Posts Tagged ‘Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre’

Chenille, Dragons and Licorice Herring

May 14, 2014

 

My friend Jordan Bernal (1dragonwriter.wordpress.com) asked me to be part of a blog tour. I’m supposed to talk about my writing process, but since I found these cool licorice herrings and won a bid for two yards of green chenille I’ll write about that, too.

Jordan writes about dragons. She loves dragons, always has. She also loves all things Celtic, so her first book is set in Ireland and her second in Scotland.

 

Jordan Bernal - photo by Patrick Coyle

Jordan Bernal – photo by Patrick Coyle

 

You can find The Keepers of Eire on Amazon, but you’ll have to wait for The Keepers of Caledonia.

I write about what I love, like science fiction and candy and odd connections. My fiber art incorporates things I love, too – like science fiction and candy and odd connections.

cover Death By Chenille

cover When Chenille Is Not Enough

The books that Ann Anastasio and I wrote, are writing, and plan to write are about quilters who save the world from alien invasion. We like to think we invented the genre of quilting science fiction. We also claim to have invented quilting vaudeville since we sing and dance about quilts as Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre. Shameless self-promotion – you can find Death By Chenille as an e-book on Smashwords.com (click here). When Chenille Is Not Enough is also an e-book on Smashwords.com (click here) or a paperback at Amazon (click here).

I think most of us create what we do because it seems like a good idea at the time. The concept of quilters saving the world from alien invasion by smacking them with chenille pillows wriggled into our brains like an ear worm, so we ran with it. It’s lasted through two books, one more in progress and a title for a fourth. Ideas are out there, floating on the breeze, waiting for someone to reel them in for fun and profit.

So I’ll be making something out of the chenille I bought to inspire me while writing the third book in our series, The Chenille Ultimatum. I don’t know what I’ll make – perhaps my own chenille pillow.

green chenille

Two yards of green chenille

 

I probably won’t include dragons in my stories, but I’ve got one on my shelf.

blue soft toy dragon

My dragon

 

Heaven knows where the licorice herrings will take me, but they’re very tasty.

licorice herring

Licorice herring – who knew?

 

If you want to be part of this blog tour and write about your creative impulses, send me a link to your blog and a photo (of you would be nice, of your quilt would work, too). I’ll list those in future posts.

Luck and wisdom!

 

Valentine’s Gifts For The Artist

February 12, 2014

My husband will give me flowers and a funny card for Valentine’s Day, unless this is a mushy-card year, in which case he will give me a blank card with an interesting picture. Probably of a dog. I like flowers and funny cards, and neither of us needs a box of chocolates, so I’m happy as a clam at high tide with those gifts – from him.

 

Lani Longshore heart box

 

I’m asking for a better gift to me from me this year.

 

I won a consultation with Beth Barany, a writer, writing coach, and marketing consultant. We used the session to brainstorm about marketing my two novels, Death By Chenille and When Chenille Is Not Enough. It was a fabulous experience, and I’m going to put aside some money to work with her again when Ann Anastasio and I finish The Chenille Ultimatum. That is my first Valentine’s gift to myself.

 

The second gift is to treat myself to as many classes as I can afford. I’ve already signed up for two quilting workshops through Amador Valley Quilters, and I’ll take whatever workshops Tri-Valley Writers offers, but that isn’t enough. One of the ways an artist can grow is to explore other arts. I find a lot of cross-over in my writing and quilting. I’ve also found some cross-over with my martial arts training, and even my (minimal) musical training. Themes that appear in one discipline have a way of working into another.

 

My third gift to myself is my own box-o’-art-quilt-prompts.

 

My art quilt bag and fabric prompts

My art quilt bag and fabric prompts

 

I have a couple of writing and art prompt card boxes with suggested projects and inspirational thoughts. They’re great, but it occurred to me to I could make my own and clean another tiny space in the sewing room at the same time. I packaged up some of the inspirational fabrics that I bought for projects I can no longer remember. There are three projects I need to get finished for deadlines, but after those are done I can take out a bag and use those fabrics for an art journaling project, or a gift, or an experiment that I’ve already given myself permission to throw away if it takes a turn for the worse. My hope is that when another deadline looms while I’m working from the box-o’-prompts fabric, I will find it easier to get started since I’m already priming my brain to be creative.

 

Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift this year, the gift of permission to get your hands dirty with whatever art you choose. You’ll thank me later.

 

Speaking of thanking me later, here are the links that I embedded above, just in case:

 

Beth Barany –www.bethbarany.com

 

 

Death By Chenille – on Smashwords

 

When Chenille Is Not Enough – on Smashwords or Amazon or B&N.com

 

Amador Valley Quilters – www.amadorvalleyquilters.org

 

California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch – www.trivalleywriters.org

 

 

 

My Reward

April 27, 2011

I’m posting a few hours early this week because tomorrow I am off to New Mexico for Art Quilt Santa Fe. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my friend Ann Anastasio is co-producing it, and we will be entertaining on Tuesday night as Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre. The rest of the week I will be a classroom assistant.

Just in case the teacher doesn’t need me to do a lot of running around, I’m also bringing supplies to do the project. Today I went through my sewing room pulling things together. Although the room has cycled back to a scary phase, I was able to find all the things that I knew I already had! My hard work really has paid off (sort of – there’s still a lot to clean up).

Another reward for hard work will be unveiled at Art Quilt Santa Fe. Ann and I have been working on a sci fi novel about quilters saving the world from an alien invasion (the aliens disguise themselves as bolts of beige fabric). We’ve called the novel Death by Chenille.

We are publishing it on Smashwords.com as an e-book.

Art Quilt Santa Fe runs from May 1 – May 6. When I return, I will have a new project – a quilt for my daughter’s dog. Abby is a lab/Australian shepherd mix. I don’t have a picture of the dog, but I can show you the top and backing for her quilt.

A soon-to-be completed UFO

The dog hair shouldn't show too much on this

Meredith read the blog about my 90+ unfinished tops, and asked if there was one I wouldn’t mind finishing up for Abby. As it happens, I do, and I’m happy enough to give it to her. First, my kid is reading my blog! Woo-hoo! Second, when I finish this quilt I send it away. Third, I can show my husband that something is coming out of the sewing room to balance out all the stuff that is continually going in to the sewing room. This is a win on many, many levels.

I may not be posting next week since I’m not sure I’ll have access to a computer. When I do get back, I hope to have lots of pictures from the retreat to show you. Until then, may you also enjoy the rewards of quilting.

A Schedule Derailed

September 29, 2010

This wasn’t going to be my most productive week in the sewing room. I pulled out boxes of fabric and knew they would take more time to organize than I had. Deadlines for other projects sat on the calendar, glaring at me. My to-do list ran to three pages.

You’re waiting for the punchline, I know you are. There isn’t one.

There is, however, good news to share which has nothing to do with my sewing room. My friend Ann Anastasio is co-producing a quilt retreat next May. It is called Art Quilt Santa Fe, and will be held at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino (near Santa Fe, New Mexico), May 1-6, 2011. The featured teachers will be Michelle Jackson and Linda Schmidt.

Ann Anastasio was my first quilt teacher, my first friend when I moved across country for my husband’s job, and still a good friend even though she moved half-way across the country for her husband’s job. Organizing a quilt retreat has been a dream of hers for years, and I couldn’t be happier that she and another friend have finally achieved their goal.

The website for the retreat is http://www.artquiltsantafe.com. There are links to the teachers’ websites, as well as to Broken Dishes Repertory Theatre (www.brokendishesrepertorytheatre.com), which will be performing at a gala banquet during the retreat. Broken Dishes is Ann and me.

Broken Dishes was my dream come true. When I’m not quiltiing I write stories, and I had always wanted to perform as well. Ann suggested we entertain at guilds, and with another quilter friend, Evelyn Judson, we started singing, dancing and telling stories about quilts. Evelyn then moved (also for her husband’s job), but Ann and I kept performing.

Many of my finished quilts were created for Broken Dishes programs or workshops. The chances of my finishing anything skyrocket if I have a deadline, and there’s nothing like planning to show off your work in front of other talented quilters to keep you moving forward! Here are some of my favorites:

The Birthday Button Cake

The Guilt Quilt

Plate Tectonics

So, my cleaning schedule got derailed, but life is still good. Next week, I hope to make more progress in the sewing room. Who knows, someday I might even get that room organized – then I can start on my writing area.

In my writing cave