Sunday, January 31, 2010

How do you forgive?

I know that life experience is the only thing that truly gives me understanding and empathy. Strange things tear families apart.
Every single person on this planet makes mistakes, they make stupid, irresponsible, thoughtless mistakes; and they need forgiveness.

It's hard to forgive when you think someone did something personal to you, or they disregarded the welfare of you or others, and maybe you think they did it on purpose. They did something so irresponsible that you need to cast them away.

Do you cast them away because you wish to punish them, as if their behavior means they don't deserve such a great person in their life such as yourself and you'll "show" them?
Or is it because they are a future danger to your heart, you no longer trust them, their judgement, their words or their actions?
How do you give forgiveness?
How do you ask for forgiveness?

Is it possible to forgive when you are still hurt or angry? I've never been able to. After time has healed my wounds I like to think I forgive, but it really just feels more like I've gotten over the incident and moved on. *POOF!* "You're forgiven!" But is that the same thing? I don't think so.

I remember years ago watching a news story about a traffic jam at a dead stop on a bridge somewhere. The cars were just sitting there. There was a young woman who became a victim of what we now know as 'road rage', when a big man got out of his car, somehow got her out of her car, and beat her so bad that, after a while, to get away from him she jumped over the edge of the bridge to her death.

All that time, while the woman screamed for her life, every single person in all the other cars just watched. Not one person got out to help her.

When the news journalist asked the Mother of the victim if she herself was angry at all these other people who would not get out of their cars to save her daughters life, the Mother said No...that those people were just sheep. They couldn't help it.

Right then and there I knew I was no sheep! "I'm a Shepherd!" I know I would have gotten out of my car. Maybe I would have sat there, feeling stunned for the first few moments, not believing what I was seeing. But I would have gotten out, opened my trunk to get the tire iron, and I would have started heading in that direction.

Even before hearing this story I already knew one thing about sheep...they follow! I know that if just one person had gotten out of their car, others would have followed. Obviously I would have been betting my life on that.

Over 20 years ago, in downtown Stockholm, in broad daylight, my friend Bosse, my ex and myself were standing outside of N.K. and suddenly a bag went over the head of my ex and men were pulling him away.
Mats came out of no-where, started pulling me away and said over and over to me "It's ok.", while they threw my ex in the trunk!

During this commotion some elderly woman saw what was happening and with a purse or umbrella started whacking them with it repeatedly!
We can laugh about this story, but really, what a brave woman she was; she didn't know the guys and yet she was willing to give them a pounding!

I wish I had paid more attention to her...I didn't understand then that she was a sister Shepherd!

Mats' wife, Lene, took me out to dinner and a movie while the guys did...something. I can't remember the name of the movie, but we thought it was an American movie about something japanese. Then I would be able to listen to the movie in english and Lene could read the swedish subtitles.

Turns out, it really was a japanese movie, in japanese, and the subtitles were in swedish! Much to the chagrin of the other movie-goers, Lene whispered a translation of Swedish subtitles of the entire movie into english in my ear!

I wish I knew where Lene was today.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Foot In The Door

I've been adding more. I think I need to stop and trim it down. I wish I had taken more pictures during the progression because I'm pretty sure I liked it best about 10 steps back. This time I used better lighting when I took the photo.

