Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Iowa

We're enjoying Christmas in Iowa with our families... and no SNOW. But there are lots of pretty lights, and especially those at the Scheulter farm just south of Durant. Last night after dark we loaded into the car and drove slowly by their farm so I could take a movie of the lights. Look hard for Santa - he's in the outhouse!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving... and didn't eat TOO much. We had turkey and all of the trimmings, and have plenty of leftovers for a few days. Today it is turkey sandwiches, or maybe a turkey wrap.

Last month I traveled to Providence, RI, to take the Zentangle Teacher Seminar so I could teach Zentangle Art. Now I am certified so I've been drawing a variety of tiles to show on my website, . Here are a few of them.

One of my favorite Zentangle designs is on the border of this tile. It is called Betweed - looks like a braid. The entire design is drawn with a black permanent pen. There are no mistakes in Zentangle drawing - you just figure out something different to add. Shading is done with fine lines in this one.

Some of the fun designs are those drawn on a grid, like the center of this one. It's a surprise to see how it is drawn... and easy too.

Did you ever want pearls? Here I have drawn them in a design called Purk, accompanied by Mooka and Betweed.

Do you know that you do not need any art training to learn these Zentangle designs? Want to take a class? Contact me to set up a class, or watch my schedule on my website to see what conferences I may be teaching at.

Why would you want to learn the art of Zentangle? It is a meditational artform that lets you relax as you draw repetitive lines, one at a time. Everyone can do it and you don't need to be an artist to create these beautiful Zentangle works of abstract art. Supplies are inexpensive and it's very portable and easy to take with you. Everyone is an artist and I'd be delighted to help you show off your artistic talent. Sign up for a Zentangle class and you'll see for yourself.

Just ask my sister Karen, her neighbor Rose, and great nieces Kelsi and Katie - they sat down with me  one afternoon on a recent visit and we completed two tiles, and they couldn't wait to do more. It's great for any age.

Today I've been updating my website and my blog. Since I am off until Monday, I plan to get some sewing done too.

Talk to you again soon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Day on the Prairie

Yesterday Wayne and I took a drive out to the Elk and Bison Prairie at Land Between the Lakes, KY. It's about 35 minutes from our home, and we usually visit it several times a year. This is the first time all year that we have been there. And Mother Nature certainly put on a colorful show for us as the trees were ablaze with color, and we say a herd of 26 elk, and all but one of the bison (according to the Conservation Officer that we thanked as we left).

I hope you enjoy A Day on the Prairie...

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zentangle Seminar and Trip Home

Here's a bit more about the Zentangle Teachers Seminar in Rhode Island...
In case you missed seeing them up close, here is a photo of my Zentangled shoes.

First I colored the white Keds tennis shoes with Marvy permanent markers, then I added the Zentangle designs, and finished them off with sapphire and amethyst Swarovski crystals.

This is the entire Certified Zentangle Teacher class #7, October 2011. (I am one of the tall ones in the back row - near the mirror in the right rear section of the group.) We had students from India, Japan, Australia, Canada, and all points far and wide across the U.S. What a fun week in Rhode Island and we learned a lot. And now I can add CZT after my name. I'm working on some classes and will add them to my class list very soon. You all will love learning to make your own Zentangled art... and everyone can do it!

The trip from Rhode Island to Iowa was a lot of driving, but the leaves were especially beautiful as we drove through the endless mountains in Pennsylvania. Mountains were all around us and we drove through several tunnels through the mountains. Here's a couple of photos...

The mountains had a lot of red trees giving color all around us.

Here we are heading into one of the tunnels through the mountains.

We arrived at my sister Karen's in Durant, Iowa, on Monday evening. We spent several days helping Wayne's sister Kathi go through their Mom & Step-dad's home. It's hard to believe that they passed away exactly 12 weeks apart. There was a lot of sorting of clothes and soft goods, cleaning in the kitchen - Karen took on the kitchen clean-up, sorting out foodstuffs and pitching out-of-date canned goods. Makes me want to start on our drawers and closets and do the same thing. I know we have a bunch of stuff we could get rid of... all except my quilting stuff, or course. We enjoyed a nice dinner with sister Marcia and her husband Don, Karen, and Mom Kirkland one evening and we all ate way too much.

We drove home on Saturday. Did our own bed ever feel good, after 2 1/2 weeks away. Poor Tuffy spent that time at Kitty Camp (boarded at the Vet), and he was really glad to get home too. The first day he wouldn't leave Wayne's side.

We say pretty trees in Ohio on the way to Rhode Island, in Pennsylvania on our way to Iowa, and now the color in the trees is good here in Paducah. This is a photo I took tonight as I got out of the car of trees in our yard and the neighbors. It was drizzling but you can still see all of the color in the trees - reds, oranges, and yellows.

