Vacationing At The School of Flo

September 5th, 2014
Flo on one of her many perches on the front porch

Flo doing what I intend to do for the next week.

Flo sleeps on the newly redone front porch all day.  She curls up on the wicker chair, sits on the wicker bench and stretches out on the bottom of the wicker coffee table. When I bring her food out, she slowly get up and slinks over to it or, she ignores it.  I guess what I’m saying is she lays around all day, eats when she feels like it and hunts when she feels like it, basically, she does just what she want to do when she wants to do it.

And I have decided to practice in The School Of Flo for the next week, during our vacation on Cape Cod.  And I’m going to remember the word practice.  Because I know I can never achieve the style, experience and wisdom of Flo in one week.  But I’m going to try.  It is my intention, while on vacation, to live the life of a cat (although I’m going to replace hunting with reading, an adequate  substitute in my mind).

And I can feel my body and mind  preparing. All packed, my last-minute list on the table,  I’m already finding it hard to think about anything except what I’m doing at the  moment.  I’m ready to go.  In fact, I think in some ways I’m already there.  Not physically, of course, but mentally.  My mind has stepped through the door and entered into Flo’s classroom.  But no mice heads for me please, I’ll have the raw oysters instead.

I wish you a week be as sweet as Flo’s days and will be back next Saturday.

(Although I can’t promise I won’t post a picture of a whale on facebook if I actually get to see one, or Jon’s seasick face as he contemplates “the whale as sofa”).

Common Thread Give-a-way Winner…..

September 5th, 2014


I’m not going to spoil the surprise.  You’ll have to go to Veronica’s site to see who the lucky winner of her book Kiss the Moon is.  You can get there by clicking here. 

Or if you didn’t enter the contest but just want to read some wise and moving poetry, you can also to there.

Next month’s Common Thread Give-a-way, writer and artist, is  Rachel Barlow.   If you don’t already know about Rachel’s blog, Picking my Battles, you can see it here.  It’s filled with humor and insights and wonderful drawings of life, off the grid, in Vermont with her family.  Her most recent post explores laundry and fashion on  rainy days when your only dryer is the clothes line.

"Laundry" By Rachel Barlow

“Laundry” By Rachel Barlow

Mrs. Pam’s Quilt

September 4th, 2014

I Mrs pamsn quiltI added that red/orange strip to the left and a thin strip of black and white to the right.  Now Mrs. Pam’s Quilt is ready for a backing.  I’m very happy with the way this quilt turned out.  And there are some parts of it that I especially like.   This is one of them…

Mrs pamsn quilt detail

….The center of the quilt, which was inspired by the potholders I made using Mrs. Pam’s scraps….

Mrs pamsn quilt detail2

….The bottom left corner with that little thin strip of green and orange pieces….

Mrs pamsn quilt detail3….And the lower right corner.  Which feels architectural to me.

Jon and I are going on vacation next week, so I probably won’t get to work on this until we get back.  I’m looking forward to designing the back of it.  I’m not sure which direction it will go in yet, similar colors or opposite, but I have a feeling it’s going to be as much fun to do as the front was.

Mrs. Pam’s Quilt is sold.

My Old Dog

September 4th, 2014


My Frieda is old.   She’s probably 13 or 14 years old, but it’s not really about years.   Last week, if you asked me, I would have said Frieda was getting old.  But this week it’s different, something in her changed where she went from getting old to being old.  Signs of aging have been gradual, loss of hearing, excessive licking of her painful joints, difficulty getting up, not being able to take walks, having a hard time getting up the stairs, occasional loss of bowel control.  These things came on gradually and until now I saw them as normal old dog behavior.

A few weeks ago, I even tried to communicate with her.  I figured if I could do it with the donkeys I could surely do it with Frieda.  So I sat by her bed and held her head in my hands and in my mind asked her if she was in much pain, if she was ok or if she was done with all of this.  Then I opened my mind and heart to her and waited.  In moments, words came into my head.  “Leave me alone, I’m retired.”  Then I got an image of her enjoying food, not necessarily her dog food which she often leaves in her bowl, but the dog treats.  She’s actually become a treat hound as if it’s the only thing she’s still really interested in. (She gave up 0ne of her favorite things,  barking at people when they come in the house, over the summer).  So I decided to trust those words I heard and the image I saw.  It felt right to me.

Until yesterday.  And it’s hard for me to explain what happened.  It’s not like  she suddenly can’t make it up the stairs or stand up or anything like that, even though her old dog behavior is more pronounced.  It’s more like a change in her psyche.   Not something concrete I can name, but a sense of confusion coming from her to me.  As if a part of her, an essential part, is no longer there.   Frieda has always been a determined dog who knows what she wants and doesn’t want and lets everyone else know too.   Now it’s as  if she no longer knows what she wants and is just going through the motions.

Frieda is physically uncomfortable, probably in pain much of the time.  And her body is failing in obvious and measurable ways.  And it’s these things along with this new feeling, this communication that I’m getting from her that’s making me think about what happens next.  And I don’t think she’s ready to leave the earth just yet.  But now, I do believe that when she is ready I’ll know.  I’ll hear it, see it,  feel it or all three.  Because my bond with Frieda is that tight and I trust it completely.  In the past there were many things I didn’t want to know, so I hid from them, denied them, didn’t trust myself when I knew the truth.  But I have no intention of doing that with Frieda.   She’s been too good to me, we’ve been too good for each other to stop now.




Mrs. Pam’s Bag of Scraps

September 3rd, 2014
Mrs Pam's scraps piled on my table.

Mrs Pam’s fabric scraps piled on my table.

Mrs. Pam has been teaching Preschool for 50 years.   She sews clothes for girls in Nicaragua and makes catnip toys for her local Stray Rescue.  But she could use only so many scraps from all those jumpers for those catnip toys, so she sent the rest to me.

When I dumped the bag of scraps onto my table, I could imagine the little girls dressed in their new pink, blue, purple, green and yellow Jumpers.  Butterflies, and flowers, peace signs and paisley.  I hadn’t seen so many bright and cheerful fabrics since I made Olivia’s Quilt, from her little girl dresses.

I started by making potholders.  I added some of the fabric that Kenna sent me.  Similar colors but simpler or solid to juxtapose all the patterns.

potholdersThen today, I was going to make even more potholders (they were so much fun yesterday) but instead I found myself using some of the bigger scarps to start a quilt.


I added fabrics from my shelves, some more from Kenna, some from Laura Israel and some that I don’t remember where it came from.  Each time I added the right piece of fabric my heart would beat quickly, my eyes grow wide, I all but licked my lips.  I worked on it all day, and it came together as easily as the potholders.  I think I need one more strip of fabric on the right, but I’ll know for sure tomorrow.

So thank you Mrs Pam.  Your scarps are so inspiring to me.  Maybe because they have the joy of little girls in them and the energy of your good deeds.

Lamb Calls

September 3rd, 2014
Liam and Suzy

Liam and Suzy

I can hear the Pumpkin calling out for his mother Socks, as I write this.    It surprises me, because I guess I thought all the lambs would sound the same, but I can tell them apart from their baa’s.  Pumpkin has a wobble to his and they come quickly, one after another as if he’s in a panic.  Socks takes a long time to answer, but when she does, she goes running to him, as if she just heard him for the first time.

Deb’s calls are  what you’d expect.  Generally two or three baa’s spaced far apart as if she’s saying , “Hey Ma, where are ya?”.   Soon there’s Ma’s answer, like a long drawn out burp.   They come together and move apart easily.

Liam is the only lamb whose baa’s I don’t recognize.  Because I never hear him call out for Suzy.  The only easy birth, Suzy is super mom.  I don’t think Liam is ever out of her sight, so there’s never any  reason for him to call out to her.

I’m imagine at some point the lambs will stop calling out to their moms.  I wonder if I’ll notice, or if I just forget they ever did.


