Friday, June 4, 2021

June is Bustin' Out All Over

Borrowing this line from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, it is perfect for all that's happening. After being fully vaccinated for four months, we are seeing events opening up that have been sorely missed. We were treated to a concert of sacred music and hymn arrangements by Taylor Hightower (baritone) and Zhaolie Xie (pianist) this week. They lead us in worship every Sunday at UBC, but this hour-long concert was a special treat. 

Taylor Hightower and Zhaolei Xie
Xin Zhang turning pages
I am enjoying my flowerbed and watching the growth of hostas, hydrangeas, even tomatoes!, herbs, and begonias. 

Parsley, hoping for caterpillars

Basil so tall it became a bouquet
It was time to change the art in the living room. Interleave Symphony has been hanging over the fireplace, but Elizabeth, My Almost Perfect Cat is back in her place of honor.
Elizabeth, My Almost Perfect Cat
34" x 25"

Interleave Symphony
34" x 31"
I enjoy sending cards of my artwork, so I had these four designs printed. The hydrangea is a photograph from my yard, while the others are fiber art pieces.
Note cards

One of my granddaughters and her family visited me this week. Kiesha Baker is a midwife and her husband Robert is a photographer in Dallas. We had a great time and I could brag on the sweet children. They were introducing their new baby girl, and I could see why the brothers adore her!
Their pug Olive came with them, which caused Tarbaby and Rahrah to retreat to the top of a closet. Elizabeth wasn't very happy to have an interloper in the house, but she handled it better than her buddies.

Brody making friends with Elizabeth

Monday, May 31, 2021

Finishing Up May

May has had beautiful weather that makes me want to stay outside with my flowers. I love even the green plants that don't bloom, too--like Maidenhair fern, hostas and herbs. Hydrangeas are looking good, with more on the way. Those little begonias are putting on a show, and the white Diamond Frost just gets fuller every day. A friend brought me blueberries. 

Elizabeth under the Maidenhair Fern

Hostas are blooming

Diamond Frost (Euphorbia)

Zoo news--our giraffes are here! Sue Ellen and her daughter Alberta are settling into their new giraffe barn. We can even see them from Hardy Street (if we're careful) when they are in their yard. What a happy addition to Hattiesburg. They have been on display since the first of May, and the people are flocking in to enjoy them.

Sue Ellen and Alberta

I'm so proud of daughter Linda for her quilting accomplishments. To commemorate her retirement from USM Libraries, she made a "bookcase" wall quilt to hang in her office the last month before she retires on June 30.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Loving this May Weather

 I think going through COVID and being deprived of ordinary social events makes me especially aware of this beautiful May weather and the ever-growing beauty springing (pun intended) up. The hydrangeas are beginning to bloom, turning more blue every day. One of my hostas is huge and overshadows the other ones nearby. 

My Mountain Snow Melt is complete except for the hand-stitching the facing to the back. The technique is Katie Pasquini Masopust's Artful Log Cabin, where the piece is constructed of Log Cabin blocks using a photo reference for choosing color placement. Katie taught a workshop in Hattiesburg in October 2019.

Mountain Snow Melt, 32" x 24"


Inspiration photo with superimposed grid lines
It was a treat yesterday to get to hear and be present for a concert by three graduating USM orchestra friends, the Amaná Trio, composed of Rodrigo Quintana (violin), Patricia Vanuci (cello) and Luciana Simóes (piano).

     At our Pine Belt Quilters Zoom meeting this week I gave a talk entitled Making Art During the Pandemic. It was satisfying to look back over the year and realize how much enjoyment I got from my art in spite of sadness and anxiety over the news. Sometimes it seemed that the days flew by in a kind of time warp, but I located pictures of leaf projects, online classes and webinars, fabric postcards, and even breadmaking experiments that reminded me of many days well spent.
     Our OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) group has a Friday afternoon Zoom social, and last week several friends joined me in playing Word Games, my home-grown take-off on Password and 25 Words of Less. We gave clues to each other, trying to get participants to guess the word being portrayed. It was a fun afternoon, and we will do it again on May 28. 
     One of the best things that has happened beginning May 2 is getting to meet in person for worship again at University Baptist Church. Our sanctuary is getting some repairs and a new roof, so we are in Kelley Fellowship Hall. We had met on the front sidewalk and lawn for several months but have moved inside for Sunday morning services and the monthly Celtic service.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

May Happenings

 It is very satisfying and rewarding to finish any quilt project, but especially ones that are left after the maker has passed away.  It was an honor when a friend entrusted Linda and me with two treasures she had received this way. One was a set of 40 buttonhole stitched butterfly blocks, and the other a hand pieced top of traditional signature blocks in a variety of fabrics from feedbacks forward. We added sashing and cornerstones to the butterflies and used muslin on the backs of both. 

 My amaryllis is beautiful again this April and May, with eight large blossoms. Hostas are looking good, and the Maidenhair Fern is growing like weeds in the large pot as well as against the garage wall. The flowerbed near the driveway has been planted with begonias, verbena, coleus, and herbs, with geranium and croton in pots. 

Picture taken mid-March

Picture taken May 1

In case you have missed seeing the cats lately, here are all three enjoying a cool afternoon on the front porch with me.
Elizabeth, Rahrah, and Tarbaby (l.-r.)

Elizabeth in Rahrah's box

Tarbaby on his back on my lap 

Rahrah being a nuisance

Sunday, April 25, 2021

April Art Market

I took part in an Art Market sponsored by Parks & Recreation Department of the City of Hattiesburg  yesterday. It was a day of fun spent with other artists and craftspeople and plant lovers. There was also a plant swap and I brought home three interesting pots. 

The venue was the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center, a donated building which formerly housed the local Hattiesburg American newspaper. The building is being upgraded, updated, and remodeled to provide space for drama, art classes, and a variety of other events. It is definitely a work in progress.

My display

Thread painting
I got to visit with people and acquaint them with fiber art and explain how it evolved from traditional quiltmaking to using these skills to make "quilts for the walls." I showed the difference between piecing (sewing small pieces together) and quilting (stitching the top, batting/middle, and backing together). I showed straight stitching on a regular sewing machine and free-motion quilting and "thread-painting" where I use threads as my paints to add to a surface. Then there was Interleave, twisted trees, ghost quilting as well as improvisational pieced strips to fabric collage to create a scene or my cat Elizabeth. 

Persimmon leaves inspired by photo in my yard

Color Blocks with quilting

Detail of thread painting with Elizabeth supervising

Interleave technique

Ghost quilting

Ghost quilting

Improvisational piecing, mounted on gallery-wrapped canvas

Twisted Tree
I bought these handmade clay earrings from a group of talented women whose label is Eighteen-Six,  based on the scripture Jeremiah 18:6. 
The Eighteen-Six crew

Amazingly lightweight clay earrings