Welcome to the creative home of artist and maker Charlotte Lyons.


stories from the pink house

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Last weekend, Erin, Maggie and I spent some time at Maggie's place fluffing it up. They were rearranging and I was marveling at the way they enjoy the same things I do. It's sweet to watch them. While they wrangled books on a shelf (by colors and sizes), they were telling me how excited they are for the class I'm giving here. Enthusiastic supporters of my big ideas, they do their best to keep me on the forward path. Then we started talking about how much fun it is just to make stuff with friends.

That led us back to the pink house. When they were little.

Those were the days when I was part of an evening quilting group. We just called it quilting. I don't think many of us quilted, but the name came to mean anything you could do and justify being there with a bunch of women yakking/sewing the night away. Some of us mended. Knitting was popular. Some of us brought things to do that never even saw the lamplight.

I was remembering the time that Maggie came downstairs to greet the arriving ladies. The house was all gussied up, flowers, cake on the table, tea and wine at the ready. Maggie was about 7 and sat down next to Kay, who happened to also be her art teacher at school. "Mrs. S. You should come upstairs. It's really fancy up there. Reallllllllllly FAN-CY!" Kay asked if we had just painted a room or something. Maggie replied, "No, I mean fancy. Like fancy CLEAN!"

We howled about that one. Then and now, Maggie always has a way of putting things that just makes you chuckle. She remembered going on to tell Mrs. S. that when she made her bed, her comforter was very cooperative. Um, what?

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And then the girls went on to reminisce about those evenings and how special they were. This was a surprise to me because there was often a fair amount of nagging to get things, well, fancy, upstairs and everywhere else. But they talked about the excitement of having all these guests arrive on a school night. How the women were so eager to say hello to them, to relax and enjoy the novelty of being together. We didn't have blogs or cell phones or Starbucks. We had the bus stop, the playground and the calendar of quilting nights.

Erin said she remembered falling asleep listening to the cackle from upstairs. Trying to stay awake so she could listen long enough to figure out what made Nan laugh, or why we were quietly whispering. And that she loved those quilting nights, feeling so happy that I was part of that, that I was having fun. Happy for me.

So, ladies, go ahead and call your friends up. Fancy clean your house, bake a cake, bust out the wine and turn up the tunes.

Your little ones will thank you some day.

In a million unexpected ways.

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