rocket tracking


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cut Bank is Pretty Cool

Cut Bank is a pretty cool the famous penguin which welcomes you to town can attest.  There's always something to photograph.

Here are a few choice tidbits...I am pleased with the fantastic welded art...I haven't gotten a shot of the group of mounted Indians in front of the casino on the way out of town towards Browning, nor the cross and priest on the opposite side of the road, and this doesn't even begin to count the cool buildings and the elevators....I'm constantly fascinated by elevators...and piles of discarded farm machinery and vehicles.

Here are a few things to contemplate.

 The "Hi-Line" is what they call this reason for the name is because of a raised road intended to keep the snow from drifting.  This pair of tin snips has to be about 10 feet long.
 Sign done with a cutting torch.  The left side shows the elevators which are right behind the RR Car lot.
 Sign painted on the side of a building...I'm guessing from the 1960s.  The anthropomorphic water system is labled "Bill Ding."
 I'm sorry that this shot doesn't capture the beauty of this outdoor sculpture of sparkles and is new within the last 2 years.
The bench at the left is cut iron showing clouds. The bench at the center rear, just in front of the grass shows the mountains.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Banishing the Design Doldrums

I'm having a struggle.  I agreed to enter the SAQA Regional exhibition, "The View from Here."  The problem is, I was so busy before I left, I only had ideas in my head.. I dutifully printed some photos of shots I had taken to give me inspiration and guides for making the pieces, and thought since I am going to be spending 12 hours in a car, 8 hours on an airplane, and while visiting Montana, there is no television so in the evenings I thought I could stitch.

However, I forgot the photos and don't like the sketches I have done for the concepts.  So...what to do.  Well, since I'm in Montana farm country, the land of rusty bits, I decided I would rust dye some fabric for the ground for one of the ideas I had.

So, here's what those wierd little packages yeilded.  Some possibilities....I think I'm going to add some tea to a couple of pieces to see if that makes a better ground for what I'm thinking of.  I also painted some sky fabric.

And...I made a little piece for the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge.  I'm late on that surprise, but I expect to finish this for tomorrow.  I was going to do a school of fish based on a sketch I did for Elizabeth Barton's Quilt University class, "Inspired to Design." But, since Ann Ruthsdottir already showed her piece based on the school of fish, I decided to do something else.'s my "Leap of Leaping Leopards." I Mistyfused the pieces down, and tomorrow I will quilt it. The background it is sitting on a just a piece of rust dyed had a red table cloth on and getting a background was just look at the stuff on the blue.

 I wasn't sure if I wanted to put a pale moon in the upper corner or not. My mom is not a person inclined to use yellow, so the only thing I could find to audition the color was a piece of yellow paper.  I'm thinking the edges should be not as sharp, and the color paler.

What do you think?

I think sometimes diving in helps break the design block... at least I'm hoping it does as I really have to get these fingers flying.
I'm participating with Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday art quilting blog.  You can find it here.  You can find links to other art quilting blogs on her site.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The View from Here: Hitting a Dry spell

This is the view out my mother's kitchen window.  Today, you could even see the snow on the mountains....I guess some of the fires which have produced the smoke hazing up the horizon have been controlled.

I've been struggling today...I've been trying to do some work for the SAQA Ohio show, "the View From Here."  I had anticipated doing the majority of the work here and had brought out some fabrics...only I'm not inspired.  I've been sketching today....but still nothing...and I need to get it done so I can finish it at home....but I am not coming up with anything....
The other thing we've done today is to go out to the Cut Bank airport and see the B-17 bomber.  Glorious plane, but....I'm  little unhappy with the nose art.  Originally these planes had someone paint an emblem, a girl, the name of the plane, or whatever.  This one which has been restored used a photo of Betty Grable's famous swimsuit shot....computerized into a "decal."  Sort of disappointing since I am sure that many artist's would love the opportunity to paint the real deal on the nose...for free even.
The nut in the front is my sister, Mary.

It is always inspiring to see these wonderful WWII war birds....

Hopefully, I'll be more inspired tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where there's smoke, there's fire

Fire seen from Jerusalem Rocks, Montana

Another view of the fire 
It's harvest time in northwestern Montana.  Things are dry, as usual, but this brings more fire danger.  Sometimes combines hit a rock which creates a spark, or barley chaff gets hot and ignites, or someone throws a cigarette out a window....Today, winds were gusting to 65 mph, but were fairly steady at 50 mph.  I went out to take some photos and had to lean into the wind just to stay upright.

