Decking The Halls

Shopping and decorating has begun. Last week I stole some time to venture out just a bit, with my daughter on a quest for a specific item. Of course, that usually means that I find everything but. One (unexpected) fun find that I couldn’t/didn’t resist were these felt flake placemats. Snow in any form typically puts me in the holiday mode so, my decorating began with my favorite dinnerware group, “Hilltop Snowmen.”DeckingHallsNow . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!DeckingHalls2DeckingHalls3LoDeckingHalls4DeckingHalls5


This week is dedicated to family and home arts. Lots of gathering, pie baking, table setting, crafting & stuffing!Some of our typical Thanksgiving holiday traditions . . .

S – O   •   T – H – A – N – K – F – U – L – L !Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Henny-penny, Cockylocky, Ducky-daddles, Goosey-poosey, Turkey-lurkey, and Foxy-woxy!

Thank You

A sincere thank you to Christy Starr, the proprietor at Helen’s Hen House quilt shop in Florissant Missouri. Christy was kind enough to invite me to share my fabric designs with customers at the shop’s annual open house event.

This was my first visit to the historic Meyers House & Barn where I spent a delightful afternoon. Upon my arrival, my mouth agape with surprise, I quickly realized it was going to be a FULL (Hen) house! Although filled with nervous excitement, my eyes attempted to take in all of the charming details of the building, grounds and goodies inside as I prepared to set up. The creaking wide planked floor boards added that much more to the authenticity and ambiance of the 1860’s building.Christy and her staff had several projects made from three of my new fabric lines that were featured throughout the shop.

“Bakers Dozen” snowmen apron and table topper.“Creepers Peepers” and “Sewing Seeds” in a welcoming room (prepared especially for me)!

This is where I enjoyed visiting with a wonderful group of creative and kindred patrons. Among them, I was surprised to learn, an art teacher, card designer, ceramic artisan, thread artist and quilt/sewing enthusiasts of course. For an added treat I became re-acquainted with a couple who have been collectors (former customers) of my hand painted Christmas ornaments made long before I broke into art licensing.

Stories of projects using my Hungry Animal Alphabet (& other former children’s collections) for grands were shared. One gram brought in a particularly special project for me to sign. I was honored, And grateful.It was a privilege to be a part of such a warm group and inviting shop.

Congrats Christy! Additional Hen House Quilt Shop photos on Facebook.

Market Mayhem

A Welcome site – Just returned from Quilt Market Wednesday, Halloween, and in plenty of time for tricks and treats. Although the event was fun filled, inspiring and informative, our homecoming from this trip, was especially appreciated. Only two (of the thirteen) hours out of Houston, three deer dashed onto the (75 mph zone) interstate, right in front of us without warning. With no time to react, we struck one of the deer head on. The impact was traumatic. Fortunately however, we stayed upright, on the road and were able to pull off to the safety of the shoulder where we tried to settle nerves.

Looks like I caught a glimpse of our guardian angel’s wing in this photo:

I also think . . . we are finished with road trips for 2012.The lighter side of our quilt market experience can be seen at

Tidings of Great Joy, LLC on Facebook.


Yikes! Things are suddenly piling up. Do we get ourselves into tight (scheduling) spots (by over committing) or does our fast pace, speeding by world impose them on us? Or . . . am I just slowing down?

Vacation is officially OVER!

American Heritage Dictionary

dead•line  (dĕd’līn’)

  1. A time limit, as for payment of a debt or completion of an assignment.
  2. A boundary line in a prison that prisoners can cross only at the risk of being shot.

tr.v., -lined, -lin·ing, -lines.

Origin: 1864

It began as a real line, drawn in the dirt or marked by a fence or rail, restricting prisoners in Civil War camps. They were warned, “If you cross this line, you’re dead.” To make dead sure this important boundary was not overlooked, guards and prisoners soon were calling it by its own bluntly descriptive name, the dead line. An 1864 congressional report explains the usage in one camp: “A railing around the inside of the stockade, and about twenty feet from it, constitutes the ‘dead line,’ beyond which the prisoners are not allowed to pass.” Nothing could be more emphatic than dead line to designate a limit, so we Americans happily applied the term to other situations with strict boundaries. For example, the storyteller O. Henry wrote in 1909 about crossing “the dead line of good behavior.” But it was the newspaper business that made deadline more than just a historical curiosity. To have the latest news and still get a newspaper printed and distributed on time requires strict time limits for those who write it. Yet many are the excuses for writers to go beyond their allotted time: writers’ block, writers’ perfectionism, or just plain procrastination. (Perhaps the writer is a deadbeat (1863)–another dead word invented by Americans during the Civil War.) Seeking the strongest possible language to counter these temptations, editors set deadlines, with the implication that “Your story is dead–You are dead–if you go beyond this time to finish it.”

