Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kim's Garland

One of the blogs that I follow is Art Quiltmaker. She actually set up my blog for me and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. When I saw "Kim's Garland" on her blog recently I realized that I am the proud owner of one of Kim's garlands! So I am sharing it with you. These are such happy pieces of art! I have mine hanging above my bed so both The Big Guy and I can enjoy it. I think these would be gorgeous on a Christmas tree or as decorations for holiday gifts. Art Quiltmaker mentioned that Kim sells them on ETSY. Check them out.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life is short - eat dessert first!

In March of 2008 my 84 y.o. mother and I went on a cruise on the Queen Mary II. It was my first cruise and what a way to start out. I am totally spoiled and only want to cruise for vacations from now on. I took pictures of a lot of the food as the presentation was so beautiful! The pic above is a mousse and tasted as wonderful as it looks!
A few minutes ago I checked out Art Quiltmakers blog and from there went to Lazy Quilter's blog. Her posting celebrated blog number 250 by having a contest. For one chance to win one needed to post a comment, which I did. For two chances to win one needed to mention the contest in their blog - so I am doing that, too. I think her blog is misnamed, however. She was talking about the five quilts she was in the midst of quilting! If that is a lazy quilter then I am not a quilter at all! The total output of my quilting this year is ten patches for the double wedding ring quilt I started in January of 2008! At this rate it will be done in ten years! So how do I motivate myself? All comments welcome

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is a small quilt, about 12"x18", which I completed in one day at an EBHQ class last year. I started out to make a quilt from the drawing posted on October 11, 2009, called Three O'clock Cat. As you can see, it ended up being just the flowers from the original drawing. This piece is three dimensional and was easy and a lot of fun to make. I did a rather sloppy job on the quilting and the binding in my hurry to complete it. In editing this post I realized that looking at the quilt via a photo would be a good idea. I notice that there is not much value change, especially in the stems of the sunflowers. But The Big Guy at home loved it and so I gave it to him. It only one of two quilts I have hanging in our home. The other one was made by my daughter and is the Coffee Goddess. It is framed so that it stays clean (I don't clean house anymore - it just gets dirty again) so I can't take a good picture of it. I didn't make it anyway so it probably doesn't belong on my blog! I haven't been doing any art, just a little bit of knitting and a whole lot of reading! Was recently laid (layed?) off my two day a week job and haven't managed to get used to being home and unstructured. I stay up til very late at night and wake up mid-day. Then read voraciously with just a little bit of cooking in between. The Big Guy does the dishes. We both either read or sit at the computer most of our time. I am also spending a lot of my time playing "Bookworm". I just moved from the classic game to the action game. It is more stimulating and I keep beating my record. I think I will soon have to get another game as I can see that I will get bored with this version, too.
Well, I certainly got off on a tangent!
Did you see the Big Game yesterday? What a lot of fun. We went to a family party and had a great time, especially since Cal won. Go Bears!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Journal Page - Fly me to the moon!


Some days isn't it just all too much and the urge to get away is overwhelming? I don't have many days like that but, wow, when they hit it is like a life earthquake! This journal entry was inspired by that very mood. Today I don't remember what precipitated this and I'm glad its over.
Other than the inspiration for that mood, I really like this drawing! I like the color and the composition and how it reminds me of home. I like the red-tailed hawk accompanying me to the moon.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Journal page - Ginger's stars


One of my students wanted to know how to draw a star. I drew a few on this page but couldn't leave it at that. So here are Ginger's stars - colored and written on. I made a point of using the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue, which gives the drawing some zing, I think.
It is always a good idea to use organized color when doing any kind of art, if you want it to look like art! I encourage my students to keep a color wheel with them as few people have an intuitive sense of color. I find myself using every color available in my box if I don't start out with a decision on the color system I want to use. When I'm quilting it can work, espcially with a scrappy quilt. But drawings and paintings become a real mess and hard to look at if the color isn't organized. One can use, for example, the three primaries and make it very interesting by using, in addition to the pure colors, shades (black added) and tints (white added) of the pure colors. The other thing to remember is to choose one color as your main color and the other(s) in smaller amounts. So now I can see you examining the drawing above to see if I practice what I preach! I better look at it again, too!
Happy drawing!
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Journal Page - Creative Prompt from Art Quiltmaker


The creative prompt from Art Quiltmaker today was 'core'. I immediately thought of an apple core, then the core of a nuclear power plant. Then I stopped thinking about it because those were so mundane and went on to do other things. So a little while ago the Venus Of Willendorf, the oldest known goddess figure, came to mind and the above drawing waddled out of my hand. And aren't we, as women, all the goddesses at our core? How else would we keep going, day after day?
So, for inspiration, I reccommend Art Quiltmaker's blog. And if I were more proficient at this I would put a link here. Oh, well...... :(
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pineapple Quilt


I started this quilt in a class at Black Cat Fabric, which, unfortunately is no longer in business, in 2007 and finished it in 2008. It was for my great niece to celebrate her wedding. When I asked her what colors she wanted she said just to make it bright colors! I am happy with how it turned out! My niece and her husband liked it too. That is always a plus. As with the hexagon flower garden quilt I made, this is another pattern I will probably never do again. Very high boredom factor because of the repetitiveness of color and pattern. Actually, I don't much like following a pattern (see the twisted scarf blog from yesterday to verify this small fact about me!) and am happier designing my own. So far in my quilting experience the ones I have enjoyed most are the story quilts. I take into consideration all aspects of the lives of the recipients, their job, hobbies, color likes and dislikes, where they live and have lived and their relationships. And then I design original blocks, put in a few pattern blocks, like the state patterns, and go through a fat little book I love by Maggi McCormick Gordon called "1000 Great Quilt Blocks" for patterns that fit with the story of the quilt. I've made at least five story quilts so far and liked doing all of them. Another top I made that was interesting for me was a sampler quilt made in a class at the College of Marin. That top is all put together and the back is made, I just need to baste it and quilt it. It has actually moved out of the shed and into the wardrobe closet where I keep current projects. So it is closer to being finished. There are only four quilts in line there!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Finally! Something current


