about the artist

Archive for October, 2006

Picture Perfect Pumpkin Patch Day

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

Yesterday, we awoke to a beautiful, sunshine filled sky. Perfect day to get some pumpkins for the front stoop. M & M and their parents picked us up and we headed south to Canby (Oregon farm country). I took some great photos which I will post for your viewing pleasure with some captions to amuse and edify.


Goats in trees, a possible new sitcom, about the lengths a goat will go to for food.


Pavlov’s Rabbits. Honest to God. These rabbits were lolling around in the pen. Someone put a quarter in the food machine. They heard ka-ching, ka-ching, and they were at that feeding tube.


Here is a hog eating like a hog.


This is what a hog looks like after it eats like a hog.



Here are Mia and Milo in the nut house. It is a building filled with hazel nuts. Children were having so much fun trying to walk on these nuts, rolling around in them, etc.



In this shot, you can see Mia has lost her first tooth. It hung around for almost a year, dangling and driving us crazy! Finally, last week, it came out.


The Great Hay Slide. Mia is on the right and Milo is getting ready to jettison on the left. The slides ends in a pile of hay – fun!!


Then there was the always popular jump house. I love the look of pure joy on Milo’s face.


Hey, where is my sister?




Mia finds the perfect little round pumpkin.


Milo looks and looks:



Yes! He finds it.


Grandma’s picks:


Oh, look pumpkins with sunflowers – oooh!


A visit to the Great Pumpkin capped off our morning.


And here are the pumpkins, back at home on the front stoop.


You can see mall the pumpkin patch photos, here at my Flickr site.

Simple is Hard

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

A while back, Mr C and I were watching a show on his HD TV called Rides. It is on the learning channel. On this particular show, they were judging all these beautifully rehabbed cars to choose the best one. The judges were looking at one that had a beautiful red paint job and exquisite chrome work. One judge looked up and said, “Look how simple this design is. Simple is hard!” I loved that and have been thinking about it quite a bit. Last week Gabrielle had a Short Treatise on Design. Her first principle was:

It is more important what you leave out than what you put in. Think
about it we can’t use every technique we know or every beautiful fabric
we own in a single quilt…..so focus and simplify.

My son, the landscape designer, says that a work of art is best just before it is finished. In other words, we tend to overwork a design, at times.

This hit me last week when I was trying to make a gift for Terri, who has moved to Washington DC. She is an avid hiker, skier and biker, and loves the Oregon countryside. I wanted to make a little landscape of Mt. Hood, which looms in the skyline of East of Portland. I started working on it the day of our dinner party for her. I was jet-lagged from my trip to New York and felt very rushed.

I had a beautiful piece of fabric that I think I got from Liz Berg. It was perfect for the snow covered Mt. Hood. I wanted to put some trees in the foreground to represent the tree covered hills leading up to Mt. Hood. I didn’t like the way the trees looked and I was running out of time so I decided to cover them with couched yarns. Bad idea. I ran out of time and decided to wrap up some hand-dyed fat quarters. Here is the sad result. I am almost embarrassed to post this photo – it is so bad.


Now, that is a beautiful piece of fabric that I used for MT. Hood and I was determined to fix this. Last night, I removed the “furry” trees. Today, I cut some simple triangle tree shapes in a variety of fabrics and fused them to the front and did some simple machine quilting. This is the new piece and I think it is much better. More complex and still a simple design.


So, now, we have a nice landscape from our new home.

You can probably tell that I am feeling better. Thanks for all the support and commiseration regarding SAD. I think that talking about it was a big help. We went to Wednesday Weal at church last night. I always enjoy that. We are taking a class from a woman who is a Jewish scholar. We are studying the Gospel of Luke from the Jewish perspective. This woman could be a comedian. She is so funny and a wonderful story teller.


Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

What is SAD?

Animals react to the changing seasons with changes in mood, metabolism and behaviour and human beings are just the same. Most people find they eat and sleep slightly more in winter and dislike the dark mornings and short days. For some, however, symptoms are severe enough to disrupt their lives and to cause considerable distress. These people are suffering from SAD.

