Does LIFE get in your way?

Maybe not, but sometimes it does in mine.

(BTW, sorry if you’re receiving this a 2nd time, but the English instructor in me couldn’t stand the subject/verb agreement error; I simply HAD to update. As it republishes, emails might be re-sent, but I can’t control that.)

I have to apologize. A “few” weeks ago, I promised to finish and publish a pattern for a wall hanging called “Playing with Marbles: Oops, One Escaped!” It had just received a ribbon in an art show, and I was very excited to share the pattern. It includes 3D stuffed marbles.

“Playing with Marbles: Oops, One Escaped” by LJ Christensen

Yeah, right….excited and eager until LIFE GOT IN THE WAY!

It wasn’t bad; it was just an overwhelmingly busy time for me…you know, the times when you feel you’re juggling 12 balls (or perhaps marbles), they’re all in the air, and you’re not sure you can catch ANY….?

At least that’s my excuse.

What happened was even more exciting to me, though. A new vintage/artisan shop opened up in Wetumpka and was looking for vendors. I dived right in and now have a presence in Poppy Layne Vintage on Commerce Street as well as Market Shoppes on Market Street.

In an effort to deconflict, I’m concentrating on Wetumpka tourist items/photo gifts at Market Street and “soft creations,” quilts and patterns at Poppy Layne.

I put my photos on everything from photo cards to totes, umbrellas., puzzles and even Rubik’s cubes!

A variety of Libby’s “Funbrellas,” now primarily at Poppy Layne with ones of the bridge at Market Shoppes.

Below is one of my photos–currently at both Market Shoppes and The Kelly Art Gallery (on Commerce St. right across from Poppy Layne). I have large photos on canvas, but small copies of this one are also on custom-designed cards.

“Watching over Wetumpka” by LJ Christensen

Naturally, I was super-busy, trying to plan and set up a display in the new shop, manage a new inventory and make all new tags… while also entering another art contest. I’m so proud to have gotten an Honorable Mention at Society of Arts and Crafts’ Member Show in Montgomery on another new photo below:

“Mist on the Coosa” by LJ Christensen

Wait a minute–this is SUPPOSED TO BE a quilting blog, right? OK, I’m off topic, but my Christensen Creations label includes my photography, so I do have to tend to it now and then.

In the meantime, the marbles pattern was all ready to publish except for two photos,which I still haven’t taken–see, photography IS involved! However, just to make things crazy, TAXES were due.

Hello, IRS, it’s just really not convenient at the moment because I’m busy, but alas, the government doesn’t listen to me or run on MY schedule. All my samples and 100s of small items for sale have to be tracked for fabric, notions, thread, tags, etc. Funsies. (Not.)

So once taxes were tallied and sent, back to the pattern drawing board, which Word decided to “save and update” for me. Note to self: Do NOT let Word update files! It managed to destroy my lay-out, causing me to make literally 100s of small changes to get it back in order. My “update” became a “downdate”–you can add that to the dictionary.

Ready to publish at that point? Nope. Why? Because I’ve signed up for a booth in the Charis Crafters’ big spring craft show next Saturday (April 30, 9am-3pm, Wetumpka Civic Ctr, bring a canned food item for entry). I’m looking forward to it, but it means I’ve spent another multitude of hours retagging and planning for smaller “$25 and under” pieces, including my PATTERNS. However, my patterns are laid out for page-by-page download, like a college paper or other document. I haven’t PRINTED patterns in years, but when I do, I prefer to fold them to make a cover with photo and description and a back that has a list of the supplies. It slips in a plastic sleeve, you see.

In other words, can you say RE-lay-out? Awkward in that one pattern I had to do, but even more awkward in the 100 patterns I’ve published, mostly on line. So I guarantee they won’t all make it to the booth, but I will have a basketful–how full it is will no doubt be inversely proportional to my lack of sleep this week.

So, there I’ve laid out some good excuses, well, some excuses for getting behind. It’s not that I’ve been lollygagging. I just changed some priorities. That sounds good. I’ll use that explanation to save face.

I have to also admit that I’ve taken some time out to search on line for jewelry supplies. I’ve been working on a way to get my photos onto reversible pendants with a tiny quilt on the opposite side. My first attempts were so clunky that they became paper weights! I’m serious! What a transformation. But at least I’m back to quilting! And maybe, just maybe, I can locate my camera and finish up that pattern…..sometime soon…ish.

Easter is coming!

and with it, a hope for rebirth, renewal and hope. I decided it was time to experiment with watercolor piecing that I’ve only wanted to do for about….umm….two decades now, maybe 25 years! I have managed to accumulate a whole bin of florals, but I see these days, it’s easy to simply buy a jelly roll. (For example, Missouri Star Quilt Company has some simply gorgeous selections I’ve treated myself to.) Because jelly rolls are getting so popular, I designed the whole wall hanging with 2 1/2″ strips (except for the purple and white drapes). Buy a jelly roll or just cut your own strips. Check your scraps! My draped cross was inspired by a cross outside a local Episcopal church that was kind enough to let my art organization use its building for numerous meetings after we were ousted by a tornado.

Anyway, it’s finally made its way into a pattern, on sale for just $3.50 between now and Easter. It’s simple piecing with stunning results:

“Leading to Easter” cc2017 by LJ Christensen

I really hope some of you will make it and donate to your churches, but it’s beautiful to grace the walls at home, too, and such an inspiration to make.

Click here more info and to buy

All these floral fabrics remind me of how the dogwood flower is supposedly reminiscent of the cross, including the bloody tinges on the edges. I can certainly see how that legend would develop. The dogwood by my house aren’t blooming yet, but they aren’t far from doing so, such a harbinger of spring! I never can quite get enough photos of them.

“The Dogwood Cross” by LJ Christensen
“A Dogwood Branch” by LJ Christensen
“Shining in the Darkness” by LJ Christensen

Right now the world can use a little light in the darkness and hope for the future. Let’s create some hope in the sewing room!