Friday, March 28, 2014

Dancing Princess

The other day I went to work with PH.  We were on the road for two days and I saw what his days are like.  No wonder he naps during the news!

 Wednesday night we met up with our son, and Ceci and Michael for dinner.  Ceci told me she is taking dance lessons.  I asked her if she could show me what she does in dance class.  We moved to the back of the restaurant, I sat as the audience and she hummed a song. I was treated to my own dance recital! I don't know what the song was but it was too darned cute to hear her humming as she proceeded to gracefully dance for me.

 You can see this is serious stuff.
This was taken from my son's phone.  I think it's impossible to convert them to any other form which is too bad for all of the great pics that are taken with phones nowadays.

If you have any little girls in your life, they've undoubtedly seen the movie Frozen and by now have the video.  And by now you probably have the words to Let it Go going through your head as you try to get to sleep.
I know HE does!  Ben has it on the car stereo and he says it plays non-stop.  He rolled down his window and sang along as we all said goodbye.

Friday, March 21, 2014


I saved this to show you because I had to think about it for a few days.  I still don't quite know how to share it with you.   Shirley was at our retreat last weekend.  She is a knitter and she works cross stitch.  She makes antique looking samplers with primitive details that would make you think a long time about how authentically old they are.  You'd want to examine them very closely to be sure they aren't.

Shirley says she lives in the 1820s.  Yes, she has electricity in her house and she drives a car but her heart and soul are in the 1800s.  It's where she feels at home and comfortable. She relates.  I can relate.  I know what she means.  Do you?  Do you get it?  Can some other time make you feel like that?

 She showed us this box.  
She found it at an antique flea market. Her husband put leather hinges on it and the brass key plate.  Looking at it I knew it was incredible but I didn't know just how much so till she opened it up.

 Inside, were these treasures.  Yes, treasures.  Authentically old samplers, and I believe one she did herself and "aged" with coffee.
 This book is a fabric sample book.  It's an old spine falling apart German bible that she pressed authentically, historic fabric pieces in.  These fabrics are truly from the era they were born in.

 All of them.
She overdyes her embroidery floss with coffee.  Ties the skein right out of the wrapper in a loose knot and dips it in coffee.  It comes out looking like it had aged in an old wooden box for 100 years. Or 200.

Breathless.  I was truly breathless. Still am.  And I still can't describe it like it should be. It isn't even trying to describe the box that has me in knots.  It's the feeling I can't describe.  I guess you have to believe you can have a true affinity to another time and place and if you do, then you'd know what I mean.

If I could have tucked this under my coat and brought it home without her noticing, I shamelessly would have.   Shirley, thank you for this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meet Barb

Meet Barb.  I think Barb has a split personality.  Either that or it just all looks good to her and she wants to try it all. She hops between primitive and modern. Primitive and modern do not live next door to each other.  She's an artist and V E R Y  creative.  Oh, and a perfectionist.  Go sit in the corner, Denice.

 Barb does amazing hand applique. I dare you to find her stitches.
 She also does wool work (still can't get the computer to turn a picture sideways on the blog)
..... with embellishment.....
 She made this wall hanging as a birthday gift for a neighbor girl who, by the way, she is teaching how to quilt.

 And then there's this Barb
 When someone at our retreat asked her how she made these corner points all work out together in her quilting of this piece she said she just went up to here and turned and then turned and .....  yeaaahh, it's that easy.  Go sit in the corner, Denice.
She used a color coordinated thread in each of these pieces.  Look at those thread changes!  Some of those pieces are teensy.

I have some very talented quilty friends. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


We had a retreat weekend and there is lots to show!  Even if it was freeze-the-hairs-in-your-nose-cold we were graced with brilliantly sunny blue skies and a full moon.  There were ten of us, almost evenly divided between knitters and quilters. As always we were coddled and fed well by the inn keepers. No cooking (by us), beds with mile high blankets and pillows,  inch thick towels, love all around us.  All we have to do when we get there is stitch and drink our wine and maybe eat a piece or two of chocolate.  How wonderful!

 This is Sally's quilt.  She spent the weekend machine quilting it.  She said she just wanted to use up scraps...I'll show you the rest of the quilt another time, but notice those squares and the corners all meeting up where they should.  Sally liks itsy bitsy piecing and these squares are less than an inch. Smaller than my thumb nail.   And I bite my nails.
 Barb likes thread. She has a thread stash.  Oh, yes, she does. More on very talented Barb later.  She needs a whole page to herself.
 We had hats being made, boot socks, baby blankets

 Meet Mary.  This is her first time at our retreat and she wanted us to know if we needed something ripped out, she was ready.
The knitters kept Linda busy with her thread winder upper thing.  Linda graciously wound everyone's skeins, which just love to tangle themselves, into balls.  It took seconds.
Friend Marilyn was trying to make a Storm at Sea block but the pattern wasn't right, the templates didn't fit and not meeting her points was frustrating her.  You all know quilters like to make a point!
So very talented and kind Barb drafted the pattern onto paper and then she and Sally taught her how to paper piece.  Friend Marilyn has been quilting for 100 years but she never paper pieced before.  With this method she made her points!

There is more to show but I'm saving it.  I spent the weekend working on the round for the round robin we're doing with our Germany friends so I can't show it to you.  But I did finish it, Elke!

Monday, March 10, 2014


Isn't that flower just gorgeous?  It's blooming now on my daughter's lemon tree in her dining room.  There were so many blossoms and buds Adelaide got tired of counting them.  They smell divine. I couldn't resist just sitting in the chair next to this one and inhaling. 

I've been working on a project, really I have, but it's supposed to be a surprise in the end and I know Elke reads my blog so I can't show you what I've been working on. She will peek!  A group of my quilty friends and a group of Elke's quilty friends in Germany are doing a Round Robin.  I've shown the opening rounds but now that the works are in progress I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Yes, Elke, I have your square and am working on round two!

Friend Marilyn and this group of quilty friends are joining some other crafty people for a retreat this weekend.  We are all excited to be having a girl weekend with like minded souls but are still praying to the snow gods to be kind.  And stay away.  It's all still here.  It's trying to melt little by little but if you stepped into my yard you'd be up to your knees in it.  Still plenty of ice on the lake.  It could be a cold spring this year.