Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Remembering Easter when it was warmer and my tulips were up!

My two oldest Grandchildren (of 6) are shown here a few years ago when my tulips were in full bloom and I could hide the eggs under the flowers. These two nice children are only three months apart and are best friends...they are on the same hockey team with their Dad's as the coaches. Easter is early this year so Now there are NO flowers and it is pretty bare out there in my large backyard. But I wanted to have some fun and show what a nice memory this would make in a story quilt. Do you remember a special Easter and something you received? A basket, a stuffed animal, a stomach ache? I remember Easter as a lovely holiday of great brunches and hams and great potatoes, super salads, fresh aspargus and the first strawberries of the season. How about you?

Also, I had to share this cartoon for my husband's sake...I grab all of the covers and I can't help myself. Our bed gets kind of messy with him trying to fight for any covers he can grab. My daughter the perfectionist used to make her husband get up in the middle of night so she could remake their messy bed. He complained about it to us and we all told him he needed to learn to ignore her like we do. :0)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


So, about ten or twelve years ago. I decided to quit loving bottle trees and to get a couple of them planted. :0) This is the time of the year I begin to think about what I want planted at the base of my bottle trees to grow around it and have the shadows of the colors dance on the flowers and leaves. It is pretty fun.
For those of you who do not know what bottle trees are, they originated in the South with the slaves who believed that the color in the bottle trapper evil spirits who visited hence no evil was in the house or about. I liked that legend alot and hey, I love color.

One of the bummers about my bottle trees is that I love blue and red bottles. Blue bottles (water) are now coming in plastic. Yuck. I need glass. Sky Vodka and some water companies still have blue bottles. I don't drink that much I can't remember the last time I had a screwdriver so that is out. I am still trying to find glass bottles in blue. I bought some red bottles (flavored water) and dumped the water (I like mine plain) and I had the bottles on my tree. They were painted on the inside so they only lasted two seasons and then they chipped away. Bummer.
When I first started, I used green wine bottles but it wasn't that striking and the neighbors all thought I was a lush. My friend who does not drink at all picks bottles out of her neighbors garabage and she has beer bottles both green and brown and wine bottles. Frankly, I think it looks really tacky and I wouldn't want a tree with drinking bottles all over......though I guess that is silly because that is what I have. We hired a family to come and rake our lawn and clean our flower beds and they threw away one of my blue bottles. They didn't "get" the beauty of the bottle trees but wait until my garden is all in bloom. :0)

If you don't have a bottle tree, I highly recommend it if you love color, whimsy and shadows of lovely hues casting their veil of happiness on your flowers!

I had dinner one time with Paula Nadlestern and three other teachers and their husbands and mine and the subject of bottle trees came up. One of the men leaned in and said "Doesn't your neighborhood have a covenant on those types of things?" I don't think he was impressed. :0) Oh well. Now that I am older I can be happy over the things I love and not worry about what people think. My friends love these.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets and
urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We
have absolutely nothing to go on."
The only time the world beats a path to
Your door is if you're in the bathroom

Thursday, March 25, 2010


So, I started a quilting meeting here on Thursday nights. Tonight two of my neighbors asked how the "Hoochy Mama" book got it's name. I started telling them and then got lost in the talk of value and fabrics. So, here it is again. About ten years ago, I took a train to a little town in Montana twelve hours by train. A whole story in itself. Once the class began and I showed the ladies how to do a block which I called "funky blocks" at that time, a little voice from the back of the class yelled (if her weak voice could be called yelling "hoochy mama!. The class had about 30 people in it so after three times of her saying this funny phrase, I went back to see who and why. The lady was in her 80's and darling. I said "are you a trouble maker Mabel?" And she said "honey, they made me quit smoking, I can't drink anymore, I am too old to dance at the tavern and I can't go out at night and carouse like I used to and these blocks are about as much as my heart can take."
So after that everyone laughed and when they made a block they said loudly "hoochy mama." So, my book which was being done then ended up being called "Hoochy Mama" blocks. It is much more fun than funky blocks and it is fun to say "Hoochy Mama" when you complete a block. People who are "in the box" do not like this but others who are free and fun do like it. I love it because it reminds me so much of the lady who homesteaded (from Holland) in Montana when she was a young girl. NOW, you all know the story and it isn't dirty and it isn't something that is to be ashamed of. It is fun and positive and happy. So, if you haven't tried the Hoochy Mama method of blocks or flowers, you should get the Hoochy Mama book or the Flower Power book or the Out of the Box book. They are all fun, positive and happy and you don't have to do perfect sewing to have a fabulous and happy quilt.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kids Story Quilts ROCK! Sarah is an artist! NEW details below....

The quilt above was made by my neighbor Connie for a surprise for her daughter Sarah who is 8. She took all of her darling drawings and combined them into one wonderful quilt that has all of the drawings in the quilt itself. Can you imagine how wonderful it would have been to have had this for you now? This will be a keepsake and a wonderful memory for Sarah and for her family. I adore any kind of story quilt that involves kids art. Sometimes this is what a person brings to my class and it is so much fun! Hope you enjoy seeing this and comment for Connie and her daughter.

The drawings here are so charming and filled with sentiment and heart. If you look close many of them are of the little girl and her Father and she has hearts around and smiles-you can tell he is her hero. Additionally she has details like cabinets, fixing a light bulb together and a picture she drew of her Mother and her father all dressed up. This is TRUE art and she is a real artist. I love this!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Colors Right In Front of Us for Imagination and Creativity! How Wonderful!

So I found out later I wasn't supposed to be taking photos in this store. oops, too late. I often go to the Market and keep an open mind about all of the things that can inspire and cheer the soul. The colors and smells of these fruits and vegetables and don't forget the flower section. Couldn't this be a grand piece of art? Piled vegies, a woman shopping, a woman working at the counter, a child holding an apple in front of this.....imagine! This is what creativity does for lets us go back to our "child" and take time to imagine instead of always worrying about your grocery list and what you have to make for dinner...though this can be pretty wonderful too, when you are in the mood, you buy something special and you want to create something wonderful to share and enjoy together with someone.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The charm of Carmel and my friend's Fairytale cottage there

Here is Pat behind her gate welcoming us to her lovely home called "Great Expectations." I have been a friend of Pats for many years ever since she took a couple of classes from me in Pacific Grove. I wanted Mel to meet Pat and her husband Gordon. They live in one of the fairy tale cottages of Carmel. It is so wonderful outside and inside it is decorated with some of the most lovely antiques I have ever seen. There are always special teas and treats in this home and a specialty is Ina Garten's brownies served with tea and lovely cloth napkins. Pat is a wonderful cook and a hostess with the mostest and her husband is one of the most handsome men I have ever seen. They are a darling couple and I love seeing them everytime I come to the area.

Below is my friend Pat showing us her darling little garden with many wonderful little touches and secrets

Goods and things in Carmel are expensive as you might have guessed but looking in windows and imagining is is really quite fun to look in windows and people watch too....Carmel has the best drug store for mirrors that are lighted and strong and loads of sizes and magnifications...I always buy a mirror when I visit...I bought one of the French dolls in France when I was there and now they have even wilder ones....very fun!

Window shopping is always fun and there are so many great things in the windows in Carmel....all free for just looking....