Saying Goodbye to 2015

It's time to say goodbye to yet another year.  Inevitably, I find myself thinking that not that much happened... and then I start looking at photos and blogposts from the year and discover just how much really did happen!  Here's a look back at my year.

My creation
Participating in the CQJP 2015 was a huge part of the year.  It's been a challenge to work in these bright colors and to create the tapestry effect that I was looking for with the embroidery on these blocks!  I'm still a bit behind on them, but hope to finish the blocks by the end of January and get them assembled!  

2015 Stitching
There was a lot of stitching this year!  Not just the CQJP blocks, but round robins and some other projects as well!  It's a lot of fun looking back over the year's work! 

2015 Travels
Though I didn't think I'd do much traveling this year, I managed to get in several trips, both near and far!  Places I visited included, Bandelier Natl. Monument; Albuquerque, NM; Monte Vista Natl. Wildlife Refuge; Morristown, NJ; New York City; Lambertville, NJ; Brattleboro, VT, several locations in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut; Camp Verde, AZ; Sierra Vista, AZ, Hubbell Trading Post Natl. Monument; Rocky Mountain National Park; Pawnee Natl. Grasslands; Cheyenne Bottoms Natl. Wildlife Refuge in Kansas; Kansas City, MO; Weston; MO; Mount Evans, CO; and Pagosa Springs, CO .  

2015 Fauna
On my travels, I got to see so many interesting birds and lots of wildlife!

2015 Flora
At home, the garden bloomed beautifully due to our moist start to the summer.  Just glorious!  Unfortunately the mosquitos also grew well, so I wasn't able to enjoy the garden as much as I would have liked.  I enjoyed seeing the fields of sunflowers in eastern Colorado and Kansas along with other interesting wildflowers on my travels! 

2015 Best Photos
Here are a few of the photos that I feel are among the best that I took this year.  It's always hard to choose and the little thumbnails of them, don't do them justice. 

2015 Artwork
It was a joy to spend more time creating art!  Lots of new watercolor sketches and a few oil paintings!  

Mollie Kitty
Probably the sentinel event that I will always remember 2015 for, is that this was the year when my beloved Mollie Kitter passed away.  The loss of her is still so terribly hard to bear and the grief still knocks me off my feet.   I miss her so. 

Jeff, Tracy, and Lisa
I will also look back on 2015 as the year I got to reconnect with my cousins Jeff and Tracy whom I hadn't seen in far too many years!

I have a dear group of friends that I met many years ago, online, through the old Victoria Magazine chat room.  They are an amazing group of women and we live all across the U.S. and Australia.  Every now and then, we get to meet up!  This year I was blessed to be able to spend time with several of these lovely and amazing ladies!
Gail and Lisa

Judy and Lisa
Judy and Lisa

Lisa and Heidi
Lisa and Heidi

Nat, Heidi, and Lisa
Being able to spend time with my Posie friends was such a treat as was having my cousin Nat, join in on the fun!

Another amazing group of friends that I've met online are the lovely ladies and phenomenally talented stitchers, Allie Aller and Susan Elliot!  Ever since I've gotten to know them, I've longed to meet them in person.  2015 was the year!  
At long last, I got to meet Allie face to face!  And better yet, got to spend almost a week with her!  

Susan and Lisa
And to make things even better, I also got to meet Susan in person and spend 3 amazing days with her and Allie on an incredible road trip that Susan planned out for us!

At Delectable Mountain Fabrics
Susan took us to Delectable Mountain Fabrics where we got to meet the incomparable Jan and her amazing shop!  Truly a magical time!

Crazy Divas
As a bonus, Susan arranged for Allie and I to meet and spend time with an amazing group of talented Crazy Quilters!  What a thrill it was to meet everyone!  From left to right: Susan, Nicki Lee, me, Allie, Maureen, Betty, and Shirlee.  Wow!  

Crazy Quilters at the Slow Stitching RetreatThere were also new friends to meet at the Slow Stitching Retreat!  Amongst the larger group of "sane" quilters, there was a great core of wonderful Crazy Quilters!  From left to right: Jocelyn, Mary Anne, Elaine, Allie, me, and in front, Lydia, and Arlene

Mark Lipinski & company discovering my work
Getting "discovered" by Mark Lipinski at the Slow Stitching retreat was an experience I will never forget!  He was an amazing host for the event!  

CQI 2015 Retreat
In September, I met lots of new CQ friends and got reacquainted with old friends at the CQI Annual Retreat in Kansas City, MO.  

There were lots of family gatherings this year as well as events to celebrate! I especially loved having all my kids around the table at Thanksgiving!  Though we all live fairly close to one another, our complicated work schedules don't allow us to all gather together at the same time very often, so it is a treasure when it finally occurs!

In May we celebrated my foster son Gary's graduation from college!

We also celebrated two wedding ceremonies for my oldest son Jonathan and his new wife Becca!  The first was an intimate, parents and couple only, ceremony.

The Ceremony - First Kiss
The second was a large friends and family ceremony!  Lots of fun to celebrate twice!

My sister Holly retired from her job as a firefighter with the Forest Service!


