WWII: The High Desert Home Front

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) is a military history buff and yesterday we went to see the exhibit “WWII: The High Desert Home Front” at the High Desert Museum.2017-02-25_12-52-16_242

This is exhibit, with many items donated by Oregon WWII veterans or their families, according the the exhibit’s page, “reveals the wartime activities that took place in the High Desert, including some of the most celebrated and tragic chapters in our country’s history”.

This exhibit honors those who served, those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice”, women workers during WWII, efforts by various ethic groups, the dark times of Japanese internment camps, and the development of and decision to drop the atomic bomb.

I took a zillion photos of this excellent exhibit and I thought I would share some of my favorites. (TTQH was in his element quietly wandering around this exhibit reading and looking at everything in awe and respect).

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The Vehicles

WWII Harley Davidson and Army Jeep

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The Uniforms

Of course being a nurse I had to include the Red Cross Volunteer uniform!

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Women and WWII

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I do not want World War to be a reason but I think more of us need our own “Victory Gardens” growing our own vegetables:

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Contributions by Specific Ethnic Groups

Native American, African American, and Mexican American (keep in mind this was the 1940s a much different America than we are now…)

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Japanese American Internment

A dark time in American history, hopefully we never forget.

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(and finally) The Beginning of the Atomic Age

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Postscript

After viewing the WWII: The High Desert Homefront, we needed something lighter before leaving the museum. So went wandered the rest of the museum and enjoyed some lighter “visual fare”:

Prehistoric Buzz Saw Sharks (Helicoprion)

Hysterical T-Shirt in the Gift Shop 

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A little High Desert humor!

Our Beloved High Desert Raptors

I enjoyed visiting with the museum volunteer holding the raptor in falconry style. We discussed Helen Macdonald’s book – H is for Hawk and the beautiful story of how falconry with a goshawk helps a woman deal with the loss of her beloved father. I listened to the audiobook and I thought it I was listening to beautiful poetry.

Looking through the Raptor exhibit made me think back to a weekend afternoon early last Fall. On a beautiful Central Oregon day with endless blue sky and a few fluffy cloud meandering across the sky, I took a “mini-vacation” in my backyard lying on a lounger and staring meditatively at the sky.

Suddenly my view appeared partially obscured by a large flying reptilian object and I thought for a moment I was in a scene from the movie Jurassic Park. No, it was not a Pterodactyl, it was one of our Central Oregon raptors, flying very low (likely it had spotted something tasty in a backyard…). As I had been intensively and hypnotically staring at the sky the object appeared larger than actual!

The whole moment took my breath away for a second. I guess if you are going to be eaten by a Pterodactyl at least have it happen after a relaxing afternoon…

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Image credit: dinosaurpictures.org


So there were so many more photos but I had to stop somewhere with my photo sharing. Thanks for virtually joining me at the High Desert Museum!

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Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights

Farm Girl Vintage

I recently finished another block from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt. In the post Farm Girl Vintage, Part I I shared the first 8 blocks I made from the book.

Here is the latest block: Canning Season

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You might have to use your imagination but this block is supposed to be 6 jars of canned goods in a farm’s cupboard. Yes, these colorful “Mason jars” of food may look suspicious but the fabric is pretty!

I had fun selecting fabric from my basket of fat quarters and scraps for this block:

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If happen to also have this book and plan to work on the blocks here is a tip: Each block has cutting directions for both a finished 6″ block or a 12″ block. If you are working on the 12″ blocks, like I am, cover up the directions for the 6″ block so your eye does not accidentally cut your fabric to the 6″ block directions (BEEN THERE!)

Recent Audiobooks

In my post Cozy Quilt and Audiobook Delights, I shared that I was listening to the wonderful audiobook Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David. Well I finished that book (I highly recommend it) and now I have moved on to listening to another “self-improvement” genre audiobook – Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan.

Instead of providing and overview of this awesome audiobook, here is a link to brief article on mindful.org by the author that provides many of the key concept in this book:

Joy on Demand The art of discovering the happiness within

Early in the book the author shares a wonderful quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

“If you want to become an agent of change, you have to remember to keep your sense of humor.”

I love this quote!

I am mixing my endless nonfiction audiobook consumption (thank you local library!) with some fiction lately – a couple of mystery/suspense novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Postscript

How about a photo of an adorable senior dog to close our this post?

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I was visiting a friend who was babysitting a tiny 13 year old “Pom-Chi” (pomeranain and chihuahua). He was so tiny but he did not know it. He was trying to be alpha to a large golden retriever and very large golden doodle!

He was totally a miniature with a big attitude!

Cozy Quilt and Audiobook Delights

Cozy Quilt Completion

Terry the Quilting Husband got his cozy flannel quilt back from the long-arm quilter and finally we have put the denim binding on (I say “we” because Terry sewed the binding strips together but I sewed them down on the quilt as he hates that part!) and completed the quilt.

Here is Terry under the quilt (he does not like his photo posted, and no, he is not in a witness protection program):

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Somewhere under this cozy flannel quilt is a male quilter…

A close up of the denim binding (Terry’s idea) and the pieced :

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Pieced flannel back and binding

Here is the chair with the quilt “sans Terry”. This chair is actually my favorite chair for reading in front of the window, but Terry has hijacked it and has his quilt and his book (Military History not crafting) in my spot:

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Not sure if there are enough quilts in this corner…

Terry selected the fabric (a fat quarter stack of Woolies flannel), designed the quilt, and pieced the quilt…and assembled the binding then handed it off to his wife to sew onto the quilted quilt!


Non-Stop Self-Help Audiobook Listening

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know of my obsession with self-help audiobooks. I do try and sprinkle a little fiction into my book consumption whether it be a Neil Gaiman audiobook or my recent read (via a hardback book!) of Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train (which I really liked, it was a page turner, but the main character did irritate me…).

Recently from my local library, I have listened to three “self-help” genre audiobooks back to back:

  • Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
  • Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David

I am still reading/listening to Emotional Agility and it might end up being one of my most favorite “self-improvement”/”self-help” audiobooks of all time. It is narrated by the author who has a lovely South African accent (early in the book she shared some of the horrors witnessed growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid and how they influenced her; she now lives in the US).

I greatly enjoyed The Subtle Art… and it was not about being indifferent or becoming a sociopath – it was about embracing your life struggles and viewing your struggles from a different perspective. The book also focused on deciding what is important to you in life, based on your values, and focusing your energies there instead of getting lost in the meaningless details in life.

I gave up halfway through the book Present Over Perfect as I found the narrator and the book sort of tedious and repetitious; however the author did make some good points and perhaps I would have enjoyed it better as a print book.

Here are some quotes from each of the books that I found inspirational:

Present Over Perfect (Shauna Niequist)

“What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”

“How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”

“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it. In my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing, I said no, without intending to, to rest, to peace, to groundedness, to listening, to deep and slow connection, built over years instead of moments.”

The Subtle Art… (Mark Manson)

“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change. We have evolved to always live with a certain degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity, because it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.”

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”

“We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause. People, high on a sense of false superiority, fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it.”

Emotional Agility (Susan David)

“People frequently die in fires or crash landings because they try to escape through the same door they used when they entered.”

“Your Values will bring you freedom from Social Comparisons.”

“Bottling and brooding are short-term emotional aspirin we reach for, yet these habits don’t deal with what’s causing our distress.”

There is a great transcription of an interview with Susan David by the University of Pennsylvania’s The Wharton School’s website: How Achieving Emotional Agility Can Help You — at Work and in Life.

This quote by Susan David from the interview sums up the theme of this wonderful book:

“(Emotional Agility is) the ability to be able to be with your thoughts, your emotions and your stories. We all have thousands of these every day in a way that enables us not to be derailed by them, but rather brings us intentionally and with purpose towards what we value in our live.”

