Saturday, August 23, 2008

Auf wiedersehen!!

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but we're off to Germany.

Our daughter works for the Arthur Szyk Society, and they have an exhibit making its debut at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin on Thursday 8/28. She invited us to accompany her, and we're making a bit of a family trip. One of our boys has to stay home and work. :(

We'll be in Germany for about a week, primarily in Berlin, but also visiting Stuttgart and surrounding areas. We plan to see my cousin in Rodgau, and check out Esslingen, the town where my grandfather was born.

Talk about a whirlwind!!!

We've never been to Germany, so we're going to see as much as possible. Sehr gut! I suspect that when we get back, there will be pictures. And maybe even inspiration for a new quilt? You never know...

Don't worry. I haven't forgotten you. I'm just away from the blog (and quilting) for a bit. I fully expect to be back and blogging in the blink of an eye.

'Til then, Auf wiedersehen!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Can you stand one more cat post?

This has been an emotionally traumatic experience for us, all the way around. I keep reminding myself, "They're just cats!!" They may be cats, but they've burrowed into our hearts and are part of the family. It is good to be reunited.

Here's a picture of Charlie, as he was waiting for Edgar's return. He didn't know Edgar was coming back. He's a snuggler, and doesn't much care for sleeping on his own...

Yeah, that cat looks like a stray, doesn't he?

Anyway, once Edgar was back, and the kitties got over their hesitant reunion, they started tearing up the house. It was time to kick them out. What was the first thing they did? Why go to their tree, of course!

Edgar's tree-climbing motto is "The Higher The Better."

Finally, the bounding from limb to limb gets a bit exhausting. Time for a breather.

This is definitely their favorite tree. Rather than call them out of it, hey, you might as well join in the fun!

This morning I took them to the vet, to get microchips embedded between their shoulder blades. Should they ever get picked up, HOPEFULLY someone will think to scan them, to see if they've been chipped. I never thought I'd have to worry about things like this, but what did I know?

Here they are, with their plastic tags, identifying them as chipped cats. The tags lasted about an hour. They drove the kitties nuts. Perhaps I'll put them back on their collars when they get bigger, but for now? They pose a hazard. (Could you just picture the kitties trying to remove the tags while in the tree top? yep. Not a good idea.)

That's all for now. They are outside, and hopefully they are safe. But in this day and age? You never know...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

Edgar is back, and the boys are trying to get reacquainted. It's a bit rambunctious at the moment, as they're inside, until Edgar gets his new collar.

The neighbor thinks I'm a terrible person because I leave my cats outside. I don't understand that, I really don't. Except that, I guess, because they're kittens, they're busy exploring their environment - and they explored her house one too many times. Maybe that's it.

Anyway, just thought you'd like to know the latest. That's it for today. I hope, I hope.


Remember these guys? Charlie and Edgar? CUTE kitties, and friendly as the dickens. They love everyone, and everyone loves them. But the problem with people-loving cats, is that they love people. When their people are out and about, they go in search of someone else to play with.

We left on Friday at 4pm, and the menfolk returned at 8pm on Sunday. We had a family of friends come over to feed the kitties and play with them. The family came by Friday night, twice on Saturday, and twice on Sunday. The kitties were not to be found Sunday night, despite their walking the streets, calling and searching for them, but I didn't know about that until Monday. I got home after 1pm on Monday.

Son Daniel informed me that the kitties had not been seen since the guys got home. To make a long story short, I found out that one of our neighbors had "rescued" them. They took Charlie to their ranch 30 minutes east of here, and Edgar to a "group home" in Gilroy, 3 hours northwest of here.

All of their explanations of how they "thought they were doing the right thing," continue to escape me. Surely they would have ASKED someone if they knew whose cats they were? But we weren't home, the cats didn't have collars, and they spontaneously decided that the kitties had been "dumped."

I had a bit of a conniption (to put it mildly) when I found out, and they returned Charlie last night. We are still waiting for the return of Edgar. They promised to return him today.

Daniel is mightily relieved to have one of his best buds home safely.

Even Malcolm, who is insanely jealous of the kitties, is relieved to see his other-side-of-the-glass buddy back in place.

I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned here, but all I can see is the one that the cat "rescuer" hopefully learned. And that one is ASK YOUR NEIGHBORS BEFORE YOU TAKE THEIR CATS!!!! Those on the other side of us knew they belonged to us, those across the street knew they belonged to us, those 3 houses down knew the kitties belonged to us... But none of them were asked, and the kitties were taken away. Far away.

