"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, February 27, 2017

School Papers

One of my tasks at the farm was to reduce, sort, and pack all the boys' school papers from over the years. I had a good time reading sweet stories and seeing cute art projects.  I have always love kid art...especially rainbows!

And who doesn't love a self portrait! Charles even embraced his carrot top in this one.
And finally, not many kids school papers include a booklet about "Tobacco City"....but it IS part of our heritage...you can read more about my growing up raising tobacco here.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


It's been blustery and cold here on the farm....but yesterday the sun finally peaked through and I was able to appreciate the morning sun in the east...and the setting sun in the west.  No place I've lived since has views of the east and west horizon. It was a good way to grow up.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Farm Fresh!

Two sweet little boys cooked breakfast this morning using these colorful farm fresh eggs straight from the hen house.
Those sweet boys are my nephews Charles and Henry who live on the farm I grew up on in Wisconsin. In about a month they will be on their way with their mom for a fresh start in northern California. They lost their dad (my younger brother Rich) in 2012.  The farm has been sold to a neighbor and it's time to pack things up.

Here they are as just little tots chasing a blimp up the road....if you look closely you can just see it below the telephone wires.  An unusual sight out in the country.  I spent hours riding my banana seat bike up and down this country road....it looks exactly the same as it did 50++ years ago.  

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Good Timing!

My plane was early getting into O'Hare....so with only a few minutes to spare I was able to catch an earlier bus to Janesville, WI than I expected. When I got off the bus I ran into Harley...my niece's husband who was waiting to take over as the driver of the bus I just got off of!  How cool is that for good timing!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Where does the time go!  Today was one of those jammed packed days.

I'm traveling to Wisconsin tomorrow to visit family and say goodbye to the family farm...more on that later. I may not post every day...but per usual I'll be on the lookout for a splash of color or a moment of joy.

I'm going to leave you with these stunning photos my sister Becky took of the falling snow in her yard several years ago.  I've never been able to capture the snow like this!

Oh how I miss my sister!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Focused Fifteen Followup

 every day in February I've put in my "Focused Fifteen"....fifteen minutes on some sort of organizing project. Some days it has turned into a much more...other days it's been just fifteen...and I have missed a few. But it's been fun to be reminded how much can actually happen in just a few focused minutes. I have cleaned and organized drawers and cupboards, been going through my closet, and made progress organizing my craft room to name a few. I often send my friend a before and after picture because it keeps me more accountable.  It's been a good thing....maybe I can keep it going.

Today I tackled another odd drawer in the kitchen that holds tapes and glues and various other things. I threw a bunch of things away and put things that didn't belong back in their proper place.

Way in the back of the drawer I found a bag of precious "found" heart rocks...many of them from Paul.  I'm going to keep them out and figure out a way to display them.  This one is nearly perfect...and yes I actually found it this way on a beach...it's about the size of a quarter.

I'm pretty sure they'll live on this shelf in my living room for a while.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Handmade Papers

It's a good day when you stumble onto something beautiful!

This is a simple digital collage of beautiful handmade papers on display in the reading room at the USM library.  The textures and colors were amazing!

Sunday, February 19, 2017


I had to chuckle when someone recently mentioned she liked "the seeming randomness" of my posts. I took it as a compliment and I agree....my posts are quite random. But it's kind of funny when you think about it because randomness can often mean unfocused and disorganized. But it also means unpredictable and unexpected. This blog celebrates the unexpected and unpredictable joy that presents itself to me each and every day. I'm just trying to pay attention!

After I cleaned up the pink and green scraps from my craft table today I had just enough space to get back to my mixed media project for Lynn....a random hour of color and fun!

