Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sewing in Sandpoint

I'm taking another break from the blog. Tomorrow I'm off to Sandpoint, Idaho for a week-long workshop with Nancy Crow. I am so excited. I'm not so excited that it is an 8-9 hour drive to get there. Anna is also not so excited that I'm going, even though Frank's mom and dad arrive tonight to help take care of her while I'm gone.

I don't think Anna remembers that I was away from her for one weekend when she was about two years old. I went to visit my college friends in Chicago. She has had two or three nights where she has slept over at a friend's house, but we were only a phone call away if she needed to be picked up. So, she is not too happy about me being gone for an entire week. I think it will be good for her. She needs to start learning some independence and maybe she'll realize how much I really do for her.

I will give you all pictures and update when I return!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Busy Day

How is it that kids can wear you out so much? This morning I did another art lesson for Anna's fifth grade class. We did painting (warm and cool colors) which they love, but I don't. It is a lot of work to get stuff set up and then takes a long time for me to clean all the palettes and all the brushes and tables when they are done. But we have to do it some times.

After cleaning up, I came home to have lunch. Then it was back to school again for the first yearbook meeting. This year I said I would be the yearbook coordinator, instead of the art coordinator (since I am teaching all the art for Anna's class). But I really don't know what I'm doing as the previous coordinators' children have moved on to Junior High. I'm starting to gather information and was told I needed to meet with the 6th graders soon.

I met them today for an informational meeting. I told them as much information as I knew, which wasn't much. There were about 15 kids with only one boy. They will be a handful, I can tell already. But I at least have a starting point now. One girl kept asking about having color in the yearbook. Ah, the innocence of children. Yes, color pictures would be great! Let's charge $50 for each book. I told them we have a budget but I will look into it. Maybe we can do one color page, but then which one would it be?

Open house for the school is tonight. I guess we'll be going so we can buy the student directory. It will be my fourth time down and back from the school today. Was I looking forward to school starting?

Now, for a little art content. This is a piece I finished last night. I was dyeing more fabric for my workshop next week, because I had already started using the first batch. These colors were just hanging out together. I thought they looked nice together and put them to work with a sketch I had made in my sketchbook. This is Abstract Chair study #4. Can you see the chairs?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some Music on the Side

Anna is in fifth grade this year and it is the first year they get to play an instrument in school. Anna chose the violin. She did take piano lessons for about a year but that was it. We'll see how long this lasts. At least they get to learn it during school so we don't have extra lessons to go to out of school.

They are just learning the notes on the strings and "plucking". They have not used the bows yet. Here Anna made up her own song. Sorry it is sideways. I took this with my camera and I was still in photograph mode in my head. Hence I turned it sideways not thinking it would be a sideways video. When I turned it right side up in another program the sound got messed up.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Frank took off for the mountains this weekend. That left Anna and me alone. Today we drove (down to the school) and then rode our bikes to the park to play on the new equipment (with its ugly bright orange pieces which the city mistakenly ordered).

Then we rode back to the school to play a little basketball.

After working up an appetite, it was over to Roosevelt market, which is across the street from the school, for lunch.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dyeing of heat

Yesterday was another warm day at 91 degrees. I decided it was a good day to dye some more fabric (instead of going to work - I went today). I dyed a bunch several weeks ago for a workshop. But I have been using some of it already and thought I better do some more. This time I did the baggie method.

Here are some of the newer colors on top of the previous colors.

I like the yellows, oranges and pinks from this lot better than the ones from the last time because these are "muddied". The first time I used the straight dye color (except orange I had to mix red and yellow) and then did lighter and lighter variations of the same. I do not like the pure hot red and the resulting pinks that came from lightening it.

This time I mixed some green and/or yellow into the red and the pink came out more rose colored. For the yellows, I mixed with a bit of red and blue. The pumpkin and melon type oranges are better as I mixed several colors together for that, too.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


We didn't get back to Art in the Park. I decided I would spend more money if we went and thought it best not to do that. It does always inspire me, though. I see lots of things and I do often say to myself, "I could make that." Last night I did. I made a little necklace for myself and, today, some earrings to match.

The little dangle says, "Create."

