Sunday, February 19

Love This Book!

Set in a fictional small town in Illinois, 1928, Bradbury gives an autobiographical recollection of his own childhood summer days. Rich and lyrical, this book moved me to frantically write all my own memories of summer and childhood. I can't say enough good about the masterful writing in Dandelion Wine. If you like words this is a feast! Not a huge fan of Bradbury's (or anyone's) science fiction. But this is something very special.

Saturday, February 18

'Scuse Me! Burp Cloths

I made these burp cloths from scraps for a baby shower gift today. Some of my grandkids will recognize the flannel!

For this one I used two pieces of flannel and bias tape trim.

The high chair was my husband's when he was a baby. All of our 7 children and 14 grandchildren have used it as well!

For this one I used a solid knit edged and backed by a flannel print.

Mid Winter Break

It has been a long hard winter in more ways than one in my corner of the world.

Soon after the Christmas guest rooms were empty, we were hit with an unusual snow and ice storm.

We lost power for 3 1/2 days but for some it was even longer. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge was even closed for 6 hours when the sudden thaw brought murderous icicles crashing down on cars. Vegetation everywhere was damaged. We'll be raking up branches and limbs for months!

For two years we have anguished with our dear friends, Chuck and Judy Cox, over their missing daughter, Susan.

The loss of Charlie and Braden on February 5, has made the past couple of weeks hard to bear. Mark and I and other church friends rallied to help plan the memorial and funeral services on February 11.

I just happened to substitute teach at the school where Charlie attended first grade and kindergarten. The community support there was overwhelming as staff, students and families consoled one another.
It has been a bitter sweet time. Trials have softened my heart and brought me nearer to friends and family. I have been hugged by principals, neighbors and strangers I now call friends. My own faith has been renewed by the example of the Cox family.

I am taking a break from these winter challenges and indulging in a few red tulips, a personal favorite reminder that the best is yet to be.

Ready to leave winter behind and look forward to spring.

Thursday, February 16

More From LA

Our girls' weekend in L.A. was enhanced with some good times with Peter and the kids, like a visit to Beard Papa for these scrumptious cream puffs!

By pure coincidence our visit coincided with dear friends from Australia, Lucy and Mark Sullivan. What a grand reunion that was.

Strolling through the Santa Monica Mall we came across a wall of these old sewing machines! Amazing!

Third Street Promenade has something for everyone including a huge Apple Store. (I got in trouble for taking photos in the store! Dumb tourist.)

All tuckered out after a day of shopping and gawking.

It was a dream come true to have some uninterrupted time with my daughter, Peter and Jean and kids. Thank you LA J's!

New Years Report

Over the New Year's weekend, we took a quick trip up to Kentucky to visit my brother and his family.
We had a blast and a much needed excursion. 
All along the freeway and throughout the little city they live in, there were quilt squares on barns and buildings.   Apparently, each family had a certain block design and they would display it in painted fashion on or near their homes.  Kind of like a coat of arms.  
Very cool!
I couldn't get any good pics of the barns, but here are some that were displayed on old store fronts.
Kentucky is such a beautiful place.  Rolling green hills.  Picturesque white fences.  And even a castle.
I got to have some fun doing a little photo shoot of my nephews.  They are so darling.  Lucy and Henry had a blast playing with their cousins.

We had some delicious meals, good conversation and some experimentation with this.

Red Letter Day

This month is my month to chose the block for my quilting bee.  I picked a quilt that I'd seen online and loved.
Aside from how awesome it is to end up with 11 beautiful quilt squares that I didn't have to put much effort into getting, I love the feeling I get when I open the mailbox and it's full of packages...
Definitely a good day maker!

This week we are celebrating Mochi's 1-year birthday.
I have a love-hate relationship with this dog.  

 He is destructive.  Costly.  Loud at times. Runs away.  Kills birds.
And usually smelly, despite fruity soaps used to make him otherwise.
But the kids love and adore him.  I think he has helped them cope with all of the changes that our little family has gone through over the last year.  And for that, I'll keep him.
Happy birthday, Moammar Gadhoggy.

Other things that are making my days Red Letter lately:

Monday, February 13

Snow Day

What a snow day means to Lucy and Henry:
 What a snow day means to me:

Sunday, February 12

Valentines? Check!

The Valentines are done ahead of schedule this year, thanks to Pinterest!!
 The idea for Lucy's Valentines came from this tutorial.  We tweaked it a little by sewing the paper shut instead of gluing it.  Lucy wanted something to do with dogs, especially since it's almost Mochi's 1-year birthday.  
After we filled each favor with candy hearts, she cut out ears and drew on eyes.  We added a pom-pom for the nose and tied on a little tag (suppose to look like the dog's holding it in its mouth).

I picked up some candy sticks from Trader Joe's while I was in L.A. and I really wanted to do something Valentines-y with them.
Henry goes to a little preschool once a week and it just happens to fall on Valentine's Day.  
He was intrigued and a little confused as I explained to him the concept of Cupid.
But, he does love arrows so, this free printable was the perfect choice!
Pinterest has made the kids' Valentine's so easy this year... I might have time to plan something for my sweetheart.

Tuesday, February 7

Wool Quilt

 I threw this little quilt together as a small thank you gift for my brother and his family.  I'm not sure how much they'll use a wool throw blanket in L.A., but I like how it turned out.
The olive and cream fabrics are a lovely wool and the bold print is a heavier cotton.

Monday, February 6

Togetherness Makes: L.A. Fabric District

Mom and I had so much fun over the weekend visiting my brother and his family.  My sister-in-law, Jean, showed us all the best spots for shopping and eating... we did lots of both.

Michael Lavine's was fabric heaven.  They had just about everything.  A nice sampling from all the major designers.  I could have spent all day here.
The rest of the strip reminded me a lot of India.  There was a lot of fashion fabric shops that we just kind of skipped over.

 Across the street from Michael Lavine's was Michael Lavine's Loft.  
Fabric was piled high in boxes and sold by the pound.
 Most of it was knits and random polyester blends.
I did get some super soft French terry (about 4 yards) and some nice knit for a scarf.
Can't beat a $1.25 a pound. 
 I'm already mentally planning our next trip.