Thursday, May 28, 2015

another finished piece

Postcard from Russia

my piece for the Hoffman Challenge is complete

this is the second piece I've done that involves part of the design running off the edges of the piece -- just a little thinking outside the box

amidst all of the ongoing unpacking and arranging -- and re-arranging -- I'm working on other projects

doing the ArtWalk Longmont show earlier in the month got me excited to do some bead work again, so I went and got supplies to make some more of the "tribute to Gees Bend quilts" pieces -- this one is getting close to being done

progress is being made on the quilt I'm making for my daughter -- it's nice to be able to spread it out and figure out how much wider and how much longer it needs to be!

Christmas knitting continues -- yesterday I made a visit to my local yarn shop (happy to find one here in my new town!) -- I needed to get the proper tools for the next project I will be casting on

you never know when you move stuff what the causalities will be

the last time we moved one of the side pieces of glass in this cabinet got broken

this time the glass all survived, but the taping that held the three pieces of glass in the front together just fell out - taking a lot of the gold leaving down the center with it

I spent several days with gold paint pens (Sharpie makes several widths of tips in these now), redoing all the gold and then reapplied tape

good as new!  ready to put all those collectibles back into the cabinet

the demo part of the remodel is done!

this contractor believes in reusing materials that can be, so there are sheets of drywall and a stack of 2x4s waiting for the next step

moving right along!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

lost in transistion

I did pretty well making sure that items that I knew I would need right away were in boxes that were clearly marked.  For the most part we've been able to do whatever work needed to be done without having to go and buy a lot of duplicate tools or materials.

Except for this

Early on I borrowed my daughter's for a week or so, but it soon became apparent that I needed to get one that I could continue to use until the studio is ready -- there are just too many things I do to make art that require this tool!

This piece, for example, is now in the finishing stage -- yesterday I cut the edges and started putting on the facings

That activity requires some "aggressive pressing" to make sure the edges are firmly turned under and there are no "ugly edges"

The replacement iron is working adequately -- it will probably continue to live in the laundry room when studio is finished -- who knows, I might actually iron a piece of clothing -- but don't hold your breath waiting for that!

This has been a busy week

I have hired a contractor to turn this unfinished space into my studio


In order to do that, these walls must all come down.  They were put in by a previous occupant without permits and the workmanship is awful, so the decision was made to just rip it all out and start over

The most positive thing about this space is that the rough in for the plumbing is already here which makes the plumbing part of this project much easier!

There will be a bathroom and a room that I will use as an office at this end and all of the rest of the space will be open to be used as studio space for the DH and I

Time to hang out the sign that says "Watch This Space" -- let the demolition begin!!!

Saturday, May 09, 2015


this piece took me a long time to make

here is the artist statement that I wrote about it for submitting to Sacred Threads:

"Much of my work comes out of pictures seen in my mind in that time between being fully asleep and fully awake.

In May of 2013 a close friend whom had been like an aunt to my daughter had been told there was nothing more that could be done for her ovarian cancer.

This piece represents the picture that I awoke with in my mind on the morning of her passing.

The creation of this piece has given me time to remember and honor her memory and to work through my own grief of loosing her."

having finished this piece just before the deadline early in March and just prior to the big move, I had moved on to thinking about other things

so it took me by surprise that the letter telling me that this piece had been accepted for that exhibit came almost exactly 2 years after the phone call I got telling me the doctors had done everything they could for her

sometimes the timing of things just stuns you

I'm glad this piece of art will get to travel to the East Coast -- I hope it is well received

Sunday, April 26, 2015

making order out of chaos

even when you are really excited about a move, it is a lot of hard work

no matter what "stuff" you bring with you there are going to be surprises

and organization can be a key thing
these two pieces of organization happen this week --

in the garage there were brooms and mops and dust pans leaning against the wall next to the freezer (which I'm happy to report survived the move and is already in use here at the new house) -- tripping over all those things was making me a little nuts

in this case, since these hang out in the garage, I opted for the free organizing method -- the DH nailed a long 1x2 to the studs on the wall then I could put up as many other nails as I wanted to hang all those cleaning tools

in the kitchen pantry, however, I needed something a bit more than a piece of 1x2 -- picked up a wire rack system like the one my daughter has in her pantry and made a lot more usable space in there

this move came with some expected expenses

these three items for example --

we had expected to replace our mattress and step up into something that is more comfortable for our aging bodies

and we knew from the day we first looked at it that the refrigerator that was in the house would need to be replaced

the new grill is our reward to ourselves for having spent a year without one because we were not willing to buy one and leave it at the old house after the old one stopped working and could not be repaired (no small hardship since we usually grill all year round!)

