Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Busy Couple of Weeks

"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -Harry S. Truman

    As so many of us have shaken our heads and said..."It's going to be a long four years!" I have decided to become more proactive.  I have always voted as soon as I was old enough.  I wanted so badly to vote for John Kennedy but wasn't 21 yet...I had a year to go.  Yes, my children, we all had to be 21 way back then!  But with the current state of affairs, I find it very encouraging to see how many people, including myself, are becoming less complacent and more active.

I have joined three different Democratic Groups in the past three weeks.  First was the Stonewall Democrats of Tarrant County.  I have several friends already active members of this group.

Then the following week, I attended a meeting of the Southwest Fort Worth Democrats, another fine group of active Democrats...I couldn't find a website for them but this link will take you to their Facebook page and information about meetings.

Then just this morning, I attended the Tarrant County Democrats Women's Club...and I was blown away!  Great meeting...they reported that as of the first of January they had 146 members and at the end of meeting today they have a total of 505 members!!  And I was really pleased to see how many young women... 25-45 age group... were there! Wahoo!  We are Women, Hear us roar!!

Although I do want to support all of the organizations, I think I am going to find I have more of an appreciation for this group...I have to  rein in a bit or I won't be able to be effective anywhere!
     
        And another thing I have been working on is my scrappy tablecloth.  I did get it pieced but not quilted yet.

The piles of scrap fabric because I cannot throw anything away!
Starting to sort a little bit into color and size
More sorting
Getting on the wall
More on the wall!                              
And finally to the table!
So on Saturday night I hosted a Circle Supper with seven other people from my church and was able to set my table with my multi colored Fiesta ware and my new, very colorful table cloth!!! (Circle Suppers are a monthly affair....kind of a potluck kind of thing with lots of good food, good wine, and good company!)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Human Rights and a Book Review

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” 
― John F. Kennedy



Movies That Matter Logo
     Last night several of my friends and I went to see a movie at the Modern in Fort Worth.

The Modern Art Museum- Fort Worth, Texas
Every other month, the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission (HRC) shows free films that celebrate diversity and inclusion. Each event is followed by a moderated discussion with local subject matter experts.
"Atomic Mom" was the movie last night.
     The film we saw last night was "Atomic Mom", a documentary style film made by M.T. Silva about her mom, Pauline Silva.  Pauline was a researcher on the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project during the Cold War. At the time, she totally adopted the Cold War mentality and never questioned her work...as she said at the end of the film, if she knew then what she knows now, she would not have kept quiet.  It was a very depressing film but very worthwhile to view.
     The frightening part of seeing a film of this nature is with what is going on in the world today, and with the temperament of our current administration, how close we could come to even more than a cold war!  And the concern that good people who can keep us safe are either "sworn to secrecy" or are too intimidated to speak up!
     Here is a link to the "Movies That Matter" website where you can find out more about HRC and their film schedule for the coming year.
     On a more cheerful note, I don't think I ever reviewed "The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro on my blog.  This is a book I read for my Westside UU bookclub.


This was described as historical fiction and is based on the history of perfume which was very interesting. I had no idea that they could create specialty perfumes for individual persons, but then I am more of a "clean soap" smell kind of girl!  Anyway, a bit of intrigue leads you from New York to London to Paris..across several years and back.  The description of the places and the times as well as the development and competition in the perfume trade makes for a good read.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Book Reviews

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” 
― Francis BaconThe Essays


 I realize I haven't posted for awhile..been busy contacting my congressmen, calling, emailing, sending postcards and letters...anything to get their attention to my unhappiness with what is going on in Washington due of "he who's name I cannot mention".  But I am not going to dwell on politics!   I am going to catch up on some of my book reviewing.


Recommended by a friend
"The Golem and the Jinni" by Helena Wecker really kept my interest.  This is not for those who do not care for fantasy or stories of legends.  A Golem is a creature made of clay who comes to life but must obey his/her master in all things. I had read of these creatures before...mostly if not altogether from Jewish legend.  The Jinni is a mythical creature...like a Genii in a bottle!  These two, a female Golem and a male Jinni, meet in New York City...probably around the early 1900's when a lot of immigrants were coming to our country.  I found it to be fascinating how they were able to survive and actually become human-like throughout the story.