All of her explanations - they were hanging out here (yeah, they LIVE here), they were hungry (they're kittens, they'll always gulp down wet food), no one knew who they belonged to (why did you only ask one person?), we thought they were dumped (did you not notice they've been neutered?!!) - seem pretty weak to me.

She's asked me for forgiveness, but I've told her that that's something I'm going to have to work on. Bring my other cat back, and we'll talk about it.

Out of curiosity, is this cat "rescue" seen as acceptable behavior by any of you? If it is, can you please explain it to me? I just don't get it...

The Party

In an earlier post, I indicated that we were headed to my hometown of Escondido, to help my dad celebrate his 80th birthday. We did so in style. big smile. We reserved a private room at Fleming's steakhouse in La Jolla, and the happiness radiating from the birthday boy was, well, radiant.

His name is Henry Johnson, although he goes by Pete. Johnny dubbed him "Henry the 80th."

Here are the Johnson "kids." Ginny, Suzie, Carla, Tom, Wendy. Birth order - want to guess? - is 4, 1, 3, 5, 2. I am actually taller than the other girls, by at least 2-3", but since I wear flats, well, I accentuate my "depth," not my height.

Here is the entire clan. The only ones missing - oh, how we missed you! - were Tom's wife and two daughters.
Back row: Pete K, Andrew K, Jeff & Allison Chang, Daniel K, Adam K, Angela, Henry the 80th, Johnny (Wendy's beau), Mark (Carla's beau)
Seated: Suzanne K., Virginia, Carla, Wendy, Tom

Wow. Will we ever all be together again? I have no way of knowing. But the evening was simply delightful, and I cannot think of a thing I would have changed to improve it. God is good!!!

Wedding Gift

Part of the fun of the weekend's festivities was seeing the newlyweds. They look wonderful. Big Smile. I was able to give them this little quiltlet, made with a photo-transfer of their engagement photo. The rest of the fabrics were in my stash. no joke.

This colors in this shot are close to true,

But this shot lets you see what the finished product looks like.

See the foam? No, no, it's NOT cheese cloth!!! It's leftover lace from my wedding dress. awww. Yes, I thought it was a nice touch. Congratulations to the love birds!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yes Again

I just got back from 4 days away, and checked the website for the Hoffman Challenge. My quilt is on the list, it will be traveling with Quilt Collection "B." yay!

You might be amused to know that it is scheduled to hang at Houston. That means I'll have two quilts in special exhibits there: "Sierra Snow Melt" with the West Coast Wonders and "Window of Tradition" with the Hoffman Challenge. Hang well, my pretties!

Congratulations to my quiltie friends Lisa Ellis (QC-A) and Kristin Eilers (QC-D) whose quilts will also be traveling, and again, congratulations to my friend Sharon L. Schlotzhauer (QC-A) whose Hoffman entry won a Best Machine Quilting award. Way to go, quiltie friends!!! (And congratulations to those whose names I may have missed in my quick skimming of the list...)

And on that, I'm off. I just got home and have a zillion things to do, but I wanted to share the news!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yes and Yes

Two more letters arrived today, both in thin envelopes. Big Smile. "Congratulations! Your quilt has been selected to participate in this year's Northwest Quilting Expo's Juried Quilt Show." yay!

Both "More Glorious Than Solomon" (the quilt featured in my blog header) and "The Light Shines in the Darkness" will be heading to Portland, Oregon next month. woohoo!

Since I have no quilts heading to Houston, I WILL have quilts in town during the Tulare County Fair. When I only had a couple of tiny entries, it didn't seem worth the effort, but now, with 4 small quilts? Two are hand-quilted, and I always want to do my part to remind others of how our art began...If Sentries comes back from Nashville in time, it can also go to the Fair, with my blessings.

Gotta run!

Two Comments?!!!

Ohmygosh!!! I about fell out of my chair!

Just yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that "No one ever comments on my blog. I don't even know if people are reading it..."


This morning, it's like magic! Two comments on two posts from two different people. I love it!!! Thank you, thank you, I'm not just typing into thin air... ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Satisfied Customer...

I didn't get a picture of the quilting, but the quilt IS quilted. This is Pat, and this is her quilt. Imagine the lilies all outline quilted, with surrounding grasses and leaves that extend into the upper portion of the grid. And imagine branchy quilting in the orange, that grows a bit into the grid as well. The grid is quilted in the ditch. It's all done in periwinkle, sunflower gold and burnt orange King Tut threads (by Superior). Those are NOT the official color names - I don't know what they're really called.

Anyway, the quilt is now in her hands. The next quilt-for-hire is halfway done, and the third still needs basting and quilting. I'm getting into vacation mode, but first, I've got to quilt my way through this last little pile.

Okay, so I know there are already two more, waiting for me to come back in September, but for now, I'm focused on the here and now. We WILL be going on vacation...11 days and counting...


Well. I've had some trouble focusing this week, but today I seem to be a bit more on track. I think it helps that I've finished one of the quilts-for-hire that was sitting here, waiting patiently for attention. I did that yesterday.

On Monday, after my double-whammy from Houston - wink - I decided that I needed something to cheer me up. What better way to combat the blues than a belly laugh from Mark Lipinski? I've taken to sitting poolside, and dangling my feet in the water, so that's what I did.

I'm not sure what happened, but when I went outside on Tuesday, to sweep the patio, this is what I discovered:

I'd left my barely-read magazine outside, and of course it was the night that the sprinklers went off. In case you can't tell, here's a close-up of the damage...

arg! At least the pages didn't stick together - if they did, I haven't gotten to that part yet - so the laughs are still intact. He may be a bit off-the-wall, but then, I tend to find that quite entertaining...

In the evenings, we've been watching the Olympics. Hasn't everyone? I've been delighted with this year's coverage. We only have broadcast TV, no cable, and for the past several Olympics I've tried to tune in but found myself tuning out. There was nothing more frustrating than wanting to see the competitions and heats of various sports, and instead, being subjected to endless personal profiles, followed by a 2 minute clip of the finals. This is so much better. I could watch beach volleyball for hours. In fact, I have!!! (My son tells me that he's met Kelly Walsh! Cool!!)

And finally, I haven't been totally distracted. My dad's 80th birthday is coming up this weekend, and I put together this little memento for the big occasion. We'll be heading down south, to help him celebrate. (This photo was taken on his 75th...)

So that's what I've been up to. Now, it's back to work!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

No and No

Two thin envelopes arrived in the mail today. Thin is never good, at least to my way of thinking. I held my breath and opened the first. "The annual International Quilt Association's Judges Show, Quilts: A World of Beauty, is a very prestigious show..." I didn't have to read any further, except to scan for the name of the quilt. "Cascading Crystal Kaweah."

It didn't get in.

I opened the second letter. Same topic sentence. Scan to end of paragraph: "Psalm 46:10 Be Still."

It didn't get in either.

And so, I can finally breathe. I know, with certainty, that I have not yet reached the level of expertise to play with the big gals. Ah well. There was also a fat envelope in the mail...

It contained three copies of the latest "Quilt It for Christmas" from Quilter's Newsletter. There, on page 58, is my Double Four Patch Christmas quilt. Page 59 has the instructions, and page 61 has helpful hints to add variety.

My show quilts may not be up to snuff for hanging in Houston, but my functional, user-friendly quilt does look good in print. In fact, there are two photos of it. ooh la la!!

So. The day has been mixed. If nothing else, at least I now have something to enter in Pacific International!!! (Cascading Crystal Kaweah.) One less thing to worry about...


In July of 1982, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful daughter...

She brightened our days and delighted our hearts and loved to learn about the world around her.

We could not read to her enough to satisfy her need to learn, so she taught herself to read by age 4.
She had a bit of a penchant for dressing up, although dying her hair black wasn't her favorite experience...

She played AYSO soccer for years and years - we've got the pictures documenting it.

She grew and blossomed into a beautiful young woman..

Here she is in 8th grade, almost as big as her Momma...

And she loved to play with her Daddy...

She took up basketball, a personal passion of mine, and even went out to play on the day that it snowed in the valley...

Her art was as attractive as she was/is, and this picture was taken when her painting was selected to hang in the Congressional Art Show in Washington, D.C...

Isn't she a pretty thing?

And smart too...she graduated from UC Berkeley, with a degree in Art...

And Jeff was there to help celebrate..

Here are Jeff and Allison and Pete, as we got to know each other, picnicking on the lawn at Stanford...(shh, don't tell any Berkeley people!)

He even came to Pacific International in 2005, wow! I'm not sure he's a fan of quilting, but he was a very good sport!

In 2006, Jeff and Allison went to China, to teach English to Korean students in Beijing...

But before they went to China, they became engaged, and celebrated in Maui...

And on Friday, she called to say, "Mom, we're eloping, we're getting married tomorrow..."

