Friday, December 29, 2017

Two in January, and two in July

Now, add this one for December, and anyone can see that I have certainly lost interest in most everything I once cared about.  Woohoo, five entries for an entire year.

You know, it isn't as though nothing happened over the last 12 months, I just fell off of the planet emotionally. 

Hmm, or maybe I jumped off. 

Whatever it was, I found a deep, dark, black hole and crawled into it;  burrowed so far in that I couldn't see out - not that I wanted to, either.  Nobody was invited in, and there was nothing I wanted anything to do with on the outside, so I pulled in the opening after myself and retreated from the world. 

Not much got done while I took up residence in my own private Idaho, either. 
No gardening,
not much quiltmaking,
definitely no quilt finishes, and
no writing - none which ever saw the light of day at any rate.

I've had spurts of CQ work, a short season of applique, a brief bootcamp to practice working with the new stationary LA (without ever achieving a level of proficiency), and interminable stretches of longing to be interested in any of my ongoing projects, but no real oomph to get me over this hump of indifference and light a fire to get me going.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?

Ennui?

Hoping to do better/more in the coming year, but no promises.  I still don't know what's going on in my head, yet, and parts of me are still hidden in that remote black hole (hidden even from myself), but I have hopes of sneaking peeks of sunlight and happier things in the coming weeks and months.  And maybe if I write you may come and visit.  And if you come and visit, you may find it in yourself to leave a comment or question to let me know my work made you think or smile, or just to know that you simply stopped by. 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

July has come and gone

Along with the rest of 'the gang,' it's been another uneventful period of time.  The spring passed in the wink of an eye, with the transitions from winter-to-spring and spring-into-summer blurred beyond all recognition.

Wet.  It was very wet; but cool for the most part, which is fine by me.  Wet and cool  -  YEA!

Then of course, summer bullied its way onto the scene and steamed up the works but good.  Heat and humidity, bugs and humidity, humidity and humidity.  Who needs it?  If I wanted to live in the tropics I would have donned a mosquito net suit and headed south south south a long time ago.  Between the part time hours and gardening hours, which are fewer because of the darned heat (...a-n-d humidity - you saw that coming didn't you), time spent getting interview clothes together, and the time I've been giving to appliqueing and crazy quilting, I haven't been using my new, heavy duty long arm machine much.  When I have taken the time, it's been interesting - and quite humbling.

At any rate, acquiring proficiency quilting on the long arm has had quite a learning curve.  It doesn't handle or feel the same as sitting at a domestic and performing FMQ.  With fall only a campfire and a few million fallen leaves away, I need to give myself permission to play again.

Humidity has a dreadful effect of pull on the quilts - even with the lovely Teflon mat that came with the set up, so I tend to stay away from any sort of quilting .  It's mounted on a tall table which makes it stationary, so I still FMQ in the truest sense of the technique, but in a larger harp area (so I should have no real issues when thread-painting Vincent).  And, quilting larger quilts will be much easier, too.  For all of my smaller, less complicated quilts, I will use my lovely old Bernina.

Lately, I have been balancing my needle time between three projects - the CQ "Peacock," the ethereal broderie Perse floral pseudo-mandala, and the haunting, daunting Dutchman.

Last night I sat with the mandala for hours, trying to stitch my way out of a leafy corner.  Sadly (yes, I meant "sadly"), I made quite a bit of progress, but only ended up creating more of a problem for myself.  The progress is fun to look back on and see the growth of my applique acumen, but frustrating in that there are several areas of white background I am going to have to tackle, and I am not as sure of my fine needle skills as I would like to be.  But I guess we all have to learn the new things we want to do sometime, right?

So, my practice piece, my broderie Perse-floral applique mandala is moving along.  There are decisions to make all along the way, and now that I am getting to a happy place with it, I will begin to post photos of it as I go.  In the meanwhile, why don't you let me know what you have going on.

Happy quiltmaking!


Sunday, July 2, 2017

What's up? What's new?

