General Thoughts on Heroes (Spring Clean AtoZ speak)


Participating in the last 3 years of Cheryl Sleboda's spring clean blog hop has been critical in my development as an artist and my life. Not joking. Seriously, I am too busy, too engineer, too Spock, too Sheldon, too much geek or what ever box you chose to put me in. Yes, I know, I am like Yoda--weird and small saying things and doing things that don't make sense to all. I mean no disrespect. Only respect to the Quilting / Sewing world, I have. I have the future sewing people in mind. Yes, I may seem light and funny, like when I say I was kicked out of a quilt show. It was only for being there past closing and I turned it into a simple bond between those who were there. But I know it can be taken out of context. It takes a long time to say things succinctly and well. Making art, pushing the envelope into the audacious, that's not simple--it doesn't follow the steps A,B,C. Oh and yes, I work full-time, I came home to update my blog, cause I inadvertently did not follow the rules. So I'm off the work clock. check out the awesome list of players in the blog hop List is both on a previous post, linked above and at very end of this post. Before blog hop photo     After blog hop photo of my physical sewing studio (YES, my physical space is less neat, more messy. I donated my cool trashcan, I donated a quilt, I created a mess, I am on the phone with a Yelp Account Executive as I type this so I'm also working the business side. My face photos are sideways, sorry I will fix that soon, but you get the gist--hair is purple. I wanted bald, so purple was a compromise. Heck yeah, I'm different. Still I love you and want awesome stuff for the world.   Peace!    

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One of my heroes, was a princess that became a General.

Happy StarWARS day--May the Fourth be with you--well actually, may the force be with you every day. I wish I could give you the force, all I can do is wield my force, my power with the best of my powers and be an example. OMG, not be a shining beacon of perfection. NOPE, I prefer to be a small, greenish, big eared weirdo that talks funny.  Laugh at my hope, there is good in the world--and I chose to feed that joy.

What you feed grows.

MsV told me that, and her son is actually a superhero. My favorite princess is not Princess Leia. My favorite princess is General Organa, and I have a special love for Carrie Fisher. I didn't know her personally--but I read her book, I mean postcards. I know that there is great power in having some fame, it's also quite intoxicating--lucky me, my sisters named me "Lame Ame"--yes it does rhyme.  So in 25 minutes May the Fourth starts in the Eastern US. I plan to be asleep by then, but this post will go live right at midnight. I'll likely update this post, correct any errors in it, add some more links, photos... but only in my minutes in between. I've had a heck of a year. but I choose joy and love, so that's how I roll. My Studio is Me. My words, my stories, my ideas. So it was more than just cleaning a room. I taught a class...Scratch that--no, I guided an experience at the International Quilt Festival called "Face Your Fears." PS--an awesome group indeed, to which I said as I closed the door, this is our space, our home for the next few hours and we aren't here for others to peek in and watch.

Safe Space

I created a Facebook group -- sewFUNfriends with 3 simple rules--please feel welcome to come check it out. PS-no sewing requirements other than finding a connection in fabric to one another. 3 years now, I've been part of Cheryl Sleboda's Spring Clean your Studio Blog hop.  I'm so honored. My art, my studio, my life is always evolving--well life is constantly changing--I chose to make smart business decisions. So when I recommend someone, it's not because we are friends, it's because you have skills/qualities that I think can be of power, in the fight of good, vs evil. Yes everything is part of that battle.

Now, stop reading so much into each and every word

To Quote Tracy Ulman--go home!

Good night, let's keep in touch on StarWars day, the Quattro de Mayo--when I wake from sleep, I'll paste in the photos.

May the fourth be with you!

    Before photo After photo Some of my favorite lines from General Fisher in an interview... 
  • Look, I wouldn't be anywhere else at this hour, except TV.
  • I think in my mouth, so I don't lie.
  • No, I'm a female in Hollywood, over the age of lets say 40, well, lets say 50...
  • What I'm going to stop now [being Princess Leia, General Leia]
  • Ridiculous in a really good way.
  • I try not to respond as an adult.
  • Normally, I wouldn't talk about it, but you are so thin so let's talk about it
  • What music makes this worthwhile?
  • I thought I was doing other stuff.
  • People that are normal and have other genes.
  • Gary is bored as hell.
  • That you know of!
  • YES!
      Luminous beings and all that. Goodnight dear powerful princess.   If you are on snapchat, check out the story, I created for you yesterday afternoon and evening. Now, it's pumpkin time, dearies and I gotta go be a grownup.   love you all, Tia Tere   PS--Weird, I thought this Yoda was, when first saw him, I did. Feel free to think of me as your own Yoda, small strange and hairy. That would be my honor.   My hats off (and almost my hair) to those who came before, and are invisible, so that we can have light and shine. Want to know what a powerful woman looks like? Look around, they are everywhere--especially the quiet, tired ones caring for our next generation of humanity.


