Thursday, February 28, 2013

En route

Ah, the vicissitudes of travel... I won't go into what had me in tears of frustration as I boarded the United plane. Suffice it to say they comped me a drink. I want my Continental back! But it is like wishing for the dead to return. Ain't gonna happen.

I have a three hour layover at L.A X., thanks to an early departure from Newark. air traffic is so bad there that they build in time for delays and there weren't any,so we got into los anfeles almost an hour early. Had time to grab a book and read for most of the flight.

With this long layover,Thank goodness I had pass to the United Club, which provided me with a complimentary martini and a chance to make a phone call. After the stress of the day, I am treating myself to a steak dinner, which I may take a photo of (or not).

Back at the club for coffee and cookies-- the coffee is divine and I am feeling much better.have to adjust to the time change, but I can pretty much relax till tomorrow afternoon, I think.

Below, the food. When I blog on my ipad, there is evidently no choice about where the photos go. If you know the secret, let me know what it is. I have to admit that while it is easy to travel with an ipad, it will never replace my laptop for a lot of things.

I spoke to Usha (Handloom Batik) last night. We are both disappointed that I will not be inNJ at the Quiltfest to go for Indian food with her this weekend, but after we get back from our respective travels, we plan to meet in the City for a South Indian lunch.

Time to go to the gate. I will update this blog at some point. xo

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

more art

Yes, this is art.  It was juried into a statewide (NJ) exhibit of art students from middle school through high school.  The top pieces had an exhibit at the Montclair Art Museum and this dress, made completely of playing cards, caught my fancy.  The artist is a high school student with a sense of whimsey and talent.  The exhibit, in general, was terrific but this was my favorite because it made me smile.  And anything that makes me smile deserves a blog post.

The Montclair Art Museum has one of the nation's best collections of Native American art, both traditional and contemporary.  Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of my favorite American artists and if I could liberate this painting from the museum's wall, I would be in heaven. But it is in the permanent collection and I don't think they would like it.

There is, in the Native American gallery, an exhibit of contemporary art/craft. This photo doesn't do justice to the tiny seed beads that cover the sneakers -- but the work is amazing -- and fun.

On another subject -- United Airlines has cancelled my morning flight and has put me on an afternoon flight that will get me to Asilomar tomorrow night instead of in the early afternoon. NOT happy with this; chances are there were not enough people on the flight to SFO to make it profitable so they switched everybody to the only other flight out -- and I won't go into the other issues I have with this manouevre.  GRRRRR.

Well, the good news is that I don't have to get up at 4:am, so maybe I should get off the computer and see if I can stay up late tonight getting some creative work done.  sigh...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I have to show off the charity quilt the North Jersey Modern Quilt Guild made from blocks sent to us from QuiltCon entries. Several wonderful members of our guild made additional blocks to add to the leftovers we received and this is the result. 
I did not work on it, nor did I have a chance to see it in person because I've been traveling and teaching - but I think it's a delight.  The back is equally charming.

I'll miss this month's meeting but they can do without me:-).  Leaving Thursday at the crack of dawn and I am trying to finish packing my fabrics for class tonight.

Monday, February 25, 2013


When I get emails asking if I am ok, I know it is past time to post.  Honestly, I have been too busy and/or too tired. 

The last few nights have been late, but not as late as the last umpteen, when I was up till 2:am watching all the episodes of Masterpiece Theatre's series (ex post facto).

I am not a tv watcher -- not even public television. EVER. But someone recently gave me a gift subscription to Hulu + and as I was scrolling around on my iPad to see if I would ever use it, there it was -- Season I.  Curious, I clicked on Episode 1. Instantly addicted, I spent the next bunch of nights (and days?)- printing and watching Seasons 1 & 2. Then I had to switch to to watch season 3, which is available there only till March 3, when it vanishes and won't be available till July (or some such) on, exclusively.  

Thank goodness I finished watching the last episode g so I could get on with my life!  Have I been busy? I steamed and washed another 10 of the scarves I am making for my college reunion class.   I'm 4/5 of the way there.  I have been back in the studio, printing more of these.

I made the front of a fabric postcard destined for an auction at Sisters Outdoor Quilt Festival in July.  It felt good to get back to sewing and I suspect I will finish the rest tomorrow or Friday. *Monday update - by the time I am posting this, it is all done.  One remains to be made.

Over the weekend:  Saturday was Miss Emma's birthday party. She is now officially three years old. Of course, she had to read her card -- and not to brag, but when she opened it and I asked her where her name was, she pointed directly to it. Really, she did.
  We drove in because, living in Brooklyn sans auto, her parents needed my car to pick up the balloons and cake and be transported to the party location, which was not their small rental apartment. After spending all day with a horde of three-year-olds, we went back to the apartment and my other two kids, kids-in-law, and 4 grandsons arrived to give Emma her gifts and hang out. 

We got home pretty late and I realized immediately that I had left my iPhone plugged in, charging, at Jessica's.  So it was back to Brooklyn on Sunday to retrieve it. ARGH.  But we made lemonade out of lemons: the El Anatsui exhibit was at the Brooklyn Museum, about a 5 minute drive from Jessica's apartment.  It had been on my to-see list, so this was the perfect opportunity.  If you are anywhere within driving distance of NY City, you have to go to see this exhibit!! Drop-dead spectacular.  Here are a few of the highlights that are not on the website.

He started as a painter, then worked in wood.  These can be arranged many ways.
We couldn't figure out what these bags were made of.  Paper? Nope, metal printing plates.  They are so large you can walk between them -- there are many more in this installation and they are amazing.

I think this was my favorite piece.

El Anatsui's work is made so you can get right close up to it.  Furthermore, his work is so flexible that it can be arranged any way the curators decide to arrange it.  These can lids were rolled up in another part of the exhibit and looked very different from the cones below.

All these beautiful bottle caps are connected in a way that allows them to drape.  

Is this gorgeous, or what? Somebody should be wearing these to the Academy Awards.

This is the first exhibit I've been to in eons where the guards did not threaten to shoot you if you got too close to the work.  You could almost put your nose up against these vivid materials.

After the exhibit we stopped at the famous Junior's for pastrami sandwiches and their famous (and overrated, IMO) cheesecake.  Another tiring but adventurous day in NY and I cannot tell you how inspired I am by this fantastic exhibit.  

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I am driving to Warwick, NY to give a lecture/trunk show in the morning.  Leaving early, since I have no clue where I am going or how to get there. Mapquest on the computer gives me one set of directions; on my iPhone, a second route, and Google Maps gives me a third way to get there.  Great.  I am leaving a bit of time to get lost.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

true confessions

1.  my life has been too boring to blog about: multiple doctors' visits, cleaning sewing room, and printing handouts for my next class.

2.  desperate to relieve the boredom of sewing down facings and sleeves, I finally decided (almost a year after it was released) to watch my own DVD from Quilting Arts, Free-Form Fabric Art.

3.Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it and found myself chuckling. Stayed up till 2:am stitching sleeves and watching myself make a mess on camera. It was fun and I'm hoping I have a brilliant idea in the near future that would make another fun DVD lesson.  Any requests???

Today was not much more exciting.  I installed a new high-speed modem/router and called Comcast to switch to their Internet service.   Until everything was working, half the day was over.  The second half was spent on the phone with Verizon, cancelling their low-speed internet service and having to say "no" about 20 times to their bribes to get me to stay. N-O.
We are done.   

Then Peggy from the MQG came over so I could give her the guild's dues, which I have been keeping in my tea tin.  Since I am not around much of the time, somebody else needs to be the banker.  She stayed for tea and cake and the next thing I knew, the day was over.

For a while tonight (between phone calls) I was working on a piece I've had on the floor of my sewing room in various stages.  Don't know where it will go from here but I figured I had better take a picture before I change it again and forget what I had. Yes, I know it should be vertical but I wasn't in the mood to start playing with the picture. Anyway, it's not done.

'nuff said.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Daily Beauty

I'm not referring to the twice-daily routine when I pile miracle products on my face, trying in vain to take 30 years off my face.(well, ok - 10)

I'm talking about Cécile Trentini's original and imaginative approach to design and creativity in her new book, Daily Beauty: 365 Ways to Play with Everyday Quilt Embellishments.

Full disclosure: Cécile's original approach to design and creativity was evident when I first met her as a student in a workshop I was teaching almost five years ago. With this book, Now I'm learning from her! 

The book is  a visual joy and if you love to stitch, it's full of ideas you can use as a starting point for embellishment in the best sense of the word.

Much of her work is inspired by the elements and routines of everyday life, and she manages to see beauty in what others might see as mundane. In this book, she turns an everyday object  (a cotton cosmetic pad) into an opportunity for unlimited creativity!   I have to tell you that even I am tempted to sit down at my machine and play with some of these ideas.  The book is beautiful, compact, clear, and fun! Check it out!

Of course, when I sat down to stitch this afternoon,, it wa to sew facings down by hand and deal with sleeves - not terribly interesting, but necessary, as I get a pile of work ready for my exhibit from May 5-June 23 in Chapel Hill, NC. ( Details when I get around to it.)

In the meantime, even coffee is not keeping me awake tonight, so the rest of the sewing will wait.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

busy day

Spent most of the day printing yellow scarves and am slowly working my way through the pile.  I have discovered that many of my screens have finally called it quits after years of use, so I am having to make new ones to finish this job.

Didn't come home till almost 7:pm and have spent much of the evening working on my lecture about working in a series.  You might remember that over the past couple of years we had several interesting discussions on the subject here and a number of you were kind enough to send me pictures.  I am finally getting around to using some of them.  A work in progress.

A series can be on a subject, using a particular image, or whatever else you deem your series to comprise.  But now I'm too tired to think much about it.  Tomorrow.

Speaking of series -- I received  pictures today from Barb, who took my class at Quilting in the Desert.
She made three of her screenprinted fabrics into small quilts, which she mounted on stretched canvas. A series, for sure!

Time to retire so I have a clear head for all the stuff I still have to do tomorrow, including making sleeves and finishing quilts as I get ready for my solo show in Chapel Hill in May.  Not enough time in the day!


Monday, February 04, 2013

just chatting

 I seem to have lost track of the fact that my 8th blogiversary was last Friday, on Jan 31st. That's because Sitemeter is having issues and has stopped counting my visitors. Bah!  In any case, I'm now in my 9th year of blogging and it is a wonder I still have anything to say.

By the way, thanks for all your supportive comments on the sample thing. I am, in fact, sending out two samples because I had promised to do so.  But I also sent extra photos and from now on, a no-sample policy.

The weekend was pretty good. You may or may not know or care that Thomas A. Edison spent 2/3 or his professional life in West Orange, NJ. W.O's claim to fame is his laboratory, the Black Maria (pronounced Mariah) which was his movie studio, and his gorgeous home, Glenmont.  

The Edison complex is now a national park and on Saturday I paid my first visit as an adult.  I remember being at the lab on a school trip when I was probably about 10 and all I recall is a lot of old things and dust.  The place was renovated and cleaned up, closed for a couple of years and now it is wonderful to visit.

The building on the right was Edison's lab and manufacturing facility and I have to admit it was pretty interesting to explore.  Many of the things we take completely for granted were invented and made here.

Edison's house is in Llewellyn Park, a private community within West Orange. It's not far from the complex.

Honestly, more interesting than I would have thought -- quite fun!

Sunday took us to Brooklyn. Despite the dusting of snow yesterday, we cleaned off the car and headed to Prospect Heights to play with Miss Emma while her mother checked out the local real estate offerings.  Dolls, puzzles, and here - doing collage. She will be 3 in a couple of weeks. Where did it go?

I went along to a couple of open houses and as we passed this parked car, I couldn't resist a photo of the windshield. Made me smile.
Today (Monday) was pretty boring. The bitter cold this morning kept me indoors for he rest of the day, dealing with teaching engagements and other paperwork.  Just tonight I started my periodic clean-up and reorg.  My box of shipped back supplies finally arrived and I am debating whether to unpack it or leave it alone.  So far, I have done some of each. For now, back to ironing and sorting:-).

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 ...