The Quilter’s Trunk!

The Quilters TrunkCongrats to the Quilter’s Trunk! It took them nearly two years to get off of the ground, but now they are here:


They opened during the weekend of the super “blood” moon lunar eclipse. I am a part of a number of textiles arts groups and one person from Needles and Threads Quilting Guild actually works there. Writer, actress and textile artist Mary Fons will make an appearance on Saturday, October 10th. Call the store for details:


The Quilter’s Trunk has a variety of batiks, ethnic fabric, travelers fabric, like Route 66 themed fabric or even New York themed fabric. Good things come to those who wait.

The Super “Blood” Moon Lunar Eclipse

Watching the super “blood” moon lunar eclipse was better than watching CSI, if you ask me:


For those out there who are artistically inclined, work within textiles and feeling influenced by the super “blood” moon, please consider the Fly Me to the Moon Art Quilt Challenge. I only wish I had the time to participate if I weren’t trying to make a quilt for the Chicago Botanical Gardens Fine Art of Fiber event or the Santa Paula Art Museum agricultural show:


The effects of the lunar cycle were all around me. I knew something was up. All during the weekend, my patients were more restless than usual. People drove around like they were too busy to obey the rules of the road or like they simply didn’t know that there were other cars in front of them. It seemed to me that people were more irritable than usual. I did more stress eating than I have ever done since I was in graduate school. This time, pizza and Coca Cola were my top picks. Aside from mercury retrograde, I attributed it all to the super “blood” moon lunar eclipse.


It was like a double dose of side effects, if you ask me. Still, the wonders of the natural world are a healing salve to the depression that comes along with trauma. It was a spectacular site! Just watching it gives energy like nothing else. I stood up watching, not even getting tired. Some of the best things in life are actually free. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Watching the super “blood” moon lunar eclipse was one of them.

MAC Viva Glam Makeup Collection

When I went out to celebrate my new position as a private duty nurse, I wore my MAC Viva Glam makeup collection. Viva Glam is the charity line created by MAC (Makeup Artistry Cosmetics) where all the proceeds go towards people living with HIV and AIDS:


As a matter of fact, MAC’s Viva Glam collection has given quite a bit of money to A Children’s Place Association in Chicago. I applied for a job there, but they called me after I received the one I already had!:


MAC’s Viva Glam makeup collection has had a lot of colors, but the ones that I get the most compliments on is the Viva Glam Miley Cyrus 1 makeup collection. She has moved on to orange, but I first purchased the hot pink. I haven’t worn colors like this since I was in high school and I love it. Whenever I wear the hot pink, people constantly ask me about the collection.MAC Viva Glam Makeup CollectionPanache!

Life is Larger

Within my new job, I am working with a lot of people who are at the end of their lives. Many of them are only 15 to 20 years ahead of me in their age. Many are coupled with children and grandchildren. Machines breathe for them because they cannot breathe on their own. Machines feed them because they cannot eat on their own. Much of the time, they have a lot of pain and tend to be anxiety ridden because of their fears of the unknown.


It can be overwhelming to watch this type of thing day in and day out. I’ve allowed the situation to teach me about the importance of coming out of my comfort zone and what is truly important. People with backgrounds of trauma build walls around themselves to keep the outside world out. It is understandable given what previous situation they came out of. But working with this population makes me return to my own life thinking that my comfort zone may not be the thing I should always defer to after all.

Within the past week, I have noticed a few events in popular media that may have drew my attention: An article written in the New York Times about relationships and Viola Davis’ Emmy speech. Please get this right: I can appreciate loneliness just as much as I have compassion for trauma and the aftermath. Also please understand that I am happy for Viola Davis, her win and for pointing out the opportunity disparities that exist within Hollywood (Or anywhere else for that matter):


However, my current work assignment has also given me a very different perspective on loneliness, trauma and the fact that favor isn’t sometimes fair. One day, everyone, regardless of health status, background, relationship status, race, creed, color, religion and/or sexual orientation will have to do a life review and ask themselves if they have lived fully or if they have wasted precious time, energy, money on people, places and things that they cannot control.


