Thursday, September 27, 2007

Busy teaching and busy finishing up

this smallish piece for the gallery. almost 33 inches square. I know it's another flower, but that is what the gallery wanted and they are selling faster than I can make them. It was delivered on Sunday and the gallery already has an out of town potential buyer.
I taught a class at the quilt shop yesterday. Noon to 6 pm which is sort of strange hours for me in a way. They would be great if I was still not getting up and moving about until 10 AM, but my body clock moved backwards months ago and on most morning without the benifit of an alarm clock I awake at 6:30 and I am ready for the day. Of course the other side of early to rise is early to bed. I am ready to fold up the side walks so to speak by 9 PM any more, but push it to 10:00
Posted by Picasa

I have a large quilt almost pieced on the design wall for my 2008 exhibit, but will not get back to it until next week and then only in spurts. My two day in the house classes start tomorrow after that. I need to get everything ready for my "I'm going to Chicago" teaching trip too.
I have some errands out of the house this morning and the housekeeper is coming this afternoon.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

And I thought it was the deer that did it.

See how much straw was spread over the grass seed a week ago,
see the bare spot, (not just this area, but all over the yard)
see the geese that are eating the straw, and hopefully not the grass seed as well.
GOD, is there any blades of green grass in our future or shall we give up, dig a very large pond, import sand and call it a beach

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sorting myself out

and getting pointed in the right direction. How am I to do this I am wondering this morning. There are so many things I want to do and need to do. The main one being I want a new direction for my art that is more a branching off of what I am currently doing as opposed to a new direction that is totally disconnected from my current work, but maybe the first stepping stone toward something totally different for me that will become evident in the next six months.
I still like my current work even though it is rather predictable, I still love my flowers,and my color choices, and don't see myself leaving either that theme or palete for the forseeable future but on the other hand I want to push a little, stretch a little. So I am trying to figure out how to do that while I am still making current work to meet my gallery commitments and while making class samples and doing lesson plans and assembling kits for my teaching commitments and just generally going about living.
Monday evening as I lay in bed and before I went soundly to sleep way before my usual bed time, I revisited a lesson that I should have learned years ago. The lesson: Dumb-dumb, you dummy. You know your body does not do well when you carbo'd overload it. And why did you do it today. There will be hell to pay tomorrow. And I've been sooooo gooood for sooooo loooong. I should have known better. NO. I had been seduced by fench fries at lunch, because McDonald's was on the way to the quilt store where I had a class. Then there was the BIG baked potato at dinner and the ice cream and corn chips and hot fudge and lots of grapes and a banana and more chips when I got home from teaching was starving and oh yeah a COKE. And to top it off more ice cream as I dragged myself to bed as a snack, a habit I thought I had defeated months ago but came back to haunt me. My only excuse, I get the munchies when one I am pressed for time and when my brain is trying to sort out something like "what's for dinner or where am I going with my work and when will I find the time?" As if eating slows the clock or food into the mouth equals ideas out the brain.
Although I'd slept like the dead on Monday night, when I got up early Tuesday morning, wanting to get a lot accomplished I didn't. The day after consuming too many carbos syndrome kicked in. I knew that was going to be the case shortly after I returned from a "they open at nine and I was there" trip to Barnes and Noble for a book I had ordered, Who am I kidding, I knew it as soon as I sat down with a cup of coffee at the Starbucks in B and N that Tuesday was not going to be one of my best days. Usually, I can browse in B and N for hours but after only a short 2 minutes of sitting with my coffee I was cross eyed sleepy and on the verse of nodding off right there in the middle of thumbing through a very interesting book. So I brought the book as well as the one I ordered and a copy of the latest issue of the AQS Magazine, because my friend and fellow River City Fiber Artist Kathleen (Kathy) Loomis has an article published in it that I wanted to read.
By the way her article is great and details the wonderful way she applies a facing to her art quilts.
All day Tuesday I was draggy and sleepy. I napped a lot in the chair, every time I sat down to read or sketch or plan my eyes closed and my head drooped. I put a meal in the crock pot that I didn't have to watch and went to bed for a proper nap in the afternoon, and to bed shortly after dinner, thus Tuesday was a day shot all to Hell.
Today is better, water - lots of water, no coke, no chips, no ice cream, no droop, no drag. Studio time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Unless the worse that can happen happens

and the worse that can happen is the seed won't germinate. Barring that, you will hear no more about the lack of grass in our half acre back yard. Today in three and 1/2 hours, Carlos and two other men seeded and laid straw that covered what has been just dirt for months on end and a unsightly back yard for a year. We are waiting for the rain that is promised to come on Friday. Otherwise, I will be out turning on the sprinklers.
In the mean time the weather here is so mild I slept with the windows open and under lots of cover. It was in the 50's last night and I was still in need of a sweat shirt and jeans when I went out to do some light marketing this morning before eight A. M. Yes Marti, I was up and out before 8.
I worked in the studio yesterday on a project for a class that I am teaching in a month here in Columbia at one of the local quilt shops. I plan to get it quilted today and then tomorrow as I watch the golf tournament and pull for Tiger I will work some more on the larger piece that is on the design wall that I have almost completely finished piecing.
The weather is so great here that it really is hard to stay out of the garage and away from screen printing for now. Just watch, when the time is right, the weather will turn hot and steamy again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