After I finish fusing circles I'll add a little black stitching to each square and finish it off with a few buttons and maybe some beads. Yes it's a bit wild and crazy...but I'm OK with that on this piece. Lynn has a bright and cheery art studio...it will fit right in.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Designed by a Quilter"

I got an e-mail this morning that my little mixed media piece made it on the Folt Bolt color scheme board and you can check it out here.  It's always fun to see something you made on a public site.                                                                                                            
This past fall I bought a 12 x 12 portable ironing board at a local quilt show here in Lexington. They had many bright patterns...but I chose the most neutral one they had so things I was ironing wouldn't get lost in the pattern.

It's from TNT Quilt Boards  and is "designed by a quilter...made by a quilter's husband" right here in Massachusetts.  I have used it a few times...but during my latest project its usefulness became crystal clear.

This is the back side.
It's nicely made and very solid.

I assembled and fused the color scheme project on release paper right on the board. Because it has a bit of a loft I was able to pin pieces and prop it up and stand back up to assess. I could work on my lap or the table and iron as I went. I love that it's lightweight and completely portable. I also fell in love with their larger rectangular quilter's boards...and would love to own one of those one day.  
Nice job TNT Quilt Boards! It's nice when a quilter designs for a quilter.

Friday, February 17, 2017

All the Fuss

"It is indeed the ability to see wonder, surprise, possibility in each experience and each encounter that is a core aspect of joy." The Book of Joy

Both my son Sam and my husband Paul love the 7th floor reading room at the University of Southern Maine Library. Sam discovered it while he was a student and was there almost every day. Paul discovered it because he just loves libraries and it was within walking distance from where we used to live. Paul and I spent the day in Portland...and while he was in a meeting I took my book to the 7th floor reading room.  I now know what all the fuss is about.

As you walk in there are floor to ceiling windows with sweeping views of Back Cove and the city of Portland. In no way do these pictures do it justice.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I finally finished a project....this one inspired by Folt Bolt's February color scheme.
You can read about my process here, and here.

Today I started by fusing a piece of batting to the back that was just a tiny bit smaller than my paint panel. 

Then I settled in to do the hand stitching and embellishing. And...thanks to the most bizarre and dysfunctional press conference (sorry) I've ever seen....I was glued to the television...so I got it all done.

Then with a little snipping, folding, and pressing...I fused the piece to the paint panel. It worked like a charm. I did cover the top of the canvas with matte medium to attach the top/batting.

The back is neat and tidy...no messy glue! I actually tried to lift a little piece to reposition it just a bit and it wouldn't move...so I know it's going to hold. And...seeing this picture reminds me that I do need to add a hanger. 
I like the effect of the leaves and flowers wrapping around the canvas.

A happy little project...and better yet a completed little project!  Yay!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winter Ginkgo

"The world changes when it snows." 

I can't help but share a few pictures of my ginkgo tree from these past couple of storms. As you know I became quite attached to it this last fall...and want to pay attention to and celebrate it every season.  

This photo is from a few weeks ago....after just a little bit of snow.
I think it looks beautiful against the very blue sky.  
Click here to see all the posts about my beloved ginkgo tree.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


When Paul was in high school his family moved to Loveland, Colorado where Valentines Day was a big deal. People from all over would take their valentine cards to the local post office just so they would have the "Loveland" post mark.

Image found on Loveland Chamber of Commerce site.

And almost every year I got some sort of a sweet little valentine from Paul's dad, Dave with that famous postmark.  Generally it was a card...but sometimes it was a sweet little trinket.  One special little guy lives in my printers drawer in the dining room and in honor of Valentines Day I have turned him around.


Another treasure from Dave in my printers drawer is this handsome hand carved figure. I'm thinking about you Dave! And I'm thinking about my sister Nancy who has a Valentines Day birthday!  

And...a shout out to Paul....the love of my life! Here he is all tuckered out at the end of our wedding day.  And yes, he was wearing monkey socks. And you thought people only make monkeys out of them.                                                                                            

Sweet Heart

Anita and I just went for a walk and spied this sweet little heart. 
Happy Valentines Day!

 Thy sky was so blue....it was a lovely afternoon for a walk.