Inspired week

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last week (before going back to work after a 4 week vacation) was unusual inspiring. First cam the latest issue of Quilters Newsletter. In my opinion that magazine has kind of slide downhill the last 2 years and I had stopped my prescription, only to take it up at the issue before this. I was so disappointed in that one, so this last issue was such a great surprise - it was truly inspirational magazine. Imagine I found three patterns and two new fabric collections I coveted.
But believe me - there has never been such a great quilters magazine as Quilters Home under Mark Lipinski! That one was a true joy to read from cover to cover.

Lucky for us, Mark has an ongoing project on his blog about the creative process from a lot of various angels and they all make perfect sense. All I can say is hop right over and read all of these blog posts, they are fun and enlightening and makes you go hmmmmm, ouhmmm, yahhh etc. etc.

Then my order from Paper Pieces for a hexie 1 inch starter pack and a book arrived on Tuesday - that was the quickest USA-Sweden turnaround time ever. I placed the order on Friday and it arrived on Tuesday - simply amazing. The books is full of solid advice and ideas for creativity. right now I think I need to browse through it again because I have piles of hexies that I simply can't find the right color placement for.

But first - back to the 3 loads of laundry that is on my to do list for the day.
Have a lovely weekend :-D

Now what?

Monday, July 25, 2011

In preparation for going on vacation, I asked for some advice on what hand sewn quilt project I could take along. And apart from Cathedral Windows (which I had done plenty lately - in fact I don't think I have shown you the last one - the pinkish and I think I need to take a pic of it tomorrow.....) there was a joint "English Paper Piecing" reply.

Ok I admit, I have always found EPP kind of grannyish, very old-fashioned. But in need, bow in and make do with what there is - I mean not that the Horizon would,'t fit into the RV, but heck if there in a table sturdy enough to carry it's 14kg of weight. So I found a site with printable hexagons in various sizes. Well we all have to learn somewhere don't we?  Hexagons seemed to be the easiest of the various shapes and as I wrote in an earlier post, I printed and cut out 898 1 inch hexagon paper pieces. And - I managed to cut out fabrics in various colors and shades from my scrappy stash and left over jelly rolls strips in between all the other vacation planning. I didn't have time to muse over or plan the design nor colors, just used whatever fancied me.

So during our 2 week vacation in the RV, I managed to cover exactly 500 hexagons with all them small fabric bits
Back home I started to assembly them and I'm pretty sure I went about it the wrong way - I think you are supposed to sew 6 pieces to a middle one, but instead I kind of sewed the pieces on in circles outside that middle piece. Still without any idea on how to design the thing, I picked one color the for each "circle". There was times in this project when I thought this was the ugliest piece of patchwork I have done in a long time, but in the end I kind of fancy it. This is how it looks - one pic in daylight with the piece nailed to the outside wall ;-o
and one taken inside on a slightly pinkish wallpaper:
The true look is more like the outside pic and I kind of like it. The DH calls it the "beehive" just because of the shape.

Now the big questions is - how to proceed?? I intent to use it on a large pillowcase (what is it with me and pillowcases???) but the shape....????? Do I applique it on a solid colored piece of fabrics or what?
I have ordered a book on the subject on EPP, but I'm not sure I have the patens (sp??) to wait for it to arrive.

Time to get ready for bed, have a meeting with an eye doc tomorrow morning, so no sleeping late :-(

Roadtrip 2011 - the full version

Sunday, July 24, 2011

After much planning, fixing and packing 3 weeks ago, the RV was ready for take of - first destination was Lindstad outside of Huskvarna to leave the furry gals at Fionas kennel. The kennel is set right in the middle of nowhere and even though Fionas breeder no longer raise RR puppies, the kennel is full of canine guests.  I would lie if I said I have well behave dogs that voluntarily went into the box.....actually we had to gently push them ;-)

The first primary goal was Gothenburg, but instead of driving there directly, we stayed at a very nice camping ground outside of Jönköping called Lövsjö camping. It's situated at a small lake with surrounding woods - very picturesque. Sam and John went swimming in the lake while I made dinner.

First camping dinner for the year and Sam is gearing up for the big event on Sunday evening - The Big 4 concert at Ullevi in Gothenborg
I know I have promised never to post pics of my kids, but hey - you can hardly see that it's my oldest. The attitude? Now this is what you get when you raise a kid on hard rock concerts ROFLMAO. Nahhh, behind them shades he is the sweetest thing most of the times.
Both me and the boys truly want to come back here, the DH is not overly convinced though I have no clue why.

