Friday, December 30, 2005

Had a Beach-a-riffic time!

Christmas weekend was spent at my brother's house in Santa Barbara. It was just beautiful weather (as usual), and politely rained lightly at night only. The above is a shot of the beach on Christmas day, about 3pm.
We had a wonderful, relaxed time and thoroughly enjoyed each other and all our new gifts.

I have to gush about at least one of those pressies...My brother got us the superdeluxegiganto Calvin & Hobbes complete hardcover three volume set! Yowza. Since we've been home the boys have either been watching the James Bond movie marathon or reading those wonderful comic books. Aaaaahhhh, just lovely and quiet for me.

Which means I've been quilting, right? Right!
Actually quilting the chuppah that I showed in my first week of blogging waaaaay back when.
Made a lot of progress, but am as usual not doing so well with the fusibled portions. At this rate I'll be giving it to the owners on their 5th wedding anniversary (kidding!).

Make Time for Peace

World Healing Day
Saturday, December 31, 2005
4:00 a.m. PST; 12:00 UT
Since 1986, the International Year of Peace,millions have come together in spirit
to focus on world peace and healing at
the SAME TIME around the world, coordinated
to Noon, Greenwich Mean Time on December 31.
World Healing Meditation

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Happy Joy

We All Celebrate the Return of the Light

All of the winter holidays have this one common denominator.
Let us notice that, and together rejoice that all humankind has in common this impulse to celebrate the Earth’s turn about the Sun..

My favorite holiday tradition is to talk about peace with my family. Here are two quotes we will be using this year in our discussion.

Peace is the marriage of the people and the planet, with all attendant vows. --Anonymous

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. --A.J. Muste

Wishing you Peace in this season of

Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice to All!

Here is a small piece I made for a Secret Sister Solstice exchange. It is about 6x8" , raw edge applique with cotton and satin, and is edged with fuzzy yarns.

Thanks to Waverly Fitzgerald's always lovely and informative, free Living in Season Newsletter I was led to a wonderful Solstice poem written by Susan Cooper (author of the Dark is Rising sequence), titled "The Shortest Day." Try reading it out loud. Ooooh chills up the spine.

Today is the day I give my family their solstice gifts, and we'll eat a solstice sun cake for dessert, I think we may even set it on fire with brandy just for excitement. We will turn out all the lights, light the Yule log and think on the year past and the year ahead. Guess I better go finish making the gifts and cook a cake! My husband gave us our solstice gift last night, SERENITY!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday Re-Re-Reflections

Woohoo! It's Self Portrait Tuesday again!! Time to make with the reflective surfaces self portraits once more.
Here I am celebrating the return of the sun!

Me as a treasure. Putting myself in the don't touch it, that is BREAKABLE category, or at least getting to picture myself in the china cabinet.
When it is sunny in the winter, I have to go soak it up and enjoy it. Getting to sit under the sunbrella on the deck is such a treat. This picture is interesting to me because of the light/dark, color/nocolor contrasts, and that you can see the prayer flags twice, and the shape of the mountain across our small valley.
Sad because there isn't anything on tv, except me and my camera.
My mess. All mine! Not much of a housewife am I? Nope, don't answer that, I already know the answer...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - More reflection

Self Portrait Tuesday- The Reflect-a-thon continues, not as sunny a day today, harder to find surfaces that are ready to reflect my personage. I have one of those gazing balls, but all you can really see is my shadow.
How about these though?
I'll confess, the first one isn't really a reflection of course, but was taken through a see-through toy, I liked the colors and movement over my face.
I like the last guitar picture the best. Let's title it "waiting for the music to begin."
Hmmm, maybe next week I'll get out my saxophone and shine it up for some reflection photography.

Simple Still Life Capturing the Light

Can you see the spiderwebs?
This one is taken through my hair:
Simple Still Life
I love how round the sun is in this one, as well as the funky green shape on the right side, almost looks like a chlorophyll cell close up.

