Dec 29, 2007

holidays [part 4]

As you will likely notice this entry is entitled: holidays [part4] see the fun and games at the ole homestead in some sort of perfect order, scroll down to the first post holiday blog entry entitled something along the line of "Are they over ?" I don't even want to attempt to try to re-arrange the posts so they fall in chronological order! I just know I'll make them all disappear into the great unknown never to be seen (or duplicated) again!!

So now to bring this saga to an end. As I mentioned just below...the gift giving went on...and on...and on some more. It was actually quite delightful, but it was all before dinner! The first born had a bit of a kitchen theme going on this year...

lots of wonderful cook books, kitchen utensils and the like. She is becoming quite the cook- and is utilizing fresh ingredients in most of her dishes. I remember those days- before the incredible ease of eating out or freezer foods. It is something I should go back to on my days off - and then prepare enough to carry the hubby and I through the week. I have good intentions...just bad follow through. Perhaps this is the year I will try to follow thru. But please don't hold me to any holiday after-glow promises!!

Anyway..Christmas was a delight, and now that it is back to just the hubby, Goober Beagle and myself (oh yes, and of course Miss Izzie Guinea Pig), the ole homestead seems way too quiet!! Mr. Christ-moose is still here ready to party, and he and I wish you all a very happy New Year. My wish for one and all is one of health, happiness, and time to pursue the special things in life that bring a smile to your face. Holiday goodness is something I wish remained about this world more than over a few short days....Happy days ahead, everyone, happy days......

holidays [part 3]

Aunt Irene was so thrilled to get her portrait the tears flowed! Lacking Kleenex or a hankie nearby- tissue paper was the only alternative, and was quite efficient. I did mention that the ole homestead positively rings with the laughter of family when we are together - did I not??

The gift opening went on...
and on....
and on some more. DIL was thrilled with the Frenchy Bag made for her. Each of the three youngest girls in the family (and two of the best friends) all received a momma-made gift this year. No quilts, but I was still semi- impressed with myself!

I was also very pleased that the newly weds loved the framing I had done on the two special art pieces they won at the cruise art auction. That was a decision that took much agonizing and well over an hour of the frame specialist's time! But the reaction was worth all the mental "agony".

holidays [part 2]

Happy dancing down the driveway can be a delightful endeavor...happily it was late and most of the neighborhood was tucked in their beds or off visiting family! Ahem..youthful enthusiasm has its merits, no?

Remember, now, I did mention that there was someone not so patiently waiting inside for the child to arrive...
I'm not sure who was happier to see whom!

Goober Beagle positively danced thru the door so excited to see his "momma"!

Come Christmas day the family arrived in all their finery and the gifts were passed to the happy recipients.

I think mom was the most over joyed! She didn't let her favorite gift of the day leave her sight! All I can say is I am glad the newly weds were thoughtful enough to gift each of the family members with a portrait - or else there might have been a Christmas "brawl"!

Are They Over??

The Christmas holiday season sure came and left quickly! It was a whirlwind of activity at the old homestead....there was the tree decorating

the cookie baking...

and general merriment and hysteria...

(meet Mr. Christ-moose. He arrived just in time to add to our planned airport run to embarrass (oops....I mean welcome) the child home from Kentucky for a few days. Her cousins were in charge of "the sign" so as not to let me be the only spectacle when South West Airlines deposited the child on the ground at the airport.

There was a bit of chagrin on her part but the smiles from the other passengers and the passing comments as to where their welcome signs were made for many more giggles than intended. Then of course there was the added bonus of SNOW!!! You would think the child was deprived of snow for eons judging from her reactions upon getting out of the car! I'm glad there were still some snowbanks a-callin' in the yard to make the night just right.

For a minute I didn't think we'd get her in the house...but someone else was eagerly waiting and it didn't take long for her to skip down the driveway in anticipation (and wasn't Santa!)

