My innermost secrets - yeah right.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!
Last night, my daughter and I finally put up our tree! This seems to be our tradition of late - putting the tree up on Christmas Eve. All I really wanted was something festive and light in the house so we didn't fuss over ornaments. We rearranged the furniture and carved out a spot for the tree. I celebrated midnight Mass with the Pope while we wrapped gifts in our respective rooms.

Santa was very good to us. We talked to Grandma and Uncle Mike - the very best part of the day. I have a beautiful set of hand painted mugs, an Art and Design in Photoshop book, lingerie, new slippers, aromatherapy spa socks (yum) and a gift certificate to one of my favorite stores. Santa brought Cam clothes, a purse, a laptop and a camera.

We made Chicken Enchilada soup for dinner and had chocolate chip mint ice cream for dessert - yummy! We even had special treats for Indie - chicken bites - Cam made her sing the meow mix song for a treat.

Christmas was a beautiful, peaceful day. I hope it was the same for you.

I have the flu and everything hurts - ugh!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday Evening

Saturday evening, I attended Ashley's graduation (with honors). She received her Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Specialization in Elementary Education.

Not sure what was on my mind - ceremony started at 5:00, seemed like a 4:45 arrival time would be perfect - WRONG! OMG! Traffic was backed up onto the highway and just inched along. It took almost as long to travel the last mile as it took to travel the 45 miles from Garland to the school. Complaining aside, I was thrilled for Ashley and her family. We were her fan club, complete with a sign and flashing cameras. Mom and Dad, Monique and Gene, were there of course.

Aunts Toni and Dreama also flew in for the ceremony. It was so nice to see Ashley's family again and the next time I visit Monique in New Jersey, Dreama will drive up and we will have a pajama party.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Music

I heard this on the radio on the way in to work today. These guys are fantastic - Straight No Chaser - enjoy!

I've always wanted one but been too embarrassed to buy it. No brown paper wrappers and sneaking around in the dark to get it either. Instead, I stole it! That's right, in broad daylight and in front of at least 60 people, I stole it and got away with it - drum roll very own Chia Bugs Bunny Handmade Decorative Planter!

Applause! Applause!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dinner with the Twisted Stitchers

Tonight I met my friends Deborah, Tonya, Sharon, Judy and Carol aka Twisted Stitchers at LaMadeline in Lewisville. It was so great to see everyone.
Deborah is published in the latest edition of Somerset SEW; Tonya and Sharon showered us with gifts of fused glass jewelry and Christmas socks; Judy showed us an amusing presentation on how to photograph your quilts; Carol showed us some some photos from the 1990's of painted vests (woo hoo!) and all of them gave me suggestions on how to finish a piece I have been working on.

On Blogging...
Tonya has decided to take the blogging plunge, Deborah is celebrating her4 year blog anniversity, Carol has promised to blog more often in 2009, Judy has committed to blogging annually and we are going to work on Sharon. What a group!

Follow me...
I have added a Follow Me widget so go ahead and subscribe - please. It makes me feel good to know you are interested in what is going on in my world and I even promise to update more often.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Is it December already?

A lot has happened since my last update. The event I am happiest about is our new President-elect - Mr. Barack Obama. I truly believe the team who will do the most to help our country won the election. I still have nightmares when Palin's name creeps into my head (shudder). Obama and Biden have a daunting task ahead of them but I believe they can handle it. During this time of instant gratification, I hope we, the American people, understand that it took eight years to get into this mess and it will take time to climb out.

I went to Boston to visit with my daughter. Here she is looking a little rumpled.
She actually lives in Brighton but if you cross a street, you are in Boston. I really like Boston/Brighton, or whatever - all except for the parking. It stinks big time. What is it with 'Resident Only' parking? There is 'Visitors Parking' but that's like 6 spaces (okay, maybe 10)for an entire neighborhood and between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm you can only park in the same spot for 2 hours. It is worse than New York City because I had to go out in the cold every 2 hours to move the damn car. Sucks big time and yes, I got a ticket (or 2). I suppose it could be worse (how you ask) - she could live in Brookline - they have NO overnight parking for visitors. I have no idea how it works and don't really even care. We found out too late that you can get a temporary 'Resident' sticker - next time...

