Monday, June 27, 2011

Packin' For Cabo

Okay... I'm spoiled. Starting tomorrow afternoon, I have a week and a half all to myself in beautiful Cabo San Lucas plus an added week with family. I am a busy girl today, get drawings ready ( I paint in Cabo every summer), laundry, banking, etc etc. I'm like an excited school girl ( an old one but an excited one nonetheless.) I'll manage to stay connected from afar.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

".....A Little Time With My Friends"

What would you think of a Quilt Shop that built and offered a retreat center right next door to the shop? How about a classroom where every student had their own design wall ready to go? How about a great kitchen? And designer bedrooms? And a sitting area for lounging, watching TV, visiting, etc? Creations in Kerrville, Texas has created just that.

The "Main House" opened in April this year and already the owners have hosted several weekend getaways.
Cleverly designed 'design boards'... 4" x 8' insulation, covered with flannel stretched across front stapled to the back, raw edges on back sealed with heavy duty duct tape, plastic clothing 'hooks' upside down at top back of board allows the board to be hung on a crown molding that runs around the center walls.
Every 3 person 1 bath or 5 person 2 bath bedroom had it's own design theme. Each is clever in it's own right. I particularly liked this shabby chic room.

I can't even remember how many bedrooms there are... At least 7 or so. This is just a very cool place and the owners love their work for sure. The following post has their link. Check them out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hats Off To Creations Quilt Shop

My my... I thought I'd seen every thing in the way of quilt shops and retreat centers.... until now...until I visited Creations Quilt Shop, Kerrville, Texas and their next door"Main House" Retreat Center.
The shop is a lovely victorian house with each room offering something new. I've seen shops set up similarly, but never so effectively.

Just inside the door, you meet Domino, the shop cat. I've met many a shop cat before, but this one is bigger than any ever met. After all, this IS Texas!

I left a good deal of money I made at the shop.... the most exquisite hand dyed wool I've ever seen and I found a Christmas gift opportunity so get out the card Patt. This be but a portion of my take.
Spectacular!!!!!! Click here to check them out at

Great workshop too.

This was such an organized workshop... I mean such an organized workshop person in Linda Miller. She had everything under control... I was soooo impressed.
I was kept pretty busy working with individual students so I got only one photo by the end of the day. Check out the Guild Presidents work. Sharon... great CAT! Bet your family is impressed!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day "ONE"derful in Kerrville, Texas

'Home to California in the wee hours from Texas. Wow...just WOW!!! What a beautiful area full of genuine lovely people. I already want to return. So, somebody is going to do this so I'm glad it's me. There for a lecture, workshop and some playing around in spare time.
Check this out, here is my hosted guest house on the property of Brenn and Rick Colson. They drove all the way to San Antonio to pick me up from the airport ( hour+ ) and take great care of me for 3 days. I feel like I've known them forever.
Tough Life! When I told them I was just moving in... I learned at least 6 other locals had the same plan. There's room. We can do it!!!
Monday a.m. coffee on the front deck with the free range cattle checking me out. I've apparently bonded with no. 37. She watched me all morning.
No. 79 stared me down as well, but looked pretty much like 37 so no pic here. Since as a kid in Oklahoma, I lived on a farm with cows, all this seemed perfectly natural.
By mid morning, we were at the Hill Country Quilt Guild ( A++ guild). I can prove it here!;-)

More to come!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Headin' To Texas

Somewhere about an hour out of San Antonio, sits Kerrville Texas and judging by this real estate photo, it's a beautiful place.
Hill Country Quilt guild is my host for a lecture tomorrow and full workshop Tuesday. I guess if I'm going to Texas, I ought take my cowboy quilt shown at the left. 'Off to the airport!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

EAT Dessert First!

My quilter friends arrived, we had a great day.... lunch and family/spouse stories were enjoyed as well. This frozen Margarita pie was a big hit.

I can't wait for peach season as I will give this recipe a try with peaches.
The following is for a 9" pie (ample service for 8)

A Pretzel Crust:
1 cup finely crushed pretzels (I did on an ice crush setting in a blender)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Mix crust ingredients in a bowl. Press mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9 inch pie pan.Bake at 350 degrees F - 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly browned. Let this cool completely!

