Travel

Teaching Adventures

Hello my Quilty Friends!

Its been a while since I have blogged and I sooooo want to get back into a better habit of doing this because it really is a place where I can share so much more than I am able to do on Instagram, which is where I am most of the time these days. Why? Because it is SO MUCH EASIER for me and with the totally insane schedule I seem to keep, EASIER is sometimes the only way it will happen!  I would love it if you would join me there if you haven't already. I am figtreeandco !!

Anyway, I have been getting A LOT of questions and requests lately for teaching and folks wondering why I don't seem to be doing it so much anymore. Well..... traveling to teach takes a lot of time and energy and frankly a lot out of me. True confessions.... I hate to travel alone. Really, really hate it. I absolutely LOVE BEING IN A NEW PLACE and there are places in the world and in the United States where I have been that I would love to return to on a regular basis. But for me it is the process of traveling that makes the whole thing distasteful enough that I say NO to it more often than I say YES. Its not a logical anxiety and not one that has anything to do with a fear of flying... it is all about all of the things that could go wrong, the things that I could forget, the things that need to happen before I go, the things that might go badly at the airport, the fear of being completely out of control.... etc, etc., etc. That is probably more than you ever wanted to know about my issues with travel.  But the next you might wonder, why I don't seem to be teaching as much as I used to that is a big part of it.

The other thing is... well, its about the munchkins. As we transitioned our oldest child out of our home and into college this past year, I realized once again how short life is and how much I don't want to miss the little things that I still have left with the other two. They are both at such wonderful ages and are so full of life and wonder and activities and energy and questions and on and on... and I just don't want to miss too much of it. The time will come when it will be just me and the hub. I think I will enjoy traveling to teach much more then... at least that is the plan!

But all that to say.... I have agreed to teach in several different places this year and I am looking forward to these venues quite a bit.

March 23-15: Thimbles & Threads in Draper Utah.

I can't wait to stay at this amazing lodge and teach some really fun classes! I am dragging the family along for a part of this one and they hope to ski while I work!

ClassPromoFlyer-JoannaFigueroa(1)-1

ClassPromoFlyer-JoannaFigueroa(1)-2

Thimbles-and-Threads-Quilt-Shop

Click HERE for more information. I will be teaching my awesome Blue Ribbon quilt with a wonderful secret variation only for class members [trying to tease you just a little LOL] and I will be sharing all of my wool tricks of the trade while teaching one of the FIGS AND WOOLIES. I sure hope you consider joining me next month at this beautiful venue! I do believe that there are still spots open!

Blueribbonupclose

Main blue ribbon

 

4woolies72

StrawberryO-1

 

Summer, 2017: WORKSHOP FOR CARQUINEZ STRAIGHT STITCHERS in Benicia, CA.

We are still working out details for this one and if you are not in the guild but are interested in the workshop, you would need to contact Laurie Grant, Program Chair, to see what you can do. I am not sure of the rules on non-guild members etc in this situation.

 

September 19-23:  QUILTFEST 2017 "RUBY JUBILEE" in Layton, UTAH.

I will be 1 of 4 national teachers teaching at this wonderful event. We are still firming up which classes and on which days but it sounds like its going to be a wonderful event full of classes and opportunities! Stay tuned to their website if you are interested in this one. Sounds like its a favorite of you Utah folks! Click HERE for more info.

 

September 28- October 1: Quilting with Alex Anderson Retreat in Pleasanton, CA.

Have been looking forward to joining these ladies for a few years now [scheduling here takes place 4 years in advance LOL] not only because I know more than a few of them but because this particular retreat experience happens to be 45 minutes from home for me!! Click HERE for more info.

 

Hope to see some of you there!

 

joanna

 

 

 

 


A Little Trip... Part III

Up today.... the actual thatched roof cottages that the Cotswolds are known for. These are all homes of current families! Can you imagine living in a little dream cottage like this? Hopefully this won't offend anyone who actually lives in one... but all I can think of is a Hobbit coming out the front door! I love them. The roofs are made entirely of straw and many of them have a netting on them at this point to keep them from disintegrating.Apparently from what I heard from one home owner, it takes an ubelievable amount of work and upkeep to keep them!

