do a little shopping and exploring.  On our way to Douglas, we took a small side trip to Ayers Natural Bridge park.  Many of the Oregon Trail settlers wrote about this unusual bridge while they were stopped here on their way west including one man from the Donner party.
We are visiting at a good time.  Everything is so green right now with all the precipitation
 this area has had this winter.  We climbed one of the trails leading to the top of the natural bridge.  A little rough going and a little steep at times, but very short.  The view was worth the climb!
I wish I had brought my 500 mm lens to get photos of some of the birds.  This looks like an excellent resting area for migrating birds.  There were quite a few small yellow and blue birds that looked quite interesting.  Maybe next time.... 
Old power house with swallow's nests
I'm hoping to see more birds around the campground as the weather warms up.  I did see a Bald Eagle in a fight with two hawks.  I had to wonder if there was a nest nearby and they were keeping the Eagle away from their young ones.
On The Cutting Board
I'm spending all my free time working on six Happy Campers.  The large aqua/red Happy Camper with the lace has been reserved, but I still have six to list with one mug rug that I had finished a couple of weeks ago.
 These are ready to be assembled and quilted.  I hope to have all six finished before next weekend.  I'm getting a little more efficient with my sewing and assembly time since I cannot speed up my hand sewing time.
Below is the puppy in the window.  This one will be listed with the other five Happy Campers.
If I manage to get all six mug rugs done and listed by next weekend, it'll be a new record for me.  A total of eight Happy Campers in one month.  Hmm, I wonder if I can break it again next month?  Hard to say....
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Good Day for Snow (Glenrock, WY)

Dan has been working since we arrived while I have spent most of my time working inside our motorhome.  I did a little spring cleaning.  I'm waiting for warmer weather so I can open the windows and do some major cleaning.  Nothing like fresh air to get me in the mood for a good spring cleaning.
On Sunday, Dan had a snow day.  He was happy for a break.  He is enjoying his new job, but he is not use to the labor work every day.  This is probably the first time since we started full-timing that we were happy to have snow.  It snowed all day.  I'm not use to seeing the wind blowing so hard that the snow came in sideways, but it didn't stick.  Even the snow on the car did not stay long.  We heard that south of Casper got quite a few inches.  Talk about a late spring, eh?

Another good quilting mystery!  This time Meadow talks Beatrice into crashing a meeting for appointing a guild to establish a quilting scholarship by an eccentric and very despised matron.  It doesn't bother Meadow at all that her guild was not invited or that the meeting is up a lonely mountain road or that it is in the middle of winter and it is snowing.  Oh, did I mention that no one knows where they are going?  Now, there's a lesson learned.

This has the shades of Agatha Christie when the invited and yes, the uninvited guild members are stranded at the matron's old Victorian home with no power, no heat, very little food, no cell phone reception (Oh No!), and a body.

Beatrice immediately takes over when she realizes the person did not die naturally and starts to investigate the stranded quilters.  Keep in mind, they are also stranded with a killer with a motive or is she just crazy and likes to kill?  This gives us a chance to meet more strange a quirky characters that I feel Ms. Craig has become quite good at creating.

I like the story, but there was more investigating and less quilting.  When Beatrice started interviewing each suspect like a police officer, I found myself starting to skim the pages.  I prefer the accidental conversations people have with the sleuth and the sleuth starts putting the puzzle pieces together instead of an actual investigation.  There is some quilting because all the quilters except for Beatrice came with traveling quilt packs.  Now, that is some well prepared quilters!
If you are a cozy murder mystery reader, I'm sure you will enjoy reading this book.

