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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cool rain, warm tea, and finished project

It's been a good day. The wisteria is blooming. It's one of my favorite signs of spring. Sadly mine has never bloomed in 8 or so years. I will settle for enjoying the neighbors as I come and go. We're having rain, very much needed rain. Happily I got in and out of the store buying needles (broke lots yesterday in my hurried free motion work) and made it home in time to push the pot plants off the porch for a shower. Now I'm enjoying hot tea & honey as I update my post project to-do list. First up will be cleaning the studio from "project neglect". I like to restore a bit of order before jumping into the next big idea. I've got Studio Group coming Tues. to make charms so that will be a deadline of sorts.
About the tea.... I read last night honey is good for sinusitus so try it if you're prone to spring allergies. With a bit of extra lemon to conter the sweetness it taste good too and is nice to warm you from being rained on.

This morning I finished the largest art quilt I've done in a long while, "Galveston Memories". During April it will be in "Merging Visions", a show of work done by poets from the Denton Poet's Assembly and VAST. The show will be at 2 branches of the Denton Library.
I did this as a response to Jan's Spence's poem, "Empty Chair at Galveston Bay" I should get her permission to post the poem with the quilt but I don't have contact information right now. I am pleased with my work and happy that it's finished on time.
I was a bit worried when I got sick last week and in my hurry yesterday I sewed thru my left index finger. Warning: it's probably not as bad if you don't jerk from the needle as it is when it tears. Luckily no blood on the quilt. We should all appreciate how useful index fingers are to tying knots.

This work is about my Dad and his lifelong of the water and fishing. I used Lesley Riley's TAP for the picture of Dad and me and also the chair. There are, of course, areas I'd have liked to done differently; I hope I can always find room for improvement in my work while enjoying the satisfaction of doing my best in the moment.

I shared it earlier today with the Sanger Lion's club to promote the exhibit. They were a very gentlemenly audience and served a yummy lunch.
We'll end the day with gumbo from the freezer. It fits the theme of the day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday thoughts

The week started well and I was excited that friends were coming to play and make art on Tues. and Wed. I enjoyed the company but sadly I got hit by the kind of spring fever no one wants. By Tues. evening I was a pretty pitiful hostess with drippy nose, sneezing, & coughing. I think everyone else enjoyed the break from routine and I was happy to provide space for creating.
Three of the guests were teachers on spring break; I remember the need for self endulgence mid semester. Jane shared her collage techniques with Shari and Brenda spent most of her time outside drawing - after preparing an amazing breakfast of Huevos Rancheros. I didn't get a shot of her drawings but she had a willing model in Mr. Cokaroo. He seemed to know that spring was coming.
I went to the Dr. yesterday; it's bronchitis. 2 shots and 3 prescriptions should head me back toward health. I hope so; I want to be in the garden tomorrow with Ashley. I've spent today catching up on emails and writing class proposals for a new venue, www.meccaonmain. I'm excited to be considered for this.
One of the things I really did enjoy this week was sharing ideas with friends and being reminded that friendships are a vital part of my life. For me friends help me to understand myself and I believe it's important, especially as artists, to know ourselves. Susie Monday has an interesting post on her blog on this. I'll get back to later. Now I need to get busy quilting. Galveston is due Wed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

Appologies to The Mamas & the Papas - I'm not "crying all the time" but Mondays do have a certain tone. Rather than creative time, today's mostly been straightening up various piles on desk and table and making sense of things I hadn't kept up with lately, especially mixups on appts.
I've been feeling musically nostalgic since watching a PBS show the other night about Peter, Paul & Mary. I was glad to see Mary as I'd heard last year that she was really sick. They and M&P were important to me "back then" - hs & college. I'm listening to PP&M on http://www.pandora.com/ as I write. On quiltart list last week someone asked the question, "what do you listen to while making art?" Mostly I'm on "QUIET"; think it was all those years of teaching - I'm still making up for the excessive noise of adolesents.
Happily, the sun's out. If not at the sewing machine I like to be outside when the weather is nice. I can hear the birds celebrating; we got some much needed rain last week and the trees are about to burst out. Yesterday, we got a nice bit of outside time with Ashley and cousins.
Another note of celebration: Lu Peters and I won honorable mention at the Dallas Quilt Show for Urban Reflection. That's nice encouragement for us to keep working together and for me to get busy on other projects.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cause for Celebration

