Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday evening - quick weekend

I was so tired from yesterday that I didn't have much energy, but had to finish this commissioned baby quilt for someone at work. This was an interesting project for me, in that the woman I was making the quilt for wanted a "ladybug" theme. I am not fond of black and red together and hoped that I could find something that she would like. Together we found this main fabric that had ladybugs - but I still found it insipid and colorless. Luckily I had the green spotted fabric and the pink and green fabric and I think that keeps it from being too insipid overall.

This is the first time that I have asked someone what they want to have for a main fabric, and it's going to be the last. From now I the fabrics come from my selection only, unless they have something very special. I simply can't get excited by a fabric that I don't like. They can buy them or not, I really don't care. What is important to me is to enjoy what I am doing and get aesthetic pleasure from it. In terms of detail, this is the best one I have done yet. MOSTLY all the corners match up, I just had some trouble with the binding but no on will ever know.

By the way, someone at work said that "you don't use a baby quilt, you hang them on the wall". Hello! someone help me. What good is a baby quilt if it isn't covered in baby!
I am falling asleep at the computer. Time for bed.

NYC day - a LONG post.

I just have to blog about my day yesterday, it was so great, fun, and exhausting.

First off, know that I haven’t been into the city since 9/11. At first I was too freaked out about it and my drive home from Chicago that day, and then it just became overwhelming to go. But with the draw of great friends waiting for me, I was determined to just do it.

I took the 8:30 train to NYC, the speedy Acela and I upgraded myself to 1st class, spoiled brat that I am. But it was great, and a very relaxing trip to Penn station. The minute I got to Penn station, and started walking to find a taxi, I had a New York experience. A well dressed woman came up behind me and asked if I was looking for a cab. When I said yes, (but probably looked suspicious) she said “I’m not going to rob you, the cabs are in that direction. And yes, there was a taxi stand sign. She kept walking behind me saying “I’m not going to rob you, I’m just trying to help” and then started to tell me how she was homeless and needed to get her 13 year old daughter to a doctor, and had I ever heard of chapter 13 etc, etc, etc. Unless she had just robbed a rich woman and taken her clothes, this was no homeless person. Waiting for the cab, I looked up and this was the first thing I saw waving in the wind.

I got the cab down to Sullivan Street which is where I wanted to go for fabric and was also going to meet my two friends there. Got to Sullivan Street no problem, took a few pictures on the way. Went into Perl Soho fabrics as well as their yarn store, and I’m glad I did.

The fabric store is tiny, tiny and I usually order on line, but am glad that I got to see their fabric up close. Beautiful stuff, and oh so tempting.

They had a yarn that had little beads on it – just as soft as a cloud. You could make a gorgeous vest with it, or a scarf…but I resisted. I am NOT going to knit…do you hear me MIM!!!! No more projects.

Then the best part, meeting Hilary and Laurie.

Hilary I have written about before, and Lau is another friend from way back who is just one of those treasured people that you always want to hold on to. Lau still lives in Brooklyn and is a high school teacher, and god bless her, has been doing it for 25 years. Laurie has always been a wonderful artist, great writer, and has such a beautiful, expressive, wonderful face – I’ve always been jealous of her looks, talent and brains (but love her anyway!) . She is ethnic looking, with gorgeous long hair and expressive face and is a great friend. I don’t think that she thinks she is beautiful, but I do, and always have. We don't all see each other often, maybe every 5 years or so, but there is something about growing up together that distance and time will never break those bonds.

We had a lovely, lovely time at a vegan restaurant (so damn good – I think it was called Gobo) and brought each other up on the past years. Here are the three of us; I was holding the camera so it’s a little bit skewed.

My cousin and her daughter were waiting for me at the Tenement museum, so Lau and I took a cab down there and met them.

We couldn't’t get into the museum but we wandered around and poked into stores, and saw lots of stuff that we couldn't’t afford. I lusted after an eggplant colored Italian lambskin bag….but it was $300. A bit out of my price range. But I did get “How the other half lives” by Jacob Riis and “The 2nd Ave Deli” cookbook and “The Big Oyster” by Mark Kurlansky. (has anyone read his book “Cod” – I think it was one of the best books I ever read)

Lot’s of random NYC shots. . This Tasti delight just caught my eye.
A typical NYC building covered with ads for all kind of things.

