25 January 2016

Studio Update

2016.01.13StudioBefore01
A while back, I decided to turn my daughter's old bedroom into a sewing room.  But somehow, I never was very comfortable sewing in there and preferred the old sewing room in the basement.  The room become a collect-all room and though it began to accumulate my painting stuff, I still painted out in the kitchen or in my stitching studio (the breakfast nook/butler pantry).  

2016.01.13StudioBefore02
My daughter loved the color of silvery gray, so that's what the room was painted.  It should be a good neutral for painting, but I found the color terribly depressing.  Enough that it kept me out of the room.  It felt so dreary to me.  

2016.01.13StudioBefore03
It just wasn't a very inspiring space.  

2016.01.13StudioBefore04
Rather depressing.  I just couldn't spend enough time in the room to put for any effort.  But then I realized that I really needed a dedicated painting space.  One that I couldn't wait to get into each day.  And so I began thinking about what I wanted to do with the space to make it work for me.  

Step number one was to make the space my own.  It needed paint!  I painted one wall green and the others in my favorite white.  I cleared out all the non-painting stuff, rearranged, and downsized some unnecessary things.  I also hung up as many of my framed pieces of artwork as I could, that weren't already hanging in other rooms.  

Yesterday, at last, the space finally came together with the help of my youngest son Zach who helped me move some furniture around!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter01
Welcome to  my new studio space!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter02
I love how light the space is with the new paint.  It feels so open!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter06
There is room now for my art books and some inspirational bits.  

2016.01.25StudioAfter03
There is a gallery wall filled with my artwork!  Instead of hiding in the stairwell or in the basement or tucked away in closets, my art is now out where I can see and enjoy it!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter04
I anticipate that the display will change periodically as new paintings are created and framed!  

2016.01.25StudioAfter05
I love being able to see the variety of things that I have painted over the past decade!  I'm hoping that this new space helps to keep me motivated to paint!  

There have been a couple of other small home projects as well.  I've spent some time updating the main entryway and also my bedroom.  Mostly small changes, but all things that make my little house feel even more like home!  

09 January 2016

A Winter's Day

2016.01.08SnowyArbor
Another round of snow yesterday left the arbor looking lovely.  I can't believe that the roses are still holding onto their leaves, but I'm hopeful that once spring arrives in a few months they'll be replaced with fresh green ones! 

2016.01.08Snowbird.junco
The snow birds have been visiting the feeders in large numbers!  Always love hearing their twittering in the depth of winter! 

2016.01.08MugofTea01
When it's cold and snowy out, my one morning cup of tea grows to 2 or 3!  So cozy on a chilly day!  

2016.01.08Thomas
With Epiphany past, it's time to put the Christmas decorations away.  Thomas has taken up Mollie's spot on the table while I gather things.  Soon, the house will be fresh and clean, feeling open and spacious with the decorations all put away for the year.  Then it's time for some creativity!  Lots of stitching taking place and a little painting!  I'll have things to share soon!  


04 January 2016

Painting

2016.01.04WhirlingButterflies
As I noted previously, one of my goals this year is to spend more time painting.  It's something I really hope to grow - both in my ability and as a business.  One of the things that has come out of this is that I have started a new blog which will feature my my paintings and painting process, rather than trying to include that on this blog.  I will continue to blog here about my stitching and travels, home and garden, but all the art stuff is moving to the new blog: Lisa P Boni Paints 

One of the things I will be doing is making many of my paintings available for sale!  Please feel free to contact me if you are interested. 

2016.01.02WatercolorSketch
I will also be putting my watercolor sketches on the new blog rather than here.  Though they more than likely will not be available for sale as they are more for my own enjoyment and I don't like removing them from the sketchbook!  

Hope to see you there! 

02 January 2016

The Road Ahead

2015.12.31SnowyRoad
A new year!  A new path to take!  I love these first days of the new year and looking ahead to what might be.  So many possibilities!  

For me, it is time to take stock, to make plans, to hope, and to dream.  In 2015, I set forth some ambitious goals.  While I met many of them, I also faltered when life events occurred.  It was discouraging to fall short.

