Thursday, March 25, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 3/25/21

First of all, let me thank those of you who wanted the link to The Morning Brew newsletter. I'm slowly getting enough referrals to qualify for the next level of merchandise. :) There are a couple of you who are "no-reply commenters" and thus I have no way of responding back to you. So if you have been wondering why I never reply to your kind comments, it is because of the "no-reply" status. If you are interested in changing your status, here is an instructional link:

So in the "real" March Madness, aka men's college basketball, there have been a lot of upsets. 

In the Greatest Product of All Time version, thanks to the Morning Brew, there were a couple of overwhelming victories in the Elite Eight round. 

Here are the Final Four. And votes are being cast to choose the champion. I'll report next week. Who would you vote for--Microsoft Windows or Google Search? Are you surprised Legos got as far as it did? 

 Last Saturday I was able to sew virtually with my quilting buddies from the annual July retreat. We are hoping to have a retreat in person this coming July. Nothing would make me happier.

Mark's brother, Pete, and wife, Jane, keep us posted with their shenanigans in Idaho. They worked on some amazing snow sculptures this year. I'll see if I can get some pictures of their snow art--they are really outstanding.

I'm more likely to have quilting fabric in my cart than clothes, especially this year given that I hardly wear anything other than yoga pants and a sweatshirt. But nevertheless, I have been known to add just one more item to my cart in order to get the free shipping. Do you do that too?

Happy weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 3/18/21: March Madness

 March Madness. How I love you.

I begin paying attention to college basketball when March Madness nears. Mark and I each fill out our brackets--even though we do it in a nonconventional way. We only fill out the current round. If we fill out the brackets all the way through to the championship game, it is easy to be blown out of the water in the very first round. And then it's no fun anymore.  It is more fun (for the two of us) to reset at the beginning of each round and then keep track of our total correct choices. The winner earns a whopping $1--our standard bet.

The other day we were watching the Big 10 tournament game and I noticed the logo at center court. Fabulous! It made my color-loving heart beat a little faster.

Apparently, it has been around awhile, maybe prior to 2011, but I've never noticed it before. I found someone via google who thinks he figured it out: starting at the 12 o'clock position and moving clockwise, the colors correspond to: Ohio State, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois. 

And if you are wondering, yes the Big 10 has 12 schools. Go figure...

For two years, I was in a March Madness challenge using Painter's Palette fabric. We were able to choose a total of eight fabrics for our bundle and give it a name. People voted for their favorite palettes and participants advanced to the next round just like the basketball version. It was really fun. 

2017: Peach Blossom Festival. I have yet to make a quilt out of these beautiful fabrics but I do have a plan.

2016: Magenta Madness.
This group of fabrics ended up with some other beauties in my Cumbrey Crossing quilt:
This year I found yet another twist on March Madness. I subscribe to a daily newsletter called The Morning Brew. It is a short read each morning summarizing news of the previous day (if you are interested in subscribing, I'd love to send you the link--I'm trying to earn free merchandise--ha). At the end of the newsletter each day, they usually have a fun little quiz.  Anyway, this year they are crowning "the greatest product of all time." They have set it up just like March Madness basketball bracket.

Because these are a little hard to read, how about each division?

Which would you choose in each pair-off? It was a fun conversation the other day with Levi and Charlotte. Voting is already taking place on their Twitter feed, and winners have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Drumroll please:

Microsoft Windows
Google Maps
Boeing 747
Nintendo 64
Air fryer (!!)
Google Search
Uber app

I'll keep you posted next week with the final results. But just for fun, leave a comment with your choice for winner of Greatest Product of  All Time!

Mark went to Costco the other day.
No kidding...

Ella lost a tooth. And a picture of Aaron at the same age.
Then a couple days later the second one came out. 
While Ella was losing teeth, this one was doing something entirely different. And I know...the hair :)

My precious calla lilies began blooming. I do not like Easter lilies but I think calla lilies are beautifully elegant.
Experimenting with the "stagelight" setting on my iPhone.
While the fruit trees are in bloom here in the valley, Mark's brother, Pete, and wife Jane, who live close to Jackson Hole, are doing a lot of skiing. 

And taking pictures of the random animals they come across in town.

The other day my neighbor asked if I had had my hairdresser do a "fade" on my hair. Nope. The pandemic took care of that for me. The last time I added any color to my hair was March 10, 2020. I always wondered what color it would be if I grew it out. And honestly, I never, like really never, look at the back of my hair. Nobody I see on a regular basis cares about my hair--husband, grandkids, etc. So after she asked that question, I was curious about how it looked. Here you go...I kind of like it.

