Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending 2012 moving forward

Before I began this post today I did a quick look back at 2012, something writing a blog affords you. If I had to recollect the past 12 months in any detail without this written history it would have been impossible. 

The first thing I noticed was, I did not post as often as I had in past years and most of the post were about stuff other than my creativity.  Were did my creativity go in 2012... on vacation? Must have because I made way fewer quilts than I have done on average in past years too. 
Last night as I was finishing a book and contemplating the purchase of a new one I saw My Nook book download library shows I read a lot in 2012.

I saw a lot of movies too.

If my  Janome 7700 was a new car it  would still have that right out of the factory smell.  It was used so seldom.  Gonna remedy that in 2013.

I taught on more occasions in 2012.  Way above my average.  A lesson I learned in 2012 was that   I dislike plane travel when done for teaching to the extent that I will not do it again.  If I can't get some place to teach by car, I am not going to do it.

Looking back I saw where the first quarter of my year went.  I spent it being frustrated at times curating an exhibit that I was proud to see open when it was done and more than happy and relieved at the end to be done with the whole experience.

I spent a great many hours working (volunteering).   Yeah right!  The word volunteer sort of leaves you with the impression that it really isn't WORK that you do for the quilt guild, but it is.  It saps as much energy as a 9-5. 

MOVING FORWARD.  I am not going to be in charge of bus trips and after the guild's quilt show,  next year, I am going to step down and scale way back on the time I give to the group.

MOVING FORWARD.  My offer for the house I really wanted was accepted. So it looks like at this time that I will be moving and creating in a new space.  My daughter Rene' and I walked through the house with a contractor last Friday noting what I wanted done.  (More cosmetic than reconstruction) except for the kitchen which will be a near total gut.  The  contractor sent me an invoice and he was within the range I was expecting to spend to get the needed work done.  Next on the list of must do, get a housing inspector.  When I know for sure that there are no further stumpling blocks, like major stuff that only a trained person can detect; roof, heating/ac, electrical and plumbing, I'll give you some before images of the place and document the progress of the remodel through my move in.

The weather here will be mild enough tonight to enjoy looking at all the  fireworks going off at mid-night across the area as far as the eye can see from my vantage point on the 7th floor roof of the parking garage where I live.

 Here wishing you a FORWARD MOVING 2013 as well.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A couple of weeks back

I decided that for the creative part of me, I needed to get back to doing morning pages.  Well in fits and starts I have been doing them and I, in fits and starts have been productive.  Not as productive as I want and not in the way you might be thinking, "she's painting again and quilting". 
Well sort of but not exactly.  But I am doing stuff.
What stuff?
Don't spread it around, but I am in the process of writing a book or the script for a DVD.  Not sure at this time which one will be the final outcome of me diving in with both feet on this project for the last three weeks.  Book? DVD?  The developmental stages for both seem to require the same things get done.  Things like samples in various stages of completion for photography.  This part I am looking forward to, the writing, well that requires a lot of stick to it-ness, as in applying my bottom to the seat of the chair in front of the computer and staying there long enough to get some stuff done.
On top of that I am back in the hunt for a house, free standing or townhouse with a garage.  This time I have marked condos off my list of places to live. 
Why am I thinking of moving again? 
 It's not that I don't still love where I live, I do.  But now I want to live some place where I can make a mess, like through paint around without worrying about the carpet or hang out yardage of soy milk soaked silk without offending the neighbors who might think I am taking in  laundry and drying it on the balcony and  I want to get back to silk screening with thickened dyes.    I have some ideas that have been percolating for some time and no place to do them. 
 While Rene' was here she Lyn and I did some preliminary scouting of properties that were for sale in the immediate area. Of the 2 dozen or so places that were listed I narrowed it down to a half-dozen. After walking through them. I am down to one which I am in the process of writing an offer for. Will let you know if I get it and when my address changes. 
For two years now, my Christmas cactus has alerted me to the passing of time. The first week in November there was no sign of buds.  Last week I notices the first signs that my much neglected plant would bloom again and today, I caught a glimpse of pink on the side of the plant that faced the window, I turned the pot a half turn and this is what greeted me. Lovely.
 And there will be more....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This morning I woke feeling thankful

not unlike 99% of all the mornings I've been blessed to see.  My gratitude takes in things both grand and small.  Grand, like I have a new desk top computer and 24" monitor, thanks to my daughter Lyn and her got a jump on Black Friday bargains shopping skills.  While most of the world is going smaller and smaller with their computing devises I have cheerfully moved in the other direction .  I  love sitting comfortably at a desk instead of crooked over my lap top.  As for being thankful for the samll stuff; the sun is shining, yea111 And  a not so small thing is I am not in the kitchen cooking a turkey.  Rather today thankfully I will be eating out with my girls (daughters) Lyn and Rene' and my niece Besa who will drive over from the Tampa area to join us at a place they choose.

