Zoo Doo

Fall is in the air (good Fall, not blustery Santa-Ana-winds-Fall), 

the weather is perfect and I had a craving for zoo animals

 Snow leopard is good at camouflage 

so we packed up Donovan and Jaclyn 

 Playing croquet with flamingo bats 

and headed for Santa Barbara. 

 Admiring Kisa, the male Amur leopard

I thought Jac would enjoy a day off school - her first time playing hooky! -

 Mom and baby Amur leopard are still hanging out behind the scenes

but I was oh so very wrong. Madam Grumpy almost had us turning around in the parking lot and going back home . . . 

But we survived! And the zoo decorations were so fun and clever this year. Wish I’d gotten more photos of them. Maybe we’ll go back next week with just Donovan??


Pumpkins and Face Paint

Pop brought home baby pumpkins for Leanne, Jac and their neighbor friends to decorate. 

Leanne went old-school, carving and scooping out the innards.

Jac decided to paint hers, and since she’s a traditionalist, 

and pumpkins are orange, she painted it . . . .  orange. That’s my girl!

Rach and Addy have been practicing their face painting skills. Spooooooky!

This week’s best Jackie Says:

Me: what’s your whole name?
Jac: Jaclyn Tyler 
Me: not Jaclyn Rose Tyler?
Jac: ~sigh~ That’s my in-trouble name. 



Gary, Shelly and Thomas are huge LA KINGS hockey fans

so for the past few years we’ve celebrated Thomas’ birthday

by going out to dinner,

then watching a Kings game from a suite at Staples Center. 

It’s such a great way to see a game - no drunks crowds, comfy chairs with lots of leg room, great view, plus hanging out with just friends and family. So suite, er sweet!

Hubby and I aren’t big sports fans but we do enjoy a good hockey fight game. So even when the Kings lose (second year in a row ☹️) it’s still a great evening. 



I love Halloween, second only to Christmas.

We’ve got most of our decorations up already, earlier than usual,

and today we took advantage of the schools’ early-release Friday

to do our annual costume photo shoot. 

We took 92 photos,

of which 46(!) were useable,

 Jac was upset ‘cause she didn’t want Donovan to sit in “her” chair

and only 1 kid cried.


Leia is the Grim Reaper and Donovan is a Power Ranger;

Leanne is Bakugou Katsuki (anime character) and Jaclyn is Queen Elsa (again!). Happy Fall, y’all!


Felix Frogbottom

Occasionally, stuff I bring home is just too cute to wait its turn in the project queue. Like Mr. Frogbottom, for example. 

We got home from Cambria on Sunday, 

Sew a rectangle from scraps, cut it corner-to-corner, flip and stitch it together again before quilting.

and by Tuesday evening Jac and I had picked through the scrap bin to make our fabric,

cut the pattern pieces,

then pinned, stitched and stuffed it all together.

By Wednesday, Felix (sans eyes) was ready for pictures with his adoring fans. 

Today, Lily and I agreed that the first set of eyeballs were a really big “NO”, 

no matter how cute they were.

Take 2 is soooooo much better.

And if you’re curious, Felix has no purpose other than to be cute. He’s stuffed with poly-pellets, so not good for a pincushion (plus the baby grands want to play with him, making pins a big no-no). He weighs enough to be useable as a pattern weight but his size makes that unlikely. 

I think he’s just going to be my studio pal.

Pattern is “Frog Patch” by Me And My Sister Designs. Easy, well-written and fun.
Note to self: sew eyes on before stitching front and back pieces together.


It’s Jackie Day

It’s Jackie Day (her turn to spend the night*) so we made fabric,

 Jac picked the colors and order for our secret project 

chopped mushrooms, 

painted, read books, watched movies,

and played her favorite game of “take my picture, grandma!!”

* Tuesday is Jac’s night, Wednesday is Leanne’s and Thursday is Leia’s (the weeks she is at her dad’s.) We’re working on getting Donovan a spot in the rotation . . .


Pretty Pretties

When we’re traveling, Hubby is patient (resigned?) with my quilt shop stops, especially if he has a book to read or a good place to eat nearby.

We stopped in Orcutt on the way north but I didn’t get much since I was in there a couple weeks ago and placed an internet order last week. Hey, I like their stuff! (I highly recommend both Old Town Quilt Shop and hubby-approved The Homestead sandwich shop. Ham and cheese sandwich with apple butter? Oh yes, please!!)

 Trying to figure out the light-medium-dark fabric thing

We also took a short drive to Morro Bay to visit the Cotton Ball and an antique store hubby likes.

It took me awhile (he had a book) but I found both a Thanksgiving and Christmas project I want to make, and picked up some of the Cotton Ball’s custom batik featuring Morro Rock, sand dollars and more. 

 Bought the book and the ornament fabric. Love this!

So much fun stuff. Almost makes me wish I’d brought my sewing machine on vacation too.