Friday, March 28, 2008

Walker Sister Cabin

Some of you have requested Walker sister cabin pictures.

Isn't that a great front porch?
This is the view as you approach the cabin.

This is the end of a log at the corner of the cabin. Isn't it a marvelous pattern. You don't even want to know how many pictures of log ends I took. I have big plans for them ! They are in keeping with my current work... see the circular pattern moving toward the center? It brings to mind my recent quilt titled Black Hole which was made before this trip and reminds me that the brain never forgets a lovely pattern!

It is interesting to me that several years after Lynn and I first had a picnic at this cabin Brad and I bought a square cut log cabin with big porches. I must of liked it. Perhaps I am kin to the Walker sisters. It didn't occur to me until I went back this trip that it bears some similarities to my current home.

I love the peaceful energy of this place and the history of the Walker sisters who endured some hardships and appeared to have thrived as best you could during the time they were alive. They grew and sold herbs to locals and tourists. The stories about them fascinate me and I'll have to read them again.

I wonder if they danced in the moonlight ! I hope they did it was a lovely place for it.

Be well... enjoy the weekend... and dance if you get the chance !

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stormy Day

Happy Rainy Day! The thunder and lightning is lovely. Charlie and I are sitting in a coffee shop in Downtown Belleville watching the weather roll in.

We have been waiting for a good rain so we can find the source of our basement leaks... yes I said leaks ... as in more than one.

I have been busy between the flooding and a visit from my daughter Charlie I have had limited studio time the past 2 weeks.

In my mind I am packing for my trip...I leave for Florida for a week to enjoy the Focus on Fiber Retreat. I am looking forward to some time with other artists. I even have one who will be joining me for some dance... Hello Rosemary! This will be fun and a challenge to my dancing shyness. It will be good for me.

I have been dancing sporadically the past week. I hurt my back during the wet basement days but have been to the chiropractor twice and my back feels great. Somehow I twisted my knee overnight so I took today off as well. I really miss it on the days I don't dance. My knee will be okay with a day off and tomorrow I'll have a great dance morning.

Be well do a little dance.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thirsty Ducks

Evidently the ducks in Tennessee drink Coca Cola.
We found these guys hanging out at the mall.


This picture was a happy accident. I stumbled on the sheet of metal and seeing my shadow was such a wonderful surprise. Then I read the writing on the metal and it was perfection!

This research is being done at the Walker sister cabin where we had our picnic lunch.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rain Dance

Good morning! The trip to Tennessee was wonderful! Spending alone time with my friend Lynn is always such a treat!

It rained our first day there so we stayed in most of the day reading Jodi Picoult's new book ...Change of is a compelling read and the subject is the complexities of the death penalty and the character's struggles with faith and forgiveness. Reading the same book at the same time is fun..... monitoring each others sighs and gasps and wondering what the heck is happening. I always seemed to be a few pages behind Lynn so it was usually me saying ....WHAT??? or ....Stop that!!! It had been a long time since either of us had spent most of a day reading...what a treat!

I took a lot of great pictures which you will be seeing over the next few weeks. I will try to get some posted when I get a chance but things are bit hectic here at the present.

The rain stopped our second day so we hiked to the Walker sister's cabin... our favorite place to picnic we ate lunch and enjoyed a great bottle of wine. The sun came out midway through our meal .... this was lovely! Tennessee is just starting to green up and there were some blooming trees. In 2 weeks it will be spectacular.

The trip was full of laughter and it is one of my favorite things about my friendship with Lynn our ability to laugh together.... that wild uncontrollable laughter that hurts your stomach. I love that!

It was wonderful and I came home feeling rested and enjoyed a great dance yesterday morning a quiet mind and lots of energy! Good thing it helped prepare me for things to come!

Since I've been home the rain keeps coming down... here is the IRONY.... it is also coming in.... it is still not FILLING OUR WELL but has started filling our BASEMENT. So far we are keeping the worst of the water contained to my daughters room. We are running a shop vac around the clock and dumping water every 20 minutes...this is great fun! I slept for 4 hours and took over while Brad sleeps so he can go to work today.

Savannah will be getting new paint and carpeting she is pretty happy about that... I think that makes up for the wreck her room will be for a while.

I am supposed to get my tooth prepared for a crown this morning and will most likely cancel to mind the incoming water. It's not leaving my 15 and 16 year old home alone to manage the water for a couple hours that worries me it is the rest of the day doing water patrol with an aching jaw that I would rather not do.

I never in a million years thought I'd hear myself say.... "I'd rather be getting my tooth ground down to a nub". I am hoping my dentist will laugh when I cancel since yesterday I showed up for my appointment a day early.... so instead of a tooth prep I enjoyed lunch with my husband and danced a bit with the waitress Nelda who I caught dancing when I walked in the restaurant... I was the first customer of the day and caught her in an unguarded moment. I loved this... what a nice surprise.

Plans interrupted...... that's okay there are worse things than this and many in my area are having far worse flooding challenges.

