Thursday, March 31, 2016

Officially Retired!

I made this a while ago. I still love it. Mono printed acrylic paint and hand stitching. 6"x 6"

After Julie spent a considerable amount of time cleaning up my beloved laptop, I am making this post using it. The space bar still needs a heavy hand, so it's taking a while. Thanks Julie!

Speaking of my talented friend, Julie & I  have ventured forth with Ochre Moon Boutique, an online shop that will give you the opportunity to see the fabrics we have created....all original designs in awesome colorways....printed especially for you with dye based inks! Check the shop often for updated designs! It;s very cool!

Well, I am officially a retired woman!!!!! The last 7 weeks I have been on vacation, but that's just a formality. After actively counting for the last 8 of my 36 years, 9 months, it is everything I knew it would be. I have read 6 books, planted 8 trees, 4 grapevines, started composting, carved out a small vegetable garden area, hung laundry, stitched much, stayed up late, slept in, dallyed over coffee, met many friends for meals and conversation, lifted all work/union related stress off tired shoulders and have never felt so happy and authentic. Thankful.

All my precious grand babies are growing and happy! The pure joy the give me is better than an drug. I love this gramma gig much!
Melissa Zaporowski's photo.Sophia is 5 1/2, doing very well in kindergarten. Beautiful, creative and girly. And tall. Being a big sister to 2 sisters and a brother is a natural for her. Sewing on a machine with me already....she made a doll quilt! I hope to keep her in the making loop always. 
Mela is 2 1/2. A true free spirit. She comes straight from her heart. Smart, gorgeous and empathetic, she is like a fresh melody to my heart. Tall also. Ever the big sister to Riley/Cy, she equally cares for him and manages her higher status over him. 
Melissa Zaporowski's photo.
Maddi is 1 1/2 already. Her daddy's mini-me. Very loquacious (but as yet, still unintelligible!) even humming like dad while she eats. She is also beautiful, funny and smart. Soon we find out if she will be having a 
'Twins much?!'brother of a sister in September!

Riley aka Cy is 16 months. Big little guy! Most adorable, happy and sweet. Walking, jabbering and eating 3 times or more, than Mela does. He loves to dance! 
Melissa Zaporowski's photo.

I have learned:

1. I hate doing my taxes, but not enough to pay someone $200 to do them. Started this morning but now I have to find my property/school tax info. This is where I pay for my inherent disorganization. ugh.

2. Continental Cosmetology school will color, highlight and cut hair for a third of what I have been paying. Since I will be bringing home less bucks, I am all about it. 

3. GoArt! is finally becoming a viable art center for Genesee County. This makes me happy. Thinking of teaching crazy quilting, hexagons using English paper piecing.....maybe some surface techniques on fabric...thinking.

4. Had a first go at encaustics, using a resin wax to collage on surface. Wasn't successful. Will keep trying til we get it right with Mary Lowe. 

5. Woodchucks. Live. Under. My. Livingroom. = Shotgun. Soon. 

6.  I love my life. Always have, but now just more!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Can you tell I love that Waterlogue app!
This is a rendering of some of my improv pieced blocks in that app. It makes everything a work of art!
Actual piece on my design wall. 

I'm still perusing old Mother Earth News mags for interesting info on many topics that intrigue me. Some things I've done to start on a more careful and thoughtful existence are:
Kitchen composting for months now. 
Stopped buying paper towels. 
Hanging laundry outside since Spring 
(Today I hung clothes out...January 31 in Western NY!)
It's just a few things for now, but the satisfaction I get doing each of them is immense. Pleasurably, carefully living. 

In my quest to mostly make it through each day to my final hours at work, progress has been on hold it seems. 
I can't finish anything. I've got projects in the works with very immediate deadlines that are not going to be finished. 
Once the stress of the daily grind is lifted the wheels will turn. 

I have learned:

1.  Toe + wooden block + darkness = very bruised and crippling digit. Ouch. 
2.  21 Day Fix in my near future. 
3.  Cold Antler Farm by Jenna Woginrich a very good read. Homesteader. 
4. Riley aka Cy, is walking and dancing!
13 months at the start. 
5.  I want to learn to crochet using a pattern. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Waterlogue'd Fiona

Using the photo editing app Waterlogue, I turned a mundane pic of Fiona into an artful pic. This app is awesome. Many friends have used it to make beautiful quilts. Thanks to Mary Lowe for showing it to us!

The holidays were made magical by grandchildren! 

Still no snow to speak of in western NY. Strange indeed. But nice after last winters punishments. 

I'm working intensely on two challenge projects. Our guilds annual challenge--architecture is due soonest. No pics yet!
The other is the one I mentioned a bit ago--photo to quilt. The 1" & 2" hexi's for the background are close to done. My dragonfly fabrics have been chosen. How to make it now?!

I have learned: 

1.  5 weeks 2 days to retirement! These are the hardest days. 

2.  Another sweet of the 3 I watched on my property 2 days ago, mangled last night by a very fast car. I hate knowing that sound. Fiona knows it too. 

3.  Odorant not added to natural gas til 1937 after an explosion at New London School in Texas, killing 295 children and teachers. Natural gas has no odor. A malodorant must be added to it to be detectable. 

