Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blog Alert!

I'm so excited! I found out today that one of my favorite quilt designers has started blogging! Go check her out! Lynda Hall, of Primitive Pieces by Lynda
If you've never visited her website before, you're in for a treat! Click on the link for Telegraph Office and you will find a list of several items. Click on them and you'll find pictures of her home decorated for different seasons - wonderful eye candy!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hubby's 'Video' Clip

Just before we left for Portugal, hubby was involved in producing (for the 16th year), the annual Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride, which takes place every July on the Friday closest the full moon. Antelope Island is in the middle of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It's quite an event, with over 1,200 people participating. I usually help with last minute registrations, and then get to go home about 10:30 pm, so I miss out on all the fun stuff you can see in the video stills. You can check it out here. People dress in costume to go along with each year's theme - they have prizes, and refreshments, and entertainment. Hubby is the one narrating......

Friday, July 24, 2009

My New Necklace

While in Portugal, I didn't really see anything exceptional that I wanted to bring home for a souvenir. Most of the items in the stores were things that are readily available here at home, so I wasn't even tempted by buy anything. BUT, when we got to Boston, I saw a booth full of beautiful, unique jewelry for sale made by an amazing artist and I just couldn't resist! The colors of the beach stones that she uses for her work include nearly every color of the rainbow - and the way she combines them, alters them (a tiny bit), and presents them were so perfect for a natural presentation. The necklace I chose has mostly pale green stones and I just love it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home Again

Hubby & I arrived home last night from an absolutely wonderful vacation! For a week we visited one of the Portugese Azores Islands called Terceria - we stayed with friends who live there, and they were so generous with their time and their home and their transportation - we felt like part of the family when we left! Just a couple pictures of some of the favorite things we saw. Most of the houses are painted white, with brightly colored doors, window frames, and railings.

The island was formed by a volcanic eruption and the rocks had to be cleared before agriculture could begin (500+ years ago). All the volcanic rocks were dry stacked into walls dividing nearly the entire island into these picturesque patchwork quilts. Be sure to click on the second picture here to get the full effect of the fields and fences.

Most of the narrow streets and sidewalks are paved with cobblestones - the sidewalks have beautiful designs incorporated into them using different colored stones, like this one.

And the flowers were breathtaking! They grow wild all over the island and it just boggled my mind to see huge swaths of them wherever we went! Hydrangas, oleanders, morning glory, nasturtiums and roses, to name a few.

Our plane flew into Boston on the way home, and since we'd never been there we decided to spend a couple days exploring. We walked the Freedom Trail, wandered Beacon Hill, and Boston Commons. Lots of history there! I loved the mosaic tile designs on the floor of the State House - great inspiration for a future hooked rug I think! My dad grew up in Boston so it was nice to see where he came from.

This is the project I took with me so I had handwork to keep me busy on the plane, in the airports, and in the hotel room. When I first prepared the baskets I had planned to do machine applique, but I'm glad I was able to do these by hand. Still need to do lots more to get it to the size I want.
Our last night in Boston we got tickets to see the Blue Man Group, which was extremely entertaining. Amazing how they communicate with the audience without ever saying a single word. I can understand why they're able to perform all around the world without any language barriers!
And as always, the best part of any vacation is coming home again and sleeping in my own bed! Now I have lots of blog reading to catch up on to see what everyone has been up to!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

For The Local Gals

I visited a cute new store today that just has only been open for a few days. It's called The General Store - Home of the Co-op Chicks, and it's located in Layton on the NW corner of Main & Gentile. They have some fun vintage stuff for sale, and the cutest aprons made of denim overalls - you know how hot aprons are right now, yes? They also have some items being sold on consignment, so check it out - you might find a treasure! I noticed that they used old playing cards for their price tags - attention to small details like that makes it a fun store to visit!

My longtime friend Madge also has her new cookbook for sale at an amazing price of only $5 in the store- I had to buy a copy for myself, and can't wait to try some of the recipes in it. I missed the cooking demonstration she did in our city a few weeks ago to promote the book, but I heard rave reviews about it.

Last night I attended the summer potluck meeting that my quilt group does every year. Surprisingly, no one brought any show & tell - which is very unusual. However, we ate our delicious food outside on Kathy's deck and I snapped a few pictures of her beautiful yard and garden that I can share with you. Kathy recently updated her kitchen and installed a tile backsplash. With the leftover tiles, she created these delightful stepping stones for the garden - each one is different and colorful.

Many years ago, our other quilt group had a construction day - all ten of us did assembly line work to make these wooden benches for our yards. Some of us did the sanding, some did the cutting, and others screwed them all together. After a break for lunch, we completed all ten of them so each person took one home finished - so fun to remember that day when I see the benches. Kathy has a collection of watering cans displayed on hers.

