Thursday, January 31, 2008

On s'amuse

A bit of fun in the house. A little watercolor. Nothing much but a bit of color and movement on paper. Those people are floating in the watercolor. Just for fun! It was O degree F. outside and really crystal clear. The trees were growing..... frost. The only winter blossoms around here. But not to be discarded all the same.
Also in the summer I had "pealed" some bark from the birch trees in the backyard. So I used some as paper and printed on it this after I carved the stamp out of an eraser. She looks a bit scared. Oh well. I am going to use it in the collage. This one is just a beginning. Don't know where it is going. No idea.Today was as cold as yesterday. I made some progress in the studio. I started to carry boxes out. Tomorrow I shall take some of the trash out. I attempted to move the "big ugly" (Tall dark armoire) by myself without any luck. This will have to wait for Saturday. There is very little place to walk in the room right now. It is the most chaotic state! Unbelievable. I might take a picture of it tomorrow if I am courageous enough.
I am looking for another metal cabinet, four drawers Simplicity pattern. If any of you can tell me if you know of one somewhere.... Please let me know!
I am watching "Moliere". For once the costumes are better for the men than for the woman. There is some really good sepia color shots. Particularly one fun part where Moliere is teaching Monsieur Jourdan how to play the part of a Horse. All that in a light color sepia with the hair of Moliere moving like the mane of a wild steed. That was good. Moliere was only dreaming of playing tragedies, alas he was born to write comedies. He revolutionalized the 17th century with them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Play Day!

Today was quite fun! My favorite lunch hangout in Anchorage has reopened: Middle Way on Northern Lights Still in the same shopping center (Rei, Title Wave) but few doors down and more footage. It is huge! I love their concrete floor with big symbolic tree design welcoming you. I am not sure about the paintings on the wall. Another mismatch of art that doesn't have much continuity. I used to love the sole artist that was showing in the old "Middle Way". I wish I remembered her name. It doesn't feel like the same place but with the same great food and more room they should do well. My friend Linda came with me to play for few hours. I had my favorite Turkey Cranberry half sandwich on Sourdough bread with a Classic 12 ounce Cappuccino.... Linda had their half spicy veggie. No disappointment there. After a little stop at REI, another one at Title Wave (Best bookstore in Anchorage) we got to Reihl's, a great place to get your threads... and I mean threads and not the new word for clothes..... I got luscious silky threads in big bobbins.... only fiber artists will understand that one. ahahha. It is like picking new lipsticks or nail polish for some girls. I got one called "Plum". Nice variegated cotton by YLI. I should take a picture of my loot... Nay! I will wait for next post about the Collage I am doing for "Fiber art for a Cause" to benefit the American Cancer Society
So on the way back to Eagle River, after spending most of the day in a grey environment there was a beautiful blue sky, sun shining in the horizon. Perfect! I did take few pictures of that. There was even some kind of an angel in the sky. Can you see her?She was in a great conversation with a little dude. Maybe another angel but I didn't have a good look at his wings. Here is another proof of that we did have a beautiful day on "our neck of the woods". You can imagine my excitement when we have had this type of weather for few days. This good day ended with an hour of Yoga at the Club. I can hardly walk. My legs were challenged tonight. Very good stretches.
I almost forgot...Friday night I got to see the movie "Into the Wild" at the Bear's Tooth. A must see movie. It gives you an accurate account of Alaska, that it is the real thing, why people have a great respect for it and that you have to be prepared for it. It is one of the few places in the world where nature can still have the last word. It is also about this young life breaking away from traditions and the lies of society in order to find purity and truth and finds it all along his trek from Virginia to Alaska. His last lesson was the most poignant to me: that true happiness can only be so if it is shared. Something he found in a book from Tolstoy but only could understand after going through the steps. After craving for so long to be alone and think that it was the answer for him he realized that it would only be complete if he could get out of it and share what he had experienced.
Don't forget your Kleenex box there are some real emotional moments. That story will stay with you a long time.
I started "Enduring Love" another book by Ian McEwan. Pretty intriguing so far.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chinook and Atonement

The Chinook wind has been blowing since last night. This morning all the trees which were filled with gorgeous heavy snow are bare once again. The temperature is 32F and we are almost running outside in our swimsuits it feels so warm. ahahah but not quite. It does feel so balmy though it is wonderful. The word Chinook means "Snow Eater" and it does just that. It just evaporates with so very little run off. A bit strange. It has some mythic power and people tend to do foolish things when it blows. Like the Santa Anna in LA. So watch out! It is soon to be full moon too so we might have a double crazy syndrome around here.
I went to see "Atonement" last night with Curt at the Dimond Theater where there was a shooting the night before....... We are sooo brave! After arriving too late to see the 4pm we waited at Borders (bookstore, two magazines "Embellishment" and "Cote Sud") and then had a bite to eat (actually they were big BITES: I had Cocoa Raspberry Baby Back Ribs with Chipotle and a Guinness, that was really good. Curt had their Fish and Chips) at Suite 100 on Dimond Blvd a first to me. Nice atmosphere. They had interesting lamps in "pate de verre" that could have been translucent wood, but terrible art work on the walls.
Anyway we finally made it to "Atonement"
It is true to the book. The acting and casting are perfect. The house is also what I had in mind when I was reading the book. They treat the movie as a book and have few dialogues and lots of descriptions that in the book are words but in the movie end up being a lot of scenery and face shots with ample time to observe and take in the mood of the moment. It could be said that there are lengthy shots that could have been cut but I thought that they were necessary in order to give it the impact of the time and place. So I was not disappointed in the least and I got to experience the same emotions of anger and sadness. It is a beautiful classic tragedy. I am glad that I read the book first once again. It really helps me to absorb the characters and the story much better that way.
Sorry no photos this time. Now I am going to get some crazy fresh air.....ahhahaha and get blown away....ahahahaha.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What people do when it is 0 outside?

