rocket tracking


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For Heaven's Sake...STOP THE CAR!!!!

One late September day, I drove past a pasture nearby and saw a glorious scene...this red Highland Cow laying in this pasture with the gorgeous periwinkle blooms of chickory and white daisies.  I thought to myself, " what a gorgeous shot! I'll get him on my way back."

Only, on the way back, he had moved inside the barn.  So, this time, when I saw the light striking off his wonderfully red, shaggy coat, I turned around and came back, parking on the side of the road to take the shot with my little point and shoot.  Since there were people in the house yard next to the field, I was hesitant to get too close to the fence or the beastie...and I haven't conquered Photoshop Elements yet so you see the line of the fencing through the shot.

I love to watch the light on things....especially the slanting rays of the early morning or late afternoon sun.  The white on these horses seemed to make them glow bluish.  The stuff in the front is teasle which long ago escaped from Colonist's gardens who raised it to raise the nap on woolen items.  Unfortunately, it is rather invaisive now.

So at any rate...please learn from my first error...stop...turn around...take the shot.  While the memory is gorgeous, it is easier to share with a photograph.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Artomat! A Novel Idea to Sell your Art

Sara Lynn Walsh's Artomat work

What would you do with an old cigarette vending machine?  At our last Miami Valley Art Quilt Network meeting, member Sara Lynn told of a surprising use.  Clark Whittington, an installation artist, took a defunct cigarette vending machine and fitted it with boxes to sell his artwork.  Originally intended as a temporary exhibition in a local cafe, the idea took off and Whittington started the Artomat organization.

Whittington gets artists to do small pieces of work which fit into a cardboard box he supplies.....the artist decorates the box and returns about 20 boxes with pieces of similar, but not identical work.  Whittington loads the vending machines, over 90 active machines, with the artwork.  Purchasers pay $5 and pull the knob to drop down their investment in a mini piece of art.  The artist receives half of the purchase price.  He calls his group "Artists in Cellophane."  Please go to the website to see examples of the vending machines and the types of things he does as well as the entire history.
Sara Lynn and the box provided to fill for the Art-o-mat

What a cool idea.  The machines are very retro looking and who doesn't like a grab bag? There's something that just makes you want to whip out your money and feed the machine so it can feed your soul.  

On the other hand, one wishes that the price could be a tad bit higher...The pieces of art are about the size of an artist trading card.  They must be 2 1/8" x 3 1/4" x 7/8" (54mm x 82mm x 21mm) in order to fit into the machine. I don't want to downgrade the art.

It is, a way to get your name out there...and it is a way to get people to take notice.  But, does it demean the art?  Does it give the concept that the pieces are just throw away?

On the other hand, it is just downright fun.  I think, if I can get my head above water, I'll submit some just because I love the concept, and I love the old vending machines.

Sara Lynn is leaving our group and will be going to Winston-Salem to work for Artists-in-Cellophane.  She's only been a member of MVAQN for about 2 years, maybe pushing three, but she's really fun and I love her funky ideas.  Winston-Salem is such an artistically rich place, I'm sure she'll have a great time.  I wish her well.  Sara Lynn has an Etsy shop, but at the moment she has had to close it while moving.  You can find it here, just check back occasionally to 
find out when she's open again. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I would have missed.....

Breast cancer awareness month is over.  Pink items are now on clearance, Dannon yogurt lids have either been turned in or thrown away.  Still...for those of us who live it either as patients or as friends, family and caregivers, it is with us.

As part of their effort to get the word out, promote breast cancer awareness in October and to convince the Super Committee to leave the funds intact for research in cancer, the American Cancer Society was asking people to tell what they would have missed had drugs and treatment not been available.  

If I hadn't had the care I had when I was diagnosed in 1994, I would have missed:
My daughter's first steps; and her first day at pre-school.  I would have missed teaching her in Baby-swim at the YMCA.

