Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

One in every color

Photo by Christa Wiens

No further explanation needed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"I did so good I scared myself"

This summer, Christa signed Charlotte and Levi up for swimming classes, the "mommy and me" type.

Since she needed another helper, I got to help with Levi, who turned out to be a little fish.
It took Charlotte a while to become comfortable in the water, but toward the end of the sessions, she was talking to Grandpa on the phone right after one of the classes. He asked her how she had done, and she said, "Grandpa, I did so good I scared myself."

Huh? What was that again?

When kids start talking, they say the most amazing things. Charlotte has already done this many times, and I would give you some examples, but the thing is, I've already forgotten. A friend had a great suggestion (thanks, Tanya). When her 4-year-old says one of those priceless things, she writes it on a piece of paper, dates it and puts it in a jar. Brilliant. Easy.
Oh, and all those fortunes you save when you eat Chinese food, because of course "your ideas are clever and you will be rewarded."
Now I've got that covered too...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do you think she planned this?

This is Jessie working on an order of slippers for her etsy shop. Looking cute (of course) and very color coordinated. Does she plan her wardrobe based on the colors of her current slipper order?
Just wondering...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rainbow Sherbet

For awhile now, I have been a fan of the color orange. Lately, I think it looks even better when combined with pink.

photo from

A peak at some recent fabric purchases. Draw your own conclusions.

I have started a collection of pictures of pink and orange quilts (and to those fabulous quilt artists who made these, I'm really sorry I wasn't better at documenting where these pictures came from--because these quilts rock! )

And then there was the series of fortunate events. Jessie posted about the cute slippers she had made. And I happened to make this comment: "Can I place an order? I would like a combo of pink and orange, please ...Oh, and the trim could be pink on one slipper and orange on the other. That way they wouldn't be too matchy-matchy. You know how I am about being mismatched."

Well, apparently the whole order thing kind of took off, and Jessie is now in the slipper-making business.

And yesterday, look what I got!! Even the buttons are slightly different from each other. Perfectly mismatched.

Thinking about Christmas already? Well, then I would recommend thinking about placing an order at this fabulous little etsy shop.
My feet got an early Christmas present.And now they just want to dance a little jig (and in honor of Jessie, I might even throw in a little squeal).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All Buttoned Up

I love buttons. I have a few big storage jars filled with my grandmother's and mother-in-law's old buttons. They can be decorative or useful, or both, probably originally intended to merely keep two sides of a garment together, to close it up.
This will be the last of my Lakeview posts for the season, as we are "all buttoned up," closed for the season. The last few weekends have been great. One was spent sewing with my friends.

The last two have been spent closing things down and packing things away until we open again next May.

Someone recently asked what our motivation was to be part of the owner group of Lakeview Cottages. If you had asked me that four years ago, I would have said "investment." It sounded like something that would give us a good return on our money. Yes, even in this economy.

However, now that Mark and I have spent a lot of time there, managing, relaxing, working, I have a totally different answer. Part of it is building memories for our family. Does it melt my heart when Charlotte wants to spend time at the "cabinet." How could it not? I hope it will be a place that Levi and Charlotte spend many happy and memorable hours, and Aaron and Christa as well.

More than anything, I have come to realize that Lakeview Cottages gives back to me much more than I have given to it. A lot of work? Definitely. But it is a place that calms my heart and feeds my soul. It eases the stress of the work week. It is a place of rejuvenation.

The water level in Huntington Lake is very low and the dock has been beached.

The cabins are ready for the winter, shutters on the windows, the porches closed up, the doors bolted shut.
All buttoned up. I will miss it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let there be light

It's not like I have been sewing only by the light on my sewing machine or anything. I did have lights. Two torchiere lights stationed on each side of my sewing table, with the light directed up at the ceiling. But you know how a thought enters your head, and instead of passing through, it takes root...and then morphs into an obsession? What? That hasn't ever happened to you?

