Saturday, February 6, 2016

Informal survey

Japanese Dreams - framed quilt

Butterfly brooch (about 2 12" wing tip to wing tip)

Butterfly pincushion (The ruler is not attached.)

Table topper

Table runner

Baby quilt - butterflies

Priority quilt (Approximately 8 1/2" x 11")

Baby quilt - stars

Bookshelf quilt (about 4' long)

I am going to really put myself out there this time. Each of the items above is a piece I have designed and created. I am curious to know if you would be interested in purchasing anything similar to any of these pieces, and if so, what you would consider an appropriate price for it. If you would, please respond in the comments with identification of any piece and a price range. If you would not, please let me know why not. Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Making a Difference

The wild weather we have been experiencing around the world has me thinking about climate change and ways we can do something about it. I've come across some very interesting articles recently that illustrate possibilities.

Most urban trees grow yards; they belong to individuals, but we all benefit from them. Rain falling onto branches and leaves is dispersed, meaning gradual absorption into the soil as opposed to sheeting over the ground that causes erosion and flooding.

Likewise the sun’s rays are intercepted (shade), foliage absorbs air pollutants, and beneficial root fungi take up phosphorus and heavy metals that would otherwise pollute ground water. During major storm events Gainesville’s abundant tree canopy intercepts the winds, deflecting damaging force away from homes.

Home Sweet Home by Carolyn Pearce - this has sparked some ideas for pieces focusing on places and peoples that have not received a lot of attention in the artistic community nor the media.

Making Do . . . - reminded me of the times I sat with my grandmother while she darned socks or sewed on buttons.

And then, there was this from a book I've been reading:

[O]ld quilts made from recycled fabrics reminded Japanese needlewomen of the past, of the days when their mothers patched clothing or made household items from scraps. It didn't matter that these quilts had tears or worn patches in them, this was part of their charm. We Japanese have traditionally cherished old fabrics, and the idea of creating something artistic and useful from scraps appealed to our ideal of beauty.  (Japanese Quilts by Jill Liddell & Yuko Watanabe (c) 1988, p ix)

It ties in, of course, to using recycled, found, and vintage materials in my work.

What do you think? Is there something you would like to suggest to others?

Until next time, I wish you peace.

(Note: I provide links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation by me with any site.)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Goal Setting and Other Thoughts - Part Two

Knit ear warmer

As soon, it seems, as Christmas was over, I found myself excitedly working on my year-end inventory and goals. Still, it took a while to be able to work through everything, which is why I have been so quiet here. 

I used a slightly different method this year. Before I got started, I had written a list of things I felt I should consider as I determined my goals for 2016, letting it simmer in the back of my mind for a few weeks. When I finally sat down to work on the inventory and goals, I listed the things I had accomplished in 2015 and wrote down everything I thought I might want to do in 2016. One of the books I had been reading about goal setting suggested creating a "pie" with wedges indicating areas of your life that you want to focus on. The categories I arrived at were: Financial, Health & Exercise, Creativity, House/Housing, Intellectual Stimulation, and Family & Friends. My next step was to divide everything I want to do into those categories. Then, I cut them down to a maximum of five items per category. (I may need to reduce that further, however.)

After working with those items for about a week, I realized that I needed to be more specific in a few of them. In particular, I needed to decide how to implement the Creativity goals with a focus on the business. As I mentioned back in September, I decided that I could create for myself. What that means to me is that I am free to experiment with techniques and styles without as much concern about the marketplace. In keeping with my concerns about our world and its future, I returned to the idea of incorporating the concepts of simplicity, functionality, and beauty into my work. In addition, my goal, as always, is to use recycled, found, and vintage materials where possible, expressing the concepts of global equity and sustainability.

Finally, while I am very pleased with the things I managed to create in 2015, like the ear warmer (which was a big hit!), I was disappointed in how few there were. In addressing the issue, I began to come to terms with the difficulties I have in sticking to my schedule when people around me request my time. After coming up with a more definitive schedule, I made some decisions about how to handle those requests. Only time will tell if I have finally come up with the answer, but I am hopeful that 2016 will prove to be a much more productive and satisfying year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Goal Setting and Other Thoughts

These lovely quilts were in the space where our family celebration was held.

While I am still getting ready for my nuclear family gathering at Christmas, the larger family party is over and my thoughts are turning to doing my year-end inventory and goal setting exercises. To help myself do that this year, I have been working with Gail McMeekin's book The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor. She presents a series of "challenges" to get you to think about your creative process and work towards making a list of goals.

In addition, I have been trying to be more aware of the things that capture my attention. I was reminded of Ragfinery by this video VTV at WWU's video. It, in turn, has reminded me to add recycling/upcycling to the list of items I want to be sure to include in my goals.

On another note, we are still dealing with above normal temperatures, and with a minor blip toward normal ones over next weekend, are supposed to continue to have them for the next couple of weeks. I find it truly disturbing. At the same time, I am happy that an accord has been reached in Paris on climate change. You can read more about that here: Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

(Note: I provide links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation by me with any site.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Finally Normal

These pictures were taken during the snow storm we had November 21st. We got about half a foot of snow. It was all gone within three days, and temperatures hit their normal range for our area at this time of year. (They had been running above normal.) Thinking about that and the United Nations Climate Summit led me to this interesting article. What's the difference between global warming and climate change? There is a lot more information on the website about the various situations and questions relating to issues involved.

Global warming, by the way, refers to the overall temperature of the planet. It is not meant to indicate temperatures in specific locations.

Today marked the beginning of the summit. The agenda is an ambitious one, but very necessary. You can find out more at UN Climate Change Conference. I hope you will check it out.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

(Note: I provide links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation by me with any site.)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Creating & Questioning

Making progress on Christmas gifts. Can't show much, but here are a few hints on some of them. Our large family get together is the second Saturday of December, so I have lots to do.

As a result of a class offering at the local community college, I have also been thinking about business niches. I know that I said that I was going to simply create for myself and for gifts, but the idea still stirs questions. Primarily, I find myself asking what I love most to create.

Since my next post will likely be after Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful holiday, if you celebrate it, and offer my thanks for your interest in my blog.

Until next time, I wish you peace.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I've been thinking a lot about deliberate downsizing and the changes we make in our lives as we grow older. Many of my family members have cut their home sizes and reduced their possessions in the process. It is something I am seriously considering, both as a retirement option and in the recognition that I will never be able to do or use all the materials I have purchased through the years.

It has become more apparent to me recently that there are some things I will no longer be able to do. I need, instead, to concentrate on the things I can do and find ways to have some things done by others. In addition, I need to let go of some things that could better be used by other people. Making these kinds of decisions can be really difficult. They signal not only the choice of one path over another, but also acknowledge the probable end of some dreams and hopes.

Have you ever had to face these kinds of choices? How did you handle them? Are you happy with the results?

Until next time, I wish you peace.