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. 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?  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A while ago, four like-minded creative spirits and I spent a year working through this fabulous book:
Since that year, I have been in search for another book to help guide me towards becoming more of my authentic self. The other day on Facebook, the ever humorous, Mark Lipinski mentioned the following book:
I have read the first three chapters and I am sooooo excited about how the author, Mary Beth, has combined all the ideas I have read about here and there into one space with great exercises to help further propel me on my creative journey. What resonated immediately was the idea that I have to "get plugged in" to what she refers to as the "Big Creative". I liked the image of getting "plugged in"..focused...aligned....and had been thinking about making another "little" quilt depicting this idea, maybe with a lamp, a plugged in cord, etc. THEN I go to my Weight Watchers meeting and what is on the cover of the weekly flyer?

                                                                        GET PLUGGED IN!
The Universe was not done giving hints. (LOL!) Later in the day, the cap on my new favorite ice tea, Original Sweet Leaf said:
                                             ANOTHER ALLUSION TO PLUGGING IN! DO I get plugged in and start creating? Sometimes it is the FABRIC. The fabric obsession of the day is the luscious fabric line "On the Rio Grande" for Free Spirit by Terrie Mangat:

Sometimes, it is a PATTERN. Last year, Freddy Moran came to Aunt Mary's Quilt Shop to teach a workshop and walked my dear friend Judy Irish through her version of a Lonestar Quilt. Judy caught the Lonestar bug and I do believe she has made ten Lonestars since then!!! I caught the bug while sewing in her fabulously stuffed studio one day. I have made four so far and have started my fifth!!!!
                                        INSTRUCTIONS FOR LONESTAR ON PAGE 110

                                                           ONE OF MY LONESTARS
                                                                     ANOTHER ONE
                                                                 CURRENT LONESTAR

Reading and working through The Artist's Way was very powerful. I am where I am, in part, because of what I learned and how I grew with The Artist's Way. Whether it's a fabric or a pattern I am PLUGGED IN! and looking forward to "allowing myself to unfold authentically, organically, as I prepare to grow and lift off." (page 28 in Kick-Ass Creativity) Join me?