Saturday, August 25, 2012

beginning the 57th year

Let him eat cake!  Some to the fun things we did for my birthday week celebration...

57th Birthday portrait prior to eating the amazing chocolate sunflower cake. Clearly a winner in my book!  
This week after a fun day with Keith at the Bread Line for lunch and a visit to the excellent 40 Under 40 show (link to slide show of the artworks) of young crafts artists at the Renwick Smithsonian American Crafts Museum we had a quiet evening at home we ate birthday cake and watched the funny & sad movie Beginners which tells the story of a 75 year old man coming out and his son's romance with a lovely French actress. It was funny and had a great role for the little Jack Russell Terrier. Christopher Plummer (82 years old) won his first Oscar for the role of the gay father this year which is one reason I wanted to see this film.

I received, just what I wanted, from my guy, a beautiful copy of the exhibition catalog from Vincent Van Gogh The Drawings, at the Metropolitan Museum of art up in NYC that I saw a number of years ago. It's a great collection of his works on paper and a few paintings to show how he sketched his finished works in letters to show his supporter Theo, other artists and his family what he was creating. It also has some great reproductions of his formal reed pen and ink drawings which are very detailed and very accomplished works on paper. I used to draw with a reed pen but we don't have any bamboo growing in our pots in the garden any longer to cut flexible green reeds from. I need to go scouting to see if I can find some near by that I can cut and use to draw again.
Rose star quilt top over the curtain rod 

Light pouring through the quilt top looks like stained glass windows

 The next day we arrived in Manassas to celebrate with my Mom late in the afternoon. I wanted to photograph my Rose Star quilt top hanging over her bay window before it got too late and did that then we had to go eat lunch right away. I had seen other quilters paper pieced tops hanging in the sunlight and wanted a few of mine to show how much they look like stained glass windows. We later went to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. She had never had Vietnamese and we always liked the dishes at a restaurant that was closed up in Clarendon, Va. a few years back to make way for condos by the metro station. Closing of Cafe Dalat was a real loss to our list of restaurants we love. Pho in Manassas was OK but nothing to write home about the way Cafe Dalat once was.

Thursday we took off to Warrenton to find a bakery that made a delicious Lemon cake my sister Jenny sent mom for Valentines earlier this year. We enjoyed the ride through the country side and were also looking for lunch and some thrifty shopping at a number of shops Keith found on his google maps. Red Truck bakery was sold out of sandwiches at 2 PM when we arrived and wouldn't have any more until they opened the next day. They sent us to a little nature shop that was a complete time warp back to 1970's that served us up some delicious sandwiches way upstairs in an old house turned vitamin, herbs, books, massage and incense, etc. store. It happened to be right across the street from Salvation Army shop. I went back later for some red truck shaped and iced short bread cookies too attractive to pass up after going to the bakery so far from home.

Keith escorts Phyllis across the street to Salvation Army store in Warrenton
We didn't find anything thrifty to buy but we had a good time looking and seeing the old town of Warrenton before we headed home. Friday we went to Lowe's hardware for a bucket and found that they had several plants Keith and I wanted. Mom treated Keith to a red December blooming camellia called Yule Tide. We also found several big white clematis on the discount racks for $2.50 each a super bargain at exactly the right time of year to plant them for next year's flowering. Remember: first year sleeps, second year creeps, third year leaps is the rule for perennial vines.
Keith's red camellia is already planted as I am writing this post , that was fast.

white clematis x two 
New York Asters
 I spent some birthday money at Joann's Fabrics again to select gifts from Mom myself since she can't get out and buy them alone. I picked out a rotary cutter and blades and a few blue and white fabrics to go with the old sheets I found at thrift stores recently. I am dreaming of a Dresden plate design to mimic the antique one that she has which was made by her grand mother. I borrowed it and plan to make some adjustments to the design but I wanted it handy to guide my work in the coming weeks. I also got my backing & batting washed and shrunk up in the dryer at home because we don't have laundry in our apartment building.
Great grand mother's Dresden plate quilt 

These are some new & old blue and white fabrics for a new quilt project were a gift from Mom this year in addition to the bumpy off white bedspread I found at Salvation Army store Manassas. It reminds me of being a kid and napping on my parents bedspread just like this one.

I have to say it was a great week from beginning to end. Thanks too all my friends and family who sent best wishes on Facebook.

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