Monday, April 22, 2019

the week ahead

that's me....saw this at pier one
Welcome to this week's Happy Homemaker post. Don't the weekends fly past? It was so good to have a relaxed weekend, we're both wound tight, and both still coughing.

The weather in Aurora CO
It is schizophrenic. Hot (80's) then cold, but mostly rain not snow at the moment. I saw daffodils and tulips in someone's yard. Some trees are flowering. I looked at vege at home depot but we're not to trust weather til mid May.
Oh and we went for a walk, I was hot, then cold, then freezing, then hot. In one walk. Makes it hard to dress.

To do this week
Must I do anything?
I can't even bear to think about it!

We're mid season into Murdoch mysteries (Canada) and Time Team (BBC)
I love American Idol contestants. Survivor is fab this time. Project Runway continues.
I know I know you don't watch drivel but I enjoy Bravo's housewives, Beverly Hills and NYC.
Amazing Race is back... Yipee!!!
Loved  videos on youtube about their ancestry tests, more later about that

nothing exciting. We had some really good frozen eggplant parms this weekend.

I made some mighty good potato salad with leftovers. We had some new potatoes, all different colors in one bag. Half were left, I added minced onion, diced celery, avocado oil Mayo, S and P, and apple cider vinegar. Even my husband said, wow that's good. I like cooking from what's in the fridge.

We went to the local garden center, and got some more cherries (so much better than maraschino), and got a new to us sauce to try. Buffalo Aioli. One of the "I Like" Thursday posters said they liked this tea, so I tried it and it's great!

We binged on treats for Easter from Trader Joe's.
yum, rugelach.

Advertisements, apparently. I gave in to this one in Home and Garden, buying the polish.

 I also love the ad as inspiration for a quilt. I like the colors, the swirl of flowers, and the whimsy of coming out of a teapot.
 I caught up on three magazines, and now can let them go to a neighbor. The house feels lighter already.
I'm dragging my feet on finishing my night book, The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen. I'm so going to miss the characters I've come to love. Still listening to the book on disc, Death by chocolate Lab. It's engaging while I sew.
"View of the mountains"

I signed up for an online workshop in sketching
not that I think I can commit to it, but it's free and I can do only what I choose to do.

I'm into these recent  mountain quilts, (Post Here) and hope I finish them quickly. Plus I need to finish the month's Aqua scraps with my chandelier blocks. 

silly picture of the week
Milo meets the Easter Bunny (post here)

Lessons learned and Inspiration for this week

I watched a video on youtube ,  comparing ancestry and 23 &me dna results. Some background:
I was adopted, with the narrative that my birth mother may have been first gen American from German parents. My birth father may have been first gen Amer. from Italian parents.

I was raised by people with a very limited appreciation for the richness of human tapestry..
For instance, they were verbal about not liking Italians, ahem.
I learned early on to not tell them about my views or friends.

I never fit in with them. Although I had suspicions about not belonging, and residual memories of being told I should be appreciate that they took me in, I didn't consciously know about my birth parents til I was in my 20's.
It was at once, shocking and made sense. So the idea of finding out roots via a DNA test really interests me. There are a lot of videos out there showing results.

In listening to this video, by a terrific story teller (not surprisingly a Psychology professor) I realized how much we all come from a grand mix of cultures. Most of us don't know about our families  beyond grandparents, but travel back a few more generations and you'll find out you are a mix of cultures and religions.
So when a person judges someone based on color of skin, or religion, or where their family comes from, they could realize they just might  be cousins. We all come from a great human collective, a common global village. I may never have parent's and grandparent's names, or know my family tree, but I can tell you, I am sure it covers the globe if I go far enough back.
 I am probably related to you.
This is the video (not short)  I watched...
 first part  and second part
 there are two parts, the second one tells a marvelous story of this man's father who went on to do incredibly important work in American Government.
Have a good week y'all.

Linking with
happy homemaker monday

Sunday, April 21, 2019

hoppy Easter!

Look, I finally caught a bunny!!!
Look what the Easter Bunny brought me! Oh and to Mama and Daddy too, heh heh.
Milo here, I met the bunny on Saturday and she was enormous! Not like the other bunnies I chase. I did taste her paw,

and play with her after a bit of barking and darting around

 but my friend Gabby just growled at her.
Mama was proud of me for being so brave. It wasn't natural, I tell you. At first I was scared but then I thought, whatever, I can play with whatever it is! Who cares what you look like, it's what I feel your heart is like that counts!
can you see the eggs just scattered on the grass???

There was an easter egg hunt and lots of fun kids around to play with,
and dogs too.
but it was hot.
I had a good time with all those people and dogs and eggs and bunnies!

