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 the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog 
Monday, November 12 2012


In two weeks 300 guests will tour four beautiful homes decorated for the holidays. This has been a tradition in Frdericton for almost thirty years. This is the IODE's main fundraiser of the year and the funds are used to support school programs, charities and scholarships throughout the year.

I love the holidays and decorating. I had always wished one day I could have a house on the tour and this year it has come true! Although the house has been under renovation for the past month I am excited to deck the halls for the big event!

I have decorated one of the mantels for the morning for an article to appear in the local paper Wednesday. As I put out the lights and glittery accents the warmth and excitement of this special time of year, the magic just happens! This year this beautiful home will be filled with lights, with holiday magic and most importantly with family, friends and love!  

Posted by: AT 02:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 09 2012

This month the Designer Crafts Blog Hop Connection theme is Journalling. The talented Julie McGuffee who keeps us organized is host of the show Scrapbook Soup which now can be seen online as well! It features interesting ideas, tools and products for scrapbooking and journalling. Use the button in the sidebar to hop along and see the inspired projects of our designer group!

As primarily a sewing designer I incorporate stitching into as many projects as possible. I decided to create a piece to hang in my studio, a tribute to my grandmother. I have a picture of her when she was a young woman wearing a black dress, it is a beautiful photo and I wonder from her expression what she was thinking. She was always very stylish and wore beautiful hats to church and lovely suits there and to IODE meetings, church teas and bridge club.

Often when I dress up in a classic black dress and add her pearls she left me I am reminded of how we are tied to the memories of those we love, even though they may not be here any longer, their spirit and love is always felt. Remembering my grandmother.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 12:00 am   |  Permalink   |  8 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 07 2011

It is our Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. We have been blessed this week to have had most of our family and close friends come together for a very special event, the official opening of the Quartermain Earth Science Center.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Gleaner, full story here

My brother is a wonderful, generous man who has given back to the University and his home which means so much to him. As I listened to him speak from his heart, I could not have been more proud and filled with love. To my brother, my friend thank you for what you have given and to the difference you make and continue to in this world, with love. Deb

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 12:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 06 2011

Mother's Day, my second one without my Mom and my first without my darling daughters living at home. In between life has been full of change. We never know what life may bring but what we do know for sure love is constant.

Our Moms bring us into this life and nurture us. We continue the journey learning and loving along the way. My beloved daughters are born of my heart and two wonderful young women made it possible for them to become the loves of my life. I have always believed that life is simply a love story for where would we be without love.

In my world I have many amazing women and as I watch their journeys as mothers and daughters I am humbled by their brilliance, their generosity of spirit as they manage their lives with the deepest of love.

May this weekend be one of expressions of love, of proofs of love where you speak, give, share from your heart. Happy Mother's Day! Debra, CEO!



Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:52 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, March 30 2011

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday and today two years since my Mom passed away. March is a month which is filled with many memories and changes for me, moves, birthdays, loss and always with the hope, the renewal of spring in the air!

My parents lived a love story for thirty years until my Dad's passing. They met at a dance, love at first sight, two weeks later my Dad proposed. Perhaps that is why I have always believe that life is "simply a love story". Remembering my Mom and Dad, together now and happy.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 08:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, January 03 2011

This Christmas several of the special gifts exchanged between my daughters and myself were handmade. My older daughter attends a creative festival each summer which involves costumes so I bought her a handmade tutu from a delightful mother and daughter at a local show. Watching her open the box with a flurry of tulle cascading out was such fun! She loved it!

Amanda gave Kate a beautiful handmade hammock which folds up into bag. The hammock is made by a local artist Cory Richardson known as Max, who calls them Hanging Hugs. All of the proceeds from the hammocks go to providing sleeping hammocks in Uganda. His story is an interesting one, you can read about this young social activist on his website. Here is Kate wearing her hammock!

Gifts chosen were thoughtful and handmade are even more special. Both girls went home from the holidays as always with a piece of my heart and gifts created with love! Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 11:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 29 2010

Handmade gifts are always special. A gift created with love, time and caring hands. The gift is filled with a loving energy between both the giver and the receiver. This year I made a quilt for my youngest and pillows, wall hanging for my oldest daughter. Other gifts they received were also handmade by the most wonderful artists. Both girls are so appreciative and it was a cherished morning Christmas Day opening gifts, laughing and loving!