May the Lord bless them and keep them and make His face to shine upon them, and be gracious to them and lift His countenance upon them and give them peace and happiness and a lifetime filled with blessings.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Birthday Greetings

I've spent a few minutes in the "studio" this week, doing other things besides working on quilts for hire. Here are a couple of them:

Today is our daughter's fiance's birthday. I wonder if it will be particularly "lucky" for him, seeing as it's 08/08/08. I know this was chosen by China as the Opening Day for the Olympics, primarily because of the"luck" associated with all of those eights...

Personally, I wish him abundant blessings. Blessings top luck every day in my book. :)

Sue's birthday was a few days ago. She's already received her card, so it's alright to post it today. If the fabrics look familiar, it's because they are leftovers from my Hoffman Challenge.

Speaking of which, I hear the winner's list came out last night. Congratulations, Sharon L. Schlotzhauer of Colorado Springs, CO!!! Her beautiful entry was awarded Best Machine Quilting in the Pieced/Appliqué division. Well done, my friend!!!!

The rest of us continue to wait for the traveling collection to be posted. It should be up in a week or so. Tick, tick, tick...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Remember this picture of Charlie? I LOVE this picture. I don't have much experience translating real animals to fabric, but I had great fun on this first attempt. Adam says, "Hey, that's Charlie!" yep. Don't worry, eventually I'll quilt all those crazy whiskers!!!

I just finished the appliqué, and now I need to get to work. The latest quilt-for-hire is now in progress. Perhaps I'll finish today, but tomorrow is more likely. Enjoy your Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Scrambled Priorities

I'm sure I'm not the only one with a daily "to do" list. I get up, try to prioritize what needs to be done, and then commence to doing it.

The only problem with that is that my priorities often get scrambled. I get side-tracked. I get distracted. I forget my list.

The number one thing currently on my list is to finish the "for-hire" quilting. I have 3 quilts waiting for my attention. They HAVE to be done in the next couple of weeks. If I'm not working on those, I have my own quilts to finish. I'd like to have one done in time to enter Pacific International, the other is my 2009 submission for Paducah. I always say, "Goals are good!"

So, with all of these priority quilts, patiently waiting for my attention, what did I do?

I finished putting together this baby quilt top. The baby isn't due until October. (His/her dad went to Auburn, which dictated the fabric choices.)

When that top was pieced, I started pulling fabrics for a fun project that I dreamt up on Sunday. Here's a peek. Ignore the threads to the side - those are for the for-hire quilt that I was supposed to be working on...

And finally, here are my abandoned projects. Okay, so they're not exactly abandoned, they're just stuffed in the corner. The hand-quilted one needs to be finished by January, the machine quilted one (the folded green quilt in the right foreground) will ideally be finished in three weeks... That's an "in your dreams" goal, no doubt about it....

So now, I'm off, to tackle my list. What's #1 this morning? Pull weeds. go figure. Perhaps today is the day those quilts will start quilting themselves...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Floating Away...

This is what I think of when I think of rivers. This is the Kaweah River, up above Three Rivers.

This is my family, actually in a raft, on the upper Kaweah. This picture was taken on June 17, 2005. I am on the left side of the raft, in the orange vest. Yes, this is the infamous trip during which I fell out twice. By this time (what would usually be 3 minutes into the run), I'd already done my double dunk.

This is why it's called white water. It churns so much it turns white. We traveled through several Class V rapids, and I was just about cured.

Earlier this season, we went rafting again. And I KNEW I was cured. No way am I going back into this kind of situation, unless I suddenly regain the strength and stamina of my youth!

On Saturday, we took our church College/Career group floating on the Kings.

Now the Kings is a mighty river. Several people have already drowned in it this summer, and to say I was a bit fearful is probably an understatement. I don't swim overly well, and we did not have life jackets.

Silly me. All of my pre-floating worries evaporated, once I was in my innertube and in the water. You would have to work to drown in this particular portion of river. As long as your flotation device did not pop, you could float along without a care in the world. Which is what we did. For hours. And hours.

We thought we were going to be floating for about 3 hours, but the travel time depends upon the current. On Saturday, the current wasn't very strong. The "rapids" were at most Class I. Or maybe Class Point-Five. ;) We floated, and floated, and floated. Six hours later, we reached our destination and climbed out.

We had nothing to show for the day, except for some sun exposure. All I wanted to do was put my feet up when we got home. When I did, I decided to bring out the camera. I may be a bit pink, but that's nothing compared to our Son-Who-Did-Not-Put-Sunscreen-On-His-Legs. ouchie, Mama, that's GOTTA hurt!!!

So. I may not have done anything on my "to do" list, but I certainly learned how to relax!!!