Pumpkin Patchwork

I am sorry, but could there BE a more darling way to segue into Fall? I don't think so. This lovely collage of pumpkin-perfect-pictures of my darling granddaughter, Miss Dub, was sent to our family blog with the caption "Pumpkin Patchwork".

So yes . . . I stole that too.

If I sew until my fingers are numb, I will never make a quilt as cute as this one. Forgive me, Mrs. Dub for all the thievery, but honestly, could anyone blame me?

I don't think so.


Going, going . . . gone.

It's almost over.
You know . . . Summer.
This was a weird year in that we had our "summer" vacation when most of the world was unpacking their sweaters. We came back from vacation and lo and behold . . . it was clear down in the 90's here in the desert! The mornings had a little chill and occasionally the temperature in the house actually went lower than the A/C setting. I started eyeing the fall decorations in the closet, but was wary of those triple digits rearing their ugly heads once again.

I am thankful that our summer went out with a glorious bang. I am thankful that our last memories of summer involved children, grandchildren, sun, sand and thousands of calories of restaurant indulgence. I am thankful that even though Arizona boasted record-breaking heat in umpteen different categories, I lived to tell the tale.

Goodbye Summer. Goodbye blister-inducing-steering-wheel. Good-bye baseball games and barbeques and beach bonfires. Good-bye monsoons and sunburns and pool algae. Some will be missed . . . and some will not. All will be remembered.

P.S. Thanks to PDaddy for the superb pics of a beautiful sunset.
P.P.S For more Summer to Fall transition reading (from a Midwest viewpoint) go here. You won't be sorry.
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How Do I Love Thee . . . ?

So . . . here is my contribution to the *Romantic House Tour. Those members of my family who are reading this may be shaking their heads, and those who are linking here from the tour have only one question, I am sure.
Where the heck is the Pink?
Let's face it, I'm more of a Blue kind of gal.
So I love my living room (above) because . . . well because hardly anyone ever goes in there and it stays really clean. That's why I had the courage this year to make those white slipcovers. Just in case you are thinking I am an experienced slipcover-sewer -- au contraire. These represent one of the hardest months of my life, but I love them. I also love the oil painting that I inherited from my mom. I spend time in this room on the phone to my children. After I have sanitized myself, of course.

These chairs divide my family room from the kitchen and I have always loved them. I made the pillows on them and embroidered the words "Sit" and "Stay". I want to make sure my guests are clear on what I expect of them. The armoire was a purchase from a neighbor who was practically giving it away. Another favorite.

I am a quilter and this quilt in the kitchen is one of my favorites because one of my daughters pieced it out of some scraps. It was years after that when I got into quilting in an obsessive way, but this one seldom does time in the closet with the umpteen others I just rotate. The vintage tablecloth is my most recent find.

Aaaah. The Sewing Room. PDaddy (my husband) refers to it as "The Kingdom". I do love it. Naturally, before I took this picture, I scooted six piles of stuff to the other side of the table and . . . yes . . . I see that I didn't scoot it far enough. It's always covered in scraps and threads and 15 different rulers. This quilt is one I designed and made about a year ago as a class sample in machine applique. It gets a rotation at home for awhile.
So . . . there you have it. Pretty sparse as other homes on this tour go . . . but I like it that way. Thank you Karla, for letting me know about the party.


But . . . Should She Sell Them?

So . . . vacation appears to be over . . . or does it? Here's the question of the day: How can I bring part of that vacation attitude home to stay? How can I conjure up a few sea breezes when I live in the desert? How can I make peace with my vacuum?

Every single time we go to the beach, I go on walks in the morning and collect sea shells. I have purchased just a few (the starfish do not seem to wash up on the So Cal beaches I am walking on) but all the rest have been collected personally by moi. At this point I have them all around the house. There are some that bring back specific memories of specific years. I collect alot of different things, but these are among my favorites.

(My current collection du jour, by the way . . . grandchildren.)

Today there are many, many . . . many things on the "To-Do" list. (Why is it that my mind never focused further than last Saturday while my calendar amassed it's own collection?) I will slap on a smile. I will give it a go. I will vacuum.

But I'll keep coming back to get a whiff of the shells. Because, as you well know, she smells seashells when she can't be at the seashore.

P.S. I am going to a party tomorrow and you all are invited. I'm taking part in a "Romantic House Tour" on this blog. Tune in.
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This ain't Iowa . . .

