Sunday, January 30, 2005

Internet Living

This morning I'm finding myself in an internet dialogue with a good friend about how the internet is changing our world...This very good sistah friend I met online more than 5 years ago. We meet at a board, predominantly women, international members but mainly U.S. and Canada and the U.K. who all found the board as a result of being very deeply moved by a book (which will remain unidentified).  This particularly site grew and grew, women gathered and met in person, long distance friendships formed, we traded recipes, politics, religions, our interests, we laughed, got pissed off and on, laughed somemore, gathered somemore, raised eyebrows at one another, hugged one another, and some even married one another...then the dreaded movie came out and the membership grew rapidly, we had a presidential election, 9/11, war, and the divisions across the country where reflected on the board...I eventually left that site over a year ago and haven't looked back...BUT, the friends, and I don't mean internet friends, but a small group of women who are in the sistah friend catergory, I met there...We are all very different, we have our disagreements, live in different states, have different family structures, incomes, neighborhoods, faiths, etc. And we are tight.  I would rather have these women defending me over Johnny Cochran! So you got the point.



The friend I'm dialoguing with has just started a blog and I got thrilled to peaches...now grant it, we already IM, have our own private board, write letters, call, etc. but the blog was like YES! another convert to the blog world and someone I love that I will be able to know whats going on with her. lol...I wrote to her this morning that I now prefer to read blogs like I use to with online news sources simple because I prefer (for my own well being) to read about the happenings of others in this world we all share than to feel like my conscious is a ping pong ball between mainstream media and the alternate press who is so busy trying to counterpoint the spins that they have become too reactionary.  Oh, I still keep up just not the news junkie I once was...The Cult of the Bushit has worn me thin and this has been unlike anything I've ever experienced since becoming a news junkie since my mid-teens.  Blog reading is more personable, comfortable, than any other source of information for me right along through here.  Maybe when the war is over, maybe after the next major election,...maybe...maybe.



But for a really good blog entry on internet friends check out Lucious & Uppity's entry dated January 27 2005



Saturday, January 29, 2005

Visual Poetry

Mudman, aka Dirty Boy, aka Guru, aka my brother started out being enamored with sketching...which evolved into airbrushing (back in the 80's) and having an interest in graphics...I was the poet having discovered the poetry of the 60's as an outlet for my teen age perceptions (in the 70s), it was the first sense that I had "found my people"...from here I evolved into reading my original poetry in public venues (back in the 80's) to performance poetry with other women forming a group called Voices in the Wind...enjoyed a few inclusions in small distributed anthologies...well  separate streams of life (or something like it) happened to Mudman and me and we've switched souls or something...he is one prolific poet and some of it good to great! no really, I'm not just saying that for the obvious reasons (well maybe a little bit)...I think he would make an excellent blogger and hope to entice him real soon.  I'll share some of his work in the future...but I can't compose a poem to save my soul these days...but phrases come in patches, so finding this site: OneWord seems to fit what I can handle...the word today was "ocean" and here is what I wrote in 60 seconds without thinking-blue roams over me and i gulp gasp foam and this is life in a nanosecond each and everyday  after i wrote it, i asked 'how would that look in a quilt design? how can i create visual poetry?' ...been thinking how to weave words in quilt design without the obvious use of lettering...my goal today is to snatch sketches in 60 seconds with the ocean phrase in mind.



hangeth in



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

insomnia and less flow

insomnia, again.  this is in direct relationship to workplace stress.  the five years i've been there has aged and stressed me more than any place i've ever been. when i look at the few who have long term tenure i'm terrified that i will become them.  they themselves are survivors but not mentors, each with their own strengths and gifts but too battle worn and cynical to mentor.  the last year and a half i've held a very strong investment in seeing a particular program up and running, now that it is (without much recognition for the work either), i'm not sure what will be next for me.  i really would like to step down from supervision and work out of one location but that still would not abate the stress, but could possibly provide time and energy to pursue other interests.  it has never been my goal to retire with the words "i survived". that has been my fear.  this is the first time since i've come into my own in this field (social services) that i've not been able to make a creative and distinct impact and i'm off balance.



