Tuesday, March 30, 2010


March Madness is nearly over, the month that in the past has been fraught with stressful events and a few losses. My trip to see Roger was spectacular. The weather was amazing and the traveling was okay even waiting in line to get the rental car. The wait was over an hour and when I discovered that the two women in line behind me were heading for Carmel I couldn't resist telling that I had lived in that area for 31 years. The hour flew by while we chatted.
The above photo was taken near where the nursing home is in Greenbrae. Nice area, though, a bit too crowded for me. The desert is so peaceful compared to anywhere that I've lived so I find it difficult sharing my space with so many people. The high-light of my visit happened on the last day when I was told that Roger  had been pulling himself out of the wheelchair while hanging onto a parallel bar. He's paralyzed on the left side so that's a feat. The PT decided it was time for Roger to take some steps but that didn't happen on the first time out of the chair, but it did on the second and third until he'd taken 16 steps. To say the least I couldn't be more thrilled and I was the one who got to see it. The PT moves his left foot and he did the right. We were told in the beginning that he probably would never be able to stand, he's sure proving the doctors wrong.

We sat outside quite a bit and the image of a wisteria vine was shot through an umbrella. I am always drawn to lines, texure, and patterns.

Quote: Find some nice moments and hang onto them. Sally Huss

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring

I've spotted some huge grasshoppers in the yard lately and I thought that one was on the grape vine, nope, a bunch of grapes forming. I gave this plant to Roger on his birthday in 2008 and while it grew very well last year it was void of fruit. I'm taking the 10 or so bunches of grapes I counted as a good sign, especially on the eve of the day I start heading his way. It's been over two months since I was able to visit him in the Greenbrae Nursing home but by Monday afternoon I will be at his side. We're off to Redondo Beach tomorrow where mom and Stacy will spend a few days with my youngest daughter and her guys.

Quote:    “It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Luck

May the luck of the Irish be with you. What does that mean. Are Irish lucky? Or believe in luck? There's a smidgen of Irish in my veins, but March has proven to be the most unlucky month of all since 2000.  In any event, I made these postcards for a swap using the backgrounds I posted a few days ago. The square and the shamrocks are cut out from painted fusible web and ironed on. Buttons and machine stitching and viola, a green postcard.

For some history go here:

Quote: St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic. ~Adrienne Cook

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In the Studio

Creating a one-of-a-kind, aka, ooak, piece of fabric is sublime. I've finally started dyeing and painting fabric again, what the hold-up was is beyond me; feel free to fill in the reason with any excuse.

So, bleach discharge, just plain old bleach, rubber stamps, sponges, corrugated cardboard and a folded piece where the bleach didn't reach the interior but that's okay. I'm not sure what the manufacture is or where I purchased the black fabric, but it worked unlike the first black yardage did. Interesting that some fabrics are resistant to bleach being that nothing I ever wear is.

I also poured some really old mixed dye, from last May, all over a piece of soda ashed muslin and it's been brewing for days now. I'm in no rush to rinse it out especially seeing how the dyers-in-the-know say that dye loses it's intensity every day it sits. I'm not fond of the unbleached muslin that I purchased many years ago anyway, so there's nothing to lose.

Quote: Doubt is a signal of the creative process. Julia Cameron

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nugget of Joy

I finally know what the cover looks like for 1000 Artisan Textiles. Why the excitement? I'm proud to be able to say that two out four submissions of my work were chosen for publication. I have no idea which two and will have to wait until  May to find out. Of course the book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com.

Quote: Given a choice, be happy. You are given a choice. Sally Huss

Monday, March 08, 2010

Nuggets of Joy

Yesterday, Sunday, winter decided  that the desert needed more rain; that was okay with me. It was a nice day to work on a few projects while the rain lightly dripped down my clean window. You know what they say is always true; wash your car or windows and it'll rain.
I photographed the garden while it was wet and soggy to remind myself when the temps stay over 100+ for months on end that we did have a very pleasant winter this year. I won't bore you those photos that are destined for my journal, but the stains on the patio created marvelous abstracts. Perfect for manipulating in PSE and Nuggets of Joy!
The following quote was on Laura Cater-Woods' newsletter a couple of days ago. It reminds me of how my mother now sees the world. Mom will look at something, comment on it, look away for maybe a second or two and return to the TV, food, magazine, view out the window or whatever and act as if it's the first time she's seen what is in front of her and make the same comment. Everything is new to her again and again and again. The mind of a person with Alzheimer's is interesting. Nothing is old or boring, but that also means that nothing enters her memory bank; it's been wiped clean.

Quote: I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead; I lift my eyes and all is born again. " Sylvia Plath

Friday, March 05, 2010

Rock Salt

I don't remember where I read about using rock salt rather than table salt to create texture on paper or fabric, but I'm thrilled that I had the good sense to purchase some. I'm working on backgrounds for a swap and they were looking very boring until I sprinkled some rock salt onto the wet fabric. I never got an effect this great with table salt and yes, the salt has been brushed off so the pattern is permanent. The only problem is that some of the texture will be covered up once I start adding elements; right now I'm enjoying the rawness of painted canvas fabric. I used Golden Fluid Acrylic paint, three shades of green, that were randomly brushed onto very wet fabric. The purplish gray is just some cheap deep purple acrylic paint. When the pieces were dry I  heat set them with an iron.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out this blog.

Quote: In order to grow as artists, we must be willing to risk. We must try to do something more and larger than what we have done before. Julia Cameron

Monday, March 01, 2010

Nuggets of Joy

There was something cathartic about finishing the Puzzlement Challenge Piece, quite unexpected actually. It was as if a weight had been lifted once I posted about the piece; I had no idea that I was hanging on so strongly to so many weighty emotions that seem to have lightened up now.

A few nights ago while a pot of rice was cooking I took the opportunity to sit in one of my favorite places in the yard, the left rear side near a tree with a different view of the house; I often end up sitting on the patio in this photo. As the sun set I sipped my drink and finished reading a novel. Once the intense summer heat hits I will no longer be able to enjoy pleasant evenings outdoors, so I captured it with my Canon Powershot.  The photo of the cactus is directly to the left of where I was sitting.

There are many Nuggets of Joy in my own surroundings as I'm sure there are in everyone's.

Quote: I thought I'd leave you with a lighter quote by Anne Lamott, the last two have been heavy ones.

"Joy is the best makeup."

— Anne Lamott (Grace [Eventually]: Thoughts on Faith