So this morning when my eyes opened I said, "Thank you dear Lord for this day and all of my gifts and blessing for they are many; for each one of them I am truly grateful".

Once I was up and about,  while having my first cup of tea for the day I read the blog entry of my friend Kathy Loomis and I  smiled in agreement.  So true was all she said about quilt making as it is today.  I thought of the difference paths our work has taken over the years since I first met her and yet as different as our work is I appreciate our differences and realize that without all the different paths quilt makers can travel in their lives I  give thanks for those differences knowing how boring the quilt world would be if we were all on the jammed on the same road heading to the same destination.

Speaking of paths and destinations; I think I am at another cross road in my journey.  I had a long talk with an artist friend last Sunday over breakfast at Cracker Barrels and another cup of tea at my place about my lack of focus and lack of clarity about where my quilter/artist life is heading.

The indecisiveness I am feeling is nothing new. I tend to get reflective every couple to three years or so.  And this contemplative mood didn't come on suddenly either.  But since I returned from Houston I have felt the weight of it more and have decided rather than riding it out hoping it will pass, I will face it head on.  Get focused.  Get back to doing my morning pages.  I've slacked off doing them of late even though I know doing them faithfully helps and I do so need some clarity about where I want to go and what I want to do with my quilt life in the coming year(s).

So if you stopped by to read my musing. I thank you for that. 
I hope you the best day filled with the joys and what ever blessing grand and small that  you think will make the day special for you.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Snap shots from the road and show floor

I thought I had better get some of the images on the blog tonight.  Tomorrow  I are going to West Palm Beach, FL, about a 3-1/2 hour drive to see the Mancuso Quilt Show.  I propably will be suffereing from quilt overload before this month is over.  SAQA/Florida has an exhibit that opens tomorrow in Dayton Beach at the Peabody Auditorium.  I have a piece in that exhibit too and should be able to get there before it comes down. 
Images from Mobile and lunch at the Cafe' Royale
A tale of two cities, New Orleans upper left and Houston upper right, a wonderful sunset as we were entering Mississippi.  My two pieces in the New Legacy exhibit and a snap shot of Lyric Kincaid and one of her quilts before the lecture by her that I listened to.

Pane Reflection, Timna Tarr, MA
Color Play, Mi Ra Kim, NC
Tutti Fruitti Village, Susan Bleiweiss, MA
Ripple, Daniel Rouse, CA
Surprised you didn't I... No flowers!


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Here I am again in the land of the upright and functioning

