C is also for…

My sister left me a comment on my original post about things that start with the letter C.  I think I’m in big trouble.  Aunt Suzy forgot the most important one of all!

My darling nephew Colin!


Sorry, Colin, don’t know how I could possibly have forgotten about you!

(Our family gave him this ISU jersey for Christmas.  Isn’t he a cutie??)

Take heart! (take two)

OK, it needs a label and a hanging sleeve, but the FRONT is done.  I finished last night. 

As a refresher and to bring first-time readers up to speed:  I’m sending a quilt to the Have a Heart project.  It is sponsored by Unlimited Possibilities, a magazine for stand-up machine quilters.  Submitted quilts will be judged and 3 prizes awarded (best theme, best machine quilting, judge’s choice).  The quilts will be on display at several shows throughout the year, and then next fall, the quilts will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the American Heart Association.  They are also accepting quilts for the auction itself, but quilts for the contest are due in Colorado next week.  Entries had to meet a size requirement, be at least 1/4 red fabric, and have a heart on them (at least 3 inches, any method (i.e. applique, pieced, thread).

My first attempt is something I’ve blogged about before.  You can see it here.  I like it so much I’m keeping it.

This is my second attempt, and is the quilt that I’ll be sending.  I like it, too, but I’m not as attached.  I told myself I wasn’t allowed to get attached to this one.  It mostly worked.

Same general idea as the first, but this is more about the machine quilting.

All 4 pictures are clickable, so you can view them full size. 


I couched yarn around the inside of the binding, around each letter and on the heart.  The words on the heart are metal charms.  I stitched feathers around each red letter and around the heart.  I chalked some guidelines for the background feathers and just had fun filling them in. 


This next one is a little blurry, but it shows the glisten of the Swarovski crystals that I "sprinkled" on the quilt top.  It’s probably best viewed full-size.


Here’s another closeup that shows the color and the yarn a little better.


The idea for this quilt (and the first) was a list of phrases with the word heart in them.  I jotted a bunch down one day, and this one seemed to grab me.  I like the multiple meanings of both phrases that you can read depending on how close you are. 

My quilt is dedicated to my Grandma Lenore Smeigh.  She had a heart attack and passed away in 1985.  She is very much missed.


I was going to try to post last night, but my Internet connection was flaky, so I just went to bed instead.  I wanted to report that I did, in fact, manage to get both loads of laundry washed and dried (and some of it is hanging on a rack…).  It wasn’t all folded before Mark came home, but it was close.  It’s still in baskets, though.  I will work on that today.

I’ve set myself several goals today, and while working on one of them I decided to listen to some music on my laptop.  I have some of our CD connection on here (I love iTunes and my iPod…)

I wanted to be sure to listen to Flowers are Red (you can read my post on January 5, 2007 about the song).  So, in iTunes I typed in "FLO" to search for it.  Half a dozen songs popped up that had those characters somewhere in the name/artist/composer.  For fun I decided to just listen to all of them, and thought I’d share today’s play list.  Some are obvious, some I had to look further to find out why they were included:

Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown) Lennon/McCartney, sung by P.M. Dawn
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) John Phillips, sung by Scott McKenzie, from the Forrest Gump Soundtrack
You’re the Devil in Disguise Bernie Baum/Bill Giant/Florence Kaye, sung by Trisha Yearwood, from the Honeymoon in Vegas Soundtrack
Wild Thing sung by Animal, Floyd and Kermit the Frog, from Kermit Unpigged
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Neil, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, sung by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand
Flowers Are Red, Harry Chapin

This was fun.  I’m going to try other letter combinations and see what other interesting playlists I can come up with.

Before I get back to work, I wanted to share a funny poem, too.  My husband usually does bed time, but for the last two nights he has been out of the house at bedtime, and it has fallen to me to read.  He is reading Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (one of the Chronicles of Narnia).  I usually read something short to the boys — lately it has been Shel Silverstein poetry.

Here is one that really struck me last night.  It is from Silverstein’s book A Light in the Attic

In Search of Cinderella

From dusk to dawn,
From town to town,
Without a single clue,
I seek the tender, slender foot
To fit this crystal shoe.
From dusk to dawn,
I try it on
Each damsel that I meet.
And I still love her so, but oh,
I’ve started hating feet.

