Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year (and Good-Bye to 2010)

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the coming year and where I hope to go with my art over the past few days- thankfully, away from work.  I can look back at 2010 and know that I did consistently work at my art, although the work isn't as cohesive or unified as I would like.  But I've done some pieces I'm happy with, and others that will just be added to the crap quota, and that's ok.

A lot of people on the Quiltart list are choosing a word for the year- one to inspire and perhaps provide direction.  I'm thinking my word will be FOCUS: on the creative process, on staying healthy, and choosing to concentrate on all the positives in life rather than dwell on the irritations we are have.  I want to take my time and do more thinking about my art rather than jumping in with the first or second idea that strikes me.  I suspect I will produce fewer works this year, but I'm hoping they will be better, and more representative of my voice.  You'll be hearing more about that, and sharing in my journey and work.

I have a lot to be grateful for this year.  I'm 22.9 pounds lighter than I was a year ago- I've rediscovered the fun of shopping for clothes.  I'm making a habit of exercising and eating healthy- although I will say it is a good thing dark chocolate in moderation is now considered healthy!  I have an absolutely adorable granddaughter far away, two grandchildren here, and loving family even if we are all spread across the country.  And if I don't say so myself, I look pretty good for someone who's only days away from turning 60.

I'm thankful for doors the world wide web has opened up to me.  I have friends I've never met in person, but we share common bonds.  I'm connected to the fiber arts world in ways that would not have been possible even ten years ago.

I wish you a blessed 2011, full of family, creativity, and whatever brings joy to your heart.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


because it's the kind of day where you don't want to be outside.  We haven't been hammered with 3 feet (yet!) like the folks on the east coast, but I still have no desire to venture outside except to shovel the back patio occasionally.  Our chihuahua objects strongly to going outside in the cold, and absolutely refuses to  walk in the snow- so the shoveling is for her.  At least then I can throw her outside without guilt!!

Here's our table at the moment--

The storm is supposed to stick around until Friday- glad I'm off work the rest of the week.  I started on my IT! piece yesterday, and I'll be down in the studio all afternoon.  I may even forego my workout today, that's how much I don't want to drive!

I'm thinking I am changing what I'm doing- I'm just not that happy with what I have so far.  So I'm off on another idea that involves playing with Google Earth, something I like to do anyway.  Dinner is already taken care of, I have a big pot of chili in my new enamelware Dutch oven.  The oven will help keep the house warm, and the smell is heavenly!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing You the Blessings of Christmas

Merry Christmas, may it be filled the joys of family and the love of the Savior!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Gonna be a White Christmas

Here's the view out my back patio, 6 am this morning.

Even with the warming temperatures predicted for the rest of the week, I'd bet we'll still have plenty of the white stuff- it continued to snow until mid-afternoon!

I'm counting the days until I can hide in my studio and forget about work!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quiet before the Storm

I'm not referring to the weather, although it does look gray, gloomy and menacing outside.  It is the hour before the family start arriving for our annual Christmas party.  The house is clean (smells of Pinesol, even), the salad that is my contribution is ready, and Christmas music is on the stereo.  It is my rather eclectic mix, to be sure- to DJ's chagrin.  I have everything from Transiberian Orchestra to medieval Christmas carols, and lots in between.  I can only take so much of the stuff you hear all day on the radio this time of year.

And I have been sewing- the stockings I started last year are done and hanging by the fireplace!

I am dressed, and admittedly feeling rather pleased with the new skinnier me- even found some jeans that fit great and show it off!  If I have to hit my sixth decade shortly, I can do it looking good.

I have also been doing some preliminary work on my last IT! piece.  I've done some playing in PSE with the filters, and done some sketching.  Still haven't decided which direction I'll go, but I'm not stressing- I'll have time off the week between Christmas and New Year's, and the reveal isn't until mid-January.  Plenty of time to think and ponder before jumping in with the fabric.

If there's one advantage to getting older, it's learning that the holidays aren't worth stressing out over.  I do the best I can with the time and budget I have, and just try to enjoy the season.  It sure beats the alternative!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December Dash

Yes, it's begun- and it's at least some of the reason I haven't posted much lately.  But so far, I've managed to keep my equilibrium and notd become hysterical over what I'm not getting done, since there is always some of that with our schedules.

I have sent two boxes off- and it's actually fiber related.  I finished Christmas stockings for both sons and their families/significant others, and shipped them Friday.   The box that went to Chicago also had a completed memory quilt made for my son's girlfriend.  They've seen the picture, and said they love them both.

The stockings are based on ones my mother and aunt made for our families when I was a kid.  They just glued the felt pieces on the stockings.  I'm guessing that glue no longer exists, because the one I found (specifically for felt, mind you) was clearly not going to hold the pieces on.  So I stitched around them too, and quite liked the effect it gave.  I also did some beading, another thing my mother did not do!

I realized I forgot to post our last photo for the Interpret This challenge- so here it is.

This will be a pleasure to work on in the midst of winter!  I love all the greens, and it has such a serence atmosphere about it.  I've decided I want to get back to trying to abstract, so I've been running ideas through my head.  The December pieces won't be posted until mid-January thankfully- so I have time to sketch, maybe even play with my watercolors to come up with a design.

And I'm thinking about what I want to accomplish with my art in 2011.  The Interpret This group will be ending, but I will be working with three other members during the year.  The way we are setting it up, we'll each be working from our own choice of inspiration, and are only committing to four pieces.  I'm glad I've kept up with the monthly pieces for a year, but I knew I couldn't do it again.  I want the time to be able to put more thought into my work, and with my schedule I need more than a month.  I also want time to finish some UFO's that have been taking up too much space in the studio for too long.

And, what would the holidays be without baking?  With me watching calories, I won't be doing a lot of traditional baking.  But I am trying some revised recipes that I can eat guilt free.  I just took a cheesecake out of the oven- it's intended for a work party tomorrow.  It uses nonfat yogurt and Splenda instead of cream cheese and sugar.  If it works, I'll post the recipe- it came out to less than 200 calories per serving!

Monday, December 06, 2010


is officially here at our household.  The tree is up, the decorations are on the fireplace and walls- I think I just have to dig out the Christmas music CD's.  Best of all, it was a gorgeous weekend- warm enough that I could be outside cleaning my car without a coat.  We'll see how long that lasts!!

I am starting to make plans for my fiber work next year.  Fewer pieces, more focused and cohesive.  I'm thinking I will start with one design strategy and stick with it through the year.  I'm hoping to sprinkle some UFO's and pieces requested by family in there too- that should help the brain cells recuperate!  And, I'm taking a weeklong dyeing workshop from Carol Soderlund in August.

Probably the best bit going on in my life right now is the weight loss- it continues, and I feel like I've made changes in my eating that I can stick with.  I'm down a pant size, and those aren't tight.  It feels really good, and it's nice to have clothes shopping be fun again!