Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Are You a Viking?

Have you ever heard of Dupuytren's Contracture?  It is a "fixed flexion contracture of the hand where the fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be fully extended" (Wikipedia)
My grandfather and my dad both have this.  My DH was watching a TV show on the Science Channel yesterday and learned that it is particularly prevalent in people of Viking descent, Northern Europeans and Scandinavians.  The show said it probably originated with the Vikings and spread as they settled.  It is most common in men (thank you, God). So if you or anyone in your family has this you are probably of Viking descent! My grandfather could not open his last 2 fingers on either hand.  So my dad went looking for a way other than surgery to treat it.  He did some research and found that taking a certain dose of Natural vitamin E has stopped its progress.  He has the knots in his palm but his fingers are not curling.  If anyone needs the dose let me know and I will ask him.
I just thought you might like to know that you could be a Viking like me!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

8 things Meme

Natalie of Chicken Blog fame, has tagged me with an 8 Things Meme.  For those of you who don't know her, we met when I sent her a doll quilt when I was in the doll quilt exchange.  Who knew we would become friends?  Thanks, Natalie for the tag and here goes:

8 Things I am passionate about:

1-My family
2-How to treat others
3-How to treat animals
4-Respect and kindness
7-My friends

8 Things to do before I die

1-Make sure everyone knows I love them
2-Visit Australia, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden
3-Learn to scuba dive
4-Go on a cruise 
5-Go Fossil hunting
6-Make a masterpiece quilt
7-Make a quilt for everyone I love
8-Take a long road trip with my husband

8 Things I say often

1-I love you
2-What goes around comes around.
4-Good Godfry
5-ShKelsey or KaShelby
6-What are you thinking?

8 Books I have Recently Read

2-Harry Potter, the last one
3-One Block Wonder
4-Driven to Distraction
5-Who has time to read?  I am getting books on tape soon so I can read and quilt at the same time.  I love to read but do it to exclusion of everything else when I do.

8 Songs I could listen to over and over

1-O Holy Night
2-The Fisherman's Song-Carly Simon
3-Amazing Grace
5-That song by five For Fighting about time passing
6-Pretty much all Celtic Music
7-Pretty much most Christmas music
8-Can't think of an eighth song.  I love lots of different music

8 Things that attract me to my best friends

1-Common Interests
2-Sense of Humor
4-Listening skills

8 People who should absolutely do this game.

I hate to single anyone out so if you want to do this consider yourself tagged!  I hope you enjoy what you learned.

Last year for my birthday, my friend, Ellen, gave me a quilt, all cut out and the pattern to make it with.  I loved it but it has been put aside.  I got it out on Sunday and made the top.  I then pulled from the stash and made a back.  I had enough of the red inner border (from my stash) to make the binding so I have that all ready too.  I will put up a picture when I get it back from Liz, unless she will hold it up for me before she takes it today.  It was much too dark to take a picture last night.  I have decided that I will work my way through the projects I have in the baskets and bags upstairs before anything else new.  I have lots of things I bought to make a certain quilt with and this year will be that year.  I want to get as many of those done as possible.  Most of them are for family so that will be a good thing.  Photo to follow soon, I hope!

Edit:  I finally got someone to hold the top so here is a photo of it and a close up.  It is from the Take 5 pattern.  I think it turned out quite well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

TEXAS Completed!!

I finally have the Texas quilt finished!!  I designed this and made it for my son who is a HUGE University of Texas fan.  I have shown the top on this blog before but this is with it all finished and I had to show off "Liz the Quiltin' Whiz's" awesome quilting!!  I told her what I wanted and she executed it perfectly!  
I wanted these little circles around each longhorn to simulate leather.  They really, really do too!
Then I had her do stars and loops in the rail fence parts.  Texas is the lonestar state.
I had a small inner border and you can see it on the left, she make barbed wire in this border.
The cheer or chant at UT is "Hook Em' Horns" which she stitched in each outside corner
On the stars, she outlined each one.

