Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dinner With Friends

Today was a lazy day.  I woke up late for me and decided since it was grey and rainy out, I'd put off washing the ceiling for the last paint job.  Cliff helped me out by saying - hey, you're retired, you've got tomorrow.  So that was all the excuse I needed to putter around and not accomplish much.

We did have plans for a lovely dinner in a small town called Dayton, about an hour or so drive to the east of us.  There is a wonderful little restaurant there called Patit Creek.  They have a fabulous menu and they are most certainly worth the drive.  We had 5pm reservations for 4 to enjoy the morel mushroom that grow wild in the Blue Mountains.  The meal started off with a tomato bisque soup, followed by a small dinner salad with a homemade poppy seed cracker and a tiny ball of cheese on it.  For our entrees, Ken and I both had the steak with the French onion/morel mushroom gravy.  Oh baby it was so good.  Cliff had a Chicken Florentine (and part of my steak) and Grover had Copper River Salmon (Copper River Salmon is only available for a few weeks this time of year.  It is by far my favorite type of salmon and we bbq it often when it's available).

Here are pictures of our adventure:

Grover on the left, Ken on the Right

Cliff - my Honey!!
Cork from our bottle of Dumas Station Wine

The wine was fantastic - the name of it was Cow Catcher Red, I just loved the name

The Whole Gang - we all had full bellies at this point
 
But wait - there is always room for desert - Cliff and I split
Hazelnut Crème Brulee - I wanted to lick the bowl clean but
Cliff thought it might be a tad rude, darnit!!
We had a wonderful drive up to Dayton and enjoyed the beauty of the farm fields all green and coming to life.  One thing that really hit me and made me sad was Grover, he has Alzheimer's and I know what that can do to a person, Cliff's Mom had it as well.  He didn't remember being at that restaurant and he was always such a fan of the place before.  It's so hard to see the toll it's taking on such a brilliant man and it doesn't make it easier because he recently lost his wife and the love of his life.  He really enjoyed the outing though and was all up for it when I suggested we try out a bistro in Prosser called Wine O'Clock in a couple of weeks.  It's good for him to be with friends and get out, so I plan to try to get us together on a regular basis so he gets out with friends.  If something happened to me I could only hope friends would be there for my honey!!
 
So the majority of my day was again spent in my wonderful sewing room working on my latest creation.  I have 2 more rows to sew together, then I need to put the top together and the border on it.  Here is your sneak peek:
 
a stack of rows

2 rows still need to be sewn together

the book I'm using for my quilt top

the pattern is called "Old Gold"
This was actually a kit I purchased a long time ago, it came with a jelly roll and a layer cake and the fabric to do the binding in a medium blue.  It was a fun and simple pattern and I love the colors.  I don't often buy jelly rolls or layer cakes, I'm a yardage kinda gal, but this is a great pattern book for when you're in the mood for pre-cuts.
 
So how'd you spend your day, anything interesting, or were you lazy too?
 
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Fun Memorial Holiday Weekend

We had such a fun weekend.  Saturday we attended an event called Revelry on Red Mountain held at the very beautiful and exclusive Col Solare Winery.  I say exclusive because I've not gone to taste their wines.  I was told that to taste at their winery cost a person $25.00.  Ouch, am I cheap or is that expensive.  Their wines are delicious, but in the $80.00 a bottle range, gosh I have expensive taste!! The winery is practically on top of the Red Mountain and the views are gorgeous.  There were 24 wineries at the event and the food was catered by Olives, a company out of Walla Walla and may I just say it was fantastic.  It was a gourmet spread to say the least.  Good thing with all that wine flowing freely - a person needed a full stomach and no one walked away thirsty or hungry.  We discovered several wineries we'd never tried and really liked, some were rather expensive ($80.00 a bottle), some were not ($20.00 a bottle).  The tickets to the event were $95.00 a price which I thought at first might be a bit high, but considering the evening and all that it was, the price was not bad at all.  Our friend Ken treated us to the event and we couldn't thank him enough for such a fun time.  Oh and you should have seen the desert table, oy vey, if you're a chocolate lover, it was a dream come true.  Cliff and I both would like to go next year we enjoyed it so much!!  Here are a few pictures from the winery and at the event that I took on my cell phone:


Cliff and Ken - enjoying wines and views
 
Cliff coming from the food and tasting area - he had to refill his glass
 
Ken following him with a refilled glass
Cliff clowning around - see the lady in the pink shirt, wish I could remember her
name.  She came to sit with us and her husband was one of the people in our area
who got the wine industry started.  She was thrilled to see all the wineries and interest!!
 
The tables were set up so nicely and they each had a couple of potted grape vines.
 
Beautiful views of the grape fields surrounding the winery

More views and apparently a bit of my fat finger
 
Sunset
On Sunday and Monday we took it easy and slow.  Cliff worked on getting our new locking mailbox installed:


We were so lucky with our weather for the Saturday event.  It was warm, but mild and no rain.  Because on Sunday and Monday it was all about grey skies and rain.  Today is sunny but breezy, in the low 70's and by Thursday we should warm up to normal temps and plenty of sunshine I hope.

While Cliff was busy working on the mailbox, I was in my lovely sewing studio creating a new quilt.  I'm getting close to having pictures to share, but until then, tell me what you did for your holiday weekend.  Did you camp, get together with family, BBQ, I'd love to hear what you were up to!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Don't forget to thank veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service.  This day is about them and for those who've paid the ultimate price, never forget what they've done for our country!!



Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oh Scrap!

