Saturday, July 29, 2006

Down and back

I made a fast trip down to Smithville and back after reclaiming my quilts because my solo exhibited ended yesterday. One piece sold. YEAH!! YEAH!!!YEAH!! SOB, SOB, SOB, it was my latest favorite. But I will smile all the way to the bank. This is what it looks like. POPPY #7. NOw only a memory. Tomorrow after breakfast it will be back to packing. For now, I am taking my salad and a cup of coffee to my bed and veg out and watch some TV for the remainder of the evening.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

De-constructing a studio is a sad, sad thing.

I've come to the conclusion that my move to Columbia is producting different emotions that are not as simple as I'M HAPPY or I'M SAD, or as cut and dry as BLACK or WHITE. Rather I am feeling a tad DULL. Or as in art speak I am feeling on most days a middle values of grey. On some days I am truly happy and looking forward to going. Up the grey scale I go.
Change is GOOD! After all, what is life without some adventures.
On other days when I see the eyes of those I am leaving I am sadden by the prospect that I will no longer be close to them physically and down the grey scale I go, but not all the way to black.
Black would be bad and in which case I would change my mind about leaving.

All of my truest friends who are more like my family of choice, live so close to me that I can call, say I am on my way and be there within minutes. I'm going to miss that. On the other hand I know I will be back to see them, just as I will my born into family.
Especially my dear Miss Livy (Olivia Faye)
But will visits be enough for us to stay close. I pray the bond between us will hold dispite the distance.

I know a lot of these feelings are surfacing because I have not created anything in WEEKS.
I have found great joy in occupying this space although I have out grown it.
The disassembling of my studio is a sad,sad thing.
I thnk I have produced some good work here. On the other hand I am truly looking forward to my new space in Columbia. But for now, dispite the sign over my studio door that reads "SMILE", today I am a middle value grey.

Sniff, sniff.

Gotta go, there's more packing to do.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I knew she would remember

Marti e-mailed me after reading my blog and said where we stopped was at Clifton Forge, VA. So now we all know.

The weekend that was part two

It is Wednesday and I am still trying to get me through last weekend.
Here is Margaret at her ordaination on Saturday. She is the one on the left with shoulder length grey hair and the bright smile.

Sunday Day Two

Marti and I got up and again got an early for me start on the day. After checking out of the hotel we went in search of breakfast, one that was more healthy than the one being offered in the Lobby of the Days Inn. We settled for the Cracker Barrel. I wonder how they stay in business dispite most often being located at exit of interstate highways, locating then once you loose site of the sign is darn near impossible. At least this one in Staunton was. We had to go to the Red Roof Inn to ask how to get to the Cracker Barrel. "Take a right out of our parking lot, go to the second light, make a right it, it is the second business on the street." And so it was, hidden from sight until you were nearly on the rocking chair filled front porch, hidden behind the Econo-Inn. I think it was an Econo-Inn.
Tummies full we then went in search of the church. What a treat.

The church sat near the top of a hill outside the city limits of Staunton. As with most country type church established in the 1800's there was a well maintained cemetary ajoining it. I am not one to stroll through a cementary for the fun of it. But this day was different. The sun was out, the sky with a few clouds floating lazily across it with a gentle breeze made exploring this one seem RIGHT. There was a lot of history there. Gravesites with dates going back to before the Cilvil War, documenting the settlement of the area with names that matched present day streets in the area surrounding the church. From atop the hill you had a 360 degree view of the valley. The perfect image one has of well kept old farms dotted with white farm houses and barns, perfect.

It was a great Sunday. Margaret lead her first service as the Pastor of the church. There was a typical Sunday Church Supper in the fellowship hall following the service which preceeded her official instillation as the Paster of the Church at 2PM. After which all were invited to a dessert reception. After a short debate among ourselves and personal soul searching about the sinful consumption of calories both Marti and I didn't need. We skipped the cakes and cookies and made our way toward home.

It was near midnght when my head got reaquainted with my favorite pillow. ZZZZZZZZ

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The weekend that was

and what a weekend it was. I spent it with Marti. Marti and I have been friends for quite sometimes and in a car with her was essentially how I spent last Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We have spent extended time with each other before on many occassions especially when we jointly dye fabric in quantity, but I don't remember a time when our time together was spent mostly in a car. Are we still friends? YOU BET!!!!