Stray Threads

Just some miscellaneous things that I have been thinking about:

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:  I was at the grocery store yesterday, and bought some Pop-Tarts.  We usually get the 12 pack (and I don’t really know why they call it that:  yes, there are 12 individual pastries, but they are packed in twos, so to me it is a 6-pack), but I was excited to see that they are know selling a new Family Pack — 16 pastries in a box.  I stood for a minute trying to calculate how much of a savings it was.  I was convinced it was at least a small deal — after all, isn’t the point of buying in larger quantities the notion that you can get a smaller per-item cost???  When Mark got home I told him about it.  He thought for a minute and said, wait, didn’t you just spend more for the privilege of a larger quantity?  I ran to the computer to use the calculator).  Darn it.  I fell for it!!!  I paid 20 cents per individual Pop-Tart for the 16 pack.  The 12 pack is only 18 cents per Pop-Tart.  I know, not a huge difference, but it makes me mad that I fell for that particular marketing ploy.

Moral of the story:  take a calculator and do the math.  Make sure the really good deal, really is a good deal.

Quilts that talk to me:
  Do your quilts talk to you?  Are they bossy?  Mine are.  My January 12x12x12 piece has decided that it wants me to add a bunch of beads to it.  I’m just glad that because of the quantity of participants, the powers that be have asked us to spread our reveals out — mine is isn’t until the 16th (instead of tomorrow, like it was originally going to be!)

Collaborative Journaling: While at the bookstore yesterday, I got the book Alphabetica by Lynne Perella.  I have looked at before, but finally decided to get it.    She and 14 other artists worked on collaborative journals — they each started one and then basically did a round robin — each artist worked on each journal in turn.  And their theme was letters and numbers (ha!  right up my alley!).  I have to admit that there are a lot of things in the book that don’t
appeal to me.  But, on the whole, I love looking at all of the artwork.  I’m really fascinated by the concept of a collaborative journal — whether it be with one person or with a whole group.  I know I don’t really need another new project, but if this is something that might be interested to someone else reading my blog, will you send me an e-mail???

Selective Senses: My husband has been the main launderer around here lately.  I’m trying to surprise him today by doing 2 loads of laundry.  And by "doing,"  I mean actually doing them from start to finish, and not forgetting about the wet clothes in the washer…I’m not sure why it’s such a hard concept for me.  My office is also my laundry room, so the washer and dryer are less than 4 feet away from me.  I accuse my boys of having selective hearing, but apparently I have selective eyesight or something.

I’m pretty sure there were some other stray threads floating around that I wanted to blog about, but I can’t remember what they were….

Cleaning my Brushes

Several months ago I signed up for an e-mail newsletter from an artist named Robert Genn.  The newsletter arrives twice a week (In fact, it’s called Robert Genn’s Twice Weekly Letter).  Genn is a painter, and many of his newsletters are specific to painting, but at the same time, they are…not.  They are universal subjects that really do affect all artists.  I have learned a lot from the newsletter itself, and from the reader comments that get published on the website later in the week.

This week’s newsletter was a response to a question about how to clean paint brushes.  Genn talks about his methods, and admits that there are probably artists all over the world cringing at his treatment of his tools.  (He doesn’t abuse them, really.  It just sounds like he doesn’t exactly do it the way his art teachers taught him).

He then goes on to talk about a fellow student back in art school.  This young man spent a lot of time cleaning his brushes.  So much time, in fact, that he never actually did any painting and was asked to leave.  I think Genn said that the man eventually became a dentist.  And now that I type that, I get how funny that is really supposed to be.  I’m slow sometimes.

As I was snoozing this morning it occurred to me that this is what I have been doing.  I’ve been "cleaning my brushes."  I have a number of things that I’d like to explore, but instead of DOING something about these ideas, I’ve been reading, and thinking, and trying to find the perfect sketchbook or book to alter, trying to find the perfect markers or, pens or….. In other words, I’ve been cleaning my brushes.

Spending time blogging (and thinking about blogging) has started to push me into accomplishing more (like I said last night — in order to post something interesting, first I have to *do* something interesting…).  Yesterday’s newsletter, though, really helped gel in my mind why I feel like I’m spinning my wheels some days.   I think I’m going to make myself a sign, and hang it over my computer:  "Are you DOING or are you CLEANING YOUR BRUSHES???"

First, though, I need to find the perfect paper to do it on.  And should I use markers or print it on the computer?  What color should it be?  Should I decorate it with doodles, or just print the text……… (wink, wink…)