Sunday, June 30, 2013

Folklife Festival, deux

When at the Festival,  one tries new foods and beverages. This time we tried a "snack" from India made from crispy rice, crispy chickpeas, and magic...the husband looks happy doesn't he? We both loved the food actually and wouldn't mind eating a few more bowls of it.
 Then, CHEERS! to mango lassi drinks! These are mango puree, yohurt, cardamom and again-- magic.
Oh my,  I really must get out the blender again and make these for dessert every night.
CHEERS! To mango lassis!
 We then felt refreshed enough to sit idly in the audience and watch the frantic folk dances of the
Hungarian folk. Lots of stomping, slapping, jumping and swirling. Gotta work off that goulash! As a culture they love their dance and most people know all the dances. Being dance-minded people ourselves this was fun, seeing the similarities to our form of dance and others we've done.

We left tired, dusty, sweaty, and happy that we got to be a part of this party!

The festival continues through the weekend after July 4th. Worth a look, if just for the black dog sculpture!
frantically swirling Hungarians
 on the way back to the car we walked through the Castle gardens as usual, and saw this scary-Audrey (Little shop of horrors) plant and thought you might get a thrill seeing it too. Yikes!!
"that guy looks like plant-food to me..."

back to the studio to layer and quilt the Palm Jewels quilt.
thanks for reading, now go make stuff!

Folklife Festival 2013

Art Surrounds Us

Take a look at this current Hirshhorn sign! The little words say Art Surrounds Us. Sweet!

For once we made a good decision (celebrate good decision day!! Yay!) to go into DC to the Folklife Festival on Saturday. The weather was great considering our usual summer HHH (heat, haze, humidity).

The Festival is always a 20 ring circus, and usually in my need-to-see-everything, I study schedules and arrange our viewing times running us from pillar to post. This time I was forced to take it as it comes, as the schedule was all off because a performer was hurt.  Apparently the whole two week schedule was now thrown off, so you had to just go to the tent to see what was happening that day. WHAT??

Actually it was a great day because I put down the need to see everything, and just wandered around seeing what I saw and it was all relaxed and good.

One of the things I saw was this HUGE Puli dog sculpture being constructed by the energetic Hungarians.
They built it out of cut up boards painted black. It is amazing! It was surrounded by people all the time but here's my best picture of it, click on it to see more detail.
BIG Puli dog
 I am dressed for the weather and tromping around for miles. Fashion stops at the knees, right?
Fiber Arts Demos from Hungary
 This woman is making some kind of open machine lace with her treadle machine and free motion work.
I don't know details as not one of the Hungarians I met spoke any English and there were very few interpreters around this year. In previous years I got a chance to ask artisans questions like what drew them to that art form, and how did they come up with designs, what did making art mean to them... not this year.
zither-ing around
I wanted a zither after watching the effortless way this guy played them until I tried to play one.

In the last few years I've increasingly wanted to learn musical instruments. I bought an American Indian flute, a ukelele, a keyboard, and a Woodrow which looks like a little guitar but sounds like a mandolin.

The zither will have to wait although they look like beautiful sculptures just sitting there.

More later on the Festival

Saturday, June 29, 2013

breakfast alfresco

I could eat

 Cole has food allergies. File that under "It's ALWAYS something"
He wants everything we're eating, but he's allergic to everything we eat except, for the moment, brussel sprouts. That is his favorite thing to eat at the moment because it isn't Science Diet cardboard  kibble.

This morning he said he wanted to have a bit of yogurt and or cream cheese. So far he can eat them, but doesn't always FEEL like eating them. He's a moody poodle.
dining Al Fresco

We all ate Al Fresco this morning,
"Bone" Appetite!
Would you just look at this palm leaf after last night's rainstorm? Beautiful. Now that's going in the queue to be made into a quilt!
spiders think they own the world/Ants think they do

Thursday, June 27, 2013

One was due, I made two


 These are my Klee challenge quilts. Once again, our little 6 person group makes an interpretation of a chosen artist and this month's was Paul Klee. He was my choice, so we all did our own pieces. It was fascinating to see the choices. I learned that I like all the styles I researched. All our quilts are 12 in square

Hoodoos is a technique I've played with for years, where I piece tiny strip to tiny strip and make long sections. I haven't made anything with them yet. Then when I saw his highways painting, this came to me.
I love it so much I plan to make a larger one. I had a lot of fun playing with hand dye scraps, and playing around with color relationships.
The amazing thing to me was that I grew to absolutely love the organic ochre/red strip. Not colors I use often if ever. It's true, all colors have beauty. The ochre looks especially pretty next to the blues. 
Joyful Woman

close up of Joyful Woman
Klee's squares with letters in them always intrigued me. I didn't realize before this exercise that he had other styles. I loved his whimsical line drawings too. The color placement was a terrific exercise alone, then I added half square triangles and the whole thing danced. I think the black line took away from the dance, but really wanted a strong black line drawing and love to see women in art.
I toyed with the idea of another poodle, and my DH suggested the "line drawing" be a poodle but I didn't feel like it.
I'm a moody little artist.
I placed the beaded cording on the finished quilt, and held it in place gingerly while stitching over it with free motion. If it shifted a bit, well, it's a woman! What woman doesn't shift a bit in her life? I lovelovelove his letters in squares, so I did free motion zig-zag letters spelling JOY and surrounded with my fave beads.

