Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another Doodle Bug

Remember my Doodle Bugs? You can see them here. Well, this is the latest version of the Doodle Bug. DH made this one out of pottery and it's intended to be yard art. It's about 8 inches long. I think "he" came out really cute!
We're having great weather yesterday and today. We finally get to see the famous mountain here in Western Washington - Mount Rainier. So I had to snap a picture. (Sorry, the sky is still pretty hazy, so the photo isn't the greatest.) You can see that the mountains in the foreground still have snow on them. They got nice fresh snow on Wednesday (see previous post). Today everyone was out mowing their yard and doing other various yard work today. The weather was

just too nice to stay inside. Unfortunately, it's not supposed to last. Showers by tomorrow evening and then by Tuesday our high is only supposed to be about 48 degrees. Wow, spring just can't seem to stick with us. I can't believe it's almost May! *sigh* DH has spring fever badly. Tonight we BBQ'ed hamburgers in the fire pit - just like camping! They were yummy - and then we HAD to do marshmallows too!

We have lots of noisy frogs and tiny baby ducks in the pond, so apparently they think it's supposed to be spring! Some day. . . .

"Tiptoe. . .

through the tulips" - that's just what we did on Wednesday this week. We drove up to Skagit county to see all the tulips, meeting most of the rest of our family for the tour. The day was cold and blustery, but not uncomfortable. We never actually got rained on until the end, and that was about 10 drops!

We walked the circumference of this field. It was all one field of tulips - probably millions of tulips! What a wonderful sight. It took us about an hour to walk around it, but that was taking lots of photos.

We had lunch at a nice little cafe with great sandwiches, then we went to an art show by local artists that was in a barn (not the one pictured!). I found a watercolor that just had to come home with me.

I was really impressed by how beautiful the sky was that day. I could see why all the artists had to paint it. It really reminded me of a European sky - it looked like the sky in the old Masters' oil paintings. So much so that it didn't look real - it looked painted. I hope my photos will help you see what I mean.

Then we went off on a little drive and ended up on Camano Island. DH had to go see the water - he misses the ocean. Well, we saw the Sound but it was close enough.

I'll leave you to enjoy the photos and, as always, click on the small picture to see it bigger.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dots, Dots, Dots

I thought I would share my Bullseye quilt today. I made this a few years ago. I was inspired by a quilt titled "Lots Of Dots" by Mary Mashuta. You can see it here. She spoke at the quilt guild, and this was one of the quilts hanging for her talk. It's been published in her book "Cotton Candy Quilts". The quilt was hanging right by where I sat, and I just fell in love with it. So, I was inspired to make a quilt with all polka dots.
When I started looking through my fabrics, I was surprised to see how many "dotty" fabrics I already had. But, of course, I had to buy lots more dots for the quilt. Every single fabric has dots or spots of some kind, even the background fabrics, the backing fabric, and the binding. All dots.
It was a lot of fun to make. I really didn't have a pattern, just a picture in my head. I didn't even have a circle template. I was at retreat, so I cut out the center of a paper plate and started with that. And then, when I was doing the border, I ran short of the border fabric. Thus, the not-really-square corner squares. Needless to say, it's pretty wonky. But I love that too! This is the quilt I use every night to keep me warm while we watch TV. It makes me happy! And isn't that the best reason to make/have a quilt?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Am A Blue Crayon

You Are a Blue Crayon

Your world is colored in calm, understated, deep colors. You are a loyal person, and the truest friend anyone could hope to find. On the inside, you tend to be emotional and even a bit moody. However, you know that people depend on you. So you put on a strong front. Your color wheel opposite is orange. Orange people may be opinionated, but you feel they lack the depth to truly understand what they're saying.

Honest to God, I didn't skew the quiz to get this answer!

I love taking these silly quizzes! They have a quiz for just about everything - enough to keep me busy for hours! Silly but fun!

