"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bottle Collection

I was quite taken with this bottle collection I saw in Laura Fuller's stained glass gallery in Portland, Maine.

Laura is well known for her unusual stained glass pieces with bottles, barbed wire, and other interesting found objects.  She has a lovely gallery on Congress Street in Portland.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Late Summer Blooms

I came home to a few new blooms in my garden. I love turtlehead...mostly because it blooms now...in the late summer when many other plants are starting to look a little tired.

I always look forward to the late summer bloom of this tall grass right outside my screen porch.  Once it opens up more...it's like a big white firecracker! It's beautiful in a bouquet!

And...my "new love" clematis shrub was full of blooms and buds.

Simple Things...

I imported the photo into pages and used a text box with white lettering. Then I took a screen shot of it so I could post it here... there are so many interesting and fun things to do with a computer!

Simply joyful!

I am going to press the leaf and do something with it later.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Domino Ladies

Margie plays Mexican Train Dominos every week with a wonderful group of women in her neighborhood.  I met a few of them while I was there and it's clear they are a pretty special and supportive group.  Several months ago Margie consulted me on a project she was doing for the group....A Scrapbook in a Jar.  She wanted to capture the humor, the individuals, and the essence of their group using little cards and tokens that she would put in a jar for each member of the group. Since she didn't make one for herself...we borrowed Alice's so I could see the finished product.

Her cards were clever, thoughtful, and personalized for each member.  It was a labor of love...and she had a great time doing it. That's what it's all about.  Nice job Margie!

These are the back sides.
I found a sheet of domino tiles that I printed on card stock and made into cards...and using Pages I made the number version...which are the dominos they actually use.  I also printed these on card stock for her to use as more notecards.

She wanted to represent a private joke they all have about the woes of aging women. I found this cartoon image and just changed the caption...it was perfect.  Margie said she laughed all day when she got them in the mail.

I printed a sheet on card stock and cut them into little cards.

I think I had as much fun talking with Margie about the project as she did putting it all together.  And I really enjoyed seeing the finished product.

Keep Calm and Domino on!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

A car, two planes, a silver line bus, a subway train, and another bus and I'm home.  As I stepped off the bus at the end of my street in Lexington I was greeted by the full moon.

If you've ever flown in or out of the Denver Airport...you know how lovely and interesting it is. The first photo I found on line...the others I took today from the inside.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hot Spot

I have used up the "data hot spot" I purchased for my trip. Technology just blows me away...my phone has been my modem while I have been in Colorado and I have enjoyed being "plugged in" for a bit each day.  I am taking advantage of WiFi at the nearby Starbucks right now and this will be my last post until I am back home this weekend.  It has been a privilege to spend this time with my mother-in-law and I am hopeful for her continued recovery. And even with all that has been going on...I have enjoyed trying to be a bit creative every day. What a joy!

A Little Doodle

It has been a busy couple of days at Margie's.  She is doing better and we are getting the house set up for her to be more independent...including moving her bedroom down to the first floor.

My friend Becky gave me this Flower coloring book...which I brought with me.  But I didn't bring anything to color with...I had a little bundle ready but it never made it into my bag. I did bring black pens...so I took a page out of the coloring book and spent some time last night doodling while was watching TV.

 Nothing special....just relaxing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Margie enjoys Hallmark movies (and I do too) so we have indulged in a few.  It's a good time to work on white squares so my stack is getting taller.

Inner Child

As I was visiting with Margie yesterday the topic of finger puppets came up....I bet you wonder how that happened. This is glimpse into my inner child. Under my inspiration bulletin board in my craft room, I have a collection of finger puppets that have been gathered over time.  

It actually all started with a whole set of sweet little animals that Margie (grandma) made for my boys years ago. They were greatly loved and many if not most of them were either lost or worn out. These two...the lion and the rabbit...are all that are left.  

Caleb, a friend of mine made me a little shelf with different height pegs to display them.  My finger puppets make me smile....and bring me joy.

Margie turned a bit of a corner and is doing much better.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rainbow Tree

Sometimes Often something gets in my head and I can't let it go until I try it....so here is the felted rainbow tree I have been thinking about since I started playing with photos this week.  Phew...now I can move on.  I actually think it's pretty cool!

Using the same technique I have been talking about....I imported the background photo and this picture of some of my felted balls and the into Pages program.  I got rid of the background in the ball picture. Then I resized, rotated and copied and pasted like crazy to get the effect I was looking for. The technique is kind of addicting..and the possibilities endless!!!  And, it's kind of fun.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Real Treasure!

While I am in Colorado I have been enjoying a real treasure in the guest room.  Margie's brother-in-law, my uncle Jerry, made this beautiful butterfly quilt.  He used hankies given to Margie's mother, grandma Dorothy Gunderson, from her students while she was a teacher. What a wonderful way to display and honor the handkerchiefs.

Below is a picture of Dorothy reading to my son Nate....actually it looks like Nate was reading to her.

Uncle Jerry has made many many quilts.  I had this old quilt top from the 50's and he machine quilted it for me.  He also made my two boys sports quilts when they were younger.  Below is a t-shirt quilt Uncle Jerry made for my sister-in-law Liz from shirts she collected from her life experiences and travels...It's actually two sided.  I am pretty sure he also used her plaid blouses from her younger years as the borders.  Way to go Uncle Jerry!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

White Squares

I spent some time today working on white squares for my cathedral window quilt.  And because I had some time...I decided I would try and show how a square is made.  I have posted some "how to" photos before...but never a step by step of making a square.  I learned from my dear friend Patsy.  You can read more about my cathedral window quilt here with pictures of putting the squares together.

I start with a 6 inch white muslin square.  

These first couple of steps are hard to explain and show because they're awkward but I will give it a try. I finger press an edge.
Then I fold over the connecting edges...and awkwardly holding and fiddling get it to the point in the next picture. Got that?  ha ha  I had no idea how to word it.
Basically I have finger pressed and folded three sides.  

While holding it I loosely slipstitch along this edge.  These loose stitches do not show...they get folded in a little later.

I did the same thing on the other side.

Next I bring those two seams together and fold in the opposite direction and slip stitch this long seam.

 Next I flatten it out....
 ...and make sure all the seams are open and flat using a knitting needle or skewer.

I finger press it out nice and flat and it looks like this.
I fold each one into the center and tack.

The final square looks like this.  You can see how they go together using the link above.  

I love this project because it's all hand work and very portable.  Everything I needed for the squares fit into a ziplock bag making it a good travel project.