Monday, January 16, 2023

Bye for now

 Yesterday we went to a couple of open homes.  This home had the most amazing views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond.

We took time out for a meal together. My grandson,Jackson, on the left, David in the middle and my daughter in law, Lisa, on the right.

We had planned to do a ferry trip yesterday but that did not happen so we are going to try again today.

With that it will be time to say goodbye to my Seattle family as I fly out tomorrow (Monday Seattle time) and I arrive back in New Zealand on Wednesday.

Thank you for coming along with me on my travels.  Heaps of good things for me to treasure in my memories.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Antique Malls

Found in a home decor shop in Snohomish.  It looks like the cushion centre is made from a very old vintage quilt and it has been revived very cleverly by putting on a fresh border and gathered trim with modern quilt fabric.
Sunbonnet Sue seems to find her way into quite a few secondhand stores.  The blocks are in good condition and I like the addition of embroidery stitches so Sue’s clothing.  The binding was faded and fraying but the rest was good. 
 A collection of Zane Grey westerns.  My brothers have probably read most of these, in fact I think I probably read quite a few of them myself.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Quilting Mayhem

Being in the vicinity of Snohomish it seemed appropriate to do a return visit to Quilting Mayhem.
This time I ventured upstairs to the sewing machine department and I was blown away by what was available in the way of quilting supplies.  This image captures just some of the quilting rulers available for purchase.
Long arm quilting machines in every size imaginable including this one with a very loooooooong frame.
There was also a setup for long arm quilting in action.  For US$15 an hour you can hire a machine to do your own quilting.  I asked this lady if she would mind me watching her and she said she was a first timer.  Looked pretty good to me.

I returned to the downstairs area with fabric, fabric and more fabric.
When I was there previously I noted they had a fabric scrap bin.  For US$5.99 you could fill your own bag.  At the time there was hardly any fabric, but, oh me, oh my, this time there was.  Somehow a scrap bag appeared and I found myself filling it.  I justified it on the grounds that I had made a couple of appliqué blocks and this fabric would complement them so well.
 For the Tula Pink fans - they had lots and lots of her fabrics.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Revisiting Snohomish

When Linda and I travel we try to make the most of opportunities that come our way because chances are we may never return.
Yesterday, however, I decided to do a return visit to Snohomish.  I went their initially to visit Quilting Mayhem but the township had a bit of character of yesteryear - none of the skyscrapers of downtown Seattle.
The township was founded in 1859 and parts of it put me in mind of the Norman Rockwell illustrations in the American magazine Saturday Evening Post (if you are old enough to remember this publication).
I was fortunate enough to encounter another day with clear blue skies.  However I could see on the drive to Snohomish that there was fresh snow on the mountains and there was a definite chill in the air.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

A Day at the Shopping Mall

What is the significance of an empty coffee mug?  It is an indication that this was one of the nicest flat whites I have encountered on my travels.  Truly worth savouring.
Yesterday dawned cool, crisp with lovely clear blue skies.  It was enjoyable to take the morning commute with David into downtown Seattle so I could wander the shopping mall while he was at work.
 I had been looking for a cardigan and if I had seen one that I really, really likes I would have bought it.  This cardigan had so much bling it really didn’t fit my brief, even though my cousin, Helen, probably would have loved it.
Spotted in the Lego store.  My daughter-in-law, Lisa, loves doing Lego projects and she has this one as a work in progress at the moment.
Although I spend a pleasant time at the shopping mall they did not benefit from an economic boost from me except in the food department.  I bought a regular flat white and small savoury scone for NZ$16 and then a bottle of water with a small stir fry meal was NZ$23 - all up $39.00.  On the whole I have found food and groceries to be costly but probably because of our poor exchange rate with the USA at the moment.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

A Bit More Real Estate

 One of the endearing things. About Seattle is the green, green, green of all the trees, the Douglas Fir amongst the most common.  David and Lisa used to live in Dallas, Texas which was hot, flat and very few trees.  When they moved to Seattle it was a welcome change.
The property we looked at on Saturday had views but you had to accept that the trees were there too.
 A very nicely appointed house set on 3 levels. Built in 1979 but freshly renovated throughout.  Probably a much bigger house than the family really need but it was certainly a pleasure to view it.
Apart from that I do enjoy being out and about and seeing different parts of Seattle along the way.
If you would like a further in depth look at the property this link might work for you:-

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The Cricut Machine

 My daughter-in-law, Lisa, has long been interested in the Cricut machine.  Initially it was made as a scrapbooking aid but it has been extended to include working with fabrics so that opens up a whole new world.

Cricut have also developed a small weighted hot press which is super for ironing out creases in fabrics and for bonding fusible webbing.  The one Lisa owns is 9” x 9” but she tells me there is also a larger 12” x 12” press as well.
 Thanks to Fiona in our quilting group I was able to bring the image from our last raffle block of the year to use as an example.  Even lashed out and bought some fabric here so we could complete.
A few lessons in the hows of peel and stick appliqué and I have a couple of blocks to bring home.  Wasn’t sure what to do with them at first but then I realised they could be nice bright centres for the baby quilts I have been making lately.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Looking Back

 One of the Interesting things that Rick found for us to do in London was to go to a restaurant based theatrical performance of Fawlty Towers.  Apparently it has been running for 10 years.

The show enscapulated the series exceptionally well using the three main characters, Basil, Sybil and the waiter, Manuel, who I got to shake hands with.
The characters moved around, and even on, the tables as they acted out scenes from the show.  The performance was well received but it has to be said that the 3 course meal served up amongst proceedings was pretty awful.
Still I must be thankful for opportunities to see shows like this.  Never would have happened otherwise.

