30 June 2009

have you ever wondered?

I'm a huge fan of Jeanne Williamson's work. I'm especially fascinated with her Orange Construction Fence series. Its been so interesting to follow it as she's worked on it over the years.

And now she's doing something that I'm very intrigued by.

A little while back she decided to set up two of her pieces outside. Just to see what would happen to them when they were left exposed to the elements over long periods of time.

She's tracking the progression of time on her blog. If you haven't checked her out before, I highly recommend it. Especially on this project.

As a fiber artist I often wonder how long my work will last. Textiles seem to have a fairly healthy life span but they need to be handled with great care compared to some other mediums. It has its limits. And it looks like Jeanne is working hard to figure out just what they are.

Pretty darn cool.

You're Invited - see With One Voice at the 212 Arts Center!

The 2008 Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit is currently on exhibit at the 212 Arts Center in Saline, Michigan for the month of July.

From 212's website:

The mission of Two Twelve Arts Center is to provide a creative hub offering visual and performing artists the opportunity and working space to come together to work, create, and teach.

The Center also contributes to the cultural life of the residents of Saline by supporting a full schedule of classes, programs, performances and exhibits. We look forward to providing a framework for a vibrant and supportive arts community with varied opportunities for artists, students and audiences.

Breaking Traditions is very honored to exhibit in this stellar center.
The exhibit hangs on both levels of the center and is accompanied by additional artwork from local Michigan artists that participated in the 2008 exhibit.

You can also see work from Jacqueline Lams, Sidney Savage Inch, Leann Meixner, Deb Kolar, Jean Canavan, Joan Potter Thomas, Kat Campau and Lynn Krawczyk.

There will be an opening reception on Friday July 17 from 7pm-9pm.

We hope to see you there!

29 June 2009

higher on the right, a little closer to the left

Yesterday was hanging day at the 212 Arts Center for the 2008 Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit. Its traveling around to a few places before it finally goes home to the artists and July will be spent hanging in the lovely 212.

Lots of art to hang.

I love that place, its a converted old house. I'm a huge fan of old fashioned houses, anything arts and crafts style makes me stupid happy. So it was no great burden to spend part of the day there hanging artwork. (Its also where I snagged the most recent Where I Stand picture. I so dig big porches. *sigh*)

I was accompanied by two saints, otherwise known as Leann and Kat. Since I am broken (aka bad back), I struggle with things that involve moving heavy objects around or climbing ladders. These two ladies saved me. They hammered in nails, stood on dressers (well, Leann did although it was Kat who suggested it) and patiently put up with me standing there saying, "Nope, not level, bring it up a little on the left." I pointed and directed and stuck labels on the walls. They did the heavy lifting and I'm hugely grateful, the show looks fantastic. (There will be official pictures of it once the opening reception happens, we hung it on a sunday so there were some other things going on that made it not picture perfect.)

All hail Leann and Kat.

Afterward, Kat invited us back to her place to visit her stash. You didn't have to ask us twice. Kat is extremely prolific in her work and we were curious to see her work space. Here's one fabric wall:

Leann and I decided we needed to have a serious chat with Kat. We feel that she needs to stop being afraid to use color and needs to incorporate prints into her work, she's obviously quite repressed. (Luckily Kat appreciates our dry sarcastic humor.)

It was astounding. I could have just sat there and stared at all of it, stunning.

Today was much less fun. I had to go to the dentist to have him redo a cavity filling from three weeks ago that just wouldn't stop hurting. I was leery. I'm by no means squeamish about the dentist but for whatever reason, the darn thing rebelled against the novocaine the last time and I felt way more then I wanted to. So I asked him to make sure it was super super super numb this time and he obliged.

Its five hours later and I'm just now beginning to feel the right side of my face. Thanks doc.

I'm a bit antsy today. Not sure what I want to pick away at. I feel like making something but nothing is grabbing me and pulling me in. Its entirely obnoxious.

