Saturday, March 27, 2010

It was a sunny day!

Today was a sunny day and I didn't have to work. Mr. Scottie Dog planned a day trip for us. All I had to do was show up...dressed. He said I couldn't wear my nightgown.

First off we drove to the Victorian Town of Ferndale, CA about 20 miles south of Eureka and went to the Ferndale Museum. We've been before several years ago but since they change out their exhibits it was time to visit again. They've remodeled the building inside and out. Mr. Scottie Dog especially liked the old telephone exchange exhibit but my favorite was the 1903 bathroom. A built-in, wood surround zinc filled buckets and brought the water into the indoor plumbing yet! When you pulled the plug in the tub it drained down a tube and out the window! A shaving strop hung by the sink. We enjoyed all the indoor exhibits and then the old machinery in the 'barn.'
By then it was time for lunch so we strolled up Main Street and decided to go to Lost Coast Bakery & Cafe.
I'm not sure Mr. Scottie Dog realized they were a Vegan Cafe at first, but we had a table in the sun in the courtyard and he tried a grilled tofu & vegetable wrap. I had the tamari portobello mushroom on focacia bread. YUM! Bill didn't know a blue corn chip from a piece of moldy cardboard but ate them any way. The sandwiches came with fresh pineapple, strawberries and the biggest, sweetest blackberries I've had in a long time. Bravo! Mr. Dog...I'm proud of you for trying Vegan (he said the tofu tasted a lot like an omelet).
Of course Main Street in Ferndale is a treat for the colorful, always an inspiration.
The farms and farm houses are always fun to see too. We drove south to Rio Dell by the back way. We saw their new Mini Golf course (only one for 250 miles around) and said we want to take the grands there.
Through Scotia, the last of the lumber company towns we stopped at Hobby Market for drinks.
Now we were ready to drive Avenue of the Giants. click here for a fun video ride through The Avenue of the Giants.
We stopped in for a hike at Bull Creek where the World's Tallest Tree 'used to be.' The tree is still there but the last time they measured it was 1959 and then it was just a few inches shy of 359'. In the 1970's they declared a tree north of Eureka as the tallest. About 365' or so, if I remember correctly. Then in the 90's it was south of us near Ukiah. Now it is somewhere else nearby, but what is funny is that they don't really measure the older trees again. Bill suspects that perhaps the one at Bull Creek really IS the tallest currently.

Here's my honey today posing for me next to a tall tree. Not THE tallest tree, but heck, all the trees are so tall you can't see the tops anyway. The redwoods are beautiful and I always enjoy a drive through the local forests. We've got huge redwoods in our yard too. Come visit me and I'll give you a tour!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What is the point of business?

People who don't quilt often ask me, "What is the point?" I think they are really asking why I own a quilt shop....after all, "Who REALLY needs to go to a store to buy fabric just to cut it up into little pieces and then sew back together when all you really need is to go to the store and buy a blanket for heaven's sake!"

They don't seem to understand what it's all about. Scottie Dog Quilts is a store like many across the world. It IS a place where you can find beautiful quality 100% cotton fabrics for quilting. Or for home dec curtains & pillows, or aprons or kids clothes or pillowcases or tote bags & purses or jackets or place mats and, of course: QUILTS!. We also sell needles and thread and rulers and cutters and scissors and such. You can find patterns and books and kits and more.
But is this really what the Quilt Shop is all about? In the past several weeks we've heard some stories from our friends and customers: Two women who live but a block apart have been the best of friends for many years. And yet, they met in a class at our quilt shop. Another sweet lady who just retired confided that she never had "girl friends" until she started coming to classes here. Now her social calendar if full of fun events and a shop full of women she feels a connection to. Another gal was telling me she always lived in awe of her artistic family members. She was the only one who wasn't talented. Then someone sent her into our store. Imagine that her mother who paints, her brother who is a sculptor and her sister who illustrates children's books are all clamoring for her to make them a quilt! She's thrilled to have found "her" niche.

Quilting is an art form that transcends so many genres. Quilts are a feast for the eye, a tactile comfort. Quilts are an art form that can exude love and caring, sympathies and delight. There is fabric for every sport, hobby, nostalgia. There's fabric for pizza lovers and chocoholics, for I Love Lucy collectors and Wizard of Oz enthusiasts, for doll collectors, stamp collectors, dog & cat lovers. Are you a guy who likes Pin-Up Girls? How about Pin-Up Guys for the ladies? Do you like polka dots? Last night I sold a gal several 1/2 yard cuts of polka dots...her queen-sized quilt is going to be made entirely of polka dots!

Quilts can be soothing, they can be celebratory, commemorate a birth, wedding, graduation or a life well-lived. Sometimes they are made simply for warmth. But they are all made with love and the process of making them allows us to create, to work through a tough time, to help us grieve, and so many other things.

What's the point of the business of Scottie Dog Quilts? The point is all of the wonderful people we meet and have an opportunity to share our lives with. And they share theirs with us. It is an incredible chance to witness the birth of artistic awakening in so very many people. Liz and I are so very blessed that we come into contact with so many of you. Thanks for the opportunity.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do we ever tire of dolls?

Yesterday we got some new fabrics from a company called Blue Hill. They were new to me last October at Quilt Market but Liz & I loved the vintage dolls we saw on their fabrics.

Here's a shot at the panel. It makes 4 dolls (about 16" tall) and 4 toys.

Today I made three dolls and three toys. Sydney helped me stuff them. Aren't they the cutest things?

