This is another drive through posting, but by way of an email from Gerrie I was notified that I had received Viewer's Choice in the Non-Judged Category of the Indelible Spirit Challenge!!!! This has been a good day...it started with some news that made me cry tears of relief and hope this morning followed by lunch with some friends and then I came home and checked my email with this good news! Another AQ'er ring member, Cheryl Sterling, received the VC for the Judged Category too! Wooohooooooooo, I'm bouncing at the news!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
My blog was frozen...it is thawed out now and I'll be back later in the week with a new post. I have received postcards from Arlee and Becky which are wonderful! Oh, and an update about the cell phone situation with my daughter...in short, she will be getting a new plan. :)
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Oh my! But this couldn't wait I am so tickled by this. My 16 y.o. just wrote this letter for her father who is out running errands at the moment. Poor soul doesn't have a clue what he is in for. She came to me for input and I had to restrain from laughing because she is very very serious.
September 21, 2005
Subject: Cell Phone
In regards to my cell phone (Samsung C-207) with a pre-paid plan that you have already purchased, I would like to ask if I can upgrade my phone and get a monthly plan instead of the pre-paid. When I had asked my mother if I could purchase the plan with my hard earned money she had referred me to ask you about me getting the plan added on to your name.
I am willing to pay for my monthly plan by open handing you the money once a month. If all fails and I have exceeded a limit to where I am not paying my bill than my phone should be cut off and return to a pre-paid plan. I have thought about this long and hard ever since I had started earning money. Enclosed you will find some family plans I have researched.
Please keep this letter in mind, daddy, and please keep all this into consideration. (I AM GOING TO PAY FOR IT). I hope you will seriously consider my request and get back to me as soon as possible.
She actually composed this as a proper business letter, I removed the addresses and her name for obvious reasons, but this is very representational of Mo and her personality. LOL
I'm predictable...I can attend to all the fun things this morning here at the computer while drinking sumatra dark brew when there is a mountain of clean clothes on my couch waiting to be put away...but as promised heres the card I made for the Art Doing Good fundraiser:
And here is the 3rd card I received in the AQ postcard swap. It is from Deb. I recognized it as hers before I flipped it over...this sun is her logo (is that second to shoes?). But I'd like a logo of some sort...so that when you see an element in my work, you go, "oh that is a Karoda". lol...I'll get there.
Here is a link to a letter written by the poet, Sharon Olds, to Laura Bush declining her invitation to speak at the National Festival of Books. The reason this seems haunting to me is that 15, probably closer to 20 years ago I read an article by Ms Olds that talked about creative writing outreach with adults with severe disabilities and mental functions and it fueled a catalyst for me to share this with my then Director where I worked with adults with severe MR and physical disabilities of which lead to the creation of a fine arts integration program. I had written Ms. Olds who in turn mailed me a packet of information that proved most valuable to us. The group that I worked with then have since gone on to display their art in many venues and open up an art gallery and studio. I had forgotten about that until a friend shared the letter with me this morning. Also, in my email box this morning was an email from the Director of that program where I use to work which is a rare but welcomed treat. But is it all just coincidence? Those where some of the best years I've ever had as an employee. It always brings up good vibes...and I've been riding a good vibe since the middle of last week that was preceded by low ones.
The link above also made me remember a website and book, Poets Against the War that I haven't visited in awhile but was crucial in helping me deal with the aftermath and trauma I felt from following day to day, moment to moment the events and speeches that begin after Sept. 11 right up until U.S. declared pre-emptive war in Iraq. I shudder just thinking about it vaguely.
But all of this makes me think how we never really can understand the impact of our day to day actions no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Life (emotionals, energies, thoughts, behaviors, each and every single one, even the act of our breath) impacts the world we live in. Not to the degree that we should possess some inflated notion or idea of our self-importance, but to understand how we are connected. Some whole cultures around the globe understood this intutitively and not as moments of enlightenment or something to be debated. Our lives have a way of circling or spiraling as they connect in and out but never dismembered one from the other. What a reason to celebrate!
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I've had an all up hill over rocks kinda day physically. But I just checked the Art Doing Good Website and the postcard I donated finally sold!!!!! Whew! Seeing this just makes me feel soooo good and happy! I had emailed Elle earlier saying I now understood how she felt when she donated the postcard for the American Cancer fundraiser and kept checking on it...I've been checking the site like a crazy woman to see if my postcard found a home. I didn't think I would be that emotionally involved over my postcard being sold and how soon, etc., but I was. The looming question over the weekend was 'what if I'm the only one on the planet that loved my card?' A piece by Babara Olson followed mine (I just bought her book) then a string of intriguing images by Liz Berg and I thought, no way will my postcard move. And I thought I would be content just knowing I tried to help and that would be enough (or that is what I told myself). Ha! A little humbling moment of self-discovery and joy all rolled into one! I do not have an image of it on this computer so I'll have to upload it later for everyone to drool over...but it you get curious and want to check it out before I get to it, (I'm slow but sure) the card is #298 on the site.
