Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday gift for quilters: 2012 Quilt Calendar

It isn't always easy to get the quilter who has everything a perfect holiday gift.

I've found that a new calendar is always appreciated and a beautiful one can be the perfect addition to your creative space.

This year I have a special treat for you:  two versions of the calendar!  Quilts and Yarn.

It's a labor of love to put these together since it takes me a lot of time and thought, but flip through and check out the photos if you have a chance.

The quilt calendar is light and airy looking, similar look to the photos I shoot for my blog.  The yarn calendar has a darker pallet in color and is more dramatic. 

To see all the photos included in every month, click the button below, click the title, and then click "Preview".  Enjoy!





Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving - thank goodness

This Thanksgiving was like a lot of others that we've had:  lots of food, lots of family...which adds up to a lot of love and relaxation time.  Thank goodness for all the yummy food and for grandparents watching kids while parents (me) take a nap.  Ah...I do love Thanksgiving.

We are lucky to have the chance to spend some time with our extended family this week and to enjoy being away from the usual routine.

My son found my dad's typewriter and typed a little note in the above photo.  The typewriter was a novelty to him.  It was kinda magical putting one letter at a time on the paper.  Funny how it doesn't seem so antique to me.  Ok, I'm old now.

I did a little bit of knitting during quite moments which was fun.  I'm off to the races, starting a hand quilting project as soon.  More on that next time. 

If you haven't watched the Marcel the Shell video yet, you must, but if you live on this planet, I'm sure you already have.

My kids are starting to make their lists of gifts they want to send to Santa already.  A spy kit seems very popular with the 6 yr old. 

The haven't asked me for a necklace made out of Barbie doll body parts yet, which is I think a good sign, since they are boys. 

I think the holiday season is officially upon us.  Yeah!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

1st Grade Humor

My son says, "Mommy, what's your name?"

I say:  "Mommy"

He asks, "What's this body part?" (pointing to his nose)

I say: "Nose"

Him:  "What's in my hands?" (holds up both hands making a little cup of air)

Me: "Nothing"

Get it?  Mommy knows nothing!

Ok, try that on your friends if you need to lighten up the mood.  Isn't first grade the best?

Our weekend is basically house chores and the quiet before Thanksgiving. 

For my eyes:  Looking at all the finished modern house blocks in taupe fabrics makes we want to finish up the rest of them.  I think they all go together pretty well.

For my ears:  I've been listening to a couple of podcasts and some music
  • Knitmore Girls episode 136: I wrote in and asked a question about plying spinning fiber and they answered my question on the show.  How cool is that?! 
  • Spin Doctor eipsode 26:  half way through this episode, but it talks a lot about using dye on fiber and is pretty interesting.  Very informative interview with Deb Menz.
  • The Gotan Project:  a band that makes tango music, I'm enjoying their Revancha Del Tango album. 
For my taste:  Orenchi Raman is the hottest new noodle house in silicon valley.  Always too long of a wait to get in.  We are trying to try it by storming the place before it opens.  I'll let you know if it's worth the bother.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to keep your kids in line

My friend Marianne made a couple of mochi mochi knit toys for my boys and they have become really attached to them.

They begged me to get the book and knit every last creation that it has patterns for.

I got a copy of  it, Teeny -Tiny Mochi Mochi by Anna Hrachovec.  Some of the creations are easier to make than others, but I started with the volcano.

It was one of the easier ones.  The kids have a queue of other toys they want, and even my husband claimed the little dino I made, so you know they are actually pretty darn cute.

They are only about an inch or so tall and they go together pretty fast if you don't mess them up and end up knitting them twice (like I did).  More info on my ravelry projects page.

My kids will stand on their heads for more of these.  I think I may have finally figured out how to get them to behave.  Well, at least for as long as I can keep making these little mochi's.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Japanese quilting fabrics: more is more

This block above is the 8th block in the series of California Bay Area modern homes that I'm working on.  

The house itself is located in Berkeley, CA and is known as the Fish House by locals but is actually the Tsui House.  It looks like it would be more at home under the sea than on a relatively normal street.  I used taupe fabrics that sort of looked like the ocean to me.

In other news, I was looking at Deborah Kemball's applique recently.  Have you seet it yet?  It's so detailed and beautiful.

Sometimes I really look forward to the weekend because I have something special going on.  This Sunday, my friend Sharon and I are taking a sweater making class by this famous designer named Ysolda Teague.

It's up at Verb of course, and although I don't really knit sweaters, it will be fun to meet her and to learn something that is really new to me.  And to relax for a bit of course.

Hope you have a chill weekend planned too.  Or unplanned for that matter.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quilt Borders

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the modern house hand applique blocks I've been making this year.

Even though the house blocks are not all complete, my mind wanders to thoughts of designing borders.

For a quilt like this, only a spectacular border will do.

When I was getting coffee this weekend, I stopped into where I usually get coffee, and they also have the most beautiful flowers. 

This time I could not leave without picking up a couple of stems of amazing Protea.  I think Sierra Azul nursery in Watsonville might carry the plants themselves.

I am not sure if I have the guts to try to grow them, although I would love to try someday (anybody brave enough to have tried this out there?).

Not sure if the entire border will be made up of these little beauties, but thinking about using them somehow in the design.

Top 5 of my weekend:

1)  Finished a pair of socks for my son - only took a single 100g ball of yarn, superwash merino, by A Verb for Keeping Warm in Magic Bean colorway.  Used size 2 needles and 36 stitches.  Easy Peasy.  Okok, I still had to look up kitchener stitch video to finish the toe, but I'm not really a knitter...remember?!  I fake it.

2)  Made carrot ginger soup:  Saute half an onion, add tons of cut up carrots, 1 box of chicken broth, a splash of white wine, and grate in some ginger.  Best soup ever. 

3)  Felted wool Christmas ornaments:  Looks like fun to make these, but not sure I could bring myself to use glue.  Think I would probably sew the flowers together instead.  Very cool tutorial here at Betz White blog.

4)  Dreaming of visiting Napa again someday (sans kids).  Would love to stay at Napa Farmhouse Inn, owned and run by my favorite coffee shop owner:   Napa Farmhouse Inn 1277 St. Helena Hwy South, St. Helena CA 94574,  707-968-5441 - Someday!

5)  Turning the clocks back for Fall - when else can you get an extra hour in the day?!  That should happen every weekend in my opinion. 

Your weekend top 5?  Go!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yarn Balls: less work than having a pet goldfish

I end up with small amounts of yarn after I finish up a project.  

My friend Susan got me hooked on making little yarn balls with them by winding the yarn around my thumb.  It is strangely enjoyable.  If a yarn ball sits around too long I get the urge to wind it into one of these.  It's an addiction really.  I may soon need a 12 step program.

Anyhow, if you are a fellow detail freak and have some yarn on hand, there's a couple you tube videos that show you how.  The one that is similar to what I did is located here (but there are lots of them out there).

My sister sent me flowers recently and the 'fish bowl' looking vase has become my table center piece.  No cleaning of the tank required.

Life is getting in the way of my quilting a bit this week but will hopefully carve out some time to enjoy some this weekend when I'm not busy eating a Bavarian Breakfast at Esther's Germany Bakery (check it out if you're in the bay area).