Monday, May 23, 2016

Lucky Friday the 13th, Kimmy Brunner & Susan 2

Well, I am on my way home from the template is raining.  Now my mind turns to getting to meet Susan Branch tonight.

I really didn't know any details other than it started at 7 PM.  I was worrying about getting there by then, because of the Silver Fox's work schedule.....he never knows when he is getting away from the hospital.  I just kept telling can't worry about that, we will get there and it will work out.  :)

So in the meantime while I am waiting for him to come home, I log on to my computer and clean up my email for the day and then decided to read through my bloggers.  I am reading Kansas Troubles Quilters from Lynne Hagmeier and all of a sudden..... I am reading words....I wrote that.....holy smokes, that's my name...... I won a pack of fabric.  Lynne also collects acorns and asked the question why do you like acorns?  Here is my silly response.....

KT Winner

I have a special "thing" for acorns. Don't know where that comes from? Probably the same place where my love affair with lace, vintage hankies, salt cellars, quilts, fabric get the idea! A little jacked up! :) What a nice giveaway.

Congratulations, fellow acorn addict! Send your shipping address to and we'll send out your KT Collector's Club pack. Enjoy! 

Yippee!  This day just keeps on giving! I can't believe it.  Isn't that a hoot!

It wasn't too much longer and the Silver Fox came roaring up the drive and we jumped into the van and headed to CR.....trip No. II today!  The only trouble was we really didn't have time to eat before getting to Barnes and Noble...... I had no idea how many people would be there.....would there be chairs still open???

I have had this event on my calendar for weeks, May the 13th,  Susan Branch will be in Cedar Rapids at Barnes and Noble.  I could not believe she was coming to NE Iowa......she had come to Iowa City a year ago and I didn't realize it till after it was over.....because it never occurred to me that she would come near our corner of the planet. I never thought I would get to meet her.....EVER!

I think my friend Betty Anne, told me about her first book 30 years ago.....I won't mention what that says about me or my is, what it is!  Sigh!

Heart of the Home was her first book and I fell in love with it has been out of print for years and she is doing a reprinting right now with a few extra pages included and a ribbon bookmark that the first one did not have.  I think it will be out this fall.

She hand writes every the recipe books are in her own hand writing, then does the art work to go with it in watercolor.  Every page is a work of art and the recipes are wonderful as well.  I use them to decorate my kitchen all year....they are rotated from shelf to counter depending on the season. I love to sit and page through them and do it quite often.  They are fuel for my creative soul.

Check out her website and her blog Susan can sign up for her blog postings and "Willard" if you would like. Willard is a newsletter she writes to her girlfriends (I would be one of them & you can be too.) about 3 times a year maybe and they are getting a letter from a friend.  Also just wonderful!

Since then she has written numerous books, the first several were pretty much recipe books done in the same manner.  But the last 3 books are quite different, much more biographical.

She took us girlfriends with them as they traveled to England on the Queen Mary II and spent weeks there in the countryside.  I LOVED this book and learned so much about England.  It is a travel journal with stops at Jane Austen's & Beatrice Potter's homes and that barely scratches the surface of what she writes about.....this trip is on my bucket list (if I had a bucket list).  She also starts the book telling of finding the love of her life after getting her heart broken years before.

The last two books are her own biographical story from her diaries.....The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha's Vineyard, Isle of Dreams  I am reading right now.

So we finally pull up to Barnes and Noble and at least I don't see people lined up outside the door and there were parking I purchased the last two books she had written.  I also brought with me most of her other books in case she would sign them ALL!  :)  And guess what she DID!

There were a few seats left open and one was an overstuffed chair in front of a post.  I took that one....couldn't believe everyone had left it, but it was toward the back, but right in front of an aisle, so I could get a good camera shot from there without people right in front of me.

Right at 7 PM here she and Joe came......I would pick them out of a crowd any where.  She spoke briefly and then answered questions.  One of the more interesting questions was how much did she pay for her cottage on Martha's Vineyard from the Isle of Dreams book?  I think she said $52,000 and it was on an acre of land.  The audience did a collective sucking of air.....unbelievable!  She said she has tried to buy her cottage again, but the owners are not interested in selling, at least not right now.

There were tons of questions but, they cut that off about 7:30 because I would guess there were between 75-100 people there to have their books signed.

Joe was taking lots of photos.....little did I know we would get to have a wonderful conversation with him, before the night was done.

Susan's Joe!

Because I was toward the back of the room, I just settled in to wait my turn and visited with a couple people around me.  I got all my books out of my bag and then those around me wanted to see the older books and we had a little show and tell going on!  It was a fun way to pass the time!

I waited 2 hours before it was my turn and I had the Silver Fox instructed to take pictures.....lots of them.

We talked about Jack the cat, her fabric, farming, quilting and because the Silver Fox was taking pictures, we talked about nursing too She laughed and said she sooooo understood why I have a stack of her fabric and I don't want to cut into it because then it will be gone.  She totally got that, since she was into fabric before she was painting.....she likes fabric too!  She likes to mix up dishes and linens.....she has never met a good piece of linen that she did not too!  We ARE kindred spirits.

We are talking our way through my whole stack of books!  

BOOK SIGNING TIP:  If you want to get to talk to an author for a little bit of time, make sure you bring every book they have ever written for them to sign.....just sayin! 

 I have my girlfriend name tag on, she designed for us to we would know each other.  How fun it that!

Can I just say I am floating by this time???  I don't care we haven't had supper yet.  I don't care that I had to wait 2 hours to see her.  I was just taking it all in and enjoying the opportunity.

As we are walking away from the table, Joe comes up to us!  HER Joe!  We then have a delightful conversation with him about farming here in Iowa, he tells us a story about one of his friend's kiddo who mows the lawn for one of Prince Charles's estates.  But he was really interested in the crops, land, & farming.  He was so easy to talk to and asked really good questions.  Then he wanted to take our picture.  I really wished we had gotten a picture with him, but I was sooooo excited that never occurred to me.  :0

Out in the parking lot here is there van.....hard to miss!  We finally went to get something to eat, was 10 PM by then.  I told the Silver Fox before we left the restaurant, we could probably go find the hotel they were staying by roaming the parking lots.  Tee Hee!  No, we didn't.....time to drive to the barn!

The Silver Fox asked me what my favorite thing was from the day?

Ooooohhh, a lot of cool stuff happened today, but meeting Susan Branch was my absolute favorite of all the things that happened to me today.

I was reminded of the verse in Job where he says....
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord!

I am going to remember this day when the Lord gave and gave and gave and allowed me to have, and experience some really wonderful things, during those times when I don't have my health like I would like or any other loss that comes my way....because they will come.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Lucky Friday the 13th of May, Kimmy Brunner and Susan Branch Pt. 1

I have not been much of a believer in luck......more of "the Lord knows my path" kind of girl! But last week I had an unbelievable kind of day on Friday the 13th no less, which is kind of amusing. 

The story starts on Thursday the 12th, which happened to be the Machine Quilting Showcase in Cedar Rapids.  I had planned to attend one of the days to buy supplies for my long arm machine.....thread & pantographs.  The day really hadn't started that well, as I woke up with a migraine and was really not feeling good, but the Silver Fox had his day off and this was the day to go.....on our way to CR, I had mentioned to the Silver Fox that I really should have signed up for a couple classes on my long arm, when this event is so close to us and there would be no hotel $$.  My hesitation is ALWAYS my head......yuck!

I was so glad he could drive me that day, so I least I didn't have to deal with that...but luckily by the afternoon I started to feel much better.

Nothing like trying to make decisions when you head is about ready to not fun!  But fortunately it was better and I could enjoy looking at all the designs and colors and make some good least that was my plan.

We were about ready to leave and the Silver Fox had wanted me to go look at this board that said something about classes that they had posted.  So I wandered over there to look, there was this slip about a free class the next day on templates.  I grabbed it and took it to the registration desk to found out the story.  Someone had purchased it and had to leave early and wanted her space to be there you go.

I was going to a class on using templates, which I could use a lot more help with designing with templates and it was with Kimmy Brunner, even better.....a national teacher I knew and had bought and done her class on Craftsy.  Machine Quilting With Templates 

So I was pretty excited as we headed home Thursday.

I was so grateful to wake up headache free on Friday AM and here are a few of my pictures from the workshop.  It was a lot on how to divide a space....probably one of the best workshops I have ever taken.  Excellent stuff!

Making a braided border.

Using the ruler and going from point to point and stitching a secondary design.

What do you stitch on a dresden plate?

Why this of course.....

Adding the look of a dahlia.......this was gorgeous.

Stitched out and pretty much no marking!

Another example.

Look at this background fill.....very modern, but unbelievably easy!

One of Kim's quilt with the dahlia stitched on it!

Look at that killer border.....just divided the space and used a circle to go from point to point....awesome!
 As I drove home in the rain little did I know this was just the beginning of my "Lucky Friday the 13th" day!

To be continued......

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Watching YouTube and What Does That Get You?

I have quite a time getting to sleep at night.....this is not a new development.  I am pretty much down to taking medication, which I had resisted for a long time.

Even taking something, it still takes me awhile and my recent bedtime thing is watching YouTube on my tablet.  Now I know what the experts say about watching TV or computer screens....don't care this seems to work and I am learning all kinds of things.

What started all of this was getting my new Cricut Air.....let's just say this is one fun little toy!
It cuts, yes....but it scores and writes.....and that is just the beginning. 

I figured out pretty quickly, it wasn't like my old one and I needed to learn the Design Space program, so I started trolling for YouTube videos, which has been great.  I have been able to crank out a couple projects pretty quickly, which is what you want to be able to do.

Here you can see some card parts for a recent birthday card.  The "eat cake" and the sentiment were printed by the cricut.....did you get that.  And the sentiment is placed exactly on the banner.....whooo hoo!

Here is what the inside of the card looked like.....

Added a little stamping on the front....

Then added the cut out with some pop dots to raise it up and inked the edges too. 
Here is the file I am sharing with you, I am an Access member, so all the images I used were free.

Now here is an Anna Griffin design.....a frame for my granddaughter's prom picture.
The cutting is amazing!

Here I am taking it off the mat, I haven't quite cleaned it totally up.....most of the pieces fall right out.  It is beautiful.

I have decided I like YouTube, so much, I am going to give it a whirl.  So did a little maiden voyage...I will show you what I am doing with this frame among some other little treasures I have found recently.  What do you like to watch on YouTube?