Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should I say yes or no?

I've been invited to be a vendor at an art in the garden 'thing' near DesMoines and I'm torn about it. On one hand it would be fun I think and I could possibly sell a few things. On the other hand, I have no one to help me set up and how would I make enough items to bring? If I do it I want to avoid feeling stressed over it as I don't HAVE to do it. It is just for fun and maybe it would help my business or at least get Etsy's name out there a little more. My Meg would be there with me and help as much as she can. I could meet some new people. Ahhhh!!! Was awake at 3am thinking all this over!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wasted Time?

I find myself often beating myself up for years 'wasted' on frivolity, unproductive years, lost focus when I was young (well, I'm not exactly 'old' now!). I wish I'd trusted in myself when I was young and followed the path of things I loved...but I didn't...maybe. I look back to when I was 9 or 10 and remember a time when decorating my room to define 'me' was so important. I woke up one day and looked around and knew I had work to do. The next couple of years was spent lining my walls with pics from Tiger Beat type of Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson, Rick Springfield to name just a few. I engulfed myself in music, new and old (my mom has a fabulous collection of 33 records in this great red record box) and spent hours writing down lyrics in a small notebook.

Then comes high school...focus on boys and friends...lost time when I could have been creating. I didn't know I could actually do it! I learned to cross stitch when I was 16 and LOVED it! I wrote poetry for myself. But again, my life carried me along with friends, boys, and the expectations of those around me. Never the focus on 'who am I?' Then college where I excelled, but again, focus on what others expected of me. Loved the idea of the design school but 'I could never do that'. I even spent my last year of college trying out architecture. I loved everything about it, but I couldn't visualize to draw in shadows given the angle of the sun in drafting class. My teacher believed I could learn it, but I gave up as it didn't come easy like everything else I had done.

My mother was a fabulous artist! She gave it up very young though after her parents told her she was wasting her time...children are so impressionable. It's sad because she was good...very good. I display much of her artwork in my home now. When I was quite young I'd copy her drawings to the best of my ability for hours on end. I didn't believe I could create my own artwork...only copy...i didn't even try.

Now I'm 45 and have been quilting for years. I tell people I'm no artist...I only copy what I see from the work of others. I may put it together in unique ways, but still I'm copying. Or am I? I'm fighting the realization that my life is half over and 'look at what I could have done if I'd believed in myself'. I continually tell myself that I still can do it all!! The years past had their place and I did accomplish a great deal...I can support myself with my degree if I ever need to again (vital for all women to remain independent!) All those years 'wasted' made me who I am now and brought me back to who I believe I'm supposed to be ARTIST!! I may copy others ideas, but how I incorporate it is unique. There are so many ideas of things I think I can do if I focus and it's not too late to do exactly that. I'm writing this down to help convince myself it's true...mortality bears down on me, but I most likely have another 45 years to do this great thing!! I guess if I'd done it all then, I wouldn't have this exciting time at 45 to do it now. Must believe in myself...I am becoming an artist...I can claim that title proudly. I'm trying to do just that and quiet that voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough to be called that. I have work to do, but every day I get a little closer to being the me that has always been inside. Nothing I have ever done to please those around me has made them love me more or appreciate me more...I've spent my life trying to be what I think they want from me. This second half of life will be spent being what I want me to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

No time to sew!

My days are escaping me with things to do that do not include fabric and thread! Typically I'm up by 6:15 and in one sewing room or another by 7. It's been 2 days already and most of today is booked up also. Waaahhh! Maybe friday will be mine. The wonderful thing: so far I'm not 'in the sewing room by 7' out of force...i just wanna be there. After working for so many years and even having all the deadlines from doing quilts for others, this feels so good. Even the quilts I'm doing for others are inviting to me again. Thus far all this feels right and getting to this point as spring approaches is a wonderful combination. It is also nearing time to make our new treasure maps for 2010! Very exciting time!!!

No time to sew!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Current In-Progress

I've been sewing off and on this week and this is what I've managed to accomplish. the coffee table topper is a pattern I purchased last year. The other 3 are designs I put together this week ... all baby/kids quilts. Fun fabrics and playing with colors. Obviously the crayon and sports quilts are incomplete, but I'll get it done and get them on the machine soon I hope! I LOVE those froggies!!!

The sports quilt is done in flannels and minkee (black). I have never pieced with minkee before and at first thought I never will again! It is slippery and moves all over the place...then a friend told me to try using my walking foot...will try that in the morning and hopefully completing it won't make me tear my hair out. It makes such a great tactile experience on a quilt front that I'd hate to give up on trying it in other quilts. I'll let you know if it works:)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Busy brain

My internet has been down and boy does that make one feel lost! How did we survive pre-internet?

