Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I enlarged the drawing for my homework quilt and sent it off last night. At first I was a little dismayed that the individual pieces seemed so large but maybe I've gotten used to that. I decided to make the cross the focal point and made it a little bigger.
Interesting from a Christian story perspective that there seems to be a dove with a leaf in the upper right and a whale tail right underneath it. Cross, dove, and whale were totally unplanned in the logical part of my brain. The double lines are those that seemed to me to float upward but I don't know why some seemed to and some didn't.
I hope the teacher likes this because I'm getting attached to it. I can't picture what kinds of fabrics or what colors I'd use, but the teacher says not to think about that, or the construction techniques, at this point.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
And more purple -
I need to hurry if I want to get any wear out of this scarf this winter. I got the luscious yarn at Knit On! in Newport in December. TOTALLY unlike me, I decided to go in and pick out any yarn I loved without looking at or asking about the price. I knew it could be price-y but decided that it was only one skein, how much could that be. Turned out that it was $30. Glad I didn't know ahead of time or I might have talked myself out of it.
I'm sure that people who knit all the time know all about this, but I was fascinated to watch the store person take the clump of yarn and wind it to make a pull skein. One of these days I'm going to take a knitting lesson or two. Scarves is about all I can do. I'm picturing granola-kid hats for the grandkids.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
A few days ago there was a post with a little gentle whining that I didn't feel especially creative. As a follow-up to that, I've added a new resolution to do something from one magazine or the other every month. It doesn't have to be a completed project, just enough to try something new.
For January, I decided on this little pocket journal from the latest Cloth Paper Scissors. I'm really drawn to the mixed media aspect of that magazine but almost always end up stitching on fabric.
The little journal is made from a file folder with various papers added and stitched. There are four little pockets inside for tucking notes or pictures or tickets, whatever.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
This morning I turned on my computer and saw that the temperature posted on the sidebar was 4 degrees. I felt very cold. Another glance later I saw that it's actually -4 degrees, and now I'm really cold.
One of my Christmas requests was a pair of red lined CROCS. Steph got me this beautiful pair in berry, since red was on back-order, better choice anyway. For a couple of weeks I stuck with my worn-out slippers but now the new CROCS are on my feet as soon as I get home.
I've been reading some posts about "saving things for good" instead of using them up, and I have to admit that's my first tendency. One writer mentioned a New Year's resolution of using up her art supplies. I'm not borrowing that resolution, but I am going to wear my pretty things and use my treasured supplies.
I wonder if somewhere there is a hypothetical pile of those things that were saved for good and never worn out.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Mennonite Arts Weekend is every other year in January in Cincinnati, and last year the weather was just about like it is now. I missed the Friday night session because of the snow (and hated to miss any of it because it's all so good.) Saturday morning I went late and remember driving along the interstate and noticing all the cars that had been abandoned off the road.
We had to submit three class sketches, and this is one of mine. I don't know enough to know if this is my best or is even in the ballpark. I turned in two with this shape because it could also work for my quilt guild president's challenge.
The challenge is called Bare Naked Quilts because the quilt is to be a contemporary, using just fabric, thread, and batting. No beads, no angelina, no foil, no organza layer, none of that. It is to have three or more sides, each a different length.
Last year I made my challenge in the last week before the show, and I'd like to avoid that this year. I know I'll put lots of time in this class and would love combine class and challenge.
At least my goal is to put lots of time in this class. I have to admit that the last two classes I signed up for I did nothing except read the lessons. Not a total waste, because I have the lessons and when the time is right I'll get them out. I had good intentions, think that both times I thought I could "squeeze them in" because the class looked so good but found that there was no squeezing to be done.
This year one of my goals is to take classes and workshops (think I already mentioned that.) I want to learn new techniques, get better with my machine free motion too. I've stippled miles of stippling, and that's enough.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Luckily for me, this round of snow coincides with my weekly day off work and I can look out the window from time to time and keep the shoveling going in small increments. My truck can stay where it is.
Some resolutions are long-term, some are hard and need to be broken down into segments to make them happen. Others are long term but simple. I always try to include a few of those, as well as some that are simple and short term, easily completed and crossed off.
Burning a candle while I sew or do a project fits into the long term but simple category. I want the reminder that creativity is spiritual. (To make this happen, I need to add the short term and simple goal of stocking lots of matches - I do lots of sewing.)
Also in my studio, to listen to NPR. I was a journalism major, have always loved newspapers, and find their shrinking size, along with their rising cost, to form a void. I'm not a fan of tv news, enjoy a weekly news magazine but their lifestyle sections are quite small. And of course, there's no local news. So, my long term but simple resolution is NPR. Not all the time, since I love silence, but sometimes.
Last night on my way home I finally got tracing paper for my online class. I'd found it not easy to find and realized that surely the office supply store would have it. Now I can move ahead with my first lesson.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
To make it work, I sewed the blocks together wrong sides together and put the sashing over the seams. Pretty precise, and I'm thinking - yesterday at Hancock I got some red fabric stray paint for 80% off, left from Christmas. I could mask off the red areas and spray the white - maybe.
