Friday, February 28, 2014

Friendship X and + Blocks--February

I didn't plan very well this month. Today I'm actually at a quilting retreat in the mountains and when I realized it was the last Friday in the month, I had no choice but to post the only picture I took of this month's block.
I really hope my partner, Carla, has taken some pictures of all the blocks we have made so far. This is going to be a beautiful quilt!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Really Random Thursday: A little bit of random housekeeping

Really Random Thursday started awhile back after I realized that there were things I wanted to document which had nothing whatsoever to do with sewing, quilting, or creativity in general. They were things I came across in everyday life--funny/interesting sayings, pictures, conversations, the minutiae that comprises daily life.

There were some weeks, and even months, when for whatever reason, there was nothing whatsoever hardly anything happening in my sewing room. I started Really Random Thursday as a way to keep blogging and since, ultimately, my blog is a diary of my life for my grandchildren to look back on, I wanted to include things in addition to what I was working on--sewing, knitting, crocheting. Random things that I found interesting, confounding, funny...

There are lots of great places to link up works in progress and finished projects and I sure have found them to help keep me motivated and to get ideas for future projects.

Some of my friends told me they also had noticed there were things they would like to document, but also weren't sure what to do with them on a sewing/quilting blog.

And so Really Random Thursday was born, along with a link-up so everyone could share something random.

Over the months, there have been some faithful "randomeers"--the name being coined by Hadley. Some of you have faithfully linked up nearly every week, some more frequently, some less, but all those collective random things are so much fun to read.

One time, Lucy posted a tutorial on how to thread her eyebrows using Aurifil thread. It might be one of my favorite "randoms" ever.

Fiona lets me live vicariously with her fabulous pictures of places she visits in Europe.

Katy always finds interesting facts and has the best random observations. She makes bears. I don't know anyone who makes bears.

I don't even know where to start with Katy--she is a random expert and a really funny writer.

Hadley also has a quirky sense of humor, one of my favorite things about her.
 For translation, look here

Random Observation--they are all from the UK. In fact, when I mentioned that to Katy, she filled me on this random fact: they're all connected to Scotland too - Fiona's Scottish, Hadley and Lucy are married to Scots and Katy lives in Scotland. 

So I thought this week maybe a little reminder might be in order.

Want to share some randomness?  Here are the linky rules:
1. Link up any post from the past week that includes at least one "random" thing. It's fine to include some sewing-related things, but please include something random as well.
2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here to my blog.
3. Try to read and comment on one or two other links.

I'll end with this random photo. Given the ongoing controversy over the legality of medical marijuana, I found the name of this sushi restaurant to be fitting for California...

Now it's your turn.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Really Random Thursday, 2/20/14

I'm pretty long on "random" but short on time this week. But I've kept a list of things I don't get to, because next week I may be long on time but short on "random."

Best logo I have seen in a really long time. I would love to go to this retreat just based on this:

Whoever thought to design the sewing machine to look like the state of Oklahoma--well, just genius. And while I'm on the subject of Oklahoma, can someone please tell Starbucks to make an Oklahoma You Are Here mug please?!

Air Force One landed in Fresno last week. The president was here because of the drought. Chris, who works with Mark, snapped this picture. It's a huge plane. It flew nearly over our house its the way to Palm Springs.
So...Valentine's Day. Just for fun, because we really don't "do" Valentine's Day, Mark wanted to plan something unique. We drove to Sanger, a small town about thirty minutes away, and had dinner outdoors. By candlelight--which shocked me. Mark is not a big fan of candles around the house, so this was a quite a romantic gesture on his part. The food was really good. And our total was $14.48. We had a lovely time.

Anything Pantone makes my heart beat just a little faster. These cups? Yes, please...
Our niece, Becky, is crocheting. Lego's, Olympics....I give her a gold medal.
In totally exciting news, my friend, Jennifer, now has eight chickens. One of them is a Rhode Island Red, named Cindy Lou after me. I have a chicken named after me! I'm unbelievably excited about that. Redheads unite.
Seen in Poppyprint's Instagram feed the other day. Interesting. 

My morning yesterday looked like this. I hashtagged it "nothing better." Anytime you get to spend the morning with a superhero, well, it just makes for a super day.
Here in California we are undergoing a severe drought, while other parts of the country have so much snow, they literally have no place to put it anymore. Every year when the petals start falling from the pear trees, drifting down in the morning breeze, it kind of looks like snow. And yes, flowers are popping up all around town.
But then we saw this in our friend's facebook feed--two feet of snow. And there isn't anything I can think of to add to that...

Your turn.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Marcelle gets some press

I never get tired of this quilt. It is hanging in my dining room and sometimes I just stand there and stare at it. With the combination of the vibrant Oakshott cottons, the dots and stripes, and the phenomenal quilting by Krista Withers, it just seems to glow.

