Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve thoughts 12.31.2010

Overall I have had a good year.   I really enjoy my job and I am very good at it.  Indirectly, I help the environment (National Park Service) which fulfills one of my interests and I get to read a lot of new research that is going on.

I have done well with quilting.  Right now I am spending a lot of days (it is 2 degrees out) quilting since I have been taking time off of work and have a lot of projects in process.  I will be posting them as they are completed.

I have done various quilts that I have donated to causes and provided donations to causes that matter to me.

I spend a lot of time with my dogs but have not spent enough time training my problem dog so we can go to competitions or keeping up with the training of my current competition dog.  In fact, I have not competed for several years now and I find that I do miss it.  Hmm, friend doing a breeding right now for a wonderful chesapeake bay retriever litter that I would love to have - SLAP - sorry had to hit myself - can not take on another puppy.

Recently I rejoined the QuiltArt email list.  They are all asking each other what WORD will focus their energy for 2011.  I picked "Social and Communication". Ok, that is three words but they are activities and skills that I  have not been doing.  Somehow, I have to get reinvolved again with more than just money.

Just a few early morning thoughts.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Home is the Artist Dec 27, 2010

A few years ago I went on an artist studio walk through Boulder Colorado.  It is where 30-40 artists open their homes and invite the public in to see their house; their art and their studios.  I remember walking into a quilters home and they immediately asked me if I was a "quilt artist".  I froze because I had never thought of myself in that fashion.  I keep trying on that word - sometimes it fits, sometimes it doesn't.  What I have finally done is to put some of my quilt pieces up on the walks in my living room and hallway. 

I spend time staring at many of the pieces, separated by time they develop their own life and I sometimes become very impressed with them.  I am often surprised that I made them.  I had added a few pictures showing my current walls.  My picture taking is not the best.

The oil painting I added just because I really like them.

Dining Area

Oil Painting by David Mayer and Jon Smith

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I am very happy that Christmas day is over.  Life starts over and it is going to be good.  Have gotten a lot of quilting work done in the past few weeks and I will be posting the work but right now I want to take a moment to remember those who have passed - both dog and human.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Books December 23, 2010

Besides enjoying my quilting and my dogs and a number of other things, I love books.  I tend to have books in every room and work on several at the same time. 
Right now I am going through "The Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett.  His books are big, and a slow read but his characters are very rich and real and I have read that his historical accuracy is really good.  You definitely get your monies worth with him. 
I am using late getting to the party so I have just discovered Malcolm Gladwell.  Guess his books have been on the best seller nonfiction lists for years but I listened to "What the Dog Saw" which is a bunch of his New Yorker essays.  He has a wonderful speaking voice.  I was so impressed that I returned the book the library (love libraries) and just bought from Amazon.  He actually got me to start reading other on-line articles from the New Yorker Magazine (free!).

I just got my Smithsonian and will be busy diving through that.  They offered me such a good deal that I ordered a subsubscription for one of my nieces husband (though he probably reads it already) and an eight year old niece (this will be a challenge for her).

Of course there are the quilting books; science fiction; some romance novels (no thanks to one niece for getting me started there); and regular fiction. 

OK I read a lot.  I also just got my new Kindle today.  I decided it was time to try it.  It is charging up and I am starting to play.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family and Sea Turtles December 18, 2010

My sister Roz has refound my blog and read my recent entries.  I do not know why it easier for me to think of strangers reading my words than family but I do.  I told Roz that (at least I know I have one reader now) and she does not understand it either.
I do not mind being alone in the world, I am rarely lonely.  She is my closest family (along with her family) and is about 2500 miles away.  I have chosen this life but sometimes it is not easy.  On the other hand, I did not find marriage all that pleasant either.

However, I have done a lot of work in the past few years and I like the idea of being able to slowly show it off to my sister and others.

