Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Vacation in Arizona

Earlier this month we made our annual trek to Southern Arizona to visit family. This year we were really looking forward to it, because the Salt Lake weather has been cold, but even more than that is that the air quality has been horrible this winter. (Our legislators are asleep at the wheel and too afraid to regulate auto or factory emissions. But I digress). . .

So, off we set with our cousins Carrie and Kim. They are actually Bruce’s nieces (daughters of his oldest sister Faye) and are my age - late fifties. So picture this;  four of us in our Prius with all the Other Stuff crammed in back. Everyone was told to pack light, because we do have laundry facilities there in the Tubac Trailer Tether, which Bruce's brother Dennis owns.

We always stay in our family double-wide mobile home that belonged to Faye when she was still alive, so it is our home away from home.  And I pre-warned everyone that I intended to bring home another Mexican flower pot to add to my collection and that there needed to be room for that on the way home or else we would have to take turns being strapped to the roof!  :-)

We had a great time! The weather was sunny and warm.  Mid 70’s to mid 80’s the entire 9 days we were there.

We got there, as planned, for the last 2 days of the annual Tubac Arts Festival. It was really crowded this year, which the picture below doesn’t reflect (since I was more interested in the blue sky, LOL). I bought a summer top from one vendor and Bruce bought a CD collection of wonderful music and songs from a local Mexican artist who played every instrument on the collection- guitars, flute, piano, percussion, etc.

Our days were spent taking walks in the morning and doing some shopping. In the afternoon we would run errands or go places.  It was warmer in the afternoon, so most afternoons at least for a couple hours, we would relax with our beverage of choice and either nap (siesta) or stitch (me!) 

One of the areas we always check out is this huge area in town where a sculptor of bronze yard ornaments has his/their displays. It’s like a public area that you can walk through, and there were dozens, if not scores of large statues.  Most of these would be too large for an urban lot, but out here in the countryside (and there is a lot of money in Santa Cruz county), they would be stunning.

I took a lot of pictures, but decided to show you  my two favorites.

Shortly after taking these pictures, as we were walking to the local mercado to get a couple ingredients for dinner, I tripped (on air, I think). Nothing serious, and you should have seen me tuck and roll!  Unfortunately, my hands made fists and one of them socked me in the side of my right boob.  Ouch. It is still sore.

I think this is soooo beautiful. 

And here is Bruce, with his ukelele and beer, enjoying a siesta. He later emailed this picture to his workplace with the caption “Having a great time, wish you were here”, or something like that!

One of our “must” places to visit is the Santa Cruz Spice Company, down the road a bit. The first picture in this post was taken in their parking lot looking across the street.  We stock up on our spices there every year. Over the years I have gotten a great collection of spices that I replenish here as needed. And we bring home special requests for our grown kids. This year we bought meat rubs, white pepper, nutmeg pods and nutmeg grater, chile powder, and assorted other things.  We had fun checking out the vintage equipment on display on the side of their store.

Another day, Kim and I walked around taking pictures of some of the shops and their displays.  Over the years I have shown lots of these pictures on my blog (see past posts of Tubac vacations here).  Here are a few from this year.

A pretty typical building downtown, plus trees
Some day, I’m going to get one of these sweet hammocks!

I love the street signs!
And lest you think that I had forgotten about my love of quilts and fiber things, check out this quilt hanging outside at the local Tubac quilt shop.  I included a picture of a quilt like in a blog post a few years ago, and actually thought this was the same one. But it’s not. This, to me, is such a great way to use up bits of those super-blingy (is that a word?) saris and costumes one comes across now and then.  My friends Bev and Susan and I buy them and then split up the bling - which includes beads, sequins and all manner of gold purl and thread. But I am tucking this idea away to try.

One day there was also a gathering of car enthusiasts doing a type of fun run in their Model A’s and Model T’s.  Some were even dressed in costume, although they looked more Victorian than Edwardian. The costuming would actually be more like Downton Abbey era.

So, we returned home and there was even enough room in the car for my annual flower pot purchase. And nobody had to ride on the roof.

My new pot. (I got a lot of mileage out of the “my pot” jokes, too)

I had to pause for lunch while writing this blog post, and when I came upstairs, I discovered that Alfie and Darla had discovered a ball of perle cotton thread in my stitching room and had brought it upstairs. It was on the stairs, in the living room, down the hall - and totally unwound.

Oh, this is YOUR thread, Mommy?

So I spent my lunchtime eating and rewinding thread, while the cats did their best to look cute and innocent.  Here they are in London’s car seat, which needs to be put back in the Prius now that we are home from vacation.  Darla is the dark one (“the girl with the polka dot tummy") and Alfie is the orange tabby with the white ascot.

So, now I am back downstairs finishing up this post in my office, and the cats are shut upstairs, hopefully napping.

Cathy maroon

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Issue of CQ Gatherings is out!

The Spring 2014 issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings is out!  And wow is it ever filled with great stuff! Lisa Boni’s block graces the cover (her blog is here).  There is also an article about using hankies in crazy quilts, authored by moi.  :-)

This is a great quarterly magazine, and if you haven’t checked it out (it is available digitally or in print) you can find it here.

Cathy maroon

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pantone Color of the Year 2014

This year I am way late (surprise, surprise) in sharing the color of the year. So this is not so much “news”, but just sharing my thoughts and the colors in case you missed the announcements.

Pantone is a world-renowned authority on color. They are the “go-to” people who set color definitions and standards that span across all industries.  By studying designers throughout the world in various industries, they discover trending colors that are emerging as new favorites.

Pantone is a fascinating site if you are interested in color.  You can visit them here, but beware; you could spend lots of time there, LOL!!

Here is the 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid:

These are the colors from the Spring 2014 Pantone Fashion Color Report:

For spring, Pantone describes the colors as “a modern twist on the traditional” because they "pair soft pastels with vivid brights to create a colorful equilibrium."

The fall color report was just unveiled last week during the New York Fashion Week.  

The Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman says, “This is a season of untypical colors - more reflective of the imagination and ingenuity, which makes for an artful collection of colors and combinations by the usual hues for fall”.

I think the spring colors are gorgeous, and just love Radiant Orchid.  When I was in Arizona  last week on vacation, I bought a paperweight for my collection that has the orchid, cayenne and orange in it.  And I see some of these colors in my sewing for summer!

You can download both color reports and read about the influencers (designers) who played parts in the color selections for this year.  And you can also vote for your favorite color in each palette.  

So, which colors do you like?

Cathy maroon

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Another Lace & Pearls Block

Oh what fun it is to stitch!  It seems I have been so busy with other things that I forgot how much I enjoy sitting in my new stitching room and just embroidering and beading! The last  four weeks I took Saturday Bernina Owners classes for my new sewing machine, and then the rest of the weekend seemed to be catch-up.  This morning I got to spend my morning adding the finishing touches to Connie’s beautiful Lace and Pearls block.

My work on Connie’s lovely hankie Lace and Pearls Block 

The beading (above) of the tiny white flowers took a lot of time, but I enjoyed every minute. And I think it added to the whole feminine look to the block.  I also added some pearls and stitching along the outside of the hankie to define it better and give it a more finished look.

One of my favorite charms has always been this Victorian hand. I attached it with a “pearl bracelet” and “pearl ring” (tiny white beads). As well (and this is something I always point out), I stitched over the ring at the very right of the charm, using white thread to match the background fabric. This helps it blend into the background and “disappear”.   And see - the hand is holding a hankie!  :-)

This is how the blocks look so far together. They were stitched by:  Upper Left Purple, Elizabeth R; Upper Right, me; Lower Left Roses, Gayle S; and Lower Right Blue, Barbara W. Connie I bet you are soooo excited about these!  If not, I can always keep them!  (wink)

So, one of the two remaining blocks will go to Andrea in India to finish and the other 5 (the four finished blocks and one remaining unfinished) will return home to Connie.

We are also doing a Hankie/Linens Challenge on CQI (Crazy Quilting International) this year. I think I will upload this picture to the Challenge Album, too.  And watch for some interesting information on making crazy quilts with hankies (I’m doing an article) coming out in the next issue of Pat Winter’s Crazy Quilt Gatherings, due later this month on MagCloud.  Also, my friend Gerry is constructing a CQ piece of hankies and linens; you can check out her process on either (or both) of her blogs: Olderrose or Block Talk With Gerry

I hope you are all thawing out in the eastern US, and that my friends down in the southern hemisphere are not roasting away.  We are all due for some reasonable weather (she said as she looked out the window and saw it snowing. . . )


Cathy maroon