Sunday, September 11, 2016

Where Is She Now?

In the last couple of days, I have received some emails regarding my L-O-N-G neglected but probably not officially abandoned blog.  It seems that Jo of Jo's Country Junction recently had a post on English paper piecing with reference to an English paper piecing journey that I shared over the years here.  She wondered where I went and her darling readers took action to find out for themselves.
It has been nearly two full years since I published a post.  Though when I signed in, I found that I had a post in draft mode from just about a year ago that I never quite finished.  In my defense, my Smart Phone just got to be too dang smart and I quit using the computer almost completely.  I soon found that blogging was not intuitive from a smart phone app.  I struggled to size photos and get them in the right spot  . . . . and I just gave up. 
I know there are gals out there (like Jo) who continue to keep the blogging world alive.  But I was charmed by Facebook with its opportunity to drop a quick line and a picture.  Then along came Instagram - shiny, fast, new and those delightful ####'s are such fun to make up.  Even though this blog is read around the world, I was able to keep anonymity by selecting a nom de plume for myself and nicknames to protect the innocence of family and friends that might not choose such renown. For a very long time, I kept (and to a certain degree I still do) those two worlds apart.  Those in the blogging community really had no idea who I am.  Those in my real world life often didn't know that I had a secret identity on the world wide web.  I finally just found it too difficult to keep up in both worlds.  And there you have it.  But I didn't just sail off into the sunset.
So what have I been up to?  Back in late 2012, Hubby had open-heart surgery to correct some defects he had had since birth.  During the seven days he was hospitalized, we saw a LOT of sick people.  Some like Hubby who had problems that had been with them all of their lives.  And some that came as a result of lifestyle choices.  We determined that we were quite fortunate that his problems could be addressed and repaired.  Still we could not be smug that lifestyle choices were not the issue, we needed to make serious changes in diet and lifestyle so that we would not have to return to the cardiac wing.
On the advice of his surgeon and cardiologist, we started walking.  The goal was to walk 3-4 times per day totaling an hour of walking until stamina was such that we could walk for one hour.  The progress was fun to watch as we were able to go further and further in that hour and sometimes longer.  We started signing up for races a 5k here or a 10k there.  I joined the gym.  A year later I quit the gym.  I am NOT a gym person.  But the walking continues.  In 2015, I set a goal to complete a 5k, 10k and half marathon during the year.  I did that and more  . . . . and then ended up with plantar fasciitis which has made 2016 somewhat less successful, but I think I'm back on track.

Leukemia Lymphoma Light The Night Charity Walk

Disneyland 10K - Old School Mouseketeers

Carlsbad Half Marathon Finishers
We are fond of saying, "If not now, when?"  And with that new motto has come travel.  We continue our quest to visit each of the 50 states.  Only three to go, but some we keep returning to visit.  And there is so much to see just right here in our beloved California that we don't always get very far for adventure.

San Francisco

Yellowstone - Old Faithful

Maui with Santa
 We also know that time is our most precious gift.  Hubby and I have not exchanged gifts for a number of years.  About 3 years ago, we got The Princess and her Hubs on board, too.  Now we plan events where we can try something new, enjoy each others company and make memories.  We have tried archery, bowling, cooking classes, sporting events to name a few.

Haunted Gingerbread Houses

Haunted Gingerbread Houses

Escape Room Challenge
 With all of that going on, quilting got pushed to the side.  I really feared that I was losing my passion for quilting, but couldn't bear to give up my stash or the hope that someday that urge would come back.  The quilts that I did make were decidedly NOT me.  I made gifts for special people in my life.  While I sometimes found the fabric choices well outside of my wheelhouse, I did find great joy in the making of these special quilts.

Welcoming New Kids To The Family

For Loving Comfort During Chemotherapy and Bone Marrow Transplant

A Modern Quilt For A Modern Girl
 I did manage to pull off a couple that sang to my heart as well.

Quilt Pal Block Exchange - Cheri Payne Design

A Penny Saved - Nancy Moore Design

Stash Busting Attempt - Nice Quilt, Still Too Much Fabric

Home Sweet Home
You can see that I have kept myself quite busy.  Larkin is all grown up and my partner in daily crimes (Thanks Blogger for making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to share a photo of my darling doggy here). Like my hairstyles, life is ever changing.  I will, for the time being, continue to leave my blog public.  I know that folks still stop by to look at photos of projects for inspiration.  Those English paper piecing quilts have been 'pinned' a lot on Pintrest.  I never know when the bug to tell a story might come upon me.  Heck I like to check in to look at a photo myself from time to time.
Happy quilting everyone.  Now get out there and enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Let's talk about fabric.  It makes me happy.  I have a lot of fabric in my stash.  Sometimes, too much.  And I have come to the conclusion that this fact has become a hindrance to my overall quilting life.  And it's not so much the yardage that I'm talking about, it's the scraps.  I cannot seem to use them up.  I cannot bring myself to throw them away *gasp*  And I think they are reproducing in the nighttime when I'm not looking.
Recently I came across this video on Pintrest.  I pulled out a box of strips and decided to give it a go.
It works!  The two balls in the foreground represent about 3 hours of twisting.  As you can see, the bin STILL overfloweth.  But there's hope.  Now to decide what to do with my cord.  So far I have come up with:  The balls will look cute in a bowl or basket as they are.  The cord will make nice garland on a Christmas tree.  I can use the cord instead of ribbons on gifts.  I'd love for you all to chime in with your ideas  . . . . as you can see, I'm going to have a LOT of cord.

Monday, January 05, 2015

The interior painting continues,  but it looks like everything will be complete by the week's end. Here's a look at the before and after on the staircase. Because I couldn't wait to share,  I staged the hexagon quilt for the photo.  My plan is to hang it on that wall. Now if only the new Roman shades we ordered back on November 30 would arrive.  I called today (the last predicted date of receipt) to learn they should ship next week. I'm just reminding myself once they are here and up, I won't remember they were delayed.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Out with the old and in with the new. I've not been one to make New Year's resolutions.  It seems we often set lofty,  unrealistic,  unattainable goals that are usually given up before January's end - if not before.
2015 will be no different - no 'resolutions', but I found a list on Pintrest that I tweaked a little. I hope to work on these making them habits by the end of the year. Some I already do, but want to reinforce. Others will take some work and a bit of persistence.
Thank you for sticking with me during the blogging drought of 2014. Wishing you all the best in 2015 - I'll see you on the 'net!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

With the outside done, it's now time to commit to the inside.  In preparation,  I've started taking things down and moving things away from walls. This led to 'The Washing Of The Quilts'. These two piles represent the entry-way and staircase.  I think maybe we should sleep under each one again. That should make for some sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Now that's better! The last brush strokes went on the front door this morning.  I love having some color on the exterior.  Better yet - the neighbors all seem happy,  too. I admit I was a bit worried. Most of the homes are very neutral relying on the tile roofs for their *pop* of color.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My fabric stash saved the day! We are about to paint the exterior of our home. Choosing colors was a bit of an agonizing process.  I want color, the rest of the neighborhood is pretty neutral.  Finally settled on the gold for the body of the house, terra cotta for trim and green for doors/accents. We made selections from paint chips and brushed on some samples.  That green just wasn't right (the lightest).  So I dug through my fabric for the shade I wanted (the darkest). Prep work begins tomorrow.  This time next week, we should be bathed in color!