To Set Goals or Not to Set Goals

That is the question.
Yesterday, I set a goal to not start anything new until 2018.
It took me one day to fail at this goal.
So, I guess my answer is…Some goals are met to be set aside.

I started working on a WHIMM, (Work Hidden In My Mind).
For the past few days, I have been looking online for tutorials, photos, and videos on how to make fabric journals.
My interest in keeping journals, plus by love of trying new things, just made it a natural thing for me to try my hand at making a fabric journal.
I have seen more photos than tutorials or how-to’s, so I am really jumping into this with only my interest and a willingness to try something new.
Since Pantone chose my favorite color, purple, to be the color of the year, I pulled out some fabric from my stash. Thanks, Mary (Zippy Quilts )! Your post about Pantone inspired me and got me started.
Like I said, I really don’t know where I am going with this.
I once took a class on making book journals, so I think I can figure out how to sew the segments together.
This is going to be a gift for my sister, Emma.  She is the artistic one in the family. Emma has written and illustrated five children’s books.  She keeps the coolest journals. One year, I gave my siblings a personalized journal as a Christmas gift. I told them it was a selfish gift, because I wanted them to keep the journal all year and then give it back to me.  Only Emma returned the journal and it was fantastic.
I could see her daily thoughts and activities through her fabulous illustrations.
This is the first square I made for the journal cover.
I made my own fabric, and I hand quilted it.

I am not quite finished with this one.
Some of the fabric included in this block is from the pieces my brother sent me from his furniture design company.
For the next block, I will be using embroidery thread.

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New Things

The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.
Temple Grandin

There are so many interesting people whose blogs I follow.
These creative people have exposed me to artistic and modern quilting.
I continue to read and research different styles as I try new things.
I am finding that I love to “draw” with my scissors.
After choosing fabric, I just start cutting and see where this leads.
This process is very liberating, challenging, and peaceful…all at the same time!
I showed my work to my sister, Emma, the illustrator and author.
She thinks I found my medium.

A few days ago, I combined a bit of free style and using a home-made template, to make a state of Texas block.

Then, a story came to mind.
It is the story of my grandson.
Rulers were not used for the main piecing.
I only used rulers to cut borders for piecing the blocks together.
The borders are different widths and lengths.

The funny thing is, I had just perfected making a flying geese with a ruler; and now, I made some without measuring or using a ruler.
I made a few blocks, and wrote down some memories for each block.
This is what I have so far:

I had some denim to use for the connecting borders. My plan is to add color by embellishing the borders with embroidery.
The yellow house needs some major outlining, or perhaps a redo.
The last house is made from remnants of my dad’s plaid shirts.
Shannon Brinkley offers free lettering patterns, so I made the letters of my grandson’s name in bright colors. The name will be placed on strip above the first row.



I remember being with my grandson when he first saw the beach. What a special moment!
This block will be figured in at a later date.
I want to start my granddaughter’s story quilt.
The process of choosing fabric from my remnant bins has begun.

Thanks to all of you for helping get started on something new.

Martinez Sisters

In a previous post, I mentioned that my mom had seven sisters.
All of the Martinez Sisters were very talented and crafty.
Their skills and talents included one or all of the following: knitting, beading, crocheting, quilting, sewing, painting, drawing, cross-stitching, and embroidery.
My twelve female cousins and I were fortunate to grow up watching these women produce such beautiful products.
Many of us are trying to carry on the tradition.
There is one cousin, Judi, the daughter of my Tia Pilar. We keep in touch and share projects. Judi is also so supportive of my efforts.
When we were younger, Judi came to live with my family while she attended college.
I thought she was the coolest person around!
We called our aunt, Tia Pi.
Tia Pi could do just about anything.
She was also a great joker and prankster.
She loved Elvis.
She taught me how to move and dance like Elvis.
Tia could even cut hair.
On one of her visits, she gave me the “duck cut” which was all the rage in the 1950’s.
Of course, that must have been popular in her hometown of Key West, Florida.
It did not go over too well in San Antonio. 

Tia Pi’s paintings graced the walls of my mom’s house.
I am lucky to have the one she painted of a Cardinal.


I once watched Tia hand-quilt a baby quilt and I was so impressed.
She also taught me some special crochet stitching.
Well, back to Judi.
Judi does excellent work in beading, crocheting, and cross-stitching.
She is now doing some sketching also.
Judi shared some of her work with me today and I asked if I could post them.
She said that I could if I noted that she is “a jack of all trades and master of none”.
There. I said it. But it is NOT true!


I don’t know if you can see the beading on the red and purple flowers.
Just lovely!

Embroidery and Beading…My favorite!

Beading
Mom would have loved this.


Crocheted Dish Towel (These are so handy!)

Cross-Stitch
So precise and neat!


Charcoal Sketch
I think it is time to pull out my charcoal pencils and have fun.

You can see that Judi and I share the “working-on-multiple-projects-at-one-time syndrome”!
Judi, like her mom, is one talented and creative person.

