Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Bliss

The much anticipated day was filled with love, laughter, friends and family, as our darling daughter Elaine married Gary and Sandy's darling son Christopher.  The setting was Camarillo Ranch and its beautiful Victorian home and grounds.  We were blessed with a perfect warm and lovely fall day.

We of the wedding party waited in front of the house while the guests were seated.

Elaine and Chris loved this enormous ficus tree (Moreton Bay Fig).

The reception was held in the old barn.

While the wedding took place in front of this beautiful gazebo.

My handsome husband Grant and our son Nick.

All dressed up and feeling very happy.

Our darling girl with Chris's mom, Sandy.

Final touches in the bride's room before the wedding.

With her bridesmaids.  Our other darling girl Erica is in the center.

First dance as husband and wife.

Sweet newlyweds!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall details

DH Grant had this week off work and I took Thursday and today to take care of the last details for the big weekend. Yesterday we drove out to the wedding venue to make the final payments and also for Grant to see the site--when he had visited it with me months ago, there was another wedding taking place and we were unable to get into the buildings or walk around the grounds. This time I played bride while he walked me down the path--without mishap--and we looked around the reception building, picturing where everything has been mapped out to go. Then we drove up to visit the caterer at her restaurant and I gave her the tablerunner I made for her as a thank you for working with the budget. She was so surprised I would be making her a gift and really liked it. 

Here's a photo of it again.  I guessed correctly that she favors pink and blue.
It was a perfect warm fall day in Southern California.  On the way home we passed this pumpkin patch going up a big hill.  It opens annually just beside the 101 Freeway, the farmland lined with palm trees.  Can't you just guess where all the kids want to look for their pumpkins? 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday's Orts--Oct 25, 2011

Orts on Tuesdays are the thoughts and bits of my week that hit this spot...
  • After spending so much time at my sewing machine this past week but not having any piecing or quilting to show for it, I'm feeling a bit "off".
  • Bride to Be Elaine is very organized and has lists for everything.  She and her fiance Chris have been very thoughtful in making their day special and unique for family and friends. 
  • My one work friend invited to the wedding has been more stressed out over her outfit than I have, and has done way more shopping.  I think she's finally set!
  • Don't you hate shopping for intimates?  It's demoralizing enough just trying on regular clothes, let alone bodyshapers and bras.  It seems someone should have improved lighting in dressing rooms after all these decades.
  • Traffic rant:  Extreme slowpokes.  Now, I'm known as the slowpoke in our family because I don't like to exceed the speed limit on the freeway.  But I also don't impede traffic by going 15 miles an hour below the limit as every car has to change lanes to pass.  These dimwits come in all age brackets so don't think I'm picking on the elderly. 
  • I got a flu shot at my #2 employer's free clinic at the hospital on Friday.  My method of coming late in the day worked out perfectly, since I time it after 4 PM to let all the folks getting off at 3 PM finish up.  I had a close parking spot and walked in and out in less than 10 minutes, no waiting.  
  • Future SIL Chris came by on Saturday with a load of wedding items and we discussed some more details.  Grant said he wasn't going to ask him if he was nervous, which is the common query, and Chris said he only felt that way when he pictured everyone looking at him at once.  He said he was going to get a veil to pull over his face.  Then he asked if he was going to be wearing a corsage (instead of saying boutonniere) and I teased that it sounded like he wanted to be the bride!
  • You know there's a party coming up soon when your living room looks like this:

And there's more to come!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


That's me, the Mother of the Bride.  I think the last minute for picking something to wear has passed, so my decision isn't last minute.  How's that for rationalization? 
A bit blurry, but here are the dress and jacket I made am making--obviously the hem is not finished!

I'll be wearing my hair down so here's a pic to show the collar.  While I love the color and fabric, and the outfit is very "me", what I don't like is that this beautiful silk brocade wrinkles like mad.  Disappointing, but this outfit will have to be seen at another event where photos immortalizing me in wrinkled clothing are not going to be taken.

Here is the alternate dress. The smoky blue and satin/chiffon textures I really like.  I bought myself some cleavage fillets but you can see the dress is really low cut.

A piece of black lace improves my comfort in this.

I will close the wrap front with a few hand stitches (it is only pinned here).

