Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Morning with Katherine

Some strange things happening on the blog.  They sometimes post twice and sometimes not at all when I edit, so I just found this one from yesterday.

It's rare that I get much time with Katherine without her big sister soaking up most of the attention, but K is gradually becoming more of a little girl than a baby.  She now elbows Graysen out of the way and grabs toys sometimes, but usually she is pretty content.  Today Graysen was sitting on the floor, and Katherine backed up to her and sat in her lap.  So sweet.  No matter if it ended up in a rolling around wrestling match, it's still nice to see them play together.

Ryan took Graysen to gymnastics and out to lunch, so it was just the 2 of us.  It seems like since she's started to walk, the whole world is just more interesting to her.  She's mimicking actions and words and has the perfect Miss America wave.  If the door even begins to open - coming or going - she's waving and blowing kisses.

As we left to go to the park this morning, we heard the children playing at the park across the street, and she immediately started waving and saying, "Hi!"

This is what happened when I didn't allow her to go play there.

I should have put her shoes on and let her play some, but the park was full, and she would just end up standing there and watching everyone.

This was my sweet view on the way over.

We took a different route today and found masses of blackberries - most of them not quite ripe enough to eat - but it's good to know where they are.  I did get a handful to bring home for lunch, and they were pretty sour.  The bushes on our usual path are pretty much stripped clean, but I don't think anyone knows about these, or they know it's too early,

Hydrangeas are pretty much gone by now except for these dark purple ones.  I'm so used to blue ones.

 We came back to the apartment where K played nicely while I sewed a little.  She found the giraffe inner tube and spent a lot of time with that.

And showing me scraps of fabric that fell off the table.

I finished these last night, 6 of them, and have a little more work on a border section to finish Lesson 3.  I'm too sleepy to do any work tonight.

I was called and invited to a picnic at the park, and how could I turn that down.  I contributed frozen grapes, and there was leftover pizza, carrot sticks, and blueberry yogurt.

It was more fun than this picture shows.

Serve-yourself blueberry yogurt.

Mama brought home a cupcake from work, and Graysen waited patiently for it.

But there was something about that Ariel cutout----

And she couldn't ever bring herself to take a  bite.  It might have had something to do with Katherine's yogurt hands landing accidentally touching it.

It was fun.  Graysen rode and rode her bike, ran on the grass, and went down all the slides several times.  Katherine finally got to go to her park, and she made the most of it.  She would shimmy all the way to the top of the small slide and was trying for the taller ones.  I dread keeping up with that climber from now on.  I think we're all ready for bed now.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Back to School

Already?  We haven't even had a real warm day, and we're thinking about starting school in 6 weeks.

Graysen is going to be going Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons starting September 9th.  She's not half as excited as I am.

Rooster Valley Farm School.  It looks like such a good school.  Besides academics and art and the usual things, they go outside every day no matter the weather and take care of animals and a garden.  Looks like a lot of practical clothes and raincoats and boots are in order.

We've driven by and talked about the animals, and she and Mike got out and visited them the other day.  The goats are the only animals she is a little nervous about, and she's working through it.

I got some more quilting done this afternoon and now have this block almost ready to put together.  Six of them; that's a lot of work, and it took me many hours last night and this afternoon to get all 54 of the 4-1/2 inch squares done.


I finished this 2 of this block last night, and it was not hard at all.

I visited another blog today, Stitched in Color, and saw the cutest little quilted stockings.

These would be just right for the 6 of us to hang over our little fireplace this Christmas.  I've already downloaded the pattern from here and will look and see if I have any Christmas fabric I want to use.

Speaking of Christmas, when I was in Pacific Fabrics a couple of weeks ago, I was drawn to the sweetest Advent calendar.  It was quilted and had 24 tiny felt-backed ornaments to place in the pockets, once each day from December 1st.  There is even a drawstring pouch to keep the ornaments in.  I asked if there was a kit, and it was actually a panel, so of course I bought it.  Here is the panel, although it looks much cuter finished.

The pocket section roughly folded to show the pockets.

I think these are cut into basic shapes and backed with a piece of felt.

I love the "critters."  One of the fabrics in the line is Critter Toss, and I might use one of these for the backing.

Or this one.

I guess that's ambitious enough for me.  I don't worry about being bored - ever!

And Stella/Molly gets some sleep before it's time for her only job - watching us sleep and deciding when to wake us up asking for food.

Blog Update

Nothing to get excited about though.

I'm still pondering a new name but worried that I will lose or forget the earlier journal.  I need to learn more about this.

