Evergreen Dream for reals

I'm a Greyhound who studied at the Evergreen Campus of Loyola of Baltimore. Enough with the mascots but dreams, actions, words, works--all these are woven in my life. Please allow my story to unwind.

Evergreen Dream

While other trees drop their leaves, slim down and prepare for the long cold winter, those audacious pines, cedars, firs remain green. Prickly, sappy and harsh; evergreens endure snow and ice.  Once their flowering friends appear, they vanish from view. Unsung heroes, taking a supporting role in show of spring and summer.   Today, April 19, 2017 my Evergreen Dream returned home. Not a real dream, a quilt, an art quilt to be exact. Life is better than a dream, it's real. That's what I say, so make me prove it! Seriously, I do for reals use GYST. Thanks to Karen Atkinson for putting this tool out there, I bought it several years ago. It works for me.   Here are my notes, both the ingredients list and the artist statement.

Hand dyed/ sunprinted cotton fabric, texture created by machine quilting with metallic thread, handpainted, bound with fused hand dyed cotton.

Curls and whimsical textures with the glint of greens and gold, give this abstract piece a dreamlike quality like snow covered evergreens shimmering in the moonlight.

Secret Note: Dear Ms. Anne On Eemuss, please don't be mad. For reals! I know that for reals is bugging you a bit.  I don't mean to prickly or be harsh, my writing is defiantly not the flowering tree. Sorry, not sorry.     Ironically, all humor aside, this is all true. Life is too complex to not be true.  My Aim is True.   Peace! AtoZ
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

Happy New Year

Sounds, patterns, people, perspective, promise and hope. Yes, baseball! Life goes on, the world goes around. As I write this the fans at the Ballpark in Arlington cheer. Never fear Tribe fans, it's a long season, plus it's only the 6th inning. Baseball is a game about losing. Seriously, you don't win a baseball game--someone makes the last out, not just one team--one individual gets credit for that last mistake.   Yes, there is a lot more to the game, but it's also simple, repetitive, patterned, historic, statistically rich, poetic.   Hey, the Cubbies won last year or should I say, Cleveland lost an amazing game seven. Baseball's Lessons for Life.
Seams and dreams
Laugh if you like, I can handle it, it's a long season!    
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

it’s about the people

Would you take free business lessons? I do!

Seriously, I'm enrolled in a school that I call life. I'm busy, just like you. But I take those minutes in between and put them to work for me. It's not as easy as it looks. Those who have attended my classes--like Face Your Fears, Superhero Strategies for Unleashing Your Inner Awesome or even Recipes for Teaching a Great Class would tell you, it's not as hard as you fear and sometimes it's getting past that fear and embracing our humanity that is the biggest hurdle we face. Yes, I did go to school. I finished high school, college and even took a graduate level class in metrics just for fun. Laugh if you like, metrics are fun, and we can prove it. If you have no metrics, you can't prove that they aren't fun! Oh, my the PUNs must stop. Before I headed off to teach at two big sewing/quilting venues in 2016, I stopped by my favorite car shop, Rising Sun Motors. Why, cause when I am making choices, I like referrals, that's part of why I want a verified blue checkmark to have that extra oomph that I am me. So I thought, and yes, again, I invite you to laugh if you like... But I really thought that asking for referrals was a good idea. I was WRONG!!! seriously, I did not study business and only took 3 psychology classes, but I did take an awesome amount of engineering, science, math and philosophy/theology/ethics. So what does all that mean.

Catch free range referrals

Referrals that naturally occur in nature are far better that any you can  grow in captivity. This is a whole books worth of stories, but for tonight--let's focus on the people. No matter what you do, it's a people business.

Thanks to Mike Warshauer of Rising Sun Motors for the title of this post-it's about the people.

Listen with your own ears (sorry the audio is not yet transcribed)        
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

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

and

Make It Your Own!

