Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Clean, Purge, Recycle and Otherwise Get Rid of Stuff

If you feel like simplifying your life, here's a quick list of a few things I've learned to live without. Simplify starting here. But beware, it's addictive.

1. Memorabilia
The Eiffel tower statue that you bought in Paris, the honeymoon pictures you took of just the scenery. You don't need any of these things. Because guess what? Without them you'll still remember what it felt like to visit Paris and the beautiful Grand Canyon. None of those memories are going anywhere. Donate or recycle this stuff — you won't miss it.

2. T-Shirts (and Other Clothing You Don't Wear)
I'm not talking about those soft, perfectly fitted T-shirts you love and wear all the time. I'm talking about what's down there in the bottom third of your dresser drawer. Those logo-boasting shirts from events or places, which were likely all given to you for free, donate them and free up your closet or dresser.

3. CDs and DVDs
This one's a no-brainer. You don't need these anymore. All the music and movies you want are on the internet now or can be stored on a hard drive. So rip them and make some space on your shelves. Bonus: most urban recycling centers accept CDs and DVDs in your blue bin.

4. Books
I'm personally anti-Kindle because I believe real books have a longer life-span and most Kindles will end up in the trash. But if you own one, then this part might be even easier for you.

There are three types of books worth keeping around longer than it takes you to get through the last page. First, books that have strong sentimental value (is there an inscription on the title page, does the book have a history?). Second, books that are signed by the author or are otherwise valuable to you? And lastly, books you plan to read soon or that you reread regularly. That's it ! I suggest you sell the rest to your local used bookstore. Get store credit for them and go there or the library next time you need a book to devour.

5. Bags and Baggage
You only need one suitcase, one bag, and possibly a purse (or two). (Okay, so I fail miserably with this one. But I do use all six of my suitcases regularly, and I don’t want to admit anything about my purse collection).  Spend some dough on these few things so you get quality stuff that will last you a while and look good. All those other bags and duffels you have crammed into each other under your bed will be happier at Goodwill.

6. Kitchen Gadgets
Now, let's head to the kitchen. First off, let me say that I hate to cook. And it does stop me from owning a gaggle worth of gadgets and ice cream makers. Here's what I've learned. First, I need a microwave. Second, you can get by fine with a few good knives. Get a medium-sized quality one that costs way more than you ever imagined spending on a knife. It'll last you forever and cut everything you need it to. Lastly, you don't need any of those gadgets you haven't used in the past two months. If you never use your food-processor because it's too hard to set up and clean up, get rid of it. The best food is fresh and only requires your two hands and a few simple tools.
7. Things That Are Neither Useful, nor Beautiful
So after getting rid of the things listed above, take a look around. Sit in your reading chair and
observe your home. Do all the things hanging on your walls make you smile or think? Do the pieces of art you own make your heart sing?

I have a few family plates that hang on the wall. But mostly I have all of my favorite poster size photos that my husband took on our travels, and a few tea pots that I bought in China. All of these things are beautiful and unique, and they remind me of what I love in the world.

Do not get rid of those things. If anything, make more space for them. Those are the objects that inspire. And without all that clutter, they get to shine for us that much more.

Friday, October 12, 2018

New wildlife crossing over I-90 nearing completion

Image result for New wildlife crossing over I-90 nearing completion
SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. -- For the last few decades, I-90 has been an incredibly efficient way for drivers to cross the rugged Cascade Mountains. But for the creatures living in those rugged mountains, the interstate has undoubtedly been quite inconvenient. But life for wandering mountain critters is about to get a little easier, as Washington's first ever wildlife overcrossing is nearing completion.By the end of the year, a 150-foot wide wildlife bridge just east of Snoqualmie Pass will be filled with logs, rocks, and native plants.

It's part of a series of improvements along this stretch of I-90 in the last few years, along with adding lanes, stabilizing slopes, and adding the avalanche bridges. The new overcrossing was modeled after similar structures in Canada's Banff National Park and is paired with a large undercrossing nearby.
"Sometimes wildlife doesn't like to go under because they feel constricted and that there might be predators lurking underneath, so on top it's more open and they feel safer," Garvey-Darda said.
WSDOT says they first planned to put it in closer to the pass, but wildlife tracking revealed more activity farther east.

