Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter Weekend

Happy Easter Weekend!  I've been shopping, cleaning, sewing, and filling plastic eggs in preparation for out of town family guests.  Soon I will be cooking and baking traditional things for my grandchildren and their parents.  Hubby spent the day fine tuning his garden so it will be ready for the big egg hunt.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and things are blooming.

Including the iris that I relocated last fall. Good move.

They are beautiful.  I also counted a handful of Don Juan roses in full bloom on the arbor.  Next up will be those hollyhocks.  Nothing is more lovely than Easter in citrus scented Arizona where summer and spring are all mixed up.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More of my own BOM

I did it!  I finished two appliqued blocks this month to make up for not doing one in February.  See that fabric under the alphabet block?  I was searching for the perfect fabric because it is used over and over in the quilt top.  The one fabric in the Le Petite Ecole line from French General that I could not find online was supposed to go there.  I looked every where for a substitute, even bought one, wasn't happy with it, and finally found the French General Favorites at the Fat Quarter Shop and discovered this fabric which is close but different. I even like it more.  It's perfect!  Loved stitching all those stockings.

I just finished block number 3.  It includes one of the Ohio Star blocks I made earlier.  The pattern calls for buttons on the package bows which I wouldn't want to place before quilting.  I'm not even sure that is what I want to do so I might just add more applique later.  All the applique that you see is done using the back basting method.  I'm so happy that I learned this technique which has opened up so many other possibilities for me.

There you have it, the top row and first three blocks. Six more blocks to go and then two months for finishing and "The Night Before Christmas" by Bunny Hill designs can go up on the wall.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ranunculus are blooming

I know that Arizona spring has arrived when the ranunculus bloom in big round puffy bursts of color.

They bloom and make me happy for days and after they fade and the foliage browns I dig up the bulbs and store them inside in a brown paper sack during our hot summer.

I plant the bulbs again in the fall after it cools down and viola, blooms burst out in March over and over again year after year.

How amazing is that?!

Pick a color, any color.

None will disappoint.

If you are ever in Carlsbad, CA in March or April go to the Flower Gardens on the hill overlooking the ocean and you will find a literal rainbow of ranunculus blooms.

I like to mix them up with the Icelandic poppies.

The more sun they get, the earlier they bloom.  I put a few in a pot out front which just has morning sun.  They bloomed this week.

Red and white with something still to come on the left.

I might need to start labeling my paper bags before I store them.

Everything else out front is pink or purple or yellow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Joy cometh in the morning

Someone whom I love very much is in a very painful place right now.  It is so hard to know how to help so I did the only thing I knew to do.  I sewed up a quick quilt.

I showed her the back and told her that right now all looks dark and then I flipped it over to show that there will be light again.  I want this lap quilt to wrap her in my love and symbolically give her hope for the future.

Psalms 30:5  ". . .weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

I bought this pattern and a fat quarter bundle ten years ago while visiting my sister near Denver.  I was still teaching and it got placed on a shelf.  Blue and yellow were popular back then.  My sewing room was once my daughter's room and is still blue and yellow. I often see this pattern using fat quarters in quilt shops so I figured it must be a good and enduring one.  I really enjoyed putting it together.

When I took the quilt outside for a photo before sending it off to show my love and concern, I noticed more blue and yellow.

I bought those pots years ago in Williamsburg and they continue to make me happy.  I hope there is some hopeful light or sunshine in your life today.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Michael and Joy get married

A week ago family started coming into town for my nephew's wedding.  It was a fun week of visiting, food prep, eating, baking, more visiting, and witnessing a very special day.  Michael's sisters may have tried to talk some sense into Joy, but honestly I think Michael and Joy will be a dynamite couple.  I could certainly feel the love and what do sisters know anyway :)  Apparently they know how to shop. Aren't they so cute and put together?

My sister Becky also looked beautiful.

