Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Assembling a Fabric Postcard, deb r. style.

Making a fabric postcard starts with an idea for a front. In this case, it's "Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella."

The front is stitched to some scrap batting, and then trimmed approximately to 4x6".

For the back, I prefer to Strathmore watercolor postcards. You can buy a pack of 15 for $3.96. They come already marked on the back for a stamp, address and a message.

I layer the postcard with the fabric on top. (usually by fusing them with small squares of wonder under at the corner of the postcard.) Then I prefer to use one of the overcast stitches on my sewing machine to finish the edges. #30 on my machine is nice. See? It has straight stitching on both sides, so the card has a finished edge to it.

I choose a kind of small stitch. But don't make it too close together or you will completely perforate the card and it will eventually fall off!! 4.5 mm in both directions is fine for me.

I like up the card so the needle sits just off the edge of the card when I stitching. (sorry for the fuzzy... this is close up work.

Oh, look!! The card magically changed while I stitching it. But you might be able to discern a neatly finished edge.

See? Pretty card. (now what happened to my smiling umbrella??)

Good Wednesday Morning.

In a totally different way from yesterday, this morning was quite productive.

Got the dogs (and myself) out for a walk. It surprises me how much better I feel when I get this walk in early.

After returning the dogs to the house, I headed down to Berkeley. Remember when I cleaning my studio and had a large pile of fabrics and stuff that I didn't want to return to my studio? I drove it down to The East Bay Depot of Creative Re-Use. Imagine a 2000 sq. foot "store" where items that might have thrown into the dump, are instead donated and sold at low prices for artists, teachers and scout leaders... anyone to use!! I gave them a box a fabrics, and left with several cool items that I can for stamping/painting on fabrics. (my new finds cost me an entire $3!!).

Also stopped at Artist's and Craftman Supply , where I picked up tjainting tools in the hole sized that I don't have... and picked some wonderful journals. DO check them out... their stuff is really cool.

Now home to get down work. I need to do a blogpost on putting together fiber post cards which means I need to go make some!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Tuesday Morning in the Studio

Wait... there are photos below.
Inspired by Gabrielle's "just work, baby" attitude... and Melody's "make lots of small pieces with your scrap batting" play day... and Gerry Chase's class at AQT, I hit the studio without a roadmap but with a plan.

1. grab some of that scrap batting Ihave.
2. open that drawer of already fused pieces, sort some of them out and create a background.
(note: I really should have amended that plan to add: use your camera).

Anyway. I sorted out some red/orange/gray/purple/darkish stuff... arranged it and fused it to batting. I was not impressed. Thankfully no photo.

I grabbed my tjantjing tool and a little paint and tried adding a layer of texture over the whole thing. Still not impressed, I put it aside to simmer for a while and played a bit more with the tool.

I learned something today: you can create your own polka-dots on fabric with this.

Here's a piece I played with (showing both before and after).

To not put too much thought in the process, I simply dotted wherever a dot appeared in the original print. This was fun and something to keep in mind for the future.

After making the polka-dots, I grabbed a small pre-fused piece of batik and continued drawing some of the lines already on it. Then, hearing Gerry Chase's request that we experiment with a simple 9 patch design, I also grabbed a piece of dupioni silk and painted a complimentary pattern on it. Cut them up and arranged them on another scrap. Used the extra 4 squares of silk to make "cornerstones". I like this little piece, but what shall I do with it?

Ha!! A journal cover!! It needs a little tweaking to fit perfectly, but I like this so far. And it means that not only did I use some scrap batting, and some scrap fabric but I (almost) FINISHED SOMETHING.

Now about that first piece that wasn't working. It just needed something to make it more interesting. On a whim, I grabbed some polyester organza with a lace pattern printed on it. Pinned that over the piece, and stitched over patterning. Grabbed the heat gun and melted a bunch of it out so that the fabric below shows through.

Still need to back this, but I like the way it looks now (sorry that the pix is so crappy). Now it's lunchtime... and hopefully the rains stops for a while so I can walk the dogs.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Comfort is the enemy of Achievement."

If you stay in your comfort zone, you will never do the work to achieve...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hey Guys & Gals!

Thanks for the comments on the SSL postcards. But I'm in the middle of making 6 of these!!

Each one is a bit different... Today I'm making a couple with a scrap of Cindy Whozit's Snippets fabric... trying to place the pieces so the fabric makes the highlights.

When I get them all up, I'll let you choose the 2 best to go to Virginia's postcard fundraiser at the Chicago IQA show. The others will go to people in the challenge (rather randomly chosen... so cross your fingers for that email asking for you address...).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm hoping to get creative soon...

