I has a hot dog

Someone turned me on to the companion site, Icanhascheezburger, some time ago. I guess you have to be in the mood for these sites to strike your funny bone – and I’ve been in the mood for a while now. If you are a pet lover, you’ll love to spend some surfing time checking these sites out. They make me smile and laugh.

What a week!

What a great week it has been since I got back from that quilt retreat! Just the best in every way.

On Thursday night I realized I had spent more time in my sewing room over the past week than I have the whole time since we’ve moved in. That was startling. Earlier in the week I had unpacked some boxes from the garage that were still on shelves from the move and found some things that were presonally meaningful to me (along with some old crap I’m only too glad to let go of). It was surprising to me how much of my soul had been sitting taped up inside a box in the garage and although I try not to be too attached to material things, it felt good to have some artifacts of my life and sentimental objects back in my sewing room where they belonged. After all, they are markers of where I have been, physically and otherwise, and how I have become the person that I am today. I decided to move the picture of my grandma that was in the downstairs den into my sewing room as well, so that I would see her smiling at me whenever I was sewing in there. And I bought myself a new candle for my sewing room too. I was trying to figure out which Yankee Candle to get when I picked up the honeysuckle one, and it immediately reminded me of that innocent time in my youth when I would go into my grandma’s front yard with my cousin and we would laugh in the summer heat and pick those honeysuckle blossoms and suck the sweet nectar from the bottoms of them. Finally, I got rid of all the “junk”, i.e. non-sewing stuff, that had been accumulating in there and put it somewhere else. And I even bought a new clock radio for the room so I could plug my iPod into it and listen to my music or Podcasts while I am in there. And the radio is color coordinated with my iPod – how cool is that? All of this made a profound difference in how I feel about the place. Now I actually LIKE going in there!

I took Friday off since it was the last day of Harald’s vacation and Good Friday. We ran errands, putzed around the house, etc. I took a vacuum to the sewing room to get rid of dust bunnies and cobwebs – and I do mean that literally! Then the desire overtook me to scrub the floor clean in my sewing room. And I mean the old-fashioned way. Getting down on your hands and knees with a scrub brush, two pails of water, one soapy and one clear, and some rags. And I mean I scrubbed that floor so good you could EAT off of them when I was done! It took a day or two for the Pine-Sol scent to dissipate. And an hour after I started I was exhausted, but it was *so* worth it. When that room was clean, it felt like I had managed to clean out a dim and dusty part of my psyche as well. Maybe sometimes my surroundings really are a reflection of my inner life.

The weekend was so busy I didn’t get the borders put on the French braid, but I will get to that this week. But who can complain about getting to eat homemade coconut cake all weekend? Harald has turned into quite the active little baker and I for one am loving it. He got a hold of a Deen brothers recipe for coconut cake and all I will tell you I can hardly wait to get home tonight and eat the last leftover piece. We had a beautiful Easter service at church yesterday and a truly lovely dinner afterwards. Despite the snow that fell since Thursday, hope springs anew. Now if only spring would spring, we’d be all set.

What a great weekend!

A group of quilting friends and I headed to Lake City over the weekend. We made our home for two days the Dragonfly Dreams Retreat Center, recently opened by a friend of ours who used to belong to our local guild before she moved out of town. It was a glorious weekend getaway, and a time of real creative energy for me. I knew I would have the time, so I took Harald’s 40th birthday quilt (only a few years overdue at this point) and finally got all the piecing done.

Harald’s quilt top finally pieced together! Isn’t it lovely?

Once I got that done, I felt like a huge breakthrough had been made, and I could almost feel the flow return to my previously flowless creativity. One of the projects I turned to (after getting the binding put on a baby quilt I am making) was a French Braid quilt. I had bought the book and the fabric a year or so ago from Crystal’s Log Cabin Quilts in Grand Marais, a favorite quilt store of mine. I bought all these fabrics that reminded me of one thing or another about being on the north shore, figuring it would be a great tribute to have even the fabric come from there. I wasn’t sure I had done a very good job picking out the colors, but once I saw it going together, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about.

A close up of one whole color run from my French Braid quilt. You can get some better idea of the color and pattern in this one.

This is what two of the four braids will look like, with the separator bands lined up on the design wall between them.

So I ended up getting more than half of the French Braid quilt done. I can hardly wait to finish it to see what it will look like!

I’m blessed to have wonderful quilt friends who are great to spend time with!

The tulips are coming, the tulips are coming!

Hard to believe since there is still so much snow on the ground, but the local TV station is reporting the current temp as 44 degrees and climbing. If you can’t wait to see buds blooming, (and there’s a woman in Western Washington – you know who you are – who can’t!) you can click here to follow a map showing the progression of tulip blooms from south to north. Oh, I wonder if our 2nd and 3rd year tulips will bloom again? Will the bulbs we planted much too late last year do anything at all? Either way, I can barely wait to find out.

What kind of flower are you?

My friend Fran over at Redondowriter posted a link on her blog that caught my interest. We are all ready for spring, if not downright anxious to see winter leave. Yesterday, H and I took off with his mom and sister after church to pay a visit to the Como Conservatory. It was a glorious day to soak up the humidity and the color, to let green imprint itself on our souls again after four months of snow on the ground. In the spirit of the season, follow the link below to find out what kinf of flower you are.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I am canna lily. I can’t seem to find anything about their meaning. OK, I haven’t looked all that much. But I do love the flower and have often thought about planting them, just haven’t gotten around to it. What kind of flower are you?