Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Loss of the Gulf Coast

Maybe it is because I live so close to the Gulf Coast or maybe it is because I used to live in Lake Charles, La but, along with all of us, I am broken-hearted over the destruction caused by Katrina.
There are so many quilters coming to the aid of the victims but what they really need is money. The American Red Cross will accept donations to bring these people back some of their lives.

With that said, I direct you to:
Here you will find a letter from Karey Bresenhan, founder of Quilts, Inc. promising to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000 for all donations to the Red Cross. First, what an amazing, generous woman Karey is and second, your donation will mean twice as much if you go through Quilts, Inc.

For those of you who have never visited this part of the US, we have lost some of the most beautiful architecture and country-side in our country. This disaster will take years to recover from but even then, things will never be the same.

Thankfully, most of the people made it out safely but my heart goes out to them and the loved ones who were lost. Makes all of my small concerns seem insignificant.

Quote of the Day

"Women expect a lot of things from one man; men expect one thing from a lot of women." Anon

Nick and Nora I Still love you

Myrna Loy
You scored 21% grit, 28% wit, 23% flair, and 40% class!

You are class itself, the calm, confident "perfect woman." Men turn and
look at you admiringly as you walk down the street, and even your
rivals have a grudging respect for you. You always know the right thing
to say, do and, of course, wear. You can take charge of a situation
when things get out of hand, and you're a great help to your partner
even if they don't immediately see or know it. You are one classy dame.
Your screen partners include William Powell and Cary Grant, you little
simmerpot, you.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 25% on grit
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 66% on wit
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 8% on flair
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 58% on class
Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Feeling arty

After all my whining, got busy yesterday and prepared the tryptich for basting. This is the easy comes the quilting but at least, I won't feel trapped in the office. I am a slow at basting; as a matter of fact, I am slow at everything, so this will probably take a couple of days.....but whee! quiltmaking in the future. I am practically gloating at the progress but know better...something can always go wrong. Like the kidlets, need mom for something; Ronnie wants to talk to me ( we communicate far too much.) My secret for a happy marriage is to say as little as possible only when

The painted piece is going on the back burner for awhile. Realized I want to work on the leaf and abstract combo. Already know what the painted piece will look like but don't have a clue as to the other more fun playing around with fabric.

Gotta get as much done today as possible....tonight is Kelly night and business must prevail. Still think this was a good idea just had no idea how much work and money was involved....why didn't you stop me before it was to late. Still the experience will be great and it never hurts to learn new things...I think.

On the home front, it is still summer here 90's and 100's in the day. You could cook a roast in your car. Luckily my new landscaping got a good start before the heat wave. So I don't want to hear any wonderful stories about how autumn is on the way. We have to wait until late Sept early Oct for any break in the heat. Which reminds me, all of you going to Houston be prepared for anything. It can be very hot or monsoon season, raining every day....wake up in a new world every day.
Off to baste.

Smaller pieces...much easy to baste Posted by Picasa

Quilt top rady to be pinned and basted Posted by Picasa

Two smaller pieces layered to batting Posted by Picasa

Batting over backing awaiting quilt top Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 29, 2005

Using Shiva paint sticks for new leaf quilt. So the day wasn't a total loss walked out of the office and started creating fabric from a colored pencil drawing I did several months ago. Will probably add some Neo Color after setting the Shiva or maybe even colored pencils. Will keep you posted with the progress. The fabric is 36" x 48" so this will take awhile.Posted by Picasa

Backing for larger piece. Why are these backings on the wall? Simple, I baste all my quilts standing up. Saves the back and knees lots of aches and pains. Tonight I will cut the batting and pin to the top of the backing and just let it rest until tomorrow. Next, I will pin the quilt top to the two layers and thread baste the three layers together. Yeah, I know so old-fashioned but I take these with me when I travel so I can quilt on the road. Thread basting is the only secure way when you are as rough as I am on these pieces. Actually got something accomplished related to quiltmaking. Let's see what tomorrow brings.Posted by Picasa

Backing for two smaller tryptich pieces Posted by Picasa

The Best Laid Plans...sob...sob

Remember all that sewing I was going to get done today? Not going into the office...not even glancing in the room as I walked by...bleech. Total melt down today...suddenly my trusty Canon i960 decided to print everything in orange. Not like this isn't one of my favorite colors but a monochoromatic brochure is not quite what I had in mind. Call tech support...what a bunch of great me back on track...but there is still some orange where there shouldn't be. Will try running a test they suggested later to see if it corrects the problem. Still no needle and thread.