Dec 17, 2007

Remembering the Classics

I had to get away from the sewing machine for just a bit. I know Christmas is just about a week away, but the poor thing has been working overtime! 3 gifts down, 2 to go and then I can call it done! I wasn't made to be an elf.
In the light of all this I've been keeping up with the little postings of both of my girls. First born had some musings today on watching classic Sesame Street DVDs with friends. She mentioned the crayon factory, and the mailman delivering mail in the applachian mountains on horse back. Kind of took me back to those years when the kids were young (and so was I!). Then I wondered if one of MY favorite clips could be had for the looking...sure enough there it was! Anyone remember this one?? Will anyone besides me get a huge smile on their face as the song plays? Will anyone sing along with me and just feel happy? I asked my hubby if he remembered this, or the crayons, or the MAILMAN?? The answer was always no. Hum....oh that's right. I got to stay home and raise the kids while dad went off to work. I felt a momentary pang of guilt...then I hit replay and sang again....
those were the days!!

Nov 28, 2007

Because you asked!

I mentioned taking a few photos of the fabric drawers, and because First Born asked to see, I felt it necessary to do so *smile*. I am also still very much thrilled by looking down into perfectly organized drawers and seeing exactly what I have, fabric -wise! Doing all this re-organization also has made me realize I NEED to go on a fabric diet. "Yes, a fabric diet is definitely needed", I told myself that as I folded, refolded, cut odd sized fabric pieces into useables- putting the rest into the scrap bin container. Naturally, no sooner did I tell myself this would be a good thing than I walked into work yesterday to find the newest Jo Morton collection had arrived. I tried hard not to look and kept remembering the following mental pictures:

1. The stuffed fat quarter drawer #1

2. Stuffed FQ drawer #2

3. First drawer of half -yard cuts:

4. Second drawer of half-yard cuts:

What I'm not showing you is the drawer of straight quarter of a yard cuts (not too many- not a measurement I'm fond of!) and third yard cuts. Both share one larger drawer, and there is room for more- IF I liked those cuts! I go for the bigger is better school of thought! I'm also NOT showing you the 2 full drawers of one-yard cuts...just imagine the above photos and think more of the same!

So the organization is complete, I'm happy...and I am promising myself no more fabric until I use up (most of) what I own! There! I've said it. Now I have to stay honest and stick to it. Wow..a resolution and it's not even the New Year .

Nov 27, 2007

organizing, decorating and finishing up

Tis the season...The Santas have returned to grace the mantel and Christmas decorating is underway. I've decided to down size ALOT, and am pleased with the results...tomorrow, my day off this week, I'll put up the tree in the dining room and call it a job well done!

Speaking of jobs well done- I've felt paralyzed by the mess the sewing room had become. I've been totally embarassed by the amount of fabric I had carted up to the attic since I ran out of room in the shaker cabinet in my sewing room. The small dresser I was using just wasn't adaquate either so I got a bright idea (helped along by the fact that mice had gotten into a fabric bin in the attic and had a field day with several pieces).... I would change out the dressers! With Youngest Daughter off on her own, she really didn't need the large triple dresser that was taking up the wall in her former bedroom- in fact, the small upright dresser would be perfect for her visits home which are few and far between. So I purged, cleaned and moved furniture all weekend. Here is the result- and please over look the tack hammer I left out!

This is a perfect arrangement. The wide open space on top of the dresser is ear-marked for my new lap top. I felt I was worth it, and Santa agreed, so it should be arriving in a few short weeks! I'm excited, and will now have EQ6 at my finger tips so to speak. But back to the purpose of the dresser. The left-hand drawers are packed with fat quarters standing straight and tall three rows wide. I can see exactly what I have now! It is a good thing. The bottom left drawer holds FQ collections (3) and my special group of "Worn and Loved" that I hate to cut into. The center drawers hold one yard cuts and the right-hand drawers hold two side by side rows of half -yard cuts. It is a visual feast for the eyes. I should have thought to take a photo of the inside organization! Maybe tomorrow.

