Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This and That while reflecting on life today....

Well, starting with the word JOY is a pretty good thought-remember that song that says "I have a Joy,Joy,Joy down in my heart (To Stay)....?
Well, I am sad for missing my Mother but I do feel joy knowing she is happy again and whole. The funeral is Friday. The church will be filled with her many friends and people who loved her quiet (she is the opposite of me),kind and strong spirit and enjoyed her humor plus unending loyalty to friends and family. It will be lovely to see family and friendswho are flying in and coming to attend.
I wrote the eulogy today (how hard to express 85 wonderful years in three paragraphs). I chose "In the Garden" and "the Church in the Wildwood" to sing and asked two women who sing to please sing "Just as I am." I love those three songs and she requested "the garden" at her funeral many years ago.
So, here are a few pretty photos to look at and be inspired by. Isn't there a quilt in these? I think there is.
Furthermore, you will not know what your kind letters and notes have meant to me-sincerely, I have read them several times and will read them again. What a comfort friends are!

The tulips are up even though it is freezing cold and we might have snow this week...sheesh.
Spring always harkens new hope and growth and change-how wonderful for us!
Aren't these primrose the most lovely colors? Wow, if these colors don't inspire something, even a thankful prayer, I don't know what. :0)

I wanted to include this photo of Bull Mountain in British Columbia. My Mother lived at the base of this mountain right on the Kootenay river for many years growing up in Canada. It was a fairy tale place to live though it was hard as her family never owned a car, had electricity or a telephone. It was a great place for us to make up our own imagination adventures. The beauty, the animals, the gardens and the people were all something from out of a lovely book.
I added this photo above because besides living in Spokane Washington after she married my Father, they spent winters in Phoenix for 22 wonderful years. The springs there were so lovely and different than in Canada and Spokane, can you imagine? My Mother loved beauty anywhere she could find it and the desert provided such a vast, quiet beauty that was different.
So, today I would say look around and if you can see you are lucky and if you can take in a deep breath and it doesn't hurt, say "hooray" and if you have a friend give thanks and if you ate something good today (yipppee) and I am just saying count your many many blessings right before you. When they are gone, you can't get them back so build many memories and they can always be there with you. I feel like I can have my Mom in my mind anytime...I just wish I had her soft lovely hands to hold. If you have someone's hand to hold, hold it and enjoy each moment. Love, Mary Lou (who is thankful for YOU)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Sad Day for Us Today

Well, my Mother passed away this morning at 9:30. I wasn't ready (are you ever?).
Yesterday was such a lovely day for her and four of her Great Grandchildren brought up a darling banner they made that said "Get Well Soon" and they put it up on the wall with a photo of them together. When I went in, she was so happy and pleased and said how well behaved the kids were. She and I were making plans for two story quilts for her about her life and she wanted another pajama party like the ones we had before she ended up in the hospital. She was sweet and funny and never complained up to the end. Her surgeon said she was amazing with not complaining of pain after what she went through.
Anyway, some of you have written lovely emails and commented in the chatroom and I just wanted you to know and to thank you. You are never ready to lose your Mother and I wasn't ready to give her up this soon.
Mary Lou

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stay tuned tonight for photos of the quilt show!

I just got back home from the quilt show and am going to visit my Mother at the hospital. Once that is done, I am coming home and loading the photos of the great quilts, dolls and other super things from the ART QUILT SHOW in Post Falls Idaho. This show was held at the same place I will be doing a five day story quilt workshop in August of 2010. We are in the throws of planning it now and it is going to be really super with lots of extras. I am also contemplating doing a Hoochy Mama three day workshop that May that will start out with a simple hoochy lesson, go to Flower Power and end with Cats, Dogs and other awesome things that you can do with the Hoochy technique.
Both times there has been discussion of coming a day early and we will rent large vans to show people around both Eastern Washington and Idaho and some of the best quilt shops anywhere and we will have lunch on beautiful lake Coeur d'Alene at the hotel there. I will paint handmade bags that will be wonderful and we have other surprises. Now we are figuring out cost for the place I will teach, hotel and food. We want plnety of great touches not found at other venues. :0)
Of coarse there will be tiaras!
Anyway, stay tuned for color and great quilts right here at this very spot!
Mary Lou (who thanks those of you who prayed for my Mother)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wow, what a week for Mary Lou

Well, first of all I took my Mother to emergency because things didn't seem right and she had surgery yesterday morning. She needed 8 units of blood before she could go in. She had been hemoraging for who knows how long and then they found a tear in her larger intestine and lots of infection etc. She has a colostomy now for who knows how long. I spoke to her today and she is still confused and keeps forgetting she has had surgery. But she is a trooper, has rose in her cheeks again and I feel so blessed to have her here with us. When the surgeon came in right before surgery, he shook her hand and said "I will see you in surgery in about ten minutes." As he started to walk out, she said "Doctor, warm your hands up will you?"
Haha. Anyway, today I give thanks for God's many blessings for our family and for myself!
I judged the Idaho/Spokane quilt show and wow, there are wonderful quilts in the show. It was hard. So many good quilts in all styles! I probably won't attend today (I attended the banquet last night for 2 hours) but I will certainly be there tomorrow to see what all is there and to see who gets the raffle quilt! What fun.
In between of all of this I am working on some new samples for quilts and have a couple of good friends doing some NEW and wonderful hoochy samples for Market and for me to teach soon. I am still excited about doing new things and loving quilting and sewing!
I have my new book here and am making a few small changes....wait until you see it, it is wonderful with tons of color and creativity ideas for anyone who wants to stretch.
I can't wait until October.
Hope your day is happy, stay tuned for photos of the quilt show here to inspire you!
Mary Lou

Monday, April 13, 2009

Paintings to feed your artist

These five top paintings are by George Longfish who does political stuff. I love his use of colors and motion with the colors. I am not so into political stuff as I think there is a positive spin you can put on almost anything....