Here is the only photo I could get of the finished quilt as it is pretty large and I have no place to lay it out.  I think you get the picture.  You can see the whole top here.
Here is what she quilted in the outer border.  Stars, swirls and repeats of the longhorn that I appliqued.

The only thing I didn't have a picture of is the label.  I gave it to him on his birthday, the day after Christmas.  He turned 17.  You know how boys are and he never wants to show me any affection, but he scooped me up and gave me a HUGE hug.  He just loves it!  Thank you Liz for helping me bring my dream to life.  You are so good to me!  Are you up for Santa's Village ala, my head??

Seattle and some gifts

Well, here are the fabrics I bought in Seattle.  I kept it pretty sparse, but I am a sucker for good aqua's and teal type colors. I think the one on the right will be used in the dragon wall hanging i want to make from a drawing of DD!, Prismata.

Apparently each year there is some kind of shop hop and the local shops get fabric with things from the state of WA put on it.  I got a FQ of this years and last.  I thought it would be fun to use in a quilt someday.
Now, I have been looking for fabric with giant Koi on it for some time.  I wanted to make a "koi pond" quilt.  I saw one 2 years ago in Paducah and just know that DD1 would love it.  The biggest problem was finding the fabric.  I really like the one on the left for the pond idea.  Hey, if I ever get around to designing and making it I'll share it with you all!  (Don't hold your breath, lol)
My DH loves to fish and I have been collecting fish and lure fabric in order to make him a quilt.  I found this unique salmon fabric while in Poulsbo, WA, a fishing town, of course!  It is kind of large, but I thought it was really neat.
Then, because I am a cat freak *and* a Halloween freak, I bought these 2 fabrics.  The one on the left has that cute little Japanese luck cat (Manekineko) doing lots of adorable things.  I have some other Halloween fabrics that must be from this halloween line so I got it to go with the ones I have.  I have to say the shops in Seattle had beautiful Asian fabrics!  A much different selection than we have in Mi.
My friends Yuki and Hiro went back to Japan recently and both of them brought me some gifts!  I am so blessed to have such generous friends!  Yuki, if you remember, carved me a beautiful pinwheel block stamp out of stone.  I use it all the time on my quilts as kind of my mark.  Finding a stamp pad with fabric ink that doesn't wash out was difficult.  Yuki's mom had previously sent me some ink from Japan and this time when Yuki was home she bought me some additional colors.  Aren't they great??  I can't wait to try out the new colors!!  Thanks, Yuki!!

If this was not enough of a gift, Hiro chose this beautiful scarf.  If you enlarge it you will see bunnies all over it playing.  I love bunnies!  This was such a thoughtful present.  Thanks, Hiro!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Seattle the Third Day

This should be the last of the vacation photos.  Whew...right?  This is Snoqulmie Falls in the cascade Mountains.  DH said you could walk down to the bottom but the path was closed due to a fallen tree.  (I wasn't really too sad as it was really cold!)

I just love those "You are here" maps don't you?  So you can see exactly where we were in relation to Seattle.  Quite a ways away.  DH sure gets to some interesting places without me!  Lucky he wants to go back and visit them with me too!!
I laughed so hard when we saw this stop sign.  It was on the way to Roslin after we left the falls.
One of my favorite mountain shots.  There was actually some blue sky.  It didn't last for long and most of my photos have gray sky.  This was at a little motel just past the stop sign, in the mountains.
If you enlarge this you will see the same mountain in the back on the left.  The roof is on the second floor.  I love the gigantic icicles!  
Yep...there's me so you can see how much snow there really was!!
Does anyone remember the TV show Northern Exposure?  It was supposed to be in Cicile, Alaska but was actually shot here in Roslin, Washington.  (DH knows lots of this kind of thing)  the small town looked just like in the show!  The names of the shops were still there but the memorabilia store was closed so we just looked in the window, bummer.
We had to decide if we wanted to drive another 2 and a half hours to Mt. Ranier or just head back (we had been in the car forever!)  I opted to head back if we could make a stop or 2 on the way = )

