July 21

Letting Go



Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Harvest Moon By Hand.  Ann is reading a book called Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston.  The book lists several effects that clutter can have on a person.  As I read through the list, I thought it also makes a great list to hold up against an item.  If the item meets any of these criteria, it might be a good thing to get rid of.  Since I’m doing a lot of decluttering this year, I think it will be very helpful to me, especially when I’m feeling stuck on whether to keep something or give it away.  I’ll be looking to get rid of things that:

make me feel tired and lethargic.
keep me in the past.
affect my weight.
confuse me.
affect the way people treat me.
make me procrastinate.
cause disharmony between people.
make me feel ashamed.
put my life on hold.
can depress me.
create excess baggage (as in when you go on a trip you tend to take more than you need).
dull my sensitivity and enjoyment of life.
cause extra cleaning.
make me disorganized.
are a health or fire hazard.
distract me from important things.

Hmmm…I might not have much stuff left, but you get the point.

Daily Inspiration


The home should be the treasure chest of living.
Le Corbusier

Posted by lori . Filed under Lori's Lists | 7 Comments

July 20

Crazy Quilting – Finishing


Session 1 of Artful Gathering is done.  I took Crazy Quilting 101 with Pat Winter

Last week, I added embellishments and started to finish the pouch. 

I ran into two little problems.  I decided to finish mine differently…unfortunately, my way left me with a seam on the inside lining.  I should have followed the instructions!



I also didn’t leave much room for turning over the seam at the top.  I think I have a solution for both these dilemmas, but I need to go to the fabric store first.  So, you’ll be seeing this pouch again…hopefully, finished.

This week, Session 2 classes started.  I’m taking Mixed Devotions with Cristina Zinnia Galliher


And, Make Every Minute Count Art Doll with Cat Kerr

Daily Inspiration


Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom.  They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.

Jim Carrey

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 10 Comments

July 19

What I Know Now – Part 4


During June and July, I’ve been picking three items…the first week, I tell you what I know and the next week, I tell you what more I find out with a little investigating.  This is my last two weeks.  It’s been interesting looking for those little bits of additional information.  This week’s heirlooms are:

Bunny Planter

I believe this was a planter (with a plant) that my mom received in the hospital when she was there having me.

Romper Room Mug

This was my Romper Room mug.  I loved watching Romper Room as a little girl, and this was my milk mug.

Quilting Squares

I don’t have a clue what’s behind these.  Seems like I remember them always being around, but I’m not sure how I ended up with them.

Next week, I’ll tell you what else I find out about these things.

Daily Inspiration


A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.

Douglas Pagels

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 10 Comments

July 18

Try This – Needlepoint Kit

This month, I’m trying out some kits.  I spotted these Stitch & Zip kits and was intrigued.

The kit includes the printed canvas Stitch & Zip coin purse, floss, a needle and instructions.

What makes the kit super cool…no finishing required. 

Simply unzip, stitch and zip.

When you’ve finished stitching, the remaining canvas can be trimmed to 1/4-inch from the seam.  I’m thinking about stitching a piece of fabric to the  underside, so I didn’t trim my canvas.


The stitching caused the canvas to distort…just a little.  I’m considering “blocking” it to straighten it out.  I thought this kit was awesome.  Easy, beautiful and useful.

Daily Inspiration


Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein

Posted by lori . Filed under Try This | 9 Comments

July 17

Love This – Temp-tations



I love ceramic bakeware.  My current favorite is the Temp-tations® line from QVC.  It’s good quality, comes in a variety of colors and patterns and is reasonably priced.

The lady that brings Temp-tations® to QVC, Tara McConnell, has written two cookbooks that I like.  If I like a cookbook, it means that the recipes are easy.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Honey Sesame Chicken

Serves 4

4 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (8 ounces each)

1 Tablespoon jarred minced garlic

2 Tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish, optional

1.  Add chicken breasts, garlic, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil to a food storage bag, and toss to combine.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.

2.  Preheat over to 375 degrees

3.  Remove chicken from marinade and place in a 4-quart Temp-tations® dish.  Bake, flipping halfway through, until chicken is cooked, 25 to 30 minutes.

4.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Here’s what I do…I cut the chicken breasts into cubes.  When it comes to transferring the chicken to the bakeware dish, I just dump everything in, marinade and all.  I don’t garnish with the toasted sesame seeds.  That’s too hard.

Daily Inspiration


 There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.

Robert Frost

Posted by lori . Filed under Love This | 9 Comments

July 16

In My Studio – July 16


Here’s what was happening in my studio this past week:

My “Try This” posts in July are all about kits.  This week, I stitched a Dimensions Embroidery Kit.

I’m finishing up my Artful Gathering Session 1 class…Crazy Quilting 101.  I added silk ribbon embroidery and embellished my embroidery stitches.  I also added a few other embellishments.  Now, I need to finish my pouch by adding a back, lining and handle.

I belong to two card clubs and this week, I got together with one of them.  We made this card.

And this card.

Friday, Casper went to the vet for his annual wellness visit and to donate blood.  Casper and Nikki are blood donors.  That night, when we went to bed, he was very whiny.  I let him out, but the next time he started up, I pushed him out of the bedroom and shut the door.  I could still hear him whining, so I got up.  One whiff, and I knew my boy wasn’t whining for nothing.  I don’t know what caused it, but Casper had diarrhea.  My dear boy was trying to tell me, but I didn’t get the hint.  Even with that, he had his “accident” in front of the door on the entrance rug.  He tried to get as close to “outside” as he could.  Isn’t he the sweetest, best boy?

The next day, Casper gave me a big bouquet of flowers to thank me for getting up at 4 am and cleaning up the mess.  Isn’t Casper sweet…and smart.

Daily Inspiration


 “Silent” and “listen” are spelled with the same letters. 

Author Unknown 

Posted by lori . Filed under In My Studio | 13 Comments

July 15

Being A Docent


Center for History, South Bend, Indiana

Back in March 2011, I passed my test and became a docent for the Oliver Mansion (Copshaholm).  The mansion was dubbed Copshaholm in honor of the birthplace of J.D. Oliver’s father, James.  James was born near Newcastleton, Scotland.  In ancient times, Newcastleton was called “Copshawolm” which literally means “clump of trees on a hill overlooking a river.”


The Oliver Mansion

James Oliver patented a chilling process for cast iron the revolutionized the farming industry.  J.D. Oliver was the financial and marketing genius behind the company.  Copshaholm was built by J.D. Oliver, and his family moved into the mansion on January 1, 1897.

Detail of the wall surrounding the property

As a little girl, my mom and I would drive past the Oliver Mansion when we went downtown to shop.  I probably asked a hundred times, who lived there.  My mom would tell me “the Olivers.”  At that time, two of J.D.’s children still did…Catherine (the youngest daughter) who died in 1970 and Joseph, Jr. (the youngest son) who died in 1972.

Detail of the Carriage House

In 1988, the children of Gertrude Oliver (the oldest daughter) gave the Oliver Mansion and everything inside to The Center for History.  Copshaholm is a national treasure because visitors can enjoy and historians can study everything about the family…just as they lived.

Front of Dom Robotnika

It is an incredible honor for me, to be able to share this beautiful home with visitors.  In addition to a tour of Copshaholm, our guests also get to visit Dom Robotnika which translates from Polish to “The Worker’s Home.”  This home is recreated to represent what a home of one of the workers in the Oliver factory would have looked like in the 1930’s.

 Back of Dom Robotnika


After I finished giving my tour Sunday afternoon, I took a stroll through the gardens.

Detail of the Wishing Well

The Oliver estate sits on 2.5 acres, and everywhere you look are beautiful details.

Detail of the Fountain

It was quiet in the gardens.

Exterior of the Gazebo

The sun was shining and it was perfect summer day.

Interior of the Gazebo

It was magical, walking alone in such a beautiful, peaceful place.  How lucky am I.

Daily Inspiration


The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.

Hanna Rion

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 9 Comments

July 14

Favorite Movies


Every Friday in 2011, I posted about a favorite movie.  Here are a few more favorites I want to add to my list:

The Descendants

I love this movie for many reasons.  The acting is incredible, the Hawaiian storyline is compelling, but the main reason I love this movie is how it handles the messiness of loving another person.  Love isn’t for sissies, and this film tells that story beautifully.


Splendor In The Grass

I love this film from 1961 because of the variety and intensity of all the actors’ performances, particularly Natalie Woods and Warren Beatty (his first film).

Good Will Hunting

This is a great film with interesting characters, a good story and sharp dialogue.  The reason I love it…the way it shows how our roots, our past and the stories we tell ourselves effect how we live in this world and how we can move through them.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I just watched this film for the first time.  I love Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton together and separately.  There are many reason to admire this film, but the reason it took my breath away was the raw, brutal force of it.


Fargo is a dark comedy/crime drama from Joel and Ethan Coen.  I love many of the Coen Brother movies because they aren’t afraid to deal with the chaos and randomness that is ever present in life.

Daily Inspiration


I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.

W. C. Fields

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies), Lori's Lists | 7 Comments

July 13

Crazy Quilting – Silk Ribbon Embroidery


This summer, I’m participating in a few classes offered by Artful Gathering.  During the first session, I’m taking Crazy Quilting 101.  This week, I added silk ribbon embroidery.

This was my first attempt at silk ribbon embroidery.  Our instructor, Pat Winter, offered several videos demonstrating the stitches.  I thought it was easy to do.  The most difficult thing was the placement and arrangement of the flowers, which is what I expected since this was my first go at it.

 Next week, I’ll show you the embellishments I added and the finished product.

Daily Inspiration


Flattery is like cologne water, to be smelt, not swallowed.

Josh Billings

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

July 12

What I Now Know – Part 3


To motivate myself to put together an “heirloom” album, here’s what I’m doing on Thursdays during June and July…I’ll pick three items; the first week, I’ll tell you what I know and the next week, I’ll tell you what more I find out.  Here are the heirlooms I picked last week.  The text in black is what I knew; the text in red is what I found out.

Green Bottle

My mom gave this to me.  It belonged to her father’s brother (her uncle).

This originally belonged to my mom’s Uncle Ed (her father’s brother) of Lackawana, New York.  Every time my mom would visit her mother, her mom would have something setting out for her to take home.  This was one of those things.  Apparently, my grandmother loved green glass and had a lot of it.


Oil Painting


Oil Painting Details

This hung in the hallway of the home I grew up in.  I’m sure my mom told me a little about it when she gave it to me, but I don’t remember.  I had it stored away and just recently hung it up.

The painting belonged to my Great Aunt Mame.  It was painted by one of her friends.  Unfortunately, it’s not signed and neither my dad nor mom could remember the name of the friend.  It has a label on the back from a local framing/art supply store.



Chair Label

My mom gave me this chair.  I assume it is a “family” piece, but I don’t know anything about it.  It has a label on the bottom, “Holland Chair Company, Holland, Mich.”

This chair also belonged to my Great Aunt Mame.  I’m trying to find out more about the Holland Chair Company.  Nothing turned up on Google.

Daily Inspiration


Memory is what tells a man that his wife’s birthday was yesterday.

Mario Rocco

Posted by lori . Filed under If I Die Today | 6 Comments