Tuesday, February 26, 2008

100 things - Number 37

Kerstin posted today on this item and I thought that I would take a shot at this #37 also. The line is simple "list all the places that you have lived". Here are the places that I have lived from a bird's eye view. First is Brooklyn apartments, a college dorm and an apartment in Barre, Vermont.

Next is another college living place, my apartment with cousins and friends after college and my first apartment with Tony. Tiny and a dump but we were happy. Note that the toilet room and shower were in totally separate parts of the apartment. Once a cold water walk up flat for mill workers, the showers were added later as a luxury item.

Then we moved to a fancy two family house in Belmont, MA - with an actual driveway and a tiny little patch of grass that I cut practically by hand.

We left Belmont ( I still wish we hadn't) and moved to Stow to an old farmhouse that we loved but needed a TON of work (and still does - when I drive by it, I can tell) and then we moved to our current house still in Stow. Note the sad little "no dog" note here, but I'm still working on it.


For Monday ArtDay's theme of "Underground" I posted this little piece done over the weekend in front of the tube, just doodling.
Sad story to tell. I took my practically brand new sewing machine into the shop for a lube job and to tell them that the feed dogs were not working. "Oh" she said "one of those machine's. Where'd you get it, BJ's?". I told her No, it was on sale at Sears and I got it for $100.00 (very proudly). She sniffed and told me that I was wasting my money and that I should invest in a good machine and not a piece of junk. And she didn't even sell sewing machines!
So who knows if little Euro-shark will ever come home again. I'll dig out my old clunker and use that for a few days...but it sounds like I'm going to have to make a decision about a new machine. Any hints or suggestions?

Quilting - again

Recently I noted to a friend that I could easily see how you can sew your emotions into a quilt top, that the process of cutting and piecing and stitching mirrored your daily life and emotions. Sometimes everything goes smoothly and sometimes the thread breaks and you have to pick up the pieces, and rethread, check for tension, and learn when to put it away for the night. (And this is in the day of machine quilting - imagine what it was like when everything was pieced by hand)

Fern recently mentioned the quilts of "Gee's Bend" which I had never heard of, but am now a total fan (absolutely amazing - go check it out) . I also think that the following statement is oh so true, and would love to have the experience of a quilting bee - which is basically the sloggy part of the whole process.

"The women consider the process of "piecing" the quilt "top" to be highly personal. In Gee’s Bend, the top—the side that faces up on the bed—is always pieced by a quilter working alone and reflects a singular artistic vision. The subsequent process of “quilting” the quilt—sewing together the completed top, the batting (stuffing), and the back—is sometimes then performed communally, among small groups of women"

In my journey of artistic expression I have learned alot about myself from all different kinds of artwork. I draw silly but cheerful line drawings. I don't know alot about techniques of paints. I like to play around with different mediums and the journey is more important to me than the end product. Quilting has taught me the lesson of patience, measuring twice and cutting once, consistency and how to sew love from a pile of rags.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A new Quilt idea

I’m so impressionable and it it is so easy to change my mind.

Two nights ago I was showing a friend the latest baby quilt that I had made. She was admiring it and asked me if I was going to make one for myself…no...not a baby quilt, but a grown up bed sized quilt. Loftily I told her that I didn’t like patchwork in my house, that it didn’t “go” and that I just liked to make it for others. She gave an “uh-huh” and just kept inspecting the latest project.

Of course, I started worrying about his, wondering why I like to make quilts for others but not for myself and while in the bookstore yesterday decided to spend a little time with the quilting books. Opened one called “Quilts in the Sun” by Kaffe Fassett and fell in LOVE with this quilt.

It’s sunny and warm looking and soft and wonderful. I grabbed the book and took it home and have been drooling over the quilts in this book all evening. I am about to go online to see how much the KF fabrics cost – it might shock me but I’m sure I could get similar fat quarters at Joanns.