Dh is good to me and we stopped in Auburn, WA at The Calico Cat shop.  It was a really nice shop with lots of friendly people there.  I picked up a pattern for a mouse pin cushion that is so cute and some Koi fabric to make a pond for DD1.  Photos hopefully tomorrow of the fabric, not the patterns as Liz the Whiz has them for now.
The final stop before heading to our room was Carriage House Quilts.  It is in an old house.  They had a lot of fabric and the people were very nice.  The lighting was not so good for these old eyes though.  I bought a sale Christmas fabric and 2 books that were 50% off.
At this point DH escaped to the car so I didn't stay in the shop for very long.  He was a super good sport!  We met up with the other pilot and went to dinner at a place called Anthonys.  It is located in gig Harbor.  They had a sunset special that was to die for.  I got the salmon of course.  The guys were laughing when the waitress lit our candle on our table.  When I asked what was so funny about someone lighting a candle they cracked up and finally told me that this usually happens when they go out to dinner, a nice view, a romantic candle for atmosphere and them...sitting across from each other!  So the other pilot pushed the candle between us and everyone thought this was much better.  I guess DH should not have let me take my camera as their carpet was just fascinating.  It was salmon swimming upstream.  Isn't it neat?  you know you would have wanted to take a picture too.  It might be in a quilt later, right?  They just kind of slouched down in their seats when I took the photo!  HAHAHA.

Now, this is totally unrelated to the trip but my friend Ellen sent me this in an email and I thought it was so cool.  You *Need* to try it!  It is the birthday calendar.  It tells lots of interesting stuff that happened on your birthday.

Sorry to Rhonda for not having a chance to link to her give away before now either.  I ended up going to the pediatric ER to visit a friend and her 3 week old baby at 2 so never got back to the computer.  Anyone can enter, you just need to link to her giveaway.

I have photos of Texas and the up close quilting and hopefully some of the charity quilts for later this week.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Seattle still day 2

This is the Bremerton ferry to Seattle.  It is a car ferry but we just went across on foot.  It was HUGE.  Here is an interesting fun fact.  It does not turn around.  Apparently there are engines on both ends. We docked with one end in and left with the other end that was previously out.

Awwww, aren't we cute?  This is me and DH on the FREEZING ride to Seattle!
This was such a pretty picture of the Seattle skyline.  You can actually see some of the sun peeking through the clouds and reflecting off the buildings.
My favorite, the Space Needle.  I remember this from my childhood visits here.
Now comes the quilty part!  This is the Undercover Quilts shop in Pike Place Market and this is the owner Linda.  They had a lot of patterns by local designers.  I bought one and will show it to you all later (with fabrics too).  She was very nice and gave me their ebay store address.  they have 3 yard cuts of some unusual fabrics on this site in the sale section of their ebay store.  You should check it out!
She had a lot of asian fabric there that I had not seen either, but the patterns really fascinated me.
We walked around at Pike Place Market and the fish stores were just amazing.  Salmon as big as your legs!!!!  No joke.  And so cheap.  In Mi the wild caught salmon is unaffordable and even the farm raised is pricy unless on sale.
check out DH checking out the running water fish tanks, talk about fresh (the fish, not DH...well, sometimes DH ; )
I will post about the last day either later today or tomorrow and then on to the fabrics and books.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Seattle part 2

The second day we headed out to one of DH's favorite haunts...Poulsbo.  It is a small Swedish fishing village.  (Not really *that* small, but cozy).  The first stop, of course, was the Heritage quilt shop.  I got the neatest fish fabric there!  It reminds me of salmon swimming in the river.  I will have to remember to take photos of all the things I bought so I can share with you all.  I went to 5 different shops in 2 and one half days so I may not remember which shop each thing came from, but the fish fabric I remember!  

