Friday, January 30, 2009


I'm slowly feeling better....but not really good enough to do much......I was waiting to post photos of this finished challenge piece I'd recently blogged about.....until I could get a better photo, but I'm not up to trying today so I hope you'll still enjoy it.

Ace of Diamonds 32" x 32" - created for my fiber art's group challenge.  I was to feature the letter A.

I used bead embroidery to embellish the appliqued letter A and one of my edging stitches (Spiral) along the seam line.  These technqiues are featured in "Beading Buddy"
Here's my economic blues blog special........order the All-In-One Beading Buddy from me now for $16.99 and I'll pay the shipping.  I can bill you via PayPal.....or you can send a on the link above for mailing address is using a check.

The beaded collar was made using the brick stitch.

I'm getting grumpy because I've tried to upload my photos for over an hour now and can only get these three to post.....blame it on our really, really lousy internet.....grrrr!  Oh, will give me something to share tomorrow since I have a feeling the only activity I'll have for the day is continued pouting under a quilt......hopefully with the remote in my hands...unless 'the husband' wrestles it from me......he's succumbed to this virus too.  I'm sick of being sick!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


An added attraction this year at the Daytona Speedway racetrack was a Chili Contest.  Ya, I'd rather be looking at Dr. McDreamy......but ya gotta admire the ingenuity of these contestants and their clever booths.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DR. MCDREAMY some of you have already's Dr. McDreamy.  He's just as dreamy in person as on TV........though quite short and very slim.  He was very gracious as people mobbed him for autographs.  One little girl asked for his phone number....everyone got a real chuckle out of that.

BTW - Mr. Ashely Judd is Dario Franchitti....a very accomplished driver and super cute too.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I'm still sicker than a this will be short......

I think Access Hollywood or one of those TV shows blabbed about who this driver is......but see if you recognize him....I did even before he took his helmet off and do I have photos to share.....tomorrow......hopefully I'll feel better then.

Paul Newman was another famous actor turned race driver, as was Steve McQueen......they had a nice tribute to Paul.....nice to see his name still on the car.  

Mr. Ashely Judd was also there.....don't know if she was there.....

I'm on my 5th box of kleenex.....this is one of the worst colds I've ever had......grumble, grumble....

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Sorry gang.......after trying to upload my sneak preview photo....the hotel we are staying at tonight near Savannah has terrible internet....and I simply can't get it to accept my will be worth the wait.

A special note to Kay....don't spoil the surprise!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My interest differs from 'the husband's' as far as what's interesting here at the Rolex 24 hour race.  He follows lap times, whose leading in the each category, which driver is behind the wheel......(there are usually 4 drivers for each car).

I find it much more interesting to watch the drivers maneuver in and out of the cars.....amazing bodies.....if not a bit puny....  (This photo is of a driver practicing.....yes, they really do practice.)

This crew is getting ready to practice switching drivers (which usually means switching their seat forms too.)  Some have better butts than others....but basically, they all look pretty darn cute in their tight driver's suits.

Instead of bolts of fabric.....the inventory here is racks of tires.

And if one gets really can always take a different sort of ride.  This small carnival is right next to the Porsche Paddock where we you can see, it's not full at all.  This was taken on - Sat. it was full.......probably 300+ Porsches.

I'm always impressed with the massive number of safety equipment at these events......hopefully, none will be needed.

My cold is worse so I'll end my report tonight by saying........just wait till you see what I have to share tomorrow........I was nearly kissing distance from someone you will all know and perhaps have panted over.......stay tuned....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rhummmm rhummmm

Rhummmm....a loud, low rumbling noise......that's pretty much what we'll be hearing all through the 3 days we attend the annual Rolex 24 Hour Race.  That's music to some ears.....others.....well.....I'm trying to keep my ear buds of my ipod clearly planted in my ears instead, while I drift off to other worlds. (just kidding....sort of.) 

The first thing that struck us was the lack of crowds.  I'm sure all these protective fences have always been here.....but I never noticed them before due to all the cars/people blocking the view.

Rolex is the official sponsor of this race..... since it's a timed race.....they apparently need a time a clock that's super expense to alert everyone when 24 hours has passed!

The sea gulls are loving all the empty parking spaces......normally these sections would be filled with motorhomes and folks partying.

Another sign of the economic woes......usually I see VERY elaborate party-mobiles.  Seriously, some have been very, very fancy, ready for royalty!  This one is about the best I found......I thought it was very amusing that the owners apparently felt it necessary to take precautions with their water hook up.  Note they have a water filter in the line....just to the left of the green tank.  Who'd have thunk?  Most people seem to be mainlining beer and don't worry about water.

This is how the other half lives....well actually this is pretty good, because I saw a couple of guys who just dug a fire pit and had their sleeping bags arranged around signs of a tent at all.