This is a close up of my favorite Pincushions! They now sit eye level on the dresser top. I don't have the heart to use them for their intended purpose. I just love looking at them!

And below is my new favorite book!! I picked it up from "The Boys" at Woodstock last month and couldn't wait to make at least one little project. Since I had ordered copies for the shop and knew they were on the way, I did just that so I can make a small display now that we have the books as well.

This is the pink and brown quilt I decided to do first. It was fast and easy and I just loved the use of buttons to tack the cream squares ! I hand quilted this one primitively and just love it. Wonder if Youngest Daughter would mind if I took over the little bed I painted and dressed years ago for her American Girl doll. I have visions of it holding lots of little quilts! Hummmm....

Now if there were just more hours in the day, more days to a week, and more weeks to a year! Just think of what I could accomplish! But alas...

Organization is a good start however. Now I feel I can actually finish those projects that are 95% done...and need to be finished asap!

Nov 25, 2007

returning to blogland

Your fairy is called Hex Goblinfly
She is a bringer of riches and wealth.
She lives in places hexed and tainted by black magic.
She is only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky.
She wears black feathers and rose petals. She has gentle green wings like a butterfly.

for some reason, I found this little exercise totally delightful and the jumpstart I think I needed to return to blogland! I've been reading blogs- just not commenting or writing anything on my own. I think I've felt a bit paralized- don't know from what (other than too much to do and too little time?), but I am feeling a bit less disjointed and think it is time to crawl back out from my self imposed oblivion.
Since my last posting I've enjoyed little pieces of life's treasures. My son's wedding, having my girls home- ever so briefly- family, friends. Halloween-that day I think should be a national holiday- brought smiles and giggles as the hords of very poliet and appropriately dressed children rushed to the door. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Again this year we- meaning husband and I- spent the day with family and friends. It was a delightful day which made up for not having any of my children close by and celebrating with us. "The newly weds" had their own Thanksgiving feast for family, while the girls either entertained a dear friend who came to visit or worked all day doing what she does so well- caring for those horses she loves so much. That in its own way is a blessing...knowing that all the work put into raising well-adjusted, productive children was worth every minute of staying home all those years and being "mommy". I've also seemed to have traveled back in time, re-nurturing friendships years old. In a note I recieved from one of those friends just this morning. I had to smile and nod in agreement- she was quick to say that we all chose to take on selflessness in order to raise our families, and now it is time to become a bit selfish and nurture ourselves. Part of that nurturing is going back to beliefs and values instilled in me as I was growing up in a world that was totally different from today's. Gives one much to contemplate along the lines of what it is we want for ourselves now at this latest stage of our lives. I think I know, but the journey is still unfolding!
For now, I'll just be happy in the (not so) little things in life- family, friends, the ability to make each day count. I'll also continue to smile over silly things- like fairie names!
I hope today finds you smiling over something silly and counting your blessings as well.

Sep 24, 2007


What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color grey, which embodies the characteristics of elegance, humility, respect, reverence, stability, subtlety, wisdom, strong emotions, balance, and cancellation. Grey falls under the element of Water, and symbolizes the moon, tide, ebb and flow.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

How does the time go by so fast?? I keep telling myself I'll try to keep up with the blog, but it never seems to work out. Maybe because things have been a bit "boring" of late?! Now, don't get me wrong, boring can be GOOD!
I found this interesting quiz as I was surfing around last night. I think it captures me pretty well, although I don't see "gray" as a color that I would have associated with myself. That brings up a whole other set of thoughts: how DO we see ourselves?? It's easy to pick from a list of attributes, but when we think about ourselves what do we actually focus on?? for thought. Think I need another cup of coffee to delve into that!

