Sunday, April 24, 2016

Until we meet again, Charlene

Char Char, Charmander, Charleney-bob.  These were my nicknames for my beautiful Charlene, named with the proper /ch/ as in Charlie, for she was named for her Charlie Chaplin moustache markings.  My beautiful long-haired calico, a gifted kitty from Emily's friend Allie, way back in our Oakridge days.  Nineteen years ago.  Nineteen years, Miss Charlene, you graced my life, entertaining me with your shopping bag capes, your hide-and-seek games with kitty Kiara, your little paw poking around under the door, the way you came to me when I wiggled my fingers by my leg, nesting on my lap, keeping me company in the studio, and giving me what-for if I didn't pay enough attention to you.  Deaf for the past two years, your meow got louder and more insistent, but still you were patient with me and my ways.

Charlene was not everybody's favorite kitty.  She could be aggressive when she felt the need to protect herself.  But she also provided a lot of loving comfort when needed.  I wish she were here right now!  But I guess the big move was too stressful for her poor old body, or she was missing her buddy Kiara too much and went to go play with her in the Great Beyond.  And so she passed away last night, sweetly, quietly, still beautiful.

Thank you, Charlene, for blessing me with your presence and your companionship, and yes, your love.  I love you, too, kitty girl.

xoxo,  lulu

Friday, April 8, 2016

Moving Day 1: Suddenly Sentimental

Feeling boxed in?

Charlene found sanctuary in the midst of all this chaos:

Yesterday we signed on the dotted line and got the keys to our NEW PLACE!  SO EXCITING!  We got busy right away moving 4 loads of boxes and a little bit of furniture over.  Driving back and forth between old and new, taking in the scenery along the way, feelings of sentimentality started taking over.  In all my anticipation of all the wonderful things I am planning and dreaming of for the new chapter, I had been very diverted from thinking of the things I'll miss in the old house.  But these particular things were very in my face on such a sunny day.  Things like:

Our spectacular big sky view of Mt. St. Helens (the view that makes visitors gasp in awe when they walk in the door for the first time!)...

Our flowering dogwood tree...

Our spring flower beds in full glory...

The mural I painted on our storage shed (we already checked into 
taking it with us - no can do, boo hoo)...

Oh goodness.  By evening I was weepy over all this.  But,  I am still looking forward to what's ahead, the giant silver lining:


xoxo,  lulu

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

this and that

Mostly my life looks like this right now:

PACKING!  Taking apart the studio - which was just so recently refined in its organization!  But, I am excited about the NEW SPACE we are moving to!!!  I can't wait to take pics of the big empty space over there and share them with you!

BUT, before all the packing began, there were quite a few birthdays being celebrated, and I got busy making PILLOWS!

Pillows that highlight the initial of the recipient's name, utilizing the newest stencil I bought.

I went a different way for my brother's pillow.  He had requested beer gifts this year, so this was my way to play with the theme.

The back of his pillow looks just like one of his favorite shirts.  He could keep the remote control in the pillow's pocket!

From gift-making I turned my attention to volunteering to design a brochure for a worthy cause.

Quilts for Empowerment is a program that teaches quilting skills to women in Kenya who are survivors of obstetric fistula.  With their new skills they are able to create products for sale, providing themselves a livelihood and independence.  (Visit for more information.)  My thanks to Mary Ann M. for letting me do what I can to help.  My hat is off to HER for the various organizations she has created or become involved with that help women here at home and far beyond.

And now...
My way to share with you something that has made me happy.  From this past Sunday:

Pink and blue - Blossoming trees in front of a school in Portland;
a happy blue dinosaur at Leach Botanical Garden in Portland;
and a new hair-do for Miss Mini!

And now, back to packing!

xoxo, lulu

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sweet Magnolia

LONG Story short: We are moving.

Although the circumstances surrounding this move are far from wonderful, I am at peace with it, and even excited to move forward.

As with any move, though, we will be leaving behind some sweet memories, some sweet views, and in the case of this house, one very sweet magnolia, magnificent in bloom.

My senses are on high alert to take in everything I hope to remember from this place.  Maybe I'll be able to record some of that before we go.

xoxo, lulu

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Adventures of Scared Girl, Episode 1

She came to me all at once in a daydream one day, about a month or so ago.  An alter-ego, a means of expression.  And so, without further ado, the debut...

She'll be around every now and again.  Until next time...

xoxo  lulu
As always, I LOVE to read your comments!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Art & Soul Portland, Part 2, and a Birthday

 Another look at last week's art and soul classes.  I taught Thread Doodling on Wednesday evening.  Students did some practice with sketches I provided, then worked on their own compositions:

I love how a little bunny kept finding its way into my students' pieces.  So much fun when students share materials!

My final class was Storybook collage dolls.  These dolls are BIG, so the work was all still in progress, but I think they got a great start!  SO expressive!

WOW!  I love these wild eyes!
Love those lips!
Oh!  Adorable little shape and fabrics!
Beautiful eyes!
This Bo Peep is going to have some wild and woolly hair!
My friend Diane took a wonderful class from teacher ChadAlice Hagen, resist dying wool felt.  Aren't these pieces beautiful? 

Sally and Janet took a Laurie Mika class on Sunday and made these exquisite hearts.  I need to take a class from Laurie!

Sally bejewelling her heart.
Janet's heart adorned with a Queen Bee.
 And finally, a belated birthday celebration for Janet!  Kelly brought the cakes - YUM!

Woo hoo!  Caught up on last week!  This week - TAXES!  Wheeeeeee!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Portland Art & Soul Part 1

Art & Soul 2016, PDX edition, took place last week.  Hard to believe it's already Thursday the week after and I have been rushing from one need-to-do activity to the next, not having time to post about my big teaching week!  We had a wonderful time, teachers and students alike!  Today's post: the Sunday meet and greet, and my first class, Long-Legged Lolas.

The first Sunday of Art & Soul we gather as many teachers and students as have arrived in Portland for an informal get-together where teachers can display samples from their classes, give demos and make & takes.  Students come in at their leisure, and maybe find another class or two they'd like to sign up for.  I was so happy this year to get a new student into my Thread Doodling class via the meet and greet - shout out to my new friend Stephanie!

Here are a few teachers who gave demos and make & takes:

Debbie Rijns demonstrates fusing Swarovski crystals!

Erin Keck
Erin Keck offered a make & take embossed wood tag, emblazoned with this year's theme logo, The Enchanted Forest.  Wouldn't you want to make one of these?  I know I had to make one!  Too cool!

I made a tag!
Liz Kettle
Liz Kettle demonstrated screen printing with a thermo-fax screen, then gave away the samples.  I had fun thread doodling around the sample she gave me:

On Tuesday I had my first class, Long-Legged Lolas.  I had a great group of students who learned to stitch, stuff, sculpt, and paint their dolls.  So much to do!  We didn't quite get all the way done, but you can see the great sculpting that they all did.  (What do you think, ladies - next time a 9 hour class?)

The dolls all have their base layer of paper clay, so into the dehrydrator they go for the clay to dry!

Cocoa's kewpie cutie gets some finishing touches before she goes in for more drying.  I love how she was inspired to sculpt her doll from the adorable print on her fabric!

A group of dolls with their base coat of paint, ready to get their faces painted.

Lisa and Cocoa having fun working on different stages of their dolls.

Lisa's doll

 Nancy was cruising on her doll creations!  You can see she has a second doll underway in the background of this photo.

Susan's doll, almost all finished - I am so proud of Susan!  New to sewing, she put together this totally delightful doll and continued working on it during the week.  By Sunday it was almost all done, and I just love it!

I had several dolls at various points of completion that I worked on for demonstrating purposes.  Here are 4 of them, now finished:

The freckle-faced cutie in the middle sold at Vendor's night.  The two on the right are heading to my Etsy shop.

We had fun!  I'll be teaching a similar class in May at Art & Soul Minneapolis.  That one is called The Kid Inside You. It is a day and evening class to give us more time to finish the doll.  Sign up now and join us!!!