Friday, September 28, 2012


One of two gazebos down the road
My time here in Onsala has been very, very, restful.  I am not the person who measures a trip by sights seen, preferring, instead, to just observe how people live their day to day lives as best as I can.  There's also a little thing called jet lag I don't seem to be adjusting from.  Not so easy as when I was a lot younger, that's for sure.

My visits with my friend have included running errands and a visit to the local mall (yes, they're here, too).  I found that day particularly interesting, as I was able to see a nice variety of people, mostly women, out shopping.  One observation I made is that the primary color palette in the women's clothing stores appears to be neutrals, lots of grey and black, with colors being the accents and not the main feature.  It is a look that I see on the women, and it is, to my mind, quietly elegant...accent scarves, attention to hair and makeup, and an amazing assortment of boots topping it all off.  I must admit to feeling the slob, wearing my mommy jeans and no make up.  Something to think about for when I go home.

Another treat has been grocery shopping.  The store is very small, compared to our enormous grocery stores, but well stocked.  Many items are packaged in much smaller quantities than I see at home.  This could be one of the reasons why I have seen only a handful of people I would even consider calling overweight...that, and the local passion for walking.  I see my neighbors burning up the lane walking each day, sometimes twice a day.  (Note to file.)

I leave you with this picture of my new favorite yogurt.  It is a whopping 10g of fat per 4 oz. serving, but I'm pretending I can't read that and am happily slathering it all over Wasa crackers (one of few concessions to Weight Watchers).  I love this little lady on the carton...she just cracks me up, everything I open the refrigerator.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Far, far, away

I am in Sweden.

It seems so strange to say that, for some reason.  Maybe because I don't recall ever blogging from out of country, or because I haven't been here before, or maybe, just maybe, it's because I've been pretty firmly planted in the southwest the last good number of years.

At last, the spell has been broken and I am truly here, after years of plans made and cancelled.

Fall is here.  It was hot and sticky when I left San Diego last Friday.  Rain and autumn leaves are a nice change.  I am staying near the sea, which has that pungent odor I recall from my years as a child, visiting the beach at Santa Barbara.  Maybe it's the sea weed on the shore, or maybe it's that the air here is so fresh and brisk, things are more magnified.  It's lovely.  I wish I could share it with you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Not in the plans

When I sailed off for the summer at the beach, I envisioned it to be one very long stretch of very long days, enjoying the kids, sewing, reading, and resting.

Not quite! It has been very fun, but very busy.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got word that my little cat Larry was sinking, and sinking fast.  I had been watching him for months, taking note that he hadn't been grooming himself very well.  Last Wednesday found me flying back to NM to be with him during his last days.

It was beyond special.  I wish I could have had time like that with my loved ones I've lost in years past.  It made his leaving easier.  We had said all we had to say, confident in our feelings about each other, and when he was finally out of pain, I found myself happy for him.

I decided he couldn't just leave without some official notification to friends and family, and sent out the following obituary:

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that Lorenzo de Valdez, aka Larry the cat, left this lifetime on Monday, July 30, after suffering quietly with an undiagnosed malady the last month.  For those of you who knew him well, you will note that Larry was never quiet.  (This, alone, was cause for concern.)

He is survived by his humans, two Rottweilers, and his sometime companion and frequent sparring partner, Roberto del Gato, or Bob, as he is known to those in his inner circle.

Larry came to us from the local animal shelter in the fall of 1997.  He was a mere 1.3 lbs. and not in good health.  He spent most of his life battling inflammatory bowel disease, so he never really knew good health.  He was, as many chronically ill patients may be, loathe to see his doctors, and because of his behavior in their offices, he was not their favorite patient.  (In fact, his file had a notation that he was fractious.)

He will be remembered as quite a conversationalist.  While his favorite topics were issues relating to his existential angst, he was also able to hold his own when it came time to register complaints about household issues.  I imagine he might go on to be a great orator in his next life.

There will be a private service for immediate family members only on a future date.

