Monday, December 20, 2010


Christmas is going to be very different this year.  I have admittedly been very nostalgic.  I'm sure there are many more photos packed away in shoe boxes that I just haven't gone through yet, but here are some Christmas photos we scanned in before Jonathan's Memorial.  The first three are so precious to me because I was a single mom back then and many of the toys and clothes under the tree were actually hand-me-downs donated from families.  But look how happy Jennifer and Jonathan were.  I'm almost sure this was the Christmas that someone brought a used doll for Jennifer that pooped it's diaper when you fed it food.  It didn't take me long to figure out why they were so eager to pass it down to us.  The doll ate real baby food that turned rancid inside the doll.  Ah yes, wonderful memories.

This next photo was taken on Christmas eve while visiting our friends in Pittsburgh.  The kids were so excited and didn't want to miss a thing, esp Santa.  Isn't this so precious?  Jennifer still gets that glazed look just before bedtime.

And I'm particularly fond of this beauty.... me decorating Jonathan.  Yes, we were an odd family.

Here we are dressed in our holiday garb and me practicing a kinder and gentler choke hold, which came in mighty handy during those teenage years.

Not the best picture, but one of the last Christmases with Jonathan.

 My heart aches, but I have so much to be thankful for.  We had some great times of love and laughter and fond memories.  I've been remembering the time we heard a big crash and raced in to find the Christmas tree over on it's side and Jonathan as white as a sheet on all fours behind where the Christmas tree had been standing.  He knocked it over while sneaking to see if the gifts tucked behind the tree were for him.  And another time he unwrapped his presents to see what he was getting and not so carefully re-wrapped them.  If that wasn't bad enough he then commented on the gloves Jennifer got him before he opened her gift.  And how about the time he "accidentally" sucked all the water out of the tree base with the vacuum hose? 

Once the Pee Wee Herman Show told the kids to get some pots and pans and go wake up your parents on Saturday morning, but we were already awake so Jon decided to wake Jennifer instead.  We had to peel her from the ceiling. 

I had my fair share of mischievous behaviour.  When Jon was a teenager I had a friend spending Saturday night and we had to sit on the floor because Jon fell asleep across the sofa and refused to go up to bed.  So I painted his nails red.  Next morning he hopped in the shower at the last minute before church and we all heard a scream.  Running late he had to keep his hands in his pockets all through church.

We need those playful, fun memories.  Otherwise the difficult times would be too unbearable.  So this Christmas I'll be making some new memories with our grandchildren.  Maybe I'll go buy me some bright red nail polish. 

Have a wonderful holiday filled with all that matters most...each other!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I try almost daily to write a post to all of you who have sent me such incredible love this last month.  But the right words just escape me.  I sit with a blank stare, then eventually give up.  I try to figure how I can possibly transition from that knock at the door to the awesome things that were just about to be unveiled in my creative world.  You have been so awesome to share that doing life is not always pretty or easy for you either.  But we try our best to find the beauty where ever we can, because that's what we do, right?

Thank you for asking how I'm doing; much better, I think.  Well I'm not running into walls so much anymore.  Seriously; not strange or unfamiliar walls, but the walls in my own house that haven't moved for the last twelve years.  Then it was such a relief to be able to get through the memorial for Jonathan.  I was so extremely focused on the details of that memorial and Tim, Jennifer and I getting through it still standing, that I actually felt a bit of short-lived euphoria.  However, Thanksgiving was only a few days later and no longer were we cleaning up from that dinner that the Christmas season officially began.  I forced myself to put up the tree.  It took two days.  I still have the ornaments that Jonathan made as a child, then I find myself rolled up in a fetal position.  So many memories during the holidays feels like salt poured on a fresh wound.  Anyone that's been through trauma or rehab, etc. knows how magnified those memories become.  But each day is better and while I'm not quite at full speed yet, I am finding much comfort in getting back to being creative again.  

