Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #38 Bag Lady

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

How do you keep yourself organized?

Bag Lady

Pre-pandemic and quarantine, many of us had lives and in some cases very busy lives.  As an active senior citizen with a variety on interests, I had my fingers in a large variety of pies and enjoyed every minute of it.  My solution was tote bags.  Not only did I make my own, at many events and functions I received them as a participant.  It also told me what day of the week it was.

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Monday, I was going to one of my quilt guilds and based on what project I was working on, I had a tote bag with all my items in it.  Throughout the week, if I came across a pattern or some fabric that I was not going to use, into my quilt tote to take for the sharing table so others might take the items home.  Also, during the course of the meeting some of us worked on small hand held projects to pass on or share with others.  I also made sure that this was right by the front door on Sunday night so I did not forget to go to the meeting.

I taught several different crafts in my community so based on what I was teaching that week I would organize by tote bag. If it was flower arranging, the containers and oasis and tools in one bag, for making bracelets it was beads and wire and another type of tools required.  If I had a special request from a student I would make sure the items went into that bag.  For work, it was a whole different group of items in my tote bag.  Gym days, another tote bag. Not included are the bags  I took to the grocery store to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For many years now I have driven a pick-up truck and this means no trunk, if I had a trunk some of these bags would have been left in the vehicle until needed.  On really good days, I walked out with three separate bags for my current days events.  I did make sure bags were different colors and styles so I did not arrive at the gym with only my jewelry making supplies.  Now that could be a whole new direction to this story.

Posted in 2020, 99 words, Chicago, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Good Vibrations

This is for the 99 word challenge based on the prompt.

How long since I felt vibrations about something, it was just a little over a week ago.  A friend put a picture of a quilt block up and it drew me in totally.  I created 4 similar blocks in just over a week using scraps.  Unheard of.   New fabric’s quarantined.

I am now in the final stage of quilting the entire quilt inspired by that picture.

It is 4 faces made from random fabric pieces and things like a purple nose seemed to work for me.  Today a friend reminded me about a quilt show  looking for covid-19 projects to display.

Posted in 2020, 9/11, Aging, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Poland, Quarantine, Quilts, Sewing, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Reflections On A Changing World

The difficulties of today’s world bring to mind other earth shattering events that I managed to live through.  In the early 50’s I was a young child spending the summer with my aunt and uncle and three cousins at their house in the country.  This was something I did many summers at one of my four aunts homes.  All the cousins at this house were older than I was and all were boys, one of them did require a wheelchair and braces to get around as a result of having polio when he was younger.  One day before the end of summer my aunt helped me get ready to come home to Chicago a bit earlier than expected.  I was put on a train and my dad picked me up at the train station and immediately took me to the doctors office.  There I was given a shot.  They had developed a vaccine for polio and that’s what my doctor gave me.  And the world changed.

In the spring of 1963 I went on a trip with my school to Washington DC.  While on that trip we learned that John F. Kennedy would be dedicating a memorial to Paderewski in Arlington National Cemetery and our plans were changed to go to this.  This was a very last minute event and we lined the sidewalk that he walked to get to the podium for his speech. I was about 5 feet away from the President at that time and this made him much larger than life in my eyes.  I was struck by how quickly he walked, how handsome he was and when the sun hit his hair the dark red color of it.  Kennedy spoke about why the composers  body was in this country and not Poland at that time, since Poland was still not a free country.  It took until 1992 for his body to be return to his native Poland.  What an honor we had and no idea we would participate in this.  Later that year he was killed.  And the world changed.

In 1968 I was living just outside Washington DC and that spring I was able to see the display of the Cherry Blossoms in bloom one day before my first daughter was born.  At that time since it was a military hospital I was in a room with 9 other women and there was no television or radio allowed.  We had no knowledge of what was happening unless one of the husbands came in and told us, which they were advised not to.  A few days later while still in the hospital I looked out the windows of the hospital and saw the city of Washington DC on fire.  With plumes of black smoke rising from various parts of the city.  This was the aftermath from the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King.  And the world changed.

A few short months later, I woke in the middle of the night to hear about the death of Bobby Kennedy.  This coming on the heels of Dr. King’s death caused many changes to happen that may not have been obvious to everyone.  Little things  started happening and the citizens of this country were no longer as innocent and may have become a bit jaded and less trusting.  It seemed we had no idea where the next trauma was coming from and in the background of all of this was a war going on in Vietnam.  Protests and marches were going on all over this country people were trying to have their voices heard.  Many were trying just to find their voices. And the world changed.

