Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Wild Week!

Wow!  It has been a busy, crazy and wild week!  Just the way we dillydallyiers like it!  I arrived home a week ago today ... hit the ground running ... and haven't slowed down!  Lovin it!

Cordova has a seasonal economy, commercial fishing.  Which means that our population doubles in the summer!  I love the fact that my job as a teacher has me on an opposite schedule ... I'm off when our community is at it's busiest ... it's great!  Cordova is famous for the Cooper River King and Red Salmon our fishermen and women harvest.  It is to die for delicious!  While in Minneapolis and grocery shopping, I found it for sale at Lund's in Uptown!
Needless to say ... this doesn't fit into Sister DillyDally's budget ... so she has to travel home to get her salmon fix!  Make no mistake ... we know how great our salmon tastes ... it just melts in your mouth ... who knew we were eating like royalty ... Mr DillyDally is a master at grilling it ... now we'll realize that it is even a bigger treat than we realized.  Sure wish our local fisherman were getting half of this price!
Our Reds/Sockeyes were on sale!  Gosh, my mouth waters just looking at these photos!  Even though the retail prices were shocking for me to see ... being Cordovan, I'm well aware of how great our salmon tastes and how nutritious it is to eat ...  I'm grateful that others are aware of it as well ... that there is a market for it ... that reaches to places no where near the sea.  That people who have never been to the Copper River can sit down at their dinner table and enjoy freshly caught wild salmon that was harvested nearly 4000 miles away is an example of all that is good about the technology we live with.  Hmmmm ... think we will have salmon for dinner tonight!

It has been great to see many of my "summer friends" ... of course they are friends year round ... but I only see them in the summer ... they return to our community to help harvest the salmon!    It is so fun to catch up with one another.  Last Wednesday night, we had a "Cake Party" (yes, we are very good at entertaining ourselves) at The Net Loft (darn, I forgot my camera.) to celebrate the season!  It was so good to see them ... another reason why I'm happy my down time is in the summer!

On Saturday we had a baby shower for Quilt/Knit Buddie Sweet Sara!  We're all excited about the birth of her daughter ... only two years ago we were celebrating her marriage ... now the birth of her first child ...
Sara and her husband are going to be such great parents ... I can't wait to hold this little princess in my arms ... babies ... what a great way to begin life!

Sunday, Mr. DillyDally and I celebrated our 29th Wedding Anniversary!  It was a rainy and dreary day here in town and at the cabin ... so we decided to go to the end of the road ... the weather is ALWAYS better there.  Remember ... we only have 50 miles of road ... to get to Cordova you must travel by air or sea.  We wanted to make a day of it ... leisurely drive ... campfire ... hot dogs and baked beans ... it sounded wonderful!  The three of us got busy ... packed up the car ... Kysa came along ... we were excited to have our first picnic of the summer.
At the end of our road ... there is a huge glacier, Child's Glacier ... in front of it is the Copper River.  For the first time in the 26 years we have lived here ... the weather was actually worse than in town.  The picture does a great job of showing you how dark it was (1:30 p.m.) due to cloud cover ... what it doesn't show is how hard it was raining.  We were soaked to the skin ... no campfire ... Kysa hid under the picnic table ... we had cold beans and potato chips.  On the way home ... we were wet and cold, so the heat was on high ... Brother read ... I knit and napped ... Kysa was panting due to the heat ... Mr. DillyDally quietly drove.  It wasn't anywhere near the afternoon we had planned ... but it didn't dampen the love or commitment its taken to maintain a marriage for 29 years.  We have lots to celebrate ... none of which is dependent upon the weather!

