Friday, August 31, 2018

Show Opening at the New Mexico State Capitol

Quick promotional call everyone!  You may remember me mentioning several times throughout the last year that I've been preparing for an invitational group show to be exhibited at the New Mexico State Capitol.   Well I'm thrilled to announce the opening is finally here!  The show was organized by Betty Busby, so shout out to her for a huge amount of hard work.  Virtually everything I've made in the last year has been for this show and I'm so excited.  The opening reception is next Friday, September 7, 2018 from 4-6PM at the Capitol Rotunda Gallery at the New Mexico State Capitol.  For anyone in Santa Fe, please come to the reception, I'm worried no one will be there!  And for anyone who might be traveling in that area, the show will hang through the middle of December.

The other artists have great work, I can't wait to see it all in person.  Most of my dimensional work is in the show, including the large sculptural flowers and all the smocked quilts I've been working on recently.  I'll share some more pictures after the opening reception!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I Like #81

Welcome to another week of things to like.

1. First up,  I got to spend the weekend in Dallas with my sister.  It was my nephew Alex's fifth birthday, and we had a blast at his backyard birthday.  It was so much fun to see him and his sister, as well as my sister and her husband.  I love visiting them, and the kids are tons of fun.  My sister always does great parties, full of fun crafts and homemade goodies and homemade piñatas.  This year's theme was Nexo Knights, a cartoon with which I am unfamiliar, but the kids at the party made a fun shield and Becky and the kids made the piñata and cake themed from the show.  Becky and I also got to do some nice hiking on the trails around Lake Grapevine, and even though it was hot and muggy, it was nice to be outside.

2. Our geranium at work is blooming again!  It's been growing very well, but hasn't been blooming very much.  I think the window it sits in must have tinting that blocks whatever kind of light it needs for flowering, so it's great to see a bloom.  I've been having trouble getting my dahlia to bloom too, and just remembered to give it some fertilizer the other day.  Maybe I can remember to bring some in for the geranium.  Eagle-eyed readers will know that the old geranium was red,  alas I accidentally let it die a few months ago, and a kind co-worker replaced it with one that is apparently pink!  Hooray!  My bromeliad is still blooming (same bloom as a couple months back), though its color is fading, and just last week my peace lily started to bloom again.  It has two flowers on it!

3.  I like swaps!  I used to do them pretty frequently, but don't participate much anymore.  One I did do this year wasn't a traditional swap, but a round robin.  I always have such fun working on small, low-stress projects.  This was my quilt, and you can see more in my post from earlier this week.

I hope you're having a good week! Thanks to Lee Anna for linking us up!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

2018 Cotton Robin

Once again this year I was able to participate in the 2018 Cotton Robin hosted by Julie Waldman.  The final reveals were posted a couple months back, but I love sharing the pieces I worked on here.
Each participant makes a center block (~10x10ish), then subsequent participants add a first border, a second border, and then quilting and finishing.  I always have fun with it- it's a lovely small set of projects that don't feel overwhelming.  The challenge is always to come up with something that complements the previous work.

Here was the first center block I received, and then the border I added to it.

Here was the second piece I received, a block + 1 border to which I attached the second border:

Here's the third one which I quilted and finished.  I didn't take a picture of it before quilting, but you can get the idea.  It was filled with especially lovely piecing.

Finally, here's the center block I made, and the lovely quilt I got back.

You can see previous years of this round robin here:  2017, 2015.  Thanks to Julie for hosting.  I love seeing what everyone else makes.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I Like #80

Welcome to another week of I Likes!

1.  I like that summer might end soon!  I really don't like summer or the heat.  This year has actually been fairly easy here temperature wise, but it's rained and rained and rained this month which means the humidity has been very high, the grass has been growing like mad, and it's still hot.  Someday fall will be here!

2. I love libraries!  I like them in person and I like their electronic offerings via my phone app.  This week I found the library card I had as a teenager from our local public library and it immediately brought back memories of the really wonderful punch machine the library had that recorded on the book card who had the book.  That machine made the most satisfying crunch noise...

3. I love working on new projects. Here's a sneak peek of the quilt I'm working on.  The deadline for it is September 5th, but right now I'm a little stalled on next steps.

