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I REALLY miss Tim Gunn!

Today I stayed at home with my Sophia while Hillary took Jerry for his check-up. (He needed a translator and Hillary is doing a great job learning Spanish). He and I need to get serious about learning the language too. 

We finally have health insurance - as of the beginning of this month - and it's a load off my mind.

He said the doctor's office was large, clean, uncrowded and efficient. The doctor was very thorough and set him up with appointments to get him into even better shape than he's in. 

He felt really good about health care there and I must say, my experiences with it so far have been positive too. 

The sidewalks here are totally uneven. Almost every house and business has it's own sidewalk arrangement and they don't always - actually hardly ever - are the same. You can see from this picture taken near downtown...

And this one taken from in front of my house looking down the street...

Anywho, I ended up stepping off a sidewalk while looking up and ended up at a clinic that put my foot in a cast. They were every bit as careful with me and my information as they've ever been in the States. NOTHING against the USA but health care sucks.

And Jerry got a terrible case of the flu the third week we were here- wash those hands people - wherever you live - and ended up in the hospital for 3 days until they were sure his blood sugar levels were straightened out. They took great care of him...and me!

Our plan includes some dental and will pay for lens for our glasses along with lab work and medicine. And it's much, much more affordable than anything we could have gotten in the USA. Believe me, after Jerry retired in April 2k9, we looked - and just couldn't afford it. That is, if we wanted to have any $ left over to enjoy life.

So, I'm happy to say health care here in Colombia looks like it'll be good for us. So many people have asked and now we know.

I've had a bit of a creative block for the past week

After I finished beading my mini quilts,

I decided to work on a couple collaborative pieces that I'm doing with a friend from Tampa Bay...Marlene Glickman. I have a piece that will end up with her and one that will be mine when they're finished. I really want to get some work done on them before I leave for Florida and Kansas next Friday.

Marlene does absolutely wonderful, cutting edge, totally creative work and I'm usually worried that I'll just muck up what she's done when I touch the piece. I have got to get over that feeling! 

Whatever happened to the Law of Attraction here?!?

Here is the first picture I have of the piece I'm talking about...

That was taken after we'd both done a couple rounds on it.

The lovely thing about our collaborative pieces is that we have NO rules. No deadlines, no you-gotta-do-this-or-that next. NADA. It's wonderful. And we're both really OK if the other decides to cut up what's been done and totally rearrange it. We both have complete artistic license when the work is in our hands. It's a beautiful thing.

As I hinted at above, Marlene is a marvelous artist and every time a piece comes back to me, I'm thrilled.

And scared!

But sure enough, I plunged in and decided to quilt Marlene's piece and it didn't turn out flat

It's driving me crazy thinking about how to fix it. 

It's bothering me more than having no health insurance for those 16 months.

I've always told anyone and everyone - that I don't take stitches out unless I have to. I mean, it's really gotta be a have to. Usually I can find a way to make it work. 

I sure miss Tim Gunn.

I'm receiving my Quilting Arts Magazine digitally since NO mail reaches us here. Well - most mail doesn't. I love getting the next issue and have it saved to my desktop so I don't even have to be online to read it. I learned my lesson a couple weeks ago when we didn't have internet. 

Shelley Brenner Baird, an artist featured in the Artist Profile section of the magazine (October/November 2010 issue), talks about a quilt she finished and when her peers told her the quilting on the piece was atrocious, she actually spent 55 hours taking out stitches.

Boy what a guilt trip.

I'm sorry Marlene.

Usually if I have something that isn't flat, I can iron the you-know-what out of it and it works. This piece has too many fabrics and threads that I'm afraid will melt if I did that - so that option is out. I did iron some, and it helped, but...not enough.

So, I've had the piece hanging in whatever room I happen to be in at the time - all week. It's literally following me around the house and it's like the Offspring song,  

Gotta Get Away 

where it says...

Over My Shoulder Is A Big Mistake.

Yep - that about describes it.

So today, I was writing my thoughts down in my personal journal - where I can tell how I really feel - and I felt like I came to a solution! 

It really does help to write things down for me. It's therapy. 

I could visualize a fix and and I loved it...finally. 

Then I saw (remember this is in my mind) Marlene's delight when she receives the quilt next week and even went so far as fantasizing about how the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild members would ooohh and aaahhh over it when she brings it for 'Show and Tell'.

In other words, I want them (principally Marlene) to love what I did to it as much as I always love what she does to my pieces.

So, with new hope and excitement, I sat down with it this morning and stitched in the wobbly corner in the bottom left of the picture below.

Here's what it looks like now...

I still have a lot of stitching to do on it, but I'm not really sure it's helping. I think it's obscuring too much of what's been done previously (good stuff) and feel pretty let down but I know that's not what gets things done...so I will work on it every chance I get between now and I'm satisfied or take-off...whichever comes first.

I'm thinking of couching some bigger circles there in the bottom right section after I finish with the quilting. I'm sure I'll change the color of thread I used and may paint over some of those little circles. And add more glitter.

If you have any ideas PLEASE feel free to comment.

I'm off to the playroom determined to get this looking 


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