My plans for studio reorganizing and cleaning will have to wait. We had planned to have our annual Spring Solstice bonfire this weekend but the rain is supposed to keep coming so we'll have to see how the week unfolds. We might have a few friends in and I'll make jambalaya instead. We can't let the solstice arrive without celebration! Of course it will have to be friends who don't mind a crazy messy house and the smell of DAMP!

My daughter Charlie comes in on the train Sunday night for a weeks visit so it will be couch sleeping for her and Savannah!

So this is a perfect opportunity to grow some patience and perspective. My friend Kemahu once said.... " Patience is a virtue that does not grow in everyones garden".
This must be how it gets fertilized!

Todays dance will be with the shop vac.

Be well ....remember a sense of humor is a real treasure.

Life is good no matter how it unfolds!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Work and Play

Today has been a busy day I did an hour of dance this morning... very noisy inside my head today!

I had a big list of things to get done and managed to finish most of them.

I worked on the piece from the Painting From your Soul class. I used the embellisher to attach the pieces to the background.

I am really pleased with this new machine.
I plan to make some changes before I begin to quilt it. The colors are much brighter than they appear in this photograph.

The hand- dyed fabrics really give a lot of richness to the waves... I think the embellisher adds some interesting texture to them as well.

We had a lovely spring day yesterday so I went out to take some pictures.

I am stalking an owl ... trying to get a picture. The owl is taunting me by hanging out in his usual spot pretty regularly. It always manages to take flight before I can get a picture taken.

Instead I took this lovely sunset picture.

Tomorrow my friend Lynn and I head to Pigeon Forge for a long overdue girls weekend. It has been a couple years since our last solo trip to the cabin. We'll take along books, journals , food ,and wine. There is a lovely porch at the cabin overlooking the mountains where we will have coffee in the morning and wine in the evening.

We will hike on Saturday then we'll stop by A Mountain QuiltFest to look at the quilt show and see how my quilt "Taking Flight " looks hanging in the show. Sunday afternoon I'll pick it up to bring home.

I'll take some dancing music along to do a little dancing in the mornings. Maybe Lynn will join me if she gets tempted by the drumbeat.

It is spring in Tennessee so it will be green and blooming in places. I'll be sure to take some pictures.

Be well and enjoy the weekend !

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Big Changes

Happy Day for my daughter Savannah!

No more Braces!
We had corn on the cob for lunch.
It was a big secret and only she and I knew that today was the day! Her friends were surprised when she went back to school ... just wait until her dad gets home!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Isaac's Birthday and Painting from your Soul class

This boy is now 15 !

He is still just as cute as he was then!
Such a great personality I am proud of him!

I like his hair better now!

Happy Birthday Isaac! I love you!

He reads my blog.


We had a great celebration invited some special family friends. Isaac chose homemade pizza and then surprised me by requesting pecan pie. I decided I'd make it from scratch... my first time EVER. Let's just say there are reasons I am not a baker annnnd I'll be happy when I get my new oven (remember my birthday present).

So Isaac's birthday kept me busy .... my class report was delayed a bit.... so here goes the Painting from the Soul report.

First of all those who know me know this class was perfect for me!
It was wonderful! I loved it!

Jan Groenemann is really a lovely person. The classroom space was bright and comfortable.

I hope to teach some classes there in the next few months.

There were 2 of us who were fiber artists and the rest of the class were painters so it was very fun for me to see so people at work painting. I also enjoyed spending the day with other members of the artist guild I belong to. I think the group as a whole was really pleased with the class.

Jan had brought a variety of rocks, shells, and driftwood we chose something we were attracted to to work with for the day. I chose a shell with a very distinct spiral . The spiral has been showing up a lot in my work lately... you might of noticed. I was curious to find out why. We did a series of exercises to get us to really see and experience our item .

Here is my piece done in fabric before I rolled it up to bring home at the end of the day. My background fabric I dyed using tissue paper and the rest of the fabric is a combination of batiks and hand -dyed fabrics. As I do more work on it I'll take some close-ups. The hand -dyed fabrics were a gift so I don't know the dyer but the colors are rich and beautiful.

I had a very significant emotional experience during the guided imagery portion of the exercises. I tried to capture that in fabric. I look forward to bringing it to life with thread.
The name will tell the story but you will have to wait!

Working from your soul with intention is really powerful. I look forward to seeing how my work changes in the days and weeks to come.
I would highly recommend Jan's class to anyone who is interested in experiencing the act of creating in a new way.

This class took me back to my days of working as a hypnotherapist I miss very much at times. It was wonderful to be on the receiving end of a guided imagery. Jan really did a great job in spite of the numerous noises that erupted in the building while we were relaxing deeply. I told her it is the law of inner work... all the noises in and around the room have to be heard the minute you start guiding a relaxation.

