Monday, January 30, 2012

Artin' it Up in Silverton!

(from my Art Journal)

Hi There!

How's life been treating you?   I've had a lot of irons in the fire, the last week.

Got 4 days in at one job, and 2 1/2 days in at the part-time job, so that's pretty good (well-- responsible anyway!)

One of those days was Saturday; during which I helped at a quilt show booth at the Oregon Garden's 'Stitches in Bloom' show. 

This was year #5, I think, and it gets better every year.  To me, it's one of the first indicators (harbingers--LOVE that word!) SPRING is on the way!

That means flowers, of course, and the Oregon Garden is a perfect spot for that, but also quilt shows, and shop hops, and retreats with girl friends!

The 'Season' is Starting!

I took a few photos for you...a few didn't come out as well as I'd like, due to SUNSHINE!  the shafts of light cut across a couple of my favorite quilts, and using a cell phone to take the photos...just too hard.

I may include a couple tomorrow, anyway... so come on back!

(I'm rebellious that way!)

This was the first 'cutest' thing I noticed, just on my first trip around the show. 

These are adorable little coasters, made of wool circles, and about 8" across. 

I likened them to penny rug coasters, and just took the photo for inspiration.  Sweet and colorful!

Here, (designer, teacher, author) Nancy Lee Chong's
'Tree Frog' pattern was interpreted by a quilter using hand-dyed fabric for the tree frog...

I loved this! 


The color of the frog really SINGS!
He's a happy little guy.

(usually Nancy Lee Chong's patterns are interpreted 'Hawaiian-style,' as two-color quilts.)

loved the hand-dyed fabric.  that fuschia makes my mouth water...

(when I go to a show, I'm not a big stickler on technique; i wander around,   look at what I like, and just have fun!)

I saw wearable art by an Silverton artist, Kerry Kennerling, who has actually designed costumes for Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac!

Kerry's clothing from silks, satins, velvets was rich and fanciful, just like you'd imagine a gypsy spirit wearing.  I saw some velvet I was dying to posess, yet no money...and even if I did have it...the outfit wasn't completely me  (I don't think it would have fit!)

A floral velvet...amazing.

Here's a couple photos I DID take however.  We may be carrying a few of her clothing patterns at Greenbaum's--we'll see.

simply drool-worthy is all!

And here's what Kerry does with her little scraps!

It's a mini-quilt.  The base fabric was felt, and then layers of little velvets, silks, fiber scraps then shadow-quilted down with infintesimal stitching...beads added later for light and interest...

I call it 'Eye Candy'!

This would be a fantastic Journal Cover, wall-quilt, Art Piece or table runner...or gasp! evening bag, maybe? 

of course, the show-stopper was by the Headline Instructor for the week: Velda Newman! This 'Hollyhocks' quilt is truly stupendous. Spanning about 6' x 12', you can see it clear across any room, and it begs you to come closer for a look.

I'm encouraged that spring is on the way!

how about you?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy 'Hump Day'!

Hi There!
I'm writing this on my Iphone, so it may not be so pretty, but this little photo made my morning!

I hope it makes yours!
Enjoy your day- more art later.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Little Affirmation is Good for the Soul!

(art from Brave Girls Club-Melody Ross)

Welcome, Overcast, Wintery, Foggy, Monday!

At least the Rain is non-existent today...Here we were in the throes of winter storm drama last week, rain, snow, fog, tropical (50-degree warmth), then thaw, which led to flooding all over the Willamette Valley!

A couple of little towns were hard hit, and totally evacuated...the little creeks and streams completely blown-out, which led to larger streams, then rivers being 'blown out' as well.

Here, in Salem, we reached flood stage, and a little past it, and sadly people were affected...the water has receded for the time being, but more rain forecast tonight.

I can say that I'm so SO thankful my house is on a hill, and I am thankful that our 'plant' here at work (sand and gravel company) was fortunately above the flooded area, but my heart hurts for the many who weren't so lucky.

there were many many volunteers, though who stepped-up and that is fantastic!

So--what do the Tough do, when the going gets Tough?


Today, I decided to get out my Affirmation Journal (one of them!), and do a little work on it.

Actually, I should call it my Pseudo-SMASH BOOK, because it's just a fancy gift book, with a floral cover, ribbon-tied, and has it's own pen to write with.

Years ago, it was a gift, and I began journaling in it during some really dark times.  Only did a couple of pages, and it ended up in the garage in a box--\

too pretty to throw away!

However, once I read the pages again, and found how dark the thoughts were, I debated about ripping them out, but I realized, I'm a SURVIVOR of that really dark time, and instead of ripping them out

I symbolically saved them, and covered them up with happier, more positive thoughts.

