Quilt Workshop

My local quilt shop has workshops several time a year with nationally- and internationally-known quilt instructors, including Tula PinkViolet Craft (so bummed I missed that one) and today - Latifah Saafir, co-founder of both the Los Angeles and worldwide Modern Quilt Guild, and creator of some truly amazing quilt patterns. 

We had a choice of making Molehills (pictured above and below)

or Pickled Beets. Normally, I’d pick the quilt with all the curves but something about Beets kept calling me. 

So, Friday night - less than 12 hours before class started - I headed for The Stash and pulled enough Fall fabrics to fill a giant tote bag. More is always better, right??

 A few of my fabrics 

The workshop was great - Latifah is an amazing teacher - and I learned So. Much. about foundation paper piecing,

freehand rotary cutting (still kinda scary) and curved piecing/sewing. 

By the end of class, I had 2/3 of the first pieced arc done (only 6 1/3 arcs left to go!)


and sooooooo many ideas for more projects. Latifah lives in LA and there was already talk about having her return for another workshop, possibly featuring her Glam Clam or the brand new Callaloo quilt sampler. Can’t wait!

Samples from Latifah’s show and tell - 


 Baby quilt based on Molehills-style curves. Love!

 Another of my favorites, a Callaloo variation

 Pickled Beets variation, Pennants

 Fast, easy and beautiful 


Date Night

We celebrated hubby’s birthday, a week early, with tickets to see Blue Man Group at the Hollywood Pantages. 

We’ve seen them before and loved the high energy and inventiveness of the show. 

Tonight’s performance was pretty lackluster, unfortunately, with too few musical/instrumental pieces and too many boring/pointless sight gags. The theater was less than half full - the upper level, where we were, had maybe 20 people total.

We still had fun  

AND Marie and Scott won tickets in the Pantages’ lottery for tonight’s show!! How cool is that! (Link to daily Blue Man Group Show lottery here)


Delicious Plan B

Leia and I were scheduled for a painting class today,

and when it was cancelled last minute, we needed a quick Plan B to save Leia Day. 

Of all the options - sewing, mall shopping, movie, games - cake decorating was definitely tops on Leia’s list.

She opted for a Halloween theme this time,

creating a mustached ghost - in honor of PopPop - 

pumpkins, bats, bears,

and some "blood" drips for added color. 

By the end of our 2-hour session, she was very proficient with that piping bag. 

What a masterpiece. 

We walked out to find a very loud animal rights protest blocking the entrance to Whole Foods and our parking garage, then a parking machine that ate both the parking ticket and my credit card. The almost 45-minutes it took to find an employee and resolve the problem was annoying frustrating maddening made much better by McDonald’s fries at a nearby drive-thru 

and an extra large slice of Leia’s deLICHous cake. Boo!



Leia has started sending me pictures of Donovan on the weekends, with the request that I use them in my "stories".

 Helping with chores

She discovered my blog this past year and has become a dedicated reader. 

I love the perspective her photos offer on Donovan’s developing personality - 

such a silly, happy, loving, helpful little guy - 

and on their relationship. 

 Photo by Mary

Donovan’s a lucky kid to have such a great big sister. 

  Photo by Mary


Gary and Leia Stories

Gary liked the bearded Gary-baldi painting so much, he took it home with him.

I’d jokingly told him I’d painted it as a present but he seriously wanted it. I’m so happy. And really, really curious what Shelly’s reaction was to her new "art".

Wednesday was Leia’s first session of after-school robotics club. She texted me Tuesday night, asking if I would please, pleeeeeeeeeeeas bring her food from McDonald’s since she wouldn’t have time to walk across the street before club started. (Pretty sure she’s not allowed to walk over, but that’s another story.) And she’d be soooooooo hungry. You noticed she begged grandma, not a parental unit, right? Smart girl.

Pop said he’d do it since I couldn’t, so Leia drew him a map of her new school - both exterior and interior - 

with detailed directions on where to bring the food. The girl’s not taking any chances when it comes to her chicken nuggets. 


Electricity, Part 2

Our friendly neighborhood electrician came back Monday for Round 2 of our electrical upgrade.

You may remember the singed wires from July’s adventure. This time, he replaced all the switches and outlets in the original part of our 40ish-year-old house - and found a few of them had the same burning "I’m old and cranky" issue - 

and will be back in a few months to replace all the outlets/switches in the newer remodel. Pretty, shiny, new electrical hardware makes me so happy. 

And of course, while we were moving furniture so Jeremy would have access to the plugs, we found another problem. 

A window in my craft room has been leaking and the carpet behind a heavy file cabinet has . . . mold? dirt? yuckies? So gross. 

Youngest son spent his day off today ripping out the offending carpet and replacing it with linoleum tiles. 

Doesn’t he do nice work? Eventually, all the carpet will be replaced by tile, a section at a time, as we redesign my sewing area. Can’t wait to have everything in place and get back to crafting. 


Leanne’s Secret

Leanne and I planned a painting day, for just the two of us, over 3 weeks ago.

Leanne wanted to keep it a secret from her mom, 

so she could surprise her with the finished masterpiece.

Color me shocked - she was actually able to keep the secret! She told me that whenever she wanted to tell her mom, she whispered the secret to her stuffies instead. Awwwwwww.

I think Leanne’s favorite part of the day was her French fries and lemonade (my lava cake was pretty good too.)

My favorite part? 

Having fun, one-on-one time with my favorite 8-year-old. 

* the instructor called these clownfish but our family has always called them “Gary-baldi” (garibaldi is a Nemo fish). So I painted a tiny beard on mine in honor of youngest son. He’s going to be so pleased. 😂😂