I keep thinking I will eventually tire of or just get completely sick of “self-help” books but then I stumble across a couple of gems like The Subtle Art… and Emotional Agility!


Postscript

I backup my photos on Google Photos and occasionally it will automatically add a special effect to one of my photos that I can choose to save or discard (not affecting the original photo). Here are two photos that were first featured on the 01/15/17 post Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees that Google added special effects.

I wanted to share these photos as they look really cool (well at least to me):

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Creative Inspiration: Winter Trees

A bit of time has passed since I continued my ongoing series on sources of Creative Inspiration.

I cannot promise I am going to create an art quilt based on every inspiration I have shared in the Creative Inspiration series of posts, but I use this series of posts as an online catalogue/resource for future art quilt ideas!

In January 2016, I posted about the beauty of Winter Trees. If you peek at this post, from nearly a year ago, you will see bare trees against a blue sky. January 2017 looks much different – the trees are bare of leaves, but they are filled with snow!

Here are a couple of photos from my daily walks (recently I upgraded from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 7 so my photo quality has improved…at least in my mind):

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A snapped a couple photos of birds in the snowy Winter Trees:

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If any of my photos inspire you to create please feel free to use them!

It has been a beautiful Winter Wonderland in Central Oregon, even if I refer to it as “Snowmageddon”. I do have proof we have had serious snow – the Bend Bulletin recently published this story: “Central Oregon sees historic snow depths”. (See I am not being a drama queen over this snow, ha!)

Postscript

Follow up to my recent post Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) – I have made 192 half square triangles and in the near future I will have a “What’s on the Design Wall” post with my progress!

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Today I finished two books – an audiobook (Scrappy Little Nobody) and a paper novel (Girl on the Train).

Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody was delightful! It is narrated by the author and filled with charming and very funny stories from her days as a child actor, awkward adolescent, and struggling young adult. The end of her book contains a hysterically funny “Book Club Discussion Questions” written by the author and making fun of herself as a celebrity who writes a memoir.

Scrappy Little Nobody ranged from PG to an occasional PG-13 rating in my opinion. It was quite different than Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo which was R to NC-17 rated (but absolutely hysterically funny).

Just to give you a sense of the difference, Amy Schumer opens her book with a graphic letter of apology to her “lady parts”. Anna Kendrick on the other hand kept acknowledging that her mother would be reading her book so she had to leave some stuff out of her book…

I realized I have now listened to many memoirs by current pop culture female celebrities. Here is my ranking of these books:

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anne Kendrick
  2. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer (Amy Schumer’s book was the funniest – like stop my walk to bend over laughing funny – but Anne Kendrick was more endearing)
  3. Bossypants – Tina Fey
  4. Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman – Lindy West
  5. You’ll Grow Out of It – Jesse Klein (this would have had a higher ranking if not for the unnecessary Triple XXX chapter that took oversharing to a whole new level)

Am I rambling? There was something else I was going to add to the Postscript section but it left my mind. (Hope I have not been “oversharing”…)

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At least we have blue skies…


If you would like to see what Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer thinks of all the Central Oregon snow, check out her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

Diving into a quilt (and other stuff)

It is time to get back to some quilt making, since allegedly I am a quilter, and this a blog about a Quilter’s Life (which would imply there would eventually be some quilt-making involved).

I tried to start the quilt (Tango Stripe) I mentioned in the post Quilt Seating! but as I mentioned in the post Not working on what I’m supposed to be working on, I abandoned it for knitting a hat.

Never started…

However sitting around reading and browsing books from my latest library stack (see post The Library Stack) and being the ADHD creative person I am, I found a quilt pattern in the book Perfect Quilts for Precut Fabrics by That Patchwork Place, that I had to make IMMEDIATELY!

It is a fairly simple “half square triangles” (HSTs) quilt pattern called “Happy Ending”, designed by Lesley Chaisson. I have a couple bolts of Peppered Cotton (shot cottons) in various colors and a crazy amount of Moda charm packs. I thought this pattern and quilt would be the perfect marriage between a deep blue (ink) Peppered Cotton and a couple Moda Basic Grey line charm packs. You need like 7 yards of the solid so this is a great way to use up a bolt that I have too much of (originally I was selling it on my tierneycreates Etsy shop).

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I have completed most of the cutting and Terry the Quilting Husband has drawn the diagonal lines on the back of the printed charm squares for us to make the HSTs. So the next step is to actually sit in front of my sewing machine and sew! (so that’s how quilts are made…)

And what about the hat I was working on? It is done and I wore it for the first time yesterday on a dog walk in the land of “Snowmageddon” (it is still snowing and snowing and snowing in Central Oregon).

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(And yes I did wear the hat around the house for 1/2 hour with the double pointed needles on top mentioned in my prior post – I get so excited when a hat is nearly done – I get a “knitting high”)

I am tempted to start another hat but first I better actually finish a quilt top…


Postscript

So what else have I been doing during “Snowmageddon” – reading and cooking.

I am reading Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and I am completely sucked into the convoluted tale. I even stayed up too late one night reading. It is one of those books where I think the actual paper book is better than the audiobook. I gave up on the audiobook earlier this year and I am so glad I gave it another try in paper.

I am also listening to an audiobook when I walk the dogs in Snowmageddon – Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. The book is delightful and narrated by the author. I did not know she was a child actor and I am enjoying her stories from her childhood and the less than glamorous world of childhood acting. She is a great narrator and I feel like she is talking to me telling me her story.

As far as cooking, I have been persuing Pinterest for soup recipes and found a delicious vegetable soup recipe on the Cooking Classy blog – Vegetable Soup. It says it serves 7 but I think they left the “0” off after the “7”. It made SO MUCH SOUP.

I froze several large bags of soup and I have a couple containers in the fridge for lunch this week (and next week, and the next week..)

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Finally, let me leave you with this image that a friend shared. I do not know the original source, so unfortunately I have no credit for the photo/meme. It does capture how we are feeling right now in Central Oregon with the nonstop snow:

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Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer now has her own blog schnauzersnips.wordpress.com.

You can sign up to follow her blog at schnauzersnips.wordpress.com/blog/

And the winner is…

As promised, today I will reveal my decision on which of three new business card finalists I was considering; and asked for your votes on in the post New Business Card Options (please vote for your favorite).


The Options

To recap, there were the three options:

Option #1

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Option #2

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Option #3

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The Poll Results

Here are the results from the poll:

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As you can see above, with 16 votes of the 28 total votes, Option #1 was the winner of the poll.


The Decision

Option #1 won the poll, but alas, it was not the winner of my heart. As much as I loved the graphics on card #1 it kept feeling like that business card for a tailor or seamstress.

I so appreciated all the comments and votes, but I really connected with several comments in regards to Option #3 and decided to go with the vertical business card.

I am only ordering the smallest order (100 cards) as I love the idea from several comments to eventually go with a business card that features my art.

2017 I am going to focus on creating more of my textile art so I have a large selection of works to choose from someday – ha!


Postscript

I am currently listening to the audiobook Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (2006).

Although some of the material seems dated (the book was published in 2006), I am really enjoying the audiobook. A lot of it reminds me of the audiobook, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) that I discussed in several posts, most recently in the 7/22/2016 post A “Gritty Bad#ss”?

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The book focuses on a discussion of the “Fixed Mindset” vs. the “Growth Mindset”.

I am about a 1/3rd way through listening to the audiobook and I came across a great quote by the author on how some people need to feel praised, “worshipped”, and admired by others:

If you feel a need to be surrounded by worshippers, go to church. – Carol S. Dweck

I must admit at times in my life I sought praise from others, a lot. I cannot change how I behaved in the past but it is giving me a lot to think about for the future!


Feature photo credit: dchappel, free images.com

Thursday Crafting, Thrifting and Laughing

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips, for her later musings.


A Day of Fun!

I took yesterday (Thursday) off from work as I wanted to attend a class that our SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group was having at a local gallery that started at 2:30 pm (I normally work until 4:30 pm or later at my healthcare industry pay-the-bills-job).

