Thursday, August 27, 2009

Off to Asilomar and New Things to Learn and Share

I Packed my makeup, my underwear, the tiaras to give out, my clothes, my snacks, my books to sell and my books to read, fairy gifts to share, my handouts, fabric, rotary cutters and boards and rulers and I wonder what else I forgot.
I am going to -I still have openings in my workshops for next year, right next to the ocean, by lovely shopping, restaurants, deer and beauty and new and old lifetime friends. If you want a great experience, sign up!
Can't wait to show my hippie quilt which is in the works- thank you Molly for the peace signs! They were perfect! Have a great week, everyone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Retreat Plans are coming along nicely

OK, the plans for my Idaho retreat are coming along nicely and the first retreat in May (1,2,3) will be $575. This will include most meals and your hotel room. I have hired someone to cook for us and someone to bake for us also. Both are skilled at this and will make it even more fun.
I have some fun surprises and we hope to end the retreat by going into Coeur d'Alene and having a late lunch or early dinner at the Coeur d'Alene hotel which is fabulous and fun.
Coeur d'Alene has a great quilt shop as well as shopping and restaurants. You might want to come in early to make use of being in a new and beautiful place. The theme of the retreat in May will be all things "hoochy" and we will hand out patterns for dogs, cats, houses, cars and other things and we will also be bringing more samples of regular hoochy blocks, birds, bird houses and many flowers. This is sure to produce great, award winning quilts and just quilts that you love yourself and after all, isn't that more important? It is to ME.
I will announce the price and plans for the August retreat soon also. I left my book in my husband's car. :0) I don't trust my memory any longer. I already have sign up's and think this first retreat will fill fast.
We will have brochures done soon, when I can get them printed and don't have something important like Asilomar (this weekend).
Hope these last few days of summer are bringing you many blessings. I am seeing so many things I am thankful for. What beauty, vegetables, fruits, kids laughter and other things this time of year brings. Thanks for reading my blog. YOU are a blessing to me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Forty Years, Dear Friends, and Fairies in my Garden.....

Happy Anniversary cake that was waiting for us in our home from My daughter Shelbi and her husband. So sweet and thoughtful.

Mark and Mary celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with ice tea and wine and a lovely dinner given to us by our friends Kit and Laurie on beautiful Lopez Island

If you ever go to Lopez, this restaurant had lovely food.

The sunset that night was fabulous as we enjoyed dinner and memories.

I took a photo of Kit, Curt, Joan, Laurie and Mark as we visited downtown and Saturday Market. We have all been friends for many years and we have been married 40 years (us), 37 years and 38 years (them) and I think that is pretty good. :0)

So, this is what Saturday Market is like in downtown Lopez. It is different from any other Saturday Market (I think). Cool stuff and creative too.

Have you ever had cosmic crepes? Well, here is the place.

The vegies sold at this Market were wonderful as are most vegetables sold in Western Washington and the San Juans...

Above- talk about color! Inspiration for any quilt, painting or just eating and cooking or visa versa --------Below is one of the lovely desserts Laurie prepared for us at her home. She is the best cook in the world and a hostess with the very mostest (no kidding)

I have talked about Holly Bee's cinnamon rolls- they are fab00-a must try is you visit Lopez

Laurie made us all individual omelets one morning and had this fruit bowl on the table-yum

Each night Laurie had a different lovely meal for us and one night we played "Apples to Apples"-great fun with close friends- this would be a fun game for anyone you have over

Time to go home on the ferry to Anacortes
So, the day before that, my little Granddaughter (the fairy) came to visit and play-what fun!

My yard is totally filled with brown eyes Susan flowers, hydrangeas of different colors, roses and alot of plants that need dead heading after the heat a couple of weeks ago.

I consider myself so blessed with family and friends. Thank you for coming and visiting my blog. If you like it please pass the word along to friends. I have six (yes six now) quilts in the works and will have lots of new things by the end of the year along with my NEW book! Stay tuned for the cover and back cover on this blog. If you want the secrets to being creative, this book is for you. Also stay tuned for more information on my Happy Go Lucky Retreats next year....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

COOL Salsa for a HOT Day

So, the weather is still sort of warm here and the oven is off limits until it cools down. I made this salsa for family and it is wonderful with chips or bread. Enjoy.
Too Hot to Cook Salsa
1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn kernels (make sure this is a good brand, thawed
1 large can ripe olives, drained and sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet walla walla onion (or your choice), chopped small
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cupgood virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon beau monde seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 or 5 ripe avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
If you like a little heat, add some jalapeno peppers and/or some tabasco sauce to spice it up
In a large bowl, mix corn, olives, red bell pepper and onion.
In a another bowl, mix garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cider vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour into the corn mixture and toss to coat. OPTIONAL-Add jalapeno peppers or tabasco. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
Stir avocados into the mixture before serving. YUM

A Secret I teach in my workshops

So, do I use a thimble for the hours and hours of applique I do? No! I like to feel the needle for better control and long ago, I found that if I went to the drugstore and bought COBAN in the two inch wide size, I had the perfect thimble anytime I wanted to sew and I had great control and could throw away the piece I was using when I was done.
For a fresh piece, do this. Cut off a 2 and 1/2 inch or so piece of coban. Then take your thimble finger and hold you palm face up, Lay your finger down on the coban piece and wrap it onto itself so that it is all around your finger and sticking to itself. Now with the piece that is overlap on the top of your finger (about an inch or so) fold it onto the flesh side of your finger not the nail side. Squeeze it so it is all down nice and patt and begin sewing. The needle does not go through the coban and it is wonderful. After awhile you might find that you have an icky piece on your finger as it picked up color, thread and little junk from your project. Simply throw that piece away and treat yourself to a glass of water to drink and a new piece of Coban on your finger.
I have been doing this for years and it is slick! By the way, I find that the ugly brown stuff works better than the prettier colors. This might not be the case for everyone but that is what I think.
Hope you try it and love it as much as I do!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Duncan Gardens at Manito Park shows it's glory

There were seven weddings that we counted this day at Duncan Gardens in Spokane. Mel flew into Spokane for the cupcake retreat and I took her out to see the sites including this lovely park and then Coeur d'Alene.

These are just a couple of roses from the thousands on rose hill.

If you visit the conservatory at Duncan Gardens you will be delighted at the hundreds of plants and sites there.

Color galore!

And patterns that give rise to lots of creative possibilities!

Color and texture too!

Aren't these incredible?

And finally another lovely view of Duncan Gardens.

If you ever visit Spokane, put this park (Manito) on your list to see.

Cupcake retreat gives me new creativity, thankfulness and joy

Mutiny Bay on Whidbey Island turns out to be the perfect spot to enjoy sewing and friendship and cupcakes....even though the temperature this year was either 100 or darn close.

This is what we were treated to each night on Whidbey Island-all of us very greatful....

Mel's Maui quilt ready to applique.......a GREAT story and colors, fabrics and theme......

Mel got her story quilt all put together with a Hoochy Mama border. It is going to be of her sons at the beach and will be a great memory quilt. Wish it was done in time for my book....oh well, it will be ready for the next one. So many good stories from my friends.

Above is one of the cool hoochy blocks Mel did with great fabrics.

The line up of Berninas- we are all Bernina girls.
My stash and my sewing machine ready to go........ plus a keen pin cushion of a cupcake that Laurie made for each of cool and a memory too!
Below, a lovely and delicious dinner prepared by Susan......

Eilene plans her quilts,recipes, measurements and Joe's pillowcase.......

Eilene gave us all tea towels for a gift and then buttonholed a cupcake out of her fabrics that we chose- then we use my glitzer to add some sparkle. A super memory

Just one of Laurie's many quilts she made. She is doing a complicated one with fabulous colors that I didn't get a photo of......I have another chance when I see her in two weeks on Lopez Island. It will be my 40th anniversary with Mark....I can't believe I can be so young and so old too.
Susan's Aprons she made

Below is one of my four projects I brought. I am working on a series of plaid quilts so I can teach "Plaid to Meet You." This is just a few of the many buildings I made- they remind me of Pacific Grove- that is the city I will move to when I win the lotto. :0)

The fabric below was a true find! Eilene's husband works for UPS-she made him a pillow case and we thought she should make curtains, shirts, quilts and anything else. It was so fun to find this fabric in Langley.
Mel is working hard on covers for our journals-Susan gave us fabric that has French things and we both love France so she offered to make the journals for us-she is a sewer with the mostest!

Here are the girls chowing down on a great first meal that Laurie made- fabulous!

Mel and Eilene- I am not sure why Eilene is not smiling but I think she doesn't like my outfit....

Here are five happy girls after a week of fun on the beach and at our machines and plates. We stopped a little girl on the beach to take our photo...very sweet. We gave her our cupcake serving plate and made her an honorary "cupcake"
My turn to cook with Mel and we make shrimp noodle salad- noodles with red peppers, yellow peppers, cashews, celery, basil, scallions and peanut sauce- My favorite is "Rock City" sauce-yum yum

Time to pack up and go home....where did the time go and why so fast???

The back seat of my room for hitch hikers.....or new furniture either......

Our trunk is more than full and so is the backseat of the car for only two people- quilter's and sewing people have to be prepared.........right?
SOOOOOOO, my battery light went on when we were going to the ferry and then luckily my car started up after the ferry got us to Seattle and so we drove to "Quilts Northwest" a large shop in Bellvue that has fabric and beads. We called AAA and our alternater was a goner. So here the guy from Jordon puts it on his truck and tells us his life story (interesting) and drops us off at the car place. There were hear the mechanics life story and how he is ADD and ADHD and the foods he eats and about his 2 year old and how his in law's hate him and he drops us off at the mall and we go to the Bellvue museum, California Pizza Kitchen and then have ice cream as I wonder how much weight I put on this week. Shhesh. Good time and then the mechanic picks us up asks for $500 and we are on our way with air conditioning working well and the car buzzing along nicely.
Bellevue Art museum outside- nice chalk drawing of Seraut's work.
Another lovely time with women I have come to love like family and lots to look back on, enjoy things we made and remember another good year.