Thursday, April 2, 2020

I Like #158

Hi All!  In the middle of all our craziness, I have noticed that my likes are a combination of the very wide world (virtual) and the very close by (my backyard).  What a weird world.

1.  I'm loving all the zoom meetings.  I've "seen" more of my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) than in a long, long time.  Really fantastic!  We had a virtual birthday party for my Grandma last Friday night (she turned 92) everyone got to be there!  My cousin even announced that he and his long-term partner got married last week!  Congratulations to Doug and Victoria!  It's always made us smile because my parents are also named Doug and Victoria (though my mom goes by Vicki).  And on the other entertaining duplicate name coincidence, My sister and her husband are named Rebecca and Andrew, and so are their married best friends!  Funnily enough, they have opposing nicknames,  my sister and her husband are Becky and Andrew while their best friends are Rebecca and Andy.


2. And friends too!  We had a wonderful visit with a group of the I like bloggers and it was really fun to see everyone in person!  Would there be interest in doing another virtual meet-up?  Weekends are best for me but I can do pretty much any time except Sunday morning so if people want to comment when would work, I can set something up.

3.  Plants!  My mother of thousands, which usually reproduced by making new babies on the edge of its leaves has started to bloom with flowers!  They are gorgeous hanging pink blossoms.  I didn't even know it could bloom!!  She'll move outside as soon as it's warmed up just a little more.



4. And outside flora too! My apple trees are at that wonderful stage where lots of the blossoms are fully white and open but there are still lots of pink buds to add some color.  So fab. I potted a bunch of dahlia bulbs, marigold seeds, and zinna seeds this week in my two sad flower beds and in the containers I had.  My eyes were bigger than my desire to dig new beds when I ordered bulbs last fall, so I had some extra.  I decided to plant them in dog food sacks!  I hope it works well, and I like the idea of reusing them!




5.  The pups!  Duh!  They are really enjoying having me home but I think they wish I would play more with them and work less!






6.  Sewing!  I just finished up a four month push of new artwork for a show (that has of course been postponed now) and took the opportunity this week to do some piecing.  I got out my 11 years of valentines blocks from my mom and started piecing.  I used all stuff from my scrap bin, and it was really fun and freeing.  The 2019 and 2020 blocks have to wait until next year since I didn't have quite enough for another row.  I generally am not a piecer, but I really enjoyed working on these.  Maybe I'll make a scrappy quilt this spring just for fun.  We'll see.


7.  Embroidery!  I like free-form embroidery, and I started this prayer book cover almost two years ago.  I haven't worked on it much since about six months after I started it because I've been knitting in my handwork time, but I've discovered that Zoom meetings are a great opportunity for handwork.  There's a long way to go, but I'm enjoying it.  The background is actually an iridescent dark blue, not black.


I hope everyone is staying sane and has a good week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's for more positivity!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

I like #157

Hi Everybody, welcome to my corner of the internet!  I hope everyone is hanging in there in the face of our current pandemic.  Communities like this one give me so much hope and support.

Things to like this week:

1.  I like Zoom!  Last weekend we did our SAQA annual conference (which was supposed to be in Toronto) via the virtual zoom platform and even though it wasn't nearly as good as being there in person it was really great.  Lots of fantastic content interspersed with virtual meeting rooms where we could talk to one another and see one another in small groups.  I presented at it which was pretty fun too.  My mom has also organized a few meetings for our extended family that have been lots of fun. 

2.  I like quiche!  I'm having a blend of going into work (many of our animal experiments have to have people and can't be stopped), and working from home as much as possible, and one benefit of that is that I can start things cooking that I normally wouldn't be able to.  Yesterday I made a "refrigerator quiche" with random leftovers and it was delicious.



3. The pups are such a great comfort for me.  They also make very good co-workers.  Snuggly and sweet, though not super productvie.


Bentley oozing off the pouf.


