Monday, February 28, 2011

Last pictures of Koi its home at last!

 My daughter, Hannah, in her home with the new quilt!  I couldn't get the flash to work properly.  I think she likes it very much.  She was a bit worried about all the color...later, after I started it, she said she was thinking she should have asked for a more neutral colored quilt.  She was worried her fiance doesn't like too much color.  But he is ok with it...and I have been trying to tell Hannah to get some pillows and a throw  to tie it all in. (I watch too much HGTV...I was saying we need a "pop" of color to tie it in.) :) I said I would buy her some pillows and etc...but she said NO....I will buy it IF I want  to...she definitely does not want me decorating her home for her!...Its too bad...just because I love doing it...and it would be fun for me...but I cant over step my boundaries.  AHHH...motherhood. I think about my own mother and how she lived to decorate her home...and thinking back-she never over stepped her boundaries with my home even when I was really young.  I never even remember her making suggestions which is kind of odd...but I , too, always had very specific ideas and loved to decorate.  I never had any I have always did what I could with thrift store, garage sale and estate sale finds as well as hand me downs.  To this day, I enjoy decorating this gives it an eclectic and interesting look besides the fact that it keeps it affordable!
My engaged moves way too fast sometimes!  We had fun when I was there looking at the computer at places to have her wedding and looking at a Bride's Dress magazine.  She is thinking about going to Jamaica for her wedding so I really have something to try to lose weight for so I can get in my suit without crying!  I have been working out for a couple months now pretty intensely.  I have been frustrated with the lack of weight loss... although my pants have fit a bit better I certainly dont need to buy all new clothes by any means!  Finally after a little over 2 months I finally lost 5 lbs.  I am hoping that because I worked so hard to get that will be likely to remain off instead of a daily roller coaster.  I figure I had like 44 lbs to lose!  So now I have seems insurmountable!  At just seems to be so hard.  Ahh...well, I know I am not alone...seems just about every woman I know is trying to lose weight all the time.  I really try not too talk about it all the time.  But actually I am so proud that I have been working out.  I feel so much wise and I do think I notice that my body looks better...I love Anytime Fitness Gym and I go there for 1.5 hours about 3-5 days a week and then on Sundays my husband and I swim laps at the local high school for 45 min to an hour.  It feels good.  I have been bad for the last 3 years when I started my art gallery.  Starting a business does not allow one much time to do anything but the business while it is so young.  Well, enough about weight.  But I am proud of myself for trying so hard.  I feel good about moving and exercising again.  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Party 2011

 Making ice cream at our Winter Party

 Cooking fried eggplant --a tradition!  It melts in your mouth-YUMMM
 Tim, my husband, and I
 Still working on that ice cream!

 Tim donned a "dreadlocks" wig that was floating around all day...I had it on later in the day!  Goofy I know!
Me, on the right, and my oldest friend in the world Debbie.  We have been friends since Kindergarten- 5 years old!  I am not going to say how long that makes our friendship as I would be giving away our age!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

New book I am reading...

I would love to hear how others of you like or dislike this book.  I am thinking it would be a good book club choice for our book club.  She kind of drops out of corporate life...and goes much simpler and quieter basically  in the same vane as Eat Love Pray....quite drastic but she doesn't travel the world to find herself so I am thinking that some of the thoughts here are more "usable" for the average Joe to incorporate into our lives.  Like I said, I would love to hear what you think.  (Sorry you cant click to Look inside!__You can go to Amazon books to do that>)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dr Seuss knew what he was taking about!

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss

I just ordered this fabric.  My sister want me to make her a quilt and so far all she said was she thought she wanted fall colors...I fell in love with this so I had have it.  I cant wait to start...but it will have to wait.  I have 2 quilts in the makings all ready.  It will be for her birthday in August anyway so I have some time..Isnt it a glorious batik?!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Listen to this broadcast

I plan on getting the book so I can underline and highlight and write all over it!  Such an important message for us all.  This is one of the challenges that I face daily and as an artist ....with every piece I create!  Enjoy the radio show...Tapestry is a wonderful site to listen to all kinds of positive messages...

Done with Koi Pond Quilt!

