Monday, August 30, 2010

Light House Guild Quilt Show

About 10 days ago Liz and I were in Crescent City, CA, just below the Oregon border for The Lighthouse Quilt Guild's annual show. This is a very active guild in a small town on the Northern California rugged coast. Their show is quite an ambitious undertaking for a smallish guild, but these ladies aren't just any ladies. They make quilts for wounded soldiers, quilts for Alzheimer's, their local pregnancy care center, memorial quilts for those who have lost babies or miscarried, the battered women's shelter...the list goes on and on.

Liz and I were honored to be asked to judge their quilt show. We came in on Thursday early afternoon, spent the night and finished up just in time to set up our vending booth. The quilters of the area are very talented and creative. The points were all high and it was hard to pick the winners. Another wonderful thing this guild does is that volunteers made the ribbons. 1st Place, 2nd place, 3rd place, Viewers Choice, Best of Show. The ribbons were amazing. Here's just a small sampling:
Just as every quilt in the show was different and wonderful, each ribbon was a creative quilt unto itself!

I liked the bright squares & black combo.

A star burst with iridescent stars on the fabric.

Some blocks were embellished...this one with a silk embroidered flower.
This fan block was so opulent! And the Guild Choice had a little Light House Quilt Guild Logo in the center of the quilt on the ribbon!

Lots of dynamic black and white quilts in the show and a ribbon quilt to match!
Cupcakes anyone?

Beautiful batik 16-patch.

The cutest 1930's school house block.

As you can see...not only were the quilts a sight to see, but even the ribbons were worth the visit! Perhaps next year you can visit their show: Hot Needles, Cool Quilts! August 20 & 21, 2011 in Crescent City, CA.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Oregon Trail

I started reading a book lately called Wagons West! by Dana Fuller Ross. I'm a nut about American History, especially colonial or pioneer history. These books were written in the 1980's and perhaps I read them back then but it's been so long I can't remember. On our journey home from Yellowstone we were traveling through southern Wyoming through flat land filled with sagebrush. A butte here and there, but mostly very flat, sagey blue-green landscape. The two lane highway was nearly straight as an arrow. I asked Mr. Scottie Dog to stop so I could use the bathroom n our trailer and he pulled off into a large turnoff with an historical marker.

Lo and behold! (don't you just love an old cliche') it was a marker for The Oregon Trail. We'd have missed it if I hadn't had so much diet coke to drink! Here I am standing right in the actual ruts of The Oregon Trail. You can even see it off in the distance.

Where, oh where would a staid lady of the times find a place to do her duty? I've heard that when a train stopped for a break, all the ladies would go a ways off and take turns "going." All the other ladies would form a circle and facing out, they would fan out their skirts so as to shield the one in the middle.

Another thing I've always heard was the most women didn't ride in their covered wagons. That would put undo hardship on the animals pulling the wagon. So most of the women actually walked from the mid-west to Oregon or California. Imagine!

It took us only a couple of hours to drive through this lonely landscape and on the Salt Lake City. I can only imagine how many weeks of walking through this flat and desolate landscape it took. Hats off to you, my pioneer foremothers!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lake Selmac & childhood buddy

Last week we took a few days off, packed a few things into the trailer and truck and took off for one of our favorite places in the world. A mere 2 1/2 hours from Eureka in South Central Oregon is Lake Selmac. It's located just off Highway 199 north of Cave Junction and about 20 minutes south of Grant's Pass. Our family have been camping there for about 33 years! Here's a picture looking at the lake....just a few yards from our campsite. The area to the right of the grassy area is a shallow swimming area. When the girls were small it had a big log chained to the bottom for log rolling or floating on and the swim area was divided from the rest of the lake by linked floats.

Here's a shot looking towards our camp sites. I like the flatness of the site and the trees. The temperature was about as perfect as you could have....82-85 with no humidity. A few, very few, mosquitoes (and of course they ALL bit me once!). Very slight breeze...ah, the fresh air!
Sydney brought her bike and scooter. We swam in the lake, walked all around the campground, took a road trip to Medford one day and played cards. R E L A X A T I O N was the order of the day.