We also got some fabric from Blue Hill with these smaller paper dollies on it and there is a companion bolt with even more clothes. I guess I'll be making some "paper dolls" soon.

Come into Scottie Dog Quilts and make your own set of dolls...or maybe some for your daughters or granddaughters. I wonder how they'd look on a quilt or maybe a book of paper dolls?

I guess we girls just never tire of matter how old we get!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little More....

Several of you have been sending emails and commenting on my Dad's life.I thought I'd post just a little more today and include some of the very few photos we have of his early lifetime. Dad was born in Lincoln, IL in 1925. They didn't have much money and his parents were divorced. He, his mom & brother & sisters lived with his maternal grandparents along with his mother's brother and sister and her two children. All in a two bedroom house. Grandma & Grandpa Turner had one bedroom, Aunt Harriette and her children had another. Dad and his siblings slept in the "sleeping porch" (which was cold as the dickens in winter as it was unheated) and his mom & uncle took turns sleeping on a couch in what should have been a dining room. Here is one of two photos I have of Dad as a boy. It was taken in 1930. In front is my Aunt Betty (Brenda Elizabeth) and Dad (Robert LeRoy McNally). Back is my Aunt LuLu (Lucianna), my Grandmother (Brenda Cossette Turner McNally) and my Uncle Bill. Aunt LuLu is still going strong at 95...most would think she's in her early 70's. After the divorce Grandma left the children with her parents for 18 months and trained as a Practical Nurse (LVN today). She worked nights at the Illinois Hospital for Febleminded Children....though patients were of all ages. The 1930 census lists Dad's father as living in his mother's home in Lincoln. I think it is interesting that though his father and paternal grandparents lived in the same little town (fewer than 5000 residents) he doesn't remember them. Aunt Lulu was 15 then and should have known her grandparents but divorce held a stigma in those days that we cannot comprehend.
Here's a picture of Dad at 15, a sophomore at Lincoln High School during a school production. I'm told he sang "Elmer's Tune" a standard recorded by Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters and more. It had the perfect kind of lyrics for dad that were mostly spoken, not necessarily sung. A few months later a horrific automobile accident took the lives of Dad's mother and grandparents. He moved to Bement, Illinois to live with his older sister Lulu's family as she was then married with a couple of kids.

Age 17 found him in the United States Army Air Corps. He looks so young here. Hard to believe that the world was saved from Hitler by so many very young men just like Dad.
Dad trained in the United States for more than a year before being sent to England. After the war he took advantage of college on the GI Bill and then followed his siblings to CA: the land of opportunity. He met and married my mother, Marcella Mae Pontious McNally within a month.
This is their official wedding picture. I believe it is after they returned from Las Vegas. Mom was 32, Dad was 26. I was born 18 months later with my brothers right behind. We lived "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver" lives. There wasn't a ton of money but we never knew that.
Fast forward to 2009 and here's a picture of Dad with his great-grandson, Jakob Hache.
A life well-lived, one that will be remembered.
Tomorrow is my oldest granddaughter, Sydney's FIFTH birthday....whoa! How'd she get to be five?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Silly songs

My Dad loved to sing silly songs. He had a thousand of them. He also told jokes, recited limericks and trilled ditties.

Here is MY song, the song Daddy sang to me my whole life:

She'll have rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes.
She'll have elephants to ride upon
My little Irish Rose.
So come to the nabbob
on next St. Patrick's Day.
Be Mrs. Umbo Jumbo,
Jingiboo Jay,
O' Shay.

I thought of you Daddy, on St. Paddy's day.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Irish Eyes are Smiling

It's been over a month since I last posted. It's been an emotional roller coaster amid lots of busy-ness at Scottie Dog Quilts. Right now I can't seem to find my Minnesota pictures...I know as soon as I finish, I'll find the flash drives. For now though I'll post a couple of pictures taken after my Dad's memorial service in Southern California. Here are Bill & I, daughters Beka & Liz and our oldest granddaughter Sydney and youngest (she was 9 days old in this picture) Shiloh.
The service was actually wonderful! My brothers and I each spoke in remembrance of Dad. It was a time of laughter and some tears. We especially enjoyed hearing all the tributes and stories those who came had to share. Robert LeRoy McNally.....a life well-lived. A man who was funny, well-respected, fun to be with, a fantastic father, uncle, grandfather & great-grandfather. He was a wonderful husband to two lovely women and I am so blessed he was MY father!
Here are all the grandkids & two great-grands: Kevin, Kait, Shiloh, Beka, Sydney, Liz, Kim, Sierra & Justin. It was a blessing to be together.
After a week in Redlands, I flew back to Minnesota for a last week with Jakob, Sadies & Shiloh. Lots of hugs & kisses, singing silly songs, peanut butter & jam sandwiches and more hugs & kisses.
Mr. Scottie Dog was glad to see me back in Eureka (and perhaps so were the cats!).

This past weekend was retreat time again at Scottie Dog Quilts. We hold two retreats every year in Spring and Fall. This year we are adding one in Bloomington, MN in May. Here is Sydney fooling around with our Scottie Dog Flag.

Ann has been coming to retreat for several years. Here's her version of our newest pattern: Beehive Jive:

Everyone had a great time. Patterns are available and the October Mystery Quilting Retreat is filling fast. Email me for info or to hold your spot.
It's no longer St. Patrick's Day by my watch, but these Irish Eyes are Smiling. I'm blessed.