 I have finished my Koi Pond Quilt!  I think I have worked harder on this quilt than anything than any artwork I have ever made!  There are probably 200 hours or so of work--literally blood (poking myself from pins) sweat and tears in this quilt!  It is for my daughter Hannah.  I am proud of how it turned out...its not perfect but its mine.. I made it ...and I love it!  There are thousands and thousands of stitches in this piece.  I told Hannah if /when I die...all you have to do is rub your hands across the quilt and she should feel my love come through in the stitches.  I said a prayer of this quilt so she would always feel my presence and love through this quilt.  Its color and movement and energy reflects how I feel about life.
I have not clipped the loose end threads last thing to do...take care of loose ends---HOW FITTING! 
"Koi Pond Joy"  Laura Bradley 2011                                                                                  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Drapes? And Engagement News!!!

I am thinking about getting these drapes for my dining room...but I am just not sure.  What do you think?  Its called Tree of  I love them..but the mustard gold is a little odd ...maybe absolutely perfect...or not...I guess I could always send them back.  I was thinking of painting my wall a teal to go with these drapes.  I will post pictures if I get them...I dont have any money for them right yet!  I will be patient...but they are on sale right now from World Market. 
Oh, and my daughter is engaged!  Drapes first, engagement second??!!  No, she is so funny about me sharing info about her online.  I had to wait to make sure she told everyone she knew first before I posted it on facebook....So,  I guess its safe now to tell my blogging friends.  I keep pinching I dreaming.  I cant believe my first baby girl Hannah is getting married!!  It kind of makes one feel old I guess...I knew it was coming though...I saw the signs...but still I am in a happy shock!  How life changes huh??!!   A new chapter in our lives!  Every 1/2 hour or so...I stop in my tracks and say to baby is getting married!???  My youngest daughter keeps saying"I thought I was your baby?" (she is the youngest) But I tell her...Hannah was my first baby...and by the way..all 3 of you will FOREVER be my babies!

A Prayer for my Daughter

William Butler Yeats

Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle
But Gregory's wood and one bare hill
Whereby the haystack- and roof-levelling wind,
Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed;
And for an hour I have walked and prayed
Because of the great gloom that is in my mind.

I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come,
Dancing to a frenzied drum,
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.

May she be granted beauty and yet not
Beauty to make a stranger's eye distraught,
Or hers before a looking-glass, for such,
Being made beautiful overmuch,
Consider beauty a sufficient end,
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.

Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet chose a bandy-leggd smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

In courtesy I'd have her chiefly learned;
Hearts are not had as a gift but hearts are earned
By those that are not entirely beautiful;
Yet many, that have played the fool
For beauty's very self, has charm made wise,
And many a poor man that has roved,
Loved and thought himself beloved,
From a glad kindness cannot take his eyes.

May she become a flourishing hidden tree
That all her thoughts may like the linnet be,
And have no business but dispensing round
Their magnanimities of sound,
Nor but in merriment begin a chase,
Nor but in merriment a quarrel.
O may she live like some green laurel
Rooted in one dear perpetual place.

My mind, because the minds that I have loved,
The sort of beauty that I have approved,
Prosper but little, has dried up of late,
Yet knows that to be choked with hate
May well be of all evil chances chief.
If there's no hatred in a mind
Assault and battery of the wind
Can never tear the linnet from the leaf.

An intellectual hatred is the worst,
So let her think opinions are accursed.
Have I not seen the loveliest woman born
Out of the mouth of Plenty's horn,
Because of her opinionated mind
Barter that horn and every good
By quiet natures understood
For an old bellows full of angry wind?

Considering that, all hatred driven hence,
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting,
Self-appeasing, self-affrighting,
And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still.

And may her bridegroom bring her to a house
Where all's accustomed, ceremonious;
For arrogance and hatred are the wares
Peddled in the thoroughfares.
How but in custom and in ceremony
Are innocence and beauty born?
Ceremony's a name for the rich horn,
And custom for the spreading laurel tree.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An idea for rug hooking

I have been so busy quilting but I would like to also get back to hooking.  I want to make a cover for a footstool, my tote bag that I have a pattern for and possibly some of these belts.  Arent they a neat idea for rug hookers?  These can be ordered by the catalog (to give the source credit).  Acacia is an awesome catalog company...beautiful and unique items and I encourage you to shop the store!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays.  I hope you all have a nice day and evening with your loved ones!  Tim and I are going out to eat tonight.  What are you all doing?  Please comment--also love to know the little things people do to make the day special....I always put "I Love You" on the mirror in lipstick! (Things like that!).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thinking ahead for my sewing room

