Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting it together

It's Monday.

Where did my Sunday go?

Before I knew it it was 7:10PM and I felt like I had accomplished nothing. A little knitting. A little housekeeping. A little studio time. Chatting with friends and family and out to dinner at Lemongrass, my favorite neighborhood oriental resturant with a friend.

Instead of beating myself up on Sunday over what little I had done, I took myself off to the movies for the 7:50PM showing of Freedomland. But left the theatre feeling like I needed another movie to feel like I had been to the movies. Freedonland was too cliched, to pat, just to too. Great acting, poor script.

And what of today. Well I did get to the studio for some quality time before going to the airport to pick up friends back from a cruise to the Carribean.
Then a small group of ladies dropped in for some quilt consultation for a couple of hours. It is now nearly 9PM and I have lived all day off of a 200 calorie breakfast and two large coffees. Time to find something to eat.

Tomorrow after teaching I am off to Columbia, MO to stay with the youngest grandson, while his mother,(my daughter) is traveling on business for a few days. I'll be back on Saturday or Sunday in time to pack and travel with my youngest daughter to San Diego. She is going on business and I am going along just to go someplace a little warmer than here. Am hoping for a lot of sunshine blue skies and gentle breezes.

Will post from Columbia in a day or so.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Now I know why.

Now I know why great artist of the past had appendices. Especially if they were as messy as I am while creating. No orderly dissaray here, simply put , it was just a mess.

An apprentice is cheap labor. For a while I had studio help. That help came in the form of a grandson who I paid a dollar a drawer to refold and straighten after I made a mess. Boy could I use him today, but alas he is with his mother in MO.

Had another good studio day. No errands out of the house. Kept the music going all day playing a variety of stuff from Marie Callas to Luther who needs no last name. When I am really engrossed with my work, I am the best dieter in the world. I hate to stop to eat. I should have about 6:30 but just made another cup of coffee. Next to Starbucks, my one cup coffee maker is a Good Thing. No more warmed over stuff.

Now it is after midnight and my stomach is saying feed me PLEASE!!!!

So after I post this and some photo images I will give the tummy some yogart and frozen peaches to make it happy til morning.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Coloring the flowers

This was a good studio day. Two in a row. Maybe I will make it three and get some piecing done tomorrow since it is still in pieces on the design wall.

Again I will sleep on the color choices I made today. If you noticed I did make some changes to the background after seeing it with fresh eyes this morning.

It felt like a spring day but as with most spring day here, there is a threat of severe thunder storms and very high winds after mid night.

Then it will be back to winter with a promise of snow on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A good day is when...

A good day for me is one when I can spend as much time in my studio as my body and mind can endure.
I did not plan to leave the house today and was reluctant to get out of my jammies least some idea strike that would tempt me out the door.
Dispite all my plans at 4:30 I found myself with a sweat shirt and pants thrown over my jammies driving to Kinko's to fax my tax papers to my daughter who handles these matters for me.
The only stop I made on the way home was at Starbucks near the house for my favorite drink, which is a Venti Americana. That's four shots of expresso diluted with hot water and topped off with skim milk and a little cream.
Here are two shots of the current quilt. I changed one area mid right and think I like the piece of fabric that blends rather than scream, but will live with it over night and look at it in the daylight tomorrow.
Dispite having great lighting (10 - four feet - Ott florecents) in the ceiling I never sew any of my quilts together until I have a look in natural light.
Will start on the the flowers tomorrow. So if all goes as planned will update you tomorrow with colors where the white flowers and stems are now.

A good beginning

It's not about the destination, rather it is about the journey. It's a good thing I believe that otherwise you would all think I was loosing my mind.for taking two days to get from point A to point B, A drive that could be done in about 10 hours. According to Mapquest from my house to 425 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA was ONLY625miles. The actual miles I drove during the two days was 677. Not being in a hurry I didn't leave home on Monday until 3:00PM, however this was several hours later than I had planned.
I had to take the Jeep back to the service department on Monday morning because on Thursday as I was driving about town I begin to hear this grinding noise coming from the front passenger wheel. I had put the auto in the shop to make sure it was ship shape for the trip last week.

Monday morning was the soonest they could get it in. I didn't retrieve it tell noon.

Remember I could not pack until after the open house on Sunday, which my agent said went very well. But no offers yet. I began to pack on Sunday evening. When I had everything packed, clothes, quilts and class materials I like a typical quilter, had a larger suitcase for my class stuff than I had for my clothes that needed to last for 8 days.

Bless my daughter-n-law Mel (short for Maryellen) through playing Scrabble, I learned that mel means honey. And she is a sweetie. She told me where to buy all cotton bras. Would you believe Wal-Mart. On the way to the east coast I stopped at a Wal-Mart in Frankfort, KY for those who know Kentucky and where I live you know I had not driven more than 40 miles before I made that first stop and where I brought one of the bras she spoke to me of.

Back on the road I did not stop again until I got to Beckley. I put the bra on when I woke the next morning in Beckley, WV where I spent Monday night. On Tuesday after driving several hours in the bra. I was not itching or uncomfortable in the least. For that fact my BOOBS fully hoisted felt very happy. So I stopped in two other Wal-Marts between Beckley, WV and Charlottesville, WV so I could get a variety of colors. I wasn't in an all white mood.

