Friday, July 29, 2011

A Break in the Action

With a momentary break in the action, I will try to get a quick post in.  The week has been a bit busier than normal with plenty a wonderful grandchildren time and a little trip to San Francisco to celebrate my sister's birthday.

With airports the way they are these days, it is really quicker to jump in the car and drive to San Francisco.  We did that last Thursday.  We left a foggy home and headed up the coast, stopping for lunch in Santa Barbara.  The beaches were still fogged in there as well. 

Lunch was on the pier with the mountains slowly clearing of the fog.

San Francisco was quite cool - and foggy - which is fairly typical.  It was rather nice for us as we all enjoy doing a lot of walking and those hills can be a real workout.  The cool temps were a nice relief.   We walked for miles each day and enjoyed all of the sights and foods of San Francisco. 

Farmer's Market at the restored Ferry Building

Expensive eggs!!!!   I've heard of U pick fruit, but eggs????

The Bay Bridge


Ferry Building clock tower

The Golden Gate Bridge in the fog

This was the hill that almost killed us all.  It was so steep that they even added stairs.

DH, BIL, brother

Me, Sister and SIL
 The cable cars are a must when you visit.  They take the hills beautifully, but I am thinking we should have taken them UP the hills instead of DOWN.  Instead we had to "climb halfway to the stars" to get back to our hotel. 

The hotel was gorgeous and a welcomed sight at the end of each day.

The lobby staircase.

Fresh flowers each day - GORGEOUS!!!!
 Returning home on Sunday to "babysit" our #1 son's dog while they are back on the East coast.  This is a great pooch and we have enjoyed having a dog back in the house. 

On Monday, our #3 son and his wife left for a week in Hawaii so we have had special grandchildren time.  Needless to say, it has been a busy week.  Of course the first day we had a slight accident when one of the boys fell out of a tree and broke both bones in his lower arm. 

We have also managed to be quite productive.  We even got nine batches of jam done which will probably last about one month with the number of sandwiches made for lunches!!!!

Our jam testers!!!

Needless to say, there has not been a lot of sewing going on except in the wee hours of the morning.   I did manage to finish my next two rows of the Rockin' Robin, but other than a little car sewing, that was it.  Next week is a new week!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday's Nothingness

The peaches and apricots are finished and strawberries are left to do, but I have slipped a few fun projects in between the chores.

We have a granddaughter turning eleven this weekend and she asked me if I would make her a dress for her birthday.  The request was as follows - a full skirt, a big bow,  ruffle on the bottom and sleeves so she could wear it to church. 

Ta da.........

#1, 2 and 3  Full skirt, sleeves and ruffle.

 #4  The bow.
Sorry about the breeze that didn't allow me to get a great picture.  I also added a few extras.   These are made from the fabric, fused onto felt and using those great snap products.  She will love these.

Hairpins and ring

My sister's birthday is also this weekend and she is an avid reader, but no interest in sewing.  How opposite can we be?????  I had seen the perfect  quilt for her on a blog and made it up with some scraps.  I think she will love it.

Lastly.... we've enjoyed a few fun days having this little angel around.  She was a little crabby as she is cutting four molars all at once.  Ouch!!!!

Don't you love those first pigtails?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bristlecones and More

DH and I took a little road trip this week and visited a spot that we have wanted to visit for many years.  Each time we drive north to the Sierra mountains we always pass a sign for a turnoff to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.  This time we decided to make it our destination location. 

The Bristlecone Pines are the oldest single living organisms known.  The forest, located in the White-Inyo mountain range, is at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet so it is springtime there at this time.  The wildflowers were just blooming and were wonderful to see.

The oldest of the Bristlecone pines is called Methuselah and is nearly 5000 years old.  It is located along one of the hiking paths, but they do not point it out to avoid vandalism to it.  Shortly after a Nat*ional Geo*graphic article came out about it in the late 1950s, someone broke a branch from it.

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Gorgeous stumps everywhere.

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Snow capped Sierras peeking through behind a high meadow.

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The needles were really quite "bristly" feeling.

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Springtime flowers.
After visiting the forest we continued eastward into Nevada and spent the night.  We saw many abandoned gold and silver mining towns and noticed that there seems to be more activity around some of the mines which we assume is because of the increase in the cost of the metals.

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Once a booming city.
Coming home we took the road through Death Valley.  The temperatures were surprisingly low for this time of the year with the high being only in the mid 90s.

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Heading onto the floor of the valley.

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Loved these gorgeous sand dunes.  I would have loved to have slid down them.
It’s always good to get home and sleep in your own bed again.  Guess I am a homebody at heart.  I always seem to become more aware of my gardens when we return.

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The plumerias are starting to bloom.  This was a piece of one of my father's plants.

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JUST starting to bloom.  The smell is heavenly.

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A late blooming Clivia.

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An even later blooming iris.

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The bougainvilleas that froze this winter have made a wonderful return.
I had a couple of nice packages waiting for me when we got home too.  The first was a whole bag of I Spy blocks from Michelle.  The little ones just love the I Spy quilts and it is so nice to have a great collection of them for making up quick quilts.  Thank you, Michelle.

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I also had a whole bag of goodies from Leona that I won from her fabulous giveaway.  It was loaded with fabulous items for quilting and I know that I can use all of these.  Thank you, Leona.
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Lastly, I received my mug rug from Leona’s Mug Rug 2 Swap.  I just love it.  I love the bright colors, the design as well as the wonderful fabrics and quilting.  Unfortunately, my partner did not include a blog link  to share.   I would really love to follow her work.

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The picture does not do this one justice.
My sewing machine has been humming away since I have been home.  My daughter came over to make some burp cloths for her SIL so I made a few for a shower that I am attending in August.  She worked in pink fabric and I worked in blue.  Everyone seems to know the sex of the babies these days.  I always like surprises myself.

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My next row of my PURPLE Rockin’ Robin is finished.  There were plenty of HSTs in this row!!!!!

Lastly, here are my latest Civil War blocks.  I can’t believe that we are over halfway done with the year already.
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The next few weeks are going to be pretty busy around here so I may not be around as much as normal.  I will continue to read blogs, but please forgive me if I don’t always comment.  I have a ton of canning to do – tomatoes, strawberries, peaches and apricots are all in right now.  Too bad it can’t be spread out throughout the year.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It’s About Time

It’s definitely about time that I get a few words written down here before I forget everything that has happened. 

We are always pretty busy around the July 4th holiday and this year was no different.  We host the LARGE (100+) family party each year so there is always plenty to keep us busy.  As well our son, DIL and their two little ones come for a visit.  We always enjoy their company.  They only live two hours away, but we all know how that goes.  Lives are busy!

So….what has been going on here???  Where shall I begin?  We’ve celebrated a couple of fun birthdays.

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The big "1"

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We’ve done baking.

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My three Monday "housecleaners"!!!!
…..went to see Cars II,

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….entertained houseguests,

........watched tree forts being built,

The little one on the right broke his arm later in the evening and it wasn't from falling out of the tree!!!!

and dug up our tortoise eggs (finally)!!!

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We’ve watched the quail bring their babies to the feeders.

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There are nine babies and two sets of parents, thus why some babies are larger than the others.
Of course we also celebrated the 4th of July.

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Should I claim that I know him????

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Lots of volleyball.

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Ground flowers are always fun.

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So are sparklers!

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Watching the fountains!

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Why is it that they think if their ears are covered they won't "see" something????

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Do you remember from my last post how I lost my scissors?  Can you imagine my thrill to learn that I won a pair in Thearica’s ( giveaway.  Just look at how cute these little scissors are!!!!  I am sure they will put my lost ones to shame!


I have actually been doing a lot of sewing in spurts around here.  There was a lot of mending that had to be done (boring), but also a little fun.  I have several guild donation quilts that still need their binding before next week's meeting.  I did finish my first round of the Rockin Robin (see link on sidebar) quiltalong.  I am really pushing my limits here because I do not do purples!!!!  I decided to do this completely with what I have in my stash and this is the first row.

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A bit more detail.

Something else that I am really excited about was winning one of the Beam and Read lights from Mdm Samm.   It has gotten harder and harder to work on my cross stitch projects as the daylight dims and the eyes get older.  It sounds like it is the perfect tool for the projects I have stacked and waiting.  I’m also looking forward to using it with my Kindle. Thank you Mdm Samm and IHAN.

Beam N Read Madame Samm's