“By the Grace of God and with great pleasure and joy our Congregation invites You to the Installation of our new Pastor, The Reverend Margaret Dudley Ashby on Sunday July 23, 2006... Staunton, VA”.

So read an invitation that arrived in the mail 2 weeks ago along with the announcement of our Dear Friend Margaret’s ordination into the Ministry of the Lutheran Church the Saturday before in Harrisonburg VA.

I HAD TO GO! And so did Marti. Another friend Kathleen was joining us there. She would be in Roanoke, Virginia visiting her parents the same weekend, a mere 1-½ hours away. We all knew Margaret first as an artist with an extraordinary eye for detail, composition and a remarkable sense of color. As a member of our critic group her assessment of my work and the work of others was always insightful and more often than not right on target. Whether at the time I or the others members wanted to hear it or not.

Early only, because I refuse to say bright in conjunction with early in this instance. The sun was barely above the horizon when Marti arrived to get me at 6:10 AM Saturday morning for our trip to Harrisonburg. Virginia where Margaret’s ordinations was schedule to be.

Where is Harrisonburg you wonder, well so did we.

Map quest is a beautiful thing. Harrisonburg is where James Madison University is located Map quest informed me. The small town sits in a valley surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a very scenic and historic place. You get there from my place by taking 64 East until it meets 81 North. Then 81 North to the exit for Harrisonburg. What luck, sight unseen I picked a hotel right off the Harrisonburg exit and within a 5-7 minute drive of the church barring we didn’t get lost. WE GOT LOST for a brief time.

The first 3 hours of the trip on Saturday morning I slept. Marti was surprised that I did. She made mention of the fact that I had done so while she was behind the wheel of the car because she knew I didn’t trust her driving. My thoughts on Saturday as I lost the battle to keep my eyes open were; if she kills us, so be it. If I try to drive us as SLEEPY as I am we surely will die. Anyone who knows me knows at that time of the morning, alert I am NOT and I am not responsible for anything of importance I may commit to or say before 9AM. Thank God I get better as the day passes 10AM and keeps getting better the more toward 2 PM it gets. I am with a short nap at 4PM great until about 3AM the next day if need be.

Marti got us to Charlestown at which point I took over. We stopped at Tamarack to browse through the art and crafts on display and for sale there. After our trip around,it is designed in a circle with a green space in the center visible through glass windows. We ate a very good lunch prepared by the Greenbrier Resort Catering staff. The food was far above your truck stop fare. Grilled salmon, trout fillets, fresh greens, the menu was too extensive to recount. For those with uncouth taste there was the taco salad bar and hamburgers cooked to order and the sandwich deli thing.

The stop at Tamarack was a good way to spend 2 hours breaking up the road trip. I’ve made mention of that West Virginia Art and Craft Center in one of my very early blog postings. A second visit there in less than 6 months was still an adventure. Although I had my purse with me, there wasn’t anything I HAD TO COME HOME WITH. Beside I would have to pack it for my relocation move in less than 2 weeks. WHO needs something else to pack. My God, not me.

On the road again, we stopped in the small town of (something) Forge. I know Marti will remember and email me and tell me what it was, When she does I will tell you. We took the detour because a sign on the interstate said they had an art and craft museum and so they did. A very nice one, filled with work of regional and local artist. It was staffed by three very friendly women. We had to tear ourselves away. At that point we still had a way to go.

With me pushing the speed limit we got to the hotel, checked in, dressed quickly and off we went to surprise Margaret. She had no idea we were coming. And surprise her we did. We sat in the balcony for the ordination, got at the back of the line in which she was giving communion. I among all of those attending stuck out like a sunflower in a poppy field. So I chose a person taller than me to get behind as I approached the altar. She looked up to give me communion and her mouth dropped. That in itself made the trip worth doing. Whiles she had hoped we would come, when we didn’t tell her we were she hadn’t set her heart on us being there to share this special time with her.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Packing, packing, packing.

The symposium is done and there are no more excuses that I can come up with to not start PACKING. When I made the move to the condo a little over 5 years ago I did a lot of weeding out of STUFF before hand. Most everything that I have added to the condo was stuff collected to fill a specific space or need once I had moved in.
While the house I am moving to is larger it is configured differently and I also plan to have a different life there than I have here as well. As I visualize the house and me living there I am seeing there is a lot of stuff that should not make the move with me. But I have not reconciled myself to the fact that I will need to let go of some of the STUFF I have acquired. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? I can justify taking it because there will be more space to store unused stuff, but do I want to pay the cost of moving it. Do I want to take the time to pack it. Plus while I have lots of stuff, I do not believe in having stuff for the sake of simply having it. Do I simply give the stuff away to a good homes that the Goodwill will find for it or should I have a moving out sale.

