Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Alison in Quilt Book

I was sitting down reading this wonderful book I picked up from Border's last night called Make Your Own Contemporary Quilts. Great book filled with beautiful, clearly explained projects. I got to one project, "Earthspring", and thought, man that looks a lot like Alison's work. Turns out, different quilters contributed to it and sure enough, there was her name!

Alison, I might just try it!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Adventures With Poultry

I don't know what this poultry did to deserve this violation on Thanksgiving. I mean, a can stuck where the sun don't shine? Is it a chicken? A turkey? My cousin (Starr's mom) said it was a turkey. A small turkey on an aluminum can throne. Then again, the turkey next to it (that was actually served) was named Guinevere Alize' Jenkins by my brother--its proud chef.

Somebody save me from my siblings and cousins, LOL. There's truly never a dull moment.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Movies and Travel

Saw this great movie today called "L'Auberge Espagnole" about 6 roommates living together in Barcelona. It has Audrey Tautou of Amélie in it, but it's really about the guy on the left of her in the pic. I found it really interesting and especially the ending when he realizes something important about himself.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey/Tofurkey Day

Today's Thanksgiving. Happy Turkey/Tofurkey Day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

On Horses and Quilting Books

Pretty horses huh? They belong to our neighbor at my family's country home in VA. My sister got a little snap-happy with her camera. They don't seem to mind.

I got Quilted Planet today!! I sat there and enjoyed it for hours.

Wing Sketch

Right now I wish I could fly away or something...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Getting That Quilty Itch

You know, I have been writing and writing and now I'm feeling the quilting itch. You know that feeling--when your fingers feel all tingly like they want to touch fabric. I don't know about you, but when I feel that, I know it's time to create.

Man, I wish there were more hours in the day!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Drum Roll Please!

Badabumbadabum... or whatever sound a drum roll is, lol...

I have finally finished my quilting WEBSITE!!! YAY!

Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Today @ the guild

Had an Uhuru Quilters Guild meeting today and it looks like I'm Uhuru's webmaster for another year. I don't mind. The guild's a lot of fun for me. Keeps me focused. It's one of the few things I've been very consistent about, so it's a good thing in my life.

Me @ the Guild

I thought you'd enjoy a pic of me at the guild learning some tips 'n' tricks from Judy, who hand sews all of her work. I had a good time that day.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

New Quilt Idea: "Hope I'm Never As Old As You"

Now before everyone gets all up in arms over the title, lemme tell ya a little background story:

This is my a photo of my grandmom from the 1940s. She has played a very very important role in my life as she helped to raise me. I consider her one of my best friends and enjoy talking to her. Over 83 years old, she is lively and active enough that she tells me "I hope I'm never as old as you are!" She still drives (very well), remembers stuff that I forget and is just as quick tongued as she is quick-witted. Always busy, I joke that I have to pencil myself into her "schedule."

I love my grandmom and when I saw this picture, I thought it would work well as a quilt in the style of my jazz quilt. Her favorite color's green, and it seems like that will work for those background curtains. This will be a pretty darn cool piece when it's done. I've got some writing to complete first though. Then I'm going on a quilting frenzy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

African American Art Quilters

"Blue Dreams of Africa" by Carole Lyles Shaw

As an African American art quilter, I am often influenced by my heritage and history in terms of what I create. While there are well-known African American art quilters like Faith Ringgold and Carolyn Mazloomi, there are many others that the quilting world in general may not know. There is a great site--the virtual gallery of African American Art Quilters--that showcases some of the best of them.

Check it out!!!

A "Little" Diversion

OK, my writer friend laughed at me very hard because I went to see "Chicken Little" tonight. Sure, I could've gone to see other movies, but I needed a silly crazy laugh, you know? It was too cute and I enjoyed it a lot. What was even better is that the theatre was empty so my husband and I could crack up as loud as we wanted to. I'm really looking forward to Memoirs of a Geisha, The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe and Harry Potter next.

Everyone needs a fun silly movie like this sometimes...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Like a Hawk

...That's how I'll be watching the mailbox in the coming days since I ordered Quilt Planet! YAY! I can't wait to read it! If anything, I hope the pics are good!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

How I Ticked Off Spike Lee...

Some of you have asked about what I said about ticking off Spike Lee in my TriMeme post yesterday. Turns out it was one of the true statements (I do own a voodoo doll and I play 2, not 5 instruments).

Once upon a time, I was the assistant fashion stylist at BET and my boss, assistant & I created their wardrobe dept. We maintained the wardrobe room with thousands of dollars worth of mostly loaned merchandise for the 10 hosts we had to dress for the network. It was a glamorous, but stressful, underpaying job.

