Tuesday, November 28, 2006

An Early Christmas Present

Look what the mail brought! I ordered these books for myself from Amazon, kind of an early Christmas present. The Emily Mason book was something of a surprise since I ordered it so many months ago that I forgot about it.
Both of these books are a delight, and I can't wait until I have time to experiment with some of the techniques in the second one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Happy Monday!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.
Believe it or not, some people didn't make it into the picture and neither did all of the food. Everyone got leftovers to take home and Jerry spent Friday making delicious soup.

After the feast day we had shopping day, followed by decorate for Christmas day, followed by put the house back together and rest day.

It has been a happy, busy weekend, and now it's time to go back to work.
Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving Prayer
Samuel F. Pugh

O God, when I have food,help me to remember the hungry
When I have work,help me to remember the jobless
When I have a home,help me to remember those who have no home at all
When I am without pain,help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,help me to destroy my complacency
Bestir my compassion,and be concerned enough to help
By word and deed,those who cry out for what we take for granted.

Today is my favorite day of the year. We will have about 25 guests, mostly family and a couple of my son's friends we are adopting for the day. I have had great fun setting up tables and decorating in the harvest theme. The hardest work is mostly done, today will just be food preparation and enjoying the company. Everyone who comes will be bringing something, so we will have more than enough for the Thanksgiving feast (and snacks later). After the meal, we usually end up having several groups doing different things. The restless will be outside throwing or kicking a ball around. Some will be watching football, playing video games or cards. Most of the women will be catching up on the latest family news and planning the big shopping day tomorrow.

I am blessed to have a home, family and friends, and plenty to enjoy and share. Every day is Thanksgivng if you give thanks every day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Lazy Saturday morning

It's a beautiful day today, blue skied and sunny already. I love "fall" here in So Cal, the weather is not too hot during the day and it's downright cool at night. A couple of mulberry trees in the yard are turning yellow and the little liquid ambers are putting on their best show. Some of the orange trees have fruit that is changing color but won't be ready to eat until March. I have been relaxing outside, enjoying my coffee and reading. I have too many chores to name facing me, but at the moment I am ignoring that little nagging voice. Jerry also has a good book and he is doing the same.
I was going to put up some pictures from my last group gathering, but Blogger isn't letting me right now. Maybe later. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WIP Wednesday

The working title for this piece is "November". So catchy and original, eh? It's just a little larger than a journal quilt and I used my usual combo of commercial, hand-dyed and thrift store fabric. I haven't decided if I am going to finish it with threadwork, or if it is just a study. I have a possible series in my head using these abstract tree shapes, and may work at this a bit.

This second piece is a wallhanging to decorate for Christmas. I just loved some of the new Christmas fabrics and couldn't resist. (I didn't buy them from this website, but they have LOTS to look at, so enjoy.)

What I really have been spending most of my sewing time on are quilts for Christmas. Our quilt group draws names each year and each person makes a quilt for someone else. It sounds like a lot of work, but you do have a whole year to get it done and it makes the best quilter's Christmas party ever. I mean, as quilters we always give quilts, how great is it to get one? Last year my friend Carla, new to our group, burst into tears because it was the first ever quilt she received as a gift. She has probably made and given hundreds.

I just finished my exchange quilt top, a very traditional log cabin in the "barn raising" layout. I added a row of friendship stars at each end so the quilt would be longer. My quilter friend will like the subdued colors I used since they are her colors of choice. No orange in sight. I sent it to be quilted, so I will share pictures at a later time. While I love doing the quilting and threadwork on baby quilts or small art pieces , I am not too crazy about working on anything larger. So I help keep my longarm quilter friend in business :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Artist and decorating blues

This painting is "Orange Sunflowers/ Red Cellophanes by Janet Fish.
I thought some of you might enjoy seeing a slightly different kind of art than what I usually show here (representational vs abstract). Even though this depicts very recognizable and realistic objects, just look at the color, motion and play of light. For a "still" life, these are pretty animated, wouldn't you say?

Hard to believe it has been a week since my last post. I enjoyed a "sewing day" with my quilt group on Sunday afternoon and came away inspired, not to sew but to decorate. My friend Pam purchased a lovely small house with a "cottage" feel and she has refurbished and decorated it to perfection. Her home is so welcoming it feels instantly comfortable and comforting. She served us a wonderful soup with chicken, wild rice and squash, delicious and very "fall". We also had a terrific salad that included those carmelized pecans, and a pumpkin cobbler for dessert.
Back to weight watchers today, but it was worth it. On the decorating front, I looked at lots of internet sites and magazine pictures. Then I looked at my budget and ended up just buying a new tablecloth.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why Look at Art?

Jean Arnold's "Upward Descent". See more work here, and read the artist's statment.

I am a great believer in looking at art, feeling the effects, and thinking about it. Sometimes I have to separate those two processes (too much analysis can get in the way of the experience.) I try to absorb as much as I can. Best is going somewhere and seeing work in person, but second is looking at books and online images. I try to use my imagination.

