Wednesday, November 30, 2005

coffee break

A coffee break would be fine, except it is 10:30 at night and this is not decaf. What kind of person makes a cup of strong coffee at this hour? A masochist? An optimist? I'm hoping it will give me a little boost so I can stay up and continue to stare at the fabric on the floor and on the chair, looking for inspiration. Or, I can stay up and look at THIS! My laptop, accessorized with the pile of stuff which just fell on the floor and I hastily retrieved. Beneath the cut-up onion bag is a somewhat diminished pile of papers I was working my way through all day. Yes, I was in my studio, but not doing what I wanted to do. The laptop is now on my lap and my feet are where the laptop was, but I will not bother with a picture. I just finished giving a tutorial on gelatin printing to a friend of mine who lives on the other side of the world in a place where they may not have colorless gelatin, but might have Jello. I told her to buy lemon flavor, so we'll see what happens next. The coffee has kicked in enough for me to finish this, but not enough for me to do anything creative. Tomorrow. I promise.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

another Tuesday

Crit day. Or, as we call ourselves, Studio Six. We met today at my house because Diane Savona, who meant to have the meeting, was sick. Joanie SanChirico and Joan Dreyer couldn't be here today, but Judy Langille and Rachel Cochran came with their work. We all try to meet a couple of times a month and usually succeed, although we haven't seen Joanie for a while -- and we miss her. She's confined to home for a while and is working on a major commission, which is keeping her sane. Also, she has had a new studio built and is happily moving into that new space. When she's ready for the marauding hordes, we'll descend on her. In the meantime, here is Judy, showing us a couple of the pieces she is working on. And Rachel, with one of her new pieces-in-process. I think I need to have it to hang on my fireplace wall, which is directly behind her. Oops. I was showing Judy my batik'd fabric which, for some reason, she had not seen. And then we brainstormed about a piece I'm having trouble with. Isn't this what colleagues and friends are for? One Monday a month we all get together and dye/paint/print (to borrow a phrase from Diane Herbort's Houston activity) and share techniques -- a lifesaving activity for all of us! These sessions have informed our work and it's fascinating to see how different the same techniques are in each of our hands. Next Monday we're doing gelatin plate printing. Tomorrow and Thursday, I plan to stay in and work. I think I will not answer the phone. Don't call me, I'll call you.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

postcard follow-up

With a few adjustments, another layer of paint, and some stitching, the in-process piece below is respectable. How I wish I could finish my big pieces that quickly. These little guys don't have any angst attached to them - I don't feel they have to SAY anything. They just ARE. So why can't I approach my bigger pieces the same way? Do you have the same problem? Do you feel everything has to be a piece of visual communication? I need to be a student in my own workshop and work without thinking!
I decided ahead of time that today was going to be a studio day. I have my Studio Six meeting on Tuesday and will be mortified to be the only one without new work -- again! Oh the pressure!! In any case, I did spend most of the day in this room, but nothing on the wall was working. So I made postcards. Making postcards is a great way to use up scraps. Here is one I am working on -- doesn't look like much at the moment. But maybe I can make it work. I am not sure whether this is avoidance or whether it is the only thing my feeble, turkey-saturated brain can manage. But, along with my scarves, which always sell well, I am planning to drop them off on Saturday for the annual Pierro Gallery Winter Craft Exhibit and sale. I would think they could make great little gifts, especially since they can be mounted or mailed. In the meantime, I have put them here before they go to market. I will check back with you anon.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

