Friday, May 27, 2005

Star Wars, The Update

Yeah, I know y'all aren't too psyched about my Star Wars post (how do I know? serious lack of comments, poor webstats), but I can't help my little geek *snort* self.

Just went for my 2nd viewing tonight (with Little Bro' Frankie---more about him another day).
Two thoughts:

1. Jimmy Smits' character (Senator Organo?) has a rockin' cape-thing...more like a ruana...very drapey and makes him look taller and elegant.

2. Natalie Portman, upon second view, reminds me of Audrey Hepburn....she has that rounded, widish chin with the long, graceful neck. Anybody else pick up on that?

Also, since I'm in a movie groove tonight, has anyone out there seen 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' yet? I want to know if the script contains the line, 'There's one hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.' And is the Bugbladder Beast of Trall in the movie? I must know these things before plunking down my 7 bucks.

Okay, I'll go away with the movie thing now. Am blogging from out of town...will have to dig to find something about fiber.

All My Love, Baby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I'm taking a picture before the Ankle Biters return! It's a clean room! That's right. I said, 'Clean Room!' Have no fear though. My dear, sweet children will return it to their natural habitat very soon.

There's still some work to do. Gotta' do something about those dark speakers and find some wall art, maybe a valance for the window. And time for some summery pillows. Holy cow! Now I have all this work to do! Just because I needed a green room with a cream cabinet.

Here's my favorit little nook:

The treadle is a gift of love from my husband. It's a 1904 singer and has more accesories than my modern machines. I did make a blouse with it and once repaired my husband's hockey skates with it (my modern machine was too chicken).

The runner on the treadle was made at the spring PAQA retreat under the tutelege of Keiko Goke. It's only a runner because I got bored and jumped into my own work after about an hour (the workshop was an optional part of the retreat).

And here's a little confection I picked up in Chicago:

Hand dyed by Wendy Richardson from Quilt Tapestry Studio. Why does a hand dyer needs to buy stuff from another hand dyer? For the same reason farmers need to buy food, silly. Or...Just Because. Gosh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Paint Girl

Today, I'm Paint Girl!

I have this thing about green. I'm a green thumb, 'greenie' attitudes. The first time my mom let me decorate my bedroom, I picked a white printed wall paper for one wall and painted the other walls a cool mint green. Threw in a couple of Monet posters and I thought it was the most beautiful room ever. I think my heart rate literally slows down when I'm in a soft green room.

So, over a year ago, this came into my life:

First, let me state that photographing glass is tough! You can see my reflection in the picture.
I was vending hand dyed fabrics at a local quilt show and sold some scrap squares to a lady. The next day, she came back with this little picture. She'd taken my hand dyed scrap, painted this little-bitty scene on it, mounted it, framed it and painted the frame. On the spot, I bartered with her for the picture. It's so Green!

Now, my house has to match.

Here you can see the wall color I've chosen and today's project: the armoire (see all the stereo componants scattered about?). I'm painting it go with the green, of course. It's been a darkish teal for 8 years:

One of these days, I'm going to post a picture of a clean room. Won't you be surprised?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Holy Banthas! It's Star Wars!

That's right. I'm a Star Wars geek. Yes, I've put on a Star Wars costume (princess leah--side buns and white dress look, halloween, early '80s). Yes, I've actually read a Star Wars book (plus listened to one on tape) Yes, I used to own the original sound track on LP (can't remember why I gave it away--stupid me) No, I've never been to a convention and I don't know all the trivia...just enough to keep up with the real avicianados.


This movie is a 'must see' for three reasons:

1. The costuming is great, the textiles are FABULOUS! Padme/Natalie Portman's role in this film is to remain in her chambers and be beautiful. The costumers had a field day with this one (not to mention the hair stylists). She is wearing something exotic and stunning in every scene....well, except the scene where she gets to show her acting chops...kinda' plain jane there....but she's got that natural beauty working for her and pulls off a fine performance. Her costume and the way that she's styled in her final scene of the movie is just stunning. I imagine young teens feel about her the way I felt about Princess Leah 25 yrs ago.

Yoda's Jedi robe is a simple bias cut, brown silk dupioni. Jedi Masters deserve only the best, you know. And I will admit here, in this small corner of cyberspace, that I did actually lose the tightly contained self control I had mustered when I blurted out loud, "Kick his butt, Yoda!" during the movie. I'm such a geek *snort*.

