Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Memory Lane - 10 Years of Blogging

September 16th marked the ten year anniversary of my little blog, "Tales from the Raspberry Rabbits." Time sure has flown by and there have been so many adventures and changes along the way.

I spent some time over the weekend reminiscing about this journey and I thought you might enjoy reading a few of my favorite posts from days gone by.

Here is my very first post.

In the same spirit of my post from last week, I want to share a little "Happy." Even though I miss my Harrington bunny soooooo very much, these posts still crack me up and bring a smile to my face. I hope they do the same for you.

Here is the Bunnyville Olympics post.

Here is the Two Little Bunnies post.

This final post is still one of the most amazing moments in my life.

Here is my Quilting Arts TV post. 

In 2007 I wrote the following paragraph in my journal. It was written by Corey Amaro in the Jan/Feb 07 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

"Many of us have seeds buried within us that are longing to be watered, hoping to be unearthed, waiting to share their fragrant scent. Creativity is born from the smallest of seeds. If we can nurture our dreams with the belief that we have something to give, we can learn to trust that our roots will spread into tomorrow. When a seedling of passion awakens, it can bloom a never-ending bouquet of happiness for us to hold."

I have been quilting since 1989. The quilting seed was planted in me then. It's been my passion ever since. I taught quilting for 10 years until our local quilt shop closed in 2005. I loved every single minute of it and loved my students. Sharing quilting and giving in general has always been one of my greatest joys in life. We all have something to give, even a simple smile or a hug.

So now, here I am, ten years since I started writing this blog. I am the owner of my own company. A company that truly cares about customers. A place where those customers are my friends and those friends are my family.

I am now a National Quilt Teacher, which brings me so much joy by inspiring the creative spirit in others. I live in my favorite town, Wilmington, in a cute little cottage, in a charming neighborhood. I am also about to head to Houston to fulfill my dream of being a teacher at the Houston International Quilt festival.

Like all journeys, or rabbit holes in my case, there has been much sorrow and hardships and heartaches. Even now, my little cottage keeps having things break and fall apart and I have much sorrow in my heart regarding family issues that may never heal. But, there are always opportunities to learn and grow and to simply move on knowing I gave it my best, stayed true to myself and followed my heart.

I know blogging has given way to Facebook and Instagram, but for now, I will continue with my weekly posts and sharing bits and glimpses into my little place in this world. My world that exists down the rabbit hole.

Light, love and friends,
Michelle, Hannah Bunny and Sabrina Kitty too!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Happy Little Post

Hi ya!

Well, I had good intentions of writing a different post today, but honestly, I just need a break from all the stress in the world. My friend, Jo James, said the other day, "I peeked my head out into the world for a minute. It was really scary. I'm going back inside my art bubble."

So today, I'm just going to share something fun. I love Bruno Mars. His music reminds me so much of the group Earth, Wind and Fire. I love how this song got combined with old movie stars.

Enjoy this brief break from reality. ;)


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Back to School and Creativity

Hi ya!

First, I want to follow up from last weeks post about the Houston Quilt Festival. I have received word that the show and the market are both a go. So, if you are headed there, I do hope to meet you! I will post more of my schedule in a few weeks. Of course, right now I'm keeping a close eye on hurricane Irma. She looks very angry....

Ok, now onto what I've been pondering this week as I've been working on "Wonderland Woods," a new adventure from me and Jules coming January 1st. This won't be a typical "Block of the Month." It is more of a textile art piece in lieu of an art quilt. We are so excited and can't wait to share more with you! Until then, here are a few sneaky peeks. ;)

All the kiddo's in my neighborhood have headed back to school this week. It got me thinking about a talk from Ken Robinson on "Do Schools Kill Creativity" that I listened to while I was drawing, designing, stitching, writing and photographing different steps in "Wonderland Woods."

Growing up and even today, I suffer from "Test Anxiety." I will know a subject 100% and can talk to you about it for hours, but make me take a test and my mind will go blank and don't even say the words "Pop Quiz!"

 Also, I'm a kinetic and visual learner. I learn by doing and seeing, not memorizing. Thus, when I write my patterns, I write step by step instructions, but also include a color photo of that step so every type of learner is covered.

Not having kids, it is hard for me to really understand this, but to me, teaching a child to memorize and learn to pass a test and compete against a million other kids for a scholarship really does kill creativity and squashes the imagination. An imagination, that if nurtured, just might create something incredible. To me, teaching to one's strengths and focusing on what kids and individuals are naturally gifted with, should be more important than rigid regurgitation of facts.

Teachers must have it really hard. I mean they have 20 + kids in a class are made to stick to a ridiculous, structured teaching methods to "pass the tests" so the school gets funded, all while getting paid next to nothing. Here in NC, a first year teacher fresh out of college with a Masters Degree (and tons of school loans), only makes $38,500. They spend a lot of there own money supplementing things for their classrooms that aren't supplied by the schools. Like tissues for goodness sake!

Anyway, here is Ken's very comical, but very poignant talk if you have time to listen. I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are or were a teacher. It really  made me think back to the wonderful teachers I had who inspired me and nurtured my creative spirit. I'm forever grateful to them.