27 September 2016

Book Signing


If you live along the Front Range, please stop by to say hi between 2 and 4 pm Saturday, October 1, at the Parker Library, 20105 East Mainstreet. I've been stocking up on wonderful snowflake schwag, I'll have copies of "Heart Strings" available for autographs, and it's my first public booksigning ever!

26 September 2016

Snowflake Monday


What a crazy, awesome, wonderful, hectic and draining trip this year's MS-150 was! I'm still trying to ease back into my normal routine, but the seasons are changing, the days are shorter, we're headed into fourth quarter at work (the busiest time of the year), and fresh chilies, peaches, tomatoes and onions have been redirecting a lot of my time into the kitchen.

Can't complain though; with a bushel of freshly roasted hot Hatch chili peppers, we made homemade salsa, homemade mole (first time ever, and The Lizard loves it!), chicken enchiladas, chicken stew (the best I've ever made; I'll have to write it down so I can use the same recipe for the next Super Bowl chili cook-off!) and Mexican wedding cookies with no white sugar but featuring cinnamon and roasted Hatch chilies. Another first! I can't stop eating them!!!

We loved the cookies so much, I made a second batch for one of my bosses' birthday today. Then we made flatbread pizza with fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach and fresh onions from my garden, topped with chicken, roasted Hatch chilies and fresh mozzarella. Oh, my heavens, I think we've found a new favorite meal...

We still had more chilies after all that, so we packaged them in freezer bags, six at a time, and I think we will be able to enjoy chilies every two weeks or so for six more weeks.

YUM!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 1.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Whirlwind Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2. Don't pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc in same ch as sl st, ch 3, * sk next dc, 3 dc in next dc, ch 3; repeat from * around 4 times; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as 1 tr), [in next ch 3 sp work 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr] 6 times, omitting last tr of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

23 September 2016

Friday Funny


I think one of my grasshoppers has quilting aspirations.





22 September 2016

Heartless


When I first designed this Spoonflower cheater panel, I planned to do a scrappy border or two all the way around to make it big enough for one of my cousins this Christmas, then move on to the next panel and do the same thing. I am trying to finish 14 quilts again this year by Christmas for my cousins' kids, as well as a niece and nephew who didn't get quilts last year because I didn't get them finished in time. I need a bunch of quickies, so to speak, in order to finish on time. This year is really getting away from me!


The first border, made mostly from leftovers from Hearts of Gold, knocked my socks off and inspired all kinds of new ideas.




I so enjoyed playing with my leftovers!


The second border used up nearly all the scraps from Hearts of Gold! I think I have three triangles left!


With two pieced and two solid borders, the quilt top is almost big enough for a little kid now. I thought I could make it just a wee bit bigger and add a just a bit more color pizazz if I made a rainbow border that goes all the way around, unbroken. I pieced 2.5-inch strips of almost all of my Kona colors with the intention of slicing it into striped 2.5-inch strips.


But now that it's done, I'm not sure I can cut it up!


It's crying out to me that it can be a quilt of its own! It doesn't want to be cut into pieces!!!










Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

20 September 2016

Deception Pass Classic


During the four-day drive to this year's MS-150, I grew less and less enthused about riding. Sitting in a car for eight hours a day for more than half a week really takes a toll on my attitude, even when the scenery is gorgeous. On the bright side, I do think the entire trip was easier than past Pacific Northwest treks because we broke the trip to Washington and the trip home each into four days instead of three.

Once we picked up our MS-150 packets, my ride adrenaline serged. The Deception Pass Classic in Burlington, Washington, is a GREAT ride, and I'm so thankful we were able to participate! Especially as a team!!!

I raised more than $1,000 in the battle against multiple sclerosis, and that won me a brand new jersey. Thank you, donors!


Look! It's Dieter and Wolfgang!!! (We forgot to take them.)


