And they’re off…..

May 3rd, 2013

 And it’s another week with another post for the FOLK Journal Challenge. 

FOLK sharemystory

The Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 4th. The Kentucky Derby is known as the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” What has been the most exciting moment in your life thus far?

This one is a pretty hard one to answer because I am rather a Manic personality. I get pretty excited pretty easily about a lot of things that some people just don’t get. (there’s a down side to this too, because I get upset and depressed about an equal amount of things at times….my wife calls it the roller coaster life of living with me….)

So picking one most exciting moment is kinda hard for me.  At the moment, I am very, very excited to be getting ready for Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon later this month.  I LOVE Quilt Market, not only for all the cool quilty stuff, but also for my many friends! And each time I go, I seem to make more friends…a very cool thing.

But Most Exciting? It would have to be the day I married my wife, Linda.  Life is better these days if things AREN’T exciting, but you don’t know that when you are first married, and just being so in love is so exhilarating. And exciting.  The next most exciting times would be when each of my kids were born. The first of course being the most exciting because it was such a new experience.  Yeah, I’d say those were the most exciting times.

I think as we age excitement is not as important. I am beginning to feel reflection is better. Not to the point of not doing things, because I still like to do things!  As I said earlier, I am really excited about going to Market it just a few weeks (eek!) and I am working up plans for Next Summer teaching at Sisters, OR again. Uber-excited about that. And I think I will actually be going to Fall Market in Houston this fall…a big first for me!

Today’s a pretty short post as I have a TON to do still before Market….
Like getting prizes like this:  Market prizes.

ready to giveaway at the Generation Q Magazine booth (#1102) just next to the Michael Miller booth  (which is always a show-stopper because they are in New York City right near a theatrical prop shop and they rent the coolest display stuff!) and the bathrooms….two really good places to be next too!!

So I am cutting this post short, as I really do have a lot to do still…and that ole DayJob that I love (but not as much as this job) needs my time too…

Cheers, all!


Best Trip Ever!

April 24th, 2013

It’s that time again! The weeks seem to go so quickly with this FOLK Journal Challenge! Here’s this week’s prompt:

It’s time to start planning those Summer vacations! What has been your favorite trip of all time? What did you enjoy most about the trip?

FOLK sharemystory

The good thing is that the question doesn’t ask what this year’s vacations will be. We are hoping to head to the Washington Coast for a few days, but with our oldest son’s school and summer internship coming up, we are not sure if we will be able to get us all together for it.  We really do NEED a vacation though this year because we weren’t able to take one of ANY sort last year.  Luckily in Spring of 2011 we made it to Disneyland, even though we really couldn’t afford it then. But in hindsight, it is a good thing we took that trip because a trip like that is going to be even longer away at the moment as we try to recover from our financially “less-than” year of 2012.   But I digress… usual….

Back to the question.  My favorite vacation? It is a bit difficult in one sense because I just so love traveling. Even our trips to the beach are just splendid to me. Linda and I have gone twice to the southern Washington Coast just the two of us. Once for our honeymoon, and once for our 20th anniversary three and a half years ago.  And we have gone to the Central/North Washington Coast with the kids many times, but not in the last 3 years I think. And before the kids, Linda and I took some camping road trips to Yellowstone and Montana. And I find all of those trips so relaxing.  Just writing about it reminds me how much we need another vacation.

And I absolutely have been loving my trips to Quilt Markets (all Spring ones so far, I think this fall may be my first time to Fall Market in Houston….so excited for that!) I love the freedom of traveling alone even while I am very much missing my family at the same time. But with Markets, I get to see all my quilting peeps that I normally only talk to electronically in one form or another.  I treasure those trips and those friendships so much!

But my FAVORITE trip has got to be my very first trip to Disneyland in October 2007.  We completely surprised the kids with it.  Here is a video we took of waking them up for the big day!  The kids were so surprised! And they will be mortified that I am sharing their wake-up on the blog, but oh well…..

disney 4x6

That trip was so much fun.  The kids had never ever been on an airplane before and they and I had NEVER been to Disneyland, and I was over 40 already! I felt like a little kid.  We had beautiful weather…in fact HOT…80 degrees in October. The picture above is the only one I can find, but it sure shows how delighted we all were.  I loved how there was music everywhere….and CLEAN? wow, it was so clean there!  The boys loved the Haunted Mansion, we all LOVED Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We drug the kids through It’s a Small World at least once….it doesn’t have the same meaning for them as it does for Linda and me. The fireworks and parades were just incredible! I really can’t tell you how much I loved that trip. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

We went again in 2011 and it was very rainy and stormy for a great deal of our trip that time.  Not as much fun. I was very disappointed in that aspect of it, because I was thinking about the money I spent for it, and it just wasn’t as nice…..but that was probably not the best way to look at it.  On that second trip, we did get to eat at the Blue Bayou restaurant which was REALLY expensive, but the service and atmosphere was so superb, the kids really, really enjoyed that special treat so much!  And we went to Universal Studios that time too, Linda and I were thrilled to see the “real” Hollywood sign after so many years of seeing it in movies and such!

