Saturday, December 29, 2007
I'm taking a blog break just now from sewing down the facings I referred to in the last post. The sewing is a nice change of pace. I had a title brainstorm tonight and was so happy! Normally I have a terrible time naming my pieces; Helene and Rachel have named several of them for me and I am always trolling for suggestions. But tonight, as I looked at my two new ones, I realized that they were fraternal twins. Their shared name popped into my head and I'm done. Isn't it nice when that happens?
Tomorrow we head into NY to stay with our friends Rosalie & Arthur, who have a pied à terre on the east side. Marty and I have spent every New Year's Eve with them for the 25 years we have been married -- sometimes dinner at home, other times dinner out and a movie locally or in the City. Decades ago we used to go to a Broadway or off-b'way show; in those days nobody went to the theatre New Year's Eve so tickets were plentiful and cheap. No more. We'd rather spend $$$$ on a good meal. The last few years we've gone to a little neighborhood (East side Manhattan) French restaurant that is always lovely, intimate, and with good food. Tomorrow, we plan to go down to the Bowery to the New Museum (yes, it's new) and then stay downtown for dinner and a movie, not necessarily in that order. Monday the Metropolitan Museum is open - so we'll see what we feel like doing.
One more tidbit and then back to the facings. My son Jeremy was in New Orleans a few days ago on biz. He flew home Friday night.Behind him in first class, Kevin Bacon and Kiera Sedgwick, who had been there hammering for Habitat in the 9th ward. Coincidentally, Claire Fenton and her daughter had been at the same house on Thursday and saw them at work. (Claire, where's that picture you snapped??) I won't go into Jeremy's long description of how they got onto the plane, of how the were dressed (causually) or what they discussed as they sat behind him - but he got a kick out of being in such proximity on a small plane (only 8 seats in first class). And he left them to their privacy.
I'm not sure I'll have WI-FI over the weekend - so if not, I'll take lots of pictures and post on Tuesday when we get back. A happy, healthy to all of you.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I think this is the third time this week I have attempted to post. Each time I've been interrupted by something or someone. Last night, it was a call that my mother was on her way to the hospital with "a touch of pneumonnia." (is that like being a little bit pregnant?) She'll be fine - I was chatting with her for a couple of hours this afternoon and have seen her in much worse shape.
I've been working at home this week. Christmas was ultra-restful. Marty, not feeling up to par, slept the day away. I quilted two pieces and attached the facings, which need to be sewn down by hand. After having read Cathy Kleeman's blog post about how she wonder-unders down her facings, I decided to try it. As I suspected, it was not for me. Without going into details, suffice it to say I am back to sewing them down.
I spent yesterday getting a pile of work ready for an exhibit that opens January 6 from 1-3 pm at the Gaelen Gallery at the JCC in West Orange, NJ. It is called "Ellis Island Memories" and it is a two person exhibit: the other artist is a photographer who has taken many pictures of the old buildings on Ellis Island. My piece, "Journey," incorporates some of my great-grands' documents. Here is Zeida's passportand his green card. It really was green! He was a baker so I come by it naturally.
I don't know where these are now: my mother had them and I borrowed them to scan them into my computer. How was I to know I should not have given them back?
On another subject, I brought home a pile of fabrics from the studio yesterday so I could work at home . Here is part of one I printed with a tape resist.( Remember, you saw it here first.)
In a moment of madness yesterday I grabbed a piece of fabric that had been sitting around and decided to warm up my quilting stitches on it. I must have been in the mood for red and purple.
I don't understand how my flash created a reflection on this matte fabric.
Tomorrow, Josh & Ben will be here for a while; Hilary is going to work for a couple of hours and they, of course, are on vacation. Josh will be 9 in March and Ben was just 7. We will have an art day while the kitchen is still a disaster area. Not sure what will be after it is done. The contractor was here tonight with the electrician so I could ask questions and make some lighting decisions. I suspect the price will escalate a bit after tonight...oh, well. If I sell enough books, maybe I can pay for the undercabinet lights - LOL.
Yawning after this long post, so it is time to go upstairs and get enough sleep to get me through tomorrow's energy requirements. David and Jake (7 and 4) will be here later in the day: all four of them have to collect their Chanukmas presents which are sorely overdue.