Editor's notes:
there was an easter egg hunt in the park today, well more of an egg "GATHER" since they were just all over the ground,  and Milo was exceptionally well behaved. Whew!
He can be awful, or perfect. No middle ground for him.

We met up with his new friend Gabby, a rescue who is skittish about other dogs, and he tried to play with her, she stared like she had no idea how,  which she might not have.

Later, on our evening walk,  we saw her at her yard. She came right out under her fence to him, then back in for her ball, then back out to tease him.
I thought, uh oh.
She dropped it and he picked it up and tried to get her to chase him.
Again, uh oh. He circled and puppy bowed, and ran around her.

She stared again, then let out one bark, he dropped it and ran away! She picked it up, trotted back to the fence, went back under, to her owner.

Glad Milo likes kids and is a lover not a fighter. So when he's a PITA I have to remember he can be gentle too.
The Easter bunny brought some good things to eat, and a new dress for me, new trousers for DH, sweet snacks, and  new toys for Milo.

I used to wonder how that bunny could carry baskets, but having met her yesterday I understand now. We all needed a treat!
linking to
all seasons
sundays in the city

Friday, April 19, 2019

Learning by doing... line and balance

It started with the kind folks of my Maryland bee who sent me scraps from a group project.
This pile of scraps led to two quilts, and three bookmarks!

The angles intrigued me. I  soaked and washed the large pile of scraps for days because batiks, lovely as they are, have a lot of chemicals in them that cause a reaction when you press them.

I began deciding which angle to join them trying different ways to put the uneven tiny pieces together. I'd sew enough to cut them into larger different sized blocks.

Then I started moving them around the design wall til they sort of formed a long rectangle.

I realized it needed some warm colors. By inserting skinny (1/8" to 1/4" ) strips in warm tones, between the blocks. I hope I haven't over done it, but I like the shots of color. Kind of gold to orange to pink.
I've learned by doing it, that those are the eye catchers, so the concept of line is very important, line and balance.  I feel I still struggle a little with abstracts.

This is about the time I'd like a road map!

As I put  blocks together, then played with where to insert the warm colors, I began to learn about repetition and balance. The sewn orange/pink/gold strips sometimes finish at 1/8th inch or less, up to one that's about a half inch.

I may have put in too many, what do you think? I  usually do curves with improv, but these angulrar pieces have been a terrific learning process, and I like the finished top.

The larger one looks like a fractured glass mosaic of mountain views to me. Wild flowers in groups along grassy slopes, with peaks into the sky beyond.
This smaller one has one peak, with a sort of glacial slope.
There is a lot of bias along the outside edges, so I decided before quilting to add a tiny one inch  border. Oh, crikey! more fabric choices!

Blues and greens melted into the top, but this gradation seems to work and remind me of the intense sunsets here.

The fabric is by Caryl Bryer Fallert.

The gradation from green to warm corals to blue repeats the colors in the quilt too.
As to the quilting... angles repeating the idea of slopes... strong lines, with hand dyed Oliver Twist threads I think, some pebbling in the warm colors to remind me of circular flowers.
The book marks came at the end of the day. Tiny sewn bits I cut off the larger pieces looked like bookmarks to me. Interesting thing was as I finished the third one, I realized how interesting they looked together. A tryptich  of sorts.
Is that the pearl of an idea for another quilt?
linking to to do Tuesday 
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I Like Thursday #137

My scrappy bookmarks
Welcome to this week's list of likes!
It's been a loooonggggg week. I fell sick Monday, hoping it was allergy to all the pollen out now, but my calendar shows...
no lists of activities... only one word... sick. Bad head cold, and the coughing has started. The quote is not true, one needs good health. I renewed my acquaintance with coldeaze zinc lozenges, but it's an intense head cold. Can't sleep for the headache and congestion. So what did I find to like this week?

I made a big push Tuesday to finish the scrap mountains quilt top, and I'll do a post tomorrow on all I made from the scraps. Two art quilts, three bookmarks and a bit of scraps left over
I have close ups and discussion of what's involved in making a top without worrying about size or angles. Improv in the best way, starts with the scraps and an attitude of experimentation. Please come back to see it tomorrow. They look like mountains to me.

I couldn't go to either meeting yesterday, but I would have liked to.
I finished all that to show my art quit people... wah

totally enjoying this book on disc while sewing.
LOVE my nightime reading of latest Rhys Bowen book, so engrossing I forget to go to sleep for wanting to read one more chapter.

So happy that my faves made it through the current round on American Idol... I would buy the cd of Alejandro today if there was one. So original and talented. He's written so many songs already.

