Summer impressions.  Hot. Humid. Afternoon thunderstorms.

All that remains.

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Signage.

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Baby ducks.  One of the mother ducks started out with 14 ducks.  The other had 4 babies.  I don’t know how many are surviving but there are still many babies swimming around the pond and hunting for food. Here is a photo of my first viewing of the swimming babies.

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And yes there is another reason I have babies on my mind.  My son and beautiful daughter in law are one day away from the due date.  I am so excited.

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I am working on multiple fabric projects.  This one is a group project.  This is what we have so far.  Mine is the lower right. My birds are painted with textile paints and threads add detail.

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These bits are pieces are part of an unfinished series and I am reluctant to show too much. This has made blogging a challenge as I typically have shared works in progress. So here are just a few tiny, and I really mean tiny, glimpses.

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So you have had a mini peek.  Don’t tell anyone now. :)

 

© 2015

I have never before been away so long from my blog.  Yes, I have been very busy. I did think of a variety of things to share, but somehow the longer I waited to write, the harder it got.

I went to the Florida SAQA conference (Studio Art Quilt Associates) and had a great time meeting other art quilters.

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There were art flags running over the bridge between the parking area and the buildings at FIT where the conference was held.

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The exhibit, Southern Accents,  which opened during the Conference at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts is wonderful.  For those of you in Florida it is on display until August 22 and is well worth the visit.

I have also been dyeing and dyeing and dyeing fabric.  And I have also been putting paint on fabric in a variety of ways.

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I won’t show you any of the finished fabric projects I am working on for Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth Mastery Program. : (

But I will show you what a big mess I create when I work on a project.

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And I have been cooking up a storm. Mostly the dishes have been successes: ginger bread, raspberry muffins with chia seeds,  linguine with red onions, kale and goat cheese, and frittatas, with eggs and assorted veggies (anything including potatoes, onions, summer squash, broccolini, zucchini) and cheese.  I think the feta was my favorite but goat cheese is really yummy on a frittata too. Ah, now I have gone and made myself hungry.  Time to go find a snack.

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© 2015

I have had a lot of practice mixing colors (textile paints) …

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…and I have some fresh goodies from the garden for testing out some of those recipes …

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…in the new cookbooks I just received.

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Now that the present has been opened, I can share the baby quilt I made.

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This is the fabric on the backside.

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The pattern is Steam Punk. You might think Steam Punk should be in dusty, dark colors, but I selected tropical, happy colors in a fabric line with a sea life theme. The organic fabric from Monaluna is from the “Under the Sea” Collection.

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The quilt block pattern is by Australian designer Jen Kingwell and you can see many examples of how the block has been made on this special Flickr group.

If you think you might want to make this block, there is a tutorial on Fret Not Yourself. Wish I had read it BEFORE I made my blocks.

Anyway these are all things that are making me happy these days. : )

© 2015

“If you marry a creative person know that some days you’ll come home to a spotless house and some days dinner will be forgotten, the kids will be in pjs and it will look like you were robbed.  Find a way to appreciate both because the second will happen much more often than the first.”

Several times recently when waking up I had been dreaming of interior design. Being pulled unwillingly from my sleep way too early this morning, I realized that in my dreams I was doing furniture layout and wall decoration for a home that was not mine.  Do I not fill my days sufficiently enough with design, with creativity, through photography and fabric and thread?  Why the need to create interior spaces while dreaming? The family that I was decorating for, or more specifically the father of the family, was saying it did not feel like home and I was trying to decorate it into being a home.

“Home is the nicest word there is.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

All during my childhood we moved frequently and somehow that installed a love in me of moving to new places.  There was always the adventure of discovering a new world, new friends and a chance to start over, to re-invent yourself.  In adulthood I have stayed put but still love imagining the possibilities. Even when I vacation somewhere, the beach, the mountains, it doesn’t matter where, I like to get real estate magazines and pour over the listings, conjuring up a new future. Recently I have looked at places at the beach on two different coasts, both by driving through areas not that far from home as well as viewing online real estate listings on the opposite coast.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

~William Morris

What makes a place a home? Design is certainly part of it as it as it should add comfort and should make the space practical and attractive in everyday living. The familiarity of objects that you have gathered and treasured, whether practical or ornamental, also greatly enhance the sense of home. There is also a need to feel secure and that comes both from the neighborhood, the construction, and from the time it takes to make a new place feel familiar.  Most importantly though are the humans and the pets who you love and who love you.

 “A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.”

~Dr. William A. Ward

 

© 2015

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Is it possible to have too much fun?!  When I started this blog the idea was that I had an opportunity to reinvent my life and I wanted to share those new adventures.  I wanted a chance to be able to focus on family and friends and to indulge my love of creativity.  During these last years my life has been filled with both joy and sadness.  I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people and to take many fantastic classes and workshops on bookmaking, cyanotype, quilting, dyeing fabric, printing on fabric with dye or paint or with a printer and on making thermofax screens.  I have also taken classes on composition, monoprinting, encaustics, general photography and photoshop. Whew! So many wonderful experiences!

I have started a two and a half year program of study with Jane Dunnewold, the Art Cloth Mastery Program, and this has inspired me to re-prioritize all the things that I do.  I have said yes to many wonderful opportunities in recent years.  But sometimes this means that the things I most want to do, which are more challenging and perhaps ultimately among the most rewarding, are put aside.

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It is hard to do, but I am making changes.   I now rank my priorities as:

Health

Family and close friends

Creativity

I struggled with putting Health first as I really wanted Family to be first followed by Creativity.  But if you don’t have Health you don’t really have anything. Hey, I want to be around to meet my grandchild!  In creative endeavors I am putting the Art Cloth Mastery Program first, which means there are going to be many great classes, meetings, and events that I will have to bypass.  I will focus on the work we are doing within that Program and I will apply to get into one of two shows per year.  I think narrowing these activities will help me to learn and grow in a more focused, goal driven way.  We’ll see!

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I would have never imagined that I was the little kid in the candy shop saying yes to everything that tempted me, never allowing me to make my way to the back of the shop where my very favorite thing was waiting for me.  Are you in danger of having too much fun? : ) Are you in danger of not doing the things that mean the most to you because you say yes to all the other things that are fun, but don’t ultimately bring you to where you want to be?

In case you were wondering the photos in this post are random photos I have taken in the last 12 plus months.

© 2015

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