Monday, January 11, 2010

Flower Power.... Could it inspire?

Imagine my surprise, one day not long ago and not far away on my kitchen counter, I found our Christmas cactus blooming... It is a beautiful plant but, I had been so busy with other things, and had not noticed that the Cactus had these lovely red- orange flowers on it. There is something about flowers that make me smile. They always brighten my day- My spouse is wonderful about buying flowers- stargazer lilies currently adorn our dining room table. Lilies are particularly fragrant and make me miss the smell of the Christmas tree a little less...

A very nice honor was bestowed on my husband this week. He was given the president's award in recognition of his contributions to the local branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Bruce has been an active member of this group for over 20 years and served on a large number of portfolios on the council. Bruce is a dedicated amateur astronomer who loves to share his passion and knowledge about the stars at the local observatory. In the last few years, he has often been asked to speak at local libraries, schools and park sites. Kids and adults alike, are keen to see the meteorites and hear about things that one sees in the sky. Bruce loves to share his passion for the earth and the sky. He was quite surprised and honored to be the recipient of the award. As for me, I have always known he is a star...

My favorite flowers are sunflowers- Vincent Van Gogh's sunflowers was the inspiration for this snippet piece( goggle Cindy Walters if you would like more information about making snippets) It belongs to my brother in law. We had the good fortune many years ago to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Van Gogh's work was totally awe inspiring- his colors in his later work were vivid and the paint was so thick- photographs just can't capture that texture.I was given a set of cups with Vincent van Gogh's prints on them for Christmas.
A few summers ago I took a course that focused on Ricky Timms techniques- One of the patterns we used was from his " Caveman" quilts - This is my version of the "Chantelle Flower". It was a free form design. This is an earlier photograph of Chantelle. She is complete and was used as a table runner under a Christmas basket of silk poinsettias that my sister made for us.

January often brings the doldrums in my house. The men of my house have had winter colds( I feel the sniffles but am trying hard to avoid getting the full blown version) We took the Christmas tree down this weekend and I got out to do some errands on my own.

I visited the library and took out a couple of Terri Thayer's books- "Ocean Waves"- a Quilting Mystery and "Old Maid's Puzzle". The first one is called "Wild Goose Chase" and all three are an enjoyable read. I also have "Lover's Knot" by Claire O'Donahue which also has a quilting background.

I received a few books for Christmas that included " Knit Two" by Kate Jacobs and the "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"(very interesting book too). I finished "Knit Two" and liked it as well as "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by the same author. Over the break, I read a book called" The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. It is one of the best books that I have read in a long time. "The Help" is a powerful story about some black women and their lives working for white families in the 60's. It is well worth the read. What is on your reading table these days?

It is always fun to see what is in the mail these days. Today my templates from Sue of Alderwood Quilts arrived. Over the holiday she had them available on her website for a very reasonable price so I decided to buy both of the basic sets. They are to be used with Louisa L.Smith's Strip and Curves books. I had admired quilts that Wanda from " Exuberant Color" had created using this book. Sue has a lovely blog and if you sign up for her newsletter she has a monthly giveaway that you might want to check out. She sent me the most beautiful fat quarter of sunflower fabric.

Last week some fabric came from Connecting Threads- They had some great deals and I saw some winter fabric that I thought might work with a star pattern from the November/December 2009 Fons and Porter magazine..There is still another box of fabric to come from them- sometimes the mail is not speedy- especially when one is waiting for inspiration...LOL

Did I say that January sometimes brings the doldrums??? -LOL

I have been trying to settle on a new quilt to make for my brother in law, E. who had a special birthday last week - Should I try and finish some old projects first??? I did spend some time over Christmas break looking at patterns and patting my fabric in my stash- but it is hard to find a pattern when you are not sure what you are looking for- My brother in law loves to cook and I have looked at patterns named Paprika ( new Fons and Porter) and Mumbo Gumbo- both of them might work but might is just not good enough.. It really is hard to choose fabrics when you don't know what the pattern is?

I am not short of possiblities - just not finding something that strikes my fancy or bowls me over with a burning desire to make that quilt...
Sometimes getting started is the biggest hurdle for me- What about you, how do you quick start yourself to get quilting?
Bobbi of Craftyvegasmom is having a giveaway to celebrate her 99th post. You may wanted to go and visit - She has made a lovely bag and pin cushion for her giveaway.

Deb of Cold Feet Quilter let me know that I have won her giveaway prize. She does the most beautiful art quilts. Deb lives in Alaska and I have known about her blog for quite a long time. Do go an visit her blog - you will love her beautiful pieces. I am one lucky gal, Deb- thank you so much ...

my dear blogging friend Michele of with heart and hands blog took a bad spill last week and has broken her arm and wrist quite badly. Michele recently had travelled to Alaska to help out her elderly parents - Michele is one of the most generous thoughtful quilters I know- I am often inspired by her works of caring and generosity for others. She has many free pattern links and tutorials on her blog. Michele is actively involved in Ami Simms Alzheimer's Initiative. Do stop and visit her and send her some positive healing wishes.

So I am going to head off to my pillow and perhaps I will dream of quilts and find new Inspiration just around the corner...

Its a new year - with some new goals and new beginnings- I am still hopeing to find my quilt mojo...

Warmest regards,
Anna
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