The heart beats a little faster, the frown lines intensify, the tummy knots and I'm aware that my head is throbbing due to unfathonable pressure.
I tell myself, don't worry, but the body denies the fact.
It happens occasionally........
Printing patterns, ordering pens and making sure everything arrives on time.
I have to have a good system in place to make it all run smoothly. BUT, you can never predict the weather and the suppliers inconsistency and sometimes my lack of filing.
Then again its all part of life on the road.
Washing your clothes by hand, sleeping in numerous beds and wrangling luggage.
On the other side is sheer joy, excitement, enthusiasm and passion and most days are the latter.
Today was exciting and I had the pleasure of visiting the Zia Therapy Center and Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) center in Alamogordo. The staff are wonderful and showed me around their facility.
This year the funding from our Southern New Mexico Festival of Quilts will fund some of their programs.
The meet and greet was busy and lots of people signed up for the event.... wooow.
I don't have any photos but I was followed around by the paparazzi and I'm sure I'll have a record if I need it !!!!!
I'm packing for the next event in Mexico which will be AMAZING, I'm really thrilled to be sharing my love of San Miguel Allende with other quilters and my friends who live there.
Ever wonder what makes those wacky, creative types tick? How is it that some people seem to come up with all kinds of interesting, original work while the rest of us trudge along in our daily routines?
Creative people are different because they operate a little differently. They:
1. Are easily bored
A short attention span isn’t always a good thing, but it can indicate that the creative person has grasped one concept and is ready to go on to the next one.
2. Are willing to take risks
Fearlessness is absolutely necessary for creating original work, because of the possibility of rejection. Anything new requires a bit of change, and most of us don’t care for change that much.
3. Don’t like rules
Rules, to the creative person, are indeed made to be broken. They are created for us by other people, generally to control a process; the creative person needs freedom in order to work.
4. Ask “what if…”
Seeing new possibilities is a little risky, because it means that something will change and some sort of action will have to be taken. Curiosity is probably the single most important trait of creative people.
5. Make lots of mistakes
A photographer doesn’t just take one shot, and a composer doesn’t just write down a fully realized symphony. Creation is a long process, involving lots of boo-boos along the way. A lot goes in the trash.
The hermit artist, alone in his garret, is a romantic notion but not always an accurate one. Comedians, musicians, painters, chefs all get a little better by sharing with others in their fields.
7. Are generous
Truly creative people aren’t afraid to give away their hard-earned knowledge. The chef can give you the recipe because she knows you won’t make it like she does anyway.
8. Are independent
Stepping off the beaten path may be scary, but creative people do it. Children actually do this very well but are eventually trained to follow the crowd.
Combining things that don’t normally go together can result in brilliance or a giant mess. Trial and error are necessary to the creative process.
10. Motivate themselves
There does seem to be a spark that creative people share, an urgent need to make things. They are willing to run the inherent risks of doing something new in order to get a new result.
11. Work hard
This is probably the most overlooked trait of creative people. People who don’t consider themselves to be creative assume that people who are creative are magical, that ideas just pop into their heads effortlessly. Experienced creative people have developed processes and discipline that make it look easy.
12. Aren’t alone
The good news is that it’s possible for everyone to be creative. There are creative accountants, creative cooks, creative janitors, creative babysitters. Any profession or any hobby can be made into a creative pursuit by embracing and using creative traits.
Do you consider yourself creative? (Say yes.) Finding something you’re really passionate about will help you take a chance and might just result in something wildly creative.
I tend to think its thread sketching.
Simply threading the sewing machine and sewing to create an image.
Its not quite that simple, you know that when you pick up a pen, you can put it on the paper or fabric and draw an image.
Thread sketching is different, you put the fabric or paper under the needle and move it around while the needle punches up and down on the fabric forming a stitch and that stitch becomes a small part of the image.
Sounds scary and I guess it is when you look at it in that way, but 17 ladies that I admire
created these masterpieces over the past 4 days doing just that.
They are not finished and there are more to share but they said I could share them with you.
Im impressed with their efforts.
Its been raining most of the day, its almost 9 pm and time to relax.