Did I already read this???
Have you ever started a book and thought it sounds familiar? The "Art of Forgetting" by Peter Palmieri was one of those books for me!  But I couldn't put it down because I had no idea what was coming next!!  It is a medical mystery...and a mystery to me as to whether I had read it before...I did like it ...maybe twice, because I never could decide if I had read it previously!  It did keep me page turning!

Bosch and the Lincoln Lawyer
"The Crossing" is one of Connelly's most recent mysteries.  If you are a follower of Hieronymus Bosch (not the artist, the detective) and the Lincoln Lawyer (think Matthew McConaughey) you will really like this one!  It even makes reference to the movie, "The Lincoln Lawyer"!

Yes, I know I have done this before
The last time I reviewed books, I reviewed "The Muse" by Jessie Burton as an audio book and at that time,  I said it might be one to read.  I have chosen it for my turn at our Villas book club this month.  It had been a while since I had listened to it so I decided to read it.  And I was right about this being a well-written and needing to be read book.  I really like this book...I would give it five stars!!!!

My most recent read book
And lastly, "Life After Life" by Kate Atkinson..I just finished it this morning before posting!  This is the most peculiar book....I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it.  Ursula, the main character, almost dies at birth ....I am not giving anything away by saying that because it happens to her many times!!!  She is born? in 1910 and the book progresses through the 1950s? It can be confusing because it skips back and forth throughout...with different histories for Ursula and those around her.  Compelling reading, but can be a bit frustrating as I was never sure what was real and what was just in her mind! It is interesting though but can be a bit of a struggle so I don't want to rave about it and mislead anyone.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Name Game

“It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.” 
― W.C. Fields

     Seventy-six years and a few months ago, this adorable little girl was born.  Her parents named her Mary Jacqueline with the plan of nicknaming her Jackie. Her paternal grandfather was called Jack even though his name was Jesse.

Mary Jacqueline
Paternal grandfather-Jesse better known as Jack (deceased before Jay was born)

       This baby, Jackie, had a big sister, Judy, who was 21/2 years older than she.  Judy had trouble prounouncing "Jackie"; her version was more of a "Jay"....so everyone called Jackie, Jay.
Big sister, Judy
As "Jay" grew, everyone called her that and as far as she knew....that was her name!  Her paternal grandmother always insisted on calling her Jackie.  That really irritated Jay because THAT sounded like a boy's name!!!!


Paternal grandmother who insisted on Jackie!
     When Jay was nine, her baby brother was born!  So cute...his name was John (maternal grandfather-deceased) Carnes (mother's maiden name)....and here we go...wait for it...Jack is a nickname for John...so new baby became Jackie!  Whew! Pressure off Jay...Grandma now has a Jack in the family!

Baby JACK!
    Time goes by...Jay graduates from high school and is heading to college.  By now she has decided that Jacqueline..or Jackie...is much cooler than JAY!

Mary Jacqueline graduating from HS
     So off to Mizzou goes Jackie...but it didn't stick...18 years of being Jay was just too much.  It actually wasn't too bad...she even gotten invited to a fraternity smoker (that's what they called frat pledge parties) to which she accepted but didn't get to attend once her gender was discovered.

      Okay...zip ahead about 60 years.  Jay often signs her name Mary J. as that is her legal name on all legal documents but she still often uses Jay and wouldn't you know, she gets a lot of Mr. Jay...mail and phone calls.  She has become more vocal on line lately and decided it is time for another name change!  So rather than sign my name "Jay" I am feminizing (is that a word) my name by adding an "E".   So for now on, I will be signing my name "Jaye"...a long time coming!  We'll see how it goes! (This creative name change usually happens in junior high! I'm a little  slow!) 

