Thursday, January 30, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 1/30/20

Last week, Mark went to watch Charlotte play basketball. Although he referees basketball at least three days a week, Charlotte had requested that he block her school--she didn't want a ref who might be biased. :)

He also works at the scoring table for Fresno State basketball games, so he was dressed to go to that gig after Charlotte's game. referees showed up for her game. So guess who was called into duty? That's Charlotte to the right of Mark.

After the game, she told him that he no longer needed to block her school. :)

Christa was out of town for the weekend, and Mark was reffing a game on Friday night, so Aaron and the kids came over for dinner. We had pizza. And Aaron introduced me to Crave cookies. Oh my goodness!
Crave cookies are delivered to your door. Hot out of the oven.  They are huge (I didn't actually measure them, but they are probably about 5" in diameter)! And perfect. Crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. I'm not sure if it's a good thing that I know about them and how easy they are to obtain!
I'm doing some secret sewing. Don't you hate it when someone says that? So that's all I'm going to say. Except to post a picture of the some of the fabrics...
This was a Facebook memory from seven years ago, a block I designed to showcase this line of fabric for the designer. I really should make a whole quilt from this block as I quite like it.
The grandkids had so much fun with their little bargello Christmas ornaments so when I saw the Valentine's kits pop up in my Instagram feed, I ordered them right away. And you can too. I love their tag line: reviving a vintage needlecraft for modern makers.

Saw this on Facebook.
And that's it for this week.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Live a Colorful Life Quilt Diary

Today I began something I have wanted to do for several years--documenting the quilts I have made since I began quilting in 1994. If you have quilted for awhile, do you ever wonder how many quilts you have actually made? Me too. Sometimes it's hard to believe I've been at it for 25 years! Some years have been more prolific than others.  I know there have been some that I never mentioned here. And while many of them live somewhere else, there are piles here at home.
Photos of early quilts will be pictures of pictures, in other words, poor quality and awkward styling--taken long before I discovered another passion--quilt photography.

Since I want all the information to be chronological, cohesive and easy to access, I started another blog: Live a Colorful Life Quilt Diary:

And so it begins...

Really Random Thursday, 1/23/20

Every week when I finish writing the really random post, I hope that there is something interesting to post about in the next week's edition. I think you will enjoy this one...

Mark's brother, Pete, and our sister-in-law, Jane, live in Driggs, Idaho. This is the view from where they live, on the outskirts of Driggs, taken in May 2018.
In winter, they get a lot of snow. Every year in January, Driggs has something called Snowscapes, where teams are invited to carve sculptures out of snow (you can see some past sculptures here).

Pete and Jane were part of a team of four, and sculpted an amazing creation called Oaxacan Tango. It might have been inspired by this beautiful card painted by Jane that I keep in my office so I can enjoy it on a regular basis.
Each team is given a big block of snow.

And then the sculpting begins.
Here you can see a couple of the other sculptures in the background.
I'm not quite sure all the tools that are involved, but this is how their sculpture turned out. Isn't it amazing??!

The coolest part is that they won both Grand Prize and Kid's Choice. Congratulations, Pete and Jane!
Now that Aaron has become a knitter, he is noticing other knitters as well. He saw this one in the stands at a local basketball game.

He also knows of my obsession with all things Pantone, and sent me this. I love nerdy Pantone facts like this.
Ruby turned 8 this week. She is undoubtedly one of the sweetest girls there is. Love her so much.
My two favorite 8-year-olds.
I already have a HUGe amount of fabric. So I'm going to try to stick with more hugs this year...
Happy weekend.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Project Bag

Aaron is enjoying his new skill with knitting.
From experience, I know that you need a project bag, for many reasons--to keep it safe from children and pets, and also to make it more portable in case you want to knit in a different location (hopefully there are some Starbucks knitting sessions in our future).

I have made many lined drawstring bags, designed by Jeni Baker. She just came out with an expansion pack, full of variations.

I chose to make the "project" size (from the basic pattern), which is a really versatile size, and then chose the "bottom accent" instructions from the expansion set.  When going through some of my stash the other day, I came across a linen panel with four patterns, including an eye chart.  Since Aaron is an optometrist, it was the perfect choice
 The ampersand fabric was a good choice for the other side of the bag.
 For the bottom, I used black cork fabric. If you haven't sewn with cork fabric yet, don't be frightened away from it--I used my regular needle and polyester thread. Easy-peasy.

I also had just the right amount of this fabric with glasses to use for the lining, and it was the perfect color too!
I had already purchased several of these cute labels from Kylie and the Machine (she has so many cute labels to choose from). This is one of my favorites.
Leather cord for the drawstring and some wooden beads for the ends.
This pattern comes highly recommended. I hope you'll give it a try.