Just like in real life, I think the dark thoughts can be dealt with and covered over with healing, and God's love.  I believe that, and hard work got me to a more positive place in my life.

God Loves Me, and I've gotten to great classes with wonderful people, finding an Artistic Voice, which hasn't always been appreciated by others. 

(the Joy Suckers of this world tried to take it away!)

So--Today, I worked on my Pseudo Smash-Book as it has's like my own graffiti wall, full of random quotes, pictures with some meaning, but more humor, randomness, and just the weirdness that is me.  Here are a few pictures!

(truth from God and Pinterest)

Bye for now!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspiration Abounds!

(Salem, Oregon?  I think NOT!)

Hi Friend,

Hard to believe, but it's snowing in Salem, Oregon...

that doesn't happen every day!

Actually, maybe several times a winter we may have a few flurries, or a few inches, but the possibility is there that there could be a few more inches coming tonight/tomorrow.

So, in the last week, since i was here, I've been very busy...I finished up a newsletter for the quilt guild I belong to, 'babysat' for my daughter, and son-in-law (their two grown Labs, Kona and Tucker), over the weekend, hosted my quilting group for a 'Jammie and Movie' night (Doris Day!!--we also had show and tell of our ongoing quilting projects),

(book photos from Amazon)
took 3 classes!

Last Wednesday, author of 'Skinny Quilts & Tablerunners', and volume 2 of the same-titled book, Eleanor Levie, was a guest at Greenbaum's Quilted Forest, here in Salem.  The topic of the class was 'Weave a Skinny Tablerunner.' 

What a fun, encouraging woman Eleanor is! 

She affirmed everyone's choices of fabric and design in the class, and gave us input on the artistry of each tablerunner, using classic Design Principles.  I hope I get to hear her speak sometime (and maybe take another class!)

It was SO much fun!  I began work on a pink and green 'lovefest', which makes me think of SPRING (especially now that there's snow on the ground!).  The variety of the colors that 14 people chose was astounding.  There were a couple with similar colors, but then, the fabrics and ribbon (even rick-rack!) they chose were quite different.  

Class #2 happened on Saturday afternoon at Stampin' Cat Studios (a favorite haunt!), also here in Salem.  It was 'Soul Collage' with Glenda Goodrich, and that was quite fascinating as well. 

There was a group of 9, none of whom had any experience with the technique; but surprisingly, we were able to go deep into the meaning of the collage cards we made; trusting one another, because through various past class work, we were all interrelated.

Soul Collage involves getting to know yourself better through the making of 5" x 8" cards which are collaged with various images that a person is drawn to.  There is no rhyme or reason to fact we were told to 'invite our inner critic to take a nap, because she wouldn't be needed!'

It's a right-brained class tapping into our instincts, using meditation, quietness, prayer. 

very cool (and also surprising what our right-brain knows about ourselves!)

(Jami and Dayna examine fabric posibilities)

Sunday, one more class which BEGGED to be taken, was 'Prayer Flags,' taught by Jami Moffett, at Stampin' Cat Studios.  There were only 3 of us in the class, but we had so much fun, and although it was a 2-hour class, our appetite was whetted/whet (?!) for more!

Of course, once you see the fabrics laid out, and the 'goodies galore,' how can ANYONE not want to make prayer flags?

Okay, you may wonder what
Prayer Flags

In Tibetan or Buddhist beliefs
scraps of fabric are strung together with

meaning, words, quotations, and/or symbols
printed, painted, added to each.

As they are hung outside for the elements to
'weather' and slowly unravel, the words/prayers written on the flags are carried
off into the world.

I love the image of this.

I'm not Tibetan, nor Buddhist.

I'm a Christian, but it's meaingful to pray for others, rejoicing when they're happy, and sorrowing when they hurt.  I decided to make my flags to hang in my studio, over the window, as Art, and as Inspiration to pray.

While Jami was introducing the idea of Prayer Flags to us with photos, and inspiration, I doodled a few words which came to mind: Love, Create, Tend, Nurture, and others, ending up with 8 total.

(Nancy experiments with layout)

As I talked Jami afterwards, I told her I wasn't sure I could eliminate a word or two, so I would have an odd number.  She suggested I make 8--a flag for each word.  So, we got to work, and in the time left (it was only two hours!), I was able to start hand-stitching a couple flags.

(Iridescent silk and hand-stitched copper bells)

Oh, my hand-stitching is so ('sew'!) PATHETIC, and i know it, but hey!  I imagined my words going out onto the wind, and tried not to stress out about it--to just 'let it go....'

