Happy New Year

I managed to create a few sketches during the last days of 2016. It felt encouraging to me. It felt good to create. Mostly it felt healing to just sit and focus. Perhaps the cold weather shifted my mood to spring. (Click on image for a larger view.)

More outdoor thoughts, this time with more color.

After I kicked off my boots I decided to sketch one.

This morning I read about a month-long sketch challenge from Sketchbook Skool. I’ve taken several on-line classes from them and always enjoyed the classes and the results. Today’s prompt is ‘rest.’ So I started sketching…

The air is quite chilly and snow is predicted

but right now it’s beautiful outside and the sun in streaming into my studio. It’s a new day. It’s a new year. Make it what you want it to be.

Blessings of the Season

Among the hustle and bustle, here are a few quiet moments I’ve experienced lately. The holiday boat parade on the Willamette River. It is fun to share in the joy of these boaters’ inspiration. Click on image for a larger view.

Some quiet moments with my sketch book to gather myself.

 

 

 

What are you doing to center yourself during these busy days?

Happy Thanksgiving

11-25-15 Happy Thanksgiving

Moved to Portland, OR

I haven’t been here on my usual Wednesday and Friday dates sharing what I’ve been up to. Instead, I have been preparing to put our home on the real estate market and move to Portland, Oregon. The plan was put into action in February and we arrived in Portland on June 22nd. We’ve purchased a condo in the Pearl District and anticipate a July 30 closing. Until then, we are exploring our new home town and catching up with friends in the area.

The entire west coast has been experiencing quite a heat wave since the day we arrived. Yesterday we decided to escape the high-90 degree temperature of the city in favor of a trip to Cannon Beach. And what a great decision that was!

We arrived just minutes before the start of the annual July 4th parade down the main street. This small town fairly drips with wholesomeness, Americana, Norman Rockwell. . . you get the picture.

Cannon Beach, July 4th

Click on images for a larger view. Folks in the parade were tossing wrapped candy out to the kids. And here comes the big truck.

Cannon Beach, July 4th, Fire truck

Here are the lifeguards for the beach. This was the place to be! As we savored the fun of the parade I could almost hear Charles Ives’ Holiday Symphony.

Cannon Beach, July 4th, Lifeguards

After our picnic lunch by the band stand — where else? — we drove up into the nearby state park for some great views of the beach.

Cannon Beach, July 4th, waves

The sky was not completely clear, but we were so grateful for the mid-60s temperatures that we didn’t mind. Here’s Haystack Rock.

Cannon Beach, July 4th, Haystack Rock

The only art I’ve created in the last few weeks happened just a few days ago while consuming copious amounts of cold water and wishing for cooler days to come.

Iced Coffee

Cheers!

Merry Christmas

These small boxes were folded from last year’s holiday cards.  They measure 1 3/4″ square x 3/4″ deep. Each contains one piece of chocolate candy. They will be favors for our holiday table. Click on image for a larger view.

12-24-14 table favors

I’m wishing everyone small wonders and a sweet new year.

This posting has been linked to Off the Wall Friday.

 

Thankful Thursday

Just a few reasons to be thankful every day. Click on image for larger view.

What are you thankful for today?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I was looking through my collection of fabric postcards the other day to create a slide show for the Postmark’d Art site when I came across this lovely postcard that Sherry Boram sent to me in 2006. Sherry is a charter member of this international group of artists who have been trading fabric postcards since 2004. She has a wicked-funny sense of humor, an always-original way of interpreting a subject in fabric and, though we have yet to meet in person, I consider her to be a dear friend.

Don’t over do the corned beef, and, by the way, Happy Spring!

Mini Stockings Finished

Here are 12 of the 14 stockings I completed.

As the final stitches were being done, my mind turned to the possible uses for these little charmers. Naturally they will be wonderful on the Christmas tree. But how about using them on your holiday table?

Or hanging them on a door?

Or attaching them to a hostess gift?

