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Labor of Love

I'm deleting lots of my twenty-eight thousand pictures and posting as I come across them...

so these are pictures of a book which I made for a friend's birthday last summer...

I worked on a gift for her the previous Christmas, using her initials - but my idea didn't take hold.

So...when it was time for her birthday, I pulled out my thwarted attempt from Christmas...

And made a book...

I drew a sort of zentangle on fabric with her initials back in December...

And cut the letters up into book size pieces...

And then free motion stitched inside -

sort of over what I'd drawn...

Then added...

All sorts of ephemera...

And stamping...


more stitching...

and stuff...

 And that's The End.



Joe Arroyo

A living legend has died here in Colombia. 

Joe Arroyo - loved and adored by millions - just in my city alone - left this planet the day before yesterday. 

He was born nearby in Cartagena, but loved, and is now buried, here in Barranquilla.

I felt a connection to him when I saw him live at Fiesta de Polleras back in early March. I blogged about it here if you want to take a look. He was the main attraction that night and the crowd went wild when he came onstage.

The following video is of his orchestra...just before he came on.

I loved that he allowed many women up onto the platform for hugs, picture taking, and dancing...even while performing. He was happy to be there and it showed.

I took video from my table because I knew I'd have to fight the crowd to get anywhere near him. It didn't turn out so great...but his voice and 'spirt' come across fairly well.

I was at my quilt group meeting yesterday when my hostess's husband came in to tell us that "The 43" was lined with people waiting for him (his hearse) to pass by. It was the first I'd heard that he'd died the day before. 

No one seemed to know what the cause of death was - and I thought that strange - because in the States, it's always discussed to death. Pun intended. Some suspect he died of Cancer.

At any rate when Momy's husband was telling us about the people lining the streets, the music of Joe blasting from stereo systems up and down the Calle, I wished I could take a picture.

A couple hours later when I was headed home in my taxi, I indeed crossed Calle 43 and saw for myself what he was talking about. Thousands of people were there to pay tribute.

The sky was stormy, but at dusk, the lighting was that awesome yellow, pink, gray color that seems surreal. 

There was so much traffic that it took awhile to get through the intersection. Even though I still don't speak much Spanish and my taxi driver knew no English...we talked about, appreciated and grieved a little together as we sat in line - listening to his music on the radio all the while.

My camera batteries were dead but the picture I have in my mind will remain. It was beautiful to see the emotion and love and gathering together of my fellow Barranquilleros in honor of and respect for Joe Arroyo.

His music will stir hearts for many, many years to come.


Hmmmmmm - I'm a Little Behind....

No wise cracks please. 

My behind is littler than it was a year ago...

And I know I'm slow to get a joke - or figure out what's going on  - sometimes....

But I'm talking about posting!

The internet was down for about a week and I got used to staying away from the computer. (That's a good thing).

I've also been verrrry busy in the play room...(that's a GReat thing)!

A couple years ago, I used up 'extra' paint on muslin and drew - with a paint brush - a palm tree / beach scene.

I didn't get a picture before I began stitching, but since the paint was rather faint, I decided to fill in with free motion stitching - and a little highlighter marker for the sun's reflection.

It has a crooked border...which bothered me for a minute...but I feel nothing but happy when I look at it. (PS - I dyed the border fabric using wonderful Ellen Anne Eddy's wonderful technique).

Can't decide if I like the back side or front side better...

I've been playing in my Sketchbooks too. Actually, they're art journals and, as with everything I do with fabric, - it's all about fun, practice, trying something new...and fun. 

Oh - and did I say FUN?!?

I'm always looking for pictures of things I think I can draw or paint. This idea for this bird came off a birthday card. On the card he was squashed by a BD cake laden with candles. Here - I'm not sure what his problem is!

 The ongoing project from Florida...

Where I took every scrap of paper 

& lots of other stuff and glued it into my journal while on vacation. I'm still adding color and sketches to those pages. 

But they're getting done little by little...

It's fun to work on these while Sophia is here watching cartoons. I get a lot of ideas from her TV channels (and books) and I'm learning Spanish to boot!

I bought an American calendar for a quarter while at a thrift store in Florida and got ideas from it...

And then there are those pages where I have NO idea where I'm going and don't know when to stop...

Often, when my Colombian Quilt Group meets each week, one of the girls will be auditioning fabric for her next project. 

One day I asked if any of them used value finders to help choose fabrics and they said they didn't. So I went home and made them each a red value finder since I happened to have the acetate on hand.

Then, I went to the computer to make sure I was calling them the right thing and found out something I didn't know.

When I first saw value finders at a quilt store - years ago - I couldn't afford the extra money for the set. They always came in sets of red and green.

A couple years after that, I saw them again and decided to look for the paper in an art store, which I did, and ended up buying a yard each of red and green acetate. 

I went home and looked at fabric through the acetate but didn't understand what I was looking for. I just knew that what I thought was a "dark" with the naked eye, was often a medium through the value finder. Or a medium turned out to be a light...etc, etc.

Well, in my ignorance of color - and of how the value finders work, I decided I only needed the red - and made myself a crude viewfinder with a cardboard border and broken ruler handle which I used off and on for years.

So...you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that you need both the red and green acetate because red doesn't work on red fabrics and green doesn't work on green!

Back to the drawing board playroom I went and made them each one with green.

I attached them by sewing a loop of fabric to the corners and slipped on a ring (on the loop) to hang them by...

Fun huh?!?

I got to use up scraps and get the joy of giving them a little gift next time we met. 


Now...it's time to go make something. All this looking at pictures has gotten me excited!!! I can always catch up another time.

As Mark Twain said, "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow".

One last picture before I go...

This was taken of me 11 years ago...for my business cards when I sold Real Estate. It's the real me. :)

I've been "cleaning" house and unbelievably getting rid of pictures. ME - throwing away pictures!!! Imagine that!!!

I'm scanning in my favorites and saving them to disc. And while I don't want to go back there...this one reminded me of the FACT that I can do ANYTHING.

The world is at my feet!

But that's a whole nother post...

Create Your Life,