Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Time for a confession...

If you're like me, you love seeing what other people's studios look like. Even home dec magazines are getting into it--more and more they are featuring photos of amazing creative work spaces. Well, I need to be honest here. I don't have a studio.Maybe that's not quite fair. Strictly speaking, anyplace where you create is your studio. So I'll amend my statement. I don't have a dining room.

There's good and bad to this arrangement. I'm pretty much looking at the front door all the time. No one can sneak in or out. Or sneak anyone ELSE in or out. I am in the center of all activity. It's very handy being next to the kitchen--snacks are readily available.

The downside? Well, it's not that great to have your ironing board be the first thing guests see when they come in. I've thought about getting one with pretty colored legs and making a darling board cover for it--you know, to coordinate with my slipcovered chair. But who am I kidding.

Here you can see the Late Bloomer Quilts pattern stuffing table. And you can also see our corporate Shipping Department. Like the pink bubble wrap? I think it's pretty. And if you look in the corner of the photo, you can see a second roll. My husband is very good at making sure I have PLENTY of bubble wrap.

That's Willard guarding the ever-important Late Bloomer Quilts files. Where I keep receipts from fabric purchases (note to self: we need another file drawer) among other things. The files are located right by the previously mentioned ironing board. And that's Willard's favorite spot. Right where I stand to press something. He's very elderly and can't see or hear too well and it's a wonder we haven't collided more often.

If you've been here before, you've probably met Presley. He's proof that a cat CAN and WILL sleep on pretty much anything. And I'll leave you with some good advice--if your cat is asleep on your rotary cutter it's time to quit for the day.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Buzz

How exciting to be mentioned on QuiltersBuzz!
I'd met Gina in Houston at the last Quilt Market and she's terrific.
As is Pam! And yes, I know she beat me to it and already posted another goofy photo of the two of us on her blog--the exact same goofy photo I'd been saving. And despite what she says, no, she did NOT stick a ruler in my head...but I can guarantee there are days when she'd like to.

Here are the remaining runners--yup, there's a theme. I'd love to show you every project in the book but that would take all the fun out of it.

Today's going to be a busy day--another day of manic creating. Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cool Stuff!

I guess I really am a very materialistic person because can there be anything more fun than ordering stuff online and having it appear on your front porch?
Well one thing that's mighty close is being on Moda Fabric's designer's list. Periodically throughout the year, Moda sends out boxes full of swatches of what the upcoming fabric lines will look like, so we can hopefully get cracking on a new pattern to coincide with the release of the fabric. I got just such a box a few weeks back, and wow--Moda NEVER disappoints. But what to DO with these lovely pieces??

Well, my foray into button-making at Sandy's
really corrupted me. Yes, I'll just go ahead and make this Sandy's fault...I'm sure she won't mind.

ANYWAY, all those neat bits of paper and other ephemera collage artists use got me to thinking. And website browsing. And Visa card grabbing. I was on a wonderful site called ARTchixStudio.com and found a whole little pile of goodies I simply had to acquire. I'm not sure where I first heard of this site, probably from Pam. Yes, I'll just go ahead and make this Pam's fault...I'm sure she won't mind.

ANYWAY, look at all the cool things! Beautiful velvet leaves...tiny metal rosebuds...wonderful little charms...and those charms that look like frames? There are special papers that have images perfectly sized for those charms. And my favorite thing of all..."faux postage"! I got floral themed and Christmas themed but believe me, they have others.

OK, yes, I'm still a quilter. What will I do with this stuff? Stay tuned...I have plans!
But if anyone has any suggestions for the best way to give up sleep, I'd appreciate the help.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Everything's coming up...

Primroses! Granted, the leaves are nothing to look at, but aren't those blossoms sweet...
Our weather is back to what is more normal for February in Northern California...gray and cold. Yes, I know "cold" has different meanings to different people, but for us, 52 degrees is downright chilly.

So what else is there to do but stay indoors. And accomplish stuff. I'm not sure how other people do it, but for me, designing quilts requires lots of paper and pencils. Oh yeah. And erasers. BIG erasers. I did a lot of that yesterday. So today it's time to fine tune the design and that means pulling out the fabric and playing. If I had the courage I'd show you what the area a couple of feet to my left looks like--it's A.D.D. Quilter Central. A truly scary accumulation of piles of fabric. Each pile represents a project--coming up with ideas is never the problem!

