Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On inspiration

What inspires? For me, it is everything I see. I keep my camera handy and have been known to pull off the highway to snap wildflowers, stop on a busy street to photograph pealing handbills and my favorite public art: GRAFITTI! The colors, subject matter, and of course, the individual "tagger's" style draws me in. What are they trying to tell me? I see the marks we humans make in our environments as our way of proving we exist. Why spray your name, or the name you want, on the side of a freight train except to prove you are here? Why do I create art? Well during the workday, I get paid for it! But after hours? I get these ideas in my head and they have to be expressed, they have to get out, they have to exist in this world, not just in my brain!
How to get inspired? Observe. Take pictures of what you respond to, even if you do not know why! I love to look through my snaps and find common themes. Sometimes it is color, or maybe subject matter (as mentioned above, I love grafitti!), I also love old buildings. I wonder what stories they can tell. Rust, weathered wood, peeling paint, all of this makes my imagination rev up. I love flowers for their saturated colors and for the way they attract birds and insects. Beauty is everywhere.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


*Work In Process. I received the "Urban Chicks" Charm pack and 1 yard each of 4 coordinating patterns from my Mom at Christmas (Thanks, Santa Mom!) I am creating a Log-Cabin-ish quilt using a whit on white print as contrast. I got the inspiration for this from here and here. I have been wanting to do a traditional pattern using more contemporary fabrics and the addition of the white fabric makes this bright and fun! This is truly a relaxing project. I can just zoom through cutting my 2 1/2" strips, then string piece and press; trim, string piece, press. It creates a soothing rhythm and quickly goes together for a fun quilt.
Other news- my work hours have been reduced due to the recession. I am looking at the positive: more time to sew! Also, since we are moving, the extra days at home will give me time to paint and clean to get the house ready to sell. I have also created 2 new photo books and am contemplating marketing them as I have had positive feedback from my boss and friend (who is one of the smartest, most talented women I know).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bold Glory!

I finished this quilt top about 12:30am Sunday morning. It is exactly as I envisioned! This is my contribution to Quilts of Valor and my mom is going to long-arm quilt it for me.
This was so very much fun! I plan on making another, but piecing the blue area differently. I did it in a crazy quilt fashion, which combined with the appliqued stars has created lots of seams which will make it challenging to quilt.
This measures 60" x 72". I just wish I had more time to sew!

Friday, January 16, 2009

and the routine sets in......

get up, cut off alarm, shower, paper, coffee, drive, work, drive, supper......
the winter doldrums have set in.
we are in the "time between", no major holiday to prepare for and anticipate, still dark when I get home, cold, gray, hazy days. to top it off, all the news is gloom and doom. no wonder I look forward to snuggling up with the 2 hounds that tun our house! they are always happy just to be part of it all. nothing like petting soft fur, and the long loving looks as I eat my dinner. My big hound, Murray, is really showing his age (13 human years=91 dog years). the cold makes him move slow and eat less. he is the master at power napping, he can sleep for 12 straight hours all day, then put in 10-11 more hours at night! he is pacing himself, for what, who knows.
Pepper, on the other hand, is a 9 month old, bouncing Belgian Malinois, who loves to eat, pull Murray by the tail, eat, herd Murray around the back yard, eat, beg for table scraps, and eat. she even has a 9:30 pm snack before bed! When it is warm enough for us humans to be out, she really enjoys running on-leash, while we ride our bikes around the green way. it really makes her happy!
me, i just want to sew, and quilt
and then curl up and sleep.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Controlled chaos

I find comfort in visual order. Balanced groupings, geometric precision. But, I also like riotous fun. The way Kaffe Fassett puts patterns together in his quilts, a slightly overgrown flower garden, carnival rides. So this year, I am working on developing my own color and inspiration book. I began by culling through my photos for the ones I snapped simply as a response to the color. I have discovered I am frequently drawn to grafitti, peeling paint and old shop buildings. This is a fun exercise for me, especially since the days are rather gray and drab. The photo to left is of an old roadhouse bar I pass each day, I am planning a quilt using light blue, red and white so I stopped to grab a few shots for color inspiration. The road is actually state highway 268 between Elkin and Wilkesboro, NC. This used to be heavily travelled when races were held at the Wilkesboro Speedway. I wonder what kind of wild times occurred within these red, white and blue walls?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Day, New Year

I find it odd that we celebrate one day (or eve!) a year the passage of time! Why just once a year? I have found in times of trouble, it helps to remember that time continuously passes and with that, situations constantly change. I am also not one for deciding only once a year to make changes, or resolutions, in my life. I look at each moment as a time for change. That soapbox sermon being complete, here are the goals I am working toward over the next 356 days:
1. Sew as much as humanly possible
2. Remember all the birthdays in my family by sending a card (on time). This should be much easier since I made everyone, myself included, a family birthday calendar on Love Shutterfly!
3. Keep eating Cheerios and apple for breakfast. I have been able to lower my cholesterol to under 200 by nutrition alone and I want to keep it that way!
4. Create a "color inspiration book" on Shutterfly. Hence the photo with today's post. This is actually a huge pink Quonset hut used as a barbecue restaurant. I took this day before yesterday, the bright Carolina blue sky and pink caught my eye!
5. Finish the current "Quilt Projects" book on Shutterfly. Only about 30 more minutes to that goal!
6. Set up my own etsy shop to sell some wares.
7. Make some wares to sell in above!
8. Make 2 quilts for our new king-sized bed. Started first one last night!
9. Learn Adobe Photoshop Elements! I bought it in November and need to find a class!

This does not mean I have no more ways to improve myself! I decided in 2008 to quit being so hard on myself, and have really worked on that. I am not perfect, but I am not all that bad. I have a handsome, sweet husband, a big, smart , handsome son, 2 great dogs, and a fantastic family. I am so very blessed! I intend to embrace each day.