6.29.2012

Macro

One of my favorite things about my good camera is the macro lens; I love taking pictures of flowers and bugs and, especially, bees. 

While taking pix of Leanne yesterday, I snapped a few frames of bees on the flowers behind her. And look what I got! 
Some of the best close-ups I've ever achieved.
 
Whoohoo! So happy with how these turned out. 

6.28.2012

Third of Three

Remember the twinsie dresses I made Addy and Leia for our Colorado trip?
  
The third, and final, one in the series is now done, modeled and gone home.
 

I finished it a couple of days ago but had to wait for Leanne to come for another visit to get pix.
 
It's a little large on her - she's 16 months and the dress is a 2/3 toddler - but you know she'll grow into it. Pretty fast, too.
 
I know I'm biased, but isn't she adorable?

6.25.2012

Homework

The first four quilt blocks are done.  
'Fifty-Four Forty or Fight' was first. 
Then 'Drunkard's Path', correctly pieced this time. I only needed to rip out one block and re-orient it. Much nicer.

'Garden Walk', the companion to Fifty-Four. I cut these pieces in class but ended up re-cutting the triangle sections when they refused to play nice with the four-squares. 

And last up, 'Grandmother's Fan', which I love. The gold in the 'fans' is with of metallic threads, so this one really sparkles.

Only (??) eight more blocks to go over the next two weeks. Can't wait to see what Debbie throws at us this Saturday. 

6.24.2012

Princess Monkeybutt

PopPop took Leia to TWO Disney stores on Saturday, looking for the Brave dress in her size, so she could wear it when we took her to the movie today.
 
Apparently, size 5-6 (she's 3!) is very popular; it's also almost too small, girth-wise. Length-wise, she still has a bit of growing room.
  
She tried this on for us Saturday night and I asked her if she was my Princess. Her answer? "I'm your Princess Monkeybutt!"
 
And how was the movie? Fantastic. Hubby and I both think it's the best Disney movie ever made. I knew I was going to love it the first time I saw Merida astride her horse, Angus. No pretty princess pony but a big powerful Clydesdale with plenty of attitude. 
 
Brave has it all - interesting characters, laugh-out-loud humor in subtle places, unexpected plot - AND the princess is the hero throughout; no prince jumps in to save the day. Leia thought the bears were a bit scary, but not too scary, since she definitely wants to see it again. And so do I.

My recommendation? Go.See.This.Movie. It's destined to become a classic.  

6.23.2012

Quilt Class

I started a new series of quilt classes today that will encompass a bunch of different techniques. It runs three Saturdays in a row, 6 hours each day. I thought we were going to do two 12" blocks each week - I was wrong. We are doing FOUR blocks. Each and every Saturday. My brain hurts just thinking about it.
Instructor's sample quilt.
 
'Fifty-four Forty or Fight' is the first square. 
It went together pretty quickly, especially since I had the teacher right there for any questions. I got the pieces cut out in the morning class for the second one in this pair - Garden Walk (sample is Row 3, center, above) - and thought I'd put it together pretty quickly tonight. Wrong again. It's fought me every step of the way; I can't seem to do anything right. So, it's in time out. I'll try again tomorrow.

This afternoon we started working on curved piecing with 'Drunkard's Path' and 'Grandmother's Fan' (bottom row, center in sample). I got all the parts cut out and started piecing both blocks in class, again thinking I'd finish them up tonight when I got home. This one - Drunkards Path - went together pretty easily.  Which probably should have been my first clue that something was amiss.
 
Just one little minor oops. An oops I didn't even notice until I looked at the photos for this post. If you check the instructor's 'Path' (Row 3, far right) you can see what this is supposed to look like.
 
Yeah, tomorrow's going to be filled with rip, rip, rip. Something to look forward too. Or not.

6.22.2012

Vacation Souvenirs

Want to see what I brought home from our Colorado trip? 
A big pile of fabric and a t-shirt rainbow.
  
I know this isn't what 'normal' people consider souvenirs, but to me it's just perfect.

It all started with a trip to Rachel's local JoAnn's. I love that store - so big, so clean, so airy - and I really love their remnants bin. 50% off the lowest sale price? What's not to love??? Our crazy buying spree carefully planned shopping began with  a few choice remnants - 
 
I mean really; how could I pass up postal cancellation fabric???
 
