28 Dec

Hi There!

Long time no talk. I’ve been busy.

We have family here and have been pretending to be tourists at a beach hotel. No internet or computer, and I have to admit I really didn’t miss it. I have been thinking a bit about what I could blog about since there has been no shortage of fodder, but I have not been motivated to actually write anything. I’m thinking about what the year ahead might bring and that will undoubtedly become a blog post. For now though, I think I’ll just share some photos of what we’ve been up to the last week or so.

We stayed at the Hale Koa in Waikiki

We walked around Waikiki and swam in the oean and in the pool.

We enjoyed some music.

We did a little hiking.

We did a little watching.

We finally made it to the sights at Pearl Harbor.

We looked for turtles.

We looked at each other.

We looked at the Pali.

We went to a Luau.

And we’re generally just enjoying ourselves (see the rainbow over Honolulu?).

See ya later.

15 Dec

Christmas Decor

I’ve got lots of fun, interesting, creative projects lined up, but no energy to actually work on any of them.

So, I will distract you with a little holiday decorating. Little, because I have no energy to go all out, plus it’s hard to get motivated in a tropical clime. That said, come on in:

I made this at the end of last season from a vine wreath who’s original silver baubles had broken and tarnished, a spool of red and white polka dotted ribbon, some craft moss, some of my large collection of little mushrooms, and a pair of toile birds I made using Spool’s simple and elegant tutorial.

Inside, we brought out our Schwibbogen for it’s European charm.

The snowflakes have since moved from the window to hanging from the ceiling above the tree. Very blizzard-like! For the tree, I decided to go for all blue and white to force the winter mood.

The kids were kinda bummed at first that they couldn’t put whatever they wanted on the tree. When we were done though, they admitted that it looked great and was a nice change from our usual red-dominated trees.

We did allow a small bit of red, because Katja said she knew the mushrooms made me happy. I couldn’t argue with that.

10 Dec

Un-sewing

Remember the messenger bag I made a few weeks ago? Here it is deconstructed.

Yup, I wasn’t happy with it, so I took it apart. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Undoing my work.

Yesterday I rearranged some artwork  on the wall and hung up a new piece. After a few hours I decided I didn’t like it. A frame would help, but, if it were really good, it should be able to stand on it’s own. So I took it down and will most likely take it apart someday. Not to fix it, but to use the parts elsewhere.

I undid a piece a month ago too. It had small puckers on the back because I used an inappropriate backing fabric. I took out the quilting and redid the work with a new backing. Much better.

I’m OK with this. Maybe it’s a sign of maturity, but more and more, I don’t expect, or even hope, all my work will be fabulous. Nothing is so precious that I can’t just chuck it (and leave no incriminating evidence). I want to improve, and sometimes moving forward means moving backward.

06 Dec

Nifty Art Swap

A few weeks ago, my blog friend Tia invited me to join an art swap. It works like a chain letter where I send a piece of art to the person who invited Tia and then invite six more creative friends to participate. They each send a piece of art to Tia, and their friends in turn, each send a piece to me. Participants are supposed to receive 36 small pieces of art in all. I knew I wouldn’t be quite that that lucky, but it did look like a fun way to meet other crafty people, and with each person only needing to make one small gift, it seemed very do-able.

Here’s what I sent out:

Lilikoi Mushroom

A mushroom pin cushion made with my Lilikoi fabric in yellow.

And here’s what I’ve received:

Nifty Art Swap

Well worth participating, I thought. Up front is a gouache painting (postcard) from mixed media artist and author  Melanie Testa, and a stitched and presumably monoprinted fabric artist’s trading card (ACEO) from textile artist Marlis Egger. These two will definitely be worked into my wall of blue art. The middle row is, left to right, a quilted “paper cloth” bookmark from  Cindy Green (who was very perceptive in thinking that I might be missing a bit of fall color here in the tropics), a mixed media angel from Connie Akers, a wool and ric rac pincushion from Tonya Littman (who creates some pretty amazing pictorial art quilts), and a mini, mini art quilt from Susan Schrott (who I think is very clever for using images of her large artwork to make little pieces to trade and gift). Finally, in the back is a textile “sketch” from Natalya Aikens, who wasn’t supposed to send me anything, but got carried away!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated. It’s been great fun to make these creative introductions.

01 Dec

Kunia

I got hit by the Hawaii bug quicker than I thought I would. It’s not a Hawaiian quilt I’ve made though, it’s fabric designs.

Just walking around my neighborhood got the ideas flowing. I started sketching, and then working up more finished designs, just to see what they’d look like. The Twelve by Twelve Passion challenge ended up being just the push I needed to try printing my designs via Spoonflower.

Lilikoi2

With the fabrics in hand, there were, of course, refinements that needed making, though I used what I had for the next projects.

Along with the Twelve by Twelve art quilt, I also made coasters, tissue holders, and pillows — to fill out a proposal to fabric companies. I’ve been quiet about these, thinking that perhaps I could persuade some big fabric company to pick them up.

Pillows1

Half a dozen rejections, and some soul searching about reality, later, I’ve decided to take a different tack. In a perfect world, a fabric company would love these designs as much as I do, and print them as the type of quality cottons I enjoy buying from my local quilt shop. However, I’m a little fish in a big turbulent sea, and tropical prints make the viability even less.

So, I’m going to show them off here. I’m going to make things with them (eventually). Since they are at Spoonflower anyway, I’m making them available for purchase there (just click here). And if, by chance, anyone sees potential in them, I have a bunch more ideas in my head waiting for an excuse to come out.

I’m calling the collection “Kunia,” after the neighborhood where I live and am inspired.

Kunia fabric logo