Sunday, December 31, 2006

Taking Stock

The craziness of Christmas is over, and 2006 is winding down. I'd have to say, it was a better year than the previous one, for reasons that range from the personal to the not-so-personal. Here's hoping that all have a happy, healthy, and productive 2007!

I like Terry Grant's idea of posting a collage of the work she completed in 2006. I spent some time with my new Photoshop Elements to do the same- not all on one canvas, however! I was actually surprised by all I completed during the year. It was definitely the most productive year ever for me. And, this doesn't include all my dyeing binges!

I never did post my Journal Quilts, so the first two are eight months of them, with the last month alone.

Next are a couple of other small works and postcards, mostly done for Fiber Arts for a Cause. I actually completed more than I'm showing- but this gives a good sampling of what I completed.

Finally, the large works I completed. Some of these were started prior to 2006, but all were completed this year. I think I have overcome my fear of quilting, now I am on to working on free motion technique, and improving my choices of quilting designs.

It has been a good learning year for me, and I have plans to continue the learning in 2007. I've got a drawing class planned for late January, and a design class through Quilt University. And, I'm waiting impatiently to find out how the Journal Quilt project will change for the final year. Blogging has helped me journal, something I've never been able to manage before. And I've made some online friends through this network.

Personally, I'm looking forward to a trip to Florida to finally meet my new daughter-in-law in person. She has been a delight to get to know by phone and over the computer- but that only goes so far.

I've had some goals in mind for 2007- once I have them a little more concrete, I'll post. I think that will be a good way to track my progress, and make it harder to let them slide! So, what goals do you have planned for 2007?

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's going to be a very white Christmas. . .

We spent most of the weekend watching the snow come down- sometimes heavy, sometimes just a white mist. But we've now got close to a foot of the cold white stuff here, and it's not looking like it's going to be melting away any time soon. And, more storms are forecast for this week and weekend. It is beautiful, if you don't have to be driving any distance in it!

We had our extended family Christmas party Sunday. We had family driving down to Spanish Fork from Salt Lake and Morgan, and they passed accident after accident on their way. So, if you have to drive in snow- slow down! Help keep yourself and everyone driving around you safe!

We went out back with the grandkids after the party, and had some fun sliding down the hill on big inner tubes. Stubborn Jaden refused to put gloves on until his hands were red, wet, and freezing. A hat?? Forget it!! We all had fun, Nana included. .

Dad obligingly rode down with both kids, much to their delight.

But the most exciting point of the weekend for me was last night at about 8 pm, while watching "The Devil Wears Prada." I put the final stitch in the house quilt. It is done, pictures taken, and it has been given to the intended recipient. I'm pleased with how it came out, and he seemed to like it also.

I learned a lot in the design and construction of this piece, much of it thanks to Betty Alof's Homebuilding class at Quilt University. My mind is already working on the next project. I need to have something for the show in Salt Lake in April, and what could be better than the theme "Blooms and Beyond"? With a week off after Christmas, I should have time to dye some backgrounds to use. My brother the artist will also be here part of thge time- maybe I'll even rope him into this! So I should have lots more photos of dyeing, painting, and maybe printing experiments to post in a couple of weeks.

It's late, I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm still recovering

from a very long week at work, and an early Christmas present from Shannon and Sean. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been around for awhile, but I only discovered them a couple of years ago. I loved their music from the minute I heard it- Christmas music for the rock and roller in me!! I only found out last Thursday night that Shannon and I had a "date" for Saturday- to the TSO concert in Salt Lake!

I've been to a fair share of concerts in my day- but Saturday's experience was in a class by itself. First, without knowing exactly what she was doing- Shannon managed to get us seats on the floor- third row, no less. Our view of the band was like they were in our living room. The light show and pyrotechnics were amazing, beyond anything I've been to before. And the music absolutely did not disappoint. The first half is a story, with a narrator and different singers telling it. The second half is just music from several of their CD's. All in all, they played for almost three hours, and had the sellout crowd on their feet by the end. It was a wonderful evening, and I will definitely be getting tickets for their concert here next year. If you have the chance to see them, by all means, GO!!

No pictures, but work on the house quilt continues. I did the quilting on the sky and the 'pavement', then decided this weekend that I didn't like what I did on the 'pavement.' I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon ripping it out, then steaming it with an iron the close the holes. It worked, and I got the quilting done to my satisfaction tonight. Now the only thing standing between me and completion are the borders. I'll be working on those this week.

I'm half ready for Christmas- still some shopping to do. We have our extended family party this Sunday, and my brother will be coming up from St. George to spend Christmas with us. And, I plan on taking some time off work to do some serious quilting. I want to have something to enter in the HMQS this spring- which means it needs to be done by March.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!

While we haven't been hammered or without power like the unfortunate folks in the Midwest, we did have a distinct change in weather last week. We've had a beautiful, long, relatively warm autumn- and then the cold hit. We've got about six inches of snow on the ground, and the temperatures are going nowhere but down. Next week we'll be looking at the dreaded inversion, with highs in the twenties. Yuck!!!

I haven't posted in two weeks- too much going on. I have managed to get some work done, though. I finished postcards for the two who signed up on the ArtShare Meme, and they are on their way to new owners. And, I got my 'Postcard from Lake Michigan' from Nellie Durand from her ArtShare- the photos do not do it justice, it is simply exquisite- but I'm posting one anyway. If you want to see some wonderful art, cruise over to her blog.

Got a little more work done on the house quilt. I am looking at the calendar, and realizing I can't dawdle much longer if I want to have it ready by Christmas. The grass is done, I think I've figured out how to quilt the sky and the borders- now just to do it. I'm also going to have a late post for the Fast Friday challenge- the idea is in my head, and the pictures I need are now on the computer- but finding the time is another thing.

I had a wonderful surprise while surfing this week! Bonnie McCaffery has a vid cast of Quilt Festival in Houston, and since I've never been, decided to watch. I about fell off my chair halfway through- she has a segment on the Journal Quilt project, and highlighted several artists' work during it. Mine was one of them!! I've not posted my 2006 journal pages, so if you'd like to see what I did, and get a nice overview of Quilt Festival, take a look at Bonnie's vidcast. I've watched several of them, and she does a nice job.

We are getting ready for Christmas. Shannon and I got the gifts destined for our new family in Colombia bought yesterday, now to get them shipped to my son and daughter-in-law in Florida so they can forward them with their gifts. It's always harder buying for someone you've never met except through the computer, but I think Maria and Lina will like what we chose. The tree and decorations are up. So, I'll leave you with that. May all of you have a safe and blessed Advent season!