I'm so happy to have a nice comfy hotel to go to.  My cold has peaked and I've used a whole box of kleenex today, I'm a bit testy, and not finding this event so much fun.....  I'm sure with a good nights' sleep....I'll be better tomorrow.  Though the husband just told me the race doesn't start tomorrow until 3:30 PM....not 2......but the clinker is, we still need to arrive no later than 8:30 AM or 9:00 if we want to park in the Porsche Paddock.  And, there's no way in this wide world that the husband would park his baby (and I'm not talking about me) in the general parking area!  The Porsche Paddock is a secure parking area and only Porsche Club of America members can park there.  Saves on door dings etc.  In the past it's always filled no later than 10:30 or 11:00 AM.....hard to know how many folks have decided not to attend this year.

The more exciting the race is, the longer we'll have to stay in the I'm hoping that the drivers all behave we can leave about 10:00 PM....heck when we come back Sunday morning.....they'll still be driving till 3:30 PM.....that's lot's of time for them to show off their talent in the daylight!

My cold and I are off to bed.....

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Despite having a really cruddy cold, which should place me squarely in bed at home.  Our house sitter arrived this morning and we headed off at 8:00 AM to Daytona Beach, FL to attend the 2009 Rolex 24 (hours) of Daytona.  

Yup, that's right.......24 hrs. of loud cars zooming around a you are asking if this is fun?  That depends upon whether you ask me in the presence of 'the husband' or alone! Thankfully, we do not stay at the race track for the entire 24 hrs. of the race.....we leave late and come back Sunday morning early.

It's been so cold and snowy in NC that I was sort of looking forward to FL weather.'s supposed to get down to 28 tonight.  Yuck....  The good news is, tomorrow will be warmer and warmer still on Sat. when the race actually begins at 2:00 PM.  Why?   you ask.....if the race doesn't begin till Sat. afternoon......why oh why are you here now?  Oh....I have asked that question as well.  The answer is something silly like watching the drivers practice, seeing the pit areas, viewing less important races, and vendors.....they have vendors at this events.  Sadly, no fabric that's not been made into t-shirts, jackets, hats etc.  Hummmm.....this all sounds pretty lame to me......but here I am anyway, in sunny FL.....

I'll be looking for more amusing things to report tomorrow, other than cars......often the drivers are quite their tight racing stay tuned.....

nite, nite.....must try to get some rest so this cold doesn't get me down.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


After learning we were to bring a baby photo of ourselves to our recent fiber arts retreat....I realized....yikes, I have very few.  We had basement water damage to lots of our stored possessions when we lived in IL....after two moves, I sort of forgot about the loss.

Of the few I had, not a single photo was of just me....which was kinda stunning when I thought about it.  Of course being a twin, one gets very accustomed to sharing one's life.  Of course that could sometimes be viewed as bad...or even very bad, was had lots of benefits.  As a teen we had twice the number of clothes because we could share!  It also meant that you always had a friend.

Thanks to my brother who was the keeper of all important 'stuff' when my Mom passed away.....I now have some precious photos of my twin sister and myself.

Obviously, we were celebrating our 1 year birthday.  I'm on the sister Nancy is on the left.  In 2001, through a DNA test, we learned we were identical.....I still dispute this because clearly we didn't look identical.  She has hair....I didn't!

Nancy is now on the right....curly hair, but not mine.  The Dr. who was involved with this test said that DNA does not lie.....the chances of us not being identical were.....well I can't possibly quote the scientific mumbo jumbo.....but it was something like an amazingly long number with lots and lots of zeros to the ninth power.  I have no idea what that means....but he had an amusing way to explain it.....  Quote - "The DNA does not lie, and if it did....then OJ didn't kill Nicole."  Pretty weird remembering the way he put it.....but he explained that they've discovered lots of new data about twins.

Sweet!  When we were young we were dressed alike, and if not exactly alike, the style would be the same but the colors different.

Here's one of the very few single photos of myself at 2 1/2 years old.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SNOW # 8

My midwest friends and family aren't going to have any sympathy with me....but geesh.....we are having our 8th snow.  Winter storm warnings have been broadcasted since late Sunday night, with an expected 3-5 inches here.

It started yesterday around noon......most of it melted as it hit the ground.  This photo was taken at 4:30 PM and it snowed all night.  As of now (8:30 AM) the snow coming down looks about the same intensity, yet thankfully, there appears to only be about 2" accumulation. Where did it go?  It's a very dry snow....if that makes sense.....mountain weather is very puzzling to me.

Even our lovely water feature at the entrance was frozen!  This is NOT the south I was promised.....however, it is a pretty picture.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE PERFECT CHILD!!!  You have enriched our lives....we love you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


There were many highlights to our retreat, but this one definitely stands out.  Thanks to Barbara's brilliant suggestion......each of us brought a photo of ourselves as a baby and another in our teens.  

First, all the baby photos were arranged on a table and given a reference letter.  Each of us were to guess who the pictures were.  I only guessed 2 own and 1 other....this was HARD. It was made even more difficult by rascals who put in more than one photo of themselves, and one of the 3 members who couldn't attend had somehow snuck her photos in.  We became detectives....looking at the backgrounds and clothing to help determine the time period.