I love musicians who feel their music... have a passion for it.
I used to date a musician a long time ago, who wrote a song for me. There, that's another unusual fact about me!

I enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a cute lunchbox out of our fave fabric... or for me a sewing tote
I think this fabric lunch box would be fun to make...the video is by Mister Domestic

Milo's Moments
Hi y'all! Mama made me the coolest thing... a sock dispenser of my very own. Every time I walk by I grab one to play with! Finally my requests have been granted and I...wha??

Mama: MILO! Put down that sock! Those arent for you!

Milo: Are you sure Mama?  They are right at nose level and as you suspected that washer doesn't wash as good as the old school ones did, the ones that didn't think for you? Anyway, lookie! I can easily reach the exact ones I want, they are displayed beautifully...

Mama: Nice Try
Milo: well I've been smelling a bone and a toy somewhere in the house. That Easter Bunny better bring me some treats to make up for this disappointment!

Mama: I have a sneaking suspicion he'll bring all of us something on Sunday sweetie...

Also linking up their lists of likes for the week are the following peeps!   .http://littlepenguinquilts

Linking to:
Thankful Thursdays pet parade 

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Week Ahead

from a magazine ad
Welcome to this week's Happy Homemaker post! It's Monday...
The week opens in front of us, bright new and shiny as a penny, and what will we do with it?

The weather in Aurora CO
it was one of those good days yesterday... cool temps and hot sunshine. Some people had on shorts and capris, some like me had on chords and sweaters, which only means one thning, it's Spring!
Today the temps are warm, but temps are only one part of weather here, the big indicator is sun. Thin atmosphere and sun means the feels like temp is much warmer.
I actually saw daffodils in a neighbor's yard this weekend, must be hardy ones as it snowed about 3" on Wednesday. It's mostly gone now, and people are mowing and spreading chemicals.
Pine pollen is high and I have a sore throat and earache.
a white lights tree, with silk forsythia picks stuck in for spring color
To Do this week
I have to do something about Milo's hair, maybe brush him or trim again. He's not due for his monthly bath but he has been playing a lot and may have picked up grass debris.
My art quilt group meets this week, so I need to finish the abstract I've been obsessed with to show
I have to drink much more water and don't know how to make myself.
There are home chores like laundry that always  need doing
Must mail packages to far away friends. Going to the post office here is a hike. Doing anything here is a hike.
I mopped the wood floors yesterday because of the salt from recent snow tracked in

I finished the Jude Deveraux book and it was good to the last word! That was on disc, and kept me in the studio immersed in the storyline while working. I tried one in a series called Miss Dimple (?) but didn't like it, so I'm now listening to a mystery involving a dog walker (Death by Chocolate Lab ) and it's clever. Good reader, which makes a difference in books on disc.

At night I'm reading the new Rhys Bowen book and she is so good, I find it hard to put down. It's kind of a slice of life story, set during WW1. Her writing reminds me of Maeve Binchy and Rosamond Pilcher, rich imagery and likeable characters coping with real problems and joys.

we watched Mrs Wilson... very engrossing. Well done and acted, real story too. Sad to say, real story.
I think I liked best that all the families eventually met and became one unit.
When I was younger and dated someone seriously I'd have a girlfriend "vet" him for me... meet and tell me if she thought he was harmless, know what I mean?

American Idol is great but I want to vote but it's only online or by text now.
Project runway is good but they are trying too hard to make it "new!" and "cutting edge" and all I want is to see the challenges, and have Christian Serriano go away

Survivor is confusing, what are they doing with all the cast offs???
Amazing Race starts again soon, and I'm pretty jazzed about that.
The fun characters of Charleston finally return in Southern Charm soon.
Call the Midwife is fab this season, so glad they continued it.

I chased a rabbit down the youtube hole last week and ended up watching Maori dancers. Wow, now those men are scary. That's who every  country should hire for soldiers. I find cultural differences so interesting, especially dance. I watched the difference between Maori, Tahitian, Hawaiian, and Polynesian dancing and music.

I'm purely obsessed with my current sewing project. The blue/green scraps sent by my prior bee mates in MD, have gone together well, and I've been adding 1/8" strips of warm colors to give definition to the piece. I'm learning a lot about the design element "line" this way. For those non quilters out there, I'm sewing tiny scrappy pieces together into units, placing them on the wall the way they'll go best, then figuring out how to sew them together into one unit. They are all different sizes so they must have parts added in, or shaved off to make them fit. And look good.

As I'm sewing I see mountain peaks emerging. Repeated throughout the piece. The warm corals/golds/pink strips are giving your eye a place to travel, and remind me of wild flowers.

