Friday, May 24, 2013

The Giving Quilt Give-Away Winner

The winner of the Jennifer Chiaverini novel, The Giving Quilt, is Linda.  I will be sending her book and quilt pins in the near future.  Thanks for playing!  Another copy will be going to Karen as soon as I finish reading and reviewing it for the publishing company.

Our weather has continued to be stormy for the past few days.  We got a lot of yard work done on Saturday before it started raining.  On Sunday we went to my brother's house to visit my cousin David and his wife, who were visiting from California.  We went to a French bistro in Chapel Hill, NC. 

It is so nice to catch up with family, especially those that we don't get to see very often!

On Monday, I found out that some buyers that looked at our house on Friday wanted to come back again to see that afternoon.  My plans for the day changed drastically as I polished and shined and vacuumed and weeded the gardens.  We have heard from their agent that they liked!  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday and Wednesday were my days with baby Charlie.  I treasure those special times with her!  Every day we go for a stroll around the neighborhood, and I stop to take pictures of her by some of the pretty gardens in the area.  Sometimes she begins her morning nap while we are walking!

Today is National Happy Turtle Day!  On Wednesday a tiny baby box turtle was crossing the street during one of our walks.  I stopped and gave him a hand across the street.  He was only about as big as a quarter!

We drove up to the mountains for the Memorial Day weekend.  The rain has continued to come and go.  When we left it was raining buckets.  We stopped in Yadkinville for a seafood dinner, and scurried out of there as another huge storm approached.

But this morning it is a beautiful sunny day.  All of our family will be here later today except for Emily, who will be attending a bridesmaid function in Chicago.  Even Baby Charlie will have her first mountain experience!  There will be a wedding on Saturday at our neighbors' house, which should be lots of fun.  Let's hope it won't rain on Amanda's beautiful outdoor mountain wedding!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Watercolor of One of my Favorite Spots

I just finished up a new watercolor painting of one of our scenic spots on our rides over the mountain in Laurel Springs, North Carolina.

View From the Top, Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2013
I did this mostly in one afternoon, with finishing touches today.   Sure makes me want to go back up there and gaze at that scene again!  (And smell the Christmas trees!)
We stayed home this weekend.  Yesterday we had a showing on our house, so I spent the afternoon cleaning.  Today we worked in the yard until a gentle thunderstorm passed through.  Tomorrow we will visit family, including one of my cousins who is living in California and we rarely get to see.  It is nice not to be traveling on a weekend for a change.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Give-Away: The Giving Quilt novel by Jennifer Chiaverini

Sometimes I am contacted by publishers of quilt-related books to do book reviews or give-aways for my readers.  Today I have a chance for you to win a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest Elm Creek Quilts novel.

Here is the information sent by the publisher.
Thanksgiving inspires generosity once a year, but what happens to the spirit of giving on the other 363 days?  In THE GIVING QUILT, now available from Plume, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini offers an affecting novel that imagines what good could come from practicing the holiday spirit year round
With numerous New York Times bestsellers, Chiaverini is undoubtedly one  of the masters of both modern and historical women's fiction.  In the last year alone, her Elm Creek Quilts novels have graced the bestseller list twice, first with The Wedding Quilt, a twenty-first century celebration of a treasured romantic tradition, and again with Sonoma Rose, a prohibition-era novel about one woman's courageous fight to save her family.
Year after year, Chiaverini takes a page from her own life to deliver an emotional and poignant story very close to her heart.  As a long-time member and advocate of Project Linus, an organization dedicated to providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in need, Jennifer decided to donate a very unique and special gift- a prime spot in one of her bestselling novels.
At Elm Creek Manor, the circle of quilters is hard a t work preparing for "Quiltsgiving."  Held annually the week after Thanksgiving, expert and novice quilters from near and far gather for a special winter session of quilt camp to make pieces for Project Linus.  As the week unfolds, the quilters respond to the question, "Why do you give?"  in ways as varied s the life experiences that drew them to Elm Creek Manor.  Each of the quilters, including a librarian, a teacher, a college student, and a quilt shop clerk, uses her unique talents to teach, inspire, and give back to her fellow campers.
Once a gain Chiaverini delivers the complex characters and rich descriptions of setting and mood that fans and critics have come to expect.  Featuring not only well-loved characters but intriguing newcomers, THE GIVING QUILT will remind us all that it is truly better to give than to receive.
And now for the give-away:
Leave a comment on this post telling about any charity quilts or blankets that you or your quilt group have made.  Do you participate in Project Linus?  Leave your comment (and be sure to include your e-mail) by Monday,  May 20 at 9:00 PM. 
The winner will receive a brand-new paperback copy of THE GIVING QUILT, along with three quilt pins symbolizing three of the Elm Creek Quilts novels.
I have some extra quilt pins to give away, too, so if you enter the drawing you might win a lovely quilt pin.
I am currently reading the novel, and will post a review within the next few days.
Good luck if you enter the drawing!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jewelry Organization

Yesterday I decided to do something about the collection of boxes in my dresser that contained my collection of costume jewelry.  I purchased a hanging jewelry organizer from Tuesday Morning, a sort of overstock store.

It has clear, zippered pockets on both front and back.

And after finding a home for all my necklaces, pins, and bracelets, I was able to get rid of all these cardboard boxes that were making it hard to close my dresser drawer!  I love having them in plain sight in my closet.
Here is a picture of me enjoying our Mothers' Day visit with baby Charlotte.  I am getting ready to head out there right now to babysit.  It is a beautiful day, and I predict we will be sitting right back in that porch swing!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Another Baby Gets His Quilt

Here is my sister's new grandson, Lucas, enjoying his quilt from Great-Aunt Jeanne.  I think he really likes all the bright colors!
We are up at our place in the North Carolina mountains for Mothers' Day weekend.  The weather has been a little iffy...but not a total wash-out.  In fact, we have had lots of good rides across the tree farms on the mountains.

I wish I could capture the intoxicating scent of the Christmas trees after a rain.  It smelled so good!

When we were last up here just two weeks ago, the trees had no leaves, and there were no wildflowers yet.  Now we have leaves and flowers galore.  I took a little nature trip along our creek, searching for flowers. 

There were a few trillium plants. 

These are ferns in the "fiddle head" stage, before they unfurl.

The lady slipper orchids have come up, but they are not blooming yet.
These common yellow wildflowers grow in abundance everywhere there is sunshine, including here next to the dam.
These little guys are called bluets.  They look kind of white in this picture, but are actually a light blue or lavender color.
I bought some Knock-Out roses for my sister's birthday, and got a few for my little flower bed up here.  Poor Kasey had to ride in the back with six ouchy plants competing for space.
On the way home we will stop at our son Dave's house and enjoy a visit.  It will be Emily's very first Mother's Day.  Happy Mothers Day to all of you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Heirloom-Quality Quilt

The Whacky Ladies Quilt Bee met at Carolyn Ormond's house on Thursday night, and I finally got to see her red and white sampler quilt on her bed.

It was quilted by Donna Sontag of our bee.  Her business is Whatever's Quilted, here in Wake Forest, NC.

I just can't say how much I love this quilt!  It was a Block-of-the-Month pattern by Swirly Girls, offered through Wish Upon a Quilt in Raleigh.

Carolyn has also finished another Block-of-the-Month top, this time in gold, batiks, and blacks.  Another stunner.  Notice the quilt model who appears to be claiming this one!

We stayed home last weekend, and enjoyed having our son Dave, wife Emily, and little girl Charlie over for a fondue dinner on Sunday.  Love seeing my two Charlies together!
We have been having an exceptionally cold spring.  Yesterday it was cold and rainy all day.  Then in late afternoon, the sun came out, but it thundered and rained even harder.

It is strange to see sunshine and rain at the same time!  But the sunshine was very welcome.
And today I am babysitting again for my sweet, happy little girl.  I could just devour her, she is so cute!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Painting Baby Clothes

As I was going through a cedar chest at home recently, I came across a bag of baby clothes that I had originally purchased for my older grandchildren.  (I snatched the items back when their parents divorced, hoping that my younger son and his wife could use them someday!) 

Now that Dave and Emily have a baby girl, I was glad to be able to give them the bag of clothes.  One of the items was an N.C. State "onesie"  that had some yellow stains on the front.

Out came the Setacolor paints...and you could never tell there were any stains on this garment!

I added in some purple and yellow along with the scarlet.  I think it has a "watercolor" look.  I wet the outfit with water before applying the paint. 
The purple and yellow are the East Carolina colors, since both of Charlotte's parents went to school there. 
We have had a whirlwind of travel and activities recently.  We spent five days at our mountain cabin so that we could go to Merlefest, a music festival in nearby Wilkesboro, NC.  What a blast!
Thousands of people attend.  There are fourteen different venues that you can choose to attend.  All the performances were top-notch. 
Unfortunately, it started to rain on Saturday afternoon.  We missed The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Saturday night because they did not start until after 10:00, which was too long to be out in the rain.  But on Sunday, we showed up in time to see The Avett Brothers perform in front of their poncho-covered, rain-soaked fans.
Last Wednesday night, we went to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  What a riot!  The costumes alone are worth the price of the ticket.  If you like big production numbers, this is a great musical.
On Thursday, the Whacky Ladies had our monthly bee meeting.  I'll share some photos from our Show-and-Tell in a future post.