A couple of years ago Mark changed out the ceiling fixture in my office from a low-emitting 60w bulb to a nice and bright fluorescent. Last week I looked into my sewing room (since lately that's mostly what I do....just peer longingly into my sewing room from my office) and the light bulb went off in my head that I needed a fluorescent light over my sewing table. You know, in case the time ever arises that I can actually spend time in there sewing...So here's a question: Why is it that when a house is built, they will put light fixtures in the ceiling of every room...except the living sewing room?

I didn't move anything out of the way until the electrician actually showed up, so he helped me move the tables. I think he was a little "shocked" (just going with the electricity theme) to see all the bins of fabric hiding under my sewing tables (good thing he didn't need to see the fabric stashed in three other rooms--that's a blog post for another day). But he graciously helped me move them so he had a place to work.

And then, since I could see so much better, I thought I might as well do a little organizing.

Bright, clean and organized. If only I could have found some "extra time" hiding under one of those piles of fabric...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We got carded

This is what happens in the age of technology when you own a business. First you start out with an email address and that seems like sufficient information for your business cards. So you order 1000. add a website, a blog, an etsy shop...necessary information overload. So you print labels with all that info and put it on the back of your cards...and hope people turn your card over. Right. finally decide to just bite the bullet and order new cards. Somehow I landed here and ended up at zazzle, designed my own cards (read that again--yes, I did it myself) and a day later (not kidding!) they arrived on my doorstep.

Oh, and the fabulous little card case? Mine was a gift, but you can find them here.
Uh oh. Now I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Where will I possibly put that information??

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quilt Festival: Summer Soiree

It's another Quilt Festival!

This is my current favorite quilt, which I made for Cynthia at fabricworm. I have gotten so much fabric from Cynthia and she bends over backwards to make sure I always get what I need. This quilt was made with the fabulous fabric line, Summer Soiree, by Paula Prass. (and now she has a new fabric line so I see more of her fabric in my immediate future...) I absolutely love this quilt.This is the fabric I used on the back, from the same line, and since I'm completely in a orange/pink mode right now, it was perfect, as was the fun zebra print for the binding.
So the thing is, I used my own pattern, which I have made many times, and even my friends have made their own versions...

but no matter what fabric you use, it always seems to turn out really cute. But really, Paula's fabric was so fun to work with and that is really what makes this quilt my favorite.

Red and aqua

Don't you just love the color combination of red and aqua on these buttons? Me too. When my friends saw the color combination I was working with, a lot of them said, "Hmmmm, I would never have thought of putting those two colors together." And I might not have either. But to me it says "Hey, we're both retro and modern. And we definitely belong together."

photo from lilfishstudios

If I would have written this earlier, I would have called it "What was I thinking??" or "Someone please stop me." Why? Because I have so many "NEED to be done" things on my quilting list. Instead, I signed up for an on-line red and aqua block exchange. Just because I wanted to. I didn't really have the time. Definitely not a must-do. Nope. Just for fun.

I found info and instructions here and here. I had plenty of red fabric, but I needed a bit more aqua. With fabric stored in nearly every room in our house, was it even remotely possible that I could do this swap without a few pieces of new fabric? What a silly thought...

So after a few purchases, this is what I started with:
The block is called "disappearing nine-patch." First, I cut a lot of 4 1/2 inch squares:

Laid them out so each block had a different fabric combination:

Sewed them together (I made a total of 25 nine-patch blocks):

Then cut them apart into four equal segments:

Now I mail them all off to a block exchange administrator, 100 of these segments. And in about a month I should get 100 back in the mail. (Is this sounding too much like one of those weird chain letter things??)