I've spent the afternoon sorting thru art supplies and sent several boxes home with Sally, a friend who is doing her counseling internship. She'll be using art in her work. I think that is great as I believe Art is a healing activity for everyone. Thanks Mom & Dad for teaching me to share.
Mother would be 84 today. It's hard to believe she's been gone nearly 9 years. The picture above was our last Christmas together.
I made the book a few years ago about Mother's life up to the time she married Dad. I think I need to do "Chapter 2" and beyond, covering their 56 years together.
Sunday would have been Dad's 94th birthday. With my brother and uncle also having March birthdays we had big family get togethers right about this time of the year. I miss those.
I think I need to bake a cake this weekend and invite family & friends over to celebrate....Life, Art, Friendships, Spring, and Sharing Memories.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Around and around

Spring is coming and that makes me smile. I like the change of seasons even if it does take me a while to get balanced when the time changes. I often wonder why, as it's "just" an arbitrary number on a clock. Not being currently employed I don't have a rigid schedule so it shouldn't make such a difference to me.
Time is an interesting topic to ponder. Does time go in a line or circle? I'm inclined to be of the circle persuasion school; I have too often seen patterns repeat themselves in my life and those around me. What's old is new again and all that - fashions, crafts, attitudes, etc.
Then there is the question of what path we're on? I'd like a yellow brick road like this one in my garden. I think it's fun. This one is at the Antique Rose Emporium. I was in a happy mood when Lu snapped my picture. That's what a beautiful day and time with fun friends does for you.
This morning I came up the stairs and chuckled as I looked at this self portrait from about 1970. I moved it to the stairwell in Jan. when I cleaned and rearranged. I was a student at the University of Houston with David Hickman when I did it. He was new to the University and I remember that he brought considerable fresh air and at least a tad of conflict to the program; it needed it.
I learned a lot from him about drawing, painting, and thinking creatively. His work at the time referenced quilts, Persian minatures, and other patterned surfaces and my love-of-pattern soul felt like it had met a kindred spirit. My chuckle this morning was about the circle I've followed back to a very short haircut. I guess that too can be creative.

Monday, March 9, 2009

On the Design wall

"Galveston Chair" is on the design wall (the purple, green, and red at the top aren't part of it). The blue green background looks pretty dull here but will be brightened with quilting. The old red ties will be cut out more around the pattern to have less red showing; I like the movement they add. I'm thinking there will be some marsh grasses in the lower right and maybe a few shells.
Getting this up is good. Most of the day was focused on bookkeeping and taxes so I'm glad to have some creative progress.

Rainbows for Monday morning.

This is the first week day after the time change which always throws me off kilter. This morning is starting off extra slow. I'm recovering from weekend babysitting duty.
There's a damp wind which I hope brings much needed rain. Here's a bit of fun & day brightener: find the colors of your rainbow at http://spacefem.com/quizzes/rainbow/. Mine is violet. That's not too much of a surprise but it would be more true if there was a nice green thrown in to the mix. Maybe I'll do some dyeing today to balance out the necessity to work on taxes and bookkeeping.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Miss Me?

I hope so. Hard to believe it's been over a week since I last posted. I've found that I like blogging and it helps me focus on art but the last 10 days was been anything but focused. First K&I ran off to Austin for a quick visit. We got to see the first video sonogram of grandchild #1 - exciting and fun. On the 23rd I had the embarrassing experience of getting a nasty bug right in the middle of teaching a class. The students were wonderful and carried on quiet well. I'm sorry that my pictures of their work came out about as fuzzy as my head. The blurriness of head and body lasted several more days.

Happily, the next time I looked out spring was on it's way to Texas and I recovered sufficiently for a trip with 3 girlfriends trip to Karey Bresehan's Creativity Center in La Grange. She hosted an open house for Virginia Spiegel and Carol Moore who had been there during Feb. making fabulous fiber art. The day was wonderful. Virginia Spiegel has great posts on her blog about the work she did and Kay Sorensen, among others, has great posts about the day. Karey was a generous and gracious hostess and it was a picture perfect spring day; unfortunately I didn't get good pictures. It was also fun to meet many fellow art quilters from quiltart list and I hope there's another such happening next year.
The "4 fast friends" finished off the trip with dinner & PIE at Royers Friday evening; a sleep over at a fun little B&B near Round Top and a visit to Antique Rose Emporium before heading home on Sat. We packed in a good bit of inspiration and are already talking about future adventures together.
Now I'd better take that inspiration to the sewing machine to have some work of my own to share.