Sunday, September 28, 2008

A New American!

No, not baby Carrie. It is Allan, my #2 son who, as of Friday, Sept. 26, was sworn in as an American citizen. Born of Scottish parents, Allan grew up in Hong Kong's international community, completed his university studies in London, and then came to the U.S. to become a highly successful animator in the video game field. On April 19 of this year, he and my oldest daughter Megan were married aboard a yacht in Newport Harbor. It was an absolutely perfect day, and Allan is an absolutely wonderful SIL. We are soooo happy he joined our family. Here in this photo, he is meeting baby Carrie, born May 26, for the very first time. Congratulations, Allan!! We love you!!

Megan and Allan had a pretty busy week last week. On Tuesday, movers arrived and packed them up for a move to San Diego. Wednesday, they moved into their new apartment in Del Mar. Thursday was Megan's 35th birthday. Friday was Allan's big day at the Los Angeles Sports Arena where a smallish group of 18,000 new Americans were charged with allegiance to the United States.   Apparently, our officials do not know how to manage large crowds. It was a grueling experience, but Allan will be the first to say he's glad he did it. So are we! BTW, the 18,000 sworn in that day were divided into three groups of 6000. Can you imagine how many people earn citizenship every month in the U.S.?? Mind boggling. As an aside that will not be appreciated by all... I hope they all vote for Obama! Would that it were Clinton/Obama rather than Obama/Biden. Can't imagine the elusive Gov. Palin running the country. Disastrous!!

Well, of course since I mentioned baby Carrie, I will just have to post this photo of her I took today. Impish little smile. I can safely say that this is the happiest baby I have ever seen. Granted, the first three months of her life were very colicky. Ohmigosh, I thought we would all run away. Hanging in there paid off, and Voila!, what emerges but the sweetest cutest little girl baby ever. I'm not at all biased, am I?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cambria Quilt Retreat

What could be more relaxing and fun than a quilt retreat in Cambria with the wind whistling through the trees and a sunlit ocean view? On Friday Sept 19, a bevy of fabric hungry quilters met up in Paso Robles to begin a mini shop hop before hunkering down for a 4-day quilting frenzy at Camp Ocean Pines

Led by the energetic Annie Smith of Quilting Stash / SimpleArts, stops were made at Wine Country Quilting and The Quiltery in Paso Robles, and Quilters Cupboard and Sew Fun in Atascadero. Having found a treasure trove of fabrics and other goodies, we headed for camp and our first wonderful dinner meal in the ocean view dining lodge.

Following dinner, everyone went to set up their sleeping cabins and their sewing gear. Then we got down to some serious quilting... after introductions, Annie commenced our lesson in color value and fabric choices. Without a doubt, she presented the best compilation of color and fabric aids that I have ever been introduced to. (Francia the English teacher: I know... improper grammar - dangling preposition or something like that.)

The next day, ready and roaring to go, we worked on our sample color charts, learned how to arrange fabrics from light value to dark value, and began to finalize our fabric choices for our project quilt. Of course, we had a field trip to Morro Bay's Cotton Ball so we could purchase needed fabrics. All of the shops were ready for us and we sure filled the aisles, all 14 of us. A good day for the shops, I would think. We collectively spent a lot of $$.

As we arranged fabric pieces here and there, we got to know each other and enjoyed seeing color through different 'eyes'. Amazing how different a block appears when different prints and colors come together to make a whole. 

The photos here show: Fabric in order of value along with sample blocks made by all;  one of my fabric blocks; my sister Leslie and Janis, Aneda and Linda hard at work; and our special visitor, Jabber the Owl, who was being socialized by camp personnel prior to a crowd of middle schoolers arriving at camp that day.

As our retreat wound down, we realized we had bonded well as a group and determined to stay in contact one way or another. Our next retreat has been booked in March and then again in September of 2009. I personally can't wait to hear from our new quiltie friends and see their work. Such a special group, led by a special person... Annie Smith.

Friday, September 26, 2008

One Month Later

I have no idea where the days went! A lot has transpired since Labor Day which I will probably mention in the next several blogs.

On Carrie's Quilt: I pondered more on what method of applique to use to populate the quilt with ladybugs, as per the pattern requirements. After several indecisive days, I used the method suggested in the pattern - freezer paper. Of course, along the way I got creative and made some dumb mistakes. I'm not sure anyone will notice, but I sure will. I misunderstood the placement of some of the pattern pieces, which could have been much better drafted, and machine stitched them in place. I cut out the backings and pulled out the freezer paper. Wow, I thought. I'm moving right along. Until I realized that I had positioned them wrong. Too late to change anything because I had already cut out the backing. Consequence is that the walking ladybugs have their feet attached to the side of the wings rather than the body. Drat. I had this nailed I thought. And then I see what a goof I made. Oh well. Onward.

On Carrie: Thanks to eBay, she has the cutest designer clothes ever. It is incomprehensible to me to spend big bucks on baby clothes, so buying them online as 'hardly used' and never abused makes complete sense. Heather has scored big in auctions and Carrie can be very proud of her wardrobe! At four months old today, Carrie has many functions to attend. She has PEP group, Kindermusik, and now Valley Baby to attend each week. It is important to look good, of course, for these activities. Take a look.

On my sister Leslie: thanks to her loving support, we weathered Jerry's trip to Bass Lake well. Leslie came and stayed with us for nearly a week, helping us handle all things Carrie. You know, it really does take a village to raise a baby. I am fortunate to have a sister who will do anything to help out. She had spent several days previous helping my sister Susan through a foot surgery. Many many jewels have been adhered to her heavenly Crown!

I hate to write pages and pages in this entry, so there will be more tomorrow and the next day.