If I hadn't had 9 24-hour infusions of Taxol in 1998 after the stage IV diagnosis in Dec.1997, I would have missed my daughter's first day of kindergarten, Brownies, girl scouts, and working as a substitute teacher and with the PTO.  I wouldn't have been able to move back to the midwest, make quilts, give lectures, help out at my church and sing in the choir and watch my daughter run in cross country from grade 7 through her senior year.

If I didn't have the new drugs available as of May, 2010, I would have missed my daughter's senior year, graduation from high school and her first year of college, my niece's wedding, my other niece's getting her doctorate.  

Oh...there's lot of stuff in between...sunlight on the water, walks with the Siberian husky who adopted us, lots of laughs and projects with my various quilting guilds....warm chocolate chip cookies, the women of the Noble Circle project.....

The danger remains.  The U. S. Government funds research, often in areas that pharmaceutical companies won't because there are too few people who get a particular illness, or that perhaps it won't be profitable.  This isn't just for cancer, but many other illnesses and problems which assail us.  About 2% of the Federal budget goes for this.  How much are you willing to cut here?  Who do you want to tell that there's no more funds to try to find a cure or preventative for whatever illness? Take a look at the whole pie of the spending here.

Again...I don't know what the answer is in this prickly problem...but I certainly hope that someone comes up with something for me fast that works....At 51, I've lived 17 years with cancer being part of my life....I'd like to be able to add "watching my daughter graduate from college, seeing her married (if that happens), and maybe grandchildren (long way down the road and certainly not a given)....not to mention I'd like to go to Spain, and to Ireland and Sweden....and see many more sunrises and sunsets, and stars twinkling in the heavens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Garden surprises, Garden regrets

I have been a grumpy gardener lately.  Partly because I have had this pile of mulched leaves sitting across the street thumbing its nose at me.  You see, I have really heavy soil and my neighbors have silver maple trees which shed a lot of leaves.  They have a yard service which mows the leaves up, chopping them, and then they drop it out on the street curb to wait for the township to come and vacuum them up and take them away.

When they mow, they get little pieces of grass in it, and this combination of finely chopped leaves, with some green grass makes perfect compost.  This perfect compost, when dug into my heavy clay soil, lightens the soil as well as provides me with mulch to keep down weeds.  In previous years, when I didn't have trouble with my hip or was in chemotherapy, I would take my trusty lawn tractor with my wagon and scoop it all up...dumping it on my vegetable garden.   This year, I've had to sit and look at it and desire is great, but my pain is greater.

My garden always has a few surprises.  This one is pretty amusing.  I took this shot just the other day.  We've had some substantial freezes, more than just a killing frost.  However, this petunia plant has managed to survive.  Look on the bottom right.  See that thing which looks like a shard of glass? It's a piece of ice I dumped out of a bucket.
This is my little patch of black mondo grass (Ohiopogon planiscapus...which I usually just call Ohiopogon (O-hi-op-o-gone).  My neighbors, both pretty good gardeners, always comment on how good mine look (when it has been weeded) and how it mystifies them that mine is able to survive.  You see, it is hardy only to zone 6a, and for the most part, I'm on the very edge, more like 5b. However, I hold a secret.  The secret is in microclimates.

Near the black mondo grass and the petunia (which is across from the mondo grass) is my fish pond.  You see it stripped for the winter here.  While not terribly large, it is pretty deep and holds I think about 2,000 gallons.  Water, particularly running water, maintains heat.  The stones around the pond also retain heat.  The direction here is south.

In addition to the pond and the retaining wall, you can see the concrete paver walkway...which also absorbs and retains the southern sun's heat.
And finally, the  6' high fence keeps the drying and cold western winds slightly at bay.  To the right of all of this is the house, which also retains heat.

