Monday, May 28, 2007

Back from Athens, Ohio

I had such wonderful intentions. Though I could blog during the SAQA conference. I had totally forgotten how busy one gets when you are not only an attendee, but part of planning group.
I left early Wednesday morning and picked up Kathie Briggs. We drove down I75 to just below Flint and met Cathy Arnett for breakfast. Cathy is the organizer for the Fabrications Retreat which occurs every October at the Garland Resort in Lewiston , Michigan. We talked retreat for an hour or so and then we left to drive to Columbus. We got to Columbus around 3:00 and picked us Desiree Vaughn who had been visiting her family. After a couple of wrong turns we got into Athens around 6. We stayed at the Ohio University in in a wonderful room with a balcony. That balcony would prove to be a wonderful treat as the weather was very the air conditioning was running full tilt. We northern woman needed to go outdoors to warm up.

The next morning we were up bright and early. We were the set up crew for registration, It was the morning to make executive decisions on how that would be done,,,where to hang banners...settle last minute details with the Dairy Barn staff and a pocket full of other matters.
Katie PM joined us as she had to redo the members slide show, because her NEW computer had crashed the day before she left New Mexico.

The morning flew by...and suddenly it was time for the Regional reps meeting...and my hour long presentation on curating an international exhibit. The meeting was well attended and after the presentation we exchanged many ideas. Judith ended the meeting by thanking each representative and presenting them with a handmade heart badge. We all immediately attached them to our name tag lanyards and wore them all weekend.

At 6:00 there was a members welcome reception followed by the members slide show. This year it went by without a hitch. Each member could contribute two images. Each member stated their name and the inspiration for their work.

I will write more tomorrow on day two and the opening of Quilt National

Sunday, May 20, 2007

a walk in the woods

It was definately cooler today. Rained last night and was 31 degrees early this morning. By 11 the sky had cleared and the sun began peeking out and we were well underway on the trail. The further we walked the more the ffowers seemed to open. They too were seeking the warmth of the sun.
The wet areas were a blanket of red to purple fringed polygala...a thumb size flower that grows in colonies among the pine needle duff. The are tubular in shape with petals shaped like wings on either side.

The drier areas had a variety of Lady-Slippers in both yellow and red. This year I did not see the more rare white Lady Slipper. I suspect that it is just too early for it to bloom.

Some times these orchids grow individually and other times they appear in clusters. You may see them in the dense woods and also on a partly sunny hillside. Either place they make a dramatic showing.

I also like the to point out some of the oddities like Club mosses which are desendents of ancient Paleozic trees. Today we saw three types, staghorn which grows low to the ground and spread out like antlers. Tree clubmoss which looks like a miniture evergreen tree, and the Shiny clubmoss which is bright green.

Among my other favorits is the brightly colored Indian Paint Brush. Its electric red-orange is like a signal light in the forest. Nearby grows the ground hugging bunch berry. It has waxy green leaves and a single white flower which developes into a bright red berry in the fall. Its companions are the fragent smelling wintergreen with its glossy saw toothed edge leaves.

Lots more species were seen this is but a few of the many varieties we saw this morning.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ahh spring

I have been working with Jer on the North Country Trail. We have a new nesting pair of bald eagles. The built their nest and have several hatchlings. Amazing to watch.
We closed that portion of the trail for the initial hatching when we discovered it. Now it will be a big job to reroute the trail around the nest site.
Wednesday I went out to walk section 10 of the trail. It is a beautiful section that at the beginning crosses the Carp River and winds though a series of wet lands and up hill to a section of hilly forested area. The section ends 4 miles later at French Farm Lake.
I was out walking to discover which spring wildflowers were in bloom The day was bright and sunny, the sky that Michigan blue and the birds were singing their hearts out I counted some 20 varieties of flowers from Lady Slippers to bird foot violets. Sunday I will lead a hike in the area. This afternoon I made a list with pictures to give to each of the walkers.
Today I sent most of the morning putting together my presentation for the SAQA convention. I have been asked to speak to the Area Rep's on what I learn on the way to curating Transflrmations 2006: Artists working with fiber. The process of going back and revisiting the process has been enlighting. I realize now that had I know what I know now....I probably would not have taken the job. Ignorance is definately bliss.
On Wednesday I will leave for Athens and the convention. I am going to take my lap top and camera so say posted for pictures and a daily blurb from the convention and opening of Quilt National.
Tomorrow I will post pictures of the wild flower hike...lets hope it does not rain