The only image I can get to upload is the one of TAMARAC and arts and craft facility in Beckley where I spent Monday Night. Will write more when I have time and send you some images of Portsmouth and the Retreat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

No luck

As of this time which is 10:30 PM the studio lights have not been turned on. Where did the day go you ask?
Well, I taught a class which is a 1/2 hour drive from my house. Two hours and 45 minutes later I was on the way into the city , 15 minutes from the part of town where I was teaching. Parked and walked to the Court house, to the Probate Office then it was on to the funeral home to get them to fill out papers I need for the Court.
Needed sewing machine needles so I made the trek back to my side of town to visit the Handcocks. Then I got way-layed by the 1/2 price book store where I brought 3 art books.
I no longer read or look at the quiltworks of other quilt artist for ideas or inspiration.

I didn't get up early enough to take time to eat breakfast. My cup of Starbucks that I stopped to get on the way to class had held me until this point (3:15PM) and it was way past lunch time.
My stomach grumplings made me cut my book search short.

As I was leaving the book store a friend called wanting a consult on some of her latest pieces that she is getting ready for a gallery show. Great for me, I love her work and always enjoy our visits, however this was bad, bad bad for my studio time. When we are together we can talk non-stop for hours. I left her house at 5PM. I was so hungry, I stopped at Subway for a 6" Veggie Delite, on whole wheat with Salt, Pepper and Vinegar only, also stopped for a second cup of coffee at Starbucks to go with my first meal of the day.

With the help of a full stomach, the coffee and tendency to owlishness I am on the way to the studio.
Come visit tomorrow and get a pictorial up date.
God bless.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Today's lesson

This is how I begin my work based on my own drawings. The first image is a composit of stylized poppies. The sketch was one of six I summitted to a hospital for a commission i"d been given.
This one was not selected and in a way I was really happy about that. The quilt needed to be 5 feet wide by 12 feet long and would have been a little difficult to machine quilt on a home machine.
The hospital choose another design for their new addition which I constructed in 3 modular pieces that were easy to handle.
See photo image 2. From the original sketch I decided to use a portion of it for my newest work.
The last image is the full size carton drawn on the wax side of freezer paper. I will cut this cartoon up, one piece at a time and use the pieces as templates.
The entire quilt will be pieced and measures as a drawing 36 inches wide by 63 inches long. The quilting, blocking and final squaring will leave the finished quilt about 2-1/2" less in both width and length.
Will keep you posted on my progress.
Today's lesson: What not to do on a day when you really want to be in your studio.
1. Don't leave the house for any reason short of the house being on fire. Had an appointment with my attorney. A whole nother story that would require its own blogsite.
2. Don't stay up late the night before you have to get up early. Now 9:00 AM might not seem like early to those of you who are chickens and roosters, but to us owlish folks, noon is a much better wake up time.
3. Even a bad cup of coffee won't keep you awake when you haven't had your usual 8. Believe me when you love Starbucks, McDonalds is a bad cup of coffee. I drank a whole large cup, 2 creams please.
4. Don't get back in bed. Especially not a warm one. Then again it was a good thing I did because I had left the house without turning off the heating pad I use as a foot warmer. I got the rest of my 8 and it was much later than I had planed it to be when I wake up again thanks to a phone call from my son in Rhode Island reporting on his 19 inches of the white fuffy stuff. Then it was time for dinner or late lunch for those of us who are not on a normal schedule.
5. Never pick up your knitting. No matter how strongly you tell yourself that you will only knit an inch worth. You never do. At least I don't. Five inches more and now here I sit at the computer having gone into my studio only long enough to turn on the lights and assure my self that I still liked what I am about to make.
I guess you are thinking tomorrow will be better. I don't think so. I have to get up early again but not as early as today. First I am off to teach a sewing class for beginners who have machines that were never taken out of the box prior to the first class meeting four weeks ago.
Oh such fun.
I really am not complaining. I love to teach. The pay is good. The facility is great.
Who knows one or two of them just might be the quilters of note in 2-3 years.
After the class I have to trek into the city to Probate Court.
Hope your day was more productive than mine. I'm sending hopings heavenward, that my tomorrow and yours will be a good one.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I know where everything is, really


I have a new quilt design on the white wall which you can not see from these views and have selected the fabrics I plan to use. Note the pile on top of the table. Just so I can have a guilt free conscious, I cut several pieces of fabric for the quilt and placed then on the wall.

I am looking forward to this. It has been a long time since I have had a two movie date with myself.

Now to escape the house to see , "When a Stranger Calls" and "Firewall"

Not that my late DH ever complained about living in a studio when I didn't have a designated space for my art endevours and I had quilt stuff everywhere, but now it really is nice to be at a place in my life that I do have such a space. I am also at that stage of life where I don't care to impress the Jones of world and I leave it like you see it quite often. I really do know where everything is. And when I forget, it is also helpful to have more than one of everything, like good scissors, rotary cutters, color wheels, your favorite ruler. You get the idea.

