Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween... Remember...

 Happy Halloween. While in Stockbridge MA recently I was drawn to the cemetery. Maybe one of the oldest, best kept I've seen.
We reverently walked among the lovely tombstones reading about the lives that came before us. I took many pictures because they were so stirring, but will share a few with you. Maybe if you click and enlarge them you can see the details too.

Allow me to share with you some of the etched sentiments on the ones I could read...
Wife of... died 1782
Mortals while in this silent tomb
her day cold corps doth rest
her virtues long on earth
In between her soul is blest

I love this one, simple but telling:  " She hath done what she could"

 this one was so interesting to me because of the different fonts used to tell the story.
Really each headstone was a work of art. Who carved them? and how wonderful that someone took the time and money to memorialize their loved one.
How many people walked here before us.
 I love history.
I am not including them all, and my pictures don't do them justice,  but they were art y'all.
Standing, disintegrating  art. The words from 1700's probably being destroyed by pollution or car exhaust, maybe just time and the elements.

On another: Abigail died in 1772, in her  59th year 
"Come hither mortals cast an eye
then go thy way prepare to die
here read thy doom for die thou must
(and here the tombstone was being swallowed by the earth...)
-----------------you to dust.

We stayed at least a half hour or more, then Cole said, er, can we move on now?? It's getting chilly...
 Across the street was this house, for all those afraid of the number 13
I'll leave you this Halloween with this last picture, of a "dead" tree trying to come back. The life coming from death struck me as important. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

when other animals want to be poodles ( or flamingos)

from poodledogblog

and this oldie but goodie not a poodle or lookalike but keeping it sewing related!

 A gratuitous flamingo pumpkin from preservation in pink.
 Happy Halloween from Preservation in Pink!

and to close, for my good friends who read my blog:

from ecards  www.someecards

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How I pack Sewing Stuff for a trip

 I've been packing for the Houston Quilt show.
Clothes are important, because nudity is frowned upon there.
The important items for me, and ones I often organize first, are my hand sewing projects!
Above is a picture of the two project containers I plan to take. The containers change according to the project.
I bought the one on the right while on a trip to CA with dh. I have used it daily for the past 10 years. It opens to the four compartments on the left.
Very roomy. I use it to control hexies.
I ALWAYS have a hexie project going.
 It also holds threads, scissors, glasses, needles, and all the other necessary items. I keep alcohol wipes for needle sticks, and eye drops for dry eyes, plenty of plastic hexie templates and precut fabric to cover them.
This is command central for the enormous hexie project I've had going for 12 years!!
Basically I make components and stack them up using them when the colors fit.
This time I also brought other projects...
The white bag is from Clinique. It's holding four projects. The little hexies, the flower EPP shapes, a new project with elongated hexies and silk, and that teensy little pink container...
Hee hee this is adorable!! I got it at a quilt show.
It holds the tiniest hexie project, (see one of my projects here)
6 itsy bitsy compartments hold all one needs to make a little hexie. Thread on bobbins, needle, threader, scissors, fabric and templates.
Perfect for a purse.
Don't be caught without a sewing project!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm a Pirate-Poodle!

 I'm a pirate poodle! Arrrrgh! I'll plunder your treat bag!!
Just kidding, I'm not going as anything for Halloween this year because:

1. I am older and wiser now

2. the costumes I've endured over the years were dumb and only served to make mommy laugh

3. I don't like scary masks or screaming kids

4. I am waaaaaay too dignified to dress up like a pumpkin
    just for a treat.

I've got these people wrapped around my paw. They'll give me a treat any time I ask. Almost. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Craft show from a poodle point of view

               (Cole took over today's post to discuss his latest trip to a craft show)
Cole: oh Mon Dieu! Are my people EVER going for our morning walk? I'll just take a nap until mom's ready, and she won't get past me this time!!

We're ALL going for a ride in the car?? Must be... here she comes with the Halloween bandanna! Getting dressed is a sure sign I get to go too!
And a bag of treats in her purse?? That means all day long! Whee!
Oh boy, Dad's car. This means some quality time with my nose out the window so I can really smell see things.

Oooooo we're at the craft show. I love it here. All the yummy animal smells in the outside buildings, the people I get to  pet, the dogs to meet, the treats to eat.
I could hardly wait to get out of the car, get that harness on and pull my people into the fairgrounds!
I took off, so excited was I !

