Archive for the ‘travels’ Category
…there’s a LOOONNNGGG list of bookmarks of stuff I’ve found over the past 6 months of being with friends. So here goes:
Found the RCP blog – really interesting look at having phots and such scanned as large images, rather than blowing up a photo….love the look and can see lots of possibilities!
Also from TED – world problems attached to laughter – 10 Funniest TED talks. Provocative and funny at the same time.
You know I love creating zentangles. Now here comes the next best thing – coloring books for adults, using zentangles as a base. I’ve asked Santa…..
Rumor has it you can get a deal on markers from Amazon….or your local craft store……
LOVE what Judi can do with a sewing machine! Her quilting designs are absolutely amazing. I can dream……
I think most people have seen the mashup of Hitler taking on current problems…..some funny ones that have been done. Here’s one dealing with Burlington, VT, our new home.
from Atlas Obscura, more amazing pictures, this time of root bridges.
If Jurassic Park had been set in different geologic ages (would be great for the middle school science classroom)……
Yosemite was ( and is) magical…
And finally, some nerd humor…..love anything that is a play on Latin!
In May, as spring was in full bloom, we headed south to visit Crown Point and its new bridge. We had watched the video a bunch of years ago about the destruction of the old bridge, and now we had a brand new one. Most of Crown Point hubby hadn’t seen for years, and I hadn’t been to the fort and the lighthouse. The colonies had both British and French forts at this location, active during the French and Indian War – nicely done job on a small museum.
Lots of thoughts kind of rambling through the head these days, main one is that my novel IS DONE!!! (Insert happy dance!) I’ve set up a page through webnode.com to talk about various items related to the politics within the novel, as well as things I’ve discovered in writing fiction. I’ll post it when I’m ready to reveal it for comments. In the meantime I have my last round of editing to do, and then it’s query letter to literary agents. I rethought the ending at least five times, and then I said start writing and see what happens – let the characters talk to me, like they have been doing the whole time.
Another activity has been planning and packing for our move back east. I need me my four seasons! Since I’m retired, I don’t have to go out in the bad weather! We will need to revise how we shop for food, as in the winter months we need to be prepared for days inside. This has all led me to thinking about places to travel in the winter. We may just hop Amtrak to come west during a cold January. I’ve started surfing, and I stumbled on this site on Costa Rica– a place on my bucket list! One look at this place and I’m ready to pack now! Give me the ocean, water I can admire, some unique things to do, and a great place to hang and I’m there!! Las Ventanas del Mar – the ocean view looks spectacular!
The packing for this cross-country move has been interesting. We are downsizing even more from our previous local moves, planning on replacing some furniture when we find a new apartment. I realized my hutch wasn’t important, although I love it – it’s the mementos inside from years of being together. Today we donated tools, stationery, and other odds and ends to Live Theater Workshop, which has provided many years of enjoyable theater experiences. The best one to date has been “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Revised.” Loads of laughs and great visual gags. All 39 plays in 90 minutes!
All the art stuff – books, supplies, finished pieces – that’s what is really important, and they will be packed about two weeks before the move. I don’t want to look at empty walls and not be near my sewing machine for too long. Which brings me to another thought – Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. If you are going to be a professional and really great at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. I am so far from that! But I will say that the past year has definitely improved my free motion quilting and design skills with the amount of time I’ve been spending on my art. My days have settled in to a nice routine, and I no longer worry about keeping track of what I accomplish each year during retirement. Yoga, writing, sewing/quilting, sketching with pen and ink, walks – a very nice schedule!
Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe – just one of many stops on our 3-week jaunt into Northern California. This was an amazing few weeks, and probably only the second vacation we’ve done where we could truly say we were relaxed. Too many years and our opinion of California was based on LA and San Diego. Little did we realize just how wonderful northern California is.
Lots of small towns, no big box stores, local restaurants, vibrant main streets. Nothing like depressed (in so many ways) Tucson. Once we got north of Edwards Air Force Base and Mojave, we got into some magical country. I haven’t downloaded camera photos yet, but I wanted to get impressions.
Majestic, from Yosemite to the sea. From the Redwoods to the shore in front of Monterey Aquarium. We would sit at night on our porches (when we were lucky to find hotels that had nice outside spots) and talk about how gorgeous everything was, and how could we translate what we had seen into fiber. The best example of how in sync we are is that we are both standing in front of the jellyfish exhibit of orange jellies, both of us thinking about recreating these creatures in fiber….hubby with how he would marble the colors, and me with how I could stabilize some marbled chiffon so I could do stitching and still have it supple enough to move with the air.
