Tuesday Night, 1-30-24

Tonight I’m showcasing my sister Becky’s hobbies and Points of Interest which are many. She’s not a quilter but a musician and hobbies of leather and water color.

Becky is 5 years younger than me and lives in Forest City, Iowa, the home of Winnebago Industries about 12 miles north. As the “baby in the family” she got away with lots – as the oldest I was expected to do everything “well” and never got away with a thing. Our brother between us was privileged because he was the only boy – and we all know boys are more valuable and smarter than girls, right?

I’ll never forget the Christmas Becky got her first guitar. She had begged for one endlessly and when she opened her gift, it was a tiny toy guitar – our dad’s idea of a joke. Then he brought out the real thing. Here is her current collection – she recently added the electric guitar.

Several years ago she took up watercolor painting by watching YouTube.

Point of Interest

She also makes leather bracelets to give to her friends.

I told her she has more hobbies than me and she said none of them amount to much – they just keep her from getting too bored. I think they amount to a lot – she’s an excellent musician! Here’s a fun fact – whenever we go anywhere, there are always kids yelling “Mrs. Rose! Mrs. Rose!” She taught third grade for many years and was a favorite teacher of many students in Garner.

Later this week I will introduce you to our next card recipient – her name is Lu.

Here’s a shout out to Marie and Natalie who sent me packages this week.

Reader photos

Fabulous March Madness quilt!
Hazel’s twin in Florida?
Shelves in the loft laden with Country Living Magazines

And here’s a stack of Mary Englebreit magazines

Watching college basketball while I write this and now I’ll sew!

My thanks to everyone who sends me items to keep this blog so fun!

66 thoughts on “Tuesday Night, 1-30-24

  1. Deb in Japan

    I love Becky’s painting of the cow and her leather bracelets are wonderful. Anyone would be happy to receive one. She is a very talented lady, as are you Mary.

  2. Carol Reents

    I assume you were watching IU vrs Iowa. I’m a Hoosier so I like the outcome for sure.

  3. Lynn H

    Such a talented sister you have!!! Creativity obviously runs in your family! Great pictures of her hobbies. Thanks!

  4. Bonnie McKee

    What a great blog post!!!
    Becky’s wonderful water colors are of subjects I love: farm animals, country scenes and such! Her leather bracelets are wonderful, too. Becky’s guitars are beautiful! The two of you are very talented ladies!
    I must get ahold of some of those fun parking “tickets” so I can pass them out….. Ha!

  5. patti

    becky is very talented. you obviously have a talented family. water color is not easy. her bracelets are very nice. anyone would be proud to receive one. have you noticed that no matter how many children are in the family, they generally all have different talents. thanks for sharing her labors of love. the animals are so intense today. love them. the quilts are wonderful. so colorful. i must make a ‘march madness’ one – the name escapes me at the moment. the green 30 stars really struck me. thanks for sharing everyone. ever onward and upward. patti in florida

  6. Sandi

    You sister is very talented! I’m a cow so I love that painting. Her bracelets are beautiful! I tried to learn the guitar many years ago. No luck. Hugs,

  7. Elizabeth

    I was amazed to read that your sis learned to watercolor on youtube! She is very talented! Thanks for telling us about her, Mary. I always read your blog and it never fails to brighten my day.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Elizabeth – If this blog brightens your day then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do!!

  8. Martha W in WY

    Wow! I admire Becky taking up a new hobby a few years ago and her work is wonderful. As I travel, I take photos that I think will look good as a painting. One day I will take up a paint brush. Hazel’s twin looks like she’s cooling off under the bench.

  9. Sandy

    Hi Mary, hard a good laugh at the ferret card! Becky sure is talented, great paintings. Do you refer to your brother as your favorite brother,l do às l only have one brother (he is also the baby at 63 years old!)
    We are off to the movies tomorrow, then lunch out, nice to catch up with a friend after Christmas. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  10. Charlotte in Northern California

    Becky is very talented. You are both very creative. My 15-year-old granddaughter loves to paint, draw, sew and she’s also learning the guitar. She gets that talent from her mom. The quilts are beautiful as always. I laughed out loud at the parking cards. I need to get some of those cards!

  11. Lisa B

    Beautiful art! Becky is very talented. And beautiful quilts. I don’t remember Mary Englebreit magazines. Interesting.

  12. Linda in MI

    Your brother is a lucky middle child with an older and younger sister. I am the middle child of three girls and the only luck I had is my older sister’s clothes didn’t fit me so no hand-me-downs. I couldn’t touch anything belonging to my older sister because she was a neat freak, stayed inside and was always clean like her room. I was a tomboy, always messy and when you only have boys to play with, dirty and sweaty. I couldn’t touch Nancy’s stuff because she was the baby but they could both play with my stuff. We were different growing up but now all three of us have become accomplished quilters and the more we quilt the closer we grow.

