Art Potential

In spare moments here and there (and I have sooo many. not.), I have been working on the Massachusetts trip scrapbook from last August. "Why is it taking so long?" you ask... Well. There were a total of 2,476 pictures (just from me - not counting what Dave took...). And that is a LOT of pictures. Of those, I deemed 1,396 "usable" - e.g., they were in focus, and/or they were the best of the number taken of an object/person/etc. Then they had to be divided up in some logical manner (Boston, Cambridge, Milford blah blah...). And then I take the best of each group and do the scrapbook pages. But, the entire time I'm looking at stuff for the scrapbook, I'm also looking for potential fiber pieces. I really really like converting a photo I've taken into a piece of textile art. It's very satisfying. During the latest perusal, these are shots I felt have great potential.
And so, not only am I looking for photos that make a great scrapbook page and remind us (and everyone else) what a great time we had and all the great stuff we saw, I'm searching for something that makes me think "Cool. I have just the fabric for that!". Too many projects. Too little time.


El Día de los Muertos Art

While in Austin, I stopped by the Museum of Art (on Congress Street) and picked up a couple of new tiles to use as coasters...
From the mind of Ladislao Loera (http://www.frenzyart.com/ - "where art comes to dead"), I love the saturation of the colors and the matte finish...and of all of the DotD art I've seen (and I'm a HUGE fan...), I think these rank right up there with my favorites.
For those of you who don't know, El Día de los Muertos is a holiday (Nov. 2) that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. I think this isn't macabre at all - I think it's wonderful. The one fast rule on this planet (besides gravity...) is that we all end up going at some point and (if you walk the walk), that's not something to be sad about. Now, don't misunderstand, I'm in absolutely no hurry to go, but I think it's kind of comforting that there's a holiday that would celebrate my life after I do go. In fact, this November, maybe I'll throw a party. and the tiles also made me think of the exhibit we saw while in Massachusetts last September (I'm still working on how to get all of the pictures available for general viewing in a less than pc-crashing manner - there are a LOT of them....) - there was a special Día de los Muertos exhibit at the Peabody - I'm hoping to turn a couple of my photographs into journal-sized quilts. too cool.


In the Never-Ending Saga

of cleaning the studio...a little more space and fewer books. Today I managed to sort down 3 bookshelves of books into one. This meant taking a really really hard look at the books I owned and was keeping in my studio. Technique, inspiration, art reference etc. I had to actually think about the books I am keeping and decide why I wanted to keep any one book. Notice I said wanted...I'm realistic enough to know that I don't need a single book in that room; but I love books and want to keep them around me. So, now I have: a shelf of books on embroidery, half a shelf on book construction and writing, half a shelf on drawing/painting techniques, a quarter shelf on lace making patterns/technique, and three-quarters of a shelf on history and art reference. The weaving books that I sorted and reviewed last month are over with the weaving supplies and the quilting books (also already sorted and reviewed) are in the sewing corner... I have now created a database to create a bibliography of books I have kept (139 entered so far). I figure, with the bibliography, if I have a list in my purse, then maybe I won't buy something I already own (and yes, that has happened). Before posting today, I did go out to Amazon and reduced the number of books on my wish list down to 5 (one of which is not in print but it's there to remind me of the title...it was written by a distant cousin and someone in my family has a copy, but so far it hasn't been sent to me for copying). I also managed to find a little bit of the floor in front of the paint/dye shelves! Now if I can get the same amount of space cleared in the other sections of the studio, it will be great! Progress is slow but steady! And someday, I'll have no excuses left!


Fantasy Band

Almost as much fun as http://www.wordle.net/ , you can create a fantasy band for yourself with a new album, complete with art (idea from Noise Addicts...)
Here’s how it works: 1. Go to Wikipedia and hit “random” (left-hand side of page) and the first article you get is the name of your band.
My fantasy band is Hangin'-A-Round. That's cool.
2. Go to Wikiquote - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Main_Page - Random Page - The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page will be the title of your new album. I went to a second random page as the quote I would have had to use was very much not suitable for a family-oriented blog....(when they say random, they mean it....)
My album: All of the Houses Look Alike (from Lemony Snickett) - that was a much better substitute.
3. Go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days”. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. (Note - pictures on Flickr aren't yours, so don't go publishing them anywhere....)... okay - again - I fudged. the third picture was a lake landscape - pretty enough; but the next to last picture on that page was one with a single house with a layout similar to my drawing here...
much better suited to the album title, don't you think?
I suspect we're a Country band....