Our family requests that you show your pets some extra love in his memory.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nothing but blue skies ahead

Summer doesn't officially start until next week, but it is definitely in full swing here in the mountains.  The wildflowers are blooming, the days are warm, the humidity is very low and the evenings remain in the mid-forties...good sleeping weather, as it has been said.

You may have seen news of the two largest fires in NM.  They're down in the southern part of the state; so far, we have stayed safe up here.  The afternoon thunderheads are starting to build and we hope our summer monsoons will start in a few weeks, both because we need the moisture and because we don't want dry lightning to start more fires.

Things have been busy here.  The former shop space will be empty in another week and as some of it leaves in a rental truck for California, I will fly ahead to meet it at the other end.  I'm looking forward to a summer with my family, my quilting, and my friends.

I've decided to give myself a break and not worry about posting here this summer.  I'll still be following your blogs, and I'm not saying I won't come back...I just want to focus on lots of other things for a while.

So, my friends...have a wonderful summer, and if you wish to be in touch privately, please feel free to e-mail me...I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rug hooking: yarn or fabric?

A few weeks ago, I posted about starting a hit or miss kind of rug with odds and ends of hand spun wool yarns I deemed tough enough to be rug-worthy.  I had some questions about using wool yarn instead of wool fabric, but turned up little in my brief search on the I purchased Judy Taylor's updated edition of Joy of Hooking with Yarn.

While I'm waiting for a lightning bolt of design inspiration to hit me, I've been plying skeins of singles into two and four ply yarns to use in whatever this next rug will be.  One day, while peddling my little heart out at the wheel, I had a minor epiphany:  why the heck am I buying wool yardage to cut into strips when I am about buried in wool and wool yarns?  Hmmmm...well...maybe because my first and only attempt at hooking with yarn left me feeling a bit unsatisfied.  Maybe because I feel like it will take longer (not a valid excuse in my book)?  Maybe because I've not been particularly inspired by the pieces I've seen, so far, hooked with yarns?  Maybe I like the look of rugs hooked with wool strips better than those hooked with yarns?  Or, as my new hooking friend Andy mentioned, am I a wool snob of some sort???

So that's what's been on my mind, while I've been busy packing up the last of the mess that's moving home from the former yarn shop, or pulling some weeds here and there, which is somehow therapeutic.

What do you think???

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New roving

Among my many bad habits, buying more roving to spin is high on the list.  Regardless of the fact that I already own what might well add up to a hundred or more pounds of wool to dye and spin, somehow I have little control when Ani has her freshly dyed rovings hanging up to dry.  It's the magpie effect, I think she calls it.  I start pawing through the many color combinations and feel compelled to pick a favorite.  You know how it is...someone else's toys always look to be more fun than our own.

This past week, it was some Rambouillet roving that caught my attention.  Also known as French Merino, this is an old breed that was begun around 1786, when Louis XVI bought some Merino sheep from his cousin, King Charles III of Spain, and bred them with his own selection of English long wool sheep.  I've never been wild about spinning Merino wool but am loving this stuff.  It is light and soft and draws like magic.  I'm spinning it for some two ply lace weight yarn, with no specific project in mind...just that I like to spin finer yarns when I have time. 

Sorry, Robyn.  I thought of you when I did it, really I did.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's baaaaccccckkkkkkk....

This morning at 4:15 a.m. MST, Ani heard the sound of glass somewhere near her room.  Wisely waiting until daylight, here is what she discovered.  Please note the incredible forensic and tracking skills from years of watching CSI.  Who says it's not good to watch TV?

Easy to pop screen

Dye experiment
Footprints:  Honey Yellow


Leaving the scene of the crime
Forensic evidence

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Election day

Yesterday was NM's primary election, so after dinner, I rolled down the road to perform my civic duty and vote.  Voting in this neck of the woods is very casual compared to my long ago experiences with voting in California.  Our polling place is an ancient one room school house at the end of my road, staffed by neighbors I don't know because, well, I just don't.  I got down there yesterday and realized I had forgotten my purse, but that's OK, all you have to do is go in and tell them your name and they hand you a ballot.  No ID required...although I suppose the worse case is that someone else purporting to me votes and I don't get to.  Tres casual, n'est pas?

