Thursday, November 14, 2013

What to send for Christmas

My one daughter lives several states away and we were discussing what to send for Christmas.  I got her list and then asked what her boyfriend would like.  No clue, but she would ask him. 

Later she sent me a text: He wants a quilt!  I told him fat chance!

I'm thinking he's a keeper.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Turning Right to go Left

I am not a person who enjoys driving a car however, I am grateful that I can get myself around to various places.  My friends have always teased me though on the fact that I do not like to make left hand turns and I do them rarely. 

I decided that my character DeMaris in my latest book Beg(ga)(he)r ( needed a few quirks of her own so -- she also does not make left hand turns when driving.  Instead she makes 3 right hand turns.  It works just fine.

Imagine my surprise when I read a short article on the merits of skipping left turns and going to the right.  You save time, gas and money by not sitting idling in the left turn lane.  And it's also proven to cause less accidents. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I found my yellow quilt that has been missing for a few years and then realized it was a perfect fit for my book signing table.  Tried it out last week and found several people came over to look at it and talk to me about quilting and my books.  

This quilt was from a Block of the Month probably dating from the early 1990's.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lost for something to say?

Recently my husband and I were invited to a family gathering.  I told my husband I had RSVP'd to his cousin saying that we would not be able to attend. 

"I can't imagine what we would have talked about to a group of people that we didn't know.  I'd last twenty minutes talking to each one and then what?  Nothing," he said and then added, "You'd last thirty."

"Why would I last ten more minutes?" I asked perplexed.

"Because you quilt."  I had to laugh although he was probably right.  The people that were attending were either our age or older and the probability was that several people in the group quilted.  Still I hadn't thought of quilting, outside of my quilt group, as riveting conversation.  I must drag this topic out the next time I am stuck for something to say.

"So, do you quilt much?"
"What is the newest quilt tool you've bought?"
"Seen any good rulers lately?"
"Do you know the proper way to say F-I-S-K-A-R?"
"Have you seen the latest fabric line of ______?"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway

My latest book Beg(ga)(he)r is now a Giveaway.  Check it out and give it a click!  Thank you. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New t-shirt slogans

Recently my husband and I were at a craft show doing a book signing.  Looking around I saw several people wearing t-shirts with an athletes name on the back.  I turned to my husband and said, "With all the trouble athletes seem to be getting into I don't think that's someone to look up to.  One should wear a t-shirt with more moral fiber."  And being the writer that I am added, "Like authors."
      My husband looked at me, "Hemingway?"
      "Okay, so not authors.  What group of people have morals?  People from the Bible." 
     So with that being said, here are three t-shirt slogans:
     Moses -- the First Speaker of the House
     Jonah -- Do what you're told the first time
     Daniel -- Learned to get along with those who roar

Anybody want to add?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


The date on this stamped piece is 1998.  It is supposed to be an embroidery piece which as you can see I started.  Got bored and put it away.  Later I got interested in beading and decided to add that dimension on here.  I laid them down in rows.  Got bored with that and put it away.  A few years ago I took 2 on-line classes for beaded bracelets which were done in stacks and layers of beading and decided to get this piece out again.  It is not moving quickly and I do put it away for long periods of time.  I have tried in the past to do at least 15 minutes a day on it. 

Am hoping by putting this 'out there' I will feel inclined to have to work on it.  Will start today's 15 minutes right now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Quilt Show

Quilt Week in Grand Rapids, MI has arrived.  A friend and I went yesterday for opening day.  There were free magazines on the table when we walked in, checked out all the quilts (some wonderful, some not so wonderful) and hit the vendors (my favorite part).  I tried to stay away from fabric since there are several quilt shops in my area and instead focused on items I don't normally see.  However, I did have to buy a black and white piece: white background with black skeletons seeing as how my daughter is studying mortuary science. 

Of course, I had to hit the sale books.  All books in the back were $5.00.  I actually found a book I have been looking at for some time.  Also found three other books that I'd never looked at but had to have.  We also sat in on a talk about natural fabric dyeing.  And ran into some people I knew but hadn't seen in a long time. 

We were there almost to closing, were winding up on our purchases when my friend looked at the two bills in my hand,  "Is that all you've got left?" she asked.  "Yeah."  She pulled out her money and counted what little she had and then looked at me.  "What's the problem?" I asked.  "We agreed neither one of us wanted dinner."  "Yeah, but we still need to get out of the parking garage."  Oh, we have a problem.

Fortunately they took charge cards.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Benefits of a private quilt group

I was late, per usual, to my quilt group.  "We're not holding lunch!"  Okay, I got it.  But first, I really need to stop at the grocery store, the feed store for birdseed, pick up my kids stuff that they forgot at a friends and, of course, the quilt shop.

The quilt shop is my last stop.  I am going to make it.  Pick up fabric and be back out the door.  In and out, easy.  I open the door.   No!  The store is having a huge sale and the place is absolutely packed.  I will never get through this crowd!  Lunch will either be cold (for me) or gone by the time I show up but I have to buy fabric! 

I grab the nearest batik knowing that this will placate every one in the group and go to stand in line.  Wait a minute.  There is no line.  Women are still shopping.  They must have just arrived.  Luck is still with me!  I quickly throw the bolt up on the counter, "Seven yards, please."  

"Have you been to our back room --"

"No, I just need the seven yards, please."  I tap my hand on the bolt.

"Perhaps you need needles?  Or thread?  It's all on sale --"

"No, I just need the seven yards."

Slowly she starts to unroll it.  I am half tempted to help her with this as I check my watch.  "Books.  All of our books are on sale --"

"Look.  I'm sorry.  I just need the seven yards.  I am now late for my quilt group and they are going to be eating salmon, shrimp, home grown asparagus, home made rolls and various vegetables and fruits. Someone always brings chips and their family recipe of salsa while someone else brings avocados and makes whatever that dip is called.  I am bringing a couple of chocolate things for dessert -- a few new recipes I tried out --  but I sampled too much which is why I had to stop at the grocery store.  Not that anybody is going to miss my cookies and brownies as one of the gals found some really big strawberries and she chocolate dipped them.  I am very far behind in my birthday giving, hence the seven yards of fabric, one yard for everyone in the group and," I point to my watch, "they are not going to tolerate my showing up late again.  I have been warned.  Please, just cut me the seven yards."

I see the woman staring at me with her mouth open and I suddenly realize that the place has gone dead.  I slowly turn to see everyone frozen in place.  Books partially leafed through, people bent over just pulling out a bolt of fabric, someone showing someone a pattern, one salesperson has stopped her rotary cutting half-way across someone's fabric and all of them staring in my direction.

From the back I hear, "What quilt group do you belong to?"

"It's a private one."

"How does one get into it?" from someone else.

"I'm sorry.  It's a group of friends that get together.  It's closed."

"And you do this once a year?"

"Nnnnooo.  Once a month."

"You eat like that once a month?"

"No!  Oh, heavens no!  Sometimes we have steak or prime rib or just plain ribs or . . . sometimes we have chicken."

The woman across from me is still staring.  I pat the bolt and slowly she comes around.  As people go back to what they were doing she leans across the table and whispers in all seriousness, "My name is Shelley.  I get off in a half hour.  Could I possibly come as your guest?"

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lovina's Pressed Flowers Blocks

I finally have a few of my Pressed Flower blocks up on the quilt wall.  Of the 64 blocks that I need to complete this quilt I have 26 all done, 9 needing yo-yo's and 29 to make.

Monday, July 1, 2013

National Quilt Show

I recently attended my first National Quilt Show in Columbus, Ohio.  This was made possible by the fact that my sister-in-law lived near by.  My husband and I could stay with her and she and I could attend the show.  She is not a quilter but does enjoy looking at them and she got caught up in the buying frenzy with vendors as they had a nice assortment of different things. 

On the questionnaire that I filled out it asked if I was a member of NQS.  No.  Then it wanted to know why.  I don't know if anyone was appreciative of my "I didn't know you existed" honesty.  I had only found out about the organization a few weeks prior when I was surfing the web.

I told my sister-in-law to look for what would be her favorite quilt of the show.  I found our voting ballots in the brochures we received and we were off.  We had differing views through out and whereas I only had written down 2 possibilities she had several with one or two stars.  We thought we were done and were cutting across the room when I said, "Did we go down here?"  It was one temporary wall that had just a few quilts hanging on it.  As we walked up to the last quilt we both stopped and said, "This is it."  A gorgeous scene of a shop window in, I want to say, Venice. 

When my husband and I left the following day for home (hitting a few new quilt shops along the way) my sister-in-law hollered, "If you want to go again next year, I will!"

We will.

Monday, June 24, 2013


How many of you have heard of BookCrossing?  It's a fun way to send one of your favorite (or not so favorite) books on it's way, out into the world and watch where it goes.  My own books (Owe It To The Wind and Truly, Everything) have traveled to places I know I will never visit. 

I am fortunate that I have friends who travel and I hand them one of my books to take with them.  They either hand it to someone or place it in a spot where it is sure to get noticed.  So far my books are in: Sweden, Ireland, Philippines, England, Alaska, Romania and China. 

Now that my third book Beg(ga)(he)r is out it will be headed to Europe as I have two people headed there in the near future.  It's fun when someone writes in the 'Journal' so that I can see where it is.

Bon Vonage!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Picture Books

As a child I read all of "The Borrowers" series.  Little tiny people who live in the walls of a house and their adventures of not being seen by humans and staying away from the family cat.  Years later as an adult I saw one of the Borrowers books that I had never read.  What fun, I thought, to take a trip down memory lane and so I checked it out at the library.

After I was done reading it I thought how refreshing it was that there were pictures (black and white drawings) in it to go along with the story.  It took me days to remember that I had read a childrens book, not an adult book and that of course, it would have drawings and pictures in it.

Recently my daughter had me pick up Jodi Picoult's newest book that she wrote with her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer.  I glanced through it just to take a look and discovered . . . pictures!  Several.  Some full page, some just a little something on a page.

Why don't adult books have pictures in them?  At what point did we as adults decide that we were too old for art? 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Childrens Journal

Many, many years ago when my children were young and doing cute things I came up with the idea of preserving these memories before they were forgotten.  I bought a journal for just this purpose.  Whenever my children did something cute, funny, memorable it went into the journal.

On their birthday, every year, we would get the journal out and read all about the birthday person.  The kids always looked forward to this and now that they are grown and living around the country I have fun getting it out and reading it myself.  What wonderful memories.

And someday when I am gone I am sure my children will stumble upon the journal and take a stroll down memory lane and just perhaps read it to their children. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I know people read certain books when they are going through a trauma in their life.  There are several self-help books for divorce, weight loss, problem children, death, etc.  They purposely  pick up these books.  This summer I found myself reading the book Marley and Me while my own dog was having some health issues (he's fine now).  Makes me wonder if I picked up the book then, which was on my to-read list, because subconsciously he was on my mind. 

After all, what influences us to pick one book over another?  A friend's suggestion?  Best Seller List?  We like that author and will read anything they write?  The few times that I have grabbed a book off the shelf without any thought because I was headed some where and needed something to occupy me, didn't grab me.  That is not to say the book wasn't any good.  But at that time that's not what I was looking for. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How do you read?

I know that I read a little differently from other people in that I don't read the back of books or the inside jacket prior to starting the book.  However, I was surprised one day when I was doing a book signing.  

A woman came up to my table and asked me some questions concerning my books.  She then picked one of them up and read the last page.  "You read the ending first?" I asked rather flabbergasted.  

"Yes, I want to know if everything turns out all right in the end before I start it."  

I had never heard of anyone doing this nor have I read too many books that the ending didn't turn out all right.  And what is it about books that we expect to have a happy ending 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Phoenix Quilts

A few months back I came home to find 2 quilts hanging over a chair in my dining room.  Upon inquiring I discovered that my brother had dropped them off.  He had been using these "old rags" for years to cover up furniture out in the barn.  Having come across them again while cleaning out and getting rid of said furniture he wondered if maybe I would like them.  If I didn't want them he would find other uses for them.  I kept them. 

I would hate to think that for all my hard work (and I'm using a ruler, rotary cutter and a sewing machine) my quilts ended up being used as cushions for people to haul or store their belongings.  I would much rather they were used, loved, even dragged around the house as a favorite, treasured item. 

I think of the hand stitching that was done on these two quilts, the material possibly cut from articles of clothing when there was nothing else around.  Did some famous person sleep under this that we'll never know about?  Unfortunately there are no names on here.  But I gave them new life by washing them and although it doesn't look it I did manage to remove some stains. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


As a writer I am interested to know how many of you own e-readers?  How often do you download a book?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

3rd Bracelet

For my third bracelet I had a hard time finding a plain metal bracelet to glue the finished work on to so I decided to just make it with some stiff liner and thick ribbon as the background. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

2nd Bracelet

The second bracelet I decided not to fill in so much as I wanted the fabric to show.  I got out some antique fabric to use that I had bought at a Trunk Show.  Added beads, and ribbon.  I found an unusual shaped bracelet and glued it on to that.  


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Beaded Bracelets

I took a few on-line beading classes some years ago and really need to get back to it.  I have all the makings for a brown, beige and yellow bracelet that I need to get out of my head and on to fabric.  

I started the first one when cleaning out my mom's jewelry box.  Only one earring.  That became the center piece and I worked around that.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Water Color Paper Jewelry

Recently I came across some jewelry that my daughter and I made when she was in grade school (many, many years ago).  Her teacher even asked us to come in, do a demonstration and have the kids in her class make something.  

These were made using items we had around the house.  The watercolor paper my mom had being an artist.  Children plus jigsaw puzzle equals missing pieces so what to do with the ones left over?  And of course, plenty of broken crayons to melt.  

I still have the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and recently found where my watercolor paper was hanging out.  And I have a big bucket of crayons . . . somewhere in the house.  I'm actually thinking about doing this again.  They were fun and quick to make and I have plenty of beads, fabric, ribbon, buttons, etc. that I could add to them.  

This idea came from a magazine that I lost a long time ago.