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

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Annual Beach Trip

The Annual Beach Trip to Carpinteria happened for the fourth year.  The DGDs drove down with me and we arrived in time to meet Aunty Cheryl.  Lissa joined us by Tuesday afternoon. To make the week all the more wonderful, my good friends La Donna and Bill Readmond were in Carpinteria for the month so we got in lots of girlfriend time with walks on the beach.  I didn't do too much sewing or have much alone time this year but that was okay.  Being with friends and family was so wonderful, relaxing and good for my soul.

Plenty of tree climbing happened whenever the opportunity arose.

Made sure to get in lots of ice cream eating

Cheryl enjoyed the walks in the sunshine.

Good friends gathered to share and laugh

School Teacher friends from Agua Dulce Days
The Readmonds are such dear, dear friends

A little fabric was bought here

Carpinteria......the best beach experience in Southern California
I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to travel to places like this and to renew friendships.  The ocean is such a restoring place for the busyness of life.

Friday, April 1, 2016

My Space

Spring is here and the urge to clean out, dust, and organize has bitten me.  I don't even want to think about how much dust had accumulated in my sewing/office space.  Needless to say, I was forced to take an allergy pill due to the persistent sneezing. I brought DH in for a consult and hopefully future plans will include re-organizing and sprucing up the ironing/workspace area.  
 The ironing board worked as an initial base for a work station but the crossed legs leave too much dead space for good storage.  I am envisioning a set of IKEA bookcases or cubbies to replace the ironing board base.
 I would also like to improve lighting someday.  Right now, I use alot of Ott lights in various places.  Ideally, overhead lighting would be nice.
I still love my IKEA cubbies.  I seem to be constantly rearranging stuff in them.  They are nice and accessible and hold a lot.  Keeping the closet covered with a curtain is a great idea.  Unfortunately, lots of clutter  behind the curtain.  

It is my space, not perfect but there is always the dining room table for big projects. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Conference Bag #2 -- Whoo Hoo!

A couple of months ago I made a Conference Bag from a website called So Sew Easy.  It was available through a series of video tutorials but there weren't any directions to print.  But the pattern and directions are available forever once you order so you can make it again and again. Here is my first one.  I used fabric I liked but I made the mistake of using stripes for the lining and not having enough fabric.  Making mistakes while cutting didn't help.  I pieced fabric together but I wasn't thrilled with the result.  I knew I wanted to make another one using the skills I learned on the first.  This first one does work nicely as a tote for my books and materials for Bible Study.
First attempt in cheery red with a rainbow striped lining
So while at Road to California, I bought material specifically to make another Conference Bag.  This time I wanted a little more sophisticated look.  Over this last weekend, I began the project.  It was time consuming but I wanted to take my time and make sure I was cutting and labeling everything correctly.  Once the cutting is done, the sewing doesn't seem as daunting.  I worked on the sewing over two days and I finished this afternoon.  I added a magnetic closure for the front pocket because I found without a closure, it wants to lean open.  All in all I am happy and now I have a new purse/bag. 
Second attempt a little more sophisticated with a magnetic closure on the front pocket

Friday, January 29, 2016

Road to California 2016 Report

Back from my annual trip to Ontario, California for a quilt conference and show.  I add mini-retreat to it by bringing projects and my sewing machine so I can sew in my hotel room.  My dear friend, Linda Kussoy usually joins me for a few days. 
Enjoy dinner with other quilter friends
A little gift for Linda from fabric that she bought for me last year

Same fabric used to make a tote for me
I managed to not fill my tote too full but I did shop the vendors over two days.  The biggest purchase was a sewing machine table for Makayla and Violet.  I gave them a sewing machine for Christmas.  I bought a bit of fabric, a stitch in the ditch foot for my Bernina walking foot, some thread....but that is about all. 
I only took one class.  The piecing was easy but the layout was a little tricky.  The class was called Incline from a pattern by Natalia Bonner in her book, Cabin Fever.  She was friendly and knowledgeable and the class was fun.  The best part was finding out I was sitting right across from a friend from Friendship Star Quilt Guild.  We renewed friendships and caught up on our lives over the last 6 years.  There was a real blizzard going on in Maryland while we were sewing up a storm in sunny California. 

Teacher, Natalia Bonner and me
Just today I finished up the squares
 My in the room project was paper-pieced stars.  I used a book from Carol Doak that had been sitting on my book shelf for several years.  In the back of my mind, I had always wanted to make a quilt with stars.  I am seeing this as a year long project to make 12 star blocks.  I'm ahead of the game with three made already.  One a month should do it. 

Two stars finished at Road.  Another one already done at home
And I did take time to actually see the show.  I am not one to take a lot of pictures.  As usual the quilts were stunning examples of the creative quilting spirit that abounds today.  So glad to have the health and resources to be able to travel to this show.  It renews my energies each year as I leave rainy, cold NoCA and travel to SoCA. 

And just for fun I wore my sewing theme PJs each night as I sewed.  They were a gift from my dear daughter-in-law, Lissa for Christmas. No picture.  Picture is on the iPad and hasn't been transferred to the computer.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thanksgiving, Bathroom Re-do and Christmas..... Finishing up 2015

Time to finish up the year of this blog and send it off to the printer.  I might miss a few things and pictures but I'll do my best.

This year we traveled (as we often do) to Southern California for Thanksgiving. We had family fun playing miniature golf, shopping and just being together.

Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we went to an amazing miniature golf course which was very near our hotel. First, lunch with a bunch then eight people playing miniature golf.  We declined keeping score and everyone had fun giggling our way through the course.

