Sunday, April 22, 2018

a writing prompt leads to awareness

Warning, this is honest and real, not particularly easy to read.
But you are my friends... and you are able to take me as I am and know me.

This morning I decided to do a writing prompt from this place using these words as a prompt for a story or poem.

Just like all my creative endeavors, it reflects me and flowed from me. I thought I would share it with you as a moment in time. It is real. It is honest. It is not a Hallmark moment or easy but it is real. Honest.

Is that okay?

the word prompts:

ropes, mowing, unpacked, lie, caskets, cemetery, box, face, desert, lawn, sleeping, changed

 The rules are to use as many of the words as you like (the ones I used are in bold type)... I am linking to the party here:   http://sundayswhirligig

The story

She felt the ropes tightening around her, pinching and squeezing. Demanding a decision.

The had to move, home had become untenable. Life was becoming so small.

She had begun their time in that house with such hope. She imagined all the things she could do to make it a haven for the two of them plus one. The big aged black lab she called her daughter. Even their lab felt at home on the green lawn, able to lie in the sun and feel a breeze across her sleek fur

They sat on a back porch that felt like a secret room, and planned their new lives and home. They changed the feel of their new yard by creating paths, and lighting them, and hanging flower pots and bird feeders. They invited nature in to sit with them on evenings as they talked about the day.

Weekends found them out placing stone walkways, planting vegetables along with hope of belonging and fitting in. They walked the neighborhood, and met people, hoping to fit in as well as the walkways did.

Every  unpacked box held excitement, as they found a place for it's contents in their new home, making them feel more permanent.

This is our place they thought.

Many hopes and dreams were pinned on this place.

Slowly, over many years, they gave up the dreams and efforts.
 They realized they did not belong here.
 Still they tried to find a way, still hoped, still tried.
Time changed the safety of their haven to one of danger. Toxins and smoke filled their days. They lost their lab and found a poodle but when he left them too, they had to face facts. They were just holding on, waiting to breathe, they never had fit in or belonged.

It was so difficult to face the facts. They struggled, and tried to make the best of it, and finally agreed they were out of time in this home.

Is this life? they wondered? Is it enough to hold on and put up with and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Is there a choice? Choices are often harder to face than having none.

    So they made a change, because change is life, change is growth, growth is life. Right?

But all change is not good, most growth is painful. We want to know the right choices to make. One only recognizes a "right" choice in hindsight, not on the street. There is only making choices and living with them.

Here they are at this stage of life, change foisted upon them, nothing but insecurity and fear to walk on daily.
Pressure to find the new home in a new place, with the underlying fear  that the new one might be wrong too.
They hoped the "right" home would be apparent, that it would stand up and shout "me! I'm the one! Welcome!"

All change is not good. Growth is painful. Uncertainty plagues them throwing a wet blanket over hope's face. They still seek life and a home in which to belong.They have a new poodle now, to lie on the lawn, and feel the breeze in his hair. They need a place to unpack boxes and belong.

linking to all seasons

Friday, April 20, 2018

the making of yellow plates

I spent an hour with my yellow fabrics, and cut out some blades for a dresden plate pattern.
What fun to choose tone and patterns to put together.
So this is how I did it...
After you fold the blade in half lengthwise, and sew across the end causing it to make a point, you sew pairs together.
I'm just stringing you along...
then sew pair to pair
quartet to quartet
til you sew the last piece to the first in a circle of happiness.
On to pressing matters...
press open
then give it a good press and put it on the design wall with the other two.
Heyyyyyy... it seems bigger... I measured it... what happened here?
Oh, it is bigger. Well, I am not remaking it. I'll make it all work.

linking to
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays  
 scrap happy Saturdays
sewcanshe Saturdays

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Like #85 stonehenge, flowers, running dogs

Welcome to this week's list of likes!
Let's start with Lisianthus! My husband brought these home this week... not only purple, and lush with the fullness of plenty, so ruffled and full and colorful, but sentimental too.
When we met, I went up to MA to visit him. Being from Florida I'd never seen these flowers and fell in love with them. He began sending them to me while we courted. I'd get to see him when he came to MacDill AFB to fly in hurricanes with NOAH, and he'd again bring them on the plane to me.

We have been frantically trying to see houses and choose one that might do. We walk in new to us neighborhoods to see if they fit. I've gotten hurt in so many recently, my spine slips and pinches nerves when I walk on too steep of inclines, and unfortunately most 'hoods round here are that way.

