Saturday, June 26, 2010

it's the weekend

I keep referring to the past few days as "the weekend," although they were not.  When we got home yesterday we regrouped and then met our friends Bonnie and Ron for dinner.  They had flown into Newark en route to France and were flying out today, so we met them at their hotel and went out for paella in Newark's Ironbound section.

Getting to the hotel was such a nightmare of convoluted turns and "you can see it but you can't get to it" maneuvers that I am finally ready for the dreaded GPS.  More dreaded, however, is trying to find one's way around New Jersey: land of no road signs and many death-defying highways like Route 1&9. Yes, that is 1 AND 9.  There is also a route 9, although I don't think I've ever come across the phantom route 1. It must be someplace else.

Then, there is Route 22, where the left lane is the slow lane and where my car was once totaled while I was stopped at a red light. I no longer drive on that road. 

While I have been throwing fabric at the wall today, to no avail, Heather Dubreuil, who took my class in Canada, has been busy making art with the fabric she printed.  She cheered me immensely by sending me some pictures: here are two of the pieces she created with her gelatin prints.
That's all from the Front.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

can you believe it??

This is the first time in a decade of collecting construction fence that anybody ever said NO.  I went back, asked the guy nicely if I could have a few inches of it and he told me to go to the hardware store. NO, he said, I don't have enough.  There were piles of the stuff lying around in the back and he couldn't spare 6 inches? I could have cried.  So much for asking, next time.  Ha - this gives Picasso's quote new meaning!  "Good artists borrow; great artists steal."

Next, on to what purports to be the Botanical Gardens of the Berkshires.  $7@ entry fee and I have no comment about what we saw and didn't see (mostly).  After that,we drove into Stockbridge and sat on the porch of the famous Red Lion. Marty napped, I had a bloody mary.  We grabbed a bite - I will spare you the details of THAT, too. It is hot and humid and the promised rainstorm has not materialized.   Marty is napping and I am going out into the heat to read my book which, btw, I am loving.  I do wish I were reading it in the original French,however.

Things should improve with our dinner at Chez Nous tonight.   Can't upload any pix because I am on the Inn's computer and there is no visible USB.

Tomorrow, after breakfast, we head home to start our 29th year of marriage.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


So here I am in beautiful Stockbridge/Lenox, MA at a delightful B&B -- the Inn at Stockbridge, where we stayed 4.5 yrs ago last time we were here.
Leaving was rather chaotic but I remembered to bring my phone charger, my card reader, and my batteries.  What did I forget? My power cord for the computer.  So I am on battery power and having to write fast.  Probably won't be able to post till I get home on Friday.

We went to our beloved MASS MOCA today in North Adams.
 Marty was happy because the upside down trees were still there, outside the museum.
And I was happy at the grit and reminders of what this place once was: a textile mill.  Ladies' room in the basement still had the original signs and troughs for washing hands.

I never get tired of photographing these things. This door in an upstairs gallery is my favorite.
Now here's a quaint object: it actually works - unlike the rare ones you see in NY City.  Pretty soon, a relic. or maybe already one.
As usual, weird exhibits - and one of huge birds that I couldn't even go near because I was scared to death - you know how I feel about birds.Even dead ones or facsimiles. EEEEEEEEEK.

There was one interesting exhibit about materials.  One light shines on all these cables: fat fishing lines. If you move to the other side, the light moves and it's very interesting.  Below it, another cool installation. Love the shadow on the floor.
Best was the huge Sol LeWitt permanent installation of wall art.  I can't even begin to show how amazing it was - but it will be there for the next 25 years (I think) so if you can go see it, do. This is just a smattering.

A whole wall in shades of gray.

After MASS MOCA we drove over to Williamstown to see the exhibit Picasso sees Degas (i.e. - Picasso steals from Degas).
I almost got put in jail taking a picture; the Clark Museum lets you take pics of all their permanent collection but not the special exhibits.  Go figure.  I have finally come to terms with the fact that for the most part, I don't care for Picasso.
There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, this icon is not one of mine. Nonetheless, an interesting exhibit.