So, speaking of being creative....did I tell you I designed a new home decor line for Demdaco that will be available after January 1st?  Here's just a sampling of what to expect:  


There's lots more picture frames, so we will no longer be making each and every frame right here.  That, I might add, is a HUGE deal! It has been such a delight to work with Demdaco and can't wait for you to see the entire collection.  If you know of any stores in your area that you know NEEDS to carry my line, just send a note and I'll see what we can do to make that happen.  And can you believe, I'm already at work on the 2012 designs for Demdaco and I am VERY excited about that next direction.

Oh, and did you notice I finally changed my blog header?  About time you say?  I do have more exciting things to share with you soon, my dear friends.  Thanks for sticking with me and coming back to see what I'm up to. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


If you had told me just a few days ago that I would be speaking at my son's memorial service I would have said it was impossible.  Your prayers changed all that.  Tim and I were able to do the eulogy and Jennifer got brave and spoke beautifully, as well.  I have much to tell you, but right now here is a video that Tim and I put together for the memorial.  Just a glimpse of my boy...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have been trying for days to thank you all for the hundreds of personal emails, cards, and messages on my blog, Facebook and Twitter. When I posted about our tragedy I had no idea of the impact it would have on so many around the world. Yes, around the world! How this happened I’m still not sure, but I think cyberspace had some part in the speed the news traveled and multiplied. We have been so comforted, not only by your love and prayers, but by the fact that many of you reached out in your own pain. I now believe there is hardly anyone that is not directly affected by addiction. Doesn’t the word addiction seem like such a mild word compared to the torment, torture and suffering that it produces? I told a new “friend” that it’s like I was inducted into a club that I did not want to be in, but was sure glad I wasn’t the only member.

I apologize if I sent you a Facebook invite to Jon’s memorial. I’ve warned you many a time that I’m not the sharpest tack with my computer capabilities. Actually I’ve never done most things I’m doing these last several days. But for any of you not following me or Jennifer on Facebook there is a memorial service for Jonathan as follows:

We would like to invite you as we honor and celebrate the life of our son, our brother and our friend Jon.

Saturday, November 20 · 11:00am - 2:00pm at
 Grace Community Church in Noblesville, IN 
5504 East 146th Street
Noblesville, IN

11:00-12:00 Memorial Service
12:00-2:00 Friends and Family Gathering
light hors d'oeuvres
 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in honor of Jon to Central City Concern. Tax deductible donations may be made via mail or online.

Central City Concern
232 NW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
Tax ID #93-0728816

I do want to share some miracle slides that we just unearthed in the bottom of a box. Even though I was married when I had Jonathan, I was truly a single mom with no family. But I had friends and lots of them. Someone came to the hospital when Jonathan was born and took slides through the window as they were cleaning him up and came back a couple more times at the hospital, then gave them to me. I never had a way to view them. Tim went out and bought this handy dandy film scanner the other night that instantly turns a slide into a digital image. How interesting that at Jon’s death I finally am viewing his birth? For that I am truly thankful. He was pretty darn cute once he got cleaned up (I think I probably expressed those same sentiments to him at various phases of his life).

Lord help me!
Jonathan also had some amazing friends out in Portland who loved him well as they all tried to stay clean and sober together. Many of them have reached out to me and we are now bonded through our loss. They had a memorial for him this last Sunday and are sending me photos and letters and words of their own journey through addiction and their love for my boy.

Thank you again for your love and concern, your words of encouragement and virtual hugs. Please say an extra prayer for Tim and me to have strength on Saturday as we have decided to give the eulogy. Much love back to you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Warning: this is not a lighthearted post.

