Sunday, July 29, 2007

Just checking in

Did not get as much done as I had hoped. Even alone life seems to find you. And so it was.
Day 1 got the shelves built and the area in the garage cleaned for dyeing.
Day 2, the studio cleaned and organized as will as the studio closet with my new shelves although to look at both now you would not believe the first part of the sentence.
Day 3 (Thursday) Got to work all day without being disturbed. Wonderful
Day 4 (Friday) Two hours of studio time. Left the house which is always a mistake. Went to Lunch with three ladies one of which I knew from the once a month art quilt group (Sally) Two of the ladies wanted to meet me and arrange for me to teach a small group of six here at the house sometimes this fall, So it looks like they will come for two days at the end of October along with three other ladies I do not know. I hadn't eaten at the restaurant where we met but it was really a nice place, just off campus. A mini brewery not that I partake of drink, but the atmosphere was good and so was the salad called Robb Salad, a knock off of the Cobb.
Day 5 Saturday, was working away and got a call from my gallery about calling a professor of women studies at the university who wanted to meet me and invite me to dinner. So I called her and was invited to her house for Sunday dinner along with several of her neighbors and other friend from the university she told me and she said she wanted to talk to me about my quilt making. Worked some more in the studio Then went shopping, first to a book store that sells used books and sat for hours looking through a great selection of art books, leaving there with five. Then I went to a non chain shoe store which I discovered sells my favorite shoes, Earth Shoes, which heretofore, I have had to order on-line from Zappos or drive from Louisville to north of Cincinnati Oh to buy. I brought a pair of red sandals on sale and a pair of Mary Jane's in mahogany, Stopped at the office supply store for ink for the printer and finally at Westlake Ace Hardware where I brought one bar stool, before committing to more for the counter but once home with it determined that I would return it. Both Lyn and I would need a step stool to get up high enough to sit on it.
Day 6, Sunday. Interrupted Studio time Most of the day was spent on the phone talking to Lyn and on the computer with Mapquest as she was trying to navigate through NYC traffic and find her way across the GW bridge to Newark were she had hotel rooms. Then I was being her GPS system as she and the boys and Olivia did the NYC tourist think. Then it was off to dinner at 5:45 that ended at 9:30 and I fell into bed when I got home. Because of the number of people there for dinner I never got a chance to have a conversation with my host. So I still do not know exactly what she wanted me to be there for.
Day 7, Monday The best studio day of all except I did go out to the bank and the store to replenish my fruit supply and I stopped for a Robb Salad and the best tomato mushroom basil soup I have ever eaten, this again at the same restaurant I was at on Friday. Had enough salad left over for dinner because I asked them to add grilled tuna to it this time.
Day 8 Tuesday The original landscaper was dismissed and a new contractor who is really an excavator not landscaper, consulted on grading our yard.
Day 9 Wednesday Contractor began working at 9 am this morning with a crew of five and brought in six loads of dirt to cover the clay. He advised to wait tell September to seed. The yard even though it is all dirt again, looks 100% better. Entertained a lady I had met at the quilt store who more or less invited herself to my house because she was sitting around crocheting and being bored. I wasn't bored, I was being productive. Business card do have their disadvantages. I thought her visit would be a chat about quilting instead her visit turned into me hearing her life story and me finally being able to get enough words in to tell her at mid-night that it was time for me to go to bed.
Day 10 Thursday, they came home and life is back to normal as I know normal I did get two pieces completed. The garden was well attended and is growing beautifully. Put myself on my version of South Beach and feel better, neck traction continues will see what the doctor thinks when I see him on Tuesday. Will be back to having images on my blog, The camera was not lost and came home with them. Hurray.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh Buggers, I forgot SORRY


Don't look for me for several days -possibly- a week.