Mic Drop

I'm out--catch you again after the sun goes down!




Tia Tere


whatever, thanks to the Big G, my parents for my life. My best, I will strive to be.

  Check out the other blog hoppers in this awesome group May 1 – Teri Lucas – May 2 – Tammy Silvers – May 3 – Emily Breclaw – May 4 – Amalia Morusiewicz – May 5 – John Kubiniec – May 6 – Debby Brown – May 7 – Melissa Marie Collins – May 8 – Delve MIY – May 9 – Misty Cole – May 10 – Sam Hunter – May 11 – Dale Ashera-Davis – May 12 – Sara Mika – May 13 – Sarah Trumpp – May 14 – Carma Halterman – May 15 – Jessica Darling – May 16 – Lisa Chin – www.lisachinartist.comMay 17 – Sally Johnson – May 18 – Mandy Leins – May 19 – Shruti Dandekar – May 20 – Jane Davila – May 21 – Ebony Love – www.lovebugstudios.comMay 22 – Cheryl Sleboda –
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soundtrack of my life

As I click publish, my stove top timer sings to me says it's time to close up that computational device--time to reboot the mind, body and spirit. Yes indeed, you call it sleep, I call it low tech rejuvenation! Slowly simmering in the crockpot is the world's most flammable chili con carne. A soft snore from one of my sweet giant beasts. This is the soundtrack of my life. I'm joyful. I'm humbled and honored. I'm blessed!    

Make it Work

Make Your Mark

Make It FUN


Make It Your Own!

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Step Up and Shine

Imagine this... You go to work at sports arena, like a pawn to the Kings, you skate and shovel ice during breaks. You also act and sing, but doesn't everyone in La-La-Land? National Anthem pop stars cancel. Thirteen minutes notice. Celebrate a century of hockey. Introduced as Courtney Daniels, a member of LA Kings Ice Crew, you step on the ice and sing the US National Anthem like an all-star. If this is a launching point or just a really good day at work, I wish the best to Ms. Courtney Daniels. Nicely done! FYI-- in 2008, Brett Leonhardt, Washington Capitals website producer, became an NHL Goalie, sat on the bench and back to his day job all in a single game.          
photo credit: Everett Howard 2017
  Broken beach glass is far more beautiful than perfection and shine. Be You and Be Awesome! img_2855
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Stems from HOPE

Hidden Figures. As a lover of numbers, math, words and stories, my intrigue grows exponentially. Looking just at the second word


I see numbers first, then realize the word also means beings, persons; after a while I think, oh yeah, sometimes women are dehumanized just into shape--so figure could also be that. I do love that it took me a while to think of that one. It might be like fighting windmills, but I see great power that stems from innocence and hope.       See what I did, I said STEM.

Science Technology Engineering Math

Love that it's a verb and a noun. Stem, branch--growth, living plants... Today, as I sit watching the my morning show, the light of the day illuminating behind the trees and my neighbors house; I sip my cup of coffee and plan my day. img_9998 Thinking of the math classes I've taken in my life. I can't say I loved all my classes, one math class short of a math minor, but oh how I love numbers! Seriously, part of my baseball fascination is twisted in the numbers, math and metrics.   Tonight, along with others working in my field, I'm attending an early screening of Hidden Figures. Why? Because the opportunity presented itself and I want to stand and be counted with those who honor these Hidden Figures in history. STEM not STEAM Yes, I left Art out on purpose. Engineering and Math are so connected to Art, that ART is hidden inside. Are you saying, it's not fair? That is true, it's not fair. Life is not fair. Life is life. I think that we should work to make life good and more equitable, because

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

I won't ask Spiderman to forgive me for replacing Power with Privilege, because in asking for that forgiveness, I'm saying I don't have Permission to create this saying. Permission is a funny topic, be polite, stay in line, keep your voice down--these all have a place, I don't advocate anarchy or chaos. I do advocate learning, growing, going beyond. Yes, and now I've gone beyond my morning time to write, sew or otherwise create. img_0005 Be You and Be Awesome--and look for the awesome in the everyday, right under your nose. img_1243-2
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Spark of Science, Allure of Art