I have a couple of friends who are retired or self-employed and have a lot more freedom in their day, so I invited them to meet me for lunch and then wander around downtown Bend, Oregon until our class at 2:30 pm.

So began my lovely Thursday of crafting, thrifting and laughing.


Crafting

Our art quilting group, met up at A6 Studio & Gallery in Bend. The A6 Studio & Gallery hosted a private Bookmaking Class and Tour in honor of their OPENING JAPAN: THREE CENTURIES OF JAPANESE PRINTS exhibit.

The class, held in the back of the studio/gallery, was taught by a professional bookmaking artist. We made an origami folded little booklet called the “Blizzard Book”. A renown origami artist had created the book and the pattern during a blizzard when she needed a paper folding project to distract her from the weather outside.

Here are photos from my first origami mini book making experience:

During the class I learned the importance of the “bone folder” tool to get crisp folds and markings during origami paper folding.


Thrifting

After the class, before heading home, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at a couple local thrift stores near the gallery. As discussed in previous posts, I’ve found some wonderful fabric treasures at my local thrift stores. (My all time greatest find was a couple of years ago at the Brightside Animal Shelter Thrift Store. I found several yards of brand new Maywood Woolies Flannel, in brown check, for $1. Yes one dollar for like $30 + in new flannel. I ended up giving an extra donation to the animal shelter as it felt like pure stealing to only pay $1, so I paid $5!).

So here was my treasure I found on this thrifting trip – nearly a yard and a half of Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric – for $1.50!


Laughing

The day filled with laughter began around 11:30 am when I met my friends for lunch, walked around downtown Bend and through the origami bookmaking class. We have a fun SAQA group of extremely talented art quilters (some of them super famous…but I finally learned to stop being intimidated) who were completely new to origami and were very able to laugh at themselves as they completely bungled paper folding.

When I returned home, the laughter continued, as I took the dogs on a walk and I continued to listen my my latest audiobook from the library: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Now this book is not for everyone. It is very irreverent and it is filled with profanity and some graphic stories from her love life. But, Amy is brilliant in it.

She narrates her own audiobook and her comic delivery is flawless. She shares (and maybe overshares) her vulnerabilities, mistakes and accomplishments in life is a warm-hearted, extremely humorous manner.

I love the relationship has with her younger sister; and I love the sections where she shares excerpts from her teenage journals with footnotes/comments from her current views on life.

In this book, Amy shares her flaws and her genuine desire that young women learn from some of the errors in judgement she has made related to relationships.

She also has a brutally honest story about her scary experience with domestic violence.

After listening to Tina Fey’s wonderful audiobook Bossypants and Jesse Klein’s nearly brilliant audiobook, You’ll Grow Out of It, I thought I was done with female comic’s memoirs.

I am so glad I borrowed this one from the library – numerous times on walks I stopped for a moment because I was laughing so hard. I was also glad my bladder was empty before listening!


Well the weekend is upon us. I hope you have some crafting (if you are a crafter), perhaps a little thrifting, and of course bountiful laughter!

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Gratuitous photo of beautiful Central Oregon, from one of my walks

Creative Inspiration: Fall Foliage

Continuing my ongoing series on sources of creative inspiration, I want to share my love for the colors of Fall and the beautiful fall foliage of Central Oregon.

In January 2016, I posted about the austere beauty of Winter Trees –  Well, before they become “Winter Trees” first, they are beautiful “Fall Trees“!

I love the deep oranges, reds, yellow and browns of the turning leaves. I took a series of photos over the past couple weeks for future quilt palette inspiration:img_5335img_5345img_5342img_2740img_5346img_5399img_5397img_5339

And speaking of creative inspiration – I came across an interesting quote in the book Inspired: how creative people think work and find inspiration by Dorte Nielsen and Kiki Hartman:

When creativity kicks in, a large amount of resistance inevitably also comes with it.

– Carouschka Streijffert

Inspire is one of the books from my The Library (Mega) Stack that I shared in an October 2016 post. I am about halfway through that stack of library books!

That is an interesting quote to mull over, eh? I would love to hear what you think that quote means in the Comments section.


Postscript

A couple of random follow up items…

  • In my post Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! I shared how I took down from the wall and donated a framed poster about Solitude, as I was ready to move on. Well, I did not share what I put up in its place. He Dresses Up, He Dresses Down (designed and pieced by me, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe) is now hanging in my entryway. It is a recycled fabric art quilt made from old denim jeans, wool scraps (Pendleton® Wool clothing and blankets) and scraps from mens suiting manufacturing.

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  • In several recent posts, I shared that I listened to the audiobook, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The first time I listened to this audiobook it was an emotional experience as there were a lot of truths I was hearing and trying to absorb. I listened with tears running down my cheeks for several sections of this audiobook. Well I decided to listen to it again (it is only a couple hours long) and this time there were no tears, there was only a great sense of peace and deeper understanding of The Four Agreements. On my second listen, I discovered that I had not fully grasped the First Agreement: “Be Impeccable with Your Word”. I thought this agreement was focused on keeping your word, being true to your word. It is actually focused on being careful with the words that come out of your mouth and the power of words – to hurt and to heal.

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  • In the post When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps I shared an interesting except from the audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by  Bill Burnett and Dave Evans on “Gravity Problems”. Later in the audiobook, the authors discuss another type of problem that gets you in the way of moving forward – “Anchor Problems“. As the authors describe – “Anchor Problems are like a physical anchor, they hold us in one place and prevent motion…” I am really enjoying this book and nearly at the end of this inspiring listen! Here is another gem (quote) from this book:

Anchor problems keep us stuck because we can only see one solution – the one we already have that doesn’t work. Anchor problems…are really about the fear that, no matter what else we try, that won’t work either…

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Anchor Photo credit – Nicholas Sales, free images.com

When all else fails, reorganize your fabric scraps

As I shared in previous posts, a month or so ago I was in the midst of a creative block. I first picked up English Paper Piecing and then revisited traditional quilt piecing to get myself creating again.

Before I got to this point however, I was trying to figure out a way, short of forcing myself to sew something, that I could “get my creative energies flowing”. On a whim I decided to reorganize my fabric scraps.

I first shared my fabric scrap organization in the 01/01/2016 post Inside the StudioMy fabric scraps were organized by individual color – Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Cream, Black/Gray/Black & White, Brown, and Yellow. Each color had its own bucket.

Reorganizing my fabric scraps I decided to group colors together that sometimes I have trouble telling apart and to make it easier to work with by having less individual buckets.

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As you can see by the photo above, the new groupings are:

  • Orange & Brown
  • Black, Gray, and Black & White
  • Red & Purple
  • Blue & Green (interestingly this was my largest group of scraps)
  • White, Cream and Yellow

While I was regrouping the scraps, I got to revisit my fabric scraps and I could feel creative energies start to percolate!

Interestingly, one of the books from my latest library stack (The Library (Mega) Stack) – Living the Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachary – addresses creative block. The author interviewed a group of artists for this book and their wisdom and experiences are peppered throughout this inspiring read.

One of the artists  the author interviewed, Bean Gilsdorf, an art quilter out of Portland, Oregon (www.beangildorf.com), shares the following tip for dealing with creative block:

When it starts to stress me out that I’m not doing anything in my studio, I try to make myself do something to get my hands busy again. The ideas will come back eventually…Clean out your files, rearrange your paints,  or clean everything so that when you’re ready, everything is in order. – Bean Gilsdorf

I read this book after I reorganized my scraps, but this book reinforced that I was headed in the right direction!


Postscript

I am currently listening to a wonderful nonfiction audiobook – Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. In this book the authors discuss “Gravity Problems” and how we get mired in “Gravity Problems”.

What are “gravity problems”? They are problems that are not actionable to resolve.

The authors share a great example (paraphrased):

A friend asks you what is wrong. You reply “I am having a hard time in life, I just cannot make it up hills as easily as I want to due to this thing called gravity. If I just did not have gravity in my life pulling me down, I would be fine and I could run up any hill I want”.

The authors humorously share that unless you are able to change how the earth spins on its axis and its rotation around the sun, you are not going to be able to resolve your “gravity problem”.

Now perhaps the real problem is you are not at your ideal fitness level and/or you need to improve your cardiovascular health, so you can more easily climb up a hill. That is an actionable problem.

Here is a wonderful quote from the book that I will leave you to ponder:

If it’s not actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s a situation, a circumstance, a fact of life. It may be a drag (so to speak), but, like gravity, it’s not a problem that can be solved. – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

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That pesky thing called gravity…


Photo credit – Michael Lorenzo, free images.com

Buttons

I just wanted to randomly post about one of my guilty pleasures in life – buttons!

I did not to intend to collect buttons, my button collection just sort of crept up on me…

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Trying to be organized with my button collection

I am not sure how it began but I remember as a little girl playing with my grandmother’s button jar and being fascinated.

Then, many years later, my love of buttons was rekindled when I started making miniature kimono wallhangings and wanted to embellish them with interesting buttons.

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Miniature Kimono with an antique button

I began picking up interesting buttons here and there – from craft shows, from shift shops, antique shops, and from a bookstore.

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Card of antique buttons picked up at a used bookstore

I was even lucky enough to have a friend who let me raid her old button collection in search of cool buttons for miniature kimonos.

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A couple of these buttons were raided from my friend’s antique button collection

This past May, my friend Dana, who was my “secret quilt sister” at our annual quilting retreat, surprised me with an “Vintage Button Jar” as part of my gift.

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The jar contained lots of fun buttons such as the ones below:

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Some cool large buttons courtesy of my friend Dana

Upon returning home from the retreat I attempted to cram my entire button collection into my new “Vintage Button Jar” but my collection was overflowing from the jar.

So now I keep the jar in my sewing studio to hold small packages and cards of special buttons.

img_2975Anyone else have an issue with buttons? Any secret (or not so secret) collectors?


Postscript

In an earlier post this week, Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I shared I recently listened to The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Well I am working on incorporating first of the four agreements into my life:

  1. Be impeccable with your word

I am not challenged in general of keeping my word to other and keeping my commitments to other people; but I do struggle with being on time to appointments with other people. So in essence I am not being impeccable with my word (that I will arrive at a specific time).

I am easily distracted and I struggle with getting out of the house and to appointments on time. I was very pleased with myself when on Monday I was early to meeting my friend at the coffee shop. I am tired an embarrassed that I appear to be “chronically late”.

Another area I struggle in regards to being impeccable with my word is is in keeping my word to myself! Keep my “self” commitments.

So  I am starting small (like going to bed on time, being sure to get out each day and go on a walk, making healthy food choices) to work on becoming impeccable with my word to myself. I plan to build up to the bigger commitments to myself which I hope include to do some sewing each day!

Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I

This is a continuation to yesterday’s post – Revisiting Traditional Piecing.

In my previous post I mentioned the first set of blocks I made with the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (while participating in a Block-a-Month Quilt Club) were turned into a sampler quilt, Block Filmstrip, around 2008.

What I forgot to mention was that details of four (4) of the blocks in this quilt ended up in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations by Sandra  Sider, Quarry Books (2015). It is funny that a a sampler quilt that I was not sure if I even wanted to finish around 2008 ended up as the opening series of “Quilting Inspiration” images in the book – images #0001 – 0004 of the 1000 inspirations!

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Filmstrip quilt – four images 0001-0004 are featured in the book 1000 Quilt Inspirations

1000 Quilt Inspirations

Photo Credit: Quarry Books

In addition to four (4) images from Block Filmstrip, the book also contains images from four (4) of my recycled silk art quilts that were quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe and are part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.


Making Blocks

Using the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by (2007), I have made eight (8) 12 inch blocks (finished size) using a fat quarter packet, scraps and yardage of Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line, so far as I created a queen-sized sampler quilt to be given as a wedding gift to a young couple.

I made two (2) of four (4) different blocks from the Block Tool:

AIR CASTLE

AUNT ELIZA’S STAR

BIG DIPPER (I made 2 of the same color way)

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CHURN DASH

 


Thinking About Settings and Borders

In case you have not figure this out yet, I plan to set the blocks “on point” that is why they are all turned on point. I originally meant to photograph them in their traditional square orientation instead of this “diamond” orientation. Also I took the photos on the design wall in the hallway where the light is not the best. Life has been busy and I figure if I took time re-doing the photos then I will never get this post up, ha!

Next set of blocks, I will take better photos (smile).

In addition to wanting to set the blocks “on point” I have already started looking at different options for settings. I am currently looking through a book I recently borrowed from the library – The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson (2016). There is a wonderful block setting option in this book called “Point Taken”. I am leaning towards that setting.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I am also thinking about what type of border I want and I have decided to make a pieced border. I want the quilt to be special and I think a pieced border will add a nice touch.

Looking through my collection of quilt books I came across an old book in my craft book library called The Border Workbook by Janet Kime (2006). This book has great ideas for creating lovely pieced borders.

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Photo credit:Amazon.com

More blocks to come (and better photos next time)!


Postscript

Traditional piecing seems to be what I need right now. My mind feels overloaded from my non-crafting life, especially related to my job in the healthcare industry. At the end of the workday and the end of the workweek I am feeling “all thought out” and was not inspired to create any art quilts.

Creating these blocks from patterns feels mediative, centering and peaceful. All I have to do is follow the instructions, cutting the fabric to the dimensions indicated and sew the pieces together.

I am also enjoying carefully pressing the different components of each block as I assemble them and trying to ensure the back of the block is nearly as neatly pressed as the front.

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The back of a carefully pieced block

While piecing the first couple of blocks I listened to a wonderful and engaging audiobook read by the actor Peter Coyote – The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The Four Agreements are as follows:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

These seem logical and on the surface very simple. What makes the audiobook so engaging is the author’s discussion and exploration of each of The Four Agreements. Powerful and centering stuff to listen to and ponder while peacefully piecing my blocks!

Friday at the “Butte” in B&W

I have created a new Category – “Pilot Butte Adventures” if you would like to read about my other Pilot Butte walks or learn more about Pilot Butte.

Friday, Sept 2 I took the day off from work before the Labor Day weekend. It was a glorious 66 degree day, slightly overcast but with complex swirly clouds interspersed between swaths of impossibly blue sky (it is the only way I can describe the sky in Central Oregon – impossibly blue). I decided it was a perfect day for a Pilot Butte hike.

Playing with my smartphone camera, this time I took photos in B&W during my hike up and down the Butte:

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There is something mystical about this image

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The flag blowing in the wind at the base of Pilot Butte

It’s amazing how striking images are when you take away the color. The contrast between objects in a photo is so significant in black & white. I use the B&W (mono or tonal) on my smartphone when I am trying to determine if I have too many mediums in a quilt I am designing. Taking away the color shows the value (light, medium, dark) of a fabric more clearly. Next Pilot Butte hike I plan to play more with B&W photography.

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photo credit: Amazon.com

Besides taking photos during Friday’s hike, I listened an awesome audiobook, Spin (2010) by Robert Charles Winston. I am taking a break from nonfiction audiobooks and enjoying a Science Fiction audiobook!

This book is actually a “re-listen” as I first listened to it 5-6 years ago. It is an incredible tale of childhood friendship, longing and loyalty woven into an engaging and spectacular and unique apocalyptic tale. I forgot how much I enjoy being immersed in a well written fictional story!

Although this is a fictional tale, it does touch upon what I perceive as many truths about human nature and the different ways people would react to an end-of-the-world scenario.

