I have several pieces in pieces, if you know what I mean. Aujourd'hui, je suis en train de décider quoi faire aver ces morceaux. As usual, I am taking pictures as I go along, then rearranging, then photographing again until I am so confused that I wonder if I'm being too nit-picky and that in the end, it won't make a difference.
Back to the random units I was working with a week or two ago. For days, I have been playing with a different idea and different arrangements. Yes, no, yes, no, maybe, maybe not. I will spare you the umpteen possible arrangements I've experimented with since I abandoned the white background.
Monday night I finally decided to work with a hand-dyed pale yellow background (which doesn't look very yellow here) and, as they say, "stick a fork in it." Enough! If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But I have to finish it and move on. Now that I've put together these random, not-exactly-the-same-size units. I'm posting the two formats here as a way of thinking out loud and looking them from a distance.
This reminds me of why I started a blog in the first place, a little more than a decade ago.
It was a way for me to get back from my in-process work and look at it in a small format. And it is still useful, all these years later.
Yes, it's deliberately off-kilter -- that's okay with me. But I see something from this distance that bothers me, which didn't when I was standing close to it. Good!
I am finally working, after a long dry spell. I have a show coming up next month with two artists in other mediums. The exhibit is titled "Old is Good" and we were invited to show the progression of our work from where it started to where it is now. I have sleeves to sew on two pieces that have never been exhibited, but since I am not a tv-watcher, this is not an appealing activity. Nonetheless, over the weekend I have to get that act together.
I also have to go print scarves for my open studio on Nov. 8th. That's next week's activity -come hell or high water. But for what is left of this week (it's half over) I've got to tackle a few more pieces in my sewing room as long as my ideas are still sprouting.
Past my bedtime!
Now that my brain is less foggy and I'm feeling better, I am finally getting around to posting a few pix from a little jaunt to New York City last Saturday. We attended a bar mitzvah in the morning and afterwards, it was too nice a day to just go home, so Phil and I decided to hop the bus into the City and wander around. We saw that there was some kind of street fair in Chelsea, so we walked down 8th Ave. from 39th St. to 23rd to see what was what. It was perfect walking weather, so we got our 10,000+ steps in
No, this is not a museum, but the main post office for New York City at 33rd St. Gorgeous building, not unlike the old and beautiful Penn Station that they tore down to put up a monstrosity.
This was the first time I had noticed the drop-dead gorgeous Art Deco brass doors of the Manufacturer's Trust Company - later known as Manufacturer's Hanover (aka Manny Hanny). The construction interfered with my photo, but that's the way it goes.
The street fair was mostly food stalls with a few craft stalls and some street performances. Uh - Proactive Aloe Detox Water? The emperor's new clothes.
This violinist and his tux had seen better days.
I love their rhyming motto.
Broke our hearts that we weren't hungry. We've been to their place in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. You have to drive or bike there; there is no subway. Their lobster rolls are iconic - we've been there.
I thought this woman looked wonderful in her red, orange, olive.green dress.
Collecting bottles and cans so she can pay for her dinner.
About 3:30 we needed to sit down, so we went into the espresso & gelato place. I had an iced expresso con panna. The gelato was not for me -- too sweet.
Around 4:00 the dancers from the Joyce Theater across the street came out and gave a lovely, graceful performance.
After the dancing, we headed back uptown. As we were leaving the street fair, we noticed this restaurant and I had to have a picture. Uncle Jack's steakhouse and sushi bar?? What kind of a combination is that? Too funny.
We stopped at my favorite International Foods market and stocked up on spanakopita, taramasalata, real Greek feta, taziki, and halvah for dinner at home. I've been noshing on the leftovers all week.
Sitting at the walk-in clinic, sounding like Typhoid Mary, mostly waiting. Waiting for the nurse. Waiting for the doctor. Waiting for the x-ray tech. Waiting for a few other things. And especially waiting for the diagnosis of bronchitis, not pneumonia, which I told them it was when I walked in. Ha! Doctor Mom gets another gold star for her self-diagnosis.