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dye Day

Some of the dyed pieces from yestedays
wonderful dye day

Yesterday was a glorious day. I picked up Kathie at 9:00 am and we drove to Desi's studio in Suttons Bay. It was rainy..and we needed it, but we had a car full of dyes, fabric and Stuff to make any day a fun day.

By the time we got to Desi's the rain had stopped so it was a go to work outside. Most of the morning was spent chatting as we mixed dyes, cut fabrics, and set up the work space.

Actually I have to confess that I did not do much in the way of mixing side tracked in making monoprints. I was crazed..could not stop...what a wonderful freeing experience.

After all was set up we took a break and went to Lunch...Driving across the cherry orchard country. The trees were in full bloom...looking like white clouds on the land.

The afternoon flew by...and we all had plenty of new fabric that would cure over night. I just finished washing and the picture is of some of the pieces drying on my deck rail
Tomorrow I will photo some of the mono prints...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Rusting and Lake Sturgeon

I tried my hand at rusting today. Took some silk, one white and one dyed and soaked them in vinegar. Then out to my BIG very rusted iron has been rusting in the snow all winter. I wrapped the silk around the pot, and put it into a plastic bag. I am not sure how long to leave it, but will check tomorrow.

I had a wonderful day yesterday. We drove over to Black Lake and got to see lake sturgeon spawning in the Black River. We followed 4 Michigan state PhD students as they netted and tagged both males and females.

Did you know that female sturgeon live to be 150 years old? And that males live to be maybe 80. The females are larger ofter more them 7 feet long. Females do not begin to spawn until they are at least 15-20 years old and them spawn usually only once every two to four years.
Males seem to mature earlier and spawn at about 12.

It was a beautiful day to be on the river...just enough wind to keep the bugs away but still warm enough for just a light jacket.

Yesterday we saw one that was 100 lbs...and about 5 to 6 feel. While they tagged the fish, we got to see it up close and personal. If you want to calm the fish while it is being tagged you put your fingers in its mouth!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Moving along

Oh I have been working....on a variety of things. This is the current look at one of my two tables.

Yes there is still some "stuff" I got in Chicago. Some thread I am using, and naturally paint.

My design wall is covered two layers deep. The bottom layer has two pieces from the tree series
the third and forth are on the chair along with another work in progress. I do feel a bit scattered, but it is good to be working.

The top layer of the design wall has a three piece work that I discharged last fall. "I hear the Willow weeping" is partly quilted. I need to find some way to weight the bottom so it maintains its shape.
Tomorrow I will show you my paint and print table.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Very Busy three weeks

I have not posted much lately as I have been working on an invitational exhibit for Studio Art Quilt Associates. It has been a most enlightening experience. The thought behind the exhibit was to show 3 to 4 works of artists who work in a series. Like artists in any medium, many art quilters work in that manor. Some work from a theme, say forests. Others may work with a single idea and add or subtract form it. Still others use color or line or texture.

In the past three weeks I have spent many hours looking at hundreds of web sites...made lots of notes. I was mildly surprised after I sent invitations inviting artists to send me images, at the positive replys, and wonderful images. Taking a page from Thelma tutorial on curating, I did do a mockup of the wall space and worked to choose images, while diverse, complement one another.

Naturally the jury is still out....the exhibit is not until the end of October. However I do enjoy looking at the work. I hope the viewers do too.