I was enchanted with the silks, satins, sequins, and bright cottons which Jami had gleaned from old clothing. 

How can a quilter NOT go WACKO?!! 

(add a little pocket of green...)

Dayna and Nancy spent more time on layout, and I just wanted to sew!  I made a pocket on one flag, using a sleeve, folded in half, and stitched down, imagining a place for a Charlotte doll (or strips of paper with names of people I love who I could pray for).

(here are Dayna's laid out)
(close up of Dayna's flags-beautiful lace)
Later on, I'll be able to stamp words or names onto each flag to add more interest, and meaning to each.  I also plan to put lace and buttons and a few embellishments on as well.

For these are not religious artifacts in our usage, but still something creative and meaningful to each one of us, adding Light to the World!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Beginnings

Hi Friend,

You know, it's been a week since I was here.  Hard to believe that I'm the same person 3 months ago, who was so excited to have started a blog, I was almost writing twice a DAY!!


If I'm correct, my last post was about Old Finishes...and I finished up a UFO--'UnFinished Object' in quilt-speak.

So--what's been happening?  I delayed posting because I thought I might not have coordinating photos.  I always forget to take them, or I say, "Oh, Who'd be interested in THAT?"

so, I don't take them! 

Connie Francis used to sing,'Who's Sorry Now?' 
I guess that would be MOI!

I can understand how much more personal it is to have photos, so I'll try to do better there...

Looking out the window today, I see the usual January here in Oregon...foggy and damp and cold --

And although that doesn't seem different, there ARE things afoot in my life.

I am on the road to gaining control of my financial life.  I say / write that out loud because I am committed to it, and I'm also proud of it.  My mother generously paid my tuition to a Dave Ramsay course at church, and because

it's the New Year, and

I've Lived Like This Forever,

I'm Tired Of Living Like This, and

I Want To Do Other Things With My Life


Yesterday was the first class.  I entered with Fear and Trepidation. 

(they must be new to the church, cuz I'm not sure I've ever seen them together!!)


Anyway, who likes talking about money?  It's like going to the dentist with no Novocaine!  We all want more, yet we don't talk about it...I'm sure each person in there was wondering what would happen, was scared, and yet we had the guts to go!  There were 40-50 people in the class, too! 

And think about this--in 91 days (which is the timeline Dave gives), the lives of the 40-50 people will be changed for the better!

And I will be one of them!

So what else is new?

For awhile, I have not liked my 'sewing room'--to tell you the truth, I don't even like that term.  I guess I've always called it that, wherever I've lived.  Other people have 'Studios,' my friends have 'Studios,' they even have magazines devoted to 'Studios'!

So, why don't I just up and call this room a 'Studio?'  It should get more respect, and, as my friend, Sylvia said, "Art Happens There.  It's a Studio!"

So-last Friday, I had all kinds of aspirations to finish UFOs and start Birthday  presents, and seriously had contemplated moving my sewing table from one side of the room to the other, so I'd be closer to the window.

(It's so dark and grey outside during the Oregon winters, that daylight is precious.  Natural light is also great for quilting.)

So--Friday night I vegged...yup!  (just Asparagused and Carroted OUT!)

then Saturday after I could no longer delay, I trudged up the dreaded stairs to the 'sewing room.'  Once I got there, I viewed the clutter and chaos, and vacillated from one moment to the next--

Quilt or Tear this Room Apart?

Quilt or Tear this Room Apart?

Quilt or Tear this Room Apart?

Quilt or Tear this Room Apart?

suddenly, I grabbed something, and THREW IT AWAY!


Now, I can say, I didn't 'go postal' the way I do when I sometimes clean--this was my fabric and books and notions, and art supplies, and lace and buttons, and Maggie the Cat and the vacuum, so I was a little careful--

but I decided I'd be happier surrounded by fabric than plastic cd cases, so I pulled the fabric out of boxes in the closet, and took cd's off the shelves for storage,  and now, one bookshelf is Batiks, all colorized, the other side is cottons of various prints, all colorized!

(yes--Batik IS cotton, but it's my favorite category,
so I just like it close to me--all together!) 

One thing that needs to happen is Paint.  Right now, the room is a Pink, called 'Hopeful,' which is the same as the Paris-Inspired guest bedroom.  At the time we built the house, 5 years ago, the builder, Tom (no relation to Bob), would NOT let me have a different color for the sewing room, so it became Pink, and much as it's the perfect color for the bedroom-I'm not feeling it for the sewing room.

At some point when I decide what my soul's
color 'is' or 'feels'--I will paint. 

And-- after this post, I will not have a
'sewing room' ever again.

I will have my STUDIO where ART HAPPENS!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Old Finishes...

