THE Jack Johnson…

As I have mentioned before, my husband is on the faculty at Austin College, here in Sherman, Texas. He does his best to raise funds for breast cancer research. In fact, he’s one of the rare men who regularly shows up at the fund raising meetings on campus. As he says, many of his favorite people have breasts and curing breast cancer is important. You can see him here in the kilt he wore last spring to raise money.

I just got an email from Kim Snipes, also at AC, who is coordinating Austin College’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October). The principle fundraiser, benefiting both the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society, will be a raffle in which the grand prize (see photos) was donated by her cousin, Jack Johnson – an autographed ukulele, songbook and cd. I had to check with her and, yes, her cousin really is THAT Jack Johnson! How did I not know that?

There is also a cd autographed by all the members of Asleep At The Wheel (Wayne, Kim’s husband, went to high school with the drummer) and a bunch of other prizes donated by local merchants. ANYONE can buy $1 raffle tickets. All you need to enter is to send a check made out to Austin College (write cancer raffle on memo line) to:
Cancer Raffle/Kim Snipes
Austin College
900 N Grand Ave Ste. 61541
Sherman TX 75090. 

Kim says she’ll be happy to fill out the raffle tickets for you and mail the prize to you should your ticket win. I can vouch for Kim – she’s not going to take your money on a shopping spree… she’s a breast cancer survivor who is doing her best to fund research. The drawing is October 30. I know I’m going to buy some tickets. How cool would it be to have a Jack Johnson ukelele!

Update, October 3 – Click here to go to the page on the Austin College site. The raffle is near the bottom, by the October 27 date.

Country mailboxes…

I’m just back from LaGrange, TX, which is a small town in near Austin. It’s a part of Texas I had not visited before. I’m happy to report that it is a lovely place with rolling hills and tall trees. The weather was nice – neither hot nor humid – which is not always the case this time of year. 

I didn’t realize how far away from the city I was until the sun went down. It was so dark that I literally could not see my hand in front of my face when I was outside. The stars were amazing! It’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced that sort of night sky. I wish I could tone down the city lights so that I could experience that more often. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to see where you are going at night.

On my morning walk I spotted these mailboxes. I had to go back and get my camera to take some pictures. I don’t know what it is about the composition that I like so much. I took photos from both sides and was going to take more when 3 big, not-very-happy dogs with lots of teeth encouraged me to move along.

As I was moving away from the dogs/mailboxes trying to look neither threatening nor tasty it occurred to me that I am truly a city girl. I was not prepared for meeting up with a bunch of “country” dogs. I was really lucky that the dogs understood me when I explained that I was sorry and would be moving away from their territory and never coming back. Which is why I had one morning walk. It was a great excuse to do a little sleeping in!

It’s a blog hop – prizes!

Pat Sloan is hosting a Virtual Retreat this weekend, Sept 26 to 28 at her blog. She invited us to be part of the fun so we are giving away a blog prize (which is like a door prize, except there’s no door)! Just visit OUR blog on Friday, Sept 26, and leave a comment on this post. Then on Saturday we’ll announce a RANDOM winner of our prize – a copy of our book Piecing the Piece O’ Cake Way! 

We will post the winner’s name and contact you by email to get your mailing address. Please note that if your email address is not part of your profile, we won’t be able to email you. If you are the lucky winner, you can email us at to give us your address. I do have to say that Linda and I are both out of town. If we have trouble connecting to the internet to post the winner, know that we will post the winner as soon as we can.

Good luck and have FUN at Pat’s retreat!

Click here to go to Pat’s Virtual Retreat. There are sure to be even more prizes!

A collection of enamel coffee pots…

I am reminded over and over again that more can be better. Especially when it comes to collecting. For example, one enameled coffee pot on top of a cabinet would just look lonely. But put several together and they look great! I took saw these at my friend Jackie’s house and it made me realize that I have never given the humble enamel coffee pot it’s due.

Repetition is good. That’s why piecing together multiples of the same quilt block works so well. There is harmony in repetition. 

But, that said, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Imagine a kitchen with so many enameled coffee pots that every surface is covered with them. That would not be harmonious – it would make you crazy! That’s why having a design wall is so important in quilting. I always put my blocks up on the wall before I sew them together. If there is any “dis-harmony” I fix it on the wall.

Elanor’s Family Tree Project

Chris and Lorna (my son and daughter-in-law) are home schooling Elanor and have joined a local home school association. One of Elanor’s first assignments was a family tree. There is a prize of a book for the best one and Elanor really wanted to win it. I have to admit that it’s entirely possible that she got a competitive gene from her Nana. I’m way more laid back now, but I was pretty intense back in the day. 

Lorna asked if I had any suggestions and it took me a bit but I got to thinking “why not a real tree with felt people?” FYI – I have some bendable felt people from Hearthsong that gave me this idea. The bendable dolls I have are no longer on their site, but they have good stuff for kids.

Lorna found an appropriate stick and planted it in a flower pot with plaster. I loaned them the Wee Folk book and bought supplies. Elanor did most of the cutting and gluing with Lorna’s help. It turned out really well! Apparently Elanor is playing with her ancestor-leaf/dolls. It’s an interactive family tree.

Here’s a detail showing me and Steve and my mom. I’m proud of the job Elanor did! No word yet on whether she won the prize or not. I hear that her tree was definitely different from the others in the room.