I had heard about the tentmakers of Cairo but I never learned more about them. Bonnie McCaffery's newest vidcast is about these skilled craftsmen. 

I don't have a lot of time to 'watch' my computer but I found this to be well worth the time. The men, the tentmakers, are appliquers. The 'tents' that they are making were traditionally fabric art pieces that hung in an actual tent. The inside of a tent could be covered with these lovely works of art. As the culture changed, so did the art. Now the tentmakers make their art to hang on walls.

As an appliquer, I was amazed at the way they work from a sketch drawn on the background fabric and even more stunned at the speed at which they work. Lightning fast, warp-speed stitching! 

These men have been 'tentmaking' for many, many hours every day for many years. Their skill-level is stunning. I don't think I want to stitch for as many hours as it would take for me to be able to sew as fast as they do. I'm happy to find peace in stitching at a slightly slower pace. But I do very much appreciate what they do. 


This is Bonnie's 64th vidcast so there are many more to watch. Click here to go to the page with more of Bonnie's vidcasts.

An unsolicited testimonial…

Craigslist works. I'm late to Craig's List but I at least knew about it because Christopher has bought and sold there for years. I had not.


Mom decided a week or so ago that the time had come to make the Mustang go away. Seriously, does this look like a car that a 79-year-old with bad knees and a fused back should be driving? No. She could hardly get in and out of it! I drove it for a day and I could not believe that she had been getting in and out of it for so long. I felt sort of like a bad daughter.

Rather than asking Chris to list it for me, I decided to go on Craig's List myself. It was amazingly fast and easy. I started my account. I built an ad. Poof. Done in less than 15 minutes (that didn't include the time to take and crop the photos but that didn't take long either.)

We had three emails within an hour, none of which panned out. But today there was an email and (poof again) the car is gone and mom has cash. Steve did go to the bank first to find out how you can tell if a $100 bill is real or bogus. He checked each one.

So – word to those who have something to sell – go to craigslist.com and tap into the market of those who want to buy in your locale. It's fast and easy and it really really works!

PS – Mom got a bit misty-eyed to see the Mustang go. It was Christy's car and she did love it. We have a history in our family of taking 'car pictures'. These are really leaving-Mom's-house pictures, next to the car.

I cannot believe I don't have Christy next to her Mustang, but I don't. Can't get one now. (FYI – you should remember to gracefully pose for those pictures that you want to be there when you are gone.) Anyway… here's a sample 'car pic' from 1993:


I had a perm. Oh my. The kids were little. My brother was still speaking to me! (His wife still does speak to me and his baby daughter is 19 now.) Those were the days. I have lots of car pics from OKC and they bring back so many memories. We always huddled and smiled by the car before driving away. It was a good tradition. I need to remember to start snapping pics before we drive the kids to the airport to go home. 

This is it!

Today is the final day of the Stanley Cup Quilt-Off. Click here to see the quilts and to bid. I've written lots about this quilt auction whose proceeds go to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Click here and here and here and here.

In looking back at the images of each quilt I just saw the trim Pat Holly used on her quilt. (FYI – Click on the photos to see them larger.)



I would not have thought to use this sort of trim at the edge of the quilt. Great idea! Majorly wonderful quilt – as are they all.

So, go visit the auction page today (click here). Say hello to my quilt…


Figure out which quilt you'd love to own and if you can, place a bid. the AAQI is nearly 100% volunteer run, there are very few administrative costs which means that almost every penny raised actually goes to research. Not many charities can say that.


Last night we celebrated Elanor's 9th birthday. There were 13 of us for dinner and I broke out mom's 1950s era china (which is now my china) and my sterling flatware (which rarely sees the light of day). It was pretty! Steve smoked a turkey, Bernice brought fresh berries and roasted aspargus, I made a chocolate cheesecake… makes you hungry, doesn't it? Elanor got some fun presents and ended up spending the night with us. We watched Kindergarten Cop, one of her favorites.

2011_ElanorBDay-01 copy


My mom was at dinner of course. She was worn out from being out and about all day. When I took her home she started telling me that she thought she wasn't walking as well as she should, and that she was feeling sort of like a burden to us. And there was more. Now mind you this was after what I thought was a fun night.

I'm going to admit that I just about lost it at my mother. I've known and loved her for 79 years so I know that she is a worrier. When one thing gets fixed, the next thing in line moves to the top of the worry list. So now it's her walking. I pointed out that doing too much, and lifting what she shouldn't, probably had more to do with her current situation than anything else. And that she can and should take better care of herself. You get the idea. Mothers! You can't reason with them.

I got home and Christopher was in the kitchen helping Steve with the dishes. He said… well I can't remember the exact words, but it made me laugh. Basically, it was that eventually he would be having the same words with me – and he referenced a Star Trek episode.


Do you remember Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra? Picard is on a planet trying to understand an alien captain who communicates in allegory. War is imminent. Chris pointed out that the story of my mom and me trying to communicate now will be like him trying to communicate with me later. We agreed that if he mentions Darmok and Jalad I will harken back to me trying to help my mother see what's best for her.

Now that I've written it that way, I can see that I've got a problem. Of course I think that she is doing a variety of things that are not exactly good for her. But me telling her what I think is best for her is not helpful. Darn it! I suppose I'm going to have to work on lip-biting techniques and hope for the best.

I went over early this morning and we're fine. No residual crankiness from either of us. Darmok and Jalad appear to have come to an understanding. This afternoon I got her garage door opener working. One less thing to worry about!

The auctions is LIVE!

The Stanley Cup Quilt-Off has officially begun! I hope each and every quilt raises lots of money and that they all find good homes. Last time I checked, Caryl Bryer Fallert's quilt had been bid on. It is a lovely quilt and I count Caryl as a good friend. However, I wouldn't mind it if my quilt had a higher bid on it :-). (I couldn't help myslef, had to throw in an emoticon.)

Several of you have commented that you'd love to place the winning bid on my quilt. Here's your chance to get the ball rolling. Click here to see the quilts and place bids.

In other news, as you know, last night was Halloween. Jack and Elanor looked particularly good this year:

2011_Halloween-JackandElla-01 copy

Elanor was Bellatrix Strange (from Harry Potter fame) and Jack was Luke Skywalker (surely you ALL know who Luke Skywalker is). His light sabre glowed a really great shade of blue that doesn't show well here.

2011_Halloween-Ella-02 copy

Elanor was really lovely as Bellatrix. Lorna did a fantastic job on her hair and makeup.

2011_Halloween-Jack-01 copy

Jack was very Luke-like. 

Steve and I went to a magic show, GHOSTS, at Austin College. Larry Hass, who is on the faculty and is also married to the AC President, Marjorie Hass, is a professional magician in addition to having a PhD in philosophy. His colleague and friend, Eugene Burger, was the headliner of the event. Larry and he performed some wonderful, scary magic.

It was a dress-up event but it was also Halloween. I didn't exactly go in costume, but I did trot out Christy's Halloween tights. She had planned to wear them this year and mom and I figured she'd be happy to know that they got out and about. That's me, striking a not-so-scary pose. 

2011_Halloween-Becky-02 copy

Trust me when I tell you that I had the most memorable legs of the evening.

Remember to place your bid at the auction!