We all seem to be on computer screens way too much.

I sewed something truly hideous the other day. It took me all day to do it. When I put it up on the design wall, I was kind of amazed at how really bad it was. I'm not saying that this was a first-time thing with me and I will show it eventually. Once I get over the shock.

But in the meantime, this...

Happy weekend. 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 3/4/21

 I traveled far and wide this past week. All from the comfort of my office.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a wonderful site called This site offers real-time tours of places from around the world. The first tour I took, to kind of test it out, was a tour of the new Penn Station in NYC. It was a 45-minute walking tour from the old station to the new station, with lots of information along the way. The cool thing is that there is a chat box where you can ask questions and make comments, and the tour guide responds in real time. I only took this one picture but the whole tour was very interesting.

On Sunday, Gabe and I went to Edinburgh for the "Harry Potter--The Truth Behind the Myths and Legends" tour. Because the tours are in real time, we opted for the one that began at 7 a.m. Fresno time (4 a.m. was just too early for us, although that was an option--ha). Mark picked him up at 6:45 a.m., we got a good seat in my office, and then Mark went to buy us bagels for breakfast. 

J.K. Rowling wrote at least one of the books in Edinburgh, at a hotel charging 1000 pounds per night--and she was there for six months! The room where she wrote now goes for 2000 pounds per night--just in case you are a huge Harry Potter fan and this sounds like something to put on  your bucket list.

Along the way, we came upon a bagpiper. Several of the other people on the tour requested that the tour guide pause for a few minutes so we could listen to him play. One of the questions was whether our guide knew what tartan the bagpiper was wearing--he thought it was from the Stewart clan.

We saw the street that was the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

This brush shop is quite special.

Inspiration for Hogwarts.

And the cemetery where J.K. Rowling chose a few of the character names--Professor McGonagall and Tom Riddle.

It was a fun tour. The hardest part was that the tour guide had a strong Scottish accent--charming but hard to understand at times.

I highly recommend checking out this website and trying a tour. They are free to take but it is recommended--although not required--that you leave a tip for the guide. 

We hope to find a time for the "Harry Potter Film Locations in London's West End." Right now it's on the schedule for Friday morning at 9 a.m., which obviously doesn't work since Gabe is in school. But I'll keep checking. 

Saturday I took a zoom class by Krista @poppyprint:  Courthouse Colour Play. It's a class I have wanted to take for a long time, so I'm thankful that she offered it via zoom. It's always been a mystery how the blocks in this pattern go together. 

Improv is not my strong suit, that's for sure. But I enjoyed the class a lot and ended up making a pillow. I have not discounted making an entire quilt at some point. 

The pillow currently lives in my sewing room on my "friend chair," looking perfect with this mini made by Crazy Mom Quilts. Come for a visit. I'm sure ready for some company!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Quilts and Classics: Alice's Swedish Ex/1984 Jeep

 This is possibly the vehicle that brings out the most sentimental feelings for me. It belongs to Mark's brother, Pete, and memories of Pete and his Jeep go back many years. 

Aaron is probably 7 or 8 in this picture. Pete used to come down from Oregon and stay with us for weeks at a time. We were his base camp and he had many outdoor adventures in this Jeep.

When we planned our trip to Yellowstone three years ago, I was just in the beginning planning stages of this calendar. We were going to spend some time with Pete and Jane in Driggs, Idaho, near the Grand Tetons. I asked if he still had the Jeep. He said that he did, but it wasn't running...and also had a canoe stored on top of it. No problem--it would add interest.

I had the best time photographing Alice's Swedish Ex with this Jeep.

Pete didn't even mind helping with the staging.

One of my favorite pictures of the whole shoot.

Alice's Swedish Ex is the second version of a quilt designed in 2016. The original was done in solids and named My Swedish Ex, as most of the blocks are X's and I got my inspiration from a small piece of art that I saw at IKEA. Alice's Swedish Ex was the first version made in prints using a charming line by Rifle Paper Co. with prints of Alice in Wonderland. 

Alice's Swedish Ex has had a few other fun photoshoots. The next two were taken off the coast of Monterey. 

The next three were taken at Huntington Lake.

It's fun having a kayak named after me. :)

Pete's Jeep provided the perfect backdrop for this quilt and added even more special memories.