Monday, November 27, 2017

Honey, I Broke The Closet!

I knew I owned lots of clothes...but I never realized how many until one of my closet rods broke!

One night we heard a crash and couldn't find anything that fell until later when I opened my closet door. WOW. A two inch hardwood rod had split in the center and pulled down the bracket that held it. Good grief, do ya think I need to get rid of some things? There were more than a few laughs about just how many outfits a retired woman needs.

When we got back from the beach last week, I started purging clothes based on what I wear now. I did this several years ago at retirement, but  I bought more and apparently don't get rid of much. To be fair, some of the extra clothes were my mom's. This time I have four huge bags for donation. I also sorted the guest room closet, which stores my off season things.

My sweet husband and I have installed a new closet system with a few custom modifications (stronger this time!). I love the look. Hopefully now I can keep organized and contain my addicting clothing habits. A photo of the broken rod might be all I need to stay on track. 

And, yes, I was too embarrassed to shop for clothing on Black Friday.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Barefoot On The Beach

We just got home from a most delightful week in Orange Beach, Alabama. The weather was perfect, lows in the mid 50's and highs in the mid 70's. Our tenth floor suite at the recently renovated Island House Hotel in Orange Beach was super clean and spacious. The view and the beach were beautiful. The waves sounded amazing. There weren't many people around until Saturday and even then it wasn't really crowded.

Pecan Encrusted Grouper - DeSoto's
And, oh my, the seafood! 
Our favorite Gulf Shores restaurants, Mikee's Seafood and DeSoto's Seafood Kitchen, are still providing mouth-watering meals. Mikee's fried shrimp, fried red snapper and pan grilled grouper are so delicious. DeSoto's pecan encrusted flash fried grouper and Parmesan breaded flounder were the best I have ever eaten. We tried a new spot, Doc's Seafood Shack, which claims to have “the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world” – and I believe they may be correct. Medium tailless shrimp with a light flaky batter were fried to perfection. Several new places looked promising, but there are just too many restaurants and not enough time!

Shopping load from the beach
Of course, there was shopping. Fabrics By The Pound, located in Summerdale, has an outstanding inventory of high quality quilting fabric and batting. What I bought wasn't sold by the pound, but the prices were reasonable at $7.99 per yard and sale prices of $4.99 per yard. Their decorator and upholstery fabric was nice, and the staff was very friendly. I was there for a while; filled a buggy with fabric bolts. Our car was a bit heavier on the way home. At Foley Antique Marketplace, Jerold found a $50 bargain with a Zenith Transoceanic radio, circa 1954.

There's new construction going on with condos and beach houses in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Fort Morgan is still mostly houses, thank goodness. 

To cap our trip, as we were sitting on the balcony on the last evening, we saw some unusual activity on the beach. A guy in khakis set out a blanket, cooler, and a sign of some sort, then left it and hid behind a dune with a girl in a dress who had a huge camera. Got our binoculars, and another well dressed couple was hiding behind another dune nearby. Soon after, a young couple came down the beach and stopped at the blanket. You guessed it, a proposal. They hugged, he dropped down on one knee, and she said yes. How cool is that? I hope they stay married at least as long as we have.

The beach is truly my happy place. I love being there, feeling the breeze, smelling the sea air, and hanging out with my guy. If we had an opportunity to move there, I would have to think about it, but it might not take long to decide. It is a magical, relaxing, calming spot. 

Perdido Pass Bridge, Orange Beach


Monday, November 13, 2017

Color Crayons

Color Crayons
a brand new 
box of crayons  

Color crayons is what we called them when I was little. I don't know if that's a Southern thing, but they were never just crayons.

This quilt is made up of 3 1/2” half square triangles in bright prints of red, purple, yellow, blue, aqua, green and coral. The contrasting triangles are grey and cream. I had a red, blue, green and yellow striped fabric in my stash for backing. Quilting is a serpentine stitch in a square pattern on seam lines, then I added a red mini-dot border.  Color Crayons is a bright, fun 40” by 46” lap quilt that I finished in late September.

I have a few more projects in various stages, just waiting for me to play. I am having so much fun making quilts this fall! It seems like each one I make becomes my favorite, at least until I make another. 

Life is about using the whole box of crayons. ~RuPaul 

Usually, the kid coloring outside the lines 
is having the most fun. ~Unknown 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Contrary Girl

Contrary Girl
I've always had a soft spot for reproduction pastel 1930's prints. They have a definite vintage vibe. A cutting session in September with AccuQuilt 3 1/2” square and triangle dies had me looking for an old fashioned quilt block design. I found a nine-patch called contrary wife, and used pale soft yellow solid triangles instead of white to lessen the contrast.

The arrangement of the blocks creates patterns of stars and multicolored squares on point. Straight stitch quilting was done in offset squares with medium pink thread. Backing and binding are a pink crosshatch print. The result is Contrary Girl, a 36” square baby quilt that I absolutely love.

I may have been called contrary, once or twice... 

“I'm a woman,
I can be as contrary
as I choose.”
Lady Violet, Downton Abbey


1930's accountability Accuquilt adapt addiction adjust adventure advice affirmations amazing antiques attitude autumn baby quilt balance be yourself beach beauty birthday blessing bliss BlockBase Blue Wren breathe brightness camping card trick cat challenge change chevrons chips & salsa chocolate choice Christmas closet clothes clutter coffee color contentment cooking crafts crazy creativity crochet decorating design designs distraction DIY downsizing drama dreams energy EQ8 exasperating people excitement expectations fabric fall family feed sack festivals flexibility flour sack flowers flying geese Flynn Quilt Frame focus fool free spirit freedom fun furniture garden Granny Hill Granny Rose grateful gratitude Halloween happiness hexagon imagination independence insight inspiration intuition inventory Janome joy just for today karma laughter lemon pepper lessons letting go life lists little things loose ends love magic Memorial Day memories Mother's Day motivation NASCAR nature opportunity organizing paradise passion patience peace perception perspective positive energy productivity quilt quilting quotes reflection refresh relaxation remnant renew resilience resolutions responsibility retro routines satisfaction scraps sewing sewing machine simplicity simplify snow solitude Southern traditions spring st. patrick's day stitching strawberries stress sugar sack summer sunshine thankful Thanksgiving Thoughts tropical prints useful valentine vintage waiting weather winter wisdom wishes yard sales