Overheard at La Madeleine: "and then I said to her, Like Really, and I said it, you know, like I liked meant it so she would like, you know, know."
Pot vs Kettle: On Stevie Nicks saying that Lindsey Lohan couldn't play her in a movie until Lindsey got her life straight: there is no one more stridently anti-something than an ex-something...from a bio on Stevie: In 1986, Stevie checked herself to the Betty Ford clinic for drug rehabilitation and has been clean ever since. "Yes, the drugs were bad and they got everybody sick and made a lot of problems. However, there's the tragic artist drug syndrome that sometimes makes for great art. So I would go back and change any of it? No I wouldn't. I think it all happened for a reason. But I got through it, so I was lucky. I would never lecture anybody because I don't think that's the way to get to people. It certainly wasn't the way to get to me. I decided to go to Betty Ford. Nobody came and threw me in a van and took me. That was my decision. I booked the room. I paid for it. So I really think when it comes down to that stuff, it's really all up to you."
I sometimes have opportunities others don't...the other week, pictures were needed to compare two proteins (colorwise) - one of them being e coli. Now, a picture of the beaker of protein itself wasn't that interesting. However, with Paintshop Pro...pretty cool. How's that for the beautiful side of an ugly thing?
In my notes journal (that stays in my purse), I keep a running list of items "to buy" - e.g. metal washers (Lowe's); rounded plastic hangers (Walmart) etc. I just noticed that on my list is a "Normal Gauge"...Now, where do I think I'm going to find that? And who's 'normal' do I mean?
I wonder if there is a contest for the most UFOs (Un-finished Objects) and if there is, how many UFOs does it take to be a finalist?
Is it weird to be looking forward to the Star Trek episode of CSI Crime? and more because it's about Star Trek than it's CSI? (even though they don't call it an ST convention in the storyline...)
Think my boss would miss me? I think it's a good thing that my work space doesn't have a window...
I Meant To Do My Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me. And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand--
So what could I do but laugh and go?


Happy Easter Monday

I was born on an Easter Monday umpty years ago - that's my new age, as of tomorrow I am umpty (meaning more than one and less than a hundred). I think it's better than x-years. When you're very young, you don't think much about time, except that it moves soooooo slooooow when you are being forced to do something you don't want to do. And when you are older, the years sometimes seem like months they go so quickly. And I like being umpty old . It far outweighs the alternative and it means that, instead of giving me something I don't really need, my husband takes me to our very favorite restaurant (www.yorkstreetdallas.com). And we can spend time in our house, puttering about and 'getting stuff done'. The thing about birthdays is that it automatically makes you think of birthdays past...but with very few exceptions, I can not remember many of them - but I remember Easters. I think the birthday sometimes became very confused in my head since it usually falls somewhere near Easter most years and I got presents for both occasions. My favorite Easter was the year I woke up to ice on the budding trees and everything absolutely sparkled in the bright sunlight, with the greens being very very green and backed by an incredibly blue sky. I'm sure my parents weren't thrilled, but I remember saying a special prayer in church that morning because it was so beautiful it made my heart hurt and I thought it was a special present from God. Maybe the holiday overshadowed the birthday because it was the only time of year I got chocolate - I was very allergic to it as a kid, but on Easter, that Magnificent Rabbit always left me a chocolate rendition of himself, of which I was allowed one bite that day and then it had to go into the freezer where he stayed until I just "needed" a piece. (It would take me months to finish off that rabbit. It taught me to savor the things I really really enjoy and also, now that I think of it, probably contributed to my desire to not wanting to wait for anything - ever - now that I'm an adult and can choose for myself).
The rest of the basket would be a stuffed animal and the remaining candy would be Peeps...beautiful, bright yellow, probably carcinogenic back then, Peeps. Which, if my mother had only thought about it, were waaaayyy worse for me than that rabbit. I only have to look at them now and my eyes begin to spin in my head and my heart starts to pound. And she just thought I was excited because of my birthday or whatever! So - tomorrow I will go to work and when I come home, I'll spend time scanning family photos. You should always spend your birthday with loved ones, even if they aren't all around any more.


Texas Goddess

Texas has a reputation of toughness - always has. But really - how ugly is this goddess? and she stands on top of the Capitol Building! Brewster Hudspeth wrote an article (well worth the read) on her at http://www.texasescapes.com/AustinTexas/Texas-State-Capitol-Goddess-Of-Liberty.htm and it does state:

The "strong" features were intentionally exaggerated to make her appear "normal" when viewed from below. She's quite startling when viewed up close.

Startling? OMG - she could frighten small children! - I kind of think it looks like Abraham Lincoln....

If Texas women looked like this in the late 1880's, no wonder Texas men were tough.


Capitol Saturday

Dave had a luncheon meeting in Austin yesterday, and I went along for the ride...it's amazing how much needlework you can get done while locked for three hours in a car! While he was off for his meeting (in the Capitol Building), I amused myself by walking around the grounds and parts of downtown Austin. Then it was back in the car and back home. So here I am over 300 pictures richer, 232 I deemed okay but not usable for scrapbook purposes...leaving me with 11 birds, 19 buildings, 13 flowers, 14 heraldry/symbols, 14 squirrels, 29 statues and 8 of the honor guard. I particularly like the pictures of the birds and the squirrels. You can check out all of the photos in the pdf on the scrapbook list...as soon as Dave shows me how to upload it!


Leaf Update

Don't forget to check on the progress of the tree project at http://www.internationalfibercollaborative.com/ The picture of my leaf contribution can be seen in gallery 7 (photo link on top bar of website) http://www.internationalfibercollaborative.com/html/gallery7.html All of the leaves are fascinating to look at - I can hardly wait to see the finished project!