Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Has Finally Arrived!

Greetings & Salutations!  Fall has finally arrived in Southern California where I live.  We will still get plenty of warm days, but the nights are cool, and the day time temps are pleasant. 
I have decorated my house, and seem to have an abundance of Fall things, as this is my favorite season, and time of the year.  Since I have relocated my sewing room, back to the original bedroom it was in, my living room is shaping up again.  I still need to find wall d├ęcor. I am on the lookout for two large iron sconces for either side of the picture above sofa.
We are also hoping to install crown molding sometime soon.  The pillow at center of sofa, is a recent make.  I used my Accuquilt Go and two sets of Fall dies to cut the shapes.  Then just placed them on black fabric in a pleasing scene and I backed with batting and quilted in diagonal lines.  After that was done, I used my free motion foot to create veins on leaves, and tendrils on pumpkins, as well as spherical lines to add dimension.  I framed it in green, and added an acorn backing, in envelope style.

Still using my free motion foot, I went around each raw edge shape to keep them from lifting. 
I took this photo yesterday morning, because I thought it was so pretty with the morning light coming through the window in there.
The rustic tray on the ottoman was a Hobby Lobby find.  I love how it looks in this room.
The chairs that flank the table in front of the window, are holding pillows that I made last season, using placemats from Walmart. 
This is not a very good photo, sorry, but the light coming in the window was playing tricks with my camera.  The mini quilt underneath tall turquoise vase, is a totem of pumpkins made several seasons ago.  That is our boy Dusty keeping his spot warm.
This cornucopia is a favorite of mine, and I love the rich colors in it.
The living room is a nice place to sit and have a visit.
I am adding in this photo of the stained glass hanging in the window, which is partly why the dappled sunlight looks so pretty streaming in through the window.
This room will look so much nicer when I find what I want for the walls, and get crown molding! 
The piano is dressed with my collection of soft pumpkins.  These were made from thrifted sweaters.  Such fun to make!
The large white one with the sparkly yarn is my favorite!
The little Halloween quilt on piano key top, is from a panel that I cut apart and made several mini projects with.

All of these things look so great against the black scrappy paint job on this antique piano.
Also hanging in the entryway, is an oldie, but goody.  I made this Log Cabin style friendly ghost, a good 12-15 years ago.  On this one, I meandered using black thread on the black, and white on the ghost, and orange on the pumpkin. 
In the entryway as well, is this wood and wicker chest with ceramic pumpkin display.  The wreath above gets seasonal items added to it, as the seasons come and go, but it stays on the wall despite the season we are in.
My family room is also overflowing with small quilts and pillows that I have made. 
The Autumn Subway art pillow is from Kohl's.  The Black Autumn Blessings is from a cute shop in Covina that I bought a couple years ago.  The black cat is a Thimbleberries pattern.  And the pumpkins is another placemat I turned into a pillow from Walmart.
The quilted table topper on the table is also a panel that I quilted.
The pumpkin tureen on table is a favorite piece of mine.  As is the pumpkin pie dish that sits on a table runner I made years ago. 
A Willie Ray lamp, and jackolantern, sitting in a small mug rug I made, just to use some extra appliques I had from another quilt.
In the kitchen is yet another Halloween panel.  This is special to me because it was from a friend of mine, that she brought to my house on a sewing day I hosted, and she let us all pick a piece to cut off and make something with. 
 On my green kitchen guessed it, another Fall panel, quilted by me.
These panels are the perfect size to practice your free motion quilting on domestic machine.  And obviously I like them!!!
In my laundry room, my button up for November, just because I love it, and don't want to hide away until I put it on my quilt rack. The picture is fuzzy, but you get the idea.  And the chalkboard has a Fall scene too.  I used regular chalk, and then went over it with some art chalk.
My new little kitchen table is set for a guest, with wicker chargers, a Nutmeg colored plate, with a small plate atop that, from Walmart's limited edition this year.  Instead of napkins, I am using two tea towels from Walmart that were 88c each.  On the middle is a topper I made with some pretty Fall fabric, and one of my loved Fitz & Floyd roosters.
I have a fun new piece that I bought recently at one of my favorite thrifts.  It is a sturdy iron plant stand, with beautiful scrolled legs, and a great shape.  I knew it had to be mine!!!!  It was pricey for a thrift, but I knew its value, and I had to have it.   I dressed it with Fall mums, and pumpkins, and I couldn't be happier!!  It greets all who enter.

Sitting atop the little table by my door is Happy Jack.  He was always at the table in the cabin, and brings back great memories for me.
I am trying to hang in there with blogging.  I still get over to visit other blogs I love when I can.  I will try to be back soon. 
Happy Fall Y'all!!!
XO  Kris

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crazy For Sock Knitting!

