rocket tracking


Monday, July 29, 2013

Some things just speak to me.....

and sometimes I wish they could speak.  Some of you are probably aware that in my professional life I was a museum curator.   Things speak to me...they have stories to tell and are objects with which to teach history.  Sometimes their histories are mysteries.

It isn't surprising that as a "material culturist" I like things.  I used to go to auctions regularly with friends in Connecticut.  In the late 1980s,  I found this luster decorated teapot dumped somewhat sadly which a much nicer piece, an English white salt glaze stoneware teapot dating to about 1790.  It was a slow night at the auction, and I bought the box lot for $35.00.  I was after the saltglaze....but this one intrigued me.

Its shape is a little unusual. I haven't seen many like it.  It is English and dates to about 1830.  But that isn't why I am interested in it.  You can see the chunk out of the bottom portion (I have the piece) but this fell out later.  It is one beaten up piece.

In the 19th century, broken pieces of pottery were sometimes mended if the pieces had sentimental value.  They could never really be used again as the mend was....well....not like superglue.  You can see the crack lines in this photo, but look more carefully and you'll see an odd line next to the floral sprig at lower left, another perpendicular to the pink line at lower right, another at the right of the photo near the raised rim near the lid just above the handle.

Here's a closer look at the mend.  Yep, these are staples.  The mender (maybe a a tinker who mended all sorts of things) drilled small holes, then put a metal staple in to hold the pieces together. Then, the mender painted the staples so that they would blend in.  The white has yellowed now, but the green matches the green on the rim and on the side perfectly.  You can miss it if you aren't looking for it. The amazing thing is with all the breaks in it, the handle and spout are in perfect shape.  Maybe water which was too hot was put into a cold pot?

Why was this pot so special?  Why was it saved? Was it a gift and it was mended to remember the giver?  Was it a husband or child who put too much hot water into a cold pot and then felt so much remorse that they had it mended?

If only pots could talk!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Metropark Daylilies Sketch

I am often overwhelmed.....It's been that way.  Too much to do in the house and the garden along with the regular living often renders me incapable of doing anything.

Once again, I have vowed to keep on chipping away at things.....working a little bit every day in the garden (trying to get the weeds under control) and in the various parts of the house which are....a disaster.

 The sewing room I fear has once again been the recipient of dumped projects and materials waiting for me to get in there and properly put things away.  It is so bad that I can't bear to be in there.

You'll recall this photo from a couple of weeks ago. It is my basis for entry into the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network's Dayton Metro Park show. I intended to get right at it and do my drawing.  But it didn't happen...largely because I couldn't bear the thought of going into the pigsty which is my sewing room/studio.

Today was my usual quilting group.  While I have been chipping away at a queen sized traditional quilt, I also brought along the supplies to get the drawing done.  The sketch above is what I intend....although I will fill in the front with more day lilies and the trees still need some tweaking.  I was merely roughing in some shapes which would be interpreted by stitching and various bits of cloth....but in looking at it, I think it still needs some tweaking.

I often have a problem.  I often am slavishly devoted in absolutely re-creating what I see, regardless of whether or not the composition could be improved.  Thus, I am adding in more skyline on this to bring some blue in to contrast with the orange day lilies and give more flow, and more day lilies as I think it will make it more interesting.  I'm also moving some Queen Anne's Lace from the middle of the field (where it was growing because it got more sun) to the foreground to add some more interest and contrast in shape and texture.

I will probably do two of these, one a complete abstract, another less so.  My friend Chris reminded me that this isn't due until February.....but I know me....and I don't want to be last minute Lisa.  Besides, who knows what curve balls life with throw me in the ensuing months?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Wonderful Saturday

I wasn't  able to go to the opening of Sacred Threads on July 13th, but Debra Bentley, a local art quilter and friend who also had a piece in the show did get to go and she graciously offered to pick up a copy of the catalog for me.  Much to my surprise, I felt well enough to go to the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network meeting where I was able to get my copy from Deb.

