There’s Nothing Like Family Visiting to Spur the Finishing of Projects!

Our vacation starts today! My brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew arrive today for a 2 day visit; Madison has a softball tournament starting Saturday afternoon in the Long Beach area so they’ve come out a couple days earlier to hang out with us! Hanging out means making pizza and paella in the backyard! Our overgrown Jasmine had to get pruned way back, and while trying to tame it hubby realized that the string of big lights we’d strung across there years ago was completely rotted and fell apart. My posts look close bare now, but I hope the Jasmine will grow back quickly and we’ll keep it in check this time!


Hubby really wanted NOT hang more strings of lights that would get dirty, sag and break, so we spent some time cruising the outdoor lighting aisles of Home Depot and Lowes and ended up purchasing some low voltage lights that meant to either be placed on spikes to shine on bushes or trees or screwed to decks and patios. We put bright ones on the ledger board that holds up the rafters of the pergola (along with a pair of outdoor speakers, ooh lah lah!), as well as the beam closest to the table.



And then we put dimmer ones on the posts holding up the other end of the pergola.


And voila!




It is amazingly bright! Probably a bit too bright for true “mood lighting”, but we’ll be able to see what we’re doing when we’re making pizza, and you’ll notice that the sink area is especially well lit…I’ll be able to not only rinse out there at night time, but I could actually dye out there then too! Ooh the possibilities!

I’m ready to have a good visit with my brother and the rest, and then we’re headed off for a week in the Tetons, so hubby can get some fly fishing in, and I can try to relax, and of course we’ll be able to see Liam play at the Grand Tetons Music Festival with the NYO-USA as well! Exciting!

I won’t be blogging much (or at all) while we’re gone, but I’m going to set up a fun giveaway before I take off, so be sure to check back next week for that!

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How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?

Liam posted this (fuzzy) picture on Facebook yesterday:


with the caption “So this is what happens when you practice”.

I know I’ve been blogging a lot about Liam lately; I promise I won’t post about each of the 8 concerts the NYO-USA plays on this concert tour that started Sunday, but I had to share this in a timely fashion, since the concert that he plays at Carnegie Hall tonight will be broadcast on WQXR, so if you wanted to you could hear them play – WQXR is streaming over the internet. The concert starts at 8pm EST.

Yesterday they had a rehearsal in Carnegie Hall, here’s another fuzzy picture Liam took:


After the rehearsal they did an interactive concert for 150 kids from the Department of Homeles Services, Liam tells me it was a bit chaotic as the kids were allowed on the stage while the orchestra was performing; but afterwards the kids got to ask questions of the players, Liam got to explain to some second grader how exactly music worked (from the printed page to the sounds). 

There was a great article in the New York Times yesterday about the group entitled “Youth is Not Wasted on This Young Orchestra“. There were several pictures taken during the “From the Top” radio show they recorded last Wednesday, a few friends on Facebook were quick to point out Liam in this picture:


I can tell they’re playing the Berstein’s West Side Story dance suite because Liam’s sitting first here.

A couple of days ago they posted a recording of the NYO-USA playing their Porgy and Bess encore:

I can’t wait to hear them in person, but I’ll be listening to the broadcast tonight too!


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5 Pillows for Jess and Jim


I’ve been sharing the process of making a set of pillows for my cousin Jess and her hubby Jim, now it’s time for the TADAH! Here they are all grouped together on my couch: Although they won’t all be on one couch like that. The 2 long, skinny pillows are for a long, skinny bench…

Postcard from New York: NYO-USA Rehearsals


Well, Liam’s been in Purchase, NY (on the campus of SUNY Purchase) for a week and a half rehearsing with NYO-USA. But it hasn’t been all rehearsing! One of the fun things they’ve been doing is each section has made a video to introduce each section…here’s the one the low brass did, Liam’s right in…

Studio Snapshots | Improv Stripes and Log Cabin Pillows Process


I’ve been working on the set of pillows for Jess and Jim. Yesterday I stitched up the feather pillows, so I started working on the striped pillows. I love improve stripes, and I usually put little curves in them, but for these pillows, since the others are all made with straight lines, I decided to…

Studio Snapshots | Working on Some Feather Pillows


I’m making a set of pillows for my cousin Jess and her Hubby  Jim. They really liked the pillows I made for my couch, but wanted 2 more for a bench in their living room. We picked out general colors for me to use in all the pillows, but when it came time for me…

July Goals Check-in

patio lighting begin 02

We’ve been trucking along here in Redlands! Liam’s been gone for a week now at the start of his NYO-USA residency, and I have to say that I’m spending way too much time wondering how he’s doing; I’m hoping that this part goes away soon! Actually, since I’m talking about this, I’ll say that I…

Wahoo! Dyeing 103 is Complete!


I am so excited, my newest online class Dyeing 103: Multi Color Cotton Fabric is complete! I’ve really enjoyed working on laying out exactly how to dye a lot of my favorite color palettes, and designing ways to create new ones. I put together of all the fabrics I dyed for the class: If you ask me,…

A Bread Basket with Wonky Squares


Last summer we renovated our kitchen ourselves, and I’ve really enjoyed it all year. There are a couple parts of the kitchen that needed some improvement, one of them is right here: There are like 4 or 5 half loaves of bread on the counter – although there’s not always that many, there’s always a…

It’s All Fun and Games…’til Someone Gets Hurt!


We’ve had a pair of Western Scrub Jays build a nest into one of the vines growing on the post holding up the pergola on our back patio: It’s the vine on the far post by the pool, a good 10-15 feet from my dyeing sink: We’ve been keeping an eye on the nest: But…

A Couple of Zip Pouches for Some Special Occasions


I had to make a couple of quick zip pouches in the craziness of last week. First, I wanted to make one for Stephanie, Liam’s awesome accompanist who has played for so many occasions this year. She deserved something extra and personal. I was wondering about what colors to use when the answer walked across…

Another Pokorny Seminar in the Books!


The annual Pokorny Seminar wrapped up last night, it’s been a week full of music! Every year, world class tuba and trombone players come to teach a mixture of college age and older low brass players in an informal manner, with lots of ways to learn from these masters: Gene Pokorny, tuba, Chicago Symphony Orchestra…

One Moment | The Relief of a Wonderful Performance


Oh, my goodness! What a day yesterday was! We’re in the thick of the Pokorny Seminar which means that Andrew and Liam spent from 7:30 – 5 going from warm-up to master class to lecture, etc… Liam did a fair amount of playing and spent the rest of the time being a trombone geek at…

Meetup | July Goals


June is over! I actually got a lot of stuff done but man I can’t believe it’s already July! June Goals Could it be? A bag for Mary for real??? June 15 100% More work on mystery projects June 30 100% Custom Tablet covers for Valerie & Mary June 15 50% Minu Scarf Party June 14…

New Mod House Pillows!


Here’s the TaDAH! moment from the pillows I showed you my process on yesterday. I love them!!! Now that there pillows, I don’t think the houses look like they’re floating in space and I’m really glad that I didn’t spend the extra time quilting pebbles along the bottom – they would be totally lost! But…

Studio Snapshot | Mod House Pillows


I finally had time to work on making to lumbar pillows for the 2 chairs in my family room! I got really stuck with what to do for awhile, here are the pillows that are on the couch opposite the chairs: The pillows for the chairs are smaller (12″ x 18″) than those up above…

22 Years and Counting


Andrew and I have been married for 22 years now! I finally took some time to photograph a few more pictures from our wedding album to share here on the blog: The Annual Pokorny Low Brass Seminar that he organizes and hosts at the UoR School of Music doesn’t start until tomorrow, so the 2 of us are headed…

Inspiration Found in Other People’s Gardens


A few weeks ago I attended a meeting at someone’s house here in Redlands, she is an awesome gardener! I was only able to snap a couple of pictures before the meeting started, I wish I’d had more time to prowl around! I’m not sure what this first flower is, it reminds me of Nigella:…

Another Fun FMQ Class at the Redlands Sewing Center


I finished another of my Free Motion Quilting Classes at the Redlands Sewing Center. We had a great group of gals and had a great time! What I love is taking everybody from where they are and moving them further along the never ending process of learning free motion quilting! I was zooming around so…

Studio Snapshots | Lovely New Color Palettes


I’ve been working on finishing up my online dyeing class Dyeing 103: Multi-color Cotton. I’ve really come up with some great new color palettes, here’s a new favorite: Once I get another session posted, this class will be complete and then I’ll get to actually sewing with some of these new palette – it’s quite…