 Startled, I sat straight up in bed. Did I just hear strong knocks on the front door? My heart started pounding. It’s not the first time, so the memories of those past late night knocks and phone calls were quickly flooding my scared mind. Our 16 year old dog is now so hard of hearing that he couldn't confirm anything. By some miracle, Tim, who has been gone almost non-stop on business for months was actually asleep beside me. I hoped what my gut and heart were telling me wasn’t true, but deep inside I knew. I glanced at the clock on Tim’s side: 1:33 a.m. I touched Tim and told him I think someone is at the door. From past experience we both moved quickly. We each looked out different windows to down below. From my angle I saw a car with the headlights on in front of the driveway and Tim saw at least one person on the front porch. They knocked again just as the phone rang. Tim headed for the stairs and as I reached for the phone I saw it was the police department. “Is this the Prass residence? There are officers at your door and you need to let them in”. I knew. I clutched my chest to keep my heart from leaping out as I tried to make it down the stairs. As I was heading down, afraid I would collapse, I heard the officers asking, "Are you Tim Prass?" “Are you the father of Jonathan David Prass?” My poor Tim, he was weak in the knees and I needed to get to him. “Do you have any medical conditions we need to be aware of?” “Is there anyone we should call?” STOP SAYING THAT. “We need to come inside and let’s sit down”. I finally made it to level ground without collapsing and we all headed towards the family room. Tim’s knees were not supporting him sufficiently and I was clutching my chest still trying to prevent my pounding heart from escaping. We finally reached the sofa. One officer got on bended knee and as politely and respectfully as possible said what we didn’t want to hear: Our son Jonathan was found dead in Portland, OR of an apparent overdose. He had been dead for some time.

Breathe. I kept telling myself to breathe. I was just hearing the worst words that I thought I had already prepared myself for, but my mind was jumping to other things. Like I wondered how old these two officers were…I bet Jonathan’s age. I thought about my mismatched nightwear. When I grabbed my favorite pajama pants out of the drawer I realized the matching top was in the dirty clothes. Tired and thinking, “Who cares” I grabbed an extremely old t-shirt that I’d never throw away. I quick glanced down at myself and wondered what they thought of my mismatched attire and if through my clenched hands they could see the worn words World’s Greatest Mom. Isn’t it amazing that Tim was here in town instead of in San Diego. I had to force myself to stay focused on what I didn’t want to hear. I thought what a tough job these officers have and Tim thought it too, because as they were leaving Tim was thanking them for all they do.

It still feels like it’s Friday….just a very long day that won’t end. I know I’m breathing now because I can hear my sobbing. It comes in waves. Tim said it’s like the flu. You think you’re starting to feel better when suddenly your body revolts again.

While many of you know our Jennifer, only the people closest to us or who have known us a long time know much about our other child Jonathan or of his constant and intense battle with addiction. It wasn’t that we were embarrassed that he was our son (even though his behavior and choices were often quite embarrassing). It’s just that he stayed in Portland and we didn’t always know the Portland Jon. Frankly, we fervently hoped for the day he could beat this, which appeared to be closer than ever, and we could shout it from the rooftops together with him. I’ve told him that three months sobriety was equal to a college degree in my eyes. The things we rejoiced in looked way different in our little family. Knowing he wasn’t sleeping on the street was a good day for us. Hearing he was still alive after another severe beating brought us to our knees one more time. I haven’t been able to say it outloud or even bear to think it because it’s not the outcome I wanted for my boy, but I hope I will soon be able to rejoice that his suffering is over. He put up a really good fight. I was amazed at his strength, that he was able to pull himself up by his boot straps each day and give it one more try.

We are finalizing plans for a memorial here in Indianapolis and I hope to have that information soon.  His friends in Portland are having theirs on the 14th.  We all need to share how Jon made us laugh and how much we will miss him. 

When we are too weak to pray, your prayers and kind messages are the strength we need to put one step in front of another. One of my Facebook friends grew up in Nashville with my kids and sent me this note.  I thought of all my fabric friends:

I pray that the strength that has sustained you these many years comes to wrap you up like a big quilt and carry you until you are strong again.