In the meantime, started burning DVD's. Easy, better watch what I say, to burn but my new robotic labeler has decided to leave a large white space in the center of the DVD so you can't read the text. My saving grace is that Kelly, the magnificent, will be here tomorrow to get me on track again. I am sure I pushed some button I wasn't supposed to touch or maybe my chi is just out of kilter. Still no needle and thread.

Thanks to Kelly the problems will soon be solved so I promise not to even breathe on any equipment....which leads me to: Is it possible that I can pick up needle and thread? Or has the day gone so wrong that I should stay away from sharp objects? My life plan is to stay calm in the face of disaster and to know there is a time for everything.....but I am green-eyed, envious, and down right jealous to the bone at all the work being produced on the ring.

Hope all of you in the Gulf Coast area are safe and sound...this is a big one...I would be gone at the thought of it. You are in my thoughts for a safe return without too much damage...although I fear that is slightly optomistic. Take care and remember stuff is just stuff but you and your loved ones are the joy of life. Makes the problems of my day seem so insignificent.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Code Solved and I've Had Enough

What a great group of computer whizzos you are. Thanks to everyone who sent me the code. I worked perfectly and now I don't feel so lonely. You really saved me from despair.

Now to the I've Had most of you know, I am trying quilt market for the first time this year. Everyday all week has been spent working on brocures, printing inserts, burning DVD's and almost daily trips to Office Depot for ink. Well, I have reached my limit. This business stuff is necessary but I want to touch fabric. Executive decision: Since the day is almost over, I will continue today to do the business stuff......but tomorrow morning, Nada.

Tomorrow morning, I am going to layer up the blue tryptich from months ago or applique on the leaf/abstract combo.....just let which ever calls to me make the decision. Fabric....I need fabric. Why is it that our work is so comforting....keeps us slightly less neurotic than most folks....should speak for myself.

While sitting at the computer, printing etc. picked up a book of some of my favorite quotes....opened a page a found: "I was much happier when I had much less responsibility....when my only responsibility was to my work and my art." Robert Rauschenberg

And then I found: " I believe in listening to cycles. I listen by not forcing. If I am in a dead working period, I wait, though these periods are hard to deal with. For the future, I'll see what happens. I'll be content if I get started again. If I feel alive again. If I find myself working with the old intensity again." Lee Krassner

Thank you Bob(may I call you Bob?) and Lee. You put my feelings so beautifully. The business part is a responsibility and also is a dead period as far as working is concerned. We all have ups and downs if we live the creative life....mine was self-imposed and ultimately, will probably be a good thing. However, tomorrow I hope to awaken to: There is enough done for the time being (market isn't until October) so that I can give myself over to nothing but the responsibility to my work, feel alive and work with the old intensity.

Help Any one!

As you know I updated my template and lost all my buttons and links. Have managed with the help of Deb, who is still singing songs from Funny Girl, to get my Simple Still Life Button back. BTW, if you want to see mine you have to archive back to July. I emailed Diane for the Artful Quilters Ring button but haven't heard back from her. Tried to hack the code(sshh!) but wasn't successful. Tried signing up again but Ring Surf politely tells me I already have the code...thanks alot guys.

So here's my plea: If any of you saved the code for Artful Quilter's ring, could you email it to me.
Thanking you in advance.

Friday, August 26, 2005

You Are A Walnut Tree

You are strange and full of contrasts... the oddball of your group.

You are unrelenting and you have unlimited ambition.

Not always liked but always admired, you are more infamous than famous.

You are aggressive and spontaneous, and your reactions are often unexpected.

A jealous and passionate person, you are difficult in romantic relationships.

New Template and @#$% html

Thanks to everyone for the comments on the new template and my hair color. You, too, can have the same color. It isn't bleached at all; it is just dye as a matter of fact three colors of red. Ronnie is convinced that it takes 8 hours to make me look this way which gives me plenty of time at Nordstrom's shoe department. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, just his pocketbook.

