Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thoughts on Turning Sixty

So, today is the big day.  I'm turning 60.

What is it about that number that a upsets me?  It jarring.  I've haven't been bothered by the so-called milestone birthdays before, but I do think there is something scary about this one.  It's such a very big number.  Does turning 60 mean I am old now?  I don't want to be old.  I don't want others to think I'm old.  I don't feel old.  Am I old?

Okay, rereading that last paragraph I seem to be stressing the word "old" a bit too much. Why?  I don't feel any different today than I did yesterday.  Is it because today I qualify for the senior discount at the movie theater?  Am I afraid that I will feel a sudden craving for the early bird dinner special?   And that I will start prefacing every story with "in my day...?"  Did I go to bed middle aged and wake up old?

Whether I'm 59 or 60, I have the same great life.  I'm healthy, happy and secure.  I'm doing exactly what I want to do, working full time as a fiber artist.  I work in a fabulous studio.  I have good friends and a great husband.  I am able to travel around the world.  I love my life.

So, I have decided to embrace it!  I'm 60!  I'm a sexagenarian!  Hooray!  Celebrate with me!  And I know it is a cliche, but I truly hope that the best is yet to be!

After all, in my day......

Monday, September 25, 2017

Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch Opens in Abilene!

Jay and I drove to Abilene on Saturday for the opening of the new SAQA Texas show, Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch.  It was an adventure!

We stopped on the way at the Smokehouse Restaurant in the tiny town of Thurber, TX, population five.  The restaurant, which is known for chicken fried steak, was quaint.  The chicken fried steak was a little tough.  Oh well.
Jay at the Smokehouse
The artists met for dinner at a really lovely restaurant in downtown Abilene, Cypress Street Station.  It was a lovely meal, with delicious food and great company.
Barbara and Deborah at dinner
The show was held at the Center for Contemporary Arts.  It is a lovely space, and the show is fabulous!
Quite a few of the artists were able to attend the opening.  Gay Young, who curated the show, tried to herd us together for a group photo.  Well, most of us are in the picture.....
Jay with her quilt
A quilt by Gay Young.  I love her work!
 Jay and I had heard about a large statue, Jacob's Dream, that stands on the campus of Abilene Christian University.  We met the artist, Jack Maxwell, at the reception.  So of course on Sunday morning we stopped to see it.
Jacob's Dream by Jack Maxwell
 It was surrounded by blocks of limestone.  They were very cool.

Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch will be on exhibit until November 11 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Abilene.  If you get the chance, go see it.  It's wonderful!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Yesterday was a Very Good Day

I woke up yesterday feeling a little blah.  For several reasons:
  1. It is late September, my favorite time of year, but it is still horribly hot and humid in North Texas.  Where is fall?
  2. I haven't spent much time in the studio since I got home from vacation.  Between workmen in the house and post vacation errands, I've been busy but not artistically productive.
  3. I am just over a week from my 60th birthday.  Big blah on that one.
I grumped around the house a bit, and then headed to the studio.  I'm working on this:
I'm not sure where it is going, but I'm enjoying the journey.  And my furry assistant seems to approve of the piece, as well.  I spent the entire day cutting, sewing and ironing.  The day was already looking up.
About mid-morning, I checked my e-mail and found that my SAQA benefit auction quilt had sold.  Wow!  I'm very happy that my donated piece sold to support such a wonderful organization.  This is turning out to be a very good day!
In the mid-afternoon, I received an e-mail from International Quilt Association telling me that Schist #2 had won a prize in the judged show at International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I won't know what prize I've won until the Winners' Circle Celebration on October 31.  I am honored, amazed and over the moon!  Oh, what a fabulous day!
And it wasn't over yet.  In the evening, Brian and I attended the opening of Misty Keasler's "Haunt" at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.   The exhibit features photos of commercial haunted houses around the USA, and they are fascinating.  And beautiful.  And eerie.  Some are really scary.  For example, look at that clown.  Would you want to run into him at a haunted house?  Or anywhere at all?
One room of the museum features portraits of haunted house workers in costume.
I was looking at the portraits when I was grabbed by a very spooky bunny.
All in all, a very good day indeed! 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Opening Reception for New SAQA Texas Show

Tuning Fork #11, ©2017
Join us at the opening reception of "Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch," an exhibition of work by Texas Studio Art Quilt Associates members, on

Saturday, September 23, 2017
7:30 to 8:30 pm
The Center for Contemporary Arts
220 Cypress St.
Abilene, TX  79601

The exhibit will be on display between September 20 and November 11

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

NTAQ in September

NTAQ met at Kay's in September.  As always, I left the meeting inspired and excited.  Our members had been very busy since the last meeting and had a lot to show.

Bethany had been sun printing.  The top piece was done with cyanotype paint.  I've never tried it, but I may have to.  Bethany's leaf print was stunning:
She had also dyed yards and yards of fabric.  I love this gold/orange piece:
Michelle and Kay had to miss the August meeting.  So they showed off their Leger pieces, which the rest of us showed in August.  
Michelle's  featured woven fabric circles and rectangles.
Kay's was graphic and stunning 
You can see the other pieces, as well as the original inspiration painting, here.

