Friday, January 28, 2011

More Snow... not surprising, this last weekend in January, here in Central Alberta.  Heading into evening, the snow has been joined by the wind, and drifting.  On the menu:  Comfort Food in the form of home-made tuna casserole: whole wheat fusilli noodles (cooked), water-packed tuna (drained), condensed mushroom soup, and frozen mixed veggies (about a cup) -- all mixed together in a trusty Corning Ware (r) casserole dish.  Maybe some shredded cheese, melted and golden, on top.

Dr. Oz, eat your heart out! ;-)  I'm taking his 11-week challenge, which is going to take me and my 58-year-old, post-menopausal, mid-winter body at least twice as long.  Yes, I am moving more; I am eating less (snacking less); I do appreciate the awareness that the special website has created...but it is what it is!

Stormy weather enables more studio time, too.  I am contentedly working on several things:
  • This morning I quilted the first of 2 new pieces.  These are going to be my submissions to "In the Red", a juried show to be held from early April through early July at the Alberta Craft Council Feature Gallery in Edmonton.  The show is intended to express how artists feel about a recent 16% cut-back in Provincial funding. Let me introduce you to:
"Make Do" and... "Mend" (pre-quilting)
Yes, you read the titles correctly.  The main body of each piece is constructed from paper towels left over from my dying exercise last week, layered onto muslin with MistyFuse (r), embellished with a bit of dyed yarn acquired somewhere in my travels, and secured under a subtle bit of sheer fabric.  The borders are my newest hand-dyed fabric.  The batting is pieced from remnants and the backings are commercial cottons from my stash, bought aeons ago (at least, long before I moved out here!).  Binding will be in the hand-dyes.  "Mend" has a bit of hand-stitching (ladder- and running stitch) as well around and through the centre rectangle, to effect patchwork.

  • This afternoon I put 3 new dye packs aside to 'percolate': an even bluer purple (more Sky Blue, less Fuschia); a green-green (Lemon Yellow and Turquoise -- who knew?!); and a red orange (Scarlet, Golden Yellow and a touch of Lemon Yellow).  I've included skeins of white perle cotton in the first two...the better to stitch with, my dears!
  • Also this afternoon, as things began to 'perc' in the dye pot, I began to hand-stitch on the first of my "Abandoned" series, which I hope to have ready to exhibit at the Lacombe Art Fair in April.  I bought some wonderful Sulky 'Blendables' in "Milk Chocolate" (#4011) and "Soft Blacks" (#4034) with which to stitch down the 'siding' on a building.  I bought 30 wt, because I knew I could use it for both hand and machine stitching, but they have the same in heavier weight for hand-stitiching only.  I am lovin' the way this is coming together and will provide a photo before too long...
For much of the afternoon, once the CBC shut down it's classical mode, I've been listening to an audio-book I got Monday from my LL (Local Library):  Matthew E. May's In Pursuit of Elegance.  Fascinating...but it's going to take me a while to digest.  (I've just finished Chapter 2).  I commend it to you, whether you're an artist, a designer, a writer, a physicist, a scientist...or just plain curious.   Here are some of my notes:

"What isn't there can often trump what is."

"Doing nothing isn't easy."

Prioritze goals -- then eliminate the bottom 20% forever.

Elements of elegance: surprising power; 
simplicity; 'less is more'; changes our view of things; clever; concise; symmetrical; pleasingly memorable; spare...

Appreciate, embrace -- and travel beyond complexity.

Not everything simple is elegant, BUT everthing elegant is simple.


1 comment:

Linda A. Miller said...

What fun your recent work is, Margaret! I like the free style of Make Do and Mend. Thanks for the book referral...will see if my library has it!