Anyway, that is just a little bit about my favorite trip so far….I really can’t wait to go again! Don’t know when that will be, but I know I will be just as excited for that trip too!  As for now, I have a lot of sewing to get done for Quilt Market….so I better get to it….

How about you? What was your favorite vacation? or is it a dream vacation for the future??

Spring Fever

April 16th, 2013

It’s that time again…..for another one of these posts (and LOOK! I was honored with being their featured link from last week’s post! Thanks Hillary!).  This was a fun one, and pretty easy this round because I had a lot of pictures left over from last week’s “Nature Walk” and this week’s topic is an offshoot of last week’s!

FOLK sharemystory

Spring is full of new life and new beginnings. On your nature walk last week where did you see signs of new life? What new beginnings are evident in your life at this time?

 This set of pictures actually come from the beginning of my walk on our property before I got to the woods….


This silly cat, Trinket,  was sleeping in the kindling box on the porch…..and not the  swan planter my dad made for us with towels in it (we had geraniums in it a few years back and then when they got thrown out one winter….the cats took it as a bed)...

Okay, so the gratuitous cute cat picture is taken care of…now onto the subject at hand.  New life? well it was more like “dormant” life coming back to life.  Which IS much like what is happening in my life right now….. My book which I excitedly shared about MANY MANY Months ago is a go again right after Spring Quilt Market and I am very happy about that!  These next few weeks, I have 4 total quilts to make and finish for three different companies, and then it is on to the BOOK! I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that my DayJob transition took so long and so much time away from this life.  It is really difficult being the main breadwinner and working at building a creative business.  You may have noticed here….I just DON’T get to do the things that I want because I have to make sure that all of our other needs are being met.

And I am not complaining….really….It is just hard, and the last year and a half has been particularly hard…..but things are really looking good now, and I am ready for that dormant life in me to come back again! I am VERY HAPPY about that!! And now on to the photos!


These blossoms are from the wild plums that grow along the bank of our winter wetlands.  Always the first fruit trees to bloom on our little piece of heavenly earth.


In the grass by the front part of the driveway, these little grape hyacinths faithfully come up every year….I thought they were lost, but apparently they come up a little later than I had remembered!


And this quince was here when we bought the place, I am pretty sure it is over 50 years old at least…..It is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of and Really needs a deep pruning this year….Not sure when I am going to do that when I want to be sewing so much more this year.


Close up of the forsythia from my sister-in-law’s old place. It’s been here at least 17 years now.  Love the color that it brings to end the brown/grey Pacific Northwest winter. I think it is pretty late too, come to think of it.  Kinda like my creative life lately…...hmmmm…..


This white flower is some “weed” tree that has grown up in the lilac hedge at the front of our place.  It has such pretty flowers, I am just going to let it grow.  I love how God throws his own gardening in onto mine…..okay, well not all weeds get to stay…..but this one does…..   :)



And the best is for last….the Lilac hedge is getting ready again to intoxicate me with its smells and color.  These lilacs all come from suckers that I took off the original settler’s lilac here. The mother plant is still here too, and she is at LEAST 90 years old.  I do have a couple hybrid lilacs that I bought and put in with the rest, and there are a few rugosa roses as well, that add color later in the year, but it is mostly lovely, lavender lilacs….....

This spring is especially a hopeful one for me.   I am hoping and working towards a much better and brighter one than 2011 or 2012 combined…

And for my quilty friends which is most of you reading I know, I have some posts already prepped to share some of this Revival Quilting life of mine!!  So they are coming soon to a monitor near you….


March 30th, 2013

And here it is, time for another FOLK Journal post.  I hope you all aren’t bored with these. I think for at least this time in my life these posts are helping me keep up with the blog even if they are mostly “non-quilty”  There is more to life than quilting right? least there should be….

