Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Goofin' Off With Friends and Toy Story

I had a fantastic weekend this past weekend. As I have been working on my newest project of three Toy Story-themed quilts, I have been pondering a lot the theme of the Toy Story movies...which is one of friendship. Blogging has brought so many new and wonderful friends into my life and enriched it. As we share tips, tutorials, recipes, patterns, and stories about our families with each other I find myself among a very supportive group. Thank you for that, my friends!

Block A Finishes

On Saturday, I finished the first set of blocks for the first Toy Story quilt.  How can you not smile seeing Woody's happy face smiling up at you?

Block B Finishes

Sunday afternoon I finished up the second set of blocks. I hadn't expected to get them all done, so I was happily surprised when I put those last triangles on the corners. Now I just need to trim them all up. The pattern I am using for this quilt comes from the book Modern View 3-Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson. The Woody Toy Story fabric is from Camelot Fabrics.

I got a small section started on my page 2 of Mickey and Pirate Friends cross stitch picture. It felt quite good to actually be starting a new page on this piece...even if it will take years to complete it. 

Mickey and Pirate Friends as of 09/26/2017

Sunday morning, I woke up to an email from Chooky over at chookyblue.blogspot.com. When I opened it, she had said she had seen something in a window display, thought of me, and took a picture of it. Here is the picture she shared with me. 

Chooky Thought of Me When She Saw This! Happy me!

I am so tickled that she saw Disney and thought of me. We are on opposite sides of the world. It is only through the blogging world that we have even met. It was one of several reminders this past week of how much my blogging friends have become a part of my life. I wonder how they are doing if they are feeling ill. I wonder if that granddaughter they've been waiting for has been born yet. I look forward to seeing their vacation pictures and project updates. Online friends are every bit as special as any other friends I have.

Mr. Goofin' Off and I decided to head out to brunch later on Sunday morning. It was a gorgeous morning, so we chose a place right on the water. Mr. Goofin' Off encouraged me to have a hot chocolate with my brunch. It was perfect for a fall morning. Mmm...rich, chocolatey goodness. 

Rich, Delicious Hot Chocolate with Brunch

After we stuffed ourselves with brunch, we headed out for a nice walk along the beach. The sun was out shining, boats were out fishing, families were out walking and playing together. I didn't want to leave and came home the most relaxed I've been in a while.

Walking Down at Edmonds Beach

A quote about friendship:

"Friendship...is born at the moment when one man says to another, 'What! You too? I thought that no one but myself...'"
--C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Have your online friends left an impact on your life? I'd love to hear your experiences.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Goofin' Off With the Start of Fall 2017

Mr. Goofin' Off kept telling me earlier this week that he felt like someone had flipped a switch and it had gone from summer to fall in a snap. The weather is cooler, the skies are gray, and the days are definitely getting shorter. Well, I guess officially it is fall now.

With the first days of fall, I am brought back to my days as a little girl. My father worked a late shift, so often my mother would often bake at night after we went to bed while she waited for my dad to get home from work. In the fall, I would sometimes wake up to the smell of pumpkin bread...mmm...pumpkin bread. That memory inspired me to make some of my favorite pumpkin muffins this week.

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. 
2.  In a second bowl, beat the eggs, pumpkin, sugar, and vegetable oil. 
3.  Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until moistened. 
4.  Fold in chocolate chips.  
5.  Fill muffin cups approximately 2/3 full. 
Bake approximately 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. 

Makes approximately 20 to 24 muffins. 

There is just something that smells so good about pumpkin muffins fresh out of the oven. I found a recipe a few years back that tasted very similar to my mother's recipe. I tweaked it a little so that I could add chocolate chips to the recipe. My family loves them, so they don't last very long around here.

Pumpkin Goofy!

I have added a gratuitous Goofy jack-o-lantern picture here from our trip to Disneyland because well...it's Goofy...and it's a pumpkin.

I found myself with some time yesterday and got my next quilt all cut out. Here are the pieces for the blocks.  

Pieces for Block A

Pieces for Block B

Pieces for Block C

Pieces for Block D

I love this fabric of Woody from Toy Story.  This will be one of at least three Toy Story quilts that I'll be making from the Toy Story fabric that I've purchased.  The pattern I am using is from the book Modern View 3 Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson of Fabric Cafe. I ordered it Monday from Amazon, and it arrived on Wednesday. Gotta love Amazon Prime. 

Modern Views with 3-Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson

I already have about half a dozen of Donna's quilt patterns but none of the patterns in this book. Each pattern uses 1 yard each of three different fabrics. These are the perfect size for the charity quilts I make. The bonus of this book that I hadn't expected was that the book gave instructions on enlarging the quilts to twin and queen/king toppers.

Well, it's time to get in gear and work on the fall cleaning, baking, and getting those Christmas checklists started. Yes, I said it. I said "Christmas". It's going to be here before I know it, and I need to be prepared.

Let me know below. Are there any foods that remind you of the fall months? What are your favorites? I'd love to hear about them...and maybe drool a little bit over them.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Goofin' Off With the Winds of Change

I can't believe it has been almost three weeks since my last post. The past three weeks have been crazy, but it all came out great in the end. If you have been following me for some time, you'll know that we have had five weddings of nieces and nephews this summer. Well, the final wedding was a destination wedding...to the Caribbean...on a cruise ship. Well, Hurricane Irma changed those plans a few days before we were to leave. But more about that later...

