Monday, November 30, 2009

on being an old sew & sew

For three days I've been sewing like a mad quilt fiend. I've finished one large lap and most of a tablerunner, made a few orphan blocks, and finished the back for the lap quilt. For me, this is a lot to get accomplished, along with keeping the house clean.

I am grateful today for having friends who care about me and like spending time with me. I think maybe I'm a more likable person since the Abilify has made such a difference in dealing with the depression. Or maybe I'm just meeting more people who aren't so appearance conscious (trust me, I actually had one person I thought was a long-time friend tell me he and his wife couldn't be seen with me any more because this is California and I'm not thin or pretty or young). Anyway... I'm grateful that my friends now don't think that way and really seem to like me. I know I like them. Thank you Debbie, Saundra, Kathy, Sue, Donna and everyone else.

For those who want to see more pictures of the amazing changes to my house (and my quilts), they are all posted on my flickr account at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Let the Rain Come Down

We were promised rain... but it never arrived... sigh. We NEED some rain here... but at least it snowed in the mountains, which means we may have some water next summer.

On an upnote, the lack of rain means that I got my solartubes installed in studio and kitchen yesterday. It was amazing sewing and working in there with all the light! I loved it! I now feel like a quilt artist with a studio, not just a quilter with a sewing area.

My only really big project left for the studio is shelves for books and magazines and a place for a tv... the little tv in there that I have to share with the kitchen on a swivel stand is no longer adequate. Analysts are saying there will be equal or better deals to those on Black Friday in the coming weeks, so I'll be watching and waiting to pounce.

Longarm is supposed to be delivered Jan 9th... I hope... and then I go to Road to California the weekend after. Somewhere in there, I will get to start quilting! I can't wait.

Today I am thankful for my friends and family, and again for Starbucks coffee (can't get enough of thankfulness for triple espresso goodness).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

So for days I've been agonizing over the menu, the process, the logistics of hosting dinner for 15 people... To the point of having nightmares about it all... you know, the kind where you walk out, carrying the lovely turkey on a platter, trip and make a total disaster of the crowning moment.

Anyway, there were no terrible debacles and all went well... everyone got along, the food was incredible... but mostly the company was wonderful... I wish I could save this moment in time forever. I am spent, my feet ache, my kitchen is a total disaster, but it was FUN...

I gave one of my favorite quilts to one of my favorite people. I made this quilt for my parents, and they are both gone now. I have so much of who they were in my home, and this was a chance to share a little of that with a dear friend who loved them, too. I know she will treasure it with the force of all the memories and love she shared with my folks. What better place for it to be?

Today I am grateful for so much. Mostly I am grateful for the chance to apologize for old mistakes, and the grace to accept apologies as well, and in so doing, heal old wounds and reconnect with old friends.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

Bombarded by ads coaxing me to spend spend spend, I am more determined than ever to cocoon at home on Black Friday with a movie or two or three... and maybe a sewing project or two. It's not that I wish the retailers a worse bottom line than they had last year, but there's nothing I really need... and nothing I really want (that badly).

Corrolary: My sympathies to all those who brave the parking lots, malls, and stores after Thanksgiving.

Today I am thankful for my senses and all the ways in which I am able to perceive the world so I can turn those perceptions into my art. I am grateful for the ability to categorize all these perceptions, too... When you think about the amazing array of neurons and the biological mechanisms that make all these senses and interpretation of sensation possible, it's pretty amazing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Touch of Class

Today I took a class from Tammie Bowser in making mosaic quilts. I did a picture of my dad, who passed away a couple of years ago. The picture looks just like him, though the colors are a bit odd... It was a lot of fun, I haven't taken a 'technique class' in far too long, and I love learning new things.

I am grateful today for the human capacity to learn something new, no matter how old I get. I am grateful for good friends and good company to learn with. And I'm grateful to patient and knowledgable teachers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finished is better than perfect...

I've learned from fellow quilters that this adage is one we should all take to heart. So the house isn't perfect, but it is as finished as it's gonna get, at least for a while. Pictures are hung... some of them, the china cabinet is loaded and looks wonderful. My sewing room is cleaned out and ready for serious work to be done there. I am satisfied.

As for what I'm grateful for today: I am thankful for Starbucks triple shot short mochas. That's a rather trivial thing, but it got me through this evening after a long day. On a less trivial note, I am grateful for a wonderful, patient and understanding lifemate and husband. I should try harder to make him see how thankful I am that he and I share this life. No promises - I didn't say I WOULD try harder (last thing I need is another load of guilt), only that I should. I pray that after 27 years, he gets it even when I don't show it.

I love you, Joe.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cabinets and Kings...

Actually I think that was supposed to be cabbages and kings, but I got my new cabinet from the shippers today (huzzah!) and now on to 'many things'...

