Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thanks, Mr. Mailman

Don't you just love it when you get exciting things in the mail, whether you were expecting them or not? Today was one of those days for me. I received the Polish Pottery we purchased in Seattle. Everything arrived in perfect condition and I was so excited to see what I had bought. I like it even more now that it is in my home. I like it so much that I couldn't resist doing a quick photo shoot with it. I bought a small pitcher that I can use as a vase or a small beverage pitcher. Everything is food safe and so pretty. I also bought 4 eclectic bowls, none matching and of two different styles.
Aren't they pretty?

And if that wasn't exciting enough I received my little handmade gift, sweet and postcard from my swap partner in Ishtar's little treats swap. Ursula sent me a cute little crocheted coaster, an iphone case and some yummy  looking tomato jam. She also sent me two postcards, one of her region in Valencia, Spain  and the other from her smaller town of Sagunto, and she wrote me a lovely little note. You can see Ursula's blog here. I love everything she sent, even the mailing envelope is pretty.

Now I can also share what I made for Ursula. She said she liked green so I made a mostly green potholder and embellished dish towel with the vegetable fabrics that I love for little projects like this. Funny thing is, I also sent her some jam, a jar of my homemade fig jam. I sent her a postcard through the mail so she would get another surprise from the postman on another day. She said she loves everything.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wish List

This weeks assignment from Kellie for the 52 lists 52 weeks is to make a wish list. I feel very vulnerable making a wish list. I have included some personal things that I haven't really shared on this blog but they are my wishes. Some are light and some are pretty heavy, but they are all on my wish list. I'm sure most people have a wish list a mile long, as do I, so I kept it short.

The Real Farmer in Me

I'm not claiming to be a farmer's wife at all. A real farmer's wife has to put up with many more challenges than I can ever dream of but for the purposes of this post let's just pretend. Actually, I'm more farmer than farmer's wife. Today Mr. R and I harvested in the garden. It was time to dig up the potatoes. Potatoes? What potatoes? We ended up with no potatoes! This is so frustrating. We thought we did everything right, but ended up with NO POTATOES AT ALL! Any real farmer's wives or backyard garden specialists out there? I need help.
On a good note,  I did manage to harvest some beautiful green beans, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, jalapeno peppers and Italian roasting peppers. Guess what we're having for dinner?

Now back to the Framer's Wife quilt...argh! That thing is causing me to sweat! I am so frustrated with the templates and the sizing. Today I worked on block #5 for 90 minutes. I must have ripped out the seams on the flying geese part 6 times and never did get it so jumped to another block. I did finish 2 blocks today, which keeps me on schedule for week 5. I've got to figure out how to get the templates to print at the correct size. Mine are just about 1/8" off. Discussion group, here I come!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Natural Beauty

On the last day of our Seattle trip we arranged to meet our friends, Mim and Steve. We took the ferry to Bremerton, where they picked us up and then we headed to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. I sure didn’t expect to be in the snow on this trip! The temperature was a crisp 51’ and the scenery was beautiful. When I saw the warning sign at the entrance to the park,

I was hoping we would see a bear, but all we saw were deer. The deer were beautiful, and most still had patches of their winter coats. This young buck was cooperative enough to do a photo shoot for us.

I'm using this post to link to Texture Tuesday

I love this photo of the deer, that Steve shot, with Paul's reflection in the mirror
After visiting the Ridge, we drove down the mountain to the little town of Port Townsend. It was a typical little tourist town full of small shops and restaurants. The weather was warm and nice enough to sit outside to enjoy dinner. After dinner we headed back to the ferry when we realized we would not make it in time to catch the ferry leaving from Bremerton. Luckily, I had the ferry schedule and Steve knew that we could catch the ferry from Bainbridge Island, which was about 15 minutes closer to where we were, so we made it in plenty of time.

We were supposed to leave to come home on Monday when I was awaked at 5 in the morning with terrible stomach cramps. Food poisoningoh no! We had to get an extra night in the hotel, lost our return airfare and had to buy another ticket to come home. Not how we wanted to end our vacation, but overall it was really great. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

One Thing, One Week Challenge

Amy over at Amy's Creative Side has a challenge to post a comment on her blog on Monday of what you want to complete this week and then do it! This last week I knew I was going away so all I said was that I wanted to get my charm squares cut and shipped off to AnneMarie at Gen X Quilters for her Spoonflower fabric swap.
One super easy thing and I got it done!

