Saturday, January 31, 2009

They're growing!

Here's picture #3 of my Birthday Pot. Sydney spent last night and all day with us today. She was quite amazed at how big the plants are getting. When we watered them this morning, lo and behold! A 7th tiny green point emerged from the pot. It's a tiny greenish white dot in the front right. These may be tulips, maybe hyacinths. I'm not sure. But they've been growing since January 1.

I love spring bulbs. They are so full of promise, so intensely colorful. I noticed that all over the front yard planter, hundreds of tiny green spears are pushing through the soil. These are daffodils planted by Sarah, my oldest child. Sarah planted them in early November 2004, just a few weeks before she passed away suddenly. Daffodils are her birth flower (March) and my absolute favorite. She knew that and planted them for me as an early birthday gift (Jan. 3). They are such a sweet reminder each spring of her thoughtfulness. They make me smile, less bittersweet each year, as time goes by.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sail Away to Alaska

Have you always wanted to go on a cruise? Luscious meals, pampering, exotic destinations, exciting excursions.....and more! how about combining your cruise with a quilting adventure? Wouldn't that make it even better?

Scottie Dog Quilts has teamed up with Royal Caribbean Lines to offer you the trip of a lifetime. We'll be sailing to Alaska August 7-14, 2009. We'll leave from the port of Seattle, WA and travel up Alaska's Inland Passage (that means lots of unforgettable scenery and calm waters!) to several ports. We'll see Skagway, Juneau, the glaciers at Tracy Arm Fjord and spend a day in Victoria, BC.

While the ship is out to sea there will be a variety of quilting classes you can choose from. Teachers will be Liz Scott Adams and BrendaLou Scott from Scottie Dog Quilts and guest
teacher, Bev Harrison of Eugene, OR. Projects will be available for beginning through advanced quilters.

In Skagway you can explore the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic District or take a train ride. There are many tours you can join everything from hiking, to horseback riding, to boating expeditions.

At the Tracy Arm Fjord you might spot an iceberg toppling off the face of a glacier and crashing into the water; the fuzzy silhouette of a whale gliding under the water's surface; or a polar bear searching for prey through a hole in the ice. Alaska is considered by many the last American frontier; see it as it was before men existed.
In Juneau, Alaska's capitol city, you can eat at the Red Dog Saloon, shop at the Rain Tree Quilt Shop for Alaskan themed fabrics, go deep sea fishing and more.
There is still time to sign up. Now that the holidays are over, you might just thing about pampering yourself for a quilting vacation! This is a very reasonably priced cruise and Alaska is magnificent. You can come with a friend or bring along the family. There is lots to keep them busy while you quilt and you can explore the ports-o-call together.
our all inclusive prices are :
Inside Room: $1199.00
Outside Room: $1399.00
Balcony Room: $2049.00

Staterooms are beginning to fill up so if you *think* you might want to go it would pay to put down your FULLY REFUNDABLE deposit as soon as possible.

You can contact our travel agent, MJ Bryant at (888) 278-7875 or email her
It would be so much fun to travel together to Alaska.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pieceful Day

About once a month Angie and Wiezie from All Washed Up host "Pieceful Day" in the tiny Victorian Village of Ferndale just 20 minutes south of Eureka. It is my one chance to just be a "quilter" instead of a "Quilt Shop Owner." Here in pictures is my "Pieceful" weekend. They set up long tables, cutting stations, ironing boards and everything a quilter could ask for. Everyone brings snacks to share (there goes my diet!). I bring Nellie Belle (my trusty featherweight sewing machine named after my maternal Grandma who taught me to quilt so very many years ago), my ott light, hobbico iron, Gingher scissors and I'm ready to sew. I worked on several projects.....Liz got me organized long ago....bring each project already cut out and in a vinyl project bag. I finished several tops all ready for quilting.
This one is a baby quilt for a young gal I used to do day care for nearly 30 years ago! I cut the diamonds on the AccuCut machine and it went together quickly. I put two borders on and after Liz quilts it (green Oh So Soft! on the back) I'll sew down the darling green check "Ruffle Rack" trim. It's from Michael Miller and we've got it in several colors and fabrics.
This red, pink, black & cream Tumbler top was also cut on the AccuCut machine (imagine cutting a queen sized quilt in only 10 minutes!). I am going to straighten up the edges, add a tiny black flange and border it with one of the fabrics....just don't know which one yet. There are always quilts up for inspiration.
Jackie (L) poses with her Lone Star she made in Geri's (R) class. They used QuiltSmart pre-printed interfacing to make it in a snap.
Pam looks on as a proud Cyndee shows off her Lincoln Logs quilt from the book "Laps from Fats." Show and tell is half the fun!
This time there were so many people we had to have tables set up in two rooms! So much creativity in one place. It's awesome.
I sat next to my friend Darlene. She brought her Rag Jacket (pattern by Ami Simms), AKA Michigan Mink. The jacket is beautiful and quite flattering I think. I love these greens.
Linda finished her "French Roses" quilt she started in a class of mine. I love the applique border she added! I'm going to "borrow" this idea for the 2nd one I'm working on. It's for Sydney's big girl bed at my house.
Here's Karen posing with her Lone Star and teacher, Geri. The smiles say it all. The entire weekend was a blast. We ate out at the fabulous Curly's Grill for lunch one day (and I ate the other half of my sandwich on Sat) and dinner the next. Shopping was great too. Ferndale has the cutest shops and art galleries. What fun! Can't wait till next month.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cute Bag!

