Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Poinsettia


It was LOVE at first sight when I saw the unique coloration of this poinsettia.

If came home with me and took the place of honor usually reserved for my weekly bouquet of alstromerias.


A close-up which shows the color even more accurately. The petals have glitter on them.

I’m hoping it last throughout the season.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Get Ready, Get Set, Dye!


I got my dye studio in the garage set up finally.

It’s not fancy, but it’s mine, all mine….unless I have a friend dyeing with me.

The dyes are arranged in color flow order so I can see what I have. All the auxiliaries are ready to use.

The counter is covered with a dye rag. There are containers to mix the dyes and also to dye in.

Now all I need to do is prepare some fabric for dyeing.

It’s not as simple as just throwing a piece of fabric in a pot of dye.

It involves washing it, possible ironing it and arranging it on poles or other ways.

Then comes the actual dyeing process which can take hours or days.

Hopefully in the end I will have beautiful fabric that is beautifully colored and ready to use.

I’ll share more when something happens!

Don’t hold your breath waiting as preparing the fabric can be one of the most time consuming parts of the process.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Autumn Socks

autumn socks

Another pair of socks finished! Yeah!!!!!

I love wearing my hand knit socks when the weather makes it necessary.

I fell in love with Emily Parson’s Sophie’s Toes sock yarn and went crazy buying it.

Then I also fell in love with Malibrigo sock yarn and stocked up on that.

I use size 0 bamboo needles after trying larger needles and different compositions.

I knit the first sock last spring and the second this past month.

At the rate I am going I will be lucky to finish using all of this by the time I am 100!

Usually I knit two at a time to keep tensions the same….a few rows on one, a few on the other.

I do not like to knit on the long circular needle which many people love.

I also have lots of partial balls of sock yarn left. Several people gave me suggestions to use it last winter.

I did knit over a dozen mini socks to put Christmas coins in but that hardly made a dent in the bag of leftovers.

Hopefully I’ll find a way to use more of it.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fireplace seating

This 16 second video is the son of my friends and he is showing his curiousity! Don't miss it!

Thanksgiving 2015–Part 2

If you have read my blog for a few years you know my usual hostess gift is some big heavy practical hot pads meant to be used and washed.
I always select a fabric that reflects the interests of the recipients.
Why did I choose sock moneys and bananas?
These were their Halloween costumes this year!
After dinner everyone headed out to the pool house to relax.
People are visiting and relaxing after the delicious meal.
I loved this selfie photo Ali took so I borrowed it to share with you. Some of the younger family members.
Here is Pam, Allison, Ted and Sean. Not the best picture because I was shooting into the light.
Andy was Ryder’s best friend. He had food and he was willing to share!
He kept us all entertained watching him . He never sat still! I could have done an entire blog post with the pictures and videos I took of him.
Big sister Laney decided she had to crawl on Dad and wake him up!
Lauren had this beautiful print embellished top on. She noticed that my shoes were perfect with it so she is wearing them here. They are the perfect touch for her outfit, but I wear them all the time! What you can’t see is her beautifully painted orange toenails!

I borrowed this picture from Ali too as she is a much better photographer than I am. Larry and Sally, my BFF.
I’ve tried to add one of my favorite short videos of Ryder and I can’t make it work.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015


Andy and Brenda hosted the family Thanksgiving at his new house.


Drew didn’t go hungry. This was his second helping of all the delicious food.


This was how Trevor prepared the turkey he smoked.

This is the smoked turkey ready to carve. It was AMAZING!


And this was Trevor after making two turkeys, carving them and having dinner!


Andy’s family….Drew, Ben and Sarah

There is more to share but you’ll have to wait until another day.

It’s time for me to watch a little football!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Twelve Days Of Thanksgiving….Day Eleven

I did a lot of research and development for all the classes I taught over the years.
I have always enjoyed pushing the boundaries and discovering something new or a better way to do something.
Sometimes I discovered something before one of the big names was doing it. I don’t feel they copied me. I think there is something called simultaneous discovery.
I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best. I have taken a lot of classes over the years from some of the biggest names in quilting and surface design.
I then chose to put my own signature on what I learned in those classes.
Colors Of My Life 1 – making something I learned my own
I am thankful I became a member of several quilt guilds in Wisconsin and Illinois who brought in the best presenters and teachers.
Other members inspired me and did fantastic work. Some of those guild friends have become national and international teachers and I keep in contact with many of them.
I started attending various seminars and classes in the 1980’s. Most of the early ones were on quilting.

