Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

I just wanted to gift you all with 2 lovely things that I saw yesterday...
Things that every one should experience this holiday
You can thank me later-- I know you will!
I hope that you loved and were loved this day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

monday mosaic-- loveliness!

1. festive, 2., 3. santas, 4. little pine, 5. {sparkling}, 6. Untitled, 7. Christmas Mug rug recieved!, 8. Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Baby Shoes, 9. Cup O' Cheer!, 10. Christmas Mug Rug Swap - front, 11. 553-556 sally jo, 12. Festive Felt Trees, 13. 6.365 (notes to myself), 14. IMG_3624, 15. AAAaaagh!, 16. Happy Holiday, 17. Peppermint Trees, 18. Brenda's Stars, 19. spring green recycled wool sweater wreath, 20. an ansel adams kind of morning, 21. unwavering, 22. the wrapping cloth, 23. Scrappy Mug Rug Swap - for Dawn, guiltyquilter, 24. snow!, 25. Three toadstools

Sometimes I just need a little brightening on my computer... I thought I would share what I found today. Thank you all you talented people on Flickr-- thanks for sharing some cheer with me this day! If you want to make your own, go here.

Back to the workshop.... tinker, tinker

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011 10:13AM

"I have been serving them in bowls so that the syrup doesn't flood."

Who would have known?!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 7, 2011 5:57PM

Crossed legs

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Naughty and Nice...

*Little silver tinsel tree from Goodwill for $3
*Yarn from Black Sheep Gathering, knit in to a Good-luck Cowl
*Hats knit for all kids in 3 days AND they are adored (hats by kids, kids by me) from here
*All knitting yarn pulled from stash (so it was free, right?)

At&t-- and that is all I want to say about that... grrrrrrr.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

There more but... isn't that always how it is?!

This week has passed in a blur. It is the last week of school for us before the BIG VACAY!! Big Daddy has been traveling an ridiculous amount---- and

--- Yup, that was me taking a sigh break. I can't believe it, but yesterday in the hallway AT school, I said to a few other moms that I didn't really care for the new therapist I have been seeing. BUT, I think that I am going to keep seeing her, BECAUSE it forces me to find help for my kids and be "not mom" for ONE WHOLE HOUR A WEEK! We all laughed. They did, because it was AWKWARD (and a bit identifiable) and me because, once again the old MOUTH was moving light years faster than my SOCIAL filters. The rest of the afternoon was just a free-for-all because Big Daddy was FINALLY coming home and I was pondering what I had realized...

Having my youngest turning 2 has been kind of an underground weirdness... at this point with the boys I was already planning my next pregnancy. There aren't going to be any more, so the paradigm shifts and I am floating out here in uncharted waters. I am seeing that there is going to be a day (sooner than I think) that I am going to be "not mom" for hours at a time. What is that going to mean for me? Do I really think that I am going to fill that time cleaning and doing housework?!! What is the next phase? I think THAT is the fetus I am gestating now... (I just wanted to write fetus)

Frida--- I have been thinking a lot about Frida these days. The colors she used, the dark and light aspects of her art, the intimacy of her self portraits-- I just want to know more. Is there anything that you just want to know more of? Curiosity is a comfort.

So-- I bet you all have been sleeping restlessly, tossing and turning, wondering WHO won the STITCH Gifts 2011 magazine. The random number generator picked #4 and that was a lovely lady named Hilda. We have been in touch and it is winging its way to her house. I was so surprised to see all the new people who commented. It was like THIS year there are an entire DIFFERENT 9 people reading this blog. You poor people, it has been a rather rough year. I am really sooooo much different when the whole Cancer-thing is not a part of everyday life. It has been nice to have a place to put some of those feelings, a safe place, with nice people. Isn't that all any of us want?

I may be back this week with something lighter... I did find a AWESOME silver tinsel tree for $3 and it has been cheering me up as the Willamette Valley has moved in to the damp freeze zone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We are almost at 400!! Give-away time!!

