Thursday, January 31, 2008

One World- One Heart

EDITED: THE WINNER OF THE BEE PENDANT IS SUSAN LETHAM OF GERMANY!  Congratulations Susan!  I'm heading to the post office this morning (2/15)  Thanks to the vast number of you bloggers who entered my drawing!  It was so fun I plan to have regular drawings here on my blog so please check back often!

I read about this project called One World- One heart and have decided to participate!


In order to participate, I agree to give something away by having a drawing!  The give away date if Feb. 14th!  So, I have decided to give away a soldered pendant that I made titled "Just Be"  It will come with a black silk cord.  The photos show both sides of the pendant.  If you would like to be in the drawing to win this pendant, please post a comment!  If you would like to know more about this project, check it out here:

IMPORTANT:  You do not have to have a blog to join in but please, leave your e-mail address if you don't so I can contact you if you win!  Also, even if you do have a blog, please don't leave anonymous comments or I can't track you down if you are the winner!  Since I have already had several comments left with no way to contact anyone should they win, I will be giving the winner 3 days to contact me with shipping information before I re-draw names for a different winner.  If you have left either your e-mail address or I can trail to your blog, then you have nothing to worry about!  :)

Great Concept

I have just discovered this cool site which is the brain child of fiber artist, Susan Lenz.  Follow this link, all you fiber artists... and other!
I'm hoping to trade for card number 90!  Aren't they all gorgeous!

Last Chance for Bernie

OK, so now I'm begging.  I have followed Bernie Berlin's rescue efforts for a few years now and have been astonished at her efforts to save these unwanted animals.  Now, she finally has a chance at getting the money to build a shelter that she has waited years for and today is the final day of the contest. I think it ends at noon or there about in this neck of the woods.  So, now I'm begging.  PLEASE, if you have not yet participated in this contest by giving at least the $10. minimum for your donation to count in the contest, please follow the badge at your right and go do it!  Bernie was in second place two days ago and now is in 4th.   Overnight, a competitor for the prize money has by-passed the top 4 slots to go into first place.  Bernie is a mere 120 donations behind them.  For her to win this $50,000, it's now or never.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Go Green"

No, I am not talking about some sports team, although I was a cheerleader!  I'm talking about the latest challenge by Quilting Arts magazine!  I'm getting brave and submitting stuff this year so this will be my first challenge submission for the magazine.  The challenge is to create a 5 x 5 inch quilt using only things you already have on hand and/or recycled materials.  Hey, right up my alley!  so, as you can see, I got my magazine 3 days ago and pounced on this idea and my little quilt is finished, packaged, and ready to ship!
Here's what I did:
The central square was created by sandwiching onion skins and threads cut from silk fabric scraps... you know, all those pieces than hang off the cut edge?  Well, I put them all between layers of a vintage chiffon scarf and quilted them to my "batting" which again, I recycled styrofoam sheet shipping material.  I quilted this by machine and then added scraps of vintage kimono fabrics.  I also used a scrap of clothing in here as well.  In the central focal point, there are layers of fabrics as well as a used red tea bag, a reclaimed piece of bamboo from a placemat, and a rusty bottle cap street find.  I embellished the piece with some hand stitching as well.  If forgot to photograph the back but, it's done with vintage kimono silk and I used a sheer fabric tea bag to create a pocket with my label, which is a piece of paint chip!  This piece was very fun to do and I'm pleased with it.  Now to keep my fingers crossed!  It may be months before I find out how I did though since the deadline mailing date isn't until May!  Hey, that's ok... I have a million other ideas swimming in my head to keep me busy....
I'm also showing you my bundle of prayer sticks.  I made these a couple of weeks ago in Bible Study.  We were meditating on John 17 and using the prayer of intercession from Jesus to intercede for someone.  I wrote prayers on tissue paper and collaged them onto these bamboo sticks.  I then bound them together and wrapped them with wire.  I made these for my hubby.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Such a space cadet

I just noticed that the past 45 minutes I spent adding in blog links to my side bar was a total waste because I forgot to hit the "save" button!  DUH!  All that time down the drain!  I went back and made sure Misty's blog address was there but I'll have to re-do all my work later.  It's almost time to get kids up for school now.  UGH!  I hope this isn't any indication of what the rest of my day will be like... especially since I've been up since 3:30!

I won! I won!

