Friday, April 29, 2016


This post is going to be thoughts... not really a post on how to but a reflection on some things I am learning from others.
I love reading blogs. I learn alot from them. From time to time I want to spot light some of those who I get a lot of thoughts from.

A disclosure is needed before I do this that I am only going to focus on positive thoughts and reflections. Negative rants - of which I have been subject to or have given have served no purpose accept to put me in a downward spiral. So the old saying "If you don't have anything nice to say - don't say it" will apply. This is going to be hard work. Think of how many negative comments flow through your brain?

Elizabeth Barton
I have never met Elizabeth Barton. I have her books


She teaches on line at the Academy of Quilting

And has a masterclass sign up each year which you can access on her blog via the link on her name above.

She doesn't know me at all. I am just one of the people who have signed up for her blog.

Her writing is engaging and thoughtful. She encourages people to respond to her posts and replies to their comments.

Her insights are worth a read. April 28th's post talks about adding some spice to your work like you would a recipe or dish you would make.

What I have learned from this blog is in a nut shell. Do the work, invest in learning, learn to critique your work - she has suggested  how to critique section in the end of her book. (Can't remember which  one.)

Check out her blog.

Do you have her books? What do you think of them?


Monday, April 25, 2016


I am a Craftsy Fan.

I have bought several classes now and really enjoy the format. Granted you have to have a Internet connection that works well to feed the video so it doesn't make it ideal for some.

Why do I like Craftsy Classes?

Here are my top reasons.

1. Affordable. Hobbies are expensive. Very fulfilling but expensive. Some people would be appalled at the amount of money I have spent on my hobby but since my hubby is good with it and it makes me happy to create for our family and others I don't have to justify spending the money. That being said there are limits. Craftsy makes classes affordable. Price points for these classes are great .

2. Life time access to classes.  No where can you get life time access to classes to watch, re watch and re watch that I know of. Yes you can buy DVD classes and I do, but here comes my next reason.

3. Top notch teachers at your disposal. Every class I have taken has top notch teachers at my disposal. The format design of the class allows you to ask questions at any point in the classes. And the teachers answer. You also benefit from reading other students questions, the replies from the teachers and fellow students.

4. Access to teachers I would never get to see in person. I would love to study under these talented teachers. Living where I do and being practical it is unlikely that I will get too! Although if I ever get a chance I would because there is nothing like the in person experience. Lets face it how often have I heard of my friends and acquaintances say they have spent $$$ on a class at a venue only to be disappointed that the teacher was not a great teacher in person.

5. You can preview what the class is like before you buy. Is every class going to be what you wanted? Probably not as we all have different expectations but I can learn something from each and every experience.

6.  Craftsy has sales. Sales on their classes. You can book mark your wish list classes and wait for a sale.

7.  Great Supplies. Ability to buy through the Craftsy store. Access to get supplies at great prices.

8. Patterns available for free or for purchase

9. Community. Craftsy has a great community if you want to be involved in that way.

10. Blog. You can follow along and learn even more great things.

There are great venues out there for learning. And I make use of a variety. I love have books as a resource. I search the net. I buy DVDs. I take local classes when they are available in my area.
I belong to some small groups that are great for encouragement and growth.

On my side bar is a Craftsy Badge. I have signed up to be a Craftsy Affiliate. As a Craftsy Affiliate if you go to Craftsy and take a class through my link it will give a small monetary remittance to me. I am not going to get rich from this but hope to be able to create some content for this blog with it.

As I work through my Craftsy classes I am going to share my successes and failures on my blog.  I hope you enjoy seeing what I am up to and join me in my journey of becoming a better artist and encouraging others to be creative.

What will be first up. Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine with Amy Johnston. This is going to teach me not to be afraid of my Baby Lock Tiara!

Until next time


Monday, April 11, 2016

Opportunity you listen?

"Opportunity Knocks... do you listen". I think this would make a great quilt title. Image what you could put into it.

How about "Look Before You Leap because you just might land in ... " This could go so many ways - whimsical, political, dark, light.

I attended out local SAQA Meeting yesterday afternoon at the artgalleryofburlington where Robynne Cole and Dwayne Warner put on another great meeting. Record turn out!

Denis Longchamps Artistic Director and Chief Curator of the AGB was our guest speaker.  What a great job he did! I wish I had taken notes but the lights were dim and I couldn't see very well so I will have to rely on my memory...

Denis did a great job of explaining about Art, Craft and the divisions, and interactions of the subject. Where lines get blurred is the historical, contextual, and perceived definitions of Art and Craft.  Art begs the person to ask questions. It pushes the realm of the known in a medium in relation to the time and space it is created. At least this is my take on it. I still don't get some "Art" and probably won't at least with not a greater study of the subject. Which I think would take a lifetime.
But for now it has opened the door a bit wider to my understanding of things created with out a purpose or practicality.

How does this relate to my post title?

Well I guess it relates on many levels. A flare of my Fibromyalgia has lead to me resigning from my part time job. This in turn allows me to pursue other activities such as my "art" quilting and other hobbies while turning my mind to keeping myself in better condition health wise and freeing me up for opportunities. Which in turn can ramp up symptoms of my Fibromyalgia. In other words if I don't plan my opportunities I could end up in a bigger mess.

Over the next little while I am going to be doing some serious thinking about Looking Before I Leap. I am impulsive and have a creative problem solving mind. I am naturally curious and intrigued by new things. This leads me down rabbit holes of what should I do with my life? and Staying at home and not working for pay does it have meaning? Should I take a course for a designation? Should I start a business? Should I ....

On one of my favourite sites to visit is Textile Artist. It has great articles for fibre artists and more. I am going to be making some mind maps to clarify my thoughts and options.  Putting on paper the rabbit hole where my mind goes.
I used to use this technique with my son when his mind was going to fast as a kid and making him anxious.

I know I am in for a change. You will see them here on the blog.

Let me know if you go down rabbit holes or look before   you leap or how you deal with opportunity...
I would love to know what others think.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekly Stitch - Cretan Stitch

Well this weekly stitch bit is a bit of a misnomer. 

But I will stick to this title until I get there. 

So many things have been happening and time and energy is not always there but I finished the sample.

Stitch Sample

The leaf sample -  a slow start
Part of the problem with this leaf is how to 
interpret this stitch to fill in the leaf. 


If you want to see a really successful weekly stitch blog. by Linda McLaughlin

Do you hand stitch.