   
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

what if

sunshine connect regroup mend share ask hope dare care love   These are my words as I write them, but as you read them, you have a choice. What will you do with a gift of opportunity? are these just words? are they more? are they less? what are you thinking? what will you do? what conversations shall we ignite?   My prayers for our world--yes I said prayers. Yes, prayers, renew, strengthen and empower--there is such power in the simple tasks, especially in sitting with someone when you have nothing but companionship to share. Yes, I'm repeating this list again, read it aloud if you dare.   sunshine connect regroup mend share ask hope dare care love
15965764_10211732935948803_2451261333665472316_n
photo credit: S.Price January 15, 2017; waiting for the southbound train
  Hugs to those who are hurting. I have confidence in your spark. Be You and Be Awesome!   AtoZ, Amalia, Tia Tere, Ames (no matter what you call me, I'm just me!)   PS After posting these words with no image, since none felt right--this train image popped up in my social media feed--with permission from the photographer S.Price; I share it with you. Peace!
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

Stems from HOPE

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

Figures

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
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

AtoZ and Viv [virtual tag up]

If you don't want to see the behind the scenes of how I work, don't read this blog post. Thanks, AtoZ    

Hey Viv, I think I'm going to call you Vee-Eye-Vee as your superhero name, it kinda goes well with AtoZ and V-I-V, yeah, you know me!

ok, that nickname was short lived, unless I spell it out VeeEyeVee, which defeats the purpose of nickname-ology. This is the last hurrah, next few days will be busy! Can we do a virtual meeting here on the Blog?  I popped in a different font for you.  Feel free to not answer questions you don't want to, or answer in your own way.  I gotta run now!
Vivien- Here we go!
  I had a great coffee in TimesSquare, barista recipe by Ammy at St.Arbucks capture You don't drink coffee, or do you?
Vivien-no coffee for me!
Just got back late last night from Lion King on Broadway, what a great adventure, such great choreography,costuming, music. When did you start contra dancing? what was the story?  Where you just a young lioness at the time?
Vivien-My parents are professional dancers and got into contra dancing through that route. When my sister and I were very young, they would bring us to the dances. When I was in high school in Chicago, I started going with my mom and fell in love with it. Now I'm on the board of the Baltimore dance and I dance at least once, if not multiple times a week
  Can't wait for you to meet MsV! Please link to MsV page and tell me something interesting you learned about Valarie Poitier from less than 15 minutes research.
Vivien- http://www.valariepoitier.com/
Ms. V is a fiber artist living in Massachusetts. She teaches art quilt workshops and quilt business workshops, namely "Promote Your Work without Apologizing" which teaches people how to speak about their work and present themselves successfully.
[AtoZ6pm, yes that is true--but she is more--listen to me reciting her words https://anchor.fm/w/A42149] I'm a pretty positive person who protects my soul from negative thoughts and energy. Yesterday, I said to MsV as I started to say something negative and prefaced it with "well, I shouldn't say this..." OMG, I love her, she stopped me with a sweet joyful voice and said "then don't say it!" I love that I am surrounded by such positive and powerful women like MsV and that I can take that suggestion, that lesson and make it into a touchstone, a reminder to stay on my positive joyful path. I'm passing along lessons, but wow, I don't have all the answers, but I know that the right answers will be available to me if I am listening!  [AtoZ 6pm--Oh and most of all, passing along lessons is like the circle of life. It's not that I have the answers and am passing them, it's that we as humans can be part of the circle of life. The things we do, how we interact, those are the really big deal things. ] Okay, here is my question.  What do you think of that story and the last few months of working together?
Vivien-I think there's something to be said for actively listening and also reflecting -- that some things might not have the most obvious meaning to them but still impact your life. I think the we are both learning from each other and we should keep listening.
[AtoZ 6pm--active listening is good, as is reflecting, I was getting ready to let negative thoughts and words flow from my mouth, which is ironic because you can't fight negative with negative--I an humbled that I was reminded of that, and that we help each other out--we humans. I think that working together is like dancing--but these are enough deep thoughts for one post!]   I leave for International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston this week. What are your thoughts and questions about traveling to Houston?  It's going to be warm.  It's going to be exciting.  We should have morning tags ups this week.
Vivien-what are morning tags?
[AtoZ6pm--morning tag ups--the 5minute planning session--we can do it virtually too using our action item tracking software--today it was nice to use this post as fun way to let others see behind the curtain.] I think you have a copy of my RollerCoasters and QuiltShows article from International Quilt Scene 2015.  Give it a re-read before you pack for good tips tucked into my humor--see Laugh and Learn is definitely my style. I gave you edit write to my FB page, would you check that it works?
Vivien-it does!
  Would you create individual Facebook Events on my FFATOZ FB page for my 7 classes/lecture  that require signing up for at Houston?
Vivien-
10/31 Can You Cacti?
11/1 Superhero Strategies
11/1 Math of Art, Art of Math
11/2 Face Your Fears
11/3 Machine Quilting Forum
11/3 Playing with Plarn
11/4 Recipe for Teaching Great Classes
11/5 Words Are Not Enough
Also would you make a single page list by date of where you and I are going to be in Houston?
Vivien-running out of time today but will do tomorrow!
(don't share that publicly but since I'm making my interaction with you public, I figured I'd make the request here)
Vivien-
If I drop of a bag of extra swag to bring to Quilt Festival with you on Wednesday or Thursday morning, can you bring it?
Vivien- Sure!
Don't worry, I know you like cold weather, I'm working on booking us some teaching gigs in New England!   Viv, Please feel free to add some links, words, photos to this post and make it live today--I know I will show my name, but I'm outta here--it's 9:30am, and I'm getting in late to work and will check back late tonight! I'll check my messages at lunch incase you have questions! Viv, you rock! -AtoZ         13582126_10154220830864566_5130345895031516125_o cactus cover copy RootedintheHeart2 BU BAWESOME LARGE.001 - Version 5 a-to-z_logo_6.png  
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