Monday, November 1, 2010


Remember this hideous bathroom I reluctantly shared with you a few months ago here?  I inherited 4 such bathrooms (2 full, 2 half baths) when we purchased a fixer-upper a few years ago.   We have tackled a room at a time, and it was high-time we tackled this one to the ground. My goal was to transform this guest bath using readily available items and use more elbow grease than money. 
Even though this is the guest bath, it's primarily Tim's bathroom.  He is so into demolitions that we barely had the conversation and I found him up there ripping out the classic country plaid wallpaper.  I grabbed a piece out of the trash and rehung those wicker mirrors to try to show you the before.
Tim wanted vessel sinks, and since new cabinetry is too tall for vessels, we used the original cabinet base and Tim custom made new doors and drawers which I painted a rich, dark cappuccino.  The glass vessel sinks, faucets, carrera marble and glass tiles for the backsplash and handles are from Lowe's.  The countertop is honed cultured marble we custom ordered from Home Depot.  The mirror is from World Market. Towel bar and towels are from Home Goods.  Behr paint is a wonderful soft aqua/green to match the vessel sinks.  I wish you could see the wall's true color but my camera keeps washing it out.  Voila.
(And, no I didn't attach my name to the wall.  I usually forget to add my mark on my photos and then find them elsewhere on the web without mentioniing the source).  


 We are so pleased with the results.  Like proud new parents we find ourselves peeking in on our new pride and joy.  However, while the dust was still settling I found my Mini MacGyver tearing out the country blue wallpaper in the master bath and ripping out the cabinetry.  Zero "before" pictures this time folks!!!!  He's too fast for me.  Oh, and while he was waiting for the new sinktop we ordered to arrive he ripped out the powder room floor and toilot and layed new tile.  I clearly gotta keep my eye on this guy.  He's a human wrecking ball.  The amazing thing is he does all this when he's home on the weekends.

That's all I can talk about today.  I do have so much to tell you...some very big happenings which will have to wait for another day. 

Friday, October 29, 2010


My friend and creative cohort Lisa and I delivered the quilts.  We were able to catch 3 out of the 4 little ones and their mom actually awake.  That's pretty good odds, huh?  Just wanted to share their reactions with you:

I'm just drooling over this!

These are so my colors!
Amazed doesn't even describe how I feel.
 I have been so busy this week that I wondered where all the Halloween candy went to, then realized I ate it!  I have so much to tell you and hopefully that will happen next week.  In the meantime, have a frightfully delightful Halloween weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Quite by accident I discovered yesterday that only half of the original post I worked on was actually published.  I started growling.  My dog cocked his head, raised his ears and totally agreed with my growl that there was something seriously wrong in Blogland.  My guess is that a refresh didn't refresh, but can't say anymore about it without additional growling.  Instead, I will try to reconstruct. GGRRRR.

*NOTE:  As I was getting ready to post this redo I noticed my post was not being saved.  I kept clicking SAVE NOW and it wouldn't save.   Oh, many more growls later and I was able to copy and paste and start a new post.  I bet that's what happened yesterday, huh? 

 I left off with the lovely CRAFT HOPE book/blog and Manda McGrory's contribution to the book.  Her patchwork pillow was especially appealing to me since you know of my personal fondness of contemporary patchwork.  This book is a keeper and a jumping off point for others wanting to use their creativity to help others. 