It took me two days to get there but here I am again, back to what's normal for me. 
I got home from Houston at  3:30 am on Monday.  As I was making my way along the hallway to my apartment with my wheeled bag and 2 totes, I didn't know how many days I would be down and out and in bed with Tylenol,  soup and tea.  Boy was I beat and beat-up from the miles of walking the four foot ball field show floor in Houston and two days of 20 hours traveling by bus it took to get to Houston and the 20 hours it too to get back.
I'm glad I went.  I enjoyed the show.  It was an experience I do not plan to never ever do again. 
Of course it all looked good and easy on paper.  The planning seamless.  But as you and I know all does not go as planned and there was a lot of stepping back and punting required to keep it all from falling apart once the bus began to roll westward.  As I made the trip, every 2-1/2 hours or so, I repeated the words of a very good and dear friend; Marti, who says 'You must be fluid, flexible is too rigid".  How true those words were.  How I wished 50% of those on board the bus were saying them to themselves as well.
I spent most of Monday abed.  I am so glad I early voted because voting on Tuesday would not have been an easy thing to do, but I did get up long enough to make a trip  to the Market.  I was out of essential stuff like fruit, milk and yogurt.  Although I returned home and to bed I was awake late into the wee hours waiting the results of the election which meant that my Wednesday was shot, because I napped all day. 
Today I bounced out of bed as if the trip never happened and took myself to the movies.  I saw "Flight" and "Skyfall"
both were worth seeing, but are not on my list of must see again which "Cloud Atlas" is.   I saw "Cloud Atlas" before I went to Houston along with "Argo" which was very good too. 
As promised I did take my camera to Houston with me but opted to purchase the DVD with all the top winners.  It is so hard to get a nice clear shot of any quilt let alone the big winners.
 As always the number of quilts in Houston is staggering and it takes all of one day just to see almost all of them and that's with not giving any one quilt more than a 10 second look, so it required that I revisit the quilts on day two.  Day one I spent in the vendor section and day three was split between the two.  There was very little that I purchased that was quilt related in the sense that I brought no fabric or thread or rulers etc, but I did want to see if there was anything new and great that had to go home with me and there wasn't.  I did buy some stencils that I will use sections of for surface design and I brought a pair of shoes.  Yes shoes.  Shoes that were not all that attractive but ones  that made walking the floor ever soooooo much more comfortable.
  I don't regret spending the money either, even thought I went with shoes that under normal walking conditions are very comfortable.   But at the show with the crowds jamming every aisle there is no such thing as striding and a normal gait.  Its take a few short steps and stop, a few more steps and stop again.  These shoes worked great for the stopping and standing part of seeing this show and less than a normal walking gait. That said...
Now to what caught my eye in Houston and if you know me at all it was the ones that depicted flowers and were colorful as in a Summer palette.   But before I show you some of them in my next post ; a  word to two friends,  Valerie White, Denver, CO  I saw your piece "Serenity" in the New Legacy Exhibit. Loved how it turned out.  Hope my photography does it justice. 
And Kathy Loomis, Louisville, KY.  I love your piece in the SAQA Seasonal Palette exhibit of which no photos were allowed but I took a good long look at it and your work still amazes me and I worked 2 hours in the SAQA booth on Saturday and the Seasonal Palette Book was selling like hot cakes.  Great piece!!!!
In my next post I will show you a few of the flowers and what else I took images of.




Monday, October 15, 2012

Walking about, reading and going to the movies;

all things which do not by any stretch of my imagination or yours leads to an exciting blog entry I know  but that, for the most part, has been what my life has been about the last three week. 
     On the quilt front; I did get one piece juried into the Florida SAQA exhibit and two pieces into the World Quilt/Florida show.  All three pieces are rolled and waiting at the foot of my bed, ready to be boxed up and shipped out next week
     The weather is getting better everyday.  Better to the point that I no longer plan my day so I am not outdoors after 11:00 am.  I have on two occasions in the last few days walked to the movie theatre in the afternoon. As I have said many times, I love where I live because of what the area offers me, walk ability and walking to the movies is the best of all the good things for me.  The 18 screen  AMC complex is about 1/2 mile from my front door.
     Roughly  1/8 of  that walking  distance is me just  walking the hallways.  Walking out my apartment  door to the elevator - down four floors and the walk to the building exit. 
     I love when the movie times and movie lengths work out so I can do a back to back.  I saw two movies, "Taken 2" and "Looper" on the same day last week. This past Saturday I went back to see "Argo".  I would recommend all three. 
     Do you get the feeling that I love thrillers for both my movie viewing and my reading?  You are right and I continue to use the website "Stop you're killing me" as a reference for what to read next,  but it will be a light romance "Spring Fever" by Mary Kay Andrews in paper back form instead of a mystery on my Nook that I plan to take with me to read on the day long bus trip to Houston on October 31.
     I will give you a "Juanita's eye view" of the Houston Quilt Festival, when I am there in a couple of weeks.  I am taking along with me for the Houston trip both my laptop and camera and plan to post something from there every day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Looking back on yesterday

and a day at a quilt show. 
Here's Joyce getting a close look.
This is the second time I have attended the Jacksonville Quiltfest  show in Jacksonville, FL  as part of being the bus trip coordinator for the quilt guild I joined.   There were 18 of us in total on board for the 2 hour trip.  Fewer than last year but a good group non-the-less.  Last year I traveled about the show on my own.  Some times traveling about on your own at your own pace is a good thing.  Last year I looked at the quilts, shopped the vendors a little then spent a good amount of time sitting in the lobby reading and waiting for the others on the bus to be done. 
This year I partnered with Joyce, our guild's quilt show chairman, who I have gotten to know since moving here.  Funny, while she does more traditional work, "a lot of hand applique'" which she does with master level skills I must say. I knew she loves using flowers in her work, but as we moved down each row and from quilt to quilt it became apparent that we had the same reaction to the quilts on exhibit at the show. When we took a break later in the afternoon, we discovered if we both had better recall we would have remembered seeing one another at several of the Vermont Quilt Festival we attended  the same years way back in the early 90's.
It's one thing to see the trends and newest things in quilting at really big national show (Houston - Paducah for example) and be blown over by the bold in your face use of some techniques then step away, visit smaller guild shows and regional show and see how the trends filter down to the "average doing it for the love of it quilter" which is not unlike  how run way fashions filter down to what you see Macy's.
A year maybe two years ago my friend Kathy Loomis wrote about all the sparkly stuff on quilts she saw at a show in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This year at the Jacksonville Quiltfest show, there were sparkles, but they were few and far between and only sprinkled about the surface instead of being an over whelming in your face presence.

