Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sketch and music

Listening to a little Mumford today.

Five things you may not know about me

This happened on Instagram recently, so I thought I would post it here and add a little more too... :)

Five things you may not know about me

1- I spent a summer doing archeology in Israel.
2-I have permanent eyeliner tattooed on
3- I once used my rusty Spanish skills to get a Spanish man who knew no english through customs in Thailand (after a 4 hour layover and flight spent talking together)
4- I had a huge scar on my forehead as a kid that was so bad it was usually the first thing I had to explain to other kids
5- there was a 4 year period of time where I wore black almost exclusively (I did it to avoid the suits my corporate company wanted me to wear). I remember the first brightly colored shirt I bought. (Funny fact if you know me now and see how much color I wear)

Five more random facts...
1- I was born on Leap Year day. Yup. February 29th. Which means I turned 9 last year and don't have a birthday this year.

2- I refuse to wear sweats or shorts anywhere other than working out if I'm out of the house. But if you catch me 10 minutes after being home, I'm in pajamas with my hair in a scrunchie.

3- I grew up in suburban Los Angeles in the beach cities. Moved to Chicago for 5 years when we first got married and had kids, and now we live in urban Los Angeles. We don't think we will ever move again.

4- I spend a lot of time sewing, but I really really really just want to make and sell my paintings and collages. Haven't ever sold a quilt, because they would be too expensive to sell, but have sold some fine art. I often entertain thoughts of doing another show someday.

5- I'm crazy good at the huge laminating machine at my kids' school. The TAs tease me about it.  I'm also the lunch lady on Tuesdays and if you saw me yesterday, I was not only doing both of those, I mopped the stairs and swept the entire hall. (Life in a charter school ain't glamorous, but we love it!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yolanda's last quilt

This is the final quilt for Yolanda. It's the one I basted for her and brought to the hospital for her to hand-quilt in her bed. She didn't get very far on it, but she carried it with her to every room she had for months. I think each stitch must have been hard to complete.
Her fiancé asked me to finish it for him and I gladly took it on. I've been working on it for about a month now. I'm very close to finishing it. It wasn't finished when I took these pics of it in the snow in Mammoth, but they were so pretty I had to take them. I'll post more when I am done.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

WIP - scrappy trip along

We were up in the mountains away from my sewing machine for New Years. I brought hand sewing and quilting projects along. (And knitting)
...and then the weird Instagram phenomenon knows as #scrappytripalong happened.... I kept joking with J, "it's Jan 2 and I've already missed out on the biggest thing of the year!" One or two bloggers decided to use up scraps and make this fun, fast quilt. Then everyone else joined in and there were suddenly hundreds of pics all over Instagram. So when I got home, I decided now was the time to chop into my treasured AnnaMaria Horner fabrics - ones I have bought and basically just looked at for years. One from this line, one from that line. (Was I ever going to use them?) well, my friend and bee-mate Janice, at Betteroffthread, decided this was the time to use up her AMH collection (in supersoft voile) and when I saw that I knew I wanted to use my hoard. Of course, I didn't have enough for a whole quilt, so I supplemented with lots of other complements and solids too... And managed to get 16 blocks sewn together that first week of January. Mimi immediately claimed the quilt-to-be for her new bed - which meant the size was gonna be a full size quilt.
I'm only 1/2 done now, but you can see how colorful and fun this is going to turn out. It's funny that an old fashioned quilt pattern would get a sudden massive resurrection due to social media. Go figure.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mimi is so creative she makes me cry

Recently, my pal Amy came in town to visit with her newborn baby girl for a visit. Mimi took one look at the tiny baby and said, "mom, can I go sew? I have an idea" ("are you inspired?") "Yes, can I?" ("Of course")
20 minutes later she emerged from the studio with a t-i-n-y bag. She explained it would make a perfect sleeping bag for baby Nadia. Amy graciously explained that Nadia would probably be sleeping with her mom in the bed, but thank you so much!
Then a few weeks later, Amy sent this email to Mimi:
Hi mercy!
Nadia is growing so fast that she is already too big for the nice sleeping bag you made for her. But we are going to use it for her monkeys ;) here's a picture. Thank you!!
Amy, Johnny and Nadia 

