Valerie's Birthday Party

Yesterday evening, we all headed over to the other side of town to help Valerie celebrate her Tuesday birthday. It was the first time Mike and I had seen her house, which was built in 1943. Valerie took the house down to its virtual skeleton and completely renovated it. It is adorable. My recollection is that it is about 750 square feet, and so it's a nice little doll house for the two of them and their three kitties.

We got the grand tour of the house and enjoyed some wine before heading over to the restaurant Valerie had selected.

I didn't take a lot of pictures of the interior of the house, but I wanted to show you this space-saver stairway. It's not as scary as it looks.

Matthew and Valerie mainly inhabit the lower floor, but the upper floor has two small rooms. One is a sort of lounging "library" with books, bookcases, and comfy cushions. On the side where I was standing is Matthew's "Man Cave" where he has his recording equipment. He had some "mood lighting" that turned both of these images hot pink. I converted the one below to black and white. The hot pink was a little distracting.

I took a few little gifts to Valerie. She's a woman who knows quality when she sees it. She saw my Frankencat on Facebook, and she claimed it as her own. 

Also, I can reveal the little mug rug I made for her. This is the mystery project I've been withholding.

This pattern was designed by The Patchsmith, and I found it on Craftsy. I'm calling mine "Eyes on the Prize". Also, I gave her this Mugtail coffee mug. I saw these at Christmas and thought it would be a perfect gift for Valerie, who loves cats as much as I do.

Speaking of cats, this is George, Valerie's flame point siamese. He was the sweetest thing. Very friendly and affectionate.

This is Osa, who kept her back to us most of the time. She clearly does not like strangers invading her space. Valerie showed us how one can request permission to pet her by putting your hand down by her face. If she nudges your hand (as she did mine), then permission granted. She does not care to have her picture taken however. She closed her eyes just as I snapped the shutter on this one, but she has the most beautiful yellow eyes.

And this shy guy is Smooth. Matthew dragged him out from his hiding place so that we could see him, and his coat is as soft as velvet. Smooth has taken up residence on the Sunshine on my Shoulders quilt. Clearly, he is a mancat of discriminating tastes.

It was cozy seating for six there, but we all had a place to sit down, and we chatted and laughed for a while before we left for the restaurant. It was fun hearing the stories of Valerie's house and renovation adventure.

We had a dinner of Cuban food at a restaurant in Portland called Pambiche. I just looked up the definition of Pambiche, and this is what I learned on Wikipedia:

Pambiche is a Latin American dance derived from Merengue, the national song and dance of the Dominican Republic. The Merengue was once called the "Palm Beach One Step" and it is said that "Pambiche" is a derivation of "Palm Beach." It is considered by some to be the most difficult of all americanized Latin American dances. Dominican Accordionist El Prodigio has released an album entitled Pambiche meets Jazz, in which he combines traditional merengue rhythms (most of the songs featuring pambiche) with traditional American music such as jazz, rock, and blues.

So there you go. I heart the internet. Anyway...good food, good service, good company, and definitely good times.

Now, not to brag about our weather, but allow me to brag about our weather. I'm forgetting for a moment about global climate change and just enjoying what it has done for us in the Northwest this winter. This picture appeared in our local paper a couple of days ago...

along with the news that this has indeed been the warmest winter on record for us. The last record was set in 1958. Average temperature this winter has been a chilly 45.8°F with very little rain. The lack of rain is what has made our winter so nice, and I am not complaining one bit.

So today I'm going to get a start on the baby quilt I'm making for a friend. I started cutting it out yesterday, but I'm going to start sewing it today. Before I leave you however, I wanted to tell you what I discovered yesterday. Those of you more internet savvy than I will probably yawn at this, but I was simply amazed.

As I was deciding which block to make next for Lisa's Retirement Quilt, I came across this one in the stack and heaved a big sigh. This is the downside of asking nonquilters to create blocks. Clearly, this is a paper-pieced block, and there was no way I was going to be able to recreate it without the pattern. (Maybe someone more EQ smart than I am could do it, but it isn't going to be me.)

So I tried searching for different names, like "paper-pieced star" and "paper-pieced pinwheel" and some other things. I could find approximations, but nothing identical. Then, I wrote a blog post entitled "Calling All Smart People" and asked all of you if you recognized it. Then, I deleted it when I remembered that it was possible to enter an image into the Google search box and search for an image. You do it like this.

Go to the Google Images Search page. This is how it looks on my computer screen:

Then, you click on the little camera icon, and upload your image:

When your image has uploaded, instantly, you will get a screen that looks like this:

You can see my image at the top, and then about a zillion times this image has been loaded onto Pinterest. I scanned the list and about halfway down the second page, I found the original pattern:

There, I found the original blog post for the block created by Anna at Six White Horses, along with a link to the pattern on Craftsy.


Have I said lately how much I love the internet?