Started piecing my plaid exchange quilt last night... didn't finish, but I made progress... I have to frog a little and fix a couple of things, but not much. I have to make three additional blocks for the quilt and make them look like they belong, but aren't from the same stash. Had to take apart and re-sew an entire block (ah, the pitfalls of block exchanges).

and finally... I've decided to start being grateful for what I have and am, rather than whine about what I'm not or don't have or can't do...

So on that note, my thought for today is that I'm grateful for having good health insurance and a doctor who 'gets me'. I hope that sometime soon that everyone in the country.. hell, the world.. can afford to see a doctor when they need to without restrictions on the type of treatment they can receive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On the Home Front

Home from retreat - did a little shopping, a lot of quilting and sewing, and a lot of relaxing too.  Enjoyed the sea air, the quilty companionship, the dolphins, the sandpipers, the seagulls... not so much the flies (very weird - never had problems with flies at that beach house before).  Had fun chatting with all the ladies from my guild.. there is SO much talent there!  Amazing work went on this weekend.  I finished my placemats for Thanksgiving dinner, finished my C&C SS block, sewed two scottie dogs for my friend Kathy, sewed buttons on two bear blocks, and started the topstitching on my ONA (Other Native Americans) blocks.  Cleaned up my space and left a little early so I could shop on the way home.  Bought a new rack to hang presser feet for my Bernina and a little bit of fabric at a couple of shops so I can finish the plaid quilt.

All told it was a fairly successful retreat.... but usually, at retreat, I'm the one still up sewing at 2am.  This time I was fairly early to bed - by midnight Thurs and Fri and I think I went to bed at 10 or 11 on Saturday.  I think part of that was that I forgot my meds and was coming down off the Abilify - for a depression med it works fast, but I think it wears off fast too.  That would tend to make me a little irritable and very much at odds with myself about what to do and how to do it... which is how I felt by Saturday night.  So I went to bed early and woke up exhausted - too tired to even run down to Starbucks Sunday morning... hmmm... now that I think of it, maybe Saturday's low point had something to do with the 6 shots of espresso on Saturday morning?  anyway, I stopped at a couple of shops on the way home, but when I got home, I was exhausted... watched a little tv with the DH, but slept through most of it.  Finally went to bed about 8:30, unable to keep my eyes open any more.  I put the tv on in bed, watched for about 5 minutes before I was out.  Where has all my energy gone???

Today, Organize This is coming back.  The plan was to start putting things back INTO my house... but it's disorganized again... not nearly as bad as before, but my studio is still in a state of half disarray while I organize and shelve fabric, the living room is a disaster with all my retreat stuff still half unpacked.  They're going to have to 'reorganize' a little before we start putting things back where they belong.  ... sigh!  The guilt is already setting in.

But I have 14 or 15 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so I can't let this depression take over my life now... and my new longarm is being delivered on Dec. 3rd, so I've got to be ready for that too... Does this topsy-turvy-always-overwhelmed-with-life feeling EVER go away?  When will I ever get to sew again?  Will my 24 yo son EVER move out and finish college?  For the answers to these and other questions, stay tuned...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Full Speed Arrears... Retreating!

I am busy preparing to leave on a 4 day quilting retreat.  I'm not folding fabric (much).  I'm not putting things away in my spiffy new cabinets... I am instead prepping all the parts for the placemats I'm making for thanksgiving dinner, and getting my tools together for a trip to the seashore and 4 days of nothing but quilting in my pajamas.

I did hear from my shipper today and my new china cabinet should be arriving on Weds or Thurs.  I hope it'll be Weds, because I'll be leaving for the retreat on Thurs midday.  Would be all kinds of suck for it to come Thurs afternoon after I was on the road.  I told the shipper this, and he said he'd make all effort to arrive here on Weds.  We shall see...

Tonight I ran D&D for my husband and friends, and tomorrow I am going to play some D&D at a friend's house in Pasadena.  Nothing like a little re-direction to focus your drive...  Maybe Monday I'll get back to finishing my prep for retreat.

I love the retreats themselves, but the planning and logistics of taking everything I need without overloading is always stressful.  Whether it's a retreat, a cruise, a weekend vacation... I always take too much stuff.  I'd love to hear how others handle this issue....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fabriholic Hell

I think I've finally entered fabriholic hell...  I have been folding and sorting fabric for days, and while I've obviously made a dent in the piles of stash bins, I think I've finally reached the saturation point where it's no longer fun to fondle and fold fabric. 

On an up-note, I did get to sew yesterday.   I went to class and finished one small part of a quilt I'm making (one block sewn and three blocks put together.  I also completed the current mystery block from Ula Lenz's website.  It's a ... whoops... that would be telling... I'll post a pic on flickr when she reveals the mystery. 

It was cathartic and healing and fun to sew for a while, surrounded by a whole gruop of like-minded ladies.

Yet somehow, it was not cathartic enough to inspire me to WANT to fold fabric when I got home. 

A Mysterious start to the year

Well, I finished one of last year's mystery tops... The Meadow Mist Mosaic Mystery.  I have to say I really like how this one came out.....