Monday, May 28, 2007

Out in the Great Outdoors

OK, I promised pictures from the hike Sadie and I took yesterday. We also spent the better part of today "en pleine aire"- Lance, Tiff, Jaden, DJ and I did a picnic up at Payson Lakes, and then a couple of hours fishing.

But, back to yesterday. I discovered this trail when Shannon and I walked here awhile back. I finally had enough time and energy yesterday to give it a go. It starts off cutting through some private land, then heads uphill pretty steeply into the Mt. Loafer Wildlife Management Area. I have no idea how much further the trail goes, my legs wouldn't even make it all the way to the top.

Here's a view looking south about halfway up--

And here's the view looking north. I took this from the highest point we hiked to. Even Sadie was ready to call it quits!

Beautiful, no? I always try to soak in and appreciate the green when we have it here. Trust me, by July much of the green will be brown, especially the grasses. I also got some pictures of wildflowers- but I'm saving those for another post.

Payson Lakes is up Payson Canyon, and it is quite a climb- we were up above 7000 feet. It was green, pleasantly breezy and just cool enough to warrant a windbreaker. Sadie and I managed a short hike around the small lake. Here's a view from one end-

We encountered this twisted quakie on the walk- the shape just fascinated me. Then I started looked around, and a lot of the aspens had twisted or curved trunks. Apparently the snowfall is heavy enough up here that it bends them!

And here's the great fisherman, pole in hand-- unfortunately, even though we could see fish jumping in the lake, Lance got nothing but some nibbles. Of course, Jaden throwing rocks in the water, talking and singing at high volume wouldn't have anything to do with the fish being shy, would it??

There's even a little quilty contect from today! I did some playing with my study piece for my journal quilt. I'm trying to decide if the pictures should be grayscale, or sepia toned. So I printed out some of each, and pinned them on the base. Here's the grayscale-

And here's the sepia-

I was convinced the sepia would be better- but now I'm not so sure. And, I also learned that I will have to pay close attention to the scale of the photos I use in the final piece. These are too small- so I'm glad I only did this with paper, not fabric. I have never had the patience for study pieces in the past, but I'm learning that it can be a valuable use of time, and prevent mess-ups. I may even have to get more serious about using sketchbooks!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Back home!

It is good to be home, five days on the road working ten and twelve hour days gets old quickly. And no, I didn't hit any quilty-type stores in St. George, although I did do a bit of clothes shopping.

I have less than a month until Marly's birthday, so I started on her present- I decided some time ago what I'm doing. The coloring is done, now on to thread painting. I picked up some Totally Stable yesterday, we'll see how I like it.

Sadie and I went for a hike today, up a trail I discovered a month or so ago. She came back tired, and I can feel it in my legs. The knee I hurt several years ago also lets me know when I overdo it- and I'm feeling it today. I got some pictures of wildflowers- but I'm too tired to download them onto the computer- so maybe tomorrow.

Not much else- maybe more quilty content later in the week. Right now I'm off to bed.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's So Quiet!

We are officially empty nesters. Shannon and I spent most of yesterday finishing her packing and running last minute errands. Knowing that we had to be up in the middle of the night to get her to Salt Lake by 5:30 am, we both fell into bed early. The early morning run to the airport went off without a hitch, she got through check-in and security very quickly, and before we knew it is was time to leave her.
Here we are, a last portrait together at the airport--

She is not a morning person, so I don't think it has hit her yet that her life is taking off in an entirely new direction. She's exactly the same age I was when I left college for a year to bum around Europe, and it was certainly a life-changing experience for me.
She got through security so quickly, we didn't even have parking charges. When we left to head back to the car, we could see her down below waiting to go through the final security check. I just can't believe it's been more than nineteen years since I first held her in my arms.

We came back to a house that feels different, somehow. I spent the rest of the morning ironing clothes so I can pack for a week-long business trip. I leave this afternoon, too- so DJ, Sadie, and Annabelle will have the house to themselves.
I do have some quilty stuff to post. I finished my last four postcards on Friday, and even got them mailed off. This bunch started with a piece of fabric I dye painted last winter. As soon as she saw the finished piece, Shannon said "Ladybugs!" So that's what I did. I added the black with my Caran d"Ache water soluble wax pastels, and a little bit of thread painting. I used Superior Glitter thread to quilt in the background. This was a fun group of cards! Here's my favorite--

And here's a shot of all the cards. Yes, there's an extra, I actually ended up making five.

