Tuesday, December 31, 2019

together Tuesdays

It's Together Tuesdays, stories of connection from the week. I have a few stories from before the illness took control of my days. You know, it's true the saying, if you have your health you have everything.

1. We visited the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and saw the English Paper Piecing exhibit. I love EPP and was fascinated with the variety of settings shown. That post was yesterday ( see it HERE). The docent and I had a wonderful conversation. She moved her from NY state a few years ago, and is also interested in EPP. She invited me to join their group meeting at the museum. I think I might despite the long drive. I need to meet more people. Thing about meeting her, she was inclusive and open from the start... I felt at ease with her and she's open to getting to know me too. what a gift!
he'd better not chew my bones
2. I got a surprise gift from my friend yarngoddess in Texas. It was the most beautiful box, painted scene from a lake, so I put it under the tree to open Christmas day. Turns out, she was going through boxes in the house, as one does to try to let some stuff go, and came across this marionette flamingo of her daughters. She asked if it was permissible to send it to her flamingo crazy friend, and her daughter said, yes, she didn't plan on carting it around in a box for 40 years like her mom did. (ahem) the box was from special stationery used up long ago, the pretty box saved.
This story meant a lot to me. I am now connected to Diane's daughter in a way. I also keep pretty boxes and stationery for what I just don't know. It gives me pleasure but there comes a time to let go.
Now I have custody of another pretty box that will be hard to let go of!

3. Over the holiday, dh and I went to the Post Office to mail a few handmade gifts to people. Not all, I still have some to send, The line was super long, of course. I stepped in behind two interesting looking women, and then watched as another pushed her way in front of the first interesting woman who just moved aside a bit. I looked at dh and said, what's that about? he shrugged.
After all, in the scheme of things, it's not worth getting shot for.
About 10 minutes in when more people joined in behind us, and we hadn't moved an inch, the buttinski left. I asked the first woman what happened. She who was using a big cane to walk, said the person pushed in saying handicapped people can break line wherever they wanted.
Wha? She pushed in front of a woman who could barely stand in line and walked with a cane?
So now that silence was broken, we all began talking and it was somehow, a place out of time, like we'd all known each other for years. I heard the details of their lives in the next 25 minutes. I knew them in a nutshell, who they were, their fears and goals, their interests and family, their heritage and hopes.

Simply amazing. DH stood silently behind me and I suspected took a vacation in his mind while I marveled at the union of three strangers caught in a line. As conversations go, we dipped and dove from topic to topic, nodding understanding. The first woman had also lived in Baltimore, but was from the deep south and we both had people from Alabama. She looked deeply in my eyes and said she wished we'd been related. The second woman, who was much younger than us, was staying in a hotel as she had just sold her family home after her parents died. She wanted desperately to move but was now in love with  a man who had moved here and wanted to stay. She was in a hotel for the holiday and unsure how to keep her daughter in her current school, and wasn't it a miracle that her daughter went to a party and they made little Christmas trees?? They would have a tree in the room for Christmas! I felt her need for change, and sadness at selling her family home and losing her parents, the difficulty of choosing love over adventure and change.
She missed moving to the correct line to pick up mail as we were all having such a good time!

I left there kicking myself for not bringing in business cards to hand to them so we could keep in touch. I hand out cards and have never had anyone contact me though. I left gently squeezing the shoulder of the woman with a cane and exchanging wishes for a merry Christmas. (unspoken gratitude for having met each other)

All three of us said we don't understand people's reluctance to talk to each other, funny that we should all three be in line together, as we all three love the serendipity of connecting to others like that.

4. I went to a holiday office gathering of people who work with my husband. He was at the Baltimore office for so long, and was highly respected there. The move here has been a difficult adjustment, and he recently moved to this group. I learned that the leaders of the group acknowledge that people want to belong, and they make sure all the people in their group are respected and cared for.
How rare.
The boss and I talked about how work is balanced with life, and she wants her workers to be able to do their work well, but not neglect family needs.
I began to love her, and wish she taught managers how to do what she does.

I wanted to put faces to names and was excited when the boss said I could come. Turns out I was the only non employee spouse there, and one of three women, yet I felt included and one of the group.

I'm used to being mostly around women, so this was so different.
 I took two persimmons sent earlier from Susie, to share, and the two other women each got one. I learned about each person, took time to look each one in the eyes and connect. You know me... I can talk to practically anyone anytime about anything, and did.
One guy was disengaged, friendly but you know what I mean. I mentioned to another manager, that people find satisfaction at work for different reasons.... not just money but meaning, or doing something important, or being recognized, or belonging. The other guy's eyes sparkled, and he leaned in and said, variety is important! I said, oh yes, do you have that here? He responded no but he did at the last job, and told me about it.We went on to talk about his passions outside of work, and he loves movies. LOVES them. In fact he was just about to leave to go see another with his grown son.
The big boss, a woman (in engineering, its great to know women are respected) said she was leaving at the crack of dawn to fly to pick up her son at school in Texas, and the two of them were driving back to CO for the holidays. She hoped to have enough time to connect with him again while on the trip.
I met another guy who married a woman from the British Isles. I told him we mostly watch BBC productions, and that started a whole conversation about marrying into another culture. If I'd said, what do you do at this company, the conversation would have ended with one word. He was Ex-navy so we also had Annapolis to talk about.
One guy was having his hip replaced over the holidays, and jokingly asked if we wanted to see the scar. All these big strong smart men looked away and went ewww. I said, okay. He grew up in Clearwater Florida, where I used to sashay around in my bikini as a high schooler. Small world.
It was an unexpectedly fun night, and very stimulating, talking about places these men had lived, their families, their hobbies and I saw them as people not coworkers.

5. I'll stop with the conversation we shared at the Denver Museum of Science extreme sports exhibit.
A docent was silently sitting next to these when dh joked we need them to walk on the unplowed streets around us. Turns out, he was fascinating. Everyone one else just passed by him without engaging him and he was a sports medicine doctor specializing in orthapaedics.He said the invention of modern sports equipment cause more trouble as people who shouldn't be doing it, and no one should be doing it anyway, are now getting extreme injuries. He said the whole thing really started with skateboards back in the 50's and with tv shows now many people want to do crazy dangerous things like jumping off buildings. It was cool to hear his take on all this, up to his friend, another physician, who does extreme sports too!!! We don't always do what's good for us.

Anyone for a quiet walk in the woods? Meditation? Tai chi?

a final thank you to a woman who left a random comment on my post. She led me back through the web to a group of writers I want to explore this year. She would have no idea her comment could bring me such fun!
Happy new year's eve!

Linking to
all seasons

Monday, December 30, 2019

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum visit

by Randa Milford I think
Just before the illness took hold of my life, we drove to Golden CO to see the quilt museum and walk around. We really like Golden and the stores are nice to Milo.
 The museum is beautiful and we were lucky to have a docent walk around with us and talk about the quilts. We learned how the curator chose from the large number of entries too. They range from hand pieced and quilted to a modern version of just cutting hexies and fusing them to a background
don't think I'd call this EPP

so here are a few pictures to give you ideas for your next work... apologies for not always getting pics of the maker's names, I was very cloudy thinking from getting sick.
I liked the way she floated star shapes swirling around the border, and the colors

I think the maker here is Karen Fisher.

this was to look like rocks and it's very inventive in it's layout and shapes.

 Each hexie is a different shape, yet they join on one side.

I believe this was made by Beverly Miller

I loved the impact her color placement made, the light to dark placement, the overall confetti effect and edge.

The light ones blend to look like dots are appliqued but they are pieced like all the others

Isn't this combination of hand piecing hexie's and applique charming?

I believe the maker was Janet Finley

Even if I didn't respond to a more traditional quilt, settings or colors, they had reason to come in close to see the hand of the maker. When you do EPP it's not fast, it's slow and deliberate like drawing as opposed to painting. Painting can be slow and deliberate but it can be done quickly with abandon too. 
Sketching can be done quickly but drawing like EPP is deliberate, placement of each stroke or stitch is considered.
I took a pic of this because of the details. The overall look was too busy and disjointed for me, but the details are so interesting in fabric placement. Note the fussy cut forest scene catching tiny deer in hearts. Intricate sewing joining different shapes that all come together into a unified top. Each fabric chosen for impact, bright yellow to set off the points that were carefully cut to show the same repeating lines. 
this maker was subtle in color but actually overfilled the space with intricate crazy quilt laces, stitching, embroidery and buttons.
a unique setting for a Pasagalia quilt. Fresh unified color scheme, values matching so that you see the whole piece not disparate colors, and the little flowers escaping into the border
I really like the quilting on this! It's difficult to choose a quilting design for these quilts that take so long to piece. The texture and line created in the final joining of back and batting to the top, is what makes a quilt and why we love to touch them. What artistry and vision these makers have.
The back room held a special exhibit of one woman's work. She left all her quilts to the museum in her will... what a grand idea.
What a riot of color in this little display. The museum has a store inside that had the largest array of EPP books I've ever seen. Many I've never heard of before.
Our docent invited me to join their EPP group. Golden is about 40 min away by bad roads but I think I will join them and meet other people as intrigued by detail as I am. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, December 27, 2019


persimmons as art!
 It doesn't act like a cold, but it involves a sore throat and irritated sinuses. I needed soup. What to make with what was on hand? The celery looked a bit wilted, the ginger had oxidized a little, some broth containers were out of date but one was in it's date. Bag of lentils... hmmmm

Lentils a la Lana

Mince 1 small or 3/4 large onion
thinly slice several stalks of celery
mince half a bell pepper (i used red)
chop a small peeled sweet potato
peel and mince a ginger knob (mine had turned blue gray in the fridge but was fine)
1 tsp minced garlic (mine was in the jar)

Melt one TBSP butter and small amount of olive oil in deep soup pot. Put above vegetables into the melted oil to soften and absorb it, on medium heat.

1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1 quart organic chicken broth, plus bit of hwater to rinse container
tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp basil
dash of onion salt
ground pepper
1/8 cup cooking sherry

bring to a gentle boil then turn heat to simmer, cover and let meld (half hour to 40 min)

it's thick but delish!
Not a food blogger so it's not a pretty photo but does have a flamingo
I made this up as I went along, so feel free to change any ingredients or amounts. Want it soupier?
add in two quarts of broth

To go along with the soup/ stew we had charcuterie
 what is it about a plate of little snacks that makes me happy? TJ's garlic crackers, pub cheese with jalepenos, hickory farms turkey sausage, and fresh persimmon slices.

so, again, not foodie blog worthy but yummy and happy food for the day after Christmas.
Now we're off to see what's shakin' in  Golden CO today.

linking with

Thursday, December 26, 2019

I Like Thursday

welcome to this week's list of likes.
Actually I almost forgot to write this in the Christmas Haze, so just a few things this time.
On Christmas eve eve we visited the town of Ft Collins and I saw so much to like. The little tray was in a store (no I didn't get it)

right?    am I right?
I do enjoy a pun
finally a cow stocking, where've you been all my life?
an array of flamingo ornaments
painted wall murals through the town
adorable calm poodles in a store who don't beg for gifts
DH has been off work starting Monday, so we have been going and doing. I have lovely stories of meeting people at the Post Office, and going to the science museum, cards and gifts sent by friends from afar, and more. I've been enjoying writing the Together Tuesday posts about encounters with others, I hope you've enjoyed reading them.

I liked Call the Midwife holiday special on Christmas day... the books it's based on were terrific too.

I liked that When calls the Heart is back on, and we watched the latest series of Midsomer Mysteries. Exciting news, Mrs Maisel and Murdoch murders is back streaming! Yea!

downtown lights in Ft Collins
warm-ish temps the last few days are making a dent in the street glaciers from over, (OVER) a month ago's storm, finally. Oh they aren't gone, but are starting to melt.

DH got me a turquoise fountain pen that I am currently in love with. I want to write and write and write!

Sorry to see the end of Lawson's advent calendar but the games remain for me to play as long as I like!

Milo's Moments
Check out this cutie I met and charmed in Ft. Collins while shopping with my peeps. Great sweater and scarf right? We wanted to play but both our peeps said, it wasn't a great idea.

I wondered if people sitting at this outdoor cafe might get a frozen butt lol, BOL!

I've been doing a lot now that daddy has been home. I'm kind of tired from all of the fun so I make sure to nap a lot. I'm also playing with my new toys.

I make sure to eat and drink lots during the winter, and take these words of wisdom from me,
if you get a chance to eat a cookie do it.

now mama says after saying hi, please go see the other people to see their lists this week!

toodles poodles!




Tuesday, December 24, 2019

together tuesdays traditions and three stories

just for a laugh... oy vey!

another form of connection involves traditions
I love traditions, from small to large.

dh and I have formed a tradition of having Thai lunch take-away on Sundays, while watching a BBC show time team. It's cozy to know we'll have a delish lunch and see an interesting show we can discuss. When we're on the road we look for Cracker Barrels because we've done it so often and it's kind of a tradition. On the week between Christmas and New years we visit museums. On birthdays we drive to a new location to see some new town. It might be hard for a newlywed to understand but traditions are built day by day, year by year and can't be rushed. They will develop.

I miss my friend Lane's house at Thanksgiving. There were 6 kids in their family and every kid brought a friend. It was happy and busy, crowded and loving. I was Lanes plus one each year, and slowly over the years began calling her parents Mom and Dad.

