Thursday, December 30, 2010

I was so looking forward to a warm day

and today I and Central Florida was rewarded with a really great one.  Low 70's and sunshine.  My last blog  post was  of ice in the fountain.  Thankfully no more day like that even though we have had some very chilly nights and days since then.  But for those of you still in the cold or still under snow, I hope I'm not making you sad when I tell you I ran around today without socks and in a short sleeve tee.
It's been a while since I've gone to a movie.  Nothing of interest in a couple of weeks.  But we decided to give the King's Speech a go today.  While there were no "A" list actors in the credits  I must say for anyone looking for a really good movie, this is a go see.  Let me say, too at this juncture I am not much of a history buff and definitely no fan of the English Royal family but this film about how King George the 6th came to be on the throne was both informative, funny and simply a great way to spend some money and time this morning.
Rene' is back hunting for houses/condo's and we went to see a few from the outside to scope out the neighborhood before she called the realtor to set appointments.  We ruled out several and ruled in several which we plan to see on the inside tomorrow and  narrowed down the choices to the Altamonte Springs area so she will still be close to me.
To top off the day after a trip to the post office so I could meet the post by date for AQS Paducah we did lunch at Dexter's a restaurant in Lake Mary. 
Since the sun was shining we wanted to sit outside but  there two men puffing on cigars, YUK!!!!  Might have been a great way from them to finish their meal, but what an intrusion on the other diners seated in the side walk dining area.  Have to say they do a great chicken salad with dried cranberries and walnuts, yum.  We seated ourselves inside at a  sunny window.  Not quite but almost as good as being outside. 
What's next on my agenda.... getting my IQA Spring show entry ready.  Putting a facing and sleeves on one quilt and finishing up a PowerPoint presentation I will be giving to a guild in Tampa next month along with a trunk show.  Oh and helping the LQG on quilt take in day in preparation for their upcoming two day quilt show in Orlando.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Well yes it is COLD here too

Brrrrr. Looking down in the garden this morning as I stood on the balcony tssk tssking and looking with sadness at the plants on my balcony I noticed that the fountain water had turned to ice. The temperatures have dropped into the mid 30's for several nights in a row but I think last night just might have put an end to the lavender and inpatients that colored my balcony so cheerfully. So I am thinking that is they do not survive, I just might get with the program and get some evergreens and decorate for "Christmas" with ribbons and white lights... humm, instead of trying to keep spring and summer around in my little part of the world forever.
As cold as it is there are still some good things I can say for this unpresidented cold spell. They are; the sun is shining and the building were I live is so well insulated that I have yet to turn on the furnace so I am staying warm without having to pay the cost to do so. The long lounging pants I brought to stay warm while in new England a month or so ago have come in handy as well as several long sleeve denim shirts I layer over my t-shirts. The denim shirts are not new, I brought them here with me. They have been washed so often that they are just plan comfortably and comforting. I've held onto them for many years (left-overs from my KY and MO days).
I am still quilting on the piece I plan to submit to Paducah, but for the last two days I have been going through my usual mid way to done, "not sure if I still like it" phase but I am listening to books on CD, trying hard to ignore the doubting voice in my head and persevering.
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Wednesday, December 08, 2010


I am hosting 5 days of workshop at the Ramada Inn 150 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida...  Focus on Flowers...Feb. 14-18, 2011

Whole cloth painted with thicken procion dyes
Examples of pieced backgrounds with machine applique'
Above samples of pieced quilts using circles as motif.
Be your own Valentine and treat yourself to 5 days quilt making exploration in the company of other quilt makers; the best people on earth and learn how I make youe own quilt.
I  planned this event with so there would be something everyone.
 Piercers, appliquers and painters.
For complete details, go to
and clink on Art-With-Cloth and be directed to the workshop site.
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Monday, December 06, 2010

This year I was ready

for the Light Up the Holidays Festival at the lake behind the building where I live. Last year the fireworks, which I love, caught me by surprise and had me wondering for a time what was going on when I kept hearing the booms that come with fireworks and not being able to see where the sound was coming from. When I ventured out to the lake at 5:30 PM  last Saturday the temperatures were in the mid 60's with a breeze and children and parents were everywhere. The north side of the lake was set up for children with train rides, face painting and people creating animals with balloons. At the amphitheater on the south side of the lake children's groups were performing short skits and singing and scores of vendors lined the adjacent street. 

