Thursday, August 29, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 8/29/13

Hi, Randomeers! Okay, so normally I would have said, "What? It's already the last Thursday of the month??" But this week, I'm saying, "What? It's already Thursday??" So unprepared.

We had a family reunion over the weekend. Some cousins have been missionaries in India and were home for a couple of months, so we combined getting together to visit with them, along with celebrating my parents 65th anniversary.

It was fun. Family members came from Washington, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, New Mexico, and probably some places I have forgotten.

Christa did the centerpieces: peaches and daisies. So pretty--and then you got to eat the centerpiece afterwards. Win-win.

Mark was the MC. He had also had a helper.

Who doesn't like to try this?
My brother was here from Texas.
After the weekend, I got sidetracked with my sewing room. Mark made this awesome design wall.
 Then it was time to start organizing. Wait until you see the pictures next week!
Random signs:
Charlotte put this on the bedroom door when she and her brothers spent the night a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to read in peace. I'm leaving it up--it makes me happy

This was on the screen during the sermon on Sunday:
This is always true

I found these when cleaning a drawer.

There is a reason I bought two packages. I don't have to explain that, do I?

Just because he is so cute...
  Your turn.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 8/22/13

If you have an abundance of books hanging around your house, you should consider actually hanging them. Around your house.
I was paging through a magazine the other day when having coffee at Barnes and Noble. Turned the page and there was an ad for Modern Patchwork Magazine, and a picture of my selvage pillow. I may have choked on my coffee just a little bit.

We had a freak shower storm the other day, complete with thunder and lightning. Seriously. It never rains in Fresno in August. The weird thing was that we also broke a heat record that day--109 degrees. The hottest August 19 since 1892.
I had lunch the other day with friends in a town about an hour away. We drove down there to go to Hobby Lobby. Do any of you have Hobby Lobby? What a cool store! Anyway, we had lunch at The Habit, which is in a building that used to be an iconic drive-in, Mearle's. It opened in the 1940s and closed in 2003 after a fire.

Here's a piece of trivia: When Aaron was in 2nd grade, we were sitting in Mearle's and had just placed our order when we noticed Aaron was itching all over. On closer inspection, we realized he had chicken pox. Oh well. We waited until we finished our burgers and fries before leaving, deciding that by then he had already exposed anyone who was sitting close by anyway, right?
Now it is inhabited by The Habit, which also makes really great hamburgers.
Inside they have a replica of the original Mearle's. It's nice that a chain restaurant has paid homage to local landmark.
I wish I had been in Portland last weekend. Why? Because I'm a redhead and very proud of it. Aaron sent me the link to this article from the Portland Oregonian:

Roughly 1,600 redheads gathered in downtown Portland for 10 minutes on Saturday, unofficially nabbing the world record for the most ginger-haired people assembled in one place.


Your turn.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blogger won't allow me to be naked

Did that catch your attention? Don't worry. You will not see me partially clothed. Scary thought...

This is really all about my new domain name.

When Mark and I first tried to come up with a name, it was for his fused glass business. We were planning to tap into the quilting community and eventually vended quite a few quilt shows in the process. We wanted his business to have a kind of generic theme that would relate to quilts but not be too restrictive. And that is how Around the Block Designs was born.
This was the only logo I could find--interestingly we didn't ever actually do gift certificates. Weird.
We got to the point where we had a website and wanted to also have an etsy shop. Etsy had a rule about shop names not exceeding 20 characters. Around the Block Designs is 21. So we dropped the "s". If you typed the name in the etsy search bar but included the "s" it would say there was no shop by that name.
Confusing. Especially since everything we purchased as part of branding the business and building our booth had that pesky "s".

And then I started blogging. But I felt like Around the Block Designs was not a really "interesting name" for blogging purposes and wanted something catchier when I left comments, something that would make people think, "Hmmmm... wonder what that person is all about."

So that's how "Live A Colorful Life" was born.  This was my blog header for quite awhile because we were still combining the ideas of fused glass and quilting.

I had this one for awhile. It was fun.
But still not "me." And then I discovered Julia at Little Girl Quilts. She lives in Berlin! And with back-and-forth emails over the course of a week or two, she came up with this fabulous design. I still love it!

But here's the problem. When I registered with Blogger, it was as "" A couple of my things have been published in magazines and so that was the contact information that would go along with the articles, and it's really hard to make the connection between that and Live a Colorful Life.  And that particular blogspot URL is unavailable. In fact, this is the message you get when you type it in.

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.

Big bummer, in my opinion. I decided to break down and buy my domain name. But the .com version was already taken. Back and forth I went with decision making. I finally ended up with the .net version. Then back to Blogger to have it redirected. And this is where the naked and non-naked comes in.

I didn't even know what that meant. Well, I mean, I KNOW what it means in terms of wearing clothing. Or not. But what it means in blogger-speak is that they will only redirect your blog if you include the "www," in other words, non-naked. Type in (naked) and this is what you get:

Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name aroundtheblockdesings is available to register!
 Do you see the problem there? Like who would even want to register a name that has the word "designs" misspelled?

I realize I could throw caution to the wind, leave Blogger in the dust, and just go naked. But I'm always afraid of what that means in terms of starting over, building up readership again, etc. (If any of you have information you would like to share in that regard, I would love to hear from you.)

So at this can either keep finding me at, or at the fully clothed version:

Either way, I just hope you find me!

Friday, August 16, 2013


Do you ever look at certain color schemes and kind of think, meh...whatever...

And then all of a sudden you just think it is the best.color.combination.ever.

That is kind of what happened to me today. As many of you know, I do medical transcription out of my home. On the window ledge in front of me, I have favorite family photos. I'm blaming the photos, and the people in them, for my latest fabric purchase. Seriously. It's not my fault.

These are the culprits:
I'm holding them solely responsible for being unable to resist the color scheme navy, coral-orange, with touches of aqua and gold.

I should probably send them a bill...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 8/15/13

Let's just call this the anniversary edition, because Mark and I went to beautiful Carmel, California, to celebrate our anniversary. It was a major one. I don't have to actually give the number, do I? was our 40th.

So anyway...about every four months, we head off to the central coast of California and go to Pismo Beach. Here's the thing. Pismo doesn't have a town that entices us much. There are some places to eat that we really enjoy. But other than that, the best part is where we stay. A full view of the ocean. We stay on the second or third floor so we can leave our sliding door open a little bit all night and listen to the ocean.
On the other hand, after we moved to California years ago, and Aaron was about 9 months old, we left him with my parents and went to Carmel. It was really our first coast experience.  The town is totally charming.  More art galleries than you can imagine. We were entranced with the town. The thing is, it is nearly impossible to get a room with a good ocean view. Not with anything within our budget an affordable price tag, that is. It's a trade off. We decided to celebrate in Carmel. We have a lovely couple of days. The weather was grey and drizzly. Perfect, after the relentless sun and heat of Fresno. 

We ate fabulous food at our favorite restaurants (even though it looks like all we I did was drink Chardonnay.  Okay, the thing is, after I took the most perfect Chardonnay picture in Portland,
I have tried hard to duplicate it. Without success, I might add. But I spent a lot of time trying...all for the cause of art...

On Friday, we didn't get to Carmel until after supper time. So after checking in, we walked around. Carmel is one of my favorite quaint little towns to walk around in after dark. It is quiet, lights are on in the gallery windows. It's just beautiful. We went to our favorite watering hole, A.W. Shucks, where they specialize in oysters. 
No we didn't have any--we just spent a little time relaxing.
The next night we went to a restaurant we have frequented many times over the years, Forge in the Forest. We always choose to eat outdoors, surrounded by ivy-covered walls. 
We went to one of our favorite breakfast restaurants on Sunday morning. It was about 10 a.m. and when we saw the waitress walk by our table with cheesecake, our first thought was, "Who eats cheesecake at 10 in the morning??" What we didn't notice was an engagement ring between the two strawberries on top of the cheesecake. Then we heard someone saying, "She said YES!!"
An engagement right in front of our eyes! How cool.