What color crayon are you?? Take the quiz and find out!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two Little Charmers

These two ducks often come into our yard. They just kind of wander around, then go back into the lake. They seem to be "paired". They're always together, wherever we see them. They look a little mis-matched to me, but I won't tell them because I don't want them to think I'm "duck-ist"! *grin*

My poor hostas took a beating last night. They have held up really well throughout the crazy weather we've been having (rain, hail & snow). Unfortunately, they don't do so well after being trampled by a Labrador! We had somebody's Lab in our yard last night who apparently had what DH thinks was the Blue Heron "cornered". He was running in circles, yipping at something around 11:30 last night. I kept hearing him and wondered what was going on. So DH went out with the flashlight, and saw something big fly off into the trees on the island. The Lab was very proud of his bird-finding skills, but had to be asked to please go home. I didn't know until this morning that he had squashed the poor hostas!

Just this morning, we had sunshine, then rain, then hail, then snow and then sunshine during the snow! DH is fed up with the weather and wants to go back to California. He's tired of being cold. This is crazy weather! I guess I spent too long in California to recognize real weather, because now I'm starting to remember that this is what April in Michigan and Germany was like.

I finally got some photos of the quilt tops that I completed at my Quilt Retreat a few weeks ago. Wow, there must have been a disturbance in the space/time continuum for it to have taken me so long!
The first one is Spring Meadow. It was a charm packet from Moda by that name. I actually used 2 charm packs, and just put them together rather randomly. You can see some of the fabrics a little better in the closeup. (You can see the edge of the matching pillowcase in the upper right hand corner as well.)

The second one was another (2) charm packs by Moda, called Strawberry Lemondade. This was also put together randomly. And it has a matching pillowcase too. This one is my favorite - it's such bright, happy colors!

I made these for my granddaughters to use for their naps when they're over at our house.

I'm real happy with the way these two quilt tops came out. Now I just have to go buy some flannel fabric for the backs. I think I'll quilt these myself. They're not real big so, hopefully, it won't be too hard. Amazingly, these two quilt tops came out almost exactly the same size! I didn't plan that, and I'm not sure how that worked, but I'll take it!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Engineer's Guide To Cats

I found this video on You Tube, and I just have to share it with everyone. I thought it was hilarious. It actually reminds me of some the videos my son and his friends made in High School. Sorry I don't know how to imbed the video, but here's the link. It takes about 7 minutes to watch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

(I was going to put in a kitty picture, but Blogger seems to be having "technical difficulties" doing that. Oh well.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh Hail, Where Did Spring Go?

Saturday we had beautiful weather! It was over 70 degrees, for the first time this year. Everyone was out mowing their yard, and wearing shorts and halter tops and other summery-type clothes. We were digging up a bush that was in the "wrong spot" (for us). We didn't really have a different spot for it and DS and DIL wanted it for their yard. So, we took it to them. A big undertaking, as it turned out. Here it is in it's new home. I think it will be very happy there!
Sunday we had to go to Home Depot to find something to fill the empty spot where the bush had been. I decided hostas would go well there. Didn't find hostas at H.D, but I found some fancy geraniums that were calling my name! Off to Fred Meyers looking for hostas. I did find some hostas there, but they were smaller than I was hoping for. I got them anyway. Hopefully they will grow! I also found MORE geraniums that wanted to go home with us! Aren't they pretty? I love the Martha Washington geraniums. I had to leave a whole bunch behind when we left California, and I couldn't find any last year.
We got the hostas planted that day, but ran out of steam and good weather to do anything else. Now the pretty new flowers are going to have to live in the garage for a few days. We're having unseasonably cold weather this week. I'd bring them in the house, but I think the wee hairy beasts would eat them. Probably not good for the flowers OR the cats!
Yesterday was cold all day, and then about 6 pm, when the granddaughters and I were going down to the mailbox (an excuse to use the umbrellas that came with them yesterday!), we had hail. Lots of hail. It was fun to be under the umbrella and listening to the very loud hail. It went on for about 15 minutes! The girls were really excited about it.
Here's what the backyard looked like. The hail hadn't melted after an hour! (It was about 40 degrees.) Now the weather report says we're supposed to have rain and cold weather all week, ending with snow by Friday or Saturday. Yikes! Here's a photo of the new hostas in the hail. They held up pretty well. I hope they don't mind snow!
On the quilting front, I haven't done a whole lot.
I've gotten some sewing done on some crumb blocks. I do
n't know how many I started with, but now I'm up to 60-something! It's so much fun and not much thinking needed. Here I was playing with lay-outs. I actually got 3 blocks on the floor before the cats came running to help! I've now come up with an actual quilt plan. I only need 30 blocks to finish with a decent size. Now I just need to cut fabric for the sashings, etc. Maybe tomorrow I can get it done??

