Sunday, August 31, 2008

For Better or For Worse

My favorite comic strip, For Better or For Worse, came to an end, as we know it, today. I know it's just a comic strip, but it's one that's been ongoing for 29 years. Written and wonderfully illustrated by Lynne Johnston, it has chronicled the life of the Patterson family in true life time.

I started reading it when Elizabeth was three and "lithping". She married her childhood sweetheart last Saturday. The son, Michael, was a year older than my son and they had a big messy dog and I could relate to that. She has covered all of the topics that you would see in most families: pregnancies (some unexpected), marriage, death (of family, friends and pets), raising children and all that accompanies that, career changes, menopause, aging parents, and so much more.

Lynne has developed a hand tremor and can no longer draw for as long as she would like. So she has decided not to make any new strips and starting Monday the strip will start from the beginning. If you look at some of the old ones, you can see how her drawing has vastly improved. She puts so much detail into her drawings now.

I will miss seeing the family grow. I know I'm not the only one.....are there any more big fans out there who got slightly choked up this morning?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hanging the Show

On Thursday I went to Stamford, CT to help hang a Fiber Revolution show at the UConn campus Art Gallery. It is a fabulous show with 29 pieces by members of our group and 4 garments by Cindy Friedman, also a member, which have been exhibited in the Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows in Houston and elsewhere. They are amazing and add a whole new dimension to the show.

The show, Fiber for the Imagination, runs from Sept. 1- Oct. 30. The opening is Saturday, Sept. 6 , 1-3 PM. If you live near by, try to make it; it's a great show. For details about the show and directions, go here.

No pictures, yet, but I promise to take pictures at the opening next Saturday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lion King

I went into New York yesterday to see The Lion King.  I had seen it several years ago, but my three friends had not and I was happy to see it again.  They all loved it and I enjoyed it all over again.  Although the music and story were fun, it's the visuals that make this an over-the-top Broadway show.  The puppetry was amazing!  At times you didn't know where to look, there was so much going on on the stage.  As a fiber artist, I was enthralled by the use of fabric.  
Those giraffes were quilted!!

If you haven't seen this show, do go if you get the chance.  Although it is based on the children's Disney movie, I think that the adults get more out of it.  There were a lot of little children in the theater and, no, they don't get a special rate.  Our tickets were $119 each.  I can't imagine paying that for a three or four year old and there were plenty of them in the audience.

We took the train in and back, and had lunch at a fun place on Restaurant Row on 46th Street.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  All in all a great day!  I love New York.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I found out today that my quilt,"Twilight City" was accepted into "Fiber at the Garde", a juried show for Connecticut contemporary art quilters. The show will be at The Garde Arts Center in New London, CT October 4-December 6. This is another in my Configuration series, in which I dye my fabrics using two complementary parent colors, this time purple and yellow, in various concentrations to achieve some interesting colors. I combined them with a couple batiks, commercial black, and my "wonky" piecing to give the illusion of buildings.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love and Marriage

Yesterday my good friend, Judy, got married. It was
a second marriage, but their romance is such a wonderful story.
Judy, a high school history teacher, had
been divorced for 11 years when she decided that she would
like to get married again. A friend gave her a membership
to and Russ was the first person she "met". Russ
is a widower and although he had "met" several women on Match
it was instant rapport when he and Judy first connected online.
After several long emails, then many hours on the phone
they decided to meet. It was instant chemistry. Judy said
that she had never thought that she would meet a soul mate.
They have so many common interests. They are both educators,
he being a retired college professor. They both enjoy hiking and
golf and skiing and many other things. A true Match made in
Heaven! After several months of dating, they decided to get
The wedding yesterday was lovely. They were married in a
beautiful old Episcopal church in Judy's home town. The
traditional ceremony was officiated by both the pastor from
Judy's church and the pastor from Russ' church in Long Island.
The reception was at a fabulous place on Candlewood Lake.
The views were spectacular, the food delicious and we all danced
and danced. Did I mention that the weather was a perfect 10, in the
high 70's, sunny skies, with no humidity. All in all it was a
magical day.
Judy retired this year, a couple of years earlier than planned,
so that she and Russ will have time to travel and do all those
things that they both enjoy.

L to R: Nike, Me, Karen, Paula, Carol, Judy-the bride,
Nancy and Barbara.

These are some of the members of the Purple Circle
Book Club. The group has been around for about 25 years.
We saw this romance from the beginning and were so happy
to be able to be with her on this special day.

Friday, August 22, 2008


How can something so pretty smell so bad?
My Cleome , or Spider Plants, are at their
peak. My friend, Carolyn, has hundreds of seedlings
every spring that she gladly gives away. They make a
wonderful presence in the garden, but they have an
unpleasant odor, rather skunk-like, at certain times
of the day. But I forgive them since they're so tall
and graceful and full of color. Oh, yes, Carolyn grows
them, too. How else would she get the seeds? But she has
a bad sense of smell and can just enjoy their beauty.

