Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekend Bliss

Grant and I left town early Friday afternoon, heading north away from the record-breaking heat. We had two events,  a celebration of life for a longtime childhood neighbor of mine, and the wedding of DD Elaine's best friend. Luckily, though both on the same day, in different cities, they were at least in the same direction from home:). 

We stayed in Arroyo Grande the first night. It's hard to describe what a relief an air-conditioned room was to our long-baked nights of this summer and fall. We had dinner with my old neighborhood family, some of whom I hadn't seen in decades. Their lovely mother had a massive stroke and passed away a few months ago. It was wonderful that her five children were all with her at the hospital. 
We reluctantly left our cooled room at checkout and drove the short distance to Pismo Beach for the Celebration the next day. Being a bit early, we parked at a charming city park in Shell Beach and walked the cliffside path. This view is towards Pismo. Our selfie pic was from this spot. 
And looking west. It was a beautiful day and we greeted other old neighbors with joy. Two of my brothers made it to the celebration too. Grant and I had to leave early to head inland to Solvang/Santa Ynez for the wedding, which was at a winery beside the grapevines. 
It was hot but what a lovely setting. DD Elaine was the Matron of Honor. 
I caught her walking down the aisle. 

The beautiful bride and her groom were married by a very good friend who did a lovely job. The happy couple were cheered and applauded. The reception took place outside as well. Our table was on the lawn beyond a covered patio, near a huge Live Oak tree.  We had a good time chatting with our dinner companions as the sun sank. Just at dusk, a thick concentration of flying insects rose out of some bushes, followed quickly by a squadron of small bats. It was entertaining to watch them swoop and whirl. The rest of the evening went by with plenty of dancing and conversation. It was lovely. 

After another air-conditioned night in a hotel, and breakfast out with our kids, we hit the highway and returned to our hot house , where I promptly took a 2 hour nap. We wrapped up the weekend with another beach visit late in the afternoon, followed by fish tacos at our favorite restaurant. Monday is here too soon, but we'll revisit our fond memories of an enjoyable weekend away. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Still Timbering

Lots of sewing and cutting and double checking parts and diagrams happening here. 

The center section completed, I moved on to multiple other sections. 
None of these are entirely complete but it looks like progress, doesn't it? Speaking of Timber, a couple of weeks ago my brother texted, asking if I were home, and then said he was coming over with his chainsaw. The prolonged drought had killed our ornamental pear tree and it needed to come down. 

Within about 15 minutes our view changed forever. 
Someone else likes the debris still in the yard:
Mini finds this a great scratching post!

I'm home sick today with a fast moving cold and if I can stay upright for long, will stitch and cut on Timber. I'm pretty tired of blowing my nose already!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Design Wall Monday--last of September

On this last Design Wall of the month is the Timber Quilt I've been immersed in for the past couple of weeks.  There is a LOT of cutting involved in this complex design but only straight stitching. 
I made myself a plan for each of the five neutrals required for the quilt sections.  However, I chose the Fast Flying Geese method rather than cutting 96 two inch squares for the four blocks requiring multiple flying geese. 
There are a number of different methods for fast flying geese.  While I have used the above-pictured method many times before, I tried THIS method from Connecting Threads first, as it boasted less cutting up front.  However, I found the trimming down to size far more tedious and less accurate for me than cutting four small squares. It was still half as many squares to cut than the pattern instructions.
Post-It notes sure are handy to keep all the different neutrals separated.  These cut pieces are lying on top of the main neutral, Silver, which still needs to be ironed before I get cutting. 
The finished component parts are piling up! Some colors may be eliminated but I am giving myself choices.  It has been hard to face roasting in my sewing room and ironing with this relentless heat we have been having in SoCalif.  Just moving from the sewing machine to the cutting table causes sweat to break out.  We run fans constantly and try to keep the house cool with shutting windows, etc, but the humidity is just impossible.  The HVAC companies have been having a golden year with all the folks wanting air conditioning installed!

Yesterday DH and I went to the beach late in the afternoon.  I had read that the water temperature is 75 degrees, unheard of in our more central California town--it is a more typical of San Diego summer water temps.  DH took a swim while I waded and watched, and then he relaxed on the beach as I waded all the way to the next jetty and back.  It was wonderful to listen to the waves, watch the sandpipers and beach visitors, and enjoy the cooler wind.  We have vowed to make this a more regular occurrence--so good for the soul!

See more Design Walls on Judy's Patchwork Times. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grandma's Things

Cross stitch is something I still do occasionally. I do love the rhythm and slow pace of the craft. 
I ordered this Poinsettia and Pomegranate stitchery kit several years ago. I've not gotten too far along but recently purchased some additional floss for it. The little snap purse in the picture was in my paternal Grandmother's sewing things that came to me after she moved to a memory care home. 
She never used the clever repair kit inside. It was probably a free gift from a shop decades ago. 
The kit now stays with the stitchery bag and I'll smile when I use it, remembering my dear Grandmother who made my sister and me so many dresses and outfits when we were small. I recently came across all my Elementary School class photos. I was struck by the realization that almost every year for Picture Day I wore a homemade dress or outfit, made either by my Grandmother or my Mom. Handmade is still best in my book!