Sep 5, 2007

Playtime Is Over

Well, it is coming to an end... day #4 of 4 off in a row! I must say I got a lot accomplished over the past few days- I even knocked out another runner sample today, so am now almost up to date on commitments! Can I say I really feel good about it. It will probably take me 4 more days to clean the cyclonic mess the sewing room has going for it, but I guess that will have to be one of those "all-in-good-time" kind of things. Tomorrow it is back to work for all of two days before I return to my regular 3 day weekend. I'm getting spoiled and could get used to this easily! Saturday is the start of my Quilt Guild, and I'm excited. It is always a great girl's day out. Next month Kaffe Fassett is coming to lecture! Now that is one show-and-tell that will be of great interest!!

I'm anxiously awaiting the photo of child #3's latest project. She called last night at 9:45 to announce she was a "binding fool" and had completed 3 of 4 sides of the "couch quilt". Wanted to know if she should keep on stitching,or call it a night. I think it was just a guise to let me know she was "this close" to being Done-Done! It is always exciting. I think she decided to call it quits as she did call again today at about 2:30 or so to announce that she had taken her last stitch and was pretty proud of herself. Photos! I want photos!!

Weatherman is telling us that we're headed back into the hot and humid 90's beginning tomorrow. Yuck! Where is my beautiful fall weather? Ok, so it is only September and it is traditional in this part of NY that when the school bells ring on the first day of school the weather should turn hot, hot hot! I for one would love for that tradition to go the way of the horse and buggy.

And just a last bit of musing- look what is living part -time under my Japanese Maple tree! Oh so cute, and best yet, Goober Beagle could care less!

Sep 4, 2007

Labor Day

The end of summer...but that only means my favorite time of year will soon peek around the corner. I love fall, and can't wait for cool days and even cooler nights. I love crawling under the covers and pulling them up around my chin. Must be some left over childhood comfort thing, but it sure does make me happy. We had a very quiet holiday weekend. Mine has been extended until Thursday as today is the first appointment with the Rheumatologist and then tomorrow is a normal day off. I've made some use of all my free time since new classes at the shop will be scheduled and the Empire Quilt fest is getting closer!
Sunday evening hubby and I attended a lovely wedding- the first born of a very dear life long friend. Sean was extremely handsome as were his brothers and his dad- decked out in their tuxes! The bride was "radiant". I know they say that about all brides, but Jessica truly was. She smiled so much and laughed happily during the ceremony, as did her groom. They were so happy and truly saw no one other than each other. It was so apparent. We all were delighted.
The wedding was outdoors on a clear beautiful night in the gardens of an old mansion in Altamont NY. The Inn is not far from the fairgrounds and that evening the Scottish Games were still going strong. Everyone got a huge chuckle when just as the bride and groom completed their beautifully written vows, a roar from the neighboring crowd erupted and full bagpipes went into play! It was a marvelous moment...unplanned, but totally in sinc with the happenings up the road at the wedding!

On the home front, I got to spend a lazy Monday in the sewing room. We had a quiet day planned and it was wonderful to be so relaxed. I completely finished one sample and made up the top of another. Unfortunately, I didn't have batting for the second, so will have to pop into the shop later and pick some up. I still have tonight and tomorrow to work on things!
I also got to give into guilty pleasure and settled in front of the TV and finished up most of the applique on a fall swap piece (so no photos until it reaches its new owner, just in case!) and watched a marathon of Design Star on HGTV. I think I could get used to being a "slug"!
Off to see what I can accomplish this morning before heading off to the doctor's office. Here is a peek at the Monday projects. Enjoy!

The Christmas Table runner made from Atkinson Design's pattern Waffle Time Table Runner

Disa Design's Snowman Table Runner- lots of fun to do!

Close up of the cute snowman. I think I'm keeping him for myself!!