I had French door installed when I brought my condo. I don't know why or what I was thinking. The doors have never been closed and I try not to think of how much fabric I could have brought for the cost of them.

I want do a movie review, that's not what my blog is for. I will say every so gleefully that paying seniors price even in prime time is a good thing and both movies were my cup of tea, entertaining and suspenseful. The preview for the newest Denzel Washington movies looks interesting.

WHY can't they discount the popcorn too?
Oh well, there is always Hope.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Finish the day and be done with it.

I am about to end this day and thought before doing so I would download or upload the images for my six season quilts.
These are the colors that I see from my studio window and in this part of the country. The saying " if you don't like the weather, just wait until tomorrow." is really true.
Here in Louisville we really do not have four defined seasons, they look and feel more like six

1. September-October 2. July-August
3. May-June
4. November-December
5. January-February
6. March-April

All six of these quilts in this series are the same width and length dispite the images not being so.

The colors are better in real life too. Over look this until I get better at doing the camera and editing.

Remember: Tomorrow is a new day, begin it well... Emerson

Right on and Not far off

I have a solo show coming up in June of this year and need about 30 quilts to fill my designated space in the Arts and Craft Gallery of the University Tennessee at Smithville, TN. I have known about this for over three years so I am trying very hard, not to panic because I have so many more quilts to make and I am almost out of time.

The committment to do this exhibit pushed, me, heels dug deep in the sand to become a machine quilter instead of the dye in the wool hand quilter.

Like most artist good is not good enough and I have always wanted to grow in my art; develope a better eye for color as well as composition which should in my thinking lead me to something new and somewhat different from what I have done in the past, yet stay within the style that is mine.

One thing I have learned from this solo exhibition was I was right on when I decided on a title for it "From My Eden" I have a quilt with that title and it was the one they printed on the gallaries up-coming events brochure. Secondly,by selecting this title for the exhbition it gave me a wide area to explore and made coming up with works that will hang thematically together very well even if the individual pieces are widely disparate in subject and color.

Some of the work I have completed to so far is the Seasons: a six piece series in abstraction depicting the colors of the seasons of the year. I have may pieces using flowers both realistic and stylized graphic like the three pictured in an earlier post. Within this theme I have explore different construction techniques, pieced, applique, collage, as well as incorporating different kinds of inks and paint.

Got to go, it is past time for me to be in the studio. Will get back to you all later.


You can tell by the time on this post that I have been at this a while, having started after lunch today to understand first the camera, then the laptop and then this blog site. I now know how to take digital pictures download them and finally get them downloaded into this site.
so here are the three quilts images I promised to upload to the site two days ago.

The top quilt is the first in the series, Titled: Coming Back. In the early years of my exploration into art quilt creating, my favorite element was the circle. I moved away from it after making about six in various sizes from a small one that was accepted in The Hoffman Challenge 1990 or 91. to the second one, which is much larger and is now in the permanent collection of the MAQS, One was sold to a Hospital for their registration area. I moved on to other images but I have retained a fondness for the circle.

I enjoyed creating the first quilt so much that I made a second one based on the circle and using the checkerboard patterning for the background. The title of the second one is "The Return"

Of course when you do two you might as well do three. The last one does not have a name at this time. Got any suggestions?

Come visit again.
I plan to get better at this blogging thing and find a way to make the imported images larger.
Until later.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Life does tend to interfer

Why did I decide to make plans for yesterday? One, I thought I was in charge of my life and my time. Wrong! I was up at 8:30 am, early for me. Took friends to the airport. Then I stopped at Wally World to see if there was any winter clothes on clearance. I have happy to report I have lost 40 pounds since Thanksgiving by trying really really hard to maintain a healthy diet and mange my portions. THERE WERE NO WINTER CLOTHES LEFT I WOULD BE CAUGHT DEAD IN, let alone in this breathing, much slimmer body. But what to my wondering eyes did appear, the new spring line. Ladies, we are going from those unattractive crop pants to a cut-off cuffed leg that ends about mid calf. Everything that is OLD is NEW again.

Enought about clothes and eating healthy. I am suppose to be down-loading quilt shots of my latest work. But No, as I said the day got in the way and I have yet to remove the batteries from the charger or read the direction for operating the camera. I wonder how long is it going to take me to learn how to operate the thing.

I guess you will know when pictures of my work appear here.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Here I GO!!!

I have attempted to blog once before now but as bad luck would have it my computer crashed. So here I am with a new laptop and a newly purchased digital camera ready once again to go forth into cyber space.

I have been journaling for some years and have found it to be a very freeing experience for me. The blank journal pages was a great place to dump troubling, madding, pressing as well as joyous stuff , set priorities and get on with the day.

So I am taking my daily journaling to another level. Hence the new blog site. I hope you find my musings interesting and informative.

Today after the batteries for my camera fully charge I will see if I can up-load and down-load some shots of my newest series of art quilts for you to see. This series has me returning to use the circle as the main design element just as I did in several of my early quilt works. I feel I have grown in skill since those earlier quilts, and I have found joy in making each of these three. Not that I do not still love the early ones.