    Your sister is an artist of different interest because quilters are artist in a different medium even if they don’t make “art” quilts. To me, each quilt has it’s own story, it’s own history and the art of being put together is a definitely an artistic skill.

    We have lost most of our snow and with the next few days predicted in the 40s it will be gone leaving behind a lot of water and mud. All of the snirt will be gone and it will be nice to be able to have a relatively clean car for a while without salt and snirt residue. But winter is far from over!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda in MI – oh, you are too funny!! We are having mud days now – I’d be happy if it got a bit colder.

  13. Vicki Ibarra

    I am impressed by Becky’s watercolor paintings. What an artist she is! So many wonderful quilts and pet pictures today. The colors in Erin’s wreath and tree quilt speak to me. The March Madness quilt made me smile, as it reminded me of the one I finished late last year. I wouldn’t have made more than one block, Mary, if you hadn’t advised I simply set a goal for how many blocks I wanted to make each day. Looking at the total number of blocks in the quilt was a bit overwhelming because of their size and detail. Setting a goal for fewer blocks each day made it seem possible. And voila I got it done!

  14. Gloria from CC

    Becky’s collection of guitars is great and her paintings are unbelievable. I didn’t realize she was so talented. Those leather bracelets are drop dead gorgeous. I don’t suppose she also sells them – probably not. You already commented that she makes them for friends. Would it make a difference that we share the same birthday – August 10th? Just joking.
    Love the parking comments and all the quilts are beautiful! I think Hazel has a twin.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – I haven’t forgotten about the issue you asked me about – I just havent had time! I’ll gently remind her about sharing August 10.

      1. Gloria from CC

        Thanks Mary about still thinking about the “issue.” I was just joking about the leather bracelet but I would buy one.😊

  15. Margie

    Enjoyed this a lot. Those parking cards are too funny! Such talent you and your sister have.

  16. Suzanne

    Oh, Mary, those magazines tug at my heartstrings. Many years ago I disposed of all my Country Living magazines. My husband and I did a huge project together, carefully removing all the pages that had quilts featured or used in rooms. i three-hole punched the pages we saved and have had them in a binder for at least 20 years. Sometimes I wish I had just kept all the magazines, so I’m envious of your wonderful collection! On the other hand, we have moved three times since that project was completed, so it’s just as well we didn’t have all those magazines to box up and lug across the country and back.

    Your sister, just like you, is very talented!

  17. Angie from Baltimore

    The parking signs are hilarious and so clever. In Baltimore we are licking our wounds and anticipating a great season with the orioles baseball Spring Training starts in a couple of weeks. SO GAME ON!!!!
    Looking forward our next card recipient. I have my stamps and cards ready to go. Such a small gesture on our part and the thought we can brighten someone’s day gives me joy.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Angie – I am so sorry the game didn’t go your way – for your sake! The simple act of sending a card is huge, isn’t it?

  18. Connie R. in Wis

    The 30 stars quilt in green is just stunning. Becky sure is as talented as you. Learning to paint so beautifully through YouTube is amazing.
    Looking forward to the next card recipient. It’s a fun thing for the recipient and the sender. What a nice thing for you to coordinate.
    I’m just finishing up a UFO that another quilter had started. It’s reproduction fabric that I love and, prints and colors that I probably wouldn’t have picked on my own but I love how it’s turning out. I don’t know why it took me so long to get to it.

      1. Connie R

        Just sewing the strips together and should have the top finished today. I’ll send a picture to you when I’m done.

  19. Steffi Smith

    What a very talented sister you have! You both are blessed. Thank you for sharing. By the way, your blog about nothing is really great. Kudos!

  20. Mrs. Goodneedle

    Those parking cards!! 😂😂 I, too, am the oldest with my sister being five years younger; I never got away with a thing and much was expected of me. Since she was “the baby” she did anything she wanted and received all the praise. It’s just the way it is. Becky’s hobbies are enviable, she’s quite an artist.

  21. Kathy in western NY

    Love all the quilt pictures folks have shared with us. Good variation shown on Thirty Stars. Sun is shining so good day to sew. I will have to get a picture of my ME magazines stacked up. I took them out of binders I had them in as I like the color to see.
    I think one of the best attributes of Becky being a good sister to you is that she is Hazels godmother in case something happens to you. Becky will love her as much as you do so that gives her a gold star. Thanks for sharing your paintings Becky as taking up new hobbies at any age is encouraging for our brains to keep active.

  22. Tama

    Good morning, Mary. That March Madness quilt makes me feel scrappy happy! WOW WOW WOW – the magazines in the loft. A treasure trove!! What a treat it would be to look through them in a comfy chair with a carafe of hot coffee nearby. Give Hazel a treat for me. Have a great Wednesday. Tama

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tama – I used to have a loveseat out there and a tv in that large opening. It was a favorite spot to relax. Now there’s a twin bed there that’s never used. I should get rid of it.