The_Dress_(viral_phenomenon) 26 February 2015.  That Day, That Dress. A spark that ignited communication beyond the virtual work, into our day to day existence. The irony of duality—the prose I planned to be an essay, spilled out like silk cocoon, as my fingers danced on the keyboard.  For most of my life, I’ve stood in awe of those whose have lived through eras of drastic technological change.  My dad’s mom worked as a seamstress, her childhood had no Saturday morning cartoons on TV—there was no TV.  I wondered what our fast paced world must seem like, when digital communication took the place of paper and pen.  A distant past in which, we knew those friends on our block, our news arrived on folded paper, and the lights at night were the stars and planets. We humans landed on the moon, before I was old enough to appreciate our small step.  I take a leap myself, combining and creating my life as a soup or stew as I stir my words, science, art and thought.  By day I tug on the seams of science in operational engineering.  By night I look up at the same moon, attracted to her pull.  Art and science together are a power of gravity and grace. I am just engineer, with a needle of steel and a heart of art, a human being that is all.  

That Day, That Dress

Ode to 26 February 2015

  Spark of Science, Allure of Art Frayed edges, snags and lies. Day Five-Seven of Two-Oh-One-Five Opposing views, left and right Blue-n-Black or Gold and White Like insects swarming in the night Converse and Curse across the Waves   Piercing my fibers, I form a knot Our viral Web spun, will it stop? Attired in questions, we cannot! Trust we must, that which we see Or set our sights on mystery? Science isn’t Black or White In packets, waves, shines both the light   Tugging a thread, I soon regret Are Science and Art, such worlds apart? Building blocks, unraveling thoughts Beauty, Knowledge coexist Woven fibers; Warp-n-Weft Pulling Biases we must resist Ripping our borders, edges, seams Concealed a veil, a wish, a dream   Tricked by truth, fooled by thought All turn and look, What is, Is not Spark of Science, Allure of Art With great disdain, I must confess Unraveled us all,

That Day,

That Dress.

  For beautiful art that is also beautiful science, see the New Moon Rises exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Dress BBC article on The Dress
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Mardi Gracias

A nice treat on MardiGras to see my Lucky Needlecase in CutLoosePress's Facebook post. IMG_3152 Lucky Needlecase is a great excuse to practice a new quilting style--matchstick or other tight quilting looks great in this small scale project.  Do you practice on purpose?  I typically practice with a solid color and interesting backing.  The solid helps me learn and the fun side is forgiving! IMG_2611 This nice Hoffman Batik tricks the eye - see my lines aren't actually perfect!IMG_3157 Ask your local quilts shop to carry my patterns, like Lucky Needlecase for having FUN with me today! Lucky Needlecase 
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Triple Threat and the Reservation Equation

I am well versed in the delicate art of delegation.  I delegate to my humble crockpot, to the pizza parlIMG_2011 2or, to the timer on the coffeemaker, the delay on the dishwasher and washing machine, our wash&wear wrinkle-free dress shirts, my many checklists, a few at the ready "go-bags", the recording device on my phone, my gps, my fabulous nail tech, my streamlined makeup system, my Kindle, my iPhone in general... these are some of my many teammates that create more time and energy for me to create more fun. I don't need to do it all myself, I can be the boss and be sure it gets done. Yelp found this really awesome restaurant and I used that tool to make a dinner reservation on a Monday for Wednesday. So now starts the mathematical equation... If 3 people plan to eat at 7pm, and person 1 confirms the reservation at 6:05 pm via SMS, drives 10 minutes, picks up 1 more person, drives 40minutes north, while person number 3 drives 40 minutes south, so that they all meet at the restaurant for the reservation at 7pm, what is the chance that this really interesting restaurant closed it's doors less than 2 weeks ago? Originally we were heading to the Highland Inn.  But life throws twist and turns at us, as Misty and I pulled into the empty parking lot and saw the third member of our adventure... Cheryl, in a microscopic red rental car, parked all alone, way out in the middle of the large empty lot.  I laughed and said "you couldn't find a better parking spot?" IMG_2011 2 Serendipity was on our side. We drove just around the corner, to the Twist and Turn Tavern.  Spent a lovely evening sitting outside at a fancy picnic table with drinks served in mason jars that was not originally in the plan. Lesson 1 - Tell technology who is the boss - technology can be a good teammate, but sometimes it requires a little supervision! Lesson 2 - Look beyond... What was the real plan? to share a meal, share some laughter and relax?  In this unexpected way, we accomplished our real plan. 11695778_10153149079497663_4884333634751189714_nLesson 3 - We really do look a bit like Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles.   thanks for having FUN with me!a-to-z_logo_6.png  
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Dia de los Dientes

really? again?
really! again!
Every family is pulled together with special customs.       As the oldest of three Cuban-American sisters, I'm honored to carry on my father's tradition of a customary pilgrimage to the dentist after pulling out a crown by eating Halloween candy.
biting down on cotton
Adding to my list of candy that pulls out crowns... orange slices jelly candy! Thanks to Dr.Park, I'm smiling again with my crown firmly attac20141103-192421.jpghed and  an appointment scheduled for November 2 of next year!
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Lucky 13’s – treasures found

Happy January 13! Thinking of luck and one of my favorite quotes "no fate but what we make", why not have 13's be lucky?

