Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Canada Day & 4th of July

Tomorrow, July 1 is Canada Day. My son-in-law Jason is Canadian so Happy Canada Day. eh! I suppose that makes my grandchildren Jakob and Mercedes (and baby bean due February 13, 2010) Canadian too.....well, 1/2 Canadian. I imagine that like July 4, Fireworks are part of the Canada Day holiday traditions, so I was thinking of a couple of young guys whose comedy I enjoy on the Internet. Rhett & Link are pretty funny guys.

So in honor of both Canada Day and upcoming 4th of July take a minute and watch the Fireworks song. It should give you a chuckle and if you are a guy it will probably make you wish you lived in South Carolina.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Guess Who Came for Dinner!

Mr. Scottie Dog has been busy of late fixing all manner of big and small jobs around our house. For the past few days he's been replacing rotted or damaged siding on the backside of the house. While getting some tools he heard rustling of someone/thing large in the back yard.

There was a yearling deer in the garden munching on our roses, dianthus, salal and more. Mr. Dog has been babying some Easter Lilies in pots (he always saves them and so we have some about to bloom) and while he took in the pots (couldn't let the deer munch the soon to bloom blossoms) he grabbed the camera.

I like this shot of the deer peeking out....who me?
As you can see, this part of the garden is pretty wild with some plants being planted (camellia, dianthus, fushia, passion flower vine, rhododendron & Cecil Bruener rose) but the ferns, salal, huckleberry, blackberry (really Himalaya berry) are natives and grow everywhere.

This area has actual grass growing but just a few feet to the right the grass has been invaded by blue star creeper. I planted a little of that years ago by the pond and it has taken over the grass. I think it's beautiful. I'm hoping someday it will take over completely. I like the wild look---it does take "some" upkeep, but not too much.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wallet & Grommet

Thursday night I gathered a bunch of my friends (and store employees) to make bags using a new pattern I had tried and liked. These are talented and creative women so I knew they'd come up with beauties. The pattern is called "Wallet & Grommet" by Debbie Bowles of Maple Island Quilts (remember her from "Eureka!" pattern we made in Minnesota).
Cute pattern, huh?

The classroom was turned into a little sweat shop here with Lynn on the iron and Katie sewing away on her bag.

Larissa made her bag much bigger and added a strip of textured fabric, turned down the top and added a tabbed D-ring for her keys.

This is my finished bag....2" bigger and taller than the original and my lower bag uses "Texture Magic" to create the shirred fabric. This stuff is really magic. You use a steam iron to shrink it 30% and create the shirring. Come into the store to see the samples.
Can't wait to see all the bags

Friday, June 26, 2009

We went to the Fair!

The Redwood Acres Fair is in full swing in Eureka, CA! Tuesday afternoon I was supposed to go to the Fairgrounds and choose the awards Scottie Dog Quilts gives for quilting. We give $50 to the quilt we judge for Best Use Of Color for adults and $25 for children. Well, one thing led to another and I confess, I forgot to go. A call at 5 pm reminded me and so I made arrangements to go at noon on Wednesday AFTER the Fair began.

Sydney was glad to go with Grandma! She helped pick the quilts and then we had an hour to enjoy the fair. If you are 4 years old and you have an hour what do you do?
You ride the Merry-go-round, up and down, round and round. This is a small fair so the ride operators actually give a decently timed ride.

Then it was a time for a puppet show...Sydney loved it and sat, laughed and clapped for one half hour.

It was then time for another ride...this time Sydney chose to ride in a "combertable" like her friend Judy owns...but Syd made sure to note that Judy's "combertable" was white and she was riding a black one.

