Welcome to my Blog, A little art, and a lot of Friendship

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yosemitie Western Artists/ Bear Club

Mountain Bear Fan Club had their first National Bear Club Gathering in Oakhurst. It was a busy day for me as I tried to go to everything on my list.  The weather was hot, near the 90's and  perfect for tourists and locals. Dar Bennett is one of the ladies that makes her own bears, amazing with movable arms, legs, and head. Dar also teaches, about making bears. This bears Fur looks like feathers and is sooooo soft. There were many other venders with bears and dolls of many sorts.

What I thought was funny, as I walked up to the entry, a "wife" and "husband" were have a big discussion about attending.  He said, "No way, this is a women's gathering".  But when I walked in the first thing that greeted me were about 5 men. Venders as well at attendee's. There were also antique store owners, that specialize in bears as well as the collectable dolls and bead makers.

When we moved to the mountains I brought my bear collection with me. Most had been gifts over the years. I could have given them away in Orange Co. but knew there was a bear club here and that they repair and give many away to local charities,  children, the sick and lonely.

 It always takes awhile for people to hear about shows in a new area.. I hope they have great success. 

My next stop was to see Sandy Kowallis do a watercolor demonstration at Yosemite Western Artists Gathering. I know Sandy as an artist from Timberline Gallery.  She is also represented in several other galleries and you can view her amazing paintings on line on Yosemite Western Artists as well as Timberline Gallery. Sandy lives in the Valley, but comes up often to paint the mountains, rolling hills and sits the gallery. Our schedule is on the Timberline site.  She loves to paint plein air, outside on location. So next time you see a group of artists painting be sure to stop and see what their technique is and how they view that location. Sandy is a very talented artist and her paintings draw you into the scene. Sandy shared many of her techniques and chatted while she painted, no easy task.

Sandy reminded me about how long ago it was that I was a water-colorist and how much I have forgotten.  It made my fingers itch to try out painting again.. Actually, have done a few paintings on fabric, and had fun with how the paint reacted on cotton. Then of course, I quilted it.

Was going to make several other stops, but by this time it was around 4, and I needed to get home.

 Now, that it is light so late, there is still time to get watering done. We are thinking there could be a cold spell so we have not put the automatic waters on, and have to water everything by hand. We have had snow as late as Mothers day some years.. Wonder what Mother's Day will bring this year?

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Judy's Fabric Challenge- Pillow

Judy's Fabric Challenge-  The Pillow is finished.. That was fun and a nice compliment to the table runner.  Now, I am inspired to get some pillows covered in fabric for our bedroom that have been on the chairs for way to long. Embarrassed to say how long, but take if from me, I really need to get to covering them..
And I have the fabric. They will just be plan commercial design, nothing fancy or quilted, because some day want to have some quilts around that are not just on the rack.

I know you all probably have wonderful quilts on your bed.. I have the kind, (will not tell you where I bought the "set"), that the dog can lay on and can be thrown into the washer and dryer. Not the dog,,, the bedspread!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Hearts for Christchurch, New Zealand

Hearts for Christchurch is a wonderful article that is written by Iris Frank for American Quilter Magazine. It is about a collection of hearts sent from all over the world to an appeal that Evie Harris made in hopes that it would bring hope to the people that suffered losses during the Magnitude 6.3 earthquake in 2011.

Evie is a member of our Postmarkd'art group on line, and has a beautiful Heart herself.
She sent out a note to quilters, sewers, knitters etc. to send hearts, at the time she was not sure how she would use them, but was sure that the people affected by the Earth Quake needed to know people care and understand the pain.

Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand, showcased an amazing gathering of these hearts, and more than 4,000 hand-crafted hearts arrived.  I posted the simple hearts that I sent in an earlier blog, and must tell you, I received a very nice thank you from the family that now has a heart from Calif.

Evie is still receiving hearts. She is a true inspiration about what one person can do to bring so many people together.

There are blessings everywhere, take a moment in your day to notice them.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Challenge, Judy's Fabric

Karen Musgrave sent out some fabric which I showed in a previous blog, This challenge was named, "Judy's Fabric Challenge" and you can also check out the story on Karen's Blog.

This time I really love the fabric but also wanted again to use Rayna Gilman's technique with the piecing. This is soooo much fun, and gets those little pieces out of my scrap bag.

I have been looking at the "Modern" Quilters with all the white fabric used around the piecing and decided this would be an excellent way to connect both techniques.  With a house in the country, lots of dust, dog and husband, white is not my usual color, other than the walls, and hopefully I can change those sometime soon.. But that is another story.

When looking at the Table runner, I had to decide how to best to quilt it.. And decided that variegated threads would be perfect. The challenge fabric is along the border, the darker piece, and also in the blocks.

Looks pretty good on the table. For Spring I should probably do a few pillows. Off to the Studio!
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sun Spots- SAQA

 A quilt teacher named Cara Gulati  came  to our Sierra Mountain Quilt Asso. and gave a trunk show and a class on piecing curves.
It was a fun class, although I really have done these sorts of curves before.  I  believe in supporting our local guild when I can. And I have never attended a class where I did not learn or relearn something..

 Cara, has a wonderful way of looking at color and showing the blending, pointing out color changes and how to compare them.  I did not plan to do a complete quilt. This block hung on a board for a long time, with not much thought given to it.

Then came a call out by SAQA regarding donations of 12" X 12" quilts for their fund raiser. I looked at the block with a different eye. And thought why not send this in.. I have not participated with their fund raiser before and hope that some one will also like this quilt.  So Sun Spots was completed, with lots of free motion quilting and some beading.  Great way to work on blocks that you have made in a class and did not want to finish the whole project.

