July 28, 2008

Colorful Give Away!

Where is everyone?? I was surprised how few people guessed how much money I would spend at IQA Long Beach. I know that I must have more than 4 people reading my blog. I would love to hear from all of you. I'll announce the winner on Saturday.
I spent part of the day making this colorful jewelry pouch as the give away prize. If you look really close at the interior photo, you'll see that there's an extra surprise attached to a sterling silver chain and hidden inside one of the compartments. Did I ever mention that I am also a silversmith?

I had a great time at the IQA Long Beach show in Long Beach. It consisted of Special Exhibit quilts (mostly art quilts) and 500 vendors. That's a whole lot of vendors! I'm real excited about an Olfa circle cutter that I bought. It cuts any size circle between 1-7/8 t0 8-1/2". I love circles and use them a lot in my work. This will definitely make it much easier to cut them.

I was in a fabric booth and heard somebody say, "Was that shirt on a blog?" Turns out it was Doreen K all the way from Nevada. It was so surprised that somebody recognized my shirt!

July 25, 2008

Lucky, Lucky Me

Sue Bleiweiss pulled my name out as one of the lucky prize recipients in her latest give away. I chose one of Sue's beautiful journals that has writing on the outside similar to my t-shirt.We both used the same curved syringe to do the writing. It's a fun technique to play with, you should give it a try.
The journal has three signatures inside, some pages are painted with metallics and some have been left white. I can't wait to start filling it up with something special, but I'm not sure what yet. Thank you, Sue; you are very generous and I LOVE it.

I would like to start teaching some classes locally. I'm planning to teach a variety of stenciling and printing techniques. It's a lot of work to get all the samples and directions made up. I hope it works out.

Kathy and I are driving to Long Beach in the morning to the first IQA show. Many of our friends are already there; Susan Italo is giving demonstrations on how she makes her beautiful jackets and I'm hoping to meet up with Ruth Rae in the QA booth. I want to check out the Stewart Gil paints I keep hearing about. I'm excited, it's going to be a lot of fun!

How much money do you think I'll spend? Hmmmm . . . that would be a good contest. I'll give a prize (unknown at the moment) to the person that guesses the closest amount. Even though it seems like I own every product ever made, I keep finding more to buy. Why is that??

July 21, 2008

Things that Make Me Smile

In order to be really creative, I need to enjoy my surroundings. I need a happy place to create, someplace colorful with silly little items surrounding me. I'm not sure if it's the item or the memory that makes me smile, but I love having them in my studio.

This welded sculpture is made with nuts, bolts and nails. This was a gift from my husband and immediately made me smile.I was at the Santa Maria Quilt show when I saw this soft sculpture. Although it made me laugh out loud, I didn't purchase it right away. All I could think was, "What will I do with it?" As I walked around the show, I couldn't stop thinking about her. I had to go back, and I don't regret it. She hangs on my design wall and makes me smile every day. Isn't that enough?

My kids got these little plastic Simba's in their McDonald happy meals around 20 years ago. I immediately loved their little dancing heads and begged them for their prize. They really didn't care and gladly gave them to me. Lucky me!

Certainly, I'm not the only one with wonderful chachki's in their studio. Drop me a note or send a link to the items you love.

July 16, 2008

Surface Design on T-shirt

Shhh . . . don't tell anyone, but I can be really sloppy. It seems like I'm constantly getting stains on my shirts. I'm tired of throwing out perfectly good shirts, so I got creative with some surface design.I decided to hide two little stains smack in the middle of the shirt with some writing. I guess I got a little carried away. Now, I'm going to add more layers with transparent paint. Can you see the stains? Hope not!

Here are some of the beautiful ATC's I received at our last trade. Lucilla (top left) used real clothes pins on her card and Louise (bottom left) stitched her cat using black thread. They are all so beautiful and creative.

July 15, 2008

Rayna's Book is Fabulous!