All the Jedis have cool fibers in their costumes....the layers of textures are so rich and the earthy colors add a monastic flavor. Senator Palpatine/Evil Emperor/Darth Sidious wears sleek full length robes when he's just Senator Palpatine----sophistocated cut and color schemes, intersting weaves--reminds me of Italian couture for men. Finally, when Luke and Leah are born, they are swathed in these really rough looking blankets. I loved those---very wooly and beat up in appearance.

It's just all fabric, all the time with me. Where else can you get a cheeky movie review that mostly discusses the textiles?

Moving on...

2. You will need to know why George Lucas is given the 'Grand Poobah, King of All He Surveys' award at next year's Oscars.

3. John Williams (the composer) has breathed new life into it the tired ol' Star Wars themes he created so long ago. Plus the sound editors did a great job of using the various themes to hi-light the creation and demise of characters.

Bonus reason:
4. The previews rock! I saw previews for 'Batman', 'Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe', and 'War of the Worlds'. Those were all must-sees for me before last night so seeing the previews just sweetened the deal. The new one for me is 'Fantastic 4'---a superhero movie--sweet trailer, but I'll probably hold out on it until video. Just a note: I don't just watch action....I tend to prefer movies with great visual beauty ('Weeping Camel' is my latest fav) or serious acting content, such as 'The Hours'. My current regular view is 'Napolean Dynomite'.... I think it's just hilarious...and yes, as I type, My Lips Hurt Real Bad. Gosh!

Even if you don't give a rip about 'Star Wars', it's worthy of a viewing on the BIG SCREEN. It's full of tight, fast paced action and peppered with just the right dose of humor. The visuals are amazing. The cast's performances are looser, more fleshed out than Episodes I & II. All of the previous Star Wars movies are summed up and tied together in Episode III and George Lucas made sure this film's shoulders are broad enough to carry the challenge.

Special props go out to my buddy, Cara, for being my date and for being just as *geek-snort* as me. You rock, girlfriend.

So there you have it: Star Wars in review. Get to the theater right now and may The Farce be with you! *snort*

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Mexico Blog

Yikes! Has it really been that long since I've posted?!? I'm a baaaaaaad little blogger....baaaaad and buuuuuuusy.

So just what have I been doing?

Mostly this:

That's the graphic for my church's new blog. It didn't take much time to create, but getting the blog operational was a bit of work. Well, not so much 'work' was more of a thinking game.

To see real work (something I leave to the professionals), visit the blog and watch my husband, Greg, along with 41 other volunteers, build houses in a slum just across the border from El Paso. Their goal is 5 houses in 5 days. The houses are more like sheds by American standards, but to those dwelling in a shack made of palettes, they seem palatial. Note that he doesn't know you're stopping by and thinks he's writing to a closed audience.

While Greg has been preparing for construction work, another dedicated group has been making quilts for the house families plus any others needing a quilt. They made around 75 quilts since last September. These are fuctional quilts and have a scrappy kind of beauty all their own.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Michigan: A Primer

Aw'right! Aw'right! I will recall my non-Michigan roots and have mercy on the fair readers dwelling outside Michigan. For you native Michiganders, realize that I am not one of you. I was born in Connecticut and raised in Illinois. Do not send me nasty e-mails about God's Country or Seceding from the Union and my unsupportive efforts to promote such gibberish.

First, The Map:

Next: Definitions.
1. Motown. Another word for Detroit, home of Motown Records, Aretha Franklin, etc....Also known as the Motor City.

2. The Thumb. A body part and a geographic region. I live in 'The Thumb'.

3. The Bridge. This is the Mackinaw Bridge. Your location in regards to The Bridge define what kind of Michigander you are. When stating how far you are in driving time from The Bridge, speak with authority, like you know what the h#$@ you're talking about: stand with feet firmly planted, lift sternum and announce, "I Live Three Hours From The Bridge!" Or in the case of Deb Roby, "I Live Forty Seven Hours From The Bridge!" Note to MI natives: Do not send me nasty e-mails telling me it's The Mackinac Bridge because there's a strong chance that I don't care.