I took an interesting Nuno Felting class from DAFA member Suzanne Morgan. Here she is showing us a couple of her pieces for inspiration.

I invited my friend Linda, who is waiting for the next instruction
and coworker Lorraine, whose passion is knitting and spinning. She is a member of the Dallas Hand Knitters Guild.
Along with the usual suspects - Deborah
and Lu

and Michelle
we had alot of fun embedding silk into prefelts, rubbing, rolling and beating the hell out of our pieces.

I finished the graduation quilt I was making for Tessa. It's made from feedsack fabrics and it's a great quilt to wrap up in while watching television on those cold Seattle nights.
I cooked an awesome Thanksgiving dinner. Ashley, a friend of my daughter, joined me and we had a great time. She brought me a beautiful bouquet that one day will end up in a quilt.

My brother celebrated a birthday on Dec. 5th so I made him a birthday postcard using Grungeboard. It's a pretty interesting material to work with as you can sew and paint it. I used copper and bronze paints and orange foil to add texture and glimmer. I love this card! Happy birthday Mike.

Guess I will go put up the tree...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Damn Girl, Where Have You Been?

Good question. Where have I been?

Let's see, I can blame it on several things: jury duty and death penalties, New York City and Mom's 80th Birthday celebration, yoga, yoga, yoga and today - layoffs at work.

In July, we ended the penalty phase of the trial. What trial you may ask - I couldn't or rather, didn't want to talk about it. Ten hours of emotional deliberations later, we were unanimous in our decision. I served with twelve wonderful and fair people. I wish them all the best and that we never have to serve again. FYI - for added fun, I was called to serve on a Municipal jury - traffic; I suppose we are entitled to our day in court.

August 14, Mom celebrated her 80th birthday. My brother travelled to NY from CA and I from TX. We had a great time - dinner at Ruth Crist Steak House - delish! New York City sponsors many great events or 'happenings' to coin an old phrase. This summer, Park Avenue was closed to traffic from Central Park all the way down to 'I don't know where'. It became a pedestrian mall for walkers, skaters, bikers and you name it. We, as a family decided to take a walk and it turned out to be the longest walk of my life. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 miles - yeah, that's right -17 great miles. We started at 115th street, through Central Park to Park Ave., down Park Ave. through the Village, China Town and other parts of town I don't know the name of, across the Brooklyn Bridge and back (stopping to see the 'Fountains' art exhibit), to Ground Zero and up the waterfront back to 115th St. Along the way, we grew closer as a family, rubbed blisters on our feet and got a glimpse of Tom Cruise and what it is like to be stalked by photographers. I also set up a card shower for Mom, asking my friends and coworkers to send her a card in hopes of getting 80 cards. She was surprised and grateful - and my brother didn't think I could pull it off - ha! (I can do a lot of things you don't think I can do - from getting 80 men and women to send birthday cards to someone they don't know to walking 17 miles in a day.)

Sometime in June, I started practicing Dahn Yoga. I show up in my yoga clothes with my yoga mat and my yoga attitude only to find out that Dahn yoga was not what I was expecting. It's better - I will talk more about this later.

Today, there were big layoffs at my job. I was at home working off a headache so my friends contacted me. I am very sad about this. There have been rumors floating around for a few weeks and we expected something, but we all hoped there would be more of a warning and that it would be handled differently. In the past, we had different times to report to work and we were told our status then. Today, as I understand it, HR visited people in their offices and took them for meeting to give the bad news. There were a lot of surprises. I am nervous about tomorrow since I missed today - don't know if I will be able to sleep tonight. I am feeling anxious now so I better stop. I will post pics of Mom's great looking 80 year old legs and NYC later.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Deborah's Book

During my search for Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition by Kumiko Sudo, I came across a new book recently reviewed in some publication I read. I thumbed through the book and recognized a few pieces by my friend Deborah Boschert. Of course I have to have her autograph. (Deborah is the same person who picked my piece in the DAFA 'art swap'.) Congrats to Deborah! The name of the book is Creative Quilting with Beads I find it is a pretty good resource for creative use of embellishments and some fresh ideas for projects - the cover photo alone is intriguing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quick Update

I am really tired, drained and getting ready to hit the sack but wanted to update before I was too far behind.

