Looking at the back side

2014 is very nearly coming to an end so here's looking at the backside ~

A friend once told me that people on the street don't want their pictures taken....I gasped!  What?   Do I have to sneak around to their back side to get pictures of people anymore?   Once I started doing this, I realized that the back side often makes for better viewing.

For example, which picture of this couple do you like best?  The front or the back?

I didn't even notice what they were wearing in the front picture?  Or the color of their hair.    Not much of a picture, really, with their eyes on the street.  Yes, I was pretending to take a picture of the junk filled patio, so as not to offend the couple walking toward me.   You, know, they might not have wanted their picture taken! 
But when I sneaked around to their back side.....
 Doesn't the back side draw you in as they glance at the menu outside this Italian restaurant?   What might they be discussing?    Is it "what shall we have for dinner?   Do we dine in or take out?  Sausage or pepperoni? Red wine or white?" 

 Shaggy dogs have no side better than the other.....all sides were good of this shaggy monster.  Oh, but what a lovable personality was there.   I asked, but he said he didn't care from which direction I got him.  He wasn't sure he had a 'best' side so I could just gape on....he wouldn't be bothered. 

big shaggy dog

big shaggy dog

and the back of heads didn't take away from what the picture was suppose to be about ~  the beauty of the decaying building fa├žade ~

And the fun of the back side of this boat master. Oh, My!  He was so busy doing his job that he didn't really care that I took the back side of his jeans. 

If I had the front of her, would I enjoy the back of her hair as much?  Would I even notice the fishnet hose?  Or the purse?   I would probably not even have taken a picture of this lady on the street simply because she was wearing a black dress!   Now, I'm delighted to have sneaked to her back side to get this picture which tells me much about her personality.  Her black skirt doesn't match her black blouse and her brown purse straps don't match any of the black and her taupe shoes don't match the outfit at all.   And, she really doesn't care that the humidity has her hair in a frizzy state.   She's up and dressed and out on a stroll and enjoying every moment of her day. 

lady in black dress

and the back side of the friend who suggested that people didn't like their pictures taken!   She appears to be headed somewhere.  A lady with a vision.   A lady on a mission - to get to the top of this climb and have a breath left in her when she gets there.  She probably has no clue that I sneaked around and got her back side.  

back side of Ann

Yes, here's looking at the back side of 2014.   
Happy New Year

Ink Blots and China Marker

and the fun continues on this rainy Sunday afternoon.....with no particular place to go!

First, there was an ink blot

before and after ink blot turkey

oh, my....the ink blot became a turkey with just a little help from my Sharpie china marker.

 and the little gosling

and on the other hand....reversed side of the ink blot became just another figment of my imagination.....a barnyard fowl with a little Sharpie china marker help. 

ink blot and china marker barnyard fowl

Imagination the possibilities 
they are endless around my house

The Ink Blot summarized my year ~

I had ink
           and fabric
                       and brushes

add water

                         and what appeared says it all about the year just passing

I clearly see a bear with his backside to 2014, and he's not looking back
                                      moving on

  Yes, it's been a "beary" good year. 

Ink on fabric:  a bear


"Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly"

"Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly" a notable quote by Thich Nhat Hanh.  Yes, that's what I'm doing this morning....smiling as I  ramble in and around my photo albums.  Deep breaths, in slow motion

From sunrise






 to sunset - and beyond: 

Santa's on his way
Holiday Cheer and Well Wishes  ~ Marty

Abbi Lynn

We had the most fun last night with family celebrating an early Christmas.    I got lots of pictures, but for today just want to focus on Abbi.  She is the prettiest little thing.  And the years are rolling by and she's still the prettiest little thing. 

Abbi Lynn watching for Christmas, 2014
Christmas, 2014
Abbi's first Christmas.....caught napping

Oh, she does like the dress up girl stuff
December, 2012

And her older brother, Mikiel, is just as handsome as Abbi is pretty
Thanksgiving, 2010

A doll quilt made by her Aunt Mart
December, 2010

Get it open - no matter from which direction it takes
December, 2010

She's just as sweet as she looks.  What a little doll. 
December, 2010
Happy Holidays from our house to yours......Marty

Oh, No! I've Been Thinking.....Again ~ !

Saturday, while at Nela MQG, aka Northeast Louisiana Modern Quilt Guild,  I led a  mini workshop on how I stitch up the Noodlehead designed wide-mouth zippered pouches.   On learning that one of the participants wanted to make five pouches for Christmas gifts, I shared with the group that when I had more than one to make, then I made an assembly line out of the process.  In other words, for all five I would
  1.  gather and cut all fabrics and find a zipper for each pouch
  2.  attach zipper foot to sewing machine and sew in all zippers
  3.  attach regular sewing foot and sew around the perimeter of each pouch,  leaving a hole for turning
  4.  box each corner of each pouch
  5.  turn all pouches
  6.  sew turning hole in lining of each pouch
  7.  press, press, press, press, press
  8.  top stitch around top of pouch
  9.  attach zipper pull
Yesterday, having nada much to do, I gathered, cut, zippered, boxed, turned and pressed all.  What's more,  step #8 and #9  has been completed on three of these nine.

It's when I lined up all the pouches for a photo opportunity that I started thinking.  How does one line up a number of items to get the best shot?  I tried this and then tried that and hold on a minute....it hit me:  When they are staggered with aisle-space in the middle, I could see more of each pouch in my display. 

