Wednesday, September 28, 2016


It took a few weeks waiting for a good time to concentrate and it took a couple of trips over here to finish, but the girls have worked on their square on the wall and it's finished.  There was a little discussion about there being one square and two girls with very different ideas but we discussed and settled on a design.   In the beginning Adelaide wanted to split the square and let them each do their own because she wanted a unicorn on hers.  "Nope," I said, "no unicorns."  Elizabeth wanted a turtle.
I decided this was going to look primitive. Like one of those samplers you find in attics done by a girl just learning.  I was good with it. 

 The first step was donning a couple of my paint shirts and painting the background.  It took a lot of mixing to get just the right color.  This was tapping into Elizabeth's expertise.  She can see the right color in something.  Adelaide got a little heavy handed on the paint but I had plenty of blue left for fixes.  It all worked in the end and they had fun.  Done and done.
 After the paint dried I had them over again to draw their design on.  We decided on a garden that had butterflies (the compromise for unicorns) and a pond to put the turtle in.
 This is classic textbook Elizabeth.  Concentration.  Knowing what she wants.  Keeping Adelaide out of her way while she worked on her pond.
 This week promised a lot of rain off and on, school, soccer practices, so last Sunday afternoon while the sun was shining  I had them here to finish their painting.  Elizabeth thought these cans of very expensive paint were like candy and her focus was on making lots of interesting mixes.  I saw dollars going down the drain so let her do just one concoction.
 While Adelaide was painting her sunflower and stem she said, "I'm glad we were chosen."  I asked what she meant and she said, "I'm glad we were chosen to be the ones to paint on your wall." 
 They actually knew to use two different greens!
 And then Adelaide saw my white paint shirt as a blank canvas and they went to work.  Notice my heart tatoo. 
 I could feel the paint leaching onto my skin on my back. 
 Other than Adelaide's butterfly, they finished their picture.
This is also textbook Elizabeth.  She painted cattails on her pond.  She does go for the detail!
And there they are.  That's water on their clothes, not paint.  I had to take a good scrubbing on Adelaide's good patent leather shoes, but as Elizabeth likes to say when they do something here, "Don't tell mom!"

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Show and Tell

 Meet Friend Jan.  She shared two gorgeous quilts with Friend Marilyn and I the other day and they are truly too beautiful not to share here.
 This is a trip around the world variation she made for her niece who has indeed traveled the world with her military husband.  Jan loves the Simpson and Minick line and this quilt is done in those fabrics.
 She really made it personal by embroidering the name and date of each of the places the couple has been posted in the middle of a trip.  In the photo above she is pointing to one of those.
 This is another of her quilts.  Jan loves embroidery and does an impeccable job - her work reminds me of my mom's embroidery and the philosophy that if it isn't right, it isn't right.  Notice the quilting between the tulips mimics the tulip.  Oh, and Jan is also a hand quilter.
 She colored each of the flowers with crayon

These two quilts were just too beautiful not to share with you.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Toot! Toot!

That's me, tooting my own horn. Or rather, Friend Laurie is tooting my horn on her blog.  Come see!

Thank you, Friend Laurie! What a surprise when I opened your post!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


 This is the extent of orange fabric in my stash.  Four pieces.  It's not a color I gravitate to, think about or even consider when fabric shopping.  It can sneak into a piece I'm working on, but ever so gently, like it's hoping I don't notice it's there. But orange isn't a color that tiptoes.
 There is a time and a place for orange and late September and October is it!  It's everywhere.  You can run but you can't hide from it.  The remnants brighten up November.

I don't even know what this time of year would look like without orange, and that's a good thing because it's everywhere, brightening our space and making us think happy thoughts

 before this happens.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Heart of Henry Quantum

The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding

    Henry Quantum is another of the quirky characters we are seeing in books lately.  Henry’s quirk is his attention span, or lack of one. Or maybe it isn’t his attention span, maybe it’s just his worrisome nature to always be wondering, “what if” or maybe just that he’s a thinker and his brain is too busy to process all of his thoughts or maybe he just doesn’t like making a decision or maybe…  You get the idea.  A whole page or two at a time of Henry’s brain in gear can be funny and confusing (for the reader) and telling.
     It’s December 23 and forty year old Henry still hasn’t gotten his wife Margaret a Christmas gift.  This is the first thing he decides he needs to do, but with the option of about a million distractions and side tracks and diverse trains of thought, he is in many different directions, none of which find him at the scent counter of a department store. He tries, oh he tries.
     What he does find, quite by accident, is Daisy.  The love of his life.  The one who got away because they were both married at the time.  Seeing Daisy again really throws Henry into a spin because she tells him she just left her husband and wonders if there is anything left for them.  Henry’s day and brain just got more befuddled.
     This story takes place in one day. We are given three stories, Henry’s, Margaret’s and Daisy’s.  Once you get used to Henry, and I suppose that’s what all people who know him say, he’s endearing.  This really is a charming story and I guarantee the next time you find your mind wandering in the middle of a thought, you’ll think of Henry.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Wonder

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

     I think Emma Donoghue likes to think herself out of small, tight spaces.  She brought us the bestselling Room and now The Wonder.  Both stories put their characters into incredibly small physical spaces with what seems to us impossible chances and carries us right to the very end.
     In The Wonder, English nurse Lib Wright is hired to sit with eleven year old  Anna  O’Donnell. Anna, it seems to the entire village is living miraculously without food.  She was last seen taking food four months before and has since been living on what she calls manna from heaven.   The town council wants to make sure there is nothing untoward going on and hires two people to sit with Anna for two weeks. Every minute and action must be observed.  Anna must be proven to be either miraculous or cheating.
     Anna and her parents live in a small, thatch roofed, dirt floored Irish cottage in a small village. Anna is confined to the one bedroom in the cottage.  Upon meeting her for the first time, Lib inspects every nook, cranny and crevice in Anna’s room.  She restricts visits from visiting pilgrims, fights off reporters from the newspapers and watches, along with a local nun who is the other observer.
     As the days pass, the weakened Anna grows weaker and seems to welcome the prospect of death in atonement for her brother who died quickly and without benefit of confession.  She believes him to be in purgatory and her actions will rescue him into heaven.  No amount of begging will convince Anna to eat a bite.
     As the days pass, Anna and Lib become close, the village elders more suspicious and the one reporter Lib uses as a sounding board starts to make sense.  And Anna grows weaker while we watch.