Busy Day

Today was very busy - and we're really tired - but the last thing we did tonight was go to a place that let's you glaze greenware (these are the "before being glazed" pictures)

- so the Hawkes made a plate for us

and we made a plate for them - yes, Serenity lives on - Dave did the yellow side and I did the black and white side - can't wait to see them on Friday!

- and that's it for tonight...more tomorrow - Hugs - Jo


Flying First Class

One thing's for sure - we like flying first class - beats the cattle car all to heck and back. When we checked in for our boarding passes this morning and the little kiosk asked if we'd like to upgrade for $90 - we said sure! But what that also buys you is an extra-long visit with the security personnel...seems if you choose to upgrade at the airport, you get the full security treatment as well...we're talking pat-down and screening with that little wand thing with the kimwipe on it to see if your stuff has come into contact with dangerous chemicals of any kind...but we were both quite patient with it all - seemed like a much crappier job than ours...and we did have very comfy seats and they served a really nice breakfast - I'm talking real glassware, cutlery (even a knife - Dave says that must mean that first class passengers are the airlines first line of defense, cause they did arm us.....), and dishware. Good food, too. All in all, a very nice flight.

After picking up the rental car, we hooked up with daughter Melanie for lunch

and then we all went to Shera and Blaine's, where we had a really nice visit and the girls made us Rice Krispie treats (they were very yum...) - it was so good to see all of them and we are looking forward to seeing them all tomorrow (rumor has it we're going to the Harley Store!! Hooray!!! - their idea, too....) - the kids have all gotten so big and we're very proud of them as all of them are really really smart....it's going to be a fun day tomorrow. We missed getting a picture of Tiersa this evening, so we'll have to make up for it tomorrow.

So - here's the picture of the day...
Hugs - Jo


Creativity and the Word for the Day

I hope that those of you who came for the heraldry, stay for the art! You're welcome back any time....and I'm sure there will be more heraldry pictures in the future if that's any incentive!

I'm currently reading Art Quilt Workbook: Exercises & Techniques to Ignite Your Creativity by Jane Davila (http://www.janedavila.com/, blog: http://www.janedavila.blogspot.com/) andElin Waterston (http://www.elinwaterston.com/, blog: http://willlovelogic.blogspot.com/). I highly recommend it - it's available at Amazon. I also try to read the authors' blogs at least once per week as both are fabulous teachers and have interesting art to gaze upon. I find both women incredibly inspiring.

The book has exercises to stimulate your creativity thinking and art production. But I think the exercises do more than help the production of art quilts - I think they can be good just for exercising your brain. Exercise one, for instance, is word play - they provided a paragraph of random words that should be written on slips of paper and then one word chosen at random. Then you do three quick thumbnail sketches based on your impression of the word without thinking about it - just do it - and if you aren't happy with the first three sketches, do three more - then you can label them, save them for future compositions etc etc.

I've been looking for ways to expand my creativity on a daily basis (which at, basically, a routine office job isn't easy) - so I wrote all of the words down (all 41) - each at the top of a half-sheet of paper - so that each day before I come upstairs to the office (I get here 40 minutes too early due to carpooling) - I can sit in the cafeteria, drink my coffee, and look at the word, do some quick sketches, but then think about the word and all of the other words it triggers...and images - and then be on the lookout throughout the day for the sychronicity of the word to the current time-stream. Eventually I could do quick postcard-size 'quilts' of what the words inspired - it would make a nice series - and might jumpstart bigger pieces - who knows?

So - Today's word: TWIST

my first sketch was this shape:

the next sketch was similar to this:

and the third sketch looked like the wire on a spiral notebook...hmmm...interesting....

so - what did the word make you think of?

