Day 30 and 31

Day 31: Chaos - things seems so turbulent for me professionally right now - there is so much pressure to do things right, to be good at everything, and to get students to the top. Today was a breaking point for me - I am just full - I can't do, or take, or think anymore - I am worn out and crabby - my head feels like chaos....

Day 30: Vincent Van Gogh - Born today - 127 years ago (honestly this square is nothing near the way I would like to honor Vincent - I will work on it)...
Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colours on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds and violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue
Colours changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artists' loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you Vincent
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you

Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They're not listening still
Perhaps they never will...

Day 29 on Day 31

I got a little behind here - this is Day 29 - the initials of my last name. I have one of those pesky hyphenated last names - my parent's name and then my husband's.
It felt very modern in the 80s when I did it but sometimes it is a major hassle - like getting a passport - at school I go by my husband's surname only - it would be mean to make 3rd graders write both.
I kept my parent's name because I didn't get my artistic ability from my husband and so that felt important.
As I am writing this I am thinking what about my own name? hmmm It is interesting that we stilll hold on to the men's names - other countries don't do that????!!!!



Okay I am having the hardest time with my squares - I am starting my last row and nothing I come up with seems worthy of these last few squares - I am loving this project and hate to see it end...
That said here is one of my nature squares - I love the look of these mushrooms - I have had more than one Russian student tell me not to eat them, which leads me to think they must grow in their homeland and they have heard dire warnings - they always seems so serious when they tell me, just after I have drawn one.
Well, I will continue to persevere on what to do with my last, tiny, seven, 1 inch, lovely squares - maybe I can think of a way to continue this project without it being daily - it is hard to keep up because I spend too long on each square!


52 Projects - Week 10

Week 10
  • add a gadget to my blog - kind of finally did that by using the new draft version of blogger and changing my background and layout - yeah - I can take that off the list
  • Easter - snuck up on me! So I decorated and then made some crafts - On Amy Powers blog Inspireco she showed how to create decorative eggs using plastic eggs - so I got out our box filled with many years and colors of eggs...
What ensued was an incredible mess of glue and ripped paper - I had a hard time deciding what to rip up to create my eggs. Don't know why I pick stuff up at yard sales to craft with and then think I shouldn't use it...weird!
Anyway, I covered many eggs - some with music, some with a children's book about a duck, others with brown tissue paper, french dictionary pages, and paisley tissue - it was a gluecatastrophe of major proportions - seriously I have never been known for working clean and this was beyond anything you can imagine. I am still scrapping paper bits off the rug, the kitchen table and my clothes.

And that was not the end of it...I had to add ribbon and junk - but the final product was worth it ...

I made these and...

these... and I pulled out an old wheel barrel thing I had...

needed a paint job badly but instead I decided to sand it to look worn and then added some gerbera daisies


Day 27 and 28 and USC BABY!

For Day 27 (the 27th) I thought I would commemorate our marriage - August 27th - and this year it will be 27 years - wow that went by fast. We had Zippity Do Da as one of our songs and our colors were red, yellow, and purple - a very festive occasion. The beads are for the dots that decorated our cake like dotted swiss fabric...
Well, this is kind of blurry! It is suppose to be a palm frond for Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week. You can't see it clearly but it also says "I am".
Finally our BIG dealio this weekend. Casey was gone for a few days to the Key Club Convention. He gave up his district office and wrapped up a wonderful year of meeting new friends and learning so many things. On Saturday a thick envelope came for him from one of his college choices...
So, this morning when we got home I had some pancakes ready for him - USC's colors are gold and red (crimson) so the pancake is the gold and the red lettering. We gave him his pancake and he smiled.
He later said he thought it was just me sending him good thoughts for this week which is decision week for many schools...
Here is his official certificate - too cool...
and here is his official joy - way too cool... He has been accepted to USC, UCLA, Western, and UW, each has offered some aid based on academic merit - he is still waiting to hear from Penn and then we will make a decision... what fun!


Day 26

Okay, this first square is a dilemma for me to explain.
It might be a portrait of me as a child - I was fair haired and all... or
it occurred to me that it might be my dream of a daughter.
I have two wonderful sons that I treasure but in me there is an unanswered prayer for a daughter...so maybe it is my daughter, I don't know.
Thanks to Amy who created 39 squares for giving me the idea to create some sort of portrait in my squares.

I am posting this a day late and both of these squares are from yesterday - this one was inspired
from an art lesson I gave yesterday. I taught all 110 3rd graders at my school about pysanky eggs. We watched a video and then a demo and then I showed them how to create a paper version. They tumbled off to their own rooms and started creating. A few days ago I spoke about how we don't often have time for art and projects but I was given the gift of being able to share this project yesterday. This is why I teach. It filled my cup to the brim. I want to give credit to the person who first taught me paper pysanky - Shari Mann - thanks

Finally, a nature square - I think I am so far behind on these squares that I won't even count anymore. Recently I pulled out a stitchery book I had purchased at Half Price Books (best place) and it had an embroidery section. I thought I was remembering all the stitches but it turned out there were a ton more I have never even tried. So
this is one I found in there - it is specifically for leaves and I used a variegated thread. I love it!

