Friday, December 23, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 12/23

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

This is our tree in the
atrium after last week's
back to back snow storms.
My office overlooks this
blissful scene.
Simplify, simplify, simplify! That is my trick for making it through it the holiday flurries. Oh, when I think of what I used to take on, I cringe. It was as if I believed, like Santa Claus, I could tour the globe in a single night, and place presents in all the stockings and under every tree. Admittedly, I enjoyed the excuse to bake and make homemade gifts. The pressure, oh the pressure! Each passing year the enormity of tradition wore me down. I'm not sure when I started to reverse the trend. It certainly wasn't as easy as toggling a switch. Over time I simply did less and less. No more holiday baking. No more handmade gifts. No more cramming in 1, 2 or 3 social events for multiple days in a row. What is left? Christmas cards. I love sending them and receiving them. We still have two Christmas trees, one in our outdoor atrium and the other on the main floor landing of our stairwell. The brilliant new jewel tone colors of the LED mini lights make me smile. With everyone else overwhelmed trying to do it all my "work" emails have been practically non existent this week. Oh joy! Oh rapture!

By simplifying my Christmas preparations and having a husband who picks up the slack, I have been blessed with my first week of three solid studio days in several years. I enjoyed every single minute. Here is what I did with my time:

1)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song - Some day. Just not this week.

2) Free motion quilting practice - No
The flowers will be "planted" below the
tombstone in an area approximately
12" H x 30" W. In order to figure out if I
have made enough, and if not what should
I make to fill the space, I laid the flowers out
on my cutting board. This way I can fiddle
with the arrangement, too! 

I did review a few potential free motion quilting designs and contemplated others in my head for a panel I will be adding to Where have All the Flowers Gone?

3) Do some surface design work - Done

I should probably rephrase that item as surface design/embellishment. I worked on my embellishments for Where have All the Flowers Gone? I'm having so much fun making two types of gathered embellishments. One is a yo-yo, the other is a multi petaled flower which I am topping with yo-yos. The trickiest flower, but well worth the angst, is the folded hexagon flower with beads covering the raw edges in the center. 

The question last week was how to
get those letters noticed since the eye
is drawn to the flowers and the contrast
between the letters and the background
was not strong. I played with two options.
One is placing them on a solid black panel.
The other option is placing
them on a white panel with
a black binding? Both are
on my design board. Feel
free to share your preference
or other ideas.


5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done

This image hints at what the
letters on black might look like
when actually attached to the
I spent my junior year abroad in London. Lucky me! It was there I came to enjoy a cuppa, especially first thing with breakfast or at the transitional time between the work day and before it was time for dinner. I tried a handful or more of different kinds of teas that year. I've tried even more since then. However, I've become stuck on English Breakfast tea and had turned my back on Earl Grey. I was in desperate need for that rich milky, sweet, caffeinated cuppa yesterday. All I had in an English Breakfast was decaffeinated. I brewed a pot of Earl Grey. What a treat! Now, I am wondering why I gave it up.

What I won't give up on is carving out time to spend in my studio next week. I'm eager to start moving everything from off quilt to on quilt to see if my ideas will work together. Doing this will involve nearly everything in the following plan:

1)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song

2) Free motion quilting practice

3) Do some surface design work

4) Continue working on Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. I would vote for the letters on the black background. Happy Christmas from Northern Ireland

  2. I second the black background vote. We used to s that song on the school bus going to away basketball games - aaaah, the memories! The tree under the snow is really cool. I cut way down on the handmade gifts also. Still do some but only for those that I know will appreciate the work.