A Quiet House Again

Thanks for all the family love! My sister and nieces have departed for their journey back to China, my brother and his daughter are heading back to Minneapolis, and all is quiet again… for awhile. I suppose everyone else’s houses are picking now with the school season upon us.

some of my family

(that’s my aunt Madelon pictured on the right with them)

We spent lots of time shopping and playing in my mom’s beautiful backyard.

my moms pretty flower gardenCheck out this cool container she has tucked in the back among the hostas.

the face container

She has this gorgeous hydrangea bush full of big puff balls.

hydrangea bush

It’s full of flowers that seem bigger than softballs.

hydrangea puff ballsI always forget to plant some of these black-eyed susans, which would work well in our sunny backyard.

black-eyed susansI thought these little roses were so pretty, even though they were past blooming and were just about to fall apart. Each flower petal looks like a heart.

pretty little roses

My mom brought home these gorgeous roses from the garden center she works at. I have never seen variegated roses, which I guess is a new experiment.

variegated roses

My drawing class starts a week from today, so I have a week left to get more patchwork projects made, to sew on labels, and take pictures of everything for my etsy shop.

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend!

A Couple Days Left

My sister has been in the States visiting since the Fourth of July.  But now she only has a couple days left until she and her family return to China for another year.  It’s sad for the rest of us to see them go again, but it’s a continuation of their adventure living as expats.

MK and her daughters

We are off to my parents’ house in Milwaukee for the weekend to spend some time together and see them off to the airport. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Hitting the Road

I am hitting the road today, driving to my parents’ cottage in northern Wisconsin for a week of R&R. My parents, my sister and her daughters are already there, and my brother and his daughter are meeting us too.

benches for contemplation

I am looking forward to a repeat of our last time there, swimming, biking, kayaking, skipping rocks, reading, watching the bonfire on the beach, and just chillaxing!

the beach in Garrett Bay

I will try to check in once or twice on the days we make a trip to the library, since my folks don’t have Internet at their cottage. (I know!)

fabrics for zigzag quilt along

When I return, I am looking forward to starting on the next quilt along – a zig-zag quilt led by Amy. I’m going to use this beautiful stack of Dance With Me fabrics. Hope you all have a great week!

A Family Affair

I feel like I just spent the past three days on holiday! My family arrived on Friday to hang out and entertain our extended family for a reunion on Saturday to celebrate my sister’s time in the U.S.

We opened the day with a trip to the farmers market and art fair.

hanging out at the market(Abby, MaryKay, Taylor and Mike)

The produce and flowers at the market were beautiful, as usual.

freshness at the marketMy sister filled her shopping bag with lots of bread and cheese, of course. They can’t get good bread in China, and as long as they are in Wisconsin, they might as well stock up on cheese too. My brother bought these delicious jalapeno popper biscuits, quite tasty when warmed and buttered.

Mike and MK buying breadThe rest of us filled up on cookies for breakfast. (gotta keep up with the kids!)

We checked out some cool art,

sculpture art at the art fairand some funky art.

funky art at the art fairAll the while, my wonderful mom was at our house getting the food ready for a party for 25 people (thanks Mom!), and my husband was setting up the backyard (thanks Dave).

My wonderful family!(Mom, Mike, Taylor, MaryKay, Amanda, Me, Abby)

We lucked out with beautiful weather, and everyone had so much fun together!

Weekends Go Too Fast

I can’t believe how fast the weekends go!  Especially when you’re having so much fun. We welcomed my sister and two nieces back to America from their first year of living in China.

Abby coming off the plane

They were so excited to be back!

Amanda and MaryKay back home!We spent the past two days shopping, from Target to the grocery store to Kohl’s to Boston Store to Barnes and Noble. We shopped until we dropped! They were happy to see children’s menus at restaurants, Western bathrooms, bookstores full of American magazines, convenient foods in the grocery deli, cereal that didn’t cost $10/box, blue skies, fresh air, and wide open spaces.  We fell back into our routines of eating, cracking jokes and sharing stories, playing, going for walks, and just catching up.

It’s going to be a great six weeks having them around!

A Trip to Hong Kong!

Some of you may know that my sister and her family are expats living in Guangzhou, China for three years for a job assignment.


(my sister and family in Xian)

girls-in-chinese-ny-outfits(My nieces Amanda and Abby in their Chinese New Year outfits)

I’m going to visit them!!!

I will be gone from March 12 until the end of the month. My mom and I are meeting my sister and her family in Hong Kong, where we’ll spend a few days sightseeing, and then we’ll take the train to Guanzhou (formerly known as Canton) where they live. I probably won’t be able to do any new posts on this blog until I get back because all the blog servers are blocked in China. You would think sewing blogs were harmless, but who knows.

airplane reading

(my reading for the 15-hour plane ride!)

I hope you all keep busy sewing and creating for the rest of March. Don’t forget to start watching for your bulbs to come up and hopefully enjoy some longer, warmer days!

A Trip and a Vacation

People say there is a difference between a trip to visit family and a vacation.  I guess you can’t call visiting family a vacation, but our trip to New York City to visit Dave’s sister and brother-in-law was so much fun. How could I not call it a vacation?!

We live in a small city, more like a college town, so I love being in the big city, especially THE city.  Just watching people going about their lives can be an adventure.

Approaching Manhattan

I had a small list of a couple places I really wanted to go to, and thanks to my patient husband, we found each one.

There was Purl in Soho:

Me in front of PurlCheck out the inside!  Who can’t resist walls and walls of yarn?!  I bought that skein of Sheep Shop yarn to make a beret.  I also bought two skeins of sportweight yarn by Blue Sky Alpacas to make fingerless gloves.  Besides all the luxurious and colorful yarns, the atmosphere at this shop is warm and cozy. It feels like a great place to meet friends or spend an afternoon, lost in your knitting project.

walls of yarn

Next stop was just a couple doors down the block: Purl Patchwork:

Purl Patchwork Storefront

This is such a wonderful shop, a lovely place I would love to hang out at on a regular basis.

Wall of Fabric!

We also made it to M&J Trimmings:

M&J Trimmings in ManhattanThis shop is also amazing – HUGE and FULL of ribbons, rick rack, buttons, beads, and millions of other embellishments.  I bought a bag full of various ribbons.

Inside M&J Trimmings

I felt a bit like a tourist when we found this next shop, but it was worth it to see in person.

Inside of Mood FabricsCan you guess where I was, standing among millions of bolts of fabric?

Mood Fabrics storefrontI didn’t buy anything there because I was so overwhelmed with their inventory. We were lucky to get away with a couple pictures. I’m sure they don’t like tourists coming in and gawking while they’re trying to conduct a professional textile business.

Fashion District Statue

(At this point, I would like to point out the great pictures Dave was taking for me – isn’t he great?!)

Here are a few highlights from the rest of our vacation:

Terri in front of the Guggenheimin front of the Guggenheim Museum

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Artinside the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Times Squarewatching the craziness in Times Square.

famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centerthe famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center – not quite ready yet! (official lighting: Dec. 3)

I took over one hundred pictures, so I won’t bore you with more.  We ran into the Union Square Greenmarket, ate at a couple Irish pubs, rode the subway, saw the Christmas window displays at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, even checked out St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

You may recall, we were celebrating, so we went to a french bistro on the upper West side called Nice/Matin for dinner.  FA-BU-LOUS!

Birthday girl and hubby

Besides being away from work for TEN days (it was heaven), we spent a lot of time just sightseeing and people-watching, had many great conversations and many more moments of laughter and jokes. I’m going to cherish this trip and vacation.