If we ever drive long distance to another ride, we've decided to give ourselves a day to recover from driving instead of riding the next morning after such a long journey. But I think next time we go to Washington, we might be tourists instead of participating in another ride. We want to experience the naval museum, more of the Olympic Peninsula, North Cascades, Mount St. Helens and maybe even Rainier (again) and spend more time with our dear friends, the Goatparents. This is yet another of those vacations that just wasn't long enough!


We couldn't have asked for better weather. September in the Pacific Northwest gives us a combined taste of late summer/very early autumn we don't get to experience in Colorado because our Rocky Mountain seasons generally change too fast. A few flowers remain in Washington, and the autumn colors are just beginning to radiate. It's been a dryer-than-normal year along the Pacific Coast, not dipping below freezing yet at sea level, making colors quite vibrant.


Riding along the coast is so much different than riding the high mountain passes of Colorado. At home, oxygen comes at a premium. Out west, there is plenty of air, and a salty, moist breeze to boot. Hearing the waves lap up against the beach is another stark contrast to the whistling winds and quaking aspen leaves of Colorado.


A lunch stop along the beach at Deception Pass also was a treat. Not only did we have incredible views while we replenished our energy, but the food was terrific! Sticky rice, veggie wraps and teriyaki chicken!


We wore our team jerseys on Day 1. Newbie team member Michael (a.k.a Mr. Micawber) doesn't have a team jersey (YET! It's coming, one day!), so we posed him in the jersey I crafted for The Lizard back in 2011 so we could all be flakes. Ha ha!

Michael, once an accomplished cyclist and now inspired by his wife Sue's participation in MS rides with us, pedaled 22 miles on Day 1! He spent years battling the after-effects of a brain tumor and, later, a pulmonary embolism, which together made riding very difficult. The effects have not gone away, but he has worked hard to get back on the bike and slowly build his mileage. We were utterly thrilled when we learned he'd be joining our team this year!

Day 2 fell on Patriot Day, or September 11. The Lizard and I always wear red, white and blue when we pedal on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Patriot Day and Veterans Day. We didn't think to coordinate with Michael and Sue. Imagine our surprise when we saw Sue on Day 2 sporting her own red, white and blue.


Even Michael's handlebars stood at attention on this special day!

Day 2 typically begins with no fanfare. Cyclists take of as they arrive, not en masse. There are no formalities, such as the national anthem.

My little team had traveled about four blocks when Sue realized we had not sung "The Star-Spangled Banner." I broke out into singing as we pedaled away, and not three words later, Sue was harmonizing perfectly with me. We'd never sung together before. The guys said we sounded great. This was such a great way to observe Patriot Day!


The Lizard's favorite leg of the entire MS-150 was a very long bridge across a tide pool. A sign at the start of the bridge warned cyclists about tire-puncture potential from broken seashells. A volunteer kindly swept the entire bridge before most riders arrived.


My favorite part of the ride was reaching Deception Pass. The bridge stands a mere 177 feet above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We started at sea level, and the terrain leading to the pass is quite hilly. My friends and family were astonished to see I had climbed nearly 3,000 feet during the ride. Lots of ups and downs, and making it to the top felt tremendously satisfying!


Getting to ride with Team Snowcatcher was incredibly awesome. Getting to ride the entire second half of Day 1 with The Lizard was one of my favorite rides ever. Typically, I send The Lizard off to ride his own speed because I know he'd be miserable slowing down to my pace. I tried to tell him he could ride on, but he wanted to ride this epic day with me! He waited for me atop Deception Pass, and spent the rest of the day riding my turtle pace. He even told me I'm riding much stronger than I ever have before!


My camera battery died the second day of the ride (I was so exhausted after Day 1, I forgot to charge it overnight), and I foolishly didn't carry a spare, so I didn't get many pictures during the second day. However, we toured Whidbey Island after the ride and made up for the shortage of recorded visual stimulation.

I'll feature more photos from our ride tomorrow in Wordless Wednesday. And more vacation photos for probably the next three Wordless Wednesdays. Yes, this adventure was THAT amazing!

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