Monday, December 31, 2012

No Resolutions

I am not making any resolutions for 2013 because I always fail, but I am setting a few easy goals:

No. 1 goal is to be more organized. I have already started cleaning out closets and will continue to work on the house and eventually our basement, (it’s really called the dungeon!). I want to have less clutter and unwanted  “stuff” in our house and lives.

No. 2 goal is to continue on the path I have set for myself in the studio, which is to work on what makes me happy. I drove myself crazy working on the last studio tour with what I thought people would want or would sell. I was not happy working that way so lesson learned. I am back to making what I am inspired to make at the moment! That’s what makes me want to stay in the studio.

No. 3 goal is to make one small Christmas item each of the next 12 months. I had fun following Kathleen Tracy with her one small quilt a month; so I thought why not do that with Christmas items that are just for me! It can be woven, hooked, quilted or whatever, so at the end of the year I have twelve new items to decorate with at Christmas!

Now that I have told everyone, I’m committed right? Truthfully I only made it through Sept. on Kathleen’s challenge, but I still intend to finish! I may get behind on my Christmas plan, but I do have good intentions!

No. 4 goal is to just take care of me. Walk, eat healthy, take time to rest and enjoy the day.

No. 5 goal is part of number 4 – Cherish family, friends and appreciate the many blessings we have been given.

No resolutions just five clear goals for 2013.

I think Sadie is making fun of me by saying "I hear ya Mom"

Happy New Year to all from Pog, Louise, Monica and Sadie at Shuttle, Hook and Needle!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Days After Christmas

The best time of the season is between Christmas and New Years.
For me it is finally time to be quiet and content at home by the fire.

Christmas is very different now with my parents gone and most of the family in different states.

Pog and I had a nice day with his oldest daughter who came for the afternoon. We made pizza and had Pog’s chocolate silk pie. My son had the flu and couldn’t come so I will spend New Year’s Day with him.

The mountain is frosted over this morn and the wind is fierce. It is a good day to stay by the fire quilting or working on my new jigsaw puzzle.

Pog made cinnamon rolls yesterday so a cup of coffee and a roll is in order for my afternoon snack!

I hope you are warm and cozy where ever you are today!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a joyous Christmas filled with many blessings and warm memories!

Bird and Basket Tree

One of two trees filled with ornaments I made.  

Merry Christmas from Pog, Louise, Monica and Sadie, here at Shuttle, Hook and Needle!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Visitor

Since my daughter and son–law are visiting their family in the area, I am dog sitting.

This is my grand-dog Jack! I have never kept him over night but he did great!

He loves the wood stove!
Sadie’s not too happy, but at least this morning they were in the same room.

Sadie was keeping an eye on Jack from behind the stove!

We have had a little snow, enough to make it feel Christmassy, but the wind was terrible last night! Grand Father Mountain recorded the highest ever 3-second gust of wind at 121 miles per hour. Sure glad we didn’t have that here, but there are a lot of limbs down in our yard, 
but no trees.

Kids are coming and going over the next few days, so Pog and I are making some special treats and Chinese food tomorrow!

Hope everyone is enjoying his or her last holiday weekend before Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Character or Perfection

Just recently Tim Latimer posted a great article on his blog – Tim Latimer Quilts. The discussion was about whether there were right and/or wrong ways of hand quilting. My comment to Tim on the article was “Thank you Tim for this post. I do not look for perfection but I do look for character in quilts. My mother once called me a folk art quilter. That was her nice way of saying I was not very good in her eyes. Her stitches were tiny and even. Mine are not tiny and sometimes not even, but I love every stitch I put into my quilts! I am happy being a “folk art” quilter!”

To me that just said it all with any art or craft we make. That is the way I approach my dolls, weaving, rug hooking or any thing I make. I do not strive for perfection, but I do want my things to be well made/constructed to the best of my ability. 
Mostly I want my work to have character and to show my love of what I do. 
That always comes through, and it is why people buy my work. 

I have worked in a gallery with “perfect” work. Even though I appreciate and admire the craftsmanship and skill it takes to create it – it never appealed to me the way folk art or work that was imbued with the character of the maker. I once went to Folk Fest in Atlanta, Ga. Pog didn’t think he was going to get me out of the parking lot into the building because I was running around so excited to see the art cars the artists had driven to the show. When I finally went into the building I was speechless. It was a total assault on the senses. Free, joyous, colorful and awe inspiring. I don’t think I have been the same since then. That is when my characters started emerging. I don’t know whether to call them “art dolls” because they are not dolls but they are creatures with human characteristics. My sketch book is full of them just waiting to be made. I think that going to Folk Fest gave me permission to finally be myself and let my imagination run free. 

Gordo and his Crow

Mr. Needmore Snow

Sir Seamus O'Hare

Mr. Jack Rabbit

Love what you do, everything improves with practice, and let your character come through in what ever you make.  Never think you cannot do something – all it takes is the desire to want to try and the action of just doing it!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Precious Ornaments

Recently I received an unexpected package in the mail. 
Dr. Stewart, our vet, made a paw print impression in clay when we had Kit put to sleep.  

 Now this very special ornament has a place of honor on our tree along with an ornament of my mother’s, which I have always loved and now feel blessed to own. 

Needless to say I had a few tears when they were hung on our tree.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tour Aftermath

The tour has come and gone once again. Seems strange to be in frenzy of cleaning, arranging and finishing last minute projects and then to the quiet aftermath. The tour was moderately successful. No large purchases but sold a lot of smaller items and made some good contacts.  There were so many interesting people to meet and talk to. I miss that from working at Penland Gallery now that I am in the isolation of my own studio.

There is now time to catch up on house chores and decorate our living space for Christmas. I was going to keep it quite and easy for the rest of the month. Instead I started cleaning out closets and decided it was time to let a lot of “stuff” go. Too much clutter and I want everything to feel less crowded and more organized!

I’ve decided to gradually go through the entire house and clean out. By next spring I should be ready for a yard sale! So much for quiet aftermath!