Friday, October 17, 2014

Time's winged chariot

Flies along.  We've been nonstop with our Art Cloth Network conference - meeting all day and going to a lecture on indigo dyeing tonight by Rowland Ricketts.  Go to his website and you will see some beautiful work.  These are a few examples.

Philadelphia, which is not a small city, nevertheless has the feeling of one.  At 7 this morning I took this photo from our hotel room window: a city without traffic?  

Maybe just this morning.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

quickie post from the city of brotherly love

Art Cloth Network meeting from today till Sunday.  It was raining when I left home this morning, but cleared and I got here in 2 hours, door to door.  I will be showing my surface design on Saturday, but will post this transformation so you cn see what i did yesterday morning on the spur of the moment.

The very large shawl  on the left is a raucous yellow, but lovely fabric - a linen rayon blend.  I overdyed it last week and it came out a yucky color, so yesterday i tied it with rubber bands and threw it into a bath.  I am really happy with the results.
Tomorrow, meetings all day and I should have more interesting stuff to post.  Early bedtime after a late night and a full day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My dinner, as we speak

I am eating this as I blog, trying to pace myself and savor every bite.  This is to die for: of course, Mark Bittman's recipe. I have never made one of his recipes I didn't love. It was in last Wednesday's Times and I saved the page because it was so easy and because I had cherry tomatoes and a small eggplant.  One day last week I was home and I put the cherry tomatoes into the oven and roasted them s-l-o-w-l-y, as per instructions while I went on with my life. 

No time to cook so I put them in the fridge and left them there till yesterday, when I cooked the eggplant, before it passed its eat-by date.  This took all of five minutes.  Fortunately, the supermarket had had a sale on these cute little mini penne for 99 cents, so for a change I had all the ingredients. But any pasta will do.

Of course, I cheated a bit.  I saute'd an onion and added some leftover canned tomatoes (sans jus) and some salt/red pepper flakes before I added the cherry tomatoes and aubergine. (I think that is a much sexier word than eggplant, don't you?? -- or is that just because I was French in a pervious life?)

 Cooked the penne for 7 minutes, added the other stuff, grated some fresh romano cheese and that was last night's dinner.  I had cooked just a cup of dry pasta and there was enough left over for tonight.  Perfect, since I am leaving for Philly in the morning.  Come to think of it, I have some regular-sized tomatoes that will rot while I am away for 4 days, so I think I will put them into a slow oven with some garlic and olive oil and let them roast while I finish packing tonight. Here they are, sometime later.
I am not kidding, this is better than almost any pasta I have had in a restaurant -- and believe me, I eat out a lot. This is inexpensive, easy, elegant and delicious. All it needs is a salad and some red wine.You could add capers and anchovies and it would still be fabulous.

On another note...Yes, I did see a friend today!  The lovely and talented LInda Hicks ( and her charming husband Joe came to Montclair to see my exhibit and then were going to the Newark Museum to see the wonderful quilt exhibit I posted about a few days ago.  Linda and Joe live in Boston and were in NY for the week, so the drive to my part of NJ was not a problem.

We met for lunch and while I can't speak for them, I had such a delightful time that I was sorry we didn't have longer.  Next time they are in NY, we need to meet in the city.  Ah...the joys and perks of friendships that are born on the Internet and turn out to be real!

Using up more food that will go bad in the next 4 ays, I made some goats's milk strawberry ice cream and while I think I put in too much sugar, it will be okay and maybe when I get back I will go back into it and see how I can make it better. 

For now, I am waiting for the tomatoes to finish roasting and then I'll tie up a few loose ends.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

do you wonder why I don't blog every day?

Easy.  Contrary to popular opinion, I have a really boring life, most days.  Take today, for instance:

Did laundry
Went to bank
 Went to the cemetery to see if my mother's footstone was up.  Finally, after a year and a half!  Then I threw grass seed on the plot: luckily, today was unseasonably and deliciously warm and it is supposed to rain on Thursday, so maybe it will take. Further planting decisions wait till next spring. I left a stone on each of my family members' gravestones and drove home.

Paid bills.
Shredded papers from the file cabinet, attempting to make room for more.

Dealt with email spam on my iPad

I have a great spam filter on my computer, but the same dreck that goes directly to the junk folder on my macbook comes directly into my iPad inbox in quantities that bury my real mail with 20 0r 30 copies of each message, with such headlines as...
Water could kill you 
I started on Thursday and today I have lost 8 percent body fat
Rachael Ray Banned For Life Over New Photos
70% stock market crash imminent (CIA insider warns)
Reverse acid reflux in 6 days
Meet Japanese Singles Online
Learn how to build beautiful furniture in your home
Unleash the potent power in your pants 

You get the drift.  Then, there are the amusing ones that start out this way...

