frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

On the Run

I have exactly 16 minutes to post. Tonight is the last regular rehearsal for the talent show. After this, Kate's father takes over. Joe and I managed to book a hotel in Cape May on the very weekend of the talent show. At first I told Kate she could not be involved.  She wailed. I asked her if it would be OK if I wasn't there, and she blurted out, "I don't care!" I suggested that her dad might be able to do it and she was OK with that. Fortunately, he's OK with it, too.

Joe and I are staying at the Victorian Motel. It's about as victorian as the 1960s, when the place was most likely built. Our friends, whom we are meeting, stay across the street at Congress Hall. This place is fabulous, and the price reflects it. We would stay there ourselves, but we spent all of our money on that damned chair...

Anyway, when we were making reservations at the Vic, we took note of their rather draconian cancellation policy. If you cancel at least two weeks ahead of your date, they skim 20% off the top, and the remaining 80% is applied to your next visit. If you cancel closer than 2 weeks, you are totally screwed. We figured we would not have to cancel, so no problem. About 2 days later, we realized that this was crashing into the talent show. It never fails. But anyway, it's gonna be alright. I just wish I could be there to do Kate's hair.

I am probably going to finish a huge project at work in the next couple of days, and then sail into the weekend, which starts on Friday for me. I love going away for the weekend. And, get this!  We are going to stop and see Lucy the elephant on the way down! I promise promise to bring my charged-up camera.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


A Message from My Husbnd

Joe has apparently read my blog. He took some issue with my post about chairs. He said that I should not have mentioned the price of the art deco chair restoration, because, "people will think we are rich." 

Well, I definitely don't want people thinking we are rich. Next thing you know, we will be solicited by reupholster-ers expecting us to stimulate their end of the economy with more furniture repair, or something. When we instigated that extravagance, we had just sold both of our houses and found ourselves flush with a little cash. Most of that extra cash went towards replacing the entire ancient, crusty wiring in this old house that we had just bought. Another big chunk went toward replacing the 1950's boiler. We figured the chair was a now or never thing, and it's true. We would not think of doing that now.

I'm going to sew, see you later.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quilt-Saving Mission

People at work are aware that I quilt. A collegue in the department next door brought me a shoebox of patches and material. Apparently, this is something that her Mom amd her Mom's friends started and never finished. My colleague's mom died 12 years ago, she must have been too young. She asked me if I could finish it.
If you've been following this blog you know me as the person who is working on a quilt with a dead baby in a coffin in it, not to mention a person who loves grave stones. This kind of thing is not my cup of tea. In fact, the cuteness of this late 80's country crap makes me want to barf.
That's not the point though. Of course I agreed to do it, because people made this with their hands. Someone who is dead had a vision for this, and they could not finish it. It will be pretty easy for me to put this together, and the person who will own it says I can take as long as I like. I also have free range to do it the way I like. I can handle that. She wants to pay me, I'm not really interested in making money from it. I told her to buy me lunch, and she skoffed. We'll work it out later.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Talent Show

Here are pictures of Kate and her boyfriend Nick at talent show rehearsals.

Someday, I will sew again.
And, maybe, eat dinner at dinner time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thanks Marty

Marty sez:

"I'm not sure which is more beneficial, blogging or exercise. One helps the body, the other the mind. They both go about the same time anyway, don't they?"

Good one. I guess it's true.

There is a certain type of woman out there, I see them, 50 years old, rail thin, eating lettuce and water sandwiches, running like their lives depended on it wearing tiny little running pants that cling to their scarecrow butts. I kinda doubt they will live any longer than I will.

I've been on so many diets in my life, I just can't be bothered any more. At the same time, I want to be able to move around, so here is my latest eating strategy. I've quit eating cheese and I've quit drinking alcohol. (That is, until Memorial Day Weekend. If you think I'm giving up white wine on the deck this summer, you are crazy.) I am losing a little. I'm pleased. And, it was 21 degrees this morning, so I didn't walk again.