sigh of relief

The company has gone home, the leftover turkey is about to be ground up, and I don't want to look at another bird: EVER. We have wild turkeys in the backyard - disgusting, raucous, nasty creatures who come up to the front door in a gaggle, or flock, or gang, or whatever turkeys are called en masse. They bark. They bite. They chase you. My husband heard on NPR this morning that if you feed wild turkeys (ha, I would never do that) - they think you are their servant and they feel superior and arrogant and get nasty and bite you. I hate the wild ones and the ones you eat. Bah humbug. Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey should be the national bird of the U.S. because eagles are mean and predatory. But for some reason, he was outvoted. Imagine, if the turkey had been the national bird, we'd be eating something else for Thanksgiving. Wouldn't that have been nice? The rest of our weekend was really exciting. Yesterday, we went to buy a shredder. My daughter Jessica was here and decided to weed out her memorabilia. At the same time, I thought it might be a good idea to get rid of all the cancelled checks and paid bills from 1991-2. But these days, you can't just THROW OUT things like that - so we went shredder shopping. So far, we haven't plugged it in. It has wheels. How cute. And it takes credit cards. Today, we went to Home Despot to look for a fixture to replace the broken one over our washing machine. Bought one: cheap fixture, expensive bulbs. The alternative was the reverse but all the expensive fixtures were uglier than the cheap one and who needs fancy over the washer and dryer? I did actually have about an hour to do some work in the studio tonight before we went out to dinner -but nothng was working -- so I made some postcards. More, tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I have to share this

Back to the kitchen in a minute, but I have to show you a finished piece by Pauline Salzman, one of my students in Printing with Found Objects in Houston. She just sent me the jpg and I'm so excited to see finished work that I need to share it with you. This is what I love so much about teaching!! She printed the black and white grids and the red section in the class and then added the other layers. I rarely get to see finished work that the workshop fabrics turn into, so this is a bonus. That's it -- I need to go check on the turkey.

since you asked...

I thought it would be easier to respond to all the comments from yesterday at once.

Well that has certainly brought that piece to life. You'd never know it started life so bland! And you've pushed me into adding copper to my Golden range! Bland is putting it mildly. First layer is printed with a gelatin plate and a couple of random things I grabbed as I demonstrated this technique. I love copper best of all the metallics, and I don't use a lot of metallics in my work. But they are great as little accents.

Is that onion-like thing a stamp? ... Have you ever resorted to using your feet and the floor to stamp? (I've run out of counter space) I think the onion thing is a radish, but who cares? No, it is a Thermofax screen but I am sure it is a stamp somewhere. My BARE feet? I haven't, but it sounds like a plan. Except that I've run out of floor space, too.

I love this, the additions really make this piece. Now, I really want to take a class with you. It seems that's what's calling me now. Cathy, I'll be teaching in Denver Sept 12-15 at Front Range Contemporary Quilters, so contact them to see about registration.

Wow, you really enlivened that piece! Is it instinct or years of training that tells you what to add next and where? Pure instinct. Never had any training. Never took an art class, except for art history in college. Trial and error and asking myself "what if?" I highly recommend it.

I'm thinking about getting some Golden paints after hearing wonderful things about them. Do you know of a good source? Michael's doesn't seem to have them and I'm unfamiliar with art stores or catalogs... Lisa, Golden makes the best acrylic paints. Since they are not fabric paints, you might want to check Michael's where they have the regular art supplies. I bet they have 'em. Otherwise, Dick Blick has them, as does any 'real' art supply store. Just keep a few things about acrylics in mind if you are going to print fabric with them:

  • They dry very quickly, so if you screen with them, wash them out IMMEDIATELY or they will clog the screen.
  • The antidote to that is to use Golden's GAC 900 and add a little bit to the paint. This is a fabric medium that keeps the paint from changing the hand of the cloth. But I would still wash it out fairly soon.
  • Golden's fluid acrylics are great. They're not as thick, and are very concentrated.
  • If you are stamping with acrylics, or gelatin printing with them, this is not so much of an issue.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

when in doubt -- print!

Or overprint. Taking up the challenge of dealing with the ugly demo fabrics, I am playing a game of 'can this fabric be saved?' My theory that more is more doesn't always work, but sometimes it is a definite improvement.Here is the fabric I started with tonight. Nothing to write home about, so I added a layer. I mixed Golden acrylic copper paint with Golden's GAC 900, which keeps it from being too plastic-y and changing the hand. And since I generally don't think a piece is complete unless it has some text, here we go. I think it's done -- at least for the moment.

rainy Tuesday

What is it about rainy days? How do they make you feel? For me, in the autumn, and especially when I am in, there is a sense of comfort. The drumbeat of raindrops on the skylights; the musky fragrance of dead, wet leaves, and the luminosity of the wet, grey sky at this time of year. I want to iron or bake, or bury myself in a can't-put-it-down novel with a strong cup of English tea at hand. And I feel an odd sense of freedom: elation that I don't have to GO anywhere. The day is all mine. Today was that kind of day -- warm enough so I could rescue the last of the houseplants before they got cold, cool enough so I could open the sliding glass door to counteract the heat of the oven as I baked my Thanksgiving pies. When I opened the door, I saw that my woods had turned monochromatic. The tree with the dead leaves on the right will stay that way all winter: those leaves don't fall. Strange, isn't it?

And the deck was pure poetry in the rain.

While I was outside, the pies were baking: two pecan pies and an apple-cranberry. I don't know why I bother with the apple, since everybody fights over the pecan. I will have to kill my husband if he even THINKS of breaking off a piece of the crust before Thursday.

Monday, November 21, 2005

tonight's treasure hunt

As I continue cleaning up the studio (is this my full time job?) Here is what I have found so far, this evening:

  • a Halloween-size Nestle Crunch bar
  • a receipt for $9.68 from a half price bookstore, dated 07/24/94
  • one of my business cards with the name and phone number on the back of someone named Juanita Thompson
  • a bar of no-name bath soap
  • a broken foot from my $20 suitcase
  • 20 old francs 1952
  • 5 centimes 1964
  • 5 centimes 1980
  • 50 heller from Slovenska Republika 1993
  • a Garden State Parkway token
  • a plaque that says "Grandchildren are the reward for not strangling your teenagers."
  • a dead leaf
  • 2 bottles of nail hardener
  • innumerable free pens from the bank, none of which write
  • a darning egg
  • a New GEM Micromatic razor with 5 blades: a giveaway from a bituminous coal dealer in Newark, NJ - still in the box

These are the easy items: the tough ones are the pieces of really ugly fabric I have printed in class demos and can't do anything with but can't throw out. I read an article in the venerable NY Times about a year ago that said people who can't throw stuff out have a form of mental illness that stems from an inability to make decisions. Oh, woe. Do I have company out there?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

camera work

Rather than cluttering up tonight's blog with pictures of my grandchildren, taken this afternoon at the birthday party, I thought I would clutter it up with some things I came across as I was making a feeble attempt to clean up. When I moved the bookcase from the hall to the studio and displaced 50000 quilting books and other stuff to the dining table, I created a monster. I displaced not only the books, but the stuff on top of the bookcase. Here are some of the wondrous artifacts I came across just a little while ago, in an old cigar box on top of my studio ironing surface. 1. A relic from WWII - 1942, signed by my mother and with a description of my father, who was then 26, 5'10" and weighed 10 lbs less than I now weigh. I am neither 26 nor anywhere close to 5'10". Quite a few of the stamps are still intact.

2. I was in high school when this one was printed and disseminated...although this seems to be a 1961 reprint. There are instructions inside for building a fallout shelter. And get the grammar in this first sentence: "Fallout is tiny pieces of dust and debris, which are made radioactive by nuclear explosions." They left out a word or two, didn't they? My editorial finger is twitching. The last page should get the award for understatement of the year:

" Fallout is dangerous."

3. Jumping back to a more pleasant topic: I found the brochure that came with our family's first dishwasher, somewhere in the early 1950's. My mother swears that we all stopped getting colds as soon as the thing was installed in the remodeled kitchen. The countertops were salmon with little boomerangs on them. So much for today's trip down memory lane. Back to my feeble attempt to straighten up...

Yawn...