The performances weren't anything to write home about but as once a parent of little people I know each and every child there singing their heart out had someone who sat through it all smiling and proud.
Shortly after 6:30 when dark had fallen, the fireworks began and the lights on the tree and all the lighted figures came on perfectly on cue as the first firework exploded from the two platforms anchored in the middle of the lake .
I was standing on the bridge at the west side of the lake and had a wonderful view of the fireworks and all the lights including the 60 foot tree.
It was a nice way to spend about two hours.
By the time I was ready to call it quites for day the temperature had dropped into the 50's and I was wishing that there was someone  at my house waiting with a cup of hot chocolate in hand for me.
Next year I'll try to remember to have a cup waiting to be zapped in the microwave.
Tonight I am going to the local quilt guild's holiday meeting. 
I hope your Season of Peace and Joy is getting off to a good start as well.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Here's what's happening with me this week

I finished painting the quilt I plan to enter in the AQS Paducah show.  It is the largest painted piece I have done so far and measures presently 57" wide by 78" long.  Mind you it will shrink several inches in the quilting and I will lose maybe an additional inch or two when it is squared and faced.
I am listening to books on CD while quilting since I do not have a clear view of the television from where I sit quilting.  Must admit, an interesting book makes the time fly and I have to remind myself to get up and stretch from time to time.
I was intrigued by the scarves Melody Johnson has been knitting and started one too, but it will be sent North to my Mom when I am done since I have no need of one here.
It's been a little nippy here the last few days, but the sun is shining and that for me is a great thing.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The mail has brought me many things

over the last week or so.  My PFD fabric arrived.  A box with two large cans of 505 came.  Have to drive 40 miles to Kissimmee to get it.  Online ordering is the balm.   My wonderful assortment of Isacord threads came and sent me on a search in the studio for some way of storing them in a manner that made them easily accessible to me as I sit at the sewing machine.  A temporary solution was found, but I will look for something different and more efficient since I see more and more spools of this threads in my future.

The mail also brought the latest issue of the AQS magazine and the Iowa show winners.  There I am, fat face and all with my quilt pictured upside down.

New of note or not.....
I am doing an online class with a lady in California.  This will be my first try at teaching machine applique online.  I did a screen printing, thickened dye painting class with a lady in Canada a few months ago and she thought it went well.  So Charlene, look for your kit one day next week. 

I am batching the fabric for the kit on the balcony.  oooohhhhh  I forgot how much I like dyeing fabric.  The light orange/peachy color will be the backing on my next quilt that I am painting.  Will give you a peek at it later.   I started painting it yesterday and love the way the light comes in this apartment much better than my previous place. 

If anyone else would like to take part in this online class, send me an e-mail and I will give you the details.  The kit will contain everything you need to finish the wall quilt  pictured above except for a sewing machine, your own bobbins and sewing machine needles. :)
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Finished another book by Mary Kay Andrews " Savannah Blues" .  While not expensive to buy at Barnes and Nobles, I am however going to the Library to get her other ones on CD so I can paint and listen instead of flopping in a chair and reading until 3 in the AM, thus getting nothing done.

  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We by-passed the  turkey and went for grilled steaks. 
I dared not leave the building yesterday.  Living next to the Altamonte Mall, the traffic was bumper to bumper, but I am going to venture out in a few minutes to Joann's in the opposite direction for some Pellon stabilizer and mosey through the store to see what else catches my eye.
I've blogged enough for today and you are all caught up on whats going on here in apartment 434.

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Working in a series

 The bottom left is my latest piece.  It still needs squaring up and a facing applied. Working in a series sort of sneaks up on you. Sneaky blooms should be what they are called because I never intentionally set out to make these shapes again and again.   I call the series abstract blooms even though each piece has a title that does not suggest it is part of a series.  While whole cloth images they are not all done with the same medium or technique.  One was painted with  MX dyes thickened with rice paste. I did one (not pictured and sold and I have no image of it) with a screen printing technique and sodium alginate thickened dyes. The largest and latest one to date is done with watercolor pigment and soy milk on silk broadcloth. One in the collage below was created by deconstructed screen printing. Two others bleach discharge and paint sticks.
I think of them as my fall back work.  Designs I can try different techniques with and know in the end that I will still like the end product simply because I like the image that I am working with.  My own personal motif so to speak.   I draw these abstract blooms almost unconsciously, like when some others  doodle circles or stars or interlocking boxes - on the phone when someone has you waiting for the next available customer service person. As I think back there are more in this series,  See below  that do not match the color scheme above but they too derived from my poppy series that now number around a dozen.  I'll show you my poppy series another day
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Note the color difference.   All but the bottom right one was done in Missouri.  The blue checkered background  was one of the first pieces I did in Florida and all of the ones in the first collage were done in Florida with the exception of the piece - top middle  - which goes to my belief that I am a red/orange/yellow person no matter what part of the world I live in... but I am more of that red/orange/yellow person when the sun shines.  Yeah for the sunshine!!!!  Now I don't feel bad for blaming my color that were less than happy color choices on the mid-west. 
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Monday, November 22, 2010

I've had a wonderful last few days.