That's it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Day is It?


Three in a row

I'm real busy, what can I tell you? It's definitely cutting into my posting time. I used to squeeze in some blog prep in the morning before I left for work. I'd write the post and e-mail myself the pictures (They upload much easier at work) Recently I decided it was in my best interest to begin exercising in the mornings again, now that the weather is less obnoxious. This morning it was in the 20s, so I decided to not walk just this one day. So, I am posting.

I got over to the cemetary in Clinton finally on Sunday and found myself some excellent lamb tombstones. I also took the time to observe and record a situation that I find in nearly every old cemetary I see. That is the presence of similar gravestones, as if it became all the rage to use a certain type when a loved one passed on. The trend in this cemetary was markers that look like beds. I think I'm going over in a month or so and plant some flowers in those lamb beds. They are all from one family and none of those kids made it to 5 years old.
I was fooling around in Photoshop and isolated just a lamb image and printed it onto fabric for my quilt. I had been making my own printing sheets using unbleached muslin with crack-n-peel sticker paper adhered to the back. At first it seemed like a miracle just to have an image on fabric, but really it doesn't come out very clear, and I was treating the fabric with bubble jet set, so it was time consuming. I splurged on some fabric printing sheets. I was trying to avoid the expense, but the results is much better. So now I've got me a nice lamb plus I printed a larger lamb to use for some future project.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Saturday of Spring

The weather is reasonable today, for March. Supposed to be sunny and in the 50's. I think I can get some things done. My week was a little crazy. Monday my parents came over for dinner, Tuesday was ARC talent show rehearsals, home at 10 pm, Wednesday we sat down and did our taxes, 'nuff said, Thursday is Kate's social group, and yesterday she went to a St. Pat's day dance. It went from 7:30 to 9:30, so that broke up the evening just enough that I didn't really do much. On top of this, work has been very busy and that feeling of rushed insanity is not easily shaken off after I leave.

Enough whining. I have already straightened up the downstairs and I think I'm going to take a sewing break. I want to finish up the Gee's Bend Poseur quilt and get that on to Etsy.  I haven't put anything new on Etsy in quite a while. I also want to re-take some of the photos of  merchandise that were taken inside during the winter. When I sell a quilt I am inevitably told that it looks much better in person. 

I might have a conflict this year between my garden and my sewing. I am an avid gardener, and I think it really adds to our quality of life during the summer. It's nice to sit outside and look at flowers, not to mention all of the creatures it attracts. I directed a lot of my creative energy towards gardening when I wasn't making art. A couple of summers ago I turned our garden shed into a project. I painted the inside, then I collaged the ceiling. It became this major undertaking as I searched for images that suited the theme. I have some older pictures of it, fortunately, because right now it is jammed up with lawn furniture. I'm afraid to open the door, it will all fall out on top of me!

PS You realize that the garden doesn't look like this now. This is probably June.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let's Talk About Chairs

Look at this cool chair. It's upstairs at the Lovin' Oven, outside the restroom. I wish I could have it reupholstered for them. It just seems so worth it. It looks like a big fleshy flower.

A few years ago we took on a very expensive but worthwhile reupholstry project. Joe had this chair in his life literally for decades. To most, it looked like a true candidate for the curb; it was faded, ripped, dirty, stinky and the bottom had given way, but we could see the potential. It was the coolest looking Art Deco club chair I had ever seen. What we did not see coming was the cost of this restoration project: $1600!! I figured it would cost around 1K, so I wasn't too shocked, but still, we had to ask ourselves if this wasn't foolish. We ultimately went ahead with it, and it is one of those situations where we continue to enjoy it long after we got over the price. Side note: Joe at one time had the set, which included another chair and a big couch that went together. His ex-wife made him get rid of it. Perhaps it is just as well. That couch alone would have bankrupted us. (The wall color in the top picture looks a little BRIGHT on my screen. The lower picture is more accurate. The color is called Mission Wildflower.)