This pattern is called "Twisted Knits" and came from a beautiful magazine called 'thr3fold'. The magazine came with a CD and I watched the video with the directions for knitting this unusual scarf. Well, I proceeded to knit away and when I was well into the second skein of yarn (the scarf takes two skeins) I decided to look at the written directions. It turns out that I had totally misinterpreted the video directions and in the process, developed a totally new pattern! I'm not unhappy with how it turned out (except the yarn is itchy), and I have to laugh at myself for not reading the directions in addition to watching the video before beginning the scarf! Since completing this one I have begun another, using the correct size needles (did I mention I used the wrong size needles too?) and meticulously following the directions. Amazing but true the correct directions are much easier!
In the meantime I read Debbie Macomber's novel "Summer on Blossom Street" which starts out with a cable stitch scarf pattern. I went shopping in my girlfriend's attic (she has at least four cartons of yarn up there and she shops in my shed for fabric) and found some lovely mauve mohair to use for this one. I even found a cable needle in my stuff in the shed! So I now have two scarves in progress. I do the twisted one if I am somewhere where I don't have to pay too much attention and the cable one when I am in a quiet place so that I can follow directions.
Oh - what about the focus I mentioned a couple of blogs back? Haven't found it yet. I think I will work on finishing a quilt tomorrow........
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Journal page


I just viewed Art Rat's blog and especially enjoyed her doodles. Really liked the pen and ink medium. I do wonder what size they are and what she plans, if anything, to do with them. I like the fact that she draws often and well while creating other art (quilts), too. Her drawings motivated me to draw more, too. Maybe I will be able to finish my journal/sketchbook by the end of November. I have been mostly sketching, not much journaling. Things have been pretty quiet, thankfully
The collage/drawing above is different from what I usually do. It was inspired by the change of seasons, the change to standard time which makes it dark earlier and a general malaise brought on by all of the above. Finding the leaves on the Newsweek cover helped, too.
The meeting today, which I expected to elicit some morose drawings was so sparsely attended that I couldn't draw unobtrusively - there were only about ten people in addition to the board, present. So no ominous drawing today!
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Subliminal scribbling


It always pays to let a drawing, or doodle in this case, rest for a while before deciding what to do with it. This one, like the previous doodle I blogged, is in my journal/sketchbook and was done in another meeting where we live/work. I was quite surprised when I looked back at it. It has an ominous feel to it in spite of the bright colors and loose drawing. As I often do when I don't want anyone to be able to read my journaling I've written on this page in a screwy manner and even I can't read it so don't know why the image became ominous. Subliminal scribbling, I guess. Perhaps comparing it to the minutes of the meeting would give me a clue! I have another meeting to go to tomorrow morning. It will be interesting to see what doodles come out of that meeting.
When I becan this journal/sketchbook, I dated it. It was begun in November of 2008. I would like to fill this one up by the end of November - am working on it but think hurrying makes it less than it could be. Or maybe hurrying will prevent me from putting too much thought into the doodles and something wonderful will come of them.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Funny Posts around the WEB

I saw some various funny-ness around the web. My daughter told me about creative problem solving. The scary thing is when I saw this one Part of me thought "This might work"! Luckily for me, I have a headset that works just fine so I don't have to find a big rubber band!
Anyone out there with similar funny-ness?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009



At least once a month I have to sit in on a board meeting at our place of work which is also where we live. The doodle above took six hours, the length of the meeting I was in. In looking at it after a few weeks I see that it has a landscape/cityscape quality to it and wonder what it would look like in cloth. I often draw quilts I plan to make as a tool to work out ideas but I have never transfered something intended to solely be a drawing into a quilt...hmmmmmmm?
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Another Story Quilt

This is another story quilt - one I made for my Phoenix nephew. I gave it to him at Christmas, 2007 which explains Santa in the background! Unfortunately, I don't have detail pictures of the individual patches. For this one I had family members draw pictures for many of the patches. The balance were original designs and traditional blocks. My nephew and I shopped for the fabric together. We are a great shopping team. Neither of us likes to shop so we went in, found several fabrics in about ten minutes and left. It was great! I wish I had been able to finish the quilt that quickly. I also wish I had taken a better picture of it and of its details.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Watercolor class


Yesterday I taught my watercolor class for the first time in a month. I have a rotating group of people who come and I've structured the class so each time the student goes home with a painting. Because I spend the whole class giving instructions and going from student to student I don't usually end up with a completed painting. One of my mantras to my students is "Always use the best materials you have for you never know when you will create a masterpiece!". The class yesterday was on shadows and reflections where we painted a sunrise over a lake with islands and the second piece was a chicadee. I have my students work on two pieces so that one can dry while working on the other. Everyone finished both pieces well before the class was over so I asked what else they wanted to do. One student wanted to know the proportions of the human face. I started to get out my pencils but she said she wanted me to demonstrate using only watercolor. My usual medium for protraits is pencil, in fact I think I have never done a watercolor portrait. But I aim to please so with ultramarine blue and starting with the eyes, I demonstrated painting a female face. Untrue to my mantra I used a piece of watercolor paper that I had made marks on before. And when I finished the painting I loved it. Except for the wavy brown line across the forehead and the light blue wash across the eyes! Always use the best materials you have available!
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