Saturday, January 13, 2007

Setsubun-New Shoes for the Festival

Hi Everyone, I'm posting my 12x12x12 piece now because it's as done as I can get it with all that's going on right now. I am definitely using this as a learning experience of what to do and what not to do...I am not sure what the next pieces will bring but I am sure that there are a couple of things I will not do. found that for a piece this size-I didn't like the fused effect. It's o.k. for smaller things like post cards and trading cards but I really must say I like a finished edge. I am having a little trouble with the concept of loosening up too. It's a small piece and I just fussed over stuff. It reminded me of when I was a young girl and test taking. I was a great student except when it came to taking tests. When I have more time and am more comfortable with this I think I will have more fun too.
Anyway, this is my interpretation of Setsubun -around Feb 2nd the Japanese celebrate Setsubun- It is a celebration of spring and renewal. I cut up and manipulated a photo-copy of a Hiroshige woodblock print. It is really much larger. I used it because I had this wonderful Bali fabric that I've used for the binding and it looked almost exactly like the water in the print. Inside the store, I used a couple of sweet, actual wooden zori that I found at the craft store. There was a little Kimono there too and so in it went. Cherry blossoms are very representative of this festival and so I included these -known as Sakura. I sewed lines into the flooring to make it look more like wood and had planned to use my Aquarelle pencils to make wood grain but I have just run out of time and hope to do that when I get back from our trip.
On my next piece, I plan to do something that more reflects actual handwork which is sorely missing on this piece. This is really about collage and, not that I don't plan to do that(it's fun) I wanted to put more of my own handwork into a layout rather than using photocopied art as a background. It feels like cheating. Of course, as soon as I was finished, I thought of a thousand things I could have done differently.
Anyway-I hope you all like it and I'll do better soon. I'm so impressed with the work that has been posted. You women are so talented and it makes me proud to be in such good company.I can't get over how lovely the things are that I've seen posted the past few days. Real artists are present here in the Quilt Studio.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Loot from the girlfriends&new reads

Last night was (Quilting)girls night out-what that means is that we went out to a local place, Skipper's on the harbor and exchanged our Christmas loot. It was made even more fun by the fact that we were trying to be inconspicuous in a booth but we had gifts that were rather large in some cases. Since it was a slow night in the village in winter-it worked out o.k.
I got a very funny book by Amy Sedaris-who some of you may know from "Strangers with Candy" on Comedy Central(I think-I can't remember the network) Anyway-It's amusing for several reasons, not the least of which is a look at personal hygiene and home remedies you never want to try. My favorite bit so far is the "Meat Cake" that you can put together for unexpected company. Here's a shot of that.
Along with this I got some lovely fabric from the Old Country Store in Amish Country, where my friend Pam went a while back-She was thinking ahead and good for her!
I got a couple of books I had been wanting as well-"Climbing the Mango Trees" by Madhur Jaffrey-a memoir about her childhood in India and how the cooks in her ancient family expressed themselves and the seasons in food.
I also got a book by John Sedgwick called, "In My Blood" This one is of interest to me because I have always had an interest in the Sedgwick family for several reasons. Somehow they have shown up in an interesting way for me throughout the years. When I worked in cosmetics years ago I met(really briefly and totally intoxicated) Edie Sedgwick-who was a protege of Andy Warhol(I think they're making a movie called Factory Girl, about her) and known as the "it girl" of the day. She died f an overdose which came as no surprise to anyone who met her during that time but there was something fabulous and fascinating about her. The family goes back to the signing of the Constitution and, of course, there is Kyra Sedgwick who is the star of "The Closer" one of the great programs on t.v. They have a burial plot that is shaped like a piece of pie. It is called, appropriately enough, the Sedgwick Pie and the stones go back to before the revolution. It is said that they made it in this shape so that when judgement day comes they will all sit up and face forward seeing the Patriarch of the clan. The other unfortunate thing about them is that there is a strong line of depression & mental illness that, while researching the book, John has traced way, way back. I love history so I can't put it down. It's really about the history of our country, Boston Brahmin's and Stockbridge and what happened to the Native American population of that town. Anyway-I loves me a good read!
I'm really enjoying the 12x12 pieces that have been posted so far and I have come to the conclusion that I may have to post late. I spent all day yesterday between the Dr's office being a pin cushion and shopping for the trip. I have a number of important things to take care of today that are not quilt related so I don't think I'll finish on time and therefore I'll wait till other have posted & move to the end of the line. It's not like me and I don't like being late.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Winter redux & Wip Wed on Tues

