Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How Did They Know?

Your Birthdate: May 31

Your birthday suggests that you are a good organizer and manager, an energetic and dependable worker; attributes often showing success in the business world. Serious and sincere, you have the patience and determination necessary to accomplish a great deal.

Your approach can be original, but often rigid and stubborn. Sensitivity may be present, but feelings are likely to be repressed. You are good with detail and insist on accuracy, but at times scatter energies. You're a practical thinker, but not without imagination.

You love travel and don't like to live alone. You should probably marry early, for responsibility is necessary for your stability.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

My Knight Won! Woo-hoo!

We had a GREAT night at Medieval Times! We laughed and yelled and had so much fun the entire show that I was giddily happy. We downed our tankards of Pepsi and tea, and ate with our hands. My brother managed to get ahold of 3 desserts. How does he stay so thin? We called each other "Lady" and "Lord" with the occasional "wench" for good measure.

To top it all off, my knight won the whole thing!!! YAY!!! Isn't he a cutie?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Figuring Out...

I looked through my African Textiles book and got inspired. I started cutting fabric and arranging it design-wise. I think that I'll do a few small ones and work my way up. Right now I have a little piece going that's black and gray. Hmm...it won't be in the end. It needs some color. Some pizazz. Some snap. I'm not in a black and gray mood.

Tonight is Medieval Times for my birthday (and my cousin's), which is actually next Tuesday. Hers was this Tuesday. Why am I sooooo excited?! Yay!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Revved Up Ol' Singer

Well, I prepped Ol' Singer and sat down to get something done. I thought I'd practice a little free motion stitching. I operate my pedal barefooted as I feel I don't slide as much or push down as hard when I have on shoes. I think I might work on a few smaller pieces and wrap up "Tish Groove". I've also been really intrigued by Procion MX dyes and dyeing in the washing machine. It seems like fun (not to mention economical), but I'm not quite sure where to start.

Dyers, which methods seem to work best for you?

I'm still super-tired though. I've been going to bed earlier, but it's not making a difference. Maybe it's the weather.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Jazz Quilt Sketch

There's a call for entries for a jazz-themed show so this will probably be my next quilt. I hope that it can be finished in time for slides in August. This is a rough, rough sketch based upon the CD cover below.

When I thought of jazz I thought of my cousin Jo Thompson, who is a Detroit-based jazz singer and shared the stage with luminaries such as Lena Horne in the 1950s as she sang in famous nightspots all over the world. She recently came out with her first CD. She is a glamorous elegant woman, really "fabulous" as she'd call herself, and I couldn't think of anyone else better to represent when I thought of jazz on a personal level to me.

CD Cover

Her CD

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Star Wars & Life...

I will admit that I love Star Wars. I'm no superfan, but I love it. The story of one man's fall and redemption. I saw the last one yesterday and there's no spoiler here...you know how it all has to end, but it's so heartbreaking to see it happen.

It makes you wonder about life in general. What happens to a person that acts as that trigger to make them turn and become bad? Or how, in an effort to protect our our egos, our pride or arrogance makes us do questionable things.

I know it's just a movie. It really is, after all, but its themes are pretty timeless and relevant, aren't they?

Inspirations for the Week

  1. The sunny blue skies and fluffy white clouds of a beautiful spring day
  2. Starlings flying home in the evening
  3. Being around my family and remembering who loves me

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Worked on "Tish Groove" some more today. It's coming along nicely. I can't say the same for myself. I just don't have any energy or something. Maybe I need to take more vitamins or go to bed earlier. I've just been lacking in get-up-and-go motivation lately.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Artistic Scheduling?

I don't know if this seems very uncreative of me, but I need to be on a schedule or something. Really! I mean, does anyone else feel that way about their creative work? I get distracted so easily that maybe I need to have designated hours or days to do certain things. It's getting bad. I don't want to miss deadlines and I want to actually finish a project already!

I'm going to have to schedule my quilting and writing or neither will get done! Yikes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wrong, Just WRONG

I sat down to start a new piece and realized I just didn't have the types of fabric I wanted at all. I thought I had more patterned African fabric than what I did. Darn.

