Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

So summer has officially begun. We spent a wonderful (weather-wise) weekend doing only things we wanted to do. Playing with good friends, grandkids, kids, having drinks on the deck by the ocean in the balmy air. We also made time to picnic in Prescot Park in Portsmouth and found a letterbox...well, Carey did. This particular letterbox must have been planned and hidden by a small child, so for a six year old it was perfect! Of course I made him his own stamp before we left..Darth Vader with a light saber, what else.

Looks like a nun carrying a big stick.

For my family who doesn't see my grandkids half enough:

Carey, Papa and I after we found this beautiful stamp:

And Charlotte. How cute is this little blouse? Her, too.

I think she's decided being vertical is much faster than crawling...halfway across the floor she stood up and walked the rest of the way to her destination. Never to look back.

I just finished reading a great book, The Stone Diaries. It's left me thinking, which good books do. It's a fictional autobiography, complete with fictional family pictures. It addresses the question: How do small lives assume significance and coherence....several lines stuck with me, "She never realized old would last so long"... (I'm in trouble)..."Despair did not suit her looks" and more that hang on and give you something to chew on for a few hours. Or minutes depending on your concentration level. Or memory level. Funny, poignant, sad.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Remember, me?

Why do I think I'm going to remember details. Things I don't need to write down because I know I won't forget. Like what perennials I planted where last year. Like what kind of fruit trees did I buy last year. One still has the tag hanging on it so I know it's identity. But the other? I just spent lots of money on new perennials, planted them in different places, and have I learned from past experience? I'll remember. Dumb, dumb, dumb. What I'm getting around to in a roundabout way is explaining what I wasted at least 3 good hours on yesterday morning. I did a sketch in my journal of an idea for a new wall quilt last march while we were away. I know the 'idea' came from one of the magazines or some form of reading material in the hotel room. Was it a picture for an ad? Was it a phtotgraph in the newspaper that I interpreted and wrote "this has potential" under it? How much is my 'interpretation' and how much isn't ? The really bad part is that I'm loving how this hanging is coming out and I can't even ask anyone for permission to use their 'general idea' because I DIDN'T WRITE DOWN ENOUGH DETAILS!!!

This is the working sketch I took from the smaller one in my journal.

And this is the progress I've made so far.

So three hours of looking through every magazine that it COULD have been. Forget the newspapers.Think I'll learn? Probably not, but I think I'll do a tour of my yard and write some things down before I forget...

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's May and the alewives are running.

Is it alewives or alewifes? No matter, they're fish about 10 t0 12 inches long, some even larger, that are ANADROMOUS, meaning they grow in salt water, but reproduce in fresh water.

Isn't this just the best sign in the Grandma Moses, Maud Lewis sort of way?

The alewives make their yearly migration to Damariscotta Lake to spawn, ( and many other places along the east coast) going back to where they were born. Millions of them. At the same time. The interesting part is that they have to swim UP a waterfall to get there, all 42 vertical feet of it...
so the local fishermen have made a ladder for the lucky few that can make it past their nets, because of course they are waiting for them. They are used for lobster bait these days instead of a food source for humans. The osprey and eagles and seagulls who see an easy snack are also waiting, some more patiently than others.

These seagulls were the noisiest bunch and this is just a few of them waiting and fighting over the fish. All I could hear was "Mine, mine, mine, mine.."

It was decided in the early 1700's that these fish should always have access to their spawning grounds so local legislation has appointed a committee ( in existence since 1807) whose sole purposse is to make sure they can get from A to B. It's a sight to see. One of the natural wonders of living in the state of Maine.

If you look very closely you can see some of them swimming in the water. The ladder is actually constructed of stones and sort of tacks back and forth beside the waterfall, with little 'resting pools' every now and then.

This is what we did this weekend instead of sewing anything for either of the two shows I'll be in in the coming months. But today is another day with great potential! And I have some new ideas floating around in the creative place.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Short little post turned longer than I thought.

I've been working on several things but managed to squeeze this shirt in as a gift for our friend Churchill who has finished 3 years of schooling at the local technical college. No easy feat since he is from Cameroon and has come up against more roadblocks than you can shake a stick at. But, he has triumphed and has been accepted at RIT for the next adventure. He's living with our closest neighbors who met him while they were in Cameroon with Doctors Without Borders. Churchill was the 'electrician' at the 'hospital' David was working in. So there's a big graduation party tonight in churchill's honor, and I made this shirt. Without a pattern. I used a lot of my own hand-dyed fabrics for the pieces and mostly used gold thread for the quilting. And the best detail shot I could get with my camera limitations...or are they mine?!

I also decided I couldn't just let this photo go by the wayside because I think it's just so darn cute...not that I'm prejudiced or anything. Mother's Day weekend. Good family friends for a BBQ. Charlotte, my little granddaughter and Annie, best friends granddaughter attacking the guacamole!! Who woulda thought???! Check out the serious look on their faces..they were INTO it!

They lit into it like there was no tomorrow. Homemade of course.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rainy Day Finds

So what if it's raining and I have the day off. I decided to take off on an adventure to see what I could find in the rain. (Ulterior motive aside).

A little white water, but I loved the smoothness before it falls off the edge.

I stuck to the back roads, preferably back roads I'd never been on. This road is called Appleton Ridge and looks out over the valley and, on a clear day, the ocean beyond. And a tree farm with all the trees marching up the hill:

These trees are gorgeous even in the rain, line and repetition for our Deborah.

