Sunday, November 28, 2010

Studio Magazine

I think if you believe in yourself and you just try something new no matter how far fetched it may seem, you just might have your wish come true. So I responded to a magazine query about small spaces and unique storage solutions for your studio. They called me back and said they would love to see what I have to offer for a photo shoot. So I had some professional photos done and entered my submission. It's pretty exciting if you think about it because just that small space in a magazine with my website attached is more advertising than I could ever afford. Here's to hoping they like my ideas...


You can view their website here...Studio Magazine

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pinewood Show and Tell

Every year at the annual Pinewood Lodge Quilting Retreat, there is a wonderful show and tell and this year was no exception. Once I overcame my sudden camera battery issues for the first half of show and tell, I was still able to snap a few photos of quilts that I love to feature on the blog.

This first photo is of Kristy's quilts. The left one was her very first quilt she did last year and the right larger one she finished this year. This child is an amazing quilter for just the 2 weekends that she has joined us. She has a great attitude and spunky spirit that just keeps her going. She told us that she had gone to a fashion design camp since the last retreat and one evening she even stayed up with the ladies into the wee hours mastering her hand binding. She's a real trooper.

This next photo is Nesta. Although she sees herself as an emerging quilter, her color choices are brilliant and she pulled this beautiful wall hanging off in just one day. Way to go girl!

This fabulous quilt below was made by Pat. She challenged her fellow quilters to step outside the box with this round robin quilt asking them to mix and match with a sweet vintage style and a raw edge pattern. It turned out sooo nicely.

This great quilt was made by Joy who took, but likely could have taught, a class called "Buzz Saw" at our In Stitches fall luncheon. As an art quilter I'd rather cut my arm off with a buzz saw than try to make a buzz saw quilt, but Joy's corners are perfect and her colour choices are lovely.

This last quilt by Deb reminds us that Christmas is coming. It's a lovely snowflake modestly shown as her intricate buzz saw quilt is also hanging over her arm. These ladies are what quilt retreats are all about. Good friends and good times.

A big thank you goes out to Raquel and her team at the Pinewood Lodge for hosting us so well year after year. Cheers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

5th Annual Pinewood Lodge Retreat 2010

Here I sit in front of my Bernina in a grand room of quilters on the second floor of Pinewood Lodge - my pile of cottons momentarily pushed aside. The breathtaking view of Dorothy Lake is surreal at this time of year because we are usually deep in snow by now. It's hard to believe this is the 5th annual retreat and I have been to every single one. I have done so well this weekend and have a wonderful tip for all of you avid quilt retreaters out there. Bring several exciting projects that are most prevalent on your list of things to do, but start with the most difficult the first day and move on in order of hardest to easiest as the retreat goes on. I can't tell you the countless sighs of disdain I've heard from quilters trying difficult seams and points in the wee hours. Those late evening hours are best saved for the mindless tasks of simple piecing or hand sewn binding while we chat into the night.
I have 2 projects complete so far and a few others in the works. The first was an extremely detailed landscape. It is a private commission of a photo of the clients lake from their dock and boat house. Here you see the original photo and then the finished art piece. Secondly I finally completely my tumbling blocks from a class I took months ago. It is so gratifying to complete the last few inches of binding. Now I'm off to muddle together a whole bunch of my favourite Amy Butler fabrics to make some altogether secret things. I'll never tell because Christmas is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pass the sugar, Sugar!

Have you ever had one of those days where you seem to be working so hard, things are flowing just fine, and then suddenly it all comes tumbling down and all you can do is break into a fit of laughter? Well today was one of those days for me. I got up nice and early to make healthy lunches and even packaged up a snack of toast, peanut butter, jam and tea for my husband so he could bring his own and not pay for toast and tea at work every morning on his break. All good intentions. I even gave him a tiny container of sugar for his tea which I pinched from our camping supplies.

He phoned me after his coffee break and said, "Are you trying to kill your wonderful husband, or what?" I had no idea what I could have done. It turns out I gave him bread to make toast which was mouldy, and not just the white fuzzy beginnings of mould, but the green blue variety. This also meant his lunch sandwich could be mouldy, which also meant my son's sandwich at school would be suspect. So he tossed the bread and proceeded to make himself a nice cup of tea with his tea bag and sugar from home. Luckily he was sitting alone at the break this morning because he took one sip of his tea with 2 teaspoons of - wait for it - SALT and gagged. Not only was his morning less pleasant due to my irresponsible family care, but I broke into an unstoppable fit of laughter on the phone when he told me all of this. Then, realizing the time, I quickly snapped out of it and whipped together a bologna wrap for my son and slipped over to his school to make the switch before lunch time.

Sometimes I think I'm really putting 'for better or for worse' to the test!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Creative Child

I love how children can be so uninhibited and limitless. They just explore and have fun and try things without deciding that they "can't" or "shouldn't" try something new. I was sorting through some old photos of our summer holiday and realized that Gavin had grabbed our camera and taken a bunch of photos while we were golfing. The photos were fantastic including this interesting one of his shadow. Children can be very creative.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

O Happy Day!

We are having a very uncharacteristically gorgeous fall in Winnipeg. The temperature hit 12 degrees today and normally we have had our first snow by Halloween. I have vivid memories as a child donning my full snow suit and boots and being stuffed into a Halloween costume. Never very fairy-like in the end. The unnecessary kindness of Mother Nature has thrown me off kilter slightly because I already made the closet switch from summer to winter clothes.

So with this great weather today we embarked on a family bike ride. My notion of a great ride is a little jaunt around the block. My husband's notion of a great ride had us collapsing with exhaustion in the front yard 3 hours after we had set out. I have to admit it was one the best family days we've had in weeks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Art Opening Success

Everyone has a different definition for success. Mine has everything to do with family, friends and just surrounding myself with good good people. I was overwhelmed by the show of support last night at the Woodlands gallery for my very first Art Opening! I was thrilled to share my passion with so many people. Friends, family, classmates and even strangers made a special effort to attend and they expressed a genuine interest in my art. The owner, Jenny Tasker and her team, did a fabulous job with display, advertising and welcoming everyone to the gallery. Thank you to everyone involved for showing your support.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What is a typewriter?

Growing up with a love of writing, my first typewriter was really a big deal for me. I practically wore it out through university. The other day my son and I had a conversation that somehow led to the word typewriter. It dawned on me that he may have never even seen one. I asked him if he knew what a typewriter was. This was his answer...

"Yep, I know what that is. It's like a cash register mixed with a computer but it doesn't have a screen and it makes paper with letters all over it."

Being in this world with a child is so refreshing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote - Minister Theresa Oswald

I've come across many people in my life who aim to do the right things for the right reasons, but few have been so inspiring to me as the Honourable Minister Theresa Oswald. She has heart, she has vigour, she has compassion and she works hard. I admire her sense of family and community and her vision for a better tomorrow. Here is her quote for an 8 year old kid:

"There is no such thing as a dumb question. If you want to know something, dig down to find the courage to be the only one in the group that asks. Be polite, enthusiastic and interested and almost EVERYBODY will appreciate it and take the time to answer. Do this, and you'll be closer and closer to being as smart as you can be...but here's the trick: you'll never actually get to that destination. The journey just continues, as long as you have curiosity and wonder." - Minister Theresa Oswald

Lovely quote - I find when I am brave enough to ask what might seem a silly or obvious question, it was often on everyone's mind and it might even spark the best conversation of the day! Thank you Theresa!