Sunday, November 29, 2009

Almost done and I'm in love

Yes in love. No no no, not with a man, but with a Ginger Snap Cookie. I was not out looking for them. I had given up hope of finding any food stuff that is generally made with wheat flour that is made without and still taste like the stuff with the wheat. Bread is a no go and so are cakes. Forget a biscuit. But as I was meandering through the produce section of the market on Monday evening trying to talk myself into enjoying the task of buying groceries and discovered a display of "organic foods that consisted mostly of cookie and breakfast bars with jam filling. I'm a yogurt, fruit and nuts for breakfast person and it was the cookies that drew my interest.
Let me tell you, when you have not had a cookie of any kind in six years let along none of your all time favorites; ginger snap cookie, you would think any old cookie that came anywhere close to the real thing (wheat flour based)would do the trick, but I am not a fan of comes close for anything, especially not food, so when I say these cookies are as close to real as you can get and they have no wheat in them and eating them does not leave you wishing you had saved your money or wishing for the "real ones" I was in joy.
I love them so much that I will not buy anymore. I had a few with a cup of coffee, yum, then some more with cold milk, yum, yum, then I began to think of making small ice cream sandwiches with them and then I began to think about walking to Cold Stone Creamery for vanilla ice cream and that's when, I stopped myself and said out loud "WHOA Nita! What are you thinking."
I am not about to regain 75 pounds by indulging my love for Ginger Snap cookies. No way.
I have finished the quilting for my last piece, blocked and squared it. Tomorrow I will sew on the facings then roll it up, put it in the closet on the shelf and start something new on Tuesday.

The now banned from my panty forever cookies. :)
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is what I am working

on now. Came home with several images of flowers that Marti gave me and of the five or so, I decided to see what I could do with one of them.
The leaves were done yesterday and the flower were begun after lunch. Fast... however it helped to have the thickened dyes in the refrigerator left from the last project.

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I will let it air dry overnight and do the wash out tomorrow when I get back from my morning walk.
Should be able to start; quilting tomorrow afternoon.... evening, depending on if I get side tracked.

Monday, November 23, 2009

56 hours passed in a flash

The clock started ticking when the plane began to taxi to the runway on Friday at 8:00 AM. Once we were in the air, I arrived in Louisville one hour and forty minutes later. From then to when I got back to Orlando on Sunday I packed a lot of people, places, eating and quilts into the hours.

On Friday, I was met at the airport by my BFF Kathy A. who graciously as always provided me with a bed and hot showers while I was there. No matter how long it has been since I last saw her, it always feels like "just yesterday. Kathy A and I are never at a loss for words when we are together even though she is not a quilter. I tried teaching her quilting, she's dabbled with crochet and knitting, I think, but says she doesn't have a creative bone in her body. I say she just has not given herself permission to be or time to discover where her creatively is hiding YET. She is however a serious collector of all things which are Raggedy Ann and Andy and several other things.
At times I think I am more comfortable in her house than I am in my own. Being able to live alone in her condo, last July while she was in New England I believe was the impetus for me deciding to move to Orlando and live by myself.
When I am in Louisville I try to visit several of my favorite non chain food eating places. There is nothing like the memories one has of food from your childhood home or you home town. Before my wheat allergy, "White Castle" hamburgers were a MUST HAVE, but sadly, no longer.

This trip I had a taste for something from the Middle east and was thinking of eating at Shiraz's, (Persian?) but went to Shalimar's instead for Indian fare at lunch time. Oh man was it good. Loved the yogurt mango sauce over fresh fruit served with a dollop of in house made vanilla ice cream, YUM! YUM!

Kathy A's daughter , Stephanie joined us for lunch and it was good to catch up with her life and that of her sons who I have watched grow into nice teenagers. When they both returned to work, I spent several hours with my friend Marti, we talked in her studio for a spell until she suggested we make a trip to see her solo exhibit

then she drove us to over the bridge to the Carnegie in New Albany, Indiana. To see another fiber and art quilt exhibit.

Earthworks is an exhibit of the collectives themed works by Pat Darif, Joanne Weis and Valerie White. All fellow members and friends of the group River City Fiber Artist of which I was a member.
They were putting up garland and wreaths at the Carnegie for the holidays and the nip of cold in the air was appropriate for the coming season.
Unlike here in Central Florida where it is strange for me to see poinsettias planted outdoors, blooming along with purple pansies and pastel snap dragons.
I wish we had more time as we drove back bypassing downtown Louisville so we could stop by the Kentucky Center for Arts and Design to see a collection of Jack Walsh's quilts, but time moved too quickly.
Marti dropped me back at Kathy's condo in time to change for a night at the bowling alley with my family. It was the younger set that put on the shoes and took to the lanes.
The older set sat around and talked, catching up on each others lives and trying to decide which young child belonged to which cousin, nephew or niece.