I have spent quite a few afternoons diligently cutting scrap strips out of the huge pile of scraps that I had and was to lazy to deal with until that is, I cleaned up and organized and painted my sewing room.  Lots of small pieces just got tossed, but I kept all that I could and cut 2.5 inch strips and I have 3 great books on scrappy quilts so hopefully I will find something awesome to do with it all.  Here are my nice neat piles:



Seriously I can't stand the idea of cutting anymore scraps for a while.  In the future I do plan to cut the scraps I have left as I go, it will be far easier and less time consuming and a heck of a lot easier on my poor back rather than standing for hours doing it.

So what do you do with your scraps and what have you made with your scraps??  Please share, I'd love to hear.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Surprise in the Mail

Today I received a surprise package in the mail.  It was from my Sister-In-Law Leah who lives in Olympia, WA.  She had a big garage sale this weekend and one of her friends brought some things over to put in the sale.  It just so happens one of the things the friend brought was a hand pieced/sewn quilt top made by her Grandmother.  So Leah sent it to me to see if I'd like to do something with it and if not find someone who might like it.  Well I was so thrilled and excited about it, I took pictures to share with y'all.  I figure I'll get some repro fabric to back and bind it.  The big question in my mind is how to quilt it?  My arthritis won't allow me to hand quilt it, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.  Could you/would you hand tie it perhaps??  Here is the quilt and a few close ups on some of the blocks:

 





 
Aren't they colorful and bright.  The off white fabric I believe is muslin.

I also got busy today and made a batch of Bobby Deen's Lighter Blueberry Muffins.  They are 168 calories per muffin (70 fewer calories and 4 grams less fat) and a little bit healthier than his Mommas (Paula Deen) original recipe.  I used the organic blueberries I picked last summer and froze.  It's almost time to pick again and I can't wait.  The muffins, according to CR, are DELICIOUS!!


I also got myself a new Starbucks mug for cold drinks.  I fill this puppy up several times a day with water/sparkling water and flavor it with MIO's, or Propel, or Crystal light.  I pretty much drink water and coffee and that is it, no pop or juice for this girl.

 
It came with the flat lid and then a domed lid for those fattening drinks they put a ton of whipping cream on top of.  I don't do those drinks.  If I order a latte, it's iced, sugar free vanilla, no frills, but I like it.
Still cutting strips from my scraps, ugh, I'm getting so tired of it, but in the end it will be worth my time.  Anyone know of a free pattern/tutorial, or a pattern a person can buy for a Churn Dash Quilt.  I saw a picture somewhere of one that looked really scrappy and thought it was so cool looking.

The weather has turned chilly and windy and rainy here.  Just a couple of weeks ago it was 90 degrees.  Mother nature must be bi-polar, I just can't keep up with the big temperature swings.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Upgrades

Today we were busy doing some upgrading.  I've had an iPhone 3 for a long time now and so we decided since ATT was giving 100.00 rebate to trade your old smart phone in, we would upgrade to the iPhone 5.  Can't believe how far those phones have come with a larger screen, and slimmer, lighter weight body.

We also decided to finally upgrade my sewing room TV to a flat screen HDTV.  It's a 22 inch, I didn't want anything to big, and it's bigger than what I had.  I'm quit thrilled with it:


Earlier in the day, Scotchie was in his usual morning position - CR's lap, getting his tummy rubs in for the day - I love how he holds his front paws in the air so CR can get the chest and the belly.  Meanwhile his eyes roll back into his head he enjoys it so much.  Of course CR can't do much on the computer till Scotchie tires of the attention and leaves to find a patch of sun.

 
Look at the back feet - all stretched out, so funny!!
Working on my scrap piles and cutting everything into 2.5 inch strips, I don't know if I'm slow or what, but I wish this job was done already.  I've got a couple ideas for a scrappy quilt, but nothing decided for sure just yet.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Few Funnies from Facebook

A few things that have made me smile lately:



Photo









Photo

Photo

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our Rhododendron

Our Rhodie is blooming away and looking so beautiful this year, so I thought I'd share some pictures:

Scotchie is watching me out the bedroom window.
 
 
Now he's spotted a bird - probably a quail
 
 
 
 
I remember 30 years ago it was maybe 2 feet tall, not full at all and had 3 blooms on it.
We attended the funeral of our friend yesterday.  Such a sad occasion and so difficult to see the pain her husband was in.  She was very loved and based on the way her whole family spoke about her and the friends who got up to speak, what a testament and a legacy she's left.  We can all only hope to have touched people in the way that she did.

I must do my checkbook today and then I need to get the 2 huge bags of scraps I've been saving and cut them into strips to make a few scrappy quilts.  I really like the scrappy quilts that are on Bonnie Hunters Blog and Website - Quiltville.com

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, May 17, 2013

Got a Few Things Done

Today, with all my fabric folded and the last of the organizing done in my sewing room, it was time to get busy and do a couple of quick projects.  So the first thing I did was make a new curtain for my sewing room.


Oh they are so pretty and bright and compliment my yellow walls nicely.

Then I don't know if you remember those drab pillows I put on my Grandma's Cedar Chest here:


 
Ugh, so boring and I have a lot of blue in that room, so I made covers, or pillow cases for the drab pillows and now it looks like this:


I found this fabric while I was organizing and folding my stash.  CR really liked the fabric and loves the look in that room.  It does brighten that area up a lot!!

We were supposed to paint the small hallway today - I cleaned the walls yesterday, but we went out to lunch with other retirees from where CR worked, so by the time we got home, well we decided to do it Friday morning and take it easy today.  And that was a good idea.  My back had been really hurting lately, so a day of rest was just what I needed.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam