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Archive for August, 2006

What I’ve Been Doing

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

I started today with a visit to the lab vampire to have my quarterly blood work to check for side effects from the cancer drug that I am taking – Femara. I have been having a lot of muscular and skeletal pain which gets better when I get up and move. When I get up from sitting for a while, it is difficult to stand and my legs and feet are very stiff and I can barely walk. I had checked some medical sights for these symptoms and didn’t really find anything. Then I stumbled across a site: askpatient.com where you can log on and list your unusual side effects from drugs. I was utterly amazed. Almost every single woman taking Femara had the same symptoms that I have. If you go to the official site for the drug, it does not list this as a symptom. I also found that most had gained 15 pounds – like me and were having difficulty losing it.

My new oncologist thinks I  do not need to take this drug and has been waiting for my records to arrive from California. They are here now. I will see him in September. I also got the results of my blood work this afternoon and all the numbers were at the high end. They have always been right down the middle before this. So, I am not waiting to see the Dr. I am not taking this drug any longer. There is too much of an impact on my quality of life. The good news is my cholesterol was 186 with high hdl and my fasting blood sugar was on the low side.

I came home and started fusing the piece that I am working on. Here is how it looks when I start interlocking the sections:

Geopuzzlepieces

Geofabricsidepuzzles

Tonight I finished fusing the sections together. Here is the back:

Geo_reverse_side

Here is th front:

Shiborigeometry

Tomorrow, I will tear off the paper and fuse the whole thing to batting. I used cool colored batiks and hand dyes for the rectangular shapes and warm colors and blacks for the circles. Does it look too muddled or does the design hold up? It is what I had in my head when I started it. Now I have to figure out how to quilt it. And do I want borders?

This afternoon, I walked down the street past Reed College to a home where they are selling bunches of Zinnias for $3. Aren’t they pretty?

Zinnias

How about this fabric that I am thinking of using to make curtains for the kitchen – too much?

Curtainfabric

Old Work/New Work

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

This is a Day of the Dead Quilt that I did for a Quilt Art Challenge couple of years ago. It was out on tour and came home a couple of months ago. Now it is going to be part of a Day of the Dead show at Quilt Expo in Michigan, curated by Lynn Krawczyk. It was made to honor four women who had a large impact on the woman that I have become: my mom, her mom, and two  of my aunts. The skulls were printed on fabric and fused to their complements for high contrast. Amazingly, I found the border fabric in my stash.

Dodquilt

Here is a close-up:

Dodcloseup

Here is my progress on the new quilt. For those wondering about the pattern I posted in the previous blog, the arrows tell me which side of the pattern piece needs to have seam allowance when I fuse the fabric to wonder-under. I learned this from a Robbi Eklow class. I will leave the wonder-under paper on the back and put everything together like a puzzle and then fuse the pieces together. I’ll show you this process when I get there. So far I have the background grid pieces cut and fused to wonder under. I have used a shibori hand dye.

Geobackgroundgrid

Here, I have the top circle filled in. Not sure if this is permanent, but I kind of like what is happening.

Geofirstcircle

I had to stop work because M & M came home from a camping trip and came by with pizza for supper. It was great to see the tired little campers and their mom and dad. I can’t wait to get to the studio tomorrow morning.

Emerging from a Creative Block

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

I am finding my way back to the studio. I have a file box of photos and magazine pages that I collect. I took them out and went through them and got some inspiration. I am excited to get going on it. I drafted a pattern and took it to Copymax and had it enlarged. I love working with abstract geometric shapes so that is where I am going. Here is my pattern:

Geopattern

Here are the fabrics that I am auditioning:

Fabricaudition

Oh, and these dotted blacks:

Dotfabrics

Mr C’s brother is here for the week-end. He is living and working temporarily in Richland, WA. It is his birthday on Monday so he came down to Portland to celebrate with us. He has a new two-seater Mercedes sports car so the two boys went off exploring this morning in the new car while I got in my steps and worked in the studio a little. This afternoon we visited Oregon wine country for the first time. I tasted and bought some great pinot gris and pinot noirs. Tonight we had dinner at Caprial’s Bistro ?Ǩ always a treat.

I can’t wait until tomorrow so that I can start working on my new project – using a much different color scheme for me. I am combining hand dyes with commercial fabric. One thin I have noticed is that using some prints with hand dyes, punches up the design so it is not as flat.

This and That (Again)

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

Catchy blog titles are eluding me these days.

Look what I found in the mail today. Lime green and orange shoe strings for my lime green and orange Keens. It also included the lovely card with a note from the very thoughtful Deborah. Thank you Deborah – you made my day! The card is a water color, but wouldn’t it make a nice quilt?

Shoelaceand_card

Last month I took Square Dance to my crit group. Listening to their suggestions, I removed the threads in the corners and mounted it on cotton duck that has been stretched on a frame. Here is how it looks now:

Sqdancerevisited

I am also revisiting Cosmic Circles. Since I can’t seem to get my creative juices working on something new, I thought I would putz around with other stuff.

M & M came over yesterday and spent the night with us. On her blog, Stephanie has just posted about the kids going back to school, giving her more time to devote to her art. I have to admit to some sadness that the summer is over so soon. Mr C and I have really enjoyed our longer days with them during the summer, taking field trips and getting to know them better.

Last night when I was getting them ready for bed, I said that I was really tired and was going to bed soon, myself. Mia asked why I was tired. I told her I didn’t sleep very well the night before. "Why Grandma?" I said I was worried about getting my studio cleaned up to entertain my crit group the next morning. She said, "I didn’t think Grandma’s did that!" She meant worry. I loved it, and it made me realize why we loved our grandparents so much. They always had time and didn’t seem to have the obligations of our parents. I really love being Grandma.

On our walk this morning, she prattled on and on and on about her friend, Sage. He is a boy in her class that she has regular play dates with. She told me she didn’t like it when he plays with Rosy, another girl in her class. I heard about every adventure and play they have put on. It was just great. I wonder if she will tell me about her boyfriends when she is 13 and 16 and so on?

It is such a win win situation, Stephanie gets to have a date night with Jack and I get to spend quality time with M & M.

Color My World

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Before I share the painting projects going on around here, I want to finish up the trip to Seattle or home from Seattle. Here are a couple of nice shots of the Seattle train station which is undergoing renovation:

Seattlestation1

Seattlestation2

The Portland station is much nicer and I was too excited to take photos there.

Here is shot of Mt. Rainier from the train coming home. Can you see it?

Mtranier

Mr C has finished painting the kitchen, laundry room and half bath and also painted the dining room while I was in Seattle. The laundry room and the half bath are the lime ice color in the kitchen. Today, I hung quilts in the kitchen eating area. These are old favorite quilts of mine that I never tire of seeing.

Kitchenquilts

Here is the dining room – Aztec Gold or something like that is the name of the paint color:

Droomgold

This color makes the art work, furniture and floors just pop. In fact, we were going to paint the brick fireplace off-white, but it looks so good with this paint color, we have decided not to do it.

Droomfireplace

Now we are auditioning a lighter shade of gold for the hallway and the living room. Don’t hold your breath, this is going to take some time!! But anything will be better than the barf beige that covers most of the walls, now.

(Note: Due to a technical problem, right wing hacking or too many people wanting to listen ?Ǩ there seems to be a problem with this link!) And now for a little political ranting, I have this great little song to share: something about George Bush lied and got us into war and Clinton got a b— job. This is not for the faint of heart.