This is from IKEA...Its only 129...and you can add components of 4 at 35.00 a piece as well...not bad..I am going to take the closet doors off and put this in the closet for my fabrics.  I know...I have 6 months before my son moves out of his room....and yes, I still am feeling so sad about this...I am sort of worried that I will sit in this room and just cry instead of quilt. ( But, it isnt the room he grew up in...we have only lived here about 1.5 at least I dont have the memories associated with growing up in this room.)  I am just so tired of the mess in my dining room which is RIGHT when you walk in the front door...we have no entryway.  I dont want to spend too much on this new quilting room because I am not sure we are going to stay in this house.  I am frustrated because I want to move somewhere warmer for US>......but then again, in a couple years I could have a grandchild...and do I want to move away from grandchilren and have them hardly know me?  Or do we just move and have new adventures and see the grandchildren when we do?  Seems odd I am so old...when some of my friends had their children later in life.  I have friends who have 4 year olds!  UGHHH...I am glad that I had my kids young.  Although I still sort of have baby fever...I wonder if that ever goes away?  Probably when I hold my first grand child!  This whole life changing thing is scary and sort of sad....I am trying to make this new chapter in my life an adventure and think of it as exciting and the changes freeing and new!  Yet, all I have ever known it seems is being a mom with children home and the whole family life thing...I realize the billions of women are in my same boat and always have been..all these rights of passages that we are all following just like the moon tides...and yet we all feel unique to it somehow.  Its personal.  How can it not be personal?  I am having trouble with these life changes and not sure how I fit into these new nooks and crannies that seem oddly new...How did I miss that corner?  I was too busy before....look at all the dust.  Life slows and yet lots of things are new and exciting...I have many women to look up to and aspire to be like...those that find new meaning and new adventures later in life.  We dont really grow old until we stop learning and "growing".  I have many things I want to do yet!!....Many adventures I want to have.  I still have dreams.  Yet, when I speak to my family about these daughter especially, says...but what about your grandchildren and being here for them?!  I feel like I am just supposed to stop in my tracks and be there for everybody...slow down to a near crawl and grow OLD!  I do feel the importance of being here for my future grand children...I WANT to be present and I think being a Grandma will be awesome and beautiful!  I am trying to figure out this balance I feel one must have with oneself.  Being adventurous still....and growing older and quieter with the new family life of being a grandparent.  Tim and I have often thought of moving to Italy to live for 1/2 the year in a couple years when our "baby" graduates. 

We have friends that were interested in buying a home together and splitting the time in it...sort of a time share deal only we would each own it together.   Ive spent countless hours dreaming about this.  But then do we want to be so far from family?...Do we want to be away from American healthcare when we are we want to be somewhere we dont speak the language yet.*how easy is it to learn a whole new language when you are older?....etc...etc...Would we be isolated?  It seems all the older people I know including my own parents begin to really love the comfort of home as they age...the security of knowing everyone and everything around you...home...your church ..your store...your neighbors...these things seems to be comforting to almost all older people I know...would we be making it hard on ourselves or having an adventure?  So, most time I think we will just visit ...then come HOME and keep the nest a nest....a nest for the someday grandchildren....a nest for my children to come HOME to and visit mom and should be so lucky right?

Its called Travel ,Laura, right??!  Its also called buying a home right here at home where I have room( and things) for all that I want right here at art studio, a fireplace, a better yard/acreage with lots more trees and landscaping and privacy...everything on one floor--no more steps...and then hunker down and keep the nest a nest for my family.  So much I think about.  One of the reasons I love following other peoples blogs is that it is a glimpse into other's lives that gives me ideas and new ways of thinking about things...and I realized that I am not alone...and we all have so much in common..(at least with the people that I follow their blogs!).  Peace,    sorry I am totally rambling!  TOTALLY.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is why I love to blog

 Some of my family members and friends wonder why I blog...I came across this today and it is a perfect answer!

There are are four stages for enjoying a happy event:
-- anticipation (looking forward to it)
-- savoring (enjoying it in the moment – remember to turn off your cell phone!)
-- expression (sharing your pleasure with others, to heighten your experience)
-- reflection (looking back on happy times – which is why it may be a good idea to take pictures, keep a one-sentence journal, collect mementos, etc.) OR BLOGGING!!

"Still Life with a Cup of Tea" almost done!

