Monday, July 27, 2009

Complaints, Marching Trees and the Zoo

It's been a different two weeks weather wise with rain, grey and more wet stuff in between. Can't say I like having to wear fleece at the end of July when the rest of the World is sweating in the shade wearing their beach outfit or less...

Well enough complaining because I have been semi productive in the studio. Nothing to show yet. Got to be patient in that domain. But I was reminiscing on a series of tree pictures that I had taken in Arizona and Colorado. They were forked trees that if looking upside down would look like torsos with legs! (See this tree's abs!!!) Well I had forgotten to shares those with you guys. So here are some examples. (this one is in a hurry) I really like that pair.
I also had the chance to go to the Zoo about two weeks ago for a fund raising event. Chef Al was cooking Italian under the tent the music was fun (notice the beaded guitar strap) and the very creative cake!!! was actually not bad to eat it had a lemon filling. We (Curt and I) went on a little tour of the zoo with champagne on hand. I won't put the zillion pictures that I came home with but only the odd ones of course. You might want to guess what you are looking at. Note that "our" zoo contains only animals that can sustain our climate. Many of them are rescue animals. I need to point out that the wolves were the most active that night and even howled at us as we departed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More to talk about...

Well I have left out one thing on yesterday's post: I purchased a quilt at the auction. I have been watching Della Dircks make beautiful handmade pieces for years. Her applique is really exquisite, but this year I fell in love with that little happy quilt of hers. I spotted it right away and it made me smile and I knew that it would be an instant shot of well being in the dark months to come if I had it in my studio. It was meant to be because I won it and when I looked in the back for it's title I was so delighted to see that it is called: "The Blue Bird of Happiness". Just what I saw in it. So there!

It is now in position just in front of my working table. I only have to raise my gaze and I'm happy.

Then I wanted to share a little piece that I am getting ready to bead. I have drawn this little sketch on a piece of bark. I had done another one like that for "Collage Mania" last year. This time it is a bit larger and not so somber I think.
I worked on two other small quilts during Bear Paw. The first one has been an ongoing beading project that I take out once in a while. It is morphing on it's own and has now wings and I would not be surprise if it gets a perch pretty soon as well as bird legs to accommodate it's need. The colors are a bit off on that picture. It is more subdued.
The other one was started at retreat in April and has been patiently waiting for it's beads. I have selected vintage yellow minute little things that require a #13 needle. I only had 11's with me so I got really frustrated trying to find few that would allow such a "huge" needle. I had to abandon very soon but it gave me the look that I wanted so I will get that #13 needle tomorrow and continue with that project. I kind of like the bell at the bottom and the red dot bone rectangular bead. I also tried lavender color silica at the bottom but I will stick to the yellow and bear with my frustration as I am suspicious that even a #13 will not be small enough for them. Yikes!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bear Paw Festival 2009

We have had a nice sunny weather for the entire Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River. That made our little community very happy indeed. The Chugach Mountain Quilt Guild puts up a Quilt Show for the occasion. The location varies but this year it was at the Elk's Lodge.

The Guild has a small area for show quilts, one for vendors, one area for demonstrations and then one for the Auction quilts. Visitors and members of the Guild get to vote on their favorite quilts.

See two of my favorite volunteers setting up the "Tass" (The Applique Society booth)

Jan and Diana had made the ribbons.

Diana stole the show winning first viewer's choice and second member's choice for her Auction Quilt and overall best quilter. She is an amazing quilter, friend and member of our community so it was a well deserved award.
Her quilt also generated the most money.
She had the excellent idea to use "cheater's" cloth of various sources cut out elements of interests and constructed the perfect Alaskan Scenery from those.

Becki Ezell got first member's and viewer's choice for her very colorful Show Quilt. This quilt was the result of a class organised by the guild.

This one got two ribbons also second and third place for Show Quilt. Made by Kathy Benson this quilt was executed in the Caree Gulati class the Guild had organized. It's Title is
"3D's Explosion"

This one by Stacey Horn got second place in the Quilt Auction

A beautiful Sashiko piece with marbled fabric butterflies took second and third place in the Show Quilt. I believe it was made by Bonnie Lopez

Nathalie won third place viewer's choice for the Auction Quilts. Her quilt is a design by Barbara Lavallee who is very popular for her whimsical Alaskan paintings.