Cousin Jason left cold Utah and caught himself some rays.  He was the first to officially make use of our swimming pool for 2013.  He swam more than once, but I'm still just dipping my toes.

The youngest cousin, Karl, was also in town with his mom and brother as he was also on spring break.  My sister, Lynette, and mother of Jason came from Kansas for a whole week.  Lucky me!

Ashley will now have to share her DIL duties with Joy.  I don't think she will mind.  I give you the Ray women.

Youngest in the family, Daniel, is also camera shy.  Happy sister Rachel will soon be on her way to an LDS mission in Kennewick, WA.  She spoke in church on Sunday and the troops once again gathered round to hear her.

My youngest sister, Jolene, joined us from New Mexico.

The mother of the groom my sister, Becky, with her SIL's, Michael's other aunties.

All of my siblings together.  This doesn't happen often enough.

Grandma and Grandpa Ray who are some of the best people ever.

My only brother, Farrell, and my oldest son.

And we wait for the bride and groom to make their appearance after being sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa Arizona Temple.

Proud parents of the groom.

They now have half of their brood of six married.

Here they come!

Michael gives his fist pump.

Aren't they a striking couple?

And a quick kiss.

I snapped away because my favorite pictures from my wedding day were the candid shots that a neighbor took as we exited these same doors.

I was good and stayed out of the official photographer's way.

It is tradition that all in attendance group around the bride and groom on the steps for a group shot.

Guess where I stood?

Joy lives up to her name, always.

I loved her dress, front and back.

Off to a shady spot for photos.

Michael's cousins

and the oldest cousin's wife.

Jenny, oh, Jenny.

My zoom in photos of Michael's family

and just siblings.

Long shot with their photographer.

Michael and his dad

and mom.

Love the dress and I love that she wore a veil.  You don't always see them anymore.

So pretty!

Both sets of parents and adjustments by Joy's sister.

Every thing is perfect.

Two sets of proud, happy parents.

Joy's family.

Michael's family watch.

It was a blue sky kind of day with temps in the low 90's.  That is even warm for Arizonans this time of year.


Wedding party.

There was lots of texture in the decor at the reception.  Grandma Ray made the groomsmen ties out of burlap to get just the right texture and color.  They looked great.

Special words with mom.

Beautiful colors.  Those blush roses were so beautiful.

So was the bride.

After the leaving the temple, we gathered for a dinner of a taco bar.  Extended family of both the bride and groom were in attendance.

Joy's something "blue."

Niece, Emma joined us for the party.

She and Joy's nephews broke in the dance floor.

Joy and Michael had worked hard to personalize their reception.

They included my sister's double ring wedding quilt made for her by our Grandma Rhoda.  All of Rhoda's 20 plus grandchildren received such a quilt as a wedding gift.

They were able to use the backyard of a home just off Gilbert Road in north Mesa.

I love the heart shaped key on the entrance gate.

They painted this sign which was placed with flood lights at the end of the driveway.

This was their courtship picture board.

The bride does a last minute check before the reception.

She seems pleased.

Ready for a crowd.

Beverage station.

Round table decor including tubes of bubbles.

The cake.

Donuts from Joy's favorite donut shop.

Cookies made by friends and family.  My contributions were the oatmeal chocolate chip and the chocolate frosted with a marshmallow surprise.  The heart shaped sugar cookies were to die for.

Lovely dessert table.  Once they cut the cake, we also served cake.

Lovely sister Lisa.

And the sun began to go down and the lights came on.

They greeted guests in front of a lace backdrop which was back lit.

My bearded and very tall son drove from Utah that day.  He was a great help come take down time.  He also signed papers to sell his Mesa house on Monday before heading north again.

That dance floor was one busy place later in the evening.

It may have been warm that afternoon at the temple, but it was perfect in the evening.

The bride and groom also left us with words to live by.

Julianna loved all the cookies, juice boxes, and that dance floor.  Great event, great family time, and great couple.  Congratulations Michael and Joy!