i'm uncertain if i need to put this down in the blog as the blog serves to be supporting evidence an a centering for my focus as a quilter.  but i'm wondering if that is why i've been visualizing broken lines in design?  yesterday i browsed the quilts of Artist Michael James in his book Art and Inspirations and kept redesigning them in my mind to have more jagged lines and less flow.  i could do a series of broken lined quilts and call it 'Insomnia"...hey, i had a earlier post about how one names an art quilt with the thinking that it was the quilt that came first then the title...but maybe it is the other way around???? 



well, g'night for now...i'm going to try and go back to sleep and find some sweet dreams, hangeth in friend.



Monday, January 24, 2005

broken

insominia...didn't think it wise to operate the sewing machine at 3am...so I used a rotary cutter instead (smirk) and read about women abstract artists online with my front mind and pondered multiple situations i'm facing at work with my back mind...here is a small piece(....don't ask me for precise measurements...about the size of a saucer)...i created shortly thereafter and prior to getting ready for work...Broken i call it "Broken"...reminded me of a young child piecing back a china cup hoping no one will notice and having the opportunity to say "i don't know" when an adult discovers the cup all glued together and asks "what happened to the cup?"....yeah, yeah, i'm tempted to go psycho (analytical) with that...but another day, another holler



hangeth in,





Sunday, January 23, 2005

Updates not being posted

I used blogrolling to track updates but I've noticed that many updates in the ring do not get posted with "new entry"....any help about this would be helpful!



Looking through windows trying to find my palette



Dscn0372_1This is the piece I referenced yesterday.  For me it is a large piece measuring 36.5"x22".   I sketched out 4 other layouts for larger pieces with more windows last night before dozing off.  One will be using the fused technique since I started that one yesterday...and the colors will be bright.  using the Marcus Brothers hand dyes I picked up at Baer's last year.  If I where to do this piece over again, I would use metallic thread instead of the cotton in pink and blue that alternates with the black thread.



This morning I was thinking about palette, my palette in particular.  I stay away from large prints, prefer batiks and mottled colors.  I have a lot of purples and blues, with yellow and browns following, greens and oranges I have the least of.  And red is almost none existent in my humble stash.  Here is one of my favorite pieces for color-it is a journal size. Slanted_log_cabin_1 The jury is still out on what defines my personal palette.  One's palette, motif, is one's voice.  I think this is what Mel was saying she wanted to see...the voice, our voice in the work...



I'm going to attach a bottom and top sleeve to the quilt above and I think I'm actually going to cook today a real meal...fried sweet potatoes with onion and garlic, spinach, and Nigerian beef stew over rice. Going to make enough for 2-3 days...I can already hear the groan of my kids on Tuesday..."we're having this again".  But since I work in a shelter and see families struggling every day, I ALWAYS have a great comeback lecture for them...;) 













Saturday, January 22, 2005

Windows

Working with black fabric adds the chore of keeping the dust and lint off of it so that it will not catch in the stitches...really bothersome.  Today I started the binding on the "windows" piece that I worked on during the Mag8 Retreat. It is about 75%  black. After playing around with some more fused strips I realized that I was creating the "window" motif again which reminded me of the aforementioned piece.  (How do others work at titling a piece?  I struggle to find titles for my quiltlets...unlike writing for me which reveals the title, quilt pieces do not).



Yesterday I had the heart catherization done...been putting this off for close to 2 years out of fear but my artieries are clear so pass me som' fried catfish and onion rings ;)  I have to follow up with pulmonary doc because he did find a lot of pressure in my lungs due to the pulmonary hypertension.  My patience is challenged running back and forth to docs offices...but I'm gonna work with myself as best I know how.  I came home yesterday around 3 and have been beat off and on since.  I didn't factor in being this tired and groggy causing me to cancel a Scrabble butt whupping that someone was going to receive at Kristie's tonight.  Also, I had to back off from using the sewing machine after messing up a postcard (the one on the right below)...its now the size of an ATC. hehehehe...









