Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Celebrations

Some people will find this hard to understand, but today I am driving 2+ hours to help celebrate my ex-husband's 30th wedding anniversary, among other things. I feel very lucky to have been able to maintain an amicable relationship with both him and his wife, even to the point of calling them friends. For the most part, I think we're in the minority.

Today, we will celebrate three wedding anniversaries, two birthdays, and a graduation. Forget that it's 102 degrees and that many of the celebration activities will be outside, I'm anticipating a festive day. Kids, dogs, music, good food and laughter.

Expect a full report.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Doll House

Several months ago I bought a big box of doll house pieces at an estate sale. It was a real bargain. No picture of what the doll house should look like. No instructions. Just a big box of wooden pieces in plastic bags with the promise that it would become a doll house. It was too good to pass up. Today Lucy was coming to visit so we had great incentive to tackle this project. What a great work out for the brain. A gem of a puzzle! I'll spare you the details of getting it put together and jump to the finished product. It's about the cutest thing you've ever seen. I especially love the playground equipment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


What is it with collectors? My sister recently sent some photographs of a house she visited in Germany where the man collected coffee pots and the woman collected dolls. They lived amidst 8,000 coffee pots and 3,000 dolls. Why? There were so many they couldn't possibly display them in a visual or educational manner. They were just there. Everywhere.

Freud might say that the traumatic loss of something going down the toilet was what caused the collector to try to gain back "possessions" that had been lost. I don't really buy into that. I think these two fall into the category of hobbyist collector. They probably have no special attachment to the items. How can you be attached to 8,000 coffee pots, especially when many of them are alike? I think he just likes the idea of collecting something. I'd be interested to know how he started collecting this particular item. How on earth do you amass 8,000 coffee pots? Where do they come from? Does he search for them? Maybe he used to own a coffee pot store? Dolls, I can see how a woman might collect them. She had some; her gramma left her some; she has her daughter's, she has her mom's. But 3,000? Visually, they have more interest, but 3,000? Where do they come from?

My sister has to go back to the house to pick up a "schrank" (the apartments in Germany don't have closets; you have to buy a wardrobe or furniture for that purpose). I think I'll suggest that she interview these two people and get the low-down. I'd love to know the "rest of the story."

Today's Quote

This quote is one that I cut out of a letter I received in 1980. It was a solicitation letter for a magazine subscription. I don't remember the magazine, and I don't know who was quoted, but I have carried this little piece of paper around with me for nearing thirty years. I believe in this quote just as much today as I did then.

"I require little of my own life; it need not deliver money or fame or even happiness. But it must suggest to me enough significance that I remain interested in it, as much as if it were a play."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Going Into the Closet

I'm taking the quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” (William Morris) and changing it to "Have nothing in your closet that does not make you feel beautiful." Today I am tackling my closet. I'm trying very hard to stay focused and part with things that I used to love, but are now either tired or somehow have "shrunk" or just don't fit my life. There's a beautiful dress that I bought, have never worn, and if I'm honest with myself, I know I will never wear it. It's a dress that would have looked great on me 15 years ago. It will never look great on me now. It needs that thin frame and flat belly that have recently disappeared to make it work. So far, it's not in the pile. It needs to go in the pile.

All of the t-shirts from my 5K races are in the pile. That was a tough one. I don't wear any of them; they just hold memories of a past identity that's hard to let go of. I think it's time to let go.

For organizing my summer things, I'm trying something that I read on another blog. I'm hanging all my hangars like this:

Then as I wear something, I'll hang it back like I normally would. At the end of the season, I'll know which items did not get worn.

If what they say is true, that your environment mirrors other situations in your life, I wonder what my closet says about my life? By the end of the day, I'm hoping my closet says something fabulous!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sweet Dreams

This little piece was my test experiment for painting a quilt. I actually love the way this looks even though the lettering stinks and the border is sloppy. The letters were drawn in glue and painted around with textile paint then colored in with fabric markers. I love the idea of this piece and would like to do one "for real." For now, Lucy will tuck her baby dolls in with this one which hopefully will result in sweet dreams for all.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I love completing a project and looking back at the process and seeing what I'd do differently next time. My favorite row on the quilt is the top row -- it's the sun, then a green, then a landscape. The colors all flow together just right. If I was doing it over, I'd design the entire quilt around those colors and that "scape." It's peaceful and cheerful at the same time.

My next project is a guest book for a friend's wedding. I've been trying to come up with a way to make it different than a regular guest book but don't want to over complicate it or mess it up. Her invitation is very simple, very elegant so the colors and style will be great to use. My thinking cap is on. This weekend I'll do a test book.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Baby Quilt

The quilt is finished and hard to photograph. Here's a collage of the blocks.

And for a slideshow

I'm playing around with Picasa and the web album possibilities. This is a slide show of some art projects I've done over the past few years. A few of Sam's & Henry's are thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

White Out

Penguins vs. Red Wings at home. Pittsburgh fans wore white t-shirts. An amazing effect, all those white t-shirts and the white ice. When the Pens scored, it was a visual extravaganza. I know the white-out is not an original idea, but OMG it worked! They won!!

Imperfect Perfection

Yesterday Tom read my horoscope and it said something like "You move faster than most people." I probably wouldn't have described myself like that, but I admit there are many times I think "Why aren't they doing such and such? If they'd just . . . "

Today was one of those times I probably acted too quickly. At least, I acted before I thought things through. My sister's house is for sale but isn't getting the action she wants, i.e. sold, so after a conversation with her, I listed it on craigslist. The response was so overwhelming, I had to delete it less than four hours later. I need to figure out what to do. Who knew?

So, I'm remembering the quote: “Winners take imperfect action while others are perfecting their plans.”- Kevin Nations. I have no idea who Kevin Nations is, but I like what that says. It's so easy to get caught up in wanting to do everything just right that we take no action -- I should know, I've done it. Still, there's that paradoxical side of me that acts and then decides the next step based on the outcome of the first. I'm a planner, but in so many ways, I'm really not. I'll do something and then figure out how to make the first step work. The quilt I'm working on is a prime example. An idea that may or may not work. More on that later. Especially if it works.