Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I'm not going to flame any of the lesser stores, but we really enjoyed Flying Geese in Tustin, and The Fabric Patch in Montclair. Favorites in the San Diego area were Cozy Quilt shop in El Cajon and The Crazy 9 Patch in Ramona. Of course, closer to home are the Quilters Coop in Temecula, and my personal local quilt shop, Temecula Quilt Company, both of which are terrific shops.
We had a great time over the 4 days it took to get to all these far-flung places, and I got to see a lot of places I'd never been before.....not to mention my first time driving the Ortega highway. Yikes. I didn't tell my passengers it was my first time until we'd descended in Orange County.
I'm having a hard time deciding which of my purchases is my favorite. I'm tending toward the new June Tailor ruler that has 1/2" slits, with lines to square-up blocks up to 6" -- plenty big enough for most of what I do. Or maybe it's the fabric I bought for a special relative's birthday present. Or, it might be the gift I bought for a friend's birthday. There were some great patterns in my shopping bag, too. Patterns for little quilts, runners, bags & even a couple of big quilts. So much fun, so much laughter, so many miles, so many quilts, so little time. Very satisfying.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Go! Get thee to the bookstore and get your own copy so you can understand what I'm talking about here. Really.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
It was a wonderful day, with lots of laughter, some tears, so many wonderful hugs & the sight of so many dear ones that my heart overflowed. The grands were great, even Charlie, who refused to perform his ring bearer duties and, instead, sat between his dad's feet during the entire ceremony. The Right Reverend George proved to be worth his weight in gold, providing a ceremony custom-made for Jill & Matt and causing the first of both the tears and laughter.
The sampler menu at the reception was a big hit, with literally something for everyone, from appetizers (starting with little tomato soup shooters topped with tiny triangles of grilled cheese sandwiches) to the last hurrah (mini milk shakes and mini Chicago-style hot dogs at 11pm). The exclamations of delight continued throughout the evening.
The photo booth was hysterical fun, with everyone in infinite combinations heading for the booth to contribute their own goofy reel for the album and for themselves. I think the group that provided the most laughter in the booth was my five nieces -- it's still making me laugh.
I am so grateful to my family for showing up in force for this event. Matt, too, fully appreciated the effort made on his behalf, and the rest of us just enjoyed being together to celebrate this much-anticipated wedding.
It was all good. Well done, my children. Best. Wedding. Ever. Really.
Monday, March 9, 2009
For now, I need to get packed and get the house organized for me to be gone. I've found a dress (thank you, Julie!), shoes (thank you, Alan, for carting me around), undergarments and hosiery. My sweet friend, Ellen, will be helping with the 'do for the wedding, but I need to find someone to do the grands' hair Saturday morning. Neither their father nor I is any good at doing girly hair. How did that happen? Peggy is providing 'important' earrings, as well as outerwear for the weekend. What on earth would I do without my support system? Fortunately, I'll never know. I do feel loved.
On to the packing. Pictures will be posted as timely as possible.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Lemon Cream Scones
2 C. flour
¼ C + 2T sugar
1T baking powder
½ t salt
¾ C chopped dried apricots (about 4 ½ oz), optional (or dried cherries or dried cranberries)
1T + 1t grated lemon zest
1 ¼ C whipping cream, not ultra-pasteurized if possible (Trader Joe's has great heavy cream)
3T unsalted butter, melted (but I do use regular butter)
Preheat oven to 425. Mix flour, ¼ C sugar, baking powder & salt in a large bowl. Stir in apricots (or other dried fruit) if using, and 1T lemon zest. Add cream and stir just until dough holds together. Form dough into a 10-inch diameter, ½” thick round; cut into 12 wedges. OR divide dough in two; form into 5” diameter, ½” thick rounds; cut into 8 wedges each. Place on a large baking sheet. Mix 2T sugar & 1t lemon peel with the back of a spoon. Brush scones with butter & sprinkle with lemon sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
Serve alone or with lemon curd & softly whipped cream, or with jam.
