Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit - Welcome to May

Well hello there!

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I only posted once last month? My dear friend, Di Cannon did. I am fine. I'm just incredibly busy with traveling and teaching. It's simply easier for me to share my life on my Instagram and Facebook page as I can post from my phone when I'm traveling. Plus, there use to be tons of people who read my blog and now only a few loyal friends hop by to say hi. I've noticed the blogs that have all the big followers etc. are people who blog for a living. They don't really share their life, they share "content" that they get paid for by sponsors. I'm just not into that and I don't have the time for it. My blog will always remain a little place about my life.


Going forward, I will still post at least once a month, but that might be it. Unless, I feel like posting more. You never know when something might come along that I just have to share in the form of a blog post. So, be sure to sign up (on the right sidebar) to receive my posts in your email. That way you don't have to remember to hop by. Of course, you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you want to see what I have been doing on a daily basis.

So let's see.... last month brought lots of adventures. My "Within and Inch of my Life" continues to grow. I have been having lots of fun with these. It's really fun seeing what I'm inspired to stitch each day. Most people can't believe I'm keeping up. I think that is the fun of this personal challenge. To see what 365 of these look like all together will be amazing.



Next, Beth, my Best Friend of 38 years met me in Asheville, NC in the beginning of April. We wanted to have a little BFF friend getaway as she too is turning 50 this year.


Asheville is amazing! It's full of art, nature and incredible restaurants.This fella was at the visitor center.


Beth and I both love to hike. We hiked all over the North Carolina Arboretum. It was incredibly beautiful even though it was chilly. I love this photo of Beth under a fallen tree.


If I lived in Asheville, I would totally be a season ticket holder for the Arboretum. The gardens were magical. They even have a quilt garden! Every year they pick a quilt block and then plant flowers to form the block. It wasn't ready yet, but the block they picked this year is a tulip block. Cool!


I took lots of nature photos. I thought this was interesting with the ball of moss next to the hole on the stump. I decided it was a doormat for the fairies who live there. ;)


This color combination of green, white and grey captivated me.


This year will mark ten years of me being a vegetarian. No, I don't miss meat at all and no, David is not a vegetarian. I cook different food for us. However, he is no fun to go out to dinner with. He has the taste buds of a toddler! Beth, on the other hand, will try anything. This vegetarian and vegan restaurant was our favorite. The flavor of everything was to die for!!


I saw this sign and Beth and I joked about getting tattoo's for our 50th birthdays. Not! Chickens we are. Her more so than me. ;)


When I left Asheville, I went to Concord, NC to teach a class and give a trunk show. I'm not sure what happened to my photos, but I can't find them anywhere on my phone. Poo! It was a great time though and I had lots of fun with those gals.

Next, I arrived home and went to a local plant nursery with my pals, Babs and Molly. We met this handsome fella there. I love his hairdo! He also had a look on his face that said, "People please. If you don't have any snacks then be off with you!" LOL! I do love Alpacas.


Next up, I traveled to Marietta, GA to teach a class and give a trunk show to the guild there. I was so excited to be able to stay with a long time blog friend, Heather Kosbab. Yes, she made that quilt behind us. Pretty huh? Heather's son Kevin is also a quilt designer and teacher!



Here is some...yes just some of her stash!


Here are her design walls. She loves applique, especially applique from the Aussie designers.


This is the other side of her studio with her long arm machine. Yes, the place is ginormous. Are you jealous yet? LOL!!!


I had a super fun time with my students. This bubbly lady is Angie. She is just so cute and I loved her unique style. Her pincushion and bee matched her outfit right down to the pearls.


I did have one sad thing happen while I was there. A long time customer/blog friend was suppose to come meet me and take my class. She probably owns every single design I ever made. We were both looking forward to meeting each other. Instead.... she lost her battle with cancer and passed away the day of my class. It was just so sad. Sending you hugs in Heaven Karen Mayhem. This was the inchie I stitched that day.


This month, David and I also celebrated one year in our cottage. Here is how the front yard looked when we moved in last year.



Here is how our cottage looks now. Funny how the sunlight makes it look yellow when it isn't.


We do plan on having the exterior painted this year. The cottage is 17 years old and it really needs painting in addition to some repairs.


Here's how the inside is shaping up. We got rid of all the icky grey paint and now it is a soft warm "aged white." I just can't do grey. It makes me depressed.


This is the guest bedroom. My friend, Jade, made the afghan at the bottom of the bed. It is alpaca yarn!


The elf on top of the bookcase belonged to my grandmother. It was made in Germany. I have always loved it and have fond memories of it in her house. I thought he looked perfect there as he is reading a book.


Our cottage is small. It looks big on the outside, but it really isn't. It's about 1800 square feet which includes my 300 square foot studio above the garage. It's cozy and warm and super easy to keep clean. ;)


What I love most about it is the light that floods in from every direction. I can't live in a dark house. I love the light.


Speaking of light, I got these new buffet lamps. They have gorgeous linen shades on them. Squee!


I also got some linen curtains for the living room. I still want to change out that striped chair. Saving my pennies for that.




Here's one view of the back yard.


Here's the other view. I'm so excited that we have bluebirds living in the house back there!