A stop at the concession stand to buy Cotton Candy and we were back to the Quilt Shop. Syd wouldn't eat her Cotton Candy until she got back to the store so she could share with Mama. Most of the bag, though, went home with her so she could share with Daddy. Sydney is a Daddy's girl for sure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's Up Lately

I've been busy lately, our store is gearing up for several events:

  • Quilt Camp begins this Friday. It's Day Camp for Quilters! Meals are provided (one night we treat them to dinner at Rita's, a great Mexican place a block away) and we quilt from morning till night! The project we'll be doing this time is "Sweet" and they ladies will be learning to applique curves by machine!

  • Redwood Empire Quilters Guild is having their big, every other year Quilt Show July 18 & 19 at Redwood Acres Fairground in Eureka, CA. They'll have nearly 300 quilts this year and many vendors including Scottie Dog Quilts. It's a big job vending at a quilt show and it takes weeks of hard work to pull it off. Come by our booth for wonderful new things, coupons for great discounts at the store and a big hello!

  • Scottie Dog Quilts Alaskan Quilting Cruise August 7-14! We are so very excited as we sail in only six and a half weeks. There are so many details to iron out, so many plans to complete, quilting projects to finish (I've finished mine....just ironing out the teaching details!). We are gathering door prizes.....pretty fabulous! We still have room if you have been thinking about it!

Sydney has started gymnastics. She seems to spend most of her time upside down!

Head stands, somersaults, bars, frog hopping and more. UP.....
and DOWN!

Doesn't her smile say it all!
Last weekend Liz and family and her friend Larissa & family went to a very isolated campground called Watts Lake. We decided to come up for Father's Day Lunch. There are several ways to get to Watts Lake and Mr. Scottie Dog decided to take a short cut.....instead of 2 hours and 10 minutes our short cut took 3 hours and 5 minutes. Well, the map didn't show our route was mostly dirt road! Once we got off Highway 101 we saw 3 cars and lots of cows in the last 2 hours of driving. We drove from Meyers Flat through Ft. Seward, Alderpoint, Zenia....these towns flourished in days gone by...way by. When stagecoaches went through and logging boomed in the Redwoods these towns boomed. Now I suspect it is an agricultural product that booms in these parts...some cattle ranches, but Humboldt Gold is probably the main crop.
Here are 3 cuties (L to R: Kaia, Sydney & Emma) not 3 peas in a pod but 3 pink princesses on a log! By the way, Wyatt lake is not much bigger than the lot our house sits on!

We cooked burgers & dogs over the campfire and celebrated Mr. Scottie Dog's birthday with a cake and candles that wouldn't stay lit. Later we had some fun around the campfire, I beat Mr. Scottie Dog at Chinese Checkers (that's got to be a first!!!!), Syd roasted marshmallows and we ended up staying the night sleeping in the back of the Tahoe....next time I'll remember to bring the trailer!

Back home Monday and classes to teach....and that is what's up lately.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday Birthday

June 16, 1949. Mr. Scottie Dog was born. He was a cutie with lots and lots of black hair that fell out when he was about a month old. Then his hair grew in blond. 60 years ago. I met him when I was 18 and he was an "old man" of 21. One week later we were engaged.

Tonight I had a class which ended at 9 pm and I got the store closed up about 9:20 pm. Back at home I started making Baklava for the birthday. One pan for Mr. Dog and his Accordion Club and one pan for my Tuesday Morning Quilting class. It's 11:02 right now and it will be done in about 30 minutes.

Happy Birthday Mr. Scottie Dog, I love you even more at 60 than I did when you were 21!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Samantha's Graduation

Today I was invited to attend the high school graduation ceremony of Samantha. She is an amazing young woman I've had the privilege of knowing for the past 6 or 7 years. Sam was Valedictorian of her class. Pretty amazing in itself, but you see last week Samantha graduated from Jr. College.

It seems just like last month that Sam and her mom, Crystal, told us that she was applying to Academy of the Redwoods. Bill and Melinda Gates had given $$ for the start up of a local academy which would have those interested and motivated students go to high school AND college at the same time on the same campus. In Jr. High Samantha had begun working a little now and again at Scottie Dog Quilts and at one Quilt Show we were vending at she stepped up to the computer/register for a moment and then I stepped back and let HER do all the work. So I was asked to write a letter of recommendation for Samantha for this new school.

