Saturday, May 30, 2009

Home Again

I'm home again. Back to Eureka, land of the redwoods, fog, and cool weather year round. While I was in Minnesota we had some hot weather (well into the 90's) and the last day or two were pretty cool with overcast skies and a few raindrops here and there. When I arrived in Eureka who would have thought we'd have a warm sunny day! On Tuesday morning we went down to the photography studio and Grandma had her picture taken with Jakob and Sadies. I'll post them when they come. Sadies wore the dress her Mom Beka made. Bekas first garment. I think it turned out beautifully!

It was so nice to be with Mercedes as she toddled around. She was saying new words every day and such a little mimic.

Jakob kept the garden watered each day...he's all smiles for this picture. I know and admit I'm very prejudiced, but I think I have the cutest grandkids around.

I loved every minute of my visit, but it was time to come home. Mr. Scottie Dog had the house all clean and tidy and he'd done lots of jobs around the house. Liz had worked so many hours to keep the store running. A big thank-you to them both for picking up a lot of my jobs so I could hug and kiss on the grandbabies.

While I was in the Midwest, Mr. Scottie Dog made a planter for the Scottie Dog store. It was made of recycled wood...some of our old floor joists, parts of our girls' tree house that blew down in a past storm and some tongue and groove from somewhere else. I love the "old" look of it. He filled it with dirt and it was waiting for Sydney and I to plant the flowers on Friday. It's going to be Syd's job to keep them watered. We picked fuchias, violas, lobielia, allisym, petunias and more. Come see our flowers grow!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beka's Beautiful Eureka! Quilt

Finished! Beka is not only a willing, but a very able quilting student. I brought with me a pile of Asian fabrics and the pattern "Eureka!" by Maple Island Quilts. She has a two storey wall in her entryway and wanted to make a quilt that would hang most of the year. She already has a couple of seasonal ones, but this one is really something.

First she had to decide which fabrics to use, then she had to learn how to cut free motion curves with a rotary cutter. THEN she had to sew those curves on the sewing machine. Not a beginner's project by any means, but one quick lesson and she took off. There is a lot of design involved with this kind of quilt. No two will ever look the same. I love this quilt.

I'm proud of Beka and her skill and artistic eye. She's got several pieces left over and plans to make some pillows, table runners and more using the curved technique.

Footnote for those who live close enough to Scottie Dog Quilts to take a class......I'm teaching this once or twice in the next quarter. Call the shop for dates & times.

Outdoor Fun

At Beka & Jason's townhouse they have a large green lawn area, some trees & shrubs that are nicely maintained by the association. It's a benefit not to be the one who has to mow, trim, fertilize all that outside greenery, but it also means that you have no place where you get to choose to plant flowers or vegetables.

Beka got the kids a little pool for up on the deck that doesn't have to be brought in each day and while Sadies threw toys into the pool Beka, Jakob and I filled some pots with flowers. Beka had a red, white & blue theme idea and her pots and deck-side
flower boxes are gorgeous.

Jakob is going to water the pots each day. Here he is with his initial watering. Yesterday all the pots were dutifully watered but early this morning we had some rain. Jakob was convinced that "God watered the pots today."

We're barbecuing later today on the deck. Still having a ball in Minn.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another Full Day

Wednesday was another full day in Minnesota. We went to Mom's Group at Beka's church. There were about 25 moms (2/3 of them pregnant!) and more babies, toddlers and not-yet-old-enough-for-school aged kids....I couldn't begin to count! The babies have a nursery to go to and the other kids go to "Pre-School." This week Jakob wanted to sit with us so he played quietly for one and a half hours. It's pretty informal, they sit around small round tables and there's coffee, popcorn (both sweet or salty, your choice) and homemade goodies. A few of the gals share a little, there's some general chatter & sharing and then more treats and sharing when the kids are released back to their moms. Then Jakob and all the little boys race and run from one end of the foyer to the other. They love to run.

Bethany College is right next to the church so Beka called Jason and he was able to get away for lunch with us. I offered to treat (big whoop! we were going to Costco!!! Grandma is the last of the big spenders!). They found a freezer they'd been needing so we carted that home too.

Back home, and Beka went to her job at Lifetime Fitness and I got to watch the kids. Sadies took a nap and Jakob and I ate Popsicles on the deck, watered all the flowers, read books and watched "Curious George."

When Daddy came home we got the wagon out and went to McCann Park, only 1 block from their house. I love this old barn that seems a bit out of place in the middle of suburbia.