 Fires have been burning here for quite some time further south, but today, this one started north of my looked like it was close, but in reality, it is about 40 miles away.   When we drove through Missoula on Saturday, it was pretty smokey.  Ever since I got here, it smells like someone burned toast outside....I can't imagine what the particulate matter is, but I can tell you I have been coughing....I just hope that it isn't more trouble for me.....and that people don't lose their harvest (sometimes these break out in combined fields....sometimes not) or their property.  I'm told that this one doesn't seem to be near any houses...but combines sometimes burn in the fields....scary.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

But is it Good Enough?

The last several days have been a mad dash for me....I was trying to finish a traditionally based quilt as a favor to a friend of mine who bought the fabric, but wasn't able to make the quilt for her son before she died of pancreatic cancer, I didn't make it but it will be finished soon.  I prepared to go to Montana by way of Olympia, Washington leaving the hubby and kitties home to mind Casa Quintana. And last but not least, I finished up a quilt to enter into the Quilt National exhibition.

All of this was tumbled in with my regular duties, trips to the oncologist, and extremely painful hands and feet (a side effect of the current chemo).  The hand situation, coupled with the neuropathy (in my case extreme numbness) in my hands made doing the quality of work I want and the speed with which I used to work almost unattainable.  Handwork when your fingertips have been peeled down to the thinnest layer of skin isn't easy.

All the while when I was working on my Quilt National Entry, I kept on it good enough?  Quilt National is one of the biggest, oldest and most prestigious of the art quilting exhibitions.  It is held in Athens, Ohio at the Dairy Barn Art Center every two years.  While I think that the piece is the best I've done to date, getting into the show is very difficult.  People have tried for years to get this piece is a leap....But...this is one thing I know.  If I don't put in an application, then I won't get in.  If I do put in an application and don't get in,. then the $35 entry fee will be a donation to support a show I firmly believe in. If you don't take the steps to fly, you will always remain tethered to the ground.

So...while I am in the high plains of Montana, I will work on pieces for some other shows, and keep my numb fingers crossed.  If you're wondering why I went to Olympia, WA, I met up with my sister and we drove the 12 hours to Cut Bank. it ended up being a 13 hour trip as I missed the exit to St. Regis on the way out and had to go to Missoula and up instead.   We will stop in Missoula on the way back to visit my niece and catch Heidi Zelinski's show at Montana Art and Framing.'s hoping that you will take the leap and try to do something you WANT to do, but don't have the certainty that you are "good enough." You will never reach the top of the mountain unless you attempt the mountain...and in the meantime, each attempt will teach you something new.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Helping Your Neighbors in Ohio

When I first moved to Ohio, I was amazed at the number of fundraisers held at chain restaurants for local groups.   The first one I came in contact with was one at Fazoli's (a pasta/Italian chain....sort of like Italian does fast food) for the Cross Country team.  Coupons are printed, photocopies really, and then you go and eat and a percentage of your bill is donated to the cause which was promoted on your "coupon."

I was grateful for this "diversion" tonight as I am working madly on trying to finish up a couple of quilts.  Tonight was a fundraiser at Applebee's.  Rachel Stump, a 2012 graduate of Troy High School, was hit by a car her first weekend at Ohio State University.   She has traumatic brain injury and has been hospitalized since mid-August.

My daughter worked with her and her mom, both waitresses at the Piqua (OH) Country Club.  Rachel's parents were divorced, and I can't even begin to imagine the financial stress this would put on her addition to the emotional stress and fear she must have.  If you are a waitress, generally, you don't have health insurance through your work...but more importantly, if  you don't work, you don't get a pay check.  I hope that Rachel's father had insurance to cover her....but even so, she faces probably a year of rehabilitation, IF everything goes well for her.

She is out of the coma now, and is walking for short bits...and she has been "talking" and responds to questions, but this is going to be a long road for her.  Fortunately, she was a cheerleader and was in  good physical shape, so hopefully youth and her conditioning will help her on the path.  See all those papers in the woman wearing the Cincinnati Bengal's jersey? Those are receipts from people who ate at Applebee's today.  10% will go to help Rachel.  The other woman is wearing a "Pray for Rachel" t-shirt which are being sold to help out (I was told that they had gone through three printings of over 100 each time), and she also has a pink "Pray for Rachel" bracelet.

The community has pulled together for her.  This happens around here...I'm sure some people who deserve and need similar action fall through the cracks, but it is heartening when people do things like this.  In this area, people take missions (for Katrina, to help with Habitat for Humanity, and to help in underprivileged areas in the U.S. and abroad) quite a bit, far more than what I saw in Connecticut, although the Nutmegger's did some too...but it is very prevalent here.  Pretty cool. It would be great if more and more people did this.  Sometimes I think it would be great if we had mandatory two years of volunteering in some outreach programs in the U.S., just as military service is required in other countries.  I know it is an impossibility, but wouldn't it be great to work to make the world a better place?