Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a Happy Halloween.
We recently visited a pumpkin farm to select the perfect pumpkins for our jack-o-lanterns and we picked a few gourds , too.
Believe it or not, we have already had our first trick-or-treater today!

Who could resist this little hotdog? even first thing in the morning :)
Sometimes we call him our little bratwurst.
I don't think he minds ;)
Happy Halloween!
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boxwood&Berries ~ Final Day

All too soon, Boxwood & Berries 2011 was coming to an end...
Here are some of our creations drying in the sun after aging them.
Here is our group from Session 2. Unfortunately Sue had left before we had a chance to take our group photo :(
This is our wonderful group that stayed together at the Second Story - oh what a fun time we had! Me, Carla, Wendy, Linda, Nicki, and Kim.
And this is who I sat with each day as we created all of our treasures. Me, Rhonda, and my dear friend Kim. It was such a pleasure to meet Rhonda. She writes the monthly article "Small Town Stories from the Indiana Prairie" for Mercantile Gatherings magazine. The article is always the first thing I read when the magazine arrives and it always makes me smile. I find it interesting that although I grew up in Chicago instead of a small town, I can still relate so much to her stories! And she has a wonderful blog you can visit here.
What an incredible retreat it was with so many lovely memories created!
I haven't gotten any further on my Maggie Bonanomi bedcover:
Oops! Here's my little helper :)
Let's try it again:
But I was thrilled to complete my entire Stacy Nash basket & needfuls:
And here is my purchase from The Wood Shed that I forgot to share earlier:
Don't you just love how the entire corner is worn away?
And I was so blessed to receive some incredible treasures for souvenirs.
On the right is a sweet pincushion made by Carla. Can you believe that she made one for each and every person in the second session! Thank you so much Carla for your sweet generosity and thoughtfulness! And on the left is a shocking surprise! Nancy Knight from the first session made these sweet tags and pockets for the first session. She follows my blog and left me a sweet surprise in my basket! I was so overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness! Nancy, if you read this, please send me an email at I would so like to thank you ever so much personally off line!
Thank you so much for letting me share and relive those four precious days. Sharing and thinking about it brings all those lovely feelings back again and again! Heartfelt thanks to Maggie, Stacy, and especially to Jeanne and her staff at Country Sampler for making our crafting dreams come true!
Stay tuned... we will be updating TDIPT Mercantile late on Halloween night.
And I'll be having another giveaway here on my blog the first week of November...
Blessings, Patti

Monday, October 24, 2011

Boxwood&Berries~Day 3

Day 3 has arrived! Today was filled with smaller projects, but each of them just as special!
We started with Maggie Bonanomi's Angel Wings! Maggie gave us an assortment of papers from old books and ledgers. We had such fun reading snippets from days gone by...
I thought that the wings were going to be too big for me to display and store at home. Maggie was so gracious to sketch out a smaller set of wings for me and help me to adjust the little paper feathers. I just love the finished project! Here it is:

I think that they will just stay out now until after Christmas as I love them so :) Hmmm, maybe I'll leave them out for Valentines Day as well!

Today Selma also helped us to frame sweet little photographs as ornaments. This technique was demonstrated by Blackbird Designs last year and this year we had the opportunity to make one. I'm not sharing mine right now as it has inspired thoughts of Christmas gifts... Jeanne and Selma will be doing these ornaments as a Make it Take it during Country Sampler's Christmas Open House in November. Click here to learn more.

Maggie also shared her fabulous prim ideas for holiday gift wrapping and gift giving. I loved the idea of fresh greens to cushion your gifts instead of tissue ~ a feast for the eyes and the nose!

And old mason jars! What a great way to give a gift! Maggie's ideas seem endless and are always a delight!

Who wouldn't love to open a gift like this on Christmas Day!!!

After lunch, Jeanne organized a special treat for us! Involving this beautiful basket of leaves...

Pat McCorkle, a local of the Spring Green area, came in and shared her special talent... Maple Leaf Crowns! Pat likes to create them in public places for others to enjoy, then shares them with strangers and friends alike! What a lovely way to "pass it on" and share the beauty of nature's autumn bounty!

She mentioned giving them to strangers that show an interest in what she is doing and the fun and joy of watching their surprise as she hands over a crown.

She also leaves crowns on unadorned pumpkins on doorsteps. Imagine the fun when the homeowner comes home to realize their pumpkin has been having fun ;)

She shared with us in hopes that we will keep the Maple Crowns alive and will pass it on as well...

Here is Nel wearing her new crown.

And Selma gathered a few leaves for a crown of her own! Beautiful!
I made a little candle ring out of maple leaves. And have now realized that I haven't taken a photo to share... I will definitely be sharing this idea and passing it on in the autumns to come...


Just one more day of Boxwood & Berries to share. Then it is time for goodbyes and the long wait for another year... Thanks for sharing my journey! Until next time...

Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boxwood&Berries~Day 2

Another day in paradise!
On Day 2 we were greeted with Stacy's kit to construct our sewing basket.
In the front is Stacy's finished example. The redwork pieces in the back are the next Stacy Nash Country Sampler Club Kit that we got to take home with us! Woohoo!
Stacy had a little trunk show of her newest designs including her new Christmas patterns and her sampler commemorating her time at Notforgotten Farm. Of course all the designs went home with me ;) We had great fun putting the basket together and were surprised at Stacy's fun and easy technique.
Today on our lunch break we took a ride to the Woodshed - a sweet aptly named antique shop down a lovely scenic road from Spring Green. I forgot to take a photo of my purchase and will have to share it later...
It was such a treat to get the chance to visit with three lovely ladies from the Netherlands that attended B&B this year! Nel (stitcher extraordinaire), Liezbeth (cross stitch designer and owner of a cross stitch shop), me :), and Els (quilt designer - take a peek at her blog for more on Boxwood & Berries from her perspective!)
After class today, we took a lovely walk through the neighborhood to the incredible home of Ruth Haas! WOW! Once I walked in, I never wanted to leave! I tried to edit the number of photos to share here, but I just couldn't cut out any of these...
This lovely corner was the first thing I saw when I walked in the door. My heart was immediately taken!
Aren't these the best breadboards?!
I think that the buttery was my favorite room in the house!
Lovely views in every corner.
Isn't this the perfect vignette for a bathroom? I love each and every item :)
Ruth's house was so peaceful and calm. Lovely antiques, but absolutely liveable and wonderfully edited so that you can appreciate the beauty of each item.
I dragged my feet as I just didn't want to leave...
Do you see the witch's feet hanging down in the chimney?
Thank you ever so much Ruth for your kindness and generosity of opening your home to so many strangers and letting us wander each and every room!
and just think... Boxwood & Berries is only half over!
So much more yet to come...
Blessings, Patti

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Boxwood & Berries~Day 1

At last Day 1 arrived!
When we walked into the Schoolroom, we were immediately struck by our project for the day ~ Maggie's beautiful wool bedcover. I was a little intimidated by the piecing of the background as I am not a quilter. But I should have known ~ with Maggie's straight forward style and shortcuts we would soon be on our way...
The Schoolroom itself is always inspiring with lovely quilts, needlework and vignettes scattered about.
At each place setting was our kit displayed so sweetly in a wire laundry style basket. A perfect place to keep my project while working on it at home. Of course, I dove right in before remembering to take a photo, so I had to take one now at home.

During our lunch break a few of us took a drive to Yore in Gotham, Wisconsin.
A sweet shop with antiques and prim home decor.
We pieced the main part of our background in the afternoon and started tracing and cutting the applique pieces for the urn of flowers.
After a delicious dinner, Maggie treated us to a trunk show of all of her projects from her new book "Buttonwood Farm". What an incredible treat to see all of these works of art in person!
To hear about her inspiration and creative process was a joy and made us want to create even more!
The Buttonwood Farm bed cover was stunning!
And as incredible as everything looks in the book, it made my heart sing even more to see it in person.
After seeing all these lovelies in person, I had to run into Country Sampler and purchase the kits for Old Blue Indigo Flowers Pillow, Wool Bird Applique Pillow, and 19th Century Wool Hearth Rug. And I think most of the other ladies in the workshop did the same :) If you are interested in the Maggie kits, you can find Country Sampler by clicking here.
Also, did you know that Maggie has a pattern featured in the December 2011 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting? We had to run out and pick that up as well :)
I think we all went to sleep at the end of Day 1 with visions of wool dancing in our heads!
I hope that this gives you a glimpse at our adventure at Boxwood & Berries!
Day 2 will follow shortly...
Blessings, Patti

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Boxwood & Berries~on the way

I have so much to share about this incredible retreat and so many photos that I am trying to break it up into smaller posts, or it will take me forever to post and you forever to read :)
The drive from Chicago to Spring Green, Wisconsin is about 3 1/2 hours. But there are so many great stops along the way that it took me 7 hours and I still felt a bit rushed.
At one point I took a wrong turn and drove past the beautiful home pictured above. I was so glad that I turned the wrong way! The porch wraps around and the pumpkins continue around the side of the house as well. I've never seen so many pumpkins at one home!
The colors and scenery were so pretty that I drove slower than I usually do just to take it all in...
Here are the treasures that I found in my travels including the coverlet I used in the background and the two tickings under the great staved wooden bucket marked Spaulding & Frost, Fremont New Hampshire (a cooperage founded in 1874).
I was a tied up a bit with picture taking as I had a helper today... :)
Once arriving at Country Sampler, I had a bit of time to do a quick tour of the store and then it was on to dinner at the Feed Mill in Mazomanie WI. It was great fun to meet some of the women of the first session and I was so sorry to miss those that had to leave before dinner. The excitement and anticipation was building! And I was so happy to hear many of them say that Stacy's sewing basket would be simple and fun to construct, although I didn't quite believe them ;)
Well, I'll post this now and will try to get my thoughts and photos organized for Day 1!
Blessings, Patti