Sunday, June 29, 2008

It is time . . .

"Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be . . . Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before." Erich Fromm

The journey I have been preparing for this past month has started. I woke early and I knew that things would never be the same. I thought it was a physical journey, but it is clear to me now that it is a spiritual journey as well. I am ready.

And, remember this? This is where I started over a month ago with the changes needed in my studio area. Our house is one level, but the garage is two story and connected to the main part of the house. My studio area is over the garage and there are three rooms there. My studio is in the larger area. There is also a bedroom and a small area when you come up stairs. I will share more pictures later so you can visit.

Here is a picture from yesterday showing some of the same area. The green wall is a flannel covered section that is a design wall. I am ready for the journey and looking forward to the learning that awaits me.

The third picture is from looking at the other end. My studio is a long, somewhat narrow room. It is about 15 x 30 and used to be a room with a closet and an unfinished area for a bathroom. When I got my longarm, we took out a couple walls and made it one large room. I want to do something different with the curtains. I got an idea from another blog I read and enjoy - Happenings on Wishbone Lane - I am going to look for some shades like those.

I moved some things around, cleaned and thinned, rearranged, organized and with some minor adjustments, it feels good. One thing I wanted was a comfy chair where I could put my feet up and do handwork - well it is the green one on the left in the second picture. It was waiting for me to notice it as it sat unused in another part of the house.

Family updates - my son, Stan, had a birthday yesterday and we are celebrating it tonight with burgers from the grill and a great chocolate cake. They returned yesterday from a week in Portland where his brother and his Dad live. My Dad is struggling and it is hard on Mom. I am heading that way on Wednesday. They live in Missoula and it is about 200 miles west of here

Life has it arms wrapped tightly around me and I am blessed.

So - let the journey begin - again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting there . . .

Where ever "there" is. I have been working to get my life back into one place. And I keep being reminded of the word "gratitude" and how much it all means.

This morning I read "Gina - DearGina's" blog about the little things that bring joy to our heart. It is a good read! It reminded me of the dimes I find. When I find a dime, I know an angel is looking over my shoulder and it is hard not to feel the gratitude to the core of my being.

One more little thing to do in my studio and it will be ready for some pictures and that will happen today. I have reclaimed it as part of me from the grasp of the unused that happens when you leave an area for long periods of time. It is mine again!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It is all good. . .

Lots of things to be thankful for here . . .

Dad has moved from the hospital to a rehab center for a couple weeks to get his strength back.

Our family is blessed with special love.

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting ready . . .

Here it is Wednesday already. There is not much creative or inspirational to share going on here. I did get a couple good pictures when I was out early this morning of our close mountains so here's one and you can see the combination of the green and the snow.My Dad is in the hospital in Missoula. We are not sure what is going on. He went in on Monday and is doing better now, but they are going to keep him a couple days to check things out before he gets to go home. I am so glad we went over on Sunday for Father's Day to "surprise" him. He really wasn't surprised but was in a good place. I was sharing with him my "new" saying - "mind your own business" - which fits me a lot. He said I was forgetting a word - it should be, "mind your own damn business" - I like that!

I am thinning out the house a little at a time, reorganizing my mess upstairs - oops, I mean "my studio" - and continuing to learn EQ6 and my new Pfaff Creative Vision. I am watching videos for the Intelliquilter that is also going to arrive in a couple weeks and getting some thinking going for a Quilt Study Group I plan to start this fall here in Montana. Mix in with that a couple afternoons a week with Weston, some fun teaching topics I am dreaming of doing, and a little social life with neighbors and friends and I am busy and focused. It feels good!

Maybe this is what people did long ago when they got ready for the long wagon trip West. Maybe they had lots of new stuff to learn and lots to get ready. That is what it feels like to me - I am getting ready and I am planning on a wonderful creative journey soon. I can hardly wait to get started, but I know there is a lot of work to be done first.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Some special fathers in my world . . .

A special "thanks" to the "Dad's" in my world and for the blessing of being a daughter, a mother, and a grandmother.
My dad, Roy, with my son, Roy. . . .

My son, Roy, with his daughter, Meagan . . .

My son, Stan, with his son, Weston . . .

And, sometimes, the great Dad's are not even connected by blood, but rather by love . . .

My Bob, with his grandson, Weston . . .

My Bob with his granddaughter, Meagan . . .

And from one of the most honorable journalists who left us today . . .

"The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." Tim Russert

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Thinking . . .

Cleaning and organizing gives me just the right time and space for thinking. It is always interesting what comes into my mind. It is like being in rapids and then coming to a smooth place in the stream - a place for lots of reflection.

And then this morning, I woke up thinking of all that I want to do and it brought me to my own "bucket list". What is really on my "bucket list"? Do I want to travel to far away places? What new things do I want to learn? Where do I want to go? It feels like the world is "brand new" to me and I get ready to head down the rapids again . . .

