Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another Year Come and Gone

Well here it is the last day of the year. I am sitting here thinking back on what my accomplishments were (quilting wise) and this is what I did:

In February I started on what would be my largest project. It is a huge (66” x 77”) appliqué piece. Sort of like a block of the month only you have the entire pattern and can start any where you want. It consists of twelve blocks. I have eight blocks in various stages of either being complete or near completion. I worked on it for a while then laid it aside to work on something else. I came back to it again later and worked for a short while and it is still hanging on the design while unfinished.

In April I designed and started on a piece that was to hang on the wall in the eat-in-kitchen area. I just wanted something to hang there for part of the year and sort of represent spring/summer. The main design was fairly simple and I had this brilliant idea to add a 3D piece to it. I started the construction of the 3D piece and got so far with it and then sort of hit a brick wall as to how to assemble it and attach to the background. This piece is in UFO land for the time being.

On May 21st, I started an online class that went through the next 9 weeks. It entailed making 4 small pieces representing the elements: Water, Wind/Air, Fire and Earth. We used a lot of different techniques. Some new, some I had done before. I did complete these 4 little hangings.

In July I made a wall hanging for my studio. It measures 18” x 21”. It is there for color and smiles and hopefully for inspiration.

In August, I jumped on the bandwagon and started blogging. Once I started blogging, I quit writing in my diary. But the blog is a journal, sort of. I just don’t write any of the real personal things on it like I did with the diary. And through blogging I have met some wonderful people online.

In September came the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, resulting in my Katrina survivor quilt.

In October I attended my first art quilt group meeting. I also started a small experimental piece. I got so far with it and then decided I wasn’t happy. Another UFO.

November saw the start of another small wall hanging. That is all it saw. Another UFO, but I will complete it, someday.

There were a lot of other projects I started (and most completed) that I did this past year. They just were of a different venue. They helped me with my need to be creating and doing something.

And now with the new year knocking at the door, I have committed myself to participate in the Journal Quilts Challenge 2006 started by Debra Spincic.
This will really prove to be a challenge as I have been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what to do for January’s piece which is due on the 20th.

Reading this list, I realize that to a lot of you it will seem like I did not do that much quilt wise this past year. For me, it was quite a lot.

If you have managed to read this this far, I want to take the time to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and reading my blog and for all of your encouragement. Your kind words have meant a lot to me and helped me through some rough spots. I hope that you will continue to visit here in 2006.

May the New Year be the best yet.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

And So It Goes....

Today (actually looking at the time it was yesterday) I took down the indoor Christmas decorations. The tree is still up and probably will not come down until New Years Day. (It’s a tradition for me, don’t know why but it is). Also the outdoor decorations still need to come down when ever we get to it and weather permitting.

I have committed myself to the Journal Quilt Challenge 2006 (see sidebar for link). I’m thinking now that maybe I just need to be committed. I have been going round and round with myself trying to come up with something to do. I thought I had an idea that would carry me through the whole year, but after making a couple of patterns and really taking a hard look at it and thinking about the technique involved, I think this idea needs to be done in a larger format than the challenge size (at least by me anyway). So now I am thinking that more than likely I will just go with the spontaneous, whatever hits me mode. Anyway, now I am meeting more people through blogs and getting to see more art, quilts and whatever else pops up. Which also means I am spending more time in front of the computer instead of more time in my studio.

What’s a girl to do?

In case I don’t get back on here for a bit I’d like to wish everyone a

Happy New Year!

Bang, Boom.....