LeeAnna here:  Oh he hurried us inside alright. Then he proceeded to pull us through the entire show. He was in a hurry all day. Seemed like he always wanted to be in the next place. Even while people oooohed and aaaaahed over him. Rushing...pulling...til....
I stopped to interview an artist ( read the following post for that)

(Cole again)  Mom stopped to talky-talk so I took Dad outside to flop on the grass. I was quite content to lay there for hours if need be,  watching people and dogs walk by, and be with Dad.
The thing is, my shoulder hurts, and I was so hopped up on pain killers,  I might have been a bit antsy.
Also I knew we always go to the gourmet dogfood store on the way home, and I didn't want to miss that so I tried to keep those people movin'.
The alpaca booth was great though, and while Dad got his socks, I sniffed every sock there. And then we ran into some people who knew just where a poodle likes his ears rubbed, so I slowed down to my age. We also spent a moment at the maple syrup booth, where I tested it for quality control. It passed the test and we bought a bottle, along with a box of toffee. After a lot of walking and looking and sniffing and getting to know a few dogs, we left for my store.
I picked out some boxes of treats, and we stopped at the Plow and Hearth store on the way back. 
Now that store is dog-cool!! I look at every shelf in there. Really.  I took it upon myself to test the fireplace rugs. Just when I thought I might lie down for a mo- Mommy said, let's go!
Always pulling.
Mommy said I stretched their arms on this trip, but I had fun. That's all that counts. Cole

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How to get your groove back and interviews with artists

 I was initially attracted to Kim Roluti's art because of the soulfull faces looking at me. The colors are lush yet gentle at the same time. When I see an artist among 300 who's work I want to take home, I stop to see if they are also welcoming.
That was definitely the case with Kim ( Link to KimRolutiArt) I ask questions like what is your process? how do you come up with ideas? inspirations? studio? overcoming down times? I must summarize her answers as it's been a week
 Her work looks like regular paintings but they start as a sort of collage of paper and laces on canvas. She then paints over with acrylic and oil. This explains the texture and text, two components I LOVE. She is inspired by life and like me starts with a concept she wants to convey.
I was drawn to a piece where two women are together, yet looking away. It was drawn from personal experience, that I related to, and in a gesture captured the feeling of separation while together.
When asked how she deals with those times when you don't feel like working, she said she has work going in different stages, and one of them will prime the creative pump. She works through it. I liked her!!
The next artist to really catch my eye was Ashley Kriehn (link here) who's booth was titled Metallist
  I started our talk with the question of how she came to label herself that way as I'd never seen it done.
She was quiet and unassuming, yet very friendly and open to a chat. I was drawn in to the wonderful shape and texture of her work.
It reminded me somehow of my work, full of texture, cool graphics, and oh! The three dimensional birds so reminded me of mine done in fabric (see the post here! )
Again, she is inspired by nature and her graphic designs are inspired by microscopic images of algae ( I think) In person they are dynamic designs. She chemically etches sheets of metal with the design then shapes it into the birds.  Her family is very supportive of her artmaking,.

We all experience times where we might not feel like working. Ashley doesn't let that interrupt her process. She just goes in the studio, and starts making a component that she has made before, an element that doesn't require as much creative decision making, so her hands are going on automatic until she finds the groove again. I LOVE that.
 I do that by mindless sewing. I just start sewing something together, so my hands and mind get back into the groove, and the Muse doesn't want to be left out so she joins me in the studio. Happy creativity returns. Hilarity ensues! Creativity is never too far away, but it hides. I think this is what other creative people have described as "just do the work" For me, sometimes it's sorting fabric, clearing the studio table of components, just being in a space where I've created before.
There is a kind of kinesthetic memory of your hands.
I hope this was enjoyable, the connection between different art forms. I have interviewed at least one artist at every craft show I attend for years. I love to hear how they live the creative life, and hope you do too.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dia De Los Muertos Dance! Finished!

"Dia de los Muertos dance!"    24" X 22"

This quilt is made for the QuiltArt Day of the Dead challenge. It needed to be approx. 22" square. I have collected a few fabrics over the years to make one of these, and sure enough when it came time to make it, I could only find one. It's a good one though, with dancers.
 Please click on images to enlarge and see all the yummy goodness!

I started right away with the beads, then thought, hmmm how am I going to quilt this? Better build the quilt top before adding any more!
I decided on partial seamed borders, to add some wonkiness to the layout.  I quilted it with metallic threads in different colors, allowing the skull to puff up with the trapunto.The hand stitching is still there, but not noticeable like the little white bugle beads around the skull. This is a quilt where the details are easier to see in person.

In this shot above, please notice the fused crystals over hand, 3-D lettering, hearts around the bowing appliqued guy at the top, and my favorite detail, the BOO sequin on top of the fimo clay-lady eyes.

Details to notice here are:
These little plastic spirals
 aqua metallic thread couched around
rose border, spooky and cool
quilting details
little crystal beads given to me by my friend Bunny, who showed up to bee one day saying "I knew you'd find a way to use these!"

The little skulls are sequins
My friend Steph gave me the purple hearts
Dancing couple, I LOVE them, with heart sequin
(these are iron on sequins unlike all the others)

The Live Strong beads were in the kids section of Michaels.
I found the skeleton key chains on sale for next to nothing after Halloween one year. I got 10 of them, and my husband didn't even ask what I thought I'd use them for. He knows me.
They have found their way into several quilts including the Frida Kahlo quilt (IN THIS POST)

More dancing skeletons... wonder what attracted me to this fabric?? Could it be we met dancing?
I took pictures yesterday but went in today and added the flowers, the little skulls, and the star sequins all sewn on by hand. Sometimes more is better. I don't know if this is one of those times... it's not exactly tasteful but it was fun to make and I hope fun to look at. Have you made one? Leave me a link to yours! LeeAnna