4.  It's never too early to go to bed. Night. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Alcohol Ink Fun

A girls day! Melissa, Mela, Sandra, Lauren and Carol. We all gathered post Christmas to converse (I can't divulge some of the unseemly topics!) and eat and create!
I decided even novice crafters could come away with a usable product...these alcohol ink coasters. 
Mary Lee demoed these for my artcgirlz group a bit ago. 
They are easy. 
Cheap.  .(.16 cents a tile at Home Depot.)
Each person had their own technique. 
Interesting. Cool. 
Melissa was my fave. She was all about the drip, not the pounce. 
I'll get pics of hers soon. 
Mela definitely had her own thing going on! I will, by hook or by crook, get mela to be my creative accomplice!

Snow has come to WNY.  I love the sound of it pelting my vintage aluminum awning right now. Cozy. 

I have learned:

1.  Rye toast + sliced hard boiled (farm) egg = delicious dinner. 

2.  It's almost 7 years since Sandra was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She's now involved in a pharma study. Grateful she is doing so well. 

3.  Sophia lost her first tooth on Christmas Eve!

4.  Mother Earth News magazine. Retirement + mag = much ado. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hope Tree

This little 8.5" x 11" piece was made for the Telephone Line project my Fiberista group worked on over the course of 2015. Reminiscent of the old whisper-around-the-room game. 
Each of us made a quilt to start a line. In the rotation, we each used the previous makers quilt to come up with our piece. May be the color story or subject matter or technique. Whatever works. 
It was truly creative and challenging . 
At our monthly meetings we'd all be thrilled to see what we had to work with in the coming month!
All pieces were kept in a large envelope. A sealed envelope!
The reveal was 81 quilts worth of inspiration. 
Most of us enjoyed it so much we are doing it again in 2016!

I have learned:

1.  Mela is not a girl. She's a sister. 

2.  Tiny Owl Knits.  Check out her knitting/felted patterns. Coveting. All. 

3.  Twin Peaks is being resurrected in 2017. Cool old TV show. 

4.  Netflix's Jennifer Jones, apparently a Marvel character, is very cool. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas Time

Galleria Mall Santa (points for real beard)
Riley & Mela!
What you didn't see was me backing Riley up to Santa so he wouldn't cry again. 
What you don't see is mommy under the red blanket torquing her neck to look at the ceiling so her head wouldn't be in the pic. 
What was my heard, my diatribe I didn't have to unleash when we walked right up to the "workshop" line! 

Yep, it has been awhile. 
It had to be said. 

Since last I wrote, I've received good news that all four blood clots are gone and no clotting markers in my blood. Done with the thinner. 

Riley Michael, aka Cy,  just turned 1! He's our big little guy always smiling and very chill. 
Mela turned 2 in July. Her papa calls her the tornado! Exuberant should be her middle name. 

Sophia is 5 now and loving kindergarten. She's beautiful and makes a sweet big sis!

Cy came by the way of Mela when she couldn't say Ri-ri like all of us. Cy-Cy since and still. He answers to both!

Maddi turned 1 in July also. She's walking! Her laugh is hardy like her dads. 

Speaking of....Michael & Jenn relocated to Fort Benning GA after Michael graduated first in his class from Officer training school. Proud mom. 
They'll be coming up to Fort Drum NY next fall for 3 years. Will be great to see my granddaughter more!

Over the last 6 months I've been in a creative  process mode. Hexis aplenty made from used tea bags, hand dyed fabric, silk and vintage materials. 
I'm finally to a point that I feel like getting some projects done. 

1" hexagons for the background to this pic I took last summer in my yard. 
Do you see it? Loving. 
This is for a challenge that will exhibit the original pic with the piece. 

What I have learned: 

1.  9 weeks til I retire! 
2. Best way to squeeze in more books from the must 
"Read" list. 
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert up now. Good. 
3.  Dryer broke. Too much $$ to fix. Hanging laundry outside since...feels so domestic. Green. Free. 
4. Balanced gas billing will reflect my conservation!
5.  Cliffy ran away. He's not been back. I miss the bastard cat. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer Time

I have been busy over the last few weeks. Maddi, Jenn and Ace were in NY for 5 weeks while Michael is at school at Fort Benning. We celebrated Maddi's 1 year birthday; Mela's 2 year birthday and Sophia's 5 year birthday, all in July!
Was able to bond with Maddison on the drive back to Fort Campbell. Her daddy face is sweet...she makes some of the same contemplative brow expression as Micheal. Her laugh is hearty and infectious! I am truly blessed with these 4 happy grand babies.

The road to recovery (4 pulmonary emboli) is still a daily strive. The fatigue is constant. I could sleep 12 hours a night! They are being good to me at work.....for the next 6 months and 3 days!

Many projects have been in the works of course. I am still making recycled tea bag hexi's. Loving them.
Have a large bit pieced of 2" hexi's in Marcia Derse fabrics...very cool.
Made 2 sundresses for Mela and Sophia to wear at their birthday party.
Made a few small art quilts for a great project one of my fiber groups is doing. A Telephone Line. We each make a quilt inspired by the last piece made so that in the end there will be a sort of design story to the line. Looking forward to the reveal in December!
Knitting a bit.
Played with paint on fabric and Prismacolor pencils as well.

I wish I could post a pic but, alas, I am still having troubles on my laptop getting to my photos.

I have learned:

1. with an interesting concept; loved the characters....that finale!
2.  Project Runway is on again. Love that show. Never gets old for me.
3.  Clifford has not been home in over a month. I miss the bastard cat. I am not hopeful he will return. I think he was coyote meal.
4.  Coyotes diet consists, in part, of 45% cats.
5.  Strange poop on my property a bit ago. After investigating I found out it was Black Bear poop,
6.  Black Bears don't eat cats.