I love that Spoonflower sends the cute little label with your order. I will definitely use this label on this Spoonflower fabrics quilt.

I also made 3 postcards for my postcard swap. I can't post them until the recipients receive them.
And I finished hand sewing the backing seams on my CMB2A quilt. I am QAYG on this quilt and it is my first time to do so. All that is left to do is sew the rows together.
Mr. Romance and I have been celebrating our anniversary, so it might take me a few days to get back to my routine.  Our son and DIL are arriving on Thursday with their 4 kids, so I am not making any promises for next week's challenge! We'll just be celebrating lots of birthdays and Independence Day.

Amy's Creative Side

Saturday, June 25, 2011

French Kiss Textures

Check out the giveaway at French Kiss Textures. 
You can win up to $100 in prizes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Seattle Wine Tour

Today we started our day with a yummy breakfast at Andaluca Restaurant. Then we walked around a little. I went into the Marimekko store but couldn't justify buying any fabric at $43 a yard, even if it would make the cutest bags or pillows.
At noon we were picked up by Tyler of Evergreen Escapes to go on a wine tour to the Woodinville area. Wow! Who knew there is such a great wine growing area up here in Washington. We were in a small group of 7 people and we had a great time. I think we must have tasted at least 15-20 wines, maybe more. We liked the wines from Airflight winery the best. And there was a LQS right next to the tasting room so I had to run in and buy a dozen fat quarters of a bunch of different colored dotted fabrics.
After a short nap we skipped the fancy anniversary celebration at a "romantic" seafood restaurant and instead had some Serious Pie...delicious pizza, famous in this area.
We had a perfect day!

A Beautiful Card

My sister made this beautiful anniversary card for us.
She is such a clever girl.
Thanks, Geri and Paul (her Mr is a Paul, too)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

and the correct answer is..

Since Helen said Vancouver or Seattle and Cindy guessed correctly with Seattle I decided to put both names in a hat and Mr. R drew Helen's name.
So Helen, I will be sending you an email to ask for your mailing address and sending you a postcard from Seattle, where we are having a wonderful time.

This morning we went to a Polish Pottery store that had the most beautiful bowls, serve ware and other table wares. I hope we can visit the factory next year when we go to Poland. And then we went into a quilt shop. I didn't buy anything in the quilt store because there was nothing that I couldn't get at home.
This afternoon we went on a walking food tour. It was great. We tasted everything from risotto and red wine to beer and cheese. Our favorites were the pizza and the Pad Thai, Vietnamese style. Seeing the gum wall was a highlight. It's just covered with gum that people have stuck on the wall. 
The weather is wonderful and we are glad we came here to celebrate our anniversary.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Clue

Here's your first clue of where we are...
You know how I love flowers.
Mr. Romance bought me some peonies today.
I've decided with so many followers in all the different time zones the most fair thing would be to pick a random winner from the correct answers. 
Does anyone know where we are?
This is a pretty vague clue.
Another one tomorrow if no one guess correctly.

Where are We?

Mr. Romance and I are off to celebrate our 39th anniversary. I am going to post a photo in the next day or two and the first one to correctly guess where we are, will receive a postcard from me.
No fair guessing if you are family or friends and have been told where we planned to go.
Just look at these two "babies" home from their three day honeymoon and ready to venture off on a cross-country drive from California to Chicago.
gosh, we were cute!

Wow, life was so simple. All we owned then was our car, our clothes, our wedding gifts and a hope chest! There was a lot of "hope" in that chest and we have learned so much since then and had so many blessings.
Happy Anniversary my love!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tomato, Not This Year's harvest

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Street Scene

It's Tuesday again and that means playing with photos, textures and PSE 9. Today for the Texture Tuesday challenge we were to use a photo with people in it. This one has been a fun photo to play with because it is not a portrait, but a random photo I snapped in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, a few years ago.
First I used the posterize action that comes with PSE, then applied three of Kim Klassens Textures over the top, life's good, granny' s cupboard and stained linen.
I'm going to try to do the rollover before and after again. I hope I can figure this out. It should be so easy.
Can't get it to work. Sorry for all the posts, but you have to publish before you know if it works. Grrr!
So here's the before in after photos separately!
I think I did it!


