Planet Textile Threads

September 17, 2014

Sarah Ann Smith

England 2014: Sutton Hoo and the British Museum (first Monday)

The Sutton Hoo Burial Treasures at the British Museum, London

The Sutton Hoo Burial Treasures at the British Museum, London

In 1978 I spent a semester in school in London.  It was pass-fail, not grades, so I passed.  But my time and interests were elsewhere:  I went to museums and the theatre (inexpensive same-day tickets) every week.  Every weekend, well almost every one, I went somewhere in the country by train, staying at youth hostels.   It was a most amazing few months, and some of the images have stayed with me since I was 19.  Some of those images are from the British Museum‘s exhibit of the phenomenal Sutton Hoo Burial Ship treasures which date to about 724 AD.  A decade or so ago, I learned that one could now VISIT the site where the ship was dug up, and that began my quest to return to England.  Before Eli and I went to East Anglia, however, I wanted him to see what had stayed with me all these decades.  The buckles above are just two of the samples–the intricacy of these small works is simply phenomenal, the imagery enticing.

We reached the museum mid afternoon, having been up well over 30 hours (overnight flight in a too-warm airplane included), so Eli kinda hit the wall and didn’t look much.  And it was crowded.  Beyond belief crowded.  The line into the ladies room took over half an hour–Eli actually sent a text wondering what had become of me!  I wanted Eli to see the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles since he is studying Latin.

This is the horde of humanity around the case with the Rosetta Stone.  UGH.  Too many people!

This is the horde of humanity around the case with the Rosetta Stone. UGH. Too many people!

Eventually, we got close:

THE Rosetta Stone

THE Rosetta Stone

Yep, the one, the original, the stone that helped humanity learn to read Egyptian heiroglyphics.  But what crowds.  We ended up being too tired to find the Elgin Marbles that day.  By the time we returned to London, we decided that we couldn’t cope with the hairy hordes and did not return to the Museum.  I hope some day to return, but I think it will be during a snowstorm in January just to avoid the masses!

But I did get to take many photos up in the Sutton Hoo exhibit, where the display cases and signage are vastly improved over 1978.

Just LOOK at this amazing ring pin; this one is probably almost 4 inches in diameter, and that pin could be lethal!

Just LOOK at this amazing ring pin; this one is probably almost 4 inches in diameter, and that pin could be lethal!

The case with a selection of items, the above pin is on the left.

The case with a selection of items, the above pin is on the left.

The most stunning item from the Sutton Hoo find is this mask.  They believe the ship was for the king of the Anglo-Saxons in East Anglia and dates to circa 724 a.d.  These are the remnants of the helmet.

The most stunning item from the Sutton Hoo find is this mask. They believe the ship was for the king of the Anglo-Saxons in East Anglia and dates to circa 724 a.d. These are the remnants of the helmet.

Based on the fragments and knowledge about contemporary helmets and design, they have made this piece to show what it would have looked like at the time of burial, including the garnets on the eyebrow ridges.  Simply phenomenal artistry and craftsmanship.

Based on the fragments and knowledge about contemporary helmets and design, they have made this piece to show what it would have looked like at the time of burial, including the garnets on the eyebrow ridges. Simply phenomenal artistry and craftsmanship.

More every-day implements and artifacts.

More every-day implements and artifacts.

And I am always intrigued by how people lived in olden times.  This pot would have been hung from a ridgeline/rafter post over a fire.

And I am always intrigued by how people lived in olden times. This pot would have been hung from a ridgeline/rafter post over a fire.

The original gourd had long since rotted away, but the intricate metalwork survived, so they made this wooden vessel to go with the metalwork and show how it was originally made.

The original gourd had long since rotted away, but the intricate metalwork survived, so they made this wooden vessel to go with the metalwork and show how it was originally made.  Just think of the designs–in calligraphy, quilting, you name it!

Another buckle component.  Look at the faces in those round areas!

Another buckle component. Look at the faces in those round areas!  If I recall, this is probably three inches or so tall?   The level of detail and workmanship simple awes me.

Then back to the hotel to collapse!  Time for a good night's sleep before a long and happy Tuesday. I took this picture of Notting Hill station (remember the movie with Hugh Grant?  Yep, that Notting Hill, which is a district in London not far from our Tube stop).

Then back to the hotel to collapse! Time for a good night’s sleep before a long and happy Tuesday. I took this picture of Notting Hill station (remember the movie with Hugh Grant? Yep, that Notting Hill, which is a district in London not far from our Tube stop).  It is one of the stations that hasn’t been gussied up and still has its old character.

So those are the artifacts that sent me back to England–I wanted to see them again, not just in photos, and go to where they had been found.  That would happen on Thursday, but we had two phenomenal days before that one!  There’s more to come!

by Sarah Ann Smith at September 17, 2014 02:34 PM

Cynthia St. Charles

Fishing at Timberline


 Fishing at Timberline was outstanding!  We caught a lot of nice sized fish right away.   This lake contains a self sustaining population of Brook trout (not a native species).  They were especially colorful because they were spawning.



by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 17, 2014 06:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Go Figure

stowe_lowres

Grabbed this from my daughter, Lisa’s blog because it suits what I am feeling about my creative life. Since we decided to move, about a year ago, my creative life has taken a back seat. I have been pondering lately about whether or not I should continue making art. It is more difficult for me to get in my groove – sneak down to the studio and play and find something that gets my juices flowing. My little studio is not as easy for me. It has been too hot to be there. I have felt distracted and unmotivated with only little bursts of art making that has made me happy.

dancingkelpquilted

Then, this week, I found out that my Kelp Dance quilt sold at the American Art Company gallery in Tacoma. I was told that only two pieces in the show have sold. That bit of news has buoyed my spirits (plus the fun of getting back to printing art cloth with Rayna last week). So, I look forward to cooler weather and more time to get my creative groove on. Never mind that deadlines for all the important shows have just passed me by!! There is always something coming up.

I barely survived 4.5 hours in the dentist chair yesterday morning. It was grueling. They removed two crowns and a bridge and prepared my eye tooth for a crown. I must say that the temporary dentures look quite good. I came home and got a fever and spent the rest of the day wrapped in a blanket. I feel a bit better today. I hope to go to SAQA tomorrow and then Thursday, I will have my STASH group here.

 

by Gerrie at September 17, 2014 04:29 AM

September 16, 2014

Rayna Gillman

Point Lobos

Got to the hotel here yesterday and took a walk down to the Cliff House restaurant for dinner.
There was a lot of sun, so I shot these rather blindly -- but oh, my - how lovely the landscape just at the Pacific Ocean.

Shangri-la in the distance, and just look at nature's color combination.  If this were a painting I would think it was trite.

Dinner at the Cliff House was pretty divine, too.
Had a trek back up the long and steep hill, which I hope walked off a calorie or two -- but not sure.
This morning I have been luxuriating in the sun on the patio, catching up on some things I wanted to read.  Flight check-in pretty soon and then I might take a walk.  Tonight, giving a lecture at the San Francisco Quilt Guild and am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, back to New Jersey to take care of all the STUFF waiting for me.  It's been a great trip!

by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at September 16, 2014 06:25 PM

Olga Norris

Seasonal overlap

We are enjoying a sunny period between seasons.  And it is real warmth developing as we look out at breakfast time.
The annuals still blossoming away while the trees are laden with ripening berries.
Meanwhile, indoors, I have been busy preparing lino plates. These are a few of those piling up ready for several days of printing to come.

by Olga Norris (noreply@blogger.com) at September 16, 2014 02:42 PM

Terry Grant

Travel day—to Granada

After our fun night last night, I didn't sleep. I tossed and turned and couldn't get comfortable. I was grateful, but unrested when morning arrived. So getting on a bus for a 5-hour ride wasn't a bad thing. I slept on the bus. I'm sure I had my mouth hanging open and I had my goofy blow-up neck pillow, but I was unashamed. The only person I knew on the bus was Ray and he's seen worse. This is the way of the traveler. Somehow I often sleep better sitting up on a bus than in a comfy, but unfamiliar hotel bed. It's a mystery.

