Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Retreating" to Create

Few of us (12 this year) roughed it in at Camp Carlquist in Chugiak, AK. We had four days of intense fabric play. Snow and bear tracks around the lodge and cabins and ice on the lake, it is the typical Spring around here. Waking up at 8am and going to bed at 3am, the only interruption from the creative flow were the meals consumption which by the way had been prepared for us. Oh of course we got a break for a fabric shop run in Wasilla (Sylvia's, Quilt of many colors and JoAnn's Fabric). I was driving and had a new passenger next to me so didn't take pictures while driving but it was really hard to resist as the mountain were so beautiful. I am tempted to return today to see if the light on the snow and the sun hitting them just at the same angle would duplicate the contrast that it had on that day. It was as perfect as could perfect be. So I just have to keep that image for myself locked in my heart for now.
Going back to retreat... I was working on a quilt pattern by Judy Niemeyer. Paper piecing project that my daughter had selected for her bed. I had precut my fabric (all batiks in gold browns greens and rust instead of blues and purples) ahead of time and so could get at it right away. It went really smoothly. I am very happy with it right now. Just few paper piecing to do until the fun of placing those block together will happen. I managed to play a little bit and made a small quilt.
I took a photo shoot of my friend Diana. (playing "Madame Butterfly" behind her fanned blocks of fans)... She is an amazing quilter a driving force behind our guild and community, someone I admire greatly. We had some fun times listening to music (Mama Mia's soundtrack and the Phantom of the Opera were her two favorite this year.... on and on!!! ahahah).

Here she is modeling one of my paper pieced block and again I am not sure to be able to wait until fall to have another get away. I believe that late June in Kenai would be a good time. Right around Quilting on the Kenai so we can entertain ourselves between stitching sessions. Any takers???

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Artist dates and other pursuits

I am participating in an online group, going through the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. The book is not new to me but it is a new experience to be doing it in a group and so far I have very little to add to the group. I feel like a fly in the wall and it is working out in for now. Anyway one of the exercise is to have an artist date. Go and do something fun for just yourself. Some kind of new experience. My camera is always at my side and I shoot whatever seems important at that time. Sometimes I like to manipulate those images in order to get some other look out of them. Once I got really exited about reflections on a microwave. I was in Seattle in a small hotel and they had a kitchenette in the room just across my bed. I woke up and saw the beautiful waves.... on the microwave. When moving myself the waves were ever changing. I shot about 50 images of that microwave. That started some love affair with secondary designs coming from window panes and other glass surface. At some point I had gotten a fancy for the photographic and poetic work of Viggo Mortensen. He has some really interesting fuzzy pictures, some were night pictures with long streaks of light in every colors possible, then some were circles. I started moving frantically my camera sideways, up and down and in circles in order to reproduce those interesting images. So fun. I still get a kick of what I come up with. Those I consider my Artists Dates where my mind takes me on new trails.
So I went to the local bead shop and discovered (new to me) some beautiful square stone beads. Of course they were filled with images. I thought it would be a fun exercise to do in the morning along my morning pages. Sketches of what I was seeing in the stones. With my last name being Stoner I can relate to rocks and pebbles more than ever. Why not?
So here are some of the ones that I made.
The interesting thing about those beads is that everyday I have seen different things in them. Depending on the light, my mood, the angle, the direction they reveal different parts of my mind.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April, so it is!

I just finished Tana French's "In the Woods". Still under the shock!What a fantastic mystery. It really kept me interested until the end. I loved everything about it. The characters, the plot, the writing, the ending, the agony, the injustice, the reality and frustration, the pain of the loss, how it is to trust and betray, how it is to live with regrets, how it is to find harmony and then lose it. A lot of angles on friendship, the building suspense of two different cases. Pretty powerful novel all through. It is going to stay with me a while. I am tempted to get the sequel "The Likeness" but need a little reprieve before getting back to this kind of intensity. So I am starting "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger and then a Graphic Novel: 1140 Rue Royale by Serena Valentino. A black and white Victorian noir story of a haunted house and it's new occupants: Aunt Victoria and Rebecca (of course... can't be more Victorian than that). Great graphics by Crab Scrambly. Ghosts anyone? You would think that I am really searching to have nightmares or something. Not really though. I am scared of everything so it might be some kind of exorcism. ahahhah. Don't know!

Other than that: the snow, the ice is melting.

The volcano is calming down.

We had a 4.69 earthquake two days ago in the afternoon that was centered about 5 miles from my house. It shook really well. Just few seconds. Nothing like in Italy though. Just too sad for words.

Walking around the neighborhood once again. Gaia is happy about that. I am monitoring the progress of brake up.

Working on Fish Lake Quilt for Lorraine. It is slow going. I just can't find the right colors in my head. It is hard for me to do a landscape in a smaller scale. I see big, very big. I want to put lots of details and color nuances. I have to think: zen, minimalist, simplify. That is hard for me. Wish me luck!