Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ending the Year...

Good Morning everyone... I woke up this morning feeling a wide mix of emotions. It really is the 29th day of December and that arbitrary January 1st is only days away. Like most of us I am contemplating -- That is, contemplating what this past year has brought, and what 2014 holds in store.

2013 has been wild & fun and it feels like the soil of my old self has been dug up, turned upside down -- letting the air in, and making all ready for new planting.

I just have not chosen the plants yet... there are soooooo many opportunities, but as every gardener knows you have to choose wisely.

It is the choosing that has me thinking -- thinking, just because it is the beginning of the new year, I may not be ready to choose yet. I am literally in the "middle" of working on my latest creations -- all in various stages of production for almost all are to be included in my newest book. Each project is special, and has a life of it's own at the moment.

So, for me all my decisions and plans for the new year (sort of like the perennial plantings) are somewhat already in place, and everything else (the lovelies-annuals) will have to wait for that manuscript due date to come & go before I make those selections.

I have only the piles & piles of scraps to share at this point, but know that each pile represents a quilt project unfolding.

Unfolding further as 2014 unfolds.
I would love to hear your plans for the new year.... or if yours-like mine, may just have to wait for a bit more unfolding.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Scrappy Trees

Being snowed in has had it's good points and it's bad points....
on the good side is plenty of time to stitch...
on the bad side...a bit of cabin fever.

I am in the middle of a ton of quilt projects for my newest books, and this weekend I was stitching some fun -- wonderful colors -- of fabric. Once the top was done I had a pile of scraps that screamed stitch me into something for Christmas...

so, inspired by a fabric tree given to me many years ago by my friend Joanell I started stitching those scraps together. A bit of improvisational stitching... then pressing... then cutting & stitching... cutting & stitching, and finally some cutting my newly stitched fabrics into as many triangles as I could.

So, with any luck I will be able to get out today and pick up some pillow stuffing and dowels to finish these up.... 'til then, here's some pictures I took along the way.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

1st Cookies

Hi All-
Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend. I'm home again after spending a couple of really fun days with family in Missouri. After Thanksgiving my own mind usually turns to cookies.

I have so many wonderful memories of baking cookies with my mom, sisters, son, nieces...not to mention my daugher-in-law, Dawn and a ton of friends over the years.

As long as I can remember though my mom has been the maker of Mandel Brot -- these biscotti like cookies are her go to cookies -- loved by almost everyone who has ever tried them. I have watched her make them a million times, but never tried to bake them myself until today.

This year has been a hard one for her and she has been to tired to bake, so it was time to whip her up a batch and send them to her for a change.

It's a simple recipe that can be made up in more ways than one can think of but here's the basics:

Mandel Brot(bread)
from Lenora Rohm

set oven for 350 degrees
1 C sugar

3/4 C oil
3 eggs (added 1 at time)
3-1/2 C flour

1 T baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
cinnamon & sugar for dusting

Once mixed you'll want to divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces and roll each into a long log.
 then bake the logs until they are just turning brown - 20-22 minutes
take the logs from oven slice and turn all the pieces over
place tray back into over for another 10-12 minutes
remove and shake on cinnamon/sugar mixture and enjoy!

This batch is now making it's way to mom!
does your family have a favorite for the season?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taking It In

Well, it is Sunday morning.... 25 degrees outside this morning, though another dry day. Unlike the storms that move through the area last weekend this one was much calmer. I have spent most of the time between this week working on projects for the new book.

There's a deadline looming, and I have to admit to feeling really excited about how everything is coming together -- so, so hard not to share, BUT I have other really fun things that I can!

David & I were waiting for the sun to come out to take a ride up to Mt.Vernon IL to see the Cedarhurst Museum. We needed sun especially for they are known for their sculpture park -- and boy we were not disappointed.

I am sharing here just a tiny smidge of the sculptures -- I was enthralled with each piece and it's home in the landscape...I even tried to record the sounds of the leaves and the wind for they played a part in the enjoyment of the experience.

Then there was the main galleries - wonderful permanent collection, and an amazing kid space -- and if you walked through there was another gallery there with the sculptures of Michelle Stitzlein - assemblages to wonder at.

Enough commentary... enjoy some of my pictures but also check out the link to Michelle's site, for the pieces are well documented and presented there.

Hope these bring a bit of inspiration to your day/week, and if you get a chance to visit Cedarhurst in person --- don't miss it!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Inspirations

Today I was awakened by the sound of thunder and rain falling hard....

My plans for the day are built entirely around stitching.... mostly quilting, but I was in the need of a bit of inspiration to get me going. Hmm, I hadn't been pinning very much lately, so I decided to jump on Pinterest and pin some of the quilts hanging at Ephemera.

