Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today . . .

The wonder and excitement of being home is still luscious! One of the things I really enjoyed about my time in Laramie was living in "The Cottage". I liked the fact that my life was simpler because everything was there for a purpose and I was not overwhelmed with "stuff". The other thing I really liked is that I had a wonderful sewing chair for handwork - a chair with an ottoman where I could rest a tray and it was both a foot stool and a table. I have two such chairs here in Bozeman, one in the family room and one in the living room, but neither of them are in my studio - and I need something like that there, but I first need to create a space.

So I have set some goals and listed how I am going to start each.
1. Organize - Thin out and get more organized everywhere in the house - starting with my studio area first because I need to reconnect.
2. Create resting places for my soul - Make my studio a bit more comfy with a good chair and ottoman.
3. Exercise - Walk each day for 30 minutes at least.

And here is my start. The first picture is of the empty shelves and heavy desk I moved yesterday. I had to empty the shelves first, wait for my Bob to help me with the heavy stuff last night, and now today I have to put all of the stuff from the second picture back in those shelves - minus whatever I decide needs to be thinned. Isn't that a mess? What was I thinking? This is just one small corner area and I will share more progress each day. I am heading off for HMQS in Salt Lake City next Wednesday so I have set that as a goal for completion. We will see.

I love books and magazines, but some of those books are not necessary and I am thinking of setting up an account on eBay to do some selling or a couple garage sales this summer. My "stuff" has "stuff" - so this thinning out process is a necessity.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Another day in the season . . .

The birthday supper with family with as full of fun and love as the grin on Weston's face. He put his jammies on - just in case he fell asleep before the evening was over. He is so much fun!

Our breakfast journey down the Paradise Valley was also wonderful this morning. The weather is spectacular today - sunshine and the only snow is on the mountain tops against the blue sky.

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel." Auther unknown

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My special day . . .

Today is my birthday - and it is the middle of my birthday season. It really started with the wonderful gift of coming home early. Last night, after I got home, we had a fun supper out with good friends. Lots of laughter and lamenting about how the winter has been long . . . here are a coupe pictures from this morning with fresh snow. The first one is out the front door and the second is out the back door and you can even see some sun and a bit of green grass around the tree on that side of the house. So I know that spring is not far away. In all of the many (and there have been many) birthdays in Montana, I can only think of a few with snow on my birthday so I am assured this is not the norm. Now there - another good thing about getting "older".

Today I am going to do some unpacking, enjoy lots of wonderful cards and good wishes. I got the funniest cowboy singing ecard from my brother and a wonderful singing card and note from my Meagan. I will share them often during this special season. Tonight is a very special birthday supper with Stan, Rainy and Weston. And tomorrow, we are heading to a birthday brunch with more friends at Chico - a quaint hot springs resort about 45 miles away in Paradise Valley on the way to Yellowstone Park. They have a breakfast buffet that is out of this world. (Don't you love the name "Paradise Valley"?)

I have so enjoyed Dr. Seuss this week and here is another quote from one of his books (my favorite) that really sums up my day.

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Everything got wrapped up here early and I am heading home Friday morning. I will finish reading and grading from Bozeman. I am so excited to be done!

"So you see! There's no end to the things you might know. Depending how far beyond Zebra you go." Dr. Seuss

Wednesday . . .

I am back in Laramie - 8 more days - not that I am counting or anything!

I have lots to do - student papers to read - grades to get ready and post - piecing to work on - earrings to make - walk some each day - pack up the stuff - the time will fly by - and then I am home!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss

And before I get back to work . . .

Be sure you go visit the wonderful pictures of the winning quilts at Paducah. Just click on - this link - and it will take you there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Home for a couple days . . .

Shopping first . . .
I finished my last weekend class for UW grad students yesterday in the "heartland" of Wyoming. And then I drove north to get home to Bozeman with a load of stuff. Of course I had to stop at Big Horn Quilts as I traveled through Greybull, Wyoming. What a store! It is set up for all of the online business they do and it is all organized by line and collection. I bought a few new pieces and decided I must really need lots of flowers in my life so I am buying big, splashy floral prints - all on black. Something must be brewing in my creative crock pot as it is a very strong attraction.

A little snow . . .
The temperature there was in the high 70's. It got cooler and cooler as I got closer and closer to Bozeman and we woke this morning to fresh snow - again - or is it still!

Nice surprise . . .
Then when I got home, my "On Track" magazine was here waiting. I was so thrilled to see the last page was an interview with my quilt entry for last year at MQS. I haven't entered anything this year, but I know the time is coming again.

Priceless . . .
Also, I want to share a "sleeping beauty" picture of our Portland princess after a long day of ballet classes and princess activities. And here is another wonderful picture - this time of our "sleeping prince" here with us today. He and grandpa are taking a nap on the couch.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Loading stuff . . .

"I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it."
Maya Angelou
I am heading back to Bozeman with a load of "stuff" over the weekend after I teach a weekend class in another Wyoming town. And then when I return, there will be only a week left. It has been a good year, but two semesters was too long to be away from home so I am really, really ready to get home again.

Also, congratulations to my good friend, Ronda, who won "Best of Show" with her quilt "Essence" at MQX - a machine quilting show in New England going on now. Her grand daughter, Desiree, who is 7, also won a ribbon on her quilt. They both flew out to the show and were there when the awards were announced.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another magnificent day . . .

We loved our time at the Denver Art Museum yesterday. The outside area of the museum is worth the walking around time and this scupture of the chair and the horse is amazing - the horse is life size to give you an idea of the size of the chair.