Sunday, January 16, 2005

Goals, goals, goals

Dscn0363 Dscn0366_1 These are postcards made from the scraps of the workshop.  Strips fused and cut...I think the one on the right could use more embellishments...I started with the multi-colored thread creating a line down the center of the strips but I didn't like it...Maybe beading down the seams but then I would worry about this going through the mail.  I'm thinking decorative yarn down the seams couched on.  I have already fused the backing on it so I would either need to use invisible thread or a thread that blends with the back which is from the yellow color on the front.I'm going to satin stitch the edges or take strips and fuse onto the edges...maybe one of each...I think a horizontal line caused from a binding strip would bring the vertical flow to a sudden stop. 



A cotton batting is the middle layer...no timtex or fast2fuse.  I think I will place these under the "for sale" page at PostmarkdArt.com when Carol does the next update. 



When I kept trying to force these sets into a larger composition I was stumped and uncomfortable with the layout and sketches...I think thats what happened on Saturday with the piece (see entry dated 01/15/2005)...the larger it got, the less control and loss of structure.  My inner eye and hand coordination don't gel when pieces want to become larger than I can work.



Juanita is sponsoring challenges for the next 4 months as part of the design symposium this summer.  I need to reflect how January rolled in for me in a quilt, the size must fit in any size bubble envelop of my choice. The dominant color will be grey for sure...I complained for weeks about the grey overcast that has been here since early December.  Even when it was unseasonably warm...the grey gloom of winter hung over.  The grey only lifted a few days ago...ha, due to the mystic vibration of the Form Not Function show being hung!  That works for me.



If I get real ambitious I might just participate in the Journal Quilt project also...but I need to get the postcards made since people are asking me about them and I have one inquiry from a retail gallery.  Goals goals goals...I guess that is one way to work, eh?



Hangeth in,



Saturday, January 15, 2005

Arturo, Arturo

The last 3 days are what I call big girl fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Three days of working in open space with others learning and working in fabric with an energetic instructor has just placed me in heaven!  After the overload in colour for 2 days, I decided to work with my own hand-dyes today for a softer eye...this was my progress and how I interpreted "power stripping" - Dscn0341













I had to stop because I was loosing control...but after I came home...I thought about changing the orientation to this - Dscn03411_1 the motif is repeated in the one I did yesterday and shows up better when viewed horizontally.  Any comments, suggestions are welcomed...Marti thought it would make a great 3-d piece sculpted in the shape of a bowl or at least some relief from the flat surface.  There was a piece in the show that had this elelment which was eye catching.  I plan to go several times back to the Carnegie to absorb the show and take my time viewing.  Its a pretty impressive show.  Carol Taylor's (see my side bar) Sedona art quilt took the best of show as judged by Arturo Alonzo Sandoval.  Ummm, I just discovered by googling that there is a noted jazz trumpeteer by the same name if one just uses the first and last name.  I'm going to go check out the jazz musician Arturo Sandoval.



bye, for now.



Thursday, January 13, 2005

Unwinding

I don't know how to describe this...the emotional and mental adrenalin is rushing but the flesh and bones are sluggish after day one of Releasing the Creative Block: Introduction to Working in a Series with Melody Johnson.  Making the motif blocks in 3 different size perspectives is what stuck with me...on the way home I was seeing the road, lights, cars, store fronts, etc. in strips and blocks and gaging the relationship between distance and size.  I live for these moments when I'm doing seeing and doing things I've never done before!



After I left the workshop I stopped by my parents to check on my father...he looks great and seemed very relaxed.  I tried to explain what I did today to my mother and she gave me the civil "um uh, thats nice" response.  For her that IS encourgaging; thats just who she is. 



I arrived home around 7pm to find the Mo and Ade getting ready for school and Peter pouring over the calculator and beyond narrating the few pictures I took today of the show for them, I'm here typing this entry which is helping my mind to unwind and I'm heading to bed early...I can't believe how tired I am...Dscn0336_1 oooo, this is what I did today-







Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Her name is

Aynex Mercado...the quilter in Paducah I mentioned in the post below.



I'm Jazzed!

