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Sunday, September 20th, 2009


I have been partying  up a storm with the family, celebrating the marriage of these two, my son, Mark, and Jayme. They have not gotten married, yet. They have the rings, they have the commitment, but they are just going to go to city hall in San Francisco some day and do it. Jayme orchestrated a get-together of both sides of the family here in Portland.

On Thursday night, they put together a delightful meet and greet dessert party at the Sellwood Yoga Studio where Mark had done the landscaping for his friends who moved up here from SF. Here is my daughter, Steph and M & M sitting in the courtyard.


On Friday night, we had everyone at our home for a beautiful meal catered by Papa Haydn, a restaurant noted for their desserts.


I had purchased lots of fall flowers  – sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias, which Lisa and Clay arranged in vases for all the tables.


The food was fabulous and the service was impeccable. We received rave reviews from every one. We were able to arranged seating for all who came which required some furniture rearrangement. We like the new living room arrangement so much that we are going to keep it for awhile.

Saturday was the day for the picnic out on Sauvie Island at the Kruger Farms. We awoke to a steady rainfall, but the weather forecast called for sun by the afternoon. And we were not disappointed. What a great time we had. This was coordinated by Mark and Jayme. They bought the food, rented a huge BBQ, and thought of every detail for a fun time in the country. Some of Jayme’s relatives cooked some great sides and Stephanie made killer cookies.

We took Scooter with us. It was his first long drive for an adventure. He had a great time. There was the cutest little dog who lives on the farm who kept running over to our site to play with Scoot. He looks like a cross between a chihuahua and a Jack Russel Terrier.


We were right next to the corn maze and at one point, Scooter ran off into the maze and it took some time to find him.

Here is a photo of everyone who was there, except the photographer.


We took about 6 attempts to get a photo of our family. Here is one of the takes. It is almost impossible to get Miles to look at the camera, especially when his Uncle Mark is giving him the elbow!!


It was a wonderful 3 days. We loved Jayme’s family. We loved having Steve’s brother Mike and some of his family and David who came all the way from Florida. Right now, I am pretty exhausted. If you are interested in seeing all the photos that I took, they can be seen on this Flickr set, Mark and Jayme Celebration.

Here is some other stuff going on in my life. I was very excited to have Mystical Forest purchased on the first day of the SAQA auction for $750 by Teri Springer, who is becoming a patron since she owns two of my pieces.

I didn’t get into Quilts=Art=Quilts this year. I am disappointed, but that frees the work to enter in another show.

I now have the correct diagnosis for my brother-in-law, Ray. He has myelodysplastic syndrome which prevents the making of white blood cells. The only treatment is a bone marrow transplant, and he is considered to old to get it. I am deeply pained for my sister and her children and grandchildren.

There is a lot of other stuff rattling around in my brain, but it will wait for another day.

A Tough Decision

Monday, August 31st, 2009


This year the International Quilt Festival is having an exhibition of photographs titled “Eye of the Quilter.” If you read my blog, you know I love taking photographs. The deadline for submissions is tomorrow. I have spent the last 2 or 3 days poring over my stored photos. I finally decided on three. The above photo was taken in Seattle. I did some Photoshop manipulation. Click on it to see a larger version.

Here are the other two



Claudine Itner, who coordinates Art Now for Autism, selected this piece so Cindy will get the other one, which I think was her favorite. I am putting bamboo hangers on all of them.


I am so ready to move on to some other work, but I am also busy sprucing up the house for all of our guests who will be coming in September. Today, Mr C and I worked on the kitchen cabinets. I rearranged the interiors and he polished up the exterior. I am trying to do a bit of housework in the morning and work in the studio in the afternoon.

Yesterday, I took Steph out to lunch and to see Julie and Julia. We loved, loved it. I couldn’t get enough of Meryl Streep. I want to see it again. I think Mr C would enjoy it.

Made a List

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Yes, I made a list on paper. The list in the head was not working. I checked off quite a few things — photography for the Line Dancing quilts which I sent to Terry for the CD. I wrote my artist statements for the 2 pieces and sent them to Georgia who is making the labels. I selected two pieces for possible inclusion in the Columbia Fiberarts Guild show at the Contemporary Craft Museum and did the paper work. I also worked on SDA conference registration, of course!!