Foot In The Door

At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts ~any~ Minnesota Artist can enter a piece in the "Foot In The Door" exhibit. This exhibit occurs only once every ten years! Your piece must be limited to 1 square foot or 1 cubic foot. (foot in the door, ya know!)
Not complete yet, this is almost my piece. It will be 2D, not 3D. I will cut it down to 12" square.
When ever I have used fusible webbing on fabric in a project, and had left overs I always put them in a container together. I have been doing this for decadeS, literally. It's probably one of the only things I have kept organized all these years just because of the fear of not detecting there's fusible on the fabric and either ironing it to the ironing board or gunking up the iron. The container started out as a ziploc bag, and and later required a box just less than a square foot.
My imagination started out with a 14" square sheet of white fabric and cutting a variety of the fusible fabrics into little brick shapes and ironing them down. After filling about half of the sheet I didn't like how I always have to have things organized, in a row, straight...why can't I just free-flow it? So the other half of the sheet I filled with all sorts of shapes.
Now it was down-right ugly!
So what do you do when something looks out of place? ADD MORE! So I kept doing that...cutting little pieces and putting them down, over and over again.
This might be considered ennui-nessly monotonochistic tediumology but I was happily laughing while listening to the audio book: "The Sweet Potato Queens Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit!". Jill Conner Browne reveals the humorous side of life with her husband "The cutest boy in the world", her baby girl BoPeep, and the life of her friends who are raising little "penii"..."Look Mommy, it got big all by itself, I didn't have to touch it!"
Off to finish the Foot In The Door, which by the way, has to be 'ready to hang or install'. Anybody know if MIA has any strange interpretations of that I should know about?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Minnesota Contemporary Quilters

The backs of Peg LaSota, Michelle Hill and Janet Hartje.

"What's my name?"
"Well if you don't know what are we going to do with you?"
"My name tag says "uoLaYS"
"No, you're looking at it upside-down; it says 'Sharon'."
"O. I. C."
Sharon Englund and Wanda Shelton gave us a little skit about wearing name tags to meeting.
They advise that you be sure to make the letters big enough for all the old people to see.

So Miss Sharon Englund just got her animal print quilt back from being quilted and is ready to sew on the binding.
I don't have pictures of it, but Wanda got so many tops done that I thought "What a show-off!" She just wants to make the rest of us look bad!
I'm green with envy!
After the meetings we head over to Leaning Tower of Pizza for dinner and a huge share of giggling!
We learned that Sharon Englund and her girlfriend were in Amsterdam and picked up some guys to get a tour of the Red Light District, and after they took these guys to their hotel and had to beat them off with a stick!
It was actually it was a wooden flute. And they were only 20 years old. And they didn't invite the guys to the hotel. The guys followed them. Still... Of course she could feel she needed redemption for sowing her wild oats and do something crazy like marry a Pastor or something.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Moms sewing machine just broke. Upon inspection we found that a plastic gear supplying rotation to the bobbin gave way. So if she didn't need the bobbin to function anymore, the machine works fine.
Now here is an inventive guy, who took a sewing machine and turned it into a scroll saw! So technically Mom could turn it into a scroll saw if she didn't want to sew with it any would be a great gift for Dad! You know he needs another tool.
I really love this website, it's full of interesting recycling/repurposing ideas.
The author of this post, bongodrummer, has his own website here:
He lives in the UK and seems to be into woodworking and electronics stuff. ("Stuff" being an official technical term I like to use.) It looks like he even took a bunch of "junk" (his technical term) and turned it into a lathe!
Inventive guy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The end of the Christmas Tree and a big presumption!

The sprouts on the tree are wilting now, as it hasn't been watered in a while. The decorations are put away and the tree is out in the snow bank for the birds to enjoy.
While organizing the sewing room I came across these, so I attached one to the back of Isaacs wallhanging. Don't tell his other Aunties!

How many holes do you poke in the Better Than Sex Cake?

When I lived in Idaho one of my creative outlets was baking. It helped that I had a huge beautiful kitchen...for me spaciousness is fabulous incentive. Or maybe it's the opposite, I'm claustrophobic and too little space dampens my creativity.
I was adamant about constantly trying new recipes, new food combinations and perfecting a recipe that was 'almost there'. I always write comments in my cookbooks right next to the recipe so I remember what to do or try, or not do or try, next time; some of them say "Yucky!" and some get the Grand Prize: "Yummy!"
One day the Idaho (mis)Statesman newspaper food column had a recipe for the many versioned cake called "The Better Than Sex Cake".
The cake is simply a regular cake mix prepared, and while still hot you poke holes in it with the handle of a wooden spoon and pour Sweetened Condensed Milk and Caramel over it to seep in the holes, let it cool and then put Cool-Whip over it.
I get to starting this cake and while poking holes I realize the recipe doesn't tell me how many holes to poke! I mean, you're pouring an entire can of sweetened condensed milk and a jar of caramel over it, that's quite a bit of liquid! For all the liquid to seep into the cake that would be quite a few holes, and then what's left of the cake? Or is that the point?

So on the following weekday I called the Idaho (mis)Statesman and the call goes like this:

I.S.: "Idaho Statesman, where may I direct your call?"
Me: "I'd like to talk to the Recipe Column Writer about a recipe."

I.S.: "Well she doesn't actually work in the building, can I help you with the recipe?"
Me: "I want to know how many holes to poke in the Better Than Sex Cake"

I.S.: "Let me transfer you to that department."

(on hold)

I.S.: "Focal Department, how many I help you?"
Me: "I'd like to talk to the Recipe Column Writer about a question I have about last weeks recipe."
I.S.: "They are not here, maybe I can help you?"
Me: "I want to know how many holes to poke in the Better Than Sex Cake."
I.S.: "Ummm, let me get you the Department Editor."

(on hold)

I.S.D.E.: "This is the Editor, how may I help you?"
Me: "I have a question about a recipe in last weeks paper and I'm looking for the Columnist."
I.S.D.E.: "Well she doesn't actually work in the building, she just submits her column. But I can probably help you."
Me: "OK, I want to know how many holes to poke in the Better Than Sex Cake."
I.S.D.E.: "Ahhhh, let me give you the Columnists home number..."

(hang up)
(Call Columnist at home who is surprised that I have obtained her home phone number.)

Columnist: "Hello."
Me: "Hi, I am trying to figure out something about a recipe that you wrote and the employees at the I.S. gave me your number to ask you directly. Your recipe for the Better Than Sex Cake says to poke holes in the cake and I want to know how many holes to poke in the Better Than Sex Cake."
Columnist: "I don't know, I just found the recipe and put it in the paper. I didn't actually make it."
Me: (trying to get over shock that someone wouldn't even try a recipe before putting it in a column that has her name on it! Holy crap, how stupid is that?) "Oh, I see, well ok then."
Columnist: "Bye."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting little projects done...

I've been sorting through that mess in my sewing room...too much stuff in there! If I come across something I can manage in a short time, I've been trying to take that on. I've got some pants hemmed...they've been waiting to be hemmed for so long that I don't even remember where I got them!
I was saving a shoebox to cover! It was a nice size and heavy cardboard, and I was just a few seconds from putting it in the recycle bin, but then I just started on it. It took me a couple hours, so it was no small thing. I used fusible to attach the fabric. I love that fabric, so it's pretty to me. It needed zest, so I put that orange inside. And I photographed it on those upholstery samples because I didn't think the box would show up well against white.

I made a plastic covered checkbook cover for Aunt Glenna. Seemed like that would be a simple project too, but...
First off, I thought I had some of a fusible plastic laminate product. It was with the fusible webbings and interfacings at JoAnns a long time ago and I thought I bought some just to try it out. But I've looked all over my sewing room and it looks like I didn't buy it, apparently I had thought so hard about buying it that I imagined the whole thing.
And I started this yesterday, and decided to run to JoAnns to get some. The Rosedale JoAnns is relocating so it isn't even worth it to go to that store, (last time I was there it was a mess) so I went to the Maplewood store. They didn't have any such thing.
Since I was all the way out at Maplewood, I decided to go to the MCQ Quilt Exhibit at the Mahtomedi Unitarian Universalist Church. Great show! And then since I was all the way out in Mahtomedi, I called my brothers house to see if I could see their new puppy...which leads to the post below.
Then I came home, went to the Textile Center for the Exhibit Opening there, where out of around 50 Exhibitors, I knew about 1/2 so it was a great night of socializing for me. The abundant creativity also made it exciting.
And that leads to today...using some of that clear plastic tablecloth cover to cover the fabric Aunt Glenna wanted for her checkbook cover.
I really can't figure out the format for adding pictures to a post and have them be on one side. When I'm typing this, the text is no where near the picture, and 'preview' doesn't seem to help me figure it out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Little Man Tate