After giving my Mom and my niece a lift home, we were back at Kathy's condo where I sat with my feet up for an hour or two, knitting and talking some more until sleep claimed me and I went off to bed.
Saturday, Kathy A and I had breakfast at Bob Evans because I was in the mood for a bowl of oatmeal, that balanced the fact that I also had a taste for bacon. Our friend Kathie K joined us, but since she was a little under the weather instead of spending more time with her, least I catch something, I went back to Martie's while Kathy A went for a haircut.

Before I knew it, it was time to go to dinner with the family. The plan was to bless the food at 3:30 PM and be eating by 3:32PM. We were an hour off schedule.
Beginning at 4:39PM five generations of Gibson's and four generations of Edlens dined on ham, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, hot rolls, a garden salad, deviled eggs, smothered pork chops, grits casserole, yam casserole, mac and cheese, two different pots of mixed greens, (collard, turnip, kale, etc.) plus green beans and roasted mixed veggies, all purchased Saturday morning fresh from the framers market.
Oh I almost forgot the 8 foot table filled with assorted pies, cakes, and cobblers. None of which I could eat, let alone taste.
Despite all that the day wasn't complete without some Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. To my disappointment there was no Black Walnut.

On Sunday I had lunch at Lemongrass, with the Kathy(ie)'s Lemongrass is Far east oriental and then it was off to the airport. I arrived at my departure gate as they were boarding the "A" group passengers, I was B3. It was wheels up at 2:20 PM and touch down in Orlando at 4:05PM Whew!!!!

Today, I am working on another dye painted on silk whole cloth composition. I didn't get around to making my dye stock solutions before I left home on Friday, so I guess I'll put that off til later in the week.
Will give you a peek at what I am doing tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's done, but don't

judge it by the photo image of it, My photography skills are sorely lacking in this case and it is really square and not at all distorted as the image suggests. For one thing, I haven't found the right spot in my place where I can take a good photograph. The design wall is lighted well enough for me to make good color fabric choices, but not quite right for photography and when I turn on more light and stand back from it I create a shadow on the work. When I turn of the lights then there isn't enough light and the flash washes out the color.
To take this picture I pinned it, well sort of hastily pinned it to the polystyrene printing surface and sort of propped that up not quite perpendicularly, hence the distortion... well at least I did not cast a shadow across the surface.
For future images worthy of being submitted for exhibit or competition I must find a place to prop up a pin-into-able surface outside somewhere in the garden. I'll work on that when I get back next week. If you don't see anything more from me for a few days it's because I am going home to Kentucky for an early Thanksgiving holiday with the Gibson - Edlen side of my family. We will be dining on turkey and dressing and all the trimmings as well as ham and sundry other dishes on Saturday and then hopefully not one pound heavier I'll be on the plane back to Orlando on Sunday.
Tomorrow I plan to mix some dye stock solutions so I can get fabric dyed when I get back. Don't you know I am longing to put on a face mask and get my hands back in a pair of rubber gloves :) Will show you all my wonderful colors when I am done.


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Busy quilting

and not much else. I knew the days would come when I would wish for a sweat shirt, well today was the day. So not having one I skipped my morning lake walk both yesterday because of the rain and today because of the low temperature settling instead for the treadmill. I don't think it got much above 60 degrees today which wouldn't have been so bad if only the sun had broke through the clouds.
For the last few days the ground crew has been busy in the garden, pulling weeds, mulching and planting what I think of as spring flowers in the large pots. Spring flowers and Christmas trees, strange.
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Oh what a three day weekend I had

that began after I got out of bed for the second time on Friday morning. The first time was at 5:15 AM to drive Rene to the airport. Of course as soon as I got back home I climbed back into bed and pulled the covers up to my chin which was easily accomplished since I went to the airport in my night shirt, SHHHH don't tell anybody.
After my daily walk around the lake I decided that instead of working on either one of the two project I have in progress I should go exploring. Quilt shop hopping. I started in Apopka; driving 13 miles on SR 436 to get there and with the help of the GPS I found 2 quilt shops. Both are pictured below. I signed a Visa charge slip for purchases in both locations.