Once everyone had written down their choices.....Linda Cantrell became moderator...holding up a photo and everyone announced their guesses.  Then the real person revealed herself.  I can't tell you how much fun this was.....even if Mary B. put 5 baby pictures of herself to throw us all off!!

Next, we switched to teen photos....this was easier.  I got them all correct, but must admit some were lucky guesses.  My high school graduation photo is in the center, dig the hair style!!

Connie even brought her high school majorette costume that she had made and beaded....

Official 2009 PTA Retreat photo.......Linda left a bit early due to a sore throat that she later learned was we will photoshop her picture in!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Of course with all the sewing that was taking place, we found time for relaxing.  We had Susan Partlow from Rejuvenations in Canton come to do massages.  We all melted under her skilled hands.

One of our participants pointed out how placing ones' face in the 'hole' of a massage chair provides an instant face lift!

Another form of relaxing...   Our meals were included in our stay so we didn't need to clutter the refrigerator with food stuffs.

Kate won the prize (not that there was a contest) for the cutest PJ's.

Leigh Anne's message is wonderfully profound!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Our fiber arts group is made up of super talented and dedicated quilters who can sew faster than any others I've seen.  Here's some of the fabulous projects that were in progress during our retreat.

Georgia Bonesteel was playing around with these log cabin blocks which were stitched with authentic indigo fabrics.  If I made pieced quilts....this is the kind that tug at my heart!

I recently showed you my ongoing project using the letter "A"....which will be hung with numerous others to spell out a word.  Georgia has the letter "G".  The multiple design motifs add so much depth and interest!

Leigh Anne drove all the way from Memphis to join the fun.  She used her time to work on several projects.  Sadly, I got so engrossed in making my silly eye-spy quilt....that I fell down on the job of picture taking, so all I have is her partial layout.

We are all proud of Connie Brown who will be taking her final test to become certified as an AQS Appraiser in April.  And we are one lucky group because she practices with our quilts. She appraised this turn of the century piece brought by Janice and provided the whole group with interesting insights about its origin.  The outer border was probably added to this vintage top much later...perhaps the 70's, when the quilt was finished.

Barbara LOVES to piece and not puny little brainless patchwork either.  Her work is scrappy with great design and thoughtful color placement.  With the help of design guru......Barbara whipped up this piece in what seemed like 2 hours!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


After 3 wonderful days at the first annual PTA Quilt Retreat.....I'm home, fat and happy!

PTA originally stood for - Piecers - Talkers - Appliquers -  after much discussion, the group now will be known as: Professional Teachers for the Arts.  The folks at the retreat center had wondered what PTA stood for and came up with this title....we thought it was so good, we stole it.

This is the view we had of of Lake Logan from our sewing room.

Three of us made eye-spy quilts.....pooling our fabrics.  The quilts consist of 4 1/2"square  fussy cut conversation print fabrics.....we probably had about 200 to select from, surrounded by strips of brightly colored fabrics.  This is some of what was left after 5 quilts were produced.

We had piles of 2  1/2" wide strips precut to make the piecing go faster.

This is my make shift design wall and my completed blocks.

And....ta-da......3 of the 5 completed quilts.  I added borders of some leftover strips. 

Well.....I'm totally pooped....having fun is hard work.....I'm off to bed to recover!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Ya, I KNOW Christmas is over......but out there in the big wide world there are magazine editors already planning their Christmas issues for next year.

I've been contracted by one well known magazine to design a couple Christmas ornaments.....I'll alert you faithfull readers when and where the article will appear when I have more publishing details.

While I have other irons in the fire......naturally, I immediately got enthuastic (you should see my studio...yikes!) and began playing with several ideas all at once.  Here's one:

It's based on an old paper cutting method, to create a star ornament from white paper. Basically, one cuts a square, folding it diagonally in half, then, cut several slits, nearly up to the single fold through all the layers.  This is what it looks like opened.  I used freezer paper as a cutting template so I could adhere the pattern onto felted wool (since the felt is too thick to cut from a folded state.)

Once my felted wool was cut, I pinned each of the corresponding corners together, alternating the direction the corners were folded.....first to the right then to the left.  This creates a spiral effect.  When using paper, the corners are taped or stapled.  Paper of course is stiffer and provides a much sharper appearance.

My idea was to attach the corners using beads......clear seed beads didn't show up enough, so I used pearls instead.  I hid the knot between the layers....see above.....then stitched a seed bead to each side, the ends are tied off and tail clipped.  

A ribbon will be attached at the top for hanging.  When using paper as a kid, we hung 6 units a 6 pointed star.  Felted wool is too floppy to show the definition of the star.....but I sort of like this as is.

However, I'm going to experiment by adding more pearls to this one, and play some more with smaller sizes, narrower strips, and other materials. This one began with a 6" sq.  

I'll be silent for a few I head off to a quilting retreat with my fiber art phones (cell or otherwise) , no tv, no computers.....good thing we are all great friends.  I'll have my camera ready as I know the talent in this group must be shared....not to mention the fun! See ya!