It wasn't until Sunday night that I actually had a chance to enter my sewing room.  Mr. DillyDally refers to it as my "Happy Place"!
Peanut (my sewing room mascot) and Her Majesty (my sewing machine) were very happy to see me!  I really missed them and couldn't wait to get busy!  I sat down ... I didn't know where to begin ... I have several 007 (secret) projects in progress ... too many UFOs to count ...  tons of "want to" projects ... I was a bit overwhelmed!  Finally decided to begin with a small hand project.
As you might recall from an earlier post, Sister and I had gone to a MN Twins game and participated in a quilting event there.  Like I would ever give you a chance to forget ... I know, I can be obnoxious!  That was where I met Quilt Rock Star Terry Atkinson!  The event was organized and sponsored by another favorite Quilt Rock Star, Roseann Kermes!  In our goody bags, Roseann included this needlecase kit she designed specifically for the event.  I brought home Sister's kit so that I could make hers as well.  While working on them, they brought back to mind the wonderful memories I have of that night ... it was just so fun!  After some progress, I decided to turn them into Christmas ornaments instead ... I stitched the event and date on back ... now every holiday season we'll both remember that warm summer evening we shared!  This was just the project to begin dillydallying on ... it allowed me to think about my time with Sister in Minnesota ... got a needle in my hands ... those dillydally juices just started flowing!

What a week ... it flew by in a bit of a blur ... time to go dillydally some more ... you do the same! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Peder DillyDally or Mr. NaughtyPants

Peder is Sister DillyDally's kitty.  He's Swedish ... hence his Swedish name.  He is three years old and quite a character!  He is very protective of his Mommy and thinks that he is in charge.  It could be that he really is in charge ...  seems that way to me! ;-)
Upon my arrival, he had to immediately check out my bags!  He could smell his cousin Teacup and wasn't sure he wanted me or her scent in his castle (a studio apartment)!
There is a stacked washer/dryer in the apartment.  Before I could get the wet laundry in the dryer, he would jump in!  I couldn't believe how fast he was ... and he refused to come out ... when forced out ... he used his fangs and claws ... are you beginning to see why I refer to him as Mr. NaughtyPants?
He is not a small cat ... when Sister wants to put on her makeup or fix her hair ... he lays in the sink (and fills it) ... he has figured out that if she is using the sink, she is getting ready to leave ... so he tries to prevent her from leaving ... what a naughty kitty!  In order to get ready for the day, she has to lock him up in her closet so she can use the bathroom!
Yes ... he jumps into the refrigerator as well!  I agree that it is disgusting, but he is faster than either Sister or I.  So we have to get what we want out and then fish him out as well ... believe me ...he doesn't make it easy either!
Because Sister lives in the city, Peder is an indoor cat.  She has a harness and leash for him, but he figured out how to slip out of it.  There are just too many dangers for him outside the walls of his castle.  Occasionally I would catch him ... looking longingly out the window at the courtyard ... and I would wonder what he was thinking ... now I know ... he's been living a double life.  Sister and I went to the movie theater ... look at the movie poster we saw ...
... now we know what he does while Sister is at work ... he has been moonlighting ... he's a movie star!
Sister is busy choosing a designer gown for the premiere ... Peder will get a pedicure ... it is all very exciting!  My grandkitty is an action hero in a movie!  I wonder if they will sell action figures of him ... I'll have to get one for all my friends!

I guess we'll have to tolerate all his mischief now that he's famous!  Sister has decided that he needs to start paying his own rent ... I think she should include the back rent as well ... hey, the $20 extra a month adds up!  I don't care how famous he is ... I still plan to call him Mr. NaughtyPants!

Just one more dimension of my very silly dillydally life!  Love it! ;-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Brother DillyDally!

Look at this guy ... isn't he just the cutest?
Brother DillyDally - Age 7
Yesterday was his 22nd birthday ... how is that possible?  That sweet face ... those blue eyes ... that dimple on his chin ... yes ... he could charm all of us with little effort ... it was hard not to give him everything and anything he wanted!  Don't let that angelic face fool you ... he was all boy ... full of bologna ... plenty of mischief ... but a very kind heart ... and a sweet soul ... I loved every minute of it!

We're Scandinavians, so celebrations are all about the food!  I swear ... this is no exaggeration ... I spent the entire day in the kitchen!  Brother had his favorite breakfast ...