I hope all of you had a Happy …..(fill in the holiday you celebrate at this time of the year). We made it to my older sisters’ house on Christmas Eve for the family get together. No pictures to post (no one wants to have their picture up on the web). It was a large crowd and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Christmas day started out with a bang (literally). We were up just long enough to get coffee made when we heard a boom and then the electricity went out. Now I’m thinking this is just great, how am I going to cook Christmas dinner (electric stove)? But I also know from past experiences that since it wasn’t something like a storm to make the electric to go out that it would probably be back on within an hour. Sure enough, just about an hour later the RECC truck pulled up out front and had everything back on within a few minutes. And just what was it that caused the problem you ask? Some poor squirrel was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Guess what we had for dinner (fried squirrel). NOT!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Bit of a Scare

I just had a bit of a scare. While making my rounds through the webring I took the time to stop to view and listen to DebR at Red Shoe Ramblings. She figured out how to get her little video she made onto her blog. No the scare wasn’t from watching the video. (Grin) It came afterwards. Before I closed the Windows Media Player window, I hit the save button and realized at the last second that I had a CD in the drive and it was going to save to it. Now this CD was something that I worked on for several hours yesterday burning images to and I did not want to mess it up. Panic! I tried to open the drive to stop it. It wouldn’t open, but I did manage to stop the save. So…….

I finished reading the blogs, checked email and logged off. Then I decided to take a look at the CD to see if it was alright. BIG mistake. Loud Noise, followed by Computer Crash. Next this long, scary message shows on the screen stating:

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent further damage to you computer. Ect. etc. etc.

Tried to restart the computer. No go. So when all else fails what do you do? I crossed my fingers, held my breath and turned it off and then back on. Yea!! It’s back on, but….. I can’t open my CD drive and I have a message that my computer has suffered a big system error and do I want to send a report to Microsoft. Well of course! So I do, and I immediately get the information I need to get things back up and running. BIG sigh of Relief!

So then what do I do next? Well I still want to know if my CD is okay or is it junk now. Do I dare take a look and chance crashing again. Of course, what the heck after all I know what to do now if it does.

No I am not blaming Deb and her video for all of this. It was my stupid little error. And by
the way the video was fun. (Do I get a prize for plugging this?) Just kidding!

And now if your still here after reading all of the above, here is something for your viewing pleasure.

This is a scarf I crocheted.

I bought this plain red throw and embroidered these designs on all four corners.

In my past couple of posts I was saying how I wasn’t feeling all that merry right now and how things have changed so much over the years, well here’s some pictures to show the proof.

This was our outside lights just 2 years ago.

And this is what we have this year.

The Colorado Blue Spruce and the dwarf Alberta spruce are no longer around to put lights on and we didn’t place any in the Japanese maple tree this year. We also did away with the icicle lights because half of them weren’t working.

Oh well, whatever!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Only One Week Away

I don’t have a whole lot to talk about so I thought I would share some pictures with you. I know how you all love to have pictures to look at.

My Christmas tree went up the weekend after Thanksgiving but I never got around to taking any pictures until just recently. Believe it or not I shot this picture at night.

These little guys keep watch over the presents.

I have several larger Santas. This is one. He is sitting on one of those popcorn cans we are all familiar with.

And this one is animated.

I had one more picture to show you, but blogger is acting up so I will have to wait till the next time.

I'm off now to read the blogs.

ta ta!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Blues

Isn’t this time of year just absolutely wonderful? Not! But it used to be. Years ago I loved putting up the tree and decorating the inside of the house. I even enjoyed shopping for all of the gifts and wrapping them. Who doesn’t enjoy shopping for small children? I knew I could get my son anything and he would be thrilled to death with it. As he started growing up it became a little more of a chore to find the right gifts but I loved doing it, and I knew he would love what ever he received. Even as a twenty something year old, I could still pretty much please him because I worked in a department store and could have him come and pick out what he liked and mom would buy it.

Now as a thirty three year old, mom hears from son that he could use socks and underwear and a few other things that he doesn’t want to really spend his own money on. Doesn’t seem like much as a Christmas gift to me but if that’s what he tells me to get then that’s what it will be. No wonder Christmas is not fun anymore. (Oh, but he also wants some money to help pay to get his windows tinted in his new truck!)

It doesn’t help when you are married to Scrooge either. Hubby was like me back when our son was small he enjoyed Christmas, but over the years he just seems to get grumpier and grumpier at Christmas time.

In spite of all of this I have done some shopping and I have even managed to make a couple of gifts which may or may not be appreciated. It was just easier to make them then to try and buy something.

Last year we got snowed in and didn’t get to go to the family Christmas Eve party or to my parents on Christmas day. I was expecting my parents this weekend, but found out tonight they won’t be coming. Hopefully we will get to see everyone this Christmas Eve, but the weather man is saying we might get snow again on Christmas Eve! And I wonder why I am down in the dumps.

Sorry if I have depressed anyone reading this, but gathering from some of the blogs that I have read it seems that I am not the only one who is feeling this same way.

I am back on my hormone medication for the next few days and it is starting to make me sleepy again. That’s why I take it right before bedtime. So I guess I will stop my whining and get ready to go to bed. It does make me sleep pretty much through the night, but it takes me awhile to get good and awake in the morning. Usually once I have a cup of coffee I start to feel alive and can actually start functioning.

I am signing off now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Bah Humbug

I know it’s been awhile since my last post, I just really haven’t had anything interesting to blog about. I keep having these bouts of ups and downs lately and as much as I would like to blame it on hormones, I really don’t think that is it.

I think it has more to do with the fact that I just have not been very creative lately. I am still suffering from some sort of “block”. The upcoming holidays aren’t exactly helping either. I used to always look forward to the season, but the past couple of years I have noticed that I don’t seem to enjoy it as much as I used to. I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of stuff that you don’t really want to read about and so I won’t.

Just so you know, I have been reading the blogs and even occasionally leaving a comment or two. I am amazed at just how much work some of you are creating and I love seeing everyone’s art.

So you don’t go away empty handed I thought I would post a picture of this wall hanging. I made it in a class I took at the quilt shop a few years ago. As you can see it is based on a Cindy Walters snippet piece. It measures 22 inches square.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Catching Up

Just thought I would let you know I haven’t disappeared off the face of the earth.

Wednesday we went shopping for a couple of hours and then since we were in the area, we stopped by and visited with my mom and dad and one of my sisters for a short while.

We had a small dinner on Thanksgiving Day with our son. We enjoyed the visit with him, however I didn’t spend as much time with him as DH did; I was cooking while they were out in the garage working on our truck replacing the radiator. Our son just bought a new truck this past week and is very proud of it. It’s his first ever brand new vehicle to own. DH wants to trade in our truck, but I am trying to get him to hold off as long as possible before doing this. (We just don’t need another bill right now).

I have a small art piece that I started on awhile back, but haven’t been able to work much on it so I won’t show anything yet.

And today, I did some cleaning in the living room and got out the Christmas tree and put it up. I am almost finished with decorating it. I just have some strings of beads to add and then it will be done. But of course, there is more cleaning to be done and a lot more decorating so it may be awhile before I post again. I am trying to keep up with reading the blogs, but it is a little hard to keep up with at present.

Talk to you all later!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Here It Is

As I mentioned in my last post I've been tagged for the meme thing, so here goes:

1. Three screen names that you've had: I have used strugglingartist. I also have used leftylou. I don’t really have a third.

2. Three things you like about yourself: I am an optimist. I can keep a secret. I try to be a good person.

3. Three things you don't like about yourself: I am really a shy person and find it hard to talk to people. I hate the fact that I am such a procrastinator. The fact that I really need to exercise, but can’t get myself to do it.

4. Three things that scare you: Growing old and not having enough to live on, (financial account says we have enough but I’m not sure about it). Gaining more weight.

5. Three of your everyday essentials: I feel I need to attempt to create something, but a lot of times this doesn’t happen. That first cup of coffee every morning.

6. Three things you are wearing right now: clean underwear, a t-shirt and jeans.

7. Three of your favorite songs: This is really hard for me. I like to listen to the New Age music channel on Dish Network, but I don’t know the artists because I am always in another room and can’t see the name of the artists’ whose music is playing.

