about the artist

Archive for August, 2009

Life is What Happens to You

Saturday, August 15th, 2009


. . . while you are busy making other plans. Yesterday, I had a plan for the day. Attend weight watchers meeting, walk the dogs, meet with the caterer for the party for Mark and Jayme, shop and prepare food for a family dinner and go to Julia and Julie with my girls. I got as far as getting ready to go shopping for food. Mr C had been in the front yard with the dogs. He started pulling out a locust sapling from the front landscaping and disturbed a yellow jacket nest. He came running into the house screaming and cursing with a cadre of yellow jackets accompanying him. We grabbed newspaper and swatted most of them. It became increasingly obvious that he was in distress. I told him to get in the car and I was going to drive him to the ER. We got two blocks and he began to lose consciousness. I turned around and went back home. I had Lisa go stay with him in the car while I dialed 911. A calm and efficient woman asked me lots of questions about him and what was happening which she relayed to the EMTs. It did not take long for them to arrive. By this time, he was retching and in severe distress. They loaded him in the ambulance and off they went

Lisa and I got the dogs in and followed them to the hospital. Because of his nausea and chest pain, they started treating him for a heart attack. By the time we saw him in the ER, he was not looking too bad. Then, things took a turn for the worse. He was breaking out in more hives, his blood pressure was falling as was his heart rate. He was setting off the alarms. They decided to do another EKG. I asked the doctor if he was going to be there for awhile and he said yes. Lisa and I went back home to grab a bite to eat and so I could put on warmer clothes. I was freezing. Steph met us at the house and she went back to the hospital with me. By this time they had called to tell us they were admitting him to the hospital for observation.

We arrived at the hospital to find him in a posh room in the cardiac unit. His vitals had stabilized; he had some food to eat and we all sighed with relief. I brought him home this morning. They decided that the symptoms were all related to the wasp attack and the resulting drop in his blood pressure because of that.

He was sent home with benadryl, prednisone and 2 epi pens for use if he ever gets bitten again because he will now be super sensitive. He had 15 – 20 bites, but it will only take one next time. Our co-pay was $50. We expect to get a bill for the ambulance.

Whew! I am glad that is over. I was so impressed with the response and efficiency of the EMTs and the 911 operator. I also felt blessed to have my daughters by my side.

I am pretty exhausted, but this afternoon, I finally finished updating my website. You can click on New Work up in the menu if you would like to see what I have added.

Bouncing Back

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009


I am feeling so good today. I think the combination of a day and a half of clear liquids and  breathing pure oxygen yesterday has been very therapeutic. Lisa and I went to Fabric Depot to look for linen for a curtain for her bathroom. She did not find what she wanted, but I found this luscious metallic silk organza on sale. I love this stuff and haven’t worked with it in a while. Here is one way that  I use it which I learned in a workshop with Charlotte Yde.


This is a close up from one of my art quilts. You can only use metallic silk organza for this kind of cut-work.

This morning I worked in the garden, pulling out the lettuce that has gone to seed and picked quite a crop of tomatoes.


For dinner, we had fresh tomato sauce and whole wheat penne, sauteed Japanese eggplant and Walla Walla onions on arugula with Gorgonzola cheese. Yum!!

I set up a table for Lisa to work in my studio.


The blur is Scooter chasing Wilfredo. He is obsessed with him. Poor Wilfredo is not very happy with all the attention.

Tonight, we are having a lovely, gentle and warm summer rain. I think the garden will be very happy. I know that I am!!

Feeling Loopy

Sunday, August 9th, 2009


I am so wanting to be done with this clear liquid diet. I could eat a ham sandwich, and I don’t even like ham. I did manage to get some things done, like walking the dogs and making a fresh, clean bed for Lisa, who arrives tomorrow. I corralled the chaos in my office/playroom, putting legos away and returning books to the bookshelf, etc.I also worked on the quilt storage system.Here are some of the quilts hanging with their cute little hang tags.

Here is my system for hanging them. I bought child size plastic hangers. I use bulldog clips on the folded quilts. Then, I use yarn to create a loops to go through the clips and over the hooks on the hangers.


My quilts are fairly light so I am not having a problem hanging or with the wardrobe collapsing. I am quite thrilled with this and the access to my quilts when needed.

Mr C has been working so hard to get the guest bathroom done before Lisa arrives. A while ago I posted about how much I love this vintage bathroom, but hated the bronzy brown paint on the cabinets and woodwork. Plus, the renovators used beaded board trim around the mirrors that just looked weird. The bones of the bathroom are right out of the fifties — pink fixtures and pink and turquoise tile — all in perfect condition. Here is how it looked when we bought it.


Here is the after (so far):


He painted the woodwork white. I selected a wall paint that has just a hint of a grayed green. It looks really good with the turquoise green tile. We also changed the hardware on the cabinets. So far so good.