So . . . we're in Heaven. You know in "Field of Dreams" where they say "Is this Heaven?" and the answer is "No, it's Iowa". Well, we are living the revised version where Heaven isn't cornfields with baseball players hidden inside, it's sand and water and cool air with grandkids crawling all over the place.

I will go on the record as saying that our family has spent a great many vacations at the beach since our children have been grown, and it is . . . shall we say . . . not the same amount of unadulterated relaxation, with 2 children under the age of one. I will also go on the record as saying that it is even more splendid.

We have walked and walked and walked and I am sporting just a wee (yet firey) bit of sunburn. These pics were taken after we walked to a Barbeque joint with the grand-dog in tow. We have sat on the beach and have gazed out on the pier. (PDaddy is famous for his pier-gazing ways. This did not go over as well when the kids were young, but now they inherited the same . . . illness . . . shall we say.)

They also inherited his love of Barbeque.

Before I leave, I must add a small postscript: If you are from Iowa, I mean no offense. Everyone has their own definition of Heaven.
What's yours?


Sad + Happy = life, I guess.

So . . . it is actually happening. Sonny-boy and the Mrs. are indeed moving to Spain. Like, next week. Like . . . in three more days. The sudden nature of their departure date surprised no one more than them, and the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity that involves a U-haul, a storage unit and a whole lot of sweating. A lot. Is the garage cleaner than it was? Yes. Does that me happy? Oddly enough . . . no.

What the heck are we supposed to do without them? If I wasn't so dang proud it would indeed be unbearable. The very worst part is that they are not going to be with us at the Beach next week.

They are going to be at the Beach in Alicante, Spain.

So . . . the good news is that we are going to be at the Beach in So Cal. The girls will all be their at differing times with us and the grandkids will never be further than 2 feet from us. Asher, the grand-dog will look on as Miss Dub and l'il Gee swallow copious amounts of sand and squeal with delight. We will very unpatiently await phone calls and emails from the happy/world travelling couple and then we too will squeal with delight.

So . . . we love you . . . brand new little Ess Family. We have every intention of visiting you. And we promise to build a sand castle in your honor.

Complete with superb architectural detail, of course.


Weekend Updates

So . . . do you remember these guys? Blocks I made umpteen posts ago and I didn't know where I was taking them? Well, we have been on a little trip, (where some of them jumped out of the vehicle and hitched a ride to parts unknown) and picked up a few new friends along the way. Now they look like . . .

. . . this! (See below.) I was just as surprised as anyone that my clearly blue and yellow quilt picked up some . . . pink. Who knew? I don't exactly consider the pink to be . . . riff-raff . . . so the blues and yellows are not, like, grounded or anything.

Is the trip over? Oh, dear no. I had a sudden burst of inspiration while visiting this blog and am considering a bit of hand embroidery. That may also be inspiration to be reserved for another project, so don't hold me to it. (You have probably figured out by now that you can't really hold me to much.) As they say in the "update" biz . . . stay tuned.

Oh, and by the by . . . here is an update on my favorite new scent, Dancing Waters from Bath and Body Works, that was mentioned in a prior blog. Oh, you guessed it . . . it's no one else's favorite scent but mine. I went there yesterday to purchase some travel-sized portions, only to have to make the nice clerk scour the store to find the shelf and a half that held what was left of them.

Never fear, I had a back-up plan. My second favorite new scent turned out to be Sea Island Cotton (a derivative of Cotton Blossom, but much more pleasant, if you ask me.) Turns out everybody likes Sea Island Cotton, and there was a plethora of items to choose from. This may all sound silly from a girl who is going to be at the ocean in in less than 3 days.
I just like to smell nice, I tell you.


Call the Cops

So, when I was young . . . oh, so many years ago . . . I had a love/hate relationship with color. Basically, I loved all colors . . . in almost all combinations. But if it was a combination that I felt was wrong, I felt it was reallllyyyy wrong . . . as in against-the-law-wrong.

Chief on the list of taboo color combos was pink and red. I can only guess that my mother (or more likely my older sister) had at one point told me that it was wrong to combine those particular colors and so I found myself trolling the playground for those who would dare to laugh in the face of this law (by wearing an outfit that included both pink and red) and secretly shake my finger at them.

When my oldest daughter was a youngster and became enamored with all things Strawberry Shortcake, it occured to me that maybe . . . just maybe . . . the pink/red thing was one of those laws that had been taken off the books. I found over the years (and particularly where it comes to The Stash) that I not only like that combination, I am actually drawn to it.

