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Archive for August, 2005

A Nice Story and a Link to Political Rant Quilts

Friday, August 19th, 2005


The Eagles were at Sonoma State on Sunday. When the tickets went on sale several months ago, they sold out in 30 minutes. I didn’t even try, but would have enjoyed going. As I’ve mentioned, Steve is on the board for our day shelter for homeless and at risk women and children. Another board member had a pair of tickets to the concert and didn’t plan to go. He had a local radio station auction them off and the proceeds were to go to The Living Room. They sold for $900! The best part is that the woman who bought the tickets gave them back to The Living Room so that one of the clients could attend the concert. There are some great people in this world!

I didn’t get to go to The Eagles concert, but tomorrow we are going to Rodney Strong Vineyards for a jazz concert and picnic. David Sanborn is the featured artist. I am making a focaccia sandwich and not sure what else. They are comping us a bottle of wine of our choice. We bought the  tickets at a fundraiser for the Arts Council of Sonoma County

Today Eileen Doughty of the Quilt Art List e-mailed me and said:
Gerrie, it is always a thrill for me to find another ‘quilt ranter’. I’m glad someone posted about your blog and that article.

Here is something I share with ‘the choir’ – I don’t make it generally available.  but if you think someone else would enjoy my quilt rants, please pass the link on.  (the link is not posted anywhere on the rest of my website).  I try to sell my non-political work, so I am a weenie not posting this more visibly!  However the Battle Standards quilt is in a show in Chicago now.

Go here to see her absolutely fabulous political rant quilts. My political rant fans will love them. I was blown away by them!!

Five Fancy Fish Frolic Freely, Finshed

Thursday, August 18th, 2005

The fish quilt is done. I have never done this much beading on a quilt. It was fun and addictive. It is going to the Marin Quilt Show for the Fun with Five challenge. But I am going to get some slides and enter it in some other shows. Last night the Jim Lehr News show had a section on the coral reef and how endangered it is. The under water shots were gorgeous. It was my quilt!!


The actual size is 42 inches by 10.5 inches.

Close ups of each fish and some of the beading:






This close-up shows some of the beading I did for the ocean floor.

The Naked Ladies of August

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

Do I have your attention? Years ago when we moved to California, I was introduced to the very exotic Naked Lady flowers. In late July or early August, they just appear – these beautiful pink lily flowers atop a slender stalk with no leaves. I left California at the end of July and when I got home last week – there they were – everywhere! When I took my walk down in the park with Maggie, I found one lone Naked Lady along side the road. All week I have wanted to take my camera down to photograph it. Today, it was no where to be found. So instead I found a bevy of Naked Ladies at Bishop’s Ranch where I spent the afternoon.

I also found this beautiful succulent and tried out the close-up setting on my camera:


While I was walking with Maggie and Steve, I took some photos to show you the colors and textures of late summer. Some of you may remember that I took you on this walk last March when it was wetter and greener – you can see here.  The forest is pretty much bone dry now and the colors are more mature and faded.

Here are Steve and Maggie (wondering what is taking me so long)!


It is near the end of the blackberry season:



Here are some pics of trees and moss in its late summer mode.


Dry Creek Bed




Drying moss on tree trunk


Spanish  moss


A deserted cabin

A Manzanita tree


I love the dark wine red color of the Manzanita bark.

So that’s what my walk is like here in the late summer. Gotta get busy packing stuff for guild meeting tomorrow. I am doing a mini workshop on making postcards.

Relay for Life

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005


I have just signed up to take part in our local American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The event will take place on September 17 and 18. As a three time breast cancer survivor, I have always wanted to take part in a relay and just never did it.

I have lost so many family members and friends to devastating cancers – liver cancer, melanoma, pancreatic cancer and brain tumors. I can’t help but think what a difference we could make if some of the money being spent on an insane war could be used to fund cancer research. Well, that won’t happen, so we must do what we can in other ways.

If you would like to make a donation or just follow my progress, here is a link to my Relay for Life Web Page. I just realized that I cannot link directly to my web page for some reason. So do the following: From the menu on the left, click on Donate to a Participant. Type in my first and last name: Gerrie Congdon. This will take you to my Relay for Life web page.