So when I received a request from Adrianne to use Marcelle's picture in her post about medallion quilts in the weekly column she writes for the My Stars blog, I was thrilled.

Here is what Adrianne had to say:

Marcelle Goes to the Circus by Cindy Wiens radiates life. Notice Cindy’s use of bold saturated colors mixed with neutral grays and creams. The red pulls your eye right to the center. The scrappy confetti of color in the middle area dances all around. The dark, muted tones along the outside ring is a brilliant way to contain the composition. It visually stops at the edge and then leads you right back to the center again. There is so much wonderful movement in this quilt.

Such nice words. Marcelle and I may both be blushing just a little bit.

You can read the rest of her post here, along with some great hints for designing your own medallion quilt. Thanks so much , Adrianne!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Really Random Thursday, 2/13/14

Hi, Faithful Randomeers. Let's get started.

Corralled. Good thing he has his phone.
Grandparents dinner at school (his other grandfather was out of town).
 After some shopping the other day, we ate at the mall food court. When either Charlotte or Levi asked, "Why do they call it a food court?" I said, "It is where the judge says 'You can eat lunch.'" It kind of made them laugh. Maybe you had to be there...
 Don't take my food
My brother sent me this mug. Not an easy task for him. He recently moved from Dallas to Washington DC where he has a new high-powered job. But no car yet. So he walks everywhere. Brrrr. It makes me appreciate it even more.
Really huge house under construction. This is from the back. There are more pillars and curvy things on the front part of the house. Imagine the size of the sewing room you could have in this house!

Boys who love their books:
This is for our son, the avid Dodger fan. 
Toddler ski jumping:
All it takes is some cardboard and duct tape--and a father with this idea
If you have been following the Olympics, did you happen to see this? 
According to the Textile Museum of Canada, "...That is Antti Koskinen, Team Finland's coach, and at Saturday's competition he was busily knitting cream-colored yarn with green needles. Others on the Finnish team will add to the scarf before handing it off to Finland's Summer Olympic team going to Rio de Janeiro in 2016."

I receiving a little knitting in the mail from my Friendship X and + block exchange partner, Carla:
Corey at Little Miss Shabby has started a really great cross stitch-along of quilt blocks. It reminded me of this cross stitch that I did when Aaron was in T-ball, 30+ years ago. I'm looking forward to doing an updated version.
I'm finally binding the quilt that will be auctioned off in April. Lots of binding--the quilt is 116" square. I saw this hint somewhere--wrapping the binding around an empty thread spool. It helped tremendously not to have 500" inches of binding in a pile on the floor.

Pretty quilting.
Shopping at Gap Kids:
If I worked for Gap, I would use this in a print ad. Just sayin'
I was playing around with these blocks the other day and this resembles a heart. So on this Valentine's Day Eve, thanks to all of you who read and link up each week. I appreciate it more than I can say.
Your turn.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Really Random Thursday, 2/6/14

I'll start with the most unusual item first. My cousin and her husband were on a show called Billy Bob's Gags to Riches. 
It's a reality show where people pitch their novelty items to Billy Bob in hopes that he will turn them into millionaires. (Think about all those plastic buck teeth.....)

Anyway, she had left a Facebook post about it so I set the DVR and we watched it over the weekend. My cousin, Beth, is really awesome, along with her twin sister, Gwen. They live in Oregon and both of them are way more adventuresome than I am, that's for sure--ocean kayaking, etc. I like to walk around the neighborhood.
Their product? It's a strap to use when you are out in the mountains and need to do your business, and then don't want to fall backwards into it...

Even though Billy Bob thought it was a great idea for everyone into what he called "extreme hiking" , he rejected it as too one-dimensional. Just a personal comment--I actually find anything that involves more than a mile or two into the forest and back "extreme hiking." Just sayin'

We finally had some rain on Super Bowl Sunday. It was fabulous. And a little cooler. But most of our days have looked like this. My neighbor across the street always sits on her driveway to soak up the sun on those nice days.
I bought a new ironing board cover at Road2California. This is my all-time favorite. It's a little pricey as ironing board covers go, and not as cute as one made with fun fabric, but it is great! They are usually sold at quilt shows and but you can also get them online. It's funny how excited I was to have one of these again.
These shoes need to live in my closet. Actually there is a video tutorial on how to make them and it looks fairly easy. Lots of possibilities...
These boxes were at Michaels.Where is the orange box?
Isn't the quilty theme for the Sochi Olympics amazing?
Cutest Starbucks card...
Cutest stamp...I got it here.
 The MCC charity donation quilt is back from Mark's cousin, Ione. It is amazing, all Oakshott cottons and Robert Kaufman black organic cotton. And huge. 116" square. My immediate goal is to get all that binding sewn on in the next week and then have it photographed.
And then I discovered an app called Waterlogue, which turns your pictures into watercolor paintings.

One final thought.
Your turn.