Monthly Archives: November 2014


painting camellias 2014 locals only honorable mention

The buds on my camellia bush are wrapped tight and tidy as if the petals are huddling to protect themselves from the cold. But soon they should self-combust and explode in beauty, making me marvel at the strength of their soft, fragile-looking pink petals.

If I can summon up the courage to brave the cold like they do, I’ll clip some of the elegant flowers, bring them indoors and float them in a bowl of water like my mother did so many times when I was growing up.

Her camellias served as a centerpiece for many festive occasions.

In addition, the flowers have become the focus of many of her paintings.

Recently, she entered a watercolor of camellias in my hometown’s Locals Only Show. The flowers in this art were open full, and she captured the shadows brilliantly, earning her an honorable mention award.

In addition, one of her acrylics featuring camellias is hanging upstairs in my home. Similar to the award-winning painting, the artwork captures the warmth of a bouquet of blooms in shades of pink with yellow centers surrounded by green glossy leaves that are displayed in a vase.

Whereas fresh camellias reach a peak and then fade, my mother’s paintings keep the wonder of the flowers alive indefinitely. The blooms warm my house every day, and I don’t have to brave the cold to admire them.



soccer ball for sisterchatter

My favorite part of crafting is the creative mystery.

My quilting projects begin with pieces of material that come together like the view in a kaleidoscope, and I never know what beauty the shapes are going to create.

Recently, I participated in a fun quilt challenge. Quilters were asked to turn strips of fabric into a wall-hanging. When my material arrived in the mail, I was frazzled and on my way out the door to take my son to soccer practice. But I couldn’t resist stopping to take a peek at the fabric.

I was disappointed. Inside the manila envelope were strips of black and white fabric. I had expected something much more bright and colorful to work with over the next few weeks.

“What on Earth is black and white?” I asked my son, who was standing at the door with the answer in his hands.

A soccer ball is black and white.

So while he was kicking around different moves at practice, I began kicking around ideas in my head.

The result was a wall hanging that featured his red jersey and a black-and-white soccer ball bordered with strips of the black-and-white fabric.

My favorite part of the quilt is the soccer ball, mostly because my son and I collaborated on the pattern. I drew the circle, and he filled in the details. When fabric was added, we gave each other high fives over the results. The red jersey in the back ground gave the ball an extra visual pop.

I didn’t win the contest, but my son now has a great soccer keepsake to hang in his room, and another creative mystery is solved.


This necklace would make a great gift for someone special, or a treat for yourself!

This necklace would make a great gift for someone special, or a treat for yourself!

I like to get all of my holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving.

It’s a tall order. But I’m a much more relaxed person when I succeed with the challenge and can sit back in December with all of my presents wrapped and placed beautifully underneath the tree. I also wrap extra gifts in case someone unexpected surprises us with a present, and I buy something for myself to put among the packages just for fun.

Most of my gifts have a homemade component, whether it’s an ornament attached to the bow or a set of dishcloths stuffed in a stocking.

Some years, I come up short on time and fail to make something for everyone on my list.

chatterbox to magic 001
That’s when I turn to Etsy and the local craft shows.

This year I found a hand-crafted letter opener for my son who collects stamps, a ceramic dish made in a high school art class for myself and a collection of soap cozies that will make great stocking stuffers.

ChatterboxBeach has a great selection of doll clothes, seashell wreaths, genealogy tools, note cards and necklaces. A vintage dollhouse also could make someone happy.

We’ll continue to add to our inventory throughout November and December, so check back often. With most of our shopping accomplished, we have more time for crafting.