Embellished Excitement!

So ... the little yellow slips of paper have gone into the proverbial hat (okay, a bowl) and MarySue's name came out as the winner of the GiveAway. Congratulations. I am happy to have my quilt go to a loving home. When you email me with your address, let me know if anyone at your house is allergic to peanuts, because that third package may or may not include something chocolately and nutty.

Once again the ever anticipated "Teacher's Meeting" has caught me unawares, and I am furiously working to get a sample ready to show next Monday (which will be taught this fall at this store.) Boy am I having fun!! Part of that fun has included some experimentation with the many ... many ... decorative stitches on my machine.

The greenery above the door (of my no-cal gingerbread house) is a double dose (reg and mirror image) of stitch #140 on my Bernina 200. The snowflake "buttons" are #642. I used King Tut variegated green. I love, love King Tut thread (40 wt.) for a nice "nubby" look.

So tell me ... do you actually use those decorative stitches on your machine?

Fess Up.

And thanks to everyone for their sweet comments and ... poetry!

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The Give Away!

So ... PDaddy's birthday was spectacular and all, in spite of the fact that the only gifts that actually were here for the big day didn't actually work. But ... alas ... there was lemon jello cake and that's all that matters. Which bring us to the next reason to celebrate (and dance to the music, naturally) ...

My One Year Blogiversary of course! And the fact that I am hosting a GiveAway as part of the celebration. And the fact that what I am giving away is this quilt (measuring approx. 29" x 32") that I made a couple of years ago. I absolutely love these colors ... very french. Ooh. La. La. To add to the fun, I am throwing in these other continental beauties (from FQs to half yards) so the lucky winner can make her own something fun.

You know the drill, of course. You leave a comment that will somehow direct me to you ... because YOU might be the winner, and I will need to contact you. I will pick the winner on Thursday morning.

What a JOY it is to play this game. Thank you for a magical year.

Now .... GO!
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So ... this is a weekend full of significance. First of all, we are home .... always significant. Secondly, tomorrow is PDaddy's birthday. Woo. Thirdly, tomorrow also marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. Yowza. And fourth? Eh, that's enough for one weekend, don't you think?

The first picture was taken on Thursday as we took in a Harbor Cruise on the Sound and basked in the sunshine. Does that mean we were warm? Au contraire. But hey, we're from Arizona and "warm" means something very different to us.

The second picture was taken as part of our 40 minute vertical hike from the waterfront back to our hotel. Sweat glands were activated and in full force. I told you that I would take pictures of some outdoor foliage. I always aim to please.

So ... in conjunction with my blog-iversary, I am in the beginning stages of planning my GiveAway. Stay tuned.

And Happy Birthday to the PDaddy. He is a fabulous reason to celebrate.
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Pink Chomping

So ... technically I am still taking pictures of pictures ... but these ones are just more fun (which I promised) and required me to eat a calorie-ridden cupcake (which I did.)

After our morning round of appointments we had some lunch (eh ... so so) and ventured next door into a charming little shop, appropriately called Sugar. The walls were all painted in lovely pink stripes, with these luscious pictures of sugar laden goodies to offset the oppulent displays with the real things for sale on the other side.

Of course it would have been just rude, rude, rude to take my pictures and leave. Being the generous soul that I am, I purchased a chocolate/cream cheese cupcake and ate it on the spot. PDaddy had an oatmeal raisin cookie. I would hardly call that Sugar, but to each his own.

On the way back, PDaddy himself pointed out this lovely scene, above. Even if you live in an old high-rise apartment building, that doesn't mean you can't add your own sparkle and panache.

I would definitely call that Sugar!
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Life at the Baroness ...

So ... we are in Seattle, land o' clouds. Remember how excited I was to bring my sweaters? Remember how I am from Arizona? Remember how I love to wear flip-flops and how now I want some Uggs?

Truth be told that the forecast says this is our coldest day here. Highs in the 60s. Yesterday when we arrived there was a heavenly breeze and you could hear seagulls and ... I have no complaints.

These pictures are from our hotel room (at "The Baroness") which was decorated ... a long, long, time ago. But I thought the pictures had a sweet vintage quality about them.

PDaddy is just getting pre-surgery pokes and prods. I am doing a lot of crosswords. I'll be heading back now. Talk you you all later.
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decisions, decisions ...

