Art for show

My Tall Guy and I both have pieces in a local art exhibit starting the first of June. He had his done with weeks to spare, but I was finishing up at literally the last minute. But it came together in the end. Here are my paintings.

treeblossomb

rainyb
Plus a couple of blocks.
blocksill

I’ve got my outfit picked out, toenails painted, and I’m ready for the opening. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Wish me luck.

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More quilted holiday fun

I’m hitting my stride in my push to prepare for selling my quilted wares holiday festivals later in the year.

Here’s a hot spot I finished, the first using this particular fabric.
hotspot

Next up, I put the binding on a couple of matching mug rugs.
mugrugs

Along the same lines, I’m ready to quilt a table topper that features the same center fabric with fussy cuts and a French braid pattern.
tablerunner

Finally, I’ve got a wall hanging all sandwiched and ready to go.
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From a yard and a half of fabric, I got three larger center panels and 18 of these smaller bird fabric panels.

Here’s the center panel with most of the smaller bird panels on top of it.
centerpanelandsmallerbirds

The smaller ones are about six inches square. Here’s my hand, for scale.
myhandforscale

Well worth the price. And I’ve already sold $50 dollars worth of stuff, so it’s already covered.

Hot spot

I’m still on my holiday kick.
cardinal
This is too big to be a mug rug and too small to be a placemat, so I’m making it into a hot spot. Hot pan mat. Whatever you want to call it.

I had the binding on it, but it was lumpy and weird, so I ripped it out stitch by stitch. I’ll cut a new one and try again. There will be placemats and mug rugs in the set.

I don’t know if these will ever sell, but I can tell you without hesitation that making them puts me in a happy place. I’m really enjoying it.

Now, if only I could get the knack of binding!

Gearing up

I know it’s not even June yet. But here’s a holiday quilt I’m working on.
Topper

It’s either going to be a throw quilt or a wall hanging. I just have to go get some batting to stuff it with. This and other holiday projects I’ve got lined up under my needle.

Yes, I know. It’s way too early for holiday stuff. Even Walmart doesn’t have Christmas stuff out yet, and they’re getting earlier and earlier by the year. But I plan to have a booth at a couple festivals right before the holiday season later on in the year, and I want to be stocked up on stuff to sell.

I figure throws or lap quilts will be the biggest thing I offer. Anything bigger will be too expensive for holiday shoppers. I’ll probably stick with table runners and placemats, maybe some mug rugs.

To mix it up a bit, I’ll probably have hair bows, too, with school colors or holiday themes.

We’ll see how it goes.

Quandary

For years, I’ve been telling victims of a scam publisher to stand their ground. When they’ve considered changing their pen names, change their social media, even leave the internet forever, I’ve urged them to reconsider. “Don’t let her run you off,” I tell them. “It’s your name. Own it. Work it.” That sort of thing.

Now, I find myself in the same position.

This blog is named Lepplady. It may not be my name, but it’s me. It’s the identity I’ve had online since LONG before I ever hear of that hag, and it’s the one I’ll have long after. I’m Lepplady on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and everywhere else I can think of. There’s only one of me. Accept no substitutes.

When I decided to dedicate this space to exposing a scam publisher, I didn’t think twice about putting my name on it. I jumped in with both feet, hell-bent on saving authors who had already fallen victim and warning new ones to beware. I didn’t mind a bit that my screen name was on it.

Here we are, years later. The monster has been defeated and new authors are safe. Unfortunately, past victims are still burdoned with the lingering effects of that albatross hanging around their necks. Their books have never been removed from circulation like they should have been when their former publisher abuser went out of business. Well, she was never legally in business. Maybe it would be more accurate to say ‘when she stopped trying to convince the world (and new victims) that she was legitimate’. Until those authors take the initiative and demand that the distributors take those books down, their names will forever be associated with her.

And so will mine.

When I first put my screen name on this blog, I wasn’t thinking about how I’d feel after that task was finished. I wasn’t thinking that there would come a time when I wanted to remove that horrible woman’s name and reputation from my life. I wasn’t thinking that I would want to eradicate her from my memory, to bleach the foul smell of her out of every aspect of my existance.

Yet here I am.

For weeks, I’ve given very serious consideration to changing the name of this blog so that I can start a new one with my online name. One that would be about me. Not her. I even looked into whether or not that’s possible. It is.

Knowing that I could do it, the battle waged within me about whether or not I should.

If I change the name of this blog, I’ll be changing the web adress of it, too. That means that all of the links to this blogs, or to posts within it, would be rendered useless. That means that all those warnings would be gone. Do I want to do that? I hung in there for a long time, sorting out the facts, sticking to my guns, stalwart against the storm. Do I really want to throw that away?