And just because I thought it was sweet, I took a photo of the village church to share with you.  It's just next door to the schoolhouse, built in 1823, it appears.  Once in a while, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, you can hear the bells ringing up here at our house.  I love when that happens, it makes me feel connected to another point in history.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I saw a posting on May 31 by Tammy at Skip to My Ewe.  She is selling a lot of her hooked rugs and by way of explanation, said something that really hit home:

  "...I form a vision in my mind of what I want it (her rug hooking room) to look like, and then I have to start getting rid of everything that is not in that vision."

Riley:  she has no clutter concerns
I have had this rolling around in my head for days since.  It's how I've been feeling about my home, my stash, my overload of equipment.  I've decided to keep marinating on this until I can get my vision to be more clear and then take more actions.  I feel like the clutter is smothering me.  In fact, I just Googled on "signs about clutter", thinking I'd have some cute graphic to post here, and came up with this page instead.  Very interesting, and worth consideration.

Just thought I'd share that with you in case it's something that's on your mind as well...something along the lines of spring cleaning for your head. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Long silence

Baby soybeans
My mom always told me that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.  While I probably haven't done a great job of that in my lifetime, I try hard not to bore you with the everyday things in my world when things aren't going so well.  Hence, my silence.  Not that I don't think about you (with some guilt, and daily), but it's just been a bit trying around here.  Our Ani got really sick, was in the hospital, and is home now...but it gave us all quite a scare for this past week or so.

Handsome nephew, Tim
We had a great week in Illinois.  We visited our family, had lots of great conversation, laughs, and OMG, the food.  Those folks sure now how to lay down a feast (to which I submit very willingly).  I didn't realize it had been four and a half years since I'd been back, so that won't happen again.

While we were there, we got to visit our baby soybeans.  I've never been there in spring before and I swear, I could see how much the corn grew just in the few days we were at the farm.  I'm always blown away that generations of folks have survived by planting seeds and then hoping that the sky blesses them with enough water to raise healthy crops.  Strong people, they are; the core of this country.
Detail: subtle colors

Trip project
I always like to use a trip to start a new project, so at the last minute, I grabbed two balls of my own hand spun yarn, a lace weight of hand painted wool and silk blend.  It was just right for this trip, light to carry and mindless to knit on.  I finally finished it a couple of days ago and blocked it last night.  I had so much fun, I've started another, out of commercial yarn (Noro sock yarn).  I always have to have my hands busy or I go cuckoo...or maybe I'm just a cuckoo who likes to knit.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's a small world, after all

Lousy photo courtesy of bad hotel lighting
Today I was able to go visit Wanda of Exuberant Color in her hometown of Sandwich, Illinois.  It was like meeting an old friend for lunch and a nice visit.  Then I was taken on a tour of her sewing rooms* (yes, she has is her entire basement) and got to see some of her many, beautiful, quilts.  I was, quite frankly, too busy soaking up all the inspiration to think about photographs, but she said she has pics of her stash spots on her blog side bar, if you want to tease yourself.  I think it will take me years of fabric shopping to hold a candle to her stash.  (HUGE SIGH.)

As I was leaving, we exchanged gifts.  My gift was getting to grab scraps of all colors from her scrap boxes (again, heart palpitations).  She told me I was actually doing her a favor, so that made me feel a wee bit better.  (This, no doubt, in the spirit of one woman's scraps being another woman's treasure.) Then I gave her some fat quarters designed by my neighbor in Taos, Terrie Mangat...and it turns out Wanda has taken her classes and is a great admirer.  What are the chances of that happening?

As I was in Sandwich today (a really sweet little town with lots of great historic buildings), I had to stop to photograph this old building.  I just love the colors in the stones.  It makes me really happy when a building like this has been preserved for future generations.

