Tuesday, June 26, 2012

star struck

well, that's another finished. I decided to save myself some hassle and do a self binding. I also opted, instead of stitching just this side of the folded over backing that I'd do a zigzag instead with variegated thread. I'm just happy that it is finished.

Monday, June 25, 2012

up on the roof

Tar Beach, Faith Ringgold
(New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1991) 

1992 Caldecott Honor Book
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration
Reading Rainbow Feature Selection
A New York Times Best Illustrated Book
Parents' Choice Gold Award
The children's book, Tar Beach, was taken from [seen on right] Tar Beach (Part I from the Woman on a Bridge series), 1988. Acrylic on canvas, bordered with printed, painted, quilted, and pieced cloth, 74 5/8 x 68 1/2 inches (189.5 x 174 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,Gift, Mr. and Mrs. Gus and Judith Lieber  88.3620. © Faith Ringgold 
This information came from the website of the Guggenheim's online collection, here is a link to the page about Tar Beach

Tar Beach is another favorite book. My mother, who was born in Brooklyn, New York (Bensonhurst) brought this book home to show my brother what life in 1950's New York looked like. These, she said, were her memories of that time, just in an Italian Jewish neighborhood, where the apartments were too hot for sleeping, so they'd go up on the roof. I used to envy my mother having lived in the city. And then I moved to a city, where, among other things, you have to pay for parking, there's no drive through anything, except for ATM's, there's not a tree in sight, so the temperature in the summer skyrockets, and to go anywhere to do something is a major production. Bleh. 

I see now why she says of the town I was ultimately born and raised in that she smelled the cow manure and knew she'd come home. It's a totally different world.  

Tar Beach 2 (deluxe), 1990 /2000
printed in 1990 / quilted in 2000
quilt edition, silkscreen on silk
75 x 75
Tar Beach 2, 1990
quilt edition, silkscreen on silk
The Fabric Workshop
quilter: Gail Liebig
68 x 64

I guess someone has been screen printing Ms. Ringgold's paintings onto silk and then quilting them, so instead of a poster, you have a quilt.  I'd hate to think what that costs. Not something I'd have in my classroom. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

new life

a one-seater chair at my desk is so not going work...

 Moved the dresser back into the house. Initially, there was a skinny wrought iron stand behind the chair, a '20ish pole lamp and a nightstand with a drawer. The area looked cluttered, and I was never really happy with the way it looked, but I felt ambivalent about changing it. The lamp moved to the to the other side of the window next to the desk, and the stand into the bathroom under the sink. I realized after moving the dresser inside again that part of what I hadn't liked about the prior arrangement was that it had been a cluster of dark things, and that I really didn't like looking at the brown back of this dresser.

 one of my more brilliant ideas: screw in cup hooks and hang a tea towel of the Paris Metro with clips.

Two of the four drawers are still serviceable, so I put knobs back on them. For now, the larger drawer holds a few pair of flat shoes and my bicycle helmet. I don't remember what's in the top most drawer... probably sunscreen and bug spray. For the most part, the dresser is still in good shape after having sat outside in several rainstorms under a PVC shower curtain. There is an area of warping along the side in the plywood,  visible in the picture below, but it's not terrible. The only thing that needs to be done is the cutting of the MDF for the shelves, and I can store shoes in the bottom and other accessories in the top, like my bike helmet, winter hats and et ceteras. I had no compunction painting this piece, since it was lower-quality in the first place.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

flower fun

I was home over memorial day weekend, and my mom and I had a little too much fun putting together planters. We drove around looking for shade plants with flowers that would grow under the dense foliage covering my patio. And we went nuts with packets of pansy and coleus. I purchassed the Astilbe from Scotland Yards Greenhouse in Edinboro, PA. (We got dad a really neat hosta while we were at it). They have a pretty sweet gift shop in their barn, too, with nice gardening and outdoor accessories. Mom sent me home with dicentra from her own garden. The hosta was a rescued volunteer from the carport at the last house I lived at.

When I first moved to the Big City, I bought a bedframe off a friend who lived semi-locally. It was the top of a bunkbed, but since it got my matress and boxspring off the floor, that's really all I cared about. My bed lived in storage for a year while I was living in the Queen Ann in the East End, and it was set up in my new place, where it's lack of height irked me no end. I got a KURA loft bed from some friends for free, but not having a car with a hatchback, I wouldn't effectivey get rid of the bunkyboard. So I hauled it outside and it sat on my patio until that EUREKA moment when I turned it on it's end, leaned it against a half wall for support and have been using it for hanging baskets.
and I thought I had killed this, but it's still hanging on by it's teeth.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I left my camera at my mom's place memorial day weekend, and I didn't realize how often I use that thing until the third time I called asking if they'd found it yet. Hmm...

I spent some time in the oversized book section at the CLPGH main branch, checking out all seven of the available Kaffee Fassett books on shelf. The sewing machines have covers over them until classes are over, but that doesn't mean I can't figure out what to do with the fabric I've got laying around. And there's a lot of that. Kaffee has his own version of Jane Austin's famous lozenge quilt, and I discovered photocopied patterns I've been looking for, tucked into a binder I forgot about. And I found out the name of the book they came from, 101 nine patch quits, by Marti Michell. Which, if I ever find a copy that's not going for $80 on Amazon, I'll probably buy.

in the meantime, before class started, I got some things finished.

 like this goofy flowerpot. I've seen similar ones that have little birds or dogs or houses or whatever, but there was nothing anywhere else on the mold to suggest that there was anything to put there. So I'm going to leave it.

and the granny square is done! it looks a little awkward with two different sashing fabrics, but i wasn't planning on giving it away anyhow.

also finished is the cheerful child and the sampler!

I took a long arm lesson at the end of May, and can't wait to try it out on an actual quilt, but my summer course work is a little prohibitive in terms of working on anything. Bleh.

Upcoming is a children's book, based on a cat who moves to the city, and has to deal with keys and locks. it's due next week.