Prepare for Deb sent me the button for Simple Still Life. Thanks Deb. I go to template and by golly, can't read in the html in this template where to insert the button. Have tried three places already and haven't been successful. What is the deal? My other template was so straight forward...insert here. This gorgeous template is full of so much blasted code I am surprised it works at all. Now I am no genius at this but you would think I could accomplish such a simple task. support required.

Since this is beyond my skills, off to do something that might be within my reach. Print cover and package dvd's. Of course, I could fall apart on that as well. Remember the days when I used to make quilts....seems so long ago. That itchy feeling is starting....may have to take a day off to just touch fabric.

On a more interesting note, Ronnie came home very tired last night....had to work late....began the moan about work. Dear readers, I had been working since 7:30 a.m. that morning and finished about 11 p.m. long after dearest was sawing logs. What's wrong with this picture? Here's the answer from Ronnie: I am working for myself so that is so much more rewarding and, get this, I get to stay at home and work. Oh joy of joys....all that means is that you never get to leave work. There is always something to do that you can't just walk away from and if you happen to not feel good, there is no one to come in and make up for your lost one to replace you so you can go on vacation.

Enough already....I am still fuming over the html.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Houston, We Have a Problem

Decided to change my template to match my hair...what else would a girl do...except I lost all my links. Part of the reason for the change is that my old template was going wonky and not showing the links properly. Now here I am sad and alone with no Simple Still Life or Artful Quilters Buttons.
Have been reading the new template and can't even figure out where to add the darn links anyway. Looks as if Craig with have to do some fancy html work when he has a chance. In the meantime, I am still a member of both....sorry to lose my beautiful buttons. Hope Deb and Diane can help.
On the home front, printing brochures like crazy as well as covers for DVD's....spending lots of what's new about that....and keeping my fingers crossed that I have at least one sale at market. Surely one sweet shop owner will order something if not just because my hair has her hypnotized.
Hoping to be back as a part of the group soon.

Citizen Kane

Since I have been taken to task by my highly intellectual articulate son over dissing Citizen Kane, I must explain myself. If for no other reason than to keep him from thinking mom's gone over the edge.

First, my comment on Citizen Kane was in reference to William Randolph Hearst...not the movie...get it sweetie? Second, everyone on the planet knows that Orson Wells was a true genius who totally changed the movie business. The production values of Citizen Kane are beyond words. Wells is the reason we have angled shots, dark gritty scenes and dozens of other technical qualities.

If you have not seen The Magnificent Ambersons...get your hands on a copy. The studio fought him all the way so we don't get his complete vision but....still you see his fingerprints all over the movie.

Last but not least, Wells gave us War of the Worlds on radio...which so many people thought was true it started country-wide panic. Remember my previous post about radio and imagination. Wells proves my point twice over.

So dearest darling son.....who loves Bogey in Casablanca....we will always have Paris....this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship....shame on you for not knowing that your highly literate, ex-theatre mom would dare dis Orson....the hero of modern film making.
xxoo, love ya, your aging mom not quite ready for the home still with all her facultities in tact.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The new Picture

Scary huh,? Just a little taste of how glamouous being on the circuit is. I promise to change it soon but thought it was too funny to not share. After all, how good can anyone look at 6:30 a.m. in a hotel...the answer is obvious. And don't ya just love the bags under the eyes....I am planning on using them for extra luggage now that we are limited to 50 lbs. Thought that shooting at an arty angle would help throw you off but guess that didn't work.
Saved the instructions on how to change pictures that everyone so graciously sent to me....thanks...look for a new me coming to your home soon.


Hopefully Rex and Audrey will forgive...still didn't like the movie...and would still rather look at Omar.

AFI 100 from Deb

Taking Deb's challenge in Bold are all the movies I have seen from the AFT 100 Best Movies. I need to get out more.

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) Rosebud....poor little rich guy

2. CASABLANCA (1942)



5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) Noel Coward said that if Peter O'Toole had been any more beautiful in this movie they would have had to change the name to Laura of Arabia

6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

7. THE GRADUATE (1967)

8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) I coulda been a contender...

