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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It only takes a moment to feed the soul...


Here I am in the rare moment to spare this busy week...finished with work in the lab and waiting for a hubby to finish so we can go home and continue with the "schedule" of dinner, holiday preps, nursing the old cat and few other things...you know that drill.
I often use these kind of moments to catch up on my emails, quilty groups, blogs and other things that bring me little joys. :) This time, through the amazing quilt-art group, that brings me so much inspiration, learning and support, I found a series of YouTube videos by amazing Luana Rubin (owner of on-line fabric paradise called eQuilter.com and champion of quilt art), about International Quilt Festival in Houston. Yes, we have seen pictures, read some great reviews and admired it all, but there is something about Luana's descriptions, choices, music in the background that made it all special.
That was IT! A moment to feed the soul, just few minutes that spark the inspiration - unexpected, treasured and so important. YAY!
So, just in case you did not see them yet, I have to share!
Here is one about Luana's favorite quilts: IQF 2012, Houston, TX - QUILTS
One from Luana's beautiful daughter, Sophie: IQF 2012 - Kid's Eye View
And this one is my favorite - seasons in nature are my everlasting inspiration too: IQF 2012-SAQA Exibit Seasonal Palette

In this time when we, more than usual, think about what we are thankful for - these kind of moments are some of the important ones on my list.
Hope you have this kind of moments too!
Here are few photos I took on one of the lovely walks with our dogs during this glorious autum, enjoy!
Marija
They just love the road trip! :)
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Good morning my forgotten blog...

...actually not really fogotten - better word is neglected I guess.
Yes, here I go again, and not even sure if anyone cares to read? :) Truth is - I think about my blog and all that I would love to say or show, pretty much every day - and then somehow everything else takes over and nothing gets written. Then - if I do that long enough, I am overwhelmed by what should I say first... and the cycle never ends! Crazy, I know.
So, this morning, while everyone still sleeps, I decided - nothing will take over, my blog is first! After making that first cup of coffee and having cuddling session with Marko, of course. Marko - did you ever meet our cat, Marko?
He is a beautiful, silver tabby cat, now 18 years old! Yeah - he is almost asleep here, that is what he does the most these days. He is an old guy now, but still doing quite good except his kidneys need a bit of help these days - yes, I play a nurse now, giving him subcutaneous fluids every day (with help from my son who keeps him busy and happy during that, feeding him tuna, his favorite treat). Marko has been with us since he was 8 weeks old, in 1994. We came to America in 1992 - so I feel as if we grew-up together here..becoming Americans. :) He is very special fur baby and I hope he lives for many more years.

That is another big news from me - I did become an official American!! After 20 amazing years here, just about a month ago I (and my husband) got sworn in, got beautiful certificate, a little flag and of course - voters registration form! :)  Here is me and the judge who swore us in, in a very moving and beautiful ceremony.

To begin to explain and describe all that this means and how it feels is a whole another post, and I am not even sure I can do it properly. Lets just say that I hope every born American feels at least a part of it and more importantly - does NOT take it for granted. Yes, we can complain about many, many things - daily, but the freedom to do so is what we often take for granted, right? :)




Another very important fact to me is - I wish I can also explain and describe how important in this whole journey was - quilting. It may sound silly or trivial, but it is really not.
 Did you know that I never saw a quilt before I came to US? Quilts do not exist (well at least they DID not exist) in my home country. Women do all other beautiful hand-made fiber things in former Yugoslavia - garment sewing, embroidery, weaving, knitting, lots of crocheting...but not quilting (at least not when I was growing up - hope it is slowly changing now!). So there I was - sewing clothes since I was 9, always having way more fabric for it than I can use (now that was a sign!) and - not knowing about quilting at all! Can you believe it? :)  I guess it was meant to be - when I came to US and when my now best friend, Martha, introduced me to quilting - my creative soul finally found a home. It really did.

 Oh but much more important was this: through quilting I met so many wonderful people, made beautiful friendships, learned so much about American way of life, history...got to know American soul. That was, and still is the most beautiful welcome gift I got. A gift that keeps on giving.

OK, lets not go too far in my sentimental journey. :) I could go on, and on you know - but I want to get back to quilting!
Here is another exciting thing going on now in my sewing room: I decided to "jump right in", "bite the bullet" and...(whatever other frightening phrase you can think of!), and participate in a great event here in Buffalo, called Artists in Buffalo Holiday Open House! I will have my own table to exhibit and yes, sell (oh my!) my work, amidst so many amazing local artists.

WAIT! - artist? who is an artist here? ME? Well, I do have many, many doubts about that, I always hesitated to call myself that and I know so many of you know exactly what I mean.
But lets be clear: I do think that EVERYONE is an artist when they create something beautiful just because their heart tells them to do so - it can be tonight's dinner, quilt for a baby that will drag it all over the place or paint on canvas. I really do believe that. Now, to call yourself an artist is a whole another issue....At least for me, but I am working on it! ;)
BUT - whatever the philosophy is in my head, we'll leave it for another time to ponder - now is time to QUILT!
I have a lot (and I mean A LOT!) of pieces that are almost done, half way done...ideas and experiments in color, design, theme that got interrupted by life and not finished. It is time for them to "come out" into the light of day! So here we are:
This might look like just a messy room to you - but it is actually piles of tops, quilts, ideas started...All laid out in plain sight, in some kind of groups. Yes, there are some completed quilts too.

My wonderful daughter, my biggest cheerleader and helper in all this, helped me to dig them all out (oh my, was that a journey!), sort them and organize piles, make some kind of plan what can I finish. Do you see now what I mean saying it is time to quilt, ha, ha!


Here is the one I finished recently:


And a table runner too:
This one still needs to be trimmed and bound - thinking of that deep blue for binding...what do you think?







And here is another experiment in watercolor quilt that needed borders. These were a "midnight strike" of inspiration (yes, literally midnight!) and now I am not sure if I am that happy with it...Needs some small intervention, don't you think? Let me know if you have an idea! :)


Maybe few roses tossed in some places of the border? Some good quilting of leaves and vines? We'll see...







OK - this early morning writing turned into late morning now and my doggies are becoming inpatient, waiting for their morning walk. It is a beautiful autumn day here in western New York and I am off to breathe in all the smells of falling leaves and autumn breezes - a whole another wave of inspiration! After that - quilt, of course! Will report back on my progress and please feel free to nag me and ask what have I done! :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
Marija
PS - pardon all my rambling in this post, but I decided that I am just going to do it - start blogging again, share whatever I have! I am grateful, humbled and amazed if anyone cares to read and delighted if you care to comment - connecting with all of you is truly a beautiful gift.