I signed up for a QuiltArt Challenge* called "Why is the sky blue?" Seems like a good fit, eh? I'm all about looking at the sky and I certainly can come up with a couple three ideas about the sky.
I had to pull off onto a side road in East Schodack last night though and take a few shots of the sky, which was anything but blue! Well, the sky directly above me was a beautiful deep blue... Click above for larger view.
* A challenge is where you make something based on a theme or some other parameter chosen by a person or a group.
I took a break, both from work and from blackberry picking and jam making, to travel with Dona to see an exhibit of quilts currently at the Williams College Museum of Art. This turned out to be a relatively small but excellent display of carefully chosen quilts. I enjoy travelling with Dona and speculating what caused this quilt to turn out the way that it did.
The bonus of the trip was perhaps even more exciting - an exhibit called Motion Pictures which combined paintings and prints and commercial materials with digitized versions of the earliest moving pictures. These were all from the Edison archives. It was fascinating to see a painting from 1899 of a particular market or place in NYC and right along side of it, moving pictures of people of the same day in the same place. By and large the moving pictures were of people doing ordinary day-to-day things but some of them were staged or were of performances. Totally amazing and worth the trip by itself. OK, and it was an amazement just to think that motion pictures were presented to audiences beginning around 1898!
After that there was lunch at Pappa Charlies Deli and then a quick trip to Tala's Quilt Shop in North Adams where a good time was had by all.
OK, I just need to give a big shout out to Virginia Spiegel, the mastermind behind the whole fundraising event you've been hearing about here. Today was the end of the event and here's a direct quote from her web site:
Fiberart For A Cause will be back in 2006. See you then! Thank you for making this ACS fundraiser such an unbelievable success! We raised over $10,800
Now, think about this. Each postcard was sold for $30. That's a lot of postcards made and bought over the course of a few weeks. I know that Virginia was not thinking about raising that much money. Someone posted to the QuiltArt mailing list, saying - wouldn't it be great if the postcards raised 10,000? At the time it seemed a long way off. Virginia wrote later:
When Kay posted a goal of $10,000, my heart sank as I didn't have enough postcards on hand to reach that goal. But the Quiltart floodgates of kindness opened and patron and donors alike were generous beyond words - sincere thanks to you all.
So what made this so successful? It was the magical combination of the right place and time, the right mix of makers and collectors, the willingness of bigger collectors to invest in little known makers and the excitement of people normally unable to invest in art being given the opportunity to do just that. All in all a whirlwind and an upward-rising one at that.
My main reason to post about it here is to give the world an example of positive action that can happen, starting with one believing person who says "what if..." and having gotten a small group to participate, casting out some info, drawing in some more participants, creating a little chat, a little buzz - well, look what can happen!
You can do this too. It all starts with a "what if...?", a "how about if we did it this way?", "who could I ask to help?" and you're already going down the road.
Even if you only get a small result, it's a result, and it's worth doing. But what if you start out, and the result takes care of itself?
On a personal note: I made 12 postcards (two at the last moment) and 11 sold. That's a total of $330 which I helped raise through my postcard contribution. That is a lot more money than I would be able to contribute in cash. And yet, by doing something that I enjoyed, for a cause I believed in, I was able to contribute to something pretty big and very worthwhile. I am glad to have had this opportunity. It was fun, it was at times very exciting, it was for a good cause, it used skills I already had, and was work I could do as time permitted. I felt appreciated and rewarded on many levels. . For a "volunteer" this is like the ideal situation! And for all of this, I thank Virginia for her efforts.
Quote of the day, dedicated to our friends, especially in England:
When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS! -- Mahatma Gandhi
These are about to be sent to the very fast and furious fund-raiser - looking for good homes. I was a little tired tonight so I worked on my quilting stuff rather than doing more applique. A good time was had by all.
By the handful or the bowlful.... makes all the hot weather bearable, ne c'est pas?
And for the renown Suzette grower of humongo hosta in NJ, proof that money can grown on trees. No not trees, how about small plants? Biennials to be precise. OK, it's the best I can do upstate. Our growing season is shorter!
7/20/2005 07:08:00 PM
OK, I couldn't resist making just one more of these postcards. What is it about them? They're not even salty!
The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. -- Robert Louis Stevenson
7/19/2005 02:14:00 PM
Still home with the cold - now in the "who cut my throat overnight" phase. I did a lot of snoozing yesterday, but I also fiddled around with the idea of those fabric postcards. Not as easy as they might seem, they were fun and I understand how addictive they might become.
Anyway, here are the two little cards I made and sent off to Virginia this morning -- Woodland and Leaf I:
Update (1pm): Leaf I has been purchased and is now a part of the Collection of the International Quilt Festival - Houston and Chicago. How cool is that?Much later - Woodland was also purchased, by Karen Cote, from upstate NY.
Here's a good cause and one that is easy to support thanks to Virginia Spiegel. Over $4600 raised for the American Cancer Society through the sale of 4x6 inch fiber postcards using the power of the 'net.
7/17/2005 11:04:00 PM
What's that jingle -- a summer cold is a different animal -- from anyway?