If you don't have a copy of Rayna Gillman's new book "create your own hand-printed cloth", you need to get one quick. It's Fabulous! The photography is pure eye candy and Rayna's fun loving personality comes through loud and clear. The instructions are well written and the samples are fantastic. I LOVE books and own a vast collection, however, there are 12-15 books that are very special to me. Rayna's book instantly jumped into this special collection. The contents page will give you a pretty good idea what you're in for. Sorry the photo isn't better, my camera went to Greece again! I'm really thrilled to have my quilt "Branching Out" (above) included in Rayna's book, page 23. Jeanne Surber, my Fibervision buddy, has her quilt "Yin & Yang" featured on page 14.

July 13, 2008

Colorful Weekend

I'm taking full advantage of the extra time I'm spending indoors and it's been a colorful weekend. Fortunately, the real Gap Fire is 80% contained, however, the fire living inside my head has spread to my design wall. For the background, I'm using a piece of fabric that I've painted. It has several layers of tulle and organza throughout with another layer of blue tulle on top of all the mountains and flames. It's still in pieces, but I'm getting pretty close to the final design.
I can't decide which fabric to use for the palm tree and border. Do you have a preference? Or maybe, you have a completely different suggestion. Let me know what you think.

The photo above would use a green palm tree to go along with the greenish/red foreground (left side of photo)This photo above shows a purple palm tree to go along with the purplish foreground (bottom right of photo).

July 6, 2008

Home Again

I'm very happy to be home, but he air quality is terrible; lots of smoke and ash everywhere. I need to stay inside as much as possible because of my asthma. I've spent a good part of the day returning all of my stuff to its proper place.
Unfortunately, this fire is far from done. It is burning towards Santa Barbara and thousands of houses are still threatened, but so far, only one mobile home, a few outbuildings and several cars were lost. Pretty amazing when you consider how fast this fire has spread. It has burned over 10,000 acres and is 28% contained. Over 1,200 firemen are working hard to control and contain the flames. No easy feat!We were very fortunate to have a beautiful house to stay at when we evacuated (thank you Cyndee), but under the circumstances, we really didn't get to enjoy it. We were much too worried. However, I did get some great shots of the fireworks from the balcony.
Thank you to both my local friends and online friends that offered their homes and words of comfort. You have no idea how much it helped.
The firemen are real life heroes and I am amazed at the bravery they continually display. As we run out, they run in! Thank you guys, YOU ROCK!

July 4, 2008

Fire Storm

The fire storm is spreading at an alarming rate. Yesterday, 300 acres burned; and tonight, that number has climbed to over 3000 acres.These photos were taken Tuesday afternoon and that glowing sphere is the sun covered in smoke. Very eerie!

This is, by far, the scariest situation I've ever been in. Earlier tonight, we evacuated our home. My nerves couldn't stand another night without power. Sitting in the dark wondering if the fire is rushing down the hill toward you is really nerve racking. Today, the air was so bad I had to wear a mask. I have a phobia about anything covering my head and face, so for me the mask was a HUGE deal. I developed asthma during the fire last year and have been taking medication since. I figured it was the mask or the hospital!
We'll try to get home tomorrow to see if our home is still standing.
Thank you for all your kind words and prayers. I really appreciate your support.

July 2, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Another wildfire (The Gap Fire) is burning here in Goleta, and this time, it's the moutain right above my house. The last time this area burned was over 50 years ago, so there is a lot of dry fuel. So far, 350 acres have burned. This photo was taken last night by Ray Ford, a photographer at the Independent Newspaper. My husband and I were enjoying a glass of wine during intermission at an Ottmar Liebert concert at Soho, when my son called to tell us about the fire. Needless to say, we left the concert and raced home. An evacuation warning was issued for the area around my house and we're ready to get out if need be.
What possessions would you save? Family and pets come first, of course. Some of the items I grabbed were photos, external hard drive, camera, computer, personal files and quilts. I have lots of stuff and I love it all, but when it comes right down to it, very few possessions are precious.
I'll keep you posted!