Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Finishes and a MYSTERY!

I finally finished a small quilt that was started a very long time ago and quilted by a friend last summer.  It's a design by Lynette Anderson, and I learned the hard way that when you print out a pattern it's not always the correct size. That I found out after all the stitching was done, and I started putting it together.  So with a bit of pattern modification, the piecing was completed and my friend quilted it for me.  I really don't enjoy binding quilts and tend to procrastinate that detail.  Well, a certain young lady asked me to embroider something for her birthday, and, bingo!  I knew just the thing.  It's done early, no less, and I hope she will like it.





The dress for the other little August birthday girl is also finished.  I measured her yesterday, and it should fit for a while.


We spent the rest of our weekend sorting through lots of old pictures and our genealogy stuff after a short break for church and dinner out with the kids.  When we got back home, we decided to take a short walk before getting back to work.  When we left for our walk, one of our newest blooming plants looked like this:


When we got back, it looked like this:


See the empty stalks in the right corner of the photo? Even all the buds were nipped off and a few blossoms were lying on the ground.  This morning I also noticed that whatever the critter was, also sampled a few tastes of lily.  Wonder who the guilty critter was?  4-legged perhaps?  That'll teach me to brag about my crocosmia!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Busy Needles!

This past week I've made a real effort to put in some stitching time, and it's paid off.  The Amish Alphabet is coming along. (And I'm realizing my eyes aren't what they used to be; either that or 18 count Aida cloth is smaller than ever!)



Sorry that it's crooked, but, I finished the letter B and its birdhouse as well as the extras on A, L, P, U, and X, and am a little more than half way done.  It's about time! 


This fun project is on the home stretch.  The yarn is Universal Cotton Batik, the color, "cotton candy".  The pattern, Elise Dress, can be found here along with a photo of the finished dress.   I am on the third ruched section which is a good thing as the recipient's birthday is getting closer every day!


Yesterday's heat (95, which is hot for us) forced this beauty to finally open, and voila! Another thing that could be called "cotton candy;" the odd thing is that the package said it would be white!?  Not too much else to report for now.  Have a great day!

Friday, July 17, 2015

On the Needles and a Bit More

Here's a fun and free pattern if you have a big stash of cotton yarn. It's a pattern for a market bag, and after the somewhat fiddly first row, an easy  way to use up that yarn.  I'm about half way done.


It's mostly an easy to memorize mesh pattern which is supposed to be stretchy and has a "solid" bottom.  There's more than one of these in my future!



This week I bit the bullet and tackled a quilt block for the first time in a while. (My accuracy sure needs some work.) There were some choice words and ripping, but it's done.  The next task will be to put the other blocks together as this is a group project with fabric I brought back from Aachen, Germany, last fall. Everyone's block is different, so it should be a fun quilt.


As you may have already heard, it's been hot (by PNW standards) here lately, very dry also. Look who's claimed the fan!



And look which deceptively cute critter thinks our garden is its own private salad bar:


And last, but not least, look who would like to claim the neighbor's dog as her own:


Big brother's not so sure. Have a great weekend!  And oh, check out Patchwork Times to see what others have on their needles.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fun in the Sun! (photo heavy)

We recently returned from almost two weeks in sunny California. (Little did we know when making these plans that it'd be hot and sunny here at home the whole time we were gone!) At any rate, all 12 of gathered at the House with the Red Door in Oceanside, California.



Less than a stone's throw from the ocean, with easy access to the beach, it was a wonderful place for a family gathering.



Daniel and Max spend hours digging in the sand that was right in the back yard along with a wonderful grassy area for relaxing in the sunshine or watching the ground squirrels at play.


We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner together.


And I was banned from the kitchen. (I snuck in once to wipe off the stove.)


There was a nice coffee shop within walking distance, even for Stella!



We rode The Coaster to Old Town in San Diego.



Before lunch in Old Town, the kids found a tree to climb. It was tough work.
.

And Uncle Carl helped a little.


We had a fun BBQ at our nephew's house in San Marcos.


We had time to star gaze,



rough-house,
chat together,
and read,

AND best of all, take a family photo! (Can you guess who's not into photos?)


We also celebrated our 50th anniversary a bit early but don't have any photos of the occasion. Hopefully someone will share the ones they took.....hint, hint, hint.  It was a fabulous week, the source of lots of fun memories!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back Home and Catching Up!

We've been back home from our family reunion in CA almost a week and have just about caught up on everything that didn't get done while we were gone. We had a wonderful time, and since I wasn't allowed in the kitchen, several knitting projects were finished!!!



I'm not telling when I started these, but the pattern is Patina and the yarn is Lorna's Laces in the color Shorewood (my high school but our color was red and gray). I love the pattern so much I've already started another pair. Maybe I'll finish sooner, but don't hold your breath!



I also finished a prayer shawl for our niece, figuring she could use it as a cover-up while nursing Ben, even though it's too hot to wear it now. I also wanted her to know she was in my thoughts the whole time I was knitting it. Hopefully knowing how much people care will help ease her pain in losing little Alex.



This is one of my favorite photos from our time away.  Sophia and I had some stitching time together, using another Hoop-a-Loops kit.  She didn't  finish it, but we'll work on it again the next time we're together. She's getting quite good with the needle and has the straight stitch mastered!  If you know a child who wants to learn to embroider, check out these kits. They are great.

To see what others are knitting, check out Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Our Garden is the other thing that keeps us busy during the summer.  It's been warmer and sunnier here than usual, and even the grass has been slowly edging out the moss!  Flowers are doing well, but everything requires a bit of attention, right?


As you can see, our backyard is pretty shady.  The golden chain tree is done blooming now, but sure was pretty at the end of May.


I love to put flowers in pots to keep them out of reach from most of the critters.  However just today I discovered something had been burrowing in the green pot. I wonder what?


Columbines have done very well in our yard, especially the frilly ones.  They just reseed everywhere!


This one is my favorite though! No wonder it's Colorado's state flower.


These dark irises have done really well this year, too.  And now I'm realizing we don't have any photos from the front yard, but that's OK as right now not too much is going on out there except for one lily.  However, not to be out done, the indoor violets are very happy at the moment.


And that reminds me, time to go water.  Bye for now!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What's Kept Us Busy?

Right after we returned from our sad trip east, my sister and her hubby arrived, and we had a fun time keeping them busy. Here they are, relaxing in our daughter's backyard and enjoying some nice weather.



We've tried to take them to Mount St. Helens on previous visits, and it's always been snowed in.  This time the weather was only cloudy with some intermitent rain but we decided to brave it and go.  This is about as much as we saw of the famous mountain, but there's lots to see/do in the Johnston Visitor Center, and we were surprised to also see kids from Tyee Middle School (where our kids attended) there on a field trip. Did you get to go to a volcano when you were in junior high???



The next day since the weather was still gloomy, we went for tea at the Panama Hotel of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet fame. If you've not read the book, you've missed a great read!



The weather cleared up toward the end of the week, and we enjoyed a great meal at the Space Needle.  We couldn't see the mountains, but the rest of the views from way up high were stunning. We weren't crazy about the distortion from photographer's wide angle lens, but hey!  It was free!



We didn't take any cameras to the Bellevue Botanical Garden the next day but were amazed at how much it had changed since our last visit: lots more parking, a new education center, and a very fun suspension bridge.  We wanted to stay longer but were short on time, and  now they're back home in Minnesota, or rather spending the summer at their cabin in the North Country. How come fun visits go by so quickly?