These little "excursions" into color and texture enhance our creativity. For a while we may look at light and color and shape in a different way and then bring that energy to our work, whatever it is. Art benefits everyone. If you haven't seen them, check out the whimsical guitars that Jane Ann blogged about. Don't these make you smile? Public art is a wonderful thing, even if it's temporary. Whether you are an "art quilter" or not, take the time to look at art. Feed your spirit.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just a couple more...

Here, as promised, is a nice picture of Jane in her "mother of the groom" dress. I like the tailored look, and it was very elegant on her. She's standing with Lou (her husband, groom's father). If you can believe it, he is 72 and she is 61. I think they look very young for their ages.

The corsages are made of tiny orchids, which to tell the truth did not hold up very well. The bridal bouquet (sorry no picture) was stunning though.

Here is a shot showing Jean's pretty cover up shawl. The next one is of Jeff and Jean with Clyde (my FIL and Jeff's grandpa.) I blogged about his 91st birthday in July. Gotta love the tie.

Thanks to the people who had Blogger advice. I think I'll wait for a while and see if my little blue button for switching to Beta shows up. I'd rather keep the old blog and just update features instead of starting all over.

And, since I haven't shown any quilting for a while in this space, I will leave you with a picture of my friend Sheryl's warm and cozy flannel quilt. Very easy to make and perfect for this time of year.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I need Blog Advice

I have been having a few "blog" problems lately, and maybe some of you can help me. After reading Blogger "Help", I realized that I did NOT have a handy "switch your blog to Beta" button anywhere, so I just went to Google and signed up for an account. Now I have a password and a Google account with the option to set up a new blog. The old blog did not follow me there. So how do I set up a new blog and transfer the old archives? Is it even possible to do that?, or should I just drop kick the old blog and move on to Beta. If I do start a brand new blog, and I paste the ring codes into it, is that enough or do I need to reapply to join my rings? Help is appreciated. (Note: I know some of you have something other than Blogger that has worked well, but I want to keep a free service and am hoping to work it out.)

Oh, and FWIW I am having trouble posting any pictures from home. I don't know if it's Blogger (as it has been in the past) or if it is something related to recently updated virus protection software.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Let the pictures begin

Ok, Jane Ann, you asked for it. (Not that I really needed encouragement). Here are a few pictures. I wanted to show you the wedding gowns (yes that is plural). She actually had three of them. One traditional and two at the Chinese banquet (one red, one gold). I wish I had full length shots, but maybe someone else who was there will send me some. I think the red and gold symbolize luck, happiness, and prosperity. I found this all so interesting.

I probably should clarify that the groom and his brother are my nephews, which makes their wives my neice-in-laws? I have no idea. We are close with our extended family and have spent a lot of time together. My husband and I were married for seven years before we had any children of our own, and we used to "borrow" our neices and nephews to fill the gap. We had a lot of fun decorating our Christmas trees with homemade ornaments, baking cookies, going on outings, camping etc. The wedding couple are grown up professionals in their thirties now, but I guess they will always be "kids" to me.

The last picture shows Jeff and Jean with his uncle and his mom, Jane. You can't tell by the picture, but her dress had a beautiful swirly skirt, knee length. The flower design had an Asian feel with a subtle sparkle of silver that doesn't really show in the picture. I'll try to post other pictures that show the "mother of the groom" dress for the actual wedding. I thought Jane (Jeff's mom) looked really beautiful all weekend, although she must have been exhausted with everything that was going on.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jeff and Jean

We have been home for a few days now and are back at work. I have had a terrible time with Blogger not allowing me to post or upload pictures, and when I tried to switch to Beta it got worse. I still cannot access my blog in Beta. I hope I can get it all straightened out and post a WIP next Wednesday.

Here is the engagement picture of the happy couple, Jeff and Jean. The wedding was thoroughly documented, so I may bore you with a picture or two in the not too distant future. I love Portland, it is such a beautiful city and very art friendly. We stayed the the Hotel Lucia, a gorgeous and contemporary place filled with art. Gerrie said she would put the word in for beautiful fall weather and she didn't disappoint. The sky was mostly clear, the air was crisp, and the colors were beautiful. I so enjoyed getting a little taste of fall. I only wish I had been able to stay longer.

The church was beautiful and the bride was a knockout in her sleekly modern wedding gown. The satellite feed worked out more or less and Anne and Mike got to see the wedding on their computer. Anne was only able to stay awake for about five minutes, but she was happy about being able to be "with us".

We attended a rehearsal dinner and two receptions, one of which was a traditional Chinese banquet. We had many delicacies and special dishes I can't remember the names of just now, but it was a culinary adventure to say the least. I enjoyed meeting Jean's gracious family, and also spending time with some of my neices. Everything went so fast, it almost seems like it never even happened.