Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art Quilts Around the World Challenge

My Self Portrait!!
   Today is the day we are to reveal our first challenge for the Art Quilts Around the World Challenge..."Self Portrait".  Andrea and I joined this group this is made up of 30 women from all around the world.  There will be a bi-monthly challenge chosen by various members.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to "meet" many of the gals through their blog and our group Facebook.  So with no further is my portrait...and a bit about the process.

 #1.- thought up all the words that describe me...woman, mother, daughter, wife, teacher, etc...and came up with 25 words. #2- created a list with definitions on my computer. #3- made my background by printing list off on fabric.  #4- drew the outline of my head (not factual). #5-divided head into 25 sections, made a second copy on paper to cut up, applied freezer paper and cut out sections with my hand dyed fabrics.  #6-added fusible web, applied to a muslin background. #7 stitched with variagated thread and zigzag stitch over all sections. #8-stitched head to printed word definition background. #9-then embellished with stitched eyes, nose, mouth..added hair (cut strips of fabric), and glasses (tin foil) and necklace.  The necklace is beads and words.  I had originally created the words on computer/printed on paper and was going to fuse them to the sections of the head, but felt there wasn't enough room for them there. So I fused them to a different fabric, cut them up and sewed them loosely around the neck.

First drawing on paper
Hand dyed sections
Background fabric with printed words

Basic head before embellishments

Some embellishments added

Beaded and dangly words necklace

I loved doing this project and am looking forward to the next one!!!  Please go to the link for the Art Quilts Blog to see all the finished portraits. And  I have linked you to Andrea's blog also to see her work.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bead Journal Project-January

I had signed up for another challenge for this year.  I have discovered that I really like beading, so when I saw the Bead Journal Project, I signed up when they opened for membership!  The plan is to select a specific shape and bead that shape repeatedly once a month.  I pondered for a long time on what shape I wanted to do.  So many of the beading artists had such wonderful ideas in years past, but I finally decided on the "Yin-Yang" shape for mine.  I drew and cut out 12 circles-about 3 1/2 inches in diameter from Timtex and then drew the symmetrical curve to create the yin/yang.  Then I had to decide on colors!  And here is my January beading!
Each month I will bead a new "Yin-Yang" of different colors and different design.  Then at the end of the year, I hope to create a complete work of art, using these 12 shapes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Memory Monday # 4

      Memory is a funny I told in my last memory, I clearly remember my dad coming home from serving during WWII.  But try as I might, I have only one more memory of him during the year and a half we lived in the little apartment where my mom and sister and I had lived while he was gone.  I have decided I had a bit of a memory loss because it was a very traumatic thing to have him return.
      I was just two and a half when he left and I didn't see him until I was nearly five....a little over two years.  I don't have any recollection of his going or being home on leave at all.  During that time, my mom and sister were my family.  We all slept in the same bed (after I was out of a crib); we did everything together...then here came this person who was a virtual stranger to me...not that I was shy when he first came home obviously.  But he did displace me!  My sister and I ended up on a sofa bed in the living room while mom and dad naturally took the bedroom.
   One other occasion I do clearly remember though was a trip we all took to St. Louis, Missouri probably not long after Dad came home.  It was quite an adventure for  a five year old who had never been away from home.  Even though we lived in a small town in Illinois, St. Louis was the closest big city to us.  Two things I remember....we took a ride in an airplane!!  Now, that was a big deal in 1945...way before commercial airline travel became commonplace!

Over St. Louis
      It was a private sight-seeing plane...I am thinking that they were giving special tours to veterans and their families.  Looking back, I am surprised my mom would go for such a venture.  She was not the most daring of souls, especially anything involving putting her babies at risk!  

Stix, Baer, and Fuller
     St. Louis was on the cutting edge of the future.  One of the large department stores, Stix, Baer, and Fuller was one of the first places to have an escalator!!  The Magic Stairway!  One of my mom's friends even gave me a book about the Magic Stairway that following Christmas, I was so taken with the experience!!!

An early escalator

Monday, January 21, 2013

Memory Monday # 3

     This very imposing looking building is where my sister and I went to the first and second grade. It housed one first grade class and one second grade class on the first floor as well as the seventh and eighth grades.  As you went up these stairs, the first grade room was to the left and the second grade classroom was to the right.  The yard was full of playground equipment...slides, teeter totters, and swings.  The rest of the building held  the entire high school...9-12. On the other side of town was an elementary school that held grades 1-6. This arrangement was to keep the youngest students close to home.  We didn't have hot lunches...everyone either brought lunches or went home for lunch.  Since the apartment we lived in was only two houses down from the school, so we walked home for lunch!

Higbee High

       In 1945, when WWII ended,  my dad came home after being stationed in Europe for nearly two years.  My mom didn't have a car so when he was discharged and sent home by way of St. Louis, Missouri...the nearest   city to us...she borrowed my grandmother's car to go get him.  Even though I was just four, I have a very clear memory of him coming home.  When he arrived, my sister, second grade, was at school  so  he put me up on his shoulder and we walked down to the school to get her.  It was recess so all the kids were outside playing. He was in uniform and with me on his shoulder, all the kids began to shout, "Judy, your dad is here!!!"  With Judy in hand, me on his shoulder, and all the kids racing around us, we made quite a parade going up those impressive steps to tell her teacher that he was taking her home.  Coming home from the war to a small town was a great celebration for the whole town.  Judy's teacher just happened to be  mother of a good friend of my dad's who was also soon coming home and had probably taught both my mom and dad, too....she would be my second grade teacher also...a story yet to come.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Party/Ami Simms

The above badge is from the blog "2 Bags Full"...I really don't remember signing up for this Party, but I probably did!!  It was suggested that on the evening of January 18th, those involved are to write a little something about how we got started blogging.  I started blogging at the suggestion of my daughter who is a blogger.  My blog is pretty eclectic....I sometimes just ramble...sometimes I have a purpose.  

I am a fiber artist, so much of the time, my blog deals with my art work and the art work of those I admire.  I am a member of a wonderful group of gals. We are the Creative Crones of studioQ and we have a marvelous time meeting and learning from each other.  I am in the process this year of doing a Memory Monday...stories of my past which is therefore includes little snippets of history!!

With this current blog I am also going to promote Ami Simms, a very well known quilter/designer who has been very influential in sponsoring Alzheimer's  Research through her quilting.  She requested that those of us who blog might encourage others to look into what she does and what others can do to help the cause.  She has an ongoing auction of small quilts which everyone can contribute to.  Just click on the following link and learn all about it!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Memory Monday #2

Well, here I am again with another fab tale of my youth...Another memory I have while living with my mom and sister when my dad was overseas is when my sister conked me in the head with an iron fireplace broom!

This would have been pre television days. We all had developed great imaginations...could make fun out of anything.  But one day, while playing outside with several of the neighborhood kids, I ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As I remember, we were playing some fantasy with magic involved...there was this huge lilac bush in the yard and we had been pretending that it was some type of magical sister was the head magician (or something like that), so she had the power to make this bush/tree open up and let us in.  In order to make the magic work, she had to say the magic words and swing the magic wand/broom, which happened to be an iron fireplace broom.  Now here is where the story gets one I knew had a fireplace so where did the broom come from?  I was standing right behind her and as she spoke the magic words and swung the magic broom, she made a full turn and wham!!  I got hit right across my forehead!  I remember screaming and running for mommy...who picked me up, got a neighbor and took me to the hospital...had to have stitches and got much attention which I am sure I loved!  I still have the scar albeit faded, today!

Of course, my poor sister who was 2 1/2 years older than I and was a really great big sister, was terrified and went home and hid under the bed, so I am told.  My mom was so relieved that I was OK; she was a very understanding mom...realized it was a total she was not mad at all. You know how head wounds can really bleed; that was probably what scared my sister...I remember seeing the drops of blood on the sidewalk for days afterwards...thus adding more to my glorious escapade!  After realizing I was not dying, I relished in my fame among my peers!!  I had stitches!!!!

Judy-my big sister!
She is probably about four or five in this picture, would have been around this age when the incident described above occurred.  She doesn't look like a bully, does she!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


  I am not a big telephone talker, landline or otherwise...I will not talk on the phone while driving...I never did any texting because my cell phone was too spends all its time in my cubby in my car...for emergencies only!  I get very ticked at those who drive and are on the cell phone/ at people in social situations that HAVE to take any calls regardless.