The larger size will accommodate all sizes of animals, from mice and moles to bears and elk, to safely get around the other creatures who visit their forest. "We should be proud of our state," White said. "This is really a great situation where we could improve a major infrastructure project and at the same time do something really great for wildlife."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Fall is in the Air

But before we welcome in that stormy weather, we still get to have a little fun outdoors. This is the best time to check out fall foliage colors!  To help you out, I have included some of my favorite spots to see the color show.  For a little extra fun, I recommend dressing your family up with sweaters and scarves and taking some fun snapshots while you're out and about.  You'll make some fun memories and have a beautiful natural backdrop while you're at it.  
Greenlake Park
Image result for pictures of greenlake parkIf you’re looking for an easy, relaxing walking path where you can get in a bike ride, jog, or walk while also enjoying breathtaking autumn views and colors, this is the spot for you! If you’re from Seattle, than you know Greenlake is beautiful all year round, but this park during the autumn season is truly stunning! And it's not all about the trail around Greenlake! Grab some blankets, pack some food, and have a fun picnic!
 Kubota Garden
Looking for vibrant oranges that will knock your socks off?! Kubota Garden is a 20 acre, Japanese-American garden is located near Rainier beach. You truly won’t want to miss out Image result for pictures of Kubota Gardenon these incredible Japanese Maple trees! If you’re looking for amazing fall themed photo ops, this garden is truly going to give you some gorgeous photos! This garden truly is unique, and I love exploring these beautifully taken care of paths! This one is one of my favorites!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Covington Quilters

I was fortunate to spend last evening with Covington Quilters. A fun group. I spoke about borders. They did something I don't think I have ever seen before. They hang Show and Tell before the meeting to allow all of us to enjoy the quilts during the whole meeting.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Grandson's Wish

My grandson graduated from high school this year. I am so proud of him, he decided to join the Navy. We have been trading letters. He is quite isolated from the world, but letters from home are welcome. It's hard to figure out what to say sometimes, but a postcard of Seattle helps fill gaps.

The first letter I received for him, of course he asked for stamps. But his second request surprised me. He asked for a piece of my art. The caveat? No more than 3" square.

Now I have many Eye Candy Quilts that would be perfect but they are 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". 

Since I want to follow the 'rules' I made him a special one.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Thank Heavens for My Local Quilt SHop

Nestled in quaint Country Village in Bothell, Washington, Keepsake Cottage Fabrics is a quilt shop for every kind of quilter. Fabrics vary from reproduction, thirties, patriotic, novelty, florals, wools and flannels to batiks, Asians, and native American. Backgrounds, white-on-whites, and an extensive "color wall" round out the shop's fabric selection.

The shop offers most Moda collections, including their charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes, and kits. In early 2008, the shop's Lecien collection from Japan tripled in size. Other fabric collections include Timeless Treasures, Michael Miller, Free Spirit, Windham, Benartex, RJR, Clothworks, In the Beginning, Northcott, and more.

The white is Transfer Ease
It's the more I am most grateful for! I needed to purchase some Transfer Ease for my latest project. I called all over town, and voila! The shop nearest to me had exactly the right thing!

What is Transfer Ease? It's a product that makes embroidery easy on dark fabrics. It comes on 8 1/2 x 11" sheets, easy to run through the printer. Sticks on the fabric while you stitch. Remove it with a cool water bath. Great stuff!

Keepsake Cottage Fabrics
818 238th Street S.E.
Bothell, WA 98021

Phone Number:
(425) 486-3483

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Scraps or as I Call Them-Free Fabric!

I love scraps and of course the resulting quilts!
They start from this, random pieces from 1 x 4"s to 1 3/8 x longer that 4"s.

I sort them into colors (yes I know I'm over the top sometimes).

And end up something like this work in progress.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Bigfoot Quilts, a New Shop in Town!

 Bigfoot Quilts is a friendly gathering place that encourages sewing, and quilting, enthusiasts of all skill levels to come hang out with fellow crafters or join in for a variety of fun classes and store events. They are excited to do their part in expanding the modern handcrafting movement by offering a relaxing atmosphere and fresh selection of the latest merchandise, exceptional customer service, plenty of inspiration, and ongoing support by talented staff members who are passionate about helping you succeed in your creative endeavors!

Bigfoot Quilts is a full-service fabric and sewing store located in Auburn, Washington. A place where
everyone is welcome and where you will always be greeted by a smile.

Big Foot Quilts
402 16th Street NE Suite A-106
Auburn, WA 98002

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Saturday & Sunday Classes at Festival

each teacher, then circulate around the room informally.
Stitching Through the Layers—The Elegance of Straight Line Quilting

binding techniques to make your quilts stand out in a crowd. Make samples of finishing methods to take home and use on your own quilts. Bindings will never be boring again!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Friday's Houston Classes


Beads are a blast when you know their secrets! Bead a “jazzy-pizzazzy” bag the fun and easy way. Quilt Toppings: Fun and Fancy Embellishment Techniques learning plenty of tips, techniques, and design ideas as you go.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Thursday's Classes at Festival

Thursday NOVEMBER 8, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

It's Time for the International Quilt Festival/Houston

The International Quilt Festival is the largest annual quilt show in the U.S. and takes place each fall in Houston, Texas. Festival regularly attracts 55,000 people from over 35 countries all around the world. There’s shopping at more than 1,000 booths for quilts, fabric, supplies, and crafts, along with 550 classes and lectures for all experience levels. Festival features more than 1,600 quilts and unique works of textile art on display.