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say “I used everything you gave me.”
Erma Bombeck

All done except the border (shown right above laid across the quilt...the green and black and red stripes...(It will go perfectly....and I got a huge amount of this fabric-Ralph Lauren fabric for 75 cents at the thift store!! hehe-yea!!)  So, besides the border and the quilting on the top...which will add some dimension and delineation to the quilt, I am done!  I had fun making this impressionistic quilt...nothing had to be perfect...the plates and the pot and saucer etc...are not perfect...and that adds to the feeling and creates the right mood...I didnt want type of quilting!!  Its very happy and colorful.  I am keeping this one...It may end up in my kitchen.  It makes me happy looking at it.  I have to work on the koi pond quilt for my daughter now today and try to finish it in the over the weekend as it is supposed to be a Valentines gift.  I did not have my free motion foot was stuck at my sewing machine fix it guys house...finally I got it and then this morning I realized my naughty kitty had played with it and carried it off somewhere in my house! (my fault--I shouldnt have had it sitting on my machine)...who know it was the perfect kitty toy...I have to go searching now.. We have shortened his name to from Dennis to now....Menace.  We just call him Menace.  Perfect name for him.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts Blog: Get Stitchin' with a Giveaway

Here is a link to a giveaway you may be interested in!  Also, I have decided that when I hit 100 members on my blog..(if I ever do)...I will start doing a seems like a lot of fun!  

Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts Blog: Get Stitchin' with a Giveaway: "Hi everyone! It's midweek and if you are like me you are already looking forward to the weekend! :-) I hope to get some QT..."

 This looks like a great publication...I plan on getting this.  The subscription is really expensive for the if you can afford it...fine...but I may just each one as I am looks awesome and inspiring...I dont have a studio space yet...someday I will get the mess out of my dining room...I am feeling mixed up...I dont want my son to go off to college..I will miss him greatly and cry a lot...however, I want his bedroom for a studio space...very mixed up feelings...My baby boy :(...My second child to move from home and then I have just one more child who has 2 years --then I am an empty nester.......there is never as sure a thing as just keeps on movin on!  My excitement about having a studio space is saving me -kind of- from falling completely apart over "losing" my baby boy (whos already 18) to college life. 

A Valentines Recipe

Havent put in a recipe for awhile....heres a nice easy one that is sort of glamorous for Valentines Day! Enjoy

Chocolate-Raspberry Hearts

Flaky Crescents wrap around a chocolate-hazelnut filling in a love-ly heart-shaped dessert.
can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
tablespoons dark chocolate chips
egg, beaten
tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.
  • 2Unroll dough sheet; cut into 8 squares. Place squares on cookie sheet.
  • 3Spoon 2 teaspoons of the chocolate-hazelnut spread onto 1 side of each square. Top each with 3 raspberries and 4 chocolate chips. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Form each into heart shape as shown by pressing indentation in center to form top of heart while rounding sides of heart with hands. Brush with egg.
  • 4Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until hearts are golden brown.
  • 5In small microwavable bowl, mix remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread and remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate chips. Microwave uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon into resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag; cut off tiny corner of bag. Sprinkle hearts with powdered sugar. Squeeze bag to drizzle each with chocolate mixture.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A cup of Tea Still Life....on its way!

While awaiting a piece of my sewing machine that got "stuck" at my sewing machine "fix it guy's" house...I thought I would start cutting out my new quilt.  It's in quite the disarray right now...but it is coming along...I am having a lot of fun with this one..lots of texture and color...nothing is an impressionistic its fun! 

I love Junk Gypsy!!! Turn down the music on the right to give a listen!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I am at a standstill in snowy Wisconsin!

I just ordered this extension table from Sears.  (Not cheap!)  When I was at the retreat I borrowed one from someone there and I found that I dont think I can sew without one now.  So....I am waiting till it comes ...supposedly on the 8th or around there.  I am taking a break from actual sewing and doing other design things till then...trying to figure out what I want to do with my new striped fabric.  I am thinking of using the traditional piecing on this one!  Can you believe it??!  I never thought I would say that...but it needs to be done that way to look good...I think. I am more scared to do this than my fusing it requires more perfection..and formal-ness..and will have very little machine quilting on it.  I dont want to take away from the stripes movement...I may just quilt in the ditch.  (attached is the picture of my striped fabric again)..but I am going to try! And I will be playing around with my still life pattern..which will be a total fusing project and machine stitching as usual....but right now I have kind of lost my MOJO...a bit!  Its so snowy too!!...too bad...I could be sewing away..what a perfect time to quilt!....but I think I am going to read now....and thats ok too!
 I have decided to combine this fabric with lots of black.....somehow.. I have this nice black imperfect linen that will be great with it.