Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Quilters Around The World

      I have been a member of AQATW for three or four years now. Many members have come and gone but there are a few old timers! Evert two months we challenge ourselves to create a 12x16 inch art quilt with the selected theme we take turns choosing. This go around was my term and I have chosen the theme of "My Favorite Book"! From comments made on our FB group, several really struggled with theme.  It is interesting to see how others picked their books. If you click on the link for AQATW on my right sidebar you can see everyone's works of arts!
     Being an avid reader I, too, struggled somewhat trying to pick just one! I finally decided to go with a book that had quite an emotional affect on my. My choice is.....The Color Purple" by Alice Walker. I have read many of Walker's books, but somehow this one really grabbed me. In reading it, I found myself crying one minute, and laughing the next. The main character Celie is an abused little black girl, born probably early 1900s, and grows to become a strong intelligent woman. There are other equally interesting and fearful situations about many others in her life that are intricately woven through the book. (And the wonderful movie that came out several years ago was totally slighted by the Oscars, similarly to the last few years of the Oscars!)

      I decided to use an abstract design of many purple fabrics. After piecing and quilting it, I added two black circles to represent Celie and her sister. There is one scene in the movie where she and her sister are playing in a field of flowers. Her sister was able to escape the horrendous childhood that Celie had but they remained very close through years and miles.

         And here is my quilt.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


      Spectrum is an online workshop which is a hands on study about increasing creativity. One of the teachers is also the sponsor of Journal 52, another online creativity incentive with weekly prompts. I'm not real good at doing daily or weekly journaling but I do enjoy following what others are doing, getting wonderful creative ideas.
      Back to Spectrum, as a teacher, Effy is offering a free pass to the work shop by holding a drawing for anyone who will write a blog about  Spectrum. So here is the link to her blog which will tell you ALL about the workshop!  So check it out!

        You can also go directly to the Sectrum website    for more info and a list of the teachers for the workshop. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Memory Monday

      Parade-Check...tour Miami-check....boat all that is left is the Orange Bowl Game itself! On New Year's Day we poured into the stadium, a little hung over but excited to be there! A beautiful, sunny day! No wonder people retire to Florida!
      We played Georgia that year and went down in a terrible defeat...0-14! Although I'm sure the team and the diehard fans were devastated, most of us were there for the on-going party! But as all good things must come to an end, we had to head back to cold, frozen Missouri....and end of semester exams!
      We did have a a couple memorable experiences on the way home! We drove North on the Gulf side of the state and the pure white sand beaches of the Gulf drew us to stop one more time! We knew when we left that we were going to want to, so we started out in our swimming suits, everything packed in the trunk of the car. We stopped just North of Miami and frolicked for an hour or so before dragging ourselves away. When we went to get into the trunk for our change of clothes, we discovered the lock to the trunk was rusted tight! Nothing to do but pile in the car and head North...the coastline back then was not nearly as populated as now so we had to drive quite a ways before coming to a town.

         When we first stopped at a filling station, we were told they could get into the trunk but would ruin the lock in doing so; that a dealership (I don't remember what make of car it was...a late 1950's big four-door something!) would be able to get it open with no damage. As the car belong to the parent of one of the girls, we felt obligated to continue North until we found a dealership!
       We were now approaching one of the country's first toll roads, which we got on with advice on where the nearest city with a dealership was located. Again, I don't remember where, just that we were heading our wet swimming suits...and it was getting colder! When we finally came to a place big enough to have dealership, we pulled up to the toll booth to turn in our ticket and automatic tolls then. And, funniest thing! We could not find our ticket! Rather than hold up the line, the attendant had us pull over on the side to look for it.

     We turned  the car inside out and never did find that dumb ticket! The attendant finally let us pay and go on through! I think he was feeling sorry for us, shivering in our now dry swimming suits...Northern Florida can be pretty chilly in January! We finally made it to a dealer, got the trunk open and got on our way back to school!
     Of course, we had lost precious time with all our delays so we really couldn't do any more stopping except for gas and potty breaks. Mizzou had a policy called "negative hours" to encourage students to return to classes on time after holidays. Say for example, if you were to receive three credit hours for a class, and you missed the first class after a holiday, the school could give you only two hours credit! None of us could afford to have that happen so, by golly, we made it to all our classes! We may have been total zombies in mind, but our warm bodies were present!!!
     Oh, and Missouri did redeem themselves the next year by returning to the Orange Bowl. They played Navy that year and won....21-14! I did not attend that game; I wa not at Mizzou that year...more on that later in future memory posts!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

studioQ January Meeting

Our January challenge- "Moon Flowers" by David Bates

      Yesterday, we met at Cabbage Rose, a local quilt shop here in Fort Worth. They have a large classroom where they let us meet when we can't meet in one of our homes. One of our long lost members was there for the first time in months! She is our only working girl and her schedule just hasn't worked out to come. She did have some pretty fabulous stuff to show us though.