I went shopping for furniture for my balcony. The weather has been great for sitting out there, having a cup of coffee and reading. Isn't that a gorgeous blue sky for late November.  I've been on a reading spree too. I finished the latest book in the Lee Childs, Reacher Series which made for interesting reading as did the latest in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, then there was the latest in the Death series by J. D. Robb and lastly a book by Mary Kay Andrews, Savannah Breeze introduced to me by my daughter-n-law Mel.
I also went flower shopping. I can not get over all of the poinsettias that were for sale for outdoor planting at my local Lowe's store. I did not buy any. I did buy a Christmas cactus for inside the house even though it will do nicely outside.
I also did two days of movies. "Unstoppable" about a run away train was very good and the latest Harry Potter, which I enjoyed. As you see I have been all over the place in what I am doing. But I really must get down to painting.
The fabric has been prepared with soy milk, pressed and stretched on the design wall waiting for my choice of what to do first. The paints I ordered to resupply my palette arrived on Friday.
I ordered fabric to dye and some dyes from Pro Chemical that I was either out of or running real low on.  So I have no more excuses for not getting down to it.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking for a thread-a-holic

In my efforts to streamline both my life, my art and not horde; I am getting rid of the above and below pictured threads.  I will send them to a good home for the cost of a  large flat rate box from the USPS. 
The threads are a variety of the brands on the market.
Superior Bottom line, Masterpiece, Nature Colors and Rainbow.
Some YLI's
Coats and Clark Trilopal Polyesters
 Aurifil 50/2 and heavier weight Aurifil
Sulky rayon mostly
Mettlers 50/3, 60/2 and machine quilting weight
Quite a few have never been used and are still in their plastic sleeves.  Some were loved and used a lot but most have many many yards left on the spools. 
Why am I getting rid of them.  I have decided that I really really like Isacord for machine quilting in both the top and bobbin so I have ordered every color that I think I will every use and I am making room for them and awaiting their arrival.

My quilts arrived back from the Mancuso show in Florida.  One with a Blue Ribbon.
I still have one piece out of the house at Rice University.  That exhibit should end in a week so I am expecting that piece to return before Thanksgiving.
I got back from my travels late on Monday and had to do all the things that one does when one returns from a trip. Laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking, yuck!!!
There is nothing on my schedule for the next 6-7 weeks and I am looking forward to getting some painting and quilting done. 
Several quilt show deadlines are looming and I am challenging myself to make something new for AQS Paducah.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

I drove to Southbury

on Wednesday afternoon and arrived about 5:00 PM as it was getting dark. The Heritage Hotel was as I remembered. Well run, nice room and great food. The retreat remains a popular venue for quilters in the north east. Most of those attending are from NY and PA. Some come from further away, D.C., SC, NC, NJ, IL and me from FL. A few computer suave quilter's husband round out the mix and make things run smooth for almost 100 women who are attending more as a relax and retreat place than as a workshop stop.
Since I arrived I have not left the hotel and I was glad to find my class room had a window to a courtyard and this tree with peeling bark
was as close as I have come to communing with nature.

Here are 4 of my student in the paint it portion of my Paint-it/Quilt-it/Finish-it 2-1/2 day workshop. Ellen, Renee,Beverly and Barbara.

When I checked on line for the result of the Mancuso Show in West Palm, FL I was pleasantly pleased to see that I had won the Best Machine Workmanship Award for Kissimmee Garden which I have shown you in past blog post. Yeah!!!!!!
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Today I was a tourist

for anyone who is not familiar with the Cranston/Providence area of Rhode Island, all I can say is you have to be a native to know when you have crossed the city limits from one city to the other. I am never really sure when I have. But at any rate, I drove into downtown Providence with the help of the GPS to find "College Hill" a section of Providence where Brown University is and all I can say is, it is a really charming part of the city and really on a HILL. I parked and walked UP HILL to the Art Museum where I spent some time walking and looking. It was a very eclectic collection of stuff housed there but the four images above represent some of what caught my eye. The Buddha was HUGH. The oil paintings were not to my liking but I did catch a little of the talk one of the Rhode Island Art Institute professors was giving to a group of students. The lecture was on the need to practice and that it takes a certain amount of applying and practicing your trade to become proficient and an artist. DUH!!!
From there I drove up one street and down another, looking and stopping and looking some more. The collage above and the one below are some of what I saw. The leaves on a tree outside of the museum was an amazing color. I LOVE yellow.

