Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun Little Giveaway at Green Fairy!


Click on over to Green Fairy Quilts to check out her giveaway this week.
Also, don't forget there are still openings in my Pay It Forward. Click the button to the right.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Adventures on a Sunday in Niles!


Well, once again we made it a perfect day for boys and grown-ups alike. Just a short drive from our home is quaint little old town Niles, CA. This was where the silent motion film industry began in California. Charlie Chaplin made many of his first films there. My boys were not really interested in that...instead they went for the TRAIN! This volunteer run organization saves and restores all manner of engines and rail cars and throughout the year offers rides. In the photo, Isaiah got to wear the conductors hat and be in the front car right behind the engine. The whistle was so loud. The conductor said that the Steam engine that was pulling our train was not their fastest...but it WAS the loudest. Isaac wasn't having it...he wanted to sit in the more comfortable passenger car far from such a loud whistle.
Sho was off shopping in a fabulous little quilt shop right on the main street of the historic town and I was sifting through handtowels, napkins, and table runners looking for treasures. The photo above shows a couple of tea towels and a runner I found. I love the little Olive Oil Guy and this will become a fun apron I think. There is a tea towel that was not completed and I will finish this up and love to use it with tea time. Finally, the butterfly table runner will become a block in a quilt. I really love the idea that someone elses love and care carries to me as I use these beautiful handmade pieces.

Finally, we rode to and from the train station on a beautiful restored 1947 transit bus that used to run in San Diego. Why don't we make vehicles this beautiful anymore. All the volunteers and folks of Niles gave us a great day. There is so much to see there including a wonderful tea house that serves formal tea and has a giant selection of hats you can wear while you enjoy tea and goodies. The photo below was our first mother's day after Isaac arrived...we all went to tea. Tell me he doesn't look like a lovely British dowager auntie.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Time Harvest Festival?

There was nothing that made sense last weekend at the "Harvest Festival". Here it was an almost 90 degree Spring day. We are at the fairgrounds at an arts and crafts fair named "harvest"...and to top it off they are having a Hawaiin theme. Now...what is wrong with the picture above...


Since when were steel drums Hawaiin...they seemed to have their islands mixed up. Bruce and his wonderful steel band were not sure why it was called a harvest festival either. Didn't really see anything fabric or fiber artwise that we loved, but we stimulated our local economy by buying a whole bunch of this wonderful Balsamic Vinegar that is made locally. It is addictive! I got a bottle of Fig Balsamic, a Mandarin Balsamic, and a Black Currant. MMMMMM...try some drizzled on your favorite salad or even better...a baked sweet potato! Works great on cucumber and cherry tomato salad too.



The boys love going to the festivals we drag them to. This was exciting because of the man on stilts who was making balloon animals and twirling a crochet circle "pizza"


Isaac loved his balloon dinosaur, and I was able to capture an impromptu game of peek a boo with the balloon. Ahhhh, all too soon he will be too big a boy for these games.

At the end of that morning...the best thing to do when it is sooooo hot is to find some shade and relaxxxxx...at least that is Zay's idea of a good thing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sho's Entry in the Blogger Quilt Festival


Here is my entry to Park City Girl's Online Blogger Quilt Festival. I loved all the quilts I have seen and needed to add mine too!
Well, this quilt is one I made for a fundraiser for a very important charity, Shalom Bayit. This organization is dedicated to the empowerment of battered women and their children, as well as to challenging abuse in its many forms. In order to model their vision in their daily work, they operate as a grassroots, consensus-based, non-profit organization that relies upon the donations of people like all of us to prevent domestic violence in Jewish Families.
This quilt is named Tree of Life and it represents the rich, juicy fruit that can come from tending our families. When we nourish the source, we nourish our community. I both really enjoyed making this quilt and felt proud to know it helped raise money and awareness about domestic violence.
If you click the photo to see an enlarged version you will see that this is my experiment with fused applique and herky jerky quilting. It gives that stained glass look!

Come Join A Fun Little Swap-Bot Swap

Our family just loves all things Noah! Go and check out Swap-Bot if you are not yet doing this and sign up. Then go to "find swaps" and search keyword Noah. The more the merrier. This is an international swap for crafters and artists. We would love to have you participate. Let me know if you need help finding your way on Swap-bot.

Also, don't forget...Nann has 2 more spots still in her Pay It Forward...see the button on the right side of this blog!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Blogger Quilt Festival Entry!


Titled: Pink Poodles in Paris
I loved picking the fabrics for this quilt. I was not sure where I was headed or what pattern I would use, but it was a real departure for me colorwise and so the block seemed to be a bit topsy turvy as well and away I went. As usual I purchased fabric without knowing what I was going to make and had to make this quilt a size that would fit with the fabric I had. I free-motion quilted using spirals in each of the blocks and some wiggles in the sashing. One of my favorites...it measures about 50X60 inches.
Visit the other quilters and their works at the 1st Annual Blogger Quilt Festival over at Park City Girl.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What a Great Performance & A Giveaway!

Thank you to my dearest Gwen for sending me the link to this amazing performance. Les Miserables is my alltime favorite musical, and this woman's performance is stunning!