Learned last week
We did a little exercise at the new coffee group, to get to know each other. The woman on my right grumbled how she hated that stuff. Well, I love that kind of thing! Anyway since I don't really know anyone the man on my left suggested we two do it. You had to find out at least three facts about the new person.
He was a terrific interviewer and we both wanted to say unusual facts. I told him I was a wench at the Renn, Fest in Fl for many years, I moved from Florida to Canada for a bit, why we moved from MD to CO, about my dog. He told me he wanted to be a vet, went to SUNY but didn't get into a domestic Vet school so he changed careers, worked for Disney and while there was Tweedle Dee for a bit, etc.

So while other people kept it very surface, he and I had a tacit agreement to make it more fun. Sometimes all you have to do is ask the right question, or just let another person know you're interested in them.

We'll see how the group goes this week! I saw some people from the group around the neighborhood and it made a big difference in how I felt about the place, feeling more connected.

Milo has a big social need too. He is so much better behaved when he's regularly meeting dogs. This weekend we stopped to chat with a neighbor who has three standards. He was interesting and his dogs were too. He let the 2 yo out first, and Milo recognized a fellow teen. Then he let the mother out who for some reason chased Milo growling and snapping til we stopped her. Milo is always fast, running from us, cutting back and forth impossible to catch unless he wants to, so that came in handy when he was escaping the jaws of death! He was much better after that... she took him down off his high horse reminding him he's not all that. Everyone knows the feeling when they realize they are just one of many, not the most important, they ARE important but they are just one of many. Milo got a reminder this weekend, and he was less cheeky to us after that.
Don't get me wrong, he wasn't frightened... he knew she was correcting him not attacking him because they both ran back and then hung out, sniffing and dog chatting. She just let him know who was gonna be top dog of the two of them.

Like I said, I need to drink much more water. I also need to make some tea to have cold for the week. My current favorite is to mix constant comment with decaf green tea bags to make iced tea. I also have bananas that need to go into muffins. Luckily I have left overs from the weekend for lunches this week to spice up  our people chow.

So, here we go, into another week. Hope it goes well...
linking to
happy homemaker monday

Friday, April 12, 2019

Aqua as a color

getting the pieces planned out before sewing them
The color for April at the rainbow scrap challenge is AQUA which is a personal favorite.
As a working artist I need to know my colors... and as a fiber artist I need to have all colors here and ready to be used.
 The challenge is to use your scraps to create something beautiful. I have a lot of scraps organized by color. I have yardage organized by color or sometimes by type (flamingos) I label my drawers, and bins of scraps. None of them said Aqua. More about the snowballs in a minute...

not aqua but I'm still moving these around
I looked up the difference between turquoise, which I do have lots of, and Aqua.
Aqua is half green half blue. Turquoise can be light or dark and is more blue than green.
I love turquoise
more snow on Thursday. Yipee.
I know aqua when I see it, and managed to hunt through my stash to find enough to use this month but I also realized that the human eye will blend colors that are close to each other, so mix turquoise, greenish blue, bluish green in small pieces and it will read as aqua
I also sat down to sew together some scraps my Maryland bee mates sent me, and think they blend together well in the turquoise to aqua frequency. Colors vibrate, so if the blues, and greens are sewn near each other shouldn't their vibrations blend like a pretty song's chords?

These were cut off of strip sets to make a big quilt, and I love the angles and mix of different patterns. It was fun to sew them together playing with angle, and color, into something like blocks. I trimmed them to save the most fabric so each little block is a different size.

I thought about overlaying an applique on this. I like the abstract though, and asked a couple friends if they thought some thin strip inserts would be interesting
suggestions were orange, yellow, lime inserts, and I dug into the batik scraps and pulled little scraps of nice warm colors. I think a half inch wide insert will be nice, randomly pieced in as I fit the blocks together.

Back to this year's block, the flowering snowball...

aqua/turquoise turtle pin cushion
I like making this block a lot! I like this color a lot! so I made a lot of blocks to go into a rainbow quilt. I made about 15 color blocks, then a few dark edges with color in the snow part, and some white edged ones with color in them. I've done this with all the colors so far and putting the whole thing together should make for an interesting top!
the whole thing has kind of snowballed! Look at the cute patterns, alligators, frogs, fish.
the odd snowballs. All blocks finish at 8" (hopefully) we have a king sized bed. I'll have to plan ahead to quilt them in groups and put them together after.
anyway you look at it, it looks bright and pretty on the design wall! Next week will be the chandelier blocks in Aqua.
I saw this when I looked up what it meant to love aqua
Linking to
myquiltinfatuation Thursdays
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays to do Tuesday 
blue mondays
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
oh Scrap Sundays 
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays