Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours


Here we are bringing another year to a close, it all goes by so fast I'm afraid to blink anymore. But here we are, thinking about 2020 and what the year might bring - and how we can survive the inundation of political ads and debates over the next 11 months without losing our minds. I know! Be creative! Focus on the things that make us truly happy, enjoy our family and friends, laugh more, love and forgive always.


Thursday, December 12, 2019

What I'd Say


In a world that is wrought with hate, violence, cruelty, bullying, and worse ... Let's change this ... one person at a time.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Reading is Fundamental


Reading to our children will change their lives ... forever and for the better ...


Monday, November 25, 2019

Thankful for the US Navy Museum


There are times in life when you know you have reached a goal with hard work and determination.  This post is about one of those times in my life.


Friday, August 23, 2019

The Depression Experience


If you have ever suffered from depression, the real, debilitating kind, then you will understand the reason I wrote this post.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Mother's Story


Raising children is a journey and overwhelming responsibility.  This is my story on motherhood.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Tulips & Roses Quilt Part 3


Moving right along nicely!  This is turning out to be larger than I anticipated.  I don't think I realized just how big 80x94 was going to be until now.  LOL.


Saturday, February 02, 2019

Tulips & Roses Quilt Part 2


In Part 2, I finish the applique design in the large center block of the quilt top.  The appliques are all pressed and stitched into place and the block is trimmed out at the end.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tulips & Roses Quilt Part 1


My first quilt of the year is this beautiful Tulips & Roses quilt by Darlene Jewell-Walhood for Connecting Threads.  The quilt kit arrived and I'm excited to start making it for a friend.  This quilt will be beautiful when complete!  If you would like to make this quilt along with me, simply go to Connecting Threads (the link is in my blog post) and order the kit, the backing fabric, and the supplies you need to complete the entire quilt, sewing along with me!  If you have any questions, I'm happy to help.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Memories of Thanksgiving past

(Hillside Overlook by John Potatchnik)

My fondest memories of Thanksgiving are from my childhood and my grandparent's house in the Walkersville, Maryland.  I'd like to share those memories with you.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 7 - Finish!


We will be finishing the Quilted Table Runner today and it will be ready for your Thanksgiving Table!


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 6


It's all about the batting ... and the thread.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 5


Today we finish the quilt top!  That still leaves batting, backing, and binding, but the hard part is done after this post, and it looks wonderful.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 4


I seem to have forgotten to post Day 4!  We finish the center of the quilt top and get all three blocks stitched together today.


This Veteran's Day - Remember the Cost of War


I and my children are proud members of the Daughter's and Son's of the American Revolution. My family, maternal and paternal, served in every battle since the Revolutionary War up unto the Iraq War.  Some of the mementos I share in this post are a humble reminder of the cost of war and human life.  We must protect our Constitution and our country so that the lives of men and women who have fought are not forgotten.  Honor our Veterans, today and every day.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 3


The piecing continues, but there are only 3 main quilt blocks.  Making a table runner is fun and rewarding!


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner Day 2


Moving right along!  Today I worked on some piecing together and creating the beginning pieces of the quilt table runner top puzzle.


Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Runner How-To


I have always believed that the best things in life are those things that are made by hand and created with love, that is why I love to sew, quilt, and paint my way through the holidays, creating gifts and things for my own home that make it special and representative of the season of giving.  For Thanksgiving this year, I am making a quilted table runner and I hope you will join me in making this project for your own table, or as a gift.  After you receive the kit, I'll walk you through the entire process, and if you have any questions, I am a click away.  So join me, won't you? ...


Sunday, November 04, 2018

To Remember a Happier Time

IMG_7562 2

I've disconnected myself from the daily assault of bad news in the media and began thinking of my childhood, and how that was a happier time.  Sometimes we just need to disconnect from social media and the nightly news to reconnect with home and family.


Friday, October 26, 2018

New Pillows - New Look


Would you like to know how to make envelope pillow covers?  They are very easy to make and can dress up your sofa, chair, or bedroom decor in a flash.  Check out my tutorial in this post!


Monday, October 22, 2018

Backpack Bonanza

Making Backpacks can be fun and challenging if you love to sew as much as I do!  In 2010, I made backpacks for my school age children, and they lasted well and took a beating.  Click on this link to see how they were made!