I can hear my mom now,"Whatever you do, DON'T look at the sun!"
I didn't personally look at the sun, I made my camera do it.
Anyways, here is what my camera saw, in the afternoon, on our way out to go see the Narnia movie.
A small aside on one of the plants involved in this photo. This small palm tree has grown from a teeny neglected house plant which I almost discarded into a 6 foot high, 3 foot wide beautiful plant. I hope if we have a heavy frost this year it survives. It came from my Grandma's house, I think I may have given it to her originally. I look out my bedroom window and see it there waving at me, and makes me think of her. I miss my Grandma, but she still feels close in a lot of ways.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Remind me why I bought this

I did a little online shopping recently, on my birthday. Happy Birthday to me and all that.
And forgot about it.
When the UPS guy showed up, I was surprised and figured it was a holiday present for us or some such.
It was a box for me.
From equilter.
It contained several yards of batiks, which I vaguely remember buying during their big sale.
And this upholstery fabric.

And also this pattern.

Can anyone tell me what my plans were for both of these items?!

Because the fabric definitely does not go with this pattern.
Was I going to actually use the upholstery fabric in an actual upholstery project?
Was I just adding to my burgeoning stash of wearable patterns?
Who knows?!?!
I probably should surrender my credit card and quit cold turkey on this online shopping thing until I grow some replacement brain cells, my family's financial future might be in jeopardy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Holiday Tags

Catching up from last week, I made these tags at a stamping tag party held by my friend J. Aren't they fun? I'm actually going to use them too. Do you think anyone will notice them as being different from the stick-on preprinted 100 tags for $1.99 variety I normally would use? Don't laugh but these took 3 hours. So the recipients had damned well better notice!
Very involved, but still fun to do as a group activity.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Simple Still Life: Simple Still Life #3 DUE

Simple Still Life: Simple Still Life #3 DUE
Sorry! Forgot all about this one.
So here are my fiddled-with photos. We were supposed to do 5 objects all alike, but I got a special dispensation to do 4, since the original picture was so very cool. I still like it quite a lot, and find it very calming and soothing to look at. The neutral, non-challenging naturally muted colors, the balance of having 4 objects fairly evenly spaced on a non-exciting backdrop of grey desktop.
So playing with this photo I introduced color once, just because. ANd I found that I did not find it to be an improvement, although I do find the repeating/shadowing/circular thing is quite intriguing. The other photos are variations on a theme of repeats and shadows. I like them all, but seet the last one as the best, reminds me of a Rosarch test or bonescan.

Blessings Tag

Made this for a secret sister solstice swap. Not sure who will get it, but I hope they like it. I used lots of fancy stitches, including the oh-so-fun alphabet function, as well as Tsunienko inks, silver glitter fabric paint, and lace. Kinda girly-hippiesh, if there is such a thing.
Oh in case you can't read it, it says "Blessings of Peace, Love & Joy"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More Curves Ahead

Back into playing with the curves exercise that I nabbed from Gerrie. This time I did it without the fusible, and I like the way that looks better. Same kind of idea, curvilinear shapes, cut in a wonky 9patch again, then mixed and reassembled.

Then I moved on to the other type of quilt that Gerrie described, starting with a simple pieced background, and added shapes on top.

This was the background I started with.
Blogger is being funky and not letting me move pics around, so this is a bit mixed up.

Anyhoo, I'm considering putting the three practice pieces into one quilt, they look good with each other,and they're all out of the same fabrics, so they're pre-coordinated. more on that later if it comes to pass.

Benefits of Flash

Which picture do you find more interesting?

Without flash?

Or With?

This photo taken by my DH while walking Zelda the wonderdog last weekend. It is a beautiful composition, I'm inspired to sketch from it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tender Smell of the Sea

When my DH Marc travels to Asia, he brings back dried fish snacks for my 10 year old son Alex who is an adventurous eater. This is a picture of what was the last batch.
The comment that you probably can't quite make out says:
"Enjoy the natural taste with the tender smell of the sea."

