Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Shoe Painting!

I've been reading blogs a little here and there, but I can't wait until I have time to sit down with coffee and read them ALL. We are up to 80 members here in our little artful quilter's ring. So much inspiration, so little time. Only 2 more days until vacation...

I just read Caitlin's blog and not only is she being busy and creative, she gave us a link on how to paint shoes! DebR, oh goddess of shoes, are you reading this?!

Today will be BUSY again, lots of things at work to square away. I will take more pictures soon, must try out Blogger's new picture posting feature and see if it is any easier to use than Picassa/Hello.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Not Emily Mason

Falling water Posted by Hello

These are not as luminous as I would like for them to be, but they really are brighter than they appear here. I have used this technique before, it is a hand painted background with chopped scraps and threads, overlaid with tulle and sewn.

Warm Reflection Posted by Hello

Monday, June 27, 2005

Chaotic Weekend

Saturday was a circus at my house, and Sunday wasn't much better. We had carpet cleaning, plumbing repair, tree limb cutting and hauling, lawn mowing, house cleaning, and a group quilt project. Whew! I think that wasn't even everything, I am so tired. The things I actually did myself were the house cleaning, lawn mowing and working on the quilt project. Oh, and tons of laundry.

We are making a comfort quilt for a very sick friend from our quilt group. Two of my friends came over in the midst of all this activity and we retreated to my room to cut material and make "block kits" for the people who will be sewing and contributing to the quilt. Happily, it is all done, and I think the fabric we are using will be perfect.

I am pleased to have so much done and I hope to catch up with the blog world soon. Four more days until my big chunk of time off!

Friday, June 24, 2005

What is your World View?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Here is a little blog quiz for a Friday. TGIF! I followed this link provided by Robin on her quilt antics blog. Her work is really beautiful, in case you haven't been over there to look.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Emily Mason

Promises to Keep Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I lost a day and a half this week to things dental and dreadful but absolutely necessary. I have been trying to catch up at work in the library, squaring things away in preparation for my month off (July). Working in support of education does not pay much in general, but time off is an enormous benefit. I don't get paid for this time away, but my eleven months of salary are paid to me in twelve equal increments, so it feels like a wonderful paid vacation.

I have not had time to "play" with anything else so far, but I will try to post some pictures of my other efforts at hand painting fabric. One of my books arrived ("Complex Cloth" by Jane Dunnewold), so I have something to mull over and plan for. I am very, very happy with the work I started using my hand painted fabric, and for some reason it has led to a creative surge. Now that I am feeling better, I actually feel motivated to finish something! Pictures to follow when this is actually accomplished.

I would like to thank the people who visit and comment occasionally. I always enjoy hearing from you, here or in email. I periodically have problems with email access, so I apologize if I have not replied. An update on my quilting friend who is so ill: she has been moved out of the ICU and her white count has improved dramatically. Thanks so much to everyone who said a prayer or sent healing thoughts and positive energy her way. She has a long, long way to go, but we think she will recover. We are working on making her a comfort quilt, so that means another traditional project to work on. I am pleased to have plenty of fabric in my stash to use (and use up!).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weekend Art

Closer view Posted by Hello

I spent Friday and part of Saturday painting fabric. I used setacolor and acryllic both, which I have done before, but I tried to get a lot more surface texture. More drybrush, different painting tools and so on. After the fabric was dry, I cut it up and started on this project. I love the painterly texture and I think it is a lot different than what I have done before. The composition (see below) seemed a little rigid, so I am adding more surface elements, which is why you see little squares pinned on in the closeup. I am not liking the solid section that bisects the piece, but I think am going to add more solid places for your eye to rest.

I love doing this because it is more like the painting I used to do. I think that instead of trying to imitate the dyed look when painting fabric, I will do more in this vein. I have a lot of ideas I am anxious to try. There is no stitching yet, and I am not finished with the composition. I think there will be some major revisions. Stay tuned.

Hope you all had as much fun this weekend as I did!

Consideration  Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Busy week

Tidy fabric Posted by Hello

It's been a busy week, and I haven't had much time for art in my work room. I did tidy most of the fabric storage and work on some handmade cards. Lisa has suggested a potpourri of "play time" ideas to get the creative juices flowing, so I am going to pull out the PFD and paints and get going. I have several books on the shelf on creating surface design, and I have ordered Jane Dunnewold's "Complex Cloth" as well, so I will have plenty to start with. I also ordered the Quilt National 2005 book, so when that gets here, I will enjoy absorbing those inspiring images with morning coffee (or maybe evening herbal tea.)

