Monday, April 30, 2007

Spring and a Local Field Trip

In the last week, Spring has finally arrived. This local scarecrow is always in seasonal fashion.

The bleeding hearts in my garden are out and thriving, and the clematis is making a great comeback. (I'll post the before and after pictures later.)

One of the highlights of my weekend was a local concert with Judy Collins and Nanci Griffith. I have made it to several Judy Collins concerts over the years, er, decades, and she is certainly looking better than I am!

The other highlight of my weekend was a visit to the Franklin Street Studios' open studios, especially that of Rayna Gillman, on the left in this picture. Not the best shot, but I hope you get an idea of her wonderful work.

Now off to do a little more work of my own.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Field Trip

This flower is not from my garden, and I'm sorry the photo is a bit on the yellow side. Would you believe this beautiful rhododendron is made of glass? It's from the botanical galleries of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Father and son glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka made (I think, in the 1850s-1890s) more than 4,400 botanically correct models of plants and their various parts. Not only did they make the glass--using several methods--they came up with just the right kind of paint.

This was only part of my weekend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My husband was attending a conference on international development at the JFK School. I was museum-ing. We were both visiting my daughter and her boyfriend (who were also attending the conference) who live in Allston, across the river from Cambridge.

I also went to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the Fogg Museum, and the Sackler Museum. I don't need to say that there was more wonderful art and information than I can possibly mention, or fully absorb. The Fogg and Sackler don't allow photography in the galleries, so the only shot I took is the one above of going upstairs into the courtyard balcony.

After art and cultural anthropology overload, I walked around Cambridge, enjoying the good weather and various activities around Harvard Square including street musicians and shopping. I had hoped to visit the Longfellow House, but it was closed. I found this out after a half-mile walk to get there. This was where George Washington was headquartered 1775-1776. I know this because I just finished reading "1776" by David McCullough. I was disappointed I couldn't go in.

Although I didn't have time to do any fabric shopping, I did go to a shop called The Museum of Useful Things were I found this little treasure, "Witch, the Automatic Needle Threader." I haven't tried it yet (it could be my own little Salem witch trial, get it?), but will be sure to let you know when I do. I then rested my weary feet, which are still weary, outside the Dean's Office at the Kennedy School and did a bit of embroidery on one of the pieces I recently dyed. Not sure the embroidery is improving it yet. I'll let you know that, too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Annual Field Trip

This is Glassmyer's in Lititz, Pennsylvania. We stop here for lunch on our way to the Quilt Heritage Celebration show at Lancaster. Glassmyer's is open only for breakfast and lunch, so we have to restrain ourselves from stopping to buy fabric before lunch. Not so easy, as we pass a great place called Weaver's on the way. After lunch at this simple, little, old-fashioned luncheonette, we head back to Weaver's for unrestrained fabric buying.

Several friends and I have been making this trip for many years. We have our favorite stops for both fabric and food. It's only two days, but a great time is had by all.

At the show, I saw several quilts by Quilt Art list members, including Sue Reno and Gloria Hansen. I also had a chance to have a quick conversation with Michelle Verbeeck who has a special exhibit at the show. (Yes, Virginia, there are nudes in Lancaster!)

Now, I'm back home recovering from sensory overload. I'm busily catching up on laundry so I can get to the fabric that has been "batching" for too long since I dyed it on Monday. Can hardly wait to see how it turns out.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

After Going Down the Stairs

I know you have been imagining the wildest stuff about my basement and, sorry to say, it is all true. The following is not for the faint of heart.

This is a piece of fabric I've been doing some embroidery on, but haven't been happy with the results. So, when I went Down the Stairs to iron my Easter dress, I started digging through piles because I really didn't want to iron either the dress or the summer pants that have been waiting to be ironed, well, since summer.

Once you go Down the Stairs, you see this:

And you don't know which way to turn. Nothing new, I assure you. (Notice the well-placed piece of exercise equipment hiding under stuff.)

So I dug around for hidden treasure and came up with several other pieces of black fabric that had discharged to an extremely light goldish color. (The actual color is not as rich as in the following picture.) I thought they might work well together. Then I started ironing and fusing. No, not my Easter dress. That was well out of the way, although the summer pants were dangerously close at hand.

I won't show you my ironing board where I was working. Yet. I think you need some time to recover. But you should know that no summer pants were harmed in the making of this piece.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Down These Stairs

Down these stairs is my studio. I call it that because that is where I work. It is in "slight" disarray: it may not be neat, but I know where everything is--mostly. When I am working on a piece, I work in what I call an archeological style: I dig through layers to find the treasure. Sometimes I find other treasures along the way. One friend calls it, "stirring the pot." Or, as A.A. Milne said, "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

Stay tuned for my next posting to see the whole thing. Until then, let your imagination go wild.