Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Look At That Rock!!

If that didn't get my mother's attention, nothing will. (On long family vacations - car trips - that was her signature way of breaking up back seat arguments. Four children, several thousand miles of cross country driving - you do the math to figure out how many times she needed to say it.)

So here's the rock:

Besides planting annuals last week (in containers), I bought a bunch of perennials. Back in March I spent about 4 hours removing the honey suckle vines that were smothering the rock, and on Monday we spent several more hours weeding and planting. I guess I should have added arrows to indicate what's what, but at the bottom right there are day lilies, going up the side are some cone flowers and Russian sage. The cedar tree in the middle of the rock is, as a passing neighbor noted this weekend, "a wonder of nature!" . It wasn't very big when we moved in, but now it's splitting the rock big time. I took this picture so that in August I can see how much the perennials have grown - by then the cedar will no longer be here, as we really like this rock.

We also had some friends over on Saturday for fajitas and hot dogs, and went to a birthday party, so it was a fun and busy holiday weekend.

Fabric related alert! I did some screen printing yesterday.

The background fabric is an ancient monoprint. It was one of my first dye experiments, probably made in 1994.

Here are more of those circles I love, on a computer generated fabric.

And yesterday was a great mail day!!
This is "Spiral Dance 4" from the fabulous DebR. It's about 6"x8", and I love it. Thanks, Deb! I'm thinking of mounting it on plexiglass.

I need to finish a few projects this week, and then maybe I'll get to those postcards. It's *hot* here - I hope you all are staying cool!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Two More Pics

Thank you all for the nice remarks from the last post. It would have been even more fun if you all could have been there to enjoy the view with me!

I realized, after the fact, that some of you might be wondering where the pictures of the quilts from Sotterly were. Well, sad to say there are none. The quilts are exhibited in various buildings on the property. No photography is permitted in the manor house, so I wasn't able to photograph the quilts there.

As for the others, I had good intentions. However, this is at least the fourth time I've done a demo during the show, and it was the most foot traffic I've encountered. The other demonstrators, including the spinners and the amusing man using a drum carder to my right, were setting such a good example by not leaving their posts that I tried hard to stay put too. I got a very quick glance at the quilts in a couple of the buildings, but didn't have a chance to really get a good look at the bulk of the show myself. So no quilt pics - sorry.

Here are two other pictures I took on Sunday.
A mountain laurel in full bloom

A view of the dormers I've always enjoyed, taken from the circular drive

Incredibly, I haven't managed to finish any of those postcards yet. Yesterday I went to the nursery and bought tons of plants, and managed to get all the annuals in their pots or beds. This weekend the perennials will be put in. I'm a few weeks behind the curve, but I think they'll do just fine.

Maybe I'll sneak in a few minutes on the postcards before the boys walk through the door.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Beautiful View

Here's the view from my perch on the portico at Sotterly yesterday.

Looking Left

Looking straight ahead

Walking left and looking back at the portico from the garden. You can see Jean, my table partner, sitting. Jean is an expert at hand work - think hand quilted queen sized bed quilts, and dimensional Baltimore Album style flowers. We were quite the contrast in styles! There aren't any other people in these pictures because I took them before the show started.

Look! I'm making postcards. If you click on the picture you'll be able to see them better. (Deb R, can you spot the glasses?) Even though it was in the 70's, it was quite breezy, and in the shade it was cool, hence the jacket.

The weather was perfect, the attendance was great, everybody was nice. I got a chance to see some friends from the Annapolis Guild that I haven't seen in a while. Among them was Hilke, to whom I'll be forever grateful because she is the person who first encouraged me to enter my quilts in shows.

Here's a final view of the garden.
I hope the rest of you had a beautiful day too!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Bit of Screenprinting

I spent so much time working on my website in the last few weeks that I haven't gotten much done in the way of fabric art. This week I've done a bit of screenprinting.

I did some more yesterday in preparation for my fabric postcard demo.

Knitting has been restricted to dribs and drabs during activities such as being a life guard/referee while bathing children. Right now I still only have socks (3) on the needles.

Tomorrow I'll share pics from my lovely day at Sotterly!

Monday, May 15, 2006

My New Website!

I've finally finished my quilting website! Check it out at . It includes a gallery of most of my quilts, with detail shots of some of them.

Other exciting news: my Little Treasure that was in the Fiberart For A Cause reverse auction already sold. What a delightful surprise! Many thanks to the generous lady who bought it.

When I mentioned the Southern Maryland Quilt & Needlework Show earlier today, I neglected to describe it. It's both a quilt and a needlework show. The location is a beautiful manor house on the banks of the Patuxent River. It has a lovely garden, and often the peonies (masses of them) are in bloom for the show. If not, then the irises and poppies. They have a catered lunch under a tent, and a number of vendors in various locations on the property. The quilts and needlework are displayed in the out buildings, and some years they're displayed in the manor house itself. A variety of demonstrations are held (mostly on the portico of the manor house). There's a gorgeous raffle quilt, as well as a crewel embroidery to be raffled. It's a great way to spend the day.