Water Heater Woes: my neighbor got in touch with a friend of his who specializes in maintaining water heaters for the Garland ISD.
Frank came over, told me the obvious ' your heater is broken', took me to Home Depot and Lowes and showed me what to buy. Frank returned Sunday morning to install the heater - what a nice man. He saved me over $150 dollars - love him and my neighbor!

These are the hands of a hard working man.

Dallas Area Fiber Artist: April meeting featured Deanna Wood on Artist’s Books: Concept and Form.
She showed us many different types and forms of handmade books.
There was also a mini workshop where we made a concertina book. We learned how to cover a chipboard cover with flawless execution. Great workshop.

For the May meeting we had a potluck dinner and a fun 'art swap'. I made a 10 X 10 piece out of linen, transfer dyed panne velvet, beads and a little embossed metal piece. Deborah was the lucky person to pick my piece. I must say, this group is very talented and extremely supportive. I picked a couple of beautiful origami folded 'treasure boxes'. The workmanship is exquisite. I will have to find a creative was to display them.

New works: remember those repro fabrics I bought for the baby quilt I forgot to take a picture of? Well I had so much fabric left over, I had to buy some colorful fill-ins and I made a feed sack quilt. Here is a picture of it in progress.
It still needs its borders. I also made a magic wand and a second piece matching the 'art swap' piece. The bottom piece is the swap piece. I added a 'window' on the right hand side that looks pretty cool. I will keep the second piece for myself. I also have 2 pillows in progress using the same idea. I will display pictures as I develop them.
Here is a picture of my 'Magic Wand'. I needed something fun to do over the weekend, as I was stressed thinking about what I had in store for the rest of the week. It is pretty cool.

Here is an experimental piece featuring cowrie shells. I have had this cowrie shell thought for a few months and I decided to use a technique from Quilting Arts Magazine. This is a picture of the 'pieces'. It has since been developed a little more. I think it is a bit dark, so I will have to figure a way to lighten it up and the tea bag paper is more prominent than I hoped. The fabric is painted and the shells are drawn on tea bags and adhered with gel medium.

I have more pieces in work, just no pictures. - Yet.

Off topic: have you ever seen a purple yam? I have seen them in the Asian grocery stores and mentioned it to a coworker. Jane brought me 2 purple yams that she painstakingly picked from a stack of yams. They were perfectly pointed on one end and were the perfect size. They are not purple while raw, but after cooking them, they are purple! See...

They taste like sweet potatoes but the texture is denser. They are pretty good and are sweet so you do not need to add brown sugar.

Lastly... I finally met Linda's brother, Jeff Zachmann. We went to Fort Worth Main Street Art Festival and he had a booth with his kinetic sculptures. His work is amazing and I stood there with the children, mouth open and watched the little metal balls whirl around. I am going to start saving my money now cause I want one. I liked the one that is a sofa table - the sound of the balls traveling around has the same affect as a fountain. Here is Jeff and Linda - by the way - the Art Festival was awesome - I recommend attending next year.

Until next time....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Water Heater Woes

Lynn and Susan received their collages and were very happy with them. I finished (or mostly finished) the impromptu baby quilt and gave it to Alison for the baby shower. When she brings it back, I will add a label, some yo-yos and a pom pom or two and I am done. Everyone seems to like it but as usual I see all of the flaws and I am not too sure I like my method of quilt-as-you-go.
Now my woes - I looked out onto the patio and saw water or rather dampness. I go out to look a little closer and it seems that the pipe from the hot water heater has emptied water onto the patio as it is supposed to do in the event of an emergency (or something like that). Now the question becomes - what emergency? I try the hot water in the bathroom and it is not even lukewarm but I am in denial and plan to go about my business...until I go into the garage to make my escape from what I sense is impending doom. There is a nice stream of water running down one side of the garage. Yes, the water heater did something and the entire side of the garage is wet and I can still hear the water trickling. Christmas tree box - soaking wet, everything, everything, everything - wet. Now starts the process of cleaning up the water - ugh!!! Looks like the field mice that live across the alley moved in and left their little mice turds everywhere - what a pain.
Here comes next door neighbor, smiling cause he is getting a sprinkler system installed today. I was smiling like him when I got mine installed too. He wants to talk and the only thing in my head is cleaning this shit up and what the hell is wrong with this heater. I guess he doesn't notice the broom in my hand and the stream of water exiting the garage. I smile, share his joy and bring him to my page. He looks at the heater and tells me the water is running out - lightbulb moment! Anyway, he works maintenance for a management company and he calls his friend who specializes in hot water heaters...maybe his friend will call back. His daughter is off to her middle school dance and she stops by to show us how great she looks - she is beautiful and looks like a girl in middle school - yeah for her! I cleaned up half of the side with water because that's all I thought was there - that is until I looked around outside and saw other trickles around the slab- shit! I am going to the store!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Collage Mania

