How Many is Too Many

on Monday, December 29, 2008

How many is too many? I have two crazy quilts. This one is silks and velvets with a hot pink silk backing. I can only imagine that the gal that put this together had a little "get up and go" about her. It's pretty bold to use those hot oranges and pinks mixed with plaids and dots.

See the bird, ...they were fussy cutting even 100 years ago!

This is one of my favorite that olive green stuck in there.

Hot pink silk on the backing...very forward! Can you imagine what her husband would have thought of her using such wild fabrics, or even the talk in the town about it. Scandalous!

What was going on as the construction and decorative stitching were taking place. I'm usually watching TV or hiding in my sewing cave. My guess... this was probably done in a fairly affluent home (due to the access and quantity of silks and velvets) with a fire going and a very tired dog at the foot. Did she use bright fabrics to push away the harshness of winter, to seek a reminder of easier days of spring. What ever it took a lot of time, patience, planning, and a little piece of her heart.


on Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Rainbow Baby Jane...oh I'm so tempted. Anina over at Twiddletails is offering a block of the month running for two years to complete this beauty. I can hardly stick with anything for more than 2 weeks. I think it's a no for me but I know I'll regret it! Let me know if you join in the fun.
This one is not...all about the heart!

Saying Goodbye

on Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wouldn't you say that every year is the best Christmas? It is for me...I am so thankful to be with my family. I can truly say I'm doing my best to live each day as if it were my last. That's my filter for just about all I say and do. I loved having my in laws over for Christmas much fun...a crowd of 20...good food...great memories. Here's a sampling:

(click on the picture to see the "salts" - I collect them...see the tiny salt spoon?)
Two tables of 10 each.

Can you see the antique crazy quilt?

We played Occupation...ever played? I find it very interesting that out of 20 children came in first, second and third place. What's up with that? Carpenter was the winner, mountain climber was second, and accountant was third. In order of birth, too. Strange. I really thought Sanitation Engineer or Hymnal Publisher would win. The grand prize...a giant gingerbread man with three raisin buttons. Homemade...of course.

Santa brought boomerangs in our stockings this year...this is My Hero...rescuing one...for the third time in 56 minutes. ...2 days later...there's still one up there. Good bye boomerang. he is agian... My Hero helping to get ready...nice, isn't it...a man in the kitchen. Something about that...hmmmm...something, hmmm, I don't really know how that strikes me, but, it's good.

Yes..yes..those are homemade rolls, not biscuits, rolls...Aunt Dot's recipe to be exact. Personally, I don't think they turned out that great. Great texture, short on taste. No one complained. All is well.

Saying good bye to the Nutcracker:

This is the organist at the Nutcracker. Check the red shoes. Not to mention the shirt. He's a hoot. He's been doing this for years...playing the carols for the kids before the performance. Today, for some reason, he started playing before the "house was open". He started out with the wedding march. I thought that was odd... then all of a sudden, the ushers started clapping...a young marine arranged to propose to his girl in the balcony. She said, "Yes" then...a booming voice shouted, "Ladies and gentlemen...we have the house". That means, "Open the doors and let the public in". It was a moment to be sure. Greta Garbo and all that kind of good stuff.

(check out the sets for the Nutcracker...elaborate, magical, outstanding...)
Boo hoo...she said, "Yes" - sooooo sweet!

OK, now for the finale...
We said good bye to Nutcracker today...what a toughie.

This is my Nutcracker girl on the left. Isn't she something, or is it that I'm way over the top proud of her...more than is healthy, in any realm. (I'll get help, I promise).

Today was her last performance... can you imagine the tears backstage? I think the pros were elated to rest their aches and pains after dancing 28 shows. Giddy, to say the least, they played jokes on each other, on stage, throughout the performance. Here's a little Nutcracker trivia for you...Who bought more tickets than any single ticket purchaser this Nutcracker season? (Drum roll and lots of guesses later...) Thanks to lots of friends and family that came to see my girl perform. She loved every minute of it. She gets it... the whole dream come true thing. Thank you all.

Good bye.

I said good bye to my children and husband this summer when I felt life draining out of me, shortly before I went into shock and life flight came to pick me up. I don't wish that for anyone. It was a turning point for me. Those few moments changed me forever. Good byes will do that to you...change you forever. It's so hard to say good bye to the things you always is inevitable...goodbye is hard on any level, losing a favorite baseball cap, a childhood blanket, a college friend, an aged mother, a beloved husband, it's hard no matter how big or small.

My girl said goodbye to her first Nutcracker today. To friends, and Drosselmeir, to pointe shoes and long blond braids, to baby lambs and photo girls, to pre-pros and giant Christmas trees, to falling snow and funny rats, to the starry night sky and long scarves, the backstage door.
Good bye.

