Monday, November 17, 2014

Winston- The Sunbather

The days are getting dark early now with the nights falling into the 20s.  The sunny days of summer are now being consumed with the foggy blanket that will cover the valley off and on for the next few months.  Warm jackets, lots of layers and morning fires are the only way to get your body moving and the older we get the more fuel it needs! This is true for Winston too. He loves nothing more than starting his day next  to the wall heater, soaking up the warmth before venturing outside. On those special days of crisp, sunny skies you will find him on the patio, sunbathing. Nothing feels better than that sunshine on your back on a cold day!

The Sunbather
8" x 8" Oil on Museum board

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The inspiration of Living Loose!

Many of you know that I have been been busy designing new patterns and fabric getting ready for Houston. I have actually been so busy doing the business of art that I lost the inspired painting and expressing part of art.

The me part of Art.

I am someone who is always is covered in either paint or threads, but creating for me is often pushed off to the side.

Last year I committed to an oil painting workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry. I love her work and wanted to learn oils. I feel like my fine art work is static and wanted to shake things up for myself!

I decided last year when I signed up, that this was just for me, no expectations, no pressure to perform, no deadlines. I didn't sign up with with friends, I wanted to show up alone, with myself.

The lights are casting shadows but here is my first painting.

It turned out to be a wonder adventure, exploring a new medium with strangers and my own inner voice.  It was also just fun to just be a part a group of creative people all learning something new.

Art is a forever journey of practice and application, we never arrive since we are in a constant state of learning.

I had three days of just laughing, listening, painting and fun! I love the things I painted, even being unsure of this new medium. It was interesting trying to get my head around painting almost the opposite way I paint watercolors. I found not having enough paint on my brush was my biggest problem. I was painting with what felt like toothpaste or thick lotion compared to water! I know this will be some time  for my mind to adjust, probably for the next few years or so! LOL

 I also love the people I met, everyone exploring the rich colors and textures. I am so excited to pursue this medium and a looser, more impressionistic approach in my painting. So far I find I am constantly saying "stop adding details!", "Stop futzing", and it feels okay!

dropping in color

 I was raised to think being loose was a bad thing! Here's to letting it all go and taking on a different, looser, mindset! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Some Down Time on our way home!

Well its been a crazy month, full of shows, and sewing and designing! I have barely had time to catch my breath but traveling to Houston forces us to slow down, enjoy the scenery and enjoy our beautiful country!
The quilt show was amazing, my reflections quilt in the middle and Lauretta Crites winning winter Squash! Had so much fun and met some amazing people this year!

I am always amazed at how diverse our country is both in people and in topography. We have passed beautiful rolling green hills, cotton fields for as far as the eye can see, rocky crags, and volcanic hills that look like ashalt has been dumped all over. The orange painted mountains surrounding the yellow trees turning for fall is breath taking.

 I also am passing so many National Parks that I never knew exsisted! Next year we want to stop at each and see what we are missing as we zoom by on our way to the Grand Canyon. A long awaited few days to enjoy the beauty right in our own back yard. I am enjoying being present in the moment as I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. More pictures soon.
Greetings from Chloe too!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quilt Show Mania- You can't go to just one!

I was at a retail quilt show last week and I taught two classes along with having a booth! Phew

It's a crazy process where you spend tons of time preparing and printing and sewing to show off your wears in hopes that someone buys in the midst of other vendors hoping the same thing.

 But, it's also a magical place where people with the same passion gather and share. Some come to show their accomplishments and others come to admire. Some come for tips and classes while others come for fabric and patterns. There seems to be something for everyone at these shows. It creates a magic, where the love for something creates an energy that lights up a whole hall in the convention center.

 For those few magical days the vendors live in close knit neighborhoods and we all greet each other and visit like I only imagine it was like in the old days. We share information and travel woes as well as travel tips and eating and hotel revues. Then there are the customers walking by, some stopping in to visit and chat and purchase.

It becomes a wild few days of making new connections, forging new friendships and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. I hope if your in Palm Springs October 2-4 you will stop by my booth #430 and chat awhile, spend some money, make some new friends and join in on all the fun!

I would love you to share the one thing you love most about attending these shows!! Share with us, please, leave your comment below!
Lauretta, Ann and I in San Diego

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tip #2. Eat your Biggest Frogs Early!

Tip #2 Eat your Biggest Frogs Early!

Do you recognize yourself when I say procrastinator? People ask me all the time how I get so much done in my life. Well by knowing that I am a procrastinator by nature I know I will find ways to avoid projects that I am not enjoying by creating distractions. Creative people are great with distractions! My mind is full of ideas so its easy for me to get derailed. I can be emails, Facebook, phone calls, FOOD- sometimes I just think I'm hungry and want to eat. Any excuse to eat!!

I now know that this is all the ways my mind is trying to NOT do the work, to avoid my frogs. So I have to "eat my frogs" early.

That means I take the thing on my list that I am avoiding the most and eat it first! If its is a big project I deal with it one bite at a time, chipping away, a little each day until I am finished. When it is done I feel so much better and the rest of my day goes so much smoother.

