Thursday, April 28, 2005

Its Definitely Music!

I truly love music! But after child number #3 was born, I didn't invest in buying as much music or attending concerts...(btw, The Queen of Soul was in concert last night, I didn't attend but did see her the last time she was here and was thoroughly disappointed in her performance...but I have most of her music and have been known to get in a zone with it).  My brother, Upfromsumdirt, loves it even more than I do and I often borrow his music...he would rather buy music over food I think :) 



I'm listening to Cassandra Wilson, Belly of the Sun.  She went to the crossroads of Mississippi, (Clarksdale in an old train station) to record this.  He called this morning wanting to know if I had his copy...I've had it so long that I actually thought it was mine and told him "no".  But then I found another cd by Cassandra Wilson, Glamoured, and I remembered that I never purchased my own copy and that this is his...oooops~



I've discovered that I love working with music playing and not the tv.  The tv is seldom on if I'm here alone.  I've been listening to everything from Marcia Ball, Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, Yolanda Adams, Taj Mahal, Eric Bibbs, Winston Marsalis, Chuck Berry...I'm not at tense while the music is playing and work at a faster speed than when it is not playing...I find myself getting antsy and taking more breaks when the music isn't on. So when I do get my dedicated space it will be equipped with surround sound.





Monday, April 25, 2005

Postcards and Liberation

Monday_april_25_2005_2_1 Monday_april_25_2005_1 









Monday_april_25_2005_3 Four postcards that I made today.  I worked on a wall piece that I just love, love, love!  But I need to wait til this weekend to get the embellishments that are definitely needed so no photos until it is finished.  It is the piece that will be getting the metal sheeting along with some other stuff.



I have never spent this kind of time and momentum developing and playing with ideas and techniques.  This is sheer joy to me.  So those of you who have the space and get to your studios daily, never ever take it for granted...there are a lot of frustrated artisans who are involved in a daily grind of working on someone else's agenda out here and although in some ways it can be commendable and rewarding, it is often grueling and can erode the spirit and sense of purpose. 



In spite of the physical limitations I have, these 2 weeks are turning into one of the most liberating times I have in a long long time!  And all you AQ bloggers have been a part of it! 



Sunday, April 24, 2005

A Question for AQ Members

Can I machine sew through med. weight copper craft metal?  How difficult is it?  And do I need to pull out my old machine and not risk doing it on the Janome 6500?  I want to add it on a quilt.  I assuming I would need sand paper after I cut it to smooth the edges.  What else do I need to know about using foil metals?  Thanks for any help and direction.



Saturday, April 23, 2005

Missed Friday, but here is one for Saturday

Dscn0498_1 This was recycled from the piece on the left. <click to see the old one. I like this better.  It measures about 15"x12".  It was fused and yes, I'm doing the pillow turn method.  If anything else gets made today it will be postcards.



The weather here has turned cold. It gray and wet...puts a damper on our official Derby kick-off celebrations.  The annual Thunder Over Louisville along the edge of the river is expected to draw only a 1/3 of the expected crowd of 700,000 people.  We're not going this year and I'm soooooooooo relieved.  Since I'm from Kentucky, maybe I should do a quilt about horse racing, tobacco, and whiskey??????



I wish I had more mail that looked like this

Dscn0497_1 It feels as good as it looks! These are fabric squares of Sonji's hand painted fabric.  It feels like a good quality batik.  And see the ATC?  After she reaches the height (she is already famous) of her fame in the distant future, my children will sell this at Sotheby's for millions of bucks.



The Connection did a interesting show on the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.  I wish I could check out the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.  If you can listen on line, check it out.





Pay It Forward...

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Squares of hand painted sheers from Michelle Verbeeck.  How cool! but I'm feeling a little pressure to do something really awesome with them...especially the gold one in the upper right hand corner.



There is a board on the Fiberarts Network Forum for promoting random acts of kindness.  I waiting for "Artndzne" to send me an addy for a postcard she asked for. 









Friday, April 22, 2005

News can sometimes bring the blues.