I’m sure you’ve already come up with even more ideas. How about sharing those ideas with me?

It feels great to start the year with a project in mind and actually complete it. I can see pulling out my scraps this summer to whip up a few more of these mini Christmas stockings. They are just the ticket for decorating and giving.

To read about when this project started and the book I used click here.

Mini Stockings: Work in Progress

I had more fun than the law will allow yesterday putting the final decorative stitches on the applique designs for the mini stockings. (See my earlier posting about the start of this project and the book I’m using.) Next up is assembly — and with 14 of these little cuties to finish, I’m very glad I disciplined myself to complete each step on all 14. Susan has probably made hundreds of the mini stockings over the years — and since she literally wrote the book sharing her tried-and-true methods, it’s best to follow her instructions carefully. After attaching the header to the top of the stocking it’s time to stack up the lining (right sides facing) and backing (wrong side up) fabrics. The stocking front is placed on top of the stack and acts as the pattern. Here are the final five stacked, ready to cut.

Here they are with the hanger on top of each one, ready to sew.

Susan is joining me in my studio tomorrow to sew. I can’t wait to complete the first one!

Christmas 2012: Planning Ahead

You read that right. Just last month I was thrilled to take the tree down on December 26th. For me, when it’s over, it’s over. But I also had such a wonderful Christmas Day with friends at our house that I’m already thinking about Christmas 2012. So. . .when I joined friends this last Saturday for a day of sewing and catching up I decided to begin piecing some mini Christmas stockings.

My friend Susan Terry wrote the book on them — and larger stockings too — so I plucked fast, fun & easy Christmas Stockings from my book shelf and started planning. Scraps are in order here! Out came the bag of neutral-color scraps. Ready.

When done, these mini stockings will be fully lined, have a header and a hanger and will be charming wherever I decide to use them. Susan said so. . . and she doesn’t lie.

Merry Christmas to All

May the beauty of Christmas surround us…

May the wonder of Christmas astound us…

May the gladness of Christmas delight us…

May the Spirit of Christmas unite us.

Slow Down

I’m hearing this from several sources — Simon Sinek recently posted an article entitled “Go Slow” and Jenny Lyon talked about slowing down in a class I hosted recently. Simon addressed the subject as a life-style issue. Jenny was referring to the peddle-to-the-metal approach for quilting. Her experience has taught her that if she wants precision, beautiful work when she quilts, she has to slow down. Why do so many of us believe that life needs to be lived at the speed of sound?

I thoroughly enjoy what I do. In fact, I enjoy each step in the process of creating something new — enough that I want to savor the doing. My recent distraction with the lint trap of my dryer tells me just how much I want to slow down, be aware of the moment and act on what comes up. Acting against my normal focused practice, I did just that and it was so satisfying!

Now I am back to work on the sun print I started last week. I thread painted the first batch of leaves with a Rainbow thread by Superior.

It’s back on my design wall while I decide on the thread for the remaining leaves. Patience. This is good for me.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty to do…..like creating some fun boxes for my dinner table Christmas day. I learned how to make these little gems from my friend Aileyn several years ago. I used greeting cards from last year. The boxes measure 1 3/4″ square by 3/4″ deep and they hold one piece of candy. They are utterly charming on the table.

Here’s to being in the moment.

A Little 4th on the 5th

I start most days walking with the boys, Mendelssohn and Taylor, aka Bichon Frise dogs, but don’t tell them that.  July 4th was no exception.  In fact, a walk on a holiday morning is an especially good thing.  It gives me a chance to catch my breath before the preparations for the day begin in earnest.  So…did someone says “Walkies?”

Notice the snappy scarf on Taylor.  They were groomed Friday and came home with those scarves. They were struttin’ their stuff!

After the wide shifts from heat to rain this week, we were grateful for mild tempeartures all day.  It was a perfect day for appreciating ones freedom and remembering those who ensure that freedom.  The backyard chickens seemed extra perky…

and my radicchio-cabbage slaw with blueberries was almost patriotic.