The paintings below are in the collection of the MAC museum here is Spokane. I loved all three and I have long been a huge fan of anything that Jacob Lawrence did. If you don't study paintings to learn about art and color, I highly recommend it. You see life and things differently.

Isn't the painting above charming?

Above is the painting by Jacob Lawrence
I have no idea who did this painting but I loved it. It reminded me of Nice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I could have chosen many photos but I have always loved the idea of all of us being Christs precious children whom He loves so very much. So, here it is! Happy Easter friends.

Susan Shie is a gift-If you haven't taken a class from her, you are missing out

Above is a photo of Susan who is a painter and a teacher and a Grandmother who adores her Granddaughter-She is one of the best teachers I have ever taken a class from. I may go back to painting and give up quilting and applique completely after taking this class. Mari Linfesty told me to take this class and I would love it and she was so right!

Twenty of us took the workshop for two wonderful days and everyone did something fabulous. What fun to take a class and think about creating! This is the very building in Idaho outside Spokane that I plan to do my own retreat next year. More of that to come later.

Susan lecturing in front of three of her pieces....just wonderful and she is so NICE....just great

Above is the piece she started in class. She bought a Hello Kitty for her Granddaughter and she calls her Possom. So, she has begun her painting and her story.

The class chose the theme "self portrait" which I wasn't thrilled about since I teach that class and have time to think about it. I just decided to do my little drawing on paper (which Susan calls Library) to kind of think about what to do. Above is my drawing.....
So, when it came time to take a BLACK permanant marker and just draw on the cloth, I decided to let go and change any of my plans I wanted to and so I started for some reason with a clothesline and then it just grew....fun and kind of scary as NO erasing your lines!

Nelow my piece is painted and then I added the paint-thank heavens I had painting experience-I know that light is a good start and you can add your colors later---some people learned the hard way that dark colors were sometimes a problem....

After the class that day was over I came home and my husband was gone to work. I had a terrific pain in my shoulder (I have been fighting this for months) and I had my choice between bed, a pain pill or a glass of red wine. I chose the wine, took my piece, turned on the tv, watched the office and wrote notes all over the piece. What fun! I also watched Prairie Home Companion the movie and talk about funny stuff for someone to write! Below is the piece before quilting and embellishing-Susan does not embroider or embellish any longer-I am still addicted!

So, then the second day the theme was cooking. I was very excited about this as my Father always had this great memory of his Mother baking pies in the kitchen during the depression and he and his brother Phil would go to the factories and sell them to the men and bring home the money. My Grandmother made the best baked goods anywhere-they owned a cafe in both South Dakota and Wyoming....
Here is the beginning of my piece, I will be adding more color to this and then the words...it is going to be great when it is done I know and then I can show my uncle who had this same wonderful memory.....

Below Susan uses her airpen to write her messages about her Granddaughter

Here Susan smiles and makes me very happy to see her do so............

Below is my friend Mary Ann Meshima. Mary Ann used to be a newscaster in Spokane and she is fun, smart and talented. She took a class from me a long time ago and we have known each other ever since.

My dear friend Nancy Nelson did this painting about the things she loves, her cats, reading, making cookies and she is always attended with her special angel.

The lady below is an art quilter who I have heard is really talented-I cannot remember her name. This was her second piece and I was happy she picked pie because I am a pie person too.

So, I like to sit by people I know and like....don't you. Below is Nicky who does alot of art with paint and cloth and she is always stretching. I was glad she came and sat with me.

Jude is below and she made me really laugh as her Mother is in a care facility and she said that some older lady there said "there is so and so's daughter, her hair is always in her face." Wow, someday I hope I can be at a place where my thoughts just pop out and I have the excuse of age. Anyway I think Jude's hair is one of the most charming things about her----look at that curl!

I loved this ladies use of color and she smiled alot too....which always draws me in........

This lady did a fish quilt first (below) and started this quilt- would be fun to see it done!

The talented girl below is 14 and skipped school for two days to learn how to do this. Isn't this tree wonderful? Can you imagine making something like this and having it now to remember?

The lady that did the piece below is from Sequim where some of my family lives-she is a Pieces, her family fishes and she worked at building the color on this piece

The lady below is one of my most favorite people in the art quilt group-she is fun, willing to risk and really nice. This is her with rose colored glasses-she lives in Athol Idaho and misses the city

Below is Jean Vanbockel who is a quilt author and artist from Idaho-I ahve known her for many many years and she wins all kinds of quilting awards and most of all she is really fun!

The piece below was framed in by some of my fabric from Benartex-I wish I had a better photo of the lady that did this....she is beautiful and fun too

I LOVED the quilt below which had angels on it and that is a theme I love. This lady was positive the entire class and I would love to get to know her better. It is always great to be around positive energy and there was alot of that there.

The lady below was modest and said it was intimidating but her work was great and she was nice

The lady below is from Mexico and was wonderful- this quilt had a donut theme-what fun!

Vavavooooooooom! The quilt above and below is sold to a good friend of Susan's in Canada (6 yrs to make!) The lady made payments on it for years......

Below is Obama's daughter- Susan adores Obama and has done many pieces about him- I avoid anything to do with politics and I am a Christian and love angels- Susan is into tarot cards, shakras and loads of other stuff I have no idea about....this is what makes everyone's work interesting. I do want to do a piece about Passover and the lovely dinner we shared with friends.

There were other nice people in class and my photos kind of goofed up so I didn't get everyone.
If you want to hire a great teacher who is thoughtful, smart, talented and savvy, get Susan Shie. She is awesome in so many ways. I am adding her as a link on my blogsite.