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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Time to contemplate

I was on one of my favorite "waste time and money" web sites, Etsy, and I found Allison Strine's page (her username is allisonstrine). I swam around with her a while, and noticed that one of the things listed in her profile is "Favorite Materials". So I just had to ask her how the heck did she use Necco wafers in her work? Here is her reply:

Necco wafers - they go in my mouth. MMmmmm! You've been working with too many new media if you want to add candy in! hee heee!

I guess it's really time to stop playing around with my glop and goo and get back to the business of cleaning and contemplating. So, I've put away everything in it's proper place and cleaned up the stewdio to get busy on unfinished projects that are nibbling at my brain.

In the meantime, I've got some napkins to iron, so it's a good time to contemplate what's going you do that, too? Ironing is a nice activity. No pressure, and quick results. Napkins are about the only thing I iron anymore, though.

I've been contemplating moving my mother's small table downstairs to the apartment. Well, what used to be her apartment before she moved to the retirement center. This is the view looking to the west in my stewdio. The table is right in front of my sewing area.

And this is the view when you walk into the stewdio, looking southwest.

I've kept it here in my studio for about 2 months, now, and hubby keeps telling me it's time to move it so I can have more room. I love this table, and it seems that it draws me to sit at it and write notes, draw pictures, look at magazines, and play with pictures. I've got a lovely desk, but it doesn't do this for me. I've got a lot of space at my new sewing table, but I don't think it does this for me either. So, what's with this table?

I didn't grow up with this table, and it really has no sentimental value to it, either. It wasn't my mother's until we moved it to her new retirement apartment. It used to belong to a mother-in-law of one of my friends before she was moved to an Alzheimers Unit. The near coincidental timing is a bit uncanny, as it is the only size table that would have fit in the corner in my mother's new apartment. It's such an unusual size at 38" square, with two leaves to add to make it a full banquet size rectangle.

I think it will stay here in this room a while longer. It's so heavy that I need to get my son and another friend to move it, so that's an easy answer for now. I might move it across the room next to the design wall and see how it lives there. Here's the veew of that wall - looking to the north in the room. It would sit where the ironing board is leaning now.

Now, I am back to ironing those napkins, and planning my next quilting move. I think it will probably be to finish up Everything but the Kitchen Sink with the 1930's reproductions.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today's Play

First of all, let me say that the trio of quilters you see in the last post shall remain unnamed. You can guess at who is who, but in the end, other than that one of us does not do primitives, and the other two do, we are all the same - just some fun, happy quilting gals! You can pretty much sort it out, at least who I am, by comparing this photo and my profile photo:)

I played around some more with clippings, vellum, organza, and paints on muslin. I like the finish of this one better than the last one. Of course, it's not truly finished until I put it on more fabric, more embellishments, yada, yada, yada....

I truly love words and marks on fabric and textiles. I've learned several different ways of making "my mark", and I don't think I've found one yet that I like. This one, so far is the easiest, but I'm less certain about the outcomes. I originally had plans of making "fabric" sheets in various colors, but now I am not so sure. I haven't given it up yet, but I am less excited about the feel of the finished products that I am ending up with.

I am still playing around with different stuff, too. Today I've painted used dryer sheets, interfacing, and tyvek. All I am getting is a nice mess of stuff to play with further, and a hubby who thinks I've gone around the bend. In an effort to get me out of the house on a rainy day that promotes more crazy thoughts of things to paint, we went out to a couple of galleries this morning. First we went to the Irene B. French gallery in Merriam Kansas where my altered view, "Her Mother's Daughter" is hanging. It is a nice showing, and we enjoyed seeing all the other pieces and the perspectives of the artist's interpretations of altered views. The next stop was to Artichokes, which is close to my house. I decided to take a baggie fabric dying class which begins in a couple of weeks. I have little interest in fabric dying, but a lot of interest in meeting other people and seeing what sorts of things they are painting ...ummmm... dying.

So,it's spaghetti pie and salad for dinner tonight for my son and his girls and hubby. It's been raining all day, and I long for the time to just curl up in bed with my good book. I am reading Abundance by Naslund, the story of Marie Antoinette, and even though I know the story, Naslund is such a wordcrafter that I love reading her work. Her last book that I read was Ahab's Wife, which was most excellent!

And now, I look down at my shirt and I see the spaghetti sauce pattern on it, and I am wondering how some red might go in that painted piece that's laying on the table...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Just playing around

Well, after a couple of whirlwind days and lots of fun with everyone, I am now back in the stewdio playing around. Last Thursday, I got the privilege of escorting Libby and Judy around town, shopping and laughing. They were even honorary Quilt Babes for a night because my stitch group came to fete them, too. It was loverly getting to meet some other blogmates - one from the left coast and one from the right coast. Pretty special!

I've been mulling over a couple of different techniques in my head for my next art piece. So today, I finally got to try one out. So far, I'm not pleased with the results, but I sure do like the process. It's messy, and it's fun, and everyone stays away from me because they think they will mess things up. HA! As if that could happen. This is probably the most free form thing I've done recently!

This is the piece in progress, and I like the colors, but not the entire collage. The pieces didn't carry the colors through the way I thought they would/should. So I have to think about this a while.

Here it is drying. I think I will probably cut it up, and embellish it on something else that I make. I like parts of it, but not all of it together.

I read about this technique called Fabric paper in the latest copy of Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Of course, it isn't really new, just used differently. I have all the previous copies of this magazine and I see that there are 6 other ways to do this too - each of them just layering the collage materials in different ways and different strengths of the decoupage medium.

Tomorrow, I am going to try the same process again, only in a different way, using different materials. We'll see if this goes any further.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Now I'm on a roll!

Back from Mayo yesterday, and all is well!

Today I spent a bit of time in the garden, repairing fencing where the deer got in and ate all the tops of every plant that was there. Beans, squash, and even the tomatoes! Then I spent a wonderful couple of hours in the pool, and now the grandchildren are here splashing around. The girls will stay all night, the wittle boy goes home for his own bed. A wonderful day, all in all!

Here are my quilting buddies, the Amazing Quilt Babes, with the latest birthday quilt. We worked on it the day before we left for Mayo, but I just didn't have the time to get it downloaded, etc for the blog. It's Carolyn's and we managed to get all the hundreds of blocks required for it. It will be a BIG beauty when it's done!

While at Mayo, I was able to get two more charity quilts done, one completely quilted AND bound - the other bound in the car, and the last one bound while waiting for his testing to be complete. I also finished up the class sample for the circles class I will be teaching at a LQS. I quite like it, and I think I must make at least another one for me, this time! If you double click on the picture, I think you'll be able to see the circles inside the circles or on the sides of the circles.

Tomorrow is back to the gym, then back to more charity quilts!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Good News!

It's been a while, hasn't it? I just can't believe how fast the time flies, and I can't seem to put my finger on where the time goes!

Wabi Sabi is the piece shown above this entry. It is hanging at the Sabatini Gallery in Topeka, KS "Covers Blown" exhibit along with two other pieces of mine. I went to the opening reception, and everyone was buzzing about my pieces. It was so wonderful to see people looking closely at how things were done, and asking questions about them! Sort of a validation of the number of brain hours I spent figuring out how to represent my mental thoughts in a visual way with fiber, you know?

The gallery did a beautiful job of hanging the exhibit - the lighting was fabulous and the venue will draw many people from the community, too. The reason I am showing you Wabi Sabi is because it will be going to a new home. It SOLD!!! I am pretty excited about that, let me tell you!

I've been getting projects cut and bagged for our upcoming Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Clinic trip. So far, I have 8 projects in various stages. Do you think that will be enough for two weeks? LOL! I even have two quilts that will be bound in the car when I am not driving. We don't anticipate any unexpected events to occur this time. Just a day surgery to for a little repair on an incision, and then a week-long annual post transplant checkup. So I should be able to plow right through a bunch of stuff!

Other than that, our yard is looking like a professional is taking care of it! With all the rain we've had, everything is just luscious! I decided that now would be a great time for pictures of a few of my favorite things like I did last spring.

This is my newest birdhouse, hanging on the garden shed. I really love the "chimes" made of kitchen utensils. You can't see it, but the clapper is a "church key".

The daisy bed has been invaded by some sort of wild yellow flower that I'm not quite sure of, but they can stay as long as they continue to balance the color like this.

We have 10 or so Sweet Bay Magnolias around the house, north and south sides. I'd like to have more of them, and I will probably replace some large Kanardi Junipers with magnolias next year. They are the latest blooming magnolias, and they tolerate the extremely cold temperatures and ice we have here in the midwest. They smell absolutely glorious when they bloom, too. They are a bit early this year, but they are gorgeous! And the aroma? It drifts in my bedroom windows at night, and makes me dream....

This chicken with hens and chicks in her is from my mother's house. The hens and chicks (and I think I see a new little rooster) are many, many generations of the same plant that my mother grew as I was growing up. When anyone remarked on them, she would just break some off, hand them over and they are now growing in all sorts of friends and relatives gardens. By the end of the summer, this pot will be over-flowing again, looking for new homes to go to. I have it sitting at the head of our driveway, beside the walkway to the back deck, and I see her every day. It makes me smile to think of how many chicks are growing somewhere else because of my mom's generosity. It also makes me a bit sad because I really miss my mom.

So now, I will be back to getting bags and boxes and fabric ready to go. My brain seems to be working overtime, and I've almost gotten a new art quilt designed in my head. Now, to get it out to the paper design wall. Hopefully, when I get back, there will be something on paper! I am going to use my poem: Where Sharon's from as a starting point. Unfortunately, I don't think this piece will be for sale, like "Her Mother's Daughter" in my last entry, but I must need to work these things out, I suppose. Here it is again:

Where Sharon's From

I am from apple dumplings,
from Capezio shoes
and phosphate drinks.
I am from the laundry flapping in the wind
and the penny pinching.
I am from the pink hollyhocks,
the double blossoms perfect
for making a clothespin baby's skirt.

I am from the scrabble dirt farmers
and wide hips and big feet,
from Rollie and Isabel
and all the Unknowns in the genealogy charts.
I am from the stubborn and the strong.
From "work before pleasure" and
"idle hands are the devil's workshop".
I am from vacation bible school
with baptismal blue Bible gifts.

I'm from the Heartland,
tacos and enchiladas,
pot roast on Saturdays
and fried chicken on Sundays.
From my Papa's softly whispered "Bonita Chiquita",
and my Father's arc welded steel,
and my Mother's sudsy hands.
I am from forgotten
black and white pictures,
misplaced names and places.
Faces that look at me from the mirror of my life.