Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Late April Snow

We had snow showers most of yesterday, leaving a beautiful white background for the tulips. 

I spent much of the day going though my fabrics, pulling out some for an upcoming yard sale at one of my guilds, and cutting others into 6 1/2" squares to use someday in a charity quilt.  Very soothing and a perfect "snow day" activity!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Back from Disneyland

I was gone all this week on a jaunt to Disneyland and the California Adventure Park with my sister, Jean, and my SIL, Dawn, both huge Disney lovers.  I can take or leave Disney but it's always fun to share it with people who love it, like these two gals do.   We were very compatible travelers and this trip was at a perfect time of the year; great weather and small crowds.   

I just followed Jean and Dawn around and bravely did scary rides... Space Mountain!...

....and Guardians of the Galaxy (the old Tower of Terror, remodeled after Disney's purchase of Marvel Comics).  

I've decided that scary rides are good because you get to scream your head off!  

When I do a trip with Jean we always seem to end up at a ball park, and we did fit in a game at the Angels Stadium in Anaheim.   I enjoy going to games with her since she knows a lot about baseball and tells me what's going on.  Turns out that Dawn knows about baseball, too, and since I sat between them,  I had the benefit of both their knowledge.  Got me kind of excited about following the Rockies this year. 

Unfortunately, it wasn't the best game as the Red Socks clobbered the Angels 9-0, although we did get to see a Grand Slam.  We left at the top of the 7th and headed over to a nearby bar where we enjoyed a big plate of really good nachos.  Wicked, I know, but we were on vacation!

I got home Friday evening and most of Saturday was devoted to enjoying Boulder High School's spring musical, Side Show.   Never heard of it, have you?  Well, neither had I but it turned out to be  very entertaining.   I went to the afternoon and evening show and had a great time. 

In addition to the kid's amazing performances it was fun to see the result of Paul's work as Head of the Front House.  That means managing anything not happening in the auditorium itself, and in this case it meant turning the lobby into a entrance to the side show. 

Paul figured out how to reuse the big circus tent which was originally a prop for the fall Haunted House production as the basis for the decorations.  This was trickier than you might think.  Since the theater lobby is also the main entrance to the school the tent had to constructed so it could be taken down each night of the rehearsals and performances.  Paul worked that out and then taught his crew of two students how to take care of that task on their own.  He was very proud of them!

 Once he had the tent challenge mastered he worked on other fun elements, like circus popcorn and photo props. 


I think he was happy with how it all turned out.  

In less than a month he'll be out of school; yikes!  It's going to be a wild ride these next few weeks as I have three music concerts and a big music banquet to deal with as Chair of the music parents group, and then there's graduation on May 19th followed by Ben's birthday on the 21st.   Good thing I got all that R&R in California!   

Monday, April 16, 2018

Almost Done

Carlos and Victor finished up their stonework on Thursday leaving us with a nice spot to sit on the patio over the weekend. 

The crew is here this morning starting on all the finishing up work.  There's still a lot to do, including cleanup, but they think they'll be done in the next few days. 

I'm very happy with how the three sets of steps turned out.

I'll get to see it when I get back home on Friday afternoon.  I'm off to Disneyland for a few days of fun with Dawn and my wonderful sister Jean! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Five Things I'm Loving Right Now

1.  I'm loving the fact that I finished quilting and binding this pretty outreach quilt.  Aren't the colors fresh and modern?  Someone else made the top and then passed it on to me to finish it up.  I've had it since the fall and finally decided it was time to get it done and out of my house.  I kept the quilting simple so I could finish it this week.    

One reason I wanted to get it done was because my studio was getting crowded with quilts that I'm making for my various guild's "outreach programs."  These are pieces that you don't make for yourself but make for other people who you don't even know.  I think the pink and grey one will end up being a comfort quilt for someone with breast cancer.   Most outreach quilts I make completely by myself but occasionally I'll finish up something someone else started, like with this pink and grey quilt.

This cute little scrappy piece is all finished except for a label.  It will go from me to the guild and then to Blue Sky Bridge.

This fun quilt with woodsy animals is also slatted to go to Blue Sky Bridge.  I'm got all the stabilizing quilting done but think I'll take the time to quilt in all the blocks as well.