...And craft myself a modesty accessory from the lace.  The armholes also need attention as the dress is a bit too tight there.  With these alterations I think it will be a good choice for this MOB.  I'd be happy to hear any feedback.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back Home

My mom returned on Thursday from her trip to London and Paris with my brother's family.   She was just in time to see the backyard transformed.  I stopped by Friday night to get updated photos.
All the boards were attached using a hidden fastener system so there are no nails or screws in the top of the beautiful redwood.  This deck is BIG, 18 x 30 feet.  There will be a built in bench across the far end, and some steps leading off the sides to walkways close to the house.

Bear watched all the progress as intently as he always does, with a smile on his face. 

There were presents from overseas for me to open!  Some Fauchon tea from my sister in law Laura, and the Earl Grey from Harrod's from my mom.   Thanks, Mom and Laura!   I plan to savor both.  I hope to have some photos from London and Paris to share in a few days, but it may be ATW (after the wedding).

Friday evening and a number of hours today have been spent on the wedding outfit.  More on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Orts

The scraps and bits called orts that float around my head and land here...
  • Computer woes at work continue to plague us.  Last week I had seriously told my boss, Dr. P, that I needed to see the psychologist who works with our office. He said, concerned, "Oh, really? Do you want me to make the call?" I told Dr. P, "Yes, because I am having homicidal thoughts--against you!" I've been telling him for a year that the server would fail and it finally did. But it has a new name: Lazarus.
  • I met our computer tech at the office on Saturday for reinstall of the repaired network server and of course it would not boot up except at his shop.  After an hour involving a Google search, troubleshoot of a bad USB port and database restoration from a backup, we had success and I was finally able to leave and get to the really important event on Saturday, covering all those gray hairs work has given me!
  • Clarification of my garage sale story is apparently needed.  We did indeed ONLY earn the four quarters after 2.5 hours!!!  
  • Traffic rant:  Turn signals, people, PLEASE.  Even if you are only in a parking lot.  Really. I am not a mind reader. 
  • The lack of  Bare Bear in Paris photos is because my Dad informed me that all of those sent from my brother included Bear posed next to nude statues at the museums and Dad did not want to encourage inappropriate behavior being shown on the Internet.
  • Bride to be Elaine brought her dog Scully when we worked on wedding stuff.  He never seems to sit down at our house but runs around looking for toys and playmates.  Elaine wanted to go over some lists and came over to sit by me.  Her butt had hardly hit the floor before Scully ran over with this:
He didn't really get why she wasn't ready to play! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday--Oct 17, 2011

Another repeat--all that is happening here is wedding wedding wedding!  For my kind blog readers who were concerned about the outfit I'm making for the wedding, I present the following:
Hong Kong finishes on the seams of the jacket.

A hem, a button, and the jacket will be finished.  It looks better on me than the hanger, I promise!  The matching dress has yet to be made but will be much simpler than this 15 piece jacket.  A "backup" dress I ordered from Macy's should be arriving today as well.

I was missing the quilting portion of my sewing time so after the all the concentration on the jacket work I cut and sewed the binding for the wedding quilt and got some of the border strips together.  Ahh, that's better!  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preparing for dinner

My mom and dad have been planning a backyard patio remodel for some time.  The old painted cement patio has always been too small for our large family gatherings.  Offering their backyard for the wedding rehearsal dinner location pushed the project to the forefront and progress showed up in a big way this past week. My dad ordered redwood and my brother Tyler and his two older sons delivered it all the way from Murrieta (Riverside County), hauled it into the backyard and stained many many boards.  Dad has been finishing up on his own since they left.  I stopped by yesterday for some "before" pics, as the contractor's crew will arrive Monday to start building.

Beautiful long boards still wet with stain.

The deck stretches out quite a ways from the house.

Stepping out to the backyard will be easy once the deck is in place just below the threshold of the sliding glass door.  I'm glad the contractor will be the one to figure out attaching the long ledger board to the house, moving vents and wrapping the deck around the chimney! 

Some backyard flora.  This is a Meyer lemon tree--the blossoms are heavenly scented.

Love this chartreuse and yellow orchid.

This funny niche between the garage and house has had many lives.  An orchid garden seems to suit it wonderfully.  The bird feeder sees lots of hummingbird action--Mom says it is guarded by a particularly aggressive hummer.

Some plantings in the bride's colors will greet guests in less than two weeks. I've been sewing on my wedding outfit and expect a "backup" dress I ordered to arrive tomorrow.  Finding shoes is on the agenda as well.  Tomorrow we'll tour the wedding site for the last time and nail down the final numbers. The last minute has just about arrived, I think! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lucky 13th

Thank you all for sharing the great names you know. I always find names so interesting!

