As I less than merrily weave my way through this newest set of BOULDERS in my life's path, my posting will be somewhat erratic; however, I WILL still be here and WILL continue to share my world of fabrics, fibers and founds with you.
For those of you who have been following me regularly (Thank You!!!), you'll know that I have not been able to drive in over two years, which makes this current situation SO much more enjoyable (not!!).
I can report that my Treasure, my daughter, is doing beautifully, and my grandson kicked me hello a couple days ago -- he is SO ready to join us soon (February can't come soon enough!!).
So stay tuned...A N D...
Be curious! Allow yourself to Be Challenged!! And I'll be back!!
I always like Alyson's column; she features great tips and tricks on a regular basis. If for some reason you can't follow the video, click here. Enjoy!
Be artistic! Be affirming! And, I'll be back!!
Thanks to Maggie of Magpies Collectibles, I popped over to that blog, and WOW! Get The Bean has a goal of fundraising for fighting cancer, ALWAYS a worthy cause. Right now to celebrate the new opening, they are having a give-away on Fridays of a pound of coffee. Of COURSE I entered! It would be nice to win, but I've signed up as a follower of the blog, plus I imported their button (available on the sidebar near the bottom of the page).
Do take some time and go visit Get The Bean -- I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed!
Be sociable! Be energized! And I'll be back!!
Art was involved with the Prince George's Historical Quilting Society in Maryland. Prince George's County is located east and slightly north of Washington, D.C. and is the home of the Redskins' stadium (yes, I used to be a Redskins fan before moving to Dallas, Cowboys Country!). My mother was the president of the group and I published the newsletter. Art was the only man in our group, but his incredible talent more than made up for the lack of other men!
Braided Cross Stitch is a well-written book. The first chapter is devoted to explanations and illustrations of the stitch, followed by several pages of color pictures and projects. Art closes with a chapter on how to design your own braided cross stitch piece, and a Question-and-Answer 'clinic'.
My mom gave this book to me. It is still available at Amazon and on E-bay. I highly recommend it as an addition to your own library!
Be studious! Be searching! And I'll be back!!
My mother with her Mariner's Compass piece
Then me, my brothers (both of whom are engineers like my father) and Mom
And then my treasure, my daughter Katie Jane.
Katie is also the fifth generation of the women in our family to have Jane for a middle name -- Katherine Jane, Sarah Jane (me!), Lois Jane (Mom), Charlotte Jane (Grandmom) and Sarah Jane (great grandmother).
Be loving! Be learning! And I'll be back!!
And, in my dining area on my buffet sits the Proud Grandma's First Picture of Preston in its Place of Honor!! OMG, one more time, I'm SO excited and thrilled and entranced and WWHHHHEEEEEEEEE!!! Be exploring! Be observant! And I'll be back!!
Oh my goodness, I'm SO proud...here is the First Picture of my new grandson, Preston Alan Birbeck!!!
Katie, my Treasure, sent me a letter which I received yesterday. Enclosed was her first sonogram! There's the white wavy I guess amniotic fluid on your left, and Preston is right in the middle, with his head on top (instead of upside down as they so often do...!!!) and part of his arm, and see his little spine so nicely delineated right down the middle??!! I'm excited and entranced and just beside myself!! Although, just for the record I still think I'm too damn young to be a grandma (of course, when IS it ever the "right age"?!!)...
So my Treasure is having a Little Treasure, ok, gotta say it one more time, I'm THRILLED!!!
Now I have to finish the multi-colored crocheted baby blanket I had started, then I have to do a baby quilt in blues, and a little hat and pair of booties. HMMMMM, there will be a LOT of pix in the next few weeks...I'm DETERMINED to get this stuff done before Preston joins us in this world. I only just last month finished the Beatrix Potter baby quilt that I had started for Katie 18 years ago...(*GRIN*)!!
Be excited! Be thrilled with your life -- there's ALWAYS something to bring you joy!! And, I WILL be back!
SO, rallying, I found YET another UFO. OK, I've found like LOTS and LOTS!!. But this one, although more time-consuming because less finished, still stands a good chance of being done during the time limit our group (stitchinfingers -- click or see badge on sidebar) has set ourselves. It's one of the "Beyond Crossstitch" series of Victoria Sampler, called 'Azaleas'. I've done two others by VS, I'll have to find them and post pix because I enjoyed doing them. They work up quickly, are quite pretty, and can be finished in a variety of ways. NAYY!
Be brave! Be fearless! And I'll be back!!
Sarah, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory
characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for
Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack
the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a
distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient
verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and
You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability
to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize
and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.
In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner
All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and
your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others.
You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use
your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your
You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently
within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or
lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and
elaborate on the meaning.
It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you
learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to
listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.
For more fun seeing everyone's submissions, click here and
First, I drew my hands on two separate pieces of onionskin paper --
then I transferred the drawings to fabric and sewed the hands to the background piece, stitching along the lines of the hands to emphasize the curvature of them a bit --
The dots on the hands are pins which I used instead of basting the layers because I planned to FME the hell out of the background.
