Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hello... It's Me

Long time no blog - but I'm hoping to change that! And, yes, I'm borrowing from Adele's delicious new song for my post title. I feel kind of like a teenager again waiting for her new album on Friday.

Right away I will say that all is well. My blogging absence has to do with a lack of quilting, not a bad stretch of life. Or even a lack of creative interests for that matter. I just can't seem to get back into this beautiful room.

I've decided I'll try flipping my thinking that quilting has to precede blogging. Perhaps a return to blogging at least once a week will ease me past the threshold. I think a general tidy up including clearing my design wall

and blowing the dust off of my babies

will be a good start! Then it will be time to sit down and sew SOMETHING.

Miss Elsa thinks so too. She is most anxious to try to steal pins, bat blocks off the design wall and take nice naps on the corner of my table while I play.

I've really missed blogging. And I think I'm good to write about other creative things besides quilting - or even non creative things for that matter. It's kind of ironic because when I started blogging I had no idea it would become ALL about quilting because I was coming off a 5 year hiatus from quilting.
This is so me! I'm either all in or done. So bear with me while I try to learn the art of balance. See you next week...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Good Grief - June!

For all of the Peanuts lovers out there... Good Grief Charlie Brown it's JUNE! Even though I had  to put my annuals in the garage due to frost warnings over the weekend it truly is June 1st.
Elsa is happy for warmer temperatures again for her afternoon nap. Our son Micah is home from school and started his summer job today. His school year ended on a high note and, while he is happy to be home, I know he will be anxious to go back in late August. It is so nice to have him around and he seems to have accepted that straight A's at a quality school in a demanding program is NOT going to happen. I am loving his new relaxed mood and feel lighter as a result myself.
My quilting room is still eluding me and I'm not even going to bother setting goals for June. Tom and I will be spending our annual week in Vegas this month, there is lots of planting to get done and our daughter Megan arrives for a visit at month end. I have 3 Junk Journals to make for swaps this month - above you can see my paper dying experiments using Koolaid and Glimmer Mist sprays. I think I captured the soft vintage look I was going for. And, when those summer temperatures arrive to stay the lake will be calling my name.
My Fauxbonichi habit is still going strong too... I've expanded to 2 pages per day so that I can write more and follow along with some of the daily prompts in the Fauxbonichi Journalers Facebook group. I'm loving the color prompt days we have where we are given the photo for inspiration as shown above - it's like picking fabrics for a quilt but finishing it right NOW! My creative mo-jo hasn't gone dormant - it's just coming through in different ways. Maybe not setting any quilting goals will get me sewing... fingers crossed!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Monday

We are getting much needed rain the last few days but I do have a pretty picture of my lush Flowering Almond shrub to share that I took on Saturday morning. This is the 1st year that ALL of the shrub has bloomed... some years it has only bloomed on the lower branches and other years just at the top. I'm wondering if a healthy trimming last summer was the key to success?
I'm determined to blog a few days a week even when I'm not sewing which is pushing me out of my comfort zone. Which is OK really because that's how real life has been lately too. I'm finding that learning how to parent kids that are 1,000+ miles away is not natural for me. It's easy to blog about happy events but what about the rest of life? Our daughter and her fiance became unengaged/disengaged/not engaged (is there a word for this?) a few weeks ago. Our son has been having a rough semester at school with one class in particular and I have been trying to help in a way that isn't helpful to him.

Generally I'm not a person who spends a lot of time worrying because it just isn't healthy or productive for me. I like to keep my mind & my hands busy when I'm stressed... for some reason quilting isn't the cure right now. Instead it's paper play and writing that I'm turning to. I shared a few of my Junk Journals a few weeks ago HERE and in May I've started a fun project called #ListersGottaList hosted by TheResetGirl.
Basically each day there is a prompt and you run with it. Some days are light & frothy (like these) and other days we dig a little deeper... yesterday's prompt was My Strengths for example. Pictures are shared online and it's a lot of fun to see the creativity and insights shared. Elsa and I contemplate our world from here most mornings while I'm cutting, pasting and writing.

I've also resurrected my Fauxbonichi which I first posted about HERE. I got behind when I went out East to see the kids in late March/early April, tried to catch up, got discouraged and decided to make a fresh start in May. The Facebook group I belong to is simply amazing... so many talented and inspiring women who are very encouraging to newbies like me and share their art techniques generously.
We have daily prompts to use if we chose as well as theme days to learn techniques. Above you will see my Tuesday Tangle where I'm learning how to use Micron pens for Zentangle-like doodling. Under the card on the opposite page is some personal journaling about my sad mood that day. I even wrote the date wrong TWICE (it has since been collaged over).Some ladies paint and sketch... others do collage... some use a lot of stamps and others mostly write.
Each Thursday one of the members provides a quote and a technique to try. I have always loved quotes and pretty lettering so this page made my day! I still can't believe I made that quote look so good and it was such a fitting quote for me right now. Even beginner art like mine is good therapy.
And, for the real nitty-gritty-write-it-out-of-my-system-stuff I have a worry notebook inside my lovely eggplant fauxdori. I love to write and have used different techniques over the years... sometimes I get thoughts stuck in my head and simply writing them down helps to dislodge them.

