Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Beyond The Bougainvillea (Free Kindle Book!)

It’s like this..do I wait til tomorrow to post this, because I’ve already written a post today? What if it isn’t free TOMORROW? But is today? So I’ll post this now!

Beyond The Bougainvillea ((Yeah, I really had to watch closely to spell this one right!)) is free on Kindle, and maybe some other formats too.

Book Description
She found her place in a turbulent era of deep passions, heartbreaking sacrifices, and grand dreams.When scholarly, smart Mary Margaret is sixteen, her father marries her off to a drunken neighbor in return for a tract of land. The year is 1924, and Mary Margaret's motherless childhood has already been hard as a farm girl on the desolate prairies of North Dakota. Abused and helpless, the new Mrs. "Marge" Garrity seems destined for a tragic fate.But Marge is determined to make her life count, no matter what. Her escape from her brutal marriage takes her to California, where she struggles to survive the Great Depression and soon answers the lure of the state's untamed northern half. There, embraced by the rough-and-ready people who built the great Ruck-a-chucky Dam on the American River, she begins to find her true mission in life and the possibility for love and happiness with an Army Corp engineer of Cherokee Indian descent.Author Dolores Durando knows Marge's world very well. She grew up ninety years ago on the plains of North Dakota.

I went over to Amazon and read the reviews --- many many 5 star reviews, one saying:

I don't recall ever having being moved to tears on the first page of a novel, nor do I recall reaching that point at least half a dozen more times before reaching the final page. That did happen as I read Beyond the Bougainvillea, and it happened quickly, because I could not put the book down!

Okay, so we download this one too, because isn’t that what having a Kindle, or a Kindle App for your phone is all about?

The paperwork day has been majorly successful –I’ve nearly caught up on all that was waiting for me to do. I just might stitch tonight!

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There is a border section for the hexagon medallion calling my name! The question remains…this is one of the side “fill in” units that I have drafted here –There is the option to do SIX of these fill in units to turn the quilt into a giant HEXAGON before filling in the 4 corners…and I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I guess I’ll just do the TWO sides, and see if I feel any more inspired with how to execute turning this thing into a square, and then into a rectangle!

Think Pink!

While on my road trip, I got a voice mail reminding me that I had a mammogram yesterday at 4pm! I guess there was no better way to celebrate my return home, than by heading straight to the imaging center and taking care of “the girls!”

This cartoon cracked me up….and I know all of us of “a certain age” can relate! It doesn’t take long, it’s only a “BIT” uncomfortable, and you know that everyone in the waiting area is hating it just as much as you are!

My imaging center has moved---and they USED to have tea/coffee/cookies while you wait…NO MORE! And the magazines were old and dog-earred, so I took care of some email on my phone, and began reading one of the latest kindle uploads on my phone as well.

This is my plea to you, that if you haven’t had a mammo in a while, GO DO IT!

I spent some time flipping through the pics for Saturday’s 1/2 day Scrappy Mountain Majesties this morning and editing them down….after having MY mountains squashed flat, it seemed only fitting!

These gals got a HUGE amount done in just a 3 hour class! It will be fun to see what quilts they turn out with their blocks—there was a lot of fun arranging going on!

I have some great pics from the antique malls I hit on the way home, but that will include more editing down, and I’ve got a LOT on my plate today to get things in order after being gone 13 days! So…I might get to doing that tonight for tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned!

But I DID take a 3 mile walk last evening just to see what has greened up, sprouted out, and bloomed brightly while I was gone!

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We have LEAVES!!! This is the most amazing change of all…and I can’t tell you how GOOD it feels. I really miss the color green in the winter time.

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You can see the dogwood at the end of my drive still in blossom…the leaves will only get thicker as spring moves toward summer, just tucking my sweet little cottage house in amongst the foliage.

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This was one leg of my 3 mile walk….isn’t it a beautiful stretch of road? That hill at the end is quite steep, really gets my heart pounding. ((Yes, I keep telling myself how GOOD it is for me!)) And when I reached the top of that hill, I was greeted by this beautiful sight:

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Just look at this mass of gorgeous pink color! There are lots of white azaleas around, and some redder ones too, but it is the pink ones that just make me giddy! Rolling on the floor laughing

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It’s just a MASS of gorgeous blossoms! I also loved seeing the wisteria just dripping purple where it was blooming in the woods around the area too. THIS is what a North Carolina Spring is best at! Color, and smell and ---oh, I love it!

The past few weeks I have received comments on why I would post the pics from “some” classes, but not all. Some are impatient to have their own class pics posted, and on a long journey, I might teach the same class 3 times in a row, as what happened on the TN/NC/AL trip in March. It isn’t that I don’t think all class pics shouldn’t be posted, it is that there is more going on in my life than JUST posting class pics….if I miss a class posting, because I have decided to write on something else going on in my life, please forgive me.

Editing down lots of pics for a slide show takes time that I find myself very short on. I want to post things that I find might be interesting for you to read, and if it is all the same thing, the same class over and over and over, I’m afraid I’m going to lose readers – I’m trying to find balance between posting about life, and the quilting. So I ask for your patience and understanding. There is a lot going on behind the scenes in my life that you don’t see here, that I don’t post here. And finding a place and a way for it all to fit is not always easy.

It’s kind of like the feeling you get when contemplating getting OFF the fast moving train, only knowing that if you do get off, it is moving so fast you’ll never be able to get back on it again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Homeward Bound! ((Free Kindle Book Too!))

I have to admit I putzed a bit on my way home! You know the pull of antique malls and historic sites! Not to mention that the road was tiring in and of itself --- it seemed like everyone is headed somewhere for Easter week! The truck stops were full, so were the gas stations along the way! Oh, this state’s gas is 5 cents lower than that one, so we must stop here behind 40 other cars to SAVE a few cents per gallon before crossing the state line! ((like it matters now?!))

I was one of the ones who waited to cross the state line to fill up, because it saved me TIME waiting in line…I’d rather pay a bit more and be in and out of there in a flash, than wait around for 10 cars ahead of me to fill. Disappointed smile

SO, I still have a few hours to go, but by the time 11:30pm rolled around I was feeling pretty road weary!

While unwinding before sleep last night, I came across this little book –a freebie for Kindle—that sounds interesting to me! It’s called Heir To The Everlasting, and at first glance, I thought it might be some religious fluff fiction, but upon reading the description, it did sound good:

Book Description
The Pulitzer-nominated author of EARL IN THE YELLOW SHIRT turns her acclaimed talents to an epic story of three generations of Southern women at Big Eddy, the home place they love.

HEIR TO THE EVERLASTING begins at the turn of the last century with the beautiful, determined Pinkie Alexander, strong-willed matron of the Alexander clan. Come Hell or the high water of the south Georgia river which gave Big Eddy its name, Pinkie will ensure the survival of her family on their beloved land--a place where the family cemetery guards the spirit of the past, and where secrets, as well as the dearly departed, are buried.

Follow the lives, loves, mysteries, deadly feuds and steely courage of the Alexander women through a full century of joys and sorrows. HEIR TO THE EVERLASTING showcases the culture, language and daily travails of their time and place with vivid storytelling skills and Janice Daugharty's love for "the working words."

And for Quilty Content—I have a couple show and shared vintage quilts for you to see! These were brought for me to view at Poughkeepsie’s guild meeting a few nights ago.

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DOn’t you love this with the blue background? I just LOVE solids mixed with prints. It’s so springy—I feel a baby blue background coming in my near future! What’s so funny about this one is Lori emailed me asking me what I had called this design on my website. It’s one of the first patterns I ever uploaded back around 1996 or 1997 – I did it as a charity quilt workshop for my guild, and that is how it got there in the first place. Traditional recognizable patterns thrill my heart! I don’t feel like I always have to re invent the wheel to make a great quilt…and this one used everything! If you want to make one yourself, you can find String X directions HERE!

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Here is a close up of that gorgeously wonky fan quilting! Aren’t these scrap bag fabrics WONDERFUL!??

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And THIS string quilt was too fun for words! It is TWO SIDED!! The prints in it date into the 60’s but many are earlier—a true scrap bagger!

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I loved this 60’s piece with the heart flowers..it reminds me of a dress I had when I was a little girl!

And it was quilted fun too…in a large stright-set cross hatch!

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I can only imagine how difficult it was to quilt this two sided thing with all its seams --- let's just say that sometimes, even the best intentions leave puckers! I think there is a life lesson in that, somewhere, don’t you? This one however, did NOT quilt out! Flirt male

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I’m still sure that this quilt gave a lot of warmth and comfort through cold winter months, not to mention what memories each of these fabrics held for the maker!

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This was the reverse side! It had a lot of blocks with VERY LARGE pieces in it…something makes me think she was tired of piecing the ones with all the little bits…LOL!

So off I go on my last leg back home to Wallburg, NC! I need to be home – I’ve been gone too long!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Homeward Bound!!

This is a quickie post.

Mostly because I am exhausted tired – and don’t have the energy to edit down all the class pictures from yesterday’s Scrappy Mountain Majesties workshop ((No, NO ONE made them in 3” size!!)) and I want to get my stuff packed, the car loaded, so I’m ready to hit the road home extra early. This is my route home..how far I get in one day depends on the weather and how I feel! AS I write this post, the rain is coming down pretty heavy –I’d like to get as far as I can, so I’m leaving as early as I can!

Yesterday ((Saturday)) was a whirlwind as it always is when you are doing double duty in a short time span, and there is someone who snuck out before I could even say goodbye!

City Quilter Grace came all the way down from Maine to take the Pineapple Blossom workshop, and to stay for my lecture today….the book table was mobbed after the lecture, and she snuck out for her long drive home while I was dealing with that, and getting set up for the half day class that followed!

