Thursday, September 22, 2016

25 Years Ago in September

September 21, twenty five years ago, I got into a cake fight with my best friend.


In some ways, it still feels like it was yesterday. We paid for our own wedding. It wasn't big and fancy, but considering I was making $5.00 an hour and David was making $12.00 an hour, it wasn't too bad. In fact, David gave me money from his savings to buy my dress. It was actually a used dress which originally cost over $2,500. The lady I purchased it from sold it to me for $600, which was still a ton of money for us.

I took it to a wonderful seamstress who changed the neckline from a high neck to a sweetheart neck, changed the back and took the long sleeves and turned them into 3/4 sleeves. The train was really long and the dress weighed a ton with all the beading, but I loved how it bustled up under a big giant flower on my butt. To this day, it is the only dress I have ever loved and yes, me who doesn't keep things, still has this dress.

We couldn't afford a limo, so we rented a city trolley so our wedding party, family and friends could ride with us.


My BFF, Beth, was my maid of honor. We have been best friends since we were twelve years old. She and I shared an apartment the year before I got married. It was so much fun. To this day, she is the only person besides David that I could ever live with because, like David, she is the calm to my hyper. We always joke around that we will be roommates again when we move to the nursing home. Hee,hee,hee.

Beth came to visit me in Wilmington this summer. We had a blast. Although, she did say the humidity about killed her. She lives on top of a mountain in West Virginia. We visit each other once a year and we talk on the phone every Wednesday. There are lots of friends who come in and out of our lives, but some friends are meant to share our lives forever.


David and I have always had an obsession with houses. A sense of "Home" is the most important thing to us both. Instead of going on a honeymoon, we built our first house. We were dirt poor, had no furniture and ate a lot of spaghetti, but we were so happy to start our life together with a new home.


Today, we are on our fifth house and while it's cute, we know there will be a sixth. ;)


This is our engagement photo from September of 1990. This was one of the best years of my entire life. I was so happy and so free with everything to look forward to. In my mind, I  will always want to be twenty two years old. ;)


Here we are today. I miss having good eyesight (four different prescriptions now) and my long hair. As for David? Well, he just misses his hair. hee,hee,hee






I think back to when I was twenty three and all the things I did that September. I got married, I bought a house and I also got promoted to Office Manager and Bookeeper for a commercial roofing company. I took over for Margaret, who had worked there for 42 years. Not easy at all. Margaret always said she loved all my energy. Well, looking back today, it makes me tired! Haaaaaaaaa!

Who knows what adventures and houses the next twenty five years will bring, but one thing I am certain of...



See you next Thursday!

Michelle

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Paisley Pumpkins and a Winner!

Well hellooooooooo! It has been a long couple of days stitching, photographing and writing the instructions (over 27 hours of pattern writing), but it's finally ready!!

Here are my Paisley Pumpkins! This pieces measures 21" x 36." I was inspired by all the gorgeous pumpkin topiaries I see. Plus, fall is my most favorite time of year and I thought paisleys on pumpkins sounded fun!



I have Kits available with paper patterns and if you don't need a kit, I also have e-Patterns available for instant download. Hop on over to my new SHOP HERE.


There will be a limited number of kits available, so if you want one, don't delay.

Next, I want to thank you so very much for your kind comments on my new website. Without people purchasing patterns, books etc., designers will go away. Not many people can work for free, or want to spend all their creative energies for nothing. Heck, they can just make things for themselves! ;) So from the bottom of my heart, the bunnies and I truly appreciate your friendship and support of our small business.

So who is our winner of the Valdani collection? Well, the random number generator picked number 17, Wendy of Ravenwood Whimsies!! Congratulations Wendy!


Send me an email with your address and I will get your Wilmington collection in the mail to you.



Finally, I have decided to move my weekly blog post to Thursdays. Wednesday has become a super busy day for me (as you can tell by the late hour in which I am writing this). So I'll see you back here next Thursday!

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Something Wild Calls You Home

Helloooooooooo! Well, I am a day late, but not a dollar short. In fact, I'm late because I have so much to celebrate and I had to wait until today to share it with you!

First, I am over the moon to tell you that my new Website is up and ready! After attending webinars, reading tutorials and then spending countless hours loading all the new content into the site, I can finally say that this little bunny learned some new tricks! hee,hee,hee. I am thrilled with the fresh, modern look of my site and I have to give a shout out to Jordan at Like Sew for all his kindness, patience and support he gave me. If you are looking for a website shop or an update to your current site, I highly recommend them.

My site offers my kits, supplies and now e-patterns! New items will be coming soon, like this, a sneaky peeky of my Folk Art Fusion project, Paisley Pumpkins, which will be available next week.

So take a hop on over HERE and let me know what you think.


Next, yesterday marked my ninth, yes ninth year of blogging! I can't believe I have been writing my little tales and sharing my thoughts with you for that many years. I still remember the day I decided to start a blog and how excited I was to embark on this adventure. So much has changed over the years. People, bunnies, critters and events have come in and out of my life. Sad times, good times, fun times, crazy times all written here in this little space in the universe. The friends I have made through this blog are my greatest treasures. Even when my creative "mojo" seems to take a vacation from time to time, something wild calls me home.

My favorite violin girl, Lindsey Stirling, worked with Andrew McMahon on this wonderful new song, "Something Wild" from the movie Pete's Dragon. The words have so much meaning to me.

"You've got a big heart. The way you see the world has got you this far. You might have some bruises and a few scars, but you know you're gonna be okay. Even though you're scared, you're stronger than you know. If you're lost out where the lights are blinding, caught and all the stars are hiding. That's when something wild calls you home. If you face the fear that keeps you frozen, chase the sky into the ocean. That's when something wild calls you home. "   (Auntie loves you very much Noelle.)

