Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Movies

It has been an extremely hot summer--what better thing to do than go to the movies?!

We have seen some of 'blockbuster' movies of the summer--very enjoyable 2.5 hours of your life.  We recently saw "Dunkirk" as a family--not all together but each of us seeing the film in our perspective city of residence.  
"In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated."

Us older folks had heard of Dunkirk but the younger generation had not---which led to much discussion about how this piece of history could be turned into a film.  What struck me was the fact that most of these soldiers were very young men--and scared out of their wits!  These were English soldiers!  and the question the 'kids' asked--'where were the Americans?"--another topic of conversation for sure.

If you haven't seen this film, I suggest you take the time to watch a powerful period in history--we can not change history!  Only relish it for what happen and be thankful for those young men.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Books On My Bedstand..............

I love to read!  And I'm always looking for that next good read--
I can read two books at the same time--also, listen to audiobook
as I work--too many good books to let slip through my fingers.

"Precious and Grace" is such a quick read--all about those
lovely ladies of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

"The Midnight Assassin"--interesting history about Austin, TX
and the serial killer that roamed the streets of 1880's

"The Woman in Cabin 10"--haven't begun this one yet, but
it was recommended by several people

"Killing the Rising Sun"--oh my!   Just so factual
with such detail--I find this one fascinating about WWII Pacific War
as our small town of Fredericksburg, TX has Pacific War museum
and this book brings the museum more to life.

"Killers of the Flower Moon"--never knew anything about this piece
of history, especially the birth of the FBI

"A Gentleman in Moscow"--this one I read a chapter or two at 
a time--the descriptions of characters is timeless

Oh, I do have others on my bookshelf 
and in my ear--I enjoy all of Lisa See's books--this one
about tea growing, cultivating, family involvement and
the progress of tea in China.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Selvages--What Do You Do With Them?

As a person who works with fabric, I'm sure you've seen the selvages--there is a lot of information printed for your assistance as well as the manufacturers.

You can find the name of the fabric and the designer

There is a copyright date as well as internet address

And there are all those dots with numbers--what do they mean?
These are color registrations--as the fabric is printed each color goes on in different print
sequences.  Color #1 is the first color to be printed, etc.
these circles or squares serve as check point for printing,
making sure the colors in the fabric are in the right spot.  If not,
the printing process is stopped and realignment takes place.

Some people take these selvages to assist with shopping for additional fabric--
Me, I'd rather take a sample of the fabric.
Most people cut off these selvages, but WAIT--there are
ways you can incorporate those in your finished products.

One year I used them to make paper pieced Christmas trees to
use on my Christmas cards.

Don't throw those selvages away!!  Here are some other
ways to be used..........

The Sewing Loft  has a handy list of 25 things to make with
selvages!  I like the postcard idea!  
Happy stitching!!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Silk Stitches

Every few days I pick up my stitching--usually, when I don't want to 
concentrate on knitting--
This is my Snowman Christmas blocks--I turned to my embroidery box with
all my threads (wish I had more!!) and pulled out my handspun silk bobbins--

I had forgotten I had these to stitch with--The silk is single ply
and the above has been dyed with indigo

My handspun silk pulls nicely through the cloth and is strong
to resist any tugging--no breaking on this yarn!  
Oh, how I love the indigo color!  I think one day
I'll stitch all my blocks with indigo silk thread (handspun, of course!)

I also have other natural dyed handspun silk threads in
my handy dandy box--I did these when I held a natural dye
workshop--not hard to make a small skein and throw it in
the dyepot along with the other skeins--here I have some
over dyed greenish gold--dyed yellow, dipped into indigo--yellow and
blue make green!
I also use madder, cochineal and logwood--

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Well, wake up!  You are in control of this situation!  I have been knitting on Estonian Sampler by Elizabeth Ravenwood (Ravelry).  I like the blues in the yarn but not the brown--what's the problem?  The yarn is HANDSPUN from roving----dud, I'm in control of the spinning!  I'm in control of the color arrangement!  I'm in control.......................So, here I've spun this first skein with the brown and I'm knitting away thinking--I really don't like this brown stripe and just the other day, I realized--I was in control!!  I can take out the brown bits and just spin the blues--
Here is the roving that I spun up with the brown color

The roving without the brown

Throw away brown--NOT!  I'll save these bits for another challenge

See that brown stripe--don't like it!
It sure did take me long enough to finally
realize--I AM IN CONTROL!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Well, OOPS!

