Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Miraculous Finish

All hail Catherine Kessel of American Quilt Works! Do you remember how I got my quilt off to FedEx just this past Tuesday? Well, Catherine managed to quilt my quilt beautifully and get it back to me by Saturday (yesterday) morning. That's a three day turn around with Thanksgiving in between! All I had left to do yesterday afternoon was bind the quilt, then give it to my girlfriend that night. Success!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Serving 250+ for Dinner

Yesterday, we went to help prepare Thanksgiving for the needy and homeless. We've been doing this for a few years now and each year we set the tables for more people. This year, the tables were set for close to 300.

I spent over an hour and a half just cutting bread. We put lots out on the tables, then cut pieces and stashed them in 25 gallon bins as refills.

Making mashed potatoes for that many took lots of muscle:

Rows and rows of dessert were waiting for everyone to arrive.

Because we work during the day, we have a more low-key Thanksgiving at home. We don't spend much time cooking, but we do spend time baking! Apple cranberry cake is one item on the top of our list.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and can continue to spend time with friends and family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Logo for Textile Abstractions

Look at this very cool logo Marlis Egger created for our new challenge group. Wow, huh? I'm posting it on my sidebar with a link to our blog so you can all keep up with what's going on. Our first challenge will be announced after the Thanksgiving weekend. Exciting!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Race to the Finish Line

If this were a Star Trek episode, we'd be hoping the engineer Scotty would perform a miracle to enable us to accomplish our mission. Because right now, despite my best efforts, my friend's birthday quilt and I watched the Fed Ex doors close before we could make it inside. Now I'm hoping a quilter out in Washington will be able to save the day with warp speed quilting .... the party's on Saturday! But, if that doesn't work out, I'll get the quilt back next week and all will still be well. I know my girlfriend will understand and be thrilled nonetheless.

Here's a sneak peek at the quilt. Yep, I pieced it. YIKES! Haven't done that in a while.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Textile Abstractions

I've got some news! I am thrilled to report that I am a member of a new art quilt challenge group called Textile Abstractions. We're an international group with members hailing from Europe, Canada, and the United States. The twelve of us will each make a 16 x 20 quilt once every two months, based on a theme one of us has selected (we're going to take turns doing that). When it's our turn, we'll post the specifics to our blog, Textile Abstractions. Throughout the work period, we may post about our progress or problems. At the end of each two month challenge, we'll post pictures of our completed art. I hope you'll stop by our blog often to see what's going on.

The other members of the group are
Bea Bernasconi
Phyllis Cullen
Marlis Egger
Barb Gardner
Gwen Goepel
Kathy Keating
Karen Loprete
Susie Monday
Dale Ann Potter
Betty Warner
Linda Zimmerman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Foreshortened Arm

In art class today we all formed a semi-circle around the model. She was seated in a chair close to the wall with the light shining brightly from the side in order to create a fabulous shadow along the wall. Our task today was to draw the figure and shadow.

It was a three hour draw and I managed to take more than two hours to draw just a single hand and its foreshortened arm. It was so challenging! I'm amazed that her hand cast such an elongated shadow, but it really did with the angle of the light. It just goes to show that you really do have to draw what you see, not what you think you know. If I'd have drawn from what I thought should have been there, I would have gotten it completely wrong.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Fresh Start

Well, I worked feverishly on my friend's quilt these last few days but I don't like it at all. So, I'm tossing that one and starting over. I'll post pictures when I can, though it's a mad dash to finish before the Thanksgiving weekend (that's when the party's planned). Until then, here's a picture I took of the frost as it melted this morning. I think it's interesting that only one droplet is reflecting the sun. And yes, a neighbor drove by and had himself a good chuckle when he saw me sprawled on the ground to get a picture. Ah, what we do to follow our muse!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heading for Take Out

Well, my heart was bigger than my head today, as far as studio time was concerned -- rather like my eyes are always bigger than my stomach! Translation: I haven't had as much time as I'd hoped to create, but I did get things done and I'm going to try to keep some momentum by getting some BBQ take out for dinner tonight.

What I have accomplished today thus far:
- created my drawing for my Fast Friday Fiber Challenge (FFFC) piece and chose and ironed all the fabrics (I'm going to be making a dog -- we'll see how this works out!) :

- finalized the pattern for my friend's birthday quilt and selected most of the fabric from my stash. I need to go out tomorrow and buy some additional fabric; I just don't have pieces that have the length for some border work.

Now, off to the car to speed there and back again for food, then back to the studio to cut squares! I imagine this traditional work will take a bit of time; I'm rather out of practice!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AEDM: What Day Are We On?

Though I've lost count, I'm still trying to be creative every day this month. I've tried hard all day to clear my desk of tasks so that tomorrow I can get lost in my studio -- with a little time to blog, of course. We're picking out a new couch and one of my tasks today was to finalize our fabric selection. A very creative endeavor, I'd say, since it also involved creatively describing why my choice was better than my husband's. HA! (That's not really fair; he actually has very good taste.)