November 8-11, 2018
Preview Night November 7
Classes begin November 5
     Note Later Dates
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Houston, Texas  77010

I will be teaching a variety of classes!

Wednesday NOVEMBER 7, 2018 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

News from Sewing & Stichery Expo

Sewing & Stichery Expo February 28 - March 3, 2019 Puyallup, WA

The 2019 Sewing & Stitchery Expo 

Welcome to the first newsletter of the 2019 season! 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of Expo. In this fashion, the Expo team has been hard at work to bring even more fun and excitement to the show! 
Make sure you receive your 2019 Sewing & Stitchery Class Catalog in December! Sign up for the mailing list today! 
RARE Bears
Expo will once again participate in the RARE Bear project. If you haven't made a bear before, sign up to be a
member of the RARE Bear Army. Or, if you participated last year, you can request additional feet and tag kits. Bring un-stuffed bear skins to Expo to be turned in.

In case you missed it: King 5 was able to come to the 2018 Expo to learn more and share the story of RARE Bears. You can still view the video online, maybe you'll even see your bear! 

Learn more about RARE Science and the RARE Bear Project by visiting their website.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday is National Grandparents' Day!!!

Grandparents are or have been very special people in our lives. Sometimes they allow us to do these things parents don't like us to do. We all remember how fun it could be -most of the time- being with our grandparents. Maybe your grandmother even taught you how to sew or maybe you are doing the same with your granddaughter now. Isn't that fun?!? Or how about playing with the button jar for hours??  
Grandparents are very special, but we never hear very much about Grandparents' Day.
National Grandparent's Day originated in 1978, forty years ago. Then President Jimmy Carter declared Grandparents' Day to be the first Sunday after Labor Day. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Visiting way too many thrift stores!

I spent as good part of yesterday shopping! Shopping for probably the last thing I could possibly need. More vintage linens! But I do have a plan, well sort of. I am dyeing fabric in a few days. Just had to buy more!It's fabric after all!

I think I found a new place to buy jewelry! Oh my...
The entrance to Fremont Vintage Mall

This one's for you Janelle!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Seattle must be Art Fair City

Art Fairs make Seattle such an exciting urban city. I took some time off over the weekend to visit one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Smoky Seattle

SEATTLE — Smoke from wildfires clogged the sky, blotting out mountains and city skylines, delaying flights and forcing authorities to tell even healthy adults in the Seattle area to stay indoors.
Air quality alerts are in effect for much of Washington state through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

And if that wasn't bad enough, ash started falling from Tacoma to Seattle and beyond Monday night.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Police Picnic

Free food, live music, and fun! Gave me a chance to ask a bunch of questions and listen to great music!

Check out the 'bomb" truck!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Gustav Klimt

Image result for Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer IGustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. I love his paintings!

Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected places!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Frye Art Museum

My favorite - The Frye Salon
It seemed odd to me (it's beautiful sunny day), but at the last minute I went to the Frye. 

The Frye Art Museum is an art museum located in Seattle. The museum emphasizes painting and sculpture from the nineteenth century to the present. Its holdings originate in the private collection of Charles and Emma Frye. Charles, owner of a local meatpacking plant, set aside money in his will for a museum to house the Fryes' collection of over 230 paintings. The Frye Art Museum opened to the public in 1952, and was Seattle's first free art museum. 

The painting is wonderful, and oh the frame!
Sunday the 5th is the last day to see a wonderful exhibition called 'Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet'. Towards Impressionism traces the development of French landscape painting from the schools of Barbizon and Honfleur up to Impressionism, featuring over forty works from the extraordinary collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, alongside works from the Frye Founding Collection.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

What makes an embroidery hoop good?

The purpose of an embroidery hoop is to hold the fabric drum tight. For most embroidery, I like my fabric to be drum tight, if I tap on it with my fingers, it sounds like a drum.

There are different ways to achieve drum-tight fabric for stitching: a slate frame, stretcher bar frames, or a hoop. I prefer a hoop for most of my embroidery.
These are hoops from my collection.
Size of the Embroidery Hoop & Your Hands

The 6″ diameter ring is an easy fit for my hands. Anything larger becomes cumbersome when embroidering the middle of the design. You should be able to hold the edge of your hoop in your palm, secured by your thumb, and stretch your fingers easily to the center of the hoop.

I simply wrap with bias tape.
As a general rule you should always take your fabric out of your hoop when you finish stitching. I must admit I can be a bit lazy, and don't always do this. So I usually use a hoop that I have wrapped the inner ring.Not only does this help keep the fabric from wrinkling, but I find it helps keep the fabric taught.

 I make sure the screw that tightens the fabric are easy to turn.