Jaye....2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Little Bit of Everything

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one” 

― John LennonImagine



       This quote is from one of my favorite songs "Imagine" by John Lennon...if we would just listen to these words and live by them...the world would be as one! Now, to my up and down life with social media!  I stayed off  FB from the election until the inauguration... a nice dry spell to get my head cleared.  I am back on now but am trying to regulate my time and what I actually repost.  I have decided that one cannot sit idly by...that if I am not happy with the world the way it is, I need to say something..I am fact checking what I put out there...I do think there is way too much of reposting whatever is out there just because it sounds outrageous...and that is one of the reasons we are in the mess we are in.

Charlie Rose
       And I have returned to listening to/watching a few talk shows.  One of my favorites on tv is the Charlie Rose Show.  My friend Joy got me interested in him quite a few months ago and I have picked up on him again.  He has a daily M-F show on PBS and has had for years.  He is very non-partisan, has guests from all walks of life...actors, authors, inventors, musicians, etc. I really enjoy hearing his guests, whether I agree with them or not. He can really pull stuff out of them in a very interesting and educational manner.  I tape everything on tv, even the news.  That way I can just fast forward through anything I don't want to hear or see!
       Which leads me to my next topic!!  The last couple of days I have been thinking about cleaning up my studio a bit!  I have drawers and boxes full of scraps of fabric...pieces left over from past projects.  I just couldn't throw it away!!  So I decided to just start sewing pieces  together and see what happens!  While sewing, I usually have the radio, tv or an audio book on.  This particular project has a lot of getting up and down with it, so I decided to get caught up on my Charlie Rose shows.  I am now caught up to today!!! So here is where I am so far on the purging of fabric.....

Just a FEW of my scraps of fabric
What I have done so far on my design wall
I am actually kind of liking this!  I am going to make a table cloth  (82"x52") out of all these blocks.  My daily dishes are multi-colored Fiestaware...bright colors...so I think this will be a good solution of what to do with these chunks of fabric that I hate to think of just throwing away!


Saturday, January 21, 2017

We Are Woman


"Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age." Gloria Steinem

       I didn't march with my sisters today because of a long range previous plan, but I did wear my shirt and I did stand at lunch at the Modern and gave a toast to my sisters in solidarity!! Now back home, I am so proud of my sisters. I am just glued to my iPad watching all the coverage of the day from everywhere!  Here is a link to New York Times pictures from around the world! Please check it out if you have not seen it...it is amazing! It brings to mind the positive reception we had worldwide after 9/11!

Gloria Steinem
       This is a picture of one of my longtime heroes as she spoke in Washington DC today. I am also giving you a link to her marvelous speech....all the speeches were really inspiring!
Washington DC
     And here is a link to some videos in Fort Worth and Dallas. And kudos to all the men who march with the women in support. Of course, many of the concerns...medicare, social security, education, environment, emigration, LGBT,  etc. are not just women-related but human rights.
     I just texted my church to say we should sing Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" as our closing song tomorrow! (I've given you a link to the 1975 song if you would like to hear it!)

     My day was very fun too!  My SAQA gals got together to visit the KAWS exhibit at the Modern and have lunch together. Andrea and I also walked over to the Kimbell to see the Monet which will be leaving at the end of the month.  Tremendous crowds there...and parking was getting pretty crazy because the Fort Worth Stock Show is also going on.  
My Women's March Shirt!
My SAQA sisters...some not all were here
Every time, and this was my third, I have seen the KAWS, I discover something new!  This time, I found there was a sculpture outside...Elmo in the water!

SAQA with Elmo in the background 

Does This Look Familiar?

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Obama Campaign Poster Hope created by Shepard Fairy
     Shepard Fairey is a  young artist who became well-known after his campaign poster for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign long, long ago!  Since then he has developed a whole bunch of posters with this similar design  that are very appropriate for the times.