And even more happy joy joy...The Indelible Spirit Challenge went up and there is my quilt displayed on page 3. Going through this was my first time addressing issues of packing and mailing it off, writing a statement for it, taking a photo to submit, (its not as clear as I thought it was but the close up is great!), and although I was puzzled and sometimes frustrated by this part of it, going through all the prep work felt very validating as well.
There are at least 3 other Artful Quilters participating in the IS challenge. Cathy S. (who gave me a nudge to submit a piece), Cheryl S., and congratulations to Pat D. for receiving a Judge's Choice Award! And while I'm singing praises and name dropping I'd like to thank Anne Copeland and Michele Verbeeck for their wonderful communication, organization, and work for making this happen. I never stop being amazed when I see women so engaged. Hangeth in everyone!
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I've been playing with Tyvek and I love it. The first time I used it was at a design symposium that I attended in July. I want to do a really large quilt with this material! I just can't stop touching it! This is a postcard with the Tyvek sewn down on a quilted background. The colour comes from either Sharpie markers or oil pastel crayons. I love these colours but the texture is what thrills me. I'm going to add some sequins to distract from the funky quilting but I couldn't wait to show it off. I feel so lucky that something like this postcard is all it takes to make me have a good time!
Here are some more postcards. The 2 at the top are recent and went out to some friends as little surprises in their mailboxes.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
During the 80s I performed with some sistahpoetfriends in a group called Voices in the Wind. A photographer with our local paper snapped this but I am on a stage in an intimate theatre setting with 6 other poets dressed in black and a guest poet, Amelia Pegram.
And this photo was also taken in the early 80s with my partner in our first apartment. One of the very few pieces of furniture we had was the lamp behind us. We later added a plant, so all the pictures during this time are either in front of the lamp or the lamp and plant. The plant died but we still have the lamp.
He first encountered me at a heritage festival where many years later he recounted the incident for me and I remembered that I very distinctly blew him off.
Not knowing that he was the boy I blew off, I encountered him at the campus library where I remembered he "stalked" me. (He takes issue with this description) but I swear, every time I looked up he was passing the aisle I was browsing or on the other side of the shelf. I use to take refuge to study in the African American Reading Room at the library which was typically very empty and quiet. One day he comes in and to entertain myself I reciprocate in the conversation he insist on having (he takes issue with my take on this as well). After sizing him up as smart but oh so square when he asked me for my phone number I intended on changing the last number (always easier to remember in case they ask again). But like the voodoo spell he caste the correct telephone number came out of my mouth. Future telephone conversations solidified his squareness but he was smart and we could talk politics and he loved my poetry and literary interests so he became a forum for me to bounce off of. But I never went out with him, was already involved and had my oldest son. I went on to marry someone else, (had confessed to him, my best friend, and my sister that I knew this was for all the wrong reasons). He tried to talk me out of it, but didn't. He moved to Birmingham, AL. I went through with the marriage, I divorced, he moved back to Louisville, but after such a hypocritical event of knowingly marrying the wrong person in church, before God, family and everyone else, I talked big smack about not getting weighed down...after a year or so, though he was the only man that made the cut and I enjoyed most of the time because after much partying, he had real conversation and was the most intriguing of any man I had ever known and pretty much has remained so to this day, (except for one other, but that too would have been disastrous if I had pursued it). We've been together for 20 years and through all the ups and downs have become best friends in love. My only real bone of contention is that I think his thinking suffers sometimes from male hegemony when it comes to women's issues inspite of my best efforts.
So fellow bloggers, what exactly is your motivation to create?
There have to be as many reasons as there are members, but I would like to hear from some of you personally. Whether you are a professional or beginner, why are you working in fiber? What drives you to create....to make art...to show your inner self or just play?
