A fun day at Connie’s! 9-21-23

Becky and I went to Connie’s house at Okoboji today – I had never been there since she moved 18 months ago because of Rick’s health issues. I loved seeing all her treasures that she acquired through the years – many on trips we took together to market, etc. Seeing them in a new environment was so fun!

On our way we drove by our mom’s stone cottage which isn’t far from Connie’s house. So many memories here.
Connie’s house street side
Lake side
Elevator down to the water
Cover of Fresh Start Quilts
Awesome Land from Oh, Scrap! By Lissa Alexander
Becky and Connie

We ate outside at the Taco House which was DELICIOUS! And then we had to head for home – too many depending on me here.

We stopped at the antique mall and thrift store – quickly.

Look! Debbie Mumm fabric and I’m going to use it in a fall quilt.

Such a fun day! I have several questions and comments to discuss but I guess it will tomorrow – thanks for all the fun with My Black Hen!

67 thoughts on “A fun day at Connie’s! 9-21-23

  1. Diane in Colorado

    What a fun day for you!! Connie’s home is lovely!
    You always manage to find treasures when you go to the thrift store/antique store! Lucky you!!

  2. Sunflower from Michigan

    Great finds at the thrift store! Looks like another silver dish for scissors. Like that plaid fabric too. And sweet needlework.
    Connie’s home is beautiful and filled with treasures. Thanks for the tour.
    Your moms stone cottage photo was lovely too. I do love stone houses.
    I spent about four hours helping my sister with yard work at her new home. They have 7 1/2 acres and loads of mature trees. It got too hot to keep working outside so after lunch we moved boxes and plants from her old house to the new one. She has a huge gorgeous jade plant. Have a great weekend.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sunflower – you’re a kind good sister to help her with both yard work and moving boxes and plants. I’m not sure I’d be so willing.

  3. Marilyn Miller

    What a great day! I love the little stone cottage that had belonged to your Mother. So cozy. Connie’s house is just lovely and she displays her personality and interests wonderfully, as you do Mary. Lake Okoboji is almost a distant memory as I’ve not been there for years. Spent lots of time there as a child. We had family in Hartley. Old friendships are just the best!

  4. Martha W in WY

    Connie has a lovely home. I’ve never heard or seen an elevator to the lake (and I grew up in MN). Thanks for the short tour. Boy, you and Jo Krammer (joscountryjunction) sure find the neatest things at Iowa thrift stores.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Martha – along Connie’s shoreline nearly every home has an elevator because it’s so steep. They have steps, too, many many steps.

  5. Teresa

    What a fun day your girls had! Loved seeing Connie’s new home, so many windows, the lighting would be fabulous. You found some nice items thrifting, love that pin cushion.

  6. Jo in Wyoming

    What a wonderful escape! Now that yard work is drawing to an end, you should escape more often. Becky and Connie look great. Becky is still glowing from her hole in one.
    Connie’s house is beautiful, I’m not sure I could live that close to neighbors. I love my neighbors, but they are a hundred yards away.
    Did you ride the elevator?

  7. Kathy L

    Connie has a beautiful house, I would love to see all her things but that little stone cottage I would love to see that to

  8. Barb

    Thanks for the tour, Mary! What a beautiful place. My Dad grew up in Rochester told stories of going to Okoboji during the depression. His favorite Aunt and Uncle and cousin lived there. We visited many summers and I have fond memories of going down the HUGE SLIDE as a little girl. Wish I could follow you through those great thrift shops!

  9. Vicki in Seattle

    Mary, what a FUN day! Did you drive RED?
    So good to see Connie and her beautiful home.
    Glad you had a quick stop at the thrift shop.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Vicki – no, I didn’t drive Red. I probably should have, huh? My opportunities are coming to an end soon with winter weather.

  10. Sue in Oregon

    Connie’s house looks like such a fun place to live, not to mention how lovely it is. Must be so relaxing to sit on the porch and look out over the lake. Her wall of small quilts is awesome and I am wondering how she hangs them? What does she use, do you know? They are so flat against the wall. I would like mine to look like that.
    Love you treasures.

  11. Teresa in Indiana

    Thank you for the wonderful tour. You both have beautiful homes. I loved the stone house also. I’ve never heard of a quick stop at any thrift store. 🙂

  12. Jill Klop

    What a beautiful home! So much decorating inspiration. Now I want to make a bunch of small quilts for my stairway wall! I love the little ‘God Bless our Home’ cross stitch that you found! I’m so glad that you got to have that visit and that you shared it with us!

  13. Meredith In Cincinnati

    Thank you for the tour of Connie’s beautiful home! Such inspiration everywhere! Plus, another reminder to make that pretty orange quilt. Love it!

  14. Debby Krzyston

    🌻 Good morning Mary,
    Thanks for taking all of us along with you to see Connie and her beautiful home.
    I’m wondering if the little quilts hanging on Connie’s staircase wall are from your quilt books?
    Take it easy and have a nice day.
    Debby from Wisconsin 🐝

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Debby – some were and some were from Kim Diehl’s Small Whatnots Club that Connie used to belong to. The display covered many many years of quilt making.

  15. Kathy in western NY

    It is so nice to “see” Connie and her welcoming new home. I hope she is loving lake living. Your moms home is so adorable. Is that why you named one of your books with the lake word in it ? I hope you and Becky get out and about more before snowflakes keep our feet home. It looks like a happy adventure for the day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – At the Lake was a fun book to work on – Connie’s house used to be a small rundown cottage before they built this new house so both of us had lake backgrounds. (Connie’s boys used to call their cottage “the house of work” – ha!)

  16. Sue in Marion, IN

    I love Connie’s house! What a great tour. Very nice that you and Becky could go visit! We are having low 80’s with low humidity here in central Indiana—lovely weather, although we need rain. Score! At the thrift shop!

  17. Deb R.

    So great to see the Country Threads girls together again. Connie’s home is spectacular.
    Love her collections and the way she displays them. Really miss my fall trip to your quilt shop. Have you thought of sharing your chicken quilt called “Sawing Logs” since Black Hen is unavailable?

      1. Deb R.

        First appeared in book titled “On Behalf of Chickens” but also included in your book titled “Hibernation”.

  18. Margie - Ohio

    Glad you took the time to visit your friend, Connie. The stone cabin is so cute. Thanks for taking us on the tour. Thriving is always enjoyable.

  19. Gloria from CC

    What a fun day you and Becky had. I loved seeing Connie and her beautiful home on the lake. I didn’t realize she collected religious art – I do too. I just got another one yesterday at a garage sale for $2 and it’s beautiful.
    We’re on our way to another city-wide garage sale in a town 30 miles from us. Our church does a coat drive every October so we’re hoping to pick up winter coats, mittens, hats and snow boots. Have a great weekend everyone!

  20. Beryl BC

    Connie’s home is lovely. She definitely has decorating skills. When I was very young we lived in NW Iowa, and went to Okoboji at least once a year. It was often with a church group to the Methodist campground.

  21. Sally in Murrayville, Ga

    I loved seeing Connie’s beautiful lake house decorated with so many things collected over the years. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a lake house so high over the lake—what beautiful views! It is good to catch up with what Connie is doing now. I know the trend is to downsize and minimize our stuff but I’m also glad to know that there are so many of us that just can’t part with all the treasures we’ve collected over the years.

      1. Sally in Murrayville, GA

        I have come to agree with you. My daughters will just have to deal with it but it’s all part of who I am and it brings me happiness in this changing world.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Sally – Ditto – I figure whoever deals with my estate is getting paid in some way so they have to earn it – I’m keeping my stuff because I love it.

  22. Susan K in Texas

    Fun day at Connie’s for sure! I’m glad you were finally able to go visit. And shared pictures with us. It’s a beautiful home. And the stone cottage looks charming.

  23. Sharon G.

    Mary – Wow! Connie’s house is nice. Just looking at the drop off to the lake made my knees weak! Long way down! No wonder there’s an elevator! LOL
    And your mom’s stone cottage must bring back a ton of memories! You and Connie are so talented in your displaying all of the items you bought and collected through the years! I have so much stuff tucked away. Not sure what I’m waiting for – I might as well display it!

    Love the combination of colors for the Fresh Air quilt from Fresh Start Quilts!