Part of the trick to gardening is knowing what zone you're in and knowing what parts of your garden has little micro-climates which are warmer, or colder than the surrounding area. This knowledge allows you to grow things which others can't....and it makes you look like a green thumbed wizard when in reality you're just observant.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Realism, abstraction and blessings on Hollis Chatelain

A while ago, the SAQA and Quiltart message boards were buzzing with the discussion of what is art and if abstract was better than realism.  I always cringe at this...especially when some people take the stance that the only "REAL ART" is ABSTRACT.  (usually being touted by someone with a bullhorn standing on a soapbox).  

I do a lot of realistic quilts.  I like realism but I also appreciate abstract and do work in abstract from time to time (viz the piece at left...which is actually abstracted realism and something which I am basing a more abstracted piece upon).  Not all realistic pieces speak to me, but then not all abstract pieces speak to me either.

Sherrie Spangler recently did a couple of blog posts about abstract work and tried to answer those who say they "just don't get abstract."  You can see it here.

I must say...I'm a little flummoxed.  If abstraction is appealing to people because of the pretty colors, nice texture, etc., such as what Sherrie shows, then why can't a pretty picture, be it a landscape, or a portrait or a still life be considered in the same vein?  Why do people have to throw clods of dirt at the opposite camp? 

Perhaps part of it is that often the imagery used can be the point of being trite.  Maybe it is that there's a lot of mediocre art which tends to make us feel that the pieces are vapid.  I liked Kathy Loomis's comment on my other blog post on the subject. "I wish we would spend less time arguing about "is this art?" and more time arguing about "is this any good?"

I have to admit, something which makes a piece stand out, whether it is representational or not is what the artwork SAYS.  Recently, at the SAQA parlor meeting in Columbus, one of the members showed a piece which was pretty, looked traditional, and was made out of untraditional materials.  When you first looked at it you thought "Oh, pretty."  Then when she said what she used, my initial response was "What a curator's nightmare! How will this hold up?"  Then, she told us why she used what she did....and it made a moving piece which had so much more depth than being just the pretty, traditional looking quilt that it first appeared.
Hollis Chatelain, World of the Taureg

When I first started thinking about writing something on this, I contacted several well known art quilters and asked them if I could have permission to talk about their work on my blog.  Hollis Chatelain was the only one to respond.  

Hollis' work represents what I'm thinking about here on many levels.  Her images are beautiful and particularly well crafted.  On the surface, you appreciate them, but then when you look at them more closely, you are drawn in and you realize that there is so much more to them than what you first saw.

Hollis often works from images she dreams.  Then sketches them and does the painting with thickened dyes on whole cloth before quilting them.  Her images bring forth a world consciousness and speaks to us all if we would have the ears and eyes to take it in.  Hopefully, we do and take away something which makes us think, and better yet, act.

Hollis Chatelain "Blue Men."
"Blue Men" and "The World of the Taureg" pay homage to the Taureg whose lifestyle is rapidly changing in response to the African droughts which are killing their herds.  These nomads are being forced by the climactic issues to give up their traditional lives.

Hollis often works in a limited palette.  I didn't ask to use her more famous pieces (although her Taureg series is very recognizable) .  The Ecuadorian Girls is quite different in the exuberant colors and because she based it on photographs.  Here is her artist statement as taken from her gallery on this piece:  Our daughter studied in Ecuador for five months last year.  She volunteered to teach English in a small village in the Andes mountains.  We visited her and went to that village where I photographed the children.  I was so struck by how old the girls looked and the responsibility that is put upon them at such a young age that I created this piece in their honor.  These girls are all under fifteen years of age.  This piece is composed of four photographs I combined." 

While she based it on photographs she took, and she does use a lot of thread work, this piece is far from "paint by numbers" quilting and gives us all something to aspire to. 

Hollis Chatelain, "Ecuadorian Girls."
Hollis' work "Innocence" which won the Viewer's Choice award at Houston in 2010 is one which from a distance is an attractive portrait quilt.  When you view it closely, you realize all the statement is in the quilting. 

While working in series and "finding your voice" is important to art quilters, sometimes I think that these same characteristics can easily become a rut.   Given that Hollis does abstract works in addition to nature based pieces, I think she'll continue to inspire us and make us think.  

