Happy Birthday To Meeee...

Happy Birthday to meeee! And many moooore...
That kind of looks like Mandy Moore. Happy birthday to me and Mandy Moore. Which would be fine, because I think she's totally cute and seems like she has a good head on her shoulders, so she could share my birthday, but I just Googled her and she doesn't, her birthday is April 10th, so... get off my birthday, Mandy Moore. Why's it gotta be about you? This is MY day! Woo hoo! 
You know what else I think is cute? Princess cakes. Like this one, FOR MY BIRTHDAY.
How cute is that? Pretty damn, if you ask me. 
My adorable friend had that on my desk waiting for me when I got to work on Thursday. Which was good, because I took Friday off, but she's clever like that. She knew better than to leave it waiting for TODAY, which is, in fact, my actual birthday. Today. February 28th. Pretty cool day to have a birthday on, I recommend it if you get a chance to change yours. And the beauty, the kismet of this cake is that she didn't even know that this was ALWAYS the cake that I wanted when I was little! See?
 I think I must be praying for strength to deal with my brother Steven there. Although it kind of looks like I'm looking at the halo above my head, (HA!) but that's just the Japanese doll in the cabinet behind me. And we're both sitting there with no plates, just forks, 'cause that's how we did things in my house. Sing the song, blow out the candles, and then dig into a big handful of cake. Just kidding, we wouldn't use forks. 
So here's some of my birthday presents, my friend Karyn turned my blog into a book! Seriously! Be careful now, because if you look too long at my blog of my blog, it starts to suck you in like those candles in front of a mirror.
How awesome?
Totally awesome. 
I'm a published author now, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to charge you all $5 per viewing. And a nickle if you quote me. Especially if you say Obamalicious, because I invented that word. (Patent Pending)
And look what I got in the mail! My friend Lisa MADE this for me! She did! I swear! I love, love, love it. 
I couldn't paint anything that evenly if I was on a game show where I had to paint something evenly or else be electrocuted, and I think they ARE in the works to make that show. She's so effortlessly talented. You know the type. Never even seems to break a sweat over it. And anything that she decides to try, BOOM! Instantly good. Sigh. She's an inspiration. 
So all in all, a wonderful birthday! But anything would be wonderful, because it's MY DAY! 
Oh! And I've been getting Birthday Puppy Kisses all day long. She's an excellent kisser. Ok, it's her only trick, but it's still sweet. 
I'm all, "Can I get a Birthday Kiss?" and she comes over and SMACK!
Yup. A very good day.


It's Alllllll About Da Pup

So I went to Wordle and entered my blog. Nice! Some things you'd expect, Quilt and Fabric were big words. Also Burro, which amused me to no end. I don't think the word burro is used enough these days. BUT! the sad thing was that the word Pepper was sooooo tiny! About the same size as Santa or kittens and come on, it's not a blog about Santa and his kittens! Dang, I've repeated them again, so now they'll be even bigger! Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Pepper, Petunia, Pepper, Princess Pepper Pot, Pepper, PEPPER, PEPPER!! And to add a little emphasis, here's some pictures of the Princess.
Snoozing in a pile of blankets. Like ya do. I just want to kiss the top of her shiny little head right now! Mmwah! Mmwah!
Some people at work were thrown the other day when I said that my dog has a dermatologist. I know, I know. I don't have a dermatologist. I don't think anyone I know has a dermatologist. (Dang it, now it's going to be a dermatologist blog). And believe me, I didn't want to be the person who's dog had a doggie dermatologist. I put it off as long as I could. But she has allergies! Horrible allergies. Food allergies and inhaled allergies. Oh, and flea allergies. She's basiacally allergic to everything. We tried all kinds of things with our regular vet. 
There was a point where we gave 
her allergy shots in the back of her neck every three days. That was fun. It started out fine, but after a few weeks, she would yelp, and then I would yelp, and it became such a stressful event. She was on antihistamines FOREVER, which sort of worked a bit, but made her sleep all the time. She was on steroids, which worked beautifully, but we all know what they do to your body. At her worst, she was completely bald from her chin down her neck, all across her belly, and down her butt and legs. And the skin was really elephant-like, course and lumpy and scaly. It's a good thing 
she's the most beautiful girl in the world, or else she would have been one fuggly dog. And she itched all the time. I mean, ALL THE TIME!!! 
So finally, finally we went to the doggie dermatologist. Wasn't cheap, let me tell you that. But they gave her a boatload of pills to treat the chronic infections that she had from scratching so much, and put her on a vegan diet. Then after a month she started taking Atopica. It's a drug that was developed to keep humans from rejecting transplanted organs, but someone figured out that it would be good for allergies too, and DANG! It is night and day. She's like a whole new dog. Sleek and shiny and covered with thick, gorgeous fur. Not sleepy all the time, not scratching at all, she got a whole new lease on life. If any of you have a dog with severe allergies, talk to your vet about Atopica. 
I'm just sayin. Miracle worker.
So let's see where THIS puts us in the Pepper blog! Pepper, Pepper, Pepper..... 


