last weekend

spring has sprung in the desert
One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is go hiking. Despite our desert locale, there are quite a few places to go just outside the city (and even more if you can bear a short drive). We ended up going to Red Rock with a friend of mine (at her fabulous suggestion) to First Creek. I'd never done this hike but she said the pup would enjoy it, so I assumed there was water.

I had come prepared with his floaty fetch toy, just in case. It was so much fun. The easy mile and a half trek through the desert is hot and dry and not shaded, so best to do in the early morning. But once you reach the falls and the pool, it all is worth it. We relaxed there for about an hour where Fleury went swimming and just burned off a ton of energy splashing and running around.

And now, the photo bomb:

hiking first creek

emergency recall so he'd stop eating burrow poo
practicing his emergency recall, so that he didn't snack on any burrow poo....

falls, pool at the end of the trail
the falls

pup enjoying the water

first creek

"stop taking my picture, mom. i wanna have fun!"
"put the camera down and nobody gets hurt"

at the falls

swimming

fetching

more swimming

fleury in the pool

fleury and i at the pool

headed for the car....or a rabbit


hiking first creek

scrap children

You know when you are working on a scrap project and you think to yourself, "This is going to be awesome, I will use so many scraps and make a real nice dent in that pile and create something beautiful" and then, in reality, your scrap project creates even more scraps that are still to big to part with.

No? Just me?

Oh well.

scraps of scraps
Well, I had all these pretty scraps left over from making my scrappy quilt blocks. I think I may piece these together to make a pretty little travel sewing case. I made one last year for the Modernista swap and vowed to make myself one and never got around to it. Maybe now's the time?

give the dog a bone

dog bone something?
I had started this as part of my Madrona Road challenge project a few months ago. It was supposed to be the top of Fleury's dog bed. When I finished it up and started to piece that back, I realized I liked the back so much more. Mostly because I had added some contrasting colors. This just seemed too muted to me.

But now I'm wondering what I could use this for. A travel mat in place of his bed? A car seat cover to curb the sticky dog hair? A food mat? All possibilities at this point. What would you do?

a ::little:: stashing

elephants!

My friend stopped over recently for a sewing day. Those are the best days, especially when they include things like wine, pajamas and what? Fabric surprises?!

She gave me these too cute fat quarters of the Michael Miller little elephants fabric. I have a serious thing for elephant fabrics, so these will find a home in some lovely project soon.

a day at the lake

the lake
During our trip to Arizona, we stopped by this lake for a quick walk and an afternoon picnic. While we were trying to eat, Fleury just sat and stared at the water, turned around and looked at me and then whined. Tell me what you are thinking puppy, I can't tell.

can i go in the water mom, please?!
"Can I please go play in the water now, mom? Pretty please?!"

at the lake
My brave, wonderful cousin offered to take Fleury close to the water. It was quite crowded and dogs had to be on leash, so we couldn't let him go as crazy as he had hoped. But, as evidenced by these photos, I think he had a pretty good time.

at the lake
Yep, a really good time.

at the lake
The lake had some pretty serious mud surrounding it, lots of that really rich soil that gets deposited from all the tributaries leading to the lake. This, of course, meant that my white puppy quickly became a bi-color. At one point it was so thick on his legs, it looked like he had on knee highs.

As bad as this looks, I still marvel at the self cleaning ability of this dog. We let him dry off some, wiped him a bit with a towel and do some doggy shakes and by the evening, he was as white as could be, no bath required. And for as often as this guy has been getting dirty, that's a very good thing.

dirty puppy

low volumes + pink scrap quilt


strip blocks complete
So I finished all the blocks for my scrappy quilt. They came together super quickly but my stash of batting seems to have dwindled to nada, so I am stuck with a pile of blocks until my order comes in. I think I'm going to try out Maureen's QAYG (quilt as you go) method since I think dense straight line quilting might just be perfect for this quilt.

I've made 49 8" blocks, so I'm thinking a 7x7 layout with a simple border and super fun binding to make this about a 62" x 62" finished quilt.

Hopefully my order arrives quickly (I also picked up some fabric...yay!) and I can get this one done. 

last weekend

hike 1
Last weekend we went to Arizona to visit some family. Unlike Nevada, it was a bit cooler in Arizona which was just perfect for hiking. While we were there, we went on three hikes - Fleury was beside himself with excitement. But this hike in particular was really nice. We were able to have the dogs off leash (Midnight, the little black poodle and Fleury, the big uncoordinated puppy) so they got some extra running and exploring in. Plus, there was water. And we all know how Fleury feels about water.

hike 2
It was fun seeing them running up ahead and then looking back at us slow humans. Fleury in particular was really running, sometimes jumping right over Midnight! He also took a little dip in a creek at the base of the dam (the end of the hike). I don't have any photos because it got rather deep and I was too nervous. I worried for nothing though, he swam right across, popped up the bank on the other side and gave me a look that seemed to say "I don't know why you are fussing, mom, I got this."

hike 3
It was an all around fun and beautiful weekend. And again, I wish we lived near water!

love, fleury

water dog

Hi guys, Fleury here.