Hello Dear,
Good day,my name is Miss Rachel Dominic Dim Deng. 24years old, the only daughter to my late parent Mr/Mrs Dominic Dim Deng. He and with 18 people on board including veteran politician Dr.Justin Yac Arop who was also Adviser to the President of South Sudan for Decentralization died on the the aero-plane crashed on Friday May 02, 2008. 

Such imaginative names!

I have tried before to find a way to filter that garbage, to no avail. ios mail has no way to use a filter. Finally, after a week of hundreds of unspeakable messages in multiples of each one, I searched online (of course, where else??) and followed some advice from the Apple support community that works! I use gmail to download from my studio78 server and en route, their spam filters do their jobs.

It took me hours just to delete the junk from my iPad because you know that there is no "delete all" function in the inbox.  Sigh...  But my iPad inbox is slim and trim tonight! (more than I can say for myself).


Ironed the two scarves I printed/steamed/washed yesterday.  Here a a couple of glimpses before I crash.  

Tomorrow, I pay the rest of the bills, pack for my trip to Philadelphia, and maybe if I am lucky, get to see a friend.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunday's open studio

Sunday's open studio was a blast!  Before the afternoon began, we hung our work in the complex's gallery space.  
I fell in love with the monoprint on the right by Carlos Ortiz and before the day was over, I had purchased it.  I don't buy art that often these days but it spoke to me - loud and clear.  Carlos is a wonderful artist and I have wanted one of his pieces for years.  Hooray! 
Early in the afternoon, I had time to visit a few other studios, including Tom Nussbaum's, which is downstairs from ours.

When I grow up and get rich, I want this piece, below.
The traffic was nonstop - lots of friends and other artists -- and even some people I didn't know (who bought my scarves - LOL).  My friend Jacqui and her husband came by and she insisted on taking a photo of me in front of my work.  This isn't it - but I had to take a selfie of us just to prove that I could.
This is really a good picture of both of us and yes, you can see some of my work in the background.
At the end of the day, most of us were too tired to clean up. I left my stuff for today and went home.
No cooking - we went out to dinner, which was delicious (no pictures). But here is a photo of the front door, which I couldn't resist taking.  I should send it to Jessica for her "can you spot the error?" posts on Facebook.  But of course, you have to be pretty illiterate not to spot this one!

Today I was back in the studio printing scarves and honestly, it felt good.  Hope to get back tomorrow afternoon to print a couple more.

All in all, an exhausting/exhilarating weekend.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

rainy Saturday

Spent the morning in the studio to finish the clean-up and to lay out my scarves and Art for Small Spaces, as well as to hang my quilt, Totem 2, in the art gallery we have set up in the building.   
There are 17 artists in the complex who will be participating: quite a change from eight years ago, when there were five of us.  We were the first artists in the complex, which is filled mostly with small businesses.   Built in 1881 or so, it was the original headquarters of  J & J - then known as Seabury and Johnson. My studio is on the second floor, right above that blue car.    This is only one of the buildings in the complex.

Here is what the complex looked like originally.  The Seabury family kept the complex when Robert Wood Johnson moved to New Brunswick, NJ, and the Seabury family descendants still own and manage it.  How cool is that??
After we left the studio, we headed for the Montclair Art Museum to see the QUILT exhibit, From Heart to Hand: African-American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.   I consider myself pretty jaded, if the truth be known, when it comes to quilt exhibits.  But I have to admit this was wonderful.  There were 30 quilts from the Montgomery Museum's permanent collection, featuring the delicious and moving narrative  quilts by Yvonne Wells.  I managed to take a few pictures of her work, but oh, my - they don't begin to give them justice!

This quilt shows a couple dressed in their Sunday best for church.

When I looked at this baseball quilt, I noticed that all the players in the field were white.  Then I saw the batter.  This quilt was a tribute to Jackie Robinson's first game in breaking the color barrier in baseball.
It is pure delight.
This is Yvonne Wells' self-portrait.
I wish I had been able to get a photo of the Elvis quilt and the most wonderful civil rights quilt, but couldn't manage it. I may have to go back.  There were some other quilts from other Alabama women, and I took two more that captivated me.  Sorry I didn't get the names of the artists.