4.  I love the pups!  Here's Blue, anxiously waiting for me to toss the ball.  NOW MAMA!

5.  This weekend we had the Captain Morgan race out on the lake.  It's not really a race, the organizers dump a ton of rubber ducks in the lake and everybody sails around trying to grab as many as they can while simultaneously throwing water balloons at the other boats.  There was no wind, so mostly everybody except the teeny boats just motored, but that was ok since we had a lot of people on the boat anyway.  It was pretty fun.

Hope you're all having a good week and thanks to Lee Anna for linking us up.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I Like #79

Another week of things to like!  

1.  I like that Blue likes playing with other dogs.  We went to the dog park twice this weekend and he had a blast and got on well with everyone.  Unfortunately, he's been upset since then because we don't go every day (EVERY DAY MAMA I WANT TO GO TO THE DOG PARK), and has been backsliding on the door chewing.  Oh well, he's a lovable dork.

2.  I like knitting.  I have spent years saying I DON'T KNIT very loudly to anyone who will listen, but of course my mom taught me to knit many years ago, and recently I decided to go ahead and start knitting again.  My good friend Melody is helping me with some socks.  So far they are just some tiny heels, but they'll grow.  I'm glad to have a small project for carrying around.

3.  I made a new dog bed (the peach one) this week.  This way there can be two in the bedroom in case they both want to sleep in there with me.  It was wonderful to use random materials I had on hand too.

4.  It has been raining and raining and raining here.  I confess to being really tired of it, although we always need the rain.  Anyway, all the rain has made tons of giant mushrooms pop up everywhere!  I can't seem to get good pictures of them, but they're really huge!  And all over the place, even in the yards of people who have very tidy yards!

5.  And one last picture of Blue who managed to sneak onto the bed before I had a chance to make it.  I was in the shower- stepped out to see him.  He knows better, but alas...

Hope you're having a good week, and thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us connected!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Pets on Quilts 2018

It's time again for the annual round-up of pets on quilts, hosted by Lily Pad Quilting.  After you look at this post-click over to the link party to see more pets on quilts and vote for your favorite.

As any regular blog readers know I'm a big dog person and they come work with me pretty often in the studio!  The past few months have been pretty tough on us pet-wise, we lost two of our beloved dogs, but a new furry friend has joined the family recently and he's a hoot.  So without further ado, some recent pets-on-quilts!

We start with Bullett and Bentley "helping" me baste this whole cloth painted quilt.  They didn't understand why I kept wanting them to move-  the quilt was so much softer than the floor....

And here's the quilt finished, it's one of my dimensional smocked pieces.
Shannon Conley, High Desert Garden, c. 2018

Bullett is one of the pups we lost this year,  he was well over thirteen years old, but it was still too soon.  He loved to cuddle up under the work table with the giant batting roll....

Our new pup's name is Blue, so far he hasn't invaded any quilts, but he did take the opportunity to bed down on top of the clean white photography backdrop when one of my other fabric sculptures was up for picture taking.  Oh Blue, we love you (but not the hair and dirt you left behind).

And finally, the other pup we lost this year was Missy, I don't have good pictures of her on quilts, so I'll share this quilt I finished of her.  She was a grouchy little thing, who used to love riding on the back of Mike's motorcycle with her little pink goggles, and we loved her so much.

I hope you enjoy my pets on quilts as well as the rest over at the link up!  Thanks so much to Lily Pad quilting for hosting and gathering up the sponsors!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I like #78

Welcome to another week of I likes!

First like is from last weeks blog list of I likes!  Last week Sally from Crafts Cavies and Cooking shared a picture of this George and Martha sculpture in her local park.  It was part of a kids sculpture program and I think it's awesome.  I LOVE George and Martha!!! I still have a couple of the George and Martha story books from when I was a kid. I especially love the one where George poured his pea soup in his shoes. I think the idea was that he didn't want to tell Martha he didn't like the soup, and in the end she said he should just be open with her, but I've always loved the mental image of a giant hippo pouring soup in his shoes. So fabulous!

