Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christian Heritage Conference

This weekend I will be hosting the Sonlight booth at the Christian Heritage Conference in Redmond, Washington. It starts on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and you can register at the door. As a special "thank you" to conference attendees, Sonlight is allowing me to offer a $15 coupon to each family who stops by my booth! You will also have a chance to win my drawing for a tote bag full of books! If you homeschool in the Northwest, I hope to see you there!

My family and I are looking forward to getting away for a few days. I wonder if the tulips are in bloom?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Doily Show-and-Tell

Here's the next installment in my 99 Little Doilies project. (See the first installment here.) I experimented with some different colors on this batch. Which one is your favorite of this group? I'm kinda partial to Doily #6, myself!
Doily #5
Doily #6
Doily #7
Doily #8
Doily #9

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Circle C Beginnings - review

I recently got to read the third and fourth books in the Circle C Beginnings series... a spin-off of Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Adventures for older readers. The Circle C Beginnings series is based on the same characters, but at a younger age. They are perfect for children who are just beginning to read chapter books. The stories are about a little girl in the old west, and are full of fun, excitement and adventure. The characters and situations are believable, and while Andi does find herself in all kinds of scrapes, she is never deliberately bratty, and grows in life experience the way we all do... by learning from her mistakes. Even though the main character is a little girl, the stories are not at all girly, and boys would enjoy them just as much as girls.

In Andi's Fair Surprise (Book 3), Andi is very excited to get to attend the state fair with her family. Everyone else is taking something to enter in the fair, and Andi is disappointed that she has nothing to enter. Once she arrives, though, and discovers all the fun things to see and do, she has a wonderful time. She even wins a very special prize, which she would dearly love to keep. However, Mother knows best (as usual) and Andi learns another life lesson. I especially enjoyed the historical aspect of this particular story regarding the 1874 California State Fair in Sacramento.

In Andi's Scary School Days (Book 4), Andi has to go to school for the first time. School is not at all what she's used to, and she is very nervous about the whole experience. What if the teacher is mean? What if the other kids laugh at her? Her misunderstandings and insecurities get her into trouble, but she soon makes a new friend and discovers that the teacher is really a nice lady after all.

As in all the books in this series, I love the illustrations. They are soft pencil sketches that remind me of Garth Williams' illustrations of the Little House books. Just beautiful!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Such a dilemma!

What would you choose if you had a $50 gift card to a big fancy quilting store? I can't decide! You remember I finished that big afghan for my doctor last fall? Well, this week I got a thank you card from her and she included a $50 gift card to Bear Paw Quilting! Wasn't that sweet of her?

So-- I stopped by there yesterday evening so I could browse. I didn't expect to actually spend my gift card before I had a chance to mull it over. Since it took me two years to get my Irish chain quilted, and since I have fabric for the Route 66 quilt that I haven't gotten around to piecing and tacking, I'm not in much notion to work on another quilt right now. They had lots of patterns for things like tote bags, aprons, wall-hangings. Don't need a tote bag or an apron, but a wall-hanging for my bedroom is a possibility. There were a few embroidery kits and patterns. They also had knick-knacks and stuffed animals. I thought about getting fabric for a dress. I've been wanting a black-and-white-gingham-with-cherries vintage-style dress. But then I remembered it was probably all cotton fabric and would have to be ironed, so I'm not sure that's a good idea. I also noticed they had Perle cotton in some really pretty colors that I could use for the little doilies I'm working on.

I just couldn't decide. What would you get?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Looking straight ahead...

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe.
Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm Hooked!

Oh, my... I guess I shouldn't have challenged myself to crochet all 99 of the "little doilies" in order, because now I've got started I can't seem to stop! I'm currently working on Doily #7. Admittedly, they aren't very big. It sure is fun to start crocheting and see how each one comes out. Here are the first four I've completed. Which one is your favorite?
 Doily #1.
 Doily #2.
 Doily #3.
Doily #4.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rushing the Season

 When it comes to springtime, I always find myself rushing the season. We still have a lot of gray chilly days this time of year, but we can tell it's spring because the grass is turning green, and bright, sunny days come along more often than they did in the winter.

