A Crafter's Life

The Relaxation Vacation Experiment

I began this post a couple of days ago and then got really blue about what is going on in Italy and other parts of the world, not to mention my own country. But I think we need to carry on with “regular life” as much as we can (while we socially isolate and for some while we “shelter-in-place”), so I pulled myself out of my blueness and I am finishing up this post that might seem a little frivolous at this point but…


Remember mid-February? Remember when you had access to all the toilet paper you needed (or could possibly dream of) and terms such as “social distancing” were not part of your vocabulary/life?

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Well let’s take a brief break from our global pandemic in this post and let me share my semi-failed experiment in my first planned “complete relaxation vacation” (but if I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would not have failed at the relaxation vacation experiment!)

Cabo San Lucas, February 2020

As mentioned in my previous post, Cabo San Lucas in Black and White, my partner John and I took a (nearly) week’s vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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You might look at these photos and think: “Wow, what a vacation/holiday in paradise”. This is what normal people would think. However for John and I it was a “Relaxation Vacation Experiment”.

And we may have failed at this experiment…

John is a widower and as many of you know I am a widow. Our former spouses were both the type who liked to do “Always Busy/Scheduled Activities/See As Much As You Can” vacations.

I was with Terry the Quilting Husband since I was 20 years old (nearly my entire adult life) and every vacation we went on was filled with endless sightseeing and other busy activities. I am not complaining we had some wonderful vacations and I got to visit some major historical sights and battlegrounds in the U.S. and Europe (Terry was a Military History buff) on our trips as well as fun and playful vacations like Disneyland, etc.

John’s previous life was the same – his vacations were filled with trying to do as much sightseeing as possible during the vacation time allotted.

So he and I came up with the idea that for the first time in our lives, we should go on a vacation in which we do something crazy…RELAX!

In our minds, we would enjoy our first completely relaxing, have nothing scheduled, lie around on the beach and read books, vacation.

John’s sister has a lovely condo in Cabo San Lucas and so we thought that would be a perfect (and not too expensive) way to have a mid-Winter relaxing vacation in a warm and tropical place!

Things started out promising – we managed to goof off a couple hours wandering and sitting around the beach and reading books on our first afternoon in town.

2020-02-14_14-39-14_8772020-02-14_14-43-30_5792020-02-15_14-42-03_342We even invented the “Shoe Coaster” (patent pending) for our special beverages on the beach!

2020-02-15_14-43-24_358Unfortunately we grew a little bored of just hanging out on the beach after  a while.

There were lots of wonderful restaurants on the beach so we tried just hanging out for long stretches “relaxing” at restaurants on the beach. Here I am on the way to the beach or a restaurant on the beach, preparing for some more “relaxation”:

IMG_20200215_101434The truth is, after just a couple days of this “relaxation” stuff, we were bored out of our minds.

Yes we did do some sightseeing in the main area of Cabo San Lucas but everywhere you walked someone was trying to sell you something and after a while I just felt like a “dollar” walking around for vendors trying to get.

We did one afternoon however have a lovely lunch at the marina area of Cabo and we did have brief sweet moments of “total relaxation”.

2020-02-17_13-00-21_4012020-02-17_12-33-16_143IMG_20200217_122256But like the creature in the image above, after a couple of days we decided all this relaxation vacation stuff was “for the birds” and not for us!

After an awkward discussion where we finally both admitted (previous we were each secretly thinking it without telling the other) we were absolutely bored out of our minds with all this relaxation (we had even tried just staying the condo and binge watching a Netflix show when we’d had enough of the beach, etc.) – we decided to change our flight and come home early from vacation.

Are you shaking your heads in disbelief at this point?

(To be honest, now, with what is going on in the world, I too am shaking my head – I wish I had stayed longer in Cabo and embraced relaxation…)

We both accepted we had “failed” at the “Relaxation Vacation Experiment”.

Actually we did not fail, we learned.

We learned that we like to more active vacations in places where there are lots of museums and historic sights to see. We are not the “lie on the beach and relax” kind of vacation people.

And that is okay (smile).


Postscript

The day before we were scheduled to return home early our enthusiasm returned and we decided to fill our last full day in Cabo having a less traditional experience: we decided to go “Farm-to-Table” restaurant hopping. I guess there is a big farm-to-table movement in Cabo and we thought it would be fun to explore.

Luckily we had a car during our trip so we drove to a remote area for our first Mexican farm-to-table experience. The road to this farm, Los Tamarindos, was a quite bumpy (unpaved) and a little scary (in the middle of nowhere) but it was so worth the drive. We had an amazing meal and experience and here are a couple photos:

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The food was not just fresh and amazing, it was sort of a spiritual experience!

After our first farm-to-table experience in Mexico, we were hooked and headed to the next farm, Flora Farms, where we did not sit for a formal meal but wandered around and amazing cocktails and the most delicious ice cream cone in my life!

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This trip and these photos seems like another lifetime, like another world.

Hoping you all stay safe in the reality of our current world. Hang in there.

Love,

Tierney and John

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Life in B&W

Cabo San Lucas in Black and White

In the middle of February, before the reality of global pandemic became something we would be discussing in our daily conversations, my partner and I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas.

In my next post I will share stories from our “relaxation vacation experiment” but for this post I will just share some of the photos I took in black & white to continue my ongoing series Life in B&W, in which I pretend I am a photographer (smile).