Grant drew the winner's name for the giveaway and she is Kate.  Congratulations Kate!   Kate blogs from Oklahoma and takes lots of great photos.

I had previously decided to pick a 13th name for a second winner and that turned out to be Joyful Quilter.  Congratulations, Joy!  Joy is mom to 3 1/2 cats "because Fred is too big to count as one cat".  Emails will go out to both winners immediately. I hope you enjoy the Word Play Quilts book and playing with letters.   Here's a phrase you might want to add to a sewing themed quilt:  May your bobbin always be full!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday's Orts

Orts are leftover bits, scraps--in this case, thoughts that land here on Tuesdays..
  • We held a garage sale on Sunday to help raise some extra money for the wedding.  While the start was encouraging--a lady was on the driveway before we even got our stuff all dragged out, our total earned after 2.5 hours was ONE DOLLAR.  In quarters.  Future son-in-law Chris said he either wanted to make a lot of money or only the four quarters, because the story is funny that way.  He got his wish.
  • My favorite radio station plays "Peace, Love and Sunday Morning" music, many of which are late 60's, early 70's hippie-type tunes.  DD Elaine was not impressed and commented that the music made her want to shoot herself.  I, on the other hand, knew every song.
  • Elaine and I went inside after about an hour and a half and did wedding stuff, leaving the boys to mind the (non) sales.  Those of you who have gone through this wedding planning thing know how hard it can be to assign table seating.  Elaine was using a great website called Wedding Wire that allows you to move everyone around a virtual table and assign table numbers, etc.  Pretty cool.
  • Traffic rant:  Late mergers--you know, those folks who pay no attention to the eighteen signs indicating the lane ahead is closed and therefore flip their signal and demand to be let in the open lane at the last second.
  • Last week I was having some discomfort in my leg and went to the doctor.  Dr. D said he was surprised I remembered him because he hadn't seen me in 15 years.  I replied that was not true; it was actually only 7 years.  He asked how I've been and I told him, "Healthy!".  He did make me promise to come back for a physical and I was a good girl and made an appointment for after the wedding.
  • Dr. D sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound of my leg, just to confirm his feeling that it was nothing to be worried about.  Since I work for the Physiology department of that hospital, it was probable that I would be transcribing my own study, but that isn't how it turned out.  I wondered if it would be a HIPAA privacy violation if I looked up my own report, so I didn't.
  • Dr. D called me to say the study was negative and just to take some Advil for the slight inflammation of my superficial veins.  I never expected to have problems with my veins after losing weight.
  • Since I have no completed projects to show, I present some old magic:
That's me levitating with my brother Kevin's quilt from a few years ago.  I grew two extra arms just for this feat! 

My 100 Followers giveaway is open until tomorrow night.  You can enter HERE.  I've been enjoying everyone's unusual name stories! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Design Wall Monday--Oct 10, 2011

My design surface has not changed from last week--still the wedding quilt. I got the borders cut and then found, after winding a bobbin that used up the end of a spool, that I was completely out of ecru thread. So, instead of sewing, I worked on my MATH for the backing fabric I needed to purchase and also doodled some quilting plans.

My thought is still to cut out some ginkgo leaves in different leaf shapes and iron them onto the top in the larger squares, then free motion around them.  If that works out, I may do the same in the smaller squares.  However, the priority is to work on my outfit for the wedding, which is now less than three weeks away!

Lots and lots of pieces to cut...I started with the interfacing for the jacket.  It wasn't until I had those pieces laid out that I realized I didn't have enough for the dress too, so it's back to JoAnn's for me!  Yesterday I was #89 at the cutting table when they were calling #77.  Everyone was buying fabric for Halloween costumes, it seemed.  On the agenda tonight, more cutting!  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.  If you want to enter my 100 Followers giveaway, which is open until Wednesday night, click here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

London Bear

Bear, the intrepid traveler, was spotted in London.  He has been accompanying my mom, who is on vacation with my brother Ted and his family.  Apparently, without the calming influence of his master, my dad, Bear's been living it up.

My brother wrote that Bear almost got them kicked out of the St. Pancras Hotel because he was sliding down the banister without any choners on! (shorts) 

The whole group is now in Paris for about a week.  I can't wait to see what Bear gets up to there.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Followup and Followers

The giveaway is now closed to comments.  Thanks for playing my game!  Winner to be announced Thursday 10/13. 

