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been organizing my life and more...

been organizing my life

it has been one thing after another, and before it becomes one more thing, here I am. Sunday morning, coffee in hand, waiting for my toast.  And when I hear the beep, I open the microwave oven, which is empty.  Oops - am I loosing it?  Nope; my mind is in 17 other places.  You know the feeling. Right?


For the past three weeks or more, I have spent time every day working on this room; filling up trash bags, moving boxes, and clearing the mountain off of the cutting table.  Have I actually cut anything?
Well, yes.  The fabric for the pillow on the right, which will remain unfinished for a few more months. But at least I can breathe in here!

Spent last weekend in NY, celebrating my grandson Alexander's bar mitzvah. Stayed in a "boutique" hotel (meaning mega$$$, tiny room).  Here is how much space there was between the foot of the bed and the closet.  You had to stand sideways to open the left-hand closet door, which hit the bed so couldn't open all the way.  The mirror was on that door so if you wanted to see yourself in the full-length mirror, you had to open the other door and stand IN the closet. Nonetheless - we had fun.
A few family pix... with Jeremy, who didn't look too happy about posing for the camera:-))
My daughters and daughter-in-law.
And you-know-who.

Was back in the city on Thursday for my friend Susan's opening at a gallery in Chelsea.  We went in early and made the rounds. Saw a really disappointing Motherwell show that looked like they had dredged things from his closet.  We couldn't understand why it had gotten such a good review.  But the highlight was the show of Martin Puryear's work: every piece was elegant.  My photos don't begin to do them justice.

Enough for now.  Coffee cup is empty and it's time to start my day.  More tomorrow.
    



brrrrrr.....

Stayed in all weekend, still cleaning my sewing room in the frigid weather.  No photos till I am finished, which had better be relatively soon!

This is not to say that I haven't been in the kitchen.  I've made pots and pots of soup this past week.  First, what to do with the poached chicken breasts I was going to make into a Mexican dish but didn't?  Aha -- Thai coconut chicken soup!!  I just happened to have a stalk of lemongrass in my fridge, a couple of cans of coconut milk, some mushrooms, and the staples in my house: cilantro,lime, red and green curry pastes,and nam pla or nuoc nam (Thai fish sauce). It was so fabulous I wished I had made a gallon of it.  I used green curry paste.  


Later in the week I decided I had better do something with the somewhat over-the-hill cauliflower I hadn't gotten around to using. This one was a no-brainer I found on my NY Times cooking app: Melissa Clark's lemony carrot cauliflower soup.  I just finished the last of it. Delicious and low calorie.

Friday and Saturday I made two pots of vegetable bean soup. I just threw in everything else in the fridge and it was divine.  Soups make easy meals when you have no time to cook because you are sorting and ironing you-know-what.


Thanks for your comments for the giveaway.  The random number generator picked #2, so Sandy Ellison is the lucky winner.  Will get the books out to her this week. I do have to say, however, that if you leave a comment and want to be included in the drawing for whatever it is, you must leave an email address. Otherwise, i can't get in touch with you. No email address, no goodies.  I will have more books to part with next week.

Meantime, I have finished burning the midnight oil. Enough sorting/ironing for tonight!
    


where have I been?

Mostly at home.  Thanksgiving was particularly lovely this year. I spent most of the day organizing the cabinet above my desk in the kitchen. This was a result of my starting to reorganize and clear out my sewing room.  Some things simply needed to be moved to the kitchen cabinet but I had to clear those out first.  Ya know what i mean?  One thing leads to another and my shredder got a good workout.

Thanksgiving night, my daughter Hilary and I went out for drinks and dinner.  A relaxing holiday, I must admit. No cooking, no cleanup, no dishes. Ahhh....

I have spent the rest of the week (including the weekend) clearing the clutter (have a long way to go), filling trash bags galore, and getting rid of STUFF.  This includes books I no longer need/want/have room for.  And I have uncovered a stash of small (i.e. journal) quilts I have to put aside and decide what to do with. 

The difficult part is making the small decisions - but that's an old story.  And I still have all those family photos to go through.  Here's one for you: I not only have my own wedding album from my first marriage, but now, my mother's duplicate plus all the proofs, and my grandmother's version. ARGH. These have to go downstairs in the lower level, but not till I clear THAT out. And on and on.  This is what I have been doing for a week - and I still have not touched the fabric in this room.  No pictures till I am done.