FOLK sharemystory

Passover begins at sundown on the 25th and reflects on the importance of remembering. What family or religious traditions do you cherish and believe are important to remember?

I find this topic difficult this week. We don’t celebrate Passover, but I have celebrated Easter all my life which is related to Passover for more reasons than I really have time or inclination to recite here.  It is a holiday of many spiritual ramifications, but I don’t know that many people really pay attention to that anymore….

I have been feeling at my  house that we have been losing sight of the holy part of Holy Week as well, and as someone who calls himself a Christian, that makes me more than a little sad.

I wonder if that is because we haven’t really held on to any traditions in that aspect of Easter. Instead we have had our traditions of the kids hunting for plastic eggs filled with candy and money and our annual Ugly Egg Contest with the dying of eggs. Not very spiritual. at. all.  Sigh.

Those things are fun and cheerful….but not particularly deep.  I grew up in a church with so much ritual and tradition, I found it boring at times, but perhaps though I thought the traditions were boring, they helped ground my faith….. maybe the lack of “traditions” has been not helpful in that area…...

Easter fabric

Sorry if this isn’t a very “upbeat” post today. I have had a hard week in many areas this week and even though this is supposed to be a holiday of hope and joy and redemption,  I am not feeling any of those things.  Good thing we don’t need to live by what we feel! Feelings change, and I am sure that I will be back where my faith tells me I need to be soon.   If it didn’t it wouldn’t be much of a faith, would it?

I probably didn’t really cover the “subject” of this week’s FOLK prompt very well, did I? But I did write a post, and I did share some of my feelings and thoughts with you, so I guess I get points for at least letting the “prompt” prompt me to do all of that!

The sun is up and this weekend looks to be great weather all around.  So I will force myself to remember all that I believe and rejoice in the ultimate Passover Lamb and His sacrifice for me.

A Blessed Easter to you and yours!

Time and Time Again…..

March 17th, 2013

Time again for another FOLK Journal Challenge post….in the same week it’s due? Wonders never cease.

Here’s the prompt: FOLK sharemystory

 Reflect on the meaning of time. What do you spend your time doing? Is there something you wish you had more time to do?

Now for my thoughts on the matter….. They are brief today….because well, I don’t have much time…..hahahaha…oh I crack myself up!

time clocks1

Wow! What do I spend my time doing? I feel like I am always working on something. Either at the DayJob, or on the magazine or on sewing and working on Blue Nickel Stuff.  And as much as I like the BNS stuff, I do think that takes away from my family, which I really don’t like….it is a struggle…..

But to be honest, I really think a LOT of my time is spent on the computer, and some of that is useful, and well, probably a bunch of those hours and minutes are just frittered away by following bunny trails down the WWW path. It’s not what you would consider “bad” but as Linda puts it, it becomes Kronos-cide (Kronos=Greek diety for time, and cide=suffix for killing….i.e. killing time).  And the computer time pulls my whole family apart from each other to a degree because we are all on the computers too much.

time clocks

I am so grateful for the useful computer time, it is how I have met MANY of my friends in the last few years, but I can also see how it pulls me away from REAL life as well. And when things go bad in REAL life, it good to have friends here in the REAL world as my friends in Cyber-bia can’t help quite as much.

And what would I wish I had more time to do? Well, I would really like more time out in the yard gardening and reveling in nature as well as more “me-time” sewing and visiting my relatives and traveling to so many wonderful places that exist in our world….Oh the list really could go on and on and on!

How about you??    What are your thoughts on time?

Thinking Green…..

March 14th, 2013

For last week’s FOLK Journal Challenge (which I am doing this week, again….) I again thought about it all week and took my pictures last week….and realized I didn’t really follow the words of the prompt much at all…But I am going to share my thoughts  and my interpretation anyway….no matter how far off they are from topic!   :)

Here’s the prompt:FOLK sharemystory

  Be Brave and Break Out Your Green Thumb!

What Plants will you be growing in your garden this year? Make a list of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you plan to or would like to grow. If you’re not a gardener, where do you search out fresh, local produce? Tell us about your farmer’s market and your favorite fresh food recipes!

I really started thinking about all the “family” plants that we have had here mostly for many years.  But just to “try” to stay on subject a little bit before I go on my merry little way away from there, here’s a picture of our garden “citadel” that I created to keep deer and rabbits and cats at bay for Linda years ago.   It doesn’t look so great right now because Linda couldn’t keep up with it late last summer due to work, but she’s thinking she will have more time to get out here this year. She usually has a nice little list of basics to grow along with a few “guest” veggies.  we have some “permanent” things in here: a few raspberries (both red and golden), strawberries (both red and white), blueberries, and invariably a pumpkin will make its way in via the compost and cilantro will come up in various places.


