Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Nigth Fun

Some of us are easier to entertain than others. Surfing around the web this evening while watching tv, I found Sproost. There's a test here to identify your decorating style. It says I'm 38% Rustic Revival; 38% Southwestern; and 24 % Montain Lodge. That wasn't really much of a surprise. They didn't show any thing I loved and I could have ranked a few higher than okay based on their lightness but didn't go back to revive but did it very spontaneously. This is a another way to see how well you know yourself. If you're thinking of doing any decorating or redecorating it could help clarify your vision.

I wanted to do the Celebrity look alike on myheritage.com but don't have any pictures of me on this computer. I'll save that for another veggie evening. Have a fun weekend.

Inspirations, Learning, Teaching

This is what late winter looked like this week in Argyle. On Monday, Terry Grant blogged about following the creek that runs thru her yard and finding surprises. Her images were lovely and inspired me to walk around my own place. It was a good experience; "seeing with new eyes". The camera frame offers interesting lessons in design and some new ideas for art.

I do hope I never stop learning new things. Ashley held my hand this morning thru Mosiac in flickr. That was fun once I got over the fear of trying some thing new. While I was playing I also found "Warholizing". I did a "Warhol" of our great nephew, Mitchell, from his first birthday in July. I'll share it with his folks and get some new pics of him and his brother when we see them this weekend. I can see lots of design possibilites in that, especially Grandchild projects. Oh, I'm going to be a dangerous Grammy with a camera.
It feels good too that my samples are finally coming together for Monday's workshops. I guess it was the allergies earlier in the week but I just felt so frustrated about that and the Galveston quilt. What I have isn't perfect but I'm letting go of that concept more every day.
The photos in the little accordian book and the safety pins are ink jet transfers. I did some of the Galveston images with Lesley Riley's TAP (not shown) and am pleased with how they are working. The red fabric with dots is some I had overdyed and then yesterday I "Deborahized" it with Luminere and Golden Acrylics. D is a master at sequin waste stencil among other talents.
I just can't imagine teaching without inspiration and learning.
Off the charge the camera batteries before I forget.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One Bright Day

When Ashley was a little girl she had a book called "One Bright Day" which we just about memorized. It could have been written about today. It's beautiful out and I've had trouble keeping focused on the work I have to do - samples for Monday's workshop on fabric books for elementary art teachers.
These are not the samples. On the left are some of the small quilts I've been doing with my dyed silks & fabrics created with the embellisher. Don't the colors say spring? On the right is my leaf for International Fiber Art Collaborative.

I'm noticing an inclination toward nostalgia as the days hint of changing seasons. A current quiltart list discussion on early inspirations takes me back to 1975. That's when I made my first quilt of Karl's old jeans and assorted calicos. It was an ABC quilt for Ashley who was to be born that Nov. My inspiration was Jean Ray Laury's book but the drawings were my own. I'm also remembering mentors, projects, and experiences of that time as I'm thinking ahead to a quilt for grandchild #1, due this August. I might just go back to some of those old fabrics and ideas.

Now back to those samples.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Lu and I spent the morning communicating via phone and fax to do our submission to Tactile Architecture. She is a great writer and took on the task of putting all the required details together. I am very grateful as my brain is compromized by seasonal allergies. Everything is on it's way and now we wait until March to hear the verdict. The process of working with a friend with complementary talents has been exciting and invigorating. We hope to get started on another piece soon.

There is a feeling of anticipation as we wait for spring. Today started grey & dreary before clearing a bit by midafternoon. We haven't had a bad winter so I'm not complaining too much. I can take cold but don't like dreary being very effected by light. I do need to remember that last year we got our biggest snow in March so this time of year is a lesson in patience. I only spent a bit of time outside today and got my smiles from Valentine & Hobbs, our exemplerary resident grass munchers. Here they are on Sunday with a treat of strawberry tops.
Sunday afternoon Ashley and I dyed yarn at the Winter Fiber Fest. I'd never used Jacquard Acid dyes before. The colors were bright and bold with hardly any washout. Here's Ashley's in process and mine below after rinsing yesterday and drying in the wind. We both want to give it another try.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Hearts & Pass the Love