Tomorrow is going to be REALLY busy again. After work, I am going out to dinner with DH and some of the family, then I will drop them all off at the airport. Some of the others have already left or will be meeting there. There is a family reunion that my father-in-law really wants to take part in, and all his children are going. They will meet long lost cousins etc, and have a weekend full of activities. Spouses are invited, but I am not going this time since it will be a very fast trip and I don't expect to take any time off work this month. The really good part in all this is that I plan to spend Saturday by myself in my studio, and my resolution is to ignore everything else and focus on making some art (or at least some great fabric).

I am hoping we are finished with earthquakes for a while. There was another one today up in San Bernadino county, and that makes 3 here in California within a week. At least there has been no real harm done, but it keeps us a little on edge to have so many in such a short time. Fortunately, the emergency supplies of food and water are up to date, and we are in pretty good shape as far as having things secured.

Handmade cards of my design Posted by Hello

I made these cards using cardstock, fused fabric shapes and sharpies. More craft than art, but they are fun and my quilting friends like them. I try to choose fabrics that look like the colors in each person's stash.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Big Library News

The House voted today to block the FBI and the Justice Department from using the Patriot Act to search library and book store records. The link to the CNN article can be found at .


We had a few moments of excitement last night. While watcing a LAW AND ORDER re-run (actually I was doing something else and not paying much attention), the "emergency broadcast system" interrupted the program to say that we had a "tsunami warning". Say what? I have never heard of such a thing in Southern California.

We live well inland, but our son was out at a beach party. It is a popular thing for people here to have parties around fires on the beach (there are designated fire rings) after dark. Flurry of cell phone activity ensues. I was teetering on hysteria for a few moments because DS did not want to leave the beach, but he finally believed it. No more than twenty minutes after we received the call that the party had moved safely away from the beach, the warning was cancelled. So much for that beach party! Thanks God it was only a false alarm, and the good news is that the warning system would have worked in plenty of time to get people out of the affected areas. I usually wish we could afford to live closer to the beach, but what with all the recent landslides, earthquakes, and now tsunami warnings, maybe it's better that we don't.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My Quilting Friend Diane

My Friend Diane Posted by Hello

I only have a few minutes to post before I'm off to the endodontist for a consult and then to work. The pretty lady opening her Christmas quilt (pictured above) is now in the hospital and is gravely ill. She had a "lap band" procedure done in Mexico a couple of years ago. She lost bunches of weight and became slim and beautiful, but little did she know that things were going horribly wrong inside. To make a long story short, she went back to Mexico for some repair surgery, got a horrible infection, and ended up back here in the hospital for more surgery. Without going into all the gorey details of the subsequent surgeries here in the U.S., this gal is fighting for her life. She is the mother of six children, and though some of them are in college now, her "baby" is only nine. Please send your prayers, positive energy and healing thoughts to surround her. Thanks!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Birthday Present

Tropical Lagoon Posted by Hello

View from Diamond Head Posted by Hello

Kona Posted by Hello

Shipwrecks Beach, Kauai Posted by Hello

Hawaiian Palm Trees Posted by Hello

I blogged a while back about turning 50 and the wonderful early surprise party I had. My actual birthday was on the 10th, and my fabulous husband surprised me with tickets to Hawaii. Believe it or not, I have never been to Hawaii, so I am really looking forward to going. We will take off for about a week in July and leave our adult son in charge of the house and animals.
We are not "sit on the beach" people, so I look forward to a lot of sight-seeing and a very active vaction. We will do all the "tourist" things (visit Pearl Harbor, see a volcano, go to a luau, see a show etc.) and enjoy every bit of it. We may even go over the top and buy matching Hawaiian print shirts...

Thursday, June 09, 2005


The ONE Campaign
The ONE Campaign is asking Americans to sign a letter to President Bush asking the following:


ONE billion people around the world live on less than ONE dollar a day;

The US government spends less than ONE percent on overcoming global AIDS and poverty;

Citizens are uniting as ONE across political and religious divides to support action to overcome the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty.