Manda McGrory's Patchwork Pillow in Craft Hope

Have you seen Delish magazine yet?  No?  Well then, you are definitely in for a treat.  Delish is a new, free online publication for women.  The quality and quantity are top-notch.  Just sayin.  And, ah-hem, I am honored to be featured in an article in their Fall edition called Woman of the Cloth (giggle snort).  Now I will admit that I am hyper-critical of myself.  I cringe when I read what I said and how I said it in print for all eternity.  So as you read this I just ask for you to extend more grace than I extend to myself.  I want to blame it on a coffee overdose, but truth is, anyone who knows me would never fall for that that.  For goodness sake, I said I liked Anna Maria Horner's artsy fartsy side.  WHAT?  PA-LEASE.  Anyway, the talented Tamara Komuniecki / Editor-in-Chief did a such a great job and you are welcome to gently critique my ramblings starting on page 40.  Check out the whole are going to love it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


CONFESSION: I watch Dr Oz.  Not because I'm a germaphobe or hypocondriac.  But at my age I am just a bit curious about what the heck happened to my body.  Why, in the blink of an eye did my body head south while my mind ended up in LaLa land?  I want answers people!  So while other stay-at-home business owners might listen to music while they work, my days highlights are The Ellen Show and Dr Oz.  So one day Dr Oz says that I just have to have these Crispbread thingies.  I NEVER fall for that malarchy. 

Well almost never.  I ordered, not 1 pkg. but half a case of these babies all the way from Norway.  A few days later I receive a box via UPS.  I think, "Glory to God, I can finally lose weight, become regular and look like a Norwegian hottie in no time".  Why I bet I could become the spokeswoman for this miracle wafer.  I rip open the box, tear into one of the 15 packages containing 10 crackers/wafers/crispbread/manna from heaven; whatever. 

If you have ever wondered what compressed tree bark tastes like, well have I got a deal for you.  Now, they are only 12 calories per slice.  So for the first few days I was carrying a cracker around with my morning coffee, but after a few days I noticed uneaten crackers still sitting around.  Do the math, I've got a 150 of these thingies that I couldn't pay anyone to eat.  I'm a waste not, want not kinda gal.  I bought them.  I'll eat them.  Solution: I slathered them with cream cheese and low sugar orange marmalade and couldn't stop eating those suckers.  Oh, what's that you say?  Something about calories?  Sorry, I can't hear you.....I'm in the bathroom...

Okay, I'm back now.  Along with my other issues I also can't sleep.  I've had this problem my whole life.  I've tried everything.  Well, except maybe regular exercise, but whatever.  So now I just don't let it bother me much.  One night recently I decided to catch up on some blog reading.  I landed on TreeFall Design.  One of my favorite reads by a lovely redheaded Brit, Manda McGrory, who uses words like whilst and mum and makes handmade goodness with a focus on repurposing.  I came across her CRAFT HOPE book giveaway (scroll down to August 24 to see Manda's great review, and she contributed a project for the book).  The next morning I was still thinking about that book.  I don't normally enter blog contests and giveaways, since I didn't think I should.  But I did.  And I won.  Don't hate me. 

So after devouring too many crispbreads, I took a break on my back porch to enjoy this treat.  Jade Sims has gathered some wonderful designers and 32 projects that can be made and donated to specific charities.  Such inspiration.  I was drawn to this book because we belong to an awesome church that is actively involved in loving and empowering the marginalized, both locally and globally.  Crafting for a cause is especially interesting to me. 

Monday, October 11, 2010


I must say that your comments about my mini quilts have been so heartwarming.  I love that you loved them and that you took the time to tell me so.  Between the comments here, on Twitter and the emails I'm pretty sure I have inspired a few of you.  Just talking about this makes me want to drop what I'm doing and run to the studio.  I already have my next idea and my stacks of scraps are poised and waiting. 

I wanted to take better photos of those Quilts4Quads before we sent them off to their rightful owners.  We had a beautiful weekend here..a perfect Fall day to take some pictures outdoors.  It was a bit difficult to not have the sun dapple onto the quilts, but a little dance here, a little rearranging there and here ya go. 


Almost 2 years ago I started making several of these squares out of my Flights of Fancy.  I blogged about them here and here and accumulated quite a few.  While it was a fun exercise, they just ended up in the Uncertain Future pile waiting for their assignment.  When the Quilts4Quads idea popped in my head, so did all those squares.  So I made piles of scraps; only one pile lacked pinks for the lone boy in the bunch.  Those squares suddenly had a bright future. 

