Thursday, December 31, 2015
As I look back on 2015, I am amazed at all of the many wonderful adventures we've had. I want to jot them down, as I know there will come a time that my memory won't serve me so well...
January: Tom and I were in the early stages of remodeling our new place in Medford, Oregon. I say "we" but HE did most of the work...all the way down to the studs! Huge project!
February: on return to Oregon, I resumed my role as "support staff" to Tom and his revolving door of workers. I tried to find spare moments for fabric work. I became active in a quilt journal group out of The Sew Creative quilt shop in Ashland, where I also taught a few classes. Local Studio Art Quilters Association (SAQA) meetings were also held there which pushed me into entering my pieces into international exhibitions. My goal for the year was to enter five pieces, which I accomplished, and out of this five, I am proud to say one was accepted! More on that later. I continued meeting with my dye partners- Christine, Cynthia, and Lene- on their Monday afternoon sessions whenever I could make it.
At the end of the month, I flew up to Anchorage to visit my brother Geoff and his family. His wife, Leona, passed away the month before and this was my first chance to get up there. We had a wonderful visit!
While on this trip I had a long layover in Seattle and was able to reconnect with my long lost cousin, Erin (actually I am the long lost one!).
March and April: nothing monumental jumps out of my dim memory bank, except more house work, more fabric work when I could find moments to fit it in.
May: We extracted ourselves from the house project and drove north for the month for our last trip to Refuge Cove. There was a bit of work left for us to do as we promised the new owners. Our friends and RC neighbors, Jim and Sharon, joined us for more good times together. It was a bittersweet visit as we knew it would probably be our last. We have 15 years of wonderful memories there to carry us through the rest of our lives!
June: house work continues! By this time, friend and neighbor Travis was a regular on the scene and also the triple digit temps arrived which made their work brutal at times. We couldn't have survived without Travis!
And we couldn't have survived without our good friend and interior designer, Galen, who was always on the ready with our daily questions and quandaries.
We took a short break with good friends Rick and Christine in our little travel trailers to a vintage trailer rally up the road at Valley of the Rogue State Park. It was blistering hot but luckily we could sit in the river to cool down and we enjoyed seeing all the interesting trailers and meeting folks from all over.And Annie Unrein from Guatavus days...she had a booth at the quilt festival...small world!
July:more hot weather, more house work. We took our little trailer up to Union Creek, on highway 62, right on the Rogue and parked it for six weeks. It became our weekend getaway from the constant stresses of remodeling! It was wonderful: just an hour away and only $8 a night with our golden age pass. What a deal!
We even had visitors: Cecelia and Jerry from Mazatlan/Grants Pass.
It was also time to put our mobile home in Jacksonville on the market. What a great place that had been for us in our comings and goings these last five years!
We put it on Craigslist and sold it in three days. We arranged for a September 1st transfer which now put the pressure on us to get our new house to a move in and live able stage.
August: the smoke rolled into the valley at the beginning of the month and lasted four weeks... Ugh! Thankfully we had our little weekend getaway up on the Rogue! Other than that we were in full tilt mode on the house! Tom's sister came up for a quick visit which as always was great! We have good times together!
September: we moved in as planned on the first and spent the rest of the month taking lots of deep breaths of relief, enjoying our new place, even in its unfinished state.
Near the end of the month, Tom, in one of his Craigslist moment, found a travel trailer on his wish list- a 16' 1966 Kencraft, in Boise. He negotiated with the owner and we were off for a quick road trip! We stopped in our old stomping ground of Bend (where we met some 30+ years ago) and were wonderfully reunited with old friends, Jill and Denny in Sisters. A great reunion! Onward with a most beautiful journey through eastern Oregon to pick up Tom's new project. A quick turnaround brought us back to our JOB! (The house!)
October: Same old stuff with house work. Yes it was getting old! Thankfully we had enough completed to host our first house guests, Jim and Sharon from Sidney, BC/Refuge Cove. It was a great weekend with a highlight of visiting Crater Lake on a most glorious day.
The following weekend, good friends Lee and Jayne from Anacortes arrived with their sweet dog Rainey. We hung close to home, toured through the Applegate wine country, and had a craft day of makinh wine cork key chains...another great time!
It was wonderful to see these folks. We even got to spend a couple nights in Austin to check out the town. It was Halloween so you can imagine how crazy that was!
On to November: this was our final month before heading to Mazatlan. Lots of last minute things to take care of before leaving, mainly to try to get a bit of our landscaping done. Both our front yard and back were war zones and needed lots of help. We brought in some equipment to dig out old stumps, level the ground and spread some new planting soil. And not to forget dig some holes for three new trees in the back. The amount of work was more than we expected, so only the back yard was completed and we were able to plant three new trees before the cold snap hit. Perfect timing!
Thanksgiving was quick to arrive and Ben came from Klamath Falls for the weekend and a great dinner shared with Rick and Christine...just like old Fairbanks days. Ben is attending Oregon Institue of Technology in KFalls now so it's great to have him close by.
December: we arrived back in our winter home on the first. It had been two winters since the two of us have been here. It was wonderful to see old friends and our wonderful Mexican neighbors. Our house was super dirty but we quickly got on that task (it's only more work!) and got right to setting up the Christmas tree.
Soon it was time for me to depart for Chicago for the wedding of brother Geoff's son, Jordan, and his beautiful bride Jennica.
The wedding was on a Friday night and the happy couple left early Saturday for their honeymoon which gave us all a day to explore downtown Chicago. We had a great time. This is the "bean" near Navy Pier...a wild picture of us all!
Now we are at the end of the Christmas season in Mazatlan. We spent good times with old friends. We enjoyed a beautiful day at the beach on the 25th. Now we are prepping for the all night party held by our neighbors every New Year's Eve. Karaoke machine and all. It's going to be a long night!
On Saturday morning, our 23rd anniversary, we head to Colombia for a month long trip. We don't have much of an agenda, just enjoying and exploring. What a way to bring in the new year! We send best wishes to all with the classic Mexican wishes: salud, dinero, amor...health, money and love... Or which ever order you prefer! Happy 2016!
Yes, the time has come to head south. Time to organize and clean from our past year of remodeling. Time to put away the projects I've been working on in my spare few moments and look to new creations this winter. Here are some of the things I've played wth this fall:
Gathering sewing ideas for the seeing ladies:
This is a checkerboard design by my friend Sandy. She taught a group of albino women in Tanzania how to sew them and the local Masai folk made the checkers out of beads! They are going to market them with 10000 villages... A beautiful product!
Monday, November 9, 2015
Here are a few favorites from the Houston show that really caught my eye. Enjoy!
This piece was quite large (maybe 4'x5') and I loved the colorful shading on the bear's underside.
A sweet and simple composition, yet quite complex.
I was intrigued by the reds on top of the gradated background. This one was pieced, unlike mine that are a one cloth dip.
This was well worthy of the ribbon. Great perspective and color and vibrancy.
Great closeup detail!
Another great closeup...so subtle!
This simple piece captured a southwest feeling.
This small piece was full of life despite being a rainy day!
This five piece of the Sedona rocks was amazing!
I just returned from a great week in Texas where I visited good friends, reconnected with long lost ones, explored the city of Austin, skirted the storms, and made a quick visit to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. My quilted piece "My Circle of Life" was included in the SAQA exhibit there and I was able to view it, along with the thousands of other amazing creations that filled the George R. Brown Convention Center.
With only four hours, I focused mostly on the exhibits, and just made a quick pass through the marketplace. There I reconnected with an old friend from Gustavus, Annie Unrein, who owns byannie.com. Back in the exhibit hall, I wandered among incredible pieces and snapped photos of my favorites.
So little time...so much to see. It was amazing!
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
What is it about this piece that fits with the theme "All Dressed Up"? Look closely.
It's been ages since I've participated in my Cyber Fibres quilt journal group. This theme has been brewing in my brain for awhile, waiting for the perfect time to execute. The time arrived this week.
I had a much more complicated piece planned, but when I fused the first eight pieces that filled in the mandala form, I knew it was time to UNcomplicate. Less is more right?
I knew "buttonizing" was going to finish it off. I played with black buttons and white, and white won out...they popped more.
In my world, buttonizing IS a word. It's definitely a verb and it's what I do a lot of.
Now if you're still wondering about the theme, just look carefully at the black shapes and it will come to you.
Friday, October 2, 2015
After all these years, I finally decided to conquer the walking foot. I've had two of them in my closet, encased so well in their small Bernina boxes, just sitting and waiting for me to use them. It's kind of embarrassing actually...but not anymore!
I've been on a circle kick lately and just finished these two table runners. The top one was seen with my normal foot etc. but the one at the bottom was seen with my walking foot.
I easily found a video on You Tube and in less than three minutes I was off and running. It was a bit jerkier than with my normal foot but I just focused a bit more and soon things smoothed out. I sewed the edges of the table runner without one little crinkle or pleat!