I just want to give a shout out to Susan at Desert Sky-I tried to log in and comment several times-even anonymously and it doesn't like me. But I like you so I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your new blog site and header. Very cool! When things calm down I'll try to re-decorate around here too.
I also want to mention to DebR(and anyone else that cares) that the goldfinch pic from yesterday is from a couple of summers ago. I just used to to illustrate the really warm temps we had. The goldfinches are my delight. We have a number of feeders, including one that had about 25 stations. Last winter the finches didn't fly away in the fall but stayed on and put on their winter coats of a more dull green. They looked like tiny, little parrots. We fed them all winter and the bill for thistle seed was somewhere up around the national debt. We worried that we were upsetting the balance of nature by continuing their feed thinking that maybe they didn't migrate because we were making life too easy for them. Only I would worry about such things-but they are such a delight and one feeder is right outside my kitchen window where I can watch them bickering and zooming around the yard in that cool wave-like, undulating flying pattern they have. Anyway, this year we decided that we should discontinue the feeders around the end of Sept. and so they went where ever it is they go down south. When they come back there are sometimes 30-40 of them. It's a sight to behold and yet another way for me to waste an hour.... mesmerizing.

I will be busy with other things tomorrow so I am posting Wip Wed today. These are little paper pieced kimono that I have been working on from time to time. I put them in the same place I keep the Asian fabric and yesterday they tumbled out with a piece of it. I used my Carol Doak program to print out the kimono in different sizes which I will eventually put together. The other shot is of a top that I did back when I didn't know that you should be careful with bias edges. I made a bunch of blocks of a string type and the cut them across on the diagonal and re-set them-light with dark etc. Anyway. It's in amazingly good shape and with some care I will border and bind it for myself because I still love the fabrics and the colors eventhough I did it long ago.
So, I'll leave you with another shot of the top and be on my merry way.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Summer in Winter & two-fer Meme

It was 70 degrees here this weekend. A few more of these days and this guy will be back with his pals. Very strange!
Two-Fer Meme (courtesy of DebR)
Two names you go by:1.. Dee 2.DeeDee -my best friend still calls me this eventhough it started out as a joke when she introduced me to a librarian where she works as DeeDee-she's an exotic dancer. It became the joke that stuck.(I have large boobage for my 5'2" frame)
Two parts of your heritage:1.German-Mother's side2.Scotch, English, Cherokee-father.
Two things that scare you:1.. Snakes .2 Religious fundamentalists of any persuasion
Two everyday essentials:1.Tea 2. books magazines-reading stuff
Two things you are wearing right now:1.Jammy bottoms 2.old comfy sweatshirt-flip flops-I just got up
Two of your favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment):1Dixie Chicks 2.The new 4-disc Vince Gill Album. There's not a bad song on it and I'm normally not a big country western fan. One song on it, I think it's called "the reason why" ,is the best ballad I've heard in years and makes me want to slow dance-very romantic.
Two things you want in a relationship (other than love):I'm going to go with DebR on this plus I'd need to add respect to the list. It's hard to pick only 2 1.. Security2.. Independence
Two truths:1.. I'm often more comfortable with men than women-experience has taught me that men are more direct and straightforward. women have often hurt me more with backstabbing than any man has ever hurt me. 2.I'm a devoted friend-I expect the same in return and it is rare. I only have one friend to whom I would trust anything important-the rest are acquaintances. I think it's that way with many people.
Two favorite hobbies:1.reading 2.quilting
Two things you need to do this week:1.. Finish the 12x12x4 piece and post it for our trip
Two stores you shop at: 1. Borders Sentimental stitches-quilt shop
Two favorite sports- 1. I hate sports....really. I used to play tennis a thousand years ago. Problems with my back led to my sporting downfall. that and I hate sports.
Two shows you like to watch:1.Nip/Tuck 2. For years I've been a fan of the most ridiculous show and I'm admitting it here for the first public time-The Soup on the E-channel. It used to be Talk Soup with Greg Kinear years ago and was gone for a while but now it's back and always makes me laugh by taking clips from the worst crap on t.v. and adding humorous commentary and comments out of context. It's my guilty pleasure on weekends-after that I re-read War & Peace or Proust to make up for it.
Two things you’d buy if money were no object:1. A BMW for me. 2..A really nice 4-wheel drive truck for Roger. I have an Explorer4-wheel drive but he's not comfortable in it. It has a tight cab space. If money were no object we could afford the insurance on them too!
Two wishes for 2007:1. That my family remain well and without any major illnesses or injuries. 2. That it's a year without a bunch of funerals-last year there were too many.
Anyone who wants this just take it- I hate to tag people.
I'm still working on the challenge piece and hope to finish it today-I'm on the fence about it. It's O.K. I thought when I signed up for this quarterly thing that my first piece wouldn't be due till the end of March or so. I think I could have done better were there a bit more time. I sort of feel like I'm throwing it together just to get it done and I don't like that feeling. I realize it doesn't have to be a masterpiece but I have so much going on right now in my family life that I' not giving it my all. I wanted better for my first piece. Oh well...I'm never really happy with my work no matter what. Too critical. I need to work on that a lot this year. My motto will be "Better done than perfect"