Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday. I've done my good deed for the week. Didnt' sleep well last night, and had to get up at 5 am., feed the dogs, shower and leave the house by 6. Took my friend Linda over to her chemo treatments. Sat with her all day (they didn't kick me out of a comfy chair like the other "companions".. but it didn't start really filling up until we were about the leave.) Home at 3 pm. So much for the day.

Steve came home at lunch and let the dogs out, good man.. so they greeted me happily, not with all four legs crossed, and their tails tucked tightly under the bellies.

Gave the pups a walk, and I'm about to make something simple for supper. just throw meat on the grill and frozen veggies in the micro. Although I didn't DO much today, I'm psychically tired.

My sewing room looks like the drawers of fabric vomited all over the floor... so I will spend some time this evening straightening up, and be able to get to work first thing tomorrow. NOISE isn't as damaged as I thought it was... I should be able to recover tomorrow.

nothing inspiring or very worthwhile to write today. So I have one plea: if you have a blog and are signed up on a blog ring... PLEASE UPDATE REGULARLY... (and I actually mean every day or two...). And make sure that the programming for the blogring is on your site. I am gonna to browse some now.. and I have a strong feeling that most people haven't written anything new since atleast a week ago. I'm gonna have to start reading those knitting blogs. Atleast those people are verbose.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Last night as we watched TV, Katy wouldn't relax her left rear leg. She's chew on the foot, extend the leg and pull it back, lift it off the ground. She was fidgety. A close examination showed a huge lump where her hip is.. (have I mentioned that Katy has hip displasia??).

So, being the good Canine Mom... I got some doggie steroids out of the kitchen, wrapped them in cheese (hmmm... cheese...), and fed them to her. Got an ice pack out of the freezer and sat on the floor, icing her hip. None of that helped any. But she fell asleep after a while, and I think her joint slipped back in where it belonged.

Anyway, she was up and walking fairly normal when I let her out for the last time Saturday night.

She's better today, but I'm taking no chances. So Katy is in stir today, as the photo above shows. And she ain't happy about it. I just let her out to piddle (a different meaning than the blog about piddling someone wrote the other day....)... and she immediately headed for the back of the pup-mobile. She's hoping to join me on my walk today. But it ain't happening.

Tomorrow I'll probably be confident in taking her for a stroll along one of the creeks... good sniffs there. Today, she'll have to be content with the familiar sniffs of home.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

No work today, because I went to wedding. It didn't help that I saw the beautiful morning, and made plans to go walking with my friend, Linda, and THEN Steve reminded me we had this wedding to go to. Change plans to walking with Linda tomorrow... make plans for my turn to drive her to chemo Monday... and change my comfy clothes to something presentable. I had 3 minutes to spare.

I was a little unsure about this wedding. It was a Catholic service, and I'd grown in the Catholic church, so that wasn't it. I knew the service hadn't changed that much in the decades since I stopped attending; I still knew when to stand up and when to sit down at parents' funerals last year.

But this was a Filipino wedding. And the wedding invitation listed 38 people in the wedding party. THIRTY EIGHT. We had 2. Friends had joked that we might be get to the reception by dark... I didn't know what to expect.

The service was quite nice actually.

It was standard mass with a relatively standard wedding service in the middle. There were a couple items I had never seen before... but they weren't all that strange. Remember when I was younger and all my friends were getting married, they didn't even do that silly "unity candle" stuff that everyone is doing now. It's a gesture that may have one time held some meaning... now it's usually just a good chance to call the fire department.

Anyway... on to the service.

After the couple exchanged thier vows (with no mention of obedience, but lots of references to having children... I don't recall those from the past)... a couple came up and handed the groom a small bag of coins. The groom gave the money to his new wife (I LIKE THIS IDEA!!), as a pledge that he would provide for their family. She accepted the coins with a pledge to manage their money wisely.

Then another couple draped a veil over both of their heads, pinning it in place. This symbolized the shelter they would share. Another couple wrapped the two of them in a rope; showing that they were tied together forever.

After this, the service went on as usual. Oh, yeah... they did undrape and untie them.

