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This piece was chosen to be shown at Grand Junction Art Center.
I have had a few samples made up using both the Cotton Sateen fabric and the so soft Fleece.
The colors are beautifully bright and the fleece really is baby Soft.
Torrie and her daughter came over and gave their snuggle test and it got lots and lots of snuggles.
Order from my website: http://kimberlysimpson.biz
Remember: Wholesale prices available. Just email me.
Kwan’s Crafts began quite awhile ago. To me, it was just yesterday. But now I am a Grandmother so time has passed.
My Mom, and three friends, Jackie, Isabelle and Eloise first started this little enterprise in the 1960’s in the basement of our house. I don’t know who came up with the idea. I just remember when they would gather in the hobby room and I would hear endless hours of happy voices and laughter. Their big plan for success was to take dried flowers and other small objects and put them in to a resin mold. Once dried, the discs became mobiles that were hung in windows. Every window in our house were adorned with these mobiles. Whenever we would drive anywhere Mom had her scissors and old phone books read to clip and press anything she saw that she thought she might use. I still have found old phone books, underneath something heavy that would press and dry the flowers. They all felt they had hit the big league when a store in Aspen,Colorado began to sell their art. Now Mom could take frequent trips to Aspen to go visit The Tom Thumb Gallery, and see their artwork. Most of the time I would go along with these very enthusiastic ladies. Lunch, and shopping and checking in with the Tom Thumb became a regular routine.
I am not sure when this phase of Kwan’s drew this a close. I think everyone’s families were growing up and other interests came along. But in the 80’s I was starting my family and along came a new Kwan’s Crafts idea. I have always loved sewing and crafts. I even took a sewing machine with me to collage. In the 80’s appliqué was becoming very popular and with that and quilt designs I officially launched my version of Kwan’s. Mom was equally enthusiastic about this new version. My daughters never knew what it was like to wear just a “plain” shirt. If it did not have a design already, I would sew one on. This seeped out to many of their friend’s wardrobes as well. Mom and I and Tiffany and Suki were walking billboards, displaying my latest designs. Mom and the girls would now trek with me to all the Quilt and Fabric stores where I was hopeful to sell my wares. I don’t think I ever topped the enthusiasm that everyone got when the original Kwan’s was discovered by Aspen, Colorado. But I got in to a whole new world, one I never invisioned, the Internet, the Global Community.
I have been away from sewing and quilts for way, way too long. I have pulled out this kit from my stash. I have always wanted to do a laser cut quilt kit. McKenna Ryan’s quilts are wonderful.
The first block is laid out. I feel like,somehow, I am cheating. But I will see what things I might do to make this look like my quilt.
Growing up in the western United States, I have always been aware of the beautiful Native American Art. My favorite has always been their jewelry. Driving between Grand Junction and Phoenix we would stop at what were called, Indian Trading posts and look for treasures. During the 60’s and 70’s the look of this jewelry was definitely “in”. Once I became a Mom in the 80’s I could not wear what I used to love to wear. Little hands could pull and twist off necklaces and bracelets. Even ear rings were not safe. For a period of years I lost track of whether the jewelry was in or not. Baby bottles and baby toys were as far as I could think. Fast forward twenty some years and I have begun seeing on the internet beautiful pieces of Indian Jewelry. Often times worn in multiples. Not just one necklace but several. The look, to me, is so fun and refreshing. So out comes my treasures. Whether is is to the store or out to dinner I have rediscovered what I used to so love to wear. I have also discovered some less expensive, similar jewelry that is equally fun to wear. To me it is about color and the weight of the jewelry worn. Lots of possibilities. I have even come across some amazing silver beads that can be used to make necklaces. My Mom went through a time that she was making jewelry. Her tool kit is no doubt still here someplace. A tempting thought.
Let’s see, when I was 10, I thought I would grow up and be a ballerina. I watched all the programs on TV, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and others. I just knew I was destined for this role.
I tried valiantly to be this image of perfection. I had some of the requirements, long legs and slim body. But real talent, that was needed for this very disciplined life – now as a Grandmother, a million light years away, it does not even bother me to say, not even close. So, I learned how to reinvent myself at the age of about 12. I had a short dream of being a horse back rider in some Wild West show. I had the horse, that I loved dearly, but once again my talent for this was also lacking. The positive side, I learned what athletes gymnasts, dancers, equestrians are. And a very helpful survival skill was learned; the necessity in life of being creative in reinventing ourselves.