We have another chair in the collection that is deserving of a good going over. It has the Hickory brand name at the bottom, and it is so much heavier than it looks. Very well-made. I'm guessing it was from the 50's. It is not nearly as desperate as the Art Deco chair was. While it is waiting patiently in our living room for it's turn, I'll just call it shabby chic.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Tiny Appliqued Heart

Look at this little tiny heart my husband gave me. He came across it in a little store and thought I would like it. I went nuts when he took it out of his pocket.

Look at the tiny stitches, the miniscule embroidery! The green fabric is appliques in one piece over the pink. The entire heart is less than 2 inches high.

Joe says it was made by the Hmong people, but he doesn't remember much else about it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Web is a 24-Hour Clothesline

I would imagine that you've all heard of the Gee's Bend quilts. Briefly, this is a group of quilts made by the women of an isolated rural town in Alabama, that had such a distinctive style, that they ended up touring the country in museums. I was quite taken with them, having discovered them when I was ready to make quilts in a different way. I was lucky to see the show this fall at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I got such a kick, and a thrill, out of how the conventions were flouted by these women. It was quite rare to see a quilt that was actually squared up. The edges were positively wavey. The color combinations were really out there. I liked them when I saw pictures of them, but, like most art, seeing them in person was 100x better.

When I first started making art quilts, it was taking me some time to warm up. I was casting about for ideas. At one point I decided that I was going to do it Gee's Bend style. As you can see it didn't really work out. It's not a bad quilt, but it's not Gee's Bend by any means. It's as if I started trying to be a blues singer while living my comfortable middle-class life. Just not authentic. I think I forgot it was supposed to be GB style and started doing it my way.

There is a quilt collective right now in Gee's Bend, selling quilts in a gallery in NYC. Some of the new quilts were also at the show in Philly and even they don't seem quite right. The true Gee's bend quilts were made in a certain place and time that cannot be reproduced.

I read that women from Gee's Bend used to hang all their quilts on clotheslines to "air out" during the spring. Many quilters used this once-a-year public display as a way to discover new ideas for their own quilts. I think we now have a 24-hour on-line clothes line where we can see eachothers work and get new ideas. I love that!

I'm on "Face Space" Or is it "My Book?"

Ha Ha, I crack myself up. Actually, Kate called it "Space Book" the other day by accident. I love that. I get a lot of good material from her.

So anyway, I finally joined... no wait, seriously, which one did I join? OK, OK, it is definitely Face Book. Kate has got a friend who is pretty good on the computer and he wants to create his own community of disabled people on Face Book. So I joined up to see how it works so Kate could join up. I could not log in! Something crazy was happening from my computer, and I have zero patience for this stuff, so I let it drop. But about 5 minutes later I was getting e-mails and people were starting to friend me, and I could not respond. It was driving me crazy.

My friend and neighbor 2 doors down, Skye, was constantly sending me things. I'd see her out on the street sometimes and I'd say she should come over some time and help me out. Well last night she did.

Skye is a very extroverted person. She moved to the neighborhood about a year after we did. In 2 weeks she knew everyone in town. She started painting her house funky colors and hung tibetan prayer flags from her porch. We invited her to our neighborhood Christmas party and it turns out she is a poet of some note. (She recently had a paid gig at the Dodge Poetry Festival) The English teacher and his English teacher wife in attendance were immediately taken with her, and Joe and I started feeling like we were running a salon that night.

So Skye hooks me up with this thing. Part of the problem is that it automatically thinks I am my son, who also uses this computer. She is walking me through all the things you can do, all of her 300+ friends, including some Irish poet who has videos of himself doing a reading, shirtless. Then she shows me how to search for groups that might interest me. I search "fiber arts." That is when I knew this was not a good idea. I already spend way too much time on the computer. My husband has been giving me the crazy eye in the morning, like, excuse me, you do this BEFORE you make coffee? Kate just walked by and called me a blog-a-holic.