Of course there are art projects to finish for class; more baby quilts for friends; ton's of housework to do, but what the heck.
But, tonight my sewing machine got cranky and it has to go the the sewing machine hospital. So I may do alot of cutting but not much sewing until it gets fixed.

I have always liked Kaffe Fassett's work and have done some wonderful needlework pillows designed by him. There is a restaurant in Big Sur called "Nepenthe" which I think belongs to his family or something like that. It's one of my favorite places in the world- overlooking ocean and trees and lots of ex-hippies floating around, eucalyptus trees, sunshine and peaceful feelings. Maybe along with a new quilt it's time for a trip to Big Sur again.

Here is that quilt hanging in an exotic location. Okay, so it won't look the same hanging on the front porch but it still looks luscious to me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snowshoeing at Night

Last night friends came over for dinner, and then we all bundled up and went over to the lake to snowshoe. The moon was just rising (no, this isn't my picture unfortunately) and the snow on the lake was pristine, only broken up with some ski tracks from earlier in the day. There was a light fog rising over the lake, glowing from the moon light. We had taken headlights, but all turned them off as the moon gave off enough light to see everything. The fog was eerie but light - the snow was perfect for snowshoes and the night was cold but not unbearably so. Perfect.
Came home to Dessert and Brandy in front of the fire. What could be better?

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I was tagged by my good friend FY with a book thingy and you have to go get the nearest book and pick out certain sentences. Since I am addicted to books and usually have one to hand, I reached out...and found the strangest book in the house. It's called " Brittanica - Book of the Year - 1960". I expected to put my hand on something a little more highbrow, but here we go.

So I have to open to page 123 and find the 5th sentence and post the next three sentences.

Damn...where are my glasses...gotta go find them. Ah, found my favorite pair with the little chips of fake diamonds on the side.

Okay, open the book and find page 123 and don't get distracted by all the interesting stuff you find in this unusual book.
This is very strange. We all know that FY grew up in South Africa. So here is the title of the 5th sentence in this book. "British South African Territories" . I swear it's true, you can see verifying photo below.
The sentences:
Basutoland (colony) an enclave in the southeast of the Union of South Africa; Bechuanaland Protectorate, north of the union; and Swaziland (protectorate) between Transvaal and Mozambique, are generally referred to as the High Commission Territores in South Africa.

The population is Basuto, Bechuana, Swazi; in Bechuanaland the most numerous tribe is Bamangwato, with its capital at Serowe (about 25,000), Europeans (1956); Basuotoland 1926; Bechuanaland 3173, Swaziland 5919.

Religion: Christian, several denominations; various indigenous.

How interesting and weird was that~!

Everyone is tagged if you want to play, but I bet no one will open up a book to find a sentence so appropriate to the original tagger!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Illustration Friday - Multiples 2

I did this collage last year in a workshop in Bonita Springs with Claudine Hellmuth. (great teacher, great class) and thought it was perfect for "Multiples". Told you I would post a few on this theme!

Illustration Friday - Multiples

I think I might have a few posts for this topic, I love multiples, and repeats. Here is my first "entry" for the day.

Stealing time

Oh, what a bad person I am! I am at work...listening to a boring conference call...and BLOGGING on Work Time! I usually don't do this, but once in a while - what the heck.

I worked on two baby quilts this week. The first one was an experiment; I got this cute "Curious George" fabric and decided to try to make a quilt using free-motion quilting. Yes, I should have practiced first but I love to just jump into projects and find out what happens. So I was not surprised when I made mistakes on the back fabric - where I got some sewn in wrinkles and other issues. Some nice baby will get this quilt thru the Goodwill store and since it is soft and warm, I'm sure they'll love it.

