We were treated to an amazing sunset this Christmas evening, which we watched from our balcony.






Today was a beautiful, sunny day in Florida!  We are staying at the cheesy Thunderbird Resort, complete with a balcony and a great view of the Gulf. We had no plans for the day except to wander around the beach, enjoy the good weather, and celebrate Christmas in a way that we've never experienced before.  It was great!  It did feel weird to wear shorts and a t-shirt on Christmas, and we did get to see two Santas playing shuffleboard on the beach!


Christmas Eve was spent traveling from New Orleans to Treasure Island, Florida where we will be staying for two nights for Christmas.  No newsworthy photos today, but I thought this photo from a tunnel in Mobile, Alabama was pretty neat :)


Today was our last day in New Orleans, and then we'll be driving to the Florida Gulf coast to spend Christmas! 
We took the St, Charles streetcar again, but this time we got off in the CBD Warehouse District and went to the World War II museum.  It was an incredible museum with tons of great memorabilia and interesting displays (including boats that were made in New Orleans).  
We also went next door to the Contemporary Museum of Art, where we were puzzled by some pieces and intriqued by others.  It wasn't a huge museum, but it was worth the $3 admission fee!


In the evening, we caught the free Algiers Ferry and rode it across the Mississippi for a great view of the city.  I messed up a photo by accident, but ended up liking it and taking several more "messed up" photos!

12.22.10 - Lafayette Cemetary



Today we walked through the French Quarter and caught the historic Charles Street streetcar to the Garden District. We explored the Lafayette Cemetary, where there literally was vegetation growing from every little crack in the stones.  The caskets are sealed above ground in tombs because the water table is so high.  The tombs and the overgrowth made the cemetary seem much older than it is -- we saw one tombstone that was engraved this year.
We got lunch and walked through some old streets with beautiful old homes and took the streetcar back to the French Quarter where we visited the Lousiana State Museum.


We began our first day in New Orleans by exploring the French Quarter.  We visited the Katrina museum, the St. Louis cathedral, and wandered by the Mississippi River.  We ate delicious Creole food and leisurely strolled the streets of the Quarter.


We arrived in New Orleans!  After a long drive from San Antonio, we crossed the Mississippi and camped our first night in the Bayou Segnette State Park, about a 20 minute drive southwest of the city.


We left Las Cruces and drove east to a state park outside of San Antonio, Texas in the hill country.  We went on a quick run just as the sun was setting and the moon was rising -- I'm kicking myself for not taking my camera along with us during the run because the moonlight was incredible!


Today we left Albuquerque after spending some time with Chris's family. We headed south to Las Cruces, New Mexico where we met up with our old friend Gordon.
We borrowed a couple of bikes from his stash and visited the local brewery.



Today we began our journey.  Four weeks from now, we will have traveled to Albuquerque, Las Cruces, San Antonio, New Orleans, St. Petersburg, the Everglades, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, Nashville, Hot Springs National Park, and Dallas!!
We are excited and anxious to begin our trip!  Today we stopped in Moab for lunch and a four mile run on a dirt road and a gorgeous view of the Lasal Mountains.
Chris and I are planning to post here every day or so during our trip -- so if you're not planning any special trip this Christmas break, feel free to live vicariously through us :)


it's officially ski season!

The local mountain isn't opening for another week, but we skied it anyway! We hiked to the top of the mountain a couple times yesterday and again today for some preseason snow.


fall inspiration

We just had our first big snowstorm here in Cache Valley, but I'm still holding on to fall!  I took these photos about two weeks ago as I was on a walk through town.  The vibrant colors and textures are so inspiring to me! Oh how I love fall.

first quilt: days 2 & 3

Here are all of my photos from days 2 and 3 of my quilting adventure.

I've always been scared and nervous to make a quilt -- and now that I'm almost done piecing the quilt, I'm not sure why I was always so intimidated.  I think it's because I like instant gratification, and making a quilt does not give me that. But it's so much easier than I thought it would be!  Just careful cutting and pressing, and making sure I get the blocks in the right order :)  We'll see if I'm still this positive when I get to binding and quilting it -- I definitely am nervous about that part.

Sorry about the belly shot on this one -- I forgot how short this shirt is! I was so proud that I coordinated with my quilt, though.


first quilt: day 1

Day One

I spent this morning cutting out pieces:

Cutting is exhausting!  Thankfully, the blocks are super simple so it was just a matter of measuring correctly.  Even so, after a couple of hours, I was definitely ready to be done.


Me? Quilt?

Every time I teach a sewing workshop at a quilt shop, I'm met with confused stares when people ask me if I quilt and I have to answer no.  Quilting is so common here in Utah (it seems like it's more common here than elsewhere, does anyone else think that's true?), and I have to say that I'd like to jump on the bandwagon.

I'm beginning my quilting expedition on Sunday, when I will start cutting up some lovely Joel Dewberry fabric to make a quilt made from his Deer Valley collection in the Tarragon colorway (pictured above).  I can't quite find a good picture of what the finished quilt will look like, but I'll be sure to post my progress.

meeting Joel Dewberry

In addition to creating my sewing patterns, I work for a professor in the Family & Consumer Sciences department on campus, and daily I find myself thinking I can't believe I get paid for this.  It's a quite wonderful feeling to have!

Case in point:  on Wednesday, my co-workers and I headed to Park City to assist at sewing conference.  We were fortunate enough to have Joel Dewberry as a speaker, and then we facilitated a sewing workshop creating little stuffed birds, which is a project from his latest book.

Oh. My. Goodness. SO adorable!

Of course, I cornered him after his presentation to ask him all about being a fabric designer, marketing himself, creating a brand, setting up a display at the International Quilt Market, etc.  And the great thing about all of this was that he was incredibly willing to share his knowledge, which means a lot to me as an aspiring textile designer.

So now my brain is buzzing with ideas, I'm sketching layout and presentation ideas for my booth at Quilt Market in May, and I'm finding inspiration everywhere I look.  I am headed full bore into my next round of designing, excited about the possibilities of where this all might take me :)


getaway to Arches

Chris and I packed up and headed south to Arches National Park this weekend. SO beautiful -- everywhere I looked was amazing, and I kept taking photo after photo, knowing full well that a two dimensional image could never come close to capturing the views we saw. 

We took our bikes, and the first day we rode through about half of the park, riding 20 miles of road and stopping to hike small trails to spectacular arches.  We ate our lunches under this towering arch, enjoying the vibrant colors of the landscape.

The contrast of the delicate balance of the arches and rocks and the harshness of the desert terrain struck me.  The landscape is in a constant state of change, and although we didn't see Balancing Rock tumble, we were in awe that we are lucky enough to have seen it in this moment of its temporary life.

We camped on BLM land, and soaked in the silence created by this vast expanse of land.
We could see no one, and no one could see us.

We drove the back way into the park the next morning, navigating through dirt roads and muddy ditches.

We hiked a 3 mile trail in a remote part of the park that was
unmarred by the scores of tourists in other more popular areas.

It was beautiful.

We ventured to the north end of the main road of the park, and hiked 7 miles through a series of arches.

We scrambled up to Delicate Arch before sunset.

Yesterday, we drove home through mountains and fall leaves and ate lunch at a park in a small Utah town.

But not before standing inside some dinosaur tracks...