 Lets look at it this way. Picture the frogs on your "to do" list as big rocks and the other things on your list as smaller rocks and sand. Now picture the time in your day as a large jar. Your day will be filled with something! If you take the large frogs or rocks and put them in your jar, first, then all the other, little rocks and sand will fill in around those big things and you will finish or get a good jump on everything on your list. If you fill your jar with all the small things first like email, Facebook, tv, phone  calls etc., your jar fills up with those small rocks and you can not fit the large rocks or frogs into the jar, its already full of all those little, busy things.

SO eat your biggest frogs first then all the little things will fill up around them and your day be so much more productive.

So whether I am in the mood or not, I show up in my studio or at my art table to do the work, and often those first few things I tackle are my dreaded big frogs, but they taste so good when they are conquered, one bite at a time!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

You can't make me! What if I don't feel like it!?

Do you plan your projects based on how your feeling? If you are doing art as a hobby I guess that works okay but when it is your business it doesn't work like that. I find my feelings are too fickled.  I can remember when I was growing up my mom would say, "Ah its raining, I feel like sewing today. I have to be in the mood to sew and rainy days put me in that mood". So growing up in southern California we didn't sew much! LOL but on those few rainy days we sewed like mad women!

When you design and do art as a business whether its patterns or fabric, showing up to work based on a mood is a luxury we don't have.  I have to create daily, working on whatever is on my design board or list that day. I don't have the luxury of waiting for the mood to hit me, I have to always be in the mood! Does that make me moody? NO WAY!! I love it, its all about mindset. How you approach things and mentally prepare for things is the key. I have a few secrets on how I can turn a "I don't want to do that" moment into a productive day!  Do you want to hear more?? I will be sharing some more of my tips in upcoming posts so check back often.

Knowing that I am a procrastinator by nature I will find ways to avoid projects that I am not enjoying by creating distractions. I could be emails, Facebook, phone calls sometimes I just get hungry and want to eat. I now know that this is all the ways my mind is trying to NOT do the work. By understanding some of my mindsets and personality flaws I am better able to identify why I am always feeling so stressed. I can't tell you how many times I have come down to the wire and had to work all night so I could finish a project in time for a deadline. Do you do this too? Are you a procrastinator and avoid the things that you don't feel like doing?? When I think back to my school days I did the same thing, study for a test at the last minute, start the book the day before the book report was due…. ugg.

So anyway, back to creating whether I feel like it or not doesn't work in business, any business. How many times have you woke up and said I don't feel like going to work today, or I don't want to pay these bills. It doesn't work too well in life either. But you know once you go, once you do the task the day goes well! Right!? So tip #1. EAT YOUR FROGS EARLY. Take the thing (your frog) you are avoiding the most today and do it first!!! Don't put it off, don't get your email, don't look at Facebook. If its a big frog schedule an hour or so to start it then move to something else. Each day by taking a bite of this big frog it will soon disappear. Make lists so you can check things off, it will give you a sense of accomplishment to see all you get done this way!!

Well I am off to take another bite of my frogs this week, I am getting lots done, designing quilts and placemats and projects for some new shows. Its been a push as I really would like to paint, but no, its time to design and sew.

Today you will find me in my sewing studio, feasting on frogs and getting lots done and wishing it would RAIN.  What are you up too? I would love to see your projects too! Use the linky tool and share some picts of what your working on this week!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Crazy fun filled daze!

This Summer has been a blur of activities and it is coming to an end, the grandkids all started school and I am busy getting ready for the San Diego Quilt Show. My classes are next week, there is still time to sign up if you would like to take one of my two classes. 

I will also have my new Monster Mats kitted up in my booth along with my other patterns! Its should be a great show! The fall is always so exciting with the new shows and holidays right around the corner! It is also super busy time and I just love it! 

 I have been working on lots of fun things this summer, getting new items on my website and designing and painting too. I am loving my new patterns, here is a sneak peek at some of my latest projects.
My newest quilt features my new Fabric Line called "Wild Things", tons of fun. And then there is my Mug Rug Club which is doing well too! 

Last Month we learned about value and did a bit of an art quilt. 

My new quilt to be released soon.

So my summer was amazing, here is a little bit of some of the amazing things that I was able to do that I haven't had a chance to share with you! 

1. I went to see Cher in concert!! Yeah, another thing off of my bucket list, and as a bonus I got to see Cindy Lauper too! This concert was amazing!!! 

2. I went to Asheville, NC for an Uplevel conference for my business and met a bunch of amazing business women and men and I took the time to go and see the Biltmore Estate, wow, amazing!

3. I had lots of great days with the grandkids and family in our backyard.
Blake and Bryce

Campout out back in the tent with the girls

Enjoying the crazy weather in August
4. Taught some classes!

5. Took Jennifer to see Cesar Milan in Vegas, of course we took Chloe too!

Just a few things I wanted to share, life is good! So many things to be thankful for this summer. I hope your summer was full of fun too and that you are as excited about Fall as I am!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Small projects, don't you just love them!?

