Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lime Booties

My third pair. Jason saw a solid teal fleece in my remnant pile, and I couldn't convince him that one color would be boring. Boring to make, no imagination whatsoever, no photos. He loves them anyway.

This wild lime pair will be a gift for a dear friend...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fleece Booties

for me...

I couldn't believe the amount of fleece that I cut for guests at the Jo-Ann's that I work at...tie blankets, ad nauseum...I think I was the only person in Rockford not making them for Christmas gifts! Nevertheless, I was drawn to a few remnants of the fuzzy-poly stuff...

I had received a pair of booties last year, so I decided to take one apart and make a pattern. Had to put my own spin on it, of course - floral for the sock and polka dots for the rosettes added for that all important embellishment ~

An early birthday gift for myself, or I needed something new for the tootsies.'s just that I needed a diversion from the "hurry up and wait" syndrome that has been my life- I haven't heard the results from my CT scan. I've had a couple more episodes that could be related to more TIAs and I refuse to go to the ER again. The cardiologist's nurse told me, "next time get to the hospital asap." But unless you're gushing blood (well, I'm sure you can fill in the blanks).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quilting Arts Blog

My notebook is on the...
Quilting Arts Blog
What a nice surprise at 2:oo in the morning! Thanks, Pokey...

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

3. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

4. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

5. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

6. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

7. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

7. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

9. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!!!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Notebook no.2 and update

This is no.2 in the series of notebook covers that I have been working on, using the embellisher machine. Starting with a pink printed cotton, I layered strips of hand-dyed velveteen, small pieces of floss, eyelash yarn, bits of silk roving, thread and fabric. To hold all of this together, I laid down some black sparkle tulle on top and placed a few pins on it before putting it under the needles. I added some embroidery stitches, beads and charms for added texture and interest, then fused a pink iridescent silk to the back. I'm pleased...

Update: My appointment this past Friday with the good Icelandic cardiologist proved to be a good thing - I finally feel as though someone has a grasp of what's going on AND what needs to be done to get me feeling better. He took control, listened and responded...we'll schedule a transesophogeal echo to get a more precise picture of what my heart is doing, then a special CT scan of my chest and abdomen (looking for clots) and a carotid ultrasound to rule out blockages there. I'm nervous about the echo because it involves passing a tube down my esophogus and in the past, anything that might interfere with breathing freaks me out. But, I did hear that magic word - sedation...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Encouragement and Creativity

A week or so ago, one of the team members at Jo-Ann's listened as I was talking about wanting a felting machine. She had recently purchased quite a few sewing machines from a local dealer, so he threw in a Babylock Embellisher machine for free. She already had one, so she gave it to me to use as long as I would like. Wow...

Since I've been ill, it's been difficult to go into the studio and work on anything, let alone play with a new toy...
The knitting that I finished has been done on the sofa, or in bed.

Yesterday, I felt a change in my mood...this is due in no small way to the encouragement that I have received from friends, both close by and far away.
Since I haven't worked with one of these machines since IQF-Chicago '07 during my Make It U! gig, I decided to start by playing with a few fabrics and fibers just to see what felts and looks interesting. It was then time for a project. This notebook is attached to a small legal pad, and if you're interested in how to make it, check out Marilyn Scott-Waters' page of downloadable instructions: GIFTS TO MAKE!
Her site also has so many fun paper toys to make -

Since the pattern is for paper, you'll need to think in terms of FABRIC...I started with this beautiful brocade, added some wool felt from the wrong side, and embellished some silk threads and a strip of copper silk on the right side. Did some beading and embroidery, then came the face that I made from a mold and Fimo clay.

Here's what it looks like inside. Since I didn't want the back side of the brocade to show, I just fused some cotton on it and painted some dots on with copper Lumiere. To finish, I added a strip of the brocade inside the back cover on the cardboard and on the opposite end of the strip, added a small piece of velcro so I could close it up. Since the back is just the cardboard from the legal pad, it's so boring, so I'll probably fuse another piece of the brocade on it...

