Thursday, December 31, 2009


New Year's Eve is often associated with glitz, glitter, and parties as we welcome in the New Year......and of course, this year we are welcoming a new decade. I must have blinked....where did that time go??

So, in honor of those who will be out and about's a look at how some of the Country Music Hall of Fame stars shine.....

This is the gown Carrie Underwood wore at the 2009 CMA awards ceremony. It was created by Miami based designer Rafael Gennamo. The merlot silk taffeta gown features 120 yards of fabric and an 8' train!

AND......we art quilters thought we developed the idea of painting on fabric! Colonel Parker was Elvis Presley's savvy manager who creatively promoted Elvis's for most of his career.
(See photo)

Here's Elvis's gold leaf piano.....

This jacket belonged to Gram Parsons.......(original band member and lead singer of the Byrds) perhaps the featured marijuana plants foretold of his early tragic death due to a drug overdose.

These next gowns were worn by Faith Hill...... the quality of the photos are poor due to all the reflected light coming off the dresses.....however, they sure got my attention...

Detail.......the entire dress and scarf were covered with reflective oblong sequins.

This one really blew my mind......small bugle beads were stitched into block units, alternating the direction of each. A distinctive pattern develops as the light hits the beads. This must have been very heavy to wear!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Thank you for spending 2009 with me.......

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I promise to get back to sewing related posts soon.......meaning as soon as I actually have time to begin to sew again......hopefully before too long...... Like many quilters, I can get a tad crabby when I don't have my fabric fix.

But for now......let's learn some more about the Country Music Hall of Fame.....shall we???

We've probably all heard of Jimmie's his guitar.....

Oops....I can't remember who is associated with this beaded gun holster....I think it was Roy Rogers.

It's a good thing some quilter didn't take this flour sack and use it to piece a quilt backing!

This is the Singer sewing machine of 'Nudie' the famous designer/pattern maker to the stars. He made dazzling western wear for all the big names..........

Highly embellished/embroidered outfits like this one......


Can you guess what pop duo these sweaters belong to?

That's right.....the Everly Brothers.....didn't you just LOVE them??

One of Pasty Cline's most famous songs was 'Stand by your Man'........her life tragically ended too early.

She must have been tiny........considering the outlandish garments on display....I found this one to be stunningly beautiful.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Our love of Bluegrass music has been highlighted on this blog numerous times. During our recent trip to Nashville, we visited the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The museum is could literally spend an entire day without experiencing everything.
Artists and their music encompass all styles of country style music, there's sure to be tunes you know and love.

Huge walls of gold and platinum records were on display....many were interactive....just push a button and hear your favorite song.

One gallery was devoted to a Brenda Lee exhibit (through June 2010). She's one of the most beloved entertainers in the world, selling millions of records. Remember these?? "I'm Sorry" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." We've heard that Brenda Lee now lives in Asheville.

She was so popular....imagine having paper doll merchandise in your own image!

Due to my background in wearable art, I was drawn to the garment displays. Many country performers wear lavish and highly embellished clothing.....I took lots of photos that I'll be sharing.

Another Asheville musical talent was Bascom Lamar Lunsford who was a fiddle on photo to read text.

This picture of 1928 footage shows him playing 'Doggett's Gap', which is named after a real gap outside of Asheville.

The Asheville area is well known for its talented musicians......another reason we were drawn to this area.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Look who joined me for breakfast at the Opryland Hotel.......

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Christmas is a perfect time to attend a Grand Ole Opry Show because at this time of the year it's held at the historic Ryman Auditorium located in downtown Nashville, TN.

This old beauty was once a the original pews still remain. Surely there are more comfortable seats one could be in for a 2 hour show, but the originality of this small venue keeps this place special as does the fabulous sound.

A view from the stage.

Our seats were balcony - first row, aisle.....a bit off to the side which meant with the curve of the stage set up and balcony arrangement we had a marvelous view. It gave us a direct view of the doorway leading off stage where artists staged themselves for their next turn or to just listen themselves. Jeannie Seely has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for probably 40 years.....I swear she gets younger every time we see does her voice...amazing. She's a real pro and knows how to work the crowd. Nearly every act, about 4 in every 'set' (which runs 30 mins. long) sing 2-3 songs during this 2 hour show. It's all presented in a very causual (yet totally professional) manner.....the set musicians roam on and off the stage.....all chatting with each other.....this inside view from our sets made it come to life even more.

Between acts, a live announcer does the advertisements...this one was for Humana. You may not be aware, but the Grand Ole Opry has been done as a live radio show for probably 50 years..... Their most famous advertiser was Martha White Flour.....we were sad to see that disappear, although that company now sponsors Rhonda Vincent's tours...with their name blazed on the side of her bus.

