Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Art group, Columbia style

Went to my first meeting with some of the ladies that make up the Columbia art quilt group. Don't know if they have an official title. None was mentioned. There were eight of us gathered around three pushed together work table in the classroom of a local quilt shop. I was told there were other members who were missing. I gathered that it was a loosely formed group of approximately 20.

I was greeted warmly by all and got a change to see two pieces by two of the ladies there. The meeting was more about what was going on in the area. Upcoming quilt shows in the area and a report that a glass works inhibit at the Botanical Gardens in St Louis was worth the trip to see as well the current exhibit at the St Louis Museum. Several commented and showed goodies purchased at last weekends Art Festival in the downtown Columbia.

I knew about the Art Festival, but I chose not go because the weather on Saturday was not good. Cold and very windy which made it colder. Sunday, I hate to report was a veg out day. I just knitted while cheering the USA golf team's efforts at the Ryder Cup. For you non golf fans, the Ryder Cup is a competition between the USA and Europe. Europe WON.

I got out of bed around three in the afternoon, but not out of my lounge around the house clothes to help spread mulch in the planting areas at the front of the house. Lyn and the boys went off to purchase 25 bags of mulch for the task. Pine bark for the areas on both sides of the front door and coco hulls around the trees. The smell of a great cup of steaming hot coco caught the noses of the two dogs down the street. Not sure if we have a lease law in this community because Sonya's two small dogs are always loose(I think I told you about her several entries ago. If not, she is the daughter of the lady that brought the brownies as a welcome to the neighborhood gift.) . Once their noses caught sent of the coco here they came on the run to investigate. Sonja was close behind.

We also, Lyn and I more so than the boys did some more sorting and organizing of her side of the garage. As I said, my side is organized and orderly. Has been for at least a couple of weeks.
Josh the oldest carried into her bed room several large bins of her fall and winter clothes for her to sort and put away. Very ordered, we now have a designated place for yard sale stuff Lyn is keeping to give to a friend of hers who does yard sales for charity. However she still has several boxes and containers of her work related papers that need to go to a shredder because of sensitive information.

So as I am now relating this, maybe my Sunday wasn't as vegetative as I had thought.
Yesterday, Monday, I finished stitching down the facing and the sleeves for this commissioned pieces The original piece "Night Vision" is the on the left, the newest on the right
When looking at the original and the newer piece, there are some differences.
As I was working on it in order to make my Friday deadline, I listened to the second of five books on CD‘s that I got at the Library. I have now started listening to the third. It really feels like me, now that I have gotten back into listening to book as I work, rather than having to relie on TV re-runs.

What to do now that all this is done is the question I have for myself today.....

I have a little over two weeks before I have to be in Bowling Green, Kentucky to teach a class at the Western Kentucky University Museum in conjunction with an exhibition of textiles, quilts included from their permanent collection that have a floral theme. Since I do flowers they thought I would fit the bill as an instructor."Coming Round Again"

This is the class sample for that workshop. It measures 22" x 28" This is the fourth piece I've made using this circle motif and the smallest.

There were three other pieces that are in some stage of completion that I put aside several long months ago when I made the decision to move to Columbia and my life was filled with getting ready to move. Do I still like them enough to quilt them now? I'll let you know tomorrow after I've looked at them.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I love a computer when it works

and hate them when they will not do what you want them to do. Mainly work. We have been trying to get a wireless network set up in the house almost from day one without any luck.
Lyn wanted the house wireless so she could work from the comfort of her bedroom instead of her office on the weekends. I wanted to use my computer somewhere besides in John's room since he had taken possession of my modem.
Using my computer in his room during the week was no problem since he is out of the house until nearly 4PM each weekday. But weekends are different. Typical teen, he sleeps really late on weekends.
So this morning I got up determined to make the wireless router work.
Went through all the steps as insturcted in the getting started pamphlet. Nothing. Went to the router maker's online site. Nothing. Even lost my internet connection altogether more than once in the process. Nothing.
I hung on the phone for what seemed like hours before I spoke to a real person. By the time Anna, badge number 1928 answered I had drunk two cups of day old coffee; made a fresh pot of the stuff, eaten a bowl of cheerios, a handful corn chips and some M&M's.
Even with Anna badge number 1928's help it took more than 30 minutes of me following her instructions one step at a time to get it all straightened out.