    Especially like the Debbie Mumm fabric. Will be a nice addition to a quilt.

    Take care everyone!

  24. Marsha in MI

    Love the Mumm fabric! What a bargain! And the embroidered piece. ❤️❤️❤️ and your mom’s stone house! Connie’s new home is awesome!

  25. Vicki Ibarra

    Your Debbie Mumm fabric will look great in an autumn quilt. Love the details of Connie’s house.
    We are getting much needed rain and are to have more over the weekend. I can’t wait! The plants need it and it also means I will have more fabric therapy time. We transplanted iris rhizomes yesterday and this rain is just what the transplants need. I spent 2 and 1/2 hours on phone business this morning – necessary but one of my least favorite ways to spend time. Yug! A day outing like yours at Connie’s sounds wonderful.

  26. Dot

    I’ve been to Lake Okoboji, many decades ago. My mother’s family was from Graettinger, about 30 miles from there. And the only thing I remember is wading in the lake and getting leeches on my feet!

      1. Dot in NC

        It wasn’t too bad – my Mama pulled them off quickly. I do also remember all the chicken dinners, and chicken lunches we had, with all Mama’s friends and family wanting to have us over for a meal.

  27. Tanya T. in Houston

    Such fun! We miss Connie! Her home and the lake are gorgeous. So glad you got to go visit. Thanks, Connie for sharing with us, too!

    And, fabric at the thrift store! The best kind of day.

  28. Jean

    WHAT a great blog today! I have thought of Connie many many times since she moved away and couldn’t stop by your place to share what’s happening. She has great taste and a perfect eye for putting fabrics together. Her house is amazing. What a great place to live. Until it’s time to wash all those windows. OMG! Thank you so much for keeping us connected with Connie. She looks great by the way. Wonder how she manages that.

  29. Helen Jane

    Hi Mary…Thanks for sharing your visit w/Connie. I have thought about Connie and how she may be doing. The home is lovely and her collections too. You both have a “special touch” with how you display your finds. Thank you both for your quilting knowledge as that is how I discovered Country Threads many years ago.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Helen Jane – sweet of you to say – not sure amount our quilting knowledge however since we were both self taught. We learned as we went by trial and error.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Helen Jane – that should have read “about our quilting knowledge” – I don’t want this IPad to think for me. Is there any way to turn that off?

  30. Colleen in Central Oregon

    Thanks to you and Connie for the home tour, it’s beautiful! I love how she displayed her small quilts in a group. I’m going to try that.

  31. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Thanks for the tour, Mary, I love your mother’s stone cottage, and thank you Connie for sharing your lakeside home with us. It looks amazing!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Fiona – mom’s cottage was not a year round home – just rock walls outside and pine walls inside. My parents bought it furnished – everything included in 1967 and they were only the second owners. Mom sold it after she entered the care center. I never did get to spend much time there because I was always working.

  32. Jeanine from Iowa

    Debbie Mumm fabric was my favorite back in the day. Once in awhile I still run across a piece that I still have in my stash. Connie’s home is beautiful. Thanks for taking us on a tour. I’m sure she has a quilt room somewhere in that beautiful house. I have never been to Lake Okoboji. I am in southeast Iowa and it is in northwest Iowa —- opposite corners!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanine – quilt room? You mean like sewing room? That was the room with all the white cupboards

      1. Jeanine

        Ok. That makes sense. I guess I didn’t see a sewing machine, but maybe I didn’t look very good. Those white cabinets are so nice. So much storage.

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Jeanine – in the picture of Becky and Connie her machine is to her left out of your sight. It’s a Bernina but I didn’t bother with a picture. I was looking at all the other stuff!!

  33. Jane Boyer

    Connie’s religious pictures bring back memories of pictures in my parents’ and grandmother’s house. I was living outstate when my mom died so I doubt if my sisters kept any of them. I’d pick them up if I saw them in an antique store. Thanks for sharing photos.

  34. Mary H

    Thanks for the tour. Love Connie’s house and the stone cottage. I love the elevator lakeside.

  35. Jan Smith

    Connie has retired in style! Fabulous home, and decor. I envy both of you so much your talent with color!
    The stone cottage is somewhere I would be pleased as punch to live!

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