What I took note of was the number of pieces made from commercial patterns or influenced by the work and teachings of national teacher and  what may be somewhat of a trend was the quilts constructed with really small pieces.  Big quilts composed of really small 3-4 inch block, or 1-2 inch squares, noticeably done with foundation piecing for precision.  I also noticed the color black was used a lot as well as segmented circles (variations of mariners compasses or Dresden Plate).   
There were a few hand quilted pieces and one I liked that employed the "big stitch"  The machine quilting varied from the all over programed mattress pad look to some really great work which I noticed was done on a piece by someone who had taken a couple of classes with me.... looking good Norma!!! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The good. The bad and Stop You're Killing Me

The good.  The weather here has been really nice of late; lower temps, gentle breezes and low...low for around here humidity, non stormy brief rains  all of which collectively  means I hate to stay inside with the windows and door to the outside closed, blessing the air conditioning.  When it is hot and humid I must admit I get more done by way of my art.  But give me a great out of doors day and bye bye sewing machine... gotta go.  Gonna take a walk in the sunshine.  So I'm back to walking the neighborhood. Remembering always to wear a hat on my head and to take along an umbrella both for  rain showers and for shade when the shade from trees along the way are few and far between.  Now I understand why women of the south in the old days and in the tropics carried parasols.

I walk to the movies, to Barnes and Nobles when I want the latest issue of an art magazine, to local restaurants for lunch or dinner or to the pharmacy for my prescription refill or to the market for a few easy to carry items.  If only I could roll out of bed earlier and get back into walking around the lake in the mornings. Maybe that too will come....
But mostly the good means I read and boy have I been reading a lot of late which brings me to the bad.
The bad.  My Nook.  Yes I know it could also be considered the good.  I do love having it, if not for the fact that getting a new book to read is sssooooo easy.  It's just a matter of reading the last word in the last book no matter what time of the day or the middle of the night and how  easy it is to go online to get another.  The good/easy.  The bad; you should see my bank card statement. 
When it comes to deciding what to read next I use my laptop to find the answer to that.  My first stop has always been the Barnes and Nobles 24/7 website.  Of course they aid my reading addiction  help out by sending me e-mail notices of new releases  and when said releases will be available.  As nice as that is I don't  have a file in the back of my head that keeps these dates and the newest book titles  by my favorite authors available for quick recall.

While browsing their website  I saw  there was a new Lee Childs, Jack Reacher book available and a new release in the Eve Dallas "In Death series by J. D. Robb.  Needless to say I downloaded them post-haste into my Nook and read them. 
My favorite reads/genre  since the first Nancy Drew novel I read in my pre-teens years has been the mystery/thriller/cops sort of stuff that keeps you guessing the who, sometimes the why, the how and features a continuing main character and supporting characters.
The middle of last week as I finished one book and was on the hunt for others I came across a very helpful website that is becoming my go to first website.  That brings me to...
Stop you're killing me :  If you love my favorite genre you will like this website.  I like this  website because it gives me several ways to find  all the books written in chronological order by an author featuring my favorite characters.  While on the SYKM website when you click on a title it will  take you to where you can buy the books or read a brief synopsis of the book.  Since the Nook came into my life it is rare that I will buy a paper versions of a book I want to read for fun.  99% of the time I download them.    I've read, listened to, on tape or CD, so many book that I don't remember titles  but give me a few sentences (clues) and I know instantly if I have or not.  So let me say here and now that I am not promoting or Barnes and Nobles   I am simply telling you what I have discovered and for me having on the Amazon site that brief synopsis available to read is a very good thing

This time last weekend I was being the class angel in one of the two classes Ellen Lindner taught for my Local Quilt Guild.   Between keeping everything running smoothly for her and the participants (the facility/room set-up, students settled in, lunch, etc) I read.
 I plan to take a book along with me on the bus trip to the Jacksonville Quilt Show this coming Saturday too.
Next up on my read list is a "Back Fire" a Dillion Savich/Lucy Sherlock FBI series by Catherine Coulter after I finish "Bad Faith" by Robert Tannenbaum a Butch Karp NYC/DA series. 
So far now and for me today it is back to the balcony with my Nook, butt in one chair, feet propped on the other with a cup of coffee later maybe with a glass of iced tea.  Reading....


