Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A moving and powerful exhibit!

I'm sharing some pieces from an exhibit in the new gallery at the college where I work.  I have been in three times and find a new favorite piece each time! 
This is the artists's statement on the show.

You can see more about the gallery and the exhibit here.

One of my favorite pieces is included in the wall of women.

Text: "Gradually....

 I took many pictures close up since I was sure the full impact would be lost in a single picture.  Make sure to note the text written over the photo.

...Among the duties and...

...responsibilities and children...

....I lost myself."
The wooden books are very interesting.  You have to go around a couple of times to be sure you've seen the whole piece.

The house is the part that takes so long to appreciate- and where you find a new favorite each time.Inside and out covered with the smaller tiles.

I think I'd get more out of it if I understood Spanish.

Eye shadow pots as embellishment

Made with hair and fingernail clippings. Read the verbiage- in red.

There were pieces included about domestic abuse, as well as the ones I found most moving- the ones involving self image and being a woman in general.  I'm sure each person is affected differently.  Isn't it amazing how these women are so able to express themselves this way????? 

My green tip this time is  one I often forget- take the labels off the cans and bottles you recycle and recycle them separately.  If you don't the paper is burned. By recycling the labels, we can save one million trees a year!!!

I am grateful for:
Access to art that inspires and touches me.
Jane's new fabrics are up on her website!
Leftovers so I don't have to cook every night.
Excedrin on "those" days!
Meditative time in the sewing room.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What I'm working on

 It's been a while since I posted pictures of the project I've been working on.  There's a reason for that.  I've decided it might be my entry for a challenge.  So I can't do a reveal for a while yet.  But I can tease you with some of the quilting I've done.    I am having a great time with this piece- and with the "excellence". 

(By the way, I recently realized I posted the pictures of it twice.  I sort of got the machine twice, so I guess that was why I did it.  It's a cute story- maybe I'll tell it in a later post)

I also finally finished a scrap quilt I started last
summer! I was still teaching Scrap Therapy then, and this was a new pattern I couldn't wait to try.  Since we never taught this one, I made it my "leaders and enders" project.  It finally got to the point where I had to stop and put the blocks all together.  I love this pattern!!  It's called "Square Deal".

My new Leaders and enders project is also from Scrap Therapy- called Star Light, Star Bright.  I loved this pattern, so i decided I'd use up some of the Christmas scraps on  another version of it.

At my Guild meeting this month we had a presentation on Portrait quilts, from my BFF Mary.  You may remember the quilts she made of the two of us last year from this post.  She loves doing this kind of quilt.  She even won a 3rd place ribbon last spring for her life sized quilt of her son!  After the presentation some of us were lucky enough to have her teach us how to do it ourselves! 

I used this old picture of my husband and son.  This hung over my work space back then, so it was a special picture!  I haven't gotten very far yet, but the process isn't hard and it's kind of like doing a puzzle because you can't wait to see how it looks when it's done!

Hopefully next time I'll have at least all the pieces fused down to show.

My Green Tip for this time is a reminder that green is part of everything we do. Are you a "fashionista"??  You happily trade in last year's wardrobe for the new colors and freshest styles??  
The textile industry also causes environmental damage.  The chemicals used to grow natural fibers, the dyes for our favorite colors, the power used at the manufacturing plants...It all causes more environmental damage.
So think about what you buy.  Make smart choices, find ways to make the old work. Buy something that won't go out of style, then add accents in this year's hot color. Shopin the second hand stores and save money as well!

I am grateful for:
A visit from a dear "old" friend.
Fresh apples, so crisp and juicy the pop when you bite them.
Baking weather!
Creative people who inspire and encourage me.
Second chances.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Green tips

I've been forgetting the "green tip" in my last couple of posts.  Why is it so easy to start a bad habit and so hard to start a good one?

I am very sad to see the way environmental concerns have taken a way back seat lately.
The New York State Attorney General swore he'd make the environment a top concern and no way would he support "Hydrofracking".  In fact he was suing to keep it out of New York!  But now he has to defend the regulations the DEC has set forth (basically allowing the "frackers" to police themselves).
President Obama recently decided to pretend he was George Bush by saying the new EPA regulations were too much of a burden to business.
There was also a recent survey in which a slight majority of people said the economy and creating new jobs was more important to them than protecting the environment.  ( I believe this was new Yorkers in regard to "fracking" again, but could not find it)
I know it makes me sound elitist and like I think I'm more enlightened than everyone else, but how can people not see the big picture?

So- I do what I can.
I bring my shopping bags to the store.  If I forget in stores where I am only buying a couple of small items, I reject a bag entirely. If I'm in the store with a cart half full when I remember, I go out to the car and get them- that's a good way to not forget again!
I limit my driving.  I don't go to the store for one thing, or drive 50 miles for something I can get locally.
I keep my thermostat set very low in the winter and wear an extra layer. 
I do not buy seasonal items, throw them away and buy new ones the next year.
I compost my food waste to reduce my landfill usage.
I recycle everything it is possible to recycle, and pick up after others who do not. (I have picked water bottles off the top of trash cans in public places.  My husband loves that one)

All of these are simple things each one of us can do ( no, you do not have to be a trash picker).  But if everyone did it, we could make a HUGE difference!

I am grateful for:

Living in a country where I can make a post like this and not be arrested for it.
The brave men and women who protect my freedom every day.
Late summer days.
Sleeping under a quilt with cool fresh air coming in the windows.
Getting a major project done in the garden.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer's last dance

As we face the end of another summer, I cannot say I will be broken hearted.  I am not a summer person, although August was nearly perfect: enough rain to keep things green and make gardeing more pleasant, cool nights for sleeping and the heat and humidity haven't come back!  Still, I am ready for the change of seasons.
 Meanwhile, I am trying to enjoy the gifts of late summer!

Mr Dragon is smiling because he loves the Chrysanthemums!

The coleus blossoms are fading, but the colors are still glorious

LOVE the texture of the seeds in the center of a sunflower

Busy Bumbles gathering pollen while they can

Pokeweed berries almost ready for the Mockingbirds to gobble up

I've been spending long days in that terribly overgrown section of garden I mentioned earlier in the year.  There was no saving it, so I'm sort of starting over.  I hope the Lupines survive the trauma they have suffered! (The pile of sad looking leaves in the lower right corner are the Lupines)
I am grateful for:
Surviving the end of year purchasing process.
Preseason football (otherwise there'd be NOTHING on tv!)
The occasional day where I can do "nothing"
Hurricane Irene wasn't as bad as they thought she would be.
Audio books