So now where I went with the green thumb concept…..Basically, I just went around and took pictures of the green stuff that came to us via our families, and thought I’d share them with you. This is montbretia and comes to us via my mother in law.  Right now it looks like this…but in July or so it will look like this.


This tangled mess is mostly grapes from my parents’ farm in Idaho.  They gave a stick basically back when we lived in this trailer (the trailer needs to be torn down at this point…it is falling apart, but it costs a lot to tear down and haul away…sigh..)  There is also a Nelly Moser Clematis in here, but I am not sure how it’s doing anymore.  The Clematis I bought Linda years ago for Mother’s Day and because it reminded both of us of our grandmothers.

grapevine  and clematis

This is a juniper tree that my parents brought back here from their farm in Idaho. I love the texture of this evergreen and the little blue berries it gets late in the summer.  They don’t grow naturally here, but this one seems to be doing fine.

juniper branches

This evergreen is an alpine noble fir. It was our very first Christmas tree here in the little trailer we started living in on this property 21 years ago. We almost lost it about 16 years ago or so to some Woolly aphids.  I managed to treat it and save it.  I hope we never have trouble with it again because it does mean so much to me.  But I wonder sometimes now if I didn’t plant it a little too close to the cabin…

first christmas tree

And finally this is WHERE a peony should be coming back up. It is from my Grandfather’s original Peony that came all the way from Nebraska and has been somewhere in the family for at least 80 years.  We had another one of these and lost it, found it, and then lost it again….hoping this one will come back and prosper. It is a deep magenta colored one and so beautiful.

peony perhaps

I am really not very good at keeping gardens neat and tidy can you tell? I like to make gardens, but I don’t like to weed them, or fuss over them, so I really do like more “natural” looking spaces.  Linda is much better at taking care of them, but I have always built more gardens than she has the time for.

What’s up with your green thumb lately?


February 25th, 2013

FOLK sharemystory

This week’s FOLK Journal Challenge prompt (okay LAST week’s prompt…I am just barely getting this post up in time!) is:

How do you perceive ingenuity? Where do you see ingenuity thriving today?

Wikipedia describes ingenuity as being “the quality of being clever, original, and inventive, often in the process of applying ideas to solve problems or meet challenges.”

To be honest, I have been thinking about this all week.  And it has me a bit stymied…most likely I am overthinking it…I do that with most things.  I think ingenuity is actually all over the place. I do especially think I see it thriving in the arts and crafts world where things are not “necessary” as far as “economy” goes, but so very necessary for the soul. I believe we are all created to be creative by the Greatest Creator of all, and I think that in that creativity, ingenuity pops up in many forms, especially when times are hard financially….which a lot of the world is right now…

I really have more than one example of that, but I thought I would take today’s prompt to talk about a little hole in the wall “shop” so to speak in a suburb of  Seattle called Ballard.  About a month ago, I managed to squeeze in a little time to stop and visit Keli at Drygoods Design and learn a little more of what she has going on over there.  I thought it was a regular quilt shop, but it is more of a community, sewing / learning lounge with some great stuff for sale as well. It is small, but packed with great “modern”  Sewist-stuff.  Keli birthed this idea of a place where people come together to sew and learn and TRY out a large variety of tools and ideas BEFORE they have to buy said tools, etc.   There’s more to it than that, but all of it is pretty hip and well, “ingenious” is one of the words I would use to describe the place.

I didn’t have nearly enough time to visit with Keli, and so I am planning another trip over there as soon as I can to spend more time learning about the great things she has going on.  But I thought I would show you a few pix of the place.

And if you go to find the “Lounge” it isn’t easy…You go into a coffee shop and there up the backstairs is Drygoods Design…a wonderful little discovery.

I just discovered that all of the great pictures that I took there are nowhere to be found….so I only have this one of the wonderful Liberty Tana Lawn and blue baker’s twine that I bought that day…..and the free Pixie Stix (Keli says every in in store and online order leaves tied up in baker’s twine with a Pixie Stix)....I thought that was a pretty fun little concept myself.

I really wish I had more time today to talk to you about it, but I gotta skadoodle!

