Saturday, January 21, 2023

Goofin Off Into the Year 2023

Time sure does seem to fly...or the months seem to fly by.  I took some time to try to get clear on my goals this year and hope the way I have rearranged my days will allow for a bit more time to finish some projects.  My goal for the year is to complete 23 (for '23) charity quilts for Project Linus and/or cross stitch blocks for Love Quilts USA.  

My creativity really seems to have been blossoming over the last few months.  I've updated some old software and learned some new.  I have been creating so many patterns for myself.  It's not like I didn't already have enough stash of patterns to last me three lifetimes...but now I have even more.  Can I be like a cat?  Can I have nine lifetimes to finish all my projects?  

We've got a trip to Florida coming up here.  We really enjoyed our last trip, and I am really looking forward to getting some sun for a few weeks when it usually cold, gray, and rainy here in the Pacific Northwest.  

We're lucky enough to have annual passes to the theme parks, so we can slip into a park for a couple of hours and enjoy fireworks or a snack or ride on one of our favorites.  On our last trip in November after our cruise, the boys and I were able to try out Disney's latest ride.  It's a one and done for me.  It went a little bit out of my comfort zone for sure.  Here is a picture of me and the boys a few months ago on the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster.  In case you can't tell, I have a look of sheer terror on my face.  LOL  

The Goofin' Offs ride Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind November 3, 2022

Now for a few updates...

Jazzy Blues Quilt

My first quilt of 2023 waiting to be finished is my Jazzy Blues Quilt.  Here I have cut the strips from the fabric yardage.  This simple pattern uses strip sets for a quicker assembly.  

Jazzy Blues Focus Fabric

Jazzy Blues Blue Strips Fabric (the picture does not do this fabric justice)

Jazzy Blues Black Strips

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch Project

And here is a quick update on my Mickey and Friends cross stitch piece.  I continue to make slow and steady progress.  

Here is up close the area that I have been stitching on.  

Up Close of Area Stitched Mickey and Pirate Friends

Total Progress as of January 21, 2023

Time to get myself in gear and get back to some quilting and cross stitching.  Headed out to enjoy some karaoke tonight with Mr. Goofin' Off and the kiddos (are they still kiddos when they're in their 30s?).  

Hope you're enjoying your new year.  I can't wait to catch up and see what all my blogging friends have planned for the coming year.  

Have a magical day!  


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Goofin Off With a Kindred Spirit

(If you're here for the project updates, just skip on down.  I promise they're there.)

Anne of Green Gables and My Kindred Spirit

Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote in her book Anne of Green Gables:  

"An intimate, you know - a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.  I've dreamed of meeting her all my life."  

I have always felt a kindred spirit in my mother-in-law.  From the day we met, we shared a love of quilting, cross stitching, Anne of Green Gables, and...Mr. Goofin' Off, of course!  The one bucket list item she had mentioned over and over (and made several attempts but never made it, which is a story for another day) was to get to go visit the home that inspired the stories of the Anne of Green Gables book series.  Well...

I was determined to make it happen for her.  This trip was in the making for years...originally book for 2020, and then COVID hit.  Last May, as my father-in-law was in hospice, in our final conversation he told me, "You make sure she gets to see the Anne of Green Gables house."  Well, we finally made it happen.   

Anne of Green Gables House - Prince Edward Island - Myself and My Mother-in-Law

As we stepped up to the green-gabled home owned by LM Montgomery's cousins, my dear mother-in-law became very did I.  We hugged, we cried, and I opened up to her why the Anne of Green Gables books were so important to me.  It is deeply personal, and I rarely share.  I cannot tell you how much of a "kindred spirit" she is to me.  I get choked up just thinking about it.  

There were six of us girls from the family on the tour, and we opted for a private tour.  It was actually cheaper than if we had purchased the big group tour offered by the cruise line we were on.  Our tour guide, Margaret, did not disappoint and timed things perfectly.  We made a few stops along the way and arrived just as the big tour busses were pulling away.  We had the place nearly to ourselves.  It was amazing!  

If you're an Anne of Green Gables fan, you may recognize some of these places LM Montgomery wrote about in her books:  


Cavendish Beach

Path Down to Cavendish Beach

The Green Gables House

The Path Leading from the Green Gables House to the Haunted Woods of Avonlea

As we sat around our Thanksgiving table this past week, we were reminded of what a fantastic year it's been for Mr. Goofin' Off and I.  We were able to cross off so many items from our bucket list.  We are truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for.  

While Mr. Goofin' Off and I ticked many items off our bucket lists in 2022, I know that 2023 we be much quieter.  I hope to have a lot more time for quilting and stitching (and blogging, of course).  Now about quilting and stitching...

Jazzy Blues Quilt

I came across this fabric last year...I think it was a last year's Black Friday deal.  I just KNEW I had to have this fabric.  I like to make quilts for Project Linus, and so many of them tend to be "girly."  It was nice to find a fabric combo that could be used for any music lover.  While I have started cutting out the quilt, I'll save that for my next post.  The pattern is "Checkmate" by Fabric Cafe.  Here is a picture of the fabrics.  

