Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party 2015

I'm Patrica and this is where I share all the happenings on Dogwood Lane. That's PATRICA just one i. I know it's different but that's how it is and most of my friends are used to it by now. I'm retired now but most recently I managed the local newspaper. These days I happily pursue my passions of quilting, gardening, cooking, reading and dreaming. I'm learning about photography, volunteering with the Flying Doctors and keeping up with our far flung and growing family.The family keeps growing which keeps me and my husband Chris traveling up and down the state of California checking in with a college student grandson in the north, a new born granddaughter in the south and various other grands in between.

I do like to meet new people and it's always fun to find some new bloggers so I've joined the Grow Your Blog party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full once again.

2 Bags Full 
I found out by joining the GYB festivities last year that this is the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better and find some new friends.

I'm coming up on my third blog anniversary in February and I'm so glad I decided to jump into this whole blogging thing after thinking about it for at least three years before taking the plunge. I've learned a lot since I started about writing, photography and computers and I've gotten to 'know' so many nice people in cyber space. I've even met a couple of my blog readers in person and that's been the nicest thing of all.

 I originally thought I would just be talking about quilting.

 But then we got a puppy and named her River.

I just had to share the antics of my rooster Silent Bob and his ladies.

River grew up and I wanted to chronicle the trials and triumphs of our puppy raising.

Then there's our attempts at organic vegetable gardening, still a work in progress.

 If you like to cook as much as I do you know how you love to trade recipes and show off your success and sometimes lament your failures. Yes, sometimes that recipe just does not turn out as expected.

Blogging  has turned out to be so much more than a quilt journal, it's a journal of my life and I'm happy to share what I learn with you. At the top of my page you'll see tabs to click where you can find recipes, my quilts and even some tutorials. Please come back again and stop a while on Dogwood Lane. Be sure to leave a comment and if you have a blog leave your address so that I can visit you too. 

Until next time,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Planting In January

 While most of the country suffers under harsh winter weather here in Northern California we continue to suffer the effects of severe drought. Nature teased us in December with quite a bit of rain and we had high hopes for more of the same for January but it was not to be and we haven't seen a drop in more than four weeks. 
With temperatures hovering around 50* we decided to go ahead with our plans for the berry patch and MLK Day we planted raspberry roots which our son Zachary gave us from his garden. As you can see our supervisor River was right there to make sure that Chris dug that trench just right! 
Raspberry canes all mulched and tucked in ready for spring which I fear will be far earlier than it should be from the look of some of the shrubs around the garden.

These are everbearing raspberries which will be cut down to the ground at the end of each season and we plan on drip irrigation for water conservation.
After all their hard work supervising the gardening River and Shadow are ready for their play time. Just look at River - she's ready for her run all right! One foot out of the gate already.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Avert Your Eyes!

Maybe you're like me and just can't help yourself. Maybe you MUST look when you see a train wreck in progress. If you're that person then this is the blog post for you!
Yep, here it is in all it's horrible glory, my sewing room. It's a sewing space really and I truly love it. This space is at the top of the house in a converted attic. Really one large room with many different functions. To the left of this picture is my husband's exercise equipment which he uses every day as well as a sofa/convertible bed for extra sleeping when the family are here and a children's play space complete with small slide and toy box.
I've claimed the space with the windows for my sewing area and even on cloudy days I have lots of wonderful light. 

But, I'm sure you can tell from these pictures that things have gotten out of hand! It is messier than usual because we've already started tearing things down in preparation for an overhaul, but still!!
I moved into this space about 12 years ago and haven't changed a thing since. I need to make some adjustments although I think the sewing machines are in the right spots for me I just don't have enough storage and I can't find fabric when I need it without an all day hunt. There is NO wall space due to the slope of the ceiling and I'm reluctant to give up my wonderful, big design wall which I use constantly.

There is one small closet where I currently keep fabric but it just isn't working for me any more.
I think you can see why! There's a sloped ceiling in this closet so that's why things can't go higher. 
Now you've seen my horror and my shame. I've nothing left to hide. I have a plan and I've made a complete mess in which absolutely no creating can take place until things are cleaned up and sorted. You'll just have to stay tuned and see what I come up with to tame this disaster.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

She Who Must Be Obeyed!

That's her - Blue Bess, Queen of the Coop, She Who Must Be Obeyed! She's a beauty and she knows it. All the other girls are in awe of Bess and give her a wide berth. She gets the first and best tidbits in the yard and she settles all disputes in the hen house.
Bess' minions await her majesty's command. Should we step through to inspect the new fodder or stay put?
There's Bess claiming the high ground. Yes, there are three black hens in the flock but believe me when I say that Bess stands out from the others. She has confidence. She has style. Her black feathers are sleek and have a blue sheen in the sun light. Her comb is the reddest red and she holds it proudly.
Blue Bess and Mrs. Gold often hang out together. As the senior hens in the yard and most experienced they have a lot to talk about. Seven of the girls are Mrs. Gold's hatchlings all grown up so she has a vested interest in the daily doings of the flock, Queen Bess uses her to enforce discipline on the younger hens. But there is no doubt who the queen actually is. All hail Blue Bess!

Until next time,

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sharp As a Pin

New year, new beginnings. I always think of the new year as bright and shiny, full of possibilities. So I'm starting off my new sewing year with some brand new pins to celebrate and taking stock of what I'd like to accomplish this year. 
Last year I was determined to greet each day expecting good and it was a wonderful exercise in positivity.
This year I'm going to focus on the now.
This is much harder for me than you might think. I'm a planner - a LONG range planner and staying in the now can be very challenging for someone like me. I can be so busy thinking about the future that I forget to enjoy the day to day pleasures. 
Just because I'm turning over a new leaf and living in the moment (raise of eyebrow) doesn't mean I don't have plans. I can't change over night people!
The sewing room chalkboard is FULL of plans!
I organized my sewing space to free my mind and I'm ready to get some of my long term UFOs off my list. First up are the Alaskan wallhangings I started in October. You know how it is, life and the holidays got in the way but I'm going to finish and gift these ASAP. I have them sandwiched and ready to quilt.

Next up is the oldest UFO in my closet. I found it while doing a minor clean out and this baby is a minimum of 20 years old!! Yes, that's two exclamation points there.
This is one of my first ever quilt projects made from an Elenore Burns pattern and some of my own layout. Get a look at that batting would ya. It's been sitting in the back of the closet all basted and all ready to go for who knows how long? I kind of still love it.
I remember I was trying out Seminole piecing. Not bad really for a newbie. I'm going to go ahead and quilt it as is as a practice piece. Finished is better than perfect and get it out of the closet.

Trying to keep to my live in the moment plan I'll think about future projects later. As Scarlet O'Hara would say, "Tomorrow is another day."
Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Be sure to visit and see the amazing projects that other creative quilters are working on.

Until next time,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Garden Dreaming

My sincere apologies to those of you suffering through the current polar vortex or arctic blast or whatever the media is calling the horrific weather conditions in most of the US. Here in Northern California we have not seen rain or snow in three weeks and so our drought conditions continue. We did hit a freeze last week but that has given way to much milder than it should be weather and with milder weather come dreams of the spring garden. 
We've been wanting to plant blackberries and raspberries for quite a while but put it off last year because of the drought. Since we think we've worked out a good drip irrigation system now we've decided to go ahead with the berry patch plan and my gardener/handyman aka Chris started work on laying out the beds this week.
River keeps a close eye on him to be sure he gets his measurements correct. She's an all purpose farm dog.
red hot poker
This is the only color right now. What are your garden plans for spring? When do you start dreaming  and when do you put in your order for seeds?

Until next time,