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Hey, you’re thinking, where the heck is Mary Beth? Well I’m here, sweltering along with the rest of upstate NY. Laying low. Being glad I don’t have a little fur coat to wear 24/7. One night I spent the whole night sweating, both literally and figuratively, over my two entry forms for the IQA show in Houston. Who knew I could lay my hands on my IQA membership card at 2 AM?
I was really pleased with how the slides came out and as an extra bonus, I get to enjoy the one quilt until I take down the whole photo set up. I figured, why take it down until I was sure I wouldn’t need it again in a hurry?
I worked on a couple blocks as a possible future idea but decided I was severely uninterested in making a lot more of them. Ooops!
Last night I was a total slug and watched a lot of Julia Child and friends after Fortune put me on to the videos available of past shows. There’s a lot to be said for watching someone handle dough rather than trying to figure it out from the printed word.
I got to thinking about a couple other quilts which haven’t had a chance to travel anywhere. That’s just sad isn’t it? I thought I might enter them in the IQF/Houston show but first – need slides.
Fueled by my recent success, I set everything up and hung and de-fuzzed those quilts and did my best to act in a rational manner behind the camera. I’ll drop them off tomorrow morning and time will tell how it all turns out.
Life is good and it’s good sometimes not to need a whole lot of sleep!
In other news, I sold a first-ever computer to an older man who had come by a few times and chatted with me. Last time in he told me he was a retired librarian and he wanted to do some writing and some research. Sounds about right for a librarian!
What I wasn’t expecting was to see his driver’s license and discover he was 87 years young! Whoa. I think he’ll do fine with his new computer and I expect he’ll be stopping by regularly for awhile with questions. I’ve known some pretty awesome oldsters in my time and they sure are inspiring!
Doing the little happy dance tonight because my quilt “Daughters of Daughters” was accepted as part of the third and final year of the “I Remember Mama” exhibit which will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston later this year. I was anxiously awaiting any news, and I’m quite pleased with both the quilt and the news.
Go here and read Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford. I was especially tickled by this:
Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.
Wow. I myself lucked into a wonderful calligraphy teacher at SUNY Albany when I returned to the Albany area, not long out of college, and wondering what I’d do next. I learned so much about design and perserverence and the importance of practice and hard work. I learned about the shape of letters and how the shape of the spaces around and inside the letters are as important as the shapes of the strokes that make them. The connection between the practices and traditions of the past and the work done today. The importance of appropriateness and usability. And like Steve would say, the supremacy of user interface. Readability/usability rules!
So it begins. My ironing board is covered with fabric, organized in a general way. Some of the stash fabric has been taken out, auditioned, refolded and put back more neatly. Some small bits lie around looking like rubble.
Today’s email brought the “twice-weekly letter” from Robert Genn. These often give me a lot to think about and I’m grateful that he provides this great service to keep my brain thinking about bigger things.
Today’s letter says:
As I looked back into my studio, I realized that paintings ought to work in the almost-dark as well as in the full light of galleries or on home walls. Almost-dark is similar to what we do when we half-close our eyes. Areas of incongruity pop out, spindly and weak elements beg to be strengthened, woolliness is exposed as major-woolly. You notice funny things in the almost-dark–odd things, ghostly things, apparitions, things that look like something else. That evening I made a mental inventory of what needed to be dealt with in the morning.
Go and read the rest here.
Taking a last look at my current work with some of the lights turned off is a frequent late night, just-on-my-way-to-bed-really! activity. When you’ve stopped for the night, hung it up if it’s hangable, it’s great to take a few moments to sit and enjoy and ponder your work so far. I think it helps me figure out what needs to be done – borders, quilting ideas, binding, etc.
I enjoy those quiet minutes not working on, but being with my piece. As Robert Genn points out, sometimes you see things that do need fixing, but you’ve already decided that working is for tomorrow, so there’s no angst. It’s for tomorrow.
And the next best thing to that late night communing is that first look in the morning, even if only a quick glance on the way to the day job. Sometimes what looked iffy last night is clearly good or bad in the morning, but that’s ok. I know it will be there waiting for me when I get home.
I’m sort of inbetween again. I’ve got some ideas perking around in my head but nothing that I’m ready to start on quite yet. Or is it just the heat? I guess I can’t use that excuse really since last night, in a desperate act to be sewing something I made curtains for the living room. And gentle reader, I’m here to tell you in oh so not humble terms that I not only serged the top and bottom edges but I actually blind hemmed them on my sewing machine. Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
These already come with a good dose of virtue since I bought the fabric for like a dollar or two a yard tops in NYC. Ralph Lauren fabric baby. Oh yeah. I’m enjoying the moment while it lasts!.
Getting back to the heat for a moment, it sure is hot. Left the cellar door open for the cats, but of course an open door holds no blipping appeal for any self-respecting cat. We already knew that.
And on a quilting note, my quilt Shine will be off to Vermont tomorrow for the Vermont Quilt Festival. The slides turned out quite respectable. I was going to shoot another quilt but lighting things when it’s this hot? I think not.
I had made some fabric purchases from Hancock’s Memorial Day sale and well, it’s just fabulous. One was a set of 10 yard pieces of batiks. $2.50 a yard. These have gold over printing which is fine. I can’t decide which I like better on some, the front or the back. In any case a stack of new fabric is always good for a) making you put away some of the old I mean “aged” fabric so the rest will fit, and b) getting the juices going.
Finally two interesting food-related links.
The first from Fortune “I guess it’s the iced coffee that makes me perky not the heat” Elkins: a study that shows that food odors in the car impacts driver behavior.
And finally an interview of Eric Ripert, chef at Le Bernadin. When asked to name his guilty pleasure:
Guilty pleasure: Eating dark chocolate. I do it every day, a few times a day. I am the nightmare of the pastry chefs. I steal from them all the time. And I always have chocolate in the house.
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