Tuesday, September 19, 2017

NTAQ September meeting

“One who knows how to appreciate color relationships, the influence of one color with another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinite variety of images.”~ Sonia Delaunay
      Today my favorite art group, NTAQ met to share what we had been working on.  We had a bit different challenge this time. The past two meetings, we had been working on collages from paper, concentrating on creating illusional transparencies.  One month we worked in color...for example, if you layered a yellow color with a blue, the area which over lapped would be green. In working with black, white, and shades of gray, it is more a matter of values...lights and darks!

Michelle's-paper collage above/fabric below
Bethany did two
Tina brought the fabric she might use in her collage!
I used my black, white and gray collage.
Heather also did BWG
All our September challenges

Last month we did the Fernand Leger for our challenge but a few of our members were not there so they brought their works this time:
Bethany reworked hers-top:first/lower-redone
    And then we had a showing of other stuff we had been doing and working on....
Bethany has been experimenting with triangles and has a plan to do a quilt
in honor of those who have struggled through the recent hurricanes
And Bethany has been working with some  sun screens with natural items from her yard.

Heather is working on another piece from a paper collage just in
a different color scheme

     Wendy is continues to be our NTAQ over achiever!!!  We all aspire to be like her!

Wendy pointing out changes she would make if doing again.

     Kay, Bethany, Andrea and I had taken classes at the Arlington Expo a few weeks ago. Bethany took a class from Cindy Lohbeck on dyeing 24 shades of color which I didn't get a picture of!  Andrea and I had taken Lohman's Mandala class:
Andrea's Mandalas
Some of my mandalas..My design wall isn't big enough to hold all.
All four of us took Cindy Lohbeck's class on Shibori...

Kay's-another notorious over achiever! Already made her fabric
into a work of art!
    To end the meeting, Kay demonstrated how we created the shibori with all steps but the actual dyeing...all of us are dyers, so those who want to try this can do it on our own. And, of course, the kits, including fabric, dyes, instructions, etc...all you would need can be ordered from Cindy Lohbeck's website.... Hands on Hand Dyes. She will also be teaching at the Expo next year too, so watch for the ads!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Memory Monday

“Relationships don't always make sense. Especially from the outside” 
― Sarah DessenAlong for the Ride

     In my last blog I told of my mother's arrangements for a friend of hers' daughter to go with me to Reno.  Marian was a good friend of mine so it was a good plan.  I loaded up my Ford Fairlaine with all the belongings I would need to live out there; my clothes, my black and white tv, and Dagmar, my German Shepherd.  Marian was going on to California to visit some college friends of hers then fly back to Illinois by herself.

Map of the United States
     Off we took...1,637 miles by today's standards...27 plus hours! We decided to save money by driving straight through, stopping only for potty breaks and gas...and a bite to eat.  We would take turns driving and sleeping.  We crossed the highest part of the Rocky Mountains at night time so we had no idea of how high up we were! One time I was driving towards dawn and, as we came around a curve, there was a herd of cattle on the road being herded by real cowboys. Boy, did that set Dagmar off!  And we two sweet young things were having a blast being surrounded by cattle and cowboys!
Highway coming down from the Rockies
     As we came into  Nevada, we had to cross the Great Basin Desert.  There were gas signs all along the way for miles telling just how far to the next gas station, to be sure and fill up and check the radiator to see that there was plenty of water in it.  We started into the desert then decided we had better go back and fill up, etc. We had passed a car with a guy standing along the side; he was still there  on our return trip.   After we had been by him for the second time, we got to wondering if he had run out to gas.  There was very little traffic and we thought maybe we had better go back and check on him! After all, we had Dagmar with us!  As we pulled up, I rolled down my window, just a crack, to ask him if he needed anything.  He laughed and said "Just which way are you girls going?" as this would have been our fourth time past him!  He then explained that he was out of gas but his sons had hiked back to get gas and would be back any minute....and he offered to buy us breakfast if we wanted to go back to the nearest town when the boys got back.  We declined and went on our way.