Since DD2 wants to go into Marine biology and is currently majoring in fisheries and wildlife at MSU, I took this photo so when she is looking at internships she can see if they have any.  I can't imagine Poulsbo being a "hot bed" of excitement so maybe it is enough off the beaten path and may be a little easier to locate and internship.  It's worth a try, right? That's DH walking away from the sign.  The center was not open on wednesdays so we could just peek in the windows.  The science nerd in me was a little disappointed that I could not check it out.
Here is a view of the harbor in Poulsbo.  Beautiful!
Another, view, to the left of the first one.
When I went into the quilt shop here I had my new green shoes on.  The lady behind the counter was just so excited about them and asked me lots of questions about where I got them.  I gave her all the information and went on my way.  DH and I walked down the street and crossed to the other side to the local shoe store.  Guess what was in their window??  Yep...my green shoes!  I went back to tell her and she took her break and bought herself a pair!  That's me, spreading the magic of the green shoes, one person at a time!!

We kept walking and went into the local chocolate shop where DH bought a ton of black licorice (YUCK!!) I bought a piece of sea foam.  I just love it but I was restrained in my purchase.  Then off to the Swedish bakery.  I smelled all the smells and bought one cookie!  YIKES, get me out of here before I weigh 500 pounds!!  More later.

Seattle 08

So I will be spending some time talking about the trip to Seattle.  I arrived at the airport around 2pm.  DH picked me up and we headed to our hotel, The Inn at Gig Harbor.  It was such a nice place.  We had to cross over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to get there.  We stopped once we got across the bridge so I could take a few pictures.

After unloading the car we drove to Gig Harbor, the town.  I thought this statue on the harbor was interesting.
Here is a view looking across the harbor.
I was totally fascinated by these unusual star fish.  I apologize for the image, but it was very gray outside and getting dark, so this is what I got.
Of course, we went to the local quilt shop and it was so nice.  The people were very friendly and I bought a little bit.  I tried to be restrained and I did pretty well.  It was called the Harbor Quilt Shop
You really should stop by and visit.  

Here is the view out of my hotel window.  It is the Olympic mountain range.  Dh told me that in all the times he has been there this was the first time he was able to see it!  I guess they were just showing off for me!! 
I will post more later.  I have a LOT of pictures and information to share. I didn't forget about the drawing and I did pick up some goodies while away for the winner.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My 100th Post...YIPPEE!!

So, for anyone that reads and follows this, this is my 100th post!  What better way to celebrate than with a few photos.  
I think I will have a little give away for a random person that leaves me a comment on this post.  I will put all the names in a hat and draw one out and send that person a little something.  I just need to say that I appreciate everyone that reads and comments and those who read and do not comment.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about my journey as I have taking the journey!

The other night before we left for Madison, I went out and got Chinese food.  I tossed the bag on top of the new antique fishing lure box I bought DH for  Christmas...well, apparently Jack thought this was a fine place for a nap!

We drove to Madison to bring DD1 her TV and armoire.  On the way to the town, down a steep and winding road is a place called Hanging Rock. Sometimes it is a falls.  This was one of those times.  I snapped a pic of DH with DD1 on the wall that was painted to look like stones!
Near DD's apt is a little quilt shop:
Where I met Margie herself!! 

It is a nice little quilt shop and I enjoy the patterns they make up in the shop.  I bought some fabric for a class I am going to take in Feb, One Block Wonder.  I will have to take a picture of it when I get a chance.  Thanks for all your help, Margie!

For anyone that wondered, things went as well as can be expected on Friday.  It's over!!  That's the good news.

Even more exciting news though.   Last year when I went to CA, I got off the plane and got a voucher for anywhere American Air flies.  Last week DH told me he was flying to Seattle, and I asked if I could meet him there.  so LSS, I fly out tomorrow and we have a wonderful 3 days together in Seattle!!  I can't wait.  I sure have a lot to do between now and tomorrow, including pick up my Bernina from the shop.  She is finally ready to come home!!  I am excited about that too.  DH will drive a bicycle up to DD2 at MSU as hers crapped out and we picked up mine from DD! when we were in Madison this weekend.  What a whirlwind.  I feel a little like Jet-Set Barbie!!

I will take lots of pictures in Seattle.  I have not been there since I was a little girl, it should be fun.