But you know what that means? A shopping trip to the fabric store! YAY!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

First Quilt from 2000

My very first quilt was a simple one of squares of hand dyed fabric in blues and greens. Thinking of a beautiful beach I went to in Curacao, I named it "Lagun." I recently took it out to look at it and while I think it's still a pretty piece, I realized I should've quilted it more. It was tied only in the squares' corners, so it bunched in places and has a few wrinkles from the way I stored it...yikes. I think I should go ahead and work on it a little to tweak it.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Grand Boubou from Senegal

Some people collect shot glasses when they travel. Me? I collect clothing. This is my custom made grand boubou from Senegal in West Africa that I bought 4 years ago. For you dyers, the bazin (cotton damask) fabric is hand dyed, as well as the light blue underskirt and headwrap hanging behind it. To the left, is a hand painted chiffon shawl that I haggled for to go with it. The "wheels" embroidered neckline is also handmade as well. I think it was embroidered onto a background and then cut out. Enjoy!

Inspirations for the Week

  1. Views of the Hudson River and cliffs en route to Westchester County, NY
  2. The marshlands near the Delaware Bridge
  3. Crossing the Susquehanna River Bridge

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Stork Scissors

I hope you all won't laugh, but I just bought one of those little pairs of embroidery scissors shaped like a stork. I am so tickled about it because I have always always wanted a pair. I don't know what took me so long to get them!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


This is an Egungun costume from Nigeria. I took this photo at the Smithsonian a few years ago, but I thought you would all enjoy its design. Egungun are the ancestor spirits of the Yoruba people and dancers wear these costumes during ceremonies to honor them. As they move, the strips fly out and away from them. You can check out this site for more info about it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Twinge-y Wrist

I was working on "Tish Groove" and got a familiar twinge in my right wrist. Crap.

I was diagnosed with mild carpal tunnel a few years ago and I fear it might be returning from my doing repetitive handwork. I've tried the wrist-ease thingy and I have even worn a brace before. I might try to wrap it well with an Ace bandage to see if that helps. I don't want to give up sewing by hand. Any suggestions?

I think I'm going to have to switch to machine work just because of this. Sigh.

Nope, Not Today

No quilting today. Hung out with my grandmom instead and had a pretty good time talking to her for hours.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Inspirations for the Week

  1. Shooting stars over a West Virginia mountain ridge
  2. Water rippling over and around rocks
  3. Theoretical physics and the "theory of everything"

Saturday, May 07, 2005

How Tired Was I?

So tired that when I came home from work I started to work on "Tish Groove" and was barely able to move it aside before putting my head down on the worktable and going to sleep.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I am still working on "Tish Groove" couching variegated thread on the outlines. My cousin Tish--its namesake--stopped through tonight while I was working on it. "That's really pretty, you know?" she said. "Are you going to give it to me (as a housewarming present)?" I told her I'd think about it because I'd like to possibly enter it in some things this year if it turns out well.

I am really liking how it is turning out. It gives it texture and a 3-D feel/depth to it. You know how it is when you try something new and you're unsure of the outcome? Well, I'm really tickled with mine. Since it's by hand, it's a little slow going, but I am SO enjoying the process.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Sonji & Fabric Dyeing/Painting

OK...Sonji looks like she could be my sister or cousin or something. We've joked about it before, but she does look a lot like my youngest sister (I have 2) in this photo. They have the same smile.

I was going back and reading her earlier posts and I just wanted to say how much I love the colors of her painted fabrics and pieces. I haven't gotten into dyeing and painting my own fabrics yet, although I am really intrigued. I love the unique results that so many folks have achieved. I have some Lumiere copper and gold paints just waiting for me, but a piece hasn't cried out for it to me yet.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Texture Detail

U asked for it, U got it!!

You can see the detail of the texture on that Bahamas statue better in this shot...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Chillin' in Our Shades!

This is my goddaughter and little cousin Starr. I took this of her in my sunglasses and handed the camera over to her so that she could...


...Snap a photo of me.

She then got happy and then took pics of her dad, the curtains, you name it! Who knows? Maybe that'll be one of her artsy talents one day.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Inspirations for the Week

  1. The pastel colors, blue skies and blue waters of the Bahamas
  2. A neon sign "graveyard" in Las Vegas
  3. Clouds moving slowly across the sky


Between my vacation and allergies from hell, I haven't had a chance to get crackin' on "Tish Groove" again yet. I hope to have needle to fabric again tomorrow. I found out that the Guild challenge was for something I won't be participating in, so I won't be as limited size-wise. Hmmm...that opens possibilities for the borders, etc.