Who doesn't need a little more Joy in their lives?? I do, ( raising hands and waving them around)

Thanks for looking

gift quilts, so hard to give away

These two little quilts are gifts to the quilt show organizers that chose me for their Invitational Quilter 2013.
I met so many wonderful people and renewed friendships with others. You know how I feel about connections between people!
no way, nuh uh, turn around!

Cole flatly refused to walk today... "mama, have you lost what's left of your mind?? It's over 90 and 9 AM!"
He stopped at the foot of the driveway so back in the AC he went.
Thank Goodness someone invented AC.

I walked without him, and no doubt the neighbors wondered how I could walk-without-poodle.

 I got a grand idea for a quilt, looking at a special tree along the way. I'm partial to trees anyway and have been making tree art for years, design, not actual tree trunk rubbings or anything like that. Although I did suspend a small mono print from a twig...

I added some studio pics, click on button at top.
Hope you are making something

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After the Rain

Whew! We had some rain last night, and everything is kind of washed clean this morning. It is less humid and sparkly-looking  from the wicker chair on the porch this morning, sitting with my coffee and listening to birdsong. I'm trying to convince the poodle to leave my husband alone to sleep in a bit and fight off the cold.

I am so excited to meet with a new beading group this morning. I have so many beads, being attracted to shiny sparkly things, and although I've made peyote bags, some jewelry, and often add beads to quilts, I don't use my beads often enough. Hopefully this group will encourage me to use them.

There is a drive to create in me that has always been there. I must have tried almost all crafts as a child. Almost all art forms as an adult. I love being around creative people and hearing how they go from concept to finished art.
In quilt-land we call unfinished objects UFO's or WIPS, works in progress. Some people worry about having too many bits and pieces of old  projects laying around. My friend Helen calls many of them what they are, class projects. They were not meant to be finished, just provide learning.

Here is a  pictureof my studio today in all it's productive glory. It's in quite a  state  right now, in the middle of two deadlines. It is a mess. A real mess, where you could be swallowed up in a pile or seriously hurt by a landslide of fabric if you aren't careful.

You all know what I'm talking about.

Soon the art will be made and shipped off, and I'll do the clearing, sorting, refolding, reshelving that happens after a major effort. Then I'll take more pictures and you'll think it always looks like that. Heh, heh. But you'll know better...

As the pincushion says, "Embrace Imperfection"

hope you are all making something

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Peace, ya'll

 Cole was  'reading all about it'  on the walk this morning, see pic below. When he got home he sat by the "Peace Garden" and thought, can't we all just get along?
Interesting  thought from the guard poodle, but he has seen the value of peace now that he is aging and a bit creaky. The problem is he wants to play, but the legs ain't what they used to be. Now when he tears around the front garden, doing the indy 500, he often spins out. Wish I could sit him in front of the "talky-talk" or TV and turn on Animal Planet. He doesn't read, or play cards...

Now the bees were so busy gathering pollen, they didn't even notice Cole, which was best. I planted this pineapple Sage years ago, and it survives the winter coming back to flower like this! Oh my word, it's like little crowns of purple beauty. That's a big bee, a big distracted bee.

I finished the two Klee quilts last night, but will show and describe them Friday linked ffrom Nina Marie's blog:  

I didn't plant a veg garden this year, I'm leaving that to my niece Christine in TN

here is the heart shaped hydrangea... this year's Valentine quilt.

It's hot, hazy and humid here, what's it like in your neck of the woods?
love, LeeAnna

Monday, June 24, 2013

Time Flies, whether you are having fun or not

 Time Flies was made in 1999 going into the next century when every one was afraid the world would end, and clocks cease to tick, and computers would fail.

It sits in the doorway of my hot-mess lovely studio to remind me to get moving! Time Flies girl! Don't forget your deadlines! You're LATE!                   Tick, tick, tick

Today I get to hang with my quilting buddies. Material Girls rock!  I will take my latest creations and they will share the joy of finishing something. There could be oooohs and aaaaahs. Maybe, hopefully. There may be scraps. 
I am known for loving a scrap, any scrap of fabric.People gift me with their trash beautiful bits of leftovers. 

 I love to sort and groom my scrap stash, and often make really wonderful art from them, probably because they are odd shapes, or varied, or I don't mind wasting them. For what ever reason, I have been writing a book for several years about the joy of scraps. 

So today, I must walk with the poodle, then load up the car, leave the Hoffman deadline quilt to be worked on later, and go hang with my peeps. 

Yesterday I planted the wilting seedlings, then made my Art and Artist study group challenge on Klee.Two months of thinking, two days of making.  I made two and LOVE them. Check back tomorrow to see them. Whee!! Don't you love it when you
1) meet a deadline
2) make something you love 

hope you are all making stuff

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Don't you love a garden?