Eric, Michele, Isaac and Jenna got a puppy. He's only the size of a cat, so far.
Isn't he cute?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Outer Space wallhanging for Isaac

This is a cheater panel that I couldn't resist getting for my nephew Isaac. His bedroom is orange with a blue stripe and Star Wars stuff on the walls. When I bought this I didn't know he moved his room down to the basement...reminding me of when I was his age and I did the same thing. (Moving into the basement).
I added the yellow to orange gradation narrow border and blue border. I just finished sewing on the hanging sleeve. In daylight the sun in the lower left corner plays tricks on the eye, like it's really glowing; but there's glow-in-the-dark stuff on all the stars so it's even cool in the dark!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The tree has slowed down sucking up water and needles are starting to fall, but the sprouts are still growing out.
The sprouts are bigger on the sunny window side of the tree.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

From Picture to Quilt - Part 1

I really like the picture of the Christmas Tree Sprouts so I decided to start the process of turning it into a quilted wallhanging.
I start out trying to identify the particular shading of the pine branch, and this particular picture I am using two different lightness/darkness to identify shape and shadow. The darker one I can see the definition of the sprouts, and on the lighter version I can better see the pine needle definition. You can click on the pictures to see a large version of the photo.
Apparently some women (young latina gang-bangers) use Sharpies to draw on their eyebrows...this I saw on the George Lopez show. I don't use my Sharpies for that. Using a fine sharpie I outline the pine sprouts shapes and shading on one drawing and the pine needles on the other drawing.

I cut out the pine sprouts.

From Picture to Quilt - Part 2

I used a glue stick to apply the pine sprouts to the lighter drawing of the needles.
I don't know why this photo turned sideways, blogspot did that all on it's own. I photocopied the picture with the glue-sticked-pine-sprouts so I don't have to worry about making mistakes.

On my photocopy I start to outline the shading of the pine needles.

I use a numbering system to determine shading. Absolute white is 1 and black is 10. I start to try to identify what I think the shading should be. This will probably be altered after I start pulling it all together. In this photo my choice for 1 looks sorta grey, but it's really white.

I went to Kinkos and had the drawing enlarged 300%. and printed with 36" wide paper. That black bar you see on the top is from the machine thinking the drawing was dark and then correcting itself. It's fine that it did this, I only need the outline. Enlarging the drawing 300% means my lines are 300% thicker too. The next step I will take is tracing this larger drawing so I have normal width lines, and smoothing the lines out. I'll post about it again in a few days.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

On the 14th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

...bigger sprouts than yesterda-a-ay. Clicking on my pictures will give you the full screen version.

I like the photos that Licorice is in, but all of them have blurry sprouts. (not using flash for any of them, this is the light coming in from the window)

black and white maybe I can do something interesting with this...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wool Rug Braiding - Starting to collect the tools.

I haven't posted a picture of all the goodies I got for Christmas - almost everything I need to start braiding wool rugs! The last thing is the lacing, and that didn't arrive yet.
I've been checking out a few videos on youtube and found an interesting one:

This is a Braided Rug Manufacturer called Thorndike Mills. It's interesting to see how they are mass produced on machinery.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Warm slippers in the frosty weather.

I think it will be above Zero degrees today (that's -17 Centigrade). The picture above is a closeup of the frost on the storm-window of my sewing room. After this cold snap, when it gets back up to the teens and twenties it will feel like a heat wave so people will be walking around without caps, mittens or zipping up their coats.

The start on another pair of slippers. I'm still trying to make them ambidextrous so it wouldn't matter which foot they went on, but I think the next pair I make will be specific for the wearer.
Ambidextrous - I'm just using that word because I don't know what you call a shoe that isn't specifically made for the left foot or the right foot.
I am definitely having a problem on my machine with the thickness of the wool; two layers is holding up the presser foot enough that the thread tension is not engaged and altho' I don't have loops of thread, the seam is not durable for the long term. On this specific pair of slippers it won't matter since I'll still be hand sewing the leather sole on, but it is an issue that has to be solved to continue. My next attempt for a remedy will be to pull out an old sewing machine. My fancy-worthless-expensive Bernina just can't do much.