They are in the mail. Full Circle I was sent to Susan Kennedy in Sugar Land, Texas and Full Circle II was sent to Lynn Krawczyk in Plymouth, Michigan. These 2 ladies absolutely made my week.

Overall, the Collage Mania auction brought in $12,000+ for the American Cancer Society during the 2 days. I think this is a fantastic accomplishment and I applaud Virginia Spiegel for taking on this tremendous task.

I also want to thank my Twisted Stitchers sisters (try saying that 5 times) for their kind words of encouragement. They are an accomplished group of award winning quilt artists who waited patiently for me to loosen up enough to share my work.

Oh yeah, I gave in and bought a few more feed sack/30's fabrics so I can make this scrappy thing I saw in some junk mail ad that came to the house (damn that junk mail). I am still working on the baby quilt- it must be completed by Wednesday because the recipient will be leaving for her daughter's baby shower on Thursday. I am glad I am doing it as a quilt-as-you-go because everythin so far is quilted...I just need something for 2 or 3 blank block, maybe hearts because they are easy to do...should work with the much for keeping it simple--why did I forget to add the darn sashing BEFORE quilting??????? S#@*!

More tomorrow...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fiberart For A Cause!

Today is the first day for purchasing collages at Collage Mania! Today, the pieces sell for a minimum donation of $80 to the American Cancer Society and tomorrow they sell for a minimum donation of $40. Guess who (and I am not naming any names) sold both of her pieces both of her pieces today? I am so excited I had to call my family and share the news. Now all I have to do is sign them and package them for mail. I will do my shopping at Collage Mania tomorrow. There are still plenty of pretty pieces available.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Yeah!! It's Thursday, one day before Friday and the weekend. This past weekend was productive: I made 2 purses using an Amy Butler pattern and started a baby quilt with the repro fabrics. I decided to make 12 inch blocks comprised of half square triangles. Each 12 in block has 25 half squares in a single color. I will set them with white blocks that have appliques of bears and hearts. I will add a picture later. Off to work now...there is a Dallas Guild meeting tonight. Will post about the DAFA meeting later.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

As Far As I Will Go

I am done! Done, done, done! The time between February and now is done, can't play catch-up any more.

There are a few things I would like to share. I had a couple of pieces accepted by Virginia Spiegel in her Fiber Arr For A Cause, Collage Mania 2008 . 100 percent of the proceeds benefits the American Cancer Society.

Full Circle 1

Full Circle 2

I was thrilled when I received an email from her telling me one of my pieces was featured on her April 9th Tuesday Blog. The preview starts Monday, April 28 and the auction starts Monday, May5.
I was looking at my copy of Quilting Arts, Studios, and on this pass, I was actually reading rather than staring at the pictures in awe. I love to see who is quoted and where they are from so it was no surprise when I saw a few comments from Texans. Oh look - someone from Garland - well maybe I know her - yep - it was me. I had to read it a few times to see what my quotable gem was because I answered the survey so long ago. Anyway, it was fun seeing my name in print.

On a recent trip to Boston to visit my daughter, I took a side trip to Stow, MA, home of Quilting Arts and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It was a 40 minute drive from my hotel through some beautiful countryside. The trees weren't green yet but I can just imagine during the spring, summer and fall, it's paradise.