Monday, April 07, 2008

Pardon My Extrusion

I have another hobby, that I don't do nearly as often as quilting. It's pottery. I took up pottery after carpal tunnel surgery about 5 or 6 years ago. I was hoping it would be physical therapy for my hand. And it was something for DH and I to do together at the time our daughter and son-in-law were living with us. DH took to it extremely well, and now we have a home studio, with all the necessary tools and appliances.

I've learned, over the years, that I'm a process person, meaning the process of making something is more enjoyable for me than the finished product. (It was very helpful to learn that about myself. Explains a lot of things.) Anyway, I also like immediate gratification when working on something. So pottery takes some work for me. I don't have a lot of patience for certain stages of it, and for the fact that it just takes TIME. So, I don't do too much of it. I have to be in the mood, so to speak.

Anyway, we had a pottery session a while ago, and did a bunch of extrusions. It's better to do a whole bunch at one time before you have to clean the extruder! We got this bunch of extrusions out of the kiln right before I went to California, so hadn't had a lot of time to fondle the pottery when it was done (a very important part of the process!). Anyway, I thought I would share some of my latest pottery. It's not great art, or even great pottery, but it was fun. Most of it isn't for sale, as I don't think it's that good. Or, in some cases, it was too much work to sell it for next-to-nothing! DH sells most of his pottery, which is much better than mine.

The top piece was an attempt at adding a dart, like in sewing clothes, to make the opening smaller, so that the flowers don't all fall to one side. Then a funky vase. Next is a small box. I have an affinity for little boxes. I always seem to be making little boxes in pottery. And this last piece was compulsion-in-action! I couldn't stop with the little dots! This piece is actually 2-sided. And that piece of clay across the top is to, hopefully, help the flowers stand up straighter. We'll see about that, I guess.

Back to quilting!

Saturday, April 05, 2008


If you are a creative person or interested at all in Creativity, please see this blog and watch the video. And thanks to Mrs. Mel at Fibermania for this information!

An Excellent Source. . . .

DH went to the store yesterday and found a treasure. We've already tried various breads and cookies from Franz Bakery. They're so yummy! The cookies are the closest to homemade that I've ever had from a commercial bakery. Anyway, he found this Cinnamon Swirl bread. When I read the label, I laughed out loud! Check this out:

We were not disappointed! This is THE BEST cinnamon bread I have ever had. It didn't even need any extra cinnamon sugar! Yummm! Loaded with Deliciousness!!

Sewing Up A Storm?

I'm back from California! Actually, I've been home for a few days. What I thought was allergies while in CA has actually become a cold and a nasty cough. I've been under the weather ever since I got home. DH has been taking good care of me, and now he's sick too.

I had a wonderful trip to California. It was so great to see all my friends that I haven't seen in a year. (But, now I miss them again.) We had so much fun at the retreat! We all got lots of sewing done - it was so much fun to see everyone's projects. Check out Pam's blog for photos and more info. And here's one of Berta's projects. Jill was a wonderful hostess and chauffeur. We shopped, we ate, and we sewed and sewed! Oh, and we talked and talked! It was a blast! Hopefully I can get some photos of my projects in the next few days. California was close to the end of spring. The tulips were almost done, the trees were all blooming, the poppies were covering the hillsides, and it was nice and warm.

In the meantime and in contrast to Spring in California, I will show you some photos that DH took while I was gone. I missed the biggest snowstorm of the year! DH said the snow was coming down so fast and the flakes were so big, that it looked like a snow globe. Click on the photos for a bigger photo, to see all the snowy goodness. We're starting in the backyard, then moving to the front of the house. Then, after the storm the next morning, with 8 to 9 inches of snow!