We'll miss you dearly. Thank you for the memories. is... forever, in her heart.

Christmas Past

on Monday, December 22, 2008

Does this look like Christmas Past? I can only imagine someone in the early 20th century put this together at Christmas. It's a quirky little (actually rather large)crazy quilt with the odd addage of brown. Who would have ever thought to add that to the Christmasy feeling of this piece. My Aunt Helen gave this to me in March of this year and I wanted to use it for everyday. Mom thought and thought about this for days before she knew the perfect place to hang it.....over my banister overlooking the family room. People either love it or think I'm shopping in dumpsters. There's so much to it, applique, lots of kinds of stitches, curved piecing, on and on. Wools and some velvets....warmer than warm...I'm thinking it's the whole covered wagon scene with three little ones underneath trying to keep their toes from going numb.

Here's a few of our stockings - I love the old ones and the antique lace. My mother put the lacy ones together for the girls. Can you see the satin burgundy ribbon under the lace? It's so subtle and keeps the viewer guessing a little at how much beauty is in there.

I love the use of vintage fabrics. Such odd use of color but I think it works, somehow. Look at the toe and the heel. That's a bright red and an olive green mixed with the blues and orangey pinks. Love it. That one belongs to baby girl.
Take a look at the blue one below:

Does anyone know what kind of work this is called. Mom gave me these a long time ago and we used them last Christmas to decorate her apartment. She lived with us for a year and a half before she died in May of this year. What a sense of design she had. I'm sure the ribbon was something off of a package or dress. She saved anything that was lovely. What about the little bouquet of applique "tied" to the ribbon? She layered and layered. You can't see it but it's tied to the banister with a piece on chiffon ribbon. Texture, layer, complementary colors...I'm learning. Even after they are long gone, our parents are still teaching us. I loved that time I had with her, what an honor, she was special in so many ways.... after all... it's all about the heart.

What Moves You?

on Sunday, December 21, 2008

What moves you is a question campaigned by Atlanta Ballet. This is response.

What moves me? Seeing seasoned dancers loving each Nutcracker like it was their first performance, those first few notes played in the theatre, 5 year olds looking like they've reached heaven, snow falling, worn out ballet shoes, shoulders held straight, young dancers wishing they could have danced more performances or had more parts, being a piece of an old Atlanta tradition, a grandmother bringing her daughters and grand daughters more consecutive years than she could remember, the doormen all dressed up, box office fellow-Anwar's smile when I go to buy my umpteenth ticket, the live orchestra, the much appreciated leadership and heart of Sharon Story and John McFall, the backstage hallways and stairways that go everywhere and no where at the same time, that beautiful building - The Fox, Peachtree Street, a young husband buying a ticket for his wife who hasn't seen "it" since she was little, ...What Moves Me? ...Seeing a young 'Party Child' dance her first daughter.

It's all about the heart.

Thinking Outside the Box

on Saturday, December 20, 2008

What is this you say? Only my favorite Christmas present thus far. My friend, Sue, gave them to me at the Life Flight party on Wednesday. I just found this morning on my desk. I didn't even know she'd brought them. My organizational skills are overwhelming you at this point. Can you tell what these lovelies are? I call them mop shoes or God's gift to women or the greatest invention ever...something like that will do. They rank right up there with Robert Redford and Elvis, or maybe the yodeling pickle. Aside from the obvious practical purpose, they provide a great source of entertainment. I can only imagine she laughed as much buying them as I did opening them. She says to me this morning, "No bending over". This would have been so beneficial this summer when I had a gazillion stitches in my groin (sorry for the yukky word). (Hmmm, does she think I still have those stitches?). Please.

Will I have to share them with my daughters? Selfishness is ugly but necessary at times. This is one of those cases. I'm not sure I can share. The fact of the matter is that Sue was thinking outside the box. Thinking of having fun, laughing. Did I say it was my favorite Christmas present thus far? My Hero even gave me an Iphone for an early present. Ooooo, this is a tough call. I wouldn't want to say, don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, after all, isn't it...all about the heart.

The "S" Quilt

on Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yep, It's the Kaffe Fassett "S" quilt. under Country Garden Quilts, is where you'll find this beauty. The book just came out in October. I did this one for my sister who came to take care of me and my family when life fell apart this past summer. The girls at the Red Hen ( had a complete fit. Did I mention that she has 4 children of her own and home schools as well? I like the lighting the photo below better. Much more accurate.
My sis is awesome and would do it for anyone. She's great in a crisis. It's not easy to sleep on those fold out sofa/chairs in the hospital rooms! Did I's not the first time she's done it for me....another story for another day.