Cue The Soundtrack!

They're here! They're here! The birds are here! I love getting mail! And I love these birds! 
I received my package from Regina at Creative Kismet, and I have to say, I scored! 
I know, I know, that's not the point of the swap, and I agree, it really wasn't. I so enjoyed everything about this exchange. I liked making my birds, and I hope whoever receives them loves them as much as I love these. I only wish that they all had tags on them so I'd know where they came from! If you recognize any of these as ones that you've made, please drop me a note. I know the black and white guy is from Sewing Magpie, because I entered her give-away to win one! I love it! 
I don't know who made this little fellow, but I adore the fuzzy tail!
And look at his feet! 
I know this beautiful Blue guy is from Cathie Sweetwolf 
I love his two sidedness, and the cute button too! I my have to steal that idea, Cathie! Too cute! 
This one's adorable, and has blush! How cute is that? And I love the embroidery.

How cute is this one? He's got a three dimensional wing! And there's a lot of other cute things over at Whosies and Whatnots
And this one... Hmm... Where could Darling Lorraine have come from? I'm so glad that she flew on over! She's precious, isn't she? You wish you had one. I know you do. 
I love her. Almost as much as I love her creator. 
A big thank you to Regina for going through all the stress of organizing this swap! I had a wonderful time. 
Now, what other swap can I join?


Black and White and Pep All Over...

I am a creature of habit.
 I am.
 I will go through phases of eating the same thing over and over for lunch with no problem at all. Taco Bell, day after day. Turkey sandwich, day after day. I understand that not everyone feels the same way. When I worked in the big city and went to lunch with my group of peeps, every day was the same drama, "Where are we going for lunch?" "I don't know, where do you want to go?" "I don't know, where do YOU want to go?" "How about Chinese?" "No... how about Italian?" "No......." and so on, and so on. Once, I kid you not,
 we were doing the dance, and someone suggested "How about KFC?" and someone, (and you know who you are!) said, in all seriousness, "No, I had that for dinner a few nights ago." 
What? Seriously? A few nights ago? 
Not me. If I'm in a KFC mood, that's what I'll be having until it gets replaced by something else, which I will then eat day after day until that gets old. And it's not just food, I will get a song in my head and listen to it over and over and over. Lately it's been this one... Although on the way home it was this, over and over and over. 
I don't know if it's healthy. I don't know if I'm the one with a problem, or if I'm just so very secure that I don't need variety. I can't imagine where it comes from, except for the feeling that gee, that was good, I bet it'll be good again!
And I'm usually right.
Which is why I bet I'm going to have no problem at all making a quilt out of these blocks.


I saw this quilt in the background of the TV show "That's Clever". It's cute, right?And it's titled "Pepper and Friends"! It's a sign. And honestly, how could I, Velvetdog76, not have a dog quilt? I saw the pattern in Quilter's Newsletter a long time ago, but forgot about it. Well, now's the time! Pepper needs an homage, so I think I will be paper piecing up a storm in her honor. The question now is... if I make the dogs black, like her, what color to make the background? I'm not usually crazy about black and white quilts, even though I've seen some awesome ones. I could do her in black, black on white prints for the backgrounds, and different bright colors for her collar? What would that look like? Maybe I should just get out an assortment from my stash and wrestle her onto them to see how they look. SIT! STAY! Now get on the blue pile! Hold it up! Work the runway!

Good dog...


Great weekend!

Happy Sunday! 
So I had me this thought: that I could go to work and commandeer the conference room as my own personal sweatshop. So I did! And I must say, it worked out perfectly. Giant glass topped conference table, lots of light, lots of room, I was able to do the quilting on two pending quilts! It would have been three, but the backing wasn't big enough. (Dammit! I hate figuring out yardage for backing! I always get it wrong.)
How perfect! That's lil Dixie Lee's QUILTED quilt in the foreground, and lil Reese's QUILTED I-Spy on the machine. Or, almost quilted at this point, but it's quilted now! Ahhhh... progress. So now I don't feel as guilty for starting on my Hawaiian quilt. Ha! 
My dear sweet friend Karyn brought me back a giant stack of squares cut from the fabric they make Hawaiian shirts from when she went to the Island. I'm thinking zig - zag quilt with a giant hibiscus or three appliqued on it.
On another note, I had a hot date to go see Paula Poundstone at the Rio Theater on Saturday night. She is hysterical, I had a really great time. And I posed with the humongous guitar in the lobby. This one's for you, Sweet Babboo! 