My dear friend, Lydia came to visit me too. It was so much fun spending time with her. As usual, we didn't get a photo. We did laugh that we both have the same hairdo though. Should length, strait bob. This is Alexander. He was at a local garden and home shop near me. I kept saying, "If he is still there when Lyd comes to visit, I will get him." Well, you can see he was. :)  Mr. MacGregor has moved to the back porch.



I also finally got around to organizing my curio cabinet. You know how much I can't handle clutter. I'm really happy with how this looks now.

I'm also really happy with the built in cabinet we had made. It looks so much better than that ugly hole in the wall that was there.


Steve and Val, my friends who purchased my New Bern house, also stopped by for a quick visit. It was great to see them. Val and I are kindred sisters for sure.



Sabrina says hello. Silly puddy tat just loves bath towels! "They're mine...all mine!"


Tomorrow, May 2, marks Hannah's seventh year with me. I can't believe it has been that long. She is also somewhere between nine and eleven years old. I'm not really sure as the rescue I adopted her from didn't know for sure. While she has some arthritis, she is doing really well. She is just as sweet and loving as she has always been. She is the oldest bunny I have ever had and she has been with me the longest out of all my bunnies. I'm soooooooooo incredibly lucky to have her sweet self in my life. Happy seventh "Gotcha Day" Hannah bunny!


Tomorrow I head back to Georgia to teach again. So until next time, I'll see you somewhere down the rabbit hole.


Hugs and friends,
Michelle



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I'm Late, I'm Late!

Well, the first of the month came and went. I started writing my blog post and wanted to finish it yesterday, but that didn't happen. So here we are today. Life just gets in the way and I find being a board member of my local quilt guild has turned into somewhat of a "job." Good gracious....it's like herding cats! LOL!!! Luckily, I love those gals to bits and they are fun to hang out with.

So let's see, what has been going on since we last visited? Well, first, I finished vending my very last quilt show! Woooooooooo hoooooooooo!


Again I had stuff stolen and some obnoxious idea steelers,


but, on the bright side, I met some wonderful people and bunny ears crossed, I will be teaching for their groups next year.

David came with me to vend the show and hang out in Hilton Head. Here's the view from our room. Pretty huh? It was really cold though, so we enjoyed the view from here and only walked on the beach once. Our favorite thing to do together is "house gawk." We can spend hours driving through neighborhoods looking at architecture and yards. Well.... we didn't get to do that either. Every darn neighborhood is gated!! LOL!!! We can understand why as it is such a tourist spot and they don't want all us "nosy" folks gawking at their houses. ;) Needless to say, it really wasn't a fun trip for us and we came home early.


Next, on March 27, I turned 50! I had a nice day reflecting on my life and thinking about the future. My dear friend, Patty, took me out for a latte and a cookie. It was a simple and sweet day. David asked if I wanted to go out for dinner, but we just got home from Hilton Head and I wanted to be home. I actually get tired of eating out. It's always way too much food.


David and I have been together almost 29 years and stopped giving each other gifts a long time ago. We usually just buy what we want and say to each other, "Look what you bought me for my birthday, Christmas, etc." LOL! Yes, aren't we exciting!?! So, this is the handmade soap dispenser he "bought" me for our master bathroom.


And, this is the new office chair he "bought" me. Aren't they both pretty? I love them! Perfect pressies. hee,hee,hee.

Next, I decided to do something special and personal just for me this year. As a designer, I rarely get to do something just for myself as I'm always designing and teaching for others. It's fun and I love what I do, but sometimes I need to create and not write instructions. I decided I would create a body of work called "Within an Inch of my Life."


Each day for the next year, I will stitch something that reflects what is going on in my life. I chose a 1" wool hexagon and various shades of green Valdani perle cotton. Green is my favorite color, it represents life and growth. I wanted to keep the entire piece calm, clean and serene like my true decorating style. I'm sharing each day on my Facebook "The Raspberry Rabbits" page and also on my Instagram page. Hop over and follow along if you like. I'll show the progress here on the 1st and 15th of the month. This is what the first week looks like.


Hopping onto Easter. I purchased this super cutie bunny pan from Williams and Sonoma with the idea that I would make adorable cakes not just for Easter but all year for me and my friends.


Can we say "Epic Fail!" So much for cute little bunnies. They look like lumps of poop! LOL!!! Oh well, we put vanilla ice cream on top and they were darn tasty. I will try a different cake batter and different pan spray. This photo makes me laugh!!


Hannah had a really happy Easter. She and I are both grateful that even though she was an unwanted Easter bunny, she was lucky to end up in a rescue where I found her. Next month will be 7 years.


Every night before bed, I sit on the floor, drink a cup of chamomile tea and pet her. It's a perfect way to reflect on the day and be grateful for everything in my life. It's also something Hannah and I both look forward to. Here's a little note from the inside of the tea box. Cool huh?


Spring is still trying to make a showing. It's been warm the past few days, but may get cold again. I loved this color combination from my walk.


I will end here with Sabrina being her lazy puddy tat self. Her favorite nap spot is on our bed with the gorgeous view of the trees, birds and squirrels in the backyard. Heaven.


Light, love and hugs,
Michelle