Southern Maryland Quilt & Needlework Show

This week is the Southern Maryland Quilt & Needlework Show. It's May 19-21 at Sotterly Plantation in Hollywood, Maryland. One of my quilts, Luna, will be there, and so will I . Weather permitting I'll be demonstrating how to make fabric postcards on Sunday, probably on the portico. If you go to the show, please stop by and say hi!

Don't forget, today the Fiberart For A Cause reverse auction begins. It's a great way to support the American Cancer Society, and involves beautiful fiber art.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ten Years Ago Today ...

I had the honor, and pleasure, of marrying this man:

One year before our wedding, at someone else's

In the conservatory at Longwood Gardens, about 2 years before we got married

You've got to love a man who sends you four dozen roses, proposes to you in St Peter's Basilica (in Rome), insists on secretly learning how to do the Viennese Waltz with you to surprise your wedding guests during the first dance, has turned out to be an even better father than you imagined, and still makes you laugh and makes your heart beat fast. There's no other person I'd rather spend time with. (He's also tall, dark, handsome, really smart, kind, and a great dancer.) I wish I were more eloquent, but the bottom line is I really love this guy!

Thank you, sweetie, for it all!!

Readers, what were you doing 10 years ago today?

Now I'm going to take a stroll down memory lane, so if you're not Vince you might not be interested.

Several weeks pre-engagement. Doesn't he look like he's up to something? Jill, do you recognize this locale?

Eating lunch on the Amalfi Coast, in Ravello at the Villa D'Amore. I was sure he was going to propose at any second. (After all, it was the Villa D'Amore.) He fooled me.

Here he is, 10 minutes before popping the question, on the roof of St. Peter's. Doesn't he look cool as a cucumber?
He waited until we were back inside, and the light looked like this. (I took that picture about one minute before he proposed.)

Fast forward one year. I guess I enjoyed myself at the rehearsal dinner.

Walking down the aisle. I don't have many good pictures from the wedding that aren't copyrighted, so this will have to suffice. My best photographer, my sister, was busy being matron of honor, so I have no pics of her to show here either. We got married in the Marty Leonard Community Chapel in Fort Worth. The architecture, designed by E. Fay Jones, is stunning.

It's impossible to include pictures of everyone who made our wedding special, but here's the lovely and talented Jill. Jill holds a very special place in our hearts for many reasons, only one of which is that she introduced us.

The End
(and the reason I picked this dress.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fiberart For A Cause

Mark your calendars! I'm honored that my artwork, this Little Treasure (the leftmost one),

is part of the Fiberart For A Cause Invitational Reverse Auction this year. Only nine artists are invited to participate each year and 100% of the money raised by the Reverse Auction is donated to the American Cancer Society.

The online Reverse Auction opens with a MUST BUY NOW option on Monday, May 15 with the regular reverse Auction opening on Tuesday, May 16. All the details are here:

If nothing else, check out the link just to see the beautiful artwork that's been donated this year. Fiberart For A Cause has already raised $50,000 for the American Cancer Society! Virginia Spiegel started it all with just a few fabric postcards, and it's become a phenomenal success story through the generosity of the Fiber Arts community.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Dyed in the Wool

Wednesday I took a wool dyeing class affiliated with the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I met the delightful Coleen, and managed to hand paint 7 skeins of various types of yarns. Here's a picture of 5 of them.
The two skeins not shown are also purpley. I started swatching off them so didn't hang them up. (I'd planned to try to get more variety, but had to unexpectedly leave the class early.)

Louet Gems Topaz - super yummy worsted weight

Pony 2 ply - very fine weight fingering

Louet Gems Pearl - much like the famed Koigu. This skein is headed for my dye buddy from the Dye-o-rama swap.

Knitpicks dye your own, both above and below
Note the near felting of the purpley knitpicks. I did my best to treat the skeins gently, and the red one looks great. The purpley one required tons of washing out, and I eventually resteamed it. It's still usable, but more "hearty". I'll post more pictures once I've reskeined them. My favorites of the bunch are the Louet yarns - I got them from Lanas de Libelula. I still have some kona superwash fingering weight that I haven't dyed yet, from Catnip Yarns.

I'm so sorry to have missed out on the bloggers meetup at MD S&W, I've been looking forward to it for a long time. Maybe next year. I'm hoping to get over there for a short time late tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Here's Lookin' At Yah

Many thanks to Gabrielle for her reports from Paducah, and especially for putting up a picture of my quilt hanging at the show!

Fiber related activity has been occurring, but nothing photo worthy - three socks, one with heel turned, one with most of heel flap, and one waiting for a flap, and some paper piecing that's not ready to see the light of day. I haven't posted any nature photos for some time, so here we go.

Backlit Japanese Maple

Evidence that I haven't done much weeding

Toad found perched on the gate, 5 feet up! I didn't realize toads were such good climbers. He provided quite a bit of excitement for the trio of lively children who found him this morning.

My plans to waltz through Maryland Sheep & Wool this weekend at my leisure have been foiled. At this point I'll be lucky to make it there at all. At least I still have my wool dyeing class - next time I should have pictures of hand dyed fun!