Saturday, December 7, 2013


I have learned about the fate of my neighbor (

I found him on Facebook and friended him, with a note saying who I was and why I was reaching out to him. His brother was managing his account and accepted the request. This allowed me to follow his posts as well as to almost get to know this man. Unfortunately, he passed away yesterday evening and while the details as to what his health history was, I know that it was a sudden and unexpected passing.

On a personal note, I'm very sad that I did not get to know this man because what I have learned about him from his page and from the postings of his friends is that he was a unique and artistic person and I feel that I probably would have had a lot in common with him and a lot to talk about. He was an artist who worked primarily in ceramic sculpture, which is an area that I am interested, in as well as an all around character. He was a member of the Craft Guild of Dallas. I am now interested in joining the Craft Guild and am investigating it along with taking classes there in their pottery studios.

This experience has also made me want to actually venture out of my hidey-hole and make the effort to meet the people around me....    

Friday, December 6, 2013


To be honest, I was not prepared for the winter storm that came through yesterday. I don't watch the news and anything that I learned about what was happening was thanks to other people's Facebook posts. Therefore, when I left work yesterday and found it already sleeting, I started wondering if perhaps I was a little screwed.

I got home without issue and went to check the mail, etc. I saw that I already had a faucet cover on the faucet on the front of the house (as it had never been taken off from last winter...yeah, yeah bad home owner) then went to check the faucet on the side of the house, where I realized that I did NOT have a cover. The one that I had there I had removed to wash out a dog bowl at one time and I have no idea what happened to it. I searched the house and garage in hopes that I had an extra one, but could not locate one.

About this time, I had a call from the vet saying that Leo's antibiotic was ready to pick up (yeah, he has a cough again so we are just automatically shoving ciprofloxin down his throat). I decided that while I was out I would swing by Walmart (most hated place in my world) and pick up a faucet cover. Sadly, Walmart did not have any covers and as the icy rain and sleet was starting to get worse, I decided that I didn't really want to drive to Lowes or Home Depot as they were in crazy traffic areas and I really just wanted to get home and off the roads.

Therefore, I decided that I would just make my own cover and keep my fingers crossed that it would do what it was supposed to do and when the ice clears up, I will venture out to find a proper cover. This is what I devised and how it has so far stood the winter blast:

Yes, that is two Target shopping bags and zebra striped duct tape. I also took some left over quilt batting and wrapped around the faucet first before covering that with the bags. I'll let you know if I end up with burst pipes because of my lack of planning......

The Right Thing?

Hopefully I did the right thing yesterday......

Let me start by saying that I am NO Gladys Kravitz. In fact, I could not tell you the names of any of my neighbors and would not be able to point them out in a line up.

Early Wednesday morning at about 2:30, Leo wakes me up barking, which he never does. He usually doesn't need to get up and go out in the middle of the night and when he does, he is good about ringing the bell by the door and somehow no matter how softly he rings that I can hear it and will zombie-like stumble from bed and let him out. So, when he is barking it definitely wakes me up and scares me a bit. I got up and let him out, but he continued to bark and it got through my addled, sleepy-hazed mind that the lighting outside was not right and I could here large trucks running. So, I pulled a Gladys and peaked out my windows to see what the heck was going on. Turns out there was a fire and an ambulance truck at my neighbor's house. They had arrived sans sirens, which makes me think that they are actually considerate of people and unless there is traffic that they need to warn of their approach that perhaps emergency vehicles don't just willy-nilly run their sirens...but I digress. I couldn't really see what was going on with the ambulance and, although I was curious, I didn't want to be THAT nosey of a neighbor and put on clothes and shoes and investigate. Instead, I cleaned off Leo's feet and we went back to bed.

I didn't think anything more about my neighbor until Thursday afternoon when a winter storm hit the area and ice started building up on anything that didn't move. I noticed that my neighbor had a couple of packages sitting on his front porch. They had been sitting there on Wednesday afternoon as well and were still there 24 hours later. So, I went over and took those packages and brought them into my house. One of them had already formed a layer of ice, so I scraped all of the ice off of it and now both packages are sitting in my living room. I left a note tucked into his door (I know it is a him because I did meet him one time out by the mailbox) and I think I found him on Facebook and left a message there for a complete stranger.

We shall see if I hear from him.....If I don't, what do I do with the packages? I don't know if he is in the hospital and for how long. Do I just wait until the weather clears up and then take the packages back over and leave them for him? Do I call the police in a couple of days and find out from them what I should do? I don't want to be arrested for mail theft. I don't want my neighbors to think that I go around taking things from people's porches. I would hope that somebody would do something similar for me if the need ever arose.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quilt Challenge - Macro

The latest challenge for the group Art Quilts Around the World was the word "Macro" from which we were to create a small quilt. The member who put forth this challenge referenced "macro" as close up photography, which gave it a new meaning for me as I always thought of macro as a little mini-program that is written within a piece of software that is used to perform some function.

With the idea of close-up photography, I had two thoughts run through my head, both of which centered around my sweet puppy Leo. At the time that the challenge was set, I was in the process of getting him tested to try and determine why he continues to have upper respiratory problems and one of the things that the vets recommended was that he had some issue with the cilia in his lungs. I did a Google search for photos of cilia and found a number that could have been translated into a quilt:

I opted against these because 1. I imagined having to get a feather boa involved and not sure that would really represent the direction that I want to take my art and 2. these photos are more of microscopic photography and didn't really fall into the meaning of macro photography.  

So, I opted to go with my second thought, which was to take a close up picture of my sweet Leo's nose and go from there. The only problem is getting him to sit still so that I can actually get a good picture of him because every time I pull out the camera he is nosing right into it and sniffing. I ended up taking this picture of him:

and zooming in to get the section of the nose that I wanted to focus on:

and ended up creating this quilt:

You will notice, perhaps, that the image is reversed on the quilt from the picture. That would be because I'm still trying to figure out how to make all of that work right, but I'm getting there. I really enjoyed doing this quilt and I have introduced myself to the joys of thread painting, or at least my version of thread painting. Every one of these challenges is making me a better artist as they force me to move well beyond the comfort of squares and triangles that I use in my normal bed quilting world. I still have a long way to go, but I'm loving every step of the journey.

And just for good measure, here is a shot of Leo watching over my studio while I work: