Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy Blogiversary to me

Celebrating a decade of blogging today, with a Haagen Dazs ice cream bar. Not even the flavor I like, but beggars can't be choosers.  I need dark chocolate but don't have any.  Back to the point: I wrote my first post on January 31, 2005 as a thinking-out-loud-while looking at a shot of something I was working on.  TEN years - where has it gone? (rhetorical). It doesn't matter where it has gone, it has vanished. Evaporated. Disappeared - never to be gotten back. 

I should do a giveaway in honor of my blog's longevity, but since I don't have anything in Fla to give away, that idea seems a bit lame.

Tonight, just for the heck of it, I'm posting what has been sitting on my Florida design wall.  It started as a couple of nine patches and I've been playing with it.  I should probably just stick a fork in it but I won't because it doesn't quite come together.  Too much chaos - like the couple of weeks i've just had.
Still no Internet on my mac and intermittently on my ipad.  Between that frustration and the Sears service tech I threw out of my apartment because he was a screaming, raving, nasty lunatic and a few other aggravations, I am DONE. 

Tomorrow, as I start my 11th year of blogging, I will pay bills, go for a walk, and maybe do some therapy sewing.  Monday, someone is coming to fix my brand new Bosch non-working dishwasher, and the electrician will be here again to move ceiling lights he put in the wrong place.  I am expecting a few more things to go wrong before the week is out.  Stay tuned:-))  And thanks for being there for so long.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

week in a blur

It has been mostly a blur of kitchen renovation angst and spending every spare minute with my two cousins, running around for backsplash tile samples (finally selected!!) and with no set plans, waiting to see how every day evolves.  For some reason, I am waking up before the crack of dawn here: I don't know why.

 I will not go into the aggravating details of the kitchen, which is now stalled because my electrician has the flu and my plumber can't come till next Tuesday.  Fortunately, the fridge has power, my beautiful soapstone is in, and the details will sort themselves out eventually.

In the meantime, here is how the kitchen looks this morning.  I haven't removed all the blue plastic yet.
I love the caramel vein in the soapstone on the peninsula that divides the kitchen from the dining area.
Weather has been spring-like with no humidity -- great walking weather.  And the early evening sky is always dramatic.

I've been reading: finished Cutting for Stone and am now en train de lire The Hare with Amber Eyes.  I have also been sewing a bit, seeing what I can do with a few of these ugly blocks.
Clearly, a work in progress - also stalled.  But at least better than it started.  Now, off to start the day.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday - cloudy, but who cares?

After the plumber, the electrician, and the soapstone fabricator left today, so did I.  Got in the car and felt as though I'd been let out  of jail.  Went to Boynton Beach to a tile warehouse, which had nothing I wanted for a backsplash -- and called my friend Elinor who moved down here from next door to me.
It was great to catch up with her! 

The guest room in this apartment has been turned into my Florida sewing room and it is uncluttered and serene.  I have good  memories of this room, which is where I slept every time I came to visit my parents.  I have a couple of small design walls - a 4X8 piece of foam from Home Despot that I cut in half so it would fit into my rental car last year. I read in here, listen to Classical South Florida on the radio, and I feel at peace.

The porch is on the other side of the sliding doors; right now, a repository of stuff that needs to be taken to Good Will.  And carpet that needs to be replaced with something else.  But that is far from an emergency.
You can see my design wall leaning against the closet doors, with the string quilt blocks I am working on in an effort to decrease the bag of strips.  It will probably not be news to you that this reduction strategy does not work. The bag is just as full as it was when i started.  The best strategy is to toss the whole bag, but I can't bring myself (yet) to do this.  

In the meantime, picture me in this oasis of calm, reading Cutting for Stone until the wee hours.
Tomorrow, a few appliance things to take care of and then over the weekend, my cousin Nancy from Los Angeles arrives and it will be the three musketeers (Nancy, me, and our cousin Mimi who lives in Boca Raton).  I expect that our main activities will be laughing, eating, and shopping at the outlet mall.
Works for me!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I think it's Wednesday

Hard to tell, since I have had workmen traipsing in here every day and have lost track.  Will not bore you with the bumps in the road to my new Florida kitchen: suffice it to say that I have finally gotten to the point of shrugging my shoulders and saying "whatever.  Let the electrician and the cabinet guy work it out between them. They are both at fault and I don't care who fixes it, as long as it gets fixed."  But, it is moving along, despite the glitches.

Today, after everyone left, I put my feet up and  started to read "Cutting for Stone. After dinner, I finally sat down and got out paper and gouauche and charcoal and brushes and started to play.  This is something new for me: I have only ever worked with paints on fabric, but have wanted to try this for a long time.  "Play" is the operative word, since I don't have anything in mind when I start (surprise, surprise) and don't care how i turns out.  However, I am feeling a bit tentative and it is taking me time to relax and let my hand move without thinking about it.  Yes, I can do this with fabric.  But in another medium, another story.

I took pictures of what I had done to see what these really looked like from a distance, when I posted them.  This was what started me blogging 10 years ago (at the end of this month) and it still works to help me see what I have done.

This first piece has been turned 180 degrees from the way I originally did it.
          It is tells a totally different story in the original orientation.
And the surprise is that there was no intent and no story in mind as I worked.  

This was done as a vertical.

And I honestly don't remember which of these orientations came first. i think this one works better.

but then, again...

If I have time to play with paint and paper and other art supplies for a bit every night, I think I may remain sane for the next few weeks.  This is fun!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

afternoon at the quilt show

The Palm Beach Convention Center has been home to a Mancuso show for the last 3 days and I finally got there this afternoon, while the men were putting down my beautiful new wood floor in the kitchen.

Had lunch with Robbi Eklow, who was teaching here, then spent a couple of hours waltzing through the lovely, wide aisles full of vendors and then quilts.  I thought the quilts were, for the most part, better than usual.  The Gold Coast Quilt Guild had a special exhibit called (what else?) 50 Shades of Gray, and it was fun to see the variety and use of black/white/gray.  Amazing what you can do when you have limits.  This is Judy Shelton's quilt.  I heard someone calling my name and it was Judy, who had taken a class with me some years ago and then we met again at Art Quilt Tahoe.  I'm teaching next month at the South Florida MQG and she has signed up for my class -- so we will see each other again.  I love when that happens.

There was a lovely exhibit of Israeli quilts, which included pieces by Maya Chaimovich, Bella Kaplan, and Shoshi Reimer. I am lucky enough to know all of these delightful women.  Maybe some of you saw Maya's quilts at the Art Quilt Gallery in New York last year. I didn't take pix of those.

I thought the quilts, in general, were of higher quality than I have seen in the NJ show and they were much  better lit.  Of course, there were the usual ordinary quilts and a bunch that had no names; no attributions, so you had no idea who had made them.

 Here are the few pieces that caught my eye. Makers from the U.K. and Australia.  The photos are bad, but it was a relief to see some pieces that were spare and graphic.

So that's it.  Tomorrow brings the electrician and who knows what else.  Dinner with my friend Bev Snow will be the highlight of the weekend, I am sure.  And Monday, the ceiling, the lower cabinets, I hope; the appliances delivered, and I forget what else will be happening.  Never a dull moment.
Here is how the kitchen looks at the moment. 
Red oak.  delicous to walk on.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I won't gloat

About the weather in West Palm Beach. Have been too busy running like a crazy person with kitchen stuff ( see facebook)  to take advantage of the sun here.  Even yesterday, very cool meant the high 50's/low 60's and it still felt like heaven.  Lots of Canadians live in this village, or are snowbirds at the very least.  

My sewing room is full of IKEA cabinet boxes, so that even if i had had time, there is no room.  But today, I am finally out of patience and checked the closet where I had left some fabrics last year. All I found were boxes and bags of strips, along with this block:
I guess I know what I was doing last time I was at my sewing machine here.  Time to make a bunch more of these no-brainers.  Unfortunately, we have no newspapers except for last Sunday's NYTimes book review - so I copied down all the books I want to look for and now am going to cut the paper up.
Maybe I can clear some space somewhere.

The floor guy is here scraping off the 1970's linoleum (I will spare you) and preparing the floor so by tomorrow I will have a new wood floor.  But in the meantime, my strings await me.

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 ...