While I have many hopes and dreams for 2016, I'm making a shorter list of things to accomplish.  A list that I hope will be easier to achieve.  Along with this has come some difficult decisions and a several things I need to let go of.




My Project List ~ Stitching

2016.01.02SignaturePieceWIP
I don't anticipate beginning too many projects this year, but I do hope to create a "signature"piece in shades of ivory and blush rose!  

2016.01.02CQJP2015
Finished my CQJP 2015 project is a priority and will likely take me the better part of January and February to accomplish.  It's getting so close!  Can't wait to be finished with it! 

2016.01.02MollieFeathers
I also want to finish  my "Mollie Feathers" piece.  The name came when my Mollie Kitters was sitting on the table next to it as I worked on it and I realized that the colors were the same as her.  With her passing, it is now a tribute in her memory and I will add a photo of her to the back when it is finished. 

After much thought, I've decided to not participate in CQJP 2016.  There are too many projects that I want to complete and things I would like to try and work on that don't fit into the realm of a large year long project at the moment.  That said, I do have lots of ideas for big projects, but I am putting them aside for the time being. There should still be plenty of stitching to share throughout the year! 

2016.01.02Featherweight
After working many extra hours in the past couple of months, I treated myself to a little Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  It's portable enough to take with me to workshops and the like and to keep to my CQ stitching station in the breakfast nook.  

I've been working hard to pare down my stitching/sewing/crafting supplies.  Being surrounded by materials that I love to work with makes stitching such a joy.  Not having to paw through boxes of unwanted/unloved materials to find what I want/need is also a joy and such a relief!  

Painting

2016.01.02ArtSupplies03
I hope that 2016 will also be the year that I get back to painting on a far more frequent basis!  After trying out several versions of plein-aire equipment, I have settled on this very lightweight set-up that travels easily in a smallish backpack!  Since I have three children who love to paint, I going to share my old equipment with them and we hope to begin going on some painting outings together!  Creating art AND spending time with family ~ what could be better?! 

2016.01.02ArtSupplies02
With my art, I'm on a journey to lighten up, to brighten up, to loosen up.  To help, I've added some new colors to try to my palette!  I'm also hoping to take a workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry in the near future to get me going again and help with my journey!  

2016.01.02ArtSupplies01
A new tiny watercolor palette of just three colors has been added to my travel watercolor kit!  Just arrived this morning, I can't wait to try out these handmade watercolors by Greenleaf & Blueberry

2015.12.27LimitedPalette
Last year, I started to play a little bit with a limited color palette of Daniel Smith watercolors.  To help understand them a bit better, I made a color chart.  How surprised I was to find that the colors are similar to my CQJP 2015 palette!

I had fallen out of the habit of taking my watercolor kit with me everywhere and it's something that I've really missed.  So, I'm looking it over to pare it down as it had gotten a bit out of hand, and soon, it will be will me everywhere again and hopefully, there will be lots of new watercolor sketches to share!

New Paths

You'll notice a new tab at the top of the page for Workshops!  I have signed contracts to do a lecture and workshop at two different quilt guilds in October!  One in California with the Santa Clara Quilters Assn. and in Colorado with the Columbine Quilt Guild!  I'll be presenting a lecture called "The Heart of Crazy Quilting" about the embroidery and embellishments of crazy quilts and then presenting workshops on the same topic!

For the time being, I have decided not to pursue teaching crazy quilting locally.  My ever changing work schedule makes it difficult, and I found that the time commitment was causing un-due stress on my already busy schedule.  In the future, I do hope to return to teaching on a more regular basis, but it might have to wait until I'm retired.

Health

My biggest project for 2016 is to get some health issues under control.  For many months now, I've had increasing pain in my hip and sacroiliac joints, that has made it difficult to walk without pain.  It turns out that I have a number of issues going on and one in particular that will require surgery.

