Thursday, December 20, 2012

Working on "Paradise"

Merry Christmas!
Walk to the beach.
Where does your inspiration come from?   Mine comes from everywhere, especially when I travel.  I am so grateful for the sweet time I have at the end of this busy year to just reflect.   It’s been a great year but there has not been a lot of pure creative days, one right after another. I should be making Christmas cookies and putting up lights but I have had this quit idea I'm about to show you  in my head for the last 6 months.
Coconuts scattered on the beach. 

That is why it's been so sweet to go to the studio and play in fabric day after day.  What a beautiful gift.  Thank you, God.  Soon, these days will be over and back on the road I go.  I still get to work on my art but not weeks at a time to play.

Here is a little of what has been on my design wall. It all started with my trip to Australia this summer, which was winter in Australia.  I taught at Quilting in the Highlands where they even had a Christmas in July luncheon. So I did have an early Christmas.  After my teaching gig we took a much needed holiday and flew up to the town of Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef.  It was warm and sunny there, closer to the equator.
The Great Barrier Reef is out there somewhere.
I sat every day with my little child’s sketch book that I bought at the MOA museum in Sydney and painted the beach and the palm trees, the waves and the rocks and even a picture of Joe I can’t show you.   The paints were not that good but the exercise of looking closely embedded the views in my mind.  So, of course, when I got home I had to recreate my images into fabric and thread.

Paint set.
I was so happy to find this paint set at the museum. The paper was the wrong kind and would curl when you added the wet paint.  The paint brush was the size of a tooth brush but I would have painted with a stick.
Jungle outside our tree house.
So here are some of my photos, my little paintings and my art quilt, Paradise. The painting of Joe in going in the vault.

Morning light on the beach.

 New quilt called Paradise.  This is what I have started from my painting and photos.
Cutting table. 

Palm trees overhead.

Yes, I cut every one of those pieces.

Working on the refection in the water and the clouds in the sky.
My paints at home.
PS. If you want some Christmas Joy read my last post for a good laugh.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Candy Dish

Sometimes we just need a good laugh and I have one for you today. With Christmas breathing down our necks, it’s good to have some holiday humor.  Most of the stories I tell are of goofy things that happen to me as I travel in the quilting world but I think that some of my foibles may have been inherited.  Maybe it’s a genetic mutation in our family genes.  It is clear that I am not the only wacky member of the Hopkins family.

Joe and I are getting ready to visit the family down in Southern California.  It’s an all day trip on the main California highway that will be a 2 lane, pot-holed, chock full of 18-wheelers nightmare.  I can’t wait!
We are all getting excited to be together, so let the Christmas decorating begin!
Now, decorating for Christmas in the Hopkins house has always been a big deal.  I have been blessed to always live in a beautifully decorated home even when we had no money.  Which was always.  You don’t need $ to have a beautiful home, just creativity.  I have now carried this tradition over to the Bula household but not this year.  I am going very low-key this holiday season. 
Having a mother who was a fabulous interior designer makes the holidays very festive.  I have always said that Martha Stewart has nothing on Lavonna Hopkins.  Except for a funny first name.  

So let the decorating commence.  I am sure my dad was on a ladder with his head up in the attic, pulling down all the dusty Christmas boxes containing the lights for the house, the nativity scene, the 18 foot tree, the Santa’s village to be displayed on the baby grand piano and all the little bells and whistles she has always done.  As time goes by we all start to get a little older and my sweet, creative mother has been battling some memory challenges that can seem sad but sometimes they are just downright funny.  It’s interesting how she still remembers how to decorate but has forgotten how to cook.  She can’t remember who was on the phone but knows everyone in an old photo.  We are all grateful that she can still decorate for Christmas and, most importantly, wants to.  She told me she didn't do too much but I assure you, she has.  It’s not going to be quite the same decorating that she did back in her heyday but it will be pretty. She sounded so excited on the phone and that made me happy.

Then I get the following  email from my sister, Jacqui, that has set the mood for this upcoming trip:

Okay this is too funny!!!!!!
Mom has decorated their whole house for Christmas, it looks really nice.
She has her Christmas candy dish on the coffee table in the family room - - - - - - -
It has been there for about 4 days I saw it - - - - - - -

Jillyan just called me at work and said Mom (Nana) has filled the candy dish with TUMS!!!!!!!! Like full about 35 TUMS

Jillyan went to see what kind of candy they were, pastel colored round disc candies and said each one has TUMS printed on it!!!!!

I had a good laugh; Jillyan is going to let Papa know asap. I don’t think we should be snackin on TUMS (however they do help with strong bones).
Just though I’d share - 

I sent her a response and I got this email back:

Okay – And the funniest thing is when I told Dad about it last night he said . . . . . . .
 I thought those tasted funny!!!!!!  Then he said to me “well it won’t hurt you, you could eat 8 of them and be fine”! (Yeah a little constipated).

He said he had told Mom they tasted like TUMS and she said it was CANDY!

Merry Christmas!!!!