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, www.desireesdesigns.com

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 
Hurry, IT'S JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY!
 
 Come and learn how to turn fabric into faux stone tiles with a variety of techniques. Email Ann Turley for more information at Ann@annturley.info 



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!



Saturday, June 07, 2014

A question for you!

What would feel like a miracle to you right now?
I can't wait to hear from you!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Getting ready, set, go!


I am getting ready to go to Atlanta for an UpLevel your business conference. I am finding that it is making me very anxious and I don't know why. Possibly it is the accountability to my art business or maybe just traveling and all that entails, I'm not sure.

It is a big step and sometimes I sometimes I feel like I have such little feet.

This is one of those push outside of your box moments, that's for sure. In all the rush to get out I am finding it hard to just do art and that is what this is all about, right. For me, art helps me to relax and focus, something I need right now. Do you have those times too? Those crazy times when you can't find the time to create or you feel dry and unmotivated.


 Try doing something different and smaller so you can finish it. I happened to be working in the yard, trying to get my vegetable garden planted when I saw the dusty miller brightening up a dark corner in the yard. This grey/ green plant is really a wonderful accent in a yard. I grabbed a pencil and sketchbook just to sketch the wonderful lacey leaves. This unfinished sketch gave me something to work on over a few days as I grabbed a moment to just breath. It's not a masterpiece, just a sketch, so it was fun. I later outlined it and then waited a day for the flowers to open so I could show them separately. They are really nondescript compared to the bright foliage but when looked at on their own they are wonderful. 

Taking a few moments to be creative, even when you have to break them up into smaller sessions, will help you stay creative and motivated for those bigger projects later. It can be challenging to be creative during busy or stressful times which can lead to creative dry spells. I find that remembering to take a few minutes, doing what we love, will keeps those creative juices flowing during droughts!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

The rules for being a mermaid

Did you know that there were rules for being a mermaid, I was given strict instructions about them from my granddaughters. The first rule is, when they get into the water they become that magical creature, a mermaid.

They are able to swim underwater with a beautiful imaginary fish tail.  They fight off predators and even cook dinner for each other. But what I love the most, as I listening to them play, is that they are totally absorbed in their world.   Its that imagination, that ability to envision themselves living their dream. I think that is what is so magical about being young, the freedom to just believe our dreams.  Not caring about what anyone thinks. Learning to love each moment of the journey, its huge.

So today, I am sitting in the sun, poolside, talking to some Mermaids…..

Sharing this priceless moment with them.




video video

 I hope you are living your dreams with that unique spark that makes you, you.

A dreamer that learned early on she just needed to sew herself a tail!






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Its been a Mission Inn Month

On Easter we were excited to have reserved seats for the Easter brunch at the Mission Inn Restaurant. We sat outside in the courtyard patio area which is wonderful, fountains and tile all surrounded by the beautiful old walls of the Inn. I had brought my sketch book to just capture the day as I slowly ate my way through tons of amazing food!





Then on Friday, before Mothers Day, Melissa took me to lunch to celebrate Mothers day with her since she had to work on Sunday. It was a glorious day, the weather was about 75 degrees with a slight breeze as we had a delicious lunch at Los Campanas Mexican Restaurant at the Mission Inn !   She brought Bryce and we had the most wonderful time, visiting, enjoying each others company and playing with the baby!

 
  And then a dear friend is moving and wanted to go to lunch yesterday so, guess where we ended up, yep, you got it, Las Campanas again! Okay, Uncle! I mean my pants are getting tight and I think I need to stop having lunch and swing by the gym instead! Sketching is just not that strenuous of a workout to offset all the chips and salsa! Cha ching


I think maybe sketching the food instead of eating it so fast might work also!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Mug Rug Club- we are just starting this fun creative club, won't you join us!?


I started a new club, The Mug Rug Club. The idea behind it is to use this small format to create mug rugs but more than that, to allow everyone a small platform from which to play and experiment. We are  going to be creating amazing, fun, beautiful mug rugs but we are going to be learning new techniques and ways to finish. I hope you will join us as we have fun creating each month. I am designing these unique custom patterns that aren't available anywhere else, just here. Each month you will receive a custom pattern right into your inbox. 