The wind is gusting around my windows and then it relaxes with a sigh, only to whip up again. The door rattles and the leaves skip around on the path outside the windows.
I don't know why but I feel like I'm in a famous five adventure in my rustic wooden guest room. Its probably the dark wooden paneling and the heavy old door scuffed and full of character.
Asilomar Conference grounds are huge. It is situated by the Ocean and the smell of pine and sea is tantalizing. You can hear the waves roaring at times, and you might just view a deer and her young as they pass by your window.
There are probably 200 delegates and 10 Tutors and being here is an adventure in its self.
If you chose, you could sit by the fire on old leather lounges, play the piano or even play billiards. It is indeed unique.
I need to walk along the beach again tomorrow if the weather permits.
Some days are sunny and warm, others grey and ominous.
We are indeed lucky to have a fabulous classroom with glass walls and a fireplace on one side. The light is wonderful and when I returned from dinner I was surprised, yet pleased to see the place lit up like a store window as most of the ladies continued to work. I'm impressed by their stick ability. (thats the best work I can find for it)
We have a day and a half left and most people will finish their projects.
For me its just pure joy.
What a wonderful way to spend a week.
This is the wonderful work of Rhonda Bracey. Just fabulous.
Rhonda bought a packet of Tim Tams (Aussie biscuits) for each person in class and a koala pin... it was a lovely gesture.
Rhonda shared the delicate technique of sipping coffee through the end of a Tim Tam, a very culture pastime in Australia.
To have 5 days in which to create an image is pure luxury.
Begin the day with a spot of creativity.
Its 9.00 pm and I admit to not staying for the lecture tonight. In fact it's the first time I've missed a lecture at an event ever, but I wanted to go over my class notes and presentations and I'm still working on a couple of papers that need to be finished in a day or so.
I will be there to cheer on all the other Tutors in the next few days though. Just give me one night off please.
Yesterday was a long day of travel and I arrived here 11 hours after I left Alamogordo. The airlines are having it tough due to bad weather in different parts of the USA so everything was in chaos in LA.
You just have to be patient, there are a lot of people worse off than me.
I slept fitfully last night, I had too much going on in the head, so I was up early and with cameras set I braved the elements and photographed. It was wonderful on the beach, the air smelled like salt water and pine bark. The waves crashed on to the grey beach and the sun hid until about 10.00 am.
At breakfast this morning some of the ladies told me about Pacific Groves Monarch Butterflies.
This is what I went to see today.... it was breathtaking.
Every October, thousands of butterflies make a stop in a Pacific Grove eucalyptus grove, the preferred Monarch butterfly
habitat, during their migration to warmer climates. The butterflies hang in clusters from eucalyptus branches to maintain body temperature, and the resulting effect is stunning.
Monarch butterflies are not able to survive the cold winters of most of the United States so they migrate south and west each autumn to escape the cold weather. The migration usually starts in about October of each year, but can start earlier if the weather turns cold sooner than that.
They will spend their winter hibernation in Mexico and some parts of Southern California where it is warm all year long. If they live in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, they will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. If they live west of the Rocky Mountains, they will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees. Monarch butterflies use the very same trees each and every year when they migrate, which seems odd because they aren’t the same butterflies that were there last year. These are the new fourth generation of butterflies, so how do they know which trees are the right ones to hibernate in? Monarch butterflies are the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year. I was thrilled to grab some eucalyptus leaves... those monarchs have good taste.
Classes began this afternoon and there was a great deal of expectancy in the air.
Trollies rattled over the paved pathways, machines, boxes of supplies and fabric stashes made their way into classrooms of all description. We are almost on the beach, I'm in heaven.
But right now I need to sleep.
Toot that horn!February 19th, 2014 by Morna
Do you toot your own horn? Or are you like many women – yes, it’s mostly women – who are reluctant to talk about their successes and talents? You probably don’t have any problem talking about the success of your loved ones. Why is it that we have that problem with ourselves?
This came up in a discussion with a group of ICAP members lately. One of these women felt uncomfortable about promoting herself. And she was not alone. Plenty of others shared their discomfort about promoting themselves, whether that’s in person, on the blog, Facebook or Twitter. It was okay to talk about others and share their successes, but we downplay our own. Why? I think it is because you are not ready to step into your own power.