I'm Featured Today at Life on the (clothes) Line

I'm featured at Life on the (clothes) Line today. Hop on over to Jeannie's blog and check it out. While you are there, browse through her site. She has many helpful ideas and features on her blog. I love her link to clotheslines in Italy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Happy Recipient

Darlene's daughter delivered the quilt to her today and said she loved it. She especially liked the envelope label and it's significance. Here's a photo of her with the quilt. I'm so happy she liked it!

Seeing this photo was the bright light in an otherwise really crappy day! 
Our son had to euthanize their dog. They had this beautiful Tosa Inu for 9 years. It was their baby before they had babies! Miss Kenya will be missed.

Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Things I learned from my dad

The prompt this week from Kellie was to make a list of things you learned from your dad.
Here's mine.

Japanese Fabric Swap

I've joined another fabric swap. This one is being organized by Cindy over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. There are still a few spots available, so if you love Japanese import fabrics and fabric swaps, this is a great way to give it a try. You'll be sending your fabrics to Ireland, so that means you'll have a chance to gain a new penpal in another country, too. So I'm off to search for the perfect Japanese import fabric to send to Cindy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

This Father's Day I write this post not only to honor my father, but also the fathers I admire, who have touched my life. I am fortunate enough to know many men who are amazing fathers, the first of which was my own dad.
My dad was tough. He loved us and raised my brother and sister and I to be independent thinkers, as long as we thought his way! He loved and respected my mom and through him I learned how to choose a good man to be the father of my children. My dad died 10 years ago and I miss him more and more each year. I would love to have him see the intelligent, caring men our sons have become. I wish he could meet his great-grandchildren and see his grandsons in their role as parents and the successes they have had in their chosen careers.. I wish I had more photos of he and I when I was an adult. But here are some from my childhood. Thanks to my sister, who is scanning all mom's old photos, I am able to feature a few here.
Dick was my husband's father. A man who looked nothing like the big teddy bear that he was. He was a rough/tough steel worker but yet he was the grandfather who got down on the floor to play with our boys. He was a man who outlived two wives, raised my husband to be my Mr. Romance, and loved my cooking. I miss him. 

4 generations of first born sons
Father John
Father John was our parish priest who became a good family friend. He performed the marriage of Michael and Jenny, baptized three of their 4 children and came over often for dinner. We loved to hear his stories of travel before he became a priest and appreciated his wisdom and friendship. He died a few years ago and we still miss his wisdom and sense of humor.

Frank was my dad's best friend and confidant. He "got" my dad. They had the same politics and outlook on life. Our family did everything with Frank and Dollie and their sons. I have so many fond memories of Sunday dinners at their home.  I knew if I had a problem I could talk it through with Frank and he would explain my dad's point of view without the emotion I would get from my dad. I could complain to Frank and he understood my concerns because he understood my dad. I haven't seen Frank in a few years and need to make the effort to drive the 90 minutes it takes to go and see him.

Pat was also one of my dad's dearest friends. He and LaVonne have been my second parents. I love visiting them and even asked Pat to be "my dad" when so many of the dad's in my life had died. I try to visit him every year. He also lives a few hours drive from my home. This saying is so true, "old friends are the best friends". Can you believe these active seniors are 90 years old?  I remember riding my bike to their house to visit them on hot summer nights when I was a young teenager. They thought I was visiting them but I was really trying to get one of their sons to notice me, Ha! Ha!  I remember going  camping with their family at a Boy Scout Camp (how's that for beating the odds when you are a teenaged girl?). I think since they only had boys I learned a lot from Pat and LaVonne about how to be a mom in an all-boy family. I treasure their love, wisdom and friendship.

Brent and Michael
Brent and Michael are our 2 oldest sons. They are such good dads. Michael was the first to give us a grandchild and Brent followed a few months later. They each have 4 children and are very involved dads. Their children love and respect them and I love seeing them as fathers. Usually we get them a sentimental card for Father's Day because we are in such awe of their parenting skills. But this year we got them a funny card. I'm sure most parents can relate when they think of their sons as little boys and then see them as fathers.

Michael, Jenny and family
photo by Diane Stanley

Brent, Molly and family
photo by Libby Jones

and finally my Mr. Romance...
I hit the jackpot and so did our boys!  I think one of the greatest compliments a person can receive is that they are a good parent. We recently had our friend remark that Paul is such an amazing father and wanted to know where he learned to be a good father. He had a good role model but I think it is more than that. He is such a kind and caring person who truly loves his boys and they love and respect him, too! I've always said the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love and respect their mother. So we all win. I have an amazing husband and our boys have a loving and caring father.



Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.