Sunday, July 15, 2007
International Blue Owl Day ATC
Just a couple of the projects I finished today. Also did a lot of mundane chores and babysat for the grandson while the rest of the family went to the circus on Saturday. Relatively easy except for the fact that after he took a tumble, I move his hair aside and there was a huge bruise and a bump. I felt guilty until his mom told me that was from a face plant on the fireplace the day before. He was really doing the heavy drama and piling on the guilt for a throwdown bruise.
Then today between cloud bursts, the grill king and I drove down to a park-and-ride and took the train from the beginning to the end of the line. Not a big deal, it just runs from the medical center to the University of Houston with stops at the museum, Rice University, the zoo and downtown shopping in between. Huge expensive train very under used. It doesn't really go anywhere I would need to go. By the time I've gotten to a park and ride, I might as well go to my real destination. The only time it was worth anything to anyone was when the parking for the rodeo was not available due to construction of the new sports arena which is one of those really useful touristy things for a big city. So now we know where it goes, found out it is comfortable and easy to ride. Not too expensive, not very necessary. Can't wait till they spend more money to put one in another wierd location like from the Woodlands to ... the county jail. We might take it again for a joy ride to show the granddaughter what it is like to ride the train, except she is so open and trusting, she would introduce herself to all the bums who ride from their sunny morning sleeping area to their covered sleeping area under a bridge during the afternoon monsoon.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Last week my sister and my mom came for a visit to see the great grandkids. My sister pulled a quilt kit out of her suitcase saying she brought along a little mindless entertainment that she figured I would help her with and maybe doing this together we would rekindle my mom's interest in sewing. Mom is in her eighties and she used to sew all our clothes when we were kids. It made her nervous to sew really important things like graduation and prom dresses so in high school my sister and I took over the sewing chores at home.
I've only recently begun to do more interesting things besides sewing clothes and my sister is complimentary but seems confused a bit by some of my collage and journal quilting. I showed them a video "The Art of Quilting" that includes the Chicago School of Fusing skit and that was amazing to my sister. I'm sure she'd never seen quilts like that before. As we worked on the kit I tried to show her some the things I've learned recently. Of course the kit directions weren't really well written and we had to wing it at times. She said she never would have finished it without my help. We cut one assembled section wrong and had to sew it back together and recut it!
Anyway, I showed her how to free motion quilt and we did samples so she could choose which batting out of my stock she wanted. At first she said yes on the first one and then I did another sample and she realized that was more what she envisioned ... just a matter of no experience on her part and no expectation of there being real differences in something as simple as the batting.
At the end of the week, she had a nice wall hanging for Christmas and had actually done some FMQ around some of the printed illustrations in the blocks of the quilt - kitty cats - and had learned a lot about piecing and quilting. Not that she had a expert as a teacher, of course.
My mom on the other hand was not really interested in the sewing but she was our color designer! My sister cut the pieces and mom decided which one of the colors and prints went next and I sewed the pieced border panels. They were amazed at all the tools and professional (!) equipment I had including the spray baste - all things I have only learned about in the past year or so ....
In the end, the project that interested my mother the most (besides watching the grandkids play) was making paper beads! She wanted to make them real tiny and real tight. She rolled quite a few and I showed her how you can use any paper and some of ads in the magazines make the best beads! Anyway, they've gone home now, all the sewing stuff is back in my workroom upstairs (mom doesn't do stairs anymore) and I'm still rolling paper beads! I've put some copper embossing on some and that is looking dynamite! So maybe I won't get caught up on reading the messages on my forums after all.
I am very surprised at myself for not taking photos of my sister and my mom as we worked on the quilt. I was so involved in the process, I didn't think to document it. Fodder for the blog now lost forever.
Monday, June 18, 2007
"When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow human."
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I was on a roll, really. And then hit a huge speed bump in my life as a blogger. I decided to actually finish a project in less than a week. So I’ve been working on it madly every evening and only catching up on the chat with my groups. I have photos as proof of the progress!
