Monday, March 31, 2008

Great retreat . . .

The weekend was full and luscious - filled with fabric, design, yarn, crochet, beads, wire, and soul searching. I will share more pictures of my creations and experiences throughout the week. I walked downtown on Saturday - only a few blocks - and spent time in the quilt shop, the bead store, and the yarn shop. The weather was good on Saturday and then it snowed on and off all day Sunday. It was a magnificent time and I am so sorry I don't have another day, but it is off to work this morning. I have a whole week's worth of stuff to share here and I will add more each day.

This is the fabric I found so I can do some broderie perse on my next quilt. It is part of the "Julianna" collection from In The Beginning. It must be a few years old as it was in the 50% off area and I think it will be good for what I want to do. I also ordered some "Spanish Rose" from Michele Miller through Fabric Depot and I hope they have it as it was my first choice, but it is hard to find in the amount I think I need. It is the second pic. I also bought a couple of fat quarters in another floral so I can practice first. More on that later.

Also a part of my special retreat weekend was from the book study I am doing online with a wonderful friend and quilt artist. We are reading the book, "Women Who Run With the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. It is not a new book, but a wonderful journey to strength and creativity. The part we worked on this weekend is dealing with "taking back the river" and helps uncover and enhance creativity. I will share some here each day this week from this section of the book as well as I have to keep reading it over and over to better integrate it into my being. I need it!

"Here is how to take back the river. Receive nurturance to begin to cleanup the river. Troublesome contaminants in the river are obvious when woman turns away sincere compliments about her creative life" Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Getting unstuck . . .

Today and tomorrow are "bonus days". You know the kind - you get do whatever you want - whenever you want. I am in Laramie and it is the weekend and I am going to play a little. Here are my plans . . .

I am going to make a "java jammie". I saw this on the Berroco yarn site where there are tons of free patterns for all kinds of crochet and knitting. Some of the fun will be shopping for the stuff I need as I took all of my yarn and hooks back to Bozeman before spring break. And, part of the adventure will be finding it here in Laramie where shopping is limited. I will let you know later how that goes. I have wanted one of these!

And - some earrings . . . maybe something like these shown on the directions here. There is a fun bead store here so I am going there as well. I am really a beginner at this, but I didn't take my little tools home so that will help as they are still here. I love sparkly, dangly earrings.

I will share more later on my progress from my "retreat".

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just thinking . . .

I have been doing a bit of thinking . . . and then looking for good quotes for inspiration to get me going. I came across this one today. It made me feel better so I am going with it!

"A weak man has doubts before a decision, a strong man has them afterwards." Karl Kraus

Is it the same for women? Hmmm? It is getting harder each day to go to "work". I am so glad there are only 5 weeks left. Now, I will quit whining and get on with it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Snowing today . . .

Well - here it is the end of March and it is snowing in Wyoming. It is also snowing in Montana - anywhere else?

I am practicing patience today as I want to be sewing, but have to be doing the "real job" for a bit longer. Sometimes I find inspiration in a good quote so while looking today for one about practicing patience, I found this one:

"There will be a time when loud-mouthed, incompetent people seem to be getting the best of you. When that happens, you only have to be patient and wait for them to self destruct. It never fails." Richard Rybolt

Maybe it was humor I needed rather than patience.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Great weekend with family and friends . . .

I just realized that I didn't take pictures and I should have! We got to Missoula on Friday about noon and I got to spend most of the afternoon with Peggy Holt and Patricia Pressler. They are so talented and shared their beautiful work. Darn! Why didn't I remember to take pictures? I had my camera with me. I guess I was too busy wipping off the drool. They are both so inspiring!

The rest of the weekend was with my folks who are amazing! They are in their upper 80's and live alone in their own home. It is always a good time and also an inspiration for living a good life!

Tomorrow morning early I head back to life in "The Cottage" in Laramie for six more weeks. It has been a good year, but every time I come home now, it gets harder and harder to gear up to go back. But there must be more for me to learn there so I will head back. I have to keep reminding myself that my job is to walk the path. And I can choose to enjoy it - or not! I will enjoy it!

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Celebrate . . .

Easter time is the best! Don't you agree? It is the fulfillment of love and hope that nothing else can match.

We are heading to Missoula tomorrow morning to spend a few days with my parents, my sister and Bob's sister. And - even more exciting - I get to spend some time tomorrow afternoon with two of my favorite quilting artists (and longarm quilters) from that area. Check back on Monday and I will share some pictures!

Tonight we are headed out for a special dinner with 3 other couples - no particular celebration except we all enjoy time together. Usually we do the "women lunch thing", but this time, we are doing the "couple thing". When we are gathered together, it is nonstop laughter and great cowboy and rodeo stories. We have all known each other for most of 40+ years.