Aug 22, 2007


Don't let the title of today's musings make you think I'm relaxing after a day of strenous cleaning...just didn't happen! Instead I spent a rather nice day taking my mom on a bus trip to the Sagamore Hotel for lunch and some shopping at the outlets in Lake George. She was happy, so it was a good day.
The housekeeping I decided was well overdue tonight was my uploading photos to webshots so that I can remove hundreds of photos from my digital camera. I think that in itself is a bit of housekeeping that is long overdue. Most of the photos are quilt related! So if you have a few minutes and would like to look at some of the quilts that were shown at the Vermont Quilt Festival this year, the above link should hopefully work in getting you there

Aug 21, 2007

Becoming Titled

What fun. One can get their own title just by clicking! And mine seems oh so perfect since we have been on a mouse hunt and thus the added bonus of looking for the mousehole all week! Two mice down, no hole to be found, and so far so good. I'm a happy camper! So that led to my own set of giggles when my Perculiar Aristocratic title appeared! Who would have thought...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Grace Lady Karen the Somnolent of Mousehole by Sea
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Aug 19, 2007

A Beautiful Sunday Morning

It is as if a touch of fall has settled in the Hudson Valley. It is cool, but sunny and overall the most pleasant of mornings. Makes me want to share!
I figured if I can't share the lovely morning, I could at least share a few photos.

One of the things I love about August is that the garden becomes a playground for Monarch butterflies. This rather lovely creature had the best time flitting from bloom to bloom last evening. Naturally he (she?) was in full wing when I grabbed the camera and aimed, but as soon as I pressed the shutter button those magnificent wings just folded up. No matter- I love this shot anyway!

I am also working on a "reward system" set up for myself. I am working on Baltimore Bunnies by Bunny Hill Designs as a BOM at the shop. I have told myself for each finished Baltimore block I can make one Rabbits Prefer Chocolate block. Seems to be working...I do have more Baltimore blocks done, and will allow myself to mock up a couple more Chocolate blocks later this evening in hopes that one night soon I might have some free time! It doesn't look good this week, but you never know when you can sneak in a little bit of applique! Here are the reward blocks so far- minus the embellishements that will wait til the end.

First Reward Block:

My second reward block:

Who could have thought rabbits could be so much fun! Now it is off for some R&R with girlfriends. We "need our Sundays"...brunch, giggles,!! Does Sunday get any better?? I hope yours is just as good!

Aug 18, 2007

Time Warp

I feel as if I got lost in a time warp since I last posted. It has been over a month since my promise to show more of the exhibits at the Vermont Quilt Festival and then I got lost in travel, graduation party planning and the big move to Kentucky. Work also plays a factor in the black hole the summer became! Here we are in mid- August already, and next week doesn't appear to be any slower than the last few have been. But no complaining...instead I'll just back up and start where I left off- my time at VQF which I knew would be the last of the quiet times for a few months.

From the comments I've recieved on the last postings The exhibit of Rosie Lee Thompkins was well recieved. I still marvel at the way African American Quilters have tweeked the craft. Rosie's quilts reminded me of the quilts of the Gee Bend quilters. A marvelous history lesson.

The second exhibit that tickled my fancy was the antique quilts. These were shown in one of the large exhibition halls at the Exposition Center just down the road from St. Michael's College campus. The venue is wonderful and really lends itself to lingering and taking everything in. The small exhibit of doll quilts was facininating. Many of these shown below are from the collection of Judi Gunther. I was able to take a class with her , and can say she is a delight to be with.

This small showcase made me miss my days crafting miniatures (dollhouses and furnishings!)
The pieces were truly small, and very charming.

The following two doll quilts are part of Judi Gunther's collection:

The small churndash to follow was not. I will have to go back and reference it as to its owner, but loving churndashes as I do, I was delighted with it! My best bet right now to bring my blog up to current events is to get my photos uploaded to my webshots page. I will then let you out there in blogland know when I've finished that task and you can go take a look at the beautiful antiques and the show quilts from 2007. If you are interested in more information about the festival you can go to their link at

Happiness is finding my way back to blogging, now to just have the time to continue keeping in touch.

