Category Archives: Frederik Meijer Gardens

New Friends

     I have some new friends. They haven’t lived in America for long-only 15months they reminded me today. I have been helping them for a year now get settled here after their move from Bhutan. Prior to moving here, they lived in a refugee camp for 17 years. Yes, 17 years in a bamboo hut and cooking over an open fire but they went to school and proudly could speak some English when they arrived. They weren’t allowed back to their native land of Nepal nor did Bhutan want the refugees so they were stranded in this camp along with thousands of others.

    I have had the privilege of taking them to their first grocery store trip, figuring out why there are three sizes of shoes on one box, helping them fill out paperwork, taking them to doctors appointments and just plain visiting with them and talking to them. I have tried their foods and they have disliked my foods. And  they are friends enough to tell me why. 🙂 I have been at the airport when more of their family members have arrived and celebrated with them. I have celebrated when Sita called me in Vermont and told me she could drive now and had a job. Both are now employed at a bakery.

    When I asked them where they wanted to visit this month, they asked to go to the Meijer Botanical Gardens Festival of Trees.  Today was the day we went to visit. The chatter amongst the two of them on the drive was amazing as they tried to figure out why we cut a tree down, put it inside and throw it away. The conclusion at the end of the drive was, if they “do the American custom” they will buy one in a pot and keep it. Good for them.

   As we looked at the trees, each tree was decorated to represent a specific country and many questions again were asked about where the countries are and why they celebrate certain ways. They just want to know it all and their excitement over anything new just really makes me melt. I just love their enthusiasm.

    But the absolute best moment of the day was when we entered the actual conservatory which was hot and humid and filled with bamboo at the entryway. Sita looked at me and said, “This is what my homeland was like and this is how I built my house with bamboo. ” She sat on a bench and said, “Thank you very much for bringing me today. ” I have never seen her smile brighter.

   That was an absolutely perfect Christmas gift for me. I really need nothing more.

    Be content and blessed by where we live, my friends.

The Petting of The Fabric

       No, it really was the clean up of the studio. 🙂  I had gotten to the point where I kept losing my rotary cutter amidst the three tables and piles of fabric. And the scraps needed to be sorted and organized. I had too many piles to find the one-the only one I wanted- I needed for the binding. It’s almost back to normal. And after folding and sorting,  the missing piece of fabric was found.

     I also  prepared my “to go” basket.

     My “to go” basket is what keeps my sane for the next few months. It keeps my hands busy while I wait for sport practices, driver’s ed, guitar lessons,  and anything else that comes our way. We have a tournament this weekend and four games. Indoors in case you are thinking that we are playing outdoors already. No. Not yet.

     Ok, back to my basket. This is what is in it today.

1 . 2 sewing projects that need handwork and/or binding ( no sneak peeks-you will have to wait until they are done)
2. my sewing kit
3. my journal
4. my pencil case
5. one scarf.  I really want this done soon.
6. one book

     I have turned into the bag lady.

    But my kids have stopped being embarrassed by my knitting or sewing during the breaks. And every once in awhile someone will stop and ask to see what’s up now in my basket. What’s in your “to go” basket? Or do you leave it all at home?

     Be creative, my friends!

**Photos from Meijer Gardens-I know they have little to do with sewing but isn’t it beautiful there?

A Glimpse of Spring

     After yesterday’s post, I did go to Meijer Garden to put my brain to rest-stop overthinking things- and just kind of be. I knew it was time for the butterfly exhibit but I had no idea it was the first day of the exhibit! It was sunny and it was really gorgeous to see them all out.

So great to see buds even though we are a long ways from that here in Michigan.

 They were definitely showing off for us yesterday.

And I looked up and saw lines again. Remembering how much I love them and want to make them. And remembered I should stop whining(I detest whining in my kids.) And just get back to work. It ‘s the inbetween thing that is killing me.  Wanting to be on the other side of the bridge but just at the beginning of the journey and realizing how much work there is to get there.

Back to work I am. Be creative, my friends!

On My First Day

     Of the kids being in school, I created a massive quantity of art. Ha. No, even better I went to enjoy some art with friends. I wasn’t planning to like this as I had seen pictures and it just didn’t excite me. It has drawn large crowds here since it’s opening but I just didn’t go earlier.

    But in the early morning sun and the company friends, I was in love with it. Enjoy the beauty of the gardens and the the art of Dale Chihuly at the Meijer Gardens .

From the ceiling

Placed in the gardens

One of my favorites-the blending of the pink and the soft yellow…


In the sun

And enjoying two wonderful friends for a few hours. That was a treat and now I want to go back for more to see it in different light. Why haven’t I gone before? The exhibit has been extended until the end of October secondary to the large crowds. I will go again.

 This was truly a privilege.

Happy Art, my friends!

A Nice Surprise

     I had a nice surprise yesterday. As I was checking my little blog list, up popped my name on Frieda Anderson‘s blog. I won a contest she had for naming one of her patterns. It is a beautiful piece of Jack -in the Pulpits which I have always been fond of. And there is the name  I chose right on the pattern-Woodland Treasures. Frieda does beautiful work -her hand dyed fabrics are very unique and machine quilting is exquisite-combine that with flowers and you have award winning pieces.  She is a kind and encouraging teacher as I took a class from her last fall. For naming the piece, I have won a copy of this new pattern.

    I purchased some of her hand-dyed fabrics last winter. And the rest of the story is on her blog today.

   This is how nice it is to be part of blogland-the connections and fun you can find here. It was a great way to celebrate my 100th post yesterday.

    Off to celebrate this holiday with my family. Hope you and your family/friends have a blessed Easter!


100th Post!


       I am so excited to notice that it is my 100th blog post. I am having so much fun with this-connecting with old friends, meeting new friends, being inspired by others, even learning new techniques by reading all the tutorials that are available in blogland.

     I have showed you horrible pictures, written silly things, and shown you my good and bad side. The technology and photography is something I am just catching on to. It is slowly getting better. My journey as I sew is slowly progressing too. I know I will never stop with quilting and art as I make it.

      Sometimes my family laughs and jokes about my pretend friends out there-definitely not nice but taken in good humor-but I do so appreciate your comments and the time you take to read my blog no matter how bad or good the content might be. Thank you  to those more computer savvy than I who have so willingly helped me out-no matter how simple the question was. Thank you for making this a bright spot in my day!

As long as my dog doesn’t eat any more of my quilts- I’ll keep stopping in as often as I can! And no, I haven’t had time to think about what to do about it… Off to pick up my daughter and roommate from college for the Easter weekend. Lots of family here this weekend .If I have time early am , I will tell you about something exciting!

Happy Sewing, my friends and thanks for stopping by-100 posts later!

ps-no more word verification so if you want to leave a comment it should be easier.

The Butterflies are Back

     I took a few minutes to myself this morning to do something different. I was early and knew the crowds would be light. The humidity was really overwhelming and it took my camera a long time to adjust to the heat. I felt as if I was having a bit of a tropical vacation-at the botanical gardens down the street from me. Every year there is a butterfly exhibit for about 6 weeks and you can sit and enjoy the beautiful butterflies that hatch(not the right word?) from their chrysalis.

They proved to be elusive and hard to capture at just the right moment. I was looking for the famous blue one but only saw it from a distance.

The orchids were beautiful. My peace for the day. And yes, I am procrastinating on my chores for the day.!

Happy sewing, my friends.