Some people plan months ahead for that time when it gets sooo cold that they just don't want to get out so they find an excuse to do it anyway. Here it is: they make wine in the summer and bottle it in the winter. That is if they are like my very creative friend Nancy. There is a nice place in Anchorage on Dowling where for a fee you can choose to make a wine of choice (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay....) they keep it away on a nice shelf for you for few months. So one day the juice is ready to be bottled up and that was last Sunday!!!!... of course! Anyway arriving and setting down the little tray of cheese, olives and crackers the first bottle of "Bench Lake Cabernet Sauvignon" was poured and served and tested and tested again and.... again. It is still a young wine but doesn't have any bitterness or acidity that you would expect. It is very promising and I do hope that I get to try it again in few years. We ended up learning how to use the machines and 24 bottles were boxed and ready to go in no time. Now Nancy is going to design a label for it. As you can see in the pictures we were working pretty hard.... (here is the quality control professionals at work!!!)It was a lot of fun. Thank you Nancy! Beats the winter blues and the low temperatures. (Jessica and her mother's shadow, pretty good picture, hey?)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It gets worse before it gets better

The studio is to be a real challenge. Right? So I am taking pictures of the beautiful day that I can see through the windows and the door of the room. That gives me time to think of the ideal floor plan. and of course a little brake between folding fabric... not to scare anyone!!!
We have had about 4 days of snow. One little bird has decided to stay in the bird feeder. He has been so cold and hungry. It was 0 degree F. today. (About -20 Celsius) Gaia feet were so cold that she could not walk anymore. I had to carry her back in the house twice. That was a first for my tough German doggy.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Health, Happiness and Love for the New Year

It is already the 6th of January. I have a feeling that this month is going to be real soon a memory. So I have decided to act quickly on my Studio project. That was stopped by a nasty cold that kept me indoor and out of service for a good week. I am starting to feel normal again. That time was spent on cogitation. There is so much to think about when you want to remodel a room.
(As I am typing I am watching "Planet Earth". They are now showing the forest of North America and some guys are climbing huge redwoods. That would be something I would love to do. Rise up in the canopy of those giant and be close to them in the climb. A true communication of body and spirit. Maybe some day...)
Where was I, Oh yeah! studio remodel. It is such a mess right now. I can still find things but I do have to look a bit for them..ahhahah. I need to reduce and make things more user friendly. See originally I wanted to put things in hard to get places so that I would have to move around and get some exercises. It was a totally aware of the amount of work that would involve and that was the purpose. Well my views have shifted a lot since... I shall have to find other ways to exercise and be more productive in the work room. It took me about 10 years to come to this conclusion. Who says that I am a slow learner....?? Well you might be right but the important thing is to keep on learning and to change when needing. Also I am only competing against myself, so there!
(General Sherman the huge sequoia was shown. So gorgeous. I would answer to such a general and follow his instructions. Ready for battle but I am sure that he would command peace instead. Namaste to you General Sherman)
The main necessity to remodel is to improve the lighting in there. It is really dim and unfriendly in the winter. I need bright warm light but real silent. Can't stand humming light noise of neon lights. So I am to study what will work best for the room and myself.
(Cicadas are shown right now in their short lived life, to appear only once every 17 years and as they die they will fertilize the trees. Such a useful end)
I also want to ban fabric from shelves and surfaces around the studio. I need another drawer cabinet and reduce my fabric "collection". I am planning on keeping fat quarters of things that I like but will unlikely ever use. I am a collector at heart and can't part with things totally. Not at this point anyway. So that should clear up some space. The hand dyed fabric, batiks and painted pieces that I just can't live without will have more room that way. I want to clear the design wall in order to access it more freely. Books should be in bookshelves by the outside door. I am thinking of putting my three large tables in a u-shape so I can sew in the inside with two of my sewing machines set up at all times and then cut and play with fabric from the outside of the U. The opening might be facing the design wall. Those are just ideas. I have a lot of work ahead. I started the other day by trying to go through my Country Living Magazine. A collection that I started in 1983 and ended in 1996.... Thirteen years worth of those delightful dreams. Great recipes, great decoration ideas, great antiques... floor plans of homes and old home real estate. Anyway I spent hours going through those and now they are all on the floor by the gas stove... to be put away once more. I can't depart from any of those either. It is going to be a hard job. and long if it all goes that way.
This is a very long post so I am going to end it by just a cry for help. Maybe some of you will have fabulous ideas on how to solve my studio problems.
(Baobab trees are shown now from Madagascar. Just amazing. The blooms are a foot long and open up in less than a minute. It is incredible. The views of the big trunked trees in different time of the day and night. It is just so beautiful. I would love to see those..... Maybe some day... )
So help if you please.
I have started the book "Atonement"by Ian McEwan. I have had to look at three new words (exculpation, I should have known about that one. Mea Culpa of my catholic years... well exculpa.... getting out of the guilt of fault. that makes sense. then there was "dastardly" it is a better way to say "nasty".... why because people might not know that your are saying that they are nasty....ahahhah. and then mendacity... well it means telling of lies.... another good one to know.) already and I am on page 9. It is already grabbing me though. Great set up. It is going to be a good read.
Well that is all for now. Oh I almost forgot. We had Northern Lights on Friday night. Red and Green. I was in the fog so I could only see the bright colors. Emily got to see them really well. Love it. It has been really cold and clear those last few days. That is if you are above the clouds...ahaha!