                 The back of Wendy's

              The front of Wendy's

                                                Wendy's string pinwheel

                    Wendy's first Masterpiece Challenge

                          Wendy's second Masterpiece Challenge

                      Susan wasn't able to get our challenge done so she brought us chocolate!

                  Susan had an antique quilt top to show....rescued from the trash!!!

                         Susan and Kay looking over a couple other rescued quilt tops.

                     Kay's Masterpiece Challenge

                                            Kay....experimenting with color

                    And another study in color by Kay

                                   Examples from a class on stamping by Kay

                                          Rhonda's Masterpiece Challenge

            Andrea's Masterpiece Challenge 
               Heather's Masterpiece Challenge

          My first Masterpiece Challenge...I made the background first, then started sewing on fabric flowers in a collage style. I got tired of sewing so painted some of the flowers and sewed them on!

      My second Masterpiece Challenge...I wasn't real happy with the first one...just not my style so I did a second one which is more me!

         All of our Masterpiece Challenges together!
     Then we ended the meeting by deciding where to gather next month and even more important, where to have lunch, and the lucky winner this month was Railhead BBQ, right across the street from Cabbage Rose. I love this bunch of gal pals! They are always so much fun and talented! They are so supportive and inspiring!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Memory Monday

       Here we are in Coral Gables! My friend Joanie's aunt and uncle had friends with a boat who took us all for a trip on the canals and around Biscayne Bay! We were very aware that it was below freezing and snowing in Columbia, Missouri while we were cruising around Florida!
Boat Ride on Florida Canal
      I had never seen such a bright sun....bluest water ever...and tropical plants and birds everywhere!!  Pelicans are the most fascinating birds....they were all over the place...roosting on piers,  soaring in the sky! Have you ever been in the wrong place when a little bird flew over and relieved himself? Well, let me tell you....until you have been "blessed" by a pelican, you have nothing to complain about! I was the lucky recipient as we were cruising around!
Brown Pelican 
    The Orange Bowl parade was always held on New Year's Eve with the game New Year's Day. It was televised and, although not as large as the Rose Bowl, it was a close second! I remember going with some U of Miami guys who were showing us around.
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
1960 Orange Bowl Parade
     Another sight on our list was to see the Fountainebleau Hotel. To us that was the epitome of luxury! It was often featured in movies and in society news. Although we didn't get inside, we were able to drive up to it and gawk!
The Fountainebleau Hotel-built in 1054
Lobby of the Fountainebleau

Friday, January 15, 2016

Technology....Gotta' Love It!

     I subscribe to Quilting Arts, a bimonthly magazine for Art Quilters. I get my copies digitally...a little cheaper and always available to read on my iPad. The February-March  issue just downloaded.
Cover of current issue
     In glancing through it, I quickly noticed an article about some one I know! Shruti and I are both members of the Internet challenge group Art Quilters Around The World. Shruti lives in India but we were both at Quilt Con in Austin, Texas last year so we got to meet in person. 
At Quilt Con-Jay and Shruti
     When I saw the article in QA, I immediately sent Shruti a message congratulating her on the article via FB. Within minutes she responded! Said she had not seen it yet,could I send her a picture of it?  Because I have the magazine digital, I couldn't seem to get a copy to send her. Then I had a brilliant thought of bringing up each page on my iPad, taking a picture with my phone then sending them again by FB message!
Table of Contents-Shruti-page 29
First Page of her article
Second page
Third page
Fourth page
     And I am messaging back and forth with Shruti this whole time, too...I, in Texas and she, home in India! I did get the pics taken and sent around the world and Shruti seems quite pleased to get them! She did mention that it would take a long time for the paper copy of QA to reach India.
      As I said, technology, gotta love it!! Ten years ago, I wouldn't have believed it could happen!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More "Culture"!

     On Sunday afternoon, I went with my friend Gloria to see "Sexy Laundry" at Stage West, Fort Worth. It is a hilarious short play about a couple seeking a little spark to their 25 year marriage.
Play Bill Cover
      Gloria has season tickets to the theater and has been very generous in inviting me to go with her. Stage West is a small, intimate theater, and has some wonderful offerings. Here is a list of this season.