On The Cutting Board
I haven't started working yet.  I was suppose to start this Thursday, but I was told yesterday that I would not be needed for another week.  I get the feeling that they need Dan's muscles more than they need another office person.  Maybe they will let me paint some picnic tables...
Anyway, with Dan outside most of the day, I'm taking advantage of my unscheduled free time to get more Happy Campers done.  I wanted to get more tops done before I start assembling them on the sewing machine.
I can't stop coming up with new ideas.  I barely finish one and I have another idea of what I would do different the next time.  Since I don't want to change the one I'm working on, I go back to the drawing board to sketch out my ideas before I forget.  Then, I want to start on the new idea to see if it is going to work out.....and before I know it I have six tops, but none finished.
A sneak peek of the one I'm working on now.
Well, I finally had to put my foot down...yes, my own foot down on myself......and I told myself that this is enough. Yea, I don't always listen to myself.
If I can stop making new ones, I want to have the six above ready for the sewing machine by this weekend.  I haven't done a single buttonhole stitch to tack down the fused fabric on any of them.  Hopefully, I will get them listed sometime next week.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Our New Summer Home (Glenrock, WY)

We settled into our new site on Tuesday.  We will be here until September.  This campground is brand new.  So new, that they are still building sites with full hook-ups. 
Casper Mountains with snow
Right now, there are only 10 sites and all are filled with natural gas construction workers.  NG has brought a small business boom to the area for the next two years.
view from office
This also means the place is very quiet during the weekdays except for the construction work going on around us.  The owners are doing most of the work themselves with Dan's help. He started work yesterday.  Lots for him to do!  I will start working in the office next week.
side yard view - owner's home
The other workcampers have cancelled out.  So, it will be just Dan and I as workcampers.  The owners will get some extra help from one construction worker and one of the wives.  So far, everyone is super friendly which is a double-plus in my book.
side yard view to the back
 I'm not much of a water person.  I prefer to soak up the sun and read then to be cold and wet.  I don't think I'll be spending much time on or in the river especially on a paddle board!....brrrr!
North Platte River
I have a feeling that I am going to have a hard time finding outdoor subjects to photograph this summer.  I hear they have a variety of wildlife coming through like deer, eagles, turkeys, and Canada geese.  Maybe, I'll get lucky and get some shots of them when they stop in for a visit.
Across from the river, but not seen from the campground
I'm a little worried about having no shade this summer.  I wanted to warm up, but I don't want to be roasted either.  We are really exposed to all the elements here.  I'm told that the wind blows everyday.  I guess I won't be spending much time sewing outside if that turns out to be true.

On The Cutting Board
So, I'm staying indoors and with the extra time, I am busy sewing.  I finished embroidering three more Happy Campers.  
I think I'll do a couple of more before I actually start sewing them together.
Happy Quilting!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Time To Go Back To Work (Rapid City, SD)

We are finally seeing some blue skies and warmer weather!  
We took advantage of the nice weather by driving up to Mt Rushmore.  We walked the path and of course, I took lots of photos....
My favorites are the close-ups.  Nothing like looking right up the president's nose!
Lincoln has an evergreen beard....adds a little color, don't you think?
Roosevelt looks like he is in deep thought while peeking out from behind the trees.
I like the way the eyes are carved.  They really stand out.  I can't imagine how the artist knew where to carve when he was so close to the subject's surface.  It isn't like he could step back and see how the progress was going.

After our walk, we had some of Thomas Jefferson's vanilla ice cream made from his own recipe.  Delicious!
As we were leaving the parking lot, we were pleasantly surprised to see this mountain goat family grazing nearby.  It looks like Papa has a collar with a monitor.  They certainly were not skittish of the people stopping to take their photos.
Even the baby seemed aloof of the cars stopping and cameras clicking.  Yep, just another day with tourists!
mama and baby
On The Cutting Board
I'm busy working on more Happy Campers.  I finished the sage green and lavender camper.  It is reserved, so this one will not be in the shop's new listings.  
The puppy in the window came out very well.  He looks the way our cats do when they want to go outside.  I just need to finish the quilting and my patch on the back for the puppy's camper to be done.

This is my next project:  a red and aqua camper.  I have done several campers in this color combo so I'm going to change the embroidery design.

Tomorrow, we move to Glenrock, WY to start our new part-time jobs.  I must admit that I am not looking forward to going back to work and losing some of my sewing time.  Oh well!  I'm sure we will have fun because they have lots of water activities and barbecues for their guests.  I am looking forward to some warmer weather and being able to sit outdoors.   Hmm, I better stock up on some good sun blocker.  It has been a long time since we have spent the day in the sun.
Happy Quilting!

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