Sunday, April 30, 2006

Savannah Sights

Girl Scouts of the world, here is your place of pilgrimage--the Juliette Low house, home of the organization's founder! (I was a brownie and junior myself!)

Savannah is filled with over 20 beautiful park squares. This one's Lafayette Square--my favorite because of the green, multitiered fountain in the middle (it's on the left in this pic).

Ahoy mateys! Here I am at the Pirate's House Restaurant, made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Supposedly there are tunnels here that lead down to the Savannah River and were used for rum smuggling and shanghai-ing people.

I passed this beautiful home on E. Broughton St. Look at that ironwork!

I loved Savannah. Such a beautiful, historic place. It's also the only city that I know of that is an ART college town! It was great to see art students from the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) everywhere with their portfolios and schoolwork. Fantastic.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

On Charleston Quilt Shops & Sashiko

I did get a little stitching in edgewise between my chowing down on strawberries and shrimp 'n' grits, lol. Remember that sashiko washout sampler and thread I bought at the MAQF show?

Pardon the crumpliness, but I was working on it on the train and while relaxing at the house. It's pretty fun to do and I really like the bold abstraction of the patterns.

While in Charleston, I stopped at People, Places & Quilts at 1 Henrietta St. downtown. it's a great little shop with a very friendly staff.

This is a little shibori fabric and sashiko bag that I picked up Arise, at a local Maryland-area store that specializes in Japanese and Asian decor, furniture and clothing. I'm always finding interesting things there--like yards of kansuri-style indigo fabric. I keep my sashiko stuff in it (and the sampler too right now--hence, the crumpliness).

Friday, April 28, 2006

More Fun Times in Charleston!!!!!

1 East Battery--the de Saussure House. This has been my favorite house in Charleston since I was little and visited there for the first time. It's now condos that go for at least $3 million apiece.

Who was out in a field picking her own strawberries to snack on? ME!!

That's right! Shrimp 'n' grits! A lowcountry staple! YUM! That's what the white stuff is--the creamiest grits I've ever had. Fantastic, spicy, yummy goodness. I was so sad when all the grits were gone. I'll admit that I dug under the sausage and shrimp for it.

How did we get around our last day in Charleston? In my father-in-law's pickup! My husband took a picture because fast sports car-loving-me driving a pickup was so out of character. It was fun!

Well, the shrimp with my grits had to come from somewhere...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm Back from the Lowcountry!

I love Charleston. Such a gorgeous city on the water. No matter how many times I visit I still feel the same way. A city with islands connected by bridges everywhere. How could I not love it?

Above are photos of the old Cooper River Bridge ("Two Lanes O' Terror" as I liked to call it) that they're tearing down in sections and a view of the new Ravenel Bridge from the Battery downtown. Cool, isn't it? The middle picture is of the swings at Waterfront Park. Such a nice place to chill and swing and watch the waterbirds (and sometimes dolphins if you're lucky!) The pineapple fountain at the bottom is from there too. The picture with the candle is at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, where George Washington was feted upstairs and political prisoners during the British siege suffered downstairs. We (and our stepmom) especially enjoyed the tour of the exchange & dungeon.

I've got more pics to share tomorrow Enjoy!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lowcountry Chilling

Taking Amtrak is so much more relaxing than taking the plane. We caught the Silver Meteor from Union Station here in D.C. I'll have to admit that my husband and I were a little giddy. It's been 20 years since he took a train and we've never taken one together. I found the family-fun atmosphere of train riding so much nicer than the plane. Sure, with flying you'll get there sooner, but where else can you enjoy conversation in a lounge car watching the scenery go by?

We kicked back our recliners and 9 hours later, we pulled into Charleston where our stepmom met us. His dad lives here and I have family in SC too. I love coming down here to Charleston though. This region has such an otherworldly look to it with the marshes and water and trees. I love it and think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.

For my regular readers, I still love my job and the people are still wonderful. It's challenging and interesting work. The funny thing is that since I still work in the same building--a rarity in D.C.--I'm still running into my old co-workers almost every day. That's OK though. They're usually happy to see me. They find it as amusing as I do.

My husband & I are doing nothing today. Sure, we could go and swing at Waterfront Park or see the gorgeous homes at the Battery or on the islands, but this is my first vacation in 7 months. I'm doing nothing. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Personal Quilt Style and Reflection

Had a quiet weekend--which is good, lol. The hubby finally beat me in Scrabble--twice. Darn him. I want a rematch.

Went to my guild meeting. They are talking about having a mystery quilt retreat soon, but it doesn't appeal to me as I'm not into doing traditional-style quilts. I almost felt a little bad as I was one of only 2 women that didn't raise their hands to participate. I turned to my friend Sandra, who was sitting next to me, and whispered, "But I don't do that kind of work." She said, "Neither do I! I hate the idea of precise cutting and piecing!" Don't get me wrong, my guild supports art quilters just as much as they do traditional. I've always believed them to be very progressive in that respect and I really appreciate that about its members. However, it just brings my style even more into focus and lets me know how unwilling I am to spend precious time on a style that just isn't for me at all.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I said in an earlier post that I'm thinking about opening an Etsy online store. Now I just need to determine what I would like to sell and if it's anything I can work on during my 9-hour train ride. I'm thinking very small pieces. 8 x 10s maybe? It would have to be things that people won't want to be without. Hmmm...I'll figure it out.

