Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Love Teaching

What a lovely weekend! I had the pleasure of teaching and lecturing at the Durham Orange Quilt Guild this past weekend. My students were wonderful and worked hard - and - had a LOT of fun!

Monday we played with Surface Design and make elegant little sketchbook covers. Here are the hardy few who finished their project and braved the inclement weather to stick around for the lecture.

I'm thankful that the snow held off until the wee hours of the morning when we all snug in our warm beds. It's been an amazing day to stay home, play in the snow, and celebrate the momentous occasion of the peaceful transition of power in our democracy. And nothing is cuter than my little guy shouting "Go Obama!"

I also really enjoyed sleeping in instead of getting right up to get everyone off to school. Oh! Speaking of teaching - next up is a ON-LINE class through QuiltUniversity.com - Playing With Paint. It starts February 6th but registration is open now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

At The End of the Day

Tired but happy.

I spent the day teaching a group of absolutely lovely ladies from the Durham Orange Quilter's Guild. We did some design exercises, learned different ways to mount or frame small textile artworks, and decided that the class doesn't include time for making a peyote stitch beaded bezel.
I have the pleasure of working with this group again on Monday but am very glad that I have a day to rest. Monday's class is fast, furious, and fun! The students in the Surface Design Sampler Platter usually come home buzzed but I'm ready to crash by then. I need to be well rested since I'll be lecturing after the class. Hmmmm. Glad the lecture is "lights out" since my hands are usually well painted by the end of that class!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just For Fun

Last week I spent a day researching and browsing historic costume on the web. I love clothing construction and love to dress up. My oldest daughter shares that love with me so we've gone to a few Renaissance Fairs together. We both think they are mostly cheesy but fun. This day was spent thinking about pirate gear.

My husband was surprised over the holiday that I chose to watch the Pirates of the Caribbean series. He didn't think I liked action adventure movies. I had to think about it a bit. I don't like car chases and gunfights. What I do like is sword fighting - which usually comes along with great costumes. I also have a weakness for any movie that has someone wearing a cape on a galloping horse. My daughter and I were pausing the Pirate movie every few scenes to sketch in costume details in our sketchbooks.

photo by Chirstopher Murr

Some time in the next year I'm going to have to make a jerkin and frock coat for the very elegant (yet slightly dangerous) gentleman that lives here with me. Got the basic layer ready. He has no interest in being a noble RenGent but the pirate thing.... well.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Fresh Start

And so it begins.

A new year. I had looked forward to December, hoping to use the time for taking a breath, clearing the way for the new year. One more surprise bruiser of a deadline nixed that idea. Whew. Glad that one is over and done with.

I don't know about you, but the pressure of a deadline forces me to get things done but I certainly don't enjoy it. I get this hopeless feeling of "I can never get it all done" and I want to just curl up under the covers and hide. I used to get an adrenaline rush and be very productive close to a deadline. I wonder if it's age or if it's just much, too much of a good thing. Lack of sleep probably has a lot to do with it.

I'm hoping this year to steer clear of deadlines. My intention is to ramp my children back up the priority ladder. So my goals for this year? I'd say "get more sleep" but know it isn't going to happen. So realistically - here it goes:

GOALS for 2009
Have more fun.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Best of 2008

New Year's Resolutions 2008

1- Write a book about Basic Design
2- Come back from my Teaching Sabbatical
3- Do not leave my children motherless
4- See ALL of my scattered siblings and even some long-lost extended family.

If I had actually written this list in 2008 I probably would have snorted milk out my nose trying not to laugh. Looking back - I simply can't believe I've survived the year. It wasn't the hardest year I've had. It was certainly the craziest. Two toddlers, a hockey player, and two teenagers who want to go places but can't drive yet. People would ask me how I was and I'd say I was crazy - but it's all good. True.

The book thing has been - shall we say - quite the experience. I feel as though I've just survived another pregnancy and labor/delivery. Long, long, hours working to form the thing - sometimes joyful, sometimes painful. The manuscript was turned in back in October. No word until the week before Christmas when the project editor tells me we have two weeks to get it ready for the layout designers. It was like labor. No rest, painful, intense - but with someone there to help you along the whole way. (Thanks Linda Griepentrog - you're the best!) I feel now the great and overwhelming relief delivery. Done. My baby is off in the hands of capable people who will make it look pretty before bringing it back to me. Eventually. I'll see the proof copy before it goes to press and it's not due out until October. That's a very long time.

One of the lovely homes I visited while teaching this year.

Teaching has been a wonderful experience to pick up again. I adore my students and nothing gives me more pleasure than to see them have fun making beautiful things. The joy of creativity. I worked with the most wonderful people and had an absolutely lovely time. It's almost a crime to get paid to have so much fun. Of course - you can't pay me enough for the pain in the neck it is to do all the preparation. Baggage restrictions are a killer for trying to get all your supplies to your venue. I had a few difficulties with supply orders going astray. I had to enlist the help of Lindy and a talented daughter in order to get all the kits made with a few tight deadlines. I am blessed with wonderful people in my life.

The best students ever!

Speaking of wonderful people. I have the best family ever! My husband has supported me even while his work schedule gets more and more demanding. My children have been very patient with leftovers and food from the freezer much more often than I prefer. I think the best part of the year was a family reunion. I have siblings in Oregon, Montana, Utah, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Needless to say - we haven't all been together for a number of years. To top it all off many cousins and extended relatives were all able to gather at the paradise my parents call home in Kamiah, Idaho. A solid week of laughter, vehicles large and small (I got to DRIVE a freight train!), zip-lines, and a little - no - a LOT of tie dye. On the way there my daughters and a lovely German foreign exchange student and I drove through much of this big, beautiful country.

The BEST family EVER!!!

My only resolution

(oh, and cook a nice meal for my family once in a while.)