Thursday, January 27, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 1/27/22

Mark and I have been sticking close to home as the surge seems to be raging on, so I feel like it's okay to have more than one day a week designated as Taco Tuesday. 

Our family never had much extra money when I was growing up and I was always kind of envious of my friends who owned an Easy Bake Oven. 

I have started working on a new English paper piecing project again. For those of you who do EPP and have tried the "flatback" stitch for working on curves, it does nothing but frustrate me. So I was ready to give up on this project. But my friend, Elizabeth (@occasionalpiecequilt) walked me through doing the whipstitch. It worked and I have renewed vigor to keep going now, with the goal of using up my precious Oakshott scraps and maybe even making 20 blocks. These fabrics are so beautiful. And SO hard to photograph.

Charlotte has a retro-looking record player, so when I saw this pattern for a pillow, I made it right away. Months ago...I finally finished it this week and it's so cute. 

I used one of the fun @kylieandthemachine labels that I received when a good friend gifted me the Kylie and the Machine advent calendar--new labels every day leading up to Christmas. There were so many fun labels. 
It made me happy when she posted it on her Instagram account. 

Speaking of retro, I laughed when I saw this.

Yes. Exactly. Hip hugger/bellbottom pants. Long hair parted down the middle.

My mother would have hated this dress that I made in college. Way too short. However, I loved it!

College yearbook picture.

These pictures always make me wonder what future generations will laugh at. Will skinny jeans look weird to them? 

When Rene' posted a picture of this mug in her @craft.table.orlando newsletter, I had to hunt one down. Thanks, Ebay.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately. I enjoyed each of these books. I probably won't be doing any formal book reviews. Seven Dirty Secrets and All Eyes on Her were both part of my favorite genre--a good suspenseful mystery. The Sentence takes place in Minneapolis in a small independent bookstore that is haunted by the store's most annoying customer. I have enjoyed all of Liane Moriarty's books, and Apples Never Fall did not disappoint. 

My brother, who owned many types of birds while growing up (homing pigeons, roller pigeons, parrots, etc.) told me once that he wanted to write a book about birds. I saw this one and thought it would give him a laugh.

Mark's brother, Pete, our sister-in-law Jane, and niece Rose are doing their annual snow sculpture in Idaho. It's always amazing to see what they create. I hope we can see it in person some year.

Are you playing Wordle? Considering that words were the biggest part of my career, first as an academic typist and then as a medical transcriber, I seemingly have more difficulty with those pesky five-letter words. On the days when Gabe is at our house, I make sure that I have played it first, and then he plays it on another device. He is very good at it and it's fun to compare the words we used to solve the puzzle. This was one of my good days. More often than not, it takes me five tries...

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 1/20/22


January is a third of the way done. I don't make resolutions. And this year I didn't even attempt to choose a "word of the year."  But the to-do lists? That is totally me. This year, I made a list of quilts that I tell myself I WILL complete! It's too soon to tell what will happen with that list.

However, one of my favorite quilters, Dana Bolyard of @oldredbarnco, has given me some inspiration this year. She hasn't purchased new fabric in the last couple of years, and instead has been working through her stash. She told me she believes she has made some of her best quilts. So I destashed yet more fabric this week and I really really want to see what I can do when I'm limited to what is on hand. (Don't feel too sorry for me--I have plenty to choose from--but I'm interested in seeing what fabric choices will be made.)

Maybe we all just need to find a wishing well...

On Sunday, Levi was in a water polo tournament and I was able to watch him play goalie in three games. That's a lot of time to be treading water! They narrowly missed being in the championship game, losing by 1 point, so they played for third place, and won. It was a beautiful day to be outside.

Levi in the front center...
Between games, Christa and I walked to get Mediterranean food from one of my favorite restaurants. This sign was outside. My first thought was, "Wait...what??" and then it made sense. Haha.

On Monday, two friends (Stephanie @stephiepeterson and Pam @purduepam) and I had a zoom sewing session. We signed up for the Hygge block of the month by Annemarie Chaney, and each worked on our first block. I'm using Holiday Homies flannel by Tula Pink. I think it will be a fun quilt to work on, and the best part will be sewing monthly with my friends, even though they are far away.
This one is for Mark--a ketchup lover...
I came home from running errands this morning, and this beautiful bouquet was on the kitchen table. Mark likes to buy flowers, and he always chooses bouquets that have the most lilies because those are one of my favorites. Because nature so often gets it right, I think this combination of red, magenta and pink would make a beautiful palette for a new quilt. Uh oh..the to-do list might have just gotten longer.
Pretty much the truth.