8. Three things you want in a relationship: Passion, compassion and understanding, and loyalty.

9. Two Truths and a Lie: I like creating things. I love chocolate. I love doing housework.

10. Three things you can't live without: Ice Cream, Pepsi and going in my studio to create.

11. Three places you want to go on vacation: The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, and Yellowstone Park.

12. Three things you just can't do: Can’t drive a stick shift. I can’t get myself to exercise. I can’t make small talk with people very easily.

13. Three kids names: Cassandra, Jay (my son’s name) and Alexandria.

14. Three things you want to do before you die: Sell one piece of art. Be able to spend some real quality time with my husband. Win the lottery.

15. Three celeb crushes: Mark Harmon, and I can’t remember their real names but I like the characters Alex and Nick on McLeods Daughters.

16. Three of your favorite musicians: This is hard as I do not listen to music nearly as much as I used to years ago.

17. Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you: eyes, smile and long legs.

18. Three of your favorite hobbies: quilting, attempts at photography and messing around with mixed media art.

19. Three things you really want to do badly right now: sleep, work in my studio and be finished with this meme.

20. Three careers you're considering/you've considered: when I was in high school, I considered becoming an airline stewardess (as they were called back in the day); a medical transcriber, and a ….. secretary.

21. Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I can do carpentry work; my hair was very short for many years, sometimes I cuss like a sailor.

22. Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I used to always dress to impress other women, I always had to have makeup on when I went out (I don’t now); my hair always had to look just so before leaving the house (it doesn’t always look so great now).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I've Been Tagged

Vicki from tagged me for the meme thing. I will have to take a couple of days to answer the questions. This will be really hard for me as I don't have answers to several of the questions. I promise I will do my best to answer these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

So Sleepy!

I am sitting here trying to read through the blogs. I am having a hard time getting through these as I am feeling very loopy right now. I am taking my new medicine at nine o'clock and by about ten thirty it is making me so drowsy I am having difficulty staying awake.

Before I started this medication I would usually come and read the blogs after I watch my TV shows if I didn't get to read them earlier in the evening and I usually didn't make it to bed until about one thirty. Now I have been going to bed by midnight at the latest. I have started drafting a new piece and trying to pull fabrics for it but it is slow going. If this medication continues to affect me in this manner I may never get anything done. This crap really sucks!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Not My Usual Self

I want to apologize for not having written much of anything lately. I have been in a big blue funk lately and just have not been able to do much of anything. I am also having some female problems and went to the gynocologist yesterday which wasn't a pleasant experience. It seems I am getting close to starting menopause, but at the moment my hormones are out of whack and so she started me on some medication to help balance things out. Anyone out there taking Prometrium? It seems one of the side effects is drowsiness and right now I am feeling so out of it I just want to go lie down and sleep for ever. I hate to take any medication. I could never take Pamprin when I was having bad cramps because it always wiped me out. I hope that this will be a temporary thing because I really miss trying to go to my studio and create stuff. I have to go in January for some further tests and I am not really sure how I feel about that.

I realize I am just rambling on and I really should give in and go to bed, but I had to take the time to read through my usual blogs. I figure if I am not able to create something, I can at least try to keep up with everyone else and check out what you all have been up to. I love seeing every one elses' work. I hope you guys will continue to check in on my blog and I promise I will try to post something more interesting soon. I just want to thank everyone who has been visiting my blog. You guys are the greatest!

I am now going to sign off and go to bed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

No Quilting, but.....

Not much to report in the way of quilting and such. We are still dealing with all of the necessary yard work that this time of the year brings about. We have one and a quarter acres of property with large pine trees in the front and a small “forest” across the back of the yard. So every year in the fall there is a ton of pine cones that fall off the trees as well as a ton of pine needles. This all has to been picked up/raked up if we want to keep what little grass grows under these trees.

I mentioned in an earlier post also about all of the leaves but I didn’t mention that even though we have a lot of trees near the back of the property; it is the neighbors leaves that blow into our yard and then we have to get them all raked and mowed to get rid of them. DH is not a person who can just let stuff like this go. It has to be dealt with even if it means doing it a couple of dozen times. Now me, I could let it go two or three days before tackling all of that again cause you know that until all of the leaves drop it doesn’t make sense to kill yourself doing all that work knowing that several hours later you can’t tell that you did it. Oh well.

I thought I would share a few photos I took over the past week or so of different things around the yard.

This one was taken a week ago and is part of the back of our property. The trees had quite a bit of color although not all had changed yet. Today they are practically all bare.

I took this one the other day. It looks like there was an awful lot of air traffic within a short space of time.

I mentioned that DH had cut down some trees recently. I took these after we finished cutting up a walnut tree. Kind of interesting, don’t you think?

DH found this a few years ago and placed it in this flower bed. (all the flowers have been cut back for winter).

And this is something I purchased several years ago.

At the time when I bought it I thought I would be using it as a birdbath, but decided afterwards to just use it as a piece of yard art.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What I've Been Doing, Again

Don't have any pictures to post, but thought I'd let you know what I've been up to this past week. Earlier in the week I worked off and on, on the Day at the Lake quilt trying to finish up block # 3 (see earlier post below). I also spent several hours for two days doing yard work, trying to get things in shape before winter. Still not completely finished.

We have several huge pine trees bordering one front corner of our property which means we have to pick up the ton of pine cones that drop around this time of the year plus rake tons of pine needles and move to the back of the yard. We did some of this yesterday and then got to do it again today because we had a lot of wind last night that blew down more pine cones and hopefully the last of the needles. And that doesn't even include the tons and tons of leaves that have to be dealt with also. We also mowed grass.

And last but not least, today DH decided he wanted to cut down yet another tree near the back of the property, which entails me cutting all the smaller branches up into even smaller pieces to be burned later. He cuts up the larger parts of the tree and stacks it near the little gravel road that runs right beside the property and lets anyone who wants it take it. This was probably about the 20th or so tree he has cut down and he ain't done yet! He still has several more in mind to cut down and I am telling you this is a lot of work, especially when your yard is hilly and you have to walk back and forth from one side to the other a hundred times. We had a big storm last summer that blew down half of a humongous tree and landed on top of our garden shed. I'm talking a tree with a trunk so big that I could not ever begin to get my arms around it. This was a major mess to clean up and the tree was actually from the neighbors property.

Anyway that's what I have been up to and will be doing more of this next week. I have been playing around with an idea for another art piece, but haven't gotten very far with it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

EERIE or What?

Want to see something eerie? I saw this on Deb Richardson’s blog and took the color quiz for myself. And this is the results:

you are pale turquoise#AFEEEE
Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

These colors and description ring pretty much true and to prove a point I decided to play around in Paint Shop Pro. I did not choose any of the colors in these; I just did a little bit of manipulation with the filters.

#1 #2

Notice the turquoise, blue and green. The computer chose those colors, not me.

Here are two more:

#3 #4

And another pair:

#5 #6

And this one is a computer generated collage. Once again the compute picked the colors, not me.


The yellow is supposed to by my dominant lifecolor with (logical) tan and blue following. This came from Pamala Oslie (

Kind of eerie huh? Which one do you prefer?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Colors of Fall

The sun came out for a short time this afternoon. This is the view from the window in front of my sewing machine:

The angle’s a little different here, but not much:

And here’s a little closer look at the distant trees:

Still a lot of green showing, but the trees are slowly changing.

This is a small dogwood at the back of the property. This is the way it looked last week:

All of the leaves have now fallen off of it.

Here’s is one more picture of fall colors from the garden:

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What I've Been Doing

A short while ago I was complaining about experiencing a creative block and was frustrated because nothing was working for me. Since nothing new was working for me I decided to pull out a project I started back on February 20th, 2005. I don’t normally do these types of quilts because I don’t particularly like doing a lot of appliqué or care for doing something this large, but after seeing the pattern several years ago in a catalog I thought “what the heck, DH would like it” so I ordered it and collected fabric for it over about a years time. I worked on it until April 1st. Then I decided I needed some more fabric colors for some of the blocks and also I was getting to one of the more complicated blocks to appliqué, so I took the blocks down off the design wall and laid them aside to start another project.