Onwards to Gothenburg and one of the camping grounds that is owned by Liseberg - Kärrdal. The plot we was given was a sorry excuse of a plot - we couldn't even put our chairs out. Well the whole grounds was utterly boring - the only good thing was that the tram ran closely and it takes 10 minutes to the Liseberg amusement park and 15 to downtown and one thing is for sure, we will never get back unless it is some great concert. I confess, I had totally and completely forgotten how much I love this town. My maternal grandma lived here and when I left home I visited her a lot. That lady was always well turned out - tailor made clothes, hats, crinking corset, well made up and smelled nice always. And despite her somewhat stern look, she was a hoot. I will never forget when she and a close friend danced the Charleston for me :-D Hmmm, maybe my sis was there too? It's so long ago and my memory is short ;-
Well we went downtown, walked around, bough me and John new shoes (The DH is a marvel in picking out nice shoes for me), a new backpack for The DH and a shirt for Sam and then we where ready for some RR at the Hard Rock Café. Burgers, spareribs and a Caesar salad. But first - a cold lovely drink - Strawberry Daiquiri:

Next day we tried in vain to find the large Ferris wheel down at the harbor, but gave up when we came to the Central Station. HAHAHAHA, if only we had gone 2 or 3 more blocks we would have been right at it.
John and me took the train to Liseberg, while The DH and Sam went to Ullevi to get in line for the concert. Now lesson number 1- never walk in new shoes for too long, no matter how soft and comfy they are. I had to walk around barefoot the entire afternoon with blistered heels.

Neither John nor me are much for riding  attractions but out plan was to at least go on the Flumeride. Well right - guess how long the line was??? Fivefold and John stated that noway in h-l he would wait in that line. So we wondered around, had some snacks, bought the most teethhurtingly sweet slush (even John thought it was too sweet and throwed it away and I can assure you that that's a first), John played at a lot of wheels, hit-this-or-that and such and won absolutely nothing. But he was in good sprits nevertheless. Went back to the Flumeride, but now the line was even longer so we took the tram back, bought some pizza and just hanged out.

After a good night sleep for everyone, onwards to Tylösand which in my mind is one large beach and plots with seaview. Taha, whatdayaknow - the campingground was situated mostly in the woods! Well we did get a very nice large corner plot but where the heck is the sea? Me and the DH went for a walk to try to find it but gave up, but John went around on his bike and he found it. The thing was that you had to walk a bit on a boardwalk and then you came to this:
Amazing, you can hardly believe that you are in Sweden. We spent an afternoon there sitting on our Brasse chairs, catching the sun while the kids happily swam in the Atlantic ocean, had some ice creams and soft drinks.

Nice as it was, I don't think we will come back to this place though.

So far we had booked our camping lots in advance, but it's always a risk since you also have to pay in advance. So from here and onwards we called the camping grounds 1-2 days in advance and had no problem finding a place to stay.

It was jointly decided to return to our favorite place from last year - Torekov and was in such luck that we got the best place of them all - close to the beach, close to Torekov city and the only spot with a complete open ocean view:

There is a tennis tournament called Swedish Open that is hosted in the nearby town of Båstad every year. And with that comes all the brats and "I'm cooler than you" kind of young people. You knw - the kind with porkchop hairdos, fast and xpensive cars, poolo shirts with a special little mar and who "sink" one bottle to drink and one to poor down the sink...isn't that the most ignorant and idiotic behavior. Well luckily, the tournament started after we left, so the kids had just started to arrive.

We loved it so much here that we ended up staying 5 days. We walked over to Torekov and got some delish seafood sandwiches (except for Sam who had a burger) and two nights we had luxe pizzas - talk about great vacation time;-) One of the most favorite things for kids to do here is to go crabbing. John tried his luck on one of the piers, but in lack of the crabs favorite bait shrimps, non of them did bite :-(

After these five marvelous days (trust me, we are coming back next year and will book this plot long in advance) we felt the need to move on and even though some of The DHs riders who came visiting told us that Mölle was great, I still wanted to go to Råå - cause it looked nice in the cataloge.

