Category Archives: holidays

A Month Full of Thanks

     I love the month of November. I realized over the past few years  I have gradually made it my month of making and doing for others. I am blessed by all I have, so why not help others?

I have had a boatload of fun:

1. Made a few baby quilts for our  West Michigan Quilt Guild charity which provides quilts for little preemies at the NICU at our local hospital.  Total count: 1,110. WOW, great job girls and guys on all those quilts you have made for babies!!!

2. Made a few baby doll quilts to go with dolls for the Grand Rapids Santa Claus Girls for kids in need.  Our guild made and collected 440 dolls and quilts, 350 handmade hats!

3. Working on a secret gift for a friend in a bee. I can’t show you this as I will gift it in mid- December.

4. For the past seven years, I have been volunteering for Samaritan’s Purse which packs shoeboxes for kids.

I wondered why the month just flew by. Grand Rapids is the #2 most giving city in the US. A great title to have and be a part of.

I am blessed and grateful. Definitely a month to give thanks and not just on one day.

A Different Kind of Wish

     Right now I could jump up and down and wish you a Happy  Mother’s Day and and tell you how wonderful my kids are. They really are and I love being a mom.

    But this wish is for my friends who are hurting today. The one who recently had her mom die unexpectedly. The one who had a miscarriage and misses what might have been. The friend who made poor choices when she was younger and needed to place her child up for adoption and now misses a child she never knew.

 A friend of mine who died as a young mom and now her son is sixteen and wondering what his mom was like. The mom who placed her adopted child in another home  in hopes he would heal.

     For you , friends who are hurting today on a day filled with lots of love and sentimentality, I wish you peace and a little time to be good to yourself. And just like the hope that spring brings, I wish a good dose of hope  and love for  your day today.

Hugs, my friends! Be creative.

A Day of Hearts

     After spinning yesterday with my sewing( I didn’t like the way the next quilt was coming), I decided to just have fun today with low expectations. And since it was Valentine’s Day, I felt like hearts.

Little woven hearts bookmarks. More than a few were made today. I am really in love with all the hearts here. Just sweet hearts made from scraps.

I found this  fine line chalk marking pencil from Bohn. 0.9 mm chalk line. Great for marking hand stitching lines. I think I bought it when I went to a quilt show so you might have to search it out.

No beautiful Vermont pictures today-rainy, dreary and 40. Tomorrow -5. Brr… and windy. We leave to go home to Michigan on Wednesday so might not be back until the end of the week.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. Give someone you love an extra hug or kind word today.

An InBetweener


      Guess that is what I am here in Vermont. We have been coming here for about 8 years now. We have had a home here for 7 years. So, each time I come here-I am more and more sick of tourists. They have built a huge new resort on Stowe Mountain and it makes me sick each time I drive up there. A huge gapping gouge into the mountain. Very, very expensive rooms and they are marketing heavily to rich people. Who have spoiled kids and are incredibly rude to the shopkeepers and restaurants in the village. I am beginning to not like the week here between Christmas and New Year’s. Too busy and too many rude people.

    But,  I don’t feel like a tourist here anymore. ( And my kids are definitely not spoiled).  I have my favorite quiet spots that not many know about. But I also am not a  Vermonter.  Despite the fact that I am here for about 10 weeks a year, I am sure none of my neighbors consider me a Vermonter.  And they are exceedingly loyal to the natives.  I can milk a cow, muck a stall and fend off the mice and bats.  I don’t ski but do lots of other outdoor Vermont things. I appreciate the beauty of Vermont and why they are so protective of their people. You have to be stoic to make it through mud season and the lull of winter. Or the roar of winter.  But none consider me a Vermonter.

     So, I continue to come and go. And I appreciate coming and going and having no specific schedule. Storing up the peace and rest -going back tomorrow.

     I did some sewing, some knitting, photos and thinking. And lots of reading.

     I’ll be back sometime this week. After I unpack and put away Christmas.

I am ok being an inbetweener  but don’t think I could live here full-time-despite how beautiful it is here.

Be creative, my friends!


Happy New Year and Christmas Wrap Up

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I am enjoying a rainy day here in VT and have a few days of vacation left yet. It’s 47 and all the snow is melting….