It's been a long, busy, fun day. Taught gelatin printing and had the pleasure of Mary Manahan's company yet again, along with Gloria Hansen. Turned out that the two of them know each other because Gloria designed Mary's website. So they had an unexpected chance to spend a day together. Mary brought her quilt, which is beyond beautiful -- and she made some lovely fabrics with her antique found objects. I brought my camera but, of course, left the battery charging at home. I give up. So I didn't get a picture of the class at work, but Gloria has promised to send some that she took. At Mary's request, I brought my batik fabrics so she could see them 'in person.' And I brought the box of scarves that I was getting ready to take to the Winter Quilt & Craft show at the Pierro Gallery. Here is a picture of the scarf that Mary couldn't live without. It looks splendid on her, too! And one of the other people in the class bought this blue chiffon one as a gift. The pink one was printed with a sink mat, among other things. And the one below, with bubble wrap. And now, either I am hallucinating, or the clock radio has gone on in the middle of the night upstairs and my husband is sleeping through it. I'm going to find out.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm losing it

Is is creeping old age or just fatigue? I seem to think I had a alot to talk about yesterday but was too tired to post. Do you think I can remember what pearls of wisdom they were? No-oo. I spent the entire day yesterday revamping my website Studio 78 and am glad it is finished. But I need you to let me know whether you think the black background makes it too difficult to read/look at or whether it's ok. I've resisted black backgrounds because I think they are tough on the eyes, but I must admit they make the work pop. And I've redone the workshop page. So, opinions please, dear friends. Went to the opening of Quilts for Art Sake IV tonight. I didn't enter this year but I've been juried into previous shows. My friends and Studio Six compatriots Joanie SanChirico,Judy Langille, Rachel Cochran, and Diane Savona had pieces in the show. As did Lori Pelish, Sally Sellers, Marilyn Gillis, Randy Frost, and Ms. Mel's friend Tommy Fitzsimmons. Of course, I forgot my camera.

I really need to finish ironing fabric and packing supplies for the gelatin printing workshop I'm teaching tomorrow. Went to the podiatrist today for a problem with my foot which turned out to be a pinched nerve caused by a bone spur. Not bad enough, but he gave me an injection in the bottom of the selfsame bad spot on the foot. Teaching requires standing. Uh oh. Maybe not tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ok, Gabrielle...

Per your suggestion, I went to work yesterday afternoon to take the sweetness out of the fabric on Monday's blog. I waxed and dyed my little heart out: you can see the before and after, below, plus detail. Much better. I also went back into the one with the spirals. It is better, but still pale - but I am not sure whether I will go back into it, do something with it as is, or cut it up and sell off bits of it. Finally, the piece I am really happy with!! I started with a blecchy pale wisteria green and red blotches I dyed last week. u-g-l-y. This one cheers me up immeasurably. I started out trying to be orderly (notice the ovals, which are in some sort of order. But then I was so bored I couldn't stand it, so the result is what you see. It makes me smile. Another thing that made me smile today was the class I gave in Jump-Starting the Art Quilt. I am constantly amazed at the creativity of people who come to class telling me they are not creative. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures because I ran out WITH camera but WITHOUT smart card, which was still in my little card reader. Not so smart. But one of the people in the class promised to send me jpgs that she took with her camera. For the next two days I plan to be in my studio. Let's see if the plan works. I think I am ready to start something new on my design wall.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I spent this morning in the supermarket doing my Thanksgiving shopping. I have twice as many cranberries as I need and three times as much turkey as I need and I am DONE. Tomorrow, I'll make the curried butternut squash soup and freeze it but everything else will probably wait till next week. I do not want to go into a supermarket for the next three years. I was happy to see that my bolt of Hoffman PFD lawn arrived this afternoon, although when I will have time to experiment with it remains to be seen. In the meantime, I am studying this piece of fabric and trying to decide whether I should randomly rip it up or not. It is a little too sweet for me but it has possibilities. I think it looks a bit more vivid on the screen than it actually is. It will hang on my wall for another day or so but you know, it just occured to me that if this were paint on canvas it would be another animal altogether. Hmmm...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

my wonderful day

I promised not to use the M word - so here is today's list of exciting adventures: #1: Donned 2 sweatshirts and my fleece-lined clogs and went to my 6 year old grandson's soccer game, which turned out to be flag football. What do I know? My first time at such a game and I didn't understand it any better than when I was in high school watching regular football. I did understand that Josh's team lost. But truthfully, I got a kick out of seeing him play. And you should have seen those first-grade girl cheerleaders!! Rah. #2: Stopped at the farm and bought hot peppers, apples, butternut squash, and tomatillos. What kind of dish do you think I can make with this combination of produce? #3: Folded my husband's laundry and put it in the basket. Now, you have to understand that this is a man who loves to do his own laundry, so he does his and I do mine and never do the twain meet. Or hardly ever. But he was out, doing his good deed for the day: playing bingo with the inmates at the veteran's hospital. So this was MY good deed. #4: Started doing inventory of the quilt books on the dining table. The neat tall piles are now becoming messy small piles. When I got to 50 books, I stopped because my battery (and my computer's battery) were running out of power. I'm logging everything into Excel and will be able to sort by title or author or category. Isn't this exciting??? #5: Completed two fabric postcards, including one from the faucets I printed yesterday. There is some gold paint on there but it doesn't really show up in the photo.

IMG_1911

#6: checked my 2006 calendar for conflicts. Seems ok. So for #7, I am going to bed.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

a long (mundane?) story

My print table is covered with a layer of pink insulation board, a layer of 1/2" foam, plastic sheeting, and a bedsheet or two to absorb the dye. This all worked just great till I started doing batik. The hot wax is making a mess of the plastic sheeting below so I thought I would try using thick carpet felt to cover my table instead. So today, after the dentist, I drove up Route 10 and stopped at a carpet mill 'outlet.' They told me they don't carry carpet felt and said I should go to Home Depot. So I went. When I finally found the carpet department, there was one salesman trying to sell some carpet to a gaggle of women. Ok - that's legitimate. So I stood there while he gave his spiel. Did he acknowledge me and tell me he'd be with me in a few minutes? Ha. Then he took the group over to look at the roll of carpet padding. I followed. Did he even look in my direction, as I stood there lurking? Ha Ha. Well, their padding was kind of cheesy and thin anyway, so after 20 minutes of standing around, I left. Why did I wait for 20 min? Because I was trying to be patient...something that is a big effort for me. On the way back down Route 10, I passed a place called Carpet Depot. It was next to, but not related to, Office Depot. (That makes 3 depots within a half-mile of each other. Nobody has any originality). Nevertheless,I stopped. They were all out of carpet felt because they are having a sale on carpeting and the installers have taken it all. BUT -the young woman showed me several samples of carpet padding and said she'd order it for me. I told her Ididn't need it for the floor, that I am an artist, etc. (the usual speech). Turns out she is artist who braids rugs with recycled materials, is a former printmaker AND was so excited to find another person who uses recycled materials that she asked me if I could use some small pieces of thinner felt she had sitting in the back room and was going to throw out anyway.
I came home with 8 pieces of 18"x22" felt that I can use for portable print surfaces. I was so excited that I printed a piece of material on my cutting table in the upstairs studio. She also gave me an 18"x24" piece of real linoleum which she says makes a great cutting board. I whipped it out and threw it on top of the felt and - yep -- makes a great cutting surface. So, if you need any portable surfaces, high tail it over to a carpet store and make friends.
I ordered 40 lb. felt for my table, took her card and e-mail address, and will send her a note. It's always good to find another artist - and I came home with treasures. Funny how it's the little things that can make the difference in your day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

