Thursday, November 26, 2015

Life is a Circle


Life is a circle - it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. What we do with all the moments of our lives in between is never wasted. Each moment has meaning however hard it is to see at the time. We can and should always hope for the best and do our best in all situations as well as let go of our mistakes. But we also need to be aware that not everyone shares our goals, values and dreams. You must always be true to yourself as you cannot be what others want you to be. You can only be yourself.



  

I am taking pleasure in the ordinary things, the simple things. A chance viewing of the sunset or the moonrise when I leave work. Reading the poetry of Rumi or Hafez, or that wonderful Somerset magazine Bella Grace. Cooking or baking foods for my family: a crock pot full of chili or stew, or Thanksgiving pies and stuffing - I took a vacation day from work yesterday and was cooking all day for the Thanksgiving feast later today. Practicing gratitude. Re-examining my life and re-framing past experiences in a positive light. Accepting the past. Becoming rooted in the present. Being open to the future.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Quilt Retreat

It seems like a long while ago but it was actually only 2 weeks ago that I went on the Heart of the Valley fall quilt retreat at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut. I try to go every year and it is a wonderful time where quilting friends gather and we sew and we talk and we have meals together, all in the dining hall lodge with the flags of many different countries hanging from the ceiling. It was too warm for a fire in the fireplace this year but the snack table was abundant as usual and there were chair massages again.


I worked on several different projects and I was very happy to finish this baby quilt for my friend Manny and his wife Christina that I had started in May. The beautiful baby girl arrived on Sunday so the quilt got there just in time. I got the idea from a quilt that I saw on Pinterest and then I made my own pattern. The hearts were hand appliqued over the summer either on my front porch or over at a friend's place. It is nice to have a handwork project to work on and it becomes meditative. The rest of the quilt was machine pieced and machine quilted.



I started on a new project tonight. I had seen a cool tumbler pattern on Bonnie Hunter's quiltville.com blog a while ago at http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2015/07/2015-leader-ender-challenge-tumblers.html and last night at the JAM Quilters meeting at Lisa's Clover Hill Quilt Shop I found the Easy Dresden ruler that she recommends using to cut out tumblers. The tumbler is a one patch design traditionally made from scraps and it fascinates me the way the many colors and fabrics play across the surface. I cut out a bunch of tumblers tonight and will keep going until I decide that I have enough of them to do something. Sewing is something that calms me down and makes me feel better about myself. Quilting allows me to express myself however I want - art quilt, traditional quilt, something in between - no rules, no boundaries, no limitations.


Here is a photo of the camp. It is a wonderful, welcoming place that I am always glad to return to.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Migrating to Blogger

I have been blogging somewhat sporadically for a long while (8 years!) on a different platform (maryart.macilvain.com) and have decided it is time to move over to the blogger platform. I would like to share my art and musings with a wider audience and be part of the blogger art community. I also like all of the extra features offered here on blogger. 

It is awesome how one thing leads to another in your creative life. I never thought of myself as being that creative but I have been taking classes and making art on my own terms and my work has grown. It feels so good to express myself and my feelings visually. This Life Book 2015 page sums up my feelings about art:


This may seem really silly but anyways here goes. I am moving into a smaller place next year. So I can't take everything with me and need to go through everything and choose what to bring. Not sure where all of this stuff came from but I am a New Englander and we save everything because someday you might need it and the saying is probably a week after you give it away or throw it out! 

I decided I can't live without my button collection. My buttons were scattered in different places here and there and I thought I had found them all last week but then I found even more of them today. I don't know why but I was so happy to see all of my buttons in one place. Life is funny like that, how the simplest thing can bring joy to your heart. Buttons are a commonplace thing that we take for granted and they are really cool! In the old days everyone had a button jar or tin.