Monday, October 30, 2023

Farewell to Beautiful Lahaina - Quilt Donations at the Maui Quilt Shop


Artist rendering of Old Lahaina

Hey there from Nannyland,

My hubby and I  travel almost every year about this time to Hawaii with our dear friends, Phil and Donna. This year we almost decided to cancel after our hearts were broken when we heard about the devastating fire in our beloved Lahaina, in which we have spent so many blissful hours eating. shopping in quaint little shops and enjoying the incredible views. We have loved the amazing Halloween party they have every year, which I swear rivals mardi gras! But the Governor urged travelers not to cancel their visits after things started opening again and after our visit, I can understand why. The people in West Maui depend on a robust tourist trade for their livelihood and so many of them lost everything and need their jobs to even begin to get back on their feet. So, we decided to go and I'm so glad we did. The contrast between our halcyon days on the beach in Kaanapali and the devastation in Lahaina was stark, and so very sad. We vowed to do everything we could to be of some service, however small. We donated to the food bank, shopped completely local, and tipped large. We found other ways to help individuals where we could. We heard many heart-rending stories of tragedy and loss.


As you might expect, quilters were some of the first people to offer aid after the fire. Wherever I go in the world, I'm always looking for the nearest quilt shop to see what local treasures I can find. I managed to coax my travel mates to seek out a quilt shop I found in a local listing. We were (well, I was) excited to discover this hidden gem called the Maui Quilt Shop in Wailuku.  The first thing we saw when we entered the shop was box after box of donated finished quilts. Marilyn Sameshima, the shop owner, wanted to do something to help out her community.  Just days after the fires, Sameshima created the "Aloha Quilts Donation Drive" asking people on Facebook to donate quilts to her shop.  She in turn would donate quilts to the people who needed them most.  Sameshima said she received over 1,600 quilts, and counting.  She's been able to give two-thirds of them to her fellow Maui residents. Quilts came pouring in from 49 states. Many people lost their homes and are living in temporary housing, so I'm sure they are much appreciated. 

So, here we were in paradise, with smiles on our faces, relaxing and enjoying yet another shopping trip. Actually, we were thinking how lucky we are to be alive and have a comfortable house to come home to, with friends and family there to greet us. Life is short and people everywhere are struggling. Just around the bend from a pristine beach can be the shattered remnants of a once thriving jewel of a city, and all the pain it brings to those impacted by its sudden demise. I'm thankful for the courageous people who taught me firsthand what this means to them. I'm changed forever.

Thanks for visiting Nannyland.
I'll just be here blissfully creating until your next visit. 
Nancy (aka Pink Panoply)

Thursday, October 19, 2023

A Basket Full of EPP Flowers for a Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt - Accuquilt Go Big Cutter

 Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise. 

Hey there from Nannyland,

Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I rarely sit still without something to occupy my hands. It might be considered by some to be a nervous habit, but I have come to enjoy it and always look forward to some no-stress stitching time.  I love crocheting and knitting, but my favorite activity to do while I watch tv lately is English Paper Piecing. It's a great way to use my fabric scraps and create interesting elements to add to my quilts. Unlike traditional patchwork piecing, paper templates are used to create shapes like hexagons, triangles, and diamonds.  When I realized that many of my favorite quilters love incorporating EPP into their quilt designs, I knew I had to try it.  I did some googling and found tons of excellent information and tutorials. I really like this three part series by one of my favorite quilters, Erica Arndt: Part One,  Part Two and Part Three

I was elated when Accuquilt came out with die cuts for the fabric and foundation pieces. They have different die sets and an actual cube with all the shapes, but the one-inch hexagon I used for these cute traditional  "grandmother's flower garden" flowers  comes on one board with the foundation shapes and larger fabric shapes on the same board.


The supplies are minimal for EPP. I use this cute sewing basket at home but it is very easy to prepare a sewing kit for travel. 


I have enough flowers now to make one of these beautiful quilts by Sheri McConnell.   She mixes a lot of EPP flowers with other traditional quilt blocks and I love the way they look. My hubby keeps asking when I'll have enough, but I tell him there will never be enough for all the projects I'm planning,  so I'm just going to keep on stitching until I get tired of it and move on.  I can't wait to prepare a small sewing kit to take to Hawaii soon for some calm, restful beach stitching.

Thanks for visiting Nannyland.
I'll just be here blissfully creating until your next visit. 
Nancy (aka Pink Panoply)

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Don't Let the Door Hit You - Mo Manning Chubby Witch

If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough. 

Hey there from Nannyland,

There's been a lot going on here in Nannyland lately, most of it an enjoyable bustle.  My daughter will be leaving tomorrow after a wonderful visit with us from Copenhagen and then my hubby and I will be packing to fly to Maui for a week with our favorite travel friends. We plan to do some service for the survivors of the recent tragic fire that destroyed our favorite destination, Lahaina  I'm excited to have all the  distraction and excitement, now that my recent breast cancer challenge is ebbing.  I'm feeling great and it's time to embrace my usual  energetic zest for life. 

