Tuesday, July 10, 2018

FibreShare June 2018

Last Fall I joined the FibreShare for the first time - and you might remember my post back in January about my experiences. Well, after much consideration - and seeing all the pictures from 2018's first round - I decided to join again.

I sent my parcel off to Idaho, wrapping each item separately (based on the contents) and with a little note explaining what it was (or giving hints). One big parcel is alway fun - several small ones are more fun?

In my parcel I included Norwegian yarn, chocolate, coffee and tea, stitchmarkers and a row counter, a sticker, two mini charm packs and two pieces of Tilda fabric (Tilda being a norwegian designer of both fabric and patterns). The recipient was also a quilter, so I just had to include some fabric. I also included a box of Stupedama saltpastiller, which is a personal favorite of mine.

The parcel arrived safely to Anne in Idaho - and I am very happy to report that she loved everything - even the Stupedama!

I had to wait for the postal services to do "their thing" for a while before finally receiving a note stating that there was a parcel waiting for me at the post office. And Laura from Wisconsin truly spoiled me!

Look! Each item is wrapped in fabric! (Laura is also a quilter - what's the chance of that?)

The picture doesn't show the colours as they really are - the colours are wonderful! The little football player was a gift for P - and he loved it too. And there's a box of stitchmarkers, chocholate (yummy....), a soap (which makes everything smell like candy) and a fridge magnet with a map of Wisconsin.

Laura made this gorgeous card herself - don't you just love the poppys?

She even included a little gift for A - a cute cow (because Wisconsin is the dairy state). A loved it so much it got to sleep in her bed.

And look! It even has her name on it! Coincidence?

Here's another picture of P's football player. He loves LEGOs, so this was really right up his alley!


Thank you Anne, Laura and the FibreShare team!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

June was filled with music

June - and the beginning of July - was a month filled with music. In the beginning of June, I ended up on the Marilyn Manson concert with a friend from work. 66 minutes of fun! Manson played both a few newer songs and some of the classics - including a cover version of Eurythmic's Sweet dreams are made of this.

In the middle of June, mom and I went to see Queen and Adam Lambert. This was a really fun concert! All the good old classics, and a very nice tribute to both Freddy Mercury and Queen.
The last time Queen played in Norway was back in 1982, so it was about time they returned!

And July started with this summer's last (I think) musical experience and Prophets of Rage.
This too was a great concert! Seeing the guys from Rage Against the Machine (and Audioslave) again was awesome (last time we saw them was back in 2002, I think).

The rest of July will be more coloured by vacation and travelling than music and experiences like this. I've managed to cross out some items from my bucket list, and I'm wondering what the next big experience or adventure might be.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mugrug swap December 2017

Before Christmas 2017 I participated in a mug rug swap in the Norwegian Modern Quilt group on FaceBook, making and sending two mug rugs off to a partner (also a member in the same group). 

I got a little stuck trying to define what's modern to me.. but finally settled with a couple of designs - and tried to get some quilting practice in too. (I haven't entirely given up on learning to machine quilt better - I even have a book now! But it takes time..)

These are the backs of the mug rugs, showing the quilting. I tried to use the movements in the fabric/design from the front of the mug rugs to see where it might take me. 

And then the fronts. The little tree is drawn by me. I sewed small golden glass beads on it to make it a little more Christmas-y, and to match the tiny gold dots on the background fabric. 

I really liked them - and ended up making another set for me too. :-)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Early morning..

Bilderesultat for sommertid

I can't really say that I'm a huge fan of daylight savings - sommer tid - moving the clocks twice a year. Well, in the fall it's OK, getting what seems like an extra hour in the night/morning. But in the spring?

Last night took forever to get the kids to sleep.. And when I finally went to bed, dead-tired as usual, my mind is working as if I've overcome the tiredness, and starts getting creative. So, did I get much sleep last night? Nope.. Have I been planning the next quilting and knitting projects? Oh yes...!

I'm one of a very small handful of people who will spend the next two days in the office (Easter is usually a slow time), which isn't too bad. It's quite OK when you're a little tired. And with the coffee from the barista downstairs it's really not that bad! Unless, of course, on days like today - when their espresso machines are having some technical difficulties (perhaps they too are not yet adjusted to the new time?)..

So, early morning, little sleep, quiet office - and no coffee.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lunch at the airport

There are definetly better (not to mention more) options these days than it used to be when it comes to eating at the airport. 

Today’s lunch was Fjøla burger with bacon and cheddar, and a side of sweet potatoe fries. Yum!

Monday, February 05, 2018

What would it take for You to participate in an exhibition or a competition?

My mom received a seemingly innocent comment on one of her pictures on Facebook the other day. I'm writing seemingly as it could be interpreted one way or another, if one was to consider if there was another meaning behind it or not. It doesn't really matter if this or that was the meaning behind the comment - or if it was a meaning at all! But it did get me thinking about exhibitions and competitions. As a quilter or crafter, what would it take for you to participate in an exhibition or a competition?