You can use these template for other projects as well but each month we will be creating a unique mug rug as gifts, wall hangings, bags and blocks for other quilts etc. Don't be fooled by the name this is a great way to have fun sewing without the big expense or commitment of a quilts? Won't you join us? The button is on the right side of my blog and on my website or you can join from here! Once the pattern is sent it's gone so don't miss out!







Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reflections of our Fathers

I just found out yesterday that my piece "Reflections of our Fathers" was accepted into the Dinner @ Eight Exhibit called Reflections. I am so honored to be selected this year to have my work displayed as part of a collaborative group of talented artists, interpreting the theme in a unique and personal way with fiber and with different techniques.  I love to see all the different perspectives from the different artists. I love to see their individual approaches to the same theme and I love to hear the stories behind the pieces most of all! This exhibit will start in Houston in October at Quilt Market and move on from there to be exhibited in other venues. 

I thought I would share my piece with you now that we are free to show our artwork. My piece is a tribute to the men in my life that have gone off to war to protect my freedom while putting themselves in harms way. The selfless sacrifice that all these men and women make is very dear to my heart. The men in my life, my dad, my father in law, my son in law and a few of my friends all went off to war. My father in law actually was only 17 when he enlisted and was definitely shaped by the Marine Corps. He passed away in 2012 at 91 but he and left behind pictures and a diary which I poured over. I wanted to do a quilt that honored him and all these men in my life, and one that would represent all the young men and women that have left whole and often return far from that.  It still brings tears to my eyes to think that these young people are fighting for all of us, many of them not much more than boys.  My father in laws diary allowed me a glimpse into the mind of a young man on the battle field, not knowing if today was going to be his last day.

The process of creation, from inception to completion:  I had some photos that I had taken at a Veterans day celebration at a local airport. The men were dressed in vintage uniforms and there were vintage planes flying in and out. I was there painting and photographing the scene with a local art group. It was raining and I asked the men to stand in front of this puddle as I photographed them. There reflections were varied due to the variations of the water in the puddle, some were broken, some were whole but to me it reflected the way they might have returned to the states after war. I wanted to use this photo for years but was waiting for the right way to use it to tell the story I wanted to tell. This format of long and skinny allowed me to use a few of the soldiers in the photo and incorporate the reflections.  I went into Photoshop and found a flag on the internet (copyright free) and made it look old with filters, then I placed it behind the men. I then scanned in the text from my father in laws diary. I laid the text over the flag and behind the soldiers. I then inverted it so that the reflection shows the flag and a different page of the diary. I appliquéd all of the soldiers and their reflections to make them stand out off of the background. I then added details with paint and pencils. I had a old piece of linen that was yellowed with age. This fabric would have been thrown out by most quilters yet it had the character I was looking for. I took it and added the borders so that it would look like an old, aged photograph. I then added photo-holders made out of felt, the ones from those photo albums from yesteryear. That addition helped bring the whole look to life.



For me, this quilt isn't about the war, it isn't about if you believe in war or not. Its about the men in my family that were brave enough to face the unknown, to venture into hell as boys and returned as men. Leaving their families and homes behind, to be dropped into another country so that I have the freedom to live my life in the pursuit of happiness. Returning home many were broken, injured and struggled to regain all that they left behind. This quilt honors them and my father in law, that left behind his hand written journal so that we could retell his story.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Its so exciting to hear I am permanent!!!

I found out today, via a Newsletter, that my little quilt that I made for SAQA's 25th Anniversary was accepted into the National Quilt Museum in their permanent collection.


So I am thrilled to announce that my little quilt was accepted into The Quilt Museums Permanent collection! This was in the SAQA Newsletter today.

"Congratulations to the following artists whose trunk show pieces have been chosen to become part of the permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum  in Paducah, Kentucky.  Jurors for the selections were Trudi Van Dyke and B.J. Adams."

And the list of names of which I am listed!

It would have been nice to send us a private email but oh well, I am excited just the same. Here is the little quilt. I also wonder what all it means to be accepted into the Permanent collection, are we listed somewhere, are the quilts always available for viewing etc. I guess I am going to ask so I can find out!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mothers Day!

