Saturday, January 28, 2017

Theresa'a Handcrafted Albums...

My friend Theresa is an excellent crafter.  She works wonders with lots of mediums.  Here I want to showcase two card albums she has created for me.  Theresa does not have an active blog however you can find her on FaceBook.  I am very fortunate to receive at least one card per month and they needed a home for safekeeping and display. Theresa came to my rescue.

 The first album she gifted me was full and overflowing.  I didn't even take a photo because so much was falling out onto the table.  Here I am showing both albums once I had reorganized the contents.  Theresa's cards and ATCs and Tags fit so nicely into these hand crafted albums. 

Here you can see the fronts.  She even hand dyed and stamped the fabric for the newest album.  Cards are held into place with fancy yarns tied around the spine. In the newest album I am using all the same ribbon yarn for holding the cards.  These are so beautiful and truly attract attention whenever anyone is over and sees them in my glass cabinet.

Here they are sitting in my glass cabinet awaiting more cards and attention.  I enjoy looking through them from time-to-time.  I have shared Theresa's cards before on my blog and I am continuing to believe she needs to be on a T!m Holtz design team.  Theresa dear I love my gifts and I am truly grateful for our friendship.  Thank you lovely lady.
The sun is shining and the sky is blue.  Winter is very much here and we still have snow on the roof and ground.  Mr. C has had to shovel snow turned to ice off the front walkway and stairs and off the decks. We had a showing this week and we shall continue to wait for the one buyer who loves this home and property as much as we do.  I believe Mr. C and I have been excellent stewards of this special place.
JOYful January continues and we are one day closer to my favorite Summer.  What are you keeping busy with in this cold month of Winter? I am already seeing lots of Valentine happenings.  Maybe it is time for me to do a small display of hearts.  I don't think any potential buyers would mind seeing a few hearts in my home.
I continue to Discover...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wayne on the Train...

2017 is the year Mr. C aka Wayne wants to have experiences and "Discover".  After having lived here almost 20 years he decided it was time to take the "Snow Train" to Reno.  Well he has selected the perfect time for snow. After 5 years of extreme drought the mountains are getting record snowfall.  Of course he insisted I must also go on this adventure.  No iPad and no hand work and no distractions for me were allowed!  Nothing, nada, zip...He wanted my full attention!

We drove the 12 or so miles to Colfax on Thursday morning to board the 12:21pm California Zephyr headed to Reno.  It was scheduled to arrive at 3:56 pm and we had reservations for one night at Silver Legacy with separate dinner reservations in Reno.

Here I am waiting in Colfax. I had a nice visit with the Colfax Chamber Volunteer Amy and there is a very interesting museum to view at the station.

Along our route we got to see lots of things we never see from the Highway (80) which goes over Donner Summit to Reno.  Here is a good image of the snow as it was softly falling.

This is pulling into the Truckee station. Lots of snow and lots of happy skiers in town.  We are now just about half way to Reno.  The train was full of passengers and we had seats with good views.  The observation car was very crowded so we stayed in our coach most of the time.  Ahhh...with only a few slight delays and very slow going we arrived in Reno just over two hours late.  A short walk in cold but dry and we are in for the night!

Friday we are up early at 6 am to gather ourselves and eat breakfast (we were quite hungry from missing lunch yesterday) before boarding our return train for 8:36 am departure.  Snowing in Reno and for our walk to the depot.  This is a lot of snow for Reno!  Let me just say our train did not depart on time.  We waited a long time and then it was announced that we would be leaving in about 10 minutes and anyone who wanted to get off and smoke or stretch could do so.  Ten minutes honestly turned into 6 hours!!!  Delays due to snow, downed trees on the tracks ahead and so on.  Once we finally got moving we were all relieved to say the least.  This is supposed to be just over a 3 hour return trip to Colfax.

The scenery is stunning.  The Truckee river is flowing with lots of water and the mountains are white with fresh falling snow.  Our trees just may save themselves with moisture they are so desperate for.

Our train traveled slowly and the countryside was beautiful and ethereal.  Wayne is enjoying his train ride.  The wait was long and he has zero patience but I must congratulate him for staying rather calm.  We did have a few people to entertain us and talk with.  Of course there are always a few not so pleasant folks to that was a challenge.

Here is Truckee with a lot more snow than yesterday.  I forgot to look at the time but let me just say we are very late and more people are waiting to board.  This California Zephyr (I never got a photo) is the train that travels from Emeryville (San Francisco) to Chicago and back again.

More delays along the way while we waited for snow plows and such.  The snow is really thick!

