Archive for May, 2007

Thursday This and That

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I’ve been scanned, poked, pommeled, snipped and freeze dried. I am feeling as if my body should be eligible for a recall. I am paralyzed (not literally!) and getting nothing done. I had my annual check-up earlier this month which has led to further appointments. I had an osteoporosis scan on Tuesday morning. Then, in the afternoon, I saw a physical therapist for some help dealing with the lymphedema in my left arm.

A few years ago, I had bandaging and massage therapy and it was greatly improved. I was working out and controlling my weight and it was all good. After the move to Portland, I gained weight and stopped working out at the spa and the result is that the arm is now 1 inch larger than the right arm. So, we are going to try the therapeutic massage for 3 weeks. If that doesn’t work, I will need to do the bandaging again which consists of layers of gauze and three different sizes of ace bandages and it is not a good summer activity. So with me luck with the massage. I am doing self-massage with the help of Mr C at home and once a week treatments by a physical therapist. After two days of massage, I am already feeling less pain in the upper part of the arm and under the armpit so I think it is working.

Yesterday, it was time for the dermatologist to torture me. I had 3 spots on my face frozen and now have little red blisters. The spot on my shoulder was more suspicious so I have had a biopsy of that. Think good thoughts for me.

So, now that I have put you through my medical angst. Here is some good stuff. I had a good mail day on Tuesday. I won a little contest on Julaine’s blog by guessing what she used for discharging fabric — powdered chlorine cleanser, mixed with water. She sent me this wrist pincushion, which I love. Oh look, you can see how fat that arm and wrist is!!

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I also received two new surface design Books Co-authored with Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan from the United Kingdom — Tray Dyeing and Breakdown Printing. They have also co-authored a book Jane Dunnewald — Finding your Own Visual Language, which I have ordered.

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I also ordered these Joss papers that are used in ceremonies honoring ancestors in a number of Asian countries. Typically made from bamboo paper or rice paper, the papers are cut into squares and embellished with bright printing and gold and silver metallic squares. All of these goodies were ordered from Jane’s Complex Cloth website.

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I don’t know what I am doing with them, but they are very lovely. Might try some paper in my collages.

So, this morning, I was ready to head to the studio and do some clean up and organizing and the mail man came with this!!

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So much for getting anything done. I had to look at each page and read the artist’s statements and drool. Some of the works are so simple as to seem pedantic and too familiar. Others are complex and full of imagery and wonderful techniques. I decided to try to select my favorite. It had to be Patty Hawkins piece, “Getting Used to Dying Trees.” I have always loved her work. She does beautiful Aspen pieces.

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So, another day is gone. I am off to get cleaned up and cover my wounds with some make-up and attend the last Thursday reception for the Columbia Stitchery Guild show. Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow.

Thank You, Cindy Sheehan

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

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She was just a mom from California who lost a son in Iraq.

She dared to ask the president to answer a simple question, “For what noble cause did my son die?”

She endured the taunts, condemnation and name calling of the right wing establishment and media.

She camped out in a ditch in Crawford, Texas, hoping to get an audience with the president and to get an answer to her question.

She motivated and mobilized a movement against the Iraq war when the majority of the country still thought that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

She has quit her quest to get that answer and is going home. This is part of what she said in her farewell letter:

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.

You can read the entire letter here. Cindy became totally disillusioned, as many of us have, when the Democrats caved to the president and sent him a bill to fund the war with no time-lines for withdrawal of our troops. When 72% of the country wants us out, it is hard to understand why they caved.

Anyway, I wanted to say a public thank you to Cindy for being the brave soul that she was and for putting herself out there when the rest of us were reticent or thought it couldn’t possibly go on for this long. I wish for her some good sleep in a comfortable bed and lots of hugs from her children, but most of all I want her to feel proud of what she has done for Casey and for us all.

Remembering, Scooters and Watermelon

Monday, May 28th, 2007

When I was in school, today was known as Decoration Day. I was in the band and we marched to every cemetery in the area and played patriotic songs. A trumpet would play taps and then I would steel myself for the gun salute. Each time I would vow not to jump out of my skin, but it never worked. After the cemetery ceremonies, I would join my family, putting flowers and plants on the graves of loved ones. That was followed by a huge community meal at the community center. This was a ritual and now, it seems that we hardly remember what this day is for.

Today, I have thought a lot about the number of young people who have been buried in the past four years, taking part in an illegal and senseless war. This month is turning in to one of the most deadly so far. More of us than ever want this madness to end. Last night, I watched the 60 Minute show about the Iowa National Guard. When they were deployed two years ago, men and women volunteered, feeling it was a just war. Their loved ones at home were proud of them and felt it was a just cause. Now, in the face of having their tours of duty extended, most are having second thoughts.