Monday, December 03, 2007

St.Nicholas and other Life Adventures

Yesterday at Emmanuel, St. Nicholas paid a visit to our brunch and had with him a bag of treats for the children. The good bishop (Jason) arrived just in time and thankfully Mom found his beard and wig just in time, too...
Jeff had the honor last year!

Life adventure - illness: back in October, I first posted about being ill and having pneumonia. I surely didn't expect to be on a roller coaster of continued illness almost 2 months later. A few days after finishing an antibiotic, my symptoms of extreme fatigue, night sweats and intermittent chills returned. I was told that the med was still working and that I needed to wait. There's that word - wait - not good when heard from the medical community. Since I have a congenital heart valve defect that only needs to be evaluated every year, they sent me for an echocardiogram to check for endocarditis. No changes from my last one. It's two weeks later now, and it's time for some blood cultures. No bacteria found, but it's difficult to detect after finishing an antibiotic. Elevated white count, still feeling like crap, so let's do another antibiotic. Again, symptoms returned after finishing that med. Let's send her to an infectious diseases specialist. Quick exam, another set of blood cultures taken and no bacteria found. I was angry because of instead speaking with their staff, they left a message that I should follow up with my primary physician. Assertive Julaine now - I called my cardiologist's office and after going through everything that has happened, they said that I need to be evaluated. Appointment this Friday. It can't come too soon for me, as I went to the ER last Thursday with symptoms of a transient ischemic attack. The whole right side of my body suddenly became weak and felt heavy. I had to catch myself from falling. Since whatever causes the blockage is temporary, they won't always see evidence on a CT scan. Probably a pinched nerve in my lower back. I have now written down everything that has been wrong with me. I am counting on getting some answers at my appointment. This has been going on way too long, and I just want my life back and a little energy to go with it - I don't think that's too much to ask ~

While I have been down, the most therapeutic and creative thing I have been working on involved knitting these "showercloths." I know they look like potholders, but teamed up with small bottles of shower gels, they'll be great for quick Christmas gifts this year. I used the Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarns and found that mixing a solid and a variegated yarn looked the best. The first ones were for Jeff, Jason and I - we have been using them and love how they feel on the skin, altough the men would prefer a larger size. I've wrapped the cloths around the shower gels, and tied them up with more yarn. I've made 18 of them and they're ready to go in case I hear, "Mom (or Dear), do you have anything that I could give for a gift?"

The whole experience has made me feel depressed. I used to think that only seniors had problems with not being listened to. Since I haven't been caught up in the medical system that much since my aneurysm surgery 6 years ago, I sure can see the differences in the time they take listening to you and responding.

Monday, November 26, 2007

What's Up?

Been sick...if I ever get out from under this spell, you'll be the first to know ~

Monday, November 05, 2007

Where I Stand Sunday

Sorry, Lynn - I'm a day late...On Sunday I had the house to myself after church, so I thought I would try to follow a pattern for a bath mitt. I've never been able to understand knitting patterns mainly because I've never properly learned. This one was on the label of one of the "Sugar 'n Cream" skeins. Rose pink and lime green. I did it - I actually knitted a thumb...

Check out Lynn's thoughts and her photo: Fibra Artysta - Mixed Media Fiber Art
If you'd like to be a part of this photo essay project, let her know, okay?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Other lovely, talented and concerned artists - please check out what's on their hearts and minds today:

Jeanne Williamson
claudine’s sketchbook
Virginia A. Spiegel
And Sew it Goes
Kim Ritter Blog
adventures of a mixed media textile artist
BJ Parady Fiber Art Notes
cat in the batt
Little Cottage in the Woods
Blog Action Day on Environment « WeirSewFineStudioNotebook
Gerrie Congdon - Art Quilt Gallery
Colorful Thoughts
Artquiltist - Artquiltist Journal
Red Shoe Ramblings » Blog Action Day
the crazy atom orbit
The scattered ramblings of a cluttered mind

The earth - beautiful, but in pain. If our so-called leaders (and it hurts to even use that term) would open their eyes and ears to the truth...their idea of being green involves spending that green paper on war and making sure that only the wealthy get more of it.