Holidays have this way of screwing my plans. Steve asked what I did while he was gone, and we figured out I went out with friends and ate. Not that it's improving much since he's home.

Thursday I pigged out at a friend's house, came home and tried to tidy up the house.

Friday I picked Steve up at the airport. Good news... it was our 23 anniversary, and my heart still beat a little bit faster when he turned the corner. Walked the dogs and basted a quilt.

Today we are going to a memorial service for a friend.

Tomorrow we walk the dogs. I might actually get some time in my relatively clean studio.

Monday I need to run a bunch of errands: Trader Joe's; Bed, Bath and Beyond; the creative recycling center place; Stone Mountain and Daughter's (?); seems to me there were a couple more spots...

Tuesday, come hell or high water I'm in the studio. It's supposed to rain...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Simple Still Life: Five things Alike

When last we saw my November still life, it was five red pebbles sitting on a windowsill. This month I decided to take my inspiration from Gabrielle's skillful use of pencils to create depth in her pieces.

Simple Still Life #1. I used a pinky-reddish organdy over a cotton print, then shaded/highlighted with watercolor pencils. The size of the pebbles is too small, and the cotton print wasn't necessary.

Simple Still Life #2. Polyester organdy fused to silk dupioni, then shaded/highlighted. This one is much more successful. I am making a series of about 5 of these.

Simple Still Life: Simple Still Life #3 DUE

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!!

Yesterday I ran around all morning... and part of the afternoon. When I got home, I crashed.

Naps feel so good!!

After an easy dinner of grilled lamb and asparagus, I fixed the sweet potatoes for my trip to Jennifer's for dinner today (she's the Pickle rescuing me from a frozen turkey dinner), then cleaned the kitchen. While watching the evening shows, I worked on organizing my stash drawers and basted another charity quilt I found.

I may quilt it up this morning.. it should take about an hour. Then throw it on the "needs binding" pile.

This morning: clean the living room carpet (someone with muddy feet walked on it. I am not saying whether those footprints appear canine or human....), walk the dogs, then get ready for turkey-day.

Steve is visiting his mother and heading to our traditional Turkey-day dinner. All the cousins rent the one-room school house in Bishop Hill, Ill.; it has plenty of tables and a great large industrial kitchen. The food is cooked elsewhere and brought in:

Two turkeys.
One ham.
2 roasting pans full of stuffing (white bread, unfortunately, instead of cornbread).
1 small bowl of oyster stuffing.
Scalloped corn.
That green bean casserole (usually times 2 or 3),
A roasting pan full of mashed potatoes.
Another full of gravy.
Assorted other veggies dishes.
Several salads (one taco salad that has iceberg lettuce and a bunch of jello salads).

This it true "midwest farm country fare" (think a 1962 cookbook). Almost every dish will contain atleast 2 of the following: CoolWhip, Velvetta Cheese, Sour Cream, Mayonaisse, Cream of Campbell soup. Iceberg lettuce will be the only fresh veggie.. all the others will come from a can.

Anyway 2 large cafeteria style tables will hold the "dinner" foods and a third table will hold the desserts.

On the highest year, we had about 67 people show up for dinner... the number has been steadily declining over the years, though, and now averages somewhere in the 30s. (though the amount of food brought to the shindig hasn't decreased).

While the women organize the dinner (service about 12:30), Dan will bring the "thanksgiving tv" (it's a small black and white with rabbit ears that is only used on this day), and set it up for the football games. The cards will be shuffled, the board games examined.

After the first round of gluttony, the women clean up (do you sense a trend here??), and the guys start on the card games. Kids run outside to play (weather pending) and challenge us to HP version of trivial pursuit. This all continues throughout the afternoon

Then about 4 pm, the food comes out again for a second round of chow. Most people settle for a sandwish, some small scoop of veggie and a slice of pie. (we just ate a couple hours earlier, right??). After which... yep, the women clean up the kitchen, divvie up the leftovers and pack the stuff to go home; they guys take down the tables and clean the front room. We have to be out of their by 5:30 pm so that locals can get ready for St. Lucia festivities that occur that weekend.

So what's your traditional turkey day like? And those of you outside the US... what is your country's/regions/ family's "harvest celebration" like? And when?

Blame this on the other DebR!

You Are Mud Pie

You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Monday, instead of continuing with the organization/cleaning of the studio and first floor, I basted and quilted 2 of the charity quilts I found in the big pull-out. Now, ofcourse, I have to bind them. (sigh).

Anyway, my plans for today were to head to the Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's, come home and continue with cleaning.

Instead, early this morning I started working on my Simple Still Life project for this month. Then my friend Jeanne called to say she had most of the day free and "could we take a walk?" Change of plans!!