The Life of a Studio Assistant

The Life of a Studio Assistant - What It's Like to Be the Studio Assistant at Fun from A to Z

[Viv, leave the text this way, I added in with square brackets and deleted with strikethroughs-why not be transparent, or at least translucent in how I work?  Thanks for being you and for being awesome-AtoZ]

Amalia has ambitious and far-reaching dreams -- she is a quilter and engineer extraordinaire, working hard and long to fulfill these two separate (and yet connected in many ways!) careers . She uses her MIB (minutes in between) to record her thoughts and uses every moment of the day efficiently [to make the world better and a bit of fun]. Fun from A to Z [FUNfromAtoZ, cause there is no empty space, just cram the letters all together] is all about empowering people in sewing and encouraging folks to be who they are, to explore, try new things and to be proud of who they are every day. This can be through workshops, lectures, blog posts, or patterns. [even that Facebook group that is all about being a joyful sewing person, what was that called? SewFUNfriends?] I help during the week when Amalia is doing her day job. I make phone calls, send emails, [keep this enterprise moving smoothly.]  The work can be hectic but it's fun and rewarding. As a young emerging artist, Amalia shares acts as mentor to me - giving advice, helping to connect me to valuable people and providing resources I would otherwise have a difficult time accessing. Our collaboration helps both of us to make connections and accomplish things that neither of us would be able to do alone [as easily or with as much fun and joy!]
img_0886
Helping to show the audience Amalia's [cactus soft sculpture] at her presentation at MAQ
Will you be at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Fredericksburg or the International Quilt Festival in Houston? She has a whole slew of cool classes that are made for absolutely everyone that you can sign up for! I'll be in Houston with her [not the whole time that she is] hope to see you all there!   [Oh, and Amalia feels like this enterprise is hers so she will just jump in and edit my work, she doesn't mind if I make a mistake because that is part of learning. But several mistakes are not ever allowed--I'm expected to be respectful person, be honest, be genuine, to be myself and to use my mind.  She told me once that we aren't friends, we are business associates. I don't always understand her, but since I met her, good things are happening in my art life.] img_8826
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

Can You Cacti? (a Vivi-fied post and MIB Podcast)

CaTrTzLW4AA8QC4.jpg-large
This Blog Post has been Vivi-fied*
This Blog Post is a transcription/translation of my Minutes In Between (MIB). I use MIB as a way to remember whatever pops into my head, to use as a memory bank. I'm really excited about the line-up I've got coming up in the next couple months and I'd like to give a little preview of one of the classes I'm teaching at IQF (International Quilt Festival) October 31, 2016.

Can You Cacti?

unnamed
In this past year the quilt festival has raised what it's paying their teachers. This is a great thing, teachers deserve to be paid well! This is a way to acknowledge our everyday superheros - teachers, police, firefighters, etc. As a teacher it is my responsibility to make sure the students get more value than they are paying. Those students are going to walk out having had awesome, one-on-one experiential learning, we're going to have a blast! The class is actually secretly a french knot tutorial. Show up as you are and let's make little cactuses. Will you be at IQF? Sign up for classes here!
I'll have lots of giveaways and goodies for everybody. I'm really looking forward to it!

