Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sneaking up on sewing

This from my new pen and sketchpad. Danny Gregory would probably be appalled. I always seem to be warming up and never pitching. Now I am going to ice on my arm, wrist and hand - aching not from drawing or sewing but a day romping around with an adding machine and several excel spreadsheets. Meanwhile this still from the trailer for "Casanova" has me thinking about a quilt with large creatures menacing a city "War of the Worlds" style. That flick had me jumping over the back of the couch. Talk about a cheap date.

Monday, December 26, 2005


I finally got to see this tonight. Now I know why people were mildly freaked when I took that silly quiz to determine which character in the movie you were and I came up Summer. Thanks for not spoiling it for me. Nothing like having your heart wrenched around for an hour and change. All and all, I liked it but saddened that any sequel or TV show will bear the violence and changes wrought in this movie.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas...

There's a stuffed turkey almost done, folks are sleeping, lounging about, playing with the booty. I keep going to the mirror to admire the moonlight Jim bought me, just like in the song. He really knows how to make me smile. I want to make the time to curl up with "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory . The introduction lifted my heart, made me laugh and cry. For the moment though, I am compelled to keep sewing on this piece. I keep stitching things and then picking all the stitches out just like I used to do with beads. Does this mean it's time to stop?? It needs something more, some focus.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

the O-Bags

I don't know why I didn't post these this sooner. I was told that these steps were published in a magazine somewhere so I have to figure that it's ok to share my version. If anyone wants to get into a copyright brawl, you send your lawyer to meet my lawyer out in the parking lot and we'll let them kick each other's asses while we make stuff. Start with any size square sandwich of two fabrics that get along nicely and your choice of batt or interfacing. You know the drill - right sides together, leave a small opening in the middle of one seam so you can drag it inside out...poke around in the corners gently with a fat old crochet hook or something equally benign...I like crayons, they'll break before they hurt the fabric. Then iron it flat. Fold, stitch and if you must, embellish. I have been told by one of my sons friends that if I tarted one of these up with black lace and ribbon the Gothic Lolitas would be fighting over them. Is this something I aspire to?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Quiet Saturday Night

We had an invite to a posh do in town but Jim's been coming down with a rotten cold for about a WEEK now. He's one of those guys who thinks he's invincible. He came home from work early this afternoon and curled up on the couch. Immediately, Nurse Karma jumped up to do her vigil. This cat is one of the most haughty, arrogant females on the planet. I am sure it pains HRH daily to have to suffer living with these commoners. She rarely has anything nice to say to anyone beyond giving orders and almost never permits petting. There is once huge exception in her behavior. If someone in the house is ill, even just lying down with a headache, Karma approaches the sickabee tentatively and then, with a stern look at the patient as if to say "Tut, tut, my deah. All will be well soon" she climbs aboard and just roosts on you purring, hours if you don't stir. It's such a contrast to the way she normally acts, aloof and skittish. Jim was mildly alarmed. "Stop looking at me like that." I actually think she's sitting there thinking this last ditch attempt at cuddly civility will get her into someone's will. Or else she is planning to eat your eyes once they flutter down for the last time. I like cats. They don't really care about us beyond what we have to offer. So the house is quiet, I am alone and have had a good weep over the last half of "You've Got Mail" and finally finished my buddy's Christmas gift. You better not read this JR! I don't know how long it is but I'm 5'8" (well I used to be) and it hangs down mid-calf on both sides and it's a foot wide. Jinx helped. Now I am going to listen to Vin on WFUV and whoop someone's butt at Literati.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Mad Dash

I just finished putting together a lap quilt for my Dad from a top that I finished back in the spring. Almost a traditional piece for me but that will suit him just fine. He is 81 now, I think. There is some controversy over exactly how old he is since he white lied a few years in order to enlist in the Navy. How old do you think he looks in this the little guy on the left. He had a major surgery just before Thanksgiving and has been slow bouncing back so I think a warmer will be welcome. It goes in the Big Box tomorrow with all the other presents bound for New York and then I have to turn my attention to my immediate family. We are inclined to buy one another things like all weather tires and microwaves. I have asked for garage doors this year and fully expect to get them. And for a few more minutes at the machine, the last post card for 2005.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Party booty

Nothing like learning a neat new trick! And just what my creative process needed- Another way to waste time, although these do make pretty nice gifts. Friday night I went with my husband to his office Christmas party which was held at a very nice local restaurant. It was the first time meeting all of these people so it was a little awkward at first. Then I noticed that the woman sitting two seats to my right was doing something foldy with her napkin while we waited for our food. Of course I had to ask and she explained that a customer had come into the FABRIC STORE she manages and showed her this little origami purse she had made from a pattern she found in a magazine.Starting with a simple square folded three times you wind up with a neat little bag that has four seperate compartments. I snatched a tiny sheet of paper from my notebook and asked her to show me again. It was the simplest little trick since those paper fortune tellers we made in school. The next day I went to H-A's for some snaps. ONLY some snaps. I came away with four bundles of satin brocade, yards of twisted gold and black cord, metallic threads (woo-woo 50% off!), fancy frogs and a ceramic dog dish so my folks will stop feeding Debo off the people plates. Here's what I made:

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Quilters Prayer


_________ Market Scene_____________...
Quiet, dark house.
A distant dryer rumbles.
Everyone home and sleeping.
Coiled cats mutter over
missed sunning opportunities, paws over their eyes.
In the market today I stood in a shaft of sunlight
glad it was coming over my shoulder,
the better to read the promises and lies
on the bottles of vitamins. After the Cs, Ds and Es,
I closed my eyes and leaned back into the warmth
resigned to indecision.
Leaning out the window of his glass prison,
the elderly pharmacist said "Bella, Signora, bella".
From some other me,I knew to smile and say "Grazie"
then turn and get on with the day, a winter bouquet added to my list.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

One more

You won't hate me for this either. Does anyone know who that is singing and breaking my heart?

