Wednesday 26 March 2008

Stitching and stuff

I am really sorry everyone. I just don't seem to have any pep these days. I have been doing a little stitching and quilting but not up to my usual standards. Blogging has gone by the wayside too. I am reading and commenting where I can.
I have finished and sent off some squares for the Fair and Square exchange. I will post photos when they are received.
I have also done a little stitching on my newest project. Periphearia's Mystery Sampler 2008. It was quite the job to grid this thing and I hope it is right. I am not sure I like the colors but think I will stick with it for a while and see how it develops.

I belong to a group of quilters in my RV park in Yuma. This is my latest project. It is called Sunset Sky and it is another stain glass quilted hanging. It is ready for the batting and backing to be added. It will join the Flamingoes to be quilted. I have the angel to border and sandwich and they will all be ready to quilt when I return home to Canada. Hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Tuesday 18 March 2008

Camera, birthday cake, angels and other things

I have lots of things to share with you today.
First, my camera story. Canon Camera has a policy where you can return your camera to them for repair at a flat rate of $97. So, off went my three year old S1IS Canon Powershot. I did not hear anything for two weeks and finally last Thursday I received a package in the mail. I was expecting my repaired camera, so you can imagine my shock, disbelief and utter joy at finding a brand new S1 I5 Canon Powershot and all it's accessories in the box. Along with the camera was a note that stated that my old camera was defective, they were not able to repair it and therefore AT NO CHARGE they have replaced my camera. My note to you BUY CANON!!!! That is incredible customer service.
Next up, I spent some time working on the collage you see below. My youngest son was treated to a Panda Bear birthday cake made by Mommy for his first birthday in 1977. His oldest son, Jackson received the same cake made by Gramma for his first birthday in 2006 and his youngest son, Hunter received the same cake in 2007 for his first birthday. I stumbled across photos of my son with his cake and the end result is the following collage. I hope my son likes it. The cake pan and design are the same. No, it is not the same 31 year old cake. LOL
A little quilting is up next. With the help of my teacher, I put together this stain glass angel on the weekend. It is going to be a wallhanging. It was great fun and not as difficult as I had expected.My stitching these days are secret stitches for exchanges and other things so I am afraid I cannot show you anything. I will as they are sent and received.
I promised a few pictures of the visit to L.A.
The first is along the coastline from San Diego to L.A. - the sun is shining and the flowers are starting to bloom on the hillsides.

What trip to L.A. is complete without a visit to the Hollywood sign. Our tour guide tells us we were lucky to be able to see and photograph the sign because the smog is normally so bad.
Next up, where else but in Hollywood would you see Charlie Chaplin and Catwoman having a chat. This was in front of Mann's Chinese Theater - the footprints of the stars and the stars on the Walk of Fame.
And for all us ladies, some eye candy on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Hope you enjoyed the sights. It was difficult to only pick a couple of photos but I hope I gave you a broad view of the craziness known as L.A. and Hollywood.

Thursday 13 March 2008

Fair Square, Stash and Stitches

Here is my Fair and Square Exchange from Rowyn in New Zealand. It is simply stunning. It is a Quaker design done in DMC 99. Rowyn included the most wonderful gifts - a strip of banding with a beautiful green and gold edge, a copy of Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading magazine, the most gorgeous cut of fabric from Kiwi Illusions called "Ocean Blue", a postcard of Wellington and a beautiful notecard with a native bird on the cover. I was floored. I loved it all. DH and I ran away for a few days to Los Angeles with a stop in San Diego. While having lunch on the beach in San Diego, I stumbled across a needlework shop called "Needlecraft Cottage". They appear to be mostly into knitting but I did a small "fall off the stitch diet wagon" and purchased a couple of things.

WDW - 4123 Celebration, 4113 Spring Bouquet, 2106 Santorini and 2116 Blue Fescue. I guess I needed a little spring color LOL. I also bought a Tacky Bob (thanks for the tip Dani) and a Mill Hill kit called Queen Ann House from their Christmas Village collection. I am a sucker for gingerbread, Victorian style houses and I do love to bead. Since this is just a small purchase - I think I have stayed on my stash diet! Don't you agree?

And finally, the urge to stitch has returned. I finished a secret stitch and will post it once it has been received. I completed this ornament for March on the trip to and from L. A.

It is "Christmas Snow" by My Big Toe Designs and I used the wonderful Carrie's Creations "Snowflake" that I received from our Secret Santa. I have also picked up Paradigm again although the frogs came to visit and I have some counter stitching to do.

On the camera front, I received an email yesterday saying the camera has been shipped back to me. I borrowed a camera for these few photos. Will do a couple of photos from L.A. in my next post.

Take care one and all and as Beatrice says "Stitch with happy fingers".

Friday 7 March 2008

Visitors and Visits

I have no stitching progress for you. I am still struggling to get back into stitching. I did finish one small gift but it is a secret stitch so I cannot show it to you.
I received my Fair and Square exchange from Rowyn yesterday - but - no camera - no photo. Words don't do the package justice so you will have to wait for the photos. I checked today and my camera has not been mailed back yet. Soon, I hope. I am lost without it. I will borrow a camera in the next few days to post.
We have had some visitors the past two weeks from Denver and from Canada. We have done some touristy things so I thought I might share a photo or two from their cameras. Hope you like them.

First stop was Castle Dome Mine Museum - 12 miles down a gravel road, in the midst of the Arizona desert. Here you see the real desert. The mine museum consists of old buildings restored from the early mining days in this area. The saguaro cactus is at least 100 years old.

Next stop, Los Algodones, Mexico. We are 6 miles from the border and we take visitors for shopping, lunch and a margarita. Lots of fun and color.
Here is DH picking broccoli at the University of California Farm Research Centre in El Centro, California - about an hours drive. Here we learned about all the crops grown in the Imperial Valley where we live and how it is all maintained. The state of Arizona grows 80% of the winter lettuce for North America and lots of it is grown right in the area where we live. We grow red and green Romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions and other crops for your vegetable supplies in the winter months. You would be very surprised how green the desert is here with all the crops.
Our next visit was to the Imperial Date Farm in Bard, California. They grow Medjool dates there and their date milkshakes are over the moon. So, we have to go there. The lift is against the date palm as they are fertilizing the dates and it is all done by hand.
And one last stop. We took our friends out into the desert. During the Second World War, Paton's army trained in the desert. They wrote their names in the desert with stones. Since we do not get weather extremes they still remain. So , we packed up some friends, some (well, tons) of food and wandered into the desert for the day. Everyone cooperated and we got this great picture. This is what retirement is all about.
I hope you enjoyed these.

Sunday 2 March 2008

Proud Pink Flamingos

Well, here you have it. My finished quilt topper. I am a beginning quilter and this is my third piece. I belong to a quilting class here in Yuma and our challenge for this year was to do a quilt in only two colors. Not being an experienced quilter, I picked this pattern cause I just loved these three flamingos. Well, it has been an experience. One of the first flamingos ended up in the trash can since his front and backside did not match. It was a struggle to get them all to match but I think I did a pretty good job. Our quilt show is today so my top will be on display.

After the show today, I will do some embellishing (add some color) and hopefully get it quilted before the year is out. I am going to attempt to make my own template of small flamingos to stitch around the pink border.

On the stitching front, I am still in a funk. I did pick up my needle this morning and do a little secret stitching. It has not stopped me from doing some buying though. I have bought some new fabrics to take home and will photo when I can.

On the camera front, Canon contacted me and said my camera had been received, there would be no cost for the camera repair and it should be returned to me by the end of this week. I did not realize how much I missed that camera till I did not have it.