Here is another special treat - a wonderful picture of our Meagan - the 4 year old in Portland who is "practicing" to be a model.

And for a very special person:
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the love of family and friends!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just stuff . . .

“Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” Ellen DeGeneres

It has been a pretty good two days
of being home. Here are some things that I want to share. I really do still have a longarm and I really do still plan to use it. Here it is with a project for play loaded. It is red silk dupioni.

And here is a picture of my great fabric find at the quilt shop in Wyoming on Thursday. The quilt shop is "off the beaten path" in a small town surrounded by large ranches. It is "The Best Kept Secret Quilt Shop". I rummaged through their sales stuff and ended up with these. There are 7 yards of remnants, 3 fat quarters and 6 fat eighths - all for $23.

I am working hard on a project that includes these blocks along with many more like them. These are 4 inch blocks and I am planning to get all of the blocks finished up this week.

Last night we had our Easter celebration early with Weston and his family. We had a fun supper together and then we did eggs - dipped them in dye and painted them. Here is a picture of Weston working hard.

My love and prayers going
to my son, Roy, in Portland. He is traveling some very tough miles right now on his life journey. I know he is strong and I know he will walk this path with dignity and help from above. Here is an older picture of him with Meagan when they were in Hawaii last summer.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 14, 2008

What a thrill!

This is a picture of my beautiful granddaughter Meagan who lives in Portland. She is four and has started to sew - sewing on buttons. She sewed the button on the purple heart. Her mom said she must have inheritated my sewing gene. That gene goes back many, many generations.

The next picture is of my Grandmother Hannah. She is the young woman in the center with two of her sisters. I never knew her, but the dresses they are wearing were sewn by my Great Grandmother Mary. They lived in North Dakota and this picture was taken about 100 year ago.

It just melts my heart. I am going to go spend a week with Meagan in May and I am so thrilled. We will certainly sew together. It can't possibly get any better than that!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just another day at the office . . .

I got to thinking about that phrase as I got closer to home tonight. I left Laramie at 6:30 this morning, had 4 meetings with graduate students doing internships in schools along the way. The first one was at 11 a.m. and was about 280 miles from Laramie. The other three were further on in other small towns in northern Wyoming. Each meeting was perfect! I love seeing these young people planning to become principals. I arrived here in Bozeman at 8:30 p.m. after driving a total of 633 miles. Just another day at the office!

I love driving in Wyoming - I travel from Laramie to Casper on a 2 lane road through an area call "Shirley Basin" and there is still a lot of snow in that area. And then from Casper north, I follow Interstate 25 and then onto Interstate 90. The interesting thing is that talking on a cell phone is almost impossible as the cells are few and far between as is everything else including people in that part of Wyoming. Thank you, Ronda, for your good humor when I "hung up on you" repeatedly - and for the song! There is nothing as much fun as hearing "On The Road Again".

Another good thing - I was actually a few minutes early to one appointment and drove through the main street of the small town of Claremont, WY. It is a town of only a few hundred people, but there are lots of ranches in the area. And guess what! There was a magnificent quilt shop. It is about 40 miles off the beaten path and the interstate, but I will make sure to stop again. It is called the "Best Kept Secret Quilt Shop". What a find!

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heading home . . .

Leaving tomorrow morning very early to do some field work with interns in the state and end up in Bozeman for spring break. I will be home until a couple days after Easter.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another good quote . . .

"Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice."
George Jackson

I have been working on my patience this year and I had an incident on Friday that this quote described perfectly. When I came to Laramie, I made a commitment that no matter what I ran into here in the work environment, I would use any incident as a way to practice my patience.

I use my "p's and q" as a gentle guide - professional, prepared, positive, patient - or quiet!

But not on Friday!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It is still winter, but . . .

I know it can't last too long - even here in the Rockies at 7400 feet in altitude.

I went home to Bozeman last weekend and helped my Bob celebrate a really big birthday. We had a great time with something special on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday before I came back to Laramie on Tuesday. We had dinner with friends, drinks out with friends, went to the movies, more dinner with friends, and dinner with our Weston (and his parents). It was truly a birthday season celebration! I had hoped to get my "Miss Daisy" cranked up, but played too much and didn't have time for any quilting.

Next week, I head back to Bozeman again on Thursday for a week of spring break plus two weekends. I am excited and have lots planned for the 10+ days. And then when I get back on the 25th of March, I will only have a little more than one month of being away. It has been a good experience, but too long and too far away.

Things are very exciting here in Laramie tonight and tomorrow night. There are huge (for Wyoming) gatherings on campus prior to the Democratic caucusing on Saturday. President Clinton is in town tonight to support Hillary and Barak Obama is in town tomorrow night. The state is jumping with excitement as this kind of attention has never happened before.

Well - off to do some more piecing on my quilt project.