I'm thrilled!  I finished my Christmas quilt!  This is the one I should have bought the kit and didn't; then searched for the right fabrics--well, it's done, finished, complete--well, almost!

I spread it out on the floor to take a photo and only your camera can pick up your mistakes in a flash-there it was!  The big mistake--well, it was only a small mistake, but it was there!

Thought I would have seen it sooner, but NO--already had the borders on and I was ready to press--one small block, NO, two small blocks turned the wrong way!  I could leave it and call it
my path of redemption, but I couldn't stand it.
RIP It--or frog it as they say in quilter and knitter language!  
NOw, off to the quilters it goes!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Christmas In July!!

In order to cool out during this HOT month of July, we can think about the winter months and sew up something fantastic!
Here's a cooool row by row quilt that could work for Christmas and January--
lots of snow featured!!  You can find this free pattern here

Another row by row The Spruce

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ode To Age................

Today is my mother's 97th birthday--unbelieveable!  She certainly didn't think she'd survive to be this age--neither did we! My brothers have arrived from Scottsdale and Dallas to celebrate with us--although, this will be a short visit--I think Mother relishes the fine moments we spend with her--I'm sure she won't remember tomorrow whether we were there or not--but, for the time being--we're present to wish her "Happy Birthday!"

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Mystery for You!

Once again, I'm traveling--so, here is a mystery I found that would be fun to do
the other half of this year--it runs through February, 2018.

Meadow Mist Designs has already posted the fabric requirements.
The cutting instructions will be posted August 6th and
each first Thursday there after.
I know I'm going to go through my stash to see what I
can use--this mystery will be for two sizes--lap and queen--

While I'm traveling, I will be thinking about fabrics/colors.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Flamenco! The Dance...................

I really didn't know much about Flamenco, the dance.  Oh, I've seen it performed but the history was totally off my radar until the visit to Santa Fe's International Folk Art Museum--the display was awesome!  Costumes galore............

"The art form developed over several centuries from Gypsy, Moorish, Andalusian, and other roots. Flamenco music and dance became popular in the early 19th century as café entertainment.
Canto (“song”) is the core of flamenco, and like baile (“dance”), it has three forms: grande or hondo (“grand” or “deep”), intense, profound songs, tragic in tone, and imbued with duende, the transformation of the musician by the depth of the emotion; intermedio (“intermediate”), moderately serious, the music sometimes Oriental-sounding; and pequeño (“small”), light songs of exuberance, love, and nature."
Flamenco is danced around the world--here is silk dress from

Would love to see this dress in action!

Madrid Span dress 1970-1980

Madrid, 1965--bought to New Mexico to wear at
New Mexico venues and the first year of the
New Mexico Festival Flamenco International

Variety of costumes worn by men and women

This is one of the costumes that Maria Benitez would
wear in her exciting dances--A native New Mexican, Benítez is best known for the work of the company she and her husband Cecilio founded and direct, Teatro Flamenco.

I love the detail on the dresses

especially the crocheted collar

Just imagine the sway of this skirt--
Feria Dress, Seville, Spain, 2011
The small shawl is cotton dated 2014 from Seville also

Towards the middle of the nineteenth century, various agricultural fairs took place around the city of Seville and many gypsy farmers wives began attending these fairs wearing handmade dresses which they had crafted from old, everyday clothes. They were often adorned with ruffles and frills in order to make the simple fabrics more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. 
During the Seville Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, members and representatives of high society attended the event wearing the traje de Sevillana (pronounced tra-hey), and thus, the dress received its first official recognition.
From that time, the popularity of the dress began to spread outside the borders of the region, eventually becoming a truly distinctive element of Andalusian culture. Maintaining its most recognisable features (fitting, cut, and accessories), the dress has accompanied the evolution of the regional flamenco tradition and has spread even further, both nationally and internationally.