Take a Break

While all of you are working away like a flotilla of beavers at a balsa wood harvest festival, I have been watching movie trailers! Don't tell me you are not an Antonio Banderas fan - I refuse to believe it. If these colors don't inspire art making something is wrong with me. And finally, some inspiration for those of us who are feeling our age.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Last Minute Holiday Shopping

In case anyone is interested in some lovely hand dyed silk/rayon velvet scarves, I've done an inventory and posted them HERE while there's still time to ship them.

My Hero & Heartbreak

Never mind that other silly face. This face captured me stone cold in the market the other day and I got such an immediate pang of loss and sadness that my eyes filled with tears and the checkout lady thought something was wrong. I showed her the cover as if that were enough explanation but I don't think she was old enough to get it. I think I will go and rent "A Hard Days Night". It's been a long, long time. John was my hero, my idol and ideal. We would both never grow up.

self portrait Tuesday

Since I'm not getting anything creative done except holiday gifts, here I am in all my finery - the infamous Bog Coat, which has no buttons and even if it did, I couldn't button it, the damn thing shrank somehow, and my hat, because I forgot it's in the mid-20's out and washed my hair and don't have time to dry it. All my wet hair is crammed up in there. Later when it drys and swells up like wet wool will, I will look like a Rastafarian toting serious dreadlocks. I'm off to the mines...

Friday, December 02, 2005

We Got Big Balls

Yes folks, that's a full sized house cat creeping about in the decorations that were supposed to have been hung (today) from the trees outside where the ghosts used to be. My decorating team was called out of town (you know I am kidding here) so instead, I disguised myself as a productive person and went into the studio. It's such a mess that the only thing I could do was grab flibberty gibbets from my little black bag and crouch over the sewing machine trying to block out the chaos all around me. This postcard thing is seriously infectious. Here is the fruit of a short afternoon: five four three two one

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More Giving Thanks

What no pictures? Nope, just me checking in and giving thanks. Just got back from retrieving my son Jake and his car from the scene of a thankfully minor traffic accident. His first and no one was hurt but his lovingly hand built Honda took a pretty bad hit. Repeat out loud "NO ONE WAS HURT". I also went back to work part time today. It's a small office with small office routines, good company and flexible hours. If I have to earn and income of some kind, it beats all hell out working for nothing at JoAnn's or someplace equally heinous. And of course, now that I have to meet someone else's schedule, I am beginning to feel a twinge of creativity. At least enough to go in and start looking at all the treasures I brought back with me from New York. What in the world does one do with real, good quality wool? At least I think it's wool. I'll barbeque some tomorrow to be sure.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Crack

My husband just called with the good news that he had tracked down a store that carries Bell's Seasoning, without which it just ain't Thanksgiving. I should have done this weeks ago. Once again, Jimmy saves the day. He bought five boxes and I bet I could stand out on the corner of Gloster & Highway 29 and sell it for 10 bucks a box to the rest of the Yankee slackers living in this neck of the woods but in my pity over their weeping gratitude I would give it away.

Home and a new Blog...

[[[Well, if I do things right this time, you won't really notice much difference. RSS works the way it should and archiving is on so folks won't have to put up with every single post I ever wrote loading into their cache at dial-up speeds. When I get around to it, I will link old entries under an Ancient History icon. ]]] These are a couple of small things I did while I was there just to keep my hands from getting stupid from dishwashing. I got home from New York around midnight Monday night. Sixteen hours is good driving time especially if you consider it was pitch dark and raining from 5pm on. Being on the road with mostly 18 wheelers in the rain is like driving in a car wash at 80 mph. I have a new furrow between my eyes that threatens to become permanent and the "white line fever" stare is still in my eyes. I was saved in the last 250 miles by a book on CD, "More Than You Know" by Beth Gutcheon if you don't count the weeping at the wheel. I must be ill, I just washed and waxed the kitchen floor. Actually, I am overcome with disgust at my neglected nest. Comes from watching too many hours of Martha Stewart with my mother. Mom and Dad are doing good. Dad is planning on busting out of the nursing home tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. I spent a good bit of my visit marveling at my twin nephews, Reno & Ryder, 19 months of fun. Clever little monkeys they are. My brother sheps naches at every turn. Rob is my baby brother, seven years my junior. Becoming a father for the first time at the age of 48 has changed him in so many positive ways it's just amazing. I can't begin to expound on all that transpired while I was away but can't miss mentioning my very restrained visit to Mary Jo's in Gastonia, meeting Jane Davila at the wonderful little shop, The Country Quilter, in Somers, NY and attending a meeting of the Northern Star Quilters Guild where I met up with Melanie Testa for the first time. It's just amazing how, after spending time reading a person's blog and looking at their work online, actually meeting someone in person for the first time can feel like old friends just getting together for a yak. Jeri Riggs and Elizabeth Poole were there as well, and there were many more names on the sign-in sheet that I recognized but imagine a guild meeting with 250 members.