I gotta go.... !

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's "Finally Sewing" Saturday

Can you see the wooden chair part? I'm figuring out a way to use that to hang this quilt. 

The white fabric is in the shape to fit the chair, but isn't actually attached to anything yet. The other pictures are details of the quilt. It's mostly finished, i just have to sew on a million more beeds.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Collage

Having a Job: Not All Bad

I had a comment about signing up for the class that said something to the effect of, If your husband says it's OK, don't worry about the cost...

Sometimes I feel a little resentful that I have to work full time, when I can see that some of you have a lot more time to be creative, but there are benefits. I'm paying for this class myself! I also pay for my car, my clothes, my art supplies, and I pay my own credit card bill. There is a certain freedom in that. (Joe and I split household expenses.)

My husband is a legendary "Good Time Charley." That was his mother's name for him. He goes to work every day, and always has a job. But he'd just as soon not work overtime or Saturdays, thank you very much. This man considers realaxation a virtue. I bought a new car a couple of years ago, and he was discussing different models with people at work. Later that day his supervisor tried to get him to work a Saturday. Naturally Joe balked at that. The supervisor proceeds to say, "You can buy your wife a nicer car..." Joe and I had a good laugh over that. Joe informed the Supervisor that his wife makes more money than he does, and can buy her own car!

The point I'm getting at is that my husband really encourages me to have fun. When I was a single mom (for about 8 years) I did OK, but I was soooo careful about money. My ex-husband, while not an evil man, was such a dimwit when it came to money. I was determined to make up for all of the pissing-away of cash that I endured while I was married. (By the way, he worked, as an accountant (!) and I didn't, so I did not have much say in how things went.) I still find it hard to splurge on myself. That's why I was shaking and almost threw up when I bought that $1200 sewing machine last year.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I've Signed Up for a Class

Pete's Valley Craft Center is way up in the north west corner of NJ near the Delaware water gap. From May through September they offer craft workshops that run from 2-5 days. I signed up for a 3 day class over Memorial Day weekend called Mixed Media Textile Surfaces. By the time I was done with fees for the class, on-site lodging and the meal program, I was out $511. Joe highly encouraged me to do it. He usually goes off with motorcycle friends that weekend.  (He takes the opportunity to ride very, very fast, which, at my request, he does not do when I am on the back) I don't resent it when he goes, I take the opportunity to stay up late, watch movies he would not like, listen to music he doesn't like, eat food he doesn't like, and I usually tackle some heinous project around the house. Last time he was gone for the weekend, I painted the stairway area that leads to the basement. I swear, it had not been painted since 1932. He considers that kind of thing a waste of time, he said that part of the house had a "great patina." I'll say it did. You should see the linoleum that is still there. I can't bring myself to get rid of that.

Hey, but Instead of some heinous project, I'm taking a textile class!  I have an associates degree in fine art, but I have never had a class like that. I used to take classes at Women's Studio Workshop. I took a mosaic class and a book making class up there. I remember it well: there is no house to clean, no dinner to cook, not even any people to love. (Let's face it, it takes a lot of time to maintain loving relationships.) The only thing you really can do is make art, with a bunch of people who want to make art. I'm really looking forward to it. It is 10 weeks away. A month before the class, I will get a packet of info and a materials list. I can't even wait for that! 

I've been spending a lot of time ferrying Kate a round this week. Yesterday while I was waiting for her, after running some errands. I managed to sew around 20 beads to the quilt I'm working on, sigh. I hope to finish it this weekend. Then I can show you. And, move on to the next thing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog Etiquette

I need some hints about blog etiquette. People are actually starting to look at this blog, and make really good comments. I know that I leave comments on blogs and sometimes I forget to go back to see if the author, or anyone else, has commented on my comment. What's the deal? should I comment on comments right below the comment, or, should I address them in a post? I suppose I can do whatever I want, but what is normal?

