Monday, December 1, 2014

Hokie Pride

This just hit my featured in The Blacksburg Partnership's newsletter! I think it's so cool that visitors love to have a photo op with my creation...lots of memories made there!! Hokie Pokie Dot was done for the original Gobble d'Art in 2006 and is now available in a 2' reproduction size (all proceeds benefit The Blacksburg Partnership). Visit their site for more information on it and many other Hokie gift items!

Hokie Statue Spotlight- Holiday Inn Blacksburg
"We purchased the Hokie Pokie Dot bird during a 2006 auction. The decision was made to purchase that particular statue because the color scheme went very well with the hotel and is a great representation of Virginia Tech’s colors, Chicago Maroon and Burnt Orange. Ours is one of the most photographed - we don’t know if that’s because we are a hotel, so it's convenient, or if people just really love the pokie-dot design! We have many families that stay with us for football games and graduation, they get so excited to be able to take a photograph with him and take a little piece of Blacksburg home."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sock It to Me!

One of the things that's been on my bucket list is learning how to knit socks. So, a while back I took a class at Knit One Smock Too in Winston-Salem and made my first pair.

Once you've worn hand made, custom fit socks there's no turning back!

Now I've made pair #2

And have started pair #3!

Its a great portable project, and lots of fun to do. My teacher has declared me an independent sock knitter! I am, of the basic variety, thanks to her patient teaching and a remedial lesson or two.. 

Since I'm on a roll I've also started a sweater vest...and a shawl... (did I mention spinning is also on my bucket list?)

I might just love yarn as much as fabric.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick Trip Up the Mountain

Last Friday the universe aligned to allow me a quick trip up the mountain to Virginia. I needed to go meet with someone about an art commission, I was two years plus overdue to visit my aunts (time flies!!) and as it happened the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival was going on, and I've wanted to check that out for a long time. So it worked well to go when I did!

I left early enough to have time to drive through my hometown and by the house I grew up in. Main Street looked so pretty!
This is the church I grew up in
Then I met my aunt and a friend of hers and we headed over to the next town over for our day of fun. First we stopped by my art meeting (yay! I have a new commission!), then we had lunch at a cute little bistro. It had hand painted murals done by the owner's 80 some year old relative...they were beautiful!

This scene shows the Duck Pond at VA Tech...the white house is where the design library was when I was a student!

After lunch we headed to the quilt show. There were lots of quilts to see...these are a few of my favorites:

'Melange' by Jennie Rayment
There was a special exhibit of her work, which are made of intricately folded elements

'Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance' by Sarah Ann Smith
part of a dance themed special exhibit

This was part of a memorial exhibit
(I think...sadly I thought I had an information pic and don' apologies!)

'Scrappy Clams' by Alicia Stephens
Started in 2008, finished in 2014 all hand pieced and hand quilted! She didn't know how many pieces are in it but it took about 50 spools of quilting thread to quilt it!

'Italy Remembered'
artist's name was not on the tag :(

'Quest for the Nutmeg' by Nancy Oldham

'Imagine Albert Imagining' also by Nancy Oldham
(his hair is 3D...I really loved this one!!)

Huipil from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica (R)
'The Quetzal Birds' by Karen Tauber (L)
This was part of another special exhibit where quilts were made inspired by tapestry pieces. Fascinating exhibit! 

And then there was this! My photo does NOT do it justice...the colors were bright and beautiful!
It has 12,000 pieces, made by Carolyn Bucklin Mullins
this is her version of Bonnie Hunter's 'Pineapple Crazy'
It won 1st in the 'Scrappy Quilt' category.
I found out later it won Viewer's Choice too!

We spent quite a lot of time there! After the show we drove around campus a bit. It has grown so much since I was there! We headed back to where my aunt's car was parked, only to discover that I-81 was backed up for miles, both lanes closed due to a bad accident. It took a while to get to her house, where I was staying the night but we finally made it. She and I met up with my other aunt for dinner, then headed home to settle in for the night. It was a long, fun, BUSY, day!

Saturday I met my high school best friend for what was supposed to be lunch, but we were so busy catching up and laughing ourselves silly that we ended up just ordering a plate of appetizers. ..and THIS

To be sure!!!! My eyes almost fell out when the (cute, 20 yr old, petite who challenged us to try to eat the whole thing) waitress set that before us! Of course we roared with laughter!!! And then....

Yes. Yes we did.

Catching up was never more fun!! (disclaimer...we were there over 2 hours...we had to keep up our strength!! lol!)

The afternoon belonged to my other aunt with a visit to her house. There are so many memories there! Almost every Sunday and every Christmas Eve was spent there growing up. Even though so many of the family that gathered there are gone, I could see them all in my mind's eye as if we were all gathered there once again. It was a special time.

Late afternoon meant it was time to hit the road home, via a stop by a new design project. It's almost an hour NE of the studio, but was right on the way home, so it worked out perfectly to roll it into this trip and stop for a site assessment.

It was a whirlwind trip, but oh so wonderful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Zucchini Time!!

The garden has gone crazy this year! Abundance abounds...and among my favorites is the zucchini.  The first cake of the season has been made and is almost nearly gone, so it's time to repost the recipe. Its a family favorite!

Photo from previous year's cake 'cause the current one is almost gone :)

I stumbled across this recipe in Southern Living several years ago when my boys were little and didn't like many vegetables. Nothing like a little stealth cooking! This cake is so delicious and would never know it's packed full of zucchini. Here's the recipe:

Prepare a tubed cake pan (Bundt or straight sides) by greasing with shortening and dusting with cocoa (works like flour but doesn't leave your cake all white-powdery afterwards. And, it's more chocolate. What's better?)

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine these and set aside:
3 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

4 large eggs
3 C sugar
3 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares, melted (pop them in the micro for about 20 seconds)
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
3 C grated zucchini (I do mine in the food processor)

Beat the eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar and beating until well combined. Add oil and melted chocolate, continue beating until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture beating at low speed until blended. Fold in zucchini. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes, turn out onto cake plate and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And One From Dad...

Back in the day my parents had a small business that sold and serviced among other things Singer sewing machines. Yes, that's how I came into the world of all things needle and thread! The shop backed up to the local florist, and there was a connection between the two spaces separated only by a curtain. Oh the good ole days...when you could trust your neighbor and before the building codes got so strict, not to mention the insurance companies. When I was little I would slip into the back room of the florist where they would let me see the flowers in the walk-in cooler and best of all they would let me play with the pipe cleaners - oh the colors and the bendy fuzzyness! It was a magical place to me.

One really nice thing about being back-door neighbors with the florist is that Eddie, the owner, never let Dad forget an important occasion. Every birthday and every Valentine's Day Dad came home with a bud vase holding a single red rose with baby's breath for me. Every year.

After I moved away and got married Dad would call Jimmy and ask him to get that for me. It took several years to convince my husband that what I really want for special occasions is not a dozen roses but one. Just one.

Dad left this world in 2005, but still to this day my husband gets me a rose from him. And the tradition has taken on a new twist over the years since our boys came along...I get one from each of my special guys. :)

No, I'll never be a "dozen girl". One will do just fine...from each of them. And one from Dad.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 3, 2014

And Now It's 2014...


I'm not even sure how a new year has gotten here so fast! So much has happened and so much has changed, that I guess it's fitting a fresh new year has begun. I can honestly say I can look back at 2013 with some very fond memories, some proud accomplishments, three major milestones (turning 50, wedding anniversary #20, elder son turning 16) and no regrets, but also with a painful realization that my life has been way too overbooked for way too long and the toll that has taken on everything in my world has become too great. I have taken a big step back from the forest of my life, looked at what was bearing fruit and what was not, and am taking steps- some big, some small, some heartbreaking- towards making changes that will hopefully restore some balance, health, and breathing room to my world.

Categorically I can say that quilting and art, for now, are going back into the "probby" file ("probby" being a professional hobby, something that might make a little money but is not a primary means of making a 'living'). That's not to say that I won't be doing it at all. On the contrary, those things are absolutely necessary...they feed my soul! Unfortunately though, after due time and dedication, I have been forced to face the reality that as a full-time pursuit they don't feed my kids. And dang y'all....I have two teenage boys. If you've raised boys you know all they do is eat!! ;)

And so, I regroup... redirect...reevaluate. I will be taking on interior design projects again. For the short term at least, I will still be running quilts (gotta make the loan payments on the longarm while I'm regrouping and reevaluating!). And I will be giving myself permission to take better care of myself. Actually, I am requiring that.

To the road ahead! Forward the adventures 2014 will bring.