Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crafting with friends

I should have taken pictures of us sitting around the large table.  With two basins full of hot, soapy water.  Of the various colors of puffy wool roving.  

Photos of the kids and adults.  The laughing.  The red, itchy palms.

The glue guns dripping their sticky sap while waiting to be used.

The men folk, inside after child wrangling and bonfire taming, jumping to find a giant spool to wrap the acorn garland and keep it from tangling.

The rosy cheeks.

The cat curled up next to the wood stove.

The frosty breath and tales being told of the heated game of Manhunt being played outside.

Yes, I should have taken a photograph at the moment I stopped moving my hands, leaned back in my chair, surveyed the room, paused as I looked at each of the people and a smile spread over my face.

But I didn't.  I was too busy drinking it in.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Growing Orchids

I fancy myself a bit of an orchid grower.  Well, that is kind of an understatement of what exactly plays out in my mind.  You see, I have several orchid plants and they are continuously blooming. Not just when I buy them . . . like as soon as one stem of blooms fades, another is waiting to take it's place.  Many people have told me their woes about never getting their orchids to bloom again and, well, I'm just not one of those people.  So you see, in my mind I'm sort of the orchid master.

The orchid virtuoso.

The Obi Wan Kenobi of orchids if you will.

Well, that was until my mom and I went in search of the orchid farm that I'd heard existed just down the road. We found it alright and learned that it is a three acre greenhouse full of orchids.  Right down the road.  Because as it turns out, the climate in my neck of the woods is perfect for orchid growing.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Days of Thanks

These people that belong to me are a special lot.  We find a way to be together either in person or across the miles in spirit.  We don't live near my family nor my husband's and so holidays are spent with one or the other. Here. There.  Or somewhere in between.

We eat and play cards.  Walk dogs and play basketball.  Dance, sing and tumble over laughing.  This year included chasing an almost two year old little gem from room to room and being entertained and amused by her cuteness.  Her daddy was getting her ready for bed and once a new diaper was on and her jammies were zipped up, she hopped up and said with her arms out stretched, "So, what do you think?"  I think I loved those jammies and the precious little girl in them.

We have a tradition at Thanksgiving of while we are dishing our food for the big meal, we take turns telling what is special about each person and why we are thankful to have them in our family.  It's a meaningful, reflective and important part of our holiday.  I always end up crying.

Not because I'm sad.  Rather because I just feel so incredibly lucky that I have these people.  And the others in Joplin.  And that we remain connected no matter the miles.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Sale, winner & other housekeeping

I finally got around to getting signed copies of my book, Imagine Quilts, readily available for sale. You'll notice the new button in the sidebar on the right.  Click the button and buy a book.  If you want.  I'm not a pushy sales person.  At least I hope that's not how I come across.

Second, the winner of the Jolly Bar from Fat Quarter Shop is number 171 which is Laney. Congratulations Laney! Shoot me an email and I'll get your winnings on their way to you.

Happy Monday all around!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Have you seen the new Jolly Bar precut at Fat Quarter Shop?

You guys! Have you seen the new precut offered exclusively by Fat Quarter Shop?  Jolly Bars are precut from Moda Fabric collections and contain 5"x10" cuts of fabric from an entire line.  And, each Jolly Bar comes with an exclusive Fat Quarter Shop coordinating pattern.  

I've been a Fat Quarter Shop fan for years . . .  that's why I've always included a clickable link to their shop right in the side bar of my blog.  And when they asked if I'd like to play around with a Lakeside Gatherings Jolly Bar I obviously said yes.

Precuts by their very nature offer ease and convenience to a modern quilter because a portion (or all) of a fabric needed to make a quilt is already cut to size.  When I opened my Jolly Bar I started thinking of ideas and sketching plans.  My design called for a background fabric and I opted for the pale gray.  Once I did some math to figure out dimensions, I started cutting, sewing, pressing and sewing some more.  I only had enough of the gray for these few blocks so now my quilt is on hold until I purchase more gray.

With less than a yard of background fabric and one Jolly Bar, I can make about 20 of these blocks and once complete my quilt will measure  about 40"x50".  Though I might decide to make quilted pillows instead and have them on hand for gift giving over the holidays.  Don't you think these colors would work in most people's homes?   Hmmm . . . we'll see.

What's even more fun is that Fat Quarter Shop wants to give one of you a Jolly Bar of your choice. To enter visit the Jolly Bar pages at Fat Quarter Shop and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which one you'd pick.  I'll leave the contest entry open through Sunday, November 30, 2014.  A winner will be selected by random draw on Monday, December 1, 2014.  International entries welcome.

Good luck!


Saturday, November 22, 2014


Look at you there sitting on the train tracks with our dogs at your side.    

It seems like just yesterday you were born.

You've filled our home with laughter, light and love ever since.  That laughter part is especially true between you and I. Sometimes we finish each other's jokes and giggle and snort so much that we forget the cause.  

You grow and stretch and change and gently cause our family to do the same.  And you keep me on my toes.  Like the time this summer when we were driving to pick your sister up from Driver's Ed class and you were telling me a story.  You kept talking.  I kept nodding.  And then you were laughing.  And I was questioning, what? What? What's so funny?  Apparently your story took a preposterous turn of finding a giant hamster wheel in the cellar and I proceeded to nod and agree.  I clearly wasn't listening and you knew it.

Your determination, competitive spirit, and natural athletic ability make you a force to be reckoned with whether on a playing field, classroom or everyday life.  Not in a watch-out-I'm-going-to-take-you-out kind of way.  Rather a come-on-join-along-and-be-awed-at-the-grace-by-which-I-achieve-every-single-thing-I-set-my-mind-to.  All while encouraging your comrades and making them feel like there isn't anyone else you'd rather be with.

I look into your brown eyes and my soul smiles.

Happy birthday sweet girl of mine.

I love you.