I got a chance to take The Wedding Quilt to DD Elaine's a couple of nights ago.  It is already plenty big for their queen bed and the addition of the narrow 3" border called for by the pattern is all that is necessary to finish off the top (Natural Beauty, Quilts and More, Winter 2010).  I spent a lovely hour in the fabric store picking out a solid border fabric (actually, I spied the color almost immediately but wandered about looking at everything else for another hour).  This is a Kona color called "Earth".  It plays well with the rust fabric that will be the binding as well as the other neutrals in the top.  Luckily, despite my MATH error, I bought twice as much as I thought I needed and just eked out the number of strips required.  Note to self:  TWO sides + a TOP and BOTTOM= 4 borders. 

In other news, a very lovely number has come up on my sidebar--there are 100 Followers of my little blog.  Briefly I had 101 Followers a couple of different days; not sure what caused them to go away, but do hope they come back.  To celebrate the triple digit experience, a thank-you-for-following giveaway is in order, don't you think?  Since I am a obviously a WORD girl, the prize will be a copy of Word Play Quilts, the free-pieced lettering guide I've been using for my Any Witch Way quilts, so some lucky person can play with words too.

By coincidence the author, Tonya Ricucci, is appearing on The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson this week. She has a photo of Alex Anderson standing in front of the "Cake Quilt", for which I made the SOAR block. Pretty cool! Subscribers to The Quilt Show can view episode #907, otherwise you can sign up to view it for free through October 9th HERE

For the giveaway, I'd love to hear about more unusual but real names you may have among your family or friends and neighbors.  Leave one comment to enter and make sure your email is either in your profile or the comment so I have a way to contact you.  Following is not a requirement to enter.  I'll be ordering the book through Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website and she does ship internationally.  Comments will close Wednesday night by 11 pm and a winner will be selected Thursday, lucky October 13th, in the morning.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Design Wall Monday--Oct 3, 2011

On my design floor today is the completed center to the wedding quilt (Natural Beauty, Quilts & More mag, Winter 2010).  I sewed the last couple of block rows and then stitched all remaining rows into sections, and at 11:30 PM last night, put the final section seam together. 
The center is approximately 84 x 98" and the pattern calls for a 3.5" border.  I'm going to take it over to Elaine's house and try it out on their bed before I make border width decisions.  There does seem to be a bedclothes hogging issue at their house...

The border will be a solid fabric, probably one of the darker tans or browns in the top.  Quilting ideas have been flitting through my head too, one of which is to draw different sized ginkgo leaves on freezer paper and iron them to the top to then free motion around.  Since the fabrics have some kind of organic theme, I want to keep that same feeling in the quilting, to balance against all the straight lines in the piecing.

A few more Flowers for Nana Girl, my leader-ender project, were completed and placed on the stack.  See more design walls on Judy's Patchwork Times.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

UFO Challenge update

Another miss for September--although I did get the free-pieced names finished for the second of my Any Witch Way quilts, which was one of the goals.  Since I altered my plan for both tops because I also wanted to add free-pieced names, plus I made the piano key border for the second, there is more left to do.  I plan to continue working this weekend and get to at least a completed top stage with the free-pieced names added.

The UFO number picked for October is #11, which coincidentally was the UFO I swapped out for September, and is a block swap project that has been waiting a long time in the queue. 

Scrappy 9 patches are going to be laid out in a zig zag fashion.  I copied this layout from a quilt Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville called her Zig-Zag 9 Patch  (made in 2005), although hers was made from 2" leader-ender squares and my blocks are from 2.5" squares.  Bonnie has excellent references on her site for figuring setting squares and triangles and I will make good use of those.  I'll have to count up the blocks already made as the bed-sized layout I drew up requires a few more 9 patches.  The setting fabric is the warm buff yardage in the left side of the photo. 

This is a very very busy month for me but I do plan to work on this UFO as much as I can, in between finishing the wedding quilt, my outfit for the wedding, more sewing for the wedding, and THE WEDDING, now only 29 days away!  DD Elaine is off to her Bachelorette weekend with her sister and friends in Palm Springs, and her fiance Chris is in Las Vegas with his group of pals. I went with Elaine to her final fitting on Thursday and her wedding gown is just perfect on her.  Plus, Elizabeth, the seamstress, charged her $100 less than first quoted!  Elizabeth is just a doll and so fun to talk to.  She's doing two of the bridesmaids' dresses as well, and asked for pictures of the wedding.  So sweet.

Design Wall Monday--Catching Up

 Design Wall Monday --See more design walls on Judy's Small Quilts and Doll Quilts blog.  I disappeared for awhile, due to computer issu...