Speaking of green - I entered the Quilting Arts Go Green! challenge. The challenge is to make a 5 X 5 piece using materials you already have. I used the tea bag packaging and fibers to weave a background and added flowers punched and cut from fabric scraps and a horribly, ugly silk flower I have. I stitched in the stems and leaves but ended up adding beads and sequins to make them stand out. I added a flower made of paper beads and added a bit of nylon netting. The background was colored using fabric crayons as transfer dyes. Whew! I put quite a bit of effort into a 5 X 5 square!

I have been up to my old, sad, pathetic behavior again. I bought fabric (that's not new) but it's repro fabric - what the hell was wrong with me? I am a weak woman when there is a 'going out of business' sale. I ended up with pink and yellow fabric, and everyone knows you cannot do anything with pink and yellow, so I was forced to buy blue, green and purple to round out the palette. I confess, I AM WEAK!!!!!! As a consequence for exercising no self control, I must make a baby quilt for a friend who is becoming a grandma. This is a high risk pregnancy and the mom is on total bed rest. Off to make pinwheels or something...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Highlights so far

I celebrated my birthday with my good friend Linda, her husband Larry and son Kyle. We went to The Tavern and dined on Prime Rib, mashed potatoes and peas. Yummy, delicious comfort food. Linda gave me a bouquet of beautiful, fragrant lillies.
I also enrolled in a couple of classes at Quilt University Patchwork Illusions with Karen Combs and a dyeing class with Marjie McWilliams. Here are a couple of the blocks I made during Patchwork Illusions:

The dyeing wasn't as successful. I struggled getting the red dye to take to the fabric. The dye bath that I poured down the drain was beautiful, the fabric sucked big time.


Dallas Area Fiber Artists hosted the Federation of Fiber Artists Conference this year. The exhibit titled Horizons in Fiber 2008 was held at the Art Center of Plano. I enrolled in 2 workshops, one covering screen printing with Dawn Zero Erickson and one teaching 3D Shibori with Carol Lane Saber.

Dawn Zero Erickson

our supplies

Carol Lane Saber

our supplies

At the end of the month, I went on an ACTS Retreat with my church. ACTS stands for Adoration Community Theology and Service. I had a wonderful time and made several new friends. I found it interesting that you are identified by the church service you attend. To save you from asking, I attend the 7:30 am service.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Catching Up

I started this entry in February (hence the date). It is now April and I am publishing. Atta girl Sherrie!

Happy April! I have quite a bit of catching up to do so let's get started.

December, 2007
I decided I needed a light box to photograph my etsy gems. Rather than spend the $100+ and buy one, I found directions on the internet for making my own light box. I purchased some pvc, various connectors, pvc glue, a white sheet and some colored poster board.I was rather pleased with the assembly and I am looking forward to using it.

I attended the Dallas Area Fiber Artists Christmas party and won the bid for some beautiful polymer clay beads and a composition by Flo Barry. I left the beads on their string and draped them over a mirror I have in the dining room. Will I be able to use them? Who knows.

I decided to make a project outlined in Quilting Arts Magazine. I made some amulet necklaces. They are made with acrylic felt that is embellished to look like leather on the outside. Foil has been added to the inside for some bling. These pictures show the outside and inside. The blue one is mostly completed with beads and cords.

outside of amulets

inside of amulets with foil applied

completed amulet

I also made a few check book covers using a free pattern from Fiber and Stitch.

And just for grins, I will show some of the loot I purchased at the International Quilt Show in November. This is a guilt thing since I exercised absolutely no self control:

here are some beautiful glass beads and buttons

here are my Artgirlz treasures.

silk fabric squares in various colors

variety pack of various silk odds and ends from Treenway Silks

Wonderfil Thread variety pack
During Christmas vacation, an old friend from my days at EDS was in town visiting. Reverend Carolyn Byars came by and we visited with another friend of hers. Carolyn is in the middle.

Final item to share for the month of December is a wall hanging I created. Here is a layout using some of the polymer clay masks I made. The masks leave much to be desired and haven't made it onto the quilt yet.
Okay, I will take a break now.