My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2014 Fiber Arts Show

As my long-time followers who pay attention to such things know, October was the month of Sheridan's annual Fiber Arts (mostly quilts) show, which I usually document each year in multiple posts. But this year, not so much. I was underwhelmed when I first ran into the library at the start of October to do some camera-less recon. Usually the place is ablaze with an abundance of brightly colored, lively-patterned quilts, but I found the overall effect of this year's display comparatively drab. A couple of quilts caught my eye right away, but I couldn't even get to one of them (the Halloween one, which will make its second blog appearance here) because there were two people working at a table in front of it who wouldn't budge, and just gave me crusty stares as I tried in vain to peer around them at the quilt. (I've never seen anyone working at that table before, the vast majority of tables and work areas being on the main level). Adding insult to injury, one quilt glorified killing animals for "trophies," complete with a couple of ghastly photos of their victims pre- and post-slaughter. Ugh! After the quilts I spent a few minutes checking out the other fiber arts and was very drawn to a couple of them, but frankly I left the quilt show disappointed, miffed, and with no intention of returning with my camera or doing a post on it this year.

But the show is at the library for an entire month and I am a frequent borrower of books and DVDs, so I couldn't not look up and see the quilts on the mezzanine above every time I was there… and a couple of them, at least, kept catching my eye. And later when my friend Pam shared a compelling description of her favorite quilt, I realized I'd missed it completely. But perhaps most galvanizing of all, I was seriously pissed about not getting a good gander at the Halloween quilt! So I decided to give the show a second look and a second chance, accompanied this time by my camera as well as by Pam, as part of our "Apollo Picnic" outing...

The most colorful side of the mezzanine so the only one I'm bothering to post.

The colorful "Scrappy Tulips" quilt on the left was the first quilt I noticed on my initial visit, and it kept grabbing my attention on subsequent library runs. Its neighbor, "Twin Peaks," grew on me over time - its neutral pallet isn't as eye-catching, but the design and quilting are beautiful. I can easily picture this on an antique four-poster bed, a handsome centerpiece in a warm and tranquil bedroom, and it's probably the one I would have most wanted to take home...


     Left - "Scrappy Tulips"     
Pieced & Machine Quilted
Artist: Peggy Gable
Quilted by: Becky Stedtnitz 

Right - "Twin Peaks"
Machine Pieced
Artist: Marge Hamilton
Quilted by: Laurie Sheeley

≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤≥≤

I shared a photo of this next quilt in its entirety on my Halloween post, but since a couple of you mentioned then how much you liked the border around the center panel, I thought I'd share this other photo. As luck would have it, in photographing the center panel I unintentionally captured at least some of that much-admired border around it...

Detail from "Who's Watching
Pieced Quilt
Artist: Tammy Johnson
Quilted By: Karen Van Houten
From a kit designed by Heidi Pridemore

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

And here was Pam's favorite, and the one she most would have wanted to take home with her. It hadn't caught my eye and I wouldn't have photographed it but for Pam pointing out the level of difficulty and years of toil it took to create. And the more I looked at it, the more fond of it I became. It really is a sweetly old-fashioned and pretty quilt! It's one I would have taken home with me too, but I think Pam would have cheerfully (and rightfully) tossed me over the balcony railing to nab it for herself. ;-) Thanks, Pam, for getting me to appreciate and photograph it!...

"Crazy About Hexagons
 Hand-pieced 
Artist: Jane Rader
Quilted by: Janis Fall 
"These 50,000+ hexagons are mostly representative of the 1830s time period using reproduction fabrics. The toile border helped even the sides out for the binding. 
It took about 10 years to make and was a great carry-along project."

≈§≈§≈§≈§≈§≈§≈

This last one was my favorite quilt overall, for its fun, creative, original (and vegan, yay!) theme and, of course, its eye-candy quotient - because you know how I am about eye-candy (not to mention fruits & veggies!)...

"The Jars"
Machine Pieced
Artist: Janet Goss
Quilted By: Janet Goss
It took Janet five years to collect the vegetable and fruit fabrics used in the quilt, 
which she enlarged from a wall hanging to king size.

øøøøøøøøøøøøø

And here were the two fiber arts examples I loved… no coincidence that they're both autumnal (I love autumn's colors!)...

"Birches I"
Fiber Painting
"The inspiration for this piece was my neighbors' back yard."

ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

And last, but certainly not least, perhaps my overall favorite piece in the show… 

"Fall Fairy"
Counted Cross-Stitch
Artist: Norma Just
"My daughter bought this cross-stitch for me to make for her. She also got the Winter Woodland Enchantress… Look for this one next year if my eyes hold up!"

Don't know about you, but Norma is my nominee for Mom of the Year! And I'm hoping she has a good optometrist, because I want to see her Winter Woodland Enchantress next year. :-) I was pleased with how my photos of it turned out, but they still don't capture how truly breathtakingly beautiful this picture was. I took this closeup so you could see the tiny gold beads in her hair, necklace, belt, and blowing around some of the leaves (click on it, or any of the photos, to see larger versions)...

I may just have to buy this pattern for myself! :-)

Friday, November 14, 2014

SkyWatch Friday: Before the Skies of November Turned Gloomy

Around here November's been a month of contrasts. It began with days bookended by colorful sunrises and sunsets with sunny shirt-sleeve weather in between ~ more reminiscent of mid-September than of November. Then it suddenly morphed into a January-like monster, with a bitter, snowy week of leaden skies, single digit highs, subzero lows, and wind chills too nasty to mention on a family-friendly blog. 

Since much of this week was spent finishing my fall cleaning, curled up in front of the fireplace watching Netflix or reading, and trying out new (and delicious!) curry, mushroom soupchili, and muffin recipes rather than risking frost bite to photograph a lot of nothing, I'm sharing some of those colorful sunrise and sunset photos I took during the balmy first week of this month but didn't have time to post last Friday. And with no time today to do anything other than slightly crop a couple of them and reduce their file sizes, these are SOOC. Enjoy! 

Sunrise, Nov 1
The early morning clouds didn't linger, but provided a dramatic dawn sky

Sunrise, Nov 2
The dawn sky looked none too happy about Daylight Saving Time ending

We get fewer dramatic sunsets here than we do sunrises, but when we do get one it's a doozy. This series of photos, taken from our front porch and posted here in the order in which I took them, occurred over just a two-minute period…

Sunset, Nov 6...




And finishing up the week with another sunrise, this one taken with our iPad…

Sunrise, Nov 8

Wishing you a week of beautiful skies wherever you are

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"