Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Monday

Now that I am not working, I really love Mondays...a new beginning..a fresh start! Today I am waiting for my friends from studio Q to get here for our meeting. We were going to meet at another house but she is not feeling very well so everyone is coming here. Today we are going to all bring embellishment things....buttons, lace, etc. ...and a 10" square of fabric. We are going to dump all our embellishments in the middle of the table and pass the squares every ten minutes and add things to each others squares....doesn't that sound like a fun thing for a bunch of ol' gals to do???

I also must update my gripe. Apparently I was not the only one upset about the Star Telegram having only one crossword puzzle, because after a couple of days, they managed to get them both back in...still no Non-Sequitor though!!

One more thought, there was a letter in the paper about this new gun policy...."right to bear arms, etc". I had an epiphany on that...when our forefathers wrote that Bill of Right, they were not "bearing" automatic weapons, nor hanging around in a gang etc. Okay, then if we are going to have that policy then I think it should be strictly to the original thinking and the only guns that could be carried would be what they had 200 years ago...the good ol' one shot musket!!! That would slow the crazies down if they had to reload after every shot!! is now evening...raining outside with the possibility of hail so we went out to cover
the tomatoe plants, just in case! Our "studio Q" meeting today was great fun...we didn't do just exactly what we thought we would...there were nine of the thirteen here. We had our show and tell...always terrific, seeing what everyone has been doing and discussing how they did it. We traded our blocks for the last time; we will get our own back at the next meeting. And we made plans for our next personal "Q" challenge. By then it was lunchtime and we decided to wait and do the embellishment activity when the Originator of the Idea could be with us.

I showed my Bridesmade quilt...I dyed the center rays which had been bright white satin. I just loved what everyone had done to the borders but thought it was too white. See what you think.

The one on the left is before...the one on the right is after I added a golden dye. Now I just need to decide how I want to quilt it and put a binding on it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My gripe of the month

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is in trouble....all newspapers are in trouble. So many people get their news, etc off the Internet that I am wondering if newspapers are becoming obsolete. I would hope not because there is a need for the printed word. So I do understand the need to cut back on size, but I do not agree on the decisions of what to cut out!! "NonSequiter" was one of my favorite funnies, and to drop one of the two crossword puzzles is a disaster!! Dick and I would each work one every morning with our coffee. We don't watch television during breakfast; we read the paper!! So the new arrangement of the paper has really messed up our morning routine! This morning for instance, I had to do the New York Times crossword puzzle instead of my usual one. (Actually it was not so bad....and change is don't tell the Star that I am not too upset by this. I have already fired off my complaint to them!!)

But I do wish NonSequiter was still there!!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Botanical Garden Center

Today, Dick and I went to the Botanical Garden Center in Fort Worth to attend a seminar on water conservation put on by the Ft. W. Water Dept. Very informative! We are going to install some rain barrels to catch water and use in the irrigating flower beds etc.. During the break, I went outside and took some pictures in the courtyard. There were other speakers, too... a guy who talked about growing herbs and veggies, a question/answer session with the "experts", and a tour of the Water Conservation Gardens....full of plants that will grow in Texas and don't require much watering...just what we want.
We already have several plants that were recommended but discovered many others. There is a website which has hundreds of plant ideas I will be checking out. Also the website was suggested for information. And another one, was given to find out just how much watering one needs to do. We were told (which we kinda already knew) that most people water 'way more than they need to!
All in all a very interesting morning...then a yummy lunch at the Swiss Bakery on Vickery in Ft.W.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hummingbirds have arrived!

I put out one of my humming bird feeders a couple of weeks ago as I have had them as early as the first of March...but no such luck this year. But it did get pretty chilly again and then the wonderful rain. So today, March 20, one showed up and has visited the feeder several times so I think he is here to stay. I'll wait a few days then put out a couple more feeders. We usually don't see more than one to five off and on the early part of spring, but by late summer into the fall we will have dozens of them at a time!! More fun to watch! Pretty cheap entertainment, as I make the food for them myself!