All the conveniences of home....Sydney made cupcakes one day with chocolate frosting & sprinkles. She delivered a plate of some to our neighbors with two small boys.
Just before we left on our trip it occurred to me that I might be able to meet up with a childhood friend I'd 'found" on FaceBook last year. I emailed Olga and she re-arranged her weekend plans so she and her husband dropped by our camp. Olga and I met in Kindergarten at Cimmarron Ave. Elementary School. We were part of a small group of girls who belonged to a Blue Bird group (The Snowflake Blue Birds) and were best friends. We were all together in school until the end of 7th grade when many of us moved out of the LA/Inglewood, CA area. I hadn't seen Olga for 45 years! She came bearing gifts! She had a bag of the most succulent jerky & sausages you've ever tasted from a local sausage maker. Thank you so much, Olga! We all enjoyed it so much.
Liz said it was fun to watch us chatter just like Jr. High girls. We're hoping to take a trip together to So. CA next summer to meet up with most of the rest of the group.
Another fun thing was that our husbands hit it off right away. Those two were two peas in a pod chattering away about the "junk" they've collected, the toys they each had: Olga's Ron has a motorcycle and Mr. Scottie Dog has his bobcat they are enjoying Sydney's cupcakes.
We spent a couple of hours together, not nearly long enough!
On Monday Liz and I got in several more Spite & Malice card games in....I used to play with my Mom. Now Liz seems to beat me every time. I'd better polish up my game. We were able to stay until after lunch. So peaceful, such a special place full of memories (Liz and Steve were married on the lake shore too!). Then it was back to reality. As they say, " A good time was had by all."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Kid's Quilting Camp

Every Summer here at Scottie Dog Quilts Liz holds Kid's Quilting Camp. We had an enthusiastic group this past week. They did what adult quilters do: they sewed, they ate, they laughed and joked around and they praised each others' projects. Here's a picture of the girls: In Kid's Quilting Camp the projects vary. One time it might be a bag or a throw, pillowcases, purses, wall hangings and more. This time Liz designed a darling paper foundation pieced wall hanging with gnomes, mushroom houses, trees & bushes. The Michael Miller border fabric really makes it, doesn't it! I'm hoping we make this into a pattern for sale also.All the girls were careful sewers and I was amazed how quickly they got foundation paper piecing down. It's kind of a left brain, right brain thing and for adults can be hard to grasp. But these girls "got it" right away.
Here are their blocks on day two:One of the surprises at Kid's Quilt Camp was that my daughter & granddaughter, Beka & Shiloh got to come on Thursday. We had to keep Beka's very quick visit quiet as she was surprising a friend for a Birthday party.Sydney loved to push Shiloh around in her shopping cart! Can't wait for the next Kid's Quilting Camp.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today I visited the Ophthalmologist

Today I visited the Ophthalmologist. I've worn glasses (I'm quite nearsighted) since I was 13 or 14 and usually I just see an Optometrist. He/She can easily determine what my current glasses need to be. I'm in & out quickly after determining how good/bad I see by using the chart and testing me for various other little things. NOTE: all images are from Internet!

On Saturday my daughters & I went to Arcata to the Farmers' Market, The Bead Store & Los Bagels. Great Day, but my right eye started to bother me. It didn't hurt, but there seemed to be a shadow in my peripheral vision in my right eye. There were major floaters that interfered with my vision and occasionally a flash of light. On Sunday it was so annoying I felt I couldn't drive safely.

Monday it bothered me a bit and Tuesday I looked up the symptoms on the Internet. Ut oh, it said I could have a detached retina or a vitreous detachment. In either case, I needed to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. So this morning I called. They said to come in at 2 pm. Mr. Scottie Dog said he'd pick me up at work and bring me. I'm glad he did because after dilating my eyes I had a hard time seeing for several hours.

The doc had me read the chart, then he looked into my eye with this get-up. Then he shined a bright light in each eye and had me look up, down, right, left and all around. Again. And again. And again! "Keep both eyes open!" He must have told me 4 or 5 times. Finally I had to keep one eye open with my fingers while he looked in the other.

Now, I'm rather squeamish when it comes to eyes. Poor Mr. Scottie Dog can't come to me when he wants to find a contact "lost" in his eye. I don't like to look at them closely (although I highly admire them from afar!). I don't want to see pictures of them, or models of them or even hear much about them. So when dear Dr. Gibb wanted to tell me all about my "Vitreous Detachment" and show me the diagram, I had to tell him to show Mr. Scottie Dog and tell HIM about my problem.

Turns out between the ages of 50 and 70 (I'm 58 and proud of it!) the jelly stuff in your eye turns to liquid and pulls a bit on your retina. When things go bad, it can pull so hard your retina can actually detach...then surgery is needed. But with most people (like me!) when this occurs for a few weeks you see the flashes occasionally and the floaters. So the good retina detachment. The bad news...."this happens to people of your age...." You know, I'm hearing that more and more often....