Where else would you see “Moishe’s moving van” but in NYC

Another typical NYC street shot. I think this was on Orchard street or Delancy St. We were out looking for good Jewish pickles. (I know, Pickles aren't Jewish, but you know what I mean)

I didn’t get to Pearl Paints, or to Tinsel Trading..but next time I will.

A quick trip to Penn Station, caught the train home and really started to crash about ½ way home. I needed to lie down and stretch out. I was overtired. I was cranky and hungry. I actually don’t really remember driving home – but I did have both windows open to keep me awake. I came into the house, taking my clothes off on the way upstairs and slept for 12 hours.

I want to do more in the city, I want to stay for a few days and just walk around. I've forgotten how many PEOPLE are there, and how bustling and busy and crowded it is. I may book into one of those boutique hotels for a few days and just enjoy myself, perhaps with a friend or two.

It was a wonderful day, just wonderful.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Top 101 Artist Blogs

Look here. My little art journal is in the top 70. I am SO pleased and amazed. This was probably up for awhile and I never thought I'd get in forgot to check, but there I am.

I really am pleased, thanks to you all,


Illustration Friday - Homage

As I learn more and more about art, I am trying to copy as many paintings as I can. Here is a try at copying one of Hopper's work. What seemed simple...was NOT.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another New York weekend.

I am going to NYC again this weekend to meet friends and stay with family. I also hope to get some long awaiting special store visits in - to Here for some luxurious embeillishment goodies, to Here for some history and Here for some fabric madness.

I am also meeting a friend who is coming in from California for the weekend, being a native New Yorker she loves to get her city jolt. She and I went to kindergarten together, were in the same classroom when we heard that Kennedy had been shot, went thru grade school, junior high and high school together, listened to the Beatles together, sometimes went to the same colleges, and summer camps. Alot of history between us two. She is short and curly haired and vivacious and I was taller, always quieter, and loved to follow her around. She would dash into trouble like you wouldn't believe, and I'd be right behind making more trouble ( in my quiet way). We liked the same guys sometimes and I remember that she dated Donny Most in high school, but I think she'll deny that. She is a wonderful artist, illustrator and writer and always wrote wonderful poetry and stories.
When I think back to our childhood, it isn't rosy but it was happy and Brooklyn was a great place to grow up. H lived in a small two bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment, with a tiny kitchen, living room and dining room...and she lived there with her parents and maternal grandparents. The house was always immaculate, and H had her room carved out in a small section of the apartment. I was jealous cause she had her own room, and I had to share mine with my brother. Can you imagine some kids today living in crowded conditions? Her grandma kept kosher in a tiny kitchen. No dishwasher of course. And her father was a wonderful artist who did religious incredibly detailed pencil drawings - his drawing table was in the bedroom. We'd meet on the corner to walk to grammar school, junior high and then high school. We'd meet on the same corner on Friday nights to go ice skating and then later on we'd PRETEND to go ice-skating when we were really hanging out on street corners, mooning over cute tough looking guys and pretending to be tough ourselves.

We lived thru it all. Some of our friends didn't. Some went to Vietnam. Some OD'd. Some have just disappeared. But we're still talking about the commune that we're going to live on when we all get old and cranky, and have to live communally so that one of us can read and the other can write.

I'll post pictures and if I'm lucky, I'll find our sixth grade pictures and post that too. Lovely orange can flips we had in those days. If you don't understand that last sentence...too bad!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Animal Wednesday

Outline pictures of The Best Dog in the World - Samson "Mr. Easy" DiGirolamo. 1988 - 2002. No dog will ever come close to this one in sweetness, cozyness, and love.


Fun loving.



Adoring and adored.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Winter Beach

Thomas Wolfe wrote a book entitled (published posthumously I understand) , “You can’t go home again”…but you know what? You can still visit.

My cousins now own the house that my grandma had in Long Beach NY. It was built in the ‘30s and is unpretentious and small, basically a two family house, with two bedrooms up and two down. Most importantly it had a porch and garden and was 3 houses away from the beach. I spent summers at this house when not at summer camp, and it was always that place that I could be assured of a warm and loving welcome by my beloved grandmother. Peach pies, delicious meals, evenings on the porch with the family, playing with the cousins, being on the beach. ( I could never surf the waves, which all my athletic cousins did so wonderfully, but I never gave up trying).