Friday, September 07, 2012

I've spent the better part of 2 days

trying to get my quilts to smile pretty for the camera. I take quick shot of my work as it is in progress and  shots of it to show what I am up to  on this blog, but that  kind of photography is what i'd call casual point and shot.
Over the last several months I have finished 6 pieces of which  I didn't have any entry quality images  and or close no up detail shots.  So with several deadlines looming I set up for a photo session on the balcony.  One after another I pinned and straightened each piece and took multiple shots at different camera settings.
But the natural light was too bright and the images looked washed out.  If only I had read my camera manual, I would have learned how to resolve that issue, but there went a few hours of my life.
If I wasn't on a deadline to get the images done (one exhibit has a 9/8 post mark deadline) I would have put it off and  waited for an overcast day, but around here, overcast can also mean, get ready, it's going to rain.  Which is what did happen later that day. And yesterday it not only rained, it poured and the wind blew, really blew.
I tried setting up inside yesterday.  Brought in lights, but that didn't help.  Then I found the manual for my camera, read it and set up again for shooting on my design wall only to look and see that one of the spot lights in the ceiling was burned out causing uneven lighting on every piece. But with added lights I got on with it.

I am still not entirely happy with the colors, mainly because  I have the real pieces to compare to the images I see on my computer screen.  Yes I realize that my unhappiness could be due to my monitor and not the images themselves.

As many times as you look at your work real size with your eyes, there is nothing like looking at it through the eye of a camera or with a reducing glass.  Using a reducing glass was a habit I had when I did pieced work, but have stepped away from now that  I am painting.  - Gotta get back to doing that. -  Now back to the point I was heading toward.  As I was taking pictures of the quilts it gave me a chance to really look at what I thought were finished work.  But to my surprise as I looked through the camera at this piece I became increasingly unhappy with it.  So I grabbed a marker and some ink and fabric paint and had at it.  Here is what I did.


 Now I am happier.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

After some thought

and my cup of coffee, I decided I would start by looking at the piece as if it were cropped. Really cropped. In the old days before Picasa or Photo Shop I would've hung long strips of white paper to frame my work in order to decide how much to cut off.  I am so glad I have the ability to do this in the computer with Picasa or Photo Shop Elements.  
Want to see what it looks like with about 3 inches off the right side, 8 inches off the left and with the top copped about 1 inch? 

In each of the three images below the cropped off portion at the bottom varies from 1 to 3"

I won't put scissors to this piece for at least a day, maybe two.  Still have some touching up to do here and there.  By the time that is done maybe the old brain will come up with an alternative to ripping off the parts I don't like. Maybe  something more creative and visually interesting, but if it doesn't there's always the fall back... "ripping".  


the main elements of the painting is done.  There are some areas of the flowers and leaves that need attending to to add more definition and shadow.  Like most of what I do, there are some   parts that I am wild about and can't believe that I was able to get the effect that I did with my hand.  Then too with this painting there are parts I ponder.  I am also not happy with the left side of the painting as it is now.  Looks too heavy compared to the right side. I think it needs some of the smaller  leaves on the right side about mid way up at the least.  So I am taking a break.  Making myself a cup of coffee and thinking.  Maybe a way to resolve the issue will come today if not I'm sure it will once I sleep on it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Painting, reading and movie going

Between the rain drops on Saturday I went to the movies with my girls Lyn and Rene' who is here for a week or so to see "Premium Run" which was an okay movie and something to do.  There's not much in the theatre I've wanted to see this Summer.  I started reading a book in the Lincoln Lawyer series which hasn't grabbed me yet and I am painting. On Sunday while waiting to see what the tropical storm was going to develope into we went to have a late lunch in Winter Haven, 40 minutes away at a place called Fred's.  Great southern home style cooking served buffet style.  It is worth the drive and like having dinner at "mom's" on Sunday after church we brought home some left overs for later.  The collard greens are just plain good.  There are more areas of green to paint but I was getting bored doing so and there is the  background to reconsider because at this time I am not sure  I like the blue I've used ... so  I started painting the flowers.    Here's a look at my progress. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Painting and waiting for the rains and the winds