We arrived in Granada mid-afternoon and found our Airbnb in the historic Albayzin area. It is pretty great. The building, much like the one in Barcelona, is ancient on a narrow little hillside street, but this one is much cozier, with furniture and a well-appointed kitchen. It even has a washer and we are doing some laundry tonight. We did a little walkabout earlier, checked out the neighborhood, had a cold beer in the plaza, bought groceries and retired to our little home away from home for the evening. Our place has two balconies and the views knocked us out. I will leave you with tonight's views.

Looking down toward Plaza Nuevo
Looking up at The Alhambra.
Pinch me. I think I'm dreaming. . .

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 16, 2014 01:27 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

Trunk Show Tomorrow!

SpiegelLibraryTalk400

I have almost thirty artworks ready to go for this trunk show/talk tomorrow, September 17, at the Byron (IL) Public Library.  If you would like to attend and don’t care to call the library, let me know and I will let the library know you will be attending.

The emphasis will definitely be on SHOW and not too much tell.  I have artwork from my first traditional quilt straight through artwork I have just finished.

It’s been fun to look at artwork I haven’t seen for awhile.  I’ve realized that, although my topics have varied, my artwork is characterized by hand-painted fabrics in bold colors, horizontal orientation with vertical stitching, and, frequently, a mad love of tiny, tiny, pieces.

by Virginia at September 16, 2014 11:08 AM

Margaret Cooter

Blast from the past - Imber church

Last year we stopped at Imber on the way to north Devon, as it was one of the village's annual open days - it's part of the army training grounds on Salisbury Plain. The church dates back to the 12th century and is now in the care of the Church Conservation Trust. The caretaker has beehives of a rare pure strain of bees, isolated by distance from contamination - honey was being sold. Also at the church was a display of the history of the village, and we chatted with a man who had been born in the village - the entire civilian population was evicted in 1943 to provide an exercise area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe.

In the church tower are these 17th century paintings of the changes of bells to be rung -
ringing the changes
 The ring of six bells was installed in 2010; wonder how much use those ropes get? -
An atmospheric place -

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 16, 2014 09:34 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Timberline Lake Backpacking

 We took our 8 year old grandson on his first backpacking trip this summer.  We went to Timberline Lake because the weather there was expected to be milder than some of our other options.  Above is a picture of Timberline Lake as we arrived.  We had sunshine all the way up the trail (hot), but the clouds had arrived at the same time we reached the lake, so it began to feel a bit cooler (almost too cool, really).  The first order of business was to find our campsite, but the second was to filter water.  The two pictures below show Airus and Joe filtering ice cold water from the lake.


by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 16, 2014 06:00 AM

Dijanne Cevaal

Crossing Oceans

All packed up from the Viville Quilt Expo and off to the 20th birthday celebrations of  Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork at Ste Marie aux Mines.

I shall be  spending quite some time at the Crossing Oceans stand as I have  pieces of work in this wonderful exhibition which has been curated by Jane Rollason. The group consists of Jane Rollasom. Hilary Beattie, Charlotte Yde, Irene McWilliam, Elain Quel, Lin Hsin-Chen, Bergen Rose, Ineke Berlyn, Christiane Kuhr, Pat Archibald , Kay Haerland, Frieda Anderson and myself. We have  five small pieces and one large piece each. I decided to explore olive trees.

And Jane Rollason's lovely tulip arrangement with its beautiful colours!



We have a spare bed in the cabin we have rented at Ste Marie ( about 20 minutes from Ste marie) if anyone is interested. The cost per night is reasonable and I know  accommodation is always at a premium on this  weekend of exhibitions. If you are interested please email me  and I can give you details.

And finally a new panel for the medieval project- a Chartres king. He is  the same size as the queen ( approx 8 x 18 inches  20 cm x 45 cm). The scale of the figure is also the same. The cost of the panel is $20 plus postage ( which is $3) email me if you are interested 


by Dijanne Cevaal (noreply@blogger.com) at September 16, 2014 01:02 AM

September 15, 2014

Sarah Ann Smith

500 Traditional Quilts, published again!

What a THRILL!   I’ve been published many times now (how lucky am I?!!!), but I am elated to share that I my traditional quilting has also made the cut.  I have three quilts in 500 Traditional Quilts, juried by Karey Patterson Bresenhan, founder and CEO of Quilts, Inc., and founder and Director Emeritus of International Quilt Festival.  The book is part of Lark Book’s “500 Series,” and I was proud to be included also in 500 Art Quilts. You can find 500 Traditional Quilts here (on Amazon, available other places too) and 500 Art Quilts here.  My blogpost about 500 Art Quilts is here.  What is so wonderful is that I made the cut in blind jurying:  that means the juror has no idea who made which quilt, you are juried in on the basis of the quality of the quilt.

I'm in 500 Traditional Quilts, Karey Patterson Bresenhan, juror.  Well, three of my QUILTS are in this book, not me!

I’m in 500 Traditional Quilts, Karey Patterson Bresenhan, juror. Well, three of my QUILTS are in this book, not me!

My three quilts included in this book are From the Schooner Coast, Haleakala Sunrise and Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul.  Avid quilters will recognize the works and names of many of the quilting world’s top traditional quilters, so I am particularly honored that three of my quilts made the cut.  Even better, the two Hawaiian-style quilts of mine will be in an exhibit of selected works from this book that will debut at International Quilt Market and Festival this October-November.  For me, this is huge: my work meets the standards for publication and exhibiting at what is probably the most prestigious quilt show in the world.  WOW!

The theme for this spread is clearly sailing ships.  Mine is the blue one in the middle, with a detail of the quilting no less!  This quilt is called From The Schooner Coast.

The theme for this spread is clearly sailing ships. Mine is the blue one in the middle, with a detail of the quilting no less! This quilt is called From The Schooner Coast.

 

Any reader of this blog will immediately recognize my Haleakala Sunrise quilt which is the background for this website.  I just love bright, clear "Caribbean" colors.  This was my first original Hawaiian-style design, and I still love it and Hawaiian quilts in general.

Any reader of this blog will immediately recognize my Haleakala Sunrise quilt which is the background for this website. I just love bright, clear “Caribbean” colors. This was my first original Hawaiian-style design, and I still love it and Hawaiian quilts in general.

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, is on the left.  I made this quilt to be in my Threadwork Unraveled book, a "bible" of thread used on/in a sewing machine.  Due to length, we ended up cutting the applique section out of the book, but I remember finishing the design for the center block while sitting on the floor of Joshua's hospital room in 2007 after he was hit by a car (and it's somewhere back in the July/Aug 2007 blogposts!).  So glad he is completely well, doing well, the book did great, and my quilting career actually exists!

Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul, is on the left. I made this quilt to be in my Threadwork Unraveled book, a “bible” of thread used on/in a sewing machine. Due to length, we ended up cutting the applique section out of the book, but I remember finishing the design for the center block while sitting on the floor of Joshua’s hospital room in 2007 after he was hit by a car (and it’s somewhere back in the July/Aug 2007 blogposts!). So glad he is completely well, doing well, the book did great, and my quilting career actually exists!

I have to be honest:  I have not “read” this entire book, yet.  This is a book to be savored. Dip into it, browse the beauty in its pages.   Yes, I am an art quilter.  But first and foremost I am a quilter, and these quilts are art even though they are traditional–I love ALL types of quilting.  Karey called these quilts “the crème to la crème of traditional quiltmaking today.”   I can’t wait to see the exhibit of selected quilts from the book in Houston (I’m teaching again this year, but blessedly have a couple days to be a civilian and just enjoy the show).   Hope to see you there!

 

by Sarah Ann Smith at September 15, 2014 04:19 PM

Terry Grant

Last day in Madrid

Today we took in the Reina Sofia Museum, which houses the works of the more modern masters, including Picasso's Guernica. When we were in Europe in 1972 we saw Guernica on exhibit in Paris. Franco was in power at that time, in Spain, and Picasso, a Spaniard by birth had declared that he would not exhibit his work in Spain as long as Franco ruled. Both are, of course, now dead, the monarchy was restored in Spain and Picasso's work has returned to his native country.

Along with Picasso, the museum's collection includes absolutely wonderful works, including many artists from Spain, but from around the world as well. Here are a few pieces that stood out for me.

"inspiration" by Josefa Tolra. I was not familiar with this artist, but this spoke to me. A Google search turns up much more by her.

"The Goring of the Woman Bullfighter" by Jose Caballero. Reminded me of the wonderful Almodovar movie "Talk to Her" about the same subject.

"Antonio and Carmen" by Antonio Lopez. Something very touching about this double portrait.

And what a treat to see good old Rothko in Spain and such good Spanish colors!

When my brain could absorb no more and my feet were rebelling, we stopped and had lunch in the museum's space-agey cafe.


This evening we met up with Keiko, an old work colleague of Ray's who has been hiking the Santiago de Compostela trail and was in Madrid today—Would not have connected at all except that she posted where she was on Facebook. The three of us went to the fabulous San Miguel Market where you can pick up small plates of prepared food to eat on the spot, or shop to take home.
You pick up your little plates and a glass of wine and find a spot at the crowded little tables in the center of the market. As luck, or fate, would have it, we ended up sharing a table with a couple of delightful guys—American Craig who is an IT guy (like Ray and Keiko) for the US State Department, and his French friend, Patric, who is a restaurant owner in Paris. The food was delicious and the company and conversation was great. At one point Patric, in his charming accent, gesturing around our table and then toward the multicultural throng in the busy market, said, "why can't the world be more like this..."

Tomorrow we are off to Granada.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 15, 2014 03:34 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

Buy Art for a Good Cause TODAY!

benefit-auction-mosaic

The Studio Art Quilt Associates Benefit Auction begins today with Section 1 bidding opening at 2 p.m. EDT.

It’s a reverse auction with the price dropping each day through Saturday.  The Benefit Auction continues with three more grouping of artworks in September and October.  All the details on how the auction works are here.

Proceeds from the Benefit Auction support SAQA’s exhibitions, publications, and education outreach.

by Virginia at September 15, 2014 10:30 AM

Margaret Cooter

Off to Amsterdam

A little holiday. Museums and walking around and that sort of thing. Last time we were there it looked like this -

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 15, 2014 09:35 AM

Neki Rivera

i have something to show


this is how far i've come.  patching gifted and dyed scraps to make a  summer bed cover .i still have a long way to go. this is just a meter square and my bed is 150x 190,  hoping i'll have enough scraps. ai vat is on its last leg , don't want to add more ai to it. it still dyes, but the colors come somewhat tealish. motainai, motainai, but this is not a patchwork.
on another subject already sent my entry to the juried show. now i just have to wait and see.



neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at September 15, 2014 08:00 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

First Backpacking Trip for Eight Year Old Grandson

 There was not a very big window of time for backpacking this summer.  We watch the weather and the bugs to determine when we can maximize the potential for success.  We did have one evening that appeared promising and we wanted to take our eight year old grandson, Airus on his first outing.  We wanted to be able to evaluate his stamina and enthusiasm before planning a much longer trip.  Here are pictures from the Timberline trailhead and another along the trail going up.  We had partly cloudy weather and warmish temperatures for the hike into Timberline Lake.  It is 5 miles to the lake.  The trailhead is along the West Fork Road, about 11 miles in.  The elevation of the trailhead is at about 7,500 feet and this area was burned in a wildfire in 2007 (I think).

The trail passes through the burn area for about 3 miles.  That means 3 miles without shade.... and it means looking at a lot of blackend tree trunks.  Airus could not resist playing with the charcoal found everywhere.  He drew on rocks and logs with pieces of charcoal, blackened his hands with charcoal dust and left charcoal handprints all around. 

by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 15, 2014 06:00 AM

September 14, 2014

Rayna Gillman

mangoneidas y diablitos

This afternoon, my friend Rachel and I took a walk around the Mission district -- a gritty neighborhood I loved when I was here last year.

We stopped in the Cut Loose clothing factory outlet and (either sadly or fortunately) nothing looked good on either of us.  But it was great stuff.  After that, we had pupusas at the indoor food market -- totally enjoyable.  Pupusas are a Salvadoran food  made of cornmeal,stuffed with cheese and your choice of whatever else: pumpkin, greens, pork, etc. and served with spicy cabbage slaw and hot sauce.  Yummy.  I think I need to find a recipe and make these when I get home.

As we walked, we passed a restaurant with what looked like thousands or people standing on line (or  in line if you are not from New York) and the line stretched around the corner.  I stopped and asked some guy what they were giving away and he said "nothing. This place has the best burritos in the world." 
 A few doors down,  we passed a sign congratulating La taqueria for being selected by Nate Silver as the world's best burrito.  We were not about to go back and join the line.  I stopped to take a picture of this sign because it tickled me. And Rachel and I continued on our way.
We saw a lot of teenagers eating what looked like frozen gazpacho and in another block we discovered what it was.  A guy with a stand on the next corner was pouring stuff into a cup, adding a biig scoop of snow cone ice, adding more stuff, and people were standing in line for that, too.
We recognized it as the frozen gazpacho -- good guess, but not quite.  It was mangoneidas y diablitos -- a concoction of mango, ice, mango syrup, tomato-y hot sauce, cayenne pepper, more mango, more hot sauce.
 People were also skipping the hot sauce and having the mango and ice with other stuff, like coconut syrup, frozen strawberries, and who knows what else. Too sweet to contemplate.  We opted to try
y diabliitos because the combination of sweet and spicy appealed to us.  Not knowing whether we would like it, we decided to buy one and share it. It was fabulous!  Here is Rachel with it.
And yrs truly, checking it out before I dug into it with my fork.  Yes - you eat it with a fork, not a spoon. Can't figure out why, unless he had run out of spoons before we got there.  And that thing that looks like a straw is a plastic thing covered with what Rachel said tasted like guava paste and cayenne.


You have to know I am going to try this one at home.  Seems to me it would make a great drink with some gin added:-).  I'll let you know.

by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at September 14, 2014 09:45 PM

Terry Grant

Eyes on Madrid

After our long museum day yesterday we decided to get out and see the city today. We started at Plaza Mayor, the very oldest part of Madrid. It has been the scene of many historic events, including the public execution of heretics during the Spanish Inquisition. Today there was nothing more exciting than a small flea market consisting mostly of old coins and stamps, and old men haggling over them. We wandered along the stalls and I bought a small pair of old and interesting folding scissors.

The closer and higher I looked, the more interesting details I found.

We left the Plaza Mayor and walked through some neighborhoods, getting a little lost and very tired and decided this was not the most efficient way to explore the city. So we headed down to Plaza del Sol and bought tickets for the big red tourist bus. It turned out to be a great idea. You can hop off the bus almost anywhere along the line, explore, or have a meal, then hop on the next bus that comes along all day and into the evening. There is a recorded commentary, in numerous languages, you can listen to as you ride along.

As I had discovered at Plaza Mayor, there is a lot to be seen by looking up.

We stopped partway through the tour and had lunch—mine was a pizza with an egg on it. I ordered it without the egg, which sounded a little wierd, but it arrived with egg, so I ate it and the egg was OK. When in Spain....


We got back on the bus and finished the first half of the tour, got off near our hotel and came back for a little rest and to check messages, then went back for the second half this evening. It was a good day! Madrid is a pretty magnificent place.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 14, 2014 04:38 PM

Gerrie Congdon

Fabric Printing Day Two

printedfabric2

Whew, I am exhausted from my week of hosting Rayna and the two days of workshop. I totally crashed last night – I might as well have been in a coma. I took Rayna to the airport this morning and then we went to the farmer’s market. I spent the afternoon dozing and working on SDA membership stuff.

I came away from the workshop with a few pretty good pieces. The piece up at the top was transformed from this. It was first printed with newspaper resist on a screen. Then I added yellow orange circles and some black marks made with a mesh type of ribbon. Finally, I used a syringe to add the squiggly lines.

periwinkleblueandolivegreen

Here is a detail:

printedfabric2detail

This was another silk scarf that had some very pale marks when I used an anemic black dye for printing. I used the newspaper resist screen and olive green ink followed by purple lines using one of my favorite Stencil Girl stencils.

renewedscarf

This piece was started with newspaper resist and then I used the school glue screen with mix of orange and yellow. The screen was starting to break down and I love how it turned out.

 

fabricprint

Here is a detail:

redorangeturquoisedetail

This next piece started as a piece of muslin that I was using for test prints.

printedfabric3

I kept printing on it and then painted the whole thing with Dynaflow chartreuse paint.

The next piece was something I  had in my stash. You can see the bottom section. I am not sure what I did to get those circles and marks. I printed over it with the glue resist screen of circles using purple paint. Not excited about it, but who knows what use I might find for it.

purplegluescreen

Lastly, here is my printing surface after a lot of printing. I always love how the printing surface is so spontaneous looking.

printsurface

All in all, it was a great week. I am not looking forward to Monday. I am having 4 hours of dental work as they remove the disintegrating bridge from my upper right side. I will get a temporary put in and hope I don’t have to wait to long for the final fix.

by Gerrie at September 14, 2014 04:20 AM

September 13, 2014

Margaret Cooter

More small changes at Cloud Cuckooland Studio

 The things you find! The plans you had for them! And - what to do with them now?

The bits of old pottery obsessively collected from the foreshore and (surprisingly) Hampstead Heath -
I had an idea about drawing or painting them, a la early Lisa Milroy...

Collections of threads for some project or other -
They'll simply go back into the thread drawers, projects terminated.

"Pens to sort" - which of them still write, and ... who needs so many pens anyway???
 A little project for a rainy day.

It's scraps that give me the greatest fabric pleasure - here, from a bag on the floor, we have some tulle, some wools (for rug hooking), and silks (for JQs and suchlike projects) -
 They need to go in separate places, and though my smaller bits of fabric are organised in a haberdashers cabinet of glass-fronted drawers, these don't fit into the classification - and reorganising that cabinet isn't going to happen soon. Plus, the scrapbox is rather full and it's not going to get sorted just yet either.

One thing I've learned is - what to leave alone "for now".

And speaking of fabric -
Can one person use all this white fabric in what's left of a lifetime? The dream was once to start everything from white fabric, dyeing or painting it as needed. There was also "the all-white patchwork" project, which never really got off the ground. Ah well, move on!

More paper! -
It's not good to keep paper rolled up, especially thicker paper. This will be rehoused soon.

What about the "portable projects" in their pouches?
These little books made of various papers will come along on my next trip, to be stitched with linen threads -
Boxes ... who doesn't collect boxes, who can resist a pretty container ... but what's in them that needs to be decided about -
It gets really trivial - a collection of thread ends!! These are from hand-sewing at the table-under-the-window; they just mount up. I've used similar collections for sandwiching between net and machining, a satisfyingly brainless activity, and we all have moments when a brainless, satisfying activity is called for ... but it would be easy and practical to simply empty the jar occasionally! -
Finally, another small delight - a reorganised area, under the table -
The press won't stay there (I plan to use it for printmaking, in a rudimentary sort of way), but its new location is yet to be decided. Meanwhile, moving the drawers closer to where the chair is makes that catch-all top drawer more accessible. Also, taking things out and looking at them made me think about getting a new cover for the portable ironing board,  about replacing the flooring with carpet tiles (red? orchid? not dark grey, not beige...), and about sorting out that sewing basket, bought in Oxford in 1982 ... last used last century!

With counter tops cleared, I'm ready to leave this alone for a while.


by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 08:19 PM

Rayna Gillman

On the road again


At Portland airport in the United Club,  brunching (early lunching) on cheese & crackers, yogurt, coffee, and ice. On my way to San Francisco to stay with a friend in the city and then give a lecture. Heading home on Wednesday.                                                               

In the meantime, I finally have time to revisit more of the wonderful fabrics printed in class on day two.
As I look at the pix I took, I'll share them with you.  The big fun was printing with glue on a screen. We prepared the screens at the end of day one and they dried overnight.  Such cool designs!
Here are examples of how fabrics can be saved: just print over them with a glue screen:-)  and work in layers!




This was a deconstructed piece (green layer) that Joyce wasnt happy with.  She printed with a grid and was in the process off adding those 3-D looking circles when I snapped this.
After yesterday's class ended, Gerrie and I packed up, rested our feet, and then went out with Mr. C to a wonderfull Catalan restaurant.  I tell you, the food in Portland is universally interesting and terrific.        

on to the next city...

by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at September 13, 2014 06:41 PM

Margaret Cooter

Tree cutting

Then

Now
The rope is still on the tree. They'll be back again today, probably to reduce the 100-year-old chestnut to a stump. It's diseased, and the people with the patio have complained about the leaves.

Nothing we can do - it's all happening quickly. When I get back home this evening, it will be done with, and we'll adjust...

Squirrels had a route up the elder, jump onto a branch of the chestnut, go to the trunk and down into the ivy into their nest - they were disconcerted when their route had disappeared (much tail twitching) and one found its way to the shed roof, then an amazing jump to the tree trunk, and going up and up and up ... wonder where they'll go now. 

The view from my table-under-the-window now includes six satellite dishes, the dustbins from the estate flats, lots of parked cars.

But let's be positive. The sky can be interesting, more light will come into the room, and some comings and goings to watch. And there are plenty of trees further along for the squirrels (who once got into the area above the bathroom ceiling and kept busy chewing the electrical wires, not good!).

It makes a big change. I'll miss seeing this green view from my bed -
Death by a thousand cuts
Another day with the whine of the chainsaw, and this result -
 Half a day's work to get this -
At the end of Day 3, it looks like this, all the knobbly bits removed -
Much cleanup of sawdust in gardens has gone one, and the rope is still in place - more cutting to come.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 06:18 PM

Terry Grant

Madrid

We arrived in this delicious city yesterday on the high speed train from Barcelona and found our hotel, near the Plaza Mayor. A perfect location.

View from our fifth floor window. We settled in and waited for our friends to arrive. Funny thing. Months ago I was walking, as I do most mornings, with Beth, and I told her Ray and were planning a trip to Spain and Portugal in September. She stopped in her tracks and said, "Ed and I and some old friends are going to Spain and Portugal in September!" We compared itineraries and found we would be in the same city, at the same time, only once—yesterday in Madrid! We booked the same hotel and planned to meet up. We had a great evening of visiting and wandering around the neighborhood Tapas bars, then bid them farewell this morning.

Today we went to the Prado. We were there 42 years ago and have never forgotten it. Probably the greatest art museum in the world.

We spent nearly 4 hours drinking in Velasquez, Rubens, El Greco, Durer, fra Angelico, etc., etc, and, of course Goya! Oh, Goya! Lovely, shocking, powerful. Beth's friend saw Picasso's Guernica a couple days ago and called it the first anti-war painting. He hasn't yet seen Goya's Executions of the Third of May.

The Prado is hard work. Really hard work. My feet and back are still suffering, so it seemed only right to limp to the Metro, return to "our" neighborhood, find a pitcher of sangria and some tapas to share at a table on the little square across from the hotel, and indulge in some people watching.

What looks like potato salad here is potatoes with a creamy olive oil and garlic sauce. Bread. Spanish olives. So good.

Anywhere people congregate, the street musicians show up. Some are awfully good. I liked this guy's style—musical and personal.

The Spanish citizens stroll in the evening. Young couples, groups of teenagers, families—out for the air, the music, the company. I especially loved seeing the older women, so often arm in arm, properly dressed in their good clothes and earrings and necklaces, hair "done" and lipstick in place. Beautiful, they are.

Such a civilized city.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 03:30 PM

Olga Norris

mid September gleanings

We have had a period of dry warmish weather, and all the plants are ageing gracefully without any downpours to knock them over.  Strolling round the garden is a delight, interrupted only by waving the spiders' webs out of the way.  In the early morning sunlight I see long lines of silk attached from the tall oaks and poplar down to the table, pergola, or even to tall stems.  What acrobats - what industrious acrobats these spiders are!

I gathered a few leaves and seed heads (macleaya, geranium, nigella, clematis, fennel, and acanthus) for a mid September scan pressing,
and out of this image isolated a couple of Autumn bookmarks.
I have been entranced by the structure of the acanthus flowers as they grew, blossomed, and are now forming seeds.  From one fallen stem I removed some outer protective elements with which to play - starting with another bookmark.  Ouch! mind those spikes!

 
 



by Olga Norris (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 01:45 PM

Margaret Cooter

"Library" by Emily Rickard

Paintings and prints by Emily Rickard - love those bright colours! -

Available as a print here
They make me nostalgic for my stripey painting, which is having a rest while the studio gets sorted.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 09:48 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Another Blue Scrap Quilt

 Did I mention that the whole reason got started putting together these randomly pieced scrap quilts was to clean out my scrap bin (a 30 gallon tub, that was overflowing)?  I was happy with the blue baby quilt, but I realize I have many more blue scraps.  This time - I expanded my color choices to include pale blues and blues ranging to turquoise.    This one measures 48" square.  It is also a baby quilt, apparently. 


by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2014 06:00 AM

September 12, 2014

Dijanne Cevaal

Viville Quilt Expo

My feet have barely touched the ground since our Pozible campaign success- a mountain of work to achieve and not enough time and then this week I  left Australia for France to attend Jane Rollason's delightful exhibition in Viville, Viville Quilt Expo- in the tiny village where she lives in the Charentes. I love big events in small villages as it brings something special to places that are usually ignored in the big rush of bigger and "better"places, bigger and better venues. This week is lovely  as it is getting together with old friends in a sense, people I have learnt to know and befriend largely through Quilts en Beaujolais and a off course some new ones as well and because it is a small event there is a real chance to spend quality time with likeminded people!
Jane at work on a new piece.

 Chantal Guillermet and Caroline Higgs with some of their work and also some work from a group project they have been involved with- Fifteen by Fifteen. I love seeing other people's work and seeing what they have been up to. It is also possible to have a cup of tea or coffee, some cake or a sandwich and wine for lunch in the cafe which is part of the Salle Communale. It certainly encouraged people to make a day of it yesterday. There are three venues including the old chapel  and of course the countryside in this Cognac region is gorgeous and the weather sublime!



And then some more wonderful news for the Sentinelles- they will now be seen in Melbourne again! So this coming weekend they will be seen at newcastle, then Brisbane, then Melbourne and  then in Adelaide- you can read about it on Into Craft Blog.
It is also possible to  buy a panel for the Medieval project- there is the Queen of Chartres available but there is now also a king- I will share images next blog post. This project is also starting to acquire legs- with already some venues organised for 2015!

by Dijanne Cevaal (noreply@blogger.com) at September 12, 2014 03:36 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

Quilting Arts Holiday 2014

This year’s issue from Quilting Arts is another good one, and I’m thrilled to say I have TWO projects in it and TWO recipes!  Yes, QA has joined the holiday mayhem with some recipes.   Editor Vivika DeNegre has kicked off a bloghop with her post to day, here!

This year's issue of Quilting Arts Gifts.  I'm thrilled to have two projects and two recipes included!

This year’s issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. I’m thrilled to have two projects and two recipes included!  Please click here or use the Affiliate link on the left (which will get you a discount on some items) to order this issue!

I’ve been lucky to be on three episodes of Quilting Arts TV this season, sharing my tips about my Inside-Out bag, machine quilting, and sewing machine needles and thread.  The pattern for the bag and another pattern for a card carrier are in this year’s QA Holiday 2014 magazine as well. Read on to see some of the many variations on the theme that I’ve made!  I keep finding the need for “just another bag”!

Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400.  I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design).  The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift.

Getting ready to roll tape for my first segment on Quilting Arts TV, Series 1400. I show you how to make my incredibly versatile Inside-Out Bag (lower right corner, in progress in front of me and on the left) so you can customize size, pockets, techniques for the outside (pieced, applique, surface design). The bag is quick and easy so it also makes a great special gift, and it is also included in the 2014 edition of Quilting Arts Gifts, so now you have two ways to learn how to make it.

Over the coming ten days or so, here’s where you can go to learn more about what’s in this issue.  Some of these folks I know, but others are new to me so I’m really looking forward to seeing their blogposts and blogs!

Check back here on the 20th for my part in the bloghop, but come back before then for other new posts!

by Sarah Ann Smith at September 12, 2014 01:18 PM

Tonya R

Meet Annabelle and Cooper

I know this is supposed to be a quilt blog, not a cat blog (or at least not ONLY a cat blog) but I haven't done any sewing and hardly any hand quilting or cutting since my last post which was eek, five weeks ago? aagh.

I've had distractions. Meet Annabelle and Cooper:


They are darling siblings, now 3 months old. Rescue kitties of course. I saw their little faces looking at me from Petfinder.com and they just drew me in.


Notice the resemblence to Lily? (that's her down below) Couldn't bear thinking of Lily living in jail, so figured I'd bust these two out. Not that they were in jail - actually living in a wonderful foster home, but that's besides the point.


The big difference is the eye color. Right now the wee ones have yellow-green-brown eyes, as compared to Lily's striking clear green. And the little dudes have a more pronounced snout. Their mother is gorgeous, as well as friendly, so I know they will be too.

Anyway, Annabelle has a white face, ears, and legs.


She's a chewer - chewed my iPod headset cord in two and scared us by playing with electrical cords. We now have lots of cords wrapped in blue electrical tape,  which supposedly has a chalky taste that kitties don't like. Agh, Annabelle just launched herself at a quilt hanging on the wall - and she stuck there for a few seconds.


Meanwhile, Mini Cooper has the same face mask as Lily and two brown ears and hind legs.


Cooper's more likely to chew on fingers or toes. He loves hunting and dragging prey behind the sofa - there's quite a collection of toys and paper towels back there. Cooper has made the unfortunate discovery of the dishwasher - he loves jumping in there while I have the bottom rack pulled out. He's the more affectionate of the two and voluntarily sat in my lap for a couple of hours yesterday.


They both have tiny sharp teeth and tiny sharp claws. Agh.

The big cats for the most part ignore them, but there has also been hissing and running away. The big boys are mostly uninterested and Lily is peeved.

The little dudes added a lot of life and energy to our house. We sorely needed it after losing Pokey. And then Bubba.  Bubba was a sweet, cuddly little guy that we really loved, despite having him in our family for only 9 days. I had to have him put down - the vet suspected Feline Infectious Peritonitis. That was truly awful.


I feel like I am finally, slowly starting to come back to life again. The last few months have been difficult.

Besides the cats, the other big event around here was the super derecho which left us without power for three days. That meant we had no internet, cable tv or phones either. The winds knocked down the cell phone tower too - so we felt really cut off. First time I've ever really wished for smart phone. But the whole thing could have been much worse, since there are areas that STILL haven't gotten their power back more than a week later.

And now to watch the Wimbledon Men's Final and whatever stage of the Tour de France we're at today.

by Tonya Ricucci (noreply@blogger.com) at September 12, 2014 11:06 AM

Margaret Cooter

The joy of socks

Thomas often wears the "nautical socks" (red for port and green for starboard); Kyle's just happened...and he probably has another pair just like them at home...

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 12, 2014 09:55 AM

Neki Rivera

one last song




before summer comes to a close. 29º over here
have a great weekend



neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at September 12, 2014 08:00 AM

Gerrie Congdon

Rayna is Here and 50th Wrap-UP

constfence

Rayna Gillman, long time internet friend, is here in Portland. She lectured at our guild meeting Wednesday and is teaching screen printing techniques today and tomorrow. She arrived on Monday night and so we had a fun day on Tuesday taking the street car downtown to shop and have lunch.

I was hoping that her workshop would get me back in the creative mood and it is working. That piece up there has a background done with torn masking tape and then construction fence resist over that. The yellow background is a hand dye. I am planning to do a black print on top of this, not sure what, yet.

This piece is the start of something. I used a newspaper resist to print these lines on a pale olive cotton.

newspaperresistprint

I took some unsuccessful silk scarves that I hope to rescue. Here is the first one.

blahsilkscarf

I used a turquoise printing ink and a squishy whisk. I think it has been transformed.

blahscarfrescue

I prepared a screen with a washable school glue resist for using tomorrow.

glueresist

There are 22 people in the worship and they are all doing some fantastic work. I will try to get some photos tomorrow.

On Sunday, we celebrated our 50th anniversary at Trinity. Our friend, Heidi Rose, made 300 macarons and created a tower for the coffee hour after church.

macarons

She put two of each flavor in a box for us to take home.

macaronbox

 

Today, Lisa sent me photos that were taken at our celebration in California. You have to love this one of little Miss Paige photo-bombing the family.

Paigecameahog

Lisa selected two photos of the whole family:

famdamily1

famdamily2

I really love this one of Mr C and I.

SteveandGerrie50yrs

So that is a little bit of what has been happening in my life. It has been especially fun to hang out with Rayna. Tonight we went out for sushi and ice cream.

by Gerrie at September 12, 2014 05:56 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

Blue Baby Scrap Quilt

I showed this work in progress a few weeks back and here it is all sewn together.   I really like the energy, but also the calm deep color.   It measures 36 x 48" - a decent sized baby quilt. 

by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 12, 2014 06:00 AM

Rayna Gillman

Posting but Blogger is acting weird

Or maybe it's my wonderful keyboard.  Trip to the Apple store is on my radar screen.  Every time I hit the delete key on this keyboard, it turns off the computer. Argh.

Anyway, today was day one of Can this Fabric be Saved? and I would say that in most cases, the answer was "yes."  As usual, there was lots of variety in printing fabrics and I was happy to see the fun.
Here are a few results of layers added to masking tape resists.



And here is Gerrie, concentrating as she prints one of her pieces.

We had a very busy day and finished by preparing our screens with glue resists for tomorrow. Can't wait to see what happens!

by noreply@blogger.com (Rayna) at September 12, 2014 03:52 AM

September 11, 2014

Margaret Cooter

Artichoke Art at Bankside Gallery

A brief exhibition of prints from Artichoke Art, at Bankside Gallery - in which "our Sarah"  had four prints, all of which sold on the night -
Having seen her work develop over recent years, I'm particularly partial to it, and love introduction of colour - for her MA show in July she worked from soundscapes of various areas of the city -
Among her prizes at that show was the membership of Artichoke print studio, hence participating in this show.

The opening of the show was very crowded, quite a buzz. Eventually it cleared enough to get a few snaps of other work in the show - not brilliant, but hard to juggle bags, wineglass, and camera -


And not to forget the handsome fellas -
The show finishes on 14 Sept, is open 11-6, and Bankside Gallery is right next door to Tate Modern.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2014 04:23 PM

Today in Cloud Cuckooland Studio

It takes just one request to keep posting about this studio clear-up to encourage me to do so. If you're going through a studio reorganisation, or have vaguely thought you might do so one day, be aware that amid what seems like total chaos, many small triumphs are lurking, waiting to delight you.

Yesterday's Great Paper Pullout precipitated a bit of a rethink on paper storage (and I recycled some offcuts found on those shelves). What got put back was mostly the large sheets, and the large pads.
It's the middle two shelves that have been reorganised - they used to look as shaggy as the one below them (the tools above will probably stay there for a while). What's made for more space is moving the A4 sized pads to the shelves above the worktop -
By chance (or divine intervention?) I'd found some bookends in a charity shop the day before - very useful to hold the pads in place. This accessible paper storage is a major "small delight" ... but really, will I ever use all that tracing paper, cartridge paper, watercolour paper, layout paper? hmm, maybe - when you make experimental books, you do tend to use a lot of paper of all sorts ...

The smaller pads went up in the middle cupboard - there was just room in front of the unused sketchbooks. (Again - so many of those! In Round 2 of this sort-out, their number will be decimated.)
Also in the middle cupboard, above the box of acid dyes (will I really be using those again?) are folders of papers - notes from various courses, and leftovers from various manifestations of Travel Lines books ... a project that may be resurrected, you never know. The top shelf is untouched: let sleeping dogs lie ... till Round 2.

Another small delight, though it may not look it to anyone else, is this cupboard (oo, kinda grim to show the insides of cupboards!)  -
Note the empty space, once filled by that bag of fabric for Travel Lines bag handles which is now on the top shelf - a space destined to be filled with lining fabrics for the bags. And note the labels, so useful for remembering what's at the back of the shelf - though these are post-it notes and likely to fall off; any ideas for better labelling, anyone?

A better use for post-it labels is in the sorting area: one reads "what to do with these?". Plastic boxes are for things that have found a home (though one is "pens to sort"), cardboard boxes are for items on the move -
I'm delighted to have some compartmentalisation going on here. And to still have space on the shelves.

Finally, the table under the window, where I love to sit in winter (though with tree-cutting going on outside, the view will be rather different from now on). After clearing it yesterday, I found great delight in being able to open and clean the window. Some items have migrated back onto the table already, though if this is the most crowded it gets, I'll be very happy -
To keep the table from being overcrowded, I cleared a drawer to hold the sewing and glueing and note-writing things that were in frequent use, grouped into smaller boxes to be lifted out and used for the project underway. Meanwhile, the table is a sorting space.

A few things under the table need dealing with, too. Photos are relentless ... they show you things that you'd rather ignore. Also - they show progress!


by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2014 02:52 PM

Terry Grant

Gaudi's master work

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to see the Sagrada Familia, the huge church designed by Antoni Gaudi, begun in 1882 and still under construction. Yesterday I was there.

I have seen a lot of cathedrals and this one both resembles many of them and yet is entirely different. The style and form are classic Gothic cathedral, but a very eccentric and crusty kind of Gothic. The exterior is particularly eccentric, with many whimsical, but meaningful details.

Above is the "Tree of Life" over the front entrance.

The front facade. This is what I meant when I said "crusty". There is a feeling of cave structures about it, yet a richness of texture that is mysterious and appealing.

Inside the huge pillars that support the massive structure are meant to represent a forest that rises into a canopy of leaves.

For me what is most striking is the quality of light flowing into the space. Unlike the medieval cathedrals with the dark jewel-like light filtered through stained glass windows, much of the light here is a pearly white light, that feels otherworldly. And where there are colored windows, the colored light turns everything into glowing prisms of color.

This could all change as the clear glass is gradually replaced by colored glass, but I hope not. The light is my favorite thing.

At one end is this bronze model done in Braille.

Below the cathedral are exhibits of Gaudi's drawing and models, which were fascinating.

It is all under construction, as it has been for 132 years. Cranes, scaffolding and workmen pushing wheelbarrows, hammering, drilling, are all part of the scene. It's pretty noisy inside!

It is due to be finished in 2026, which will be the centennial of Gaudi's death. It will be the largest place of worship in the world, with the tallest church tower. And it will all be paid for with donations and, I presume, mine and all the many thousands of entry fees.

My thoughts about God and religion are complicated and unorthodox and not something I will ever discuss here, but cathedrals are a passion for me and a source of awe and humble wonder at what the mind and creative spirit of man can bring to life. This visit was a memory I will carry with me for all of my days, alongside my memory of visiting Chartres cathedral many years ago. Pure joy.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2014 01:58 PM

Sarah Ann Smith

England 2014, Here we come!

Some of you may have already seen some of these photos on Facebook, but many of you haven’t.  So in the interest of re-living a trip of a lifetime, here’s the first of many posts with our trip, inspiration, visual feasting and whatnot!  We left the house about noonish on Sunday, arrived at London Heathrow at 6:30 am (3:30 body clock) and kept going until just past supper time in London.  Going on adrenaline!

Some years ago I wrote a blogpost titled "This is not a minivan."  It is still not a minivan:  this is the view from the inside of the 9 passenger prop plane we take (Cape Air, love them!) to Boston, from which point we can get anywhere in the world.

Some years ago I wrote a blogpost titled “This is not a minivan.” It is still not a minivan: this is the view from the inside of the 9 passenger prop plane we take from Owl’s Head–about a half hour’s drive from home– (Cape Air, love them!) to Boston, from which point we can get anywhere in the world. That’s Eli up in the co-pilot seat.  One does not put feet on footpedals!  Seat assignments are by weight so that the plane is balanced.

Here’s an aerial view of Maine as we left midday:

The Maine coast just south of Owl's Head/Rockland as we headed East "across the pond."

The Maine coast just south of Owl’s Head/Rockland as we headed East “across the pond.”

Methinks Paul was a tad nervous watching us head off on our great adventure.  He didn't want to go to England, so he stayed home and minded the house and critters so that Eli and I could have fun.

Methinks Paul was a tad nervous watching us head off on our great adventure. He didn’t want to go to England, so he stayed home and minded the house and critters so that Eli and I could have fun.

First and foremost:  thank you to Paul and Eli.  Paul for minding the home front, Eli for actually WANTING to go on a trip with his old mom!  Joshua and Ashley, you’re next.  Edinburgh and points beyond, the Smiths are returning to the UK–probably not for a few years (gotta teach and earn enough money to save up and pay for another trip like this!), but we are coming back!

Compare the cabin and view above and below:

Very clearly, this is NOT Cape Air, but in fact the British Airways flight nonstop to London.  The cabin was warm, and tho I dozed an hour or two, Eli didn't on this overnight flight.

Very clearly, this is NOT Cape Air, but in fact the British Airways flight nonstop to London. The cabin was warm, and tho I dozed an hour or two, Eli didn’t on this overnight flight.

I LOVE the in-flight maps.  Here you can see the big picture, from Boston to London.  I was tickled to see Vigo, Spain.  I'd not heard of it before recently, but a classmate in the Sketchbook Skool has shared some of his drawings of Vigo.  Fun to see it on the map!

I LOVE the in-flight maps. Here you can see the big picture, from Boston to London. I was tickled to see Vigo, Spain. I’d not heard of it before recently, but a classmate in the Sketchbook Skool has shared some of his drawings of Vigo. Fun to see it on the map! Can I say again how much I love the internet?  How I have met people and learned so much?

As the plane ducked under the cloud cover we got a spectacular aerial view of London, with the Thames, South Bank on the Left, more of the mass of London on the right, The London Eye (the big ferris wheel), Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower, and so much more in clear view

As the plane ducked under the cloud cover at just past 6 am local time, we got a spectacular aerial view of London, with the Thames, South Bank on the Left, more of the mass of London on the right, The London Eye (the big ferris wheel), Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower, and so much more in clear view.

The fields and hedgerows of England on the approach to London.  A bit more countryside!

The fields and hedgerows of England on the approach to London. A bit more countryside! Let there be quilting!

Rather a difference, eh?  One of the things Eli most wanted to do was run at Olympic Park, in the stadium if possible.  Alas, it was under major re-construction, but he got to take a refreshing trot.  That’s him coming around the corner next to the pink sign post. The velodrome is in the background.  The skies would look like this pretty much every day:  blue with clouds, some of which would sprinkle on us momentarily but–with the exception of one day–no real soaking rains.

We got exceptionally lucky and were able to check in early.  So we ditched our bags and set out to see the sights.

We got exceptionally lucky and were able to check in early. So we ditched our bags and set out to see the sights, starting with Olympic Park.

This ended up being the only real running Eli got to do.  I don’t think he counted on Mom’s ability to go-go-go when on the road with things to do, people to meet and sights to see!

Eli under the Olympic rings after his run.

Eli under the Olympic rings after his run.

Then we took our Oyster cards, re-loadable fare cards for the London Underground (Tube / subway) and light rail system.  WAY easier than the old day of buying paper tickets!  After a bit of lunch, we headed off to King’s Cross.

King's Cross Station, site of the somewhat-imaginary Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter/Hogwarts fame.

King’s Cross Station, site of the somewhat-imaginary Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter/Hogwarts fame.

The above is the old part of the station, but with the old funky platform signs swapped out for the modern ones that report what train is coming in at which platform and when.  Easier for travel, but not as much character.  The photo below is the VERY new part of the station.  Beautiful, but…sigh…. I miss some of the old stuff.

The new part of King's Cross station.  Both the Tube and rail lines come in here.  King's Cross is the departure points for points north, like York, Leeds, Edinburgh and the fictional Hogwarts.  Thank you to J.K. Rowling for giving such a wonderful world to all of us!

The new part of King’s Cross station. Both the Tube and rail lines come in here. King’s Cross is the departure points for points north, like York, Leeds, Edinburgh and the fictional Hogwarts. Thank you to J.K. Rowling for giving such a wonderful world to all of us!

I had read in my guide book that you could visit Platform 9 3/4 at the station, which is why we went.  WHAT a disappointment!  It was on a wall between two shops, not the actual platform.  Of course, given the queue, I can see why they couldn’t put it between platforms 9 and 10, but…. it was the back half of a luggage cart with old suitcase.

Platform 9 3/4 is under that white tube thingy, on the other side the crowd waiting to take pics.

Platform 9 3/4 is under that white tube thingy, on the other side the crowd waiting to take pics.

If you wanted to stand in line–on this day about an hour–you could wear a Gryffindor scarf and take your picture there.  Since Eli and I had been going for about 36 hours, that was SO not going to happen, but we snagged this photo instead.

Me, with some of the crowd behind me and the Platform sign barely visible.  Happy to be there anyway!

Me, with some of the crowd behind me and the Platform sign barely visible. Happy to be there anyway!

Our next stop that day, just about as we hit the wall from tiredness and collapsed, was the British Museum.   As we would discover about all of London in August, it was PACKED with tourists.  But I’ll save that for the next post because the reason was one of my major reasons for taking this trip.  And yes, it involves art and quilts!

 

 

by Sarah Ann Smith at September 11, 2014 10:43 AM

Margaret Cooter

Poetry Thursday - Poets on Fire (in Glasgow)

(via)
Word Factory is a group of Glasgow poets who have prepared an exhibition - and a video of poems and quilts - on the subject of fire, broken down into its elements (spark, fuel, ember, smoke, ash, etc). The quilts are by Wrapped-Up, textile artists from southeast England - Debbie Hammond, Jacquie Hardcastle, Amelia Leigh and Janis Parle.

The result of this collaboration is an exhibition of fire-inspired textiles and poetry at the Covanhill Library, Glasgow, from September 24th to October 10th. This will include two Open Mic dates: September 24th and October 10th between 2-4 pm. Everyone is welcome!

If you're too far away from Glasgow, watch the video to read excerpts from the poems and see the quilts.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2014 09:06 AM

Neki Rivera

reprise

the scarf is being reprised -some creative language use!- three or four times.
pumping the red that was lost in the aizome vat, using my beloved botan brushes from japan.
they are expensive but do the job of painting backgrounds beautifully as they were  meant for that.
i love all the combined processes each one adding up to the previous. it's slow and fun.
the scarf will have to cure for a while. 



neki desu
Creative Commons License 

by noreply@blogger.com (neki desu) at September 11, 2014 08:00 AM

Cynthia St. Charles

East Rosebud Wild Raspberries

 We took our two grandsons - Airus age 8 and Breckin age 5 to East Rosebud Lake to fish and hike.  We were fortunate to find a lot of wild berries in bloom and we enjoyed eating what we could pick.

by Cynthia St Charles (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2014 06:00 AM

September 10, 2014

Terry Grant

A Day filled with inspiration

 

We threw off our jet lag and hit Barcelona with gusto today. It was a Gaudi day. We started at Park Guell, the magical park designed by Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona's incredible artist/architect. It is filled with his fanciful designs and structures, including this crazy mosaiced lizard. The sense of fantasy, mixed with natural beauty and stunning views along a series of walking paths is a photographer's dream. Here are just some of the many photos I took.