*Roger is going to wish he hadn't encouraged me to visit me on this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Headed to the heartland

It's time to put my traveling shoes on again.  Tomorrow we leave for Chicago for a couple of nights and then down to the farm to visit our family there.  I'm pretty excited about this trip; I haven't visited the homestead in a couple of years.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, sitting in the gazebo, chatting, knitting, and meeting all my sister in law's porch kitties.  It seems she has turned into a cat woman since I last kind of woman.

Friday is exciting, also...I'll be meeting Wanda of Exuberant Color, one of my favorite quilt blogs.  Being only an hour away from her home, I shamelessly invited myself to visit.  I have to meet this mystery person who makes some of my favorite quilts!  Her sense of color and design just knocks my socks off.  It will be a bit like going to Mecca.  Also, she has one of those wonderful free arm quilting machines I've told myself I don't can see where this is going, no doubt.

Speaking of Wanda:  I've taken the liberty to copy her blog posting from today to share with you:

I don't know if you read Michele's blog but she is always doing wonderful things for others and now she has a request, looking for a kidney for her sister-in-law.  There must be a match out there somewhere.  Please help spread the word and help heal Becky.

I am a firm believer in the power of people, the kindness of people, and the grace with which so many folks are happy to share in these situations.  Perhaps you will, by chance, know someone who might help.  It's worth a shot.

Talk to you from the road!

PS  Here's a photo of the last gasp on the rug.  I spent one more afternoon working on it and still didn't get a big buzz out of it, so I've ripped it out and have started some cat's paws until I either fall wildly in love with them or not.   

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Dear Mom:

I'm thinking of you today, and since we can no longer speak, I've decided to write this letter, if only for myself.

This photo, taken of you on your 16th birthday in 1926, hangs in my bedroom near the bookshelves.  I know this would make you happy, since you were such a lover of books and a voracious reader.  I guess I never really thanked you for instilling this in me; I still have such fond memories of you taking me to the old library in our little hometown. How I wish you could see the new library, built in place of the one you so lovingly volunteered at in your later has ocean views, a used book store, and a coffee cart.  Three of your favorite things; you'd be in heaven.   Oh...and the hospice thrift shop you once volunteered at has now grown into a big, successful store.  I shop and donate there when I can, with you in my heart.  You would love it also...and best yet...a See's Candy store is next door!  Remember how you taught me a little about how to read the little swirls on top?

You've now been gone from us for well over fourteen years.  So much has happened, and there have been so many times I've wanted to pick up the phone to share things with you.  I've thought often of how hard it must have been for you to raise me after having, essentially, raised another family before I surprised you and came into your world.  I realize that having a wild daughter in the sixties must have been quite a shock to you, who raised your daughters in a time altogether different.  I apologize for my lack of sensitivity and wish I could tell you now that if I, at this age, still had a kid in high school, I'd probably want to go kill myself.  No wonder you were so exhausted.

I feel a kindred spirit to you these days, now that I'm a happy grandmother.  I remember how you loved all yours and the great delight they brought you.  I am now realizing that having grandchildren is a joy that words can't share with others;  you have to experience it to know.  I wish you could meet your great grandchildren.  Tanner is as handsome as his dad, and so well mannered and smart.  Madalyne Rosemary is named for you, and I do believe she has all your spunk and spirit.  When I look in her eyes, I see you there.  It's double the joy for me.  I plan to tell both of them as much about you as I can, to keep you alive in their hearts, as well.

There's so much more, but this is all for now.  Thanks for everything, Mom; I hope our spirits cross again one day.   I wish I could give you a big hug.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Staying inside the lines

A couple of days ago, I found this little kitty mat.  It is from a kit I bought about 4 years ago at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and is what ignited my passion for hooking with wool.  I had so many questions and hadn't yet found hookers on the internet.  It was a bit like swimming blind through magical waters.

I also found a linen rug pattern I had industriously drawn, not too long after the kitty and another couple of small projects had been hooked.  It is roughly 4' x 6' in size.  I had drawn some lotus-like designs in the middle, sides and corners, and thought to just free fall on the rest.  Thinking it might be a good way to use up loads of hand spun rug wools I've saved over the years, we put it on the frame and yesterday I started it.

