Monday, August 27, 2007


1) I keep forgetting to blog about fabric- and art-related books (I think the cat orders books while I'm at work. In the mail today was Textiles, 10th Edition, by Sara Kadolph, one of my professors at ISU. I used the 9th ed. when I took and later taught the intro to textile science class there, but it disappeared about four moves ago. I liked having it on hand to look up words/concepts I might not remember...I can't believe it's been six years since I dropped out, I'm forgetting information at an alarming rate. The latest is full-color and very very bright, which is a little distracting, but it's nice to have it back.

2) Total lunar eclipse tomorrow morning. Moonset in Milwaukee is at 6:16 a.m. CDT, so the moon will be in fully eclipse as it sets.

It's raining, so I might end up going back to bed after a quick peek outside.

3) I'm taking Lily Kerns' Lines and Shapes class at QuiltUniversity. It started Saturday. I forgot to print this week's worksheet today--must remember tomorrow!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Something else COMPLETELY different

LaSalle hood ornament
Originally uploaded by heatherradish
Beautiful day, but after rain and severe storms 9 out of the past 10 days, heading out to the woods was 100% out of the question. So I went down to the lakefront (still had to slog through ankle-deep mud...) for the Masterpiece Style and Speed Showcase.

Never really been into cars, other than my fascination with the Duesenbergs (German-Iowan engineers who later lived in Indianapolis...know anyone like that?), but it's been a couple of weeks months since the last time I went out taking pictures that might inspire me to make art.

I had a surprisingly good time looking at the chrome and styling, comparing different model years, listening to people talk about restorations. The old touring cars were gorgeous!! The 70s muscle cars were less interesting, but still striking in bright colors and lined up against the backdrop of the lake.

I dumped all the pictures to Flickr, minus the obvious out-of-focus shots. I'll be more discriminating in the future, but my friends who like "performance" cars will want to look at the engines.

I should try new things more often.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

And now for something completely different

Fused a bunch of scraps together...oh several months ago, under sparkly red tulle.

Free-motion quilting for the first time in at least three years. The machine purred; the human was wobbly. I got caught up watching the needle and not where it goes next, so it's jerky. But a lot better than I expected, at least on the squiggle. The spiral needs practice.

The red thread didn't show up at all on the front (I don't understand why I was surprised by this), so I did it again with yellow-orange.

I think I originally intended a black or black-and-red wide binding. I also intended to embellish with black alphabet beads and slivers of "printer barf" painted red, to symbolize /dev/null, but I might just leave it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pissarro/Impressionism thoughts

Finally saw the Pissarro exhibition at the MAM on Thursday, with Pam-from-work. She knows a lot about classical music and was able to talk about the changes in music happening during the time period covered by the exhibit, so it was worth holding off until I could find someone to drag with me. And she bought dinner. *grin*

It was a good exhibition. I went into it with an open mind, and I've upgraded my opinion of Impressionism from "annoying" to "neutral".

1) I liked the chronological display of paintings. Recently I've been fascinated with how artists evolve (or don't...) over time. Also really liked seeing how painting with others changed Pissarro's work.

2) The qualities of light at different times of day and in different seasons. Half of my photographs show this, but getting it on canvas, from life, is very impressive. I enjoyed comparing the same views at different times of year.

3) I'm also a sucker for landscapes with smokestacks. All my best Indiana Dunes photographs feature the NIPSCO cooling tower looming just outside the park boundaries. So I really liked the paintings of the distillary along the Oise, of which I can't seem to find images of online.

4) I bought a postcard of Jallais Hill, Pontoise because the composition reminded me of Grant Wood. Chronologically, that's backwards--Wood's Iowa landscapes were painted several decades later--but since I'm learning art history on my own in a very piecemeal fashion, that's how it goes. It's a terrible reproduction, too dark.

Other stuff:
1) I don't know enough about 19th century European history. Sweet sassy molassy, my "formal education", minus engineering school, was pathetic.
2) I need to do some freshman-year color-mixing exercises with paint so I'm not just working from the jars when I paint fabric.
3) This bit where you can order a reproduction oil painting of famous paintings online for $100 annoys me. I know $100 American is unbelievable money for the people cranking these out--probably Russia, they're not big on the Berne Convention--but puh-leeze. If you can't afford to drop millions for the real thing, no one's going to think less of you for hanging a print over your couch. If you MUST have paint, pick up an original by someone local who'll be happy for the support, and you won't look like such a poser.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Long day at the sweatshop

After attaching approximately 36 sq inches of clear sequins to the journal quilt, I realize I should have used the silver hologram sequins. *cry* Going to finish the rest of it and change the sequins if I have time. I'm going to finish this thing and mail it to Houston before the deadline.

Also, instead of transferring outlines of letters to the quilt and sewing the sequins onto the lines, I transferred outlines of letters onto a piece of "machine quilting pattern paper" I found in the sewing room, with the intention of sewing the sequins on through it and peeling the paper out. Unfortunately, the sequins are spaced further apart than machine quilting stitches, so the paper isn't perforating as closely and isn't coming off easily at all. I'll have to try something else for the curvy lines of sequins in the borders.

Last night I listened to Bob Uecker call the Brewers game while I stitched; so far today I've watched a season of Waiting for God, a season of Red Dwarf, and now I think it's time for something a little less serious.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Hours and hours of TV to watch while I encrust things with sequins--everything interesting gets replayed at least once. :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sewing machine is back. The tension still seems weird, or maybe I've forgotten how it's supposed to be.

I could go nuts here. What I really want is a spool cap...

Someone has gnawed on my copy of Harriet Hargrave's "Heirloom Machine Quilting."

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Funny how I can go six weeks without going in the sewing room, but as soon as I drop off the machine for a week I get all angsty.

In a crappy mood; had to drive out to Brookfield, which takes FREAKING FOREVER from Glendale any road you take, and I'll have to go out next Saturday. For an authorized service center it was Brookfield or Manitowoc; it might have been faster to drive the 75 mi north. Certainly would have been more pleasant!