At the G8 leaders meeting on July 6th we urge you to:

Help the poorest people of the world fight poverty, AIDS and hunger at a cost equal to just ONE percent more of the US budget on a clear timetable;

Cancel 100% of the debts owed by the poorest countries;

Reform trade rules so poor countries can earn sustainable incomes.

We urge you to lead an historic deal with other nations to help Africa and the poorest nations overcome global AIDS and extreme poverty. Together as ONE, we can Make Poverty History this July.

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I've signed it. How about you?

Skinny Daily

For folks who are trying to be "virtuous" (ie: adopt a healthier lifestyle), here is a helpful website that has great links, personal stories, exercise and food tips etc. This is free, and different people have used different approaches, but there is a lot of common sense here, and did I mention it is FREE? Check it out:

From the website:
There are eight Skinny Daily Post habits, skills we work on all the time here. They are:
Skill 1: Committing to Change Forever
Skill 2: Writing Things Down
Skill 3: Planning to Fail
Skill 4: Talking to Yourself
Skill 5: Making Time
Skill 6: Moving Daily
Skill 7: Eating Well
Skill 8: Getting Help

Just had to share that. I have been exercising lots and feeling better, except for the looming dental work which I won't bore you with. I'm doing well on my eating plan, too, which for me is WW rather than SBD, except that I tweak it to eliminate white flour and minimize sugar. I don't let the sugar go completely though, I still have the occasional WW dessert and I eat fresh fruit every day. My best eating strategy so far has been to cook at least one interesting vegetable dish at dinner time and fill at least half my plate with that. This is in addition to a huge salad, which I also try to keep interesting by adding a large variety of colorful chopped vegetables and greens.

I gave a lot of thought to Gabrielle's "regrets" topic and decided not post at length, but like most of her recent posts it gave me good food for thought. Make sure you tell the people you love how you feel about them.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Love from Australia, Beauty from Kuwait

Yesterday was a fine, fun gathering of friends and stitching that was very soothing to the spirit. Our wonderful hostess had a "virtue friendly" salad, sushi, and fruit. I am not adventurous when it comes to sushi, but these were delicious. Alas, I am too ignorant to tell you how they were made, but I loved everything, including the wasabi. I managed not to have any of the beautiful desserts or lovely croissants. Whew!

My sweet friend and SIL Diane sent me a package all the way from Australia. I almost had a heart attack when I saw how much she paid to mail it. I got one of her signature hand made cards, and she used a silly photo of us together in New Zealand, taken last year. I was also gifted with fabric, a cute koala, and some fabulously good smelling things.

We both like to learn about flowers and plants when we travel, and we spent some time touring wonderful gardens and taking photos together. Our husbands were remarkably indulgent about this, getting impatient only when we kept making them stop for roadside botanical pictures. We were utterly enchanted by someone's yard full of pink ladies and snapped endless photos of it. In hindsight, I think we were lucky not to be arrested. Remembering this, it was especially appropriate for Diane to send me flower splashed fabric, as well as a tea towel with pictures and names of Australian wildflowers on it. So, to some it might be tourist kitsch, but I am delighted with each and every bit. Brilliant!

I really hope everyone has been over to Jenny Bowker's blog recently enough to see the photos of the Kuwait Quilt show. It's the June 4th entry, so scroll down a bit (it's there, keep scrolling. ) I find each and every entry facinating, things about suqs and farms and diplomatic parties. It seems almost like a novel. The quilts left me breathless, though, so go see them. She did a great job presenting them . Click on each to see a larger picture.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Yard work

Yard work Posted by Hello

Yesterday I spent some frustrating time in my studio, then gave it up and went outside to help with yard work. DH took down lots of stuff that looks like this. Every year, we have to make sure that none of this gets out of control before it gets too hot. There is extreme fire danger in Southern California every summer, and this year we had so much rain that everything is pretty overgrown. The big fires in 2003 came within a mile of us, and that was absolutely terrifying. I knew several people who lost their homes. So, we keep at it. We do an awful lot of work on our little acre. The best thing about yesterday's yard work was that we planted another tree, an Asian Pear. These are delicious, so I will be very happy if it does well.

