|He got off at Baker Street, half lifting, half dragging the beanbag|
|They got off at Camden ... she had strings of pearls looped in her hair|
|He got off at Baker Street, half lifting, half dragging the beanbag|
|They got off at Camden ... she had strings of pearls looped in her hair|
|gorgeous cream colored birds flowing out of an upside-down crochet volcano|
|from the top looking into the volcano|
|Looking through the blue crocheted waterfall that draped over a staircase|
|more fantastical birds (wonderfully made!) floating above a volcano representing blood|
|which spills out in a quilted compass...|
|there were many many birds throughout this exhibit, all breathtaking. this one looking into a fractured mirror|
|and this bird on a gilded branch...|
Back in 1989-91, Paul and I lived in Libreville, Gabon, where he was the deputy US Ambassador and, since I wasn’t allowed to work under him according the State Department rules, I was on leave without pay (which was fine by me). Our nearest neighbors and dear friends were the British Ambassador and his wife, Mark and Lynn Goodfellow. Mark passed away years ago, but we keep in touch with Lynn. We were to meet her on Tuesday afternoon, so in the morning Eli and I did the hop-on, hop-off tour of London (which took HOURS), then met Lynn for the afternoon and evening. It was if 23 years evaporated–such fun!
And I apologize in advance for so many photos, but gosh, this is maybe five percent (or less) of the photos that I took–things to remember and design inspiration EVERYWHERE!
Some of the things I noticed: how CLEAN the air is compared to 30 years ago. Gone are the diesel-spewing lorries and busses. The vehicles have much stricter emissions, many are hybrids, and the air is actually CLEAN! No more coughing on choking exhaust. And the building–there were huge construction cranes and building and upgrading going on EVERYwhere. Alas, I had told Eli to expect people to queue up nicely, no pushing, to wait for lights and so on. At least in London that is no longer the case–it’s more like a big city anywhere. And the dress: in 1978, Americans looked American, Brits looked British, the Germans German and so on. Now, MAYBE some of the French flair will pop out at you, but otherwise from Japanese to American to British to generic European we all dress alike. Except for the Muslim women in veils, but even there is a wide range!
And our next day, the first Wednesday, was a day to remember for a lifetime….stay tuned! I’ll blog about it in two parts…..
In Granada, this was the nighttime view from our window of the Alhambra, the ancient Islamic fortress just up the hill from us. I had ordered the tickets for our visit before we left home. There would be no chance we would miss seeing this.
The Alhambra was built sometime in the 14th century by the Moorish (Muslim) rulers of that part of Spain, as a fortified palace. The Moors were driven from Spain in 1492 and the Alhambra became a palace for the Spanish royalty. It was here that Columbus made his pitch to Ferdinand and Isabela, for his plan to find a new route to India. Today it is a well-preserved World Heritage Site.
It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. A real paradise. I won't give you a lot of description or history. The Alhambra is best experienced visually, and truly photos don't begin to tell the story. Just know this is but a small sample of architecture, details of floors, archways, tile, carving, walls, fountains, gardens...
Even surrounded, as we were, by hoards of visitors, the beauty, the sense of peace and the aura of history are quite overwhelming. It was a very special day.
In my quest to re-energize my creative life, I decided to start by rehabilitating a couple of quilts that didn’t make the cut.
I made Taking Leaf of My Seasons for the SAQA Oregon Layers show and it did not get in. I was not surprised.
There were too many leaves, and they were too realistic for the abstract background. It was one of those last minute things and I didn’t have time to redo it for the show. So I am now removing them. It is really quite relazing and cathartic. Then, I have to figure out what to do. I really love the painted organza background so I want to do something that will work with it. Maybe fewer organza leaves that are fused or maybe thermofax prints. To be decided.
At any rate, I am still feeling under the weather and I have my two teen-age grandchildren here for a few days while Mom and Dad are in Portland, Maine. They are such great kids – so quiet and polite. We took them to the Farmer’s Market yesterday. Here they are walking back – notice the baguette of French Bread that Mia asked me to buy. It did not last long.
Tomorrow will be a test for Mr C and I. We have to roust Mia at 6 am – get her breakfast, make lunch and walk her to the street car by 7 am. Her highschool is right on the streetcar line. Then, we have to get Miles moving and drive him back across the river to his neighborhood school by 8:45. Wish us luck!!