How do you get beyond this? Here are a few ideas:
- Pay attention to when you shy away from sharing your gifts or minimizing your talents in public, i.e., with those who don’t know you. Awareness is the first step to changing.
- Change your internal message about what you are doing. You have gifts that others don’t have. And, I know that you want to share those gifts. That is why you started your quilt or fiber arts business. You need to share your successes so others can learn about you so that you are able to serve them. It is really about providing a service to your customers, and you cannot do that if you hide your talents.
- Start to put yourself – and your brand – out there in small ways. Take 30 minutes a day and look for ways to contribute. This could be by commenting on someone’s blog, writing your own blog post, sharing something on Twitter or your Facebook Fan page, pinning to your Pinterest board. It is about taking that first step.
It gets easier as you go along, and the more people know about you, the more people you can serve with your unique talents.
I am sure you have read the following quote from Marianne Williamson. I love this quote and it is pertinent to this discussion:“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com.
Las Colcheras Quilt Guild Show - Under the Sun
We were greeted by friendly faces selling raffle tickets, programs and giving out the viewers choice tickets.
There were rows of interesting booths and exhibits. Lots of viewers examining the quilts.
It was a great show, I enjoyed the hours that we spent wandering and visiting.
Well done to all the volunteers and exhibitors.
Don’t take any money Pam, you’re not going to buy anything. !!!!
BUT The venue held a wonderful surprise. Lots of vendors selling fabric I needed.
I really liked this quilt by Deborah Adrian.
And this one, Ring around the mole by Shannon Conley, very innovative.
The Dogs, by Shannon Conley.
Holiday monday today and I'm catching up on a few weeks of 'emails to answer'
Tomorrow I will focus on a few quilts I loved at the Quilt Show we went to yesterday in Las Cruses, but today I wanted to share the Kantha quilts I purchased recently.
It was so nice, we began the day with a family breakfast of eggs, bacon, home made biscuits and gravy. So different to home, but much appreciated.
Work on the road never ceases, today I have information to send to France and Belgium, a huge questionnaire to answer as a nominee of "teacher of the year"
Planning for Mexico, business letters to go over and classes to design.... wooow.
The panic begins to rise.
However, I have a few things I'd like to share.
Kantha is still the most popular form of embroidery practiced by rural women in some parts of India and Bengal. The traditional form of Kantha embroidery was done with soft dhotis and saris, with a simple running stitch along the edges. Depending on the use of the finished product they were known as Lepkantha or Sujni Kantha.
The embroidered cloth has many uses including women's shawls and covers for mirrors, boxes, and pillows. In the best examples, the entire cloth is covered with running stitches, employing beautiful motifs of flowers, animals birds and geometrical shapes, as well as themes from everyday activities. The stitching on the cloth gives it a slight wrinkled, wavy effect.
The origin of Kantha traces its history to a period not less than a thousand years.
I was able to purchase a few of these quilts recently and they will be on display at our next event in Alamogordo in June.
They are old, and heavily quilted. They have been repaired and added to for sale, but I think that gives them a lot of character.
I have a number of them at home in Australia. They are functional art pieces, well I consider them as art. I use them as runners at the base of the bed, as wall decorations and on several of my settees, they make funcional bases and look terrific.
I marvel at the way they are constructed. Some are more intensely stitched than others and some are recycled and you can see the previous quilt popping through the new top fabric.
There is something special about the naivety of the these textiles and I just love them.
This is a quilt made of feed sacks that I bought yesterday. Its never been used and is in pristine condition.
I've always loved quilts made from feed sacks. I have about 10 in all and this green, now known as 'candy' green features in most of my treasured pieces.
I wonder who made this quilt?
Where did she buy her fabric.
How on earth did they lay the raw cotton between the layers.?
Feed sacks bring to mind poverty of the Great Depression but at the same time there is a romance to the idea that women could make something beautiful from something so mundane.
In truth feed sacks were used for sewing well before the depressions and for several years after. The evolution of the feed sack is a story of ingenuity and clever marketing.