Wow, six months or more since I posted last; looks as though time has gotten away from me.  It's not that there hasn't been anything to say, it's just, well... dropping one activity to work on another, and not feel guilty about walking away from that first 'whatever,' keeps me from doing anything some days.

I have had to put Vincent aside for a while bec-a-a-a-a-a-use we adopted two new rescue cats, the last one in February, and wherever I go and whatever I do in the house, my little shadow follows.  His feral way of life has had to be worked around and altered, and his sad state of being (digestively speaking) has taken a lot of effort and cash to even out a little.  But that's a whole other story, so I'll get back to what we're all here for.
Odin (my tiny shadow) explores everything and eventually unleashes havoc somehow or another.  To keep him away from Vincent, and those thousands of tiny pieces, I have stayed away from the area and bits that would entice him.  My time and energy has been focused on the Crazy Quilt project called "Peacock," and one other portable project that had been rummaging around in my head for quite a while. The second quilt is a wall hanging that is a pseudo-broderie perse piece.  [see photo]  The applique portion is moving along, and I find I need to finish dyeing the background before I can lay out and stitch down the next set of pieces.

Stay tuned, I will post more photos sooner (or later).

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Howdy world, and howdy 2017

For the past few years I have belonged to a couple of 'groups' in the facebook world, one of them is for needle-types who have supplies that they want to sell to other needle-types who need those supplies.

Translation: It's a sellers/buyers group.  I am a buyer.

One particular group has a person in charge of it who is usually ( > 95% of the time) on top of everything.  When it comes to her own customers, she is proactive and pretty wonderful, but lately has seemed a bit overwhelmed by her own aspirations.  The wonderfulness of her customer service has become hit or miss recently, and it appears as though I am on the 'miss' end of the stick.

This is why it was hard to believe [read this with sarcasm] that she became completely outraged when I opened a case with the payment service.  I mean, after all, she only kept me waiting three weeks before finally sending the package.  Perhaps I was a little hasty, since it was only three weeks... [dripping with sarcasm] and she did offer me either silence or no less than four BS excuses as to why I was waiting... and waiting... and waiting.

But, the complaint I filed did lead to her actually sending the package, so I couldn't have been too far off the mark, right?

I have refused to correspond with her any further, and most likely I will be dropping out of that group, too.  Just too much crap in my wheelbarrow already, why invite more angst?  I suppose this means I am 'cleaning house' for the new year; unintentionally, but totally necessary.

What are you up to with the changing of the digits?


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Delightful expectations from JD Cottage Treasures on Etsy

You may know I don't give out feint praise, as a rule; not even just for the sake of saying something nice.  I am not good at pretense - never have been, (and most likely) never will be.  I am not a 'gusher.'  My parents did not instill that quality (talent?) in me at any age, and so while I can see and hear and believe it when I observe it from others, I cannot summon the beauty-queen falseness which seems to live comfortably in so many people, and blurt out things others want to hear, just for the sake of fawning and oohing and awing.

I'm prefacing this post with good reason, so please allow me to explain... and gush a little.  I suppose I will get better with practice.

Periodically I give myself permission to spend a little money on a little something for an upcoming project (or, for an ongoing project.  REALLY?  Do I need a project as an excuse?  Harrumph).  My pockets are not deep, and saving capital to use for delightful reasons is a bit of a stretch, so when I let go and splurge on a bauble, button, beads, or bit of hankie happiness, well, I feel I've earned it.

At any rate, I had an occasion recently to buy a lovely hankie or two from Julie at
https://www.etsy.com/shop/JDCottageTreasures?ref=shop_name_search_sugg
and it was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made (when it comes to online purchasing).  Julie is more than attentive, and far better than anyone else I've encountered at providing that 'extra mile' when it comes to customer service.  Fast, friendly, clean, and fabulous - you can't go wrong when you buy from Julie at JD Cottage Treasures.  Her items are topnotch and excellently described.

Please, just save some lovely things for me.  Cheers to you, Julie!  Thank you for everything ~