What a way to kick off the year!  I enrolled in Melody Johnson's 3 day workshop!  I could hardly focus...heck, I didn't focus at work and I know I will pay for it next week plus I'll be off 3 days.  I had almost talked myself out of it and then it hit me and without hesitation it was a done deal!  I need to get some wonder under tomorrow.  I'm hoping Forget-Me-Knots carries it.  This will be my 2nd workshop with a professional.  My first was last March with Juanita on fabric dyeing.  Now that this is done...I need to think about  going to AQS and the design symposium in July, (God willing and the creek don't rise ;)  although the Ohio River is flooding so scratch that saying)



The other cool thing that happened today was a co-worker who facilitates a Spanish speaking support group for women survivors who live in the rural counties asked if I would be interesting in teaching them to make a group quilt project.  I immediately thought of a quilt artist who lives in Paducah who has written a quilting instructional book in Spanish and wondered if she would be interested in doing this. I need to find her name, she occasionally posts on the QA list...I really think it would be something that KFW would be interested in funding as well as the KAC.   The problem is the group only meet for 90 minutes once a week and it would be pushing it to run a workshop in that short of a time.   And Paducah is too far away for someone to make that drive every week.  The Latina women have been meeting for 8 years and it is much a social function to decrease the isolation for them as it is a forum to address their daily experiences.  Alex, who was the best interpreter, no longer interprets but she might consider coming just for this since she makes funki-fied quilts. 



I don't know if I'm ready to teach quilting...I guess I could give it a try...it might be good ground...and it keeps me open to the journey, eh?!  Will have to park this idea and let it simmer.



Sunday, January 9, 2005

Root Worker

Hand piecing and hand quilting some 15+ years ago is what drew me to this journey.  Back then I would rise early enough before work and stay up late past everyone else going to sleep at night just to reflect, collect my thoughts, and pray.  The hand work was my own 'peace be still'. 



This time around it is the elements of design and fascination with color that I'm drawn to.  I want to complete projects so I end up working small scale and am eager to submit and show what I'm doing.  So I purchased a new machine this year.  After reading and test driving for 6 months, a Janome 6500 came home from lay-a-way in September and my 40 year old Kenmore went into the closet. 



But this weekend, today in particular, I couldn't sit at the machine and after changing up among 3 different wips, it was pulling out a 4th wip and deciding to do hand piecing for a bed quilt that I was able to get lost in the process---reflecting, collecting my thoughts, and praying.  I guess I could call it 'root-work'. hehehehe 



Regina Carter's cd, Paganini After the Dream, kept me company while sewing.  I have a sketch of a quilt I want to make for this cd...when I first heard it a few years ago on npr I had to pull my car over I was so consumed by it.  I tried to buy it that day at several stores but it was selling out just as fast as they came in.  Truly beautiful music with much historical significance for the jazz and classical world.  Check it out if you don't already have it. 



I still get leary of how to tie off at the end of a line.  I pulled from the shelf one of my instructional books and found a method referred to as a 'neat knot' for tying off.  This is backstitching at the end of the line, with the needle half way through, wrap the thread coming off the eye under the point of the needle and the thread coming from the stitch line the opposite way going under and hold with your thumb and pull the needle through.~~~~~~~~~~~dunno, but it seems fairly secure.



Dscn0310 Dscn0316





Thursday, January 6, 2005

ArtfulQuilters Web Ring

okay, i've joined a web ring for art quilters (hope i can live up to such expectations via my blog) and i've been trying to add the html code that allows for the web ring button to be displayed in the sidebar.  i can't get it...Diane tried to explain it, but it ain't happening.  from reading the manual i think my membership level limits me to the design in the typepad templates without the ability to customize. 



if you are a typepad user and you can help...please stop and leave a comment here.



Aunt Margareed's Work

This is my Aunt Magareed's work:  Dscn0301



                                        this is the under slip that i mentioned in yesterday's entry. below is a close-up of the top of the bodice of the slip.



Dscn0304











here is the edge of a table runner and some unfinished quilt blocks in a star and grandmother's flower garden pattern.  i have 12 of the stars and they measure about 36 inches across. i suspect she was going to make one for each of her brothers and sisters.  i really would love to use them in a really unique buy recognizable way. i saw one of Penny Sisto's quilts (see the links to the right) hanging at New Directions and she had used a traditional star in the background with one of her signature spirit women on the top. Dscn0303



Dscn0305 Dscn0308



I'm not nearly ready to do anything with them beyond collecting ideas at this point. 