Mark would name him "Slow Hand"

All I want is a bottomless sack of cash, preferably in a nice fake Prada handbag, and all the time in the world to go to every fabric store in a hundred miles. 
Ok, and while we're at it, you'd better throw in a couple of RockStars, a full tank of gas, and a burro to carry my purchases. But then, I guess the burro, (I will name him Mr Sparkles!) will need some sort of burro trailer, because I can't have him running along behind my car, or else he'll need some RockStars of his own. 
So ok, just the cash, the handbag, the TIME, the gas, the burro, and the burro trailer. 
With racing stripes, because being a burro doesn't mean traveling second class. That's all. I am not high maintenance. I am very easy to please. I have simple tastes. Fortunately, I also have some amazing fabric stores nearby. Like the Holy Mary-Mother-of-God-be-all-end-all sweet mecca store, Hart's. This joint is truly one of my happy places. It's huge, and they have EVERYTHING you could want. All kinds of specialty fabrics in addition to tons of quilting fabrics. Oilcloth and linen and silks and BAMBOO. Awesome. Just awesome. If you ever find yourself in Santa Cruz CA, you just must stop in. You must.
And that's just the tip of the immense fabric iceberg.
Mmmm... fabric iceberg... stuffed seals and penguins frolicking... nice.
There's also Judy's, in Scotts Valley, and now also Capitola! Nice big selection, and they also have a home dec store with alllll kinds of trims.
Not to be ignored, there's an amazing shop in Los Gatos, Natural Expressions
This place has it all. Fabric, fabric, fabric, lots that you don't see anywhere else, and BEADS! Tons of beads! Two, two, two shops in one! And may I digress a moment to share this song with you? It's my new favorite song. I can't stop singing it. And I can't wait for someone to send me one of those "What's your favorite drink? What's under your bed?" emails, so I can answer the "What's your favorite animal?" question with "Pangolin". Except that they're apparently covered with fingernails, which has the potential to really creep me out, but it hasn't yet, so go Pangolin! 
So, funny story about Natural Expressions. 
Is this the longest post ever? It's getting there.
So my very dear friend told me, "There's a fabric store in Los Gatos!" 
And I politely told her, "No, you dear sweet child. There is no fabric store in Los Gatos. I would know."
But she insisted that there was, and told me the street it was on, which happened to be the one main street,(not a huge town). So ok, I'm game. I'll check it out. So on the way home, I detoured off the freeway and drove through town looking for this mythical shoppe. With a pretentious 'e' on the end. And no, there was no such shop. Or shoppe.
So I went back to work and told her she was a liar, but she insisted that I just hadn't tried hard enough. 
Now, this is the same girl who would get me to go to the administrative area at work with her by telling me that they had kittens. Did they have kittens? Well, ok, they did once, BUT JUST ONCE! 
So this played out day after day; me driving through this town, not finding the store, sorry, shoppe, and her swearing the next morning that it really was there.
Day after day. Over and over. No shoppe.
Until finally one day we went to lunch together and she walked me over to this tiny little hole-in-the-wall that, low and behold... WAS A QUILT STORE! 
Now. In my defense. 
It WAS tiny. And it DID have beads in the window. AND it's named Natural Expressions! What quilt store do you know named Natural Expressions? That ain't a normal fabric-y name! There's another quilt store in San Jose that just has QUILT SHOP (no e) on the roof. It took me months to find out the name of that place is "Prairie Queen Quilts"
They too are a lovely shop. 
If you ever find yourself hankering for some fabric shopping and you're in San Jose, or Santa Cruz, or, aw hell, in California, give me a call and I'll show you all the best spots. And if you know any that I might need to add to my list, please tell me! 
Now, where can I buy a burro?


Oh, the Winter Blues......

Oh sigh. Heavy sigh. Eye rolling, deep lung sigh... When I am at work, all I want to do is go home and sew, but then when I get home, I can't get motivated!  Does anyone else feel like this? I have so many unfinished projects. Soooo many. Like this...
My Christmas quilt. I tried to take the picture to make it look bigger, but that's really all there is of it. Or this...
All the pieces cut out for the Christmas tree rag quilt. Or this... 
My "Masterpiece". It's waiting, just waiting for it's applique border. That's all. Totally pieced top. Just needs a border. A "Masterpiece" border, sure, but the point is it's just been sitting there waiting, like FOREVER. And that's not even the worst! There's this... 
A half done project. Pillow covers for a friend. Cute! I think. Then I just don't know why I can't finish them. And what about... 
This will be a baby quilt for my step-son and his wife. No, they're not pregnant yet, why do you ask? So why? WHY? Why can't I finish up any of them? Why can't I even WORK on them? I've made stuff before, I know it can happen. But I just have no drive at all to work on these. Maybe it's my crappy tools... 
This is my ironing mat, that I've had for easily 10+ years. It's seen better days! It's burned and ripped on one side... 
And the other side has been so well used that the lines are worn off. Maybe I need a whole room make-over. Maybe I just need new stuff. Maybe I need a kick in the butt and a good dose of "FINISH-IT!" So why, why, WHY in the name of all that's holy, am I putting together aqua and red fabrics to see how they'll look in a new quilt?