I just love small projects, whether its painting, sketching or sewing projects. They allow me to fit them into tight spaces. I don't always have the time to just devote hours upon hours to designing and creating large pieces so when I have the time to work on something smaller its is so satisfying  since I can see results so much more quickly. I am working on designing some new patterns for quilt market in October and they are mostly smaller projects. Great in-between projects and gifts for Christmas. I am busy designing projects for my Mug Rug Club too! Its so much fun being able to get some of my ideas out of my head and made up! I am going to be releasing my Monster Placemats and I am finishing up the pattern now. I also will be working on some new placemats for my "Wild Things" safari fabric line. I will have those kitted up for the San Diego Quilt show since I will have a booth there!

This is my Monster Truck Placemats. They are 16" rounds with my monster heads inside. This is a great additional project for your little monster quilt, use as placemats or hang them in their rooms as Monster fiber art. Easily transformed into round pillows also. This new pattern should be available on my website within a week for download! 

My newest Mug Rug for July. These adorable Owls are all excited to talk about design and how to make your existing appliqué patterns even better. In my Mug Rug Club we are learning something every month, techniques, finishes we will even be doing some artsy stuff. The patterns will be email to your inbox each month and you will enjoy making these small projects as gifts all throughout the year. We not only make Mug Rugs but we make other fun things with our pattern. Join the fun today on my website,

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!!

I am so thankful to have a weekend at home and where I can actually relax by the pool. We are having no parties, or barbecues. Instead we are just having a quiet time and its wonderful. Jenn and I spent the afternoon in the pool and I had earlier prepared a wonderful, easy dinner and some sun tea. So with the heat outside turned all the way up I decided to share a great summer recipe with you, its no cook, no meat and super good for you.

I bought a spiral cutter on Amazon, its super crazy and fun. It will turn your boring cucumbers and squash into edible yummy noodle looking curls. So thats how I begin, I spiral cut my noodles and squash as my base then I added thinly cut onions, fresh corn, bell pepper, and olives then to that I add black beans and red kidney beans. You can add what ever fresh veggies you have in the garden or in the fridge. Its a great, easy summer salad.

 If you aren't vegan you can even add some feta cheese if you like. Mix everything together in a large bowl and then I add some flavored balsamic vinegar and a little sesame flavored olive oil, you can top with fresh tomatoes too but I don't add them to the big bowl as they tend to go bad quicker than everything else. A healthy, no heat, meatless meal, you can add some fruit, fresh bread and make it a whole meal!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Crazy fun techniques for your next art quilt!!! Join Me!

I love to teach! I love to meet new quilters and make new friends. I don't often have the chance to teach with my crazy schedule and so when I do I love to make the most of it!!! I just so happen to have two local venues this year, I hope you can make one of them!

No ART experience needed for any of my classes! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 951-640-5005

I am teaching this year at the San Diego Quilt Show and at the Fallbrook Quilt Quild. 
The Fallbrook Quilt Guild has graciously opened up the still life class to nonmembers so if your close you can check with Ann Turley! 760-645-3267. I will be teaching my Stone-Age Art Quilts Still Life.
Workshop is July 12, 2014 
 Come and learn how to turn fabric into faux stone tiles with a variety of techniques. Email Ann Turley for more information at 

I will also have a booth in San Diego with all of my patterns.  I hope you will get a chance to come by my booth or take a class or two!!
Sept 3-6, 2014
Stone Age Art Quilts- Landscapes 
This beautiful quilt is done with acrylic inks and made to look like old tiles. No art experience is necessary, I will have all the templates and give you lots of guidance so you will feel confident to move along on your design!  

I will also be teaching 
This is done with colored pencils, and inktense pencils. I provide a prequilted block for you to fill in using my techniques. I will be teaching you how to blend, apply and even do some faux marble finishes. I will be choosing the block that the class does and I will be providing most all of the supplies. The finished blocks are washable and permanent.
Here is a sample of an Art Quilt I have shown that uses this method.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Color me Happy in Yellow with Sunflowers and more!

Being an artist you begin to notice all the little things. We notice the things that other people miss in the business of their daily lives.  It's so easy to forget that we have been given a special gift of awareness. A gift of seeing an abundance of colors when others see only gray. Have you noticed how as summer approaches the colors begin to shift from the pastels of spring to the bright yellows of summer.

The sun is directly over us and it lights up the garden in a different way. It's now becoming time for sunflowers and rudbeckia, for marigolds and peaches. They light up the yard like little beacons of sunlight and I love this time. 

When we take the time to sketch and paint we really become intimate with the thing we are painting, learning each curve, the colors, the turns and twists of the line that will reproduce it onto our paper or fabric with our own personal dynamic.

Take a moment to look around and to see something new today, something that is brightening up your day.  Take a moment to really take it in with the special artists appreciation.

This month my Mug Rug Club received a sunflower template for their pattern. I not only showed them how to do some reverse appliqué but I made a book bag with my little mug rug and sent them my first video insert! There are sunflowers everywhere!
Here's to filling your days with warm sunshine, sweet aromas and bright yellows! I hope you have a happy, sunshine sunflower day!

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