and then there were those unexpected things 

one of the things that we moved was the recliner that I had been using for about 20 years

turns out we could have just left it behind as the first night it came out of the moving POD one of the supports for the back broke

the new chair, while it is not what I really would like to have, is quite serviceable and goes well with the other chair in the room, so I'm okay with it
and the little adventure of the dishwasher

there was a dishwasher here, which when the home inspector did is work before we bought the house made note that it was not attached to the counter top so when it was opened it fell forward out of the cabinet

of course we insisted that the previous owner take care of that -- which they did -- sort of

after the first long weekend of unpacking and washing dishing is that dishwasher, my daughter observed that it didn't do a really good job, it was noisy, and if you pulled the top rack out too far it came right off the rail and put you in danger of dropping an entire rack of glasses 

I made some noises about having to make do with it for now, etc., etc., and she said to me "Mom, you DESERVE to have nice things"

uh -- well, she has a point

so we ordered the new dishwasher, and when the installer came, he discovered that the "legs" under that old one were nothing more than some little pieces of raw lumber, and just as he started to work on disconnecting it, it started spewing water all over the kitchen!

I think we avoided a lot of hassle by being proactive on this one!

the work in the house continues, there is still much to do, but I'm going to take some time today to work on some art -- I'm feeling a little "out of sorts" and I know the best cure is to make some art!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

stepping out of the comfort zone

we've been hanging out in an extended stay motel for over a week now while we wait to sign the paperwork on our new house

almost every day we've driven by the house -- there is a big tree in the front yard that is starting to leaf out, and I'm trying to figure out what kind of tree it is

I've made the phone calls to set up the utilities and the subscription to the local paper will begin the day we are moving in

yesterday we went to the local farmer's market and were pleased to find that it is indeed LOCAL farmers and craftsmen with their products -- great produce, local meat -- and discovered that the fellow that sharpens knives and scissors lives right in my new neighborhood -- I'll be talking with him soon as I have several pair of scissors that need to be sharpened!

when I signed up for the newspaper, we were given a free paper, and as I usually do, I went right to the arts section checking out what is happening in the arts locally

and let me tell you, there is quite a bit

a few years ago -- back when I was actively doing art shows all over the country -- I did one of the Art Walk shows in this town -- I was pleased to see that they are still doing those shows

on impulse I applied for the May show yesterday -- after all, I have lots of jewelry inventory available as that is what is in my Etsy store, and all of that is with me, so I know right where it is -- we'll see how that all works out -- will a local address make any difference?  who knows!

meantime, I've been working on my piece for the Hoffman Challenge -- I have another dome to attach there on the left hand side and I still have to do the little "balls" at the top of each dome and embroider the crosses on top -- but it is getting very close to done

I had set myself a goal to have this piece ready to be quilted by the time we are into the new house -- it looks like I'm going to make that!

things are moving right along

Sunday, March 29, 2015

thoughts about transistions

yesterday we put the rest of our household into the final POD

its strange to walk around in the house that is now so empty -- everything echos

that POD will be picked up tomorrow afternoon and we will go on Tuesday afternoon to put what is left in the 'fridge into a cooler to take with us

right now we are staying in a local hotel -- a nice vacation after all the hard work!

this morning at breakfast (which is provided as part of our room fee) this great couple were sitting a few tables over

it reminded me of a latter day American Gothic

after breakfast in the elevator we chatted with them a bit

sweet people on their way back home to Kansas -- we wished them safe journey as they did us

it's strange being here now that our home really isn't -- definitely feeling like strangers in a place we've lived in for over a decade

until then I'll keep working on the embellishment of this piece

there are two more panels that get all of that gold metallic thread cross hatching -- I went to my local quilt store for the last time and picked up some more of the DMC thread that I'm using for this just to make sure I don't run out of what I need before I know which new to me local store has these things

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

time to say goodbye

we are in the final countdown

a week from today we will leave Colorado Springs and set off for our new home town

we have been very busy packing and cleaning

at the end of last week we had to say a very different kind of goodbye

Elphie was my "empty nest" baby, the dog we rescued and adopted the year our daughter went out into the world on her own

she went to art shows with us when she was little, served as the guard and nursemaid when each of us had surgeries and made us laugh at her antics

hard as it is to say goodbye, it was harder to see her suffer, so we made that most painful choice

at some point in the future there will be another fur baby in our life -- first we need time to heal