Previous month:
February 2009
Next month:
April 2009

March 2009

Yellow ... the color of Spring fashion!


Have you been out shopping lately? Oh wait ... we don't have any money to shop because of the recession ... which explains why I was shopping with my camera. So anyway ... have you noticed how much yellow there is around? It certainly seems like 2009 is going to appear to be a happy looking Spring based on all the yellow clothing and accessories that are out there!



Even the manicans are wearing yellow! Literally.


This one makes me think there's a convertible parked in the lot waiting to whisk her away.  


Yellow ... not really my color unless it's toned down or subtle. There are lots of yellow accents.





Of course ... if you're going to wear these cute clothes you need cute shoes!! Major requirement.




And my personal favorites ...


And then you have to have a bag ... and if you're going to buy one, then it has to be Fossil!



Don't you wish you were going to prom? I luv yellow!



Girls Nite Out ... primp your cup!


Recycle ... upcycle ... whatever you call it, who hates to toss out the java sleeves that come with the coffee of the day? It just feels wrong. Well you don't have to dump it in the garbage can anymore! Come visit us at the Cottage workshop for Girls Nite Out this Thursday ... March 19 from 4 to 8. You're going to learn how to doll up a cup jacket ... make it springy and cute as can be!

Bring a sleeve from your morning coffee or use one from our stash. We'll have papers for you to choose from as well as fibers and gems ... inks and glue. Everything actually! You'll get to use our Big Shot to cut out some of the pieces, too. The cost is $4.


Choose from one of our stamps to put the perfect message on your sleeve. Make one for you ... another for your friends!

Girls Nite Out is a great way to see the fun shops in downtown White Bear Lake. Have dinner together with your girlfriends and hang out ... especially now that the weather is nice. Here's a list of who's participating and what they have going on. There are doorprizes to register for, too! Don't miss the fun!


Putting the pedal to the floor!


You have to admire quilters who pack up all of their quilting belongings and head out for a weekend of sewing! Of course, it's the chance to interact with others who share the same hobby interests ... to get away from the dishwasher, vacumn cleaner and phone ... and making dinner that makes it so attractive. It's amazing how much you can get done without distractions.

Brita was making this quilt up as she went. She came across a fat quarter bundle on her way to the retreat. Actually ... she came across two fq bundles ... and made two quilts for two little girls during the retreat! I don't think this was what she intended to work on but it was pretty impressive in my book. Lucky kids!!



Linda was making our Square Deal centerpiece quilt for Easter gifts. She used Jezebel from Red Rooster and made four of them ... used up all of her scraps in the binding, too. They were really cute ... all she had to do is stitch down the binding when she got home. She went on to make a tote bag and was working on another table runner when we closed down the retreat. And somehow she squeezed naps in there. And a massage! 

Kathy was making Square Deal 2 ... we used the Marcus Brothers Easter line for our kits and she whipped out a couple of those as well as our Breath of Spring  wool pouch. She had such a great time making these that she went home with more kits for gifts. Some lucky friends and family will be getting these in a few weeks.


This is just one block of a pieced and appliqued quilt Diane has been working on for SEVEN years! When the retreat was over, she had the top totally done ... in addition to our store mystery quilt homework. Nose to the grindstone for her ... but she seemed to be having a good time inspite of working so hard.


Jane was seriously working on this poppies wall hanging ... she was stitching them in place through the last half of the retreat ... inspite of the fact that she sat at the roudiest table in the room! Ask them where they went each evening before dinner. (I thought they were taking a nap ... silly me.)


This beautiful piece Sheila was working on was a quilt-as-you-go method ... the good news there is when she's done, she's done!


I thought this little embroidered and appliqued quilt was adorable. Not sure who was making it as a bunch of them were huddled over it!


Ruth was close to getting her quilt done ... she's never made a king sized one before and had no idea how long it would take. She took a lap quilt that she liked and multiplied it by four to get the size she needed. Pretty quilt and will look great on her bed.


Necessity is the mother of invention they say ... I had to invent a way to raise up the cutting tables when I couldn't find the traditional risers I had. Lucky for me, ShopCo was right up the street. (And so was Starbucks!)

There were lots more quilts and projects that I didn't get around to photographing. This was our first time at this new location in Eau Claire and I have to say, the set up is perfect for quilting. Outlets were in the floors so we weren't tripping over cords ... the lighting was bright and best of all, we had not one electrical issue ... a major miracle. It'll be fun going back in November!


A plethora of purses!


For some reason, our retreat this weekend in Eau Claire WI turned a bunch of quilters into bag ladies! One corner of the room came prepared just to make purses and they churned them out over and over. Rumor has it, they held one of their friends hostage until she finished hers ... poor thing couldn't go to bed ... but she gotter done!


Here's Chris showing off a new bag from Maple Island Quilts called Wallet and Grommet. She used upholstery grommets from DritzHome. Cleared our vending table of patterns as soon as she showed it!


Little purse organizers that she made from the scraps to coordinate!


