Hoppy Easter!

Easter was quiet at our house. Leia and Naia were in Arrowhead at their new grandma's house (Mary's mom) and Leanne is sick - croup and double ear infection, poor baby - so she wasn't interested in doing too much. 

We hid a few plastic eggs around the living room.
Leanne loved searching for them,
even after we took out all the num-nums (candy) and left her just empty shells to find.
She also helped me plant a couple of flowers in the "California rain" - a light mist anywhere else. 
We made lunch, with Leanne sitting on the counter and stirring the sauce.
Mom came to supervise while I took pics, but then we kicked her back to the couch (for more Stargate Atlantis reruns with the boys . . . ) while Leanne and I did our thing.
Leia and Naia did egg-dying and decorating yesterday in Arrowhead. 
From the pictures, it looks like both girls got more dye on their fingers than on the eggs.
Which is as it should be.


Weekend of Fun

We got an early start on the weekend Thursday night when Leia finally started feeling better  - after 5 days of flu-like symptoms - and decided it was time to paint grandma's toenails.
Three colors of glitter polish later, I feel so posh.
The gloves were her idea; she's found Pop's stash of disposable painting gloves and is treating them as her own.

Friday was road-trip day with a buddy. We hit every quilt shop between Thousand Oaks and Carpinteria, with a few antique, gardening and candy stores thrown in for good measure. 
My haul included fabric for both my quilting stash and little girl dresses; 
silly yard ornaments that make me smile; 
flowers that my friend calls Dr. Seuss daisies - love!
(Anybody know what they really are? I've misplaced the tag. I think they're some kind of daisy.)

An embroidered Easter tablecloth
and a vintage bird-shaped salt and pepper duo.
And then there was Saturday. Saturday was needle-felting at French General with an entire table full of friends. We laughed and talked and stabbed ourselves with sharp objects for four solid hours. 
I didn't finish the project (see 'laughing and talking' above) during class - none of us did - but I'm hoping to get my Easter bunny done before Sunday rolls around. Stay tuned!


Hats In The Wild

Hats #2 and #4, also known as Leia and Mary, stopped by the yarn shop for a visit after I finished today's class. 
Leia didn't want to cooperate with the picture taking, so Mary 'helped' her get in the spirit of things.
My little Irish lass.
Love this picture!


St. Patrick's Hats

I've been obsessed busy making green hats for all the little girls. Found this pattern on Ravelry and fell in love. 
Addy's was first, since it had to be mailed. She loved the bling (so do I.)
Next was supposed to be Naia's, but I figured I was in trouble, size-wise, when it fit Leia to a T.
Leia is also a big fan of bling (and silly faces). 
It was pretty obvious the pattern as-written wasn't going to get anywhere near  Naia's size, especially since she likes tucking her hair up. So I treated the original as a recipe, and struck out on my own. 
Nailed it. Can you tell she's pleased?
There aren't any photos yet, but Mary admired Leia's hat and said she'd like one too . . . .  so a fourth one is done and ready for wearing. 


Quilty Visitor

We had a little visitor this weekend.
  Notice how I put him to work straight away?

We kept Travis for a couple of nights so his mom could get some sleep. Seems even at almost 15-months, Mr. T has issues with sleeping the night away. He'd much rather be up and running - literally.  
And since Travis likes the menfolk best - daddy, grandpa, Uncle Matt (who, when he stopped by for a few minutes, held out his arms to Travis and the little traitor tried to jump out of my arms and into Matt's. Not that I'm bitter or anything. lol) - I had time to do a bit of quilting while PopPop played lead Travis-entertainer.
Thanks to the magic of fabric panels, I put this together in 2 days; granted, the second day lasted until 2 in the morning, but still. Less than 48-hours for a quilt? Not bad, even if it is only Travis-size.
This was a make-do-with-what's-in-the-house project. I bought the panel shortly after going nuts over the original fabric at Road To California; the borders are fabric I bought for the seahorse quilt (here); the backing is left over from the pillow Leia and I made for Matt and Mary (here)
Plus, it gave me a chance to put my new baby through her paces.
Once everything was pinned together - wonky pinning since I couldn't bring myself to hurt the dragons -
I switched in and out between needle-plates (one for plain stitching, one for quilting), and feet (regular, 1/4-inch, dual-feed/walking, free-motion); gave the auto thread-cutter (love it!!) and wind-a-bobbin-while-you-sew a workout; 
and - once I remembered I had it - attached the extension table that really does make quilting so much easier.

I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out. Yeah right; I'm thrilled with it.  I did my first machine sewn binding -
and while I still prefer hand-stitching the back, this was fast and that's what I needed at 1 a.m.
My free-motion quilting doesn't look too bad for a beginner and really, who's going to be looking at that with all these goofy dragons around?
They're going to steal the show every time. 

* Stats: quilt was 46 x 25.5" before washing; 43 x 25 after. Dragons are from Days of Yore by RJR Fabrics. Borders - both orange and lime green bubbles - are from Hoffman's 'Calling All Dots' fabric, which coordinates with their Avalon series - the seahorse and mermaid fabric I'm so crazy about. 


Real, Live Crochet

I actually finished a crochet project - whoohoo! Seems like I have a bunch of stuff in the works, but not much is getting to the finish line. Gotta fix that. . . 
I sewed the button on this hat today and put it in the mail to Addison, just in time for St. Patrick's day. Addy's all about the bling right now, so I'm hoping she'll really like the sparkly button I found at Joann's. 
This was a free pattern (links to pdf file) and an easy project. Good thing, since I have two more to make in the next five days or so.

I fell hard for these guys - 
the Santa Barbara Zoo's 'Little Mac' Beanie Baby. And to make them extra-special for the little girls, I added collars with each girl's name* spelled out in yet more bling.
Gotta love the dollar aisle at Joann's!    

*Leanne took her baby home before I decided to make the collars. And the boys - Marshall and Travis - couldn't care less about bling. Marshall and Abby are my sister Jama's grandbabies.


April Showers

I'm hoping that, since the rains are a month early, the flowers will be too. The bed of iris I planted in October was filling with crap weeds impossible-to-get-rid-of ground cover,
so I did a little weeding and a little watering in advance of the storm we're supposed to get tomorrow. (not holding my breath . . .)
The new iris (irises? iris-i?) are looking a lot happier now that they have a bit of breathing room.

And the old iris?
The ones that keep coming back year after year, 
despite the lack of attention and benign neglect they receive?
Love, love, love my iris.

And, in indoor news, the amaryllis that Leia and I planted a few weeks ago
has blossomed - 
or more accurately, exploded with flowers and color.
One day it had a medium-sized bud; the next we had gorgeous flowers that have lasted and lasted.
Leia is very pleased and is taking full credit for how well her flower is doing.