Because things have been so crazy, I haven't been at my sewing machine much the past few weeks. I did manage, however, to put those last borders on my Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. You can see the finish below. 

Gingerbread Square Dance Completed Top

Now it's time to work on the Toy Story quilts for the happy couple that got married in July with the Toy Story themed wedding. They will be two lap size quilts to keep them warm while studying (or watching TV or playing video games) this winter. 

Here is the first set of fabrics that I've put together. I hope to be cutting into them in the next 24 hours. My rotary cutter is just itching to get picked up and slice through some fabrics. 

Fabrics for Woody/Toy Story Quilt

I did manage to get a bit of stitching on Mickey and Pirate Friends. It seemed an easier project to pick up and put down while all the travel changes were going down. Page 1 of ??? has been completed. I can see all of Goofy's eyes now.

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch as of 09/20/2017

As I mentioned above, Hurricane Irma decided to make herself known a few days before we were to leave for our Caribbean cruise. We were given the choice of taking a shortened cruise leaving four days late or canceling and getting our money back in the form of a cruise credit. The entire group that was going on the cruise decided to just cancel as there was no way we would be able to make it into Fort Lauderdale to catch our cruise ship. The flights were all booked up.

That gave us just a few days to make alternative plans. The wedding party was able to come up with an entire new plan in less than 48 hours. We would still be "cruising", only it wouldn't be on a cruise ship, and it wouldn't be to the Caribbean. It was decided that the wedding would be held in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. 

Victoria from the Front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

We all boarded the Victoria Clipper in Seattle on Monday, September 11th, at way too early of a time in the morning. It was a beautiful three-hour trip up to Victoria and a sunny day with temperatures in the mid-70s. 

Let me just say here that when the Fairmont Empress in Victoria heard the story of the wedding plans being spoiled by Hurricane Irma, they were extremely accommodating. They allowed the wedding to take place in one of their flower gardens for no charge. They upgraded the room of the happy couple and made room for our large group to enjoy lunch together after the wedding. 

The Fairmont Empress is extremely beautiful and exquisite. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the lobby area. 

Mr. Goofin' Off on the Lobby Balcony in His Caribbean Wedding Atire

Lobby of the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC

The picture doesn't do this chandelier justice. It had to have been one of the most elegant chandeliers I've ever seen. And those fresh flowers just smelled so wonderful. 

After the wedding and lunch, Mr. Goofin' Off wanted to check out the miniature museum which was behind the hotel. We spent about an hour there. I think Mr. Goofin' Off probably could have spent another two hours there, but we had my mom with us, and I don't think her feet and legs would have held out as there was nowhere to sit down. We walked the waterfront for a while, and then went to catch the Victoria Clipper back to Seattle. 

After we got back home, we now had some airline miles that had been refunded back into our account and five days left of vacation that Mr. Goofin' Off had taken off of work. So what do you think the Goofin' Offs did?  I'll give you a hint...

Our Change in Vacation Plans Thanks to Hurricane Irma

You can look forward to a few pictures from our trip over the next couple of posts. As always, thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment or question below. 

*As a side note here, I just want to mention how much my heart hurts for those recovering from all the hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes. The Goofin' Offs send our prayers and good thoughts to anyone suffering from the devastation.*

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Goofin' Off With a Pre-Road-Trip Post

So this weekend is Labor Day weekend here in the U.S. I've mentioned before we have five weddings this summer for nieces and nephews. Well, number four happened last weekend down in Salt Lake City which we couldn't quite make. So this weekend the happy couple is having an "open house" in Vancouver, WA, so we'll be making a one-day road trip down and back. I'm looking forward to it. More on our plans down below.

I've got the center and first border on the Gingerbread Square Dance quilt. It's looking might tasty.

Gingerbread Square Dance With Center and First Border

I have a close up here so you can see all the tasty treats and gingerbread house on the focus fabric.

Close Up of Gingerbread Square Dance

I was able to stitch up another little section of Mickey and Pirate friends...just some more of Goofy's pirate hat. I apologize that I must have had a weird filter on when I took this picture. It's a little dark.

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch as of 09/02/2017

And since I occasionally get requests for what this piece will look like when it's finished...and it's a new month so a good time for a reminder...here is what the finished stitched piece will look like.

Mickey and Pirate Friends

We're pretty excited to be headed today to celebrate wedding number four. When we asked what the dress code for the event would be, we were told it would be pretty casual. Blue jeans are perfectly acceptable. Yay! I'm thinking Mr. Goofin' Off and I should wear our special shoes. 

Our Disney Vans

These shoes are our special occasion casual shoes. Mr. Goofin' Off has the Mickey shoes and mine are a pretty purple with Jasmine on them. I wanted to be sure you knew because Mr. Goofin' Off would be horrified if he had to wear shoes with a princess on them. No mix-ups here.

Road Trip Snacks Courtesy of Mr. Goofin' Off

Mr. Goofin' Off headed out the other evening to pick up some snacks for our road trip.  I think he thought we were driving cross country or something because there is no way we'll eat all of these in six hours of driving. That's one ginormous bag of Red Vines. Minnie does approve and thinks these snacks are pretty sweet.

Reading Material for the Road Trip

I gathered up some reading material for the road trip...a few of my Disney magazines. I should be all up to date at what's going on at Disney by the time we get back...and possibly a few pounds heavier.

So that's what the Goofin' Offs have going on this weekend. What are your plans? Will you be sewing, stitching, BBQ-ing? Let me know in the comments below.