Thursday, June 30, 2016

I'm moving the zen quilter blog, please come and check it out.

Well, this is my last post here at blogger.  My sister-in-law made me a new website.  It's called  I'm pretty excited about it, because now I will have everything in one place - web page, blog, gallery, even my own email.  (which will be  I really really hope that you all will come and visit my at my new place.  I haven't moved the buttons and whatnot over there yet, but I will, as soon as I figure it all out.  I've even published a blog there this week, so again, I hope you'll all come and visit.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Off the Wagon

I've fallen off the wagon again.  No, not that wagon!    I'm talking about the one where I'm riding along, on board, making goals, starting and finishing projects, blogging regularly,...Unfortunately the list of things I'm NOT doing also includes exercising regularly, grocery shopping, and even making my bed every day.  Do I have a good excuse?  Well probably not a good one.  But there are a few legitimate reasons this has occurred...(also some not so legit, which I will also admit to further on down the blog.)

You see, for a year, my husband and I have been working on opening a Vacation Rental by Owner.  It and managing our other rental properties have been pretty all-consuming, and I have had very little time for other things.  (And no, it's not open yet.  We are waiting on finishing the outside painting and landscaping, and to finish the pool. The amazing rain we are getting this spring, while always welcome, is making it NOT happen.) 

 For the most part, it's been quite fun.  It's a house built in 1960 in the mid-century modern style, and we've had a blast turning it to a genuinely Mod Haus.  It has been quite a creative endeavor, and like I said, fun for the most part.  Now we are finally nearing the finish, which is fantastic but suddenly I'm finding that I almost HATE the thing.  I just so want it to stop owning me and my time!  I want it to start bringing money in instead of being a money pit...I want to move ON.

And that's just ONE thing - naturally there are many other things pulling our attention as well.  I know, I know -  I should be grateful to have so much going on, but today I'm just irritated by it.  I think the truth is that I'm just out of balance completely.  I've always worked at a "real" job (mostly teaching) away from home until the last couple of years, and that made a schedule necessary.  Certain things happen on certain days at certain times. Laundry happens on blah and blah.  Exercise happens at such and such time - you working women know what I mean.  But being self-employed, I thought I might be able to just do things as they come up; that things would be more flexible.  They aren't.  I mean, they can't be for me at least, because I can't seem to get to all the things I want to do - even more so than when I worked and mothered full time - surprises the shit out of me, let me tell ya. 

 I guess I just need a schedule (and the self-discipline to follow it!).  

In my defense, it has been difficult to follow a schedule because so many things that need immediate attention are constantly popping up.  On the other hand, I haven't even tried to make one, and the reason is because (okay, there's that lack of discipline again) and also because I liked the idea of not having to do it.  I figured things would still get done because my time was my own (sort of, anyway). 

But now I'm thinking that simply being alive requires regular care and feeding, let alone actually trying to accomplish things.  And so I suppose I must accept the fact that I still have to make a daily and weekly schedule and (equally important) stick to it. So I'm going to try it.  I can't schedule certain things, such as issues with plumbing or whatnot, but still, it may help me restore some balance in my life.  And I need  balance in order to create (That my Oprah-self knows for sure, girls.)

I just need to schedule in some flexibility into my schedule. Is that an oxymoron?  I'll find out soon enough.   In the meantime, I am so grateful for the opportunities we have been getting here.  I do feel that I'm lucky as hell.  I admit I get a little cranky when I don't get to my studio very often.  But as usual, just writing all this down helps me make the realization that I just need to focus on where I am right at this moment, right now and make peace with it and even maybe ENJOY it!  

So here are some photos of the VRBO, which we call Mod Haus (it's online and we have bookings - hooray!) and some other projects I've been working on whenever I have a spare moment, that is...

The pillows I made really kind of PoP on the gray couch!

Here's a shot of the dining area - big open space, and yes, I hung a lot of my art on the walls - but really - I had so many pieces that were perfect for the place it was almost eery!

Does this look like a great place for a party or what?!

Ahhh - the pool - don't ya just want to dive in!?  I do.

So the other day I actually got to spend the afternoon on art!  Here's what I did - I couldn't stop until I got it all put together - it took me eight hours!!!  But I'm pretty psyched at how it turned out:

And here is some weird Idea I'm having.  I love the creamy colors with the sky blues so I'm making something...don't know exactly what yet.