I had most of this done when I stopped working on it. The last couple of days I have managed to sew on the inner border pieces and the outer border pieces that you see and then sew the first two blocks together.

But wouldn’t you know it not long after I got all of this back up on the design wall I got a couple of ideas. To get me back creating I made these ATC’s:

And I am also working on something else. It’s sort of an experiment. We’ll see how that goes. It feels good to be creating again, even if it is just small pieces.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Messy Art Room

On October 20th, Julaine ( issued a challenge to the Artful Quilters Web Ring to post pictures of our untidy studios. But of course, that’s not the entire challenge. The second part is to see if we can tidy up by the end of November.

Here is what my room looked like a few days ago:

My work counter is entirely covered. When I remove the books that are spread out I will have about two square feet to work on until I clean off some of the other mess that is there, which is not going to happen for some time because some of the fabrics that are laying there are what I need for a piece that I started back late last winter and then put it away to work on other projects.

There’s my sewing machine with clutter all around it.

This is where the UFO’s hang out.

You can see part of my design wall here. I am auditioning some fabrics for a possible future piece. Hanging on the back of the door is a shoe holder filled with rubber stamps, molds, texture mats, air dry clay, etc.

I need to move some of this mess in order to get into the closet.

I don’t intend to get this totally straightened, but I would like to make an attempt at it.
(Yeah right!).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Silently Screaming

I took this little test a while back:

You Are 55% Left Brained, 45% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

To give you some background I am both left and right handed. By that I mean that I write and eat using my left hand but I am right handed when it comes to things like hand sewing, swinging a bat (it’s been quite some time since I’ve done that), hammering and pretty much anything else. I can use either hand when it comes to painting, but it pretty much depends on what kind of painting I am doing as to which hand I use.

Now let’s see, the test says I am Left Brained and good at communication (this is so not true. I have trouble making small talk with people. It also says I’m likely to be good at math (pretty good, but I don’t mean algebra or calculus) and logic (not always so logical). I do prefer dogs (although I don’t have one right now). I like to read but hardly ever read a book any more. I do like the quiet (very much so at times).

Since according to the test I am not predominantly Right Brained (however I do day dream and I can be pretty flexible when need be), I guess that is why I am having the trouble that I am (meaning I am not as creative as I would like to think I am).

Now here is why I am silently screaming. Nothing is working. The old creative block is setting in. I truly suffer with the Right Brain/Left Brain/No Brain syndrome.

I have been struggling with a piece for a few weeks now. When I first started on it I thought my concept was pretty good. The farther along I went with it the more I have struggled. Now this piece was just supposed to be sort of whimsical and so I really don’t understand why I can’t make it work; but for some reason I am just not liking it. So I decided to lay it aside for now (in fact I buried under some other things) and move on to something else.

But the something else ain’t happening. I’ve tried to do a few small sketches, and I’ve looked through some of my books for inspiration. I thought I had a couple of ideas but when I tried to go with these, something just keeps saying this ain’t gonna work for you.

I am soooo frustrated right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Good Weekend and the Moon

Over the weekend I attended a meeting of a fairly new art quilt group and I got to meet our very own Karoda from Seamless Skin. She is the one who told me about the group and invited me to come. After a short time for eating and chatting and taking care of the necessary business came Show and Tell. It was wonderful to see every ones work and hear about the process of making the pieces. I especially liked being able to see Karoda’s pieces. I took several small pieces and received some nice compliments. I hope to attend their next meeting.

Here are a couple of the pieces I showed.

This one is from a few years ago. It is from an online class that I took.

Under the Sea I

I made this one this year from another online class.

In The Forest

On another note, I took these Sunday night even though tonight is the official night of the full moon.

They were taken over a period of about 5 or 6 minutes.

By the time I thought to take some tonight it was really cloudy and kind of windy, but thought these were kind of neat.