Outstanding in the Field

Two weeks ago, Fatty and I, along with some friends, attended an Outstanding in the Field dinner on a beautiful farm overlooking the Ohio River. It was event that we had anticipated for many months and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. From bourbon sweet tea and local wines, to the foods grown and prepared for us, everything was delicious and more. Tradition dictates that everyone brings a plate, thus allowing everyone to bring something to the long, outstretched table. It was a grand sight and sitting there, watching the sun set over the river, was an idyllic scene. I have always loved the idea behind Outstanding in the Field and I was happy that the experience lived up to that idea. Before too much time went by, I wanted to document that wonderful night. It was the first time in a long while that I felt like taking more than one or two or ten photos. I know this is a photo heavy post, but I had a hard time narrowing down my selections. These are my favorites.

Otf 1

Otf 2

Otf 3

Otf 4

Otf 5

Otf 8

Otf 7

October 4

Otf 6

Otf 9

Otf 13

Fatty 2

Otf 12

Otf 10

Otf 17

Otf 16

Otf 14

October 4 b


Habit july 1

Habit july 2

Habit july 3

Habit july 5

Habit is one of my daily reads. Molly and Emily started this project 18 months ago and I was lucky enough to be their guest in March 2009.  This month, they have invited everyone to play along.  There is a flickr pool for uploading your own habit photo with 30 words or less each day.  There is something special about this collaboration and to see it multiplied and magnified each day on flickr is amazing to me.  I'm joining in again because, really, how could I not?  It's magic.

I hope you'll join me.

Sarah and her ranunculus

My friend, Sarah, is an amazing photographer.  Many of you know this already.  Her use of light is wonderful and when paired with her polaroid, it's magical.  I was very excited when she decided to sell some of her prints.  I was over the moon when I found that they were all of ranunculus.


I had a hard time choosing because they are all so beautiful.  In the end, I went with the one above.  It arrived yesterday and I love it.  It's 8 x 10 and I love how it looks like a gigantic polaroid.  Today, I'm off to find a frame - I am thinking simple and white so the photo will really shine.  Stop by Sarah's shop and see the rest of them.  I bet you have a hard time choosing too.

And because I have been thinking about Sarah, I finally made my square for her month of the Virtual Quilting Bee.  Sarah sent the two darker solids and asked that we make something with texture.  I struggled with this assignment, mostly because both of my original ideas were used by other people in the VQB.   But in the end, I went with something I know we both adore:  ranunculus.



There is a high possibility that Sarah will not like this one bit.  She is not a ruffly kind of girl and I know that.  But she does like flowers and I had the idea so I made it.  I like it, but if she doesn't, that is fine.  I have lots of fabric left over.

Yellow - day four (or the story of the plates)

I find it funny how my mind works.  On Monday, I saw Emily's photo of teacups and it reminded me of some yellow plates that I have.  And thinking of those plates took me back to my last two houses, my former boss and a very special little girl.

Feb 17 001a

When Fatty and I got married, we moved from Telluride, Colorado to suburban Chicago.  I took the summer off from working to do wedding stuff.  When we returned from our honeymoon, I was offered a part-time job at the darling stationery store where we had purchased our invitations.  It was a wonderful fit - five minutes from home, retail hours and selling a product that I really love.  To top it off, I was working for an incredible woman.  Susan is genuine, kind, generous, supportive and smart.  She had started the business a little more than a year before and needed help.  I happily jumped in for a few days a week which quickly turned into full-time and then into managing the store.  It really was a perfect match.

Fatty and I had bought a small, 1940's cottage-y house and I was decorating it one room at a time.  We shopped the local antiques fair and consignment shops, looking for everything from a dining room table to chandeliers to McCoy pottery to add to my collection.  At one of my favorite stores, there was a set of nine yellow plates that just took my breath away.  I really wanted to buy one, but they were being sold as a set and there was no way I could afford to buy them all when we needed things like a new fence.

Feb 17 007_1_1

A month or so later, for my birthday, Susan handed me a box.  Inside were three of the plates.  She bought the entire set, kept six for herself and gave me the rest.  I was amazed and so very grateful!  She knew I would love them and I do.  I hung them on the wall above the bed in our guest room.  When we moved a year later, the plates were packed up in a box and moved to our new home.

The new house was much larger than the little suburban cottage we left behind.  I was pregnant when we moved in and I was dead set on getting each room painted and the nursery ready.  Many boxes sat for a long time, including all of the ones in the guest room.  I was put on bed rest at 33 weeks and at 36 weeks, I gave birth to a beautiful, but tiny little girl.  Jane weighted 4 lbs. 13 oz. but was otherwise healthy and came home from the hospital with me two days later.  My mom came to help and unpacking boxes was one thing we tackled while Jane slept.  When we pulled the dinner sized (11 inches in diameter) yellow plates out of the box, I realized just how small my baby was.

Jane and the plate

Those plates were hung on the wall above the bed in our guest room that day.  They were moved to a different guest room when Kate came along.  Five and a half years after Jane was born, we moved into this house.  The plates sat in a box for much longer this time and then they sat longer still, forgotten in a cabinet.  They are still in the guest room, but this time they hang over a mirror.  I put them up a few months ago, after I finished the guest room quilt.  The quilt was supposed to be pinks, greens and aquas, but it just screamed for a little yellow when I was making it.  I listened to my inner voice, added the yellow and didn't think twice - I loved it.

Feb 18 017_1_1

A few months after I finished the quilt, I remember the plates.  And they are a perfect match for the quilt.  It's like I knew, but I had just forgotten, that those plates were meant to be in our guest room.  I also think of Susan and The Custom Stationery Shop.  I adored that job and still miss parts of it from time to time.  I think it was there that I tapped back into my creative side after a few years of focusing on other things and for that I am very grateful.  Of course, the plates always remind me of Jane, as a tiny baby.  I did not realize, until I saw that photo, how tiny she really was.  I chalk it up to being a first time mom, with very little baby experience.  And of course, having a sweet, good baby didn't hurt!  As I type this, I think I need a new photo with Jane and the plate.  Yes.  I really do.


I am amazed at all the yellow I've been seeing from you!  The list of participants is here and here and the flickr group here.  See you tomorrow.

Yellow - day two

Today it's about our yellow houses

Feb 16 038_1_1 

the one we play in

Feb 16 036a

and the one we live in.


There is a lot more yellow in the flickr group and with these players, too:

Paula, Sara Pippy, Maya, Jennifer, Hope, Erica, Lisa Q, paphos sk, Meg, The Rauths, Claudia, Charlotte, Molly, Kristyn, Daniela, Kendall Micayla, Melody, Christin, Barb, Hayley, Kat, Rosa, Jill, Michelle, Heather C, Mia, Casey, Sarah, Jess, Amy, Molly and Rachel.

We clicked






I don't know what it was.  And really, I don't care.  Because it was magic.  My camera and I, we were on the same page yesterday.  I haven't felt the photo love for a long while even though I have been uploading to my flickr almost daily.  Photos were feeling like a chore, and one I didn't really care for at that.

But no longer.  The love is back.