Carole took the aquas and greens and created her first patchwork quilt.

Lisa whipped up hers using some oranges, pinks and aquas. Sweet.

I put together the last two in pinks/greens and pinks/aquas

We got the help of a couple other talented women that quilted and bound all four in record time.  Lois and Linda, you are angels!
I'm so pleased with the results.  For a bunch of busy ladies with hectic schedules I frankly think it's a miracle that we could pull this off.  Completed projects are so rewarding, aren't they?

Friday, October 8, 2010


 I've debated on whether to share these with you quite yet, as I realize I show you way too many not-quite-finished-yet projects.  However, I'm just a little too happy to keep these to myself.  I had piles of scraps and I am the Queen of Waste Not Want Not.  I save way too much.  Confession: It's only been in the last few years that I quit washing and reusing aluminum foil.  I won't go into much more for fear of a possible intervention.  Anyway, back to the scraps.  I love them and finally stopped my spinning universe to prove to myself (and those who think I'm too thrifty) that scraps do have a valuable place in our lives.  I challenged myself to use only my own fabrics.  In digging through my 3 scrap bins I actually found some tiny strike-off rejects.  They were always too small to use...until now.  This was just like putting puzzles together.  They are only 12x12.  At first I was thinking of adding some embroidery and stretching them on stretcher bars.  Then I thought of turning them into mini art quilts.  Not sure yet.  What do you think?  Here's a closer look.

Adding the nixed strike-offs was personally rewarding for me.  Can you guess which ones were nixed?  Hopefully, I have inspired someone to dig into your waste basket or scrap bin and piece your own puzzle art quilt this weekend. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I apologize for being missing in action lately.  I think I have a good excuse.

My husband travels extensively with his job, and in addition to his regular travels he is filling an interim position in the San Diego area until they find someone permanantly.  Oh, and they asked him if he would be willing to interview for this position?  That's like HUGE.  We thought we'd be here a very long time.  Proof?  We painted the entry hall kelly green last winter, remember?  We love it here, love being close to Jennifer, the grandkids, our friends and church.  But the fact that this might allow Tim to not have a plane strapped to his back, and honestly...we're talking San Diego, he agreed.   So I went out there with Tim to research the different areas of town and check out the real estate market.  I got on my computer every day studying, making lists and when Tim got back from work we'd hop in the car and drive around the different parts of town until way after dark.  We spent   the weekends doing the same and visited numerous open houses.  So what did I learn?  I discovered my home is worth millions!  There...not here.  The most expensive homes in the US are in California and the least expensive are in the Midwest. Oh, remember that little cottage I photographed in May and affectionately named the Keebler Cottage?  Well, it's for sale!  $2.3 mil for 1900 sf.  Yup.  Okay, it is among the most incredible homes in the 6th most expensive town in the whole US.  But that puts the whole home search in perspective, doesn't it?


We don't even know whether Tim will be offered the job or if he will accept the offer.  However, because I don't want to necessarily find myself living in a cardboard box I am determined to have enough info under my belt just in case.   
I was welcomed back home to a box of my fabric strike-offs!  Well, not all of them, sigh.  But what I do have is pretty exciting.  I so want to see it all laid out together so I've been holding out for a few days in hopes the rest will arrive.  

Another pleasant surprise is that the Quilts for Quads are complete!  And before the kiddos are actually walking, right?  No, no, just kidding.  Seriously, they should  be able to roll around and gurgle and coo on these for some time.  I spent the last day walking around here trying to figure out how to photograph each one.  So I finally gave up and here ya go for now.  The next major project, I'm hoping, is to gather us gals together to celebrate our accomplishment, those babies, get a group pic and maybe, just maybe, get a peek at those miracles in person.  

