Archive for May, 2009

Buying and Selling

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

While at the Dairy Barn recently I purchased a couple of books and this piece of art glass in the Gallery.

Double Layer Vase

Double Layer Vase

I loved it for the shape and the depth of color that catches the light in so many ways. It is engraved on the bottom CWB-007. I wrote down the artist’s name and now I can’t find it, but it has to be here somewhere! I would like to see if the artist has a website, surely this is not the 7th piece she made – perhaps, the 7th in a series? This is my second purchase within the last few months for art glass- I wonder if I am starting a collection!

Yesterday I made a sale from the website! I have to say “Goodbye” to “Spring Burn 2” and send it on to it’s new home.

Spring Burn 2

Spring Burn 2

I hope the new owner enjoys it as much as I am enjoying MY new art purchase!  BUY ART!!

Wild Strawberries/Grandma’s Lesson

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Last year’s crop promised to be great but I was in Alaska and missed it.

Wild Strawberry Blossoms

Wild Strawberry Blossoms

This year the berries are smaller and not so plentiful but as sweet as can be. Picking wild strawberries is hard work. They are small and hidden and you have to bend double to find them. It takes a lot to fill the container. The sun is hot and you have to be on the lookout for poison ivy and snakes.

Yummmmm......

Yummmmm......

It took and hour to pick these and another hour to clean them, but it is enough for two generous shortcakes!

Every time I pick wild strawberries I am reminded of the day when I was a kid and my grandmother asked me and my cousin if we wanted to go with her to pick wild strawberries for a shortcake for dessert. My cousin, the GOOD one, picked lots, me, not so much. I ate most of the ones I picked. My grandmother’s strawberry shortcake was a mouthwatering sight to see, as she passed them out to everyone after supper, homemade cake and farm fresh real whipped cream, juicy red berries- everyone, that is but me! “Where’s mine?” I whined. “Oh dear, you already ate yours,” she said. Grandma didn’t yell, beg, whine or cajole, but if she had a lesson to teach you learned it. And apparently remembered it!  I think I have a pretty good work ethic now and Grandma is surely one of the reasons!

In 2005, I made a quilt based on my grandmother for the “I Remember Mama” exhibit at IQF. You can see a closeup and other information by clicking on Gallery in the side bar.

Bittersweet Memories

Bittersweet Memories

SAQA/Quilt National Trip 2009

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

SAQA – Studio Art Quilts Associates- has a conference every two years in Athens, OH. in conjunction with the opening of Quilt National at the Dairy Barn.

The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio

The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio

I went for the first time in 2007 and have been anticipating going again ever since. When Del had to cancel her trip this year, I very nearly canceled mine as well, but I am so glad that I pushed out of my comfort zone and went alone.

This year’s conference was held at the Baker Center on the beautiful Ohio University Campus. The facility was perfect, containing space for the seminars, exhibits, banquet and the best college food court I have ever seen, all under one roof! Shuttles ran from the hotels for those who did not have their own transportation. The Saturday evening BBQ was held nearby in a lovely park and the weather couldn’t have been better. Kudos to the organizers who must have put in a lot of work to make the whole thing look so easy!

Seminars that I took were “Time Management” with Gwyned Trefethen, “Digital Designing with Layers” by Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki, Critiquing Art Quilts” with Sandra Sider and “Marketing Outside The Box” with Lisa Chipentine. They were all very well done and quite informative and I think that they will all be very beneficial to me. Speakers and panel discussions were also most interesting and I especially enjoyed hearing the Jurors for this year’s Quilt National discuss the jurying process.
Juror Katie Pasquini-Masopust summed it up by saying “It’s a crapshoot”. I think they had to choose 85 pieces out of over a thousand entries and some artists have entered it for many years, in fact they offer an award for Persistence for the person who finally gets in after entering for many years – this year two people got the award after having tried for seven times!

There were some very nice entries selected this year, it was hard to choose which one I liked best. As usual there were those that leave me shaking my head and wondering “Why?”. You can see the winners here.

One of the highlights of the conference is the auctioning of “The Box” and this year it went for $10,000.00, the same as last year. The Art Gallery In A Box is handmade by an artisan woodworker from exotic, beautiful woods and has 12 artfully arranged drawers each containing a 12 x 12″ art quilt by a famous art quilter.

That is out of the range of most of us, but in September you can bid on similar works from the rest of us during the annual on-line auction.