Today, the Trinity Valley Quilters' Guild of Fort Worth (TVQG)had our monthly meeting. Interesting speaker albeit a little windy!! She had some gorgeous quilts to share with us, but her lecture was a little bit long and she seemed to talk to us as though we had never worked with color or quilted before. So we were a little late getting out! I ran by Cabbage Rose, one of my favorite quilt shops ( as I wanted to get some fabric with my gift certificate I rec'd at Christmas from my daughter...don't ask how I managed to hang on to it as long as I did!! Our Donation Quilt for the 2009 show is just about ready for its public appearance...I put the sleeve to hang it on yesterday and need to finish up the label to put on the back. I want to get everyone's name on the label who had anything to do with the blocks, quilting, binding, etc.

We always have a "show and tell" (just like Kindergarten!) at the meetings. The Bridesmades all brought our small quilts to show off! One thing I do want to do with mine is tone down the bright white of the center. I used the white satin from one of the gowns and the dark rays are from some velvet that my quilter daughter gave me a few years ago; then all surrounded by a colorful batic. After my friends did such a wonderful job of adding the very colorful batiks, I thing the white is way too bright!! I'll need to practice on some scrap fabric I have!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trip to see King Tut

Bright and early Tuesday morning, eight of us drove into Fort Worth to board the commuter train to Dallas....about an hour ride. Then, once in Big D, we boarded another train for about 15 minutes to take us near the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA). We had to walk a couple of blocks, but our timing was perfect. We were able to watch a short film before our time to see the exhibit. It was very girls and I had seen the same thing about 30 years ago, and I don't think they had quite as much stuff, but still I think everyone enjoyed it. All were starving by the time we got out, so had lunch then went to the Nasher Scuplture Center ( which I think everyone liked even better!! Then we all boarded trains in reverse and ended up back in Fort Worth. Good time had by all....even my hermit husband who really hates crowds...and there were crowds!!!! He is taking the picture!

Our two grands and their cousin were the stars of these two pictures.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Round Robin exchange

Today, after the board meeting which was interesting...six of us went to lunch...five of the Bridesmades and another friend. At the restaurant we presented our completed blocks to the rightful owner, the one who did the original block. The block has now become a small quilt top, ready to be put together...quilted, embellished, etc. We were all very pleased with the results. Amazingly enough, the quilts ended up all about the same size...and it was really neat the way everyone attempted (successfully) to add borders that would fit the original block, enhancing it, rather than taking out on their own to change the original idea. Here is a picture of the five of us outside the restaurant. We are going to show our quilts at the guild meeting on Friday.

This is a picture of my quilt...I did the first inner block and the others added the borders. Today is the first time I have seen it since we started over a year ago!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm back

I haven't blogged for a couple of days...Really mad at myself for missing Friday the 13th!! I meant to report that I had finished the "Widows of Eastwick", (sequel to "Witches of Eastwick") and I thought the 13th would be a perfect day to write about it. So I will have to do it now. Very good read...if you are 50plus or a real fan of Updike or have a real working situation with the first book "Witches...". It has been so long since I read the Witches that I may have to read it again to clarify some of the incidents in the Widows!

This is the picture I was going to post on Friday the 13th. I call it the "Gathering of the Birds".....thought it looked eerie enough for the occassion!
One morning, early, I looked out the window and there in this dead tree by our driveway were these vultures!! There must have been something dead in the field across the road where some cattle graze (we live out in the coutry!) Anyway, I thought these guys were just too cool to not take a picture of them!! My grands and I call them "Nature's Cleanup Committee"!

Tomorrow, I have a meeting with my guild board...being librarian I have the privelege(?) of getting to sit on the board and make decisions!! Anyway after the meeting, five of us are going to lunch and exchange our "Round Robin" quilt blocks that we did about a year and a half ago. At our quilt show in 2007, we had a display of quilts for an organization called "Making Memories", a group that raises money for breast cancer patients. The quilts are made of donated wedding gowns, cut up into quilt blocks, sewn together and embellished. The five of us who made one together named ourselves "The Brides-mades" and we decided to make a RR with the scraps we all had left over. For one reason or another we didn't get back together to exchange the final block so none of us knows what our original block looks like....for you non-quilters, a round robin is when a group all make a central block then pass each month (or what ever designated time) to the next person, until all in the group have had a chance to add a border. Then it is returned to the original person, who will continue finishing it into a small quilt or whatever. I am excited about seeing mine as I can hardly remember what it looks like! I'll take pictures to post!

