Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This wonderful creation that my dear and talented friend Kathy hand appliqued has hung right above my cutting table, in the studio section of my bedroom, for several years. "Uplifting" is a great positive word and I feel happy every time I look at it.

I have been reading Harry Potter with my youngest son, and have been noticing that a major theme is that in order to survive, you need to have good friends...good friends who leave you feeling uplifted.

It is with tremendous gratitude that I can share the fact that I am blessed with several dear and close friends who are, thankfully, helping me get through the very painful process of grieving the loss of my mom. She peacefully passed away yesterday after only a five week struggle with widespread cancer. Today, sychronistically, in the mail, came the most beautiful and touching hand appliqued wall hanging...again from Kathy.

Kathy is quite fond of collecting quotes and over the years she has often had "the" quote for many occassions. On the back of this quilt it says:

A Rose for Stephanie

"God gave us memories so we could have roses in the winter and mothers forever." - Raford Reddell

With a deep breath and a realization that feeling pain and sadness is OK, I know I am going to get by with a little (or lot) of help from my friends. THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


                     In this moment there is peace

Monday, November 29, 2010


Well, I signed up for my first Mary Lou Weidman (and her wonderfully fun Hoochy Momma way of piecing) block exchange several months ago. Twelve owl blocks were due by December 1st (a group of owls is called a parliment, so I had to make a parliment - sure hope they aren't part of a bipartisan parliment - hee hee). NO PROBLEM! PLENTY OF TIME! I had soooooo much time to work on these owls that I didn't need to start right away, or soon, or even later. I didn't HAVE to start until last week. HA! I guess I work better under the pressure of a deadline? Oh well, work away I did and...TA DA... I am finally done - with one day left for mailing!!!! Hoot huzzah hoot!!! I am officially owled out!
Love those button eyes!
A real owl came to visit!

Hoot Hoot

I looked up some information on the metaphysical meaning of owls and happily discovered that owls are NOT harbingers of death! :) They are signs of wisdom and intuition. They are keepers of sacred knowledge. Knowledge that is keeping me on my ever enlightening creative path!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


                                                   My mom in the middle of a lot of love!!

Trying very hard to be in the NOW. The past is the past - let it go - and the future is the future. All we really have is the now. The present moment IS truely a present isn't it? (sorry for the sappyness)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


      My last blog was about focus. Focus on what??? My brain swirled with ideas and then, shut down. On page 51 of Kick Ass Creativity, there is an exercise to "Open the Flow".  The exercise involves recording what you ALREADY focus on.  So, for a day, when I remembered,  I wrote down what I found myself thinking about.  How enLIGHTening! I was shocked to see that I have the same negative concerns and chatter over and over! Now what???
       I recently joined Facebook and have been so lucky to be able to reconnect with many of my former 7th/8th grade students that I taught in the early 90s. Many former students shared how my mantra of "think positive" has stayed with them all these years. Surprisingly, I realized that somehow, in the busyness of my life as Mom, I forgot all about that mantra. Yet, our reality is our perception. And since our thoughts have energy and we attract what we think about then WHY NOT focus on the positive? Instead of thinking, "Why is it so difficult to have peace in my house?" I am focusing on, "I live in a house of peace and love." What an AHA! moment.

In 2007 I made a "little" quilt every week. I loved having something small to work and (!) ... FOCUS on. I am going to start making "littles" again. This time I am going to focus on the theme of positive outcomes that I want to happen in my life. Apparently, looking for peace is a reoccurring theme. 

                                                 2007 -  Peace Portal - with key to open the door!

While I like having a part of my creativity be deep and therapeutic, a lot of my projects are just for fun. Here is the current quilt under construction. I like the blue background fabric that is covered in snowflakes. I want some big treez, starz (a la Jan Mullen), and a little peppermint house to swim in all the flakes.

    This week, I spent some time at Judy Irish's studio. Every time I go to Judy's studio, I leave in a better mood and I feel so inspired! Judy happens to be one of Freddy Moran's (also one of my most favorite of favorites in the quilting world - see previous blogs) quilters. I like to consider myself Freddy's #1 fan! I even started a "Freddy Moran brown nose Fan Club" on Facebook! (Join???) I feel so grateful that I know Freddy, have had the joy of being in three of her classes, and relish all the fun my fellow quilters and I have had because of her. I wanted show my gratitude, so I made a pillow top, Judy quilted it, and then I added pom poms (because Freddy once told me that every time she sees pom-poms she thinks of me!) I just LOVE this pillow and will be sending it off to her this week.

A Freddy bird house!!!

                                                 back of pillow - gushing words of gratitude
"From your number one fans Judy and Stephie -  thanks for the inspiration"
Freddy LOVES red and wears red glasses!!!

So.... a balance of fun and reflection plus some positive focus. Next "little" idea? perhaps health? ")

                                       Pulled out my too cute pink bike that was last seen in '09!

Monday, October 18, 2010


After going to THE quilt festival in Houston in 2007 and falling in love with the quilt exhibition from Japan, I had been thinking and thinking about how fabulous the quilt festival in Tokyo would be. Could I go? Should I go? How? It's SO FAR AWAY!  I LOVE the gal who writes this blog. I had followed her trips to the Tokyo Quilt Festival and she made it sound so fun and accessible. http://bemused.typepad.com/ Hmmmm.........

Then I took a quilt class with Freddy Moran at Aunt Marys Quilt shop,  and Freddy shared a story about her husband. She said that for years he had been saying over and over again that he wanted to go to the British Open. One day Freddy had had enough and turned to her husband and said, "If you are waiting for the phone to ring and the person on the other end to say, "Neil, you should go to the British Open." it's never going to happen! If you want to go, GO!" He got on the phone and started making plans. They went and it was fabulous! Of course it was. Once you set your INTENTION, the act of narrowing your FOCUS makes the stars ALIGN and the dominoes fall. It was an AHA! moment.

I took this story to heart, thought about what I wanted, declared my intention this time last year, and SHAZAM all the pieces of the complicated coordinating of a grand trip to Tokyo for their quilt festival fell into place. Jim would not be traveling so he could stay with two sons. My mom was in good health and would come with. William, my youngest could miss a week of school without too much trouble. AND (this is how I KNOW this trip was meant to be) there were three seats left on the dates I needed to use up some of Jim's miles!!! Despite needing antibiotics for the firsttime in ten years for a bad cold two nights before we left - we did leave and, of course, it was truely fabulous.

As I think about what quilting direction to go in next, I have been thinking a lot about the trip to Tokyo this past spring. Here's some photos, ENJOY!!!

We took the subway every day to a different neighborhood.

The subway was easy to use, clean, and felt safe - even with BIG sumo wrestlers!

   Sumo wrestling was very cool but there was a lot more ceremony than fighting much to William's dismay!

Try it yourself!!
A manhole cover indicating where water was for firemen.

There was a long line to get to the top of the Tokyo Tower, but groovy art to look at while we waited.

Fun looking neon signs were everywhere.

We happened upon a celebration!
With this great float.

And all these fish!

                                                                          Great sign!


The Quilt Festival is in the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium!

LOTS of shrines! All beautiful. All evoking a very calm, ancient, special, powerful feeling.

                         At all the shrines you could write a prayer and tie it to the prayer board.
A perfect ending to a great adventure.

My last posting was about "turning on the light". After I remembered to take my sunglasses off (LOL!) the light revealed some heavy feelings of scatteredness and lack of direction/focus. I know how powerful intention can be...time to focus on focusing. Join me?