Thursday, September 29, 2011

Missteps & misunderstandings

On Friday George went to see a friend, Ed, to try to get help making his iphone work. It didn't even tell the right time. That lead him & Ed to the apple store. It turns out that iphones and Macs are connected/integrated in fact.

I had been teasing George about not using his iphone, but neither of us knew that mine was more functional than his. I thought he was being 'resistent' to learning newness.

One thing quickly led to another, & soon George had bought Macbook Air. He left his old computer there for data transfer & gave the salesman -- no, saleskid-- his passwords.

Saturday he went back to get the new purchase, and the place was packed. He asked to pick up his new computer and was misdirected to sit where the new lesson was to be given to other new purchasers. It took him a long time to get through to the sales person what was really required, because he failed to use the term 'data transfer'. So, when he did sit with the Air Book it turned out they hadn't transfered his stuff, only mine.

He returned on Sunday, with Ed again. I am, by this time, calling Ed George's Virgil, guiding George through apple purgatory.

Every time George tells the story there is much emphasis on various young ages of the staff at apple and there various accents in english, everything from chinese to irish...

The young saleskid quickly realized that Ed was more comprehending than George, so all directions were verbally given to Ed who would then translate to George. Comic. Well, also George has his improved hearing aids in and the din of the store is not helpful.

The airbook is now here & slowly being learned about. We have had many conversations about the alienation of elders to this new paradigm, & how this feeling happens so often through the ages, when something familiar is replaced. George was super-technological as a test pilot, really up on the latest & newest developments. So the experience was humiliating, causing much reflection, introspection & so on.

Wednesday morning my wallet was missing. I was very clear about where I had been, so two un fruitful calls were made, seach of car, & calling Visa. It was clear that the wallet had not been stolen for a spending spree.
I have only two credit cards in my wallet, so that part was easy. I went to the bank to get a new cash card. My favorite manager there told me to turn over a cup, and look for the wallet. I tell my daughter to do this, she told me. It works.

An upsidedown cup is on my desk & I thought I'd wait a bit hoping for a phone call, before replacing all my other cards. Oh blah! I have NO idea where my misstep was or my inattention. Often when I loose things I am able to reconstruct that moment of loss.

Last night we talked about humiliation.

So today's photos are for chaos... and randomness... & loss...

... and mishap

That's it for now.

Monday, September 26, 2011

what is it about rainy days

I love them for time for hunkering down on projects.

Forget the errands, forget the to-do list of trivia, and do something intense.

The dawns and sunsets and clearly shifting & the mood has changed.

Starting to think about Canadian Thanksgiving... & American too.

Mid-October Lucy & Timmo, Joslyn & Rip are coming for a visit. That means that my 4 grandchildren & 3 children will assemble.

That might lead to  hide & seek, charades, games of Russian Bank & who knows what else.
I am looking forward to it.

And now I will choose where to put my energy for today's work. What a luxury & pleasure!

That's it for now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

starting new work

I am mostly unpacked from the workshop week.

My two friends who had MRIs last Tuesday both had no drastic diagnosis from it. So I am relieved, very.

I set up this quilt this morning listening to Michael Enright & Stuart MacLean on CBC.

And the quilting has begun. It was a perfect rainy day for it.

This is a thank you quilt I'm working on for my friend Leslie who has been a total brick for our family this past year & a half. 

I was impatient about taking a picture of it and some raindrops fell on it out of my dogwood tree... I hope they don't stain. Otherwise when it's done I'll right away need to have it dry cleaned. Oh Geeze.

These are on the frame, so they are not straight. It's fun setting up new patterns with quilting puckers. The pattern is actually pretty calm which is what I want, though there are irregularities. Making the perfect geometry of quarter circles just didn't happen. Cloth is like that for me. That's its charm and interest, I hope.

 This one's going to be hand-stitched. 

Here are the drips.

Actually the spread of the watermarks are fascinating to me. In Susan's class I look pictures of another occurrence of that....

That's it for today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thanks to Susan Shie

Pronounced Shy.

Susan is legally blind, but my god, that girl can see & work in detail. I think of her as a seeing miracle.

And she has produced a huge body of work & writing on her quilts. 

Her quilts mix social commentary & family history. She is, I believe, a living treasure. I've told her all this so she can just feel happy all over again!

I love this one of the Magical Cupboard of Loving World accompanied by  the Pie of Precious Peace & Big Duck Full of Understanding.
And lots of glitz.
We're going to need some help if we are getting to the loving world, even glitz.

Susan told us these colors weren't true, but you get the idea. This is about her can named Maggie who died and who obviously attained sainthood.

And this one is about her home town in Ohio. She put all her favorite business on one convenient street and placed the real map in the center.

You can see more of her work and catch more of her style and humor & true potical grit by going to her website

That's all for today, though I could gush for a long time about how much that workshop was for all of us 11 lucky people.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

End of Day 4

Tomorrow I want to post some of Susan's work and tell you about her.

But today... our theme was fish which I totally didn't want to do, so I did Umbrella. My Umbrella Woman is actually in the midst of a big rainstorm and the fish, grudgingly included, are swimming into the clouds....

She looks pretty serious to me. Maybe I'll have to sweeten her smile a bit.
Then some words and some of the story starts getting added...