Well, gotta go decorate for Easter - it snuck up on me this year...


24 and 25

Today I was looking at my poor neglected garden when I left for work. The roses are already leafy - wow! I love roses and wish I had time to care for more of them. Guess this one will have to do.

Yesterday we had a beautiful day - 70 degrees when I got off work at 5:30. Made me believe that spring would be followed by summer and sun would follow rain. Unfortunately, today it rained...alot and tomorrow it is suppose to be much cooler with a winter storm warning in the mountains - someone oughta tell those folks it is spring...
Realized after I took the picture that I never did borders - another thing to catch up during the rainy weekend


You ever have one of those days/weeks/months

You ever spend a couple days with a nagging feeling you forgot something and you aren't sure what. I knew it wasn't earth shattering but I knew, I just KNEW I forgot something. It kept me awake for two nights because I just couldn't think of it. What it was...was posting my project for 52 projects - see below...
But first, my squares for the day. This is a coffee cup from a bird's eye view. Today I drank my coffee - three cups and didn't eat anything and by 11:30 the acid was running rampant in my stomach - and I almost...but not quite had to... well you know...throw up...I thought I might have to do it right in front of my horrified class...no worries...I made it. I love my coffee, I love Folgers and I love fancy coffee and I just love the warm yummy smell, and I put up with the occasional acid because it is so darn comforting.
For my nature square, grass!
We have already had to cut it twice this year (I say 'we' but I mean 'he'). It makes us sneeze and it smells so much like spring.

Now, my project for the week. Saturday was National Quilting Day, which thanks to my cousin Katie I remembered. And, I really wanted to celebrate it...
To Do:
Add a gadget to my blog (oops, didn't do it again)
Celebrate National Quilting Day
SO I headed down to my sewing room and started digging around. I had put all my in process projects away before Christmas. SO I dug out this quilt that just was not working. I love, love the background fabric - it is bras. Anyway, it stunk...so I decided to fix it.
Here is the before:
These flowers are not good...
But, I like these much better. I am trying to figure out how to create a look I have in my brain...this is much closer than before but not exactly there - still way better. And, the best part is I spent several hours alone in my sewing room enjoying some creative wistfulness.


Day 22

Tonight I had a book club meeting - we enjoy good books and whine (spelling intended). Tonight was our social meeting and so we did not get to talk about the book, which I really, REALLY want to talk about. The book is "Set This House in Order".
I love book club not for the whine or the books which I don't always get read. I love book club for the 5 wonderful women who are in it. They make me laugh and cry and help me cope with life. I love them all!
Below is my nature square - an aurora borealis - I haven't seen one since I was a child but this is how I remember it - colors swirling in the sky - mostly pink and glittery - lovely - undescribable.


Day 18 - 21 and some nature

Thanks for stopping by I so appreciate you leaving me comments.
Day 18 took me aback - I had trouble deciding what to do because that particular square was the center of all my squares and so it seemed so important to do something good.
I finally decided on a mandala with peace at its center. At the heart of all I do is my search for peace, tranquility and happiness.

Day 19 was a wonderful day at school. We had read a story called "Fly, Eagle, Fly!" about an eagle who is raised as a chicken and a man who helps the eagle remember he is a glorious eagle. We had a little extra time on Friday and so I presented a project where we made eagles on a stick that we 'flew'. The kids loved it! We don't get much time in these days of No Child Left Behind to do fun, artistic projects so this was truly a treat. One student was flying around the room with his singing "I believe I Can Fly" and the message of the story was not lost on any of them.
I sometimes forget I am not teaching math, or science, or reading, or pacing guides, but instead I am teaching 8 and 9 year old children and their spirits. When the bell rang they laughed out the door, flying their eagles home. So to remember this special experience, an eagle's wing.

Day 20 - ah SPRING - time to grow - grow your garden, grow your person - it's time
And then today, Day 21 - and God said we should rest. I have been tired for weeks. Dragging myself awake and dropping into bed at night tired. Tired. A couple hours after getting up today, I went back to bed and rested more...much better.

And now a bit of catch-up on my nature blocks - this is day 18. One of the great miracles of nature is the night sky and then thinking that all that is up there in the daylight too. Do you remember when you first learned that? I remember being just amazed - still there - how can that be?
My oldest sister lives about 15 miles past nowhere - seriously and if you are out there on the ridge you can walk around the bend up the hill away from her house and the hill will block out her porch light..and there, you can see every star there is to see. It is an amazing site - I think I better make a plan to see it this summer.

And finally, a fix for my ugly bumble bee - he still isn't perfect but I like him much better.
His wings better suit him.


