Sunday, January 29, 2006

Artist's Way Check In - Week Ten

Week 10 Check Ins

I am revisiting week 9 briefly - the section on FEAR really spoke to me and I had to review it again this week. It is fear, of success OR of failure, most often causes that screeching halt to productive endeavors - at least for me that's true. Its way more comfortable to just go along in a rut. I really have to kick myself hard in the posterior to get out of the rut...And there is usually this nasty nagging little voice in the back of my head that voices all sorts of doubts about what I am doing - getting it to shut up is the trick! I am starting to work with the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book and I think its probable that the naggy voice is the left side of the brain that just doesn't understand what the right side artist brain is doing (and it hates loosing control to the right side).

Week 10 talks about HOW we find ways to block our creativity. Some of her examples have no relevance to me...I don't drink, don't smoke, don't use drugs...But some are ways I find to block, like eating - circling back around to the fridge and looking in it though you just did that 5 minutes ago and nothing has changed is an avoidance technique - keep telling yourself you are hungry (even if you aren't) and there is nothing to eat and oh woe is me, I gotta eat something before I can work on my project...

I didn't agree with her assessment that competition is spiritual drug and that focusing on competition poisons our well -unless- you truly are using it as a way to stop doing your own creativity because someone else already beat you to 'it'...I think of competition more of a challenge to yourself to get moving..."If they can do it, well then by golly, so could I - after all, they've proved its possible!"

Check In:
1. Did pages 6/7 days...Still haven't gotten around to re-reading what I wrote in earlier days...
2. Artist Date this week was to go to a book signing by a famous author (I can't say who it was because the book is a gift, until after the gifting is done). I had never gone to a book signing before. This author is a bit controversial (though I love listening to the radio program put on by the author) - there were several burly dudes on each side of the author just in case! The store passed out wristbands with numbers on them, you had to line up in order of your wristband number. It was interesting chatting with some of the other ladies (the majority of the people in line were ladies, a couple of guys but mostly middle age ladies!)
3. Syncronicity - My DH had some interesting syncronicity - got a notice for some software updates that were just what was needed...
Went to shop at Joann's near my parents house for a quilting hoop (to practise the new 'metal to metal' quilting technique I learned from Jean Brown last week) and the Joann's had closed its doors!(Its a brand new shiney scrapbooking store now - cute stuff but no hoops!) So I went over to Michaels...They had the hoop I wanted, at a lesser price, they took the Joann's 40% off coupon that I was hoping to use, and I used my Christmas gift card to buy it so it turned out to be a really GOOD deal...My Dad and I are going to make it into a lap hoop (next week's Artist Date!) but I wanted to make it so that it could collapse for easier we are thinking about how to make the legs snap up and down...(I love working on projects with my Dad).
4. I think the working thru the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book is going to make a lot more sense after going thru TAW...

Task 2 - Touchstones
Apricots warm from the sun, blue skys and green hills, wild sunflowers, fat little birds, swans, microbead pillows, fresh coffee brewing with bacon frying, snuggling under the covers when its the 'perfect' temperature - not hot, not cold, the sound of lawnmowing on a warm summer day, mincemeat cookies, chai tea with cream.

Monday, January 23, 2006

January Journal Quilt Challenge - Aurora Borealis

Presenting my Journal Page for January:
















Text from back:

Year of Wonders
This month I am exploring the wonders of the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis.

When I first thought about the theme for this month – January – I was just going to have a winter scene with snow. Though snow is not a common occurrence in Southern California, we do see it on the mountains and admire it from afar. January to me is the wintriest of winter months. I guess since I have never had to live in the snow, I still have a somewhat idealized view of snow. It looks so soft in pictures, though I know from my limited exposure to it, that it’s not at all soft.

After I picked out my first choices of fabrics, I had them lying on my desk. Nearby was a piece of hand-dyed fabric that my friend Julia and I created. That fabric reminded me of the aurora borealis. I found a couple of sites on the web that had gorgeous pictures of the aurora borealis and that cemented the idea for the page!

I ended up using none of the original fabrics except for the hand-dyed piece. I found a graduated piece of dark blue to lighter blue with golden speckles that seemed to be just right for the sky background. I set that piece of fabric at an angle since the aurora I wanted to depict is at approximately a 45-degree angle. I used batting for the snow to give it a bit of dimensionality. The background is fused to a piece of stiff interfacing to keep the page from being too floppy.