I was not even remotely sparked with interest.  In fact, I tossed and turned during the night, trying to figure out what I don't like about it.  I think it's having boundaries, after having spent the last week trying to stuff things into defined spaces and make them look neat.  I don't know.  I just know I'm not sure I'm up for the whole rug.  I'm a bit annoyed with myself over this.

Here are some of the things I'm considering.  I wonder what you think?

  • just hit and miss cat paws all over it, with no worries about design
  • ditto, but hook my favorite quilt design, the log them in different sizes so as not to get bored or feel too structured
  • hook it with both yarn and wool strips, for interest in texture and colors
  • put it away and drag it out another year and see if I'm interested then; this would be a bit of a drag, because it took two of us to adjust that frame to the size it needed to be to work on this piece (it's almost 100 inches across)
  • ignore it altogether and not hook on this trip 
Perhaps I'll have an epiphany about this today.  I just want to make the best decision, since I know this project could take me a year to complete, given my current back and forth life.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A special weekend

Yesterday was a big day around here.  It was the first pick of our rhubarb plants that Ani has been nurturing the last two years, to make a home made rhubarb pie to celebrate Roger's birthday (the way to a man's heart, and all that).  The pie was actually our dinner, after chowing down on lots of hearty NM food for lunch.  I was hoping I wouldn't like the pie so much, but unfortunately, I liked it so much I could have probably eaten way more than I did and been miserable all night.  I am not a fan of cooking or baking, thank heavens, or I'd weigh three times what I already weigh; but having said that, I think there will be another fresh picked pie sooner than later.  YUM.

Forgot to show you these the other day: a set of four place mats I made before leaving San Diego, and some trivet pads with the scraps from those.  I had a good time making them and they successfully kept me from doing other, more important things.  I am, after all, The Princess of Procrastination.

I don't know how it turned out for you, wherever you are, but we hauled ourselves outside at the prescribed time on Saturday evening, hoping to see the giant moon the news had been promising. looked just like any other moon from here.  Now I hear it will be 2029, or something like that, before this auspicious occasion occurs again.  Hope I get a better shot at it next time.  Or actually, I'll just be happy to be alive then.  Screw the moon.

Friday, May 4, 2012

And then...there was more wool

Fiber coming home, the first wave
When I was at home in NM this winter, I worked hard to get my yarn, spinning fibers, rug hooking supplies, knitting books, magazines, etc. weeded out and stored in such a way that you could actually walk without risking life and limb.  I was so proud of myself; it was the crescendo of two years' worth of work.  I was especially psyched because it meant when I returned in the spring, I could start hooking a new rug and finish some UFOs I unearthed during my hard work.

You'd think by this age I would have learned that one should not be smug about such things, let alone brag about them out loud to anyone.  The universe has decided to smack me in the fanny with another project, far more daunting than the one I had worked on those years:  as previously mentioned, our lease is up on the retail space in Seco and we're having to find places to stash all that has been there.  This includes a lot of furniture, the display cabinets, my monster loom, and unspeakable quantities of spinning fiber and yarn.  I have been checking with my closest friends for assurance that I'm not a hoarder, and as good friends should, they've assured me I'm not.  Maybe a well prepared pack rat?

On a lighter note, the lilacs are starting to bloom.  We thought they had been frozen as they were last year.  I'm excited to be able to enjoy's been a few years.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Home to roost

Remember the rug I started last spring, maybe?  I finished it while I was in Taos this winter and stuffed it in a suitcase and brought it back to CA with me. I've been holding off on showing you the final piece, for fear its recipient would see my posting and blow my surprise.

Final size:  35" x 50"
I'm happy to report that yesterday I was able to send this rug to its new home.  Waiting this long to be able to do this has been really hard!  This rug is for my wonderful niece, Laurie, who has worked herself to the bone this last year taking care of my brother in law and his financial affairs and bookkeeping (my sister had always done those things and he wasn't even used to writing checks!  let that be a lesson, friends).   This, on top of her own full time job and living at least two hours from Bob.  I'd love to nominate her for sainthood, actually.

