Saturday, September 24, 2011

Giveaway! From Ghana by way of New Orleans and Virginia...

Hey, Erin, it's your birthday!!!

40 - WOO HOO!!! So far, I'm loving this start to my fifth decade of existence. I attended two conference sessions this morning, and then set off exploring. Yesterday, Wendy commented that I should find a store here in New Orleans that sells fabric and goods produced by women in Ghana, so that is what I did. If you are ever in New Orleans, I encourage you to visit their store, but even now, at home, you can visit their website:

I was awed by many of the handicrafts there, but went in with the sole purpose of buying fabric to:

A) help support keeping young girls in Ghana in school (proceeds from sales help the SISTA - Stay In School Tuition Assistance - program; what better tribute to my commitment to access to education, the topic of BOTH conference sessions I attended this morning!) and

B) to share these lovely fabrics with YOU, my blog readers!

So, simple giveaway here - leave a comment on this post by the end of the day, Wednesday, September 28, and I'll enter you in a drawing to win half yard of each of these batiks that I picked up at the store.

As a hand quilter, I rarely use batiks, and even then, just in small doses, so this fabric is for YOU!

Once I found the store and made the purchase, I wanted to explore some more. I headed down St. Charles Avenue to take some pictures in the Garden District. I discovered that those beautiful homes are hard to photograph because of all the greenery that surrounds and shields them, but I've shared some photos here. My favorite architectural features are the working shutters, the two levels of porches, and the wrought iron detailing.

I ended up walking more than 4 miles, finally taking refuge in a public library where the book that caught my fancy was The Cottage Book: Living Simple and Easy by Carol Bass. After looking at all these fancy homes, it was refreshing to go from looking at what incites my curiousity to what feeds my soul. I may marvel at the fancy pants homes, but simple, country living is what appeals to me most and where I feel most at home.

Rested, I hopped on a streetcar for the ride back to the hotel. What fun! After that ride, I was hoping to find that I could watch A Streetcar Named Desire on Netflix, but alas, it is only on DVD, not streaming. Another night, I guess.

Now, I am resting my feet before heading back to Cafe Du Monde for my third round of coffee and beignets. YUM!

(the menu...)

Here's a shot looking out over Jackson Square (across the street from the Cafe) at the Saint Louis Cathedral and a museum. Can you see all the carriages lined up to take tourists around? And behind them, the artists selling their wares along the fence?

And this is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co that I've passed several times on my daily pilgrimage to the land of beignets. I love the colors, those circular details under the windows, and those arches over the windows.

Lest you think all I am doing is walking around eating beignets and photographing the homes of unsuspecting private citizens, here is the Birdie Stitches BOM for August that I finished during the conference sessions.

I'm working on September now, and hope to have it done by the time the weekend is over. Speaking of which, I should probably stop typing and start stitching!

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...