I have been touched by so many amazing women in the last few years. Women who continue to rise above the hardest of situations to be there for their children and grandchildren. Women who are living each day in total sacrifice to themselves as they do what they need to do for their babies of all ages! My deep,heartfelt recognition and appreciation to you! You know who you are! You are the glue that holds it together, praying for you today!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Magazine, giveaway for Mothers Day!!!

I submitted a block months ago and although I was excited at the beginning, I forgot about it. It takes so long to get to the magazine release date from the time you submit. I also received an email from them saying that they would let me know if it was excepted and going to be published. They were planning this blog hop thing before the magazine came out and that they would notify all the artists that were excepted so they could be a part of it. And so I waited......
My block " The Queen" cuz every cat thinks she is.

Wow, after I had received an email saying they received it and liked it I really thought it was going to be published. I hope that doesn't sound snotty but seriously I thought it was in. But, I kept waiting for the official word.......

Then all this time passed and not a word, a letter or an email. Really, wow, how embarrassing! My evil inner critic started up, wow, you couldn't even get one block excepted. So I decided I wouldn't submit anymore since I had by now convinced myself they didn't like my style and nothing I did would be good enough anyway. Blah, blah, boy I had a field day with that one. So I swallowed my pride and chalked it up to a learning experience and was consoling myself by thinking of developing the block for resale ( just to show them).

Months went by....... (can you feel the time going by)

Then one day a few weeks ago I got a small box, like one you would get if you ordered a book from Amazon. Randy was sure it was something I ordered and as I was trying to convince him I hadn't ordered anything he began to open the box. Inside was a stack of magazines! I thought, wow, why would they send me a stack of magazines. I first thought it was like a conciliation prize for entering and being rejected! Uggg, another reminder! But then I said, Hey, you don't think they used my block do you??? I couldn't go through those pages fast enough, and there it was!!! On Page 43, block 836 sat "The Queen"! The queen in all her glory! I had made it!! wow, I was so excited again, the dark cloud was lifted and Eyore left the building!
If you tip your head and squint your eyes you can see my name on the cover, 5th down!! Right under the heading, from today's top designers!! Geez, I have goosebumps!
Funny how this little block, that I gave away was causing me so much joy, grief, joy! So now I started to think about some of the other things I had heard about being excepted. You are in the elite club and get a collectors mug with all the blocks of that volume etc. But there was no cup, no announcement. Just magazines, but I was still thrilled just the same!


A week later, another little box, trying to convince Randy I hadn't ordered anything. Could it be!? Was it?? The MUG!!! I opened up the box to find it, the mug and a giant button!!!! I guess I am in the club, yeah!!!!

I know its last minute but I want to share! So in celebration of my big news and my renewed enthusiasm and Mothers Day, I thought I would share a few of my magazines with you. Leave me a comment here and I will draw a few names and send a few of you the magazines! I will give you through the May 14th to leave your comments, then I will draw a use the random selector and pick a few of you to receive the magazine!

I guess I'm in! The badge is a bit big to wear but I have been considering it!

I suddenly have the urge to go design a new block, talk to you later!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The fun of new shoes!


My granddaughters keep showing up in crazy shoes for five year olds. When I ask my daughter about it she has a million reasons that they have the shoes they do. I guess I must be getting old because to me they just need some good old fashion play shoes. No heels, straps, jewels etc. The girls are both fashion divas and insist the tennis shoes are only for boys! Finally, the other day Rachel showed up in some cute tennis shoes, girly ones, but tennis shoes. She was so excited about them, there is just something so fun about new shoes, even tennis shoes. Seems that they don't hurt her feet like those plastic Frozen shoes do from the Disney store!




Friday, May 02, 2014

Basking in the color


 Sometimes I find myself completely absorbed by the beauty around me.


 
 I like to feel it all, the warmth of the sun hitting my shoulders, the coolness of the grass on the bottoms of my feet the sound of the birds singing to each other. 





Those days when I feel as though I am a part of the beauty and not just an observer.








 It is taking time to be quiet and listen to the subtle way that the stillness of winter gives way to the explosive color of spring.




Everywhere I look I am inspired to capture a small piece of each day.

Thank you Marta Gonzales Photography for the wonderful pictures of my yard!
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