I had the joy of seeing my work published in 4 different magazines throughout the year!  A wonderful article in the European magazine, Magic Patch, and in the Spring, Summer and Fall issues of Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine!

Sometimes, the best times are those simply spent with those we love!  Like a spur of the moment camping trip with my youngest son Zach!

Or painting with my daughter in law Amanda!

And time at the Greek Festival with Jessie and Zach!

There were so many delights and other friends and family members that I was blessed to spend time with this past year that there simply isn't space here to remember all of them, not to mention all those lovely times spent with people when no photographs are taken, such as my monthly brunch/lunch outings with my dear friend Julie, or the walks and coffee with another friend Julie.  I'm so very grateful for all the dear people in my life!

Despite the sadness of losing my Mollie Kitter, it really was a delightful and amazing year.  At the end, it's not the things I stitched, or the photos I took that I'll remember, but the time spent with family and friends.  It's all about loving one another!

On that note, I wish all my dear blog readers 

A Very Happy New Year!  

My wish and prayer for you is that you will be surrounded 
with loving family and friends during the coming year! 

Blessings and Peace to you! 


Merry Christmas!

Wishing each and every one of you 
A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas!  

While I know it has been dry and warm through much of the U.S., here in Colorado, it has been snowy and cold and it's looking like northern Colorado will have a white Christmas!  Last night we had a couple inches of snow to top off the 13 inches we had last week.  So fresh and beautiful, especially when I don't have to drive to Denver and back in it!  It was a perfect opportunity to get outside and take some lovely wintry photographs!  

For a brief while, the skies cleared and the snow covered branches were like enormous snowflakes against an impossibly blue sky.  Just amazing! 

Inside, the first pot of paperwhites are blooming.  Their scent, mingled with that of pine smells like Christmas to me!  

I finished a bit of Christmas stitching... a large Mug Mat for my brother in law!  Since he doesn't read my blog, I can share it here!

Though I'll be working through the holiday, I've had a lovely week off leading up to Christmas.  It's been peaceful and restful, something I desperately needed.  It was also filled with lovely things such as seeing a wonderful performance of The Nutcracker Ballet by the Longmont Dance Theater (which my DIL Marcy works for!), seeing the new Star Wars movie with my daughter, and lots of fun stitching per the request of two of my sons, which I'll share after Christmas!  Thomas has loved having me home and we've had lots of good snuggles in the big chair in the evenings.  He talks to me constantly and so I leave you with this fun photo of Thomas wishing you all a Meowy Christmas!  


Getting Ready for Christmas

Most years, I begin decorating the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, for numerous reasons, I'm off to a slow start.  Maybe it's due to the fact that I'll be working through Christmas this year and won't have any of the family at my house to celebrate.  Some of it might be due to the fact that I'm still recovering from the loss of my Mollie Kitter.  And some is certainly due to the fact that I am having a lot of pain in my hip, for which I've been busy with Dr. appointments, x-rays and MRI's among other things.  

But this weekend, the decorations are up at last and along with a lovely light snowfall, it finally feels a bit like Christmas around here!  

I leave the lights on the rose arbor all year long, but once the snow comes and the neighbors put out their lights, it seems more like Christmas rather than a fairy garden! 

I made the mistake of leaving the lights up all year and so some of them are in sad shape.  My son Stephen comes tomorrow to put everything in order!  He'll get those darkened spots fixed and rehang the strands that have dropped out of place!  

Inside, things have been kept to a minimum as I don't fancy too many trips up and down the stairs with my hip acting up.  But I did get the Christmas dishes out!

On the kitchen windowsill, a lovely Christmas cactus is blooming in shades of pink and white!  I'm loving the Swedish candelabra lights that I brought home from Lindsborg, Kansas this summer! 

20151204-Kitzy Cat
I put up just one Christmas tree this year instead of the usual 3 or 4 that I've been putting up since I moved here.  Kitzy Cat likes to sit on the back of the sofa on "her" afghan and enjoy it! 

 There is a fresh wreath on the side door.

20151206-Advent Candles
And a wintry centerpiece down the dining room table.

I've also had fun putting together a little "fairy" garden to go on my plant stand.  Or rather, more of a Mr. MacGregor's garden.  For years, I've been collecting little things to someday use in a doll house. How surprised I was to discover that most of the items I'd collected had to do with gardening!  

The little bunny is a fire survivor.  It is a little Wade porcelain figurine that I've had for ages, but whose ears got broken a long time ago.  He was so sweet, that I could never bear to part with him.  He makes a rather rough and tumble Peter Rabbit!  

A little package of "to scale" bricks made a perfect garden path!  And some perfect little gardening implements to go with!  I hope to add a little fence and garden gate as well as an arbor and maybe some other teeny flowering plants along the pathway! Fun to dream and play with something like this!  Definitely good for the soul and my heart's well being! 

For Thanksgiving, I was blessed to enjoy all my kids around the table and a few of the in-laws!  Few things make me as happy as having all of them around the table together! 

And yes, I have been doing some stitching... most of which I am not able to share right now.  CQJP blocks have taken a backseat to getting Christmas gifts and commissions completed!  

I hope you are all having fun with Christmas preparations and finding joy throughout!