Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Announcing: My Etsy Store is Now Open

I have a big announcement today. My Etsy Shop is now open!

I started quilting when I was 16. My Grandma Marge and mom had been invited to join an introduction to quilting class taught by one of the ladies in the community. I don't remember if I asked if I could come with them, or just announced that I was going too, but on the first day of quilt class I showed up with a bag full of jewel toned fabrics and a thirst to create beauty.

Although college and graduate school slowed my quilting down a bit, now I piece together new quilts whenever I have a spare hour. I make quilts to relieve stress, as a therapy of sorts that lets me express my artistic creativity while battling the tensions of my professional career. 

I will donate 10% of all net income to HOPE worldwide, an international charity with a vision to bring hope and change the lives of the world’s most poor, sick, and suffering. Any additional income, after expenses, will go towards paying off my mountain of student debt.

If you have a baby shower coming up, consider picking out one of these unique and handmade quilts to give. Or a perfect Christmas present, if you want to spoil the favorite girl or woman in your life, these quilts also are perfect lap quilts, perfect to cuddle under while reading a good book. 

Check out my shop!  And let me know what you think. Thanks!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Breakfast in Paris Lap Quilt

Last month I finished another quilt, a log cabin quilt I made from some of my favorite fabric ever-- Etchings by 3 Sisters. The fabric, full of architectural elements, maps of Paris, and sweet flowers spoke to that place in my heart that has always longed to see Paris.

In addition to the wonderful designs on the fabric, the colors of grey, aqua, and red are glorious.

As this was such a joy to make, I had to give it to one of my favorite women on her birthday. Sue, a world traveler herself, loves Paris as much as I do (but she actually has been there multiple times). I can easily picture Sue cuddled up in this lap quilt, sipping coffee and reading her Bible in French as she works towards fluency. 

As wonderful it is to make quilts, I think my favorite part is seeing the new owner's face when they unwrap the box and see their new quilt inside.

The colors...

A bit more about the fabric: the Etchings line from 3 Sisters for Moda. This classic French elegance is captured beautifully in this collection of lush botanical designs, some featuring delicate, sinuous line work to coordinate with the engraved architectural print derived from an antique book the Sisters acquired on one of their man flea market jaunts. Damasks and tapestry prints, a range of woven cotton in warm shades of grey stone, aqua, rich red and ivory parchment paper are reminiscent of stepping of the bustling Paris streets into a grand foyer of a historic theater with dramatic draperies and ornate moldings. 

As I was piecing and quilting, I just wanted to fall into the fabric and find myself along the streets of Paris. 

"Breakfast in Paris" - September, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{Reading} The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance

It was five years ago that I met Brandy Vallance at a writer's conference. I was immediately struck by her passion for writing and her love for all things Victorian. We struck up a friendship during the conference as we each shared our faith and our dreams to be published authors. It has been a delight to follow her literary journey on social media. 

This past Saturday, I literally squealed with delight when I saw that Brandy's first book, The Covered Deep, had arrived at my house. I started reading it Sunday morning before church, and I couldn't stop reading until I finished it late Sunday night. (I'm a fast reader-- and seriously can't put down a good book.)

I love reading historical fiction. I will admit that I like romances, but I always hate the fact that so many romantic fictional books result in: girl and boy fall in love, now her world is complete. That "you complete me" theme often leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The Covered Deep, however, despite the fact that the premise is about a romantic girl longing to find the man of her dreams, goes deeper, and Brandy Vallance writes about the ultimate truth:

“True love wasn’t a feeling. And it wasn’t some unending fairy tale where a man fulfilled your every desire. No man was the perfect romantic hero. No man could fulfill the aching, deep need within a woman’s heart. That intimacy was for God. And God alone. True love was about letting go. A daily choice. Knowing the worst above a person and sacrificing for them anyway. Choosing to love.” -- Brandy Vallance

The history of this book had me entranced. I longed to wander the halls of the British Museum and explore Jerusalem with the characters of this book. If you are an Anglophile like me, or simply a lover of history, or in search of a wonderful read, I wholeheartedly recommend The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance.

Winner of 2013 Operation First Novel Contest
Winner of the 2012 ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance
Bianca Marshal is an incurably romantic bookworm from Appalachia who’s holding out for the perfect husband. She doesn’t want much, just that he be (1) a true believer in Jesus Christ (2) devastatingly handsome with a slightly wild look in his eyes (3) brilliant and humorous like Mark Twain (4) a foreigner, possibly a disgruntled duke (5) able to quote Bible verses AND Shakespeare (6) a more than capable kisser, and (7) adore her completely.
Finding a man that meets the requirements of “the list” in the foothills of the Appalachians has proven impossible. Bianca’s mama insists that there’s no such thing as a perfect true love, and that Bianca’s ideal man is pure fiction. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Bianca discovers a devastating statistic. Her chance of marrying is now only eighteen percent. But the “S” word—spinsterhood—is not something she’s willing to accept. She’s going to prove the statistics and her mama wrong. Bianca wins an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for the perfect romantic hero. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of the Holy Land, Bianca’s true love will be revealed, but not without a price that might be too heavy to pay. 
The Covered Deep can be bought at your favorite bookstore. Happy Reading!

A New Season Has Come

Fall has always been a favorite time of year for me. Despite the fact that flowers aren't blooming anymore in the mountains and everything seems to be turning more and more brown, I feel like fall represents a time of renewal for me.

Perhaps this is because fall is the start of the school year. A total bookworm and Hermione Granger wanna-be, this means that fall is full of excitement as I can buy new school supplies, books, and bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

Fall is also the time in my life where I have felt the most spiritual renewal. I feel the most effective with my life and at the same time also feel the most creative in the fall.

This fall, I have been contemplating a new season for me and my blog. I recognize that its been almost six months since my last blog post. During that time I have transitioned from recent law graduate and fresh bar exam passer (thank you, Jesus!) to a legitimate lawyer, with a real honest to goodness job as a lawyer.

(Feel free to insert lawyer joke here).

I've contemplated what this transition from law student to lawyer would be. Does that mean no more blog for me? Do I have time to maintain a blog? Does anyone care?

I realized that I have poured so much of me into this blog that I don't feel like I can let it go. I've written over 500 posts on this blog, and have dozens of wonderful readers (I think-- they tend to lurk and not comment) who have stuck with me even when I don't post that often.

So here's my new season. I'll keep blogging. I'll keep writing about my passions: quilting, reading, ranching and agriculture, and occasionally about law school. I will probably post too many pictures of the Baby Buckaroo who is ridiculously photogenic.

And I hope you'll keep reading.

And if you're a lurker, leave me a comment or follow me. I'd love for this website to be more interactive. :) Thank you all for sticking with me. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

D.O.N.E. (i.e. no more hiding)

Well, I passed the bar exam (hallelujah!) and I was just sworn in. So now I can legitimately practice law-- if I had a real "legal" job.

I'm still searching, but am staying optimistic and faithful about it.

But now, I'm returning to the real world. I'm slowing getting reconnected with friends, spending more and more time with my family and church family, and putting in a vegetable garden between torrential rain storms.

I've started quilting more.

And I started writing again. My book has been seductively calling my name for months, and I finally feel able to start working on it again.

Life is good.

My son is also learning the rules of hide and seek. He's the little guy "hiding" at the top of this picture. How sweet life is when you can hide by simply squatting down and covering your eyes.

(see full image)


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