Thursday, March 28, 2019

I Like #109

Another week of things to like!  Spring has definitely sprung here, it's still crisp and cool in the mornings and has been warming up pleasantly during the day (though a bit windy).

I came home from dallas to discover there are daffodils in my yard!  I love daffodils, and they were one of my grandmother's favorites too!  I don't remember planting them although I guess I must have.  In any case they make me happy every time I arrive home.

My baby cacti have their first little spines!  I'm still not sure they'll make it in the long run, but they're growing now and I feel strangely proud that they've developed spines!  They're still tiny,  smaller than my pinky fingernail, but that's ok!

My redbud tree is budding and my apple and crabapple trees are leafing out.  Hooray!  The bradford pears are in full bloom-  I'm always of two minds about them.  They're really beautiful when blooming (and everywhere around here), but they're actually an invasive species, and more urgently they smell terrible.

The monsters are great.  Blue is as weird as ever.  

I was happily quilting along on the quilt for my sister when I flipped it over to see this.  If you can tell, that's the backing all folded up and quilted down badly.  This seems to happen to me pretty often, almost like a signature mistake.  And it was awful to rip out.  Invisible thread on satin on the back and regular thread on silk and velvet on the front.  I got it fixed though and am finished quilting this now.  More pictures to come soon.


And one more plant.  Sorry it's such a plant heavy week.  My euphorbia is flourishing again!  I almost lost it about a year ago and was really afraid it was completely dead, but it's going gangbusters now.  Hooray!  That's my mini-cactus greenhouse (egg carton) you see in the windowsill behind the euphorbia.

I finished blogging about my Blue quilt this week too, you can check it out here.

I hope you're all having a great week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's for more things to Like!

Monday, March 25, 2019


Last week I shared the in progress pics for my new quilt based on some old cyanotypes I'd made a long time ago.  With an exquisite sense of bad timing, I decided to make this quilt about a week after entries closed for our regional SAQA show "Out of the Blue," but I guess that's life!  I had a lot of fun quilting it and thinking about what to put in each little region.  This is a much more traditional quilt that I usually make, so it was fun to use things like feathers.  It was fun also to work with the blue-beige-yellow-sand colorway.  That's not usually my go-to choice, so it was fun to stretch my creative brain a bit.  It was a fairly small quick project and I enjoyed working on it!  I really enjoy all different forms of printmaking, and it reminded me that I should go back and try some more cyanotyping.

Blue, 37" x 27" c. Shannon Conley 2019.  Photo Mike Cox

Thursday, March 21, 2019

I Like #108

This was a great week of things to like, largely because my family got to be in it!  More on them later, but first:

1.  I like project runway and the original Swatch!  For anyone who doesn't know but is interested,  the new season of Project Runway has started and the first episode was good!  I like the new team!  My mom and I have always loved getting a glimpse of Swatch the Mood Fabrics dog  (she actually named one of her dogs Swatch), and last week my friend Trish was in New York for a wedding and visited Mood.  She took this picture of Swatch while she was there!  So exciting she got to see him!!!!!

2.  I went to my sister's this weekend for my niece Anna's seventh birthday, which was really fabulous.  My parent's came out too, and so did some other relatives.  One group that visited was my sister's in-laws who adopted little Okie dog after Mike and I rescued him.  He's a black friendly version of our Missy, and it was especially poignant to snuggle him since it's been exactly a year since Missy died.  But Okie's adorable!! 

3.  We celebrated Anna's birthday and played a million games and had so much fun hanging out.  We went to a museum and swimming and for a nature hike.  The kids didn't have much luck finding something from an amphibian or a fish, but they found everything else on their scavenger hunt list, including lots of turtles sunning themselves on a log.  I love them all so much.

4.  Mike stayed home with my pups, but My sister's pups are just as loveable and snuggly.  They're actually better snugglers than mine since they're a little bit smaller and less likely to jab you in the kidney.  Her Auto dog loves to play ball and unlike Blue he drops it for you to throw again.  Blue is getting better at dropping the ball- it's one of the things we're working on.  Auto also is the attention seeking one, like Blue, he just pushes Checker away to get the loves, so you have to make a special effort to give Checker snuggles too.

5.  I love spending time with my parents!  I hadn't seen them since Christmas so it was great to have even a short weekend.  Here's my dad trying to fix my sister's grandfather clock, and it's about the most my-dad picture ever. 