As usual, I will try to be better about posting. Now that I have finished my book, you would think I'd have more time. But NO. Whose law is it that you fill all the space with what you have? Nature abhors a vacuum? Whatever.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In the meantime, my package from Dharma arrived with this cute little geometric inside.
It's not as though I NEED another tjap: my bins are overflowing, believe me. But as my father used to say, "what does NEED have to do with it?"
I worked at home today, which amounted to putting more stitching on an already finished piece and then removing the facing because the piece looked lopsided to me. I trimmed and trimmed and it still looks lopsided, so I guess it is meant to be that way. Tomorrow, I have to put the facings back on. How boring. I would much rather be making something new.
Monday, December 17, 2007
My doodles, on the other hand, are mostly boxes. Geometric, simple, boring. Here is the notepad I used when I was on the phone with the very same artist.I do recall that her doodles were in the margins and on parts of the page where there was no writing, but I see that my doodling is more integrated with the notes, making me think that the combination of text and images in my work is one step from the page. Never thought about it before. Have you taken a look at your doodles lately? (why does that sound vaguely obscene?) - and do they bear any resemblance to motifs in your art? Something to ponder. Or not.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
According to Jane (o wise woman) you gotta keep working and working. (Art & Fear says the same thing: the more stuff you produce, the more likely you are to get ONE good piece). Lots of it will be crap (we know that, don't we?) till you get the few really good pieces. But nobody expects every piece to be a masterpiece. Well, maybe some people do - but those are unrealistic expectations.
Jane talks about everybody having a baseline of crappy work they have to have in order to get to the good stuff; from now on referred to as the crap quota. I've exceeded my minimum and am well on my way to a huge inventory of it (aren't you??).
Just yesterday I was at the museum printing fabric. Unfortunately, all my good screens were at the studio and I had to use what I had. So, here are two contributions to my quota of crappy fabric.
More candidates for "Can this Fabric be Saved?", which I will work on tomorrow when I finally get to the studio. There was talk on the above-mentioned lists about having a vision in mind and not being able to achieve it. I find it is better if I don't have a vision. Makes life easier.
What about you?
Thursday, December 13, 2007
So, cat is out of bag. Coming in June 2008 - packed with information on everything I've covered in workshops - AND MORE! If you've taken a workshop with me, it will give you even more ways to print great art cloth. If you haven't - this will be almost as good (although not as much fun, I admit - LOL).
To reserve your autographed copy hot off the press, click here.
It's been a year in which I couldn't blog about most of what I was doing (as Dale Anne said - HOLY CRAP!! No wonder you have been so quiet on your blog lately.) Thanks, Dale Ann, I fell over laughing at that one! Too true. But the results are finally on their way to fruition. Yay!
There's a lot more to come - I'm getting into teaching season, the kitchen will be demolished in January, I hope, and I am preparing for a TV appearance on Quilting Arts new exciting series for PBS. Maybe I can squeeze in some studio time?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
But today I was a FACILITATOR in a NY City office, so I had to wear shoes. They were my dress-up clogs (black, of course, to match my black pants, shirt, and jacket) - but by the time I caught the bus home, my feet were burning.
I had been approached by the executive director of a non profit organization to run a creativity workshop for the staff to kick off their holiday party season. It was a half-day workshop that included some of the exercises from my 'Jump-starting the Art Quilt' workshop and some image transfer - and it was a real change of pace for them! For people who claimed not to be artists, they came up with some wonderfully creative work in short order and had great fun! They are making a quilt from felt, fabric, fusibles and mixed media and it will be an ongoing project that will go into the New Year. I was too busy to take photos but I did snap the above in an idle moment.
I brought along this piece (remember it from a June post?) that was an experiment on fusible batting. I showed it today as an example of what could be perceived as an art quilt , just to give the group an idea of what they could do with felt and scissors.The piece was not finished. I had backed it with canvas and planned to do something with it one of these days. Before the afternoon was over, it was sold. One of the staff members fell in love with it and is probably going to frame it. I was taken by surprise, but delighted that somebody else will enjoy living with it. This is the only picture I have of the piece.