  23. Jill Klop

    Becky is very talented. I enjoyed seeing her paintings and the leather bracelets. You must be a musical family! I have found the points of interest very interesting. I haven’t found anything of interest to share though.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jill – !!!Shame on you – of course there are points of interest in your life and home – just look around with a new eye – as if you wanted to show us something. And then take a picture.

  24. Fran

    Your sister is very talented just like her older sister.

    I too need to get to the sewing room today. But I am forced to pay attention to housecleaning today. ugh I hope afternoon works for me. I could walk the streets too as the snow is gone at 80%. I do enjoy the photos here so much.

  25. Sally J. Mi.

    The parking signs are just hilarious!! What a talented sister you have her watercolors are wonderful.
    More snow yesterday! Ugh!! I started quilting on my wall hanging yesterday.

  26. Joyce from NY

    Beck’s watercolor paintings are beautiful & her bracelets. She’s very talented as are you. I was also the oldest of 3 girls, the two younger ones got away with a lot more!!

    The parking cards are so funny.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Joyce – so you know what I mean about the younger siblings getting by with stuff – I would have been hauled in and scolded!!

  27. NancyTD

    Loved the smirt cartoon. Have a neighbor who lets 3 dogs run loose. They think my front yard is a toilet.
    You and Becky are both talented. Fun to see everything.
    Parking cards are funny. Sure are a lot of BAD parking skills out there.
    Going to be 50 degrees today. I’m going to wash the outside windows. Can hardly see out. Living room windows face West —view not so good in the afternoon with the sun shining on them.
    Hope this Minnesota weather can last— sure the ground hog will say 6 more weeks of winter.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Nancy – how rude and inconsiderate of your neighbor!!! I could not live in town. We are somewhat worried about this weather – what is happening? I should be washing windows, too, but Becky and I are going out for lunch – sounds more fun to me.

  28. Erin

    Those watercolor paintings are so lovely! The painting of the sheep stole my heart! I envy anyone who can draw or paint. I once drew a stick figure for my kids, and one of them asked what it was. Sad.

  29. Mareen

    Becky is all of what you say Mary but you are as well! I am so blessed to know you both! Becky tried helping learn to “pick” and that’s just what us was and you have helped me “quilt” and I am bad at that too. But in my day I could cook and clean and loved to wash windows 😉have a great day everyone!

  30. Jeanine from SE Iowa

    Becky’s pictures are all wonderful! I lover everyone of them. I can’t even imagine painting something so beautiful with water colors. Thanks for sharing her photos. I enjoyed all the photos in your blog today. We are never disappointed with your blogs. Keep it coming! And thank you!

  31. Margie in SO CAL

    oh Mary, I just have to tell you: that little pic of A M E R I C A with the STARS — I’ve saved those letters
    all these many years — and to tell the truth I just got the paperwork out again this week, getting ready
    to USE THE SAME A M E R I C A letters in a new quilt Im making, hows that for “kindred spirits” !!!!!
    PS your blog is the first thing we all read in the morning, guess you know that already, love love love it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margie – i made that many years ago and it’s still current, isn’t it? I got your letter – and I’m looking – I won’t forget!!

  32. Vicki in Seattle

    Mary, you have a wonderfully, talented sister and so does she!
    Thanks for sharing her hobbies and interests.
    The quilts are great and the March Madness brought back memories from last year’s tournament. Maybe I should start another one!
    Enjoy the last day of January, everyone.

  33. Doris G

    I love the joke! And the quilts are always a joy to behold! Thank you for sharing your life and your work with us!!
    I love your blog about everything!!

  34. Betty Klosterman

    Mary, both you and your sister are very talented. Did your brother learn to do something very creative or fun that others would envy? Hopefully he has some redeeming qualities? What does he do for a living? Farming?

    The parking signs really make me laugh out loud! But, I am sure glad you aren’t following me around. I DO NOT take up 2 spots or things like that. I just try to never back up either. When I watch Perry Mason and see the cars they are driving. I just cringe!!!!! Sure glad they aren’t that big now.

    Keet on quilting and doing things that make you happy. We have to have a measure of the cruddy stuff which really makes us appreciate the fun stuff.
    Betty in Rapid City

  35. Joy in NW Iowa

    Your sister’s paintings are beautiful! Wow! Love the Hazel twin!
    The weather here is beautiful! Creates spring fever! Haha! The snow is melting and the grass is green!
    Your parking cards are hilarious!
    I’ve been hanging out in the sewing room and reading. Decided to get out some chicken thighs to make some soup.

  36. Brenda in Iowa

    Thanks for sharing Becky’s hobbies. She is a talented watercolor artist. I love all the pictures on her table. Some many of my favorite things – a barn, a cow, and a cat.
    Mary, I love your March Madness quilt.
    Have a great day.