The music style is country, with its various subcategories......this is Riders In The Sky.....a well known 'Cowboy' (think Roy Rogers) kind of singing.....though with a lot of humor.

Our favorite group was and is Daily & Vincent.......their harmony will give you goose bumps. Nearly every performer took the time to wish everyone Merry Christmas.....noting that it was nice to be in a place that still can proudly declare Merry Christmas rather than all the PC terms folks now feel that they must use. Additionally, often our troops and families were thanked for their service to our country. How important and refreshing!!

If you are ever in Nashville.......esp. when the Opry is being presented at the Ryman, rather than the newer huge facility in the Opryland Park area.......give your self a treat and take in a show.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


On Christmas Day we headed to Nashville, TN to attend the Grand Ole Opry's evening show at the historic Ryman Theater. Because of the distance, about 5 hrs. from home, we overnighted at the famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

This is the largest structural hotel in the world. It includes 9 acres of indoor gardens, an indoor river (for a fee you can tour on a flat bottom boat), 20,000 foot fitness center & spa, golf course, a dozen or more restaurants, countless shops and cafes.......all designed to reduce the dollars in your wallet as quickly as possible. It's a very pricey place to stay, the numerous add on costs are at times ridiculous. However, for a special treat like Christmas, it's festive, convenient, features good food, & very enjoyable.

The soaring atrium is decorated beyond imagination......quite breathtaking at night as well as in the daytime.

Our room/balcony overlooked this lovely courtyard. The people watching as we sipped our coffee and beverages was great.

Typically, when visiting hotels, I find these....'what in the world were they thinking moments'....
Who selected bedspreads that feature bugs? Definitely not a good plan for a hotel!

What a great quilt's a rug that I spotted in one of the hotel shops...... Listen up PTA members......I already found the perfect White Elephant gift for our 2010 gift exchange.....even if I had to purchase'll all want this one! Sorry everyone, you'll all have to hang in with me another year to learn what it is.....though think 'tacky'.

What a better way to acknowledge that today begins my 3rd. year of blogging.....who'd have thunk? Thanks again Sol for helping me get acquainted with this technology.

Coming from the Grand Ole Opry......

Friday, December 25, 2009



Thursday, December 24, 2009


They say you can't go home again......but your taste buds can. On our recent trip back to Wisconsin, our days seem to revolve around meals.....before we finished with one, we already knew where we'd head for the next treat!

"The husband" read an article reflecting on 'whatever happened to (fill in the blank) restaurant'. One he remembered may have only been a Midwest chain.....but he got very excited to learn that THE LAST Chicken Unlimited restaurant was in Eau Claire, WI. How very fortunate that we were there for our niece's college graduation.

Several car loads of celebration goers headed there for lunch......and all proclaimed the food was DELICIOUS. Apparently the owner is also into 'the husband' found his dining pick an even better choice!

But, wait.....look what I found right next door!!

No trip to Wisconsin is complete without a visit to Culver' even though several in our party had induldged in hand dipped ice cream at Chicken Unlimited.......we all rallied and headed to Culver's for a Chocolate Concrete Malt. My personal favorite!

This is soooo Wisconsin.......the photo is a little fuzzy as I snapped the photo from a moooooving car.

The next stop in our progressive day of dining was the Supper Club where our niece worked throughout her nearly 4 years at the U of Wisconsin/Eau Claire. Supper Club's in Wisconsin all seem to be nearly identical......good Wisconsin memories.

I loved this vintage Santa greeting guests at the entrance to the Supper Club.

Don't let the unpretentious presentation fool these humble pots some of the most delicious meatballs that ever passed my lips were found!

Yeah to the grad......who received 1 firm job offer the night before she graduated AND has another interview with yet another possibility next week. We are proud of you Jenna!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Having a White Christmas to enjoy is always so festive......but of course, very unusual here.....despite the fact that we are in the mountains. At our 3,200 ft. elevation, we got 11 snows last year (whose counting!?!) Most were just enough to see a cat's or two were in the 5+ inch range.

This prolonged storm dumped about 2 ft. up here. Because it's typical to experience a lot of wind in these mountain valleys when fronts travel through, there were many 3 foot drifts. We were smart to wait till the morning to get home because drove into our subdivision just as our driveway was being cleared. This scene is Tues. morning....the storm began about 7:00 AM on Friday.

Normally, the mild daytime temperatures allow the snow to melt within a day or so......this may be with us for awhile. Pretty, isn't it?