I thought about all the great things that had happened to me this year in terms of my art. I got to be an Open Studios artist at the International Quilt Festival for Quilting Arts. I got to be part of a Dremel infomercial. I got to be the demo artist for Dremel for both winter and summer CHA. I am part of the Dremel focus group. I got to teach 3 workshops this summer. I had some short articles in the Cloth Paper Scissors Embellishments Newsletters. I just got an article and a challenge item published in the newest issue of Quilting Arts. I will have an article in an upcoming issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. I am on a design team and have been asked to create school kits for someone. I took a fantastic workshop with Beryl Taylor. My artwork might be in a book. It has been more than I could have hoped for in such a short period of time. Unbelievably, I am less busy artwise than before. I am doing more for me now and doing what I really want to do at my own pace. I am doing a lot less swaps and managing only a couple of Yahoo groups. That really freed up a lot of my time.
I have been very happy with the progress that I have been making with my sewing and quilties. I am at the point where I want a sewing machine with more stitches and perhaps, a felting machine is in the horizon. I have been experimenting with more hand stitches. My arthritis has been cooperating. My private swaps with art friends have been going tremendously well. I cannot believe the quality of the swap items I have received. "I'm not worthy!" (I have been watching Wayne's World with the kids this week.) My metal art has been progressing slowly but I have been very happy with the pieces of jewelry that I have been assembling lately. I have been actually wearing some of it! I don't wear a lot of the jewelry I make. I just like to make it. I have to look into some heavy duty metal working workshops.
I want to pick up the phone to call my sister and tell her all about it. The problem is that I can't do that any more. Instead, I go on to the next thing or I call one of my art friends - Sandy, Shari, or Harriet. My little sister was the only one who really got it. I'm not saying that my family is not supportive of my art, but my sister understood why I needed to do it. My family loves that I am doing so well at it and give me the "that's nice" with a smile when I show them something. My sister would actually comment on items and discuss it with me. I can't call her and tell her the latest thing that my kids are doing or what new movie is coming out that we both have to see.
Her death has been very surreal to me. It hits me hard at times. Yet, at other times, I think that she is just still in New York and she is just absent from our lives. It is so permanent. I have to go and cry now. Then I will have a cup of tea and try to not be so sad.