Jul 9, 2007

Explanations and more from Rosie Lee Thompson

My previous post came with out explanation- must have hit a button without meaning to! The photos you saw before this next grouping are the following works by Rosie, called Put-Togethers. They were quite interesting. The first photo showed her 1994 Put Together. It used cordury, velveteen, velour and upholstery fabrics. It also has cotton sheeting and rayon.

Photo #2 Is called Put-together With Half Squares and Bars and was made in 1996. It has velvet, velveteen, velour, faux fur and panne velvet.

Photo#3- Put-together,2003. Here again she used velvet, velveteen, velour, panne velvet as well as foil lame, polyester and double-knit. You will notice a small patch with an oval - this is a moleskin patch with beads, sequins and perle cotton yarn.

Photo #4 - Rosie's chair covers and jumper. The last photo is a close up of the jumper. The chair covers were embroidered and appliqued using silk, polyester, wool, velour and linen-blend neckties. They are dated 2002. The jumper is made from silk and polyester neck ties, poly double-knit and has mother-of-pearl buttons. You'll notice once again it is appliqued with religious symbols!

The following photos (are you all tired yet?) are of her Half-square pieces:

The piece above was made in 1986 and is called Half-squares Medallion. There is a theme in Rosie's fabrics- again it uses velvet, velveteen, velour and panne velvet. This one has faux fur added!

This (above) piece looks as if it shimmers, but in reality it is just the way the fabrics photographed. It is called, simply, Half-Squares and Four Patches. Dated 1986 it used novelty lame, brocade, polyester double-knit, metallic yarn knits (the bit of sparkle) and was backed with a lame knit and brocade.

Below is one of Rosie's jewerly hangings. These were done in the late 1990's and she would use wool flannel and add beads, rhinstones, and other "jewels". There would be wool, silk, velvets, cotton laces and yarns.

I hope you might be as intriqued with these works as I was. A very interesting exhibit, indeed.

The other exhibit at Shelburne was of comtempory Vermont artists. It was very nice and some of the quilts had hung at the Vermont Quilt Festival in years past. I also took some time to go thru the permanent collection that is on display. One day I'd love to take the conservation tour and see the fragile quilts that are not on public display. Now wouldn't that be wonderful!

Should I be able to get back on the computer later today I will give you a look at the antique quilts and the doll and crib quilts at the show. They were marvelous!! There was also a very moving exhibit of the Alzheimer quilt project entitled Alzheimer's Forgetting Piece by Piece. Ami Simms was the Curator, and you can see some of the quilts and get more information at her website. Having a step-father that suffered from this disease made the experience very touching and emotionally moving. Hard not to cry when you read the stories that accompany the quilts...the stories couldn't help by affect everyone who stood within this exhibit.

The "Put - Togethers"

Jul 8, 2007

Rosie Lee Tompkins

As promised, here is the first of my posts on the Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit. Thompkins died in 2006 and "Rosie Lee Tompkins" is an assumed name as I mentioned in my previous post. She was one of 15 children born in southeast Arkansas and grew up picking cotton and helping her mother piece quilts from available scraps of cloth.
In a New York Times article about her, Rosie was quoted as saying: "I loved them so much that God let me see all these different colors".
As you'll soon see, Rosie was deeply religious and she felt that she was God's instrument and so her work was designed by Him.
My girlfriend and I were struck by what we found to be the choatic nature of Rosie's work. We commented on how genius borders a plane just this side of madness. I came to read that in the late 70's Rosie had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She heard voices and believed her phone was tapped. She was never at peace and medication didn't help her. She turned to prayer and her needle. Here are just a few examples for now. Later I'll show you more:

Hit and Miss Strip, 1983:

String, 1985:

Ten Pillows (you'll notice the religious theme here in some of the small embroidered pillows), 1986

Santa Claus Hanging (red), 2004 and Embroidered and Appliqued Pot Holder (yellow), 2003

Embroidered and appliqued Jesus Curtain, 2006 (again a strongly religious piece)

More to come- the "Put-togethers".

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