So, no quilting but lots of real life today. I'm looking forward to having our son back under our roof for the summer in 10 days. And, I'm simply going to have to trust that our daughter is doing OK as she has told us. She will be home for a week over the 4th of July. But I'll continue to keep my hands and mind busy in the meantime.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Good Reads & a Bird

I missed linking up to The Bibliophile Files@sarah did it! last month so today I'm playing catch-up. I'm staying ahead of my 2015 Reading Challenge goal but I've had some real clunkers lately including 2 that I had to give up on. And a few that I probably should have but kept reading to see if they got better.
I do have three solid 4 star reads to recommend:
  • Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova - After falling in love with Still Alice Genova is a must read author for me and her fourth novel didn't disappoint. This book about a family dealing with Huntington's Disease kept me reading all afternoon yesterday.
  • True to Form by Elizabeth Berg - Berg is another favorite author of mine and I loved this 3rd take at one of my favorite Berg characters - Katie Nash from Durable Goods and Joy School.
  • Indiscretion by Charles Dubow - I really felt the characters in this book and couldn't put it down. It is rare to feel empathy for all sides of a love triangle but I did here. I will be checking out more of Dubow's books as I enjoyed his insightful yet concise writing style.
Each spring we have a Mama Robin who builds a nest near our front door. She and her mate start building above our spot lights and every night Tom dismantles their work because it's not a stable place (and we don't want birds pooping on our comings and goings!). Usually they move into the large shrub below as Plan B. Something is a bit off with her this year though and she is driving Miss Elsa crazy...
She keeps bumping at this window and hopping around on the roof over our covered entryway. Can you see all the bird poop along the edge? And the window is just splattered with I have no idea what. So Elsa hears all the racket and charges to the window to see what is going on.
And then to the adjacent window... back and forth. The Mama Robin is in the tree but I couldn't got a good pic. This started on Monday and poor Elsa is exhausted as her nap time is being constantly interrupted.
"Mama... what is HAPPENING???? Make it STOP!" So not only do I have a frantic bird but a crazed cat on my hands! I'm hoping Plan B is settled on today as I'm starting to worry about poor Mama Robin.

Friday, May 1, 2015

May Day

We have had glorious weather all week long and I just can't feel bad for not being in the mood to sew. One good thing about not finishing anything is that is makes the monthly wrap up post a moot point! Next...

I think I have come up with a plan for my Faded Memories 4 patches and so I am going to make finishing this project my May goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.
Isn't this journal cover gorgeous? I had one like it marked as a favorite for about a year from a seller on Etsy and I decided last month that I really wasn't going to get around to making one myself anytime soon. I placed a custom order and she mailed it 2 days later. Picking this beauty up several times a day makes me very happy... I just wonder why I waited so long!
I think the rest of my May goals will consist of getting caught up on RSC14 blocks and doing my green RSC15 blocks. I'm not sure how much sew time I will have if the weather stays this nice. Spring has been a long time coming to northern Minnesota. I have a few more Junk Journal swaps to work on this month as well. May always seems like a hopeful month to me with things turning green and plants reappearing. It's one of my favorite times of the year I think. I'm hopeful for at least one quilty finish in the next 31 days.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Junk Journals

I have 2 online swaps that I'm participating in this month at Junk Journal Junkies Facebook group so instead of sewing with fabric I've been sewing with paper the last week. And playing with scissors, glue, Mod Podge and lots of other fun stuff!

First up is my Mini Envelope Travel Journal. We were required to use a folded 6x9 manila envelope as our journal cover and have one signature (stitched in bundle of papers) for this swap. I'm waiting for some travel charms to arrive to decorate the ends of my binding waxed linen thread but the rest of the journal is done.
Birds eye view...
And a peek inside. I used a mix of scrapbook paper, regular paper and some items I cut using my Silhouette Cameo. We were required to create pockets and tuck spots to store extra items. I will be paired up with a partner at the end of the week... I will send her this journal and she will send me the one she has made.
The theme of the second swap was Junky/Scrap Journal. This journal had to be larger with 3 sewn signatures and we were to use pages from catalogs/magazines, junk mail, plain writing paper and off-cuts from other projects. It was challenging to think out of the box and really get junky!
For my cover I used a USPS small Priority Mail box turned inside out and collaged the exterior with tissue paper from a package, off cuts from my Cameo and scraps. I cut the title from a glossy mailer and used a pen to outline the letters. I dug into my vintage buttons to embellish the binding threads and make the paper clips.
The spine of this journal is just under 2" and it has over 100 pages (counting front & back) in it. I die cut my tags from pretty Kleenex boxes, packing material and glossy junk mail. I also used some tags from clothing as bases for collages. We were allowed to use only stamps and scraps for embellishments inside the journal.
This journal will also be mailed to a partner. It is so much fun to learn by doing and also by seeing techniques and items that our swap partner uses in her journal.

Now it's time to get busy in my Quilting Room and see if I can finish anything before May arrives Friday. Real life is weighing on my mind so I am once again seeking crafty therapy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WIP Wednesday: All New

My design wall has a new attitude on the current project side - my Faded Memories UFO 4 patches are fully in the "Hmmm" stage and I've got my purple HSTs ready to sew together into a strip for my RSC14 ROYGBIV Chevron quilt.
"Hmmm" because I have WAY more of these 4 patches than I was thinking... only half of them are on the wall. It's a good thing I have plenty of the coordinating yardage to play around with. I also have another charm pack of the woven fabrics available to use.
I'm thinking my table topper might turn into a lap quilt or maybe a table topper for me and some to share. Such a pretty wash of colors and shabby fabrics to admire... more "Hmmm".
Miss Elsa finds my indecision nap inducing. I love the light and dark split of this photo. Our sun is back but it is still windy and cold out. But, at least no snow flurries!
I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday@Freshly Pieced.