I'll find a new profile picture soon.  Lili has been gone for years now, but that picture still makes me happy.

I updated the profile since everything in it was outdated except for my hobbies.

I might spend some time getting a new layout when I find time and overcome my fear of messing it all up.

I'll play around with the blog lists and favorite sites some.  One of my favorite things is coming here to read what all my favorite people have posted - even though they all make me wish I had more interesting things to write about.  Except that I'm lazy and doing exactly what I want to do - and that's all I can talk about!

I want to make a book list since we're reading so much lately.  We don't watch movies often, but I have enjoyed Netflix when I have time.  It's mainly Octonauts for Graysen, but I got lost in Gilmore Girls and can't wait for the fall reunion.  Gossip Girl was something I never thought I would enjoy, but I did like it a lot and am sad now that I've watched all the seasons.  I'm now open to a new long-lasting series.

So, maybe summer has arrived in WA.  I woke up warm this morning with the window open, and I think I heard temperatures are going to be in the 70s and 80s this week.  That opens up some new play possibilities and more reading and sewing on the balcony.  Big exciting plans!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Morning Sky, Evening Sky

It's supposed to be a beautiful day today, the first of many, but I'm enjoying it from the coziness of the living room through the lovely vertical blinds since the temperature has reached only 56 at 8:30 a.m.  When I checked the temp on the Weather Channel on the computer, I saw that Montgomery is 91 at 10:30 a.m.  Wow.

I got up as Mike was going back to bed.  We sleep in shifts sometimes.  He wakes up in the middle of the night and can't sleep so reads for hours.  Then he goes back to bed and catches up as I'm getting up for the day.

I made a cup of coffee and headed back to the cutting table to do more flying geese. for my Evening Sky.  I'm taking pictures of the whole process so one day when Gaysen and Katherine and their children wonder who made this quilt and how, this will explain it.

If their lives are that boring!

It also makes me more likely to keep at a project if I commit publicly to it.

  These are the messy ones straight out of the machine.with the flap attached.

Another of my favorite tools is the Add-A-Quarter ruler.  I think I bought it when Sherry and I went to Cullman and took the (so much fun!) Judy Neimeyer paper-piecing class.  I haven't done much paper-piecing since then, but I love it for trimming seams like this.

It has a raised lip that's exactly 1/4 inch, and it snuggles up to my seam.

One whack of the rotary cutter, and there is a perfect 14-inch seam.

And lots of little triangles too small for me to do anything with so into the trash can for me.  If I were younger, I might save them - for one day - but not now.

The geese are still shaggy and need trimming, so here's where I use that Wing Clipper ruler.

Two steps.  On the first pass, you find the "valley" and trim the top and right side.

Then turn it upside down and make sure the measurement is the correct one - 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 and the "peak" is in that triangle with the x at the top.  I really ought to be a teacher - I'm so good at this!

Once the right side and top are trimmed again, you get this perfect little flying goose block.  So cute.  I hope it's perfect.  I'll soon find out.

Here are all 16 blocks needed for two 12" blocks. with those other blocks made earlier.

This is what the Blueberry Pie block is supposed to look like.

I arranged the unsewn blocks just to see how it might look and immediately noticed something wasn't right.

Amazing what one little correction can do.  I can't wait to get them sewn together.

Mike is just leaving to take Graysen somewhere mysterious.  I was not invited, but it's okay.

Thomas the Train is in Snoqualmie (along with 5000 other kids), so I don't know if he'll take her by there.  We saw it as we came home from the grocery store Friday, and the town was teeming with people.  She is familiar with Thomas, I think, but thankfully will not care to ride him or get too close.

I have my coffee and hopefully a warmer balcony now to read awhile.

This will be a good time to "order" books from the library.  I have more than I can read right now and am juggling 3 of them.  I'm trying to read the trilogy by Justin Cronin - The Passage and the Twelve - and waiting for the third one.  I forget the name of that one.  I started the first one just because these books seem so popular and realized I had already read it - or plowed through it and probably abandoned it.  I'm trying the 2nd one now but not enjoying it too much.  It doesn't compare to Stephen King's The Stand (probably nothing will), although it deals with a similar scenario, but I can't get into the characters and care about what happens to them.

