Tony and I wanted to give ourselves a Christmas gift that was useful and special to us this year. We decided on a Memory Quilt. When my daddy died, I got some of his favorite shirts and I had kept a lot of clothes from my kids childhood that had special meaning. One favorite is Caroline’s sweatshirt from our friend, Barbara. She bought in in Nottinghill while visiting England. The handmade ones with initials embroidered on were also keepers. Looking at these beautiful little clothes brought back forgotten memories of play dates, Latin classes, Awana meetings on Sunday nights in LaGrange, Georgia, and so many others.
Keeping these memories in a blue tote with plastic shrink bags and still worrying about the safety of those memories became a chore and a burden. I loved these clothes, but I thought it would make more sense to have them sewn into a memory quilt that we could see and enjoy the memories sparked by it on a daily basis.
Our new memory quilt arrived last week and we put it near our bed, draped over the loft in Laurel Beth. It is truly special!
- SOME FAVORITES~ The top left picture is my dad’s red shirt. He would tell my mom to put that on him when he visited the doctor because all the nurses said he looked so handsome in it. The purple sweatshirt with SW on it is the one from Nottinghill. It’s from a private school in England. The sleeveless blue with embroidered flowers is from a photo shoot I had done with Caroline and Andrew on a plantation in Georgia. The little overalls was worn in a photo shoot and many occasions by Andrew. The red with daisies was worn by Staci on Easter and for a photo shoot.
This year we put up the big Christmas tree in Laurel Beth. Every year I put up the tree, I admire my very favorite ornaments! The ones my children made when they were little are the dearest to my heart. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Since buying a cabin in Laurel Bloomery, I have been seeing a lot of barn quilts in this area. They looked like so much fun ~I had to make one for our shed. Then one led to another which led to another. The shed is smaller compared to the barns around here so I painted mine on a 2 x 2 inch board. I drew the pattern and gave each color block 3 coats of exterior paint before giving 3 coats of polyurethane in satin. I made my neighbor a 3 x 3 foot quilt for her barn. The pattern I chose for hers is called Janet’s Star. Who knew there was a quilt pattern with my name. These are so much fun to do. I love trying different color combinations.
State Line Baptist Church planned a Fall festival and had food and crafts for donation- only fund drive. I decided to make one for the festival. My d.h. said it was too bright and people wouldn’t want it except for kindling. My sweet d.h., Always the encourager! I was relieved they actually got a donation for it.
Barn Quilt for Pam (Janet’s Star) ~ Berry, Cobalt, Cotton, and Buff
Barn Quilt in Berry, Sage, Sunflower, and Cotton with Pale Blue Sashing
Barn Quilt for Fundraiser ~ Barn Quilt in Sunflower, Cobalt, Sage, and Buff
Laurel Beth sits in the shadow of a mountain called Fodder Stack Mountain. It looks like a fodder stack of hay for animals when our ancestors would actually stack the hay using a pitch fork. It would kind of settle in the center causing two humps. Laurel Beth sits on the profile side of the mountain and it borders Laurel Creek, a famous trout stream in the area. Laurel Bloomery is a rural area between Mountain City, Tennessee and Damascus, Virginia. It is closer to Damascus. The town boasts a large barn and field area used for singing where Bluegrass and country music is the entertainment a lot of the time.
A lifetime local that owns property on one side of us plays music and has played with The Carter Family among others. He says that country music was actually born in Bristol, Tennessee, but it was conceived in Laurel Bloomery.
Front View of Fodder Stack Mountain Laurel Bloomery, TN
View of Fodder Stack from Laurel Beth
It has been a hard year causing me to be depressed while I reflect on my life and what it means now that our (my d.h and mine) best friends are now gone and the sweet daddy I loved so much went to be with our Lord in June.
The Lord has been mysteriously working in my life and leading me, thank goodness. I have been in no mood to lead and I have been very much in the passenger seat while God does the driving. I know I shouldn’t wait for a tragedy to move over to that passenger seat, but being the very imperfect human that I am, I like to be in control and drive.
For years my d.h. has heard me long for living at the beach. I was obsessed with the idea to a FAULT! Just ask my close friends! We even bought a trailer named Betty and then sold our house so we can get a second home at the beach.
After my daddy died, that totally went away for no apparent reason. I was longing for a humble rural place to live my days out. My vision was clear and I really felt God nudging me to consider this. We looked at property in western North Carolina and never found that place that I so vividly could see in my mind.
When I drove for Miss Violet in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee, my d.h. fell in love with the area and would often say he would love living in Laurel Bloomery. I, none the less, was set on the beach. When we were disappointed at not finding the sweet spot, he said I should consider Laurel Bloomery. A cabin had caught his eye earlier. He watched it go pending then for sale again and asked me to look at it. When we pulled in the driveway, we looked at each other knowing what the other person was thinking. This was it . I will share with you the transformation of this little humble abode in the following posts. We named our new place Laurel Beth. The cabin sits on a trout stream called Laurel Creek and Beth in Hebrew means house.
I know my dad would love this place. When I drove Miss Violet, I stayed in the barn apartment above the horses. Daddy would call me and tell me to describe the place in detail. He was bed bound and I was his eyes and ears for many years. It comforts me to think that he still knows where I am and know the profound changes he has made in my life while alive and in his death.
I am making more fun memories with Miss Violet this week. She asked me to come sit with her while her daughter, Marilyn is on a much needed vacation. Miss Violet has decided to leave Laurel Bloomery to move to Johnson City. She is a social person and is wanting to be around people and have a cafeteria to go to each day. The independent living facility is brand new offering 1200 square foot apartments with the most modern appliances and gadgets. She is very excited. I have been helping her pack and prepare for the move in three weeks. Today we went to our nearest town, Mountain City, to look for a queen bed and frame.
I’m meeting so many interesting people. We first went to Cornett Furniture. It is a large building on Main Street with old hardwood floors and a rich wood smell that takes you back to a simple time. Mr. Cornett, asked us what we were looking for and began to show us what he had. In a little while his wife, Edith returned. She said she had been to her exercise class. I found out they are both 91. They are soon celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary! I just couldn’t believe it. They both seemed so young and sharp. They have a soon to be closing sign out front. Mrs. Cornett said they never had a credit card their whole life and never took credit cards at the store. The new credit and debit cards has hurt their business and they just don’t want to add all this technology at their age. She said people used to always pay in cash. They had also offered credit to their customers on their word that they would pay when the tobacco was sold or it was bean time, with no problems in the past. I asked to take their picture, but he didn’t want his picture taken.
Main drag in Mountain City, Tennessee
Mrs. Edith Crowder Cornett
I discovered Fiverr.com and had to have something done! This site has many different artists that showcase their style. If you want a portrait, cartoon, logo design, or any other piece of art done that is truly unique, this is the place to shop. I chose artist Natasha who does Nagel-Esque style pictures. I love this style because it reminds me of an art deco era from the 1920’s and 1930’s. Nagel, the artist, would take a photo and work down to simplify and remove lines until it was at the flattest and most simple form, thus leaving only those features he thought to be the strongest and most important. He is also known for an exaggeration of the lips, which makes for a fun look.
The fees begin at $5. That is what Natasha charged for my Nagel style picture. I think I will have a retro cartoon style done next to use on my social media pages.