Sunday, November 13, 2016

This Time.... (Gordonville, TX)

..next week, we will be in our new motorhome!  ....with very sore muscles.  I'm not looking forward to the moving part, but I am excited about having a more up-to-date home.
Lake Texoma, TX
We spent this last week enjoying some great Fall weather along with quiet walks in the afternoon around the campground.
The cats have been loving this site with bushes to sniff in the back, grasshoppers to chase, and leaves to romp around in.  Yes, two of them have actually been playing in a pile of leaves that I had swept out of our sitting area.  I never thought I would see a cat jump into a pile of leaves!
Max enjoying the sunshine
Tomorrow, we move to our transition location which is in a friend's side yard.  He has plenty of space for both motorhomes.  It is very nice of him to allow us to use his yard.  It'll certainly be easier for us to park the coaches door to door.  
On The Cutting Board
I will close down my shop so I can concentrate on our move.  I plan to list three new scrappy lap quilts when I open my shop next week.  "Mushroomville" was inspired from all the mushrooms I saw during our walks in the Oregon's coastal woodland area.
They certainly are bright and colorful.  I hope each one will put a smile on a child's face someday.
This is my spin on the Fashionistas.  The main fabric has cats dressed up in boots and bows, so I named this quilt "Purrfect Cat Fashions"  Maybe I should call it Catanistas Fashionistas.   Purrfect!
The last one is "Time for a Cat Nap!" quilt
I have a lot more scrappy quilts in mind.  These three barely put a dent in my pile.
Which means I will have to start working on some new ones soon...in my new motorhome!!  In the meantime, I need to finish up some hand work and get ready for our move tomorrow.
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Waiting in Texas (Gordonville, TX)

Since my last post, we have traveled a lot of miles.  2117 miles since 8 October. We rarely travel that many miles in a short time.  Surprisingly, our cats did not complain about the long hours on the road.  They did want to explore each new stop though.  Sometimes that just wasn't an option with the overnight location.  Ever try to explain to a cat that it isn't a good idea to go outside...yea, doesn't work.
We spent a couple of nights in Williams, AZ.  A great little town within walking distance of the Grand Canyon RV Park.  We were a little worried about being so close to the train tracks.  It would not be the first time a train has woke us in the middle of the night, but to be this close really had us thinking we were in for a couple of sleepless nights.  Turned out we worried for nothing.  The trains were unusually quiet...quiet engine...only one short horn blast at the crossings...even the wheels on the tracks seemed quieter if that is possible.  Anyway, we had no problems sleeping.
We hope to return sometime in the future so we can explore more of the area and ride the train to the Grand Canyon.
 During our two day stay, we walked the streets a couple of times.  I enjoyed the old signs the most and took more photos of them than of the buildings.
 Next time, I plan to check out this gift shop.  Looks very interesting...
I did go into this shop....Of Course!  I could not pass it by with the door sitting open just begging me to come on in.  The Quilts On Route 66 was small, but fun to wander around and talk to other quilters.  
 
We stayed one night in Homolovi State Park near Winslow, AZ.  We stayed here a couple of times when we first started traveling in our old motorhome.  Great views of fantastic sunsets!
Desert Moon
I really miss the southwest landscape, so I was quite happy when we went straight into Albuquerque, NM (ABQ) from Homolovi SP.
I'm sorry to say that I did not take a single photo during our week stay in ABQ.  I spent a lot of time shopping, getting a green chile fix from Golden Pride (more than once), visiting with friends, and seeing our old haunts.  We even drove by our old house which was a big mistake since it is up for sale and falling apart.  Such a shame.
 We are settled in Gordonville, TX while waiting for our new motorhome to become available.  We have a couple of more weeks to go.
We could not ask for a better spot to relax and wait.  This is our view from the side yard.  Nice, eh?
On The Cutting Board
All summer long, my shop was very quiet.  I think I had two sales.  So quiet that I did not think to close my shop during our trip.  I just thought it would stay quiet.  It did not.....
Lots of Happy Campers!
On the very first travel day, I received an order.  I messaged back that it may take me a few days to mail since I wasn't sure how our schedule would go or where to drop off packages.  I am very thankful that she was very understanding.
New Apple and Owl Mug Rugs (coasters)
That order was the first of many during our travels south!  It was like the first customer broke open the dam and the flood of orders started!  I was excited and stressed trying to fill the orders on time.  I really did not want to close my shop since this was the most active it had been since leaving Florida.
New Southwest Vintage Trailer
With the long hours on the road, I did a lot of sewing.  All of the photos above and below are new listings.  Some have already sold.
Tea Towel, Ornament and Quilt
My fingers are crossed that my shop will see more activity through the holiday season.  During my quiet time, I had started working on some UFOs - 3 quilts and more mug rugs.  I need to get them done and listed.  Well, I better get back to the cutting board!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Full of Surprises (Sutherlin, OR)