On the way back to my studio

I detoured through the back yard. I shouldn't have. Because here I am three days later and I still have not sat down to the sewing machine. Not even for five minutes. But take heart, I have thought about my art and I have done several sketches and scale drawings and I brought a piece of fabric in all places WAL-MART that caught my attention, while I was there to purchase an oscillating water sprinkler for the front garden area.
As far as that piece of fabric goes, I have no wish to use it in any of my work, one because it is thematic and two it is yuk. So why did I buy it. it has great lines and patterning which spoke to me and reminded me of water. (Inspiration) I don't think anyone else would look at the fabric and see what I see. But it sent my mind racing in a direction I have been pondering for a while. I am part of an exhibit next year where the working title is "At the River's Edge", so the work has to speak to rivers, water, shorelines or stuff along those lines and I was stuck for ideas. Back when this exhibit was first thought of by my art group (River City Fiber Artist) and proposed to a gallery, I made a series of four small works that have since sold. Being sold is not all bad because I have moved on from them and if I still had them I would be reluctant to show them next year anyway.
Now back to the back yard, and the detour. I spent two days out back putting in plants, this time with the help of the two grandsons and a friend of theirs. The new new garden plot wraps the back porch. I never think small not with my art or my gardens it seems. The area required 50 bags of mulch to cover the ground. Good thing Lowe's rents trucks, which is what it took to get all the mulch and the one flowering pear tree, the 48 pots of assorted perennials, and the 10 containers of assorted shrubs all home in one trip. There is still a lot of bare area that needs filling, but I am stopping with this much planting for now.
I can not tell you how great it feels to finally see something growing out back when for months on end all we have had is a view of dirt.
When I woke to the sound of rain this morning, I wish I had sown grass seed yesterday instead. Several hours of gentle rain would have been wonderful for helping grass seed germinate. But there is promise of more rain over the weekend and into next week so the sowing of seed is next on the list and getting back to the studio may be delayed again for at least one or two more days.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

800 mg of Motrin and I'm good to go

someone just has to tell me when to stop.
As you know it has been a long time (more than a dozen years) since I gardened in dirt that was not contained by walls of a flower pots residing on my balconies.
So the prospect of having nearly an acre of dirt to plant in was overwhelming when I saw the house Lyn had in mind for us a little over a year ago. And it still is overwhelming to a great degree. We still do not have grass in the back yard and the sowing of seed it is still weeks away because the prospect of having to go out every day to water is daunting. It is still very much summer here despite the fact that the gardening centers are filled with Autumn plantings. Having visited several centers over the last week or so for other stuff besides plants, I could put it off no loner my desire for more flowers for the front garden. I was basking in the fact that nearly everything I planted last spring grew and thrived, except a dozen or so Dahlia's.
Just know, they will not be part of the summer garden next year. The petunias did well as did the begonia's and impatiens so they will return next year and there will be more of them, since I will not have to invest in perennials again.
The perennials I planted in the spring are doing well despite the saying that the first year perennials sleep. I am looking forward to year two when they begin to creep (spread) Year three when they leap, I will probably be doing a lot of thinning out and transplanting since I ignored the spacing suggestions. I am impatient. I like the lush full look for the get go and it was this lush full look I was aiming for when I brought home 9 gallon size pots of asters in the most wonderful hues of purple and 30 smaller pots of yellow mums. I picked up this hanging basket of lavender to replace the summer arrangement that the grand boys gave me for Mother's day in the spring. The summer assortment had seen its better days.
Gardening is always quilt related. Flowers are what inspires me. The oldest grandson helped me plant in the Spring, but I thought I would tackle the job of putting in the plants for Fall myself, the Motrin did so well helping the pain of older age, that as I was digging in the dirt and bending over I was thinking of making another trip to the Gardening Center.
I am happy with the look of the garden even thought there are still a few bare spots on the west side of the front door. I think I'll leave them for now But the trip to the garden Center I hope will resolve the problem I have with a large bare area in need of plantings on the east side of the front door. The spring/summer bulbs I thought I planted in that area did not come up.
After the cable guy comes this morning I will be off to see what else I can plant.
I have a quilt on the design wall that is in the piecing stage with two area left where I haven't solved the issue of what piece(s) of fabric needs to go there. But I think by the time I get to those areas of uncertainty I will have solved the problem.
I am also reading, yes reading and not just listening to a book by Brenda Ueland titled "If You Want To Write: A book about Art, Independence and Spirit. Copyright, 1938, it reads a lot like it was the inspiration for the Artist Way by Julia Cameron. There's nothing like going to the source.
Since the weather is taking a turn for the cooler over the next couple of days, I plan to spend some quality time in the garage working through some ideas I have for screen printing.