And then it hit me again......quilt shows ~  The ones that give me the most pleasurable viewing are the ones that are open,  airy and light.  When I walk into a quilt show door, I don't want to walk into a black hole.   I want to stand for a moment and look into the room and see quilts, lots of quilts.   I don't have to see the particulars of each quilt at this glance, but simply want to enjoy a snippet of many quilts.   It's the placement and staggering and opening up of the area that gives me the best feeling about a quilt show and seeing the wonder of all those quilts on display. 

 Just a few arrangements that didn't seem to work for me:

The straight and narrow view.....very limiting visually

 Chaotic, closed in, claustrophobic placement....the dark hole with no way out 
taggered placement gives the best at-a-glance viewing
Yes! The open, airy feeling I wanted to achieve 
When the viewing pleasure if over, it's okay to say goodbye, farewell and amen 
Just Saying,


L is for Leaves that fall without sound

Fall Leaf Colors
Forsythe Avenue and Riverside Drive

What a spectacular leaf display we had this year.  Highly unusual for the deep south since we don't have drastic hot to cold weather changes to bring out the brilliance in leaf color.  We just take the drama of a season as it passes on into the next.  And, in most cases we have to make photo drama where there is none! 


As we sat in the car waiting for the light to change on the corner of Forsythe and The Park
one day last week

  Have a great day, whatever your season......Marty


It's a Cargo Duffle Bag - A Noodlehead Pattern

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason

 I was so excited to get this one made that I forgot to don my street attire for the picture.  Oh, well! 

My smart friend says it's easier to buy a Vera Bradley....and I most certainly can agree with her.  She's been enjoying the pleasure of her company today and I've been slaving over the sewing machine.  Making another bag.  This time, it's a cargo duffle.....a Noodlehead pattern that I downloaded a few months ago.  I guess it's the season to make heavy duty carry-all bags. 

It isn't a hard bag to make but it does take time and concentration and patience.

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason

and the back side of my cargo duffle bag, ready to hit the road. 

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason


I'm A Little Weekender Travel Bag

I seldom buy bag patterns anymore....you know how the mind works.....thinking if I can make one bag,  well, I can make them all.....almost.  Coming to my senses, I realized there was no way to make this one without a pattern with specific instructions.  So I bit the bullet and made the purchase of Amy Butler's Weekender Travel Bag pattern and am so glad I did. 

With just a few more details to the inside lining, I'll be finished.   It's a great travel size.....14" x 17" x 7".  Just can't wait for my next quilting retreat to show it off.  I can fill it with projects, or perhaps a sewing machine. 

Amy Butler Weekender Bag....made by Marty Mason

Not the lightest shade of pale ~

I had such a fun time on the day just past.  With friends celebrating the upcoming season in a lovely quilt shop nearby.  I didn't win a door prize, but neither did I come away empty handed. 

You see, I have a reputation, one might say.....of loving color

A gifted hand dyed bundle from a beautiful friend
and hand dyes

A gifted hand dyed bundle from a beautiful friend

and putting all things given to me in something or another one day or the other. 

A gifted hand dyed bundle from a beautiful friend
Thank you Kathy for this lovely hand dyed bundle
and for every joy you've given me
in the years past. 
No, I didn't win a door prize, but neither did I come away empty handed. 

On a midnight lark?

The theme is "Flights of Fantasy" - and my fantasy is about a guy who travels around the world making light of a task that must be completed in a mere 24 hours.    Yes, I believe in Santa Claus.  I believe the essence of Santa is alive in the hearts of all children....children of all ages.  So, while Santa isn't a fantasy in my world, he is the heart of my "flights of fantasy" art quilt. 

Yes, I believe - Marty Mason
Santa is not to scale with the street scene and there's a reason for that.    More important than where we dine or what movie we see or how beautifully the large buildings around town are decorated,
on this particular night, Santa is top banana!  (That means, he's a keeper in my world.)
For all the little children of the world - Marty Mason
Here's where it all started. Kitty helped me pull and cull from my pile of scraps left over from a recent quilt project.  Loved Anna Maria Horner's 'True Colors' so much that I saved every scrap!
Better be good, better not pout - Santa Claus is coming tonight - Marty Mason
 and after sewing them together I cut out my bright little silhouettes  to strategically place on my midnight black with bright dots I imagined to be stars in the night sky. 

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?  - Marty Mason
While his reindeer isn't in the best of form tonight, he is a happy trooper, pulling his weight to make sure every child has a joyous Christmas. 
May your Christmas Season be filled with joyous love and peace.
We are a group Art Quilts Around The World - and we make art quilts based on a particular theme on a bi-monthly basis.  Our ideas and skills and tools and fabrics are very diverse. 
And, of the utmost importance -
May you always see the world
through the eyes of a child
Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas

Ooops....I forgot to cyber shop!

And now my chance is gone for another year.  Thankfully, my shopping is finished and the decorated tree is standing tall.  So, I can sleep in or relax over another cup of coffee or play with photos from a recent vacation.

A few weeks ago, we decided that  a long relaxing weekend was in store for us.  Found a beautiful Victorian-style bed and breakfast for the layover and then set out for three fun-filled days. 

The Buffalo River in Northern Arkansas
The Buffalo River near Harrison, Arkansas

The curves were short and steep and in abundance!
Eureka Springs

Up the Down Hill in Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs

Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves:  Little Buffalo River added the perfect backdrop

The Little Bufflalo River
Granny's river was just as I remembered it even after all these years
The Little Bufflalo River
Water rippling over the rocks and boulders

Granny's Hill, Parthenon, Arkansas, November, 2014
Parthenon, Arkansas
A view across The Little Buffalo River.  In her later years, Granny married and moved to the beautiful home place of Papa Claude Matlock  There once was a swinging bridge across the river at just about this point. 
As a child, I remember being terribly frightened
of the bridge
swinging to and fro.