Looking Down Down Down


Scenic Overlook in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. That’s Gatlinburg down there below the haze.

That’s one of the reasons they call them the Smokey Mountains. Gorgeous!

I think the blue in the left corner is a sign…probably said something like stay off the fence!

Tennessee Wilderness

When we travel, we try to stay the night in an out of the way place. It might be a campground or state park. Taking in the beauty is the way we unwinding from the craziness of the highway. This was the second place we stopped overnight . A storm was moving in across the lake but I had time to snap a few shots.


It Rained in TN.. A LOT

We went off the beaten path for lunch at this great cafe for scrumptious quiche. It started pouring as we were getting ready to leave so we made ourselves comfy with wonderful coffee. The owner was so sweet…he offered to go into the downpour and retrieve our embrella from the van. So, if you are ever in the Gatlinburg area, be sure to tell them I sent you!

The Cabin Cafe, Gatlinburg

Rainy outdoor cafe

The Cold Nose ….Travels to Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, TN

Ron and I just got back from a trip to Gatlinburg where we took a week long workshop from Joan M. Morris on shape resist dyeing with natural dyes. We didn’t take photos during the workshop, too busy absorbing it all during the many demonstrations. Besides, Joan didn’t want her photo taken or photos of her samples. It was the kind of workshop I like because it was a technique workshop full of information to put in our tool box of dyeing knowledge.

We made a 2 week trip out of this since gasoline is expensive and staying longer didn’t add to the gas bill. I have some wonderful photos to share with you all over the next month or so that we took during the stay.  The fur babies travel with us in our small class C motor home.  It is really their second home, too, and they all have their chosen ‘seats’ in the cab. Once in a while there is the same kind of bickering between them that most people associate with human kids….you know the kind…..He touched me!…I want to sit by the window!…Its my turn!!!…That’s usually the two boys since LuLu has her spot. She sits right in front of the AC vents with her nose pressed into it and fur flying from the fan.  No doubt she thinks she will be healthier with a COLD nose!

LuLu with a Cold Nose

Swamp Hoe Down for Tristan

 I have a new grandson who is going to make an appearance soon. His due date is Easter but he is going to be a big boy and they think he may have to come a little bit early.

I needed a baby quilt for him. His mommy, my DD, is the display manager for Anthropologie in The Woodlands, TX. so she usually appreciates my wonky art and sense of humor. Because of that I decided to use a piece that I painted in a Susan “Lucky” Shie workshop at Arrowmont Craft School in TN a couple of years ago.

  I don’t remember exactly what our theme was for the day I painted this piece.  I do remember that I was perplexed that I did something that was more cartoonish than my normal work. I put the pieces aside when I returned home and had done nothing with them. I guess I just needed the final inspiration to use this.

The baby’s nursery is being done in a woodland kind of motif. I haven’t seen it and I don’t know for sure how swamp creatures will fit in but I suspect the quilt will be appreciated and loved.

The borders I added are dark and swampy and the firefly trails are folded bias fabrics. I think babies like to have textures to run their little fingers over. I like to add something like this to their quilts.  I also don’t think baby quilts have to be pastel and cutesy…that should be obvious here.

One part of fiber art that I don’t like is putting labels on the backs.
It seems they are never permanent enough and can be ripped off and lost.  I decided to paint a square on the back of the quilt and add a little more of the story that goes along with it. I used India Ink for the text and put a coat of acrylic varnish over it. It should hold up under lots of washings.

As a further nod to Lucky’s workshop, I quilted this with her wonky grid style of quilting. A wonderful, freeing way to make this quilt sturdy and finished!