This was our view on Sunday morning, the last day of the Valley of the Mist first annual quilt retreat. We stayed at Vina de Lestonnac http://www.vinalestonnac.com/ in Temecula's wine country. So peaceful and beautiful. The balloons are an every-weekend thing in the area, but this was the first time I'd seen them. Pretty spectacular.
The weekend was a lot of fun, with lots of food, prizes, laughter, and of course, sewing. Every finished top was greeted with oohs and ahs and cheers. We are such an enabling group! Of course, every single one of us was inspired by the others' workmanship, choice of colors and design. Check out the pictures in my Flickr badge, on the left.
Beginning Saturday morning with a nice massage was a real treat. Thank you, Linda! You can borrow my car any old time. I finally settled on a project, after rejecting three others. It took a long time to get a block made, after sewing lots of strips together and cutting them into smaller units, over and over and over again. Then, things began to come together, not just for me, but for everyone, it seemed.
The convent food was just OK. Maybe not even that, but there was plenty of it, and the atmosphere throughout the retreat center was a welcoming one. Our Friday afternoon tea, on the other hand, was a big hit, with lots of savory and sweet treats, along with a very nice assortment of teas. My scones were a hit, and I am now the official scone baker for future retreats. Works for me -- I'm happy to have an excuse to make them.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Pearl seems to be fine now, although she's very wary of all of the dogs. Mama has been very solicitous of her -- maybe she's trying to make up for Buffy's awful behavior. Mama sticks her head in the sewing room each night at bedtime to say goodnight to Pearl. Very civilized of her.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So today, I am full of hope. Let's give our man a chance to find his footing. Let's all pray that he has chosen his advisors well. Let's hope the rest of the world is willing to give us another chance to show that we're worth their consideration. That's what I'll be doing in the coming days, months and years: praying that Mr. Obama is able to fulfill his promise -- his own personal promise of statesmanship and integrity, as well as the promise to bring this country out of the doldrums and into a new age of hope, honesty, consideration for the planet and for each other.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
We started working on the 2nd guest room, turning it into my sewing room. I've given up trying to use the porch -- it's just too cold or too hot most of the year. No, I'm not Goldilocks! I just need me some hvac to make my workroom functional. I also needed better lighting & more outlets, so the move into the house really was inevitable. We'll put the queen from that room out on the porch & I'll use it for laying out quilts when we don't have guests. We'll still have the same number of beds, but the one on the porch just won't be air conditioned. On the other hand, nights are generally OK, even in the summer, & we can add warmth in the winter -- so no worries.
So. . . . we stripped the wallpaper, got all the goop off the walls & the holes patched. We even got it painted, although I'm not loving the color I chose. It looks kind of ill. I'm pretty sure it will be OK once I get the furniture moved in, but in the meantime? yuck.
The best news? I'm no longer an officer of my lovely group, so this year I can enjoy it more without stressing about each meeting. That's a very good thing. AND I don't have to attend board meetings anymore -- that's one evening meeting down! Of course, I have volunteered to serve on a couple of committees, so I'm not a complete slug. In fact, I'll be leaving one of them after next month -- too much stress for me on that one.
All the critters have survived to greet the new year, although we had to separate the cats last week. Little Grace was very stressed by Pearl & wasn't using the litter box, so we moved Pearl out of the bedroom & into the hall & bathroom. She now has 3 beds: in the hall, on top of the scratching post & inside a bathroom cabinet. She has said scratching post, as well as the track ball thingy & all her toys, with her food, water & box in the bathroom. She's adjusting pretty well so far, although I know she misses sleeping with me. Little Grace has returned to her own goofy, fully-present self & woke me up the other night sitting on my face! She's really happy again -- I guess she likes to be the only cat. Funny, because she didn't act like this when Blossom was alive.
So now you're fairly current with what's happening. Oh, my beginners' class is coming along very nicely. I have 4 or 5 regulars, & a new student will be joining us next week. I like doing this -- it gets my week off to a nice start & helps me to clarify my thinking about how & why I do things the way I do. It's all good, as I expect the rest of the year to be. Mostly.