here's the problem

I don't always have something to say. Unlike some people in this blogring, whom I admire greatly beause they post almost every day with something interesting, I can't do that. I mean, can I assume that you will be interested in these mundane facts of my life? I...
  • Took my car in for its 30,000 mi service and came out more than $1,000 poorer. But they did wash my car.
  • Did not take a walk today.
  • Went out for dinner tonight and did not overeat but made up for it with a ton of Haagen Dazs Black Walnut ice cream, which I am eating as we speak.
  • Spent almost an hour on the phone with my friend Helene tonight, which cheered me up immeasurably.
  • Ironed 2 more scarves.
  • Would go to bed now except that the other resident of this household is watching tv in the bedroom and I cannot sleep with noise. On the other hand, why should he be relegated to the basement tv just because I need my BEAUTY sleep???
  • Found out that the Printing from your Pantry class I am teaching11/19 at the Arts Guild of Rahway can accomodate 2 more people. If you're in driving distance of exit 135 on the Garden State Parkway, go to http:///www.rahwayartsguild.org and maybe you'll get lucky. Gelatin Plate printing fun!
  • have decided to go up to bed and see what happens. I may or may not report back.

xxx

Thursday, November 10, 2005

busy day

I actually accomplished quite a bit today/tonight, considering that I had obligations that kept me out all afternoon. It's midnight and I'm about ready to go upstairs. But first, I thought that since so much of my work today included ironing, I would treat you to a vision of my studio ironing surface. Ok, ok - stop laughing! My studio is too small for a real ironing board so I covered the tops of the two cabinets adjacent to my sewing machine with the silver stuff and it works just fine. Of course, the actual usable space is only 20"x20" (the left half, as you see) which is not ideal when I am ironing a 2 yard piece of fabric. And yes, those are 3 irons you see on the right. Don't ask me why they are all there. Tonight I was ironing a bunch of silk scarves which I have to label and take to the winter quilt and craft sale at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange, NJ. Here I am, ironing on a recently batik'd crepe de chine scarf. I like it so much I hate to sell it. Maybe nobody will buy it and I can keep it. I have this THING: every time I make a new scarf I think it is so wonderful that I have trouble parting with it. Well, not EVERY time - but you know what I mean. Silly, huh?

The other ironing I was doing was taking the wax out of two pieces of fabric and then ironing them again after I had washed them. Here is one, which is rather pastel. I think I shall have to screen some stuff on top, since I am not crazy about pastels. On the other hand, maybe somebody else will be crazy about it as it is. I am pleased with the complexity of the layers. Finally, another piece - before and after I ironed-washed-ironed it. Why does it make me think of candy bars?

I'm making progress on that list from a couple of days ago. I got a teaching contract out in today's mail - and tomorrow, maybe I'll get to make a couple of postcards in addition to finishing up today's odds and ends.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wednesday night check-in

Well, I seem to have completed half the items on this morning's list, if you count two more cups of coffee and lunch as actual items. I can check off the following... 1. finish unloading supplies sent back from Houston 2. bring them to downstairs studio (and plunked them on my print table) 3. work on outlines for future projects (worked on, did not finish) 4. finish sewing facing to quilt 6. charge my camera battery so I can photograph #5 and #4 (the battery is still charging) 7. have another cup of coffee 11. take new silkscreens downstairs to print studio (plunked them on the floor) 12. have another cup of coffee 16. have lunch 20. get ready to go to fiber lecture and exhibit at William Paterson University tonight ** ** Went to this event, which turned out to be an exhibit of student work from the textiles (or is it fibers?) department, plus a panel discussion which mainly centered on whether we should call it fiber art or textile art. Inconclusive, as you can imagine. I should attempt one more thing on the list before I give up and go to bed.

Wednesday morning blahs

I promised myself a day in the studio today, but alas, I have been busy piling up books to be inventoried so I can decide what to keep and what to get rid of. The bookcase in the hall that I emptied and moved into the studio was overloaded with what seems like every quilt and fabric book on the planet. Here are many of them, piled neatly(?) on my dining room table. Now what? Do I really need traditional quilt calendars from 1994 and 1995? After my daughter-in-law has a go at them and I decide what to keep, I'll probably post some special ones for sale and donate the rest. Before Thanksgiving, since my family has to eat on this table. On another note - I took my mother to Target yesterday and look what I found. You can probably guess what I am going to do with these. Nevertheless, before I can play, I have a little list...not necessarily in priority order. 1. finish unloading supplies sent back from Houston 2. bring them to downstairs studio 3. work on outlines for future projects 4. finish sewing facing to quilt 5. make more fabric postcards 6. charge my camera battery so I can photograph #5 and #4 7. have another cup of coffee 8. go back into fabric I printed on Monday and add a layer 9. mix up some new dyestock 10. mix up some soda ash 11. take new silkscreens downstairs to print studio 12. have another cup of coffee 13. find room for piles of newly printed fabric not put away yet 14. send back teaching contracts 15. call the dentist 16. have lunch 17. clean up downstairs studio 18. iron silk scarves and prepare for winter craft sale at Pierro Gallery 19. inventory the pile of books 20. get ready to go to fiber lecture and exhibit at William Paterson University tonight Off I go to start the day.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