I believe that the world is a better place for having Hollis Chatelain in it.  Certainly, the art and quilt world is far richer because of her.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autumns Last Glory

Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood)
 Today was a windy, but Indian summery day.  It is probably the last as 70 degrees isn't normal here at this time of year.  In fact, there were tornado warnings.  This wonderful blue sky shortly later gave way to glowering clouds.

Being that it was such a nice day, I took a quick stroll around the garden to see what colors were left.  Parrotia persica, or commonly called the Persian Ironwood is a really great tree with wonderfully colored leaves.  The dull brown leaves in the back are the same tree as the yellow and red here, but they were older and suffered from the drought we had in the summer.

This tree has grown well in the 6 years I've had it in, although it is still not old enough to show the wonderful exfoliating bark.  Some day.....

Until then, I'll be happy with this.  One caveat though, some green caterpillar thought they'd munch down on this tree this summer...quite a nuisance, although some sort of parasite managed to kill off most of the munchers.

Parrotia, another view.

The other day, I showed you a shot of my winterberry (Ilex vertilcillata) with the gold leaves on it.  They blew off, and you can see the wonderful red least until the birds decide that they are ready for eating.
Ilex verticillata "sparkleberry"

Ilex verticillata sparkleberry overall.

I think in the spring, this will have to be moved.  I planted a  peach tree whip next to it which has taken off.

Spirea "Mellow yellow" also called "Ogon" I think

Some other great color remains on my spirea.  Once this gets big, it has arching branches with small white flowers.  The leaves in the spring and summer are a yellow green.

Itea "Little Henry"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Glorious Day

Today I went to the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Ohio regional meeting in Columbus at Beth Schillig's house.  Everytime I go it is a shot in the arm. I love seeing such wonderfully funny and talented people as Shelley Brenner Baird, Teri Ann Hartzell and Jen Siegrist.  Sharing and seeing the great things....and as usual, I saw some very moving quilts during show and tell.  Dee Dadik and Molly Butler gave a great presentation on how they arrive at appraisal values.

I think between riding over with Mindy Marik and talking to Shelley, I have gotten the swift kick in the pants (or is it paints?) to get on with my work.  In other words, the light is shining through the tree branches.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be as glorious a fall day as today was and my hip won't hurt so much.  I have talked to a guy to hire him to come help me cut back the garden.  It still looks pretty good, even though I have been neglecting it.

The birds and other critters (unfortunately a healthy collection of mice....but at least they were providing hawk food the other day) are enjoying my grasses and various fruiting shrubs.  Ilex verticilata, or winterberry , provides food for the birds but a wonderful red berry until they are devoured.

In theory, I shouldn't be growing them here as they are acid lovers....however they seem to be doing fine, with some leaf yellowing.  Like other hollies, the winterberry must be matched with the appropriate male pollinator.  I usually use one male plant for three to four female plants.

I meant to talk to you about my Heptocodon miconoides, or Seven Suns Flower, or Seven Suns tree or shrub.  It's a native of China, but has wonderfully sweet, lemony scented flowers in the late summer.  Bees and butterflies adore it.  After the small white flowers drop, they leave beautiful red calyxes which stay on for a while...but the winds and the rains I have been having have left me with only a few.  Take a look here to see what they look like. I don't have any fruit, so I suppose that I would have to have more than one for cross pollination.

It grows about 8 - 10 feet wide to a height of about 20 feet.  I planted it in front of my bay window in the hopes that someday it might give me a little shade on my deck.  At present, mine is only about 10 feet tall.  One of the other attractive attributes is that the bark exfoliates, so even in the dead of winter there is something interesting to look at.  The birds find its branching habit good for getting shelter from hawks and Lemmie the Magnificent when he's on one of his hunting forays.

