Sunday, June 3, 2018

May Madness

It's been WAY too long without a post...and believe me, I have a month full of fun/creative things to share. Let's start with a general update today with some basic highlights (scroll down for more Garin  photos and a video)...then get into some creative posts over the next week...

Our trip to Nashville was a great getaway...this trip proved to be a wonderful sightseeing adventure, even though what I probably needed most was a simple beach or lake vacation with a good book to clear my head. My favorite outings included The Grand Ole Opry Show and Backstage Tour (we got to see Luke Combs perform), Cheekwood Estate and Gardens ( and the Belle Meade Plantation tour and wine tasting (….but that is just a small sampling of our journey - we also went to the Nashville Zoo (which was lovely), the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, TN, the Parthenon, and visited an array of other attractions/museums - plus we listened to some incredible live music. Talk about cramming a lot into just five days - we made great use of our time. We drove ten hours each way – so it was a lot of car time too...which was actually nice, because it was some "one on one time" with my husband, who has had an insane travel schedule for over a year. Oh...and how could I forget...we stopped at Hancock's of Paducah in Paducah, KY on the way quilting friends will understand how exciting this was for me...and I only bought four yards! (Click on any image to enlarge...)

Grand Ole Opry - Luke Combs on stage...

Instruments backstage at the Grand Ole Opry

A favorite image from one of the Cheekwood gardens...

Cheekwood - Carell Woodland Scupture Trail - "Crawling Lady Hare"

Cheekwood - "Intrude" Exhibit by Australian Artist Amanda Parer

Cheekwood - "Intrude" Exhibit by Australian Artist Amanda Parer

Belle Meade Plantation

Sampling the good stuff at the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, TN

A glimpse inside Hancock's of Paducah...

After being home about a week (working round-the-clock on Quilt Market deadlines), I headed to Lake Summerset, IL for an extended weekend with my mom and Dan. It was another long drive, but there is nothing like time with family. Unfortunately, it stormed quite a bit of the time...but we did manage to get the boat out on the water the first evening and have a campfire (and a s'more!) before the rain started pouring. We also made a special trip to Wisconsin to the Fireside Dinner Theatre ( for a Saturday matinee dinner and Broadway performance of 42nd Street – it was WONDERFUL – my mom and Dan have season tickets and were able to add me to their reservation. The trip seemed too short, but work deadlines were calling my name back in Iowa.

Fireside Dinner Theatre in historic Fort Atkinson, WI

Another FULL week of work and then we were off to Minnesota to pick up Garin from his three months of puppy boot camp. What a joy it was to see him again - he is doing GREAT – etremely well-behaved (for a puppy) – and I am quite impressed with his training - I sure am happy to have him home!! He definitely obeys commands and walks perfectly on heel, but is obviously still a puppy...we work with him daily to keep up with the training and keep him sharp. He knew who we were right away and that made me smile - he is going to be the best companion...and he is very protective of me!  It was an all day trip - we left at the crack of dawn to get there by 10:00 AM and got home late into the evening. Here is his graduation video and photo...and if you can't see the video below, you can see it on YouTube here:

Once Garin was home safely, we headed to Boone, Iowa the next morning to run the Gladiator Assault Challenge (a mud run with with a bunch of challenging muddy obstacles) with a small team from our local gym ( I was a bit concerned when we pulled up and could see some of the course from the Jeep...but yet, I persevered. It was definitely out of my comfort zone - I got SUPER muddy, soaking wet, and winded...and I finished!! It was actually a great experience and I would definitely do it again (with more cardio training!). Several weeks before the event, I had started running each day after lifting to train for mountainous inclines, and now I am motivated to keep running. I feel healthy - I feel good.

So May was gone in a flash - seriously, where did it go?! I think I crammed something into just about every minute of every day. The good news is, I met all my big work deadlines (I can't wait to share some of the projects with you!) and I am now back to making TONS of project bags and completing piles and piles of needlework studio counter is covered in organized piles for some very patient customers! I will be back soon to start sharing some of my recent creative finishes...there are A LOT of many in fact, that I made a list of things to share so I wouldn't forget anything. Make sure to stop back in the next few days to see some gorgeous needlework pieces, several quilting projects, and a plethora of custom sewing projects...


  1. Sounds like you had a very exciting month of May!!
    Congrats on Garin's graduation!

  2. Belinda, you certainly had an action packed month of May. I love the first photo of Garin; he is such a cutie. Looking forward to seeing what you have been creating! xoxoxo