"Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes things visible in the first place."

Paul Klee, 1879-1940

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday Finish...on Saturday...

I got delayed yesterday in the Friday Finish...but after 2 years, what's one more day... 

This is a tiny piece, 12"x12", that was made for a challenge I'm sure some of you remember...it was the 12x12x12 Challenge...12 quilts in 12 months measuring 12 inches on a side.  I never did produce much for that challenge but had such fun ideas...ah well...anyway, my theme was actually 12x12x4...12" on a side, 4 months of partcipation, and I called it 4 Artists and Me... um...I did 2 artists...Paul Klee and this one, Vincent Van Gogh.  This is called "Starry Sunflowers" and is an interpretation of "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers"...um...really?   It was a lot of fun but I must have gone off on a trip or something and never got back to it.  All it needed was the bead trim on the bottom and then I got a wild hair yesterday and put the silver triangles and trees on it, too.  I took it with me when I went to see Rian at BGM...but it wasn't finished and, anyway, I was a little intimidated after seeing her INCREDIBLE work hanging in her house, so I quickly showed it and stowed it...(You probably don't remember, Rian, it was that quick! hahaha!) Plus, we were focused on my Jane Stickle top that day, also.  Anyway, here it is:

The star/sunflower had another life; it was a block that I rescued from another project from another challenge for a group on the old Compuserve quilt forum.  We were given a word as a prompt and a piece of fabric which we had to use in our interpretation.  The fabric was the yellow one with the numbers on it and the word was "positivity."  So I, of course, had to make a sunflower block because they always make me smile and smiling is happy and positive, etc., etc., etc.  Yeah, anyway... I made a sickly sweet, happy sunflower, and appliqued a very sweet, very happy bee on the back ground, and just could not bring myself to do anything more with the silly, sweet, upbeat, thing...Actually, I had achieved my goal of making a sunflower block that laid flat (I did it by hand, the only way to make a circular block lay flat, at least for me) and that is really all I was after.  So, all these many years later, when we had our 12x12 challenge and I wanted to do a Vincent piece, I thought of that block and decided to cut it up and use it...yes, I cut up a handpieced block...it was ok, it really was...very freeing...And I machine appliqued the star and the leaf to my background, as well as the spirals and some other diamonds I had that I liked for the trees on the left, and went hog wild machine quilting spirals and circles and sewing on beads...very freeing, indeed...I loved the process of taking a very traditional, hand pieced block, cutting it up, raw-edge machine appliqueing it and a bunch of shapes onto a hand dyed and wildly printed fabric base and then covering it with beads and free form quilting...ahhh, the juxtaposition of eras and methods (hahahaha!  Actually, just plain fun is what it was!)...  Bonus question: can you find Mars in the starry, starry sky?

The back:

The base fabric of the back I found in my mother's stash.  She had made a tablecloth for her little patio table with it years ago and it really was so typical of her.  I liked the flowers and it makes me think of her.  The spirals were rejected ones for the front...I am so into spirals in my life, I couldn't not use them even though they didn't go well on the front. The label with the original inspiration paintings was transferred with Bubble Jet, though the Sunflower painting got a little washed out in the rinse even though I used Bubble Jet Set, too.

Oh, here is the original incarnation of the star/sunflower...you see what I mean...too sweet and contrived...ahh, how our tastes change...I still like that bee...his wings were made from a lace print and I drew the lines on his body with pigma pen...I saved him, maybe I'll use him for something else...or not...


Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!!

..I told you it was coming...=-)  Enjoy!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Finish

An easy finish or two today. Just had to do a few rows on the dishcloth and hide the ends on "George's" scarf.  The dishcloth is out of a groovy Sugar'n Cream Twists.  I had never seen the red/blue/yellow colorway before...and I bought enough for several since I like to tuck them into gifts as a little something extra. The pattern is a waffle stitch that several people in blogland have been knitting recently.

Here is "George," the Pacific Island-ish tiki and scarf model, who lives in one of the planters out by the pool.   

