Monday, October 31, 2011

October Book Club

I am so excited about Halloween tonight and will have a fun post-Halloween post soon but now it's book club! 
What a fun book club this month! It was at my house this time which really didn't have anything to do with the fun but I did get to make these yummy GF Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Whoopie cookies with Maple Cream Cheese icing yumm. I loved this book!! If you haven't noticed I like almost every book we read but this book was really captivating. For the group the book evoked a wide variety of discussion war, equal rights, and the election. Of course there was the usual conversations regarding sex, marriage, and Lego's all the good stuff that comes along with the group as well.

The story follows Lev a 17 year old Jewish boy living in Leningrad during the Nazis attempt to seize the city. He is arrested for looting by the Soviets and is thrown into jail with a handsome charismatic deserter named Kolya. They are told if they can procure a dozen eggs for the Colonels daughters wedding cake they will be set free. Lev and Kolya set off to find eggs in a city that has nothing left. The people are starving eating anything they can library candy (a treat made up of the binding and pages of books), dirt and cannibalism are everyday occurrences. Lev and Kolya are forced to look behind enemy lines. 
 I wouldn't have expected a story set during WW ll, that portrays the brutalities of the time with such gruesome reality, to also be funny and evoke such pathos. Lev is put in situations that he never would have chosen and shows bravery he never expected to have. Kolya has the bravery of a true solider but reveals his insecurities in the end as he and Lev form a close friendship. This is one to definitely read!

Our book for November is my choice Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas. Because of Thanksgiving we wont be meeting until December but I'll be posting then. Happy reading!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Creative Space..

First I have to say thank you for all the kind comments on my last post. I had intended to follow up that post, which yes was a little bit of a downer you have to admit, with some fun sewing updates but I was hit with a nasty cold. I think that might be a way I process things and not my preferred method it's not like I bottle things up obviously. I am on the mend though there's too much going on this weekend to be sick! 
My creative space is definitely all about Halloween this week. I have been working on a little table runner with the Ghastlie's and it's been so fun. I am wrapping it up today and tomorrow. If you like the Ghastlie's fabric check out all the work going on here at Madame Samms.

I have had so much fun working on this and I'm not usually into themed fabric but there's something about this that I love! I am going to use strips of the fabric and black linen to piece around the squares in hopes of making an abstract field. Here are a few of my favorite Halloween decorations from around the house. I'll have a costume post next week.
Cute Frankenstein
Owl from West Elm

Nightmare before Christmas Clock
Check out more Our Creative Spaces here it's a great place to visit!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Mom

I have been torn about today. It's one of those do I share or not moments but I feel compelled to. Ten years ago today my Mom passed away. She was my best friend. She had moved to Portland to be closer to us and her future Grandchildren. She was here when my son was born and then she moved to a little area of town just starting to grow called the Pearl District. Every month when I go to our PMQG meeting it's a block away from where she lived and I feel sad because she would have loved it. She was a quilter when I wasn't but I started sewing with her when I was a child and she was always artistic. A little more about her she always looked young for her age, she loved to dance, she had a potty mouth, she was a cowgirl, she loved fashion, she was very smart, and did I mention she had a potty mouth. My son was 8 months old when she died and it was so unfair. My sister has moved here since and started a family, my Dad has moved here, and my Sister in law lives here we are lucky to have them all so close but I still miss my Mom everyday. 

In 2001

When I was 19, oh the days of the perm.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Update

It's been a month since the last update and so much has happened. The weather cooperated, although it did get cold at night and I was worried, so the chickens moved outside on September 30th and have been enjoying their new space. Here is moving day for Peepers and Pippi.

They stayed inside their coop for 2 days to adjust and were checked on quite frequently. They weren't too happy at first and stayed huddled in the corner at night instead of getting up on their roost.

Then it was time to let them down into the run and the ladder was a bit confusing for them. It took maybe 3 or 4 days and then it clicked. That first day they learned they were going up and down on it like a new toy they really are so funny! Now they put themselves to bed every night and huddle up on the roost. 

Here are some photos from today they are getting so big and really developing their personalities. We have started on the yard for them but it might be delayed for Halloween we'll see. 

Peepers is still the shyest of the bunch but so pretty.

Pippi has become more outgoing and is really interested in cameras!

Sprinkles with her cute chicken shape. 
Coco with her puffy cheeks growing in.
The big question from the kids is when will they start laying? Five months is the norm but it will be winter here so that might delay them, I can't wait!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Swaps and Such

While I wait for my City Weekend fabric to arrive for the Wedding Quilt grrrr I have some swaps and such to catch up on.

First up is for Potholder Pass 9 I opted out of the potholders this time around and am swapping coasters. You can see mine on the left above and here are the ones I received. I love them kpeachy! I made a mosaic with lots of linen and pops of color and she really got me.