Just thought I'd share. Too bad this isn't in smell-o-vision.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Reflective Self-Portrait Tuesday #1

The December assignment for Self-Portrait Tuesday is to produce an image using a reflective surface. This is fun, especially on a sunny day with dirty windows. I tried all kinds of things, and here is my favorite one. Held up a favorite picture of me at age 4 holding my baby brother, Vince, with the much more *ahem* experienced me in the reflection of the aforementioned dirty window. I like how my eyebrow expression is still the same.
A lot sure has happened in the world and in my life since I was 4. Kinda mind-blowing really.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Straight and Narrow #2

Here is my contribution to the Straight and Narrow Round Two challenge from the QuiltArt list. The only specs are that the height to length or length to height of the piece be greater than 1:5.
This piece is made out of the cotton lycra scraps that I have been working with for a few years now. I got them from a local clothing manufacturer through a recycling program in Santa Cruz County, called ProMax that matches up businesses with leftover stuff that someone might have a use for with those someones... like me! What is fun about these is that they are the scraps from cutting out cotton lycra pants, so they come in a stack of about 10 pieces all the same interesting shape. Usually I take one of these stacks and go off to assemble something. With the stretchiness of the lycra the shapes will become distorted and lumpy (thus applicable to my body series, hah!)

I discharged this one with a Clorox Bleach Pen after the assembly and quilting. And oh my goodness, looks like Clorox is on to we surface design nutz, they have a how-to sheet to discharge creatively (aimed at teens no less) with their innovative product.

Here is my statement for this piece:
Title: The Body Flexible

Size: 6"w x 47"l

Statement: Questions my body asks. How many times can you cut me open and still expect to be flexible? Can you inhabit me as I am and still remain in the world? How much flexibility do you really require of me? What have you done for me lately?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Brown Pelican

We spent the afternoon at New Brighton State Beach on Saturday. I took this picture of a single brown pelican swimming around with the seagulls. It was so funny looking, this gigantic bird paddling along with the smaller gulls and terns keeping up behind in a line.
That is Monterey in the distance.
It was a gorgeous day, clear, sunny, not windy, hardly anyone on the beach, a perfect November outing, reminding us once again just how lucky we are to live here.
Here's a closeup illustration from Audobon, so you can actually see what this pelican looks like!

9 Patch Curves

I was intrigued by the description of Sue Benner's class over at Gerrie's blog, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. This was my version of the 9patch exercise, except I used more than the three required fabrics, and cut it up into a rather wonky 9patch. Here's the Before

And here is the After

The after is very very stiff as this is done with fused shapes. I rather like how this came out. Thanks Gerrie for sharing what you learned in class.

Threadless, Nude No More

Hey, have you seen this great t-shirt online store, Threadless? Mod, innovative, dare I say, hip? designs that are submitted by the user community and then voted on to get printed.
I got directed here by TruDesign, another SelfPortraitTuesday artist. She currently has a hilarious design up for voting, "Wakey, Wakey", go check it out and vote it up, I really want to wear this shirt!
I just ordered a couple shirts for holiday gifts, gotta love that E-Z online shopping.

Tumbler Update

I posted a long while ago about my charm quilt that I'm working on, this particular shape is usually called "Tumbler." When I did the mystery quilt which involved the intense required scrap=i=ness, I cut a charm tumbler out too. Then I thought what the hey, let's sew 'em together and see what I've got. Looks pretty cool imho. Not even a quarter done yet going through and cutting one from each fabric that I have. This is let's just say a longterm project.
Then I got some family feedback:
DH says, oh don't sew the strips together let's hang them up like that, they look great when they move.
But, I say, I'm making this for our bed.
Oh. Ok then.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday - A last persona illustrated

My last self portrait Tuesday illustration of facets of persona for November.

I am ever hopeful

I am ever determined

I shall not give up

Can you see my determination?

I shall be happy with my skin somehow, someway, someday.

'Til then, call me mudgirl

Edible Sunlight

These red berries catch my eye every morning. I drive past as the sun is hitting them and they make me slow down and look. They are Hairy Honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), the berries are supposed to show up in late summer. Hmmm. Not this year I guess.
Red Berries in the morning light

another view of the berries

more in the sun

Sunlight edible

My road with berries in the distance.