Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Quickly Things Change

I awoke on Monday, the day after a fun, wonderful Christmas day with friends and family to find myself smack dab in the middle of chaos. Mind you I knew what I was in for, and I had prepared for the onslaught, but nothing really prepares you for having your entire home turned upside down. What am I talking about?

Some time ago, my husband and I decided to remove all the carpeting from our home and put in hard wood flooring. There ensued the enevitable shopping and picking of installation dates and prepping the house. But, when the installers said they would start one room and work their way through the other three I thought there would be a transferring back of what was removed.

Silly me. As some point yesterday there was probably a few feet of usable space for me to try and tuck my laptop into and try to work. AND, the kitties think they have been moved to a noisy, excessively rude planet...and they want their old space back!

In the middle of this my desktop system died and all hopes of getting scans done for my current project were totally, totally dashed until, taking a deep breath, I said there has to be a way. Then low and behold that simple scan app, downloaded to my iPad on a whim a while back, came to the rescue.

Here are a few pictures of the mess.
Edgar finally found a place of refuge after I moved his fav pillow to the floor at my feet.
Looking into the master bedroom - yes, there is a bed in there somewhere.

Here Edgar winds his way through the stacks of wood awaiting installation.
Today is the studio!!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

shhh...everyone's still asleep

Merry Christmas, Everyone!
The cats and I await the household to awaken and for the day to commence.
So much wonder and anticipation.
Enjoy your day, and your own celebrations....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wild Weekend

The weekend had been filled with friends and visitors stopping in for my Open Studio, but right in the middle of the whole thing came the announcement about the arrival of a full lunar eclipse way earlier than the crack of dawn on Saturday.

I could not resist the idea of seeing this happen first hand, so I headed out around 5:30 and headed up the hill for the seemingly best vantage point. Many of you know that I live on a hill smack-dab in the middle of Long Beach and on a clear day I can see downtown Los Angeles to the NE, Catalina Island to W and up and down the southern California coast.

Well, I was not disappointed. I pulled up and found that I was far from alone in my desire to see the red moon. Cars were already beginning to line up along the two lane road that sits along side of the hill top park, and folks young and old were taking up the watch.

I took over a spot to enjoy the spectacle both in the sky and there in the park.

Not really thinking about serious picture taking I just grabbed my digital camera...of little value in the middle of the darkness of the early morning.  Not worrying too much, for it was obvious that there would be plenty of documented photos to be found, I settled in.

The full moon was slowly being engulfed. Brightly it still lit the sky, and I sang quietly to myself an all time fav song; John Renbourne's, Travellers' Prayer. There were more than a dozen stars making themselves known even with the lights of LA trying to outshine them all.

As more and more of the shadow of the earth took it's bite out of the moonlight in front of me, I could feel the sun rising to my back. It was a grand feeling watching the moon disappear as the colors of the dawn light spread further and further.

I was happy to have chosen to get up and out to experience this for myself.

Remember that silly camera? Well, as the dawn light came it provided a fun backlit photo opp of those others who chose also to see this for themselves. This is the picture I'm sharing with you here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Open Studio Sneak Peek

I've been working to pull everything together for my Holiday Open Studio and thought I'd share a bit of what's up...literally in some cases.

Quilts...of course!

big and small...

silks, silks, silks...

patterns & stuff...

and my greeter, Edgar...resting up

there's lots more, and goodies to nibble, and a holiday tag crafty fun project...hopevyou an stop by!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Winter Quilt Continues

Yesterday was a fun-filled, yarn-filled day, and all the couching for my winter piece is complete. Thanks to mom the quilt had been sandwiched up and was ready to go. I just needed to pick out some yarn...

Set the machine for zig-zag...throw my couching foot into place...

and keep stitching...

Today I'll be working on the machine quilting.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Holiday Open Studio - Coming Up Quick!

I'm happily heading back into the studio after a wonderful
Thanksgiving break...
What's Next?

Getting ready for my Holiday Open Studio.
Hope you're close enough to stop by!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What ever became of winter

This past week, like everyone else here in the US, I've been busy with family, friends and of course food. My big contribution to our TG festivities was pumpkin pies...having mastered the family recipe people just drop off their pie plates for filling. Six pies later, and an email picture sent off to my sister in Hong Kong for holidays, I was done.

I even had a few minutes to put my mom to work pinning 'winter'...

She's headed home today...and I'll be picking out yarns to begin the couching.
...just in case you've not had enough pie here's a bit more!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh, Thank Cuteness:

When I saw this little project I was immediately entranced. I love seeing all the pictures of the cuties around us and what a perfect time of year to to say thank you for all the cuteness.

With that said I immediately set out to think of all the cuteness I could possible share. Hmmmmm.
I've got a couple of really cute - troublemaker, cats: but Edgar and Nikki in all their cuteness barely tolerate having their pictures taken. This said I was reminded of another 'once' cute -- now, wouldn't dare call him cutie, soul who just barely tolerated his mom taking a picture character.

The picture I'm sharing is of my son, Aragorn.... once this young man who was tolerating his mom's request for a clown photo. I had to pull this off the wall above my desk and scan it --- yes, this tells you a bit about it's age.
He has always hated this photo, and though he is now a grown man, with home and family of his own he will always be my cutie.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Winter - Next Beginning

this was the stack that awaited me on Saturday morning....

A quilter friend of mine who spent many a day helping me stitch up projects for my new book made the comment that she now understood how getting the top done was really just the beginning of what was to come.

Well, she is right. With the quilt top done, for me, the fun begins.
But to get you caught up.
Yesterday started with a pile of pieces and ended with a finished quilt top.