that will come as the hurricane approaches.  From what they say the rain and the wind in my neck of the woods will be no more severe than some of our typical summer storms of which I have experienced many. 
I don't think it is the weather that is coming that caused it but this morning I woke in a reflective mood.  The mood caused me to take note of my little piece of the world and the change in the quality of  light that came through my window this morning.  It was softer. Not because it was overcast.  No rather the sky was blue with just a few wispy clouds.  Yet the light was different somehow.  Here we are nearing the end of August.  How quickly the months are passing. 
Summer is going.  Autumn is coming as it does every year, but maybe in my head, faster than I want it to.  The kids around here are back in school. Olivia, my grand daughter in Kentucky finished her first week back as well.   I sort of feel sorry for them.  In the old days we were allowed to run free and play until after Labor Day.   One of the more fun things of going to school when I was a child was the cute kid size easel, the smell of newsprint and temper paint. 
My easel is larger now, adult size.  I use fabric instead of paper. Artist grade watercolor paints replacing the temper of my youth filled.  It's all about the colors.  Color me from a quiet soft blue of the early morning to hopefully a happy sunny yellow by noon.   Mood begone....   
Painting a piece longer than my paint surface means repining and so that is what I had to do yesterday to get to the bottom of the piece. 

that will come as the hurricane approaches.  From what they say the rain and the wind in my neck of the woods will be no more severe than some of our typical summer storms of which I have experienced many. 
I don't think it is the weather that is coming that caused it but this morning I woke in a reflective mood.  The mood caused me to take note of my little piece of the world and the change in the quality of  light that came through my window this morning.  It was softer. Not because it was overcast.  No rather the sky was blue with just a few wispy clouds.  Yet the light was different somehow.  Here we are nearing the end of August.  How quickly the months are passing. 
Summer is going.  Autumn is coming as it does every year, but maybe in my head, faster than I want it to.  The kids around here are back in school. Olivia, my grand daughter in Kentucky finished her first week back as well.   I sort of feel sorry for them.  In the old days we were allowed to run free and play until after Labor Day.   No, my old self is not wishing for my yesterdays, but I do remember one of the more fun things about going to elementary school  was  the ever present kid size easels, empty coffee cans filled with   long handled paint brushes, the smell of wet newsprint and temper paint. 
My past is very much part of my present.
My easel is larger now, adult size.  My newsprint is fabric. Artist grade watercolor paints have replaced the jars of temper of my youth filled.  Its still about the joy.  It's all about the colors. 
Color me a quiet soft blue of the early morning to hopefully a happy sunny yellow by noon.     Mood begone....   
Painting a piece longer than my paint surface means repining and so that is what I had to do yesterday to get to the bottom of the piece. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

A hurrican is coming

so they say.  While painting I am keeping my ears attuned to the telly and staying breast of what is happening.  Orlando is in the middle of the state.  Theoretically a hurricane can threaten from either side of the state or come straight up the middle.  There was more concern earlier in the week when the models and warnings had the storm  coming straight up the middle, but as time has passed the predicted path has changed.  The eye of the storm is now predicted to be further to the gulf side (Tampa) and more and more out into the gulf.  As of this morning, if the storm maintains this off shore gulf path   the possibility that the chances that I or anyone in the Orlando area will be adversely affected has decreased dramatically. 
This is not the first hurricane threat that I have experienced since moving to Florida.  The first turned out to be no more than an above average breeze that I did nothing to prepare for.  The second one, I did move the balcony furniture inside just in case because if it did come my way while I was out of town, I didn't want things blowing around out there.  Once again, with much relief and joy, nothing happened.
 But I am not being blase' about this tropical storm/hurricane warning.  You know what "they" say, "third time could be the charm".   We will be on the "dirty side of the storm" so heavy rain and wind is still possible.   I am prepared and we will see.
In the mean time I will continue to paint.  Here's a look at yesterday's progress.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm back at the easel

It's been awhile and because it has I had to re-educate my painting hand. I also had more than a few minutes of self doubt as I began to put paint to cloth.  But the joy of painting soon took over and I let myself flow into it. Here's a look at the progress I made yesterday.  This piece will be just shy of 6' long.   Now I am going back to the easel. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thought I'd check in to let you know