Hey there-- I am busy sewing a Xmas quilt top that I started over a decade ago... yes, for some reason I got bogged down with making it PERFECT, instead of just MAKING IT! Thanksgiving was hard for me this year, so after the family trekked to Grandma and Grandpa's for the PRE-MEAL festivities I stayed in and pulled out something to work on. I got out all of the Christmas fabrics that I have been collecting and somehow the last time I worked on this quilt I packed up all the parts in a bag and set it on top. What I found on Thanksgiving, looked OK to me (not totally ugly, but I didn't have to think too much), I am adding some sashing and some borders and by the end of the week I should have a QUITE large finished top! I had already given up on this project a few times, it's a Christmas miracle!

Because I like to get others in a celebrating mood as well, I am giving away the "STITCH GIFTS 2011" magazine. Why? Because I like to give people more reasons to craft a holiday surprise or gift-- and also I love to toot my own horn! See below...
That sweet little Elf Baby was hatched in my craft room earlier this year. The folks at STITCH did a beautiful job with the project pictures and also put him in the table of contents!! So exciting!

If you would like to get one of my extra copies of "STITCH GIFTS 2011" please leave a comment about your favorite things to do for the holidays by Monday December 5 @ high noon PST. We will draw a name and I will drop the LOVELY magazine in the mail that afternoon after I get the boys from school. (I am partial to my Elf Baby, but this issue is LOADED with beautiful projects. I liked how they picked some that would take a half hour and some that would take a little longer-- a really fun bunch!)

I hope you are all getting cozy and crafty-- I have been knitting a simple lace cowl and fashioned some doll pants for Mango's bare bottomed baby. Handwork soothes and brightens!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A smug Mango, but she can see!

This little one has been going "rogue" lately... ripping clips out, running around like a feral pony. Yes, I can officially say that we have reached 2. Neither of her brothers had a large "attitude" change at two-- it was more noticeable at 3. This little lovely has decided that she has an opinion about EVERYTHING and that it is going to be KNOWN! OH DIOS MIO!
She did sit still enough for me to give her a little eye window. So now when she is screaming at me she won't have to pick ALL of her hair out of her mouth. Little things... little things.
There also has been sewing!! I am happy to report that I am almost done with my free-pieced study. I have the best partner. She was the first one finished and then has been so understanding about my tardiness. Little things... Little things. I am gearing up to start this group in January... it is full of REALLY talented people and I know that it is going to make me reach for next handhold in my creative life. I am so happy I was invited to participate. Also Hoop-up is getting going again in January...

Mango is getting bigger and I am needing some outlets for my grief and creativity. Looking into 2012... I am going to continue to try and stretch the ol' creative muscles-- get some projects finished, new things written up. It has just got to happen, I feel like it is time. Forward motion is just a matter of suckin' up the fear and sadness and getting some stuff done... right?! Hmmm, time will tell.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Caught between two seasons...

I feel like it should still be summer, but here I am, firmly planted between harvest season and winter. I do like what I have been finding on Flickr. I may not be making much right now, but my eyes are happy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

My mom was an Artist... Memorial Show 11-12-11

This is only the smallest sampling. My mom, Amira, created art seriously (the work was a serious endeavour, but the content was not always.) for over 4 decades. Her entire house was her studio-- stacks of painting, every surface was covered with sculpture, she was more prolific than I knew. My mom always wanted to show her work, but then she was always immersed in making more, so where was the time to do it all? Her wish was that her art not be thrown away-- I could never do that, but isn't that any Maker's greatest fear? Her dear friends organized this show and these pieces and more were released in to the world. People were so happy to take a piece home.
It was overwhelming to me.

I grew up and lived with all of this "art-making" my entire life, and it all seemed so pedestrian (in a way) to me -- didn't all of your moms collect everything for their projects? Didn't they paint doll heads blue? Didn't your moms save spent firework papers to be fashioned into wings for a Japanese-inspired Kachina doll? and maybe not one, but 15 creations? Your mom didn't carve EVERY mango skin from EVERY mango she ate into a face? Your mom didn't dry those faces on the dashboard of her Datsun?