Wendy showed some pieces from her abstract circle series:
And a new blue and gray quilt.  She used recycled shirting fabrics in this piece:
Kay has been doing a lot of arashi shibori.  She made this:
Our challenge this month was to make a quilt based on one of the paper collages we made during our July or August meetings.  Here are the pieces we came up with, with the collages (except for Kay's red piece) that inspired them.

As for my show and tell, well, I've been on vacation.  But I did manage to finish my challenge piece (bottom left above) and finish piecing the "ugh" quilt (see the story of the "ugh" quilt here.)  So I showed the "ugh" quilt and received some very useful feedback.  In fact, I'm going into the studio to do a bit of ripping and redesigning this morning.  I'll keep you posted.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday, Confessions of a Fiber Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.  Go see all the wonderful work there!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Salt Marsh Obsession Continues....

Salt marshes line the coast of Cape Cod on both the bay and the ocean side of the peninsula. The long stretches of green and gold grass, divided by meandering channels of blue water, provide both picturesque views and an important habitat for many species of birds, turtles and fish.  

Many of the marshes have been harmed by development.  Many are bisected by roads and railroad tracks, cutting off the flow of seawater into portions of the marsh.  Many have been filled, dredged and drained.  More than a third of the Cape's marshes have been lost.  Today, groups are working to restore them.

I am endlessly fascinated by the salt marshes.  Each year, while visiting the Cape, I spend a large amount of time looking at them.  Watching the herons and seabirds fish in the shallow waters.  Trying to spy crabs and turtles. Watching the tide ebb and flow.  Watching the wind ripple through the grasses.  The colors, the shapes, the movement all entrance me.  I will admit I'm obsessed.

This year was no exception.  
Nauset Marsh
The marsh near First Encounter Beach
Nauset Marsh
Nauset Marsh 
The marsh near Wellfleet Harbor
Me and the marsh

Friday, September 15, 2017

My September Studio Newsletter is Out


September 2017

The SAQA Benefit Auction Begins Today!

The SAQA Benefit Auction starts tomorrow! You can view all of the 12" x 12" quilts available at Friday, September 15, is Diamond Day, when every quilt will be available for $1,000. Next Monday, September 18, Section One quilts will be available starting at $750. Each day, the price will be reduced, but you might miss out on the piece you want if you wait too long!

The auction benefits the Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc., an international organization which promotes art quilting. The proceeds from the auction helps us send our exhibitions around the world.

My quilt, Tuning Fork #37, is in Section One.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm featured on Lisa Call's "Make Big Art" blog!

Lisa is featuring artists and their sketchbooks on her blog.  And today I am the featured artist!

I LOVE my sketchbook.  I use it daily to record my life as an artist.  It is a wonderful tool, one I truly feel that every artist should use, so I was excited to have the opportunity to share it with everyone.
A page from my sketchbook
If you don't currently keep a sketchbook, think about starting one.  It is well worth the effort! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September on Cape Cod

We just got back from our annual trip to Cape Cod to visit B's dad.  And, as always, it was a wonderful and relaxing trip.

B and Pop
We did all of our favorite things.  Visited our favorite beaches (which are wonderfully uncrowded after Labor Day):
First Encounter Beach, Eastham
Ate in some of our favorite restaurants:
Karoo in Eastham -- great African food
Captain Frosty's -- fried clams, chowder and lobster rolls
I was really lucky to connect with some fellow fiber artists on the Cape this year.  Judy Sebastian, librarian and art quilter, gave us a tour of the new Eastham Public Library:
Judy invited me to the Cape Cod SAQA pod meeting.  I was thrilled to meet some fellow art quilters and to see their wonderful work.  This is a closeup of a piece by Jane:
And Judy showed several pieces, including some fabulous silk scarves.
Art is everywhere on the Cape:
We visited our favorite places:
B at Wellfleet Harbor
 We hiked the Red Maple Swamp:
This grinding rock is along the Red Maple Swamp Trail.  Used by the Nauset Indians to sharpen their tools.
Even on the trail, I was keeping track of the Cleveland Indians' baseball game.  I love my hometown team!  And they are on a huge winning streak:
 I've never seen so much goldenrod.  It was beautiful -- that rich yellow is one of my favorite colors.  Especially when it is blooming in front of a huge glacial erratic.
 We watched the Eastham Windmill Weekend parade.  It's a great event.
I'm a sucker for a Scottish Pipe Band:
Sharks have been abundant at the Cape this summer.  One even walked in the parade.  You have to keep your sense of humor.....
One highlight of the parade is the Minutemen:
The best part, of course, was the Veterans' Float.  Because Pop was one of the veterans invited to ride on it.  We cheered loudly when he passed us by.
Pop was invited to speak at the Provincetown VFW meeting.  It was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Air Force.  Pop was in the Army Air Force during WWII, and as the senior Air Force person at the meeting, he was asked to cut the cake.
We love our Cape Cod house and we love spending time with Pop.  Can't wait until next year!

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