First off we hit the swings. The wind was a'blowing and Sadies loved it. Jakob wanted always to go higher. Even Grandma swung a bit.

There were slides and so much more.

Jakob loves the climbing wall. Grandpa took him here last winter when the snow was deep. No snow today! Jakob just went right up to the top and tried to go over but Daddy came to the rescue.
It was a fun again but rain predicted for today (and a bit cooler temps.).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday was a busy day!

Today, Tuesday was a busy day in Minnesota. We started out with a trip to Golden Valley, a bit north of Minneapolis where Beka was doing a 'taste test' for a consumer testing company. She does it every once in awhile. Today wasn't actually a "taste" test, really a packaging test for granola bars. She had to pick boxes for several brands that she might buy or those she wouldn't buy and tell why. While she was doing that, Jakob and I were playing on the grass and Sadies slept in the car right next to us. Jakob and I poked at an ant hill, whacked a tree with long sticks, chased birds, blew a ton of "ripe" dandelion puffballs, sang songs and generally had a great time.

It was in the 90's today so shorts and flip flops were perfect!

Then we went to Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee. Sadies wanted to show all of you how she now walks! She started walking on Mother's Day and now it's like she's always walked.

This is a great shop so if you are in the area, be sure to stop by. They are located in a refurbished Train Depot in Shakopee and the trains still run right beside the store!

We bought some of the Hungry Caterpillar fabrics for Beka. See the cutie pie on the little chair?

After lunch we hit the nursery.....Beka's townhouse has an awesome deck and we got some cute plants for her pots and, white & blue flowers and one mini pepper plant. We'll plant them tomorrow.

Errands, errands and more errands. We made it back home in time to blow up the swimming pool for a quick dip by the little ones. While filling the pool, Jakob turned and hit me with the sprinkler right in the face! Tell you felt wonderful. But I had a date with two dear friends from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area at Timber Lodge Steakhouse.

No, these two cuties aren't my quilting friends.....

Here we are: Sally, me and Carol. We belong to the Sunshine Quilting Guild
and make quilts for needy children of the world. I've had the privilege of knowing them for years and we trade visits here in Minn. and they have come to CA to Scottie Dog Quilts Mystery Quilting Retreats.

Thanks again, I had a wonderful time.

Home again, jiggedy jig. Thanks Jason for putting the kids to bed. Beka and I had fun.

Saturday in Minnesota

I spent Saturday morning with the grandbabies while Beka and Jason went on their newspaper run (they deliver bundles of newspapers to various stores and gas stations. We had fun, watched a little PBS TV kids shows, read some books and tickled each other.

After lunchtime they came home and Beka and I made Baklava. Lots of Baklava.....Baklava for 120! Here it is in the kitchen. Looks good, right? Um, tasted heavenly! On Sunday we (with the help of several Bethany College students) served a "Taste of the Mediterranean" luncheon as a fundraiser for the Bethany College Library. Spaghetti with Pesto, Pene Pasta with marinara, garlic bread, antipasto plate. It was a luscious meal.

Here's a close-up of the Baklava. Mouth watering yet?

I'm going to make this again. We had a great recipe and it was really easy. Mr. Scottie Dog likes Baklava so I guess I'd better make some for him.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Shower Fun

It's been awhile since I went to a baby shower. You know, that female rite of passage where those who have become Moms before this day pass on their vast and experienced advice to the prospective new Mom. She is all smiles and thinks (and hopes) it will be a breeze for HER labor...that everyone else is either exaggerating or were just wimps....SHE'S going to be different! There are plenty of labor and delivery stories ( the good and the bad), there are presents to open and oooh and ahhh over, squeals of , "How cute!"

Beka and I went to a baby shower last night for one of her friends. There were about 25 lovely young women at least half of them were pregnant!
Here are just four of them....the shower recipient is in the polka-dots, you can see her back in the picture. There was a 3 week old sweet baby girl too! I knew 4 or 5 of the gals....I am glad that I've begun to know Beka's friends. We played a few I've never seen before:

Michelle froze the baby doll in a bucket of water, and then hung her over a bucket to catch the drips. We were to fill out a slip of paper guessing the time of the "birth" of the baby...when the ice would melt/drop off and the baby doll would be born. Kind of fun, kind of creepy, fascinating though. We got there at 6:30 and I guessed 8:04.

These two pictures were taken right after one another about 8:45. The ice had totally melted off the baby's back and was being held on by the arms and legs. At 9:02 a big "clunk" and the ice dropped off and the baby was "born." I was only 58 minutes early! One gal had it right on the button.

