Monday, July 27, 2009

Is thread really that important?

I received a wonderful email today. It really touched my heart. I thought I would share.
This girl just heard one of my lectures recently and was moved to write me. She periodically loses her eyesight for long periods of time so she can't quilt. She said she tries but sometimes she can't even get the fabric under the presser foot. This last bout was hard and when she got her sight back she just couldn't go in and quilt. Even her friends didn't know how hard she was struggling with this. Something I said in my lecture encouraged her and when she got home she started to quilt. I am so happy for her.
You know quilting is more that just being in love with fabric?
Being creative, making something with your hands even if your hands don't work that well any more. You can't give up.
Creativity is finding another way to work. Being dyslexic means that I have always had to figure out another way to do the same thing that everyone else was doing. There is always more than one way to do something. We run into problems when we compare ourself to others. We all have one challenge everyday. Some people just have a hard time admitting it.

Two of my favorite artists are Monet and Matisse. Both men lived until their late 80's and continued to be creative even though they where going blind and crippled. Monet just got bigger and bigger canvases and could only see the color blue, which isn't such a bad color to see. He had to read the names on the paint tubes and remember what the colors looked like when he was painting.

Matisse created from his bed or a wheel chair. They would push his bed facing the window so the light would be coming towards him. He could then hold up brightly colored paper and cut out wonderful shapes. These works in their later years are some of the most beautiful art works in the world. All done by men who could not see. They just couldn't stop being creative no matter what their bodies were doing or not doing.

So what are you battling right now? Just know you are not alone. Sometime we need to ask for help, support each other, and once in while get a kick in the pants.

Today I was getting very panicky and worried about thread. Yes, I said thread.
I am trying to finish my Houston quilt. The clock is ticking and I ran out of brown thread, not even blue thread but brown. I spent all day online, then driving to my quilt stores, with no luck so now I have to be creative with what I have.

So I am writing this to kick myself in the pants and learn to take my own advise. It's only fabric and thread. It's not my eyes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Sweetest Things in Life

The sweetest things in life are sometimes the simplest of times. Like coming home after a long 2 weeks away. It was like I couldn't drive fast enough to get back to my beautiful home, husband and of course "the dog". Every time I arrive back after a trip, I fall more in love with this funny yellow house. Yes, there where some hard times keeping this old house. But I think all the fighting and controversy we went through to keep it yellow has made our love greater. It is truly a magical place, where love, creative and safety abide. I have always known this house was a gift from God!
This is not a perfect house by any means. The neighborhood could be better. The house across the street is abandoned with weeds to my knees, no, make that my shoulders. We call it, @4200 sq feet, The Hotel .

The siding on this yellow girl is falling off and the roof leaks when it rains. In the winter we can't seem to keep the house warm enough although all summer it's good and toasty. The stairs creak and it all needs a good painting. But don't we all. But I am now home and it feels so good.I painted a saying on the walls of my kitchen when we first moved in 11 years ago. It's an old Shaker song that Matt came home singing (off key, of course) when he was in kindergarten.

'Tis a gift to be simple,
'tis a gift to be free,
'tis a gift to come down to where you ought to be,
and when you find yourself in the place just right,

you'll be in the Valley of Love and Delight!"

I will never paint over that verse, it is what my home is to me.
I hope your home is that to you, also.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Quilt Show and Me

Well, it's finally here. The Quilt Show is now showing a slide presentation of my episode (#501) that will start airing on July 6th. Why I can't seam to keep my hands from waving in the air I don't know. I'm not Italian. Maybe my Native America ancestors were very animated. I do know some where preachers on that side, so maybe that's it, I'm leading the church choir. I have a funny felling that my life is about to change big time.

It all started about 13 years ago when Joe, Matt and I moved to Sacramento. I didn't want to move there. We where living by the beach in Aptos, which I loved. I love the sand, the water, even the fog.

The economy was like it is today (crappy) and we had to go for financial reasons to find a cheaper place to live and for Californians there aren't many choices. Back then a starter home at the beach was $350,000 for 900 square feet of fixer upper, which meant it was missing some windows and doors and maybe part of the roof (AWESOME, it has a skylight!) So Sacramento, here we come. I cried all the way. When we arrived it was a wonderful 108 degrees in May. I had no friends or family close by and had just given up my fabric and wallpaper design business. Plus it was just too hot. You couldn't go for a walk until 9:00 at night. I was a little depressed to say the least.

One hot and steamy day I was clicking the remote and stumbled on a new TV show called Simply Quilts. The host was cute and bubbly and she was making quilts. I liked to make quilts. She was even incorporating art into her quilts. Maybe I could make a quilt to keep myself busy until the weather changed. Off to WalMart I went to buy fabric. I didn't even know there were such things as quilt shops. I made 5 quilts in about 2 months. I was obsessed.
So it is very appropriate that I have found myself on The Quilt Show today.
Who new that years after I thought my life was over and I had given up the job I loved and had to change everything in my life that I would be doing my passion and sitting next to Alex and Ricky in La Veta, Colorado. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy the show and check out my cute shoes. Sorry for all the arm waving.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer In My Backyard!

It has been really hot this week. That is when the summertime heat reaches 100+ and our backyard becomes a cooling place to be and enjoy the outside. I have been holed up in the house because of the heat and because of printing patterns for my upcoming 2 week gig in Southern California. I am doing 5 quilt guilds in 14 days. What was I thinking?
For a diversion and to pretend that I am not as wimpy about the heat as I am, Joe and I like to spend the afternoons around the shady pool throwing the ball for our dog, Cosmo. I dip my feet in the cold water and always ask, "When are we getting solar for the icy pool?" To which Joe consistently replies, " *@$#%!!#^#^*!!!!, it's 100 #@!$@! degrees." In a nice way, of course.
I have turned into quite the Princess and the Pea in my older years. And I WILL get solar.
Yesterday as we set around the pool, and I actually went in, we read my first copy of CANDY CANE LANE! I now have 2 books, to which Joe is quick to add, "2 books, exactly one more than you have READ." It will be out in the stores in August. You can already preorder it on Amazon right now. If you would like a signed copy you can order if from my web site at the end of August.

Summer time is the perfect time to start thing about Christmas. So what that it's 100 degrees. Even the cool backyard colors go with this Christmas book. Just remember to keep your feet in the pool while you stitch.