frenchtown fiber

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

Monday, March 21, 2011

100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


Read the story of this tragedy here. It is awful, but has fascinated me for years. It could have been one of my relatives there, I know a number of them worked in sweatshops.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Italian Lessons

Clarification on Italian lessons: It is an online thing called "Mango" and we do it through the county library. You go at your own pace. There have been some cuts at our library, I hope they still offer it.

Kim Hambric has offered me some advice based on her recent trip to Barcelona. She feels that it becomes easier to communicate in a foreign country after drinking a glass of wine. This is the kind of practical information I am looking for, thank you very much!

I am reading a guide book about Venice and becoming overwhelmed with choices. Really, you could spend 2 weeks in any of the places I will be in; Rome, Tuscany/Florence, Venice. I want to go to the Arena Chapel to see the works by Giotto. Giotto is pretty much the first renaissance painter and I have always loved his work. Some rich guy commissioned this chapel to get his father into heaven a few hundred years ago.

I understand that it is in Padua, which is a half hour train ride from Venice. Seems crazy not to see it while I am there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Countdown to Italy

I just handed in my final paper for American History to 1815. I had to write an essay about an aspect of David McCullough's book 1776. That was a really good book, a page turner, even. My husband read it and found it very interesting. Here is a quote from the book that I love:

 "It was an army of men accustomed to hard work, hard work being the common lot. They were familiar with adversity and making do in a harsh climate. Resourceful, handy with tools, they could drive a yoke of oxen or "hove up" a stump or tie a proper knot as readily as butcher a hog or mend a pair of shoes. They knew from experience, most of them, the hardships and setbacks of life. Preparing for the worst was second nature. Rare was the man who had never seen someone die."

So that's it for another quarter. I now have nothing major to think about except our trip to Italy. We leave in 38 more days!!!!!!!! On Sunday we came across a doomed Borders Bookstore and purchased two guidebooks and a map of Florence @ 30% off . We are going to pick up our online Italian lessons again. I figure if we can ask for a glass of red wine we are OK.

As for art, I haven't touched any in quite a couple of weeks. I have some sheets of paper prepared for the next art journal. I used water color paper and did various water color washes on each page as a base. I can already see it isn't for me. It looks nice but you can't go over it with any kind of liquid as it smears the color. As they say, there are no mistakes, so I will just push on. I have been messing around with some photographs I took myself to avoid that copy right thing. I have pondered the question of what I have learned from making an art journal, and I still don't have much to articulate. I loosely put pages together based on theme, not date, but then I was pleased to find that they somehow went together aesthetically as well. That might just be serendipity. I learned that when stamping out words with rubber stamps, no matter how hard I try to concentrate, eventually I will space out to the point that I will stamp a letter sideways or upside down. Working in little chunks like that suits me. This is all I got right now.

Here is a picture of a stump that I see on my walk along the old rail bed in town. I took the heart shape in the middle and grayed it out in Photoshop. Someday I am going to paint that part of the stump pink.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Have I lLearned Anything?

I've been away for the weekend, just visiting with friends, and work has been so busy. I just dumped all of the photos of the art journal on Friday after work and ran. Idaho Beauty has asked me if I have learned anything from this project. The short answer is yes, but I'm going to have to ponder that for a while. It will give me something fun to think about while I toil away today.  I'll report back later. One thing I will say is that I already have the next one started.

Friday, March 4, 2011