The mantón or shawl is the most spectacular part of the Flamenco costume.  The shawls’ vibrant colors and exuberant designs exude the culture of Andalusia and give an extra outlet to your interpretative potential:  In your hands, the mantón opens new vistas of sensational dance movement.
The Spanish mantón is actually a square piece of cloth, hand-embroidered through and through by women who live in Seville and have over 50 years of experience in crafting hand-made shawls. All of the Flamencista Shawl Collection is made from the finest materials available. All of the shawls, the product of exquisite haute-couture craftsmanship, are hand-sewn and hand-embroidered in the capital of Andalusia. 
In 1808 the invasion of Spain by Napoleon's forces
prompted anti French sentiment.  The resistance to all things French led 
to an enthusiasm for regional Spanish folk culture.
Traditional dress, once considered the purview of farmers and
peasants, became the fashion among the elites of urban society.
This same style of dress became the style worn for village
fiestas and was eventually adopted for the stage.
Handed down from generation to generation, flamenco was
originally performed within families or communities or
Gitano (Spanish Romany) origin in southern Spain. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

I See Circles!

Do you ever take the time to view the designs in everyday life?  Yesterday I was thinking about all the circles that are in the kitchen--stove top burner circles, pots, lids, benches, cups, glasses (hard to drink out of something not round!), bottle tops, etc. etc. etc.

Then I open my blogger feed and see more circles!!  This time on a quilt--and it is free!
A Bright Corner features this circle quilt for your sewing pleasure--
and then I find this Cheerio Quilt-- more circles by Missouri Star!

So, don't be like me--going around in circles to find the right pattern to sit down and sew!  Just do it!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Traveling Knits.....................

Antirrhinum socks

With all my might, body and soul, I'm trying to keep up with the Year of Techniques challenge--so far, I only skipped one month and that was May with the cute little mouse--someday, I might go back and knit up that fellow.  The socks are July's challenge and learning event.  I'm very familiar with socks so this lesson was on knitting a heel flap--no problem with me.  There are great step by step videos to help you through knitting a heel flap if you find that a task.    The yarns are yummy for these socks--

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

On The Road Again............

Time to head back south--we visited in Denver; enjoyed an early birthday dinner with our daughter at her favorite restaurant--but now, it's on the road again--as we sing Willie Nelson's song--

See you down the road!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Day #2--All About Sweets!

Here we come to another wonderful day in the mountains and an enjoyable wine seminar--educational and a treat for the body!!

Topic: “Prosecco & Pancakes”
Let's begin with a sparkling morning brunch experience with delicious Ruffino Prosecco cocktails featuring a unique mix of pancakes, toppings and classic breakfast sides.  
This is one of the fun events at the festival!  Lots of good food!  And afterwards, we can sit or dance to the jazz music! 

Pancake and Ruffino Prosecco Pairings:
• Buttermilk Pancake with homemade hazelnut spread and mango puree. Paired with Prosecco and Chocolate Liqueur.
• Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pancake with Pomegranate syrup, candied nuts and cinnamon butter. Gluten Free! Paired with Orange and Pomegranate Prosecco.
• Baked Apple Pie Pancake with cooked apples, cinnamon sugar and spices, topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Paired with Lemon Ginger Prosecco.
• Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes with caramelized pineapple chunks, house made vanilla crème anglaise and cinnamon butter. Paired with Pineapple Party Punch.

Afternoon Topic: “Willy Wonka’s Wild Wine Ride” 
The following wines will be available for this seminar:
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, NZ
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling – Columbia Valley, WA
Popcorn Chardonnay – CA
Martin Ray Pinot Noir – Sonoma County, CA
Edmeades Zinfandel – Mendocino, CA

Monday, July 17, 2017

What A Treat!

How exciting!  Our daughter came to join us for a couple of days--!
We took a walk to River Run Plaza across the bridge

Gondolas swept by us heading to the top of the mountain 

In the afternoon we walked through Dillon Farmer's market  where
we bought lots of goodies--like this smoked salmon.

and in the evening we watched the sunset from our condo deck--
it was great to share with our daughter--now, she heads back
to the big city to begin another work week.
But we continue to Chill in the mountains!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Keystone Arrival!

Here we are!  Cool mountain air! and a View!  We're here for the Keystone Wine and Jazz Festival--we attend the seminars and avoid the tastings set up in River Run plaza.  This is our ### year to attend--!  we could take advantage of all the tastings that surround us in the courtyard, but, we decide to partake in the four seminars--two that are featured each day.
The view from our condo's deck.
How about open doors and windows to enjoy the cool fresh air!