Then we found that the cotton fabric, the stuff I mainly use for the little girl's dresses, was on sale for 40% off. So we bought a little . . . .
  (the pink in the center and the pink/black on the far right are Rach's favorites; 60's paisley is back is style. Kinda scary.) 

And who could pass up these greens? So hip, so cheerful, so on sale . . .
 
We needed a few coordinating fabrics to add color-block trim (also very 'in' right now) to the planned little girl dresses . . . .
 
and before we knew what hit us, we had a shopping cart crammed full of fabric, including these dragonflies that I Had.To.Have.,
 
and just a bit of red, white and blue stars to make Addy a patriotic dress for fireworks day.
 
I think this was all meant to be, too. Remember the orangie plaid we found first off? Perfect match with this tee Rachel found later in the day.
With maybe just a touch of the green for accent?
 
Oh yeah, somebody's going to kindergarten in high style.    

6.21.2012

The Shoe Gene

After skipping two generations, the grandgirls seem to have inherited the 'shoe gene' from their great-grandmother.
 
My mom loved shoes. I remember her having a minimum of six pairs, with varying levels of comfort, in the trunk of her car at all times.
 
I've never cared that much about shoes; when I find a pair that's comfortable, I'll wear them until they disintegrate. Leanne's mom is the pretty much the same way - comfort above all.
  
So it's pretty funny that every time Leanne comes for a visit, her very first priority is finding the pretty princess shoes and getting them on her feet. (Notice that her feet barely fill the toe portion of the shoe? Doesn't slow her down a bit.)
  
And her second priority? Seeing how much noise she can make clacking her way around the house. 

video

6.20.2012

Swim Lessons

Leia started swim lessons the day we got back from Colorado.
  
This is her second year of classes at the local pool with the kids from her daycare.
 
Leia takes to the water like a little fish;
she loves holding her breath and getting her face wet, 
 

 learning to float,
practicing her kicking technique - 
 
basically everything about swimming.  
 
And I love that she's not afraid of the water and if she finds herself in a pool unexpectedly, she won't panic and will know what to do and how to get out.
 
Water safety + summer fun = happy kids and less worried grandmas.

6.12.2012

Day Tripping

We headed up into the mountains today since Addy's mom and dad had the day off from work. First stop - Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, CO. The girls had a good time checking out the dinos

IMG_0218.JPG
and digging for bones in the sand pit.

IMG_0217.JPG
We'd hoped to do the ridge tour but it was over 90 minutes long and we didn't think the girls' interest would hold out. Plus, it was almost lunch time and we were anxious to get to the real reason for our trip - lunch at BeauJo's in Idaho Springs, which John assured us was the Best. Pizza. Ever.

IMG_0219.JPG
I have to admit, the man knows his pizza! After stuffing ourselves, we took in some of the sites in downtown Idaho Springs,

IMG_0221.JPG
a quaint old mining town.

IMG_0222.JPG
I especially loved the hanging flower baskets on every light pole

IMG_0226.JPG
and the view of the falls from across the freeway.

The little girls added to their collection of babies -

IMG_0220.JPG
a bunny for Addy and a cat for Leia - so they were content to let us visit a few antique stores before they got totally bored.

IMG_0224.JPG
We'd passed the old Argo Mine on our way into town, so that was our next stop.

IMG_0236.JPG
A bus took us to the top of the long-closed mine,

IMG_0227.JPG
where we donned hard hats for a short trek into one of the tunnels.

IMG_0228.JPG
Hiking back downhill, past the very curious big-horned sheep hiding in the trees,

IMG_0229.JPG
we checked out the old tunnel entrance

IMG_0230.JPG
before moving into the mill

IMG_0232.JPG
where all the ore taken from the 4.5 mile mine tunnel was once processed.

IMG_0233.JPG
By this point, Leia was thoroughly bored; not even the ore cart choo-choo interested her.

IMG_0234.JPG
But the last part of the tour perked her right up. Panning for gold!

IMG_0237.JPG
Everyone got into the act -

IMG_0235.JPG
Leia and Addy were very serious and intent, swirling and agitating the dirt and water just like the guide showed them.

IMG_0238.JPG
Both were thrilled when they spotted those shiny little flakes of gold in their pans.

IMG_0239.JPG
Even at $1600/ounce, these tiny bits won't enhance their college funds, but I'm betting this is a memory they'll treasure for a long, long time.