When Jeanne showed up at my house, she told me that I couldn't show pictures of a clean studio when the stuff from inside there had exploded throughout my house (and car). It would be a form of cheating. But I had mentioned that I was still organizing when I showed those pictures... so it's OK, right??

Anyway, I loaded the dogs into the pup-mobile and we headed out to Carquinez Strait regional park. It's a small 1.5 mile loop with views of the water, a walk through a eucalyptus grove and panoramic scenes of California countryside. Katy walk along with us; Jake chased his tennis ball. We stopped at a deli in nearby Crockett for lunch. (Corned beef and a real Vanilla cream soda. Yum!).

So much for my morning plans. We can always plan... but we don't have to obsess about following them!!

Home, and I needed to run some errands... Finally got to working on the house at 4:30 pm.

It's now 7:30 and I'm taking a break. I've reclaimed the buffet in the entry hall and all of the living room. The dining room only has 2 quilts that need to be basted on the table and some sheer panels that need to be prepped and hung up. (I'll do that next). The kitchen is sans fabric (but not clean). And the family room is down to 1 large pile of fabric to sort back into the studio and those 2 quilted (but not bound) charity quilts.

There is an impressive collection of empty plastic boxes that had held projects and scraps I've given up on. (wonder where I'm gonna put those?)

All in all, a fairly successful 3 hours. Hopefully by the time I go to bed I will have recovered all the first floor.

Wednesday, I may be running around in the morning... or may not. When home, I'll dust and clean quickly, continue fitting my studio into the appropriate cubbyholes, and spend some time staring at pieces that need a little work. Think I'll also look for a couple journals to start the new year with. A couple of the small pieces from AQT would make really nice journal covers.

In the evening I'll prep a sweet potato casserole for dinner Thursday.

And for those who have not made thier xmas wish lists yet, I offer:

Hey... It even comes in RED! One of the accessory colors in my kitchen!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Viewing Reviews

Since I was sitting at home alone on a Saturday night, it's only right that I watch a (according to my hubby) "chick flick" (ie. no John Wayne or Clint Easwood, no shoot 'em ups, no battlescenes). Saturday I watched Mad, Hot Ballroom (not exactly the prototypical chick flick). This is the documentary about NYC school students (6th grade), who study ballroom dance and compete in the city-wide dance competition.

The students learn about life through the competitions. For example, the boys are taught that their most important role is to make their dance partner happy (and hopefully this sentiment continues in other interactions later in their life).

We, the viewers, learn about life as an eleven-year-old. At one point, two girls are talking about the difference between being 10 and 11: Nothing really matters when you are ten. However, when you turn eleven, you have to wash twice a day and use deodorant.

The movie is cute, the students delights. Well worth an evening's time.

Sunday evening I watched the NATURE show about rescuing the pets from New Orleans after the Hurricane. It was definitely poignant... I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. The devotion of the rescuers, the tenacity of the animals, the total devastation. Thankfully, the experience in New Orleans has caused government and aid organizations to re-evaluate the policy of evacuating people and not their pets.

The story that is with me today was a dog found almost 3 weeks from the hurricane. His owner left all the food and water he could, and left his cellphone number on the wall. Ofcourse, it wasn't enough. When the rescuers found this normally 80-90# pet, they provided water until he stopped drinking on his own. He drank 3 gallons of water without pause.

Later, I watched Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. I think DH is only a "filler" spot in my viewing plan anymore. Provide me with another choice at 9 pm that will not interfere with the later GA, and I'll switch over. The show has lost whatever appeal it had last year. There isn't a mystery... and worse, the women do not interact. Each one has a storyline, but the lines do not overlap. They are merely neighbors not friends. And the support and cooperation we saw last year has disappeared this year. I'm so over it.

Today, I will sandwich those charity quilts I found Saturday, walk the dogs, and work on organizing my "stash and supply drawers".

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What I found during the "scary studio" clean up...

1. 3 small art quilt pieces that need hand embroidery and beading. The bottom piece is the painted piece based upon Warhol's sunsets, it needs the suns beaded. The top piece of the left is something I'm embroidering. And the top right piece is a beaded pieces inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson's GREEN MARS.

2. 2 small art quilt pieces that need machine embroidery or quilting. The left hand piece is about a heatwave.. actually, so it the right hand one!! That one summer was all about triangles or pyramids.

3. 2 charity quilts that need machine quilting;
4. 1 lap quilt for Steve that needs machine quilting;
5. 1 lap quilt for me that needs piecing (it kind of matches Steve's).

Flannel in autumnal colors. Warm and cuddly!! I can piece this in about 4 hours... so one afternoon's work.