Some people thought this school would be fabulous for Sam and what a great opportunity and others said she'd miss out on all the fun a regular high school would bring. Samantha was focused on her studies AND having a great time, surrounding her with friends and good times too. Rarely have I known anyone her age with such talent, intelligence, grace, poise, maturity and the ability to relate to both her peers and adults so well.

So last week Samantha graduated with honors from College of the Redwoods and today from high school. Some say it might be a let down....after delivering her Valedictorian Speech, Sam met with friends and family (I was honored to be among those!) for a celebratory dinner and then with glowing face she and two friends ran off to the high school's Safe and Sober Graduation Party. Samantha will go far and be at ease in any situation she finds herself in.

September will be here soon enough and Sammy will be off to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo where she was admitted as a Junior with honors and continuing with her dream of becoming an Architectural Engineer. Congratulations Samantha for a job well done. I wish you the best and am so very proud of you. And Crystal.....the empty nest is fast approaching.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More toy drops!

Today I took Sydney to the zoo....we do that every once in awhile. Eureka is not a big town, but we have our own zoo. Up until last year it was free. Now you can buy a membership (I bought the Grandparent Membership. Two adults and two under 18 can get in on the membership. Cost only $49/year) and last year Sydney and I were the first ones to buy such a membership. Read about it here.

While we were at the zoo we made two different toy drops for The Toy Society. First off while we visited the gibbons and the spider monkeys we left "Angus" the second little felt Scottie Dog I made.

We left Angus on a bench called "Brayden's Bench" in honor of a little boy who lived and passed on in little more than a year. His memory is honored with that bench.

No one was around when we left it and after watching the bears sleep, the golden tamarins, the ravens, the flamingos and the birds in the aviary Sydney decided that it was time for ice cream....strawberry!

While Sydney licked her cone we spied a little boy and his grandma....he was holding our little Scottie and she had the bag in her hand! I was able to bet a picture of them while taking a picture of Sydney!

Sydney loved being in on the drops. At first she thought she should get to have the toys. When I explained they were "a surprise for someone to find" she was in. She kept whispering and helped me tie our next toy onto a bench by the Spotted Owls.

"Maggie" was our second toy. I made her while I was still in Minnesota and I've just waited for the right time to make my toy drops. I'm sure some think I'm pretty crazy, but you know....I love this.

Tomorrow I'll show you the new purse I made.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Someone's going to pay us a call

Someone is going to pay us a call next winter..........or should I say, I'll be visiting Minnesota the end of January.
Doing a happy dance!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm a member!

Several weeks ago my friend Carol posted a picture of a little toy she'd made. It was a funky free-form "monster," the kind of soft toy perfect for a boy or a girl. She introduced me (and her other blog readers) to The Toy Society. Here are just a few of the toys Carol has made. She really inspired me and I made my first toy while I was in Minnesota.

I found a pattern for this cute little Scottie Dog on line and I made two of them. I named this one "Alastair" and took him with me to Sacramento this past weekend. I have another I'll leave somewhere in town.

At The Toy Society site they show pictures of toys "dropped" and toys "found". You can download labels and more. Each toy is accompanied by a card with information inside about The Toy Society. I made my card with some pictures I cut out of a $1 children's book. I've never scrap booked but making my tag and label were fun. I didn't use glue, but stitched my cards together. Guess that's the quilter in me.

The idea behind The Toy Society is that you make a soft toy suitable for a child, you attach a little tag which says, "I'm free! Take me home." Then you find a spot to leave your toy where a child will find it. Some members leave toys at parks, libraries, doctor's offices, lots of creative places. I left mine near the front gate of Scandia Miniature Golf Course in Citrus Heights, CA. about 9 am on Sunday morning.