Now that she is gone-- it is hitting me how unique her view of the world was and how she reacted to it-- How THAT has shaped me and how I make things. I wonder what the future will bring me. She really "dialed it up to 11" and that is why things seem so "quiet" in my life now. Things just seem beige where they used to be an electric blue pastel.

I have to say that we didn't even show the best stuff-- it is stashed away for now, waiting for some breathing space for me and my family.

Still breathing

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Blurry focus...

This post started just as a way to move myself forward. Forward to where, I am not quite sure, but forward. I looked for pictures to post for today on my laptop... and realized that I have been uploading the new ones to the new mac mini. That means the pictures on this computer are all pictures of before. Before, before before...

So much has happened in the last two months. I feel like I have lived a lifetime. The sweetness, the bitterness, the laughter, and the tears-- there has been so many of each that it baffles me that I am not just lying on the floor dehydrated and rocking in a fetal curl.
Looking back, memory all seems fuzzy, but the feeling is sharp. Some days it is a sun shining in my face (there is a chill in the air) and my sister says to me "Jessi, doesn't feel like we are in Maui?!" Then we walk through the sunlight to the car and make our way to the church to set up our mom's memorial. Other days it is a labor to shower and dress and then all I want to do is climb in to the DVD world of Mango's 9/5/11 birthday. The boys talked my mom in to be the "singer" for a game of musical chairs. I missed the game because I was inside cooking, but in the movie, my mom is just outside the field of view singing the theme songs to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and the "Emperor's March from Star Wars" as the boys laugh and skip around the chairs. I know you all are wondering... the game was a tie.

My mom was so worried that these kids would not remember her because they are so young. How could you forget someone who sings a Star Wars theme song for musical chairs? How? I just want to crawl into the screen and lay my head on her good shoulder, to pat her fuzzy hair. I want to laugh with them and feel the heat of that September evening.

Coming back to the computer today was prompted by this post. Thank you Soulemama. This was my 10 minutes today. I don't know that feel better as writing, for me, sets me in the middle of the muddle that is my self right now. But the effort is worth something and it is a move forward.

Friday, October 14, 2011

All there is, is Love...

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done. 
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. 
There's nothing you can make that can't be made. 
No one you can save that can't be saved. 
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time - It's easy.  
All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. 
There's nothing you can know that isn't known. 
Nothing you can see that isn't shown. 
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be. It's easy. 
All you need is love, all you need is love, All you need is love, love, love is all you need. 
All you need is love (all together now) 
All you need is love (everybody) 
All you need is love, love, love is all you need. 
Amira Sue-Lin Simons
Truth teller, Giver of Love, Creator, Free Spirit
Mommy, Mother, Grandmanu
Her passing leaves a vacuum in my life.
I love her, she is free.
June 4, 1951- October 12, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coburg, Oregon 9-11-11 5:30am-10am--- Annual treasure hunt

I love pictures that evoke and idea or a memory for me. These inspire color combinations, quilt block ideas, and just funny juxtaposition of things. They make me smile and remember what a great time I had at the Coburg Antique Fair with 2 awesome sisters. That they are nice enough to hang out with me and shop and laugh and in the early morning hours is so great!. I did buy 2 quilt tops... I had too. Maybe we can have a future quilt show of all of the old tops that I simply had to rescue from the rag pile. I am a such sucker.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

You said the "Word of the Day!"

So glad I have a friend to share a bit of "ham" and Pee-wee with!
More from the Coburg Antique Fair shortly!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The little bear with embryo hands...

