Sunday, November 29, 2009

Prep Work

We (my friend Bevalee, our hubbies, moi, and a couple of strong young guys with ladders) are getting ready to hang quilts in the Caldera Springs Lake House. This is a fun holiday tradition that our guild, Mountain Meadow Quilters, has participated in for the last few years. We're hanging a few more quilts this year, and I am showing some there for the first time. It will be a good show but I always put off sewing hanging sleeves on my "non-show" quilts. Ugh, I have two left to go--at least it is a good excuse to catch up on all the episodes of Grey's Anatomy I have recorded! I will post pictures on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

So much to give thanks for--a loving family, beloved cats and dogs, and the time and means to create. Not to mention enough fabric and beads to last a lifetime (or 6!). Today's thought--go in peace and be a maker of peace.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Snow!

Six inches so far, with periodic flurries. It is fairly light so not a lot of water content, but shoveling it is good for an aerobic workout anyway! Yoda turns into a mini-sled dog and bounds through the snow, but Wookie just looks mournful and drags me back to the door (not surprizing since he is only 9-10" at the shoulder...) A perfect day for quilting!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If You're Happy and You Know It...

Press some fabric! (okay, I know it is strange, maybe I've spent too much time with Vincent!) I prewash all my fabric and actually enjoy trimming off all the "cootie" ends and pressing it. It becomes a "moment of zen" that I look forward to. "'Tis a gift to be simple..."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vincent Says...

"I love raw edges!" Who knows if he really would have (he was a pretty tortured soul by the time he painted "The Starry Night"), but working this way makes it easy to add a bit of color here and there, which I hope looks like streaks of paint. At least my sanity is stable enough that I can still work with sharp objects...!

The light blue blobs will be glowing yellow stars, but I want to make good progress on the blue areas first. I'm transitioning into a portion of the lighter swirling spiral nebula and hope I have enough of the mid-range and lighter value to make it work.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Little Glitz...

I needed a fiddly, detailed project to take my mind off losing Annie cat, so decided to finish this bracelet. It uses borosilicate yoyo beads, size 11 and 15 seed beads and lots of crystal bicones -- mine is the "maple" colorway. See for a kit to make your own!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Goodbye, Beloved Friend...

We lost our dear, sweet cat of 16 years today. I will miss her raspy purr, her plush fur, her dainty (almost ladylike!) snores, her thundering runs down the hall. Dearest Annie cat, naps and bedtime won't be the same without you snuggled up next to me. Go in peace, sweet Cat Face...

Friday, November 13, 2009


Deep down, I'm pretty lazy when it comes to exercise. I take the stairs and try to get my 10,000 steps a day in, but if I could avoid working out I would! Which makes today's entry so amusing -- I like the muscles I've gotten since we started seeing a personal trainer! This summer was the first time I can ever remember feeling pretty good about wearing a sleeveless top (we'll ignore the extra poundage along the mid-line...). My balance is improving and so is my posture, so life is good.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happiness is...

One of my reasons for starting a blog was to celebrate the things in life that make me happy. Leading a joyful life means not letting certain negative people get me down. It isn't easy since they work hard to spread their nastiness, but being a victim stinks, so here's to happiness!

Today's drop in the happiness bucket: walking a sweet dog through new snow. Yoda is a 7-lb "sled dog" who loves to romp in the snow. He buries his little nose in a drift and tosses snow balls in the air, then is off on a run toward the next bit of fun.

Inner Virgo, meet Vincent....

I started my Color Block challenge yesterday, and my idea ran headlong into my "inner Virgo"!!! Blue-violet is my color, so I thought I would do a portion of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" in fabric. If Vincent had fabric instead of paint, he would surely have embraced raw-edge applique, so that's the path I headed down.

When I put the first strips on the design wall, I could tell it wasn't going to work. Vincent painted with abandon, so the perfect rectangles my inner Virgo adores were out! Vincent wants layer upon layer of rounded edges and blobs, so I'm putting the rulers away and cutting freehand. There is something quite liberating about telling my ever-so-slightly OCD self to be quiet and just have fun!

The photo shows one corner of the first layer. I'll stitch around the pieces and then add another layer.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Neat and Tidy!

I couldn't stand it any more and tidied up my sewing room today. There is still a pile of fabric to put away, but that's my "Happy Place" fabric so I don't mind! It is nice to see my counters again -- clutter drives a Virgo crazy after a while! I uncovered some yummy Hanah silk ribbon that I can't wait to use. Funny how simple things can be so satisfying!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Place

This was my demo block for last Sunday's "Simply Charming" class. Many of the fabrics are scraps from a Kaffe Fassett design ("Gridlock") that I gave to Chris's cousin Randi. The soft yellows, pinks and greens were perfect "blond" colors for a very lovely woman. We lost Randi to colon cancer and even though I adore these pastel-bright colors (they take me to a happy place), they will always remind me of her as well.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Speaking of Technology...

I'm working on a couple of challenges that have the old gears turning... Somerset Magazine has a call out for artwork inspired by the Impressionists, and for another challenge, I'm channeling Vincent (van Gogh). For each, the big question is how to interpret dimensional paint strokes in fabric without resorting to paint. I'm convinced Vincent would love raw-edge applique, plus some hand stitching and beading. Perhaps the Pointillists would embrace fusible fabric "confetti"... Technology comes in if I pixelate a photo then use my confetti idea to color in a design. Must find a suitable subject...

The Joys of Technology...

Lucky me, I got a new super-zippy Windows 7 computer this week. Of course that means down time to reinstall EQ6, Photoshop Elements, etc. The PSE tags on all my clipart got messed up along the way, and when I reinstalled from the backup, the files got put in the wrong directories... So not much quilting go done here in the last few days! Moving everything was tedious, but it is done now and my computer goes ZOOM!