Category Archives: Life

Expo Recap

I went to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo on Saturday! This is the very first year I have ever made it. I was so excited!!!

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I met up with Amy from Friends Stitched Together (and Crafting Con).

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It was the first time we met IRL, and we laughed for about 4 hours straight! Instantly comfortable around each other.

She is so fabulous. It was really nice to be able to walk around and share this experience with someone who sews!

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There was so much to see. And THE FABRIC. My goodness. THE FABRIC.

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Oh these lace trims! I am pretty sure I drooled a little bit near them.

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There was something there for everyone, for sure.

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It was a quilter’s paradise, though. Plenty of fabrics, machines, and gadgets geared toward quilters. We even got to test drive a quilting machine. It was crazy fun.

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This made me wish I knit.

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This was one of Amy’s favorites.

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The delicate fabrics on these dresses just melted my heart.

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THIS!!!! We have a friend who’s son is going to college for something brilliant and science-y. I would love to make something like this someday.

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And then….. we met Gretchen from Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing!!! You may remember that I entered her contest (here). We actually got to see the winning dress. Beautiful.

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 I was a little star stuck. She is made of all sorts of awesome. I also felt a little short. Ha!

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Overall, a memorable day. And an excellent excuse to get out, do a little fabric shopping (more on that in another post), and socialize with my sewing people!

Off to the Expo

Come back tomorrow to see what book is on our shelves this week.

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Today, I am off to the Expo!

She’s Back!

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My machine is back! And it has absolutely has nothing to do with this airplane, above, but I just had to share this photo. This plane flew over our heads and it was so low, I felt compelled to photograph it.

Anyhow…… my beautiful 35 pound (if I had to guess) Singer Quantum XL-1 sewing machine is back and purring like a kitten! When I went in to pick it up, my husband said it was like I was greeting my puppy who was at the pound. I’ve missed her so. I refrained from hugging her. This past month that it has been gone, I felt like a shoemaker without his hammer and nails, or a cook without a stove… or some other person who makes things without their tool to make them with.

The woman that worked there said “Yeah. They make them lighter nowadays“. Ooof. Yup. That is one heavy baby. And she’s ALL MINE.

The tech (see post here) that actually fixed it, fashioned his own spring because they stopped making that part for that machine. And although it cost a whole lot to do it (I am trying hard to block that part), he did it, and I am grateful he extended the life of my tool. My friend.

How about you?? Are you attached to any of your tools?

Update on my right arm

Well, not really my right arm….but it feels like it. It is my sewing machine.

You probably know by now, it has been in the shop since the end of January. I, luckily have been able to borrow my lovely friend Kirsten’s machine. It has been hard to not have my own, though. I love it so! You all know what I am talking about, right? You love your machines too, right? RIGHT??!!!

Last week I got a call from a tech guy who informed me that he was retired but they call him in to work on “the problem machines“. That can’t be good.

He also informed me that it would cost a lot more to open it up (it is THAT complicated) to even see what is wrong with it. *sigh* OK.

I knew that mine, for some reason, is not one that everyone would willingly work on. It is a 20 year old Singer Quantum XL-1,  a digital dinosaur of sorts that Singer has stopped making parts for….apparently.

Yesterday I got another call that it is done. He said there was a broken spring (that, yup, Singer doesn’t make anymore) and he “fashioned his own” and fixed it.

Uh, OK.

Wish me luck!

I’ve got two major things to work on that are due this weekend. *gulp* I could really use my best gal to help me out.

Here’s a photo of the sunset the other night, just so I don’t leave you photo-less today.

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We did it!

Remember that secluded hike I spoke of before? We went back (this time we brought the teen too) and we made it down to the river and back!

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On the way there, the Hood Canal bridge was up to let a few large ships through, and it gave us the opportunity to get out and snap a few photos on this incredibly gorgeous day!

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It was a nice pause before we got to our invigorating hike.

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The trail is in Quilcene, and on a weekend, it was a little more popular than on a weekday, but only by a few people. That actually made me feel a bit better about being out in the middle of nowhere with our girls.

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It is not an easy hike, full of rocky hills…but really beautiful.

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It was 2.5 miles to the river, and on the way there, all of a sudden darting up the path was a dog we had seen earlier (with a woman jogging) being chased by two pitbulls. The dogs scared the crap out of us because they stopped right at our feet and barked at each of us before continuing on the chase. We continued on for another 1/2 mile or so, and saw the frantic owner of the first dog, so worried. She explained to us that these two pitbbulls came out of nowhere and chased her dog. She lost her grip on the leash. We told her where he was headed.

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We finally made it down to the raging river, and the noise was so loud that we didn’t hear those dang dogs when they raced at as again and started to bark at us. We shooed them away, calmly.  They ran further down the trail. About 10 minutes later, we saw their owner and the two dogs were once again on leashes. What excitement!

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Luckily, those were the only wild animals we saw.