And that's it for this week. 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Really Random Thursday, 1/13/22

 Happy New Year (even though it's nearly the middle of the month)!

Enough? Okay--you get the point.

Did you celebrate New Year's Eve in a big way? After a break last year because of...well, you know...we had our traditional Chinese dinner with friends at Shanghai Restaurant. We have it dialed in. There are always ten of us, and in 2016 we were really happy with what we ordered. It was a good variety of food, and just the right amount. Our friend, Dotty, wrote it down. She brings the same list each and every year and just hands it to the waiter, and then  makes sure she gets the list back. It was nice to be celebrating again, very low key. We were done by 8:30, and even though we were not planning on staying up until midnight, 8:30 was just too early to go home. So we went to the Doubletree Hotel downtown, which has a nice open bar area. There were very few people there. We toasted the new year with a glass of Chardonnay (me) and a Diet Coke (Mark) and were home by 10 p.m.

Charlotte and I spent New Year's Day painting her room. We had painted it together in April 2017 when they first moved into the house, two shades of aqua. 

She was ready for an updated, more sophisticated color scheme, this time a beautiful dark blue for the accent wall and a grayish blue for the other three walls (although this picture doesn't really show what a pretty shade of blue it is). I can say one thing for certain--being in theater and making sets has taught that girl some serious painting skills. We were a formidable team--I did all the cutting in and she did all the rolling, all the while listening to her playlist and me trying to identify the artist singing the song. It is without a doubt the most fun I have ever had painting a room.

The difference a few years makes:

She repainted her chest of drawers too.
Meanwhile, back at home, Mark made a traditional New Year's treat--what we call "New Year's Cookies," which is kind of funny because they are clearly not cookies at all. So, instead, think fritters. We both grew up with raisins, rolled in granulated sugar. But for those who don't like raisins, he also makes a batch with apples. So good!
I made a visit to see my dad early in the week and he was doing well. 

A week ago, we had our annual time at the rented beach house at Oceano. Jay was not able to join us this year--isolating at home, ugh--but their nephew, Henry, joined us this year and we had such a great time with him. 
Henry, Levi, Gabe, Ruby, Amelia, Ella (where was Charlotte??) (photo by Christa)
Photo by Christa
Mark brought plenty of firewood. The sunsets were gorgeous.
Before leaving, Charlotte had made homemade brioche bread. Super time consuming. For our first breakfast, she turned it into french toast--SOOO good!

She also made this fabulous chocolate pie, from a recipe book she bought at the Broadway show, Waitress.

It's hard to decide what my favorite part of these precious days is. Mealtime brings a lot of great conversation.

Game time is always fun. And funny. Bingo was a big hit this year, especially when we played "blackout" and you had to fill your entire card.
The kids get plenty of sand time and walks to the water.

Ruby and Gabe--would love to know what they were talking about...

Charlotte and I always take a trip into town to the candy store. We used to take pictures in one of those photo booths, but since the pandemic it is always "out of order" so we take our own pics. Something to think about: next year she will be qualified to drive her family in the van. How did that happen so quickly??

On Friday, we went to the Butterfly Grove in search of monarch butterflies, but it was kind of gray and cool, and apparently they don't open their wings until it is warmer and sunnier.
 So we kept walking into town.

The kids had fun on the slide.

On Friday night we drove to Paso Robles to see Field of Lights at Sensorio, an immersive experience by designer Bruce Munro (apparently he has another installation somewhere in Australia). There are 58,800 lights powered by fiber optics, which continuously change colors.

It is a 15-acre walk-through experience, so you just meander along the path. At one point there is something called the Light Towers, 17,000 wine bottles filled with glowing fiber optics that also change colors.

It was an amazing experience.

My attempt at an "artsy" photo.

The time flies by when you are with this group (although we forgot to take a family picture on Friday, and by Saturday, Jill and the kids were already gone).

Saturday, after Aaron, Christa and the kids headed back to Fresno, Mark and I checked into the Kon Tiki in Pismo Beach for another couple of days. The weather was beautiful.

We had lunch on the pier
and watched the surfers.
It's a great way to begin a new year. Till next time...