Running (and quilting) ahead!

I had started out in the new year choosing my “Word of the Year” as Flourish! Well, I have been flourishing but falling down in my blogging! Hoping the second half of the year will be better.

I began training in the late winter for the Hook Half Marathon on April 17th in Congers, NY. This race begins running around Rockland Lake and then over Hook Mountain with a 3 mile run along the majestic Hudson River and then back over the mountain and around the lake to the finish line. My daughter, Deven, joined me. It was a glorious day – sunny and mild – perfect for running! I had a PR of 2:20:25, that’s 10:43 min/mile! I shaved off 9 minutes! Not too bad!

Now My husband, Michael, and I  are training for the Newport 10 Miler in 9 days on June 5th. Hoping for good weather!

As for quilting, I’ve been happily sewing and quilting away! Here’s one of the quilts I finished this spring. My first “modern” quilting attempt. I like it! What do you think?

Happy Running and Quilting!

 

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Valentine Madness

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s been a busy week with lots accomplished! I’ve been quilting away and running my heart out! Training for what will be my second half marathon in April, I ran a total of 21 miles this week. Phew! It’s getting much easier and I feel stronger with every run.

In my quilting life, I’ve been dabbling with an app I had heard about called Moka Hanga which takes your photos and creates a wood block image. Somewhere on social media,  I heard it was a good app to use to break down a photo to help create piecing when making an art quilt. I tried a few photos I have been thinking about making into a quilt. It is pretty interesting. What do you think? I’ll keep you posted on my progress as this is one of my creative goals for this year.

I also joined (along with so many in the quilt world), The Splendid Sampler. I am using a combination of  New York fabrics from the City Quilter and Inked fat quarters by Lynn Krawzyck (which I purchased some time ago from Spool Quilts). I finished the first block they are calling “Hearts Aflutter.” I plan on calling this quilt, “New York Values,” as I am a born and raised New Yorker and took great offense to Ted Cruz when he made that comment. New Yorkers are the most compassionate, caring, creative, resilient, open and diverse group of people I know and am proud to embrace “NY Values.” Keep on stitching and running, my friends!

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Super Sunday 2016!

Kicked the day off with a nice, long training run – 5 miles. Felt good, even if it was on the treadmill. Hoping the weather begins to warm up soon so I can get back to running outdoors.

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Then this evening we had a full house to watch the Super Bowl and all the commercials! Lots of good eating and fun! And I squeezed in some quilting, too! Have a GREAT Monday everyone!

Better late than never! My 2016 Vision board!

A few years ago, my friend, Michele Phillips, gave me the idea to create a vision board. Michele is an author, life coach and motivational speaker. She was working on her first book, Happiness is a Habit. She told me about how she made a vision board of pictures of things and phrases to inspire and remind her of her goals and dreams. Michele spoke of other visually motivating tools such as a picture of the New York Times Best Sellers list where she wrote her name and book title on the list! Fun and inspiring! I thought it was an awesome idea – a picture book of one’s written goals plus a little enthusiasm. I have created a vision board for myself the past two years. Here’s my 2016 board:

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It will hang in my sewing studio so I can look at it daily. A closer look will reveal that I am hoping to compete in a few races -the Newport 10 Miler and the Hook Half Marathon as well as improving my overall level of fitness. I’m hoping to get a few more hikes in this year. Caring for my mother in law as well as having a teenager to transport has limited our ability to take extended periods of time to take long hikes but Mike and I have promised each other to carve out more time for that. We hope to hike Mt. Khatadin in Maine. I’ve got my eye on upgrading my long arm to an Avante and hopefully a new ribbon or two from quilt shows! I even add more pictures and update it as the year goes on. Changing, just like me! Do you create goals for yourself? Check out Michele’s website or her book for a few videos and tips on creating good habits to help you achieve your own personal goals. Make your dreams come true!

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Making Headway!

Well, I definitely have made a fresh start for February. I’ve been working away on my Night Sky quilt. I love how the quilting is turning out. It’s time consuming but will be worth it.  What do you think?

 

Besides my quilting, I’ve started on my training schedule for the Hook Half Marathon and half way through my second week. The weather has been so warm. I took these pictures at the start of the week. The past few days have been in the 50’s and today it rained so the snow is just about gone. It’s been wonderful to be running in the outdoors in February in New York! What a treat!

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Have a great day everyone!

 

 

Flourish – Take 2

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Well, 2016 did not start out quite like I planned. I learned New Year’s Day that one of my dearest friends, Debbie Lee Monteverde, had been hospitalized with liver cancer and it sent my world reeling for a few weeks. I met Debbie when she and her mom, Marilyn, took a class at my quilt shop back in 2004. We became fast friends and remained so long after I had closed my shop. Debbie was loud, swore more than anyone I ever knew but had the biggest, most generous heart of anyone.  And funny! Boy, could she tell a story! She always left you in stitches! Unfortunately, Debbie lost her battle two weeks later. I am grateful her husband contacted me and I was able to spend two wonderful afternoons with her and I spoke with her by phone the evening before she passed. I miss her terribly and I will forever hear her voice in my head calling me “Poopie” (her favorite nickname) and will smile every time I sit down at my sewing machine.