Looking at these photos, I really need to find a good intro book on digital photography. 









Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Inspiration and Tributes

Okay, I thought I was done for the night...but I popped in to play around and stopped by this blog and her entry about the piece Night Traveler inspired me on a design.  My mother's oldest sister passed away last January. I have received 2 crochet pieces she made...one a table runner and the other an underslip...Jackie said she had never seen the slip before but it was packed among the other things Aunt Margareed made.  I've been torn about what to do with them...wanting to honor them by keeping them as is, yet wanting to honor them by using them in a quilt and placing my touch as a personal tribute...well, before this story gets longer, because I could go there...I just remembered I left my digital camera in my office file cabinet at work! ...anyways, while starring at the piece mentioned above...the design came to me to place the slip on a quilt with Jackie (as a young girl) with Aunt Magareed's face imposed over most of the quilt but behind Jackie. Jackie is my oldest sister and was raised by Aunt Margareed who never had children but mothered and grandmothered many.  So now, I'm a little pumped about this idea and will have difficulty falling asleep.  God willing and if the creek don't rise (another old saying I heard growing up) the camera is safe and sound and I'll get photos up of the underslip in the next couple of days.



Sunday, January 2, 2005

Tarnished Spoon

hey now! Deb is going to buy one of my gift cards from Dillards!!!!!!!!!! and what does this mean to me?  I can take Melody Johnson's workshop!!!!!!!!!!! 



I went to Dillards today. The agreement with myself was that I would buy something if I found something that wowed me! I didn't.  I could have found a suit or similiar attire for those work purposes when I need to look like I'm interested in being professional, but the truth of the matter is I could wear the same thing everyday as long as it doesn't smell and I wouldn't give a damn if someone said "she had that on yesterday".  I really do need to be wealthy enough to be classified as 'eccentric' versus just plain ole' crazy as a loon. 



I almost talked myself into buying some bath and body products by Origins but my heart kept saying "I wish I had the money to take Melody's workshop instead".  So I didn't cave in and came home and called Deb to see if she wanted the gift card.  She told me that she sold her Singer sewing machine.  That is a good thing since she has 4 sewing machines, 1 serger, and 1 overlock machine.  Hell, I didn't even know what an overlock machine was or why she needed one, but she broke it down for me. All I have to say is 'what evah'.  She is such an hell of a seamtress.  I wish she would delve into wearable art!  I bet she would win ribbons and prizes and such.  She refers to wearable art as 'wearing your quilts'.  again, what evah. its just an excuse not to be great as you are...the same with Mud man, such a dynamic and prolific poet...he needs to finish his degree and teach in a writing program and publish his work...fuck him and his rhetoric about 'the man'.  He is just plain scared and burdened with financial woes and complacency to go for it.  Its like Mandela said, who are we not to be great, created in the likeness of the Supreme God?!  It is our fear and self doubt that holds us back...that is the disconnect, the sin.



I have a sign over my desk at work that reads "sometimes we have to build our wings on the way down"...yeah, sometimes, that is just the way it is.  Can't keep lamenting about the tarnished spoon in your mouth.  Hello Adrian! 



Maybe I need to create another blog about the woes in my life?



Well, I haven't did any sewing since early December.  I have so many visual ideas in my head.  I started Ruth McDowell's book, Art & Inspiration. She had me with the toaster catching fire and the beer.  It seems to be some what of a memoir of her developing life as quilter.  Even though she doesn't go into details about her personal life...all I could say when she mentioned her divorce was 'fuck him, she is a woman with a degree from MIT...she was bound to make it'!  But with 2 children I am sure there where moments she had that seemed insurmountable.  I recall that is was the birth of my 3rd child that made me more subdued and open to the voice of security and responsibility.  But Alice Walker advised that a writer should only have one child...if I had followed that advice my heart would be greivous since my oldest, thus far, continues to break my heart...and my last 2 seem to offer the road to higher ground.  This weekend I asked myself, what would a quilt for Adrian look like? 