The hypothetical science is fascinating and very accessible. I am glad I forgot how its ends and it is fun to rediscover this gem!


POSTSCRIPT

I am getting too influenced my reading all the wonderful blogs I follow. I find myself interested in English Paper Piecing (future post about that and yes I bought a book and a hole punch to make hexagons!) as well as working on a Sampler Quilt (yes a future post about that) and making a Delectable Mountain quilt. I am also tempted to start painting someday and pick up drawing again (which I have not seriously done since I was in Junior High School).

Hmm…following a bunch of blogs by creative individuals is just as bad (or good) as Pinterest binging! It must be the “Crafter ADHD” in me – I see it and I want to do it too!

Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Becoming Wise

On my walk this morning, I plucked a ripe peach from the neighborhood tree (to snack on during my stroll) and listened to the following passage from the audiobook Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippet:

There is a reason why, when my son, who is 6 and is crying…needs a hug: It’s not just that he needs my love, he needs boundary around his experience. He needs to know that the pain is contained and can be housed, and won’t be limiting his whole being…that he can get a hug – and he drops (back) into his body…

This passage is from an interview with Matthew Sanford, a renown yoga teacher and inspirational speaker (who is paralyzed from the chest down), discussing the mind-body connection.

I had to pause for a moment during during my walk (and wipe the peach juice from my mouth) and reflect on the true purpose of a comforting hug. This audiobook is filled with opportunities for deep reflection.

At times a little esoteric but always profound, Krista Tippet in this audiobook, interviews over 40 great thinkers of our time on what it means to be human and the “human experience”. You can find a wonderful synopsis of this book on audible.com: Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living

I cannot promise that I will be wiser after listening to this audiobook but I appreciate the opportunity to listen to so many wonderful perspective and to ponder many aspects of the human experience.


POSTSCRIPT

Reviews

I finished another wonderful audiobook, mentioned in an earlier post – Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland by Ken Ilgunas. I posted my review of the book on amazon.com and on Goodreads.

Most of the books I read and audiobooks I listen to come from the public library and so they are for free. My way of thanking the author for the opportunity to read of listen to  their book, since I did not purchase the book, is to write a review.

If I did not like the book, and I got it from the library, I do not write a review. I consider my good review a “thank you gift” to the author that hopefully will help gain them new readers (and perhaps lead to an actual book purchase).

I am slowly getting the book reviews I have posted on my blog over the past 3 years on to Goodreads, so they can be in one place. Some of the books already have a review posted to amazon.com.

More Fruit!

I took a different turn on my walk this morning and discovered yet another neglected fruit tree – this time another green apple tree. I am starting to get overwhelmed with fruit!

I am also keep an eye on this tree, wondering what the fruit will taste like when it ripens (and wondering if it is plum or something else..):

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Still Waiting…

Oh (the sound of a random thought popping into my head) – if you remember my 07/21/16 post  Waiting for the Sunflowers – well I am still waiting for the sunflowers! At least the huge sunflowers in my backyard.

In the post I shared a photo of the hopefully-soon-to-be large sunflower plants coming up in my backyard, just outside of my sunroom window. Here is an updated photo – still no blooms, just growing stalks! All the other sunflowers around the neighborhood have bloomed except mine…I am still waiting…

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(Featured Image photo credit – “Owl Eyes” by Danny de Bruyne, free images.com)

Back to the Butte

Central Oregon is a geological wonderland and one of its marvels is Pilot Butte. It is like having a “mini mountain” to hike in the middle of Bend, Oregon. At its summit is a splendid 360-degree view of nearly the entire Central Oregon region.

I have a series of posts on my Pilot Butte adventures:

Monday on the “Butte”

The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching”

Monday, Again

You Got to Start Somewhere

Monday 8/15/16, I returned to my Monday hikes on Pilot Butte. I took a hiatus and started going on long bike rides instead as my knees were growing unhappy with the steep vertical ascent and decent on Pilot Butte. I missed Pilot Butte terribly and finally returned.

My current audiobook inspired to return to hiking Pilot Butte – Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland (2016) by Ken Ilgunas. Please see the Postscript section of this post for more on this book.

It was not my best hike up the Butte as I needed to take a break during the climb. Luckily Pilot Butte has awesome benches with breathtaking views along the path.

Here is today’s hike in photos:

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I am back!

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Two options: the paved road up or the dirt/nature trail

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I chose the “Nature Trail” which was quite dusty with the hot dry weather

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As you make your ascent you enjoy sweeping views of the region

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And views of Cascade Mountain peaks

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My first bench rest area

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I skipped this bench near the summit, I had my momentum going

At the summit, I discovered these new educational/informational panels:IMG_4463

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I took the road down

My knees are a tiny bit sore, but I am feeling quite pleased that I was able to return to hiking Pilot Butte!


POSTSCRIPT

My current read/listen

I had committed to trying to read/listen to some fiction. I borrowed a “beach read” from the library. That was not a good idea – I became very impatient with the predictable storyline. I gave up on the book.

While trying to figure out what to listen to/read next the audiobook Trespassing Across America: One Man’s Epic, Never-Done-Before (and Sort of Illegal) Hike Across the Heartland (2016) by Ken Ilgunas, became available.

So far this synopsis on amazon.com summarizes the book well:

Told with sincerity, humor, and wit, Trespassing Across America is both a fascinating account of one man’s remarkable journey along the Keystone XL pipeline and a meditation on climate change, the beauty of the natural world, and the extremes to which we can push ourselves—both physically and mentally.
 

This book seems like to perfect book for a long walk or a hike. I loved listening to his hiking adventures and challenges while climbing and descending Pilot Butte.

The book reminds me of a Bill Bryson novel (A Walk in the Woods, Notes from a Small Island): in that addition to sharing his adventures trekking across the Canadian and US plains, he shares the geologic and cultural issues of the regions he travels through as well as its history.

Goodreads

A couple of years ago my friend Michele introduced me to Goodreads, the social network for avid book readers. At the time I was still “social networking” skittish (it took awhile for friends to convince me to join Facebook) so I signed up but never really did anything with it.

Recently my blogging buddy Laura has gotten me interested in rediscovering Goodreads. My public profile name is tierneycreates on Goodreads and I am going to start posting all the book reviews I have posted in my blog over the past 3+ years onto my Goodreads profile.

So feel free to connect with tierneycreates on Goodreads if you like to see my reviews. I will also post reviews of my favorite fiction books before I started on my non-fiction obsession.

A Few Random Thoughts on Social Networking

Even though I am a blogger, I still have not fully embraced social networking.

I am signed up on Twitter as tierneycreates, but I am not really into tweeting (I have it set up that my tierneycreates blog posts are automatically tweeted onto Twitter in case anyone wants to follow me there).

I am signed up with Instagram but I have yet to figure out its purpose. I do enjoy Pinterest and someday I will put more effort into organizing my Pinterest boards!

I like to connect, but I do not want to be over-connected…

The Empty Drawer (re-post)

I am getting caught up from being out of town and I wanted to share a re-posting of one of my favorite tierneycreates blog posts – The Empty Drawer (09/30/15).  The sweet memory it evokes, makes it one of my favorite posts.

At some point I would like to update with you all where I am on my “minimalism” journey that I have discussed in many older posts including this post. 

For now, here is “re-run” (smile).


Sometimes love is shown in small sweet ways…

This post is an addendum to the post The Space in Which We Live in which I share how Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing inspired me to downsize my unused and unneeded clothes and get rid of our second dresser in the bedroom.

Since I got rid of the dresser I used, I needed somewhere to store my socks and undies. I convinced my husband to give me one drawer of his tightly packed dresser. He groaned a little at first but realized how much space it would free up in the bedroom to only have one dresser. So he reluctantly cleared out a bottom drawer in his dresser for me.

I jokingly said: “Might I have a top drawer?”  A day later I discovered my stuff had been moved to a top drawer, all neatly organized by my husband.