And here is Kathy's garden - she built the darling picket fence herself - not sure if you can see it in the picture, but the tombstone shapes have stars cut out of the boards. Her crops include raspberries, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and lots of herbs.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All Tuckered Out!

You wouldn't think that two consecutive days of rug hooking would wear a person out, but they did me! To be fair, I guess it wasn't the actual hooking that was exhausting - you see, I drove quite a distance each day to get to the meetings, and since that takes me out of my usual stomping grounds, I stop at all my favorite and not often visited places on my trip back home. Thrift stores, antique stores, plant nurseries etc..... So tonight I'm really dragging. But it's so worth it in the end!

Our numbers were few for hooking today, but I snapped a couple pictures of in-progress rugs. This first one belongs to Arline - she's the only traditional hooker in the group. She recently returned from rug camp with Gene Shepherd at Cambria Pines in CA. Her teacher was Elizabeth Black, and she helped Arline capture the exact likeness of her two cats perfectly. The cat on the left is a Maine Coon and is very large. She's going to make these three rugs into dummy boards and display them in her house. The cat rugs are probably about 18" tall and she used lots of 3 and 4 cuts to make them. The geranium has proddy elements in it and is so realistic looking.

This next rug is Vicki's first one she's ever made. She based the design on a penny rug she purchased from a boutique and wanted to make a hooked pillow to go with it. She's been working steadily on it for quite awhile and it's excited to see that she's probably half done now! Great job for a first timer.

Yesterday, in my post about Sharon, I forgot to mention that she also knits. I don't think I've ever seen her wear a pair of socks that she didn't make herself and I meant to ask her to pull them all out so I could snap a picture of them. Fortunately, I had one still on my camera that I took during the winter when she modeled them for us at a meeting. The yarns that she uses are so fun! I've always thought it would be so hard to knit two socks and have them turn out exactly the same size, but she says she knits them both at the same time with special needles - clever, huh?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Fun Day of Rug Hooking at Sharon's House

Today my rug hooking group had our monthly meeting at my friend Sharon's house. She lives in a wonderful old home that has been turned into a primitive haven. Her taste in decorating is impeccable, and her hubby is so talented at making cool stuff and fixing up the place. They are the perfect couple and complement each other so well. She gave me permission to share pictures of her home and yard, so sit back and enjoy! I'll start the tour outside, and then we'll head indoors.

I took this next picture of the front of the house while I was standing out on the sidewalk. You can't see it in the picture, but there is one of those old wrought iron fences along the property line. The kind of fence that you'd pay a fortune for at an antique store. LOVE that covered front porch - it's so perfect for sitting on to enjoy a cool summer breeze - or watching a summer lightening storm!

These pictures were taken on the sides of the house, and in the backyard too.

These little stepping stones are imprinted with the feet of all of their grandchildren. How fun!

This is the old garage in the back yard where we did our hooking. I've never seen another garage like it - not a greasy tool or piece of junk in sight! LOL The walls are paneled with pine boards, and there are comfy metal chairs to sit in and old chicken crates used for tables.

OK. Now lets head inside! Here's the front entryway. A grand staircase leading upstairs is off to the right. See that coffee grinder on the desk? It's just one of many - Ernie has a wonderful collection of them - I don't think I got them all, but you'll see more of them as we go. Also notice all the wood mashers - they're everywhere!

The living room and dining room.

Kitchen. I first met Sharon at a hook-in and I thought she was a nice enough lady. A few months later I ran into her at an antique show where she was buying this antique farmhouse table. That's when I knew I needed to get to know her better - with taste like that I knew she was a special person! I love how she has open shelving in the kitchen, and the exposed brick walls. The ceiling is probably 10-12 feet tall and has stained lathe boards on it.

Here's the hooking room. She has a great stash of wool! A couple punchneedle pieces that she's made - and some small trivets that she hooked using artwork provided the by her grandchildren.

She has a great collection of vintage rug beaters hanging in the bathroom over the claw foot tub. Is there anything better for a rug hooker to collect? I think NOT!

And here is her wonderful craft room. Sharon has tons of dried flowers that she works with- she does some altered art - paints - is a book maker - and has many other talents

Perhaps you'd like to see the projects that we were working on. Here is Sandy's proddy sunflower rug. The background is a yummy purple color that she dyed herself using grape kool aid! The pattern was designed by a local gal.

Victoria has been hooking longer than all the rest of us and has made dozens of beautiful rugs. Today she was working on a simple star design.

Sharon was finishing the edge of this long floral runner she made - it will eventually find a home on the fireplace mantel in the living room.

I'm almost finished with my second stair riser rug. Hooray! Slowly, but surely I'm gettin' there!

So now I've shared my day with you. Tomorrow I have another rug hooking meeting with another group. We meet at the library, so there won't be a yummy home tour involved, but I'll try to snap pictures of the rugs that are there.