Archive for December, 2011

Reflecting and Anticipating

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I saw this post on Facebook and thought it would be a good thing for me to do:

Take the time today, on the last day of 2011, to write down what you accomplished. Don’t reflect on what you didn’t do – focus on the good. Make it happen next year if you didn’t accomplish all you wanted. No excuses!

I had some heartbreaks last year — the two invasive burglaries and the cancellation of our trip to Japan. All happened in the first few months, and in some ways, informed how I handled the year, creatively. I went back over my blog posts, and see that I was sick too often, which was part of the whole depression that I was feeling. It was also enlightening to see the positive things during the past year. Here are my highlights:

Did lots of experimental work. I did new things like felting, more hand stitching, made more of the organza pocket pieces.

Twelve book published. The Twelve by Twelve group successfully published our book about the project and it received lots of great reviews.

 My Daughters’ accomplishments. I have reveled in the successes of my two daughters. Their work will continue to grow and inspire in the next year. 

 Trip to Southern California. Mr C and I enjoyed a road trip to California in May, culminating in a trip to the Disney Theater in LA, which I enjoyed, immensely. The trip was rife with lots of creative inspiration. 

Artistic Accomplishments: Klee’s Castles sold for $350 in the SAQA auction. I had quilts accepted into venues where I had previously not had success: Art Quilts Lowell, La Conner Quiltfest, and a SAQA juried show, Layers of Meaning. I also had work accepted into local High Fiber Diet and  SAQA Oregon shows. My work was also seen in the PAQA South show and the Chandler’s Art Quilts Year XVI: Something to Say. Not too bad, really!!

New York Trip We enjoyed a short, but sweet visit to NYC and then a grand time with my family as we celebrated the wedding of my niece, Becky, in upstate New York.

New Deck Our new deck, designed by my son in law and built by my son is a welcome addition to our comfort and the beauty of our home. We really love it.

Cataract Surgery I can see! I can see! This has been a highlight — I had no idea how much the cataracts had influenced my color sight. I love spending much of the day without glasses at all.

Twelve off to Houston The trip to Houston IQF with 8 of the Twelve group and all 288 of our quilts has to be the highlight of the year for me — on so many levels. Meeting many of the twelves for the first time, meeting many online friends in person, hearing the accolades for the work we had done — it was all so lovely.

Thanksgiving and Core Family Time I know now why my MIL and my mom cherished the times with all the kids and grandkids. These get-togethers and visits were high points in my year.  And knowing that their will be a new grandchild in March is just frosting on this cake.

It is nice to put the year in the proper perspective. 2012 is a clean slate. I am wondering where it will take this grateful old lady!!

 

Where Was I?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

My life was rudely interrupted by a nasty stomach bug in the middle of the night on Monday. Lisa’s partner, Clay had it on Christmas eve and passed it on. Nice of her to share!! I was up all night and totally out of it yesterday. I feel as if I am among the living today, but just barely.

We had a lovely Christmas day with a delicious brunch at Steph’s in the morning and dinner here later in the day. Just at sunset, I went on one of my favorite winter walks with Wilfredo and the long legged family. I have to hustle to keep up with them.

I took my Nikon with the new lens to photograph the beautiful light at this time of day.

Back at home, the lights on our Japanese Maple welcomed us.

Hopefully, I will continue to get my strength back and I will be posting some new work in a cleaned up studio.

 

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

I Wish That I Could Wrap Up Christmas

I wish that I could wrap up all the love and Holiday cheer
That comes along with Christmas and with New Year’s every year,
Pack it in a pretty box and put it on my shelf
And pull it down again each year and give it to myself.

I wish that I could tie up all my favorite carols with twine,
Wind around some ribbon, too, and for twelve months call them mine
Until the next Yuletide came when the sounds again could be unfurled
And untie every single one then give them to the world.

— Anonymous

Wishing everyone the merriest of days!

A Step Back to Reflect

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

I am spending some time cleaning and reorganizing my studio and office and reflecting on the past year. It was a year when I attempted to experiment with some new work, but also felt blocked from really doing the work I want to do. I am making some plans and setting some goals and just thinking.

That gorgeous and sunny apron up there was a belated birthday gift from my good friend, Judy, in Georgia. The pocket is printed with grapefruits. She made the apron and it is perfectly sewn. You can see some posts about the apron here and here. Judy is one of those fiber artists who does the work. She  spends lots of time in her studio printing and dyeing and doing beautiful work.

Lisa arrived on Monday, with her dog, Wilfredo, who ran to greet me at the airport. I think she could leave him here with me, and he would never miss her!! He does find Scooter a bit daunting.

Clay, Lisa’s partner, arrived yesterday and we have been running around, shopping, eating out and baking.

Our neighborhood really goes all out with the holiday yard decor. I took these photos of a couple of trees.

I haven’t tried to photograph the lights at night, but there are some very  exciting displays.

Lisa and Clay are vegan which means they do not consume any dairy or eggs. I found a vegan gingerbread recipe which has a really nice spicy flavor. I have so many cookie cutters, but stars are my favorite.

I will make the frosting using margarine and soy milk.

Last night when we were out for dinner with the whole family, Mia asked me what Christmas cookies I was making this year. I asked her which ones she most wanted me to make. She said, “All of them!” So, I mixed up a batch of peppermint brownies which will get frosting and crushed peppermint. I also will make some pressed sugar cookies.

I have finished my gift shopping, but I still have to wrap things — something I do not really enjoy doing. I am a fan of gift bags!!

I hope you are enjoying a lovely holiday season. Happy Solstice!!

 

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

I finished the binding on Gwen’s quilt. I will miss it when I send it off tomorrow. I have enjoyed the sunniness of this as I worked on it. Here is a detail with one of the silly suns that I quilted.

I am so late in getting packages sent. Lisa arrives tomorrow and I hope to get every thing packed up and in the mail and then enjoy the rest of the week with family fun.

Yesterday was Mia’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe that she is a tween, now.

We went out for sushi and then back to Steph’s for cake. Here is Mia blowing out the candles on the ice cream cake.

And here is Miles, enjoying the whole event.

Trinity Cathedral has a pretty big and active outreach program, providing meals to the homeless and low income folks around the church. Each year, they make fancy cookies, box them up and sell them to help fund their work. We bought 3 boxes, one for us, one for our neighbors and one for M & M’s family. Don’t they look tasty?