Anyway, Idaho Beauty commented on my post about Motorcycles vs Quilts, and she mentioned her late husband and how they used to go on motorcycle adventures that they had combined with quilt shows... I felt so bad about the "late" part. I have only been married 3 years, and I would miss my husband so much... I was reminded that people can become "late" at any time. I really liked getting that post. When I started riding (on the back) with my husband, I realized how many different kinds of people are out there riding. I think Hells Angel types are a minority. It's fun to see all of the "tribes." The young guys riding "crotch rockets," lime green bikes with matching jackets, unsmiling Harley guys, looking all tough, couples on GoldWings with the upholstered armchairs on the back, every one of them having the time of their lives.

Susan Lenz from Art in Stitches (An excellent blog) commented on the idea of getting permission to use images. My first thought has been that, they'll never know. I have been cutting things out of magazines for years, where is the line there?. I don't know, but now that I am on the internet, I realize that people all over the world can and will see this. How would I feel if someone grabbed one of my images without even saying anything? This also reinforces the idea of doing your own work. Then it is 100% original, and you don't have to pay!

About the decisions series, about developmentally disabled people, having them live elsewhere is a decision that has to be made at some point. My daughter lives with me now, and will for a long time, but I'm not going to live forever. She and I discuss what will most likely happen. You can see she is excited, yet scared. One day I was helping her pay and tip for a haircut, and she looked at me and said, "Who will help me with this when you are gone?" I'm only 48, so I don't think I'm going anywhere soon, but as pointed out earlier in this post, you never know when you are going to be "late." Susan, I wish you could actually speak to a person that is disabled and ask them about a decision they have made. My daughter just quit her job. She goes on a cruise with the ARC every year, and her employer threatened to fire her if she took the time off. This was at a school. I see their point. Kate had the entire summer off, so she should be taking her vacation then. But, Kate can't take her vacation whenever she wants to. She decided that rather than get fired it might be better to just resign. The job coach at the agency that helped her get the job seemed really put off. It was as if developmentally disabled people don't have the right to quit a job if they want to. Anyway, that type of thing could be an interesting departure from decisions made by "normal" people.

One more thing: To Acey, yeah, that glove giving us the peace sign! I was thinking I should have picked it up and brought it home, but hopefully more people will notice it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday Was a Good Day

The entire weekend was warm. It was a pleasure to be outside for a change. After the quilt show, Joe and I drank a bottle of white wine out on the deck! I know this is not permanent, but it did bring some joy to my soul.

We went to breakfast Sunday morning in Milford, a little town just up the road from Frenchtown. After breakfast we went for a walk to the town cemetary, my idea. Everything I do lately is about my latest quilt, Faith Replaces Reason. I wanted to see if there was anything in the cemetary that could give me inspiration or a new idea about this piece.

The grave stones in there were in rough shape, in that they were very hard to read. I want to do some rubbings, but I was not prepared. I found the usual child grave markers, nothing outstanding. There was a stone that had TWO lambs on it, facing eachother, but both of them had their heads knocked off. That really burns my morbid toast. I know there is a very cool lamb headstone in Clinton. I've used it in past collages. I pass through there on the way home. Maybe I'll stop by for a photo shoot.

Anyway, there is a private home with a yard that butts up against this cemetary in Milford. There were some stones that looked like they were tossed aside, including this one with John Clarence's name, and they were mingled with the toys of the kids who must live there. This is a church cemetary, I'm suprised they would just toss stones aside that way.

