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.

 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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