It's kind of like a random act of kindness....you don't know who will find your toy, hopefully someone who won't throw it away, but I'd like to think that someone who really needed a little hug, or pick-me-up or affirmation will find it. Maybe it will give a grown-up some faith or trust and in addition a child will have a little squishy toy to hold close and find some comfort.

Look for more toys....I think it's a lot of fun.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Even an Old Dog Can Learn New Tricks

I promised yesterday a picture of the Eureka! quilt Liz had made and I was putting the border on. Thursday mornings Scottie Dog Quilts has a Sit & Sew from 10-2 pm and the classroom is always hopping, full of sewers, laughter, good friends and good food. I miss out because I
don't come in on Thursdays until 2:30 or 2 pm. But today I was early enough to see what everyone was doing. After everyone left I tried to get the rest of the borders on, but I only got them on three sides. So here is the sample quilt for the class I'm teaching.
Eureka! Pattern by Maple Creek Quilts
Wednesday June 10 10-4 pm

Call the store for more details. (707) 444-9662. You will learn how to cut (and sew!) free motion curves. You will want to use his technique for quilts, tablerunners, placemats and more.
We've used Makena Ryan's newest line of fabrics here with some batiks and tone-on-tone fabrics.

This is the Eureka! Quilt I showed you a couple of weeks ago made by my daughter Beka in Minnesota. She used Asians and a black-on-black. Every quilt is different, every one a work of art.
Even an old dog can learn new tricks! Try it and you'll like it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Day in the Life of Sydney....

This morning Sydney got up, ate breakfast, dressed in her very pink t-shirt which read "Quilter in Training." Off to Sunnybrook Farm Preschool to learn her stuff, play with Martina, Aden and a new girl named "Lasagna" (her teacher said the new girl is named Leona! At least that's what Sydney called her. Syd told me that they played with the babies. "I really, really like to play with the babies, Grandma!" she said. I told her that we could play with babies next time she came to my house. "Oh, but you don't have the right babies at your house." Guess she told me!

After Preschool she comes to the quilt shop. First off she finished her lunch....she asked for peanut butter on her carrot (yes, carrot....I thought it was kind of weird, but whatever!) and when she finished she had to do HER job at Scottie Dog Quilts. She had to water the flowers in the outdoor flower box.

Lori came bearing gifts....really cute sunglasses and Tinkerbelle sox. Sydney posed for a picture with a big smile. Can you see the peanut butter all over the shirt?

About 4:30 Sydney brought her mom a picture she'd colored. I was busy putting borders on another Eureka! quilt (pictures tomorrow) and Lori, Liz & Laura began to laugh. When I looked to see what they were laughing at I could see Sydney....three minutes earlier she was coloring....now she was snoring and had fallen asleep on the stool.

We couldn't leave her in the walkway so while Liz & Laura prepared a quilt and pillow, Laura picked up Syd and they tucked her in...

The Quilter in Training turned into Sleeping Beauty.

And that was the excitement at Scottie Dog Quilts today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Batiks arrived!

Do you like batiks? Those luscious, glowing, hand dyed in Bali fabrics? At Scottie Dog Quilts we LOVE batiks. Today 22 new Hoffman Batiks arrived at 11 am. The Tuesday morning Drop-In class was in full swing....Judy and Paula were working on bordering some quilt tops, Del put some Buggy Barn Hearts & Stars blocks together, Sheila and Bridgette worked on backings and blocks. Barb was sewing a Smart Bag and Donna was ...well, I'm sure she was working on something, but I've forgotten just what it was....but within fifteen minutes of unpacking the boxes from Hoffman these bolts were smaller.One bolt of a very light blue Bali Hand dye came with 18 yards on it and soon it was down to 5 yards. Guess we need to reorder that one tomorrow.
I love these new bolts..the prints are unbelievable. I like the "ginkgo leaf" print. We got it in orange and salmon, blue & periwinkle and black, brown & taupe. WOW.

Here are some more of the batiks.....I am trying to think about what I want to make first.