Some relationships develop over the years with certain people, but some involve inviting new people each year, who eventually may become old friends. It's all good.  I wish more people were inclusive with others... as a wee family of three at holidays, I miss having groups of friends who included me. Now when I invite others over they decline because they are being with "family"

Just think if they included us their experience might be richer.
I'll keep trying to create a group here but it's not happening yet.

I have very few traditions from growing up, but usually food is involved.
 I make good luck food on New Year's day... collard greens, black eyed peas, and ambrosia. Collard greens are a favorite of ours, but are labor intensive. When I wash strip veins out, and julliane the leaves, I remember seeing it done from eye level as a little girl. Then they were from the fields, and very dirty so much sink soaking was needed. My people didn't know the term jullian for bundling the leaves and thinly slicing them.

Every time I make citrus salad I remember seeing someone cutting the peel away from citrus in long spiral strips as they chatted. One after another I cut these spirals off the glistening juicy fruits before sectioning them. I learned to carefully run a knife along the section, then on the other side, flipping it into the bowl.

When I moved back from Canada as a young woman, I was recovering from Meningitis caught there, and worked in my sister's fruit business during the days. I made mountains of fruit salad and got proficient at sectioning without wasting fruit.

Ruby grapefruit, navel oranges, coconut, bananas, pineapple, and cherries. Tradition. My other sister does not like citrus, but she traditionally makes sugared pecans.

I am sentimental. I feel deeply,  and seek meaning in life. 

On Christmas I put out snowbabies with meaning for the year they were bought. Funny thing about them, my sister gave me a snowbaby one year mistakenly thinking I collected them. I didn't be that started me... last year was our first in this new home, and we went from a small bungalow in MD to this house with a two story family room, and our lighted tree was way too small and the lights all burned out, so we bought a tall artificial tree.
that may be a pig but in person it looks like a dog
That year's snowbaby was with a tree. The year before we had moved to Colorado one week before Christmas, so the snowbaby had a dog and suitcase.

Traditions are comforting, often connecting us with each other and or memories of good times. When you marry, you agree to take on/ understand the traditions of a mate, and start new ones. Like private jokes built over the years, traditions tie you to each other with little silver threads.

They add meaning to life.

This week because of Milo I met a couple who live 5 doors down from us. As we chatted we found acceptance and a bud of a friendship. I hope to see that grow this year.

This week I met DH's work group at a holiday gathering at a local pizza joint. The leader is a true leader... she is inclusive, invites others to their gatherings, she recognizes each of her worker's skills and abilities and acknowledges their worth, she understands the balance between work and family.
I chatted with all of these nice men, and will write a longer post as it touched me deeply.

This week the father of Milo's friend Bower talked to me. I mean he always chats but this week for some reason he talked about real feelings, and told me stories of times he had to make difficult decisions about rescue dogs who did not fit into their family. He said his girlfriend is moving in with two tiny dogs who might not be nice to the big 90 lb sweet natured Lab, and wondered how they would cope.
I had no real answers, but he talked about it in depth and maybe he discovered an answer while I listened. Sometimes you'll trip over an answer as you tell another of the problem.

Linking their connection stories today are:

Monday, December 23, 2019

sunday stories on Monday

Someone left a sweet comment on one of my posts, so I followed her back to her blog, which was wonderful so I signed up to get posts delivered to my inbox. Then to another blog, and another. Writers all! I found some peeps!
Enjoy some pretty music while you read! (French Christmas waltz)

This prompt was for short stories, a prompt a day for December, and I couldn't resist it!
You should use the prompts as the first line in a little story, so here goes

After the Ball
after the ball, tired and just a little tipsy, she sat waiting for her friend to come out of the restroom. She crossed her legs, pulled off one sparkly shoe and massaged her foot.

Just think, her pal had to convince her to come in the first place, I mean who goes to a ball these days? Then she needed to find a ball gown, so much tulle and sparkles, she felt like a princess.

Especially with the tiara pinned into her hair.  She knew how to waltz from ball room dance classes years ago, and loved the feel of  centrifugal force as she was spun in circles around the dance floor in some strong arms.

She loved the tables set with glittering plates of finger sandwiches and small tidbits for dancers to grab between songs. The champagne was lovely in the tall thin glasses, how she loved champagne!

It was all so pretty, the whole evening was pretty, it was balm to her spirits that had been so low for so long. Amazing really how just being taken out of the mundane world of worry, into a moment where lights swirled with each step, where she felt protected in a basket of arms, smelling men's cologne and feeling the scratchy tux coat sleeves as she was held. It had been a long time since she had been held. She wanted more.

More worry free evenings, more beauty, more safety, more gentleness.

She put the sparkly shoe back on and stretched her leg out in front of her admiring the light caught in each glittery edge.