The bees love them and are always hovering
and rubbing against the stamens. I just couldn't
get one to sit and pose for the picture.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Jacket

Occasionally I make a garment and I love jackets. I wouldn't mind living in a climate where the heaviest thing you had to wear was a jacket. I am very fond of Chico's for that reason They have the neatest jackets. I try not to visit there too often, because I invariably walk away with a new jacket that I just couldn't resist. But this one I made.

I fell in love with this Alexander Henry print. It is a heavier weight cotton, just perfect for a little jacket without lining. This was a very easy pattern to make and I like those raglan sleeves. The text is Japanese and I was assured that it says only nice things. l am going to Japan in October (perfect jacket weather) and I'm not sure if I should take it with me. Will someone be offended by my wearing their language on my sleeve?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Succulent Succulents

I'm very fond of Hens & Chicks, a garden succulent. I took some photos and then played with the colors in Photoshop Elements. I printed them out on fabric and combined them with my hand-dyes and hand painted fabrics to make this little quilt. It will go to the Silent Auction at Quilt Festival in Houston in October.

The full size quilt and details are shown below.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Great News!

I just found out that I am one of 38 artists accepted into Town and Country. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a new art quilt exhibit initiated by Karey Bresenhan. The quilts had to be at least 48" on each side and interpret the theme of Town and Country. The quilts will be exhibited on free-standing hard walls in a gallery setting with special lighting. It will first be shown at Quilt Market in Oct. in Houston, then International Quilt Festival in Houston in November, Quilt Festival in Chicago in April '09, Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA in July, '09 and other venues after that. The quilts will travel for three years.

I can't show a picture of the quilt since we are not allowed to publish it online until it first shows in H0uston in October. But I can tell you that it is part of my Configuration series. This series features my hand dyed fabric and my "wonky piecing" which gives the illusion of buildings. I've done very well with this series. The first one, "Houston Reflections" was a second place winner in Houston. The second,"Hot Summer City Night" was juried into the Brush Gallery in Lowell, MA and sold, and the fifth, "Sunrise City" sold. Three and four have been exhibited and won awards.

I thought that I was finished with the series until I heard about this contest and thought that it was meant for me. so I created a sixth, using all hot colors and named it "Salsa City". Any judges' criticism I received on the other five said, "not enough quilting", as you can see in these pictures. "Salsa City", NOT shown here, is quilted to death and they were right; it looks so much better.

My quilt will be mailed to Houston in September to be judged. First and second place winners will be flown to Houston and put up at the Hilton Hotel in addition to very nice cash prizes.

I didn't think I was going to Houston this year, but now I am rethinking that.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Project Runway Challenge

I admit it, I'm a huge Project Runway fan. I loved the winning dress last night, but didn't agree with who got tossed. I thought that Blaine (I think that's his name, the one with the tan) should have been auffed. His outfit was dreadful and soooo not what they asked for.

Along those same lines, a small SAQA group that I belong to decided to do a challenge based on the PR challenges for that month. We meet once a month to discuss quilt art related topics and to share our work. The challenge is to make either a paper doll or art piece of any size or medium based on one, two, three , or all four of the projects.

I was blown away by the plastic cup dress made the first week of the grocery store challenge. The contestants had to make a garment using only things that they bought in a grocery store. Some of them were quite amazing and inventive, but my favorite was the cup dress. even though it didn't win. It was a strapless form-fitting dress made entirely of plastic cups. I'm not sure how he did it. No sewing stitches were evident so I thought he may have heated them together somehow. WRONG! That 's what I attempted in my piece. When I put a piece of the cup between parchment paper and pressed down with a hot iron, it reacted exactly like Tyveck, shriveling, distorting and melting. Not what I had in mind, but rather interesting.

So here's my silly little piece. You cannot see the dryer sheets sewn down to the batting and those are drink stirrers. I flattered myself by saying that it has an Asian feel in honor of the Olympics. Everything is sewn down except for the handles, which are glued.

I think it is definitely harder making an art piece rather than a garment. How do you make a glamorous art piece that will go from daytime to evening suitable for Brooke Shields's character on "Lipstick Jungle"? That was last night's challenge. I think I may attempt the second week, which was making something inspired by a photo taken at night in NYC, or your home town.

Stay tuned.....I'm really new at this and need to learn some things, like how to post a link. Then I could have shown you the cup dress on PR. I also would like to know how to put a different font on my title. Blogspot only gives you a few and none of them are to my liking.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A blog at last

I've been promising to do this for a long time and thought it was time to bite the bullet and start a blog. Soon I will also have a website designed by Holy Knott. Does that make me a professional, Jane ?(you know who you are)

I hope to use this space to share some of my fiber art, travel photos and bits and pieces of my life.

I'm not sure how often I'll post, but I'll try to keep up with it. Now if someone asks me if I have a blog or website, I can finally say , "Yes, I do!"