And then there was color!! Bright and cheery color:

Of COURSE I bought something:

See those fishes in the basket? One of them is on my counter right now, waiting for a home.

But at the end of my rainy day I found THIS:

Our very own Sarah Ann Smith (playing with her Tableau sheep) and handing over a WHOLE BOLT of PFD fabric just for me!!

And perfect timing...the SUN is out and so am I to work in the garden mud!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

As Promised

Here it is monday after a very nice Mother's Day. Two packages waiting for me.

Doesn't this look like it could be a beautiful quilt design? And this one from my daughter who loves to give things in baskets:

Everyone is gone now, and the house is so quiet. We have absolutely gorgeous weather here, but in southern Maine and seacoast New Hampshire they're having a little trouble with rain and big time flooding. Sarah arrived home to at least a foot of water in her basement for the first time ever. And no hot water, but what's worse is the dilemma of what to do. Hard to be so far away sometimes...

On my last post I had promised the final several pictures of the books I've been making...so here goes.

Very simple Calla Lily on a turquoise background...the colors are much better in real life and you can't see the beading around the outside. I think I need a better camera that takes close up pictures.

This one uses both painted and hand dyed fabrics along with commercial fabrics.

On Stephanie's I wanted to use this great Kaffe Fasset fabric I've been hoarding and NOT using. Also used an illustration in a book by Tricia Gould that I found for cheap. Cheap enough to use for collaging. She won't be able to wask this but doubt if she would anyway.

Amy's bookcover is based on the sunflowers she loves, using applique, embroidery and painted, stamped fabric.

I love this one up close. The colors are gorgeous, (one of Melody's hand dyed silks is the squigglys).

Another with mixed media: paper collage, embellishments and the black and green are so nice together.

This last one is all sparkly threads that don't show up very well but there are beads and good stuff appreciated close up.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

I wish you could see this in more detail...it's a cookie bouquet made by Brenda, a very talented cake diva who just happens to work part time in our office. I asked her to make 9 of these to give as gifts to our referring dentist office staffs (mothers). She made one hundred sugar cookies, each one frosted so intricately and beautifully. The top one says "Happy Mother's Day". I felt like the best thing since sliced bread when I walked into the offices with these. Give a front desk person in any office something sweet in the middle of a long morning and they'll remember you, and on a personal level they'll remember you next time you need to get in for an appointment. Bribery? Nah, I consider it money in the bank.

This will be the first Mother's Day without my mother, well, physically. With Alzheimers you leave the ones you love long before your body decides to follow. So as the day's and months go by I find myself thinking of her more often as she was before the BIG A, not after. And honoring the woman she was. I'm finding without her presence in her chair, hunched over and far away, I can remember the before mom much more easily. But what I really want to think about is my kids and how my life is with them in it. They were my life for so many years when they were young, but now grown up and on their own, they still define my thoughts and being, as much as that may scare them. So to all you mother's have a great pampered, (hopefully) day!

And I'll leave you with this:

Thirteen books done. I posted earlier about this commission along with 4 or 5 books that were completed and Monday I'll show you the rest. Hope you'll come back!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I'm a Slacker

I've been away. Does that count for a good excuse for not posting? I've been away doing really good stuff that I WISHED I'd brought my camera along for. A great art opening at a frame shop in Portland, ( you could see the incredible pieces of collage art, all color themed, framed in thick black square frames, 9 of them, hung like a giant tic tac toe). If I had remembered my camera. I met my friend Gretchen in Boston for the day. She lives south of Boston and I live north, so we meet in the middle. This birthday celebration day we had mani's and pedi's (that's what people in the know call them)(I wouldn't know) at a spa on Boylston St. And tea at the Four Seasons. You could see the unbelievable ice cream brownie banana sundae covered with hot fudge and caramel and topped with fresh strawberries and nuts and whipped cream I had, or the miniature key lime meringue pie she had. If I had rememebered my camera. Not to mention the tulips in Boston Common.

I guess my favorite posts are the ones that have pictures, visual person that I am.

So this is what I have today:

My new napkins from the Martha collection at KMart. I bought some new placemats for spring and was very upset they didn't have any napkins to match, until I started thinking outside the box and turned around to find these. They're really towels and I could cut them in half and have twice as many but what a luxury to have a HUGE napkin to cover your whole lap, and that of your neighbor if you so choose. But the fabric is so yummy, and all the different colors! Oh boy.

One more picture.

Stylin' flip flops on a three year in training for greater things to come! Running was a little challenging for Katherine, but she sure looked good trying.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Frayed Edges Monday

I just realized how long it's been since I've posted anything and I guess that's because I'm going through a 'planning' stage? Planning my gardens, planning the new patio, planning a new larger quilt...nothing concrete yet. Or in the case of the new patio, nothing granite yet.

We DID have a long awaited Frayed Edges meeting yesterday. Three of us, minus Deborah, (who is sorely missed), and Hannah who was off gallavanting with her husband instead of us..imagine that! Of course I forgot my camera so I have no photos, but hopefully Sarah will post some or Kate will mail some to me so I can post them. Especially the one of the quilt Sarah made with the pieces from her Diane Hire workshop... I LOVED it. Unfortunately, it's one of those quilts that REALLY needs to be seen up close to be appreciated, beading everywhere you know. Randomly. Interestingly.

Then we had cake. Chocolate and dense. With candles for Kate's birthday. We looked at other things but you know, it's just not the same without pictures, so I'll see what I can do. Later.

And Joanne, are you back YET?