Then with the help of the GPS I made my way back to my son Myke's house and we had a late lunch.
Tomorrow I am driving over to Southbury, CT. If I see anything interesting I'll blog about it.
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I arrived

in Rhode Island and knew immediately that I had traveled into the coming Winter. The wind on Sunday definitely had the feel of snow in the air. I have not been away from north long enough to lose that "knowing feeling". Mind you I did not want it to snow, not when I had to drive 2 plus hours from Cranston, RI to Lowell, MA. So I was very relieved to see only this much snow when I woke on Monday morning.
It was a very selective snow as I learned because Framingham, MA, about an hour away north of Providence got no snow and there was none further north in Lowell.
I was one of the jurors for the regional SAQA exhibit that will open in January of 2011.
I am always pleased to see what others are creating on one hand. On the other hand it is evident that too many or doing work that is not truly theirs. There is still too much of noted quilt teachers work apparent in the entries. And there is still too many that enter competitions with images that do not do justice to their work.
All in all the exhibit should be on your must stop in and see if you live in or near or can travel to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA
I was amazed to see that while Thanksgiving is still weeks away, the Christmas/Holiday decorations were being installed in Lowell.
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Friday, November 05, 2010

If all goes as planned

I will be in Rhode Island by this time tomorrow.   More likely than not shivering from the chilly weather.  Of course all is not "summer" here in Florida so I don't have much to complain about.  Woke this morning to mid 50's and a brisk breeze.   No coffee on the balcony for me this morning.
I have managed to get 10 days worth of clothes and 3 days worth of class supplies into one bag that will be checked and one carry-on computer bag.  I also carry on my quilts, which are rolled and so far have had no problem getting the roll to fit in the over head bin.
Will check in from time to time in the next days from New England if I have Internet connection.

Monday, November 01, 2010

My new residence

Looks down from the third floor into the garden. I have enjoyed waking up the last two mornings and having my coffee on the balcony. I can hear the hear the sound of the water flowing in the fountain from here. I could barely see it from the windows of my other apartment and never heard it there.
Now that I am here, despite some unpacking that remains to be done, I am glad that I moved.
But you all have my permission to commit me if I suggest that I am moving ever again. That is (unless I have some one(s) come in, pack it all up, carry it into the next place and in total down to the last spool of thread, unpack and organize it). I'm sure for enough money that is possible. To take a break I am sitting here blogging when I should be putting away some more of the studio stuff. Then I need to get the pictures and quilts back on the wall and my design wall attached. The rest of today and the better part of tomorrow morning should see it all in place and me back to living as if all of this never happened.

From the third floor I am looking out at the palm trees instead of looking up at them. Nice having this perspective.
Wednesday I will plan to get my teaching supplies, samples etc organized and packed. I'm off to Providence on Saturday morning. Not sure if I will blog more before I leave, but I will blog while traveling if I have Internet connections along the way.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Today is my Birthday

How am I celebrating it. 
First thing, I was up before the crack of dawn to drive Rene' to the airport. 
I am off in a few minutes to early vote and drop two quilts at the UPS store for shipment to the Macuso show since the need to be there next week and I want to get them out of my way since I am moving!!!
Yes, moving.
I'm moving from apartment 226 to apartment 434.  I will still overlooking or will be looking down into the garden instead of being able to walk directly out my doors into it.
But why?
There is a good reason for this move I assure you.  I hate, hate, hate millipedes.  And despite management being really diligent in their efforts to prevent them from finding their way into my apartment they still do and creepy crawly things creep me out.
I am moving up and out of their path. 
The best part is I  will gain a balcony space that will become an outdoor studio space as well as a place for me to sit, have my morning coffee and journal.
I think if you one is  moving the move with the least effort is one where you are moving into an identical space and there is no thought about where to  place something. 
So I am emptying a cabinet in one place and replacing everything in the identical space in the other unit.
After a year of living in my space I now know what works for me and I see no reason to change anything.
I'll just have a different viewpoint of the physical world in which I live.
I am plannng to have a great day.  i hope the same for you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Mt Dora Craft Fair