Here's a big surprise - we sold our motorhome within two weeks from the time Dan posted it for sale on the internet and forums.  Our fingers are crossed that our good fortune will hold up to the day we trade RVs for our newer used one in Texas this coming November.  That is when the other couple will sell their motorhome to us.
We are still in Sutherlin, OR enjoying the unusually warm fall weather with crispy cold nights.  Dan has several VA appointments in Roseburg and I have dental problems to take care of before we can move south for the winter.  While we wait, we have been debating once again on which Escapees' park we like better and this time we have surprised ourselves by admitting that Sutherlin has more to offer than Benson.  The only thing we have not liked is our phone and WiFi signals are not very strong in the park.  The park now has free WiFi for the whole park, but it is hard to get a decent signal to upload one day's worth of emails.  Hopefully by the time we decide to settle into a park, this will not be a problem.
Between appointments, I have been cleaning out my closet, pantry, cabinets, and below compartments.  I'm surprised....no, actually I'm shocked at how much stuff I have been carrying around that I have not used or have barely used in the last seven years.  You would think that with our small living space, I would not be hulling around a bunch of unused items.  Hmmm, I guess it is a hard habit to break.

Before we left Silver Creek, WA, we took Shaun out to lunch at the Rivers Coffeehouse in Morton.  Not only do they offer great food and beverages, they also have a small loaning library in the back area.  I took this photo of their book column before we left the shop.  Love it!
Rivers Coffeehouse, Morton, WA
I have been noticing more used bookstores and small loaning libraries in the smaller towns during our time in the northwest along with more yarn and quilt shops.  Even some of the small grocery stores have a book stand filled with used paperbacks conveniently located near the cashiers.  I wonder if it has to do with winters here because I certainly have a hard time finding any kind of bookstore in most southern state's smaller towns.  You know - warmer winters vs. chilly winters that just beg you to stay indoors near a fire curled up under your favorite blanket and a great adventure waiting for you to read....
Coffee books rain:
Or Tea!....And Chocolate!
Pinterest Link
Even Sutherlin can boast of a wonderful used bookstore called the Books Gallery.  I love visiting this bookstore.  There are little nooks and crannies to get lost in.  Chairs offer a quiet place to read.  There is always a puzzle sitting on one of the tables for anyone to work on while they enjoy their coffee or tea with delicious baked goodies.  The shelves are overflowing with so many books that there are often piles of them sitting on the floor.   Heaven!  I brought in quite a few books for trade-in and I have done my share of helping to free up some space as well!
Wenn man der Familie erklären muss, dass man jetzt in einer Höhle lebt...
Cool Book Nook!
Can you tell that I have been reading a lot lately.  So many books on my mind lately and speaking of books or ebooks, I have found a new cozy murder mystery series that I can really dig....no pun intended...okay, maybe just a little since it is about a gardener.  Pru Parke is a Texas ex-pat following her dream of becoming a hired gardener in England.  To start out, she has given herself only one year to find a position as head gardener with a large estate.  If she cannot get hired, she will return to Texas.  Pru soon comes to realize that she is running out of time to find the perfect job position and to solve her first murder mystery which is keeping her from gardening. 
The Garden Plot by Mary Wingate
The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery series Book 1) by [Wingate, Marty]
So far, Mary Wingate has written five books about Pru and I have loved every single one of them.  I have always dreamed of living in England with a small English garden in front of my thatched roof Cotswold cottage so I am feeling a strong connection and fondness for Pru's dreams.  The stories are an easy read, fast-paced, not to mention, funny at times along with little garden facts and history.  And I have to mention DCI Christopher Pearse.  For some reason, he reminds me of Downton Abbey's Mr. Bates.  I think a lot of it has to do with his quiet demeanor during tense moments or during Pru's little whirlwind moments.
The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery (Potting Shed Mystery series 2) by [Wingate, Marty]  Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Potting Shed Mystery (Potting Shed Mystery series Book 3) by [Wingate, Marty]
One more thing, the books are only published as ebooks and audio.  I'm sorry to say that there are no printed copies at this time.
The Skeleton Garden: A Potting Shed Mystery by [Wingate, Marty]  The Bluebonnet Betrayal: A Potting Shed Mystery by [Wingate, Marty]
On The Cutting Board
Besides cleaning and reading, I have been getting some sewing done.  Another way to clear out more closet space by getting some of my UFOs finished.
I finished appliqueing two of my three UFO lap tops.  One with cats....of course...
...and the second one with a tiny village of mushrooms.  I think the English gardens influenced my little village by adding in some flowers.
I hope to get all three lap tops ready for machine quilting before the end of next week.

While we are staying here at the Timber Valley SKP park, I took advantage of their large community center and basted the last of my largest UFOs.  Would you believe that it has been sitting in a container for the last seven years?  I'm so happy to have it basted and ready for the hoop.  I just need to finish the True Lover's Knot quilt and I will be ready to quilt this one.
I call this one my Albuquerque Sunrise.  I designed this quilt in my Electric Quilt software while we were both still working and living in Albuquerque.  Inspiration came from seeing the sun peek over the Manzano Mountains during the short days of winter giving me something to look forward to on my drive to work.  The brilliant colors were so amazing that I just felt a need to capture them in a quilt.  Maybe I should change the name to Manzano Sunrise.

I might surprise myself and have it quilted within a year.  Right....LOL!  Well, whenever I get it done, it will be going on our bed.  It has been too long since I have made a quilt for us and it is about time for a new one to go with our new home.
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Change In Plans (Sutherlin, OR)

A lot happened since my last post.  Often when I post our travel plans I would also mention they could change.  They certainly are changing this time.  At the moment, we are settled in Sutherlin, OR at the Timber Valley Escapees SKP Park.  We got a great spot on this hill with views of more pine covered hills surrounding the park.  Nice!
Okay, now for the changes.  First of all, we have listed our 94 Bluebird BMC for sale.  It hasn't been listed for long, but it has generated a lot of interest already.  So, you are probably wondering if we are giving up on our traveling lifestyle.  Not even close!

Dan found online a very well kept ForeTravel motorhome with 2 slideouts for sale.  This motorhome will give us more elbow room, catnap space, and storage.  Dan has been spending a lot of time talking to the owners and we are in agreement to meet them in the late fall to make the transaction.  Hopefully by that time we will have sold our own motorhome.
Which means our travel plans have changed for this winter as well.  We had planned to stay here in the NW area traveling between Oregon and Washington.  Now, we will start heading south to Texas by way of California, Arizona, and New Mexico.  Yea!  I get to spend a week in Albuquerque!  I hope to see some of my old friends.  I guess I better warn them.  ;)  Just a few changes and a little stressful with trying to time things just right.
Before all this happened, I had been planning to tell you about our last stop in Silver Creek, WA and our visit to Mt. St. Helens.  Below, is a view from Paradise Thousand Trails gate.  Imagine going to work with that view every day.  
Below is a photo of the same valley off to the right of the above photo.  We are close to Mt. Rainier and to Mt. St. Helens.  You can barely see Mt. St. Helens peeking through the clouds.  I found myself wondering if someone stood in this spot on May 18, 1980.  Wondering just enough to make my hair stand up on the back of my neck.  
A very scary day when she erupted.  I was actually visiting my parents with our 3-year old daughter in Wenatchee, WA.   The ash followed the Columbia River through Washington State and Oregon.  I remember that Yakima got hit so hard with ash that daylight was blackened out and became night within minutes.  We were in Central Washington which was farther up the river, but the valley still ended up with a layer of ash covering it.  We watched from my old bedroom window on the second floor as the ash cloud followed the Columbia River into the valley.
We spent the rest of the month of May watching the news as it covered Mt. St. Helens destructive path, amazing rescues, and interviews with survivors.
Visiting Mt. St. Helens National Park brought back so many memories.  I will never forget watching Harry R. Truman saying to the reporter that he will not leave his home on Spirit Lake.  