The buttons, beads, and sequins were attached after quilting. Satin stitching around all the edges of the page completes the construction process.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Class Projects from Road To California

Some of my class work from the Road To California classes I took:

This is a rose ink painting using Tsukineko Inks from the class with Lura Schwarz Smith on 'Inking Your Fabrics':
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This is a portrait of a child from the Lura Shwartz Smith class:
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These poppies are from the class on applique that I took from Martha Nordstrand:
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Artist's Way Check In - Week Nine

Week 9 Check In Links

This has been a whirlwind of a week. My Artist Date took up most of the week! I spent Wednesday afternoon helping hang quilts at the Road To California show, then attending the opening preview for class participants. Then classes all day Friday, most of the day Saturday and I went back to check on a few vendor booths Sunday morning (the showroom floor is the emptiest on Sunday morning!)
Instead of repeating the pictures from the show here, please visit the forum posts and see the pictures in my two Road To California Report posts:

There was absolutely no way to do much with tasks 1, 2 and 4 this week...I just did not have the kind of time I would need to do them properly..Started reading my pages but only got a couple of days into them...So far, in what I reread, I complained mostly about 'the betrayal of the body'...
3. Creative Goals for the Year:
  • Journal Quilts Challenge

  • Mystery Quilt at AZ Retreat

  • Hearts Garden Quilt

  • Penrose Tile Quilt (rework per Dixie's suggestions)

  • Continue with 'The Artist's Way'

  • Start working thru 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'

  • Do more sketching, watercoloring and inking

  • Added after Road: Work on Hoffman Challenge (a piece of the challenge fabric followed me home)- may or may not make it, but at least I will try a design

Creative goals for the next few weeks:

  • Finish cutting AZ quilt

  • Make test block for back of Hearts Garden

  • Do January Reveal and make February Journal Challenge page

  • Cut frames per 'Drawing' book

  • Get Tsukineko inks for inking (done!)

  • Practice new handquilting method and get another row done on Penrose Tiles quilting

Check In:
1. Did pages 6/7 days...
2. Artist Date was a blast! Way fun! And it felt really wonderful!
3. Lots of synchronicity - tools and methods for what I want to work on appeared.
4. I am seriously refreshed artistically...I hope I can keep up the fevered pace, but I am really liking it! I learned SOOOO much this week. And I was very brave, and let Dixie McBride actually look at and touch my Penrose Tiles...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ode to the Artist Child

I wrote this in my morning pages a couple of days ago...

Housework and errands
Can wait til the morrow
For time slips away
We've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down Doubts
Problems, go far away
I'm coddling my Artist Child
Who's come out to play!

Artist's Way Check In - Week 8

Chapter 8 Link

I did not get a sense that this chapter was about time...To me it was about going forward, regardless of whatever else happened in the past and what is happening currently. A couple of the statements stood out -

  • "In order to catch the ball, you have to want to catch the ball" - John Cassavetes

  • "...ask the right question:'What next?' instead of 'Why me?'"

  • "Creativity requires activity, and this is not good news to most of us. It makes us responsible. And we tend to hate that...Most of us hate to do something when we can obsess about something else instead. One of our favorite things to do - instead of our art - is to contemplate the odds..As a rule of thumb, the odds are what we use to procrastinate about doing what comes next."

What I got out of the chapter is 'Do something everyday towards your art, even if its just a small something'.

3. Color Schemes...
I am Green. I am a quiet forest, new mown grass, crispy Granny Smith apples, new dollar bills, Christmas trees, moss, jade, ivy, emeralds and old copper.
I have green pants, green shirts, green sweaters, green sox...And yes...I do have a LOT of green in my house - every room has some green in it, my dishes have green stripes, my dishtowels and kitchen rugs are green, the entry rug is green, the pillows on the sofa are green, the tablecloth on the dining table is green...Fortunately, its DH's favorite color too!