But this pile should be lots of fun to play with. I love love love that Paris Bebe fabric.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Moving forward...

It feels GREAT to be starting a new week! It turns out that my husband had a "protruding herniated disc" in his neck and he had a treatment for that on Friday and is ever so slowly doing better. And believe me--he did NOT appreciate having the doctor tell him this is due to "old age". Poor dude's falling apart and he's not even 50 yet.

Anyway, we've had PHENOMENAL weather here in Northern California for the last couple days. It won't last, but every moment of sunshine and warmth is so appreciated. Made it out to the backyard (aka "the minefield") and it's always so great to see how nature just keeps doing its thing even when some of us are getting caught up in our life stresses.

Everything in the backyard is a MESS. I never got around to doing the fall clean-up last year so stuff is going wild. I was surprised to find my lavender getting ready to bloom...

I've also neglected my rose bushes...never did get around to pruning the ones in the backyard and they're waking up already! It looks like this one wants to decorate my cedar swing--and I'm going to let it do just that.

Wow. I can't believe it--the laundry's done, the house is fairly clean, can't do any more yard work since I filled the green waste can, everyone is either quiet or snoring...what shall I do with the rest of the day?

I do believe I hear some fabric calling my name.

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thank Goodness THAT Day is Over...

Our household was definitely not experiencing a Day 'O Love yesterday. Husband is still waiting on medical care and now, so is my car. Got hit in the parking lot at the doctor's office. By a man who even told me he "must've been thinkin' about Valentine's Day." But at least he was honest and totally accepted responsibility. Which is more than I can say for the last guy who hit my car...but wow, is THAT ever another story.

It has been brought to my attention that there is some disappointment regarding the content of my blog. That it was supposed to be totally quilty and inspirational. This is true--that was the idea. Somehow Real Life has been really kicking me in the shins (among other places) lately and the quilty stuff has been hard to come by. I hope you noticed that really pretty piece of fabric my lone valentine is sitting on--that's some gorgeous lecien there. Which WILL make it into a quilt. Hopefully soon. Because otherwise I'll be sitting in an empty booth at Spring Quilt Market explaining to shop owners what great IDEAS I've got for new quilts.

And in case you're wondering...that valentine? It's from my dad, and sad to say, TOTALLY looks like husband and me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

(not so funny) Valentine

Yup, that's what constitutes Valentine's Day around these parts.
This is Day 5 of husband-flat-on-his-back. Yesterday consisted of attempting to acquire Medical Care. Which sort of happened, but took all day. Literally all day. Now we're waiting for the MRI to be ordered--which could take awhile because there are now 2 doctor's offices involved and each insists that the other office take care of it.

Anyway, at least he now has prescription meds. Which means he's sleeping. A lot. Which we BOTH appreciate! Now the house is quiet, sons are at work/school...so maybe some quilting will happen? I'd love some peaceful time with my fabrics and my Bernina. THAT would be truly romantic.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Spring is Coming! (pass the Kleenex)

This has been quite a weekend so far. My husband is flat on his back in bed for a second straight day--somehow he pinched a nerve. Which means that our well-oiled machine of weekend activities has gone straight down the dumper. I have no idea how single parents manage.
Middle son will be getting groceries, which should be interesting, to say the least.
I'm thigh deep in laundry (and I'm TALL, so that's a lot of dirty clothes) and quilts and blah, blah, and more blah. You know the drill.

But the sun came out a little while ago and my almond tree is bursting into bloom. The plum tree will follow shortly. Those blossoms are so pretty--especially when the yard has that beaten-up-by-Winter look.

With Spring on its way, can allergies be far behind? My nose knows.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'll keep my day job

What an amazing and creative day! It's definitely good to try something you've never done before and to have the opportunity to just sit and soak in how other creative people work.

This morning Pam picked me up (yes, Pam picking me up to go someplace is a continuing theme) and we headed up to Sandy's to try our hand at making clay buttons.

I'd never been to Sandy's house before and wow--talk about sensory overload! There is a lovely vignette everywhere you look. Her beautiful quilts, her collages, and all the things she collects are on display. I'd better get cracking because apparently I do not own nearly enough stuff.