And now we are catching up on our sleep, and I'm busy catching up at work.

More later... we are planning to drive out to see the elk on the prairie at Land Between the Lakes this weekend. Hope I can catch a good photo or two there.

Bonnie B

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Providence Zentangle Teacher Seminar

What a trip - Wayne and I just finished a 3,200 mile trip which took us from KY, OH, PA, WV, NJ, NY, CT, and RI to get to the Zentangle Teacher Seminar in Providence, RI. Along the way we spent a couple of days in the Poconos where we visited Ray and Linda (Poole) Williams and Linda's parents, Gero & Gloria Grohs. We took a trip through the mountains in NY and went to a big craft fair on the grounds of Woodstock.

Ray and Linda Williams at the Craft Fair on the grounds of Woodstock.

Wayne and I had our photo taken in front the tye-dye shirt booth - the only visible remains of Woodstock.

Then we all went to the Williams new home and enjoyed some delicious grilled shis-ka-bobs. It was fun to see Linda's new office and studio area, and their beautiful new home tucked into the woods.

Then Wayne and I headed to Hotel Providence, Providence, RI, where the Zentangle seminar was held. Neither of us had been there before. Since we arrived a day early, we did have a chance to explore downtown Providence and their 6-story art museum. One whole room was paintings by Impressionist painters - Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Pissarro, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, and Rodin. They also have a lot of very old - 3500 B.C. carvings of ivory and other materials.

A view of the river running through downtown Providence

Zentangle creators Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts.

After we completed our first Zentangle tile, they were pinned to a background.
Class members studying our first Zentangle tiles.
Samples of Zentangled items we brought to share.

This photo shows off some of our Zentangled shoes, including my colorful ones.

More samples, including some quilted Zentangle designs.

Check out the knee-high sneakers with red shoestrings, and the Zen-opoly in the upper right corner.
All of the properties on this game are Zentangle designs.

How about this Zentangled flag!

And when we concluded the seminar on Friday morning, we received our Certified Zentangle Teacher certificates.

Before we left RI, Wayne and I had to do a little sightseeing of the area. We enjoyed seeing the ocean and having dinner at the Top of the Bay Restaurant in Warwick, RI. Take a look...

A boat harbor near Providence.

I guess we were supposed to be in this harbor because this boat is called My Zenda - coincidence?!

Wayne and I enjoyed dinner at the Top of the Bay Restaurant where we could see the ocean. It was a bit rainy but that didn't dampen our spirits or keep us from enjoying this for dinner....

And we ate every bite!

More in the next blog on our trip to Iowa and home to Kentucky.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This past week we had workers in to put siding on all of the places that needed paint - the soffits, ceilings of front and back porches, and the carport, and the front peak on the front of the house. Also put up new shutters. Now we only have one place to paint - the railing on the back porch... and the paint has been bought to get that done. It will be the same color as the shutters. Also bought some new fence sections to replace the ones that our redbud damaged in a wind storm. The fence will be the same color as the shutters too.

Here are a few photos so you can see what we have done.
Front of the house

The carport received a new ceiling and new lights. Really lights up the area.

The new shutters really look nice with the brick and the new windows that we had put in this year.

And here is Wayne waving "Hi" from the back porch. We added some new lights here too. Before we had fans on this porch but rarely used them. You'll notice that my swing is empty... that's my favorite spot. Wayne says he'll know where to find me now. LOL. You can see the posts and railings on the porch in this photo - we'll get those painted soon.

All done for this week. Hope you are enjoying the same beautiful day we are having in Paducah. It is a very pleasant 84 degrees now.

Bonnie B

It's nice to have this all finished.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Busy Week - Lots Done

Man, I don't know what eBlogger has done to my blog but it sure does look messy - boxes and lines all over the place. Whatever they tried, it certainly didn't improve anything.

It has been a busy week here. We had a crew come in and put siding everywhere we would need to paint - soffits, facia boards under gutters, front peak on the house, ceilings on front and back porches, and in the carport. It looks really good. They just finished this afternoon. I'll snap some photos tomorrow so you can see too. The only painting we have to do is on the back porch - the railings. Oh, and I forgot, we had new shutters put on the windows too. This will sure save us a lot of work around the house.

We finished the registration guide for the Lancaster show today and hope to have registration open online next week. Busy working on the Paducah registration guide now, and finalizing our instructors for Grand Rapids and Des Moines - all in 2012. We work months in advance to get it all done for each show.

Last Saturday I even visited Hancock's and bought some fabric... mostly black and white prints and solids. I'll keep you in suspense with what I plan to do with that fabric.

All for tonight...Bonnie B

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blog on Fire Award

My friend Lois Arnold, AZ, gave me the Blog on Fire Award. Who knew there was such a thing.

One of the things you are supposed to do is tell seven things about yourself... so here goes:

1. Wayne and I have lived in Paducah, KY for 17 years (this week) and that is the longest we have lived in any city (except our hometown of Muscatine, Iowa).

2. I have collected crock chicken waterers for years. Most of them have some kind of indigo blue design painted on them. And what does one do with crock chicken waterers, you say? Well they make great conversation pieces, and aren't good for much else unless you raise chickens and need to water them.

3. I'm working on my 10th quilt book, and may sneak in another small one before I get it finished. My books are published by the American Quilter's Society (AQS). By the time I finish the Lone Star book, I'm going to have a magnificent collection of Lone Star quilts - just bought another one last week to use in the book. I've been employed as the Executive Show Director for AQS for 17 years now - who would have thought I would do this for 17 years? Still having fun doing it!

4. Since drawing is another hobby of mine, I'm heading to Rhode Island this fall to take a Zentangle Teacher Certification Seminar. Talk about something that is relaxing to do. One nice thing about Zentangle is there is no preconceived outcome, you just draw one line at a time. And there are no erasers.

5. We enjoy nature and feed a lot of birds in our backyard... and squirrels... and the neighborhood raccoons and ground hogs too. Often we can watch up to 15 or more different types of birds come to the feeders in the evening. Right now the hummingbirds are here enmasse fighting over the two feeders.

6. Teaching quilting is one of my great joys. Is there anything better than spending a day or two with a group of quilters? My class info is on my website, .

7. It is so much fun to keep up with my long-time quilting friends, Lois Arnold, Lorinda Lie, and Jo Fifield on the Internet. It makes the distance between us so much shorter. And, amazingly, we are all still making quilts and are involved in so many other things.

Guess you now know a few bits of information about me that you may not have known. I use my blog to share what I am up to... so come back often. Hope to have some new quilt photos to post soon.

Bonnie Browning
Paducah, KY

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A July Saturday in Paducah

This day started out like any Saturday... have some breakfast and head to Farmer's Market to get some fresh veggies. We hadn't driven out of Reidland yet when we came upon a Mama wild turkey taking her young one for a walk... across the busy highway. We stopped and let them cross. And, where was my camera when I needed it!

Then it was off to Farmer's Market to get some sweet corn and tomatoes. Stopped by the National Quilt Museum (which is right across the street from the market) to pick up the silver necklace that I saw in their newsletter. It is a heart that says Quilts inside the heart - one is now in my jewelry box. And I also picked up some of the museum's collection of dogwood fabric made by Moda. They told me that the supply is getting limited, so if you want some, contact the museum. They had 5" squares, jelly rolls, layer cakes (10" squares - that's what I bought), and some fat quarters and other cuts.

After a bacon and tomato sandwich for lunch - yum - it started to rain. I love to sit on our back porch when it rains. This photo shows how hard it rained.

Our backyard has lots of bushes blooming now. Here is how the pink crepe myrtle looks in the rain. We also have a dark rose colored crepe myrtle, and the Rose of Sharon buses are blooming too - they are a purple-ish pink.

My next bit of entertainment on the porch was watching the hummingbirds. We haven't had but about 4 hummingbirds up to now... but they were fighting in masses over the feeders today. Here are two of them going beak-to-beak over this feeder.

And now, I'm going to go Zentangle. If you don't know what that is, stay tuned. I'm heading to a seminar for teacher certification in Zentangle this fall. I see lots of applications for it in designing quilting patterns.

Have a great weekend!
Bonnie B

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miss You Maxine

Last week we attended the funeral of Wayne's Mother, Maxine Furnas Browning Martin in Muscatine, Iowa. She would have been 90 in December. While we already miss her, she passed away in her home, did not have any disabling diseases, and was mentally sharp. She passed away as she was getting dressed on the morning of Sunday, July 10. If we have to go, that would be my choice too.

Maxine leaves behind her husband, Buster Martin, one son - Wayne Browning, and her daughter - Kathi Beverlin, two granddaughters - Cherdyl and Chrystal, and one great-granddaughter, Jamie. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Carl Browning, and son James Browning.

She loved flowers and we often sent her bouquets of live flowers to enjoy. Maxine was well-known for making some of the best cinnamon rolls and pies around. There were always fresh cinnamon rolls waiting when we visited her. Usually our fall visits included a visit to our favorite orchard near Morning Sun, IA, to buy bushels of apples. She believed that an apple, or two, did keep the doctor away. Her apple dumplings were yummy!

My favorite memory of Maxine is the time she and I spent together making candy for the holidays. We would each buy 10 pounds of sugar and we made candy until the sugar was all gone. We made several kinds of fudge - the old-fashioned cooked cocoa kind, white chocolate fudge will lots of nuts in it, and peanut butter fudge. Of course there were several flavors of divinity - her two syrup recipe is still the best one, peanut brittle, date rolls, and whatever new kind we wanted to try. Our family and friends enjoyed lots of holiday candy from our weekend of candy making.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Love Red, White and Blue

It is hard to believe that it is the 4th of July weekend already... and time for me to share some of my red, white and blue quilts!
Lady Liberty, Bonnie K. Browning

American Eagle, redwork by Bonnie K. Browning

Collection of Bonnie K. Browning

Quilt by Milford Valley Quilters,
Collection of Bonnie K. Browning

Collection of Bonnie K. Browning

Quilt by Florence, Alabama Quilters
Collection of Bonnie K. Browning

Collection of Bonnie K. Browning

Salute to Uncle Sam, Bonnie K. Browning
May you all have a fun, safe 4th of July holiday!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday, Sewing and Eagles

I can't believe it has been so long long since I wrote on my Blog. It has been crazy busy at work. We are just finishing the Showbook for the show in Knoxville, July 13 - 16; and the registration guide is finished for the Des Moines show, September 28 - October 1. And, I just returned from three days of planning meetings for the 2012 summer show in Grand Rapids, MI.

And, then I had a birthday yesterday - had a nice leisurely day - stopped at Farmer's Market to pick up some home grown tomatoes, watermelon, green beans, and cabbage. Then did a little shopping, had lunch with Wayne at Tribeca, and home for a quiet evening.

Heavy rain and lots of wind woke me up about 5 a.m. so I got up. Decided I needed to make some new pillows that I use when I travel. They are shaped like dogbones and fit perfectly into a carryon.  I just finished making three new ones so I'll be set for a while.

Have you joined the new website, ?  It's free and you can make your own page, add photos of your quilts, join or start interest groups. Check it out by clicking here.

Have you checked out the Decorah eagles lately. They are expected to fly away sometime this week. Right now they are sitting on the branches of the tree where their nest is. See how big the eagles are now. Click here to check them out.

That's all for now... hope you are having a great day!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day has always been a special day for us - to remember and celebrate my sister Marcia's birthday on May 30, and to visit the cemeteries where our families are buried. We also made an afternoon of taking fresh peonies to the cemeteries and visiting grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles grave sites.

And we always then enjoyed some traditional Memorial Day food - grilled chicken and ribs, home-made potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, and yummy desserts. I have a dessert to share with you today.

Whoopie Pies

From Food Network Kitchens

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons fine salt
18 large marshmallows (not minis)

Put the unsweetened and semisweet chocolates and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl; heat at 75 percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to microwave until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching the water, and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.)

Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until moistened. Switch to a rubber spatula and finish folding the batter together; take care not to over-mix.

Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the prepared pan. Repeat to make 36 cookies, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies spring back when lightly touched, about 6 minutes.

Cool the cookies slightly. Transfer half of the cookies to a rack. Turn the remaining cookies on the pan over, so they lay flat side up. Place a marshmallow on top of each flipped cookie and return pan to the oven. Cook just until the marshmallow begins to soften and puff, about 3 minutes. Cool marshmallow topped cookies slightly, about 2 minutes. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to make sandwiches. Cool whoopee pies completely on wire racks. Serve. Store in tightly sealed container for up to 1 week.

Enjoy your Memorial Day, and remember our troops!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blue Jays vs Hawk

Tonight Wayne and I were sitting on the back porch eating our supper when I spotted a hawk in a tree at the edge of our yard. All of the other birds disappeared - most went into hiding in the wisteria bushes. And all was quiet... until a pair of blue jays let the hawk know that this was their backyard. They dive bombed the hawk, until the hawk flew to the opposite side of the yard, and they dive bombed it again and chased it on down the street. Blue jays are noisy anyway, and you should have heard the racket they created as they chased this hawk out of the yard.

Soon the birds were back on the feeder. Here are some special guests at the feeders tonight, and one bluebird who chose to land on the cable line.

This red-breasted woodpecker is a frequent visitor to the feeder. He usually gets the feeder to himself.  The white bucket behind the feeder is a baffle to keep the squirrels out of the feeders. It works most of the time.

This is the first time we have spotted the female rose-breasted grosbeak eating the corn. She very meticulously plucked off a kernel, ate it, and helped herself to another kernel.

This bluebird landed on the cable line and waited for me to snap his picture. We have a bluebird box on a tree out in the yard. They loved it earlier this week when I mowed the yard - they swooped down to get the bugs I had stirred up.

Jenny wren has built nests in both wren houses now - guess they can't decide which one to set up house in.

All of our backyard birds certainly do give us a sideshow, especially in the evening when they come in to feed. We like our feathered friends.