The second one if for a dear friend who is having her first Grandchild in the spring. She's so excited and so happy for her kids and herself that I ran right home and started on this quilt. I had the perfect fabric for this family which usually have more dogs than people in the house. This fabric is SO soft, it's a beautiful cotton that feels as soft as a really worn leather glove, or like an old, old, soft linen sheet. It was delightful to work with. The family also likes bright colors so I added the orange - which of course I love also. I also used a medium loft wool filling which gives a puffiness that is so nice to look at. I've been using a low loft cotton batting which gives a nice blanket feel, but sometimes I like the puffy quilt look. I just have to finish the binding and do the final touch ups, but wanted to post it before I forget and give it away.

Busy week as usual.

What a treat!

I came home last night to find a bright yellow package on my counter, and proceeded to tear it open...without even taking a picture of the unopened box. Yup, this was the PIF present from Kerstin - awaited since she posted about sending out these boxes. Inside was a beautiful box, some wonderful postcards of Kerstin's original art ( notice the wonderful portrait...it's me!) and inside the box - delicious candied almonds, which I nibbled on all night.

Do you read Kerstin's blog? If not, go over and take a peak, this woman does not bat her eyes at anything new! I've learned new poetry on her blog, watched her artwork bloom, and am amazed at the information that she can find, post about and bring the rest of us along on her interesting and unusual journeys. Kerstin, Casey and I are slowly working on the "100 things" project - a no pressure project that we all love.

K - thanks for the box, but most of all - thanks for your friendship and inspirations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I kept thinking about yesterday's post and why I posted a picture of a fish? I realize today that I was working very hard yesterday but felt like I couldn't keep up - hence the drowning feeling. Coming into work after a long weekend is always overwhelming.

Today I feel more on top of things - feel like I could fly (or at least hop around flapping my wings)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Never enought time

I find that I rarely have time to post during the week, even with my reduced commute. So here's a fish.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rain, rain and more rain

This is a picture thru my "sunroom" window, screens and all. I haven't seen this much heavy rain in a long time. Good news, maybe my driveway will melt and I won't go sliding around. Bad news...everything will flood.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Grey day - indoor relaxing

Played with two drawings today, watching old movies and relaxing after a hectic week. Pen and ink and markers and watercolor. - I was going to make these into ATC's but can't cut them up! So I'm printing them and will cut up the prints. I thought I liked temporary art, but find that maybe I don't. !!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Illustration Friday - February 16

The text for this week if "Theory". I started thinking about the Theory of Relativity, and then Relatives and these goofy pieces came out. The 3 slide format was inspired by ElizT's great IF piece this week.

Drawing on a plane

This is where I get to do sketching, but frankly I am getting bored of sketching on a plane. Maybe I am just sick of Being on Planes - hurtling around the country, worrying about crashing in high winds. Ah well, I do still choose to do this job - I could quit if I wanted to!

So I plug in my iPOD, take out my pencil and draw people in front of me on the plane - usually poor tired travelers heading home. Little to they know that they will be immortalized on my blog in not the most attractive positions.

I meant to erase the lines of th e sleeping guys hairline but didn't get to it - I'm trying to use those type of lines for guidance lines only. The one below I sketched out and then shaded and erased the lines of the vase. I like the way it came out. I'm also playing with my scanner to see how I can make pencil drawing have a litte more ommph. Which one do you like best - 1, 2 or 3 from top to bottom.???

Friday, February 15, 2008

Where AM I

I am in Prince Edward Island. We thought it would be great to fly up to Halifax on Wednesday night, spend the night there, and then fly to Charlottetown the next morning. Sounded great. In reality, our plane on Wednesday night was delayed about 4 hours, so we didn't get into Halifax until 1:00 am, and that was after one of the bumpiest flights I have ever been on. Ms "flys everywhere" was actually scared when we were getting ready to land it was so windy! Got to the hotel around 1:30 am and of course I couldn't sleep right away, and only ended up with about 2 hours of snoozing. Got up the next day to rain, more rain and then more rain. Had a very turbulent flight into PEI - and I mean bumpy and windy. Freezing cold here but a lovely dinner with friends and a good nights sleep. Tonight I am going home!!! This site is just so far away and so hard to get to that a two day trip just isn't worth it!