The signs are everywhere. We are not taking care of what we've been given.

What's easy?
*bring your plastic bags to a local food pantry (and put some food in it)
*who needs to wait for St.Patrick's Day to wear green?
*the three r's - reduce, reuse, recycle - we fiber types are good at this!
*don't purchase any more plastic water bottles - I save the ones I have and use them when pouring dye onto fabric, or re-filling/freezing them to to keep food cold in my son's lunch bags.
*a friend eats lots of yogurt in those quart containers and saves them for me. perfect for mixing dyes.
*you spend way too much money on those pre-packaged veggie trays with multiple compartments, so you might as well use them as bead and button keepers. nice snap on lids.
*if it's too cool to throw out, put it into a collage.
*keep a pile of computer printer paper that is clean on one side. use that side for printing drafts.
*when it's nest making season, place some piles of threads around outside.
*hug a tree - c'mon, you know you can do it!!!

What can you do today?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Scenes from Artscene part 1 - Art at Emmanuel

Me and Bobbie, just kidding! This is the beautiful and talented co-curator Bobbie Walter and myself at the opening last Friday evening. What a night! Everyone was blown away by the art created by church members. In total, there were 10 of us, which I thought was wonderful for our first exhibit.

The Walker Hanging System is phenomenal! Moulding up against the ceiling~poles that slip on and off easily and can slide from side to side where you need them to be~three different types of hardware that can slide up and down to accomodate different types and sizes of artwork. This includes special hardware for hanging textiles!

Our little "pop art" "Zipper Study" quilt is in the center.

The boutique~set up by Andrea Mahan: wearables, assemblages, candle holders, small art quilts, postcards, mosaic bowls. Beautiful and so artfully arranged.

Here we see co-worker and friend Roberta and her sister Sally checking out "The Leaves" - one of my ceremonial ruanas meant for the wall. If you click on the image, you'll see an interesting piece of art to the far right, and here's the story: At 11 pm. the night before the opening, Bobbie, her husband Lenny and I were getting a bit goofy. With setting up the room, we found fabric sample cards from when the room was renovated this past summer. Well, Lenny decided to hang them up. Andrea put a label on it that read, "Found Item" with the price of $10,000 (guesstimate of what the renovation cost-wrong-3 times that amount I think...
Anyway, we watched as people viewed the art on that wall, and came to that piece. Much laughter along with quite a few strange stares. Will it stay through to the end of the exhibit? Sure, why not?

The plans are to keep this exhibit up until the end of October. The good challenge for us now: what's next? No one wants to see these walls bare.

Scenes from Artscene part 2 - the solo exhibit

First, the food...Kiki and staff of Movable Feast put on a feast. Oh, and there was the wine tasting also. I was happy.

Part of the exhibit, a sort of tribal wall. One of my multiple surface design ruanas draped on a birch tree branch (my walking stick now leads a double life). To the right is a small quilt called "Bursting with News" -
Up in the right hand corner is my "Bella Luna" piece (see a previous post for a closeup). What's off to the right of the display is a very unique coat rack that resembles a tree.

My shirt is one that doesn't get out in public very often. It's the Kenenbi top pattern from Sewing Workshop. I had altered the neckline a little. Talk about purple galore...brocades, dupioni, printed border fabric from Bali.

I realize that this isn't much to show you. Neither of my men were able to be there (work and theater committments), so I didn't have any one to take pictures. When I go to visit my art there, I'll take a few more shots, okay?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another Rite of Passage - First Homecoming

It was homecoming weekend at Jason's school, but that's not where he was...