This is the last photo we took of the trip over Donner Summit.  We were stopped again and it actually got dark.  The train trip is not as nice in the dark because you cannot see anything.  We had such a long stop in the middle of NO WHERE.  This train had no provisions for dinner as their end destination was to be around 5 pm. Oops!  An announcement asked if anyone on board had a can opener.  We all laughed.  Well a gal had one but it wouldn't work.  So another announcement asked if anyone had a real can opener with a dial?  Who travels with such an item?!!  By golly someone had one.  A bit later, around 7 pm, it was announced that the dining car would serve Dinty Moore Beef Stew over rice and would call us up car by car.  If you wished to eat you must hurry and not talk.  Wayne and I were so hungry (any snacks I had brought were long gone...actually I think I ate them on the train ride the day before) we almost ran when our car was called.  I only wish I had a photo!  Bless the staff for trying to feed 200 people overall.  It looked like a small snack plate of doggy delight.  We also got a small bottle of water.  YUM!!!  Thank you very much and I was truly grateful.  There were lots of people who were rude and or didn't want to eat so they stayed in the observation car (remember it is very dark now) and enjoyed lots of alcohol imbibing.  Quite the rowdy bunch but no one got out of line too much. 

This little Snow Mouse was created by an adorable little girl while we were still in Reno at the depot.  She was traveling with her younger sister and even younger brother, father and grandmother.  I must say that other than the two littlest ones (maybe 3 and 5) running through the cars they were rather well behaved for such a long short trip.  All in all Wayne and I arrived in Colfax just before midnight!  We were able to get our vehicle and drive home in pouring rain and some fog.  Thankfully our snow was minor and the driveway was clear.  Needless to say we both hibernated most of Saturday and today we are moving very slowly.  Our trip was fun and exhausting.  It truly was an adventure and Wayne got to ride the Snow Train!  I apologize for such a long post but honestly I did leave out a lot to shorten the story.
P.S.  I did tell Mr. C that I will NEVER travel again without some sort of hand work!!!
JOYful January...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Discover Travel Memories...

As I am continuing to sort through stuff and organize my things I have finally taken on the task of documenting previous trips Mr. C and I have taken.  I am not a fan of scrapbooking so I always dread this after the trip chore.  I also save waaaaay too much. Every receipt, napkin, coaster, brochure, ticket stub, hotel card, map and even candy wrappers. I even save wine bottle corks and gelato spoons.  Mr. C saw all of this and promptly said, "Throw that stuff away".  Well I compromised and threw away 17 of the 18 gelato spoons. Then I threw away all receipts and most of every thing I have listed.  In these days of digital photography I don't even have photos to "scrapbook".  We save our digital photos on a DVD that we can play on our TV so we don't even print them out.

I had our 2004 trip to New York City and then on to Russia actually put together in a book.  This was done only because we had friends who were traveling to Russia and wanted hints and tips from our trip. Got it done!

I managed to sort through our 2009 trip to Italy...after throwing away most of my gelato spoons. Yes, I did eat all that gelato and probably lots more.  When I tackle this type of project, I always have to reminisce and go down memory lane and therefore it takes me far longer to accomplish a finished memory book.  I still have a small 2008 trip to British Columbia to document.  And I have a very large 2005 trip to Spain that needs organizing and saved.  Then I have our latest big trip in 2014 to England's Goodwood Festival of Speed and Provence and the Luberon regions of France and my dream-come-true Paris stay.  With our home life in possible transition we are not planning any major trip until 2018.  I'll be ready.  Mr. C already has serious wanderlust.
Today we are having SUNSHINE!!!  Since January 1st we have gotten over 18 inches of rain and almost 9 inches of snow and lots of hail and wind and drizzle.  We feel very fortunate after five terrible years of extreme drought.  Snow pack in the higher elevations is amazing.  Rivers and dams are full and flowing.  Central and Southern California still need lots more rain to offset their drought.  We will be happy with more rain.  Thankfully our huge tall forest trees are still standing far.  We do have more storms coming next week.
Life is good and we feel blessed.  May each of you be enjoying your January.  Discover is working for me and I shall continue to be open to new ideas, experiences and Creative Bliss.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Crazy Quilting Sampler...

In early 2016 I signed up for a free course on Crazy Quilting (CQ).  Free is always attention getting for me.  My "crafting" budget is rather small and I need to stretch it all year long. Kathy Shaw offered this course on her blog and you can merely click the link I have for you to read.  Bless Kathy and her amazing patience with me.  When I convinced myself to sign up I had every intention on doing the lessons in a timely manner.  However life took over and by August I was woefully behind and out of state without my project to work on. In the top photo you can see that I managed to get the ribbon embroidery completed recently per Kathy's instructions.  Thank you Kathy dear for extending my course timeline.  You have been an inspiration and excellent teacher.