So far in 2013, I've been lucky enough to find 2 of my favorite tools that were lost!  They were hanging out together in a crossstitch kit, that obviously I had not been working on recently.

Funny these two tools had a few things in common that I wouldn't have thought of if they weren't found together.  Both came from "Falls", Omstead Falls and Great Falls, both from really unique quilt shops, and both were splurges.  If you ever have the chance to visit Abigayale's Quiltery in Omstead Falls, Ohio or Jinny Beyer's in Great Falls, Virginia, enjoy the adventure!

Several years ago traveling to Cleveland area for work, I happened to find Abigayle's.  I was in sewing withdrawal and the ladies working there were beyond friendly and welcoming.  I started up a handsewing project so I could sew on the go, and picked up my Roxanne open ended thimble - it allows you to have a longer nail and the thimble stays right where it should on the pad of the finger.  Abigayle's in is an old Victorian house, each room held different treasures: a room for the threads, another for novelty prints, then the flannels, etc.  In one of the upstairs rooms I found scraps by the ounce - a giant barrel of scraps, you pick out the ones you want and they get weighed at the checkout - kinda fun to dig thru a barrel of scraps!

Jinny Beyer's shop did not involve any digging thru barrels!  Jinny's shop has a museum quality to it, there is an awe I experience in seeing the precision and handwork of her quilts.  There is a genuine beautifulness to the display cases of the handsewing tools (including a pair of Dovo folding scissors, that came home with me).  I love the colors of the Palette Collection, and of course the border prints!  I went to Jinny's with a few of my quilt bee-mates, made a day of the adventure including lunch.  Food, friends and fabric: key ingredients in a fun adventure.

I love these two tools, not just cause they are great tools, but together they have remind me of these adventures - one I experienced alone and the other with friends.  Now having found them together, it adds to their history.  So I'm saying it aloud,  "I'm lucky to have misplaced them!"  It allowed me remember these stories and share them with you!  Plus, these tools came back to me at a time, when I am ready to spend more time on my handwork. 

Gotta say that was lucky!

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Getting Better with Age, AMDG

My birthday month has started - birthdays are like baseball, they don't always follow time the way you would expect.  The birthday month (ok, I admit this is my own invention - but it's a good one)  Ok, the birthday month begins one month prior to my actual birthday and ends one month after.  So yes, the birthday month is really 2 months long, and in my case spans September, October and November.  So this is my "new year" and I turn my thoughts inward.  Interestingly enough, I saw a little old lady today who had just a smidge of resemblance to my Abuela Marta, my paternal grandmother, sewing teacher, and one of my creative mentors.  When this stranger gave me a smile today that had my Abuela's playful humor and a sparkle in her eye, it gave me joy to know Abuela sent me smile-mail from heaven.

In Tempe, Arizona I found this beautifully aged copper post cover at the aisle side of  the pew at Old St. Mary's Church.  I loved that it was worn, wrinkled and tarnished.  There is no way that new copper can compete with the beauty of this aged metal.   The church is a national historic landmark built in 1903.  It's not a traditional parish, it's associated with Arizona State University as the "All Saints Catholic Newman Center Mission".

Interesting snippet heard from our local priest ... sometimes when we think to ourselves "wow, that was lucky", that those opportunities could be free gift of grace from God. 

I've always loved being lucky! 

Personally, I love my luck even more now thinking that those lucky times were gifts of grace from God. Padre also elaborated that those gifts aren't shared willy-nilly as he spoke of the need to do good works along with having good faith.  I'm considering it a good work to put to this out to the blog-sphere, that this is part of who I am. 
As a human, I have many parts and it's a balance since they are all important parts of me - artist, worker, leader, wife, daughter, sister, stepmother, friend to humans and animals, humanitarian, god-loving-atarian, fun finder, and maybe philosophizer too!  When I was younger I walked past these 4 letters "AMDG" everyday - at least twice to-and-from classes.    And I think that God would be pleased to read that when I create art, I may not always think or say that I am doing it for God, but that in my quiet stillness of stitching thread through fabric, I feel closer to those who came before me and to the Creator, the great I am.  I live my life AMDG, I make art AMDG!  I was lucky enough to be Jesuit educated, other trained by SJ's know exactly what AMDG means.  "For the Greater Glory of God."