So as any quilter would do after a loss, I have turned to my sewing and quilting for comfort. I finished a few gifts for two of my quilting BFFs and began quilting my Night Sky quilt that is for my step son, Max. Plus, I am cooking up another project. A Millefiori quilt! Have you seen one? Its a quilt that looks like that beautiful Italian glass! It’s a bit of a change for me as it is fussy cutting and hand piecing. But hey! Everybody needs one slow stitching project, right? Isn’t the quilt on the cover of the book gorgeous???

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In addition to feeding my creative self, I’ve embarked on a training program for the Hook Half Marathon in Congers, NY in  April. One week down already and 11 to go! Felt good on my long run of 4 miles yesterday and without any soreness today. Looking forward to participating in a few races and triathlons this year – so stay tuned!!

Thursday Throwback andWhat’s New!

Last year I was feverishly working on this quilt to finish it for a Christmas gift. My friend’s Mother in law had cross stitched it and she asked if I would quilt it to surprise her. So thoughtful! It turned out beautiful and her Mother in law loved it!

Next up is this unusual quilt. It’s made of clothing from my friend’s family and she embroidered names and places that are significant to her. The different textures should be a challenge! But first, I’ve got to get a 3 mile run in! Gotta keep the body in shape as well as the mind!

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The 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge!

I began this blog earlier in the year to document my quilting and my fitness journeys. Unfortunately life got in the way and I fell off my goal. Cheryl Sleboda, a fellow quilter, has inspired me with her 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge. So I am planning to blog every day this month and hopefully develop a new habit!

Although I have not been blogging, I have been keeping busy! I completed my first triathlon in September and have been doing a lot of quilting! I look forward to resuming this blogging journey! I hope you will join me!

Life Interrupts Us

I started this blog about a month ago with the intention of writing a few times a week the trials and triumphs of quilting with a few of my other interests like running and fitness and some family interjected in between. But as the saying goes, “Life happens as we are busy making plans.”

Toward the end of May, we received a call from my sister-in-law that my Mother-in-law was in the hospital. When Anne arrived to get her bring her home, my Mother -in -law had taken a turn for the worse over night and was unresponsive. So Mike and I jumped in the car and headed to Newport, RI. After a few days, Gma rebounded from a severe case of cellulitis. Anne and I decided to take her home since she was out of the woods. Gma has expressed an interest of passing at home and we felt if that is to come we should take her there. Well, thankfully she has done fairly well. She is weak, but happy to be home and enjoying the flow of her various children and grandchildren that come and go to visit her.

Michael and Gma
Michael and Gma

While I was in Rhode Island caring for Gma, I received word that our dear friends, the Karassik family, had been involved in a horrible tragedy. Bruce Karassik and his beautiful daughter, Larisa and Larisa’s friend had been struck by a drunk driver as the drunk driver ran a stop sign. Our beautiful Larisa was killed and Bruce and her friend were seriously injured. To say the world stopped turning for a few minutes is an understatement. My heart was broken in two. This beautiful girl, Larisa, had been a constant in our lives for the past 7 years – since our families met when my daughter, Grace and Larisa’s sister, Alina met in kindergarden and became best friends. Our families have been linked since that time and have enjoyed many happy moments together. Michael and I have had the privilege of watching the 3 Karassik girls grow. Larisa had really begun to blossom into a beautiful, compassionate, smart young woman – she had a bright and exciting future ahead of her. It was unfathomable to think she was gone. The past few weeks have been heavy. My little girl is trying to cope with her first loss in life while witnessing unimaginable grief of a family that considers her their “4th” daughter. My heavy heart is lightened by the outpouring of love and caring by my community for my friends. Food trains, special care for the sisters, remembrances by the school, sports teams and local churches have shown what we already knew – Larisa was a gem, a beauty on the inside as well as the outside.

Larisa's butterfly
Larisa’s butterfly
Larisa
Larisa

The Karassiks are Russian Orthodox and had a traditional funeral and burial for Larisa. Although I speak no Russian, the beauty of the chants of the psalms and songs moved me. Larisa had attended a Russian camp each summer with her family and participated in their scouting program. Last summer as she turned 13, she was given her “woodland” name – Monarch Butterfly. At the burial, a friend of the Karassiks gave my friend, Anastasia and her daughters each an envelope with a Monarch Butterfly in it. They opened the envelopes and the butterflies flew to Anastasia and landed on her. One just above her heart. They lingered for what seemed an eternity. It was not lost on anyone that this was a sign from Larisa and she was saying her goodbyes to us all. We were all given Monarch Butterfly pins that day as a remembrance. My butterfly is pinned to my spool quilt in my sewing room. It gives me comfort to think Larisa is watching over me as I sit, sew, create and dream. I look forward to seeing that beautiful girl again some day when we are all reunited in the heavens. Life can change instantly. So hug your kids, your spouse, your friends a little tighter. Be a little kinder. Quilt something. Do something you’ve never done.  Share your love.

Anastasia and the Monarch Butterflies
Anastasia and the Monarch Butterflies