When I arrived at the airport in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, I saw the most moving thing. It was a large group of veterans waiting to welcome home troops who were returning from deployment. It was even more meaningful for me, given that it was Veteran’s Day weekend. There were two long rows of them, stretching all the way to the front door and holding American flags. Anyone walking through, including me, had to walk between the rows of veterans. It was so touching!
I was met by my dear friend Ella Kerwood and her son Mark. Mark is grown and married, but I’ve known him ever since he was a little boy, when Ella would bring him with her to my shows and conventions. On our way to Carroll, Iowa, for my show with The Finishing Touch Gallery, we stopped at a place called Smitty’s for lunch. Mark found Smitty’s on his smartphone, and we decided to give it a try. I’m so glad we did, because I had the best sandwich ever! It had to have been so bad for me, but it tasted so good. It was a breaded and fried pork tenderloin sandwich, with onion rings and French fries. Everyone knows I try to eat healthy, but this was such a treat! I’m promising myself that I’ll make up for it somehow. Anyway, God bless Iowa, and God bless Smitty’s!
That evening I had dinner with a group of Finishing Touch’s friends at the home of George and Sheila Towers in Carroll. They were such wonderful hosts, and the meal was out-of-this world.
We had a lovely evening at the home of George and Sheila Towers. L. to R.: Jack and Jane Hogue, owners of The Prairie Pedlar; Steve Kettering; Susan Rix, owner of Finishing Touch Gallery; Ron Kerwood; me; Ella Kerwood; and Sheila and George Towers.
The weather for Saturday’s show was absolutely beautiful; warm and sunny, with the leaves blowing around. A crew from Iowa Public Television was there the whole day filming, and they also came to my show at White’s Gallery in Osceola the next day. They’re going to do a follow-up documentary to WVPT’s The Lady Behind the Brush, and I think they’re going to come down to Florida when I’m there this winter, too. The program will air sometime next year and will be available to all public television stations across the country, and I’m going to do a special fundraising print that they can market during the airing. Earlier this year, Iowa Public Television aired The Lady Behind the Brush and released Where the Wild Rose Grows, a giclée on paper I created to benefit their educational programming. For more information on Where the Wild Rose Grows, please contact Patty Foster at Friends of IPTV, 515-242-5403.
Iowa Public Television filming me at Finishing Touch Gallery.
We had a great show, and everyone loved our special print Bouquets of Love, featuring The Prairie Pedlar’s beautiful gardens in Odebolt, Iowa. Jane Hogue, owner of The Prairie Pedlar was with us for Friday night’s dinner and Saturday’s show, and it was a joy to meet her. Many weddings are held at The Prairie Pedlar, and people really admire her ability to create beauty through gardening.
The three ladies behind the show, L. to R.: Jane Hogue, owner of The Prairie Pedlar; me; and Susan Rix, owner of Finishing Touch Gallery.
Fun friends at The Finishing Touch! Back row, L. to R.: Marcia Jensen, Joleen Fasbender, Jane Hogue, Susan Rix, and Ella Kerwood. Front row, L. to R.: Barbara Towers Clough, me, Sheila Towers, and Cathy Talkington Towers.
After the show, gallery owner Susan Rix drove me the two hours it took to get to the home of Debbie Frizzell in Ames, Iowa, missing two deer along the way. Debbie is the sister-in-law of Kay Frizzell, who works at White’s Gallery in Osceola. Kay and her husband met us there to take me the next one-and-a-half hours to Osceola. Some of you may remember that Debbie created a glorious quilt featuring one of my painted centerpieces for the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education that was auctioned during my Iowa Convention this past summer. Even though Debbie wasn’t home, Kay had a key and took me in to see Debbie’s progress on the second quilt she’s making for the Foundation. It is going to be another masterpiece, and I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished. In fact, I ooh’d and aah’d throughout the whole house, admiring all the exquisite quilts that Debbie has made. She even has a quilted shower curtain, with appliqués of an octopus and other creatures on it. Her home and quilting studio are as neat as a pin and enviably uncluttered. It’s fun to see how someone else lives. (I’m not as neat.)
This glorious work-in-progress is Debbie Frizzell’s next quilt for the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education. I can’t wait until it’s finished!
Speaking of quilts, I should remind you that time is running out to purchase raffle tickets for the Sweet Companion quilt made by Gwen Sinclair of Bellevue, Nebraska, that has been on display at the P. Buckley Moss Museum in Waynesboro, Virginia, for the past year. This exquisite quilt has been the subject of a year-long raffle to benefit the Foundation, and I will be drawing the winning ticket during my November 30-December 2 Museum and Barn Open House. For more information on the quilt and the raffle, please see my October 26, 2011, newsletter.
My show with White’s Gallery in Osceola was lovely, and I was delighted that Dan White made his fabulous cilantro soup and Cindy White made her excellent potato corn chowder again! It was great seeing old friends again and meeting brand new ones, too. Our special print for the show was Family Traditions, featuring East Lake Park. So many people told me about their wedding at the lake, their first kiss there, etc.—lots of memories of “firsts” at the lake.
White’s Gallery’s team, L. to R.: Carrie White, Kim White (co-owner), Cindy White, me, Kay Frizzell, Brandy Darr, and Dan White (kneeling, co-owner).
White’s fabulous volunteers, L. to. R.: sisters Tonya Gonseth and Toshia Rossiter, me, and their mother Norma Hatcher. Tonya and Toshia have been helping with White’s shows for years, always working next to me and being my right hands. The three of us went to breakfast together the morning of the show.
The Iowa Public TV crew fell in love with these little girls, as did we all. Pictured with me are LaShay, Miracles, & Chiance Freeman. The oldest one gave me a gift of a painting she did of one of my paintings. Instead of keeping it, I gave it to Kim White for her to frame and give back to them to hang in their new apartment—my gift to them.
After the show, the White’s, Kay, and I all went to Des Moines and had dinner at the Iowa Machine Shed, which is part of Living History Farm. The next morning, I was up early to catch my flight to Florida, and it was thirty degrees! I slept all the way to Florida, and I feel wonderful. I’m enjoying the water, the green grass, a warm breeze, and the flowers blooming—and I love my studio! We’re so lucky to have these beautiful places to go to in the United States.
This Thursday I’ll be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the GFWC Sun City Center Woman’s Club, and this weekend I’ll be showing with the Finn Gallery in St. Pete. For more information on the gallery show, please contact Tim Finn at 727-894-2899.
I would like to thank everyone for their cards and e-mails of sympathy for the passing of my sister Honey. Your expressions of caring and friendship have been a comfort.
Last week I shared this picture of Linda Dalton and me. Linda and her family came to Apple Barn Gallery’s show to give me this magnificent quilt, and I just found out that she passed away on Monday, November 12. I am so honored that Linda’s last trip was to see me. I had planned to visit her before my upcoming Barn Show, but it was not meant to be. I had hoped to see her work. I understand that she cross-stitched over 75 of my images, and I am blessed to have many of her pieces incorporated into the quilt she gave me. She will be very much missed by everyone who knew her.