9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993) Moving, dramatic fabulous that it was shot in B/W

10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)

11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) seen it so many times I know the dialogue

12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) Another William Holden fav


14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

15. STAR WARS (1977)

16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)


18. PSYCHO (1960)

19. CHINATOWN (1974)

20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975) Kudos to Michael Douglas


22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) Wow! Has sci-fi come a long way


24. RAGING BULL (1980)


26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) Peter Sellers and Sterling Hayden were a scream; laughed so hard I cried




30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) Ronnie's favorite Bogart movie

31. ANNIE HALL (1977) Bad wardrobe that Diane wore for way too long


33. HIGH NOON (1952)

34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) Gregory Peck at his best; Robert Duvall's 1st movie







41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)

42. REAR WINDOW (1954)

43. KING KONG (1933)


45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) A perfect Tennessee Williams

46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)When I did theatre, this was one of our fav movies.

47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)

48. JAWS (1975)





53. AMADEUS (1984)


55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) Absolutely hated it

56. M*A*S*H (1970)

57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)

58. FANTASIA (1940) When you are five, it gets you high.

59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) Oh, Jimmy, how great you could've been.


61. VERTIGO (1958)

62. TOOTSIE (1982)

63. STAGECOACH (1939)


65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Thought the book was better

66. NETWORK (1976) Fabulous performances, great comment on news as entertainment

67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) Lawrence Harvey was magnificent


69. SHANE (1953)

70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) Gene Hackman at his best, next to The Conversation

71. FORREST GUMP (1994) Sappy, maudlin, tired of movies telling me how I should feel

72. BEN-HUR (1959) .

73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939) Too romantic, Laurence Oliver is almost too beautiful

74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)


76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)


78. ROCKY (1976)

79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978) De Niro, Walken and Streep as young but so good

80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969) Loved William Holden in anything

81. MODERN TIMES (1936)

82. GIANT (1956) Rock Hudson, right? was he an architect?? Nope he was a rancher.

83. PLATOON (1986) No where near the best on the subject....Oliver has done better

84. FARGO (1996) Funniest, dark humor ever

85. DUCK SOUP (1933)



88. EASY RIDER (1969) The anthem of my generation

89. PATTON (1970)

90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)

91. MY FAIR LADY (1964) Barbra can sing; Omar was handsome...not much else

92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)

93. THE APARTMENT (1960)

94. GOODFELLAS (1990)m Love Gabriel Byrne

95. PULP FICTION (1994) Too funny for a violent movie; launched John's comeback

96. THE SEARCHERS (1956) Possibly the best western ever. Buddy Holly's song "That'll Be the Day" came from a line by John Wayne


98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)



This is too sad...there are only four movies on this list that I haven't seen....obsession coming on.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Last of the Long Hair

Craig has had long hair for about 15 years...and occasionaly cut in-between but then right back to long. Today was officially the last of the long hair...for how long who knows but he really likes the cut. Since this is all we did today..took hours...there is nothing else to the story. However, he is donating his braid to Locks of Love...did I raise a sweet son or what? So I will shut up and let the picture tell the story.

Side Bar: While waiting for Craig, Kelly and the twins, it just so happened that Nordstrom's had the new Kate Spade polka dot me....nah, got the black with red dots.....had to find some way to waste time.

The turning over of the braid....Belinda's last act as Craig's stylist. Posted by Picasa

Full view...Belinda did a great job Posted by Picasa

Craig's first look at end results...not bad he thinks Posted by Picasa

Belinda is happy...her idea was to give Craig a look similar to Tom Cruise in The Last Samari Posted by Picasa

Mom and Cyrus are starting to like the new look Posted by Picasa

Cutting for the styling Posted by Picasa

Can't I have some? Posted by Picasa

All that hair belongs to Daddy Posted by Picasa

Getting shorter, Craig looking more worried Posted by Picasa

Cyrus likes daddy any old way, long or short hair Posted by Picasa

Now the styling...notice the happy look on Craig's face Posted by Picasa

The braid, which is on its way to Locks of Love, for children with cancer who need wigs...what a great donation from Craig Posted by Picasa

Even the guys aren't sure this was a good idea Posted by Picasa

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