Have you ever read Gibran's poem, On Children?  Dee hipped me to it.  It speaks to responsibility without ownership...which defies Black Parent Speak of "i brought you in this world, i can take you out"...here check it out.  Maybe in my younger years I was an unstable bow to parent????



Recipe for Louisiana Sweet Potato Pancakes

Turned out damn good!!!!!!!



3/4 lb. sweet potato, 1.5 cups all purpose flour, 3.5 tsp baking powder (next time I would cut this by at least .5 teaspoon. there was an after taste of baking powder), 1 tsp salt, .5 tsp nutmeg, 2 eggs beaten, 1.5 cups milk, 1/4 cup butter-melted.



Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan of boiling water; cook until tender but firm, about 15 minutes; Drain and immediately immerse in cold water to loosen skins; drain; remove skin; chop and mash.



In a medium bowl, sift together flour baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Mix mashed sweet potato, eggs, milk and butter in a separate medium bowl. Blend potato mixture into the flour mixture to form batter.



Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto the prepared griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook until golden brown, turning once with a spatula when the surface begins to bubble.



Viola!



Louisiana pancakes and mall shopping

My pancakes never turn out...box, from scratch...I either burn them on the outside, still raw in the middle...or they fall apart in the flipping...but I'm going to attempt to make Louisiana pancakes, (pancakes with a cup of mashed sweet potato mixed in).  Pancakes and sausage and coffee will be breakfast.  I'll come back later and update this entry with the recipe.



I'll give Jackie a call and wish her happy birthday and I know Mo will bug me today to take her to the mall. yuck yuck! I really do not like to shop and mall shopping is the most horrid!  Too much stimuli, too many people, too much consumption and marketing...force fed on capitalist junk....that is the mall from my perspective.  I bet a research study could link higher rates of depression in teens who 'hang out at the mall' compared to those who don't.  I've never understood that phenonmenon.  I mean if the malls become 'community centers' for teens...isn't that a sign that our culture is crumbling.  Flash, trash, and cash...or maybe my reaction is a little extreme but nonetheless, it is my reaction to mall shopping. 



Saturday, January 1, 2005

Happy 2005!!!!!!!!!

Here's a toast (Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee) to rising toward our highest potential and sensibilities!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 



My aim to kick this day off was to sew, sew, and sew some more but I haven't even started...I go off call at 3pm today...so I'm counting down.  This is the first year I have never cooked black-eyed peas and collard greens or cabbage!  In fact I don't even have a menu planned...it will be 'catch is as catch can' (a phrase I heard growing up from my mother).



We'll leave in a few hours to go see my father who is in the hospital. He will have a pacemaker put in next week.  I'm really grateful that Ron is staying with my mother.  She is fiercely independent but never really mastered driving.  After her retirement she made an attempt to get her license, but after running into a woman's yard she stopped again. That was 12 years ago.  She has the public transportation down though...always has.  So not driving hasn't really stopped her from going where she wants to go around the city, but she is quite dependent on my father for errand runs, although she has too much pride to ever admit that.



My birthday was yesterday.  I felt good physically, relative to how I typically feel.  I held no expectations of the day which was somewhat freeing.  I worked until 4 yesterday and I'm still on call, so that had something to do with not anticipating anything knowing that my time was not my own.  Mo made a praline pound cake with ice cream and a caramel sauce. She said it was Emeril's recipe.  My sweetheart gave me cash (but I still don't have enough to take the workshop in a few weeks with Melody Johnson, or at least with not upsetting my budget.  Instead I will register for the other 3 workshops that the Fiber Four members will teach.  Between that and attending AQS I'll be content and will need to concentrate on saving for the week long symposium with Juanita.



Mary and Estella gave me a buzz yesterday which is always cool to talk to them.  They give me energy and I have such great memories of times shared.  They threw me the only surprise birthday party I've ever had. I believe it was for my 31st birthday.  I have such a poor memory...will prolly get an early onset of demetia at this rate~~~~~well, c'est la vie...



Hangeth in ;)