I haven't fallen over or dropped off the face of the earth. 
Where have you been? What are you up to?  Nothing much as far as what I consider interesting enough to write about. Have read a couple of books and went to see the Bourne Legacy.  Books okay, movie...not bad. 
Beside that all it seems I have been doing of late is sitting at my desk.  So much so that I decided to rearrange the apartment and move my desk to the window so I could at least look out and see the sky while I  have been spending most of my awake hours making plans for the  up coming bus trip to the Houston Quilt Festival that the local quilt guild I belong to is sponsoring.  When I volunteered to organize bus trips for the guild, I knew it wasn't going to be as simple as getting into my own car, programing the GPS and taking to the road.  Far from it.   Dealing with the needs of 46 other people has to be considered.  There was the search for enough hotel/motel rooms and booking them.  Buying tour package tickets to the Quilt Show.  Talking to the bus company and understanding the  national transportation regulations as they relate to drivers of big buses which includes having to plan rest stops and driver change locations.  Then there was the problem of where to eat and working those stops into the schedule driver rest break stops.  It took a lot of searching on google and Map Quest. And so many other little piddly things that piddly or not still need addressing.    But as of Monday afternoon I  have most of the planning completed and behind me.
As far as creativity.  That has taken a back seat for the last two weeks but it is now time to return to my "artist" life.  There are two up coming competitions that I am thinking of entering so I must get back to the sewing machine soon to put facing and sleeves on five pieces that are quilted, trued up and are rolled and waiting at the foot of my bed.
After my last teaching engagement I was down to less than 2 yards of silk broadcloth in the stash, but an order with enough cloth to keep me busy for awhile should be arriving in the next few days as well as an order of watercolor paints to replenish depleted tubes of my favorite colors. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer of adventures and making memories

two wishes I have for my youngest grand daughter, Olivia during her visit this year.  Here she is front row center as the cast poses and pauses for all the proud parent, grand parents, aunts etc at the end of the production they presented on the last day of a week long drama camp she attended.

Last weekend, she was very excited to visit  the aquarium near Tampa, the home of the dolphin with the artificial tail, "Fish Tales" movie staring the dolphin and Morgan Freeman as well as say she had put her feet in the Gulf.

She collected shell and  got to renew her connection to her cousin who lives on the Gulf side of the state.

This week she is in swim camp and loving it.  Next week gymnastics.
 And what is a blog update with out a look at my latest painted quilt.   The flower is not complex.   In creating this piece my priority was toward working out  how to make a more visually interesting background.  I am happy with the result.
The piece has no name and measures approx 40" wide by 45" long.
In answer to the question put to me by some about where I get the wool felt blend that I use as a stabilizer.  I buy it at Jo-Ann's with the biggest %  off coupons I have to cut the cost of using it.  It comes 36 inches wide but butts together easily when you need a wider width.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Sometimes life is just a bunch of snippets

I am removing this entry because it has been corrupted with Adsense links that I did not put there. I do not advertise for anyone.  I will give you the information about products if you ask me about them.  At this time I don't know how to get rid of the link. I hope the next time I blog they won't be there.
Here's to you having a happy "Fourth".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flowers: large and really small

I like working in a large format but from time to time I do work small.  Yesterday I spent the entire day working really small after spending two days of being in duh-land waiting for inspiration. A state I find myself in from time to time after I have finished a larger piece. 
I've had this piece on the wall all quilted, block and cropped to the size I think it will finish to for several days.
It still needs facing and you know the other stuff, sleeves and a label.  Those will happen some day when I have nothing more pressing and don't want to sit on the couch being content in duh land.
The color in this image are not true.  Not sure why the yellow background does not show as being a soft mottled yellow.  I haven't put it away yet.  I will live with it on the design wall for a few more days to see if it needs  more shading and highlights in the flowers.  As of now it measures 50" wide by 41".  I also haven't free motioned my name on it because I can not decide if it will have a horizontal or a vertical orientation.   I painted it as vertical but as I as quilting it the horizontal orientation keep poking into my consciousness.
Getting back to the really small.  I was asked to do a tutorial as follow-up to the class I taught in Cincinnati the first of this month.  I ask them to give me a couple of weeks to get it done... well 2 weeks was stretching to 3 so yesterday keeping my word I got down to it and spend the entire day from breakfast to bedtime creating this small piece photographing each step as my way of making sure I was telling and showing them the techniques they asked for.
Small, really small.... 9-1/4" x 9-3/4".  Small but fun and it gave me some insight into two things.  One;why some of us have more than one sewing machine.  Two; how much work writing a book or doing a DVD will be. 
As I created this piece, I used one machine to piece, do machine applique and apply the facing.  I used the other machine to do the free motion quilting.  Have I told you how much I love FM quilting on the 7700.   I really  had thought  I would sell my Janome 6600 after I had it serviced, but as of yesterday I have changed my mind.  I'm keeping it.  The whole of it is, it was so convenient to have both machines set up and ready for the task at hand.  
After all there is only me who lives here in apt # 434. One less machine set up for use all the time won't make where I live look less like a studio. It just affirms my desire to create.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Florida is known as the sunshine state but

