Friday, March 31, 2006

How can you resist that cute face?

Curly Q

This isn't the best picture, but you can sort of get the idea and see the curly/wavy hair on Cody's back. Just try taking a picture of a moving dog!

He's standing there waiting patiently for Dad to give him some pets.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Cardinal Rule of Data Backup

Back up your data, then, back it up AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN! And DO IT OFTEN!

I am so frustrated I could cry. To make a long story short, my quickbooks data file at work got corrupted, so I restored the back up. Unfortunately, I had not backed up far enough! For those of you out of the know, I have been in massive "clean up" mode of our financials because of some (OK, A LOT) of errors and issues from the time before me. We went through 4 bookkeepers in 6 months who all had their own systems and none of whom could make any sense of the original bookkeeper's (who was here for years) system. Needless to say, it has been a lot (months) of work, that I have been attempting to recreate for the last 3 weeks.

That said, I now back up every 2-3 days or more often if I've been doing a lot of work. So, GO BACK UP YOUR DATA RIGHT NOW!

You won't be sorry. And to think I knew better! Sigh.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Monday Morning Kickoff

Matcha Green Tea Blast! This is my new favorite smoothy from Jamba Juice. It's not too sweet and has a great natural caffeine kick.

You can see I'm going to need it today...this is what my desk looks like this morning. Now, if I can get my PDA to sync properly with my PC, I'll be set!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Thoughts about Art and Artists

This was one of the Guild's mystery projects last year. I finally had a chance to (almost) finish it this weekend. I'm auditioning borders (see left) and I think I like those. I'll bind it in the dark green.

As I sewed these blocks today, I realized that my enthusiasm for this kind of project is waning. I'd much rather make art quilts!

There has been a lot of discussion about what makes an artist and who can call themselves such on several quilters blogs and the QuiltArt list recently. I decided I could call myself an artist after achieving some success and recognition for my work. The feeling is even stronger now as I feel I've rounded the corner from other people's patterns to my own designs.

While I will always have a deep love and appreciation for traditional quilts, and will continue to make them for my family and friends, I don't think I will make many more of them just for the sake of making another quilt. I think I'm at the point where the finished project needs a purpose, not just another quilt to store in the closet. Finished, but stored away just the same.

White Dogs Can't Jump

Cody rides in the back of the truck now, inside his crate. He's just gotten too unruly for the front of the truck - he won't stay in the back seat like he's supposed to because he wants to sit in MY lap. And since he's pushing 80 lbs that's way too much dog to wrestle in the front seat!

He hasn't learned how to jump out of the back of the truck yet, but I hope he learns soon, since he's too big to lift in and out. It's been a lot of work, as you can see. He won't even jump for cookies!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Honu Detail

Here are some closeups of the embroidery and quilting I've done so far. I still need to shade in his neck a little so it blends with the arm socket under the shell. I little more quilting and it will be ready to block, bind and finish! This is one of the fastest projects I've ever completed.

Honu Progress Update

I was talking to my friend Joan yesterday, and sharing the utter bliss I was feeling after sewing on my new Janome. How nice it is to sit down at your sewing machine and stitch smoothly and effortlessly, without tension issues, thread breakage, or weird little noises to bother you!

It was such a treat to start the quilting on the turtle. You can't really see it in this picture, but the entire background and border are already quilted. The quilting is very simple since I am not a big fan of over-quilting, although there are probably a couple of things I would have done differently if I'd thought about it more, but isn't there always?

Friday, March 10, 2006

One Reason to Take Up Knitting

I found this picture on Tommy's blog. Although I don't care for the colors, I love the style - yummy! Now, if I only knew how to knit.

Just like any self-respecting fiber artist, I would probably swoon in some of the mainland yarn shops - who wouldn't, surrounded by all that color and softness begging to be touched??

But I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head. I barely have enough time to make the quilts I want to make.

The sad thing is, I could actually wear this sweater here in Hawaii. Sigh.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Honu Takes Shape

Time does fly when you're having fun!

After a completely draining "budget day" behind the computer at work, I figured I'd be too pooped to work on the turtle, but art is SO energizing! It took me a little bit to get into it, but before I knew it, it was 11:00 p.m.

I touched up the stitching around his head, finished the scales, and defined his flipper with thread. The embroidery portion is complete and I put my Bernina away.

Now my sweet 1600 is awaiting the quilting, but I still need to decide on borders and background. I'll do that tonight (I hope!).

By the way, honu is Hawaiian for sea turtle.

Boots - Part II

Tuesday was part two of our "boots" class. We refined our drawings more and more. It's a three hour class and I was still working when time was up at 9:00. The time goes so quickly!

Our last project will also take two classes. We tried to drag the subject out of our teacher, but he's keeping mum. I wonder what it will be?

In April there is a two-day landscape pastel drawing class taught by Darrel Orwig that I'm thinking of taking, since my interest is more in the outdoors as far as subjects for my quilts. Plus, I'm eager to try another medium. Since I can do this in black and white, why not try color??

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Turtle Progress

I've done a little more painting and some thread work on the turtle. If you click on the picture and look closely, you might even see the little circular "scales" I added to his neck and above his flipper.

I still need to thread his flipper and eye and touch up a little bit on his head before he gets quilted.

I haven't decided on the background finishing or if it will need border(s), but he's up on the design wall so I can look at him periodically.

I have drawing class tonight, so no sewing, so he'll have to wait until tomorrow.

All Dressed Up...

and waiting to go!! This is my new Janome 1600P which arrived yesterday!! WOO HOO!! Can you tell I'm excited?

I had an opportunity to purchase it from three different places, but ended up ordering from Ed at New Home Sewing Center on Oahu. Since we don't have a Janome dealer on Maui, I figured buying at least close to home would be the best.

It's patiently waiting for the turtle quilt to be done with threading so it can be quilted. Maybe by this weekend? Yippee!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Turtle Update

I haven't done too much to the turtle since the workshop with Esterita Austin. Right now I'm trying to get the last few scales on his flipper finished. I did add a little painting to bring out the contrasts in his shell.

Next will be to finish the background off with some dark colored tulle (thanks, Joan!), then start the threading.

Hopefully I can make some more progress this weekend!

Scenic Walk With Cody

Last Saturday we tok Cody out for a walk down Thompson Road near Ulupalakua. It was a gorgeous day and nice to be outside even though I was coming down with bronchitis (BTW, I'm feeling better today).

Here is Cody enjoying a well-deserved rest in the shade. We all plopped down and sat here for a while just to take in the view.

It was a beautiful day for a walk. Here you can see the West Maui mountains and Maalaea Bay. Nothing like winter in Hawaii.

Project #4 - Part One

I thought we were going to be drawing cowboy boots, but I guess these hiking boots have a little more detail to work on.

This is the start of a two-session project for my drawing class. Next week we will continue to refine the drawing further with charcoal pencil and conte crayon. We're using vine charcoal to start each project.

It will be neat to see how it turns out next week!