Sent from my iPhone

First finish of 2013

Here's one of my Tumbler Party quilts. The Tumbler Party was a swap of sorts that Yolanda set up when she was feeling well last winter. She collected fabrics in specific colors schemes from about 12 different participants and then she used her die-cutter to cut tumbler shapes for all of us, she mixed them up and sent a packet to each of us. This one was in Yolanda's favorite color scheme... I assembled my quilt top when I was sewing in Lake Las Vegas with some friends for a weekend last February. But it sat unattended all year when Yolanda got sick and I was focusing on helping her get all her family quilts done.
So it is finally complete... It has both hand and machine quilting in it and its going to a very dear friend of mine - the hostess of that LLV sewing weekend last year - Tifanie - who has a fresh start in 2013 and also a birthday this month. :)
(Oh, and the adorable and very helpful puppy in the pic belongs to my husband's buddy, Tony and his wife, who had our family to their cabin over New Years' where I finished the quilt and got the great snow pics!)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

MQG - Quiltcon charity top

The Modern Quilt Guild is hosting its first ever convention this February, affectionately named Quiltcon.
I'm signed up to go and to take a lot of classes from some of my very favorite designers. It's going to be pretty awesome.
As one of the many events that are happening as part of this convention many people sent in blocks in the "quilt con" colors to try and make it into a charity quilt that is going to be raffled off.

The remainders of the many blocks that were entered are being made into enough quilts to actually cover all of the beds in the Austin children's shelter. Myself and other Los Angeles modern quilt guild members have been placed in charge of our two quilts. So one day I had two friends (Latifah and Pam) over for soup and salad and quilting and in that day we created this top. It only took about 5 hours.
It is currently being long arm quilted by another friend named Tanya (I'll include pics of her work in progress) and will be bound and labeled by other members. Then it will be placed on display at the convention before being sent to the shelter for the children.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

On a warm day in January

It was an amazing warm beautiful day today after weeks of unusually cold CA weather. Daddy insisted we went to the beach for our annual warm day in January pics... Every year, it seems there is one really warm January weekend and every year Jay takes the kids to celebrate that afternoon with a photo shoot at sunset.

Today was so pretty that it started with a walk on the beach for just the two of us before picking up the kids from a sleepover at my parents' house. We headed straight back to the beach for sunset.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Our Christmas gift! More art by Ryan Graeff (The Restitution Press)

For Christmas, J and I decided what we wanted most of all was to give each other a commissioned painting by Ryan Graeff - an artist we discovered while furniture shopping for our new house. We saw his artwork in a furniture gallery at Helms Bakery and the color, love of place, graphic nature, true LA vibe and street art influences really grabbed us. We tracked the artist down and bought a fantastic painting of his in the fall and we saved the huge spot over our fireplace for a larger commissioned piece.
Ryan is not only a fantastic artist, he's a great person to work with. He's warm and generous and insanely talented. He's also getting some really big breaks and when we picked up this painting last week, he told us that he's now signed contracts with more galleries and even a design firm to do work for their clients.
We didn't know if it would be too much to ask for him to include many of our family's personal landmarks in the piece, but he was happy to oblige and the end result is an amazing painting where every single element of it has memories attached for our family. We are beyond excited about this piece. He even made two copies of it and let us pick our favorite. (The price of his work is rising so quickly that the second piece is already worth 3x what we paid for it, he told us -- AS IF we would ever sell this treasure!)
Anyhow, I had to share.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sketching in 2013

So far this year, I've been able to fit in lots of time for art in all forms. I have quilted, I have knitted, I have taken a painting class, and spent many mornings drawing.
I haven't blogged much simply because I have so much to say that it's been hard to start. Plus it has felt weird to not address how affected I was by everything that happened at Sandy Hook elementary last month.
I may try to address that later but for now I'll fill you in on a few small things I'm doing.
So for this year I have had a lot of chances to have my morning drawing times both with and without the kids. Z I
is really the one that gets into this with me. I have found it very meditative and healing. It's often hard to come up with something to draw at 6:45 in the morning but I have decided that what I will do is just focus on the first thought that comes to mind. And sometimes I'm actually just writing down words and doodling around them. When it comes to things like spending a few minutes reading scriptures or deep thoughts it helps me to focus my mind in a way that's different than when I used to just journal furiously.
There's always a cup of tea nearby too.
Here are just a few of the sketches that I have done this year already.



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