29 Dec

It’s That Time of Year

As the year draws to a close I find myself getting all ambitious about what I hope to accomplish and organize in the new year. Here’s last year’s list, and the year before. 2009 was a good post, balancing out the previous year’s angst one. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to feel this way in the spring when everything is bursting forth and being born, but I guess it’s a kind of clean slate after a busy birthdays to Halloween to Thanksgiving to birthday to Christmas run combined with new calendar year. January is typically quiet for me, and quiet leads to contemplation.

Americana VII web

So, what’s up for 2015?

Just sitting here writing this reminds me that I’d like to post more. Facebook has admittedly leached my sharing energy and I’m afraid I post there and rarely elaborate over here. I’d like to adjust that balance. I’m also on the verge of updating my website. Nothing big (I hope), but the current framework isn’t working well for me as I have an overflowing list of art that needs to be added to my online gallery and the gallery isn’t cooperating.

I’ll still be working on artwork ideas started in 2014. That flow from one year to the next never changes. I keep thinking I need to assign myself a more rigid work schedule. I could probably just start with less time online.

2015 is the year I’d like to improve my art marketing strategy. A newsletter may be in my future.

I will actively seek art venues for my work as opposed to quilt venues. Not to say I’m abandoning the latter, I just think I may have more audience in the former. I’d like to make “Craft the Internet” happen. I will admit that I have no idea where to start with all of this and that it scares and overwhelms me.

I’d like to have Modern Military Quilts (custom quilts made from customer’s uniforms) ready to launch when we settle on the left coast in the fall.

Yes, we’re moving this summer. This is scary too because we’re planning on buying a house for the very first time. I’m 49 years old and I’ve never bought a house. I am so ready though.

I’m still attending life drawing group. One of the ideas I’d like to pursue is to recreate some of my drawings in fabric and thread. Another idea is to institute Figure Drawing Fridays in which I post the fruits of Thursday’s session. That could get me posting more regularly.

I’ve been feeling the urge to paint/draw patterns. I’m very inspired by what Lisa Congdon has been posting on Instagram from her sketchbook and I readily admit the desire to copy the idea of those full, lush, pages. I also miss the sketchbook work I was doing when I took Melly Testa’s online art journaling class. I feel like I could revisit my tropical designs and quilt pattern ideas in a more casual, painterly way, filling sketchbook pages. It couldn’t do it daily, but maybe weekly. That might be a good way to get back to blogging more regularly. Last year’s daily self portraits only lasted three months though, so I’m not sure the staying power of this lark.

Speaking of regular posts, I was rather proud of myself yesterday when I realized that my new sweater dress was the same colors as a scarf I recently completed and together they made quite the fetching outfit. I had a fleeting thought of posting a hand knit each week as an ensemble, especially since I just finished a lovely aran sweater. Ha, I try to focus my blog and my message, but I just can’t escape my myriad interests and the schizophrenic posts they create!

And finally, that daily list I’ve been making? I stopped making it the last two weeks and I was completely discombobulated. I’m reading Art Inc by Lisa Congdon and she suggests a daily or weekly to-do list. It’s also the mainstay of “Getting Things Done.” The list stays.

10 Jul

A Little Bit Each Day

The blog has been a little slow lately. I blame summer. It’s hard to focus with the kids around. It’s also hard to do much while playing tourist –which is soooooo easy to do here in Hawai’i! We put my MIL on a plane yesterday though, so it’s back to our regular life now.

I do have lots and lots of ideas and half-baked projects going on in the background though. Fabric collages on canvas, a kid art project I’ve been meaning to get to for forever, a scrap quilt, an idea for a series that sprouted from “War Sucks,” the tropical fabric, maybe even some vacation inspired ki’i style monsters …

I’ve been overwhelmed by it all. I was telling myself that I just wasn’t in the mood, or I was too busy with fun excursions, but I now think overwhelmed was playing a big part too. “Pick a goal” is the obvious answer, but they are all so enticing.

What to do? I spoke with blog friend Kathy Mack this morning (I am so impressed with what she’s created with her shop and value her opinion) and she reminded me to chose one little thing to do each day towards my goal(s). So that’s what I am going to do. Yesterday I worked on my 12×12 Passion piece, and the day before I sent out an entry for an art quilt show. I would have sent this house quilt out too, but I ran out of checks for the entry fees and our mail has been sketchy since we returned from our cruise. By the way, the house quilt is going to “Breaking Traditions” which is a benefit show and this year’s theme is Home, so how could I not enter?! Today, I think, will be more 12×12 and hopefully some writing. Tomorrow I’ll quilt. And, so as not to become overwhelmed, I am going to do it all on my terms. I will not worry about all the potential roadblocks, or how and what everyone else is doing. I will do what I can — and whatever happens, happens.

First, I’m off to make some coffee.

01 Jan


On a lighter note than the last post, here’s a goals list I’ve been seeing around the internet lately. Personally, I have no plans for where I want to be in another five years and I’ve never made one of these lists of things I’d like to do before I die. I admit it’s hard to make a list of things one wants to do and places one wants to go when one has already bungee jumped from a hot air balloon, seen prehistoric cave paintings in France, felt heart pounding fireworks on the Washington Mall, been to the Karnack Temple in Egypt, and learned to speak German. I could die a happy woman right now in terms of worldly experiences.

In bold are the things I’ve done — all without a list reminding me to do them. In italic are things I have maybe done, depending on one’s definition of the thing. At first glance I thought I had done most of the things on the list, but now I see it’s 57 of the 100. That’s still pretty impressive though, especially when I think about the other things I’ve done that are not on this list.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (define “more than you can afford.” If I have money in the bank, I have more than someone with nothing, so I guess the answer is no, although I do give regularly)
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (do the Sierra Nevadas count?)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (mental health days are so totally valid)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (a safari is on my wish list)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (snorkeling)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (if selling a few quilts and patterns counts)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (once)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades (haven’t toured per se, but floated down a river on a raft there with cousins)
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (I haven’t been inside, but I’ve seen it from the gate outside)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury!
91. Met someone famous (define famous…)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

I’d like to add visiting Istanbul and anywhere in Morocco are on my vague list of places I’d like to see if given a chance, as well as anywhere in Russia. Joining the Peace Corps is something I vaguely consider whenever I think that I’m not doing anything honorable with my life. That could probably go on a list like this.