Friday, October 30, 2009

Stone Barns

Yesterday I took a delightful day trip with 10 other members of The Woman's Club of Danbury/
New Fairfield to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.  This beautiful property of 80 acres of rolling country side was formerly part of the Rockefeller estate, built in the 1930's so that the Rockefeller family, who lived nearby, could have fresh milk and produce.  Now it is an educational center and an organic farm. We were fortunate to have a lovely fall day after a nasty rainy one the day before.  We had a guided tour and got to see the garden and all the farm animals.  
What's a Woman's Club trip without lunch?  So of course we had a scrumptious buffet all made from the farm's produce.  My favorite was a salad of farro (a grain that resembled brown rice), roasted sweet potatoes, roasted golden cauliflower, and cashews.  It was fabulous and I am going to try to duplicate it.
Remember to click on each picture for a bigger view.

Part of the stone barns. They really were beautiful! They are not actually used as barns today, but as the gift shop and visitor center, class rooms and lectures, and a cafe.

More of the barns.

Part of the garden.  Not a lot was growing at this time of the year, but these greens looked so healthy.

Some of the gorgeous hills behind the greenhouses.

Cattle in the distance.  I forgot what breed they were.

In this greenhouse many varieties of salad greens were growing and we had some in our salad at lunch. Below are some of the many farm animals we saw.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beautiful Autumn

Fall color was at its peak this week in south west Connecticut. These pictures were taken in my backyard. I love September and October.  I just wish they lasted longer.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

More from Houston

Because we stayed at the Hilton this year which adjoins the Convention Center and since the weather the first couple of days was in the 90's and very humid and feeling like over 100, we had no reason to go outside.  But we did venture across the street one day to the beautiful big park that was built during the last year.  It really is lovely with a water feature, many paths and benches and an indoor cafe.  

I had read about this exhibit called Cool Globes. There were 50 globes, each 5 feet in diameter and 7 feet high.  They were designed by various artists and groups to show what ordinary people can do to combat global warming. I'm only showing you a few, but you can read about them and see all the globes here. We didn't stay in the park very long since it was soooo hot.

Another special exhibit in the quilt show in the Convention Hall was one called "Indigos of China".  Being a lover of blue and white (you should see my house), I found this fascinating. While there were no quilts, there were many examples of the fabrics and large story boards telling how the fabric is dyed and how the patterns are made.  

These large panels on the floor were made of some kind of plastic, but they were very showy and effective in drawing you into the exhibit.

These long panels of real indigo fabric in different patterns went way up toward the ceiling.

The exhibit was huge and this is just a small part.  My camera battery died and I never got back the next day to take more pictures.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Houston, again

"Hmmm", you're saying. "I've seen that quilt before and that jacket." Well, yes, you have, but not together and not at the Quilt Festival in Houston. This was my entry in "Quilts: A World of Beauty".  As I said before, no ribbon this year, but I was happy to be there in such good company. The quilts, as always, were outstanding.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Houston Report

I'm back from my wonderful trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston. It's very hard to explain the event to a non-quilter or even a quilter who has never been to the show. It is absolutely enormous! It takes up the entire George C. Brown Convention Center, all three floors since there are also classes, lectures and special luncheons going on, too. The quilts take up the whole first floor and there are 28 exhibits within the show. Quilts: A World of Beauty, the juried and judged show, takes up the most space. All of the exhibits are juried or invitational, so the quality of work is outstanding.

You can see all of the top prize winners from the judged show if you go to this website.

I thought I would show you some of the quilts in a special exhibit from Germany called Festival Gallery of Quilt Art: Fabric Forest. There were 35 quilts in this exhibit, all about two feet wide and about 8 to 10 feet tall and they were suspended from the ceiling, which was about three stories high. The quilts were two-sided, so you could walk around them and there was a pile of real logs in the center, looking ready for a fire. They really were amazing. There were labels on the floor beneath each tree telling which tree was being depicted. Of course a lot of artistic license was used. Each picture is click-able to get a bigger view.Here I am standing next to one to give you an idea of how big they were. Boy, do I look fat! But don't these colors look good with my jacket?

This is a detail of the second quilt from the bottom.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Houston, here I come.

I leave tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM to get my plane to take me to Houston, TX to the big International Quilt Festival. I only have one piece there this year, Fiesta, that was juried into Quilts: A World of Beauty, the juried, judged show that is the largest exhibit in this huge show. I think that this is the 7th or 8th year in a row that I've gone and have had something there every year except for the first. No prizes for me this year, but I am just happy to be in the show. As usual, I'll be going with my sister, Ruth, my faithful and best travel companion. We always have a wonderful time and usually come home exhausted. So much to see and do!
So no blogging for a few days. Check back next week and I'll tell you about the show.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Photoshop Fun

Yesterday I watched a free episode of the Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims with their guest artist Beth Wheeler talking about her newest book, Next Steps in Altered Artistry. She was showing some beautiful quilts that she had made using photos that she had altered in Photoshop and printed on fabric. She talked about a filter in PS called Displacement, one that most people are not familiar with. After the video I went to PS and tired to use the Displacement filter and was totally confused.

Lo and behold today Beth went on the Quiltart list and directed us to a free video through her blog, Confessions of a Thread Junkie. You can find the link here. She gave step by step directions which I followed to get these abstractions. This Stargazer Lily

turned into this abstraction.

And these day lilies

turned into this. What fun!

On this one I just took a Stargazer picture that I had already Posterized (see my last post) and added a Poster Edge filter. I think this is pretty cool.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all these ideas, but I have things swirling in my mind. The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I'm having so much fun with the "Posterize" filter in Photoshop Elements.  I think these are begging to be printed onto fabric.  Be sure to click on each picture to see the full effect.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009