Monday, November 30, 2009


It's been a busy couple of days bonding with the 'perfect child' and the 'perfect daughter-in-law'.....much of it revolved around FOOD!

Thanks to my friend Lynne.......we learned about historic Greer, a charming area near Greenville, SC. It's truly restaurant row...... We settled on Bin 112 This is one of the yummy treats we tried. A spinach, onion, artichoke dip with homemade chips...... The atmosphere was intimate and really inviting.....brick walls, good art, and comfortable seating.

Kelly (DIL) started with a beautiful salad.......beautifully presented, which was typical of every dish.....

For a fun conclusion.....we ordered Smore's......... a cook it yourself dessert, over a flaming pottery container, at the table. This certainly could be adapted for home use......great idea!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We are grateful this Thanksgiving to have 'the perfect child' and 'the perfect daughter-in-law' fly in from San Francisco to spend time with us.

I nearly breached security in a rush to greet them as they exited security at the Greenville, SC airport last night.

Their flight was a little late so we had time to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the lobby's decorations.

This poinsettia tree, made up of individual potted plants was stunning. Above it flew numerous (what looked to be) stainless steel geese sculptures.

There were dressed in Santa style hats and scarves....adorable!

Never in our 40+ years of marriage has our grill been covered on Thanksgiving.....therefore documentation was required. We've never prepared a turkey in the oven.....ever.....instead we ALWAYS cooked it outdoors.

This year, we decided to take advantage of a great BBQ restaurant in the area that offered a variety of prepared food items for Turkey Day. 'The husband' has had his ups and downs this month with some health issues so our plan was to reduce the work to allow more time with the kids.

Today.......we will be dining on Cajun deep fried turkey........

Along with cornbread stuffing..... This actually doesn't look too appetizing here.....but I can assure you it's delicious....of course we snuck a taste. The appearance will improve once it's baked.

In addition to these treats.....we will be having Jalapeno cranberry sauce purchased from the same restaurant. I've rounded it out by making, acorn squash, garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, the ever popular green bean casserole, and pies..... french silk for the chocolate lovers and pecan in keeping with tradition.

All our activities of course will be worked around the football schedule........ And we couldn't be happier that the Packers will be playing Detroit around noon. Thanksgiving Day of my youth was always spent with family members huddled around the TV watching this annual rivalry.

I'm also thankful for you my friends......wishing you a Happy Turkey Day........gobble, gobble.....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


'The husband' continues to deal with some health issues......which is keeping him out of his man cave and that's temporarily changed how I work.

99 out of 100 times when I bead, it's not sitting at a table. I favor our denim couch with a bright light over my shoulder, feet up on a coffee table, and the big screen set to mind numbing nonsense! My work is secured in a Q-snap frame and I like to place a lap board on my beads are on the couch seat next to me.....basically I create my own cave.

Right now I'm working on a project, sitting on a stool at my tall cutting table. My work is still secured in a Q-snap frame for the beading process.....however I do remove it from time to time as you see in this photo. It's helpful to place it on my design wall and view the impact of my bead and motif choices.

Because of this new set up......I finally forced myself to get my beads more organized. They were literally overflowing out of the inadequate number of storage cases. Being able to quickly find the color and style of bead is I purchased more large fishing tackle containers and spent hours resorting by style (bugle, seeds, other) and color. I've got a lot more to go as you can see by the cardboard boxes on the shelf beneath the plastic boxes......and what you can't see.....the boxes on the floor. But I'm feeling quite pleased with my efforts anyway.

Seed beads organized by color.

Monday, November 23, 2009


WARNING: This is another NFL suicide pool post......

Whew....what a drama filled Sunday......I'm relieved and quite frankly LUCKY to still be in the pool. Jacksonville had a last minute....and I mean...last minute win.

Of the 10 participants in week 11, 4 teams were picked as winners..... Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh. Now there are 5 of us left, after Cinn. & Pit. lost. All of the games were very close. And as they say....on any given Sunday.... haven't heard that term? It means's possible for any team (underdog) to beat a favored team at any game....upsets happen!

So, I'll be researching my pick with even more diligence this week. I'd love to claim the pot (who wouldn't?), but seriously...just being in the pool is so darn much fun and makes all the games so much more interesting....that I'd hate to get dropped.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Thank you Gwen for sharing this photo. With Thanksgiving just around the's so timely AND FUNNY.......really I laughed out loud....hope you do too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Tonight at 7:00 PM, I'll be presenting a lecture "Wool Collage - What's Old is New Again", at the Western North Carolina Quilt Guild's month meeting. Click link for location and directions.