She quickly glanced up to see a tall man who had just bumped into her outstretched leg.

"oops, sorry" she smiled into his face, "we danced together earlier" she said, momentarily lost in his eyes.

" I know. I bumped into your leg because I was looking around for you"

"oh!"  could this be real?    "I'm glad you did"

He pulled off his scarf, and sat down close to her, took her hand gently in his and said, "I'd like to dance with you again sometime"

Yes, she was glad her friend dragged her here.

Linking to
       https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com short story prompts!  

Saturday, December 21, 2019

sewing saturday on making something for another artist

I did a gift exchange with Rose from my art quilting group.
Now, artists have their own style. Rose has told us more than once that she enjoys pale colors, washed out deconstructed fraying edges, and NO bindings.

 So when the time came to make her something she would like, I put aside my style a bit, left out high contrast saturated colors, fancy edge treatments, beading and pulled out my box of painted and inked fabrics. I get going with paint, and do a lot of components, to use in collage later. Placing an 11" square of peltex down, I began to layer the components, along with lace, fibrous paper, wood paper (the bridge) and just let my scissors trim pieces to over lap and fit.

I found a little female on some fairy fabric and trimmed off wings. The tree was made by pressing the inked stencil onto fabric, after stenciling a tree image onto other fabric, that's the messy ink that was left on the plastic stencil. I love the ground fabric, the striations of light and dark to look like roots and shadow. I used pinking shears to cute the edges. No glue or fusible at all.
You'll see metallic thread... that's all me! I couldn't not put myself in the piece at all.
Some programmed stitches, some free motion (LOVE) and all frayed edges.
I hated not finishing the edges, so not me, so I did some hand stitched bars across the pinked edges in places, and some french knots in others. Lastly I got out my box of word embellishments.
That's more in my style. I restrained myself from ironing on sequins in the tree.

The back is a piece of pretty words sewn to muslin I stamped with a house surrounded by flowers.
Inked the house to stand out, let all messy bobbin threads show, and wrote a quote by Brenne Brown on the finished piece
It is small enough to place on a shelf or desk. Large enough to hold my message

What I learned... it's hard to make something in someone else's style, but you also want them to enjoy looking at it. Easier to make a body of work, then let who is attracted come buy it.
Making something in another style helps define your own... you learn what you like and the importance of design principles that apply to you.
If feels good to see another person's face when they open your gift and like it. Even if they don't know the effort it took to make something out of your wheelhouse.

A history of when Christmas songs were written, sung beautifully in harmony

Friday, December 20, 2019

paint party Friday

watching paint dry.... ahhhhh
Not much painting going on right now, but the tree was inspirational so...
I folded a half sheet of watercolor paper, and just traced off some circles, colored in with KOI paints.
finish off with a fineliner pen in forest green, and a white gel pen.
The inside of the card
that's it.... the back is my logo
Linking to

Thursday, December 19, 2019

I Like Thursdays #172

Welcome to this week's list of likes! There's Milo showing you he liked his new toy from Mary and Turbo!
I loved this textile seen at Macy's

I liked the glass over this mall store entry

this time of year our pizza place sells  sugar cookies, or what my granny used to call teacakes. Thick soft crumbly cookies that aren't quite so sweet. I love them.

I like leftover pizza for breakfast. The one we order has chicken, roasted red peppers and more.
awe, love on a mantle
I love the Christmas cards I've gotten this year, many with the cutest pictures of pets! Thank you to all for including me. I put them on the garland on the mantel so I can look at them every time I pass by.
I liked this doggie stuff at the mall
regrets... I've had a few

I've never played this game but I want to!

I'm still seeking an old movie channel to replace TCM. I grew up with about 5 tv channels, including old movie channels and as a child I loved watching old musicals and Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, James Stewart.

This video is how I see the world
I liked the persimmons my friend Susie sent from California... grown in her yard. I'd never had a persimmon.

box of goodness
"I'm pretty sure I'd like persimmons too, if given one. Imagine being nose height to the table and not allowed to eat there! ", Milo says

I liked the gift I made for the artquilt group exchange, story on Saturday!
 I liked going to the craft show with Mary, and wanted so many items, (wrote about it all here)
I like warning when trying samples!
Milo: I loved the whole thing, and also tasting honey on a little wooden spoon, that might have gotten cracked, it's hard to control big poodle teeth. I liked the honey! "

I loved this video


Milo's Moments
Milo getting to know Turbo
My advice is to sit, humans love that for some reason
Ohhhh! Like this?
Milo... I liked meeting a new pal, and getting a new toy!

now sit! stay! visit Mama's friends to see their list of likes this week!