Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer days

Hi Friends, Mid summer and I've not blogged in ages. So much has happened, good and bad. I'll start with the bad so I can end with a positive note. In April I lost my step brother, Paul, my mom's son from first marriage. Although I've only seen him a handful of times because he lived in WV, we stayed in contact and he was the kindest brother with such a big heart. He was a Marine, Vietnam vet. I miss hearing from him. Ironically, I was planning a surprise road trip for both Paul and mom this year. His death was unexpected and I was once again reminded not to put things off. I will always regret that.
 Paul did get to meet my son Edward. I'm so glad he did.

Nine days after Paul passed, I lost my baby brother Bill. Again, unexpected and unbearably sad. Still recovering from this. It seems incredibly wrong to lose a younger sibling. I don't think mom will ever be herself again after these losses. She is trying to be brave and put on a smile, but her eyes show her broken heart which in turn breaks mine. My brother was a loner much like myself. I think we all are, except my oldest brother in Hawaii. He seems to have the world on a shoestring and I'm happy for him. I will miss the box of Fannie May mints that shows up on my birthday, his homemade beef jerky with that hint of sweetness and black pepper that only he can make, the wooden bowls he made on occasion with dad's lathe I used to share with him on our woodworking days in the shop, the birthday cards signed,"Love(I guess) Bill", and taking him his favorite licorice snaps when I found them. I miss him daily and wish I would have had more time with him.
So, my muse has left and I don't expect her back anytime soon. It's fine though because I have been enjoying visits with mom daily, gardening, and hanging with hubby. I've thought a lot and realized I am where I'm supposed to be. I tried the social thing, and loved my teaching and meeting students and new friends, but I shine most when I am in the environment I created through the years. I don't like drama, competition, negativity, etc, and I can choose not to engage in any of it any longer. Life is too short. My motto has always been to be true to yourself, now I fully understand that is exactly what I must do. 
I've enjoyed crazy quilting so much and felt I needed to share it so others may find that enjoyment. So, I was nudged into teaching, and although it was out of my comfort zone, I had the most amazing, supportive students who allowed me to be me. To see their creations, their joy and confidence, I can admit, I was successful. I'm complimenting myself, possibly for the first time in my life, and it feels good. Thank you to all who trusted me to introduce you to being free with crazy quilting. You are all amazing women. I will always be grateful for the crazy quilt ladies I've met. Time to step back, but will stop in on occasion when I have something to contribute. 
On the happy notes, as some of you may know, my dear husband has kicked cancers butt. Wed is his last checkup for two years. Thankful for finding the right dr at Northwestern. Three years of the wrong care locally, one year of the right treatment and it's gone! Thank you Dr. Ma, you are my hero.

Mom bought this Victorian tear catcher for an early birthday gift. I filled it with tiny mermaid tears. I love it and thought I'd share in case you find one. They aren't easy to find, but they are out there. Women would collect their tears from a loss and when the tears dried up, mourning time was over. Sad but sweet concept I thought.


So no worries aver me, I'm doing what I need to do, led by my heart and very content. I miss you all, and think of you often and I hope I come to mind on occasion and not forgotten because I will be back from time to time. After all, I've got to use up some of this collected stash.
FYI~Carole Cree is retiring, so if you want in on some great deals, 40% off at Flights of Fancy! So get over there and pick up some pretty stash! Tell Carole Pat sent you :-) (No, I don't get a kickback,lol) I wish Carole the best in her retirement. Her offerings have been a staple in my stash for so many years. Thank you Carols for supplying crazy quilters with amazing goodies.

I took mom out for a drive, ended up in St. Joe then caught some yard sales on the way home where I met the owner of Quilter's Resource. It was an honor to meet such a lovely lady. Although she closed a few years ago, she had some vintage lace that I was fortunate to acquire, so I really need to continue CQing now,lol.

Thought I'd leave you with some old photos mom shared with me. Don't laugh too hard. Oh the fun times we take for granted when young.
  Fishing with my little brother in Canada!


Dad,me,brothers Steve,Jim,Bill posing on a future car project. My dad was a body man and loved rebuilding from scratch.
 Sitting on boulders in Canada with brothers Bill and Steve. No, we did not add to the grafitti.


                                           Canada trip, I think this was our last one. 
 Step brother (Dad's son) standing, Rodney, left to right~Steve,Jim,Me (gotta love that dress,LOL)

 Guess who? Yes, I was born with dark hair then it turned blonde and now....only my hairdresser knows for sure :-)

 Mom and dad and a small hint of brother Steve before their brood were part of the picture.

Mom as a girl in WV where playing in a creek was her favorite pastime.

I hope you are enjoying your moments. Be safe and blissful stitches my friends.


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Crazy Quilt inspiration book

I was gathering some of my past CQ photos to keep as inspiration in a journal and decided to publish it for anyone interested. It is 50 pages of my crazy quilt projects, close up images in full color. Some are horizontal so you could see larger photos. The link is on the left sidebar if you want to browse. If you purchase a printed copy, don't forget to download your free digital copy so you can enlarge to see every detail. The printer sometimes distorts the colors and you will see the true colors in the digital copy.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thanksgiving is four days away!