Back in Lenox, we wandered the streets and I bought the book my friend Rachel recommended: The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  I knew I'd need something to read and I was happy to pay full price and support this wonderful independent bookstore.  We had a delicious dinner and then I stumbled on THIS:

The holes are almost round!! I plan to go back tomorrow morning and do my routine with the workmen. In the meantime, my computer is down to 49% of the battery and fading fast, so I am going to say goodnight - read my book, and probably not post till we get home on Friday.

It is very depressing that nobody is reading my blog these days - but OTOH - there has been nothing to read. Hopefully, this vacation will do the trick.  Oops - 48% - thank goodness for my iPhone - even though its battery dies every five minutes.  But at least I have my charger with me...

Monday, June 21, 2010

time off for good behavior

 Over the weekend we were hosts to a merry band of kids and grandkids -- and it was great fun!  Everybody lined up to take turns with Emma but Jake had trouble letting her go to anybody else.
 I was supposed to take Jessica and Emma back to Brooklyn on Sunday, but the combination of warm weekend and Fathers' Day created such traffic backups that we turned around and came home after 1/2 hour of not moving. We went back today instead.

Taking a much-needed break for the rest of the week to go to the Berkshires.  Assuming there is wifi, will post from there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday post

After a quick trip to the dentist this morning, followed by a not-so-quick trip to Chico's, I am home and had better catch up before the deluge of children and grandchildren arrive later.  Todd Gillman is stopping overnight with the 3 kiddos; we are the halfway point en route to camp. Jeremy, Anne and the kids are coming over to see them and will, I hope, be here for dinner.

My son-in-law Tommy has gone home to Wisc.for his sister's funeral on Monday, so Jessica and Emma are in NJ this weekend. They will be here later - hooray--and are staying over. I have not seen Miss Emma in a few weeks, so you will no doubt be deluged with photos ad nauseum after this visit. I'll try not to be too boring about it.

The other night, we attended Josh's "moving up" ceremony from 5th grade to middle school.  Good grief -- before we know it, he'll be driving.
Below, the requisite picture with one set of grandparents.

Sorry about not posting for the last few days - I would have to invent things to keep it lively and my creativity is being all used up on other pursuits. Nevertheless, I am still working on the purple, very unchararacteristic-for-me piece I was playing with the other day in the studio.

Neither of these works for me, so the saga continues till I get tired of it and throw the pieces into the scrap box.
With that, I shall return to the next set of tasks awaiting me.
I will try to be more diligent about posting.  Hang in there.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

art saves lives

While I normally hate bumper stickers, I love that one because I believe it is true.  It is saving mine these days.  Today I got a few hours in at the studio and while nothing momentous came of it, I had fun playing around with some "what ifs."

This is a start...

  So much fabric, so little time!  Tomorrow is a nonstop day: early doctor's app't for me; late afternoon one for Marty and in between, I have scheduled lunch with a friend I don't see enough of, these days.  Then at night, Josh's "graduation" from elementary to middle school.  Friday I hope to get back to work.

Monday, June 14, 2010

late night post

I have finally put together a piece that has been on my sewing room wall for some time. It even has a title. Tonight I opened a new package of batting - the Mountain Mist fusible White Gold (100%cotton) that I love to use.  Tomorrow I need to cut and layer it so I can stitch sometime in the next few weeks.  Not yet - I have too many other things I must finish working on.  But I feel a sense of satisfaction at having gotten to this stage - against all odds.

Jessica, Tommy, and Miss Emma flew to Milwaukee Friday night because Tommy's sister Tania, who has been bravely battling colon cancer for about 2 years, had taken a turn for the worse.  She was too ill to travel to NY when Emma was born and has been devouring the Facebook pix and videos, saying she couldn't wait to see Emma.

Friday night, she finally got to hold her new little neice,kiss her, and  tell her she loved her. By Saturday night, she was gone. I honestly believe she waited for Emma.  Rest in peace, Tania.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

yes, I do have other grandchildren

Here they are with my mother, who was 93 today (although she insisted she was 2000).   The two on the ends are Ben and Josh, Hilary's two.  And the two in the middle are David & Jake, Jeremy's two.
We gathered at my house late this afternoon to eat, drink and talk while the boys threw a ball around out in the back.  Here are Hilary and Jeremy with their Nana.Their spouses are off-camera. Jessica, Tommy and Emma are in Wisconsin visiting Tommy's family, but Jess called to wish Nana a happy birthday earlier today.