This past weekend was the weaving conference and it was a great break from my usual work week. I took Friday off to attend a basket workshop using wire as the weaver and reed as the spokes. We added some flat reed as appliqué and beads for dazzle. I have a plan to finish off the rim with more beads and pizzazz. It’s not a perfect specimen since I left off a couple of the appliqués and forgot a bead or two and I ran out of the beads that came in the workshop supplies so I improvised with some of my own.
I could make this kind of basket again and have the right supplies at hand and it would be much better. Will I ever? Probably not. I would make another design decision somewhere along the way and it would turn out completely different with no guarantee that I had enough of what I needed the next time around. This one kinda grew like Topsy since I really hate to take a class and simply copy the sample the teacher brings. I want to understand the process when I take a class and then see what I can do with it not make a copy.
I took two seminars at the conference. One by Anita Mayer who has work in a show at the HCCC. I packed and shipped her boxes and boxes of creative inspiration that she brought for her workshops and seminars. She really opens up her journals and notebooks and reveals her entire process because she knows there are few who would devote the time and energy she puts into her clothing and art wearables. I enjoy her slide shows which include photos from the international textile tours she organizes. It would be wonderful to take a vacation to see India with a woman who knows the women there who make great textiles.
The other seminar was a hands-on seminar on gelatin mono printing. Really fun idea and very low tech using non-toxic materials. We did some samples and then a silk scarf which will be over dyed or painted somehow. Another project I’d like to have finished soon! I’ve taken several classes on different subjects from Ann Matlock and loved every one of them. She’s a multitalented professor at Lamar University.
At the conference, there was the fashion show luncheon and the awards banquet.
This little guy needed a lot of encouragement to make it all the way down the runway. Our study group created the little favors for these events. The theme was 007 Weave and Let Dye and we made larger than life green olives with pimentos for the shaken not stirred martini glasses filled with paper confetti. The olives were felted and can be used as pin cushions. We became quite tired of felting olives.
The favor for the luncheon was a silk scarf, hand dyed and some were decorated: some shibori, some silk fushion sewn on and adorned with beads, some with felted designs on them - a variety of techniques. We feel like we’ve paid our dues on the volunteering thing for the guild for a couple of years now.
The conference included a great vendors’ hall. I brought back quite a “haul.” Could have spent more but there were so many errands to run for people and old friends to chat with, that my charge card was spared from overuse. I did pick up some wonderful little beaded treasures. The green one is a frog for me, of course.
And some really unusual yarns from Habu, some mohair locks for felting, and ta da! the piece de resistance! A felting needle conversion kit to make an old sewing machine into a felting/embellishing machine. So very cool. My daughter and I are itching to get to this, but alas, we are knee deep in other things this weekend and the next, so who knows when the conversion will take place!!
The conference also hosts a member’s exhibit, non-juried, alle, alle, in come free! show. I put three things in, Hunter’s woven blanket, the wire-woven Green Goddess, and an accordion book called Remnants, which holds scraps of handwoven fabrics in the pages of handmade paper. I experienced a few moments of rage when I found they had displayed the book with the handwovens facing down and the book sideways. A few short words followed by, I think, yes, I know I said something unkind like – illiterates. Of course, they only had a short time to display the whole show but really even a two year old knows how to open a book and if the show was about handwovens and it was, that should have been a big clue to show the woven part front and center. I had to do a lot of deep breathing to get over this but it gave me great insight into the feelings of others who I have seen go pale when seeing their work on exhibit displayed incorrectly. I wouldn’t have thought I needed to prepare a sketch showing which way to position my book….oh, well, it’s good to get your heart pumping hard once in a while.
The Omni was a super hotel. I didn’t stay the night, but I saw the rooms and they are sumptuous. The banquet food was delicious and served perfectly.
The view from the second floor hallway.
These trees are inside the lobby.
These are the Wild Olivier's! My weaving study group buddies with two missing (Anita and Amber). Front row, from left to right: Carol, Pat, Nancy, Elisa, and Fern. Back row: Jean, Peg, Clarice, Janie, Me, and JoNell.
I gotta finish the Mother's Day cards and get to bed.