This is how the conversation usually goes...she says, "Do you want me to come?" I reply, my tail between my legs knowing how hard it is for her to drop her life for a week, with a pitiful, "can you?". Keep in mind, she's either on an airplane to do this (I lived in Florida at that time) or driving more than one should have to. The least she could have done was to bring, Sugar, her King Charles Cavalier spaniel...but noooooo.......whatever happened to dog therapy?

She looks like she likes the "S" doesn't she? Actually this is her Bon Qui Qui imitation when DeWatt walks in....pretty good isn't it. (sorry, I just can't in good conscience give you that link, you'll have to look it up on youtube) The only tacky thing about her...she's not a quilter...yet. The dagger...she's got the Quilter's Edition Bernina....oh, my heart is heavy. Cry me a river.

This quilt was so much fun to do and you can put it together in one day. Her good friend quilted it for me. What a treat that was since my machine quilting is in dire need of practice. She put a verse on the border from Matthew about when Jesus says, "whatever you did for the least of these you did for me". Appropriate for the circumstances. She's a master quilter and it was a little humbling to send the flimsy to her but I got over it since she offered to do the quilting...all I could think was, in the words of Mrs. Bennet, "Thank the Lord, we are saved!"

"S" was a complete surprise to sis and she was so thrilled. I can see her snuggled up with it right now. "S" is for Sister, and Saving, and that's what she is... and did for me... after all, it's all about the heart.

Family Dinner Quiz - Andromeda

on Sunday, December 14, 2008

Connecting....the need to be's what we're made for... at my house, we have dinner quizzes. We use this to get the conversation started at the dinner table and move on from whatever yuk may have happened that day. Hurt feelings, disappointing news, busyness, or general humbugs of life. Everyone learns something new everyday whether you realize it or not. We all store a pocket of unusual facts just waiting to jump out and wow someone. After all, who wouldn't like to be on a game show. Mom and Dad turn into Pat and Vanna, but the forum quickly turns into Alex Trebek. Young or old, people all love to play trivia. For example:

"What is the tallest peak in North America?" "'s a's in Alaska"
My middle child waits with intellectual eyes as no one winks at mom and we suffer through the uncomfortable silence.

Now as a wife, I was hoping Daddy would not pose an answer, as he has one of those scary memories that never forgets anything.....especially facts. However, even though men have that tempting need to be the "hero" at times, he maintained amazing self control.
"Mount McKinley" she announces proudly. "Ohh nooo, no way'' answers back big brother.

Another, again from middle child: "What is the largest object in space visible with the naked eye from earth?" I come up with a brilliant..."a star". Silence. Silence. Daddy again, from under his breath..."Andromeda". We all... shocked and amazed the intellectual prowess. A giant among trivia men. Our hero.

For baby girl, a whopping 5 years old, it goes something like this:
I start out with, "Who am I? I rush to the scene, I carry an axe..." an overexcited, very interrupted answer explodes with, "a fireman!" Realization...I need to think of harder community helper questions.

By the end of the game, we've filled our tummies, moved on from the daily yuk, learned something new and strengthened our bond as a family. We loved and we laughed. After's all about the heart.

Life Flight Recipes: How to Rescue a Friend in Need

Here is the It's a long story and I promise I will get to it. In the meantime bear with me. I'll get it out before you can get to a new year! I hope...not very good at deadlines, you know.

Here's my clan. It was taken in Montreat, NC, one of our favorite spots on earth. I'm feeling like Cindy Crawford at this point because I don't think I had anything to eat for a week except an IV. However disappointed I was at the "hippage" on the right, I can assure you it was only due to the distortion caused by my sitting on that large rock. Just when you think you've got a decent picture for the Christmas card. Humbling...

Wednesday is the big day for unveiling the "Life Flight Recipes: How to Rescue a Friend In Need" cook book. It is a collection of all the recipes (or rather the ones I could gather) of friends, family, neighbors and even strangers who brought meals to my family this summer during my recovery. Can you imagine that kind of outpouring? It's overwhelming the love you feel when people give of themselves and make YOU a priority in their lives. It's an amazing thing to be on the receiving end. Now, I'm well past the road of recovery and getting stronger everyday. Wednesday is the open house when the girls will open be at my home to open their cookbooks. I have not seen many of them for months. Big hugs will abound, laughs and thanks will be the order of the day, and a great closing to a harrowing year will ensue. I look so forward to seeing my friends and giving them all a big spoonful of gratitude. For the complete story and the recipes....stay tuned. Hint...if you haven't guessed it involves a life flight helicopter ride. I will share it with you, laugh with you, cry with you and get in the pit with you. After's all about the heart.