not only patchwork

When I am in Italy, I do squeeze in some time for "holidaying". Last week, some of my quilting friends and I went to Forte dei Marmi, near Firenze.

I took a picture of the trees. Look how they are pruned,
so they grow out flat. Good quilting design idea!
stopping for a rest. Great colour!!
Maria Teresa and I showing off our new bags!


So I posted this already on facebook but maybe not here? We have a new dog! A two year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel who's already housebroken and knows which fork to use at fancy dinners. He came with the name Roland, which we changed to Holmes.

Here's the thing. He may be the most genuinely sweet-natured dog I've ever met. Example. Ken always gives Zora a bowl of milk after he eats his cereal, but since Holmes needs to drop an lb. or two, Ken's decided not to share the milk love with him just yet.

Anyhoo. When Holmes sees the milk, he wags his tail and goes, "Yay! Milk!" And then when he realizes he's not getting any, he wags his tail and goes, "Yay! Not milk!"

See what I mean about sweet?

Sweet sixteen

This card was made for a little friend of mine, If you didnt already guess she turned 16, and she is a lovely typical 16 year old, loves clothes/shopping/pink etc etc so i thought this would be just for her,

I love making easel cards i think they make any card look that bit extra special!!


A spoonful of sugar - flower power

Pear tree - sparkle

OLLCB - happy birthday

Dream valley - stamp something

Paperplay - blooms and blossoms

Creative card crew - anything goes

Truly scrumptious - anything goes


A change of plan over at cardmadfairy's digi days

I would just want to remind everyone about our sketch with a twist challenge over at cardmadfairy digi days, as we havent had any entries!!!!!! not one even thought the sketch is fab, jenni has decided to make it an EITHER/OR so now what we are looking for is you can either use the colours or the sketch seperate to be in with a chance to win our prize from glitterbabes,


Memorial Day

This is a holiday I really love, but I will say that the rain and the cold kind of did me in this year. Thankfully we stopped in Provo on the way home from St. George yesterday to lay flowers on our family graves. Usually I make traditional arrangements of cut irises, peonies and snowball blossoms and stuff them in mason jars, but this year I went to the grocery store and bought some mums.

I apologized profusely about the mums to Becky when I put them on her grave.

Hope your day was a good one.

Toy Story Birthday Cake

Happy 3rd Birthday Sebastian!  We were very happy to be part of yet another birthday celebration!  Thank you so much to Mom and Dad for giving us the opportunity to make these celebrations more memorable with one of our unique, beautiful and tasty cakes!  I remember the first cake we made for your baptism! 

Jessica and Jon's wedding cake

We created this beautiful buttercream cake with fondant details for Jessica and Jon.  This was a moist and tasty vanilla rum cake filled with mocha buttercream.  The purple flowers really gave this cake a special touch!  We were very happy with it and I know they were just as happy!  Yay!

Happy Birthday Carmin!

We hope you had a wonderful birthday celebration with your loved ones.  We enjoyed making this fun cake which matched the party decor.  Vanilla rum cake filled and frosted with creamy, yes creamy! vanilla buttercream!

Glamour Graduation Celebration!

These gorgeous cupcakes were made for a graduation party on Saturday....yes we were quite busy!  We also made a mini two tiered cake in buttercream, airbrushed with super pearl and disco dust and finished with some bling!  Both the cake and cupcakes were stunning!

Farm Themed Cupcakes

These super cute cupcakes were made for Kyla's 1st birthday celebration on Saturday.  Her grandma wanted to make her birthday super special and ordered a mini cake and matching cupcakes.  They turned out soooo cute!!!!

Grandma wrote me this note:

..."I must tell you I was more than happy with the cake/cupcakes...Again thank you for being a part of making my grand-daughter's birthday perfect....."  Maria

A twist to the tiffany box cake with a beautiful brown fondant bow.  I love how this cake turned out and how we gathered the fondant to make the ribbons look like fabric.  Simply beautiful!

Congratulations to Ashley and Justin!

Ashley and Justin celebrated their wedding reception at Tradition Town Hall on Saturday, May 28th. This beautiful and modern square buttercream cake matched the colors of their wedding. They also celebrated their rehersal dinner with a fun Florida State University cake.

Buttercream Wedding Cake with Bling!

I designed this cake for Connie and Chris.  They celebrated their wedding reception this past Saturday in Stuart, FL.  This was a beautiful buttercream cake with fondant applications, fondant bands and bows and lots of bling!  It looked stunning! 

This Budlight Lime beer cap cake was a surprise for the hansome groom!