This has led us to developing a new series for future work: Preservation. This can encompass loads of ideas – the environment, the written word, languages we are losing – so many possibilities, all attempted with marbled fabrics.
We enjoyed five glorious days in a cabin overlooking Monterey Bay (at 1600 feet elevation) that we found on Airbnb – our first time using it, and we were thrilled with all aspects of it. Great conversation with the guys at the cabin, great meals…and lots of mosqitoes, which I discovered after the fact (bought the cortizone on Thursday). We sat, read, and looked at the views. Supermoon Saturday had the full moon sneaking behind some redwoods, and the bay was perfectly clear all night, with the lights of the fishing boats visible from our deck. So nice to be wearing jeans and a sweat shirt for a change and enjoying chilly, moist air, which made the trip back to Tucson so difficult.
Met a long-time friend in Bakersfield for an overnight. I love how years can go by, and you pick right up where you left off. We had a ball trying to figure out a stubborn sewing machine so we could machine quilt on it, and then drowned our frustrations in some amazing dinner at Moo Creamery in Bakersfield. Ya haveta go if you’re in the area.
Made new friends, talked art in a lot of galleries, bought new spices and teas…and took lots of pictures. I have decided I need to upgrade my camera, as it is sllloooowwwwww doing what I want it to do.
Coming back to the desert only reaffirms our decision to move east. Near water and surrounded by green, friendly people, vibrant communities, and a state very friendly to artists (unlike Tucson, but that’s another whole blog post.) We both have our lists of things to do, we’re marbling next week to stock our Etsy store and try for some new fabrics, I’m writing up a storm, as I have set myself a deadline of July 31 to have the rough draft of my novel done. Life is good!
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.
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.”
The temps have dropped and Northern Arizona is under storm warnings with snow possible. It’s windy here in Tucson, and it’s a thoughtful, kind of sleepy, kind of depressing Saturday. I still wonder about the lack of interest in things, like the business, that used to be a driving force.
I can’t really say it’s all because I feel like I am getting older and running out of time. There are still a lot of things I want to do. One of the biggies is traveling. An article on Facebook this morning made me realize that I need to start soon, before the body betrays me even more. 25 top cities to see. I’ve been to Shanghai and Beijing, way before the massive high-rise development. There’s a real stark contrast between old and new in the two cities. New York City, but not in several decades, and the same for San Francisco several decades ago. Briefly Chicago for a conference, and then Europe – ah, Europe. I do want to get there.
I am facing some medical tests in the next month, and I figure, since my energy level is so low, and all I want to do is sleep, that there is probably something more going on with the thyroid. But now we’re looking at boobs and intestines and ovaries, so I may be giving up a body part down the road.
Also a video from Facebook this morning on bullying. I’ve said for a number of years that part of the bullying epidemic – actually a majority of it – I think is due to the way adults act on reality TV shows, as well as on news programs. Adults are the grown-up bullies. And that leads to even less attempts at compromise, because we have become so used to shouting to get what we want – or resort to violence.
On the good front this morning, the fourth chakra that I just completed as part of the commission is GORGEOUS.
Gotta go put a sweater on – temp is about 20 degrees cooler than yesterday!
You are looking at the control room of the last Titan Missile site, south of Tucson, and obviouslynon-working. One of the things i have also been doing over the last few months is writing a novel, of which I have completed nearly 70,000 words. It’s been fun, a stretch, and involves a bit of interesting research. In thinking about how to end the book (futuristic, but I still want it believable), I decided to check out this museum for possible ideas.
What you are looking at on the left is our group in the main launch center of the site. Everything within the control room is designed so that no one person could actually launch a missile. It would require two keys, both placed far apart so that no one person could operate both at the same time…and all kinds of interesting trivia. This site has been preserved as a museum, and the curator is a former commander of the site. The movie before the tour talked about our foreign policy of prepared deterence, which I found ironic in the light of Bush junior’s policy of “with us or against us.”
Here are a couple of photo collages of other pics from that visit. Amazing construction for the day, and sites located in places I hadn’t even known about.
Lower left – escape hatch to the surface, and middle right is the fresh air vent to the interior. Both will potentially figure prominently in the novel. Lower right the steel doors protecting the control room, and middle left the LONG corridor to get to the actual missile.
Now I need to make a trip to the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, plus a few other “border” areas. Now that the consulting work has eased up, I should be able to get two chapters a week done – 2/3 done and want to move along to finish so I can edit (which I seriously love!).
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.
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!
Tomorrow on the water!
A pretty unproductive week this week in terms of blogging, what with fighting a mild case of the flu. I’m even behind seeing what’s going on the net. But I did find some cool ones…..
50 Places You Can’t Reach Without Climbing – and wow, are these ever gorgeous!!
Again, some helpful hints from 365 Project: 5 Classic Composition Tips To Improve Your Photography.
From Dumb Little Man comes 5 Ways to Overcome Mental Blocks.…timely for me this week! Some good stuff here!
Very disturbing, but necessary to watch – the perils – and death – in plastic……
A collection of video on the meteorite from Russia:
You may have already seen this video of an iceberg calving – this is the LARGEST ever. Nature is absolutely amazing!!
Guess the Spot – how well do you know landmarks? A fun quiz.
Love this commercial for the Lottery, and I am such a dog lover!
Love this next – you have to be very good to make yourself look very bad! An ode to gymnastics……
And finally – this has been making the rounds for a while, but the message is a good one.
I am a subscriber to Robert Genn’s Twice Weekly Letter, and this one really said something to me. The Stendhal Effect is described as “the condition of being dangerously overwhelmed by beauty in either art or nature.” I thought it was just me having heart palpitations in a great quilt store. I can walk out of a gallery energized by the amazing glass – or paintings – or woodwork – or fiber. A great quilt show leaves me breathless. A Monet exhibit has my heart rate decrease to a pleasant sense of peace. A visit to the Getty Museum leaves me so excited and overwhelmed I can calm down till way past my bedtime. And yes, great quilt stores give me heart palpitations.
So it turns out there is an actual, identified condition, called the Stendhal Syndrome. It was “first described in 1979 by the Italian psychiatrist, Gaziella Magherini, after studying more than 100 cases among visitors to the Uffizi in Florence. A concentration of particularly beautiful art can cause rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and even hallucinations.” What angers me is that with the decline of the arts in the schools, more and more students will never experience this. What I also find interesting is a related condition that strikes me at historical landmarks. I first realized it when I walked the Gettysburg Battlefield in the summer of 1974. I was overwhelmed with the place – I looked around, listened to the wind, and imagined all the soldiers fighting those three days. This happens whenever I visit something of historical significance. Standing in Fanueil Hall in Boston where Adams and other early leaders of the American Revolution stood kept me transfixed for nearly half an hour. Antietam – imaging the streams running red and soldiers staring as I walked. Sitting in a small room on the third floor of the American History Museum of the Smithsonian, watching three hours of newsreels from World War II because I couldn’t tear myself away. Watching the oil seep to the surface while standing on the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and wiping away tears, standing on the rocks by Lindbergh’s grave on Maui, and standing on the great Wall of China, staring off toward Mongolia.
Nature will also always do this to me. Looking up at a redwood until my neck gives out, the Grand Canyon, Point Loma, Fisherman’s Wharf, the mountains of Guilin, the Oregon Coast – there are so many places where I can just stand and stare and cry, it is just so beautiful. So art, nature, or that historical moment can overwhelm me so. I wish that for so many more people.
Another week and we’re half-way through November….goodness, where does the time go? Here’s some goodies from the week.
For all of us creatives, here’s an interesting little video from Behance about what we do:
In light of Veteran’s Day is this beautiful, heart-wrenching letter about loss.
Ode to our neighbor to the north, Canada – some spectacular scenery in Travel Alberta.
And who doesn’t love magic? This is an interesting twist on the typical duo in an act.
And another video – this one about kites….which I could NEVER get off the ground! “One kite is controlled by his right leg, the other two by his hands. Ray Bethell, a resident of Vancouver, BC is one of the most famous kite flyers in the world. He controls three kites in a ballet set to “The Flower Duet.” When you see two tails together, he’s flying two of the kites next to each other. At about 3:00, all three are together. Notice at the end where he lays two of the kites down, one on top of the other and the third —-well, you just have to wait to see what he does with that one.”
Here’s a book I need to get, since all things about the brain fascinate me. Found this on the TED blog: Brain Power. Looks absolutely fascinating.
A great fiber art find – love her stamps! “GinaVisione works and plays in San Francisco, CA., a re-transplanted native. Her primary work is focused on maximizing the available rehabilitation service and independence options to all persons with visual impairments and blindness, however, this often spills over into her artwork. She is a printmaker with linoleum carvings and monotype image techniques, but she is also very active in the MailArt (including arti-stamps!) and letter writing networks around the world (SF Correspondence Co-op, Letter Writers Alliance, PostCrossing, to name a few). Gina really enjoys the amazing levels of creativity that artists share in her mailbox daily! Check her out on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginavisione/“
Once again from the 365 Project, some really gorgeous photography.
From Cool Hunting comes the work and an interview with a very interesting artist, Jen Stark – lots of color here!!
And finally, from JPG Magazine, the simple fork……
Have a great week! Let me know what you find on line that’s cool!
One of the interesting side-effects of our stay in the N0rthwest was a new appreciation for the color gray. I have a limited number of grays in my stash, and we have one gray color of paint we use in our marbling. We used to have six or seven when we used Ceramcoat paints for marbling, but since they changed formulas, we’re not happy with the pigment. So we get by with the one gray. Using only the one gray has caused us to see how that color can change when mixed with other colors, so we really can achieve some differences.
But after two weeks of gray and rain, there are so many shades of gray! Part of me wants to go out and start buying a lot of gray fabrics, which I really might have to do. Yellowed grays, blue-grays, green-grays. There are so many distinctions. For years I’ve always loved all the spring greens that happen once a year, and my stash reflects that. We were able to see a lot of that on our trip, and many of the places and trees reminded us of New England. But I had never really focused on gray as its own color with all the variations. By the second day in Seattle, I could look out at the water and mountains and count probably ten different shades. Then I became really attuned to looking at the differences.
Here’s just a few examples.
The Crocker Museum in Sacramento. Glorious Victorian home.
The bridge at Deception Point on Whidbey Island, in the rain (of course) and few snow flakes, with some grayed greens.
It’s interesting that after a while I didn’t even notice the lack of sun…although I was very glad to see it reappear while going down the Oregon coast. Speaking of the Oregon coast….
Wild, wonderful, and rugged.
Along the beach road in Alki, part of Seattle.
Those of you in the Seattle area hopefully know about StashFest – a fund raiser for the La Conner Quilt Museum. It will be Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1. We’re headed up with LOTS of marbled fat quarters to sell and add to the funds for the museum. We spent all of January and a week in February making fabric – hubby turned out great pieces and experimented with a lot of new patterns. You can read more here.
So this week is finishing up a few loose ends and starting to pack. I won’t take quilts off the wall just yet, as we just put them up, and I don’t want too many days of bare walls! The quilts we’re taking are of two kinds: some fairly traditional patterns that show off the marbled fabrics, and some art quilts that are more “whole cloth.” We’ve learned over the years that too many people think the fabric is wonderful but don’t know what to do with it. Hence the two types of quilts.
Special order forms, newsletter sign-up forms (yes, I know, I still need to do a newsletter…..just wait till we return and I get back in gear), quilts, care codes, velour to cover the tables….lots of little things to think through. But we are organized as ever…we could actually leave tomorrow, we are that ready. But I still have tutoring and some end-of-term grades to finish for Art Institute. Plus, I want to see if I can squeeze in some photography of two quilts before we leave. All the marketing lately has been in preparation for this show.
We also want to incorporate a longer vacation, as we have never been to the northwest. We’re reading the guides and making plans. I plan on posting when we’re gone….I just don’t know how successful I’ll be incorporating photos from the iPad. Now about gas prices…..a gallon of gas was a lot cheaper when we committed back in December. But we’ll be able to take a lot of public transportation in Seattle and POrtland, so we should save money – and frustration – that way.
We will be coming back to a large commissioned order of fat quarters, as well as two show deadlines….and three more table runners to complete (but I’ve figured out a shorter way of putting them together).
Life is good!
I realized that I ended Season Two of Cocreating Our Reality on November 19. I have been so busy sewing and working on projects – and being positive – that the day went by. December 1 is coming this week, and I’m planning to start Season 3 that day. One thing I have learned is to try to be more specific with my goals, and yet not limit myself within the goals. I also need more goals, both creatively and business-wise.
So how did I do?