But Dooley dog has some excellent news. He finally got groomed and is looking rather spiffy. He loves to ride in the car and I snapped this shot of him when we were stopped at a light.

Something has his rapt attention. I'm just excited to see his eyes again now that the fur has been sheared back. (That poor groomer, she probably needed a weed whacker to accomplish the task this time. We gave her a bigger then usual tip. A good groomer is like a good hair stylist, once you find one you like you worship at their feet to stay in their good graces since they possess the power to make you look funny.)

I think I'm going to wander into my studio and see if anything looks exciting. I hate these restless kinds of days. There has to be something around here to do...

June Good News Giveaway reminder

You still have today and tomorrow to leave a comment on this post to get in the running for June's Good News Giveaway (shown above).

Be sure to leave the comment on that post, not this one.

Time's a-wastin' so get commenting!

28 June 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

It is impossible to say how many have stood here before me. The house sighs with age, content and full. Many moons have hung above it, many decades have passed across this very porch. Cross its threshold and its new purpose housing artwork washes across your face like breath. It welcomes you, draws you in, beckons you to come and sit for a spell.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell. (You can view Year One of the project here and the gallery for this year here.)

27 June 2009

i am boring (apparently)

I know this because I was told so today.

Twice. By two different people.

I've said it before but it bears repeating - I loathe clothes shopping. I especially find it torturous during the summer time. Mostly because I'm more of an earth tone kind of color palette person and I'm allergic to sequins and glitter on my clothing. (Many people look very nice in this, I do not. In any way. It makes me look like a pinata, I simply can't pull it off.)

I was out and about picking up some artwork for a show I'm hanging tomorrow and decided to swing into Kohl's to check out their sandals and maybe see if I could score some plain t-shirts.

I was milling about in the shirt section when a very nice sales lady asked if I needed help.

Her: Is there something I can help you with?

Me: Yeah, do you have any shirts that aren't neon colored?

Her: Its summer. (Good thing she mentioned it, I had noticed the burning ball of fire in the sky as well as the smothering heat bouncing off everything. Wondered what was going on with that.)

Me: I'm aware, thanks. I was just wondering if you had anything in more neutral tones.

Her: Not at the moment. Besides, that would be boring! (Said with a smile, though.)


So off I went to the other side of the store to look at sandals. My pair has served me well for several summers and have taken the definition of pathetic to a whole new level. I have no choice, they have to be replaced.

Problem is my back. It doesn't take kindly to heels so I need to find a flat one. Fine. But one that is more then a quarter of a millimeter thick. Which makes things tricky.

I encountered another saleswoman at the shoe department.

Her: Can I help you?

Me: (feeling leary, that question didn't go so well the first time) Yeah, do you have flat sandals that are thicker then these? (Holding up something that looks like a sheet of paper with a couple of licorice strings hanging off it.)

Her: Aren't those cute?

Me: Yeah, but I need something with more support but no heel.

Her: That's kind of boring, isn't it?

**insert colossally huge sigh here**

Needless to say, I didn't buy anything in either area. Because I'm boring. Good to know that's the reason I find it so difficult to buy clothes and shoes. I wasn't offended by their observations, its true. I'm a plain clothing and shoe person. In fact, it was kind of amusing. Just didn't help with my goal of new shirts and shoes.

I went off to another shoe shop where I also struck out. Came home and visited this site. (Which I highly recommend. I order shoes from them all the time and their customer service kicks butt so there's no problem with sending shoes back that don't fit right or are just plain ugly in real life.) Ordered these. Problem solved.

So now my very nice boring sandals are on their way. At least someone has realized dull people need shoes too.

26 June 2009

the blue needle is mighty

I am in a somewhat blissful state of mind this fine evening. Why you ask? I was hoping you would, let me tell you:

1) I am officially on vacation for the next nine days. The company I work for forces a shutdown the first week of July. Although there is a certain irony to this (as Cathy likes to say, I'm so pale I'm practically clear which means me taking time off work during one of the sunniest hottest weeks of the year usually sets people to giggling and snickering), I am usually ready to flee by mid year so its a welcome break.