Oh, and now I am reading "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"...VERY good, so far!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Planning ahead

A couple of days ago, Dick made our reservations for a trip to Alaska on the Alaskan Ferry line. We will drive to Bellingham, WA, board the ferry, be on it for four nights until Juneau, AK. Then we change ferries, and go to Whittier, AK. From then on, we will be driving....going up to Denali, and on to Fairbanks, then drive the AlCan Highway home via Canada....seeing lots of things on the way home.

This is a slide taken in 1965 of a glacier in Prince Rupert Sound. We took a little boat trip from Whittier when we were up there. The only way to get to Whittier at that time was by train through the mountain, or by boat.

When we were first married (45 years ago), Dick was in the Air Force and we were stationed in Alaska for two years. We were low ranked so lived off base in poor people housing....we didn't know it and didn't care...young and stuff!! Our first daughter was born up there. We always wanted to do the drive again, and to see what Anchorage looks like now, so here we go!! It is not until the end of the summer, but we had to get reservations early to get what we want.

We were up there right after the big earthquake in 1964. This is some of the damage that occured and had not been cleaned up yet. Every one was dated by whether they were there before or after the earthquake.
We are very excited about it and that time of year is not too bad a time to be away from Texas!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And More Rain!!!

If you live in a "wet" area, you cannot appreciate the excitement we have over rainfall!!! It can get so dry here...and we seem to be in a particulary dry pocket. While others around us get two-three inches of rain, we will get maybe one to one and a half. But I am not complaining...we have learned to try to grow things that seem to be able to tolerate dry conditions. The year we built our retirement house, ten years ago, it was so dry the grasshoppers were like the plague!! No kidding, they were so bad we could not get anything to grow...even grass! And they were eating the paint off the house in places! Walking across the yard would create a cloud of the critters, scattering before you. We have not had it that bad since and hope we never do!!!

So today, I enjoyed just staying in and watching the rain!! It has really cooled off too; is to be in the high 30's tonight which is pretty cool for us. I hope it rains all this week then clears off for next week. The grands and their mom have spring break and we are all going to take the train to Dallas to go to the King Tut exhibit. When my daughters were young, the very same exhibit was being shown in three cities in the U.S. One of those was Chicago, so my kids, mom, and about six of my relatives, traveled there (we were living in the Kansas City area then) to see it. Now here we are repeating history!!

While in Dallas, we plan to visit the Nasher Art Gallery too. It is a wonderful small gallery, near the Dallas Museum of Art. They have a fantastic sculpture garden I want the kids to see. Art museums/galleries and libraries are two things we visit every chance we get, where ever we are. We are very fortunate to have wonderful, internationally known art museums in Fort Worth, which we frequent often.

One of my favorite scuptures at the Nasher. The "people" are lifesize.

And another one..a Henry Moore.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We have rain!!

We actually had about 17 and 1/2 drops of rain this morning....give or take a couple! But the forecast is really good for the next three days! I may have to get out there and do a rain dance, but we just watched "Eleventh Hour" this evening and it was all about getting hit by lightening so I may have to rethink that plan.

We had an exciting evening...Dick and I. We went to Walmart and what a challenge just driving around the parking lot! There were people coming at us from all directions!! But we parked 'way out....getting our exercise...and watchfully walked in. Dick did park kind of catiwampus, straddling the line, pulling thru which made us pulling out the wrong way...but decided it was OK....just doing it the Walmart Way!! Then the real (seriously) hilight was meeting some friends, two of our poker pals, for Texmex. We had not had our Texmex fix since we had returned.

But we did have some good Mexican on the road...La Mesilla in Las Cruces, NM., a little restaurant in San Francisco with Andrea, and Little Anita in Old Albuquerque, NM. I have one pic of the inside of the SF restaurant I really like...I also have one of Andrea and me but she was not too happy with my photography at that time so I won't post it!

Decor on wall inside restaurant at SF.

Snow at, can you guess, a rest stop in Arizona on the way back to Texas.
The wind is really picking up outside...maybe we are in for some storms!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thanks, readers

I do have a correction to make of my last blog...Dick (husband) was the first to catch my "error" and he subtly said "that is pretty amazing that the birds would be flying South this time of year"! So now we ALL know I am a little directionally challenged!! I do a little better with right/left but not much! Sad to say, both of our daughters have inherited their mother's ability! And here we have a male in the family who amazes everyone with being the one who always know which direction is which!!!