No. I don’t.

I’ve gone back and forth. Ditch the bitch. No! Hold the fort! Stand strong!

Then it hit me. I was trying to make the choice based on thoughts of her. I was doing the same thing that I try to tell her victims not to do. Letting her loom (very) large in the forefront of my decision process.

No more.

This is my blog. It’s got my screen name on it. Her multitude of aliases might appear all over it, but never once has she topped the page. That was, is, and forever will be me.  I’m keeping the blog intact, as is.

I’ve evolved over time and my interests have turned to much healthier pursuits, and I intend to explore them. My books, my paintings, my quilts, my cats. Personal triumphs and happy days. Or the occasional rant about the price of gas or gaining a few pounds over the holidays. Whatever. My blog, my choice.

So, in short, yes. This will remain the Lepplady blog. Good, bad, or indifferent. Make no mistake. If that scam rears its ugly head again, I will nail it to the wall. And the archives of this blog will forever remain, a warning to authors to carefully consider who they work with. But barring that, look for happier topics about happier days ahead.

So, onward and upward. I’ve got a painting to finish for an exhibit at a museum in June. Two paintings, if I’m feeling prolific. And two festivals later this year where I can peddle my bows and quilts. And a backlog of books that aren’t going to finish themselves.

So much to do! But at least it’s happy, healthy work.

For all of you reading this – including you. Yeah. I see you over there. I wish for you the same. Healthy work and happy days.

happyhealthy

Quilts!

I know that this blog is all over the place, from scam publishers and egotistical drama queens to writing advice and fluffy kittens. But it’s my blog and I’ll post what I want, darn it.

Today, I want to talk about quilting. I’ve wanted to take it up for some time, but never thought I’d have the patience for it. Recently, a friend told me she’s expecting and it just clicked that it’s the perfect excuse to start. So I picked up some cute fabrics and set about creating the baby quilt I imagined.

It was a disaster.

After weeks of trying to figure out the basics, cutting, piecing, sewing, I finally managing to put together a quilt top that I thought looked good.
PinwheelBabyQuilt

Then, in one stroke of madness, I managed to destroy it by putting it through the wash. Several seams popped and I thought it was ruined.
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I was all set to quit this whole quilting folly. I came closer to throwing everything away than I can describe.

Thankfully, a more experienced quilter offered to see what she could do with it. i sent it to her thinking it was a goner and I’d never see it again.

I was wrong.

This lovely, wonderful soul took my mistakes and turned it into a real quilt. What I thought was junk was sent back to me as a wonderful finished project.
pinwheelquiltfinishedpinwheelfolded 31727660_10157315906466102_8271835565867925504_n

She totally saved it.

Thanks to her kindness, I decided to stick with quilting. My second planned baby quilt is going to a family member that’s having a baby later this year. That one involves a hand-painted middle panel surrounded by floral borders. Due to the time it’s taking to paint that middle panel, it’s not going to be the second one that actually gets finished.

This is a practice sample for it.
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It needs some work. Painting on fabric is new to me, so I want to try it out on scraps before I put it on the real thing. When I can resolve the outlines and content (if there even need to be outlines), I’ll go ahead and paint it with the baby, puppies, kittens, a unicorn, balloons and the baby’s name on that middle panel. There’s a little time to play with. Not much, but enough not to rush it. I’ve already got the fabrics for the borders, back and binding. I’ll be able to put it together on the fly when that middle panel is done and ready to go.

The second one finish is the third one planned. This quilt top was finished in one day with my granddaughter picking out the colors. She doesn’t know it’s for her.
riccochet
The quilting and finishing should take a day. Maybe two.

I think that as time goes on and my confidence grows, I might get better and faster at this whole quilting thing. And I’m glad. I always thought that I wouldn’t have the patience for it, but instead, I find it to be almost meditative. When I’m working on a pattern, or trying to make seams meet up neatly, I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s a relief from everything else that’s going on. The bonus is that if I ever stop making these things as gifts, I might be able to sell a few and finance my new addiction to fabric.

There are two morals to this story. First, that kind quilter restored my faith in humanity. If you ever start to think there aren’t good, kind people out there, I’m here to tell you that there are.

Second, if there’s something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t, DO IT. Whether you want to write a book, paint a picture or sew fabric together in pretty patterns, it doesn’t have to be a dream. Give it a try. You might just find a new life’s passion. It’s never too late.

Now, I’ve got my fix to get in for the day. I’ve got to baste that throw top, batting and back into a sandwich and get it under my needle to quilt. I’ll be back soon with pictures of it all finished. I hope.
Image result for hope smiley