2) I have air conditioning. Which means I can sequester my vampire-resembling-self away and not risk being burned from head to toe.

3) And last but most certainly not least, this:

After dinner I sort of stood in the middle of the living room and didn't know what to do first. Usually time is so limited that I have to choose which project I chip away at. The things with the tightest deadlines are the ones that always win.

But not tonight. Tonight I was faced with an unlimited amount of time which meant I could mess about with whatever I wanted.

Its no shock really that Babette #1 came into sharp focus. Frankly, I'm sick of it hanging about the living room in pieces. I want it done so I can put it to work being used.

Armed with my little blue plastic needle, I drug it over to the kitchen table and sewed the blasted thing together. Tomorrow I start the border. I think that will not be as lickety-split as I imagined. My goal is to have the bugger finished by the time I go back to work.

I've got a lot planned for this time off...stitching, writing, knitting, visiting, relaxing...*sigh* Decisions, decisions...

25 June 2009

Happy 3rd Bloggiversary!

Happy Bloggiversary!

Wow, I've had this blog for three years now. Posting was a bit dodgy at the beginning but once I hit my stride, I just haven't been able to shut up.

Out of curiosity I went back to see what my first blog post was about. I was drinking some water and when I realized what it was, I spent the next ten minutes cleaning the spit off my laptop. (Drinking and spontaneous laughter don't go well together.) Apparently some things never change.

I've been a bad blog mom in the sense that this is the first anniversary I've acknowledged. So to show my appreciation to all of you who have stuck through my ramblings and babblings over the past three years, I'm doing a giveaway.

Up for grabs is the premiere issue of the special publication from Stampington called Somerset Workshop.

Follow the link to read about all the good stuff inside there.

All you gotta do is leave a comment on this post (no anonymous comments, I need to be able to find you) and you're in the running. A winner will be picked at random and announced next wednesday so you have a week to get in on it.

I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for checking in here and joining me. I've met many new people because of this blog and my life would be poorer without it. Its been fun and I look forward to many more years of it.


21 June 2009

pass the scissors

I spent the majority of yesterday organizing entries for one of the exhibits I'm curating, Blurred Boundaries. (Still time to enter if you were thinking about it, the deadline has been extended to June 28). I love it, I consider it fun, not work. If I could find a job curating exhibits full time, I'd be all over it.

The exhibit will run in conjunction with the Fabrications Retreat (which is seriously fabulous. Not to mention the price is a steal for the amount of class time - check it out) and its the first exhibit I've curated that has not been strictly art quilts. Its thrilling me to no end. I've got ideas for other exhibits I'd like to put together now, the biggest one on the list is a plushie exhibit. I have to work that one out.

Looking at all that artwork got my wheels spinning and I decided to spend some time in the studio today. A no pressure kind of session, mostly to address The Pile. (Yes, it deserves capital letters, it has an ominous presence.) The time has come to sort, toss and set up what I want to finish.

I grabbed the scissors and got to work. (I am not afraid to cut up my work. If I'm unhappy with something, what's the worse that will happen if I cut it and don't like it after that? Nothing. So I hack away at stuff when it doesn't thrill me.)

First on the chopping block is the jacket I made for an exhibit a couple years back:

Trust me, its a jacket. I didn't realize the sleeves don't show but since its been sliced and diced already, there's no way for me to go back and take a better picture.

I am not into wearable art. At all. I admire other people's work but its not something I am drawn to create on my own. (This is a prime example of me making work that I don't want to for a specific show. We've decided this practice must stop because I really feel the work suffers for it.)

I decided that I'd like this better as an art quilt. Here is is after chopping:

I know it doesn't look too different but it is. I need a little more of the brick wall for the top corner. Once its done, I'm hoping it will resemble a brick wall graffiti type thing. We'll see. Its been pinned together and set aside to work on later.

As I was looking through The Pile, I found that a lot of my work had been forced into larger sizes. Its been a struggle, trying to feel comfortable with working on a smaller scale when so many shows and artists even require/work in larger dimensions.

The WIP pieces that I made larger because I thought "I had to" in order for it to be accepted, well, sucked to put it bluntly. I got pretty ticked at myself as I stood there and looked at that work.

Screw it, its my work. I'm making it small if I want to.

Here's an example:

This was made to be part of the Fragile series. I can't remember how long ago I put it together. I want to say well over a year ago. And every time I look for something to work on, I always pass it by. There's just something about it that I don't care for.

Three slices of the scissors and I ended up with this:

You may disagree but I find these much more interesting now. They appeal to me in a more emotional way. (The ones on the far right will get reassembled at the middle back into one strip, I wanted to offset the long vertical section a bit.)

I like it now. I'll finish it now.

I did this to at least seven pieces that were in The Pile. I now have Another Pile but they are all smaller pieces that I love and will actually finish now.

Now before you go thinking that I was cutting with abandon just for the sake of making things littler, let me reassure you I did not. If I liked the design, I left it alone. Here's proof:

Here's the part of the pile that was completed work:

I still don't know what to do about it. Bah.

So after all that cutting and sorting, I realized that I needed to actually put something together that needs to be created for a deadline. Exhibit Season approacheth, after all. The fact that I am a week away from shutdown (the one week forced vacation my company makes us take in July) means that fall is coming fast and furious. (Yes I know summer just started but I always make the mistake of thinking I have plenty of time to complete work and then I'm running around like Leann's quilt and its just not pretty. So we are striving to avoid that this year.)

I decided to work on my quilt for the other exhibit I curate, Breaking Traditions. This year's theme is Home and its raising money for Bernie Berlin’s A Place to Bark. It should come as no shock that I am doing a quilt featuring Dooley love:

I have an unnatural attraction to the current trend of retro fabric. The prints are huge and sometimes gaudy and I love them all. I have a small collection of them that I never really know what to do with. What’s even more amazing to me is that I am always in love with the way people combine them.

I’m mildly allergic to combining bold prints (love it when I see it in other people's work but can't usually do it in my own) but when it comes to these I seem to have no problem with it. I don’t know why but I just like the contradiction of them. Most of the time I find them very homey and charming so I went with that kind of combination for Dooley’s quilt. I’m probably even going to do some kind of binding, another thing I avoid like the plague. (Most of my work has raw edges. Makes it feel less quilt like.)

So that was my day. I’ve decided that today I’m just going to give the Babette blanket dirty looks. It started to get on my nerves yesterday (and some of your’s I suspect since two people unsubscribed from the blog. Oops. I told you it was the devil.) so I need a break from it. No, not as long as the last break but the studio provided some variety so it was welcome.

I also wanted to comment on one other thing. On one of the email lists that I belong to there was a question raised by someone who is just getting ready to set up her blog about what do people think constitutes a “good” blog.

I read the thread with great interest, mostly because the responses revolved around things like “I don’t want to know a darn thing about the artist, I just want to know about the art.”

Well, I guess its safe to say none of these people are reading my blog.

Here’s the thing, I’ve had this here blog for almost three years. (I’ve been a bad blog mom and have never celebrated anniversaries so the three year one will be marked and there will be a giveaway. Its coming up soon.) You all may know more about me then you want to. But for me, knowing the person who makes things is just as thrilling as the things that are made.

I don’t consider myself a better artist then anyone. Every artist has their place. I go off on tangents. I knit, I crochet, I (attempt) to spin, I obsessively coo over my dog, I do a photo essay, I make fiber art, I babble. Its all part of the process and in my mind, I can’t see how that can be separated out from the artwork.