Some one is not very happy that their quilt was sent away... but he still kept knitting and knitting and knitting.
This little project (Doll Quilt Swap #11) is finally done, finally sent, and finally received. What a relief! It is very small, I think only about 14"x 11". I spent so much time agonizing over how to quilt it, and if I even had the skillz to make a tiny quilt, but by the end I really enjoyed the process of making it "just right". Now if I could just find the picture of the little beauty that I received... at least it is a 3 day weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fullness of life :)

My mom had surgery for a really yucky infection in her original tumor site this morning. She made it through and I just wanted to post some pretty pictures. I love that people are so generous with their lives on Flickr. They post pretty things that either spark me creatively, emotionally, or just give my eyes a little joyride.

I love making mosaics... and then sitting and looking at them when I need a little pick me up. I appreciate all of your thoughts and comments the past months, and acknowledge that my responses have been spotty at best. Every one of them I have read and taken some comfort from. Between Cancer, infections, planning trips to Hawaii, and those three gorgeous and ACTIVE kids of mine--- time is FULL. Life is very full. I was looking across the room the other day at Big Daddy and just thinking that I am glad that when there is an ebb in the fullness of life right now, we will still have each other. We still will have laughter, a messy house, and love. Maybe I don't like the messy house, but it comes with the other two SO I WILL TAKE IT!

I just want to get to September and take my mom to Hawaii. I really do.

I am thankful right now for a resilient spirit. At this moment I know that I will not be given more than I can handle, but that it takes me a moment to find my legs to stand. I know that I am able to laugh and cry-- sometimes simultaneously... and then go and fold some laundry so that we can all have clean clothes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Working small... perhaps for the LAST time!

This little quilty has been making me work and work. It is leaving tomorrow for my DQS#11 partner-- are they stateside or are they cross the sea-- you won't know until they get it! I have to say that it is looking pretty sweet right now (after I finished the quilting and binding.) Man, if I put the energy in to one of my regular size quilts that I put in to this one--- maybe I need to do just that and hang up the swap hat for a while and make some human size quilts.

If you want to check up on the other stuff I have been up to this week-- Yup, we had a flash mob quilt show. It was pretty fun. I'd do it again. You should stage one too.

Monday, August 08, 2011

a little sand, a little sun, a little fun...

We are at the beach for a bit of fun. Big Daddy's cousins came out from the Midwest for their first taste of the Pacific. Thank you Oregon coast gods for giving us such a beautiful day yesterday! Man, kids sure do like sand. I also had forgotten the joy of flying a kite.

I needed that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something started...

The children are all in their beds (Please let them be asleep!) Big Daddy will be returning from Israel in only 3 more sleeps (I can't wait!) and I have almost made it through THIS day.
My sisters and I all journeyed to the oncologist office today with our mom. Journeyed, because we knew what was going to be told to us and it was a long way to go.
From here to there,
from October until today...
from diagnosis to where we are now.

It feels like another life ago, October 2010, an easier time--- maybe without the technicolor of the good times right now, but definitely without the depth of sorrow that these days hold. My mom has a very rare and freak type of cancer that is not being affected by any of the chemicals they are pumping in to her body. It keeps growing and spreading. It has grown through her chemotherapy AND her radiation treatments. It is in her lungs now and the doctor's words today were "Best case scenario is a year, and that is for 10% of patients". THUD

October feels like another life ago. I look to the future and don't really know how this is all going to settle out. I just realized in that office today that there are no guarantees--- we can look out a week, and then when we get there, we can look out another week, that is it. She seems not too bad right now. She has a cute, curly, short hair-do and a tan, but she is soooo tired and her left arm and hand are numb. I have to help her buckle her seatbelt and adjust her pants' waistband for her. How bad is it going to get? How fast is it going to be? Will she be this way for a longer time or shorter time? There is no formula for me to apply to this problem, no pattern, I can figure out and then adjust to. Rationally, I am there, I get it. Emotionally, it is my mom's existence that we are talking about and I am NOT there yet.

So I started my summer series sampler this week-- Each block has very specific parameters, cutting instructions, clear tutorials--- My only job is to cut my favorite fabrics and sew them back together. To start something, make something new from pieces-- that is about all I can handle right now.

I appreciate your prayers for her. My mom's name is Amira.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

14 years... 14 years and 3 kids later!

Cake... this year we did it up right and got us a nice little cake.
The kids loved it and we did too (we are only twitching a tiny bit from the sugar onslaught.) But yes, we have made it through 14 years of marriage, not too shabby. This year I believe we dubbed the "Year of Survival", mostly due to the trials of work, cancer, and three crazy kids. That is OK, that is good-- better the year of survival than the "Year of going down in flames". I am so thankful that I have such a good man to go through this life with. That we can look at each other as child after child comes down with "the worst flu EVER" and laugh and pray that we don't get it too-- and then just be thankful that only one of us was sick at a time. That there is still enough in our partnership to get us through those emotionally bare times-- when one person yields, even if they don't want to. I know that every morning I will wake up and look at the morning hair of my kids' Daddy--- what a fabulous Daddy he is-- and that I will wake and look at the face of my very best friend.

Thanks for always seeing the very best in me! Happy Anniversary-- I will still love you when we are older and grayer. You are the one for me. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Current incarnation...

My humble contribution to the EMQG Solids Challenge. I say humble, not because of the way I feel about MY quilt, but because there is SO much talent in this group of quilters, so much, and many of them don't even know it. (that is right guys, you are FANTASTIC!) I was sewing and sewing these eggy-ovals the week that I was in Bend, hand applique does take longer than I remembered-- BUT it gets faster the more that you do! Katie challenged me to finish it by our next meeting, I am thinking that is doable-- GO, GO GADGET!

There is another Sisters' Quilt Show post here... and man, there will be more.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 10, 2011

The rain (YES, there is rain here in Oregon!) (come on sky! It is July... oh well, at least I don't have to water the garden and my lettuce is still tender and delicious.) this weekend is making me think of last week.... hmmmmmm

A picture of us all and my attempts at capturing the kids.... I had to just be thankful that no one fell off the mountain and that I did not have a heart attack because the was little to no railing around this summit. We had a fun day and I didn't faint. Good times!


Saturday, July 09, 2011

I am still thinking about this...

I am still thinking about this quilt... the swirl in the circle, all those autumn-y browns and oranges, the fussy cutting. This may not be a quilt I could make, but I think that I am in love.
Thanks Kathy for showing me.
The bare beginnings of the Sisters' pics are here.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Virtual quilt buddies... the reality...

What a fun day! Our real names maybe Kristin, Tonya, and Jessica.... but we like to go by Stitchin' Hands, Lazy Gal, and jmbmommy (this of course is me, so I am not going to link you, you are already here.) We started quilting together about 4 years ago online. I have been so inspired by each of these women and I have grown as a quilter because of these women. I am so happy that we all were in the same place at the same time, it is about time.

If you see any of on the streets of Sisters tomorrow. Please say "Hi", tell us if you prefer chocolate treats or lemon iced cupcakes and explain to us EITHER your favorite Dr (Dr. Who.) OR why Firefly had to get cancelled. (I am still wondering this... still.) I am excited about the show tomorrow... interested to see the PMQG display (maybe I will pick their brains a bit.) but excited to see all of the quilts!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Check out this for more pictures... but I am in love!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Rollin' with my homies...

Red-White- and Blue for a Happy Fourth of July!

We rolled into Sisters' yesterday... I got my Quilter's Affair bag and now we are really and truly in vacation mode!! Hooray! I will be around this week with the goings on... quilt stuff will be over here. Have a beautiful day we will be checking out the Drake Park festivities!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lace on the brain...

I went to a little Vintage Marketplace last weekend... and I couldn't resist the bright flowers on a lace tablecloth.

Then some words of wisdom... you can check out more of her here. I am enjoying the temperate weather and thinking of making things with lace.
That's about it, my mind is busy.