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Thrift Shop Adventures

An Interesting Find…

I currently have “Corona-virus Blues”, what about you? I was scheduled to go next week to a very exciting conference in Nashville, Tennessee with many fun events, but my employer cancelled all business/corporate travel for the next several weeks because of the virus outbreak.

Even though I am bummed, in the big picture this is not such a big issue as there are many people impacted on a greater scale. My heart goes out to those who are currently infected and recovering as well as to the families of those who’ve loss loved ones due to this outbreak.

And now onto lighter topics such as the awesome find I recently made at a local thrift shop.


It’s been quite a while since I posted anything in my category/series of blog posts Thrift Shop Adventures. I have not done as much thrifting as I used to do in Central Oregon since moving to the Denver metro area in April 2019. I do miss the awesome Humane Society of Central Oregon Thrift Store, where I discovered many delights, such as this find such as the one I mention in this November 2018 post – Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find.

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All these high end designer fabric samples for $2 from the Humane Society Thrift Shop!

Although it does not replace my beloved Humane Society Thrift Shop, I have discovered a fairly wonderful thrift shop in downtown Denver – Goodwill Denver– Broadway.

Last weekend, while browsing, I stumbled upon an amazing find – all this fabric marked at $12, which I got for 30% off $12 because of the tag color sale (Goodwill does a daily tag color discount that varies from day to day):

2020-03-02_17-53-59_481Inside this bag was a large collection of fabrics by a company called Boundless Fabrics which appears to be primarily sold by Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy).

2020-03-02_17-47-32_363The package included yardage, precuts (charm squares and fat quarters), a panel (a Moda Fabrics panel) and some odd size fabric scraps.

2020-03-02_17-49-32_9772020-03-02_17-50-17_3572020-03-02_17-53-01_991The pictures above do not do the package as there is enough fabric for several quilts (there are at least 10+ yards of fabric among the yardage).

The fabrics could not be used in one quilt (unless you liked an eclectic mix of styles and patterns) but they could be used for several different quilts.

I looked up reviews on Boundless Fabrics and they higher than the quality of fabrics sold at JOANN Fabrics and Craft Store but slightly below the quality of those sold at quilt shops. But for 30% of $12 (oh please do not make me do the math, ha!) they were not a bad deal!

In case you are wondering I have absolutely no idea of what I am going to do with them, but I put them away for now (smile).


Postscript

Continuing with the theme of “interesting finds”…

For those of you who’ve been blogging for a while – do you remember when you were a new blogger? Remember trying to build your audience? I did it by following other blogs and commenting on posts.

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Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Over the years (I’ve been blogging nearly 7 years) I’ve met a bunch of cool blogging buddies and regularly follow their blogs.

I noticed that many of us, especially those of us who are crafters, follow the same blogs and it fun to see for example Mary @zippyquilts commenting on a post by Chela @chela’s colchas y mas who just commenting on a post by Mariss @fabrications who had a comment from Laura @laurabrunolilly.com who had commented also on  the blogs I just mentioned!

You get a real sense of community. (And there are many more bloggers in our community, like Claudia @claudiamcgillart, but I just listed a few as an example.)

Well I would like to occasionally introduce/suggest a new member to our crafter blogging community – an interesting blog find I discovered through this blogger commented on my posts:

Sleepy Beagle 

(thesleepybeagleword.wordpress.com/blog/)

Check out this interesting crafter blog if you get a chance and perhaps become a follower and make her part of our community. Her crafting and crafter’s life posts are well written, informative and engaging! This blog is an “Interesting Find”!

What's on the Design Wall

Update on Seattle Scrappy

Hello there, thought I would give you an update on my freeform log cabin scrap quilt “Seattle Scrappy”.

First here is a quick recap.

I began piecing this quilt in early January 2020 while attending a quilt retreat, from a bag of gray fabric scraps my friend Dana shared during the retreat; and initial made around 140 blocks:

2020-01-11_15-35-55_9032020-01-10_18-11-34_1862020-01-12_08-00-38_602When I returned home, I trimmed these blocks to 5′ x 5″ (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm) blocks and began piecing them together and musing over how to finish the quilt including whether to machine or hand quilt it, etc.:

2020-02-06_08-23-26_627That’s where I left off in my previous post about this quilt – Seattle Scrappy (What’s on the Design Wall).

Last weekend I finished the quilt top and decided to hand quilt it! So I laid it out on the floor of my bedroom (also known as the “design carpet” – see post What’s on the…Design Carpet) and pinned it:

2020-02-25_11-07-27_7872020-02-25_11-07-41_296Here it is ready for hand stitching:

2020-02-25_11-12-18_4892020-02-25_11-15-09_232I bought a couple spools of gray Perle Cotton for hand stitching (I am not sure how much I need yet and did not want to over-buy):

2020-02-24_16-12-50_832And I’ve started stitching:

2020-02-26_07-22-59_569The quilt measures around 60″ x 60″ (152.4 x 152.4 cm) and it is going to take a while to hand quilt it, even with using large Kantha-like stitches.

I had so much fun piecing this quilt from scraps, I am itching to start a new scrap quilt. Although most of my fabric (yardage and pre-cuts) is packed up in anticipation of my move to a new house in the next couple of months I still have access to most of my scraps.

This book in my craft book library (which I have not completed packed) caught my eye…

2020-02-25_08-07-59_262And I am tempted to start something from this book…

Also I have a couple incomplete (less than 5″) freeform log cabin blocks and scraps left over from making “Seattle Scrappy” and I am trying to decide what to make with them – perhaps a pillow cover or a pot holder or something…

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