Friday, May 30, 2014

Bali - Ubud Wanderings

Our day started with the villa staff arriving to make our breakfast...I could get used to this!

We decided to indulge ourselves right away in a spa experience. The spa sent a driver for us. 

We each got a massage, facial and manicure which cost us 380,000 Indonesian Rupiah which was about $35 US! This was our room with three massage tables for our three-hour session.

Our massages left us covered in various substances. I had a sea salt scrub. My friends had a Green Tea Scrub and Javanese royal treatment that had a yogurt base. We wound up in the tub for a twenty minute soaking. 

We wandered the shops of Ubud and had a little lunch before having the driver return us to our villa. We've had some great meals here...lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our first evening we ate at Indus. Chicken Sate is one of the staples here.

I had a very spicy noodle soup with lots of fresh ginger...soo good!

This was a trio of rice, green beans and a beef stew served with a flat bread.

The sites are non-stop. There are temples everywhere for this Hindu culture.

I forgot to show the most important person we have met so far...our driver, I Wayan Naja. "I Wayan," means Naja is the first born son. He has a wonderful car with great air conditioning. He met us at the airport. You can see one of my traveling companions, Erin, on the on the right. He pretty much takes us everywhere we want to go.

Time to get back to the vacation schedule.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bali - Ubud

We are staying in a compound with four or five separate villas. Our villa has two bedrooms, two baths, a full kitchen and living/dining area. The front of the villa has large moving window walls that open to a view of rice fields. It is peaceful and quiet here.

The pool is five feet from our front door and usually we don't have to share it with anyone else.

Lots of space to spread out inside the villa.

Here is my room...mosquito netting around the bed and I do use air-conditioning but good ceiling fans. It is a very comfortable bed with great firm pillows...I detest mushy pillows!

Breakfast is cooked in our villa every morning by the staff. The first morning we had banana crepes, an omelet and fresh fruit. Absolutely delicious. And they cleaned up the kitchen afterwards too!

This is Trixie...she lives here...coming and going around to all the villas.

Bali is close to the equator. It is hot and humid but this Alaska girl is handling it fairly well, There are bugs and geckos and lots of lush vegetation. It reminds me of Hawaii...only less developed and poor.

I am having a hard time keeping up with blogging...or anything on the computer but that surely means I am too busy having fun! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hong Kong - Day 2

We had a day to wander around Hong Kong. There were so many beautiful flower arrangements everywhere...I should have taken more pictures of all those gorgeous arrangements. Lots of huge orchids.

We walked down to the cultural area where there is a Science Museum, Cultural Center and Art Museum. We went for the Art Museum...great choice. There was a special exhibit by Ju Ming, "Sculpting the Living World." He worked in many mediums, wood...

Stainless steel swimming beauties...

and styrofoam...this piece was a series of prison cells with figures...this was a wedding couple.

We found a boardwalk area to wander.

A group of school children (on a Sunday) stopped us to practice their English...adorable.

Here's one of the "Buddy Bears," I saw on display my first year in Paris...safely back in Hong Kong.

Our view at dinner.

Off to Bali in the morning.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hong Kong - Vacation Day 1

A quick post! I am staying at a friend's apartment on Kowloon. This is their view of Hong Kong island.

Yesterday we rode a trolley to a peak on Hong Kong Island and got this view...

I had a fabulous lunch...Singapore fried noodles.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

En Route

Killing time in airports...the journey has begun. I have a five hour layover in Vancouver, Canada. Then I have a 13 hour flight to Hong Kong. 

I'm very tired...for some strange reason I decided to tackle putting plants in those enormous planters my last day home. That Alaska gardening fever hit me and I got worried all the plants would be picked over by the time I got home from my vacation. (Alaska has a short growing season so plants get bought up quickly!)

Love them.
I brought my laptop just for blogging but slow internet speeds may keep me from posting too many photos.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Good Day

Finished the borders...happy, happy, happy. This quilt is "Christmasy" to me. Might have to call it Christmas Batiki Argyle.

Finished grouting the planters.

Finished a cross stitched ornament.

Yesterday was a good day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Here's where I am with Batiki Argyle...I went with three rows of tiles for the border. On my cutting table are the next set of borders...the inspiration fabric.

My goal is to get these borders on today or tomorrow.

Last week I got hubby to rent a tile saw and cut some slate tile for me.

Yesterday I got him to set the tile in the planters.

Today I need to grout them! 

I've been gathering supplies to start machine quilting all the tops I finished this year...

backing fabrics...

batting...this time I am trying wool batting. I got it on sale with Connecting Threads.

Lots of things on my list today.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Applique Tiny Circles

I'm starting with a finish!

I'm going to show a little bit about the construction process. I finished hand quilting the front and back pieces last week so my goal was to get the stocking put together this week. Sometimes setting goals works!

But...I noticed I had forgotten to applique the three little red circles on green band of the stocking toe. Here's a look at the ingenious way the stocking designer came up with a way to applique such small circles and my little tricks to help. You start with a regular hole puncher and some card stock for your template.

I trace the circle, and cut out with my pinking shears. Maybe since I was a garment sewer before I was a quilter...I use my pinking shears a lot in applique work.

Baste small stitches outside the drawn line with a matching thread.

Put the card stock template on the wrong side and cinch up the basting thread. 

It should look like this when it is all cinched up.

 I like to trim a bit of the bulk from the back side after securing the gathered fullness with a few locking stitches. DO NOT CUT THE THREAD used for the basting!

From the front side of the circle applique it should look perfectly round and ready to be sewn in place.

Applique using the still-attached basting thread. Genius!

Three perfect tiny circles!

Time to make piping. Here's a trick I learned from my garment-sewing days. I use yarn instead of cording to make piping. For garments or small applications it really has a nice supple texture. I always use bias strips for piping and my zipper foot to sew the yarn to one side.

I baste the piping onto the front of the stocking...along the seam line which I have marked. Notice ! trimmed my piping with my pinking shears to assist with the give and take of sewing on curved areas.

Here's the top ready to be sew to the back of the stocking.

I then sew the stocking front and back together by following the basting stitch I used to place the piping. I was very particular about getting that basting stitch just right since I knew it would be my final guideline.

After doing a quick check on my sewing job from the right sides...I use those pinking shears again and give the seam a good trimming.

Love that reveal moment of instant gratification.

I just have to add the hanging loop and binding to the top. I trim with a rotary cutter across the top of the stocking.

I make the hanging loop using another tool from garment sewing days...a tube turner.

I tack the loop in place...

I sew on the binding...utilizing the free-arm option on my sewing machine.

Hand-stitch the binding in place.

Here's the pattern! Notice it says it is the 2008 edition. That's the year I bought it...

Finished it in 2014.