6. 1 Queen sized Amish-style quilt that needs quilting (anyone want this? uhm... it's Kona cotton and black...). I pieced this about 1995??? And LOOK!! I can hand quilt!!

7. Bonfit Patterner (bodice). When did I think I would use it??

I don't sew clothes except really easy things. (maybe I was fantasizing that someday a cable channel would have this reality show where people design clothes in order to win the money to start thier own line?? And I thought I could win??)

8. 5 plastic boxes of fabric scraps that I have no idea why they're there.
9. 9 paired squares for reverse-applique of hawaiian patterns. (again.. what was I thinking??). And 9 finished squares (and about 20 unfinished squares) from Karen's Stone's Life's a Beach pattern.
10. Way too many scraps/fat quarters/small pieces of fabric I will never use.

So far I've loaded up my kitchen-sized trash can twice with accumulated crap that was in the room. If I could decide to just give up on all the small pieces of batting... I could load up that can again!! And stray scraps?? I'll sort some of them into my drawer of "postcard pieces"... small interesting things that make a great background or foreground on a postcard.

The studio is physically back together, but still some sorting out to do. Most of my fiber supplies (fabric, stabilizers, yarns, etc.), are sorted and stored in these Sterlite drawers. This time I removed the rails and legs from my table, then simply placed it over the drawers. More efficient us of limited floor space.

The sewing table faces out toward the living space, with the design wall next to it (like my Strips and Curve piece??) The bookcase was reworked, and some of my pieces hung around it. A calendar and whiteboard are on the opposite wall.

However, there are piles of fabric, magazines and such still not put away. For the rest of the week, I'll pull out a drawer or three every night, sorting through the stuff inside and adding the appropriate stuff from these refugee piles.
The rest? Down in Berkeley they have a resource center that will gladly take donations of craft items to recycle, including the scraps and batting. Looks like I will be driving there later this week with a car full of fun for other people...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I KNOW there are art quilt geeks out there..

And THIS is for us!!

She's Such a Geek!

An Anthology by and for Women Obsessed with Computers, Science, Comic
Books,Gaming, Spaceships, and Revolution
Slated for Fall 2006

Geeks are taking over the world. They make the most popular movies and games, pioneer new ways to communicate using technology, and create new ideas that will change the future. But the stereotype is that only men can be geeks. So when are we going to hear from the triumphant female nerds whose stories of outer space battles will inspire generations, and whose inventions will change the future?

Right now. Female geeks are busting out of the labs and into the spotlight. They have the skills and knowledge that can inspire social progress, scientific breakthroughs, and change the world for the better, and they're making their voices heard, some for the first time, in Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders'book She's Such a Geek.

This anthology will celebrate women who have flourished in the male-dominated realms of technical and cultural arcana. We're looking for a wide range of personal essays about the meaning of female nerdhood by women who are in love with genomics, obsessed with blogging, learned about sex from Dungeons and Dragons, and aren't afraid to match wits with men or computers.

The essays in She's Such a Geek will explain what it means to be passionately engaged with technical or obscure topics, and how to deal with it when people tell you that your interests are weird, especially for a girl. This book aims to bust stereotypes of what it means to be a geek, as well as what it mean's to be female.

More than anything, She's Such a Geek is a celebration and call to arms: it's a hopeful book which looks forward to a day when women will pilot spaceships, invent molecular motors, design the next ultra-tiny supercomputer, write epics, and run the government. We want introspective essays that explain what being a geek has meant to you.

Describe how you've fought stereotypes to be accepted among nerds. Explore why you are obsessed with topics and ideas that are supposed to be "for boys only." Tell us how you felt the day you realized that you would be devoting the rest of your life to discovering algorithms or collecting comicbooks.

We want strong, personal writing that is also smart and critical. We don't mind if you use the word "fuck," and we don't mind if you use the word "telomerase."

Be celebratory, polemical, wistful, angry, and just plain dorky.
Possible topics include:
* what turned you into a geek * your career in science, technology, or engineering * growing up geeky * being a geek in high school today * battling geek stereotypes (i.e racial stereotypes and geekdom * cultural analysis of geek chic and the truth about nerds * the idea that women have to choose between being sexually desirable and smart * stereotypes about geek professions such as computer programmers) * sex and dating among geeks * science fiction fandom· role-playing game or comic-book subcultures * the joys of math * blogging or videogames * female geek bonding * geek role models for women * feminist commentary on geek culture * women's involvement in DiY science and technology groups * Stories from women involved in geek pop and underground cultures. These might include comic book writers, science fiction writers, electronic music musicians, and women interested in the gaming world * women's web networks and web zine grrrl culture * Issues of sexism in any or all of the above themes.

