Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing out the old

Today is the last day of 2009. Tomorrow we get to start fresh. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friends, both real and internet for stopping by and reading my blogs. I especially want to thank those who have left comments. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. May 2010 be the year that your dreams and wishes come to fruition.
This year has been a good one for me and I look forward to even better things in 2010. I was lucky enough to turn some internet friends into real friends and I hope to do more of that. I took some new workshops and learned new techniques to be applied to my work. Some work for me, some don't, but the journey is always fun. I got to make new friends and reconnect with some I had previously met. I had a piece published in a national magazine and had several pieces in galleries and juried shows. I sold art and fabric I had dyed.  I am looking to do more of that in the coming year. I have been trying to focus more on my work and raise it to a higher level. I need to work on the pile of stuff I have started before I start more. I love the creative process, not so much the finishing process. My quilting has improved and while it won't win any awards, at least I am not embarrassed by it and I no longer have anxiety attacks. My strong points are still my designs and color.
My daughter Robin and son-in-law Brett are thriving in their new home. I am very proud that she pulled off her first Thanksgiving dinner with extended family without any hitches. Everyone got along very well and there were no tug of wars. I look forward to more of those.
Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with some lost cousins that I have not seen or spoken to in ages. Hopefully in 2010 we can do it in person. Facebook has also allowed me to make some new friends I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to connect with. I even connected to a High School English teacher I always loved and admired.
As I get older the years seem to wiz by faster. It seems only a few months ago I was celebrating 2009. I am not sure where this year went but it sure did go by fast. I am sure there is a ton of stuff that I can not recall at the moment that I would have liked to have mentioned. We can just chalk that up to .... hmmm... old age? I don't feel old although 2010 will see me celebrate my 60th birthday. Hard to imagine.
I would be very remiss if I did not mention the terrific support I get from my husband, Ned. He cheers me on when I have gotten it right and offers critique when I need it. He doesn't balk too badly when I ask for outlandish things. He takes an interest in my art even though it is not his style and lauds my achievements in public. He is my number one cheering squad. I would love him anyway but it is a nice bonus!

Here's to great opportunities in 2010.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Special treats

Many of us have made lots of online friends but how often do you actually get to meet them in person? I had the good fortune last week of turning an online friend into a real life friend. Carole Grant and I have taken two online classes from Pamela Allen and we hit it off from the beginning. She lives in BC, Canada in the summer and winters in Palm Springs, CA. We tried to hook up last year as we were driving through but it just didn't work out. This year, Ned and I were spending a week in Palm Springs at a bridge tournament and Carole and I made a firm date to meet for lunch. She picked a wonderful place to eat and we sat outside and enjoyed the fine weather. We talked and talked! After lunch we took a walk and window shopped and talked some more. We found we had a lot of things in common and just enjoyed each others company. The afternoon reinforced the friendship that had been building for the past two years. Carole gifted me with some of her work and and extra pair of surgical scissors (you can read her story on her blog). We are now planning to meet up at least once a year to do something.

Meeting Carole was the highlight of the week but the bridge was decent as well. We got to see some bridge buddies we haven't seen in a while and spent time with some friends as well. Lots of our local bridge club players were there also. Thursday night is the Art Festival in Palm Springs and they close down the main street so vendors can set up booths. The smells from the food were delicious and if we hadn't had a reservation already for dinner we would have pigged out on street food. There was some interesting artwork, lots of jewelry, the usual handcrafts (good and garbage), and wonderful people watching. The pet dogs were out in force... some were dressed up in coats and boots (I kid you not) and some were being pushed in doggie strollers. It was a fun evening.

I have a piece I need to finish up before the end of the year and then I will decide what I want to focus on for 2010.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wrapping up the week

Over all this has been a good week. Sammy got a great gift in the mail.. his very own quilt filled with catnip. Stacy Hurt asked for some help to defray the cost of surgery for one of her foster kitties. I made a contribution and while she offered a "gift" in exchange, I specifically told her that I didn't want anything. She already had her hands full with 2 sick kitties. Well, she didn't listen to me, and not only that, she had to have done a bit of research to personalize the quilt. Here are the photos of the quilt and Sammy enjoying it...or guarding it? Thank you so much Stacy.

I have spent the week trying to work on a quilt I would like to enter into a show. It didn't start out as a possible show entry and when I finally went to read the instructions, I found out the quilt was too small! I had to find a way to creatively add to the piece so it did not look like an afterthought or a mistake. I came up with an idea and it has taken me a full week to get it right and now I still have to finish it all by the end of the month and photograph it. I might just be able to do this! Sorry, no pictures.

On a really bright note, as a combination Chanukah, Anniversary, and Christmas present, my DH got me a frame for my sewing machine. In order to fit it in, we had to do a massive reorganization of my studio space. I suppose everyone should do this at least once every 5 years... the length of time we have been in this house. There were things that have never been moved... Oy, the dust bunnies we found! Now everything is clean and rearranged... who knows how long it will take for me to find things... especially since not everything is all put away yet. I did fill up a large black garbage bag. I didn't know I collected so much crap.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season no matter what you celebrate.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lots to be thankful for

We went to NJ to celebrate Thanksgiving with my daughter and son in law in their new house. She had 17 people and all went well. The food was delicious and the company was fun. Of course I left my camera home... dumb. I still have some really good friends in Jersey that I miss and we got to see them as well, although not quite as planned. Ned and I were supposed to have dinner with one of the couples... lobster was on the menu.. but Ned came down with some 24 hour bug and we had to cancel at the last minute.. bummer. Their daughters got to eat the lobster and thanked us profusely! Another event was the wedding reception of one of my oldest and dearest friends.. She got remarried... and I am responsible since I introduced them to each other. How cool is that? We spent a lovely afternoon with the skyline of Manhattan for our view and the weather cooperated. It was sunny and warm. She could not have asked for a better day in November. On Monday I got to spend time playing with a Rayna Gillman in her studio. I worked on some scarves and although I have not finished them, they have lots of promise. Monday night I made dinner for my daughter since she had to go back to work. I really do miss seeing her on a regular basis. We may have to rethink staying in Arizona. Tuesday was travel day home. Today is catch up day and hopefully I will get back into a routine by tomorrow.