Fabric for Jazzy Blues - Pattern is "Checkmate" by Fabric Cafe

In addition, here is a close up of the jazz-inspired fabric.  I fell in love with this fabric as I love jazz.  I had recently seen the Disney movie Soul when I purchased the fabric...I'm pretty sure that played a part in my fabric pick.  Have you seen Soul?  

Jazz-Inspired Focus Fabric for Jazzy Blues Quilt

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch Update

And since I do have a small update for Mickey and Pirate Friends, let's get you up to speed.  Here is where I left off last time...

Progress on October 18, 2022

Progress on November 26, 2022

More of Mickey's pirate hat is showing.  It's coming along nicely albeit slowly.  I am hoping to get progress much quicker now that we are finally home for a bit.  

My Final Thoughts on Kindred Spirits

One thing I've realized over the years, is how important it is to find "friends" with similar interests...kindred spirits, if you will. People we can share both our projects and our personal lives.  People we can laugh with, cry with, and offer our prayers or positive thoughts to.  And I truly think of my blogging friends as "kindred spirits."  

During this season of gratitude, I want to thank all of my blogging friends for their inspiration, kindness, and willingness to share of themselves.  The internet is an amazing thing.  Without it, I would be missing my blogging kindred spirits.  

Thank you!  

Linking up with:  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Goofin' Off With a Whale of a Tail

Can it really have been two months since my last post?  Time does fly...or swim...or splash...

Have you ever heard a whale of a tale?  I've got one for you...but it's more of a whale of a tail.  However, if you're not interested in my Whale of a Tail, feel free to scroll on down to see the pictures of my updates.  

Whale of a Tail

In August, my sister and I were talking on the phone about bucket lists.  She's always wanted to see whales in the wild, and it had been pre-COVID since we've taken a sisters' trip.  She had planned on coming up to Seattle for a visit, and I was just going to book a whale watching excursion out of our hometown of Edmonds.  

Then...I received an email from Royal Caribbean about huge discounts on end-of-season cruises to Alaska.  They had been marked down more than usual this year.  I checked out the rates and couldn't believe what I saw.  Well, we could take a 4-hour whale watching tour for around $150...or we could take a 7-night cruise to Alaska for about $349.  I called my sister and asked her what she wanted to do.  I think it was pretty much a no-brainer decision for both of us.  And while I've seen whales a few times, what we experienced was like nothing I've ever seen before.  

We boarded the boat and had a fabulous time.  We booked three excursions, and I actually checked two things off my bucket list.  The food on board the ship was great as always, and our waitress was nothing less than amazing.  We managed to get a window table every evening.  I think my sister thought I had some sort of special "in" with the wait staff.  Nope.  Just good luck or good karma, I'm guessing.  It never hurts to treat staff well.  

Did I mention we crossed off TWO bucket list items?  One of the items was dog sledding with a professional Iditarod team.  I have to admit, I was hesitant on this one.  I was so worried about the treatment of the dogs.  I much prefer to see my animals in their natural habitat...except, let me tell you, these dogs were in their natural habitat.  From the moment they could hear our vehicle approaching, they got so excited!  We could hear them so excited in the distance, and they were literally jumping with excitement as we pulled up...I mean jumping with tails wagging excitedly.  

Once we got buckled in, the dogs were so ready to take us for a ride.  It was so much fun!  Once it was over, we got to give them lots of pets, hugs and snuggles.  I am not a "dog person," but these ones were just so happy to be with us.  As a bonus, ALL of the dogs on our team had Disney names!  I believe this guy's name was Baloo.  

Cruising to Alaska is very scenic!  The weather cooperated, and so we were able to spend a lot of time out on our balcony listening to music and/or reading books.  This was a typical evening view from our balcony.  

My sister was so excited to finally see some whales.  She'd look out over the balcony and see a wave breaking and think it was a whale.  Having seen a few whales before, I assured her it wasn't.  She didn't believe me until...our first encounter with whales.  We spotted them off of Beluga Point...they were skimming the surface occasionally.  Can you guess what kind of whales we saw?  Belugas, of course.  LOL  But she really had no idea what was coming in the next few days.  

We had booked a whale watching excursion out of Ketchikan, I think it was.  (You can book whale watching excursions from pretty much any port in Alaska.)  The first hour went by, and the only thing we really saw was a whale spout water from a distance.  I was getting nervous that she wouldn't get to see any whales...but I worried for no reason.  The captain spotted some action in the distance.  We slowly made our way over there.  There were three whales over there, most likely feeding...a mama and her baby and a third whale...all humpbacks.  Within about 10 minutes, the word must have gotten out to the other whales, because all of a sudden there were about 13 whales around us.  At times, they got pretty close.  My sister learned the signs of how to spot when a whale was about to surface, and now I'm pretty sure she'll never mistake a wave breaking for a whale.  We had about 45 minutes with these whales before we had to head back in.  

And our ship was making its way back south to Seattle, we had some gorgeous weather.  We were again outside on our balcony just enjoying the sounds of the water and the scenery.  I look out and see some spouts, so we stand up and get over to the balcony and watch whales in the distance...and then they got closer.  They'd pass us by, we'd sit down, and about 5 minutes later, there would be another small group.  The running joke was that if we wanted to see more whales, we just had to sit down.  But...on one particular trip out to the balcony...we can see we are getting closer to a whale...

But unlike the other whales, this one came right up near the ship.  If you don't know, the tail of a whale goes up in the air when it's about ready to go back under the water for a few minutes (they can stay under for up 10 minutes).  Now, this particular whale apparently wanted to be sure we got our pictures because before he went under he put his tail in the air and literally waved it back and forth about 10 times (like you'd see at a Sea World show).  It's like he was telling us he hoped we'd had a good trip. Here's the best pic we got of it!  It was soooo close!  It's our "whale of a tail".  

Now...let's see how all my projects are coming along.  

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch

Where I Left Off on Last Post

Above is my last update...and below is my current progress!  I've got another page finish...and Mickey's pirate hat is beginning to come into view in the lower right corner of the last page finish.  Goofy's finally getting a friend to join him!

Whale of a Quilt Finish...or make that fish...

I had been working on a quilt in my last blog post that had fish in the blocks...kind of fitting given my whale of a tail story.  Here is what the finished blocks looked like.  

Well, I was lucky enough to find a little time to finish off this quilt top before I went on the cruise.  I haven't been able to get my sewing machine out yet since then, but I hope to in the next few weeks.  I have been cutting up scraps into "pre-cut" sizes like 5" squares and 10" squares, etc.  Trying to clean up a few things before I start a new project.  

I like the way it turned out all assembled and with the border.  I think I might have changed the borders if I had done a little more planning rather than following the pattern.  I would have made the inner border yellow and the outer border green.  But since this one is headed to Project Linus at the next drop-off, I'm more than happy with it and to have another finish.  

So that's what Mrs. Goofin' Off has been up to.  Can't wait to catch up with all you awesome stitching and quilting buddies!  

Linking Up with:  

Friday, August 12, 2022

Goofin' Off and Cruising Thru 2022

 I am always surprised how long it's been between blog posts...but I really enjoy being here and sharing with my blogging friends that I always come back!  

It's been a great year so far with little complaints.  And can I just say that this year has become the year of cruising for the Goofin' Off family.  It was totally unplanned, with some cruises come in at a very inexpensive price...including one completely free courtesy of Royal Caribbean which even included gratuities and taxes and port fees and well, pretty much everything!  Let's just say that even though I am officially no longer selling travel, somehow I ended up on their short list for a return to service cruise for their cruise ship Ovation of the Seas.  It was only at 13 percent capacity, and we felt we had the ship to ourselves.  

We're two cruises down and have two more to go this year.  

Mr. Goofin' Off Getting Ready to Board Our Free Cruise in February

Mr. Goofin' Off With Our Caribbean Cruise in May

We feel so lucky and blessed to be able to do this.  I got a great deal on a cruise to Alaska in the off-season for a trip with my little sister...and then in October we're cruising to Prince Edward Island to take my mother-in-law to the only bucket list item she has ever shared with visit the home of Anne of Green Gables.  

I'll let you in on a secret here:  It's been on my bucket list too, but I don't think I could have ever talked Mr. Goofin' Off into going with me.  But since this is the trip of a lifetime for my mother-in-law, he agreed.  Actually, all of his siblings are coming, too!  We're looking forward to making memories of a lifetime with the family.  

There is so much to share, but I know what you all really came for are the updates to the projects I've been working on.  I started a new job in October and have been busy getting settled in and learning so much.  It hasn't left me with a lot of time to work on projects, but I do have some updates for you.  

Mickey and Pirate Friends Update 08/12/2022

Mickey and Pirate Friends Latest Picture 08/12/2022

This is the most recent picture I have of Mickey and Pirate Friends.  I have actually done quite a bit more, but I'll save that picture for another post...because progress just doesn't seem to come as quickly as I'd like with my new job taking up so much time.  

But I am working on cutting out some things (like news, TV and social media) to give myself more stitching and sewing time.  It seems to be working...which is why I'm back.  I'm finding with cutting out news, social media, and down to 1 hour max of TV time a day (although some days it's none at all), I am so much more relaxed and happier now...but I have missed my blogging friends.  

Latest Quilt - Fishing Blocks

Fish Quilt - Assembled Blocks

This spring I have been doing some volunteering with Make a Wish Foundation.  When the gal I've been working with dropped by my house one afternoon, she saw some of my quilts and fell in love with them.  I figured it was time to get the sewing machine back out again and use up some of these fabrics I've been stashing and use them up.  So here is my latest...

She also asked about possibly making some quilts for Make a Wish kids that are themed to their wishes.  I am so slow at getting projects finished.  She said not to worry because 80 percent of the kids want Disney-related pretty much anything I do that uses Disney fabrics would easily find a home.  What do you think?  Does this sound like me?  LOL

Well, I hope you all are having a great summer.  I know the Goofin' Off family is, and we're not taking it for granted either as we know that life can throw you a curve ball at any time.   

Have a magical day!