An even greater treat was that Maria Elkins was the program.  She did a slide show (well...OK, power point show) of her quilts and talked about her quilting journey, then showed us her quilts in real life...I really had to laugh as many of the pieces I previously saw on her website or in other photos were MUCH smaller than I thought they were.   Here's what Maria had to say about the meeting:

It is always a treat to see Maria.  You'd think that since we don't live that far away, 30 minutes approximately, I'd see her more often, but our paths cross more frequently on-line I fear now than in real life.

Once again, Maria showed her piece "Surrender" about her daughter's baby, Amalya, who was discovered to have a birth defect at the end of the first trimester.  Although her daughter knew that Amalya would only survive briefly after birth, she carried the baby through the complete pregnancy.  Amalya lived only a little more than an hour, but his birth was not without purpose.  Tissue from the baby was given for study, and Maria's daughter started a website to provide information for other parents whose baby's lives are similarly cut short.  Although the website primarily discusses steps for donation of tissue, organs for transplant and study, it goes well beyond that.  You can find the website here: 

Although I know the story and the quilt well, every time I see it, I am moved to tears and grateful for the wonderful faith and support this family has.  So many positive things have come from this occurrence, even though it is such a sad story.  Please take a look at Maria's quilt here

If you are able to get to Sacred Threads 2013, take a look at Deb's quilt "Finding the Color of My Soul" which shows a labyrinth and indicates the four elements written in Irish runes.  Sacred Threads will be open just a little longer, it closes July 28.  40 pieces, mine included, will travel to Omaha, Nebraska and be on exhibit at the Sunderland Gallery from September 15 through November 10, 2013.  Details are here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yellow Medley a wordy Wednesday

Vivien said that her day lilies get eaten by deer.  Since I have a fairly high fence and the deer have plenty of other places to go, I don't have a husbands who get overly rambunctious with roundup and splash some on the plants....that's a whole other story.

The day lilies in the center, which you can barely see because of the the annual black-eyed Susans (a rudebekia species which I can't remember which) are a wonderful orange called "Mauna Loa"  the throats are splashed with a darker orange which looks like someone painted it.  The yellow daisy looking things are marsh sunflowers, and the far back has yellow tiger lilies (Lilium superbum) .. Pokey looking bally thingies are Echinops Ritro.  and yes....there's some golden rod and misc. other weeds growing in there too.

It's so hot, I haven't been able to go out and shoot the close ups of the day lilies I intended to...the chemo I'm on makes me really susceptible to heat and sun. So....this cheerie little melange will just have to do for today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sacred Threads Exhibition 2013

On July 10, the 2013 exhibition of Sacred Threads opened at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, VA.  Here's the details:

Location: Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171 (near Dulles Airport).
Exhibit Dates: July 10-28, 2013
Show Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Admission: $5
I attended the show in 2009  when it was last here in Reynoldsburg, OH, but it has moved to Herndon, VA.  I wasn't able to go in 2011, and although I had a quilt accepted this year (first time I entered) I wasn't able to attend the opening reception this last Saturday.  I was really bummed when I realized that my body would just not co-operate.  I had looked forward to seeing it in it's new location and to see all the quilts as the first show I saw was really good.  Over 231 quilts were chosen from over   400 entries.  One good thing is that my friend and fellow artist, Debra Bentley was accepted again this year (she had a piece in 2011) and attended, and got a copy of the catalog for me and had people sign it.  Lots of friends have pieces in and attended the opening....some I have met in person and some I only have online relationships with (so far).

Debra told me it was really neat, and was set up in a labyrinth.....that is really cool, and especially so for Deb as her quilt shows a labyrinth!

I mentioned in an earlier post that "View from the Abyss" was accepted.  On thing I never really thought about when making it is.....what it would look like on a black drape (the most common color used in shows.  Nina-Marie Sayre was kind enough to take this shot and send it.  I'm not sure....while it blends in with the backgound, maybe it makes it more mysterious and draws people in to look more closely.  Debra's husband noticed that the people who spent the most time looking at it were men.....Hmm.

Eleanor Levie posed the question on her blog and on the Quiltart message board do quilter's resemble their quilts? For me....I think it is a resounding NO.

The photo below was one of the last ones taken with my real hair.

This photo is one taken with my current wig.  I like color, never wear black. While often rumpled, I am not stringy or heavily textured.  So....I don't think I look like my quilts at all....especially not the most recent....but even my earlier ones, although they use a lot of color.....I don't think I resemble them at all. 

But.....if you get a chance, go to the Sacred Threads show.  They are also having some classes and special activities in conjunction to the show and have made available a catalog and a CD of the quilts on exhibition for purchase.  For more information, go to the website here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Getting ready to approach a Dayton Metropark Quilt..the wonders of Daylilies

Do you ever get focused on something an become sort of obsessed with it?  Well for several weeks I was going to write about  my last failed class, but I wanted to work it through on line....and could I find the drawings? Noooooo.

So, here I am.  Bear with fingers are numb and it is very hard to type..I make all sorts of typos and I hope I catch them all.

The Miami Valley Art Quilt Network is getting ready for it's third series of art quilts inspired by the Miami Valley.  This time, we will be doing quilts inspired by the rather extensive Dayton Metro Parks.  There are many....but I have been to only a few.   Since it is sort of hard for me to get around, especially on uneven ground, I decided to go with a shot I already had.  This is a meadow  Englewood Metropark, right across from the Aullwood Nature Center. I took it a couple o of years ago when i still walk well.  My daughter was out running, and I went along to shoot photos.

These are common day lilies, Hemerocallis fulva, usally called "ditch lilies" in the Midwest.  They are escapees, originating from Asia, but they were brought over by the early colonists.  Bright and cheery, they are not true lilies at all, but take their name from the lily shaped flowers which last only for a day.  They have tubers, not bulbs, and the tubers, as well as the flowers are edible.  I've eaten them...not exactly one of my 'must haves" although I suspect deep frying the buds would probably taste pretty good as I have not much much that deep frying doesn't make something more edible.

This shot sort of makes me think.  I think it needs a few more lilies, although I like the wild grape and other 'weeds" growing along the edge.  I will do some drawings..

While they are invasive species, they are easily killed by round-up, or by digging so you get all the tubers...if you are patient, not terribly difficult...and by no means as hard to do in as Japanese honeysuckle or Japanese Bittersweet....or kudzu ...or a variety of other nasties.

Here, you can see them growing in a ditch not far from me on Nashville Rd.  I think this is the most significant patch I have ever seen, and I wonder if it wan't given a little "help" from  the owner.  The ditch is a drainage  ditch. The tall stuff behind the one with the barn in it is elderberries.

I find these very cheery, and when you find a patch with some chicory blooming in is just spectacular...the soft blue of the chicory and the orange of the day lily is just fantastic!

Of course, I have lots of day lilies in my own garden, and in the spring when I am giving divisions away, and can't remember what I have planted where....I usually shrug and say well, it is probably a dark maroon one, or an orangy one.....but mine are not your run of the mill orangy ones....

I'll be sharing a few with you as it is day lily time....although day lilies bloom in my garden from late May through the end of September.  Even though my friend Martha pooh-poohs them because they get scruffy looking after they bloom (you need to pull the dying vegetation on them), I just love them.  They do so well in my hot, clay, full sun kissed beds....and while they are in bloom..well. they just delight me...dark ones with green eyes, orange ones which are practically fluorescent,  watermarked ones, ones with toothed edges, pink ones with shaded maroon centers.....what fun!

Lots to cover in the next weeks.....and I hope to show you this as I work, along with Aullwood's show, the MVAQN Redux and a bunch of other things....

Bear with me....I will disappear for days as the drugs wipe me out three days after chemo, but I will be back....and forgive the slip of the fingers.