Pattern: Lined Drawstring Bag and Lined Drawsing Bag Expansion Pattrern by Jeni Baker (
Finished Size: 13" x 8" x 4"
Labels: Kylie and the Machine (
Cork Fabric:

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 1/16/20

There is not a lot going on this week, which is kind of nice this first half of January. I see several people choosing their word of the year. Do you do that too? If they are like me, they're going to forget it about midway through 2020. Why the italics? Mostly so I could post this...
Anyway, back to the word of the year. I have done that in the past. I'm sure I chose a word for 2019. I think it was balance, but I really can't remember. Several different words have come to mind--intention, completion, focus...maybe I should change it up every three months and see if that works better for me.

On Monday, I spent most of the day at my cousin Cathy's house. Four or five of us get together monthly for a sew day. Cathy suggested that we paint barn quilts instead of sewing. It was warm enough to do the painting outside.

It was really fun to do this together. Mine is 16" square and will go on "Periwinkle Cottage," which is in our backyard.
Cathy and Terry have the coolest chairs on their deck, made from old skis. See their kitty on top of the spa?
Aaron sent me this, along with a text that Dumbledore knits, and that he is using exactly the same yarn...
I saw this on Instagram yesterday--my son and daughter-in-law are apparently in a micro generation. Makes sense.

I believe this is true.
We have a leadership training group at our church called the Micah Project. We had this year's group over for dinner the other night--always fun to get to know the new interns.
Did you decide to eat healthier this year? Me too...
Pantone and coffee--two of my favorite things.

And that's it for this week.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 1/9/20

Mark and I have spent the last week on the central coast of California, the way we have started the new year for the past six years. I can hardly believe this was our sixth year! The first year we rented the house at Oceano Dunes, Ella had just turned 1 and Amelia was only 7 months old. We had to do a lot of barricading so they didn't fall down steps in the house, or fall off the deck.

Everyone was at the house by dinner time, everyone, that is, except for Jason. He couldn't make it this year. Don't feel totally sorry for him--he was in Hawaii, coaching a basketball tournament. We sure missed him.

The sunsets were gorgeous each night.

We always play a lot of games.

One funny conversation with Gabe: he was explaining some game rules to me. Remember, he is only 8.

Me: That's complicated.
Gabe: I'm a complicated man, Grandma. That's just how I roll.

This year, one of the fun games was Sushi Go!
Charlotte, Levi and Gabriel continued to work on their bargello ornaments. 

Gabe worked on a Tubby Wubby kit. (Ruby did as well, but I failed to get a picture of her...)

Most mornings, Mark and I hear a key in the door (we stay in a room above the garage), and up come the kids. I can tell Charlotte is getting older--she is a teenager now--she decided to sleep in. They get to have a little screen time before breakfast, including Gramps.
Ella and Amelia--getting so big! (Amelia likes to wear glasses sometimes--not that she needs to--she just likes the "coolness" factor.)
Every year for the past four years, Charlotte and I drive into Pismo one morning, go to a candy store that has one of those photo booths, and take our pictures.
Here is what we have so far, from 2017 through 2020.
There was a wave advisory this year--it was not safe to play in the water because of  large waves, riptides and undercurrents.

But there was plenty of sand.

The kids were allowed (with adult supervision) to get their feet wet.

Some deep thinking going on here...
On Friday, the Isaacs joined us. This is always such fun, because then all the kids have someone their own age to hang out with.

Fun times at dinner...

Homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast, courtesy of Charlotte and Grace.
Aaron took this beautiful picture.
One highlight for me was that a couple of weeks ago, Aaron had asked me to teach him to knit. On the last night, we finally had a chance. It was definitely one of the weekend highlights for me. I made sure he started with the "good" stuff--my favorite Madeline Tosh chunky DK yarn and some bamboo needles. He is a quick learner and seems to be enjoying it.

On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast, took Wiens/Brooks family pictures, and then everyone packed up and left for home. (You can't see it very well, but Jason FaceTimed right at the time we were taking our picture. Ruby is holding the phone so her dad can be included in the picture. Perfect.)

Charlotte, Levi and Gabe always add a little something in the guest book.
These few days are filled with such precious memories with family, and friends who feel like family.

Mark and I finished cleaning the house, and then headed over to Pismo Beach for three more nights.
We had forgotten a couple of baking pans at the house, so we headed back to retrieve them before the cleaners got there. The wind had been quite gusty, and by Monday morning, there was really no trace of all those feet that had been in the sand--just good memories.
We had a couple of days of relaxation--we both read a book from start to finish, walked on the beach, ate good food...this place always keeps a little piece of me and I can hardly wait to return.
It wouldn't seem like a true Really Random if I didn't end with something funny, right?!

Do you ever use that combination of punctuation marks? Did you know there is a name for it? Thanks to Mark, who found this in his random reading...
So now you know. 

You're welcome.