Home alone, wearing the perfect artist garb (read further) and a fresh design wall (read further) and ideas coming at me from several directions. I am going to be working. On what, I don't know at this moment.
Maybe I'll work on some ideas I have that require stamping or mono-printing some fabric or work through some ideas I have for using the Embellisher,or maybe I'll finish one or both of the two quilts that were started three weeks ago before I got side-tracked with my in house classes. I don't know.
What ever I decide after I get off the computer being home alone wearing comfy clothes and having fresh design wall all have a great deal to do with my state of mind and my planned enjoyment of the next few days.
Some time we learn something because we go in search of the knowledge and sometimes by faith or happenstance it falls into our laps. The home alone thing I can't take any credit for with the exception that saying to Lyn and John and having them agree that someone had to stay home to take care of the front garden seemed to work and was accepted very well by all the others who are now in a six passenger van making their way toward New England and later down to Virginia Beach in search of sun and their version of fun.
It was faith I think in the instance of finding the perfect for me wearing apparel. I love large over sized t-shirts to both sleep in and work in, in the house and I found the ideal t-shirt after I moved to Columbia, one of the grand boys t-shirts got in with my clothes and so it came with me. It was a size XXXXL-TALL by Champion. Now mind you at 150 pound soaking wet believe me, this grandson is NOT a size 4X, Tall yes at over 6 feet he's a bean pole with shoulders, but you know kids today think it is COOL to were extra large baggy clothes. In this case only, I thank goodness. Now I did not tell said grandson I had his t-shirt when I discovered it amongst my things least he'd want it back. But having lived in the shirt an average of once a week for a year, and seeing that it was losing it pristine whiteness due to excessive wearing the thought that I would soon have to send it to the rag bag sent me in search of another one. Having no luck on-line or at the Mall I had no choice put to ask him where he got it. Of course by now, after a year of me wearing it I felt reasonably sure he was not going to ask me to send it back to him. When I mentioned to my daughter that I was going to call Justin to ask where he got his T because I had looked everywhere she laughed as said, she knew where to get them. GREAT!!!
Champs, she said, the store for male jock and least I seem sexist, gal teens too, but not as a rule, grandmothers. I was surprised to find that they are reasonablly priced too. Three for less than $20 dollars so I brought 9, 2 in navy , 2 red, 2 black and 3 white ones. They come to my knees for in house wear and with a pair of shorts or jeans I can leave the house in a hurry if need be. AHHH.
The second thing was happenstance. My design wall looks great and is begging for some fabric to be put on it for consideration. I know I said yesterday that I was just going to paint the 2 inch thick blue foam sheets. I did, but after removing the felt that had been in place on some panels for over 6 years I discovered a million pin pricks that refused to be hidden under two coats of white paint. Plus, despite the two coats of paint there remained just a hint of the blue color underneath and that wasn't good. So off to Wal-mart I went at 10:45 PM last evening in search of more felt or flannel for the 5 - 24 inch sections. What has always bothered me when I have covered these panels in the past is the fabric waste. Both flannel and felt come in widths that leave a goodly amount of excess that I have yet to find a use for. As I strolled through the fabric department I happened upon some Pellon ultra-firm heavy weight stabilizer that was 27" wide; a mix of polyester and rayon and it was a bargain at $1.44 a yard. For less than $5.00 per panel I was able to cover the design wall. I used Duck tape to secure the overhanging edges to the sides and back of the panels. Now my wall is clean/pristine and despite me thinking I was going to have to pin every thing in place I discovered that fabric will adhere to the stabilizer covered surface.
So for now I'll say, to you what my 6 year old grand daughter says to me instead of good-by. "See you later alligator", to which I reply, "After while crocodile"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's time to go stretch my neck

but before I do I thought I would put some words on my blog. What to say, hum. Nothing really exciting is happening nor do I have plans for any excitement. I am home alone and loving it for the moment. Who knows how I'll feel in a few days.
I finished cleaning my studio and organized my guest closet/studio supply closet this morning. Don't remember if I told you I was having shelves put in the closet to hold my fabric since the wire baskets were not serving my needs as they had in my condo-studio in Louisville. Well I did, actually it was done on the Fourth of July just before the ladies came for classes.
Independent contractors work on Independence Day and I was glad that he did. He did a wonderful job, will show you shots of the closet as soon as Lyn returns from vacation with my digital camera. Yes I remember she lost my camera the last time she borrowed it. It is only because she is my daughter and only because I love her dearly that I am trusting that she will not lose this one this time. I did not forewarn her not to lose it as I did the with the last one I let her use. Figured I would not tempt fate and jinx her.
I've decided to take down my 10 feet of design wall this afternoon and remove the white felt from it. It looks awful with all the threads and the dust that sticks to it because I have used it as the backdrop when applying 505 adhesive. The felt was a good thing when I worked by putting pieces of fabric up on the wall for consideration, but when the quilt gets layered I have to put pins in it to keep it on the wall, so I am painting them white instead because I remember the two weeks I spend at Nancy Crows Barn, In the barn her design walls for student were not covered with felt and we had to pin every piece of fabric no matter how big or small and I didn't object to that. So for now I am going to give bare and painted white a chance. If I change my mind I can always buy new felt.
Of course I have to go out to buy the paint and I will do that after my neck stretching session.
Another thing, being here alone I am correcting some of the bad dietary habits I have fallen into since moving here. Not enough fish, too much beef and pork. Not enough green veggies and raw veggies. Fruit was never the problem, just too much of it on most days. I love melons, every variety color and type, it is the season after all, I have also been potato and rice-ing too much. So far 5 meals alone and I am doing great.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And now for the catch-up