of late periods of sunshine has been hard to find.  Rain, rain, rain, cloudy and grey skies  is what we have had for more than a week now and I was getting a little tired of it.  But this morning with the dawn came the clear sky and sunshine, yeah. 
While sunshine is way up there on my list of favorite things so are flowers and this week I got to indulge myself in them.  First by buying a pot of begonia at the market this week to place on a table in front of the window to add some more cheer and color to my living space.

Secondly, by working on my latest quilt and teaching an abridged version of my painting on silk with watercolor class yesterday.
Sorry, I forgot to take my camera along, so no pictures.  But the ladies in the class have asked if I could arrange a class on how I free motion quilt my quilts. If that comes to be , what they painted yesterday  will be the project they will work on in the machine quilting class. I promise  I will take pictures then. 
Best venture of all... this past week I was pleased to have my middle grandson Justin come for a visit before he is ships out for nine months of sea duty.
He arrived last Sunday in time to be my ride home from the airport.  Now getting myself up and into his truck was not easy or a pretty site.   While he was here he drove  me to 2 Lowe's stores to shop in their nursery for these plants that I planted in my balcony railing boxes.  To solve the issue of how to get into the truck I took along a foldable step stool.  Yes it did look funny but it worked and it was a far far better looking picture then me trying to get into the truck otherwise. 

I had to remove the flower boxes from the railing  for the building painting project.  With them back and filled with flowers I feel so much more like I am living in "My Place". 
I began quilting this piece before I went to Ohio to teach last weekend and it was good to get back to it when I
Sunshine outside, flowers inside (the begonias), outside (the flower boxes) and being worked on,(the quilt) how good is that for a SUNday.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Teaching: the good and the just plain trying

I am back from Ohio and two days of teaching my Flowers on a Grand Scale to a group of 12 lovely ladies.  Some who were in the class I taught there last year so it was really nice to see some familiar faces.  Again I was hosted by Carole S. and enjoyed my stay in her home and left wanting to take the  mattress on the bed home with me.  It was so comfortable.
The trying part of my travels was the "flying to and from".  I did not realize just how much I dislike doing so.  There once was a time when I did not enjoy being on a plane while it was in flight.  But back then, I did not find the getting through the terminal to the plane a pain.  Now it is.  So bear with me because I am going to b---h and moan.
Getting out of Orlando is not really that bad especially if your are organized.  (easy on and off shoes, all stuff that needs to be removed from you purse, carryons in zip lock bags and you go through the experienced traveler line).  There  isn't that much a walk from the entry door to the TSA clearing area and from there to where you get  on the tram to your gate.  Everything considered,  how busy the air port is and the number of flights in and out and size of the overall footprint of the airport it is not bad.  And neither is the airport in St Louis. The airport in Louisville is not bad for two reasons, the walking side walks and the little golf cart type passenger carriers.
Now you would think that a smaller airport servicing smaller planes would be a cinch.  But I have found the two smallest  airports to which I have traveled have been the most trying to get through.  The distance from where you deplane to where you pick up your rental car is like setting out on a mile long expedition. And no there were no four to six passenger go carts tooling along the concourse picking up someone like me who is saying to themselves, "How much much further". I thought Providence was bad, but let me tell you Dayton is far worse.  In booking my flight and evaluating all the options, I knew the airport in Atlanta was going to be a pain, but the flight out of Dayton was delayed due in part to being put on hold by Atlanta, so with 45 minutes between my connecting flight and the second leg of the trip departing from a different concourse from where I arrived wasn't enought time.  So of course, I missed the flight.  I did get a seat upgrade for my troubles, but I got home later than I planned as well.  But I am home....
Now back to the good.
Here are some images of what the ladies in the class and what they did.

Everyone did a background on the first day. Most were what I expected and one was a complete surprise and I loved it.

Here are some of the pieces once the construction of the flower had begun. Sorry I don't have pictures of everyones piece.  



Love, love the red flower on yellow, but you all knew I would.