George is an old friend. In another life he resided at my parents' house. My sister brought him to them from Mexico one year back in the early 1960s.  He always sat in the entry of the house (inside the house...why?) while I was growing up, and we sometimes used him jokingly as a hat rack...he looked great in my crocheted tams and straw sun hats, as well as my dad's bucket hats and baseball caps!  Halloween and Christmas always found him in appropriate holiday attire.  I thought he might like to model my Baktus scarf for you since he is such a stylish guy.  This was a fun and easy knit.  The idea is to take your yarn, weigh it, knit half of it, increasing every 4th row, then when you reach the halfway point of your yarn, start decreasing at every 4th row until you are done and, hopefully, the yarn is all or mostly gone.  It is a great stash buster and never comes out the same twice because if you are truly using leftover yarn you probably never start out with the same amount or type.  It is what I was knitting in the post where I got the big idea to do that orange everyday thing.  I used a Misti Alpaca Peruvian Pima cotton and silk and, admittedly, it was not leftover yarn; I didn't buy it specifically for the project but I did buy it last Fall with the intention of making a scarf of some kind (though, now it is too warm to wear a scarf of any yarn...but next Fall it'll be great!) I took it with me to Europe to work on while traveling because it was so easy and I didn't have to think hardly at all while knitting.  Unfortunately, I lost a pair of Addi Turbo circulars to the security officer at the Norwich, England airport...grrrrr...The first pair of needles I have ever had confiscated in all the many years I have been bringing them with me on the plane...lesson learned: bring wooden needles...just in case...which I did the next time... 

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Look out birdies--Mama's got a brand new lens...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank you everyone for all the lovely birthday wishes!  I had such a nice day with DS and DDIL.  I did take a quick stroll through an antique mall after tea but I have SO much stuff packed into this house that I am a lot more restrained these days, unless I'm after something specific.  I do like to use my pretty things instead of stashing them away or keeping them just for show, and a person can only use just so many things at a time, so I buy very little any more...BUT...I did notice a thing or two or four found their way into my shopping bag...=-)  I am a sucker for beautiful rose dishes (this one probably is a dresser tray but I'll use it as a dish for cookies or something) and linens (I have at least 10 jillion vintage printed table cloths but this one screamed springtime/summer to me. And, really, Debby?  Another runner??)...and I see a darling pressed glass toothpick holder (which would be lovely with some violets or cecile brunner buds in it) also found its way into the pile...=-)  Oh, and I LOVE the embroidery design on that runner...it is so unusual but appears to be a transfer...it's really so cool...I love how the design is contained within a square shape... and how the border stitches mimic rick rack.  The edge is hand croceted so nicely, also... Ok, I'm not in complete control, am I...

We decided to have a movie evening at home instead of going out to dinner.  We were so full from the tea goodies.  So DS picked up a pizza later on the way out to the house and we watched Up here on the giant tv.  What an incredibly crafted movie..I am sad that it didn't get more recognition this year at the Oscars...it was every bit as good as most of its competitors and had a story with such incredible heart.  Yes, I cried...a few times...

Anyway, we had a grand day!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to me! =-) I might as well be happy about it as not…but, gee, I am not good with numbers…especially big ones…=-/  But, when I think about it, when my mom was this age I didn't think she was old, so there ya go...it's all in our minds, isn't it=-)

Lots planned for today. Going for afternoon tea with DS and DDIL in the antique district of town…and I feel the need to shop comin’ on, so what better place!?

I've heard from DD today already, and have an intriguing box that came in the mail from her still to open.  I just hung up from talking to my sweet best friend/cousin in NY a few minutes ago.  And I know my sister will call... Such nice wishes I'm getting!

Maybe a movie and light dinner this evening…what to see, what to see…I think Jeff Bridges is going to win out over Johnny Depp this time…only because Johnny just doesn’t look like Johnny in Alice…otherwise…well…you know…

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, March 08, 2010

I love this orange jacket, although it is a little tight right now so I can't really wear it.  It is sparkly and casual at the same time...hard to beat that.  I bought it in NY a few summers ago on a sale rack for about $15...I mean, I really had to get it for that price.  Unfortunately that was when I was a few pounds lighter and since it's a little fitted, um, it looked better on me then than it does now =-/...and I could button it then.  Sheesh, I remember when I was younger I wished I would have bigger boobs...Well, it seems that when I put on weight that's when I get them...I'd really rather not have big boobs, I guess...such wisdom comes with age...now if I could just get wiser and get rid of my butt, too...sigh...