The bottom one is upsidedown- the sun is supposed to be in the upper corner, not the bottom!

I will be without computer access for a week, I don't get back from Richfield and St. George until late Friday afternoon. Thank goodness next weekend is a holiday.

Safe and pleasant journeys, Shannon. We love you and will miss you-

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Heading down the homestretch

until Shannon leaves for Florida, and then Switzerland. We have been figuring out what clothes she will need, how to pack, how much weight she's allowed without an outrageous excess baggage charge. There have been some hiccups on her visa, and we are still waiting to hear if she can pick it up via mail, or if she will have to present herself in person in Atlanta. If the latter is true, then she'll probably have to fly there from Tampa and then back. We've set up a blog for her, and she'll be taking her laptop with. Hopefully she will post regularly, I think it will be a wonderful way to keep up with her adventures in a new country. Her blog is if you'd like to take a look.

I have been doing a study piece for my journal quilt- the first time I've done this. I've tried out the unfamiliar processes I'm planning to use, trying to see how it all comes together visually. I already know somethings I will do differently when I start on the actual piece. It has been fun playing with text transfer, and my new metallic Shiva paintsticks!

To all you mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day. We're headed to Lance's home for breakfast, then to church. It's a double celebration today, it's also DJ's birthday. Hopefully I'll have some time to relax and play later- I've got my last five postcards for my Art2Mail group waiting to be finished. It would also be nice to get our and walk the dogs when it has cooled down some. Although it hasn't felt like it to me, we have had gloriously sunny weather with temperatures in the 90's. I think we have past the heating season, and are right into air conditioning!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring Market Photos

OK, I promised photos of the quilt exhibit at Sping Market. Here are the ones that caught my eye. I've seen many of these published in magazines, so you probably have too- but it was a treat to be able to see them in person and up close. From the selection, you can tell that I am drawn to bright, strong colors. I haven't distinguished which quilts were in what exhibit- there were three total, I think.

A Sunny Day in April by Emily Parson

Heartburst by Rachel Wetzler

Gulls in the Heat Haze by Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs
Amazing detail and realism!

Opportunity Knocks by Laura Wasilowski. If my memory is accurate, this is a quilt she did on a Simply Quilts episode.

Nine to the Ninth Power by Scott Murkin. This quilt was amazing- from a distance, the colors just glowed. Up close, the piecing was tiny and mind-boggling!

Sunflowers, by Beth Miller. She had some great dimension in the sunflowers, with knots and fringe that you really can't see in this photo.

Paeonia Mascula by Amira Wishinsky

That's all for now, I do have a few more but it's time for me to hit the road for the day.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


It has been a crazy couple of weeks since I last posted. I have been busy- Shannon leaves in two weeks for at least a year. She'll fly to Florida and spend a week or so with her brother and sister-in-law, then on to Switzerland. She will be living in a village about 40 kilometers outside Zurich, working as an au pair for a family with three girls. I think it will be a fabulous time for her, a maturing experience and a chance to live in another culture. So, we have been learning about dual voltage hair appliances, figuring out clothing needs, putting her car up for sale- the list goes on. Funny to think that we will shortly be empty nesters!

I have been working on my journal quilt, but can't post photos. I'll have to get my May Art2Mail cards done soon, so at least I'll have those to post!

But, best of all was this weekend. I was able to work at Spring Market put on by Quilts Inc.- the spring version of the big market that goes on every year just before the International Quilt Festival in Houston. I worked Friday with Suzanne Hyland at her booth, then was able to walk the entire floor today. I've sampled frames for machine quilting, got some great thread samples, got some rubbing plates to use with Shiva paintsticks- and my legs are done for! Friday I stood most of the day, and talked tons- we were busy almost all day. Top that with a second day of walking, walking, walking- I'm feeling it!

They also had some great quilt exhibits, and some fantastic wearable art from past Bernina shows. I was able to get some pictures, but I'm too tired to download them from the camera tonight. Maybe tomorrow morning--

I'll probably go to church with Shannon tomorrow, then head back up to Salt Lake. I'm hoping to collect a few more goodies just before the show closes, then help Suzanne tear down her booth. I know this is small compared to Houston, but for Salt Lake it felt HUGE!! The HMQS show we had a couple of weeks ago had maybe 4-5 rows of vendors. This show had 29 rows of booths!! Quilters heaven!