This cute pyramid bag was made by a friend of mine, Jen Duncan. Jen is one of the most talented people I know. She comes into the shop and I love it when she brings in a project she's finished. She quilts, sews and her house is so very cute...she's painted, stenciled, sewed, recovered and more. I admire her for putting into practice what I dream about.

She's quite an artist and maintains a store at Etsy. Not long ago I saw two things I wanted. I bought a set of journal pages that were from Daly's Department Store in Eureka...they've been closed for years and years and the financial sheets are from 1927-34! The copperplate writing is so precise. All hand written with a fountain pen. The other was a Pyramid Bag is perfect for putting smaller items in my cosmetic bag when I travel.
Thanks Jen, I'm proud to have a JK Duncan original!

Cutting Wood

Many of the people who live in our area heat their homes with wood. Living in such close proximity to the forest and National Forest Lands makes wood gathering and cutting much easier than other areas. With today's efficient wood stoves and virtually no air polution, it makes sense to try to save on heating costs. Especially when you realize that our area of California's Northern Coast (not too far from the Oregon border) never gets hot...seriously, we use our heating system year-round. My house (and Scottie Dog Quilts) doesn't have air fact I don't know a single person in our area who has air conditioning in their home. Temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees year round.

So last Sunday morning Mr. Scottie Dog and I loaded up the pick-up truck and joined Liz, Steve and Sydney on a 2 hour trip to Zenia. Just past the tiny Forest Lookout post we turned off on a tiny road. Before leaving, I asked Bill what the weather was going to be. One of Bill's favorite things to do is check the weather. He always knows what the weather is in Minn. where daughter Beka lives. He knows what the weather will be tomorrow, or the next day, or the weekend. So I thought I was safe asking, "Should I take a coat?" Mr. Scottie Dog said, "It'll be nice, in the high 60's." So I picked up my sweatshirt jacket and I was ready to go.
A minute or two up the tiny road from Zenia we saw snow. Not just a little, enough so that Bill had to get the 4-Wheel Drive active. We still slid around and it took several tries to get past a huge patch of snow. Liz and Steve were up ahead by about 10 minutes and so as we drove up another mile we found them parked in the middle of the road, digging in the snow with Sydney. The road ahead was blocked by a huge snow bank. Now the landscape that the sun reached didn't have snow, but the road in the shade had about a foot of snow. We parked our truck too. Poor Sydney didn't have her boots, only tennis shoes but that didn't stop her from digging in the snow with her little shovel, making "snow castles" and generally having a grand time. My job was to watch her. Bill, Steve and Liz had the hard work. They had to climb a hill and find large downed trees (If you get a permit you can cut 2 cords of wood on the designated National Forest Lands) that were dry but not rotted. Then they had to cut them into 4' sections and roll them down the hill to the road. The really hard part was getting the logs onto the truckbeds or the trailer. My job was to set out lunch. Really hard, right! By then Sydney was wet and cold so we climbed into the cab of the truck and read stories until the gang was ready to go home.
On the drive home the sun set and the silloutes of the trees at dusk along the ridge was absolutely stunning. By 7 pm we pulled into Fortuna for dinner. Twenty minutes we were home. Mr. Scottie Dog delivered the wood in our truck to Liz and Steve's house on Monday. Just keeping the grandchildren warm!

Monday, January 19, 2009

99 Things

Another Blogger, whose blog I follow tagged me. So here's my list of 99 Things. After doing this I am amazed at what I've already done in my lifetime....Counting blessings is even better.

99 Things

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font.