The Great Basin Desert with towns few and far between...at least in 1963!
     We finally made it to Reno, but before we let Dick know we were there, we stopped at a gas station and cleaned up....washed our hair in the sink, did a little sponge bath, and put on some clean clothes!  We then called and met him at Shakey's.  Marian and I got a motel room for a couple of days, then she went on to California.

     In the days after Marian left, I needed to find cheaper accommodations and get a job.  Dick had a nine to five job at Stead AFB and a part time job at Shakey's Pizza so I was pretty much on my own to do these things.  I located a rooming house not far from downtown (the source for a few blogs!) and with my lovable huge Dagmar, I was ready to move in.  Dick was with me that day to help; when we got there, my room was upstairs.  The house was an old two story with a stairway that went up halfway then a short landing and a complete turn for the second set up.  It was kind of dark up there and Dagmar would not go up!!!!  I knew once she did it a couple of times, she would be ok so I had Dick carry her up there...remember she is a BIG German Shepherd!  And, as I knew, once she saw it was safe, she was OK.

A rooming house...not the one I lived in but very similar
   Now you have to realize....this is pre-cell phone days.  To make long distance phone calls was a big deal.  You didn't have unlimited minutes etc.  There was a pay phone in the rooming house for all to use.  Times were really a lot simpler and less stressful.  Maybe it was the ignorance of youth, but,  although I didn't have a job, I wasn't worried...I knew something would show up.  I was surrounded by strangers but that was ok, too.... a good opportunity to meet different people!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Memory Monday

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” 
― Friedrich Nietzsche

     Now we have wedding plans to make! I would have been perfectly happy getting married in a quiet family only ceremony as I know Dick would have, but my mom had other ideas!!  Nothing but the best for her daughters!  My sister had  been married a few years before, so now Mom had experience at being Mother of the Bride!   This was before the days of wedding planners!  Mom was the wedding planner!  First, we set the date with the priest.  Then we have to go dress shopping; there were no stores in my home town which carried wedding dresses so we had to go to Jacksonville, 35 miles east; or Quincy, 35 + miles west or the big city of St. Louis, MO, 70 miles south.

A similar Department Store where we shopped
      We found the perfect dress in Jacksonville at a  dress shop. (I can't remember the name but the picture above is a close facsimile)...and we found the bridesmaids dresses also.  I only wanted my sister for my Matron of Honor and a young friend for a junior bridesmaid.  For groomsmen, we had Dick's brother as Best Man, my brother for junior groomsman, and a couple of friends from college for ushers.  Most of my friends from high school were already married and either had moved away or working on families of their own.
     Because so many of my friends were gone, my mom's best friends decided to throw me a wedding shower.  They invited Dick's mom and little sister to come which they did.  Now remember these were people I had met only once when I was invited to dinner at their home while I was teaching in Kansas City.  Harold, my father in law to be, drove them over...about a three hour drive.  My dad was assigned to entertain Harold.  My dad said he would just take him up to one of the bars where they could sit and visit.  Well, that put a bit of a panic in me, because I was pretty sure the Dodds' life style was quite a bit different from my party hearty parents!  I said "Dad, I don't think he drinks!" And my dad's typical reply was " Well, by God, he'll drink with me! No good man would turn down a friendly drink!"
Lindsey's...still operating 50+ years later!
     And of course, Dad was right...Harold did have a drink with him; they got along just fine, both having a common interest in livestock and farming. My worries were unnecessary as usual!  
      It is now mid- August and although we are not getting married until December 29 (we had set that date so Dick could also be home for Christmas), I am planning on going back to Reno, to see if I can get a job teaching!  The optimism of youth!  I have a car; I have Dagmar, my faithful German Shepherd; I am 22 years old!  But my mom was very concerned about me making the drive by myself so in sharing her concerns with many of her friends over the frequent bridge games, she came up with a solution!  One of her friend's daughter who was also a friend of mine,  was home for the summer between semesters at college and she had friends in California. So the plan was for Marion to travel to Reno with me,  then take the bus on to San Francisco to visit with her friends.  And that trip will be the topic of my next blog!!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I Am a Latent Hippy! (Maybe?)

“All things old become new again. In my youth the athletes had crew cuts and the hippies had long hair. Now the athletes have long hair and the hippies are bald.” 
― Harley King

     A few days ago, I came upon a Youtube documentary  about the "Burning Man" , a celebration of life which began in San Francisco in 1986 on Baker Beach with a gathering  of like minded individuals who just wanted to show their love and their unique artistic way of expressing themselves.
An early Burning Man being set up
     What started out as a big party  grew so rapidly, that by 1988 they had to move the event to Black Rock Desert, Nevada with 200 in attendance.  Now Black Rock City has developed as a " temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome." to quote from the website. One of the founders, Larry Harvey, wrote the Ten Principles in 2004 to reaffirm the original purpose of the Burning Man celebration. And last year there were 67, 290 in attendance.  Because of the popularity, some organizational features came into play. A city structure was developed for the temporary existence of Burning Man.
The City of Black Rock, Nevada
     I have been facsinated with the idea of spending nine  days with crazy artists; with nothing to worry about; to just roll with the flow, ever since I first read of Burning Man in the 1980s.  I watch for their latest events every year around this time.  I even saw a Charlie Rose interview with Larry Harvey.  And I have to say, even in the early development of the Hippy Generation, I was a bit envious of the carefree life which they lived.

My Tribe???
    At the height of Hippism, I was a happily married mother of two and although I harbored a secret envy of this life style...the freedom, the intensity of caring, the proclaiming of peace, etc. I knew deep down, I really wasn't meant for it! I do like my physical comforts...my clean environment, my running water,  my comfortable bed, the opportunity  for a daily shower and clean clothes!  And, oh yes, A/C systems!!  You notice how often the word "clean" crops up in my writing!  I never did associate cleanliness very strongly with communal living!  But I did my own little part....we grew great gardens; we spoke up against the Vietnam War; we tried to live a "green" way of life, although that term was not used then.  And I still do have a sense of admiration for those who choose this way of life...I will enjoy this way of living vicariously, through the internet and Youtube!!!  
      If this subject of the Burning Man interests you, please go back and click on the several links I have given you.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Shibori and Mandalas

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young."  Henry Ford

     Last week the Original Sewing and Quilt EXPO held the North Texas Quilt Festival. For the past three or four years, local guilds have been having great difficulty holding individual quilt shows.  The expense of renting a place, getting vendors, etc. had proven to be a financial loss for them so six guilds got together with the EXPO people to hold a joint Quilt Show at the Arlington, TX Convention Center.  Along with having a great show and more vendors than they could ever have on their own, they were able to offer many classes by well known quilters and fiber artists of which my daughter Andrea and I took advantage!
      On Thursday we took a class-"Mini Mandalas-Ice Dyeing" taught by Cindy Lohbeck who  is the owner of Hands on Hand Dyes. You can go to her website to see what all she has to offer!  Cindy is not only a good teacher, she is a lot of fun to be around.  We spent the first three hours folding  fabric about 20" square different ways using rubber bands to create areas of resist. Then we arranged our bundles on a screen clipped over a bin, loaded it up with ice then squirted the dye over it all.  We placed the whole bin with the ice and bundles into a large plastic bag and left it overnight.

My Mandalas-to-be under ice and dye.
     I wish I had taken pictures of the process while we folded and manipulated the fabric but I didn't.  As the ice melts and drips through the screen, the dye soaks into the wet fabric.  The fun is you don't really know what any of it is going to look like!  That evening we left our projects there because we were going to be back in that same room first thing Friday morning for another class with Cindy.
    Friday morning, Andrea and I decided to just take our projects home to rinse out as the sinks in the room were really crowded with people who didn't live in the area.  Now for our second class "Pole Dancing-Arashi Shibori" (Also known as pole-wrapping shiboriarashi (Japanese for "storm") shibori is a japanese dye technique that results in diagonal stripes that are reminiscent of storm driven rain.) The first thing we did was to take  long strips of white fabric and sew them into long tubes which we then crunched onto poles.  I did think to take a picture of some of this process.