     Then yesterday I went with my granddaughter to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"! She and the rest of the family went between Christmas and New Years' but that was when I had developed a great cough which I knew would not be welcome in a theater! Kathleen is home from college for a few more days so she offered to go with me! It met expectations....the writers/producers have really set the scene for many more sequels/prequels to come!!! And to those who knocked Carrie Fisher...I thought she looked great!
In a galaxy far, far away.....
      And one more cultural event to report! Yesterday, my Villas book club met. This year we have decided to choose a classic to read each month. January's pick is "The Picture of Dotian Gray". I thought I had read it previously but after getting into it, I am sure I had not. We are going to watch the film, also a classic, next week and compare the and movie.
Book Cover

Monday, January 11, 2016

Memory Monday

     One of the reasons my parents allowed me to go on this trip was that we had a place to stay, once we got to Florida! One of my pledge sisters, Joanie, had an aunt and uncle who had a home in Coral Gables, right behind a fraternity house by the University of Miami campus and right on a canal leading to Biscayne Bay!
A home in Coral Gables, Florida
     I don't remember all the events in chronological order (it has been over fifty years ago!) so I'll just give the high lights! The above picture is not Joanie's uncle's house, but a similar facsimile! The house was built probably in the 1920's; very tropical/beach verandas, lush greenery every where. It reminds me of a decadent, old house that was very grand in its heyday, but now a fading dowager! But still pretty darn grand in this Illinois farm girl's eyes!
     One "adventure" we had going down was in St. Augustine. We stopped by the park that housed Ponce de Leon's "Fountain of Youth"! As we got to the gate and discovered the price of admission, we decided we did not want to spend our meager allowances on entry, saving what we had for Miami! So we were walking around the outside when we spyed  another, smaller gate that just happened to be open! Fate was leading the way!  We slipped inside and, as luck would have it, a touring party with a guide was passing by so we just blended right in with them!  Towards the end of the tour, our presence did become known and we had to explain our indiscretion to the management. He was so nice!  When we explained we were from U of Missouri on our way to the Orange Bowl and had limited funds, he let us stay without paying and wished us luck on our trip!
The Fountain of Youth-St. Augustine, Florida
Again this is not a real picture that I took...just a picture off the Internet of the entry. You must realize this was waaaay before cell phones and digital cameras. I don't even remember anyone having a camera with us. We just didn't constantly snap picture every few minutes....and there was no Facebook to post to. Heck!! There was no Internet back then!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Senior Citizens Alliance and Visit to the Modern

    Wednesday I went to Trinity Terrace to a meeting of the Senior Citizens Alliance of Fort Worth. It is an organization catering, obviously, to Seniors so I thought I ought to  check it out for future reference when I qualify as a Senior! And I had never been to Trinity Terrace of Fort Worth and was curious about it.
Trinity Terrace Senior Living-Fort Worth, Texas
       My daughters and I had " the discussion" awhile back of " what to do with Mom"! ( I am the one who initiated this discussion!)  Other than the Inuit way of putting elderly on an ice floe, I told them I do not want them to be the ones to take care of me when I reach a point of not being able to take care of myself! So alternatively, there are many assisted living places in the area and I am taking it upon myself to create lists ....yes, no, and maybe! I have one on my "no" list and think I would put Trintiy Terrace on my "yes" list.....with a little more research.
     But I digress, as I easily do! Back to yesterday...another reason I accepted the invitation was to hear that wonderful writer/ journalist Bob Ray Sanders speak! I had heard him many years ago when he still wrote for the Star Telegram, and I was not disappointed to hear him again! He is entertaining and informative. He told a story of how a bench with a bronze of Mark Twain sitting on it ended up in Trinity Park. And a lady there had a photo copy of an article with a picture of Sanders sitting on the bench which he signed for her. She then had photo copies made and gave each of us one!
Article by Bob Ray Sanders
     And yesterday after a great lunch at On the Border with the Villas Lunch Bunch, I went to the Modern Art Gallery to see the art exhibit of Kehinde is only here for a few more days and did not want to miss it!! He is a fabulous young artist; works in oils and bronzes. 
Bronze by Wiley
Another bronze by Wiley
Large oil painting by Wiley
One of the galleries at the an idea of the size of his works!
     He has a real interesting perspective on art, blending old styles with contemporary models. There were four short documentaries made in various countries where he traveled to study the people and get them to model for him...Haiti, Brazil, and others. He takes extensive photographs of his subjects, then places them in a classic poses with ornate William Morris-like backgrounds. Be sure to click on his name above to go to his website to listen to his discussion of his work.