This newspaper story leaves me weepy this morning.  And let me ask you to take this same situation and think of a woman who is being battered and abused and afraid to report it to the authorities...and think of whether the domestic violence shelter that serves your area does outreach to immigrant communities. Fortunately, shelters are protected by client priviledge and INS cannot just do clean sweeps of shelters.  Where I work we have a very active immigrant outreach with a position being dedicated for an immigrant attorney (who started out being my quilting buddy but had to let it go due to her overwhelming intense schedule and new marriage). 



Today I'll be seeing Juanita, art quilt mentor guru extraordinaire!  Hopefully she'll be blogging with us soon! 



Thursday, April 21, 2005

SOMETHING! is getting made today!

What is that saying about the best laid plans...sighing...well I was up until 1:30am last night cutting batik stripes for what I thought would be a kinda funky design with various size squares.  This morning I didn't spend 3 hours agonizing over colours and fabric...just knew I had something I would be jazzed to show...but, eh? thats life...things don't always go the way I think they should.  Ya' feel me? (Mo says that slang phrase is played out...wait...she is informing me that no one says "played out" anymore...we just don't use that she tells me...I've been informed that "I'm not up on game"...yeah, yeah, whatevah) ...like I was saying my design went belly up after an hour. But all was not lost. I went to the grocery store alone and shopped! I haven't did this in awhile due to my declining lung capacity...but today I felt pretty good!  Breathing is a great thing! 



When I arrived back home I tried once again to redeem what I had tried to do this morning but it still wasn't happening...so, determined to create something dammit! I turned to making a postcard.  Here it tis-



Thursday_april_21_2005 Today, Like No Other---heading to Arkansas.  What you don't see is the glistening traces of Angelina fibers. 



Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wednesday's Quilt

Snapshot_1 I was working with an exercise from Design Essentials: A Quilter's Guide by Lorraine Tarrence...I lost control of it...it was suppose to be a design of criss-crosses with some pieces floating against the backdrop.  The more I cut the smaller and smaller the piece became...its still large turkey platter size but I was going for a very elongated piece almost as tall as me and about 30 inches wide ...here is a close up of what the entire piece should have resembled but with more criss cross bars-Dscn0491                               











I like the random squares on the backdrop and I think tomorrow's quilt will use this as a design idea.  I'm thinking about cutting it in blocks and use in another piece...maybe even recycle for tomorrow's piece.



Along with Thursday's quilt I'll post photos of some delicious hand-painted and dyed sheers that I received from Michelle Verbeeck.  It was from the PIF (Pay It Forward) section on the forum at Fiberarts Network. 



Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tuesday's Quilt

Tuesdays_quilt It is already sandwiched and partially quilted.  I wish I would have bordered the sides.  I know there is a way to butt the sides but not sure if I want to go through the trouble.  I will add a traditional binding and maybe some fringe at the bottom.  What do you think? 



Dscn0489 I used June Tailor's fusible batting...see how lumpy it is, don't like the look of it...I'll use the remaining for post cards.   I used Mountain Mist in yesterday's quilt.  Check out the difference. 



Monday, April 18, 2005

Getting a bigger picture

Two postcards...one complete, one incomplete...but I think these two would look great on a larger scale combined.  (See Melody, I'm beginning to get the big picture hehehe)  I love the brush cotton that they are made with.Joy City_fence_ii





Sonji leads the way for a quilt a day!

I'm going to attempt to hang with Sonji this week who has committed to making a quilt a day.  I will make a quilt top  a day, Monday-Friday, but will quilt them over the weekend in order to improve my machine quilting with a continuous run.  Here is my Monday quilt:



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9.5"x9.5"



Paula & Mo

I love this woman!  My daughter, who at age 9 started her cookie business with her cousin who is just 1 year older, hooked me to Paula's show.  Insert Mama Brag-The cookie business ran for a solid 2.5 years and was titled Mo & Jo's Cookie Bakers.  It ended 4 years ago because I couldn't help them keep up with the demand due to my day job.  I ran deliveries and oversaw the mixing, but they did all mixing and baking and boxing and labeling and record keeping).  So here she is chatting with Paula last Thursday at the book signing.