Ah well....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dear Deer

These guys were happily chomping away on my rhododendrons. I knew I should scare them away, but didn't. About 8 were in the yard. Part of me shrieks "Lyme disease" - the other part whispers "beautiful animal".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thinking of Heat

Around this time of year, my thoughts turn away from snow and cold and mentally I am in the tropics. It's a time of year where bad hair decisions can be made - where you head for the hair dye aisle at the local drugstore, just to see a change! (Big mistake, took me a year to get over that one) Last time I was in Florida I saw so many little lizards that I started drawing a few. Here are two that I finished up last night. Yes, I know that the lizards in Florida are mostly green, but it's my imagination and I just had fun with it.

I want the heat to return. I love the snow, but am sick of the snow...and freezing cold...and more snow coming tomorrow. No daffodils here !


I have seen the initials "DH" on other blogs and had no idea what it really stood for. I knew that it was in relation to a Husband but all I could think of was "Designated Hitter/Husband". (too much Red Sox for me eh?). So I typed DH into Google and got:

Dear Husband
Decapitated Husband
Darn Husband
Delicious Hottie


I think I'll stick with "Tony". or maybe "himself".


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Lucky Number

My lucky numbers have always included an "8". Today I checked my counter of - How Many People/Machines Have Visited this Site since I started It" and the number is 8888. That sounds lucky to me - I'll take it as a good sign.

Another Quilt Post - the last one!!!

Gave Brian his quilt yesterday, here are pictures of them on the beds. Glad these big ones are done. Next is a wonderful baby quilt for a friend who is going to be a new first time grandma - and she just can't wait!

Saturday, February 9, 2008


The Hamsa (Arabic: خمسة, Khamsa‎, literally "five", Hebrew: חמסה, Khamsa‎) is a symbol used in amulets, charms and jewelry to protect against the "evil eye."

Saturday morning is my time to read blogs and post comments - usually I do this at 5:00 am or so. But I slept late today, and am actually just procratinating my morning walk. I have had good intentions to beef up the excercise schedule, but let's see - Tuesday and Wednesday it was pouring rain, Thursday it was sleet and snow and Friday was snow. I'll grab an excuse whenever I can - can't you tell? So today it is cold but the sun it out, and I'm going out. With my ipod. And a camera. New life - here I come.

The commute to work is so incredibly awesome (20 minutes) I can't get over it. My office is dark, but cozy and organized. I love it all so much that I am getting nervous - something is bound to go wrong. I feel like my grandma - when you said something about how good something was she would say something about "kinna hurra" Ken Ayin Hara (Yiddish, Kinna Hurra) - Literally: May there be no evil eye.

Grandma brought me up to be so superstitious. I'm loading up on all the anti evil eye wards that I can find.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Illustration Friday - Choose

Would you choose Bachelor #1, Bachelor #2 or Bachelor #3?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Has anyone heard of "Classmates.com". You sign on and list all the schools that you went to and then someone from your past finds you and you freak out.

Someone from my past has found me and I don't remember her at all. She remembers so much about those crazy days hanging out on the street corners in Brooklyn, and I can't remember which one she was! I think this picture above was 7th grade and I'm going to ask her to tell me which one she is - I truly have no idea.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Another Rainy Day

Yes to all you poor people in the south, it is raining here again. Pouring actually. I know that you haven't had rain in months and I feel bad for you all for a few reasons, the biggest is the drought - that's not fun. But the second reason is one that Michele pointed out, which is how lovely a rainy day can be. One is almost forced into a home cuddle session, with a good book and a fireplace. I do love those days, and love to not have to worry about doing chores, or pretending to be busy outside. Snowy days are like that also, only softer and prettier. And just to gloat a bit more...I don't have to drive into the city in this mess. I didn't have to watch the traffic report this morning! hurray again.