So there you go. And here I go. Heading off to the sewing room now. Have a nice Monday.

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

Ann Bassett said...

I love the search by image feature in Google. It's a lot of fun. I don't know how I ever existed with the internet. I go there for everything now. Love the pictures of the kitties. So sweet.

Marlene said...

Looks like you had a great night. Love the look on Valerie's face with Frankencat. Thanks for the tutorial on Google Images-I will admit I have never used it before but will certainly be now.

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm pretty savvy but I've never seen that before, very cool thanks. I'm not picking favorites but I would have loved to cuddle with Smooth, he looks like he would secretly adore it. And finally, why does Matthew look like he's telling you to stop taking pictures, he has to be used to it by now.

gpc said...

What a cute house! I love it. Of course, if I take my fabric there would be no room for me. But uncluttering is a dream of mine. I totally agree, the Internet is My Friend. We spend a LOT of time together.

MOMCAT14C said...

Was nice to see the pictures of the blue sky and sun. We have had a very cold winter, with temps averaging around 25F, and snow every few days. It snowed yesterday, and we're supposed to get another 4 inches on Wednesday. At least it stays light later now. It's been good quilting weather, and I've finished several small projects, along with a lot of crocheted stuff, and a few seasonal door wreaths, and I have a few other quilts in various stages of completion, along with slowly working my way through the UFO pile in the closet!

Junebug613 said...

What an adorable abode! And pretty kitties! I wish any of mine would come out for people to see. Unfortunately, the dogs bark when anyone comes in and they scatter. I love the gifts you gave Valerie! Looks like it was a fun evening. Wow! I knew you could do image searches, but didn't know how. Thanks for that! Glad you are enjoying the lovely weather!

Dasha said...

Brilliant tip!! I sort of believe I am pretty savvy, but this is something I didn't know and its an absolute gem. Thanks for sharing. How many times I have trawled for a pattern, it would have saved me a great deal of time.

quiltzyx said...

Could it be? 3 Cats Ranchette? Valerie looks so happy with Frankencat and the mug & mugrug are very cool. I had no doubt that Osa would allow you to pet her. She knows a cat enabler when she sees one. So the upstairs room is NOT actually hot pink? I am a bit relieved to see that. I had friends that rented a house & the bathroom was not just hot pink, it was HOT PINK!!!!!!!!!! It hurt my eyes to go in there.
I didn't know about the image search using an actual image! Thanks!! Glad you found the pattern, although as I recall, you aren't a big fan of paper piecing. Just take your time & remember to breathe!

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Hi Barbara - I read every day just don't comment every day - don't want you to think I'm a stalker ha ha. Hey I did not know this trick on google and I BIG HEART Google so this is wonderful to know. Thanks!!! Also - Kudo's to Valerie and the renovations. Have a great day. Enjoy the Oregon weather, I think we brought the old Oregon to Arizona. We had some major rain and hail storms yesterday. Wow - it was crazy.

DaniQuilts said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the tip on image searching in Google. I will surely be using this in the future. And I suppose I'm in the minority with regards to the pink lighting. I thought your picture made great use of the pink, really framing the stairwell. And then I thought...wouldn't that make a great fabric...;-)

LethargicLass said...

I love George's nose freckles! And wow! That image searching trick will open up a whole new Internet for me, thanks for sharing!

VroomansQuilts said...

The smaller homes seem to be quite the thing of late - not sure I (with claustrophobia) would be comfortable. You taught this old dog a new trick. Cool block

Claire said...

I for one did not know about image search. I could have used it when I got a mystery vegetable in my weekly box. Now I am ready for the next mystery.

Diane Wild said...

Looks like a fun time with the kids. And your weather is mah-ve-lus. It is currently snowing in Minn. A beautiful spring snow..what else can I say about it? As for the internet, it is truly remarkable. Even more so now that my computer is fixed. Sigh!

Nita said...

We also live in a small house of approx the same square footage. Always nice to see others who are content as we are. A challenge at times, especially in the 99 square foot sewing room...but content all the same :)

Kate said...

Happy Birthday to Valerie. She did a wonderful job with her house, very comfy looking.

Thanks for the tip on the Google search, I didn't know you could do that.

Dar said...

Great shots of your fun dinner and pre-dinner. No, you are not the only one who didn't know that you can do an image search like that on Google. Thanks for enlightening me.

Jacque said...

Wonderful party....love, love Smooth. Looks just like one of our family member's kitties! Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you for the tip on searching. SO COOL!! It's no wonder that I want to be like you when I grow up. (Grin)

Tami C said...

I love looking as the Little Houses like Valeries! My sister build one on her daughter acreage in Florida. She liked having her own place when she went to visit. Loved the mug rug you made for Valerie!

Brown Family said...

That is a sweet little house! (667777777777777777777777777777777777777 Angel's comment)
I did not know that about Google. I will be trying that image search!