I admire those who are computer sauvy.

Now I am WIRELESS AND I can work from the comfort of my easy chair or the middle of my bed if I chose to do so. So where am I sitting.

In a desk chair, at a desk that we placed at the end of the hallway so John could get over the notion that my computer modem was his.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My date

My first stop yesterday was at the post office to mail a package to a friend. I purchased a book of Gee's Bend Quilt Stamps. Have to pat myself on the back. I am getting good at finding my way around town without the street map.

Then I drove to 9th Street south of Broadway to visit some galleries. The Poppies Gallery was in the process of moving from its Ninth Street location to one on Broadway east of Ninth so I will have to go again when they are in the new place. The Blue Moon Arts and Crafts of Missouri Gallery was next.

There was more craft items there than art in this gallery. Lots of hand made jewelry. They were putting out Christmas items, like carved Santa's. There was also some ho-hum pottery and blown glass. I did see a pair of ear rings I would have loved to have except the wires were made of silver and I am allergic. Only two pieces of fiber (framed) and one quilt that was a foundation pieced probably a commercial pattern Thanksgiving themed hand quilted sampler.
From there it was a short walk down the street to the Columbia Art League Gallery. This visit they were featuring a regional exhibit of water color that was ho-hum.
To sum my date up there was nothing I saw yesterday that was inspiring. I did pick up a application to join the Art League and am giving that some thought.
Maybe I will have better luck in getting the feel of what art is about around here at the Art Fair this weekend.
I tried to locate the Art Department Building on University of Missouri campus and I did, but I couldn't find a parking space for several very long blocks. The area around the building was very congested with students walking, construction equipment and people dining at outdoor tables. Yesterday was a perfect day for doing just that. I would have enjoyed having lunch in the area too, except I couldn't find any place to PARK.
I ended my trip downtown at the library where I sat and browsed through several book on printmaking and famous printmakers.
Love the Columbia Library. Applied for a card which I plan to use a lot.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An artist date

For any one of you who has read the Artist Way and gone through the twelve week program in an effort to claim your own creativity, you know that taking your self on an artist dates is a must. Since this is a new community for me I am taking myself out today to browse through several galleries and hopefully locate the art department at the University.
I finished putting the sleeves on a small class sample yesterday and am making good progress on finishing the commission that is suppose to be done by the end of the month. Three more days of working steady on it and it will be completed too.
But this morning I am asking myself, what next.
I went back and re-read some of my studio notes in the journal I keep to park my ideas as they come to me and got some insite into myself and refreshing ideas of where my new work might be going. I will take the time to mull over then as I finish up the current project. In the mean time. The sun is shining and the temperature is almost sweater weather here. Perfect for walking about and exploring.
I am taking my camera with me and will let you see what I discover.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Guess what I saw today?

I thought it was a twig that was stuck to the side of the house at first but on closer inspection without my glasses I wasn't sure. So I went to get my camera to take a picture of it. Again I wasn't sure.
Then I touched it with a stick and it moved a little and then a little more and I was sure it was an insect.

A "Walking Stick", I've heard of them but this is the first time I've seen one.
So what else have I done today and since my last posting.


Just ordinary stuff the last couple of days. The housekeeper came to do the hard wood floors. By the way, they look great. Ordinarily I wouldn't have planned to be here, but some of the furniture she could not move by herself. So I stopped quilting every so often I helped do that.

I am machine quilting a commission quilt that isn't very challenging since it is a rework of a previous quilt I've done before.
The problem with a doing commission work comes when the person commissioning you tells you they want something "just like" something else you have done. Although the money is good, the sense of adventure is lost in the process. I like adventure.

As I am quilting this piece I am also looking at a class sample pinned to my design wall. I would rather be quilting that one. Imaging how I will quilt it and listening to some good music is keeping my brain entertained.