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Friday, April 15, 2005

Book It!

I picked this up from Julie at High Fiber Content.



1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you



"Further, they will look for ways to explain her reactions that ignore the effects of her environment."  from Feminist Perspectives in Therapy: Empowering Diverse Women 2nd edition, by Judith Worell and Pamela Remer.





Thursday, April 14, 2005

The problem with working small

is that you can loose your work.  I know it is around here somewhere. I just had it last night!



15 minutes later (did the St. Anthony prayer, works each and every time!) I found it.



Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The one that stole my heart!

Dscn0478_2 I'm in love with this one~~~!  The "eggplant" borders I dyed last last summer after getting bit by the dye bug at a workshop from Juanita Yeager



This is just the top and I'll have to learn how to bind the off set borders.  Can I use a pillow turn technique?  I was reading how to do a traditional border last night and the book was recommending hand sewing at the points. 



nappy girl's works in progress

This morning is a little rough. I slept with the oxygen (I wonder if anyone has ever strangled themselves with the tube in their sleep?) but I'm really fatigued this morning.  I feel like my flesh is just going to slide right off leaving me a carcass sitting right here at the computer.  One of my favorite sayings in reference to myself is "nappy girl gon' be alright"...but today nappy girl is just tahed...not tired...but tahed.  Those jokes about being an old soul have caught up with me.  Speaking of which I'm having dinner this Friday with my closest and dearest beloved friend Mary.  We go waaaayyyy back but seldom see one another any more.  We are Nel and Sula...so between telepathy and telephone we stay in touch but it will be awesome to see her!



Here are the wips pics that I promised...input welcomed and encouraged.  Oh, I've decided that it will be no beads on the previous quilt.  Thanks everyone for the comments!



Dscn0473 I'm thinking about adding side panels either with the stripes in different scales or adding circles.











Dscn0476 This is the beginning of the My Vagina quilt.











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This is working off a sketch I did. There will be much more added to it, but after I got this far it made me think of the only sci-fi book I've read, Kindred by Octavia Butler. 















My contribution to the world of knitting

Okay, this is my contribution to knitting...I have a daughter (15) who knits.  Of course, she knits and takes it a part over and over...this was going to be a scarf.  Now she is making me a bag.   She wanted yarn that was 8 bucks a skein...I took her to wal-mart and said "lets start here first".  Of course if it doesn't work out, it'll be my fault for buying the cheaper yarn.  Dscn0459_1



Sunday, April 10, 2005

To Bead, or Not?

Sunday_april_10_2005 I just finished this after un-quilting 2x and taking off the beads.  I have such a hard time throwing away scraps but hate the way the scraps clutter.....this is a practice piece that saves them.  Last night I spent fusing scraps and have about a dozen blocks similiar to the center of this one. 



Do you think beads would enhance it?  What quilting design would you have selected?  I started out with curly-qs and after the 2nd attempt I decided it just didn't work.  I like the curves against the straight lines.  What you don't see are the top and bottom which are slanted angles.  It is 14"x6". 



I have more pics coming but my transfer program still isn't installed and the other pieces are too big to scan. 



I'm fixin' to prepare dinner...plaintains, brocolli casserole, and baked chicken. Coffee ice cream will be desert and then the evening will be spent getting ready for the work week and chilling out as much as possible. 



Y'all hangeth in. 



Saturday, April 9, 2005

Guilty Pleasures...

Before you think I've not been doing a thing QR, I promise I have pics forthcoming of 4 wips and I'll get to post them just as soon as LP works out the kinks in the installation of Beyond TV software program on the other computer. 