Sent my revisions back to my editor, so I'm assuming that's all I need to do for awhile. What a relief that is to have the story truly done. I know I was very tickled to sit down and read the story in the current book. Trust me, there's nothing like going to a bookstore to buy your book and see your name with the story that you wrote. I mean, I've been in print before--both as a journalist and in the 1st book of the series--but it never, ever gets old.

Beat my husband in Scrabble again. This is getting sad. It was close, but I think my 72 points off of one word towards the end really got him this time, LOL.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Scrabble Clarification

In response to my previous post, my husband--who had never read my blog until said yesterday's post, which pertained to him--would like to set the record straight.

He said that he would like everyone to know that he does not "hate" playing Scrabble with me, just Boggle. He does, however, believe that my Scrabble win was just a fluke.

I do not concur, LOL. I do not concur.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Quilty Thoughts & Board Game Bonanza

I'm still on my quilting hiatus, lol. I know, I there such a thing? Yes. I'm on a break until May. There's just too much going on with the new gig and needing to wrap up the edits for the third Dark Dreams anthology. Add travel in a few days and this month's gone "Goodbye."

Don't think I don't have all sorts of "Oooo" and "Aaah" ideas running through my mind. I'm definitely taking my sketchbook with me when I take the train down to Charleston, South Carolina next week. I will definitely have enough time to think and draw. I will take my sashiko sampler with me though and maybe some other things I can hand piece. I'm starting up an Etsy online store soon, but I need inventory first. Hmm...

I got into playing board games with my husband. Karoda, knowing your epic games with your family, you will be delighted to know that he now hates to play Scrabble with me...and let's not even start talking about how he feels about playing Boggle, LOL. Word games aren't his thing. The game Risk, however, has been going on for into the third week now--the two of us --along with his cousin--battling it out to conquer the world, LOL. I haven't played board games in years. Too much fun.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

New Printer Excitement

I'm pretty excited. Ticked off at my old printer and its ink cartridge costs from beyond, I went out and bought a spankin' brand new Epson CX7800. It's an all-in-one with those cool Durabrite inks. Ooooo...I can print all sorts of stuff onto my fabric.


Friday, April 07, 2006

D.C. Artist Robert Weiner

Colorwave by Robert Weiner

Is this an art quilt?

No, but it sure looks like one doesn't it?

It is actually a glass piece by D.C. glass artist Robert Weiner. According to his website, he uses over 170 murrine design combinations that he fuses at low temperatures. This piece is part of his "Colorbar Murrine Series" and I think it's gorgeous. His work will be among the 120 artists chosen to participate in the Smithsonian Crafts Show, April 20-23, at the National Building Museum.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Mentality Retraining"

Sorry this is such a long one, but I had a great comment on my last post. To sum it up, it was about being happy in their new job and having to do "mentality retraining." I so understand that. It's like shaking off years of a way of thinking. Of freeing my mind to be myself again. Someone once told me I should never want to work somewhere that I feel I have to hide my talents and I don't have to do that at this new job.

For over 2 years, I was working against my personality type. Every day that I had to hold it in and hold my tongue led to hating myself as much as I hated what I was doing. My drawer was filled with ginger ales, chews and powder to ease my stomach--I was so ill every morning.

One day a few weeks ago, I was sticking labels on a large board mailing and thought about something a colleague told me at an event. A Native American illustrator--Greggory--was sitting at the next table and told me how he was working a job he hated and one day it hit him. He said, "You might think this sounds crazy, but all I could think was 'What I am doing is not honoring my ancestors.'" He quit and started his own graphic design company. I told him I didn't think it sounded crazy at all and we talked for the rest of the time there. I thought about that statement and it felt like my world stopped and restarted at that moment. I looked at those books and thought, "I am not honoring my ancestors. I'll never do another one of these again." That very day I found the ad that led me to being hired at my new gig now. Call it fortuitous. Call it the ancestors at work. I don't know. All I know is that I'm so much happier where I am now.

Here's a quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Day at the New Job

Well, I'd like to say that my first day went really well.

My co-workers are so nice and it's such a change of pace. It's always a little scary and weird at first when you start out somewhere new. SO much to learn. So much to find out, you know? You should see the stack of material I need to read. I want to be as well-versed as possible so that I can really know what I'm editing and writing about. It's nice to be working in my field again and I'm really happy about it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Adinkra stamp

I got a request to see the back of my adinkra stamp.

It has four wooden prongs stuck into the back. At its apex, a piece of canvas-like fabric is wrapped around it and secured with a string tie. It's actually pretty sturdy.