The motivation to create in the broader sense came to me as an early teen (the decade of the 70's) after finding the poets and commentators that emerged in the 60's. It was the first time that I felt I belonged, that I had found my people and furthermore, that all of the authors I found and read held a personal mission to call me to join them. So, in turn, I wrote my first poem at 13 and wrote through much of my early teen years satisfied to read to my friends. I did not encounter another "real poet", someone who self-identified as such in real life until I became a freshman in college. The "real poet" was young and had just returned to her native city and was teaching a course I took. I offered to give her a ride one day and from that time forward we developed a deep friendship. She organized a "poethon" and asked me to be one of the readers. She later ran a neighborhood cultural center that had a speaker's forum that brought in many grass roots academicians and poets that I had read during my teens. One of the multitude of lessons I learned from her is that artists are everyday people who honor what they feel intuitively and make time to do it, even if it is just 15 minutes a day and trust it. I remember her telling me "a book is written one page at a time. if you write one page a day, at the end of a year you'll have 365 pages to edit". The most valuable gift I received from Estella was incorporating into my personal life the understanding of Life is ALL process and trust the process. So up through my late-30's I wrote poetry and did readings, performances, and some workshops around the city.
So how did cloth weave itself into my artistic endeavors? At first, after graudation from college, I had decided to spend more time with my great grandmother, Willie Pearl, who had accused me of wasting her grandson's money if after four years of college, the school had not taught me to quilt! She finally managed to give in and our first few sessions did not go well from my perspective so it was abandoned. After she died and then my grandmother died, I decided to make a quilt (self-taught) to honor them. It was a traditional simple pattern in African Fabrics which I discussed and showed here when I first set up my blog. (The link is funky so scroll to the bottom after you click the link to see it).
Through the magic of the internet during this time I found other African American Quilters through boards on what was then the main internet provider "Prodigy" and we did exchanges and round robins. And then I had an opportunity to see Juanita's work at an exhibit in the late 80's and was intrigued that she lived locally and I loved her work. But between a growing family and working and what was then beginning to become a series of pulmonary health problems, I just kept putting it off to contact her all the while just dabbling with my simple quilt blocks. Then I was mostly handquilting, so my finished creations where far and few.
The ill health issues slowly decreased my ability to read, concentrate for long periods (which I always thought was my greatest asset), and to write. During many frequent hospital stays I would dream images that I perceived as quilts but I never sketched them, saying to myself, "one day". It wasn't until about 3 years ago when I had 2 hospital stays less than 2 months apart, one being 7 days the other 10, that I decided that the lights will never be green all at the same time...that life will have its downs and if I had to experience setbacks I'd rather them be while I'm engaged as fully as possible pursuing the things that feed my soul. All during this time I was struggling to keep employed which means working on someone else's demanding agenda and being consumed by it that in order to gain some sense of myself again I decided to pursue art quilting and called Juanita. I had already learned that artists are everyday people but who make time and space for creating, so my apprehension about calling a "real artist" had been resolved. Even though I had never created an original art quilt in my life, I already had learned that life is process and to trust the process, so what I'm really most intrigued in learning is about processes, and least on creating the award winning quilt.
Just as listening to the call of poetry and Estella's friendship got me through the first half of my life, I believe that art quilting and what I learn from Juanita and other quilters will carry me the rest of the way. Art is survival and I take that literally.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
And when I received Jan's card, the song "the heat is on" begin ringing in my ears. I'll have to come up with something just as outstanding.
Friday, September 2, 2005
Stumbled across this link while blog surfing and found Elise
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Mo checks on her sunflowers as soon as she comes through the door from school and before she goes to bed at night. She is such an attentive parent. The other one below shares the same pot but has you can see, is a little slower in it's growth. This one is a different species and she thinks it will have purple petals. But if it doesn't do something soon, it will fall victim to colder temperatures. My friend, Dee, tells me that sunflowers are a hearty and tenacious flower, so maybe the purple one we will get to see bloom before the winter arrives.
My sewing machine has been gone for over a week. I'm hoping I can pick it up tomorrow or Saturday. I've missed it's towering presence on my kitchen table and have been trying to fill the void from all the sewing I was going to knock out this week (yeaaaahhhh, riggghtttttt) by washing and making necessary appointments and completing paperwork that I've been dragging on. But today I found myself examing a general malaise inside of me and decided to turn off the tv and listen to a cd that Mudman loaned me entitled Seasons Change by Fertile Ground. So far so good. The music and lyrics are jazz rooted and very polyrhythmic world beat to it and seem to be what I'm needing to guard against that down in the dumps harmonica playing blues feeling. (Mudman, ya did good with this choice...but you can come get Lizz Fields and Goapele. With both of them I don't get a sense that the musicians and vocalist are in tune with one another.) I kinda knew it was going to be a challenging day emotionally when I woke up with the word "paradox" on my mind. After meditating on it for a while, I managed to doodle out what I hope to be another series of quilts. But more on that when its time.
I'll exit this entry with a picture of my transfer experiment using an ink-jet transparency. The picture is of my great niece, (I'm a great aunt, I just love saying that) Carmen.