But then again... who wouldn't want to live in one of these? I mean seriously.

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Back to reality.

Up tomorrow... the gardens!


A Little Trip... Part II

Flags

 

So as much as I love the doors... I love all the rest of it too. The gates. The views. The gorgeous  golden Cotswalds stone that makes all of the villages glow.... literally. The hollyhocks. Those hollyhocks are absolutely everywhere and I have promised myself to plant them in my garden next year. They just define English cottage garden to me!

Here are just a few photos of the villages that we explored... okay maybe more than a few. But a few of my favorites anyway.

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Towns-2

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Towns2-2 Towns2-1

With names likes Bourton-on-the-Water, Chipping Norton, Moreton-on-the-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Winchcombe, Broadway, Blockley, you kind of want to visit and explore each and every one. Which we kind of did. Again. Since I have done this several times before. It never gets old. Seriously.

 

Up tomorrow: the thatched roof cottages themselves. To die for.


A Little Trip...

This past week I have been on a little excursion with my mom, just the two of us. We spent a few days in the Cotswolds, a charming country and farm area of Britain about 2 hours outside of London, and the last day in London.

It was totally impromptu and a bit at the last minute but full of color and beauty and quitness. I wasn't sure how it would go since we have never travelled together, just the two of us, but it worked out perfectly! I guess we both needed some relaxed travel time.

I am home as of yesterday and wanted to start showing you some of my photos. Lots more to come but today I wanted to start off with doors. Yes, that's right, doors. One of my favorite things to do in the villages of the British countryside, is to look at doors. And cottage names. Each one is different and unique. I love them. Here are just a few.

Doors1 Doors2 Doors3

More stories from my trip and photos tomorrow!


Summer Memories

As I have a moment to breathe today [ inbetween 3 different deadlines and a couple of sick kids], I realized that I haven't had a chance to share with you much of our summer.

So before its totally too late [ I think the first official day of fall is right around the corner], I am going to bombard you with some of my favorites shots.

So going backwards from the most recent....

Our family vacation to Seattle, the San Juan Islands and Vancouver. Mostly through pictures because I am a bit too tired or maybe brain dead :-) for many words.

More likely, I would sit on this post for another 2 weeks waiting for the energy to add a lot of verbage and then it WOULD be too late to show you LOL!

 

LAVENDER FARMS ON THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS

Zackellagrass

 

Lavender

Kidslavender

 

Lavenderhouse

 

BEACH DAY AT THE SAN JUANS

Benbeach

... if it's there we must climb it.

 

Zackbeach

... we must hit it.

 

Ellabeach3

... we must build it.

 

Ericbeach

... some of us have never quite grown up.

 

Kidsbeach4

 

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... therefore it must be smashed.

 

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... or demolished.

 

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.... while others of us tirelessly work to build it back up.

 

Familybeach

 

EXPLORING THE SAN JUANS & VANCOUVER

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... bigger than my head!

 

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Garden

 

Kidspier

 

Flags

 

Pier

... a perfect lunch with my oldest in a perfect spot while the rest of the fam went whale watching. 

Boats

 

Vancouverstreet

 

Steamclock  ... the famous steam clock in Vancouver.

 

AT THE FARM

Goat

 

Zackhorses2

 

Benhorse3

 

Zackhorse

... family horseback riding. A first for us.

 

Hope you have a great evening!

 

 


Paris, my friend

Now I have to tell you that Paris, although still completely intoxicating, spellbinding, breathtaking, mysterious, and a whole group of other adjectives, has become somewhat of a friend over these last couple of trips. Mon ami as they say.

I now have a "regular" place I like to stay. On "my little island". A regular place I have my morning tea and croissant. Sometimes they even recognize me there. A regular afternoon crepe with nutella to snack on, couldn't think of anything other I would rather eat when strolling around Paris. A regular corner florist where I buy the flowers for my hotel room. My own metro stop. A favorite place to walk along the Seine. My favorite market and even a cheese shop that i can't resist.

And yet the city is full of idiosyncracies that I love to observe and a million things that I don't understand... like how to use a foreign credit card on one of those cool city rent bikes that you can pick up anywhere and drop off anywhere else for pennies! Anyone?

To me, Paris is still full of contradictions and things that you dont' expect. Its one of the things I love most about it. 

Like this,

Notredame
 ...the Notre Dame.


right across the street from this...

Cafeonseine
 ... a popular cafe that stays open all night with French and tourist alike.


Or this,

Cafeandsacrecouer
 A cafe mixed right into our view of Sacre Couer.


Or like color at every turn,

Pinkroses
 

...right next to a neutral that is just as beautiful.

Greenflowers
 

Like this older French gentleman shopping at the outdoor vegetable market who couldn't feel more "french" to me, with his classic profile, his expression and of course, his cane,

Oldfrenchman
 

... just a few streets down from this little boy we met at the park that, to me, epitomizes what I think a little French boy ought to look like. Right down to his shoes. And his little red truck.

Littlefrenchboy


 Litlefrenchboy2


And the little courtyards. The old entryways and covered walkways. The quiet spots away from the bustle and the cars. The softer side of Paris. So unexpected when you are walking on a major boulevard. But suddenly there it is.

Courtyard


Interiorcourtyard


Courtyardinfence
   
 

And the menus. Don't let me forget about the menus. The little menus in every shape color and style. The little menus that have come to communicate something to me about Paris, its simplicity, its people, its love of food. These little boards have become somewhat of an obsession for me. I think I have probably photographed at least a hundred of them by now. I just can't seem to get them out of my system. I love them. How silly is that?

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Menu2


Menu3


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Or what about the fact that here, this is what the salt aisle at the store looks like.... yes, that's right, the salt aisle. Nothing but salts.

Saltaisle


Or the fact that almost every Brasserie you pass has its doors open and feels this inviting. Like you've been there before... but you haven't.


Ericinbrasserie

... this has absolutely nothing to do with Paris, but you gotta love a husband who is willing to carry a "merse" [man purse] with embroidery on it all around the city!  

 

Meinorangescarf

... A place that feels like my friend.


Talk to you soon.  
    



Paris: are we done yet?

When I daydream of France, I think of little window scenes like this one here below. I really can't put my finger on what it is about this that is so "French" feeling for me, but it just is. I don't know why. 

Whereas some of my favorite pictures of Paris are grey and neutral and soft and old and vintage looking, Paris is also all about color. Its everywhere you look really, in every nook and cranny as they say.


... like in the windows

Windowwithgeraniums
 

... or in the scarves in a store


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... or in the jam jars at the Bon Marche department and grocery store

Jamjars


... or in the flower market

Flowermarket 


... even at night, the streets and cafes of Paris seem to be aglow in color

 Cafeatnight


... the store shelves are lined with wonderful colors. This one happens to be one of my favorite French reproduction stores, Comptoir de Famille

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... boutiques filled with colorful prints.

Tablecloths


Toiletrybags


... and of course, it wouldn't be complete without the amazing color of the Patisseries [for those of you who are recent followers of my blog, after one of my first trips to Paris, I was inspired to design an entire fabric collection based on the colors that I saw in the Parisian Patisseries, bakeries. It was called Patisserie. The blog posts about that trip are here.


 Patisserie


... more scarves twisted up into rolls. Parisian women are really, really into scarves of every kind and variety!

 Rollsofscarves


And so my head is spinning with colors and with neutrals and I couldn't possibly ever get them all onto fabric. That's a shame I think. Wouldn't Paris be wonderful as a fabric collection? I mean the real colors and feel of Paris. Maybe one day I will capture it.


Talk to you soon.

 


Paris: A little more

When most people go to Paris, they go see landmarks and take pictures that might look something like this.

Eiffeltower
 

Well, when we go to Paris, we get looked at a bit funny because we are seen mostly taking pictures of things like this...

Irongrate
 

in fact we seem to have a real thing for fencing...

Fence

And we seem to spend a lot of our time looking up...

Rosesinparis 

Alleyway


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 When our necks hurt from looking up, we would stop in for one or both of these...

Wineandcoke
 

So we could spend some more time looking at these...

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 Hydrangeasinbasket

When we got our fill of the beautiful blooms that seemed to be on every street corner, we reveled some more in, well, in food... just looking though...

Winebottles

Letuces
 

Crawfish


Apricots 


Usually that would make us hungry enough to sit down and have a snack, or two. Its good that we were walking about 10 miles a day because otherwise I would have to be at the gym and not here!

 Patisserie 

 More yummies tomorrow. Making me nostalgic just looking at it all.


Talk to you soon.


Paris: just the beginning

One of my favorite things about being a blogger is that if I go MIA like I have a bit recently, you will not hesitate to come find me! Even if my hub finds it a bit funny to feel this attached to a stranger, thank you to all of you who emailed and even called our office recently to find out if everything was okay and that I was fine.

I am here to announce that I am just fine, hunky dory in fact and I have just been taking a little bloggy break mostly because I have been abroad, on vacation or on business trips. Oh and there is that whole summer thing happening around here that is making it kind of hard to get to the computer.... just saying.

I want you to know that I am back at it, back in the swing of things, back in the saddle, back on the horse, back at the reins, ready to roll, back on track.... any other good idioms to butcher?

But since it is summer and I am not quite ready to start writing much, I thought I would share the adventures of my last month with pictures and a few words, very few words. At least for today. Tomorrow, maybe a few more words or a story or two...


When we arrived in Paris, we bought these gorgeous Peonies to put in our hotel room. Every day we smelled their glorious scent each time we walked back into our room...

Firstpicpeony


I spent a lot of time with this guy....


Ericprofile


Started a little ritual each morning at the local cafe, drinking this and having the most amazing croissant and pan chocolat you could possible imagine....


Everymorning
   

Meandtea


As soon as it was appropriate we had some of this...


Icecream

[only the French could make a simple ice cream cone look this beautiful!]


 
Ericicecream

...I told him that he enjoyed his ice cream just a little too much :-)!


We walked to as many markets as we could, at least 3 different ones each day...


 
Veggies 

Radishes 

Applebasket 


Each afternoon, we would take a rest on a bench.... or two in one of these.

Gardens 


When we got too tired to walk, each afternoon we would use this instead...

Metrosign 


So that we could make our way to another one of these...

Rosofcafechairs


... or another one.


Bluecafe


...or maybe this one.

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Sounds pretty much like most of our days. More tomorrow.


Talk to you soon.
 
  
 
 
 
 
 


A beautiful Saturday

The place: Sonoma

Sonomawinery

...wandering around abandoned vineyards.
 


When: Definitely Spring. This past Saturday to be more specific.

Sonoma1

...cherry trees in bloom.


Sonoma fig

... baby figs.


What: an afternoon of relaxation & a bit of fun.

Sonomamecamera

...realized I am hardly ever in the pics of where we go.


Destination: The Girl & the Fig

Sonomagirlandfig

...can you even believe that there is a such a place an hour from my home and I have never been there??


My drink: A Fig Royale

Sonoma fig royale

... my new favorite drink.


My date: My husband

Sonoma eric


Our dinner: Flounder in a brown butter & fried caper sauce on a bed of mashed potatoes and spinach.

Sonoma food

...uummmm, do I really need to say anything else?


Skirt Steak with a wine and veal reduction with fingerling potatoes and spring greens

Sonoma food2

...eric had a hard time parting with more than one bite of this one.


The occasion: 15th wedding anniversary

Sonoma bracelet

.... Apparently 15 years is crystal. Who knew? 


We'll definitely be back... sooner than is probably expected.

Sonoma restaurant

It was a perfect afternoon.

Love you honey.