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Monday, April 30, 2007

It is after sundown on April we can say that the May festivities can begin!

May 1st or May Day has the lovely tradition of May baskets...baskets of flowers left to delight your friends and neighbors. This year, I exchanged May Baskets with Jamie...from a swap on Artsy Mama's blog.
As you can see, I received a delightful basket with a teatime for birds! The table is set with a tiny china tea service, under and arch of white/ pale pink roses! I love the little "chintz" table cover!
Thank-you Jamie!

I especially love May Day because it is the day that my first child was born! My daughter, Laura.

These are two quilt blocks of a May Basket quilt I made when she was turning 16. (BTW, that year, quilting was my therapy as I was a bit of a "basket case" from dealing with her teenage trials!)
This is a pastel floral patchwork quilt in the small size called a lap robe or nap quilt.
It features many floral print fabrics...basket blocks alternate with traditional 9-patch blocks, all set "on point".

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Still the same!

?What more do you need to know????.....

Rod was in top form!

A wonderful entertainer....putting his heart into his performance and we loved it!

Go to the concert if his tour comes to a city near you! His music may not be all the cutting edge and critic pleasing, but his personality and the showmanship are captivating!

Personally, I love that gravelly voice and his accent!

Tonight's the Night....(some words from Rod...)
Stay away from my windowStay away from my back door tooDisconnect the telephone lineRelax baby and draw that blindKick off your shoes and sit right downLoosen off that pretty French gownLet me pour you a good long drinkOoh baby don't you hesitate causeTonights the night It's gonna be alrightCause I love you girlAin't nobody gonna stop us nowC'mon angel my hearts on fireDon't deny your man's desireYou'd be a fool to stop this tideSpread your wings and let me come inside Tonights the nightIt's gonna be alrightCause I love you girlAin't nobody gonna stop us nowDon't say a word my virgin childJust let your inhibitions run wildThe secret is about to unfoldUpstairs before the night's too oldTonights the nightIt's gonna be alrightCause I love you womanAin't nobody gonna stop us now

Friday, April 27, 2007

My drive yesterday started in the rain on GA hwy 120, heading from my daughter's house to a well known quilt shop........

Little Quilts in Marietta ,GA!!!!

(To make the 600 mile drive into a bit of fun, I felt that stopping here would be a "must"! I had owned a quilt shop for over 10 years, but now good quilting fabrics are harder to find....)

This shop is famous for popularizing quilting through the making of small...almost doll size quilts. They have had their own line of patterns and even fabric....very traditional and charming.

Today they have a broad range of fabrics to sell and classes to offer.
I found fabric for a baby quilt...for a friend who is adopting a baby girl from China.

(My daughter is expecting a baby --November 14th....I will update you when I design the quilt for this little one! she will be having an ultra sound this summer and we'll know more then!)

My choice for myself was some more fabric from Rowan....designed by Kaffe Fassett. This is Kaffe at International Quilt Festival, standing beside a quilt made with his fabircs. They are very bold, rich and romantic. So I collected a few more of those, and will soon start a lucious quilt with rich patterns and color!

Having these new creative companions (the new fabrics) on the passenger seat, made the rest of the journey (via interstates) a bit more pleasant! I reached Little Rock just as the sun was setting over the Arkansas River....yes!

OH, and tonight we go to the Rod Stewart concert! Whoo-hoo!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yesterday, we went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
They are having a special showing of art works from the Louvre in Paris!

This painting by Diego Velazquez is one of the most lovely there...and is used on the poster for the exhibit. Velazquez painted this little girl, for the Queen of France....Marie Antoinette's mother-in-law. He did pure painting with no preliminary drawing on the canvas! Her skin is translucent!

Also part of this exhibit were the decorative arts of the time just before the French Revolution. I was amazed and delighted to see paper costumes for Marie Antoinette (Queen) and Louis (king) created by Isabelle de Borchgrave. These images from the Internet are similar to the dress I saw. However, the head dress for queen Marie Antoinette included a clipper-type sailing ship.... done in paper. Her husband's costume of powdered wig, short pants and jacket worn with a shirt featuring sheer filagree lace ruffles were also done entirely in paper.

You can learn more about Isabelle and see a video of her studio on her website....(above) I had seen this video a few weeks ago after Loretta of Pomegranates and Paper posted about Isabelle and her painting! I might have overlooked the beauty of the papaer costumes, had I not known about Isabelle...thanks, Loretta!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Finding blue (indigo) in the Deep South......

Today, my son-in-law took me to visit the home and studio of Jamacian artist, Elgo Lewis. It was a wonderful experience! Read more about Elgo Lewis here. Elgo is a master of color and light!
Elgo gave me a signed print of a quick watercolor he did once to go with a poem which he had written about the blue bottle tree. Read more about bottle trees and their meaning here.
[The photo here is from an article by Charlotte Connor on a website,www.]
I will try to scan or photograph the print of his painting of the blue bottles when I return.....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Report from the Arkansas Interstate ........

(photos from Google images....)

Wild flowers are abundant on stretches of the road to my mom's!

Imagine these two flowers growing together, clumps of pink Mexican primroses mixed in with abundant Indian paintbrush......rosy pink interspersed with areas of orange red....and of course green!

I got to see it twice because I forgot something which I really wanted to take to I "kidnapped" my mom from her home in Little Rock and drove back home yesterday. (Lots of great visiting time in the car with her)....back to mly own bed...and starting out again this morning.....

Today we traveled several backroads....including a scenic highway with hairpin curves, through the Ozarks....I love to see old barns and homeplaces....the vanishing world of the small farm.
Then closer to Little Rock, the interstate is planted with dark red clover.....(the first
photo)...I'm looking forward to what I may see in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

One more old "curly hair" photo...bear with me here!
This one is from a yellowed newspaper article in the 1980's. (A larger copy is on my Lila's Quilts blog.)
Being a very private person, back then, I think I was a difficult she sort of wrote a story of her own to go with the photo....that's when I learned to take the media with a grain of salt.
The floral dress/jumper was a look we loved in the days of Laura Ashley dresses!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A few more old photos......

The first year we were married, we often did weekend camping. This was a spring -time canoe trip on the Buffalo National River. My husband loves to take photos, and he took this one of me resting in the canoe on a gravel bar.... springtime, about 33 years ago.

1982, building a lego house with my daughter and her baby brother....we followed the lego plans!

The "curly perm" years of the late 1980' my daughter is the "bossy" older sister in glasses! A photo taken for my husband to keep on his desk at work...
The next photo is one he took when we were at a football game. Sunny autumn day!

At an Arkansas craft and music festival with 2 house guests...Paul from the Congo and Maurice from Madagascar. About 1992. (After all those curls, I went for a new short haircut!)

Now I'm starting my "vacation" by reading a new novel given to me by a dear friend,
"Sleeping with Schubert" by Bonnie Marson. A charming tale of creative "possession"!

Monday, April 16, 2007

More mail!!!

I found a package waiting when I got home from work on Saturday night! It was filled with a lovely notecard, papers for collage and altered art projects and 3, ATC's done by Janet! They are good examples of different techniques for ATC artworks. The stitchery one has a very different appeal and "feel" !

Now I am really inspired to get busy and try some more ATC's and 4x4's!

Thank-you, Janet!

We are posting old photos of ourselves...these are what I found, easily ( as they were sitting here in frames and easy to scan).

The photo of 4 children from the 1950's shows me as the oldest (bossy?) sister. One little sister and 2 younger brothers completed our bunch! I was very proud of my glasses which I thought made me look grown up like my mom and grandmother!

Below is a college photo from the late 1960's. By then, hating my glasses, I was so happy that contacts were invented! I was an art and math major ( my father was a mathmetics professor).

Perhaps, we are "supposed" to be posting photos from 20 years ago (mine are much older!)....that I can do after I go thorough some albums...have to run to work now....My last day before a vacation!!!

I must say, no matter how I plan and do this layout, the preview and published versions are always a surprise...!!!

Hoping Blogger keeps this in some kind of order!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Look what just came in the mail!!!!

A surprise from Robyn in New South Wales....with beads, lace and vintage fabric. Charming! She is ready to be hung in my studio.

It doesn't take much to make me happy!

I've lost the will to resist....I'm out of control.....a friend offered me a box of magazines to go through.....this may lead to a delightful day of following my bliss, clipping and collecting images rather than doing anything "responsible" !

(Of course, I do have to clock in at my job at 6:00 p.m. this evening so that will probably "save" me!)
I also couldn't resist following my bliss regarding May Baskets! I signed up for a May Basket swap over at Artsy Mama !
My daughter was born on May 1st (30 years ago...yikes!) so I have a special reason to like May baskets...besides loving to learn about all ancient traditions.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Little Rock was dressed in her Easter best!!!!!

We went for a walk in our old neighborhood on Easter morning......It was positively delightful and a literal trip down memory lane!

(Azalea flickr photo by billums)

This neighborhood feels like a time capsule, from the minute we turn down the street where we lived for 15 years, it seems like going home......
We park our car and begin walking our, digital camera at hand!
This is an older historic neighborhood, most of the homes were built in the 1920's.
Following the sidewalk, as the street winds and curves going slightly downhill, we note that the homes have great variety of architectural style...(and not a single one looks like a tract house or imitation French chateau....) we see stucco bungalows , English Tudors , 2-story Colonials and others with a mix of Craftsman elements. These homes were built in the days of porches. Porches on the front to socialize with the neighbors and more porches on the back called sleeping porches. These were used on the hottest nights of summer before the days of air conditioning.

Most of these houses sit up just a bit from the sidewalk. They have well-kept gardens. Landscaping is very important in Little Rock.
Magnolias and Japanese maples are very popular. Azaleas and iris are blooming.

We note one bungalow with classic striped awnings.

Our former house is the sage green 2-story stucco with the large Bradford pear tree in front and coral azaleas in bloom around the front. (The azaleas, dogwood and the pear tree were planted by my husband.)
We also put the Pella windows in the front "music" room. They are still in good shape.
I like how the current owners have maintained it!
It was a house full of light...large windows, hardwood floors and French doors.
This is a house which still occurs in my dreams...

The tall trees cast shadows on the sidewalk, a Japanese maple and a rock garden add interest to the yard of this stucco home.

This shot was taken looking up the street, across the neighbor's yards.... It is a street of tall, older trees.
Several of Arkansas's governors lived in this neighborhood when they were not in the governor's mansion.
Bill and Hillary lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years (when he lost his bid for a second term here as governor.) After the next election, the Clintons invited the whole neighborhood to a Christmas caroling party at the Governor's Mansion...

It was a neighborhood of children visiting up and down the street and carpooling to school.
In the late afternoon, several of us (mothers) would sit and visit enjoying wine or coffee on the deck while the children played in the yard.

Today our deck is still there...however now there is no swing set or sandbox in the backyard....this is a photo my husband took from the alley. (Through a crack in the fence!!!!)
I can look at this and see the "ghosts" of my children and their friends at play here!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter!!!!!

We are going to Little Rock for Easter......

This is a quick watercolor sketch of the Rieger Begonia we are taking to my mother's . I don't know the name of this variety, but it really catches my eye!
I love the pink edges!!!!
My husband took this photo of the plant last night....( with a digital camera and a blog no detail of our lives is too trivial!)

These are photos from my cookbook and from the internet of Portugese Sweet Bread.

We fell in love with it from Portugese bakeries on Cape Cod.
It turns out that it is almost the same as Hawaiian Sweet Bread. The reason being that the Portugese were a seafaring people and they carried the bread recipe with them around the globe.
This is the Easter Bread version...(fragrant with lemon zest and nutmeg!)

2 eggs 1/3 c. milk
2 T. real butter 3 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 2 c. bread flour
1.5 tsp yeast

I put these ingredients in my bread machine and process to make the dough.
It comes out already kneaded and them I form a round loaf and bake at 350 degrees about 25-30 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow. Cool and slice.
This makes fantastic French Toast the next day!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Carmen of Strawberries and Champagne has tagged me as a "thinking" blog for this post on Easter customs.
Now that I have been tagged, I have to list 5 blogs that make me think....
there are many wonderful blogs to choose from. I tend to skim the surface and "read" only blogs with lots of illustrations... I am a visual learner...
5 that come to mind...(and all of these writers are also artists)

How participation works:If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.Optional: Display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Easter Choice....

This is a German papermache egg and Stieff bunny available from Hearthsong....if I were buying decorations for Easter , this would have to be what I choose!

I had always wondered how the bunny came to have all those eggs. Today I was reading a post from Julie at
Celtic Woman ...her March 19th equinox post...and she had reference to the legend of the Easter Bunny (who is actually a hare)...

Then I found all of this on the Hallmark website.

Easter Bunny • The Easter bunny has its origins in pre-Christian fertility lore. Hares and rabbits served as symbols of abundant new life in the spring season. It really is a hare – not a rabbit – that symbolizes Easter. • From antiquity hares have been a symbol for the moon, and the first full moon after the vernal equinox determines the date for Easter.• Hares are born with their eyes open, while rabbits are born blind. The hare was thought never to blink or close its eyes, and it is a nocturnal creature, like the moon. The hare also carries its young a month before giving birth – like the changing moon erupting into fullness monthly.• According to one legend, the Easter bunny was originally a large, handsome bird belonging to the goddess Eostre. One day she magically changed her pet bird into a hare. Because the Easter bunny is still a bird at heart, he continues to build a straw nest and fill it with eggs.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Browsing through a used book shop with my sister yesterday....

Finding an book on traditional American Crafts with this first quilt photo.....(I am in love with the soft colors and the texture of the hand-quilting)

Brought me back to an old project...

My Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt. ( photo above)

I was not a grandmother when I started this one, eight years ago! Each little rosette takes me about 3 hours of hand work and that is not the white or green pieces! I use the English paper piecing method. Hours of fun and meditation!

A few years ago, my little granddaughter, about 31/2 years old, spotted my pink work basket with the blocks in progress. "OOOOOh! Pretty! "she exclaimed picking up the colorful "flowers". I told her that it was a hard quilt to finish...."I'll help you!" she said! (Delighting her grandmother no end because of her interest!)

One day soon, now that she is older and sews a bit, I will take her up on that!

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