  37. Diane In Colorado

    Oh, my goodness!!! Those parking signs are perfect!! Wonder where we can get some!!

    Your stacks of magazines—bet there are some wonderful ideas tucked away in there!! I had stacks of quilting and scrapbooking magazines that I finally got rid of during my move—saved my favorites and donated the rest. Now I’m listing books for sale on Amazon to try to cull my library. Again, I will keep my favorites, but the rest do not need to live in boxes. Someone else can enjoy them!

    Akira is going back to the vet this afternoon to get the pressures in her eyes measured. Then, depending on her numbers, we will either go to Urgent Care at the CSU vet hospital or wait for a Feb 20 appointment at the Ophthalmology Dept. Poor girl! Good thing she is so good-natured!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I’ll be thinking of Akira’s appt. I don’t know how you get her into the vet office – Telly simply plants her feet. I have lots of room to keep things – this house was built for 2-3 kids so with no kids, it’s full of my stuff!

  38. Judi Ver Hey

    Hi Mary,
    love the blog, miss the shop
    Always enjoy the farm and quilt pictures, loving the collections and point of interest pictures.
    Can’t remember what size of small TV you were looking for, but i did notice the Albert Lea Walmart has 24″ TVs, if you haven’t order one on-line yet. (on side shelf by DVDs, not on the back wall.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judi – I really want a 19” tv but may have to do some rearranging to accommodate a 24”. Thanks for that info!

  39. Margie in SO CAL

    oh Mary, in my letter — was that pattern by any chance called
    ANVIL ?????
    just a stab in the dark…..

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Margie – thanks! I’ll keep looking and if I don’t find the original I’ll be happy to draft the block for you again. What size block would you like?

  40. Diane, Squeak, & Buddy n Central Ohio

    You and Becky are so talented! Her paintings are truly beautiful. The country houses struck me with their quiet simplicity and beauty. Those leather bracelets are so detailed and beautiful. What fun to have a sister who plays guitar, too. That is on my things to learn in retirement. I better get busy.
    I am the youngest of three, too, and I did get away with a lot more! 😹 My parents did not have children until after WWII so I think they were tired out when they got to me! My winter quilt looks blurry to me; I’ll have to work on my photography. The car parking statements are hilarious😹 I am careful when I park. I have still avoided Covid🤞🤞 38* here🤪

  41. Twyla

    I absolutely love Becky’s watercolor, beautiful!! Isn’t it interesting the siblings in families? I’m the oldest and only daughter, two brothers who could care less about me. We rarely talk, they got to do everything and got everything. We were on the farm so no neighbor kids to play with. My parents are both still living and in fairly good health, so the worst is yet to come. My talent is my quilting, handwork and decorating our home! It’s 52 degrees outside and the snow is melting…I keep reminding my husband we can still have lots of snow!! Mary I love your blog, although you say it’s about nothing!! It’s my daily newspaper!!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Twyla – how about next week you give me a photo tour of your home – favorite spots and antiques? The readers love this and I know I’ve hit a real high spot with them – I’ve never had so many comments and I just love it!! Connie and Roy left yesterday for Padre Island for a month. I’ve got a couple features this week and then maybe midway next week I can show yours????

  42. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Your sister is very talented. I’ve always wanted to learn watercolour painting and said I would learn when I retired. Well, I’ve been retired since mid April 2022 so I better start. I’ve looked at some videos on you tube and couldn’t believe it when you said that is how your sister taught herself. My favourite is the cow but they are all very well done. Thanks again for this blog about nothing. I look forward to reading it every day.

  43. Sunflower from Michigan 🌻

    Wow, Becky is very talented in all her hobbies. Loved the painting of the calf.
    Beautiful quilts, each and every one!
    The parking signs made me laugh. I, like all other readers, really watch parking lots for bad parking jobs. It’s a game now but I haven’t seen a good/bad enough one to send photo. But I’m confident I will!!

    My husband was bemoaning the fact all the cold weather and ice were here when we were on vacation. He’s a big ice fisherman ! It’s in the 40s now and no ice at all on our lake. I told him not to worry, we’ll have more winter. I like when he ice fishes, I spend the whole day in my sewing room when he’s gone.
    I organized a little in my sewing room and finished a binding today. Lots more to work on! lol.
    Love the blog!

  44. Meredith in Cincinnati

    Becky’s watercolors are wonderful. Love, love the sheep. Lots of artistic talent in your family!
    My Xavier boys won tonight (after getting crushed by UConn on Sunday). I am so enjoying watching Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women play this year. She had another amazing game tonight.
    I may have to make the March Madness quilt this year. Is there a pattern for it?

  45. JUDY - Michigan

    Great post. Your sister is very talented! It must run in your family as you are very talented also.

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