So now, thru family gyrations, my cousins own the house but are happy for us to use it whenever we can. We haven’t taken advantage of that over the years, so this weekend was the first time that we have been at the house without numerous cousins and family…and it was SO wonderful and relaxing. Walking along a cold winter windswept beach is like food for my soul. Relaxing in the sunny living room. Finding grandma’s sewing table with the threads and needles. Sitting in the sheltered garden in the sun, feeling all of the tension leave my shoulders. Here are some pictures of the first morning I was there, took a walk on the beach before sunrise.

The little shed at the end of the brick walkway is a shed shower, my favorite place to shower at the end of a day at the beach...or first thing in the morning...or late at night.

The street leading to the beach, see the little gate at the end - after that ...nothing but sand and water.

Sunrise on the beach and a beached horseshoe crab.

On Saturday it was such a beautiful cold day that we wanted to do something outside so went to “Old Bethpage Village” – one of those reconstructed villages where people walk around in costume. It was pretty deserted, but we had a great time looking at the architecture and playing with the animals.

Look at these pigs! Certainly no problems telling which was the male.

The cows were very friendly and tried to eat my hand and my coat. I was covered in cow slime.

Very interesting colored chickens, I guess they lay eggs all year round – surprise to me.
Random sheep picture.

This woman was demonstrating making egg noodles, which is a way to preserve eggs and get some protein during the winter months. (never thought of that myself) .
Here are some of the houses at the site, the farmhouse looks like one of my old houses, picturesque but cold.
A beautiful red barn, couldn't go inside which was a pity. Barn spaces are very special.

Next weekend I am going to NYC again, but this time to do city things and be with friends. This weekend was a family relaxing time and was just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I'm tagged again by FY, the rascal! Actually, I love getting tagged - it's a challenge. Here is the latest one.
1.) Write a six-word memoir, post it on your blog (add an illustration if you like).
2.)Link to the person that tagged you in your post.
3.)Tag five more blogs with links.
4.) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

6 words for a memoir. Well, I'll try for a small portion of my life.

Saw him


fell in love

I also could write:

Once a hippie, have stayed happy.
Loves dogs, cats, and all animals.

This could go on all night!

I'm not tagging anyone specific, just let me know if you want to be tagged and go for it! Go read some of the other 6 words memoirs, they're really great.

No time today. We are off to NYC this weekend, staying at what I still consider my grandma's house (cousins own it now) at the beach. My absolute favorite place in the world, with an outside shower and 1/2 block to a cold windswept beach. Absolute heaven. But no internet access :( So no posting until next week.

I'm going back to NYC next weekend also, to meet a friend who lives in California. We grew up together in Brooklyn, but she is flying in with a friend and we'll meet for dinner or something. Then I want to go to some fabric stores (Perl Soho - here I come) and art stores (Pearl?) and would love to go to some additional craft/art/fabric stores. Any hints for suggestions from anyone?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Animal Wednesday

I have been working late hours, and have not had much time to say hello to everyone - so HI there!
I have decided that I like drawing animals, and am very bad at it due to perspective, shading etc. So a challenge to myself it do draw an animal a week, and post them on Wednesday. They might be real animals...imaginary ones...reptilian ones, or warm blooded mammels.

Here is a pencil drawing of a parrot who is in the process of being watercolored and colored pencil finished.

Welcome to Animal Wednesday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pay It Forward

Sarah sent me these beautiful ATC's for the Pay it Forward thing.

Love them! Thanks girl.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Illustration Friday - Heavy 2

Heavier than it looks.

A tiny little dumb-bell made out of lead or gold, can be much heavier than it looks.

My love of miniatures comes thru!

Illustration Friday - HEAVY

Remember the song about the ant carrying the rubber plant? It was very HEAVY.

Grandma Moses again

Ascenderrisesabove asked if Grandma Moses had connections that led to her fame. I don't think she did, she was 'discovered" by a art collector, or gallery owner, who was impressed by her work, but was also a very shrewd operator and saw an opportunity to manage a new, and very different talent in the art world.