Surprisingly, it did not take me long to get used to living with one drawer.

Then the other day, I got quite a surprise: I was opening my top drawer quickly and not paying attention and accidentally opened the drawer below it.

AND IT WAS EMPTY!

My husband, without saying anything, had somehow cleared a second drawer for me, right below my newly beloved solitary top drawer. I now have TWO DRAWERS!

The Empty Drawer
The Empty Drawer

Recently I have been listening to a wonderful book on CD from the library called The Empowering Women Gift Collection (1997) which is a collection of lectures by the motivational and inspirational speakers Louise Hay, Christiane Northrup, Caroline Myss, and Susan Jeffers. Although this CD is from 1997 most of the inspirational information is still pertinent.

One of the speakers discusses in her lecture that men may show their love differently than women. Basically they might show their love by fixing the faucet for you rather than getting all sweet and mushy, etc.

I definitely consider this unexpected and “unrequested” second EMPTY DRAWER an act of love!

Neil Gaiman

I am in love with the author Neil Gaiman. Unabashedly in love.

My love is not in a crazy obsessed “fan girl” sort of way (I have no plans to stalk him at Science Fiction conventions). My love is more a deep awe and respect for him as a writer and his incredible creative mind.

He is my favorite fantasy/science fiction/horror writer. His work transcends genre and I am not sure where he neatly fits. His writing is like HP Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Adams were locked in a room together until they created something wonderful.

I have read many of his works, some of my favorites being:

  • Trigger Warning (2015) – a collection of his short stories
  • American Gods (2002) 
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)
  • Neverwhere (2009)

I have also read some of the Sandman series of graphic (illustrated) novels.

Most of Gaiman’s novels, I have listened to on audiobook.  I remember several of them (if not all) being narrated by Neil Gaiman himself – my favorite type of audiobook to listen to: where the author reads their own work. Neil Gaiman has a delightful British accent and the timbre of his voice is nearly hypnotic as he shares his tales.

Before I started on a path, a couple years ago, of primarily reading/listening to nonfiction books, I only read or listened to fiction.

My favorite genre of fiction is Science Fiction and I love when it mixes with Fantasy (like a Tolkien or Fairy Tale flavor) or Horror (like an H.P. Lovecraft flavor).

I am currently listening to my first nonfiction book of Neil GaimanThe View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (2016). It is an excellent collection of his essays and speeches and narrated of course by Neil himself.

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photo credit: amazon.com

Neil Gaiman is a kindred spirit of mine related to his love of public libraries and bookstores. He shares in The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (2016), wonderful stories of summers in the library as a child. He also pleads and lobbies for the protection/preservation of public libraries in the UK (where it sounds like they are in danger). He discusses how important libraries are in creating and fostering a literate society; and that reading fiction as children develops their creativity.

I am only 5 essays into the book but I am also enjoying the stories behind the development of some of his greatest works to include American Gods (2002). He also discusses his evolution as a writer and the sources of his inspiration.

Neil Gaiman is a huge fan of Ray Bradbury and in the preface/instruction to his book Trigger Warning (2015) he shares how Ray Bradbury inspires him and how he got to meet his childhood hero. I have read several of Ray Bradbury’s novels (including the mandatory Fahrenheit 451 required in my high school) but now I have a longing to return as an adult and an experienced reader to the science fiction classic and revisit them.

Thinking about taking a break from nonfiction, self-improvement books for a while and lose myself in worlds created by brilliant authors.

So what are YOU reading these days and what authors have you fallen hopeless in love with? 


Feature photo credit: Bob Smith, free images.com

A “Gritty Bad#ss”?

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniatures Schnauzer’s latest musings on her blog page SchnauzerSnips.


Now that I am feeling “Grit”-ty, why not also become a “Bad#ss”?

Last week I finished the awesome audiobook,  discussed in several previous posts: Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016). As mentioned in previous posts, this book has inspired me to become more “gritty”. I want to  have, as Wikipedia discusses “grit”,  a “perseverance of effort” in overcoming of obstacles or challenges that get in my path!

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Here is one of the closing quotes the author shares in her highly inspirational book:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.- Theodore Roosevelt

After finishing this audiobook about “grit” and being “gritty”, I dove right into listening to my next audiobook: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincere (2013). 

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I know I might have said in the past that other audiobooks were my favorite “self-improvement”/”self-help” audiobooks of all time – BUT – this one is it – this IS MY FAVORITE SELF-HELP AUDIOBOOK OF ALL TIME. (At least for now!)

The audiobook is read by the author who delivers her narration in a stand-up comedian style. The book is VERY entertaining.

If you could not tell by the title, yes, she does swear a bit in the book (quite a bit of “f-bombs” are dropped) but she is a definitely “keeping it real”. She shares many truths with her listener and challenges you to see the obvious truths right in front of you that you are avoiding.

She also shares many funny and poignant personal stories about her journey and growth.

I am not sure how to summarize just how awesome this book is; but I am 3/4 of the way through as I have been listening to it non-stop. If you check out the reviews on amazon.com you will see that there are 1299 customer reviews with an average of 4.5 stars!

This book is very empowering and I love how she addresses excuses that we use not to achieve what we want in life. Here are a couple gems from the audiobook:

When you hang out with whiners, pessimists, tweakers, bleakers, freakers-outers and life-is-so-unfairers, it’s an uphill climb to keep yourself in a positive headspace.  Stay away from people with tiny minds and tiny thoughts and start hanging out with people who see limitless possibility as the reality.  Surround yourself with people who act on their big ideas, who take action on making positive change in the world and who see nothing as out of their reach. ~ Jen Sincero

It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow Internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now. ~ Jen Sincero

You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you. ~ Jen Sincero

There are so many wonderful pieces of wisdom in this book, many of which we already know in our hearts but keep hidden from ourselves.

I am starting to feel like I am on my way to becoming a “Gritty Bad#ss”!


Postscript

This is a follow up to my previous post Waiting for the Sunflowers – one of my readers asked me to share a couple additional photos of the two sunflower related quilts I had on the post.

Here is a better lit photo (taken outside) and a detail of the painted sunflower wallhanging I quilted (but I did not paint – it was a pre-painted panel):

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And here is a photo of the entire “Ugly Sunflower Fabric Challenge” quilt, which I renamed “Cozy Sunflower Quilt” as it has a nice snuggly flannel backing to it (not very handy right now in the warm Summer but come Fall…)

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2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part III

Continuing my series of blog posts of photos and experiences from attending the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on Saturday July 9, 2016.


Tierney’s SOQS Quilts

Part of the fun (or challenge) of putting quilts in the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) is finding where they are hung in the show.

In addition to the quilt, Recycled Doors, I had in the Central Oregon SAQA Doors Exhibit (see post 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Part II) I had 5 other quilts. I was only able to locate 2 of the 5 other quilts at the show.

Terry the Quilting Husband and I stumbled upon one of my quilts in an awesome location – in front of The Nest Design Studio. The aesthetic of my quilt hung outside a home design studio was exquisite. I am honored that the SOQS staff selected that location to hang my quilt.

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Modern Bedtime – designed and pieced by Tierney Davis Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

I discovered a crowd of people looking at the quilt and I could not resist: I introduced myself as as “the artist”, answered questions and posed for photos with the quilt.

I also loitered around the quilt for about 5 minutes to introduce myself again to the next group of people admiring the quilt. I got to chat with several lovely individuals, posed for a couple more photos with the quilt, and got some new tierneycreates blog readers!

Alas, the quilt did not sell. I might have priced it too high and it was not bed size as I had originally intended (for that story, please see the 5/1/16 post The Downsized Quilt).  However, I am happy to have it back at home.  It now rests on the back of the chair in my cozy reading nook.


