Friday, October 30, 2015

All Good Things Come to an End

My feet hurt, but my heart is full, and my brain is on inspiration overload.  hooey!  What a week!  So many wonderful quilts!  So much eye candy!  And so much fun!

I wouldn't even know where to start.  When it comes to showing quilts that caught my eye, well, I took a LOT of photos.  I'm usually not much for taking pictures at quilt shows, unless I'm doing it for publicity purposes.

Here are a few of the things that caught my eye:
 There was the angel dog, and the CanCan woman.
 And, oh!  Look!  There's Jeremy, on the right!  He's our LQS owner, master of Thimble Towne.
I thought I saw Thing 1 and Thing 2,
 But upon closer examination, it turns out that they were Drunks 1, 2, & 3.  (They were self- labelled:  No commentary was involved in the previous sentence.)
 How about this idea, for keeping pipes (of pipe & drape) from tipping.  There were weights holding them in place.  (When you're involved with a quilt show, you notice things like this.)
And I suppose you would like to see a quilt?  This is one of my favorites.  I spotted it in a special exhibit, in the back portion of the room.
I thought I'd taken a picture of the narrative, but it seems to be missing.  I think the artist was from Australia, or perhaps New Zealand.

And tomorrow, my visit draws to a close.  Back on the plane, Lord willing, and I'll be back at home before you know it.  Then again, there were tornadoes and flooding in other parts of Texas.  Here's hoping the weatherman is correct, when he says they're nowhere near Houston!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lots To Do!

Today we attended the Winners' Luncheon, and heard the top eight winners share about their quilts.  It was wonderful.  One woman won with her very first quilt.  Two of the winners had only been quilting for 6 years.  I really liked what one man said.  It was something to the effect that "Do what interests you, and it will make you happy.  Share your work with others, and maybe someday they'll shock you and put you on stage, too!"
 This is my absolute favorite quilt, winner of the Founder's Award.  It's all hand applique and hand quilted, by a woman from Japan.  Each and every stitch is absolutely stunning!
If you click on the above photo, you can see her name.  Junko Fujiwara. 
 We had three hours between the luncheon and the IQA preview.  We took a peek at the vendors, prepping for the onslaught.
Finally, the doors opened, and we were ushered in.  Look at that!  They hung my quilt!
 This year they had a photo op tree, covered with handmade flowers.  It's quite lovely in person.
We stayed until they kicked us out at 10pm.  That was fine.  My feet HURT, and I was more than ready to call it a day.

Tomorrow we go back and visit the vendors and see some/all of the special exhibits.  We only saw the competition quilts this evening, and visited one half dozen vendors.  Only 2000 more to see...more or less.  Stay tuned for the next report, perhaps some time tomorrow.

Made It!

"Smile!  I'm going to take a selfie!"
"I don't do selfies!"
"Well, neither do I!"
 I took this in the Dallas airport, before our plane plans fell apart.

oh, American Airlines!  Once again, you were a nightmare.  But, we made it to Houston in time to make it to the awards ceremony, whew!  Our plane from Dallas was delayed for maintenance, as there was "something leaking from the engine."  They "fixed it," boarded us, then had us deplane.  Several hours later, they gave us a new plane, and I mean literally a new plane, in pristine condition, one that still had that "new plane smell."  Incredible!

The old plane?  Well, that was fuel, leaking from the engine.  I am SO glad they did not try to fly us!

We made it to the hotel just after 5pm, and were only so late to the ceremony that we missed the awarding of the first Judge's Choice.
Each quilt was more spectacular than the last, but my overall favorite was a hand-quilted treasure, made by a smiling woman from Japan.  Absolutely spectacular!!

The crowd was thick, so I didn't take pictures, but as I stood awestruck in front of her quilt, she came towards me smiling and bowing, saying, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"  I think I know which quilt I'm voting for, for Viewer's Choice.  I would love to see if she could smile any broader or bow any deeper!  :)

At noon, we're headed to the Winner's Luncheon.  It's fun to have friends who travel in the upper circles of the quilt world!  Sharon L. Schlotzhauer won a third place, with her miniature quilt.  She's allowed to bring one guest at the luncheon, and that would be me!  :)

The top 8 winners will each speak about their quilt and their quilt life.  I was Sharon's guest back in 2011, and it was a highlight of the week.

Then, this evening, the show opens with a preview to IQA members.  I used to think that membership was pricey, but if you're at Houston?  It's worth every penny.  Now if I could just track down a name badge, I'd really be smiling.  ;)  (I'm not taking a class this year, so I haven't paid the extra fees...)

So, anyway, that's the haps so far.  If the award ceremony was anything to judge by, it's going to be a wonderful few days, filled with inspiration!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Houston, Here I Come!

Usually I don't broadcast my intent to leave town, but everyone else will be here, so all is well.  I haven't packed, but I have my tickets and my hotel room, so I'm ready, Freddy.  Let's go!