Next are projects for the Sewing Summit. I have a block for beebolt which will become part of a charity quilt to be auctioned off at the next Sewing Summit! Every attendee was given a cute little stack of fabric to make an 8 1/2" block with. Also Amy and Erin have a challenge for us to use our Sewing Summit tote bags and reconstruct them into a new tote. It reminds me of a Quick Fire for quilters!! I am trying to access the old art school part of my brain for this one and I think it's going to be a fun project!

Finally for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild I am making potholders for a swap we are doing with the Kansas City Guild. Also it's time for our holiday swap which is a fun one. We each fill a sandwich bag with some of our favorite fabrics and then receive someone else's bag. You take it home and adding one fabric make something amazing and then bring it back for them. Last year I received this beautiful quilt from Rachel! A quilt from a sandwich bag of fabric she's a sneaky one!!

I am still full of inspiration from The Sewing Summit! Thanks to Vanessa's photography class I have been working on my lighting in my photos. Amanda's mini-quilt class is the gift that keeps on giving with my coasters and potholders. There is so much more I can't wait until next year!!!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home from The Sewing Summit!

I have to say that the Sewing Summit was more amazing then I expected it was an awesome sundae with extra awesome sauce sprinkled with awesome! 
I arrived with my Portland posse, Jen (Betty Crocker Ass) and Jill (Made on Main St), a day early on Thursday and I am so glad we did because it gave us a chance to spend some time with a smaller group of women and go on the shop hop Friday morning. While I feel lucky to have access to great fabric stores in Portland I did manage to find some fabrics I just couldn't resist and all of the stores we visited had discounts for us and fun giveaways. I also had the chance to meet my roommate Valerie who couldn't have worked out better considering we had never met. We both enjoyed late night reading even though we were up so late not much reading happened. Here she is taking photos of our collective shop hop haul.
Valerie in our fancy room.
My fabric is the left side but I collected quite a bit more by the end of the weekend!

 Friday night was the opening reception where there were so many familiar faces/blogs. The giveaways kept going all weekend and I won a box of fat quarters!

Saturday our classes started and over the weekend I took

  • Improve Piecing: How to think outside the box taught by Jessica Berrett Urban Patchwork
  • Photographing Your Creations: Simple Changes for Maximum Impact by Vanessa Christenson V and Co
  • Letting Your Machine Work For You: Specialty Seams in Garments by Susan Peterson Freshly Picked 
  • Marvelous Minis: Packing Lots of Punch into a Mini Quilt  by Amanda Jennings MsMcPorkchop Quilts
  • Aspiring Authors: A panel discussion with Published Authors
  • Documenting Your Creativity: Blogging and Social Media by Dana Bolyard Old Red Barn Co

I was able to go out to dinner with my brother who lives in SLC Friday and Saturday night and it was great to catch up with him.

But I had to get back to the hotel both nights for a fat Quarter swap and tutorials. Nothing like trying to explain a Sewing Summit to your 28 year old brother. I think he imagined circles of older women sitting around hand quilting (which really would have been fun) not women of all ages staying up until 1:30 sewing and laughing until tears ran down faces or you thought you'd wet your pants. I didn't take as many photos as I'd hoped and the lighting was a challenge but here's a few from the weekend.
Late night in the Baby lock Sewing room!
Jana and Bari J
Jen taking a photo of Amy one of the Sewing Summit Masterminds.

I couldn't resist taking photos of Jen taking photos.

Rachel and I
Some of the name tags on display during the Mini Quilt class.

My final loot after the swag bag,
 swaps, giveaways, and shopping!

Thank you Amy and Erin for the incredible amount of love and work you put into this wonderful weekend!! I met so many amazing women I can't wait until next year!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sewing Summit Here I Come!

I spent today getting ready for The Sewing Summit! After looking at all the wonderful bags being made over the last month why not start one the day before I leave?!  I will take this 
and this
and make a bag that is a copy of an old bag I love. I promise pictures from the Summit. 

I also made this name tag yesterday. I love how it turned out! except the smudge #%^#%

Tonight I am getting scraps together for the Improve Quilting class I am taking and I am part of a fat quarter swap so I have to pick out that fabric. There seems like a million other things going on and I don't want to miss a thing so I finally got on Twitter to keep up on everything.  You can follow me during the Summit @CreativeMompdx.

This past week I have been working on the wedding quilt as well which is almost together. I just have that top left corner to piece and then I can sash it!

Tomorrow morning I'll be packing and then it's off to Salt Lake City with Jen and Jill!!! 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

September Book Club

September book club in October. We had our meeting late this month sorry for the delay. This months book was really interesting it's the story of two Wes Moore's who grew up near each other in Baltimore and ended up with completely different lives. While the author ends up in the military, attending John Hopkins, and a Rhodes Scholar the other Wes Moore will spend the rest of his life in prison for murder. The two men start a correspondence and the book explores the choices they made and shows how their lives changed. This book led to really good discussion along with insight by one of our members who lived and work in the area. This is a good one to read!

Our book for October is City of Thieves by David Benioff.