Enjoy the video!


Finally, in celebration of my new Website and for Nine Years of Blogging, I am having a Giveaway of one of my Valdani size 12 perle cotton collections!

You can choose my new Wilmington collection or


my Folk Art Fusion II collection.



To enter, leave a comment here on the blog as to which one you would like. This giveaway is open to friends worldwide. The random number generator will choose the winner next Wednesday.

Thank you so very much for being such a big part of my life and for sharing my journeys and adventures. Here's to more adventures down the rabbit hole together!

Light, love and hugs,
Michelle


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pure Imagination

"Hold your breath. Make a wish. Count to three."

I was saddened to hear the passing of Gene Wilder, aka Willy Wonka this week. The last thing I say when I close out my lectures Chats is a quote from the great Willy Wonka. "Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look and you'll see into your imagination. Living there you'll be free if you truly wish to be."

As Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is greater than knowledge." I truly believe this. My overactive imagination has created some wonderful things in my life. It's taken me on amazing adventures without ever leaving the house. It allows me to have a conversation with just about anything...like bunnies and critters in general. ;)

A new adventure is coming to The Raspberry Rabbits in 2017. Something fun and different. A creative journey filled with the creations from two friends from two different countries. We hope to inspire you and lead you down the rabbit hole into your imagination.

More information will be coming soon. Until then, I leave you with a little tune from the great Willy Wonka.

Light, Love and Hugs,
Michelle

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My visit with the Prairie Star Quilters Guild

Well hellooooooooo! Boy oh boy did I ever have the most fun in Chicago!!! I left at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday and got home at 12:30 a.m. this morning. Whew! What a whirlwind, but a fun one for sure!


I was invited by these two fabulous ladies, Teresa and Chris (my new forever friends!) to give two chats and have a play date with their guild. The quilt above is their guild's raffle quilt. Isn't it gorgeous? Teresa and Chris are simply the best! I felt like I had been friends with them forever already and they spoiled me rotten. Chris took me to her house and showed me all sorts of quilts and goodies she has made. Fabulous! Also, I had hair envy as I have always wanted to wear my hair like hers and it never looks right on me. Chris also drove me around so I could house gaulk at all the gorgeous homes in the Saint. Charles and surrounding areas. OMG!! If it wasn't for snow, I could totally live in this place. To me it is a picture postcard perfect for "America."



Here we are at our Play Date. Everyone doing bunny ears. hee,hee,hee.

They did such a great job and everyone was really happy at how far they got in one day.

This is another raffle quilt from a nearby guild. Pretty! All those points make me crazy. I'm not good at piecing at all.


Here is the day group showing off their pumpkins from class. Yes, their guild has almost 300 members so they have a day and night group.

I must say that I was over the moon excited that one of my students was this GORGEOUS and absolutely sweet girl, Hannah. She is Teresa's daughter. She sings classical music and just graduated from college. While her mom has been a quilter for a long time, Hannah has never been really interested in it until my pumpkin class. She did such a wonderful job and we were all so happy that a young person might now have the quilting bug like we all do. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!! Did I mention how gorgeous she is? ;)


Here is the night group showing off their pumpkins from class.

The next few photos are from their show and tell. One day I will remember to bring my big girl camera and not just have my phone, but you get the idea.












Another absolutely wonderful thing about my trip was meeting a long time blog follower and wonderful customer in person. This is my friend Stephanie! I was so excited to hug her neck. She drove in and visited the guild just to hear my chat and meet me. Happy bunny dance!!! It was so great to meet you Stephanie!!!!

This is another sweet friend and customer, Gail. She belongs to the guild and I got to hug her neck and also meet her wonderful mom. They hang out and quilt together. Fun! So great to hug your neck too Gail!

Chris, Teresa and Hannah took me to three quilt shops in town. Yes, aren't you jealous that they have three right near them? Wow! The first shop was Sew Generously. Karin, the owner, is so nice and I also met Lydia who works there. Check them out if you are in Saint Charles. They are also the Bernina dealer. The shop is bright and cheerful with lots of beautiful fabric.

Then we hopped on over to The Quilt Merchant. Valerie is the owner of this shop, which is filled with lots of civil war and warm earthy colors. More primitive in style. It is a gorgeous shop and Valerie is French so it was fun listening to her accent. Super nice lady. Hop over and visit her if you are in the Winfield, IL area.

Next, I got to meet this lovely lady, Lynn Schmitt of A Different Box of Crayons. All I can say is WOW!!! Lynn is also an interior decorator and brings her eye for interior design into her work.
She has a small shop that is also her studio so you can see what she is working on when you visit.

Check out this pillow! It has silk and wool! Lynn mixes all sorts of textiles in her work.


She has a book coming out through C&T publishing next year where she will teach you methods on putting these different elements together. It will be going on my bookshelf for sure!

She vends some of the bigger quilt shows, so keep an eye out for her. This quilt below had lots of dupioni silk in it along with wool. The quilting was gorgeous.

Here's a close up.

This quilt was also gorgeous. The stars were put together in rows so you don't have "Y" seams. The dark brown fabric in the second border is actually home deck fabric that is fuzzy. What incredible texture! You can hop over to visit Lynn at her website HERE. She will also be opening a new shop soon, which will be fabulous and she will be teaching in Italy next year with her pal, Renee Nanneman of Need'l Love.

Well, like I said at the beginning of this post, Teresa and Chris spoiled me rotten. I love them to bits and I am so excited that I got visit with them and all the wonderful, kind and fun members of the Prairie Star Quilters Guild.


Hugs ya'll!
Michelle (shell)