Work progresses on my site re-design. I'm not ready to sprout css wings and fly away solo but then why bother when other people have done a lot of the work for you (and probably enjoyed doing it. So glad to have helped you out there by being appreciative).
But back to the cold - last night - BAM - summer cold arrives. And I'm blaming the stupid woman at Borders Friday night who sneezed all over me. Twit. Actually my response to her was to look her in the eyes and say "niiiiiiiccccce." So here I sit, bad throat, bad sinuses, bad head, sweaty (although that could be blamed on the weatherman - the term he used was "oppressive") and generally feeling ick.
And of course, I finished my reason for being at Borders on Friday this morning around 11:30. Whew. There's nothing like a good read, which is what you can say about Harry Potter. So I'll have to find something else to do today and it's not going to be very strenuous. It may involve large cooling beverages and a bed.
"Having a coffee and cake with Jakob Nielsen, the web usability expert from Nielsen Norman Group, I asked him what was holding up progress on the web. 'Three things, really: I call them lazy, stupid and evil design,' he replies."
Oh yeah, those stupid designs. Nielsen mentions those damnable flash intros. Begone with them already! I would add those silly "splash pages" which give you nothing more than a list of word links or, worse, mysterious graphic links, neither giving any hint at all of why you should click and enter the site. Or where you should begin. Or how you'll be able to navigate once you get there.
deep breath here
I'm a little geeked-up tonight because I've made it to page 47 of this book, written by Cleveland Heights CSS maven - Eric Meyer.
So last night I was so desperate to sew anything at all, that I went upstairs thinking I might try to figure out something to do with this:
I thought of a way to cut it up and insert strips of different color fabric so that I hoped it would look like the blue fabric and the yellow circles were far back, behind a lattice of these strips.
Instead, I cut it one way and was fiddling about and it ended up like this:
I liked this little challenge piece when I made it. Those blue squares were 3" finished. It was sort of cheery but in a serene kind of way I thought. Well serene isn't exactly what I'd call it now. And just FYI, it all lays perfectly flat. Amazing.
7/10/2005 10:03:00 PM
We're all planning to "live long and annoying lives" but just in case, you might want to ponder this and blog your own version, just for the record. (Don't forget to spam all your friends and relatives so they get it too.
DO YOU LOVE CHEESE? Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, producers of award winning artisinal cheeses, is seeking a reliable person to work in our creamery on a full time basis, Monday through Friday. Position requires some lifting and operating a forklift. Applicants should be eager and willing to learn all aspects of cheese making...
I admit to pondering how that would look on my resume.
Earlier in the day, I wondered how the perp got the shopping cart in the shopping cart corral sideways, making the subsequent entries spill out into the road.
It might rain.
It might not rain.
Olives and jalepenos on pizza taste just as good as I remember
Making pizza and making bread fit together quite well on a mostly cloudy Saturday.
What brings us together? Skype, airport and WiFi. What's not to like?
Note to self - plug in headphones first next time before "dialing". Now to figure out the whole RSS thing. Hey - no one may subscribe to me, but at least they have the option of doing so or not.
But getting back to the whole WiFi thing for a moment. It may be that George and I never meet face to face but I enjoy his website. How wonderful a moment in time though that we can communicate either in writing, via email or by chat live or not, and as we did this time via Skype. That I can do so means I can communicate easily, cheaply and quickly with people around the world. If we have the broadband we can even see each other face to face.
The world has some serious issues, as evidenced by today's terrorist attacks in London, but on a human to human basis, we have only to take the time and make the effort. Trying to communicate and understand will always be better than not doing so.
I've had this song stuck in my head, so I thought I'd pass it along to your head too.
It’s so easy to dream of the days gone by It's a hard thing to think of the times to come But the grace to accept every moment as a gift Is a gift that is given to some.
What can you do with your days but work and hope? Let your dreams bind your work to your play. What can you do with each moment of your life but love til you’ve loved it away Love til you’ve loved it away.
There’s sorrow enough for the whole world’s end There are no guarantees but the grave. And the life that I live & the time I have spent are a treasure too precious to save.
What can you do with your days but work and hope? Let your dreams bind your work to your play. What can you do with each moment of your life but love til you’ve loved it away? Love til you’ve loved it away.
-- Bob Franke
OK, so while rummaging around I found out that some people title this song "The Thanksgiving Song". Just the folk process in action folks. But even more interesting, I found out that Bob Franke wrote this other song, "The Great Storm is Over" which I thought to be much older. The chorus to that song:
Alleluia, the great storm is over, lift up your wings and fly!
really makes you think you could lift up your wings and fly
Learn more about Bob Frank here. To hear or get Thanksgiving Eve, go here.
Ah, the rewards of summer. My treat after mowing the back yard was a generous handful of wild raspberries. Nothing like them: nature's combination of sun-warm and shadow-cold, sweet wash with tart kicker.
And you know they're just for you because they fall into your open palm with no coaxing. Take me. This is for you, because you got here before the birds or the deer or the bear. Good for you. Have some more. It's summer and someone has to eat these.