Probably like most married people there, I thought back to my own wedding 20 some years ago. We were married by a JP in the foyer of the reception hall. Fast and quick. Good thing, as I laughed through the entire service. Then a quick receiving line, and IN FOR DINNER and dancing. Our cake (a German Chocolate cake with the real icing on it).. was topped with the candle of a pig holding a heart that read "pig of heart"... And NO, I'm not going to explain it. It was right at the time. Simple, small and to the point... we were married, we celebrated and then got on with life.

But that's me.

I want to wrap this up with some pithy comparison between the two couples.. but nothing worthwhile is coming. Sorry. To get those great conclusions, you have to read real journalists (if we're lucky). Enough to say that another family unit is started... I wish them well.

Now I need to go walk the dogs.

Friday, January 28, 2005

These are the almond striped socks I've been for the past couple weeks. Finished them Thursday night. Posted by Hello

I am recovering from yesterday's precoffee error. I got the piece together enough to show a friend, who decided it wasn't as bad as I thought. While talking to her, and chatting online to a couple others, I came to the point where I had to tell myself to remember the May Show.

As my bio says, I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. You may or may not know, but Cleveland Art Museum is a world-class institution (and still free!!) When I lived there, I would visit frequently. (I still can't imagine that there are people who didn't grow up seeing Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Mondrian every year as a regular part of their field trip season.)

Anyway, every year, the museum the holds an open show of new work, The May Show. Those displayed are often college art students, some people like me who work on their art at home.. most are not known in any faction of the professional art world. Techniques, styles and messages range all over the board.

When attending May Shows, there were often pieces where the creator tried to hit the viewer over the head (figuratively most of the time) with the message of the piece. I never liked these pieces. They would stop me from appreciating thier work, because they demanded that I pay attention NOT to the work, but to the message.

So when someone suggested screening images of cellphones, and tvs.. or writing conversations, or quilting the explanation in the border... I would say: that's a possibility I will consider. But, inside, I find myself thinking back to those May Shows of the past. I think there is enough "contextual" meaning in the piece already, with an "on the surface" body and and empty head in the center of the piece. So I think I will restrain myself. I will adopt the philosophy of trusting the viewer to see what they need in the piece. I will remember the May Show.

Thursday, January 27, 2005



I did a STOOPID thing this morning, and I will be working to fix it for about 2 days. Just thought I'd let you know...

I have spent this week doing some intermediate quilting on NOISE, to stabilize it enough to cut out the center. Yesterday, I decided it was stable enough to do the work. So I did all the work to the center yesterday (including put a piece of organza over the now "empty" body... but I left the head empty. ...

Anyway, while doing so some charcoal marks got on the top. (I know.. use soap slivers... but... Oh, never mind!!) Marks I didn't like looking at. And I wasnt' completely sure that they would go away. So this morning, fresh out of my warm, quilt-bedecked bed, I put the incomplete top in the washing machine on gentle. What can I say?? I hadn't had my morning coffee yet.

The quilt that came out is not a pretty sight. (WHAT WAS I THINKING??) Some of the fused seams tore at the batting, the organza didn't survive in tact. Some of the fused strips came undone. I can fix it, but it won't be fun. And no... I might be able to speak this insanity, but I will not photograph it (or atleast I won't publish that photo).

I'll spend 2 days recovering this piece.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My tv-viewing activity anymore is knitting socks. I've made myself 3 pair (with yarn for 3 more); I've made 2 pair for friends, and have a 3rd pair to make.

And I've made a discovery. I don't like to wear the wool socks very often. (gee 2 of my pair are wool... the ones I'm working on now are wool.. and two of the balls for me are wool). They are too warm for me, and, in my hiking shoes a bit itchy. I much prefer the cotton/wool blends.. so I will be concentrating on that type for myself in the future. Everyone loves the pair of socks I'm working on now, maybe I can find someone who will want them!! (photo to come).

But I've additionally decided that when these socks are done, it should be time for me to begin working on the Prudence Mapstone freeform stuff that I really love to look at. Making simple little motifs at night (by then it will be summer and small pieces will be good..) will make a great change. First thing will probably be the purse I want to make from all the scrap pieces of sock yarn. (with other stuff thrown in ofcourse).

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Great line from a so=so movie on in the background... (I'm half way through the kitchen)..."It looks like Versailles, as interpreted by Freida Kahlo."

Monday, January 24, 2005

thought #2.

I need to clean my carpet cleaner again. I have a HOOVER floor cleaner. Bought it when we moved into this house. Offwhite carpet and black dogs just don't go together! When we replaced most of the carpeting with porcelain tile, the cleaner turned out to be easiest way to clean all the floors quickly and easily.

But the cleaner has some poor design features. The water and dirt that are sucked up into the cleaner must come up a very thin, narrowing mouth. And there are several plastic pieces in this mouth that hold the pieces together. All of this means that as one sucks up dirt and hair, they begin to stick to these points, and to the walls. This narrows the open space, reducing the suction, and making it easier for more stuff to stick in this space.

Yet Hoover not only doesn't make it easy to clean this out... they designed with no plans to every have it serviced so anyone could clean it! I did take it apart once, and it took 2 of us about another day to put it together. But it's time to tackle that job again.

Maybe I should also write Hoover and talk to a product engineer. It always amazes me that I talk so much about engineering since I never considered a job in that field.

Today I clean the house (and pay myself the $70 that I would have paid Dianne... Hello AQT!), then continue quilting on NOISE. It's really coming along. Take the dogs for a nice walk. Try to remember to catch ROUGH SCIENCE on PBS this evening. The socks I'm knitting are quickly approaching the end... I'm half way down the foot to the toe. Should finish this pair tomorrow.
Musing while I was cleaning this morning has created several thoughts. I will write these all down now, but save a couple of them as drafts for busy times in the next few days.

Thought #1. I need to find a new group of friends. Well,... not and replace my old group.. but more as an addition to. And maybe not friends. What I really want is some kind of crit group: we would meet regularly; state personal goals before the next meeting; evaluate the work we've done since the last meeting; and offer suggestions when someone has run into a wall.

I haven't the faintest idea how to find this group.

But, while cleaning the carpet, one of the thoughts I had is that I can ask Sharona about this when I'm down at NEW PIECES on Wednesday.

Amazing how the mindless actions of physical work can clarify some of the ideas for projects I'm working on. I've figured out what to do with a top that has been waiting for the next step for over a year. Now to get to work.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

No new photos of work at this point. NOISE is off the wall and under the machine being quilted. I've designed the soul for the center of this, that part will come next week. Then borders, add a backing and quilt the pieces together (still some engineering in there).

Odd, I enjoy working on this piece, but I don't think it's really my work... my authentic self kind of work. I keep thinking about the pieces I will be working on next... how to draw the objects... how to engineer the construction... what parts should be cotton or a "flat" fabric.. and what parts will be silk... and what kind of silk. Interesting that I know already the next pieces will be a series. I won't exorcise this form demon in one piece.

Fortunately, NOISE will be done quickly probably by the end of next week. So this mulling is timely.

Not much sewing today. It's foggy and dull outside (though if I were back in the Great Lakes region, it would be snowing). Went for my weekly walk/talk with Linda; took Jake along. He's such a good dog to walk with when he's not trying to catch a truck. BLM (Basic Life Maintainence stuff:laundry, shopping, billpaying, etc.) in the afternoon. Tonight we settle down with another part of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. I love the visuals in this movie.

I may spend some time refining some of the shapes for the new pieces I'll be working on next.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Three days of fusing, and I think I'm ready for the next step. If this doesn't VISUALLY say NOISE to someone, then I think they might be blind and deaf. Posted by Hello

Second day of fusing. Eagles Hell Freezes Over, Eva Cassidy Live at Blues Alley and James Taylor Live were playing in the background. I danced as I fused. Posted by Hello

Altered Postcards finished for our February theme of THREADS. Posted by Hello

The background pieces for "Noise". One day of work. Posted by Hello
Ok, I've been working on this blog site. All is not perfect, but maybe it's a bit better. (VBG)...

I'm working on getting the Picasa thing to work so I can post photos directly to this blog. In the meantime, you can see some new photos by heading to my Webshots site (it's over ---> to the right in the LINKS section.) I just uploaded a photo of the latest Altered Post Cards, and two pictures from the process of making my Eighth Deadly Sin quilt. They are in the Art Quilt work, 2005 folder.