As many of you know, I have had a great deal of difficulty with weight in the past and had bariatric surgery in 2011.  It helped immensely and I lost over 100 lbs, but then once I went back to working nights in 2013, the weight began to creep on as I resumed some bad habits.  Now I'm in the position of needing to lose the weight that I have gained before they can perform the surgery.  Time to break those habits and get back to good ones!

2016.01.02Chocolate
My biggest downfall is that I've fallen in love with chocolate!

And salty things.  If offered a choice between sweet and salty, I'll nearly always choose salty.  Unfortunately, most salty things are also high in carbs, which are the thing I need to avoid above all others.  Sigh.

Because of the bariatric surgery, and not being able to walk much, my weight loss journey is quite a bit different than what most weight loss scenarios look like, so it's going to be a challenge, but I am determined!  

Travel

I really, REALLY love to travel!  To see new places or re-experience places I've been before brings so much joy!  Part of that joy comes from taking photographs, doing sketches and sharing the journey with all of you!

While I don't have much planned in the way of big trips this year, I will be traveling to California in October and there will be many things to see there as I've never been to the San Francisco area before!  I also hope to take a few smaller trips throughout the year, mostly within Colorado and maybe Arizona.  There will be lots of dreaming and planning for a hoped for trip to England and France in 2017!  And just maybe a trip to Israel with my son and his wife!

Closing Thoughts



Each year I try to choose a Psalm to meditate on throughout the year.  In this election year, I thought that this one might help me focus on what is important. 

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
   in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
   on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
   who executes justice of the oppressed,
   who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
   he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
   your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!



Who knows where the road will lead! I'm looking forward to the journey that 2016 will bring! 

31 December 2015

Saying Goodbye to 2015

It's time to say goodbye to yet another year.  Inevitably, I find myself thinking that not that much happened... and then I start looking at photos and blogposts from the year and discover just how much really did happen!  Here's a look back at my year.

My creation
Participating in the CQJP 2015 was a huge part of the year.  It's been a challenge to work in these bright colors and to create the tapestry effect that I was looking for with the embroidery on these blocks!  I'm still a bit behind on them, but hope to finish the blocks by the end of January and get them assembled!  

2015 Stitching
There was a lot of stitching this year!  Not just the CQJP blocks, but round robins and some other projects as well!  It's a lot of fun looking back over the year's work! 

2015 Travels
Though I didn't think I'd do much traveling this year, I managed to get in several trips, both near and far!  Places I visited included, Bandelier Natl. Monument; Albuquerque, NM; Monte Vista Natl. Wildlife Refuge; Morristown, NJ; New York City; Lambertville, NJ; Brattleboro, VT, several locations in Massachusetts and one in Connecticut; Camp Verde, AZ; Sierra Vista, AZ, Hubbell Trading Post Natl. Monument; Rocky Mountain National Park; Pawnee Natl. Grasslands; Cheyenne Bottoms Natl. Wildlife Refuge in Kansas; Kansas City, MO; Weston; MO; Mount Evans, CO; and Pagosa Springs, CO .  

2015 Fauna
On my travels, I got to see so many interesting birds and lots of wildlife!

2015 Flora
At home, the garden bloomed beautifully due to our moist start to the summer.  Just glorious!  Unfortunately the mosquitos also grew well, so I wasn't able to enjoy the garden as much as I would have liked.  I enjoyed seeing the fields of sunflowers in eastern Colorado and Kansas along with other interesting wildflowers on my travels! 

2015 Best Photos
Here are a few of the photos that I feel are among the best that I took this year.  It's always hard to choose and the little thumbnails of them, don't do them justice. 

2015 Artwork
It was a joy to spend more time creating art!  Lots of new watercolor sketches and a few oil paintings!  

Mollie Kitty
Probably the sentinel event that I will always remember 2015 for, is that this was the year when my beloved Mollie Kitter passed away.  The loss of her is still so terribly hard to bear and the grief still knocks me off my feet.   I miss her so. 

Jeff, Tracy, and Lisa
I will also look back on 2015 as the year I got to reconnect with my cousins Jeff and Tracy whom I hadn't seen in far too many years!