I got back into my room in the evening and had some fun working on something traditional and less challenging. It was very soothing. I think I am about ready to start a thoroughly planned project, one where you love the sketch in advance, work out all the colors, and number all the pieces and... all of that. I don't usually prefer to work that way, but it is less likely to end in a mess. For all my brave talk about "all work is useful and look what we learn", it is still very disappointing to crash and burn, artistically speaking.

Today, I am going to spend the day with my quilting buddies, sewing and talking and laughing and oh, trying really hard not to eat. I am packing carrots. NO kidding, I will probably have to resist my favorite food group, chocolate. One of my lovely friends always says "oh, but you can't quilt without chocolate." Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

This thing again

This is where I stopped. It still has no stitching since I haven't decided if I want to keep going with it. It will live on my design wall for a while. Sometimes you just have to call it a day.Posted by Hello

Twenty days of Virtue

I like the title of this best I think. It has so much more flair than "almost three week diet". If you haven't seen it yet, go on over to Red Shoe Ramblings and read about it. As of today, you will also see her absolutely AMAZING self portrait that she did in JUST ONE DAY.

Before I get side-tracked on talking about all the amazing ART in this ring, I want to talk a little more about losing weight/ getting healthy. I like this twenty day thing because it doesn't seem as daunting as what I really need, which is a year of really hard work followed by a completely changed life style that never lets me lapse back into evil eating ways. In my lifetime I have TWICE lost and gained 100 pounds, and I am not talking about the gain 20, lose 20 cycle. No, I mean I actually spent months on end working hard and eating little and losing 100 pounds. It seems impossible to believe that I would actually let myself gain the weight back, but there are two reasons. I love food (remember my fabulous chef husband who likes to cook for me), and I hate exercise. My favorite things to do (when not eating) are making art, sewing, and reading. Not exactly athletic endeavors, at least not the way I do them. So where am I now? About half way into my THIRD cycle of losing/gaining weight, which means that I have about 50 pounds to lose. SO, thanks to Deb R for inspiring me to get back on track.

I was watching Oprah (yes, that's one of my guilty pleasures) and saw her interview with Kirstie Alley on her weight loss struggles. Kirstie said that she turned her living room into a gym. Seriously, ALL the workout machines, the whole nine yards. Um, well I don't have the budget to do that, but The GOOD part of this idea is that I dragged my eliptical machine into the living room, and I had my son help me set up another TV in there WITH an old VCR from the closet. Then I dragged out my dusty collection of exercise videos AND I found my stretchy band. (We actually use this room on rare occasions, usually spending much more time together in the family room or out on the deck.) So, I have been exercising, striving for 40-60 minutes a day. This is harder than you think, but I am determined.

I know some of you have succeeded fabulously in losing weight and getting in shape, and some of you are struggling like me. Anyone else want to blog about it? I can use all the help I can get.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Side yard Posted by Hello

Geraniums and friends Posted by Hello

Ornamental grasses Posted by Hello

In the yard Posted by Hello

More bouganvilla Posted by Hello

Bouganvilla Posted by Hello

Our little fish pond Posted by Hello

We have a tiny fish pond built into our deck, and it is restful to watch the fish when we sit outside at the end of a workday. I love these long spring and summer days with plenty of hours of daylight left at the end of the day.

Getting the pond going took a little work. We lost one batch of fish because we didn't have the water plants well enough established, and racoons ate another batch. We used heavy cinder blocks in the bottom of the pond to give the fish a place to hide from predators. It took us a while to get the pond to be a proper little eco-system, but all the plants and fish are thriving now. There is always some concern about mosquito breeding due to the West Nile virus, but the county gave us a free mosquito eating fish. I would hate to have to drain our little pond, so hopefully the mosquito eater will do his job.

Aside from being just another little bit to share with you, one day I plan to do a "fish pond" quilt. I like to use things from my yard and garden as inspiration, partly because it is a favorite and peaceful place, and partly because it is so easy to go on outside and take some digital pictures.

The green/red/branch/ blossom thing I am working on now takes its inspiration from the bouganvilla plants. We have planted several of those over the years. You will see them pretty much everywhere in Southern California, and sometimes in more colors than the most common magenta. The project is looking much better, but I want to get farther along in the process before sharing again. Thanks so much for your input. I did laugh when Mel said she didn't like black, gosh who would have guessed that (wink). I didn't get rid of it altogether because I am liking the drama, but red is taking a much greater role.

Hope you enjoy your visit to my little corner of the world.