Today that top is hanging and all sorts of things are being contemplated as I go forward.
this was my last piece..
and, notice I use masking take instead of pins on the freezer paper

no room for a great picture of the quilt top, but I think you get the idea
Now, I have to go find some batting.....
and, start picking out yarns for the couching. Hmmm.
Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winter - Beginnings

The raven in my winter quilt is happily
sliding down the hillside in his plastic saucer.
Here are the initial drawings,
the pattern blown up,
and a stack of raven-like fabrics.
Now, I'm ready to start piecing it all together!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is it Winter Yet?

With my batteries re-charged I dove into my next project. This is the last of the seasons quilts that have been traveling over the last several years in an invitational exhibit called Noble Seasons. Personally, I chose early on that each of my season quilts would be the same size, and each would be a place where ravens could fly. And, the idea for my winter piece has been percolating all year....

I got a great start and will be sharing the day-to-days of creating winter, but I thought I would share my earlier seasonal contributions today.
Spring - It's In the Air
Summer - Bounding Thru the Woods
Fall - A'Maizing

If you have a chance the exhibit of Noble Seasons - Fall
are hanging at the Soft Expressions Quilt Gallery -- Anaheim, CA

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Battery Re-Charge

I love my small Nikkon camera but over the last month or so it has been giving me grief. Never holding a charge and dying just when I needed to take a picture of this or that during my 'book' phase. This all ended this morning as a new battery (finally purchased) was slid into the charger. I was hoping for a quick charge to get my camera behaving before setting out for a bit of recharge for myself. And, voila! This new little beauty charged in record time and I was off.

My own personal re-charge started when I picked up my friend and fellow quilt teacher, Susan Carlson, for a bit of LA run around. Susan has been visiting several quilt guilds here. Her own home sits along the Atlantic coast in Maine, so we went off wandering along one of my favorite local Pacific beats.

The road led along the rocky coast through Palos Verdes, where we stopped for a bit of Japanese food. The perfect  weather, and great company. made it really hard to leave this lovely spot, but we pulled ourselves away for a bit of a wander through Angels Gate- where we saw the Korean Friendship Bell and also the Angels Gate Lighthouse...

Here are just a few pixs from the day. I hope they give you a bit of a re-charge, too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Crate is Closed!

This is my 300th posting to my blog, and I should really not be surprised by the fact that something that I couldn’t believe I was going to do has turned out to be quite a bit of fun. It’s fitting too that that first posting was right around Thanksgiving(2008) and when I went back to read it, it would pretty true about what’s happening right now. My mom is visiting soon, and I’m feeling a need to head out to take in a bit of LA stuff…like shopping…maybe tomorrow.

I am grateful for all the things that remain relatively constant … like turkey at Thanksgiving, but I am also grateful for all the amazing twists and turns that continually spice up the journey.

 The crate pictured here is one of those twisty turns. Why a crate? Yesterday this crate was filled with all the ‘stuff’, manuscript, picture stiff and of course quilts. All for my next book. YEAH!

 It’s exciting to work on a book--to be able to fill the pages with all sorts of things you want to share--but, it is even more exciting (and a bit scary) to pack it all up and ship it to your publisher.

Why a picture of the crate?
It is now turned over to others, and while I would love to show you all the stuff in ‘the crate’ it all must remain a mystery.

So 3 years and 300 postings have brought me to this wonderful spot. Exciting and bit scary. Happy it is on it’s way, grateful to my wonderful friends who helped me, inspired me, and yes pushed me when I needed it.

What’s next?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

E-Mail Treats

I've been thinking and thinking about getting a bit of time to post here, and have been crazy busy between my traveling and teaching and trying to get everything written and stitched for new book... well, I think you'll forgive me.

but, I just had to take the time to share this picture with you.

An e-mail brought this to me on Monday and it made me step back.
Thank You Elizabeth Miller!
I met Elizabeth in North Carolina last month were she started this quilt...called (very appropriately) Autumn Pear Tree.

Such a beautifully finished quilt!

Make me want to head down the path and find a couple of yummy pears.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Happily helping others stitch away at PIQF!

Location:Santa Jose at Pacific International Quilt Festival

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Perfect Sew-In

the prepped fabrics awaiting stitching at the beginning of the day

What happens when you bring fabric, friends and food together?
Well, if they are quilters it is likely to turn into a SEW-IN.
This past weekend a group of my friends volunteered to help me get some of the quilt projects for my upcoming book stitched together. So I prepped fabrics and patterns, laid in a supply of yummy food and got ready for the fun. Sam, Natalie, Jake, young Sam & Vicki!! & fun it was to have everyone here in the studio. A big heartfelt thanks to the stitchers you see here, and the one behind the camera(Nat), too!  Hope you can get a bit of an idea of all the fun projects that are coming in the next book.....
our youngest quilter help set the table - while everyone else lined up for sustanience

tops done --- now the fun of the quilting & the shine-up begins!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Let's Talk

Deadlines of my own choosing have been keeping me quite busy..and this week I'm gearing up for a Sew-In at my house on Saturday (omg-that's tomorrow). So as much as I might like to head to the beach with my chair and book in hand for a quiet afternoon it isn't going to happen. BUT, I had heard such great things about Jeanette Kelly's solo exhibit that opened last week in Anaheim, I just had to head on over.

Jeanette is a member of my Tuesday design group and we have been aware of how much work she has been doing to get this together... it should not be missed.

She is presenting the works as a conversation about art quilts and fiber works, I would say it is a conversation with these works. If you have an opportunity to see the show, you will not be disappointed... and don't forget to become part of the exhibit yourself by adding your own words to the conversation about Why Art?

Jeanette Kelly: Let's Talk
at Soft Expressions Upstairs Gallery
1230 N Jefferson St #M
Anaheim, CA 92807
Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm