Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Suzuko Koseki Quilts

Suzuko Koseki publishes quilting books in Japanese, and also designs fabric.

She has a background in fashion, and was a student of my favorite Chuck Nohara. You can get a bit more bio info on Suzuko here, as well as see another one of the books she has published.

The lovely and talented Mrs Schmenkman posted about the above book by Suzuko Koseki and I ran off to Yes Asia to pick up my own copy. ISBN 4140311495.

This is the first time I have used Yes Asia, but it worked out very very nicely, and I would certainly order from them again.

The book has mostly pieced flower designs for small quilts and bags and things. Very very pretty. I really want to make some of these blocks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The end is near....a sigh and a tear

The only other time I have felt this sad was when my maternity leave ended with our first son.

Next week is my last week off with our new baby, and I will confess I am a little more blue than usual.

I love each peach-fuzzy hair on his head, each teenie toe nail, each giggle and each fat fold. The last few months off have given us some incredible time together, and I have fallen in love.

My only comfort is something I learned with my first son. Even though you take them off to babysitting, they don't forget who their real mommy is.

I will do my best to enjoy this last week of fun with both my sons, and return to my job (which I actually do like very much) next week.

So what's a girl to do to cheer up?

Alex of Moonstitches also posted a wonderful slide show of the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2009. Thanks Alex, and to all, please do pop over and enjoy her photos.

Kathie pointed me to Sew Unique Creations for Ecology Cloth. Mine just came in the mail. Now to plot what to do with it!

And lastly, for some quilty inspiration, I was looking at Susan McCord's Quilts. They are stunning.

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2009

Each year in January I hope and pray that I can go to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. I have yet to actually make it there; however, I will not wallow in agony.

No, no....no need to cry. We have the talented and generous Jennifer of Moving Hands Blog to thank for her awesome images and the incredible images on Flickr.

If you are a quilter, or an artist, or just a human being with a pulse...you MUST view these incredible photos. They are so inspirational. Jennifer, I cannot thank you enough for capturing these quilts so beautifully.

As you can see above, I am still working on learning to knit. This is my first attempt at a sock.

I spent my trip to Yosemite with a friend that said, "You know, you can buy socks, right?"

Yeah, thanks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yosemite in winter with kids

After several days of rest in Yosemite, I have discovered that it is indeed possible to enjoy some winter fun, even with kids along for the ride.

My husband and I used to be crazy wild ski bums. We would try to get up to the snow as often as we could.

Once the kids arrived, we did much less of it, but it turns out that Yosemite is a cool place for kids in winter.

We ice skated in the shadow of Half Dome on the outdoor rink. Check out a cool picture of it here...I hardly had a free hand to skate let alone photograph this place. That was probably my favorite part. We did some sled runs in Curry Village Toboggan Hill, as well as on the golf course at Wawona. Fun was had by all.

On the way there and back I made some progress on a sock I'm am learning to knit. Pix soon, I promise.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 Resolutions

I cannot believe it's already half way through January, and I still have not posted my resolutions for 2009! Here goes:

1. Find my desk again under all the clutter

2. Finish my Baltimore Album quilt (see un-done resolution from last year, ahem)

3. Make progress on the baby books / scrap books for my boys - oh, how I have procrastinated on this one, or at least get my sister to make the pages for me.

4. Finish quilting the quilt tops that I have waiting in the wings (house quilt, plaid quilt, antique quilt, and niece baby quilt).

5. Work out with my husband.

6. Do something cool with my hair. I think a cut is long overdue.

7. Write up a Do's and Dont's of blog photography to inspire folks to take better photos of their crafts for the greater bloggy good.

8. Knit a pair of socks. Yes, that would be 2 of them. Not just a half of one with a bunch of holes in it. No, the goal is 2 wearable socks.

9. Enjoy being a working mom.

10. Contine to eat local as much as possible, and use our CSA at every chance we get.

In other news, I don't think I can resist getting some Ecology Cloth to try with my quilts. Kathie mentions it's on sale!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Food Wars & Japanese Baby Quilt

As a make some progress on the hand quilting party of the Japanese Baby Quilt for my little darling niece (feverishly trying to finish it before her Baptism later this month), I wanted to share a photo of it in my quilt hoop.

Most of you either have or at some point had a picky little eater in your house...and I want to put some feelers out there for ideas of what to do.

I've tried covering things with ketchup, cutting things into cute shapes, bribes, games, and frankly I'm a bit out of ideas.

How does one get a 3 year old to eat something else besides mac and cheese?

If you have any brilliant nuggets or idea gems for me please do pass them along. Also, if you know of some good books that helped you, I'm not beyond a trip to my local library to get some help here.

Thanks in advance and best wishes for veggie and meat eating from noodle central.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hand Quilting = relaxing

I'm having fun quilting my dear sweet niece's baby quilt these days. I will admit it isn't the most speedy process, but it is so relaxing that it helps me fall asleep quicker at night.

The photo above is the back of the quilt. I think it looks kinda cool with white fabric and red thread.

Today is "Little Christmas" when the 3 wise men visited the infant Jesus. Traditionally, my mom would give us a small gift to close out the season back when we were kids.

I thought that was a really sweet tradition, so I gave a little book called Balloonia to my son in order to carry it on. My husband surprised me with some Burt's Bees lip gloss (rockin!) as my little gift.

While I was in the mall today I ran into these rain boots by Tokidoki and I immediately fell in love. So Japanese-superflat-inspired and cute. I didn't try them on for fear I would buy them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let them eat cake

Traveling by car from the bay area to Orange County in Southern California is certainly an interesting undertaking with two kids. They were both on their best behavior, but it takes us about 10 hours instead of the 6 that it once took back in the days of yore.

It was a wonderful visit, and seeing our family & friends at Christmas was so awesome. On the way home we stopped at a little town called Paso Robles, on the central Californian coast. We discovered this amazing bakery called Two Little Birds Bakery, and fell in love. Amazing coffee and the red cupcake is worth fighting over. We met the girls who own it, and they were so very charming and didn't mind a bit when we did a little nursing off in the corner.

Also in Paso Robles is a quilt shop called Wine Country Quilting. We had a few moments to check it out. It was very friendly, although none of the fabric was what I'm personally really interested in, they had a lot of popular American designer's fabrics there.

My favorite surprise gift of this Christmas? It had to be my gift certificate to Purl Soho. Thanks Ray and Jen! How did you guys ever know that I would love that? Perhaps it will fulfill my craving for some alphabet fruit fabric!

What was your fav surprise gift this year?