I had a great Christmas. I have the most fun catching up with  family and friends. I had an extra special little  present from my friend Patty. Patty and I have known each other for many years-since early college days.  She and her husband would go out with Marc and I  on the weekends when we  were in college.

We lost track of each other as husbands jobs took us out of state and kids came. It was a huge surprise to find out that she was moving into the house next door five years ago and she would be my neighbor. Even though our lives our busy and we really don’t see each other that often, it’s nice to know she is there. And each conversation can pick up where the last one left off.

Thanks for my sweet Christmas present-

 A pretty little teapot with pretty quilt patterns on it.

She received my red and green little quilt.

Nice to have old friends to connect with , isn’t it?

Great to start a new year, isn’t it? Did you do anything fun for New Year’s?

Be creative, my friends!

Merry Christmas, My Friends!

     Wishing you a Merry Christmas and blessed holiday celebrations this week.

      No- we don’t have that much snow here but it’s a great dreaming of a white Christmas picture, isn’t it? One of last winter in Vermont. Off for a few days of posting but hopefully back early next week. Pictures of my sweet treats I have received this Christmas, too.

     Merry Christmas, my friends from near and far!

Another Moment of Panic

     Or I could title this “10 Things Not to Expect of Yourself Thanksgiving Weekend”. I have come to this newfound realization that I overcommit. I use to think I was disorganized. (Well ok sometimes, I am.:) But, I tend to not look ahead and see the big picture on a regular basis. I think I have unlimited time over four days and DREAM of what could be accomplished. Well-not necessarily around the house or family-but in the studio. Hmm…sounds like a teensy problem already because it is a family holiday.

    I didn’t take into account the following:

20 people were eating here on Thursday. A turkey. A really big turkey.
2 of those people were staying here.
4 more would come and go and eat here various things.
Children would like to go to movies, play with friends, come over and need to be taken home.
I would feel crazed to decorate the house for Christmas-inside and out-in the midst of the chaos.
I would go out to dinner with my brother and sister-in-law.

Now- I had a super great time and really enjoyed myself with all of my family. But…I was busy.

Can you see where this is going? Not one thing was stitched on since Tuesday. My machine has not been turned on since Tuesday. I was so busy just doing “things” that there was no time to sew.  I have just lost five days-which as my son calculated=one less quilt done by January 1. .

Why in the world I would feel some weird urge to re-do my blog banner in the midst of the chaos-I have no idea. And for each five minute interval I had to fix it, someone else would call me. It needs to be fixed. Good thing there is always Monday. Hope you had a great weekend. I had so much fun that it’s hard for it to be over.

Back at it this week!

Grateful Today

     I am grateful for so many things.

– A 19 year old daughter who went to run a 5K race with my husband just a few minutes ago-she is alive and well after an awful accident in July.
-Two other kids who make me laugh -most days-and are growing into their own big people personalities.
-My foot returning to a new normal after a surgery last April. I don’t take for granted my feet anymore!
-A husband who is very supportive and putting up with my mid life crisis:).

-For the joy I have when I pick up a needle, thread and fabric.
-The excitement I have about learning new things-even as old as I am:). I love learning.
 -New friends and old friends here that I feel like I am having a cup of coffee with each morning I blog.
-And for God who has blessed me with each of these things.

In thanksgiving today.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

     With a name like Colleen, you have already figured out that I am Irish. I remember growing up and smelling corn beef and cabbage cooking on March 17th.  My dad always did a better job of cooking it than my mom( no offense at all to mom’s cooking) and he loved to take his time making it. Unfortunately, I haven’t carried that tradition on. I just don’t like the corned beef. But,  I love all things green and the shamrocks are very cute but hard to come by. And someday, I would love to travel to Ireland and see where my relatives and ancestors came from. So, in the spirit of the day and in keeping with my Irish heritage, I had to at least wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s day!

    And what are those things on- my silk I have unwrapped ! Remember how I wrapped up one piece of silk in onion skins and vinegar and the other in crushed frozen flower petals-about two weeks ago? Well the flower color only lightly dyed it light pink which I am sure will be gone when I rinse it. But the onion piece was very surprising. Look at this little heart that I found.

Even if it rinses out, it made me smile this morning. I need to decide if I just want to rinse it in clear water or add alum-the book says it may produce olive green … on a green day maybe I’ll try it.

So Happy St Patrick’s Day and Happy Sewing, my friends!