Vacation's Almost Over....

My little brother showed me a great time, introduced me to the intricacies of mandolin and fiddle shopping on Ebay, bought me some Japanese kimono fabric for a (very early) birthday present and took me to visit my nephew Eli and his new bride Rachel. Eli is wearing the CA vintage Hawaiian shirt his favorite Aunt (that would be me) brought him. I was meeting Rachel for the first time. We enjoyed sharing ice tea and chocolate and conversation about the communities we serve. Rachel works with kids who have behavioral challenges, caused by any number of difficulties that you have probably worried about. Eli does work similar to mine. He is planning some fun summer "camps" including a Star Wars Camp, one of his particular favorites!
Here is more family, my Dad and Mattie and, of course, Suzi. Mattie and Dad are both gardeners, as is my Mom, so I come by it honestly. You can see a corner of one of the front yard azaleas. I am always surprised, no matter how many times I notice, there are fewer fences in KY than in CA. Robert Frost and his "good fences make good neighbors" would not go far in KY....
Family visits HAVE to end with picture taking in the front yard.
Well, time to fly back to CA....other adventures ahead. My brother the ham....my suitcase is not THAT heavy, although I will admit to shipping a box of fabric home.... Travel to CA. Home to my own bed and my own kitties.


Marion, KY-Amish Farms and Flowers

After the quilt show was over Richard drove me to Murray, KY, one hour to the south-east to spend some time with my Dad, Bill and his wife, Mattie. They had arranged to get the directions to Marion KY, the nearest Amish community and we had a field trip to the country. I so enjoyed the quiet spaces and beautiful vistas of green fields and native flowers. We drove for about 2 hours out east and followed some small windy roads and found Amish greenhouses, some gorgeous petunias, Amish cheese from Ohio, peach jam and picturesque laundry flapping in the breeze.
With permission I took photos of the buggy that is so indicative of the Amish lifestyle. Relected in the windshield, see the house on the hill and the beautiful green that was all around us. One of the gentlemen who ran a greenhouse on his farm, allowed me to traipse across his back lawn to put my camera into a peony, one of my all time favorite flowers...they say there is a peony that I could grow in OC, but not like these...
I am not sure what flower the bee has found, perhaps a rhododendron?

Give me a peony every time!


Fabric That Looks Like You?

Yes, I do think that this fabric looks like me....cheery and could be the curtains in my studio or the back ground for my next art quilt? You think? Found it at Hancock's.

While wandering around downtown, I happened upon this lovely flower....not one I recognize from CA. Is it a cousin to a hydranga? I am flower struck in spring.

Richard, my little brother, resident of Paduah for 30+ years, a great cook and a great eater, knows all of the best places to go! When he first moved to Paducah he had to cajole my mom into shipping him tortillas and refried beans, because there were NO Mexican restaurants or supplies at the Piggly Wiggly...I kid you not. Now, however, there are lots! Artisan Kitchen, while not south-of-the- border, does offer gourmet meals to go AND, now this is the best....excellent desserts including snickerdoodle cheese cake and others that sounded even more decadent! You must arrive before 6pm and you cannot take a slice out of a whole cheesecake, but there are usually 5 or 6 to choose from! Too good to miss.
That is one of the owners in the foreground...pointing out some specialities!
And if you should need some exercise, just wander through the downtown. Here is the facade of the Market House Theater. This building was originally the destination of farmers come to market, close to the Ohio river and side doors that opened to the drays full of produce. Now home to an excellent community theater, it is oftne the center of attention in the uptown area. See their web site at http://www.mhtplay.com/

Or stop in at Allen Music where all of the locals get their gig needs met...I bought a tee shirt and a polishing cloth for my ukulele....


Hancocks Fabric

Richard suggested that since I arrived 2 days before the quilt show started that I might want to go to Hancock's Fabric before the rush....good advice!Have you been to Hancocks? It is warehouse size, but nicely organized and there are lots of nice salespeople to help find just what you need! This is just the front of the store. There is a huge back room with flat fold and sale items.I, of course found fabric I could not live without....some Dia del los Muertos and skulls and some Wizard of Oz too.