Ok, so...I'm tired of the whole posting orange everyday thing...heh...What can I say, I get bored easily...So, I think a week was enough... It was fun and I learned that a theme for me only lasts about a week then it is time to move on...I wonder what I'll come up with next...if anything...=-) 

I've been hand quilting like a (sorta) fiend on my Jane Stickle quilt since the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  I find it relaxing and I love seeing it get ever nearer to completion...I'm not promising that I won't put it away again and let it simmer some more at some point (Did I already say this?  Sounds familiar.) In fact, I'm fairly certain I can promise that it definitely WILL go back to simmer! In any case, I'm enjoying it now...

"They" say one more night of light rain then we will have a "warming trend."  I love that we have had so much good rain recently, though, because it makes the hills green.  The longer they are green, the longer I like it here and don't start pining for NY...which will start soon enough.  But, we have a cruise at the end of May and into June before I can even start thinking about my little house...Well, actually, I think about it all the time...but before I can think about GOING to it...My sister did a drive by today and sent me a snowy picture of it, it looks so sweet and lonely...but I can wait a few months...had enough snow and cold for this year in Scotland ...yep...

Have a great week everyone.  Hope you enjoyed the orange thing while it lasted =-)  Since this is my birthday week, I may just have to come up with some way to celebrate...=-)


Sunday, March 07, 2010

A dark, gloomy day here in SoCA...but not in my scarf drawer...=-)

This is a beautiful (orange) vintage silk scarf (I wear this one a LOT) that I bought years ago in a resale clothing shop downtown while on a girls' day out with DD.  She tries on all the lovely tiny-waisted vintage dresses and and darling hats and I haunt the accessories cases and racks...perfect recipe for a perfect afternoon =-)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

This photo is my very favorite orange item in my house =-)  And the subject is my very favorite "orange" thing in my life =-)  This is DS in October, 1983, at the pumpkin patch, and his hair really was/is the color of those pumpkins, though softly so, not garish at all...and I love it!!  He was almost 2 years old when this was taken.  We had just had a great Southern California late October day at the beach, digging in the sand, wiggling our toes in the water of the bay, running and jumping and laughing and squealing.  At the time, I was pregnant for his sister so it is doubly evocative for me.  I had already decided before I went into labor at the end of January that I would take this photo with me to the hospital for my breathing focal point, because it just drew me in and I could get lost in it and because I loved it so much. I could hear his giggles just by looking at it...I still can... The problem with that plan, however, was that as soon as any of the nurses saw the picture they would ooh and ahh over it and go nuts cuz he was so darned cute and then they would take it out of the labor room to show someone else or bring someone in to look at it and so I never really got to use it...I ended up focusing on a flower in the wallpaper on the wall next to me... I can't believe that was so long ago.  It feels like yesterday.

Friday, March 05, 2010

When the family cleaned out DH's grandparents' home I took very few things because our styles were light years apart.  However, I did grab this darling little lady for my mom who had many items in her home that were Japanese, and her decorating and aesthetics ran in that direction.  I love it, though it is not anything I ever would have picked out for myself.  I love it because my mother was delighted with it.  And I love it because everytime I look at it I think of her. I can hear her giddiness and see her wide smile when she opened the paper bag, saw it inside, and pulled it out.   It is tiny, and graceful, like she was.  And it has a sweet face like she had.  It sits in front of one of her Japanese marble plaques, just like it did at her house all those years she owned it.  I love it most of all because she loved it.  Oh, and...the vest...the orange vest...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

 I am always finding pertinent quotes when I read, no matter the genre.  Unfortunately, my books come in and go out of my house quickly because I share them and send them on their way as soon as I am done with them these days.  I rarely feel the need to have a book returned to me and I like to think of them making their way around the reader world on a never-ending journey.  Since so many of my books were out the door, and looking in each book for my underlining and highlighting was not practical, I needed a way to keep track of my quotes...so I started writing them in a journal, which has been fun.  I love going back and picking random pages and reading over what I thought was inspirational or important to remember at any given time.  Sometimes I find doodles or sketches in there, too, or lists of something I need to do or buy, or random thoughts I felt the need to write down.  It's a little snapshot of a window of time in my life as I sat and drank my tea and read my book and pondered.  This is the first journal I used for this purpose.  I have always loved the design, it's very quilty...Actually, it is a photo of a quilt...I would love to make one inspired by it someday.  And I LOVE that color combo...especiallly the...ORANGE!  Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

3rd day of color goodness...