Lesson II: never trust the pictures in the camping.Sweden catalogue!! We asked for a corner lot (these are the best for getting the RV in place more easily) and look what we got:
view from one side and view from the other direction

As in Tylösand the sea was kind of hidden LOL. Well you can't see it from most part of the camping ground and for these with the best situated lots, there was "vallar" between. Me and the DH took a walk and just saw grass and sea, but then I went the other direction alone and found this:
You don't see it but the beach is quite lower than the "vallar" so you have to walk down a long stair to get to it. 
The camping ground hosted a 50m long swimming pool, but know what? Even though we had paid for our lot and electricity, they still wanted admission fees for the pool. My economically minded kids refuse to go there ;-). This is not a place we ever going to come back to.

Time to mix with the rich and famous? We booked two nights at Ljungens camping in Falsterbo (most known for the annual Falsterbo Hourseshow) and from what we heard is the most posh place in the entire Kingdom of Sweden to have a summer house in. The prices asked for a little cottage is astronomical...
Well the camping ground was so and so - the plot was surrounded by grown hedges, so it gave a lovely feeling of privacy and so far so good, but in the rear end, the one and only heavily trafficked road leading into Skanör Falsterbo passed by. The DH and the kids went out on their bikes exploring but was not very convinced of the place grandness. Two days was enough, so onwards to Norje Boke.

We had decided to follow the Skåne coastal line instead of going on the motorway and my oh my how beautiful it is and we found some places where we very well can imagine to move to when the kids are grown up and we have retired.
The trip took 3-4hrs and here are some random pics shot through the window:

After a couple of hours we arrived in the Norje Boke camping grounds. Now it is kind of funny, but Norway is spelled Norge in Swedish and is pronounced like Norje. Or so we thought, we found out that the O is kind of hard in Norje, but nevertheless, it does sound very much alike.
We where given a great lot - a corner one under old large trees almost directly on the beach:
Look great doesn't it? Hmmm, just turn your camera a bit to the right and you see this:
Now you may call me grumpy, but I can for the life of me understand what's wrong with parents of today. I am not that old nor stern, but I do believe that kids should be raised not to disturb other people. Of course kids should play and have fun - but is it necessary to shriek and shout on the top of your lungs when people "live" nearby? Of course the kids here was on the beach and on the playground without any parental supervision.
HA, but there are not only kids that don't behave - we met a lot of grownups as well who under the influence of to much alcohol behaved worse than bad. Wont bore you with the details, but they totally managed (along with overly salted roasted pork) destroy what was supposed to be a nice night out :-(

The trees we parked under:
They must be some remnants of the Fangorn Forrest ;-)
Our home away from home and we love it.

After 4 days it was time to leave, we where booked from the 18th on Bödasand on Öland. This time we took the motorway when we came upon it and when we came closer to Kalmar (the mainland city before the bridge to Öland) the weather started to shift and after checking up on the forecast we made a snap decision - we are going home! I mean, who in their right mind voluntarily goes to a camping ground when the forecast says heavy rain for several days.

So after an extremely boring trip crosswise (from Kalmar over to Jönköping) where there is nothing but forests, small unexciting villages, forests and forests. After 5 hours (pitstop at Burger King at the way) we came back to the kennel and oh my - what happy dogs! When they where released they didn't which foot to stand on, they ran in circles and jumped at us with full RR force LOL.
We didn't linger, but packed them up and of we went and you have never seen more relieved and extremely tired dogs. They both found "their" places and slept all the way home.

After being on the road since 10am, we arrived home at 8pm. Me and the kids unloaded the RV in 30 min. flat (talk about teamwork), Sam fell on his knees and kissed the floor in the hallway and me - I cooked dinner.

Two summers on camping ground we are starting to wonder if that is truly our style???? We do have all necessities and comforts onboard, why live closely people you don't know or even like? Well it's a long step to go from camping grounds to what here is called  "free camping"...only time will tell.

All I can say is that we had two very nice weeks together and we are lucky to be at home and not in the parts where there is torrential rains. If you might wonder what I did to pass the time when  the men in my life was on the computer, played PS3 (yup) or watched DVDs, look here:
 I had printed and cut 900 1 inch hexagons and fabric to cover and at the end of the 2 weeks I had used up every single piece of fabric. This is the result of my handiwork -  and had covered hexagons which I currently is piecing together after my own fashion. Not entirely sure I'm doing it the right way, but I look upon it as a learning piece :-)

One more week of vacation = yayyyy.