Here is one that predates the "Modern" quilt movement
And another one by a quilter who had never heard of Nancy Crow.

Those were the highlights of my day.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's adventures.

Friday, October 10, 2014

home from opening

Feet up, cup of tea, and ready to crawl into b-e-d.  It was a mob scene and I sold 2 pieces, so no complaints there.  I love when unexpected people show up as a surprise!  Of course, I took no pictures because it was too crowded and it would have been the backs of peoples' heads.
Now to get ready for Sunday's open studio...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

a week for the books!

Yearbooks, that is.

Tuesday and Wednesday nights I spent with my friends and classmates from the high school class of 19xx.(smirk)   Our xxth reunion - and it was wonderful.

For the last 15 or 20 years, we've had a reunion every five years - and every time the mix is different for a variety of reasons.

This year, finally, one of my friends from 3rd grade who had never been to a reunion, decided to come.
That was a treat.  Some people never change: you'd know them anywhere.  Others, you can't seem to place at first.  There were a ton of people I went through school with, starting in 3rd grade and those are the relationships where you instantly feel that no time has gone by and you pick up where you left off. 

At dinner, I pulled out my photo of our 6th grade girl scout troop - hilarious!  Four of us were there last night and OMG - we look drop-dead gorgeous today compared to this photo. Snort! It's so embarrassing.  Anyway, I was thrown out of the Girl Scouts because I would not comply with the RULES.  Quelle surprise!

I was so busy talking and hugging people for two nights that I took only one photo: a selfie of me with my dear friend Bill.  He is an amazing photographer, musician, and a man of many talents. We've been close since 7th grade and while he used to get down to NJ periodically and stay with Marty and me, it is a trip made less and less often and he claims this may  be his last. I refuse to accept that. 

Anyway, back to real life today.  I have been making more pieces of Art for Small Spaces and tomorrow I have to stop at the gallery to make sure everything looks good for tomorrow night's opening.  I will hand my camera over to someone else to take pictures because I know I will be otherwise occupied.

Sunday, October 05, 2014


I have been playing with 53 Paper, a drawing app that I downloaded a few weeks ago.   While I haven't had a lot of time because I've been making a little more work for my exhibit and some for my open studio, which is the same weekend (argh), I've got couple of pieces that were fun to do .  This was the first one, and I'm going to try and do one or two a week.  I think I might have posted this on Facebook after I completed it, but don't think I posted it here.

Actually, a few days ago I made a ribollita, (a Tuscan bean soup) which is absolutely delicious.  So good, in fact, I hate to finish it or add anything that will change it.  But that's the purpose of ribollita: gives you a base to add to and then you just keep going.  Sort of like making sour dough starter and adding more flour when you've used some of it.

Lunchtime! And then off to watch my grandson David play baseball.  It is a gorgeous, if cool, autumn day.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

so glad this week is over

It has been super-busy, what with spending two days hanging the show (don't ask).  Friday night next wk is the opening and on Sunday, I have my annual Open Studios.  Most of my good work is at the gallery, the studio is a tip, and I'm working on making some of what I call"art for small spaces" for the occasion.  I hung four small fabric postcards, matted and framed, in my exhibit and now I am slogging through making some for the studio tour.  This is tonight's output, unframed and probably unfinished. Ha - a bunch of whirling dervishes in the woods is what i see at the moment.  Ghosts. Spirits. Mazikim.
Tomorrow, maybe a few more in the afternoon.

Tonight I made Colombian arepas for dinner.  They were easy and much too delicious -- something I've been wanting to try for a long time.   Tomorrow night we are going to Hilary's for dinner and I have to bake brownies to take for dessert.  At the moment, I am  done for today.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday morning catch up

I spent most of the last week making sure I had labels on all of my work and cutting sticks the right sizes for the ones that had not been exhibited yet.  Tomorrow, I hang my work for the exhibit that opens Oct 10. 

I was so exhausted that I spent Saturday napping - which I never do.  But by yesterday (Sunday) I had recovered enough to go into New York, planning to see a film that was not available in NJ. Unfortunately, the sound in the theatre was at 120 decibels -- so loud that it was painful. A request to turn down the sound was ignored, so we got our money back and left.  This is not the first time and I am officially done with movie theaters unless they are indie/boutique theaters like Film Forum, Lincoln Center, or the Angelika in NY. We have already crossed all large chain theaters off our list.  No film is worth the pain!
I did take a few photos as we wandered around midtown.