Britain's Got Talent: Susan Boyle

Cheers!
Ethel

There is a lovely 100th post giveaway going on at Tozz's Corner
Check it out. She does some very lovely work...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Viva La Vida!


Finished a fun little embroidered quiltlet for a swap for Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I have loved the art and life of Frida Kahlo since I was in my young and ideal early 20's. I spent a great deal of time in Mexico as a child, and fell in love with the culture, language, and people. My swap partner is also a big fan of Fridita...so this little gift went to her.


Detail of Frida's face.

The fabric for the back of the quilt is a beautiful homage to Frida fabric from Alexander Henry I think. Also, excited to have finished the embroidery for the Noah's Ark BOM that Lynette Anderson offered last year. It is so cute...can't wait to finish the mini-quilt.

Finally, there are still 2 spaces open in my Pay It Forward. Leave me a comment or email me and let me know if you want to sign on!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Passover...the movie!

video

You need to pause the music to the right of this blog....

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Passover!

And there it is...that smell. I know it is Spring and time for Passover when Sho puts on that pot of delicious matzoh ball soup. She makes the best of anyone I know!!! Can you smell it....mmmmm.

Everyone enjoy your springtime...(those of you in the southern hemi...that would be autumn). As we celebrate Passover, Easter, and Spring. Be grateful for our freedoms, resurrections, and renewals, but also be mindful of those still looking to find their promised land.

Sending thoughts and prayers out to the earthquake survivors in L'Aquila Italy, the tornado survivors in the heartland of the US, and those in Oklahoma and Texas that will need to begin again as a result of devastating brushfires. And to all of those first responders on the scene helping...Thank You!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pay It Forward, and an amazing story from Aquila!


I just joined Pay It Forward. I was very curious when I saw this picture on so many other blogs. It took me awhile to find an open opportunity to join in this. A big thank you to Monica at Pink & Blue.


Now, here is how it works. Sometime in the next year, I will be the lucky recipient of a handmade surprise from Monica. Then I must "pay it forward" to three others by sending a handmade item to them in the next year. Who? will I send to. Well, this is up to you the readers!!!


The first 3 folks to sign up in the comments section will be my PIF (pay it forward) group. Each of you who signs up must then post to send to 3 others.


Be sure to leave me an email address for you if you do not have a link on your blog. Leave your email on the comment section or email me.
Also, if you did not yet hear the news...read here about brave 98 year old woman found alive in the rumble of her home. When asked how she spent the time...she said...she was crocheting!!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oh, Scraps, Scraps, and more Scraps!

Sho & I have been working on trimming down our stash. We do lots of projects with kids and steam a seam and so we get some very odd shaped scraps along the way.

So there is now a grocery size bag of scraps that are smaller than charm squares, but could easily be used for some smaller project fun like fabric postcards, atc's, inchies, covering buttons, and applique. Even some would work for hexagons or yo-yo's.

I want to have these scraps go to someone who will love and use them. If you want them or know someone who does...please leave me a comment or email me!

UPDATE TO THIS POST: I have added a button here on my blogsite for information about donations to the Italian Red Cross. The button will tell you about their current actions on behalf of the victims of the devastating earthquake! For those of us living in earthquake country...our hearts, prayers, & thoughts are with the victims and first responders.

More Giveaways Happening in the Blogosphere!


Can't tell you how cute the gadget pouches are at SymbiosisbyJulia. There is a giveaway from there at Daily finds and giveaways!.


Also, there is a giveaway from Rusty Rooster Metalworks. Wasn't sure I would like this sight but saw some pieces that were awesome!


Enjoy this beautiful Spring Day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Viva the Natural World!

Now that the weather has been dry and sunny here in the Bay we have settled into a great routine after the school/work day. We try to get outside every evening for some fresh air and exploration. I was inspired by the National Wildlife Federation's Green Hour website, and so we try to get outside at least an hour a day even on blustery or cold days.
Isaac and I were out at our favorite park in Oakland and walked up the spiral path to the top of a mound. As he was looking out over the bay and the boats he became very philosophical about the different birds flying above our heads. "What are they seeing up there, Baba?" and from there a whole list of possible things you could see if you could fly ensued.
Yesterday it was a little chilly due to high winds...well, out came the kite! For just a dollar at the dollar store we enjoyed a little flight time of our own. Thank goodness I bring craft stuff along...our kite string was not in the package and we became very sad until I realized that I had a ball of pearl cotton in my kit. So, we flew our kite high using #391 red pearl cotton. Crafters rule!
This weekend will also be filled with lots of fun outdoors. We pack a bag of clothing changes, a bag of snackies and drinks, and a bag of handwork. It is a good life!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Giveaway happening over at Sew Fantastic


Check out this blog entry to see how to enter to win a bunny just in time for Passover?
These marvelous little buns are just about as cute and cuddly as they come!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And The Winner Is....

Thank you each of you for your posts and becoming a follower of my little blog! I used the random number website to get the winner. Entry number 8 was Jacqueline! Congratulations!

Please send me an email with your address so I can get it to you!





Cheers!