Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Animal in You

Everyone in blogland is having fun with the Myers Briggs personality test and comparing themselves to the most amazing people. For a different perspective on personality, check out The Animal in You.

My results said I could be a giraffe or an elephant. In my youth, I probably was the giraffe--coincidentally, I used to collect them--but now, the somewhat underwhelming ... plain gray elephant seems a better fit.

Since first taking the Myers Briggs test a couple decades ago, I have seen the results for a couple characteristics shift over time. I attribute those changes to life experience. I wonder if others see those small changes in me (or in themselves) over time.

Playing With Dyes Again

overdyed scarfAs I explained to a frustrated fiber artist at the dye workshop on Saturday morning, the results of my first ever trip to Days to Dye For at Alice Brinkman's studio were so spectacularly disappointing that now I come with low expectations. It allows me to play (and often fail) as I learn and experiment with new processes and chemistry. Here are the results of my most recent efforts.

Saturday we focused on pole wrapped shibori methods. I brought back the once purple scarf that I'd discharged last fall with the intention to overdye it--I expected the navy dye to be darker, but I think it's moving in the right direction.

I also overdyed a hand-dyed yellow fat quarter--I think this is going to make great tropical leaves.

leaf fabric?

I'd recently seen some fabulous shibori socks on Flickr and had to try some of my own. I went on a last minute hunt for white 100% cotton socks on Friday night ... and came to the studio with low expectations. I think these need more color, but have possibilities.


I think everyone in the studio on Saturday wished we'd had more time to wrap and dye and add more complexity to some of our pieces ... I came home thinking I needed to make my tiny space workable as a micro dye studio and work in a less distracting environment. I also decided I needed Karren K Brito's book on Shibori. I often love my accidental results and really should figure out how to reproduce them ...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Journey of 10,000 Steps Begins With ...

... a new pedometer.

Last summer when I started walking after work with a friend, I picked up a pedometer and managed to lose it within 10 minutes of clipping it on for the first time. I found it later, in the driveway ... AFTER I had run over it with my car. Bye, bye pedometer.

Knowing that MOVING more is always a good response to a funk, I picked up a new one yesterday, with what looks like a sturdier clip. Only time will tell ...

Yesterday, on my way out the door to work, I clipped it on, curious to see how much walking is part of my normal day. As you can see in my sidebar, it's a little over 6000 steps. Maybe getting to 10,000 won't be as tedious as I feared ... tedious because taking a walk during a snowy, frigid Michigan winter can only mean one of two things: treadmill or mall walk, neither of which hold great appeal to me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Paralysis by Analysis?

When Marianne issued her challenge on the Quilting forum to finish three WIPs by April 30, I knew I had to join. I wasn't alone ... the discussion has been so intense, I can't even keep up with the messages.

But back to the quilts ... I thought my biggest challenge would be remembering where I tucked away the fabric for the binding for the large flannel bed quilt last fall, before my move. Instead I've been stalled by indecision.

garden quilt

This quilt is based on the Calico Garden Quilt in the collection of the Shelburne Museum. The original has Broderie Perse applique in the border and I have painstakingly cut out many flowers for that purpose. But ... I keep considering trapunto instead ...


My abstracted Allium was created in a workshop with Jane Sassaman. I thought it would make a great oversized tote ... and the fabric at the bottom extends far enough to form the back of the bag. But now choppng it off and making a small wall-hanging seems to be a better idea.

flannel quilt and Grace Hopper

And that flannel quilt? No indecision here ... and the binding fabric has been located. The biggest challenge may be convincing Grace Hopper and her big brother to give up their favorite spot ...

In a Funk, a Slump or Just in a Rut?

My plan to hit the ground running in January has failed miserably. Perhaps it was the definitive arrival of winter and day after day, week after week of gray skies.

gray skies

On the rare occasion that the sun comes out and the wind dies down, you can almost see everyone's spirits lift. But even on those very rare sunny days, one can go out in the morning and find a giant icicle in their parking space. The morning that Linda was taking beautiful icy winter photos, I spent more than an hour chipping the ice away from my car-cicle.

I have been making some small progress, quilting wise. I've begun a year of fiber postcard swaps on the Art Quilts forum–we'll be celebrating eight (mostly) international holidays. The first will celebrate International Women's Day on March 8. (There is still lots of time to sign up, if anyone wants to join us). I've also kicked off a new year of the block lotto on the Quilting Forum ... with huge success. I've already received more than 180 blocks this month--100 more than the high-water mark from previous years and more than seven times as many as our last month (November) last year. It feels like an avalanche of blocks and funky, slumpy, in-a-rut me is a little overwhelmed. More quilter than quilt related, I also established a web/blog ring for quilting forum members on I wasn't sure how many forum members maintained blogs or sites--the list so far is around 20.

Whether it be funk, slump, rut or the mere lack of sunshine here, I push on and know it can't last much longer.
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