Friday, September 29, 2017

Trip to Abilene

For me, the gallery legitimates the art production and helps build collections. - Anonymous

     In Abilene, Texas there is a lovely art gallery which hosts a variety of art mediums.  Last weekend, my friend Heather and I drove there for the reception being held at The Center for Contemporary Art for the art quilt exhibit "Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch". 

    Gay Young, a member of the Caprock SAQA Circle is responsible for getting this juried show together.  And she made arrangements for those of us who could come to the reception to have dinner together at Copper Creek Restaurant.

Copper Creek, Abilene, Texas where we dined before the
reception..thenwalked just down the block to the Gallery
We both had art quilts on display there as did many of our friends from North Texas SAQA Circle. I had already posted a few pictures on Facebook about the show as well as a slide show which one of the husbands made of the whole show. Thanks to Clif Dahl for this great presentation. Click on my link here to see his album he made with all our artwork and the little bios by what we did. 
                              Because you can see all the art from Clif's link, I'm just going to show a few.

My art "This One Is for the Girls"
I was working on this one when a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. The individual squares reminded me of boobs and stitched into some of the bare areas are the "missing" boobs. Maybe if you enlarge this you can see them.

Heather actually had two in the show...this is one from her "Tuning Fork" series.
Another NTSAQA member, Carolyn Skei
Barbara Hartman also from NTSAQA
A closeup of the quilt below
The lady who made this one was not at the reception nor
 from NTSAQA butI loved her work..
the hand stitching is really something to see!
     On our way out to Abilene, Heather and I stopped for lunch at the famous Smokestack Cafe at Thurber...population 5 (but at its height a hundred years ago was a metropolis of 10,000 people. Known for coal mines and a brick refinery.)
Here is the original Smoke stack, now a historical marker.
The signs warn you to not get too close ...falling bricks!
In the round windows at the top, the letters "SMOKE" are in neon
...I bet they show up well at night!
    We spent the night in Abilene then on the way home we went by Abilene Christian University.  At the reception there was a couple there from Abilene.  She taught art at the high school and he was an art teacher at ACU.  They were telling us of this statue he had made for the University and from their description, we knew we wanted to see it! The title is "Jacob's Dream" by Jack Maxwell.  I found a Youtube presentation of it that is pretty cool.

Path to the Statue
Jacob's Dream

Jacob's Dream against the sky
A fountain at Jacob's Dream
The statue is in a beautiful setting surrounded by many limestone blocks with biblical scripture carved on them and a garden full of all kinds of flowers  It sits on the ACU Campus and just celebrated its tenth anniversary last year.  It is worth taking the time to see it....very impressive! I am glad we ran into this couple there. 
     One of the reasons SAQA tries to promote our art quilts in a gallery setting is because so many people have no idea what Fiber Arts or Art Quilts are.  To point, Jack Maxwell, a well-known artist was dragged to our reception by his wife and sister in law thinking he was going to a quilt show. As he said, he had no idea that this kind of art even exists.  Needless to say, he was impressed so we now have one more fan who won't say "oh, my grandmother makes/made quilts"!
     So if you get a chance go to Abilene and visit our art work!  I think the show will be there through November then will go to another venue for awhile!

Today's Quilts: Art in Stitch

Monday, September 25, 2017

Memory Monday

"We must all take adventures to know where we truly belong."

Reno, Nevada
As I warned you in my last Memory Monday blog, I have "Tales of the Old Rooming House" to share with you! Dick is stationed at Stead AFB and I am here to find a job before we go back home to be married in December.  I find a rooming house that I can afford..the guy who owns it falls in love with Dagmar which is great because not all places would take dogs, especially BIG ones!

I had a room that could hold three people... a twin bed and  double bed, but there was no one else there at the time.  It was, as I had described, on the second you got to the second floor, there was a large square hall with about six rooms off of it, all coming into the square hall which was kind of like a room itself. Along one wall was a row of windows and on the far side was the shared bath!  There was a five escape outside the windows so I had gotten Dagmar trained if she had to go potty in the middle of the night, I would just open the window, she would go down the fire her business and come right back up! Such a smart dog!!

There were several rooms downstairs, too.  And a shared kitchen for all to use.  I did discover that many times food left in there was not always there when you came back for it!  The owner had a room/apt. there, too, and there were a few other tenants who were permanent residents.  There was this one lady who was a waitress at a steakhouse just behind us; she also loved Dagmar and would bring her left over steak scraps! She ate better than I did!  Steak bones with a lot of meat on it; potato skins with a lot left!

I could leave Dagmar there with the owner as I said he loved her while I went job hunting.  The first thing I did was to find out if I was certified to teach in Nevada which I was not.  The University of Nevada at Reno was on the other side of town so I signed up for the two courses I needed which were offered at night.

Then I got a job at J.C. Penny's as a sales clerk.... a new experience for me!!!  Other than working at the swimming pool concession stand during high school, I had not worked at anything else but teaching so I really was getting a whole new outlook on life!
My first non-teaching job!
So I would leave Dagmar at "home" when I worked then took her with me when I went to my classes.  I could leave her in the car for a couple of hours...she was so good.

Some of the other residents of the rooming house were women who were there to get their six weeks' residency for divorce.  Back then most states took two to three years to get a divorce but if you lived for six weeks in Nevada, you could get a divorce in no time!  The people who lived there could go to the courthouse and come out with a divorce in a matter of hours.  Some who were there temporarily had children with them. And, of course, they all loved Dagmar, too...the kids, that is!  Most of the women would try to get some kind of temporary job while there and one of the easiest to get was to be a shill for a casino. What is a shill, you might ask?  Well, this naive gal didn't know but I found out!  Webster dictionary defines a shill as:
  1. an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.

As awful as that sounds, these ladies were merely hired to dress up, sit at a blackjack table or any other gambling table that had no business and play for the house.  Apparently, no one will sit at an empty table so that was their fill a seat!  The sad/bad thing was that they had to work at night so they would get their kids to sleep then go to work!  Once in awhile a kid would wake up crying...some of these kids were pretty young!  

There were also a couple of ladies who were "working gals" who had frequent night company....the owner did not know this, at least that is what he professed because "he would not tolerate illegal goings-on!"  I have to tell you though, I got to know these gals somewhat and they were both really nice people!  If one of the kids woke up and was scared one or the other of them would go in and help them get back to sleep!

More stories of the  "Old Rooming House" to come next blog!

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 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!