I was committed to finishing what I had begun.  Here is a close up of my wandering ribbon vine and roses.  And because "Murphy" is always lurking, I ran out of the green ribbon on the vine leaves.  Of course I ordered what I had ordered before and wouldn't you know the die lot was not the same exact shade of green.  Since this is my learning sampler I decided to put perfection (which isn't reality) aside and use the green I received.  I am happy with the results and if you are astute and you look very closely you will see the two different shades of green. completed Crazy Quilting sampler.  I have added some buttons and a dragonfly charm and a few lace motifs and several shuttle tatted pieces.  The buttons and charm I already owned.  The lace motifs I had purchased along with my silk ribbons.  The shuttle tatted pieces are from my friend Diane of LaceLovinLibrarian blog. Thank you Diane dear for sharing your tatting with me and I am honored to place them on my sampler.  I am pretty happy with how this has turned out.  I purposefully left some errors as learning bits.  I will try CQ in the future as I have so many wonderful charms and bits and treasures to incorporate into this type of handwork.  The biggest shock was when I showed it to Mr. C and he actually liked it and complimented my work.  Rare indeed.  Mr. C says I need to get it framed and I am certainly going to pursue that idea. Thank you honey!
Well I know you all have seen us on the news/weather.  Nevada City is getting torrential rains and water levels not seen in many years.  Thankfully we live uphill and the water runs downhill.  Our pond is draining just as Mr. C designed and built it to do.  The water level is up to the surrounding border and swamping the bogs.  Our house gutters are all working the way they should after Mr. C worked long and hard redesigning and putting up larger new gutters where needed and repairing holes in current gutters.  He keeps them cleaned out all year long.  Our local Nevada City Deer Creek is flowing high and rapid.  The restaurant "Lefty's" which overlooks Deer Creek is flooded and closed for at least a week.  It was shared on World News.  Also the Yuba River has been shown and it is very full and has level 5 rapids.  It is continuing to rain in furious quantity.  We have received over 16 inches in just a few days...along with over 8 inches of snow.  After five years of extreme drought we welcome this rain and the snow further up.  Now it is a matter of safety for everyone.  Stay home and out of creeks, rivers etcetera.  Highway 80 over Donner Summit has been closed on and off as long as 24 hours to clear traffic accidents and an avalanche of mud and debris.  People please be safe and do not travel if you do not absolutely have to.   I feel very fortunate that I am able to stay home and be safe and dry. 
On another note...we will keep our home listed (click for link) for sale through Winter.  Our broker, Mimi" understands that Winter is an excellent time for staying home and surfing the internet for that dream location and home...ours could be it!  After all Mr. C and I did find this unfinished home on the internet way back in 1998 when the internet was very new and offered little.  And here we are nineteen years later.  Waiting patiently for the right buyer so we can move along on our journey.  St. George Utah continues to call out to us.  After all Discover is what 2017 holds for us.
Continued Happy New Year to each of you and may you be doing exactly what makes you happiest...

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beginning 2017 Slowly...

To begin 2017 I realize I have to review 2016.  I do this to get a sense of what I hope for 2017.  I also audition words that I feel will suit my needs in this new year.  Many words come to mind and each one seems like it would fit and serve me well.  I thought to discuss my word choice with Mr. C and he really grilled me on each one and why I wanted to select it.  After all was said and done he accidently chose my perfect word for 2017.

We thought about how this word fit.  I looked it up in the old fashioned Miriam Webster Dictionary...I still love actual dictionary books.  Here is the online Google link.  For me the word Discover will also lend itself to learn, determine, ascertain, unearth and to see, find, or become aware of.  Well, for those of you who follow my blog you know Mr. C and I have considered selling our home and moving out of California.  We are both California Natives and I have always been very proud of that fact.  However, the California we have grown up with is no longer the California we are living in.  To summarize, taxes and politics are the biggest changes.  Now that we are in our Sunset years we want to enjoy our lives and all that we have worked so hard to attain. 
The photo above is one we took while at Tuachan theater in St. George, Utah.  This Snow Canyon (there is no snow) area is where we would like to relocate to.  St. George and surrounding area has everything we are looking for.  The infrastructure and amenities along with medium population and a University and excellent medical are things we want and need.  So...
Discover will be what we are doing in 2017.  I will also be trying to Discover what it is that I truly want to do with my remaining inches.  Oh let me remind you what I mean by inches.  Mr. C (my beloved engineer husband) took his "Man" ruler...the kind they wear on their belts and use to measure long distances...and he measured out to 80 inches.  Then he said to me, "See where you are? (65 then, 68 now) Look how many inches you have used up and how few you have left."  Well, after I yelled at him to never show me that again!!...the visual really put my life time into perspective.  None of us truly know how long we have on this earth, however we can hope to have the average years of a healthy person.  I am seriously going to Discover what I really want to do in my few remaining inches of life.  What do I want to do or be or whatever when I grow up!  So far I have aimlessly wandered through my life and never really found my calling.  I seem to have zero adventure in me.  My passion is yet to be Discovered.  I enjoy lots of things but are they what really make me happy?  So with this weighing on me I am beginning 2017 slowly. 
We have had lots of rain and considerable snow already this year.  Mr. C has been shoveling the driveway and decks for two days.  Now we are in for at least eight (8) days of rain.  Flood watches are predicted all over our area.  Thankfully we are uphill so we shall see what happens.  Our five year drought will be grateful for rain.  The ski resorts will be thankful for snow. 
I did sign up for an ATC swap.
I really enjoy Kim's swaps and was sorry to miss the 2016 Christmas swap.  I shall have to get my Pink Bliss happening.  I do hope my muse hasn't abandoned me.  She just might come out to play for Pretty in Pink. 
I do hope each of you are beginning your New Year with Wonderful Discoveries that bring you Happiness and JOY.