Quilts for Sale

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Latest Postcards

Work on my postcards continues. Below are a few of my most recent creations.

Hand-painted cotton, embossing powder, glue, Japanese maple leaves, gold pigment powder and Golden gel medium were used in this card. The leaves were collected and dried last fall from a tree our son planted years ago.

Tissue paper from a dress pattern and gold pigment powder were layered over hand-dyed cotton. I once again used Golden gel medium. If you look closely you will see the peace symbol rubber stamped under the tissue. Unfortunately, peace seems to be getting more elusive all the time.

I laid cotton over a Sushi mat and then applied Lumiere paint using a brayer. Rayon chenille cording was couched on as a decorative element.

Hand painted Peltex was decorated with squares of cotton, beads, silver metallic powder and quilting.

This time I used my hand-dyed perle cotton on more Sushi mat fabric.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Art Once More

I spent most of the weekend working on postcards for my Art2Mail group, completing seven. With my travels and other commitments, I hadn't been able to create in quite some time. It felt wonderful to poke around in the studio for inspiration. My challenge for these cards was to use only what I had on hand.

I experimented with Golden gel medium for the first time and was able to get wonderful results using pattern tissue paper, Japanese maple leaves and pigment powders. Watch for photos of those soon. For some reason, shots from my camera appeared cloudy even when taken without flash. So I'll let my dh shoot them with his Nikon D80.

I had a great assortment of paper scraps purchased at Random Arts I wanted to use. The image of the boy and the word 'write' led to the addition of the pencil nub. Note: He is left-handed. Ever notice how many lefties are extremely good at math? I'm not, which explains a lot of things. But all five of my husband's nephews are. Ask me how many excel in math!

A scrap of fabric I'd resist dyed was the base for this card. I added a piece of rubber-stamped cloth as well as recycled buttons.

Pigment powders, rubber stamping, paint and beading were added to a Bounty paper towel I'd painted. I'd hoped to retain a lot more of the wrinkling, but most disappeared during the fusing process.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rain, Blessed Rain!

Rain at last! I'd almost forgotten what it looked like. But we were blessed with nearly an inch Monday night, and nearly 2" more since then. We're thankful for this, but know it will take a lot more to alleviate our exceptional drought. Although some cities can foresee running out of water within the next couple of months, the state has yet to impose mandatory restrictions!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Old Girl is Finished!

Our house is finished! My husband's nephew Chip and great crew spent 5+ weeks of very hard work scraping, prepping, priming and painting. We chose a deeper tone for the house itself, adding a bold front door in beautiful Amsterdam blue. Our European neighbor tells us it is indeed the blue seen all over Amsterdam. We splurged on new house numbers, mail slot and door knocker. We even had our friend Hunter come and wash the outsides of all the windows, including the dormers! We don't think the old girl has ever looked better.

Photo Credit: Bill Guerrant

Monday, October 22, 2007

Journey's End

As our genealogy trip came to a close, we pondered what we had learned. We were able to get a sense of the struggles our ancestors had faced but not of the prejudice they must have known. We saw where they lived and where they are buried. But the most incredible thing was meeting a part of our family we thought was lost forever. A span of more than 80 years had gone by with our families being separated! But now that we've found one another, we look forward to going forward from here. As cousin Katannah said when we finally met and hugged for the first time, "Isn't this something? Isn't this something?!" And indeed it is.

Our Last Night

We celebrated our last night in Nebraska with a great dinner at Whiskey Joe's. My sisters enjoyed strawberry lemonade (at least that's what they told me it was)!

Scottsbluff National Monument

This magnificent monument was our last official stop. Sue climbed high up in the hills where she was at last able to see the ruts of the wagon trains which had passed through more than a hundred years before.

A Notable Landmark

Near the Wyoming border lies Chimney Rock. Its unmistakable spike served as a landmark for pioneers going west on the California, Oregon and Mormon Trails.

We spotted this field of sunflowers on our way to Scottsbluff.

Crazy Horse

The Crazy Horse monument is years from completion. Still an interesting sight. The museum there has a very nice collection of Native American artifacts, including these beaded moccasins.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Black Hills Sunset

Our view as we left South Dakota.

Beautiful Mt. Rushmore

We caught this glimpse of George Washington before reaching the summit.

The four presidents. Quite a magnificent sight.

One of the beautiful South Dakota lakes.

My sisters needed an ice cream break during our trek as it was a very hot day!


Out in the midst of cornfields 2 1/2 miles north of Alliance, stands Carhenge. An exact replica of England's Stonehenge, Carhenge is made not of stone but of cars. It is an amazing sight! I especially loved the fish head rising from the soil.