... caramel rolls!  He and I cracked up when we looked at this and saw the secondary image ... what a hoot!  A very fierce "cobber" scowling at the caramel rolls ... it was just too entertaining to change ... hhhmmm ... that cobber must be counting calories ... ;-)

For dinner we had "Halibut Tacos - DillyDally Style" ... they must have been good ... Mr. DillyDally has requested them again tonight.  There were no leftovers ... so it is a startover!  Oh well ... food keeps my Viking men happy! 

Like all true Scandinavians, Brother loves his coffee ... so it only made sense to have a chocolate mocha cake.  Mr. DillyDally used his talents to make homemade vanilla ice cream!  We were so stuffed ... we could have referred to ourselves as the "Rolley-Polley" family! ;-)

The highlight of the evening was giving Brother his gifts.  It is always so hard to find the perfect gift for a man-child ... we usually resort to gift cards.  While visiting my brother in Bemidji this summer, he and his sons showed me video on their computer that they had taken with sunglasses that have a built in video camera!  Brother DillyDally spends a lot of time hiking and kayaking here in the summer ... I bought him a pair!  OMGosh!  What a hit!  It always feels so good when you give someone a gift they instantly love!  Mr DillyDally thought they were pretty awesome as well!
Here is Brother DillyDally ... in his new glasses ... videotaping me taking a picture of him ... downloading it onto his computer ... technology ... crazy, huh?

Time with my children has always been precious to me ... now that they are adults that time is more limited and becomes even more valuable ... I try hard not to take it for granted.  Behind those dark glasses he's wearing, are those same beautiful blue eyes ... and underneath that beard, his dimple remains ... he still knows how to pour on the charm ... and even though he is a man, I still see evidence of that kind heart and sweet soul.  I know that I'm biased, but I still think he is just the cutest ... and he is still full of bologna!  Can't you just hear the groan he'll make when he reads this?  Love it! ;-)  
It was a beautiful day in every way possible ... dillydallying in the kitchen all day ... great food ... celebrating  with family ... the giving of gifts ... great weather ... life is good!  My advice ... do dillydally!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Time with "Quilt Rock Star", Roseann Kermes!

Life has been ... no ... let's just face it ... life is crazy!  I returned home to Cordova Tuesday (6/22), and hit the ground running.  Yes ... life is crazy ... and I am behind on my blogging ... but I love my life ... so I refuse to complain or apologize ... we just are not going to make that part of the dillydally lifestyle!

In the last three years, Sister DillyDally and I began the tradition of taking a day trip to explore a community that is new to us both.  In 2008 we traveled to Hutchinson, MN of Thimbleberries fame, last year we explored the antique stores of Stillwater, MN ...we have had such a wonderful time doing this ... something we both look forward to each summer.  This year we chose to spend our day in White Bear Lake, MN.  Why White Bear Lake?  It is the new home of Rosebud's Cottage ... my favorite metro area quilt shop ... home of one of my favorite "Quilt Rock Stars" Roseann Kermes!
Roseann and Sister DillyDally in Roseann's studio!
I was so excited about this day ... that I left my camera in Sister's apartment ... UUUGGGHHH ... I could have screamed!  Fortunately Sister had her cell phone ... so I could take some photos ... but as this photo shows ... not very well!  Just call me Mrs. Dumb-Dumb DillyDally!

In 2008, the day before I traveled to Minnesota, I accidentally found the MN Shop Hop web page and saw that the Metro area was having bus tours of shops in that area.  I called the info number ... the tours were full ... I was placed on a waiting list.  Two days later I was on a bus, touring shops in the northern metro area.  On that tour, I had my first visit to Rosebud's Cottage, then located in St. Paul.  Now remember, I knew no one on the tour, and had never visited any of these shops.  
Rosebud's Cottage Storefront in St. Paul (8/09)

It was not our first shop of the day ... I can't recall specifically ... but it was one of the last shops ... we were all tired ... it was hot ... we had already spent a lot of money ... and then we pulled up to Rosebud's Cottage.  I was tired ... had jet lag ... lonely, no QBees to share the day with ... walked into Roseann's shop ...wandered around ... and was inspired and revitalized!  The shop was wonderful ... the women working there were wonderful ... I left that day, knowing I would be back ... it was the shop that left a permanent imprint ... I loved everything about it! 