Grace, if you read this….it was so wonderful to finally put a face and a voice to your name…we’ve emailed for years and years! And thank you for the delicious blueberry jam! YUMMY!

There were no further gifts of Millenium Y2K fabric…..but I was gifted a VERY COOL Thing for taking bobbins to class! I usually use that blue round thing that holds a lot of bobbins, but what to do if you are traveling, wanting to keep your supplies small??

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Look at THIS! It’s a pedicure toe-separator ((I’m not sure what they call these..what is the proper name for this thing?!? it’s a …..THING, you know?!)) AND…it can hold 4 bobbins of thread TOGETHER!

I know about the little pony tail holder things…but those are small, and the bobbins still roll around in the bottom of my bag, and I lose the hair thingies…but THIS…this has GREAT potential! And the best thing is..they come in pairs! One for you, one for a friend….Flirt male

And I also have been gifted “Heaven in a bag” ---

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Have you seen these? They come from Costco. and OH…are they decadent! But don’t let the “natural source of antioxidants” make you think that you don’t have to be accountable for how many you consume! 1/4 cup has about 180 calories..which is about how many I left on the table top there. These things are SO good, that you have to measure out a serving, and LOCK THE BAG AWAY!

Mine will be riding in the “way back” with the quilt bags so I’m not tempted to down the whole package while driving back to NC! Smile with tongue out

I promise to get caught up on the class pics as soon as I get some free time to do so!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Over The Bridge To Kingston!!

Yesterday morning bright and early, I loaded up my car, and headed out in Poughkeepsie morning rush hour, Over the Mid-Hudson Bridge to meet with the Wiltwyck Quilters of Kingston, NY!

I love bridges. My fascination with them goes back to my childhood, living in the San Francisco Bay area from the time I was about 7 to 19---when I headed off to Idaho, not knowing how that one move would so change my life and set me on the course for where I am today.

If you could pinpoint ONE MOMENT that changed “everything” –That crossroads—where would it be?

That thought gets my mind wandering, but back to the bridges….I’ve been on some amazing ones in my life, but of course the Golden Gate holds my heart. And in its own way, though it is not near as big, the Mid-Hudson bay also strikes that thrill when I am passing through the girders and the arches and working my way through traffic to the other side.

We might not know why the CHICKEN crossed the road—but this Quilter NEEDED to cross the bridge to get to the other side!

But before I go any farther, I have to show you what I also ended up packing in my suitcase!

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Hahahahahahahah!!!! Open-mouthed smile It’s a piece of glittery Y2K Millenium fabric! Tied up with traffic signs as a thank you for driving all the way up to Poughkeepsie for a visit! And that’s not all! At the Nine-Patch-Split workshop, I was also gifted with THIS lovely that I had never seen before ((How is it they can make a Millenium fabric that I have never seen!?!?))

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This one is really not so “Noxious” ---I think if IT is cut small, it will just look “blue”. Smile with tongue out Thanks for all the Y2K LOVE! I think I’m going to have to re-nomer what Y2K stands for….how bout--- YOU’RE 2 KIND!! ((Like, you really shouldn’t have…lol!))

We had a great Pineapple Blossom workshop, and I want you to click the slide show and pay VERY close attention to the SIZE of the blocks…there are some in there that may look like the others at first glace, but you have got to see the ones that FINISH at 3”!! Even I am not crazy enough to do them this small, but they are sure adorable!

I’m enjoying a quiet restful stay at Carol’s house—She has a lovely apartment built on to her house, think of the perfect mother-in-law’s getaway…it’s fully furnished and features quilts all over…I feel like a princess in my own palace!

And thanks to Carol’s washer and dryer, I’m a princess with clean clothes! I had absolutely nothing clean left, so this is a very good feeling!

This is the view from the back deck last evening as the sun was working its way down toward the mountains:

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Do you see that little playhouse in the garden!? It’s adorable! And what a view…it was so lovely out I had to take a walk after bringing in my luggage!

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Can you just smell how fresh the air is? Soon the woods will be leafing out, but for now I enjoyed being able to SEE through the trees…things look fairly flat in this picture, but let me assure you that it is ANYTHING BUT! It felt like it was uphill in both directions!

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I walked past some forsythia celebrating spring with reckless abandon and I had to snap a picture…Ours at home in NC is all leafed out and we won’t see this brilliance again until NEXT year…so my being up north in New York has given me an extended spring –and I’m soaking it in!

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This picture is where I stopped to huff and puff on my way back up the hillside! You can’t really tell how steep it is, I know, but believe me…I was panting! All this in an effort to burn off the Easter chocolate that somehow found it’s way into my fists--

And from my fists to my mouth while wandering the classroom Flirt male

So what’s up for today? We’ve got a morning lecture/trunkshow and a half day Scrappy Mountain Majesties workshop for the Wiltwyck guild, and then Sunday I’ll start my long trek home!