was held yesterday and Rene, the middle grandson Justin and I went  to walk the streets filled with people lined with high-end craft booths.  I first came upon the small town of Mt Dora by accident about a year ago when I failed to follow the instructions the GPS was giving me and I was glad that I did.  It is a lovely little town on a large lake that will remind you  more of New England than Florida if you could get past the moss dripping from the trees. After a year I am beginning to find that Florida is not at all what I had imagine before I had any thoughts of moving here.
Yesterday, the weather was perfect.  Low humidity, white fluffy clouds over head and temperature in the low 80's.  How perfect is that?
As I walked about venturing in and out of booths, there were several things that caught my eye, but nothing that insisted it come home with me.  It was just good to be out and about.I have included three collages of images that will remember. One is of trees. From time to time I have used them as the subject for my work while they do no dominate as flowers do I still am drawn to them.

The shape of these hats before putting them on your head caught my eye.  Cute!

The elephants were made from re-purposed silver flatware and table ware.

The last is a shot of the crowd going from street to street and booth to booth like me.
I saw my first live in the wild alligator yesterday lurking in the lake.  Mt. Dora is populated with fountains and I found then worth noting as was this church built in the mid 1800's as was the small resident hotel next door to the church. 

As I walked about, here are a few of the trees that caught my eye.  Not sure of what this flowering tree is but saw many on the way to Mt Dora on SR 436 and 441.  The colorful tree was for sale in a booth at the craft festival.  The leaves are ceramic. 
The left lower image is typical of Florida, " a tree that can be found growing anywhere in the US and a palm which is so typically Florida.  And then this short palm on the right that was just short, full and just cute.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Can you image if

I had this much quilting done before I decided I didn't like the color of the thread I was using. After a couple of long lines of stitches I came to this conclusion and turned the piece over to remove the stitches and discovered that some how I had stitched a stray piece of cloth onto the back. There it was smack dab in the center where I would in no way logically place a sleeve or a label. Let me say, the sound I made can not be conveyed in the English language.

But then I laughed and thought I'd share this with you while I take a lunch break now that the stitches are all picked out and the offending piece of fabric now resides in the trash.
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Friday, October 08, 2010

World Quilt Show-Florida

I entered these two pieces into the show and they were both juried in. Yea! Yea!
Kissimmee Garden, on the left and Freesia, on the right.  I know those of you who follow my blog have seen them before.  Since Kissimmee Garden was at Bernina University early last Summer it is ready to go, but Freesia, still needs sleeves and a label since this will be its first trip out of the house for an exhibit or show.  

I've known about this show for a while as well as several others that the Mancuso's produce, but I never paid much attention to the fact this show was only for Florida quilt makers. Doing some further investigation into what other show were upcoming that I could enter I discovered that several other of the Mancuso managed shows are restricted to a State or region as well. So I crossed out some on their list.
Thinking back, I can't remember the last time I attended a large quilt show. Maybe the AQS Show in Paducah in 2002 or 2003.  The same last time and year I entered a quilt and had it  accepted.
While the show is in Florida, it is not, in my back yard nor for that matter in the adjacent county. Mapquest reports Fort Lauderdale is a 3-4 hours drive from the center of the state where I am over to the east coast and down toward Miami. Despite the 200 plus miles I  thought it was worth the drive and was looking forward to going.  
That said, I was also looking forward to seeing what my fellow Floridians create, but sadly, I won't get the chance.  I will be traveling.  
On the Sunday before the show  opens I will be on a plane to the Boston area to help jury a SAQA exhibit that will hang at the New England Quilt Museum.  While in the area I will get to see my son Myke, grand-daughter Joslyn and Mel, my daughter-n-law, YEA!!!!  And I will be bumming a horizontal surface to lay my body down on for a couple of nights at their house too. 
On Wednesday  I will drive from the Providence/Cranston area where they live over to  Southbury, CT to teach at the 15th annual Storytellers in Cloth Quilt Retreat.  I think this is the third or fouth time I have been invited to teach and I always have a good time with the quilters who attend.  The food at the Dolce Heritage Resort Hotel is...SUPER GOOD.
I will drive back to Rhode Island after Sunday Brunch to catch a plane out of the Providence airport for home. I think at this moment I'll do that late on Sunday as long as I can catch a non-stop flight otherwise it will me a non-stop on Monday. 
I hope Winter doesn't come early to the New England area this year. I have no heavy/cold weather clothes and I reeeefuse, to buy any and a coat purchase is a definte NO..NOT GONNA.

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