I went on from this dream, to another, to another. Each time quite certain this would be my life’s calling. I look back now and marvel at the things I did not put in my dream pot. Things that now I would tell my Granddaughter are lofty ambitions. Careers in medicine and science to help heal our planet. Engineering to design a planet that we can all live on and leave to the future generations to love and cherish. I am quite sure Skyelar, my grand daughter will be far more grounded in the real world when she sets her goals.
But I did learn that life is about reinventing at almost every step. We can choose our thoughts to take us on to another exploration. We can choose to try to find the positive or we can sink into darkness. Many things are out of our control and yet can destroy us. I remember reading the book, “Why bad things happen to good people.” This was a very low point for me. But fortunately for me, the little girl inside me, who, along with her good friend, was asked to leave the Church Choir, for being too much of a giggler, would surface and say, I just don’t want to hate, or be mad at the world. Like Martin Luther King would say, “hate is too big a burden to bear.” Before Martin Luther King, I was impressed by Anne Frank, expressing she still felt that humanity was still basically good. This in the midst of pure evil.
Each day we hear about some new evil striking our fellow human beings. Each day I say, “let me be an instrument of peace.” I know the vast, vast majority of us are wanting the very same thing. We need to take our reinvention challenges as a chance to look for, and at, worlds we might never have known, and see how we might add our creative genius to make it better.
A Quieter 4th of July
The three day weekend is drawing to a close. Lots of fireworks and barbecues. Last night was the big show for us. The Country Club, which is close, always puts on a big fireworks extravaganza . We go out on the patio, get comfortable chairs, cool drinks and really have front row seats to a fabulous show.
Steve and I felt the mood to be a little more somber this year. It was the first 4th without my Mom. It was just two chairs this year. And none of that delicious food Mom would have insisted we have.
I always put the dogs in the bedroom where they feel safe from all the loud noises. They don’t outright panic, but they are much calmer tucked away in their beds. The cats have never paid a lot of attention to all the happenings. I always make sure they are in the house where they too can feel safe from all the noise. Somehow, this year, we were not paying enough attention because our one cat slipped out the door before the fireworks show. Mew, the cat, was a stray/feral cat that was living in Moms garage when the girls and I moved in. For the most part I can now keep her as an indoor cat, but she does like to race out the door occasionally to have her outside adventure time. She always comes home before bed. That is when we give the two cats a special treat before everyone goes to bed.
We were all set to assume our positions on the patio, when I realized Mew was not in the house. In fact the,first loud booms had begun. Steve being far calmer than me says he is quite sure Mew will find a place to hide during the show and will come home when it is quiet again. The booms just kept get louder and louder and I think of poor Mew, totally overwhelmed, hiding someplace. So instead of sitting in our comfortable chairs, enjoying the show, we were both creeping around the yard calling for Mew. Flashlights, pajamas and bathrobes, Steve and I creep everywhere we can think of. Steve kept telling me,she would be fine, cats are smart, etc. etc.. I said, let’s keep looking. At some point I realized that our sprinkler system was going to start up. We could get drenched and Mew was not going to appear if they were on. We started to head back in the house. No, Mew, and we were a bit wet from the sprinklers. The fireworks show ended. Exhausted, I think it is time for bed. I will leave all the outside lights on so Mew will know how to get in. A few minutes before we turn out the lights in the main house, I hear Mew’s distinctive, I am here and I am not happy, meow! I could see her silhouette through the window. Angry, and a bit wet too she ran in the front door. But, she was home, safe. Today, which is officially the 4th, she has made no attempts to run past us to get outside.
I read an article on Facebook about a town that had invested in “noiseless fireworks”. What a marvelous invention. It was done so as not to cause so much stress on animals and I am sure people too, who might suffer from something like PTSD. I had not paid much attention to how loud the booms were until I was prowling around, flashlight in hand, trying to avoid the sprinklers. Or maybe it was I, knowing Mew was huddled somewhere thinking the world had gone mad.
We all love the 4th of July. Our Independence Day. The recognitions of what a wonderful and blessed country we live in. The barbecues, laughter and fellowship.
My sincere hope is that the quieter fireworks become the rage. We can sit in our lawn chairs, sipping our drinks and watch the light shows. Quieter, yes definitely would be nice.