So I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me. I know its not all art all the time and that there may be topics that make your eyes glaze but I dig this blog. Its my favorite online toy.

Blog on.

Where I Stand Sunday

The color burns bright and furious, complimented by the heat pooling off the blacktop behind me. Amid the explosion of green leaves, it is a contradiction that burns bright. It reaches out to me every time I pass it, groping for a connection, seeking a way to be remembered. I run my hand across its whisper leaves, relishing its peace, its strength.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell. (You can view Year One of the project here and the gallery for this year here.)

19 June 2009

how i do it

I'm still working on Babette #1. I'm actually making some progress. If I'm lucky, I'll get one whole side sewn together tonight and then just be left with the treacherous traitor known as the left side of the blanket. (I swear, if this thing had any mercy on me, it would sew itself together.)

I got a couple questions about this thing. One was an email asking why I'm working on it if its making me nuts...

Excellent point.

See, here's the thing. I've already made all the squares. And I have a great affection for things that look kind of old-ish (this reminds me of an old fashioned crochet blanket a granny would make) so I still love it. Just not in pieces.

I figure I need to at least get one together or it will be that project. You know the one. The one that you always think about as it sits in a paper bag in your closet collecting dust. The one that could have been so cool if only you had had the fortitude to finish the blasted thing. This blanket is one of those kind of projects. So onward I trudge.

The other was a comment left by Yarnhog asking if there was a way to crochet them together rather then sew them. The short answer is yes. I looked around at other people's Babettes when I finally finished the squares (and found many similar burn out stories on other blogs so I am not weak, I swear it) and there are apparently several options for the finishing.

Since my colors are all over the place on this thing, I didn't really want to crochet in a joining row. Which you can totally do but I felt (and still do) like that would ruin the random patchy look that is the basis for its charm by making nice little neat segregated rows and decided against that one. (And really, do I want to make this thing even bigger then it will already be? Oh the humanity...)

Other people were randomly attacking it with whip stitching. Which works but oh my...in some cases it could be the poster child for why we should take a break from projects that annoy us so we don't rush the finishing. Now in the whip stitch's defense, this technique works just fine if you are joining blocks that are all in the same color. But most Babettes aren't and I found that it showed too much. So I abandoned that one as well.

(Yes, you may roll your eyes at me over my pickiness. I did too.)

Then I recalled Anna's mattress stitch tutorial on her blog. Now I consider Anna a knitted toy genius. I love her stuff, very funny and very easy to make. (I recommend the Uh-Ohs, super fun pattern and I want to make such a long string of these that it will stretch from my house to my office an hour away. For some reason it feels appropriate.)

Even though her tutorial is for knitting, I figured it should work just as good for crochet so I gave it a whirl. Its not exactly the same but similar and I think its the best choice for this blanket.

So I figured I do a little quick photo shoot of how I sew these buggers together (also so you can feel the tedious pain that is the finishing of this blanket and choose to only knit/crochet things in one giant honkin' piece - consider this a public service announcement as well).

(1) I weave in all my ends on the individual blocks before I sew them together. It gives me hope for the finished project to see them neat. I do this and the sewing on the back side. (Crocheting in the round like this does produce a front and back.)

(2) Do your darndest to line up the first stitch so that you don't get all the way to the end of the row and realize they are offset of each other. (Although if you do that and squint hard enough, you can overlook it and just keep going.) I'm using a neutral yarn just because, well, I have enough colors in this thing to make me twitchy so it seemed like a good choice. (I leave a long tail at the beginning of the sewing, you'll find out why in a second.)

(3) Then I begin sewing. I go into the stitch right next to the one I just came out of and through the same stitch opposite. Notice that I'm going underneath both bars of the stitch, not just one. I feel this gives a more solid join and will help the blanket stay together longer.

(4) And repeat that all the way along the whole length of the seam.