Oh, and have you seen this child's kitchen?  Talk about custom cabinets!
Besides the fact that I love the fabric, I was fascinated that this was made from scratch.  Go over to visit Kirsten Wright at the The Crafting Chicks.  She tells you how to make one of your very own.  I'm thinking I need to hold on to these instructions in case  that cardboard box becomes a reality. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Often times when I'm asked what I do I hesitate and quickly assess who the audience is before I answer.  I know I do some things well enough to declare it as what I do.  Truth is I'm also a dabbler.  In fact, I have many years of dabbling under my belt.  I pick up on some things easily, like I was wired that way.  Then there are other things I tend to shy away from.  Technical or mechanical things with lots of buttons that require manuals scare me a little so I learn just enough to get by.  Computers, cameras, iPhones are what I'm talkin bout.  For instance, I'd prefer painting a flower than take the time to create one in Illustrator. I know I have to be able to do both; I just clearly prefer my way.  Lately I've dared myself to go to the next push those buttons.

So people, I signed up for a Fundamentals Photography class.  Had my first class last night.  O.M.G.  I was so lost.  I didn't even know my camera had a memory card.  Go ahead and laugh, it gets worse.  I never wear my glasses when I take pictures because they collide with the camera's eye piece.  So did you know there's a freakin Dioptic Adjuster?  Of course you did because, unlike me, you probably read manuals.  Now I can wear my glasses and actually see all those other buttons I've been avoiding for so long.  

My goal is to move beyond the dabble stage when it comes to photography.   In fact, I'd like to be above average.  I can't wait to take photos like these.

Jennifer took this of Wyatt "the Mangler".

Loree Alayne Photography
You can see more of our family photo shoot with Loree over on Jennifer's blog

  I'm headed back to San Diego for another couple weeks.  I'm going to miss week 2 and 3 of a 4 week photography class.  I bought a book and I'm going to see if I can find that camera manual.  I'll be practicing and practicing cuz Practice Makes Perfect.   I'll be posting.  Are any of you from San Diego?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Sorry for not posting the winner of the 4 yards of Woodland Delight fabric, but things finally got crankin, uninterrupted, with that bathroom remodel and I didn't stop til I fell into bed.  I had another killer workout this morning and am just now back in the studio.  I'm here now, but you have to listen to me talk about the grandkids...again.

We had a wonderfully busy Labor Day weekend, filled with several trips to Lowe's Home Improvement.  We spend so much time there we actually know more than some of the employees.  We have been known to help perfect strangers.  We run into friends and neighbors and after several chats we barely have time left to install what we bought. 

The highlight of the weekend was spending some time with the grandkids.  The weather was beautiful so we had a cookout over at their house.  Papa brought his banjo and we danced and laughed and played til we wore them out (it's our job you know).  

Have I told you how much more fun it is being a grandparent?  They get so excited when they know we are coming and we can't wait for the hugs and love.  Parenting is way too stressful and worrisome.  Being a grandparent is all fun and games and then we go home.  But the ride home is filled with talking about how blessed we are.  Tim and I did not have great memories of our grandparents.  Tim's were indifferent and mine were downright mean.  Our goal is to be the grandparents we wished we had

Thank you all so much for your comments during this giveaway.  I plan to take some of your excellant advise.  Wow, Google Reader is hands down the preferred method for following a blog.  Why did I think we had to use Bloglines?  See, now I'm asking more questions.
Many of you are not only reading my blogs but following me on Facebook and Twitter.  How do we ever get anything done?  Because I was counting each "follow" I decided to turn it over to my math and spreadsheet guru (Tim) to find a winner.  Drum roll please.

Tiff said "I follow your blog via Google Friend Connect, Twitter, subscribe and like you on Facebook.  Why?  Cuz I loves ya!  I'm hooked on your fabric and you are such a neat woman.  Seriously, I'd give my eye teeth just to get to meet you in person".