Graysen and I went to the library Friday, and she wanted to check out "all the books."  It's fun to see her so excited.  Any book I show her, she just loves and puts it in her stack to take home.  I asked the librarian if there was a limit on children's books, and she said, "Only 100 at a time."  So that covers us.  Graysen's problem is that she just loves all books (not really a problem though), and pulls them out at random.  These last ones were a disaster.  Some were boring.  Some of them had boring illustrations.  Some tried to be TOO cute - humor adults appreciate but go right over the head of a 3-year-old.  It won't be as much fun for her, but I need to request a lot of books that I feel like will be ones she will enjoy.  We can go and pick all those up and let her pull some off the shelf to bring home.  She has learned to check them out herself now, standing on the stool and putting the bar code under the scanner light.  I think she enjoys that more than the books!


So I spent all morning talking with Emily on the phone and did no quilting or reading.  We solved so many problems - if talking about them and laughing about them solves them.  I'll have to hear about Mike and Graysen's adventure.  It's good for them to have this time together without a little sister and without me.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quilting: Lesson 2

Ummm.  Lesson 2 of the Evening Sky quilt is not quite as easy as Lesson 1!

 It took me 2 days to complete 4 blocks, but it's good to have finished them, even it meant taking out a lot of seams.


When I finished the first one, it looked fine, and I was congratulating myself, but then I noticed that in one of the green sections, the 2 patterns were reversed - twice.  Ugh.  I told myself it didn't matter - green is green - and decided to leave it like it was since it's going to be for us.  But then I knew that every time I looked at that quilt, I would know it was wrong.  I don't think it makes a lot of difference, but it was good for me to take it out and correct it.

I wish I could say I learned my lesson and had no problem with the other 3 blocks, but I kept on reversing those greens and even had to cut new pieces a couple of times.  It was really satisfying to get that last one finished.

Part 2 of Lesson 2 looks more difficult but is not proving to be so far.  Maybe it's because I'm paying more attention and measuring to the eighth of an inch.

I got 16 of these finshed with points matching and only one take-out.

Next are a few flying geese.  The pattern maker recommended a few tools or rulers that might be helpful.  One was the Bloc-Loc Flying Geese ruler.  It looks really nice, and I really would like to have gotten that, but I think you have to buy one for every size (at around $20 apiece), so I searched around and found this.

It works on all sizes and worked just fine for the chisel-type block I had to make in the first part of Lesson 2 - once I figured it out.  It doesn't have the raised part that I like, but it is accurate.  Now I'll get to try it out on the flying geese I make tomorrow.   Or tonight if I just can't stand to wait.

We went to Issaquah to the pulmonologist yesterday and feel pretty good about the plan for Mike's coughing problem.  The first steps involve a nebulizer and saline solution and an antibiotic.  If that doesn't work, there are other things to do, so it was a good visit.  It's a pleasure to see Dr. Lipke.  She spends so much time explaining things and why she recommends certain treatments.  She also has a good sense of humor and makes us feel comfortable in the office, as do the rest of the staff.  A bonus is her office being in Issaquah instead of Seattle!

I got to visit Quality Sewing and Vacuum to get some extra bobbins and more thread.  Mike gave me all the time I wanted to browse and talk to the ladies (and gentleman) who work there.  I got some answers on why my sewing machine's self-threader is ornery sometimes and looked around to see what they have.  It's not a fabric store, but they have a good supply of precut fabric, patterns, embroidery thread, quilting thread, and all kinds of neat notions.  It's nice to know they sell Babylock so if I have a problem, I know where to go.

I kept the girls yesterday morning for a few hours, and it was so much fun.  Katherine is really starting to play with Graysen a little bit now (instead of getting into her stuff) since she started walking.  Here are some pictures of playtime in Graysen's room.  Her closet is a mini-playroom since it's where Ryan and Emily store the extra toys.  They love to go in there and play for the longest time - dragging things out mainly - but entertaining themselves.

The condition of Katherine's nose is totally my fault.  I kept meaning to catch her and wash her face.

Graysen took this picture as well as about 20 others - including some really interesting ones of me.

Emily sent these pictures today.  Rosanne and Lou gave Graysen this dress along with a matching doll dress, and she loves it.  It's the only outfit she will wear a hair band with.

We've been promised warmer weather tomorrow.  Although there are extreme temperatures around most of the country, we had to turn the heat on awhile this morning.  I like it though.  I love going to bed in July with the window open and using a quilt.

I got a package yesterday - a sweet surprise from Debby.   A cute little succulent terrarium.  It can be hung or can sit on a table.

It will probably stay inside, but it looks so sweet on the balcony with the geranium.  She always knows just what will cheer me up!

The  nasturtiums are leggy but finally blooming.

And a few teeny tomatoes have made an appearance.

I wish this picture could be scented.  This pink jasmine makes the whole balcony smell good, and when the wind blows, we have the scene inside too.