Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It was the best DAY EVER!!!

Hi everyone!!!

Things have calmed down... I can't believe it's been a week since I got home from Wisconsin already... where did the days go?  Vicky and I have been at the sewing machine madly working on the Block-of-the-Month Sample for Cinnamon's... we are ready for the borders.  It's a gorgeous quilt - Hampton Ridge.

Well...about our Wisconsin trip.... it was fabulous!  The weather was awesome and so was the company!
We arrived on Thursday and immediately left the airport and went to a local antique mall.  Needless to say...we were true antique die-hards... out of the 8 air-conditioning units only 2 of them were working.  It was bloody hot in there!  However, we kept going and found some fabulous treasures!  Then we headed to Country Sampler - it was about an hour away...  It's located in a quaint little town  called Spring Green!  The retreat house is on the second floor and the shop.... right through the glass french door!  Looking in the windows was such a joy... I felt like that old Zayre commercial...( ).

What a joy all of the gals in the shop were... we had such a good time with them.  Jeanne visited with us for a short time... they have a BUSY, BUSY schedule..they were getting ready for a HUGE Wisconsin quilt show... then they have a special Christmas Open House coming up... and their wonderful Boxwood & Berries Annual Gathering.   Maggie Bonanomi and Stacy Nash are the instructors.  They design "exclusive" projects for this event.... someday I plan on attending!  It's on my bucket list!  I ADORE both of them and their wonderful designs.

Here are a couple pictures of the store!!

We learned that this old building has a sweet, friendly ghost!!  Her name is Merryanne !!!  I burst out laughing when they told me this... Merry Ann is my girlfriend here in Jacksonville.  They say she will visit the shop at night and open the birdcage doors, untie the bows of the ribbons that are around some of the quilts.  Now... here is the spooky thing... we were all getting to leave from the retreat house one morning... we have had the air conditioning on... the entire time we were there!!  All of a sudden we smelled the furnace on... you know how it smells when the heat is turned on for the first time after the summer?  Well.. we all couldn't figure it out!!  We checked the iron... it was unplugged... we checked the thermostat in the hall... it was still on "air" set at 72 degrees.... so... we went downstairs to the store to let them know... that's when we learned about Merryann!  They told us she probably did it.  I laughed... thinking they were kidding... then I looked at their faces!  They were NOT KIDDING!  However, they did assure us she was a Great Gal and very friendly.... she was a GOOD GHOST (is here such a thing... goosebumps on my arms...)  She used to live in the building.  So...after all of their encouragement ... we all felt comfortable sharing our space with her.

The store is's decorated so beautiful - with every little detail perfect.  The cross-stitch she carries and the samples hanging on the walls simply takes my breath away.  YES... I did come home with some kits - you simply cannot resist!

Thank you Jeanne and all of your girls for making our stay with you so much fun!  We had a blast!

Most of the days... we were on the road - being in the country - nothing is close!  So we would drive and chat and the gals would try and sew... however, the Wisconsin country back roads are not the best!  Bumpy, hilly, CURVES... there was a stretch of the road where I could pretend to be a race car driver with all the curves and hills!  It's been a long time since I drove country roads. 

Corn... it was everywhere!  It's so funny how the different states we visit grow totally different crops.  In Washington all we saw were fields and fields of wheat... here... corn.  Now Vicky and I grew up in the country and on a farm and we've seen corn fields.  But these...there was something so different about them and we couldn't figure out why?  The rows were so close to each other... the corn stalks looked different ... such a pretty green.... but they didn't have very big ears on them... we just couldn't put our finger on it.  

Then...every once in awhile we would see one where they had chopped the stalks off and left only the bottom half standing...that was truly weird!   However... when we got home Vicky was telling her honey (Larry) about them and he told us what it was!  They were harvesting this "different" style corn for ethanol!  NOW IT ALL MADE SENSE!

Then... we saw these... hundreds of them... we drove through them ... all around us in the fields... I felt like I was in the Space Invaders movie...

Turbine windmills in the fields..... they determine the wind patterns in the fields so they know where to put them.... they go like crazy and make energy.... the energy company pays the farmers rent...
 is that cool or what!!

These are some of the wonderful pieces of work that adorned the walls in the retreat.  I sure wish I owned them myself!!