Late and behind - Day 16 and 17

Casey turned 18 yesterday - a St. Patrick's Day joy! I can't believe both my children are adults - it feels really, really weird.
We had a wonderful celebration and he got the fabulous calculator he had been dreaming of. The square has his name and birth date as well as candles and four leaf clovers - he is our lucky charm for sure - also there is a top hat - my mom and dad met each other on this same date 53 or so years ago at a place in Spokane called the Top Hat - they were celebrating last night too!

This block is left over from the 16th (I made two that day). This is another of my favorites: Lily of the Valley - so pretty - never been able to get it to grow in my yard - and oh have I tried. I will never forget in Hungary or was it Italy? getting a splendid bouquet.

For my nature square, I have added thistle - I love thistle even though I am from farm country where it is considered a noxious weed - maybe it is everywhere? Anyway, I love it - do you think it needs a haircut - or at least some mousse to tame it? - I will have to work on that it is kinda hairy scary right now.
SO that puts me one day behind - will have to catch-up on the weekend!


In a continuation of things I love, love, love: green olives are way up on the list.

They come now with almonds or garlic or jalapenos in middle, but I prefer pimentos.

And who doesn't love the combination of red and green?

For my nature square I decided to do a branch of spring blossoms like I can see from my bedroom window. It looks small but is actually two squares combined. Don't you just love pink?


Day 15

Since I did the embroidered quilt block I thought maybe I would do some other things I adore. Today, the ever wonderful, 2HB, soft, Ticonderoga pencil. They are so wonderful - fully sharpened a dozen at a time. They make me really happy!
Sometimes I let my students use them as a reward - that is how fabulous I think they are.

For my nature block - a strawberry - yum!


Liberty of London Lust and 52 Projects 6, 7, 8


To Do List:
6. Wait patiently for Liberty of London to come to Target.
7. Make chili like the stuff from Oklahoma on the Food Channel
8. Clean up my embroidery act.
9. Bonus project
10. Add another gadget to my website

Here are the fabulous cups I bought this morning at Target. I love Liberty of London Fabric - any quilter does, as it has such a beautiful hand - I have a very small few pieces of this fabric - it is UBER expensive.

I also purchased these cute bowls (melamine) and behind them you can see the file folder set I snagged.

I had seen other items on the advertisement, but couldn't find several things - and the shelves looked picked over. I got there at 9:30 and couldn't figure this out? As I continued to look, I saw this woman with her cart HEAPED with LofL products - HEAPED. And she had all of some of the stuff. Secretly I hoped she might wonder away from her cart...no, not really. I do wish I had a camera as it was comical. I did end up fulfilling a bonus to-do: They had LofL dresses that were gorgeous - and I bought one for Casey's graduation! Yeah - taken care of! CHECK

Next, I saw some chili made in a diner in Oklahoma on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. As an aside - I love Guy Fieri - that's him over there.
He is funny and he cooks more than just white colored food!
I didn't take a picture of the chili because I am still waiting for it to be done. You boil the meat part for 3 hours and I decided to make beans from dried too. And that takes about 5 hours. My house smells wonderful. Will let you know if it tasted good. Planning on using the left over beans to make bean cakes - a wonderful source of fiber!

I saved this project for last! My embroidery floss is a white hot mess. I used to cross stitch and then I had all this floss. I kept it in plastic bags and just let it turn into a nest of string all tangled up - I hate to admit that I had to buy a new hoop because I couldn't untangle the TWO I had from the web. Now I could have just cut them out, but I hate to waste. So, I spent a few surprisingly relaxing hours untangling the floss. Now as I continue the 39 square project I can do it in an organized fashion. Feels good.
Check out the after.

It was a big step for me to put the floss cards in the boxes in non-numerical order (old cross stitching habit). I decided they would be way more useful in color families. You can see I still have a few skeins to wrap but I will do those when I am watching TV so as not to have idle hands.

With that, I did not finish my other to-do which is to add some gadget and get a background, etc. etc., that will have to wait for next week.

I now consider myself caught up with the rest of the folk over at 52 projects.

My passion

I loved my little block yesterday so much - the house (see yesterday's post) and that was because it was more quilting than embroidery - and I LOVE TO QUILT. So, I thought I better commemorate that on my squares. This is my favorite block. Can't recall the name but I have used it in many quilts.
I don't have much time to quilt these days but I am working on carving out time because I realized recently how important it is to me.

For my nature squares, I made a spiderweb and a bumble bee. I wasn't going to put a spider in the web, cuz I don't like spiders at all! But then it seemed wrong not to - still creepy though. The bee needs some work - when you see these 1 inch blocks blown up, every flaw shows and you gotta make changes - so watch for him to come back
around a little but improved. Maybe I can add fuzz to the gaps in his body or something and the wings just don't look right.
Have a great Sunday and take a nap to make up for that lost hour!


Day 13

I am a home body - on weekends it takes alot for me to leave the house. ALOT. I have my stuff, my family, my doggie all right here - what more do I need? I especially love how happy this little house looks and that it blends my love of quilting in.

I did a snowflake for my 1 inch squares and decided I needed one for my nature squares.