There are a couple of photos inside Hoffstadt Bluffs of Harry Truman sitting with 4 of his 16 cats in his kitchen.  If you happen to visit Hoffstadt Bluffs, have lunch at the Fire Mountain Grill.  My veggie wrap and Dan's veggie burger were delicious and we had a great view to enjoy while eating.  They also have helicopter tours around the mountain, a gift shop, and a large collection of newspaper clippings setup outside the shop for visitors to read.  The clippings are full of stories about the 1980 eruption, and the aftermath 
On the farside of Hoffstadt Bluffs' parking lot, sits the original KOMO TV4 news car driven by Dave Crockett.
I remember watching Dave's news clip as he recorded the eruption and talked to the world as if this would be his last words.  He was one of the lucky witnesses to be rescued later.
At the last stop, there are more stories of rescues and eyewitness accounts of that day inside the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  This is the closest we could get without hiking down one of the paths.  I was quite happy to view the mountain from this point.
What looks like puffs of smoke is dirt and ash blowing around.  Although, she did erupt again in 2008, there were no worries on the day of our visit.  According to U.S. Geological Survey, she remains active, but there are no signs of impending eruption...for now.
A good thing to know since I can't even imagine the power behind the blast that took out these trees.
Just look at their stumps.  They are shredded!  It's amazing so many people actually lived through the blast.

Back at Paradise TT campgrounds, Shaun came for a long 3-day weekend visit.  We spent most of the time around the campground since Labor Day weekend was very busy.  The campground was packed.  I'm sure the national parks were even busier.  Plus, the weather was not cooperating for viewing mountains.  Lots of overcast days, but warm enough to sit outside with cats.

Although, Dusty may not look thrilled at the moment, he was quite happy with us sticking around to let him spend the time outdoors.
Come on Shaun.  Let's cross the road.
I know there are plenty of critters to hunt for in those bushes.
Okay, I will hunt here then.
On The Cutting Board
Recently, I became quite irritated with my press-n-cut board.  I liked the idea of using a smaller area without taking up all the counter space with separate cutting board and folding ironing board.  I have gone through three of these in the past six years.  I'm suppose to be able to iron on one side and cut on the other. Maybe the heat settings were too high, but if I am ironing cotton, I need to use the cotton setting.

As soon as I use it for ironing, the cutting board warps which makes it very hard to use for cutting.....and I'm back to using a separate cutting board.  If that is not bad enough, the more it warps, the harder it is to use for ironing fabric flat.  Even the smaller projects became a chore to iron on the warped surface.

Time to do some research and I found the perfect ironing mat that rolls up for storage.  I read that some people had a problem with the edges melting.  So far, I have not had that problem.

I love the fact that I can roll it up and put it behind my chair.  It is out of sight, but within my reach when needed for the next project.  Great for traveling too.  It came folded so you can fold it to fit in a suitcase.
It is bigger than my old cut-n-press board, but I am a lot happier with the results.  I can now iron large cuts of fabrics and it makes a good working surface for applique projects.  It has a non-slip surface on the back.  It still moves around, but not as bad as my old one.
There are other mats online and I would not be surprised to hear that other quilters have been using an ironing mat all along.  The reviews for this one sounded good and was easy to find at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I have had this one for a couple of months and I am quite happy with it.

I haven't had a lot of time to work on projects recently so no new photos.  Between visits and cleaning our motorhome for potential buyers to view....well, you know that I will find time to get back to sewing soon.....because I must have my sewing time......
Happy Quilting!

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