Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Me Time ~ May 29, 2012

Here are a few pictures of some of the
projects from Me Time.

And some beautiful nonwovens
for me!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day here in the United States.
It is a day for remembering the men and women
who died while serving in the United States Armed
Forces.  Once known as Decoration Day, it
commemorated the Union soldiers who died
during the Civil War.  By the 20th century, Memorial
Day honored all Americans who died in all wars.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Graduation Day

We Are So Proud

Earlier today, our youngest child, Brennan,
graduated from the Indiana Academy for
Math Science and Humanities. The Academy
is a residential high school for Juniors and
Seniors and is said to be one of the finest
examples for gifted learning in the nation.

It was a very emotional day ~ I started crying
as soon as Pomp & Circumstance began...
One hundred and twenty-four graduates walked
across the stage into a new phase of their lives
today. They were offered over $10 million dollars
in scholarships, accepting $4.2 million, that means
a lot of kids got scholarships.

Congratulations Brennan!

Explore, Dream, Discover!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Heat is On!

This Weekend is Going to be a Scorcher!

I just had to close the windows and turn
on the air conditioning, only 1pm and already
the house was like an oven.  The temperature
will be in the 90's here this weekend.

We have some busy days ahead, our son
graduates from high school this weekend
and he will be moving home to enjoy a few
months of fun before beginning college.
I will be designing new work, as always and
writing a book proposal ~ exciting!

I hope you have a happy holiday weekend,
it is the kick-off to summer here in the USA.
And stay cool...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Now that I'm back home, I'm trying
to get back to our normal life.

I get up with the birds and make sure
the flowers get some water.

I get out on the trail and enjoy
the beauty of nature.

And back to work on the next
collection of designs. 
Add to that, phone calls and emails
from sea to shining sea, stay tuned,
exciting things to come!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Me Time ~ May 22, 2012

I popped in for a little Me Time
today.  We checked out the
newest lines from Market.

There was some jewelry making.

These are the finished pieces.

There was some holiday stitching
and a whole lot of talking about
the past week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Homeward Bound

We had a great experience at the International
Quilt Market.  Now we are heading home,
enjoying the beauty of the American Midwest.

We made it to just past St. Louis last
night and today we will get home,
unpack and begin the next step in
the American Homestead journey...

I want to thank all the wonderful
customers, suppliers, distributors,
publishers and fellow designers from
the International Quilt Market who
shared their knowledge and were so
much fun!  See you in Houston.

For now, I can't wait to get back to
my American Homestead...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Excitement Continues in Kansas City

International Quilt Market ~ Day 2

After being inside all day on the trade show
floor it is nice to get outside and see the sky
again.  It has been another exciting day at
the International Quilt Market.  We met
people from all over the world ~ so many
people from Australia!  We met with
suppliers and distributors.  I was asked to
design for a magazine.  And would I be
interested in writing a book?
Hmmm ~ yes, yes I would.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Felt IS the New Black

International Quilt Market ~ Day 1

I think I said, "Felt is the new black"
a few thousand times today.

We are at the International Quilt Market
in Kansas City.  It has been an exciting day
making contacts, selling patterns, taking orders,
meeting distributors and a fabric company asked
me if I would be interested in designing a fabric line.

Yes, thank you, I think I would...

The rest of the evening will be spent here

and here.

Good night every one!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When in Kansas City...

...Eat Barbecue at Oklahoma Joe's

Kansas City is known for its BBQ and
Oklahoma Joe's is THE place to get it.
We had read it was in a gas station and
we pictured an old gas station redone
as a restaurant.  No.  It is a functioning
gas station, with the pumps out front, a
convenience store inside and a famous
BBQ joint thrown in for good measure.

Did I mention there is a line to get in?
We waited for an hour but there were
these great guys from Sweden and
Germany in front of us, and the time
flew by since we were having so much fun.

Anthony Bourdain has included this place
on his list of "13 places to eat before you die"
and that list includes such notables as El Bulli,
French Laundry and Le Bernardin. 
Not bad company...

Mr. Wonderful had the ribs and
pulled pork with creamy slaw.

I had the pulled pork and brisket
with a fabulous potato salad.  I had
to take half of mine home.  The sauce
was out of this world!