On Wednesday night I tagged along to a rehearsal of the band my brother plays with, Uninvited Guests. They practice at one of the band members homes, a farm not far outside of town. There was a gorgeous, huge crabapple tree there, which, happily survived the terrible winter ice storm that hit this area.

The band is as follows...Sherman on the guitar...that's him in the upper left in the photo below. Liz plays dobro and is in the lower left. Greg is the bass player, playing stand-up or bass guitar and the one hiding is Richard, my "little" brother.
Here is Liz with her Dobro....lap played instrument.
Richard plays lead guitar, fiddle and mandolin, writes songs and sings. He is a very talented guy if I do say so myself.


Cut Loose Quilters-Round Robin Book

In November of 2007, Jamie Fingal, quilt artist, the leader/host/instigator of the Cut Loose Quilters (CLQ) of Orange, CA http://cut-loose-quilters.blogspot.com/suggested that the CLQ do a Round Robin Book. She showed us a sample, suggested that we each choose our own theme and then each of us would do the back and front cover, inside and outside of our book and then pass the book to each artist who was participating for 2 pages and then pass-it-on! WHEW! She very kindly provided a printed roster with names, addresses and birthdates which promptly got buried on my desk, but we started in December 2007. Jamie and Stacy created the cardboard, ring bound blank books, and filled them with blank pages for us to use. It took us all of 2008, some finished on time, some are still working, but I wanted to share my book, with other-artist/friends pages here. Here is the front cover....the theme "What If"

Joanell got my book first. Here is one of her pages...what if, as you see here. Joanell's work can be seen at http://www.joanell.com/

Next came Cindy...a cat person/artist! Cindy's work can be seen at http://www.cindycooksey.com/

Ann's turn. Ann is an artist, special ed teacher and a quilt appraiser among her many talents. Her "what if" is reminiscent of The Beatles....Ann is also the founder of Fiber Arts Connection of Southern California...see the website here http://www.fiberartsconnsocal.org/

Next was Julie...a very creative lady with a bit of the Pacific in her....I love the cool edging here. See one of her art quilts here. http://www.quiltsonthewall.com/quiltArtists/schlueterNew02.html

Then there is Jamie's page, a wonderful garden singing in the rain. Jamie's work can be seen at http://www.jamiefingal.com/Then Stacy who grew contemplative about God and Nature. See Stacy's work at http://corvus93.blogspot.com/Terry is a junior high English teacher who brings a high level of creativity to her teaching and of course her beautiful quilts. Her work is at http://www.terrywaldron.com/Here is the outside back cover, mine. I kidnapped the elephant, having found him on a thrift store treasure. My photos don't do justice to the great colors and creative expression included in the book, but you get the idea! I can't wait to do another one! What do you think CLQ's?


Easter with Becky and Family

It was a gorgeous day, the Easter Bunny arrived early and there were about a million eggs to be hunted and found, and fortunately nobody mowed the lawn! Devon was the ersatz Easter Bunny. Check out those very cool aqua jeans. Pippi and Jack got off to a twisted start...that was Devon's doing. Five times around, eyes closed, then Go Fot It! There were eggs in the trees, in the "jungle"(my friend Becky's/Grammie's flower garden), under and in the patio furniture and EVERYWHERE! The Easter Bunny even brought me one! It was pink! There were several bunnies in attendance. Here is one that Pippi made at school.There were, of course, PEEPS! Oh yes, a bunny cake too.
Wendy/Mom and Pippi found princesses in Pippi's eggs and Jack found Stitch! That's Auntie Chris in the background, lots of photo opps on a sunny CA Easter Sun-day.
Somehow I missed getting photos of Uncle Ceaser snoozing on the chaise, Chris playing Hillbilly Golf, great fun by the way, and the wild bunny who hopped across the patio and into the "jungle" while we were enjoying Impossible Pie and Mimosas! Yes of course he was real....he wasn't even pink! Grammie Becky was the instigator, no photos unfortunately, but parties at Becky's are ALWAYS fun! Thanks Becky, now you can rest those sore feet again.


The May Festival

I was reading a local history website http://www.octhen.com/ and was reminded about the May Festival and Parade that used to happen every spring in Orange, CA.

I grew up in Orange/Santa Ana and always went to the May Festival and parade.
In fact, as a member of the first graduating class of El Modena High School, I cajoled my peers into creating a "float", (really a flat bed truck that we decorated with posters and crepe paper) promoting our 20 year reunion in the very last May Festival Parade, 1988. It was great fun.

I believe the first time I was in that parade was while I was a songleader at McPherson Junior High. We were the "Celtics" then and wore red plaid skirts to prove it!

The parade started on east Chapman and went around the Plaza and south on Glassell to Hart Park, if memory serves. The bands all assembled in Hart Park to receive their parade awards. There were lots of booths, low-key carnival games, and a ferris wheel. The whole thing was organized by the Jay Cees (Junior Chamber of Commerce)...too bad parades are so expensive! Spring is the perfect time for one!


Gardeners' Delight!

It rained here last night and all of us who are gardeners say "Thank you!"
The Sweet Peas are blooming, the more I pick the more show up!
The Pink Jasmine is very fragrant, and the roses are too.
The Orange Women's Club flower show is coming up on Thursday, the 16th of April, Noon - 5pm.

It is open to any gardener and is a lovely old fashioned show. No entry fee for community gardeners of all ages and lots of gorgeous flowers to see.

This show has been going on for 72 years! The theme this year is "Garden Treasures."
The entries are judged by a professional judge. There is a plant sale, a Garden Cafe for lunch or snacks, a baked goods table and lots of prizes and opportunity drawings. Before or after lunch, you can join a guided History Walk through Orange. 10:30am or 1pm, suggested donation, $5.00.
Ribbons are awarded and there are MANY categories to enter, including special ones for junior gardeners, for those kids who are just learning the joy of growing green things.

You can chose your bloooms/category and just show up the morning of the 16th in Old Towne Orange at the Women's Club which is at 121 S. Center St. Orange, CA 92866,
near the corner of Center and Chapman Ave, across from the "new" library! You can pick up an entry form showing all of the categories at that very same library. You can find their website at http://www.wcorange.org/
On the 16th the ribbons are awarded at a ceremony at 5:30or 6pm, and small prizes given. They draw the opportunity tickets, with all proceeds benefiting the Women's Club programs and charities.

The best part is that this show harkens back to what I imagine the garden shows of the 30s or 40s were like, and a gentle sort of hometown feeling....common in Old Towne Orange and searched for and enjoyed by many! I have particpated several years and always enjoy the blooms, the plant sale, the homemade cookies, and the step back in time!


Survived April Fool's Day

Whew! No creepy tricks, no pranks...Yes, I do have a sense of humor, but I HATE April Fools

Day! No sugar in the salt shaker or vice versa, no phone calls that tell me that I owe the IRS, no blue food coloring in the shampoo....whew!

April will bring an office move and a trip to Kentucky...best get started. Boxes and a suitcase to pack!

Yes, I am one lucky lady. A quilter whose only brother lives in the very city that is home to AQS National Quilt Museum. The show will be fun I am sure. Lots of photo opps there, being very careful to avoid copyright infringement.

This will be an opportunity to hear my brother play music too. Richard plays guitar, mandolin, fiddle and just bought a stand-up bass...that is next on his list to learn! He is also a talented actor.

The Market House Theater, in Paducah, does some nice shows. He was last seen (and heard) in

A Sanders Family Christmas. He played the musical patriarch, quite fitting as all three of his sons are also performers of one sort or another. I am looking forward to hearing him and friends play some bluegrass, jazz, etc!