So on to quilting.  I get into moods and during the Mississippi Gulf Oil Spill many of my coworkers went off to the south to help. Since I work for the National Park Service, I helped from my desk.  I did feel the need to make three sea turtles and gave one to a coworker when she came back (the bottom turtle).  Here are pictures of the other two.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fruit Ladies December 15, 2010

Most of my extended family is located down in Florida and/or the Bahamas so I tend to think about oceans and beaches more than many Colorado people.  I had found some funny Fruit Ladies fabric from Elizabeth Fabrics and made a few small pieces.  I added extra stuffing into the fruit to give it extra dimensions.  I helped a friend make one for her granddaughter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Dogs December 13, 2010


I have three chesapeake bay retrievers.  I have had chessies since the early 80's and I normally compete with them in conformation, agility, obedience and rally.  Right now I have an 11 year old male named Ceil (after my favorite Aunt); 8 year old female named Echo and their only child, 2 year old male named Chip.
Ceil has had cancer for over three years.  The vets had given him ~ 30 days but with a lot of luck and chinese herbs and supplements he is still with me.  Ceil and I just came back from a dog heart specialist because he has an enlarged heart.  More good news - it is manageable and once I check to make sure the new medicines do not mess up the chinese herbs, his life should be improved.

From left to right they are Echo, Ceil and baby Chip.  I got to say that they are pretty!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mini Landscapes December 12, 2010

I am still working on my blog format because I want titles and dates to be along the right side.  Cannot seem to figure this out and would appreciate some help if there are any readers out there who understand this stuff.

I wanted to post a few of my mini landscape pictures.  I think these were in-progress pictures but I can not find the finished ones.  These started fused and then got stitched and stitched and stitched.  They were a lot of fun.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Season December 11, 2010

The holiday season is not a pleasant time for me. Friends go off on their family and shopping issues; christmas music is everywhere and America seems to forget that there are other cultures and other religions around.
I lit my candles but that is not enough. The result is that I feel very isolated and I focus on my dogs; quilting and work. I provide a lot of coverage at work so people can go off and do things.
I should focus on the gym and working out (I really need that) but here I am typing when I should be stretching. I do try to do special things that will make me feel better.
For the last two weeks I have been taking a class (work related) and met a very nice group of people. The instructor acted like an older gentleman (he did not believe we were within 5 years of each other) who often talked about his wife who had died a few years ago. He made the class (of 14) a huge lunch one day and brought in special deserts another day. He would not accept money but said that if I wanted to contribute to donate to the Susan Koman foundation. I did send in a contribution by the way.
I showed him my blog (which happened to be up on my computer) and some pictures from a few years ago. He seemed to like a blue piece that I had done in 2007 and on the last day I dug it out of my finished stash. I put it in the car without knowing what I was going to do (if anything). After everyone said good-bye to each other and were leaving, I went out to the car and quietly gave him the quilt piece. It had been an experimental piece for a color theory class and did not achieve what I wanted from it. I included a picture of it in this entry (around 18" by 18"). I think it shocked him and I quickly left. I feel like I tossed my quilt out onto the waters and I have no idea how it will end up - it feels rather freeing.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

During the summer I took a mini landscape class from Quilt University ( from Susan Britten. I would recommend the classes there - they feel very personal even though it is on line because the instructors are so interactive. I spent most of the summer making little minlandscapes and some of them have made it to the walls of my house.
This little mountain quilt (9" by 12") was donated to Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) through a Quilt Show taping. The quilt made it to the Houston Show and was sold for ~$85.00. I am very proud of this one.
I left the patterns provided by the class and made one from a photo I took last spring in the Grand Tetons. The Tetons and Yellowstone were an amazing trip and I plan on going back again before the snow totally melts - Yellowstone was basically empty and you could hear the land speak.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I can not believe that I have been gone for years. I have continued to live and to quilt and to take care of my dogs. Chessies are known for their smile and my old Sarah had the best smile. I think I fell off the blog networks and really just had a few friends and family looking at my work. I have created a lot of work since then. Gave a fair amount away to friends and family (I got to the magic number 7 for my niece Wendy's family) and to various organizations and fund raisers.
I feel good about my quilting but my style seems to be rough or natural - I love landscapes but do not enjoy the delicate matching of points or sweet fabrics. I am going to have to think about what I say for that one.
I am going to have to remember how to post things but here are a few of my lastest pieces.