Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday's Happenings

A new week and a clean slate for this week....how exciting is that????

We had a packed full week last week and this week is wide open - for the moment.  I am sure it will fill up quickly, but it is fun to anticipate all that I could accomplish.

Last Thursday we had an exciting visit to downtown Los Angeles.  It is funny that I have lived here for so long and have never really explored the history of downtown L.A.  It was a walking tour directed by a friend whose great grandfather was an architect and designed many of the buildings so the walk proved most interesting. 

Of course City Hall was on the list of must sees.  I have read recently that they are going to renovate it and open it once more.  It has been closed for many years, I believe since the 1994 earthquake.  There is much history there including the Charles Man*son trial, the Sir*han Sir*han trial, and the autopsies of Marilyn Mon*roe and Bobby Ken*nedy.

From there we toured a few more of the older buildings.

The old L.A. Times building

The outer wall of the new building recapping history.

Wedding, divorce....the choice is yours.  There was also a sign saying they did taxes.  That's what I call one stop shopping.

The stark contrast of old and new with the winged Dis*ney Concert Hall.

One of the most interesting of all was the gorgeous Bradbury Building.  It was unusual in it's day because it had an open skylight rooftop.   Now used as an office building, many of the gorgeous elements remain.  The iron work on the inside is AMAZING!!!  My pictures do not do it justice.

Still working elevators.

A little brighter view of the amazing iron work.

Along the route was the historic theater district with the million dollar theater of Sid Grau*man.  Again, the building was gorgeous. 

With all of the walking a beverage stop was welcomed and what a stop it was.  The pause was at the Edi*son.  This was once the power source for much of the downtown area and has been converted into the most incredible bar.  One descends two flights down into the heart of the old coal burners and workings of L.A.  It was discovered during renovations of a building and they decided to keep it as it was and do the conversion.  It was quite dark inside and the pictures that I took really do not show its beauty, but if you ever get to L.A. be sure to make it a stop.

A bit more walking and then it was off to dinner at the private California C*lub.  We had our own table set up in the library and the food and service was amazing.

We then had a couple of little ones for a few days which kept us jumping. ....and cleaning!!!

Saturday evening we had a small dinner to celebrate some momentous events in my family.  The evening was warm and we ate outside and had a great time. 

The 65ers with their new Medicare cards!!!

My retiring sister and hubby.

Married 25 years!

The gals - sister, baby sister, SIL, me, DIL#2 and my mom

Standing - brother, son #2, BIL.  Seated - BIL and hubby.

Sunday afternoon I locked myself in my sewing room and didn't come out until I had to cook dinner.  It felt fabulous!  It is amazing how much I miss just a little bit of creativity.

I finished my ALQS quilt.  There is still time to work on one if anyone is interested.  They have to be finished by October 3rd.  I needed to get mine finished because September is going to be really busy for us.   The flowers are origami and the quilting is a try at some swirls that Wendy had given instructions for on her blog.  She does the most amazing FMQ on her Bernina.

I only added three more flowers to my garden this week.  I decided to give a purple one a go this week.  I just couldn't wait to see how it was going to look.

I am planning on heading to my "fun room" now and play a little.  I am planning on finishing up the binding on my Christmas Cactus quilt so I can use it this year.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!!!!

Well......not really lions and tigers, but certainly bears.

For 35+ years we have been camping in the high Sierras each summer.   We started the camping/fishing trip with our children when they we young and now it is fun to see the grandchildren enjoying the trip as well.  This was our weekend for camping.

The elevation is quite high - 9800 feet so the temperatures are considerably cooler up there.  The temperatures drop into the upper 30s and low 40s at night.  The air is so light and any exercise makes you realize you can quickly huff and puff.   The scenery is just spectacular and snow is still to be seen.

This is the lake where we did most of our fishing, but there are three lakes and a stream in the campground.

Doesn't it look like a bear is carved into this tree?
 This is the first year that we have encountered bears.  They have become really pesky up there and will get into anything.  Both nights they were in our campsite and creating problems - walking on the tables, upsetting our paper goods, pots and pans and generally tearing up everything they could find.  UGH!!!!  Did you know they like coffee grounds?  It did not make for a good night of sleep because we were constantly having to shine our flashlights on them to get them to move on.  It definitely gave us something that we will talk about for years to come.

The camping grandchildren.

#1 son's family

#4 son's family

Our two best fishers!!!

Ghost stories....not needed after our first night with the real bears!!!!