Pillowcase Quilt

September 2nd, 2014
Pillowcase Quilt

Pillowcase Quilt

Sometime last year I decided I would no longer take commissions.  I wanted the freedom to do the work I wanted to do and to see where it would take me.  But I still had some commisssions that I  promised to people and wanted to do them if I could.  One of those pieces was to make a quilt from a bunch of embroidered pillowcases and a few hankies that Kay sent me.

It took me almost a year to do, but I did finish it.  Today I titled, dated and signed it.  And this quilt is one of the things that I really love about doing commissions.  Something I’ll might miss, although I guess I won’t know what I’m missing.  But figuring out how to make a quilt from the pillowcases that Kay sent was a completely enjoyable and expansive experience.  All those months that those pillow cases sat in the shoe box upstairs in my office/guest room, I couldn’t imagine how I would fit them  together into a quilt.  But once I took the out of the box, and with a little inspiration from my Gee’s Bend book, I knew just what to do.  Because all the pillowcases weren’t the same white as I remembered them.  There were actually many pillowcases in  three different colors and three different fabrics. All I had to do was cut them up and piece them together.  Making for a soft and subtle quilt.  And I had so much fun making this quilt I wouldn’t be surprised if it inspired me to make another one using the same idea.  Maybe not pillowcases, but perhaps linens and doilies.

So thanks Kay, for sending the pillowcases and being patient.

Title, date  and signature on my Pillowcase Quilt

Title, date and signature on my Pillowcase Quilt

Born in a Bottle

September 1st, 2014
Born in a bottle

Born in a Bottle

Born in a bottle
my world a lie
I reached for the tree tops
the leaves my guide.

"Born in a Bottle" Detail

“Born in a Bottle” Detail


“Born in a Bottle” (from my Linen Napkin Notebook Series)  is Sold for sale.  It is $100.  + $10 shipping.  You can email me here at if you’re interested in it.


Common Thread Give-a-way: Win Veronica Hallissey’s Poetry Book “Kiss the Moon”

September 1st, 2014
Poet and artist Veronica Hallissey

Poet and artist Veronica Hallissey

“Do not chop me up
  in little pieces.
  I hate the sight of what I see
  when I see me through your eyes.

Veronica Hallissey

When you have a friend who is a poet, you get the most wonderful emails from them.  Last week, in response to some writing I did about identity, Veronica emailed me her poem which begins, “Do not chop me up…”  Such a powerful group of words, I feel like a superhero when I say them out-loud.

Luckily for all of us, Veronica has a whole book of her poetry that we can read anytime we want. It holds the wisdom of her 80 plus years of life.   It’s called Kiss the Moon and is this month’s Common Thread Give-a-way.

If you’d like to be able to win a copy of Veronica Hallissey’s Poetry Book Kiss The Moon, just click here and leave a comment on Veronica’s blog From an Upper Floor.  The randomly picked winner will be announced on Thursday. Good Luck and check out Veronica’s blog to see her writing as well as her art.


Vintage Hankie Scarves For Sale

August 31st, 2014
Orange Rose Scarf

Orange Rose Scarf

I’m still getting hankies in the mail.  Boxes full, or one or two neatly folded in an envelope.  Always with a sweet note of encouragement and/or thanks.   For the past year or so I always have a box of hankies waiting on the dining room table to be washed then brought to my studio to be made into…..something.

Last week  I washed and sorted a bunch of those hankie.  I designed seven scarves then passed them onto Kim to sew together.

Now they are for sale.  They are $45 each + $7 shipping.  I take checks or can email you a paypal invoice.

If you see one you like, just email me here or at

Black Butterfly Scarf

Black Butterfly Scarf

Turquoise Scarf

Turquoise Scarf

White and Lacey Scarf

White and Lacey Scarf (Sold)

blue/pink/tan Scarf

blue/pink/tan Scarf

Green and yellow Butterfly Scarf

Green and yellow Butterfly Scarf

Louisiana Dogwood Scarf (this one has a hankie with a map of Louisiana and one with dogwood flowers.)

Louisiana Dogwood Scarf (Sold)