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The river was everyone’s favorite part.

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By the end, we hiked a little over 5 miles, and felt tired. But good tired. I am so proud of our girls…uh, and us old folk too!

Do you have a favorite hike?

Into the Woods

Remember the woods from yesterday’s post? I had a few more photos to share with you.

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It really was a beautiful remote place with lots of trickling waterfalls.

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What isn’t conveyed in these photos is just how quiet is was. And how that quiet was wonderful, but also a little unnerving. Really. I talked yesterday about the fact that I thought there was an animal waiting to pounce on one of us, and I was serious! The forest was vast and expansive, and it made us feel small.

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Being out there, knowing we were alone, was both phenomenal and terrifying.

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The path was only one large enough for one person to walk at a time, and was high up on what was essentially a cliff, towering over the river. The drop was steep, so I was a little nervous when our child was skipping nonchalantly ahead of us.

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When I had them pose for this photo, they were sitting a little too close to that drop for my liking. See how wide that trail is? One butt’s width. YIKES.

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Our brave little girl loved every minute, and cannot wait until we go back to further investigate. We only made it 30 minutes in before it started getting dark because we had a late start. So, we will be going back to try and hike more of the 9 mile trail.

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We have been into the woods before, but never really too far off the beaten path, or too far from civilization (without our car being right there like on our Alaska trip~ remember that?). This was a first for my husband and myself who are born and raised city folk. On the contrary, our girls have been exposed to nature all their lives, and don’t really have the same concerns being out there as we do.

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Are you at home in the wilderness? Or are you a city dweller?

It is the Beard-Shedding time of year!

Every year my husband grows a beard starting on the first day of Fall, and then shaves it off on the first day of Spring. But for the last few years he has been getting the itch to shave it before then (like here and here).

This year is no different.

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Silly silly man.

We always have fun with photos when he decides to shed it.

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Every year I slowly see the face I fell in love with being uncovered.

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And he has a bit of fun with it.

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OK more than a bit of fun. Stand back ladies…he’s all mine!

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Ahhhh. That is better.

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Do you have a Springtime ritual?

Pause in the rain

Yesterday, after many many days of unending rain, it paused. The sun peaked out from the sky to say “hello, I haven’t forgotten you“.

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Jim and I have been walking every day through the woods, in the pouring rain. I have never seen so many worms and newts on the trail trying to reach higher ground, having been flooded out of their homes. Falafel came with us one day, and pointed out every single worm she saw so we wouldn’t accidentally step on them. Tricky business when you yourself are drenched and your glasses are dripping wet.

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I even saw this slug with a look of relief, hanging onto this mushroom when the rain stopped.

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I do appreciate the mild weather, and understand what the rain does for this area. The moss and mushrooms are of epic proportions. But I was starting to worry we would all get sucked down into the ever growing mud.

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So I took the pause as my opportunity to photograph things I have sewn (got to do it when the sun is out), and to walk around looking at all the incredible beauty that is around us.

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The daffodils think it is Spring already. I wouldn’t object, either.

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Let’s hope we all get to dry off a little before those rains start up again!

What is the weather like in your part of the globe?

Flipping around

Yesterday I took Falafel to watch a local gymnastics competition. She loves this sport so much. As we watched together, I got to see that spark in her eyes that I used to have when I would watch it. Still do, I suppose.

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She hopes to be as good as these girls one day, and compete.

Sharing this passion with her has made me relive that part of my life. It was such a huge part of my childhood and adolescence. I lived and breathed gymnastics. Not that I was any good. I wasn’t. I was on the High school team, and a club team and the least skilled on both. But if it my ability was measured by the excitement for the sport, I would have easily equaled Mary Lou Retton. I loved anything to do with it. Especially movies. Bet you didn’t know there were even gymnastics movies made, huh?

I watched “Nadia” again the other night. I haven’t seen that movie in so many years. It is terrible. I may even bust out”American Anthem“. YIKES. I never said they were good.

I have so many projects in the air right now. One is currently draped all over our living room. It was fun to step away from it all for an afternoon to encourage this new found love for my daughter…and to remember what I love about it too.

Do you love gymnastics?

Reality

Lots of things happening in our “now”. The air is crisp and cold and the sun actually made an appearance yesterday which gave my spirit an infusion of energy that was lacking with all that rain.

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It is still winter and it is still cold, but I have found my motivation to start moving again. I have been walking and actually tackled that exercise video (once). And while I wasn’t actually able to do half of the things in it (when did bending my knees get difficult?!), I am proud of myself for actually jumping in (not literally of course, because I am so sore I can’t possibly jump).

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Falafel has started to take piano lessons. So on top of a very full schedule (for everyone else), we will be adding that into the mix. And she couldn’t be happier...which makes me happy.

BUT that explains (at least part of the reason) why we still have Christmas lights up on the outside of our house. *sigh*

Please tell me you have something still up from the Holidays too!

What is YOUR reality right now?