Hi There!
How was New Year's? 

I'm so happy to be starting a new year.  I had challenges last year, and it's good to start fresh.  Last year was a great transforming year...

I began working four part-time, I'm blessed to have a full-time job and a part-time job, both of which I love.

I began last year with no health insurance, and now, I'm blessed to have benefits!

I began last year wondering what I was going to do when I grew up...
during the year, I decided I would go back to my childhood when I wanted to be an artist; and simply BE AN ARTIST!

Of course, I am many other things as well...I'm a weighmaster, a receptionist/accounts payable, a quilter, a kit-maker, Mom, Friend, Newsletter Editor, church attender, kitty tender, comedienne, daughter, sister, 'Auntie Fruitcake', and a few other things...

but as I went along through the year, I knew every one of those roles that I take on, I try to take it on in My Style...My Artistic

as I look at it:

I'm an ARTIST!

(now...forget when 'I grow up'--because I'm NOT going to do that!)

Okay, so where does the 'Old Finishes' title of today's post, enter in?

I'm proud to say that I finished on New Year's Day, a quilt which I had promised a dear friend, last August! 

My friend Katie, is currently in Boston, working as a nanny.  She came home to Oregon for Christmas, and although I hoped to see her, I didn't expect to--big family, lots of friends, many events--she and I had lots to do.

In the last five months, this poor quilt top has been in a bag, in my truck, just waiting for attention, time, the perfect fabric for borders and quilt top, and the money to make it all come together.

When I heard Katie was coming for Christmas break, I was determined to get that quilt finished, and to her, so she'd have it for winter in Boston. 

(also, selfishly, I didn't want to pay postage for the shipping!  sorry!)

so, New Year's Eve, I was working at Greenbaum's, cutting fabric, helping customers, and on sale was some batik, and also some Kaffe Fasset fabric...I pondered, then made up my mind to get that quilt DONE the next day.

Went out to the truck, collected the quilt top, brought it in, 'auditioned' fabrics, and within 10 minutes, made my choices, and we were figuring out yardage!

I went home with a bag of goodies  (I had a gift card from Christmas so I got some treats for MOI as well!)  and--


Sunday, January 1,


(in 'quiltese' that is UnFinished Object)

Now, you can tell by the photos, that I had quite a bit of help at my sewing machine--sweet Maggie believes she is a person,

and thinks she can get her paws up to the needle to 'help' Mom.  Also, anything that moves--she's All About THAT!  hahaha!

(honestly, part of the time, I had to sequester her in the garage. 

The hardest part for me in making a quilt that size is spray-basting all the layers together, before quilting.  Pulling out all the wrinkles as the quilt wants to creep along the floor, is no fun.  Could I tape it down?  Probably, but when you work alone, it's almost impossible.  that seems to creep, too.  YUCK!)

Anyway, I'm delighted with myself when I say, I got it done, called her, she came over to get it, and was Thrilled! 

I was thrilled, too, because it looked 'like her'--and when you see something that 'looks like' someone, and you nail it...that's the best feeling in the world.

I love you Katie P!  Enjoy your blankie!

(one last parting shot of Maggie--she thought maybe the quilt was for HER!)

I'm looking out the window at Sunshine and fairly-clear skies...Hooray! 

Watch out, UFO's--I'll be comin' after YOU!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Parisienne Farmgirl!

Well, Friends,

Who Knew the last post, 'Adventure Awaits,' would be so fortuitous?

One of my favorite blogs, 'Parisienne Farmgirl,' written by a charming, vivacious woman named, Angela, is now beginning an online Quarterly Magazine!!

Here is a link to her site, with the rundown there:

(tonight I'm doing this on my iPhone, so I'm not as savvy as on the computer...

But! You need to know this and spread the word!

Angela is about affordable French Style and imagination on a Farmgirl budget--which is perfect for our economy.

What woman can possibly resist French style, decor, romance, food?!

So here's a plug for Angela! Watch her video, check out her blog.

enchante' to be sure!

You'll want to subscribe too!

(one of my original quilt patterns--
'Honey, I'm Charmed'--
see the quilt pattern page to order)

Adventure Awaits!

Welcome 2012!!

I'm sitting in my living room, coffee in hand, looking at a bright, encouraging sunny morning, January 1, 2012.

This year will be a year of laughter, happy discoveries, anticipation of learning new art techniques;

My heart is light!

I have so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, ART!

God is blessing me each day, and I'm looking forward to learning more about who I am, and who HE is.

I will share His Light with others; so their pathway has light, and their burden lightened.

God can DO it!

Believe THAT!

God Bless You and Me this year!