Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pajama Day

We took a vote.
When you are with your bestest girlfriends spending a week in a cabin quilting away, we crave the luxury of taking a day off from getting dressed, washing our hair, or putting on makeup.
After all, we love and accept each other as is.
So, we voted that Tuesday was Pajama Day.

The real Rae Ann

The real Judi

Susann was quite comfy in her fleece ice skating dogs, that double served as a flannel board.
Missing a quilt square?
We knew to check Susanne's PJ's first.

The real me.
My slippers became a magnet for every thread that dropped on the floor.

And then there is Jackie who must have missed the memo.
Cute apron.
Cooking delicious meals.
She even had lipstick on.
We still love her anyway.

Can you see why?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bliss In Star Valley Wyoming

Total Bliss.
It's snowing like it usually does here in Wyoming during the winter, but we are comfy and warm, all snuggled inside Rae Ann's cabin.
The eaves on the roof overhang with thick solid sheets of ice and snow, but we are content and happy.

I found this poem about Star Valley when we went to the copy shop:
When it's spring time in Star Valley
and the gentle breezes blow,
about 70 miles an hour
and it's 52 below.
You can tell you're in Star Valley
because the snow is up to your butt
And you take a breath of spring time air
and your nose holes both freeze shut.
The weather here is so wonderful
so I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Star Valley,
my feet are frozen to the ground.

I'm not complaining one bit.
We have been quilting, reading, eating the most wonderful food, and talking non stop.
I'm sure we have solved (or at least discussed) half of the world's problems.
Every quilt my girlfriends are making, I want to make too.

I think we brought enough projects to keep us busy for weeks.
This is Susann's work in progress.

Not only are these ladies amazing quilters, they also create the most wonderful food.
This morning Jackie made a Bacon Omelet Roll with Salsa.
Double Yum!

Last night as we were up late, Rae Ann thought we all needed a snack.
We munched on fresh strawberries and brownie bites hand dipped in chocolate.

They also hauled enough food up to the cabin to last us weeks.
The snow continues to fall, and we wonder if there is a possibility we might get snowed in while we are up here on the mountain.
Our families might be a little concerned.
Between the 5 of us we have left a total of 5 husbands, 24 children, and 17 grandchildren for the week.
But, the winter storm warnings running across the bottom of the TV screen don't worry us one bit.
I think we will be just fine.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Heading to Shangri-La

I'm leaving early this morning on a flight to Salt Lake City to meet up with the dearest of friends.
We are heading to Rae Ann's (Cutie Pinwheel) cabin for an idyllic week in Star Valley, Wyoming.

It's been over a year since I've spent girlfriend time with these wonderful ladies, and I've been counting the hours and minutes in anticipation of our reunion.

Rae Ann's cabin is set on a pristine mountainside, and is as close to my vision of Shangri-La as I ever hope to experience in this life.

Because it's winter, the cabin will look more like this when we arrive.

We each bring our machines, cook the most amazing food, snuggle under quilts with good books, and will have an entire 7 days of bliss.
The cabin does not have Internet, but I will bring my lap top and see if my phone will have enough connection to let me post.
If you do not hear from me for a few days, know I am happy, happy, happy.

The only sad part of the trip is when we found out a few days ago that our dear friend Lori (Bee In My Bonnet) will not be able to join us :(
We had all kinds of plans where I was going to help her sew product with Millie's Closet for upcoming Market.
But, she will be busy with last minute meetings with Riley Blake for the release of her newest fabric line.
Oh, the price of being famous.
We will miss you Lori, and it just won't be the same with out your delightful laugh.
I'll try and have enough fun for the both of us.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lost Goldmine Trail & Petroglyphs

With the Arizona temperatures hovering near a perfect 75 degrees, Mr. Cactus invited me to join him on a hike to see the petroglyphs just outside of Phoenix.

I've been anxious to see these hieroglyphics from the moment we moved here.
When we lived in St. George we often visited the various ancient sites in Southern Utah, and I've been curious to compare the writings.

To reach Superstition Mountain we hiked for about a mile and a half along the Lost Goldmine Trail, which can be quite primitive and rocky in many sections.

Looking back at the valley and Dinosaur Mountain.
The desert in February is bright with various colors of green, as plants show new growth.
There was a strong scent of sage as we wound our way along the trail.

The trail head marker gave a rich history: "The rocky washes and saguaro studded hills at the base of Superstition Mountains have lured adventurers for 9,000 years. Salado, Ho Ho Kam and Apache Indians gathered here before the white man arrived."

