Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wednesday at Pat's

Every 6 weeks Pat Sims is offering her house to a long list of artists in all discipline for an evening of sharing. She has done so for too many years to really know. (I don't anyway).We share delicious food,(notice the butterfly shape of the refrigerator, this puzzle metamorphoses in different parterns and is one of the things I look forward to when I go to Wed. at Pat's) a large selection of tea, sometimes fruit juices and wine. We share conversation during and after dinner. Pat is always surprising us with her decoration. Her interior is very eclectic with an incredible sense of balance where her plants thrive year round. This month was all festive for the beginning of the year with silver and grey. Candlelight, mirrors and Spanish square plates were bouncing off the light. Her magnificent oriental wood carved panel was accentuating the drama of the moment. The frost had been brought inside but oh so much warmer with the roaring fire from the wood stove. It was a magical, beautiful decoration that carried very nicely through our little group of about twele people. There were very interesting quilts, weaving, hand painted and hand dyed clothing, wool hanging with found objects, a sculpture made out of re purposed objects that started out with a sardine can. There was a poem read and announcement made. It is the most energizing gathering. Thank you Pat for another enchanting evening.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sir Winter McDormant

I have been invited to participate in a reverse auction that will be held on March 24-26 online, this address Fiber Art For a Cause gives you all the details necessary to participate and peek at the already donated artworks. I made an odd shaped quilt. Those following pictures take you on a journey through the making of "Sir Winter McDormant". It measures 28x18. I have used Judy Robertson's hand dyed fabric to make it and have beaded some areas. It was machine pieced with monofilament and machine quilted with variegated cotton thread in the hat and tree parts. I have dedicated this piece to my Mother-in-Law Gaylene Stoner and my friend Fran Reed who was a fantastic artist. Both have passed away in the past 6 months. The proceeds after the auction if someone purchases it will go entirely to the American Cancer Society.
Well now with the pictures...
auditioning the nose and eyebrows fabric.
Building a forest over alpenglow batik fabric from Indonesia.
auditioning skin.... oh no!!!!!!!!! not this one. He looks like a leopard.... I do love this fabric though. Now, this one will do just fine. I loyke it (like it with British Accent)
add the face over the trees. Something wrong with the eyes. It took me about 4 different tries to find the right ones by it was worth the whole entire afternoon...ahaha , now trying to decide on the variegated threads for quilting the hat. I think that it worked out ok with a hint of green in the pinkish and brown hues.

then the bottom was adorned with leaves and branch debris hand beaded one at a time. That was a lot of fun. Just a few hours, enough to watch two full series of BBC historical shows. I would say 7 hours... who's counting anyway?
Here a little close up.

Voila! all done. It felt so good to work again. My next project is a landscape view of a lake. A commission work. I love that job!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gaylene Stoner

Today one very special person close to my heart died. She was my Mother-in-Law, Gaylene. I am going to miss her so much. She was a very strong personality. Very independent woman who sailed through life with many admirers following her behind. I was one of those. She accepted me 27 years ago when I showed up, fresh from France. She adopted me and never made me feel like an outsider. She and I shared many of the same interest, like antiquing, garage sailing and thrift shop shopping. Oh the treasures that we found. She was an avid reader and loved movies like me. We got to spend many vacations together, the last ones being France and Homer. We played cards(Canasta and gin rummy), dominoes(Mexican train...). I had great respect for who she was and she respected me and showed much patience toward me. Until the end she remained a grand dame, getting ready in the morning looking her best. Lung Cancer is not a pretty malady. It is hard and painful and she gave a good battle. She is now in peace and pain free. As she was shining here on earth I imagine her shining brightly in heaven. In my heart she will remain.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Few days into 2009 and already it has the potential to be a fun year:
Today is the fifth and I have had one fun thing happened every day so far.

The First started out with the Pasadena's Rose Parade on television followed by the Rose Bowl which is a College Football tradition where this year (once again) USC (Curt's and Allan's University) was playing against Penn State (Curt's Dad and Warren's University). We had invited few friends for the event (A dozen). The guys were downstairs watching the game. The ladies upstairs chatting away. USC won, all is well!!!

