Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chronicles of Karen...

Chronicles of Karen, now that's a walk down memory lane! Many years ago, 1999 to be exact, I began an email journal of my families wanderings "The Great Overton Adventure" when we were modern day gypsies living in an RV working on the road...back then email was my way to reach out and least verbally of my ramblings. Time marches on and here comes blogville, and I can add photos!

Hum...I sometimes have wondered why I want to chronicle my journey...I mean after all, do I really think someone is going to write my life story and need all this material for their book (grin). No. I've decided that I chronicle for selfish reasons - to be reminded of the blessings that have come my way when my way is clouded and I have lost focus.

Life can get busy, it can be boring. Life can be troublesome, it can be joyous. But pretty much it's all the above and everything in between.
Life happens, memories are made, some are forgotten.

It's been quite a long time since I've journal-ed my journey. .. Truthfully I had to go through my photos to refresh my memory of what has happened since I last posted. Thankfully there are a lot of photos so I plan on letting them tell my story.

As I've reflected over this year that is just totally flying by I've sometimes thought that it's been a difficult time. The first of the year was mixed emotions as we started out with my father-in-law in the hospital as we planned my youngest son's wedding. What a whirlwind! Trying to catch up on quilting and then it was time for the Dallas show and setting up A1 quilting machines. As my home was being repaired and remodeled I relinquished my quilting time to a time of waiting .... lots of Tiki Hut hours racked up that's for sure.

Finally the day came where this became my morning view...

Oh the joy of being back to work in my cheerful studio. Seems I was starved for anything quilt-ie and yet found myself in such need of inspiration to get me back in the saddle.

The opportunity presented itself in the form of a workshop with Ellen Anne Eddy, a fiber artist who was a guest of one of the local quilt guilds.

Ellen Anne's work is inspiring to say the least. And soooo far from my comfort zone it's not even funny. Thread play? on a domestic?

I truly enjoyed her trunk show and getting to see her work up close and personal. I loved her hand dyed fabrics (and came home with a little stash to call my own). It's my hope to take some time in the new future to attempt a little thread play myself, both on the domestic and then try to translate it to the longarm...

I have always loved nature and have tried to capture the beauty around me with my camera, even though I don't get professional results with my attempts, it's the memory jog that I relish. Who knows, after Ellen Anne's class I might be inspired to capture the memory in a quilt...

Here's a glance of my backyard critters this summer..

Do you think any of these are quilt worthy?

I'm not really into bugs, but I do love lizzards...and have to admit, I used to collect the discarded shells of this bug..

Some critters are more welcomed in my backyard than others....but God did make all creatures big and small...

Maybe I should stick to flowers for my inspiration, like the ones for my birthday...

Yep, July was my birthday month, and in keeping with tradition I celebrate as many times as possible. Including going to the circus (that explains my opening photo!)

The Island Quilter's Guild has an annual sew in and it generally falls on my birthday. I missed last year, in fact had missed all the meetings this year (I mentioned that it was crazy). But I decided it was time to join back in the fun, so I went this year!

Also keeping with tradition, I like to make a quilt on my birthday, so this is the 2011 model.

This quilt not only was my birthday quilt but also a quilt I made for my A1 reunion (more on this later).

Meanwhile back at the youngest son had been working on a wall mural for me and was determined to finish it ON my birthday so he could date it 7.23.11

By the time I came home with my finished quilt top and hung it on the design wall he was signing his name to his art....

The next morning I went back and put into practice a technique I learned from our guild speaker during the sew-in...I'm making a rug to go in front of the lime green door in my studio. It's still a work in progress, so more on that in the future.

One of the joys of being a quilter is having talented quilting friends. A greater joy is seeing their work, especially if it's in a show. Several of us took time away from the sew in to take a side trip to view fellow guild member, Peggy Baldwin-Clayton's quilts featured in an exhibit there on the island. Story Quilts
I took a ton of photos, and truly, this side-trip deserves a blog post of it's own.... Peggy was inspired by Mary Lou Weidman in her style of story quilts....many of Mary Lou's quilts were on display in addition to Peggy's. The show runs through the end of September so if you are in Galveston you owe it to yourself to take the time to view.

