Monday, 28 November 2011

Packing to go home

I still have some pictures to share with you!! Packing to go home. I’m sure everything will fit. It has to fit.

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All packed! The suitcase felt pretty heavy. Didn’t know yet that I would be charged for the extra weight!

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Taking a break. Working on a stitchery. Do you recognize the pattern?

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Waiting in the lobby to be picked-up by the Shuttle.

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The below-ground Inter-Terminal Train at Houston airport.

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Cool! Such a quaint little train.

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I used Hipstamatic app to make the above pictures. Not bad.

You will have to imagine me up above the skies. I’m sure this is what it looked like, before we hit the turbulence Wink 

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Landed Monday afternoon 8th of November in Amsterdam at 1pm after a 10-hour flight. 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Attitude of Gratitude post is back !! – week 47

Yes, I’m back after a 4 week break.

Early on my spiritual journey, I focussed on bringing more grace into my life and how powerful this intention has been.

I affirm my goal to be grateful every day. Throughout the day, I'm open and receptive to the power of grace in my life. I ask to be shown clear examples of how this energy is operating. You could say this is my mantra. In the past months I’m noticing certain coincidences / changes / examples occurring and I’m pretty convinced that I’m (co-)creating my (transformed) life. It seems I’m entering into "the dance of grace". Could you describe this as spiritual growth? Or is this "being in the moment"? I’m more aware of my bodily sensations, thoughts and emotions—no matter whether they are pleasant or unpleasant—I’ve finally got my control back.

When you are in a sincere state of gratitude your energy is one of acceptance and harmony. What is important is to accept/take responsibility for whatever is going on in your life. You attitude towards gratitude is the key to joy.

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Remember that joy—doesn't always announce itself with great fanfare. It can hum, quietly, underneath.

I’m grateful for the following:

- noticing that dreams might become true. (I’m not quit prepared to share my dream – new life goal – but I’m sensing it might not be a dream for much longer). “Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.” ~ Belva Davis. This might be more true than I have ever realized. Scary stuff!

- the new attic window in my study. I’m thankful for the fact I’m able to pay for it.

- having pleasure with the other janiacs.

- that hubby is installing my coupe heater in the car. He was very creative in finding a solution to install it in this car. The VW Passat definitely isn’t as superior as the Nissan Qashqai. I’ll be prepared for the snow & frost that might be coming soon.

- that I was able to get my blood pressure down and control the fluid retention. I feel so much better. The acupuncture therapy seems to be having an effect too. 

- thoroughly enjoying my new work place.

-  realizing that the people in my life are the attribution of my joy. I’ve surrounded myself with people (family, friends, virtual-friends & colleagues) who enable me to change and be joyful. 

- having my ringtone back. Picking up my iPhone has become a pleasure.

- the small MOLESKINE® squared notebook I found. I can jot down little snippets of importance. I’m ecstatic!

- 2011 seems to be ending a lot better than how it started. I only wish this could be true for everyone. Realizing that this is not so, saddens me. I hope you can find the power to change your life.

Movies!

Another flashback to my Houston adventure. Funny as time passes – the adventures & new memories – become grander. I feel a joy when I look back upon my trip. Although it seems so quintessentially a phenomenon of presentness, joy can just as immediately seem retrospective, like something from childhood you'd thought was irretrievably lost. This is why joy so often feels like a return, like a reclaiming or redemption. Lifeclasses – Oprah.

The flight back home went a lot quicker and that was partly due to the fact that I watched three movies!!!

The first film – Midnight in Paris

A strange film, but I loved the little snippets into the past. Meeting Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, T.S. Eliot, Cole Porter, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Paul Gauguin even Salvador Dali. Kathy Bates, actress, was great as usual.

I choose - Bridemaids - next.

 

This was a little disappointing, but I managed to watch it to the end. Kristen Wiig, actress, reminds me of Meg Ryan. Do you too?

And after this film I choose - the Help. This simply blew my mind. I even cried, with all those people sitting around me.

I'm a proper brought up lady, I don't cry or show much emotion in public! But this film touched my heart. Do you know how hard it is not to look like you are crying, when you can hardly control the tears running down your face and your throat is all dry, that you can hardly swallow? I had to put the film on pause to walk to the back galley kitchen for some water.  

The film is about an aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960's who decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. Love the quote - change begins with a whisper. I think this is so true.

I don’t think you have to book a flight to watch these movies. A nice wintery afternoon with winds blowing around the house and temperatures at a nice low – would be a great moment too.

After watch The Help, I thought I would do a little reading. Sadly, at that time we hit some turbulence. Those that were sleeping were awake very quickly. The pilot announced that this might take a while. Boy, I was happy to hear that. I think we had a bumpy ride for nearly 3/4 of an hour. I would have loved to have had the ‘flight buddy’ app, that forecasts turbulence. My motto: Better prepared than sorry. It is really amazing what kind of apps you can get these days. But back to the subject. I think I handled myself pretty well. But would have loved to have given this a miss.

Hope I’ve convinced you to watch these movies. 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

A room full of Janiacs

It is hard to imagine that you can have a room full of Janiacs. Still, have to admit there was one SBS-er (=Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler) between the Janiacs.

2011_11_26_Janiacs_circle This time it was my turn to organize the Dear Jane circle. I must say, it is worth your effort. Look at this beautifully filled vase I got.

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I was even able to complete a baby Jane block.

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One more block to go and I will have completed my second trip!!! I’ll definitely start adding the sashings than. It looks like I might be increasing my pace. It is our intention to reserve one evening a week for the Dear Jane. 

I had a great Saturday with the other Janiacs.

Friday, 25 November 2011

2 BOM’s for 2012

Before I knew what I had done, I had signed up for two Block of the Month programs.

