Monday, November 22, 2010

November on the Washington Coast

We were curious.
We wanted to know if the Washington Coast was as beautiful as the Oregon Coast.
We have a big anniversary coming up next month,
but since it is almost impossible leave 4 kids the week of Christmas and New Year's,
we decided to celebrate early.
And set off (with raincoats and muck boots) to find out for ourselves.

Question answered.
Just as BEAUTIFUL...
In a wilder sort of way.
And completely solitary.
 If you want the coastline to yourself,
go in November.

Plus, all the wonders of Olympic National Park and the rain forest were just around the riverbend.
More pictures to come...when things aren't so crazy around here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Vintage Block a Day

I thought I would share the progress on my latest quilt.  My five year old helped me draw up the pattern for this queen sized (more like crib sized right now) quilt.  We were just tinkering around drawing "stairs" on graph paper, and we played around with it until it morphed into the following, dog eared, pattern.

I am using all of my favorite vintage sheets with Kona Ash (again) for the sashing - I loved the soft neutrality it gave to the jelly roll quilt amidst all those colorful fabrics.  With this one, it lets both the fabrics with white backgrounds, and those with colored, stand out.

The goal has been to finish at least one block a day, but I'll admit I've skipped a few days here and there. Only 8 out of the 30 blocks are finished.

I need to get cracking - holiday craziness is rapidly approaching!  Just to prove it...Snow is falling out my window as I type this, Christmas music is playing on the radio (not a CD), every store I've been to this week is all decked out in holiday finery, my kids have decorated our refrigerator with their wish lists, and according to eBay, only 45 shopping days left! Yikes! Are you ready for this?

And to show you more craziness, this was taken when a freak snow storm blew in a few days before Halloween...

(my daughter was completely oblivious to the fact she was wearing a boy's snowsuit - wonder how long that will last?)

Judging by the huge flakes coming down right now, we could be back on the hill this afternoon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I was hoping to have a current project finished in time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, but  it's not gonna happen (motherhood happened). So instead, I’m sharing a recent favorite: The scrappy LOVE jelly roll quilt.

In the beginning, I set out to make a bright and fun picnic-ish sort of quilt we could take to soccer games - a funky little travel quilt. but I ended up loving the bright colors and cheerfulness so much, it has become a permanent fixture on the red sofa in our family room.  My 2 year old has a security blanket she calls her “Nin”.  She calls this quilt “Mommy’s Nin”.  I love that she recognizes the contentedness this quilt brings to me.  Color makes me happy.
To make this one, I cut the LOVE jelly roll strips in half and sewed into one long strip. I alternated the LOVE strips with 1 ½ inch strips of Kona Ash.  I started with one rectangle in the center and around and around I went.  Not exactly rocket science, but that's how I (jelly) roll. :)

To see a whole smorgasbord of fabulous quilting inspiration, check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Hike

What do overly ambitious moms do when their kids are off school for fall recess?
We hit the trail.

On Friday morning my sister-in-laws and I decided to take our offspring on a jaunt through the colorful woods for a dip in the hot spring pools.  It seemed like a good idea...we had a great time on the same hike last year (except for the little snake incident).

However, this year there were a few kinks.  We didn't realize how much of a help the men really were last year.  When you are carrying a backpack with lunch and drinks for 5, plus swimsuits and towels, as well as a small child who is too tired to walk anymore, fun is no longer part of the equation. It was a long hike up to the pools (UP being the key word) .

When we reached our destination, it felt so good to sit in a shady spot, eat our lunches and watch
 the kids splash in the pools.
We were having a nice break, until the hornets arrived.

Two of our kids, my oldest and my nephew, were stung, and the stinging wouldn't stop.  They were miserable, so we decided to pack it up and head back down.

My two year old was walking slowly so we fell behind the rest of the group. I was holding her hand when I tripped over a rock and we both went flying (I'm kind of klutzy).  She hit her mouth and was bleeding, my legs and hand were beat up and we were still probably a mile from the parking lot. Ugh. I ended up carrying her (& my back pack) the rest of the painful way down. I have never been so happy to see our minivan.  Even the kids were grateful to see this adventure come to an end. They all completely crashed on the way home.

Not exactly one of our finer moments, but it was a beautiful day! :)
Note to Self:   As much as you love the fall foliage, next year consider the pumpkin patch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

We have a few Cosmos in our yard.
A few too many.

I let them grow, because they are beautiful.
And lovely things usually get their way.
But enough is enough.
I know what spring will bring if I let all of those abundant seeds hit the dirt.

Our green recycle bin will be filled to the brim for the next few weeks, but I am a girl on a mission.

And, I am trying to psych myself up for something big. Queen sized.
  Because I have too many stacks of the following cluttering up my sewing room.

Again, too much of a good thing.
If I can reclaim my flower beds, I can reclaim my sewing room.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

From the Field

 These pictures were taken from the sidelines of my son's soccer game last night. 
Watching the evolution of the cloud cover over the surrounding mountains made for a pretty good show.

The presence of the mountains alone, even without clouds hovering over their nooks and crannies,
is awe inspiring (when we're not taking them for granted). 

The game was pretty good too.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Drive

The autumn Sunday drive has become an annual tradition for us.
  This morning we headed up one of the local canyons, and this is what we found.

I didn't have my fancy camera, just my point and shoot, but I think it did all right.

Love this time of year. Oh, how I LOVE it.

( case you were wondering)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

LOVE Quilt

The scrappy LOVE jelly roll quilt is finished. 
 The aqua colored sheet from Target worked like a charm - puckered up nicely after washing
 just like the fabric on the top.   The most challenging part?  Trying to get a good picture of
 the finished product.  This was the best we could do.

A little skiwampus, but I love those feet!  Can you tell we were on our way to a soccer
 game? In fact, the quilt went with us. It was bound, washed and broken in all on the same
 day.  3 games this week and 4 more next week.  That  doesn't include all of the practices.
 We are insane.

And (changing subjects here), I've learned something about myself this week:
Evidently men aren't the only ones who struggle with multi-tasking.
The following is what happened when I attempted to bake cookies while quilting: 
  The recipe clearly states bake for 8-10 minutes, not bake until your 5 year old comes and
 tells you to stop the beeping noise.  Also states, until barely brown.  Oops.

This really is the BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe! It has been my go-to-recipe for
 years, and I always get rave reviews (well, almost always).   If you're feeling a little
 sceptical after viewing the crispy specimens above, you can see these cookies on a better day HERE