OK, I rarely win anything but this is big!  Fellow artist, Misty Mawn, was having a drawing on her blog for those who have donated to Bernie's fundraising efforts and I won!  I can't believe it!  I'm very excited about owning a piece of Misty's beautiful, soulful work.  If you aren't familiar with Misty's work, check out her blog from my sidebar, which I just updated this morning.  Sorry, I don't know how people make names work as a clickable link within their blogs!  I'm not that computer savvy, unfortunately.  But, the extra work for you will be worth it for the eye candy at Misty's site as well as her deep perspective on life.  She makes ya' think.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Catchin' up

Whew!  It's been a busy few days!  Fran and I had signed up a few months ago to take a class at a local Quilt retreat called Quilt Camp in the Desert... there's also Quilt Camp in the Pines in the summer.  Anyway, most of the classes are traditional quilting methods but we found one that looked interesting so we signed up.  Martha Nordstrand was our instructor who taught us a super easy way to create landscape quilts.  When she said to throw all quilting rules out the door before coming in, Fran and I looked at each other a grinned saying,"we're in the right place!"  We so enjoyed our class and really felt we got our money's worth.  Martha is a wonderful teacher and oh my, you should see her quilts!  She does EVERYTHING by hand and they are extremely detailed and exquisite.  Mind-boggling is another word that comes to mind!  She has won many awards for her work even at an international level.  I highly recommend classes with her and at the very least, visit her website!  Here's her link:
I am not nearly finished with my quilt yet so I can't show anything yet.
I went over to Fran's yesterday and watched her TiVo recordings of Project Runway and the new Quilting Arts show.  Project Runway is so much more fun to watch with a friend!  Instead of working on my quilt as Fran did, I created two small canvas pieces to add to my baby gift for the shower I attended today.  These are done in tissue paper collage.  The bees and lady bug, however, are paint.

The canvas and kitty were well received as well as the other items in my gift bag.    Gosh, this is frustrating.  Any time I try to type after I posted a picture, it messes up my font size and spacing.  I manage to fix the font size but don't know how to change the spacing.  Ok, I got it fixed... now to figure out how to keep it from happening.

So, today was the baby shower.  It was very nice.  I realized that it's been a really long time since I've been to one or held a newborn.  I really don't remember my boys being so small!  Lila is now 9 lbs. and my boys were only 6 lb. 7 oz. and 6 lb. 13 oz. when they were born!  And holy smoke, Lila was so tiny!

I watched a really good movie last night.  I rented Freedom Writers.  It is based on a true story and highly recommend it.  My latest book read was "90 minutes in heaven" and wow, what a book!  That's a great one and a quick read.  It was a fascinating true story!

Classes for Art Unraveled are up on the website and I have already chosen my classes and filled out my form.  They can't be postmarked earlier than Feb. 15th so I'm hanging on it it with anticipation!  I'm planning to take:
"2 art quilts" with Jane La Fazio
"watercolor journaling with ink" with Jane La Fazio
"so you want to sell your art" with Judy Wise
"Poetry in Motion" with Katie Kendrick

They are spread out over the week with two of the classes being in the evening.  And of course, saturday is vendor day and so much fun to attend to see what everyone is selling... and if I save some money, then I can buy something wonderful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Etsy listings

Okie Dokie... I got my two art quilts listed in my etsy store as well as a canvas piece so head on over!

A Kitty for Lila

I have a baby shower to go to on Saturday and I always like to give something handmade if I can.  I didn't have time to do a quilt so I made baby Lila this kitty, which I'm sure is as big as she is right now!  And before I get a bunch of notes about the button eyes, let me assure you, these babies will never come off!  I sewed them through two layers of fabric plus batting with doubled embroidery thread about 5 times and then added glue to all the threads on the inside before sewing the kitty together!  All other features were hand stitched.  Here'are front and back views... and isn't this hand-dyed flannel yummy?!

Quilt Submissions

Well, I'm bummed.  Both of my quilt submissions were turned down for the show.  I'm very pleased with both of my pieces and am anxious to see what actually WAS chosen.  My pieces will be available for viewing on the Greenjean's site soon so I'll be able to see all of the other submissions as well.  The show starts Feb. 6th.  Here is the link if anyone is interested in seeing what was
Last night, I was browsing around on their website and reading about the gallery and realized that I should have done this before submitting.  My ideas for the quilts would have gone a different direction.  The gallery focuses heavily on re-using, recycling, etc... Had I made a quilt of recycled clothing or from my huge stash of silk neckties, etc.. I may have stood a better chance.  So, first major lesson learned for submitting: Look into the gallery first!  Anyway, I will be listing both of my quilts for sale in my etsy shop so if you are interested in purchasing one of them, check back a little later today at

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Another art quilt

Well, I finished another art quilt for submission just under the wire for the deadline.  Not without a lot of eye strain, a headache, back ache, and hurting hands but I am very happy with the result.  I have also posted a photo of the base quilt before I did the overlay of organza so you could see what it looks like underneath!  The photo is one I took of a Eucalyptus tree up-close.  It is then cut into 1 inch squares and mounted on black card stock.  They are then sandwiched underneath vinyl and a grid pattern is sewn.  This quilt measures 12x12.  And those of you who know me, does this quilt look like me or what?!?!  Totally MY colors!  And I LOVE tree bark!  LOL!  So, I should know by Monday if my two quilts made it past the initial jury for entry to the exhibit.  If accepted, I'll have to put them in the mail for the second phase of jury.  The exhibit opens Feb. 6th, I think.

Now to eat lunch... at 3:20!

Your Brain is Purple
Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic. You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense. Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A submission

Well, a few days ago, Fran sent me info about submitting small quilts to an upcoming show with Greenjeans.  They extended the deadline for the submissions to the 20th so, I worked really hard and got one finished.  It turned out to be 8-1/2x11. I know, I know... I'm gonna' wear this crane photo out but truthfully, it's one of my most favorite paintings I've ever done so I'm using it again.  Anyway, I just sent the photo in for submission.  If it's accepted, then I'll have to send the real deal for a second "interview".  If it is then juried in, it will be shown and up for sale!  So, anyway... it's actually made from two separate quilts, a base quilt of scrunched velvet which is then layered with fabric and a recycled piece of skewer placemat, and then the centerpiece quilt made up of fabric, handmade paper, a photo, oriental text, and an overlay of vinyl.  It is then attached to the base with painted wood beads.  I used recycled material for my batting... styrofoam sheet packing material!  Anyway, I like it so there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Place to Bark update

This is what Bernie has to say on her blog about the "competition":
UNBELIEVABLE!!! We are now in the Top Five, as of this post!!!! 
But the heat is on, the other badges are aware of us and we have to keep asking, begging and trying to get everyone to donate ten dollars. 
It has only been 6 days and look at how far we have gotten..
We need to be one of the top four to win the fifty thousand dollars. 
We are very close, but still so far away..

I really hate to plead, but truly if you have ever thought about donating, now is the time to do it..
Just think, if you donate and we win, every time you read my blog, you can say to yourself...
It is because of me, because I took the time, to spread the word, to donate, that this shelter was built and that these animals were saved and are alive. 

I can't do this alone, I need my friends and all animal lovers to take a part in helping me, help the animals that can't.
So please ask, your brother, sister, friends, family members or a perfect stranger you see with a pet:) 
Most love animals and this is for them..
I've learned to swallow my pride and ask for help.. A very hard thing to do sometimes, but it is all for the greater good!!

This Badge does take PayPal:)

It makes me sad that we have to compete for this money. 
All the charities that are trying to win are
ALL very important. 
No one of us, is any better than the next and I wish in a perfect world, we could all support the charities we love.

I really try not to write too much about all the bad things, that I see, that happen to the animals down here.. 
Most who read my blog, can't handle to hear about it, just know that they are awful!!! I have seen most first hand.
Gas chambers, puppy mills, shootings, starvation, abuse, you get the horrid picture:(

I try to focus on all great things we do, the fabulous dedicated rescue people I know and network with, the wonderful program we have started and continue to grow with the
Anti Cruelty Society in Chicago, and over the past year, have qualified for other programs with Humane Societies elsewhere, that have successful spay and neuter programs. 
Not to mention all the great private adoptions we do and the dogs that go to the pure bred rescues we network with!! 

Bernie has been trying to get enough money to build a shelter for years now.  I have cried more tears over stories of horrible, unthinkable abuse to many of the animals she has rescued.  So now I"m begging... if you haven't taken a minute to donate even the minimum of $10. to help her, PLEASE do it now while she actually has a chance of winning this badge competition for more money!  What a thrill it would be to watch this shelter be built knowing we all had a part!

