I’ve been asked to join in on a blog game. It’s tag, and I’m it!

My new friend, Linda Kinnaman, of Linda Kay’s Art asked me and several other folks to play along. I met Linda through an online course, Hello Soul, Hello Business.

It’s kinda fun seeing how everyone responds. Won’t you play along with me?

The Rules
…you must post the rules
…answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you
…create 11 questions to ask the people you tag
…tag 11 people
…let them know you’ve tagged them

Here are the questions Janet has asked:

1. What is your favorite tool when being creative?

I have to say scissors…shape, texture—gotta have ’em!

2. Who or what inspires you the most?

I love color. Color is the thing that I notice first, it stirs and soothes emotions, and changes magically depending on who its neighbor is.

3. Where do you want to be in 5 years?

Location-wise, I’d like to be in my current home. It is our dream home, but I’d love to be travelling or vacationing a bit.

4. When is your most creative time of the day?

I always end up in my studio around 1 or 2 pm….that’s my best creative time.

5. What is your best mistake?

Does my 4th child count?

6. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

William Clark, of the Corps of Discovery (the Louis and Clark expedition). I have had a fascination with this 2-year mission of exploration, an astounding accomplishment.

7. What would you two talk about?

How he developed the courage and strength to endure what he did and lead his men, and I’d want to hear lots of “untold stories” from his time in the wilderness.

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Oh boy, ice cream is one of my favorite foods! I love flavors with chocolate and pecans.

9. If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?

I would create an amazing art quilt and exhibit it at the International Quilt Festival.

10. What is your biggest fear?

Long, high bridges and tall buildings.  I like being on the ground!

11. What is your best self care treatment?

My horse has an amazing, calming, centering effect on me.

Now here are the women I’ve tagged, followed by the questions I’ve asked.  Please visit them, whether they play or not!

Aimee Joy Nelson   http://www.aimeejoyart.blogspot.com

Christina Fajardo    http://christinafajardo.blogspot.com

Colleen Attara   http://www.colleenattara.com/blog/

Denise Wandt    http://www.naturallybydenise.com

Jessica Brogan   www.insearchofdessert.com

Kass Hall    www.kasshall.com

Kelli May-Krenz     http://heresanotherwayoflookingatit.blogspot.com/

Moyra Scott  www.moyrascott.com

Nicla  Williams   www.naturesbestdesigns.co.uk

Christie Ingram   http://www.mrsingie.com/

Leanne Wargowsky   http://www.fromchaoscomeshappiness.com/

Here are my questions for them:

  1. Where are you right now?
  2. Which birthday do you remember as your favorite?
  3. Cats or Dogs?
  4. When you want to celebrate, what do you do?
  5. If you could time travel, where would you go?
  6. Do you like to cook? What’s your favorite thing to make?
  7. What do you do to get inspired?
  8. What’s your favorite color to wear?
  9. What value was most important to teach your children?
  10. What’s your idea of a great vacation?
  11. How do you find peace?

My husband, Ernie, has a big family reunion every year in far southern Illinois.  It’s held on an acreage that has been in his family for generations.  Uncle Ray built a pavilion, enclosed on 3 sides and landscaped the area with beautiful flowers.  He works really hard each summer getting everything in top shape for the September get-together.  One year, as a thank-you, I created this wall-hanging from panoramic photos I had taken.

This wall hanging is done in raw-edge applique, embellished with thread painting and decorative yarns/threads.  I didn’t use any pattern for this—I just eye-balled it, as they say.  Doing it this way gives it more of a folk-art look, which I like. What I really wanted to do was experiment with texture.  Texture draws people into the piece, and touching is allowed on my quilts.

The pavillion is has cedar siding, so I used a scrap of wide-wale corduroy to make mine.  I used a satin stitch around the roof line and on the appliqued windows.  For the flag, I had some flag-print fabric from which I cut a little flag and folded it as it hung from the flag pole (no breeze down there on that hot summer day!)
The trees on the hillside are done in a variety of batiks, commercial prints, and maybe a hand-dyed cotton or 2.  I cut basic blob shapes similar to what I saw in the picture, then did various free-form stitching around the edges—trying to soften them a bit.  Then I thread painted (a machine technique I’ve posted a tutorial for) the trunks and branches with various shades of brown embroidery thread.  I also thread painted some of the flowers in the garden, as well s the 2 bushes behind the fence.

The other, very textured flowers and greenery are made by couching decorative threads.  I used long tweezers  (like what come with a serger, or what you use in surgery if you, dear reader, happen to be a surgeon) to hold the threads/yarns in place as I free-motion stitch them into place with clear nylon thread.  Bunching and scrunching the yarns give a very full look, which also screams “feel me”—-so you may not want to do this if you don’t want people touching your wall hangings!

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My son Dean has Down Syndrome and he’s very bright (a mom can brag, can’t she?)  But at age 2 he wasn’t talking much yet, in fact he was still using sign language quite a bit.  But he had some words, and one of them was “yes”.  Actually it was “yea”.

So one lazy morning Dean, his dad and I were sitting on the bed talking.  We wanted to engage Dean in the conversation, so I started with the typical
“Do you love Mommy?”
Dean smiles, “yea”
“Do you love Daddy?”
“yea”
“How about (brother) Ryan?”
Still smiling “yea”
“Do you want some milk?”
“yea”
Dean’s dad winks at me and asks Dean
“Is your hair on fire?”
Without missing a beat he chirps “yea”

We’ve laughed about that many times over the years.  Sweet boy, just being agreeable with his parents.

So I was thinking about the mindless “yea” so many moms say as they are raising their kids
When we are asked about volunteering for something, “yea”
Or we say at work where we want to look good, “yea”

We want to be good, caring women.  I know I DON’T want to be one of those moms who says “no” mindlessly.  But saying “yes” isn’t always the best answer, either.

If life seems crazy, maybe it’s time to try saying “no”.   Agreeing to do everything that comes your way doesn’t make you a great mom or woman.  Attending every practice may not be truly necessary.  Doing your kid’s friend’s mom another favor by bringing her kid home again may not be in your best interest.  Taking on another task at work may be another straw that’s verging on breaking the camel’s back.

I knew a woman who did everything that came up so her kids would see her as a hero.  Nice idea but the problem was, not only was she not thinking about her own interests but she was setting an unreal  example for her kids.  She was afraid to let them think she couldn’t handle something, or even fail.  When we talked about it, I told her I thought her kids needed to see her put a priority on herself.  And her kids didn’t need unreasonable expectations of her, they needed an example of a loving mom who could say “no” to something and STILL be that loving, caring woman.  She could show them that taking care of  herself  was important, too.  We get tired, burned-out, frazzled…and we need to say “No, I need to rest”.

Even better, how about recognizing that point of fatigue before the frazzle happens.  Taking a moment for yourself at that point is even better!  A moment when you’re not too tired to appreciate it…a moment that will prevent the frazzle.  Now that will teach the kids something!

Do you need a break?  Oh “yea”!