 

These last two are but a sample of the entertainers encountered along the paths through the park. In the afternoon we visited Gaudi's masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, but I'm saving those photos for tomorrow.

 

by Terry Grant (noreply@blogger.com) at September 10, 2014 05:05 PM

Margaret Cooter

Action on shameful clutter continues

Last week I bit off more than I seem to be able to chew. It started with the work surface in the studio - an impulse to brighten, lighten it up with a coat of paint - and a week later, three coats of paint and much sorting later, the chaos continues.

There was a moment when a glorious expanse of white stretched unblemished and unadorned - to recap, this was that moment -
After smiling every time I looked at it, I started work on the shelves - mission: they should hold tools in constant use, and projects in current development. 

Here, 9 of the 12 shelves have been emptied, ready for repopulation - 
Some items have been put in new homes, including those sorted into lovely new plastic boxes (paints, marker pens, inks, linen threads, etc). There is a (transitional, cardboard) box for "things that need thinking about", another for "things that need to be matched up", and probably several others along those lines - I really should label them...

What you don't see is the state of the floor - covered with heaps! - and the accumulation on the table under the window. Feeling very overwhelmed, I gave myself a talking to and started making lists, not just of what needs doing in the studio but in All Of Life. (This is a remarkably soothing displacement activity, don't you find?) These lists are helping me decide what constitutes a Current Project ... and where to put those that don't fit on the narrow shelves. 

But what was really needed was a strategy for clearing table and floor. The workspace was getting more and more crowded, too. It didn't help to have this spanner thrown into the works, a bit of reciprocity with my son doing some small tasks -
... one of the dreaded Brown Drawers, which contain my pre-digital collections of magazine cuttings, dating back to 1992 and perhaps earlier ... things I liked the look of then and still find interesting. Pieces of paper are very flat and you can fit hundreds if not thousands into a stack of repurposed kitchen drawers. They need to go, and I've made a small start. But the drawer is back in place ... in a place that's needed for something else. (One day soon it will be done...)

So I resolved to start at the left of the table and work around the room. A simple strategy. A little at a time. Set the timer for 15 minutes ... you can do anything for 15 minutes. 

This morning the table under the window was completely clear, and received a good sanding, ready for a lick of paint. I also took the opportunity to clean the window, a job previously impossible because of the many spools of thread and other tiny items arranged in front of it -
Then came another spanner in the works, a domestic problem requiring a search through my pads and sheets and shelves of paper for some Japanese mending tissue (found it!) -
...leaving the papers in a sorry state. Much sorting is needed. Drawing paper is "too good to throw away" if the other side can still be used (but will I use it??) - it can be returned to the shelves, which are wide and deep. To store the pads, it would make sense to clear a space in one of the overhead cupboards ... which means something else will need either a new home or a Decision To Discard.

So much muddle!

One step at a time...

Thanks for the comments on my previous post. Encouragement is a good motivator! Something that's been triggered is whether this is happening because I'm between projects ... or have nothing to go on to; is it displacement activity, something to fill a void?  Also it may be that this is just the first round of elimination: knowing what you have no further use for is a very grey area! True, there are some projects you never go back to - "one door closes so another can open". Carpet tiles are a great idea, once the floor is visible again. I'm sure it will all be worth it, and all that's needed is a bit of ruthlessness and a lot of resolve. 

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 10, 2014 05:04 PM

Shamed into action

October 2010
Not a pretty sight - the studio before its rearrangement. (Have you been documenting your workspace, to see how it changes over the years?)

Nearly four years later, though the layout has changed, the same fundamental problem remains. Although I'm ok once there's a project on the go, I don't look forward to entering the studio. I can ignore the chaotic bits when there's something compelling to focus on, or when the table under the window is clear and invites sitting at it -- but otherwise, it's just too gloomy, both in terms of light level and in terms of Stuff Everywhere.
September 2014
I'm lucky to have amassed "everything I'll ever need", but when the need does arise, I can't find the tool or material. That really does make me wonder if it would be a good idea to get rid of it ALL, and replace the few things I actually do use.

The things I use seem to be getting fewer and fewer, as I find materials and processes that satisfy me, that I enjoy working with and that suit my practice. (Oo, doesn't that sound "artistic", talking about one's Practice - but it's a useful word and includes a lot: what you do, and how, when, where, and why you do it.)

Still, it's good to have the pens and the fabrics and the papers and the threads and the postcards-to-be-painted-over and the boxed-up materials for forgotten projects and the dozen+ bargain fabrics for backs of double-bed sized quilts and the little bag of powdered graphite and the drawerful of gouache watercolour paints and the drawerful of masking tape of various widths and the bag of scrap papers and various sets of coloured pencils and ......... you get the idea. Too much stuff. (Plus, fabrics stored in cupboards upstairs - amid unfinished projects of course!)

"The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." After lunch, I put the Archers omnibus on the iplayer - and then another few programmes - and by 6pm much had been relocated and binned, and the worktop was clear, though the table under the window seems rather crowded -
Before
Doubting my painting prowess, painter/decorator son gave the surface an undercoat in a few minutes before dinner -
During
In the morning I did the cutting in [technical term for brush-painting the bits the roller doesn't reach] -
After, though not quite ready yet
It still needs two coats of eggshell - with sanding between times - so it will take all week to finish this properly, during which time I'm motivated to sort through (and toss out) more of the "bits" that are everywhere. The shelves are marvellous for keeping often-used tools to hand, but seem to be crowded with never-used files of old projects ...  having written that, it's obvious that they should be for current or frequent work only. It would be good to have some containers that fit those shelves, which are quite narrow - 21cm (x 69.5cm wide x 32cm high).

Containers! - no sooner said than done - from the pound shop just across the road -
There's a lot of rearrangement and rethinking to be done before those boxes are filled and in place. Rethinking of, eg, where the sketchbooks should go - are they consulted enough [ever?] to be considered "current"? Decisions about, eg, how and where to store the "wobbly book" ... where are the other, similar books, is this "erasure" project (of Morning Pages written more than a decade ago) still alive, or should these books now be burnt?  Making space elsewhere for the dictionaries etc I've been accumulating for eventual repurposing in some arty way [will that ever happen? is that really part of my practice?] ... or maybe just returning them to the charity shop from whence they came - that option is very tempting - close one door and another opens...

Meanwhile I'm stepping into the studio every time I pass the door and marvelling at the lovely white expanse. For the moment, it's a dream come true.

by Margaret Cooter (noreply@blogger.com) at September 10, 2014 04:53 PM

Virginia A. Spiegel

In the Studio: New Artwork and Camping Out

rockWaterweb
I have five artwork in progress right now in my studio which is just the way I like it. Four of the artwork, including the detail of the one above, are definitely in the Boundary Waters family, but their working name is “Rock and Water.”

pinkprairieweb

The fifth artwork is something I’m thinking about as I go.  I’ve been walking a lot out at the prairie reserve and I am inspired by the sky and the dried grasses. This is just a detail of a pretty big painted piece that I cut up and stitched back together.It’s hard to tell, but it is completely stitched already in yellow variegated thread, but I’m thinking that this is just the base layer for this artwork. Thinking, thinking.

fabricseamedandpaintedweb

All of the above artworks stem from an experiment I tried when I painted in Nebraska. I painted several LARGE pieces of white cloth that I had pieced from chunks of different kinds of cotton and muslin.  I love how the seams on top of the artwork (such as the one on the left above) add texture.

windowweb

And, in other news, I am more or less just camping out with my sewing machine in my studio.  Since the window behind my sewing table is shot, I’m going for a new double one. Unfortunately the first one ordered didn’t fit and, of course, I had cleaned everything out to avoid the dust and debris.  Camping out is working though to really focus my efforts on stitching, so it’s pretty much a win-win.

 

by Virginia at September 10, 2014 10:43 AM