Peggy's story quilt documenting her 50th birthday was very inspiring...I think if I were to make a quilt of my birthdays I'd have to include this year's surprise photo!

Yes, Pixxie actually took a taste of my birthday cake!

But we left her at home when we had the family celebration at La Brisa

Did I mention that I really like to celebrate my birthday? Never just one cake or one party (grin).

All too soon July has turned into August and my, it's more than halfway over already! Here's a few photos from my A1 Reunion held the first weekend of the month. We invite all our A1 customers to join us for a couple of days of training and fun.

Johnny teaches part of the maintenance class, and I share my tips of the trade... and then we shared our LaBrisa with several that wanted to join us for dinner.

Several of our customers couldn't stay for the second day of design class...I regret that I didn't get a group photo the first day....but here's a glimpse of part of my A1 family, and the star of our show Pixxie.

We really had a fun two days together and ended it with those who wanted to join us at Dickinson BBQ.

Inspired by my customers or just the first opportunity since the remodel... Johnny is quilting his first quilt!

And Pixxie is proud of him.

As someone has said, if Pixxie wants to model with your quilt that's a high stamp of approval!

Like I mentioned earlier, this year has just flown by and been nothing but unusual...the only guild meeting that I attended the first half of the year where those held in my own home (longarm guild). I've not been able to attend any local quilt shows either until I visited the one featuring Peggy...I've committed to try to change that! Actually visited a show last weekend where one of our longarm guild members had several quilts in the show.

Here's Barbara Staten with one of her quilts. Many of her customer quilts had ribbons as well.

It was a nice show. Very refreshing. Made me stop and realize that it's good to take time to refresh. Many times we get so busy in trying to juggle what life throws at us that we forget to take time to refresh. For some, like me, it could be taking time out to be among like minded folks (quilters for example) or just being outside enjoying the beauty of God's creation... Simple things like a ferry ride across Galveston Bay....

At sunset...

Letting the wind and the waves bring a comfort to a tired and weary soul...

with the beauty of an almost full moon...

Yes, I think I truly blog for me. It's nice to have an audience, but it's really my chronicle. My reminder of the things that God has placed in my life. The friends who come along side me and encourage me, the peers whose work inspires me, the beauty of my Lord's creation which is truly the only encouragement and inspiration I know that He loves me.


Muddling Through said...

Karen, what a lovely post on so many levels. I think our girls were there very near the beginning of your rambling, weren't they? You were such a great boss! (Johnny, too.) We always appreciated the great care you took of our babies. And you know Ruthie would love your birthday quilt - anything purple is her favorite. You made me laugh right out loud with Pixxie getting the first bite of birthday cake. Our dogs are just "special" aren't they! Love you, my friend.

Holly said...

Karen I love your musings. We are much alike, you and I. I've been meaning to tell you the silliest thing. I bought a broom for my classroom at Lowe's, and I'm pretty sure it's the same one you got for your studio. It has all the colors--black raspberry, bright orange, lime green, and I think it even has pink. Every time I see it (which is every school day) I think of you, which makes me happy.

Karen E. Overton said...

Holly, I was just thinking about you yesterday, how we let the summer escape us again and didn't plan a visit before school started for you. Check your calendar and the first day you have off email me and I'll do my best to "book" you on my calendar. Enjoy your broom - I'll now think of you too when I use mine (but don't be offended, I'm holding out for a Roomba - manual labor doesn't suit me LOL)

Holly said...

Karen, there is a reason we have been friends for more years than I'll admit to. You know I"m planning to have my students wield that broom. It will teach them responsibility and give them "ownership". Roomba is a brilliant invention. When you get yours let me know how you (and Pixxie) like it.