Why am I treating myself to Houston this year?  Well, that quilt that I made back in May, at Empty Spools, with Susan Brubaker Knapp, well, it was accepted into the show.  It did not win, but it was accepted, and for me, that is a big deal.  A very big deal.  So, of course I need to go see it hang, in person.  Can't wait!

And then there are the people.  I expect to see quilting friends from across the country, all gathered in one place.  I do hope that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Patricia does not mess with us.  I'm not excited about flying into or out of weather.  We'll just play it by ear.

In the meantime, I've made two quilted cards, and not much else.  Life is busy, and not leaving a lot of time with the sewing machine.  This first was for our pastor, for Pastor Appreciation Sunday.
 The next was for a dear friend, for her birthday.  It was made from leftovers/trims from a couple of favorite projects.
And really, that's about it.  I've been out at the walnuts, shooing away nut thieves - yes, truly I have - and running the dogs.  In fact, I sent the dogs after this fellow, as he told me, "It's fine!  No problem!" when I asked him to leave.  See him, there?  Under the tree?  He was still taking nuts, as I walked back to the house.
 When I got there, his van was STILL parked in our orchard.
 So I let the dogs out.  He left in a hurry.
And just in case you think I'm not very nice, well, the thieves are quite brazen this year.  Walnut theft is so common, the Tulare County Sheriff's Dept has a special unit which patrols the county.  On Tuesday - or was it Wednesday? - we had a group of Mien people gleaning.  We'd given them permission, in the form of a registered receipt with our contact information, etc.  A Sheriff's Deputy had stopped to see if they had the proper paperwork to glean our nuts.  While he was talking to them, two Mexicans drove up, parked, jumped out of their car, stole two 50lb bags of nuts, and sped off.  The deputy jumped into his car, chased them down, and caught them.

To make the story even better, our son's girlfriend is also a Sheriff's Deputy, who works in Corrections.  She processed the idiots who tried to steal our nuts.

My patience is very very thin at this point.  Take one nut, without asking permission?  Sic 'em, Roscoe!!

(Not really.  If he actually caught someone, he probably wouldn't know what to do with them.  On the other hand, Sheila?  She's just waiting for someone to tell her, "Game on!")

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ta Da!

Yay!  I've finished something!  That doesn't seem to be happening very often any more.  And yet, when I logged onto Blogger, I was astounded to see that this is my 1402nd post.  Holy Moly, that's a lot of posting!  So, if you're waiting around for me to post something new, you might just want to take a peek into the archives.  Who knows what treasure hides in those files?  :)

I finished Penny's costume, and it arrived today at her home.  I am waiting to hear whether or not it fits, and whether or not she likes it.  Surely she will like it, won't she?
 She wants to dress as Pocahontas.  Apparently my daughter's friends are shocked, and think that Penny's choice is politically incorrect.  Au contraire, Pocahontas is a beloved historical figure, who also happens to have much the same coloring/physical characteristics of my granddaughter.  Yesterday I was thinking that, in order to be politically correct at all times, we should eliminate all forms of communication. That way nothing can be taken wrong, right?   Sometimes the world is a silly place.

I finished a batch of postcards this afternoon.  Several will be sent out to members of Postmark'd Art.  The theme for this exchange is "Aquarium."
 I forgot to mention the batik tjap (pronounced "chop") that I found at last week's estate sale.  I've added it to my collection.  One of these days I will put them to use, but not today.
I've been out at the walnuts a lot lately, keeping tabs on some of the gleaning that we've allowed this year. 

Tulare County has laws requiring signed permission documents from the landowner, to prevent walnut theft.  Earlier this week, a Sheriff's deputy had pulled over to check the paperwork of our legal gleaners.  As he was talking to them, a car pulled up, two idiots jumped out, and they stole two 50 lb bags of nuts that the gleaners had filled.  The deputy jumped in his car, chased them down, and escorted them to jail for booking.  Incredible.

The leaves are beginning to fall from the walnut trees, and they are beautiful.
 Some of them are also quite large.  Look at this one, compared to my key ring, which holds 6 keys and two car remotes.
 Here is the same leaf, compared to Pixel.  It's almost as big as she is!!
And that's all I've got for today, folks.  Hope you enjoyed stopping by!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finding Time

I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted.  It seems like every day is go, go, go.  Then again, I was down for a couple of days in need of antibiotics, but once they kicked in, it was back to go, go, go.

I have yet to make my granddaughter's Halloween costume, but I finished one for a friend.  This is the part that I did:
 She was in charge of the tank top, cape, mask, and tights.  Pretty cute, right?  She sent me a screenshot from Pintrest, and I went with it.  :)
The Oasis exhibit never made it to Palm Springs or PIQF, but the book is now available on Amazon.  My copy should arrive tomorrow.  woohoo!  :)

The nuts are falling in earnest, so I've made multiple trips out there to glean.  I'm barely making a dent, and have yet to harvest some for personal use.  Every 50 lbs off the ground is 50 lbs less for moths to overwinter in.

