Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stitching A Photo Montage Quilt

This little photo montage quilt was begun by my students and teachers of Bluffview Montessori School in the spring of 2010.  The classroom  E2A--Upper Elementary Classroom A with myself as the lead teacher and assistant teachers, Susan Krageschmidt and Jena McCullough teaching children in 4th grade through 6th grade.

 The picture on the right is the students with our dragon puppets that we made with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre , HOBT who worked with the students for a one week residency.  The students designed and created cooperatively with the help of two HOBT artists, these large puppets and then preformed a story about the importance of water for the whole school.  It was very exciting!

Close up of two students giving a report.

Some of these students, I see around town.  Some are getting ready to graduate from High School in the spring.  What amazing students; what amazing times.  This little quilt measures 14" x 14.75".  The students helped with the stitching.  I completed the quilt today with the binding and the hanging device on the back to hang it on the wall.

At my current school, Ridgeway Community School, we had a most amazing residency with In the Heart of the Beast and created a play called Pete's Great Adventure.  Check out what happened!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Design System for Sustainablity in the Body

Great video on the ways Nia sustains the body

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Baby Quilt for Cameron Thomas

In 2016 two beautiful babies were born in our family.  Their parents are my nephews and their sweethearts/wifes--now parents of these beauties.   Elsie Hegge Stuber, was born September 10, 2015 at 3:02 pm, 7 pounds 6 oz, 20 inches.  Her quilt will be  filled with mountains and a river.  It is in the design phase.

                                                                     Lea, Mark & Elsie

Cameron Thomas Stuber was born December 6, 2015 at 5:06am.  He weighed in at 6 pounds 13 oz.

                                                                 Thomas, Jenny and Cameron

Here are some images of his quilt.  I cut apart of panel of delightful winter creatures that look playful and loving.

I had bought many coordinating fabrics that were intended to be part of this quilt.  In the end, I choose one calm background, a coordinating binding fabric and went out and bought some flannel to make it very cozy.

Here is the quilt top complete:

Here are a few close up details:

Here is the quilt top and back completed:

Love label added last.  

Here is Cameron Thomas wrapped in his new quilt.  Photo thanks to his mother, Jenny Stuber.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

7 Tips for Beginning Nia

Laurie Bass, Nia dancer, teacher, somatic practitioner and yoga teacher writes about how to come to a Nia class.  This photo and article are from her website: Laurie Bass: Living Well

Nia’s way of getting fit, dancing barefoot, “like nobody’s watching” is a tune up for body, mind and spirit. If you are new to Nia, you may have noticed a very passionate community of movers around you. To put you at ease, here are 7 simple tips to maximize your experience as a beginning student:

1. Relax. Breath. Welcome to your practice. Enjoy being new to something. Start with smaller movements, allowing your body to adjust to moving the Nia way. Allow your breathing to support you. As you learn the steps, add range of motion and intensity when you feel ready.

2. Be in the moment. In Swahili, Nia means moving with purpose. Dedicate each moment to moving with the power, pleasure and purpose of being in your body – in the NOW. Minimize your inner critic, judge, or saboteur, maximize your sense of adventure.

3. Tune in. Always listen to your body. Allow Nia to move you from the inside-out toward pleasure, “body-based” sensations. If a move doesn’t feel right for you, tweak or adapt it – move smaller, slower or take fewer steps. Always move away from pain. Movement is medicine.

4. Start with your feet. Capture the rhythm of the feet and leg movements first, then slowly add the core, arms and hand motions. Keep your feet under hips and your joints “spring-loaded” to ease your knees. Over time, your body will learn the language of Nia, the language of the body and love the dynamics infused into the movement. 

5. Go Barefoot. Experience the 7000 nerve endings in your feet to help you move in safe and efficient ways from the ground up. While barefoot is best, you can wear shoes with a soft flexible sole for comfort or support for medical purposes. Moving barefoot develops foot strength and whole body balance.

6. Seek “Dynamic Ease.” Never force a motion. Avoid getting breathless or fatigued. Move within your own comfort zone. Move with energy efficiency.

7. Express Yourself. This is your dance. Express your own unique rhythm and body language within the moves. Be jazzy, luscious, lyrical, snappy or sensual. Most of all, be yourself and have fun.

Visit the class finder at to begin your journey!

Laurie is a creative mover, athlete, artist, yogi, somatic educator, wellness coach and member of the Nia Training Faculty. She is a teacher-trainer of the Nia White Belt and Nia 5 Stages programs. Her collegiate education includes degrees in Mathematics and Psychology from Pacific University. Laurie lives near Portland, Oregon, home to the international headquarters for the Nia Technique where she teaches classes, workshops and holds trainings both locally at StudioNia, home to Nia international headquarter in Portland and global, traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Europe.


Sunday, January 3, 2016


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