Our urgent twentieth century has made such deadlines essential not just for reporters and other writers but in every kind of activity; there are deadlines for finishing a job or assignment, for entering a contest, for ransoming hostages, or for buying a product at the special sale price.

Hiking Highlights

Home just over a week, reviewing vacation photos and realized I already forgot how much fun we had. Sharing one more trip (one I highly recommend to EVERYONE!) post on our hiking days in the Teton area outside Jackson, Wyoming. I’ll try to capture the (extremely worthwhile) experience in a nut shell:Again an early breakfast (for energy & fun) in the “Chuck Wagon” teepee (just outside the park gates) in Moose, WY. This is also where we spotted our only moose. A boat ride across the Lake (Jenny) saves some hiking energy.Hiked three miles, straight up the first day. This was as high as we got. Yikes!The second day, a five mile hike featuring two lakes was not such a climb however, equally as breathtaking.Enjoyed an early fall among the aspen groves with cool, crisp temps. Nice after such a long hot & dry summer.

And . . . gathered lots of photos inspiring a brand new collection!

Make time (if possible) to visit this awe inspiring area, it’s well worth the trip.

Road Trip

Long time, no post. I actually took a vacation with my husband (non work related) which we planned simply to see some sights, rest & relax. We visited an area he has long intended to go, Wyoming. Glad we took the time. BTW – The automobile above was a passer by, not ours.

I took so many pictures I decided to choose only one from each day, almost. Can you guess where this one (above) was taken?Yellowstone certainly is where the buffalo roam.

Park days were hiking days. We did a few, all were gorgeous!We had a chuck wagon breakfast on a chili morning in this teepee just outside of the Grand Teton National Park.

If you are (not bored yet) interested in seeing additional photos, I will be posting more details at Tidings of Great Joy, LLC on Facebook.

You may need to ‘Like’ the page to view.

Drought Distraction

Just under 100 is predicted for the next three days with RAIN possible! Hopeful news. Two months down, one to go, for this dry and extremely HOT summer. Lots of outside watering time and moving plants away from the scorching sun, has been somewhat of a distraction from painting.

Fun however, has been keeping an eye on a family of tree frogs that have spent their summer in these cool, wet cans which also house my pretty Gerber Daisies.

Enjoyed watching them both grow.

Inside watering (with color) too & keeping cool in the (Joy) studio – Finishing up our 2013 Christmas collection.

So Much Life

The ‘so much life’ I mention in the last post was certainly felt the second week of our mini art camp. Besides Independence Day falling smack dab in the middle, I began the week by stepping on a sliver of glass going for my first cup of coffee Monday morning. Unable to retrieve it on my own after soaking and searching with magnifiers, I bandaged and hobbled through the best I could.

The second surprise was a phone call from my aunt Lois who was just in from Texas. Although aware of her trip, she phoned to let me know that she had decided on this visit, to bring my grandmothers photos, collected over at least three lifetimes! This, at my periodical requests to document (some day) the rarely seen (Tuesday’s) treasures, with hi res scans (on my equipment) and hopefully gather the accompanying family stories/history. How could I pass on this opportunity, right? Naturally, I could not . . .

Making time for everything was more than challenging but recognizing the rewards in all, I wore myself out trying to keep up. Did I mention, all took place during a period of record breaking heat and drought not felt in Missouri since the dust bowl years? Ten days straight, over one hundred degrees. Whew, brutal!

After most of the work was complete and a major clean up, I saw a podiatrist the following Monday. He successfully removed the obstacle of the pain in my foot. Ah, relief. Staying off my feet for a few days . . . doctor’s orders! ;-D