I am learning to separate from my work. I remember the days when I couldn't part with anything and was simply not ready to sell my work. What was I thinking?? In the last month or two, I have sold two pieces that were so new I had not had time to get sick of them. That is progress.
All in all,another wonderful day. My feet are recovering slowly. But next time, corporate office or not, I shall remember that I am an ARTIST and as such, can wear my Birks to facilitate.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Ha! It is the famous Terri Lipman, fondling one of her favorite pieces from the past few days.
Today, she generously cut up a piece of fabric she had printed (not the one above) and gave everyone a piece, with my proviso that they each use it before the day was over. I'd post some pix but Blogger is not cooperating. Grrrrrrrr.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
and now, time to go back to the studio and see what mischief they are making with today's purchases.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
There were a few comments and then the conversation went on to talk about important things like quilt patterns and fleece. What does it take to get an intelligent conversation going on that list?
Packing and making some headway - when I teach I always bring more than I will need, but that's the packrat syndrome. It's ok - I'm driving and have the luxury of space. Once again, I never got to the studio today. Busy with packing supplies and taking care of paperwork and supply lists for next year's Art Quit Tahoe workshop. Everything has to be done so far in advance! I'm already booking for 2009!
Also was on the phone with the contractor and the soapstone guy, trying to get my head around kitchen logistics. Eeeeek.
Cherry cabinets, soapstone counters, stainless appliances, probably white oak floors. I shall have to do something very funky with warm colors on backsplash and walls. But not yet.
I am up too late and need to go to work tomorrow.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Have you ever noticed how much time we waste getting organized? It is so much more fruitful to spend your time on important things and leaving the organizing to when it becomes urgent. Then, working under pressure, it is amazing how organized you can become in no time flat! Isn't that efficient? You realize, of course, that nobody ever needs to hire a consultant or read a book to help them become cluttered and disorganized.
- so back to wasting time. I was going to the studio today for a few hours, but came home from my early meeting and I'm still here. Have to accompany Marty to the doctor this afternoon anyway, so there was no point in going for an hour or two, was there? Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon there - in peace and quiet - not another soul around - and I accomplished a lot.
1) put a piece ready to be trimmed on my 12' design wall and measured/trimmed it so it is reasonably on-kilter. Came home and cut/sewed on the facing, which has to be hand-sewn to the back.
2) ironed and sorted a bit.
3) auditioned fabrics for a new piece. Here is the first of many rejected versions; I won't bore you with the rest. But after having reviewed them in jpg form, I now know what the piece is about -- if I ever make it.
Now that I have wasted the entire morning (well, I did leave a message for the contractor and I did post to my blog - both big accomplishments) it is time for lunch. Oh, I also made a big pot of stone soup, which I am going to dig into. Today - rainy and slightly chilly. A soup day!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
L-R Jeremy, yrs truly, Hilary, Stanley, Jessica.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In the meantime, I continue to print fabric, which makes me happier than almost anything else I do. What is it that makes you the happiest of all the things you do? And why?
I never did get to the studio today. Faucets, you remember. But tomorrow, the plumbing supply places are closed - so I will go to work. Even just ironing and moving things around on the wall will qualify.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Why do I feel I need to apologize for not having posted? I have been consumed with major projects, deadlines, and general chaos - but that's nothing new. You know how it feels when your head wants do do something but your body doesn't? That's the way it's been. Every night I am going to post and every night I go to bed instead.
I haven't had time to be in the studio - but I will spend tomorrow there - or a good part of tomorrow, anyway. I am almost hoping nobody else will be there so I can work in peace and concentrate on the design wall.
We have ordered our cabinets and appliances; I have put the contractor on notice that I would like him to do our job - and now, the hard part: wood or tile for the floor? And what shall I do for a backsplash? Tile=grout=stains from fiber reactive dyes or paint splashed while I wash out my fabrics and screens in my future kitchen sink. So far, no answers.
Can i find a kitchen faucet that doesn't cost a king's ransom? You wouldn't belive that it took me less time to pick out my cabinets! This is crazy.
In between visiting every plumbing supply and tile store in a 10 mile radius, I actually printed a few pieces at the museum on Fridays. Some of them may be usable. The others will go back for another round or two. In any case, I will bring them to my studio tomorrow to audition them.