Today I went into NY and met Usha for lunch.  I bundled up - hoodie, coat, scarf, and furry clogs, and was amused to see that one of the commuters in George Segal's iconic sculpture in the Port Authority Terminal had decided she needed a head-warmer.


The Port Authority has already started getting dressed for the holidays.

Usha and I had a wonderful South Indian lunch at Madras Mahal on Lexington Avenue and had a chance to catch up -- but it was much too short a visit. She headed to Chinatown to stock up on ginger and I headed to the bus, hoping to avoid rush hour. Nope. Rain and traffic doubled the trip from ½ hour to an hour to the mall where I had parked my car.
I was happy to get home and have decided to leave the continued clearing till tomorrow.

In the meantime:
I have packed up the Quilt National catalogs from 1993, 95,97, and 99, a Visions '98 catalog, and another book and am ready to send them off, book rate, to a good home. If you want them, leave a comment and I'll let the random number generator pick the new owner by Friday morning, Dec. 6.
    



staycation

I can't remember having spent a whole weekend doing NOTHING. I mean nothing! Saturday evaporated in a minute, after I had slept the morning away.  And Sunday, I spent huddled over the computer doing geneaology research which may ultimately lead to a big question mark. Ah, well.


Probably the exhaustion was due to a hectic week, crowned by spending a cold Friday in New York, visiting a bunch of galleries on the Lower East Side and getting an education in some art I might never had given a first glance, let alone a second one.  Stimulating, educational, exciting.  And exhausting -- climbing all those flights of stairs to art galleries in lofts.   Worth the effort.

Our curator and passionate, knowledgeable guide, Justin Polera, gave us the backgroun and the intent of the artists we saw -- but to me, art evokes a visceral response and while knowing the artist's intent helps me understand it, it does not make me like it.  Here, a couple of pieces by Klaus Merkel at the Joe Sheftel Gallery on Orchard St.

Across the street, Andres Carranza. He was cutting up canvas on his hands and knees and took time to speak to us about his work and his process.  Although he is right-handed, he worked with his left hand on these canvases, which were site-specific installations on the gallery's walls.  It was these that he was cutting into smaller sections, to sell.  Andres is here from Costa Rica on a residency and is heading to Art Basel Miami next week.
Sam Lewitt works with plastic-clad copper (or is it copper-clad plastic?) - the material many computer components are made from.  His work was in two galleries, and it was the work in the second gallery that captivated me. Drop-dead gorgeous; it could have been cloth, but it wasn't.
I don't normally cook on weekends, but Friday night I was too tired (and cold) to even venture out to eat.  Takeout from the Greek restaurant that delivers was the perfect answer.  So tired that we did not go out till Sunday night.  Saturday night must have been leftovers.  A blur.

I've been reading, staring into space, and taking a few days off to nurture myself a little -- without guilt.
Feels good.

    


end of the week

Packed and ready to leave for home, with a stop on the way.  This has been a delightful

week -- nonstop Mexican food, great company, and a class of SAQA members that didn't even know how talented they were.

A key part of this workshop was the  voluntary critique of works in process; what I call 'groupthink."  Looking at someone else's work-in-progress is the best way to develop an eye for design you can take back to your own work, and the class members came up with some alternative solutions to some design problems others were stuck on.made were insightful and helpful.ifyou...?"

Julie is putting together her quilt, which captures the essence of a field of wildflowers.  
Following the group's suggestion that she try it without the blue and white sky, she removed that section and decided the piece was better without it. She set it aside and the blue and white units can be the starting point for another piece of work.  A design solution!

Kathy made this art quilt, which started as pieced strips she couldn't imagine would turn into anything cohesive.  But here it is, partially put together and ready to be completed at home.  I look forward to seeing the photo of the finished piece! It is both energetic and serene.

Elise's piece ended up to be a dynamic piece that made her feel really good.  Admittedly, it was a challenge to put together all those different sized pieces -- but it was worth it.  And the group's suggestions as she worked on it really helped with her color choices and placement.  She's happy, as she should be.

 I'm at the Tucson airport and have a long day ahead of me.  As always, I envy the class participants for having days to just play.  I have a break from teaching now for several months and am eager to get back to my own design wall and sewing machine.
    



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