Shepard Fairey
Self Portrait
New poster for the times
New Poster for the times
And another Poster for the times
     But these are not the only things this talented young man has done...click on the link (his hi lighted name) to see much more of his talent.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. President

“Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.” 
― William Arthur Ward


We are going to miss these guys!!
     There have been several videos on FB of the Obamas and their leave taking from the White House.  I had said I would not be political on my blog and I'm not, but to give homage to such a wonderful couple is not political....showing admiration for and a heart felt feeling of loss at their going, to me, is not political....just putting it out there!!! Here are a couple of my favorite videos! A good bye to Mr. President. And a memorable speech from one fabulous first lady!

Here is a link to his top 50 achievements.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/marchapril-2012/obamas-top-50-accomplishments/ 

This is the picture that came with the article in Washington Monthly..notice the article was written in 2012
 so there are more accomplishments that could be added!

Or here they are listed in an abbreviated form...click on the picture to be able to read it better!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Strong Women

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. Unknown  


     On Saturday, millions of women all over the world are marching to proclaim their solidarity with each other (and some men who are marching  in their support).  These Marches are particularly emphasized in the United States. The immobilization of these forces have been brought about through the fear of not just the loss of women's rights, but the deep concerns for the loss of human rights with the inauguration of a new president.
     There has been no explanation or comforting words from the new administration that alleviates these fears  which stem from the rhetoric spouted daily. The people who are being selected for high, responsible postitions also do nothing to  soothe our concerns.  
      I am reminded of the way our nation was so split over Civil Rights and the Vietnam War back in the '60s and '70's. Do we need to relive those horrific times in order to bring justice and common sense to our nation again?
    I have many friends who plan to march in Washington; my state capital-Austin; and even here in Fort Worth.  I cannot be with them in body as I have a long standing date with my SAQA group to attend the last day of the KAWS exhibit. But I will definitely be with them in spirit!!


     We must be vigilante and heed the words of Edmund Burke-Philosopher and Statesman-1729-1797: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." And I will have to add-good women! Now, I can't say I agree with much of Burke's philosophy because he was pretty conservative ...but I do agree with this statement! So, come on all you good people!  Speak up!!!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

studioQ

 "Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers."   Josef Albers
Josef Albers
      Today was my monthly meeting with studioQ, my local art quilters' group.  Our challenge this month was based on a painting by the artist Josef Albers, "Variant: Four Reds Around Blue-1948"
Our January Challenge
I think I had written about this last month, after our December meeting.  A few us had ours ready to show  as it was given to us in November....then remembering that we had extended our deadline to January because of the busy holidays, most of the group were not ready to show.  I had mine pieced then but not quilted.  I now have it quilted as well so am showing it again...along with all the ones from our meeting today. I apologize for the quality of the pictures...where we met doesn't have very good lighting and I didn't think to put my flash on.
All of our Albers together
       It is always fun to see how each of us interpret our challenges. A couple of our members work with paper rather than fabric.  Somehow I didn't get closeups of either of those but here are some of the individual fiber quilts.
Michelle (sorry..it's a little fuzzy)
Kay
Bethany
Wendy (but for some reason the colors are not very true to her quilt-you can see  better or colors in the group pic.
Andrea
Jay

Colorful aren't we!!! We also showed some other things we were working on and Kay did a demo on using a glue as an aid when creating hexagons to sew.

Kay has her challenge for another group ready...from the KAWS collection
Bethany is making a quilt for a baby shower. The top pink is her own dyed fabric.
Wendy works with blue-
Wendy has been working with shirting stripes lately and has been getting her fabric from men's shirts she has found at  Good Will and other resale shops.
This is the back of Wendy's quilt...we always admire the backs of her quilts as much as  the fronts!
Kay worked with hexagons..the inner stars are from a variety of shibori blues, some she has dyed and some purchased.
Andrea is working on a colorful quilt from fabrics by Caryl Bryer Fallert
"Hope" a smaller quilt made by Andrea from the scraps she had left over from the above quilt.
"A Ray of Hope"...this is a small quilt (6" x 8") that I have made for my donation to the SAQA conference
 for the 2017 Spotlight silent auction.