One sad thing, I emptied my pots out this week....and because the roots were so severely filling this lovely blue pot....I accidentaly broke it when I was trying to get the roots and soil out with my little spade.  Oh less thing to worry about putting away!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dry Spells

 I've been having a dry spell lately.  I guess part of it may be that I'm up to my eyeballs in trying to get things done with the garden (fall clean up, pots taken in, plants brought in and things set to be held over winter) and the house that I'm just too much in that than I am in the art world.  I also have been having some scares....and problems.  I pulled something in my chest while trying to pick up a 15 - 20 pound stone to replace on my pond's waterfall, then this week I managed to trip over a rolling step stool in the library and now my hip has been hurting terrifically.

Today and yesterday, I've been trying to work with notan elements as well as trying to get my last Dayton Landmarks slice quilted.  I've ripped it out three times.  I'm finding that I'm having a hard time controlling my quilting and I am guessing that it is still the nerve damage. So, I hauled out a printed panel and started practicing, just outlining it and trying to make sure that I stayed cleanly on the lines as well as making sure the stitches are good.  I hate the concept of messing up a quilt just because I don't have the quilting down well.

Sometimes taking a step back and focusing on the mechanics is a good idea. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

I've also been trying to do some sketches for some pieces I want to do....but they aren't coming well.  So, I might just pull a "Pamela Allen" and do it free form/free cutting , no drawing and more abstract.  I WANT to do it in my usual style, but it isn't working for me right now so I have to accept this is where I am at present and give it a shot. Who knows? It might come out well....but I hate the idea that I'm working in Pamela's style, not my own.  . . . Not to say that my pieces will ever be like Pamela's, but still...

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank all veteran's.  We just added a new Vet to our family in Andrew Cole who served in Iraq with the USMC. At left is my dad and my grandmother in the 1940s.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting Out to Vote

I just got back from voting....which wasn't without some consternation.  We have two polling places.  In presidential years or years when there is expected to be heavy voter turn out, we vote in one location which is actually closer to my house.  I have to go further down the road to vote at the second station.

The first spot is at a church on a corner, but set back about 50 yards from the street.  The second place is in the township garage and it is at the back of an industrial complex off a state road.  The church's only designation as a polling place today was a small yard sign placed in front of the church's door and a 8 x 10 flag stuck in the ground, neither of which was very visible from the street, but there was a plethora of political signs for and against issue 2 and with the Troy Legal council candidates.  The second location was blocked by a semi-tractor trailer turning around the first time I went, and again, no signs except right in front of the building back beyond sight from the road.  I had to stop at the church to figure out WHERE I was supposed to go....I guess you're just supposed to intuit these things as they weren't published in the paper....however there was 59 pages of the full text of Issue 2 which was the proposal to limit Government union contracts as well as other Government employment contracts.

I always try to vote.  I have been unsuccessful twice, and it wasn't because I didn't try.  I feel that it is important to vote because of how much so many people have given to give me the right to vote, from the service men and women who have fought in various wars to the Suffragettes.

The quilt above is Judy V. Gula's, of Artistic Artifacts fame.  Called "Suffragettes Picketing in Washington, D.C."  The right for women to vote took a long time....100 years in America from the first part of the movement in the 1820s until the 19th amendment was passed in August of 1920.  African American men (but not women) obtained the right to vote in February, 1870.  Interestingly, section 1 of the 15th amendment reads:  "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  You'd think that included women...but evidently we weren't citizens.

Women campaigned to obtain the right to vote and many were beaten and imprisoned for it (Lorton Prison, later called Lorton Correctional institution in Lorton, Virginia, near Artistic Artifacts, was where many of the Suffragettes who marched on Washington, D.C. were incarcerated.  In 2008, a portion of the Lorton Prison was opened as the Workhouse Arts Center.  Some interesting articles on Women's suffrage in the U.S. can be found here.  While the term "Progressive" has come to be something to be spat from the mouth by some people today, it is important to remember if it weren't for the work of the Progressives and the Progressive party, women and persons of color would probably not have the right to vote today.  The Night of Terror is outlined here, and if that isn't a reason to vote, I don't know what is.