FYI, I will be giving away free info and knowledge at Open Studios and Meet the Teachers.  I love to share.   If your budget allows, AND you get in before the class sells out, I invite you to join in the fun and answer the question.  

Can you cacti?

Yes you can!

 

Class number 106 on October 31, 2016 8am-5pm with 11-2 lunch break.  

Thank You for SoCo .001
* Vivified
Seriously all the text in black  not in this light blue font (that I can barely read as the edit version is a white background--but I made this correction because of my favorite editorial butt kicker) above comes to you from the clever ear of Vivien Wise--taking my blabbery audio file and capturing the essence-- because guess what... she just saved you from listening to my longer version in the audio file.  As you can see--I have added far more text blabbery to this post, than her original post.  Also, we need to make a new photo, since I was moved to a different sewing machine classroom. 
 
What do you think?
 
Did she translate this in my style?  Yes, I think so.
 
Did she catch all the nuances and bits?  No, isn't that almost impossible?  Below is a special treat for those who want to listen.  I want to be fully accessible and close caption my audio, so soon I will--and if you have insight into a tool to transcribe easily, please comment!  I can talk much faster than I can type, plus I enjoy bringing you along on my ride.
 
My dream is to share my audio recordings/informal podcasts (maybe in iTunes or Spotify--again, I want to work on the content and let's someone else figure out how to make it a podcast.)  
 
Wanna be my audio engineer? Kinda kidding, but if you can save me goo-gobs of effort, I might consider it.  BTW,  I already have an audio composer of music.  Seriously, I have my own theme song.  Listen to Uplifting Cinema, and following that you are welcome to hear the full blabbery that is Cacti. Soon, I hope to have a jingle intro to my Minutes In Between.
 
Wouldn't it be awesome to have a live Texas musician serenade us while we sew?  I'm working on it, but I do have my cousin's music on CD.
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

Some mighty fine shoes

Ah!  Live your brightest life.

Right now my piece Y Knot is in the wash—I like to wash my quilts before binding them so that I get the nice puffy bloom of the wash.  PS—I also used two layers of wool batting so I'm confident that something good is happening.  So while that's doing it's thing, I have a few minutes to write you a little story. Maybe I will tell my story as a conversation with a saint, an everyday hero, and a kind, kind person who I hope is smiling from heaven and aware of the power of the needle to mend and be a positive force in the world.  

