Hooked on Site

Reminding me of poetry posters back in the 60's, http://www.wordle.net/ lets you create a random word 'cloud' of any text or website...this is what I got when I put in my blog address in the "create" field...what a hoot!


Saturday Adventures

Having worked for a few hours in my studio yesterday, I called Val to see if she was doing something interesting - she was headed out for a doll show in Grapevine and she let me tag along. Let me just say this, if Barbie was an explosive device, we could have taken out most of Texas. I don't believe I've ever seen so many in one (large) room. There were other types of dolls there, of course, but the Barbies were pretty overwhelming in their presence! And I saw few signs of an economic downturn...those doll people were spending money! The purpose of going to the show was to meet up with another Hitty and her person, Josie - I was able to talk them into a group photo and then the Hittys and I went off and had a private photo session. There wasn't a huge amount of shopping available for the Hitty girls as most of the items weren't at a 1:10 scale, so after the doll show, we grabbed a quick lunch at JITB and went to Lancaster for a bookfest - Val was scheduled to introduce one of the writers and also wanted to attend his session. Before the last session started, I was able to meet this guy, who was having a great time with the children! While Val was busy in her session, I attended the one with Beverly Parkhurst Moss who has written the book, Dark Exodus: The Lost Girls of Sudan ...I was very interested in attending this after I realized it was non-fiction and not some genre book. Everyone is familiar with the 4000 'lost boys' the U.S. government helped bring over from Sudan, but almost no one has heard the stories of the 89 girls. There were so few girls and women because they were in the villages when the Arabs attacked and did not have the opportunity to escape (a lot of the boys were in the outlying areas with the herds and, therefore, had more time to escape when they saw the bombs and the fires). Here is Beverly with Nyanwuor Deng, one of the lost girls who is managing to make a new life for herself here in the Metroplex, along with a small group of Sudanese. Nyanwuor spent 5 years in a refugee camp before coming to the US, and while she appreciates the money contributed for their cause, what she mostly asks everyone for is prayers for peace in her country. It's pretty sad how even Oprah was only interested in the story of the boys. Especially since that part of the world is still so unstable. The book is, basically, self-published - Beverly can't put it in the bookstores because they take 50-60% and proceeds from the book and bookmarks go toward helping the group establish and support themselves here - food, clothing, education, etc. - so if you are interested in helping, you can find the book at http://www.lostgirlsdarkexodus.com/. Tell other people about it. And if anyone knows Oprah, tell her too.


Music Memories

My new iPod Nano rocks! - I don't like the earbuds (they won't stay in my ears, so I use my headphones) but it's so totally cool - I can see why a lot of people have some version of this - not only can I listen to every CD I own, but I can download podcasts from the BBC and from NPR - this morning, for instance, while I was plugging away at my spreadsheets, I was able to enjoy This American Life and several other of my favorites that I just never seem to catch.
It also makes the bathroom rennovating a little better - Dave and I can't really hold a conversation while we're working (epecially if one of us is sanding...) so I can at least crank up the Doors or Bon Jovi and rock out! Though scraping wallpaper while listening to B.B. King worked out well, too.
I think this thing is an amazing piece of technology - or maybe it just seems that way because when I was a teenager listening to my music, I used to be hooked up to something similar to this monster cabinet - it took up an entire wall in the living room - it was state-of-the-art and had the 'latest' in headphones (they weighed at least 5 pounds! it's a wonder they didn't cause permanent neck damage) ...
- I remember buying Aretha Franklin's "Lady Soul" album the week it came out in 1968 - which is, now that I think of it, the same time my Dad bought the headphones...coincidence? not hardly - he just did not want to hear 'that noise'... I also had 45s that came out of a jukebox in 1956 - which is probably why I really loved Aretha - I don't think Dad ever realized how much blues and soul music were in that stack of 45s!
So I remember lying on the floor listening to "Chain of Fools" and wishing I could also go buy the Stones' albums - they were so hot...
now they - and I - are old...but I still like the music!


More Spring - More Dyeing

Ok - Dave and I admit it - we deliberately annoyed this little fellow - how dare we come out of our back door just when he was coming down the tree! The nerve of us!! - I was coming out to get more pictures of the irises - they are coming and going quickly now that it's warm more than two days in a row - aren't they wonderful? And I was pleased to also see the dandelion (great for quilting and stitching - I'm not sure Dave was as thrilled to see it as I was...)
When I wasn't working in the quest bathroom, I did some container dyeing this week - I used inks this time (and on the striped one, silk dyes) - all on cotton - just to see what happened - I like using the dyes better than inks for this type of container dyeing - now - maybe this coming week I can figure out something to do with all of this "new" fabric....


Dallas Quilt Show

I spent last Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday volunteering at the Dallas Quilt Show - hard work, but a lot of fun as well! Thursday was set-up and decorating (hanging the show and arranging everything actually began on Tuesday -- it's a big show...). I spent my time stuffing programs... and then putting together hundreds of pinwheels - they were so cute...Rhonda was in charge of the decorating and I think she did a fabulous job - I put together the pinwheels and other volunteers helped Rhonda hang the ivy and wire the pinwheels in...
and then I made sure that the stage for the demos was done correctly, the chairs were set up and the audio equipment worked. This is the space where vendors give a 30-45 minute presentation of their product or a technique. I was the on-site coordinator for them this year (Mary did all of the vendor contacts and list-making etc). Lu got to follow the judges around all day... Then some of us took a dinner break before the Preview Party - here I am with Connie and Lu at the Mexican restaurant -
Then it was back to the Preview Party...Where we enjoyed great conversation and the award was given for Best of Show...to Kelly Monroe's A Quark's Tale...
Lu and Happy got to hang it in it's special place of honor after the award presentation -
Here's a picture of Kelly with her quilt...
And, of course, over the next three days, even though we were working, we got to enjoy the wonderful quilts - here are some pieces of some of my favorites - I have hundreds of pictures so it was really hard to choose - I will print out the best ones and put together an "inspiration" book - I've done that several years in a row now, so I have several Quilt Show mini-books. Since I don't own this space, I am reluctant to post pictures of the quilts here.
My absolute personal favorite was the Dear Jane quilt by Susan Cross - I'm still working on mine (I'm only three-quarters of the way through row 2...) so I totally admire anyone who has theirs finished. To learn more about the Dear Jane quilts you can go to http://www.dearjane.com/.
I had a great time and I'm already looking forward to next year!


Yep - it's Spring!

More evidence of Spring - this time on the University grounds here where I work - how beautiful...even on a cloudy day!


To Dye For

The results of yesterday's dyeing - aren't they scrumptious? Some are cotton and some are silk and I think they all rock! They are all different sizes, so I'll have to be very creative in using them up - the smallest is about 8x10....the largest is about 18x20 and there's one long one that's about 18x45...what fun!