Judy's lovely quilt shows some photographs of the Suffragettes, as well as ribbons similar to ones which would have decorated the signs, placards, buttons and chests of the Suffragettes. The backing of the quilt is composed of the shirt samples, and the lovely buttons are period mother of pearl buttons which would have graced the dresses of the women at the time.  The square and round objects through which the ribbons pass are vintage mother of pearl belt buckles.  

I think that she captured the feeling of the period quite well, in addition to answering her own challenge nicely.

Her second piece is Suffragettes Suits of Power.

I think she sums it up nicely in her artist's statement for this piece:  "Are we woman of today taking our responsibilities seriously? My Mother told me that I had opportunities in the world that she did not. What did she mean? She was young. To the generations of woman before me who carved our rights, opportunities, and power from the stone of male politics, thank you!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Being Cuban in D.C.

While I was in D.C., Lourdes took us to a Cuban Restaurant which pretended to look on the inside as if it were a Disneyized version of Havana.  Mark, Lourdes' husband, had to ask for a flashlight to read the menu.  For dessert, I opted for Tocino de cielo...Bacon from Heaven which was served with some fresh fruit and a wafer cookie.  Tocino de Cielo  is very similar to flan.....which prompted a discussion at the dinner table.

Since I'm just married to a Cuban, I learned how to cook Cuban specialties from cookbooks and from talking to Carlos' two aunts, Haidee and Gloria who are very good cooks.  From them, I learned that the difference between the two is that Tocino is made with the yolks of 10 eggs, whereas flan is made with the whole egg.
However, Maggie and Lourdes' grandmother made her flan only with the egg this caused some confusion over the dark dinner table.  I've done a little more research and that does seem to be the distinction.  Although the Couciero grandmother called it flan, it seems that it is indeed Tocino de Cielo.

Another Cuban past time is playing dominos.  Whenever we get together, the three of us (and usually my daughter Meg and Mark if they are around) play Mexican Train dominos.  We play with double twelves, and I admit sometimes my scores are so astronomical that I have a hard time adding all those little dots in my head...high scores are NOT something you want.  Mark, who is also a gringo, is here at left holding Sydney a very spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and a rare picture of Lourdes with her glasses on.  Carlos doesn't much like playing dominos....he calls them "Dominos lentos."  Slow dominos.

Hopefully, I'll be back to posting more regularly.  I've been trying to catch up on stuff around the house and last week I did something to my rib which has caused a great deal of pain and some fear...and I'm afraid that I'm too tired to post sometimes!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some things Stay the Same

It's November....and political feelings are flying high in Ohio.  Around the country for that matter with the Occupy Wall Street and you name the other locales.  

In August, I stayed at the Youth Hostel at Malabar Farm.  I had heard of it, but had never read any of the books by Louis Bromfield, the highly touted early 20th century writer who lived there.  After talking with the hostel director, I decided to read "The Farm", which was first published in 1933.

It was a little slow to pull me in.  A lot slow...I have persevered in continuing to read, admitedly much more slowly than I usually tear through books.  I'm reaching the end, and it is getting more interesting.   I was taken by the following observations, and thought you'd be interested in it as well.:

"James Willingdon left the bank for politic when two of the political bosses in the northern part of the State persuaded him that in politics there was a great future for him.  Three things, I think, led them to believe that he was the material they sought--his charm, his easy-going ways, and his wide acquaintance among the farmer.  The Republicans already had such a man--handsome, simple and willing to compromise.  He came from the next county and already he had done much to help the "party," which mean that he voted as he was told by men who seldom held any office but stood in the wings, prompting and directing the performers.  His name was Warren Gamaliel Harding.  The Democratic Party no longer held to its old-fashioned principles.  In it too there were men who believed in tariffs and believed that "business" should be helped now and then discreetly and judiciously.
      But the men who sought out James Willingdon failed to count upon his what they later called eccentricity and pigheadedness.  They did not understand that "honesty" meant one thing to him and another to themselves, nor that he was a man so fantastic that he could not be tempted either by money or by the political honors which could be bestowed through the mechanical operation of a political machine which was not above making bargains with the opposite party.  Nor did they comprehend a man who never allowed ambition to become an obsession, and saw success and money not as the whole of life, but only as a part of it.  It was, in their opinion, simply mad for a man to prefer respect for himself to money and renown.
     He was elected at once, and no sooner was he seated in his office in the big Court House than certain rich men came to him separately and in groups to demand reductions upon the valuations of the mills and factories and houses which they owned.  It was scarcely a shameless procedure because the question of shame was not involved.  They had supported him and given money toward the expenses of his election, and now that he had won they were entitled to their rewards.  It was all a part of the game of politics and not very many citizens troubled to consider the ethics of what they were asking.  Not many of the citizens who elected Johnny's father could even have defined the word "ethics."  The Republicans had had their innings and had their properties undertaxed, and now it was the turn of the men who had succeeded in driving them from influence.  A poor man had no chance of having his taxes reduced, but the rich man who contributed to the party fund could have what he wanted.  It was simply a question of "business"  Why should anyone drag in a question of honesty in government?  The contributions were investments and now the men who made them had a right to a return.  Subtly, the government itself was being taken over by business men.  Subtly the government was being put on the level of shopkeeping.  It was a rule which worked in Washington as well as in a moderate-sized town in the Middle West.  They had plenty of Senators like Aldrich and Hale and Payne and Foracker and Hanna who saw the point clearly and made no trouble.  Often enough because they too were business men they were helping themselves as well."  (pages 224-225, The Farm by Louis Bromfield.  Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York and London, 1933, 1935,1946).

I realize that this quotation is far longer than it should be, but I also know that this volume is probably not widely known or widely available anymore, despite how popular it was when it was first printed.  Bromfield usually draws his characters from a composite of people he knew and "The Farm" is considered to be autobiographical in nature.  Certainly the parallels with the current economic crisis and the Great Depression are interesting, however, I would hazzard to say that there has been little change in the political climate.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Power Suit Challenge Part 4: Cards and My entry

 Not surprisingly, several of the entries in the Power Suit Challenge included cards.  I was somewhat amused to hear artist Linda Cooper explaining the hand to another visitor.  It was all I could do not to eves drop as I was standing on the opposite side of the panel.  I don't play bridge, so I was very interested to try to understand this game....

Power Suit – The James Bond Way
"In Ian Fleming‘s Moonraker novel, there‘s a scene where James Bond stacks the deck and deals this hand devised by the Duke of Cumberland, son of George III. Bond is playing with M against the villain, Hugo Drax. And although Drax‘s hand looks magnificent, there‘s no way he and his partner can take a trick. I made this quilt with fond memories of many years of card games played with family and friends. I thank Conner Gillette and my brother, Joe Thoma, for posing for the head and torso (Conner) and hand (Joe) of Bond."

I was intrigued by Marilyn Welling's Poker Power Suit because she used the shirting fabrics as the back side of the poker hand and turned them back so you could see the card values.  This added dimension to her quilt.  Of course the power suit in poker is a Royal Flush which is seen here in the upper left corner.  Marilyn noted that she likes playing poker in her artist statement.

Lastly, here's my entry.  If you look back through the other photos of the exhibition you can see a corner of it hanging.  This is the shot I took just before sending it off in the mail.  Mine is called "Run for the Money".  The background is made from the shirting swatches cut and randomly pieced.  The men are cut from the black suiting swatches and fused with Misty-fuse.  The monopoly money was fussy cut from a fabric printed with Monopoly money, and I carefully cut out the pieces which you could see most of the bills from and also fused them with Mistyfuse.  I free-motion quilted it with dollar signs.  The binding is the rather dull grey silk tie which was in my packet.