No, I'm sure I will get 100 in the mail. And when I do, I think I might put them back together like this.
And look at the socks I wore the day I sewed these blocks, and didn't even realize until I was photographing them. To quote my friend, Tanya, "What, doesn't everyone unknowingly match their socks to their quilt project of the day??"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

So about Jessie...and quilt camp. It's so much fun having a 22-year-old quilter. Young and enthusiastic. She loooooooved her fabric. She loooooooved her pattern (remember "French Kiss"?), although it might have been a tiny bit more time-consuming to make than she originally thought. But she is definitely going to loooooooove this quilt when it is completed. Now if only I had a picture of Jessie next to her quilt, it would be just about perfect.

Side note: if you read her latest post (link above), you'll know why Jessie and I are such kindred spirits. Gotta loooooooove a girl who loves fabric, right?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fraternal Twins

Even though we didn't started sewing until after lunch, here is a bit of what we got done.

Tanya finished this really great starry quilt. Love the rich colors.

Soft and beautiful florals, made by Dotty.

Maggie worked on this fun "blast off" quilt all day. I think she is getting closer to finishing. Three, two, one....

Throwing caution to the wind and assuming they probably don't read this blog anyway, I finished piecing this wedding present for Matt and Samantha.

Jessie is working with these gorgeous Amy Butler fabrics. She is getting married in May and I'm thinking the name of the quilt pattern she is using was part of her inspiration: "French Kiss."

Oh, yes, about the fraternal twins... About two years ago Sue decided to make her version of Charm Parade using fabric that was just out in stores at the time. She purchased her border fabric at the same time, from a completely different line of fabric, and made the quilt on the right. This summer while Maggie and I were managing the cabins here, she made her version of Charm Parade, with border fabric she had just recently purchased. They had no idea they had each purchsaed the very same border fabric, so except for the difference in the lattice strips, where Sue used diferent colors and Maggie used purple, these guys are twins, separated at birth...

And this is what awaits me at my sewing station, so I think I'll head on over there right now.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's gonna be a good weekend

And I'm reasonably sure of that for a few reasons. First, I drove up to Lakeview last night. Rental season is over and no one was here. Kind of eerie for a few minutes. To be here all alone, just me and 13 empty cabins. I got past that and then it was just peaceful and serene. And about an hour and a half later, friends started arriving. But I was glad I had that bit of time to myself.

It looked really different from the last time I was here a month ago. The water level is way down. If you wanted to go to the marina directly across the lake from us, now you would probably have to walk, kayak, and then walk some more...

Some of our trees were mandated by the forest service to be cut down because they were either dead or diseased. So sad to see those stately trees chopped up and on the ground.

I sure had to do some fancy maneuvering to get my car past this guy so I could unload things into the cabin.

When I woke up this morning and turned on the XM radio, Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" was playing and then I was sure without a doubt it would be a great weekend. I listen to a lot of different music, just about anything but heavy metal. And with a nod to Handel's "Messiah," I still think this piece of music is the absolute best thing written. Ever.

About twelve of us are having "quilt camp." We did it last year so this is officially the second annual quilt camp. Most of my favorite things: sewing, friends, good food.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

iLove this app

I was reading my new issue of Sunset Magazine while eating lunch yesterday and came across this little (free) gem. The description had me from the beginning. " love the color of your indigo scarf or eggshell teacups so much that you want to find the paint to match....Color Capture from Benjamin Moore Paints lets you match a snapshot (strawberries at the farmers' market? a friend's mocha shoulder bag?) to one of Benjamin Moore's 3,000 colors." I grabbed my iPhone and downloaded it before I'd even finished my sandwich.

I took a picture of this quilt...

...and then basically you just move your finger around the picture on the screen and stop on a color that you like. On the bottom of the screen it gives you the name of the Benjamin Moore paint that matches. If you love the color, you can save it in "favorites."
It has a color wheel where you just scroll around with your finger and paint chips with their names kind of pop up.
I only wish it would save the pictures in a photo album. Maybe it does and I just haven't found it yet... But if you are color obsessed, and fascinated with names of paint chips like I am, you don't even have to be in the market for paint right now to have a good time with this app.