FYI . . .during the height of my pink/red aversion, I went to school one day with a white blouse on that had three little triangular flags down the front beside the buttons. One was green, one was blue and one was yellow. Out of nowhere, a girl appeared, pointing in disgust as a crowd began to gather. "That girl is wearing blue and green together!" she cried and the crowd, of course, went along with the fun. I never wore that blouse again. I have forgiven her . . . over time. I just hope she is reading this and inwardly admiring the lovely blue/green stripes pictured above. And to that I have only one word.


Requiem to the Dell

So . . . as it turns out . . . my computer hates everybody.

Not just me. And to be perfectly honest with you, that's not making me feel a whole lot better.

So, yesterday morning she . . . pretty much gave it up. Luckily, Sonny Boy was able to get her to cough up enough effort to back everything that hadn't been backed up -- since the last back up. Right now I am using SB's computer (what a swell son that Sonny Boy is) and I can hear PDaddy in the other room, trying to perform a little last ditch CPR. The irony is, we have not one but two computers on their way to us and they should arrive in a couple of weeks.

(Oh dear me. Do you think my old computer knew about the new computers and became a "disgruntled computer"?)

At any rate, for the next few weeks, I will have access to posting, but not neccessarily to my pictures. I know that is boring and I forgive you for taking one peek and moving on. Just don't give up on me. (I am actually going on vacation in a week, so there probably would have been a lull in posts, anyhow.)

But for now, let's take a moment of silence and remember the ol' gal. (She was over 5 years old. That makes dog years look like . . . nothing.) After my recent history of making blankets for inanimate objects . . . I'm feeling a little like maybe I should have made her a quilt.

Maybe then . . . I just might have been her favorite.


Food for Thought

So, I finished the quilt I have been working on for my "great" grand baby and I had an absolutely marvelous time. I vowed that I would only make quilts that are no more than 14 inches square. The quilting was simple and happy, the borders stayed straight and obedient and even hand tacking down the binding was a short and sweet job.

Then I remembered that I was doing this all for a plastic doll. Then . . . I remembered that her "mother" is my beloved Miss Dub, and that upon seeing her "baby's" quilt for the first time, will no doubt try and eat it. Let's face it, there is no greater sign of admiration for great art than trying to immediately take a bite out of it.

So, having justified myself and my efforts that aren't exactly saving the world and curing diseases, I was about to go onto larger efforts when I fell . . . hard and fast . . . for the challenge given to me by Mrs. Gee in her comment. I believe she said, "So when does Asher get his own quilt?"

Asher is my grand-dog, a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy the size of a small horse. Asher is a good dog and an excellent big brother to my grandson Mr. Gee, but if I felt a twinge of guilt over making a quilt for a plastic doll . . . well . . . my grand-dog didn't deserve any less. So, here is the debut of Asher's quilt -- complete with "bone" motif.

As I hand sewed the binding down on that one, I rolled my eyes a little. I've gotta admit I hope he doesn't instantly swallow the whole dang thing.

But I'm certain that in dog years, my quilt will be an heirloom in no time at all.


It lives and breathes . . .

I spent a greater part of this Labor Day morning moving things around in my sewing room. Specifically, I brought my (current) favorite, most inspiring fabrics out of the closet and into the light. It took a great deal of angst to think of breaking up The Stash, but after much consideration, I felt it was for the best. I have not forgotten their friends who still live in the "old neighborhood". I have vowed that I will visit there often.

For those of you who are wondering, "Where did she get that lovely slipcovered wing chair?" the answer is this: I bought that chair (and an ottoman that doesn't really fit in the sewing room and is under the table) for a whopping 35 bucks at a yard sale several years ago. It was covered in a hideous fabric that would best not be described. I got the bright idea to slipcover them myself, even though I had absolutely no prior slipcovering experience. Just in case you are wondering . . . not the brightest idea to pick a wing chair as one's first slipcovering project, nope . . . not the brightest.

However . . . when I finally finished them, I could not have been happier. I just vowed I would, never, ever again slipcover my own furniture. I lived true to that promise until early this year when I slipcovered the sofa and love seat in my living room.

But that's another post. Another really long and difficult post. For now let's just be happy that I can smell my fabric from my cozy seat in the wing chair. It's just too bad I can still hear the other fabrics whining in the closet from there.