And on that note, off to bed to sleep off the exhaustion of looking at tile and faucets all day. STOP LAUGHING - it is hard work!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
On another subject...Catching up on blog-reading tonight, I came across Deb Roby's post on growth and change and on what I would paraphrase as getting sidetracked: distracted, interrupted, putting up our own roadblocks to working. Some of us are better at getting sidetracked than others - I'm right up there with the champs. I announced yesterday to Marty that I was going to the studio to work most of the day; he was happy because he had brought home his own work and was planning to sit at the kitchen table and do it.
BUT FIRST, I had to answer my e-mail. Then, I needed to write up the description for the new workshop I will be teaching at Art Quilt Tahoe next year. These two things took most of the morning. Then my son called; the boys had birthday presents for me and they wanted to come over this afternoon. Great! Haven't seen my son, DIL, and grandsons for eons and was certainly not going to the studio to work when I could see THEM. We spent a delightful couple of hours catching up and then when they left, I had to finish the workshop information. By then, it was time to go visit my mother at the assisted living place and spring her for a while.
We ordered in Chinese food and brought her home with us for dinner. By the time we took her back and got her settled, it was too late for anything else but staring into space.
Somehow, I managed to get distracted/sidetracked/whatever you want to call it/ for the entire day. Tomorrow, then. After I go to the doctor and the gym and before I meet with the kitchen designer and the cabinet guy. Really, tomorrow! I will do creative work! I promise!!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I've just unwrapped this and haven 't put in the cold water yet. You can't see the olive green and yellow background in this harsh kitchen light.
And here is what it looks like now that it is finally dry and ironed. The colors are somewhat different,aren't they? I couldn't get the olive green right without changing every other color in the picture, but this is essentially it. I am happy. I have not been doing anything but printing, trying to get an inventory so I can make new pieces. This is one of those fallow periods we all go through and I know that eventually, it will end - but not for a while. My days are mostly cut up into bits and pieces and not enough time to unwind and concentrate in a big block of time. The result is that I don't have any new work - and that is a problem.
The one bright spot is that I now not only have a copy machine in the studio (fortunately thre was a strong man around to lug it up all those hundreds of factory stairs) but yesterday I took my Thermofax over there. Hooray! I discovered, when the first screen came out with holes, that the electric current there is stronger than in my house so I had to adjust the setting - but it was so exciting to be able to make screens while I was working. Now I feel as though I am really settled in. I have the equipment I need - and backup equipment at home for bad weather or nights when I feel like working.
Today, off to the museum to print and to go back into the fabric in process.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Add this stranger-than-fiction story to the annals of Weird NJ. From The Star Ledger:
A bruin with a sweet tooth smashed its way into a minivan in Vernon early this morning to gobble up a bag of Halloween candy inside, then took the vehicle for a "joyride," police said.But this was no typical bear break-in.
An officer patrolling Highland Lakes at 2 a.m. found a 2004 Mazda minivan parked on a road shoulder with a front passenger side window smashed out.
The "obvious signs" that this was a bear burglary included paw prints, gobs of drool, claw marks and a large quantity of black bear hair, police said.
The van was a stickshift, and the bear apparently dislodged the parking brake while noshing on leftover Halloween treats. The vehicle rolled out of a driveway and about 40 feet down the road before stopping, police said.
Aside from drool and hair, all that was left were a bunch of empty candy wrappers inside and outside the van.
In a tongue-in-cheek press release titled, "Black Bear Goes For a Joyride," police also said that the patrolman "followed the candy wrapper trail into the woods, but was unable to locate the defendant black bear."
Tomorrow I hope to spend most of the day in the studio again. I now have a copy machine over there, which I found on Craig's List for a song. Next is my Thermofax.
The good news is that more artists are moving into our building. Tom Nussbaum, a sculptor and printmaker, is taking the space and subdividing it - so across the hall, there will ultimately be 4 or 5 more artists. Hooray!
Vinny, the guy in the other space on our floor, was evicted for non-payment of rent. Sidebar: he told us he had a video business. Once he was leaving, we found out what kinds of videos he was making in there -- and I have to say, we all got a big chuckle out of it, after the fact. No wonder he was always there working late at night! You should see some of the items that came out of there - LOL.
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