Then we did the "guess what candy bar is in the diaper" game. Beka looks like this one smells like a real diaper doesn't she? There were 5 to guess and I got all the names but had two reversed. There were some more games and it was actually a lot of fun! Especially the "pictionary" style game. I had to draw "diaper rash" and did a very poor job, but our teem guessed it first anyway.

The refreshments were good too (and our dinner!). They had a chocolate fountain with wonderful fruit and pretzels (can't get enough of that salty & sweet) and all manner of good treats to eat. The shower was held on the campus of Bethany College (where Beka and hubby Jason went to school and now Jason is the College Administrator and Registrar) in their "Barn." It was decorated so cute in a Minnesota "cabin" style.

It was fun to be with all those young moms and expectant moms.....the next generation is in great hands. They are willing to put their children first, to do a great job and enjoy them too. I am so proud of my daughters and the wonderful Mothers they are.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ummm, Chocolates!

On Mother's Day I spent a part of the day sewing with Liz and some friends who thought that hanging out at Scottie Dog Quilts and sewing was the perfect way to spend Mother's Day. I had several projects to work on, but instead I made these Chocolates for our "Lucy and the Chocolate Factory" fabric display. don't they look good enough to eat? No calories, fibre-rich. There are a couple of milk chocolate delights and the rest are dark chocolate! Slice 'o Cake pincushion isn't too bad either.In case you didn't know, I'm in Minnesota now visiting these two cuties! Jakob & Mercedes or Sadies as we call her. Jakob is now 3 years old and very much the big brother. Sadies is 15 months and on Mother's Day started walking. I'm sure she'll be running by next week.

I'll try to keep up posting most days, so watch for more pictures. The one above was taken this morning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And the winner is.....

And the winner is.........Carol E! Thanks for participating in my giveaway! Since I'm leaving for Minnesota tomorrow I'll bring your gift. Hopefully we can get together while I'm there.

Saturday Night in the 1950's

Saturday night was fun! Mr. Scottie Dog and I were joined by Liz and Larissa & Lewis for the Arcata Christian School Fundraising dinner: Cruising with the 50's.

Our girls went to Arcata Christian School and we are so proud of the work Principal Ron Wunner has done over the years.

Aren't Larissa & Lewis a cute couple? What was really amazing was one of the parents painted the Coca Cola machine on paper! Yes, that is NOT a real Coke machine in the background. They painted the paper and wrapped it around something!

L&L dressed in the 50's theme as did about 75% of the attendees. I wish we had!

First off, we perused the Silent Auction items....fine art pieces, fabulous baskets filled with themed goodies (Coffee, Gardening, Movie Night), dental checkups, babysitting and lots, lots more.

Made a few bids and on to the Dutch Auction.

This doesn't begin to show the delights of the Dutch Auction. This is where you buy tickets and place them into separate buckets. One ticket will be drawn from a bucket and the ticket holder wins the item. I always put in for hotel get-aways, dinners out at local restaurants and the like. Most of my tickets went into Bounce-a-Palooza passes. You may remember that Sydney loves to go to our local Bounce House. The buckets this year were 50's themed. Kind of cute, don't you think! They had the poodle shirts and blue jeans buckets.

Then came dinner. It was such unbelievable burger bar! These were the biggest burgers I've ever seen...probably about 3/4 lbs. each. Lewis looks pretty had to be to eat these burgers!

(but Lewis is really a teddy bear!)

Then came the entertainment! Several school groups sang the songs of the 50' was so much fun! Then came Mr. Wunner with guitar and he did a wonderful rock and roll medley. Many of the students ran up on stage and danced---apparently it was quite impromptu and so much fun. There were hoola-hoop and bubble gum blowing contests and then dessert: build your own ice cream sundaes.

After dessert the big live auction started. Golf packages, week-long vacation packages, cut and stacked firewood, fine art and QUILTS! Bev Harrision's beautiful black and white Ribbon Stars came up in the Auction before ours.

This was a stunning quilt. Bev will be teaching on the Scottie Dog Quilts Alaskan Quilting Cruise this August. Her girls went to Arcata Christian School with ours and she was the school secretary for many years before they moved to Eugene, OR.
Here is the quilt Liz and I made for the Auction. It is made from All Washed Up's Sparkling Cider Pattern and we made it with Fig Tree's Fig and Plum line of fabrics. We had fun, the school raised a lot of much-needed $$ and our quilt did well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What's in a Name?