But I love technology!!!  I have envied those who have a smart phone and can take pics at a moments notice, download and post them almost instantaneously!  And have the internet at their fingertips everywhere!!!  So for Christmas, I got the best gift ever!

My iphone
I have downloaded a few APPS (something else I love...apps!) and have been having fun trying them out. I have the one where you can scan those code thingys, and immediately see a video of interest!  Amazing!!  I have texted my granddaughter...and a few others!  I have even actually made a couple of phone calls...and have taken several pictures!!  Now, my strong opinion of using cell phones while driving and at social occasions has not and will not change...but I think I am going to  really enjoy the technology offered!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Memory Monday #1

I enjoyed reminiscing about the past before Christmas so much that I have decided to continue the trend by blogging every Monday about a memory of mine...this may not be the most exciting topic for many of my readers, but there may be some of you who can relate to some of my memories...and maybe jog a few of your own!

One of my first memories is living in an apartment with my mom and sister while my dad was in the Army during WWII.  He served from Fall-1943 (leaving just before I turned three) until the end of the War in 1945 and came home right before I turned five.  He was stationed in Europe and saw action in France, Italy and Germany.

I remember our apartment....which in reality was very tiny....had one bedroom, a living room, bathroom, and small kitchen.  It was the front area of a house in which the landlady and owner, who was a family friend lived in the back.  Upstairs lived a minister and his elderly couple.  The town where we lived was a small, midwest farming committee in Illinois.  My mom didn't have a car, but that wasn't a problem.  We lived just two or three blocks off the town square...we could walk everywhere. Everyone knew and took care of each other.  Milk was delivered to the door, groceries could be delivered, doctors made house calls...and, of course, these were all people who were friends and contemporaries of my parents....the parents of my friends.

It really was pretty idyllic....kind of reminiscent of the little town in "It's a Wonderful Life" least to my memory!  And my first pet was a Border collie puppy received from a friend of my folks who lived in the country.  We had to keep Fuzzy tied up in the yard when we first got her as our landlady didn't have a fenced yard.  I remember going out to see her and she would get so excited, she would run around me and the pole which she was chained to, winding the chain all around me and the pole we would have to be rescued by my mom!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Couple of Simple Challenges

Judy Laquidara has a very interesting blog!!  She has challenges, recipes, great daily stories, etc.  While looking at her latest blog, I saw a challenge or two that I think I will give a try.  One is a cooking challenge...she will list ingredients once a week and participants are to use them in some way make a dish using them, picture and post.

The other challenge is "Getting It Done"....a monthly list of four things to accomplish along the quilting/creative lines, post the list; then, on the last day of the month, repost what was accomplished!  That sounds more doable for me than a daily or weekly challenge and an inspiration or "check list" to get things done!

So for the month of four goals are:

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!
When we moved South about 40 years ago, we discovered that Fireworks are a big thing on New Year's Eve...hadn't had this experience in the North!  I guess it is too cold to shoot them off in December/January!

I looked back at my "goals" for 2012 and was glad to see that I did accomplish a few of them....but there were many I did not get they will go back on list for this year!  A couple of the things have been on my new year lists for so long that I feel I should just give up on them....but I WILL NOT!!!  That stubborness gene in me will not allow that to happen!

Here is my new list: (which I posted last week)

  • Do bi-monthly challenges with Art Quilters Around the World.
  • Do monthly challenges with Beading Journal Blog.
  • Participate in Cotton Robin-2013
  • Finish the 12" block for Crones
  • Finish the quilt for our bed.
  • Make a quilt for the guest room bed.
  • Keep a journal for the year/ do more mixed media experiments.
  • Finish the Color Challenge of the month blocks and make something with them.
  • Continue with the Crones' Challenges for the new year.
And here is my list from this time last combining both lists should keep me busy enough!!! I think I need to print these off and keep before me in my studio!!!  I had actually forgotten about a couple of my goals for last year!

  • Dye fabric this spring (I have had the materials to do so for about three years!)
  • Do silk painting (again, have the needed materials...just the ol' 'roundtoit!)
  • Finish about five UFO's
  • Continue with the Round Robin Challenge
  • Keep doing the Internet BOM
  • Make the Scotties for all the Dodds'-side children
  • Make the quilt for our bed
  • Make the quilt with my mom's embroidered birds