As soon as I'm done here, I'm heading upstairs. I want to get to sleep so I can get an early start in the morning. I really should do yard work -- my plants look very forlorn -- and clean up the Halloween decorations but NO! I'm heading to the studio and (hopefully) no one can stop me! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

AEDM: Catching Up

I didn't actually create anything this weekend, but I sure did think about it a lot. I just had the "brilliant" idea that I should make a quilt as a present for my girlfriend's 50th birthday -- alas, the party is in two and a half weeks. I pored over some of my traditional quilt pattern books, trying to find the "just right" thing to make. I don't have time to be elaborate, but I know my girlfriend will love whatever I create. I think I finally settled on something and hope to make a dent in it this week.

Today, I went into New York City to visit my quilt, "Departure", that's hanging in the Made in New York exhibit at the Williams Club. My quilt is hanging in the main hallway, right next to a piece by Ludmila Aristova! Holy Smokes!. Her piece is absolutely incredible. It's a cityscape that's absolutely breathtaking and luminous. I can't believe I'm in such amazing company. Here I am with my piece; the lighting wasn't great at the time, but it's totally cool to be hanging in a NYC exhibit!

After a tour of the remaining quilts, many of them exhibiting incredible handwork, Natalya and I went for a quick bite to eat. On the way we marveled at the art deco ornamentation on the surrounding buildings. These little guys gave us quite a chuckle. I have to remember to look up when I'm walking around; there's so much to see above eye level!

Friday, November 6, 2009

AEDM: Days Five and Six

Well, I'm a bit behind schedule in blogging, but yesterday was a crazy day that left little time for art. I had hoped for some nice scenery pictures from my walk, but that didn't happen. Instead, I got this photo. The dog's name is Maverick and I think he reflected my feelings at the time perfectly.

For my AEDM today, I decided to revisit one of my drawings from art class. I had about 20 minutes left at the end of class on Wednesday, so I decided to focus in on one of the model's ears. When class was over, we all thought the ear was fine, but something was off with the eye; I believe there was consensus that I had drawn it in too high. Here it is:

Today, I went back in, erased the eye and tried to put it in again at a better height and better angle. (I also filled out the hair a bit.) What do you think?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AEDM: Day Four

In drawing class today I, once again, I drew my figure too big, without room for the hands, feet or head. My lack of perspective is getting a bit tiresome, so my teacher suggested I exaggerate this propensity a bit more and EUREKA! I think we've found a way to transform my inability to draw small into a more artistic style. Instead of trying to cram everything onto the page, I'm going to try to focus on some part of the model and draw it gigantic and -- here's the kicker -- deliberately leave some areas to the imagination. What do you think?

I'm pretty pleased with this first effort. Can you tell it's the knee and the hint of an elbow? I think this counts as my art for the day. Tomorrow, I'll post a picture of my quickie fifteen minute drawing done at the end of class (focusing on an ear of all things). You'll get a chuckle out of it. This style still needs some work. At any rate, I didn't download the picture before my daughter took my camera off with her to the World Series game tonight! Wow! She's in for a lifetime memory!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just under the wire

I had a lovely day, with a trip into the city for a lunch date with a dear friend who was in town for business. We've been friends since seventh grade! Isn't that just so cool?

Anyway, between all the mom duties stacked up upon my return and all the hither and yon required in the evenings, I almost missed my chance to create today. But, yawning though I am, I snuck up to my studio at ten for a quick piece of art. Here it is: oil stick on commercial fabric; photo transfer of personal leaf photo; paper; felt; colored pencil text. I'll try to take a better picture tomorrow and replace this one. But for now, off to sleep!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Art Every Day

I'm going to try to participate in a "challenge" called Art Every Day Month. Being creative on a daily basis is a good habit to develop, but, But, BUT it's not supposed to be something that creates anxiety. It's supposed to be fun. Art Every Day Month challenges us to take the "trouble" out of making art regularly and add a good dose of fun for one month. Part of the ease of this is that there is a very loose definition of what constitutes making art. It can be an actual piece, it can be a bit of writing, it can be a photograph.... you name it and it probably qualifies.

So with that light-hearted spirit in mind (and just a few minutes to spare in my day) I played in Photoshop today and altered this photograph of a leaf pile

into a funky picture. I just love the colors here. Wouldn't it be fun to jump into a pile of purple leaves like this?

And yesterday, well, do you think helping a child with a scrapbook project for school counts? I hope so, but I'll try to do two mini-project of my own tomorrow....

P.S. Posted about three hours later -- look at this cool one I just did in the few minutes before I have to pick up my son from basketball practice. I like this one a lot! It looks better if you click on it to view it up close.