May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

We had such a great New Year's Eve and it did not involve dressing up or going out anywhere.  Instead, the DGDs came to our house to spend the night while their parents went out on the town.  It was a simple evening with dinner, Wii, watching "Peter Pan" and toasting in the New Year as we watched the ball drop in Times Square.  Amazingly, the girls managed to stay awake until midnight but they were in bed fast asleep very soon after.  We all slept in this morning. 

This afternoon, Jon and Lissa rode their bikes over to retrieve the girls.  They had brought the girls' bikes over the night before.  We snacked on guacamole, chips, cheese and crackers while everyone once again played Wii.  Then they hopped on their bikes and rode back home to the west end of Alameda.  Jim watched the end of the Oregon/Florida game at the Rose Bowl and now he is rooting for Ohio against Alabama at the Sugar Bowl.  
 It's a Happy start to a New Year!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Holiday Time is Here

It's New Year's Eve and I'm writing one last entry to my blog for 2014 before I set it up to be published in a book.  I've been using Blog2Print for several years now.  I like having a physical book of memories for the year. 

Our family celebrated Christmas Week with a photography session at Crab Cove in Alameda.  A local photographer kept us laughing and moving as he clicked away.  We are still in the process of sorting out the best of the best.  It's very difficult when the darling grand-daughters are so cute and photogenic. 
Just a couple more for the record of this year.......

On Wednesday of Christmas week, the family traveled by ferry to San Francisco to see Beach Blanket Babylon. It is a funny satire musical about San Francisco and current events.  It was a gloriously clear day and we had great family fun.

Next it was home to Alameda for dinner at our house and the reading of the Christmas Story and The Night Before Christmas......a family tradition.  This year the stories were read by Makayla and Violet.  My heart swells to see this family tradition carried on to another generation. 

Christmas morning brought Santa surprises, food, family frivolity, swimming in the afternoon (Hey, it's CA!) and Thai food for dinner. 

Now its time for New Year's Eve.  The girls will be coming over to spend the night.  The champagne flutes are washed and ready for some bubbly (Martinellis for girls, Champagne for us).  We go forward into 2015 praying for joy, happiness, peace and goodness to prevail.  Praise God for our many blessings.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Thanksgiving and Birthday Fun

Everyone loves a birthday but it is hard when your birthday falls very near a holiday like Thanksgiving.  This turned out pretty cool for Violet this year.  We celebrated with the family on her actual birthday and then she got to have a second celebration with her friends a week later.  Can't get much better than two birthday parties in your honor. 

First let's not forget Thanksgiving.  This year Jon and Lissa hosted the family plus a neighbor family.
 The birthday girl wanted Butterflies as her theme.  There are lots of activities and ideas for a Butterfly Party and thanks to Auntie Cheryl, we had them all.
 Auntie Cheryl loves flying in to celebrate the birthdays of her two favorite cousins.  We love having her here.
 After the party, there were lots and lots of presents to open from friends and family.
 And speaking of family, here I am with my oldest Jon, father to the darling birthday girl.  Always good to actually get a great picture.

Friday, November 28, 2014

And the Holiday Season begins....

Halloween went by in a flash as the stores hurried to put out Christmas decorations.  Whatever happened to Thanksgiving and Fall decor?  Not to worry.  I have a tub of my own decor items used over the years.  I certainly don't need much new these days. We celebrated at Jon and Lissa's this year with plenty of good food including my pumpkin chiffon pie with coconut crust.....yummmm.  

It is fun to transfer the hosting tradition to Jon's family.  After dinner, the DGDs enjoyed watching Sound of Music while the grown-ups played Scrabble

 All set for company with treat bags put together by Makayla and Violet

 Sound of Music seems to be a holiday tradition for the DGDs.

So now we move on to the Christmas Season.  Time to put away Fall and bring out the Christmas Spirit.  Looking forward to spending some time reflecting on "the reason for the season".  Thankful for all my many blessings.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tribute To Stephen

I began this project in January 2010, not quite a year after Stephen's passing.  I started it in a class at Road To California.  The class was called Making A Grand Entrance and it was taught by Kathy Kansier, a teacher from Missouri.  It was definitely a challenge class for me. After looking at her samples on line, I began to consider what I could make.  I had two photos of Stephen that had  been taken during my time with him.  One was a shadow picture that he took against a tree.  The other was one that I took on an outing to Dana Point.  I took both to class, hoping that the instructor would help me choose.  In the end, I decided that the shadow picture, though interesting, was too sad for me.

I also took along a picture of an arched window from Spain.  I wanted to use it to enclose the picture because Stephen had always wanted to travel to Spain. He was never able to fulfill that desire, but in 2012, his dad and I traveled to Spain with his brother, Jon and his family.

Here is the pattern that I managed to draft for my project.  I pretty much stayed to that size.  A picture of the window that was my inspiration is also shown. 

 I found that I had to be in the mood and feel Stephen "speaking" to me in order to work on this project.  Part of me felt I should get it done.  Part of me wanted for it to marinate and speak to me about what to do next.  The project languished off and on.  I'd work on it a little and then put it away without making much progress. It provided a good opportunity to try out thread painting and quilting skills. 

Below are pictures that might be labeled "in progress. 

I knew I wanted the backing to reflect music so I used up lots of collected musical fat quarters and pieced them in no particular order. 
I played around with the idea of adding foliage of some sort but I could never come up with exactly what I wanted.  For a while I thought about bougainvilla but I didn't feel skillful enough to create something like that.  So it sat, and sat, and sat until one day while looking through a Quit Arts magazine, I saw a quilt about cancer that had a lot of words on it.  I had my ah-ha moment........Stephen's quilt needed words.   
We were coming up on Stephen's birthday on September 15th.  He would have been 38 years old.  I knew what I was going to do that day.  I was going to finish his quilt.  I sequestered myself in my sewing room and went to work.  With Stephen's spirit beside me, I have finished my tribute to my youngest son.  I love you Stephen. 









Monday, October 27, 2014

On The Wall and In The Room

A project finished today!  I bought this material thinking about a sewing machine cover.  My previous sewing machine cover was made 30 years ago with a piece of pre-quilted calico.  It's been time to replace it for awhile.  I even made this one reversible.  Sometimes, a project just makes you happy.  
This one makes me happy and it also cheers up my sewing/office space.

Other projects hang around on the wall waiting for finishing touches.  The two blocks were for practicing machine quilting.  The one on the right was a funky bird block that I didn't like so I cut it up and put it back together.  I call it "Chopped Bird". On the chair is a sandwiched community quilt ready for quilting at Quiltinators.

And finally in the spirit of finishing UFOs, I have finished the Southwest Bear wall quilt that I bought as a kit three years ago in Sedona, Arizona.  What I am going to do with it, I have no idea. 
Also finished four table runners which I gave to my sister, my sister-in-laws and my DDIL. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keeping Busy

It is so nice to have uninterrupted time to sew when I feel like it.  Once again, we are having mild SF Bay summer breezes so heat is never anything we have to deal with.  A little rain might be nice to help out the current drought conditions in California. 

Just posting a few pictures to record my quilting projects. First up is Makayla showing off one of two star blocks that she has made for a quilt that we are working on together.  She is getting quite good at straight line sewing.  I love the days when we are able to sew together.  Grand-daughter fun is the best.
A friend ask me to make her an elegant wristlet for her up-coming cruise.

Tried a new easy peasy technique for a block and then just kept on going

Working off and on on getting this row by row challenge quilted.

That new technique?  Tried it out smaller and made a placemat

A kit bought in Arizona four years ago.  Top finished.

Wristlet sideways with a strap for over the shoulder for the DGDs.