4. Upper Peninsula. The part of Michigan above The Bridge. If you're from there, you're a 'Yooper' (U-P-er. Get it?) and you believe with all your heart in the UP being it's own nation. You do not need to be yoked with over-civilized, urban rif raf from under The Bridge. Those people couldn't survive a day in the woods without guidance. You are independant, self sufficient, and could go months without a trip to a grocery store, if you had to.

If you're from the rest of Michigan, you're a Troll because you live 'under the bridge'. You don't want the U.P. to be it's own nation because you like to go there for vacation and you already have Canada next door, you don't need another international border to cross.

5. Scar from 1979. Not a suicide attempt, like my whole neighborhood thought, but a clumsy accident where I tripped on a step, fell through a door window and cut myself after checking on my new puppy. I was eleven, I was wearing a white terry cloth shorts set and flip flops. The time was 10:05 p.m. I know that because I was looking at the clock while yodeling, 'Moooom!'. It was the first time I entered that 'It's a crisis yet I'm freakishly calm' state. Fourteen stitches and 5 days later, I had to go to camp and 'swim' by standing in the shallow part of the lake with my plastic bag-encased wrist held high above my head. I thought it was really cool. -snort- still kinda' do.

6. The Leelanau Peninsula. Home of Desi from yesterday's post. Lots of wineries, cherry trees and tourists there. If you ever come to Michigan, go to the Leelanau Peninsula, breathe the lakeside air and marvel at the scenery because who knew that a Midwestern state could hold such beauty? I plan to live there when I grow up.

7. Lansing. Our state Capitol. Also home to Michigan State University, in case you care.

To truly speak like a native, you'd have to learn more tedious terminology and how to defend which teams you root for. But I believe that by studying this guide, smiling often and speaking little, you can pass unscathed.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Meet Desi

Everybody say, 'Hi, Desi!' Very good, class! Aren't you polite boys and girls? Hey! You in the'down, stop pickin' yer nose and say 'hi' to our guest! This is a blog, not a barnyard.
Desi Vaughn is a friend that lives quietly in Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula. Her work looks like this:

"Leelanau Autumn"
35 1/2" x 42 3/4"

And this:

20" x 28 3/4"

She also paints fabric like this:

and this:

and even this:

Having used many of her fabrics, I can report that they lend a wonderful glow to my work. Go to her site. Buy everything. Then she'll have enough cash to make even more stunning work!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Red Marker

This is what I was talking about in my last post:

She claims she had no paper (there are reams of paper, scrap and fresh, all around her). And she assures me the marker is washable. This kid is burning with a need to decorate stuff (skin included).

So did I yell? No, though it was tough not to. I did sigh a little and I could feel my lips purse in disapproval. I had to will them back into their normal shape. Then I took her picture.

I've listened and read so many stories about people being told by adults that colors don't match, that art is not good enough. Please let that never happen to my daughter! Let her run free until she's ready to be a grown up. And then let her run some more!

Where do we lose that? That freedom to feel like walking around with red marker skin would be fun? I think art and creativity are sometimes trapped in the same place. Is it social conditioning that knocks it out of us? Is it replaced with the cares of adulthood? That seems odd to me because so much of my adult responsibilities deal with allowing my children to be happy and unburdened.

Maybe that explains why I let motherhood overrun my personal goals, why I expend so much effort ensuring a carefree life for my kids. Because deep, deep down, I know they have to leave it behind someday, this place called childhood, where the ponies ride in the clouds, and the sandbox is bottomless....and red marker is acceptable makeup.

I hope they prove me wrong.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Beginnings of Greatness

In my entryway staircase hangs this very old, but still fun quilt:

My daughter, free spirit six year old that she is, decided to make her own quilt:

Note the sophistocated hanging system and use of alternative materials. She does this kind of thing often, using the resources at hand. I'm convinced she's going to be a genius artist someday.

Here's the overall effect:

Our first mother-daughter exhibit!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

BedHead: A Self Portrait

All you need to know is that I was Dirty-Dog-Double-Dared. The darer better watch his back. I carry much priveleged 'darer information' close to my bosom. And I have a camera.

In case you're not frightened enough yet:

Dang. I wish my hair was that good every day.

In fiber news, my quilt (the little heart in my sidebar) is home from the Keiko and Friends exhibit. I'm sorry that it didn't sell, yet glad to have it back. Isn't that strange?