Hugs - Jo


Quebec 7 Now on-line

OK friends and family - the last episode of Quebec City is up. Be patient - there are 8 pages of pictures. Enjoy. Next up - QC Signs, Symbols and Heraldry. Followed by our trip to Utah. Hugs - Jo


Quebec 6 posted

Considering the number of hits the Quebec pdfs have had, I'd like to say "Howdy" to all our new friends checking in...even our family can't account for all of those hits! And, considering, that I think most of you must be heralds - I'll put together a "heraldry only" pdf over the next day or two just for you...we want to be sure you didn't miss anything! I'll have to wait until I scan some of Dave's photos since he took heraldic pictures I didn't. So - Quebec 6 has been added to the list - it's the pictures I took of the closing reception and banquet - the only one left from the vacation part is Saturday we went to the Citadelle and saw the changing of the guard - so I'll work through them as quick as I can. Enjoy - Jo


Men at Work

My friend, Margaret Sainte-Claire, is a fabulous photographer and often looks up while the rest of the group is either looking at what's directly in front of them or not looking at all. It's a habit I'm trying to cultivate (as long as Dave or a friend is with me to keep me from walking into traffic!)...

Margaret has a folder in her photo archives named "Men at Work" - and knowing that Margaret is as retentive as I am in many ways, I can only make the assumption she has a vast collection...she shared this one with me that she took while we were all in Quebec.

Now - any well-built young man with no shirt is a definite eye-catcher...but the more I look at this picture, I've come to realize that he wasn't working in the first place - he lives in the flat with the open window and is sitting on the ledge to take advantage of the (rare) sunshine and catch up on some light reading. It rains a lot in Quebec City, so this photo really catches an entire mini-story. The best kind of photograph.

And in looking through my photographs, I too took some of men at work. Well, not working exactly, but pretty much looking like they are going to work any second now...mostly the way I see men at work on the streets: standing and watching another man do something.

- don't you love it? - haven't you noticed how a lot of construction jobs you observe (especially on the street) seems to involve men standing and watching... or standing and discussing something? Now, one could make the leap that they are discussing how to move something or what's the best way to accomplish a task - I once saw a group obviously trying to figure out how to get the small bulldozer out from under the foundation of a partially-constructed building (I'd love to know how that happened....) - but my guess is they are discussing the game from last night, or the special-effects in the latest "something blows up" movie....just an imaginative leap on my part....

Hugs - Jo


Earth Spirit

Finally finished EarthSpirit I - just in time, too - The University's art show has called for entries - so I'll be entering her tomorrow - she is the biggest spirit doll I've made to date (29" tall x 11.5" wide and 8" deep) - I find her very intriguing - I thought she needed an embroidered coat, but I was wrong - it was grapevine hair she was wanting! Now that she's done, I can get back to cleaning the studio. I want to get it finished before we visit the kids in Utah at the end of the month. Hugs. Jo


fyi - Quebec 5 is posted on the pdf list....


Bragging on Valerie

I have to take a moment and brag about my friend Valerie. On July 4th, while the boys were all watching "Flags of our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima", I held a mini-workshop for Val in the kitchen. I had made her a flat mermaid, suitable for use as a spirit doll - all I did was sew it - she had to turn it, stuff it and embellish it...well - she not only finished that one, she has gone spirit doll crazy - she went home and designed another mermaid and, now with that first one, she's finished three (here are the pictures of the first two) and today is teaching someone else how to make them! I'm really proud of her. She quickly grasped the Rules of Making Spirit Dolls: 1. There are no rules. 2. See Rule #1.

Hugs - Jo


Tour Day Wednesday PDF

Be patient if you want to look at the pdf for June 25th; it's slightly bigger than the others, but, then again, we saw more stuff!! Of course, the pdfs have barely a third of the pictures I could have used! Enjoy. Jo


Two more pdfs

The pdfs for June 23rd and June 24th are now on the link list. Enjoy - Jo


Home Safely and First Quebec PDF

Okay - we made it home safely but I came down with "airplane flu" and have been sick all week - but getting better now and have put together the first Quebec pdf - it's on the link list if you're interested. Enjoy! Jo