Princess Bad Hair Day

Sunday, August 14th, 2005

Back when I first joined the Quilt Art list, there was much discussion about yaya names – from the book and movie – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. My yaya name is Princess Bad Hair Day. I was struck at the aptness of this name for me as my hair has been the bane of my existence most of my life. It is thin and the normal color is quite a bland brown. At the same time I signed up to participate in the journal quilt project and my January journal for 2003 was this self portrait called Princess Bad Hair Day. I played with a photo in photoshop and printed it on fabric and then embellished with the tiara and hair.


For my September journal, I did this glamor shot, called Crazy Quilter:


So, why am I sharing this? Well, yesterday, Princess Bad Hair Day had a very bad day!! As you can imagine, Princess Bad Hair Day has a very important relationship with her hair stylist. When I find one I like, they become like family. I can count the number of people allowed to touch my hair more than once in the past 20 years on one hand. I have always been the one to leave – not my stylist. In my mind they are all where I left them waiting for me in case I ever return to one of my former homes.

Cynthia has been doing my hair here in Santa Rosa for more than 5 years. When we moved here, I called a salon nearby that had a cool looking ad. I walked in and no one greeted me so I sat down and looked in horror as I saw only white and blue-haired and permed old ladies – you know that hairdo that they have done once a week and spray the hell out of it so that it lasts til next week? I had a panic attack and without speaking to anyone, I was out of there.

I had a neighbor whose haircut I liked so she gave me the name of the stylist. she was not taking new clients and gave me to a new person in the salon – didn’t go back to her. So I got out the yellow pages and in my search, I found an ad with a photo of the stylist. She had blond, chunky cut and a very modern do. Her name was Cynthia Larkin. I made an appointment with her and she was the one. She gave me red spiky hair. She turned my from wimpy to wow! (At least in my mind.)

When I met Cynthia, she was the divorced mother of a teen-age daughter who had mega angst and caused her mother no end of misery. She was also dating men – that she was constantly complaining about. All that time in the chair with her meant that she knew all about my family and that I have a gay daughter and two gay nieces. So when she had an awakening regarding her own sexual orientation, it was easy for her to talk about it with me. I followed her through several romances and moves to various salons. When she bought her home at Dillon Beach, I made her a wall quilt with a sand dollar motif because sand dollars had a special meaning for her. Last  year she opened her own place called Urban Hair with a store selling shabby chic home decor called Urban Home. I made pillows that were for sale in her shop. I never told Cynthia what I wanted done to my hair, she did whatever she wanted to do. "Its summer time so lets put in some highlights. I think we should go with a stronger red." She gelled and spiked my hair and I always left feeling like such a hip grandma.

About two months ago, when I was in to see her. She told me that she had met someone on the internet. They were getting to know each other via phone calls and e-mail. She said that she was a vp with Yahoo and lived in Palo Alto. Last month when I was in we had lots of time to talk. She gave me a pedicure and told me all about Trish. She was wearing a gorgeous diamond ring that she had given to her. I came right out and said "Are you going to close the shop and leave me in the lurch?" She said that would not be happening anytime soon.

Fast forward to yesterday. I had called in the morning and begged for 15 minutes for a trim – the receptionist said to come in a 4 and Cynthia would fit me in. While she is shampooing my hair, she non-chalantly says, "This is the last time I will be doing your hair." Just like that – no biggy to her! I started crying. I said how can  you do this to me. I leave my hair stylists – they do not leave me!!

Trish came to pick her up so I got to meet her, but I was not very nice. She introduced me to David into whose hands she is placing me. He was very sweet and held my hand as I cried and she did my last spiky cut.  I am very happy that Cynthia has found Trish and will have this fabulous life with her. I am looking forward to going to their marriage ceremony and to keeping in touch with her but I am not going to forgive her any time soon for leaving me and my hair in limbo.

So here is what is left of what she did with me yesterday. It looked much better before I slept on it!!