Here's the back with its cuddly flannel backing.

I love flannel backing for kid's quilts.  This one is for Quilts for Kids and features wonderful African animals wearing sunglasses and also a snazzy and cozy zebra striped flannel back.  I bought the animal fabric four years ago for someones birthday but she cancelled her party and I never ended up giving it to her.  Finally I got it out and made this quilt with it and a bunch of other fabrics I already had.  I quite like the ribbon quilting I did; seems to match the whimsical nature of the quilt.

I've also been sewing on two art pieces, but I can't show them to you yet.  😔 They are for challenges and I have to keep them under wraps until the challenge dates, which are April 19 and April 25.  But one is done except for the sleeve and label and the other just needs a binding and the sleeve and label.

Can you tell I've been quilting a lot lately?  I think it's a response to the upheaval of the patio work.  What a messy and loud process that is!  I often retreat to my studio and try to lose myself in sewing. 

2.  But of course I'm loving the transformation of the patio space and especially loving going up and down the new stone steps.  They are perfectly spaced and using them is so easy and pleasant.  You can see that the crew is still hard at work, but now that the steps are in we can actually walk around the new space.   (The black horizontal lines set into the steps will turn into lights at some point.)

3. And speaking of walking, check out my new Pikolino shoes.  I bought a pair of Pikolino boots last fall and have loved them.  So when I spotted these on sale recently I snatched them up.  Love them, too.

The reason why I wasn't in boots was because of our crazy weather.  It was 73 degrees today and should be equally warm tomorrow, leading me to get out my lighter shoes.  But I'll be back in boots again by Friday! 

4.  I'm really loving watching Paul handle the "Front of the House" work for the high school musical which opens next week.  The show is called Sideshow and it's about Siamese twins who are an act in a circus sideshow.  They each fall in love and complications ensue as they try to live their co-joined lives with their fellows.  As the audience enters the school they will pass through a circus sideshow --actually the school lobby transformed with decorations-- and can buy popcorn and cotton candy to help get them in the circus mood (and make some money for the theater).  Paul's job has been to pull this transformation off and it's been a great experience for him.  Lots of problem solving, planning, and just plain work.   Here's a Snapchat photo he shared with me showing the start of the costume the front of the house crew will wear along with the boxes they made to use in selling concessions.  He wants you to know that the straps are now painted black and look "cooler."  At some point I hope to show you a photo of the nifty circus tent that he managed to set up (and take down each day) in the school lobby.

5.  And I'm immersed in The Americans, a series made by the FX television network and available on Amazon.  Remember the old days when there was nothing on TV worth watching? Well, those days are over.  Now we have more good offerings then we have time to watch!  I'm starting the fifth season of this thriller and have to ration myself so I'm not up to all hours of the night in front of the screen.

Joining my friend LeeAnna's "I Like" Thursday, at Not Afraid of Color.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moving Along

 Construction of our new patio is well underway.

All the excavation work is done and the foundations poured for the walls of the upper patio. 

The east wall of the upper patio received its veneer of stone which I think is rather pretty.

The road base was applied and tamped down and the posts for the privacy fence were set. 

And then the stone mason began setting the flagstones on the upper patio, which was very exciting.

While all this was going on the new iron railings for the balconies were installed.  Be still my beating heart!  I'm quite crazy about the new look.    

As a reminder of what the balconies used to look like, here's a photo from spring of 2015. 

 Now we have a place to sit outside and keep an eye on all the activity in the yard.

Or to air out the duvets! 

It's a beautiful day again here in Boulder and I hear the tap-tap-tap of the stone mason's hammer as I type.   Ben is wrapping up the taxes, I'm heading off to Pilates with Dawn in a few minutes, and Paul is staying late at school again tonight as part of the big push towards opening night of the school's spring musical on April 18th.  We'll all make hay while the sun shines because tomorrow it's supposed to rain and snow all day. 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Like Moab

There's much to love about the Canyonlands area of Utah. 

Majestic scenery....

Great hikes...

Marks of ancient cultures...

And so many details from nature to inspire the artist within.


I sure hope I get to return again one day. 

Joining my friend LeeAnna's "I Like" Thursday, at Not Afraid of Color.