Anyway we've seen a lot of houses that won't do, but this week we seem to have visited Colorado's stonehenge
where Milo met a young girl to play with for a moment
and I got to smile for a moment, letting go of the fears and frustration that are my life
He loves to meet dogs, and hates when they leave, often sniffing where they stood. That's one of Milo's likes this week.

I love the library... What's on YOUR coffee table? Mine's covered in books and cd's and movies

Once again, this blog of funny signs made me laugh out loud. Please enjoy them all at HERE

I sure liked this on pinterest...
(Are you talking to me? )
Ryan Gosling - Hey girl hey!

I liked sewing with yellow this week, post on that tomorrow

 Milo's Moment
Hi y'all.
It's been a busy week round here, but I made time in my BUSY POODLE SCHEDULE to have a playdate with my best friend of the moment, Jumble.
Man, that girl can play! She lives in a Marine family and they say, "put on your war face!" and she growls! Ha! As if she'd scare me, well maybe a little. We played rough, lots of running around, grabbing of feet and tails and ears. Here she flopped down with Daddy and I teased her foot so she'd get up!
Face to face! She liked to go rest by Mama mostly, while I got a drink of water. Then suddenly, isn't that always the way? I got tired and flopped down
Just for a little rest, and I kept my eyes open as Jumble always leapt on me when I laid down...
HA! HA! HA!!!
That tickles Dad!
Anyway Mama and her mama talked a lot, but I told Mama to catch us on camera and she did and here's the video

LeeAnna here: I liked chatting with Tanya, a marine helicopter pilot. She was the 4th female pilot allowed to fly in combat and now teaches others. You never know people's stories til you ask...

Now enjoy these people also listing their likes for the week, and consider joining us won't you?
New this week is:
 1 . .http://3poodlesandanana
2 craftscaviescontras

linking to some of these

Make My Saturday Sweet @ Amanda’s Books and More
Our World Tuesday
Travel_Tuesday  Our World Tuesday

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
lovelaughquilt.mondays http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Like Thursdays #84 inside and outside

Welcome to this week's list of likes... How about this lawn ornament?
I liked the way it caught the bright sunlight of spring as seen on our morning walk one day. 

I love to take pictures. I took a photography class years ago when I lived in Edmonton Alberta (Canada) and had a 35 mm film Canon camera. I could manipulate all the settings and learned to  pay attention to focal lengths and apertures 
 That became one of my ways to express myself and now that I use a digital point and shoot I just play with composition and lighting. DH gave me a digital slr but I don't know how to use it yet. 

I liked this pin cushion pattern  cathedral-window
 It was fun to try a new pattern, and I'm using my yellow scraps for the link party at Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday. Just so happens I can't reach my yellow scraps box, but I looked thru the drawer for pieces that were already cut into, and calling them big scraps, I used them! 

How about the little flip flops I found in a trims box??! So cute. I would have worn them to Clearwater beach in Florida, when I was a young bikini clad girl! 

Why make one, when you figure out the pattern, just make several!
are the other pin cushions back there jealous???
I made this one for my friend Nancy
and this one for my friend Cindy
It needs  embellishment.

I liked this tree all twined with another tree like lov-ahs!

I liked this log Rocking horse seen in a person's back yard....

Now that's ingenious. A log, with a carved face, stick legs.

I like my older "Cole" posts...
I saw that someone read this older Cole post so I went to re-read it and dang!  that Cole was so funny! If you want to read about Cole too, the link is here

Milo's Moments
Hi Y'all! 
BOL!    Life's a bowl of kibbles! 

Did you know I'm all big now at one year old! I decided I can run my own life now! 
After all I'm in charge of Security around here...
  I am a good guard. I bark out warnings of EVERYthing!  And there's a lot to bark about, in fact Mama is writing a whole post just for me and my alerts! So,  I like being the boss. 

When we take off for a walk, I pull my people out the door so they don't change their minds. I pull them down the street  (like a draft horse says Mama) ( that's good right? ) I tell them which way I want to go. If they get out of control I bite the leash and yank them back into agreement. 

I like a good toy found on a walk. Sticks will do, trash is good, rabbit poop is the best! But today, I found something really scary at the human-puppies playground...

Image result for soccer ball

Mama said, "it's okay, go look!"
Really? Are you sure? And what's this critter?
 So I looked the way I looks ...with my nose... and she pushed IT with her foot!