So ... which shall it be? Concert pianist or Olympian swimmer? Our little Miss Dub is amazingly adept at both. What a magical week it has been. But ...

Sigh. She and her mommie are (hopefully) boarding a plane as we speak. On Monday, we too will board a plane to the Great Northwest for the week. Word has it that the temperatures actually dip below 110 there. My sweaters are ready and eager to go.

But, before we go ... just two questions:

Did you actually put your lips to the computer screen? C'mon ... tell the truth.
And ... do you know of any good quilt stores in the downtown Seattle area?
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Project Runway

So ... Miss Dub is in town and all is right with the world. She is an absolute delight, and what can I say ... she likes me, she really likes me!

I finished her dress (which still has plenty of growing room) and she was indeed ticked pink.

If you feel the urge to just eat her up ... I will not fault you. I have indulged in many a tasty treat myself. Nummmmmm.

See you. Off to do some jumping.

Pink Jumping.

p.s. Congratulations to Tara who won (by default) the Cat Steven's prize. Send me an email with your info!

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Morning has Broken ...

So ... I tested my new theory the last couple of days ... and it worked, by golly! I sewed my brains out in the morning instead of cleaning or erranding and I do believe that I worked a little faster ... and a little clearer. Cleaning and erranding still happened in the afternoon when a clear brain is not as crucial. (A few more dollars may or may not have been spent as a result, but really ... it's the clear sewing head that counts ... right?)

I finished (the top of) this quilt which was started before I got sidetracked with the red-green-I-don't-want-to-cut-teeny-little-leaves-anymore phase. I will unveil the whole thing when it is quilted and bound.

For now I will bask in my clarity. And just so you know ... I still want to hear about who-sews-when-and-why?

Also speak up if you immediately knew that my title is a reference to one of my favorite Cat Steven's songs. Without looking it up (that means you, PDaddy!), what was the name of the album?

There may or may not be a prize involved.
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A Vintage Kick

So ... I picked up my machine yesterday and it wasn't a moment too soon. Having had an entire week without her, I had the chance to ponder on the unfortunate state of my personal productivity (where sewing is concerned). Let's just say it needs some tweaking. Let's just say that I could use my time more wisely. Let's just say I need a swift kick in the pants.

But please ... let's say it more nicely than that.

The good news is that I got that gentle kick in the very same trip it took to pick up my machine. Already I'm more productive ... yeah!

Last evening at this store, they happened to be having a Trunk Show and book signing in honor of the above pictured book and it's lovely author, Martha Walker. We got to see and handle these quilts and they were ... exquisite. Or possibly beyond exquisite. And there were many, many of them. Some hand done and others by machine. Some were award winners. I was holding back drool and I'm pretty sure it wasn't an attractive look for me.

My point is this: (oh thank heavens ... finally a point) While holding back drool and asking sweet Martha questions like "How many hours do you sleep a night?" and "Are you a night or a morning person?", I realized that I am a morning person (I already knew that) but that I never sew in the morning. Starting today that will change. But please ... for purposes of my research ... answer the following questions:

Are you a night or a morning person?
When do you sew, craft, create ... the most?

p.s. I couldn't find a website for Martha and her book, but you can order them online, here.
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Pink Jumping

So ... I am still without my special friend, Bernina. I am sure she is enjoying a mani-pedi as we speak. I am really hoping that part of the package includes a loofah ... because let's be honest ... my special friend was in dire need of a serious cleaning.

But since I am in the middle of not one, but two projects, I am leaning towards the impatient side. Yesterday I did some hand work on this little number for my Miss Dub. She will be here next weekend which only adds to my impatience. Miss Dub's favorite color is pink. (When asked, she will tell you that her favorite activity is "Pink Jumping".) I thought she needed something pink to jump in.

So ... let me ask you ... is there anything more lovely than pink gingham? When I was a young girl and shared a room with my sister, we had pink gingham curtains at one point. I have absolutely no memories of those curtains in the winter, but I have dozens of summer memories of them. This is probably due to my olafactory memories of the breeze coming through them.


I plan to add a pink gingham ruffle to the hem of Miss Dub's dress. I plan to do that the minute I get miss bernina back. I plan to get her back tomorrow.

So do tell ... on a scale from one to ten ... how much is your special friend in need of a cleaning?