My current work assignment has made me take better care of myself with eating the proper foods, drinking water, getting adequate rest and exercise. Otherwise, I am no good to myself or my patients. I have returned to my creative pursuits with more rigor than usual. It is especially important to the things that I set out to do because after all, I honestly do not know what kind of time I have. None of us can answer that question for ourselves really.


Life is larger than trauma. Life is larger than a relationship status (or lack thereof). Life is larger than secret societies that may or may not accept you. Don’t let any person, place or thing get in the way of enjoying your life. Never let anyone steal you joy. You always have yourself, your art and your spirituality to turn to. Come out of your comfort zone and do what you set out to do in this life while you can.

The Farmer’s Market

Farmer's Market 1Having some downtime has meant getting the farmer’s market. I am grateful I was able to get that in before the summer ended. Artistic expression is very personal and being here reminded me of the quilts I am trying to make for the Santa Paula Art Museum for their agricultural exhibit and for the Chicago Botanical Gardens Fine Art of Fiber Show through the Illinois Quilters Association.


Someone recently asked me what my favorite part of fall was. Personally, I prefer spring and summer, but if I had to choose, I would say pumpkin butter and/or sweet potato butter on my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I use Pumpkin butter and sweet potato butter rather than jelly. Farmer’s markets like these are great places to purchase such items. Farmer's Market 4


Another favorite is acorn squash. Acorn squash seems to be a family favorite, particularly for my dad. He loves soup, especially the soup I make soups during the fall with it. I will list recipe details later.


Even Sheep Look to Lighten Their Load

I don’t know about you, but mercury retrograde is in upswing around me. The main way I am seeing this is through employment. The unfortunate part of today’s healthcare system is that it doesn’t allow for us as healthcare providers to actually give patient care. This is what nursing is all about, if you ask me, but no one has. More work is spent on documentation, paperwork than patient care. And more and more and more is loaded on you until you are drowning in computers and paperwork while the patient is left to fend for his or herself.

Over the years, I did wound care for people who were injured due to domestic violence. Due to the corporate buy out for these facilities, patients were transferred to other facilities and sometimes home. But if you were injured due to domestic violence, is it really a good idea to be at home? It was heartbreaking. I’d had enough, so I found myself in between jobs in a challenging economy.

I am trying to return to my roots of home care because there is more of an emphasis on that topic, but in the meantime, the transition has been slow. It is retrograde after all. I am doing what I can to remain patient and calm. When I get like this, I have to remind myself what makes me whole, healed and complete: Fiber arts.

I think I remember Debbie Stoller writing about a similar situation in her Stitch and Bitch series where she spent her time knitting and doing crochet. So, I did what I knew best: knitting and hand sewing. Then, I saw this article and I was delighted! Even the sheep are looking for ways to make life a little lighter for themselves!:–abc-news-pets.html#

Daddy’s Quilt!

Okay, so my father is a veteran. And the quilt I made for him is not red, white and blue, even though it is Labor Day, Daddy's Quilt 1Daddy's Quilt 2but I did make him one. I just have to finish it! I used Chicago Bears fabric at his request. I really need to finish this before the end of the football season.

Quilts of Valor

If you are not celebrating a veteran in your life, it would be good to make them a quilt  if you can. Quilts of Valor has an excellent program where the quilts you make will be given to veterans who have served in the war. Being the daughter of a veteran and feeling gratitude to veterans not only for their contribution to the country, but also because of their efforts to improve trauma treatment, I think it is a lovely way to spend the holiday.

Also, if anyone is going to be at the Pacific International Quilt Festival hosted by Mancuso Show Management, Carole Lyles Shaw is going to give a class where any quilts can be donated to Quilts of Valor.