He went to Catherine's homecoming at her school. Thanks to her mom Cindy for taking these pictures.

I was working Saturday night, so I couldn't be there (sob). But...I did get to pick out her corsage...

Last night we finally had a chance to talk about the restaurant they went to and the dance afterwards. I think they had a great time...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thoughts from Roy

Bless his heart! He's wishing me well this weekend at Greenwich...

Monday, September 10, 2007

Solo Exhibit/Greenwich

Here's one section of the Greenwich poster. My "Lightsource" piece is in the center...

It's happening this weekend! Guess what I've been doing?

My small format pieces are now mounted on canvas, and are looking good...
And all the rayon and silk fabrics for my ruana garments are dyed/discharged/overdyed/painted and ready for sewing.

And...announcing my solo exhibit at:

A Movable Feast

this will be part of our local art council's fall artscene - here's the link:

Rockford Area Arts Council - Arts for Everyone

I'm also curating an exhibit at our church for the same event...

Looks like an incredible artful weekend here in Rockford - remember we're only 80 miles NW of Chicago!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Emotions and Art , part 2

On Monday before going to work, I had an attack of vertigo. This one was pretty intense so that by the time I got into the store, I couldn't move my head or eyes without that awful spinning feeling. Luckily Amy, who is the merchandise leader had just come in an hour before, and was scheduled to work until 9pm. anyway. We checked who was staying until closing, and since there was lots of floor coverage, I felt better about leaving. Once home, I took my anti-vert pill and went to bed.


I have made 8 new pieces for the art fair that is coming up soon. I've joined the ranks of other textile/fiber artists who now mount some of their small quilts on stretched canvas. Depending on the response at Greenwich will determine if I continue. I'm uncomfortable with the fact that for some people - it can't possibly be real art unless it's framed or mounted on something. Ticks me off...

"Bella Luna" - Oh well, here's one I finished last night. Deep blue dyed cotton with a printed border (batting underneath) which is wrapped around to the back of 9x11 inch stretcher bars.
The moon is a gold plated choker necklace from Mexico that someone gave me. I stretched it out some into the shape of the moon before adhering it to the piece. Added some little gold heart beads, and embroidered the x's with pearl cotton. Very simple, but also very striking and dramatic. I like it.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Emotions and Art

Saturday evening after work. Nothing terribly serious, just enough emotion and I was feeling distressed enough to keep me up all night. It didn't matter that I had to get up early to get to church, I just couldn't sleep.

I started this piece at 4 am. - I pulled out a bin of synthetic fabrics and yarns, silks and any piece of shiny junk I had. I wanted to burn them into a collage of sorts, I guess. Not alot of thought to a design. No thought of color movement.

I took my embossing stamp pad and pressed it into the layered fabrics, then sprinkled gold and bronze embossing enamel over everything. When I took my heat gun to it, I realized that I wasn't even thinking about the fumes. I grabbed a fan, turned it on high and opened every window in my studio. The stretchy shiny synthetics smelled the worst (I don't even want to know how they're made). When the enamel was melted into the fabrics, I figured it was enough to hold it all. Wrong. Some purple glass beads stitched down and 3 twigs wrapped with lutradur, stamped, embossed and stitched down also helped hold it together.

At this point, it reminded me of a dark forest, lush with color. I added gold leaf beads to represent a tree in that forest.

Most of the time when my emotions get the best of me, I have to get in the studio and create, even if I only start a new piece, or work on another. This time around I re-created my feelings in the burning, i.e., the distressing of the elements. I'm working through my thoughts and I finished the piece Sunday night, which included mounting it on a fabric covered canvas panel. It is now hanging on a wall in our home.

Will it go to Greenwich with me in two weeks, or will it stay? I'm not sure yet.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


When I started free-motion quilting the circles on this piece, it was my intention to name it "Stones" -

Now as I've almost finished each panel, I'm seeing grapes everywhere. I love how it looks, especially since I've left areas unquilted.

Do you think the title "Grapes" is too boring? How about "Before the Wine" ???

This is one of my new pieces for the Greenwich Art Fair coming up September 15&16th at the Rockford Art Museum.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Many photos, few words...

One of my pieces made the Rockford Art Museum's Summer newsletter - it's for the upcoming Greenwich Art Fair, September 15th and 16th.

Revisiting a series of art quilts that I started a few years ago. Here are three new ones. They are called "Here Comes the Sun" (doot 'n doo doo). 12x12 inches - great fun to create.

Jason in front of the White House at the Lincoln Museum.

With Mr. and Mrs. Douglas.

Chatting with soldiers.

Falling asleep on John Wilkes Booth's shoulder???

Putting in a new kitchen floor. Jason scraping up glue and smoothing out some skimcoat.

Jeff laying down tile. Just some edges and the pantry closet floor to do.

Something new for me to dye! Natural osnaburg, cut into 5 fat quarters. Tossed them in a plastic bin, poured some colors, added a little soda ash, waited a bit, poured more color on. When batched, washed, and dried, I ripped the pieces into 5 inch strips. Pinned them to the design wall to see what I had. Cut into smaller strips and sewed together. Hmmmm...

Well, that was our vacation.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Anniversary

"Ancient Flames ~ New Flames" is now hanging in the sanctuary.

"The Stars Project" - 125 stars with names of the ancestors written on them. Accent stars created by the artists in the church. Suspended by 2 floral rings, each is attached by monofilament line.

A detail photo of the stars taken from the bottom, looking up.

One of my accent stars, with a small postcard of Emmanuel from the early 1950's attached to it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Last Stitch

I'm getting ready to sew the last stitch on the binding. Although I usually dred this step, it always brings me to reflection. The whole process, the time, the late nights. But it's really about the art itself and who it's for. This time around, it's all about the community at Emmanuel. The banner is for all of us. The title finally came to me while I was writing an artist's statement for the church bulletin:
"Ancient Flames ~ New Flames"

May everyone who sees it be moved, be thrilled, be
inspired to continue in the mission.

It will be presented this Sunday, July 22nd at our celebration worship service. It will be carried in the procession, and placed on a banner pole. I will post some pictures after Sunday...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Almost Finished

For the 24 words and phrases that represent who we are at Emmanuel, I printed them on dupioni silk fused with Wonder Under, and painted them with red Setasilk paint. After heat-setting the paint, I removed the release paper from the back and fused them onto the deep red dyed cotton. Rotary cut them into narrow strips, then I attached them only at the top with a small gold heart bead. I had planned to fuse them completely on the surface, but after I pinned a few of them down, I noticed that they looked beautiful, just waving like ribbons.

I've sewn 30 cross charms on - these are to remind us that we are "little christs" (martin luther said)

Still have to bind and back the banner. The sleeve is cut out ~ but I discovered I don't have enough black kona to make the binding with unless I want to piece them (no, thank you...)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


All 125 flames are now appliqued ~

All have stitched inner flames, or smaller appliqued flames inside ~

The three panels are sewn together ~

I've found the fabric I like for the backing ~

The binding will be the same kona black ~

I'm now embellishing each flame with beads ~ the silk organza images and the Luther Seal will be attached with tiny seed beads ~

24 words and phrases will be added ~

What shall the title be? ~

Friday, June 29, 2007

90 Flames

The right panel of the banner is now appliqued. I used one of my machine's shading stitches, in various widths, from 4mm.-7mm. to applique the 5 sizes of flames on the panel. I free-motion stitched them using my regular opened-toed foot because I felt I had better control with it, instead of using my darning foot.

35 more to be stitched -
Since the 125 flames in total will represent 125 years of the congregation, they are also the people. Interpretations of music, outreach, family, caring, and our congregation's passion for taking in Jesus' true spirituality will be added to the flames.