Spike Lee was in town to shoot a commercial at the studio bldg. our wardrobe room was in. We were asked to loan him a clothing rack from our room. No prob. As I wheeled it to his dressing room, I passed the makeup room and saw his stylists on the phone and wasting time. I rolled it in to him and introduced myself. As I was walking back out, he unzipped his garment bag and held up his clothes. "Hey, aren't you going to steam these for me?" he asked. "No," I said. He got pretty indignant with me and said, "Well, you are the stylist, aren't you?" I said, "Yes, but I'm not yours. I'll be happy to get them for you" and walked right on out. He looked pretty surprised, but I figured his stylists were getting paid very very well--more than I was. Let them earn their money, lol.

And that, ladies and any gentlemen readers, is how I ticked off Spike Lee.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I've Been Tagged!

DebR has tagged me for this Tri-Meme, so I thought I'd give it a go:

Three screen names that you'’ve had:
Only 3? I've had more than that.

Three things you like about yourself:
My smarts, talent and empathy

Three things you don'’t like about yourself:
Perfectionism to the point of disappointment, tendency to procrastinate, impatience

Three parts of your heritage:
African, Native American, English

Three things that scare you:
Bugs, a personal physical attack, heights, and deep water--oh, that's four, lol

Three of your everyday essentials:
A good laugh with my husband, good health and rest

Three things you are wearing right now:
Holey jeans, a T-shirt and slippers

Three of your favorite songs:
Most played on my iPod at the moment? Let's Get Closer (Atlantic Starr), All In Love Is Fair (Stevie Wonder) and Anyone Who Had a Heart (Luther Vandross). I'm in a mellow dramatic singalong R&B mood right now.

Three things you want in a relationship:
Respect, Love, Trust

Two truths and a lie:
I ticked off Spike Lee.
I have a real voodoo doll.
I can play 5 instruments.

Three things you can'’t live without:
Books, chocolate, and Internet access

Three places you want to go on vacation:
Italy, Mexico, and back to Spain

Three things you just can'’t do:
Bungee jump, swim very well, and dance to a choreographed routine

Three kids names:
Quentin, Karina, Teraesa...Because these are the 3 kids I dealt with the most! Siblings, I tell ya!

Three things you want to do before you die:
See the pyramids, go to Italy, have some kids

Three celeb crushes:
I don't get really crush-y when it comes to celebrities. I can tell you my favorites though: NBA player Chris Webber, Oded Fehr (The Mummy), Russel Wong (Romeo Must Die, The Joy Luck Club), Clive Owen. Yummy. Four again. I can't count for crap, lol.

Three of your favorite musicians:
I'm all over the place, but Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Jill Scott. Jill Scott's the only celebrity I'd like to meet so we could talk poetry and creativity. There's just something real down-to-Earth about her.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
Besides great teeth, nice arms, and height, 3 non-physical things are very important: a great sense of humor, intelligence--I love my men smart with a touch of geek in 'em--and kindness.

Three of your favorite hobbies:
Drawing, writing, quilting

Three things you really want to do badly right now:
1. Move
2. Devote more time to what I should be doing
3. Spend more time w/my grandmothers & great-aunt everyday

Three careers you'’re considering/you'’ve considered:
Considered: A cartoonist, an Egyptologist, a fashion designer
Considering: Anything creative and non-stressful

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy:
I love SciFi, fantasy, anime, martial arts and gory guy films
I am a concise shopper. I know exactly what I want and don't linger
I LOVE video games. My sister and I actually get together and play sometimes.

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:
I love beautiful clothing and shoes
I am scared of bugs
Chocolate is my friend

Friday, November 11, 2005

Quilted Planet

Ooo...this is so going to be my next book purchase! It's about quilt arts from around the world. Yes!

Illo Friday: Strength

Here's my illo for Illustration Friday: Strength.

LOL, how smug the strong bug looks, LOL.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What the...?

Got called in again today. Sigh. It's always something, isn't it?

This is only tempered by the fact that last night I found out that my best friend Kaaronica's book is being published--and the publisher is taking me on as the illustrator. YES! At least that's good, you know? I know how hard she's been working to send it out and all of the rejections that have come back in the past. Perseverance works, you know?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On a Good Note...

a detail from one of Winifred's quilts...

First, I'd just like to thank everyone for their encouraging comments about yesterday's post. It's always hard to go through days like that, but I understand that my talent makes me so much more than that job. That will be what gets me out of it. It's just a matter of time...

On a really good note, another member of my Uhuru Quilters Guild, Winifred Wallace, has also been accepted into Carolyn Mazloomi's "Jazz" exhibit. I've talked about her work in this blog before and it really is stunning. I just wanted to say "Congrats!" to her.

More Than I Bargained For

I didn't feel like quilting today. Or writing. Or drawing. Or anything.