6.  I started blogging this week about my new Blue quilt.  It used some cyanotypes I'd made from pictures from the trips my mom and I took to Asilomar, so it brought back lots of fun memories.  This is the first year in a while we aren't going, but there's lots of other stuff coming up.

I hope you are having a good week!  Check out LeeAnna's for more things to like.

Monday, March 18, 2019

New Quilt: Blue

Back in 2012 I made a bunch of 6" cyanotypes from some photographs I'd taken on one of our trips to Asilomar.  It was a lot of fun, and you can read about it here, but I never knew what to do with them.

A month or so ago I thought I needed a center block for this year's Cotton Robin, so I pulled one of the blocks out and did some improvisational piecing around it to make it up to size.  When I was finished though, I decided I liked it too much to send it off for the round robin.  Incidentally, I made another block for that only to realize that I'd neglected to officially sign up this year.  Anyway, I started pinning the rest of the cyanotypes on my wall to see if I could make a small quilt with them.  There weren't very many, but I just kept rearranging and rearranging and piecing and cutting and piecing until I had something I liked.  It was a very freeing way to work, I don't do a whole lot of piecing and it was fun to find old scraps and make little groupings.

I wound up with this final composition-  lots of different types of piecing but it was fun to assemble.  Come back next week to see the quilting and the finished piece!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

I Like #106

Welcome to another week of things to like!

1.  I like getting outside!  It was finally sunny and warm on Saturday (though extremely windy), so I decided to go for a hike around a lake near us.  It was great to be out and moving around!  The weather has been so cold lately nothing is really green or blooming yet which was kind of a bummer, but on the upside that meant that no bugs were out yet either (this area is pretty tick-y during the summer).

2.  I really enjoyed going to a jazz organ concert this weekend at OU school of music.  Joey DeFrancescu was touring with his trio, he's a famous jazz organist (I didn't know that was a thing), but the concert was fabulous.  I've never heard such things on an organ.  He also played some with a local jazz group and it was fun to see some familiar faces.  I didn't get any pictures during the concert, but I did take some pictures at OU school of music-  the main lobby is called Gothic Hall because they actually use it for concerts too and it has this cool gothic-inspired architecture as well as an amazing pipe organ and cool art.

3.  The pups are great,  but also, Blue is weird.  That is all.

4.  I haven't been doing a whole lot of quilting or sewing, but I did make some progress on the banner I'm making for my sister's kids Christian Montessori school.  I'm pleased with how it's coming along and am now waiting for the backing I ordered from spoonflower to arrive.  I'm a little unmotivated at present; I've been finding it easier to pick up my knitting than work on the mentally challenging design elements that are part of my next quilt projects, but hopefully I'll get my sewing mojo back soon.

Hope you're all having a good week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's for more positivity.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

I Like #105

Late post today, but better late than never!

1.  I like teaching new things!  Some of the things I teach are pretty much the same every year, but most years I get to develop at least one new lecture.  It's a lot of work, but always so much fun.  This morning I got to give a new lecture on Circadian and sensory signaling, all about non-traditional methods of cell signaling, and it was a blast!

2.  I love the pups!  I'm sure you get tired of seeing their pictures, but what can I say.  Blue was being especially cute this week, and then my sister texted me this adorable picture of her two curled up together.  Her two are called Checker and Auto (in a long line of vehicle-named dogs).  My two curl up together pretty frequently, but I never get very good pictures of both of them together at the same time. 

3. I like plants (duh).  It's been frigidly frigidly cold here the last couple of weeks, so nothing outside is doing anything, but I recently moved into an office that has windows so I started some new plants and brought them into work.  It's so nice to have natural light, I just hope I get to keep the office (they're doing a lot of moving around at work so it's possible I might have to move again).  For now though, new plants!  Plant stands are pretty expensive, but I found one at goodwill, and made two more out of upside down tomato cages.  I was also pretty pleased with myself for making a new recycled planter;  planters are pretty expensive too, but I had one of those ugly black plastic 2 gallon pots that shrubs and stuff come in, so I scrubbed it off, hacked off the top with my christmas tree saw, and painted it with leftover spray paint.  It's not perfect, but free and much nicer looking than just the nasty black pot.  Here's hoping spring comes pretty soon.  I don't mind the cold, but I'm tired of grey.

4. I love my grandparents!  This week they celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, which is just completely amazing to me.  Such truly wonderful people!  I wish I could have been at the party, but my mom sent me this picture of them.

I hope all of you guys had wonderful things to like this week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's to check out everyone else's posts.