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band. (no sense of rhythm)
4. Visited Hawaii. (most beautiful place on earth!)
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain. (I think my husband fell in love with me then!)9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (only my young grandchildren appreciate my voice!)
11. Bungee jumped. (You have got to be kidding)
12. Visited Paris. (someday)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. (the storm was at sea, I was on shore.)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (quilting, duh!)
15. Adopted a child. (I would have liked to)
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. (remember I Haven't been to Paris!)
20. Slept on an overnight train. (from Kiev to Odessa!)
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping. (Does a hot tub with hubby count?)
27. Run a marathon. (HaHaHaHaHa)
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise. (YOU could go on an Alaskan Cruise with Scottie Dog Quilts!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (I'm easily satisfied)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing. (That would involve way!)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke. (no desire at all)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. (hope I never will!)
47. Had your portrait painted. (well, sketched)
48. Gone deep sea fishing. (at age 10 I got the biggest fish on the boat!)
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (remember, I've never been to Paris!!!!)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie. ( Blue Skies, made for TV movie, mid '80's)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business. (Scottie Dog Quilts)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia. (How about Ukraine?)
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. (I was a Camp Fire Girl!!!!)
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood. (I'd like to, but I have a fear of needles!)
65. Gone sky diving. (HaHaHaHa)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. (I've visited several Holocaust Museums)
67. Bounced a check (not intentionally)
68. Flown in a helicopter. (not yet)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar. (and don't especially want to!)
72. Pieced a quilt. (too many to count)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (how about 15 mph on a Honda90?)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car. (but a used one is such a better deal!)
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating. (if fish count)
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one. (more than 1, sadly)
94. Had a baby. (more than 1, happily!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

Already done – 64
Want to do – 18
Haven’t done, no interest -17

So, what about you???

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birthday Pot: Another View

Here's another picture of my Birthday Pot. There are now 4 green spikes. One is definitely taller than the rest. Any more in there? I'll keep you posted. Any guesses as to what is growing in my pot?

Today Liz and I had a sew day at the store. We are having computer woes (a problem that won't allow us to work on it, but never displays the problem when the techie looks at it! Oh, you sly 'puter) so in any spare minute we had today we worked on our Humboldt County quilt. We've got half of it finished and are well on our way with the top half. It's looking good! We were joined by two of our staff: Laura & Katie. We laughed, told stories, drank diet coke but as soon as they showed up I spent more time ripping than sewing. I'd love to blame them, but I just stopped paying the attention I should have to my project.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My birthday pot

For my birthday my daughter Liz, Steve & little Sydney gave me a beautiful vintage green pot filled with potting soil. (did you think I was going to blog about dope?)

I was instructed to water it. Now 10 days later some green spikes are showing! I water it every other day. I'll keep posting pictures as the view changes.

One of my favorite bloggers, Tanya wrote about me in her blog. I find her perspective inspirational and very interesting.

Our newest pattern

Humboldt County: Where the Redwoods meet the Sea

That's the name of our newest pattern. It is a BOM (Block of the Month) for our store's Scottie Dog Quilt Club. Without borders it measures 48" X 60". We've used patterns from many sources over the years...Thimbleberries, Marti Michele, Quilt Country and more. The local group decided that this year they wanted to do a Row Quilt. After looking together at several options we decided Liz & I would design a star Row Quilt. We were up to the task and about a week before our January meeting (the first Tuesday evening of each month) I showed Liz the star block we should start with.

Liz said she had a germ of an idea and would sketch it out. We should have saved that rough was soooo rough. I took it home and spent a few hours on EQ6 and voila! Our first draft was born, not much different from the quilt you see here. I showed it to Liz the next day and we tweaked a few things. I must admit that the Light house is still not perfect and there will be curved flying geese (sea gulls!) flying across the now-empty sky, but we are so proud of this quilt. One of the interesting things about our design team is that often Liz and I cannot tell where her design begins and mine ends, it is truly a collaborative effort.

The SDQ Club LOVED the quilt. I don't think one person was sorry we'd not done the star row quilt. We have had several inquiries from out-of-towners wanting to get the patterns. You can join the Scottie Dog Quilt Club by mail! Patterns will be sold for a monthly fee of $5 and 50 cents for shipping . Let me know if you are interested. We will be offering kits sometime in the future, but for now, just the patterns are being offered. The patterns are in color and each month you will receive directions for a portion of the quilt.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Aprons & Cinnamon Rolls

At work we now wear aprons. Most of us use Mary Mulari's Church Ladies Apron pattern. Liz has this pink & orange hot number and Sydney wanted one "just like Mama's." So finally yesterday Liz whipped up this cutie pie. One side is the pink & orange stripe and the other is pink with red and orange blossoms. Sydney was proud to show that her hands fit into the pockets, "just right!"