I just hired an Etsy artist to make a banner for my site. I am so excited to see what she'll come up with! I kept thinking I'd do it but it felt like a bad homework assignment so I finally decided to find someone else to do my 'homework':) My brain is bursting with ideas for my site...there are just not enough hours in the day to do everything so I'm reminding myself to focus on one thing, do it well, then move to the next. Fabric design has really gone crazy this past year. There are so many new designs I just love! It seemed for a few years that everything looked like the year before.

I designed a placemat/table runner combo this week. Here is the prototype placemat. I want to quilt and wash it before I continue to be sure it will come out alright/lay flat etc. I'm learning so much with my new mindset of 'would I buy this' and learned the hard way to go back to prewashing EVERYTHING! I have never had any fabric fade onto a quilt in all these years, but recently had one light fabric turn pink in a fall fabric does that happen?? Just one fabric took on the dyes from the backing??!! It seems the majority of quilters do not prewash so I tried it for awhile...done! I never really minded doing it in the first place. Ah well, lesson learned and I still love the quilt so no big deal. I had a backing disaster also...the t-shirt quilt I made for my husband is destroyed...well, still functional but not beautiful...the backing faded all over it. No more backings of unknown origin either.

Ok, off to make something fun and beautiful. Oooh! the sun just came out! Everything is melting here in Iowa...finally! I'm so ready to move on to another season....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Opps! That wasn't Rooster, this is!!

Put up the wrong pic of mean old Rooster he is in my somewhat distressed arms!!

NC fabric finds!

Only had the chance to hit one quilt shop while in NC but found some yummy fabrics. Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but they will look beautiful on my shelf until a quilt calls for them:)

My quilting spaces

Okay, how about some quilting stuff! Here are my quilting spaces. My monster machine (Gammill) in my room with my favorite things. My sewing room has been moved to the back of our theatre room. I tried to work in the room with the Gammill, but it was just too cozy so I took over another space. Still not quite what I'd like to have...everything in the same room would be fabulous in my next house...but it all works for now. My current work in progress is that civil war quilt on the design wall. Not sure I'm going to want to sell it but we'll see. You probably can't see too well, but I am a flea market freak and I collect various antiques to repurpose into fabric storage...things like egg baskets, old tool boxes, and my cutting table which is a 50s kitchen cabinet. I can spend hours searching for such things! They may sit around awhile before I figure out what to do with them, but eventually something hits me and I'm in love with the result. The big board over my cutting table was found at a garage sale last summer...a little spray paint and it is the perfect spot for pics and design ideas! And all for only $10!!
And yes, that is a poster of Buffy the vampire slayer in the background!!! LOVE that show!!!

One more post on NC!

Francie and Delilah who will be having a baby in a couple months!

Our goofy girls and their creative faces...and yes, that is peanut butter smeared on their faces...what's up with that anyway??!!
And finally, that is Meg showing me all over the barn near the end of our visit. She was so proud of all she learned about taking care of horses in NC. She's pretty cool!

Club Penguin tattoos!!!

Okay, there does not seem to be a way to keep the comment with the pic so i'm just putting in two pics in a post. Maybe I'll stick 3 in this one and hope everyone can follow alright.

Club penguin 'tattoos'!!!!!!!! What total fun! Anyone else out there have kids who play? if not, check it out at We also made screenprint puffle shirts, but I don't think we have good pics of those on my camera. Screenprinting is remarkably simple! That's Francie doing the drawing...resident artist!

still more from NC

FOLLOW THAT COFFEE TRUCK!!! Seeing this on our way into Charlotte made me laugh! Seemed appropriate for a woman who had driven over an hour with no starbucks anywhere in sight!!!!!

Anyone remember watching roller derby chicks on television when you were a kid? I sure do! I remember them kicking each others butts as they circled. Well, lo and behold, NC has a roller derby team and they were at the place Francie and I played pool one night! HAD to get a pic!!! What a time we visit we're gonna look up a game and see it in person. You gotta be a tough chick to do this sport. I didn't even know it still existed!!!!!!!

More from NC

Here is Meg with her American girl Molly on Molly's first plane ride. I'm actually learning to make clothing for little Molly as it's a whole lot less expensive than buying from the company!!

Here I am holding Rooster Cogburn who actually attacked my legs my first day there! So, he's not so friendly but he is entertaining and has a nice cock-a-doodle-doo starting around 7am. Chickens are the funniest creatures to watch and fresh eggs rock!!

Back from North Carolina!

We're back and we had such a great time!!! Let's see if I can get my pics and comments together this time...

Dunlap's barn cat...JackJack...very sweet and very funny. we at least got our kitty fix while there

Saying goodbye to Calvin...the one horse there Meg could ride