These need planting. The palm is my new favorite plant ever.... Oh the colors in the changing sun, deep yellow greens, rust, browns, lime... yum   Does anyone know if it would survive a Maryland winter if planted?  All the others supposedly tolerate shade and give color. We'll see she said skeptically.
 We have set the fountain back up and the gurgling is amazing. So calming. The birds perch on the top ring and drink, sometimes they jump right in the bottom ring and bathe with abandon. Is it me or are the cardinals brighter red and the jays brighter blue than usual? Maybe it's the sun. We don't usually have this blue sky here, it's usually a smoggish hazy greyish blue but this Spring it's been SW blue.
Note the railing box has a sign that says laugh. I can see this one from the kitchen sink. By the end of the day I hope it will also have some more flowers in it for color.
Happy summer ya'll. Let the porch sitting/reading/wine drinking begin!


klee drawing of my own

I am starting my Klee challenge due on Tuesday. Yep, in three days. I have a plan but this attempt at drawing in the Klee style was fun and bears another attempt. It might win out as the chosen challenge over the squares of hand dyes with letters spelling out " express yourself" Klee style. Today's the day. Put-down-the-Hoffman-challenge-for-a-moment.I'm really thrilled with my Hoffman challenge piece and obsessed.
Check back in with me...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

rounding out poodle week

                                                               "Picasso's Poodle"

This is a 12inch X 12inch piece done for an art group challenge. There are six of us, we meet every other month, and make a 12 inch square piece based on the chosen artist. With a focus on texture. This exercise will go on for two years studying 12 artists.
This is last month's piece based on Picasso's style. I did a lot of research on his work, quotes, style and decided since he also had a poodle, that's the way I'd go.

Cubism grew on me through the research. Of course, true to form I think and think until a day before the deadline and work obsessively to get 'er done. I believe having a deadline helps me stop dithering, and just go with it, you know?  My focus on texture is visual texture from different prints together.Plus thick threads, and the Eiffel Tower metal tags.

I chose B&W fabric for the background and developed a method for piecing angles without inset seams. I love the martini fabric, imagining all the artists arguing over drinks in Paris. I did dither over which sections to outline with the couched thread, managed to over quilt it, hand wrote out the quote by Picasso, "Good taste is the enemy of creativity" which makes me laugh! Well it's not exactly velvet Elvis art for sale by the side of the road, but...
I love him!
The next artist is Paul Klee, and he was one of my suggestions. I love his color sense, I like both his squares with letters, and pieces that look like surface design. I have to decide if a poodle finds it's way into this one.


the house that needs too much

I looked at the flowers in their little starter boxes    PLANT-ME
I see the bird feeder from last year                         FILL ME
I see the old tired dirty carpet                               REPLACE ME
I see old tired baths and kitchen                           RENOVATE ME
I see a messy studio from too many deadlines          SORT ME
I see a dining room table, well I can't actually SEE it   ClEAN ME OFF
I see laundry mountain                                             WASH ME
I see a hungry poodle                                              FEED ME (so I do)

Too much to do, and the studio wins again as usual. I am under deadline with two challenges as well as trying to get digital pictures for entries done. And figure out how to design this blog. People said, it's so easy!
They lied.

It's a wonder I have any hair left. My niece sympathetically condensed my rants to :  " not tech savvy??"

so I'll put off the picture of my current project til tomorrow when I hope to learn how to link to Nina-Marie's  off the wall Friday site.

The studio is calling, MAKE SOMETHING and I'm going to listen. The house can wait another day.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Mama!! Smell this and tell me if you think it's real!
I am "walkswithpoodle" or so the neighbors call me. We know each other by our dogs, that's Cole's mom...

Cole notices everything and loves a walk until now. He is getting rickety in his Autumn years. My baby is 11.
If he could speak English he'd tell me to slow down and smell the, er, hydrangeas.

Monday, June 17, 2013

bored stiff
My mom has been gone a'quiltin' for three days and I'm so bored even the chipmunks don't interest me.
Well maybe a chipmunks would but the squirrels definitely aren't interesting. Well, actually the squirrels are still annoying but I miss Mom. Where's the waiter, I'll have a chicken broth on the rocks, hold the rocks and include a side of something really smelly. Thanks. Has anyone heard from Mom?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Invitational Quilter

This weekend at the Annapolis Quilt Show, one will find me sharing my art as the invitational quilter in the entry hall. I am enjoying the connections with other artists and would-be artists. Oh the stories I've heard, the jokes shared, the lovely comments on my work... perfect!  It's just these kinds of moments, the real connection between two people that make my heart sing. I must seek out these moments each day.

A very enjoyable activity turned out to be one of the creativity exercises I do in my lecture. I had more time to really get into the process at the show and get to know people. I'm sharing this picture I'm the one vibrating in orange. I look overly serious here but you get the idea... til next time... keep making stuff.

Friday, June 14, 2013

This blog is under construction so I hope you'll check back with me soon.
I have many plans for this blog including buttons for:
Pics of finished art
studio tips
works in progress
artist interviews
book reviews
poodle puppy ponderings
The Connection Project

I love my husband and poodle, making art, reading, gardening, walking, music, talking with friends, and, well, so much more.  Come back again soon to read all about it!