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

And . . .

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live them." John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More snow. . .

Yesterday it snowed and I thought it was just a fluke. Even in Montana, we should be having warm days and flowers the middle of June. But - no - here it is again today! Click on the pictures and you can really see the snow falling - big, wet, white stuff is starting to collect on the deck and lawn.

But, by Saturday we are supposed to be 70 degrees. It is a cold, wet June in the Northern Rockies. I think summer will be on the 4th of July this year.

Our wool workshop was great yesterday. I got rid of lots of "felted wool" sweaters or "jumpers" as a couple folks from Australia called them. Our neighbors have guests visiting them for a couple weeks from Australia. They do 4-H exchanges and it is fun to get to know great people from all over.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Moving out the wool . . .

Several years ago I got hooked on felted wool from recycled sweaters. I loved "the hunt" for beautiful wool sweaters from thrift shops that I could then felt, cut apart and organize. I became addicted to "the hunt" and the pretty colors all organized in rolls. I am now thinning out my felted wool stash - here are a few of the ones I am keeping. I have several garbage bags filled and in the car this morning ready to go to a neighbors where we are doing a workshop on making coats and pillows from felted wool. Here are some of the samples I am taking for ideas for those coming to create.

The first one is pillows - I kept these two, but have given many away as gifts. My friend Gail, from Denver, makes the pillows as well and she has done several in the cream colored wools that are very elegant.

I have also made a few coats and here are a pictures of two of them. I start people out with rectangular cuts, zigzag together, and then use a "joiner" to stabalize the seam. Some like to glue the pieces to a cotton backing before zigzagging them together. I like the drape of the sweater fabric without the backing better, but there are some issues to deal with from that as well. The first coat picture is a long coat with a combination of ultra suede and trim for the "joiners". The second coat is "free-style" cutting with all different trim for joiners. You can also make beautiful purses and vests. Here is one of the purses.

It will be a good day and a wonderful way to thin out my wool stash.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Looking forward . . .

. . . to lots of good things.

, Jim, Jane (Ronda's Mom), and Desiree (Ronda's granddaughter) are coming to visit two weeks from today. Jane is originally from Montana and they are coming to the northern part of Montana for a family reunion first and then heading this way for some time here and a trip through Yellowstone Park. We are really looking forward to their visit and plan lots of good laughter, some down time, and a bit of "quilting" talk of course!

I watched this on GMA this morning and thought is was interesting on how to "sharpen your brain". I can use all the help I can get!

Can you believe it - it is supposed to snow tomorrow and Wednesday. What is going on? It is the middle of June!

Guess I had better get with the final work on my studio reorganization!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. to keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." Helen Keller

Friday, June 6, 2008

The big date is set . . .

I love these guiding words and I am off to do just that!

"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you." Oprah Winfrey

I have wanted an IQ (Intelliquilter) for over a year - since MQS 2007 in Kansas City. I took a session from Helen Baczynski at that show and I was "hooked". I love computers, love quilting, love working with graphics design on computers - it was a match made in heaven. But, I first had to go off and spend those two semesters teaching - what was I thinking?

Now, on July 1, Helen is coming to install my very own IQ on my very own A1 quilting machine - also known as Miss Daisy. I am naming my new IQ "Hoke" - he drove the real Miss Daisy in the movie.

And - my studio reorganization - how is that coming you ask? Well it has been slow. I have come to the realization that my "stuff" has started having "stuff" of its own. Then it hit me! There is a bedroom right off my studio area that we rarely use - maybe once every 2 years for guests if then. We have 2 other bedrooms with a shared bath that we use for guests (and Weston) in the main part of our home. The studio is in an "apartment-like" area over the garage. So, what would be better than to turn that bedroom into a closet with shelves. After all, I am not running a Bed and Breakfast here - I am running a quilting arts business. So now, I will have a huge, walk-in storage area. It doesn't get any better than that. Right?

It is a great day! I am so excited!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Spring - better late than never. . .

We finally got to spend two days in the yard. We live in the country and have a lot of yard so it was time. The lawn just kind of stops where the hay grass starts or where you stop mowing. Either that or we would have to bail it when we put the hay up in a few weeks. The cool, wet weather has turned everything green.

I like pots and hanging baskets of flowers all around. I love to walk through the green houses and see all of the flowers. It is almost as good as buying fabric. And then you get to take them home, play in the dirt while planting them and enjoy them all summer. The sidewalk goes around to the front of the house. Those mountains in the distance are about 2 miles away as a crow flies and there are no houses in view between "here and there". And it is all green.

"See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence . . . we need silence to be able to touch souls." Mother Teresa