(5) When I get to the end of the row, I sew the open corners together as well because I found that I swore repeatedly and in a way that would make a sailor blush if I hadn't done this and was sewing longer strips together. Trust me, its easier.

Weave in your ends from your sewing yarn. (That's truly the cruelest irony of all. This produces even more ends to weave in. But I am strong. I will not crack, I will not crack, I will not crack...)

(6) Now remember that long tail I left at the very beginning? Go back and sew those open corners together and then weave in that end of the sewing yarn. (Its easier when the middle part is sewn together to stitch the open corners, they're floppy.)

Ta da. Two blocks sewn together.

(7) Now there are limits to this method. We are not magicians here. You can still see the stitches. But they are neat and tidy and even though I intentionally picked the darkest color for this example, you can see how they aren't really that obtrusive.

(I can feel you looking at those longer stitches were the corners were sewn together. I am too. Don't worry about those because when you come back over those spots to sew on the adjoining blocks or do the border, they get absorbed into the mix and you don't see them anymore.)

Besides, my feeling is that if someone grabs this blanket and starts ragging on me because they can see these little stitches, they deserve to be covered in peanut butter and locked in a room with Dooley. (Little man looses his senses around peanut butter, trust me, this would be unpleasant. You would be licked from head to toe and completely covered in dog spit.)

Here's a close up of what it looks like from the front: That waviness relaxes once you handle it more.

And that's how this monster is getting put together. Stitch by stitch, woven end by woven end, swear word by swear word.

My back has been real bad the past few days which means I've been trapped on the sofa trying to convince it to be nice to me. So I've been picking at putting this together. There is a total inappropriate amount of glee every time I come across a block that already has its ends woven in. But most of them don't so I plod along and do what I need to.

I think it will be a beauty when its done. We'll do a couple quick rounds around the whole thing after its sewn together to get a border on (you do need to do this, it straightens out any wonkiness that may have been produced from sewing things together) and then lay underneath it and pet it.

What? What did you just say to me? Oh now, that's so not polite...

As a side note, we are having a full on summer thunderstorm right now. And Dooley is feeling the need to compete with the thunder. Every time it rumbles out there, he is giving it hell. I have a dog that barely stands a foot tall that feels he can battle nature. No one can say he is lacking in the confidence department.

17 June 2009

random acts of toys

Okay, I admit it. The blog posts about the blanket that refuses to be finished and the antics of Dooley are bound to wear thin soon (if they haven't already. If they have and you've remained silent then I thank you for your tact.)

So since I am dreadfully lacking in anything thrilling at the moment, I wanted to tell you about a friend of mine who has tons of thrilling going on all of the time.

I give you Kate , a plushie nut.

It is rare to see her without a plushie in tow. And not only do they accompany here everywhere, she makes them - by the truckload.

As exampled below:

Encounters with Kate are always sure to be filled with plushies and smiles. (She is contagiously happy.)

But the thing that is outstanding about her amazing plushie production (all homemade, by the way) is what she does with them.

Check it out:

TTS Valentine Heart Drop 02

She leaves them in random places for other people to have as gifts. For no reason other then she wants to make people happy. She has a blog discussing her toy drops called Naner Lady Toys and a there is a grouping on her flickr site here.

If you read her blog you'll see that this is a movement now that began in Australia and has now been organized into a group called The Toy Society.

I find this incredibly kind and heartwarming and soothing. I thought you might too. Be sure to check the captions on all the places she leaves her toys. It'll make you smile.

16 June 2009

serenades in my house

I've been having insomnia issues lately and have been staying up later then usual. It annoys little man in a huge way, mostly because the living room is, for all intensive purposes, his bedroom. So if I stay up late, so does he.

And he's already had a somewhat trying evening.

There has been much pacing and trotting and jumping against cabinets. And singing. Oh my, the singing.

I had no idea his voice could go so high (I apologized for the neutering that occurred when he was a puppy) and its been non-stop. He sort of warbles like he's being jiggled about. Its strange.