Be well... breathe... stretch yourself ...and if you get the chance... dance!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Embellisher play... Joy Unfurled

Joy Unfurled

I worked on my latest piece today using my new embellisher. It is incredibly easy to use. Not having to use misty fuse or appliqué to secure pieces I put on the surface gives me so many ideas and more options. This piece is my first so bear with me while I work out some things. One great thing is if I don't like something I can take it off very easily by just giving a little tug.
The bright blue background is a bit startling to me I am used to a darker background. The fabric actually has quite a bit of purple in it and little strands of metallic gold.
I wanted to capture the joyful feeling of getting some happy news. I will make an announcement one day soon!
I am curious to see what will happen when I take it to my machine ( George) to quilt. George can be finicky about certain things. I am not sure if I'll be able to quilt through the needle felted portions without some thread breakage. I will let it cook over the weekend and see what comes up quilting ideas.... they usually arrive when I sit down to quilt.
Tomorrow I am taking an all day class titled Painting From Your Soul with Jan Groenemann the class is intended for painters but I am taking a bunch of fabric and some paint. I am not sure what to expect but I'll let you know how it goes. I was told she is a mixed media artist and will be happy to see me and my mixed bag of supplies.
I have been reading a book titled Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel it is a good read so far I'll write more about it when I am finished.
Have a good weekend... breathe ....and if you get a chance to shake your hips... go for it!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On Dancing

Isn't this a beautiful sky ? I took this picture from the moving car last Saturday on the way to Harrisburg to hang my show. The sky had a lot of interesting cloud patterns that will certainly show up in my work.
On Dancing...
I love the comments I am getting from people about the dancing I have been writing about and thought I'd give some more information tips to those of you who are expressing interest in doing your own dance practice.

First of all...the dancing has been wonderful! I am back in touch with my joy after a long spell of grief.
Some of you have already been to Gabrielle's site but we have some new readers here.
I have been dancing to Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors... I start with the CD... Tribe and finish with the CD Stillpoint...Tribe has a great warm up song and then moves through the 5 rhythms and lasts about 45 minutes. Stillpoint is more a slower paced and I dance about 20 minutes to it about 60-70 total. The wonderful thing is the music has so many different parts to it so you can follow whatever rhythm feels best to you on a given day. Some days I feel like doing a quiet more gentle dance and other days I want to move like a wild woman no matter how much energy I expend I feel great when I am finished ...totally energized and ready to work. Today was a high energy movement day and still I was able to get quiet within. What a feeling that is to disappear into the music and feel that total relaxation of the mind. I love meditation and have practiced for many years but dance adds an element that is really powerful for me.
I'll never give up my all quiet moments each day... but I sure do love quieting the inner chatter with some drum beats!

If you want to know more about Gabrielle Roth and the 5 rhythms go to her website it is a work of art and the music is great. I did find that Amazon has her music ready to download and most online book sellers have audio clips so you can hear the music.

Here are some links.

Don't forget to breathe!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Black Hole...quilted

I finished the quilting on Black Hole last night.
I decided to quilt a spiral starting from the center and moving outward.

I like how it turned out. It reminds me of dancing.

This picture is better than the one I took last night before the quilting was started.

See what the morning dance helped create!

The Snow Day

This morning the snow fell in pellets it made a wonderful sound as it landed.

Now big soft flakes are falling. My
favorite kind of snow.
A bright red Cardinal came to my back door this morning he was after some pumpkin seeds Lynn left out for the squirrel who was tearing up my woven doormat. Evidently squirrels like door mat better than pumpkin seeds. My guess is the squirrel is using my door mat to soften his or her nest.
This morning I danced while my kids slept in I was distracted knowing they were home so it was not easy to relax into it that quiet place I love so much. Kids never sleep in on a snow day!
My plan to work on my homework for Liz Berg's class had to be put on hold. I need some quiet to do my assignments. I think I'll start cleaning my studio instead. Tomorrow will be another day.
Did anyone out there try danicng? I hope so even though I was distracted this morning it was a wonderful way to start the day.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Black hole

Black Hole

Here is the new piece I am working on today it is based on the Fast Friday Challenge I hosted this month. The challenge was to name and THEN created a piece based on the subject line of a SPAM e-mail.

I have saved SPAM e-mails since 2001... not every single one.... but there are some that are funny and evoke a mental picture.... not always x-rated!!! I enjoy playing with the words especially if you get your mind out of the gutter.

We have had lively discussion so much potential for humor! I am pleased that so many people enjoyed the challenge of naming a piece and then creating it based on SPAM.

My challenge piece was not the one I expected to make all these years but instead based on a visual I kept seeing when I was dancing last week.

It is made with hand -dyed fabric and misty fuse. Tomorrow I'll start quilting it. I am thinking circular motion or radiating lines.

I am really enjoying this one. After my big push the last couple weeks to get ready for my show it is nice to have the show hung and feel some space in my life for new projects and old commitments. I need to get to work on the class I am taking with Liz Berg and get my studio cleaned and re -arranged.

It is starting to rain ice here I better get some errands done.

Be well, breathe, and I dare you to take some time and move your hips and dance.

The birthday party

Last time I wrote it was my birthday ... what a fun day it turned out to be. Lots of laughter, food, and wine. We ate Italian and Thai. I bought some new perfume.

It's your birthday... to hell with underwear!

Lynn brought miracles... she was so happy to learn you could find them at Walmart and she enjoyed blowing some as well.

Cake, card, and candles. It was a great way to celebrate my 47th birthday.