S'mores galore!

There was time for some hand sewing on the 6 1/2 hour drive which I always enjoy.  I had hoped to do a little more at the campground, but that wasn't how it worked out.  Sigh!

Three finished flowers for my flower garden.

Birdie Stitches August block.

#33 Indiana Puzzle CW block.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Busy Summer Days

The summer is just flying by us here.  Each week I think I will get this or that accomplished and then the days fill up faster than I can blink my eye.  Such is life in a big family and we love it.  After all.....what would I do with a block of free days???

The week has been busy with birthdays - my brother, my DIL and a grandson.  Lots to celebrate and no pictures to share because I forgot to grab my camera.  Such is life. 

I spent two days in the garden with weeding and removing spent summer flowers.  By the end of the day I wasn't sure whether the body would even go upright again, but it felt good to get the jobs finished.    The reward is when the blooms appear in appreciation of the hard work. 

My flowers for my How Does Your Garden Grow quilt-along did not reproduce as quickly this week.  I only added one and a half flowers this week.  I think I am ready to change to a new color this week as I believe I have enough yellow ones. 

Speaking of yellow flowers....look at my gorgeous orchid that is blooming.  My father would have loved this one.  He had a huge greenhouse in the backyard where he raised prized orchids.

I did manage to work on the last Christmas stocking for our darling neighbor girl.   I just need to line it and add the hanging tab.  Santa will be pleased to know where to place the goodies this year.

Lily Pad Quilting had a giveaway for a collection of fat quarters and I won!!  I am thrilled with these fat quarters and I really love the line of fabrics.  Thank you so much to both Lily Pad Quilting and to the Fat Quarter Shop for being the sponsor. 

We've been trying to get lots of grandchildren sleepovers and one on ones in before school starts again.  This week it was this little one's turn.  She had wanted to come over and make bread with me.  We had such a great time and lots of giggles as well. 

My sewing room has been quiet this week so I don't have anything to show from there.  Hopefully, next week will be more productive. 

I have to share what was in our neighborhood this week.  They had a vintage car show and this pulled up.  It was a food vehicle, but I thought it was cute.  Enjoy the week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Mish Mash

It's a wonderful sunny Monday morning here - a first in about a week or so.  We have had so many cool, foggy mornings that the sun is a welcomed sight.  I hope it sticks around for awhile. 

Three of our children and their families have been away on vacation this week so it was a great week to settle into the sewing room and stitch the hours away. 

My flowers continue to bloom in my Flower Garden Quilt-Along.  I only added two more this week as I had a lot of other hand stitching that I was working on as well.  Be sure to check out the different flowers that everyone else is creating and consider joining in with us.

I finished my last row of the Rockin'Robin.  This was a hexagon row and you could arrange them as you please.  This is my row.....more purple.

The daughter of a long time family friend is expecting in a few weeks.  They are having a shower for her this weekend and I did up a baby quilt for the little guy.  This was a pattern from Moda Bake Shop and I think it will be fun to quilt.

Don't you love getting those squishy packages in the mail - especially when you are not expecting them?  I received one such package this week from Em.http://mcelebrates.blogspot.com/  I have followed Em for some time now and her work is so creative and colorful.  I would love to be a mouse in the corner of her sewing room to see how she comes up with such great ideas.  Be sure to check out her blog and see some of the AMAZING pieces she has done.  You will not be disappointed.  Thank you so much, Em, for the wonderful fabrics and the necklace.  It has been a delight to be a blogging friend.

Another fabulous package that arrived this week was from Thearica.  I had won a surprise "squishy" package and look at what came.  These fabrics are just gorgeous and I am so excited about using them.  The colors are so soft and wonderful.  Don't you just love them?  As well she included a jar of her homemade pickles.  This was when the jar was full, but trust me, it is empty now.  They were delicious!!!!  My DH and I both love them.  Thank you, Thearica. 

I have signed up for the past few few years to the Another Little Quilt Swap and have done so again for round 6.  I have posted pictures in the past of some of the gorgeous quilts that have come my way.  Round 6 is now open and if you are interested in joining in please go and sign up.  You will not be disappointed.  I love the way that this swap is run.  You get to view the completed quilts and then get a choice in the one that you would like to receive.  The quilts are due to be finished in October so there is still time to finish one and join with us.  Kate has done a wonderful job with the swap in the past so please go over and sigh up for ALQS6.

There won't be as much sewing time this week as it is a bit busier than last.  I best get going on it!!!