See How My Garden Grows – Using Jinny Beyer’s tessellation technique and making it my own.
I attended many of Jinny Beyer’s seminars at Hilton Head Island and still am in close touch with friends I met and several members of her staff.
I also was a First Place winner in both of the contest RJR sponsored using her fabric.
After I gave up teaching  I concentrated on surface design seminars.
Shrine To A Polymer Clay Goddess – quilt with polymer clay embellishment
Spider Mum – using technique I learned in Sue Benner’s class
I also started attending classes at Katie Pasquini’s Alegre Retreat in Santa Fe. I took a polymer clay class from Pier Voulkos at the first one I attended. I am so thankful to have had such a great beginning class to give me a foundation to build on with my clay work. After that all the classes were some type of surface design. Other attendee’s would share information about instructors and I can say by taking their advice I learned from some people I had never even heard of who were wonderful teachers.  Of course I also made friends there who I still keep in contact with.
When the Alegre Retreat stopped I started taking classes at Nancy Crow’s barn in Ohio. The classes I took there were from Carol Soderlund and Jan Myers Newberry, the two very best dyeing instructors.  I have used what I learned from them and pushed the limits to make it my own.
Just a few fabrics I created in one of Jan’s classes. I make it a point to actually use fabrics I create in my work, rather than letting them sit on a shelf and taking them out and petting them once in a while.
I created this composition with the trimmings from the fabric of the personal color palette I created to trade with some of the other classmates who I met in Carol's classes. I met Pauline Davy and Kay Webb in the first class I took from Carol and we have kept in close touch.
Another exciting quilting trip was a reception Karey Bresenhan hosted. We were invited to visit her Franch to see the work of Virginia Spiegel and Liz Berg. They were spending a month there in a residency because of their work for Fiber Art For A Cause.

Karey, Vicky Magnum and Karen Stiehl Osborn relaxing under a tree.
I traveled to Austin and stayed with Frances Holiday Alford for for the first one and spent one day and night at the Franch.
For the second Frances, Karen Stiehl Osborn and myself were Karey’s special guests at the Franch for 3 days. I met some very special people on both of these trips. I’m going to drop a few names! Frances, Karen Stiehl Osborn, Sylvia Weir, Kathy York, Connie Conley Hudson, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Jenison, Jeanelle McCall, Misty Fuse Iris and too many others to mention. Karey is a very special person and hostess.

It was fun to stay in the bedrooms Karey created for her guests.
I am again at a cross roads in my life with my art and I am no longer attending classes. I am doing the work and discovering my own new and exciting ways of creating using color, dye, paint and fabric and assembling it into my own art.
I have always been one who never questioned if I could do something, I just did it and that has allowed me so many experiences and discoveries as I travel this road called my life and my art.
I would never be at the place I am now if it weren’t for my own research and development combined with all the classes and seminars I attended.
I am not one who sets out with goals and plans on what I hope to do with my life.
I am living my life serendipitously and for me it has been a true blessing that I am so thankful for.
I could never have imagined all the experiences and places my quilting career would take me.
The works I have chosen to share here are not necessarily the best I have done, they are just ones that best illustrate what I am saying.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Twelve Days Of Thanksgiving….Day Ten

I often refer to my Florida family or my kids in Florida.
This is a gathering for most of the family at my house last December.
It was to christen the new lanai furniture that Andy and Drew put together for me.
They both worked hard to get all the pieces put together and it was a LOT of work.
It was part of the Martha Stewart line and Andy’s favorite saying since then has been “And that’s a good thing!”
The family belongs to my BFF Sally seen here with her son Andy. Every time I get my camera out Andy and Drew’s phones would come out.
Two grandsons and one great granddaughter….who became my BFF that day. She was just 4 years old and enjoyed helping me. She would say “Is there anything else you would like me to do?”
Lauren, her son and her grandson. When I first met Lauren she was not much older than her grandson Ryder is here.
Missing from the gathering were oldest son Ted and some of the grandchildren.
I am so happy that they have “adopted” me and I get to spend time with them.
Who would have thought that when Sally and I first met in Ohio 50 some years ago we’d be living less than 15 miles from each other in Florida?
Something truly to be thankful for.