The photo was taken at 11:00 at night, so the light isn't too great, neither is the sewing, for that matter, but I'm okay with wonky in this case cuz I'm experimenting.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Help! I can't decide

Decided to participate in my first ever quilt-a-long, but I'm only just today getting to the fabric pull and tomorrow is the second week - better get on it.   Been  super busy, but happily busy making pillows for my vacation rental house.  (I will post them tomorrow).  

But I really want to participate in the Rainbow Rose Quilt-a-Long sponsored by the MQG-Ireland.  Why?  No idea, really, it just looks like fun.  

I happen to have a lot of rainbow scraps, too, which is fun.  I have enough to make two different rainbows, in fact.  And I can't decide which one to use.  Of course, if I really thought about it, I could come up with a third stack  - somewhere between the two - somebody stop me, please.  This could get really cray-cray!

So here are the first two bundles I put together.  One is more saturated colors, the other is less.  What do y'all think?

Less saturated colors

So I really thought about it, and here is the third stack - I really like it, too!  This rainbow thing is addicting. 

Third stack - sort of pulled my favorites out of the first two stacks - tried to keep them in order, somewhat...

And - ikes I can't stop - here's another!  

Okay, must stop now or brain will explode (no doubt into rainbow colored blobs).

Does it matter a whit which I choose?  Of course not.  I really actually like them all.  But still, I love all the colors so darn much, I hate to leave ANY of them out!  Wish I could use them all.  Oh well, when it comes time for cutting, I'm just gonna go for it! - maybe I'll use one of each - who knows?  

I'm having fun already!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Not Back to Normal Yet

Abnormal may be my new normal.  I just can't believe how long it's been since I can plan how my day is going to go.  Today, though, I was rather selfish and didn't do much except sew, so that is unusual.  I finally finished my 21st Century Atomic Art piece.  I even photographed it in an artsy way.  

Wilbur and Cosmo wanted to get in on the action, too.  Because the air is so full of moisture, there is a haze that I didn't know how to deal with, so I left it in. I don't mind it, really - I'm quite grateful for all the rain - the grass is green and today the temperature didn't get above 75.  On June 1st!  Wow, unheard of in these parts.   

I decided to make my life more difficult and piece the binding to match the colors in each square.  It was a challenge, but I'm so glad I did it because I think it really makes the piece look special.  

I even did the flanged binding thing for extra effect.

Quilting was, as usual, a challenge.  I decided to quilt little different "atoms" in the center panels of the piece, then treat each large atom differently.  

I did tone on tone quilting so it's not that visible.  Boy but the little bits of thread that need to be cut off sure are!  They are far from perfect, but kind of cute little buggers, aren't they/  

I used my Frixion pen to draw the atoms, based on atomic art I looked up online.  Someone told me they can be problematic, but the really helped with this project.  And the ink disappeared just like it was supposed to when it got ironed.  However, my friend Diane told me not to put the piece in the freezer, because she heard that supposedly the ink would reappear.  As if I would ever entertain the notion of putting a quilt in the freezer!  Sometimes I think people have too much time on their hands...

I have three other quilt tops completed, so instead of doing what I really want to do, which is continue to start new pieces, I'm going to work on getting the quilting load down a bit.  Otherwise it will just get too far ahead of me and some pieces will languish on the shelves, serving no purpose.  Can't have that!  

I'm still working on my leftovers piece, too.  But I've lost a bit of steam on it because I need to make more HST's and flying geese before I can continue.  I was just using up leftovers, but it needs more so now I actually have to do some cutting, which I don't really feel like doing at the moment.   I'll get to it later I'm sure.

I do think it's going to be a cool piece someday  - when it grows...out. I'm pretty nuts about the colors.  I think I need to enlarge that lower left chartreuse piece.  I'm so diggin' on that color in there!  May have to add a circular type piece here or there, too.  Might just be getting to square-ish for me.  We'll see. I know I need to move some pieces around, too.  Can't have too many "like" pieces next to each other.  Feel free to make suggestions.

Sorry again for being such a flaky blogger.  I. am. just. so. busy.  It's good to have stuff to do.  But I MISS art.  Hopefully I'll still have some creative mojo when/if things slow down a little.  But even if I don't, there's always WIP Wednesdays to jump start it.  See ya there.