Home Again

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

I’m home from my trip to Ohio for the SAQA Conference and the opening of Quilt National. It was a wonderful experience and I feel like I learned a lot and met lots of new people. First and foremost, Robin who took us up on the space that Del was unable to use this year. Robin was a great roommate and companion for the time in Athens and we found we had much in common.

I drove the approximately 800 miles by myself but I had a great recorded book, “Sweetwater Creek” by Anne Rivers Siddons that I highly recommend. It had a good plot and enough suspense to keep me awake and interested which is more than I can say for “The Believer” by Nicholas Sparks that I tried to listen to on the way home. It had a predictable plot, characters and dialog – and I expect, ending, if I ever get that far. I had to go to PBS instead.

The weather going, and throughout the conference was about as perfect as it could be. Some of the scenery was quite gorgeous, like these fields of dense yellow. Is it a crop or just weeds? I do not know but I can see it in a quilt for sure!
yellowfield

This is the early morning view from our hotel room; you’re just missing the lovely sound of the birds greeting the day. Of course they started greeting the day at 4:30 AM! Those “distant” trees are not so far away, that’s mist and fog creating a lovely atmosphere.
morningview

I came home to backed up orders that will go out today so if you are waiting, know that your patterns are on the way. Two quilts need to be packed and shipped and there is so much e-mail to catch up on. Perhaps I will tell you about the conference another day.

Bluebirds Are Here

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

A pair of Bluebirds arrived Saturday! It seems late and I had given up on them. The female was investigating one of the houses, looking inside, but not going in. We checked and sure enough someone else was building. There were no eggs so I removed the nest and the Bluebirds set about beginning theirs. They worked Sunday, she building, he defending the area. Yesterday for the half hour or so that I observed I saw no activity so I am not sure what’s going on.

I leave tomorrow morning for the SAQA Conference and the opening of Quilt National in Athens, Ohio. This trip with my friend Del has been in the works since we went last, two years ago and had such a great time. Unfortunately a health issue has caused Del to have to cancel and we are both very disappointed, but she has kindly offered her space and Robin from GA will be attending with me. I am looking forward to meeting Robin and having a great time again, though I will certainly miss Del! Since Robin and I will have to drive separately, it will be a long, lonely trip for both of us!

Poppies look so fragile but these have survived rain and strong winds. Too bad they don’t last very long.

poppies

Pink

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Last fall I planted English Bluebell bulbs. When I was in the UK the Snowdrops were blooming, it was too early for the Bluebells. but I HAVE seen pictures.. So I was pretty disappointed to see this:
pinkbluebells

Pink Bluebells?  The little bells are exquisite, but decidedly pink.

I like blue flowers. The Woodland Phlox and the Aguga were lovely but past their prime, now. The Wood Hyacinth with it’s very blue bells is blooming and very overcrowded so I will move some down into the shade garden where I wanted the bluebells to colonize.

I guess the gardens are moving into the pink phase!clematis

Stuff

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The other day I was on the deck brushing one of the dogs and saw a Rose Breasted Grosbeak at the sunflower feeder. What a beautiful bird!! I have seen one before but they must just pass through on their migration as they only stop for a snack. Still no Bluebirds this year, they must have all stayed at Gwynette’s house, but the Hummers and the Orioles are hitting the feeders hard.

The roofers were here for a day and a half. They really have it down! Strip off the old and put on the new, clean up and be gone. If it hadn’t rained I think they might have finished it in a day – of course there were a bunch of them. Glad it’s done, now I can choose a color to paint the house.

Reading the QA list this morning I realized that the deadline for IQA entries is next week! Somehow that didn’t get on my To Do list. So I took care of it this morning. I have not done any sewing since finishing the Bluebird quilt and all of the quilty stuff is on the back burner right now. I will not start anything new until I return from my trip with Del to the SAQA Convention next week and the opening of Quilt National.

I decided since my last horse died last fall and I have no plans to get any more that I should try to get rid of the tack. So I have been cleaning tack. Boring!!

Keeping Busy

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

I started an idea for a new piece Sunday but other things have been occupying me lately so it is just percolating for now. Friday out daughter’s dog, Zeus, lost his battle with bone cancer, and the new piece will feature him along with our other dogs.
zeuscloseup1

Saturday I spent a good portion of the day across the street where there was an auction of the house and goods of the former owner. This is the man who came over and threatened to shoot our dog if he crossed the street – so we are certainly not going to miss him and are hoping for good neighbors for a change!

I have been doing a lot of planting, transplanting and weeding but I’m afraid that I am barely keeping up as the weeds far outnumber the good stuff. It does seem the harder I work the behinder I get!