I’d also like to share an art doodle my sister drew the other day.
Emma is the author and illustrator of What This Story Needs is a Pig in a Wig series.
Emma was thinking of our childhood and sent me this art doodle concerning the eight Martinez Sisters.
Any person of Hispanic  descent understands and can tell the story of “La Chancla.”
A chancla is a slipper.
When any of us ever even thought of getting out of line, the threat of  “La Chancla” was enough to straighten us out. I never saw or experienced “la chancla” being used. The stories about La Chancla were enough to keep me in line.
This is my sister’s art doodle…TheChancla Constellation.

Now, I can look to the sky and think of the Martinez Sisters.

 

 

Happy Book Day!

Hurray!
Today is the launch date for What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom,
by  author and illustrator Emma Virjan.
You can order the books at Barnes and Noble, Harper Collins, BookPeople, and Amazon.
If you are in the Austin area on July 11th, stop by BookPeople at 10:30 am.
Emma will be having a storytime.
It will be fun for everyone.

Vroom and Zoom

The mailman delivered a great surprise today.
My sister, Emma Virjan, sent me a copy of her fifth book in the Pig in a Wig series,
What This Story Needs is a Vroom and a Zoom.
This delightful book , published by Harper Collins, will be available on July 4, 2017.

The characters are adorable!
What an adventure!
Pig in a Wig has a great pit crew of friends!

I highly recommend that you zoom over to your nearest book store and get a copy.


My goody package came in this adorable envelope.
Emma sent me one of the color sheets that is on her website, in case I was
“looking for something to do.”
Of course, I immediately took out my crayons to start coloring.

Way to go, Emma!
Pig in a Wig Power!

Summer Celebration


It is hard to believe that June is almost over.
July has always been a special month in our house.
All three of my sons were born in July.
My granddaughter also has a July birthday.
My sister Emma Virjan has her fifth book being released on July 4th.
Yay for Pig in a Wig!

This weekend, my sister will be having a family pool party to celebrate July.
In preparation for the month-long celebration, I decided to make my granddaughter a
July purse.

Pig in a Wig Power!


This is the first in the series of books written and illustrated by my sister,
Emma Virjan.
Be sure and check out the other book titles on her website.

I finished the cape for my sister to use on her school visits.
She always captivates and engages her young audience.
This cape will add to the fun.
  

Now, I am planning my next project.
I ordered some material from Spoonflower to make something special for Emma.
The fabric is entitled, “feeling pensive”.

As soon as the material arrives, I will post more information about this project.

Super Writer Cape

This evening I was able to applique the letter M and the lightening bolt on my sister’s writing cape.
For Christmas, I pieced three black and white fabrics to make the front panel of a messenger bag for my Emma. I remembered that I had a pieced section left over in my stash. I used it to make the initial.
The pig snout is poofed up with batting.
The white and black polka dot lining is also cut, so I pinned it to the red fabric.
It will be ready to sew tomorrow.

June

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. 
Al Bernstein

June has always been a favorite month for me.
I was born on my mother’s birthday, and to this day, I still brag about it to my siblings. 🙂
I have a cousin, a brother-in-law, and a daughter-in-law who have June birthdays.

As a child, the month of June meant SUMMER FUN was here.
We began the summer with a pool and pinata party; and the fun continued until
it was Back-to-School time.

This June has been another great start to summer.
I have spent time with my sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and friends.
This is the first week I have nothing scheduled on my calendar.

After going to the gym this morning, I started writing project based lesson plans for my friend.
For 42 years, I would spend time in my summers preparing for the next school year, and I can not let go of this habit. I love writing curriculum.

Next, I began working on the super hero cape for my sister, Emma, to use at her school presentations.
I purchased the fabric and made a pattern.

The outer cape will be red satin.
The inner cape will be white with black polka dots satin.

This was my first design for the logo.
My sister’s books are about a Pig in a Wig, and I need to put a snout somewhere on the cape.

I think I will simplify the logo and add the snout to the front of the cape.
I still have to put some more thought into this design.

Not having anything on the calendar for this week is rather nice.
Tomorrow will start with a morning cup of coffee.
I’ll rock in my porch chair and thank God for creating June.
Then I’ll decide what to do next.
I think I am finally getting the hang of being retired!

My son sent me this photo from Port A.
He had taken his son for the weekend.
I think I hear Port A calling me!

Power Capes

During my years as an educator, I used every prop available to inspire and empower my students. We wore thinking caps, used plastic hand clappers, blew duck whistles, and wore star shaped glasses to read poetry through the “eyes of a poet”. A favorite motivator was wearing  capes. I made myself a cape, and the parents provided home made or store bought capes for their child. These were our writing capes. They looked so cute as they whirled and twirled and wrote great stories.

My sister, Emma, is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Emma visits schools and she is great with the children. A few days ago, Emma mentioned that she wanted a writing cape. I want to try and make one for her. I decided to try making a smaller one first. I have never made anything with shiny, slippery material, so I needed to practice.

Today, I made one for my grandson. I used one of his t-shirts to form the top of the pattern. I had some difficulty with the slippery fabric, but it worked out.