Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Italy Trip, Part Two

For the next segment of our trip we drove across Italy to the Puglia region. Although this part of our vacation involved a lot of driving, it also was one of the most interesting; from UNESCO World Heritage sites to food tasting to staying on an Agriturismo. We had a lot of rain while here, but luckily it was almost always when we were in the car and didn't keep us from seeing all that we wanted to see.
The photo pages I have created show some of the amazingly beautiful places we visited. So many movies have been filmed in Matera. This has been on my bucket list for a while. It has been a city for 6700 years!
This was also the part of our trip where the mosquitos discovered me and made me miserable. Benedryl became my best friend, because the anti-bug creams and lotions just do not work for me.

The Masseria Zambardo is a working olive farm and a beautiful location. It was far from everything, which had it's advantages and disadvantages. The last night we were in the region, we had dinner at the sister location, Incantalupi. It was a pre-fixe dinner, but was not nearly as good as the dinner we had at the Masseria il'Frantoio in Ostuni, 8 years ago. This was another beautiful location and one we wish we could have seen during the day. Our location was so pretty, especially the pool and patio area. The view from the breakfast room was lovely.

The second day in Puglia, we drove to Alberobello. Another UNESCO World Heritage location. You can stay in the Trulli, which is what the buildings are called. They were built like this to avoid taxes. By removing one brick the roof would crumble and the house would be taxed at a lesser rate. Even centuries ago people were trying every way they knew to avoid paying taxed!

The olive oil tour was very interesting. Our guide was the owner of the business. We had a "hands on" tour...meaning we got to put our hands in the olive oil!

All photo pages were created on my iPad using the Project Life app. I really like using this app and it makes documenting our travels so easy. (All opinions are my own)

*I am having a Blogger issue and cannot seem to get the photos to center all the time. Sorry for the weird layout of this post.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Italy Trip, Part One

Last month Mr. Romance and I enjoyed two weeks in Italy with our friends of 40 plus years. We have been planning this trip for about 6 months. Debi and I met in high school and we are fortunate to have traveled with them before and get along great with both her and her husband, Greg.
Instead of writing a day by day account of our trip, I am posting a few pages from the album I am making using the Project Life app.
I have been making scrapbooks for more than 20 years and digital scrapping for more than 10 years. The Project Life app makes it all so easy and although it doesn't have all the capabilities of a desktop program, it sure does make it easy to make pages on the go. I made these on the plane while flying home from our trip.
These pages are memories of our time in Rome, Sorrento and Capri. 
Next time I'll re-cap our days in the Puglia region.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Curves, NOT Curves

I am excited to be the queen bee this month in the Stash Sew-ciety Bee and hope my bee mates will like making the blocks I have chosen. My friend, Trudi Wood, in England, designed this quilt for the Sizzix Blog and I fell in love with it. She calls it, "curves, NOT Curves" and I am sure you can see why. The two block quilt gives the illusion of curves. I have done a mock up in PhotoShop Elements (a little off kilter) using the two blocks that I made as practice blocks. Even though Trudi designed it to be made using the Sizzix die cutter machine I have figured out the pattern and with Trudi's permission, I am asking the Stash Sew-ciety bee to make one of each block.

The first block

 The second block.
This will be a black, white, cream and grey quilt.
Thanks Trudi for allowing me to recreate this as a paper pieced and traditionally pieced quilt.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2015


I am sneaking into Blogger's Quilt Festival at the very last minute. I have decided to enter my Kitchen Sink  quilt into the "Scrap Quilt" Category. I think it's pretty obvious why I chose this category.Thank you to Amy Ellis for hosting this always inspiring event and allowing us to show off our creations for all to see.

Here is the blog post I wrote about it last month. It's one of my favorite photo shoots, ever. I wish there was a Quilt Photography Category.

I have been waiting for a day when Mr. Romance and I could schedule a photo shoot for my latest quilt finish. We finally squeezed it in this week between all the home repairs and other things we have going on at our house. It seems when you live in a home for 30 years, all of a sudden everything but the kitchen sink needs fixing or replacing.
This is my Kitchen Sink quilt.  I got the idea for the name from my friend, Chase, who named her scrap/orphan block quilt the same thing. Since it is made of scraps, practice blocks and orphan blocks, that's everything BUT the kitchen sink.The quilt itself is inspired by all the beautiful projects that Amanda Jean makes. I started this when she had her scrap vortex quilt-along. 

There are some PRECIOUS scraps and there are some FUGLY scraps, too.
I am glad I was able to incorporate the orphan blocks on the front of the quilt.

I pieced the 25 Farmer's Wife blocks that I abandoned several years ago into one big block and used it on the back of the quilt. I didn't like my fabric choices at the time, but they look pretty good all together on the back of the quilt, surrounded in an IKEA Alphabet print duvet cover and a strip of the IKEA Nummers print.

I quilted it on my Bernina 820 using a very random and relaxed wavy pattern, alternating the direction of the squiggly lines to give this quilt some great texture.

A scrappy print deserves a scrappy binding. These are all leftover binding strips, saved from other quilts when I overestimated the amount of binding I would need.

I have to say I am so excited to have found the perfect photo opportunity for this quilt. We have a scrap yard a few miles from our house. I must have driven by it a million times in the last 30 years and finally noticed the sign painted on the wall. How cool is this photo?

Quilt Stats:
Name:The Kitchen Sink Quilt
Fabric: precious scraps, ugly scraps, orphan blocks, and practice blocks.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white and quilted with Aurifil 40 wt. White
Backing Fabric: IKEA duvet cover Alphabet print in Black and White, IKEA Nummers print, 25 Farmer's Wife Blocks.
Batting:Warm and White
Size:55" x 77.5"

Monday, October 5, 2015


We celebrated my mom's 90th birthday this week. What a blessing she has been to me and our entire family. My mom has always been a positive role model of what it means to be a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. But she is so much more than that. She is an example of the perfect friend, sister, godmother, aunt and all that is good. When you ask her to pray for a special intention, she doesn't just say a prayer or two, see dedicates a whole rosary to your special intention every night until your prayers are answered. When our son, Michae,l was injured on the job last year, she started saying her rosary every night until he was able to return to work a few weeks ago. Now she is dedicating her prayers to a few babies of our family and friends who need extra prayers. SHe really does radiate God's light.
The last few years have been a little more difficult to see her aging. It makes me sad when she doesn't remember things and I'll admit, it frustrates me , too. But I know that deep down in her heart she is always the same person. The kindest, sweetest, most loving blessing to our family.
On Sunday, we gathered to celebrate her. All my kids and grandkids were able to make it. My brother and his daughter flew in, too. My sister, her husband and her son and his family also were able to celebrate with us. We were missing a few people, but were so glad to have 26 family members to celebrate with us.

our own paparrazzi taking photos of the "Stanley wives"

I asked a lot of my cousins to send cards. My mom was so glad to hear from so many of her nieces and nephews.She received many nice gifts of money and gift cards, clothing and even a beautiful Christmas wreath my daughter-n-law made. Her reaction to that was priceless; she said, "Oh, I'm going to win the door decorating contest at Senior Living, for sure!"
My favorite gifts that she received were all the cards my grandchildren made. They wrote letters to her and read them out loud in front of everyone. It was a special day.

While my dad was alive and we would all gather together, he would look at my mom and say, "Look what we started", I wonder what he is saying in heaven as he looks down on all of us now. 

My sister made a beautiful video of my mom's life in photos. Needless to say we were all in tears watching it.