Okay, I'm cracking up.  Eye teeth?  Hold on to those Tiff.  Frankly, I'm not always that neat.  But thanks for being hooked on my fabric.  Just email me your address.  And for the rest of you, I plan to have more giveaways so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


First off, let me just start by saying OUUCCHHHH to Esther, my new personal trainer.  Not like I'm training for anything, but she's trying her best to whip me into some sort of shape, other than the one I currently have.  Now I just need to convince her (okay, and maybe her family) to move in with me to kick my butt daily.  She gets me to do things I would never normally agree to, especially if I were telling myself to do them.

We have been gaining very slow progress on our guest bath remodel.  It's not even a full remodal; we merely tackled the sink area.  With my Mini MacGyver's constant business trips, weekends filled with commitments, family and yardwork, we average about a couple hours per week on remodel.  This past weekend we hoped for a larger time frame before he took off again.  The only available time left was between 1-4 on Sunday before Tim had to leave for Vancouver, Canada by 5.  We raced from church stuff to rent a tile cutter.  Tim's job was to run from the second floor guest bath to the tile cutter machine he set up outside on the ground level (in upper 90's temps).  Once he made the cut, he ran up the stairs to place the tile, then back down to make the next cut.  And all before he had to race off to return the tile cutter and make it to the airport on time.  Fun huh?  Here's a peek at the doors Tim made and I painted.  And the handles we whittled.  No, just kidding.

Can you believe it's officially September?  Just the name of the month seems to conjure up thoughts of cooler weather, autumn breezes and warm fall colors for many of us in the U.S.  Okay, so it's still in the mid-90's in the midwest and the humidity attacks my hair when I merely let the dog out.  There hasn't been an ounce of rain in well over a month so the leaves are falling, even though they forgot to change colors first.  I know things will "fall" into place soon and the cooler weather, autumn breezes and warm fall colors will finally be upon us. 

Today, in honor of September I pulled out some of my Woodland Delight fabrics and helped myself to some of my neighbors zinnias.  She insists it helps them multiply if I cut them and I so want to be a good neighbor. As you know, I'm not a muted colors kinda gal and these are the fall colors my eyes seem to devour. 

So here's where you come in.  Michael Miller Fabrics turned my Large Modern Flora in the Brown colorway into a tiny wale corduroy.  I have been caressing the richness of it and pondering what kinds of things you would make if you had some.  Hmmm, let me get back to that idea in just a minute.

I am not the fastest techie on the block.  Okay, I'd come in last in any given competition.  Hopefully I get a half point for exposing that weakness, right?  I can spend days googling how to add features or social bookmarking and find the tutorials are usually created from someone in a far away country and the the one response to their posts are something like, " Hey dude, it no work for me.  Bad link".  Even if I finally figure how to plant an icon on my blog, I still can't get to the bottom line of how that matters to me or you.  Question is; can you figure out how to follow me just by looking around and clicking, or do I need serious blog counseling?

How do you follow me?

Tell me HOW you follow/link to me.  Is my blog in your sidebar?  Do you link to me through Bloglines?  Do you follow me on TwitterFacebook, Technorati, Flickr or Google Friends...if you follow me in more than one way, say Bloglines, Facebook and Twitter that gives you 3 chances to win. 

Each time you convince me that I am indeed your computer savvy friend, you SCORE.  And I would appreciate you letting me know if something is NOT working properly on my blog (then fix it for me?)

For your reward I will give you 2 yards; I repeat, 2 yards of this yummy Large Modern Flora corduroy.  PLUS: an extra 2 yards from the Woodland Delight Quilt Weight Collection of your choosing.  That could be 1 yard each of two different patterns, one half yard of 4 pieces, etc.  But it's 4 yards total, baby. 

Thank you, thank you and now let's get this party started!

UPDATE: You are all so amazing!  Thank you so much for all your wonderfully helpful comments.

I will announce a winner on Labor Day, September 6


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