Friday, December 04, 2015

Road Trip to Texas

We were gone 5 weeks and I have a lot of photos. Too many for a blog post. So I will just put up one and if you want to see more, I will sit down with you and we can look at the rest on my phone.

It was an "empty nest" trip. Dave and I have many places we want to see and now that Ray is off to college, we can easily leave town for longer trips. There is a void to fill with the boy gone, and wandering around the West seems as good a strategy as any to make the adjustment. 

A group of friends from college were meeting in California in mid-October for a reunion so that got our trip to Texas onto the calendar. We camped for a few days prior to the meet-up and saw my brother and sister in Reno on the way. Colusa, Carrizo Plain and Dana Point were our main stops in California. We moved on to Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, all fantastic places to camp and explore. We were mostly down around the Rio Grande river and spent a couple of days in Big Bend National Park. We crossed over to a small Mexican pueblo in a rowboat and rode burros into the village for lunch. That's a good picture - big Dave on a little donkey. 

My father grew up in Hebbronville, Texas, so we found the house his father built and got a tour by a wonderful woman who lives there with her husband. She grew up next door and knew my grandparents when she was a little girl. Alma Martinez, what a sweetheart! She treated us like family and fondly told us stories about these people I never really knew.

Brownsville was our destination and the place we turned toward home. First, though, we had family time for a week with two cousins and an elderly auntie. It was easy to hang out with people we rarely see but family is family. Making the journey wasn't difficult - it is far (Texas is huge) but we had plenty of time and it was well worth the trip.

Ok, since you asked, one more picture, the last one I took - with my brother, Carlos, in Wyoming.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

3 Baby Quilts

I've finished three baby quilts for donation over the past couple of months. It was a project inspired by leftover charm squares and scraps and it felt good to get some use out of stuff that was just laying around. 

All of the quilts measure 39" x 47" after washing. I guess that makes them crib quilt size or thereabouts. My friend, Jeni, works for Navy Relief and they give welcome kits to families of new babies. I hear a lot of stories about these young sailors and their situations so I am happy to send some warmth their way.

They are machined quilted and the binding was sewn by machine, as well. Usually I hand stitch binding but I hope these get a lot of use and they will need to hold up well in the laundry.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Nalu Mitts

Pattern: Nalu Mitts
Needle: US 3

This is the second pair of these I've made. About six months ago, I finished the first set and gave them away before any photos were taken. I had enough yarn left over to make another pair - they will be a birthday gift as well.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Starfall Quilt - The Final Version

I've been poking along on this quilt since February and finally got it finished about a week ago. There was no rush on the hand quilting so it just took as long as it took. 

Sometimes it is hard to answer the question, "Why?" As in, why have a quilt on your lap in the summer or why even make another quilt? But there is always a time when some hand work seems like the right way to pass some time and it's good to have a project going.

The backing is two fabrics only, vertically pieced into a one third/two thirds ratio which seems the most pleasing arrangement to my eye.

Before washing, the measurements were 66" x 81". Out of the dryer, the new dimensions are 61" x 76", quite a loss. Of course, it really doesn't matter how big they turn out. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lamy Safari

My sweet son just gave me the nicest present - a Lamy Safari fountain pen. He knows I have been interested in paper and ink related stuff lately. I have a written journal now (sorry, blog!) which I have kept up since November and I have many new pens and notebooks on my desk. We have a few disposable fountain pens between us but I had yet to buy a real one. This was a very thoughtful and much appreciated gift and I love it! 

There are many stationery blogs and Pinterest boards out there and it isn't hard to find information on any sliver of the subject. I particularly like these two blogs: The Well-Appointed Desk and The Postman's Knock. Both of these sites are clean and pretty and are updated regularly. I haven't ordered anything from The Goulet Pen Co. but they also have a great website and a solid reputation for excellent tutorials and fantastic customer service.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Starfall Quilt

I've been working on this quilt over the past few months, going along at a snail's pace. It still needs a lot of hand quilting; the plan is to use Perle cotton and - well, I'm not sure what the plan is for the stitch design. I will decide block by block just like I did when making the top. I have done some machine quilting to attach the layers together and, now that the binding is on, it will be nice to have it on my lap for the handwork. 

