Entries organized under Travel

I’m here and here and hope to be here!

March 10, 2015

Wow, its been a while!



Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I was on a fabulous vacation to the Antarctic. You can see more of my photos of this amazing place on my instagram  account www.instagram.com/amiestarchuk

And right now, I am here http://loneaa.blogspot.fr/2015/02/amie-starchuk.html being interviewed by my talented and creative illustrator friend Lone Aabrink. I was honored to be the first artist in her series.

Starting this weekend you can find me here


1000 Quilt Inspirations is due for release this Sunday! I’m very excited. It is available at Amazon.

And here is hoping that you will find me in Verona Italy.  I created “vino divino” to submit to Verona Tessile and hopefully be accepted for their show May 19-24. I will know this week! Fingers Crossed!


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The Yellow Brick Road

October 11, 2014

We all recognize the yellow brick road that took Dorothy and her pals to Oz. How often to we stop to reflect on our own journey?

I am preparing to teach a class next month. The class content is machine quilting. In preparation for this class, I have been reflecting on my own journey.


This is one of the very first pieces that I ever machine free motion quilted by myself.  The stitches are not the same length, my circle isn’t always round, I was only starting on my journey.  There have been many quilts in the seventeen years between this quilt and today.


lime reszie

Here is a close up of a small piece that I did. It was fun to see how far I had come.


And how I now fill the areas that I quilt!

It was really good for my soul to look back and see how years of  practice and experience had improved my work and I felt somehow accomplished!

And what about your own journey? It might be fun to dig out some of those first pieces and have a look how far you have moved down that yellow brick road in your own journey!


August 15, 2014

Today is my birthday.

As with every birthday, I take time to pause and to reflect.

Last year, I turned 50. It was an amazing birthday, my best ever! A surprise party in London with my family. All arranged in secret, it was so much fun.



But, 50 and I are not close. Every other decade has been fine with me. But 50, well, we can’t agree on what room temperature is and we just don’t sleep well together. I have struggled for a year now to find some comfort in being 50.

And I pondered gifts and presents over the years, and settled on my favorite gift ever! It was a letter my husband sent me about six years ago, on my birthday, listing all the amazing things that had happened in my life. Every single line brought back some incredible memory. It was like having your entire existence laid out on a table right before you! I was stunned at all the special moments, some big, some small, all so important.  Yes, this was my favorite gift, ever.

50 and I are coming to terms. What I think it is about for me is all the memories.  Taking time to cherish every single moment. Although I am far from home, when I spend special time with those that I love, those memories tide me over until we can do it all again!

Today when I blow out the candle on my cupcake I’ll make a wish!

Wishing you many, many, moments to enjoy and cherish!

Imagine THOSE possibilities!



July 25, 2014

I recently spent some time in Barcelona admiring the works of one of my favorite architects, Antoni Gaudi.

Much of Gaudi’s work was inspired by nature.

One of my absolute favorite pieces is this door grill.


Which was inspired by this!!


A honey comb!

The columns in The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia were inspired by trees.



The Basilica was being worked on at the time of Gaudi’s death and work halted for three decades and began again in 1954. The current estimated completion date in 2025.


He used a variety of materials in his work.





Wood in this staircase is used to resemble dinosaur vertebrae.




Casa Batllo with its balconies that remind me of  Venetian masks


I find looking at Gaudi’s work, just at face value, totally inspirational. Now I am delving deeper into what inspired him, how he used his inspiration in the designs of his incredible buildings. Curves and glass and mosaic, at times it felt so original and so inspired, yet almost Seuss like. I loved spending time in his creations. It is worth checking out the amazing architecture of Antoni Gaudi if you are looking for inspiration!

And of course, we still found a little time to cheer on the German Football Team (yeah!)!


It was a wonderful trip.

I am inspired!





July 19, 2014

One day way back in April I was out walking my dog. There, under a tree was a neighborhood cat. I am always amazed that she just watches and never runs when I come by with my big black lab! I wondered if she would let me take pictures of her. She was quite cooperative. When I got home, this photo really resonated  with me.


Why, you ask? Because it’s spinning. And so was I!

I had so many great intentions way back in April. I was going to do one more blog post before leaving to travel for a few months. I was going to finish a donation piece and a few other things on my plate. Absolutely none of that happened. Between all that I wanted to do and all that I had to do, I was spinning!

I’m a little more grounded now. I’ve been on holiday, spent time with friends but the best part was a side trip with my daughter. Living as far apart as we do, it is always so much fun just to be together!

I’m back in the studio today. I’m rested and inspired by all that I have seen in the places I have been. Hopefully it will translate into some new fun creation!

As for the cat, haven’t seen her since I got back. She must be hiding in some cool shade, if there is any to be found here in the Saudi summer sun!







March 13, 2014

The Dhahran Art Show was last weekend and I was totally surprised that my piece “dream” took first place in the Fiber Arts category!


This piece was thermofax screened onto commercial cotton and then quilted with fun variegated thread. It is mounted on stretcher bars and measures 6″ x 6″ and I love to keep it on an easel in my studio!

When all of this talk of building a website and making art began, I felt that I needed to learn how to take pictures of my art. I am still learning, but what I hadn’t expected was to fall in love with photography. Yet another surprise!! Just for fun, I entered two pieces of my photography in the show.

Nightfall London

Nightfall London was taken in August. Speaking of surprises, the trip was a surprise for my birthday, complete with surprise guest from far away!

Venetian Piegons

Venetian pigeons was taken in Venice last fall. I just love the color of the lamps.

These photographs were printed on canvas and mounted on 2″ thick stretcher bars measuring 12″x 12″. I really liked how they looked. The final surprise of the weekend was that these two photos sold at the show. I was thrilled!

Surprises are such fun. I would love to know what was your best surprise ever!



January 22, 2014

Queen of the castle

In 2005, my husband and I traveled to Jordan, a land full of history and so many exciting sights. We were on our way back to Amman from the Dead Sea when we stopped at an ancient Crusaders Castle, Kerak Castle. It was amazing. I took a tour of the Castle with a very kind Arab man. As we worked our way through the Castle, the big finale was to have this picture taken, me sitting on the high wall of the Castle.

What you don’t see in this picture is my terror, my incredible fear. I sit down, I can hear the traffic moving below, I can hardly breathe, the blood is pounding in my ears, I’m feeling dizzy. I am terrified that I am going to fall from the wall into the traffic. Then, my body moves to paralysis. I have no clue how I am going to move away from this wall. You can see my hands almost attempting to hang on to the wall. This all happens in the time it take to snap a photo. The kind tour guide finishes taking the picture and puts his hand out to help me up. I am certain I could not have gotten up from that wall unassisted.

It was then that I realized I had a fear of heights, a fear of falling, particularly into traffic. It was one of the most fearful moments of my life.

The most common time I feel fear is around creating art. Of course, it is not as frightening as the fear of falling into traffic!

I spent much of last week sitting, paralyzed by the fear of starting, fear of making a mistake, the fear of failing. This talk carried on to snowball into questioning if I really wanted to be an artist, and, well, I’m sure any of you who have experienced “creative” fear know where this continued to lead. Finally, I knew I had to start. I knew that if I continued to sit, the paralysis would just simply become permanent.

And so, I began.

Paint mix

I am using Daler Rowney Arylic Artist Ink. I like using this paint because it offers a few options on fabric. If the fabric is wet, it will run and pool and give you interesting patterns. It does work well dry if you have specific areas to paint, however it does take a lot of ink to get a deep color.

Once I started, it felt better. Once I was in full paint mode, my mind started to explore other possibilities. And instead of saying, “I can’t”, I began to question “what if?”


I finally got the painting finished and it was forward on to the quilting, my favorite part! Because I like to stitch in specific areas, I start and stop in those spaces, and spend quite a bit of time burying the thread ends by hand, into the piece. It is labor intensive, but I am so much happier with the results!

The piece is almost finished and will go off to the framer today. I have to keep moving forward!

I would love to hear how you overcome your creative fears.