Blue is covered in mud from running around in his favorite (grassless) parts of the backyard.  Snuggles anyway,


3.  I like spring!  This little guy was super cute (as long as they stay away from my birdfeeder).






All the flowers up top aren't mine, but this is my redbud tree.  It's so pink and makes me very happy!

Click through to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I Like #156

Hi all, welcome to another list of things to like. 

1.  I like all of you!!  In this era of social distancing and staying home whenever possible, I'm super grateful for our network of online friends.  I hope you all stay safe and healthy as we navigate this new normal.

2.  The SAQA spotlight auction!  Studio Art Quilt Associates is a great non-profit professional organization supporting art quilters, and unfortunately we (along with everyone else) had to just cancel our annual conference which was supposed to be right now in Toronto.  A big part of that conference is the Spotlight auction where artists donate small quilts (6x8 inches matted to 8x10) which are auctioned off to raise funds for SAQA.  The auction is now going to be online and it starts tomorrow evening.  Bidding opens today (Thursday March 19) and starts at only $20 and it's a great chance to get some great small quilts and support a great organization.  Even if you don't want to bid,  I'd recommend going to the site and browsing through the available quilts, there are just tons of cool things.  Information about the auction and auction process is here: http://www.saqa.com/members.php?ID=3735 and you can see the pieces available for bidding here: https://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/index.cfm?auctionID=20899

3. I love my family!  Plans are changing by the minute, but last weekend I was able to see all my family.  Originally I was only supposed to go down to Dallas to pick up my quilts from the Dallas Quilt Show, but that was cancelled.  My parents were coming to Dallas, but I wasn't going to see them because they were taking my niece and nephew camping for spring break.  Anyway, all of the social distancing information was really ramping up after they'd already left for Dallas so my parents decided to go to my sister's, "camp" with the kids in my sister's driveway (they were really excited to sleep in the camper) and then just head home.  We had two lovely days together, not going anywhere, just being with one another.  We went hiking and played lots of games.  My sister found lots of cool craft project including this one to make bubble "snakes".  Given how much travel is getting cancelled I'm so grateful to have gotten to see them all.

Playing with the rats at Becky's!  They are so sweet and love playing and digging a bit in the plants!


It rained for most of the weekend, but at one point we took the kids to the neighborhood park to jump in puddles.  Even though it wasn't raining, my mom said the umbrella was keeping her warm, but it kept turning inside out.


Bubble snakes!!!



My sister is making these adorable stuffed bears out of my Grandpa's old shirts!  This one is for my grandma, and the bucket hat is an extra special touch; my grandpa always wore them.  



On Sunday we went on a hike down on the bike trails (closed to bikes) around Lake Grapevine.  The dogs loved it.  Bentley got tired out but my brother-in-law met us halfway around with the car so Bentley got an early ride home.  



My parent's truck camper!



Have a good week everyone and click through to LeeAnna's to see more lists of things to like!


Monday, March 16, 2020

SAQA Spotlight Auction

Every spring at the Annual SAQA conference, there is a "Spotlight Auction" of small quilts to raise money for SAQA.  This is separate from the regular annual SAQA auction of 12x12 quilts, but is another major fundraiser for SAQA.

Of course this year, since the conference had to be cancelled, SAQA has been working hard to move as much of the content online as possible.  This includes the conference content itself, both things originally scheduled for Toronto as well as new bonus content (including a talk by me about some of my new kirigami work).

Anyway, the Spotlight Auction moved online as well.  There are more than two hundred miniature quilts, each mounted on 8x10 mat board and then matted down to a 4.5" x 6.5" opening.  The bids start at $20, so it's a great way to get some really cool miniature pieces of art.

The auction begins on this Thursday evening,  you can find more about it here:  http://www.saqa.com/members.php?ID=3234

You can see the available artwork here:  https://airtable.com/shrWXL0lJZvfQ9n50/tblQahJpkyW7hAIBp?blocks=hide

Please consider bidding on a few of the quilts,  SAQA is a great organization to support and works hard to promote art quilting in both the quilt and fine art world.  In common with many groups right now, they are suffering a significant financial hit due as a result of the conference cancellation.

I've put a few of my favorites below just to give you a taste!  Artist names are in each caption.

Lina Alho

Janet Avery

Deb Cashatt

Libby Cerullo


Shoshi Rimer

Sue Siefkin

Kathy Suprenant


Thursday, March 12, 2020

I Like #155

This has been a roller coaster week for sure.  On Saturday I learned that my trip to Toronto for the SAQA conference and board retreat (which I was supposed to leave for next Monday) was cancelled.  I'm really sorry about that, I was very much looking forward to it.  And unfortunately, I had to buy three separate airline tickets for it (another story), none of which are refundable.

On the other hand, yesterday I finally got my R01 grant submitted.  I won't know for at least six months whether they will fund it, but even getting it submitted is a huge deal at work and I've been working feverishly on it for quite some time.  Getting it off my desk is a huge relief.

So a few more things to like:

1. The pups!  I got a couple of good snaps of them this week!

Bentley got the chair one day this weekend and Blue doesn't like sitting on the pouf, so we had peek-a-boo Blue while he snuggled on the batting under my table.






2. Spring weather!  I spent most of Saturday outside (and unfortunately forgot to sunscreen).  While it was very windy, it was so nice to be outside in the sun (no gray!!!) in pleasant temperatures!  The beautiful STINK trees are in bloom right now; they are really wonderful through windows and in pictures, but they make the whole neighborhood smell horrible!



3. They've started on the basement renovations at work.  This has been in the planning stages for a long time, and it's cool that they are finally starting.  I'll be anxious to see how it comes together.  My lab will be one of the ones moving downstairs, and while the space will be brand new, I'm going to be sorry to move out of my current space on the seventh floor.  The basement has no windows!!!




4.  More new projects!  Here's a sneak peek of some lattice stuff I cut and am going to be using for another sculptural project, so I'm excited by that!



5. My plants!  These aren't blooming, but I absolutely love this hanging pothos, it just flourishes and the old macrame hanger from my mom makes me so happy!  I love seeing the sun shine through them in the morning (or I did until DST happened and now we're back to getting up in the dark).


6.  I like this adorable felted knitting mouse!  One of my old lab members gave her too me and she's been on a shelf in my office for a long time.  I pulled her down to take her to Toronto with me.  We were all supposed to bring something that represented us, and the dogs are too wriggly, so I thought the knitting mouse would be perfect.  At any event, I'd forgotten how cute she is!



I hope everyone is having a good week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

I Like #154

Well another week where I'm late posting.  I'm just grateful to get here at all; this whole 4 week period (that I'm in the middle of) is just insane both at work and at home.  Just keep going is what I'm telling myself!

Anyway, definitely a few things to like amid the chaos:

1.  New projects!  Part of the reason there is so much chaos is because the deadline for our group show this year is March 23rd and I'll be gone for a week later this month.  Of course I'm not finished with the pieces for the show and I've been working on them madly.  It's fun, but a lot all at once.  This is more of the sort of "experimental" type stuff.  That first pic is another laser cut quilt that will be sculpted, and the second one is a wooden string sculpture thing I was working on.  More about all the new pieces when I get time to get pictures and blog posts written!



2.  I love flowers!! My begonia is blooming which is super exciting.  Not like my mom's *which is tree sized* but blooming all the same and not dead!! And a sign that spring is coming/here,  some daffodils in my yard have started to bloom.  I love daffodils!



3.  My pups!  The last few weeks have been lonely for them, not as many walks as they'd like, but they still love me and come snuggle with me every night on the sofa.


4.  And a sign of how crazy I am, these were from several weeks ago, but I like them all the same.  I made a couple of these little finger pincushions for good friends, and they were really fun!  I kept one for me too.  You can never have too many pincushions!  And I love making crafty valentines for good friends and family, and this year I made little kirigami ones with cut out heart spring things.  Definitely makes me happy to have good friends and family!








I hope you all have a good week!  Click through to our fearless leader LeeAnna to see more stuff to like this week!