I can say it now.  I am a knitter.  I can knit socks!  It didn't come easy.  I knit a half dozen bloopers, with no mates.  All different types of yarns, needles, and an assortment of various patterns.  I wanted to throw it all in the trash several times.  But I didn't give up.  I'm a little tenacious like that.  I was determined to learn this craft, and in particular, to learn to knit socks! And I did!
These are my keepers.  Two pair are missing, as they have been given as gifts.  The pair of shortie socks on lower left, are my most recent FO .  That's knit speak for finished object.  I have a pair on the needles now, in the Felici sock yarn from Knit Picks.  Also known as a in progress, in both knit speak and quilting speak.   Which, I love by the way!
I am sure many of you out there, non knitters especially, are thinking, who needs that many socks?  And what is the big deal?  Well let me tell you.  If you have ever owned a pair of hand knit socks, you need not ask.  But if you have not, there is nothing like the feel of them. Or the fit.  Or the fun colors and patterns you can create using the vast availability of sock yarns these days.  Don't even get me started on the Indy dyers!  Oh my, such beauty!!  I bought this skein and bag as a collaboration between two crafters.  An Indy dyer, and a bag maker. 
The yarn is so yummy!  The bag is well made and I love the fabric.  But I won't likely be buying too many bags, as it does seem silly when I can make my own. 
I invested in a yarn swift and ball winder recently, since I have been buying the hanks lately.
I got them at Knit Picks, and they were reasonably priced.  I am sure it will get good use!  I have been scouring the Ravelry patterns for a shawl to make.  I think I have narrowed it down to a few I like, that will be in the novice knitter category.  That will be next up to make. 
I ran into my local quilts shop the other day 
The green and pink were for a bag, as well as the gold and brown autumn prints.  I couldn't resist the mice in love.  My nickname was mouse.  My father always gave me gifts of mice.  It made me smile. 
I have done a little thrifting lately, since my grandson has returned to school.  I am always on the lookout for vintage Tupperware.  I use it all the time.  For everything!  These two pieces were great finds.  Each at 3.00
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this bright wool piece.  It was a poncho, made from a Pendleton.
That was scooped up and came home with me.  I paid 6.00 for it.  I washed it on gentle cycle in cold water, and did a double rinse.  Then dried it outside in the hot air under the shade of our patio.  It has a couple of spots along the sides, that need some binding repair, but other than that, perfect.  So heavy, and so warm it will be!!
Then, on another day, I walked into my favorite shop, and there it was.  In a box on the floor.  The name JUKI on the box, calling out to me...."hey..over here!"
I casually walked over to the box.  Pulled the machine out.  Took it to the table to plug it in....all the while acting only slightly interested!  When actually,, I was jumping up and down inside.  I have wanted a Juki for a long time!!!  There wasn't a price anywhere on the machine or the box.  I found a manager, and she inspected it for a price.  When she left to go find someone else, I googled it to see what it sold for.  900.00 is what I found.  It is computerized.  Seemed to have all of the parts, and they were working.  Although, there was no thread, and I had no way to know how it sewed. 
She came back with a price of 500 and I said nope, too much.  She said 250.  I said I would consider it for 200.  Ultimately, I paid the 200, and upon getting it home, found that the needle wouldn't take up the bobbin thread.  I quickly ran it in to my sewing machine guy.  He said he could fix that, and it was the timing.  But it was going to cost me somewhere between 75 and 100 dollars.  I said go ahead.  But then I went back and asked for 100 back on the machine, since I had to put about 100 into it.  They reimbursed me the 100 dollars.  I paid an even 100 for it, and am waiting to pick it up tomorrow from my sewing machine repair man.  I can hardly wait to play with it.  One feature that none of my current machines has, is needle down position.  So important when working on free motion quilting.  And it is FAST!!!! 
I will be letting you know my review of the machine after I get the chance to play with it.  I have one more thrift store find that I was pretty thrilled about this past week.  But I will save that one for next time.
As for now, I must go knit socks.
XO  Kris

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Big Bear Vacation

I didn't take too many photos when we went to Big Bear in early July.  But I wanted to post the few I have, for the sake of preservation.  We had a good week. It was hotter than usual there.  And the water levels are way, way down.  So sad.  But we had a good time. 
We had different family members come up each of the days we were there, except for Thursday..  We arrived on Saturday, and set up camp.  We had a good spot.  A great spot.  It is usually water front property.  But not this year!

Sitting under the awning and looking out at this peaceful view was lovely.  Water, or no water.  You can see the dry docks to the left of the above photo. 
It was kind of sad to see the marina so low.  So many of the docks have had to be pulled out to deeper parts of the lake.  And walking down to the boat, seeing so much mud and shallow water is really awful.  I sure do hope we have some good rain and snow this winter!!!

This dock is where we keep our boat.  It's about half way down the dock.
We usually spend the whole day out on the boat.  We pack up lunches and snacks, and load a cooler, and off we go.  Noah is a good Captain.
 I don't know who that guy in the blue thingie is???
We got a Stand Up Paddle Board just before we left for the lake.  Everyone had a really good time riding around on that.

 Even me, who was too afraid to fall into that cold lake, so I sat down to paddle.
The Paddle Board is a huge hit!!! 
The kids had fun playing on the boat, and on the water. 
 And they fished a little too.
But the fishing was S L O W!!!!!
I always enjoy watching the kids interact and have fun together!

Unfortunately, Noah came down with a high fever on Wednesday night, and his Mom had to come and pick him up that next day.  We felt so bad for him.
Luckily, we had already gotten in the movies, mini golf, Alpine slides, and ice cream in The Village. 
It was a good week, but as always, I am ready to come, usually a day before our planned vacation ends.  I don't know why, but I always get homesick.  I am a homebody.  It is just who I am.
We keep the boat up there in a slip all summer, so we go up nearly every weekend for some fishing and bobbing on the lake. 
See you soon Big Bear.
XO  Kris