Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where does the time go??

Here it is the very end of July ... of 2009 even!!! I turn 57 years old next week - how is that possible? There's some dreams I still need to accomplish! Being thin is one of them! Okay, I'm not really willing to work hard at it - just not willing to give up the dream! My son has set his wedding date for next July. [Hip, hip, hooray!!] How's that for a goal to aim for? I'd like to be at a normal weight by his and J2's wedding. Let the life-plan begin!

Those of you that know me KNOW that I cannot draw a straight line even with a ruler! I have several 'artsy' friends and have always - not so secretly - wanted to be able to draw. Even doodle!!!

Last month I read in "Oregon Coast Today" - ironically, a weekly paper! I know - why not "Oregon Coast Weekly????" We'll never know! Anyway, they announced that there were free art lessons at the Visual Art Center. Lots of different mediums offered, but you know I have a busy schedule here [smile] One class that fit for me was "Colored Pencils". Hey, that's cool! I even have some of those and a drawing pad I got free at Nebraska Book! ... and I DON'T need another expensive hobby!

It didn't start out so well. I didn't have enough pencils and Teacher would prefer a different drawing pad. There was an apple that certainly didn't look like an apple in my drawing! I was encouraged to take it home and keep drawing. Then there was a mishap! One morning R grabbed it as he left to go golfing. It wasn't until after he'd eaten it that it dawned on him 'this apple wasn't in the fridge! In fact, it may have been sitting with doni's art supplies! Oh, oh!' I took the core back to class but it wasn't as funny to them as it was to us!

4 weeks into class this project started with taking a graphite pencil and darkening the entire sheet of paper! Then drawing life-size a stack of things on the table. I got the ball and the middle tube done fairly well. I hate ribbons!!! But ran out of time before working out the kinks in the bottom cubes! It's only a 2 1/2 hour class, after all! LOL! But I was so proud of my progress! I even ran home with it to show R!! And he was just as impressed!

A little known fact: colored pencils are $1.60+ EACH! But I'm sticking with it - although I'm not the most dedicated student. I tend not to do my homework - remember we do babysit every other week ... no one can accomplish anything after taking care of those dynamos! Last week I was feeling guilty; told 'Teacher' that I almost didn't come to class because I wasn't doing the homework. She said, "I used to teach Special Ed, I can deal with no homework ..." Not as reassuring as she could be!!! LOL!

After just 6 weeks I have advanced enough that a pear looks like a pear! It's getting exciting! I'm still not too fond of ribbons but I'm not tempted to rip them to shreds any more! And I even did some homework this week!

The reason that led me to study drawing was free-motion quilting! They say to get good at FM quilting you need to draw your design on white board/large paper/whatever! Well, I couldn't! Seeing it all pitiful on paper was bad enough - but when I imagined all the ripping-out that was going to happen ... I wanted to go to bed with a novel!!

So my growth opportunities this year are: lose weight - once and for all! [again!?] and drawing. Both are quite the stretch. My expanded list includes making one of my all-time favorite quilts too - log cabin!

So-o when friends talk about their quilting 'stretching' goals this year I quietly think to myself ... learn to draw. I'm sure it will improve my quilting too! Doesn't everything??

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New look?

Well, I ended up loading a different template ... better luck next time.

Two weeks to the Newport Quilt Show! I helped proof-read the show catalog and I'm pumped to see the quilts I've been reading about. If your show or a show you're visiting has a catalog - be sure to read the quilt entries before you leave or the end of the show. There are always descriptions so interesting that you want to find that quilt and study it.

Dennis McGregor, of Sisters Quilt Show posters, designed our new show logo - isn't it gorgeous??!?! He'll be at our show to autograph any of his designs.

The excitement is building!!!

Under construction!

Pardon the dust! I made the main area bigger - now just have to figure out how to get the sidebar back up there!!! It's at the bottom right now!

More later! doni

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back from Sisters

With helpers like these - of course we had a great time with family as well as looking at the quilts. Miss P and Mr M, of course!

What fun! We had perfect weather; okay it was 90 but it felt REALLY good coming up from the coast. Friday we pulled into Sisters about 1 minute behind L&J and the kids! [They were coming from Portland] We turned the corner and saw them at the next corner! We ate lunch at our favorite cafe - seriously, the best fish and chips we've ever eaten and remember we live at the coast!!! The guys headed off to golf and we headed the kids to the park playground. After some time in our favorite stores while Nana or Mommy sat with the kids it was naptime at the Bend hotel. Sisters is a pretty little town at any time - but they really want it to shine during the summer festivals.

