Is it really the middle of August? The short summer in Wisconsin always flies by. In just a few weeks kids will be heading back to school, the days will be getting shorter, and I will start planning for Halloween. Until then, I am going to soak up the remaining days of summer. What are your plans for the end of summer? In the meantime, check out my favorite links from around the web this week...Read More
I've written a lot about accomplished women and I must confess that these posts flummox me. In this short space, I never know whether to draw your attention to the woman, her work, the story of her past, or the possibilities in her future.
To illustrate this quandary, let me introduce Cathy Fussell, a lifelong quilter who learned to handle a needle before she memorized her math tables. She remembers being four and pranking her father by sewing buttons onto his handkerchiefs when he wasn't looking. She has spent her entire life on the Chattahoochee-Flint-Apalachicola watershed in Georgia, and its terrain figures heavily in her topographic quilts. Her husband's paintings inspire her patterns. So do the words of William Faulkner. Cathy lectures on quilting, blogs about quilting, and leads quilting workshops. Two years ago, she was commissioned to create a quilt for First Lady Michelle Obama. She traveled to Washington D.C. to present the quilt to Mrs. Obama, who, by the way, was the fifth first lady that Cathy had the pleasure of meeting.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about living on a farm someday. I dream of a bucolic country life gardening, raising chickens, and having acres to roam. What do you dream of? If you need a little extra daydreaming, check out my favorite links from around the web this week...Read More
I am just back from a writing retreat up in Door County, a scenic peninsula in northeastern Wisconsin that juts into Lake Michigan. The retreat was held on the grounds of Write-On Door County, and it was pure bliss.
For three days, eleven of us plus an instructor had the run of Write On's beautiful property. And that included the famed chicken coop (pictured above), which was once the writing space of Door County author Norb Blei. We wandered the fields, stretched out in the grass, and turned our attention to important thoughts. Like how the flight pattern of a butterfly resembles an EKG test.Read More
I’m looking forward to attending a writing retreat later this week. I can’t wait to be inspired and recharge my creativity. What do you do to reignite your creative spark? I’d love to hear your ideas! I won’t be sending out a newsletter this week, but in the meantime until I return, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
In the snapshot above, circa 1976, my family is packed in our Chevy Impala, ready to make the return drive from a dude ranch in Colorado back home to Illinois. You can't really tell from the darkened photo but the three of us in the backseat are completely miserable and the key is not yet in the ignition. Oh the agony of 1001 miles in a car with undependable air conditioning, shocks that didn't absorb, and a radio that my father refused to switch on. Time slowed to the point that my Barbie dolls married and divorced several times on the journey.Read More
It is going to be a beautiful, sunny week in Milwaukee. I have to remind myself that these quintessential summer days are fleeting In Wisconsin and take some time for a long walk on the beach and dinner on the patio. If you need a little break, check out my favorite links from around the web this week...Read More
I had the great honor to attend the wedding of the daughter of our French friends, Beatrice and Didier. Their daughter Margaux, an intelligent, beautiful, and accomplished young woman, married Gaël, a suave, open-hearted, life-of-the-party French man.Read More
It feels so good to be at home and back to my normal routine after quite a bit of travel the past few weeks. Sometimes it’s nice to just stay put for a while and enjoy the wonderful things close to home. If you need a little break after the long Fourth of July weekend, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
It's been almost five years since I began blogging here at The Bubble Joy. Not long ago, I paid for a one-hour consultation with Abby Glassenberg, a blogger, podcaster, and small-business consultant. Abby advised a number of things, including that I spend a little of my shop earnings on updating the look of The Bubble Joy: new template, new color scheme, a new logo and profile pic.Read More
Only two Hispanic families lived In the small rural Illinois town where I grew up. My family, headed by my Colombian father from the cool mountains of Bogotá, tried hard to fit in. Then there was the Rodriguez clan -- a boisterous group of Cubans who fled Castro’s communist revolution only to somehow land in southern Illinois.Read More
I am off this week, but I hope you are enjoying beautiful summer days wherever you are. In the meantime until I return, check out my favorite links from around the web this week...Read More
I am sending this dispatch from France, specifically from the waiting room at the ferry station where my husband and I sit after missing the boat to attend a wedding on an island off the coast of the Atlantic.Read More
I am off to Paris in a few days to attend the wedding of a beautiful couple. Could there be a more romantic place to get married? I plan to hit a few markets and antique stores while I am there and consume my weight in pain au chocolat! What are your summer vacation plans? If you need a little break sooner than later, check out my favorite links from around the web this week...
In my kitchen, I have open shelving over my desk. This is where I try out my collections before they go into the shop. This process allows me time to consider the way objects play off each other. I am a matchmaker but sometimes the results surprise even me. For example, I really liked this collection of chinoiserie that I paired with gold dinosaurs. But I didn't know why right away. Then one day I walked in with a bag of groceries and it hit me. This vignette represents Godzilla in Tokyo. And since one of my nicknames in middle school was "Mothra", it all makes sense.Read More
The beginning of June always has me dreaming of my summer camp days. How I long to return to those carefree and blissful days. If you need a little time with your head in the clouds, check out my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More
I remember the day of the wedding dress imbroglio. And when you are a child and there is an imbroglio, the cause is sure to be boredom.
This was the 1970s after all, and toys had not yet been invented. There were, instead, adult accessories made smaller and marketed as toys – steel-tipped lawn darts, jack knives, real chemistry sets, eardrum-rupturing air blasters, BB guns, easy bake ovens, mini motorcycles. My father, a pediatrician, and my mother, a nurse, were safety freaks and forbade all of these excellent things.Read More
I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend filled with beautiful weather and some downtime to unwind and relax. If you need a little procrastination before diving into the week ahead, here are some of my favorite links from around the web...Read More
What happens when a man veers off the road travelled by his fellow humans and walks alone into the wilderness? When, like Henry David Thoreau, he decides to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life?" This is the story of such a man. Born in 1908 the son of a Georgian sharecropper, Eddie Owens Martin eventually became St. EOM, the visionary artist who transformed his backcountry farmhouse into a trippy acid-colored temple he named "Pasaquan" and who died, alone, in 1986, never receiving affirmation or recognition for his flamboyant artistic genius.Read More
The heart-warming and beautifully groundbreaking wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this past weekend seemed to lift everyone’s spirits. If you’re looking for even more inspiration and joy, here are a few of my favorite links from around the web this week…Read More