Monday, February 18, 2019

priestesses maturational dodge

Here is it, an anonymous date 'probably after Christmas' as I said before.  The time of year got away from me, my frontal lobe was completely shut down, and the easiest thing to give up was a blog.  So, from now on it will come out sporadically if at all.  Blogging is so 2000, right?  

                                          Gratuitous (Missing) Squirrel Picture

Fortunately I have managed to spend some time in the studio over the last few months, and have finished the Snipe quilt.  You probably know the snipe story, right?  It goes like this:  Naive folks are invited to go on a snipe hunt by a seasoned hunter.  A snipe is a small bird that lives in the marshes and mud near a body of water.  But the image people have is of a much larger bird, say the size of a chicken.  So, what you do is lie down next to a fallen log, wear a disguise if you can, and catch the snipe with a burlap bag as they run by.  There may or may not be a 'snipe flusher' in the entourage.  So, here's the snipe quilt.

                  A WISP OF SNIPE, THE SNIPE HUNT

Have no clue what will become of it, but my eyes are open for any Snipe-Themed shows that may come up.  This started out with just making a giant piece of orange fabric from my hoard of Kaffe stripes.  I figured I'd make a shirt, but instead it came up next to a few of my animal herd quilts Ive got started or, at the very least, thought about, and WHAM, the Muse finally hit me with her lightening bolt.  Admittedly she erred on the detail of using DC current, but at least she showed up for once.  You want a detail?
  Here two of the hunters are with their wings harnessed on, their masks tied, and their burlap bag ready for a whole snipe family.  

   And this is the background before the damn snipe came into my life, a whole wisp of them, since a group is called a Wisp.

And that dear readers is the latest in my series of animal groupings, hopefully with many more to follow.

Life is getting exciting around south Florida lately-  the traffic is unbelievable, there are new restaurants opening daily, the blue-heads are back in force so we stay in and don't mingle.  The manatee reserve was so full there were manatees on top of manatees over the coldest January on record.  I got to wear the sweaters I hauled down here in 1992 finally.  And I have invested in a few new sweatshirts too.  We haven't as yet turned on heat, but things are warmer now all over and the sweaters are mostly going to Goodwill since they seemed to be outdated after so many years.  I Kondoized my closet-  well not quite, but I cleaned off one shelf there and threw out a whole bunch of lightbulbs from the top shelf in the laundry.  Hey, i's a start.

Pod 8 has regenerated so I have been attending a few of those meetings, unfortunately a hike up I-95 and the loss of the major part of the day.  They really aren't at the same point I am so I am thinking I will go occasionally but it isn't the stimulation I need-  I do better on my own.  

OK, now I am going to rid my desktop of some things I have been saving.  Kondo-izing my laptop, we'll call it!

Other than radiation, no animals were hurt, they were probably already dead to participate in this.
But isn't it interesting to see the way things work?

How similar all our mechanics are?
Note the tags on this bird's feet


Today I am headed off to a giant crab show held annually just a mile from here.  I usually find some great new stuff to inspire me, occasionally I find a piece to bring home but I am getting very discerning as my walls fill up and my surfaces gather cool objects.  Now I look with my eyes instead of my purse.  
(Believe that?  Wanna go on a Snipe hunt???)

“This is how you do it,” wrote Neil Gaiman. “You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”


NOTE:  This is what happens when a beer is tipped over on your laptop and stops the space key.  This is what happens at the Apple repair shop=  $1100.  This is what happens to the jumping' grandkids-


                                                                                                     (but I can hold a grudge)

Monday, November 19, 2018

unawareness Berlioz inside

Chris Ofili left Britain for Trinidad in 2005. But in the years leading up to the move, he unknowingly developed a strict working routine. “I never realized I was so set in my ways until now,” he told a New York Times reporter after describing his process. “But I guess I have tons of rules.”
His London studio was divided between a “center stage,” where he tackled his large, collaged oil paintings, and a separate corner for watercolors and drawings. Ofili, who arrived each morning between 9 and 10 a.m., began his day in that corner space. After tearing up a large sheet of paper into eight equal pieces, he would loosen up by making abstract marks with his pencil. Then, he would move on to watercolor, painting a different African person’s head on each sheet (the artist refers to these works as his “Afro-Muses”). Each piece took between 5 and 15 minutes. Some days, he completed just one; on others, he finished as many as 10. Eventually, these watercolors—181 of them, made over a decade—became the basis of an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Nothing like a little kick-starter!
Getting by with a little help from my friends, the obligatory Squirrel Starter. And away we go-

Throwing Caution to the Wind!