While I ponder this problem, I will be packing, packing, packing. Will be back to blog when I get done to show you the piles of boxes that will be surrounding me.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Fly on the wall chapter two

Here you see Bennie standing in front of Sandra's strip piecing exercise and you can also see the strip piecing exercise of Michelle on the right

This is one of the early day images, Peggy of Louisville in the background and Valarie White in the foreground. See how orderly the place still looks unlike the next shot.
Winifred in the background, a blurred image of Valerie, Michelle of MA, Karoda and Sandra all working hard.

Bennie of DC looking over the shoulder of Cheryl as she is quilting her completed strip exercise. In the background you see Marti Plager helping Lystra with a construction problem. Foreground is Romolda of NY hard at work.
Sunday evening with Joanne Weis,fiber artist, this Sunday evening she was here to speak about her approach to surface design. When all were gathered around the table, she was bombarded with questions almost faster than she could answer them because her work is spectacular. Sorry there are no images of her work. She also demonstrated how she stretches her fiber art work on stretcher bars with a professional finish. When you are fully engaged in what is being said your camera is the last thing you are thinking about. Joanne is one of the six member River City Fiber Artist Group; Kathleen Kathy) Loomis, Valarie White, Marti Plager and I along with Pat Darif make up the six. I never tire of hearing Joanne explain her work and the sources she draws on for inspiration.

Kathy L of Louisville conversing with Valarie White
Here you also see the back of Cynthia.

Fly on the wall view of Symposium 2006

To keep up our strength, we have to have food. The Marriott is known for their food service and the service in general from the entire staff at this hotel. All the lunch time meals are served in white cloth and napkin style, except this day when it was buffet. Our dining area is setup outside the class rooms. Here you see the backside of Karoda of Louisville, the face of Lystra of NY, the back of Sandra from Hampton Va, a side view of Sandy from NY and the face of Cynthia from CA.
Virginia of Louisville and Sandra of Hampton VA hard at work at their tables

This is the work of Valarie of Mass and the beginning phase of her strip piecing project

This was an exercise done in the ideas for art quilt workshop not sure who did it.

Images from cutting black and white construction paper, an exercise from the Ideas for Art Quilts

This is what Cheryl Hurd from the DC area did as a result of a Strip piecing technique workshop
This is the hand of Valerie White and her demo as part of her quilting to express, not impress workshop. She is quilting an image designed as a class example for her Expressing yourself on Cloth, during which she demo and all tried the techniques that can be done with Disperse Dyes.

Kathleen Loomis taught a class on discharge and here are some of the results from that day.

Having fun with Disperse dyes, fabric crayons and Shiva sticks

Here are some of the results, some have used one process and some are examples of multi-techniues in layering

Fun and light bulb moments filled the room. The seven days we were together were GREAT.
We are doing it again next year. Think about joining us.

Paducah and the Bryer Patch Gallery too.

10 of us took a trip to Paducah on Wednesday. All aboard had never been there before and the visit to the MASQ (quilt museum) to see this years show winners plus some of the older winners was inspiring. We also toured the 4 square block area that is the heart of the artist relocation project in Padcah. That riding tour was capped off by a stop at Caryl Bryer Fallets studio and residence. While we didn't get the full dollar tour that included her upstairs living area and personal studio space, it was more than the standard nickle one. We saw her large kitchen, her wet studio still in construction and stood in what will be the personal entrance foyer to her home/studio/gallery. Caryl was very gracious and spend unhurried time with the group,answering question, signing postcards and images of her quilts in books, even demonstrated her quilting skills on a new machine she is testing.

She stood through a 6 different cameras taking picture session, smiling all the while. For all who care as I do she is looking well and rested and reports she LOVES her new community. No trip to Paducah is complete without stepping into Hancocks and leaving a few buck in their cash drawers. Hobby Lobby got a few bucks too.