Check out this new, giant water bowl my mom got me! Isn't it just the best!? Now that the weather has warmed up, we play outside all the time and I guess she thought I would get dehydrated or something. Whatever.

I love it. I could play in it all day, but mom tries to put "limits" on everything. But it's OK, when she's busy weeding, I sneak over to take little drinks and when we play fetch I purposely drop my ball in it so I just have to go in to get it, you know. Wouldn't want mom to get wet or something, I'm just looking out for her... *wink*

Love,
Fleury

i just can't get enough

scrappy strings quilt

So, after my scrappy trip quilt, I thought I would have gotten scrap quilts out of my system for the time being. I know a lot of people in my local guild don't like scrappy quilts. I love them, even more so than regular quilts. Is this weird?

I've thought about it and I think I have pinpointed the reasons why I like them:
  • I am, first and foremost, cheap frugal. I love that these were "leftovers" so to speak from projects past and that I can use them up to make something beautiful.
  • Freedom. There's a freedom to create using scraps. When I buy yardage, I feel the need to have a good use, a plan, a purpose for it because what if I don't like how it turns out - I will have "wasted" all that "good" fabric. The performance anxiety is crippling creatively. But with scraps I can do all sorts of things I wouldn't do with pretty yards of fabric and if it doesn't work out well, I feel less bad.
  • Aesthetics. I actually love the look of scrappy quilts. I know it's not everyone's style and some people prefer a more refined look. I love planning out a quilt and selecting the perfect pattern, the right fabric combinations, etc. etc. but with collections, it's hard to duplicate that lived in, almost matching but not quite, unexpected look.
Anyways, I joined Rachel's scrap attack quilt along to use up some of my strings (I was overwhelmed with the strings!). I ended up selecting this more neutral color palette since the biggest stack of strings was actually solid neutrals. I've added in some peachy corals and dainty yellows and a few black and white prints to mix it up, but limited the color palette. I guess some other time I'll have a crazy vibrant, saturated string quilt. But after the color explosion of the scrappy trip, I was in the mood for something quieter.  I've already done 21 8" blocks. I'm hoping for 49 (I think) and I'll add a border to bulk it up to be a 60" x 60" lap quilt.

newbee blocks - first quarter!

newbee blocks

I can't believe we are already a quarter into 2013! It seems I'm still having trouble remembering the right year on my checks and we're already onto April.

So far, for our Newbee Block swap on Threadbias, we've made some lovely blocks. A scrappy log cabin, a garden fence block and most recently, a wonky house! I really hope that the queen this month enjoys the laundry I added. I mean, I hate laundry in real life, but outside a wonky house seemed much better!

I can't wait to see these quilts put together. I'm excited for my month (June) which is coming up so I better think up something good!

glamour shots

On our recent trip to San Deigo, so many people commented on how beautiful Fleury was. I don't know if it was the sun, the sand or all the hot babes giving him attention, but he got in the car to go home and just insisted on taking some head shots.

glamour shots
He really tried to get as many moods and angles as possible: some serious, some smiling, some bashful. He also tried to convince me that all these photos were worth at least a little slice of an avocado we had brought back and maybe just a bite or two of the salmon....I wasn't convinced, but apparently this modeling stuff is hard work...

model 2

last weekend: the california edition

san diego
 Recently (not last weekend, though...that's a total lie...), we took a weekend getaway to San Diego to visit with the husband's family and just relax. Since it was just a quick weekend trip and totally drivable (although longer than I recalled from last year, but apparently I slept most of the drive that year...). Even though it was a short trip, it was very relaxing. We took walks on the horse trail next to the citrus grove, spent dinners with family and evenings outside by the fire, where Fleury so kindly warmed Grandma's toes.

san diego walks
We picked a few (or um, 200?!) citrus fruits to bring back with us. And avocados. So you know we've been eating good here lately. (And I found out the dog loooves avocado ice cream)

san diego citrus
Fleury even got in on the fun, running around the gardens like a mad puppy. He just loves smelling flowers so it was quite a treat for him to see so much greenery and lush vegetation. I'm sure he was disappointed to come home to our backyard of dust and rubble. (We're working on it, puppy!)

san diego
Until next time, California....

until next time