My youngest daughter Kate had been wanting a quilt. I love to sew and have designed baby quilting fabrics but I am not really a quilter. I wanted to make it bright, fresh and use colors she likes. She also loves plaid so that had to be incorporated. I chose a bold graphic print first, when cut into squares it gave alot of pattern variation and created my color palette. All of the other fabrics chosen complimented this main fabric. I used Fairfield's Natur-fil quilt batt, a bamboo quilt batt which is so very soft. I laid it out on the floor and quilted it by machine. The pattern is a simple patchwork "around the world" pattern. She was thrilled with it and spent the rest of the holidays with the quilt wrapped around her. While she was here I transferred some of her favorite quotes to the back of the quilt. I sent her off back to school with a piece of home, of love to surround her every day! Follow the Joy! Debra


Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 10 2010

Last weekend I got to spend the time with both my Darling Daughters together! It has been five months since we all moved and have been together the three of us. My oldest and I drove over to PEI. I wanted to not let go hugging my youngest! She and her sister had been making plans so there was a surprise cake for us, our birthdays are close and gifts for me from the girls.

We hung out talking, laughing, eating and shopping. A trip to Old Navy found us in matching tops. While cutting the cake Kate snapped several pics, I almost dropped the first piece! It was yummy!

More travelling coming up!

Tomorrow we remember all of those lost, those who serve & protect us. To my friends and their families who have served and serve a wish of deepest gratitude. From my heart, Debra.

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 07 2010

Yesterday my youngest daughter moved into her new place on the lovely island and province of Prince Edward Island. To keep her company her three cats moved with her and were very quickly at home. They love the rug and couch from the house and those moved with them. Before we left I used some scrap wood and built them a climbing tower. After seeing the ones in the store for two hundred plus I decided I could build something. Using four by fours, shelving scraps, sisal rope, cheetah fabric from my stash and left over ball fringe pieces from Expo International I built Milla and Bella their tower!

Her new place is on the third floor withut an elevator so there was a lot of stair climbing getting everything in! The movers were great, there were a few tense moments with the oversized couch as it seemed it might be staying in the hall but in the end it made it! The movers left at 2:30 and by the evening everything was in place. We celebrated by collapsing on the above mentioned couch, eating chocolate chip coolies and watching a movie!



She is going to be on the island for at least a couple years as she pursues her dream of being a pastry chef. Her kitchen has a big island and I picture her there baking. Her glass cupboard holds her grandmother's china, quirky cow dishes from my guy, a cookbook filled with recipes from her baking stepmom, most of my cookie sheets and a funny fish sculpture from her sister on the island. She heads into her future surrounded by her past and those who love her most dearly. I leave tomorrow excited for her new beginning and my own in less than two weeks! With beginnings there are endings. The little girl with the blanket and bunny is now a tall eighteen year old young woman with her own place ready to build her own life. Am I ready for all of this, do we ever feel ready for major life changes? Probably not but that is what makes for butterfly moments, that fluttery feeling of adventures to come & possiblities unknown. "Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away." Always Follw the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 06:51 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, April 27 2010

Life is constantly changing with each day. Much of it is in ways we do not notice, we age every day, our children grow, the tree outside the window is suddenly towering over the house. Living cells are in constant motion and always changing. Yet change is one of the hardest things in life for us to deal with. Losing people, children move out and go off to school, favorite places close, these types of major changes are often hard to deal with. We focus on the loss at first, mourning what was but then it is time to move on. Becoming stuck is the real loss for with loss comes space for something new to enter.

I find myself at a place of more major change. In the past two years I moved my mother three times before she passed away, my oldest daughter moved in and back out, my youngest is preparing to move out and away for school and I am considering leaving the city I have lived in for thirty three years. I am thinking of moving to a larger city only an hour and a half away to be closer to the special someone now in my life. I love my home and people are already lining up who want to buy it. It is scary and a little sad, my plan saw me here for many years caring for my Mom while my youngest went to school here. My Mom is now gone and my youngest is off to school in another province and I met a wonderful man. It is also exciting and I am very happy. I am taking a chance, luckily my work moves with me easily so that is a big plus!

I realize after losing a dear friend a short time ago that life is indeed a precious gift and we must live each day fully. I could play it safe and stay here or risk it all and follow my heart. I truly believe life is simply a love story and so I am off on an adventure. I do not know if there are fairy tale endings for princesses over fifty with a combined seven children and two grandchildren part of the package but I do believe there are love stories for all of us, anywhere, anytime, any age!

As I prepare to downsize to an apartment for the initial move my daughters and I have been going through everything from Barbies to school pictures, so many memories. There are many more to make and live.

I have found as each item is sold or donated and leaves my space I feel freer. I choose to live more simply with only things I love around me. So much is leaving, it is though much harder to part with things you still like but have no space for and yet seeing them go off to a good home to be enjoyed is very satisfying.