Despite my best efforts, I don't find many books that appeal to my school-hating, sports-loving, techno-god, artistic, rap-writing sons. They just don't find many books they even want to try. I think a lot of this is because the high school guys in books just aren't kids that my boys know or want to know.

I spent a good chunk of my afternoon reading STUPID FAST, a new YA novel by Geoff Herbach, an author that I really believe knows boys like mine. In a recent blog post, "So That Post- Pubescent Boys Shall Read" Herbach writes of his experiences as an adolescent:

"In some ways, I was a pretty mainstream kid: I played sports. I played in the orchestra (bad cellist). I joined clubs, etc. I looked good on paper. But, at the same time, I didn’t feel normal. I was paranoid. My feelings were bruised a lot. I had the sense that I didn’t understand the world. I showered twice a day, but always felt dirty. I always felt on the outside of something. Unpleasant. These weren’t terrible times, at all, but I often felt terrible. I could’ve used a good book…

Oh! I was so alone… Um, wrong, dork.

Having taught 18 and 19-year-olds for the last six years, I’ve come to the understanding that this generalized sense of somehow being unfit is the most generalizable aspect of teendom. It does not matter what demographic the kid comes from. What gender. What clique or sub-group of that clique. When my students write about high school, most write about themselves as feeling like dorks, being dorks, standing on the outside looking in.

These days, there are lots of titles geared for teen girls that speak to this outsiderness. There are not many for boys. Why?"

Felton Reinstein, the main character in STUPID FAST is a fifteen-year-old geek, a nerd, a dork. Felton's life is further complicated by a very difficult family life. His professor father committed suicide when Felton was five. Felton lives with his mom, who insists on being called Jerri, and a younger brother, Andrew, a gifted pianist.

The year he turns 15, Felton's luck begins to change. He begins to grow. And grow. And grow. In a PE fitness test, he discovers he has also become much faster, in fact, he has become one of the fastest kids in the school. The track coaches beg him to come out for their team. The football coaches also can't wait to get hold of this rising star. Felton makes new friends and finds himself fitting in with a crowd he had never imagined joining. He also falls in love with Aleah, a concert pianist, whose father is teaching a summer course at the local university.

While things with his peers are on the rise, however, things at home are falling apart. Felton's mother is sinking deeper and deeper into the throes of depression/mental illness. Felton escapes to the weight room or practice field, but his little brother has nowhere to go. And things just keep getting worse, and worse, and worse…

I loved this book. Loved Felton, whose insecurities mirror those of the teenage boys I know. Loved that STUPID FAST was about football and the power of sports as an outlet in kids' lives. Loved Felton's less than perfect family. Loved the format of the book- short chapters with great titles.

This one is going on my kitchen table in about the next five minutes. One of my guys just might pick it up!

Our ability to accessorize

I bought this stamp last year and must admit i havent used her very often, but isnt she great, this is what i will be doing at 70 plus im sure of it lol, and that sentiment as well lol was bought from the set from creative expressions, i got pretty much all of those stamps now.
Side view of the lovely lady.Recipe*
kanban patterned papers
6x6 scalloped card blank
digi sentiment from the crafty pad
scallop an plain nestie ovals
text is from creative expressions
silver ribbon from meiflower
inks for edges from hobby craft

Dream challenges - stamp something
Crazy 4 challenges - fave vacation spot or activity (shopping)
Stamp something - Sentimental


baby easel card.

Here is a easel card i made with some really old stash i found, the jolly nation die cut decoupage sheets i bought yonks ago, now im not keen on the backing papers at all to be honest but i thought id better use some of them as well seeing as they match. The sentiment is a stamping up one and the papers are from forever friends stack, as you can see ive used my card candy again, i do love that stuff, it goes such a long way and isnt very expensive,

To hold the card up ive used satin ribbon with a teddy bear button that elke gave to me, and thought that using the nesties on only part on the decoupage looked better than using a bigger oval.and the overall size is basically an a6 blank,


One stop - button and bows

Charisma - boy oh boy

Fab n funky - lets get cute

Papertake - pastels

OLLCB - fancy folds


Visit at Yoko Okuyama's Home

Yoko is a world-renowned architect and artist.

Yoko Okuyama and I celebrating at her home

She is from Japan and has been living in Verona for about 12 years.

view of Verona roof tops from her apartment window
The view reminds me of italian Daniela Cassani's work.

D. Cassani's work entitled: Lemon Trees in Town

With the help of Ad Maiora, Yoko is putting together a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the tsunami with all moneys collected going to the Japanese Red Cross.