From there I back tracked a bit to Interstate 4 for a short trip up the road to DeBary and the Gateway Art Center on SR 17/92 to see the Skinny Envelope exhibit curated by Mary McBride. The staff there was very welcoming and I was given a tour of the place which included dropping in on a watercolor class that was underway. To my friend Kathy A; a lover of all things Raggidy Ann who lives in Kentucky guess what else I found at the art center. She was over 6 feet tall; obviously a prop for some stage production.

From there I went to Deland via SR 17/92. Entering Deland I had to take a picture of this building and the ironwork. It reminded me so much of New Orleans. Some of you might remember that I was in Deland back in July to see the fiber/quilt exhibit "Through the eye of the needle" if I am remembering correctly. At that time I did not know there was a quilt shop in Deland. Now I know what I missed. The Quilt Shop of Deland is located in the historical part of town. It was very well stocked and when I got home I found two thank you gifts in my bag. An ink pen and a spiral note pad, Nice.... Good thing they are not a spare of the moment, let me run out and get... this or that place to go. I would be in big trouble.

The bottom picture on the right in the above collage is a picture of the St James River I drove along as I made my way to Sanford. As if three quilt shops in one day wasn't enough, on my way back down I-4 toward home an impish voice said, "There must be a quilt shop somewhere in Sanford, lets go see." and so I did and found the fourth shop of the day "Fireside Quilt Shop" where once again I signed a Visa charge slip.
As miles go, Sanford is not that far from where I live. The shop is located not far from where my daughter works. Just one interstate exit. A perfect excuse to take her to work some morning. The shop in Sanford carries Aurilfil thread, the only shop I've been in so far that does.
I can home put away some of my purchases and put some to use as I got to work making more blocks for this project. I think I like it on the diagonal.
I still have more blocks to go so stay tuned.
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After my morning walk on Saturday I made more blocks and then after a light lunch I went to the Art Quilt group meeting that meets once a month at the "Sewing Studio" There were about 12 in attendance and Saturday was devoted to making stamps with various materials and using Shiva Paint sticks.
Sunday I was back in the park walking which I rarely do on Sundays, but I got up feeling like I should, so off I went. The Christmas decorations have been completed. The park is a very busy place and today the street in front of the lake was closed to auto traffic because people were setting up for the Hispanic Heritage Festival.
I worked on my dye painting today before leaving to get Rene at the airport. On the way home we stopped at Carrabas (Sp) for Dunch (late lunch, early dinner). It has been a fully enjoyable three day weekend.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

My day didn't go as I had

thought it would when I put my feet on the floor first thing this morning. I had planned to do more dye painting today, in fact I thought that I would get most of the background done, but NO.
I went to the lake to walk as usual and was for the second day detoured to a different pathway because there was a large crew of workers in the park moving about like industrious ants setting up the Holiday decorations. One part of the pathway around the lake when completed will give you the impression of walking down lollipop lane.CUTE...
There will be lighted figures afloat on the lake as well. I have wondered for the last week or so why there were so many floating platforms tethered to the bridge and now I know.
I was amazed at the progress they have made since yesterday and seeing them build the frame work for a tree I am estimating will top out at 50 feet was entertaining. However despite all of work they were doing and I know can't be done at the last minute I couldn't help thinking gee whiz we haven't had turkey yet. But I overheard who I figured was the crew foreman saying the lighting ceremony wouldn't be until December 5th. (That's more like it.)
Over the last month or so I have nodded and smiled at several ladies who look to be about my age as we are doing our morning walk. Today, I stopped and introduced myself to three of them as they sat on a bench, having finished their daily walk before me. It really was a great day to just sit by the lake (Sunny, with a breeze, low humidity and 76 degrees). Two of them went on their way shortly thereafter but one stayed and we talked for over an hour, nearly two. I learned she is a newly transplanted New Yorker who couldn't face another winter in the northeast.
I was off schedule, not that I really have a schedule, but generally my walk and shower is completed by 9 AM and in time for breakfast, well today it was closer to lunch time when I got out of the shower and dressed.
Because what I have left of the piece on the print table is just background and that isn't that exciting, I couldn't make myself get to it today, instead I started piecing this. Here are ten block that I finished piecing this afternoon, I tried three different configurations. I know there are more to try before it is all said and done.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Day three and

this is what it looks like today. It is not necessarily as I imagined initially.The additional flowers on the right side makes it more balanced. I had thought about and wrote in my journal that I would try for a grayed blue/purple color for the background, but just could not make myself go that blah, especially when the sun was shining and the sky outside my window was so clearly blue today. The piece as pictures measures 45 square inches and will more likely than not finish about three inches smaller, width and height after quilting and the edges are finished with a facing. Will let you know where I am with this piece tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Moving right along

