Getting Ready to Head Back

Unbelievably, it’s time for us to head back to New England. Our first winter on the road is coming to an end.
And our first year full-timing will be upon us in just a few weeks. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.
It’s funny, people still ask me, “how we’re liking it?”

Well, we’re still married, happy and in one piece as well as planning to keep it going so I’m going to say we like it very much.

I get to wake up every morning when my body wakes me up. I get to spend my days pretty much doing whatever I want.
I sew, sitting in front of a large window looking out on whatever landscape we’ve parked in. Some have been prettier than others. Some have been the rv next door. I have succeeded in completing a huge quilt top and back for my friend. The front is a more traditional star pattern while the back is all improv piecing. I can’t wait to get it quilted. Here’s a little peek.

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I’ve also made 100+ tooth fairy pillows for the Faerie Festival coming up in June.

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I have read some great books. I think The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my favorite. I highly recommend it! I also dove into a Clive Barker series called The Abarat.

We’ve been through 20 states, stopping to spend time in most of them. I’ve been embroidering them onto a map in a hoop that hangs in our cab area.

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We’ve pulled out all of the factory swirly fabric as well as the headboard and replaced them with things I’ve made.

I get to spend everyday with my best friend and the best cat. It isn’t perfect. Money is always tight. Wifi is never good enough. Sometimes things go wrong like flat tires and running out of propane. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We laugh. We explore. We play. We learn. We honor. We meet new people. We grow. I love my life. I love living small in this mobile hippy bus. I don’t miss anything from before. Well, except maybe my big sewing space where I could spread out. But I’m making that work, too.

And here we are, sitting in a funky cafe called The Art of Coffee in Montross, VA. This place used to be a garage of some kind. It still has the funky diamond plate on the floor and the big garage doors. But now it’s a cool cafe serving breakfast and lunch, yummy coffee drinks, local art and free wifi. The sun is out. There is a beautiful breeze. I’m hoping that winter is moving out of Mass but, it’s ok if it sees fit to gently remind us that we are lucky to have missed it all.

This summer will find us in Sturbridge, Lake George New York, Wells Beach Maine, and Cape Cod for 5 weeks! Then, it’s across the north we go back west. You know you wish you were us.

 

 

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Do Faeries Have Teeth?

So, I am involved with the Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival. This will be our 3rd year! This year, I am acting as go between for my Faerie BFF, the Tooth Fairy.

(Does the spelling get confusing? Does it matter which way it’s spelled? It seems like fairy is recognized with the tooth one but I’m so used to spelling it the other way. Hmm.)

Anyway, this got me wondering, do faerie have teeth of their own? If they do, why does the tooth fairy collect them? Is it a compulsion? Is it just a service to humans?

If they do not, does she collect them because she’s envious of us?  Are they used for faerie dentures? Ha.

In an effort to help the Tooth Fairy out, I have begun creating some pillows to make it easier for people to leave their teeth around and for her (and her helpers) to find them and leave a special something behind.

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Here are the patterns I used to cut out felt shapes.

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I used white felt for the fronts and colored felt for the backs. Some have pockets and some have an open mouth. Others will get a pocket on the back and no wings. And still others will get sparkly tutus!

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The faces are embroidered on. I’m making some monster ones as well who will have big teeth and button eyes.

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Some have coordinating or contrasting felt wings.

 It’s been fun working on these. I have cut out a bunch of white pieces that I can embroider the faces on while we’re traveling. I am hoping to get in touch with a local dentist who might want to join me at the festival, perhaps giving out tooth brushes or answering questions.
And I need to decorate my booth. I wonder if there is tooth fabric out there?

And the crafty adventures continue.

 

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The Big Easy

Recently, we visited Louisiana.

We spent a whole day exploring New Orleans, wandering the French Quarter. We crossed Lake Pontchartrain to get there over a 25 mile long bridge!

Everywhere was evidence of the festivities the night before. Beads hung from railings. Cigarette butts and wrappers littered the streets. The smell of stale beer and fried food clung to the air.

The sidewalks were damp from shop owners hosing them down in preparation for the new day.

We visited Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.

She was a renowned voodoo practitioner in New Orleans in the 1800’s.

We picked up a spell for fast money but have yet to set it in a campfire.

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We ate lunch at Monty’s and sipped iced coffee from Backatown.

Someone tried to hustle Vin for a shoeshine but we managed to escape dingy.

We spent some time napping in Louis Armstrong park, watching the ducks and listening to the sounds of the day.

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In the evening, we met up with family. Vin’s great-nephew, his wife and their new son live in East New Orleans and they invited us for dinner. It was a lovely evening.

We moved a little further east to Alabama and then stopped in Florida to see my aunt. Now we’re in South Carolina and then on to North Carolina to see Nancy!

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Quilts in Columbus, TX

We’re here in Columbus Texas again. We loved this campground when we were here for the Houston International Quilt Festival. It’s an hour to Houston, an hour to Austin and an hour and a half to San Antonio.
On Saturday, we headed out for a drive. First we stopped at Timeless Classics, a vintage car dealership on Rt. 71 in La Grange. They have some really fun cars.

 

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My favorite was the Ford F100 pickup with the very cool orange/yellow sparkle paint.

We chatted with the proprietor and then headed into downtown La Grange where we found a lovely quilt/knitting shop called The Quilted Skein. They have gorgeous fabrics and yarns as well as supplies, very cool custom mugs and stuffed animals.

 

Right next door is the Texas Quilt Museum. Their exhibits included a selection of Indigo quilts from the Poos Collection. These quilts are all from the 1800’s and are all hand pieced/hand quilted!

 

There was also a selection of winners from the Houston show.

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This elephant quilt is so stunning. The background is a hand dyed fabric.

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This quilt is from Japan and features mulberry paper within it.

 

It was a lovely day exploring.

Lunch not so remarkable.

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Project Trading

One of the fun things about creating as a fiber artist is being able to trade my work with other people who create with fiber.

Recently, during my trip to California to spend time with my family, I learned that my niece, Little Z, has developed a fondness for creating in fiber as well! She has made at least one small quilt and 2 teddy bears. She made her first teddy bear in 2nd grade!

She herself was not so fond of her first foray into sewing stating that this blue bear didn’t deserve a name. She said her second bear was much better.

I still have and have used frequently, my very first quilt. My quilting adventures began with 2 jelly rolls of Kaffe Fassett fabrics in shades of blues and greens in a simple rail fence design.

I showed it to my niece, telling her that this was my first attempt at quilting. I pointed out that I didn’t think it was my best work, how I’ve grown, what I’ve learned, etc.

I then proposed a trade.

I would give her blue nameless bear a home if she would keep my first quilt safe. She agreed. I made her a special label.

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She was snuggled under it reading

 

And I named her bear Osita, meaning Little Bear in Spanish. She sits near the window in my RV and keeps watch over us. I love her.
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My best trade ever!

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Long time no Posts!

It has been far too long since I have shared anything!

Short recap:

While in Arizona at the beginning of December, both Vin and I were hit hard by the flu. We were both pretty much out of commission for 10 days or more. I can not remember the last time I was that sick. Everything hurt. It was awful.

From there, we moved west to Las Vegas. We had intended to go to Santa Barbara but the fires forced us to re-plan. Vegas was fun but neither of us are gamblers. I did make Vin drive down the strip once at night. You can’t go to Vegas and not see all that neon and insanity at least once. We also saw a Frank Ghery designed building.

 

And then we headed north. We spent 3 weeks in Northern California visiting with my sister and her family. It was so great to spend time with them. We saw Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

We went to the Monterey aquarium which was so cool!

 

And we visited writer friends in Oakland. Vin and I went to see one of my sisters lectures in her Holocaust class. It was awesome to see her at work.

I saw the Pacific Ocean and my very first redwood tree.

20171227_120607.jpgWe met some lovely people at the campground that we’re keeping in touch with.
My niece and nephew are amazing kids. I wish I lived in California so I could see them more often.
Who knows, maybe after our travels we’ll relocate closer.

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My awesome nephew Big Z.

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My amazing niece Little Z.

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Me and my sister, Amy.

After the holidays we headed south to the San Diego area where it was 80 degrees! It was glorious! I was able to sit outside in the sun with my coffee first thing in the morning. Barnaby would lay under a bush and snooze away.

And now we are in Arizona again. No sickness this time! We’ll see the Grand Canyon and Old Cottonwood. We’ll head to Phoenix to see our friends who are there through February. And we’ll see what else we can fit in.

Here’s to traveling!

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Houston Quilt Festival!

After more than 2 weeks of traveling and visiting, we finally made our way to Texas which will be home for 3 weeks.

Our first big event was the Houston International Quilt Festival. This annual event brings in thousands of people to take classes, listen to lectures, see more than a 1000 quilts on display and shop more than 1000 vendors!

It was amazing. The work displayed was stunning. The vendor options staggering. You name it, it was for sale.

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Live music and dinner on the plaza.

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A sea of streamers along Main Street.

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Quilter: Timna Tarr

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sugar skull doll

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Quilter: Maria Shell

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Love this quirky quilt!

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Koi Fish b y Danny Amazonas

amazonas 1Lizard by Danny Amazonas

My photos do not do any of these quilts justice. There were so many amazing quilts from every “genre” of quilts. It was inspiring and overwhelming and wonderful.

 

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