Editors: Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders are geeky women writers.
Annalee is a contributing editor at Wired magazine and writes the
syndicated column Techsploitation. Charlie is the author of Choir Boy (Soft Skull
Press) and publisher of other magazine.

Publisher: Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group,
publishes groundbreaking books by and for women in a variety of topics.

Deadline: January 15, 2006

Length: 3,000-6,000 words

Format: Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated. Please include your address, phone number, email address, and a short bio on the last page.Essays will not be returned.

Submitting: Send essay electronically as a Document or Rich Text Format file to Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders at

Payment: $100 plus two books Reply: Please allow until February 15 for a response. If you haven't received a response by then, please assume your essay has not been selected.

It is not possible to reply to every submission personally.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Let's see who takes this...

Not surprisingly, I find this a most accurate description of me. Sorry for the run of quizzes and such, but I'm dealing with that scary studio thing...

You go out of your way to build bridges with people of different views and beliefs and have quite a few religious friends. You believe in the essential goodness of people , which means you’re always looking for common ground even if that entails compromises. You would defend Salman Rushdie’s right to criticise Islam but you’re sorry he attacked it so viciously, just as you feel uncomfortable with some of the more outspoken and unkind views of religion in the pages of this magazine.

You prefer the inclusive approach of writers like Zadie Smith or the radical Christian values of Edward Said. Don’t fall into the same trap as super–naïve Lib Dem MP Jenny Tonge who declared it was okay for clerics like Yusuf al–Qaradawi to justify their monstrous prejudices as a legitimate interpretation of the Koran: a perfect example of how the will to understand can mean the sacrifice of fundamental principles. Sometimes, you just have to hold out for what you know is right even if it hurts someone’s feelings.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Just call me addy...

Now this is just a random name generator... with a French accent. But of the five or so times I clicked.. this name was the most fun.

Your French Name is:

Adélaïde Colas

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Seven Dwarves of PMS/Perimenopause

Bad Blogger Girl

I haven't written since Monday?? Where have I been? What have I been doing?

Tuesday was the last day of classes at AQT. I played with wonder-undered squares of fabrics.. visited classrooms and packed up. I'm always sad on that day when you mentally start removing yourself from a place away. When I start seeing the end is approaching and begin to mentally move back into my everyday life.

I wish I could stay in the place/moment until the bitter end. I haven't learned how to do that yet, though. But I don't think I could share that in real time. I had to move through it before I could tell you.

Wednesday I carried my stuff to the resort lobby and walked to get my car. It was 27F with a heavy frost on the grass and the car. Packed up, signed out and with no reason to linger except for a final poignant goodbye, I headed over the Donner Pass toward home. As the altitude decreased, the thermometer increased. By the time I got home (and could breathe and move again)... it was 75F.

I was slightly uncomfortable the entire time I was up at Tahoe, never fully adjusting to the altitude. It will be a factor to keep in mind for future retreats and retirement places. I had trouble exercising at Tahoe, but came home and 2.5 miles with the dogs no problem.

Today I unpack and start getting the house back in order. After I drop Steve at the airport on Saturday (he's visiting his mother for the holiday), I will work on cleaning that scary studio... which is even more scary with the piles of rejected fabrics from the Tahoe pack... and the returning items from AQT.

Monday, November 14, 2005

AQT Monday

As I said, I woke up too early this morning with a plan. Took a quick shower, headed over to breakfast and sat with the other early birds, including Ruth McDowell. She is such a genuine soul. She looked at me when I admitted to hitting frustration early... and said:

Well, all artists are frustrating when they are working! If they're not, then they aren't participating in the process fully enough.

I was quite happy to hear that.

Went to the room and started thinking how I would work (with very limited ability on my machine), when a gal walked in to admire our class. She is in Ruth's class, and just playing with fabric, although she rented a sewing machine for the session. We dickered and negotiated a trade of one of my postcards for use of her machine for the day.


I went to work. By the time we headed off to lunch at Sunnyside Resort, I had these two things done:

This is FOUR CONVERSATIONS. It's handpainted cotton (from Saturday) and silk dupioni. The panel of the far left is the conversation between an introvert and extrovert friend. The far right is two close friends. The top middle panel is 2 people on an elevator, and the bottom is some other exchange between strangers.

You can appreciate it as simple an elegant design.. but the story helped me place the lines of conversation.

This is Catch A Falling Star. The small squares all have stars, or parts of stars drawn in them.

Gerrie Chase was surprised to see me working on both of these pieces at once... switching from the elegant conversation to the sweet star.

but I had a vision.

