Paying it Forward – I’m in

“I’m in” is how I responded to the below Facebook post the beginning of this year.  It seems to be a positive way to start out the new year.  Doing something nice for someone else.  I got my five responses fairly quickly.  Two of them are local.  Two from out of town and one from out of the country.  I’ve finished two projects, one for a local lady and one of the out of town ones.

IMG_2748  IMG_2747  I made expandable book bags for two of my “I’m in’s”.  I have a third one almost done.  I love to make things and I’ve never needed to be prompted or have to sign up for something to want to make anything for anyone.  This just seemed like a fun way to start out 2015.  Perhaps continuing this web of kindness will catch on.   Treating others with respect and dignity, a great concept.

As for the person who is out of the country I am still thinking about.  I’ve yet to receive my Pay It Forward gift.  Mine is coming from California.  I’m sure it will arrive at the absolute perfect time.

“Dear Friends, I’m participating in the ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative: The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during the year – anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown, homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented “I’m in” I will forward this message to you privately, so that you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status, (don’t share it) so that we can form a web of connection of kindness. Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable and friendly, and love filled year.”

Today this beautiful girl is 10.  IMG_2985  The book she is looking at is a journal I put together for her.  It is filled with those “Mighty Girl” sayings and words of wisdom on how to live strong and secure.  Girls have such self-esteem issues, maybe more-so than they did when I was growing up.  I want her to be a risk taker and push limits and boundaries but remain kind, caring, loving and giving.  I believe this is possible.  She has huge potential.

Until next time…

My generosity is being stolen and I am responsible

“My generosity is being stolen” is a quote from my pastor’s talk on Sunday.  The “I am responsible” part is me trying to figure out how to get to that generous spot where I can be more generous.  There is such a huge need in the world and I feel I never am able to give financially.

I make quilts.  I love quilts.  I love to make quilts to give away.

kissing fish2  pink log cabin2  I was so excited to find a site entitled; Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS.  One of my goals for 2015 is to use all or at least much of my “stash” fabric to make charity quilts.  These two are the first I sent to the ALS foundation.  My grandmother died from this disease when she was 63. These were given to 2 victims of ALS and it is my sincere hope they provide some comfort.  There is much fabric left for me to assemble so I’m hoping many more quilts can be sent to Hopes & Dreams.

IMG_2950   Just a peek at how our garden is showing such promise!

Until next time

Happy weekend..

Long time no blog

I’ve missed you.

This year I’ve decided to take a step back from Pardon My Bag to see if it would be worth it to continue or if what I’ve accomplished is all there is.

Artisan Markets,, juried my work and I was accepted into this prestigious group.  The obstacles to get to a show, right now, outweigh the ability for me to participate.  It is my hope in the near future I can take part in these awesome art shows.  I believe this is the market I need to show Pardon My Bag and to actually make it worth my while.

Right now we are impatiently watching our vegetable garden grow.  It appears very promising and in my opinion there is nothing more satisfying than fresh vegetables on our table from our own garden.

Green thumb

Green thumb

It’s good to be back.

Until next time…



The colorful quilt on this “big girl” bed was made by me for a little girl prior to her birth. My daughter helped me pick out the colors as the mother of this little girl is not a “pink or blue” person. This little girl also has a twin brother. He, too, got a quilt. What I’m getting at is this mom wrote the most special words to me with the picture. She wanted me to see the quilt on the bed and know just how much they love it. There rarely is a better way to thank me than to show me my work in action.

I make things because I love to do “sew”. I’m not sure how many quilts I’ve made since I started, back in 1991, but there are many. I keep a journal of them to remind me sometimes what I have done or to inspire me to make another. Getting pictures of babies on the baby quilts I make them really makes me feel so gratified.

This year for Christmas I decided to make backpacks for 3 of my grandchildren and a great niece. I have to say they were a hit. Sadie backpack This is Sadie, my great niece, with her backpack all ready for pre-school. The twins use theirs all the time. Jackson carries his cars in his robot backpack. Olivia’s has ballerina fairy fabric and this goes with her to her ballet classes. Halle’s is bright butterflies and if we can get her to stand still for a moment I hope to get her picture with hers.
I have to credit Whistlepig Creek for this great pattern and I really had fun putting them together. They are somewhat of a spin-off of the Pardon My Bag handbags. I’ve taken a small hiatus from handbag creating. I have one wall-hanging commissioned and two larger quilts to do so I’m certainly not bored!  I’m waiting for handbag inspiration so until that occurs I will be quilting up a storm. In the meantime I will continue to feel so much gratification each time I get a picture that I can add to my journals.

Until next time…


“You are cordially invited to our 10th annual Hot Chocolate, Hot Apple Cider, and S’mores Party”. BYOM, (Bring your own mug).

Ten years ago we met a lovely family who had won a lottery to move from Zimbabwe to the US.  They lived in an apartment just upstairs from us.  We got to know this family and when the parents were visiting from Zimbabwe I had a true connection with the grandma.  We had a lot in common.  Grandchildren being the most common ground.

It was in December and being in Phoenix allows one to be comfortable outside.  A conversation began about us being from Montana and camping and all that goes with it.  It turned out this family did not know what a s’more was nor had they ever had hot apple cider.  Thus started our first Friday in December tradition of hot chocolate, cider, and s’mores.  We all gathered around the barbeques in the common area and had our first Christmas party with family from another country.  We have done this every year since and this past Friday we celebrated the 10th one.  Our Zimbabwe friends, now American citizens, joined us with their children and we think of their parents who are so far away.  This helps us get in the holiday spirit.  We have to have our Christmas lights up so it looks festive and Christmas music in the background.  Most everyone brings cookies or something to share.  The fire pit is lit and marshmellows are roasted so that s’mores can be created.

We have many new neighbors with all the building going on in our neighborhood so we had several new people to meet and visit with.  Part of the conversations are always how no one ever gets to know their neighbors.  For us, it’s important to know who lives close to us.  We know if there were an emergency we could count on these people to help us out.  We are there for them as well.

This tradition is truly how the Christmas season begins for me and perhaps it is the most meaningful.  We don’t have white Christmas’s here but this gathering each year warms my heart as I get to know more of my fellowman.

May there be the warming of your hearts with apple cider or hot chocolate and have that one s’more I allow myself each year.

See you in 2014

Words To Live By?


Do you ever wonder why life throws us so many curves? I was complaining to a doctor one time that I seem to get all the genetic issues of my ancestors and my siblings don’t. He told me perhaps I was the stronger one to handle them. I’ve never forgotten that. This poster rings very true for me.


I love this one. It puts so much into perspective for me. Being the annoying perfectionist that I am I sometimes have to stop and think about the reality of what it is I’m trying to accomplish. Perhaps many of those things are similar to a fish climbing a tree. They just can’t be done. At least I can’t do them and that should be ok.

I love all the sayings I’m finding on Pinterest. Some of them can be very thought-provoking. Some of them are simply “In Your Face” and they make me smile.                                                           TerriPardon My Bag has recently received some new (old) remnants and I’m excitedly cutting out some new bags.  They will be available to view one at time but soon.  This bag is a custom order and a pattern I haven’t done before.  It is made from some lovely brocade with a suede pocket and handle loops.  It has a designated inside pocket for an IPad.  It will be going to a new home very soon.

dreamerGotta love this saying and I do love the song.  It brings back so many memories.

No matter what your lot in life stay positive and seek out the best of everything.  At least I’m trying to.

Until next time…

Color My World

a href=””>lovely colors

Oh, how I would love to just immerse myself in these colors somehow. I’ve lived with white walls for so long. Many apartments that one just doesn’t paint and now our home that is still a work in progress. I look at these color swatches and want to just wrap myself up in them. The effect they have on my eyes when I see them is so soothing. You should see my Pinterest “colors and design” board. There are 376 pins of beautiful colors and textures. I simply can’t get enough color. Quilting provides some satisfaction color-wise as do Pardon My Bag creations. Pardon My Bags are full of color but to be able open a door full of these color palettes and get lost in them takes my breath away. color<

Wasn’t the beginning of “The Wonderful World of Disney” made so colorful by Tinkerbell waving her wand and causing all kinds of color to appear? Talk about nostalgia. Wow, I know I’m dating myself but check it out. Until next time…


Nothing better than “all the colors of a rainbow” to give a sense of peace.

Art by Betina Johnson

rainbow copyGood Day Everyone.  This photo, taken from my deck one evening about a month ago.  I wasn’t sure the rainbow would be visible as it was getting darker and darker as the storm developed.  I’ve added a favorite quote.

Thanks for visiting my blog…enjoy your day and find harmony and joy in it!

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No Sweat!!

Once more I find myself back in a gym environment. Frankly I don't know why I keep leaving. It only seems to make sense to me to go when the logistics of my getting there are the most complicated. I can't do anything simple. My community is building a new fitness center but it won't be completed until spring. In the meantime, it has come to my attention that my bones are thinning and I need to do something to prevent further bone loss. I come to work everyday where a fitness center is within walking distance. I just needed to clear my getting there with my carpool mates since there will be a detour to drop me off. I get to work really early and decided I need to better use my time.

So tomorrow I will be quite sore. I can feel it already but it's a good hurt, right?

Nothing is simple for me, however. I needed a new gym bag and the thought process to packing said bag took most of Sunday. gym bag Here is my new bag. This one is all mine and I loved using it today. Besides it’s great advertising. No one is going to notice me at that gym but they can’t miss noticing my bag. I’m a walking billboard for Pardon My Bag! This is mainly denim from some old jeans and covered buttons from the green polka dot fabric. Another “Whistlepig Creek”>Whistlepig Creek design, the Boho Bag.

gymbag back
Here’s a rear view as well.

Happy working out everyone.

Until next time…

Monday Musings and Motivations — Part Forty-Five — Endings/Beginnings

Wishing you well as you get settled.

Brigitte's Banter

I sit here on a small patio writing with the constant noise of traffic below.  I’m in a much smaller place than I was three months ago as I prepare to make a move.  By the time the dust settles, we will have moved four times in less than four months.

This one involves leaving behind the place where many vagabond shoes have come to.  Instead mine will be leaving here, New York, New York!!

The ending of this part of my life signifies a beginning of what my life will be.  When I arrive at that other place.  As I reflect back on the past year, I know that soon my life will thankfully (hopefully?) settle down, but not quite yet.

So, I’ve had to step back and gather some strength, make some sense of all these stressors that have taken hold of me for a long time now. …

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