Check In:
1. Did morning pages 7/7 this week.
2. Artist's date to the folk music store described in a different post below. It was very interesting to go to an area that I have wanted to explore for a long time.
3. Syncronicity - yup...Needed to work on my Journal Quilt page and Charter Cable helped by blowing a fuse somewhere so I wouldn't have an excuse not to work on it.
4. Interestingly...This process is starting rub off on DH a bit by osmosis...We got to talking about some of the lessons and he got fired up about an idea he wanted to explore...Rah!

Next week's Artist Date is gonna be a BIG one - I am taking classes at the Road To California Quilt Show...I expect to be thoroughly fired up and raring to go by the time Sunday rolls around..May not have a lot of time for my tasks though...Have to see how much I can cram in before Wednesday. All my tools and supplies are packed, Zelda is ready and all I have to do is remember to take the camera and my lunch (food is dreadfully expensive there) and I am ready to rock-n-roll! Whee!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What Happens When The Cable Goes Out...

Got home this evening and the cable refused to connect to the internet...started to go into serious withdrawal..of course there were things I just HAD to look at on the 'net!
Almost decided to just go to bed really early for a change...but then passed my Journal quilt fabrics just sitting there looking so pretty...and thought...nah, sleep can wait...lets get at least the background on the page done...well, its seveal hours later, the background is done, the focus is done, the quilting is done -AND the cable is back!...Just have to sew on some embelishments, figure out if I want to print something for the back and do the satin stitching around the edge!!!! Hurrah, its mostly done...I guess I should say "Thanks, Charter Cable".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Harp Strings, Tibetan Singing Bowls and Belly Dancing Bells

Didn't get too much done on my January piece as I decided today was a good day to go do my Artist Date...I had read in a local magazine that there was a store not too far away that had harps...Well that caught my eye and I have been looking for a time to go...Had to get out to mail a couple of packages at the PO so I was out anyway...
This was a very ODD store...In addition to having harps (only three floor harps in the $1000 plus range!) they have guitars, violins, bongo drums, dulicmers, autoharps, belly dancing bells, shell ankle bands (they make noise), Tibetan singing bowls, tin whistles, stuffed animals, greeting cards, t-shirts, CD's and posters...Very cramped place with instruments stuffed on a shelf up over the display cases...And the clerks totally ignored me...I must have wandered around there for at least half an hour and not one word!!! Blew me away...
The store is in an old restored part of town, very eclectic...I wandered around the little shops - some of them had delicious odors wafting out to the street...One store had the Dansko shoes that Sophie talked about in her blog. Went in and tried on a couple of pairs...Very cool shoes, but wow...Are they expensive! $110!! It was an interesting experience!
Headed over to Michaels on the way home and got some drawing supplies and a few other tidbits with my gift card...So I didn't arrive home empty-handed.

Monday, January 09, 2006

January On My Mind...

I have had the initial design for the January JQC page done for some time now...Practically from the day I decided to do the challenge, but for some reason, every time I have gone in to work on it, I have shied away...Now I know why...My inner eye was not really satisfied with the piece of material for the background. I found a MUCH better piece today on the way home and I also got some glitter paint and some beads...Now I am RARING to get at this piece...Hopefully after work tomorrow...

Four on the Floor

Sophie and Jules have tagged everyone I know in the blogosphere with this MEME...

Four jobs you've had: computer programmer, data jock, sales clerk at the candy counter, order fulfillment for mail order

Four movies you could watch over and over: Somewhere in Time, Real Genius, Its a Wonderful Life, Home Alone

Four places you've lived: So Cal, Atlanta, Boston, Newfoundland

Four TV shows you love to watch: This is really hard since we don't watch much TV...Smallville, Star Trek, Monk, Boston Legal

Four Places You've Been on Vacation: Disney World, Victoria Island, Cork, Brussels

Four Websites You Visit Every Day: quilting forum, a number of blogs (count is up to 89!!!!), MSNBC, CNN

Four Of Your Favorite Foods: dark chocolate reigns supreme, apricots, raspberries, Shrimp Rangoons

Four Places You'd Rather Be: On a cruise, Hawaii(I've never been there!), New Zealand, exploring Mars

Four Albums you can't live without: Mannheim Steamroller (any of them), Soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera, Enya, Christmas at the Kings Court(harp music)

Four People you'll pass this on to: Humpff...all the people I know with blogs have been tagged already...If you are reading this and you haven't been tagged yet, guess what? You're IT!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bad Santa Mom

As I was putting away the Christmas stuff today, I remembered a funny incident that happened when we had our Christmas Party this year...I still fill stockings for my adult children...its a convient place to put 'little stuff'. My DD(23) this year, after she dragged all the stuff out of her stocking said to me in an exasperated voice..."MA, you FORGOT the tangerine and the penny...and NO NEW TOOTHBRUSH or pack of gum either! Its TRADITION!!!" Well I guess I've been told, eh? I gotta put that on the list for next year so I don't forget and be a bad Santa Mom again. (Kids...sheesh!)