Dear YtoA,

Yvonne Porcella—dear sweet artist, woman, mother, nurse, finisher of projects.  A few weeks ago I met a second person who finished all her projects. I had to give her a prize and someday will write that story.  I have so many stories. I know I won't be able to complete them all.  But I smile at the thought of your yellow shoes, and the story you told me. I'm most inspired by your humanity, your reality, your spirit that connected fiber, art, and people. Maybe I have it written somewhere, maybe I even have a voice recording somewhere, but for now I have a few minutes and my computer. In 2014, at the SAQA conference, you had no reason to talk to me.  I was just an associate that you had never met. Although I sewed my entire life I wasn't really in the quilt world at large. I was in a local guild, and I was a local rep for my SAQA region. Maybe I'm glad that my busy life didn't allow me time to be aware of who everyone was and the influence they had made in the quilting/sewing world. YP? Why Not? That was your line from your lecture at Quilt Festival in Houston in 2014.  You wore pants with question marks painted all over them.  You were you and you were awesome.  I hope that being genuine, kind and real takes off like wild fire, like a spark of love, burning hearts, sacred and true. You rocked the quilt world.  I liked you because you were real.  You kindly accepted my geeky acronyms and how I had fun with numbers. First time I saw you, I commented on your shoes that were audacious, practical, and fun.  Soon you were sharing your story of how wearing unique shoes made for great conversations that occurred in places that you might see someones shoes to your right or left, as you were... well, let's say you were "resting" or "un-hydrating" to quote Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS.   YP? Why NOT? we all do.  Those where your words, and they make me smile.  As a nurse, you understood the importance of a functioning body.  As an everyday hero you connected with people in such a real manner when you joked about pee.  Your photos in the hospital while you were getting your "reds" were always a treat for me.  Seeing the world through your eyes and seeing how even in a hospital you were creating art.  The photos you took were most certainly art. I loved seeing the photo of you and your son.  He and I have Facebook chatted and someday will meet in real life. I tip my hat and kick up my shoes in your honor.  And when I saw that a friend was making a "shoe" quilt for your show, I thought, Why Not!  I'd love to machine quilt it.  Collaborating with other artists is part of living my brightest life. Last year, I felt a need—the desire—to have a community; and with the digital world, we are not limited, so I started sewFUNfriends.  It's a Facebook group—open and inclusive, free and friendly.  I was honored to invite people who I was already  friends with on Facebook.  So of course, I sent an invite to you as well. I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I didn't know that as an admin inviting someone to a Facebook group was basically adding them.  In our world, we are so connected, but we are also alone.  I think when invited to something, we are on alert and wondering what people are trying to get from us—our money, our time, our influence, our endorsement, our spirit?    In fact I'm going to post the conversation we had on Facebook. I didn't want to post this before, because I thought some people might view it as my using your influence, I don't know why I didn't trust my gut more and be myself without worrying how it would be viewed. I hope to honor you and those who have come before me in this simple yet audacious task of sewing and being human.  I even think that mending and sewing has a power to connect the world in a way that is needed.  Oh I know, I'm one of the big dreamers.  At the SAQA conference this year, I even asked the student panel a question.  What can we as Studio Art Quilt Associates do to help you as emerging artists? Well, I have my dreams, and I'm making my seams—putting together something that although simple, might be a good first step that I am taking as myself and that maybe other Associates will take as well. Thanks for listening! Your friend, AtoZ
Hello friend (since we are Facebook friends), My intent is to add joy, to treat all people with respect, and to be a positive force in the quilting / sewing world. I’ve been blabbing (I mean blogging) since 2011, sewing since childhood, designing patterns since 2009. I work full-time in engineering. I just got a second dog three weeks ago.  Life is great but busy. In order to let you see what this group is, you should have access to view all that has been posted. Sometimes it helps to see what something is before deciding if you like it. The group is a closed group, so the posts are only seen by members.
Where did this come from? Well my Mission Permission Slip social experiment and associated stories around it led to this new Facebook group that is about sewing, light and fun, and we are friends (or at least friendly). My intent is to have a group that is not limited only to quilting because there is so much relevance with other types of sewing. I’ve also experienced firsthand the positive influence a community of stitcher / quilters can have. I invited you to sewFUNfriends. As a moderator, my “invites” show up as “adds”. Please feel welcome to join, unfollow (you won’t see posts), or leave.  If you choose to go now, you are welcome to come back later. Life is very busy, so we can’t be in every group, but do check us out and see if this might be fun for you.
Yvonne Porcella
Thanks let me think about it. It is a very busy time of the year for me. Getting ready for a museum exhibit in January.
Thanks for your gracious response. Quilts in museums is fantastic news. Much to give thanks for in our joyful/sewful lives.
 
Yvonne, you were the only one who responded with a request to think about it, my plan is to remove persons if they don't want to join within a couple weeks—this is the message I'm putting out there. Please do what works for you. I want members to be there by choice, so members who have not joined sewFUNfriends group after two weeks, will be respectfully removing. If you decide to join later, just go to the group and request to be included. Thanks! AtoZ http://funfromatoz.com/2015/12/02/something-new-something-fun-sewfunfriends/
 
 
Chat Conversation End
 
Seen Dec 3
20160826OK  
Want more FUN? Follow and like us:

Beyond Words MIB

first cut was Fishing for the Right Words (yes there is no real ending, this is my raw recording)  If you can't handle the raw, then click on the second audio below   Yes, indeed--I have a dream.  My dream is to share my stories in my words with the future.  Maybe my end goal is a podcast, but in my Seams and Dreams concepts, I'm smart enough to know that we each have different strengths and that I can achieve my dreams best when I'm helping others achieve theirs and nurturing and loving.     In my dreams, my words are also transcribed so that they are more inclusive--but this is what I have time for today.   Peace! one needle .003  
Want more FUN? Follow and like us: