Here we are, in that odd liminal week between Christmas 2022 and New Years 2023. Half of you are done and dusted. Boxes in the attic, every speck of glitter sent to the bottom of a vacuum bag. I don’t understand you. I may love you in lots of other ways, but there is a certain magic to bumping into that odd snowman deep in May. And not until the Epiphany or later do I even consider de-Christmas-ing.

BUT. The bigger question–Are we ACTUALLY that deep into the roaring 20’s (and WHY have they been so loud!!!)

Yegads. AGAIN? I have to find ANOTHER word??? But I don’t wanna!!! Read through these and choose one for yourself. I can HONESTLY say I have failed every single year.

Last year’s word, which has a link to all the previous words… 😉

OK. Fine. Be that way–here, my word of the year. Acceptance, alright?? “It is what it is, so it is.” It turns out I will NOT become
Queen or Supreme Leader or even an astronaut or a unicorn tamer when I grow up. Le sigh.

I like mint chocolate chip ice-cream too much and exercise too little to ever become Twiggy or Serena Williams.

I have to accept that although the CONCEPT of Kon Mari appeals to me, that I also LIKE ALL MY THINGS. They Do bring me JOY!!! I love the idea of a place for everything and everything in it’s place, but I ALSO want EVERYTHING right out where I can see it. (This explains both my obsession with containers and boxes and drawers and ALSO why so many of them are EMPTY at any given moment.)

And yet. Nope. That’s not the word! I was informed by my quiet subconscious as I was hand-binding a quilt…. That LAST step between a WIP (Work-In-Progress) and Done. The word is to be–


So. You know all those UFO’s and Flimsy’s and IDEAS and boxes/bins of collected parts of this and that craft and quilt and and and?

The description on my Twitter profile reads “#BeginnerOfQuilts (as opposed to beginning quilter)”

Yep. Gonna have a FINISHED List for the end of next year for you!! Will I keep to it?

Have a GREAT 2023…Remember, it will either be a good time or a good story!

Seasons of Love, Redux…September 11, 2008 —(republish)


Originally uploaded by rteest42

September 11, 2008.

A day that we may find respite from the increasingly ridiculous political garbage, a day when maybe any of the candidates may realize WHY they want the job anyway!!! (and a day where there are many scrambling to avoid the natural disaster of Ike who may not have the time to ponder old ills because of the new and very real ones heading their way…good luck to you)

The following is an essay I wrote back in 2002. At the bottom of this essay there will be a link to some of my photos of the day, and my first-person account of the day. I don’t need to keep saying more. This should be enough.

How will the NEXT year be measured? RENT closed the other day. One more thing from then, gone. But before it left, it had become an anachronism.Seeing it last month, I couldn’t help but note later to my cousin that the world of RENT had become a period piece…

“Seasons of Love” ( From the musical RENT, by Jonathon Larson)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure – measure a year?…
In daylights – in sunsets
In midnights – in cups of coffee
In inches – in miles
In laughter – in strife…
How about love?…
Measure in love…

Seasons of love…

…Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan…
…How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?…
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In the bridges he burned
Or the way that she died…
It’s time now – to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate….
…Remember the love…

Measure in love…

These words came to me, as I was driving, and they helped themselves to my quilt. So, how do I honor this past year? There were so many changes in my life…my brother moving in with us, my marriage, the graduation of my daughter, her moving away to college, my moving away from New York, changing jobs…and all of these, tinged with the memory of a year past… …and of the sights and sounds of horror as we stood and watched the buildings fall; and the tears shed on my brothers shoulder, and the tears Arlie cried on mine; the cold wet ground stealing up through my shoes as the bag-pipes played at Mike Fiore’s funeral; of the endless processions of sadness that lined Staten Island roads for months as family after family came to the sad realization that their loved one was gone.
I wanted a way to honor this.I decided that around the border of this quilt, I embroidered the initials of some lost that day.In the blocks are folk-art styled symbols of the events. I was fortunate enough to know few. But step outside the line, just one step from my door, and there are many people I know who lost friends and family. I would like to use their initials on my quilt as well.

“There is no good memorial for them but remembering.”

September 11, 2002

( I had to remove a broken link — because of this, it is republishing itself and I have no idea how to not have it email out…. sorry)

Song Lyrics+Ugly Fabric=Quilt!

What do you do when challenged with deadlines AND “horrible” fabric? Make one quilt that fits two challenges if you are me!

My local quilt guild, the Hospitality chapter of the Richmond Quilters Guild, put out the challenge “Music to my Ears.” I almost immediately had decided one of the songs from the band Squeeze would be my selection, because their lyrics always seem to be painting a visual image. 20160227-IMG_8638.jpg

And then, at our holiday party we had a round robin ugly fabric exchange where I ended up with eight 1/8th yards of fabric some would say only it’s mother could love.

As if by design the entire quilt unfolded in front of my eyes!  “Two fat ladies window shop something for the mantelpiece.”-(Pulling Mussels from the Shell.)

That incredible fruit lady fabric finally had a raison d’etre! Sketching and assembling the quilt was done very quickly. It all fell together like it was meant to be. The addition of the lyrics on the boardwalk was a last minute thought, when I realized the ‘planks’ of the boardwalk felt too clean. I probably should have checked how well the lyrics would fit.

The eight ugly fabrics are in the art hanging on the gallery wall–either as the frame or the art. (two of the pieces of art were additions from my very own well-loved stash.) The remaining piece I couldn’t work in ended up being the frame for the gallery sign. I dug in to my stash of alphabet stencils for the gallery sign and used Prismacolor, Copic and Micron pens to color and shade there and elsewhere on the quilt.

This is hanging at #MAQF Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest through today and will then go to a local show at a church in Richmond for a bit.

*Mea Culpa. I have not posted a single photo from February!  I will make one big month-end post with an explanation and then strive to do better in March.

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