* Enjoy life through a couple of trips and dinners/other social engagements with friends: San Diego, Austin, Houston, New Orleans. Absolutely! We went to Sedona in July, San Diego in August, Santa Fe in September, Sedona in October, and Prescott in November. We are planning to head to San Diego in two weeks. Obviously a new goal is going to be continuing to get a trip in a month – in fact, TWO are scheduled for March.
* Finish “Artists Revisited” class, complete with the new quilt. Finished the class, the quilt is probably half done, and it is now awaiting sometime in late spring to finish it – there are two major pieces I am attacking for a show deadline in mid-February.
* Help with Tikkun Olam show at the Jewish Community Center. The show was very nicely staged. Didn’t sell anything, but had a lot of really good feedback.
* Plan for additional income each month through the business; the goal is to beat the previous month (August should beat July, and so on). We are marbling more often – at least twice a month – and generally selling all the fabric. Etsy has picked up, and a few other things are working, including a commission for 31 fat quarters. We have far exceeded what we did for income in all of last year, so we should end the year in very good shape.
* Take three tutoring clients in mathematics. Instead I accepted a position teaching college algebra one afternoon a week – 4 hours, plus prep time. About the same amount of additional time, and about the same amount of money. Way easier on the travel and schedule.
* Update<a href=”http://artfromtheheart.org” target=”_blank”> Art from the Heart</a> website and make plans for entries for the first anniversary of the Tucson shootings. Three new works of art have already been added, and more people are beginning to talk about the site.
* Sewing projects: Tikkun Olam, Wayne Art Center, Betty’s commission, small rhythm piece, fish quilt redone, deer quilt finished, three additional quilt projects to be determined. No Wayne Art Center. Most of Betty’s commission is completed, the rhythm piece done, the fish quilt completed, the deer quilt finished, and three projects have been determined, all of which have been started.
* Complete the first three action plans in <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>I’d Rather Be In the Studio</span> by Alyson Stanfield. In fact, I did four. I need to attack the portfolio goal over these next 100 days, as well as get in gear on newsletters.
* Maintain goals through the Multiple Streams of Income class and set new 90-day goals. Did this – will set the new goals through Season 3.
* Market the gift basket through Marble-T Design and sell at least four. We’ve sold 3 so far, so good on us! We’ve got stuff for two more ready to go.
* Break 200 pounds. Did not come close. In fact, I have yet to step on the scale, which I will do tomorrow, as I really begin to attack this. What I noticed is that I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this, and nothing has happened that is positive. So I obviously need to rethink how I look at this. I am going on more than half my life being overweight, and something has to change. Either I accept myself as I am now, or I change into what I want to be. More meditation, a diet “sponsor,” a food diary, regular walking, and some journaling are on the list.
I do like being able to see concretely what has been happening. That’s one of the reasons I like the blogging. This is a definite way for me to keep myself accountable.
One goal so far for the new season: the Free Motion Quilting Challenge, which will begin in January. I’ve got lots of other ideas, so I need to get things finalized for the start on Thursday, December 1.
Ah, vacation! We are slowly starting to get some traveling in since I retired. We have plans for September – Santa Fe and Taos, October – Austin, and November back again to San Diego. There’s a wonderful restaurant at Balboa Park, Prado, with wonderful food and fabulous service. You’re looking at our dessert: a chocolate martini (OMG, amazing….) and mango/raspberry/lemon sorbet with carmelized coconut. Lunch was in between the stop at the Mingei and then the Botanical building.
We are hoping for a long travel trip next spring to the Maritime provinces. But in the meantime we are busy making art and organizing ourselves. One of my projects, as readers of the blog know, is organizing my China slides. I’ve got some pictures that are kind of miscellaneous – they are of some very interesting moments or things that struck me in my early-30-first-time-oversees mind.
Everywhere we went we were objects of curiosity. These wonderful people had not ween Westerners in a number of years, due to the Cultural Revolution. We were advised to bring only clothes that were blues and grays. The only place we saw color was in the children. When we stopped over in Tokyo on our way home, I was assaulted by all the color – the first time I had experienced something like that. If you see pictures of modern China, clothes look very Western. To suddenly come back to a culture that used – and celebrated – color was quite the change!
An absolutely amazing trip, even 33 years later. I watched “The Red Violin: a couple of weeks ago, and one of the stages for the violin was during the Cultural Revolution. Having seen the pictures and video from the time, and having talked to people who went “to the countryside,” the movie was a stab in the gut, to see it portrayed so realistically.
To someone who had never traveled overseas, it was the trip of a life time.