I have felt worse, but I have also felt better. Nonetheless, armed with a Z-pak, two inhalers to clear my lungs (yes, they seem to work), and some over the counter stuff that promises to suppress my cough - here I am. The hot toddy was useless, incidentally. And so was the chicken soup. Oh, well.
Over the weekend I sewed together, then took apart, this piece of work -- after I had stitched some of it. I decided that I really hated the white background -- that it is great in theory but just isn't me.I also decided to make the units a tiny bit larger. So that is what I worked on last night and this morning before said trip to the medical facility.
Yesterday I went to the studio and made a couple of screens so I could print scarves. Was planning to go today, but it was not in the cards. I came home and dyed some fabric that came out incredibly ugly. So I overdyed it and it got worse. Did you ever hear of such a thing? Maybe someday I will actually take a dyeing class -- but probably not.
In the meantime, I feel lousy enough to stay home again tomorrow, so we shall see what develops in my sewing room. I may just sit and read.
This morning at 8:30, the doorbell. Surprise! We came to do the roof. (oh, really?). Well, the part that leaked and that has toxic fire retardant in the wood. The fire retardant was replaced a decade or so ago, but apparently they missed the back of my roof over part of the living room.
Hammers, crowbars, carryings on...so I had to go to the front of the house for most of the day to get away from the worst of the racket. My sewing room and the garage are in the front of the house and I didn't intend to spend my day in the garage...so I actually spent the day sewing:-)). Forced into it!
Some time ago I made a quilt out of leftover random blocks. It was meant to be a baby quilt but I decided against it and instead, lugged it around to classes.
I finally decided it was a mishmash and took it apart, sorting out the units and putting aside the ones I liked best. Today, I added some white fabric around the edges and now I am auditioning layouts.
I think I have some more of these, lying around loose. The roofers are coming at 8 tomorrow morning, so I suspect I will be back in this room doing an archaeological dig. Who knows what else I will find?
When I got home from Alaska, I had no deck. All of the decks in the complex are being replaced and they are still not finished. My furniture and my grill are in the yard, so I have actually had to COOK on my range in the kitchen all summer. Bah!
Finally, the deck is done enough for me to sit out there, although it is still not stained and there are some rough/unfinished places. So I dragged a couple of lawn chairs out of the back of the car and this afternoon, because it was so beautiful out, I abandoned my sewing room for the deck.
As I write, I am on the deck,feet up, drink in hand, watching the bambis wag their tails and munch nonstop on the foliage and contemplate my furniture. The weather has cooled a bit and the humidity has gone. The air has the crisp tinge of fall in it, which is lovely and makes for perfect walking weather. I took three walks today.
It has taken me several weeks to catch up with myself and relax. I spent several days last week cooking for Rosh Hashanah, and even baked my own challah for the first time in eons. Last time I did that, my children told me they liked the bakery challah better. But I vowed not to be defeated and this time, using a recipe from Joan Nathan, it was delicious. Of course, I forgot to take pictures of the beautiful (well,sort of lopsided but who's looking?) round breads. We ate the raisin challah and I put the poppy/sesame-topped one in the freezer because home-baked bread gets stale quickly. One Sunday morning it will make fabulous French toast.
In the meantime, am on working on some new ideas, which are coming along slowly but surely. I seem to work in fits and starts these days, hopping from one idea to another and leaving them all in various stages of "what if?"
I still mean to use my African fabrics - the traditional shweshwe fabrics of the South African women, along with some of the African batiks from the west. I am especially motivated because my talented student Wendi sent me a photo of her prize-winning quilt, hanging in a show. She did not start it in class because she was finishing something she brought with her. However, she made it
it after she went home and it won two prizes in the exhibit. Wendi lives in Zimbabwe and had traveled to take the class. Just look at the way she used her fabrics!
Here is a detail. Aren't those fabrics wonderful?
I am off to make a cup of coffee in an effort to stay alert enough to do something imaginative for the rest of the evening. It feels later than it is because of course, it is already dark. As Yogi Berra is reuputed to have said, "it gets later, earlier." See 'ya.