Family, Friends, Fun, Finishing!

I know :((…I haven’t posted for a LONG time.  Where oh where did the month of May go?

There was Senior Prom for grandson, Noah, a quick trip to Minnesota, planting flowers at the cemetery, Mother’s Day, 8th grade dinner dance for Sophia, a retreat in Spring Green, WI, and a tour of Taliesin, graduations, dance recital, gardening, and, of course, finishing!

Senior Prom

Senior Prom

Sophia 8th Grade Dance

Sophia 8th Grade Dance

 

A visit to the Mall of America, in Bloomington, MN for a few days with my DH.  Very relaxing, fun and a sight to behold with 520 shop and 50 restaurants!  And then on to Mother’s Day!

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Me, Daughter-in-Law  Heather, Granddaughter Haley (15) and Heather’s Mom Carol

Oh…and I mustn’t forget grandson, Max (12) and his band finale…he plays alto sax.

Max and friend

A Stitching Retreat at Country Sampler in Spring Green, WI with five other fun friends for three days.  Country Sampler is a lovely Quilt/Needlework Shop.  It is chock full of primitive patterns both quilting and needlework, bundles of wool, and beautiful civil war style quilts.   Also did a tour of Taliesin (you can see photos on Southpaw Stitcher blog).

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May was also for graduation.  My grandson, Noah (18), graduated from Marian Catholic High School.  His sister, my granddaughter, Sophia (14), graduated from 8th grade at Mother Theresa Catholic Academy.  And my little granddaughter, Maya (4),  graduated from pre-school in Boulder, CO!  We are so proud of all of them!   It was a marathon weekend.

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Noah and Sophia GraduationSophie Graduation

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Nick, Daughter Kathleen, Sophia and Noah

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Granddaughter Maya (almost 5)

Maya Pre-School Graduation

Son Michael, Maya, DIL Michelle from Colorado

This was also the month for Sophia’s dance recital.  She is a talented, graceful, lovely dancer in all forms of dancing with a strong stage presence in everything.  She was in 9 different performances with 9 different dances and celebrated her 10th year of dancing.  It was an amazing 3-1/2 hour performance!

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Sophia in Center

The garden needed a lot of attention.  After a walk in the wee-early morning hours, I tried to spend a couple of hours a day working outside.  Hard on the old body, especially the knees (even with professional knee pads)!!!

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And then there was the joy of FINISHING!

Pat L. stitched this beautiful Merry Christmas.

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Tina stitched two Halloween pieces…what fun to have these ready for the Fall to come!  I added a little spider and web to this first one and a bright orange ribbon to the second!

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Pat L. also stitched two fun quite large pillows.  Both are lovely, but I am awed by her bright pink pillow!

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Marcia T. stitched this special seasonal Prairie Schooler piece and chose a flat fold finish for easy storage.  I hope one day to do one of these for myself.  Love it!

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The Southpaw Stitcher, my prolific stitching friend, quickly finished this lovely May piece and also chose a flat fold.

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And Vivian loves to do primitive pieces and finished another pillow…this one for Halloween!  She loves to antique her fabric before she stitches!  Nice work!

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And last but not least for the finishes that I am able to show this month is a special order from The Tinsmith’s Wife for some tea bag holders.

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Whew….this was a long post!

Summer is finally arrived with crazy weather….cold, hot, cold, hot.  But I do love the hot days of summer and love to sit with a cup of tea in my garden!  Happy summer to all!

Amities, Averyclaire

 

 

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Update on the Past Few Months

My days are empty without your blogs and our friendships.   So while I cannot promise to blog often, I am back.   To all  who have written lovely notes I cannot thank you enough.   You brighten my day.   I am still fighting whatever it is that plagues me, but I am managing better.   There are still no answers, nor any cures.   I watch my food intake very carefully as there are a lot of foods that will trigger attacks.   My DH and I continue to walk most days (except for the bad weather or bitter cold) and the exercise helps.   A good portion of my time is taken up with research online and in books learning more and more about my symptoms and how to relieve them.   Half my days are good, half my days are not good.   So I will share with you my good days and hopefully my spirits will stay up as well.

Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of  “Needlearts” to share with you.   However, I have recently finished making four “Quilts for Kids” from my stash.   Such a good feeling…not just in helping children with cancer, but also a relief to shorten the stash even by a little.   And even better, there was a great camaraderie with my fellow quilters in doing this.    Here are some photos:

I helped at the Stitch in Public Day with my Needleartisans Group at the beginning of this month.   Several of us assisted in teaching women and children to learn cross-stitch and whatever else we could help them with.   My granddaughter, Sophia (10 years old), was an immense help as well.   I taught her to embroider, stitch, and sew last summer.   She was thrilled to be a part of our group.  (Photos can be seen at Southpaw Stitcher entry of Feb. 4th.)  I have also taken the job of treasurer for this group.   It’s not a lot of work and I truly enjoy the new friends I have met and work with each month.

I completed the dining room renovation for my daughter….her draperies are now hung.   You can’t see the draperies…but here is a photo of Sophia and her Dad in the dining room getting ready for the “Daddy/Daughter Dance.”

At home here after the holidays I worked very hard at de-junking everywhere I could (especially my studio).   Still have lots of work to do…but so satisfying.   I have lost three sizes during my illness and many of my clothes need to be packed up and taken to the resale shop.   Lots more to do.

There are no new needlework projects to show, but I have been working diligently to finish some old ones.  I am very sad that I have not done anything wonderful in the needlearts area.   One does not feel much like creating when one does not feel well.   However, my unfinished applique quilt is coming along quite nicely.   I have completed 11 blocks, am in the middle of 12…and have four more after this.   Then I will have three quilts in my possession simply waiting to be quilted.   I had BETTER GET BUSY..!!    Here are photos of the three additional blocks I have finished.

My new granddaughter, Maya, is growing quickly.   She is 7 months old already!    I miss her so much.   They were here in Chicago for a week during the holidays.   But my DS and DIL keep my inbox filled regularly with photos.   Don’t you just LOVE technology?!   Hope to see her for her birthday in Boulder, CO sometime this summer.

Well I think that is enough news for now.   Wish I had accomplished more during these past few months…alas…tomorrow’s another day.   For now I am happy to be back and will spend some time catching up on all of your blogs as soon as I can.   Thank you again for your kind notes.

Amities, Averyclaire

Gifts

I had a birthday in November and wanted to show you a couple of very special gifts I received from my good friend, Maggy, who lives 4,000 miles away from me.    She spent several months living in Morocco with her husband on an extended holiday.  They sent me this beautiful little treasure…lovely, pale lilac, Moroccan slippers.   I was thrilled when they arrived.  Aren’t they the best?   So unusual…at least where I live they are!!!  The leather is so soft and pliable and the color so delicate.   Maggy sent me quite a few other lovely gifts as well…too many to show at this time.  I will never catch up on showing all the beautiful things I have received from my friends.   I love them ALL, Maggy, thank you again.

And as another special surprise she had French designer, Marie Therese St. Aubin, send me one of her patterns that I simply adore….It is called “L’Adieu.”

There is even a lovely note to me signed by Marie Therese herself.   I was delighted beyond anything when I opened the package.    It is so special I couldn’t believe it!

So then of course, I immediately ordered some delicate silk thread for this beautiful pattern.  It will surely take me quite some time to complete as there are never enough hours in the day.  And here I sit playing on my computer, posting, and surfing blogs!!!    I must remember…less computer…more sewing!!!

And last but NEVER least….I received the most wonderful gift from another friend, Nicole.   She also lives 4,000 miles away and is a lovely and talented artist.   Her designs are more and more beautiful each time I see one.   She created for me this lovely notebook cover for Christmas.  Thank you again, Nicole, I love the batiks and your art is exquisite!!

All of us have the most wonderful friends.  We must remember how fortunate we are.  I am grateful.   Thank you to ALL of my good friends out there.  I couldn’t live my life without your friendship and support.    Averyclaire

Fresh from the Garden

Fresh from my garden last weekend are pretty blue crocuses and teeny tiny daffodils. I love them. And I love the warm weather we are due to have this week. It has been a long awful winter and I surely am delighted with Spring.Tiny Daffodils 2009crocus 2009I took the day off last Friday and went to the International Quilt Show with two of my friends. Bought a tool I probably didn’t need and a pattern I think I already had, but the day was fun. On Saturday I went to a church luncheon and was thrilled to see so many people who have moved away, but returned to share the luncheon with us. There were over 100 women there and it was a beautiful day. On Sunday I went to a wedding shower luncheon for the young man who lives across the street from us (he has a lovely bride-to-be). It was especially fun because many neighbors attended and would you believe that it was the first time in 35 years that all of us neighbors had sat down together at the same time for a lovely lunch! Now we plan to make it a regular thing! What fun.

Yes, I put the bad work-a-day feelings behind me and decided to concentrate on living once more. Yes, I still get tired and worn out, but changing my attitude has helped considerably. Hundreds of you out there work full-time and I have no right to complain…especially when so many are out of work completely. Thanks for all of your support!

Come back soon to see my progress on my french sampler…it’s almost completed! Amities, Averyclaire

Unexpected Gifts

Today I received some wonderful unexpected gifts from my special friends in France. Maggy sent me a belated Christmas package. Inside were LOVELY rose napkins rings

Rose Napkin Rings

A beautiful needlecase
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With the tiniest button I have ever seen!!
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So “couture” !!!
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And a wonderful and colorful table mat with six coasters…I think the fabric is catalan fabric from southern France.
Table Mat and Coasters

She also included a French Magazine, “Marianne”…for me to practice my French. It has the most wonderful news articles from all over the world. And I can see what some of the French are thinking about the U.S.!! She is truly my sister on the other side of the world! Thank you Maggy….I love them all..!!!!
Marianne Magazine

And my good friend Elisabeth (who visited me here a few years ago) sent me a belated birthday gift. She did a crazy quilted Needlework Design Journal. I have never seen one. It is lovely and so unusual.
Needlework Design Journal

Her stitches are the tiniest ever! on the front and on the back!
Back of Needlework Design Journal

And the inside has a place for me to design my OWN needlework! How great is that????!!!!
Inside of Needlework Design Journal

Last, but not least, she sent me some handmade Belgian Lace. I can’t imagine the patience it must take to make something so intricate. Thank You Elisabeth…what a delightful surprise from a very special friend!!!
Belgian Lace

What delightful surprises for my day today…totally unexpected, but VERY much appreciated. There are some days when I am just simply DOWN. And today was one. These far away packages made me smile and I felt the warm hugs all the way across the ocean! My dear friends, I cannot thank you enough.

Busy Weekend

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It was a bit busy this weekend, but fun. Friday my husband and I attended a beautiful wedding of the daughter of a long time friend. It’s so nice to be together with good friends. And what a special occasion to share with one another. I recall the weddings of my three like yesterday. Here’s a little collage of the day. I feel like I renew my own vows every time I attend someone’s wedding. How romantic! I have been married for 41 years now. And I think we’ll make it for at least another 20.

Also this weekend was our quilting Holiday Boutique. It is similar to a craft fair, but everything is set up like you were in a large department store…without any vendors. Everything is marked and counted before and after the sale. As I mentioned, part of the proceeds support our quilting group…but more than anything else, it is an all day affair where we get to know one another better, have a good time, laugh and share a bit of ourselves. Everyone who attends says its the best sale of its kind anywhere.

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And this lovely lady was made by a dear friend of mine who does absolutely exquisite work. She is a talented artist in all sorts of mediums. Her latest project will be a crazy quilt and I can’t wait to see it.
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