But in the meantime, I'll talk about guilty pleasures that Diane asked about....ummmm, I'm still thinking....ummmmm....I guess for the short amount of time I feel guilty about something, it would have to be taking a vacation day or two when the kids are in school and LP is at work.  I'm so seldom home alone and I really do love quiet...it feels so self-indulgent to enjoy the hours from 7am-3pm without much tv, unimaginative music, the phone not ringing, the banter of siblings, and so on.  Just house sounds, birds outside, the wisping sound as I roll from one side of the bed to the other, my music, and just the sound of doing what ever I do.  When I'm home alone I actually enjoy doing the laundry!  Being home all by myself truly feels like a little gift to myself so like I said the guilt that I feel is short and brief.



Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Do you love meddling

in artists' studio spaces as much as I do?  Take a peek into Rose Rushbrooke's Studio.  She provided great detailed commentary!



Look Who's Talking

Girl, girl, girl, the Vagina Monologues was all that and then some! But it wiped my behind out! I finally got my 6 lines down and it flowed really well with the group that I was with on stage. Actually it was easier and more comfortable doing it in front of an audience than in rehearsals.  The furniture for our set was some really cool contemporary screens, chairs and a couch...we looked like we could have been one of those women gab shows that I've seen on the Oxygen channel...sitting there talking about "periods" in different voices that "bled" into one another.  The audience of 700 people where having a great time and gave the show a standing ovation.  I'm glad I followed through and didn't back out after getting the diagnosis I mentioned in an earlier post.



Speaking of which, I'm sitting here waiting on the O2 technician to come refill the helios tank...yeap, as part of this pulmonary hypertension I'm to be on oxygen all the time...my reaction to this was...., I'll just sum it up and say it was over the top followed by a meltdown.  I still do not have the courage, lack of vanity to wear it out or wear it to work...just can't do it, don't know if I want to do it.  I'm relieved (almost calm) to finally have a reason for the symptoms that have been progressing over the last 3 years but this has been and will be an adjustment.  I'm still working but mainly because I'm scared of being without health insurance.  I'm not that familiar with what Medicaid will do or not do and I definitaely do not want to be stuck under-insured because this is not a common diagnosis and treatment still seems experiemental and new from what I've read.



Back to the VM.  Each cast member received a t-shirt with a design by a visual artist from Lexington named Tanya Lewis (pictures of her work are forthcoming. she gave me permission to post them here but my camera is at the zoo with P., A., & M).  Also, we received a copy of the documentary about the impact of VM world wide along with a "pussy purse" which can be viewed here.  (it is not pornographic)  I showed this to P., (the purse, which I thought was cute) and he asked "is that in good taste?"   (no, he was serious). He couldn't watch much of the HBO edition of VM.  Politically he can be described as liberal to borderline radical...but he is socially conservative around topics for public discourse, i.e sexuality.  Like spirituality, he feels it is very very private matter. 



But on the fabric front...I've been making these shapes over and over, in a variety of sizes and then last night it dawned on me that it was in the shape of the vagina! Oh my! Then I went to town cutting them in all different colours...not sure what I will do with them but I think this calls for a Vagina quilt!   



And, yet, another discovery about myself as a quilter...I'm challenged to mix design motifs on the same piece.  There is this piece I started...blocks of stripes running vertical, horizontal, vertical--that is one row, the second is just the opposite...the overall appearance is simple to boring leaning toward whimsy, but the colour carries it and I think it has potential if I could add 1 or 2 more motifs.  I'm thinking about adding equal size panels on both sides and adding multiple size circles as applique or re-creating the stripe blocks in smaller scales or maybe both.  I'll get a picture up in a day or two. 



The O2 tech was suppose to be here between 8-noon.  He has 20 minutes.  I'm going to have to go.  Wait, wait, before I do, I wanted to mention that Gabrielle, at Handmaiden is being kind enough to share her teaching experience at Asilomar.  She asked her students to come up with 2 words to describe where they are now and where they want to be as quilt artists.  I'm taking the bait and my two words are "sparse and prolific".  It is hard to build upon what I learn because I'm stop and go (sparse)  with weeks between actually working and when I'm focused on doing something it is like I have to take a mental exlax to clear the clutter.  Thats what the vagina shaped pieces where about...clearing the clutter so that I could see. Anyways, check ya' later 'gator.