My front garden is still doing well. Most of the bulbs are in bloom with the exception of the Cannes I planted.

I planned a symposium for the Durham, NC area for this summer but did not have enough registered to make the trip and stay there worth the effort so I cancelled it. But three of the ladies that registered said they would come to Columbia if I was willing to teach them here. So I pushed the furniture to the wall and we had a wonderful time. This is a view of my studio space after I removed my sewing machine, a works table and the cutting table. Celeste is who you see in the foreground weaving some strips of fabric for her composition.

Lyn my daughter brought in some 2 x 4 feet tables from one of her class rooms and some desk chairs. And bless her heart, she acted as the chief cook and bottle washer for me. On some days we numbered up to 8 sitting at the table and she and John made 10 to cook for which was only the one day that 4 other ladies from the Columbia area join us. On that day we made stamps, did some foiling, stamping with Seta color paint, sun printed and tried mono printing with a gelatin plate and tried disperse dye transfer which looks great on lutradur. On that same day, Babara Owen a local artist who uses an Embellisher for some of her work brought three machine in for us to try out after she did a brief talk and demo. No she does not own three machine, she brought hers, one she borrowed one from the Bernia dealer were she teaches and one from a friend of hers. Boy those embellishers are FUN, FUN FUN. So much fun, I brought one for myself. Now if only the ideas that are running around in my head come out from under the machine looking like I imagined them. Will let you see when I have created one or two.

No, we still do not have grass, what we grew was a bumper crop of weeds because they forgot to put down the week killer before sowing the seeds and applying the landscape cloth. Some time back I showed you what that looked like. So after the cloth was removed and what we had was more weeds than blades of grass, the whole yard was plowed under AGAIN. Then the rains came and the landscaper hasn't returned. Oh well, we have given up on looking out over an expanse of green that will case the neighbor pangs of envy. Maybe next spring.
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For now I am joyfully home alone as my daughter Lyn and John (the youngest grandson) have gone away to the beaches on the east coast, starting with a brief visit with my youngest son in RI and then down to Virginia Beach and maybe a stop to see her Aunts in Fayetteville, NC.
While the three ladies, (Valarie, Celeste and Brenda) were here they dyed over 60 yards of fabric between them. I have my dye space set up in the garage wight next to the entry door that leads to the laundry room. Very convenient. But working there also lead me to realize that I needed a better storage system than I have out there so today, I went off to the hardware store to get two shelving units to hold the pails, the measuring utensils and etc. So this evening when it cools off out there I will spend some time organizing my dye space again.
The other thing that has been going on with me is my neck and two numb fingers on my left hand. The numbness started last winter while I was sitting in bed knitting a sock. Knitting is what I did at the end of the day to unwind. I put off going to see about the fingers until they were getting on my nerves so my Interist sent me to see and othropedist who put me in cervical traction three times a day for an hour each. Do you know what three hours out of your life can curtail. One curtail thing was blogging. It was blog or work on a quilt and of course the quilt won along with gettng ready for the ladies from Massachuettes to come.
A bit of good news, a gallery in Springfield, MO wants to show my work in that area and plan to feature me in August. A glossy magazine ad and article about the gallery will feature my work I was told if I choose to have them represent me. My gallery here, Bluestem called me because the inquiry had come through them and they are okay with me being in that gallery because of the distance between Columbia and Springfield which is in the far south part of the state. I was conflicted at first since Bluestem has been very good at selling my work. I haven't worked out all of the details or selected the quilts I will sent to them. Told the gallery owner that I would be willing to talk in more depth on Wednesday. Will let you all know who it goes.
I think that is all for now. Oh and the fingers are getting less numb so the traction is working.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I'm back

I've been away so long I almost forgot my password for my blog.
Where have I been? Here. What have I been doing? A lot. But that will be the tales I'll begin telling as of tomorrow.