Today we hosted one of my favorite events. We do it every year. A group of us made some quilts for our local Dialysis Patients. We do this in memory of Michele. She thought everyone should have a quilt to warm them during dialysis treatments just like the one her loving mom made for her. So a bunch of us honor Michele (and her mom, Carolyn) by making these quilts on a regular basis.

I brought a crock pot of taco soup, others brought the bread, cookies and Liz made cinnamon rolls....that's twice in one week (she also made them for the Scottie Dog Quilt Club meeting on Tues. night). I can tell you, she's got the touch. My Grandma, Nellie Belle would be proud! Mr. Scottie Dog has been happy to take any left-overs!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Minnesota Zoo

Yesterday Mr. Scottie Dog asked if I wanted the pictures from his camera of our holiday trip to Minnesota. I didn't know we had any more pictures but I thought you might like to see these.
When we first arrived at the zoo we went into the Aquatic Hall. In the center of the Hall is a large pool with small sharks, fish, sea anemone and more. The kids love to roll up their sleeves and get wet ....probably their favorite part. Here's Jakob in the center of the picture.
They had tanks that were huge---room sized with fish bigger than medium-sized children, I thought the hammer-head shark was especially interesting. But I have to tell you that the most facinating creatures of all in the Aquatic Wing were the Sea Horses! They had a tank about 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall with these guys in it. Many different sizes and varieties, colors. They curl and uncurl their tails and climb up the coral and sticks in their tanks.
After seeing all the aquatic life and drying off, we decided to go see the newest exhibit at the zoo, finished last summer. Of course the Russian Grizzly exhibit was OUTDOORS! Remember this is Minnesota. In Winter. Ten Degrees BELOW zero!
So we pulled on the coats, hats, scarves and opened the doors....The blast was frigid. But we persevered and it was fun...not our usual experience at our local Sequoia Park Zoo. Here's what it looked like. Bill, Jakob, Mercedes & I. Beka took this picture.

Russia doesn't have Grizzly Bears... These brown bears were hibernating. We learned that they don't actually go into the deep sleep we've always been taught, but they were constantly moving a bit....licking a paw, scratching an ear and looking right at us. Only a 1" pane of glass separated them from us. I was really impressed. We also saw a snow leopard up close, some foxes, wild boar and more. After about a half an hour we couldn't stand the cold any more so we went back inside. My fingers were beginning to sting and Bill said his feet were getting numb.
We ate lunch in their food court; it was like at a Mall. They had a Pizza place, a burger grill, a Chinese place, salads & sandwiches and an Ice cream joint. Amazing. Then we went to the Rainforest. Several acres INSIDE. At the entrance there was this quilt hanging from the ceiling. It was two sided and had blocks made from Tshirts from zoos all over the USA. It was fun to look at. All in all, we had a blast.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Birthdays & Seafood

Birthdays and Seafood.....what a combination! Since I was a small girl shellfish (and seafood in general) have been on the top of my favorites list. I remember when I was about 8 my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary with a family dinner at home. The dining room was all prettied-up, good dishes & glassware. My parents said they wanted to include us in their celebration because we were such an important part of their marriage. (Who knows--perhaps they just couldn't find a babysitter!) We had lobster for dinner. UMMMM From that day forward, Lobster has remained my favorite food of all. Prawns, scallops a close second. On New Year's Day we celebrated both Christmas and my birthday with Liz, Steve & Sydney. Mr. Scottie Dog grilled prawns & scallops indoors (I don't know what we'd do without the JenAire Grill) and he'd cooked up big crabs. Yum, yum, yum!
Ok...that was my first birthday dinner! Yesterday was my 57th birthday. Definitely still middle age. But creeping towards old, I think. It doesn't bother me this year. I woke up to a call from my Dad & Willa Mae. Dad sang to me as he has for all those years. I look forward to it. It was great to talk to both my brothers and I even got messages from the nieces and nephews on Face Book....a year ago I didn't even know about Face Book and now I hear from all my friends and relatives all the time.
Mr. Scottie Dog asked me if I wanted to go out for my birthday. I told him I'd rather stay in if he'd cook me lobster. I think he does it better than anyone else. I picked up Sydney and we went to the Zoo (I forgot the camera so I don't have any pictures).
The lobster was great and there was enough crab left for crab cocktails. Birthdays and seafood...for me they just seem to go together.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Grandma's Gone....sniff, sniff

I was talking to daughter Beka and she related the following:

Every morning Jakob runs down to the basement bedroom to greet Grandma and Grandpa. They're not there! So he runs upstairs and asks his mom where they are. Beka explains that we got on an airplane and flew to our house far away. He gets really bummed. He wants Grandma to make cookies with him and Grandpa to come play in the snow.

Sniff, sniff. Jakob....we wish we were closer too.