I have to get up at 6 am in the morning to drink my final concoction and nothing after 8 am. I check in at ambulatory surgery at 12 noon. I can’t wait to eat some real food tomorrow night. My after colonoscopy orders say not to make any important decisions, drive a car, operate machinery or drink alcohol for 24 hours. What fun is that going to be?

Karen has some insurance information regarding the loss from the flooding. As soon as she knows how much of her stuff will be covered, she will let me know how we can help her. Thanks to every one who has let me now you want to help.

So Much Stuff

Saturday, August 8th, 2009


Meet my new best friend, Chester the three legged cat. He belongs to M & M and their family, but while they are in NC, I get to go to their home and pamper him. He didn’t want me to leave today. He lost his leg when he was a kitten. It got caught in the neighbor’s chain link fence. He is amazing and fearless.

I don’t have many pictures, but lots of things to write about. Sorry. We have good news and bad news for our family right now. The good news is that my son Mark and Jayme are going to get married. They want to do a quiet ceremony at the courthouse in San Francisco. Then, both sides of the family will descend on Portland on a week-end in the middle of September. We will have several different events. Mr C and I are hosting a catered dinner here at our house on Friday night. I still have to meet with the caterer. It will be fun to have the west coast family join us in meeting Jayme’s family. Mark’s Godfather, Mr C’s youngest brother, is coming from Florida. Here is the happy couple in a photo I took last year when they were visiting us.

M & J

The bad news is that my BIL, husband of my sister, Jean, was just diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He starts aggressive chemo tomorrow and will be in the hospital for a month. Jean says that he had no symptoms. He has had bi-pass surgery and was having his annual round of tests when they found it. We are hoping for a complete recovery, but it is going to be a long and arduous haul for the family. It is hard to be across the country at a time like this.

On the positive health side, Mr C saw the urologist, and they confirmed that he does not have cancer — a lingering fear that we had. He will go in to have prostate surgery after the big event in September. And me? Well, I am doing the clear liquids tomorrow for my 5 year colonoscopy on Monday. I feat that I will be out of commission for at least 24 hours. Unfortunately, Lisa arrives in Portland for a week while I am at the hospital, but our sweet Amy Ruppel will pick her up and take good care of her and Wilfredo until I am back home.

I told you I had stuff.

Here is some more stuff on my mind. My dear friend, Karen Davis, aka Karoda, lives in Louisville. They just had flooding from torrential rains. She has her workshop/studio in the basement of her parent’s home and suffered very bad flooding. She lost her journals, computer, art books. She thinks she can wash the fabric stash and salvage most of it. I told her that I wanted to help her get every thing back that she lost. She promised that I can help with whatever the insurance does not cover. If you are interested in helping Karen, e-mail me or leave a comment. I will get in touch with you when she is ready to get set up again.

Here is another project that you can participate in: Iraqi Bundles of Love. My virtual art quilting daughter, Kristin’s husband, is in the US Army in Iraq. He has come up with an opportunity to participate in a wonderful project.

The basic premise is to make a bundle of fabric and sewing supplies from your own stash, mail it to her husband’s APO (American) address, and he will facilitate the distribution of the bundles. By bundling the goodies, it saves time on his end as he won’t have to redistribute the supplies or use excess packaging for them, and it makes it far simpler for his local counterparts to distribute them to those in need.

Go to Kristin’s blog to get all of the details.

There you have it. Next time, I will have photos of the redo we have been doing in our guest bathroom, the one with the vintage pink and turquoise decor. It is looking fantastic and has kept Mr C, the painter, very busy.

Getting My Act Together

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009


It is amazing what can get you off your duff and doing stuff. Number one is the weather. It is so nice here in Portland — perfect summer weather. Then, yesterday when I was shopping with M & M at Bi-mart, this cloth wardrobe was sitting there next to the toy department. I suddenly realized that I had found the solution to storing my growing quilt collection. This makes for a dust free and mostly light free storage area. Here you can see into the wardrobe and the rod and hangers that I bought.


I am making hang tags for each quilt that will have a photo, dimensions, etc. I will attach one to each quilt and rig up a method to attach them to the hangers. If I run out of room, I can buy another. It only cost $24 and was easy to assemble.


The first thing I did this morning was to make a nice to do list of things that have been running around in my brain. It feels good to get started on this.

I found this piece that I started over a year ago. It is linen fabrics that I created in the indigo shibori class. It is all hand stitched. I lost interest in it because it really is rather boring. I am wondering if it can be saved.


Tonight, I went out on the deck and saw this beautiful moon.


Life is feeling pretty good tonight. Tomorrow, I am seeing Kevin for a much needed cut and color.