The leaves there on the left will be appliqued around the wrists, which I left with unfastened raw edges because I was unsure what I was going to do with that spot. The background fabric cut in strips from an awesome piece of nighttime city skyline fabric that one of the Orts Group Artists (that's for another post!!) had Very Graciously shared with me a while ago. The first border is pieced one-inch squares in black-and-white rock images and small floral images. When I post the final picture on my other blog, I'll go into why I chose this. The final border will be self-wrapped from the back, plain black, folded to 3/8" and stitched down.
Be inquisitive! Be drawing, in your mind if not with your pencil! and I'll be back...
I will say this -- every day that I have is a gift. It is a free 12 hours(or so!) of awesomeness, fun, funniness, appreciating the people who (from "Four Feathers" w/Heath Ledger) "God put you in my way, so what else am I to do??!! (character grins and walks off across the African desert sanddune mountains!)." That's a quote from near the end by the character played by Djimoun Honsou, for whom I have the UTMOST respect as an awesome actor, along with Heath Ledger's character. It's not that I'm crazily religious or anything, do NOT go running screaming in the other direction, but I do firmly believe that things happen for a reason and just because they may be bad in our interpretation of the word does not necessarily mean that our interpretation is correct.
Be appreciative! Be grateful (for every moment that you have, that you can feel, that you can know)!! AND (promise, not a threat!!) I'll be back...
I do have to say a huge thank you to some wonderful folks who said, when all the curveballs were being thrown at me, that they hoped I'd be like a Phoenix, get up and go on. My friends have believed in me, and I am of the firm opinion that without their support I would not have made it as far as I have. So, huge hugs and humble thank-yous to Pat, Vikki, Arlee, Jenny, and everyone else -- you all are wonderful and made my life the richer for knowing you!
Be grateful for the good in your life...and be enriched by the joy of living! And, I WILL be back!
P.S. I can't find the darn link for the firebird image, but I'll post it here soon!
First, it's been a year now since my life took a ninety-degree curveball. This will be the only time I recognize the date for this particular event. However, I'm pleased with how things are turning out. It has not been easy, nor has it been fun a lot of the time, but I've learned a lot of confidence and self-belief in me as a woman and as an artist. So overall, it's been a good thing.
My daughter has moved back to Maryland to be with her sister and her father's family. This is a good thing, too -- Amber has an adorable four-month-old little girl, and my Treasure is pregnant with a future Little Treasure! There are more and better resources there for her, so I'm pleased for her.
AND, saving the best for last, it was my Third Blogiversary!! Lordy, I can't believe it's been three years now, time flies! I'm looking forward to another magical year filled with positive learning experiences, a few less Life Slams (*grin*), and lots of fun and laughter along the way!
Be strong! Be joyful! And I'll be back!
Be caring! Be aware! And I'll be back!
Different bird, different silk, same sheer. In the upper right, you can see white flowers behind the sheer...that's a completely different fabric that happened to be underneath when I took the pic. So you can see how sheer the sheer actually is! I do need to work on my camera skills...the bird's tail is a row of chain stitch, and the bird is outlined in backstitch. The whole thing is the size of your thumb.
Be different! Be adventurous! And I'll be back!
Mirabile Dictu -- differently neat blog, with a GREAT sidebar set of resource links.
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom -- years ago I used to belong to this, when I was young and feckless, so to speak. Now I think it's time I investigated their organization again...many many cool ideas and actions coming from these ladies. In fact, years ago, I got a set of postcards from them, one of which I recently sent to my friend Arlee. It said, next to a blue stencilled playground with children playing on white background, "One day the Air Force will have to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber". Telling, no?!
Global Art Project -- I participated in this a couple years ago before I started blogging and it was most worthwhile. I wish I had thought at the time to take pix, but I had no idea my professional life in art was going to take off the way it has. However, I will be participating next year, and I urge all of you who are interested to check it out and considering participating as well.Artists
Artists for Peace -- This group is through the Bernier Dance Organization, with dance, music, and poetry. Nevertheless, We are all artists in our own particular medium, and who's to say we can't be struck by a particular dance, poem or piece of music and translate that idea into our own language of textiles and fiber??!!
And, just one more for now:
The Fund for Women Artists -- Check out the site -- absolutely awesome listing of peace groups within our purview of being women and artists, great resources links, can't say enough good things. I've been a member here for a while now, and I absolutely advocate their ideas, methods, and membership.
This is enough to provoke your brain cells and your creativity for now. Please leave me a comment -- if there's enough interest (i.e., at least three of us??), I'd like to add a page here to my blog featuring photos of folks' work, whether in progress or in final.
Be caring! Be creative! And I'll be back!
And NOW for the ALL-TIME, ULTIMATE reason for packratting...(*HUGE GRIN*) For a backing, I'm using an old dust ruffle. I loved the quilt set with which it goes, but I've always hated that darn ruffle so one day as I yanked it off the mattress in disgust, I thought "hmmmm" Lots of perfectly good backing fabric here...so I ripped off the ruffle part and cut it up into manageable sections for something some time and cut the white part that goes on the mattress into a few rectangles/squares. VOILA!!