In the afternoon, I sewed up one of the damask napkins with some silk to do another conversation piece (though I don't yet know the details): Dinner Conversation.

For lunch we went to Sunnyside Resort right on Lake Tahoe. The photos of lunch were shared last week (including the dessert), so I will photos of the locale.

This the lodge where we ate. Three different salads (caesar, fruit and marinated veggie), garlic something ravioli, deli cuts of meats and cheese, and a fabulous berry crisp (though they called it a cobbler). We got the recipe.

A lone pine tree outside the door of the lodge.

And probably one of my favorite images: the sun playing on water, and reflecting light and shadow on the rocks below. Wish I could have captured the depth of this image, but I fear that that wish is beyond a simple digital point-n-shoot .

Another frustrating day

Ok, so Sunday was a bit frustrating, too. It was my own making.

I brought my sewing machine. When I was packing I kept dithering between bringing the large plastic table or staying with the removeable "arm" with my machine. One meant carrying another thing.. and hoping there was table space for it. The other meant a smaller platform to work on.

You guessed it.

I didn't bring either.

So any sewing I do this week will be done on the freearm only part. I did get some squares attached to a background, but the piece needs lots of additional stitching. If it ever gets done, it will have to be at home. (sigh). And that was my plan for the morning.

I continued working with the some of the pieces I made on Saturday. Frustration. Aarrgg... Who wants to spend valuable workshop tme fussing and fretting? Not me. I packed it away and painted some more fabric... hoping that a new happier inspiration would find me. I think the pieces will need more piecing than I want to deal with here. That's OK.

After dinner and such, my roomie and I talked while waiting for Desperate Housewives to come on. We talking about working without thinking... well without letting our internal critic talk to us. In the same time that I've been fussing and fretting, she's composed, assembled and quilted 4 pieces. And has several more in the works. She hasn't been quilting much at all... no desire, no inspiration. But she decided that she was just going to produce this week. (reminds me a lot of sharing a table with Gerrie last year).

I didn't fall asleep until after midnight thinking of sticks...I woke up at 5 am. thinking of conversations and falling stars.. and I've developed a plan for some of the first pieces I painted. I will be working from my plan without listening to any internal critic today. I am excited now. I will produce the work and let it go.

I've sketched out the ideas on a piece of propoganda from the hotel (why can't I find any of the four sketch books I brought?), and I'm just waiting for the breakfast buffet to open so I can eat a quick breakfast and try these ideas out in the flesh.

Lunchtime is a "field trip" to Sunnyside Lodge.. a restaurant facility right on Lake Tahoe. I've had a friend email me to eat a light lunch and save room for dessert. So I'll be buzzing this afternoon from the sugar rush. (My jeans are already tighter than they need to be...).

Sorry for no photos in this missive; I left my camera in the classroom. Will remedy all that later today. (with that sugar high, comes the inevitable crash...)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Class at AQT

I thought I'd mentioned it, but maybe I didn't.

I'm taking the Spontaneous No Plan quilt with Gerrie Chase. I'm betting that most of your have not heard of her. Gerrie was one of the founding members of the Fiber Art Coalition (? I think) when she lived in Seattle. She's been shown at Dairy Barn and many other big venues. The link is to the AQT gallery where you can see several of her works.

Gerrie (and Sue Benner) are teachers that students see their classes here, and sign up for the next year. I don't think it's the teachers' work that excite us as much as it's the variety and enthusiasm of the students that make us think: If I'm spending all this money, I want to have this much fun myself next year!!

In her class, we paint small pieces of fabric... without really thinking too much...listening to what our spirit says. We dilute Golden acrylics to paint with... and add line by putting some of this paint into a tjainting tool. (you know those brass and copper tools for batiking). Then you tear the fabric into small pieces and use it.

I had no problem with the painting part, I thought. Spent most of my time trying to get a fine controlled line from the tool; with mine, I cannot dilute more than a drop or two. In retrospect each small piece could have had more done within it. less repetition and more variation.

However, when I tore it apart, I don't yet see a lot of little surprises or gems. And though I thought I was working in a nice complimentary palette, even the colors don't seem to work well together. For me, my colors are way too pastelly. I don't do pastel. I do the minerally colors and earthy tones... and these were the oxide colors I used.

I came up with a plan for several of the squares just before dinner... and today will be the challenge of figuring out different plans for all the other pieces. I only tore up 3 of the pieces... and we will be setting up a "community painting station" where I may spend some time tomorrow or the next day putting more context into the pieces that remain.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Today at Tahoe...

This is the view from our room early in the morning. Aren't I clever to take it with the reflections from the lamp to prove I am in our room??

At lunch time, I went for a walk on the golf course. Found a great piece of wood that I'm bringing home, but no photo of it yet.

This the facility in which we are working. Outside are heated pools and hot tub and wonderful waterfall. I understand that the bears played in the waterfall. Alas, unlike last week, we are not seeing bears.

Looking away from the facility down the golf course to the mountains at the other end of the valley.

And from the near the other end of our valley. I believe this mountain was the key place to be during the Olympics, if you were a skier.

Today we "created fabric" from PFD muslin with acrylic paints. Then late this afternoon, we tore the fabrics up. The idea is to then combine several of them into an unplanned composition and the basis for a quilt.

Although I tried to use similar colors and such on several pieces, as you can see nothing looks like it's going to compliment. So at the end of the first day I hit my first frustration barrier. (Here, it's common to hit a couple of these during the week. Atleast for me.)

It's not a bad thing. I think I developed a plan for one small piece that I can work on in the morning. And while I sleep tonight, my brain will come up with something else.

These pieces are just too pastel-y or too muddy. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I paint another piece or two specifically to compliment something that's already done.

Dessert tonight was a citrus tart with burnt merengue topping and guave and mango sauces. Yummy. No pictures.

The First meeting...

The first meeting of AQT attendees/bloggers and friends occurred on 11/11/05 at approximately 11:45 in the Sweet Potatoes Deli at the Resort.

In the photo are: Cathy Ortelle (not a ring member but an occasional blogger . I've lost her blogname though)

(Hey! It's early!! And that altitude thing...)

Gerrie Congdon in her signature lime green.
A woman who is not a blogger (someone help me with her name.) She was delightful.

Becky Turlock, who we all know as Junott on the Run.

Liz Berg.

And there my camera wasn't large enough to get the last two ladies. But, hey, they are bloggers, so I wouldn't remember their names.

See that #48 on the table? That's me.

We sat about eating lunch, sharing bear stories, and having a nice time. We missed Mrs. Mel, but understood her absence.

After lunch, I searched out my classroom. It's Papoose Peak. They were obviously just switching over from the old classes to the new.

The inside of our room. So bare and empty. Things will be so different by later today.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rules for Drivers

I'm here at AQT. The drive was uneventful (thank goodness); sunny and clear but not too bright. No major traffic problems. But after 3+ hours on the road, I have suggestions for some drivers:

you are driving in a left hand lane and the traffic in the lane to your right is passing you...
YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LANE. By about 2 lanes.

IF the lane in front of you is clear, but there are 8 cars visible in your lane behind you...
YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LANE. Again, by about 2 lanes.

IF the person behind you keeps flashing thier lights... they are trying to tell you that...

Now that my public service address is over.

Like Gerry, I was upgraded to a suite. Well, actually, my room mate, who stayed here last night, somehow snagged us the suite as an upgrade. It's fabulous. I will be sleeping on the couch, where I can stay up late, wake up early, snore to my little hearts' content and be generally happy.

I haven't taken any photos to share yet. Tomorrow. Wait until tomorrow.

Tonight I am suffering from a touch of altitude discomfort. I don't remember this from past trips, but probably by the end of this session, I won't remember that I had it tonight! I am a tad dizzy.. and headachy. So I'll close this missive and go zoom out with a little mindless television and my sketch book.

PS. I haven't seen the bears yet.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Right after Breakfast

Right after breakfast tomorrow, I drive up Art Quilt Tahoe. I've packed my supplies up in the car already... and the suitcase is packed. I almost carried it out to the car, but wondered why it seemed a bit empty.

I'd almost forgotten to pack the jeans, nightshirt and bras that were hanging on the line to dry. I think the one pair of sweats I'm driving in tomorrow would have worn out their welcome before the whole thing ended.

Now I'm fairly confident that whatever I've forgotten I can find locally... but I'm wondering what it will be.

Things I have forgotten in the past:

a toothbrush;

a slip. A business conference where I was wearing a relatively sheer dress to the welcome dinner. thank goodness someone saved me.

So what have you forgotten to pack (and really missed) on past trips??

And to my two regular readers who exist outside the Artful Quilt BlogRing.. (Grace and Pops)... sorry I deleted you from the blogring map. When I return from Tahoe, I'll set up a map for my blog and you can enter that.

Gabrielle made me do this.

Much More Emotional

You have:

The graph above represents your place in Intuition 2-Space.
As you can see, you scored well above average on emotional
and about average on scientific intuition.Keep in mind
that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can
compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn
what kind of intuition you're best at. Your emotional intuition
is stronger than your scientific intuition.