a tree grows in Brooklyn

But I didn't take any pictures of trees, or of Brooklyn. This is the Manhattan Bridge which goes between the two boros and is at the end of Canal Street. The Brooklyn Bridge goes to a different part of Brooklyn. Canal St. was one big traffic jam, so I had time to take a couple of pictures. The crowds were out in full force on such a gorgeous day, looking for bargains at such places as the Taj Mahal Car Stereo Warehouse in the middle of Chinatown.(!) The neighborhood is a mecca for accupuncture and other alternative medicines - which used to be illegal. I couldn't resist this photo below. A far cry from when my aunt sneaked into Chinatown and knocked three times on an unmarked door to get accupuncture for her tennis elbow 35 years ago. it was the only thing that helped and it was the only way she could get treated.Jessica and Tommy, whose street has lots of trees I didn't take pictures of, had the apartment painted in great colors before they moved in - and since this is theoretically an art blog, here they are. Uh. Carrot. One wall in the foyer/dining room. I wouldn't have had the courage, but it looks great! Of course, orange stimulates the appetite so I'm not sure what the ramifications will be - but it is cheerful. Bedroom, below. I couldn't get the kitchen picture color accurate or acid enough but it is a light yellow-green which looks funky with their white cabinets and black appliances. you'll have to imagine it.

We brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate our first meal in their new co-op and we had a wonderful artichoke fritatta that Jessica made and great, truly New York bagels that were small and chewy - not like round white bread that you find everywhere else in America.

On the way home, we were going too fast and my digital camera is too slow for me to shoot all the gritty, industrial landscape that I wanted to get. But I did get this shot of something wonderful; I know not what it is: maybe the towers of the Pulaski Skyway. To me, it is beautiful. It was a good day. Even though I am older than I was yesterday. Then again, who isn't?

Friday, November 04, 2005

can you tell I'm on a diet?

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable. You pull punches, but people still love you.
Pretty well on target, I'd say. I am ready for a little distraction after having spent all day sorting out papers, throwing stuff away, paying bills, and other annoying things like cooking dinner. And it wasn't anything as interessting as Mexican food.
I must be going through some big transition, since I am compelled to create order out of chaos. I'm putting stuff in three-ringed notebooks with dividers and it is an overwhelming job. Boring, too. But I'm making progress. The room is looking better. I took this picture this morning; it no longer looks exactly like this, but you get the idea. ( Helene,if you are reading this, you can see I've rearranged a little bit.) This is the front corner of the front room: my teensy 11x14 dry studio. I not only sew and design here, but it is my music room, my reading room, and where I sat and meditated when I was going through chemo almost 5 years ago. The chair is really ugly but it was the smallest armchair with ottoman I could find. And I feel peaceful here. I brought the filled-up bookcase in from the hallway, where it was loaded with every quilting book on the planet. Those books are now piled on my dining room table and I am going to inventory them and sell the ones I no longer want/need. Some of them are out of print. Another task for next week.
In the foreground is my cutting table with a mat covered in paint, gel medium, and schmutz. I actually cleaned it off last night - or attempted to. One of these days I'll treat myself to a new one. But it isn't a priority. It is relatively uncluttered in this picture; I am standing in the corner that is diagonal from the chair. When I finish cleaning that side, I'll post another picture. For now, I have to finish the side of the room you are looking at.