The final night, we went to Chart House, in Monterey. Mark had made reservations. And when our waiter brought the menus, they actually had our name (although it was misspelled...) on it! Do you see it? It says Happy 40th Anniversary!
Our waiter's name was Spartacus. How cool is that? We had creme brulee for dessert.

Did I mention art galleries? Have you ever seen the Blue Dog? The artist is George Rodrigue and apparently the paintings are a tribute to his now-deceased bluish-dog named Tiffany. Anyway, there has been a gallery in Carmel for nearly as long as I can remember. It has moved. To a larger location. The yellow eyes kind of freak me out. But nevertheless, we took pictures anyway of some of the 3D art.
Yes, a cow decorated with the Blue Dog. And in the other three pictures, the blue dog rendered in three colors. With Mark added next to the blue version just so you can get an idea of the scale. My question: what kind of room do you need to actually purchase this piece of art?

Since I have have again taken up knitting and crocheting, I wandered into  a cute little yarn shop. I was charmed by her sign about the hours she is open.
When I had a few spare minutes, I completed the last of the Lego blocks. All 81 are done. They now just need to be crocheted together. Stay tuned.
So that's it for this week.

Your turn.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Really Random Thursday, 8/8/13

I hope your week is going well. Mark and I were lucky enough to have grandkids spend the night last weekend. It's always so much fun. Saturday for lunch, we extended the birthday celebration pf their daddy, Aaron, and made a birthday cake that looked like tacos.

I certainly can't recommend it as a culinary delight when it came to eating, although the "shell" was pretty tasty. The taco fixings included hamburger (chocolate covered raisins), lettuce (cornflakes covered with green-tinted vanilla frosting, tomatoes (chopped Swedish Fish) and cheddar cheese (sliced circus peanuts), with some dollops of sour cream (canned whipped cream).
But I think Daddy was pretty happy that the chefs went to all the effort to make him a cake.
Have you seen these small appliances at your local Target yet? They are by designer Jackie Shapiro. I have some of her French Bull fabric and love it. I'm trying to figure out how to speed up the demise of my crockpot, toaster and coffee I can justify having these in my kitchen. I really think they belong in my house. I mean, seriously, "live vivid" is SO close to "live a colorful life," right? If nothing else, they are great quilt inspiration.
When Mark and I were at sample spree during quilt market, Corey had asked if we could be on the lookout for the new Bonnie and Camille fabric. I was so happy when I was able to grab a fat quarter stack for her. But I never expected to receive this in the mail! It's a beautifully quilted journal cover.Thanks, Corey--it's a treasure!
And I don't think I have mentioned that when I was staying at Mark's brother's house in St. Paul last month, his oldest daughter was visiting from Japan, where she teaches ESL classes. She and her husband had brought along a stack of Japanese obis. Apparently several of them are quite valuable, but they were selling for pennies on the dollar in Japan so she brought them along as gifts. She had enough that I even got to choose one. The brightly colored silk ones were beautiful, but I bypassed all of them and chose this one instead. She said her mother-in-law had told her this one was quite valuable, which kind of surprised me because the others were so bright with intricate designs that seemed more Japanese, and this had a more geometric "modern" feel to it.   She said we could do whatever we wanted with the obi, even cutting them up. After I mentioned that this would make a great bag or zippered pouches, she thought that would be an ideal use.
I flipped over part of it so you could see all the silk threads that go into making the design.Just out of curiosity, would it bother you to cut this up into pieces and "upcycle" it into something else?

And last, but not least, and without a doubt my favorite pictures this week...we always take family pictures in our back yard in May. This year my cousin's daughter-in-law, Shannon, took them (Shannon and Travis are the ones taking pictures each day in their wedding clothes for the first year of their marriage). Wow. We will never go back to tripod/timer pictures again! I wish I could share all 97 of them with you--they are all fabulous, but I'll just share a dozen or so a couple.

Your turn.