Terry the Quilting Husband’s SOQS Quilts

The 2016 SOQS was Terry’s first time showing his quilts. He was part of the Special Exhibit: Made by Men. Here is a link to the Bend Bulletin article on the Made by Men Exhibit, which featured 27 quilts made by male quilters from 4 different states:

Sisters quilt show highlights men’s quilts

Terry tried to play it off but I could tell he was pretty proud having his five (5) quilts hanging in the special exhibit.

I dragged him over to several groups of people who were admiring his quilts and introduced him as “the quilter”. It was very endearing to listen to him answer questions on how a quilt was made and his design process!

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Colorful Modern Squares – designed & pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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Charming You – pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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Cozy Flannel Shirts – designed and pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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Squares Gone Wild – designed and pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

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Cozy Flannel Snuggle – designed and pieced by Terry Hogan, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe

Two (2) of his quilts sold – Cozy Flannel Shirts and Charming You. He already has two quilts in queue for the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!


POSTSCRIPT

51hagjiRNML._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_I continue to listen to and enjoy the excellent audiobook – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016), read by the author, first mentioned in my 07/02/16 post Grit

The author discusses the famous “Bricklayer Parable” in regards to “job” vs. “career” vs. “calling“. Here is a paraphrasing of that parable:

A man comes upon three men laying bricks for a church being built.

He asks the first man: ‘What are you doing?’ The first man replies: ‘I am taking bricks and piling them one on top of the other and putting cement in between them.’

He asks the second man: ‘What are you doing?’ The second man replies: ‘I’m building a wall that will form the outside structure of a large building.’

Finally he asked the third man: ‘What are you doing?’ The third man replies: ‘I am building a house of God.’

All three men are performing the same job but they all have different perspectives on that task – “a job” vs. “a career” vs. “a calling”.

So far (and I am over 1/2 way through) this is, in my opinion, a truly inspirational five (5) star audiobook.

Getting Gritty (Coasting with the Coasters)

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog on her SchnauzerSnips page for her latest musings…


Showing Some “Grit”

After posting on Saturday about having “Grit” (powerful motivation to achieve an objective) I figured I better get “Gritty” and work on getting my tierneycreates Etsy shop restocked.

So I had a “power crafting holiday weekend” and made 17 sets of vintage beer coasters.

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I was “coasting” with making coasters!

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Tied up with a beer ribbon and ready to gift to the craft beer enthusiast

They are now listed on my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I am very pleased and relieved.  Now onto the stack of other projects for the shop. Perhaps someday I can return to having 90+ items listed on my shop instead of my recent low of 25 items.

I have been working on better photography on my Etsy shop items. Below is an example from my “photo shoot” for the vintage beer coaster listing:

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Coasters in action!

Once I get some additional smaller items onto the shop, I would like to focus on building my collection of modern quilt table runner offerings.

I have decided to no longer try to sell quilts on my Etsy shop and instead focus on offering reasonably priced smaller items. I removed all the listings for quilts made by me or by “Terry the Quilting Husband” on the tierneycreates Etsy shop. We plan to show and offer those quilts at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Show.

It is challenging to sell quilts online. If you are a quilter you know how much work goes into making a quilt – time, effort and financial investment. It is difficult (at least for me with my questionable photography skills) to show online how lovely a quilt is in person. A great example is I sold a quilt at the 2015 Sisters Outdoor Show that I struggled for a year to sell on my Etsy shop – which was listed for quite a lower price on the Etsy shop. In person the quilt was spectacular (based on feedback I received) but you cannot always capture the specialness of a quilt with an online photo.

Interestingly potentially customers have contacted me on an Etsy quilt listings to ask me if I am willing to negotiate on the price of a quilt. It appeared they were looking for mass produced department store prices on my quilts. 

Additionally, and this might be a topic for a future blog post, I am temporarily burned out on making lap and bed size quilts. I am interested in focusing on making table runners or small wall hanging size quilts instead.

Naturally I have more ideas in my mind that hours I have available to work on projects (don’t we all?) and I still have that pesky pay-the-bills full-time job in the healthcare industry (and they don’t let me quilt while working – ha!)

I continue to enjoy the audiobook Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016) and I am finding lots of inspiration to keep moving forward on my goals!


POSTSCRIPT: VARIOUS RAMBLINGS 

When I ride my bike or go on a walk a million ideas seem to pop into my head of things I want to share on my blog. I thought I would do a mini “brain dump” in the “Postscript” section of this post:

  • In a previous post, Good Listens, I shared my favorite podcasts. Recently I have added several new favorites to my list:
    • While She Naps with Abby Glassensberg – a crafter and craft business focused podcast by blogger Abby Glassenberg who has a wonderful blog by the same name. I am currently listening to podcast episode #53 which features an excellent interview with Sherri Lynn Wood (author of my beloved The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guide to Creating, Quilting, and Living Courageously).  
    • Let’s Know Things – an engaging podcast by Colin Wright exploring and discussing different topics. He has a very relaxing voice and his topics are well researched and presented.
    • Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired – I occasionally listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcasts on managing your finances and Chris Hogan is a protege of Dave Ramsey. Chris Hogan’s style is more appealing – he is warm and hysterically funny financial coach.

All of these podcasts are available for free on iTunes. I might discuss them in more depth in a future post.

  • You may wonder what become of my “Pilot Butte Walks” that I posted about in several posts in April and May. Well they are still on hold for now (first due to my knees, then due to hot days) but I am going bike riding several days a week now in the am before work. I bike ride in the back of an adjoining neighborhood where I discovered an empty block (new house construction that was halted) in which I can safely ride around and around the block listening to podcasts. I try to ride for at least the length of a 30 or 40 minutes podcast before heading home.
  • The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne – I discussed this audiobook in several previous posts (see Listening and Reading and The Guest House). Well I felt that I got all I could get out of it and did not finish it. That of course is the beauty of free public library audiobook downloads. It grew repetitive after a while and I felt like it was time to move on.

I think that is enough “brain dump” for now. Thanks for reading my ramblings. It is time to go to bed and hope I continue to be infused with “Grit” to attack all the awaiting fiber projects!

Grit

Just started listening to a fantastic audiobook (well fantastic so far) – Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016).

The audiobook is read by the author (I love when an author reads their own audiobook) and explores the role of GRIT in the journey to success (however you define success).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

Wikipedia describes “grit” as:

…a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. This perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges that lie within a gritty individual’s path to accomplishment, and serves as a driving force in achievement realization.

Whenever I think of the word “grit”, I think of the movie True Grit (original 1969 and remake 2010).

This movie was based on a novel by Charles Portis (1968). This movie was about a teenage girl hiring a man with “true grit” to capture the man who killed her father. It  is a story of dogged retribution for a wrong, as well as a story of valor and courage.

In the audiobook Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the author does not discuss hunting down people who do you wrong (could you imagine reading a self-improvement book that focused on that topic, ha!) but explores “natural talent” vs. “hard work and perseverance”.

I am early in the audiobook but I am fascinated by the author’s anecdotal examples of individuals who society or schools wrote off as low aptitude and low achievers who went on to achieve great things due to their efforts, hard work, and perseverance. The author also shares how one teacher believing in one child that no one else believed in can make a huge impact on that child’s life and future. Teachers are higher life forms in my opinion and the lives they positively impact have an impact on society as a whole.

More later on this audiobook as I continue my listen…


Postscript

Speaking of “grit” (or my imaginary grit), I have been hard at work making items for the tierneycreates Etsy shop. I am taking a break from working on art quilts and instead focusing on making fun items for people to enjoy in their homes or give as gifts. I am working on make a bunch of the Vintage Beer Coasters (see the post Quilt Retreat Weekend: The Projects for the story of how I made 9 sets at a quilt retreat and left with retreat with 0 sets as the other quilters bought them all as gifts!)