Oh and my little quilt got first place viewer's choice for the Auction Quilts. Other than that we offered a Mystery Class (Saturday Night) one night that went into the night, a Love Patches session (Friday Night) where we made quilts for the children who are removed from their homes for various reasons.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

About what I have been reading

I have finished Tana French's second book "The Likeness". I just loved it! The story kept me interested until the end. Even when things were not really going fast I had such a pleasure getting to know those "people" and their environment. So many emotions of loss, love and friendship, courage and fear. I felt that I was experiencing all those (emotions) right along the characters. So I can't wait for another one of Tana French's book to come out. I was going to start "The Memorist" one of the next book club selection and I did for few pages but everyone on the book blog sphere was talking about "Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin. It fell in my hand in Kenai (imagine that) and I was soooo ready for a good love story. Well I didn't like that book at all! The author was telling the story in such a nonchalant mechanical way. Eilis, the principal character is very naive, has no personality and so passive that most of the time I could only feel sorry for her. The description of her voyage from Ireland to the USA consisted in explaining how many times people got sick on the ship and how many times they had to go to the bathroom! Not my idea of a love story. When you finally get to the relationship it is not getting better. The ending was predictable knowing how this girl was. I was thinking that I was loosing my time reading this but kept hoping for something fabulous to happen. It didn't! So I am still in need of a good love story.
I have been reading short stories from The Best American Short Stories series 2001. Just finished Alice Munro's "Post and Beam" and I see why she has gotten the Man Booker's International Prize this year. The story is so well constructed and she gets you right into the head of those people and you get the atmosphere and breath right along them such a different bite than Master Toibin. A bit like regular cheddar and extra extra sharp aged Cheddar. (I am a cheese lover, what can I say?)
I think that before going back to "The Memorist" I am going to read "Messenger of Truth" in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jaqueline Winspear. Maybe I will get that romance I am looking for in that one. We shall see. I did pick up "The Love Department" by William Trevor at the Book Shelf yesterday but knowing his short stories very well I don't think that it will be "that kind" of love department. I have never read a full novel of his so that should be a treat. It is a bit strange that so many of the books I have been reading lately are happening in part in the UK. That might be a sign that I have to get there soon.
Oh, there is a new used bookstore in Eagle River. I have not been in it yet but that should be rectified really soon. Don't you think?
Our library has been closed for a month due to a move to a new location. It is going to be right in the same building as the gym where I do Yoga. So convenient. The new sign is up. Don't know when is the big opening though.
Oh and for all the A S Byatt fans out there she is going to be visiting this wonderful blog on Monday, that should be an experience not to be missed.
Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quilt for Bear Paw Festival's Auction

Hello again! Just a quick note this time with a picture of my little quilt I am donating to the Auction for our Guild this weekend. Bear Paw Festival's Theme this year is "Excalibear". So my quilt's title is: "The Legend of Excalibear's Vacation to Eagle River, Alaska". A mouth full. Why shouldn't we have a Camelot Alaskan style...? Right!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quilting on the Kenai (part three), Wed. at Pat's and First Friday in Anchorage, 4th of July fireworks in Eagle River and The Forest Fair

To be quick about the Part Three of our trip to Kenai, we ended up driving to Homer for a look around (The Spit, Quilt store and bead store) and a bite to eat at "Fat Olives". On the way back we stopped at the Norman Lowell's Gallery. Always a treat. Great flowers in the garden and paintings that represent the Alaska that we love as Diana pointed it out to Mr. Lowell as he was greeting us. It was a really fun trip altogether.
The beauty of the Turnagain Arm took my breath away. I couldn't stop to take pictures but I had never seen it so pretty before and it is always amazing.

So about Wed. at Pat's (this is Pat) the weather was so clement that we ended up having dinner and show and tell on Pat's balcony. Perfect company, perfect food, perfect weather, splendid projects. The pictures will tell more than my words. Jinny is showing her little journals, Nancy her "Aquifer" creation,

The other Nancy demonstrating making silk yarn. Lucie talking about her "Gut" adventures.
Pollie showing her silk scarves. Deb was giving us a preview of her show at Terra Bella. She is an amazing free hand machine embroiderer.

First Friday was the 3rd and Nancy, Curt and I went to Terra Bella in Anchorage to check out Kathy Harte, Deb Hartman and Judy Wedemeyer's work. I recommend for you to go take a look there are some really good stuff. The show revolves around "Time" our great guide. It will run all month. Then we took a peek at Sevigny's Gallery than Zoe's and Artique. Then it was time to have dinner at "Sacks". I had their fabulous Tomato Gorgonzola soup and crab and scallops cakes, a nice Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from the Valley of the Moon Winery in California and an espresso. My companions were not into dessert mode so it ended up being a good thing for me. I don't need the extra calories right now. A very nice evening, the weather is fantastic right now. I just love it. Having lunch and dinner on my balcony everyday night. Just great!
The 4th of July celebration in Eagle River with my regular Fireworks viewing at Midnight at the Lyon's Park. I met Terry and her family there. We had some good laugh and the fireworks made just the proper big booms and a superb ending.

Saturday afternoon we headed up to Girdwood for the Forest Fair. I just love this event. In the middle of the trees you have booths with local crafts, food and three stages with live music. Good music. (Here are Curt and Jennifer). There is no entrance fee. Here are a taste of what it was like.

sorry about the sideway view... I will try to rectify this soon...

Now I am a bit recuperating from all the festivities. I have to finish a little quilt for the Bear Paw Festival which is happening this coming weekend and the Kenai Challenge. I am doing well on those two. Lorraine's quilt is next, starting on Thursday. So that is a wrap for tonight. Phew! that was a lot to cover in one post.