Since my last post in January, A has started crawling, moved on to pulling himself up on furniture, cruising on anything he possibly can, and now is starting to let go to try the 'standing on my own' thing. I can't believe he is already 10 months old, where has the time gone?
S is nearing the end of 4th grade, her science project is growing all over the house (which reminds me, I need to go measure her plants for her, since she won't be back home til Wednesday). She decided that she wanted to compare the growth of plants in different environments. She told us what she wanted to do, and with only a few suggestions from us, she took off running.
She is a great big sister, when she remembers to play *with* her brother, instead of *at* him, or taking away his toys (unintentional, I believe, but she does it). It's obvious that A loves her, too. During her school vacation, if she walked by him without talking to him, he would start crying and crawl after her until she stopped and loved on him. She is his favorite play thing, after the dogs.
She's still working on her quilt for the show that I am running next year at Costume Con 30, and she is super excited about it. I don't have any progress photos, but she's calling it Pink Paradise. She is learning about chain piecing and color placement, and I'm very pleased with her progress. She is super excited to get to use my quilting machine, as part of the rules for the youth division is that the entrant must do the majority of the work on their own. I told her that once she finished the top, I would help her pick out backing material, and I would show her how to use the machine and frame. She lit up like a christmas tree!
My mother, J (of Designs by J) visited us for a month, partially to spend a week at Estrella War (an SCA event), but mostly to see her grandchildren. Everyone had a good time, and after she left the house was awfully quiet. We didn't get to do some of the things we had wanted to, like revisiting Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home in Scottsdale, or going to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, or the Musical Instrument Museum in north Phoenix. But we did go pillaging at various thrift and fabric stores, and we even found a high-end needlework store, purely by accident! I've driven by the store many times, but never noticed it was there. Needless to say, I will be visiting them when I find the need for some art therapy. I really enjoy when my mother comes to visit, I just wish my father had been able to come out for a weekend during her trip.
I miss my family. Often I wonder if I did the right thing by moving to Arizona, but since the move 5 years ago (wow, I can hardly believe it's been that long), so many good things have happened to me, that never would have happened had I stayed in New Hampshire. So, despite missing my parents, my brother, and two of my best friends in the entire world, the move and all its ups and downs has been a good thing for me.
Recently, I've found myself in a creative funk. I have many designs and ideas and desires in my head, but every time I put thread to fabric, something doesn't go right. The piecing goes wrong, or the quilting does, or the fabrics decide not to get along with each other, after I've put the top together. In the past few weeks I've attempted to complete 3 or 4 different small scale quilts, each one has given me a headache to the point that I just don't want to create anymore.
But then I catch up on my blog list, and I see Bonnie's (Quiltville.com) new pattern, or Lane's (That Man Quilts?) latest Project Linus quilt or applique block, or Rita's (Red Pepper Quilts) new stash addition, or Amandajean's (crazy mom quilts) cute mug rug, or Kelly's (My Simple Walk) instructional video, or any other number of creative bloggers latest creations, my mind starts designing again. The art is there in my head, but when I try to bend the fabric to my will, something goes wrong, and I end up frustrated and depressed, and not wanting to sew. Plus, the craft shows have all been busts, so I'm feeling that what I think is my talent and calling is not really all that I think it is.
I guess I need to stop seeking exterior validation, but it is a good feeling when someone gushes over my work. I know my friends who have received handmade gifts from me do appreciate them, and I love that one of my closest friends' sons adores the Dr Seuss quilt I made for his birthday. But how many quilts can I make to give away? And how can I afford to only give things away?
I'm glad it is springtime, a time of renewal and rebirth. Now that A is mobile, I intend to take him up to the park in our community, to let him play in the grass, and swing on the swings. I will soak up the sun before it becomes too brutally hot to play outside, and I will recharge my batteries. This will hopefully get me back into the swing of things, and if it doesn't? I'll figure something out.
Besides, how can you not smile when you see that grin?