I am exhausted.  A combination of overdoing it on the treadmill and bike two days in a row and probably all the other stuff from the week. I am used to walking outside but have discovered that the treadmill is a different animal altogether. Ouch! I think I will stay away from the machines for a couple of days.

Friday, June 11, 2010

disappearing act

Time is running away and I can't get hold of it and pull it back. Mostly a wasted week and I am too tired to be witty about it.

Home since Tuesday night and hibernating: Wed in the studio, Thurs in the sewing room at home while I waited for the guy to come and fix my icemaker between 12 and 5.  Of course, he came at almost 6 and has to order a new circuit board.  Fortunately, I filled the freezer with little ice cubes. Phew!

Today it was hurry up and wait at the V.A. hospital and by the time we left, half the day was over. Spent the entire afternoon grocery shopping for tomorrow's family get-together for my mother's 93rd b.d.  Have I had time to get her a card, let alone a gift?  That's tomorrow morning's activity.

Tonight's activity - bed and an attempt to recover from the wasted week.


Monday, June 07, 2010

A few glimpses of the last two days

Finally retrieved my camera. Today is "Can this Fabric be Saved?" which was scheduled as a one-day class but most of the people who took the previous two days are staying on to play for a third day.  I suppose they want to see what they can do with the fabrics the printed and were not happy with.

Mostly, of course, they did beautiful work.Here's one printed on dry fabric (right side) and wet (left).

Tape on a screen.
glue on a screen

Paula did this one with several layers and I think she may have kept going.
More of Paula's printing on her beautiful hand-dyes.
Here's Linda, not quite modeling her gelatin-printed t-shirt. What a great idea!

We'll see what today brings. 

Saturday, June 05, 2010

left my camera at the workshop place

But armed with my trusty iPhone (which miraculously had not vaporized by the end of the day) I took some lovely location shots in downtown Orlando after dinner tonight. You want photos? These are not what I had planned, but ok.

Hot hot hot and just as humid, although I understand from Marty that it's just as bad in NJ.  Maybe.

Gee, Orlando is a real place - not just Disney World (which , in any case, is not even in Orlando or even in the same county as Orlando.  Here's what I saw as we walked around the lake in a beautiful little park downtown.

nice texture on some sort of palm

black swans

white swans
more texture
is this not gorgeous?
I'll post some class pictures tomorrow (if I can remember to bring my camera home with me).  With what's left of the evening I will read a little more of the Kate Atkinson book that had me laughing out loud on the flight down.  Do you know how people look at you when you are giggling to yourself in an airplane?  It is called Human Croquet and was published in 1997 - well before Behind the Scenes at the Museum and other recent books. I have read them all. they've all made me giggle. Isn't that nice?

Friday, June 04, 2010


I won't go into details about the temp and humidity in Fla. Suffice it to say my camera stayed home while I met my friend Delia from kindergarten for dinner.  Ruth's Chris - a major extravagance and treat - but we spent at least 3 hours catching up on the last 500 years of our lives and it was worth every nickel. 

There is nothing like old friends with shared history - with whom you can be completely yourself and pick up where you left off decades ago as if no time had elapsed. OTOH - new friends (i.e. - during the past 10-15 years, depending on how old you are) are wonderful for energizing and stimulating you.  Where would I be without my "new" old friends? (you know who you are).  And friends who make you laugh are the best of all! (you also know who you are).

Teaching tomorrow - iPhone alarm set for crack of dawn. G'night.  Sorry no pix - but did you really want to see a picture of my kindergarten friend and me chomping on our NY sirloins at Ruth's Chris?

packing again

I'm off to Orlando this morning and hope to post while I'm there.  The weather forecast says rain and that it will be 94 and feel like 112degrees F.  Oh, swell.

If my camera doesn't melt, I'll post.

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...