Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping up the year

The last day of 2015 dawned frosty and clear, leading to an invigorating last walk of the year with the Feet and Forks. The low winter sun cast long shadows on the Cushman Trail, where we bundled up and walked up and down hills for about four miles.

Frost on a trail rail.

View from the Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor.
Afterward, I headed to Quilt Revolution for fabric to start my first quilt of 2016 -- a baby quilt commissioned by a friend. It's going to be a wonky log cabin.

Back home, I was mesmerized by sun shining on my "New Mexico Light" quilt. I'm so glad the year ended with light and not clouds.

From our family to yours:
Have a happy, hoppy New Year!!!

Have a colorful day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wishing you Peace

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas Eve,
festive Christmas
and wonderful New Year!

My lasagna sauce is made, the vegan chocolate cake is ready to be iced, the table is set, Indie Christmas songs are playing on Pandora and we may get snow tomorrow! All is calm, all is bright.

Have a wonderful day

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice and a Big Birthday

This weekend, right before the Winter Solstice, I had one of those BIG birthdays that end in an OH! It was the best birthday ever because my husband pulled off a surprise party filled with my family, friends and glorious color! And a big whopper of a chocolate cake.

I didn't suspect anything until I started seeing all the cars at our house as I returned from lunch with a friend, then a trail of Hershey Kisses that led to a big colorful birthday banner on the front porch. The banner used an image of one of my quilts as the background, and the same image was on the cake.

Here is Mr. Wonderful after I came in the door. (Luckily, my friend Linda P. took pictures with my camera so I can revisit everything.)

I'm still speechless at how he tracked down emails for friends from all of my circles. Some didn't get the word, and I want you to know if you're reading this that you would've been invited if he would have had access to my complete friends email list.

This was the first time in a year and a half that I had both of my kids together with me. Here we are, also with two of my three siblings. The other sister was traveling and couldn't make it. I still can't believe we were all together, since they came from California and Wisconsin as well as here in Washington.

Here's the cake -- chocolate, of course, but they used white icing to highlight the quilt image. I'm still amazed that Dave pulled this all together and kept it a secret from me.

There was even a glittery birthday hat.

The next day we posed for our first family portrait of the year. The only one missing is our daughter in law, who couldn't travel because of work.

Here's another winter portrait -- The Feet and Forks' annual Christmas lunch. This year it was in Sumner, WA, where we browsed the shops and got in a little walk before eating.

And today -- the Winter Solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year -- we had surprise snow mixed with rain. Not much color, except inside where I'm still working on the cake.

Have a Happy Solstice

Monday, December 14, 2015

Shop local -- colorfully

Bed at Quilt Revolution quilt shop in Gig Harbor.

Today I went down to the harbor (Gig Harbor) to focus on color and do some local Christmas shopping. I started at Quilt Revolution, where they always have a colorfully made up bed by the door.

There was plenty of red and green.

Tree at Quilt Revolution.
 In the same building, but down around the corner, is Rainy Day Yarns, my next stop.

It was loaded with color!

Comfy sitting area at Rainy Day Yarns.
My next stop was to buy wild colorful knitted socks -- not at the yarn store but at Wild Birds Unlimited.

The socks are deliberately mismatched and make great gifts. Outside, Wild Birds has a very colorful courtyard.

Purple berry bush at Wild Birds.
Then, because we finally had sunshine after days of rain, I strolled through the harbor out onto the public dock and snapped some pictures of the boats and colorful row of life jackets that you can use for free (the life jackets, not the boats).

These two boats are named "Sugar Pops" and "Kahlua" -- sounds like breakfast!

Have a colorful day

Friday, December 11, 2015

Eat, drink and be merry!

My STITCH art quilt group wrapped up another year of inspiration and friendship this week with our traditional holiday potluck at Karen's house. My fortune cookie message (Barb gave us all cookies) sums it up: Friendship is the greatest gift you can give. I'm so thankful for these wonderful women!

Some of the other gifts were embroidered pin cushions, mason jar pin cushions (I'm going to use mine to store fancy thread tails), chicken pin cushions, sewing machine needles, beads, apple butter and a quilt pattern. All will be treasured.

As always, Karen decked out her house for the holidays, with a festive table and an extensive winter village scene.

 We ate, drank and were merry!

We wrapped up the party with a show-and-tell, which included nine elaborate crazy quilt stockings by Delaine.

Other show-and-tells included my table runner and Anne's very colorful quilt top. Hope this inspires you!

Have a colorful day

Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter white lights

It's that time of year again -- time to deck the halls and walls with hundreds of little white lights to keep the outside darkness at bay.

Last night, the wind howled and rain pelted the roof. When I got up this morning, I saw that the storm had rearranged our deck chairs.

Before I even started the coffee, as the rain continued, I turned on all of the lights draped along the windows and on clusters of little lighted trees.

This lone little tree in the entryway stands beside one of the buckets that will hold Christmas cards.

Instead of cramming the mantel like I usually do with dozens of figures, I limited it to three this year.

I focused mainly on white lights and left all of the ornaments and most of the larger decorations in storage. In past years I've always felt overwhelmed at the thought of pulling everything out and then putting in away again, so this year I kept it simple: lights, little trees and a few decorations. More time to relax and enjoy.

Here's a blog post from five years ago, when gaudiness was the word in my decorating:

Have a colorful day