Now it is back to work! Writing about fuzzy snowmen!
Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 30 2010

My Mom reunited with my Dad a year ago today. His birthday was yesterday. I like to think of it being the greatest gift he received, both of them to be together again after thirty years. Theirs was a true love story. This week I am visiting a dear friend in the palliative care unit, another beautiful love story. Life is simply a love story, who we love, how we love and live. May you walk today in love, each and every day always. Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 25 2010

My heart this week turns to remembering my Mom and this week last year spent with her as she left this world. Now a very best friend who has battled long has entered the palliative care. It is a place where there is no room for anything else but the heart. She is a wonderful woman with a most loving family. She has been in my life for thirty five years and for that I am truly blessed. We shared our lives, there for each other on life's journey. All I know is Life is simply a Love story. Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:04 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 22 2009

My oldest daughter is just finishing her second degree and graduating from Nursing. The important pin dinner is this weekend in the evening for the students, approximately 35 and their families. They receive their nursing pins, a very proud moment and accomplishment! An evening event, special but the students had no funds for decorating. A couple trips to the dollar store procured wood baskets and an abundance of fall foliage. I still have another 8 arrangements to make for the tables. The tables will also be sprinkled with glittered silk fall leaves. The dining room table is covered with the arrangements and I woke this morning to a thank you note from my daughter. "Wow, Wow, Wow, how fantastic the centerpieces were!" Being able to create something wonderful from a pile of possibilities is so gratifying, to do it for someone you love ever more so.

To my Darling Daughter with Love!!! I am so proud of you!!! Mum

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 29 2009

It has been six months since my Mom passed away, it seems so long ago and yet like yesterday at times. The early grief has with the passing days given away to sometimes still forgetting and reaching to call her with good news or to talk, to just be a daughter wanting to talk to her Mom. This past week my brother and I took Mom's two best friends, ages 82 and 84 out for lunch. We have known them all of our lives. My Godmother, she and Mom had been friends since school. They are so sweet, when I was getting in the car, one remarked I was getting taller, could have been the 3" heels but more so both of them are shrinking as happens with age. They are older, tinier and with some health issues but they still are just the same as I always remember, happy and engaged in life. Both miss my Mom very much and we shared many stories and good memories. It was a lovely lunch and we toasted my Mom.

When someone leaves it is sad but so much of them remains in our hearts. We carry those memories with us, a part of them. In the passing and in the reflection their value, their footprint left on this life keeps unfolding. In the past six months the letters, the cards some even from people Mom taught in kindergarten forty years ago still arrive in the mail. What I knew of my Mom in her last few years was only a small part of who she was. Through reading her old journals, seeing pictures and hearing stories I see the vibrant remarkable woman she was. A school friend called and spoke of my Mom at eighteen like it was yesterday, how fun loving and amazing she was. Sometimes I wonder do our children ever see us as the extraordinary people we are? I do not know for sure but what I do know is in the last six months I have had the wonderful gift of learning who my Mother really was , to the wonderful, amazing woman I was so blessed to have as my Mom!

Follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!


Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, August 07 2009

Since Fran & Freda were so impatient this week following the CHA they already posted their marvellous interview (well it actually was their interview with the Marvellous Margot Potter!) I am taking today to post about the weekend coming up.


We are going to a Quartermain family reunion Saturday and then on Sunday is the Memorial for my Mom and Dad. My Mom passed away the end of March this year and my Dad in August in 1979. They had thirty wonderful loving years together. They met where the Memorial is taking place in St. Andrews by the sea on the east coast of Canada. They met sixty years ago, on August 5th, 1949 at a dance. It was love at first sight, the tall slender man with smiling eyes and the dark haired beauty. My Dad commented to his sister he was going to marry the prettiest girl in the town! On August 20th just 15 days later my Dad proposed to my Mom, she wrote in her journal it was the happiest day of her life! They married in December 1950 on a Friday afternoon following work and went a short distance away for their honeymoon.

We never had much, my Dad was in the hospital often as he was a haemophiliac (which ultimately took his life very early at age 51) but my parents were so much in love and so happy together that life was rich. My Dad was grateful for every day he was alive and his eyes were always smiling and full of love. I was conceived in love and JOY on Valentine's day and my brother a warm summer evening by the ocean they both loved. Who I am and what I believe began with roots of deep love and JOY, for those precious gifts I have been truly grateful!

To my Mom & Dad with love, now dancing together among the stars!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 08:58 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
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Debra Quartermain Design

 Magical Mimi to Grandlittles, I love to create, decorate & celebrate. Sharing  joy and inspiration from our 200 year old home, Quartermain House B&B on the east coast of Canada.

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