We went into this WONDERFUL Primitive Gift Store... OMG!!!  I was in Heaven!!!
So was everyone else...she is also a Rug Hooker and she had the most gorgeous wools!

Then we traveled to a few other quilt shops... this is Mill House Quilts!  I was so proud of my daughter Heather... here was her quilt hanging in their store - Chip Off the Olde Block !  They were selling kits.  I met the owner and she told me it was simply one of those quilt styles that made you feel warm and fuzzy and she loved it.

 Another quilt shop.. Village Creek ... we were so excited... we didn't even know they were there!  So... in we go... and we had a blast!  Vicky and I felt like rock stars... they had heard of Olde Green Cupboard Designs.... thanks for such a great welcome and such a great time!  You rock sister... we loved visiting with you!!

Then... we couldn't be in Wisconsin and not visit with Lisa and Nick from Primitive Gatherings!  We gave her a call.... she invited us for breakfast at their lake house!  So... we got in the car early the next morning and off we went!  What a fun trip... seeing the countryside... Lisa fixed us french toast, sausage, fruit... and we got to see their sweet lake house... OMG... it was so pretty out there.  I would give my eyeteeth to have a retirement home like that someday.  Our grandparents lived on the lake and we LOVED it.  Even the puppies had grown... they were so sweet... Thanks Lisa and Nick for a great trip.

Then.. it was just a short distance to the shop... here are Katie, Vicky and Denise...getting ready to go inside.  They have their thread boxes... to make sure if they pick any projects - they have the thread to go with it.  (isn't that smart thinking?)  Well... inspiration was everywhere and we left the shop.. helping the economy of this little town too!

This was the project Lisa was working on when we visited with her at the lake.  She was finishing up the Summer Block of the Week for her shop.  Isn't it fabulous?  Simply breathtaking in person!


Then... on to one of my favorite shops.... 

Wow... Julie was there (the owner) and she was so much fun.  Poor thing... we were all so excited to be there...piling things on the counter... signing up for Buttermilk Basin's Calendar Block of the Month... asking her questions... I'm surprised we didn't make her faint!!!  

Then...she too was getting ready for the Wisconsin quilt show and we got to see some of her new quilts she was taking with her.  They were fabulous.  It was so funny... when we were all done shopping... (even though we didn't want to quit) everyone said... "we don't want to leave...can we just stay here all day?")
What a BEAUTIFUL store...   Thanks Julie for the great time!  Love you and your wonderful creations, fabric and store!


Then.... it's all about the "curb shopping" !!!  We left a HUGE antique mall and here on the corner on the curb was tons of wonderful "stuff" .  We made Denise get out of the car and inspect it.  Wow...she found a bag full of beautiful handmade pillow cases... you know the kind with the embroidery on them and the sweet crocheted edge!  This house was for sale so we're sure they just cleaned it out and dumped the remains on the curb.  LUCKY US!  Good job Denise... you are the "Curb Queen" of the trip.

However, Vicky and Katie were the dumpster divers!  They really weren't looking through the "icky" garbage... this was the cardboard recycle bin and we needed boxes to ship home our treasures.  They found them... we packed up our boxes... and they arrived at the house yesterday!  All 5 of them!  We hauled them from our retreat room (down a HUGE flights of stairs) into the car... and then to the local hardware store - that's where the UPS office was.  We were there when they opened and the guy waiting on us (who had a very grouchy personality... I might add!) was a bit shocked to see us that early (8:00 am).  Then you would have thought I asked him for a pot of gold when I asked to borrow a handcart!  Geeze Louise....

So... after our box delivery ... it was off to the airport we went...heading home!  So Sad to leave!

It was the BEST DAY EVER!!!  That was our saying at the end of each day!

Good times, good friends, good shopping, good food, good laughs, and GREAT antiques!

Ahhh.... simple things to make our life happy!

Oh... I almost forgot... Wisconsin is known for CHEESE... and this little fellow was adorable!!!  Cheese curds... do you have any idea on how much they squeak in your teeth when you eat them?  HA!!

Take time to have fun with your girlfriends.... it's so wonderful!

Memories... you know... it's all about making wonderful memories!!

Thanks Vicky, Denise and Katie...for the great memories!


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