In the 80’s we had the start of AIDS-HIV in this country and for the most part it was not talked about and we did not really have to worry about it because it only happened to “gay” men. Then confusion and panic that originally surrounded this entire time was very similar to what is happening currently with this pandemic.  Monumental strides have happened in the medical knowledge and the survival rate from that disease but it was not an easy battle.  Sadly, I had friends who died alone because of the initial stigma that was associated with it and the lack of knowledge about how this disease could ever be survivable.  Washington DC was one site for the display of the AIDS quilt panels and I flew in to see this and walked for hours among the panels laid out on the Mall.  I talked and laughed and cried with strangers about the beauty and the sadness of this  display.  I marched for the first time in my life in a protest march down Pennsylvania Avenue with lit candles  to represent the thousands known and unknown represented in that quilt.  I listened to the names being read of those who had died.  And the world changed.

I can only briefly mention the events of September 11, 2001 because I am still very raw in many ways and I work hard to control the trauma I feel daily because of those horrific events. The swift activity and global yet personal nature of that day are often still very fresh and yet the lingering sorrow never seems to go away. I have a young friend from another country who recently said “Well it’s been a long time now and things are just like before aren’t they?” I am sure part of me will never be whole again.  And the world changed.

Today, I cry easily, I have for many years been that person who cried at a Hallmark commercial, now I cry at the weather forecast. I despair because I have no ability to do anything of significance to help except stay at home. This should be a great time to work on those craft projects I have been stockpiling for years.  Then my mind wanders into strange territory and I find it difficult to sit down and try to sketch a simple flower. I have added long solo walks so perhaps I will come out the other end of this a healthier person.

And the world will change.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, Airplane, kathy70, Quilts, Sewing, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Quilt Show Time!!!

This makes me so happy!  If you have read any of my blog in the past, you may notice a quilty theme running through it.  I love everything quilts.  I love to sleep under them,  I love to make them,  I love to see other quilts, I love shopping at quilt shops, yes I really love quilts.

Next week I get to go to my all time favorite quilt show.  Pigeon Forge, TN has Quiltfest and it really is the best show ever.  When I first began quilting there were 2 really big shows, one was in Paducah, Ky the other in Sisters, Or.  I have been lucky enough to have attended both of these shows.  Over the years I have gone to quilt shows all over the US and a couple in other countries, some are really big and some are really small,  all of them are a treat to attend.

Over the next few weeks I know I will be sharing photos of some of the amazing quilts from this show.  Last year they had over 600 quilts on display and I am sure that this year will be just as good if not better.  Here are a few of the quilts I have shared in the past, I hope you enjoy.

Posted in 2020, Cats, Challenge, Computers, humor, kathy70, Quilts, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #16 Extra Room

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.

Question:

If you had an extra room in your house, what would you use it for?

My extra room.

Who doesn’t love extra rooms, it’s kind of like having extra cash or finding money in your pocket you forgot you put there.  Just puts a smile on your face.

At one point I had more rooms than people living in my place so I actually had an extra room, it started life as a guest bedroom.  After a few years of having only two overnight guests, I finally said enough is enough and lets make this far more useful to me, so it became a sewing room.

My initial thoughts were to move the bed to one side of the room and put my sewing machine and table and fabric on the other side.  That lasted for a couple of months, then the bed went and storage shelves were added so I could fit my fabric stash and my craft supplies.  This was the life of the extra room until I began to move, then it was the first room to get packed up and became the holding room for all the boxes and furniture.

Today, I would do the same with an extra room.  I have had a few friends who have done some really fun things with extra rooms that might change my mind.  One of my friends has turned that extra room into floor to ceiling storage, with shelves for storage and careful stacking, all the walls are hidden by boxes and furniture.  I have a friend who uses her extra room as a TV room and has completely banned her family from the living room with electronics and no television.  This room has become the  electronics center of the house and the TV is pretty much running non-stop, but everyone walking into the house doesn’t hear it.

Another friend has the spare room turned into a meditation/yoga room.  Painted in calm soothing colors with inspirational quotes on the walls it really is a calm place.  A scented candle or incense burning transports you to a serene and restful place almost instantly.

One of the coolest things I have seen is a room that is pretty much the cats playroom.  With  shelves and hiding up high on the walls and ramps that allow cat only access they seem to love the safety of their space away from all people.    I think the luxury of an extra room really can become any adult play room or a reflection of their unique personality.

 

 

Posted in 2020, Challenge, humor, kathy70, Quilts, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #12 Acting

 

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.

Question: Is acting a learned skill or a natural talent?  Why do you feel that way?

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Both.  Have you ever seen a three or four year old trying to get something they know they are not supposed to have, like one more piece of candy?  Some of the best acting skills ever as they  say they just want to try it and have  a bunch of candy wrappers scattered around their feet.

I have seen some people who just get it and can intuitively act.  Read their lines one or two times, take direction and simply perform beautifully.

I also know people who work very hard at their craft and combine skill and hard work in every performance.  Testing accents for days while reading lines over and over and over again, each time with a new accent or emphasis on different words.

Next they try different voices for every character they play, once they decide on that, it’s the walk or a physical mannerism that creates their character.  Then it’s time to establish a look based on the clothing or the shoes or the hair style or color or the jewelry selection.  This process can easily take weeks or months if they have it in the schedule.  As an observer, this is sometimes a fun process to observe, as a quilter I can relate to our process of auditioning fabric and patterns before making a quilt.

I firmly believe that it is a combination of all these things that create those award winning roles we love to see performed.  Do you go through an editing process when writing, keeping certain phrases or words and discarding others?

Posted in 2020, Aging, humor, kathy70, Quilts, Sewing, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Welcome 2020

I wish you all a Happy New Year.  I know it sounds silly, but I am glad I made it to 2020, as this year came closer to my reality, I just thought maybe because of the number like 2000, lets pray for this to be a great year.  I will turn 74 this year and I hope to add at least one new country to my passport.  I looked up a quote to share for this day and this is the one that hit me most.

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“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”   Robin Sharma

Because I am quickly approaching 75, this kind of hit me between the eyes.  What new things do I need to look at, other than getting older to adjust in my life.  On Robin’s FaceBook page he had some new year suggestions, less of one thing and more of another and I thought that’s good, replace a bad habit with a good one. So I am trying for 20 in honor of 2020.

    1. Less busy work.                                        More quilting.
    2. Less swearing.                                          More quilting.
    3. Less coffee.                                                More quilting.
    4. Less silly spending of money.                More quilting.
    5. Less gossip.                                                More quilting.
    6. Less salt.                                                     More quilting.
    7. Less licking the spoon.                            More quilting.
    8. Less using phone or tablet in bed.        More quilting.
    9. Less chocolate.                                     More dark chocolate.
    10. Less fizzy drinks.                                      More quilting.
    11. Less judging people.                                 More quilting.
    12. Less red meat.                                           More quilting.
    13. Less mindless TV.                                     More quilting.
    14. Less sitting at home.                                More quilting.
    15. Less passing by flowers.                         More quilting.
    16. Less toxic people.                                     More quilting.
    17. Less trying for perfection.                      More quilting.
    18. Less multitasking.                                    More quilting.
    19. Less negative people.                              More quilting.
    20. Less showing up late.                              More quilting.

While I personally do not have all of these bad habits, I think some of them would be easy to fall into.  I really think a short version of this list, maybe 3 habits that you want to change for good habits would be more realistic for me to accomplish.  Now to decide if my first quilt of the year will be traditional or modern.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Aging, Cats, humor, Quilts, Rambling thoughts, Sewing, Uncategorized, Yes

Cats At The Quilt Show

There may be an overload of cat ladies who quilt, or quilters who quilt for cat ladies.  I have at least 2 cat ladies in my family and I am currently working on 2 cat quilts.  These are some I found at the quilt show and they were in a variety of categories.  I like the idea of using cat fabric to create the cat pattern used in one of the quilts. Some are full sized bed quilts and some are wall hanging size, all of them are beautiful.  I hope you enjoy.

Posted in 2019, Aging, Birds, humor, Quilts, Sewing, Uncategorized, Yes

Scraps For Birds

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It is nesting season here.  Lots of birds looking to build and fill their nests.  Maybe a squirrel or two, if it’s the one that ate the chocolate out of my grandson’s hidden plastic egg, maybe I won’t share with you.

This is tiny scraps of cotton and silk fabric and cotton thread.  It goes out in the garden in an extra bird feeder and the birds use it as filler in their nests. It amuses me to think of the birds asking one another who their decorators are to have that lovely purple added to the nest.