I have been gone too long. The season's have changed, we got a new president, and my muse has almost agreed to return.
I just don't know where to begin. The days have shortened, but I really like the dark cozy mornings where I can snuggle in my comfy chair and watch the sun rise and enjoy a cup of tea before the world starts buzzing.

I did make it to the beach a few more times before the cold weather moved in.



I even slipped off one day to my friend Dawn's new home to kayak for the first time. I loved it and am going to buy my own kayak. Thanks Dawn!

I've been taking mom to Ogden park to feed the koi cheerios as often as possible. They should be fine this winter.


We've been wine tasting in Michigan......

And just hanging out having lunch...

Mostly, I've been booking doctor appointments and spending much of my time at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago with DH. He has agreed to begin treatment again for lymphoma. This time, with a brilliant doctor, Dr. Shou Ma, we will kick cancers ASS (excuse the language). All the new labs, tests and biopsies were not much fun for him, but the trips into the city were the worse. Traffic is crazy, no one uses turn signals and they speed in all four lanes on Lakeshore drive. Argh!  I must admit, the building are pretty neat, especially along the lake.



So we were fortunate to be able to switch chemo treatments closer to home in a new facility only 15 minutes from home, since he will be taking three day IV's each time. He gets so stressed having to go into Chicago and Dr. Ma was so great working with us and understood our situation. Wish him luck, it looks more promising this round.

 My dear friend Terri Takacs sent me the little white pumpkin which inspired me to search for other interesting ones to use for my centerpiece. I used a Pinterest idea and tacked together various doilies for a table runner.
I discovered my Christmas cactus in bloom on a shelf in the laundry room. It was such a shock because house plants do not usually survive with me as their caretaker. It was a gift from my mom #2, Tisha, so I tried to keep it happy but did forget about it many times. (sorry)


My muse completely ran away a few months ago. I missed her and could not even attempt a project with intentions of finishing. However, there are signs that she is returning. I dyed some ribbon, organized thread drawers and gathered some beautiful fabrics for a new project although I don't know what to create. Perhaps a tote?
A couple weeks ago I attended an Antique show in Howe Indiana with my pal Laney. It was fun and I found a few treasures, but the best part was the laughter that I truly needed. Thank you Laney ;-)
I did spy a few vintage crazy quilts being used for table covers.

That about sums up my days. I just received my order of four books from author, Joanne DeMaio and I am very anxious to begin reading. They are lovely books and I urge you readers to check out her facebook page to see what she has to offer. My kind of stories. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. The kids will be here for a full turkey dinner. I can hardly wait to slide the turkey in the oven. Take care!

Monday, June 20, 2016

First day of Summer!

Ok, time needs to slow down a bit. Spring is behind us and I think summer will speed by much too quickly. I've been keeping busy with the yard and garden and coming close to being finished with painting mom's house. DH has found a bit of energy and has taken interest in organizing his barn. Every now and then he will bring me a rediscovered gift such as a restrung cast off wind chime which I immediately find a home for in the garden, or a newly sharpened garden shear. HE has taken a few motorcycle rides which I am happy to see. Every little activity builds strength so I keep encouraging him to keep busy when he feels up to it.
 In between the household chores, I am taking a little time to enjoy life.

The spring rains have kept things blooming...I picked this bouquet from the garden for lunch with mom.
It was a warm day but we enjoyed the first garden lunch of the season together. Her requested crab salad with water crackers and cucumbers, pastries, pina' colada for her, strawberry daiquiri for me. 





I even took time to attend Antiques on the bluff in St. Joe with my bud Leslie. There were so many things I would have bought if I had a second home...or cottage. It was a beautiful morning.



As for the painting, the porch and decks were dark green and now they lightened up with a fresh coat of Simply Sage. I like it so much better. I spend most evenings out there swinging (sometimes with wine) and just winding down after a busy day.

The "Ghost mirror" was a find from Antiques on the bluff.
Evenings on the porch have been so relaxing.

I love my bike but was bored with it so I did a little makeover. This is the before pic.
This is after lots of browsing Pinterest.... taping off and sanding...


A soft shabby blue paint called "Cove" did the trick. 

I even got in some beach strolls...some sunny.....
some not so much....

but always treasures to be found.


Last week I found a box of my vintage laces I had organized and misplaced last year. (The laces on the board leaning against wall) I found them in a box neatly placed on cards at the bottom of my stacked boxes in the studio. So much for organizing, but a happy find.
I did get in some stitching in the garden too.

A couple weeks ago I took a drive to St. Joe with mom and we found ourselves having lunch by the water as we watched an elderly gentleman reel in some pretty large fish.It reminded me of dad and how he loved to fish.


Although the color bursts come and go in my garden, I enjoy it as much as possible,even at night.



So that pretty much sums up my spring. The past week and the week ahead have and will be hot, so I work around the heat because I can no longer handle it. Early morning garden watering and mowing and evening porch swinging will be all I'm up to these hot and humid days.
Enjoy your days.

Happy first day of summer!