Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Florida continued

We have had such wonderful weather here. Not too hot although today was warmer than previously.

I promised you pictures so here are a few. You can see the two tables that I do my staging on and then I move outside to another table. I have sheets of plastic which I lay down and then put a piece of soda ash soaked fabric, do my thing to it, cover it with a sheet of plastic and the do another piece of fabric.

I have been screening some of the fabrics and will take some pictures of them and show you tomorrow. I am really enjoying myself although, since I am so used to working by myself, I find I am getting more tired with all the people around. I guess I must seem unsocial.

I have gotten just about all the fabric done for my Alameda County commissions and am now playing around with different things Just enjoying myself. Tonight I will rinse out a batch of fabric and then take it to the washing machine for a good wash.

Food has been outstanding. Last night we had pork loin, fresh pineapple casserole, and a wonderful rice and black bean dish. Chef Sue has said I can have the recipes if I email I just have to remember to email.

I have included some pictures of the high windows in the painting studio where I have been working. Out on the porch is it quiet and people walking on the boardwalk can see me but since I have my ear phones on I really don't notice them.

Cookies each day after lunch, wonderful breakfasts and great lunches but the best of all are the dinners.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In Florida

Well, here I am in Florida. I left home at 4:30 am on Friday and arrived at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida Friday early evening. After I got settle in in my little room I went out for dinner and had great scallops and shrimp and then headed back to sleep. On Saturaday I got myself located, met up with someone new, Patrica, went out to breakfast at Mom's and spent the remainder of the day in Valerie Goodwin's class on map making. What a fascinating thing to do and it has put in perspective for me my love of maps which comes from traveling all around and using maps to get around. I didn't bring the supplies necessary to make one during the class but took in all the information.. All of us who were here on Saturday went over for a wonderful dinner at Peggy's house.

On Sunday I did a full day of teaching to twenty students the one day rush class on design. So far we don't have enough students signed up for the color class for next Sunday, if we get more sign ups then we will have the class. I do hope so as it is a good class.

People have been arriving during the weekend. Pamela Allen and Rosemary Claus-Gray have arrived as well as Jacque Davis who is helping to provide some supplies for me to work with my dyeing.

Finally we were able to get set up in the studio and I went right to work. I have gotten ten pieces dye painted and tomorrow I will wash them out to see if I used enough dye to make it worth my while. I have silk screens and will be screening, etc. The nice thing about dyeing is that if it doesn't come out right the first time I can do it again.

We are in a fascinating area. I haven't had much time to go looking around...Saturday I had to make a quick trip to Wal Mart and the grocercy store as no meals were being served over the weekend. I have had a nice time getting together with various people to go out for dinner and am making sure I get seafood every night,

Tonight Chef Sue was here and fixed a delicious dinner for us...that is, after the oven caught fire!

The server has been down here so I haven't been able to get on the internet. Will start taking pictures tomorrow. The "woods" here are very different...palmetto trees, scrub oak and some sort of pine tree. What a combination! I can sit at my desk in my room and look right outside at the woods and watch the lizards running around. They flash their necks as it is mating season, jump from branch to branch and chase each other around. Some are a beautiful green and some are grey...sorry, don't know what kind they are.

So, I promise some pictures tomorrow!

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Better Art by Design class for beginners will be coming up again, starting on April 6 and lasts for six weeks.

Sign up now either via this blog on the side bar or at my website:

Saturday, March 14, 2009


It is so hard for me to realize that it has been two weeks since I have been here. Life and art just seem to get in the way.

Well, I do have a few excuses!

This past week we have had babysitting duties for Ashton on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. My husband and I split the day up which worked out pretty well. We will also take care of both boys on Monday, all of this due to the babysitting being on vacation. But it does give us nice time with the boys and I have really enjoyed having alone time with Ashton. When Jacob was a baby I spent a lot of time with him as my daughter developed gall bladder problems and then pancreatitis after he was born so I was really helping out. She had also had an emergency C section to recovery took a little while. Plus, Jacob was born with cataracts and needed to have eye surgery at 4 weeks. Ashton and his birth and mother's recovery was no problem so I didn't seem to be over there as much, unless I was giving Jacob one-on-one time.