Emotional Intuition
score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their
unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates
social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good
at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition
score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well
you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with
high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"We've been married too long"

I'm eating lunch, watching Starting Over on TV, and checking my email Tuesday at noon. I get a message from my spouse:

Mark (X) is in town for (a) meetings but has no dinner plans. He
would like to get together with us and suggest Thursday night. That
ok with you? Any idea for a place? He says he doesn't mind driving.

I contemplate for all of 30 seconds before responding:

ooo... Fine with me. I enjoy dinner with Mark.

hmm... We haven't been to La Strada in El Cerrito for ages, but he
probably gets a lot of Italian. Get some sense what he has a taste for
and I'll come up with something...

And the Spouser writes back:

you know, we have been married too long. I proposed that to Mark, he
said he liked Italian, and then I said I'd let you decide.


So how often do you and your SO have simultaneous similar thoughts? And do you find it scary or comforting? (myself, I find it comforting).

Looks like I'll be having calamari in a lemon/white wine sauce Thursday. My car will be packed up, and first thing Friday morning, I'm heading up to Squaw Valley and Art Quilt Tahoe's second session.

I love it when a plan comes together!!

Productive Monday

I spent most of Monday waiting for the rain that was predicted. I wanted to go to my mini-group get together Monday night, but I can't drive in the dark and rain. I kept hoping that it would pour and get over it. It did better; it didn't rain until I was there.

So, while watching the weather outside, I:

packed for Art Quilt Tahoe;
stretched a piece to paint on stretcher bars;
Cleaned the carpet upstairs;
played with the Frapper maps;
walked the dogs and took Jake to the vet for a followup (small eye problem);
continued some organizing in the pre-super organizing of the sewing room.

Good day all around.


Change the oil in the car (in preparation of the drive to Tahoe).
Take the dogs to PetSmart for nail trims and food.
Start painting stretched piece.
Continue with the pre-super organizing organizing.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blogring members: Map yourself

My friend Bert sent me this link. You can go to this site, add your name, zipcode and a short comment (called a shout out), and your "pin" shows up on the map.

My shout out is "Life's here's a blast" because Hercules began as an explosives plant/company town.

And LOOK ---> There's a button!!---> --->

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What's cooking Sunday??

Ok, time for another edition of What's Cooking Sunday??

Most days of the week, it's simple and fast. OK, tonight's supper was simple and fast, too. But it had the feel of something a bit more special. And everything is found in my pantry. (though maybe not yours).

Chicken and Veggies in Red Curry Sauce.

2 chicken boobs, sliced into pieces about 1/4" thick and about 1" long. about 10 oz.

1 can of coconut milk (13 oz. or so)

1 C. soymilk (water or stock can be used)

Red Curry paste (thai kitchen is the easiest to find).

2 keffir lime leaves or 2 TBS lime juice.

3 TBS fish sauce

1 tsp. sugar.

20 leaves of fresh basil.

Heat one cup of coconut milk in a wok or large frypan until it begins to boil. Stir in red curry paste (2 tsp. to 2 TBS. depending of heat preference). Reduce heat to medium, and stir until the paste dissolves. Add remaining coconut sauce and turn heat up. Let the mixture cook about 8 minutes until the oil rises to the surface and the sauce thickens somewhat.

Tear lime leaves into 3 pieces and add to sauce (or add lime juice). Cook another minute.

Add chicken and stir into the sauce, then add the remaining soymilk, fish sauce and sugar.

Cook several minutes until the whole pan is bubbling happily.

Pour in the bag of frozen veggies and the basil leaves. Stir. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until everything seems ready. (about 3-4 minutes).

Serve with steamed rice.

Doesn't this look yummy??

I sense a trend.

I did a little experiment. If I choose to say that "first impressions are very important, and I take great care with how I present myself to people"...and make that VERY ACCURATE, but don't change any other answer, suddenly I become Bill Clinton. Move it down a notch at all, and I'm Albert Einstein!!

And, in truth I cannot answer that question VERY ACCURATE if I can go out to dinner wearing jeans I've worn for 6 days that are covered in garden dirt and permanently stained with paint and dye.


Steve took the test. Steve with the PhD in Physical/Analytical Chemistry. And guess what? He's not Einstein. He's Mahatma Gandi!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Five Red Stones

I took several photos of five glass pebbles along a windowsill. This arrangement just isn't interesting enough, so I rejected it. Note: I think because of the closeness of the photos, they are all blurry. That's OK with me for this project.

While this arrangement is interesting, it's a bit dark (the sun must have gone behind a cloud).

Down low...interesting angle and shadows, but not the one.

Nice. Still not the one.

This one has an interesting angle, interesting translucent quality, nice shadows. I also like that it moves out of the frame. This is the one.

Simple Still Life: Round Three Challenge Guidelines.