We had some wonderfully refreshing torrential rain last week, accompanied by rolling thunder and lightning.  It was truly spectacular, as though the curtain has been raised, and the introduction to "No More Drought" was on stage.  I hope it's not just a trailer.  I hope it's the beginning of the end of the drought, really and truly.

The event was not without consequences, as the walnuts went without power for 30 hours, once again.  This time we were rewarded with a set of brand new transformers.  yay!
 When they said they would send a crew, they weren't kidding!  :)
 Now doesn't that look better?!
I've made time to run out to this sale and that one, looking for treasures.  Here are some from my last foray:
 Isn't the parasol delightful?  All lacey and feminine?  And then there was the Bauer pitcher, in perfect condition, and the little white crocks.
 And a cotton pareo, that will be perfect for some project down the road, though I don't yet know which one.
 And, of course, I'm always looking for more large shells.  I found the one on the right, for $4.  woohoo!  :)  They're displayed on the toilet tank, to give you a sense of proportion.
 Oh, and we went to a wedding, where they had a photo booth.  Looking good, Kistlers, looking good!
I'm hopeful that there will be some actual sewing to share in the coming days, and then next week?  Stay tuned!  I've got big plans.  :)

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Few Things Fiber

I haven't done much with needle or thread lately, but I'm thinking about it.  During this past week, I made a group of postcards, as well as two birthday cards.

 Not much, but it's a start.  In other news, walnuts are ripening and dropping daily.  Gleaning is in full swing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

And That's All, Folks

This will be the last installment from our Scotland vacation.  It has been delightful to relive it in these posts, but I worry that perhaps you feel like a guest, trapped in the dark while I flip through my slide show.  Then again, I've had positive feedback, so let's see what we did during our last 24 hours.

In yesterday's post, I showed you the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, where we spent the night.  It's a popular place for fishermen, as it's located right on the River Tweed.  It is also a dog-friendly hotel, and we saw quite a few.  We had a delicious dinner, a good night's sleep, then a true Scottish breakfast, which was included in our room fee.  Oh?  You're wondering what a true Scottish breakfast consists of?  Eggs, toast, marmalade, beans, and blood pudding.  I skipped the pudding, we both skipped the haggis.

After breakfast, we walked out of the hotel, across a path, and onto the grounds of Dryburgh Abbey.
 A walkway skirted around the graveyard, bringing you to this arched entryway.
 Unfortunately, my pics of the abbey once through the archway all tilt when uploaded to Blogger.  This is the backside of the abbey.  It's still quite attractive.
I love this particular view from the side, with the crumbling walls underscoring how dramatically beautiful the stonework was, as it reached to the heavens.
The arches captivated me.  Perhaps I should do an arch quilt one of these days?
 The abbey had been filled with carvings, but there was very little left intact.  There was a special room to view some of the best pieces, which I suppose have been put on shelves to prevent further damage.
 Look!  It's a "K"!  For Kistler?
We eventually had seen enough, and needed to get back to Edinburgh, return the car, and check into our last hotel.  We saw a sign that said "William Wallace Statue," so we parked and went to look for it.  The path took us through a forested area.  I kept looking for Robin's Merry Men, but they weren't out and about that day.
 oh. my. goodness.  This looks just like my youngest son.  Seriously.  I posted this on Facebook, and tagged it with his name, and EVERYONE agreed with me.  It's supposed to be William Wallace...
 Back in the car, we passed this flock of sheep.  We pulled over, and I took some stationary pictures, instead of snaps from a moving vehicle.
 Isn't she cute?  A local pulled over and asked if we were lost.  Ummm, no, I just wanted to take pictures of sheep.  I was her entertainment for the day.
Across from the turnoff to Dryburgh is an impressive Roman aqueduct.  This is my favorite picture.  Be sure to read the shirt.  It's a UCDavis Vet School alumni shirt.
 Back in Edinburgh, we made a last dash to the castle gift shop.  On the way, I took pictures of street people.  There are always pipers piping.  They are very aware of each other, and never compete soundwise.  I found the Scots to be exceptionally polite and friendly.
 I've tried multiple times to upload the Brown Wizard, but that image tips over, too.  oh well.  He could have walked off the set of Lord of the Rings.

And how about chicken man?  He was walking through the crowd on Princes Street, without a care in the world.
 oops.  Back up by the castle, was William Wallace, live.  The modern chap next to him did a bit of sword play while his girlfriend took pictures.
Just down the hill from the castle was this ice cream shop.  Of course, we stopped!  Support your local dairy industry, that's our motto!  (It's the cows that got us to Scotland in the first place.)
 On one last lap down Princes St., I saw this display of blocks.  I think they were t-shirts or sheets or something.  I thought it was quite clever.
 And suddenly, *poof!* it was over.  We were at the airport, and the taxi was leaving.
This was truly a dream vacation, a trip of a lifetime.  I hope you have enjoyed it, I know I did!!