When we were walking back to the car I saw this glove in the street and had to take a picture.
When we arrived back in Frenchtown, I spontaneously asked to be dropped off at the antique store in town. I took a photo of a quilt that was in a bucket outside. It isn't that expensive and I have been looking at this for a few months. I like the fabrics. I wonder how our tax return will be this year?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quilt Show Anxiety

Or, Wow, I really suck at this!  That is kind of how I feel after a day of looking at some of the best quilts ever produced. I can understand reaching perfection when you hand quilt, but how do you make no mistakes, not a single one, when quilting with this crazy fast monster at your fingers? (That would be my sewing machine.) But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Alas, I have no pictures of the show. I searched for my camera just minutes before trying to leave (I had been meaning to locate it for a couple of days) I could not find it anywhere. Finally I peeked behind the computer. It had fallen down, and was still attached by it's umbilical cord to the computer. Unfortunately, the battery was sucked dry. Kate said hers was dead, too.  I don't want to dwell on it, this is just how it is with me sometimes. I said, "Screw it," and we left.

If you've ever been to a big quilt show before, you know there are all kinds of things on display. We also saw dolls, wearable art, different challenges and themes. There was some kind of Hoffman challenge with peacock fabric. Some were really good, but nothing I wish I had done. There was a large section of black and white quilts, some of which were absolutely great. Dog quilts, orchid quilts. But, there is always a section running up the middle of the show area with some of the most stunning quilts you have ever seen. One was a pale yellow quilt, the quilting was so tight it was just ridiculous, and the border... how to explain? Individual tubes if fabric made connections to the outer area of edge of the quilt, kind of like a fence?  Here is an on-line picture of the damn thing. You can't go in close, so I don't know if it will help in understanding it. I just had the idea to search around to find pictures of these quilts on the web. I'm a bit surprised at how few of these quilts I can find. So none of these people have blogs?!?

On to the vendors, that was fun. I spent a bunch of hard earned Etsy cash. Lots of fabric. I was disappointed, because I could not find any paint or oil sticks or fibers, or printable sheets of fabric... things I have been wanting to try. Although there were a lot of art quilts in the show this time, I think everything is aimed at traditional quilters.  Kate bought some fabric. She has her own stash going now. She promises she will make a quilt with me soon.

Remember I was all into reading about old fabrics a few posts back?  I scooped up a couple of charm packs of 30's feed sack style squares. Looks like I have 2 or 4 of each pattern. I have blues purples and greens, and a set of pinks, reds and oranges. I will use these in the "depression quilts" I dream of. I know I said that I suck at quilting, and I do, compared to what I saw at that show, but I also can't wait to make more!

Yikes, I've been here so long my husband woke up and came down stairs. Let me go say hi to him.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quilt Show today!

I'm going to be looking for paints and oil sticks and other things I have been reluctant to order on line. The main reason is that I just don't want to add any more to my credit card balance.  I usually get some back issues of magazines (no shipping.) AND I will take pictures if possible.

See ya later.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Deceased Infants Cost $$$

I had a very nice e-mail from Lisa Marine, who is the image reproduction and licensing manager for the Wisconsin Historical Society. First of all, she complemented my work. (I had sent her a .jpg so she could see what I was taking about.) Then she informed me that it would cost $50 to put that 1.5"x1.5" baby on my quilt. It was a little jarring at first, but let's face it, I probably spent that on all of the other fabric and embellishment on the quilt, plus, it helps support the historical society. I will send a check in a week or so, and add the cost to what I might have charged for the quilt when I sell it. Overall it has been very informative to go through this process.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Copyright Update

ACey had some helpful suggestions about getting copyright approval. I also found a website for the publisher (Random House / Doubleday) that gave some contact info. I was looking in the photo credits at the end of the book, and found that the picture of the unbalanced woman was in the public domain! It seems that it does not come from the negatives of the Black River Falls photographer. That makes me wonder why it is even in the book, but, whatever.

This leaves me with the infant in a coffin, which is listed with a negative number. This made me think that I should go to the historical society. I downloaded a permissions request form, but I don't see my situation there. I wrote an e-mail to inquire. I do know that I will have to buy a 5x7 of the dead baby for $15. There may be some other fee if I want to put it on the internet. I told them it was a one of a kind art work and that I hoped to sell it eventually. I'll let you know what they say.

Meanwhile, I have cobbled together a couple of scans to show the progress of "Faith Replaces Reason."