I've got through my ten years (I know, it's insane!) of blogging and I have rediscovered photos of quilts or crafts that I have entered in exhibitions or competitions over the years. It delighted me to see the photos, as I did not remember too well the ones I had sent off out into the big world - but there were both fewer and more than I remembered..

My first quilt entering in an exhibition was actually one that I was asked to show as part of the members' exhibition. Which I took as a honour. I mean, someone had noticed what I had made, and asked if I'd consider showing it to others. 

This inspired me to enter another quilt the year after. I mean, it was just to show others a little bit of what I enjoyed making - perhaps someone else was inspired to try the same technique? 

I remember receiving pins for each of the quilts - I think they're still pinned to the quilts they belong to! I didn't enter to win anything - not even to compete. It was simply to show something perhaps not every one else were in to. 

And then I entered the two pictures above in an exhibition showing the works of my then quilt guild when they were celebrating their 25 year anniversary. Again, not a competition. I've always enjoyed stitching, and for some reason this is not something that "everybody's" been in to.

The first time I sent a quilt off to Birmingham (The Festival of Quilts) it was once again by request. I never thought I actually entered a competition doing this - but I've learned later on that all quilts shown here are in fact part of a competition. I honestly couldn't care less. Someone wanted me to show my quilt in another country. Quite the honour, if you ask me!

I consciously enter a competition that same year. The Norwegian Quilt Association (NQF) celebrated their anniversary, and my quilt was selected as one of the 25 to represent Norway. (There were 26 entries, I think, so the competition wasn't exactly ginormous..)

My first "follow the rules - made explicit for a competition"-quilt was the one shown above. The theme was Lady and the Tramp, and I remember being very inspired by vagabonds and hobos travelling in America in the 1920s and -30s, using the book Hobo Quilts as inspiration. I remember how proud I was for exploring techniques I'd never previously mastered, and how much I loved my quilt. That is, until I received the feedback from the jury after the exhibition ended. I don't remember much of the feedback, except the point they'd clearly made : misinterpretation of the theme. I still, to this day, feel sad thinking about this. And how my feelings towards them (the judges, the ones arranging the exhibition, the other exhibitioners, and basically towards exhibitions at all) took a hard hit. I mean, in a competition where the same few people have won year after year, and where the variety in works can be so incredible great.. it was the final drop that made me not want to participate - ever again. (I think it's been three or four years now, perhaps even more.)

Instead, I worked with an idea and made a quilt last year, in 2017, sending it to Birmingham (by myself) - and received what might be the best feedback I have ever gotten on any of the quilts I've made! Yes, there are things that need to be worked on in my quilts - there are skills and techniques that I need to practice - but being told that my initial idea was excellent, solved in a fun way? Priceless! Who cares if I need to work on corners and seams - someone loved my work anyway! (And I have the written proof too!) 

So, what did I really want to say with this post? I had an idea when I started to write, and then it evolved into this summary of my experience in exhibitions.

I've never entered an exhibition with the sole purpose of winning it - jeez, I do have some realistic thoughts every now and then! It's like it was way back with my first quilt - to show others what I liked making. Perhaps to inspire someone? 

I have, however, been visiting enough exhibitions to see that there are few winners not known in the small society of quilters in Norway. Which is quite sad. There seems to be a winner and the rest are not good enough. But what if there was a way to give praise to the others in a way that made them too feel like winners? Why should there always just be one winner? 

I'd like to see an exhibition or competition where there were surprise categories like most creative solution of challenge, judge's favourite colour scheme, or best idea, or most creative piecing. - heck, even a my first quilt! Challenging both participants, visitors and judges to look outside the box. There are so many creative and talented people out there, but I feel the beginners are too scared to enter these things. 

It's overwhelming, the talent and skills of the one's winning - who've won several times before. I mean, how can anyone compete with that? (You can't. You're you, you do and make what you do.) 

And getting feedback from judges and a jury? It can be horrible. Or it can be good. Creative feedback can help someone so much more than a note saying your work sucks. (I'm buttering the rolls pretty thick on that last comment, in case you didn't get it.) 

My point is, quilters (and crafters) are a lot like kids - overwhelmed by all the things we can use, we can make, so eager to please and try - yet so easily knocked down. But you don't want to knock kids down, you want to help them evolve, to grow, to build skills.. and to do that, we all need to work together. Seeing that there is never just one solution or interpretation of something, that one doesn't have to be an expert or the best to be the one to win something. To be open, willing and able to see that not everyone has the same views as you do. There are other roads to Rome - even paths. They may not lead you on the straightest or shortest roads, but they could bring you past a view you'd never have seen had you taken the easy way. The right way. 

Like the saying goes : 
When nothing goes right - go left.