Posted in Art, creativity, Homeschooling, surface design, Writing

Slightly surreal

Today’s feels more like an illustration.   I used the ruling pen but tried not to get any large blotches where I didn’t want them.  This was somewhat inspired by illustrations in a children’s book, Freight Train by Donald Crews published in 1978 by Greenwillow Books, but I will have to look at the illustrations to be more confident about showing more than just the smokestack!  When the drawing was finished I realized it could be mistaken for a hat.

Posted in productivity, Writing

Turning over a new leaf

First off, I love what I do for a living! Would I sometimes like less deadlines and more money? Yes, but wouldn’t we all? I enjoy editing people’s work so that others will want to read it, and it makes sense and reflects well upon the speaker or writer. There’s plenty of variety, some drama, and the challenge of researching terms of art and acronyms.

Still, it’s satisfying to come to the end of this year’s deadline-driven assignments and know that everything is submitted and dealt with. Plus I’ve been juggling next year’s calendar with its meeting dates since October so it’s a relief to have one less large piece of cardboard to handle every day.

Posted in baraka, creativity, Islam, quilting, Writing

What Was I Thinking!

… and a Stupiphany

at long last the baby challenge quilt has been birthed and now that I can see it as a single piece as opposed to blocks laid out next to each other, I’m liking it better and feeling that hopefully the family that ultimately receives it will like it to, or at least not totally hate it.

Photos of the finished quilt will appear sometime next week.  In the meantime (1) I have to play by the Quilt Guild rules and (2) it still has to be quilted and stitched closed.

So for now, the photo above shows what it does NOT look like!  I realized in time that the black and white pebbly fabric is not a good background.  There’s enough blocks with it in to make a doll’s quilt, which is probably what I’ll do with it, AFTER finishing the projects I committed to finish.

My slogan for this year was “Create and Complete,” and I need to keep it for 2010 too at this rate!

Decided that posting pix of stash is probably counter productive because in reveling in stash and my plans for it I fool my mind into believing I actually accomplished something.  Something other than shopping, that is.

The stupiphany of the day hit me like a ton of bricks.  A thought that came out of nowhere as I was taking a short walk enjoying fresh air and sunshine this morning.

I finally realized that it’s a good thing that I can’t sing.

Never in my whole life was I ever allowed to be in a choir or a chorus.  In high school I was told to mouth the words for the Christmas concert so as not to ruin the performance of the other 599 girls!  When my son was two he was already telling me not to sing.  Apparently even my humming is off key, although it sounds perfect to me.

Today I realized that if I could sing this would be one more distraction in my life.  I have enough trouble with the things I am blessed to be able to do.  If I was always rushing off to  practice with the Sweet Adelines I probably wouldn’t be as good at writing, art, or quilting.  And given that Islamic worship takes a different (and to me less distracting) form, I might miss choral music.

Posted in creativity, productivity, quilting, Writing

Productivity/ Finishing Projects

crack inspiration0001all my life I’ve struggled with finishing things — be it missing the last day I was going to a particular school, attending graduation at University (but at the time it was NOT a cool thing to go to grad, my mother was in the hospital and I was leaving the UK for a job).  Finishing off quilts and other projects is all part of that pattern, hence my collection of UFOs.  But I’ve joined the Joy in the New Year challenge and with Jacquie and 200 other crafters cheering me on I’ll get there.

The Star is Born baby quilt challenge is due absolutely no later than the Guild meeting in early December (the original deadline was last Tuesday, didn’t happen).  I can’t show photos because I’m under a gag order, that’s part of the challenge.  However just before I turn it in I might post some of the What was I thinking? blocks

Next up will be Geode, because it’s been untouched for years and when I took it out the other night I can see just a little more design is needed and a lot of the parts are in fact already constructed.  I will need to tape it up on the living room wall, step back, take pix and perhaps even print them to audition what the best design is.  I’ve already decided this will be quilted by someone with a long arm, since it’s easily queen size.

The wordle above is a new wrinkle.  I already posted about wordle here, but while surfing yesterday I found this cool tutorial about a feature enhancement.  Yay, Cool Cotton Cocktails!  This automatically creates a wordle from recent posts on any blog or website.  So you could do your own or you could wordle somebody else’s.  Interesting that the only colour names I can find (but I could be mistaken, it’s been known to happen!)  are green, white, and burgundy.

Cotton Cocktails explains how to grab a wordle in a screenprint but this computer is getting to the stage in its lifecycle where I don’t want to download much more in the way of programming, so I simply scanned and uploaded a print of my wordle.

I’m going to paste the original print out into my sketchbook.  That’s a whole other post in itself.  More art/creativity/fibre things happen in my life than I can keep up with in the blogosphere.  Anyone else have that problem?  I have a folder full of blog fodder pix on my pc and paper notes as well and yet work and life and the need to complete things get in the way.

What do YOU think?  Is the unblogged life not worth living, to twist a quotation?

