One Moment | The Decision is Made!

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that my son Liam is a senior in high school and has been following his passion to play the trombone. He’s worked really hard, had all sorts of awesome successes, (along with a couple of disappointments), and auditioned all over the country this past year at 9 different Schools of Music and Conservatories. After ruling out the conservatories as being too focussed, he ended up with 3 Schools of Music within larger Universities that offered him some really fantastic scholarships. In the end, he’s chosen to study with Jeremy Wilson, the trombone professor at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Here they are last Fall, when Liam took a lesson with Jeremy after playing principal trombone with the NAfME All National Honor Orchestra in Nashville.


Liam visits Vanderbilt again, going to classes and taking another lesson with Jeremy Wilson.

Liam visits Vanderbilt again, going to classes and taking another lesson with Jeremy Wilson.

Liam’s very first college audition was last December at Vanderbilt, it was a crazy trip! His “mental toughness” (as Jeremy puts it) in the face of adversity and little sleep stood him well that day. Of course, Liam needed to audition at 8 other schools, each one of them he’d visited twice and had lessons with each of the teachers he would have studied trombone with. Because that relationship is so important, we all wanted to make sure that Liam got along with his teacher (or in some cases, teachers, because there are a couple of schools where you take lessons with all the trombone professors).

Aiyiyi, there’s so much to say and yet at the same time, all I need to say is HOORAY!!!! He’s going to a fabulous school to learn and grow with an incredible trombonist who is also a truly awesome human being…and with a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship, his tuition is totally paid for, along with a stipend for a summer of study abroad!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!

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Dyeing with Fiber Reactive Dyes in an Earth Friendly Manner

Happy Earth Day! Last year the folks at Quilting Daily asked me to write up a post on how dyeing with Procion MX fiber reactive dyes can effect the earth and how we can minimize those effects. I am continuously inspired by the flora and fauna that surround me, so I am always trying to impact the earth as little as possible, so I’ve included all the methods I use to ensure that my dyeing impacts our planet as little as possible. Click here to read that post.


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My New Bag – A Take Off Tote


Here it is! By the time you read this, I’ll have already used my new bag, made with the Take Off Tote pattern by Erin Erickson, to easily travel to Chicago with Liam! The zippers across the top and for the front pocket keep everything secure. (If I’d had time to order zippers in a…

Studio Snapshots | Mama Needs a New Bag!

takeoff tote progress

Although I love designing my own bags, I appreciate the work that goes into a well designed pattern and Erin Erickson’s Take Off Tote is perfect for my trip to Chicago with Liam this weekend because it has a really cool sleeve that will hold it on the handle of my rolling bag. I used…

April Goals Check-in


Last week was crazy, but I uploaded my final grades of the semester yesterday and I am done with teaching until September!!! (Lots of committee work still be done, but still…) So today I started dyeing. I love my sink, but I need more shade, you can see the “triangle of doom”, where the sun…

A Week of Leaks


Last week was not only the last week of classes at the UoR, but we had 4 different sets of leaks to deal with! It all started Easter morning. Yes, my boys are 17 and 13, and they still want to do Easter things! So Easter morning started with a spiderweb hunt for the basket:…

Lots of Baby Clothes Dyed in Bright Colors


I had not 1, but 2 friends adopt a newborn baby boy in the past month…pretty amazing! So I had to dye a lot of clothes for them both: Sigh, gotta love a rainbow stack of onesies! These nightgowns were a God-send to hubby and I when Liam and Logan were babies, so easy to…

Meetup | April Goals


Although I’ve got a LOT of work at the day job in the next couple of weeks, the end is in sight!! I’m not teaching MayTerm so I’m almost done and I can get going on building the next Online Class, Dyeing 104: Multicolor Silk! Here’s how far I got on this month’s goals: March…

Another Use for My Awesome Dyeing Sink


Dog washing has never been so easy! My custom dyeing sink of awesomeness puts Stirling at the right level, no more bending over the tub! Of course, he still doesn’t like the process: When he shakes off, the water flies everywhere, but at least it’s not inside so I have to wipe it all up…

New Art Quilt: Jetson’s Christmas


Here’s the finished quilt I’ve been working on: Those bright ornaments with fun free motion machine sketching details sit on top of a great textured background with white matchstick quilting: I spent a long time figure out how to bind it, when I called hubby into my studio to talk it over, it came to…

Studio Snapshots | Lots of Glorious Texture

White on White Matchstick Quilting

I am finally back at work in the sewing studio! I spent the weekend working on an art quilt featuring my retro ornaments in jewel tones against a pure white background. To give the background visual interest I did some unevenly spaced matchstick quilting in white: Here’s the finished background, it’s 32″ x 42″, give…

One Moment | The Auditions are Finally Over! (For now…)


Oh my goodness, Liam and Andrew had a crazy end to the LAST college audition trip! They left last Saturday (Pi Day, so sad, we could have a celebration!) for Philadelphia, to audition at Curtis Institute of Music. (No, Stirling didn’t go with them, I always bring him with me on early morning trips so…

3 Custom Dyed Silk Scarves


The customer who asked me to dye a “shades of grey” habotai stole asked my to dye 2 more tonal variations scarves: I also dyed a smaller silk charmeuse blank (11″ x 60″) than I normally use for a customer who wanted to make sure the scarf was small enough for her petite Mom in…

March Goals Check-in


Last week was pretty much lost to sickness, but lets see what I WANTED to get done and see what’s still possible: March Goals 2 Custom tonal stoles March 3 100% Custom smaller wisteria scarf March 7 100% Private FMQ lesson March 18 100% Quilting Arts Holiday submission March 27 0% Finish the next mystery project March…

My Awesome New Dyeing Sink!


Introducing….my Custom Dyeing Sink! It sits on my back patio, centered between the 2 windows, left is our kitchen, right our music/dining room, this is 8 feet of stainless steel awesome: This awesome thing was designed by me, along with the help of JNL Stainless, a stainless steel manufacturer located about 30 miles from Redlands….

What a Long Week!

New York Trip 05

And the week I’m referring to is LAST week, not this week! It was a doozy, and the stress from it probably added to the WICKED head cold I came down with on Sunday, it’s taken all my energy just to teach my classes this week…. Last Monday morning, I took Liam and Andrew to…

Meetup | March Goals


Believe it or not, my Spring Break is already over! The UoR always has early breaks, this year was really early! Unfortunately, it ended up being not much of a break! Last weekend was spent travelling to Fresno and back for Liam’s All State Orchestra concert. Monday both Andrew and I took Liam to his…

Step Into My “Office”


Shortly after Christmas, I snatched up a chaise that was being discontinued on Crate & Barrell’s website that I’d been lusting after for years, it’s the size of a twin bed, so can actually act as a bed when we have guests, but mostly it’s for me to sit on at night time when it’s…

It’s Here!!!!


Today was the day we could go get my sink! Yahoo!!!! The fabricator (JNL Stainless) is located about 30 miles away, so we rented a 10′ U-haul trailer and headed off to Upland! Luckily the guys had it ready to load on a forklift:   This thing is REALLY heavy, thank goodness hubby thought to…

One Moment | The Last High School Honor Group for Liam


This week Liam spent 3 days in Fresno rehearsing at the CBDA (California Band Director’s Association) conference in the All State Honor Orchestra. This is the last time he’ll be in an honor group as a high school student! I am totally sure that without these honor groups, Liam would not be the musician he…