From Barrels to Feed sacks
Initially farm and food products were shipped in barrels. The feed sack story starts in the early 1800’s, when goods such as food staples, grain, seed, and animal feed were packed for transportation and storage in tins, boxes, and wooden barrels. This was not an ideal method of storage as tin would rust and the hand made boxes and barrels leaked and were damaged easily. They were bulky, heavy and difficult to transport. Between 1840 and 1890 cotton sacks gradually replaced barrels as food containers. In 1846 the invention of the “stitching machine” made it possible to sew double locking seams strong enough to hold the contents of a bag. Feed sacks were initially made of heavy canvas, and were used to obtain flour, sugar, meal, grain, salt and feed from the mills. They were reusable, with the farmer bringing an empty sack stamped with his mark or brand to the mill to be filled. This changed when the North East mills began weaving inexpensive cotton fabric in the late 1800’s. Feed sacks (or feedbags) were initially printed on plain white cloth and in sizes that corresponded to barrel sizes. For example, a one barrel bag held 196 pounds of flour. A 1/8 barrel bag only held 14 pounds. The brand name of the flour was simply printed on the side of the bag. Many of the logos on the flour sacks were circular, a legacy from the time when these logos had to fit on the top of a barrel. Women quickly discovered that these bags could be used as fabric for quilts and other needs.
Cotton had been king until the period of 1914 to 1929 when the price dropped out of the cotton market partially because synthetic fabrics like rayon became popular for dresses and undergarments. With the drop in the price of cotton even more companies began using cotton sacking as packaging.
It took a while for feed and flour sack manufacturers to realize how popular these sacks had become with women. Eventually the saw a great opportunity for promoting the use of feed sacks First feed sacks began to be sold in colors then, around 1925, colorful prints for making dresses, aprons, shirts and children’s clothing began to appear in stores. Manufacturers began to paste on paper labels making it far easier to remove them. By the late 1930s there was heated competition to produce the most attractive and desirable prints. Artists were hired to design these prints. This turned out to be a great marketing ploy as women picked out flour, sugar, beans, rice, cornmeal and even the feed and fertilizer for the family farm based on which fabrics they desired. Some sacks displayed lovely border prints for pillowcases. Scenic prints were also popular. Manufacturers even made preprinted patterns for dolls, stuffed animals, appliqué and quilt blocks.
It was not hard for the farmer to purchase his goods in feed sacks The flour industry consumed the largest share of the feed sack market with more than 42 percent. Sugar was next with 17 percent followed by feed, seeds, rice, and fertilizer. These feed sacks came in different sizes, and the quality of the cloth varied with the item it carried. Sugar sacks, for example, were much finer in weave. By 1914, sacks came in 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 pound sizes, although these sizes varied by manufacturer. President Roosevelt standardized sizes in 1937. A 50 pound feed sack measured 24 x 38 inches. A 100 pound sack measured 39 x 46.
Those who found they had more feed sacks than they could use were able to sell them back to the store where they were then resold. Chicken farmers went through a great many sacks of feed so the sale of feed sacks became a side business for some of them.
We usually think of feed sacks being a way women provided clothing and bed coverings during the economic hard times of the boll weevil depression in the south in the 1920s and the Great Depression that followed. But actually printed feed sacks were used for sewing from before these depressions to well after World War II. Even though the economy improved during the 1940s it was necessary to conserve because of the need for war supplies. Using feed sacks for sewing was considered patriotic and women still enjoyed finding attractive prints on feed sacks One feed sack could have easily made a child’s dress or shirt, and three identical sacks to make a woman’s dress.
Magazines and pattern companies began to take notice of feed sack popularity and published patterns to take advantage of the feed sack prints. Matching fabric and even matching wrapping paper was available, too. Directions were given for using the strings from feed sacks in knitting and crocheting. A 1942 estimate showed that three million women and children of all income levels were wearing print feedbag garments.
It’s not as easy as you might think to identify feed sack fabric. The paper labels were easily removed from a feed sack and even with older ones the label has often been removed. A course weave is not a good indicator as fabric like this could also be bought off the bolt as well. The best indicator is a line of holes from the chain stitching that once held the sack together.
I love this quilt, we found it today and its showing signs of wear, but in reality its probably and 84 year old piece.