My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Thursday, June 30, 2005  
Hey, you're thinking, where the heck is Mary Beth? Well I'm here, sweltering along with the rest of upstate NY. Laying low. Being glad I don't have a little fur coat to wear 24/7. One night I spent the whole night sweating, both literally and figuratively, over my two entry forms for the IQA show in Houston. Who knew I could lay my hands on my IQA membership card at 2 AM?

I was really pleased with how the slides came out and as an extra bonus, I get to enjoy the one quilt until I take down the whole photo set up. I figured, why take it down until I was sure I wouldn't need it again in a hurry?

I worked on a couple blocks as a possible future idea but decided I was severely uninterested in making a lot more of them. Ooops!

Last night I was a total slug and watched a lot of Julia Child and friends after Fortune put me on to the videos available of past shows. There's a lot to be said for watching someone handle dough rather than trying to figure it out from the printed word.

Written at: 6/30/2005 10:14:00 PM

Thursday, June 23, 2005  
I got to thinking about a couple other quilts which haven't had a chance to travel anywhere. That's just sad isn't it? I thought I might enter them in the IQF/Houston show but first - need slides.

Fueled by my recent success, I set everything up and hung and de-fuzzed those quilts and did my best to act in a rational manner behind the camera. I'll drop them off tomorrow morning and time will tell how it all turns out.

Life is good and it's good sometimes not to need a whole lot of sleep!

In other news, I sold a first-ever computer to an older man who had come by a few times and chatted with me. Last time in he told me he was a retired librarian and he wanted to do some writing and some research. Sounds about right for a librarian!

What I wasn't expecting was to see his driver's license and discover he was 87 years young! Whoa. I think he'll do fine with his new computer and I expect he'll be stopping by regularly for awhile with questions. I've known some pretty awesome oldsters in my time and they sure are inspiring!

Written at: 6/23/2005 11:57:00 PM

Tuesday, June 21, 2005  
Doing the little happy dance tonight because my quilt "Daughters of Daughters" was accepted as part of the third and final year of the "I Remember Mama" exhibit which will debut at the International Quilt Festival in Houston later this year. I was anxiously awaiting any news, and I'm quite pleased with both the quilt and the news.

Go here and read Steve Jobs' commencement address at Stanford. I was especially tickled by this:

Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.

Wow. I myself lucked into a wonderful calligraphy teacher at SUNY Albany when I returned to the Albany area, not long out of college, and wondering what I'd do next. I learned so much about design and perserverence and the importance of practice and hard work. I learned about the shape of letters and how the shape of the spaces around and inside the letters are as important as the shapes of the strokes that make them. The connection between the practices and traditions of the past and the work done today. The importance of appropriateness and usability. And like Steve would say, the supremacy of user interface. Readability/usability rules!

Written at: 6/21/2005 12:34:00 AM

Friday, June 17, 2005  
So it begins. My ironing board is covered with fabric, organized in a general way. Some of the stash fabric has been taken out, auditioned, refolded and put back more neatly. Some small bits lie around looking like rubble.

Today's email brought the "twice-weekly letter" from Robert Genn. These often give me a lot to think about and I'm grateful that he provides this great service to keep my brain thinking about bigger things.

Today's letter says:

As I looked back into my studio, I realized that paintings ought to work in the almost-dark as well as in the full light of galleries or on home walls. Almost-dark is similar to what we do when we half-close our eyes. Areas of incongruity pop out, spindly and weak elements beg to be strengthened, woolliness is exposed as major-woolly. You notice funny things in the almost-dark--odd things, ghostly things, apparitions, things that look like something else. That evening I made a mental inventory of what needed to be dealt with in the morning.
Go and read the rest here.

Taking a last look at my current work with some of the lights turned off is a frequent late night, just-on-my-way-to-bed-really! activity. When you've stopped for the night, hung it up if it's hangable, it's great to take a few moments to sit and enjoy and ponder your work so far. I think it helps me figure out what needs to be done - borders, quilting ideas, binding, etc.

I enjoy those quiet minutes not working on, but being with my piece. As Robert Genn points out, sometimes you see things that do need fixing, but you've already decided that working is for tomorrow, so there's no angst. It's for tomorrow.

And the next best thing to that late night communing is that first look in the morning, even if only a quick glance on the way to the day job. Sometimes what looked iffy last night is clearly good or bad in the morning, but that's ok. I know it will be there waiting for me when I get home.