One of my three fabric wrapped poles.
After we filled our three poles with various crunching techniques and wrapped with twine, we held the poles over a bin and, if one wanted a blue background, poured a thin blue dye over it all then painted on the darker blue.  If one wanted a white background, just the thick dark blue dye was applied. Then the tubes were placed in a large plastic bag with instructions to NOT peek until the next day!
     When I got home on Friday, I rinsed out my mandalas...and lots of ahhing going on as I unwrapped them.
Six of my mandalas on my design wall
The rest of my mandalas
Andrea's mandalas on her design wall at her home
I was just delighted with the outcome of this class.  I have been doing some hand stitching on mandalas that I have purchased from others, so am looking forward to embellishing my own mandalas...mine from start to finish!
     I worked at the Show on Saturday at the SAQA table, giving out information about our organization and signing up new members.  So I didn't have a chance to rinse out my Shibori until I got home.  Again, as I was able to see my final work, I was equally delighted with this process!

I have nine different pieces on my wall.  I had to overlap
to get them all in the picture.
Andea's Shibori
     Both classes were a wonderful source of learning new techniques.  Cindy had made up kits for both classes which contained materials that can be used again, for example the poles.  Shibori is traditionally  dyed with Indigo  (Egyptian blue goblet from Mesopotamia, 1500–1300 BC. This was the first synthetic blue, first made in about 2500 BC. Extract of natural indigo, the most popular blue dye before the invention of synthetic indigo.) It is a very ancient dyeing material; the dye we used is synthetic...symbolic of the original material.  One can get true indigo but the process is much more involved. 
     I hope these classes will be held again next year because I have had many people who are anxious to take it.  If any of you are of that mind, you can watch for class schedules on Cindy's website or the EXPO site.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

NTAQ August Meeting

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” 
― Albert Einstein

    Last Monday was our monthly NTAQ meeting.  This month we met at Heather's and we played with cutting up paper and glueing it together, using shades of grey, to create the illusion of depth and overlapping.  We also decided to use either these collages or the ones we did in color at Wendy's last month for our challenge for next month...to recreate what we did in paper with fabric.
Our shades of grey collages in paper.
      After we finished our collages, we had our show and tell. Our challenge this month was a painting done by Ferdinand Leger "Woman with a Cat".
August Challenge Piece
My work
I had so many scraps left over that I made a second quilt from this color scheme.
Second quilt from Challenge colors
     After that we did some other showing:
Heather's-from a paper collage she had done
Wendy's-the back...her quilts could always be reversible as she does
some great piecing on the backs
Our meetings are an opportunity to learn from each other; to share ideas and to be open to critiquing each others' work.  Last month there was a group consensus (including my own!) that the buttons I used for the flowers were a bit overwhelming so I took it home and redid it with French knots for the flowers.  I personally like it much better with the knots than the buttons.

Last Month's Challenge- Picaso's "Peasants with Flowers"
My last month's challenge with buttons
My revised last month's challenge with French knots
This coming Thursday, Friday, and Saturday,  August 24, 25, and 26 come to the Original Sewing and Quilting EXPO in Arlington at the Convention Center. Five area guilds have gone together to create the North Texas Quilt Festival in place of their individual quilt shows.  This is a first time event which if successful will continue for years to come.  There will be judged quilts, vendors, door prizes, etc.. The SAQA group to which I belong will have an information table there as well as a show of SAQA quilts from all over.  Be sure and stop by...I will be taking classes Thursday and Friday but will be manning the table Saturday from 10:00 -1:00.