I’m going to make The Spirit of Sacagawea quilt, which you can join too as a Block Of The Month with Kansas City Star. The quilt is designed by Minick and Simpson. Visit their blog here.

imageI absolutely love it! I think it is stunning. Especially the story behind it really triggers the need to want to make this. It symbolizes freedom, empowerment, journey of transformation, spirituality and independence for me. When I look at it, I feel joy.

Came across this video on my search for more information about Sacagawea. I think I will be watching this video during the Christmas holidays and New Years break.  

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Just checked wikipedia Dont tell anyone. If memory serves me right, I remember hearing about her when I was at the American International School in Athens, Greece, around 1971. Indian culture and history has always fascinated me. I’m sure my mum still has some books that I bought during my teens at her house on this topic.

The other BOM is the Civil War Journals that Dutch Quilts, Den Haan & Wagenmakers, is organizing.

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I’ll be getting a parcel every month with Judie Rothermel fabrics and hopefully once all the blocks have been put together it will look something like the quilt above. As you know, the American Civil War is another fascination. Absolutely love the civil war repro-fabrics.

I now only need to do a time-management course to learn to juggle my time. I never seem to have enough! It isn’t always easy to manage a professional career and a creative pastime.

What intentions do you have for 2012?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

May there be more light……

Before

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Realisation

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After

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I’m surprised what a difference it make. Love the extra light.

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I wonder who will notice the cookies and large coffee in my International Quilt Festival mug Embarrassed

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Slot (castle) Zeist

I met up with a friend this afternoon. Had a lovely afternoon. It is always great to catch-up on all the goings-on and realize how much you are alike. We first walked through the park around the castle. The fog was so thick you hardly could see anything at a distance further than 50 metres. But I was able to take some lovely photos. 2011_11_20_SlotZeist Bargello IMG_7353 IMG_7348 IMG_7354 IMG_7357 It is strange to notice it is becoming winter, when in your mind you still think it is summer.

But it is the little things that remind you that it really is becoming winter: it is only 5 degrees outside, in 34 days it is Christmas, and at 5 pm it is really dark outside.

Working on the Bargello!

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Got my homework done!! I’m ready for Wednesday night.

Goodies from Houston

This is what I got in Houston.

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Yes, my own Baby Go from AccuQuilt. I got a great deal when I bought the Baby Welcome Home Set! This lovely lady in the picture underneath helped me. Got a strip cutter die, the value die and tumbler die. Naturally a long and small cutting mats. As you can imagine I took a heavy load home!

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Someone already warned me that the Baby Go! might give me some trouble at the airport. Well all alarms went off when the Baby Go went through the imaging machine. I can truly say I experienced the new TSA Screening Procedures first hand. I got a lot of personal attention. I had to unpack all my hand luggage and had to explain what the Baby Go does. Than I got a full body pat-down. And they kept on apologizing for all the bother. And, I kept on repeating myself that I really didn’t mind. I told them, if they checked everyone this thoroughly, I’m sure we will encounter less criminal activities in the air. I think I was held-up for nearly 30 minutes Confused.

My trip home certainly wasn’t uneventful. I also go dropped off at the wrong terminal. So had to take a little ride on the Inter-Terminal Train below-ground. Did you know that Bush Intercontinental Airport consists of five passenger terminals? The driver who dropped me off, didn’t! A little extra excitement never hurts. I’ve got a story to tell.

When checking in, the ground stewardess told me I had to pay extra as my luggage exceeded the allowed weight. Who would have thought. I only had 11 kilo’s with me when I entered the country. I guess it was due to these books!!!

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I quit sure it was not because of the items below. They don’t weigh much, I’m sure.

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Love my new rotating mat. The ThimblePad’s were a tip of one of my teachers, Terri Burton. I loved them so much I got three packets.

I might not plan another trip to Houston soon, I sure loved the adventure. There are so many other quilt festivals I would also love to visit. Who knows which one I will visit next.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

My first Bargello

I’m doing a 3 day workshop to learn and make my own Bargello quilt. It is going to be a 150x150 lap quilt for the lounge chair in my study. I went to Houston and hoped to find some lovely Jelly Rolls. Sadly, even after walking over the market 3 times I was unable to find any Jelly Rolls. I really expected to find them. I was also hoping to find some 30’s repro fat-quarters. I came home empty handed! To be truthful, there were not many booths that sold fabric. Lucky for me, I found these fabrics at my local quiltshop! The colours match my lounge chair.

IMG_7261Love the Bargello pattern in this book. But I won’t be making this one. I’ve decided to keep it nice and simple. IMG_7264

Here is me cutting lots of strips. As you can see the other ladies are doing the same. 2011_11_10_Bargello workshop

According to our teacher, you create colour runs by sewing strips of the different colours together horizontally. Once we have pieced the strips together, we cut vertical strips from them in different widths to create the curve. If all goes well we will end up with blocks of each fabric that are all the same height across the entire quilt, but in varying widths. I have a fortnight to sew 8 panels, which contain 9 strips of fabric. The funny thing is,

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as mentioned previously, we will be cutting up those panels to make strips again, in the next class. Only the strips we end up with varying in width. We are supposed to end up with something looking like this once we join all the strips. 

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The name originates from a series of chairs found in the Bargello Palace in Florence, Italy, which have a "flame stitch" pattern.  Bargello Palace chairOriginally, bargello was a type of needlepoint embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. In addition to bargello embroidery, there are now Bargello quilts in which the patterns used in Bargello embroidery are constructed with strips of fabric of the same height but different widths. The style is classified by its gradated curves and points flowing through the design. The simplest bargello designs, are simple curves or waves that repeat in different colours and patterns.Bargello quilting is strip-piecing, plain and simple. I think I like the sound of that.

Will keep you updated.