Kerstin also asked me a good question in my post on scary things, she asked if I told my parents about my fears of war as a child and the answer if NO. I would never have had this type of conversation with my parents, it was just understood that I should learn to be stoic about fears and work them out for myself. My parents were very loving, but different from the rest of my extended family in that they were a mixed religion marriage and there was alot of anger in the family about that. I think that I felt that my role was to be a good child and there was nothing that I would do to rock the boat, and expressing fear would have directed too much attention to me, along with alot of "get over it" and "what's wrong with you?" from aunts and uncles. I look at my niece today and see the open relationship that she has with her parents and I just don't know which way is better. My niece has been having trouble going to school, and has taken most of the year off so far. Stomach pains, and anxiety etc. Her parents are very supportive, and we all talk about this openly, and she has alot of professional support..but I know that I would never have even told my parents about this kind of anxiety. I just would have sucked it up, and gone to school - I would never have even thought that there was an option. Is it better for my niece to have the option to stay home? Is she missing an opportunity to learn to draw on her inner strength and work thru her fears? Is it better that she is learning professional tricks to control anxiety?

I remember once telling my mother that one of my aunts "didn't like me". Moms answer was immediate, "your aunt loves you" and that was the end of the discussion. When I think about it today I do wish that mom had taken the time to really hear what I was saying - my aunt did love me but she didn't approve of our family, my parents marriage, our temple (reform not conservative or orthodox) and everything about our little family. I was trying to tell Mom that her sister just didn't like us all! Would it have made a difference if Mom had listened? Who knows. What could she have done about it anyway. We were stuck in the middle of a religious, straight laced family who did EVERYTHING together - I guess it just would have made things more difficult for the family to have this out in the open.

I truly don't know the answer to these questions. Probably there is no "right" answer, but I know that when I was a kid, if you gave into or expressed your fears, you would get the shit beaten out of you one way or the other. I chose to ignore it all, read all the time, and get the hell out of Dodge as soon as I could.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tuesday - Primary day

It was wonderful to wake up today to the sound of pouring rain and to realize that I don’t have to drive into the city. I don’t have to jump out of bed to be on the road at 6:15 am in order to beat the traffic. Right now it’s 6:25 and I’m in my jammies, with a cup of coffee, watching the news. I did have high hopes of taking a walk this morning but not in this weather…but I can even go to the club and walk on the treadmill. Ah joy!!! I realize that with this move I am gaining more than 2 hours/day. Yes, my commute is usually 2 hours or more often 2.5 hours. But in order to minimize the commute, I get to work by 7:30 am, and usually don’t leave until 5 or 5:30. I never leave at 4:00. So…you do the math – I’m going to be wallowing in time saved. To top it off, we’ve been asked NOT to go into work today or tomorrow in order to allow the movers time to get all the boxes into our offices. So I get to work at home… in my jammies…get to vote in the middle of the day….whew.

The new offices are beautiful, my only complaint is that my office is dark; I only got the “allowed” number of lumens for an office of that square footage. (we are a green company I guess). So I have to officially ask for additional light. I have little patience for this red tape, but don’t want lamps all over the office – it’ll look like a living room, cozy and warm – but I need light to work. So I will officially ask for more lumens! How you do that I don’t know but I’ll figure it out.

Sean did this drawing on Sunday; he is taking an art class and likes it. He has to complete 12 sketches, so took a painting off our wall and copied the ship. It was great to watch him, with no reserve about drawing and no compulsion to get the perspective right or the lines exact - I think he did a great job. I always learn a lot from these kids. He called me last night to tell me how wonderful his denim quilt looked on his bed. I am still binding Brian’s green quilt, the fleece backing made it difficult and I’m working harder on the binding than on the actual quilt. Lesson learned – if using fleece, don’t try for a hand made binding – go straight for a wide blanket binding. Much easier and will look better.

The traffic news guy is talking about how bad the traffic is, with the rain and some sleet. I am SO enjoying this today!