A rare double rainbow

What a treat. This greeted us as we were driving back to the hotel after a visit to a new art supply store in Louisville on Tuesday evening that is located in a refurbished meat packing plant. Most of the galleries and artist studios that are located there were closed for the day, plus it rained on us like you wouldn't believe. But the rainbow as I said was a treat.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Under way and away we went

It is amazing how time flies when you are having fun and fun was what one and all told me they had today. My turn at teaching comes on Monday. Today I simply sat in on the classes of both Marti and Valerie and assisted when needed.
This year there are 18 -20 people per day which makes for a nice class. Everyone has their own table space and plenty of walking around room.

There are 3 pods as my daughter calls them on one side of the room with four pods on the other. The teaching station is in the center which has enough room for all to gather around for demostrations.

One of the reason I love my daughter is because she and John drove over from Columbia on Friday just to help me get everyone checked in this morning and make sure they had everything they needed even to the point of going to Starbucks for me, her mother who thought, she was going to have to forego her favorite brew today.

Here are some candid shots of the room with and without partipants.
The orange square hold all of the supplies each student needed for the symposium, pre-packaged with everything each instructor wants the student to have to participate fully in each session.
Where there are quilters there is always food. One of the reasons I like using the Marriott in East Louisville, is the great chief they have. No matter what I choose on the menu it is always very, very good. Today after a fried chicken salad we had the most sinful Key Lime cheese cake.

Mrs. Mel's tell Dave to eat his heart out. Look at these beauties!! They were parked at the hotel were the symposium is being held

Saturday, July 01, 2006

What Now!!!

This is how I am beginning to think everytime I hear the voice of my oldest daughter Lyn's on the other end of the phone. Don't get me wrong. I love her to death. But I think this house is going to be the death of us both, just kidding.
I have purchased with my dearly departed several homes and by myself, this condo where I now reside. I have never brought a house while it was in the construction stage or when it was only a thought in the builders mind or a hole in the ground awaiting the planned for foundation.
This house was a far piece along in the construction stage when we found it. Far enough along that we knew what it was going to be like on the inside without having to do too much imagining.
We picked out carpeting, cabinets and appliances, but found we were too late to choose the carpet because it was already being shipped to the installers. We have SHORT SHAG. Been there, done that, and had hoped not to every return to the day. Oh well what done is done. Lyn and I both agreeded to not bemoan it.

This is the lower level stair wall. You are seeing the legs of John, the youngest grandson. Kids his age (15)I am coming to believe are butt heavy and tend to sit at any opportunities and give their opinions from that viewpoint. That day he was in rare form. He only lives because we love him.

Where Lyn is standing is the wet bar area. The wall you see on the right because of the vents will only allow for a short horizontal design space that will most likely have my "Hold that Thought" board attached to it.
The long wall to the left in the the second picture was to be my 12 plus feet long by 8 feet high design wall. That was plan A before the surround sound system complete with speakers and dangling wires was installed that we did not know were getting as well as a security system that we are glad to have even though we did not know about it either. .

The last two picture shows the wall to the left were I had planned to arrange a sitting area and the wall to the right where I would rotate hanging some of my work. The left wall space measure about 10 feet long to the window wall. Which you can see best in the last picture. As part of plan B my design wall space will be in this area now instead of a comfy chair, lamp and TV.

Yesterdays conversation about the house was to inform me that although we had asked for and paid for an upgrade of the carpet padding, the up grade was not installed.
Question #1: Do we accept this and take the $2,000.00 the builder would give us back because the upgrade was not installed or
Question #2: Do we ask that they rip up all the carpeting and put in the better padding we wanted thus making them also have to replace a lot of the carpeting because with the extra thickness of the padding the carpet will no longer fit the spaces it was cut for. Also by asking them to do this it will delay the closing date by about 10-14 days.


Lyn said she was in the house walking around with the house inspector for over three hours the other day and her legs and feet began to hurt. This is what prompted her to ask about the grade of padding that was installed. The builder might not have told us that they had used a lesser grade had she not mentioned to the agent that her legs and feet were hurting. She said, she was mostly on the lower level where I would be making my LIFE and she knew if she had problems I was sure to have them, maybe even worse because she knew I would be walking back and forth and standing a lot on somewhat of a daily bases.

What to do? After consulting friends and friends who are almost family we decided to have them rip out the carpet and install the better grade of padding we wanted and paid for. I wasn't planning to move until after the symposium was over on the 14 of July anyway. So it is beginning to look like my first of August date for moving was really in line with what is going on with the house.

Lyn hasn't called me TODAY, but it is still early.