Thursday, April 12, 2018

"Pride of Annapolis" 30x40 Oil on Canvas


I get so busy with everyday tasks, I forget to share important milestones.  For instance, this wonderful commission of the Naval Academy Chapel for a collector in Texas.  It took months to complete, in oil on canvas, but was worth every minute.  I am so proud of this piece.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 10 - Finishing and Binding


In this post, I will show you how to bind a quilt.  Then you can do it too!



Sunday, December 03, 2017

Big Ben


Meet Big Ben ... The newest addition to our home.


Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 9


It's almost done!  It is completely hand-quilted and off the frame.  In this post I show you how to prepare your quilt for binding!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Easy Christmas DIY Table Runner!


With the Christmas season fast approaching, it was time to get busy making gifts for friends and family!  This year I am making quilted table runners, quilted Christmas stockings, and a Double Dutch Quilt for my mother.  So, I'm definitely busy!  Here, in this post, you will find instructions and tips for making a 14" x 48" quilted table runner.  So lets get started ...


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 8


Hand quilting has begun.  It isn't as difficult or as intimidating as I had anticipated, and as for design of the stitching ... I'm being very random, and enjoying the process


Saturday, November 04, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 7


Boy was this a process! Yesterday was all about getting all three layers of the quilt onto the hand quilting frame! I've gotta tell you, it was not easy, and finding instructions on how to do it was impossible with the old frame I have. So, I thought it was probably a good idea to do my next blog post on putting that daggum thing on the frame, if for no other reason than to prevent me having to figure it out again 10 years from now. So, if you are wondering how a hand quilting process begins ... here it is ...


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 6


The quilt top is complete!  Now the actual quilting begins.  But first, let me show you the finished quilt top and how I got there!

KeepReading copy 2

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 5

I made it this far today without having to rip out any seams.  That's a good thing. 


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 4


Today was much more than just a day of sewing.  My 93y/o mother made it up the stairs with help from my Big Bear, and worked with me on her quilt.  We shared stories and laughter and she enjoyed being involved in the making of her Double Dutch Quilt.  It was a special day, with family stories from her childhood that she also shared ... and I share with you.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 3


This post will have you piecing like a pro, trimming for perfect squares, and creating beautiful full quilt blocks!  It always feels so good to complete the first quilt block.  It's a confidence builder that I didn't mess up on my seams or cutting along the way!


Friday, October 27, 2017

Educating our Children for a Powerful Life


What can I say, education is key to success in life ... but so is letting our kids follow the passion of their heart and what brings them joy in their life ...


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt Part 2


Part 2!  Cutting, piecing, precision, pinning, sewing, and pressing ... it's all in this post



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mother's Double Dutch Quilt


It's been several years since I enjoyed busy hands in my sewing studio and I've missed it.  I am making a beautiful blue and white "Double Dutch" quilt for my 93y/o mother for the holidays.  I've got to start early if I am going to get it finished!  Follow along as I make this quilt!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Life's Been Good


It's been a while since I posted here on my blog and thought I would update all my friends out there who stop by on occasion. ...


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pastels & Places


"Santorini" 20x30 Pastel on Paper

I have been busy in my studio working with pastels.  Recently, my brother commissioned me to do a painting of Santorini, Greece, based on a photo he had taken while there with his wife, several years ago.  It was a challenge, but the end result was beautiful.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pet Portraits and More Pet Portraits!


It all started in 2008, when friend, Ree Drummond, lost her beloved Border Collie, Nell.  Nell was a regular subject on Ree's blog "The Pioneer Woman" and when she disappeared with no trace, I felt inclined to do a painting for Ree and her family, hoping that it would help with the healing.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Festive Time of Year


It's that time of year again, that time when we all look at our bank accounts and cringe just before we cry.  LOL.  Seriously though, I am cringing.  Big time.



Friday, August 01, 2014

Three Cowballeros


Painting cows.  There is something beautiful about the animal, something peaceful about seeing them grazing in large open fields.  This leads me to have fallen in love with a photo taken in the UK of 3 Dairy Shorthorn cows grazing on the Robinson farm.  I learned that son, Jason Robinson, took this picture one day on his farm, and they were very happy that I wanted to paint the cows on their farm.



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Burda and A Summer Maxi Dress for Sarah


Around the middle of July, I purchased a pattern from BurdaStyle.com.  The Island Placket Maxi Dress.  My daughter, Sarah, had asked me if I would make her this dress after looking through a hundred patterns for various maxi dresses.  

I had never made a dress using Burda patterns, but I was up for the challenge.  It was a beautiful dress pattern.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to Assemble a Burda Style Pattern


This is a first for me - working with a Burda Pattern, but hopefully it won't be as difficult as it looks.  My daughter, Sarah, found a summer maxi dress on burdastyle.com and asked me if I would make it for her.  I love making clothes for Sarah, and thought it would be fun to tackle this Burda pattern.  I've always been game for trying new things and new challenges.  The pattern claims to be "Advanced" but we'll see how difficult it is once I dig in.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dad


My heart skips a beat when I think that I am, right now, the same age my father was when he passed away all those years ago.  They bring back a flood of memories of a time gone by, and a man who I cherished.  


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Guarding the Homefront


Guarding the homefront  -- that's exactly what our wonderful Adolf does daily.  Adolf joined our family in January, 2007.  He was 10 months old.  The minute I saw him I fell in love with him.  He jumped up on the leather sofa where I was sitting and put his head and paws in my lap, as if to say "Please take me home and love me."  That was all it took for me to say "yes" and bring him home with us.


Monday, December 02, 2013

"Oreo - Little Man" 8x10 Soft Pastel on Sennelier Pastel Card


When you are filled with emotion, sometimes the creative energy just pours out.  And, in this case, that is exactly what happened.  My daughter, Kim, and her husband, Zak, have had "Oreo" since before they were married.  He has always been a part of their family, and Oreo was there as their family grew and they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Reagan, in 2009.  Oreo was always the one and only family pet.  We all loved Oreo, and Oreo loved us all. 

Sadly, Kim and Zak had to let Oreo go to Kitty Heaven yesterday after a long struggle with kidney failure and various other illnesses, but he had lived a long life.  Oreo was 18 y/o, and like all of God's creatures, we get old and things start to short circuit and break down.  Oreo held on, though, as long as he could. 

As a tribute to this special kitty, and the love he gave my daughter and her family, I have made this pastel painting for them to enjoy in remembrance of Oreo.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Holidays! - A Giveaway for Artists!


It is that time of year ... time to give to others and enjoy the spirit of the season.  I am having a giveaway just for you!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

"A Bentonville Winter" 9x12 Soft Pastel on Pastel Card


I've been very busy.  Holidays are fast approaching, and my house is a mess, laundry is piling up, and I've been preparing the grocery list for Thanksgiving.  Craziness abounds this time of year at our house.

Still, preparing for gift giving involves, at least for me, painting.  This year, I have completed two winter scenes in soft pastel for my daughter, Kim, and her family, to enjoy in their beautiful home.  


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"A Blue Ridge Winter" 8x10 Pastel on Pastel Card


I think I'm having too much fun this week playing with pastels.  I did this pastel winter scene last night while my hubby watched the football game.  



Monday, November 18, 2013

Painting for the Holidays


As the holidays fast approach, I have always found that handmade gifts hold a special significance, especially if it comes from the heart.  Sure, an iPad would be great, but since I never really grew up, and I like to play and craft, and sew, and quilt, and paint, and and and ... well, that's what I start to think about once November kicks in.  I probably should start sooner, but November is about the time I really start thinking about what I want to give my family for Christmas.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Painting with Pastels


Although I have done a few paintings in pastel in my career as an artist, I really did want to take the plunge and play with the medium.  The first landscape painting I did was ... well ... in my opinion, "crap."  But such is the learning curve with a new medium like this.  My brain keeps wanting me to put away the pastels to collect dust in my studio and just stick to oil paints.  But, for some reason, I'm getting brave.

Brave, because, as an artist, treading into new creative territory is like jumping off a cliff and hoping the parachute opens.  

I'm going to try to do several pastel paintings a week, crap or not, we'll see how it goes ... or grows.