Posted in Writing

Reading List

This is probably of more interest to me than anyone else, but I need a place to keep track of

books I want to read

  • Jan Potocki, The Manuscript Found at Saragossa / The Saragossa Manuscript (see Wikipedia)
  • Alex Carr, The Prince of Bagram Prison
  • Daniel Goleman, Ecological Intelligence
  • Philip Kerr, Berlin Noir trilogy:  A Philosophical Investigation, Gridiron, The Shot  Children of the Lamp series: everything from Book 3 on!
  • Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn READ over the holidays
  • Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth, by Rayna Gillman, # 1722 in our Quilt Guild library.  Borrowed it in late December and now with the move I don’t have time to read it properly, and I want to return all borrowed items before the move (even though it’s local)
  • Domino Knitting, by Vivian Hoxbro, in Central Library 746.4320432
  • Beautiful Beaded & Embroidered Fabric, by Cindy Gorder, in Central Library 746.5
  • Essential William Morris, by Iain Zaczek, in Central Library, 745.4492
  • The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, The Tin Princess, in the Sally Lockhart series, and Lyra’s Oxford, all by Philip Pullman
  • Mysteries by Lynne Hamilton
  • Ruby Dice, followed by Catch the Lightning, by Catherine Asaro (in that order, have placed holds on the the three preceding books in the series)

movies to watch

  • The Imam and the Pastor
  • The Arrangement
  • Real Men Knit
Posted in productivity, quilting, Writing

Theme Thursday

The Emperor and Empress of Japan were in Victoria recently, which was generally exciting and caused a lot of media attention.  The Empress studied tanka poetry under a master writer before her marriage and has written critically acclaimed tankas.

I looked up Japanese poetry on Wikipedia, and from there found this link to  rengas written in English – a fascinating group artform.  Maybe we could write our own hypertext, who knows?  I’m still reading Riding White Roads.

For a fascinating YouTube video of hundreds of mandalas, click here.

And for fabriholics, go to Spoonflower.  This is an awesome service that lets you print fabric of your own design and order yardage.  At least one textile designer whose interview appears on the webpage had yardage printed there and used it for a portfolio that she shopped around to fabric companies.  She now has a fabric collection in production!

Last night I stayed up into the wee small hours just playing around with some of my jpg images (nothing whose copyright belongs to someone else, of course!).  The colour editing was educational because particularly with photos you can’t always tell what colours are really there.  But don’t take my word for it, go play!  Oh, the possibilities are just endless!

Posted in Art, productivity, Writing

Raw-Art Journal appetizer

Here’s a study page I made in my sketch book to try out ideas for the loose leaf pages I’ve made for Quinn McDonald’s raw-art journal project.

For the journals to circulate in libraries, Quinn owns the copyright to the actual pages but this is just a study.  The finished pages bear only a slight resemblance to this.trapped snowflakes study0001 However other than signing and dating the pages, I restrained myself and included NO TEXT.  Hopefully I’ve conveyed some meaning without it.

And they will be posted by Quinn when she receives them.  I would say “shortly” but let’s be realistic, we’re talking the tender mercies of Canada Post being involved here!

Will post more about my trip to AZ last week ~ for a variety of reasons it has taken longer than I thought to settle down and hit my stride since my return.  I saw so many people and although I dealt with many loose ends, I also generated more contacts to follow up on, and some of the loose ends themselves generated further to-dos to be dealt with here.

Of course no one dies with an empty in-basket.

Posted in All things food, Art, Writing

Theme Thursday

Realized I need to get an early start on this as I’m going to be working tomorrow morning then going out mid-afternoon for a get together with my fibre art group followed by a workshop on making rubber stamps.

I still need to collect some inspirational images for that. Maybe a coffee mug with the handle on the left, which will then be on the right side.  My first coffee mug stamp looked funny, finally realized that I had drawn it with the handle on the right so when stamped it was for lefties, LOL!

Melanie Testa is an inspiring fabric artist whose first book , Inspired to Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery, just launched.

I was fortunate to have taken several workshops with her while she lived in Flagstaff.  This is a scan of part of a soy wax batik piece I made in one of them.

melly class fab0001

Sewq’s new blog is here at {Mu’Mu Design} ~ things are rudimentary right now but she’s getting them straightened around internet access permitting.

For people who want their journal to reflect their life in all its facets, this three-part article on the workhorse journal by Christine Cox is worth reading.  At one point I was using a similar approach but this was before my artistic side really kicked in.

At the moment I have a binder for organizing stuff; a sketch book with art journalling, swatches, and notes on projects both ongoing and potential; and a larger (11 by 14) sketchbook for more art journalling and the work I’m doing on manifesting my dream home.  My other sketchbook is 9 by 12 which give me room to let loose on the page and still be able to pop it on the scanner.

When it comes to preservation, I keep the loose leaf pages from the binder in file folders and keep my old sketch books and refer back to them from time to time.  It’s interesting to see how the same themes and images pop up from time to time.

And keeping the old pages and notebooks has saved my butt a couple of times, including one time when someone was threatening to sue me, and I was able to turn through my notes and tell them the substance and date of every conversation we had had!  I heard teeth gnashing but never got sued.

I’d be curious if anyone else has had similar experiences?

Posted in productivity, quilting, Writing

Crime can too pay

Agatha Christie was one of the best-paid women in the world after all.   And she deserved it!

Go here for details of the Coastal Crime Wave at the Greater Victoria Public Library and a link to the Crime Writers of Canada website.

Velleity is rearing its monstrous ugly head yet again as I remember writing a whodunnit one Labour Day for the “Write A Novel in a Weekend” challenge.

I need to stay more focused on the other creative things in my life.   Too many ideas, possibilities, and projects are all competing for limited time, energy, space and brain cells!

Does anyone have any tips for staying focused?

With work I do stay focused, but with creative things I tend to start “just one more thing” and set aside the previous one.

Over the last week I’ve worked on the baby quilt challenge (the one that has to stay secret until November so I can’t post pix), and silk fusion which is not ready to be posted yet (but I’ve been most organized and took a series of photos of how I did the first project).  I put in a total of just under 30 hours.

There are two garment projects I plan to do, but they are both quick and simple, two seams and a hem type deals.  At least everything LOOKS like that from a distance and then all of a sudden you’re knee deep in alligators!  I need a ballpoint machine needle for one (knit fabric) and I still have to pick up the fabric for the other one at Fabricland hopefully tomorrow.