Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Rising Above It...
Monday, November 23, 2009
The value of value
This was a serious contender, but then I decided I really didn't like the words agains the brown background.
After some definite tweaking with the green to make it brighter so it pops more against the dark background, this one gets the go-ahead.
It's so hard to make the decision based on my computer monitor. I could visualize what I wanted, and then they sent me the Pantone color chart. Yikes. Did I pick the right colors? If I didn't, don't tell me...it's too late.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
So smart, and so cute.
Here is a picture of the pink princess pillowcase I made for her bed, complete with the green border of frogs. I am posting it here because the fabric is so cute, Charlotte loves pink and princesses, and this is a good way to make something fast that doesn't involve making an entire quilt!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Would you like a little whine with that wine?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Mess Mass Production
It wasn't even that long ago. End of September. And here we are, in the same predicament. Only this time we have shows on back-to-back weekends. Yikes! What were we thinking?
The first is the Madera Wine Trail's Holiday Spirit Weekend. We have never vended for a wine trail weekend before. We haven't even attended a wine trail weekend before. Not really knowing what to expect, but based on the assumption that there will be a lot of people who are going from one winery to another, we are making a lot of wine charms, wine bottle stoppers, slumped wine bottles with cute little knives for serving cheese.
This is what it looks like around our house.
Inside our oven. (Because we have to rinse out all those alcohol bottles, so we dry them in the oven before we put them in the kiln.)
In case you were wondering, we don't fuse or slump our glass work in the oven, even though Mark likes to tell people that we fuse and slump in our microwave. He says it takes about fourteen hours in the microwave. You wouldn't think anybody would fall for that, but you'd be surprised how many people say, "Really?" Maybe you have to actually know him. He gets that reaction a lot. Even from those of us who know him well. He says it with such a straight face, and then
(Side note to Mom and Dad: Mark doesn't drink anything stronger than diet coke, and while I like my glass of wine every night, I was not responsible for drinking my way through all these bottles. Although lately we have become friends with many a bartender.)
On top of the washing machine,
and the dryer.
Until after our second show next weekend--our annual open house--this is my new motto:
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Happy Vertical Day
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
One step at a time
Mark and I, of course, will maintain our strict training schedule during the coming year, putting in as much practice time as possible, so that we can continue to qualify as participants in the marathon....as caretakers of Charlotte and Levi.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Our 15 minutes of fame
We had guests for that whole last weekend, a reporter from the L.A. Times, Tom Curwen, and Times photographer, Mark Boster. They basically shadowed us all weekend, starting Friday after until we pulled out for the last time late Sunday afternoon. They shared meals, sat around the fire, followed Mark and George all weekend, along with several others of the owner group who came for a while on Saturday, watching every minute detail of what it means to close down 13 rustic cabins for the winter season. Mark B. took thousands of pictures--or at least it seemed that way, along with recording the sounds of the weekend--flames crackling, bacon frying, screw guns, staple guns, conversations. At first it was a little disconcerting, knowing he was recording a lot of what we said, but then we kind of got used to it. And Tom was never without his little notebook. They asked about everything from what motivated us to become a part of the owner group to what music we had playing in our cabin or on our ipods during the weekend. Mark B. took pictures of the beautiful scenery and pictures of Mark W. plunging the toilets. Along the way, we got to know each other on a more personal basis....because that is what happens when you spend time around a campfire. Somehow things that you might not feel comfortable sharing, especially with someone you just met, become easy to talk about with the flames crackling.
Both mornings, all four of the guys got up early and went down to the lake to fish, building a fire to keep a little warmer.
Mark Boster--never without his camera, even when eating lunch
Then the waiting game began. When would the article be printed? What would Tom's angle be when he wrote it? If pictures accompanied the article, and we happened to be in them, would they be flattering or would we look dorky? Where would the article be "buried"? After all, it was in the L.A. Times, a big paper with a big circulation. Somewhere back in the Life section?
Well, the slide show went online late last night, and it is definitely worth taking a look at. We were able to read the online article this morning. Then George went to Barnes and Noble to be there when it opened at 9 a.m. and I headed off to Borders, where we each bought every single copy of the L.A. Times that was available. Yep, we are now proud owners of 15 copies.
And where was the article actually "buried"? Uh....
Section A, page 1. Let me repeat that.
Section A, page 1.