And how much do you love pink gingham?

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from sea to shining sea ...

So ... we saw fireworks all right. Forty solid minutes of fabulous, frenetic fireworks. We actually made a whole day of it. (Hot dogs for lunch [at Ted's in Tempe ... originally from Buffalo, NY] but ... alas ... no apple pie.) It was hotter than ... HOT, but once the show started it was as pleasant as can be. This particular show draws the biggest crowds in the Phoenix metropolitan area, but it was the first time we had seen them there.

However ... for forty minutes as I gazed at this spectacle, I took a mental journey over 35 years worth of Fourths. Thirty five years of rockets glaring and bombs bursting. Thirty-five years worth of ... awe.

We have seen fireworks from coast to coast. At Padre's stadium in San Diego. At a high school stadium in Perris CA (where an 18 month old Sonny Boy threw up all over the place.) At the Rose Bowl where we were also treated to a show that involved Wilson-Phillips. (I was no doubt wearing shoulder pads.) We have also seen fireworks over a lake in Gaithersburg, Maryland., we have seen them on the "mall" between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial and from a parking lot in Virginia where we viewed 3 or 4 different shows over our nation's capital.

In our home here we have seen them drenched in sweat. Always, always drenched in sweat. Never, never has it mattered. We have seen them over mall parking lots (and once on the grass across the street where the sprinklers promptly went off) and on the top of parking garages. We have seen them at "Rawhide" and "Westworld". We have seen them at the Diamondbacks game. We have seen them from Dad's high rise office building and from a patch of dirt road up the street from our house. We have seen them with babies and with teenagers and we hope to see them with the grandkids for many years to come.

And I am pretty certain that every single time ... drenched in throw-up or sweat or the awe-inspiring glow from the sky ... I had the presence of mind to think about, and be grateful for ... America.

And to be grateful to Neil for singing about it.
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freedom rings

So ... Happy 3rd of July. And Fourth. Hope yours is full of fireworks and baseball and scrumptious food and family and weather that is below 110 degrees. At our house we are hoping to go with four out of five.

As long as the food is scrumptious.

I dug this little quilt out of the closet to help me celebrate. I made it as part of a "Jo's Little Women's Club" over a year ago. We were all supposed to make six little quilts over the course of the year ... just like the ones in the patterns we were given.

Except that I just cannot do that for some reason. I physically cannot do that. Is it rebellion? Am I just cranky? What the heck is the deal?

For this one I added the top and bottom borders. I had a ball. So sue me.

But I am really excited about the aforementioned holiday. Yet another child is coming to visit. We are going to see fireworks. A good time will be had by all.

But ... I won't be sewing. Because my little red friend is away for some spa treatments. Come back soon, my little red friend.

So do tell. What are your plans? Will you see fireworks?

Can you follow a pattern without breaking out into hives?

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Gifts from the Sea ...

So ... there appears to be no end to the celebration that is my birthday. Woohoo. I truly believe that the age number cannot officially go up that notch until the celebrating has come to a full and complete stop. Lucky for me I only come to "California" stops.

Yesterday I came down the stairs and saw something out of the corner of my eye through the window beside the front door. Make that my whole eye because it was a gigantor box. From Crate & Barrel. Courtesy of this daughter who wants it on the record that she ordered it waaaaay ahead of time, but alas it still came after my official birthday. Reread paragraph #1 to understand why this can only be a +.

The unwrapping of the gift took much time, (not to mention amazing self control to not stop and pop a bunch of bubble wrap as I went along.) First I unwrapped these starfish candle holders. Errand #1 today is finding candles to put in them. Next I opened the three boxes containing these exquisite seashell (urchin) vases. I have already moved them around to a number of places in my home ... just for the chance to ooh and aah some more. Next was the large, beautiful and extremely useful shell platter. Last, but not least were these little clamshell tongs. I think they are for sugar, but since I don't drink coffee or tea, I am planning to use them for .... hmmmmm .... chocolate chips.

In case you haven't read ... I live in the desert. Many, many summers have found us renting a house at the beach for a week, but this year could be an exception. Ginny's note said: "Thought I'd bring a little beach house to you this year."

Oh, thank you. I do believe I feel a little sand between my toes as we speak. Yep ... I'm pretty sure of it.
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