What fun I had on the set of Quilting Arts TV filming my episodes, and what MORE fun to have two projects included in this year’s Gifts 2014 magazine as well as two holiday recipes–one for a sweet treat the other is satsuma-currant scones (satsumas are similar to clementines or mandarins, use whatever citrus you have!). Makes me hungry just thinking about them!
(Note: to order, click here or use the Affiliate link in the sidebar on the left; the Affiliate link will get you a discount on some items!)
I thought I’d share some variations on the theme to give you ideas of how you can make your own bags–they are SO fast and easy and fun! Use the article in Quilting Arts Holiday or the instructions in episode 1402 of Quilting Arts TV to make the bag with these variations. Learn more about all of series 1400 here including information about Episode 1402 which includes the bag project.
I’ve also made variations on the basic flat-bottomed bag for my iPad and notebooks.
And the inside:
I’ve also made several notebook or sketchbook covers using this easy technique.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these additional options for the patterns I shared in my Quilting Arts TV segment and in QA Holidays 2014! Remember to use the link on the left if you decide to go shopping at the online Interweave Store–it may get you some discounts! Or click on this one right here to go directly to the Holiday issue!
Here’s the list of the bloghoppers with links. If you haven’t had a chance to visit already, please do. Some of these folks I know, but others are new to me so I’m really looking forward to seeing (or have really enjoyed seeing)g their blogposts and blogs!
|a detail from the Book of Gospels circa 1575...handwritten....|
|Book of the Twelve Great Feasts from 1825, also handwritten...|
|Gold-work detail from a Regimental Standard 1875|
|more gold-work from the Standard|
|Gorgeous cover of a book titled The Tzar's Hunt 1896|
|detail of gold-work from an Epigonation from the late 20th century|
|exquisite gold-work on a Shroud from the late 19th century|
We have had such a wonderful time in Granada! It is an incredible, beautiful city, with a rich and fascinating history. My daughter, Emily, spent a term studying in Granada when she was in college, and it has fascinated me ever since hearing her descriptions and seeing her photos. It is here that the Moorish influence in Spain is probably strongest, giving it a different flavor from the other cities we have visited.
One thing Granada is famous for is Flamenco—the dance and the music. Last night we went to a Flamenco performance. You never know, when you buy tickets for something like this, whether you will be seeing the real thing or something hokey that has been trumped up for tourists. What we saw seemed pretty great and authentic (but what do we know...?)
It was a very exciting, very intense performance. Nothing dainty about Flamenco. We loved it.
As we have walked around this city I started noticing a lot of images of pomegranates, including on this street cover for city water access. I was curious and learned that "granada" is the Spanish word for pomegranite. The city was not necessarily named for the fruit. It may have come from an Arab word that sounds similar, but nevertheless the city has adopted the fruit as its emblem. Once I noticed them, I started seeing them everywhere.
And today when we visited the gardens of the Alhambra, I saw actual pomegranates growing on trees.
Tomorrow we head off to Seville.
In 1978 I spent a semester in school in London. It was pass-fail, not grades, so I passed. But my time and interests were elsewhere: I went to museums and the theatre (inexpensive same-day tickets) every week. Every weekend, well almost every one, I went somewhere in the country by train, staying at youth hostels. It was a most amazing few months, and some of the images have stayed with me since I was 19. Some of those images are from the British Museum‘s exhibit of the phenomenal Sutton Hoo Burial Ship treasures which date to about 724 AD. A decade or so ago, I learned that one could now VISIT the site where the ship was dug up, and that began my quest to return to England. Before Eli and I went to East Anglia, however, I wanted him to see what had stayed with me all these decades. The buckles above are just two of the samples–the intricacy of these small works is simply phenomenal, the imagery enticing.
We reached the museum mid afternoon, having been up well over 30 hours (overnight flight in a too-warm airplane included), so Eli kinda hit the wall and didn’t look much. And it was crowded. Beyond belief crowded. The line into the ladies room took over half an hour–Eli actually sent a text wondering what had become of me! I wanted Eli to see the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles since he is studying Latin.