Be collected (*grin*) Be ruffled (*VBG*)! And I'll be back!!
OK, well, the first rose petal I tried tore. So I've smathered the ones I've chosen (above) with, yes, yet more hand lotion. BTW, the lotion I'm using, the first one I grabbed (with an 18yo daughter around, there is NO END to little sample bottles of hand lotion!) is, NAYY, coconut/lime verbena body lotion by Bath and Body Works...ANYWAY, I've laid them out with another leaf (upper left corner) that I'm going to attach to the front with the petals. There are two colors of petals, cuz Katie gave me a double rose bouquet for Mother's Day. Such a good child (*GRIN*)!! Here's the original bouquet (below), including baby's breath, which I also may use in this project.
I also took a picture of the next step of my actual piece (below). I trimmed half off of the dryer sheet and basted in red thread. I think you can tell in the pic, I tried to get a good view -- the whole lotion concept worked so well that I was able to actually baste through the leaf with no problem! Never having done this before, I am, of course, suitably impressed!
As you may notice the length of time between today's first and second posts, it takes about an hour for the lotion to be absorbed. I dont' know if it's because of the technique or the fact that I slathered it on just in case. But in the meantime, here's an image I'll leave with you -- Katie's boyfriend practicing spinning fire (below). He uses glowsticks for practice, but he actually has two chains with stuff and he lights it on fire and spins it in all kinds of intricate ways and it's a ton of fun to watch!
Be exploring! Be sharing! And I'll be back!
OK, here's the next part...
I inserted a (moisturized) dried leaf between the dryer sheet and the angelina. I have not yet basted the layers. The leaves are crumbly (although the flower petals dryed more flexibly), so I slathered this one with hand lotion and let it sit for a bit. As you can see, the leaf is now completely flat behind the dryer sheet. I'm going to then baste the layers with red thread (easier to see) and observe how well the leaf can be viewed through the dryer sheet after basting before I determine my next step.
Well, I'm back on the road again!
I know I'm behind in what everyone is doing all at one time, but isn't that why we have the different drummers?!
This experiment involves background through sheer and a foreground. I wanted to use angelina and dryer sheets because that's what I've got. I held them up together, and the dryer sheet (used, thanks!) seems like it might work.
I have been intrigued by this concept for a while and am only now getting to it. So my first pic here is having cut my 4x6 background fabric, chosen my angelina and ironed it, and grabbed my dryer sheet. I've just pinned the layers together prior to basting.
Be intrigued! Be curious! And I'll be back!!
One of the artists that I most admire is Bean Gilsdorf. One of my favorite pieces is her birds and guns.
Guns and life are intertwined. In my opinion, guns are not bad or evil or whatever. I was a hunter, and I shot birds for food. But I also focus some of my work on birds.
So what I'm saying, I guess, is that I like Bean's work. And I don't think guns are evil, per se. And I do think that people need to keep open minds about human beings and animal beings, and to just not be judgmental generally.
Who are we to make a statement???
Be open. Be aware! And I'll be back!!
I have started a second blog, Tumbleweed Designs. Over the next few days, I will be posting personal work here and professional work by Tumbleweed Designs there. Please stay tuned...I have been faithful about taking pictures through these last painful, computer-less months (the library here does not allow one to upload anything on their system, which make sense of course, but is SO inconvenient!!), so please stay tuned!
Be patient! Be adventurous! And I'll be back!
I have a new Haiku for 2008, one with a definite positive outlook! Entering it at the beginning of the year as a forecast, rather than at the end of the year as an observation, seems to change my perspective towards a more enlightened attitude!
And, poking around again, I have come up a couple mention-worthy spaces. A friend of a friend has a blog and a new website -- Judy Whitehead is an art quilter and also a fiber-dyer extraordinaire! Do go visit her new space -- and her blog, Sodypop's Creative Journey. Judy features some wonderful colors in her work, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some!
From Judy's blog, I followed along to The Illustrated Garden. I will be visiting this blog frequently, and Val's website. Val Webb is a highly accomplished botanical illustrator, and you will spend a lot of time drooling at her inspirational work. I strongly recommend that you visit her!
Because I have no computer at the moment, I am still at the library and thus unable to post pix at this time. That should change shortly, I hope, and there will be several entries with all pix and no (or very little!) text!
I want to thank all my readers at this time for y'all's undying patience and fortitude during this period of readjustment. I have found my strength, however, and am forging ahead full speed.
Be attentive! Be a listener! And I'll be back!!
I raise a toast to the New Year, to 2008 and all its unexplored corners, unmet opportunities, and unmapped possibilities for success and happiness!! And, of course, a few less not-so-positive experiences.
For all my readers, I give you warmest regards and best wishes for a peaceful and satisfying 2008!!
Be curious! Be adventurous! And I'll be back!