Mr. Memento……

February 11th, 2013

Yup, it’s time for another 2013 FOLK Journal Challenge prompt.  Here’s the question to ponder:

What family memento do you cherish? Why?

This week’s prompt was pretty hard to nail down because, well, our house is FULL of family mementos that I cherish….really full….(when we are gone, the kids and their spouses are going to have a HUGE estate sale, okay?)  See Linda and I would rather have something that means something to us even if it isn’t perfect. Linda is better at editing some of those things than I am, but still between the two of us we have a lot of old stuff…

Anyway I am rambling here….Back to the topic. I ended up picking two things to mention in this post. One from each side of my family. The first one is the one I thought of first, only because I have very few mementos from my Dad’s side of my family.  This ring is from a tin that was in Mom and Dad’s drawer when I was little and it included a bunch of 1920 silver dollars and other jewelry bits that I assume were from his side of the family too. This ring was from one of my Dad’s aunt’s beau’s.  I think the beau left her, but she kept the ring and somehow my Dad got it.  To be honest, Dad’s stories are not always clear to me, and I am not positive that his remembrance is always that accurate.  I don’t even remember how I came into possession of the ring either. I do remember that I gave it to my wife as a promise ring the December before we were engaged. She wore it as a pendant until that May.  The box is not original to the ring. I think the box came from my Grandma Roggendorf  because of the Milwaukee address, but I could have picked it up in a thrift shop years ago.  I know that I have had the two together for over 25 years now. Why do I cherish this? I think because my heart always felt bad for the aunt who the beau jilted, and I thought that maybe I could do a little better? I wear the ring sometimes now as a pinkie ring just because I like it.  I also cherish it because it comes from the past and to me represents some of the craftsmanship of the past.  Living on the West Coast, nothing really seems to be very “old” compared to the rest of the world.

Dad's ring

As I was looking around the many, many mementos, I spotted this wooden clock bank  from my Mother’s youth. I don’t remember using it as a bank as I don’t think it ever had it’s “top”.  But I do remember carting it all over my travels when I grew up and moved away. I always have cherished this because I felt a connection to my Mom.  Her Mom was the “fun” Grandma, and though I could never really imagine Mom as a little girl, I heard many stories about growing up in Wisconsin, and it seemed like such a different world then.  She remembers being a teen and going over to the neighbors to watch TV!! This little clock reminds me of time in a much different way than it was originally intended to do.

Mom's Bank

So what about you? do you have some mementos that you cherish? Would love to hear about them!

213:Nothing in particular….

March 2nd, 2010

Okay, so tonight, I am just feeling ”brooding” that a feeling?  the kids would call say “meh” if they were feeling like I am feeling tonight.  Can’t say why exactly…..just don’t feel in the groove, ya know?   In the past, when I was younger…like last week….I would have been upset about the ”funk” of it all….but now, I know this too shall past …..


Nothing really to complain about….okay, well, I could always find something to complain about.   But I have never really thought that did any good….when I discover I am complaining, I try to stop right away, cause I know I have a whole heck of a lot more to be grateful for. 

But I don’t feel quite so happy as this guy….. probably the sparkles are what’s doing it for him…maybe I need more sparkles….    

so, I am just here in blogland to say howdy, and share some non quilty bits…just cause sometimes even I get bored with just quilting, quilting, quilting…..

Here is a wonderful scissor case my Mother-in-law made for me a few years back….she sells them if you want one, let me know, I am sure she would do one in your colors.   But I am not really here trying to push her wares, I just wanted to show y’all…  

So that’s it for tonight.  Can you believe its March already???  Last weekend I took some great pictures of the earliest flowers here at Shiloah Cottage.  I will share them when I get a chance

Hey speaking of  “brooding” you should check out my friend  Melissa’s sketches of Mr. Rochester and Jane from Jane Eyre over here.   Pretty good, huh?   It’s raining here tonight…perfect brooding weather…..

It was a dark and stormy night…..

186: Ghosts of Christmas past….

August 26th, 2009

 Okay so today I just have these to post….these were quilt covered journals that I had the goal of making and getting out for Christmas 08 to various friends and associates that I met in 08…that I wanted to give gifts to….they are finally done….trouble now is…I have made a few more friends this year….that I think would like these too…wonder when those will get done…Let’s see if they even ever get started….christmas gifts 08

That’s it for today people…been a long day of errands and waiting around…did get some work done  on a great big secret project (I hope)...don’t even know when that will be revealed..

So long for now peeps….what are you going to make for gifts this fall and winter??

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