Once on Pinterest I realized it had been a while since I took a Pinterest Hop -- click, I ran into some wonderful heart shaped rocks -- click, I ran into a beautiful print by Valerie Sims...

From there I was off hopping and found some inspiring print artists --
Flora McLachlan
Flora McLachlan
Hilke MacIntyre
Hilke MacIntyre
Hilke MacIntyre
Jane Walker
Jane Walker
Valerie Sims
Valerie Sims
I enjoyed these artists simple shapes and depth created by the added texture:
hope you enjoy these along with me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rooty Toot!

In case you're wondering the title today is me -- ready to blow my own horn a bit.

I have been having workshops and sharing some of my quilts at the wonderful store Ephemera of Paducah,
but this week Kristin Williams the owner asked if I had any winter themed quilts that we could put up.

Well, I knew that I had a couple -- and much to my surprise I found 10 that would fit the category. So I loaded them up and headed over -- (such a long, long drive -- 5 minutes..darn I love Paducah!)

We ended up using 7 --- and I love how they looked against the beautiful teal walls there in the store... here are few pictures.

If you are around -- and have a chance to see these and the others I have there I know you'll enjoy it, and all the other amazing things Kristin has brought in.

My next workshop there is in January --- hope it doesn't get frozen out...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Fun

Happy Friday!
On waking this morning, we find the temp has dropped to 32, but the sun is trying to make it's way through the foggy conditions to welcome the day.

Fall is fast waning -- Nikki, my sweetie girl tuxedo cat, has rediscovered the floor vents. She has her favorites as she keeps nice & toasty warm.

I am pretty glad that David & I made time for a picnic in the park this week -- the leaves will soon be gone, and the cold will not be as welcoming as the clear, crisp air with the sun shining through the fast disappearing colored leaves.

We enjoyed our lunches while watching the local park workers putting up the Christmas light displays throughout the park. These will soon make their annual appearance all lit up and wonderful, but for now they are individual light displays being installed and made ready for the holidays.

I took a few pictures and hope you enjoy our little bit of fall --
but, don't miss out,
I encourage you to take a bit of time
in your own community to enjoy the season.

There's still a couple of days left to get a free Leafy Fun pattern.

Click over and see how to get yours!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Celebrating Gratitude

November --
the month we here in the states celebrate Thanksgiving
is turning into the Month of Gratitude.

Being grateful, and saying thank you is a powerful action. It makes the giver and receiver feel like the special person that they are, so I'm totally on board.

I've chosen to take my fun-colored-post it notes and each morning write down one or two things I am grateful for and stick them on the frig. I'm hoping that my sweet David will join in... we'll see..
There are tons of ways to proclaim and share
your own gratitude this month.
From Abundant & Accomplished thru Zest & Zeal you can find a whole List of gratitude words by clicking here:

Use them to kick-start your 5 minute drawings and by the end of the month you can have a filled your sketchbook to bursting … a wonderful thing to be grateful for.
(if you've not joined in the sketchbook fun before --
check out my posting from June.

You can find a whole month of ideas by clicking on this site:

I'm starting here by saying how grateful I am to all of you who stop by -- read a bit -- try out some of my crazy ideas along with me -- and share your own ideas and selves with me.

I feel very special -- lucky, lucky indeed!

and don't forget
the pattern give-away
will continue through next Sunday-November 10th!

Friday, November 1, 2013

OMG .... Halloween in Paducah

It was 4 o'clock, on Halloween nite
--- hardly the witching hour, but I donned my cat ears and makeup and headed to my friends home over on Jefferson St.

I had heard tales of the numbers of trick or treaters that would soon be waiting for  their turn to hold out their bag for treats,
BUT OMG..... what FUN!!!!!

The weather report was not good, storms threatened to be right on top of us during prime time... but the residents of Jefferson held their breath and prepared their stockpiles of candy in hopeful anticipation.

This is not a city sponsored -- or any sponsor event, and the residents call for anyone within shouting range to donate candy for the normally 2000-4000 kids that show up on their doorsteps each year.

I took my post at the top of the steps with another new resident to Paducah, and we had to be pulled away.... it was just too much fun to hear the trick or treats, happy Halloween's and the Thank Yous from more costumed kids than I had ever seen.

On the front porch the lines never really let up...even during a short downpour, until the huge candy trough was ...empty.

It was truly wonderful -- the weather held out almost exactly to 9pm, when the tornado warning sirens sounded, the storms had held back just enough to give away all the candy. Over 1700 costumed kids were given candy on that porch last night -- and yes, there is always someone manning the clicker.

Big thanks to my friends who invited David & I to be part of the fun, and all the other insanely generous folks living in and around Jefferson St ...another grand reason to be happy living here in Paducah.

The fall leaves got blown around quite a bit last night, but my pattern give-away will continue on through Sunday -- grab one while you can!