Andrea, I am looking forward to having your 3Day info to put on here. I sent out your email letter to many people and hope they will respond. I just forwarded you a couple that I have already heard from.

I really like posting pictures so I think I will just randomly try to post one on each blog! Here are a couple more from the 900 plus!! Now, you must know also that probably at least 75 % of the pictures I take when traveling are taken from a moving car...then about 15% while walking; about 5% at rest stops; and the last 5% are actually planned! Many of the pictures I take at rest stops are really some of my best...I am thinking of publishing a book..."Rest Stops Across America". Catchy title, huh?

Snow storm in Southern Arizona: a rare shot of cactii and snow! (taken at a rest stop!)

Sunset from our motel in Bakersfield, CA
I was fascinated by these green mountains in California. And there were cattle grazing on them! They really had to dig in their hooves to keep from tipping over! (Anyone ever been cow tipping?)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Still no rain!

Today was hot and sunny! It is beautiful and would appreciate the sun if we didn't need rain so badly! And I had fixed veggie/beef soup for is supposed to be much cooler by the end of the week so maybe we will have it again and it will be more enjoyable!

I did finish my inventory for the guild library today, just need to double check it and tweak a couple of things; then need to put the pockets and check out cards in the "new" books. After that I can take them to the next guild meeting and be done with it!!! Once I got started, it really wasn't that bad of a job; I just procrastinated too long!

I now have my next block from the Creative Crones on my design wall to add is very neat! I like to put the new ones up to think about what I want to do. I have a pretty good idea for this one, but will let the idea "bake" for a few days. I would like to publish it, but I don't want to show it until we have our final trade. When we have them all, I will publish all of them.

I am also working on a quilt for a friend who really likes my"Southwest Twister". I never like to do the same thing twice so I am making this one from a "Snail's Trail" design and it will have tesselating colors, too.
I first named this one "The One that Got Away" but changed it to "Southwest Twister"
Today while we were eating breakfast and reading the Sunday paper (a lengthy event!), a flock of Cedar Waxwings landed in a tree right outside the window. There must have been about 50 of them! They were just passing through on their migration South...they stuck around most of the morning then took off. They fly as one; when one takes off, they all do in unison!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

We need rain!!

It is really dry here in our part of Texas. The forecast is for everyone, cross your fingers that we will get a lot!! If we don't, I fear for the wildfires that pop up because it is really windy, too. And there are always some fool out there who flicks cigarettes ashes out the car window...or even the whole cigarette butt!

Today I worked on books for my quilting guild library. Several months ago a dear friend and member passed away from cancer and she was quite the avid book collector! She left all her quilting books to the guild. Many of the books were already in our library (of which I am the librarian) so we put the duplicates in our annual book sale. The others, about 100, are to be added to our inventory, so that is what I have been doing. Thank goodness for spread sheets! I can just add and merge the new titles and info into the old.

This evening, daughter Marti, son Graham, grands, Kathleen and Colin came out for dinner and to see the pics of our trip. We grilled salmon...from the Christmas present of Alaskan salmon my brother sent. Yummy!!! Then we put the CD in the tv and watched a slide show of pics. After about 15 minutes, the grands drifted to read, the other to play on the computer. I'll admit, I do get carried away on the number of pics I take, alway with the idea I will delete many, but somehow, can never decide which to delete!!

Daughter Andrea in California just sent an email about her plan to do the three-day Walk for the Cure in San Francisco next October. She needs to raise her money for the walk and has sent out a very nice email to that effect. If anyone would like to help her, just let me know and I will pass her info on to you.

And I am now registered on the Quilting Bloggers, an International group of people. So I am hoping to start getting some response to my efforts! I think I am ready to put myself out there, so will send my blog address to a group of my friends and family!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I don't know why "TGIF" is important to me....since retiring, all days are about the same...really wonderful! Who knew I would be so busy after quiting work!

Today, I went to a memorial service for my friend, Anne's husband Bob. It was held at the chapel on TCU campus...very pretty building; I had not been there before. The reception afterwards was very crowded so we of studio Q didn't stay around. There were six of us there and five of us went to lunch at Blue favorite Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth; much more like New Mexican food compared to Texmex.