Saturday morning was bright and no wind. That's a good thing for photographing quilts hanging outside. 1,300 quilts and hundreds of pictures, alittle too much sun and a few blisters later ...

Stashbusters online gals met up at the library. Michele, Cher, [Michele and Cher pictured] Susan from Maryland and me. We wandered about town chatting all the way. Found Nancy at the booth she was volunteering at - went different ways, rejoined at the park for picnic lunch.

There we got to meet Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville fame. Bonnie is 'southern charm' personified. Just as nice in person as on the blog and in her book. Great fun to meet her.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

How on Earth did it get to be JULY???

I went to visit a friend who lives in the next building ... we see each other at gatherings all the time, but our schedules don't mesh well - and she's a quilter! But I got to visit and see her UFO stash - what fun!!! And see her condo decorated for the 4th of July. It was wonderful - little touches here and there. It all went together and looked great! So I was inspired to come home and get out the few summer things I moved. I even put them up. But they went better in our house in Lincoln!! You'll see my favorite decorations thru out this post ... none new though!

There are get-togethers today here, but I got 'smoked' last night at the beach party. No, that isn't slang for drunk! LOL! There was a fire ... and I'm allergic to smoke! So I'm moving slow today. R just left for golfing so I think I'll hang around in casual clothes and sew! Always a popular choice! Time to "fire up" Prairie Home Companion on the web!

I'm working on the last bits and pieces of "Birds of a Feather" and hope to frame it and SID [stitch in the ditch] it this weekend. Then I can carry it around and hand-quilt details on it. We're going to Sisters for the outdoor quilt show this next week. I think we're staying over an extra day for Rick to golf some more, so hoping to have this quilt to noodle with to entertain myself! We're meeting DD, DSIL and the 2 GKs there - so I may be just napping that extra day! It's usually lots of fun family time as well as great quilt-watching. A highlight of our year. I'll let you know how it goes!

Happy 4th to you, whether it's a holiday where you live or not!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

UFO Finish - 9 years in the making!

Pumpkins Gone Bad: The Bleach Chronicles.

It is a pumpkin 'original combo' of many pumpkins from different books and different sizes-arranged in my own way.

In 2000, while high on M&Ms at a retreat [smile] I agreed to make a seasonal wall
quilt for the mini-raffle, next month?? No problem!! [Let that be a lesson to all of us - never promise anything while on retreat!] While I was cutting, might as well make 2 - and you know the story - finished the one - binding it on the way to the meeting, of course. Everyone loved it - including my mom who wanted me to win it for her - I didn't!!! No problem - I'll just make another one.

Okay - change the size, I want it alittle bigger - we were doing 'stack and slash' blocks for quilts - I'll make them smaller and use them as a border. Got it all together - oh, that's a little bright. No problem, I'll just tan dye it. Well, I must have been a little distracted when adding the liquid tan Rit dye ... turned out really, really dark! Can you say "pumpkins at midnight ... in smog?" I decided to fix it by bleaching it. ... You know, they tell you not to bleach dark fabrics. You
don't bleach darks because you have NO IDEA what colors are under those lovely dark oranges! In my case it was Fuchia pink!!! Most of those 'newly found' pinks were small pieces out in the border - I could live with them. BUT the center pumpkin??? ICK!

I took it to my support group - yep, at work, what am I going to do? V, a temp from Viet Nam saw it and thought I was avant guarde using pink for a pumpkin. I said, no it was a mistake. The next day she asked what was my artist statement ... the third day I gave up explaining and decided to slip-cover the darn thing!!! So I did and threw it all in a dark corner because it was past fall by now anyway!!!

It matured for 8 years! But it wasn't looking any better!!! I found it when packing to move here to Oregon ... decided to keep it mainly cuz I was too embarrassed to give it to anyone. Two weeks ago I took a machine quilting class and lo and behold it was just the correct size for a "practice piece". And boy do I need more practice! BUT it is done in time for a finish this quarter AND the July program at guild is a UFO and it's story!!! What do you think??? LOL!

Meanwhile - a funny Miss P story: Yesterday was a very bad day for Miss P - a day where we throw ourselves on the floor screaming when mommy leaves for work. I was told I could leave too - but I make it a point not to follow directions from a 2 3/4 year old! I try to follow Mommy's rules so after lunch we could not have a hot baba, nor could we read 3 books. I kissed her and tucked her in - I was going home before she woke up from nap - when Daddy got home. And she said, "You know, there ARE other Nanas!" Then she brought up her other nana as an example!!! Dissed by a 2 year old! Told Papa that he was coming to babysit with me from now on!!! LOL!