Friday, July 11, 2014


I seem to have inadvertently assigned only monthly check-ins to myself here on the blog this toasty warm season.  One moment I wonder how that happened, and then the next moment a month has passed and I have my answer.  It has been a very, very full summer already.  We are not major vacationers around here, typically opting instead to take short trips of the spontaneous variety.  But these past weeks we have managed to find ourselves in various pockets of the country and surprised every time we stop to realize how smoothly it went.  Thank you Summer, that was really nice of you.  We went to the Catskills to stay with my friend Heather & family for a dew days, and I cannot explain just exactly how much I loved physically being in that place.  Just that part of the country, seeing the different forestation and rock colorations, feeling different breezes, getting bit by different bugs, let alone the splendid company of my sweet and entertaining friend, her adorable and clever husband and their storybook-cute kiddo, Miss Bea.  Her and Roman had a bit of a thing.  It was all too adorable for words.  Heather and I did glamourous things like move and organize food into her new pantry that was delivered the first day we were there.  I reminded her throughout the rest of the trip that she will forever thank me for establishing a dried fruit and nut shelf. The womenfolk among us took off to Vermont for Heather's Mother/daughter Weekend sewing event at the Blueberry Hill Inn, leaving the boys to themselves, sliced cheese, organic bacon, the lake, some canoes, life jackets for the toddlers, beer for the daddys and guitars for all.  As it turns out, that was all way more than that group needed for fun.  As for us, we packed the car full of craft supplies which was just exactly what was required for our fun + loads of lovely women and their daughters, cool nights, s'mores, beer and ponds and lakes.  Too, too much fun, and I hope to do it again next summer.  Vermont is absolutely beautiful.  Driving all the way to upstate NY, then to Vermont, back to NY and finally home to Nashville was quite the trek. I personally spent 42 hours driving a car over 7 days time. However I really didn't know until I was in the midst of the long hours on the sunny road followed by several hours in severe storms driven with white knuckles and extra open eyeballs followed by numerous full double rainbows that I was so in need of this blank space.  A resting spot out there.  One after another.  Nothingness, really, if we are speaking relative to my normal days.  It was equally unanticipated and necessary.  Since then we have also found ourselves to East Tennessee for time with my Dad, my brother, sister and all the cousins.  We took ten of those cousins up the side of one of the Smokey Mountains for a 5 mile hike.  We relied only on my brother's memory of Rainbows Falls having hiked it 20 years ago with Juliana on his back.  He muttered something about kinda rocky then leveling out.  We looked for the leveling out the WHOLE entire way up, and the smarter among us didn't bother looking on the way back.   On the way to post-hike milkshakes, burgers and fries, Jeff and I talked about how you must name mountain peaks things like Rainbow Falls because no one would climb it if you named it Not Really Worth It Especially If You Have Ten Children With You Falls.  I also learned from Roman that the word shortcut describes something that you should never do because you could get cut.  Short. Cut.  In the case of traveling across rockier, branchier bits of path he was absolutely right so I chose not to argue. I only pointed out that it was all too easy for him to say from his lofty position of piggy-on-my-back all the way down the mountain.  Phew.

And before all of this amazingly fun continental traipsing about over the past two weeks, we held our first Craft-South series.  We, the studio bunch of us, are all still on floaty happiness mode around here as it was everything that I hoped it would be and so much more.  My One Day Patchwork Primer ladies were eager and stellar.  My Kids Patchwork girls were out of this world interested and talented.  And the weekend lot of ladies along with the incomparable Amy Butler joining and sharing was so incredibly enjoyable I forgot that I was working.  Really, really so great, and here we are just about set to start the July Craft-South block next week.  Please come by our temporary studio in Berry Hill if you'll be in the area next week!  We have a pop-up shop of crafty-sew-y love open to all from Wed-Sat 10-4pm.  Meanwhile the classes will be teaching all kinds of tips and tricks to garment sewing with Liesl Gibson & myself.  (And we are making really good progress on the permanent nashville location!)

Oh, why did you let me go on like that!?   So much more I would love to chat on about, but there are loads of rummage-sale orders to get out, and we are getting all of my new rayons, voiles, flannels & knits loaded into the shop for next week.

More soon pals.  Hope you've had your feet up a bit.  Smooch. Anna Maria


  1. all so good, anna. i know just what you mean about the driving time being good, empty space. i've just had my fill as well. xo.

  2. I didn't want this post to end! I was enjoying cruising along with you and your family so much, Anna Maria! Just such Happy Happy Days! Thank you so much for a delightful respite in the middle of my too hot filled w/ busy work day!!
    xo from S CA!

  3. I can't wait to see the Instagrams start pouring in again at #craftsouth. When can those of us who are signed up for the August workshops expect more info on what we need to bring, etc.?

  4. Oh how I love road trips...lovely scenery and road food and lots of time to just float along....well as long as someone else is driving!

  5. It all sounds so very, very good.

  6. Love the words and photos, years ago I traveled those areas and spent summers in the country with girls who were afraid to be alone. Husbands came up on the weekend. Had land in the Catskill and so sorry I sold it.

  7. Your descriptions of your vacation reminded me of mine this year. We had a family reunion at the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Our hike to Inspiration Falls with 7 kids and 9 adults was not inspirational, but we did see snow, a mama bear and her cub (from quite a distance, thankfully!), and a big waterfall. I also tried to teach the kids about the nice gneiss that the Tetons are made up of, and my 15-year-old niece was kind enough to say that I didn't make it boring! I'm looking forward to the next reunion next year in Hiawassee, GA - the Blue Ridge Mountains.

  8. Love this. Love the pictures and the descriptions and the realness. Family vacation are the best, as is much needed quiet time. And oh my, that picture of the baby making what we call "chubby little stinker face". So adorable!!!

  9. I love every post you share with us- monthly or daily. Thank you for taking the time to do so!
    Bora from Switzerland

  10. beautiful. all of it.. all of you and yours.. hugs and kisses.xoxo

  11. You know what? I just love it when you "go on like this". This past year I have been thinking a lot about the blogs that I like and why as I have started my own little blog and yours is a sort of unique quantity. It's always worth reading whether long or short, news or DIY or life. You have THE BEST blog "voice" out of all the blogs I read and I think it's because you live life with a lot of joy and love (at least that's how it appears to me). That always comes through and it makes your blog a pleasure to read, so please ramble, post frequently or infrequently. I love the look into your world. You are one of my inspirations and creative heroines.

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