Then I went to the library to get my card renewed. I had gotten on the internet last week to renew my books and I couldn't do so as my card had expired!! All that means is every two years or so they want to check to see if you are at the same address, etc. I am reading "The Widows of Eastwick" by John Updike now...very amusing! I think I appreciate it better than the "The Witches..." but it has been quite a while since I read that.

My brother Jack in Illinois called last night ..we talked quite awhile. I haven't spoken to him for a long time. Sandi, his wife has gotten on "My Face" but I wasn't able to look at her albums she has on there. I will have to email her and ask how to get on. Fran is enjoying her computer (my cousin who had stroke about a year ago). I need to email her and send her some pictures of our trip to California.

On that trip we also visited the Saguaro National Forest outside of Tucson and the Joshua Tree Nat'l Park in California. I'll post a couple of pics from there.

This is from the Saguaro National Forest.

And this picture is a Joshua Tree...looks nothing like what I thought a Joshual tree really looked like! They are all over Southern California...desert areas.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

cooking, chatting, computing

Looks like the three C's have it! Today, I spent some time cooking some things to take to my friend Anne tomorrow. Her husband Bob passed away last Sunday and I know she has a lot of family coming in. I made one of my coffee cakes which my husband (and whole family) are very fond of, so I will now have to make another one for Saturday when we are having the kids out for dinner and picture viewing. They have not seen pics from our trip to San Francisco to see daughter Andrea.

Sunrise from Andrea's apartment-San Francisco

Sunset from Andrea's apt. - SF

These are just a couple of the over 900 pics I took on our trip. We did go by car from Texas to California and made many stops on the way so not all pics are of SF!

My other C's...chatting with niece Debby in Illinois on Monday. All fine; one great nephew in Irag due to leave, the other going to Iraq in a couple of months. Chatting with friend Debbie in Glen Rose, meeting them for dinner for Tex mex next week.

And the last C...we got the hookup for the wireless so we have the laptop from Andrea up and running!! Fun to both be on the computers at the same time...really works well! We are glad to have it....mostly for trips, but I think we will get use out of it here at home also!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Continuing on for today

I like to use color...did you notice? I also am registered with a Bernina Yahoo group which is very interesting and helpful. We have occassional postcard trades, the current one being "USA Inauguration". I just mailed mine yesterday; made six of them. See below:
I made the background fabric with the freezer paper, muslin, inkjet printer method. I get a kick out of doing my own.

I also have a joke I got from my Yahoo! group: What do you get if you cross an agnostic, an insomniac and a dyslexic? Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a dog.

Being a bit of an agnostic myself and a borderline dyslexic, I thought it was pretty funny!!

I am lucky enough to have met and joined up with a wonderful group of quilters. We all belong to the TVQG and organized a "splinter" group because of a common quilts! So I will be talking about what we do quite a bit too. We are registered as "studio Q"; we started out as the Creative Crones but some of the younger (under 50ish) members didn't like the association with "crones" so we changed to accommodate all! I like both names, thus my blog title! One of the first things we did together last year was to pass around a beginner block and each member add a border etc. to it. When we were all finished, we had a drawing to see who would get the completed wall hanging. This year we all wanted to have something to show for our efforts, so we started out with everyone making a block of their choice and passing it around each month that we meet to be added to. We will have a "reveal" and get our own back in a couple more exchanges! Then we hope to have a group showing of "Art quilts from studio Q" at our quilt show in the fall.
Our first group wall hanging-"Out of the Box".

Hello, out there!!

My very first blog...with a little help from my friend and daughter!!! I love reading her blog and others so I decided to become a blogger myself...can't let all those young whippersnappers have all the fun!!!
I would love to hear from others who have interest in the same things I am interested in...which is about everything! Especially art...quilting...reading...gardening...bird! etc.!! I am going to be posting some of my own quilts, places we have seen, things around that interest me. And I will try to give a little up date on my "doings".
Right now I am getting ready to have some company...the quilt guild I am in, Trinity Valley Quilters' Guild of Fort Worth, has a scholarship committee which I chair and we are having a meeting this morning to make plans to send out our information to local colleges. To make money for our scholarship, we have a Silent Auction at our quilt show which is in the fall. to is my first committee member at the door! Later, Dudes!