First Seminar here we come:
“War of the Roses” It’s not just White Zinfandel anymore. Wines described as magenta, rose, salmon, blush, fuchsia, watermelon or coral can be dry, sparkling, crisp and refreshing…a perfect combination for a hot summer day or leisurely afternoon on a patio. Rosé is now a serious wine, made from many different grape varieties and countries. 
  • The following wines featured for this seminar:
    Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah, Colchagua Valley- Chile
    Kim Crawford Rosé, Hawkes Bay- New Zealand
    Marques de Caceres Rosé, Rioja- Spain
    Guigial Rosé, Côtes du Rhône- France
    Chateau Miraval Rosé, Côtes de Provence- France
    Planeta Rosé, Sicily- Italy
    Klinker Brick “Bricks and Roses” Rosé, Lodi-California
    La Crema Rosé, Monterey-California
  • Second Seminar “Say Cheese (and Wine) – Finding the Perfect Cheese for your Wine”
    Each texture, flavor, ripeness, and even firmness of cheese classification generates a unique catalyst effect – and when strategically joined with the proper varietal – results in an optimal fusion. 
    The following wines featured at this seminar:
    Ladoucette Deux Tours Sauvignon Blanc
    Gary Farrell Chardonnay
    Bouvet Brut NV
    SA Prum Riesling
    Fonseca Port NV
    Smith & Hook Cabernet

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The High Road to Taos

I'm sharing this map of the high road to Taos from Santa Fe--
we have made many trips to Taos, usually in the fall to attend
Taos Wool Market--we've stopped along the road to visit
several of the weavers along the way--there are side trips to
take--Chimayo is a favorite stop for lunch.  We can visit
many Pueblos.
Out of Santa Fe, we drive past Santa Fe Opera!  OMgosh,
what a view from this location!
should we take trip up to Ghost Ranch Living Museum?
or stop to see Georgia O'Keeffe's House?

We are staying at lovely Palacio de Marquesa where each of the eight rooms is dedicated
to a remarkable women of Taos.  Our room was the Socialite I named for Millicent Rogers.
A museum in her name is outside of Taos and where one can find the most marvelous
collection of Navajo weavings and other arts.
Millicent loved the intricate detailing of Native American jewelry and soon became
a collector and an advocate of American Indian Rights.
The peace and quiet of the neighborhood with the surrounding grounds gives us an
enjoyable stay--not to mention breakfast that is delivered to our room!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Now, A Moment For Something Completely Different

I'm taking a pause in my travelogue to post about Christmas in July Blog --it begins Friday!  I'm saving each step so I can sew upon my return to my machine.
Just think 12 days of Christmas NOW!

And it's possible we can make this quilt--I've always fancied this
Trip Around the World--didn't like to think of all those little tiny squares!
Sarah promises a tutorial makes it relatively fast and easy - no individual piecing of tiny squares.

Here is what you need:

Fabric Requirements:

10” x WOF of 16 different fabrics - you can choose to use 16 different fabrics, or repeat certain fabrics as desired.  NOTE:  You'll need a clean 10" of yardage - you'll be cutting four 2.5" strips from each piece.  Be sure that you'll be able to get that from your cut after it's pressed and squared up!

One 2.5” square for center of quilt; fussy cut if desired.

1/2 yard for binding; scrappy binding looks great with this quilt and can help eat up some of your Christmas scraps!

3 5/8 yards for backing - can be scraps. 

This is going to be fun--happy stitching!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Santa Fe--Absolutely!

  • Another day in SouthWest--Santa Fe--brings us to our breakfast visit to Chocolate Maven!  We found this place on a visit years ago--so we make a point to return to sit near the kitchen
    and watch as the meals are prepared!  Where else can you get Green eggs and ham or Tofu scramble-- onto another museum visit--or that walk through the Plaza!
The sights off the beaten path
The colorful art pieces that dot the landscape

And the adobe!  I love the adobe structures!

  • Of course, for us, we must visit the local wineries and taste the fruit of New Mexico--one of the first wineries in America.   Our first stop is into Gruet Winery--where bubbly is king! We happen upon friendly folks visiting from Dallas and Rhode Island--we talk and talk for hours over a glass of chardonnay bubbly wine--it can not be called champagne but it's made in the style of the finest French wines.
  • Chocolate tasting is right at the top of the list!  Great chocolate can be found right here.  The rich chocolate you can just pour from your cup at Kakawa chocolates.  Just look at those lovely cups filled with chocolate!

  • Eat, Eat, Eat some of that delicious New Mexico red and green chili!  It seems we can never get our fill of New Mexican food--"do you want red, green or Christmas chili?"  I'll take Christmas anytime!