I changed out the Summer front door decoration for an Autumn one today. The last couple of morning have had a hint of fall in the air. Foreshadowing of things to come, three days ago it was in the 60's. Definately sweater weather.

The time for pumpkins and fall leaves and scarecrows is fast approaching. I got a jump on the coming season today placing some of these things around the house. Pine cones instead of butterflies, fall leaves instead of roses. Now the house looks more in keeping with the chilly nights that will be coming before we know it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New place, new face, small change

Not my face, but the image of my blog. Since I don't have much to say today I thought I'd see if I could change my blog template and not lose everything.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's the process, not the product that interest me.

I now know why I love making art quilts better than anything else I have ever tried. In the process of making an art quilt I can altered the steps in a number of ways from concept to completion of the product. Knitting for me does not give me the same options and I find I am easy BORED with a repetitious process and following directions laid down by others. Not unlike making 25 of the same traditional quilt blocks.

This is probably the reasons I have started many KNIT projects and not finished ones. You see once I know I can do it I lose interest. Once I know I can make a sleeve the second one doesn't get made or the second half of the front. And when I lose interest in a project MY BRAIN TURNS OFF AND I SNORE. This goes for TV programs, books, needlepoint, knittng and several other activities I won't bore you by mentioning.

It really was NICE and FUN getting out yesterday. I had a reason put on a dress and some lipstick. I felt like part of the community. I met three women. I only remember one name. One younger one on the right is working on her Master's in Pychology. The one on the left was in town from St. Louis because her husband was riding in a two day 150 mile charity race. She confessed she a snobbish knitter and will tell all who ask, "SHE DOESN'T KNIT SOCKS" but there she was knitting her first pair. For her away from home project she showed us the front of a sweater she was working on in an off white yarn. Very nice. Sorry no photo.

When I asked is she minded me taking her picture for by blogs she was agreeable, but said,
"If any of my knitting friends see me on your blog and comment, I'll blame it on boredom."

The prospect of sitting alone in her hotel room while her husband biked for the day didn't appeal to her and she went online and found that the Knit shop was on the same street as her hotel and just the other side of the interestate. So she came for the company and it just so happened that there was a sock making class that she COULD TAKE.

The one sitting next to me ( no photo) was a jack of all trades so to speak, she was a weaver, a knitter and an art quilter. She mentioned some groups and guilds that were active in the area that I might look into. I remembered that her name was Lisa and she said she had an exhibit of her art quilts at the "Unity Center" I knew where that was, but was unable to get into the building when I stopped by on my way home.

All four of us were making a toe up sock from a different pattern with different starting instructions. We kept Rebecca hopping.

Rebecca or "Bek" as her coffee cup read was the manager of the shop and instructor. The knit shop is owned by her mother along with another fiber shop in the area that is geared more toward weavers and spinners.

There was a crochet class going on at the same time as our knitting class.

The entire staff at the knit shop from young teen girls to older ladies are great. Friendly and helpful; so much so that I had often ordered yarn from them from Louisville.

Here are some shots of the small group and some of the shop and the little bit that I got done in two hours on try three of the toe up sock while listening to the instructions for three other ways of starting a toe up sock. The funny thing was that each of us through our way of doing it was easy.

I ripped out and started my toe up sock twice because I was unhappy with the look of the first two tries. I've started socks from the top down. Blaaah. Toe up was interesting until I understood the process and had mastered it to my satisfaction.

I also taught myself how to knit in the round using one long circular needle after observing one of the other ladies use that technique for her sock. Now that was way cool and the only way to go after I got a handle on it too. No more dropped stitches, no more worrying about keeping the stitches on each double point or maintaining the same tension when moving from one needle to the other, which also prevents the laddering that can occur between needles and the joining of the first round is done very neatly. Now my double pointed needle collection is adoptable by anyone who is interested in having them. I'm only buying 36 to 40 inch circulars from now on.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Red clay, yellow clay

I left the KY clay for MO clay. They both make bricks. From our back yard alone we could supply enough brick for several very large houses.

The landscaper came this afternoon to give us a plan for our yard, beginning at the front door. It is not that the front looks BAD. It just does not look like a lover of flowers lives here and since I love flowers that is the look I want.

