Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flung what?

Cultural trends come and go so quickly now (thank you MTV) and the attention span of most folks has sunk to flea-level. One of the most intriguing decorating and/or philosophic trends was Feng Shui. To quote, "Feng Shui is the art of balancing and harmonizing the flow of natural energies in our surroundings to create beneficial effects in our lives." Yawn. I feel better already.

About all I remember from reading about Feng Shui was that a red thread stretched ceiling to floor near the cash register in a retail store was supposed to attract good chi (energy) in the form of cash. Lordie, as a quiltmaker, I've been carrying about thread of many colors for years and have yet to be showered with money! However I did invest in a little book on the subject but haven't cracked it since my friend Mary Frankle just about died laughing when she spied it in the bookshelf at the studio. As she was toting arm loads full of fabric and precious quilt junk during my last studio move, she joyfully shouted the title out loud, "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui!" and then shrieked, "It didn't work did it?!" Thanks Mare.

In spite of abuse from friends, I did do a piece paying homage to the concept of Feng Shui. The blocks are Tangled Star, a pattern from my Foundation Stars class, and the four black symbols represent air, fire, water, and earth (or maybe it's Larry, Moe, Curly, and Shemp-can't remember.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Working Cats

OK, maybe the title is misleading. 'Working' is defined here as being good foot warmers, bookends, and quilt testers! The pet population at our house is steady at 2 and 1/2 cats. The two are Henry, a large ginger male who is the pin-up cat on and Miz Bamboo. Here's Boo sitting on my truck.

The 1/2 is Callie, a formerly completely feral cat who lives under our boat but allows us to feed her. Sorry no picture yet-she's very shy! Last fall Callie presented us with four calico (all female) kittens and moved under our neighor's house where the kittens proceeded to tear up the insulation. A wonderful organization, the Beaufort Cat Project, helped us deal with the wild family. They came and trapped (over the course of a week) all four kittens and eventually Mama Callie. Everybody got shots and Callie was spayed. While Callie came back to us, all four kittens found good homes. The people at Beaufort Cats were great and here's their website .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Hit at Thanksgiving Dinner

My husband loves ham. When he knew we were having the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving, he pleaded, "How about a ham? Maybe a little ham?" So we had both and today I'm using up the last of the ham bits in an Alfredo pasta dish for supper. But the dish that really was the hit of the holiday meal was a new dessert. Since we get a boxed Fruit of the Month gift from my aunt and uncle every month, the beautiful November pears begged to become something wonderful . French Pear Pie will be on the menu next year too!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rainy Monday-Goodbyes and Back to Work

We drove Julia to the train yesterday in Wilson NC and I got all weepy as I bid my niece goodbye. A senior at George Washington University in DC (majoring in marketing), over the Thanksgiving weekend she insisted she had to visit the beach. So, on Saturday we went walking seaside at the Atlantic Beach circle. Julia rolled up her jeans and waded into the surf but soon discovered it was incredibly cold! I'm back at the studio, trying to figure out this blog thing and do it without calling Julia for advice.

The other work at hand is shifting all my quilts and fabrics from one room of the studio to the other. Come January, I plan to open the largest room as The Quilt Studio, a center for intensive quilt instruction. The move is a large undertaking since it represents 35+ years accumulation of precious 'quilt stuff' and for the first time, I'm taking an inventory of both my collection of antique quilts plus quilts I've made. While a respectable number of my own pieces are completed quilts, there are also tons of quilt tops. Some people might, unkindly, call these UFOs (as in Unfinished Objects) but I consider them portable teaching samples and I'm sticking to that label. Next time someone questions your unfinished masterpieces, you are welcome to use the line too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First time out of the gate....

My niece Julia Marshall has helped me set up this blog-correction: she set up the blog and I watched. Hopefully as I write more and become more adept, this endeavor won't be write so painful and I can take Julia's number off speed dial. I am fascinated by the blog concept but frankly find the word blog ugly and prefer online diary. So much for semantic niceties.

I know, this next info isn't about quilting but I'm easing into this thing, getting the lay of the land. So, living in coastal North Carolina, I'm always aware of the weather and the nearby (less than a block-) Atlantic Ocean. For all water lovers, here's a nice picture I took last April of a shrimper at rest in the harbor of a down east fishing village, Atlantic, North Carolina. Enjoy.