In 2009, I was on top of this MN Shop Hop phenomenon!  When attempting to make reservations for the metro bus tours, I ran into difficulties so I called Rosebud's Cottage for assistance.    There were road blocks at that time because I was out of state, they couldn't accept credit cards, things just got complicated.  Roseann took action and navigated my way through the road blocks ... because of her efforts I had a terrific experience ... remember, it was that event that started this whole blogging life!  I was so grateful for her efforts and looked forward to meeting her and her staff.
Roseann (on right) and her staff. (8/09)

I think that it is important for you all to know that until this past year, I had no idea that Roseann was a "Quilting Rock Star".  Remember ... I live in a very remote corner of the world.  My impressions of  the shop, her talent as a designer and her essence as a person were genuine ... not affected at all by her quilting celebrity.  I was "Clueless in Cordova" ... ;-) ... I smile just thinking about it ... my silly life!  Anyway ... after such a positive experience dealing with her last summer, I began following her blog ... checking her website ... receiving her newsletters ... and I started paying attention to my quilting publications and found she was the designer for many of the featured projects!  Who knew ... a celebrity had gone out of her way ... for Mrs. Dumb-Dumb ... oops, I mean DillyDally!  ;-)

 Her White Bear Lake store front.
It is a new location ... a new setup ... completely different layout ...

... and of course ... several of Terry Atkinson's new designs ...
... but has retained all of its original charm!
This lovely woman (you met her in the Baseball game post, the one with the baseball pin cushion) helped us pick out fabric for a mystery class I'm taking this fall ... she really is our kind of person!  We got to visiting ... of course ... she told us how her husband and some of his friends were on a golf trip, so her and her friends decided to go out to lunch!  That sounded reasonable ... they went to lunch at a place called "Lady & Sons"...yes!!!  They went to Savannah GA, to Paula Deans restaurant for lunch!!!  She understands the dillydally lifestyle!  After soaking up all the charm and inspiration at Rosebud's Cottage, we walked around the downtown area and had lunch.

Roseann had invited us to visit her at her studio ... I know ... can you believe it?  What an honor!
Her studio is an easy walk from the shop ... extremely convenient!  There are two rooms ...

... the first is painted a beautiful pink/red rose color.  She has many of the projects that have been published in magazines on display in this room.
Not only is it a great room for displaying projects, it also makes a great reception room.  Just wonderful!
The room really is an extension of Roseann ... her humor ... her talent ...
The second room is where the real magic happens ... terrific energy ...
...Sister and I felt right at home ... we knew we had found a kindred spirit ... I painted my sewing room yellow last summer ... Sister recently painted her new apartment yellow ... one more reason to love Roseann!  Like we needed reasons!  Roseann spent 1.5-2 hours of her very valuable time with us ... she is such a joy to be around.  I wish all of my QBees had been there with us!
Roseann with three of her recent book covers!

I wish there was a way to clearly communicate to you the essence of Roseann ... I'm not enough of a writer to do it well ... you'll just have to meet her sometime.  Her talent and abilities are obvious ... what isn't necessarily evident through her designs is her charisma ... for that you only need to spend about 30 seconds in her company.  She empowers everyone around her ... even though she is a "Rock Star", she never makes it about her ... she always wants to know about you.  Within minutes you feel like you've known her your entire life, she makes everyone feel important and comfortable.  Sister DillyDally shared with her some of her life goals and Roseann responded with enthusiasm and support.  It meant so much to Sister to hear that encouragement from someone who has been so successful! 

I'm so happy that we saved our day in White Bear Lake and visit with Roseann until the end of my trip.  It was a wonderful day ... thanks to Roseann and her generous heart. She shared with us that she has recently been inspired by words and described how she has been incorporating them into her current design work.  So Roseann ... here is a quote to thank you for your kindness...

  Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.   --Mark Twain

Later dear ones ... make time to dillydally ... Mrs. Dumb Dumb ;-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Brainerd Quilt Show - June 11th

I'm so behind on my blogging ... here it is the 21st and I'm blogging about what I did ten days earlier.  Forgive me ... Sister DillyDally is the priority when I visit Minnesota ... and our time together is precious ... and that's the simple truth!  Now back to June 11th ...