Today I barely made it to my car after work before breaking down in tears--which concerned my husband as I'm not a crying type. Everyday I go to a job that makes me feel horrible about myself. I took this admin job as a temp almost 2 years ago now because I needed to and I was a little desperate for a job. I made it clear when I accepted it that I was a writer and that was what was important to me. I didn't mean to still be there. I figured it was an easy way to get paid regularly every two weeks and have benefits. I was wrong.

I hate prepping for meetings. I don't drink coffee and the smell of making it makes me gag. I've never complained about the embarassing hole-in-the-wall space I was given to work in. Even cubicles have more room. I make my boss' life easier by my work, but it's not him. He's a really great boss. It's the supervisor woman I work under. Every day I absolutely dread going in, expecting some snarky comment or petty humiliation. Maybe it's mental now, but I actually become sick beforehand and drag in the mornings, reluctant to face the day. I'm not proud of it, but I run late because of it. I do great work despite and my boss gave me a promotion, but the supervisor has made it clear to me that she views it as a "title only". I have sent out my resume left and right with no result. I really don't know what else to do and feel trapped.

Sorry to vent here, but it's so sad to go into the office and be surrounded by so many talented, well-educated folks whose faces barely hide their misery and know that I'm one of them.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Art Store Rhapsody

Pearl, one of my favorite arts in this area, is moving its VA location to a new one. When I saw the sign I was like "Nooooooooo!" Maybe it isn't as far as I think from me. The other one's waaaay out in Rockville, MD. A trip around the Beltway. Hmm.

There's something about going to the art store isn't it? Being surrounded by all of those creative possibilities is always a good time for me. You pass other folks in the store, and no matter what they're looking at, you know their creative juices are all stirred up too!

Man, I love going to the art supply store!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Not Enough Hours

There just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes--even when you get up early with the best of intentions. Instead of cleaning up, writing and planning some projects, I ended up doing all sorts of other craziness today:
  1. Visited a friend with a broken leg to get my cellphone that I left over there last night. Played with his crazy kitty Scout who likes chasing his Get Well Soon balloon.
  2. For a quick lunch, I headed over to one of my fave Japanese restaurants-- Akasaka--where my husband & I downed tuna, spicy yellowtail and shrimp tempura sushi, miso soup and shumai (shrimp dumplings). Man, I love green tea! We hadn't been there in a while and we used to go all the time. It was like being at an old friend's home. Comfortable and happy.
  3. Made my way to the art store and picked up some gel medium (fun with photo transfers!) and a new sketchbook. Can't wait to try out some stuff.
  4. Husband very happy about trip to Best Buy for Star Wars III, Kingdom of Heaven and (for me) Drop Dead Gorgeous. If you haven't seen it, D.D.G. is hilarious!
  5. Browsed Barnes & Noble for a quick minute before heading home. So many books, so little time.
Wasn't productive today in terms of stuff I was supposed to do, but I was with everything else don't you think, LOL?

Friday, November 04, 2005

Recapture the Joy

I just thought that you all would enjoy a kiddie picture of me. I was about 6 and at my grandparent's beach house. Is it me or does it look like our neighbor's dog is smiling too?

I think that in our creative pursuits we often get so caught up in the final results or what we are going to do with it or how much is riding on it that we can lose that child-like joy of creating itself. It can be really hard sometimes when you have so many other things going on, isn't it?

NaNoWriMo word count: 2041

Madrid Photos...

Just thought I'd share some photos from Madrid: (top to bottom) Kilometer Zero--the point all distance in Spain is measured from, a cute little Smart car, El Oso y El Madrono--the symbol of Madrid--at Puerta del Sol, and our hotel--the Palace Hotel--with the Neptune fountain in front.

NaNoWriMo word count: 1414 & counting

Thursday, November 03, 2005

NaNoWriMo aka Just Damn Crazy

Thanks to DebR and her 2004 icon, I checked out NaNoWriMo--the National Novel Writing Month project.

The idea: Sign up and write a 50,000 word novel(la) by November 31. Sounds cool, huh?

The reality: Write a 50,000 word novel(la) by November 31 and it kicked off at midnight Nov. 1st.

I've estimated that if I write about 1200 words/6 double-spaced pages a day, I'll finish. It is just a damn crazy idea and I am sooooo doing this! I think Dijanne is doing it too. Good luck to all of you NaNoWriMo participants out there! We're going to need it!

I'm a writer. I won't go insane by the end of the month from it, right? Right?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Guatemalan Quilts

Guatemalan quilts in the Washington Post

I saw this photo in the Washington Post yesterday of a market in Solala, Guatemala and found these quilts very striking for their rich colors, patterns and design. I know a quilt when I see one!

I'm sure many of you are familiar with her work, but I love Priscilla Bianchi's quilts with their Guatemalan fabrics. There is such a rich textile tradition there. How could you not help but be inspired by beautiful pieces like these?