The inspiration for the design was this pattern, Starfall Quilt. I also had the Modern Building Blocks quilt pattern, so I used that to make some of the blocks and also used a quilting magazine as a resource for several others. I'll post more pictures after it is completed. It measures 66" x 81".

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice

Little Cranberry Lake
Staying home isn't quite as exotic as a trip to Portugal or a motorcycle ride up to Inuvik but there are lovely local hikes and the cherries are ripe. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ray's Graduation from High School

Mom and Ray

Dad, sister and Ray

Girlfriend and Ray

Nuclear family

Extended family
These are all "Smile for the camera" pictures but it is the best way to have any kind of record of this kind of weekend. So much warmth and so many hugs - the ceremony was moving and the party was lovely. Tons of fun. We are so very proud and happy.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Morning Walk

I've taken very few pictures lately, just a couple of snaps on my morning walks. My interest in the visual arts has been focused on drawing and painting but that has mostly petered out to reading art books and watching YouTube tutorials on how to master watercolors and how to become a fabulous urban sketch artist. Practice is frequently mentioned. Whatever.

Ray is graduating from high school next week. We have gone to all kinds of events in the last couple of weeks - award ceremonies, end-of-year banquets, and finale concerts. He has done so well and plans to work this summer for a teacher who lives nearby. Ray will be helping him with yard work and handyman projects. Classes don't start until the end of September so he will still be at home for a few more months.

The Director's Award
Daniel Richards, Garrett Manion, Blake Prescott, Ray Palmer, Alex Braatz, Ian Simensen,  Jake Farley, Hunter Wickman, Hope Freier, Lauren Hood, Katy Dyer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Socks on a Plane - Version 3

Yarn - Socks That Rock Lightweight
Winter Solstice

This is the perfect pattern for when you don't really feel like knitting. I knit too many socks last year so my mojo has sort of evaporated and having an easy pair in the works has been just right. I needed to pay a bit of attention casting on the toes and doing the heels, but otherwise, mindless stockinette with an easy cable was a sock project I could pick up and put down without a care. Most of the progress (over the past two months) was made on car trips to robotics events. Freeway knitting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Report

  • Trip to Montana with Dave (actually in February) - Missoula and Bozeman.
  • Walks, almost daily, alone or with a friend. Great options around here.
  • 20 minute gardening sessions. About all I can handle.
  • Basketball - Anacortes High School boys, 2nd place at state. March Madness, of course
  • Starfall quilt, Socks on a Plane - still sewing and knitting a bit.
  • Penpal with a Field Notes notebook, old stamps from eBay, Art Before Breakfast, art journal, bullet journal.
  • Brief internet research into climbs on K2. Read "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose which created great interest in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Dave traded in a 2008 truck for an even older Lexus SUV to comfortably transport us on "empty nest" adventures. This led to many other purchases - car accessories, detailing supplies, a new aluminum trailer, materials to insulate and remodel the garage, etc.
  • Ray - He is having a busy but not frantic senior year. Robotics, band, symphony, hanging out with his girlfriend, Pi Day, physics projects, University of Washington, prom prince, Chemical Engineering as a freshman, scholarship applications.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Zippy Pouches

Paper pieced Bird Block

The back of the bird pouch

I got rolling on sewing up a bunch of zipper pouches. Fortunately, we went off to see some friends in Montana and I was able to give away most of them as hostess gifts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


I have gone through my own pictures over the years and, more recently, sorted out trays and trays of my parents slides. The ones that get saved are the pictures of people. All the sunsets and stunning vistas get trashed. The photos of someone's dog or cat, my mom's roses - all are quickly discarded. 

And yet, when the sun rises over the hill outside my dining room window and lights up the clouds, I forget that the file will soon be deleted and I run for my phone. It's so pretty...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Florence Quilt

Florence Quilt
75" x 89"Started 10/20/14
Top finished 11/11/14
Quilt finished 1/25/15

Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks

Longarm quilted by Peggy Wilbur

Scrappy binding