Quilts vs. Motorcycles

This weekend is the big quilt show in my area and I am EXCITED! I had so much fun last year and even bought a sewing machine on impulse. I don't intend to make any such purchases this year, but I will go with money in hand.

Last year my husband came with me. He seemed to enjoy himself pretty well; he likes looking at art. However, he later used it as leverage when trying to get me to go to motorcycle events! When I balked at going to a weekend rally, he reminded me that he spent time at a quilt show. I think there are some major differences here! Motorcycle rallies last for a weekend. As I understand it, if you don't camp at a rally, you miss half the fun. I have a long standing rule that I am willing to travel by motorcycle, even multi-day trips, but I need a hotel room at the end of the day. I also know that I am going to be standing in a crowd of gear heads who will be discussing the finer points of the motor Ducati decided to use in it's latest model. I have nothing to add to these discussions, I'm afraid. So let's compare: a weekend of my life lost to camping with motorcycle dudes vs. an afternoon looking at quilts.

This year I'm presenting it as a girls day out. Kate will certainly come with me, and if I ask my mom, she will come, too. We'll have lunch, it will be a blast. I will take pictures, (is that allowed? I don't think I brought my camera last year.) I was thinking it might be time to learn to create a photo montage with Flickr.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Was Anonymous

I got this crazy Blogger e-mail telling me that they have integrated something with something else and I was now following all of my blogs anonymously. I already don't understand half of this stuff, but I managed to go in and change the following status of all 14 blogs I follow. Sheesh!

I sold 2 quilts on Etsy in 2 days. That's amazing. I have to get moving and make more!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow and a Mummy

I decided to take a vacation day today, rather than deal with the weather. I spent a lot of my time cleaning the house, and I did come across a piece of art I made during my exploration of death period. I took some pictures of it and loaded it up on Etsy. I've sold some crazy things on there, so why not this?

I also did more work on the quilt with the insane woman. I went through WDT and came up with a dead baby for her.  I was going to hide the baby, but it ended up front and center, right over his mother's head. It is pretty small, at least. I've also come up with a back story that I think matches up pretty well. Ready?

"The funeral services for the little child of Jimmie McWilliams that died last Friday were held at his home on Sunday. The whole community deeply sympathize with Mr. McWilliams and his wife in this doubly deep-pained affliction, this being their only son and the 4th one that death had taken from them during the past few years. Surely this is the point where faith must take the place of reason."

I like that last line a lot and I think that I will name the quilt that. I am faced, of course, with having to ask permission from somewhere if I decide to sell this. Should I contact the publisher, or Michael Lesy himself? Or should I be asking the Wisconsin Historical Society? In the meantime, I rediscovered  part of  an old Victorian chair-back that I've had hanging around for quite some time. I'm going to figure out a way to use it to hang this piece. I'm excited about that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello March

It is snowing here today, but I still start to have hope in March. My husband and I walked into town for breakfast yesterday and I made a point of finding the little shoots poking up in my front garden. We'll have crocus soon.

I've had some good comments here about WDT. I've done some work on the piece. After Idaho Beauty brought up the post mortem photos, I started to think I really needed to put a picture like that in the quilt. I want it to be subtle (I guess that's laughable. A subtly dead baby) but I want to print it small and tuck it in among the lacy bits. The viewer will find it and then understand. Here is a link to WDT photos on Flickr

I used to make a lot of art about death. I suppose it is no coincidence that this coincided with the breakup of my first marriage. I was the one that initiated the break up, and I can honestly say it was a very good decision.  But the art I made was more about the rituals that surround death. I have two sculptures that I made which are miniature mummies in these decorative sarcophogi. I've made several collages incorporating images of mummified people found in ancient tombs. They weren't Egyptian style mummies, more like accidental because of the dry climate they were buried in. I used to work pretty large, 24x36, and these collages are in frames. Hard to take pictures of them. Maybe I have some digital images somewhere?