Friday, September 27, 2013


Hello everyone!  Lots going on around here the last couple of weeks. There was a birthday.  (I'm 55 now. Not sure how I feel about that, but there is no stopping this train.)

I started another blanket.  A big chunky one this time, with ribbing, the kind you see in catalogs. The kind that cost too much and you think "I can make that", but 1/3 of the way through, there is a moment when you realize it may end up costing more than if you just ordered the darn thing.

We drove down to Santa Barbara to drop the boy off at University.  I brought lots of tissue.  The girls came too and we made a mini vacation out of it, so there was plenty of family drama, laughing, arguing, eating out, and generally enjoying each others company.   However, I'm not sure my son enjoyed the moment when there were 4 other adults crammed in his dorm room helping him unload his stuff, make his bed and telling him where things should go.  I bet he wanted to tell us where we could go, but hey, that's how we roll, and memories are made. The view from his dorm is a lovely little lagoon.  How lucky is that?  At the last minute he added a volleyball class.  When in Rome....

Back at home, I'm wandering around the house like a lost puppy. There is now less laundry, less grocery shopping, no sports on TV, no teenage boys in the pool and in my pantry.  More quiet time. Weird. (Also my little cat died 2 weeks ago, right after we lost the dog, so we are down to one pet).  It's going to take some getting used to, this calm, quiet house.
I know what you're thinking.  More time for quilting and playing with yarn!
Yeah.  Change is good.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to not finish a college quilt

You see those makes up there?   That's me not working on the quilt for my son who is due to leave for college on Friday.  I still have to baste and quilt it, and if I don't get cracking, will probably be sewing the binding on in the car trip to Santa Barbara.
The table runner came about after I started sewing some coasters (last post), and decided to put to use some Kaffe Fasset shot cottons, and a Philip Jacobs floral that's been hiding in my stash. I had about a 12 inch square left over, so squeezed out a few more blocks to make the table mat in the middle picture.  The cute little squirrel vase was picked up while thrifting about town on Friday.  He looks a bit cheeky, the way they painted his eyes, like he just did something he shouldn't have.  I like that in a squirrel.
The crocheted table mat can be found over here.  It was fun and fast to make up, and included the moss stitch, which I have to say is so pretty and easy, that I want to make something else with it. You can make matching coasters by doing fewer rounds.
There has also been a lot of reading going on here (instead of quilting.  Sheesh I really am putting this quilt off aren't I?)

This is quite an eclectic pile, based on recommendations I've found on other blogs and gathered up from the used book store.  Everything from classic literary fiction (the Betrothed), to a steam punk romp in Victorian England sporting vampires and werewolves (just finished Soulless, the first in a series, and it was quite fun).  If you look closely at the left side behind the books, you will see the batting and college quilt flung over the couch ready for action.  I may just spray baste this one.  I've been working out extra hard at the gym these last two weeks, and the idea of getting down on the floor to pin a quilt has me sore just thinking about it.

Time to go quilt.  Have a great week.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

In between

In between seasons and in between projects.  I have a lot started, and nothing finished.  One thing leads to another doesn't it?  I began making some simple navy and linen coasters, but only got two done, before I hit upon another idea, and started flinging fabric madly around the room, searching for a 1/2 yard cut of that floral, bought last fall, and put away for future use.
An hour later, found it.  Now a mini quilt/table runner is in progress.

It's beautiful outside on the front porch this morning.  Nice breeze, woodpecker in the willow tree, rooster crowing.  But it's going to be 100 degrees this afternoon, so I'm getting my "outdoor" fix   while I can.
A squirrel fell into the pool yesterday.  I watched him nose around the edge near the deep end.  When I started to get up from my chair I heard a PLOP sound.  Before I could get out the door to grab the pool net, he had already scrambled up the side and through the fence.  Normally they don't come that close to the house, but the poor thing was probably thirsty.  So I went out and filled up the bird bath with fresh water and turned the sprinklers on in the side yard.  Within minutes, the word had gotten out, and birds were swooping in for a bath.
Fall is so hot and dry here.  Right now our beautiful Yosemite National Park is burning (for almost a month!)  I hope they get it under control soon.  Every year, in September, it feels like summer just won't let go, although it is getting cooler at night.  The scrub jays are up to their tricks, a definite sign that the season is changing, because I'm finding acorns buried in my potted plants. They are creating a stash for the winter.  I get that whole stash thing. Yarn, fabric, acorns, it doesn't matter.  Gotta have it.  I do wish I had their built in instinct for finding everything once it's been hidden.  I could use that in my sewing room.

Monday, September 2, 2013

It's time

Time to de-stash some of my yarn.  This is only about one fourth of the pile that is growing faster than it is being used up.  There should be enough for a blanket or five.

I love to see other blogger's yarn piles.  So many colors and possibilities. When trying to decide what to make, I turned to a blog which has produced many beautiful crocheted and knitted blankets from her bottomless stash pile.  Kristen made this great blanket, of twelve, 20 round granny squares sewn together.  Brilliant.  I get bored easily making big blankets.  Making a bunch of little blankets  keeps me motivated. Each square is like starting a new project all over again.  It never gets old!

This holiday weekend, all the kids were home.  My daughter took over one end of the dining room table with a jigsaw puzzle, which everyone contributed to as they passed through the room.  The other end was piled high with my crochet yarn and a cross stitching sampler started by the other girl.  There were baseball games on TV, spaghetti with homemade sauce and a surprise thunderstorm that beat down the dust and left everything smelling fresh again. Sunday morning I made pancakes, plain ones for the boys, and coconut protein pancakes for the girls.
Coconut Protein Pancakes
adapted from the book Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

3 eggs
1/2 cup pancake mix
3/4 to 1 cup of cottage cheese
small handful of unsweetened shredded coconut.

Mix all ingredients until well blended and spoon onto hot griddle or frying pan coated with coconut oil.
Serve with your favorite syrup or jam.
I love eating these as a snack, warmed up, alongside a cup of tea.

Now that September is here, I can start putting out some fall decorations, beginning with this idea found on Pinterest.
Take one plain rake with a broken handle.....
Add some fall accents and it's ready to hang on your door or porch. It took me about a half hour to drag the decorations from the attic, 5 minutes to decorate the rake.  Now what can I make next?