So what has him so worked up?


Today is garbage day and the bananas were looking rather sorry so into bread they went. Apparently Dooley feels that it is heaven and baked especially for him and is, at this very moment while I type this, sitting in the kitchen guarding it.

This is what he looked like when he got a taste a few minutes ago:

Yes its blurry. He wouldn't stop moving. In fact, I hear him clawing the cabinets right now. He has sang to it, he has danced for it, he has performed every trick in his repertoire and is determined that the entire loaf shall be his.

I half expect to walk downstairs tomorrow morning and find an elaborate pile of objects built just high enough to be almost level with the kitchen counter.

And one incredibly stuffed and satisfied westie snoring in the middle of the floor.

Oh how he wishes.

14 June 2009

Where I Stand Sunday

The beginnings are basic. Often overlooked. To say the possibilities are endless is trite, an underwhelming statement. It doesn’t know what it will become any more then we do. It moves and pulls according to the same whims, weighted by identical unknowns. The mystery is satisfying, consuming, balanced.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell. (You can view Year One of the project here and the gallery for this year here.)

13 June 2009

i'm a guest blogger on Subversive Stitchers

Nature's Couture: Spring
Lynn Krawczyk

I am incredibly excited to be the latest guest blogger for Dawn Goldsmith's blog, Subversive Stitchers.

The blog topic is about the exhibit I am curating for Cathy Arnett's Fabrications Retreat, Blurred Boundaries.

The exhibit seeks to honor mixed media fiber art for a week long exhibit. Check out the post for all the links to the information on how to submit your work and many thanks to Dawn for having me!

the neverending blanket

Behold. Babette Blanket #1.

I may not have the fortitude for this.

Please notice how the middle roll looks lumpier then the other two. That's because its folded over so it will all fit on the coffee table. (A certain westhighland terrier who shall remain nameless would not stop walking across it and ruining the layout.)

The sudden clean space made me want to work on some of the UFOs I have laying about. The Babette Blankets have been nagging at me for a while now so I decided to suck it up and go after one of those. (It makes me want to sob that there are enough blocks left to make at least one more of the same size. And there will still be leftovers after that. I'm thinking of making some small ones from that for the Linus project.)

This project has taught me two very important things:

1) Pay attention to the gauge of the yarn, especially when substituting brands. (This should be a no brainer considering I spend my entire day doing math but I was off the clock when that disaster happened so I can't be held responsible.)

2) Weave in the ends as you work. As it stands right now, there are five million ends sitting beneath those squares that are mocking me. I hate every. single. one. of them. And I don't feel the least bit bad about it.

I had the delusional thought that I would get it all sewn together today and begin doing the borders tomorrow. (Yes, the damn thing has borders. I told you it wouldn't end.)

If the blog goes dark for more then a week, then you know the blanket got the best of me. Send reinforcements.

told you so

I don't know how many of you doubted my last post. (I sort of did too, its okay.) But I'm extremely proud to report that I was successful in my mission.

I'd like to say that I floated in there with a smile on my face and hummed happily to myself as I picked through everything and put it in its happy little nooks where it sighed with glee at finally having a home.

But that would make me a dirty liar.

I didn't want to do it. But more then not wanting to do it, I didn't want it to be messy anymore. So I did it. Oddly enough, it only took three hours, no where near the epic event that I had built up in my mind. (Its given me courage to battle a mini mess downstairs. Wish me luck on that one.)

Lest you think I'm being overdramatic, I give you proof of the heinousness:


How does this continue to happen? I think I finally figured it out.

See this?

That there are the baggies of embellishments/threads/materials that I put together when I was in Open Studios at the International Quilt Festival - a year ago.

I'm a pile maker. And while the piles aren't messy, there are a lot of them and they don't seem to get put away until I become homicidally irritated with them and want to set them on fire. (What's even worse is that I've only finished one piece that I started then. Oops. When I realized that I left the baggies in tact so I could do the others. Do you see a cycle here?)

Last weekend Mary and I visited the almighty IKEA and each picked up some organizers from the children's section. I already had one and picked up a couple more. I ended up putting them all on top of each other and building a tower of organization.

It resulted in this:

And no, I did not simply push all the baskets into the hallway so I could fake photos of a clean studio.

I'm totally digging this arrangment. Pushing those two tables together have given me quite a sizable work space. I can't wait to make a mess in there again. (Although I am apparently concerned that the world will run out of scissors (I have seven pairs), glue (I lost count of how many bottles I had) and matte medium (I plead the fifth). I am all set on those three counts.)

Which is a good thing because I really do need to deal with this:

This is the pile of completed and work in progress pieces. Its big. I don't know what to do about it. Its something to work on.

My motivation is waning, it doesn't help that Dooley just jumped up on the sofa and laid his head on my leg while I'm doing this. Hmmm...soft warm westie cuddling, overcast grey day, big thing accomplished and no need to be anywhere. What a lovely day.

12 June 2009

i'm noticing another trend

Every Friday, usually around lunchtime when the reality of the weekend is definite, I pull out a piece of paper and make my to do list for the weekend.

Mostly it just proves how delusional I am. It usually has between fifteen to twenty things that are all incredibly time consuming and would basically take me a solid two weeks of doing nothing else to accomplish much less two days.

So I jot all these things down at work when I'm in full throttle getting-all-my-crap-done-and-I-can-accomplish-all-of-this-no-problem mode.

Then I get home and I realize...I'm tired. I look at the list again and start weeding things down to a more doable list. And then I decide that there's no use even bothering to do the things left on the list because really, I won't finish them anyway so why should I even bother to try. (This is the reasoning that has resulted in the Babette Blankets still not being finished.)

That's when I end up sitting on the sofa eating a brownie and surfing etsy for yarn.

Another such list followed me home today. Its been whittled, its been scowled at, its been stuffed underneath a couple of books. In all honesty, there's no reason I can't get at least one thing done on that list this weekend. Its the first one in a while where I don't have something planned on either day so I've decided to sequester myself and take care of the mother of all problems: my studio.

I know I moan and groan about it but I've turned it into the biggest excuse for why I don't do things.

I'd finish that art quilt if my studio was clean.

I'd practice my spinning more if my studio was clean.

I'd photograph my new work and start listing it for sale on etsy if my studio was clean.

I'd make larger work if my studio was clean.

The studio has become an enabler of excuses. So I've decided that everything else on the list can wait except that.

The studio and I have a date tomorrow. I'm going to find the floor once and for all. I'm not going to do anything else but clean it. And I have this crazy notion that since I won't be in a huge rush to get it done, it might go more smoothly.

So I leave you with another photo of my furry baby. (Because I hate posting without pictures and because Cathy told me that she just loves all the pictures of him so I aim to please her.)

I chuckled when I saw Yarnhog's picture of her sitting on the sofa with the laptop and her dogs lounging with her. That's mine and Dooley's routine as well. But since I have stumpy little arms that will not allow me to take a picture of us both, I give you my view of him.

I'll post tomorrow on the cleaning status.

10 June 2009

i'm noticing a trend...

I thought long and hard about what kind of blog post would be fun and entertaining to read and really, I came up bust. Life is about the equivalent of a month long root canal without novocaine right now and it does no one any good to listen to me gripe about it.

So I got to flipping through my photo library trying to find something interesting to write about and I noticed a recurring theme.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Little man seems to stalk me wherever I go. Even though he flees from the camera when I take it out, he manages to wedge himself between it and me every chance he gets.

Here he is again in an unsuccessful stealth attack mode:

Employing the powers of his cuteness:


No matter how bad the day is, its nice to know I come home to this. A bouncing furball of love.

Life can't be all bad as long as there is that.