Then Sandy's friend Connie arrived with Connie's friend Yvonne. Connie Govea Stuart is a very accomplished artist whose work blows me away. She's an amazingly creative and talented person. Who can whip out super-cool clay buttons in nothing flat.

That's Connie, Yvonne, and Sandy who all take to clay like a duck to water.

Here's Pam. She's got her coffee, so she's doing great.

My buttons aren't even flat. They're kinda lumpy and I really had no clue what I was doing, but I can't wait to go back to the craft store and get some more clay to play with. I'd love to be able to make buttons to embellish some of my quilts, but I've got a long way to go...

Check out those amazing buttons! The only one that's mine is the one with the nest and the egg, and it doesn't count because I totally copied Pam on that.

Tomorrow it's back to sewing, sewing, and more sewing. I am so far behind!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Buying some springtime

It had looked very spring-like for a few days. My beloved flowering trees (that I'm terribly allergic to) have been busy and should be blooming soon.
Nevertheless, it got quite gray yesterday and will be drizzly/rainy for days to come. Lucky for me, PamKittyMorning offered the perfect antidote to the gloomy skies...

A trip to HomeGoods, of course!!

There is something so magical about that store. There are many discount stores in the world, but HomeGoods is in a class by itself. I truly believe there is something for everyone there if you take the time to look for it.
Maybe you like dishes that appear to have been inspired by nuclear waste--pick a whole set! With coordinating glassware! There are decorative items to be had that I can't begin to understand, let alone describe. Cheerful stuffed animals that are look so happy and are clearly not bothered by their rather obvious glandular disorders. You just have to wonder how some of these treasures weren't scooped up right away.

All snarkiness aside, there's GREAT STUFF in that store, too. Pam found a darling wooden (fill in the blank) that will look so cute in her yard. I'm sure she'll share pics soon. While wandering around who did we run into but Sandy who showed us all the pretty and delicate goodies she'd discovered.

As for me, a bit of springtime...I'm a sucker for things with lettering on them, and the combo of lettering and ROSES on this wooden tote made me grab it right up. I love my blue scalloped pot--so vintage looking. I also love nests. How could I resist a set of THREE little nests with charming PINK eggs? I even picked up a little glass jar with silk roses and that fake water stuff. I don't even LIKE silk flowers, but HomeGoods just sucks me in with all that discounted goodness.
I'm feeling renergized and ready to get the sewing machine humming again!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Summer Memories...

Last summer I had the most wonderful experience--I got to go on a European cruise with my father. It was one of those one-day-in-a-country type trips but turned out to be two absolutely glorious weeks--and something I think about literally every day. We started out in Amsterdam then went to Scotland, Ireland, Guernsey, France, Portugal, Madeira, Spain and back to Portugal. Each place was very different and each place was incredibly beautiful.

And yes, I'd love to go back--and while cruise ships are terrific, I'd really love to be able to spend more time on land--especially in Scotland and Ireland--there's something particularly special about visiting places connected to my ancestry.
ANYWAY...when we were in Ireland, in the Dublin area, we took a tour through Powerscourt Gardens. Photos simply do not do the place justice. It was breathtaking. Even with the overcast skies. The photo of the pink rose is what I have as my computer wallpaper. Yes, it's just a rose, but it's a rose I saw in IRELAND.

So naturally I've got to make an Irish Rose quilt. The Valentine's quilt has been set aside and I'm now knee deep in tiny pink rosebuds.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Stop Looking at Me!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented about my very late Valentine's project. It was so much fun to put that quilt top together and I'm glad I did it. I'll share pics just as soon as I figure out the borders.
I decided I'd make up for lost time by being extra efficient in other areas. So the other day when I had to take my youngest son to the dentist, I figured I'd turn my car into a mobile office and write pattern instructions. Now I have to admit that our dentist has a mighty comfortable couch in his waiting room, but I don't find his "easy listening" music all that easy to listen to. Hence the car.
Well, you know that feeling you get when someone's watching you? I SWEAR that the only time this little guy (gal?) wasn't gawking at me was when I snapped the picture.

And for all of you who are missing PamKittyMorning something fierce I am pleased to report that she's having a great time with her cousin--they stopped by the quilt shop briefly yesterday on their way to other great adventures.

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