Sunday, January 08, 2023

A Little Bit of Real Estate

  David and Lisa are thinking it is time for a change.  They really fancy living in a home that will give them some views.
With this in mind we went to visit an open home the other day. 
It turned out the house was a bit dated (1986) and not quite what they had in mind but it did give them food for thought.
The views they were looking for certainly were on hand.  The Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
If you can find a home you like with these sorts of views you also get to see ferry traffic, cruise ships, orca whales, porpoises, otters, eagles, blue herons and more. The property also offered access to the beach.
The search will continue.
We were supposed to go to two house viewings this weekend but I came down with food poisoning and unfortunately David and Jackson have succumbed to the same ailment - not nice at all.
I think I have turned the corner but it will be a quiet weekend for all of us here.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Time for some Knitting

 A couple of days ago my daughter-in-law, Lisa, took me to a yarn store.
At the back of the store there was a knitting group.  I fell into conversation with the store owner and she invited me to come back today to join the group.
 One of the group was Bob, a prolific knitter.He was only too happy to pose with these socks he had knitted for himself complete with bling.
A very friendly group who talked about anything and everything.  At one stage the store owner had to come and remind them that they were not there to talk about medical issues (yes, the conversation had drifted that way) but they were there for knitting. Thankfully the group stayed on track after that gentle reminder.

Friday, January 06, 2023

Quilting Mayhem

 Quilting Mayhem is HUGE.
The photo captures about half of the building.  One third of the bottom floor (to the left) is dedicated to workshops.  To the right, two thirds is dedicated to being a quilt store.  If that wasn’t enough the whole of the top floor is dedicated to sewing machines of every shape and size including quilting frames.
 Fabric, fabric as far as they eye can see.
 Even more on the other side and lots down the middle too.  Can you believe I did not see any fabric that I HAD to take home?
A very good accessories area and I did do some shopping here - a left handed 6.5 inch square quilting ruler, a Creative Grids rotary cutter and some Clover pins as the right price.
Snohomish, where Quilting Mayhem is located is also full of antique malls.  I wandered through a few.  Sunbonnet Sue begging to go home.
 Who knew that Tupperware would ever end up in an Antique Mall.
Another candidate for The Repair Shop, maybe?

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Business Class in a Tesla

 David and Lisa picked me up from Seattle airport and we drove home in their Tesla car.  I was very impressed with the size and detail of their GPS system.

David is very happy with the Tesla.  He said it is a bit like flying business class, you never want to go back to anything less.  This is from the man who doesn’t actually believe in flying business class.  He says he would rather suffer a few hours of discomfort in economy than pay the price difference for business class.

 The next day we were out and about in the car.  The last stop for the day was the supermarket and I opted to stay in the car.  David set the car to ‘dog’ mode represented by this screen.  I tried not to bark on their return.  At least the car was kept nice and warm in the cool weather.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Getting to Seattle - the long way round

 Upon leaving England it was always the intention to leave from Heathrow on the 31st December.  On the 30th I got a notification to say my flight had been cancelled.  Son, David, got onto it and I was rescheduled to fly same day, just 5 minutes later.
Aaron took me to the airport, traffic was light, light rain and no word of strikes or anything nasty like that.  After a leisurely coffee with Aaron I proceeded to the area to wait to board my flight.  Even before we got on the flight there was talk of delays and in the end we were about 2 hours late for our departure.
I was scheduled to have a connecting flight from Los Angeles to Seattle with a window of only 1.5 hours.  This did not look good.  Sure enough, even before we landed I was advised by the steward that I would need to see ground staff about alternative arrangements.
Virgin Airlines had booked me into the Hilton Airport Hotel to stay overnight.  It was after 7.30pm by the time I got to my room and the first thing I had to do was get internet connection so I could inform family of my location and change in flight plans.

There was evidence in the lobby of the hotel that there was going to be lots going on to bring in the New Year.  Unfortunately I was so weary the best thing I could think of was to crawl between the nice clean sheets to sleep the night away.
Not quite finished with Christmas either, but I did not have much time to appreciate this. The hotel staff informed me that to catch my 7.45am flight to Seattle I would need to be at the front door to catch the shuttle bus by 5.45am - not the early start I had wanted.  As it turned out I only just made the flight to Seattle - not even time for an early morning coffee.
I am based at David and Lisa’s place until the 18th, when I fly back to New Zealand.  I am relieved to be back on terra firma and not to have to think about flying again for a while.
A visit to a quilt shop is on the agenda for today.  Just possible I might need a second bag for the return trip ot NZ.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

A Last Get Together

 Knowing my departure was imminent, Rick and Hannah suggested one more outing for us to be together for the day. This time it was Tilgate Park near the town of Crawley.

It was a very cold wintery day but nevertheless the park was quite crowded with families and their dogs.  Aaron took Toby too.  No letting the dog off the lead - could lead to a fine of GBP1,000.  I have been very aware of the number of families with babies in prams - hasn’t seemed so obvious on previous trips so I wonder if there may be a post covid baby boom.

Such a popular spot in the middle of winter, I can’t imagine how many people might come in the summer months.

 When we were leaving the family spotted this hole in the wall dog wash, so Toby got to try it out.  Not sure if he enjoyed the process but he did come out nice and dry and clean.

It put me in mind of my visit to Brighton with Rick.  I didn’t take a picture at the time but there was a similar type set up but this one was for pizzas.  You could put your money in a slot, pick your pizza and voila, hot pizza would pop out for you.  Not my choice for food, but if you are desperate…………

Such are the different things you see on your travels.