Zoo 2

Today we headed for the L.A. Zoo, 
specifically so Leia could see a real-life one of these guys - 
One of her favorite stuffed toys is 'Spike', a small stuffed rhino I bought her almost a year ago. Our usual haunt, the Santa Barbara Zoo, is great but ... no rhinos. 
We checked out all the usual exhibits, 
from monkeys to gorillas to giraffes and koalas, and even petting a red-tailed boa (Leia petted it; Leanne wanted nothing to do with that thing.)
but the girls' two favorite things of the day, by far, were the kid-activated misting system
that soaked both of them while they ran around like crazy;
and Leia pushing Leanne in circles while Pop and I sat on a bench and laughed at their antics. 
Both girls were having a super cranky day, so we were at the zoo less than 2 hours, but thanks to strollers,

rain makers and bear sippy cups, we still have some good memories.
My favorite memory? 
Leanne falling fast asleep before we even got out of the zoo's parking lot. Blessed peace and quiet. 


Quilt in a Day - Almost

On Thursday, my buddies and I took a road trip north to Carpinteria and Santa Barbara in search of fabric and yarn, with a first stop at Roxanne's. Their recent newsletter featured a seahorse fabric that looked almost like stained glass, and I Had To Have It.
Needless to say, more than just that one fabric followed me home. I fell hard for the entire line, with mermaids, 
seahorses, jelly fish, coordinating fabric and more.
But I also came home with an idea and a plan! First, I cleaned off a big workspace, 
and made my supervisor a comfy spot* to hang out.
Silly cat has to be near me when I'm crafting (as long as the little girls aren't hanging around; then she's no where to be found.)

Then I started cutting out squares. 
Lots and lots of squares**. 
A lot of little seaming, a little pressing, 
and voila - one almost complete quilt top.
It still needs borders - that's what the lime green dots and the blue wave fabrics are for - but hey, not bad for less than 5 hours worth of work. It's colorful, cheerful, put-on-your-sunglasses bright and I love it. Hoping to attach the borders on Monday and get this off to a long-arm quilter within the week.
* I don't know which of us is funnier - Lily for wanting to be close to me no matter what I'm doing in the evenings, or me, for stuffing a plastic bag with some leftover batting so she'd have a nice comfy spot to snooze. Never say my cats are spoiled . . .

** Waaaaaay too many squares. I was well on my way to a queen-size bed cover. I scaled this one back to lap quilt territory and I still have enough squares to make a child-size quilt for one of the little girls. Or, if I add in a bit of the mermaid fabric, more than one of the little girls.           


Birthday, Flood Day

Happy birthday to Leanne, who turns 2 tomorrow! She wears her cupcake sooooo well.
And happy (not!) flood day to me, due to a cracked hose on the washing machine during the party.
Fortunately, not a lot of damage. Sooner or later though, we're going to have to tear out the wall that separates the laundry room and the under-stairs closet near the front door. Not looking forward to that little project.   


Gift Scarf

This yarn has been in my stash forever. It finally told me what it wanted to be and, voila, two days later it was done.

And a day after that it was gifted and gone. (The yarn also told me who it wanted to go home with.) The giftee isn't expecting it; sure hope she likes it!

I used two strands of Prime Alpaca, held together, and the Leia's Lace scarf pattern I designed, minus the picot edging and with fringe added. The scarf is thick and warm and soft and cuddly - just in time for daytime highs in the 80's. Ah well, cold weather always returns. Usually in June.



Long Way Around

This little quilt has a long story about how it ended up in my hands.
My sister-in-law's best friend, Ellen - she's my pal, too - introduced me to the quilting blog her niece in Texas had begun writing. I enjoyed Emily's projects and writing style, so became a follower of The Caffeinated Quilter.
A week or so ago, Emily posted about an art quilt she had donated to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I liked her quilt, and since I'd never heard of AAQI, I wandered over to have a look, fully expecting that this little beauty would have long since been snapped up. 
It wasn't, so I did - and it was delivered to me yesterday. 

I love how this little flower is so cheery and hopeful. And that it will remind me of friendship and connections every time I see it.


Super Secret Stuff

Sewing - and other stuff - has been happening, but since it was all intended for gifts, I couldn't show it until now. I made travel-size pillowcases for Addy and Rachel.
At least, the butterfly one was intended for Rachel. Addy has apparently claimed them both, one to use in mommy's car and one for daddy's truck. You can never have too many pillows, right? Guess I'll have to make another one and sneak it out to poor Rachel.

Leia and I made matching hand-print pillow covers to give her daddy and Mary for Valentine's Day. 
I thought this would be a quick, easy job that Leia could do mostly by herself, with a little supervision. I thought wrong. 
The construction was pretty straight-forward, it was the embellishing that got out of hand (hee). We traced Leia's hands onto fabric, cut them out (my job), 
wrote names on each one (her job), then sewed them on the covers (my job). 
It was zigzagging around the fingers - and trying, mostly in vain, to do it neatly - that took so much time and aggravation. 
We eventually got it done and Leia is very pleased with the results. 
Leanne helped us with the photo shoot for a bit, 
I love this picture with Leanne in the background. So much energy.

then decided running around with her favorite backpack was much more fun.
And the flowered pillow cover Leia also made? Still to be gifted . . . .     


Disney Christmas

I forgot I hadn't posted this; I had trouble scanning it in December and just got around to trying again.
I love this picture. Brings back memories of a such a fun, happy day. Just wish Marie and her family had been there too. 

And with that, Christmas 2012 is officially over. I think. 



Last Friday was warm and sunny, so we packed up the little girls and headed to the Santa Barbara Zoo. 
I've said it before, I know, but this zoo is the perfect size for toddlers and young kids. Nice uphill path to tire them out build anticipation,
enough animals to keep them interested -
including a petting zoo, which Leia loves,
and giraffes to feed, which she really loves -
a sliding hill (Leia would happily spend her entire time here, if she could),
a pond with big, brightly colored fish,
Emmett the Train,
room to run,
and so much more.
Leanne had her I'm-not-going-to-have-fun- and-you-can't-make-me moments
but having her favorite bear* to cuddle
and so much to see and do kept those moments to a minimum.
It didn't hurt that the day we went was the first warm, sunny day in a couple of weeks. All the animals were out, enjoying the sunshine, and many - including five or six condors and a small fox - were right at the fence, where the girls could see them up-close. 

If you click on the giraffe picture above, you can see the two new lionesses sunning themselves on a rock, just above the giraffe's neck. Which put them right at eye-level and about 10 feet from the viewing window when the girls got there. And as the train conductor told us a little later, put the lions right where they could daydream about giraffe burgers for dinner.

*Leanne was terrified of this bear until the batteries ran down and it stopped moving and talking every time she touched it. She's much happier now that she's in control.