While returning to the Twin Cities after being in Bemidji, I decided to break up the five hour drive by stopping in Brainerd to see their annual Quilt Show!  It is always a treat to see what other quilters are making!  There is no way I could have taken pictures of every quilt in the show ... so I'll share the ones that stood out to me for one reason or another ...

It was interesting to see how they hung their quilts ... a bit more investment ... storage issues ... than our guild is probably prepared for ... but food for thought ...
Photos never quite capture the true beauty ... this is a stunning example of piecing and three dimensional hand applique ... QBees Julie and Valerie would have loved this one...
QBee Lila has about 42 yards of fabric from this line ... and no ... I am not exaggerating!  I loved how the quilter used the fabric to create this quilt ... food for thought Lila!
This quilt uses the printed panels that were in the MN Shop Hop 2007 collection ... love it!
Another version of Crabapple Hill's Thanksgiving quilt ... yes, of course I have the pattern ... it is time I'm lacking!  Someday I'll dillydally my way through this one ... ;-) !
Yes ... this is a single block pattern from another Crabapple Hill pattern ... and yes, I have only two blocks left to embroider for this quilt ... I know what you're thinking ... 
This snowman quilt is from a pattern designed by Emily of Emily's Country Cottage in Bemidji!  Yes ... I confess that I have this pattern too ... gosh ... I'm an advanced dillydallier ... I refuse to feel guilty!  So there!!!!
Stunning ... reminds me of the embroidery my grandmother did ... love it ... treasured her!
OMGosh ... I love hand applique ... but we have a love/hate relationship ...
... I know ... it is tragic ... because I so admire those who have a loving relationship with hand applique' ...
This hand appliqued quilt was made using a free pattern offered last year by Bunny Hill Designs called "A Tisket, A Tasket".  It was beautiful!
Another version of the apron pattern I'm bringing home with me ... versions of this pattern have been at quite a few shops ... those Minnesota quilters must have a love for aprons too!

I always seem to migrate toward scrappy patchwork quilts ...
... it is true ... I never tire of them ...

Here is a scrap patchwork with an appliqued border ... 
... appliqued blocks with pieced blocks ... so creative!
Our guild in Cordova sponsored a trading patches group that resulted in these blocks ... I really like the setting of this quilt and may use it for my quilt ... love it!
Fusible applique ... loved the pattern ... haven't seen it before.  If anyone knows who the designer is, please share it with me!
This was stunning ... the embellishments don't show up well in the photo ... tried several close ups ...
...this was the only one that gives you a hint of how much work the quilter put into it!
Another version of our dear friend ... Lucky Stars ... by Terry Atkinson ... love it in brown and blues!
I love patriotic quilts ... any time of the year ... there were several at the show, but this one was the real stand out ... just gorgeous!
Simply stunning ... Bonnie Hunter would have loved it ... it looked exactly like something she would make, even though it is a two color quilt!
As I have already shared ... this "Snake River" quilt by Judy Martin, is the one I'm making for Brother DillyDally's college graduation.  I hope to begin it this summer ... I'm using my batik leftovers ... and while here in Minnesota have collected additional fat quarters.  I plan to use black batiks where there are red ones in this version ... and our guilds Accuquilt will really help me get it cut out quickly ... seeing another one done is soooo inspiring!

I can't begin to describe how inspiring it was to see this quilt show ... there is no greater inspiration than seeing the work of others ... I always find the success of others so motivating, don't you?  

I leave Minnesota today ... returning to Alaska tomorrow.  It is always hard to leave Sister DillyDally here ... but I miss those DillyDally men, Teacup and Kysa ... gosh, I wish it were possible to be two places at once.  As usual, I will turn to my knitting needles and "Her Majesty" for solace during the difficult days of adjustment ... they are always there for me ... allowing me to dillydally my way through the often tough realities that are a part of life.  When life gets difficult ... my recommendation is ... find some chocolate and go dillydally!