Friday, March 7, 2014
Seen in a TV commercial:
Daughter, 40-something, bursts through the front door, calling "Mom! What happened?"
Distraught Mom and another daughter are already in the kitchen, worried. Dad, wearing an arm sling and a vague grin, wanders by but doesn't speak.
Mom explains, "Well, he was up on the ladder cleaning the gutters and he slipped." Pause, while all three women look grim. "Thank goodness he's OK."
The other daughter looks concerned and serious: "Mom, have you and Dad thought about Final Expense Insurance?"
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I realized a couple of years ago that there is nothing so obsolete as an old encyclopedia. The information is out-of-date, the pictures are dated, the books are so heavy, and you can find whatever you want on the internet in less time than it takes to take the right book off the shelf. So I decided to donate my 1978 World Book to the cause of art, and ever since have been happily cannibalizing it for collage and conceptual art. As a result, I look at the books more in a given week than I did in the previous decade.
Dona Z. Meilach, one of my heroes from the olden days. I used her book on macrame as a bible when I was in that phase of my artistic development.
Turns out that she's truly a Renaissance woman, having written books not only on fiber arts (macrame, stitchery, batik and tie-dye, rugs, soft sculpture, off-loom weaving, ) and cooking (biscotti, bagels, bruschetta, liqueurs) but on other crafts like woodcarving, basketry, plaster, printmaking, furniture making, collage and ironworking, not to mention pregnancy, belly dancing and jazzercise. Whew.
But what intrigued me most about the article was the illustration.
Yes, she's stitching onto a commercial stamped pattern! And not very well, either; look at all those traces of blue around the edges of the petals.
I think we've come a long way, baby. Kits were the way people did embroidery in the 70s; I know because that's the way I did it too. The whole concept of stitching as original creative expression was yet to come.
But it did come, and while you can still buy thousands of different kits, should that spirit move you, stitching without a pattern is commonplace today. At least I don't think you'd see a commercial kit pattern in an encyclopedia illustration, if they still printed encyclopedias.
See, there is progress!
Monday, March 3, 2014
Perhaps you remember the early years of this century, and the fascination that many people had over the dates of 1/1/01, 2/2/02, etc. For a while there it was old hat -- heck, every year you got a new one -- but people realized that the party was going to end on 12/12/12. So on that day, a lot of people on the Quiltart list did twelve twelves on their blogs.
After checking out several of those posts, I decided to run down to the studio and do one myself. And then my friend Uta Lenk left a comment on the blog, "Now wouldn't that be a new Daily Art project for 2013? 13 thirteens for thirteen - what - weeks, months?"
She has documented several on her blog, including photographing her special tree every day in different weather, light and seasonal conditions; and finding a specified color each day to photograph. This year she's taking a photo every day at high noon.
here and here and here. We both enjoyed it so much that her comment about the twelve twelves immediately led me to issue a challenge: we would do thirteen thirteens during 2013, posting every fourth Tuesday.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
Some weeks you accomplish a lot. Some weeks you accomplish almost nothing.
This week has been the latter. Not that I'm a terrible slug but I've had a bunch of other commitments -- a lecture, dinner with friends, the orchestra, meeting our son at lunch -- and not much has happened in the art department.
But this evening I roped my husband into helping me with a task that needs to be done every several months: redoing the quilt storage area, aka the third guest bedroom. The bed has clean sheets on it, and if we ever needed three bedrooms for company I could theoretically convert this room into service, but it would require three or four trips to the storage locker with all the quilts that live on the bed and elsewhere in this room.
Most of my old quilts are rolled up on swim noodles and wrapped in sheets, but those still in the rotation -- likely to be sent out to a show or taken with me for demonstrations -- are stacked on the bed in the third guest bedroom. As time passes, the stack gets messier and messier, as I pull out quilts from the bottom layers or dump newly arrived quilts on top of the pile.
Since I last organized the pile, several quilts have returned from two- or three-year tours or recent shows, and things were getting pretty messy. I couldn't find a quilt I needed to photograph for my new book, although I had searched and thought I had looked everywhere, including the pile on the bed. And a few quilts that had come home from shows hadn't made it out of their shipping boxes.
So yesterday we pulled everything off the bed and proceeded to remake the pile, with the biggest quilts on the bottom, everything face down to prevent fading. We opened the shipping boxes, undid the rolls of quilts that had been taken to a workshop, pulled out quilts that needed to be rolled up and put into "permanent storage" and incidentally but happily, found the missing quilt.
I could theoretically do this task myself, except that my back starts hurting very quickly. Like making the bed, spreading the quilts out is best done by two people.
Today I'll finish up the job, rolling up the older quilts for "permanent storage," putting the smallest quilts into under-the-bed storage boxes. But meanwhile it makes me happy to contemplate this small area of my art domain that is perfectly organized and put together.