This is what's calling my name today...

I can't decide whether to put them in the ground or make a hugely gorgeous stuffed-full pot of them in a large cobalt ceramic container I have and then scatter the leftovers throughout the yard, amidst the poppies that always apppear everywhere to make me smile...oh, come on, you know what I'm going to do...=-)  Orange and cobalt...is there anything more in-your-face cheerful and sunny?!?!?!?!  Cobalt is my absolute favorite color in the world...add a (large) dash of orange...oh, my...=-)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Orange Everyday

...well, at least until I run out of photos of orange things in my everyday life.  I thought it would be fun, since I have just become really aware of how much I am enjoying the color right now, to take pictures of just exactly what the orange things around here actually are...So I will post a photo everyday until there are no more, or until the end of March, whichever comes first...I think I'll run out before the 31st but it does keep appearing over and over... 

So, yesterday when I had this kinda goofy color brainstorm I was actually wearing something appropriate for this post.  This is one of the many scarves I own and wear.  I love, love, love scarves...all kinds...knitted, crocheted, woven wool or cotton or silk or most any fiber, vintage, new, large, small, square, rectangular, long and narrow, plaid, print, floral, brightly colored or subdued, funky, classy...all kinds...Anyway, this is the one I was wearing yesterday, a lovely long silk rectangle that I bought in Glasgow at the Glasgow School of Art gift shop.  The print is a Charles Rennie MacKintosh (of course) :

This is a plaque on one of the walls inside, and a picture of DD (in the boots) at the steps of the front entrance to the school.  She would love to get her Master's degree here, I think.  Actually, if I were a young person right now I would think hard about it, myself...knowing now what I didn't know back then when I actually was a young art student...sigh...how times change, eh?

A cool mosaic window inside...very quilt-arty:

My baby (yes, I knit that hat):

Don't you love the details...how the windows on the doors look like they are flowers with calyxes and long stems, and the brass plates with the writing are so cool, and of course the sign above... Unfortunately, we were unable to take a guided tour of the school because we had to leave Glasgow before the next one started.  We did, however, explore as much as we could of this fantastic building and spent a good deal of time in the gift shop, which was lovely.  I got the scarf, a sketchbook, a canvas bag, and various other things...Fun, fun!

See ya tomorrow with some more orange =-)

Monday, March 01, 2010

The Olympics are over.  I can't say I watched much more than the ice skating and a little speed skating...and I missed the pairs skating completely...But while I was watching I hand quilted 15 more blocks and 2 1/2 border triangles on my Jane Stickle quilt.  I did knit a little, too, but mostly I quilted...and sometimes I dozed...cuz I watched it late at night off the DVR.  So, now I have more than twice as much quilting done as I did at the start of the Games, which is a good thing!

After lunch at a cafe in a neighborhood closer to town, we went out looking at houses this afternoon...once again we have the house hunting bug.  This bites us every so often, we spend a few weekends going to open houses, driving around neighborhoods we like and then, eventually, the itch eases and we settle back into our house, usually with ideas of ways to make it better.  Who knows, maybe this will be the time that we actually find something we can't live without and we actually move.  I'm ready for a change I know that...

While we were out today we meandered towards the beach in time to watch the sun set and, boy, the water was wild and rough!  Must be either residual from the stormy weather we've had or leftover Pacific tsunami action or something (we didn't have any tsunami action, they just warned us that the west coast "might" see some changes in currents and tides).  There were not many surfers out in it but there were a few diehards.  That water is not warm, it made me feel even colder than I actually was to see them there, wetsuits or not!

I'm having a real affinity for orange right now, buying it, wearing it, knitting with it, even eating oranges and tangerines and tangelos...what is up with that...What color is making YOU smile right now?