Monday, July 27, 2009

Toasty days of summer

We are hard to please -first it is too cold and gray and now it is waaaaay too hot for us northwesterners. Mid to high 70's is just very fine - mid to high 80's is too much. This week they are even predicting a day or two in the 90's. Yikes.

I have done one little sewing project - I needed something to wear from the RV to the showers (easy off and on, with one big pocket) Sort of a mu-mu thing. Remember those?

The other big adventure was a week-end of camping and a day trip up to the Visitor Center on Mt. Rainier (14,400+ ft). I have driven around this big mountain numerous times, but don't remember ever coming to the visitor center. So here are a few more photos - soon you will know all about this part of the world.

According to the film we watched talking about the mountain, it is large enough that it creates its own weather. It is a (currently) dormant volcano. On the slopes, this time of the year, are bear grass and avalanche lilies (aren't they georgous).

More bear grass, some paintbrush (a fuschia color - not red) and Myrtle Falls. A great adventure and a beautiful resource for us.

My blogging will be somewhat sporadic for the next few weeks. We are heading out for a trip east - ending up in Michigan visiting friends and family. I will have the camera and laptop, so will try for some updates, but not sure how well that will work. Hope that everyone is having a marvelous summer, with restful breaks in the action (or a different type of action). [hope the housesitter can keep the plants alive] Life is good!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Haven't set foot in the sewing room

But that isn't for want of something to do. Last week-end was our 8th annual Camping with the Grandma's. My DD also comes along - she says we have too much fun to miss out. We returned to our favorite campground, with wooded, private campsites. And we are having incredible weather. So it was perfect.

We even had help with the dishes.

Most of Saturday was spent down near the beach - not lovely and sandy, but lots of rocks to throw into the water and trees to climb on.

It's a pretty darn fun week-end and hopefully will hold some good memories for our little people.

We are home now and dear GS is attending a daycamp at a local community center. Big adventures every day (but no time for sewing, that's for sure!) It has become abundantly clear why young women have the young children - we Nana's face challenges with energetic young folks. Yikes!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hazy, (not) lazy days of summer

Nana has been recovering from a week of stitching 9 year olds and even had some time and energy for a bit of quilting! Yeah! I got the borders on the House Warming Quilt. Alayne will put together a backing and I'm making a scrappy binding from left-overs. Love it! Thanks, Bonnie Hunter.

I have been playing with some Hawaiian prints - just because. And I have been working along on Bonnie's "Christmas Lights" - a Christmas mystery from Quiltmaker magazine. My other project has been:

Caroline and I did 3 batches of Strawberry jam. Yesterday was raspberry and blackberry. And then because I didn't have quite enough raspberry, I added some blueberries to one batch. Never tried that before, but hopefully it will be good. My freezer is getting filled up. But scones and jam some winter morning are going to be mighty good! [and of course, a few Christmas gifts]

This week-end is our 8th annual Camping with the grandma's event. Weather promises to be good. Yeah! Life is good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Camp Stitch-a-lot in review

This past week has been the sewing camp I have talked about. My granddaughter arrived on Sunday evening and spent the week. Each morning we trekked to sewing. (9-12) She was part of a group of 10, from ages 8 to 14, for Introduction to Sewing. And intro. it was. These young ladies had either never used a machine or used one only very limitedly. So we had a busy week, trying to be able to help them all - virtually at once. If you are ever in this position, I would suggest that you consider very carefully what projects the kids are given and in what order. Also, the adults involved need to give some thought to the 'fine line' between teaching new skills and encouraging good work AND what can a 8-10 y.o. do and find acceptable. I would observe that this was a challenge for most of us. Most of the kids would accept somewhat sloppy work, so we had to, as pleasantly as we could, require a decent end product. That meant, in many instances, using the seam ripper - un-sewing. The girls made the following projects:
Scrap/thread bags (to go beside their machines)

This proved to be more difficult than any of use had thought, but everyone got their bag complete and we moved on to aprons. The girls were given lots of leeway in style, size and type of pocket they made. Voila:

They are pretty cute, aren't they? The last of the aprons were finished on Thursday morning. The rest of that day and on Friday, the girls worked on various items using fleece. They made dolls and pillows of every shape imaginable.
I believe this was an octopus.

Our two 'speed demons' also finished a little bag with with a zipper. And then on Friday about 11:30 all the parents/grandparents/etc. showed up and we had a 'fashion show' of sorts. The kids really enjoyed showing all the things they had made:

I must observe that this was a LOT of work to carry off. However, I really think the kids enjoyed themselves and the parents seemed pleased that their kids were able to accomplish all they did. And Nana is pleased for a week off! Phew!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July Camping

Some great photos from a simply beautiful week-end up in the mountains. Temperatures were in the 80's and it was as clear as a bell. We couldn't have asked for more. Northwest camping at its best. [I cannot manage to figure out how to load these in the right order - sorry about that]

Some "silly" bikers thought it was a good thing to ride to Chinook Pass (over 5000 ft.) -is this fun? On our way to the national forest service campground.

In the heart of the Cascade Mountains with Mt. Rainier (14,000+ ft.)

An unnamed waterfall below Mt. Rainier.

Approaching Mt. Rainier from the west.

This is one of the few national forest service campgrounds that is reservable - so our group of 14 had the entire site to ourselves. Site is a loose term, as it is a gravel and dirt area, with a gate, off the road, a couple of fire pits and a pit toilet. In the world of camping, "all mod cons". It is an area bounded by the American River, a wonderful, fast-running, glacial fed river. (Unbelievably cold - just ask me)

About 10 seconds was the maximum time before frost bite set in.

I promise fabric posts soon. This week is Camp Stitch-a-lot with my granddaughter. Using countless scraps from the stash for practice!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Vinyl Ready Art - Holidays

Hope that everyone has a happy (and SAFE) 4th of July. I must be getting old to think about the safety side of this holiday, but every year there are stories galore in the paper and on TV. So - enough said!

Today is cook and get ready for a camping trip with some new friends. I'll try to take photos. It's a lovely spot, across Chinook Pass (if that means anything to you) in a National Forest Service campground. Life is good!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick Wednesday note

I'm feeling free to talk about this as I'm sure she doesn't read my blog. Brenda bought a new-to-her house just this week, so Alayne and I are making her a 'house warming' quilt. Alayne did the center using Bonnie Hunter (my favorite, these days) Twist Strip pattern. My task is the borders. Despite a number of interruptions, she and I decided on a narrow (1" finished) red border and I got to choose the 5" border. I actually did think of this often during the night (I think, I did) and have decided that I like the quieter, darker border fabric. It doesn't distract from the fun, scrappy, swirly center. Then we will make a pieced binding from all the center fabrics. Fun, huh? Wednesday project - at least to get it started.