This is the piece I started with the fold out free pattern from Rug Hooking Magazine.  It's a design from the Las Rancheritas hooking cooperative in Mexico.  I added my own personal touches to it: the borders and corners.   The story to the borders is that Laurie loves to keep a pet hen.  Her first one was named Rosemary, after my mom, and the current hen is Valerie (Laurie's mom), named after my late sister, gone to breast cancer many, many years ago when she was far too young.  This pattern provided a perfect format for me to use some wild colors and along with being a memory of our moms, it's an homage to our Spanish/Mexican heritage.  It was loads of fun to hook and never once boring.

So...there you have it.  I know I purport to being a rug hooker but seldom show any work.  Now I can show you what I've done these last months and when I return to NM this coming week, start a new piece. Yippeeee!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Being a good Mimi

 I'm babysitting my grand daughter this week.  Her parents are out of town, and my grandson has gone to his other grandmother's house for the week...a divide and conquer sort of operation.  I know my limitations and one 17 month old is about it for the week.

It's good therapy.  This is the happiest little person I've ever met.  Our days are spent laughing and playing.  There are Cheerios spread far and wide, toys strewn all over, and I expect to be finding pieces of graham crackers for months.  It's a good lesson in letting go and enjoying the moments that are passing all too quickly.

Last weekend I was able to get this next quilt laid out and put into strips.  It started when I fell in love with the magnolia fabric (a Laura Gunn design) and kept adding to the collection over time.  Having the design wall has given me a chance to do something other than the more conventional piecing I've done.  Inspired by the more "modern" quilting designs I see on line, I came up with this.  Well, I'm sure I'll like it, once it's finished, but let me say here it did not fulfill my need for lots of color and I was bored to tears after the first row.  I think I have two more big batches of "matchy-matchy" fabrics to use up, and then I'll probably avoid these again, at least until I get bored with the other stuff.  As in all aspects of my work, I'm much happier working with the challenge of putting together scraps.

Good grief!  I just checked the calendar and realize I'll be heading back to NM in just a little over two weeks.  We're finally letting go of the retail space where the yarn shop was once located, and it means a landslide of yarn, fibers, and equipment will be on my doorstep soon.  I have an enormous rug loom for sale if you know anyone who is's the "Rio Grande" style (aka Spanish walking loom).  It's super for rugs or low warp tapestry, and is a work of art in its own rite.  I'd post a photo if I had's currently buried under skeins of yarn in the shop.

And now...back to Sesame Street.  I just saw a skit called "Desperate Houseplants" and have decided this is probably a show I should watch instead of what I usually watch...and maybe I'd learn something in the bargain.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Somehow it's Thursday

The days have been very full.  When I'm not hanging out with family, I'm busy cutting up fabric and reassembling it into more quilts to finish.  I finished the Maxine quilt yesterday, and it's a real load off my list.  I have a new quilt on my new design board and I am going to begin to hand sew the binding on another baby quilt tonight.  I feel like I'm starting to gain some ground (two down, 5 or 6 to go).  When I started all this two years ago this spring, I promised myself I wouldn't be the woman with a gazillion unfinished quilt tops (oops), so it's time to fall back and regroup.  I love when I can get into a busy sewing mode...I feel like some wild little terrier, zooming around in my own little whirlwind and once in a while poof! something pops out of the whirlwind.  Very cool.  (If only housecleaning was so much fun.)

Last week I decided to take my sister's sewing machine in and have it cleaned and tuned up.  She brought it to me last November, the day she came to meet the new baby.  I knew, in my heart, that she knew she was dying and wanted me to have it before then.  It has been sitting here since, waiting for some of the sadness to clear before I could pay attention to it.  Now I can hardly wait to sew on it.