Margarita Filling:
16 ounces of fresh strawberries, hulled, and quartered.
1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate slightly thawed. ( I used a portion from a 12 ounce can).
2 tablespoons of orange juice OR tequila
2 cups slightly softened vanilla ice cream
In a covered food processor or blender with a 5 cup or more capacity, place strawnberries and process til finely chopped. Add ice cream, tequila or orange juice, and limeade, process to mix well. Spoon or pour mixture into prepared/cooled crust and if needed smooth with back of a spoon. Freeze until firm ( a minimum of 4 hours or even overnight). I used a tempered glass pyrex dish.. it was fine in the freezer.

REMOVE PIE FROM FREEZER 20 minutes before serving, then slice, plate and top with a whipping cream/lime zest garnish. If you used a glass pie pan, let it sit at room temperature for the 20 minutes. Don't try to rush the process by taking it from the freezer and placing in hot water. Tempered glass is pretty strong but can break with extreme temperature changes.

Topping: Whipping Cream ( I used canned ) and lime zest.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Late and Ready all at once

It's maybe a bit late for Spring Cleaning and a Cinco De Mayo celebration, but I have an excuse. I was gone much of April and May and tomorrow I want to use the colorful table linens I purchased last year in Mexico. So I've been deep cleaning inside and outside all week ( who wants to see that.. no I haven't been posting) and I'm now ready ( table set, some food prepared in advance) for meeting and lunch at my studio with members of one of my friendship groups... The Wanabe Quiters. Thank Goodness sunflowers are abundant and beautiful. They adorn my table.
The colorful linens came from "Pancho's" in the heart of Cabo San Lucas. I'll be dining there in less than 2 weeks. Yeah!
I know this doesn't resemble what you'd expect as a studio, but it is nonetheless with the whole back of the place housing my painting/quilting 'stuff.' I full time live in the local mountains in a more cabin-like environment. This studio condo is just 15 minutes down the mountain and sits on the edge of a tennis club so I hear people exercising all the time and it makes me feels good!
I've had these circular paper napkins for some time, and I sort of thought they made interesting 'charger mats' under my clear luncheon plates.
From years of traveling to the same resort in Mexico, I have a legion of painted ceramics, so they will be placed around the room with snacks and well THE snack... chocolate covered raisins from Costco. It took me too many ceramics painted to preplan painting to coordinate with things I already owned.. but better late than never.
Lastly, I have an oversized basket sitting next to my front door in which I place things that need to go elsewhere. In this case, since I'm practicing on my longarm, I've been doing philanthrophy quilting for service groups. This one is ready to go to it's owner tomorrow.
I 'have to get things ready in advance mostly because I go a bit brain-fried when everyone arrives, so maybe people will forgive me if I start out organized.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When The Class Project Isn't YOU!

I recently found myself in a class creating a wool applique of a bird. Wool applique is new to me at least and I didn't immediately get the "BUG" so what to do with the project.
Well, now I must admit I carry a small'piece' of plain felt with me whenever I travel on a plane... it has historically held my 'precut pieces of embroidery floss as I like redwork/bluework...aka embroidery for relaxation during travel. So I decided to "back" this bird with a plain piece of felt that could hold my handwork as well as include a small flap to safely hold all that precut floss.
The end result... a rolled and ready to go project that can fit in my purse or traveling bag.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finishing A Santa Sample

I need to get moving with a large sample of my Santa's Secret Class project. My one large sample was acquired, and though I have some small ones, a large one is needed for class in Houston.... So while people usually paint this guy in a Red or Blue suit.... I'd experimented using Gold and Misty Champagne metallic inks. I liked it, but now to add a background... I think in No. 92 Tsukineko ink... titled Red Delicious... and it is. So here we go with quilt top lightly stretched smooth atop clear plastic protecting the tabletop.
This is one of the times I use Tsukinekos round tip Fantastix applicator (called bullet) to apply a large area like a background. The round tips require little to no nuanced application technique... just dig the color in though I'll give you a tip in a moment. (By the way.... I've placed the ink bottle in view for YOU to see. I NEVER rest an ink bottle atop something I am painting.) Too risky.
To apply ink, the bullet tip is held straight up and down...Just go for it!
Just a by the way here... when I'm doing a background, I often use a cross hatch application approach... a few overlapping parallel strokes one direction, then another direction, then another... all the while overlapping the cross hatched segments . This creates a slightly modeled fill, something I rather like and usually more pleasant to the eye. Any attempts to solidly fill a background, while achievable will take more time and 'might' result in uninteresting streaked patterns. For Santa, I used the cross hatch approach, BUT because Christmas is such a joyous occasion, I curved the strokes in the cross hatch segment... just because it seemed 'happier.'
I 'generally add a second coat of cross hatching after the first dries. This is done in order to address given areas that dry lighter than I want. Heat set with dry iron and we are done painting. All your call anyway. Hope to see you in Houston in November.
Okay, I'm liking Golden Boy St. Nick. It will get brdered and quilted later I'm afraid. I'll share photos when I can get that on the to do now list.
UPDATE: DUH.... I'm a terrible marketer. I do have this pattern and follow along step by step photo/text guide available if you contact me.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Packing and Shipping...Oh Joy!