The concert is on Sunday, May 29 @ 5:30 pm, at the Circolo Ufficial, concerto di musica lirica vocale. I plan to attend.
We were invited to celebrate the up-coming event at her home.

Her latest art works hung in her apartment are made of rice paper. Textile art.

Yoko and her art work

She has digitally transfered her work onto silk. Maria Teresa gave me one of the silk scarves as a gift! Lucky me to have wearable art!! and such a special friend. Thanks MT.

in front of the wisteria, notice the scarf!

Yoko and soprano Nami Shigihara wave good bye

(Wind) breaking news!

So I'm here at a convention with Ken where a) there's wi-fi! yay! and b) the average attendee's age is older. I'm not being age-ist here. This bit of information is important for the story I'm about to tell.

There's a woman sitting in front of me with her husband who just bent over to pick up her purse. When she did, the people, she broke wind. MASSIVE, wall-shaking, earth-rumbling, legendary, homerically epic wind. Which okay. That right there was noticeable and also amazing.

But here's the most amazing thing. She appeared not to notice. At all! Neither did her husband. They just . . . carried on, leaving me and my nephew Chris (he's sitting next to me) in awe. Also, slightly in fear because we are directly downwind.

Thank you for listening.

Saturday sketch challenge 205

Wow been a while since I blogged. Life just doesn't cooperate when you want it to eh?

I just loved this sketch over on the Stamping 411 site so I had to give it a go. I used a lot of retired products as this is what I have most of right now. Hopefully I can remedy that in a while. I'm looking forward to the new catty in July, but before then I'm sure I'll be splurging on some goodies from the retired list as well.

So enjoy the sketch and if you feel like playing along here is the website.


Help me, Obi wan Kenobe

Okay. First. Let me just say this is the second time today that I have hightailed it to a Starbucks for the wifi connection. I am . . . so addicted to the internet.

But I have a legitimate reason to post right now! I'm preparing for the upcoming WIFYR conference, and I would like you as fabulous readers to tell me what specifically makes you a) stick with and/or b) abandon a book after 50 pages. I want to develop a rubric (is that the fancy teacher word I want?) for responding to manuscripts.

Thank you, Obi wan Kenobe. I love you so.

Dijanne Cevaal

Dijanne is an Australian textile artist and my new friend.

Dijanne and I at Italia Invita in Parma
She was exhibiting at the Parma textile forum in May.

exhibition space for Dijanne Cevaal's works

detail of "All the Perfumes of Arabia"

detail of "Sentinals of the Earth" 

detail of Sentinals #1

you can view her work and read about her Sentinal series at
I served with her and two others as juror for the Herbarium national contest and learned so much from her comments.

All teachers were asked to participate in the FIRST and LAST exhibit. Embarrassing!!-but I agreed.

amazing that she could go from this to what she is doing now!
The exhibit was meant as an INSPIRATION
to all quilters and textile artists to keep going forward

It would not be fair if I did not put in MY first work (left) YIAKS!
entitled: "Sampler renamed Was'n Me!"
because I copied a pattern and the teacher chose my fabrics.
My last piece , Course Correction (right),
silk screen, paint, paper, thread, foil, netting, linen, cotton
At the moment, this piece is hanging at the wine event, Cantine Aperte,
at the Villa Monteleone in the Valpolicella.
I bought one of Dijanne's smaller pieces as a reminder of our time together. I'll bring it when I teach my free motion classes, seeing as I always show her book at the end of the class. She has just written another free motion idea book, published in french by Les Editions de Saxe, entitled "Le Pique-Libre - 72 nouveaux blocs". I have purchased it as another resource for my students.

We hope to be able to exhibit together in the near future. Thanks Dijanne for mentioning me on your blog!


It's the last day of school. My job was eliminated because of budget cuts, so I'm packing my boxes and heading out to a new assignment. But for the next month or so, I'm mostly looking forward to reading, and playing with my camera, and seeing friends, and reconnecting, I hope, with my sons…

Marcus Millsap: School Day Afternoon
by Dave Etter

I climb the steps of the yellow school bus
move to a seat in the back, and we're off
bouncing along the bumpy blacktop.
What am I going to do when I get home?
I'm going to make myself a sugar sandwich
and go outside and look at the birds
and the gigantic blue silo
they put up across the road at Motts'.

Read the rest of the poem at Poetry 180.

I subscribe to YOUR DAILY POEM. I absolutely love the poems that come to my mailbox every morning, tons of really great, short, modern work by poets that are new to me. Today's is by Suzanne Comer Bell, a preschool teacher, and it's a perfect end of school poem. Check it out here.

Heidi Mordhorst is hosting Poetry Friday at my juicy little universe.