Wowie! What the heck is that???? I WAAAAAAAANNNNTTTTTT it! So I played with it for 15 minutes trying to ignore mama yelling to come on. Whee! Have you tried one? It was hilarious! I chased that thing all over the field, and even picked it up and ran with it!
They are not easy to pick up but I have enormous Poodle Teeth!

What fun, I recommend them highly. I would have happily rolled it home but Mama said to "LEAVE IT" which is my least favorite ever human word ever ever.
Well I don't like stay either.

Okay now, sit! Stay! Look at these peeps also keeping it happy today with their lists.
 1 . .http://3poodlesandanana
2 craftscaviescontras

12 Mary in Boulder


 linking to some of these 

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Main Crush Monday
the mop link party mondays
sew can do mondays

Make My Saturday Sweet @ Amanda’s Books and More
Our World Tuesday
Travel_Tuesday  Our World Tuesday

design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
lovelaughquilt.mondays http://sky watch Fridays
Thankful Thursdays pet parade
willy nilly Friday (random images)
habbyartboutique fridays  

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Machine quilting on a small machine... improv style

I love to do piece work, but I also love to machine quilt. "N" is for Needles!
 Seeing the thread create texture is exciting!
This week I zoned out and let my inner child choose patterns to quilt in my woodland quilt. There is a video of how I began the process at the end of this post.

I made a backing of scraps, and there was no real need to pin baste, so I started with the walking foot.
 After it was all evenly quilted I wanted to make sure it was very flat and at right angles before binding. I laid it on the cutting mat grids, and spritzed it with water, patted it into place gently...
making sure it really was even by using the ruler...
and left it to rest, dry, while Milo and I took a walk
It was dry, flat and I only needed to trim away excess batting and backing before binding. I do love sewing the binding to the back of a quilt, so I am doing that tonight while watching tv. Both quilts have binding on, and only need the hand work to finish them. 
this is how the binding will look
I am considering adding in these laser cut owls... what do you think? They take attention away from the abstract background but I kind of like the whimsy... I think I'll add them on after it's all done.
After doing all the walking foot quilting, which makes using specialty threads easier for some reason, and is very fast, fun and easy to do, I went in to quilt details with free motion. Willy nilly decisions. 
Go with my whims. I repeated the leaves wherever I could...
if you enlarge the binding photo you'll see other places I put vines and leaves. I did spirals, and cross hatching, and in general filled in all the spots with free motion.

The ocean quilt was done the same way, first walking foot quilting as much as I wanted, then free motion around motifs.
Here it is all quilted with the binding sewn on ready to pull to the back and hand stitch. It's tough to show you quilting details because the prints hide it, except in a few places...
Howdy 'gators! what is this drink called???
Much more quilting eventually filled in around each motif  
again, lots of free motion work was done later to fill in around these quilted motifs
Now and then I used a programmed stitch to follow a curve. 
and that spiral stitch is my very favorite stitch. I tried to mix rayon thread in neon colors, with metallic madeira in bright greens purple and pinks as shown on the (previous post. )

Oh my, it felt great to be working again. I squeezed it in amidst frantic house hunting as our rental has been snatched out from under us. I'd call this medicinal sewing. Better than antidepressants.

Milo often stood beside me looking out the window by my machine. My latest book on disc (lost lake) played keeping my mind busy while my hands remembered how to guide tiny feathers and leaves. 
I found myself enjoying my basket of cutting tools. Mary Englebriet fabric, painted red cutlery basket, beads, and palm trees meant to hang on a curtain... all hold necessary sharp tools.

I'm currently working on the little tryptich which is bordered in a delicious turquoise Ginny Beyer print scrap, and getting lots of free motion work now.
 As I moved it around to work on it, I found myself turning it on end to display instead of the horizontal orientation I used the whole time I built it!

 I had a poster in the old house that said "Get out of the way and the art will make itself" 


Now for your zen moment of the day. My husband tried to video how I do improv quilting with my walking foot, the echo quilting with curvy lines. I have a knee lift but because my injury gets as inflamed as my hands are in the video, I just lift the presser foot by hand to turn.

It's hard to see the stitching  unless you go full screen and you  may need to go to youtube to go full screen. Hey! We ain't professional movie makers here! (if you hover over the youtube screen, an icon at the bottom right will make it full screen)
Showcased on 
linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays  

Let's be social Wednesdays  

Midweek makers   wednesdays  
design wall Mondays  at  smallquiltsanddollquilts

 scrap happy Saturdays

sewcanshe Saturdays