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Art in the Park

This weekend is the big event for the Boise Art Museum. Art in the Park. Over 270 artists from around the country (mostly northwest) set up booths and sell work all weekend. It is a lot of work for the museum staff. I worked in the Museum Store this morning to help out since others were doing other stuff.

Afterward, I was all set to browse the park and take wonderful photos to share with you. I took out my camera for the first shot and the battery died. I know I just charged it up not too long ago. Didn't even get the first one. Instead of taking lots of pictures, I just spent lots of money instead.

I always buy some earrings from a guy named Joseph Brinton. He's been coming to the event for years and every year I buy some earrings from him. In the past few years, he has had a "sale" section where the older models are less expensive. I bought quite a few this time, but you can't beat a pair of sterling silver earrings for $7. He had a pair of bicycle earrings that I had to get and some pretty leaf shapes and a pin to go with it, cat earrings for Anna (who has inherited the collecting earrings bug from her mother) and some others.

I also bought a linocut print that was hand painted from a new artist this year. Her name is Sarah Angst. Mine was of cherries. I guess I could show you that later. I like knowing that even if I spend a bit of money, I'm supporting the artists. There were some other things I liked, too. We might go back tomorrow. Maybe my camera will be charged if we do.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Work day

I didn't have to go to work today, like I originally thought. I do have to go tomorrow and Saturday. But today I worked on something else. Here it is materializing on my wall.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Long Weekend

It was nice to have an extra day off this past weekend. Anna and Frank made up some homemade bubble stuff to attempt making huge bubbles. The book said it doesn't work as well if the humidity is less than 70%. Well, in Boise it is usually like 10%. It took some effort but they did manage to get a few. Although they did not last very long.

With the extra time, I managed to finish this quilt. It is part of a group project. When we proposed the idea (maybe nine months ago?), I was very excited to get started on it. But as time went by hashing out the rules, my mind moved onto other things and I lost enthusiasm.

The rules are that if you decided to do the project, you had to have it complete by the deadline (which is next Wednesday). The theme was Idaho rivers or streams, which could be interpreted abstractly (i.e. stream of consciousness). We cut the sides so they would puzzle piece together with each other. We had to do a facing binding so it would not show on the front. Every one got the same river fabric and both sides had to be used. A river line was drawn across all the template pieces and you had to have the center of your river on the line and follow it for a couple of inches near each edge (so you have some consistency with meeting up with the next person's river). However, it could be as wide or as thin as you wanted it and in the middle of the piece you could veer from the line as you wished.

After all that it is no wonder I lost enthusiasm. But it is now finished.

If you don't live in Boise, you probably have no idea what this piece is about. It is called Art near the River and these are abstract representations of public art pieces in Boise that are somewhat near to the river. The top structure is the Anne Frank Memorial. The totems on the left side are sculptures that are in the outside sculpture garden at the Boise Art Museum. The semi-circle pieces are part of an artwork that is on Grove street. The yellow structure on the right is another sculpture at the art museum. The fish that are flying around are modeled after the artwork called Spring Run which is mounted on the side of a building downtown. And the funky flowers are similar to the ones found on the mural on the Hitchcock building. I outlined and shaded them with black thread.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Being a Parent

There are so many things to say about being a parent. I know that I am always wondering how I'm doing, trying to watch others and read books to figure out how I can be better. I make lots of mistakes and try to let Anna know when I do.

Yesterday morning I woke up and found this on my dresser. I'm sure it was placed there the evening before, but I went to bed late and it was dark (didn't want to wake up Frank by turning the light on). It was a great thing to wake up to. I guess I'm not doing too poorly in my parenting skills. I will keep it and maybe show it to Anna when she is a teenager and probably won't feel the same way.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bird House

Here is what I have done with my crayon bird drawing that I had shown earlier. I sewed the paper to a small bird house shaped quilt with French knots on it. The red circles on the fabric were colored in by me. The symbol in the lower right corner is my attempt at the Chinese word for bird.

An extra note: In the previous post, I wrote that it was the first time for Anna and her cousins to be together. That was wrong. They were all together several years ago in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But Alexandra was only 3-4 months old at the time.