Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Live the Life"

I didn't make many Christmas presents this year. I love to do it when I have time, but this year, it wasn't possible.

However, one morning while showering, I had a flash of inspiration about a gift for a friend. She has started to work on a book. I won't go into detail about her wonderful idea, except that she intends the book to be in a binder format. I wanted to encourage her writing, and I thought, what if I gave her a binder to fill? And if it were interesting to look at, so much the better.

After some starts and stops, I came up with a cover that wraps around a small binder. It's a mixed media quilt, with blue painted paper (left over from my zine covers), felt in the middle, and commercial fabric for the binding and back. The ties are pieced together from scraps.

(Click on the photos for larger images.)

"Live the Life" binder cover

"Live the Life" binder cover (unfolded)

"Live the Life" binder cover close-up

I quilted the tentative title for the book on the cover: Live the Life. I think it has so many possibilities, that title. What would it mean if each one of us would live THE life, the life we came here to experience, the one of our wildest dreams and greatest possibilities? We would be living from our hearts -- hence, the embroidered heart on the cover. (You may recognize it from earlier this year.)

I'm not sure if the paper will hold up to wear and tear. But I hope that the binder cover gives the growing book a little hug, every time it needs one.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Images from Christmas

Sometimes it seemed like a mighty struggle to get to the finish line that is Christmas Day, but we did it this year. For all my internal and external grumbling about the work, I do love Christmas. I love finding great gifts for everyone -- it is a creative endeavor.

The biggest news? Ross got his Wii this year. He had asked for it last year, and we said no. But this year, he has worked so hard at school, we've been impressed, and thought he had earned it. He was in a little shock, at first . . .

Photo number one -- he's not sure if he can believe what he's reading on the box:

Ross opening Wii (number one)

Photo number two -- it's starting to sink in:

Ross opening Wii (number 2)

Photo number three -- it really IS a Wii!

Ross opening Wii (number 3)

Ross and Wii

I bought Chris a piece of amber for his office. Isn't the color amazing in the sunlight?

Chris and amber

Gus and Bubba loved their toys, too.

Gus with feather toy

Bubba gnawing on toy

There were the quiet moments, as well.

Bubba under the tree

I walked to Gaiser Conservatory today to photograph the annual light show. It was a cold walk, and I waited for my lens to defog before I could snap away.

Christmas in the greenhouse

I tried out my new macro lens (the one thing I really really really wanted for Christmas). I didn't get anything spectacular -- too hard to shoot anything really sharp without a tripod -- but the 100+ year old Christmas cactus, lit with pink lights, posed prettily for me.

Christmas cactus flower

I am fortunate to have next week off from work, and am looking forward to relaxing with my family -- and getting in some art time!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Enthusiastic heart

I was scheduled to teach a 2-hour workshop on making pincushions as gifts this Saturday at Corbin Art Center. I had been asked to design this class -- it wasn't my original idea. I agreed, thinking it would be pretty simple to do. But then I started to fall into my bad habits: I didn't even think about the class until 6 weeks ago; I came up with the supply list a couple weeks ago; and this week, I was trying to get the class samples made. I can be a queen of procrastination.

I was struggling to find enough energy to sit down each night to sew. I wasn't horribly excited about the class. It felt like an assignment, and I wasn't working from a place of enthusiasm. So, it wasn't a surprise that I didn't have a lot of drive to get the work done.

When I came home Tuesday, there was a message on the answering machine: the class had been cancelled. I was relieved! The rest and relaxation that I've gained far outweigh the money I could have made Saturday morning. Sometimes the wishes that you don't utter are heard and made manifest, in spite of yourself.

The lesson that I need to learn, over and over again: I work from my heart. Enthusiasm is my engine.

Pink heart pincushion

(I did manage to finish one class sample -- a simple felt heart pincushion. Maybe I'll sew a ribbon on it and call it an ornament? or maybe add limbs and call it a plushie?)