Thanksgiving afternoon, we went to DeBell Golf Course for a brunch with Jim's family.  Our BIL, Dick, has been recovering from heart issues so he wasn't able to join us.
Cheryl and David

The three Sorenson sibs....Cathy, Dennis, Jim

The Sorenson family

Jon and Lissa

The three cousins...Jon, Cheryl, Darryl
The two DGDs.....Makayla and Violet
Thanksgiving evening, we went to Lissa's Aunt Nina's home in Pacific Palisades for another gathering of family and friends.  The meal was more traditional this time.  Aunt Nina lives in a location that affords a beautiful view looking out toward the Pacific Ocean.
Sunset view from the deck in Pacific Palisades

One of several tables set for guests.
Home from the Thanksgiving holidays and it was time to get out the Christmas decorations.  I pretty much do the same thing every year.  I like the tradition and I find that the DGDs do, also.  We added new lights to our atrium so everything is bright and beautiful and festive. 
Atrium decked out for the holidays
Santas on the mantle.....a holiday tradition

The precious from Jean and Roy

New Nativity....handcrafted in from Jon, Lissa and DGDs

Etagere decked out with its houses and a Nutcracker standing guard

And to finish off the decor for the season, I had fun decorating the newly finished bathroom up-date.  It is just what we wanted.  A simple update of cabinets, counter-top, and sink.  Very happy with the results. 
Lovely guest bathroom
And that wraps it up for 2015.  Christmas day doings and New Year's festivities will be recorded in next year's book.  It's been a busy year as always and I am blessed to be alive to enjoy friends, family, activities and all that God grants me. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

And November is Upon Us

I am a little early with my Christmas Blog Banner but if I don't do it now while the idea strikes, it won't get done.  

November is birthday month in the Sorenson family.  Jim starts us off on November 5th.  He seems amazed that he is 68 already.  I think that it is because past 65, you start looking at 70. Since his actual birthday was full of activities like a bathroom demolition and a dentist appointment, we delayed birthday dinner to Sunday night.  He chose the predictable Hana Japan since it works well for everyone including the DGDs. 

We have once again embarked on a bathroom remodel.  This time it is more of an up-date than a complete do-over like the master bath.  We have kept the toilet, tub, and flooring.  We are just replacing the cabinet, medicine cabinet and counter-top.  As of this writing, it is still a work in progress but it is moving quickly and might actually be done by the end of this week. 

I am currently working on a Quilt of Valor quilt that undoubtedly is going to take me longer than I think.  I have also used up some fabric stash to make some community quilts for babies/toddlers. The two pictures below are of a scrap quilt that I am making and some trick or treat bags for the DGDs.

 Just so I make sure I document it, I am including a picture of myself and my first cousin once removed, Anna Cleavland.  She is my dad's first cousin.  We caught up with her at the Callaway Family Association Meeting in October at Callaway Gardens.  She is about 3 years older than me so she didn't really know her cousin, my dad.
 And to finish this post, a lovely fall picture near my living room window.  Notice the lovely blooming cactus.  That would be a "Christmas" cactus. Guess it doesn't know how to tell time since I took this picture on Halloween.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hanging Out With "The Relatives"

We just got back from a two week trip to South Carolina and Georgia.  Fortunately we stayed ahead of the floods, rain and wind of Hurricane Joaquin.  We were traveling north from Aiken, S.C. to Ashville, N.C.  We had rain but not torrents of it. 
Located in Williston Cemetery in Williston, S.C.
First off, was the obligatory stop at a cemetery to find a long lost relative.  This is one of my gggGrandfathers - Richard Hankinson -  on the Callaway side of the family.  The cemetery stone was in Barnwell, S.C. but it had been moved from an area that the government took over for a nuclear plant.  His wife's would have been there also but it was not readable or in good shape when the time came to move the stones.

While still in South Carolina (before the Biblical rains!) we also stopped at an historic plantation village called Historic Brattonsville.  It was a very pretty setting and gave lots of good historical information.
Very typical grand plantation house of the mid-19th century

I enjoyed talking with this women demonstrating weaving at Brattonsville

We went on to two nights in Asheville, N.C. where it did rain most of the day.  We managed to get up to the visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway and to the Folk Art Center.  We had been to Biltmore twice before so we didn't go there.  No pictures to share of this place.  Asheville is always one of my favorite places.

Back in Atlanta, we visited one afternoon with one of my second cousins once removed, Dwaan Callaway Black.  His mother and my father were first cousins.  He shared some family stories and we took pictures of some family memorabilia that he has.
These plates were a wedding gift to my Great Grandmother, Leslie whom I am named after

They were handed down to her son William R. and to his grandson, Dwaan

The bedroom set bought as a gift by Charles W. Hurst for his daughter, Leslie Jane and her husband, William R. Callaway

Under the marble top is the original shipping label

The bedside stand that goes with the set
The next day it was off to the hills of North Georgia to visit the Thurmonds.  Jodi was head of school of Seneca Academy in Maryland where I had worked for 9 years.  Thanks to our GPS, we went the "back roads way" and so we saw this as we drove along a gravel road.......
At this point, we thought we were lost but about a mile up the road we found the paved road we needed.
Jodi and Paul have a lovely house with an incredible view in Jasper, GA.  They treated us to a nice lunch and a drive throughout the area.  So fun to catch up with friends.
A little overcast but beautiful all the same

Jodi and me catching up on life, grandchildren and school happenings
And the final leg of the trip was to Pine Mountain, GA for the Callaway Family Association meeting.  They are celebrating 40 years as an organization.  About 115 people came over the course of the weekend.  We toured Hills and Dales and visited the Troup County archives and museum.  We ate lots of good food, attended interesting meetings and caught up with "the relatives.
So Cool!!!!!!

Fuller Earle Callaway Monument in LaGrange, GA

Callaway Monument close-up, modeled after the Campanile in Venice

Hills and Dales, the Fuller Callaway Estate in La Grange, GA