How does it affect people?
Sufferers have to endure most of the following:

Sleep problems – oversleeping but not refreshed, cannot get out of bed, needing a nap in the afternoon

Overeating – carbohydrate craving leading to weight gain

despair, misery, guilt, anxiety
– normal tasks become frustratingly difficult

Family / social problems
avoiding company, irritability, loss of libido, loss of feeling

Lethargy – too tired to cope, everything an effort

Physical symptoms
often joint pain or stomach problems, lowered resistance to infection

The symptoms tend to start from around September each year lasting until April, but are at their worst in the darkest months.

Found on this website.

OK, all my friends in California, who warned me; I am suffering. I have always had this. Had it really badly when I lived in the Northeast. but it pretty much went away after our move to California and I was fine in North Carolina.

So here is what I am doing:

Continuing to walk 10,000 steps, even in the rain
Ordered a rise and shine natural alarm clock.
Ordered a happy light for my computer corner.
Trying to limit my carb intake
Forcing my self to get in to the studio to work. I have full spectrum lights there.

So this is why you have not seen cheery posts from me or anything creative from the studio. Yesterday afternoon the sun came out and Mia and I took a walk on the Reed College campus. This is one of my favorite things to do ?Ǩ take a one on one walk with Mia. She yada yada yadas about all sorts of things, and It is a delightful time. Yesterday, we found acorns under an oak tree which we collected to bring home. Last night was Mark’s last dinner with us. Steph brought chicken enchiladas – yuuuum!

Landscaping update: Mark is going home this afternoon and so Steve will have to finish putting the plants in the ground. It has been raining so much that the ground is too soggy to plant.

Before photo taken last spring:

The side walk will all be removed and a blue stone walk installed. The orange line shows the direction it will take. A stake marks the end of the line. There will be a blue stone landing there.


In this area, the concrete walk was removed and the blue stone installed.


Here is Mark doing his magic:


You can see that all the grass has been removed from the left of the walk way.

Here is final look of the area with plant placement:



This will change because they are out buying more plants this morning.

Time to walk the dog!

Week-end Wrap Up

Monday, October 16th, 2006

It has been a marathon week-end of family around the house. Mr C and Mark have been working on the landscaping of the front of our house. I will be posting some photos later as they get this together. M & M are back in school. Jayme left to go back to California. Mark and Mr C are visiting nurseries and places that sell stones and rocks this morning. So it is suddenly quiet.

NEW NEIGHBORS: Look at who showed up at our front door this week-end. We have new neighbors, and they eventually came by to retrieve them. Aren’t they a funny pair? In the background, you can see the tearing up of the yard that is going on. Click on photos, if your screen is small, to see the complete photo


BIRTHDAY LOOT: On Saturday night, we all went out for dinner to celebrate my birthday. I received some great gifts. Mark and Jayme gave me a book that I have been wanting to read and pretty vase with a bouquet of lavender.


And Stephanie made me this wonderful scarf of wool scraps that matches my hat and gloves from Mr C. I love what she can do with scraps of wool:


SWEAT SHOP: Stephanie volunteered to hem muslin napkins for Mia’s class. They are going to do something artsy with them today and they will be used in their restaurant at the Harvest Fair next week-end. She thought she had 20 ?Ǩ it turned out to be more like 75. So yesterday afternoon, we worked for a couple of hours on two of my sewing machines and finished them.


LAST, BUT NOT LEAST: M & M have a play area in my basement office. I had plastic bins for their toys, but everything was a mish mosh. So I bought an toy storage system at Target. Steph and I organized the toys and got rid of junky stuff. M & M made labels for the bins. Last night they did a great job of cleaning up because every thing has a place. Brilliant!


Time to walk the dog. I think the rain has stopped and the sun is trying to come out.

Friday, the Thirteenth

Friday, October 13th, 2006

I want to be sure to frighten you on this scary day. Here is a self portrait, taken in the mirror:


This is my birthday present from Mr C. I am all set for Tahoe and Portland. It is very soft wool, knitted by hand in Peru.

I want to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday yesterday and today. It was overwhelming and very exciting. Mr C says I look more like my baby picture, the older I get!!

I also want to say a big thank you to my daughter, Lisa, who wrote another very loving tribute to me on her blog. (She exaggerates!) You can also see the cool collage with birds on a wire that she made for me.

We are having a gorgeous fall day. Jayme and I have been playing outside with M & M while Mr C and Mark have been working on the landscaping. Mark has designed a beautiful plan for our yard with the elements phased in over time. Of course, I am so excited that I want it tomorrow.