Postscript Postscript

Do you remember the days of writing letters (on paper!) and adding a “P.S. P.S” after your initial “P.S.”? Well here is one more thought before I close this post:

I continue to enjoy all the blogs I follow by other creative individuals. I wanted to mention one blog post I recently really enjoyed from the blog Dewey Hop in which the blogger discusses interesting finds in the Economics section of the library, discussion of those finds and some wonderful humor:

Economics

The blogger, Feisty Froggy, is blogging through the entire Dewey Decimal system of the local public library in order; and shares favorite finds in each section. If you have followed my blog for a little while, you know about my love of and obsession with the public library.

I look forward to Feisty Froggy’s next post on the next library section!

The Guest House

Happy Monday to you and I hope you have a wonderful week filled with Inspiration, Creativity and Joy.

As I mentioned in last’s post “Listening and Reading“, currently I am listening to the audiobook The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne. This book focuses on using “mindfulness” to break unwanted habits.

During my walk on Sunday with this audiobook, I listened to the author discuss one of my favorite poems by Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī – a 13th century Persian poet and scholar) – The Guest House.  

The author discusses this poem in relation to finding peace in dealing with unwanted thoughts and feelings. What I love about the work of Rumi is that it can be interpreted in so many ways and the meaning can be personalized to what you needed to hear/read at that moment in your life.

I have shared this poem before in a previous post and wanted to share again.

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
-Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Postscript

I am off for a bike ride and to enjoy this beautiful summer day!
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Sassy captures my feeling when riding around empty streets on my bike!

Creative Inspiration: Lying in Bed

It’s Sunday, a day (like Saturday) when many people have the opportunity to sleep in (or at least sleep in a little later than on a workday).

Continuing my series on sources of my creative inspiration, I realize that lying in bed and quietly thinking can be a source of much creative inspiration!

A very creative friend of mine told me a couple of years ago that she could will herself to dream quilt designs while she sleep; and when she needed it, inspiration would arrive while she slumbered.

I do not remember many of my dreams, and those I remember are not necessarily sources of creative inspiration, but I do have moments of intense inspiration when I am laying in bed preparing for sleep or lingering in bed upon waking.

Worrying and reviewing the day used to fill my mind before going to sleep until learning to  essentially “chill out” a couple of years ago. Now I can bring my mind into focus before going to sleep on a quilt design or other crafting project. It is amazing how what was a challenge to me in my studio during waking hours, now has a clear resolution as I quietly ponder it in bed.

My first experience with idea was at the end of 2014 while I was making a piece for our public library’s Novel Idea Book (all of Central Oregon is encouraged to read the same book and then the book’s author speaks at the annual Novel Idea book event). That year’s book was A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I loved the book so much I wanted to make a small art quilt inspired by this thought provoking novel.

I was stuck for weeks on the design of this piece until one night, while lying in bed and before falling asleep, I focused all my mental energy on the what I wanted for this piece. It is difficult to put into words – I did not force myself to think about the piece, rather I relaxed and asked for inspiration to come to me.

Hope I do not sound too “New Age” or mystical here, but it was like what the piece needed to be just flowed into my mind and through me. It was a wonderful feeling – as if the Universe was telling me how I could translate what moved me in this book into textile art. When I woke in the morning, I had a clear vision of what the piece would look like and felt tremendous relief and a sense of peace.

And it all happened lying there in bed. Since that experience I have used the time lying in bed before falling asleep or upon waking to explore options in creative design. Bed can be a good place – keep those worries out of your mind and invite the creativity in!

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Jiko’s Secret Robe (2015) – inspiration for this piece arrived while lying in bed

Postscript

For more on “clearing your mind of worry before you fall asleep” see my post Monday on the “Butte” in which I briefly discuss Arianna Huffington’s audiobook – The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time and share this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day and you shall begin it well and serenely. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Listening and Reading

Hope your week has gone well.  It is nearly the weekend and time for “power crafting” or just relaxing. Thought I would share an update on audiobooks and physical books that I have mentioned in recent posts (all borrowed from my local library).


AUDIOBOOKS

  • Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – I first mentioned this audiobook in my post Embracing the “Yes”.  Last week, I finished this wonderful audiobook and I highly recommend it. It is read by the author which makes the book even more wonderful. Shonda Rhimes (writer/producer of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) authentically shares her struggles to break from her extreme introversion and embrace life. She shares some exceptional stories, experiences, and life lessons with humor, humility and grace. The audiobook also includes the recording of the incredible commencement speech she gave at her alma mater, Dartmouth College as well as several other highly inspirational speeches. She also delves into some of the autobiographical stories weaved into the plot of her shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Little did the TV viewers realize she was working on her own personal struggles through the storylines of the TV characters. Only problem with listening to this audiobook while on a walk is I had to stop a let out a belly laugh – her excellent television show writing skills are apparent in her book writing skills!
  • The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne – this is my first time mentioning this audiobook as I started listening to it after finishing Year of Yes. It is not as exciting and engaging as the audiobook I just finished but so far is has wonderful tips on incorporating mindfulness into your life. More thoughts on the book after I finish it.

BOOKS (These books are from my 05/26/16 post The Library Stack)

  • The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color by Becky Goldsmith – I have read several books that explore color and fabric selection for quilters, but I think this one of the best. Using many photo examples, the author discusses the color wheel, color schemes, value and contrast, clarity, texture and scale and other interesting and engaging topics related to quilt design. This book also includes several patterns to test out your color and design skills.
  • Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe by The Patchwork Place – This book had one pattern that engaged me – Tree Quilt – which was made from scrappy free form tree shapes. The rest of the patterns did not interest me though I recognize and appreciate the efforts by the different pattern designer/bloggers that contributed to the book. What I did enjoy was reading the bio of each designer and the website addresses for their blogs! If I had my choice I would just read and look at other crafter blogs all day.

Postscript

Sassy of Schnauzer Snips asked me to post this “public service announcement” for my human readers:

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Embracing the “Yes”

I just returned from a four day weekend visiting a friend in Denver, CO. Later this week I will share some photos I took during the trip which creatively inspired me.

I just wanted to share in this quick post the latest nonfiction audiobook I have started – Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.

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As you probably know, Shonda Rhimes is the creator and producer of TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.  A couple months ago I watched her TED Talk: My year of saying yes to everything, and I found it deeply inspirational.

I am early in the audiobook and I am enjoying it; and it is read by the author (I love when audiobooks are read by the author!).

So far 2016 has been a year of serendipitous opportunities for me artistically and I am glad I keep going against my natural instinct to say “no, thank you” and instead say “yes, thank you”!

The book opens with a quote from Maya Angelou:

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.”

 

Update: Recycled Door

In the March 2016 post BLOG TOUR DAY 4: Unlikely Materials I shared a work in progress called Recycled Door. This art quilt is part of the Central Oregon SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group exhibit “Doors” that will debut at the 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt show.

We were challenged with making an 18″ x 40″ art quilt/wallhanging that represented our interpretation of a door. I found a door image I liked on Australian door and window manufacturer’s website Brisbane Timber . I created my interpretation of one of their doors, using recycled materials: jeans, corduroy shirts, a tweed jumper, and home decor fabric.

I just got this piece back from Betty Anne Guadalupe, my long-arm quilter and collaborative partner in The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.  She quilted it to represent the texture/grain of an wooden door.

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Now I need put finish the facing for the back (finishing off an art quilt with a smooth edge instead of binding the edge) and it is ready for the July 2016 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!

As it was made with recycled materials, it will become part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.


Postscript

I am listening to a new non-fiction audiobook, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Grosz, Stephen.

It is pretty DEEP. The author is a British psychoanalyst who shares 25 years of his client’s stories (confidentiality maintained of course!) in relation to baffling behavior based on hidden feelings.

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The narrator also is British and I am enjoying the British English pronunciation of words such as “schedule” and “garage”!

One of the most interesting parts of the book so far, besides all the interesting stories, is the author sharing a very profound interpretation of Charles Dickens’ famous story, A Christmas Carol. He delves deep into what actually made Ebenezer Scrooge change his ways!