Today, I'm working early... 10 am to 1 pm. I would like to work more and later, but I'm off to convince the eye doctor that I need that lens replacement surgery NOW. Before I go, I have to get some supper fixed (stew... it will cook just fine on it's own while I'm gone, and I will be able to serve it when I can't see when I get home). I HATE having my eyes dilated.

So three hours of cutting rays and fusing them onto the wall... I put on music with a great tempo and dance my buns silly while I work!

Then cook, dr. visit, and home to sit fairly blind with WIDE OPEN IRISES all night. Hopefully I get enough vision back later to work a bit on the current pair of socks.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Hey!! What happened to the post I wrote on Thursday?? I know it was short, but I actually started writing some my design plans for a series of quilts I will start working on soon. At the moment, I am constructing my NOISE: the Eighth Deadly Sin quilt... but working on designing the elements for a few Vessel quilts. And I had notes!!

Hope there wasn't anything there that I will depend on in the future.

Just got back late yesterday afternoon from 4 days at the beach with my quilting mini-group: The Pickles. There was lots of sewing and knitting, good food and long walks on the beach. Every winter we go to Pajaro Dunes, and rent the Cypress #23 condo. . Three floors of living space, the top floor is an open space kitchen/dining area/living area with a wall of windows facing the ocean. We proclaim it a "time free" zone...

The bottom two floors are bedrooms and baths...

There was lots of sewing and knitting done this year along with a some help to the Pacific Grove/Carmel economy (we came, we shopped, we lunched!!). I finished knitting one sock and began it's match. I'm almost to the heel, and should finish it by the weekend. I also began drafting the shapes for the Vessels quilts.

This morning I was browsing around the Quilt Art blog ring... when my own page came up the 2nd time in about 5 pages I decided that it was telling me GO WORK. But the first time, my page was sandwiched between Melody Johnson's and Dijanne Cervaal. I AM NOT WORTHY....

This was just going to be a short blog about that sandwich... so I've gotten too long.


More later.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Tuesday. I spent about half the day yesterday working on my Eighth Deadly Sin project. I got the first (background) layer on, and am cutting the middle and top layers of color. Think I may need more pieces made to finish this up.

I'm taking photos as the process continues to post as a kind of visual journal of the design process in this piece.

I also spent some time working on a small set of Altered Postcards. The end results are quite simple, but I like the appearance and the texture of these pieces.

Today I was supposed to attend an art class, but the schedule and reality are off by a week: next Tuesday is the day it begins. I don't know what will be done in the class... if it ends up being all "independant study" I will regret not signing up for a different class. Independant study is what I do at home.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Third time's the charm, right? I began posting again in the fall, then got distracted when I left for Art Quilt Tahoe, and never got back.

This is a kind of new year's resolution.

Looking at my calendar, the next week or so if filling up fast. I am committed to go to our guild's outreach meeting Tuesday morning at 9 am. 15 minutes from home; then drive back to town for my first art class at the Senior Center from 10 until 1. Walk the dogs, and still find time to think about creating.

I'm heading for a retreat beginning next Thursday, and I still don't have an idea on what I will be bringing. I have a small set of altered post cards to work on... i have general ideas of what i want to do, but haven't determined a color palette or specific design.

Wonder which websites I can find that give some direction on color decisions to help communicate the subtext of a piece.

Today, while doing laundry and other menial chores, firming up the plans on the these cards is goal #1.

I also have to firm up design elements for my Eighth Deadly Sin challenge. I know the sin: Noise. I know the general "shape" of the design. There is nothing about the sin that dictates or defines the colors... and that's where I'm waffling. I think I will be trying to do some simple silk screening on the pieced top. Wonder if I can get it as subtle as I want it?

Interesting that making some of the serious design decisions can waylay me for such long periods of time. Deciding on the color of the piece can make or break the whole concept. I hate to take the "I will hang this here, and it has to go with the furniture" idea... but when faced with no limiting factors by the idea, I am often stumped by this factor.