I called Mark at work. I called my mother to tell her my name was on the front page of the Times but that I had not committed a crime to get there. And I texted Aaron and Christa. Aaron texted me back: "You mean Column One. That is the big one for L.A. Times." Checked my paper. Jeepers!!! We ARE Column One! Who knew? (and side note: how did Aaron know that? When I called George to let him know that little tidbit, that was his question as well. "How does your son know all these random things?" Yeah, well he's always known so much random info that I wasn't sure how he had room for all the stuff he needed to know to become an optometrist, but that's a topic for another day.)
I was hoping I could put the actual slide show right here, but I don't think the L.A. Times wanted me to do that, so here is the link:
So I'm just trying to expand our 15 minutes into a full 24 hours. Until the next issue of the L.A. Times comes out and we are just "yesterday's news."
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Mirror, Mirror, on the wall
Well, as a matter of fact, Mark and I have quite a few upcycled projects around the house. Here is the way it usually goes down. I drag stuff off the trash heap during our annual city cleanup...and he does most of the actual upcycling. And those pieces of furniture are definitely my favorites.
A few years ago we remodeled our master bathroom. We had one of those plain mirrors. You know the kind--no nice frame around it, just held up with little plastic clips. We definitely weren't going to use it in the new bathroom but we also wanted to keep a memento from the old bathroom. Luckily enough (right, Mark?), I had seen a great idea on HGTV. We bought one of those cheap doors from Lowe's--the kind you could easily punch your fist through--which was the same width as the mirror. Got different kinds of molding and a beautiful wooden medalion. Painted the door white, glued the mirror on with liquid nails and then trimmed it out with the molding.
I know it probably sounds this was a joint project. Actually my part was the idea phase. Mark did the actual work on this one.
It turned out great. We have it attached to a wall in our bedroom.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
My new favorite Number 2 quilt
The plan for each of my grandchildren was to spend a bit more time on their first quilt, a few more details. Not necessarily an heirloom that they couldn't touch, because really, what would be the point of that? Quilts are meant to be loved....and touched. But just a little more time spent planning and making. Then their second quilt would be one to drag around, snuggle under, play on, wrap around and read a book, toss in the laundry.
Here is the back of Levi's second quilt. And it's really the reason I even made this quilt. Rows of wild animal Minkee. Have you ever felt this stuff? *sigh* If only you could feel it through the computer monitor. I think everyone should carry round a little scrap of this stuff to touch when you're feeling stressed out.
And I had no idea when I purchased the Minkee that Levi would turn out to be so tactile. He loves anything soft, so I'm hoping this will be a big hit with him.
So then I had to find an idea for the front, to go with the back. And for a Number 2 quilt, the front actually took a lot of time than I had anticipated. All those little pawprints....
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Blog-hopping to the holidays
Handmade Holidays is packed with ideas, with these categories each day. Make it: Lots of great ideas (complete with all the helpful tutorials). Buy it: Affordable things already handmade. Mix it: Yummy new recipes. Print it: Lots of free things like cute gift tags--just print them out on your computer. Win it: A chance to win something everyday.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
True Confession Tuesday: You can call me Cynthia
Then along came the whole security thing, you know, having your legal name on things, like your credit cards, which needed to match the name on your ID, like your driver's license. And I realized we had been filing our tax returns for years with my nonlegal name, Cindy. Although the IRS apparently didn't care about that as long as they got their money on a yearly basis.
Then I noticed that people started calling me Cynthia because that is what it said on my credit cards. And my Borders rewards card, where the barista would say, "Cynthia, we'll call you when your bagel is ready," at which point I usually said, "Yeah, I know that's what it says but please call me Cindy." Whatever. Like they actually cared what they called me.
And then for some unexplained reason, Mark has started calling me Cynthia. Huh? And it's been catching on with a couple of my close friends.
I also noticed that my favorite fabric vendor's name is Cynthia. Cynthia. Not Cindy. "Hmmmmm," I'm thinking to myself, "She likes it and she's young and really cool."
So go ahead. It's okay. You can call me Cynthia. I'm kinda starting to get attached to it.
Monday, November 2, 2009
L.O.V.E. It, Part 3
But I would be just about as happy with this fabric.
Lately I have also been obsessed with quilt-alongs, virtual quilting bees, online block exchanges. Probably because I have so much extra time that I need to fill...hah!
So, Block Party, sign me up!
L.O.V.E. It, Part 2
1. 40% off coupon at Borders.
Now Amy Butler has a new fabric line, ("Love") and this new pattern ("the Liverpool").
I may have to reconsider.