Friday, August 10, 2012


There are no coincidences says James Redfield in the Celestine Prophecy. The world is filled with synchronicity says Wayne Dyer and just about everyone else. A few weeks ago I was scheduled to go to the Omega Institute for a workshop but had to cancel at the last minute due to a knee injury. Omega has become a summer haven for me over the past few years. I depend on its quiet energy, the peaceful oneness of its population and I find that living among them for a few days each year is uplifting yet grounding. It’s a simply miraculous world where anything and everything is possible, where we can learn and grow while just being.

Almost effortlessly I decided on a workshop. You see, James Redfield is facilitating a workshop at Omega this month so it was a toss-up between him and Mark Matousek, the memoirist. I aspire to be a writer and have finally, after 61 years of careful deliberation, decided to give it a shot. Excuses Be Gone, right Wayne?

Signing up for Mark’s workshop, The Untold Story, prompted me to buy his memoir, Death, Sex and Enlightenment. The book arrived today and during my lunch hour I had a chance to read the inside flap and the first few pages. If I had not known better, I would have been surprised to be reading exactly what I was supposed to be reading today. The book was written in 1996, however it found me just as the workshop did. When I was ready! Timing is everything.

Mark’s honesty is openly courageous as he candidly writes about himself without self-judgment or the self-imposed anxiety that discriminating others can so expertly deliver. And the dichotomy is that his writing not only liberates him from the sentences of condemnation whether self-imposed or otherwise but it shows us, the readers, the way to free ourselves of past disappointments, shortcomings and failures that decree a form of self-punishment.

I’m glad it’s raining this weekend! Curling up with Mark’s book is all part of the plan!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rainy Days

 I love the sound of rain on the roof. And without any pressing obligations, it's an invitation to stay in and get cozy. And that to me means reading, cooking and sewing ( not in any particular order!). So this morning I made my favorite grains and greens breakfast of sauteed onion and kale mixed with pearl barley. It's delicious plain food that is nourishing, satisfying and vegan!   Remember: buy local and organic if you can. Every little bit helps!

1TBS olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 cups water
salt, pepper and a little agave

Heat the water to boiling. Add the pearl barley and bring to a second boil. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until done. Meanwhile, heat a skillet and add the oil. Toss in the onions and saute until golden and caramelized. Season with a little salt and pepper and some agave if desired. Then add the chopped kale and allow to cook down. To serve, mix about 1/2 cup of the greens with about 1/2 cup of the grain. Delicious. PS: You may also add some toasted pinenuts and a few dried cranberries. Yum!


While eating breakfast, I devoured my latest purchase from Interweave Press, Modern Patchwork. I'm not sure what took me so long to order this inspiring special issue but I'm glad I did. I just don't know which project I want to make first!


After reading almost every page, taking notes and making wish lists of supplies, I decided to work on a few projects that were waiting to be finished. I've been working on a series of baby and toddler quilts in an effort to use up lots of colorful scraps which seem to be multiplying rather than diminishing. Oh well, more is more!

I hope it rains tomorrow!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Shades of Grey and Turquoise 

Margie's Birthday Placemats
A few weeks ago my sister Marge (Sopkin Design) asked me to repair an old tattered placemat that Daisy, her Golden Retriever had mistaken for a chew toy. The placemat had seen much brighter days in it's prior life as part of a quilt I had made as a wedding gift that had also "gone to the dogs." (The quilt, not the wedding!)   So I decided to make her a new set of placemats - ones that would be fresh and modern and compliment her kitchen nicely. From my stash I chose recently purchased fabrics from Sew Inspired in Simsbury, CT  and a bit of fabric from my Denyse Schmidt collection. 
Last week, after "Show and Tell" at my weekly Sisters In Cloth meeting, I went to Margie's house to deliver the set of four placemats. Each one is a little bit different, but they are all of the same design - simple squares pieced together and machine quilted.  Marge was so excited that she immediately set the table for dinner and I just couldn't resist the opportunity for a spontaneous photo shoot. I must say the mats look great in her kitchen which is painted in a soft turquoise with tones of grey.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Everything Old Is New Again

The pieces in this quilt were taken from the scrap pile that you saw in my previous post and from a Log Cabin quilt top that I made a couple of months ago that just wasn't working for me. The scraps of fabric were sewn together without a lot of regard for color or placement and then cut to a uniform block size. There are plenty of scraps leftover and am working on another one that will have a similar layout.

I am in love with the modern quilt movement and find that the large white spaces draw attention to the quilting detail. And don't you just love the backing fabric? It's from the Celebrating Seuss line from Kaufman Fabrics.  So, in true Dr. Seuss fashion I'll leave you with one of his most quotable quotes..."Be yourself because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome Hugo Cabret - Popeye's New Friend

Hugo, my little rescue dog is named after the character Hugo Cabret from the movie Hugo not only because I loved the movie but because their backgrounds are quite similar. You see, in the movie, Hugo is an orphan who falls into the hands of an uncle who really doesn’t want him. Hugo, the dog was also an orphan who was left to an uncaring relative who basically left him on his own all day and all night.  I had been searching the rescue dog sites for a dog to keep my Bearded Collie, Popeye company and as the Universe would have it, Hugo (formally known as Chico) was brought into our lives.

  He is certainly a welcome addition to our household but who knew that he would be such a big helper in the studio? Of course Hugo has his own little quilt to lie on but most often he likes to be in the thick of things so he decided to sit on a pile of scraps left over from frantic holiday sewing. (Yes, I know it’s March!) Anyway, spring is here and it’s a glorious time of renewal and new beginnings. Happy spring.