William Shakespeare said it best, "What's in a name?" Have YOU named your Singer 221 Featherweight Sewing Machine? Several years ago some gals were admiring my Singer Featherweight and decided they'd have to get one too. Mine looks just like the picture.
Laura thought we should name our machines. After all, they are just like family. Each one has it's own personality, it's own unique purr when it sews. I use my 221 for most of my sewing. I own an Elna fancy smancy machine and I use it for lots of fancy work, but when I am piecing quilts or sewing curtains, etc, I use "Nellie Belle." Why did I name her Nellie Belle? That was my grandma's name. Laura said we should use our grandma's names. Liz has one she affectionately calls Marcie Mae after MY mom.
This is Sydney's "white" Featherweight. Some people call it a "green" featherweight as it has a greenish tinge (some have a taupe tinge). Mr. Scottie Dog found this for Sydney when she was born. She's four now and pretty soon will begin to learn to sew on it. She pretends to sew. Sydney's machine is named BrendaLou after HER grandma.

Have YOU named your sewing machine? After all, she can be you best friend. She patiently waits for you to find time for her, she lights up when you want to spend time with her. She keeps on purring even when you swear at her (the problem is most often with YOU, not HER!). Leave me a comment and tell me what you have named your sewing machine. On Sunday night I'll randomly pick a winner for a homemade giveaway!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm going to Minnesota!

Can you see my happy dance? Can you hear me singing? I'm off to Minnesota in one week. It was a quick decision and I'm so happy I can hardly stand it. I've got to pack, I've got to get ready, I've got to...ah, stop and take a breath. Why am I going to Minnesota? Well the two most important reasons are below:Sadies is now 15 months old and Jakob is 3 years old. Here they are in their Easter finery. I got Sydney and Mercedes matching dresses and they both looked lovely. Jakob was a heart breaker in his sweater vest & tie. They look ready for the prom...well, not really. I don't want them to grow up too quickly.

I'm going to bake cookies, teach Beka to sew curves... the pattern on the left is called "Eureka!" (how appropriate she was born and raised in Eureka, CA) and she is going to make it up in Asian fabrics for her stairwell/entryway. I think it will be stunning!
I'm going to experience Spring for the first time in the Midwest, teach Sadies and Jakob new songs, read stories to the grandbabies (over and over and over again) maybe go to the state capitol, take walks, perhaps picnic....just hang out. I'm going to miss Mr. Scottie Dog, but I know he'll be waiting at home when I come back. 2 1/2 long and yet not enough time. Sydney says to tell Jakob that the hugs belong to her.....I tell her that I have enough hugs for everyone.
Meanwhile I'm working in the store, sewing up a storm on a secret project of mine for the Cruise to Alaska (and don't bother to ask me what it is...I'm NOT telling, no, no, nowhere, no how).

Monday, May 4, 2009

The bedroom is coming along!

My very talented husband, Mr. Scottie Dog can do most anything....from hemming his pants, painting signs, cooking (tonight we had his famous shrimp & cheese stuffed chicken breasts with Dijon. Umm, umm), building and more. He can make anything, he's the original MaGyver. Bill's spent many months making our house more beautiful, finishing remodel projects and trying his very best to cater to my (sometimes strange) decorating ideas. Here was our bedroom not so many weeks ago.
This first picture is after he did his demolition and realigned the entire ceiling joist system to make the ceiling higher.
After all the sheetrock went up, he painted the ceiling with "vanilla ice cream."
Then the wall color was sprayed on....this picture hasn't really captured the shade of green, but you get the idea.
Isn't this the most beautiful light fixture? I really like it. All the lights are in, the cover plates on. Just the woodwork on the windows and around the doors to do. We are waiting for the carpet to be delivered this week and I changed my mind on the wide wooden shades and got some wonderful sheer fabric (looks like silk!) and a richly textured red/gold/green plaid fabric for cornice boards that will be above the windows. I may be able to get that done this week.
But Saturday night while out to dinner, I told Mr. Scottied Dog how much I missed my Minn. grandbabies. I feel such a calling to be a grandma....deep in my gut I knew I NEEDED to see them and they NEEDED to have Grandma there. Who would have thought that Sunday morning I would have tickets for Minnesota in just a week! I am leaving Tuesday May 12 and will stay until May 28. Yahoo! I'll miss Sydney (Bill too!) but I'll come back. Thanks Mr. Scottie Dog for recognizing what I needed and making it happen.