Sunday, June 28, 2015

Getting Into Summer . . .

It's been super hot here in Sacramento this past week--over 100 degrees a couple days and not much cooling down at night.  But I think we've settled back to the norm for this time of the year, which means temperatures in the 90s during the day but cooling off a bit with the Delta breeze at night (the breeze comes up the delta from the San Francisco Bay and along the rivers that lead to Sacramento).  And wouldn't you know it?  Just when we're at our hottest, golf's U.S. Senior Open tournament comes to town--welcome golfers!  I haven't been following it, but I gather the final round was today, so I guess the Goodyear Blimp will fly away now.   I just feel sorry for the golfers and spectators who had to endure this heat wave.

Hubby's 60th birthday is tomorrow, and we're having a family party at a friend's house.  I'm bringing the side dishes, so at least part of the weekend was spent at the Farmers' Market, grocery stores, and my own little kitchen.  I have a batch of beans going in the crockpot in the morning before work, and I'll bake up a pan of cornbread, but otherwise I'm ready.

On the quilting front, I've been slowly quilting a chicken quilt.  I made the quilt top several years ago from, if I remember correctly, a Buggy Barn pattern--it's one of those quilts where you stack up the fat quarters, cut, and then swap pieces around.  I made this one using red, black, yellow, and cream, and while I really like it a lot, I'm just not sure where a chicken quilt belongs in my home, so I've delayed quilting it.  But I'm sure I'll find a place for it.  I'm kind of thinking it's summery looking, so maybe I'll hang it in my entryway after the 4th of July quilt comes down--assuming I get it done by then, of course.

I thought I'd let you know that I found someone who was willing to part with their Christmas Memories booklets that I posted about last time--I'm just waiting for them to arrive in my mailbox.  Here's what the quilt looks like--the one I really want to make from the booklets:

I've seen a version posted online where the quilter didn't do the appliqued border (just used a nice striped fabric) and I think it's almost as pretty, but we'll see how it goes once I get to that point. I just love Blackbird Designs books, but for some reason, I don't seem to buy them when they first come out; it's always AFTER they're out of print that I find I need them.  I remember when Women of Grace and Charm came out, I looked at it and thought about getting it but didn't; now it's not really available anymore unless you want to pay a small fortune, and I don't, but maybe I'll come across it someday, somewhere.

I took time out from food shopping and cooking tpday to make a quick trip to a vintage/antique faire, of sorts.  There weren't too many vendors but the event was put on by an antique-mall type of shop that I hadn't been in before, so between one thing and another, I came home with a couple of finds.  Outside in the back of the store, I found a beautiful blue casserole dish made by Halls for Montgomery Wards--I've admired them for some time but I hadn't come across one in my price range until now.  I also found two "project" pieces--an old decorative wooden two shelf unit - the kind that used to be found in bathrooms or other small spaces - and a long glass-fronted cabinet door.  Yes, just the door.  No idea what I'll do with it, but it has promise.  I think I'll probably chalk paint the shelf.

Lately I've been fantasizing about re-doing older small pieces of luggage and perhaps selling some of them at some point, so I've been "collecting" train/cosmetic cases and the smallest size of suitcases.  I told myself I need to stop buying any more until I actually start doing something with them, but I came across one today that I couldn't pass up.  It looks like this one--

It still has the key, and the inside looks almost like new, with an adjustable mirror and a plastic tray that sits in the top part.  Perfect for a sewing case, right?  And just $15.  I didn't even try to negotiate a lower price!  If you look at my Pinterest board called "Train/Cosmetic Case Wizardry" you'll see I've been "collecting" ideas.

I hope you've had a good week and are looking forward to a happy 4th of July.  I'll be back again . . . hopefully soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In Search Of . . .

I'm looking for this set of four booklets by Blackbird Designs called Christmas Memories to buy or borrow--it takes all four to make the quilt.  Please email me if you know where I can find them.  Thanks!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where Have You Been?

I was reading a blog the other day--actually I was looking at something on Pinterest and linked over to a blog to see how the woman had repurposed something--and I wondered what she had done more recently.  Nothing, it seems.  Her last post was MONTHS ago, and that post came out of the blue after another absence of months.  And I wondered whether something terrible had happened to her.  And then I thought about the fact that I hadn't posted anything FOREVER either.  It occurred to me that there are some of you who are wondering whether I've had a devastating illness or death even.  Nope!  Just lazy.  Or busy.  Or something.  It's funny how our priorities change over time.

I'm still working out, dieting, and trying to lose weight.  I stopped doing CrossFit in December because our "class" had dwindled down to two and I didn't feel our trainer was all that interested anymore.  I tried another program in January called Kaia Fit--it's similar to CrossFit or boot camp but it's just for women--and I strained my Achilles on the third evening.  So I had to wear a walking boot for seven weeks.  Between the holidays and lack of exercise, I found by spring I had gained a little bit of the weight back, so I started exercising on my own, at home, around April, and I got back to really watching what I eat, so I think I'm about where I was last year at this time.  My Achilles still hurts a bit and I have shoulder problems, so I'm not sure a gym workout is right for me anymore.  I've purchased a FitBit to track my activity and I log my food on My Fitness Pal--I think both are excellent tools for anyone out there trying to do what I'm doing.  There are apps for my smart phone too.

Speaking of which, I was probably the last person in the world to get a cell phone.  I hate being on the phone and I didn't really feel I needed one.  When the Wild Child was pregnant, she thought it might be important to get in touch with me at some point, so she bought me a used cell phone and added me to her plan.  That phone was okay for emergencies, but it was damaged and didn't hold a charge, so she recently upgraded to a new phone and passed on her older phone to me--and it works great.  I still don't like to talk on the phone, but I DO like to message.  A few weeks ago, Hubby and I traveled to Portland (where the Wild Child, significant other, and my grandson now live) and being able to use a GPS/map program made a big difference in traveling.  So I've finally been dragged kicking and screaming into the current century, and I've found it's not so bad after all.

That also brings me to Facebook.  For years I didn't "do" Facebook because I didn't think quick "snips" or brief comments on life were very meaningful--not like writing and reading blogs.  I still believe that but I finally succumbed and started a Facebook page.  I don't write a whole lot on it though but now and then I post something.  You know:  quick "snips" and brief comments.  If you'd like to "friend" me to make sure I'm still alive, leave me a comment here and I'll add you to my friends list--be sure to give me your full name or link to your Facebook page so I can find you.

When Hubby and I were in Portland, we visited Hippo Hardware and I brought home an old window.  Recently I started decorating for the summer patriotic holidays.  I saw this idea on Pinterest, so I can't take credit, but I purchased a cotton flag and coffee dyed it; then I put it behind my "new" window on the fireplace mantle.

Here are a few of my other recent patriotic projects--most copied from or inspired by Pinterest; in fact, you can access my Pinterest boards HERE to see what's inspiring me.

And yes, I'm still quilting.  I finally finished appliqueing the border of my Country Houses quilt--it's what I worked on at the applique retreat I mentioned in my last post.  I don't think I have a photo of it to share though.  But it still needs to be quilted, so maybe I can share that next time I pop up with a post.

Today is Father's Day and we have a couple of new fathers in our family to celebrate, so I'd better get off the computer and get the festivities under way.  It's also the first day of summer--happy summer everyone!