This digi image by Mo Manning called Chubby Witch is originally a little cranky looking but once I gave her a Copic makeover,  she began to perk up and look quite lovely in her fancy gown.  I like to feel pulled together myself, and I knew she would probably appreciate a little touch up, also.  I thought she was a little small for a 5 x 7 card and decided maybe I wouldn't have time to create a card with her, but when I saw this digi scene in my library, I knew she would look cute lurking around her haunted castle stairs. Then I saw this hilarious sentiment and it all came together in minutes.  The card measures 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 square, just enough room for my magical sorcerous to move between the candles and stairs, in case she has an uninvited visitor. After coloring her with Copics, I embellished her dress with Spellbinders mini flowers, Stickles, an acrylic glitter heart, assorted gems and white gel pen accents.    I just couldn't stop decking her out, but in the end I think she liked it, judging by the satisfied expression on her face.  I sometimes increase the size of the features on Mo's drawings to show their personality, as I did here. 

My doors will be closing and opening for friends and family in a welcome, peaceful way this Halloween.  But I don't mind a good natured ghost or two, as long as they mind their manners. 

Friday, October 6, 2023

The Goddess is Alive and Magic is Afoot - Molly Harrison Witch

"As women, we have superpowers. We are sisters. We are healers. We are mothers. We are goddess warriors."  -Merle Dandridge.

Hey there from Nannyland,

I bought this fantastic sentiment stamp many years ago at one of my first stamp conventions, thinking it was begging for a magical image to bring it to life. I found a stamp of a fancy fairy with a wand and a long flowy dress, flying amidst a flurry of stars, and my first fantasy card was born.  It certainly wasn't the last!  I had no idea at the time that it would foretell the type of stamping and coloring I would eventually come to love. Who knew glamorous ladies of all ilks, especially fairies and witches,  would become my great obsession.  This beautiful mystical creature is a Molly Harrison digi stamp that I found in my abundant Molly  library, but I'm sorry to say I'm not sure where I got it. It may have been a free stamp.  Here is a link to Molly Harrison Art where you can find tons of images in all their incredible majesty. Her artwork completely draws me in with it's beautiful detail and captivating charm. I have many of her greyscale and line images and I like both, but I think I prefer the line images for coloring.  I love adding dimension and movement with shading and detailing without having to allow for the grey shading already on the image. 

I chose a white lacy oval frame for my image to make the beautiful colors pop on my bright green card base.  After fussy cutting my Copic colored image, I adhered her to a gold edged water color digi background and then adhered the oval to my frame with mounting tape.   I used a white gel pen for details and added a lavender beaded embellishment to her hat.  I was excited to add my fancy stamped sentiment with its pretty font to enhance the mystical mood of my card.  

What's more beautiful than a gorgeous fanciful enchantress to remind us that we are all Goddess's and are capable of creating our own "magic?" I hope you have an opportunity to conjure up a happy spell or two as you craft through this bewitching season. 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Hey, Boo - Mo Manning Teen Witch Digi

  •        Everything in your world quiets, and peace finds you when you love what you do.                                                                                                                   
  • Hey there from Nannyland,

    To say it's been a bit chaotic in Nannyland for the last couple of weeks would be an understatement.  Lately, I've been trying to figure out how to balance all my crafty pursuits and prioritize the things I love most. I guess the Universe, in it's ultimate wisdom,  decided to give me a little shove.  So, I'll just blurt it out...I took my computer to the Best Buy Geek Squad for a minor fix and they lost ALL of my data files.  I KNOW!!!! TRAGIC!!!! So I've been in denial for two weeks and have had minimal interaction with my computer. I know it's not her fault, but we just need some time away from each other. Thank heavens my photos were backed up, and all the things I purchase like digi stamps and paper, patterns, classes, etc.  The irony is, I could have gone to the source of my purchases and downloaded them again.  It's all my documents and pictures of my creative works that are gone forever. I'm so thankful I have posted the pictures on social media and my blog so I can redo those files.  But I lost all my edited Adobe files and the watermark it took me so long to create...meh. And I weep for the loss of all my quilt designs in EQ8. 

    So here's the thing, though. I'm not sure why, but after I cried for a few hours (or days) I felt weirdly relieved.  It felt like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders.  It's like going through those boxes of "important" stuff in your garage that you continuously shuffle around.  When you have that garage sale and take boxes to Good Will,  you feel lighter and you hardly remember what you gave away.  Yes,  I am missing some irreplaceable data, but it's not the end of the world and I can still function as a contributing human being in society.  The best perk is that I have been quilting without guilt for a couple of weeks while I avoid my computer servitude.  It feels right!  I'm going to do much more quilting and less paper crafting for a while to get a little balance.  Sewing is so relaxing and it makes me happy.  Copic coloring also soothes my soul, but I can color in journals instead of  making so many elaborate cards.  I love working with die cuts, so I can make some simpler cards that are just as special.

    With all the commotion,  I still have a Halloween card offering for this week, colored before my computer fiasco, with a darling witch digi from the talented hands of  Mo Manning.  She is called Teen Witch and can be found in Mo's Digital Pencil here.  I now have two quilts waiting to be quilted by my longarm quilter which I should be able to post soon.  I'm loving the feeling of balance coming back into my life.  I've just conquered cancer...I can take a few punches from those little Geek Squad nerds. But they'd better be on guard.   I'll call their moms and get them grounded.

    I will be visiting Maui in a few weeks and I'm planning to find a way to do service for those beautiful people who have lost everything.  I'm heartbroken that the gorgeous city of Lahaina, where I have spent many halcyon days,  no longer exists.  I am praying for those poor grief stricken people who wish all they had lost were computer files. It's all about perspective and balance.  I'm working on both.  Maybe you're due for a little tune-up, too?