Hmmm, they don't have this aisle
in my local gas station convenience store.

The Load-In

Kansas City


and After.
It didn't take too long either, we are fairly
close to the loading dock which helped.
Tomorrow we have just a bit of tweaking
to do but we are happy with how easily it
came together, the set-up at home in the
gazebo was a big help.

Our neighbors are busy setting up
their booths.  More to come tomorrow.
Now it's time to find some barbeque...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

All My Bags Are Packed ~ I'm Ready To Go...

Westward Ho!

I have finally fit it all in the car and now I'm
just waiting for Mr. Wonderful to get home and
we will be heading west to Kansas City, MO.

International Quilt Market begins on
Friday.  If anyone is going, please stop
by booth 739 and say hi.

Someone who is not going is this very sad
 puppy dog who misses her Mommy already...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Elle's Kitchen: Chickpea Salad

Easy & Tasty Summer Salad


2 15oz. cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tabl. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tabl. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
pinch of salt

Combine in a bowl, stir gently to mix.
Chill, covered, until ready to serve.


Saturday, May 12, 2012


We heard the terrible news this week
of a sixth young person in the past few
years that had some connection to our
family who left this world far too early.

The first five were due to accidents or
illness but this last one was a suicide.
A suicide, the family says that happened
because their loved one was bullied at a
new school. 

For middle school and high school, our
family had the priviledge of being part
of a very unique school.  It was a small
K-12 public school, where if your kids
went there you all were a part of the 
Burris family.  So this week has hit us
hard, it is about family.

Sadly, through all my years of parenting,
I think bullying starts by what kids hear
at home.  I have heard parents say awful
things in front of their kids and then the
kids think this is the way to behave.
Every time a parent makes a racist comment,
or a homophobic comment or says, "That
chick has a fat *ss" ~ yeah, you are teaching
a kid to be a bully. 

Because bullying can bring an unimaginable
consequence.  And sadness.  And unending
pain for those left behind.

Some people gage their success in life by the
size of their house or the cars they drive but
I look at this photo and know I was successful.
It is a pile if shoes that were kicked off at the
front door and it means a ton of kids were hanging
out at our house.  They were with friends, they were
being goofy and they were having fun.  For us, it
meant staying home on weekend nights and having
to buy a few bags of snacks and making a pan of
brownies and it was all worth it.  I loved those days.

And for all those kids that have passed through our
door and our lives through the years, for that matter
any adults as well.  If you need advice, if you need a
good meal, if you need help, if you just need to talk or
if you just want to get away for awhile and sit in the
garden with a cute dog.  Come here...
The door is open and you are not alone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Light in my Garden

I love the dappled sunlight in my garden
in the morning.  The garden is alive with color
 and birdsong and it brings peace & happiness.

The billowing tumble of living
Through vaulting halls of trees
In the dappled light of sunshine
And green corridors of breeze.
The exquisiteness of living
When senses soar in the air
When the colours of being are rampant
And we savour each moment with care.

The Winds of Life ~ Marshal Gebbie

Be sure to savour each moment...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Wonderful!

You are the guy I want to look at the night
sky with, and weed the garden with and
explore the world with...  I want to share
all the everyday, dull and exciting moments
of life with you.

I have been baking you a birthday cake for
nearly 3 decades!  I hope to share many
more Happy Birthdays with you,
and cakes!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chock-A-Block Wednesday


It's almost summer and I'm starting
to think about pie and that made me
think of the Shoo-Fly block.

Fabric Requirements:

Fabric A: White
4 - 4 1/2" squares
2 - 5 1/4" squares - Mark
a diagonal line on back.

Fabric B: Blue
1 - 4 1/2" square
2 - 5 1/4" squares

Make Half Square Triangles:
Pair Fabric A & B 5 1/4" squares
with right sides together and sew
on drawn line.  Cut on drawn line
and press to the darker fabric.
Square to 4 1/2".

Assemble Block:
Layout as shown and sew together
in 3 rows.  Press seams in rows 1 & 3
to the outside and seams in row 2 to
the inside.

Sew rows together and press final
seams open to reduce bulk.
Square to 12 1/2".

Then go eat some pie!