Written at: 6/17/2005 01:05:00 PM

Sunday, June 12, 2005  
The tweenies

I'm sort of inbetween again. I've got some ideas perking around in my head but nothing that I'm ready to start on quite yet. Or is it just the heat? I guess I can't use that excuse really since last night, in a desperate act to be sewing something I made curtains for the living room. And gentle reader, I'm here to tell you in oh so not humble terms that I not only serged the top and bottom edges but I actually blind hemmed them on my sewing machine. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

These already come with a good dose of virtue since I bought the fabric for like a dollar or two a yard tops in NYC. Ralph Lauren fabric baby. Oh yeah. I'm enjoying the moment while it lasts!.

Getting back to the heat for a moment, it sure is hot. Left the cellar door open for the cats, but of course an open door holds no blipping appeal for any self-respecting cat. We already knew that.

And on a quilting note, my quilt Shine will be off to Vermont tomorrow for the Vermont Quilt Festival. The slides turned out quite respectable. I was going to shoot another quilt but lighting things when it's this hot? I think not.

I had made some fabric purchases from Hancock's Memorial Day sale and well, it's just fabulous. One was a set of 10 yard pieces of batiks. $2.50 a yard. These have gold over printing which is fine. I can't decide which I like better on some, the front or the back. In any case a stack of new fabric is always good for a) making you put away some of the old I mean "aged" fabric so the rest will fit, and b) getting the juices going.

Finally two interesting food-related links.

The first from Fortune "I guess it's the iced coffee that makes me perky not the heat" Elkins: a study that shows that food odors in the car impacts driver behavior.

And finally an interview of Eric Ripert, chef at Le Bernadin. When asked to name his guilty pleasure:

Guilty pleasure: Eating dark chocolate. I do it every day, a few times a day. I am the nightmare of the pastry chefs. I steal from them all the time. And I always have chocolate in the house.

Written at: 6/12/2005 11:25:00 AM

Friday, June 10, 2005  
When one door closes, another opens: but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. -- Alexander Graham Bell

Written at: 6/10/2005 11:47:00 PM

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Your Birthdate: August 30

Your birthday on the 30th day of the month shows individual self-expression is necessary for your happiness. You tend to have a good way of expressing yourself with words, certainly in a manner that is clear and understandable.

You have a good chance of success in fields requiring skill with words. You can be very dramatic in your presentation and you may be a good actor or a natural mimic. You have a vivid imagination that can assist you in becoming a good writer or story-teller. Strong in your opinions, you always tend to think you are on the right side of an issue.

There may be a tendency to scatter your energies and have a lot of loose ends in your work. You may have significant artistic talent and be very creative.

Written at: 6/10/2005 10:31:00 PM

Tuesday, June 07, 2005  
Changing Technology Dept.

This just in from Witold:

oh, and I would like to announce that i will soon be powered by intel chips. give me some time. some of my code will need to be rewritten, but then, hey thenů i am going to get several hundred units per bowl of rice. things will look brighter then. Oh yes, much brighter

Written at: 6/07/2005 10:26:00 PM

Howdy Ho there good neighbor. I'm pleased to say that deadline two quilt is done. Will pick up the slides tomorrow and if all is well with them I'll be sending "Shine" off to the Vermont Quilt Festival. Whew. And for those counting seed beads, there aren't all that many on this quilt, but there are a few here and there. Just a few. And that is quite good enough.

What else... the return of warm weather, the apparent coming of the apocolypse (where apple embraces intel) and that's about all. As you were.

Written at: 6/07/2005 08:57:00 PM

Friday, June 03, 2005  
I'm sad to say goodbye to Tom Burns and KnowSpam which has served me well and given me back virtually spam-free email. A pleasure doing business with you and best wishes for your future endeavors! As of tonight when I flipped the switch to a new provider the stats are:
Knowspam has blocked 58,490 spams for you!

Knowspam has blocked a total of 103,636,683 spams

I'm switching to SpamArrest. This is a for-pay service which proved easy to set up and which has actually improved since the shut down of knowspam was announced. I copied most of my good and bad recipient and sender information from the lists accumulated by knowspam and that was that. If you're doing something like this, I heartily recommend BBEdit because as their slogan goes "it doesn't suck". Great text editor and more.

Written at: 6/03/2005 12:15:00 AM

Wednesday, June 01, 2005  
Would you like french cuffs to go with that sleeve?

OK, it's late and all but that picture is pretty darn funny. Keep looking. Keeping looking...... there you go.

But seriously folks, here's some info about sleeves and all that jazz.

Written at: 6/01/2005 02:39:00 AM

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