After about an hour, with a climb of around 600 feet, we reached our destination at the base of the mountain.


We have heard some say that if you look at this petroglyph at the right angle and with a little imagination you can see Abraham Lincoln's face.

Estimations are that these writings were done around 2,000 years ago.

The rocks are easy to reach and climb around.

We packed a picnic lunch and sat among these beautiful carvings, pondering the hidden messages.

Looking back down offers quite a view.

There was a dusting of snow on top of Superstition Mountain a few weeks ago, leaving pools of water in the crevices of the rocks.

The warm sun has evaporated most of the moisture, leaving a bright green moss that attracted swarms of bees.

The locals said the pools of water are usually clear this time of year, and nice enough that they can go for a swim.

The Superstition Mountains are the 2nd most photographed site in Arizona, following the Grand Canyon.
In the 1870's Jacob Waltz mined a pure form of gold out of these hills. Clear up to his death in 1891 he never revealed the exact location of his find. For centuries prospectors have looked for the "Dutchman's Lost Mine", but to this day it has not been found.

If only these rocks could talk.

Friday, February 24, 2012


While I was hanging out at Stephanie's, I asked her if she minded if I peeked around and looked at all her quilting "stuph".
After all, with a fun blog name like stuph.from.steph, I knew she had things worth ooohing and aaahing over.

Right as you walk in the front door, Stephanie has decorated her entrance with the cutest dresser complete with this happy table runner.

Very bright and cheery and Mary Engelbreit-ish

Decorations include this glass vase filled to the brim with wooden spools covered in fabric.
Inspiration came from Lori Holt's (Bee In My Bonnet) Fabric Spools Tutorial

Another glass vase was filled with colorful buttons.
I think I need to copy both these ideas for my someday sewing room.

The other side of the entrance wall is decorated with a quilt.

Beautiful quilts everywhere.
This one decorated Stephanie's livingroom.

I contained myself to the rooms at the front part of the house, but I'm quite sure there are many more quilts upstairs and in bedrooms. We'll just have to run over to Stephanie's blog to see more of her work.

I can tell you that when Stephanie isn't quilting, cooking, serving in her church, or taking care of her family, she is gardening.

Her yard was filled with an abundance of bright red geraniums and lush plants.
This is not a typical scene found in yards around the Metro-Phoenix area.
I know it helps that during February our winter temps have been in the 70's, with sunny blue skies.
But still, it takes a green thumb to cultivate flower beds like these.
So tempting to plant myself on Stephanie's front porch with book or quilting in hand, and watch the world go by.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Quilt Day At Stephanie's

Spending a day quilting with girlfriends is the best.
With our move to Arizona, I haven't had very many opportunities to sit and sew with friends.
Yesterday I was invited to join cute Stephanie (stuph.from.steph) in her beautiful home as she gathered a group of wonderful ladies for a quilt day.

Stephanie is the perfect hostess.
I got a quick snapshot of her sitting at her machine, but most of the time she was taking care of everyone's needs.
See that Romney sign?
Stephanie's husband has been receiving a lot of local media attention lately, as he is a cousin to Mitt Romney.
Did anyone catch the final debate for the Republican Presidential Primary that was held here in Mesa last night?

Vickie and Janet
All the family room furniture was pushed aside, and tables were set up for machines.
These ladies have been friends for years, and they made me feel so welcome.

Gina and Holly

Gina Halladay is a newby like me.
She recently sold her quilt shop Cranberry Quiltworks in Southern California and moved here to Arizona just 3 weeks ago.
You can still find patterns from her on-line store Threaded Pear

For Show and Tell, Gina brought a vintage quilt that she picked up on E-Bay.

She called it The M Quilt

It was so fun to look across the room and to see Vickie working on a pattern designed by my good friend Lori Holt!
Lori, you are famous in Arizona!

Cake Walk by Bee In My Bonnet
Vickie will be making individual cake blocks and placing them in frames.
Such a great idea!

A finished quilt by Karen

A wonderful Spy Glass quilt made by Amanda using Amy Butler fabrics.

I can tell Stephanie is a wonderful cook.
She made the most amazing and delicious BBQ Chicken Salad.
I even found the recipe on her blog HERE
Thank you Stephanie for such a wonderful day!
*Tomorrow I will show you some of the fun quilty things around Stephanie's house.