But, as I look at this now, it really wasn't that much time so where did my time go?

A week ago I was busy painting and printing fabrics. Then it has gotten cold so it is harder for me to be at the studio. I did put together three larger quilts which I am in the process of quilting on George but again, it has been cold down there. When my toes are cold and my nose begins to drip, I know I will sit in the car when I leave with the heater running full blast. Please understand that I know cold is relative...a day of 56 degrees really isn't cold if you live in the northeast or the central states but here in the bay area it is cold. And my studio at 60 degrees is fine if I am moving around a lot but working with cold water isn't so much fun either. We did have several days of nice weather in the mid 60's which was very nice.

Oh yeah, another time taker...I just bought a MacBookPro on Monday so have spent most of my free time getting used to it, searching for genealogy software, corresponding with different people about it, downloading software, etc. Besides, everything looks so nice on this beautiful glass screen and the keys are backlit which will make it nice to use while I am watching TV (I have already tried it!) so I guess that is where my time has gone.

But, I finally got an ok for the designs for the commission for Alameda County. I have to have one done in April so they can see my progress...will be dyeing fabric for them when I go to Floriday on Friday.

I have also been busy reading a number of really good books. I finished Hotel on the corner of Bitter and Sweet Streets, the new Masie Dobbs mystery, The Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and one other book about France during WWII. It is interesting that Hotel is writting about WWII set in Seattle, The Literary society is written about WWII in Guernsey, UK, the Masie Dobbs takes place in England after WWI and as Hitler is rattling his sabres. All very well written and very good stories.

Oh yeah, and I have been reading professional books as well: How to Grow as an Artist; Finding Your Visual Voice; and another one about making authentic art. Haven't gotten through them yet but pick them up and read for a while and so it goes. Finding your Visual Voice has a lot of exercises in them to do. There is also information from different artists with their thoughts on how they do their work, etc. Lots of great tips and advice such as "painting what fascinates you". Now, that isn't terribly deep or profound, but we do have to take time out sometimes to remember it. It is especially good for me as I like to go off on tangents for a while and do whole series until I am not interested any more. The book also discusses sources of inspiration, different creative processes, and how work has changed over time.

So, now I am getting under the gun. I have a tutoring time this afternoon at Apple and I have a list of questions for them now that I have been using this for the past week, fabric and dyes and stuff to get together for a trip to Florida, fabric to paint, three quilts to finish quilting, three new quilts to get started on (after I come home with the fabric to do them) and more work to photograph and get ready for my May show in Illinois.

I had a piece selected for the Galex show at the Galesburg Civic Art Center in Galesburg, Il. That show has opened this coming week. You can see the work at their website. It is an art show, not a quilt or fiber show. It is also where I will have my solo show in May which is also listed on their events page.

In April I will be doing two workshops and a lecture with the East Bay Heritage Quilters in Berkeley. The lecture is actually in Albany. They have opened the meeting so visitors can come for free this time so if you are in the area on April 27 at 7pm and would like to attend, just go to their website to get all the information. You can also check to see if the classes are available also...of course, this is in California.

On Friday I fly out to Florida to go to Focus on Fiber at the Atlantic Center for the Arts at New Smyrna Beach. I will be with a number of of fiber people including a group of rug hookers. Lots of stuff going on and I will stay there at the Harrison House. What fun! My friends, Pamela Allen, Rosemary Claus-Gray and many other great people will be there. Valerie Goodwin will also be there and will teach a class on Saturday and I will teach a class on Sunday and then another one the following Saturday.

And out of this has come an invitation to teach for a week long retreat at the Atlantic Center for the Arts inb New Smyrna Beach which will be Sept 21-25. It will be a week long class on Better Art By Design. If you are interested, contact Mary McBride at It will be so much fun!