Grandma Moses was exactly what you would think she was. A farm woman, 10 kids born, 5 lived. Hard, hard life. Started painting when she was in her 60's and got "discovered" by a art critic/gallery person. It was a combination of who she was and WHEN she was that got her famous, as well as a very clever manager. She was the all American farm wife...with talent...who celebrated the American way of life in the McCarthy era. Her art is not "good" in the sense of perspective or color or any of the traditional values, - in fact, I've done "better" work myself, but she was a little old lady celebrating looking out of her window in a farming community. She was American as apple pie, and when asked if she had a hard time letting go of her paintings, said "oh no, I like getting the money".

Very interesingly managed woman - and you can be sure that she took advantage of the whole siutation and made the best of selling her art.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

art in Sarasota

Got to Sarasota today after 8 hours in planes and airports, actually wasn't all that bad of a day. Mom picked me up, and we drove (she looking right thru the steering wheel, picture that!) to the museum here to see an exhibit on Grandma Moses. Very interesting pictures and biography. Couldn't decide if I liked her art or not. Actually, that's not true. I did like most of it, and took pleasure in her total abandon of rules and regulations about art.

Also an amazing exhibit at the circus museum, an entire exhibit...a man's life work..of a miniature circus world. 55 years this man has worked on this project and it just went on exhibit in 2005.

55 years! One project.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Dog Fish - monday

I saw something like this somewhere and had to draw it. I think the original was wood, like a sign or something.
Wouldn't it be fun to have a tank full of these guys swimming around, wagging their fishy tails.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A walk in the COLD

We went out for a walk today along a reservoir and I took my camera to see what encouraging signs of spring I could find, just to show Lynn that we also could see it coming. These are a few pictures from our day.

Leaving the house. Ah yes, the snow is NOT covering the front porch anymore. That's somewhat encouraging.

Me - getting ready to walk. Do I look bundled up enough? I was freezing!

A partially frozen lake. Isn't that encouraging? The spring melt is setting in.

Do you sense my sarcasm?

I'm going to visit my parents in Florida next weekend and try to forget all about this cold weather.

The snake and the apple

Still somewhat cheery I think, but the snake and the apple is more of a garden theme this week than flowers.
Still having trouble with my printer and scanner. The real image is somewhere in between the first scan and the second "enhance the colors" scan. What do you think? Which do you like better?

Finishing off another little quilt - Sunday am

I have so much wonderful fabric and I've told myself that I can't start on the new big wonderful Kaffe Fassett pattern until I finish off a few others. So here is a new Funky Monkey baby blanket quilt thing. I'm going to try again with Etsy! Otherwise, this one is destined for the church fair in the fall!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Illustration Friday

I'm posting an older piece today - cause my fingers and head just wouldn't let me draw anything for "Garden" and I've been trying all day. We've had cold and rain and cold-rain dumping buckets on our heads and nothing seems less like a garden than this New England raw weather. I am completely uninspired!
I found some additional cheerier pictures and am trying to bring out all of the sunshine that I can find right now!
How I wish this hot sun was beaming down on our heads.
Also another flower to remind me that spring REALLY is coming along sometime soon.

Hope springs eternal - and the world keeps turning and in about 3 months I will be complaining about the heat~

Friday, March 7, 2008

100 things - Mini Book

Challenge number 41 - Make a mini book based on the theme "my grocery list". So I did.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Work world

My dear dear friend Grace called yesterday with the news that she is going to be leaving her job in New Hampshire, not necessarily voluntarily, altho the writing has been on the wall. It's not great news, she has a house up there and a family and bills to pay and health insurance to keep. Her sons are my darling twin nephews and the light of my life. So we are sad and nervous and everything else that goes along with this type of news.

But, as I pointed out to her, the last time she called me with bad news out of the blue was to tell me that she had breast cancer. Let' s try to keep this all in perspective. We'll find the money to keep going. A job of some sort will be found somewhere. Please g*d let us all keep our health.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rainy Tuesday

Not sure if I prefer rain or snow - for commuting purposes I prefer rain, but when staying home snow is so pretty. Anyway it's raining here today, and I got up late cause it was so cozy in bed. But I did take a walk and the birds were starting to do their early morning chorus!