At any rate, this helps with my last year's goal, to decorate a little for the seasons. I have an after-Christmas sale red tablecloth to help out too, and a pretty glass heart on my desk. I can't find my list of last year's goals, but I do remember this one.
To give you an idea of how my mind words in January - this is the 18th, 28 days past the winter solstice. The last time we had this much daylight was around Thanksgiving. That "bowl" of darkness, the two months when the days are the shortest, is almost past.
Monday, January 17, 2011
There was a mint chocolate cake, which Aaron declared to be too spicy. I thought it was delicious.
The kids love Bridget's husband Reza, who always has sugar cubes and nicely teases them, this time with a birthday candle.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I feel like I'm so boring in these early January days. Feel like I have little to say. Feel like I'm not creating. Perhaps I'm just taking in information, and that is as it should be. Perhaps I'm being a little lazy. Perhaps I'm not taking myself out enough. Perhaps I'm not looking around. Perhaps I'm focused on other things, like my new exercise program. Perhaps I'm forming my goals for the year. The wonderful thing about being 65 years old is knowing that this feeling will pass.
Friday, January 14, 2011
I've taken lots of classes that way and find that I enjoy the freedom to work throughout the week whenever I have time. I like that the classes are spread out and I can keep up (usually.) There are no weather-related worries about whether classes will need to be rescheduled.
I've been quiet about New Year's resolutions this year, but one of mine is to take lots of classes. I haven't taken any in the past couple of years and I've missed them. I plan to take both electronic and in-person classes, not all of them quilt classes. I feel like I'm not moving ahead like I'd like and want more skills.
The first lesson will come at 6 p.m. tonight and I'm excited.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
To be honest, I'm not sure of its origin. I need to check in with my Aunt Evelyn - I think she gave it to me, and I think my Great-Aunt Ella had made it, although the stitching is tinier than on her other quilts. I'd need my sister to help verify its age, but I'm guessing it was made around 1930 or 1940 and was used well. The fabric feels thin, but without rips and tears, and the binding is frayed.
I hesitated to machine baste a rod pocket on top. It didn't feel quite right to do that to an antique quilt. Then I considered that the quilt-maker was almost certainly Mennonite and would support my using it for worship.
Then my thinking went on and I realized that she would also think, "Why would she" if she knew I wanted to hang it in a church. In her mind, and in that time, I'm sure, a quilt was for a bed, not for a wall, and certainly wouldn't belong in a church.
Years have gone by and the universe has stepped in, and the quilt is now hanging and seems to me to be appropriate for January. The size is perfect. Time and fraying have contributed a softness. The mind can rest on it.
My thanks to the quiltmaker.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
My regular interstate was a parking lot and was eventually closed hours later so the salt trucks could go on and do their work. I decided to take the old road, Dixie Highway, into Covington and then cut east toward my house. Dixie Highway was constructed almost 100 years ago and I grew up a mile from it, many miles north. It goes on to Florida, but is no longer a continuous highway - it never was totally continuous but is much less so now. I lived only a block from Dixie Highway in Berea and in fact have never lived more than an hour from it except in my college days.
Traffic moved slowly as other people opted for that route to avoid the stalled interstates. In places it was very icy, especially on the downgrades going toward the river. I was talking to Steph on the phone, getting tired and nervous. I had an approximate idea where I was but without a reference to how much further there was to go.
She asked me "What do you see?" and I mentioned an apartment or condo area on my left when I looked up and could see the lights of Cincinnati, so close I couldn't believe my eyes. I figured that it was surely Mt. Adams (or if not I had a long climb up in front of me.) And from there it was a few blocks until the highway turned toward the left and I turned toward the right into Covington.
My planned turn-off was closed because there was a steep hill going down and I took the next one. Evenually I came to a street I recognized and I was soon driving past the basilica, always lighted and impressive and especially welcome on that night.
In retrospect, the chosen trip home was the right one. Traffic moved slowly but it did creep along. The skidding on the icy areas was no less than on other roads. People were polite and gave large spaces in areas where cars were skidding. I would have gained nothing at all by stopping for dinner in the hopes that traffic would clear up. The bridge going into my community was salted and open.
I'd like to think that this will be the last of the bad-weather commutes this winter, but it is, after all, only January 9.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
But maybe tradition is too strong, or maybe it was time. I started with taking down the outside lights early this morning because it was wonderfully warm and therefore an opportune time. Later in the day the other decorations were packed away. Then I cleaned the attic storage area and ended up putting in the rest of the insulation there as well. Once again, it was a warm day and perfect for doing it.
Then the decorations could be put away and the totes that have been in my office went back into storage and the office grew a couple of sizes. The momentum just kept going and the tree came down. Now that it's done, I'm happy about it, glad to have the space back but missing the light and cheer.
Last night Steph and Mike and the kids stopped by on their way home from their Festival of Lights zoo trip. We had broccoli cheddar and vegetable beef soup, rolls, jam cake. The kids were happy. Bridget and Resa stopped by and we sampled Helen's apple pie moonshine. I was asleep well before the ball dropped. The best kind of New Year's Eve.
Happy New Year, everyone.