Eventually, we got close:
Yep, the one, the original, the stone that helped humanity learn to read Egyptian heiroglyphics. But what crowds. We ended up being too tired to find the Elgin Marbles that day. By the time we returned to London, we decided that we couldn’t cope with the hairy hordes and did not return to the Museum. I hope some day to return, but I think it will be during a snowstorm in January just to avoid the masses!
But I did get to take many photos up in the Sutton Hoo exhibit, where the display cases and signage are vastly improved over 1978.
So those are the artifacts that sent me back to England–I wanted to see them again, not just in photos, and go to where they had been found. That would happen on Thursday, but we had two phenomenal days before that one! There’s more to come!
Grabbed this from my daughter, Lisa’s blog because it suits what I am feeling about my creative life. Since we decided to move, about a year ago, my creative life has taken a back seat. I have been pondering lately about whether or not I should continue making art. It is more difficult for me to get in my groove – sneak down to the studio and play and find something that gets my juices flowing. My little studio is not as easy for me. It has been too hot to be there. I have felt distracted and unmotivated with only little bursts of art making that has made me happy.
Then, this week, I found out that my Kelp Dance quilt sold at the American Art Company gallery in Tacoma. I was told that only two pieces in the show have sold. That bit of news has buoyed my spirits (plus the fun of getting back to printing art cloth with Rayna last week). So, I look forward to cooler weather and more time to get my creative groove on. Never mind that deadlines for all the important shows have just passed me by!! There is always something coming up.
I barely survived 4.5 hours in the dentist chair yesterday morning. It was grueling. They removed two crowns and a bridge and prepared my eye tooth for a crown. I must say that the temporary dentures look quite good. I came home and got a fever and spent the rest of the day wrapped in a blanket. I feel a bit better today. I hope to go to SAQA tomorrow and then Thursday, I will have my STASH group here.
After our fun night last night, I didn't sleep. I tossed and turned and couldn't get comfortable. I was grateful, but unrested when morning arrived. So getting on a bus for a 5-hour ride wasn't a bad thing. I slept on the bus. I'm sure I had my mouth hanging open and I had my goofy blow-up neck pillow, but I was unashamed. The only person I knew on the bus was Ray and he's seen worse. This is the way of the traveler. Somehow I often sleep better sitting up on a bus than in a comfy, but unfamiliar hotel bed. It's a mystery.
We arrived in Granada mid-afternoon and found our Airbnb in the historic Albayzin area. It is pretty great. The building, much like the one in Barcelona, is ancient on a narrow little hillside street, but this one is much cozier, with furniture and a well-appointed kitchen. It even has a washer and we are doing some laundry tonight. We did a little walkabout earlier, checked out the neighborhood, had a cold beer in the plaza, bought groceries and retired to our little home away from home for the evening. Our place has two balconies and the views knocked us out. I will leave you with tonight's views.
I have almost thirty artworks ready to go for this trunk show/talk tomorrow, September 17, at the Byron (IL) Public Library. If you would like to attend and don’t care to call the library, let me know and I will let the library know you will be attending.
The emphasis will definitely be on SHOW and not too much tell. I have artwork from my first traditional quilt straight through artwork I have just finished.
It’s been fun to look at artwork I haven’t seen for awhile. I’ve realized that, although my topics have varied, my artwork is characterized by hand-painted fabrics in bold colors, horizontal orientation with vertical stitching, and, frequently, a mad love of tiny, tiny, pieces.
|ringing the changes|
What a THRILL! I’ve been published many times now (how lucky am I?!!!), but I am elated to share that I my traditional quilting has also made the cut. I have three quilts in 500 Traditional Quilts, juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, founder and CEO of Quilts, Inc., and founder and Director Emeritus of International Quilt Festival. The book is part of Lark Book’s “500 Series,” and I was proud to be included also in 500 Art Quilts. You can find 500 Traditional Quilts here (on Amazon, available other places too) and 500 Art Quilts here. My blogpost about 500 Art Quilts is here. What is so wonderful is that I made the cut in blind jurying: that means the juror has no idea who made which quilt, you are juried in on the basis of the quality of the quilt.
My three quilts included in this book are From the Schooner Coast, Haleakala Sunrise and Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul. Avid quilters will recognize the works and names of many of the quilting world’s top traditional quilters, so I am particularly honored that three of my quilts made the cut. Even better, the two Hawaiian-style quilts of mine will be in an exhibit of selected works from this book that will debut at International Quilt Market and Festival this October-November. For me, this is huge: my work meets the standards for publication and exhibiting at what is probably the most prestigious quilt show in the world. WOW!