Carhenge is listed as "one of the top 25 places to see before you die." I agree. The place is too cool!

Click on any image for a closer view.

Alliance Nebraska

Alliance Nebraska is best known as the home of Carhenge. It is also the place where my great-grandparents, Charles and Hester Meehan, are buried.

With Sue's excellent records and the help of a cemetery worker, we were able to find the resting places of both Charles and Hester. They were not buried together, and neither grave was marked. Judging from the huge sections of unmarked graves, this must have been quite common in the Depression when they died. Plots were not purchased ahead of time in anticipation of need, but only when needed.

The beautiful cemetery contained a great number of hand-made headstones, each very poignant.

Sunset just north of Alliance.

This home-made stone marking the grave of Baby Motley was the most heart-wrenching in the entire cemetery to me.

The back of the Baby Motley grave.

My sister Sharon photographs the grave next to that of our great-grandfather which is unmarked.

The colorful Alliance Theater facade is reflected in the glass of the post office.

Friday, October 19, 2007

North Platte

We spent a couple of hours at the Lincoln County Historical Museum here. Topping Sue's "to see" list was the replica of the WWII Canteen which met every troop train coming through North Platte. Over 6 million servicemen and women were greeted and served sandwiches, coffee, cookies, cakes and homemade goodies prepared by the volunteers.

The story of this incredible feat is recounted in Bob Greens's book Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.

In addition to the canteen, the museum had "vignettes" of everything imaginable: kitchen, laundry, department store, music room, funeral parlor, photography studio, a huge salt and pepper shaker collection, hospital, post office, and a sewing room. Most of the items were from the 1940's. I was definitely born too late!

This tattered American flag from WWII was my favorite textile in the museum.

In Every Town

Our drive west along Highway 30 (we avoided the interstate) took us through many very small towns. Each one was dominated by one thing - grain elevators right next to the railroad tracks. I've never seen trains longer than the ones we saw in Nebraska - all hauling grain. The whistles made such a haunting sound.

This lone elevator was my favorite from the dozens we saw. I love the texture and color of the rusted tin. Make sure to click on the image for a closer view.


I wish we'd had more time in Gothenburg, as it is filled with beautiful, historic homes. We limited ourselves to the Sod House Museum and the Pony Express station.

Sculptures at the Sod House Museum were created from barbed wire.

Pies Across Nebraska

No trip to the midwest is complete without a break for its most famous dessert, PIE! We tried to limit these, but could not resist the fabulous coconut cream at Ginny's Cafe' just east of Overton. It was absolutely DIVINE! Of course we balanced it out with Diet Coke.

The Village of Alda, Home of the Murdock Site

Very close to Overton is the tiny village of Alda. Could it be that our beloved Aunt Alda was named for this little town near where her parents once lived? See her name embroidered on the sunflower quilt she made in 1932. This beautiful quilt now belongs to my sister Sue.

We visited the Murdock Site in search of swales, the name used for ruts left by the many wagon trains heading west. We could not see them here.

Tiny Overton Nebraska

Overton Nebraska has just under 650 people. It's the kind of place where one can serve as the librarian, church secretary AND work in the village clerk's office. It is indeed small-town America. We had hoped to gain access to church records, but our appointment with the secretary fell through. She was in the middle of sewing NINE bridemaids dresses. It's just that kind of town.

The Methodist church our great-grandparents once attended.

Two of the oldest buildings in Overton.

What........... Me Worry?

We took several short hops on very small planes. It's one thing to have clear access to the cockpit, quite another to see the co-pilot hanging on for dear life!

Kansas City

We met nearly twenty family members in Kansas City. Cousin Anita hosted a lovely, relaxed dinner party for us. Divine! It was wonderful hearing family stories, viewing photo albums and a film made for PBS about the family we never knew. Cousin Katannah drove all the way from Minneapolis to meet us, while Jessica drove in with her babies from St. Joe. We could have used several more days there for visiting.

The Sandhills

My sisters and I recently returned from our trip to the Great Plains. We wanted to see for ourselves the places where our ancestors had lived and died, to get a feel for what it must have been like living in the sandhills. Although we could stand in those places and imagine, we can never know what their lives must have been like as homesteaders living in a sod house in the middle of nowhere in the 1880s. I cannot imagine the hardships they endured. I do know they were strong and determined people!

Photo: Detail of Conestoga wagon - Scottsbluff NE.

I drove from NC to my sister Sue's home. We flew to Kansas City the next day, where we met our oldest sister Sharon. From there our journey began.

I know I'm almost there when I cross the Illinois line into the Land of Lincoln.