I like my pups!  I feel like we're progressing, we haven't had (knock on wood) too much door frame chewing, and I put non-skid patches under the couch, so they've stopped pushing it across the room.  They did manage to take the cover off the dog bed (where bentley is sitting it should be green not white), but all together things are going well.  We've been having lots of rain, and yesterday morning they insisted they still wanted to go for a walk even in a torrential thunderstorm, so I suited up and out we went.  Of course they went one block before deciding they didn't like walking in the rain.  Is it insane to tell your dogs "I told you so"?

I like my family!!  The other day I found this picture of two of my cousins, Annie and Virginia c. 1960 while desperately searching for the non-skid stuff to put under the couch.  They were so cute!  They live in Tucson, and usually we all meet at my parents in New Mexico for Thanksgiving.  This year I'll get to see them at a family wedding on New Year's Eve.

I like banana bread!  In searching the freezer for something else, I realized that my dead banana pile was growing unreasonably large, so I made up a ton of banana bread.  Hooray!  Now it's in the freezer, though I also took some to the church and have given some away.  Tasty!

I love my plants!  I picked up this sewing table at goodwill the other day for $20 to use as a stand so I could have some plants in the bedroom.  Its top folds out on both sides (that's why the table cloth is so long) so I can add more in future.  There's actually a singer 301 inside it along with a ton of accessories.  I'm not sure whether it works or not, but I don't really need any more sewing machines anyway.  

It's been kind of nice having all the pieces for the big Capitol show done, (thus the plants and baking, etc.) and while I had out that pretty fabric for the table I sewed up a quick case for my light box.  It's fun to do some of these small projects, and I really like this fabric.

I hope you're all having a good week!  Thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

I Like #77

New things to like this week!

1.  I like canning!  I don't really like canning, it's hot and sweaty and messy, but it results in tastiness that lasts a good long while.  I decided last night to finally make the crabapple jelly from last year's crabapples (I didn't have any this year).  The juice has been in the freezer just patiently waiting it's turn.  But crabapple jelly is one of the best things ever...  I decided this time to try a pectin free recipe I found online.  It said that crabapples and apples had enough native pectin that you didn't need to add any.  But, of course, I wound up with nicely canned crabapple syrup-- it didn't set at all.  It may be because my juice had been frozen for so long,  it wouldn't surprise me if that broke down much of the pectin.  Anyway, now I have to decide whether to just keep the crabapple syrup (at the very least we could eat it on pancakes) or undo it all, re-sterilize the jars, and remake it using some sure-gel. 

2.  I like plants!  I've been in a plant propagating mood lately, both splitting my own plants and trying to gather up some new varieties of cuttings from friends.  Lots of them will be to give away to others I know who are in a plant mode, but several of them are for me.  Yum!

3. I like my pups!  Of course!  I always do.  Here's a sneak peek of one of my new 3D fiber sculptures;  I had the good clean white backdrop up for Mike to photograph it, and of course Blue had to share his fur and dirt with it.  Oh well!  He's doing very well with Bentley, although sometimes Blue climbs on top of him trying to get to me which makes Bentley a bit aggravated.  At some point I'll get a full post up about the new sculpture.

4.  I like finding out other people are fibery!  One of my blogs shared a picture of a new embroidered altar frontal made by Queen Margrethe of Denmark.  Apparently, she's made several of these to donate to different churches and embroidery is one of her hobbies!  Super cool, and lovely work.  Here's her newest public piece and one of the previous ones.

 5. I like fiber!  My friends and I went up to the Kellyville Fiber Christmas in July this last weekend and we had a lovely time.  There was tons of wonderful yarn and roving and batts and spinning wheels and general fibery goodness.  I didn't buy too much, one skein of yarn and some fiber wrapped wire to use as edging on future quilts.  Of course I didn't get any pictures, alas.  But the yarn I got is great, it's a hand dye that's half black and half white with rainbow neon speckles.  Very me.

6.  I'll just close with another picture of my dahlia, it has a new bloom.  So far it usually only has one bloom at once, but I expect in the fall maybe it will get more.  I'm sorry to say you guys will probably continue to be exposed to a series of nearly indistinguishable pictures of white dahlia blossoms for the forseeable future.

Thanks to Lee Anna for linking us up and I hope you have a good week!