I have to be honest: I have not “read” this entire book, yet. This is a book to be savored. Dip into it, browse the beauty in its pages. Yes, I am an art quilter. But first and foremost I am a quilter, and these quilts are art even though they are traditional–I love ALL types of quilting. Karey called these quilts “the crème to la crème of traditional quiltmaking today.” I can’t wait to see the exhibit of selected quilts from the book in Houston (I’m teaching again this year, but blessedly have a couple days to be a civilian and just enjoy the show). Hope to see you there!
Today we took in the Reina Sofia Museum, which houses the works of the more modern masters, including Picasso's Guernica. When we were in Europe in 1972 we saw Guernica on exhibit in Paris. Franco was in power at that time, in Spain, and Picasso, a Spaniard by birth had declared that he would not exhibit his work in Spain as long as Franco ruled. Both are, of course, now dead, the monarchy was restored in Spain and Picasso's work has returned to his native country.
Along with Picasso, the museum's collection includes absolutely wonderful works, including many artists from Spain, but from around the world as well. Here are a few pieces that stood out for me.
"inspiration" by Josefa Tolra. I was not familiar with this artist, but this spoke to me. A Google search turns up much more by her.
"The Goring of the Woman Bullfighter" by Jose Caballero. Reminded me of the wonderful Almodovar movie "Talk to Her" about the same subject.
"Antonio and Carmen" by Antonio Lopez. Something very touching about this double portrait.
And what a treat to see good old Rothko in Spain and such good Spanish colors!
When my brain could absorb no more and my feet were rebelling, we stopped and had lunch in the museum's space-agey cafe.
Tomorrow we are off to Granada.
The Studio Art Quilt Associates Benefit Auction begins today with Section 1 bidding opening at 2 p.m. EDT.
It’s a reverse auction with the price dropping each day through Saturday. The Benefit Auction continues with three more grouping of artworks in September and October. All the details on how the auction works are here.
Proceeds from the Benefit Auction support SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach.
After our long museum day yesterday we decided to get out and see the city today. We started at Plaza Mayor, the very oldest part of Madrid. It has been the scene of many historic events, including the public execution of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition. Today there was nothing more exciting than a small flea market consisting mostly of old coins and stamps, and old men haggling over them. We wandered along the stalls and I bought a small pair of old and interesting folding scissors.
The closer and higher I looked, the more interesting details I found.
As I had discovered at Plaza Mayor, there is a lot to be seen by looking up.
We stopped partway through the tour and had lunch—mine was a pizza with an egg on it. I ordered it without the egg, which sounded a little wierd, but it arrived with egg, so I ate it and the egg was OK. When in Spain....
Whew, I am exhausted from my week of hosting Rayna and the two days of workshop. I totally crashed last night – I might as well have been in a coma. I took Rayna to the airport this morning and then we went to the farmer’s market. I spent the afternoon dozing and working on SDA membership stuff.
I came away from the workshop with a few pretty good pieces. The piece up at the top was transformed from this. It was first printed with newspaper resist on a screen. Then I added yellow orange circles and some black marks made with a mesh type of ribbon. Finally, I used a syringe to add the squiggly lines.
Here is a detail:
This was another silk scarf that had some very pale marks when I used an anemic black dye for printing. I used the newspaper resist screen and olive green ink followed by purple lines using one of my favorite Stencil Girl stencils.
This piece was started with newspaper resist and then I used the school glue screen with mix of orange and yellow. The screen was starting to break down and I love how it turned out.
Here is a detail:
This next piece started as a piece of muslin that I was using for test prints.
I kept printing on it and then painted the whole thing with Dynaflow chartreuse paint.
The next piece was something I had in my stash. You can see the bottom section. I am not sure what I did to get those circles and marks. I printed over it with the glue resist screen of circles using purple paint. Not excited about it, but who knows what use I might find for it.
Lastly, here is my printing surface after a lot of printing. I always love how the printing surface is so spontaneous looking.
All in all, it was a great week. I am not looking forward to Monday. I am having 4 hours of dental work as they remove the disintegrating bridge from my upper right side. I will get a temporary put in and hope I don’t have to wait to long for the final fix.