The landscaping will be done in three stages mainly because the landscaping design firm is sssssssssooooooooooo busy. They will have to squeeze us in if we want to get the front yard looking good before the first snow flakes fly. I was glad to hear that he didn't think we would need much in the way of additional plantings and only suggested one more boxwood, a scrub rose(?) 3 yellow mums for fall color and some ornamental grass. And o'yes new mulch.

For early spring color he suggested I buy and scatter plant spring flowering bulbs when they go on sale and plant them around the trees too as well as in both areas on each side of the front door.

The back yard where I had hoped to put a cutting garden has a northern exposure and the flowers I wanted to plant require more sun than the planned area would get. He suggested three berms for the yard to help our back yard view and privacy. We can hold the builting up and planting until next spring. Since he nixed the cutting garden he suggested I incorporate some flowering plants in the berms instead.

Because of the yellow clay,in order to have a manicured lawn look, our yard will need to be ------ (some term) he used first. What ever as the kids say today, the jest of it is, the yard need to be de-crab grassed; leveled for better drainage, have good top soil laid down, and reseeded. He said his firm MIGHT be able to get to the de-grassing by the end of October but he is a little doubtful if they could do more than that because they have the landscaping contract for the two new Super Walmarts that are slated to be opened by November 1st.

Oh!, he said the yellow flowers I see everywhere are wild flowers native to this area and are what was cultivated into a variety of Black-eyed Susans we spend money for today.

Tomorrow morning I am going off to take a toe-up sock knitting class at a very friendly knit shop. Will let you all know how my sock making and people meeting went.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fast over and back.

Drove to Louisville on Wednesday and arrived in time to have dinner with three friends at my favorite oriental resturant. Then it was off to my monthly art quilt critique group meeting. This month we focused on us sellecting enough of our collective work for an upcoming exhibition in a local gallery.

It is truly surprising how well our work hangs together dispite us all being very different in personalities and styles of working. We will not have total control over the exhibit and the look of it since the gallery's director reserves the right to futher jury what and the number of works that will be displayed.

I came back to Columbia (home) today. Whew.

I am currently working on a class sample for a project specific workshop that I will be teaching in four locations beginning in October. Thank goodness this is the last project that I have to do for the sake of my teachhing. After it is completed by the middle of next week, I will be able to at last begin working on some ideas that have been floating around in my head for several months.

At this time I don't want to go into too much detail least I talk myself out of biting into this very different apple.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Here's Carlos and the Garden at McDonald's

And yes, the spot of yellow in the lawn that I will miss very much.

I know there is a friend of mine named Marti who is wondering why I was at the McDonald's in the first place. She is a lover of the healthy and is always encouraging me to be mindful of what I put in my mouth, chew and swollow. But on this day I was HUNGRY for something unhealthy and french fries sounded sooooo goood. I brought them and ate every last one. Then I like a kid, licked the salt from my fingers when I was done. AHHHHH!

I have been so good since moving here as far as eating RIGHT is concerned that it is scary. Home cooked meals, fresh veggies and fruit, grilled, baked and broiled low fat meats. Of course it helps when you have to think about just how BAD do you want a french fry or anything considered FAST FOOD if it is 8-9 miles away.

I justified the french fries on Monday because I was shopping at a Walmart across the street for fabrc to use as lining for my window treatment. I HAD TO PASS the McDonalds on my way home.

Okay, okay, I'll be honest, to get there did require that I make a detour to the left.

Columbia I think must be the home of the SUPER WALMART. The city of 100,000 on a good day will soon have three and they will be closing two not so super ones. The next one to open in October is SOOOOO LARGE (a full city block long) they need to give everyone who enters the store one of those electical carts. When I am shopping for more than one thing, I always ask for one and feel no guilt, because without fail, what I came for and need are items that are, ONE always at the back of the store and TWO are more often than not on the far opposite ends of the place.

I think they do it on purpose. If shoppers at Walmart's did not stroll through the super sized stores but walked at a nice pace, they could kill two birds on any given day with one stone, shop and exercise. I'm not going to do either one of those things today. I'm going to my studio.