Artist's Way Check In - Week Seven

Found a couple of quotes that were really interesting to me in chapter seven this week -

  • Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough - that we should try again.

  • Usually when we say we can't do something, what we mean is that we won't do something unless we can guarantee we'll do it perfectly.

1. Made the mantra and stuck it up on my bulletin board...
4. Got a delicious smelling candle - hazelnut cream. Though I don't actually like burning candles in my house, I do like picking up a good smelling candle as I pass by during the day...
5. Wore my favorite pink sweater a couple of times just cuz...
6. Bought a cozy soft pair of bottle green sox...
7 & 10. Made the collage (see other post for picture). Its hanging behind my desk where I can see it frequently. I was surprised by just how many pictures of cruise boats I picked out - I guess I really do want to go on a cruise!
8. Favorite films
  • Princess Bride
  • Somewhere in Time
  • Ever After
  • Real Genius
  • Its a Wonderful Life

Trimming it to 5 was hard...I like lots of films - including the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, the Harry Potter series, the Star Wars series and the Star Trek series...

Check In:
1. Did my morning pages 6/7..Wednesdays continue to be my challenge day. I did morning pages most of the days last week too...even though we were on hiatus.
2. Artist Date this week was thrift store sailing...went to a bunch of thrift stores that are near each other in Downtown. In one of the stores, I found a package of felt that sticks to the wall without harming the paint...there are four pieces which I think I will use in the corners of chunk of white flannel for a design wall. I also happened on a sweater sale at another - any sweater for 3 bucks. I got a raspberry chenille pullover and a cardigan that has rows of designs that go all the way around the sweater even the back...I haven't any idea what that pattern is called but I have been looking for one that I liked for a looonnnnggg time. This one has a gold background with pink, rose, green, white and slate blue...its label says its an Heirloom Collectible from 2004 and it does not appear to have ever been worn! Very funny that I would be picking out sweaters - it was close to 90 that day! Did I take any risks with my Artist Date..well, no. But it felt really cool to find that sweater!
3. Synchronicity...well, this week it was everywhere...I have joined the Healthy Living gang on the quilting forum and the Quilters Lounge...Got lots of references everywhere I looked - even in my mail, that the only way to actually keep weight off is to exercise! SO I am exercising...
4. As for issues, I am not sure this is actually an issue, but I am getting way more organized than I have been in the past...I seem to be able to focus harder on tasks and GET 'EM DONE easier! This is a good thing...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Lookin' Out My Back Door

This is the view today out my back door, or it was a few minutes ago...Rainbows sure don't last very the time I saw the rainbow and ran to get the digital, it had already faded by almost a half...California is in the grip of a wild rain storm system...If you watched the Rose Parade on TV earlier today, you saw it was very drippy! We have high wind advisories with up to 60 mph gusts and flood watches in nearly every county...there is even a tornado watch in a couple of the northern counties! Liquid Sunshine! And by the end of the week, we are supposed to be almost at 80 degrees again...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year 2006

I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!
I spent the day doing things I like to do (and some need to do's) so hopefully they will be things I get to do a lot of in the new year - just on the off-chance that its true, I took to heart Gabrielle's superstition...
~ I quilted...Worked on my Arizona Challenge piece and its almost done...
~ I did my morning pages...
~ I cooked some tasty low-carb food...
~ I exercised...
~ I read - both on computer and off...
~ I sketched some...I finished the basic design for my Journal Quilt page for January...

Goals for the next month:
~ Finish Arizona Challenge piece
~ Finish Journal Quilt page for January
~ Get my supplies together for Road To California Quilt Show classes
~ Attend Road to California Quilt Show
~ Keep up with The Artist's Way activities
~ Loose those 6 pounds that snuck up on me during the holidays