I am happy to say that Noshi Ribbons was purchased at the last minute today and is going to a new home in Santa Cruz, California. The new owner wants a bamboo rod so I tinted a piece of bamboo with turquoise paint. Fiberart for a Cause has now raised over 17o, 000 for the American Cancer Society. I will alert you when the Collage Mania sale starts.

I did it. Got my hair cut and didn’t get the color. Here I am. Can you see the gray?


I am enjoying the short cut. Makes me feel like spring is here and I can shed the weight of winter.  Next month, I am getting new glasses. Now, if I could just lose the 20 pounds that is plaguing me, life would be great. My headache was not gone, but was much better today.

Gold Donor Day

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The Fifth and Final Reverse Auction featuring my artwork, Noshi Ribbons,
opens today at 10 a.m. CST. www.virginiaspiegel.com/ReverseAuctionArtwork2009.html 100% of the proceeds is donated directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.  The minimum donation drops each day; wait too long and my artwork might be gone!

What is Gold Donor Day?

Artwork is available for a premium donation one day before the regular Reverse Auction opens.

This piece is donated by Rayna Gillman. I would love to own this.


I hope you will stop by the auction and buy a beautiful piece of art to support a very important cause — The American Cancer Society.

In With the New

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Usually, the holidays are a change of pace time for me — a departure from the routine. This year, I have had to keep working in the studio straight through, taking little breaks for merry making. And so, starting a new year does not seem so momentous this time around. I have not had time to assess the past year and think about 2009. Last night while waiting for the concert to begin, I jotted down some goals/resolutions, aspirations.

  1. Eat and cook slower. We are a family of chow hounds. We love food, and we all eat too fast. Perhaps, it was being the oldest of 5 kids!! I also want to do more cooking from scratch as I did when I had a family to feed on a limited budget.
  2. Create an urban garden that will provide through the summer and fall.
  3. Increase my daily steps to a minimum of 12,000 and work towards 15,000.
  4. Keep it simple at home. Continue to rid my space and my life of things that I no longer use or need.
  5. Work out a strategy for entering shows so that I am not doing so much at the last minute.
  6. Apply to be a SAQA PAM. (Studio Art Quilt Association Professional Artist Member)
  7. Enter at least 2 SAQA shows
  8. Read for fun.
  9. Have more dates with Mr C
  10. Continue to create my own textiles through surface design techniques.
  11. Become a better artist through study, practice and critiques.
  12. Spend quality time with M & M (Oh, that will be so hard)

Two things are on the horizon: I am taking another online class, this time with Laura Cater Woods, titled: Idea to Image. It starts next week. I really got so much from my class with Liz Berg. I think online classes are a great way to learn design and techniques. Judy Coates Perez is teaching an online Color Theory Class. I would love to take that, too. My friend, Judy, is taking a monoprinting class from Susan Sorrell. I think the online classes are a very attractive way to learn without spending a bundle and lugging supplies to another location.

I am also going to start working through “Finding Your Own Visual Language”, by Jane Dunnewold, Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan. I might not get to that until late in the month or February.

I also want to start a series based on abstracting trees.

Well, that should keep me busy.

Want to see what I did yesterday?

I decided to do another scarf for Virginia’s invitational reverse auction. I had some liquid procion dyes left from a class I took eons ago. I didn’t even know if they were still viable. I mixed up some chemical water and did squirt bottles of true red, turquoise, yellow and black. I tied a charmeuse scarf around a large pvc pice, scrunched it and squirted it with the dyes. I wanted to make sure that I got strong color so I decided to steam it. I have never steamed anything at home. I have had these things waiting:


I wrapped the silk scarf in newsprint:


Here is is steaming away:


I steamed it for 30 minutes. I was absolutely amazed that there was very little dye to wash out.

You know how I love a little glitter and glam. I wanted to just have a spattering of gold foil over the scarf, but how to do that? Ah, Bo Nash bonding powder. I sprinkled it on in small areas and then foiled. It looks very elegant.


Here is a detail:


So, if you have made it this far (ahem), which scarf should go into the auction?

I must get to bed. M & M are here and will be up early for hot cocoa and waffles.