Friday, April 22, 2005

Arriver a Paris

The flight was long and uneventful. Slept about 4 hours. I'm now at the home of my host and have had a delightful French dinner. Bedtime will be coming soon, I think. Tomorrow we go to Auvers and some other places. The French keyboqrd is q little different thqn zhqt I q, used to. The A qnd Q qre in eqch other's plqces.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Posting from an email message

I thought I would test this out before I leave the country. See if I can
send an email to my blog and have it published. If it works, then I can
relate my adventures in France and Belgium. Can't send any pictures,
that will just have to wait until after I get home. Or maybe I can do
some from Linda in Belgium's house.


The past few days have been spent rushing around getting ready for Thursday's departure for 2 weeks in France. Since I won't have my DH along to help with luggage hauling, I have to pack with my own strength in mind. The big suitcase that I have would be wonderful, except that when it's loaded it's too heavy and difficult to maneuver. I went out and bought some new luggage, the expensive kind, a small 22" piece and a smaller carryon. They have lots of pockets (I love pockets) and zippers and places to put things. They were perfect. Until I actually started trying to load them up with the stuff I wanted to take along. Suddenly the insides seem to have shrunk considerably. What happened???

Taking some advice from Dijanne Cevaal, quite a seasoned traveler, to put back at least half of what I had taken out, I pared it down. It mostly all fits now, except I still have to find room for an extra pair of shoes. Part of the problem is that there is an artists' reception that I have to be dressed a little nicer than is my norm, which includes shoes.

Our plane leaves at 10pm tomorrow night from Dulles International Airport, outside (wayyyy outside) of Washington DC. We're catching a group bus at 4PM, which allows us approximately 3 hours to get to the airport (not an inordinate amount of time, considering that we have to navigate the DC Beltway at rush hour) in order to be there 3 hours early for checkin for an international flight. The flight takes 7 1/2 hours, and we will arrive in Paris at 11:30AM their time. Jet lag is me.

Meanwhile, here is what I've just finished working on.

Rising Sun

It's not quite 40" wide. I used a lot of my new Superior threads to quilt it. Here is a detail shot of the center area.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

New Works by Jane Dunnewald

Today I went to the Woven Fiber Art House in West Chester, Pennsylvania to see a show of new works by Jane Dunnewald. It just took my breath away. She used silk organzas and printed images of birds, fishes, leaves, and other things. There were 2 layers of organzas that created wonderful transparency effects; the cloths were draped over acrylic rods so that they floated free and had some space between the layers. The effects were absolutely stunning. There were also some small (12"x12") mixed media pieces on stretched canvas that used much of the same imagery. These did not appeal as much to me as the silks. There aren't any pictures on her web page yet, but she promises to have some displayed. I took some pictures, but I don't think I can show them here. Besides, they just don't do justice to the work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New thread!

I received an order of thread from Superior yesterday and have done a little testing. It's wonderful thread! Here are some samples using the Perfect Quilter 17wt cotton thread and the King Tut 40wt Egyptian cotton thread.

The yellow swirls on the left are the Perfect Quilter. The other swirls are with King Tut, but using a zig-zag stitch to do the quilting.

A little hard to see, but again, this is the zig zag free motion quilting. All I can say is that I wish I had ordered more colors. Guess I will be sending another order in real soon!

I also ordered some metallics and some of the Bottom Line (a very fine bobbin thread) which I've used before and love.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Dueling Cameras redux

The other half

Elizabeth sent me her half of the dueling cameras duet. I'm not sure it's a great idea to post this not-very-flattering picture....

Monday, April 04, 2005

View from the porch

I spent the past weekend with 7 friends at a retreat center south of Annapolis, Maryland. The accommodations are rather sparse, about 1 step above camping, but with indoor plumbing, the food is nothing to get excited about, but the atmosphere is electric and inspiring. This is the view from the front porch of the cabin, looking out onto the river. The weather was lousy - horrendous rain for hours on end, but we only noticed it when we had to walk to the building where they served meals.

Here is the cabin. It has a large central area where we have tables set up. The camp management has been dealing with quilters for many years now and they know what we want. They move all the furniture out of the central room and set up tables. They show us where the circuit breaker panel is so that when we have too many irons and coffee pots going at once and trip the circuit, we can remedy the situation ourselves.

Mary Beth the nightowl and Elizabeth enjoy a cup of morning coffee. The coffee drinkers kept the pot going day and night. Between Mary Beth who stitched pretty much all night long and the early risers, there was only about an hour out of 24 that the room was unoccupied.

The cameras were busy documenting the event. Here Elizabeth and I take pictures of each other.

These are some of Mary Beth's hands, in progress.

I'm working on this piece. It's my favorite color, red.

Sometimes we took a moment to read the books and magazines that others brought. Floris is reading while Linda and Teresa (back to camera) stitch.

Teresa gives Linda some advice. Don't know if Linda took it :) We had a great time and everybody hated leaving. This group is very dedicated: Mary Beth drives 3 hours, Elizabeth drives 5. Teresa came a long distance also. Dale, who couldn't be with us this weekend, comes from Massachusetts. Having this twice yearly retreat gives all of us a creative boost and we begin anticipating the next one as soon as we get home from this one!