Archive for the ‘road trip’ Category

More Random Ramblings…..

KathyNida Yes! One of my favorite art quilters actually does exist beyond a blog!!! Kathy NIda (long i, as I have been pronouncing it wrong all these many years) is an artist I have been following for well over a decade, and it’s not just because she uses our marbled fabrics in her art quilts. She is one seriously cool lady – and amazing teacher to boot. We finally were able to get together on our last trip to San Diego, as she was also on school break. What a fun two hours! Laughing, lamenting, giggling, telling stories, talking shop – a fabulous time was had by all. Even better, I got to see one of her works at Visions Art Museum, and by far the best in the exhibit, which I didn’t really care for, especially after having seen the exhibit of fiber at the Mingei (yes, Kathy, everyone is right – you MUST go see this show!). But it was so cool to see the actual art quilt up close and personal, as I am in awe of her technique. Here are a couple of photos shamelessly borrowed from her blog (kathynida.com).

Here’s the quilt being dried after a washing (something about pet hair….) – our fabric is the pavement. Second one is a closeup. I so loved seeing an actual quilt of hers, because her process is so intricate, and seeing in person how it all came together is fabulous.

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Now, about the exhibit at the Mingei at Balboa Park in San Diego – one of my favorite museums – the emphasis is on “every day objects,” and this time the exhibit was two brothers, William and Steven Ladd, who work with beads, fabric and boxes in developing labor intensive, meticulous and abstract work that expresses their shared memories of family life in Missouri. )from the website) While some of the work I didn’t “get,” I was in awe of their use of unusual materials. This is from their website, explaining their “towers.”

Towers
A Tower is a stack of approximately 24 hand sewn boxes placed into a specific configuration.  Towers are often constructed of fabric, found materials, and board.  Each box in the stack measures approximately 9” square and can be closed or open.  When all of the boxes are open, they are  laid out into a specific grid-like configuration.  Textiles and found objects are meticulously sewn into the boxes and often resemble organic structures such as trees.  The Tower originated as a convenient way to stack and store boxes of the brothers meticulously constructed objects.
Each Tower has a story attached to it that is rooted in Steven and William’s shared memories.  Volcano, 2008, explores memories of extreme exercise while sharing a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Explosive muscle building and marathon running evolved into forms that resemble volcanic structures.
Volcano, 2008
Archival board, fiber, beads, metal
Closed 13.25 x 19.875 x 18.875 in.
Open 39.75 x 19.875 x 8.5 in.
These are examples, and the top is a detail – needles, pins, metal ants, rolls tapes and biases….a feast for the eyes!
Ladd1
Ladd2
Ladd4
Ladd5
Ladd6

East of the Mississippi!

Yet another gorgeous day! We were so worried about all the rain and tornadoes, but I’m thinking we’ve brought the good weather with us! We left Des Moines, gorgeous morning, and finally crossed the Mississippi. There is something mythic about this mighty river and it’s division of the country. Every time we cross the Continental Divide, I think about the water that flows to the Mississippi. And the gateway to the westward movement, with all its pros and cons. And Mark Twain, whose many books I have read. I always feel like I am entering or leaving a different country. The day was quiet, and very relaxing…Iowa is certainly “heartland.”

Illinois just seemed soft and green, lots of farms, not nearly the amount of sprinkle systems that we saw in Nebraska. It is SO NICE to see rivers with water in them! And I must say, Iowa has some of the nicest roadside stops!

We traveled through Illinois, past Regan’s  birthplace, into Wisconsin, and finally to Milwaukee. We weren’t  sure we’d head this far north, but I have always wanted to visit this city. Tomorrow we are doing a boat cruise around the lake and river.

Here’s a few shots from today.

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

A whole rest area devoted to quilting!

Iowa rest area - patchwork. locks

Iowa rest area – patchwork. locks

Even the brickwork.....

Even the brickwork…..

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

The little picnic areas are identified by patchwork.

We noticed in Illinois that the mile markers were in fractions…one-quart, half, and three-quarter.  Very cool…I’d like to know why….in Wisconsin the markers were in two-tenths….also cool!

Mile markers!

Mile markers!

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Tomorrow on the water!

Long Day, Great Drive

We left Denver at 5:30 am, with the intent to get to Omaha a d potentially see an elementary school friend. Despite an unexpected tour of the Denver Airport (huge and confusing), we headed on our way to Nebraska. What a great drive….flat, once we were out of Colorado, lots of grass, loads of farming, and a LOT of corn!  Small farms, large farms, lots of small towns. We’ve had great weather…one  of the concerns we had about getting across the Plains.

Saw my first dandelion at the Colorado Welcome Center, right before we crossed into Nebraska. Also, it was a stop for the Pony Express. So much history as we cross the country, and lots of friendly folks. We followed the Platte River for a while, and I kept thinking about the great documentary about Lewis and Clarke, done by Ken Burns. We got to Omaha, but couldn’t find a motel, so we ended up in Des Moines…nice little city.

We crossed the Missouri River and the terrain changed….hilly all over.  Plus, every bit of land was taken up with corn and hay, to the extent of terracing hills to plant more corn. Iowa was much more beautiful than I had imagined. and Des Moines is lovely.

So we have decided to head tomorrow to Milwaukee for a few days….so many things to do in that city! Here’s a few shots from today…and more on the art  museum when my brain is not fried from directions…..

My first dandelion on the trip…

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Lots of lilies…reminds me of our last trip east – they were all over.

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The Pony Express statue…

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The Platte River has such historical significance….

Road Trip…Day 2

Wonderful  scenery today, and lots of pleasant thoughts, including some rain. In fact, humidity is now 38% and about 70 degrees….absolutely gorgeous. Northern New Mexico is really beautiful, with vistas from high desert to almost deserted plains. We left Santa Fe  (dew on the car windows….) and headed east, through Glorieta and the Pecos National Historic Park. I’d post my own pictures, but major problems trying to get pictures to work….

Lots of great green pines, small towns, streams with actual water in them. We headed through Las Vegas, NM through to Raton, and the landscape kept changing around every turn. The clouds mixed with sun, and there were so many layers to the clouds – you felt like you could reach out and touch the bottom layers. And then you are out into what appears to be “nothingness,” but is really just empty, gorgeous vistas.

Looking east -quick video of the landscape. If you listen carefully, you can hear a marvelous bird.

Looking west – same spot but looking to the west.

We  first went to Denver in the early 80’s, and things have really changed. Pueblo was just a small sleepy town that handled printing and distribution of all the government pamphlets. Not any more…manufacturing, new developments, and very spread out. Same for Colorado Springs…huge, and well spread out on the east side of the Interstate. And the traffic in Denver…oy. But we are in Denver to see the textile show at the art museum tomorrow.

When we went east three years ago, it had been 15 years since seeing all of our old haunts. I was taking pictures of green grass, dandelions….so many little things. Well, same thing today….

Dew on the car

 Dew on the car….

Gorgeous rest area in Colorado….great grass!

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Always on the look for tree bark….

To the art museum tomorrow!

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