The Second was another landmark with our first Book Club meeting. About 7 ladies gathered at my house and it was a let's get to know each other meeting. Really relaxed gathering covering a large amount of topics... Camaraderie formed among the group and it was nice to see that those ladies got along so well. We had food, wine, and tea and all was well. You might ask: "What about the book?" well it was discussed briefly and it was accessory to a nice evening of friendship building. "A Room With a View" by E M Forster had been the excuse to get together, our next excuse is "Snoop: What Your Stuff Say About You" by Sam Gosling. We also talked about other books of interest like "The Virgin's Knot" by Holly Payne and "Shattered Dreams: My Life As a Polygamist's Wife" by Irene Spencer. The best subject of the evening was reviewing movies which made us questioned if the club should be about movies instead of books... Funny, but so many books are being translated into movies that it is interesting to compare them. Anyway it was a very pleasant evening. Next one will happen at Patty's house in February.

The Third, our state was celebrating it's 50th year anniversary of being a state. A lot of activities were happening around town to mark the big event like those beautiful ice carvings. Another event was the biggest fireworks that the city of Anchorage had ever seen. Curt, Gaia and I got to go see it on a vintage point on Government Hill... in our warm car. It was -20 F outside. A lot of people had elected to brave the crowd and the weather to be downtown... I don't know if I am glad not to have done it that way but I have a great enough memory of my warm experience... if you know what I mean. That temperature is brutal and has been for the last three weeks. We are having sunshine so at least that is wonderful.

The Fourth we went to see "Benjamin Button" this strange story of a man being born as an old man and getting younger has he ages... A life in reverse. Brad Pitt and Kate Blanchett and many other wonderful actors. A great sad interesting movie. I had read the short story of
F. Scott Fitzgerald bearing the same name which has very little to do with the movie, thank goodness in my opinion. I had found the novella pretty unfinished with many question marks and a real downer of a story. It had been an interesting concept and the way the people reacted about Benjamin condition was unfortunately not surprising. It was showing how people who do not understand a situation can revert into cruelty. Anyway I was glad that the movie was different in every way. Anyway you should give it a try.
As soon as the movie was done we went up to Nancy's for Chili with her family. It was a really fun evening with a game of Cranium after diner. Good food and good company what more can we ask for. It was bitter sweet as Nancy is to go to Sunny Colorado today for the rest of the winter. She is to tantalize us with her tales of hiking in the red rocks in her shorts when we will still go out with our heavy down jackets and moon boots.... No fair!!! Oh well what to do... maybe go for a visit... maybe???
The Fifth was suppose to be TAS day... whell I spaced it out!!! Just can't believe it. I do have some senior moments like that. Oh well c'est la vie!!! There is still plenty to do around the house after so many "playing" days. I hope that your life is keeping you busy too.

I have finished "The Shadow of the Wind" finally. It was a good read. Very dark and suspenseful. I liked some characters a lot others were really hard to like. All was well described and reinforced my uneasiness while I visited Barcelona. I don't particularly like that gloomy city. In the book it is not one to trust. Anyway I have started the book of short story by Jhumpa Lahiri "Unaccustomed Earth". Her novel "The Namesake" was made into a movie that made some waves. In the first short story I am already transformed into her melancholic world. She has the gift to make you want to hear her story, no matter how hard you know it is going to be. I have also started another book of short stories by an Indian woman (Gift from Curt for Christmas) "Arrange Marriage" by Chitra Divakaruni, very good so far. She is also the author of "Mistress of Spice" and "The Vine of Desire" and "Sister of My Heart". Can't get enough of India. I will get there some day. I am enjoying comparing those two similar books but different in their voice. I am finishing a small book by J. L. Carr "A Month in the Country". The story of a shortly divorced guy who is going to a village in Yorkshire to restore a mural found in the church. He is about the restore himself too in the process. So fun. I love the humour in the description of this man who has facial tics and a stutter... There are so mighty meaty characters. Pretty fun.
Then I am about to start "The Behavior of Moths" by Poppy Adams. Anyway I will be busy in the lecture department for a while. I also have to produce two quilts as soon as possible. One is due in less than two weeks. To the studio then...