with my current work at a good pace. Having allowed time for the dye paint to dye to the touch, I began to section off the background in preparation for painting additional painting tomorrow. When that was done, I took a good look and decided that the composition needed more flowers so I drew one and a part of one on the right side and will get them dye painted tomorrow in addition to getting quite a bit of the background done on the left side where the dye paint will be dry and not subject to being influenced by the background color.
I am not sure what color the background will be at this moment. Something mid value range, quiet, calm and cool. But what color????? Once I get to mixing dyes and testing the values on scrapes, it will all come right. Confident, aren't I. Right!

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Flowers real and imagined

As I began painting my newest composition it dawned on me that the colors I was mixing and using were very close to the colors of the flowers I currently have in my apartment. I got a lot done today and I am feeling quite pleased with my progress.

Will give you another quilt dye painting update tomorrow evening. I could have done more, but stopped for an early dinner and then I went to the quilt guild meeting. Again thanks to the GPS I found the meeting place and returned home without a problem,

Quilt guilds and guild meeting have not changed and this one moved along just as I remembered. The December meeting will involve food and eating and exchanging Secret Santa packages.Typical agenda. There were block of the month drawings and door prizes. They make charity quilts and are working on a raffle quilt. I got my membership card and a new members packet. Over breakfast tomorrow I'll got through the envelope to see if there is something I must know.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Today I had a quiltingly great day

that really got started yesterday when I went in search of a quilt shop that as it turns out is not that far away. Actually closer to me than JoAnn's. The store carries more than cottons for quilters, it is a multi-sewer's small paradise. For those of you in Louisville, it is a Baer's on one level with multiple rooms off the main and had a little of everthing that made Baer's the place to go in its time. (Home dec, bridal, fashion wear, patterns, craft). I found them because I was searching for Mettler's and/or Aurifil thread. Over the phone they said they carried Mettler's, and they do, but not the cotton embroidery weight I found out after I got there. No one else in this area does either so I guess I will become an online shopper when I must have this thread. While the shop was nice and the staff friendly, I had to look hard to find fabrics that spoke to me. The taste in fabric, (pattern, color, theme,etc is very traditional it seems to me in this area) but I perservered,looking at each display and collection. I needed some fat quarters to beefup the selection of fabric I was taking to the workshop today. In the end I brought home with me about a dozen different cuts.

Today, I found my way to the Fair grounds and to the social hall on the property to take a workshop with Dianne Hires without getting lost.(A GPS system is a wonderful thing). What a great group of women. I enjoyed being with them. They as a groups and many individually were so warm and welcoming that because of that I wrote a check and joined the guild.

Oh God what was I thinking.
I have not been part of a guild in 14 - 15, maybe 16 years and dare I say it out loud, "I am planning to attend the guild meeting on Monday". (Mainly because Dianne is giving a lecture.)

It didn't take much to talk myself out of attending the Board meeting which is scheduled prior to the meeting least I get roped into something :)

Here are some collaged images of the workshop. I didn't take names to match with the class pieces that caught my eye, but did get permission from everyone so they knew their faces or work might find its way to this blog. If you click the images they will enlarge for a better view.

For my friends Karen and Sharon in MO, I thought when I left you guys I would stop seeing double, but no such luck. At the first place were quilters gather in numbers what do I find, two sisters who quilt, I think there are twins. One told the story that their husbands can't tell who is who on the phone.

Here are some images of Dianne's quilts, most are in her book. Quilters Playtime: Games with Fabrics.

Just some candid shot about the room. I think there were 18 of us in the class.

Friday I started working on the composition I narrowed my choices down to. I set up my printing/painting table in front of the patio/slider window and got the thickened dyes from the fridge. Couldn't put my hands on my white metal tray that I normally use so settled for a paper plate. Working in front of the window affords me great light. That fact along with the pleasant view helped the artist in me win out over the Martha Stewart part of me that kept insistingly saying "You seriously can not be thinking of putting that awful work table up in the living room" while the artist in me not to be undone countered,"but it's my living room. There's an artist living here.., so get over it".
That said, to keep the voice at bay in the future, I think I might have to hang a plaque on the wall in a prominent place that proclaims "Martha Stewart does not live here" I really am happy that she doesn't... otherwise, I might have give some seriously thought to the art of cooking.