Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teacup Collection Challenge

I've been challenged.
I have to admit those who know me well know I am a collector.

I have several collections, including a teacup and tea pot collection. I also have a collection of all things "cats", cat figures, little cat books, handmade cat things, cat fabrics. I have a lot of "Precious Moments" collectibles in an oak curio cabinet. I don't collect them anymore mainly because my curio cabinet is full!!
So when Kris and Liz challenged any "teacup collectors" to share their collections I couldn't resist. My love of china teacups came from my grandmother when I was a little girl. I have several of her teacups in my collection now. These two are special because of the flowers on them. My grandmother loved purple flowers, especially violets and so do I. One of her middle names was Viola (Ida Viola Irene) and I game the same middle name to my daughter, Nicole Viola!)
This antique tea pot was my grandmother's too. Then when I was a teenager I bought a teacup and saucer in Victoria, BC, as my vacation souvenir. My hubby gave me this beautiful teapot many years ago!
Over the years I've added to my collection, including this saucer from England at Epcot, Walt Disney World, one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the cup broke one day ( I can't remember how).Here's another teacup with an old English town.

This teacup is in honor of my anniversary month, November, with November's flower being the the chrysanthemum.This teacup with the blue roses is one of my most favorite teacups!

This tea pot is special because of it's inscription, HOPE, my mother's name.I received this teacup and saucer from my mother-in-law's best friend, Pauline, from childhood;
she was a special friend to me as well.
Later, after the passing of my mother-in-law, Emily, I acquired several of her teacups to add to my collection.
This musical teapot was hers before it was mine as well.
My sweet daughter, Nicole, gave me this teacup, with the verse,
"In Your light we see the light," Psalm 36:9, because I also like Lighthouses.

Nicole also gave me this beautiful heart shaped teacup and saucer with a rose on it and the inscription, Love is like a Rose!This teapot was hand painted by a local San Diego artist.
{ OOPS! Did I forget to mention "we" have a collection of things relating to firefighters in our house?! Rather, it would be more appropriately termed a dedication...but that's for another blog!!}

I've stopped collecting as much as I used to. I don't buy every cat decoration I see anymore. I don't buy the annual "Precious Moments" figurine anymore. I have enough!!
(My friends would say I have "more than enough!")

I've narrowed my collecting to fabrics! One can never have too much fabric. Besides I have lots of projects to use my fabrics for, quilts for friends and babies, wallhangings and table runners for gifts, or clothes for my grandbabies.

I love teacups and tea pots I made 3 wallhangings for gifts using the blocks from My Sweet Tea pattern. Now I need to complete the last 3 blocks into a wallhanging for myself. Think I will finish it next week at my Brown Bag Quilt Retreat with my BFF's Lynn, Nancy and Dolores.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Trip to the Grand Canyon

The picture above was taken on the North Rim looking towards the south.

To say the Grand Canyon is spectacular seems to be an understatement. It is truly amazing, awesome, magnificent, unbelievably gorgeous, impressive, grand, dramatic, stunning, remarkable fantastic, dazzling, sensational, and utterly breathtaking!! Words can hardly describe it, so we took lots of pictures to try to capture the beauty of the Grand Canyon!!This is called "Angel's Window" and if you look closely through the window you can see the Colorado River running on the bottom of the Grand Canyon!

Neither Nick nor I have ever seen the Grand Canyon. We were blown away. It is so much larger and more awesome than either of us ever imagined!! Everywhere you looked was unbelievable scenery at both the North Rim and the South Rim.

We stayed 3 nights at the North Rim Grand Canyon Lodgein this small cabin (above) on the edge of the Rim.

We stayed one night at El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim (below). The views were all around us!!!
This is a view from the South Rim looking to the north.

We went with a large group, about 60 people. 30 were going to hike the Rim to Rim, 23.9 miles from the North to the South, including our daughter's in laws and our good friends, Dan and Jeri. Nick was supposed to be one of the 30 hikers. Unfortunately, he was not able to make the hike as he had hurt his back a couple weeks before the trip while helping our son move. He still plans to do the hike once he has fully recovered (either with a group going in October or next May).
Pictured above, Dan and Jeri, Krren and Nick
taken on the South Rim

Be sure to check out all our pictures of the Grand Canyon on my flickr page.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some of my Projects in 2011

Not only have I been behind in my blogging, but I haven't blogged about any of my sewing, quilting or knitting projects yet this year, and the year is just about half over already!! So I decided to share some of the projects I've been working on and have finished.

I've made more than a dozen of this tote (using Bunny Hill's Jelly Bags Pattern) for friends, as well as my daughter and daughter-in-law.

Each one was made with different Batik or cotton fabrics. I love coordinating the fabrics and finding just the right order in which to sew them together, so that each bag is unique. Everyone who has received one has loved theirs too!!

I made this Red and Light Blue Nine Patch baby quilt for one of my daughter's closest friends. She picked the colors, but I picked the fabrics and the pattern. I used soft, red minkie for the back for this special little girl! I finished it just before little Eliza turned "1."

I didn't want to weigh down this baby quilt so I just stitched in the ditch around the squares.

I then finished Brody's Hawaiian Quilt, the piecing and machine quilting, a week before his first birthday! I had the top done for months, but since I knew he wasn't going to be using or needing it, (I made it large enough to fit on a twin bunk bed), I waited to finish it!

I learned a lesson too! If soft minkie is used for the backing, as for this quilt, it's better to do large stippling or straight stitching through the blocks. It's pretty hard to do "curly q's" or "loops" on a domestic sewing machine. My "curly q's" came out pretty tiny!!