For some reason I can't check spelling anymore with blogger. Anyone else having this problem?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Final Quilt update

The boys LOVED their quilts. More posting with pictures later on in the week, but they were a great success. They appreciate the "More love than skill" theme and love the quilts because I made them for each one of them - separately. As twins they often get the same present, but since they are such different people it doesn't make sense to me to do that anymore (when they were babies, it was a different story).


Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Quilting Crisis Averted

I had an AHA moment last night about Brians quilt.

Most of this dilemma has been caused by poor measurement and lousy seams, but in addition, I decided to use a fleece on the back of the quilt and put patches of the same green used on the front as little decorations for the back. There is no easy way that I can figure that I could have lined up the rectangles on the back and front and I didn't want to quilt over those patches. And I really wanted to quilt this one, not tack it as I had done on the blue one for Sean.

Anyway, here is what I did. Lynn had made a suggestion about using light green thread in th bobbin and just quilting over the back rectangles. I was going to do that but was still not really wanting to sew over those blocks, I wanted them puffy. So, by hand I stitched around the back blocks so that the basting showed on the front. All blocks were outlined this way. Then I turned over the quilt and started quilting along a front seam - and when I got to the area that had been basted, I tacked the stitch - and slid the whole quilt down below the bottom of the basted area and continued stitching. This way I get the puffy look on the back that I wanted, but with a good quilted look on the front.

Make sense? I like this solution. Lesson learned - keep thinking about a problem, the solution may come to you.

Scary things

I was just looking at Steve's post for Blanket and realized that I didn't have childhood memories of monsters in the closet. Or under the bed. or waiting in the dark bathroom. I was scared of real things, like what if my parents divorced or died, or if a world war happened again. I was scared that if a war happened, that all the jews would get rounded up again, and I'd be one of them. I was scared to walk out of the house without my cousins...but I was never scared about monsters. or goulies. or bloodsucking anythings.
IFN has "extreme dreams" this week, and again...I have none. My dreams are mostly nice and calming. At least the ones I remember.
I wonder if I am blocked...or just boring?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Self Portrait

At the Portrait Party it is a self love month, where you can post portraits of yourself. I like this idea! I worry so much about drawing others that I get stumped. So I have been using myself as a model. I've labeled this "Sort of Mim" because it sort of looks like me, in that I have hair like that and two eyes and a nose etc. ( but I'm not really cross-eyed) I feel that the features are drawn more generically than they should be - but at least it's only me and I can do another one! Plus I didn't smile which is very unusual for me, but I don't like drawing teeth!
In the one below I experimented with giving myself purple hair. Nice eh?

I like my "Me drawn by Me" better shown in the sidebar . Kinda off kilter but that's OK.

You make my day....

FY, whose birthday is approaching got a "you make my day" award and passed it along to a bunch of us - I think we all make each other's day! As FY says, I am chuffed (and I hope that is a good thing) to get this award from her. It's such a funny thing, I check in most days with my online friends to see what they are up to, see their artwork, watch their progress with portraits, chat, look at quilts, talk about health, commiserate when your internet is down, or when the kids or husband are sick, or when you need money for a kennel.

Hence I nominate (supposed to do 5 - I could easily do many more!)

You may note that there are a few repeats within this list from FY's list, but it's just so hard. All during the week I visit Continuous Line and Pomegrantes and Paper and Teri's Painted Daisies and My Collage Art and so many others. Everyones blog is different, with different themes, and thoughts and artwork. I'm still loving it (even if Switchsky bailed on us all!) Thanks all, you all really do make my day.
And thanks FY - and Happy Birthday to you. Your birthday card is in the mail and I wonder what the list of 70 things to do before 70 will be. I believe it will be long, enthusiastic, fanciful and determined.

Illustration Friday

Blanket - first thing that comes to my mind is a blanket of snow. No time to draw tonight so here are some pictures - actually just one, fooled around with on the computer.