The sewing machine man just loved it.  It's a Singer 301 and was made sometime between 1950-1953, most likely.  It's the first slant needle machine made, to my understanding.  Like many of those old Singers, this machine, which sews only a straight stitch, is a real workhorse and can probably tackle as much as my new Juki (without the speed factor).  In other words, many of those old machines are pretty much equivalent to the newer home "industrial" machines.  Treasures if you have them or can find them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Celebration days

Barbara & Terri at the scene of the crime
The days since my last posting have been flying and filled with happiness.  My son had a birthday this past week and I was left scratching my head, wondering how this handsome man could be 38 years old and I still a mere sprout.  Ooops...until my birthday yesterday, that is, when I found myself staring on line at the application for Social Security I am now entitled to. 

Terri, my friend from TX, has come back to hang out and quilt with me.  Her birthday was Tuesday, so on Monday we grabbed my long time sewing buddy and dear friend Barbara, and sailed off into the wilds of San Diego to "kill" some fabric.  A great time it was!!!  Lunch followed, at one of my San Diego favs...DZ Aikens, a huge Jewish restaurant and deli with fabulous food.  Weight Watchers be damned!

Urban Art fabric
Make Quilts from Urban Art
We hit Rosie's Calico Cupboard, which Barbara tells me is the largest quilt store on the west coast.  I believe it!   They have a new buyer, and the selection is now including some of the modern quilting designers' fabrics, which is a happy thing to find.  I found a selection of fabrics I didn't expect to find and went, well, a bit nuts over them, if you must know.  I've included some photos of the evidence. 

And now, back to my quilting.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How do they do it????

Moms that have lots of kids, that is.  I am babysitting my two grandchildren this weekend and I found myself wondering, after a mere four hours yesterday morning, how my daughter in law has the strength and grace and sanity to do all that she does in a 24 hour period.  This is hard work!  One is 6, one is not quite 18 is completely and utterly absorbed in games on my iPhone (I do not approve of so much of this, but yes, I've caved in, big time).  The little one, who walks like a little cartoon character, is all smiles and laughs and is just a hoot. 

The Flying Macaroni Circus
But...just moving about is really a lot of seats (I'm not doing so well with the buckles), making sure I have diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, you name it.  I am sure this would get a lot easier if I did it more often, but for now, I'm just tickled I get to be the Mimi, not the mom, and leave all this yard work to someone who is a whole lot younger and has a lot more energy!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I've been up to no good again, buying fabric for my stash.  In all fairness, I have a lot less fabric than my quilter friends, so I don't feel out of control (yet).  I'm starting to also build little stacks for special projects to come. 

One of those stacks was started when I got all those shirts at the thrift stores in Taos a while back.  I've been pondering where to go with them, and what to add.  Then the other night, courtesy of another quilter's blog, I found  Eureka!!  The owner, Jennie, has a great selection of fat quarters cut from vintage sheets.  The package arrived yesterday, and they were so pretty wrapped in little bundles that it was hard to make myself open them.  Also, Jennie was so prompt and polite to work with...yay for people with manners!'s what I got.  All but the Kliban cats will go into the proposed quilt.  The plaid yardage was purchased yesterday at Quilt in a Day (they always have a great selection of sale fabrics).  Not sure I'll get to these on this trip, but they're sure going to be fun when I do.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silly me

After a couple of days of getting re-oriented to my "other life" here in CA, I finally found my way to the sewing machine on Saturday and Sunday.  No matter that I have lots of quilt tops that need to be put on their backs and finished, and no matter that I have a list as long as my arm of new quilts I'm anxious to make, I found myself drawn to that pile of Rocky and Bullwinkle fabrics.  By the end of yesterday afternoon, I had four finished place mats ready for us to use here on our little red table.  I know...I'm weird; but I loved The Rocky and Bullwinkle show and they will make me smile to see them in my little kitchen.

What's next?  Last trip out, I fell prey to a stack of Maxine fabrics.  I laughed so hard when I saw them and then after I brought them home, wondered what in the heck I was ever going to do with them.  Well...I have decided a lap sized quilt for a friend who is having surgery soon.  I have also decided that Maxine would not be offended if I don't use a specific pattern or precision I'm off now, scissors and fabrics in hand, to see where she takes me.

Hope you have a good week!

PS  If any one of my readers has any idea if donation quilts would be welcomed for the tornado victims, and where to send them, I'd love to know.  Thanks.