Last year I started knitting again, after more than a twenty year hiatus. Now I'm knitting most nights while watching TV. I can also knit while we are on the road in our RV.
I've knit many toddler beanies, for our grandkids, as well as friends' kids, including this one for our grandson Micah. I made this one in SD Padres' colors!!

This is a "Thank You" quilt for my new BFF and hubby for their wonderful hospitality!! The pattern is called "Gadabout Quilt" from Eleanor Burns' book , Still Stripping After 25 Years. This quilt was really fun to make and I love how the pattern shows in these fabrics. I quilted it by stitching in the ditch and using a laurel border stencil for the large border.
Thanks again Donna and Rod!!

I made matching Hawaiian shirts for Brody and Micah for their 1st birthdays. I haven't seen them wear them yet. I'll add a picture of them when they do!

I knit this dress for Gigi. I had the worst pattern instructions to follow, so once I basically rewrote the pattern, and started over several times. I actually had it almost complete twice and I reknit the ruffle on the bottom 4X before I finally got the look I wanted. She and I love the lacy ruffle on the bottom!!

Lastly, and certainly not least,
here's our newest granddaughter, Hallee Hope, 2 days old, modeling the new Baby Car Seat cover I made for her!! She looks so tiny in that big seat (she was just under 6 lbs), but she'll grow into it with time!!

Camping at Fort Bragg

Another AB Diving Trip

We spent a week on the Northern California coast, with our best friends, the Nances, in one of the most beautiful campgrounds we've ever stayed in.(L to R: Rick, Lynn, Nick, Eric)

Located just south of Fort Bragg, one of the best things about the Pomo RV Park and Campground is the fact that they have many double sites and these double sites are surrounded by tall trees and shrubs that give you lots of privacy!! Some of the many flowers were beginning to bloom and everything was so green!!

We had cool weather and even some rain, but we really still had fun as we always do when we spend time with the Nances!!

Lynn and I stayed at camp to watch Lynn's granddaughters, while Nick, Rick, Eric, Emily and Dave went abalone diving in the freezing Pacific Ocean. We were told the visibility was just about the best they'd ever seen in 25+ years of diving. Everyone got their limit,
The Ab's in their shells

The divers, abs + little ones,
L to R: Nick, Eric, Isabelle, Dave, Rick Emily and Olivia

There's nothing like fresh abalone dinner!! Luckily they dove a second day so we were able to bring some home, frozen, for the next best thing to fresh for another dinner!!

Can't wait to go again next spring!!

Check out more pictures on my flickr page>

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Birthdays!!

Brody Turns "1"

It's hard to believe tiny Brody Noah Nicholas Bennett has been in our family for a year now. It truly seems like just yesterday that his mommy, daddy and big sister, Gigi, picked him up from the hospital in Fullerton, to bring him home. But on April 10th, we celebrated Brody's 1st birthday and the anniversary of the day Brody joined the Bennett (and Pavone) family!
Born on April 6th, he was so little, with such thin little legs, who would have thought he'd get so chubby?!Friends and family enjoyed hot dogs, chips and yummy cupcakes at the Bennett's new home on a bright and sunny, spring day! Brody's party theme was "Opening Day for Baseball" since his birthday is so close to Opening Day. So the decorations reflected the theme.Brody was his happy self all day. He smiled when all sang "happy birthday" to him. When it was time for his cake, he started slow, eating only one sprinkle, with a little bit of frosting. Mommy cut the cupcake in half and he devoured the whole thing, one half at a time, every last drop!! Not walking yet, but he's always on the move, starting to climb and get into things he shouldn't!

Gigi Turns "4"

Gigi's birthday celebration was actually a whole weekend of celebrations (just like the "true" big girl she is!) On the morning of the May 5th, she had a playdate birthday party at the park with her preschool friends. Her favorite gift was the "Fancy Nancy" dress-up dress she received. Then in the afternoon, she had more of her friends come to "Gigi's Ice Cream Parlor" for another birthday party!!! Her friends came all "dressed up" in their favorite princess dresses, a very popular theme for 4 year olds!

The morning of her actual birthday mommy and daddy and brother Brody took her out to the Original Pancake House for chocolate chip pancakes!!! In the afternoon mommy and daddy took Gigi bowling for for the first time. She had so much fun!!
Later that afternoon they returned for dinner and Gigi modeled the new dress I made for her.
On Sunday Gigi enjoyed a family birthday celebration at home. Granny, Granpa, Yaya and Papa came over for mommy's homemade, yummy fish tacos and more ice cream!!

Micah Turns "1"

Micah is a bundle of energy and laughs all the time. He started walking a few weeks before his first birthday and there's no stopping him now!!
He turned one on May 12th. The plan was I would drive up to Costa Mesa on his birthday for a celebratory dinner. Nick would drive the motorhome up on Friday and we'd spend the weekend at Newport Dunes, with Micah's Mustache Party to commence on Sunday. But, as luck would have it, it didn't turn out to be a quiet weekend. Alex and Angelina had decided to move and they needed to move the Friday and Saturday before Micah's party! Long story short, it was an exhausting weekend of a hectic move, but everything did get moved to their new place, prior to the party.

The party was a huge success. Family and friends met at a park in Irvine. Despite rain for a couple of hours in the morning, it turned out to be a clear, sunny day, a bit cool due to a bit of wind! Everyone got into the spirit of things donning the black mustaches!! All enjoyed a great spread of food and delicious cupcakes made by Angelina, although Micah didn't seem to really like his cake--mom had to feed it to him.

Grandkids are truly blessings and so much fun to be around. Their laughter is contagious and we can't help but smile whenever we are with them. They seem to grow so fast, too fast!!!!