Friday, December 09, 2016

osier cosponsor cosy

“Any day I'm vertical is a good day.” 

We are dragging around here today because we lost a dear friend last night.  We will miss him so much-  his sharp intellect, his wit, and his sweet nature.  He died a few weeks short of his 95th birthday, though you wouldn't guess his age from his demeanor.  Unfortunately his body wasn't as strong as his mind and finally just gave out.  I'm so sorry for his family, he will be sorely missed by all of us.  I wish I knew more of his stories, he never repeated them and had a thousand adventures if you pressed him.  My favorite was a private talk we had at a party one night when he told me the love story between himself and his adored wife.  Both of us were weeping with happiness by the end.  

I'm getting lots done but it's two steps forward, one back at every turn.  The good thing is I have some friends lined up for a Seven Fishes dinner so I'm busy planning that, figuring out how to get as many fish as possible into as few dishes as possible, a thumb game if ever there was one!  Mainly because I have a rule not to repeat a fish.  But I'll do it, it's fun.

Big news is I have sent off Christmas presents-  well, err, Amazon sent them off I just paid their Piper.  Amazon isn't as easy to get around as it used to be, methinks it's too big for it's britches.  

I have every box for the museum all ready to go, good thing I left the tubes unsealed because one quilt has left the line-up and I was able to grab it before sealing.  I spent two hours on the FedEx website trying to arrange for pick up of the 9 boxes-  totaling 270#s now.  For the life of me I could not find how to print the labels.  I tried two different computers, every page, their 'help' chat line, their sitemap-  everything I could think of until I finally gave in and stopped at the Fed Ex shop yesterday to ask them.  I spoke to the kid behind the counter and he looked at me like I was  from a third world country that does't speak English, and he spoke very slowly and clearly, though loud-  like I had a hearing problem- to me that I could use his computer-  he accompanied me, brought up the FedEx site and he couldn't find any way to print either.  In a huff he went to get his manager-  guess what?  He couldn't manage it either so in a snit gave me NINE labels to take home and fill out by hand.  Do you have any idea how many lines an address to a museum takes up?  Plus I called the gal and there are restrictions on when and for how long they are open to receive shipments.  Aaarugh!  If I didn't have a Mini I'd schlepp the damn boxes over to FedEx myself.  But this story isn't ended yet, stay tuned.

In Studio News, I hauled the new piece off the wall so I could work on it while waiting for the fire inspector the other day-  he didn't show up-  be careful when you call the fire department, this didn't bode well.  Anyway I started stenciling dots all over the surface and was having so much fun I forgot to pay attention to the time and space continuum.  Barely remembered to go home!  It's been a long time since I've gotten that involved in something.  

The other day my son called me to ask when I graduated from Syracuse.  I told him, and he asked if I new some woman who graduated the year after me-  he said I should know her and that she is 6'4" tall.  Again, I didn't know her since I transferred in my Jr. year and really didn't make many life long friends since I was so busy tying to grab credits to graduate and get back to Boston. He said that this woman also transferred in and unbelievably from the same school I transferred from.  So I looked her up.  Yup, there was her name in the art school!  Seems that my son knows her daughter and somehow they got to talking...  Here I am as a Syracuse art student.  I straightened my hair because my picture was going to be taken, the straightener bleached it orange so I dyed it back to brown but it came out black.  I never looked like this.
But it was certainly straight!
And while this picture was taken I was doing figure drawing up in an unheated turret-  and guess what-  I am AGAIN doing figure drawing but now in an overheated studio.  Funny how I haven't gone very far afield.  For FIFTY years!

And to close out the Adventures of Sandy this week, look who has moved back in:
My 3# Bufo toad.  And he has a friend with him now too, a much more petite toad about the size of a man's L.L.Bean duck boot.  They are really funny-  they all line up on the same axis looking like those Russian dolls that fit inside of each other-  don't know what that placement is all about. And I don't care, I just want the damn things gone from my view!  They are poisonous to dogs, probably to people too but I don't need to get close, and I have a couple of curious canines who are dumb enough to go in for a lick.  Accck.

