Aug 30 2016

Visit your Local Museum and Learn about Yourself


Ok! Now I get it. I just never understood why some people have problems with quilts hanging on a wall. Art quilters have grown used to comments like the following: “They aren’t quilts, if they’re on a wall.” “Why don’t you make a real quilt?” “You can’t sleep under it.” “That’s not like what my grandma made.”

Implying that a medium must have a specific form or use is ludicrous, I would think to myself. Well, I recently discovered my own prejudice after visiting a lovely exhibition called “Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the present.”

I love enamel, I kept telling myself. Why wasn’t I head over heels in love with the exhibit? Why were there so many “paintings?” Enamel is supposed to be used for decorating “things,” like jewelry and boxes and, well, useful things. This is what I thought:

Marianne Hunter Kabuki Kachina Conducts the Orchestra

Marianne Hunter
Kabuki Kachina Conducts the Orchestra

Arthur Ames Waiting

Arthur Ames

William Harper Labyrinth

William Harper

Edward Winder Vegetabilis

Edward Winder

But here are a few that have me rethinking my enamel/not enamel position:

Jean Tudor Gurness Broch

Jean Tudor Gurness

About Jean Tudor’s amazing “brooch” above. The attached part in the foreground: Enamel. The background: Not Enamel.

Mary Chuduk Veiled

Mary Chuduk

Then there’s Mary Chuduk’s Veiled. It’s almost an upside down bowl. But it’s not.

Katharine S. Wood Rocket Machine Shop

Katharine S. Wood
Rocket Machine Shop

Now I’ve really got a problem. Katharine S. Wood’s Rocket Machine Shop is flat. It looks like parts that could be made into a bracelet, but it’s not.

So here’s what I learned about myself: I just don’t like flat enamel. So it’s okay if you don’t “get” art quilts. I give you permission to not like them. And now I get it that you don’t think they’re quilts. Or, maybe we should all stop trying to pigeon hole things and not worry so much about definitions.

Aug 23 2016

Passwords, the Internet and Marriage (Part II)


Last week I talked about the advantages of using a password manager program like LastPass. Click here to reread the post. This week I want to talk about creating a secure, memorable password for that one password you have to remember. If your password contains the name of any of your family members, your phone number, or is on this list, you need to read this post and change your password NOW. Here are some hints for creating a secure password.

  • It shouldn’t contain easily guessed personal information such as birthdates, phone numbers, spouse’s name, pet’s name, etc.
  • It must be at least 8 characters long.
  • It shouldn’t contain words found in the dictionary.
  • It should use a variation of upper and lower case letters.
  • It should contain special characters such as @#$%^& and/or numbers.

Ángel Pagán

Ángel Pagán

One of the easiest ways to make a strong memorable password is to take a phrase such as Ángel Pagán is a beautiful baseball player. (Don’t tell my Dear Husband!) Reduce it to the first letter of each word


Doesn’t contain any personal information? Check. 8 characters? Nope. Using our list above, it’s too short. So why don’t I use BB for baseball. This would give us


Check off number two. Is it found in the dictionary? Nope. What about upper and lowercase? Gotta change that. How about


On to number 5. “It should contain special characters and/or numbers.” Need to fix that. A capital B looks like the numeral 8, why don’t I just make the B’s for baseball be 8’s

But I still don’t have any special characters. So why don’t I add something. Now how am I going to remember which special character I used. Try to follow my logic here. Pagán without the accent is just pagan. Now I’ve studied a bit of Spanish and a bit of French, and I never can remember which way the accents go. So why don’t I add a “^”? It sort of looks like acute and grave accents combined. I can remember that. Now I have


It meets all the rules above, but in my mind eight or nine characters are too short to be my master password, so I’d add a few more characters or even a random word. Keeping with my baseball theme, I think I’ll add the word herringbone to the end.