If you have completed 3 blocks, those can be worked into  a long wall hanging or table decoration.

Great way to move those UFO's and not feel guilty.. Did I say that.. .never feel guilty,, UFO's are just waiting for the right opportunity to expand!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Best of the Valley 2012- Greg and Sandy

Best of the Valley Quilt Show is in Lindsay each year.. as I mentioned on the last post.  After browsing through all the wonderful quilts, Hoffman Challenge, and Fantastic Dolls.  We stopped to talk to our
friends Sandy and Greg. They have an amazing bunch of kids, Sandy is a teacher and Greg has been busy helping Sandy with her fabric business and working at a variety of businesses.   They have decided that this was their last Quilt Show Vending Fabric. They will be selling all their wonderful fabrics on line at www.fabricforquilters.com.
Hope Sandy can find time to create her fantastic quilts, patterns and saves some fabric for herself.
Be sure to contact them, they have some great prices.

I won't show any of the quilts, but stress that you really should get to the show next year. Put it on your calendar... or better still Enter, they have Ribbons and Cash prizes.. Franki Kohler won 3 ribbons with her creative quilts.. and another friend Suzanne Kistler won also... There were many other awards, of course, but these are two remarkable ladies that I know. Take a peak at their blogs to see the quilts and some views of the quilt show. It takes so many people to set up all the quilts.. Thank you to all that helped at Best of the Valley,, it was fun.

I thought I would show you one of the dolls that got me giggling.

If I sound a bit disjointed it is because I am trying to help my husband, who is an avid reader, connect his birthday present- Kindle Fire to the net etc. 
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Best of the Valley Quilt Show

Best of the Valley Quilt Show starts tomorrow and should be as wonderful as in the previous years. As you all know, lots of long hours and hard work go into setting up quilt shows.  I have been fortunate to have my quilts accepted and once participated in a special exhibit with Julie Mitchell and Lura Schwarz-Smith.

This year my piece is "Love It,  Don't Leave It".  I volunteer with many others to keep our environment picked up.  And this piece developed one day while I was helping.  You would be amazed what is left by the side of the road. With the turn of the economy there are fewer soda cans, but lots of cups, bags and bottles.

One day a gentleman with an old cowboy hat stopped, his old truck was barely hitting on all cylinders. He handed us a $20.00 bill and said, Thank you, please go to lunch on me. We told him Thank you, and gave the monies to the mountain organization that purchases Orange vests, sticks to pick up materials, and sends out announcement flyers.

Help keep our country picked-up.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Not just an Orchid

This morning I am taking a moment to reflect. A dear friend gave us a beautiful orchid plant. In the middle of making the Easter Dinner for the family, I saw the orchid back lite from the window.
At that moment I did not have time to reflect on it's beauty, or the beauty of the day.

But now in the quiet moments after everyone has left for work and home, I have this special time.

Gratitude for a wonderful time with family.
Scott and Noah, son and grandson came to visit, with them came love and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for helping, and riding the mower. Riding the mower takes a priority. Everything is cut and ready for the rain that should come across Calif. this week. Pansies are planted, and I am waiting for a warm up before I put in the veggie plants.

They brought with them battery run race cars, one that could  go into the river, even though it did have a struggle with the current. I am sure that made it all that much more fun.

Off to finish some paper work and into the studio. Make your day wonderful and full of gratitude.
And be in the moment.
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Postmarkd'art Postcards

Postmarkd'art is a on-line post card exchange.. This is Round 14, and  I have been doing this since Round 5. There are many themes to choose from and Franki Kohler, our team mother has us vote after we submit ideas.
This time I signed up for Steampunk, Photo to Fabric, and the letter G.
Steampunk is created with hand dyed fabric, commercial fabric, stamped, beaded, metallic items and braid. I do have one left for sale. Each card is a bit different depending on how I stamped it and added the beading.

When we are finished with the alphabet we will have each letter represented and cards from the ladies that signed up.  This hummingbird was stamped with paint on white on white fabric that I painted to show off the butterflies. Fussy cut the flowers and quilted, over the top I sewed drapery fabric to give the illusion of looking through a screen.. Most of the time I see the hummingbirds feeding from my kitchen window.  It is the letter G, for Garden.

Yes, the one card is missing.. I took creative license with that one and did my rendition of the "Red Solo Cup" I love that song and now it is running through my head again. But because of Copy right Laws,  I do not want to post it.. Sorry.. If you come by my studio... I will be happy to show it.

I have met an Amazing group of ladies. We live all over the U.S.A. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Our creativity has brought us together, but our friendship now binds us.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dream Cotton, Challenge Fabric

Dream Cotton by Quilters Dream is one of my favorite batting's,, and they are now making it for table runner widths.  However, I thought it would also be wonderful for wall hangings.

It was a rainy cold day, and perfect for sorting out fabrics to go with or not go with the Challenge Fabric that Karen sent out, "Judy's Challenge".

Everything went along swimmingly till I decided to take a photo and put it on my blog.. Picasa changed how to blog a photo,, at least the easy way I was doing it.. and not having to go into My Pictures, then to PhotoShop and put in a folder etc.

Del Thomas came to my rescue!  In case this is happening to any one else. "The Blog This" button used to be at the bottom, oh, so handy,, but now it is at the top under "Create". When you click on that and it opens "Publish on Blogger". It then works just like "Blog This"

Del, you are my life saver, hope you are having fun at the retreat, look forward to hearing or seeing all about it on your blog. You can find Del's Link on the side of my blog.
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