I have failed to let you know the source of the bumper stickers that I am sending out. They are from MoveOn.org, Democracy in Action. You could get one bumper sticker free, but I made a sizable donation and received 100 of them. If you want one, I still have some. Just fill out the contact form at the top of this page with your snail mail. Click on the Bumper Sticker here or in my side bar. I have added some more photos. Join the Virtual Iraq War Protest by sending me a photo of your bumper sticker.
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Today was a family day for us. I scored big points with M and M with these nifty Razor Scooters. Miles finished his dinner and said, “I’m gonna scoot, scoot, scoot until you cut the watermelon.” We have nice long walkway and a fairly quiet street for them to scoot around. We also took them over to Reed College Campus.

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Of course, some booboo’s accompanied the scootering. Between the two of them, I think we used 5 Hello Kitty and Blues Clues band-aids.

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We had a Mediterranean dinner, lamb kabobs, lentil salad with feta (from Stephanie), steamed artichokes, sweet potato frites and of course, watermelon.

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Isn’t this a site to take your mind off the cares of the world?

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It’s All About Sonji

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

…as Sonji would say! We arrived in Eugene late in the afternoon, having stopped at the Woodburn outlets so that Mr C could get some new casual duds. Kristin’s mom picked us up at the motel to attend the opening of Sonji’s show at the Maude Kerns Art Center, titled Geometrics. Here is the delightful old building exterior.

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We were walking up to the entrance when I saw Sonji approaching from the other direction. She recognized who I was right away which was quite exciting. Here are some photos of the show and reception:

Sonji talking — something she does well! She is wearing an adorable apron which she was hoping to keep.

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Kristin’s mom, Sherrill.

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Several views of Sonji’s work which Mr C described as clever. It is really so much fun to see up close. All the painting and stitching details and the bundles, oh my. These are clickable to see larger views. I loved the little red circles with grommets which led you through the pieces.

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Here is a wall of bundle pieces. I own one of her bundle pieces, but seeing all the different ways that she has constructed and presented these bundles was wonderful.

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Here is a closeup of the Stilt House with bundles.

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On the stage Sonji had placed one piece and because there was so much empty space, she asked to paint the wall.

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It was not finished to her satisfaction, so she was still painting, hence, the apron.

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Here is Ginger of Gingerfied, the gallery director and Kristin’s mom, again. I was so surprised when I saw Ginger. She looks so much younger than her photo on her blog. It is hard to believe that she has grown children! It was great to finally meet her

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And last but not least, here is a photo of me with Sonji. I am so happy that I made the trip down to see her work and meet her in person. Sonji is just as much fun and full of charm and wit as her blog persona.

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We had dinner with Sherrill and her husband and then got to tour their wonderful Arts and Crafts home in Eugene, just a couple of blocks from downtown. It is beautifully restored with wonderful built-ins and woodwork. I got to see two beautiful quilts made my Kristin.

Thursday This and That

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Today was a beautiful day in Portland. Terry, June and I had an art date. We went to the Interstate Firehouse Community Center to check out the Columbia Stitchery Guild Show. Terry and I both had two pieces in the show. It was hung very nicely, but the lighting was atrocious. June explained that the lighting was for canvases and so the spots slanting down just made a glare in the center and shadows around the edges. Most of the quilts had droops and bulges because of the hanging.

I took some photos of my favorite quilts. These are clickable to see it larger.

The third quilt is Terry’s. The fourth quilt is a painted canvas background with Perle cotton stitching in lots of areas. The last two quilts are done by the same person, Bonnie Buchman. I love her work.

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We then proceeded to Alberta Street for lunch and to check out some of the shops. We had lunch at a Southern sort of New Orleans restaurant and had pulled pork sandwiches and shared some bread pudding and a lemon tart. We dined al fresco and it was wonderful.

We stopped in at Bolt – a really nice fabric shop and Terry and I each picked up some fabric. At the Latin Arts store, I couldn’t resist this purse from Peru.

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Here is my thread doodle for the day. Don’t look too closely at that stitching. I did it after dinner and a couple of glasses of wine.

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Tomorrow, Mr C and I are heading to Eugene. Sonji Hunt has a show opening at the Maude Kerns Art Center, titled Geometrics. We are also going to spend some time with Kristin’s mom and step-dad who live in Eugene. It should be a good time.

I am supposed to have wifi in the hotel so I will check in from there and perhaps some photos with the superfantastic Sonji.