OK, I'm off my soapbox and heading to the shower for the day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Place to Bark

As you can see to the right, I have a badge for donations for Bernie Berlin's animal rescue efforts.  Please go read about the latest fund raising efforts to help Bernie help all of these darling animals that she pours her life into each day.  She is a true hero and helps save hundreds of furry lives each year.  Please, please go read the details on her blog and I hope you'll find it in your heart to donate something to help!


I know many of you have been wondering how I've been doing after the death of my fur baby last week.  Well, I'd like to say it's getting easier but it's not.  The sadness kicks me in the gut and leaves me breathless many times a day.  Right now, it feels that I'll never get over losing her.  I miss her more than I can ever even explain to anyone.  I'm very tired of crying and I rarely get depressed but this has really ripped my heart out.  On top of this, the day after Minya died, both of my boys got the flu.  My husband had it and then the boys got it.  The cough has hung on like something with a vice grip.  They have missed their first week back to school.  They have been to the Dr. more than once and their lungs are clear, so that's good news.  Their coughs are really from a lot of mucus and throat irritation so we are trying to dry them up. (I know that sounds gross!) They are much better today.  In the meantime, I'm ready to commit myself to a mental hospital!  Let me explain....
I am an introvert.  I NEED time by myself to think and process life.  My kids have been out of school now for 3-1/2 weeks with the first 2-1/2 being before the holidays, which is craziness in and of itself.  Now, with them being sick, there is no option for finding a babysitter to get out!  On top of that, there's no uninterrupted time to create.  This is also a GREAT need for me.  I feel like I'm being starved.  If only I could lose a few pounds this way!  LOL!  Then, Minya' s death sent me in a downward spiral of grief.  I truly have had no alone time to really process anything.  I walk around in a zombie-like state in my pajamas crying when I wake up, crying while I wash dishes, crying while I fold laundry, crying while I make breakfast, crying myself to sleep, etc... all while playing referee to two boys tattle-telling, fighting, goofing off and being really loud... if and when they aren't coughing their heads off.  My husband is finally feeling somewhat better and has been able to crawl out of the hole the past couple of day.  I thought of having him watch the boys so I could go out but what I really want is to be home and everyone else go out... but can't do that with sick kids.  UGH!  Now don't you just want to come live with me?
Thank God, every day starts new... and right now, I'm living for Monday when I can drop my kids off at school and run for my life.  I really, really need my "normal" back.  I need routine.  I thrive with schedules.  I need to find my center again.  I am dying to get back teaching at Bible Study and regaining my balance.  I need to see beyond my pain.  I need to paint!
Well, since painting takes full focus for me and I haven't been able to do that, I have made a few cards which I have submitted for a new book being published called "1000 Handmade Greeting Cards".  Whether they'll be accepted, I have no clue BUT, this is the first time I've ever submitted anything!  This is a goal I have this year... to get brave and submit.  No one will ever know my work and opportunities will not be coming my way if I don't put myself out there.  So, I sent files of my cards this morning.    Here are the 5 cards I submitted:

Friday, January 4, 2008

House of Mourning

Minya, my sweet girl, oh how I will miss my little shadow.
Aug. 1988-Jan. 4, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A great book

I just have to plug this book I found at Barnes & Noble the other day while out with Sam.  It is a children's book but I love it so much I may have to purchase it for myself.  Here it is


It is the story of Harriet Tubman and is so beautifully written as well as illustrated.  I love how the author wrote the story in two part dialog between Harriet and God.  This book is just moving, plain and simple.  It's incredibly inspiring and I think everyone should read it!  :)

As for other books... the grown up kind, lately I've read these:

The Life of Pi

The Tapestry (really good)

Emancipating Elias (written and recently published by a friend!)

Big Stone Gap... this baby I couldn't even stop reading to put make-up on!  I literally had the book in the bathroom  trying to read and do make-up at the same time.  That could really spell disaster if extreme caution is not taken!  LOL!

We went to Zoolights last night since Sam has wanted to go for a month.  I think we were all a little disappointed and Oh my Gosh, the crowd was unbelievable!  We waited about a half hour just to get inside the zoo!  I'm thinkin' we won't do it again!

I woke in the middle of the night with one of my bad headaches.  I've had very little sleep and now that I have eaten breakfast, it's time for the major headache drugs since the OTC stuff didn't work.  Then, I have to drive Sam out to my mom's for his turn spending the night.  I swear my kids would move in with my mom without looking back.  Anyway, I'll have Max by himself this afternoon so at least there won't be any tattle-telling or fighting going on!