Thankfully I am off this subject now.

Just spotted this great series of hands and feet photographed through milk glass by Czech creative director and photographer Marek Chaloupka. The vertical perspective coupled with the ghostly silhouettes makes these really special. See more of Chaloupka’s work over on Bechance

All the girls at Syracuse, except me.  

Monday, December 05, 2016

oboist bandstop cupid

"Better to be criticized by a wise man than praised by a fool." (Ecclesiastes)

Wow, the Mother Squirrel!  Run, Mom Run!

Another day stuffing stuff into Stuff Boxes.  I bought 4 more large packing boxes at Home Depot the other day and today I completely filled three bring my grand total of SIX boxes to hold the tower project.  And three Sono tubes holding the 10 quilts.  This shipping is gonna kill me, I started filling out the FedEx forms and they need a weight on each box which will certainly be a problem.  My only option is to drag the bathroom scale to the studio and weigh each one so I can get them on the books to pick up next week.  That will be tomorrow's stoopid task trick.  Seems that every step of this shipping thing is ridiculous, thankfully this will be my last charge at major shipping now the I am (ahem) retired.  Or is that just plain tired?
Also today I got some invites out for the seven fishes dinner I do every year.  One of my proposed guests is deathly allergic to dogs-  won't even come to the door even though my dogs are hypoallergenic- non allergic-  haired dogs, not fur dogs.  I'll set the table outside and hope he lasts.  The dogs will themselves be locked in the bedroom and the guest contact will be none.  So, I gotta get planning-  all I have so far is the squid ink, not sure it will be enough so I want to start that project early.

Next project is booking flights back to Boston and booking dog kennels for the haired animals.  Because by the time I get back this little hairless gal will be TWO months old.  And I missed it all so far.

I sure hope I can catch a break one of these days, need a good day in bed watching Netflix with nobody bothering me.  Except you guys and your incessant need for your ART PART! Again we are dealing with 
pointy things.

As part of a new body of work on view at the COLLECT Art Fair which opens today in London, artist Zemer Peled (previously) created a new series of “blooming” sculptures from assorted ceramic shards. The new pieces include her continued use of blue cobalt found in traditional Japanese pottery that has been smashed with a hammer and arranged in the form of large blossoms. Peled also constructs much larger cactus-like pieces that can tower several feet tall or even span floor to ceiling. You can see several more new blooms in her portfolio, and catch her on the May cover of Ceramics Monthly

Friday, December 02, 2016

fourteenth orthogonal fourth

"To keep a lamp burning, we have to put oil in it."- Mother Teresa

Back in the day, as they say, the English became quite fond of their pet squirrels and imported big fat grey guys from the US.  All was well until they got free.  Now the English cannot get rid of them.  A pity. They are still cute.

There has been a bit of a mixup on what quilts I am showing in January, but since Hudson River is spoken for I am sending a substitute.  Apparently it doesn't play well with the current arrangement but I have given complete control on moving it or...REmoving it from the line-up.  I offered two alternatives, but I don't think they like either.  So today I continued packing the third box and puling all the panels off the tower-  it appears from the count that I need FOUR more boxes to accommodate all these damn panels.  There may or may not be room in the last box for the stand I made to keep the whole thing off the floor.  If it won't fit I will just , I don't know-  maybe cut off the edges to fit the box?  Frankly I do not care because it's all covered up anyway, just like I am not trimming threads off the spacer rows either.  There will be so much going on with this thing nobody will notice.  Anyway, I got all 10 quilts rolled up into three Sono tubes, not yet labeled because I have to call FedEx for a pickup and keep putting it off.  No way can I ship these myself, too heavy by 10!  I would like them there early so they have lots of time to flatten before we hang them.  Anyway, that was a big job done today, 6 hours total, with much less packing the next batch of boxes because I have the panelsl stacked and ready to go.  My back is shaking.  Will take a rest tomorrow and just work on collages. Heavy lifting collages.  

There is no doubt in my mind that the tower will be sent directly to the NEQM dumpster next April.  I do not want it back.  Ever.

The machine I traded for a serger-  shoot me now.

Now, can I tell you that my teacher actually liked one of my drawings in the Figure Drawing class yesterday?  It's coming back.  I have proportions pretty good, just need to work on drama and volume.  But I left a happy woman because I see that the refresher is working.  I just might stick it out for another semester, but the jury is still out making that decision.  I frankly hate driving down there in the early morning traffic, but I do like doing something besides housework and studio work.  


In what could easily have been snapshots of a normal day at the beach or a hike through the woods, these photos by Nicolas Bouvier (previously) portray figures exploring the Pacific Northwest in stark, mysterious contrast. The French art director and concept designer is a master of teasing unusual scenes from breathtaking landscapes around the coast of Washington. By placing himself in foggy atmospheres and shooting against the sun, his photography turns passersby (and often images of his own children) into anonymous silhouettes. Instead of lugging around lots of equipment, Bouvier carries only a smaller and relatively inexpensive point-and-shoot Panasonic ZS40 or a Leica XVario, preferring ergonomy, simplicity, and design over more elaborate setups


Thursday, December 01, 2016

orthodox fourteen orthodoxy

“Imagination is the Discovering Faculty, pre-eminently… that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us.”  
Ada Lovelace

The WWI campaign enlisted the help of Four-Minute Men—volunteers who delivered short speeches to rally public support for the war effort. Anti-squirrel talking points were issued so they might convince farmers and ranchers to go out and kill the “little ally of the [K]aiser”:
  • The BEST squirrel is the dead squirrel.
  • The Hotel California board bill for ground squirrels in 1917 […] was $30,000,000—yet unpaid.
  • The squirrel does not recognize daylight saving. He uses it all.
  • He preys on our crops in countless hordes. He fills the ranks of the killed in true military fashion.
  • Why hesitate? We can get ‘em. How? Poison ‘em, gas ‘em, drown em’, shoot ‘em, trap ‘em, submarine ‘em.
  • Are you not willing then to give your whole-hearted support to this state-wide movement to KILL THE SQUIRREL?
I went to my figure drawing class today again, and this time I managed a few more pretty accurate drawings-  now to infuse them with some soul!  I think I am on the right track finally with observations-  one of those things I damn well know and have myself taught for years, but when faced with a human body I lose perspective and follow the lines when I need to get more involved with FINDING the lines and checking intersections and planes and volumes.  The teacher is so encouraging to some of the worst drawers I have ever seen, then takes me to task every time he comes around.  BUT I will not be daunted, I am convinced he sees that I (almost) know what I'm doing, or I did once way back when, and wants me to surpass what I'm churning out now.  Today he kept one of mine for the wall  Finally.  Three more classes in this session, I think most of the people in the class have been in his classes for years now.

You've heard me kvetching about this upcoming show and finally here is the postcard image and notice.  I've been busy getting labels on quilts, getting bindings replaced, and an occasional repair or reno to things that need attending to.  I'm all read now, things will be leaving my studio over the next couple of weeks for the grand opening of out 30 year celebration (even though it's been longer than that...).  Can't wait to see all my friends work hanging together after all this time!  Hope you can stop by the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell MA sometime before April!  

The Group: 30 Years and Still Quilting
January 11 - April 29, 2017
This exhibition features innovative quilt artists Judy Becker, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Carol Anne Grotrian, and Sylvia Einstein. 