Deb was delighted to have completed her first purse ... Everyday Fancy from  This and That ... just needs a covered button to complete it. She sewed in her first ever zipper, too without any problems!


Linda was working on a tote bag using the Kenyan Tote from Sue Spargo. She bought  the hand embroidered patch  at the AQS show in Des Moines from Sue (there's a whole story there ... read about it on Sue's site) and found a fabulous upholstery fabric in an antique store that was a perfect echo.


Tag Along Tote from Atkinson Designs nestled among other bags.


Close ups of a few other bags but I didn't get the names ... there were just too many!


We're loving that Jezebel fabric from Red Rooster! And grommets, too!!

This little ditty bag by This and That is adorable but you really have to pay attention to the tape on the table. Some quilters had boundary issues!

More pix later on some of the non-purse projects that were created at the retreat ... stay tuned.


At the Mall of America!


When the Minnesota temps get to be totally unbearable ... like yesterday and the day before and today ... I find a little break by going to the Mall of America. It's always warm and sunny inside the doors! And inspiring. So yesterday, I snuck in after my errands in Bloomington were finished. It was well worth it ... almost wished I had left my coat in the car ... until I went back outside!


I was lucky and found a parking spot in my favorite lot ... it's on the south side of the mall off of Killebrew Drive ... the entrance from that lot puts you at LegoLand ... an easy marker to find again. I miss going there with the boys. When Winter got to be too long, I'd pack them up and go to MOA. Always had to make sure I had enough money because I knew we'd be going home with lots more Legos to add to our collection! (The hours of quiet after we got home was worth every penny!)


You truly can find anything at MOA ... like sharks! You can sleep with them too if you make arrangements ahead of time.


Or Western wear ... who knew there's a big demand for that in Minnesota! Love the buffalo heads inside the store. Thought this shirt was kind of interesting.



You can find Minnesota here! If you haven't found it already.


Make your own cosmetics, too. Look at this cool soap construction!



Need a new BFF? Make one at MOA!!


The place is huge ... three floors of shopping ... an amuzement park complete with a roller coaster and ferris wheel ... places to eat, drink and relax ... and sunshine all day every day thanks to great lighting!





Love the Rainforest Cafe with it's giant fruit displays ... lush tropical feeling ... cool bar stools and fish!




But the window displays are my very favorite ... totally inspiring and interesting ... like this one at ForLove21 on the first floor by the rotunda ... or the iPod icons floating in the window at Apple ... or the one at the Gap that makes Summer seem right around the corner! (Rule of thumb ... you can take pix outside of the stores but not inside unless you ask permission.)



Finally ... my number one reason for going to MOA is Urban Outfitters. Yes ... their things can appear to be offensive to some ... 15 years in the military have left me immune. But they have cool fabulous stuff! Look what I got there ... can hardly wait to use my prizes!


Left-right brain test ... so where do you fall?


Linda Hohag from Brandywine Designs told me about this test  ... which way you perceive the ballerina to be spinning tells a lot about how you use your brain. If you concentrate really hard, you can make her spin in the other direction ... but I found I couldn't do that for very long.

I googled 'left-right brain test' and came up with lots of hits. This one is interesting because it has a question/answer format with scoring at the end.

Test Cafe has all kinds of cool facts about the brain and a bunch of personality and brain quizzes.

The funny thing is that no matter which tests I take, they tell me I'm right brained. Cool ... I like being that way!!

How about you ... left brain? Right brain? 

The Candidate!


And you thought the election was over for awhile. Hah! Not here in White Bear Township. Each year, one of the three positions for the  Board of Supervisors is up for election. As a general rule, the incumbent is unbeatable ... some of them have been on the board since before we moved here. Decades! Bob decided that this year, he was going to toss his hat into the ring and as luck will have it, the same day he filed, one of the board members announced that he was going to retire.


Small town ... big city ... it still takes the same steps to win an election. You have to get the word out to the voters. So that meant several long days of combing the voting records and compiling a mailing list ... then printing, labeling and stamping. In another strange twist of fate, this will be the first time that Ted is able to vote. How funny is that that he can vote for his Dad? Bob has to keep in mind another rule of campaigning ... keeping on the good side of the voter!


A handbill is sort of like a resume ... one page long and tells all the key points. Bob carefully selected areas to target. (There are rumors of possible write-in votes in one part of the town!) He and Ted have spent time driving all over the place getting the leaflets put into the right spots.

Bob's been a member of various township boards over the years. The Economic Development Board is one. He regularly chairs the annual town budget meeting. The township is different from a city in that the people who live there determine how the township money is spent. I've sat through some brutal budget meetings over the years. It's pretty grass roots ... easy to participate.  Financial responsibility and growth of businesses and jobs is Bob's main concern. That and he'd like to see voter turnout expand. I know he'll do a fabulous job when the voters elect him. 

So .. hopefully on Tuesday, lots of people will get out and vote for Bob Kermes! You can count on a guy who wears a sweatshirt with the White House on it, can't you? We think so.