That color on the brick is this week's FAVE color forever.  tomorrow I might bend it a bit to rust.  Stay tuned.  Oh, never mind- it probably won't be tomorrow, the rate I'm going, next post will be Christmas.

I've bought a couple more counter stools for the studio since we are having a pod meeting there in a few weeks-  I ordered two nice ones to use at home and will take the cheesy metal ones in to use in the studio, plus I bought 2 more at target with cushy tops so will keep those too.  Now I have 8 stools and 4 chairs so hopefully that's enough and another hopefully will be that we find another place for permanent meetings because I am a crappy housekeeper and do not want to have to clean very frequently.  We'll see who turns up and make the announcement the you have to join SAQA to be included-  that will clear the chairs quickly-  so far not too many real artists are prospects but I'm holding out hope.

My recent weight loss is catching up with me and the carb cravings are overwhelming it seems.  A few pounds have found their way back around my middle, AND WORSE, I had to send a pair of pants back that I had ordered previously.  So, please don't offer me a bite of anything.  Thankfully I am not doing Thanksgiving this year so this week isn't full of cooking/tasting/nibbling/and making pies...  

OK, back to the problems at hand-  yup, producing quilts!  I am still stunted at the machine quilting I must do on the giant 'What I Shoulda Said' quilt.  I need to change the bobbin first and it seems that the idea of it has me paralyzed.  Also there is a wee problem that I don't know what to DO on it-  the front is bizzy from all the different fabrics so I am not about feathers and wreathes.  I guess what I will do is some diagonal lines in the opposite direction of the diagonal pattern across the front.  I won't do the cute 1/4" thing, probably more like an inch and a half or 2 inches.  The outside edge is dictated by the diagonals too, and it's completely zigzagged so binding will also be an issue-  gotta finish this up and move on to the shark quilt asap.

Yesterday I modified a bathing suit that I had ingrown (as opposed to OUTgrown) and the only way I could manage it was by taking up the crotch 2".  That seemed to work just fine so I did it to anther older suit I always liked but legs are cut too high.  That worked too AND it has a matching coverup so can take it with me on the trip.  Also fixed a sleeve that had come undone so I can wear that now.  And the pants that fit finally arrived and I had to cut 6" off the bottom plus turn the hem up another 3" to topstitch.  Damn, I can practically make a quilt out of what I cut off from these pants.  Also lined a giant basket purse with a drawstring and top so I can use it as a purse sometimes.  Had to do that by hand, so hurried too much and now I would love to take it out and redo.  In the meantime I ended up with another purse with a lightweight cotton drawstring lining and I love the purse, hate the lining so will redo that one too.  Why isn't anything OK the way I buy it?  

Our plans for Thanksgiving is to go to a friend's house and I don't even have to take a pie or anything-  but I will.  I miss my cranberry sauce so will do that and a little something else for appetizers.  And last night we got invited to another dinner, so I upped them and invited them all to Christmas.  Might beat the bushes for a few more people and perhaps take them up on offers to 'bring something.  My standard Xmas fare:

And that reminds me of this picture of the feral turkeys of Cambridge (or perhaps Brookline) taken yesterday morning.   My daughter sent it-  the Marx Brothers of Turkeydom: 

Gotta get going-  have to get to vacuum repair place, bank, studio, and home again.  Will she make it?  Doubtful.


Friday, October 26, 2018

giovanni pats subglacially

  'Everyone has a right to be stupid. Politicians just abuse the privilege.' (Unknown)

Hi there, remember me?  I've been off the grid lately and no apologies, I've just been busy and blogging is low priority any more with no followers left.  Writing to myself just ain't quite compelling enough.  Thanks for understanding.
I'll start out with a few things that have kept me busy-  I have finished another quilt, this one called a SCURRY OF SQUIRRELS.  And here's how it started-
The Marimekko tree fabric used as a wall hanging in the picture.  Yup, I had a bunch of it so dug it out.  Kept it lying around as a reminder.
Unfinished little quilt top that's also been languishing around as a burden-  I called it 'Murmuration' for awhile but it was missing something so instead I made another 'Murmuration' that was a tad more literal:
Fits much better for me.  And oh, BTW, today I found a new picture of Meghan Markle wearing a $6000 dress with MY BIRDS all over it.  Damn.
But, back to my little useless piece, if you please- see #2 above.
I added the Marimekko trees, and already feel better.  Found some wonderful Japanese cotton in dirt green for the ground and added on an additional already sewn slice of some piece of crap I found that worked just fine.Covered up some the blocks but cut them off the back to use later as the grid at bottom right.  Kept cutting up squares and pinning them up until I had no choice but to sew them down as they were pretty ratty from all my handling woes.  It isn't really a grid, just a way to extend and meld 2 fabrics together than need a bit of containment.
Pinned, and pretty darn loose to contradict the order of the squares and previous blocks.  But next I layered it and quilted it all over, then added the binding-  a nice wide one so the stripes turned into checks.  I do love a cheeky binding.  (See the last 40 or 50 quilts I've made.  Recite that thing about old dogs and new tricks. ) 
7.  Voila
Well then, since it was a Murmuration piece before, it became A SCURRY OF SQUIRRELS!  Trouble is that squirrels do not flock, they are a very solitary bunch so I had to hide them from each other to keep it real.  Did a search for Public Domain  Squirrels and printed 45 of them out on a white on white fabric-  the black in was a bit too absorbed but they after all, ARE gray squirrels, see---
Love how you can't see them until your nose is on the quilt top.  And there ya go.  Next I will work on A SHIVER OF SHARKS because it's another animal in multiple easy to make out of yet another vintage bunch of old Marimekko blocks I've already sewn up.

So, why else is new?  My little online group is just about caught up with the 12" 'pages' where we explore new ways of doing stuff.  Mine are all on the wall here, 2 years worth.  Next year the size will probably change but it's nice having them all the same:
This years theme was Deconstruction.

Also have been working with a gal who is attempting to resurrect the old Pod 8 for Florida SAQA.  We had one meeting, have plans to get together a few times before meeting #2 which will be in my studio so I am going crazy looking for a few more stools 'just in case'.  Hope it all pans out because I would love to cull a few like-individuals for a bit of a crit group.  We'll see what happens.  Fingers crossed.

Bi-Monthly Doggie Report:  Molly is still with us, she passed 14 1/2 last week which puts here roughly at 104 in people years.  Doesn't eat much, sleeps most of the day and all night, still on insulin and hip joint meds but basically isn't uncomfortable.  Some slight Doggie Dementia where she walks into walls or stares at her toes, but she recovers quickly.  I am sure going to miss her after all these years, so until she shows me a sign I am keeping at making her comfortable.  Hope somebody does the same for me ''cause I am 10 1/2 in dog years, also on insulin but no hip issues.  Matter of fact, no issues except jumping is difficult.

The termite lady showed up today and yup, I have a bit of termite chomping going on in my 3 year old house.  Seems that my kitchen woodworker used some tainted plywood and the damn critters are eating my island.  Fortunately for now a spot treatment is in order, but here I sit in a cement house, steel girders and metal wall supports, and some guy who got a deal on plywood has me infected.  Who knew it takes years to come out.  At least I don't have to suffer the humiliation of a giant TENT over my whole house.  Yet.

How I spend my free evenings, wouldn't you?

Signing off with my latest purchase from my local Farmers Market.  Don't you think she looks like me without my glasses?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

terminatively dinka diamond

Yea Vinnie!  That calls for a squirrel~

        I'm sure he meant to say 'love people and squirrels!'

I have been amusing myself lately with silly 'challenges' that pop up on sites I frequent and much to my surprise I get a bit of credit when I do it!  Here is this week's surprise-  Gastro Obscura, a division of Atlas Obscura which you really must subscribe to, talked about a Chinese soup made of black sesame seeds and threw down the gauntlet as to a recipe and how we would change it.  So, I did it.  I have since found that there are a bunch of recipes online for it but I followed their directions as printed because I had no idea what the outcome would be.  And if you don't know what it's supposed to be, how can you make informed changes?

So, here's my picture that I submitted and the link to the other featured attempts are below.
                                                          Black Sesame Sweet Soup
I completely bow down to the woman who lives in the woods and made the whole thing over a campfire-  about all I do over a campfire is roast marshmallows.  Or more likely it would be roasting over the fire pit with shish kebab skewers instead of sticks.  I gave up portaging canoes and catching breakfast trout, cooked in a pan full of Crisco, as well as washing frying pans with sand-  long ago.  Now I have my immersion blender and cast iron frypans and a nested bunch of glass bowls to soak all the stuff as required!  In air conditioned comfort.  But definitely read the lady's outdoor experience report.

Earlier this summer I sent in a picture of a giant afghan I made out of knitted hexagons to the Koigu blog where they had asked for things made from their yarns.  I had previously finished a piece that had started as a way to use up all the Koigu scraps left from 15 years worth it being my favorite yarn.
I can't find the finished pictures now, but do have Molly guarding a pile of the hexes, thousands of them:

The bottom line to this story is that I won a prize for that month and it was a bag of more lovely Koigu what I will use to make a cowl for my next trip to Boston.  No hurry, it is needed now and will still be used in May.  So, maybe the quilting ribbons have dried up, and that's fine, and I have a new hobby- submitting to online silly projects!  So far I'm batting 1000!

Quick ARTY PARTY for you today:
And yes, it's fiber art.  I adore this work, doilies out of control.  Here ya go-

Artist Ashley V Blalock crochets enormous red doilies that she then installs in site-specific configurations ranging from galleries to stairwells to trees outside. Her ongoing project, Keeping Up Appearances, began in 2011 and has been installed at museums, galleries, and gardens across the United States.Artist Ashley V Blalock crochets enormous red doilies that she then installs in site-specific configurations ranging from galleries to stairwells to trees outside. Her ongoing project, Keeping Up Appearances, began in 2011 and has been installed at museums, galleries, and gardens across the United States.The artist describes the meaning behind Keeping Up Appearances: “Although non-threatening in a domestic setting, in the gallery and at this scale the [doilies] overtake the viewer and cover the walls… Inherent is a compulsion to arrange and place and decorate in order to control or influence a perceived outward appearance. The red color gives away the futility of such an act and hints at the unease that lurks below the surface of an obsessive need to control and arrange.”

That was fun, eh?  Have a great day-  do something out of the box.                                


Monday, September 24, 2018

disguise lurex irritant

Jackson Pollock once told a reporter: “I’ve got the old Eighth Street habit of sleeping all day and working all night pretty well licked.”

Snapped at Michaels a few weeks ago, and also sent to me by a friend who saw it in a different state.  LOVE it when people do stuff like that, knowing I will appreciate!  Bet these are all gone-  they are maybe 18" tall so hard to store between squirrel holidays.
He comes matched to a few other disgusting scary animals too:

 A less intimidating rat----------------AND my nemesis, a giant ugly Bufo toad

Don't tell Michael's I sent ya.

I told you about the bold raccoon who wans=dered up to my patio door the other day, eh?  He never came back in the daytime BUT one day on the steps into the pool was several giant poops where he apparently sat and washed off all the dirty food he found.  Unfortunately the roofing job across the street generates a lawn full of tossed chicken bones and empanadas not up to standards.  So he picks up anything he can carry and comes over her to wash it.  SO, to foil his visits I tied my giant alligator float to a lawn chair and he floats hither and yon scaring away the raccoon.  The pool guy continually tosses the alligator to the side and I have to return him to the float job continually.  AND the alligator scares Molly so she won't even go into the back yard now.  Every solution has it's problems.  But next I'm gonna get a pop gun and sit out there getting eaten by bugs waiting for him to appear.  Then, POW!  That should scare him off and put the alligator back in the garage where he belongs.

The Guard Alligator in position.  Note the string (chain?) that keeps him from blowing off into the hinterlands.

As you might tell, I am back from Boston.  I got home to a schedule I have already messed up, doctor appointments, social stuff, and work projects.  I thought I could get so much done.  But no-  first Ancestry contacted me and said I am 35% Swedish.  No, my dad was always called Swede but nobody actually was from there.  Then my cousin called and wanted to know if I could do anything with our grandmother's wedding dress- she sent it to me so I am pondering on that:
 Like Doublemint, there are TWO, TWO, TWO dresses in one.  The first is the cotton inner dress with boning and a flounce around the bottom, and the second is silk with beautiful tucks around the waist (which wouldn't;t fit over my thigh!) and a lace and hassled collar.  In my head I cant imagine that they were worn together- different lace, underdress neck doesn't fit or work well with butter dress collar, odd things to my brain.  Anyway, I have permission to DO something to them.  I never knew my grandmother at this size, always was a short stout woman, but this was worn about 1909 and I didn't know here until 'mid-century', as we say.  

Anyway, that's my challenge now.  And it's fitting that I am also now up to my neck in Ancestry!  They sent me a correction that shows I might be 6% Swedish now, even thats odd- the rest of me is just what I've always been told, English with just a tad of Germanic.  My relatives from England landed in Boston in 1635, no wonder I felt so at home there all that time!  There was also a map of the migration of the family across the country dropping Townsends wherever they landed.  Like salt.  I was hoping for a bit of drama somewhere but it didn't happen.  Now I am going to make formal tree out of a giant piece of watercolor paper showing my relatives and TY's relatives.  He can only go back to grandparents so won't take too much room.  It will end with my grandkids so they will have it if they ever want add to it over time.  

Today I am dropping all this stuff at the studio and hope I can stay for awhile to at least put things away before I start another project.  

So today I will leave you with a Superman logo poster showing the way it has evolved over years.  We'll just call it the ARTY PARTY for the morning, OK?

He must have a personal line to Betsy Ross to have all of these changes over the years ready to stitch up.