I hope to see some of you there!

If you are a long time reader of this blog, you know I'm smitten by working with wool felt. It's easy to work with, I love the feel, the texture and the affect my beadwork has to these projects.

Hobby Horse is a small table topper.......that was entirely construction using the machine, with the exception of the beading.

Color in the Mountain

Button & Bow

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I've given up trying to post the clever football images I found to go along with my weekly NFL Suicide Pool chatter........I haven't whined about our lousy internet service for consider this a loud shout out to Hughesnet.......PROVIDE the service we are paying for!!!! The network is so oversubscribed we experience less than dismal dial up speed in the evenings....therefore often photos won't upload. GRRR!

Now I feel better...

Okay, so in case anyone out there has been wondering......I'm still in the football pool after the Viking win on Sunday. So......with NFL week 11 approaching, I've spent hours (really, I'm not kidding) previewing the possibilities for the next few weeks (should I get past this next one) and I've made my pick. So please.....cheer for a Jacksonville win on Sunday.

Monday, November 16, 2009


After 5 days with the Rio Grande Valley was time to say goodbye. We had a lovely luncheon at Queen Anne's Lace Tea Room in Mercedes, TX. This charming half restaurant/half antique store was filled to the brim with everything from vintage hats, china, eye glasses, furniture, lamps....honestly the selection went on and on. AND....the food was good too!

This is one of the several dining areas located throughout this old home.

Many of us remarked at how much the china reminded us of our grandmothers.

The owners showcase the merchandise so effectively with their creative displays.

The bathroom door handle was embellished with this slipper!

This is a view of the bathroom.......and yes, that's a wedding dress.....

Carol Hover was my host one evening......a dedicated quilter with energy to spare. I admired the necklace she'd made from buttons, decorated with stone chips......after lunch she touched my heart by taking it off and giving it to me! We all know quilters are generous and I am so grateful....thank you again Carol.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Wow.......students in my Funky Rooster workshop at the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild were on a roll....... I was amazed at the progress they made recreating my pattern using their own fabric choices.

All the motifs are attached to the stabilized quilt top with fun is can embellish and applique in one step! Many seen here are secured in hoops or Q-snap frames (my preference since it helps to keep the fabric on grain) as the beads are added.

I hope you will enjoy their efforts as much as I have......

Friday, November 13, 2009


I may have to be dragged out of Texas kicking and screaming! The Rio Grande Valley Quilt guild is one of the most friendly and hospitable guilds I've ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Today....Jeanne (who I've adopted as a 'student groupie'......meant as a compliment..... since she's taken all three of my workshops) brought 2 antique penny rugs to show me. Though I've been inspired by these mid-19 century wool beauties.....I've never seen an antique one in person. What treat! These pieces of art were made to be displayed on table tops....not on the floor as their name might suggest. They were made from wool scraps; the motifs often incorporated circles and blanket stitched edges.

We wondered whether this particular piece was made to use as a pillow cover, considering the backing.


This second piece was another typical Penny Rug style that I'd only read about. The stacked wool circles were stitched to what appeared to be a heavy muslin type fabric background.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sunny and warm Texas seems like an unlikely place for students to be so interested in working with wool.....but don't tell that to the members of the Rio Grand Valley Quilt Guild.

They're an enthusiastic bunch with high skill levels. Take a look at their projects.....

Fusing fun!

Rather than creating a wall oval piece of wool was embellished and applied to the side of a purchased wool purse. Clever!

Based on patterns from my book, Embellishing With Felted Wool......numerous motifs are combined to provide a distinctive look.

Rather than utilizing buttons to create a lily basket.......a wool basket shape from another one of my patterns is used successfully instead.

These branches were made using mottled wool felt for a quick and effective way to add interest.

Who says wall pieces have to be square? A simple scallop shape is a pleasing and refreshing change of pace.

This striking design is a great way to use those buttons you have stored away!


3 flights - 2 airlines & about 12 hrs. of travel requires a positive outlook......

Okay, I know some folks love their dogs but they aren't an accessory! ......I see this as ' get a grip'......

What seats here.......

Brightening one's day........I spotted these shoes and smiled!

But I had to remind myself more than once to be often as I looked at my watch.....I wasn't succeeding.

It was all worth's Susan Flarity of the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild.......with her big smile and pink cowboy hat greeting me at the airport......