Because the stuff I've been doing is mostly fixing things to get ready to ship off, I don't have a whole lot to talk about in the studio happenings department.  I have a new next door neighbor, we said hi, and next thing I know he turned his space into storage so finally I won't be hearing the marital bickering that went on with the last guy!  His wife would come in to help with the books and would start yelling at him about why he hadn't cut the grass or why he didn't pick up after a kid -  every day it was something else, and I never heard a retort or raised voice from him, but every =day she would slam out the door to shake the building.  They aren't there any more, I don't hear anything, for all I know the new guy tis storing dead bodies in trunks but I am happy they are quiet ones!  TMI? 

Let's have an ART PART to cool off a bit!

 Artist Amber Cowan works primarily with fragments of vintage pressed glass to construct complex vessels and sculptures with a multitude of fused components. Pressed glass is created when molten glass is forced into a mold as a way to mass-produce certain forms. Cowan uses these found pieces to create remarkable one-of-a-kind objects that reference the rise and fall of US glassware manufacturing, while simultaneously offering a new narrative. You can see more of Cowan’s work on her website

Monday, November 28, 2016

oursome orthodontist foursquare

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your  pocket.   Will Rogers

Ron LeValley photo, yup, a real professional squirrel portrait!

Agains my better judgement, I dug out my Christmas ornaments the other day and stuck them in piles around the house.  Badda Bing, Badda Done!  Things will be easy to stash away on December 26th, and there will be no discussion about letting it hang around to Armenian Christmas or Ephany or, like a family I know does-  leave it around until Easter because of somebody's spring.  Christmas trees get mighty thin by Easter.  Anyway, here are my Michaels special shopping day wreathes, only one of three for the gates:

Entry way glass trees(these I love and it will be hard to put away but I will!

Dining room-  this was so hard-  I had two garlands of silver colored balls, flipped them down on the table and there ya go!  I did stick some candles into holders but I can't light them-  the AC blows them all asunder and makes a hell of a mess.  Two of them are battery candles, I might pick up a couple more if I can find cheap ones.

And my final coup-  all my silver ornaments in a big gray platter for the living room.  Yeah, it's a pile, but hey...  I tried to get my disco ball in it but the darn thing is 18" across.  It will instead live under the table where it catches early morning sun and sets light points dancing all over the room.  And it sits there all year round because the sun comes up at different angles and the show changes all the time.  One of life's little pleasures, the disco ball...


I spent yesterday afternoon at Home Depot collecting shipping materials-  found some boxes that are 24" long and the different pieces of my tower piece are easy to fold and stack-  I think I probably have three boxes full but if I need more I know where to go!  Nice sturdy boxes I will line with some of the plastic sheeting (like it will matter if they get wet!).  Also grabbed some good packing tape and a giant roll of bubble wrap-  I don't need the protection as much as something lightweight to fill spaces.  So, I am now in the packing business. 
  Now you know where I will be all day-  I didn't like the way one piece was hanging,  little bulge along the bottom border so I took that off yesterday and will fix it up, then do the hand stitching along the Four Turkeys piece I altered.  Only one more piece, the big circles one, to get ready for public consumption and it shouldn't take too long once I get at it.  

I'm getting near the end of my ART PART folder, so I will also mine the webs for more interesting work, but that needs a massive time commitment since I go off on bunny trails finding thing after thing I need to show you!  Currently I am down to POINTY THINGS, here ya go~   



 Originally inspired by the form and function of a sea urchin, artist Jennifer Maestre constructs unwieldy organic forms using pencils and pencil shavings that bloom like unworldly flowers. Some of her latest pieces appear to have grown tentacles and rest atop pedestals like scaley octopi. The artworks are designed to simultaneously attract the viewer but also offer a certain aesthetic defense. She shares in her artist statement:
The spines of the urchin, so dangerous yet beautiful, serve as an explicit warning against contact. The alluring texture of the spines draws the touch in spite of the possible consequences. The tension unveiled, we feel push and pull, desire and repulsion. The sections of pencils present aspects of sharp and smooth for two very different textural and aesthetic experiences. Paradox and surprise are integral in my choice of materials.

Really?  Maybe it should stay in it's crates and lean against the garage wall.