Thursday, January 29

Sonoran Sunlight = Food for the Spirit

My first winter in Arizona, and I say, the Sonoran sunlight is dee-lish! Here are a few photos of some plants on our front porch and our entry foyer. It is 7:40 A.M. and an apparently not-so-unusual-for-January 33 degrees (humidity 54%). Apparently Tucson -- at elevation of 2600 feet above sea level -- HAS winter! I didn't quite believe it when Tucsonans warned me! The consolation is that it will get up to 65 today. I made the collage using Picasa.
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Wednesday, January 28

Auditioning More Fabrics

Okay, so I had to stop at Bella Quiltworks here in Tucson, as they have quite a large selection of batiks. I really want my Dutch friends to have a nice selection -- I've got 44 different fabrics and we'll need to choose 8 in a gradation from dark blue to cream/beige. Vote for your faves!
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Tuesday, January 27

My First Commissioned Quilt!

I have begun the yummy fabric selection process for a Super King bed quilt for my dear friends in Holland! I can now officially call myself an "internationally commissioned quilter" -- because they're paying me generously! Boy, am I doing The Happy Dance!! The pattern is Radiant Sunshine & Shadow, from the book of the same name by fellow Tucsonans Helen Frost and Cathy Skow. (Helen's mom is the famous-in-the-quilt-world Blanche Young.)

My friends have requested the quilt be "dark blue, cream and beige", so I am in the process of purchasing many swatches to give them lots of choices -- I can hardly believe my great good fortune!! Shopping for fabrics -- oh, the drudgery! (Not!)

Here's the first batch o' blues, from The Quilter's Market in Tucson. We'll need to select 4 of the blue fabrics. I've cut them into 3 inch squares because that is the largest size block in the finished uilt and I wanted them to be able to see the fabric in the right scale.
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Sunday, January 25

Finished Painting the Plum Chimney today!

Here's the finished chimney! It came out dee-lish! It's that gorgeous Benj. Moore "Eggplant". I plan to paint the litle niche Benj. Moore "Casabella", It's the same color as the adjacent foyer -- a mid-range peachy-terra-cotta. Yum!! The living room walls are "Traditional Yellow". A boring name for a perfect buttery-lemony yellow.

Oh, and that's Roxy with her houseguest, Sounou the Sheltie.
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Saturday, January 24

Friday, January 23

Piecelique: Circle, a la Sharon Schamber

I took a quilting technique class last weekend at Bella Quiltworks here in Tucson from Keith Dommer called "Perfect Curves". Keith taught us a pieced-applique technique by Sharon Schamber from her book "Piecelique: Curves the New Way". Here is the block I made in class; it's 11" square. It's pretty cool, and it is also what I would call a "precision technique". I'm more attracted to free-form, uh, how shall we say this diplomatically, uh, NON-precision techniques, but it was quite fun to see how to create a perfect circle if'n I ever need to! In her book, Sharon shows other applications of this curve technique in more organic shapes, so I think I will play around and see what emerges! Given the choice between organic and precise, I'd choose organic any day! How about you?

Thursday, January 22

On the Design Wall This Week

Here's a block I made yesterday. Here is my first venture outside of working with batiks in quite a while... I used Kaffe Fassett's "Clouds" in Duck Egg in the center and a solid yellow outside. The finished block is 13" x 17". (I think I photographed it upside down!)

Wednesday, January 21

2009 Tucson Quilt Show favorites

Here are some of my favorite quilts from this past weekend's Tucson Quilt Show -- yum!

"Rainbows All Around", by Doris Wells, was a stunner. It won for Excellent Use of Color and 1st Place in the Pieced Wall Quilt category.

This one was wild -- very three-dimensional and all loose and free-floating layered leaves. How layered? It stood about an inch away from the wall in profile. I'll confirm the name of this one and the artist at the next Guild meeting; I'm pretty sure it's "Falling Leaves" by JoAnn Strohn.

This one, called "Night Quilting with Hertzsprung & Russell" by Karen G. Fisher, had sewn-on star-shaped buttons in a diagonal swath across the middle --over 500 of 'em! Nerdy Fact of the Day: Hertzsprung & Russell is a colour-magnitude diagram that shows the relationship between absolute magnitude, luminosity, classification, and effective temperature of stars. Cool, huh!?

Tuesday, January 20

Our 2009 Mind Map: what Ken & I want to create this year

Over the Holidays, Ken and I were at his house in Mexico for some R&R. One of our intentions was to write up what we want to create in 2009 - both individually and as a couple. We made a master list and then converted it into a Mind Map.

When we got home, we converted it into a large (flip-chart sized) version and hung it on our bedroom door! Since we've been home, we've added stuff and will continue to refine it. The center circle says, "Ken & Claire 2009". The main circles that come off of that are:

My additional thought was to search Google Images for some visual elements to flesh out the words! A new high-tech way of doing a Vision Board!

This has been a fun process and has really helped us coalesce our energies and intentions. I'd love to hear what ways you've done 'visioning' around your intentions for 2009!
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Monday, January 19

Ahhh... the curative powers of yellow

Ken and I painted the Living Room and the Dining Room this weekend. This is something we've been wanting to get to for the past 9 months since we bought our house. Yay! We are thrilled with the results. We did both rooms in Benjamin Moore "Traditional Yellow". The folks who used to own this house had a well-coordinated palette of Pottery Barn-esque khaki, putty, mushroom and olive. (Ker-plunk.) It looked great with their stuff, but we are in love with these brighter, clearer, happy colors.

Only the kitchen and Master Bath/walk-in closet remain to be painted.

Oh, that and the chimney in the Living Room, which you'll see here partially painted. It's going to be Benjamin Moore "Eggplant".

Oh, yeah, and also Eggplant for the front door and the French doors in the Dining Room.

And I'm sure I'll think of something else! (As in re-doing the Benj. Moore "East Lake Rose" with which we painted the long bowling alley of a hallway, which was supposed to be more of a peachy pink color and ended up being the kind of pure pink you might see in Miami! Yikes! I think I'll let him off the hook and re-do it when he's in Europe since he has already more than fulfilled his part of the bargain!!

Living Room, Before (old color: some sort of putty)

Living Room, during painting
New wall color: "Traditional Yellow" by Benj. Moore

New chimney color: "Eggplant" by Benj. Moore

Living Room with the furniture back in. The walls are done, chimney is yet to be done!

What I am noticing is how full and rich I feel when surrounded by this buttery-lemony yellow! I'd love to hear about your experiences with the emotional effects of your wall colors...

Friday, January 16

My quilting studio photos

Hello all! Here are a bunch of photos I took of my quilting studio yesterday...

Roxy the Wonder Dawg in her favorite quilting location.

Design Wall

Cutting table at back, pressing table at right, sewing table at front.

New pressing table, sorely in need of horizontal stabilizer bars.

January in Tucson with the window open -- 77 degrees! Yum!

The view from the hall.