Why Herringbone? The stitch used to sew a baseball together looks like a herringbone stitch to me. And it is all about me, after all.

baseball Herringbone Pattern

And in case you were wondering, the ampersand reminds me of a treble clef, and the treble clef ”circles” the G line in a musical staff. Remember, the key thing is this password has to be strong AND memorable. And I can remember this! If it’s memorable to me and gobbledygook to you, I’ve succeeded!

Aug 16 2016

Tech Tuesday: Passwords, the Internet and Marriage (Part I)

What's my password?

What’s my password?
Click on image to see my consternation.

Do you have a secure password? Can you remember it? Is it the same for all of your accounts? I used to have a large written list of accounts and passwords sitting right beside my computer. That’s not the most secure thing to do, especially if your eyesight is failing and it’s written in an extra-large font that the neighbors could read from their dining room table. Another big no-no is to reuse the same password for every account. One of your accounts might get hacked, and the thief might just try that same password on another one of your accounts. And what do you do if you have an account you use on multiple devices (your phone, tablet and desktop computers)?

Here’s where a password manager comes in handy. That’s an app that will create secure passwords and remember them. Here’s a screenshot of the password manager I use, LastPass. It can generate a really long, really random password.

Password Generator

Password Generator

Could I remember that password? Not in a million years. But I don’t have to. I only have to remember the password for my password manager. One password! That’s it.

Now what happens when I need to use that impossible password to log in to an account from my cell phone? For a measly $1 per month, I upgraded to LastPass Premium. Now my password manager can sync to all my phones, tablets, and laptops, whether they are Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android. So when I get an alert from my favorite airline that tickets to my favorite location are on sale for an unbelievably low price, I can just log in to my LastPass app, type in my one password, and tell it to log me in to the airline’s website. LastPass will remember that really long random password and the tickets are as good as mine.

Now here’s where the marriage part comes in. For those of you who know the Pixeladies, you’ve probably heard us exclaim, “After all, we have been married to each other longer than we have to our husbands. “ So what if Kris changed the password on our Facebook page, and I have just received news that we’ve been selected to show our work at the Museum of Modern Art. And let’s say Kris is camping in the backwoods of Idaho and has no internet connection (yeah, right!). With my Last Pass Premium account, we can share passwords with each other, and I can post the news on Facebook for all of you to see. The best thing is that the LastPass app will alert us when a password has been changed and will let me update the password. I can do the same with my DH. Everyone’s got their own LassPass account and password, but we can share them with each other.

Now as much as I love and trust Kris and my DH, there are times when I don’t want to share with either of them. Do either of them need to know that I’m a registered member of the Ángel Pagán fan club? (I’m sure both of them would be shocked to know that I even know who Ángel Pagán is. I’m not a baseball fan, and what the heck is a pagan angel?) So I don’t have to share that account information with either of them. How cool is that? Here are some links to check out:

  • If you’re ready to give it a try, use this link, and we’ll both get a month free of Premium service (up to 2 years).
  • If you want to read more about LassPass, click here.
  • If you want to read a review of other password managers, click here.

Aug 10 2016

Kris’ 2016 SAQA Dream Collection


Every year Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) holds an online auction of amazing 12″ x 12″ art quilts. They invite the public to post their dream collection of six pieces. Deb and I just love perusing the collection to pick out what we would like to hang on our wall (and, of course, really bid on). Here is my collection (Deb will post hers next week). The auction starts on September 16. You will probably find at least one piece you would like to own. I found at least six! Click here to view all the auction pieces.
I called my collection “I Wanna Live There” because I found several city scenes that I found intriguing. They invited me to explore their space. While the techniques used sometimes varied greatly, the resulting quilts accentuate the architecture of the city they are depicting. Links to artist websites are included below so you can explore even more of their work. Click on any image to start the slide show and to expose the title and artist for each piece.

Judith Ahlborn
Natalya Aikens
Heather Dubreuil
Deborah Fell
Dolores Miller
K. Velis Turan