In a world filled with people, some with different faiths, some without and others struggling, I find myself not sharing about my faith, because I think that's separate from x, y, or z activity that we share, or that it will offend or exclude.  But I can't honestly say that my faith can be separated from the other parts of who I am and for me to share my thoughts on life without acknowledging my simple faith would be offending myself and excluding myself.

My favorite prayer is one of faithful surrender "not my will, but Your Will", I have a comfortable relationship with God.  I say He reads my Facebook posts, so why wouldn't He also read my blogposts?  The "Big G" and I are close that way.   So on this first day of my "birthday month" special thanks and love to those who created me, Mom, Dad and the big G!

Here's some great parting thoughts from St Iggie and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (both of which I think would agree that faith is so intrinsic we can't separate it from the day to day parts of who we are).  Mother Teresa share the name Teresa and an abundance of names. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, "Blessed" because she was beatification Oct. 19, 2003 (only 4 day after my birthday.  She was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and simply Mother Teresa.)

signing out with my big name...

"By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."
―  Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.
As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go.
― St. Ignatius of Loyola

Love is shown more in deeds than in words.
― St. Ignatius of Loyola

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
―  Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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look any further

"...if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.
Dorothy was right - there is no place like home... "
Look up
This voluntary maple started spouting in our flowerbed about 10 years ago after giving it TLC and replanting to middle of front yard, it's become quite the tree.  Sometimes you don't plan for things and they turn out to be just what you needed.

Look down
Standing on Mount Washington in our own version of Bonaire in our backyard with my newly pinkified toes. Having fun with shadows. A little freesia and marigold mark the way like the yellow painted stones mark the dive sites in Bonaire.

Using your creative imagination, you can see our flowerbed is clearly in the shape of Bonaire.  The upper most rock represents the National Park and the rock in the grass is Klein Bonaire (which means Small Bonaire) Many of the marigolds that we have dotting the edge of the flowerbed didn't make it this year, so we'll get some more.

Sometimes things sprout that you don't expect, and sometimes you need to go out and get what you want!

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Lucky 12s

Do I think I am Lucky because I am; 

or am I Lucky because I think I am? 

In one week's time, the number 111 came up twice (hotel room number and visitors badge number), I picked up 2 Lucky pennies and found a ladybug flying around in the car with me. And that same moment across the country my name was drawn and I won a quilt!  Lucky huh?

I was Lucky enough to have spent the weekend at a friend's house getting my Arts and Old Lace challenge done. Until last weekend, I was dangerously close to giving up, I had started to implement my plan and was over thinking and not letting the creative process flow.  I basically had surrendered to not finishing, but somehow I packed up my supplies/designs and took those to my friend's house.  Tim Gunn's voice in my head said "Make it Work" and I feel like I hit one out of the park with my Arts and Old Lace piece!  Definitely, made it work!
The only hint I am sharing is "you know what I like..."  If you are in the Maryland, DC, Virginia area, you are invited to come join me at the opening of Arts and Old Lace at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, Virginia on July 21.  Arts and Old Lace is the younger sister of the Power Suit Challenge. My Power Suit "Cognition" is out there in the world traveling about!
So much fun to spend time in the studio!  Why did I get away from the daily art habit? I had forgotten just how much I enjoy my creative process and sometimes I need a nudge...

So here is my nudge... I've challenged myself to 12x12x12x12

I'm creating 12 simple art quilts in 12 days (12"x12" size) - I'm on day 3 and am enjoying the creative push - and I'm not over-thinking, or over-planning, and am really enjoying the play of creating something for no real reason.  I'm going to be self-directed during this process and not share about them til I am done. I'm using what I have at home, which could be altered fabric or blocks from my orphan blocks box.  I'm working fast, lots of other things going in my life these 12 days.  I've got a few going at once in several stages, as of right now, 2 are done, one in progress and another in design, plus there are some techniques in my "I want to try list" and some themes in the "hmmm list". I'm going all the way thru quilted, but am holding off on binding/ sleeve/ labeling.  I am making notes on lessons learned, experiments, hints and technique. I'll be sharing these tidbits along with photos.  I'll reveal on June 12, 2012 at 12 midnight.

Just yesterday I found another ladybug in my car - this time she was on my shoulder... hmm, what's coming my way next?

Interesting ladybug facts

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