42nd St.   The crowds were almost impossible to get through.  This reminds me of when my son saw someone with a similar sign and bought him a bagel.  When he handed it to the person, the guy rejected it.  He really did not want food.  Can't speak for this man.

Walking east toward 5th Ave, a glimpse of the Chrysler Building --arguably the most beautiful and elegant in NY city.

And at 42nd and Park Ave, Grand Central Station.  Another beauty against a modern backdrop, at least from this angle. I love the juxtaposition.
Inside the station I took a couple of pictures but my flash didn't go on.

Off to the right, an empty space.  Amazing!

Walking back to the west side on 43th st, this was the sight on Broadway. I could have sworn that this now-police station used to be the TKTS  booth.    It is kind of cool that B'way is, for a few blocks, a pedestrian walkway.  But they really need to make it mrs user-friendly and attractive.  Oh well, nothing is perfect.

But for me, NY city is pretty close to perfect - with all its flaws.  Today, back to work.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

L'Shana Tova

Translation from the Hebrew: "for a good year."  It's what those of us who celebrate Rosh Hashanah wish each other.  I always begin the holiday by having dinner here for my kids and grands, preceded by cooking and baking for several days.  After all, what is a holiday without food???  Brisket, noodle kugel,and this year I roasted two chickens: one with pomegranate and mint and the other with orange juice, honey, and cumin.  Multiple desserts, wine, and lots of laughter and noise.  No pix of food, but I managed to take a few of the grandkids before the evening was over.

Josh, Ben, and David at the table.

Emma with Jake.  Notice her fake smile.

Emma with Josh -- another fake smile.

This morning I am cleaning up the dishes and pots from last night and then sewing sleeves and labels for the rest of the day.  With the Jewish New Year, autumn has arrived with rain, making everything look extra green as the trees are also beginning to don their red dresses.
Enough of this idle chit-chat.  Off to find a needle and thread to sew those missing sleeves...

Friday, September 19, 2014

time warp

This is what happens when I come back from the West Coast and am still on California time.  I am up till all hours (it's almost 1:30 a.m but my body thinks it's 10:30) then I sleep till 9:30 am and am eating 2 breakfasts and multiple other meals because I'm starving at the wrong hour and then at the right hour. ARGH.

The sum of my day: sorting through the mail, doing laundry, unpacking supplies, and finding   looking for hanging sticks in correct sizes for all my quilts. I can see that I shall have to get out the saw for the sticks and repair/redo sleeves that have had holes cut in them for the Walker hanging system. And yes, I need to make a few labels. Needing to do all that hand sewing makes me wish I were a tv watcher (but not enough to actually BE one).

I unpacked, heat set and washed some fabrics I printed at the end of class.  They are the final layer on my ugly demo fabrics for the Portland workshop.  We worked with glue screens and after I improved a student's fabric with this particular screen, I went to work on my own.  I'm really happy with them (which doesn't take much because they were dreadful). Now I have to figure out how I am going to use them, eventually.
I was trying to use up as much paint as possible so I wouldn't have to cart it home.  I am seriously thinking that in the future, I will teach surface design only within driving distance of my home so I can pack all those supplies in the car and not have to schlep a 50 lb. suitcase around the country.  I am too old and decrepit to do this any more. So THERE!

Puttered around the house today but tomorrow morning I will attempt to beat the hordes to the supermarket and stock up on food for Rosh Hashanah dinner Wednesday night.  Not only is my refrigerator pathetically empty, I have to cook over the next 4 days and set the table. This is why I am clearing my quilts off the dining table.  

Ok, it's almost 2:am eastern time and I had better scoot to bed or I will not be up early enough to beat the supermarket crowds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Point Lobos

Got to the hotel here yesterday and took a walk down to the Cliff House restaurant for dinner.
There was a lot of sun, so I shot these rather blindly -- but oh, my - how lovely the landscape just at the Pacific Ocean.

Shangri-la in the distance, and just look at nature's color combination.  If this were a painting I would think it was trite.

Dinner at the Cliff House was pretty divine, too.
Had a trek back up the long and steep hill, which I hope walked off a calorie or two -- but not sure.
This morning I have been luxuriating in the sun on the patio, catching up on some things I wanted to read.  Flight check-in pretty soon and then I might take a walk.  Tonight, giving a lecture at the San Francisco Quilt Guild and am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, back to New Jersey to take care of all the STUFF waiting for me.  It's been a great trip!