I have a dear group of friends that I met many years ago, online, through the old Victoria Magazine chat room.  They are an amazing group of women and we live all across the U.S. and Australia.  Every now and then, we get to meet up!  This year I was blessed to be able to spend time with several of these lovely and amazing ladies!
2015.04.18NYC02
Gail and Lisa

Judy and Lisa
Judy and Lisa

Lisa and Heidi
Lisa and Heidi

Nat, Heidi, and Lisa
Being able to spend time with my Posie friends was such a treat as was having my cousin Nat, join in on the fun!

Another amazing group of friends that I've met online are the lovely ladies and phenomenally talented stitchers, Allie Aller and Susan Elliot!  Ever since I've gotten to know them, I've longed to meet them in person.  2015 was the year!  
Allie
At long last, I got to meet Allie face to face!  And better yet, got to spend almost a week with her!  

Susan and Lisa
And to make things even better, I also got to meet Susan in person and spend 3 amazing days with her and Allie on an incredible road trip that Susan planned out for us!

At Delectable Mountain Fabrics
Susan took us to Delectable Mountain Fabrics where we got to meet the incomparable Jan and her amazing shop!  Truly a magical time!

Crazy Divas
As a bonus, Susan arranged for Allie and I to meet and spend time with an amazing group of talented Crazy Quilters!  What a thrill it was to meet everyone!  From left to right: Susan, Nicki Lee, me, Allie, Maureen, Betty, and Shirlee.  Wow!  

Crazy Quilters at the Slow Stitching RetreatThere were also new friends to meet at the Slow Stitching Retreat!  Amongst the larger group of "sane" quilters, there was a great core of wonderful Crazy Quilters!  From left to right: Jocelyn, Mary Anne, Elaine, Allie, me, and in front, Lydia, and Arlene

Mark Lipinski & company discovering my work
Getting "discovered" by Mark Lipinski at the Slow Stitching retreat was an experience I will never forget!  He was an amazing host for the event!  

CQI 2015 Retreat
In September, I met lots of new CQ friends and got reacquainted with old friends at the CQI Annual Retreat in Kansas City, MO.  

2015.11.26Thanksgiving
There were lots of family gatherings this year as well as events to celebrate! I especially loved having all my kids around the table at Thanksgiving!  Though we all live fairly close to one another, our complicated work schedules don't allow us to all gather together at the same time very often, so it is a treasure when it finally occurs!

2015.05.13GaryGraduationFRCC
In May we celebrated my foster son Gary's graduation from college!

2015.05.01Wedding08
We also celebrated two wedding ceremonies for my oldest son Jonathan and his new wife Becca!  The first was an intimate, parents and couple only, ceremony.

The Ceremony - First Kiss
The second was a large friends and family ceremony!  Lots of fun to celebrate twice!

IMG_1883
My sister Holly retired from her job as a firefighter with the Forest Service!

Article

I had the joy of seeing my work published in 4 different magazines throughout the year!  A wonderful article in the European magazine, Magic Patch, and in the Spring, Summer and Fall issues of Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine!

2015.06.24RMNP02
Sometimes, the best times are those simply spent with those we love!  Like a spur of the moment camping trip with my youngest son Zach!

Amanda
Or painting with my daughter in law Amanda!

2015.06.19GreekFest03
And time at the Greek Festival with Jessie and Zach!

There were so many delights and other friends and family members that I was blessed to spend time with this past year that there simply isn't space here to remember all of them, not to mention all those lovely times spent with people when no photographs are taken, such as my monthly brunch/lunch outings with my dear friend Julie, or the walks and coffee with another friend Julie.  I'm so very grateful for all the dear people in my life!

Despite the sadness of losing my Mollie Kitter, it really was a delightful and amazing year.  At the end, it's not the things I stitched, or the photos I took that I'll remember, but the time spent with family and friends.  It's all about loving one another!

On that note, I wish all my dear blog readers 

A Very Happy New Year!  

My wish and prayer for you is that you will be surrounded 
with loving family and friends during the coming year! 

Blessings and Peace to you! 





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