Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The Pacific International Quilt Show was held in Santa Clara, Calif. last weekend and I was lucky enough to be able to take the time from babysitting and make a trip down. I was amazed at the diversity that I found there. Yet, being and international show, that is what one would expect. From this quilt about fish

to this quilt about shirts


to a quilt that looks as if it is folded but it wasn't...it was just the way the lights and shadows were interpreted in the fabrics 

This quilt (sorry about the sideways display, I couldn't get Blogger to post it properly) was made entirely of cheesecloth and mounted on black fabric. Talk about ingenuity!

There were quilts that were so colorful and contemporary too. This quilt was just so happy. 

City scapes

Leaves of every color.

And a quilt that looked tribal from far away and when I got up close:

I could see it wasn't fabric at all but some sort of embroidery technique that made the different patterns on the background fabrics.


And what would you do with that stash of old buttons? Well, make a sunflower quilt, of course! 

The day was fun. It had just rained the night before and was actually still drizzling in the Bay Area when I arrived. But it was such a nice change to smell the moisture in the air, to see the Autumn colors beginning to take over on the hillsides all the way there. Things looked and smelled and felt fresh. It was nice to see something different for a change. I think that it gave me the necessary boost to my creative spirit that I needed. I'm off to explore and create. How about you?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What does compassion look like? How does it feel? In light of this being Anti-bullying week and all of the specials that have been airing on the local channels here in my part of the world, it is only fitting that my spiritual center has started a seven week course in compassion, studying the book by former nun Karen Armstrong titled: Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

At www.charterforcompassion.org you can read many different people's philosophies regarding compassion and you can also sign a charter and affirm how you would like to see compassion begin in your life and in your world. It begins with each one of us

Here is the charter if you would like to take the time to read it rather than go to the site.

Charter for Compassion

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathic ally from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish,  exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others---even our enemies---is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women---to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion---to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate---to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures---to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity---to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings---even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Here's another photo from my relative in German, Gerhard Buthmann, of a temple in Udaipur. This is specifically for you Uma. You commented that you would be going to Udaipur. I imagine you are about on your way to the most wonderful journey.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Every year my cousin Gerhard Buthman sends me a beautiful hand-made calendar. It is always photos from his travels that grace the pages of his calendar and this one, for the month of Oktober 2012 is especially beautiful. I thought that I would scan it and send it off into the internet for my friend Melanie, who is also known to many of us as Uma. She has become a dear, dear friend to me and even though I have never met her in person, I KNOW HER. I truly know her. And she knows me. Happy Trails to you Uma and J. May the Winds carry you to India and grace you with love and safety. I can't wait to see what India has to show you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


When Autumn rolls around, it's all about the colors of the season that really make me happy. Each year I buy a new pumpkin for my collection and try to display them in a wonderful arrangement someplace in the house. This year with the baby being mobile it has made it more of a challenge for me but I put things up so that we could enjoy them and so could she.

 I love these pumpkins heads with bodies and also try and find a new unique one each year to add to my collection. The second one from the left is my new purchase this year. I love the black and white stripes on this one's head and stand. And he has some glittery head-dress too.

Yesterday the baby was not feeling well but she still manages to keep herself entertained---this time with her tissue. I guess you have to try to learn to blow your own nose at some point, right?

And to add to the "colors", yesterday our new rugs were delivered and we placed them in the living room. I love the Folk Art and the vibrant colors. Some might think a bit "too" much color but all those colors make me happy. Really happy!

And what could be better to be happy about and smile than losing a tooth? Natalie's smile could pass for a Jack O'Lantern, don't you think...what with that crooked top tooth and all?
Happy Autumn colors to you all. I hope you are all smiling!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Last week while on our usual daily walk in the morning, we noticed that someone had taken one of our neighbor's signs out of the ground, bent it all up, and threw it up in a ditch far from his driveway. We retrieved it and placed it on his front porch but we were not able to talk to him and tell him what we had noticed. A few days later, we noticed another sign had been placed, this time with an American flag beneath it and a small little note was attached to the top right-hand corner with the words on it that read: 

"Secret message inside"

Well, the curiosity was just too much so we opened the note to see what the secret message inside was. And it said "I forgive you". That's all. Just forgiveness!

Isn't it incredible in this day and age and living in a country that we profess to be "free" that a person is not allowed to place a sign with their own political preference on their own property? Granted, it is there, right on the road, for everyone who passes to notice but that's exactly the point, isn't it? We should be allowed to voice our opinions and preferences about whatever we choose, as long as it isn't harming someone else. And most amazing to me is that despite the hatred that was exhibited by the person (or persons) who just could not stand the fact that someone might have a different opinion than them, they are still forgiven. Maybe not forgotten, but forgiven. That is the real message in this.