The exhibit we went specifically to see is: Gees Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt. It was everything I had hoped for and more. We also enjoyed many of the other exhibits there and one in particular captured my heart. It was the work of George Carlson. Many of his serigraphs were included with lots of his sculpture and it was the last day of the exhibit so it was perfect. I left the museum feeling "over inspired" with the combination of those two exhibits in particular.

I talked with my mom last night and she had a display of some of her antique quilts last week at a gathering in Missoula. She has done a lot of writing and dating of her quilts and has put together a history and story to go along with each.

Gail and I then went to a couple more quilt shops looking for some fabric we could not live without and then on to another wonderful dinner out. I am heading back to Laramie this afternoon for my last stretch of work there. The weekend has been the perfect dessert for a long year of learning - and yearning to be home.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Great museum exhibit . . .

Loved the exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden. The work of David Taylor was on display and his work is absolutely amazing! Go to his site and visit his gallery. One of his quilts was just named "Best of Show" at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago. See it here - it is "I Ain't No Spring Chicken". His applique and quilting are unbelievable!

Dinner out tonight - steak, wine, and good conversation!

Sunshine in Denver . . .

There is a bit of snow here, but nothing like Laramie. It is a 3 hour drive to the southern end of Denver where my friend, Gail, lives, but I only had to drive an hour south to Fort Collins to have the temperature increase by 20 degrees and find the snow gone - and there is green grass here! Amazing!

Gail and I are heading to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum today and to the Denver Art Museum tomorrow to see the Gees Bend Quilts. We are also taking in a couple great fabric shops both days as well.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Memories . . .

"When you know better, you do better" Maya Angelou
This is an unusual post, but I need to share. Many, many years ago I married a man who had two children the same ages as my two children. We had all four of the little ones with us in the summer for 10 years as they grew up. For lots of reasons, that marriage did not work out and over the past 15+ years I have completely lost touch with the children and their dad as they live in another part of the country.

Tonight, on TV, I saw a man who reminded me of the boy who is, of course, now grown. So I looked him up on the internet and found that he had passed away in February of this year. His obituary told of his wife and two little girls who are 2 and 5. My heart just aches for them all. It seems unreal that lives once so close would go so totally in different directions with paths never to cross again.

I want to send my love and my prayers to Brad's family, his wife, his daughters, and his dad.

and it snows . . . again

"When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure."
Alice Hoffman

So, I will wait it out. I have plans to go to Denver tomorrow, but you know, life is what happens to you on your way to do what you planned, The roads out of Laramie are closed heading east and south so I will probably wait until Saturday. The snow is going to continue all day, all night and part of tomorrow with some pretty good wind. But, the temp is predicted to be near 60 by Sunday so Saturday should bring some better traveling weather with roads open.

I got this new book delivered yesterday - just in time to really enjoy. It is written by Suzanne Marshall and in it she shares her beautiful work and the judges comments on each piece. It is a delicious book! Perfect for a snowy day and a couple good cups of coffee.

I am working in the cottage today and tomorrow with minimal time on campus. My work here is coming to an end and I am getting ready to go back to my home in Bozeman at the end of the month. I will go back for a short weekend next weekend and take some things home then. The year has been filled with learning, but I am so looking forward to getting home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

As you walk your path this week . . .

Please consider these words of wisdom.
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." Martin Luther King Jr.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More fabric . . .

Just bought some fabric on my trip today.

Off to Cheyenne . . .

Cheyenne, Wy is about 50 miles east of Laramie on Interstate 80. I am heading out to Cheyenne to spend the day and visit a quilt shop, another bead store and a couple yarn shops. And, of course, I am going to hit Target and TJMaxx. Never before would I think shopping at a Target and TJ Maxx would be so exciting, but Laramie has neither and spring is coming so I need a couple new t-shirts. I will let you know what I find.

And now one more step to cleaning out my creative river . . .

"Begin; this is how to clear the polluted river. If you're scared, scared to fail, I say begin already, fail if you must, pick yourself up, start again. If you fail again, you fail. So what? Begin again. It is not the failure that holds us back but the reluctance to begin over again that causes us to stagnate." Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Thursday, April 3, 2008

And more . . .

The yarn! The yarn! The yarn! The yarn shop here is very special. It is Cowgirl Yarn. The owner had a some time between other customers and we talked about freeform crochet even though I was looking for something for my coffee cup holder. She is moving away from the "novelty yarns" and had them all on sale so it was a fun place for me to shop. I also may want to try my hand at knitting socks as I could now see why it is so much fun. I love crazy socks and will go back there again this Saturday. This first picture is what I bought. And here is what I made - it is a start! She didn't have the same yarn as the pattern, so this is my learning piece for my "coffee in a cardboard cup". If you have a minute, go watch this video of this great song.

And my next part of reclaiming my creative spirit from "Women Who Run With The Wolves" is: "Be wild; that is how to clear the river. In its original form, the river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we hav to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life." Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More from the weekend . . .

Starting with another good quote . . .
"You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through." Rosalynn Carter

One of the shops I visited on Saturday - and again yesterday - is The Bead Shop here in Laramie. I love the Swarovski beads and I found a few to get started and then made an easy pair of earrings. They are gorgeous! You can click the pictures for a closeup. Different from what I thought I would make, but I love them. I went back yesterday to get a finer wire to go through the green teardrop beads and found some others as well. I wear earrings with movement and sparkle every day no matter how dressy the earring or how plain my jeans. It is just who I am. This is a great way to have what I want - just make them!

And to end with more on clearing the contamination from my creative river.
"Respond; that is how to clear the river. To create one must be able to respond. Creativity is the ability to respond to all that goes on around us, to choose from the hundreds of possibilities of thought feeling, action, and reaction that arise within us, and to put these together in a unique response, expression, or message that carries momentum passion, and meaning." Clarissa Pinkola Estés