Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's blooming?

I haven't done anything on any of my art quilt projects for over a week. I am so distracted by MIL in the hospital, our sick dog, Beau (who is better now than last week) , garden chores and who knows what else. I think I have SO many things to do and finish, that I'm just paralyzed when I think about it. I end up doing nothing except what I am very comfortable with and don't have to really think about--like my traditional quilting.
But--our flower beds are shaping up and things are finally blooming. Here are some pictures of pansies, lilacs, columbines and bleeding hearts. Lots of purple things, much like my Flower BOM!

All these pictures cheer me up and remind me of the beauty of Spring, even when I'm losing my mind.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More BOM Blocks

I made two more blocks for the Flower BOM on which I've been working for two years now...
I trashed the 14" block I made a couple weeks before and made another one.
This pattern is called Duck Foot in Mud--not really a flower block. But, I used my floral fabrics and the green, and now they do look like flowers.

I also made another 6" block--a little basket block. Once the quilt is completed and quilted, I'll fill the basket with 3-D flowers made from one of the florals and embellished with beads.
So--all the main blocks are done now. With the setting I want to do, I need to make about 36-38 small 4" filler blocks. They will be a number of diferent patterns; I have to figure that out yet...
Unfortunately, I can't work on this project for a while, as I need to get going on several challenges whose deadlines are looming. I need to make four fiber art pieces in the next three weeks. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Musical Tastes

I always listen to music while I'm sewing or painting or beading; generally light classical and baroque, or "New Age"--what Tom refers to as "yuppie elevator music". It's soothing and calming and not very demanding to the ear. Perfect for letting my mind wander and concentrate on my project.

However, sometimes I really want to hear some hard rock. Then, out comes the old stuff: Led Zepplin, Ten Years After, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, The Doors.
In high school, I always loved the hard rock when all my girlfriends were into Joni Mitchell or Neil Diamond or other "soft rock" music. Yawn. The boys always admired my taste in music--it was a lot like theirs! Now that I'm a 50-something mom, I still love it. Is that odd?
The other day I ran across a CD that my younger daughter, Julie, recorded and gave to me for Christmas a long time ago. "Mom's Rockin' Christmas". It has songs by Puddle of Mud, Linkin Park, Limp Biskit, Tool and other 90s bands. Most are long gone, but they had some great one-hit wonders. It even has a great head-banging version of "Smooth Criminal" by Atom Ant.

Thanks, Julie. It reminds me of my high-school days; different bands and different sounds (and definitely different words--I had forgotten how many F-bombs are on that disc...), but the teenage angst never changes. Oh, and don't tell the BMI people--they'll get mad....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Changes a-coming

I've been very unsettled the last week or so. Ever since my "faux heart attack". (Thanks to Jeanne McBrayer for that term...I've used it alot.) Even so, I've managed to be sorta busy. Tom and I worked in the garden all weekend, saw a concert given by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra where they did the 1st Violin Concerto by Bruch with Frank Almond as the soloist, attended the monthly Milwaukee Art Quilters Group meeting, shopped for a new white cardigan to replace the one on which I splashed tomato sauce and bought shoes instead, and attended a meeting of the planning committee for the Grace Foundation fund-raising event. http://www.givinggrace.org/
I managed to get into the workroom only once, and worked on another block for the Flower BOM. Which I should have been working on any number of projects for assorted challenges instead, but did not. Too distracted. I have a million quilts flying in and out of my head--every time I see an unusual object, a sunset, a bird. I just can't seem to settle down and work on a one of them!!

One reason I'm so gefroozled is that we have some big changes coming--my mother-in-law, Juta, will be moving in here next week. She is 90 years old, and can no longer live on her own. She is not happy about being dependent on us, and we're not particularly happy about disrupting our household, but you do things for your mom...She's from the old country, and taking care of family is just what we do. Kinda like drinking vodka. Its just expected.
So she's been busy packing all her stuff, and we've been busy getting a room ready for her.
I hope Juta will be comfortable here, especially now that its spring. She always enjoyed sitting in the backyard and bird-watching, and she'll be able to do that again. Well, we're family and it'll all be OK.

Today a small storm rolled through the area right before sunset. I watched the dark clouds float off to the east just as the sun popped out in the west, and lit up the trees behind our yard. Then as it got darker, I was surprized to see a beautiful almost-full moon.
I guess tomorrow will be a brand new day with fresh hope. Here's a pic.

Another quilt flying into my head...

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Prize and Go Red for Women

In looking over all my recent correspondence, I discovered that I neglected to post about the neat art quilt I won on Jeanne Turner McBrayer's blog: http://allthingsquilty.blogspot.com/.
She had a drawing a few weeks ago and I won! She sent me the coolest small quilt--it's called "Tropical Waters:, and it, indeed, reminds me of the Caribbean (I was there once...) With it she included an ATC and her calling card, embellished with yummy blue and purple fibers.
So, thank you VERY much, Jeanne, for holding a drawing. I am just thrilled with my prize! Also,please forgive my tardiness in thanking you publicly.

Well... I haven't been in my workroom in a few days, but I have a somewhat good excuse. I had a little chest pain episode Wednesday, and they put me in the hospital! What a fuss. I've had weird chest pains in the past, but this was different. Along with a pressure in my chest, I had pain in my jaw and I broke into a sweat. Not good.
So, since I was already driving on the freeway (!), I just passed my office exit and drove to the ER. There was a lot of fuss, questions, monitors, etc. as the pain just faded away. I felt fine once more, but they insisted I stay overnight for observation, and undergo some more tests in the morning. It was then that I thought I should have gone to work and forgot about it. But--everyone I spoke to insisted that I did the right thing.
Anyway, all the tests came out fine, and I found out I was in better shape than I thought! So, my heart is fine and I learned you can really never fool around when you have chest pains!
For more info on heart disease in women: http://www.goredforwomen.org/
I think I'll get myself a red dress and send some cash to the AMA!
P.S. I had my husband take a picture of the curtain that was hanging in the ICU room when I was waiting to go up to the cardiac floor. It was two shades of spring green with really cool grey flowers on it. I'll post it when he emails it to me. It was a great color scheme for a quilt!