Pansies and violas thrive in this kind of weather, so last night I brought a 6-pack of happy-faced violas home with me to live on my back porch, just outside the kitchen door. I'll enjoy my coffee out there in the mornings when the temperature warms up just a tad bit.

The lilacs don't think it's quite spring yet. You have to squint to see the tiniest buds on the lilac bush behind the violas. But that's okay. Their time is coming and I will enjoy them when it gets here.

Yesterday morning the ground was covered with snow. It soon melted but remained damp and chilly all day. This morning the sun is shining brightly. It's not exactly warm... but we are headed out this evening for our first camping trip of the season! We will take warm clothes and huddle around the campfire. If it turns out to be too cold for even that, we'll just enjoy playing games around the table in the trailer.

Welcome, spring!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My World Travels

My friend, Tess @ Circling Through This Life, posted a map of where she's been. I've been in a lot of states, so I thought it would be fun to do mine. I wasn't expecting my map to look quite so full...
...but the truth is, while I've covered a lot of miles, there are still 11 states I haven't been in, because of all those little bitty New England states! I hope to visit the other 11 sometime, but no concrete plans at present.

Where else in the world have I been? Well, not many places, to be sure... I got to go on a day trip to Mexico once, way back in the fall of 1984. My husband-to-be and I were on a road-trip from California to Missouri. We spent the night with friends in Yuma, Arizona. (Since we were not yet married, we did not stay in motels on that trip.) Our friends took us across the border just so we could say we had been to Mexico. We had lunch in a little cafe and drank bottled Coke with our tacos. And so, I can say I've been to Mexico. But that's about all.
My family lived in Lansing, Michigan for a couple years when I was a little girl. While we lived there we visited Windsor, Ontario a couple of times. And then, I've been to British Columbia a few times since we've lived in Idaho. Not recently, though, because crossing the border now requires a passport... which I don't have.
There you have it... The sum total of my world travels! If I ever have the opportunity to leave the continent, I think my first choice of places to visit would be England. But, of course, I'd have to get a passport first.

To get your own map click here. If you do post about where you’ve been leave a link in my comments so I can check it out!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

99 Little Doilies

 I'm not still "into" the Victorian decorating style that was so popular in the 1990s, but I still like my vintage doilies. I like the way they look under a vase or knick-knack on a shelf. And I love making them! Still, I have to admit, there's a limit to the number of doilies one room needs.

Not too long ago, I saw an article about how "housewives" used to crochet edges on fabric circles to place between their china plates when they put them away. Since I have a small collection of lovely vintage dishes, I immediately decided that I "needed" to crochet doilies to stack between my dishes!
I have had the 99 Little Doilies pattern book on my wish list for awhile, so I was excited when it finally became available on Paperback Swap. I have several partial balls of crochet thread of various colors stashed here and there, so I've set a goal of making each of the 99 doilies in the book in order, and posting a picture of each one as I finish it. I'm sure it will take awhile! Even at one a week, that's pushing 2 years. And I seriously doubt I finish one a week... because, you know me, I can never have just one project going at a time.

Even with my Great Need for doilies to go between my dishes, I definitely don't need 99 of them! So I expect I'll be giving some away as gifts. I dunno, though. Does anybody besides me still like doilies?

I'm also still working on the curtain for my bedroom. The socks aren't finished either. And I'm still carrying around a bit of tatting. But I did finish a pretty pink cape for my daughter to go with her graduation dress. I'll show you a picture once I get the hook-and-eyes sewed on and get it pressed. She's happy with it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Out Like a Lamb

When March "came in like a lion" I wondered if it would "go out like a lamb." Yesterday morning, it was blustery and raining, and it sure didn't look very lamb-like. But then late in the afternoon, the wind died down and the sun broke through.

My daughter said, "I think spring has finally arrived!" We all felt that way. She opened the windows a crack and we attacked our spring cleaning project with renewed energy.

At sunset time the air was soft and pink-tinted. I put on a sweater and made a cup of coffee to enjoy on the back deck while I enjoyed the shifting clouds and fading light. My family laughed at me... but hey, it's not every day that spring arrives, now is it?