Yes.. I know this is that exciting because it isn't thrilling to me either. I spent much of the last 2 days putting a variety of kits for varied painting with ink images for a guild I will visit out of state in 2 weeks. The prep and follow-up work for traveling/teaching is beyond what one might imagine so one must really love to teach (I DO!) to put in the time doing inventory, ordering, stocking, printing drawings/handouts/photo references, packaging, shipping etc etc.

I'll start working on a larger "Santa's Secret" class sample for Houston IQA today.(see Patts Newest Workshops link on the left) I'll be teaching that as a 'get ready for the holidays class in November.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thanks For The Memories...Well Sort Of!

The first night of my May Painted Quilt Art Retreat, we had a first ever paramedics event when student Skip Heller tangled with a chair leg, lost the fight, and fell to hit the floor resulting in stitches to the head and an injured tail bone. Skip took this in stride even though the rest of us were frantic goofs. Skip and I spent most of the night in the Inland Valley ER where at least they had a cute/funny doctor to make the night a bit easier to deal with.

Since moments before THE FALL, I had done a quick portrait demo from an earlier photo of Skip, we decided to sign the sample for her as we are sure she will want to remember this night for all time. Well...maybe not! Think she might leave this on her design wall???

Canal Running For Profit

A 30 hour travel home from a time zone 9 hours away... well... I'm not returning to human as fast as I'd like... but I'm at least sleeping more than 3 hours at a time now... so I'm on the mend. As always a ton of to do items following extended time away... so quilting will get back on the agenda soon ( i'll have some photos of upcoming project stuff soon. ) I thought I'd at least share a fascinating ( to me at least) story from last week of a young 'entrepeneur' in St Petersburg. We were taking a boat canal cruise thru the city. St Petersburg is mostly below sea level and founder Peter the Great planned canals throughout the city hopeing to create a legion of sailing enthusiasts. Beautiful, eh?
We suddenly saw a handsome school age boy running along the canal toward the bridges that periodically cross over the canal.
He ran to precede our arrival at a crossover bridge, wave and blow kisses looking for coins tossed to him ( some he would catch while others failed to reach him).
He kept this running race up for over 30 minutes easily outrunning a motor boat. Such stamina. We later heard he does this routinely. He raced back to our point of disembarkation and received substantial rewards for his efforts. I fantasize that someday I might learn of a young man distance running in the Olympics and telling his story of how be became a runner in St Petersburg.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I left the country

Okay... I've been gone a bit... to cruise the Baltic and see the world ( at least part of it...Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Germany, Russia, Finland, Sweden). I promise NOT to post MY vacation but will post a few things I think perhaps of interest. The MOST opulent thing seen was in St Pertersburg where Peter the Great had his summer home(?) palace Peterhoff. His goal was to create his own heaven on earth. There was so much gold , etc here.. it's no wonder there was a revolt by the have-nots.
The quilters connection... ongoing design inspiration in floors and wall decorations.
.. this is a wood floor of one room of the palace

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fair Haired Boy

Student Corky Blanco is taking on a big challenge in painting a fair skinned child in bright sunlight. It's coming though!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

new Favorite Things

Darlene Garsecki tackled an interpretation of her own rose photo. As you'll see, she did a beautiful job.
The tiny speckles were achieved using a rubbing plate.

Background yet to come but I know it will be exquisite.