Today was another example of the "up/down" roller coaster of life. Yesterday was WONDERFUL, I'll come back to that to end on a happy note. UP- started out to go off early with Karl on an adventure. He'd invited me last night and I was excited enough to get up early (remember I am NOT a morning person). We got to the end of the street - the the phone repair man was stopped at the corner; YIKES - memory jog! He's due at our house; U turn and Karl dropped me off back home and went on his way. DOWN The repair adventure took about an hour & half. He replaced a part on the roof that fixed the upstairs tv UP. The cell phone router (from another company) not doing what we paid extra for is still an issue even after I spent another hour or so "troobleshooting" DOWN. I really wanted to shoot the whole thing.
I restrained myself and went down to dye more fabrics for Galveston quilt. I threw in a few other odds and ends including a 1982 quilt that I want to "revisit". It was so faded it can't get worse. UP
DOWN Increasing nasal congestion & aches in the afternoon. I'm trying Zycam, positive thoughts, and warm tea. I'll go to bed early as I've got an early meeting in Dallas and then need to pick Ashley up in Ft. Worth. I'm looking to the yarn dyeing workshop we're taking on Sunday. UP
Figuring everyone will be busy with the Big Heart weekend I'll say Happy Valentine's Day now. Hope you are feeling loved and pass it on. Around here we've already been indulging in chocolate and enjoying daisys (my fav since before I carried them in our wedding, 1-5-68). We got those free on Sunday with a Central Market coupon so I'm giving K a donation to the Red Cross for the fire victims in Australia. He's got a big heart so he'll appreciate that. Please do whatever you can for those in need anywhere. It's an UP feeling for sure.
And to end on an UP, yesterday was wonderful. "Wonders" day (what the studio group is calling ourselves) got together at Suzanne's for felting. She's a fab hostess, great teacher, and if you need supplies for nuno felting her silks are luscious. As usual there were lots of laughs, yummy food, great sharing, and a generally inspiring time. I'd really encourage everyone to find a group to meet with regularly; it's marvelously motivating. We missed Sara & Michelle and they missed a fun project of small felted hearts and boxes to put them in. The pic is works in progress; notice the Truffles - that was Lu's decadent contribution. UP
One last thing, I want to brag on Deborah. She's not only a very talented artist, writer, and gracious friend, she is extraordinarily generous with her time & talents. Check out her blog tp see a small part of the wonderful project of 5 quilts she's doing with 4th graders at her children's school. I'm a super fan of art building community and this is a beautiful example. Way to go girl. Hope everyone has an UP weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Up-Down.....all around

Up-down; in-out; forward-backward; ebb-flow.... the stuff of daily life? Last night we had scary storms. Today was bright and beautiful.
I'm thinking of what goes on when you're trying to be routinely creative but accomplish only bits and pieces, not big finishes. Sometime it's the hour plus on the phone with "remote tech service".....
These fabrics, dyed, discharged and dyed again over the last few days seems symbolic of where I'm at lately. On the left is background for a collaborative quilt about Galveston - yes, muddy is intentional. The red/green is a scarf that I tied up and threw into the discharge pot; it was red and discharged to green; good color but wish there was more pattern. It might get another dip - "next time". The lime/yellow was overdyed with turquoise but came out too dark so it got discharged. That went too far so it got another shot of Y. With that I decided that I'd best stop; it's on step 2 of a 5 step Round Robin so I mailed it on it's way.

I started the year with high hopes of spending my time well; being balanced and productive. Now I need to step back and regroup, see what I'm doing wrong; put a schedule in writing and stick to it. Stop being the "lucy goosey" I've been of late. It's far too easy to drift thru the day and then wonder at the end where it all went and for what purpose? I know what I want to do - MAKE ART!
That's my rant for the evening. I'd better do dinner so I can eat chocolate with fewer feelings of guilt; maybe I'll escape to the bookstore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Place

This little lady invaded the big bird house at the edge of the deck and started a family before I realized what she'd done. I don't have the heart to evict her until the babies are on their own; then I'll remodel with a metal piece around the opening to return it to the birds (she enlarged it considerably). Lots of folks think of squirrels as flying rats but I rather enjoy some of their antics and it is natural to seek a safe place for your family.
I've been thinking of home and safe places today. Also things Australian. Last week a friend loaned me issues of Textile and Alison Schwabe posted about My Place, a traveling exhibit of contemporary art quilts by Australian, New Zeland, and South African artists. Last night I read about the passing of Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity and then saw the news of the raging fires, death and destrution in Australia.
It certainly makes one pause and take in the jumble that is life. There is such beauty in nature, creativity, and generousity at the same time there is death, destruction and evil.