This is lit with indoor lighting.... That's why it's so yellow.

Please notice some fish swimming up the rain.....

That's it for today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mid day # 3 with Susan Shie

FYesterday's theme was vegetables.  Here's my sketch of the ideas I have.


Before the story writing......

After story writing. So fun. Our group is starting to cohere. That's a pleasure too.

But I also discovered the best mural ever [for me] in our neighborhood around Maiwa East.  It's by Richard Tetrault, I'm sure, though I can't find his signature.

Oh my!! I love the way he holds this together for two blocks at least.

Finally, me just before I am going to heat set the work AND be a good mask-wearing woman....

Frightening, no?  That's it for now....

Day 3 with Susan, before

Well I struggled with the blogger photo-dept for 12 hours and maybe it'll now do what I want...... I tred doing something to get it moved off it's constant behavior.

Yesterday was wonderful. Our theme for the work was vegetable.  Here's how I look just before I iron my work as it develops:.....


Where shall I kick the machine?? What am I doing rong?

3rd Day with Susan Shie

At the height of my ironing in this course this is how I look.


What the hell is wrong. The photos I have from yesterday I can't access!! SO frustrating. I don't get it. I am in a dark maze & have no idea how to get out of it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Susan Shie workshop

The atmosphere of the upstairs Maiwa East studio... aprons, paintbrushes, dress patterns, & thread.......

We made a long list of possible themes. Of those 3 were chosen to vote on: sea, light, poetry.

Sea was chosen, and immediately I mentally went to Sea, See, & C...

We drew first in black on a patch of cloth, then ironed the cloth, then painted the image, then ironed, and last wrote out our idea on the cloth, and ironed again.

I forget to photograph the first drawing stage..... oh well, here's 2nd stage....

So I have the cursive letter C making the waves, the seeing eyes, & the ocean.

What was surprising to me was how all of this paled after ironing & drying.

The eyes meant seeing & the camera [c is for camera].

  C was for cute, cuddle, co-incidence, & continuity. C is for a constant in math

Seeing is a great constant in my life

The sea is a constant for life on earth

One of the happiest parts of today was the success of color. I loved what happened with the mixes I chose: yellow, saffron, teal blue & green & royal blue.

Now I realize I've been in this color zone before.

Tomorrow we work with the theme vegetables. Hmmmmmm...

That's it for today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Time for some greyness photos. It feels like a super cozy day.

There's the beginning of this too.....

                                        That's it for today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

really, truly

I don't connect quilt with guilt or the other way round....

It's just that they rhyme and that did amuse me.

 This quilt is about my thread rack.

yesterday's question

[third try .....
today i'm really pissed off with blogger because they have no back-up saving system if i err, and err i did x 3 with the catextrophy, geek trajedy, manuscrapped outcome]

so my amusing thought/question of yesterday was

from guilt to quilt


from quilt to guilt

i realized that i come down on the quilt to guilt side
this is because of my puritanical/new england upbringing where there was a strong expectation that your life be worthwhile, socially beneficial & not frivolous
is making art, which is so much fun, frivolous & without social value?
i can easy argue myself out of this silly thought/question & often do, but it does lurk

i made my first quilt top in 1960
10 years of 3 sisters making clothes in the 1950s gave me ample material
i put the quilt top on an eiderdown and backed it

my chicago cat peed on it & i hung it out my 4th story window hoping to air the smell off
but being in chicago the wind carried it off onto the street below & i clearly remember thinking to myself that i would just let it go

each quilt has a story
last night i heard a new chapter
one of my quilts got laundered and it ran like crazy
the owner was mortified as if she had done something wrong
but i knew that i was the guilty one
clearly i hadn't properly rinsed my dye work before starting the quilt
i send her home with sintropol soap and new directions
& my abject apology

quilt to guilt struck again

i close with a guilt-free quilt from april 2010

.....the work on my work wall and the other shots are details showing the quilting details

this project started with a b/w study that was way more complex & then reduced because it was giving me too many headaches in piecing

see below

 oh struggle memories!

best of all i prefer from quilt to quilt
just make more

that's it for today
i made it to the end w/o being wordwiped

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 days with Ilze Aviks

What a wonderful 5 days. The studio was rather like being on board an already laden ship & having to make due in whatever was left in the way of space to work in with 14 other people!! ...... Well, enough whining!......

For 5 days I/we vacillated between monoprinting in all kinds of ways and stitching & collaging into the work.

The piece above is only partly stitched, but I feel like new doors are opening....

I am beginning to imagine taking these techniques forward into new work.

We sometimes painted on plexiglass and then took a fabric print off that. The gestural stroke above is an example of that....  followed by very ordinary linear stitching.

I took a braided round form & I put paint on it -- red & black -- & I put fabric on top of the braiding and pressed down & to get a print.

This is the wonderful, as I said before, accidental fun of monoprinting.

Then we had a 2-layer transparent sandwich exercise.....

Oh MY!!  Here I am working with a silk organza sandwiching other transparent and non transparent fabric. No monoprinting here.


More work with organza that has been monoprinted. Overlapping & stitching. Ilze said that this is was brave work. I agree. The composition is very random [?] or...?   But I was beginning to come to grips with possibilities.

That's it for now.